Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 24, 2009 7:30 AM

Embryos are people, too

As someone who has been pro-life all his life, I believe life begins at the point of conception and that those conceived under the laws of the United States are protected by the Constitution and therefore are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Now has come the day in which science has made it possible to freeze an embryo outside the body of a human female. The embryo’s natural development into a fully functioning human being is then blocked by being frozen until the time arrives when it will eventually be transferred back to a woman in order to have a baby. The natural progression begins again, and results in the birth of a child no different from any other human being.

The controversy surrounding stem-cell research concerns the idea of using “leftover” embryos as a means of repairing or replacing damaged tissues or organs of those who suffer daily. It has been said there is no greater sacrifice than to lay down one’s life for the life of another. As much as I am pro-life, I am also pro-quality-of-life and see this as an opportunity for one life that may be discarded as “leftover” to serve to improve another’s life and hence allow that healed person to not only continue living but live her or his life to also help life to continue. I know that if I was to be discarded as “leftover” rather than be given the chance to help my fellow human being, then all would have been in vain. Many of us are called to perform extraordinary feats as we experience this existence called the human race. I can think of no greater feat than to go from being a “leftover” to someone who was able to lighten the burden of another person and perhaps extend her or his life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

Joe Bialek

Leave Farmers’ Market alone

City councilors — I have worked at the Farmers’ Market for six years. Moving the market one Saturday a month to Iowa Avenue seems like it might be worth a try except for:

1) No one will want to walk three blocks from Iowa Avenue to the parking ramps with a bag of groceries. If you don’t believe me, try an experiment before you vote on this. Drive with a bag of groceries and park on Iowa Avenue. Then walk with your full bag of groceries to the parking ramp. In a more perfect world, we could say people should not mind walking three blocks with a full bag of groceries, but in reality, they do mind. The reality is that people will not want to do it. (That they can park in the ramp for free for two hours is irrelevant). The Farmers’ Market underneath the ramp has hundreds of parking spaces very close by: in the Chauncey Swan ramp, in the lot to the south of market (adjacent to the Recreation Center), and in the City Hall lot.

2) There is the obvious extra cost to the vendors for some sort of covering for their stalls. A recession year is not the time to ask the vendors for this.

3) Rainy or intense sun and heat days are not going to be good days for vendors to be outside.

4) It really doesn’t matter that other cities have successful outdoor farmers’ markets. What matters is that we already have a very successful Farmer’s Market — leave it alone.

5) I am a huge advocate for downtown Iowa City, and this idea may or may not help downtown, but it surely will hurt the market. And the proposed Saturdays aren’t even on the same Saturday each month, which would make it easier for people to remember the change of location. (If you pass this proposal, I would like each of you who vote “yes” to stand at Chauncey Swan ramp on Saturday morning telling Saturday shoppers that the market has moved — and it was your vote that moved it.)

6) This the big one — this move was done without consulting more than a handful of vendors. If every Saturday vendor were given a secret ballot on this decision, the vote would be overwhelmingly “No.” And you know why — because for the vendors this isn’t a little Saturday morning lark, or a hobby. It’s their LIVELIHOOD.

Try to put yourselves in their shoes — who are you to make this gamble with people’s livelihoods in a recession? — think about it, and vote “No” on this proposal.

Gary Sanders
Iowa City

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