Alison Gowans

Features reporter for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and Hoopla.



In Iowa: Decades later, feminist activists still fighting battles

Francie Hornstein remembers well the days before abortion was legal in Iowa.

The Oakland, Calif., resident was in Iowa City on July 14, visiting her alma mater for the Iowa City Feminist Reunion, a gathering of women activists from the 1960s, '70 ... »

Neighborhood rallies to save house drenched in cat urine

When Linda McGuire and her wife, Anne Burnside, decided to take on renovating a small house on Ronalds Street in Iowa City, they weren't sure they would succeed.

The challenge? Saving a historically significant home that was saturated with cat uri ... »

Cocktail bar, The Lounge, opens in Smulekoff’s building

Adam Covington loves seeing people on their wedding days.

#x201c;Weddings are one of the happiest days in most people's lives. Everyone is in such a good mood,#x201d; he said.

He sees plenty of those happy days as owner of Eastbank, a weddin ... »

Concert series highlights Indian Creek Nature Center

CEDAR RAPIDS - Attendance is up dramatically at Indian Creek Nature Center this summer, and an upcoming concert series aims to continue that trend.

After opening its #x201c;Amazing Space#x201d; building in September 2016, the center has seen a sur ... »

A legacy of activism: Iowa City Feminist Reunion recalls struggles, triumphs

IOWA CITY - Decades since they first gathered to plan their revolution, many of the founding members of the Iowa City Women's Liberation Front gathered Saturday in Happy Hollow Park for one more softball game.

The game was the culmination of a we ... »

The Gardens at the Gazebo on the Green have hosted weddings for 28 years

Mary Ellen Hill cares for 14 unique gardens at The Gardens at Gazebo on the Green, and each of them comes with a story.

#x201c;I call these gardens a love story,#x201d; she said.

They were a gift from her husband, John, when he retired, some ... »

PiZan offers custom craft pizzas

It's not everyday someone decides to cut a hole in the wall of his business. But that's exactly what Brian Flynn, owner of long-standing downtown Iowa City bar Joe's Place, did earlier this year - he put in a window between his bar and the building next ... »

Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens highlights old and new plants alike

Larry and Wilma Rettig don't agree on how to spell all the features in their garden - she is from South Amana and he is from Middle Amana, and the #x201c;Amana German#x201d; spellings from different villages don't always match up.

But one thing t ... »

Cook Club: Scapes bring garlic flavor to summer

If I haven't mentioned it in this column before, my backyard is a jungle.

When I moved into my house in the dead of winter a few years ago, the yard looked serene, blanketed in snow. Then spring came, the snow melted, and the plants started grow ... »

Pollinator-friendly garden, community gardens featured on Cedar Rapids garden tour

On a sunny June afternoon, Mateo Rwayitare, 5, could barely contain his excitement at the chance to help release monarch butterflies.

When his neighbor Carol Elliott asked him to extend his hand so he could hold one of the butterflies, he was sc ... »