Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JULY 24, 2009 7:15 AM

Power plant is no reason to scram

The letter from Ramon Lim (DI, July 23) demonstrates the kind of language that makes it so hard to solve problems. The “threatening” nature of the UI Power Plant was cited as a legitimate reason not to build the new Hancher downtown. I guess the people responsible for building the new recreation facility scant yards from us are idiots.

As a Power Plant employee and active member of the Power Plant Safety Committee, let me assure you, Mr. Lim, we approach safety with extreme vigilance. All of us.

As you bask in warmth during the winter and coolness during the summer, not to worry. You are safe in our hands.

Daniel Johnson-O’Mara
UI Facilities Management

Locals need vigilance on important topics

The articles on the FBI infiltration of an Iowa City peace group in the June and July issues of The Progressive explained how situation occurred but didn’t really go into the local response. I brought this matter to the attention of the Iowa City City Council and proposed a resolution condemning the FBI for its actions. One councilor, Mike Wright, has been trying to get the council to act. Mayor Regenia Bailey told me that she would be in favor of a letter, not a resolution. Now the council is waiting to read the Freedom of Information Act file requested by one of the members of the peace group before it proceeds.

The Johnson County Democratic Party central committee overwhelmingly passed a resolution asking the council to write this letter to the FBI. Our local peace groups have been strangely silent. The community at large has also been strangely silent. No one else has come to the council meetings to bring up the subject. There have been almost no letters to the editor in our local newspapers (possibly because it has received scant coverage), and very few letters to the councilors.

Maybe this inaction is because most people respond like our mayor, who was quoted in The Progressive: “Yeah it’s surprising, but is it surprising? It’s been happening for years.” I think that’s the prevailing view of the politically “liberal” citizens here. And we are a politically liberal college town. Iowa City helped launch Barack Obama in the Iowa caucuses in January 2008 and voted 70 percent for him in November. But as we activists get older, it’s becoming harder and harder to find people who are outraged enough about anything that happens locally — after eight years of Bush — to write even a two sentence letter to the editor.

Gary Sanders
Iowa City

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