Save 3 lives in one day — donate blood September 22!

Voluntary Action Center will host a community blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross on September 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Spirit Lake Campus of Iowa Lakes Community College.

For more information, or to make an appointment to donate, contact Amy Peterson at 712-336-4444 or sign up online at redcrossblood.org.

“Hosting a blood drive coincides with Voluntary Action Center’s core values of giving back to the community,” said Amy Peterson, Executive Director.

Blood is routinely transfused to patients with cancer and other diseases, premature babies, organ transplant recipients, and trauma victims, according to the Red Cross.

The brief time it takes to donate can mean a lifetime to a patient with a serious medical condition. We urge eligible donors to join us in the selfless act of giving blood. Donors of all types are needed.

“This is one of our most impactful volunteer opportunities,” Peterson said. “Here, you can save three lives.” Peterson routinely gives double red cells and proudly carries her donor card.

According to the World Health Organization:
The need for blood is great. Every day in the U.S., approximately 41,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident/trauma victims. In 2011, nearly 21 million blood components were transfused. With an aging population and advances in medical treatments and procedures requiring blood transfusions, there is always a need for blood and blood components.

Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10 percent do so annually.

The Stanley brothers deliver a Realm of Caring.

Five Colorado brothers, Jon, Jordan, Joel, Jesse and Jared began breeding strains of the  cannabis sativa plant in 2009 to contain higher concentrations of CBD with lower concentrations of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis).

Their efforts gave rise to the Realm of Caring company. They’re not just breeders, growers, manufacturers or distributors — the Realm of Caring provides help with access and support for patients with intractable epilepsy, Dravet’s syndrome, and other serious conditions, as well as the parents of children who suffer with these ailments.

Many neurological illnesses are not successfully treated by pharmaceuticals and traditional medicine. Intractable seizures are so life-quality limiting and debilitating, patients become desperate for any relief.

Cannabidioil is often the answer to the problem of brain diseases and disorders. Charlotte’s Web cannabis oil is carefully cultivated,

lovingly produced under the best scientific conditions, and distributed to as many patients in need as possible.

Medical cannabis legal in Iowa — but not

iowa cannabis

This is the conflict. It’s a battle between patients with intractable disease, and in the case of children, their parents, and legislators who don’t want to be reckless.

We’ve told the story of so many patients in Iowa, and especially children who have intractable epilepsy and other conditions, and they’re at odds with legislators who sympathize with the conditions, or so they say, but they can’t find it in their conscience to make the legislation. But they cannot just say no in the face of their suffering constituents. So what to do?

Pass a bandaid solution. That is what the Iowa Medical Cannabis Act really is. According to Iowa Senator Bill Dotzler, what patients are finding is that they cannot find a catalyst for getting medical cannabis in their hands. The cannabis cards made possible by the passage of the Act have not made cannabidiol more accessible to them because right now no one in Iowa can grow the cannabis sativa plant, and no one can bring in marijuana products or hemp products to Iowa.

Hemp, as we reported last week, was legal and used for a variety of purposes. It was the major medicinal ingredient used in the U.S. before it was outlawed. Dr. Donald Abrams of Stanford University attempted to test cannabidiol for its effectiveness in countering the body wasting of patients with AIDS, but his research was blocked by governing authorities. Meanwhile there are patients who cannot wait.

When the brain has endured a number of seizures, brain cells are broken down and you cannot get them back, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

This is what Jennifer knows: the cannabis from CW Botanicals that Liam is taking — it’s helping him. He’s found relief from seizures. Harli from Fonda, Iowa — it’s helped her be self-determining in her own life. This is anecdotal evidence, as parents like Jennifer find a way, researchers suspect the evidence will grow into a collection of data.

The data will convince the people who need to be convinced the most — the legislators standing in the way of patients getting the relief they need.

The other element to this, of course, is big pharmaceutical money. Is the strong possibility that the pharmaceutical industry will lose money if cannabis is legalized a factor in the slowness to effective legislation?

