Letters to the Editor

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 09, 2010 7:30 AM

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Editorial off-base

The April 6 Daily Iowan editorial (“On 21-ordinance issue, city councilors should look to Lincoln, Neb.”) cites the April 5 article “Where age doesn’t consume” to support its argument that a minimum bar-entry age of 21 is not useful in reducing the harm that alcohol causes to our students and other young people in the community. The editorial did not make mention of the sidebar to the article inside the paper (and, unfortunately, the online edition did not originally include the sidebar). The city of Lincoln doesn’t have a minimum bar-entry age of 21 because the bars near campus on their own limit admission to patrons 21 and over.

Some bars in Iowa City routinely serve underage patrons, as evidenced by the sheer volume of citations for underage drinking issued in many of the bars. When the Iowa City City Council denied liquor-license renewals to bars with the most egregious records of serving underage patrons, the bars appealed to the state.

Some of Iowa City’s bars have not followed the lead of bars in Lincoln by controlling underage service on their own. Unfortunately, that leaves Iowa City’s leaders with fewer options than Lincoln’s had. I applaud the council for taking this action to better protect the health and safety of our community.

Sarah Hansen
Iowa City resident and UI director of assessment and strategic initiatives, Office of Student Services

Grassley plays politics

President Obama, after Senate Republicans blocked his nominations for months, finally took the bull by the horns with the announcement of 15 recess appointments over the last weekend in March, resulting in another specious argument by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

Grassley claims that “these individuals will take their jobs without the public knowing whether they have experience that bears negatively (or positively) on their ability to serve the taxpayers.” Really?

Alan Bersin, nominated more than six months ago for U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, was a Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law School graduate, Justice Department unit head for U.S.-Mexico border affairs, superintendant of San Diego’s school system, California secretary of Education, and an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security.

Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, certainly had possession of Bersin’s résumé. He knew Bersin’s job qualifications. So why the holdup? Politics as usual, it seems.

Obama, after giving ample opportunity for debate, is rightfully moving forward with the nation’s business.

Trish Nelson
Iowa City resident

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