The 2018 midterm election voting process in Iowa has revealed an issue with the absentee ballot voting process that the vast majority of voters were not aware of. According to Iowa law, mail-in absentee ballots are required to have a stamp-cancelling postmark the day before Election Day, but USPS no longer postmarks every individual piece of mail. 30+ absentee ballots were therefore declared invalid because the envelopes failed to display a postmark. This petition is asking the Iowa Judicial Branch, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, and Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines to honor the voting rights of these individuals and allow their vote to be counted.
The second annual Winneshiek Idea House is coming up in early 2019. If you are interested in pitching at Winneshiek Idea House we strongly encourage you to attend the following preparatory events (open to all local entrepreneurs!):
Idea Lab for Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, October 30 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Lingonberry: Bring your “big idea” and be ready to solicit confidential feedback from a supportive coaching team, including established entrepreneurs. This will help you know if you’re ready to pitch! (You may recognize this format from the Pro Action Café portion of the first Winneshiek Idea House.)
Please pass this along to anybody in your network who is looking for community support to get their business off the ground or to take it to the next level.
All the best,
Ellen (The Lingonberry), Kristin (Winneshiek Energy District), Liz (Decorah Now), Stephanie (WCDI), & Tabita (New Digital Cooperative)
Hello DecorahNow Enthusiasts!
We’re continually pleased at the number of people who report to us that they find just what they need on DecorahNow–housing, events, classes, rides, connections of all sorts. That’s why we made it and why we maintain it! So glad it’s working!
Have you made a donation to DecorahNow recently? Some folks donate once a year, others donate when they’ve posted something for sale or found a good deal on the site, and others might not have yet taken the opportunity to donate. However you do it, we really appreciate the vote of confidence you give us when you do.
We are so blessed to live in this area where we can know and trust each other, where the land is so beautiful, and where we can engage in caring for community together. Here’s to another year of joyful and diligent connection and service!
Liz Rog and Brad Crawford,
In 2017 we made history. And 2018 is a mission-critical year to get out the vote and support progress in Iowa & across the nation. Let’s make some noise! Join us for a celebration of the 1st Anniversary of the Women’s March at Mary Christopher Park in Decorah.
Meet at Mary Christopher Park at the East end of Water Street at 1:30 this Saturday, Jan. 20 to march to the courthouse for a short rally. Speeches, music, community, power! Everyone welcome!
One of the best things our town offers is coming up next weekend!
The Oneota Film Festival is one of just a small handful of FREE film festivals in the nation (and, attendees are encouraged to donate as they are able).
It shows new films, carefully chosen to inform, engage, and inspire–and OH MY HOW IT DOES.
You know the difference between watching a film on a screen in your home and watching it on a big screen with dozens or hundreds of other people? That’s what this Film Fest is for.
ALSO! Can you be volunteer helper for a 2-hour shift? It’s fun to volunteer. You stand at the entry to a film, make a short announcement, count heads, then watch the film. You can sign up here for one shift or for as many as you want. You choose when!
Also! This is the last year that OFF is experimenting with the “FREE/We hope you’ll donate” model, and so if ever there were a time to donate or join, this is it! You can do that here.
ONE more thing: In order to get in the door to any film, you need to register whether or not you’re giving money. (That’s how they keep track of numbers so that they can please sponsors that people are showing up and the fest is growing.) It’s smart to do that online before you come–then you can breeze right in.
Hope to see you at Decorah’s fine Film Fest next weekend!
The 2017 Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference is Saturday, March 11 at Sinsinawa Mound Center, Sinsinawa, Wis. This is the 23rd year for the conference, which annually draws 500 woodland landowners from Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.
According to Jesse Randall, Iowa State University Extension forester, “It has become one of the largest private woodland owner conferences in the nation. The conference regularly fills to capacity, so those interested in participating are encouraged to register early to secure their place and receive the ‘Early Bird’ registration discount.”
More than 20 presentations will cover a wide range of topics focusing on private woodland owners, including, tree planting options, marketing timber, management of forests for wildlife, maple syrup making, native woodland plants and how to grow them, farm pond management, using drones in forestry, making wooden long bows, invasive species controls, etc. Online registration is available at http://extension.illinois.edu/go/forestconference. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with state and federal forest managers, as well as to see the most recent advances in forestry technology at the vendors fair.
