Letter: Casino would revive downtown
The mall/downtown area could be fixed by the city taking over the mall, and putting a casino where Penny's was. The stores would fill up in the mall and be able to charge less for rent to keep them there.
They could build their hotels and have potential customers and more visitors for Music Man Square, the art museum, and other surrounding businesses. The movie theater could open back up, maybe a steak house in the mall, all possible through revenue from the casino or from taxes from a casino.
More people means more business. It's a win, win, win! Take a lesson from Worth County: only the local people would spend their money here instead of driving 20 miles. And it's also closer for a number of surrounding communities to gamble here.
Wake up Mason City, or deal with the consequences.
Jay Sheahan, Mason City
Letter: We don't need another $100k job
In response to the headline ("Council scraps finalists," March 9), about the city of Mason City not selecting any of the candidates for city administrator, I am wondering why we should continue the search and just stop it right now.
I have heard over and over from our mayor that Jacobson is doing a fine job, and we have a fine staff supporting him. Why do we need to add another $100,000-plus job to our payroll when it is working fine right now?
I agree with the mayor to a point: if it is working with the system in place right now (he said we are comfortable,) why don't we just name Jacobson administrator with his fine staff.
Our population is not getting any larger, and if things are working, why do we need to add more payroll?
John Lindsay, Mason City
Letter: Most agree on key gun points
Gun issue compromise: I do believe we have to get beyond thoughts and prayers and talk about the issue. And that all possible solutions should be on the table. But a real beginning step would be to start where there is agreement.
How about this? Accept all the things most agree on:
Raising age limit to 21;
Increase and improve background checks and reporting;
Have a 14-day waiting period;
Improve funding to mental health;
And most importantly, allow studies on gun violence, as well as how to best identify and reach those who are mentally ill.
Can we agree to this?
I present this to leaders and citizens as a reasonable first step. And then let everything be discussed base on the evidence the study presents.
Let the facts be the guide. And let leaders learn the word compromise again.
Joe Davis, Rudd
Letter: Glasson supports LGBT protections
Being transgender comes with a lot of difficulties, including finding a political candidate who pays attention to the trans community. Very few candidates focus on issues like the gay/transgender panic defense, which asserts that violence towards a person upon learning their LGBT identity is justified. Currently, Iowa is one of the 49 states that still allows that bigoted defense. When I go out, I don't want to hide my identity in order to stay safe. I want to do more than survive; I want to thrive in my state with the protection I deserve.
That's why I support Cathy Glasson for governor. One of her main campaign focuses is banning the gay/transgender panic defense outright, ensuring the safety of Iowans of all identities. She's also very focused on the inclusion of gender identity in hate crime legislation to protect trans people. Last year, 28 people, including my friend Gwynevere, were murdered in transphobic hate crimes. I don't want to lose any more friends, and I definitely do not want to lose my own life. Those extra inclusions won't bring back lives lost, but they will save so many more; Iowa needs its trans citizens.
It's terrifying to be acutely aware of how often you're in danger, but Cathy is fighting to make sure that people like me are safer in our own state. I deserve safety, and Cathy Glasson believes so too.
Lou Ramsey, Iowa City
Letter: Lawmakers act like Iowa is Iran
I took the opportunity to attend a local legislative forum. The Legislators in attendance were, Mr. Guth, Baxter and Gassman. I thank them for the opportunity for us to express our views. It was a lively discussion.
The audience had many concerned questions on a variety of important topics. During the gun control discussion, we learned from our legislators that guns do not kill people, people kill people. There apparently is no need for further gun control measures, because that means we are coming to take their guns away. We were told this is a societal issue.
Too many divorces and single-parent households. The cure for all of this is the need for religion in schools, they stated. When someone asked about increasing funding for our schools, a legislator stated we can't increase funds to schools because there are 600,000 people on Medicaid.
I then asked, does that mean people should not have health care? The legislator asked me which church I belong to. I asked why does that matter. He said, because that is where you should get you health insurance from.
So, if it takes you two or three jobs to cover your bills, too bad. Our state government is not interested in you having a living wage. I bet you also did not realize the negative impact you have had on our society, due to your divorce.
More guns will fix our problems.
Religion in our schools will fix all of our ills.
And if you do not belong to the "right" church, too bad when it comes to health coverage. Wow!
These are the people writing our laws. It is time we decide if we want to continue as a democracy, or be a theocracy such as Iran. We need to take action now.
Lissa Holloway, Britt
Letter: Pray in school, arm the staff
Common sense regarding guns, and school prayer are needed to stop school massacres.
Regarding gun common sense: 1. Ban gun-free zones, where most of our country's massacres have occurred. 2. Require all schools to have trained, armed staff just like sports and entertainment celebrities, millionaires, banks and congresspersons. After all, our children are at least as valuable as these.
Regarding school prayer: it was taken out of our schools because liberals felt it was wrong. They also took the Ten Commandments out of our schools because liberals felt they espoused a religious belief not shared by all and were offensive to some. Prayer and respect for others is needed.
