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Letter to the editor: I’m supporting Laura Bergus for Iowa City Council

As early voting at the Johnson County Auditor ramps up this week, I’m excited to cast my early ballot for Laura Bergus for an at-large seat on the Iowa City Council. I have observed Laura as a leader helping area nonprofits drive strategic initiatives, as a pro bono advocate for a client who needs a voice in our often cumbersome legal system, […]

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Letter to the editor: Who is responsible for cleaning up the microplastics in downtown Iowa City?

As I write this, it is the first Monday in August 2019 and it is snowing in downtown Iowa City. Tiny pieces of Styrofoam are drifting lazily down onto my car in the Clock Tower Parking Ramp and the alley outside. They polka-dot the sidewalk and form tiny drifts up against curbs and walls, as they have done in this area of downtown for weeks now. […]

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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: 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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