Additional conference information is available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry, including the conference talks, presenter bio’s and registration materials will be available for online registration and for mail in registration.
Randall encouraged woodland owners to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration Discount. The adult registration fee is $45 per person on or before Feb. 15 and $55 per person after that date. The fee includes a continental breakfast, buffet luncheon, refreshments, resource packet and handouts.
The deadline to receive paper registrations is February 27 and online registration accepted until March 3. Advance registration is required; no walk-in registrations on the day of the conference will be allowed. Participation is limited to 550; so early registration is encouraged and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
The conference is presented in partnership with the Cooperative Extension Services at Iowa State University and University of Illinois; the Illinois and Iowa Department of Natural Resources; the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University; and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Flood Damage Reporting and CleanUp
Emergency management and state officials are assessing damage, but recording and reporting of damage to private residence and businesses is the responsibility of the owner of that structure. Damage reports should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or reported by calling (563) 277-5123.
When recording and reporting damage be sure to include the following information:
- Name, address, and contact information
- Short description of damage incurred using the terms below
- Affected: minimal flooding, 3in or less of water in basement
- Minor: damage to functional components (i.e. furnace, water heater, HVAC, etc.), water on main level of residence, damage to a private well or septic system
- Major: structural damage including walls, roofs, floors, foundation, etc.
- Destroyed: total loss, unrepairable residence or business (i.e. Collapse of basement walls/foundation, walls or roof)
When disposing of items damaged due to flooding please bring all white goods (refrigerator, water heater, microwave, etc.) to the Winneshiek County Recycling Center. All soft goods (couches, carpet, rugs, etc.) to the dumpsters at the Winneshiek County Recycling Center or in the lower level Oneota Community Coop Parking Lot. Dumpsters will be at these locations through Sunday evening. The Winneshiek County Landfill (2000 140th Ave., Decorah) will be open Friday 7am to 6pm and Saturday 7am to 12noon. Please be sure to tarp and secure the load.
Ways to Help After the Northeast Iowa Floods
Northeast Iowa experienced a terrific and devastating flood. Many people incurred significant damage to their homes and belongings. Because the damage was due to flooding, many are finding these losses are not covered by their insurance. We love our community, and living in an area where people stand up and lend a hand to their neighbors is part of what makes it great. It can be overwhelming to know where to start and how to be helpful when there is so much needed. To that end, here is some information that might be useful.
Some people in affected areas are just now being able to get into their homes, a day and a half after the water came in. We’ve yet to find a place with a central listing of families in need assistance with cleaning. Several local churches have been assisting their member with clean up. If a centralized location for clean-up requests is publicized, I’ll post it in the comment section.
The City of Spillville is asking for volunteers to assist. If you have the time and ambition to help out, meet at the Spillville Mini Mart any time from 1-5 PM on Friday. The group will be starting to clean the historic Inwood Ballroom starting at noon Friday, as well as on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9am. Shop vacs welcome.
Spread the word: Governor Branstad made a 5-county disaster declaration today. The amount of money available to families is limited to $5,000 and is available only if household income is not more than 200% the federal poverty level. For more on that declaration and how to apply for funds, visit the DHS website. Eligible residents of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties have until October 10, 2016 to apply. If you know an affected family, please share this information, as application for funds is time-sensitive.
Chamber Flood Relief Program:
The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation to start a flood relief fund similar to the one they developed in 2008. Donations can be dropped off at the Chamber office, 507 W. Water St. Make checks payable to “NEICAC-Flood Fund” and write the county you wish to have the funds designated for in the memo line. Flood victims can fill out applications in September and October; a committee will review the applications and allocate funds. For more information, go to the Chamber’s dedicated page.
Local food banks:
Food, paper goods, toiletry items. They need all of it. Keep in mind, many food banks have the ability to buy items in bulk from the greater NEIA Food Bank for drastically reduced prices. So, you don’t need to make a special trip to the grocery store to buy items to donate. Donating the money instead can be just as – or maybe a little more – helpful. Contact information and locations for all area food pantries can be found on the Iowa Food and Fitness website.
