Area Tidbits

Tips for planting fall vegetables

Tending to backyard vegetable gardens can fill many hours of enjoyable downtime in the great outdoors. What’s more, the bounty produced by such gardens provides healthy, fresh foods to gardeners and their loved ones.

Although spring and summer are widely seen as the peak of gardening season, the mild temperatures of autumn can be a prime time for planting vegetables as well. Certain late-season treats like carrots, kale, spinach, and turnips can thrive in fall gardens.

Many different foods are quick crops that can go from seed to table in about six weeks. When sown in early fall, these vegetables will be ready to put on the table for mid-October feasts. Beets, green onions, broccoli, and cabbages can be planted in late summer for fall harvest. Gardeners who live in hardiness zones eight through 10 (the southern portion of the United States) can plant fall vegetables as late as December. Many of these plants can tolerate light frost, which may even help sweeten the vegetables.

A handful of unique factors need to be taken into consideration when planning fall vegetable gardens.

• The summertime location of the garden may still be adequate, but be sure to choose a location that gets eight full hours of sunlight per day.

• If using an existing garden site, clear out any detritus from summer plants and any weeds that have sprouted. If you are planting a new garden, remove any turf before tilling the soil.

• Amend the soil with sand, compost, manure fertilizer, and any other nutrients needed depending on the types of vegetables you intend to grow.

• While fall vegetables can be grown successfully from seeds, it may be more time-friendly to work from larger transplants, advises the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.

• Some plants may need a little protection as they grow if temperatures begin to dip. Cover with a blanket, cardboard box or plastic tunnel to insulate.

Remember to water according to the vegetables planted and to keep an eye on readiness for vegetables. Turnips, beets, rutabagas, and carrots can be dug out when the roots are plump and crisp.

Vegetable gardens need not cease when the last days of summer vanish. Fall produce is delicious and can be easily planted and harvested even after the first frost.

 


 

Eye exam recommendation schedules

Routine eye exams should be a vital component of everyone’s healthcare routine. Such examinations can help people learn if they need prescription eyeglasses and if their existing prescriptions need to be updated, and they also can uncover other serious health issues.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology®, a comprehensive eye exam can uncover such problems as aneurysms, brain tumors, diabetes, high blood pressure, and assorted cancers, including those of the blood, tissue or skin. That means routine eye exams can be as effective at safeguarding your overall health as they can at protecting your vision.

The recommended frequency with which people should receive eye exams is based largely on age, though no one should hesitate to schedule an exam if their eyes are bothering them or if they are experiencing any abnormalities with their eyes. In addition, some people may need more frequent eye exams depending on their medical histories, which should be discussed at length with a physician.

Children and adults without preexisting conditions and those not experiencing any abnormal vision problems can adhere to this eye examination schedule, courtesy of the American Optometric Association.

• Birth to two years: Children in this age group should receive eye exams between six to 12 months of age.

• Age three to five: Children in this age group should receive at least one eye exam between their third and fifth birthdays.

• Age six to 17 years: Children in this age group should receive one eye exam prior to beginning first grade and then an annual exam thereafter.

• Age 18 to 64: Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should receive an eye exam at least once every two years.

• Age 65 and older: Annual eye exams are recommended for men and women age 65 and older.

Eye examinations help people preserve and improve their vision while also promoting long-term overall health. These vital components of healthy lifestyles should not be overlooked.

 


 

How college students can confront returning to campus

The world’s response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus left no aspect of life untouched. People from all walks of life had to make sacrifices to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly virus, and college students were no exception.

Many colleges and universities abruptly canceled in-person classes in mid-March 2020, forcing students to finish their coursework via remote learning. That response had a significant impact on the 2019-20 school year, and the virus figures to affect the upcoming school year just as much. In fact, many colleges and universities are beginning the coming school year early in the hopes that students can continue their educations on campus but be safely back home by late November, when many scientists are anticipating a second wave of COVID-19 infections will arrive.

Schools that are reopening this summer insist that it is safe to do so, and have even indicated their intentions to implement new practices to ensure their campuses are safe and healthy environments in which to learn. For example, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is reconfiguring in-person course instruction to include physical distancing provisions. Small classes will meet in larger spaces, while lectures may be delivered remotely.

Despite such measures, some students may still be hesitant to return to campus at a time when so much about the COVID-19 virus remains a mystery. The following are some ways students can confront any nervous feelings they may have about returning to campus for a new school year.

• Determine your options. While many colleges and universities are returning to campus, some may be allowing students to learn remotely. For instance, students with preexisting conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19 may be allowed to continue learning from home. Many schools’ roadmaps to returning are fluid, so students concerned about returning to campus likely have options that do not require them to sit out the semester.

• Learn about residential life. Many college students live in dorms that feature double or even triple occupancy rooms. Such an environment will compromise students’ ability to practice social distancing. Some schools, including Binghamton University in New York, are converting triple occupancy rooms into double occupancy. Both Binghamton and UNC Chapel Hill also are designating one residential hall as temporary housing for students who test positive for COVID-19. In addition, some schools may be designating certain residential facilities for at-risk students. Students who want to avoid the dorms should inquire about off-campus, single-person housing.

• Ask about testing. Students have a right to know about COVID-19 testing protocols and should not hesitate to ask what those protocols will be. Due to the fluid nature of schools’ roadmaps to return, testing policies may not yet be set in stone, and are likely to evolve as the school year progresses. Students should look into the testing policy specifics and ask if they have any recourse if they feel the testing policy is inadequate.

Students who are hesitant to return to campus this summer or fall can do their due diligence to determine if they’re comfortable going back to campus.

 


 

Find your brew: Explore different beer styles

Beer has been produced by humans for longer than many people may know. Barley beer researchers have traced beer production to present-day Iran in the fifth millennium BC. The making and drinking of beer also is noted in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages available today and it is an important sector of the beverage industry. Business Insider says an estimated $661 billion worth of beer was sold around the world in 2017. In the United States alone, more than 7,000 new breweries opened in 2018, according to the Brewers Association. An additional 1,000 breweries were expected to open in 2019.

All beers are either lagers or ales, which are distinguished by the type of yeast used during the fermentation process (bottom- or top-fermenting, respectively). These beers are further labeled to describe the brew’s overall character, and oftentimes its place of origin, states BeerAdvocate.

The following are some of the most popular types of beers on the market.

• Bocks: BeerAdvocate says a German Bock is a lager that is stronger than your typical lager, with a more robust malt character. The hue of these beers ranges from dark amber to brown. Bocks were once brewed by Bavarian monks and were consumed at the end of Lent.

• Brown ales: These beers feature toasty flavors with malty overtones. They have a mid-range alcohol content and boast a hoppy bitterness. Brown ales are full-bodied beers that pair well with heavier foods, like red meats and stews.

• Dark lagers: Many dark lagers have malty, smooth, caramel flavors. They tend to have a mid-range alcohol level and relatively low bitterness profiles.

• India pale ales: IPAs boast strong hop bitterness and piney, floral flavors. They are especially popular among craft beer enthusiasts and brewers. IPAs tend to have a higher alcohol content than other pale ales. Imperial or double IPAs have even more pronounced flavors and higher ABVs.

• Pale ales: These beers are hoppy, but generally light, drinkable beers. Many easily pair with fish, poultry and cheeses.

• Pilsners and pale lagers: These similar, golden-colored beers are light in flavor and lower in alcohol content than other styles of beer. This style of beer was made popular in Germany, but many American brands like Coors and Budweiser have made pale lagers a favorite of the masses.

• Porters: Porters were developed in London in the early 18th century. These beers are well-hopped and dark in appearance due to the use of brown malt. The name grew from the popularity of the beer among street and river porters.

• Stouts: Stouts tend to be dark in color and are often mistaken as being heavy and strong. This isn’t always the case. Many stouts are complex and low in alcohol, according to All About Beer magazine. Dry stouts are well-known in Ireland. A distinguishing characteristic of a dry stout is its black, essentially opaque appearance.

Beer is a complex beverage that comes in many unique styles.

 


 

IGNITING THEIR CURIOSITY EACH AND EVERY DAY – DUBUQUE Y ANNOUNCES PLAN TO ASSIST WITH SCHOOL AGE CARE

The Y is committed to offering quality child care programs for families in our community. We have worked very hard with the District and other partners to find the best option we can to ensure the safety and education of the children enrolled in our programs.

After careful review, we have determined that the best opportunity for us to continue serving families/children is to run all programming at the Dubuque Y. This means that the Dubuque Y will act as “home base” and allow us to operate before- and after-school care, as well as no-school daycare all in one place.

To help make all of this possible, we reached out to RTA who has funds available to provide transportation to children under the age of 15 for FREE! Even though there is no busing charge, parents will have to contract directly with the RTA for the service. Assigned busses would transport children to schools in the morning and return them to the Y in the afternoon. Y staff would ensure that your child was on the correct bus in the morning and that they arrived back at the Y in the afternoon. RTA has been providing transportation to Head Start for a long time and we believe this is the best option to provide before- and after-school care in a cost-effective and safe manner. All RTA staff are background checked and fingerprinted and are subject to random drug and alcohol tests.

Though our program will look different than years past, we are pleased to have the opportunity to continue serving families and children during this challenging time. The main difference is that we will assist in their enrichment when they are out of the classroom. Registration and FAQ’s can be found on our website at: https://dubuquey.org/youth-development/child-care/school-age-child-care/

By operating in this manner and to abide by DHS regulations our current facilities will allow us to accommodate up to 90 children who need care before and after school, as well as families who need care on days that their child is not scheduled to attend school. This ensures that IF school were to go all “virtual” at any time we would be able to continue serving all children in the program.

Additional advantages to this plan allows you to drop off and pick up your child at the same place every day. Children will have the continuity of being with the same staff in the same place every day. Another benefit of being at the Y is that you could enroll your child in Y programs such as swimming lessons while they are in attendance with us. This could allow your child to participate without you needing to come back to the Y on weekends or later in the evenings.

About the Y: The Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA serves 10,000 individuals annually in membership and programs with 10 childcare sites located throughout Dubuque and surrounding areas. The Y offers health and wellness activities and programs that include youth sports, school-age and pre-school child care, summer day camp, aquatics, Zipline and classes for all ages. The Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA is a leading nonprofit strengthening our community through youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, eliminating racism, and empowering women.

 


 

Dubuque’s 2020-21 Art on the River Exhibit Canceled

The City of Dubuque Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs has announced that the 2020-21 Art on the River public art exhibit has been canceled due to City budget constraints related to COVID-19 revenue impacts.

City of Dubuque Arts & Cultural Affairs Coordinator Jenni Petersen-Brant said that while the decision was difficult to make, she believes the pause in the Art on the River program will result in a more impactful exhibit next year.

“Canceling the 2020-21 exhibit provides an unexpected opportunity for the Art on the River Planning Committee and the City to take the coming months to dive deep into an evaluation of the program’s 14-year history,” said Petersen-Brant. “Art on the River has a significant impact on tourism and enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. We look forward to exploring ways we can increase community outreach, inspiring new forms of youth engagement, and expanding collaborations with the business sector to strengthen and amplify that impact.”

In lieu of a new exhibition, several of the current sculptures will remain on display and available for purchase, with a portion of proceeds supporting the program’s future. It is anticipated that the 2021-22 Art on the River exhibit will be held from August 2021 to July 2022 along the Mississippi Riverwalk at the Port of Dubuque. Artist applications submitted for this year’s installment will be held for consideration next year, with additional applications being sought in Spring 2021.

Partnership and sponsorship opportunities to support future Art on the River programming will be announced in the coming months; interested individuals and area businesses should contact City of Dubuque Arts & Cultural Affairs Coordinator Jenni Petersen-Brant at 563-690-6059 or jbrant@cityofdubuque.org. For more information on Art on the River visit www.cityofdubuque.org/artontheriver.

 


 

Dubuque’s Jule Transit Requiring Passengers to Wear Face Coverings

To limit the spread of COVID-19 and to increase passenger safety, the City of Dubuque’s Jule public transportation system will require all passengers to wear a face covering beginning on Monday.

Effective 6:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, every passenger over the age of two years old must properly wear a face covering when entering and while inside a Jule bus or paratransit vehicle.

For this policy, “face covering” is defined as a uniform piece of material that snugly and securely covers a person’s nose and mouth and remains affixed in place without the use of one’s hands. Acceptable cloth face coverings include, but are not limited to:
• Homemade masks
• Scarves
• Bandanas
• Handkerchiefs

While cloth face coverings will be required starting Monday, Aug. 3, the City recognizes there are specific instances when wearing a cloth face covering may not be feasible, such as when doing so may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency, or introduce significant safety concerns. In these instances, adaptations and alternatives should be considered to increase the feasibility of wearing a protective face covering or another accommodation to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Riders who may be unable to wear a cloth face covering should contact The Jule in advance of using the Jule’s services to identify an acceptable adaptation or alternative.

“There’s evidence that the age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population served by The Jule place passengers at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19,” said City of Dubuque Transportation Services Manager Renee Tyler. “The safety of our passengers is our first priority and this policy makes our service safer for them.”

The Jule reserves the right to deny service to individuals without a properly worn cloth face covering or an approved adaptation or alternative. The Jule will have masks available for passengers who do not have a mask. This policy shall remain in effect until further notice.

The new policy is consistent with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation that all people two years of age and older wear a cloth face covering in public settings and when around people in public and other settings, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The mask requirement is the latest example of The Jule’s commitment to service and safety during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Other precautions already in place include:
• Buses are boarding from the rear entrance, when possible
• Buses are disinfected between route runs (hourly)
• Bus shelters are sanitized twice an hour
• Temperatures are taken for all operators at the beginning and end of each shift
• All buses are equipped with disinfectant sprays, sanitizing wipes, and gloves
• All operators are required to wear face coverings and have been provided masks and shields

For more information, please contact The Jule at 563.589.4266 or email transit@cityofdubuque.org.

 


 

Unique ways to support workers who have been laid off or furloughed

Small businesses have been hit especially hard by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. According to a survey of more than 500 small businesses conducted by the Small and Medium Business Group in late March, companies with fewer than 20 employees were the most adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey also found that businesses within the personal service, hospitality and retail industries were most affected by the economic fallout of the outbreak.

Small businesses do not have the financial might of their larger competitors, making it especially difficult for such companies to weather economic storms. As a result, when the economy suffers, many small businesses don’t have the financial cushion necessary to safeguard their employees from layoffs or furloughs.

When social distancing guidelines were implemented, forcing non-essential businesses to close their facilities to customers, millions of small business employees were suddenly out of work. Those men and women are friends and neighbors, so it’s understandable that people want to find ways to help them make it through such difficult times. The following are some ways to do just that.

• Support local fundraising efforts. In response to the financial fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak, many small business owners urged community members to support their staff. For example, in New Jersey, where Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the closure of all restaurant dining rooms in mid-March, local restaurant owners organized The Great Jersey Shore Take-out, an effort in which the proceeds of all food and beverage sales on a designated day were given to participating restaurants’ employees, including waitresses, managers, bartenders, chefs, and kitchen staff. Participating in such efforts is a great way to support local workers who have been laid off or furloughed as a result of the outbreak.

• Offer discounted services to laid off or furloughed workers. Local professionals can help laid off or furloughed workers by offering certain services at discounted rates. For example, tax filing deadlines have now been extended in many areas. Accountants can pitch in and help laid off or furloughed workers by discounting their tax preparation services. Local financial planners can offer free or discounted consultations to such workers who may need financial advice, including how to spend or invest their financial stimulus money.

• Patronize small businesses. One of the most effective ways to help laid off or furloughed workers is to continue to support their employers. Many areas have begun to discuss reopening strategies, and businesses that can withstand the economic challenges of social distancing are more likely to bring laid off and furloughed workers back when they reopen. Continuing to support local businesses, even those that have scaled back their offerings, is vital to ensuring the jobs those businesses provide return when the economy reopens.

Laid off and furloughed workers are facing financial challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Communities can join together in unique ways to support these workers until the economy reopens.

 


 

When to use soap and water, and when to use hand sanitizer

In the wake of the global COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, millions of people across the globe found themselves scrambling for hand sanitizer. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that cleaning hands at key times is one of the most important steps people can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs, there are differences between washing with soap and water and washing with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

The CDC notes that preventing the spread of sickness through handwashing is most effective when people know which method to use when cleaning their hands.

When to use soap and water
The following are common situations when the CDC advises using soap and water to clean hands.
• Before, during and after preparing food
• Before eating food
• Before and after caring for someone who is sick
• Before and after treating a cut or wound
• After using the bathroom, changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
• After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
• After touching an animal, animal food or treats, animal cages, or animal waste
• After touching garbage
• If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy

When washing with soap and water, the CDC advises people to wet their hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and applying soap. Lather the hands by rubbing them together with the soap, making sure to scrub all surfaces of the hands, including palms, backs, fingers, between fingers, and under the nails. Scrub for 20 seconds before rinsing hands clean under running water and drying your hands, be it with a clean towel or air drying.

When to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Hand sanitizer should not be applied to hands that are dirty or greasy. Hands that become dirty or greasy after activities such as gardening or fishing should be cleaned with soap and water. The CDC advises using alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
• Before and after visiting a friend or a loved one in a hospital or nursing home, unless the person is sick with Clostridium difficile (if so, use soap and water to wash hands).
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.

Children should always be supervised when applying alcohol-based hand sanitizer. When using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, the CDC recommends covering all surfaces of the hands with the product before rubbing hands together until they feel dry, which should happen after roughly 20 seconds.

Clean hands can prevent the spread of disease. Knowing which hand cleaner to use in certain situations can be an especially important preventative measure.

 


 

Conserving water during drought and dry periods

Weather can be unpredictable. Carefully developed plans for days spent in the great outdoors can be derailed by unexpected rainstorms, while sudden bursts of sunshine can turn overcast afternoons into chances to get outside and breathe some fresh air.

Lawn and garden enthusiasts know just how mercurial Mother Nature can be, especially during summer. The specter of drought looms every summer, but the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center does not anticipate any broad-scale areas of drought developing in the Lower 48 states in 2020. While that’s good news for lawn and garden enthusiasts, it’s wise to remain prepared for drought.

In recognition of the difficulties drought can pose, the Environmental Protection Agency offers the following tips to homeowners to ensure that water is available to meet critical needs.

• Learn local regulations. During dry periods and droughts, local water utilities put restrictions in place. These restrictions are not meant to be nuisances, but designed to ensure water is available to fight fires and meet other critical needs. Adhering to these guidelines, no matter how difficult they can be, helps your community stay safe. Periodically visit local water utilities’ websites to learn if there are any restrictions in place.

• Inspect fixtures for leaks. Conservation is the goal of water restrictions. Leaky fixtures compromise conservation efforts, so inspect all interior and exterior faucets and pipes for leaks and fix them immediately.

• Look into upgrades. Upgrading outdated bathrooms and other water features can be a great way to conserve water without changing daily habits. For example, the EPA estimates that water-conserving toilets can reduce water consumption by as much as 60 percent each year. That saves consumers money while also helping them to conserve during droughts or periods of dryness.