Two medical cannabis experts in social media

The issue with medical cannabis is that the evidence of its effectiveness is anecdotal. This creates controversy in which lawmakers seem to put their fear of a patient getting high (nearly impossible with trace amounts of THC in medical strains) above relieving pain, seizures, tremors, mental illness, and other debilitating disorders.

Two international experts emerge from divergent corners to add to the base of data about the effects of medical marijuana on serious illnesses.

The first is Kyle Kushman. Kushman, a former editor of High Times Magazine is now host of The Grow Show and has spent the last two decades perfecting the cultivation of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use. His current focus is on making medical cannabis available to patients.

Screenshot 2015-07-19 22.10.04 Screenshot 2015-07-19 22.09.26

There were no mentions of Kushman on LinkedIn, but he does have a  profile.

On Google+, Kushman promotes news and videos about medical cannabis, including this one about the Cannabusiness summit.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/G8I9f0HbMCM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

On Facebook, Kushman’s presence is expanding as he also promotes his show.

https://www.facebook.com/KushmanVeganics

Screenshot 2015-07-19 22.07.56 Screenshot 2015-07-19 22.10.55 Screenshot 2015-07-19 22.11.01 Screenshot 2015-07-19 22.08.05

Follow up: Detroit Water Crisis

The Detroit Water Brigade is gearing up for the second summer of water shutoffs. After a respite, and despite the Detroit city council’s recommendation that the shutoffs cease, Mayor Duggan ordered the shutoffs to continue.

Despite the work of the Detroit Water Brigade  to stop the shutoffs and mitigate the effect on residences cut off, the contractors’ trucks are again out painting sidewalks blue to indicate this place is next.

Detroit is not alone in facing water shutoffs to its poorest residents. Lost in the #BlackLivesMatter riots after the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore was the news that Baltimore was set to begin shutting off water to 20,000 homes last month.

Detroit could see the landscape and conditions in the city rapidly deteriorate as 40% of the city’s homes face cut off of their water supply with the latest round of disconnect notices.

Despite the admonition in October from the United Nations that cutting people off from water is a human rights violation, city officials maintain that they are simply responding to the issue of unpaid bills.  However, Motor City Muckracker reported that the city was also cutting off water to homes with up to date payments. 

Social justice leaders and observers warn that the water shutoffs could lead to an unprecedented revolution in Detroit. Investigation shows that many of the residents living without water, or who are in danger of losing water service, are disabled, raising children, working, or have been employed recently before losing jobs. Compared with the staggering delinquent amounts for which the city has let commercial accounts slide by, the residential accounts will not make much more of a dent in the city’s financial disaster.

Detroit Water Crisis

Infographic by Amy Peterson (click to enlarge)

In its 92nd year, Ingham-Okoboji goes Beyond, offers pie

They piled the table with pies of strawberry-rhubarb, sour cream-raisin, blueberry, lemon cream, chocolate silk, cherry, three-berry, and a strawberry with cream that the baker said could usher in world peace. There were jars of handcrafted jam, Scandinavian lefse, and the nordic baked treat called Kringla. This was no bake sale of $5-10 per pan. Don Jensen, auctioneer, stepped to the front and bidding started at $50.00.

He drove up the price of one pie to $350, though most winners achieved the $100 range. All of the carbs and cash served to help fund Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp‘s Beyond campaign.

According to the American Camping Association,  fees to attend a week of overnight camp range from $150 per week to $1,500 per week or more. IOLBC fits at the affordable end with fees for an individual camper around $400, and generous scholarships available. Summer camp is a $41 billion dollar industry. Like many camps, IOLBC has in recent years added music camp, adventure camp, and other themed camps to its selection. For decades, the camp has offered family sessions, and with each succeeding year they grow in popularity.

In its 92nd continuous year of summer camp, with one location on West Lake Okoboji and the other on Ingham Lake, a half hour apart in Northwest Iowa, the camp leadership and participants knew they needed to do more than what they now could. Two main concerns centered on reaching those not already reached by the life-uplifting message of the camp.

The camp, according to executive director Rod Quanbeck, does a terrific job of serving the same people year after year. Everyone has a mountaintop-experience of a great time, but it falls short of reaching people who have never been to camp.