Laws didn't end drinking during Prohibition. More laws won't end violence in our schools and neighborhoods. Violence will end only when our children are protected by armed guards and when people have the respect for one another that God intended for us to have.
Let's start by reinstating daily prayer and respect in our schools.
Pat Ropella, Mason City
Letter: Ranking reflects what we know
We received incredible news from US News and World Report last week. Their annual rankings has Iowa as the top state in the nation. I knew we were doing things right in Iowa, but now the rest of the country can see what many of us already know.
Thanks to the dedicated leadership of Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowans who are willing to work hard each and every day, our state is better off.
Nancy Rockman, Mason City
Letter: 'Nice' only applies to big ag
I just heard someone saying "Iowa Nice." That is what wrong with this state. By being nice, we are seeing numerous hog confinements moving in to Iowa.
When Terry Branstad said he loved Iowa, I feel it was for exploiting the state by letting corporate hogs come in and destroy our air and water quality.
Was this done for political contributions to their party? Now, I feel this is what the Worth County Supervisors feel.
Screw the health and well being of the county residents, let us bow down to corporate ag, so they can make money feeding communist China!
How can Iowa be the No. 1 state to live in with over 750 impaired waterways and the hazardous air pollution that comes from these operations?
I get this sinking feeling: is this what the Native Americans felt when the U.S. Army took their land and freedom away? I know it was much worst for the Indians. Not only did they lose their land, but also a lot lost their lives in the process. Maybe the reservations that they move us to will be cities over a population of 50,000. Sorry Northwood, you are to small to worry about!
This way, if no one lives in rural Iowa, there will be no reports of pollution from rural residents.
If we are going to win, maybe we need a Little Big Horn of our own, not with violence, but at the voting polls this fall. Find out witch candidates have sold their soul to big money and the greed of agriculture. This is the only way rural residents can win big and start renewing our state environment.
James Berge, Kensett
Letter: Thank AmeriCorps' work
I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve as a literacy tutor with Iowa Reading Corps through the AmeriCorps program. I tutor elementary school students every day to help them become better readers. AmeriCorps Week is March 11-17.
AmeriCorps was founded in 1994 and provides opportunities for almost 75,000 Americans to serve their country at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups all across the nation. AmeriCorps members have helped make our nation stronger, safer, smarter, and healthier. Since 1994, more than 10,000 Iowa residents have served more than 14 million hours and have qualified for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $34.57 million.
AmeriCorps Week is a time to recognize the dedication and commitment of the more than one million Americans who have chosen to serve their country through AmeriCorps and their community partners, and to encourage more Americans to follow their footsteps in service. Thank you, fellow AmeriCorps members and alumni, for all your service to our communities and to this nation. And thank you, United Ways of Iowa, for your partnership with Iowa Reading Corps.
Pamela Johnson, Mason City
Letter: Great work clearing the roads
Thank you to all who are responsible for keeping our streets and highways safe for travel. Our city and state workers who put in long hours clearing roadways need to be thanked and shown appreciation for what they do.
Oh, and by the way, the humorous but to-the-point safety slogans on I-35 are to be acknowledged and appreciated too!
So, again thanks city and state workers for keeping our streets and highways safe for all.
Harlan and Marge Baack, Mason City
Letter: Local talent makes show a success
If you are looking for a fun-filled evening (or Sunday afternoon) there is still time to learn what is so important about being earnest. What talent we have "right here in River City!"
The intimacy of The Mason City Community Theater makes it perfect for Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," as the facial expressions of the characters speak volumes! Kudos to our local talent and all whose hard work makes this show a success.
Beverly Butler, Mason City
Letter: Attacks on Ragan are dirty lies
My neighbors and I have recently received mailings and Facebook postings that deliberately misrepresent our Iowa State Sen. Amanda Ragan (D-Mason City). These are sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa and are a shameful attempt to falsify the record and delude the public before the upcoming November elections.
They make the same fraudulent claims of silly spending such as heated sidewalks that Republican campaigns have been putting in their advertisements against Democratic legislators for the last 10 years. The same cunning lies were used successfully by Americans For Prosperity two years ago to vilify and “take out” Mary Jo Wilhelm and Brian Schoenjahn. One would think that Republican ad-men, for the money they are paid, could at least invent new ones instead of running the same old pathetic lies.
The truth is that Amanda Ragan has been an exemplary representative for the people of Senate District 27 in Cerro Gordo, Franklin, and Butler counties. She is one of the most hard-working, knowledgeable, and caring public servants in Iowa government and has received awards for being an outstanding legislator.
Amanda Ragan has called time and again for oversight of the disastrous turnover of Medicaid to private out-of-state insurance companies that has resulted in wasted money and lower standards of care. She has fought for better funding of education and other vital services, while the all-Republican-statehouse has frittered away the state’s surplus on corporate give-a-ways.
The disgraceful defamation spread by the Republican Party may backfire on Shannon Latham of Sheffield, the opponent slated to run against Amanda Ragan. Latham could condemn and disassociate herself from this politics of personal destruction, but if this early smear is any indication, we may have a down and dirty campaign coming.
David Mansheim, Parkersburg