Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JANUARY 19, 2011 7:10 AM

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Sleep campaign wasteful

I am disappointed that the Nanny State has reached Iowa City. The management of the University of Iowa has decided to expend resources to tell people to get more sleep.

Doesn’t every adult know that if he or she is tired, more sleep is needed? Must the university expend scarce resources in such a ridiculous manner?

As a modest contributor to the university, it is distressing to see that its funds are spent so foolishly.

Mike Norton
UI alum

Passenger rail has many benefits

As our state, our cities, and our entire region strive to emerge from these economic times, it is critical we remain viable, economically sound, and connected. Rail has long been an enviable transportation backbone overseas; trains run frequently, comfortably, and on time. Such infrastructure offers a platform for growth and regional emergence.

Rail is an alternative to our cars; train passengers can work, socialize, or relax. Rail fosters development at hubs along its routes; real development means jobs, retail, and industry. There is a studied and expected vibrancy that emerges where trains are central to both freight and passenger travel. The annual operating budget for passenger rail is dwarfed by the billions Iowans pay in road and highway construction and maintenance.

Federal funding — $230 million — is ensured now. Illinois is in for $60 million. Iowa’s share is $20 million. Should we wait, the cost to Iowa would be exponentially greater, time would be lost, gas burned, and the opportunity for economic development stalled.

Rail may also encourage a return of educated young adults to our state; those who see access across the midsection of the country and economic energy, resulting in real job options, may just cast a fond eye on Iowa as they investigate options.

It would be truly shameful to make rail a partisan issue. I hope our new governor does study rail, as promised, and makes it a hallmark of his administration. This is our time.

Kate Minette
Cedar Rapids resident

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