Letter to the Editor


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Iowa City needs FilmScene

I am writing this letter in support of the Chauncey's proposal for the redevelopment of College Street/Gilbert Street, which features a space for the local nonprofit cinema FilmScene. (This proposal is one of five finalists presently being considered by the Iowa City City Council.)

For several years, we have planned to incorporate the operations of the Bijou into FilmScene, and our board of directors has unanimously voted to put all of our financial resources and all of our equipment at the service of FilmScene. We are in complete and unconditional support of this venture.

The Bijou has screened films for students and community members for more than 40years. I have been the executive director for three of those years, and I can personally attest that Iowa City needs a cinema in downtown Iowa City. Not only will this better serve community members, it would also better serve students.

Downtown Iowa City is bereft of entertainment options late at night, and a cinema would provide students with a new option. The success of the Bijou's late-night screening series at the Englert proves that students want a cinema downtown. I am proud of what we have accomplished at the Bijou, but a student cinema is not enough to serve the needs of a market as large and as culturally sophisticated as Iowa City. Instead, Iowa City needs a professional, first-run cinema with more than one screen that is open year-round.

Iowa City needs FilmScene.

D. Jesse Damazo

Bijou executive director

RE: 'UI officials defend Mason's comments on Gray documents'

The UI and President Sally Mason certainly aren't transparent at all. To use "tradition" as a reason not to release information in this case isn't valid. It seems the UI just wants to continue down old paths until they once again result in another public-relations debacle. At that point someone gets thrown under the bus again.

It looks like it's going to be Fred Mims this time. Mason's "transparency" statements are more like cataracts than clear lenses. This administration is continuing to remain in its cocoon, as it has done in the past.

Dave Huston

I'm glad I saved the Nov. 26 the Des Moines Register editorial "UI officials can learn from [Des Moines police] chief," which spells out Section 7 of Chapter 22 of the Iowa Code that allows state and local governments to keep confidential certain "personal information in confidential personnel records." Note the word "allows."

Section 7 of Chapter 22 lists more than 60 exemptions to the law's general policy that records of state and local governments are open to the public. The list of exemptions follows an introductory paragraph that says: "The following public records shall be kept confidential, unless otherwise ordered by a court, by the lawful custodian of the records, or by another person duly authorized to release such information."

Maria Houser Conzemius

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