• Water wisely. The EPA notes that experts estimate that as much as 50 percent of the water we use outdoors is lost to evaporation, wind or runoff due to overwatering. The EPA recommends watering primarily in the early morning and evening, after the sun goes down, so less water is lost to evaporation. If you have an irrigation system that uses a clock timer, consider replacing the timer with a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller, which acts like a thermostat for a sprinkler system, using local weather and landscape conditions to tell the sprinkler system when to turn itself on and off.

Drought and dry conditions in summer highlight the importance of conserving water.

 


 

The importance of safety when swimming in backyard pools

Backyard pools provide families with ample opportunities for recreation. It’s easy to be distracted by all the fun when swimming in a backyard pool, but it is crucial that homeowners take steps to ensure everyone is safe when spending time in the pool.

Establish a barrier
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children between the ages of one and four in the United States. Pools attract curious children, so maintaining a barrier between the home and the pool is essential. Many municipalities require some sort of fencing around pools or ladders that self-latch or can be closed off to climbing.

Locks and alarms on windows and doors that face or provide access to the backyard also can serve as barriers.

Keep play under control
Children and even adults may be swept up in the fun and engage in potentially dangerous behaviors. Pool users should not be allowed to run around the perimeter of an inground pool, as the cement can get slippery when wet and lead to falls that can cause injuries.

Exercise caution when using diving boards or diving into pools. It’s easy for divers to hit their heads when diving off a board into a pool due to close proximity of the transition wall in the deep end of the pool or by diving into shallow water. The Red Cross recommends a water depth of 11.5 feet for safe diving and the transition wall should be at least 16.5 feet from the tip of the diving board. However, the standard depth for many pools is 7.5 feet of water and a slope beginning seven feet from the board.

Exercise caution with inflatables
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute found that inflatable pool toys are especially dangerous. Such toys can flip easily, putting children at risk for injury (from striking the sides of the pool) or drowning (especially if the children were ejected into deep water). Inflatables also can prevent access to the surface of the water for submerged swimmers.

Choose a backyard lifeguard
At least one person should be designated as backyard lifeguard when the pool is in use. This person should always direct his or her focus on the pool, counting swimmers and keeping track of who enters and leaves the pool. Safe Kids Worldwide suggests rotating water watchers every 15 minutes.

Pools are fun places to spend summer afternoons, especially when every step is taken to ensure the safety of swimmers.

 


 

Skewered chicken goes great on the grill

Grilling chicken is an easy way to transform this versatile food into something even more delicious. Various cultures serve chicken in kebab form after grilling it over an open flame, and taste is a big reason this particular method of cooking chicken is so beloved.

While you might not expect to see kebabs on the menu at your favorite Italian restaurant, “spiedini” is Italian for “little skewers,” proving that Italian chefs recognize how delicious chicken can be when served in kebab form. In this recipe for “Spiedini of Chicken and Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde” from “Cooking Light: Dinner’s Ready” (Oxmoor House) by The Cooking Light Editors, skewers are paired with a zesty salsa full of nuts, herbs and citrus, which makes for the perfect complement to the smoky grilled flavor.

Spiedini of Chicken and Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde
Makes 6 servings

Salsa:
1 cup chopped flat parsley
2 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons capers, chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Spiedini:
11⁄2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices (about 11⁄4 pounds)
Cooking spray
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Soak 12 (10-inch) wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning.
Bring the grill to medium-high heat
To prepare the salsa, combine the first 12 ingredients; set aside.
To prepare the spiedini, thread the chicken and zucchini alternately on each of the 12 skewers. Coat the spiedini with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper. Place on a grill rack; grill 6 minutes or until done, turning once. Serve with salsa.

Tip: Prepare the salsa up to a day ahead, and assemble the skewers earlier in the day. Coat with the seasonings just before grilling.

 


 

Did you know?

Tattoos are a form of body modification that dates back to 3250 B.C. The oldest known person to have a tattoo was found beneath a glacier in the Alps. His body displayed more than 60 tattoos, composed mainly of simple dot and line designs.

The tattoos of today are much more complex and colorful. According to Tattoodo, tattooing involves the use of a tattoo machine that has groupings of needle points to push into the skin. Tattoo ink is injected directly into the dermis, or the second layer of skin.

A University of Arizona study found that nearly every brand of tattoo ink uses different ingredients, and there are no regulations governing tattoo ink. Pigments include heavy metals, original minerals and vegetable- or plastic-based colors. Inks also use a carrier to keep the ink more evenly mixed. Alcohols, distilled water and propylene glycol are some common carriers.

A recent study from Psychology Today found that people with tattoos are more likely to be “experience seekers.” In addition, a poll released by the Oxygen Network and Lightspeed research indicates that 59 percent of women in the United States have tattoos compared to only 41 percent of men.

 


 

Signs your gutters are in need of repair

The coming fall is a great time to tackle projects around the house. The weather each fall allows homeowners to make improvements to their homes’ exteriors without worrying about extreme heat or cold, while interior projects like painting are made easier because homeowners can open the windows to allow for proper ventilation.

Fall also marks a great time to prepare for upcoming projects that can make winter work that much easier. For example, fall is a great time to take stock of your gutters so you can address any issues before leaves begin to fall or the first snowstorm touches down.

Compromised gutters can contribute to water issues in basements and adversely affect a home’s foundation if not addressed immediately, so it behooves homeowners to learn the signs that gutters are in need of repair or replacement.

• Gutters hanging off the home: Gutters were once installed predominantly with spikes. However, many industry professionals now install gutters with hanger brackets. Why the change? Spikes loosen over time, leading to the gutters hanging off the home. That can contribute to serious issues if left untreated. Gutters hanging off the home need not necessarily be replaced, but rather secured to the home, ideally with hanger brackets instead of spikes. Brackets hook into the front of the gutter and are then screwed into the fascia of a home. A professional who specializes in gutter repair can perform this task relatively quickly, and it’s an inexpensive yet highly effective solution.

• Gutter separation: Gutters that are no longer fastened together can leak and contribute to issues that affect the home’s foundation, siding and appearance. Clogs and the accumulation of debris can cause gutters to separate because they are not designed to hold too much weight. Replacement of separated gutters may or may not be necessary depending on how big the problem is and the condition of the existing gutters. If replacement is not necessary, separated gutters may be remedied by securing the joints, another relatively simple and inexpensive fix.

• Peeling exterior paint: Paint that appears to be peeling off of your home may indicate that water is seeping over the edge of the gutter closest to your home. When that happens, water is coming down the side of the house, causing the paint to peel. In such instances, replacing the gutters is often necessary.

• Basement flooding: Not all signs of deteriorating gutters are outside a home. Many a homeowner has been flummoxed by flooding in their basements, and such flooding can be caused by aging, ineffective gutters. That’s because deteriorating gutters sometimes allow water to leak near the foundation of a home, contributing to basement flooding.

Fall is an ideal time to inspect gutters and have any issues fixed before leaves begin to fall or harsh winter weather arrives.

 


 

20 warning signs of stress

Stress affects so many people and infiltrates so many parts of daily life that it can be tempting to write it off as harmless or just a normal part of being human. But the negative effects of stress are significant, and persons who can recognize that are in a good position to find healthy ways to cope with their stress.

The American Psychological Association notes that stress can take a considerable toll on a person’s mind and body. Chronic stress, which is a constant stress experienced over a prolonged period of time, can increase the risk of hypertension, heart attack or stroke. In addition, the APA notes that chronic stress causes the muscles in the body to be in an essentially constant state of guardedness, which can potentially contribute to tension-type headache and migraines. And these are just two of the many ways the body is adversely affected by stress, which the APA says also has been linked to problems with the gastrointestinal system, nervous system and reproductive system.

Since stress can contribute to such unpleasant and potentially life-threatening side effects, it’s important that people from all walks of life learn to recognize the warning signs of stress. The American Institute of Stress lists the following among its 50 most common signs and symptoms of stress.
1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
2. Gritting, grinding teeth
3. Stuttering or stammering
4. Tremors, or trembling of lips or hands
5. Neck ache, back pain and/or muscle spasms
6. Light-headedness, faintness and/or dizziness
7. Ringing, buzzing or popping sounds
8. Frequent blushing or sweating
9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet
10. Dry mouth and/or problems swallowing
11. Frequent colds, infections and/or herpes sores
12. Rashes, itching, hives, and/or “goose bumps”
13. Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks
14. Heartburn, stomach pain and/or nausea
15. Excess belching and/or flatulence
16. Constipation, diarrhea, loss of control
17. Difficulty breathing and/or frequent sighing
18. Sudden attacks of life-threatening panic
19. Chest pain, palpitations and/or rapid pulse
20. Frequent urination

Stress is a part of daily life. Learning to recognize signs of stress can help people overcome it and reduce their risk for various conditions.

 


 

Enhance staycations with themed fun days

“Staycations” are an option for budget-conscious vacationers or people who simply do not want to travel too far from home due to mobility issues or other restrictions.

Enhancing staycations with entertaining themes can improve the fun factor. While any themed day can be inspired by an active imagination, these ideas can get the creativity flowing.

• Superhero day: Embrace your favorite superhero by dressing up in his or her colors, donning a superhero T-shirt or watching an action-packed superhero movie.

• Pajama day: This is a fun theme for rainy days when Mother Nature keeps you indoors. Stay in your pajamas all day and enjoy a cozy, lazy day.

• Alma mater day: Parents and children can pull out their trusted college T-shirts, sweatshirts or other school attire. Bake up some tasty treats in school colors and then find some old photos or look for highlights of your alma mater’s sports teams online.

• Throwback day: Take a step back in time by playing games or engaging in activities from your youth. Teach youngsters about the toys you enjoyed or watch movies from the era in which you grew up.

• Crazy hair day: Embrace bed head, plug in the curling iron, double down on hair gel or pomade, or put those wacky coiffures into full effect.

• Cultural day: Tap into your personal heritage by researching your family tree and then preparing a meal that coordinates with your heritage.

• Arts and crafts day: Get crafty by tackling a creative project that the family will enjoy. Or engage in individual projects before comparing the final results collectively.

Push staycations to the next level with entertaining days based on certain themes.

 


 

The best ways to grill fish

Grilling lends itself well to many different foods. The smoky, flame-licked flavor of foods prepared on the grill is hard to replicate by other means of cooking.
Many people turn to grilling each night, especially when the weather is warm and pleasant.

Fish is one food that can sometimes cause grilling-related anxiety. The tender, flaky nature of fish makes it seem like a poor fit for the grill, simply because it can fall through the slats. Yet grilling fish is easier than one may think when they utilize these methods of cooking.

Foil packets
Grilling fish in foil packets is relatively foolproof. Simply place the fish on a thick piece of aluminum foil and add seasonings and other ingredients, like lemon slices or vegetables. Fold it up into a pocket that is completely sealed so that no juices or steam can escape. Then grill for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. The steam and moisture will keep the fish succulent.

Season the grill
Much like a chef properly seasons a cast iron grill, the same technique can be applied to grill grates, says Cooks Illustrated. Apply a generous amount of cooking oil to the grates and allow them to heat up. This adds a nonstick element to the grill, and fish fillets will be less likely to adhere to the grates and prove troublesome to get off in one piece. Removing excess moisture from the fish with a paper towel also can help.

Wood planks
Utilized a well-oiled plank of fragrant, food-grade wood on which to cook the fish. The fish will take on the flavor of the wood as well as cook without sticking to the grill.

Grill basket
Visit a cooking supply retailer and you’re bound to find different grill baskets that house flaky fish to make it easier to cook these on the grill. The basket keeps the fish from breaking apart while cooking and turning.

Choose thick cuts
Certain fish, or those with a texture similar to meat and poultry, may stand up better to direct grilling. Salmon, tuna and swordfish are just a few options to try, offers the cooking resource Delish.

Fish and other seafood can be tasty and quickly cooked on the grill with the right techniques.

 


 

Safety first before mixing drugs

Billions of people across the globe take medications each day. Certain medications can help people with potentially debilitating or even deadly conditions live normal lives, while others can help people overcome relatively minor issues like muscle aches or seasonal allergies.

The American Heart Association notes that mixing drugs can produce unexpected side effects. This can make it dangerous for people already on prescription medications to use over-the-counter drugs for issues like headache or seasonal allergies. Understanding the potential interactions between their prescriptions and common prescription and over-the-counter medications can help people stay safe.

• Antihistamines: Antihistamines are widely used to alleviate symptoms of the common cold or seasonal allergies, such as runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing. The AHA notes that, when taken along with blood pressure medication, antihistamines can contribute to an accelerated heart rate and cause blood pressure to spike. The AHA also cautions people taking sedatives, tranquilizers or prescriptions to treat high blood pressure or depression to consult their physicians before taking antihistamines.

• Bronchodilators: Bronchodilators relax and open the airways in the lungs and are used to treat various lung conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. These drugs make it easier to breathe and are available via prescriptions. But patients with heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and/or diabetes should discuss the potential interactions between bronchodilators and other medications they may be taking with their physicians.

• Cordarone: According to Drugs.com, Cordarone is used to treat potentially deadly abnormal heartbeats. Cordarone can cause severe problems that affect the lungs, thyroid or liver, and can be dangerous when combined with other drugs. For example, the AHA notes that patients who take more than 20 milligrams of Zocor, a drug used to lower “bad” cholesterol and potentially to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack and other conditions, while also taking Cordarone are at risk of developing rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a condition marked by the breakdown of muscle tissue that can lead to kidney failure or death. The AHA also says that Cordarone can inhibit or reduce the effects of the blood thinner Coumadin.

• Nicotine replacement products: People taking prescriptions for depression or asthma should consult their physicians before taking any nicotine replacement products. The Federal Drug Administration notes that doctors may want to change dosages of patients’ current medications before recommending they take any nicotine replacement products. The FDA also advises people to speak with their physicians before trying these products if they have diabetes, heart disease, asthma or stomach ulcers; have had a recent heart attack; have high blood pressure but do not take any medication for it; or have a history of irregular heartbeat.

Drug interactions can complicate treatment of various conditions. People currently on medication are urged to speak with their physicians before taking any new medicines, including over-the-counter drugs.

 


 

Did you know?

Frozen desserts can be a great and delicious way to stay cool on a sultry day. When at the dessert counter, people may be met with different options of frosty treats. Two of the more common offerings at ice cream shops are custard and traditional ice cream.

Generally speaking, ice cream is a product that contains more than 10% milk fat. Custard is ice cream with the addition of pasteurized egg yolks, which tends to make its texture creamy. The amount of air pumped into the mixture also can affect taste and texture. The less air, the more dense and creamy the product can be, as is often the case with frozen custards.

 


 

Games that can challenge the brain

Games are as popular as ever. For evidence of that, one need look no further than his or her own smartphone. The number of hours people spend playing games on their smartphones might surprise even the most ardent players.

According to the mobile research firm Apptopia, between May and July of 2018, mobile users spent a whopping 3.38 billion hours playing the wildly popular strategy game “Clash of Clans,” making it the most popular smartphone game in the world during that time period.

Games might be seen as a way to unwind, but some games can potentially do more than merely provide a way to escape the daily grind. Brain teasers, riddles and crossword puzzles are just some of the types of games that can help people engage and challenge their brains while still providing a bit of escapism.

A Healthier Michigan, which is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan and aims to help locals adopt healthier lifestyles, notes that the following exercises, games and platforms can help men and women challenge their brains in unique ways.

• BrainHQ: According to Posit Science, which created the system, BrainHQ (www.aarp.brainhq.com) is a system of training the brain that was developed by neuroscientists and other brain experts. The BrainHQ platform includes various brain training exercises with hundreds of levels that can help people improve their brain function, including memory and retention.

• Writing in the Stars: Similar to a crossword puzzle, this game provides a list of nine words to users, who must then find the six words that connect to from a six-point star before they can move on the next level. Available at www.happy-neuron.com, Writing in the Stars aims to help users improve their logical reasoning.

• Private Eye: With a goal of helping users improve their focused attention and concentration, Private Eye (www.happy-neuron.com) asks players to peruse a grid full of intricate layers and symbols in an effort to find the item that does not belong.

• Braingle: With more than 200,000 members, Braingle (www.braingle.com) is a popular online community where users can go to access brain teasers, trivia quizzes, IQ tests, and more. Users even rank the games, allowing novices to find games that might help them hone certain skills or ease their way into challenging their brains with games.

Millions of people across the globe play games every day. Though players often play games to have fun, they might be helping their brains without even knowing it.

 


 

New Cancer Center Benefits Cancer Patients in the Tri-State Area

UnityPoint Health – Dubuque Wendt Regional Cancer Center and Grand River Medical Group have been committed to advancing specialized cancer care in the Tri-State area for many decades. July 16, 2020 marked a new commitment to our community and for cancer patients as the two organizations partner to offer a comprehensive cancer center with both chemotherapy infusion and radiation oncology in the same location. In addition, patients, caregivers and cancer survivors, will now have access to a superior combination of support services, clinical staff and multi-disciplinary patient care including services such as a nurse navigator, genetic counseling, oncology rehabilitation and support groups.

Construction upgrades on the comprehensive cancer center began in May 2020 and are expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Upon completion, the Integrated Cancer Center will include Grand River Medical Group Oncology clinic joining UnityPoint Health – Dubuque’s Radiation Oncology services within the Wendt Regional Cancer Center location in the Delhi Medical Center.

“Working together in the same location will enhance overall patient care, including expediting communication and better care coordination among providers for an overall better patient experience.” said Chad Wolbers, President and CEO, UnityPoint Health – Dubuque. “The medical oncology team at Grand River Medical Group are leaders in chemotherapy and Finley’s Wendt Cancer Center team are experts in radiation therapy and cancer support services. By combining and partnering together, in one location, we’ll continue our long-standing legacy of caring for cancer patients, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

“Our medical oncology team is excited to form a stronger partnership with Finley’s Wendt Regional Cancer Center,” said Justin Hafner, CEO, Grand River Medical Group, P.C. “With our team and coordinated care approach to cancer, combined with the latest cancer fighting technology and support services, our patients will continue to receive extraordinary care now together in one location.”

Finley’s Wendt Cancer Center is Dubuque’s only cancer center that has earned the Gold Standard for Radiation Oncology by the American College of Radiology. This accreditation is a symbol of the long-standing, high quality cancer care the Wendt Center continuously achieves and maintains and is a testament to the highly trained cancer experts at the Wendt Cancer Center who have been preventing, treating and healing patients for the last three decades.

 


 

Signs your soil might be compacted

Compacted soil can result from any number of activities, including walking on a lawn. When soil on a lawn is compacted, grass roots might not receive the water, oxygen and nutrients they need to grow in strong. The can lead to weak lawns that are vulnerable to various issues. However, homeowners need not avoid their lawns to prevent soil compaction. Rather, learning to recognize signs of soil compaction and paying special attention to heavily trafficked areas of the yard can help homeowners identify the problem early and address it before grass begins to suffer.

