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Letters to the editor: Vote Brianna Wills in the Iowa City Council special election

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. […]

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Letter to the editor: Massage ordinances being proposed across Iowa are dangerous

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.
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Letter to the editor: End tax funding to the Johnson County Fair until the kids’ rodeo is cancelled

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. […]

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Letter to the editor: Why we should critique newbo evolve

Cedar Rapids entrepreneur Steve Shriver wrote a letter to The Gazette in February chastising those raising concerns and criticisms of the upcoming newbo evolve festival. Shriver asked, “What do you gain by complaining about an upcoming event?” Shriver’s loaded question reveals his defensive attitude and skewed perception. It’s also emblematic of what is wrong with the current “creative brain trust” in Cedar Rapids. […]

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Letter to the editor: Building heights and the future of development in Riverfront Crossings

Riverfront Crossings District

Iowa City Council’s consideration of a rezoning application for 12 Court St in the Riverfront Crossings District has sparked a kerfuffle about high-rise buildings and the future of development in Iowa City. The debate generally centers on building heights. Whether one supports high-rise buildings — that is, any building over nine stories — is typically framed as an aesthetic preference. […]

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Letter to the editor: Cultivate compassion in children

By Lynn Gallagher Children naturally feel compassion for animals. That’s a good thing. We should not encourage them to repress their compassion by teaching them to treat animals like objects. That’s exactly what we are doing when we encourage them to participate in a rodeo. Unfortunately, the Johnson County Fair will include a kids’ rodeo […]

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Letter to the editor: We can end the opioid crisis

Eighty-five percent of heroin users start by taking legal opioids. Fentanyl and carfentanil are involved in a clear majority of overdose deaths. Even combining these with moderate alcohol use can be deadly. Scientists were learning the powers of synthesized opioids prior to the start of the war on drugs. You likely have not heard of carfentanil. It is a manufactured weapon in a manufactured crisis. The toxicity of carfentanil has been compared to that of nerve gas. Yet it is only classified as Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States. […]

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Letter to the editor: Too many hogs, too much corporate greed

Two thousand four hundred ninety-nine. That is the magic maximum number of hogs allowed to construct a new confined animal feeding operation (CAFO, or factory farm) in Iowa without notifying local or county officials or adhering to state government regulations. Only a cursory review and approval by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and filing a plan for manure management with the county auditor, are required. There are no minimum requirements for acreage or distance from residences, schools, parks and sources of water unless the CAFO contains 2,500 hogs or more. […]

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Letter to the editor: The Iowa City Council is halting valuable housing projects because they don’t like tall buildings

The Core 4 of the Iowa City Council have indicated a potentially major shift for the future of development in Riverfront Crossings. There are processes and regulations in place to guide P&Z and the council when considering height bonuses. These are, and should be, totally separate from the rezoning process. While it was appropriate for the council to communicate concerns about height to the developer at this stage, there was no reason to not move forward with the rezoning.
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