Monday, June 21, 2021

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Preservation of historical documents is No. 1 priority

I am concerned about the proposal to spend $80 million to renovate the State Historical Building on Locust Street. As I understand it, the east side would be razed and converted into an outdoor gathering space. The west end would be renovated and reopen in 2020, with a portion leased out for commercial use. However, I don’t believe that’s the way to go. It seems that the current leadership has ignored the purpose of the State Historical Building Library. The funding, hours and staff have been reduced. Newspapers, which provide valuable historical accounts, no longer are microfilmed. Will the public still have access to the library’s collection during the renovation period if the project proceeds as proposed? Where would the collection be stored during the interim period? How would the collection be transferred? How much would the transfer cost? Who would transfer the collection? Would they be insured? All of these questions should be answered before the proposed $80 million project gains any more momentum. The documents and artifacts in the State Historical Building belong to the people of Iowa. What happens to the library’s collection and museum’s displays and how they are maintained should be the No. 1 priority in any proposal to radically alter the building. Is the goal of the $80 million proposal to have an unobstructed view of the Capitol from the State Historical Building or the retention and preservation of Iowa’s rich history?

Steve Dunn

Des Moines


Prep Iowa - Pride Month

Comic strip lover

Thank you for adding comic strips and puzzles to Cityview! I love the fact that you print the comics a decent size, instead of the tiny postage-stamp size, as The Des Moines Register and other newspapers do. I hope you’ll consider adding a second page of comics, and expand beyond just the joke-a-day style comics.  Might I suggest the weekly (“Sunday”) version of “The Phantom” (comic strip superhero who pre-dated Superman), which is drawn by Iowa native Terry Beatty?  Or perhaps “Alley Oop,” the comedy/adventure strip about a time-travelling caveman hero (created by Perry, Iowa, native V.T. Hamlin in the 1930s, and now created by native Iowan Jack Bender and his wife Carole Bender)? Or maybe even “Spider-Man,” because, well, I like Spider-Man! Thanks again for having a comics page in Cityview!

Mark Lambert

Polk City


They were drunk

The article last week (Guest View, “30 years ago: Sex and booze rocked the Iowa House, April 28) reminded me of The Des Moines Register photo and caption published at the time. It showed a head shot photo of the “participating” legislature with the following quote underneath his picture: “I was drunk.” At the time, that photo and caption on the front page of the newspaper did for many of us 20-somethings what the movie “Fatal Attraction” would do for married men a year later.

Mike Rowley



Business leaders rebelling against GOP lunacy

Republicans’ increasing assaults on the LGBTQ community by passage of harsh discriminatory anti-gay laws have created a firestorm of controversy in the business community.  This sharp split threatens the traditional alliance between corporate America and the Republican Party. The latest flare-up was the Republican North Carolina legislature’s passage of the so called “bathroom bill” legalizing discrimination against gay and transgender individuals. It follows passage of similar anti-gay laws by Republicans in Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas and Indiana. In each case, the corporate community has rebelled with boycotts, protests and threats of withdrawal of business. The North Carolina business community is in rebellion as Republicans defiantly defend their sweeping anti-gay legislation. Multiple companies with operations in North Carolina, including Apple, Dow Chemical, PayPal, Red Hat and Biogen, are all publicly criticizing the Republicans’ legislation. More than 160 business leaders have called on Republican Gov. McCrory to repeal the law. Business leaders are attempting to tell Republicans that their backward discriminatory legislation is bad for business and paints the state as a bigoted reactionary backwater. Corporate America can continue to stand with equality for the LGBTQ community by helping elect Democrats.

Rick Smith


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