Briarpatch and Cedar Falls, Iowa

This article is about the news magazine. For other uses, see Briar Patch. Briarpatch magazine

Briarpatch is an independent alternative news magazine based in Saskatchewan, Canada and distributed across Canada and internationally.

Briarpatch is published six times a year by Briarpatch Incorporated, an independent non-profit organization. It is a member of Magazines Canada and the staff are members of RWDSU Local 568.

Briarpatch is printed by union labour on FSC-certified paper using vegetable-based ink.

Contents 1 History 1.1 Beginnings 1.2 Founding Editorial Stance 1.3 Independence 1.4 Loss of funding 1.5 Political coverage 1.6 Transition to a national magazine 1.7 Briarpatch today 2 Editors 3 Issues 4 References 5 External links

History Beginnings

Briarpatch Magazine began as Notes from the Briar Patch, a newsletter established by the Unemployed Citizens Welfare Improvement Council (UWIC), based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Its founders were Maria Fischer, David Hoskings and Vivian Fisher. In 1973, UWIC was engaged in the lives of some 500 welfare recipients, through a co-operative buying club, a co-operative daycare and advocacy work. It was also allied with several other grassroots organizations and service agencies, under the umbrella of the Saskatchewan Coalition of Anti-Poverty Organizations (SCAPO), giving rise to discussions about the need for a communications vehicle for the various agencies and their members. Although they had no budget, in August 1973 Fischer, Hoskings and Fisher decided to press forward and create a newsletter.

The inaugural issue was produced on August 24, 1973 as a 10-page corner-stapled newsletter. It was a popular item at Saskatoon's annual Poor People's March, and supporters began to donate money and paper. The group continued to produce issues throughout the fall of 1973, distributing 500 copies monthly to Saskatoon's various service agencies. The first four editions, produced on an early photocopier owned by the Saskatoon Family Service Bureau, were expensive to produce and the thermofax paper quality was poor. As a result, no copies are known to survive today. However, the gamble of pushing ahead without a budget paid off; with a successful publication in hand, UWIC was able to obtain a $2,500 federal grant from Canada's Human Resource Development Agency (HRDA) in November 1973. Thereafter, Notes from the Briar Patch was printed on a Gestetner machine at the Saskatoon Community Clinic at a cost of $300 a month. The improved printing techniques allowed circulation to expand to 2,000 copies by 1974. Founding Editorial Stance

From the beginning, it was clear the publication intended to be more than an information sheet. It's very name represented a critical stance, being a playful pun on the last name of an unpopular local welfare officer named Brierly. The idea of media-empowered citizen engagement was explained in this 1977 description of the newsletter’s founding ethos: The purpose of the newsletter was to organize low income people in order that they might change a dehumanizing life situation. They felt that there was no vehicle through which they could be informed of decisions made on their behalf, in terms which they could understand. They also recognized the need for a communication system which would express their feelings about those decisions, and their general situation, something which the established media did not seem to be doing. Independence

Despite the challenges of operating on shoe-string funding, within a year Notes from the Briar Patch had an impressive distribution network and a desire to become its own independent entity. At the same time, UWIC was winding down. In 1974 the Briar Patch Society was incorporated, with a membership fee set at $1. At the society’s first general meeting, held February 21–22, 1974, the members agreed to produce an independent newsletter that would: act as a communications link for low income people; provide educational workshops and media access; and “evaluate, analyze, and provide constructive criticism of government programs and dealings with low income people known to the public." A seven-member board was chosen to oversee operations of the magazine, named The Briar Patch, in honour of the original newsletter. The society created a distribution system by which organizations could buy bundles of magazines at bulk rates and sell individual copies for 25 cents each, gaining some income while spreading the magazine. For core funding, The Briar Patch turned to the Saskatchewan Coalition of Anti-Poverty Organizations (SCAPO), which provided $2,500 from its pool of federal funds. Added to this was $3,800 from the Protestant, Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Anglican Aid Committee (PLRA, later called PLURA with the addition of the United Church).

Although the grants were small, it was enough to keep the magazine above water until it received its first substantive funding, a $36,000 grant from the Saskatchewan Department of Social Services, in April 1975. With this funding, the magazine moved into a larger office, hired staff, and changed to a magazine format with a centre staple and glossy cover. Briarpatch moved its main office to Regina, the provincial capital in 1975, so that it could be closer to the provincial political scene. The magazine's increasing commitment to independent journalism raised debate among board and staff over whether anti-poverty groups should have direct control over content, leading to a split with SCAPO. Subsequently, The Briar Patch began to take on the look and feel of an independent alternative magazine. In 1976, the magazine expanded its mandate to include covering news of workers and Indigenous people, which led to increased coverage of labour, agriculture and Indigenous issues. As well, the board was expanded to include volunteers and contributors from throughout the province. On the Indigenous front, critical coverage of northern uranium development proved to be a popular topic. Activities of the women's movement, including early efforts to establish childcare programs and women's shelters, were also frequently reported on. Many articles were critical of the provincial government of the day, headed by the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party (NDP).

