Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 17, 2014 5:00 AM

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What gives with South Elementary project?

At a time when School District officials are cutting essential curriculum for our students, they are giving handouts to developers.

On Nov. 12, 2013, the Iowa City School Board approved work on the South Elementary School Project. As part of the purchase agreement, the District agreed to fund the Daniel Place Street extension to the tune of $500,000 using SILO/SAVE funds. Half of the money is a direct grant to a yet to be named landowner who stands to profit greatly from the district’s construction of a school adjacent to his property.

The other $250,000 is a zero interest loan to be repaid ultimately to the district by the current property owner or new property owner upon the sale of adjoining properties on the north side of Daniel Place Street. Nowhere on this document does it mention who the landowner is nor does it specify when the loan would be repaid more than ultimately firm up the length of the loan more than saying the loan will “ultimately” be repaid.

I have discussed this with several board members, who have said they don’t know who owns this property or who benefits, yet they approved paying half a million dollars to an unnamed, apparently unknown landowner without any question.

Phil Hemingway

Nothing But Nets

The Iowa U.N. Association will host its first-ever 5K run/walk to benefit Nothing But Nets, a U.N. campaign that raises awareness and funding for insecticide-treated bed nets. These bed nets will be distributed to sub-Saharan Africa in order to prevent malaria, a leading cause of death among children. One child dies every 60 seconds from this preventable disease. With your help we can cover a continent.

The race will be held near sundown in City Park on May 4, and it is expected to bring in around 200 runners wearing orange and glow-in-the-dark apparel to show support. The post-race event will feature snacks, live music, and a representative speaker from the national Nothing But Nets campaign. For more information, contact Keelie Johnson at keelie@unaiowa.org.

Keelie Johnson
Iowa U.N. Association

Re: Pell Grant cuts problematic

Forget about cutting Pell Grants; the government needs to get out of the loan business if you really want to curtail the rise in tuition. Too many kids are going to college by taking on debt they won’t be able to pay off and because so many kids are going to college, the colleges don’t really have to compete by offering a better education for less. The bubble is going to burst; just look at the law school having to cut tuition and the tuition freezes at the universities, do you really think they care about the student? No, they see the gravy train is coming to a screeching halt.

Scott Christopherson

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