Cooperative Extension, which is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, notes that the following are some sign potential indicators of compacted soil.

• Hard soil: Soil that is difficult, if not impossible, to penetrate with a shovel is likely compacted. Even healthy soil is sometimes resistant to penetration, but if homeowners put some muscle into their efforts to penetrate the soil and still can’t do so, then the soil is compacted.

• Standing water: Water standing on top of soil for a long time is doing so because the soil is likely so compacted that the water, which roots need to thrive, cannot get through.

• Excessive water runoff: Runoff occurs when watering lawns. But if nearly all of the water intended for the lawn and the soil beneath it is seemingly being diverted away from the grass, then that means the water cannot get through to the soil or that so little is getting through that the lawn’s health is in jeopardy.

• Loss of vegetation or poor plant growth: Compacted soil prevents water, nutrients and oxygen from accessing the root zone. As a result, plants, including trees, are vulnerable to disease and even death.

• Surface crust: Surface crust, which blocks oxygen and water from penetrating the soil and tends to inflict areas like footpaths and playgrounds due to heavy foot traffic, contributes to runoff and soil erosion.

Compacted soil is relatively simple to fix. But when untreated, compacted soil can threaten lawns, plants and other vegetation.

 


 

Children may be more deeply affected by social distancing than any other group of people. In a matter of weeks, millions of young children and adolescents went from attending school in the classroom to being told they had to work exclusively from home. At the same time, children also were asked to give up their sports teams, clubs, meetings, and play dates. Older children may understand the how and why of social distancing, but no matter their ages, kids may be left emotionally adrift as social distancing guidelines stay in place.

No one is certain about what the long-term effects of social distancing will be on both children and adults. Amy Learmonth, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist at the Cognition, Memory and Development Lab at William Paterson University in New Jersey, notes that early social development takes place mostly within the family. As children age, their peer group becomes the more important hub of social development. The longer social distancing restrictions are in place, the more these developments may adversely affect youngsters.

Parents can take steps to help kids cope during these uncertain times.

• Set up digital play dates. The connectivity of the internet enables people to keep in touch even if they cannot be together physically. Encourage children to engage their friends via online chats, ideally ones that feature video so they can see and hear their friends. Parents of young children can reach out to one another and establish digital play dates via FaceTime or another virtual meeting app.

• Lighten up on screen time restrictions. Each person has a different way to cope with social distancing and pass the time. Children may spend more time on tablets, watching television or playing video games. For now, parents can be a bit more lenient and understanding about how technology can fill the void created by social distancing.

• Participate in a scavenger hunt. Join or organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Walk around the neighborhood looking for school mascot pictures in windows or rainbows on doors, advise the childcare experts at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This activity can maintain a sense of connection with your community.

• Create time for physical activity. Exercise can tame stress, improve mood and be great for the body in myriad ways. Children and teens should exercise each day. Families can exercise together to make physical activity more fun.

• Set new goals. Ask everyone to do their part to complete “to-do” lists or make a set of goals to achieve while social distancing. Checking off items on the list as they’re completed can give everyone a sense of accomplishment.

Children may need a morale boost while practicing social distancing, and parents can help in various ways.

 


 

Simple ways to save after being laid off or furloughed

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 had a dramatic effect on the global economy. Businesses were shuttered seemingly overnight as public health organizations across the globe embraced social distancing as a means to preventing the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

Few, if any, businesses proved immune to the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced many employers to lay off or furlough employees. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the week ending April 18 marked the fifth consecutive week that more than three million Americans filed initial unemployment claims. During that period, which for many areas of the United States coincided with the first five weeks of social distancing guidelines going into effect, roughly 26.5 million workers had filed jobless claims. The picture was not any rosier in other parts of the globe. For example, Statistics Canada noted that more than one million jobs were lost across Canada in March, increasing the country’s unemployment rate from 5.6 percent in February to 7.8 percent by the end of March.

Many workers were furloughed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and while furloughs differ from layoffs, each situation left people looking for ways to save money. The following are some simple ways to save that can help furloughed or laid off employees make it through the financial uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.

• Contact your lenders immediately. Many lenders, including Bank of America and Chase, announced breaks for homeowners and other borrowers in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Lenders may vary regarding the extent of the breaks they offer as well their eligibility guidelines, but borrowers may be able to defer mortgage and auto loan payments for several months. Consumer advocacy groups warn borrowers to learn what the long-term effects of deferring payments may be. In addition, borrowers should know that they must contact their lenders before ceasing monthly home or auto loan payments.

• Consider cutting the cord. Many people have long advocated cutting the cord as a means to saving substantial amounts of money. Cutting the cord refers to forgoing traditional cable television service in favor of less expensive streaming options like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The cut the cord mantra seemed to resonate in the immediate aftermath of the implementation of social distancing, as Netflix reported adding nearly 16 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2020. But before cutting the cord, consumers are urged to see if doing so would actually save them money. Customers who currently bundle their cable with internet and/or phone service may end up paying the same amount of money, if not more, even after canceling their cable subscriptions. Do your homework before cutting the cord, speaking with your provider to learn the true cost of cutting the cord. You may end up saving more by maintaining your cable but removing premium channels and downgrading to basic packages.

• Develop a new budget. Budgeting is an essential component of responsible money management at all times, and especially so in the wake of a layoff or furlough. Do not hesitate to develop a new monthly budget, examining all monthly expenses to determine where costs can be trimmed. The longer you wait, the less you may save during a layoff or furlough.

Saving money in the wake of a lay off or furlough can be simpler than people think.

 


 

How to design a fitness room at home

People exercise for many different reasons. Exercise can improve one’s appearance, reduce the risk for illness, alleviate stress or anxiety, and even help pass some time. Exercise is often a social activity, but in the wake of social distancing guidelines issue in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have found themselves looking for ways to exercise at home.

Building a home fitness room has never been a more timely project, and such a project can continue to provide rewards even when life returns to some semblance of normalcy. Here’s how to successfully stock a home gym.

• Find a dedicated space. A home gym will be limited by the amount of space that can be devoted to workouts. Possible fitness room locations include a spare bedroom, a garage, a basement, or an enclosed patio. Measure the space so you can pick and choose equipment that will fit. Leave some floor space empty for movement exercises or mat activities.

• Keep the space bright. Darkness can sap energy levels, so invest in mirrors and adequate overhead lighting to make the space inviting. Natural light can make the exercise area more enjoyable.

• Consider the flooring. New flooring can protect against damage and make an area more conductive to working out. Rubber mats can offset echoes and reduce the noise of running on a treadmill or setting down heavy weights.

• Use space-saving equipment. A home gym space will likely not be as expansive as the space inside a traditional fitness center. Thankfully, many activities do not require a lot of space or equipment. Classic exercises like squats, lunges, push ups, and sit ups require little gear but still produce results. Figure out which equipment you like the most and invest in two or three key pieces. Dumbells of various weights, a medicine ball and a yoga mat can be all you need to create a versatile, effective workout. A TRX system and a door-mounted pull-up bar also are great space-saving options.

• Have a TV hookup. A home gym may benefit from a smart TV that you can use to stream workout videos or catch up on the latest news while running the treadmill or using the stationary bike.

A home gym is beneficial year-round, and can be especially valuable when social distancing guidelines are put in place.

 


 

The delicious history of cheesecake

Rich, creamy and decadent, cheesecake is enjoyed across the globe. There are many famous cheesecake bakeries in North America, and those who can’t resist digging their forks into this beloved dessert may assume that cheesecake traces its origins there. In fact, cheesecake traces its origins to the ancient Greeks.

The first “cheesecake” is believed to have been created from a ricotta-type cheese base on the Greek island of Samos. Excavated cheese molds were found there that dated to around 2,000 B.C. Cheesecake was considered a good source of energy and there is evidence that even Olympic athletes were fed cheesecake during the first games. Greek brides and grooms also were known to rely on cheesecake as their cake of choice for weddings. Original cheesecakes were made from flour, wheat, honey, and cheese, then formed and baked, according to Cheesecake.com.

After the Roman conquest of Greece, cheesecake was adopted by the Romans. Their name for this type of cake was “placenta” and it was baked on a pastry base or sometimes inside of a pastry case, advises What’s Cooking America. Cheesecakes also were called “libum” by the Romans, and were used as an offering at the gods’ temples. Cheesecakes also were introduced to other areas of Europe thanks to conquering Roman armies. By 1,000 A.D., cheesecake could be found throughout northwestern Europe, England and Scandinavia.
Through the years, cheesecake’s popularity spread elsewhere. However, New Yorkers say that cheesecake was not really cheesecake until it got an Empire State makeover in the 1900s. Many New York restaurants have their own versions of cheesecake, with Turf Restaurant laying claim to the first cream cheese-based cheesecake recipe in 1929. New York dairy man William Lawrence accidentally invented cream cheese in 1872 while trying to recreate a soft, French cheese known as Neufchâtel. Little did Lawrence know that this mistake would inadvertently revolutionize cheesecake recipes.

Cheesecake technically is a pie and not a cake, and there are versions that are baked and others that firm up in the refrigerator without having to cook a custard base. Many cheesecake afficionados have a favorite cheesecake recipe. However, this classic and iconic New York cheesecake, courtesy of Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand, is an ideal one to make your own.

New York Cheesecake

11⁄4 cups graham crumbs
1⁄4 cup butter, melted
5 packages (250g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 can (19 fl. oz) cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 325 F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300 F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake for 1 hour and10 minutes, or until center is almost set. Run a knife or metal spatula around the rim of the pan to loosen cake; cool before removing the rim of the pan. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Top with pie filling before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator.

 


 

Hillcrest Appoints New President/CEO

Hillcrest Family Services’ history is deeply rooted in the principles of acceptance, compassion and care. For over 124 years, we have been a leading human services provider for children, adults, and families in need, delivering innovative, collaborative, and resourceful care.

Following a nationwide search, the Hillcrest Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Michael Fidgeon has been appointed President/CEO of Hillcrest Family Services effective July 13, 2020. Mike, and his wife Stephanie, will be moving to Dubuque from Virginia. They look forward to making the Midwest their home and being active in the community. A graduate of Duke University, Mike is an experienced CEO and senior executive bringing over two decades of health and human service experience to the role. He has a strong record of strategic leadership and management as well as a genuine concern for people that will be a huge benefit to Hillcrest and the broader Dubuque community. We look forward to him joining the Hillcrest family and hope you will join us in welcoming him to the community.

Hillcrest is a non-profit, human services organization that assists children, adults, and families in need. With compassion, they support individuals in both their physical and brain health care embracing the diversity that is the human experience.

 


 

Dubuque Women’s Leadership Network announces annual 
Women of Achievement Winners

The Dubuque Women’s Leadership Network was pleased to honor the following recipients of this year’s Women of Achievement Awards, held virtually on July 8, 2020.

Achievements in Her Field
Beth Rowe, Marketing & Public Relations Director, VP at Dubuque Bank & Trust and Segment Marketing Director, VP at Heartland Financial USA Inc.
Dee Crist, Mortgage Manager VP and Private Banking Manager VP at Dubuque Bank & Trust

Organizational Impact
Kim Budde, VP of Human Resources at Kunkel & Associates
Jill Rothenberger, Vice President Consumer and Mortgage Lending, DUPACO

Growth & Accomplishments in Personal Life
Sara Quinn, Dubuque Bank & Trust
Kristy Meyer, Carole Ann Boutique

Service & Support of Non-Profit Work
Jaqueline Hunter, Multicultural Family Center
Whitney Sanger, Project Rooted

Unsung Champion
Anne Osterholz, Kunkel & Associates
Rita Fleege, Medical Associates Clinic

Up & Coming Leader
Lauren Minert, Kunkel & Associates
Tessa Fahey, Rainbo Oil Company

Congratulations to the winners.

For more information, please contact Miranda Ernst, Director of Special Events for the Women’s Leadership Network at 563.590.8589.

 


 

Regulations Governing Political Signs within the City of Dubuque

The City of Dubuque is reminding campaigns and residents of the regulations that govern the placement of political signs. The City’s Unified Development Code (UDC) regulates all exterior signage on private property, including political signage, within the community.

Section 15-5 of the UDC defines political signs as:
A sign that identifies and urges support for a particular election issue, political party or candidate for public office or expresses the personal noncommercial views of the property owner or tenant.

First Amendment free speech is protected; the City of Dubuque cannot regulate the content of political signs. However, the City can legally regulate the time, manner, place, and duration of political signs. Legal regulations include, but are not limited to, limitations on the size of signs or the placement of signs for safety and visibility.

The City of Dubuque has the following regulations on political signs:
• Political signs cannot exceed 32 square feet in area.
• Political signs cannot be placed in any public right-of-way or visibility triangle.
• Political signs cannot be placed on objects in the right-of-way such as trees, utility poles, and in medians.

If a sign is inadvertently placed on the public right-of-way, the City’s Public Works Department may move the sign back on to its property and attach a green slip noting the violation. The City may follow with a notice of violation letter specifying a time frame to correct any violations. The right-of-way area varies throughout the community.

Complete details, including diagrams, are available online at www.cityofdubuque.org/politicalsigns. For more information or questions regarding the regulations or property line locations, please contact the City of Dubuque Planning Services Department at 563-589-4210 or planning@cityofdubuque.org.

 


 

What is silent reflux?

Many people are familiar with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. GERD is commonly known as heartburn, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says it affects about 20 percent of the population in the United States.

With GERD, acid and partially digested food from the stomach rise back up into the esophagus, which is the tube connecting the stomach to the throat. GERD can be easy to recognize thanks to some prominent symptoms, but a lesser-known condition also may be affecting millions without their knowledge.

Known as laryngopharyngeal reflux, LPR or “silent reflux,” this type of reflux results in the backflow of stomach contents, acid and digestive enzymes into the airway, according to Dr. Jamie Koufman, director of the Voice Institute of New York and clinical professor of otolaryngology at Mount Sinai. Silent reflux is sometimes referred to as “GERD cough.” Some people may not have noticeable heartburn, but may have hoarseness or a chronic cough, or feel they have something stuck in the back of their throat that needs to be cleared. Chronic post-nasal drip or feeling like there is drainage dripping from the nose into the throat also may be a symptom, states Healthline. Because silent reflux also may cause chest pain and wheezing, it may be mistaken for asthma.

Similar to GERD, silent reflux occurs when the sphincter that connects the stomach from the esophagus does not close properly. As a result, acidic stomach contents can flow back up the esophagus and even into the larynx — the hollow organ forming an air passage to the lungs. LPR also can affect the nose, sinuses, trachea, bronchi, and lungs.

LPR is often overlooked or misdiagnosed even though it affects millions of people every year, states Emory Healthcare. If left untreated, LPR can be a risk factor for esophageal cancer and cause damage to the affected areas of the body.

People will need a detailed health history, physical examination and testing, like an endoscopy, before silent reflux is diagnosed. Avoiding acidic foods, caffeine, cocktails, and carbonated beverages can help. Eating close to bedtime also can contribute to silent reflux. Medications like antacids or proton pump inhibitors also may remedy reflux issues.
Those who suspect they may be suffering from silent reflux should discuss their concerns with a physician.

 


 

Tips to financially withstand a recession

For many people, the Great Recession that began near the end of the first decade of the 21st century was a distant memory as recently as early March. The year 2020 began with a thriving economy, but years of gains in the stock market were washed away as a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, leading to fears that a potentially devastating global recession was on the horizon.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is a public health crisis the likes of which many people have never encountered. While surviving the virus and preventing its spread is the utmost priority, the economic impact of the outbreak is hard to ignore. Tens of millions of people throughout the United States and Canada have lost their jobs, leading many to wonder how they can financially withstand what some economists predict will be a prolonged recession.

No one knows what the future has in store, but adults may be wise to begin taking measures to help them make it through a recession unscathed.

• Avoid high-interest debt. High-interest debt like credit card balances can make it hard to stay ahead of a recession. Such debt also can contribute to stress as people struggle to pay their bills. Avoid using your credit card if possible, as credit card interest rates tend to be especially high. If you have existing credit card debt, pay it down as quickly as possible to avoid hefty interest charges.

• Save more, even if you’re still working. A 2019 survey from Bankrate.com found that 21 percent of respondents were not saving anything for retirement, emergencies or other financial goals. The sudden and steep economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak showed many people just how vital it can be to save for emergency situations like job loss. People who have lost their jobs, those who have been furloughed or those who suspect their jobs may be in jeopardy should focus on saving as much as possible once they have paid down all of their high-interest debt. Savings accounts can serve as financial safety blankets that can help people survive long periods of unemployment or reduced wages, ensuring they can purchase necessities like food, pay for their housing and maintain their vehicles.

• Continue your education. Education can help people recession-proof themselves. The U.S. Department of Labor notes that the unemployment rate varies by education level. The more educated tend to fare better during times of recession than those with less education. For example, statistics from the U.S. DOL indicated that the unemployment rate for workers with a bachelor’s degree or above was 8.4 percent in May of 2020, while the rate for workers whose highest level of education was a high school diploma was more than double that (17.3 percent). Higher education is an expensive investment, but it’s one that can help people withstand the challenges posed by recessions and economic downturns.

The financial pressures posed by a recession can be significant. But certain strategies can help workers navigate the uncertainty of such downturns.

 


 

The value of reading to kids is now visible

Recent studies from the Reading & Literacy Discovery Center of Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital were the first to provide neurobiological evidence of the potential benefits of reading to children age five and younger and the potential detriments of screen time on the development of such youngsters’ brains.

Images released with the study indicated substantial growth in organized white matter in the language and literacy areas of the brains of children who were read to during the highly formative first five years of their lives. That’s important, as the study noted that white matter is comprised of fibers that form connections between brain cells and the nervous system. Increasing and organizing that white matter, which reading to youngsters facilitates, increases the brain’s functionality and ability to learn.

While the study noted the value of reading to children age five and younger, it also showed how children who spent an average of two hours a day playing on screens were adversely affected by that behavior. In images of such children’s brains, white matter was considerably underdeveloped and disorganized, which can contribute to slow processing and learning difficulties.

 


 

Mulching mistakes to avoid

Landscape features vary significantly from house to house. Some homeowners may prefer water features on their properties, while others focus on flowers that would be the envy of a botanical garden.

Regardless of those preferences, lawn and garden enthusiasts who want to make their properties as idyllic as possible may eventually look to mulch to help them accomplish that goal.

Mulch helps soil retain moisture, which promotes strong, healthy flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs. And because soil beneath mulch retains more moisture than soil that’s not protected by mulch, homeowners won’t have to spend as much time watering mulched landscapes. That saves time and conserves water, which can be a big benefit in areas prone to drought and/or especially hot summers. Mulch also helps to suppress weed growth, which can ensure all that hard work needed to create an eye-catching garden won’t be compromised by the presence of unsightly, thirsty weeds.

Mulching seems like a simple task, and it can be. But that does not mean homeowners cannot make mistakes when mulching. The following are some common mulching mistakes to avoid as lawn and garden season hits full swing.

