Crystal healing therapy, in person

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If you’re looking to “let go” or have a feeling of meditative serenity, the crystal healing bed I experienced this month is not the way to go.     But if you’re seeking to bridge gaps of mind, body and soul, I strongly recommend the crystal healing bed offered by ReAlive Metaphysical and Repurposing in Marion.      I had the privilege of personally experiencing the bed thanks to an invitation from owner Korrina Dawson, who obtained the bed about a month ago and believes it is the only functioning…

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Slam poetry: spoken word under pressure

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At the risk of coming across as that obnoxious English lit instructor, or a dinner party show-off, or your annoying know-it-all friend, I’m writing this month about the difference between spoken word and slam poetry.     Spoken word is an art form that started ages ago and has changed throughout the decades. Its primary goal has mostly stayed the same: connect with the audience through your voice and storytelling.     Almost anything fits under this broad umbrella.  This means spoken word artists have the right to tell their…

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Sports league seeks support

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    A sand volleyball tournament July 14, and a joint softball tournament with the Des Moines LGBTQ league in August, are the latest ventures for the Eastern Iowa Lambda Softball Association.    League founder Jose Maldonado is seeking at least 10 teams (six to seven players each) to join the volleyball tournament at Dovetail Recreation Area in Coralville and help raise money for the league, which now has more than 50 regular players who participate in softball, kickball and indoor volleyball.     Each team would play at least…

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Fields of Yogis expands offerings for fest that begins Friday

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Fields of Yogis is aiming to reach some key goals this coming year — all focused on making yoga more accessible to all of Iowa. “We want to have an accepting, diverse, all-encompassing festival,” says founder Ally Thompson. The Cedar Rapids yoga festival, happening Aug. 23-25, aims to attract more people new to yoga and create a sense of community around year-round wellness. The festival aims to reach farther throughout the state. And, it seeks to communicate the overall benefits of yoga, not just its physical benefits . “It’s not…

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CBD oil and cannabis in Iowa: the basics

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With laws about cannabis and CBD changing fast in Iowa, in nearby states and at the federal level, it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with what’s legal and what’s not, truth and fiction surrounding CBD and cannabis, and what to expect coming up. We’ve researched the situation in Iowa — largely with the help of Kymm Loeffler, Iowa’s leader in CBD oil activism along with her husband Pat, for some guiding information on this complicated topic. Kymm and Pat Loeffler travel throughout Iowa and to conventions nationwide offering…

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Opinions from Readers

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Re. “Being Black in ‘Progressive’ Iowa City” (Latisha McDaniel Grife, December 2018) Hi, I moved out of Iowa to Western Washington a few years ago, but want to share an experience I had out your way. I went to college in Mt. Vernon in the late 1990s. Going to be up front, I am white. However, our college had a club, at the time they called it BACO (Black American College Organisation.) The club’s name was changed since I graduated. I am not sure what it is now. A few…

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Blocking the wrong people: back in Facebook jail

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In March, Facebook announced a new ban on white nationalist, white separatist, and white supremacist content. For many, this seemed like a long overdue policy change. Others said they would believe it when they see it. For me, this policy fails to address the harmful and hateful things on social media that do not meet the criteria of “white nationalist” or “white supremacist”. For example, even Facebook admits this new policy wouldn’t touch holocaust deniers. All the anti-immigrant, anti-muslim, antisemitic, pro-Trump garbage is here to stay. Also, how would this…

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Team Indigenous educates through roller derby

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The inclusive, empowering sport of roller derby is becoming a vehicle for indigenous women to speak out and make a difference. The nationwide Team Indigenous Rising Roller Derby, originally formed in 2018, announced its new team in April. Team Indigenous includes 25 people players from throughout North America who descend from indigenous cultures worldwide. Players right now hail from not only Iowa City, but also Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Alabama; Calgary and Edmonton in Canada; and British Columbia.  America’s Navajo, Odawa and Dene people; New Zealand’s Maori people; and…

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No to animals as entertainment, say protestors

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Animal rights activist Lynn Gallagher and a small group of eastern Iowa residents continue to make a difference on behalf of animals in captivity, battling both the Johnson County Rodeo and several circuses that take place in Cedar Rapids. More specifically, Lynn Gallagher is opposed to some key practices at these “animals as entertainment” traditions: Calf roping, especially at youth rodeos Elephant riding – a practice that is supposed to be banned statewide but that some county fairs continued. They included the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport, which just ended…

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AIDS documentary recalls heartbreaking activism

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Early on in the documentary “How to Survive a Plague,” activist Larry Kramer is shown giving a motivating speech to a group of young New Yorkers. He asks half of the large audience to stand up, then announces, “All of you are going to be dead in six months. Now what are we going to do about that?”    I barely remember the first Bush presidency that started in 1990. But I do remember, as a very young girl, learning about a terrifying disease with no cure.    I remember being way…

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