In my 33-year career as a city planner I served in cities across the country: from Midland, Texas to Kansas City, Missouri to Windsor, Connecticut and Iowa City. I worked with scores of planning commissioners who volunteered enormous time for their cities’ betterment. Of all of these, Ann Freerks impressed me as being the most dedicated and thoughtful. […]
I intend to vote for Christine Ralston for Iowa City City Council. It took Christine less than five minutes at the farmers market to convince me that this brilliant and inquisitive soul, that I have grown to appreciate as a friend over several years, was the right person for this job. Our conversation included her briefly sharing her sensibilities about certain policies (her support for a higher minimum wage, her perspective on the use of TIF). […]
What happened to Mollie is a tragedy. It sheds light on why women today constantly fear for their safety, why so many of my friends carry keys in between their knuckles to feel safe walking home. Take this as an opportunity to realize how gender has disproportionately plagued women worldwide. More than 1 in 10 women have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their life. In none of these situations are women wondering “is he a legal citizen?” […]
I met Christine while she was a professional mediator. I watched her skillfully navigate tough disputes by guiding meaningful conversations. What struck me first was how well Christine listens: without an ego or a personal agenda, but with deep care and compassion. Since then, I’ve worked with Christine on other projects, especially in her art, her support of local nonprofits and as a champion of recent UI graduates. My experiences show Christine is more than just a smart person who listens well. […]
Several weeks ago I penned a letter raising concerns about the then-upcoming newbo evolve festival. My primary criticism was that the event’s branding seemed at odds with its elements. How can one truly have an event “celebrating the Bohemian spirit” with $400 passes, a lineup dominated by mainstream pop acts and a lack of community engagement in the planning process? […]
Ryan Hall ran a credible campaign for Iowa City Council last year as he came close to defeating an incumbent councilor. For the past year, Hall has continued to actively advocate for affordable housing, energy efficiency and a bus system to better accommodate second shift workers and those with special needs. He is now a candidate for city council in the Sept. 4 primary, and he has my vote. […]
When I first met Brianna Wills in 2013, she impressed me with her keen understanding of the inherent relationship between education and housing in our community. She never shied away from asking tough questions or standing her ground in a spirited discussion, but she was always interested in finding genuine solutions to problems.
Brianna Wills works tirelessly for her community through a variety of service groups. Whether she is delivering Meals on Wheels, or serving as Parent Teacher Student Organization vice president or president, co-president for the Districtwide Parents’ Organization or the keynote speaker at Dance Marathon, Brianna is committed to making the lives of those around her better. […]
I’d like to reach out to any who oppose Iowa City’s brutal and shortsighted plan for killing deer this coming fall, who might be willing to attend Iowa City’s Aug. 14 open hearing on the topic, and/or to send their opinions on this topic to the city (to firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is a copy of a letter which I’ve sent. […]
By Scott Wieser To write this letter, I used a headstick (a long curved pointer attached to a headpiece) to type. And to drink, I use a plastic straw. When I’m out to eat or at work, I usually bring my own. Able-bodied people could, too. But if an able-bodied person forgets theirs, they can […]
Locally, Cedar Rapids, Coralville and now Iowa City are considering policy to make all licensed massage therapists (LMT) register or be licensed within their city. Some include large fees, the disclosure of business information, limiting business hours and other unnecessary hoops. They claim to “address the problem of human trafficking and prostitution.” The fears and concerns I hear from my massage therapy peers could be mitigated with the decriminalization of sex work.
Johnson County gives the Johnson County Fair a lot of money every year. This year it was $103,000. That is taxpayer money. They say the money is so the fair and parking there are free and it pays for the deputies who direct traffic. To me, this is endorsing and supporting the fair. I am strongly opposed to any support or endorsement of a fair that includes children abusing animals for entertainment. […]