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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 12, 2013 5:00 AM

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Why rehire Gray?

The article in today’s paper [“UI audit finds no irregularities in Athletics Department, Gray situation,” DI, Feb. 8] regarding the treatment of the Peter Gray affair indicates that no effort on the part of the university has been addressed or reported publicly regarding the rehiring of Gray when he had already taken severe advantage of students.

That question is why was Peter Gray rehired in the first place? When that issue is addressed, I will believe that the university is truly being open about this issue so crucial to the well-being of students.

Mari Struxness

Urban-renewal blues

Déjà vu 1957, the début of urban renewal. Cities renewed themselves by tearing down so-called inferior, but affordable, housing that was never replaced then or even now. This is why, in spite of time and economics, there is so much homelessness. Promises were made in the 1950s at replacement, but the last attempt ended in 1968.

Decisions made in City Council are about to revive this social travesty at Gilbert and College Streets. In its present urban-renewal plans, the city seems to have reneged on its promise to build affordable housing. It does not want to reconsider the builder’s plan that factored in affordable housing and the protection of small business at the same site. All this is done in the name of center city expansionism.

The council in its semi-final decision in January misled the public into believing that the Chauncey is a done deal when it came out at the zoning-board meeting on Feb. 7, that the city had not even bothered to have the plot zoned. 

If the council selects its favored contractor, who does not specialize in affordable dwellings, then the middle and working classes will be forced to move elsewhere for affordable housing.

This will lead to situations, which occurred in the inner cities of all major cities that participated in urban r5enewal in the 1950s. If you hollow out the middle of cities and prevent the middle/working class from finding affordable housing, you automatically erode the tax base and leave a space for “big-city problems” (Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, D.C, etc.). It is the middle class and working classes, which hold moral sway over an urban environment and small businesses, that help cities to survive in times of stress.

Mary Gravitt
Iowa City resident

Defining scientific success

In his Feb. 8 column regarding Sen. Tom Harkin and testing of alternative therapies, Zack Tilly mentioned a massive meta-analysis that determined that only 5 percent of tested alternative therapies were shown after rigorous testing to be better than a placebo.

I am not an advocate for alternative therapies; as a scientist, I strongly believe in rigorous testing. However, what Tilly neglected to mention is that a 5 percent success rate is a breathtaking success rate for a drug company, university, or government lab.

Look at the literature about testing of potential new drugs, some carefully designed, some natural products. See for example: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/NCI/drugdiscovery.

Barbara Booth
UI Faculty


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