That’s where Beyond comes in. Already at $1.37 million of its $2 million dollar goal, the campaign will reduce debt, build infrastructure, and has hired a new leader, Kyle Fever, who will develop and oversee new efforts to reach beyond the current constituency of the camp.

“We have a chance to reach kids and families not now connected with a church,” Director of Programs Dan Antoine said. “That’s a powerful opportunity.”

With the first week of summer camp kicking off with Elderversity, the camp reaches toward its second century seeking to be more than camp — something Beyond.

Women in Science create tech for social justice

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conceived the Clean Energy Prize, the nation’s largest student business plan competition in its eighth year.

The twenty-one student teams of innovators who create technology and the business plans to distribute it, set up displays like a hopped up version of the school science fair.

The Clean Energy prize has a mission to educate the new generation of energy entrepreneurs. The creators have developed collaborative relationships between the academic community, industry, and government organizations, all working to meet the world’s energy challenges.

The goal is tangible results. The dozens of companies that have resulted from the prize have raised over $250 million in venture capital and government funding.

GOT MILK?

The majority of India’s milk spoils before it can be consumed. The team behind Vorpal invented a high-voltage power supply to directly kill bacteria without heating the liquid. This halves energy cost in pasteurization. The process inactivates bacteria instead of having to heat an entire volume of milk.

DRONING ON AND ON

Having a drone today is like having a car in 1910. When Reebeez founders Ankita and Prianka got tired of having their camera drone fly only ten minutes as they attempted to shoot a film, they went to the lab to create a micro engine to replace the heavy, expensive lithium polymer batteries. They applied thermoelectric and thermo-photovoltaic technology to create an engine that will run on butane or hydrogen.

AMERICAN IDOL FOR TECH

At each station, competitors displayed a code and a number voters could text to vote for the innovation they liked best. American Idol may be going off the air, but clean energy innovations may be going to Hollywood.

Shut down the reservations, end social deprivation to make native life better, Jeremiah says

Jeremiah Whitehall is convinced that reservations for natives never worked, and conditions there will only get worse.

According to statistics from Pine Ridge Reservation, where Jeremiah and Rico live, the home of the Oglala Sioux was the poorest county in the nation from 1980 to 2000, at which point it became the third poorest.

This is not because conditions at Pine Ridge became better, but because conditions at Rosebud and another reservation grew worse.

Unemployment is more common than employment, and as the reservations are at the mercy of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, there is little the community can do to better itself. Hence, within the middle of the United States is something like a yet-to-develop nation where overcrowded homes often do not have running water or power.

Few Americans have seen the real life of a native reservation, and it is this “social deprivation,” Jeremiah, a student of speech and English, that drives the poverty.

It was the federal government that solved the native problem by creating reservations on some  of the nation’s worst land. Similarly to what we can possibly do now about the enslavement of black people 150 years ago and more, the problem of the native tribes faces us now.

Jeremiah hopes native/white conflict does not erupt in our century the way it has between blacks and whites living in the same communities.

Turkish artist ex-patriate creates #blacklivesmatter ally work, black students protest.

OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) An audience member responds to the work of Serhat Tanyolacar, professor of art and art history at the University of Iowa. Tanyosacar displays his sculpture in starched fabric and tar screenprint which set off a 2014 firestorm at the university, resulting in the administration demanding he remove the public art installation. Tanyolacar, the Grant Wood fellow in printmaking, created the installation to show solidarity with black students and families of black citizens killed by police officers. Two students complained to administration that they were haunted by the image of a KKK robe screenprinted with news articles about mid-20th century lynchings, arsons and murders perpetuated by racists. Tanyolacar, a native of Turkey, spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.
OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) An audience member responds to the work of Serhat Tanyolacar, professor of art and art history at the University of Iowa. Tanyosacar displays his sculpture in starched fabric and tar screenprint which set off a 2014 firestorm at the university, resulting in the administration demanding he remove the public art installation. Tanyolacar, the Grant Wood fellow in printmaking, created the installation to show solidarity with black students and families of black citizens killed by police officers. Two students complained to administration that they were haunted by the image of a KKK robe screenprinted with news articles about mid-20th century lynchings, arsons and murders perpetuated by racists. Tanyolacar, a native of Turkey, spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.