In January 1978, the non-profit society re-incorporated as Briarpatch, Inc., and changed the publication’s title to a single word, Briarpatch. Board and staff sharpened the focus on independent journalism, joining the Canadian Periodical Publishers Association and attending the founding conference of the Canadian Investigative Journalism Association (Gilmour, 1993). In essence, Briarpatch’s primary raison d’être was by now well grounded within common definitions of accountability journalism, i.e. carrying out investigations and holding establishment structures to account for policy decisions. As well, Briarpatch’s alliances had expanded to other third sector media practitioners. In 1978 the magazine helped create a network of Regina journalists working for New Breed, Briarpatch, The North Central News, and University of Regina's student paper, The Carillon, for a combined circulation of 17,000. Called the Regina News Agency, the project lasted long enough to provide lively shared coverage of events during Trudeau’s 1978 visit to Saskatchewan. Loss of funding

In 1979, the NDP government abruptly cancelled Briarpatch's funding, which had risen to $54,000 a year and accounted for almost the entire operating budget of the magazine. In an official letter, the Minister of Social Services stated that Briarpatch did not fit provincial funding priorities or provide a direct service; however, many Briar Patch supporters felt the real reason was Briarpatch's vocal criticism of the province’s embrace of uranium mining. This sentiment seemed to be backed up by an anonymous Social Services official, who stated in The Regina Leader-Post, "How can I go to cabinet and ask them to approve funding for a magazine that is critical of uranium development?"

Briarpatch's survival came down to a typesetting business it had established the previous year, and donor support. The typesetting business, First Impressions, proved to be a steady revenue source, and subscribers stepped forward generously with donations. Within two years, the magazine had fully replaced the lost grant funding with subscriptions, donations and revenue from First Impressions. Political coverage

Following the 1982 election of a Conservative Party provincial government, Briarpatch played a strong role in investigating links between Conservative Party supporters and the financial spoils of privatization. In addition to its own reporting, the magazine carried as an insert the newsletter of the Social Justice Coalition, a grassroots citizens organization formed to oppose Grant Devine's government. While the magazine won several journalism awards during this time, it also attracted less favourable attention from right-wing opponents. In 1987, Revenue Canada followed up on a citizen's complaint and revoked Briarpatch's official charitable status, held since 1975, meaning the magazine could no longer issue tax receipts to donors. A lawyer worked on behalf of Briarpatch for free for the next eight years to appeal the decision, however case was finally lost in the Federal Court of Appeal.

Cedar Falls, Iowa and Briarpatch

Not to be confused with Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Cedar Falls is a city in Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 39,260 and has the smaller population of the two principal cities in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitan area. It is home to the University of Northern Iowa public university.

Contents 1 History 2 Geography 3 Demographics 3.1 2010 census 3.2 2000 census 4 Arts and culture 4.1 Library 4.2 Historical Society 5 Education 6 Utilities and Internet access 7 Media 8 Notable people 9 Sister cities 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links


Cedar Falls was founded in 1845 by William Sturgis. It was originally named Sturgis Falls, for the first family who settled the site. The Sturgis family moved on within a few years and the city was renamed Cedar Falls because of its proximity to the Cedar River. However the city's founders are honored each year with a three-day community-wide celebration named in their honor – the Sturgis Falls Celebration.

Because of the availability of water power, Cedar Falls developed as a milling and industrial center prior to the Civil War. The establishment of the Civil War Soldiers' Orphans Home in Cedar Falls changed the direction in which the city developed when, following the war, it became the first building on the campus of the Iowa State Normal School (now the University of Northern Iowa). Geography

Cedar Falls is located at 42°31′24″N 92°26′45″W / 42.52333°N 92.44583°W / 42.52333; -92.44583 (42.523520, −92.446402). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.61 square miles (76.69 km2), of which, 28.75 square miles (74.46 km2) is land and 0.86 square miles (2.23 km2) is water.

Natural forest, prairie and wetland areas are found within the city limits at the Hartman Reserve Nature Center. Demographics 2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 39,260 people, 14,608 households, and 8,091 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,365.6 inhabitants per square mile (527.3/km2). There were 15,477 housing units at an average density of 538.3 per square mile (207.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.4% White, 2.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.

There were 14,608 households of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.6% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.88.

