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Global education

AJA R. WITT

WATERLOO — There’s been a lot of media coverage about the education budget, funding and cuts. But these policies aren’t just decisions in Washington. They affect the lives of people around the world. They affect the likelihood a young girl in Somalia will contract HIV, that she will fall victim to sex trafficking or that she will be raped. A basic education, a quality education, has been found to decrease the likelihood girls in the most poverty-stricken, conflict areas in the world will experience the absolute worst of societal ills.

There are more than 263 million children around the world who are not in school who should be. As the “greatest country in the world,” it is our responsibility to fight for the education of every child around the globe, especially those most vulnerable.

The Global Partnership for Education, with continued support from the United States, is positioned to help more than 25 million children in developing countries begin their education by 2020. This is not a foreign issue. This is bipartisan, human interest, and our Iowa representatives and senators must take action.

Summer music

LUCINDA M. LEAR

president, Cedar Valley Chamber Music

WATERLOO — For two weeks in July, the Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival provides concerts in Waterloo, Cedar Falls and neighboring communities. These talented musicians, all with Iowa connections, travel from across the U.S. and Canada to share music with the Cedar Valley at places such as the Cedar Falls Farmers Market, area ESL programs, libraries, elementary schools and local retirement centers. Chamber music musicians, with the help of Bryans on 4th, were also able to raise money to sponsor music programs at the Cedar Valley Boys and Girls Club. Artistic Director Hunter Capoccioni always has an exciting array of music and musicians who love performing for Iowa audiences.

What a treasure trove of music to take advantage of. Every week in June and July Waterloo and Cedar Falls summer bands perform, and two weeks in July lovers of chamber music enjoy concerts at a variety of intimate venues.

Many take advantage of these unique opportunities, but I would like to encourage many more to do so. We are at the end of the summer season for these performances, so I urge you to plan ahead for next summer’s music events. Hope to see you there.

Column response

CHRIS SIMENSON

DUNKERTON — In response to Gary Kroeger’s July 30 column, I have met Gary in person and he is a likable guy. His latest column concerning “Why we disagree on truth” exemplifies why liberals and conservatives see things differently. A random check of his column resulted in a “Fog Factor” of about 14.8. In plain English this means a junior standing in college is necessary to understand its content. Then there is the obligatory patronizing in trying to explain its meaning to the unclean masses: I am well-read, you aren’t. Let me explain this to you.

True conservatives believe in plain talk. They also believe there are some absolutes. For example, open borders and state sovereignty are incompatible, or you shouldn’t spend your country into bankruptcy by raising the debt ceiling and borrowing from our children.

With respect to liberal banality (like this better than platitudes) cut costs (mean) reduce taxes (millionaires and billionaires), welfare reform (heartless), Kate’s law (attack on immigrants).

Liberals should love math. It is what climate change is based on. Once we agree we cannot spend from a bottomless well we can move on to how we improve our nation. 2+2=4 is something we can all agree on, right?

Main Street

JIM O’LOUGHLIN

CEDAR FALLS — In a guest column (“Time for C.F. taxpayers to put their foot down” July 30), Tom Hagarty argues for making no changes to the configuration of Main Street in Cedar Falls.

If the issue is just how quickly cars can get from one place to another, then that argument makes sense. The problem is Main Street was designed before Route 58 was built. It is now the central corridor of a residential neighborhood with many walkers and bikers rather than the primary route for fast-car traffic cutting through town. Unfortunately, the current design encourages fast driving and little else.

As someone who is a bike commuter and whose children regularly have to cross Main Street to get to school, I fully support the innovative designs that will make our neighborhood a more attractive place to live and a safer place to walk and bike. If Cedar Falls just kept doing what had been done in the past, there would be no downtown Parkade and no new Lincoln School. Let’s not miss this opportunity to make Main Street a showplace rather than a shortcut.

Traffic cameras

ROBERT SIEBRANDS

HUDSON — Waterloo is considering red light cameras using the same song and dance as every other city with them — public safety. I would simply like one city to be honest and admit it’s about the money. If it’s not, then make the ticket count against the driver’s license. The ticket is mailed to the vehicle owner and not the person driving the vehicle.

The owner could be out of the country and still get the ticket and be required to pay it. If the city feels it’s that important and apparently believes the sales pitch from the company that will own and operate the cameras, then there should be enough money to hire officers to sit full-time 24/7 at those camera locations and write tickets and still come out ahead.

We dine out in Waterloo twice a week. Install the cameras and we shop exclusively in Cedar Falls, never Waterloo again.

The Iowa Legislature can OK fireworks but not increase the speed limit on rural two-lane roads to where it was prior to 1974 — 70 mph. They also cannot eliminate red light cameras in the entire state. Maybe it’s time for a change.

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