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Hatred, bigotry

ERNEST NUNNALLY

WATERLOO — What we are seeing today is a backlash to having a black president. The underbelly of hatred and bigotry has been revealed. It’s no coincidence Trump was the leader of the anti-Obama birther movement. The neo-Nazis show up at rallies. But there’s plenty of covert racists who harbor the same beliefs. Millions. That’s why Trump is still in the Oval Office.

Remember Hitler came to power in a civilized nation through a democratic process.

Health care

THEODORE LEDERMAN

WATERLOO — We are constantly being told by our news media Donald Trump is a liar and “facts contradict his statements.” Perhaps some of you will remember President Obama’s repeated statements his plan would reduce the cost of health care by about $2,500 per family per year.

What are the facts? The findings released this year by the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation showed since 2013, one year before Obamacare regulations were fully implemented, premiums have increased by over 105 percent or $2,928 per year. Under Obamacare most people who sign up for coverage have not felt premium increases because of tax credits. In Iowa, multiple insurance companies have dropped out of Obamacare because of the loss of tens of millions of dollars.

What is the future in Iowa? The Aug. 17 Courier states Medica, the only remaining insurer of Obamacare, is seeking to increase premiums for 2018 by an additional 14 percent “on top of the 43 percent increase it is already seeking.”

Who hasn’t been telling the truth?

Main Street redo

DAVE DEAVER

CEDAR FALLS — When you need to rebuild something it’s a good time to re-evaluate circumstances and determine if more of the same is still the best or are there better options. Several years ago, the City Council decided on something different, and we have the Parkade.

Main thoroughfares do provide an opportunity to make a statement about the community. That “statement” may make a city more attractive to potential businesses and future residents. More businesses, more jobs, more citizens equal more taxpayers to share the costs and may actually lower individual taxes.

Part of creating a strong economic development climate requires a positive perception of a community. It is a valuable asset that sometimes has a cost attached. Look at the McDonald’s restaurant being reconstructed again. It wasn’t falling down, but they understand the value of that positive feeling that will be created and increase customer traffic and override the cost.

A $700,000 roundabout is a onetime expense that costs $35,000 a year over its 20 year life. A $200,000 salary costs $4 million over 20 years. Reoccurring operational expense is where the real money is for the taxpayer.

I’m not sure which plan is ultimately best. But cheaper isn’t always cheaper.

Red light cameras

ROBERT SIEBRANDS

HUDSON — The city of Waterloo is pushing ahead with red light cameras and mobile speed cameras/hand-held devices in the name of “safety.” Where is the data supporting the need? Per an Aug 13, 2017, Courier article, there are a cluster of intersections in the top 15 yet only two will get the cameras. If the reason for the cameras is “safety” then logic would require all intersections at the top of the list get cameras. One intersection cited to get a camera saw one death, but that light was off due to construction and stop signs were used.

Who will be responsible for verification and calibration of speed cameras and hand-held devices? How often will they be calibrated? What size, color, shape, and placement of warning signs will be used or will there be any used? The stated purpose for all of the devices is “safety,” yet without data which should be made public how do we know there is a need. How will the money generated by used, divided, and who decides? Property tax relief was listed, but is it really on the list, and if so what percentage of the total?

Opioids

DAVE HOTH

WATERLOO — The media and government continue to focus on opioids as if the drug is the villain. The issue is not opioids, it is a behavior issue: people not communicating or following doctors’ directions. Politicians tying the hands of doctors will only accomplish one thing, a rise in heroin use, which only benefits drug dealers. A recent study said Mayo Clinic overprescribes opioids. Really? Do the folks who did this study have any idea of the hundreds of terminally ill people Mayo treats?

Who decides how much pain medication a dying person gets? Hopefully their doctor, as the doctor sees fit. As a cancer survivor I again will say opioids saved my life. Thank God for them. Opioids are not the problem. People are, including the ones who want to limit them instead of addressing the real issue. A person in pain who cannot get the medicine will resort to the streets. As politicians overregulate the drug we can and should blame them for what will become a larger heroin epidemic.

Walkable cities

JACKI SCHARES

WATERLOO — Every trip we make begins and ends with walking. A walkable community is more than just having a sidewalk in your neighborhood. It has health and economic benefits and connects people and places in ways automobiles cannot.

In 1974, 66 percent of children in the United States walked or rode a bicycle to school, according to the Journal of Preventative Medicine. By 2000, that dropped to 13 percent. The obesity epidemic is plaguing the Cedar Valley, and continuing our same habits will not result in a better outcome. We can take control of our health by setting an example for today’s youths. Walking to schools and stores will instill healthy habits our children can carry into adulthood.

A walkable community provides enhanced access to grocery stores, malls, schools and other businesses. A connected pedestrian network is shown to increase property value and promote tourism in the community. Economically, walkable communities thrive.

A walkable community connects people and places socially, economically and physically. Please support efforts to make the Cedar Valley a great place to live, work and walk.

President’s words

ROBERT HENDERSON

WATERLOO — When running for president, Donald Trump spoke of his desire for a return to the good old days when someone who protested against him could be taken away on a stretcher. White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis stepped to the plate in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12 to engage in an act of domestic terrorism resulting in injuries and death in answer to the president’s call.

On Aug. 16, the president doubled down on what can only be described as a racist, hateful, divisive position. Lest we not forget, the KKK has committed approximately 3,446 lynchings, approximately 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War fought in part to sustain the institution of slavery, and there were about 405,399 American deaths in World War II.

These entities the president has described as very fine people are mired in a history of violence consisting of rapes, castrations, tar and feathering of African-Americans, extermination of Jews in gas chambers, mass incarcerations and various other forms of intimidation, torture and murder. They are the essence of evil, hatred and everything America has fought to eradicate.

All political office holders and Americans should rebuke the president’s statements. America is better than this.

Rude senator

EUGENE JUNG

WATERLOO — Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., was very rude when he criticized Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and called Bernie Sanders a communist.

How does he even keep his job?

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