• Not enough mulch: Mulch is ineffective when spread too thin. The Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech and Virginia State University recommends applying mulch no less than two inches in depth. Anything less than that will prove ineffective at preventing weed growth and helping the soil retain moisture, and that means you will need to water more often.

• Poorly located mulch: Mulch should not be placed too close to plant stems or tree trunks. When it is, tissue is so wet that it makes for a perfect environment for disease and insect infestation.

• Failing to mulch to the drip line: The drip line of a tree refers to the outermost circumference of the tree’s canopy from which water drips onto the ground. The VCE recommends mulching to the drip line of a plant or tree, which ensures the plant or tree will get the most out of the mulch. Mulching to the drip line also minimizes competition from the grass, leading to stronger plants and trees.

• Failing to weed before mulching: Weeds should be removed prior to mulching. If they’re not, the mulch can provide the same growing environment for weeds that you’re trying to create for your plants and trees.

Mulching benefits a landscape in myriad ways, especially when homeowners avoid some common mulching mistakes.

 


 

5 ways to prevent lost pets

Despite the sadness, uncertainty and disruption to millions of people’s lives, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has provided some silver linings. One such positive side effect of people being asked to spend more time at home is the opportunity for individuals and families to open their abodes to needy animals.

Pet adoptions have increased as people have found more personal time to devote to companion animals. The Pet Health Network says that people experiencing loneliness from being apart from others often turn to pets to help them feel better. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Virginia brought in 149 animals from high-kill shelters in March 2020 and adopted 134 in a single week, matching the agency’s monthly average. Data on New York City animal shelters indicates that, as of early May 2020, 43.5 percent of shelters were experiencing an increased demand for adoption since the COVID-19 outbreak.

As pet adoptions increase, new pet parents are urged to remember to take every precaution to keep their companions safe and secure. The summer months can be a prime time for pets to become lost. Increased thunderstorms as well as fireworks displays can frighten pets. Also, more time spent outdoors may make it easier for “escape artists” to find their way out of backyards or get free from leashes. Thankfully, there are some steps pet owners can take to keep pets safe.

• ID and collar: Pets should wear collars with attached identification at all times. This should include an up-to-date contact number. ID tags can be made at pet supply stores or are available at the Animal Humane Society facilities.

• Microchip: Microchips are small devices that are implanted under the pet’s skin. About the size of a grain of rice, microchips emit a low radio frequency that can be read by a handheld scanner. Virtually all vet offices and animal shelters are equipped with scanners. Microchips are designed to last the pet’s lifetime, according to HomeAgain, a microchip company. Once the pet is registered, the chip will link to a record of owner information that can be updated easily online.

• Sterilization: AHS says studies show that pets that have been spayed or neutered are less likely to roam for mates and potentially get lost.

• Pet-proof: Homeowners may have to make adjustments to their yards and homes to ensure pets cannot escape. Some dogs and cats can climb over tall fences or dig underneath. Speak with your veterinarian about how to pet-proof your property.

• Leash pets: Prey instinct can be high and even the most well-behaved pets may act differently when away from home. A secure collar/harness and leash will help keep pets safe on walks.

New pet parents should familiarize themselves with the steps to help prevent lost pets.

 


 

8 activities to keep kids entertained

What parent hasn’t heard their child utter the familiar phrase “I’m bored” at some point? Despite a seemingly vast array of toys, electronics and other items at their disposal, children can be quick to sulk and say there’s nothing to do. Parents can counter “I’m bored” with these eight boredom-busting activities that are certain to help pass the time in entertaining and sometimes educational ways.

1. Craft time: Pick a theme and gather the materials for the project. For example, kids can evoke a trip to the ocean by creating handmade sea creatures. Paint a paper plate and hang brightly colored yarn underneath it to create the “tentacles” of a jellyfish. Kids can use salt dough clay to fashion seashells, sea snails or crustaceans.

2. Painting: Shaving cream is a great sensory material that is relatively easy to clean up. Kids can whip up a batch of shaving cream paint and use it to finger paint on a table or even in the bathtub. Simply mix shaving cream with food coloring in a bowl, or use a muffin tin to separate the colors.

3. Build a birdhouse: Birdhouses or bird feeders can be made from scraps of material found around the house. Scavenge for spare lumber or other supplies in the shed or garage. An adult or older sibling can help cut the wood into pieces. Young children may enjoy painting the house. Wood adhesive or screws can be used to assemble the project.

4. Plan a garden: Kids can help to design a garden the entire family will maintain and even be responsible for a special parcel that’s all their own. Gardens can grow food, flowers and more. Add a touch of whimsy with figurines for a fairy garden or even small superhero figures.

5. Box makeovers: Tissue boxes or cereal boxes can be made into many different creations with paint or construction paper. Use a few craft supplies like pom-poms or wiggly eyes to turn boxes into “monsters.”

6. Boat races: Build a small sailboat for each member of the family. Fill up a long, shallow container and take turns racing the boats by blowing on the sails.

7. Leaf art: Gather leaves and twigs from around the yard and then combine pieces to make them look like various animals.

8. Spray park: Create an at-home spray park with a garden hose and a pool noodle. Poke several small holes into the pool noodle on all sides. Stick a garden hose into the end of the pool noodle and hot-glue a wine cork into the hole at the other end. Turn on the water and let kids run through.

Head off kids’ boredom by having plenty of ideas at the ready.

 


 

Maximize time spent in the pool

One of the advantages of having a pool right in the backyard is the convenience of being able to take a dip anytime you so desire. Spending time in the pool is a great way to kick off summer vacations — especially if that vacation is a staycation. The pool also is a fun gathering place for casual barbecues or hangouts with friends.

The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals says there are 10.4 million residential swimming pools in the United States. The Pool & Spa Marketing group has found that the number of pool permits issued in 2018 in Canada (the most recent year for data) was the third highest in the last 14 years, indicating a booming pool market that continues to show promise, especially considering that the data does not reflect many of the rural areas that do not require building permits for pool construction.

With hazy summer days here, it’s time to dive into ways to maximize pooltime fun.

• Carefully consider pool location. Those who are installing a new pool should spend time in their yards looking at the landscape, how the sun travels overhead and any obstructions that can get in the way of the pool. Then the pool can be properly located for ideal results.

• Select upgrades. Certain upgrades can be added when pools are being built; otherwise, aftermarket additions can enhance the pool experience. Zero entry effects can reduce the number of steps or ladders needed, while a water shelf, also known as a Baja bench, enables swimmers to play or cool off without being completely immersed in water. Diving boards or water slides can complete the package and provide some extra thrills.

• Stock up on toys. Anything from aqua volleyball nets to climbing walls to floating golf games and even inflatable hamster balls that float on water can amp up the fun factor.

• Lather up the SPF. Pool time can be cut short if people are not diligent when applying sunscreen. Follow package directions regarding application, being sure to reapply regularly. Even waterproof products will need to be reapplied frequently.

• Offer a shady escape. Like a sunburn, heat exhaustion can compromise a fun day in the pool. Provide a shady respite, particularly one stocked with refreshing drinks like water or lemonade.

Time spent in the pool can be enhanced with various additions and smart safety guidelines.

 


 

Improve comfort when dining outdoors

Warm weather entices people to enjoy long hours outside basking in the sun or relaxing on balmy evenings. Many of the activities people once reserved for indoors when temperatures were chilly, including dining, have moved outside as the weather warmed.

Even though outdoor dining can be quite enjoyable, certain factors need to be considered to ensure that each experience is as pleasurable as possible. This means focusing on comfort whenever meals are taken out-of-doors.

Address insects
Insects are equal opportunity invaders. Once they smell sweet or savory food items, they quickly descend for an easy bite. This means extra steps are necessary to dissuade insects from coming by. Invest in citronella candles, which can be placed around the patio to repel flying bugs. Clean up crumbs and spills promptly. Bees and wasps can be lured away with sweet traps placed around the perimeter of the property.

Offer shade
Too much sun can make outdoor meals less enjoyable. A patio umbrella, pergola or canopy can cut down on glare and make the dining area more comfortable. Check to see that the shade source can be adjusted to guard against the sun as it moves across the sky.

Dress up seating
Just because furniture is made for outside doesn’t mean it has to be uncomfortable. Many companies now produce very durable and attractive outdoor furniture. Weather-resistant fabrics mean rain or sunlight will not age items too quickly.

Reusable place settings
If you frequently dine outdoors, you may want to dine in style. Instead of disposable paper or plastic place settings, invest in colorful, durable, reusable plastic dishes, glasses and flatware, which will not break if dropped and can hold up to a dishwasher when it is time to clean up.

Create the right ambiance
Invest in outdoor lighting, candles and hidden speakers to pipe in music and create ambiance. Install privacy screens and foliage to establish a nice nook for outdoor dining.

Outdoor dining areas can be improved with some easy modifications to existing spaces.

 


 

Dubuque’s New Pets in Parks Ordinance to Take Effect July 1

Beginning on Wednesday, July 1, leashed dogs and cats will be permitted in most Dubuque parks, parkways, trails, and open spaces.

There are a number of exceptions. Dogs and cats are NOT allowed in the following areas:
• Buildings or facilities within parks which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places
• Bunker Hill Golf Course
• Eagle Point Park
• Flora Park Swimming Pool
• Marshall Park and Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
• Murphy Park
• Nicholas J. Sutton Swimming Pool
• Veterans Memorial Plaza within the Gerald “Red” McAleece Park and Recreation Complex
• fenced-in sporting areas, including, but not limited to, courts, fields, rinks, arenas, and skate parks
• on playground and recreational areas designed for use by children

Those exceptions do not apply to service animals used by persons with disabilities, animals present as part of an approved and permitted special event, and animals confined to a vehicle during the entirety of their time within Marshall Park and Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Eagle Point Park, and Murphy Park (so long as the owner is compliant with the state code related to the safety and health of the animal).

Pet owners or keepers are liable/responsible for the actions of their dogs and cats, thus must pick up and dispose of or take away the pet’s waste. Pet owners need to bring their own pet waste bags along on their park or trail visit and dispose of the waste bag in the closest garbage receptacle. Any unleashed or unattended animal in a park, parkway, trail, or open space will be impounded. Violations may be reported to the City of Dubuque Animal Control staff during normal working hours at 563-589-4185. After hours, please call Non-Emergency Police Dispatch at 563-589-4415.

Unleashed dogs are permitted in the Pet Park. They are also allowed at John G. Bergfeld Recreation Area ponds, but only when an owner or keeper is working or exercising a dog by tossing a retrieval dummy or other object into a pond for out-and-back exercise. At all other times the dog must be leashed at the Bergfeld Recreation Area.

The Dubuque City Council created a Pet-Friendly Working Group after setting a council goal of a more pet-friendly community. The work group completed a Pet-Friendly City Assessment and their first project led to the City Council adopting this new pet-friendly ordinance which allows pets in most parks. The work group’s next priority is community education related to responsible pet ownership.

To view the complete ordinance or for background on this change and further information related to the work group, please visit www.cityofdubuque.org/petsinparks. For more information on this ordinance, please call the City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department at 563.589.4263.

 


 

Beginner’s guide to kayaking

Kayaking is a water sport that can be beneficial to the mind and body. Just about anyone willing to spend a day on the water can benefit from learning about kayaking and how to get started with this rewarding activity.

The history of kayaking is interesting. The word “kayak” means “hunter’s boat,” and the Inuit used to rely on these small vessels to catch food by sneaking up on their prey from the water’s edge. Some people still hunt and fish from their kayaks, but many are happy to use them for sightseeing and exercising.

“Paddlesports are increasing in popularity among Americans who desire to connect with the outdoors,” said Christine Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. The Outdoor Foundation and The Coleman Company, Inc., found in a Special Report on Paddlesports that 21.7 million Americans enjoyed paddling on rivers, lakes, streams, and other waterways in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available. Paddlesports include canoeing, rafting, kayaking, and stand-up paddling.

Learning how to kayak does not involve a significant initial financial investment. The outdoor experts at REI say there’s a good chance a novice kayaker will not go out and buy a boat immediately. It’s important to first get a feel for the sport and then go from there.
Although it’s not absolutely necessary, it’s recommended that novices take paddling lessons to hone their kayaking skills. Learning the proper technique can help people avoid strain on their neck and back and safeguard their arms from fatigue.

Novices should practice on calm waters until their technique is honed. Lakes are a great place to learn, as rivers and places with mild currents can overwhelm those new to the sport.

One of the easiest ways to get introduced to kayaking is to go with an experienced paddler or tour company. Such companies charge a set price for an excursion that will provide transportation to the drop site as well as the equipment needed for the voyage. Tours may include travel down several miles of a relatively calm waterway, allowing novice kayakers to get a feel for paddling and take in the scenery.

Getting in and out of a kayak can be challenging for beginners. The resource Kayakpaddling.net offers helpful illustrations and animated tutorials about entering and exiting kayaks as well as paddling techniques and safety.

Kayakers should bring some essentials along. A dry pack can keep electronics, food and equipment dry. Remember to wear sunscreen and a hat to keep safe from the sun. A life vest also is essential.

Exercise, fresh air and enjoying the open water are just some of the many draws of kayaking.

 


 

15 facts about horses

Dogs may be man’s best friends, but horses have been companion and assistance animals for millennia. In fact, archaeological evidence indicates that humans formed intermingled relationships with horses nearly 5,500 years ago.

Horses provided people with much of the essentials they required for group survival. Khan Academy indicates that the domestication of the horse ushered in an era of innovation in transport and communication. Horses also were invaluable animals on the farm or in early villages.

Horses still serve many practical functions, but they’re more often than not companion animals or relied on for riding hobbies and sport. Horses are majestic and fascinating animals, and these 15 interesting facts show just how incredible these beautiful animals are.

1. Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.

2. Horses have the largest eyes of any mammal that lives on land.

3. People once believed horses were colorblind. In fact, horses can see colors, but are better at detecting yellows and greens than purples and violets.

4. A horse’s body contains 205 bones.

5. Because a horse’s eyes are on the side of its head, it is capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time.

6. The fastest sprinting speed ever recorded for a horse is 55 miles per hour, though they generally trot at around four miles per hour.

7. Horses evolved from a very small animal about the size of a dog or baby lamb that was called a hyracotherium. This ancestor lived in tropical rain forests in North America and ate leaves.

8. Hooves are made from the same protein that comprises human fingernails and hair.

9. The Przewalski’s horse is the only truly wild horse species still in existence. The last remaining wild population is in Mongolia.

10. A male horse is called a stallion, while a young male horse is a colt. A female horse is a mare, while a young female is a filly.

11. Ponies are not immature horses. They are a small variety of horse.

12. Estimates suggest there are around 60 million horses in the world.

13. Early civilizations used horses as a form of food. But in 732 A.D., Pope Gregory III said the ritual consumption of horse meat was a pagan practice and had to be abolished. Islamic and Jewish communities also advocated toward avoiding horse meat. Today there is no specific law in the U.S. banning horse meat, but most people still steer clear of it.

14. An adult horse’s brain weighs 22 ounces, or about half the weight of a human brain.

15. Horses like sweet flavors, which is why you can tempt them with sweet treats like apples and sugar cubes.

 


 

Coping with the loss of a loved one while social distancing

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be challenging in the best of times, but many people have had to confront such challenges at a time that is unlike any other in modern history.

By the start of the second full week of May 2020, the World Health Organization reported that roughly 279,000 people across the globe had died from the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Many of the 215 countries, areas or territories that reported cases of COVID-19 implemented social distancing measures in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

While such efforts no doubt saved lives, they also left many people without traditional means of grieving their deceased loved ones. For example, in March the Church of England limited the number of people who could attend funerals to immediate family members only, while restrictions on gatherings in the United States made it difficult if not impossible for more than 10 people to grieve together in person.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that grief is a normal response to losing a loved one. In addition, the American Psychological Association says that research has shown that social support can help people recover from such losses.

Though traditional funerals and family gatherings may not be possible as the world responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, those who have lost loved ones can embrace various strategies to cope with their loss even while stay-at-home orders remain in place.

• Host calls with family members and friends. The videotelephone and chat service Zoom has helped millions of people stay connected with loved ones while social distancing. Schools and universities even employed the service when in-person classroom sessions were canceled to stop the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends grieving families employ such technology to connect with each other in the wake of a loved one’s death.

• Share stories. Grieving family members are urged to share stories and pictures much like they would during wakes and funerals. Share them during group conference calls and/or via social media, emails or other modern modes of communications. Connecting in such ways can ensure no one is forced to grieve alone.

• Seek support from your community. The CDC recommends seeking support from faith-based organizations or other trusted community leaders and friends. While in-person church services may not be available, many local religious leaders have made themselves available to congregants and even non-congregants who may need help grieving. Local community organizations may have grief counselors available to help people cope with loss.

• Take part in an activity that meant something to you and your deceased loved one. The CDC notes that doing something in memory of a loved one can help people cope. For example, plant flowers in honor of a deceased parent with whom you shared a love of gardening.

Confronting the loss of a loved one during the COVID-19 outbreak can be challenging. But families can still overcome this challenge even if they cannot gather together in person.

 


 

This wheel continues to spin to new heights

In the late 1800s, few may have imagined that a civil engineer specializing in bridges and other steel designs would help revolutionize not only the skyline of carnivals and fairs, but summertime entertainment as one knew it.

George Washington Ferris, Jr., was not a household name before 1893, but he certainly was afterward. After the Eiffel Tower stretched into the sky for the 1889 World’s Fair, officials in Chicago, which would be hosting the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, were looking for something of a similar magnitude to serve as the hallmark of their event. Organizers announced a competition to design the fair’s centerpiece attraction. Ferris proposed building a 264-foot wheel with suspended carriages to take passengers around for an aerial view of the fairgrounds. But other engineers claimed the wheel would not revolve. According to Smithsonian, even the exposition’s organizer Daniel Burnham balked at the plans for Ferris’ wheel, which would feature slender rods that would carry people higher than the recently opened Statue of Liberty, claiming they would be too fragile.

Even though Ferris was not the first to envision and build rotating wheels (smaller incarnations called roundabouts were built and featured in Atlantic City), he was the first to take the wheel to this magnitude and financed much of its building. Ferris’ design had 140-foot tall steel towers, with a 45-foot long axle between them. The wheel had a diameter of 250 feet, with 36 wooden cars that could each hold up to 60 riders. It also was lit up by 3,000 of Thomas Edison’s new light bulbs.

The Ferris wheel was a big hit and made an impression on fairgoers. After the fair, the wheel was moved to Lincoln Park, and later became an attraction once more at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Miss. Unfortunately, Ferris went into debt designing and building his vision, and he later died of typhoid fever while embroiled in litigation. His original wheel, which was later demolished, was the only true Ferris design.

