Posts Tagged ‘Iowa’

US News and World Report selects Fairfield, Iowa with Maharishi University of Management as one of their Healthiest Communities

June 22, 2018
USN&WR-Transcending Together

Ashia Freeden of Canada journals on campus at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. (Rachel Mummey for USN&WR)

Fairfield, Iowa — Of the dozens of Iowa cities with populations hovering around 10,000, only one can tout repeated visits from A-list celebrities and Transcendental Meditation practitioners from across the globe.

For more than 40 years, the city of Fairfield, Iowa, has been coming to terms with its dual role as the county seat of largely rural Jefferson County and the host city to the Maharishi University of Management, the institution founded in the 1970s by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his followers.

The city of approximately 10,400 residents has the familiar mix of fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and big-box retailers seen in other similarly sized enclaves throughout the state. But it also boasts a retail area filled with yoga studios, wellness centers, high-end coffeehouses and the largest organic and natural foods store in southeast Iowa.

Over the past half-century, most of Iowa’s rural counties have seen a population and economic decline. Fairfield, however, earned the nickname Silicorn Valley during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, highlighting the presence of dozens of tech and programming companies within its small confines. It’s been touted as the Most Entrepreneurial City in Iowa and the Most Entrepreneurial City in America of its size.

“It’s kind of a side attraction of Fairfield that every once in a while there’s Oprah, or there’s David Lynch or there’s Jim Carrey,” says Dick DeAngelis, a New Jersey native who first came to Fairfield to study in the 1970s and returned a few years after graduation to raise his family. “But it’s also this small, Midwestern hometown steeped in family values and apple pie, which I love.”

City and county leaders say the health and overall success of their community comes through the effective bridging of the small-town experience and the university’s broader draw. The school incorporates Transcendental Meditation alongside more traditional academic offerings, such as majors in computer science, business or art.

“It’s really gratifying to see the culture change so now we don’t talk as much about the difference anymore,” says Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, who was first elected to the office in 2001. “I’m always tickled when I hear a local person refer to one of our strengths as diversity. I think everybody is on board now. They understand that good values and good things come out of our diversity.”

Read the rest of this excellent US News and World Report, Iowan City Transcends a Divide, written by Jeff Charis-Carlson with photos by Rachel Mummey posted June 20, 2018 on Healthiest Communities: Transcending Together. Fairfield, Iowa, has found success as a home for townies and meditators alike. (Much to my surprise I’m in the third photo towards the end of the article walking under the movie theater marquee.)

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Earlier related news: Fairfield, Iowa, TM and MUM make national news | “Moving America Forward,” a national TV show hosted by William Shatner, to feature Fairfield | @DMRegister’s Rox Laird Features Fairfield, Iowa’s Civic Collaboration and @MaharishiU’s Sustainable Living Center

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Fairfield, Iowa, TM and MUM make national news

June 10, 2016

Many articles have come out in praise of Fairfield, Iowa. Two and a half years ago, Rox Laird, The Des Moines Register’s editorial columnist, published an Opinion piece, Fairfield defines community action, on the city’s civic collaboration and Maharishi University’s Sustainable Living Center. The Smithsonian named Fairfield 7th out of 20 best small towns to visit that year. BuzzFeed named Fairfield one of the coolest small towns in America. And The Iowan had published an article on how Fairfield thinks inclusively creating rural success in Iowa.

I like to think the positive outcome of this latest article on Fairfield, TM and MUM, by Kevin Hardy in The Des Moines Register and the  USA TODAY NETWORK, resulted from a phone call I received on my birthday.

In April, I went to visit my son Nathanael at his new home in the Santa Barbara Riviera. For lunch he took me to The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach, a well-known outdoor restaurant on the beach by the ocean. While waiting for our food to arrive, an unknown number called my cellphone. It was Kevin Hardy. He told me he covered business, labor and the economy for the Des Moines Register, and was researching why some towns in Iowa were thriving while many were losing population and failing economically. Then he said something that surprised me.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Fairfield was Iowa’s fastest-growing city among cities of a similar size. Kevin wanted to know what role I thought Maharishi University of Management had played in the demographic and economic growth of Fairfield.

