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July 2020

June 2020

Fire Department to Turn on Fire Hydrants for Water Play

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Cedar RapidsThe Cedar Rapids Fire Department will turn on fire hydrants for water play at Rollin’ Recmobile stops at Cherry Hill, Delaney and Bever Parks. The Fire Department will turn the water on for a period of one to two hours at each stop when the temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and there is no severe weather in the area. Parks and Recreation Department staff will ensure that social distancing guidelines are followed. These parks were selected because they do not have splash pads. The schedule is as follows:

Cherry Hill Park - west side of the swimming pool


June 30 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Remaining Tuesdays through August 11 from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Delaney Park - near the water tower


July 1 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Remaining Wednesdays through August 12 from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Bever Park – at the pool drive


July 3 through August 14 from 9:30-10:30 a.m.             

Sign up to receive weather related event updates and Rollin’ Rec program changes at   

City of Cedar Rapids Facility Closures Extended

Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The City of Cedar Rapids is extending current building closures to the public until July 20, 2020.

Closed facilities include:

  • City Hall (101 1st St SE)
  • City Services Center (500 15th Avenue SW)
  • Cedar Rapids Water Administration (1111 Shaver Road NE)
  • Central Fire Station (713 1st Ave SE)
  • Animal Care and Control (7421 Washington View Parkway SW)
  • Cedar Rapids Police Station (505 1st St SW)
  • NW Recreation Center (1340 11th St NW)
  • Downtown Library (450 5th Ave SE)
  • Ladd Library (3750 Williams Blvd. SW)

Services to the public are still operational and available either online or via phone or email. City officials continue to evaluate safety and public service needs, and plan to implement a phased approach to reopening.

Departments are making efforts to ensure minimal disruption to public services during this time. A drop-box is available outside the City Services Center front lobby doors for those dropping off permits, payment, or other paperwork that would normally be dropped off in person at the front counter.  A drop-box is also available at the front of City Hall.

Please visit for the most updated information on City schedule modifications and closures.

Police Respond to Shots Fired - Iowa City

IOWA CITY -- On June 30, 2020 at approximately 2:49 a.m., Iowa City Police responded to a report of shots fired at 2219 Taylor Dr. Upon arrival, officers located multiple items of evidence indicating several shots were fired in and around a residence.  One victim was located with minor injuries from the incident.

This incident is being actively investigated by the Iowa City Police Department and any residents with information about this shooting are asked to contact the Iowa City Police Department. No additional information will be released at this time.  In addition, anyone in that area with security cameras are asked to review their recordings and contact Iowa City Police at 319-356-5276 with any potential footage or information.

Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering up to a $1000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest of this suspect. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS (8477). All calls are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed.  Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.

The Iowa City Police Department was assisted by the University of Iowa DPS K-9 unit with this incident.

Traffic Alert - Dodge Street

IOWA CITY -- Iowa CityWeather permitting, beginning on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, Dodge Street will be reduced to one lane of traffic between Washington Street and College Street to accommodate installation of a new gas main.  Work will be occurring during daylight hours only.  It is anticipated that normal traffic will resume by the end of the day on Thursday, July 2nd.

Motorists are to take note of this work and allow extra travel time as delays may occur. As always, caution should be exercised when driving through all construction areas.

For updated information on road construction in Iowa City, visit

Iowa City planters filled with ingredients to make salsa

The Parks and Recreation Department has installed salsa ingredients in planters throughout the City of Iowa City.

This follows multiple years of populating planters throughout our community with edible ingredients that any community member can use. Previous years included plants for tea and plants for salads.

This year's salsa plants include a bevy of spicy and tasty ingredients, including:

  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Hungarian yellow wax peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Tomatillos 

Salsa Planters

Cedar Rapids 2019 Water Quality Report Available

Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Curious about drinking water quality? The City of Cedar Rapids provides a comprehensive look at the past year’s drinking water quality through the annual publication of the Water Quality Report. The latest report features the history of water service in the City of Cedar Rapids.

The City sent the report to residents and businesses in the May issue of the Our CR magazine. Customers can also find out more about City water quality by:

The Cedar Rapids Water Division is committed to protecting the City’s drinking water quality. The division continuously monitors source water quality and maintains high standards for its water treatment process.

Video Update: COVID-19 Cases, Firework Fine, and more

Iowa City Update is a weekly video featuring City of Iowa City projects, programs and events. Topics this week include a spike of COVID-19 cases in Johnson County, potential fines for those setting off fireworks in Iowa City, and much more. Click the image below to watch Iowa City Update.