Serhat Tanyolacar’s art has put him in fear for his life.  He traveled to his native Turkey earlier this year, donned a traditional kaftan printed with the likenesses of former Turkish leaders, and protested tyranny. In Turkey, he could have been imprisoned. “I was afraid of that,” he said, “for the impact it would have on my family,” which includes a ten-year-old son with autism. Tanyolacar was ready to renounce his Turkish citizenship, but the openness with which the Turkish audience received his work, caused him to reconsider, he said at an April 12 speaking engagement in Okoboji, Iowa.

OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) Serhat Tanyolacar, professor of art and art history at the University of Iowa displays his sculpture in starched fabric and tar screenprint which set off a 2014 firestorm at the university, resulting in the administration demanding he remove the public art installation. Tanyolacar, the Grant Wood fellow in printmaking, created the installation to show solidarity with black students and families of black citizens killed by police officers. Two students complained to administration that they were haunted by the image of a KKK robe screenprinted with news articles about mid-20th century lynchings, arsons and murders perpetuated by racists. Tanyolacar, a native of Turkey, spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.
OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) Serhat Tanyolacar, professor of art and art history at the University of Iowa displays his sculpture in starched fabric and tar screenprint which set off a 2014 firestorm at the university, resulting in the administration demanding he remove the public art installation. Tanyolacar, the Grant Wood fellow in printmaking, created the installation to show solidarity with black students and families of black citizens killed by police officers. Two students complained to administration that they were haunted by the image of a KKK robe screenprinted with news articles about mid-20th century lynchings, arsons and murders perpetuated by racists. Tanyolacar, a native of Turkey, spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.

The racial tensions of 2014, including the deaths of Michael Brown, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Tamir Rice, and John Crawford, gave life to the movement known as #BlackLivesMatter. While across the nation, protests have been multiracial, when Tanyolacar installed his work in a public area of the public University of Iowa, students cowered. Doctoral candidate in racial and gender studies, Kayla Wheeler, said Tanyolacar was a “white-passing POC,”   who had no business as a black ally.

OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) Serhat Tanyolacar, professor of art and art history at the University of Iowa displays his sculpture in starched fabric and tar screenprint which set off a 2014 firestorm at the university, resulting in the administration demanding he remove the public art installation. Tanyolacar, the Grant Wood fellow in printmaking, created the installation to show solidarity with black students and families of black citizens killed by police officers. Two students complained to administration that they were haunted by the image of a KKK robe screenprinted with news articles about mid-20th century lynchings, arsons and murders perpetuated by racists. Tanyolacar, a native of Turkey, spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.
OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) Serhat Tanyolacar, professor of art and art history at the University of Iowa displays his sculpture in starched fabric and tar screenprint which set off a 2014 firestorm at the university, resulting in the administration demanding he remove the public art installation. Tanyolacar, the Grant Wood fellow in printmaking, created the installation to show solidarity with black students and families of black citizens killed by police officers. Two students complained to administration that they were haunted by the image of a KKK robe screenprinted with news articles about mid-20th century lynchings, arsons and murders perpetuated by racists. Tanyolacar, a native of Turkey, spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.

Tanyolacar said his intent was to be a #blacklivesmatter ally. Having experienced discrimination and marginalization that caused him to leave Turkey at age 24, he felt an affinity for American students he teaches at the University.

OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) Serhat Tanyolacar, professor of art and art history at the University of Iowa, speaks to two audience members after a speaking engagement. Tanylocar, a native of Turkey, spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.
OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) Serhat Tanyolacar, professor of art and art history at the University of Iowa, speaks to two audience members after a speaking engagement. Tanylocar, a native of Turkey, spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.

Tanyolocar said the order for removal of the public art installation is a sign of free speech and expression eroding. The university president ordered him to remove the piece because students found it disturbing and offensive.

