Letters to the Editor


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The importance of World Toilet Day

Thursday was World Toilet Day. While this little-recognized day might at first seem comical, it really is no laughing matter. There are plenty of statistics to cite about the global lack of adequate sanitation. Perhaps the most daunting is that an estimated 2.5 billion people — more than 40 percent of the global population — do not have access to basic sanitation, according to the World Bank.

Sanitation issues disproportionately affect rural populations in underdeveloped countries, where rural sanitation coverage is less than half that of urban areas. Diarrheal disease linked to fecal contamination of drinking water is often widespread in these areas and is one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 years of age.

World Toilet Day provides two opportunities: The first is to increase awareness of global sanitation deficiencies, and the second is to appreciate places with modern sanitation coverage. Do not take for granted the hygiene, privacy, convenience, and dignity that on all other days are simply an assumed part of your bathroom experience.

Michael Schaefer
President, UI Engineers Without Borders

Sheriff’s letter was political hackery

As a resident of North Liberty and Johnson County, it is certainly refreshing to see Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek shirking his duties as the county’s top elected law officer. In regards to his Nov. 17 letter in The Daily Iowan, I did not realize that one of the sheriff’s duties was to question the rights of the citizens of Johnson County — that is, the right to call a special election after the retirement or passing of a county supervisor.

The office of sheriff, no matter what county, should concern itself with enforcement of laws and the protection of the citizenry and not become the office of a political hack. Pulkrabek needs to reassess his priorities and the priorities of his office and stick to the job he was elected to do.

Political hackery has no place in the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. If Pulkrabek feels he needs to attack citizens based on their political leanings, perhaps he should resign his office and become more actively involved with the Johnson County Democrats. However, I am certain that the pay grade is significantly less than that of sheriff.

John O’Neill
North Liberty resident

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