In addition to some of the longtime established businesses, I  gave him an historical overview how hundreds of meditators came from all over the US and Canada after MIU had moved to town from the mid-1970s onwards. Many would stay and relocate their businesses or start new ones. Also told him about today’s younger entrepreneurs, the new successful ventures they started, and gave him a list of people and companies to visit and interview.

Kevin Hardy and Register photographer/videographer Zach Boyden-Holmes really did their homework. They put together an impressive article that became a national success story! It is reproduced here with permission.  See the full article with 14 photos taken May 9, 2016 by Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register. I added links for more information.

Why this Iowa town is thriving when so many aren’t
By Kevin Hardy, June 1, 2016

Click here to see a short (1:20) video of Fairfield entrepreneurs.

Fairfield out-performed all of the state’s 15 micropolitan areas in terms of population growth between 2010 and 2015.

FAIRFIELD, Ia. – Take a walk around this town’s bustling square and you’ll see an array of businesses that would rival some shopping malls.

On one corner sits a coffee shop that roasts its own beans in house. Down the block is a store specializing in sustainable children’s clothing and toys. Along another strip, there’s a women’s boutique, a Verizon store and a nutrition company.

The town’s retail center also is home to a salon, a consignment store, a furniture store and an art gallery. Just off the square is a pet spa, a natural remedy store and a photography studio. And for those looking for a bite to eat: a Thai restaurant, an Indian cafe, an Italian spot and a joint peddling pizza and steak.

In fact, local officials count only one vacancy in the storefronts that line shady Central Park. It’s just one more sign of success in this town of 9,500 in a state where most small cities and rural areas are seeing residents leave.

Since 1969, census data show Iowa’s metropolitan areas have gained nearly a half million people, while smaller cities and rural places have lost more than 171,000 residents.

But Fairfield has prospered, particularly in recent years. Between 2010 and 2015, the city saw a 4 percent population gain – a rate that rivaled the growth of some of Iowa’s much larger metro areas.

This southeast Iowa city is known as a magnet for practitioners of Transcendental Meditation at Maharishi University of Management, who flocked here since the 1970’s. Fairfield was able to capitalize on that unique niche, building a surprisingly metropolitan quality of life.

While Fairfield is home to 1,000 fewer jobs than it had 15 years ago, state figures show employers have rebounded in the last five years, adding nearly 700 jobs between 2010 and 2015. During that time, Fairfield went from 714 employers to 751, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

“We have a great quality-of-life culture and an entrepreneurial culture,” said Mayor Ed Malloy. “And we see it is allowing more young people to put down roots in this community.”

Around town, there is no shortage of small-city staples like Casey’s General Store and Pizza Ranch, though Fairfield is better known for its funky coffee houses, shops and restaurants. Locals claim the city is home to more restaurants per capita than San Francisco.

Yet the place that Oprah Winfrey dubbed “America’s most unusual town” is more than just quirky. It’s one of the few nonmetropolitan areas in Iowa posting strong population growth, according to U.S. Census figures. And around town, evidence abounds that Fairfield has done what so many small cities in the Midwest struggle to achieve: attract and retain people.

Troy with MUM Solar Array

Troy Van Beek stands in front of a solar power array his company Ideal Energy installed at the Maharishi University in Fairfield Monday, May 9, 2016. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register

TM’s long effect
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced Transcendental Meditation, or TM, in India in the 1950’s.

But he brought his technique and “Consciousness-Based education” to Iowa in 1974, when Maharishi International University moved from Santa Barbara, Calif., to the 1 million empty square feet vacated by Parsons College in Fairfield. (The university later changed its name to Maharishi University of Management.)

