Kick-start diversity with board

Kick-start diversity with board

Gazette Column
Much consternation has taken place over the past few years in Johnson County due to the Iowa City Schools’ facilities plan and diversity policy. Here’s a suggestion: let’s start enacting needed changes in the way board members are elected. There are 19 elementary schools in the district with one, Hoover Elementary, slated for closure following the 2018-19 school year. But the board’s seven members live within the boundaries of only five elementary schools — Lucas (2 members), Shimek (2 members), Van Allen, Weber and Wickham. Before Sally Hoelscher’s recent resignation from the Board, Lucas Elementary was only one vote shy of a majority. This leaves 14 enrollment areas without direct representation, including the three — Garner, Penn and Hills elementaries — in the outlying areas of North Liberty and Hills.…
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Developing War of 1812 battlefield shortsighted

Developing War of 1812 battlefield shortsighted

Gazette Column
Fort Madison battlefield only Iowa location where U.S. troops died defending country City leaders in Fort Madison have agreed to split a plot of land they know to be historic. While dividing the parcel does not immediately endanger further investigation or preservation of the site, it does clear the way for a section of the property to be developed by Minnesota-based RSBR Investments L.L.C. as a Dollar General Store. If this retail development is allowed to move forward, Iowa and the nation will likely lose a significant segment of history forever. The land in question is currently a dilapidated parking lot, owned by Holy Trinity Catholic Schools, that previously served Sheaffer Pen Co. It is situated just blocks from the Mississippi River and bordered by U.S. Hwy 61 (Avenue H…
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