Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 24, 2010 7:30 AM

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Pass the 21-ordinance

This is about the bar owners in downtown Iowa City. First, some background: Where I went to college, UCLA, it was illegal to sell liquor within a mile radius of campus. Students drank in the greek houses and in private homes, but admissions to the UCLA hospital for alcohol toxicity was unheard of.

Now a definition — sociopath: a person with lack of empathy; an intraspecies predator who uses charm and manipulation to satisfy his own selfish needs; unconcerned about the adverse consequences for others of one’s actions; remorseless.

The definition fits like a glove for the group of people who own 50-plus businesses downtown, for the sole purpose of making a buck and fostering, promoting, and encouraging the unlimited sale of alcohol — often to dangerously toxic levels — to a population of young people whose brains are still developing. It reminds me of the worthies who eagerly sold liquor to the Indians, knowing the destructive consequences.

Further proof of psychopathology among the owners: The owners of Vito’s, Summit, and One-Eyed Jakes are circulating a petition to lower the age for entering bars after 10 p.m. to 18. Still more proof: a news photo of that super-hypocrite Leah Cohen, the owner of Bo-James, laughing delightedly while hugging a fellow bar owner after the defeat of the 21-ordinance in 2007.

We don’t go downtown at night; it’s too ugly. I have bought food in bars downtown during the day. No more. I congratulate the City Council for finally getting fed up with the predators, and I urge the adults in our town, together with self-respecting students, to back the council with their votes if necessary.

Eugene Spaziani
Iowa City resident

Fight 21-only

From time to time, there is a time. That time is now.

The City Council has begun discussions concerning the resurrection of the once-tried-and-failed 21-ordinance. In 2007, we united in opposing the city’s attempt to further its influence in our day-to-day lives. Now, we Iowa City residents opposed to this council’s lack of concern for our interests must reorganize and force the council to hear us out.

For the most part, we stay out of local politics. But at times like these, when the council saddles its high horse, we have an obligation to voice our concerns. The students and bar owners have been driven out of this discussion and the policies of this council and city. As the nation crawls out of an economic recession, our beloved Iowa City elected officials believe it is their duty to reorganize downtown businesses.

Joseph Jay
Iowa City resident

System needs more doctors

Simply supply and demand: As long as the medical profession has a limited supply of physicians, they will maintain a union shop on medical care. Expand the number of physicians and lower the cost of medical care.

This is not the complete answer to the problems facing medical reform, but a contributing factor. The greed factor is always present in the politics of expansion in the medical complex; however, now is the time to take a major step to change the system.

David Asher
former UI student

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