But Ferris’s wheel lives on in many forms by ubiquitous copycats, and the name “Ferris Wheel” has become the generic reference for these types of rides. A Ferris wheel is often a staple at amusement parks, local fairs and carnivals and even serves as a permanent sightseeing attraction at attractions around the globe. Pushing the limits of engineering, today’s Ferris wheels reach dizzying heights. The tallest in the world is the Ain Dubai, slated to open in 2020 just ahead of the Expo 2020 in October. The observation wheel will be roughly 850 feet tall (250 meters) and will tower over what was once the tallest wheel, the High Roller in Las Vegas, which stands at 520 feet. Other immense observation wheels include the Singapore Flyer, Star of Nanchang (China) and The London Eye.

The famed Ferris wheel lives on in many cities and towns. Once a modern marvel, it is now a customary sight and hallmark of recreational fun.

 


 

Dubuque Offering Rent/Mortgage and Utility Bill Grants for Residents Impacted by COVID-19

The City of Dubuque is offering financial assistance to qualified Dubuque renters and homeowners whose income has been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications are being accepted for the City of Dubuque’s Short-Term Assistance Program for rent, mortgage, and utilities from Dubuque residents whose income has been reduced 50 percent or more due to COVID-19. This program is funded by a federal grant and does include income and property eligibility requirements. The program is a grant program so residents who qualify and receive the assistance will not have to pay back any funds they receive. This is a short-term assistance program and can assist with a portion of approved households’ rent or mortgage for up to $1,000 for three months. In addition to rent or mortgage, the program may be able to assist with utility payments.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be a current Dubuque resident living in a rental unit or home they own that they have occupied since at least January 1, 2020. Applicants must have been working as of January 1, 2020, AND, as a result of COVID-19, either:
• lost employment completely or monthly income has been reduced by at least 50 percent;
• have applied for unemployment benefits;
• were current on rent or mortgage payments and all household utilities as of March 1, 2020; and
• applicant’s household’s current income meets certain requirements.

Contact City staff for additional information. “Household income” includes current wages, unemployment benefits, child support, military benefits, and social security. All income coming into the household is required to be reported.

To apply for the Short-Term Assistance Program for rent, mortgage, and utilities, please call 563.564.7489, email go@cityofdubuque.org, or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/housing.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an update to a related May 21 announcement. Information has been updated to include utility bill assistance.

 


 

Dogs can be vulnerable to sunburn, too

Human beings are accustomed to taking certain measures to protect themselves when spending time in the sun. Applying and reapplying sunscreen, avoiding the outdoors during certain times of the day and drinking plenty of water while outside are just a few of the ways people can safely soak up summer sun. But what about dogs? Should dog owners be equally protective of their four-legged friends before letting them run around in the backyard or fraternize with fellow canines at the nearest dog park?

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can get sunburned just like their human counterparts. In addition, the AKC notes that sunburn can make dogs more vulnerable to certain types of skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanomas and hemangiomas. Sunburn also can exacerbate preexisting conditions like autoimmune disorders and dermatitis.

Some dogs may be especially vulnerable
While no dog is immune to sunburn, some are more vulnerable than others. The AKC notes that hairless breeds like the American Hairless Terrier need sun protection whenever they will be outside for extended periods of time. In addition, dogs with white or thin coats and those with light-pigmented noses and eyelids also are especially vulnerable to sunburn. The AKC also says that dogs with thick coats of hair are not immune to sunburn, as many such dogs shed their coats during especially warm weather, thereby making them more vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Dog owners can speak with their veterinarians to determine how vulnerable their dogs are to sunburn.

What dog owners can do
Dogs can benefit from sunscreen just like their owners. However, dog owners must only apply dog-specific sunscreens to their furry friends. The AKC advises dog owners to avoid applying sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA, to their dogs, as these can be toxic when ingested. Ingestion is likely as dogs typically try to lick their skin after sunscreen has been applied, so dog owners must take this warning very seriously. The AKC also recommends using waterproof sunscreens with a minimum sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30.

Don’t just go all in
Before applying sunscreen to a dog’s entire body, pick an area of its body to apply a small amount. Then wait a little while to see if the sunscreen causes an allergic reaction. If it does, wash the product off with water and do not allow the dog to spend ample time outdoors until you find a product that works and does not cause an allergic reaction.
If the dog is not allergic, apply the sunscreen about 20 minutes before going outside, keeping a watchful eye on your pooch to be sure he or she does not lick it off. Apply the product anywhere pigment is light, and also make sure to get vulnerable areas like the bridge of the nose, ear tips and the skin around the lips, groin and inner thighs. Reapply after the dog goes swimming, and also every four to six hours whether the dog has gone swimming or not.

Dogs are vulnerable to sunburn just like humans. Dog owners must protect their furry friends whenever spending time outdoors.

 


 

Irish Hooley Canceled for 2020

After much discussion, monitoring and studying the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation, the members of the board have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Dubuque Irish Hooley. The decision was made to help mitigate the growing challenges of significant planning and upfront logistics required to execute a successful & safe Hooley.

Beyond the challenges of COVID-19, the 2020 Hooley faced challenges of competing local events & safe travel of our Irish Bands. We feel with all of these factors coming into play it will be concerning for large group gatherings to be able to come together safely in August. Your health and welfare are our number one priority, and we want to play our part in keeping everyone safe.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us at: Irishhooley@outlook.com

We will miss seeing you all celebrate Irish culture with us, but look forward to returning to the historic Star Brewery Stone Cliff Winery, Saturday August 28th 2021. 

 


 

Dubuque Senior’s 50th Reunion to be held Aug. 21-23

The Dubuque Senior High School Class of 1970 set a few benchmarks. It was Dubuque Senior’s one hundredth graduating class and the largest class ever. And now it was fifty years ago.

The Class is happy to announce that there will be a golden reunion this August 21-23 in Dubuque. Planned events include a social gathering at Happy’s Place on Friday; a tour of the school and dinner with entertainment at the Dubuque Best Western Inn on Saturday; and a picnic at Murphy Park on Sunday.

Reservations are required for the events. Learn more by checking the “Dubuque Senior High School Class of 1970” Facebook Page or call Lynne Lippert @ 563 583 2136.

 


 

How to master grilling a thick cut of meat

A thick cut of meat grilled over an open flame can make for a mouth watering meal. While such an endeavor likely won’t lead to any complaints around the dinner table, many people still shy away from grilling especially thick cuts of meat.

A thick cut of uncooked meat can intimidate even the most devoted grilling enthusiast. Such cuts tend to take a long time to cook, and many a grilling devotee has put in that time only to end up with a dried out piece of meat. So what to do?

The following are some ways to master the art of grilling thick cuts of meat.

• Reverse sear the steak. According to Omaha Steaks, reverse searing involves bringing the steak up to temperature via indirect heat first, then searing the outside second. Reverse searing ensures the outside of the steak does not become charred while the inside takes its time cooking. This requires using both direct and indirect heat. When using a gas grill with multiple burners, it’s easy to create direct and indirect heating zones by only turning one set of burners on. When using a charcoal grill, move the hot coals to one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. Omaha Steaks recommends maintaining a grill temperature between 250 and 300 F and placing the meat over indirect heat first, keeping the steak there until a digital thermometer reads roughly 10 to 15 degrees below the desired temperature of the meat. The steak can then be moved over direct heat so all sides can be seared.

• Salt the meat overnight. People hesitant to salt their meat out of fear of overconsumption of sodium should know that it’s not necessary to use a lot of salt to create a flavorful piece of meat. A sprinkling of kosher salt over the surface of the meat is all that’s necessary. Once the meat has been salted, store it in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight, which allows ample time for the cut to fully absorb the salt, ultimately contributing to a juicy cut of meat.

• Be patient. Once the meat has been taken off the grill, let it sit for awhile before slicing into it. The goal is to allow the juice inside the meat to redistribute so each bite is as mouth watering as possible. This is the same principle that leads Thanksgiving cooks to let turkeys sit for awhile when they first come out of the oven. While turkeys may require roughly 30 minutes of sitting, meat typically only needs between 10 and 20 minutes, with thick cuts requiring more time than thin cuts.

Grilling afficionados need not be intimidated by thick cuts of meat. A few tricks of the trade can make it easy to serve up a thick piece of meat where each bite is juicy and full of flavor.

 


 

How to safely watch wildlife

Outdoor enthusiasts know that the wonders of nature never cease. Encountering wildlife while enjoying the great outdoors can be an experience unlike any other, especially when nature lovers know what to do and how to treat wildlife with caution and respect.

The National Park Service notes that the safety of nature lovers and wildlife depends on outdoor enthusiasts’ good judgment. By following these guidelines, nature lovers can continue to enjoy the great outdoors without adversely affecting local wildlife.

• Do your homework. The NPS notes that every park has its own specific guidelines regarding interactions with wildlife. Prior to visiting a park, familiarize yourself with these guidelines, which often include rules on viewing distances and food storage requirements. Ignoring the guidelines adversely affects the safety of both nature lovers and wildlife, so review the rules in advance of your trip and again upon your arrival at the park.

• Be vigilant from the moment you arrive on park grounds. According to the NPS, accidents involving motor vehicles are some of the more deadly encounters for wildlife in parks. The roads that help nature lovers navigate their way through parks cut directly through wildlife habitats, so visitors should be on the lookout and proceed with caution after arriving at the park, even if their campground or the area they intend to visit is still miles away.

• Don’t get too close to wildlife. The NPS says that, in addition to following park guidelines that govern the distance visitors should maintain between themselves and wildlife, a good rule of thumb is to remember that you are too close if animals react to your presence. Selfies should be out of the question, but visitors can still take photos so long as they maintain safe distances between themselves and wildlife.

• Never feed, touch, tease, frighten, or intentionally disturb wildlife. Wildlife can be unpredictable, and interacting directly with them can put the health of park visitors and animals in jeopardy. Always remember you are there only to observe wildlife.

• Share any unusual experiences with a park ranger. Nature lovers who see wildlife that appears sick or wildlife that approaches them should share these experiences and encounters with a park ranger. In addition, don’t be shy about informing park rangers about other park visitors if you see them disobeying park rules. Keeping parks safe for visitors and wildlife requires a collective effort, and anyone not doing their part must be reminded of that, ideally by a park ranger.

Parks are great places to experience local wildlife. Guidelines governing interactions with wildlife should always be followed, as they can keep both visitors and animals safe.

 


 

Dubuque Offering Grants for Renters and Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19

The City of Dubuque is offering financial assistance to qualified Dubuque renters and homeowners whose income has been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications are being accepted for the City of Dubuque’s Short-Term Rental/Mortgage Assistance Program from Dubuque renters and homeowners whose income has been reduced due to COVID-19. This program is funded by a federal grant and does include income and property eligibility requirements. The program is a grant program so residents who qualify and receive the assistance will not have to pay back any funds they receive. This is a short-term assistance program and can assist with a portion of approved households’ rent or mortgage for up to $1,000 for three months.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be a current city of Dubuque resident living in a rental unit or home they own that they have occupied since at least January 1, 2020. Applicants must have been working as of January 1, 2020, AND, as a result of COVID-19, either:
1) lost employment completely or monthly income has been reduced by at least 50 percent;
2) have applied for unemployment benefits;
3) were current on rent or mortgage payments and all household utilities as of March 1, 2020; and
4) applicant’s household’s current income meets the following requirements:

Household Size         Program Income Limit
Family Size 1                  less than $28,500
Family Size 2                  less than $32,600
Family Size 3                  less than $36,600
Family Size 4                  less than $40,700
Family Size 5                  less than $44,000
Family Size 6                  less than $47,250
Family Size 7                  less than $50,500

Households of eight or more should contact City staff for additional information. “Household income” includes current wages, unemployment benefits, child support, military benefits, and social security. All income coming into the household is required to be reported.

To apply for the Short-Term Rental/Mortgage Assistance Program, please call 563.564.7489, email go@cityofdubuque.org, or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/housing.

 


 

Tips for family camping trips

For nature lovers, perhaps nothing is more enjoyable than packing up the camping gear, traveling to a favorite campsite and getting away from it all while sleeping under the stars. Such an experience can be transformative, turning first-time campers into lifelong enthusiasts.

The opportunity to turn youngsters into nature enthusiasts who can’t wait to spend time outside may be one reason why so many families go camping. A 2018 report Kampgrounds of America found that 52 percent of campers have children, making camping among the most popular and family-friendly ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

Camping with youngsters can help families make lasting memories. Parents who have never before taken their children camping may benefit from employing a few strategies to make the trip as fun as possible.

• Make a trial run in the backyard. A night camping in the backyard won’t be exactly the same as a night in the woods, where wildlife, and particularly insects, may be less welcoming hosts. But a backyard camping night can acclimate children to their sleeping bags and their tents. A fun night sleeping under the stars in the backyard also may make kids more enthusiastic about an upcoming camping trip in the woods.

• Go over safety early and often. Use every opportunity to explain camping safety measures to youngsters in advance of your trip. Emphasize the importance of staying together in the woods, and teach youngsters how to identify potentially harmful plants like poison ivy, making sure they know to avoid coming into contact with these and other poisonous plants. Contact your local parks department, or the campground where you will be staying, for some additional advice on camping safety.

• Let kids help when choosing camping equipment. Youngsters may be more excited about camping if they’re allowed to choose certain equipment, including their sleeping bags and tents. Before visiting your nearby camping retailer, explain to kids that tents come in various styles because they’re designed to protect campers from certain elements that may be more common in certain areas than others. Such an explanation can make it easy to explain to youngsters why you’re purchasing certain items, even if those items weren’t kids’ top choices.

• Plan the family menu in advance. Plan the menu in advance so you can ensure everyone will continue to eat healthy. But make sure to include a few kid-friendly camping classics, like s’mores, in the meal plan as well.

• Prepare a camping-friendly first-aid kit. Bandages and topical antibiotic creams are part and parcel of any first-aid kit, regardless of where you’re going. But the elements pose a different set of challenges that require a more extensive first-aid kit. When designing a first-aid kit for your camping trip, be sure to include all the usual items but also over-the-counter medications that can treat pain, allergies, constipation, and diarrhea. An extra gallon or two of water also makes for a wise addition to campers’ first-aid kits.

Family camping trips can instill a lifelong love of the great outdoors in youngsters. A few simple strategies can help parents make such trips safe and memorable.

 


 

Common play equipment injuries

Park playground equipment and swing set apparatuses in backyard jungle gyms are exciting places for children to be active outdoors. Play equipment gives children opportunities to exercise and engage with friends.

Despite all the benefits of playing outside on playground equipment, many youngsters get hurt on playgrounds every year. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says each year more than 220,000 children under age 14 are treated in hospital emergency rooms across the United States for playground-related injuries. The Canadian Public Health Association reports that 1,841 children in Canada under the age of 18 required hospitalization between the years of 2014 and 2015.

The same organization says fractures are the most common playground injury, followed by contusions/abrasions and lacerations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adds that playgrounds present an elevated risk for internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations. Children also may suffocate if hooded sweatshirt drawstrings get tangled.

All children are at risk for injuries, but statistics indicate girls sustain injuries slightly more often than boys. Children between the ages of five and nine have higher rates of emergency department visits for these types of injuries, according to the CDC.

Preventing injuries comes down to a few simple strategies.

• Supervision: A responsible adult can be the most important factor in preventing or minimizing playground injuries. Supervising play means enforcing rules and monitoring risky antics.

• Ground material: The type of surface on the play area can reduce severity of injuries from falls. Softer surfaces, such as mulch, wood chips, shredded rubber, or sand reduce impact injuries. Equipment in yards should be surrounded by soft materials. Parents can rally to ensure school and neighborhood playgrounds employ similar materials.

• Age appropriateness: Children should be guided to equipment designed for their ages. Equipment is typically rated for various age groups.

• Maintenance: Remove tripping hazards and verify that the equipment is in good working order before allowing children to play. Avoid or replace equipment that has openings that could ensnare a child’s head.

• Clothing: Children should dress appropriately for playground use. That means slip-resistant soles on shoes and well-fitting clothing and avoidance of clothing that can become tangled or get caught on structures.

Playgrounds are enjoyable places for children to congregate and spend hours outdoors. Prioritize playground safety at home or in the neighborhood to reduce the risk of injury for youngsters.

 


 

The roles of the different branches of the U.S. military

The United States military is one of the most comprehensive, effective and respected armed forces in the world. Without the tireless commitment of military personnel — from the soldiers on the ground to the support staff behind the scenes — America could not be the world power it is today.

Each branch of the U.S. military has a unique mission, and here is a brief rundown of what those missions entail, courtesy of Military.com and the U.S. Department of Defense.

United States Army
The Army is one of the three military departments that reports directly to the Department of Defense. The Army conducts operational and institutional missions around the world, typically handling land-based missions. The Army also guards U.S. installations and properties throughout the world.

United States Navy
Serving to protect the freedom of the seas, the Navy is another branch of the military that reports directly to the Department of Defense. Among its many missions, the U.S. Navy serves to make the seas safe for travel and trade.

United States Air Force
The Air Force also reports directly to the Department of Defense and trains for and maintains global superiority in air, space and cyberspace. Air Force personnel fly planes, helicopters and even satellites.

United States Marine Corps
The Marine Corps is a component of the Department of the Navy. It carries out global missions on both sea and shore and serves as an expeditionary force. Marines are a rapid-reaction team and are usually the first boots on the ground in a conflict.

United States Coast Guard
The Coast Guard safeguards maritime interests through both civil and military missions. The Coast Guard operates around the world and in domestic waterways and ports.

United States Army National Guard
The oldest branch of the U.S. military, the National Guard serves as a complementary force to active duty. Those in the National Guard are trained to be versatile, providing for humanitarian aid, domestic emergencies, combat missions, and homeland security operations. The Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, and Navy Reserve are the other branches made up of servicemen and servicewomen who primarily work civilian jobs but may be called to full-time military duty if necessary.

The U.S. Armed Forces are headed by the President of the United States. The Secretary of the Department of Defense reports directly to the Commander-in-Chief. The DOD controls each military branch, except for the Coast Guard, which is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security.

Learn more about the U.S. military at dod.defense.gov.

 


 

Practice safe boating at all times

Boating is a recreational activity enjoyed by thousands of people. Spring and summer are prime times of year for boating, though people who live in temperate climates may be able to enjoy boating all year long.

Everyone who takes to the water, novices and experienced boaters included, should be familiar with boating safety guidelines. In fact, it is a good idea to take a boating safety course prior to boating for the first time or as a refresher if it has been a while since reviewing the rules of the water.

Boating safety goes beyond learning basic operation and navigation. Safety guidelines also involve getting a vessel safety check. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers complimentary boating examinations. They can verify the presence and condition of safety equipment required by federal and state organizations. Boaters also may be able to conduct virtual vessel exams. This means boat owners can perform a self-inspection of the boats based on digital prompts. People who reside in Canada can contact the Office of Boating Safety to confirm whether vessel checks are required and how to get one. Licensure and registration of boats are part of responsible boat ownership both in the U.S. and Canada.

Along with boating inspections and water rules, some other ways to stay safe involve educating oneself of the larger dangers on the water. These generally involve risky boater behavior, such as failing to wear a life jacket or having an inadequate number of life jackets for passengers.