Iowa City Update

COVID- 19 cases on the rise 

With a recent uptick in new positive cases of COVID-19 here in Johnson County, community leaders are urging people to remain vigilant and following precautionary measures. 

Iowa City Farmers Market retains online format

Due to the spike in cases, the Farmers Market no longer plans to offer an in-person market during the 2020 season. Instead, we will continue to offer an online ordering system and contact-free pickup service.

Party in the Park put on hold

The Parks and Recreation Department is suspending its Party in the Park events until further notice.

Iowa City Jazz Festival goes virtual

Summer of the Arts is keeping the Jazz Festival going during the pandemic by creating a virtual event that allows you to watch performances from the comfort of your home.

Avoid fireworks fines

The use of fireworks inside City limits is prohibited, and violators will face a minimum $250 fine. 

Independence Day closings at the City

Learn what City departments and services will be closed in observance of Independence Day.

Iowa City Update - Your source for Iowa City news and information.

Two Robberies, Two Arrests Sunday Morning

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Cedar Rapids police officers made two arrests in two separate robbery incidents that occurred within one hour of each other on Sunday morning, June 28.

The first incident was reported at approximately 6:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 350 1st Avenue NE. A suspect forced entry into the employee entrance of the hotel while displaying what appeared to be a handgun.  The suspect, identified as Juvernal Habyarimana, DOB/01-01-1979, age 41, said he wanted the manager.  An employee was able to contact police and officers arrived on scene and took the suspect into custody.  He was arrested for Robbery-1st Degree and Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine.  No injuries were reported.  The weapon was determined to be a replica firearm.

The second incident occurred around 7:22 a.m. when a 45-year old female reported that a suspect displayed a box cutter while she was stopped at a red light near 13th Street and 1st Avenue East.  The suspect opened a car door and entered the victim’s vehicle.  The suspect then made the victim drive her vehicle to the FasFuel at 1430 1st Avenue SE.  The victim, who had cash stolen, was able to safely escape and notify police.  Police officers arrived on scene and located the suspect, Shevonald Lee Gibbs, DOB/10-23-1987, age 32.  He was arrested for Robbery-1st Degree.  The victim was not injured. 

Disclaimer:  Any arrest information included above is based on the legal conclusion that, as with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan perpetuates racism

By Mike Thayer

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." ~ Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff for Barack Obama (2009-2010), former mayor of Chicago (2011-2019).

That's a liberal thing to do and it's the very thing Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan is attempting to do with his latest line of B.S. on his blog, Sullivan's Salvos:

*DID YOU KNOW?  There were about 750,000 slaves in the US as of the writing of the Constitution – 18% of the US population. Southern states, concerned with losing political power, created the Electoral College to ensure they maintained power without allowing slaves to vote. The Electoral College remains with us today.

There's SO much wrong with Sullivan's statement!

  1. The premise:  What Sullivan wrote is nothing short of a blatant attempt to perpetuate racism, he's not letting the current crisis of race relations and protest go to waste!  Under the guise of 'educating' readers in attacking the Electoral College, Sullivan is fanning the flames of ignorance.
  2. Sullivan lies and inflates numbers:  The approximate number of slaves in the U.S. as of the writing of the U.S. Constitution was 500,000, not the 750,000 Sullivan falsely threw out there for readers to consume.  But this is what liberal-minded people do, exaggerate the reality because the truth won't suffice. Note that Sullivan, as he usually does, fails to provide a source for his number. 
  3. Flat out manipulation/distortion/re-write of historySouthern states, concerned with losing political power, created the Electoral College to ensure they maintained power without allowing slaves to vote. Here's some REAL history that Sullivan would rather not have you know if you didn't already:

    Only the Southern states had large numbers of slaves. Counting them as part of the population would greatly increase the South’s political power, but it would also mean paying higher taxes. This was a price the Southern states were willing to pay. They argued in favor of counting slaves. Northern states disagreed. The delegates compromised. Each slave would count as three-fifths of a person.

    Following this compromise, another controversy erupted: What should be done about the slave trade, the importing of new slaves into the United States? Ten states had already outlawed it. Many delegates heatedly denounced it. But the three states that allowed it — Georgia and the two Carolinas — threatened to leave the convention if the trade were banned. A special committee worked out another compromise: Congress would have the power to ban the slave trade, but not until 1800. The convention voted to extend the date to 1808.  Source:

  4. Sullivan needs a bad guy to push an agenda:  Look how he implies that the eeeeevvvviiiiilllll southern states created the Electoral College.  And again, note the lack of proper source and reference by Sullivan to support his (cough) statement.  Liberal-minded folks hate the Electoral College, they want a popular vote instead.  Think Al Gore and Hillary Clinton (shudder).  But the Framers were far smarter than people like Rod Sullivan, who is manipulating the current circumstances of protest, destruction and crime, to push the liberal agenda of getting rid of the Electoral College.  He is perpetuating racism, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." ~ Rahm Emanuel.   Here's some more history, debunking Sullivan's nonsense about the creation of the Electoral College, who created it and why: 

    Why Was The Electoral College Method Chosen?

