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Letter to the editor: Corn kernels in hand, Johnson County Fair-goers expressed concerns about a livable future

The midway is cleared and still. The ice cream is gone. The barns and buildings are closed. It was another great year for the Johnson County Fair. And so it was for the ever popular annual Corn Poll of the People’s Coalition (Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility, 100Grannies for a Livable Future, Veterans For Peace and PEACE Iowa) in Building B. This year’s fairgoers were questioned about their concerns for a livable future. […]

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Letter to the editor: Encourage local voting at Community Rocks! Rally

If you follow voting numbers, you’ll see that people come out in the largest numbers for presidential elections.

The next largest group of voters come out every couple years for state elections, and the smallest group of voters come out for local elections.

If you follow progress of any community, you’ll find that the higher the percentage of eligible voters traveling to the polls to assert their opinion, the more reflective the elected leaders are of the community they serve. […]

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Op-Ed: Hawkeyes lineman’s toughest opponent is depression

By Sean Welsh My name is Sean Welsh and I’m an offensive lineman for the Iowa Hawkeyes. On Saturdays in the fall I live life in the trenches at Kinnick Stadium and other venues across the Big Ten. Each week, in front of 70,000 or more cheering football fans, I have the privilege of wearing […]

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Letter to the editor: Acknowledging and combating local racism

By Audrey Keith Yes, racism happens in liberal Johnson County. On April 6, an employee of Coralville Petco used a racial slur against Chelsey Montgomery and then forced her to leave the store with the assistance of Coralville police officers. Chelsey’s live Facebook video about the incident later went viral. While Chelsey has received some […]

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Letter to the editor: The intricacies and effects of Iowa’s new voter ID law

The only good news in Iowa’s new voter ID law, House File 516, is that it doesn’t take effect right away. So if you’re reading up on this now, you have time to get ready. The problem, of course, is that at the last minute lots of people won’t be ready — which of course is entirely the point. […]

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Letters to the editor: Head-to-head on the ICCSD bond referendum

I wholeheartedly support the Iowa City Community School District bond referendum. Here is why:

1. Our kids need it. Johnson County keeps growing, and our schools haven’t kept up. We add over 300 students per year, the equivalent of one elementary school. Our kids deserve climate controls. They deserve rooms for art, music and PE. If nothing changes, 60 percent of our students will have class in a temporary classroom. And ADA accommodations are federal law! […]

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Letter to the editor: The sick and suffering deserve access to medical cannabis

I am writing in support of the use of cannabis for the sick and suffering people in the state of Iowa. I myself am in constant pain from being injured several times in car accidents. I also have childhood trauma, with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. I know there are others that suffer far worse than me, and I am writing for them also. I feel like we have such a high cancer rate in this area from the ammunition plant in Middletown and the run off from farmers polluting our water. […]

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Mourning the loss of a mentor and friend in theatre professor Steven Marc Weiss

The human brain is fickle. Our memories are unreliable. For instance, I can’t remember the first time I heard David Bowie’s Young Americans, or watched Gene Wilder in Blazing Saddles, and I certainly can’t remember the first time I read Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? These works of art had profound effects upon my life and these men became my heroes, my icons. I can’t remember when or why I first met steven marc weiss, but I can remember bonding with him over a shared love of playwrights and a mutual disdain for capital letters in emails (proper nouns be damned) — and our sons were nearly the same age despite the decades difference between the two of us. […]

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Letter to the editor: Does Rapid Creek Cidery push the bounds of zoning?

The opening of the Rapid Creek Cidery at Wilson’s Orchard on Dingleberry Road has been noted in several media stories applauding the project. While I am agnostic about the new building itself, there is an aside to the cidery story that should concern all county citizens. The cidery offers unique amenities, but those came at a high price and I hope they remain one of a kind.

The item in the June 2015 agenda was simple: An application by Wilson’s Orchard for a conditional use permit for a retail orchard and winery. As defined in the Johnson County Code of Ordinances, a retail orchard is “land used for the growing and limited sale of trees, fruits, vegetables and the retail sale of assorted products not produced on site.” The ordinance defines a cidery as “a facility for the preparation, marketing and distribution of (cider). May include a tasting room or sales area.” Good for Wilson’s, I thought. Not thinking those definitions would be abused, I did not attend that meeting. […]

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