While some in the community resisted the influx of meditators, locals say most of those tensions were alleviated years ago.

“As time has gone on, everybody’s meshed seamlessly,” said local designer Linda Pettit.

Pettit, who with her husband owns Finishing Touch interior design, has watched Fairfield thrive over the last 32 years from her storefront on the town square. She ticks off quality-of-life improvements such as a new pool and new recreation center.

She boasts about the many restaurants. And she tells of all the new and unusual businesses that have opened.

“We have a very vibrant community,” she said. “I think a lot of small towns don’t have the diversity that we do.”

Pettit hears about layoffs at plants in nearby Ottumwa. She knows how Iowa farmers are struggling with low commodity prices. But she said that isn’t Fairfield’s storyline.

Her business works on residential and commercial projects. But she’s noticed a slant toward more commercial projects in recent years, as new businesses pop up and old ones invest in upgrades.

“It’s a great place to have a business,” she said.

Iowa’s ‘Silicorn Valley’
Over the years, many TM practitioners and others who visited Fairfield decided to stay.

Once here, they had to find a way to make a living. Some Fairfield residents drive to Ottumwa or Iowa City for work. But many have started small businesses in Fairfield, which has been called “Silicorn Valley” for its mixture of tech startups and entrepreneurial ventures.

“People moved here and they had to figure out how to stay here,” said David Navarrete, spokesman for Sky Factory.

The 38-employee company was founded in 2002 by Bill Witherspoon, an artist who moved to Fairfield for its TM community. A serial entrepreneur, he formed Sky Factory as a means of supporting his family. It creates window and ceiling panels that recreate outdoor views like those of a blue sky or a beachfront.

Sky Factory’s biggest clients are health care providers, as research shows even a simulated view of the outdoors can boost moods for those trapped indoors.

“I think there’s definitely an entrepreneurial spirit here, and I think a lot of that comes from the university,” said Witherspoon’s son, Skye Witherspoon, now the company’s CEO.

Fairfield is also home to a surprising array of manufacturing.
Creative Edge makes intricate flooring for some of the world’s best known hotels, casinos, hospitals and universities. Bovard Studios makes and restores stained glass windows for churches across the country. And a host of businesses manufacture agricultural parts, iron castings, polyethylene piping and laundromat washers and dryers.

So many things are made in Fairfield that the Iowa Economic Development Authority will host an export conference here in the fall.

Fairfield’s biggest employers have grown in recent years, too.

Cambridge Investment Research now employs about 700 and boasts more than $70 billion in assets under its management.

Mixed signals
Like many small cities, some employers in Fairfield report trouble recruiting and hiring, especially with Iowa’s unemployment rate remaining below 4 percent.

Lori Schaefer-Wheaton, president of the 170-employee Agri-Industrial Plastics, said hiring is a struggle. She has 20 openings, a number that has held fairly constant over the last two years, she said.

Fairfield is an anomaly among small cities in Iowa, she said, but she thinks recent population growth is largely related to the university.

“That kind of population growth might show up on our census,” she said. “But I don’t think it changes the dynamics of the workforce in our town.”

Iowa State University Economist Dave Swenson said Fairfield definitely out performs many similarly sized cities. But some signals are mixed: While some measures show recent job growth, other data actually point to employment losses, he said.

“They seem to be demonstrating both demographic and economic growth that stands out,” he said. “The big question is this a short term growth or is it sustainable?”

Natives return home
Meghan Dowd came to Fairfield as a child when her parents migrated here for the TM community.

She moved away for college, then ended up working in television in California.

From there, she visited her mom in Fairfield and realized it was going through a “renaissance,” with monthly art walks, a new events center and lots of cool coffee shops and restaurants. She moved back in 2009 and started Shaktea, a maker of kombucha, a trendy fermented drink.