Food and other Items:
NEICAC is in need of personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies to distribute to flood victims. NEICAC is located at 305 Montgomery St., Decorah. Clothing can be donated at the Spectrum Thrift Store, 607 Washington St., and the Depot Outlet, 510 Montgomery St.
Area food pantries are expecting an influx of usage and will accept donations, but they can make cash go much further than donated food items. First Lutheran Church is seeing a greater need for donations to their discretionary fund, which is used when clients need money for a hotel or supplies.
Do you have things hanging out in your house that are loved but unused? Tables, chairs, blankets, clothes, books, kids toys, unicorns – You know. The usual. – Donate them to one of the local thrift stores! Not big on thrifting and don’t know where these places are? Here is short list of local donation options: Depot Outlet in Decorah, Spectrum Thrift Store in Decorah, South Winn Community Thrift in Calmar, St. Patrick’s Thrift Store in Waukon.
***Do you have furniture to give, but not the transportation or ability to haul it? The Depot will come to get it! Call them at 563-382-2700 to arrange.***
There are several family-specific donation campaigns going on at GoFundMe.com. They can be found by going to the site and searching by town or family name. Also, there has been a local Facebook group started for those who want to donate (for free!) items to those in need. The Northeast Iowa Flood Relief Community Group can be found here. In addition, don’t forget to check out your local county public health and law enforcement pages.
Helping your neighbors is what makes NEIA (and you) awesome! Spread the word.
The Pollinator Party is Today! And you’re invited!
1-4 pm at the Community Prairie in Decorah
The Prairie is on the West Side, near Aase Haugen Home. Here’s a map to help get you there.
In honor of National Pollinator Week, Northeast Iowa Pollinator Partners invited you to a Pollinator Celebration Party at the Decorah Community Prairie on June 18th, from 1-4 p.m. The event is free and suitable for adults and children alike.
Attendees will enjoy guided pollinator exploration walks through the prairie; making bee houses, habitat seed balls and pollinator masks; playing a pollinator game; engaging in a scavenger hunt, pollinator face painting and a pollinator book arts project. The party will also include a tour of a display hive; learning stations and take-home materials for two citizen science projects: The Great Sunflower Project and Million Pollinator Gardens, as well as a silent auction and a “Gifts from the Pollinators” basket raffle. “Pollen Nation”, a CD of pollinator music created by local artists will be for sale. Any proceeds from the CD sales and the silent auction will be used to support pollinator conservation in Northeast Iowa.
Funding for the event is provided by Thrivent Financial and community donations. For more information on this and other upcoming events, call (563) 382-2451 or see the Northeast Iowa Pollinator Partners Facebook page.
Family Fun Event: Bees and Butterflies… As part of the Decorah Public Library “On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!!! Summer Reading Program, families are invited to come to the Decorah Community Prairie and Butterfly Garden to celebrate bees and butterflies!
Learn about these amazing pollinators while having fun on Wednesday, June 15th.
For additional information about this event please click here Bees and Butterflies.
Also be sure to check out the Pollinator Celebration Party, hosted by NE Iowa Pollinator Partners, happening Saturday, June 18th here Pollinator Party.
This week is the beginning of the Farmer’s Market Season in Winnneshiek County, and Saturday there are some special events to add to the fun!
From 8:00am to noon, you can take in a variety of special events. 9:30 might be an especially great time to come!
The local group ‘Break Free from Fossil Fuels” will feature arts and gadgets, including the ‘Climate Ribbon Project’, where participants write on a ribbon what they don’t want to lose to climate change. They will also feature a number of solar ovens and other fossil fuel-free gadgets and trinkets.
From 10am-12pm, they will host an ‘Electric Car Show’ along Claiborne Dr near City Hall. Visit with electric vehicle owners, and learn more about how our community members are Breaking Free with their vehicles!
Break Free from Fossil Fuels is a global initiative, made possible by 350.org, that inspires communities throughout the world to pressure their leaders to break ties with the fossil fuel industry, and encourages communities to make strides towards a 100% renewable energy future. Find more information at Break Free Decorah.