Pet Wellness and patient health go hand in hand at The Project of the Quad Cities

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QUAD CITIES — The pandemic has reminded us that having a pet can be important for one’s mental and physical health. It has also revealed that the financial burden of pet ownership is harder for many. The Project of the Quad Cities is tackling this challenge with a fundraising campaign for its Pet Wellness Program. This nonprofit organization, which advocates for health equity and provides health services to people living with HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases, aims to help more of its clients consider adopting a pet by helping with the…

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Author and comic artist Huda Fahmy confronts Islamophobia with humor, wit

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Life in America can be challenging when you wear a hijab. Huda Fahmy shares her experiences as an obviously Muslim woman in America with humor and wit in her book “Yes, I’m Hot in This.” This comic collection of her experiences reveals the Islamophobia and ignorance that Muslim-Americans have to deal with. One recurring theme in Fahmy’s book is dealing with people who react with instant negativity and hatred when they see a hijab. Her comics show her responding with poise and witty comebacks, but Fahmy said that it’s always…

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Spacious new Cedar Rapids home for ReAlive Metaphysical following derecho damage

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A new home for ReAlive Metaphysical means more space inside and outside for a safer shopping experience, says owner Korrina Dawson. The longtime metaphysical store now has 2,300 square feet and is part of a storefront parking lot with more than 20 spaces. ReAlive was forced to relocate when the August derecho destroyed the roof of its Marion location. Its new location on Cedar Rapids’ southwest side is pulling strong business, Dawson says. Before relocating, ReAlive had to close for about six weeks while it figured out…

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Leash on Life steps up support during coronavirus crisis

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IOWA CITY and NORTH LIBERTY — Leash on Life has given back to its communities for 15 years through donations to animal shelters throughout Johnson County. But when the coronavirus crisis hit, it was a “whole new beast,” says owner Laurie Smith. So Leash on Life stepped up its volunteer efforts: it began donating and transporting pet food to not just animal shelters, but also human food pantries, throughout Johnson County. Customers began volunteering to buy bags of pet food for those in need, and have been responsible for the…

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Our ‘box full of darkness’ reminds us that after destruction comes rebirth

In the summer of 2018, I trained as a death midwife/doula and home funeral guide. In July 2019, a few months after my cat Henry died and I accompanied him through the process, I began working at a crematory for pets. I never would have thought of this profession for myself. But it has become clear, this is the career I am perhaps most suited for. Death can be sad and devastating, but it has taught me many things. Death can involve pain, suffering, violence and sorrow so profound it…

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Poetry: Mount Pleasant activist ponders true meaning of respect

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“Often, people try to control discussion through a single word. It sounds logical, until we take a deeper look.” Bob Mueller wrote his poem, “Respect,” to challenge a word oft-repeated, and sometimes exploited. Bob helped found the new Mount Pleasant PFLAG chapter and is active in Iowa Welcomes its Immigrant Neighbors (WINS). He retired to Mount Pleasant, just east of Iowa City, from Chicago’s surburbs, where he lived for more than 26 years with his late partner, Todd. “Respect” by Bob Mueller Respect can come in many forms. And in…

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Coralville mom captures the emotion of her teen’s gender transition with “He”

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“Basically, I am a gay mom who is also raising a 13-year-old trans guy. Being the parent of a trans kid is a unique experience, but seeing your child bloom into exactly the person they were meant to be is one of the most rewarding things any parent can witness. There are so many highs and lows, and it’s a massive learning curve. But I wouldn’t trade my guy for anyone.  “A lot of people have questions about parenting a trans kid and have a hard time imagining what they…

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Electoral College must go, but what should take its place?

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Soon, we’ll be seeing a lot of posts and articles about getting rid of the Electoral College. We’ll hear a lot about the idea of “one (hu)man, one vote,”  and proposals to use the national popular vote to determine the president.  We’ll hear people point to examples when the Electoral College result differed from the national vote (Trump/Clinton 2016), or to Wyoming’s three electoral votes, as justification for dismantling the Electoral College. The “one human, one vote” solution is popular, but it has many problems. The first is an assumption…

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Thrift Bandit is eastern Iowa’s socially responsible outlaw of recycled fashion

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When they realized they were both wearing “polyester grandpa pants” and cardigan sweaters, Michael and Stef Duncan knew they were destined for each other.  They didn’t realize those grandpa pants would also inspire a business they would co-run. Thrift Bandit is the online vintage venture of Michael (from Burlington in southeast Iowa) and Stef (from Jerico in northeast Iowa), who describe themselves as “nerds running this out of our basement.” Launched in the summer of 2019, Thrift Bandit seeks to provide an alternative to first-hand, mass-produced disposable clothing — and…

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