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Apartments Downtown: Where were regulators?

I applaud The Daily Iowan for providing full and fair coverage of the recent lawsuit filed against James Clark’s Apartments Downtown and the many names under which it has operated. As a former Iowa City resident, UI student, and renter, I am well-aware of the anger and frustration that this man has allegedly caused over the years. What surprises me is that it has taken two decades for the many individual claims against Clark to finally organize into a class-action suit.

Some will place some responsibility for these allegedly illegal leases on the students who failed to read what they were signing. I certainly understand that viewpoint, though, as a former student, I also realize just how difficult the process is in the madhouse that is “IC renting.”

Only in Iowa City do you have to sign a new lease fewer than five months into your current one. Only in Iowa City are the resources so thin that you have to rent a storage unit three months before you actually need it to ensure you have a place for your things in the “dead week” between leases at the end of July. Such a system makes a full appraisal of paperwork more burdensome than normal.

I don’t hear a lot of blame going toward the city, county, and state, and I wonder why. With all the regulation we pay for, how is it that no government regulator picked up that a guy with $96 million in Iowa City property was allegedly writing illegal rental contracts? I mean, if they’re not scrutinizing him, who are they scrutinizing?

Matthew Steen
UI alumnus

Bijou porn screening distasteful

Can anyone tell me why the University of Iowa allowed a porn film to be shown in a university building?

I am not a prude, but I just do not think that this kind of film should shown here. It belongs in an adult store or theater, not a teaching institution. I can’t believe any parent would approve of spending thousands of dollars to send their children to the UI so that we can show them porn. I will be glad when I can retire from this place.

Between what our sports teams do to embarrass the community and this film showing, I find it humiliating to tell people where I work. The First Amendment has been way too abused, and the UI is a great offender.

Liz Smothers
UI staff

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