Alcohol use while boating also can be problematic. Being under the influence can adversely affect boaters’ reaction times and decision-making abilities. According to the 2018 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics Report, alcohol continued to be the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2018, accounting for 100 deaths (19 percent) of total fatalities. Curbing alcohol use while boating can help avoid accidents and deaths.

Excessive speeds also can derail nice days on the water. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says that, although there are no numerical speed limits on the water, excessive speed can cause accidents in crowded areas. Speeding makes it difficult to react to obstacles — including underwater wildlife — and bring the boat to a stop within a safe distance of others.

Boating season is heating up, and that means making safety a big part of operating and enjoying a vessel.

 


 

How to protect dogs from Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a potentially dangerous condition transmitted by the passing of bacteria from deer ticks to their unsuspecting hosts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease also is a cause for concern in Canada, parts of Europe and Asia.

Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. But Lyme disease also affects animals, including popular house pets like dogs. Tufts University says that the Lyme bacterium can cause serious illness in some dogs. Lyme disease can be difficult to detect and cause serious and recurring health problems. That is why it is essential for pet parents to make concerted efforts to reduce the risk that their dogs become infected.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says the best way to protect pets against Lyme disease is to emphasize prevention.

• Speak with your veterinarian about a tick preventive product that is right for your dog. These can include repellant collars, topical treatments and ingestible medications.

• Vets may recommend vaccination against Lyme disease if you live in an area that is home to high tick populations. Recommendations also may be based on your pet’s lifestyle and overall health, among other factors.

• Address conditions in the yard that are conducive to ticks. Mowing the lawn regularly is one way to make the backyard less attractive to ticks, as is removing leaf litter.

• Keep a clean home and landscape. Rodents and other wildlife can carry deer ticks. Securing trash cans, picking up food scraps, removing hiding spots and potential dens, and other strategies can keep these carriers away.

• Conduct a daily tick check if your dog spends time outside. Pay attention to bumps on the skin and part the fur so you can see where the coat meets the skin. Don’t forget to look in the ears.

• When possible, avoid areas where ticks may be found, such as tall grasses, wooded areas and marshes. Stick to trails when spending time in wooded areas.

Dogs with Lyme disease may exhibit various symptoms. These include loss of appetite, fever, joint swelling, decreased activity, and lameness. Visit the vet promptly if symptoms occur and do not abate, or are causing considerable distress for your pet.

Lyme disease is a concern for pets. Avoidance, preventive measures and outdoor maintenance can help reduce the likelihood that pets will contract Lyme disease.

 


 

How to approach diet after a diabetes diagnosis

Diabetes affects hundreds of millions of people across the globe, and more and more people are being diagnosed with this often preventable disease every year.
According to the World Health Organization, 108 million people across the globe were living with diabetes in 1980. In 2019, the International Diabetes Foundation estimated that 463 million adults between the ages of 20 and 79 were living with diabetes. Perhaps even more troubling is that the IDF estimates that, by 2045, 700 million people will be living with diabetes.

A diabetes diagnosis can be scary. The IDF reports that people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing an assortment of serious health problems, including diseases that affect the heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and teeth.

Poor diet is a common contributor to diabetes. So it’s natural that newly diagnosed diabetes patients typically want to know how they can alter their diets so they can begin to overcome their disease. That’s a good place to start, as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases notes that eating well and being physically active can help people prevent or delay problems associated with diabetes.

The NIDDK notes that eating a variety of healthy foods from all food groups is essential for people with diabetes.

• Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes are examples of nonstarchy vegetables that make great additions to everyone’s diet. These vegetables can be especially beneficial for people diagnosed with diabetes, as can starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and green peas.

• Fruits: Diabetes patients can include oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes in their daily diets.

• Grains: Whole grains should make up no less than 50 percent of diabetics’ daily grain intake. Opt for whole-grain breads, pastas, cereals, and tortillas.

• Protein: Lean cuts of meat, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, and eggs are some examples of healthy protein sources that diabetes patients can include in their diets. Nuts and peanuts; dried beans and certain peas, such as chickpeas and split peas; and meat substitutes like tofu can make for healthy protein sources as well.

• Dairy: When purchasing dairy products, stick to nonfat or low-fat milks, yogurts and cheeses.

A diabetes diagnosis can be scary. If poor diet contributed to such a diagnosis, committing to eating healthier can help people effectively manage their disease and possibly avoid some of its more negative consequences.

 


 

How to reduce food waste

Perhaps nothing can spoil an appetite more than a crisper drawer full of fresh vegetables that have taken a turn for the worse. Spoiled food is not just unsafe to eat, but it is also very costly.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate that the average family of four throws out nearly $1,500 worth of food and beverages each year. That means that, within seven years, the average family has spent more than $10,000 on food they did not eat.

In recognition of the problems posed by food waste, the National Grange, the oldest farm and food advocacy organization in the United States, aims to create a cultural shift that reduces food waste. Individual consumers can do their part in supporting that shift by taking various steps to reduce food waste in their homes.

• Take inventory before going to the grocery store. An inventory of the refrigerator and pantry can help shoppers avoid buying items they already have. This is especially valuable at reducing food waste in regard to perishable items that can spoil before shoppers have a chance to eat them.

• Make a meal plan and grocery list. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that meal plans and accompanying grocery lists help consumers reduce food waste and save money by decreasing the likelihood that they will buy items they won’t need for the meals they plan to eat in the week ahead.

• Purchase frozen foods. Organic, fresh vegetables eaten when they are most ripe may be the healthiest way to eat vegetables. However, frozen vegetables still have ample nutritional value, and may even boast a higher nutritional value than off-season, fresh vegetables sold at the grocery store. That’s because frozen fruits and vegetables are picked when they’re ripe and then immersed in boiling water to kill bacteria and prevent enzyme activity that can spoil food. They’re then immediately flash frozen, a process that typically preserves nutrients. The long shelf life of frozen fruits and vegetables reduces the likelihood that shoppers will throw them out before eating them. That’s not the case with fresh vegetables, which the ANDF and the USDA note account for more than 30 percent of food waste each year.

• Wash berries only as you eat them. When eating fresh berries, wait to wash them until you eat them. The risk of mold forming increases when washing an entire container all at once, whereas only washing the berries as they’re eaten increases the likelihood that they won’t spoil before they’re all eaten.

Food waste is a global problem that can be fixed. And that solution can start in the kitchens of consumers willing to do their part.

 


 

Exposing myths about ultraviolet light

Ultraviolet light is all around us. UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that does anything from causing sunburns to making black-light posters glow. The sun is a notable source of ultraviolet radiation, but lamps and some items like arc welding torches also can transmit it.

UV rays fall in the middle of other types of radiation, ranging from very high-energy like X-rays and gamma rays to low-energy radiation, such as radio waves. UV rays are divided into three main groups: UVA rays, UVB rays and UVC rays, advises the American Cancer Society. Even though UV rays are so common, many people remain unaware of the dangers associated with UV exposure.

True or False: Age makes people more vulnerable to UV exposure and damage to the eyes and skin.
True. The Canadian Association of Optometrists says an estimated 50 percent of lifetime exposure to UV rays occurs before age 18. This is because youngsters tend to spend more time outdoors, have larger pupils, have clearer lenses, and are less likely to wear sunglasses or hats.

True or False: All UV rays are equally damaging.
False: UVA rays are the least powerful, but have the potential to cause premature skin damage and increase the risk of certain eye conditions. UVB rays are more damaging because they give off more energy and are responsible for most skin cancers. UVC rays do not penetrate the atmosphere, so they are not often linked to eye damage, wrinkles or skin cancer.

True or False: A base tan is healthy.
False: No tan is healthy or safe, advises Hackensack Meridian Health system. A sunburn and a suntan are the body’s response to cellular DNA damage from UV radiation. A base tan cannot prevent sunburn.

True or False: Tanning from the sun and tanning beds are equally damaging.
True. There is no such thing as safe tanning, whether from a tanning bed, a sun lamp or the sun itself. The American Academy of Dermatology says just one indoor tanning session can increase one’s risk of developing skin cancer.

True or False: The eyes are most exposed to UV radiation in early morning and late afternoon.
True. Unlike the skin, which is most susceptible to UV rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., for the eyes the damage occurs early or late in the day.

Get the facts about UV exposure to stay safe all year long.

 


 

How Earth Day and environmental conciousness have evolved

Reduce, reuse, recycle is a mantra for many people. It’s difficult to imagine that just 50 years ago awareness of the state of the environment was not part of the collective consciousness.

An emerging public consciousness about the planet began amid environmental issues like increased air pollution and massive consumption of fossil fuels in the 1960s. The bestselling book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson also raised public concern for living organisms and the links between pollution and public health.

The push for environmental reform gained even more momentum on April 22, 1970, when the first Earth Day was celebrated. Then-Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin put Earth Day on the national stage following a large oil spill that struck off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. Before this disaster, recycling was not a word in the popular lexicon. But when the disaster struck, people began to reason that changes would have to be made to save the planet.

Since the first Earth Day 50 years ago, many strides have been made in the environmental movement. This grassroots initiative gave rise to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Environmental awareness has become much more mainstream and is a less polarizing issue than it was in the 1970s, although there are still debates about the reality of climate change and other risk factors.

Public demand for environmental safeguards grew in the second half of the twentieth century, and those demands have grown stronger in recent years. Legislation is continually evolving to protect the air, land and water. Sustainability has joined the buzzwords of the movement, and most industries now have a vested interest in changes that can minimize risk to human health and the environment.

Mitigating or avoiding environmental effects, proper waste disposal, reduction in water discharge, and emphasis on reducing, reusing and recycling have become important components of environmental wellness. And people are being educated at earlier stages on the importance of environmental mindfulness. For example, core subjects of the environmental movement are increasingly covered in elementary schools.

Twenty million people turned out for the first Earth Day in the United States. Today, more than 190 countries are engaged and more than one billion individuals are mobilized for action every Earth Day, advises the Earth Day Network. To mark the 50th anniversary, the most pressing topic for the year is climate change. Climate Action is the 2020 Earth Day theme to engage the global public. There is still work to be done, but great progress has been made since 1970.

 


 

3 risk factors for oral cancer

The ill effects of smoking are widely documented. Perhaps no such side effect is more widely known than the link between smoking and cancer, particularly lung cancer. And while the Lung Cancer Foundation of America notes that smoking is thought to be responsible for 80 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses, smoking also has been linked to oral cancer.

Oral cancer is not as prevalent as lung cancer. However, the Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that, in 2020, tens of thousands of people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States. Recognizing the risk factors of oral cancer can help people reduce their chance of receiving such a diagnosis.

1. Tobacco
The OCF notes that one study from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that more than eight out of 10 oral cancer patients were smokers. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, all forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, increase a person’s risk for oral cancer. The CCS even notes that exposure to secondhand smoke may increase a person’s risk for oral cancer.

2. Alcohol
Alcohol abuse is the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer. The OCF notes people who smoke and also abuse alcohol are at an especially high risk of developing oral cancer. The OCF theorizes that this link may be a result of what alcohol consumption does to the mouth and how that makes it easier for tobacco carcinogens to attack. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the cell walls within the mouth, and that may make it easier for tobacco carcinogens to permeate tissues within the mouth.

Heavy alcohol consumption also has been linked with nutritional deficiencies, including lower antioxidant levels. Diets rich in antioxidants boost the immune system and make the body more capable of fighting cancer cells.

3. HPV
The human papilloma virus, or HPV, infects the epithelial cells of skin and mucosa. Moist epithelial surfaces are found in the interior of the mouth, throat, tongue, and tonsils, among other areas. The HPV virus is transmitted when these areas come into contact with a virus, which is then transferred through epithelial cells. The HPV virus can be transferred through both conventional and oral sexual contact, though it’s important to note that many HPV infections go unnoticed and are cleared without consequence. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that up to 80 percent of Americans will have an HPV infection in their lifetimes without experiencing any adverse effects. However, one strain of the virus, known as HPV16, is strongly associated with oropharyngeal cancer.

Oral cancer poses a threat. But people can greatly reduce their risk for oral cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. More information is available at www.oralcancerfoundation.org.

 


 

Mississippi Moon Bar Postpones Entertainment Through May 13

In taking additional precautions recommended by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Diamond Jo Casino Dubuque has made the decision to postpone our upcoming entertainment at Mississippi Moon Bar through May 13. These shows include the following:

All Wednesday night Laughing Moon Comedy April 3: Wheelhouse
April 4: David Victor, Formerly of Boston
April 10: Black Stone Cherry
April 11: ABBA Revisited
April 17: Rob Schneider
April 18: Dueling Pianos
April 24: Morgan Evans
April 25: Time Machine
May 1: Bob Saget Special Engagement

New performance dates will be released at a later time, and all previously purchased tickets will be honored on the new show date.

If you are no longer able to attend the show, refunds are available by calling 563-663-6462 or email AaronRainey@BoydGaming.com. Please provide your name, show name, phone number, and order number.

 


 

PROJECT ROOTED SERVES OVER 700 LUNCHES IN DUBUQUE COUNTY IN TWO DAYS FOR ITS NO COST LUNCH PROGRAM

In partnership with Convivium Urban Farmstead, Project Rooted has served 730 no-cost lunches since the start of the Program on March 23, 2020. Lunches are available for pickup daily at the following locations: Convivium Urban Farmstead, Resources Unite, Peosta Elementary, West Dubuque High School, and Drexler Middle School. Due to high demand, Project Rooted will be increasing the number of lunches prepared in order to meet community needs.

Lunches include healthy, nutritious options and include a handmade card created by kids, for kids.

For those interested in donating toward this effort, monetary donations will be accepted through a GoFundMe page for Project Rooted at gofundme.com/f/projectrooted

 


 

How parents can approach raising gamers

Gaming is a popular activity across the globe. Studies have shown that more than one billion people across the globe play some type of video game every day, and the number of gamers is growing every day. In fact, the market and consumer data provider Statista estimates there will be 2.7 billion gamers by 2021.

Such prevalence can make it hard for parents to govern their youngsters’ gaming habits. As difficult as it can be to get kids to put their controllers down, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that time spent gaming can take away from the time kids spend on other pursuits, including healthy activities like exercising and reading. That’s part of the reason why the AAP recommends limiting the time kids spend gaming to no more than one hour per day.

In addition to limiting how much time kids spend gaming, parents can take these steps to make sure kids’ gaming experiences are as positive as possible.

• Familiarize yourself with a game’s content before allowing kids to play it. Parents should be concerned by how long their youngsters play video games, and also by the content of those games. First-person shooter games remain incredibly popular, but such games can have an adverse effect on young players. The AAP notes that studies have shown that children exposed to virtual violence, such as that depicted in first-person shooter games, and violent media have shown that they may become numb to violence and even imitate the violence. Parents should always vet a game before allowing their children to play it. Make sure its content is not too mature and/or violent for children.

• Confirm ESRB ratings. Parents of young children likely don’t allow their youngsters to watch R-rated films, but they might not know that a similar rating system exists for video games. ESRB ratings help parents make informed decisions about the video games and the apps their children play. The ratings, which are broken down at www.esrb.org, are included on game packaging labels and let parents know how appropriate or inappropriate a game may be for children. Founded by the Interactive Digital Software Association in 1994, the ESRB notes that 61 percent of its ratings for physical and console downloadable video games in 208 were rated either E (Everyone) or E10+ (Everyone 10+). That means parents of children under 10 have many age-appropriate game options when buying games for their kids.

• Keep consoles in common areas. By limiting gaming to common areas in the home, parents can more closely monitor how much time their youngsters are spending playing games. The AAP recommends parents designate handheld games as “family property” as opposed to items each child “owns.” This can help parents make sure such devices are kept in common areas at all times.

• Play with children. Another way parents can monitor what their kids are playing and how long they’re playing for is to play with them. Multiple player games are very popular, and parents can use that popularity to more effectively manage their kids’ gaming habits.

Parents may face some challenges as they try to govern their kids’ gaming habits. But various strategies can help moms and dads keep tabs on those habits.

 


 

Proposed waterfowl rules available for public comment

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting comments on proposed waterfowl and coot hunting seasons and bag limits, which includes 2021-22 season dates, and the proposed restructuring of the hunting zones and seasons for 2021-2025.

A copy of the proposal is available online at https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Migratory-Game-Birds by clicking on the Chapter 91, Waterfowl and Coot Hunting Seasons link.

The proposal modifies waterfowl hunting zone boundaries for 2021-2025 to expand the season dates of the current Missouri River zone across southern Iowa, create a central zone with the season dates of the current south zone, and move the southern boundary of the north zone. This modification expands later season dates across southern Iowa and part of central Iowa, but maintains the season dates of the current north and south zones across much of their former area. This proposal includes waterfowl and coot season dates for 2021-22 and extends the light goose conservation order from April 15 to May 1.

The proposal includes modifying the daily bag limit for scaup, effective for the 2020 season, to one bird daily bag limit for the first 15 days of the duck season in each zone, followed by 45 days with a two-bird daily bag limit.

The DNR is accepting comments through March 3, 2020. Comments may be submitted via email to orrin.jones@dnr.iowa.gov or sent via mail to Orrin Jones, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 1203 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake, Iowa, 50428.

A public hearing is scheduled from 12-1 p.m., March 3, in the Wallace State Office Building Conference Room 5E, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines, IA 50319. Persons who wish to make oral comments will be asked to state their names for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of this proposed rulemaking.

Any person attending the public hearing and has special requirements such as those related to mobility or hearing impairments should contact the DNR or ADA Coordinator at 515-725-8200, Relay Iowa TTY Service 800-735-7942, or Webmaster@dnr.iowa.gov, and advise of specific needs.

 


 

Facts and figures about modern engagements

Getting engaged has and always will be a big deal. While marriage proposals are often steeped in tradition, some facts and figures about modern day engagements, courtesy of the 2018 Newlywed Report from WeddingWire, show just how much this special moment and all that surrounds it is changing.

• The pressure to make marriage proposals extraordinary appears to be on the rise, at least for Millennials. Of the nearly 18,000 respondents who shared their stories via WeddingWire’s 2017 Newlywed Survey, 72 percent of Millennials said they feel pressured to make their proposals highly unique, while only 45 percent of Gen X respondents indicated feeling such pressure.

• Proposals might be changing, but getting down on one knee appears to be an enduring tradition that Millennials plan to keep in style. Eighty-two percent of Millennials indicated they got down on one knee to propose. In addition, the tradition of asking for parents’ blessing also remains popular among Millennials, 72 percent of whom sought such blessings before proposing marriage.

• The average cost of an engagement ring was $5,000.

• The pressure to pick out the right engagement ring appears to be subsiding. That’s because 50 percent of survey respondents indicated they picked out the ring together.

• Married-couples-to-be also appear to like comparison shopping in regard to engagement rings. The majority of purchasers looked at between two and seven rings before making a purchase.