The median age in the city was 26.8 years. 17.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 29.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.5% were from 25 to 44; 20.1% were from 45 to 64; and 12.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female. 2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 36,145 people, 12,833 households, and 7,558 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,277.2 people per square mile (493.1/km²). There were 13,271 housing units at an average density of 468.9 per square mile (181.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.14% White, 1.57% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 1.61% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.08% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,833 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.91.

Age spread: 18.0% under the age of 18, 30.6% from 18 to 24, 20.5% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 88.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $70,226, and the median income for a family was $85,158. Males had a median income of $60,235 versus $50,312 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,140. About 5.6% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.5% of those under age 18, and 6.1% of those age 65 or over. Arts and culture

In 1986, the City of Cedar Falls established the Cedar Falls Art and Culture Board, which oversees the operation of the City's Cultural Division and the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts. Library

The Cedar Falls Public Library is housed in the Adele Whitenach Davis building located at 524 Main Street. The 47,000 square foot (4,400 m²) structure, designed by Struxture Architects, replaced the Carniege-Dayton building in early 2004. As of the 2011 fiscal year, the library's holdings included 6,034 audio materials, 4,951 video materials, 85 miscellaneous titles, and 129,348 books and periodicals for a grand total of 140,418 items. Patrons made 266,944 visits which took advantage of circulation services, adult, teen, and youth programming. Circulation of library materials for fiscal year 2011 was 352,758. The library also provides public access to more than 30 public computers which provide Internet access, office software suites, high resolution color printing, and various games.

The mission of the Cedar Falls Public Library is to promote literacy and provide open access to resources which facilitate lifelong learning. The library is a member of the Cedar Valley Library Consortium(CVLC). Consortium members share an Integrated Library System(ILS) server which resides in the Rod Library of the University of Northern Iowa. Library management is provided by Sheryl McGovern MLS, Joint Director of the Cedar Falls and Waterloo Public Libraries. Historical Society

The Cedar Falls Historical Society has its offices in the Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum. It preserves Cedar Falls' history through its five museums, collection, archives, and public programs. Besides the Victorian House, the Society operates the Cedar Falls Ice House, George Wyth House, Little Red Schoolhouse, and Behrens-Rapp Station. Education University of Northern Iowa's Lang Hall

Besides holding one of the three Iowa public universities, University of Northern Iowa (UNI), Cedar Falls is home to two high schools: Valley Lutheran High School, a private Christian school, and Cedar Falls High School, which is part of the public school district. The public school district, Cedar Falls Community Schools, includes two junior high schools and six elementary schools. There is also a private Catholic elementary school at St. Patricks Church. The Malcolm Price Lab School/Northern University High School, was a private K-12 school run by the university. It closed in 2012 following cuts at UNI.

In 2000, the for-profit Hamilton College now Kaplan University established its sixth campus of seven in Cedar Falls by acquiring the American Institute of Commerce. Utilities and Internet access

The city owns its power, gas, water and cable TV service. As such Cedar Falls Utilities provides gigabit speeds to residents as highlighted by President Barack Obama on January 14, 2015. Cedar Falls has the power to do so because unlike 19 other states, Iowa does not have any Comcast supported legislation which prohibits municipal broadband to compete with the private cable TV monopoly. Media FM radio 88.1 KBBG 88.9 KWVI 89.5 KHKE 90.9 KUNI (FM) 92.3 KKHQ – Licensed to Oelwein with main studios in Waterloo 93.5 KCVM 94.5 KULT-LP 97.7 KCRR – Licensed to Grundy Center with main studios in Waterloo 98.5 KOEL-FM 99.3 KWAY-FM – Located in Waverly 100.1 KBOL-LP 101.9 KNWS-FM 105.7 KOKZ 107.9 KFMW AM radio 600 WMT – Located in Cedar Rapids 640 WOI – Located in Ames 950 KOEL – Located in Oelwein 1040 WHO – Located in Des Moines 1090 KNWS 1250 KCFI 1330 KPTY 1540 KXEL 1650 KCNZ Broadcast television 2 KGAN 2 (CBS) – Located in Cedar Rapids 7 KWWL 7 (NBC, This TV on DT2, Me-TV on DT3) 9 KCRG 9 (ABC) – Located in Cedar Rapids 12 KIIN 12 (PBS/IPTV) – Located in Iowa City 17 K17ET 17 / K44FK 44 (TBN) 20 KWKB 20 (The CW) – Located in Iowa City 22 KWWF 22 (Untamed Sports TV) 28 KFXA 28 (Fox) – Located in Cedar Rapids 32 KRIN 32 (PBS/IPTV) 40 KFXB-TV 40 (CTN) – Located in Dubuque Print The Courier, daily newspaper The Cedar Falls Times, weekly newspaper Music

The underground music scene in the Cedar Falls area from 1977 to present day is well documented. The
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