In Fairfield, she says she can do just about anything she could in a metro city. Plus, it’s much cheaper to buy a home or start a business. (She also started Cado, an organic avocado-based ice cream, featured with a photo in the article and video.)

Her children attend a Waldorf-inspired preschool. And after yearning for a yoga studio, she just opened her own.

“A lot of people moved here, the kids grew up here, but then the kids wanted to go out into the world and experience different things,” Dowd said. “I think that happened and some of that is kind of boomeranging back to Fairfield.”

Jesse Narducci followed a similar path. He returned home to Fairfield a few years ago after living in Colorado and California for more than a decade. He opened Jefferson County Ciderworks just outside of town. He brews hard apple cider and runs a taproom featuring hard-to-find craft brews.

Narducci said many of Iowa’s smaller towns are undesirable places to live because they lack quality places to grab a meal or a drink out. Not Fairfield.

“You don’t have to drive to Iowa City to have a good ale or a good meal,” he said. “I don’t really leave that often. … I’m trying to create my own little paradise out here.”

(more…)

Ledger’s Andy Hallman reports on Greg Reitman’s documentary playing in Fairfield, Iowa on Sunday

August 1, 2015

Documentary filmed partially in Fairfield to play Sunday

By ANDY HALLMAN Ledger news editor | Jul 31, 2015

t1200-Donovan, Greg Reitman, and students at tree planting ceremony

During his visit to Fairfield, film producer Greg Reitman planted a tree with MUM students outside the university’s library. Reitman is the man in the center with the necklace. The man to the right is the singer Donovan, whom Reitman interviewed for his film “Rooted in Peace,” which will be shown at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by: Nicole Hester-Williams/Ledger

A documentary that was filmed partially in Fairfield will make its Iowa debut at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Steven Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

The film, “Rooted in Peace,” is a product of Greg Reitman, founder of Blue Water Entertainment, Inc. In a press release, Reitman said the film challenges viewers to examine their values as Americans and human beings.

“Today we are at war within ourselves, with our environment, and with the world,” reads the press release. “Director and award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman invites viewers on a film journey to take notice of the world we live in, proactively seek ways to find personal and ecological peace, and stop the cycle of violence.”

Reitman interviewed numerous celebrities for the film such as author Deepak Chopra, film director David Lynch, musicians Donovan, Mike Love and Pete Seeger, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and more.

He also interviewed Fred Travis, professor of Maharishi Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management.

The press release states that Reitman learned kernels of wisdom from all those he interviewed.

“Reitman’s journey is an example of transformation — how one person can learn to make the necessary changes to enjoy a better life — and in so doing inspire others to want to improve their own lives, and society as a whole,” reads the press release.

Reitman said he became interested in documentaries while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, where he took a class on Italian cinema. He would go on to produce the 2008 SUNDANCE Audience Award-winning feature documentary “FUEL.”

After that, he started thinking about doing a film about all the violence in the world. An experience at JFK Airport in New York City opened his eyes to a whole new world.

“I almost got arrested for not giving up a bottle of water,” he said. “I was seeing racial profiling going on. It made me start thinking about our rights, and about what fear can do. It mirrored a world that I had lived in at age 19, when I was living in Israel during the first Gulf War.”

Reitman got in touch with Ken Chawkin, who was then the public relations officer at MUM. Chawkin encouraged him to visit Fairfield, and mentioned that the Beach Boys were going to be in town for a concert. Reitman’s wife is from Iowa, so the two decided to attend the concert.

Reitman came back a second time with Donovan for the David Lynch Film Weekend. During his second trip to Fairfield, he interviewed Donovan, David Lynch and Bob Roth.

After the film, Reitman will hold a question-and-answer session with the audience.

One of the common questions Reitman has received in his other Q and As is, “Why did the film take so long to make?” The film took five years in all, which Reitman said is not too far out of the ordinary for documentaries.

“The reason it took me so long was that I had to find peace first,” he said. “When I talked to Ken, he said, ‘Greg, you’re not going to understand peace until you come to Fairfield.’”

