Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 01, 2010 7:30 AM

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Allow urban chickens

I find it most unfortunate that the desire of those to have two or three egg-laying hens in carefully prescribed chicken coops and outdoor areas has generated such misunderstanding and, at times, outright hostility. Cities all across the country permit urban chickens. In the last 10 years, two Big Ten university towns, Madison (2004) and Ann Arbor (2008), have passed ordinances permitting residents to keep chickens if all zoning criteria are met. My former city of residence, San Francisco, permits chickens as well. Why not Iowa City, of all places?

The issue of wasting precious staff time is also puzzling to me. The code language on urban chickens has been developed in many municipalities and is easily accessible on the Internet. Iowa City staff would not need to spend much time inventing new code language. I’m confident — and I hope it’s sooner rather than later — that in time we’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.

John Thomas
Iowa City resident

Go with single-payer system

Most everyone agrees that reducing the costs of health care and providing affordable access for all are the most critical and primary components required for health-care reform. Since the Republicans will never sign onto any health-reform bill and the Democrats are forced to use budget reconciliation to get any bill passed, I urge the White House and Democrats to go for the gold.

Give up the ghost of bipartisan support, and submit the plan that has the best chance of reducing costs, providing universal coverage, being the simplest to implement and least expensive to manage, and is an established, tried and true method. The best plan is a single-payer system — Medicare for all.

Mary Pat Lease
Iowa City resident

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