NEW: Share the joy of books, reading in “Off the Shelf”

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Welcome to our new book review feature, “Off the Shelf.” Open to any book reader who wants to share your thoughts on how you’re affected by what you read, Off the Shelf is also led by decades-long voracious reader and personal reading activist Cathy Chavez, who will provide a monthly review. Take a look at Chavez’s first review, on an award-winning book from July 2019. BOOK: “The Nickel Boys” AUTHOR: Colson Whitehead ABOUT THE BOOK: Historical and literary fiction of 213 pages, released in July 2019 RATING: 5 Stars REVIEWED…

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“Starting With You:” your proactive journey to compassionate self-investment (NEW COLUMN)

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My sister used to tell me I was “weird.” She’d make fun of me, and I’d go to our mom, in search of a solution. “Stop being so sensitive,” she’d respond. This would have been a perfect opportunity for my parents to teach me conflict resolution and communication skills, but that’s not what happened. My parents didn’t have their own skills of emotional regulation, so they weren’t capable of teaching those skills to me. In my family, good communication skills and emotional literacy were hard to come by. My parents…

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“Tell me if I’m missing something:” minimum wage a hidden boon for corporate interests (COLUMN)

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Increasing minimum wage won’t help workers. But it will increase prices, especially for items that those very workers consume. For those people making minimum wage, their real costs of living will stay about the same. But when their salary doubles because of minimum wage, so will the cost of everything they consume. Consider my straightforward reasoning, using the example of a fast food worker making a cheeseburger. A cheeseburger made by someone earning $15 an hour costs more than a cheeseburger made by someone earning $7.25 an hour. The only…

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REMINISCENCE: An I.C. Kings Photo Gallery, courtesy of Hugh Jindapants

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Amanda Green (aka Hugh Jindapants) helped co-found the I.C. Kings of Iowa City 10 years ago. Here, their decade of performing as Jindapants — a crass, showy, sneering display of toxic masculinity — is captured along with several highlight group shots of the I.C. Kings. Enjoy this stroll through the memories — then check out Green’s tribute to the groundbreaking drag king troupe, where they reminisced, shared some joy and pain, and encouraged fellow drag performers to use their voice to support social justice in the way their character and…

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The mind behind drag king Hugh Jindapants on the I.C. Kings’ legacy of gender-bending service (GUEST COLUMN)

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It’s the end of June — but something feels, off. This Pride month is different, and many of the spaces — physical, emotional, spiritual — have been drastically altered.  We’ve felt the loss of live performances and underground glimpses of poignant art.  Instead, we’ve found a grieving for the face-to-face conversations yelled across a loud, dark room thumping with bass … and this looming sense of unarticulated loss, or of being lost.  It’s weird to even be a person right now.  I’ve forgotten how to be comfortable chatting in groups,…

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Quad Cities Community Happenings (NEW: Long Live Community!)

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WHAT: Michelle Nixon Memorial Scholarship Brunch WHERE: Mary’s on 2nd, Davenport, IA WHEN: June 5, 2021 WHO: Community members, plus friends and family members of Michelle Nixon, honoring her for her community service as a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities and Quad Cities Pride Festivals. The event raised more than $5,000. PHOTOS BY: The Real Mainstream Team WHAT: OUTDOOR SERVICE AT METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH OF THE QUAD CITIES WHERE: Davenport, IA WHEN: Late April, 2021 WHO: Members of MCC of the QC, which is Iowa’s…

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