• While online shopping has changed consumer behavior in myriad ways, couples still prefer brick-and-mortar stores when buying engagement rings. Thirty-one percent of purchasers bought rings online, but 63 percent made their purchases in-person at brick-and-mortar stores.

• Christmas Day is the most popular day to pop the question, followed by Valentine’s Day. Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve round out the top five.

• How to spread the news of an engagement is perhaps the biggest change surrounding engagements. Engagement parties were once the go-to way to spread the good news, but just one in four couples now have engagement parties. Nowadays, 86 percent of couples spread the news via social media. In fact, 10 percent of parents find out about their children’s engagements via social media.

• The days of a short engagement seem to be a thing of the past. The average engagement now lasts 13 months, and 28 percent of couples are engaged for 16 months or longer.

 


 

How to help the homeless this winter

The problem posed by homelessness is considerable. The National Alliance to End Homelessness says that, on any given night in the United States, more than half a million people are experiencing homelessness. And the problem is not exclusive to the U.S., as the Homelessness Partnering Secretariat (HPS) estimates that between 150,000 and 300,000 individuals experience homelessness in Canada each year.
Many homeless people are single adults who have nowhere else to turn. Veterans make up approximately 9 percent of all homeless singletons.

While homelessness is challenging at any time of the year, winter is especially brutal for homeless individuals. Those who have no indoor places to sleep (shelters fill up quickly in the cold or are avoided for other reasons) typically must confront harsh winter weather, which can increase their risk for hypothermia. Art from the Streets, a nonprofit organization that strives to help the homeless, says winter weather can prove fatal for homeless communities, which is perhaps one reason why the average age of death for a homeless person is 47.

People who have the comfort of warm clothing and shelter may not realize the plight of the homeless this time of year. But with some generosity and volunteerism, anyone can help the homeless community this winter.

• Alert professionals. Many different charities help place homeless people in temporary shelters or get them a warm bed or meal. Do a quick search of homeless organizations in your area and give a call to find out if they can assist someone you may have spotted on the street.

• Donate coats, scarves and gloves. In 2017, residents of Bristol, England, tied scarves to the city’s lampposts for homeless to use. Similar concepts can be implemented in towns and cities across the globe. In addition, look for organizations that collect warm clothing for the homeless and the needy.

• Volunteer with a soup kitchen. Soup kitchens routinely provide hot meals for homeless visitors, and such facilities are often in need of volunteers.

• Partner up with an organization. The Blessing Bag Brigade is a New Jersey-based nonprofit that is dedicated to providing various items of comfort to homeless individuals. The organization routinely collects toiletries, snack foods, socks, razors, and breakfast bars and packages them up in bags to deliver to the homeless. Learn more at www.blessingbagbrigadenj.org.

• Provide hot meals or beverages to a homeless individual. Many times someone who is homeless may benefit significantly from a small token of compassion. If you do not want to give cash to panhandlers, then instead buy a hot sandwich and deliver it to someone who is homeless.

Helping homeless individuals and organizations that aim to help the homeless takes on urgency when the winter arrives. It may not require much to provide comfort and safety to someone in need.

 


 

VFW Installs Flag Disposal Box

The Dubuque VFW 9663 has installed a new flag disposal box at the New Dubuque VA Clinic at Plaza 20, 2600 Dodge St, Dubuque, Iowa, effective immediately.

This flag disposal box offers 24-hour access to drop older, faded, torn, or damaged American Flags for proper honorable disposal by military veterans.

A planned flag disposal box will be added to the Dubuque Freedom Center on Kerper Blvd in early 2020.

The Dubuque VFW 9663 meets monthly on the third Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the American Legion Post #6 Clubhouse, 1306 Delhi St, Dubuque, Iowa.

Social pages include Facebook @vfw9663dubuque

For more information, please contact VFW 9663 Commander Wayne Brown. Mail may be sent to 1306 Delhi St, Dubuque, IA 52001.

 


 

RED BASKET PROJECT APPROVED AS 
501(c)(3) NONPROFIT

Dubuque, Iowa – The Red Basket Project has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Established in 2016, the organization strives to ensure each woman’s period is met with products, despite personal or financial need.

“Because no one ever asks, we assume there is no need,” said Beth Gilbreath, co-founder of The Red Basket Project. “What we have found in our work is that the need is in fact tremendous. We were shocked to learn that we have those in our community who miss school and work when they have their period, simply because their families lack the financial means to purchase. When you are forced to choose between food and period supplies, food wins.”

Since inception, The Red Basket Project has distributed over 20,540 period packs, each consisting of period supplies for one month.

Board members include: Gilbreath, Realtor at Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors, President; Amanda Munger, of Runde Auto Group, Vice President; Gabe Less, of MediRevv, Inc., Treasurer; Lynne Hemmer, of Sedgwick, Secretary; Kelley Donovan, of LPL Financial; and Lidia Bertolini, of Mario’s Italian Restaurant.

For more information, or to donate, visit RedBasketProject.com.

 


 

City Expo to Celebrate All-America City Award

The City of Dubuque’s City Expo 2019 event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 4-7 p.m. at the Five Flags Center, 405 Main St. This event is free and open to the public.

Every day, hundreds of city staff members proudly serve the residents of Dubuque, working hard to deliver excellent customer service and create a vibrant and sustainable city. City Expo is an opportunity for residents to visit with city staff and learn about programs, services, and community resources. Information and equipment from City departments and partner organizations will be on display.

Earlier in 2019, Dubuque was named an All-America City. This year’s theme was “Creating Healthy Communities.” In celebration of the award, there will be a special All-America City exhibit showcasing the many City departments and community partners whose work was featured in the winning application

Expo attendees can win door prizes by participating in an “Expo Passport” activity. Passport forms will be provided at the event and must be completed and submitted before leaving the event. Participants need not be present to win.

The following door prizes will be available to win at City Expo this year:
• Family summer swimming pool pass
• $50 credit for leisure services programs
• Foursome of golf, plus two carts, at Bunker Hill Golf Course
• Annual yard waste decals
• Yard waste stickers
• $50 gift cards to local grocery stores
• Youth and adult Jule bus passes

Informational materials and complimentary food will be available. For additional information on City Expo, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/expo or call 563-589-4151.

 


 

The safest place for kids in the car

Riding in a vehicle can be an exciting prospect for children. Such rides provide a chance to see the world outside of the house, and the speed with which scenery is flying by can be exhilarating for young minds.

Children are first introduced to riding in cars as babies, when child safety seats will keep them secure. Although laws vary depending on where people are driving, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 or older.

As they get older and gain weight, children who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their seats should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer, says the AAP.

When children are old enough to graduate from car seat to booster seat to sitting in the car with only a seat belt, parents may wonder about where their youngsters can sit when riding in a vehicle. One area of the car tends to be safer than others for children. Researchers from the University of Buffalo who studied crash-related fatalities in relation to seat location discovered that the backseat is 59 to 86 percent safer than the front seat. What’s more, the middle seat in the back of the car is 25 percent safer than the window seats.

The science behind the study is that the middle seat offers the most distance from impact during a collision, or what the industry calls “the crumple zone.” The outer seats will be more affected, while the middle seat remains more insulated. However, the middle seat is only the safest when used with a full seat belt, rather than just a lap harness; otherwise, children should sit in the back where a full three-point seat belt is available, advises the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In addition, it can be tempting to cave under pressure and allow tweens to ride in the front of the car when they ask to do so or say that it is embarrassing to ride in back – since all of their friends are riding up front. The organization Safe Ride 4 Kids says studies show the safest place in the car for tweens is the back, until they are at least 13 years of age.

Riding in the middle seat in the back of the car is the safest place for passengers, including children. Parents and caregivers should keep safety in mind when kids are in the car.

 


 

5 ways to protect against hearing loss

A certain degree of hearing loss can be a normal part of the aging process. However, people who take steps to protect their hearing long before Father Time takes his toll can prevent the extreme hearing loss suffered by millions of seniors across the globe.

John’s Hopkins Medicine states that approximately 15 percent of adults aged 18 years and older report some difficulty hearing and up to 39 percent of adults in their sixties have hearing problems. Lost hearing cannot be restored, though hearing aids and other devices can help people with hearing loss hear better.

Hearing aids are not always an accessory people look forward to needing, so it’s good to know that a few simple strategies can protect people’s hearing over the long haul.

1. Get a baseline hearing exam. Speak with an audiologist, who can test your hearing and establish a baseline level against which future tests will be measured. This way it is easier to see if hearing loss is increasing over time.

2. Turn down the volume. Audio devices can contribute to hearing loss. Earbuds are particularly dangerous because they fit directly next to the eardrum. The World Health Organization says that 1.1 billion teens and young adults worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss from unsafe use of audio devices. Set the maximum volume on audio devices below 60 percent and wear headphones for no more than an hour a day. Keeping music low on other devices is also adviseable.

3. Wear protective gear. Protective gear includes ear plugs and protective earphones. This gear should be worn whenever you expect to encounter loud noises, such as when you mow the lawn, go hunting or shooting, attend rock concerts, or visit construction sites.

4. Limit use of cotton swabs. Ear wax is beneficial to the ears and can stop dust and other particles from entering the ear. Furthermore, using a cotton swab can potentially cause damage to sensitive organs in the ear if they are inserted too far or too roughly, advises the hearing testing service Ear-Q.

5. Avoid loud noises. Steer clear of fireworks, noisy city centers, loud performances, and other situations if you do not have hearing protection.

Remember, hearing loss often doesn’t produce immediate symptoms or pain. However, over time, hearing loss can become noticeable. A proactive approach can help people avoid significant hearing loss as they age.

 


 

Gluten intolerance is a very real issue with measurable symptoms

Gluten is not for everyone. In fact, people who have celiac disease shouldn’t eat gluten at all. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the digestive process of the small intestine by launching an immune system attack against gluten, mistakenly damaging healthy cells lining the small intestine.

Even people who do not have celiac disease may find that consumption of gluten results in similar symptoms. These individuals may want to avoid gluten as well. Also known as non-celiac gluten intolerance or sensitivity, this condition is not currently well-defined within the medical community. The Celiac Disease Foundation says some people experience symptoms found in celiac disease, like foggy mind, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, bone or joint pain, or chronic fatigue when they have gluten in their diets – despite not testing positive for celiac disease.

In July 2016, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center published a study confirming that wheat exposure to those sensitive to wheat and gluten triggered a systemic immune reaction and intestinal cell damage. Researchers previously thought that a sensitivity to wheat or gluten would not result in cell damage. But research now confirms that even without a positive celiac disease diagnosis, people can experience symptoms that mimic those of celiac disease, even in terms of severity.

Doctors are not sure if gluten triggers the immune reaction in non-celiac cases, so more research is needed. That said, removing gluten and wheat products from one’s diet provides relief for many people.

According to Schär, a company that manufacturers gluten-free foods, anyone who experiences negative symptoms after eating foods that contain gluten should speak with a doctor. A doctor will order blood tests that will look for the presence of immunoglobulin E antibodies that are indicative of an autoimmune response to gluten. An endoscopy also may check for damage to the lining of the small intestines, as can a biopsy of the intestines. Other tests, such as a radioallergosorbent test, or RAST, or skin prick test can test for a wheat allergy to see if symptoms are stemming from that alone.

Treatment for gluten intolerance or celiac disease involves avoiding products that contain gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley.

A growing body of literature suggests that people who do not have celiac disease can still experience non-celiac gluten sensitivity and many of the same symptoms felt by those with the disease.

 


 

Make the most of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest dates back to 1810, when festivities commenced on October 12 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. While the Crown Prince and his bride have long since passed away, Oktoberfest celebrations continue, and the standard-bearing party in Munich is annually among the world’s most anticipated events.

Those who can’t make it to Germany this October can rest assured that there is likely an Oktoberfest celebration in close proximity to their homes. Making the most of these celebrations can help revelers feel as if they’re in Munich after all.

• Celebrate with a group. Oktoberfest celebrations are social gatherings where the notion of “the more, the merrier” certainly applies. Many Oktoberfest celebrations are held outdoors, where celebrants sit at communal picnic tables when they aren’t hoisting steins filled with German beer or dancing up a storm as live music plays.

Celebrating with a group is not just fun, but also a lot safer than partying alone. Some traditional German beers generally contain more alcohol than other beers – making intoxication occur more quickly. Groups can resolve to look out for one another to ensure no one overdoes it with regard to alcohol.

• Resolve to try new cuisine. While beer might garner the bulk of the attention at Oktoberfest celebrations, food is just as big a part of the festivities. Celebrants who want to get a true Oktoberfest experience outside of Munich can try dishes such as Weisswurst, a type of sausage that is typically made from minced veal and pork back bacon. Schweinshaxe, a roasted ham hock sometimes referred to as “pork knuckle,” is a popular Bavarian dish that can make any Oktoberfest celebration more authentic.

• Get up and dance. Even celebrants who are unlikely to be mistaken for Fred and Ginger anytime soon recognize the important role music plays in Oktoberfest celebrations. While some may mistake it for polka, the music played at Oktoberfest celebrations is actually German oompah. Those skittish about stepping in may want to wait until they (and their friends and family also in attendance) have finished a stein before taking to the dance floor.

• Get home safe. Arrange transportation home before attending an Oktoberfest celebration. Such celebrations tend to be rowdy, and the lively spirit of the festival can make it easy for revelers to lose track of how many steins they have hoisted throughout the day. To ensure everyone arrives home safely, revelers can assign a designated driver from their group or arrange for a taxi or ridesharing service to take them to and from the festival so no one feels the need to get behind the wheel.

Oktoberfest is annually one of the world’s biggest parties, but celebrants need not go all the way to Munich to enjoy a raucous celebration.

 


 

Learn How to Establish Pollinator Habitat

Tour of Pollinator Habitat Sites

Trees Forever and partners are “creating a buzz” this fall through a series of field days and tours teaching the public about the needs of pollinators and establishing high quality pollinator habitat.

Online registration:
http://www.treesforever.org/CreatingaBuzzBelmond

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (registration at 3:30)
2015 100th St., Belmond IA 50421

Saturday, October 26, 2019, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (registration at 2:30)
Walker Homestead Farm and Winery
3867 James Avenue Southwest, Iowa City

“It takes years to establish high quality pollinator habitat,” said Tree Forever Field Coordinator Emily Swihart. “If you plant it and forget about it, you’ll have a patch of weeds and invasive plants. We set this series up to show people what to expect every year of the process, so you can enjoy colorful and healthy pollinator habitat in a few years.”

“During each tour, we’ll show multiple plantings.” said Field Coordinator Jeff Jensen with Trees Forever. “The sites we’ve selected are a great representation of what a farmer, homeowner, or concerned citizen could expect with their own planting. We always like to have some time for native plant identification so this will be a chance to hone your skills looking at the wide variety of native plants, and a few weeds.”

For more information, contact Jeff Jensen at jjensen@treesforever.org or via phone at 515-320-6756.

 


 

Reduce cold-weather fire risk

Plenty of things heat up when the temperature drops, including the risk for fire hazards. Fireplaces, stoves, heating systems, candles, and even electric lights are used more often during the winter than any other time of year, so it makes sense that the risk of home fires increases when the mercury drops.

The U.S. Fire Administration says 905 people die in winter home fires each year. Cooking is the leading cause of all home fires and contributes to around $2 billion in property loss each year. Understanding potential risks and exercising caution can help homeowners protect themselves, their families and their homes from fire.

Cooking
Home heating fires peak between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., when many people are home preparing dinner. The following steps, courtesy of the American Red Cross, can improve safety in the kitchen and reduce the likelihood of a home fire.

• Never leave cooking food unattended, as it can take just seconds for fires to ignite.

• Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove or other appliances that generate heat.

• Clean regularly to prevent grease buildup.

• Make sure appliances are turned off before leaving the room or going to bed.

Heating
The National Fire Protection Association warns that heating is the second leading cause of home fires, deaths and injuries in the United States. The NFPA offers these safety guidelines.

• Install heating appliances according to manufacturers’ instructions or have a professional do the installation.

• Fuel-burning equipment needs to vent to the outside.

• Never use an oven to heat a home.

• Keep anything that can burn away from heating equipment, including portable space heaters.

• Clean and inspect heating appliances regularly.

• Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.

Electric
The National Safety Council estimates that between 600 and 1,000 people die each year from electrocution. Electricity also can contribute to home fires. The Energy Education Council offers these safety suggestions.

• Never force plugs into outlets.

• Check that cords are not frayed or cracked. Do not run cords under carpets or place them in high-traffic areas.

• Use extension cords only on a temporary basis.

• Make sure light bulbs are the proper wattage for fixtures.

• Install ground fault circuit interrupters in kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, and elsewhere, making sure to test them regularly.

• Check periodically for loose wall receptacles and loose wires. Listen for popping or sizzling sounds behind walls.

Home fires are no joke and can be prevented with simple safety checks.

 


 

5 ways to show grandparents and other seniors how much they’re appreciated

Grandparents and seniors can share wisdom and a lifetime of experience with the young people in their lives. Expressing gratitude for such lessons is a great way to show the seniors in your life, whether it’s a grandparent, mentor or family friend, how much they’re appreciated.

Some seniors live alone, while others may be living with their adult children and grandchildren, offering care and support to help make the household function.

Whether grandparents, aunts and uncles or older friends live close by or elsewhere, there are many ways for their loved ones to show them how much they’re appreciated.

1. Become pen pals. Seniors may have limited mobility or opportunities to get out of the house. Receiving mail is one way to connect with the outside world. Regularly send letters to a grandparent or other senior, sharing tales of daily life and key moments that will bring them joy. Chances are they’ll return the favor with a letter of their own.

2. Explore technology together. Younger generations can introduce seniors to available technology that can bring them closer. This may include digital assistants that enable them to share videos, tablets to send email or access social media, mobile phones for calling and texting, and anything else families can customize to their needs.

3. Offer companionship. Spending time with younger generations can motivate seniors to stay active and engaged. Have games and activities at the ready or simply provide a listening ear.

4. Shop and run errands. Help aging loved ones perform the tasks that they may not be able to tackle on their own. This can include picking up groceries or prescriptions or taking them to appointments. Simple work around the house, like doing laundry or light clean-up, also can be a big help.

5. Start a hobby together. Develop a hobby that seniors and young people can enjoy together. Watching classic movies, painting ceramics, going to sporting events, or gardening are just a few of the many hobbies that seniors can enjoy with their young loved ones.

There are many ways to bridge the generation gap and spend meaningful time with aging loved ones.

 


 

KEEP IOWA BEAUTIFUL ANNUAL PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

With Fall here it’s time to take a photo of your favorite place in Iowa and enter Keep Iowa Beautiful’s 10th Photography Contest aimed at raising awareness of Iowa’s rural and urban beauty. This photo contest offers both amateur and experienced photographers an opportunity to tell Iowa’s story in a fun, engaging way during your favorite season.

“This is a great way for Iowans to share what they admire about Iowa’s beauty,” said Kevin Techau, KIB Executive Director. “First place will receive $50, second place $40 and third $30. All three will receive a one-year subscription to Our Iowa magazine.”