Reitman said he greatly enjoyed his time in Fairfield. It reminded him of another small town he filmed in, Carbondale, Colorado, with a population of just over 6,000.

Part of the film is autobiographical, where Reitman shares his person story of living in Israel and visiting Hiroshima, Japan. That said, he feels it’s more an inspirational film than a dry, descriptive documentary.

“It’s one man’s quest to seek inner peace and coming upon the roadblocks that lead him to enlightenment,” he said. “It’s about him having to unlock each of those pearls of wisdom, to understand the concept of a healthy heart and a healthy body. Then you can understand what a healthy world looks like.”

This three-column cover story with large photo carries over to a page 7 three-column section with two photos, one of Greg Reitman with Donovan playing guitar, the other of Mike Love singing on stage from the Beach Boys concert. This article is republished here with permission from The Fairfield Ledger. Click FF Ledger Documentary 7-31-2015 to see a PDF of the whole 2-page article with photos.

See other news about the film here.

MUM’s Innovative Sustainable Living Center @MaharishiU Featured in Solar Tribune

November 13, 2014

Small College Makes Solar a Big Priority

Nestled among the cornfields of Southeastern Iowa, Maharishi University of Management is not your typical small college. More than 40 years after its founding, this unique campus has become a showcase of sustainability and solar technology.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, best known as man who taught meditation to The Beatles, bought the defunct Parsons College campus in Fairfield, Iowa in 1971 and set up an accredited university to teach his philosophy of world peace and enlightenment through meditation. Along with computer science, accounting and BA, MA and PhD programs, the curriculum stresses healthy lifestyles and a healthy environment.

Biology Professor David Fisher launched the nation’s first four-year BA program in Sustainable Living at MUM in 2003. The Sustainable Living Department offers courses in solar, wind and other alternative energy systems, water management, permaculture, alternative building techniques, and performance design for the built environment, and their building serves as a hands-on showcase for the technologies they teach. On an annual basis, the building is not only a “net zero” building, but actually produces as much as 40% more energy than it consumes. The excess energy offsets electricity used elsewhere on campus.

South wall of MUM Sustainable Living Center

Opened in 2012, the Schwartz-Guich Sustainable Living Center at MUM is a showpiece of green building technology. The 6,900 square foot building features sustainable infrastructure including daylighting, a greenhouse and edible landscaping, gardens, rain catchment, earth block and “whole tree” construction and both solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV), as well as a wind turbine. The architectural style, known as “Vedic” architecture, marries eastern and western styles and reflects the philosophy of the university, while exceeding LEED platinum standards.

Daniel Chiras PhD is currently a visiting professor at the Sustainable Living Center. Dan serves as the Director of the Evergreen Institute and is author of over 30 books on solar and sustainability topics, including The Natural House, The Solar House, The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy and many more. Chiras said of the MUM building: “The Sustainable Living Center is one of the greenest—if not the greenest—classroom buildings on a college campus in the world! It’s an extraordinary model of ecological sustainability and an inspiration to those seeking to build a sustainable human future. The building is a pleasure to teach in and a great learning tool for students.”

Solar Features At The SLC:

The Sustainable Living Center sports 12.5 kW of PV panels to provide electricity. The PV panels are grid-tied by two 2.5 kW and one 5 kW SMA Sunny Boy inverters. An Outback 3.6 kW battery based inverter also stores energy in an off-grid battery bank. The solar PV at the Center puts out an average of 16,250 kWh per year.

A drain-back solar water heating system with 750 square feet of evacuated tube solar thermal collectors capture solar energy that is then stored in a 5,000 gallon tank, where it is then pumped through the in-floor heating system. The collectors provide about 30% of the heating for the building. Additional heat comes from a ground source heat pump, which uses electricity from the solar and wind systems to provide 75,000 BTUs per hour.