“One choice we have,” Tanyolocar said, “is to only do art that does not offend anyone.”

The other choice, he added, “is to keep dialogue open.” Tanyolocar said the university administration opened a time of dialogue the next day. No one from the administration attended. Some students attended, and a couple of faculty members.

Removing the installation was not enough for the students who said they were frightened into nightmares from the piece of printed fabric. They called for his immediate dismissal, for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to not only remove their Tweets in support of the artist and his work, but to formally retract the Tweet, and for sanctions against the person in the College who created the posts.

OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015)  The audience responds to a talk by Serhat Tanyolacar, a native of Turkey, who spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.
OKOBOJI, Iowa USA (April 12, 2015) The audience responds to a talk by Serhat Tanyolacar, a native of Turkey, who spoke to the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship April 12, 2015.

“One of the mandates of a college professor is to teach creative, rational thought to the next generation of world-changers,” Tanyolocar said. “This university determined that impact — the fact that students felt afraid — trumped freedom of speech, freedom of artistic expression. It is difficult to know what an art and art history teacher should model and teach students of art in our age.”

There’s no typical profile of a homeless person. Check here.

Todd Lowe does not fit the stereotype of a person who has been homeless.

He grew up in a typical middle class home with a teacher mom and banker dad. He married and he and his wife amassed an affluent life with a nice house and cars, and plenty of money for purchases, vacations and a social life.

“When I turned 40, everything fell apart,” Lowe said. “I bear a large responsibility for it. I lost everything — my marriage, my home, my finances, my job — I had nowhere to go, and no one to turn to. So many of my family and friends abandoned me, and I was taken in by strangers.”

Lowe found a job running a coffee shop in a mostly abandoned former mill town in North Carolina. Though the town was a textile powerhouse for over a century, when the industry left, nothing remained for the people there, and the town died.

For a while after he was out of his home, Lowe slept in his car. Then he became a Macgyver of homeless people, and called upon a get-it-done ethic learned as a Marine when he outfitted the basement of the coffee shop as a makeshift apartment.

 

Homeless Infographic 2

“I made a bathtub out of the utility sink. I went to the hardware store and bought a shower nozzle and long tube. I found a plastic bin at a farm store that would usually serve as a water trough for animals. I washed my clothes in a five gallon bucket — that was a huge change from the $2,000 washer that had cleaned my clothes a short time before this. But my clothes still ended up clean.”

There was an upside to poverty for Lowe. “When you have a few dollars, and you only need another dollar to afford something you want, and you get it, you’re thankful. When someone would bring me lunch, so I could save my tips from the coffee shop for another day, I was thankful. Affluence can take away your gratefulness when you think your good fortune is all on you.”

When asked what is one thing an individual can do if a homeless person is in his or her path, Lowe said, “Everyone who helped me had been in a similar situation before, or was going through a tough time. I wish others would realize it’s not difficult to find yourself in a dire situation and to reach out instead of judging.”

While Lowe did not have a criminal conviction on his record, it takes very little for a criminal conviction to bar a person who is homeless from having a roof. Housing organizations are beginning to consider mitigating circumstances in deciding to award housing assistance, or to extend a lease, instead of canceling it.

Lowe reported that while he had relatives whose homes could have provided  short-term shelter for him, as they had plenty of extra space, they declined.

While the mayor of San Francisco claimed victory as 8,000 people were housed with family members willing to take them in, homeless advocate and long time executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, Jennifer Friedenbach says it’s “ridiculous” that the program of purchasing bus tickets to reunite San Francisco’s homeless individuals with family in other locations is considered a cure for homelessness.

“Unless something new and aggressive is done, we’ll stay in a holding pattern,” Friedenbach said.

In the San Francisco neighborhoods most in need, the shelter is almost comically inadequate, Friedenbach said. “Two homeless shelters in our Mission neighborhood provide only 85 beds, and those are only for men.” There are no services for women and families in the area.

Budget cuts during the recession impacted the ability to serve the homeless, according to Friedenbach. “In a time the government should be doing more to serve the destitute, they actually do less,” she said.

END