    The electoral college synthesized two important philosophies established in the Constitution: (1) the maintenance of a republican, as opposed to a democratic, form of government (the explicit constitutional provisions on this issue, as well as the specific declarations of the Founders, will be examined later in this paper); and (2) the balancing of power between the smaller and the larger States and between the various diverse regions of the nation (this second point will be examined first).

    When establishing our federal government, smaller States like Rhode Island had feared they would have no voice, and therefore no protection, against the more populous States like New York or Massachusetts. Similarly, the sparsely populated agricultural regions feared an inability to protect their interests against the fishing and shipping industries dominant in the more populous coastal States. These concerns on how to preserve individual State voices and diverse regional interests caused the framers to establish a bi-cameral rather than a uni-cameral legislative system.  Source: Electoral College, Preserve or Abolish?

  5. Sullivan implies The Electoral College is a tool of racismThe Electoral College remains with us today.  This is perhaps what is most infuriating about Sullivan's statement.   He wants you to believe the Electoral College is based in evil and should be abolished.  Sullivan is perpetuating racism and does so with lies, distortions and manipulation.  The Electoral College is still with us today because it works, it represents votes, not race.  It wasn't a creation of the south, it was a creation of compromise at the Constitutional Convention, it was a choice arrived at after three other proposals to elect a president were debated and dismissed.  Here is some more history and analysis Sullivan doesn't want you to read: 

    While critics assert that the electoral college discourages minority participation. Curtis Gans, of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, explains why this assertion is inaccurate:

    The success of American democracy has rested, in part, on achieving a balance between the will and desires of the majority of Americans and recognizing the rights and needs of various minorities. The electoral college serves to protect the latter in national politics. To take the most obvious example, the number of farmers in the Unites States has dwindled so precipitously that nationally they are no longer a serious numerical factor in electoral outcomes—despite the fact that most of the food we have on our tables is due to their individual and collective effort. In a system of direct elections, their concerns could easily be ignored. But because their votes are critical to winning electoral votes in several mid-western and western States, their needs must be addressed, their views must be solicited, and their allegiances must be competed for. The needs and aspirations of America’s African-American population could easily be ignored in a direct election. They comprise perhaps 12 percent of the eligible electorate. But in several southern States, they account for nearly a majority of eligible citizens and they comprise a significant and, perhaps on occasions, pivotal minorities in several northern States. The electoral college insures, in national elections, that their views must be taken into account. Union members, Christian fundamentalists, Latinos, rural denizens are but a few of the significant minorities whose views and needs might be ignored if campaigns were totally nationalized.  Source:  Electoral College, Preserve or Abolish?


    Rod Sullivan wants to abolish something that is good for the country, for all people, and his push is based in lies. Rod Sullivan perpetuates racism, he is in fact, part of the problem.

Read Woke at the Iowa City Public Library

read woke

We at ICPL are excited to announce a new ongoing reading program, Read Woke. Provided in partnership with Beanstack, the online platform we use for all our reading programs, and activist librarian Cicely Lewis, Read Woke is designed to challenge people to educate themselves about others through deliberate, thoughtful reading. Started in 2017 as a way to help her Georgia high school students, Lewis determined that in order to be Woke a book must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Challenge a social norm
  • Come from the point of view of an oppressed group
  • Provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised
  • Seek to challenge the status quo
  • Shed light on an issue that many may not be aware of or perceive as important

The Read Woke challenge can be accessed through ICPL’s Beanstack website at and all reading done for Read Woke counts for our current Summer Reading and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten programs as well.

Participants earn a digital badge for each book read from one of ten different diverse voice categories. Earn three badges from each category to complete the program! If you have questions regarding your Beanstack account or this new program please do not hesitate to contact the library at 319-356-5200 or by using the Ask Us feature at

Be sure to check ICPL’s Staff Picks page for great Read Woke recommendations!

“Read Woke is a movement. It is a feeling. It is a style. It is a form of education. It is a call to action; it is our right as lifelong learners. It means arming yourself with knowledge in order to better protect your rights. Knowledge is power and no one can take it away. It means learning about others so that you can treat people with the respect and dignity that they deserve no matter their religion, race, creed, or color.”

Join the movement. Heed the call. #ReadWoke