In addition to the solar arrays, The Sustainable Living Center features a Bergey XL 10 wind turbine on a 100 foot latticed tower. The estimated annual output is 17,000 kWh, with power production peaking in the winter and spring. This compliments the solar PV, which produces most of its power during the summer months, when wind speeds are typically much lower.

The SLC has an annual energy use of about 30,000 kWh, including lighting, heating and cooling, fresh air circulation office equipment and classrooms, which is already amazingly low for a building of its size.

Not only at the Sustainable Living Center, but across the entire MUM campus, sustainability initiatives are in full effect. In fact, the school achieved a perfect score for sustainable food sourcing and is the first college in the United States to offer an organic, 100% vegetarian menu. The college encourages bicycling and energy efficiency and is currently in the planning stages of a large-scale solar array to offset more of their electrical use with solar energy.

Read more about the MUM Sustainable Living Center at: https://www.mum.edu/academic-departments/sustainable-living/buildings/sl-bldg

Article reprinted with permission from the author. Solar Tribune is a solar news, education, and advocacy website. Article is published under: .

See more news about MUM’s SLC in this Des Moines Register article: Fairfield defines community action. There was a lot of news coverage on the official opening of MUM’s SLC, April 20, 2012. Here are two TV News reports, with links to other reports: KTVO News: Groundbreaking Sustainable Living Center a source of pride in Fairfield and WHO News: BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra Energy. Also see The Fairfield Ledger: M.U.M.’s newest building sets new green standards.

Fairfield, Iowa continues to be the place to visit, named BuzzFeed’s coolest small town in America

July 1, 2014

Fairfield, Iowa, home of Maharishi University of Management, was named one of the coolest small towns in America to visit. Check out America’s awesome hidden gems on BuzzFeed’s 11 Coolest Small Cities It’s Time To Road Trip To. This nationwide list is published just in time for family summer road trips. Fairfield makes the list at number 2, right after Asheville, North Carolina.

The article notes Fairfield is “an unassuming town, surrounded by rolling farmland, that has gained fame for both its abundance of startup companies and its abundance of Transcendental Meditation practicers. It’s also full of amazing architecture, notably by George Franklin Barber and Barry Byrne. Don’t forget to stop by the American Gothic House while you’re there — just a mere 20-minute drive away.”

Here’s the complete list, but visit BuzzFeed to see the photos and descriptions.

1. Asheville, North Carolina
2. Fairfield, Iowa
3. Sedona, Arizona
4. Mystic, Connecticut
5. Estes Park, Colorado
6. Portland, Maine
7. Marfa, Texas
8. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
9. Park City, Utah
10. Athens, Georgia
11. Santa Cruz, California

Some related stories about Fairfield, Iowa:

The Smithsonian’s 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013. Fairfield, Iowa is in the Top 10 (No. 7)

“Moving America Forward,” a national TV show hosted by William Shatner, to feature Fairfield

@DMRegister’s Rox Laird Features Fairfield, Iowa’s Civic Collaboration and @MaharishiU’s Sustainable Living Center

Fairfield, Iowa, The Spiritual Sister City, published in Lawrence, Kansas Magazine

Video segments of Oprah’s Next Chapter on OWN: Oprah Visits Fairfield, Iowa—”TM Town”—America’s Most Unusual Town

The Iowan: Sizing Up Small Towns: Rethinking Success in Rural Iowa: Fairfield Thinks Inclusively

The Cultural Oasis of The Midwest: Fairfield, Iowa

Fairfield, Iowa, The Spiritual Sister City, published in Lawrence, Kansas Magazine

February 11, 2014

Susan KrausSunflower Publishing sent Susan Kraus to Fairfield, Iowa to write a travel piece for one of their magazines, Lawrence Magazine, the premier quarterly magazine for Lawrence, Kansas.