The deadline is December 13, 2019 and entries must be submitted as high resolution JPEG electronically to bjackson@keepiowabeautiful.com. $5 entry fee, contest rules and payment can be made at https://www.keepiowabeautiful.com/photography-contest-entry/

Keep Iowa Beautiful empowers Iowans to bring cultural and economic vitality into communities through improvement and enhancement programs. By working directly with Iowa communities, corporations and private citizens, KIB is building new citizen pride in caring for Iowa. KIB wants to learn what resonates with Iowans based on the photographs they share through this photography contest. Photos and winner’s names will be posted on the KIB website, Facebook and featured in the KIB Newsletter.

About Keep Iowa Beautiful
Keep Iowa Beautiful was established in 2000 by Co-Founders Robert D. Ray and Donald F. Lamberti becoming the 23rd State Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. It is a 501c3 charitable organization working with Iowa citizens, neighborhoods and communities in improving the vitality and cultural health of the state of Iowa. KIB is building stronger communities to develop sustainable futures. For additional information, visit www.keepiowabeautiful.com.

 


 

Phase One of Eagle Point Park Environmental Restoration Plan Begins

Phase one of the environmental restoration planned at Eagle Point Park will begin this month. The project involves implementation of the park’s 2017 Environmental Restoration Management Plan to address the park’s recreational and natural spaces that suffer the effects of severe erosion, invasive vegetation, and degraded natural habitats on the rolling, rugged terrain.

Phase one of the park’s environmental restoration work involves soil quality restoration and conversion of turf to native vegetation. In combination, these green infrastructure best management practices provide an effective strategy for reducing overall runoff and erosion and improving water quality downstream in the watersheds of Bee Branch Creek and the Mississippi River. They also will provide new nature-based recreation opportunities for park visitors, create habitat for wildlife, and foster sustainability.

This phase of the project will involve about 67 acres of the park and may include some vegetation clearing, invasive species removal, scrub brush removal, and tree removal. Most park facilities will remain open to public use throughout the project. Work is scheduled for completion next fall.

Phase one of the plan will be completed by Applied Ecological Services of Dubuque using state and federal funds under the guidance of the City’s consulting team led by Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. All this environmental work must be done within the context of the park’s rich cultural history. State funding for the project is provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources from the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) and State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. Federal funding is provided by the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Eagle Point Park is a 164-acre community park that opened in 1909 on Dubuque’s northeast side. The park is owned by the City of Dubuque and managed by the park division of the City’s leisure services department. The park overlooks the Mississippi River, providing a spectacular view of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

 


 

Interesting facts about fall

Weather is often the first indicator that the seasons are changing. For many people across the globe, the hot days of summer will soon be giving way to the more crisp days of fall.

For those who live in regions where summer only subtly gives way to fall or is seemingly gone before the end of August, the 2019 autumnal equinox occurs on September 23. That marks the official beginning of fall, also known as autumn.

In fact, that the season the follows summer seemingly goes by two different names is just one of many interesting facts about fall.

• A season by any other name … Fall is the term most often used to reference the season succeeding summer in the United States. But the season is referred to as “autumn” in other parts of the world, including Great Britain. Fall was once even known as “harvest” because of the harvest moon, which appears close to the autumnal equinox.

• The colors of fall foliage are actually present year-round. Fall is known for its colorful foliage. But the pigments responsible for those colors are actually present year-round. According to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, green, yellow and orange pigments are present year-round. However, during spring and summer, the leaves serve as factories where many foods necessary to help the tree grow are manufactured. That process takes place in the leaf in cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color. This process ceases as hours of daylight decrease and temperatures drop. As a result, chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears and the vivid colors of fall foliage begin to appear.

• Squirrels have a (sophisticated) plan out there. Squirrels hiding food in autumn for the upcoming winter is a familiar sight. And squirrels are more organized than many people may know. Groundbreaking research released in 1991 found that, even when squirrels bury that stash of nuts closely to one another, they will each return to the precise location of their personal cache. Recent research also has shown that squirrels bury their stash based on certain traits, such as the type of nut being buried.

• Babies born in fall are more likely to see the century mark. Researchers at the University of Chicago studied more than 1,500 centenarians born in the United States between 1880 and 1895. They then compared birth and death information with those centenarians’ siblings and spouses so they could compare their early environment and genetic background and their adult environment. Their research found that most centenarians were born between September and November.

 


 

Avoid medication errors with these tips

Prescription medications are a necessity for many people. The American Academy of Family Physicians says that, each week, four out of five adults in the United States will use prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and/or various supplements. Approximately one-third of adults take five or more medications at the same time.

The potential for adverse drug events is elevated when people are taking multiple medications at one time. For example, mixing pills has the potential to cause serious injury or even death.

Doctors, patients and pharmacies must work together to ensure that medication is taken safely. One of the best ways to prevent errors with medications is for patients to take an active role in their health care management.

• Know your dose. Children are at an especially high risk for medication errors because they require different doses than adults, offers the Mayo Clinic. Adults of different weights who share medications can run into trouble as well. It is key to follow the dosing instructions, as even a minor error in regard to dosage can potentially cause a big problem.

• Follow up with your doctor. Certain medications can cause side effects that only can be noticed by lab testing, such as an impact to the liver. Doctors also may be under an obligation to follow up with patients taking psychological drugs to ensure the efficacy of treatment. Make sure you keep all follow-up appointments.

• Maintain a current list of meds. It is up to patients to share information with prescribing doctors regarding any and all products being taken to avoid harmful interactions. Using the same pharmacy for all prescriptions also is helpful.

• Be honest about height and weight. Medication labeling and package inserts typically use metric units to correlate dose to a person’s physical attributes. Individuals should know their information in metric measurements and be honest with themselves about what they weigh.

• Use medications correctly. It is important not to chew nonchewable pills or cut pills unless the pharmacist or doctor has said it is safe to do so. Accurate dosing also requires using the right spoon or syringe, not silverware. Store certain types of medications, such as eye drops and ear drops, separately so they’re not mistaken for one another.

These are just some of the ways to prevent medication errors. People can consult with their doctors and pharmacists for more assistance in staying safe.

 


 

Easy ways to clean up leaves

Autumn is marked by colorful foliage and plummeting temperatures. Once those leaves reach peak color, they fall from the branches and collect on lawns, necessitating cleanup projects. For homeowners with big yards, such a project can be tiring and time-consuming. However, there are ways to make leaf cleanup easier.

One of the easiest ways to clean up leaves is to reach for a lawn mower rather than a rake. The mower will cut leaves down to smaller sizes, creating an effective mulch that can add nutrients back into the lawn. Davey, a lawn and landscape solutions service, says that mowed leaves also can be collected in a mower bag and added to garden beds or compost piles.

For those who prefer manual raking, select a rake with tines that will not skewer the leaves in the process. Big rakes also can make faster work of gathering leaves into piles.

The home improvement resource The Family Handyman advocates for the use of a lawn sweeper. This is a manual device that has a rotating sweeping brush that gathers up lawn debris and leaves into an attached hopper bag. Like mowed leaves, the bag can be emptied into a compost pile or distributed where needed.

Raking leaves onto a large tarp is another option. Once it’s full, the tarp can be taken to the curb where many towns will collect the leaves seasonally. Otherwise, the tarp can be used as a funnel to put leaves into a gardening bag or another appropriate receptacle.

Leaf blowers remain a fast option for cleaning up yards, but they require electricity or gas and can be noisy. Still, they are a popular choice for large landscapes or when quick work needs to be made of leaf clean-up.

Leaves will fall in autumn, but luckily homeowners have various methods at their disposal to tame the mess.

 


 

How to stay calm and collected in traffic

Commuting long distances seems to be a fact of life for many professionals. The average American spends 50 minutes commuting to work, and the average worker in the United Kingdom spends roughly an hour, according to a study from the University of West England.

Researchers in England found that adding an additional 20 minutes of commuting per day has the same negative effect on job satisfaction as receiving a 19 percent pay cut. Commuters can sometimes control their commutes to prevent such dissatisfaction, but other times factors beyond their control may be adversely affecting commuters’ quality of life.

For example, researchers with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute determined that rush-hour commuters in the United States lose an average of 42 hours per year to traffic delays. On the nation’s 10 most gridlocked roads, that number doubles to 84 hours. That equates to three and a half days per year of sitting in traffic jams.

Spending time in traffic is no picnic, and it’s easy to get frazzled when doing so day in and day out. Following a few tips can help commuters keep their stress in check when traffic slows down.

• Leave plenty of time. Traffic can seem especially troublesome when you’re racing the clock to get somewhere on time. Feeling anxious about missing a meeting or arriving to work late only exacerbates commuting-related stress. Check traffic maps before heading out and leave ample time to get where you need to be.

• Keep audiobooks at the ready. Listening to an engaging story on the way to work can direct attention away from traffic. In fact, you may not mind traffic at all if you’re at a climactic point in the story.

• Cue up your favorite music playlists. Get lost in jams you love, as music can help soothe the stress of traffic.

• Explore alternate routes. In your spare time, figure out if there are less-traveled roads that can make a commute more predictable and enjoyable. While they may be slightly longer in mileage, moving along instead of being in stop-and-go traffic can be a relief.

• Smile even if you don’t feel like it. Psychology Today says that research suggests going through the motions of smiling may reduce the intensity of your body’s stress response, even while sitting in traffic.

• Take deep breaths. Practice mindful breathing exercises that can reduce tension.

Commuters contend with traffic jams every day, but there are various coping mechanisms that can relieve stress when stuck in gridlock.

 


 

Steps to take before leaving recyclables at the curb

Recycling will play a vital role in the future of the planet. As climate change continues to threaten the long-term health of the planet, the necessity to recycle and reuse only becomes more paramount.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, decomposing garbage, such as that which finds its way into landfills, generates methane. Methane is considerably more effective at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide and contributes heavily to climate change. By recycling items rather than discarding them, people can play an active and effective role at combatting climate change. In addition, recycling helps cut back on the release of harmful greenhouse gases that are produced during the manufacturing process.

Community recycling programs have been around for decades in many communities, and these programs are only as effective as the people who recycle. Learning how to treat common recyclables before depositing them into designated recycling bins can help people ensure their efforts are having the impact they intended.

• Rinse jars, bottles and cans. Items that are not rinsed before they’re placed in recycling cans run the risk of contaminating everything within. While each community program is different, recycling bins deemed contaminated may be redirected to landfills. Residential Waste Systems, a Connecticut-based trash and recycling removal firm, recommends rinsing all jars, bottles and cans that contain visible residue before depositing them in the recycling bin.

• Learn which items can be recycled. Contact your local recycling firm for a list of items that can and cannot be recycled. Many people unknowingly deposit items that cannot be recycled into their recycling bins, potentially contaminating their bins and rendering them more likely to end up in a landfill than a recycling center. By contacting your recycling center in advance, you can reduce the risk that all your hard recycling work will be for naught.

• Inspect paper products. If various paper products are accepted by your local recycling center, you must still inspect them before placing them in your recycling bin. For example, a pizza box may be recyclable, but likely isn’t if it’s covered in grease. Inspect each potentially recyclable paper product to make sure there’s nothing present that might lead to it being designated as contaminated.

Recycling is a simple step many people can take to promote the long-term health of the planet.

 


 

Exhibit explores the creative process of best-selling author and artist Arthur Geisert; Features new book set in Elkader, Iowa

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) will present two new exhibits this fall, highlighting the boundless imagination of celebrated children’s book author and artist Arthur Geisert and the paintings of artist Alec Egan.

Opening September 21, 2019 in the Falb Family Gallery on the museum’s second floor, Arthur Geisert: Tall and Not-So-Tall Tales will feature the original illustrations from Geisert’s latest work of fiction, “Pumpkin Island”, published by Enchanted Lion Books, along with illustrations from his 2013 book “Thunderstorm”.

The exhibit will bring the wondrous worlds of Geisert’s books to life with more than 60 hand-colored etchings – including one measuring more than 30 feet long- displayed alongside the artist’s drawings, videos, and hands-on activities for children and families. The exhibit continues through January 5, 2020.

Arthur Geisert is the author of more than two dozen books, three of which have been awarded The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award. Born in Texas and raised in Los Angeles, Geisert relocated to Bernard, Iowa in 2007 and today makes his home and studio in Elkader.

Through the generosity of several local families and the artist, DuMA acquired all of the artist’s prints, books and etching plates more than a decade ago-an archive that expands with each new publication.

The exhibit and related programs are sponsored by Dupaco Community Credit Union. Additional support comes from the James B. and Melita McDonough Foundation, Mosaic Lodge #125, and the Schoen Family Charitable Trust.

A variety of public programs and events are planned in conjunction with the exhibition; details about each event will be shared via the Museum’s Facebook and Instagram pages and at www.dbqart.com.

Alec Egan: The Living Room opened August 10, 2019 in the Kris Mozena McNamer Gallery. A reception for the exhibition is scheduled for Friday, September 6 from 5-8 pm in conjunction with the community-wide First Fridays series. The exhibit continues through October 20.

In addition, Egan will present a gallery talk on Saturday, September 7 at 1:30 pm. Admission to the talk is free.

California-based artist Alec Egan explores nostalgia and memory in his latest series of contemporary oil paintings. Motifs including books, flowers, architectural elements, and wallpaper designs-similar to those found in his grandparents’ home-repeat throughout the group of paintings in this exhibition.

Egan completed a Millwork Residency in Dubuque in 2015 and has participated in solo and group exhibits across the U.S. His work is represented in Los Angeles by Anat Ebgi Gallery.

The exhibition is sponsored by Trappist Caskets and Cottingham & Butler.

DuMA is located across from Washington Park in historic downtown Dubuque at 7th and Locust Streets. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 10:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M., Saturday & Sunday 1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. The museum is closed on Mondays. Daily admission rates are: $7 Adults, $6 seniors, and $3 College/University Students. The museum is free on Thursdays, and those 18 and younger receive free admission every day, thanks to Prudential Financial. Website: www.dbqart.com

 


 

The benefits of music instruction for young learners

Many children are introduced to music instruction at school. After being introduced to band, chorus and various instruments, students may be eager to explore music.

Young students are often introduced to the recorder or ukulele in the early grades and then given the opportunity to join primary bands as they move through elementary school and into middle school. Some children also may want to supplement school music lessons with private music tutors, who can provide more in-depth instruction.

Parents considering making a commitment to music instruction may find that kids benefit from being involved with music in many ways, some of which may be surprising.

• The New England Board of Higher Education says several studies show that consistent music education improves vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. Emerging evidence points to an area of the brain that controls both musical ability and language comprehension as being more closely related than previously thought.

• Music education may help young children learn words and how to pronounce them, as learning to play music enables them to process the many new sounds they hear from others.

• Researchers have discovered a strong relationship between participating in school arts and academic success as demonstrated by students’ grade point averages, according to the National Association for Music Education.

• The relationship between music and academic performance has been studied for decades. As far back as 1988, studies have been conducted about the benefits of music education. An analysis of data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 demonstrated a significant correlation between participation in school music groups and achievement in math and English. And a 1996 study published in Nature found first graders who participated in special music classes as part of an arts study program saw their reading skills and math proficiency increase dramatically.

• Introducing music lessons to young children can have profound effects on their social development. Music fosters greater trust and cooperation, as well as a sense of community and belonging.

• Another benefit of music education is it allows children to harness their creativity and express it in a healthy way.

• The music instruction company Music U says children with developmental disorders and mental health issues might be able to unlock their potential with music. Music therapy has been shown to affect significant change in children with autism-spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, attachment disorders, cerebral palsy, and more.

Music instruction both in and out of the classroom can be a benefit to young learners.

 


 

Q Sportsbook Now Open!

Place your bets at Dubuque’s first Sportsbook!

Q Sportsbook opened August 27. The Q Sportsbook is located in the newly renovated Q Sports Bar. The 4,200 square foot area features 47 TVs including a 165″ video wall so you won’t miss a second of the action. You won’t miss a game either with the NFL Sunday Ticket package, MLB Network and more!

Indulge in your favorite game day specials from the Q Sports Bar including your favorite sports bar staples, hot wings, burgers and pizzas. Q Sports Bar also offers a selection of 20 beers on tap. The new bar gives you access to high speed internet and USB charging ports.

The Q Sportsbook will be open 7 days a week for betting. Primary hours are: Monday-Friday from noon-10pm, Saturday from 10am-10pm and Sunday from 11am-10pm. Hours of operation are subject to change to accommodate patron needs and prime sporting events. Bets can also be placed 24/7 from one of our 12 sportsbetting kiosks available throughout the casino.

Q Sportsbook will accept wagers on college and professional sports.

Q Casino offers free valet parking, outstanding customer service and all of the gaming excitement you can handle!

See QCasinoAndHotel.com/sportsbook for rules and additional information

Q Casino is an entertainment and gaming complex located in Dubuque, Iowa. The casino is owned by the City of Dubuque, and operated by the non-profit Dubuque Racing Association, its license holder.

 


 

Why immunizations are important

Measles is not something that garnered much attention outside the medical community in recent decades. However, in 2019 a series of measles outbreaks put the spotlight back on this highly contagious infectious disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2019, 981 individual cases of measles had been confirmed in 26 states in the United States. That marked the greatest numbers of measles cases reported in the U.S. since 1992. And the U.S. is not the only country in North America facing a measles problem, as the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that, as of mid-May, 54 cases of measles had been reported in the country in 2019. Perhaps most surprising, measles was declared eliminated in 2001, leading many to wonder what’s behind the sudden outbreaks so long after the disease had seemingly vanished.

The CDC reports that the majority of people who got measles in 2019 were unvaccinated. While measles was declared eliminated nearly 20 years ago in the United States, the CDC notes it’s still common in many parts of the world. When unvaccinated travelers visit countries where measles is still common, they can bring the disease with them, ultimately allowing it to spread in communities where large groups of people are unvaccinated.

Regardless of why people choose to avoid vaccinations, it’s important to note some of the reasons why health organizations like the CDC and the World Health Organization urge all children and adults to be immunized.

• Immunizations save lives. The CDC notes that advancements in medical science have made it possible for humans to protect themselves against more diseases than ever before. Once-fatal diseases have now been eliminated thanks to safe and effective vaccines.

• Immunizations protect loved ones. Some people cannot receive certain immunizations due to allergies, illness, weakened immune systems, or other factors. Such individuals are vulnerable to disease, and especially vulnerable if their loved ones who can be vaccinated do not receive their recommended immunizations.

• Immunizations save money. The human toll of failing to be immunized can be fatal, and the financial toll can be heavy, too. Children with vaccine-preventable diseases may not be allowed to enroll in certain schools or daycare facilities, forcing parents to make decisions that can affect their ability to earn a living. In addition, medical bills that result from long-term illnesses can be substantial. The majority of health insurance plans cover vaccines for adults and children at little or no cost, and even uninsured families can receive free or inexpensive vaccines through certain government programs.

Immunizations take only a few seconds to receive but can have a positive effect that lasts a lifetime.

 


 

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