Lawrence Magazine Spring 2014Their Spring 2014 issue includes an article on Fairfield, Iowa filed under Journey by travel writer Susan Kraus. Titled, The Spiritual Sister City, the description reads: With a little meditation in the heartland, a rural town in southeast Iowa transforms into a cultural and educational center.

Susan timed her visit last summer to take in a First Fridays Art Walk. Besides exploring Fairfield, she also toured the Maharishi University of Management campus, and learned about Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness-Based Education, and Sustainable Living. She brought her husband, who, decades earlier, when he was a university student, had learned TM.

Susan is also a social worker and her husband works at a university in the video department. They had lunch with Ken West, also from Kansas, who had done some photography in an area Susan was familiar with. They shared a lot about the Kansas and Iowa landscapes, and used some of Ken’s photos for the piece.

Susan wrote an accurate assessment of what she found here in such a refreshing way. You can read her story by clicking on this PDF: Lawrence Magazine spring 2014 for MUM.

See a related article by Des Moines Register editorial columnist Rox Laird. His Sunday Opinion piece features the collaborative civic-minded town of Fairfield and Maharishi University’s Sustainable Living Center. Fairfield defines community action: Jefferson County town shows how to ‘manufacture dreams’ through civic collaboration. MUM obtained permission to make this wonderful article available as a reprint. You can see it beautifully laid out on their website link.mum.edu/GreenFF.

James McCartney sings Angel on David Letterman

January 31, 2012

Posted on James McCartney.

James appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman January 30, 2012. On that show Dave welcomed actress Jennifer Lopez, actor Rob Schneider from the CBS comedy series “Rob!”, and musical guest James McCartney. You can watch the full show here. ©CBS, All Rights Reserved.

James had played 2 days, Jan 23-24, at the Sundance Film Festival the previous week. Here he is drawing a picture of a fan and signing autographs after one of those concerts. He also played at the Viper Room after he appeared on GDLA. James made his US Television debut when he sang Angel on Good Day LA from his album “The Complete EP Collection.”

Awesome song! He played it for a few of us who were fortunate enough to see him on his first visit to Fairfield, and later on a David Lynch Weekend at the Sondheim Theater. You knew it was going to be a hit, and he was going to be a star. James is a quiet unassuming person, and a very talented young man. We wish him much success in his chosen career.

Here’s one of two photos of James at the Late Show rehearsal posted on his Facebook. You can follow James on Twitter @JamesMcCartney, and  visit the James McCartney Website: http://www.jamesmccartney.com.

See some earlier press coverage on James: Paul McCartney and Nancy show up to see James play, and surprise the small Brighton club audience | Audience Goes Wild for James McCartney | Paul McCartney’s son says he’s ready to follow in dad’s footsteps | McCartney wins over Fairfield audience in U.S. debut concert.

A year and a half later, July 29-30, 2013, James makes a return visit to Letterman. See James McCartney sings new single ‘Wisteri’ on David Letterman and ABC NEWS What’s The Buzz.

Maharishi University hopes to set the standard for “green” buildings

April 28, 2010

Maharishi University hopes to set the standard for “green” buildings

by Matt Kelley on April 26, 2010

in Education, Health & Medicine

A new classroom and research building is under construction on a college campus in southeast Iowa that aims to set a new global standard for green buildings.

David Fisher, director of the Sustainable Living program at Maharishi University in Fairfield, says the building promises to be unlike any other structure on the planet.

“It will be off the grid completely with respect to electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal,” Fisher says. “In addition, the building will be day lit throughout the building.”

Banks of solar panels will provide the electricity for the Sustainable Living Center, Fisher says, and solar energy is being used by workers during the construction phase, as well. During the warm months, he says the building will be kept cool using a geothermal system.

“The heating will be done with solar water heaters on the roof,” Fisher says. “We will have insulation provided in part by very local materials, that is compacted earth blocks which came from some earth right across the street that was being cleared out for a parking lot.” That dirt was compacted into 26,000 bricks that will make up the building’s insulation. The building’s skeleton will use whole tree post and beam techniques.

“Water will be all rainwater,” Fisher says. “It will be collected on the roof and stored in a cistern and, of course, for drinking purposes, it’ll all be filtered with (an ultraviolet) filter.” Fisher says the system for handling waste is also accounted for as a green effort. Fisher says, “We have a constructed wetland and we’re planning to use a system that’s similar to what they use in submarines and on space capsules, purifying the water with a system that puts very, very finely-divided bubbles through the water to keep it aerobic and to completely degrade all of the organic matter so as to purify the water.”

Fisher says the building is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the highest standard for sustainable design and green building in the world. It will also be the first to combine that standard with the standards of LEED Platinum certification, Building Biology and Maharishi Vedic Architecture.

The building will serve as the base for the university’s Sustainable Living major. It will have classrooms, a workshop, a meeting room, a greenhouse, a kitchen, a research lab, a recycling center and offices. Fisher says it’ll be a building that teaches. The one-point-seven million dollar project is expected to be complete late this year.

Award-winning journalist pursues master’s degree at Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa

February 9, 2010

Daily Gate City captures awards

By the Daily Gate City
Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 11:48 AM CST

The Daily Gate City received six awards in this year’s Iowa Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contests.

Nearly 4,000 entries in dozens of categories were judged by class, based on circulation. The Daily Gate City competed in Daily Class 1, which includes dailies with circulations of 9,999 and less.

The newspaper and staff writer Cindy Iutzi placed first in the best spot news story category with a story about a group of teenagers who floated down the Des Moines River and were stranded on an island overnight.

The Daily Gate City and Iutzi and staff writer Diane Vance finished second in the best news story category with a story about sexting, a practice in which sexually-suggestive and explicit photos are sent over cell phones.

The newspaper finished third with its coverage of education during the contest period. Most of the articles were written by Vance, who has left the paper and is pursuing a master’s degree at Maharishi University in Fairfield now.

The Daily Gate City and Iutzi received a third-place award in the best news photo category with a photo of the Parkersburg tornado taken at a storm spotters’ seminar in Keokuk.

Amanda Grotts of the DGC’s composing department placed third in the best ad designer category with a group of different ads.

In addition, the newspaper was judged third in the best newspaper Web site category.

The awards were presented Friday during the INA 2010 Convention and Trade Show in Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register was named the INA’s Newspaper of the Year for 2010. The Muscatine Journal placed first in general excellence among the Class 1 dailies.

Copyright © 2010 – Daily Gate City

Diane Vance graduated from Maharishi University of Management with a graduate degree in education, left to teach at a school, then returned to Fairfield to write, very well, for the Fairfield Ledger. Here is a personal article about her journey to Finding peace in Fairfield.

STOLCEL Receives Honorary PhD at MUM

September 28, 2009

Times•Colonist

Saving native languages

By Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist

September 27, 2009

John Elliott’s years of dedication to preserving aboriginal languages — including Sencoten, the language of the Saanich First Nation — has earned him an honorary PhD.

Elliott, also known by his Saanich name, Stolcel, received the recognition from Maharishi University of Management in Iowa during a major international conference called “Building Healthy, Sustainable American Indian Communities.” Native leaders from across North America are attending the gathering, which wraps up today.

Elliott, a resident of the Tsartlip reserve and a teacher at the Lauwelnew Tribal School, is a co-founder of FirstVoices.com, a web-based aboriginal-language archive. The concept has prompted more than 60 First Nations to use online services to archive their languages, as well.

Elliott’s work with language preservation goes back 30 years, and has drawn from the efforts of his late father, Dave. Elliott first began looking at computers and digital videos in his work in 1999, and went on to develop FirstVoices.com with colleague Peter Brand.

(Mentioned in column: Good News: Makeover planned for Casa Maria emergency house)

http://bit.ly/Stolcel


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