Linda Schreiber

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February 11: Local writers address Iowa’s path to sustainability

Linda Schreiber is a member of the League of Women Voters of Johnson County.

Water pollution, flooding and drought, soil erosion, and extreme weather events are grabbing increasing attention across Iowa. What’s going on – and what can we do about it?

These and other Iowa environmental problems – and their solutions – will be the focus of Project GREEN and the Iowa City Public Library’s Second Sunday Garden Forum 2024, on Sunday, February 11, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The forum, which is free and open to the public, will also stream live on Iowa City Public Library’s YouTube channel.

The forum’s discussions will be based on the book Tending Iowa’s Land: Pathways to a Sustainable Future (University of Iowa Press, 2022), which includes chapters by 28 Iowa premier scientists and environmental activists. Book editor Connie Mutel will lead a panel with five authors who contributed chapters on soil, water, climate and biodiversity problems. Ample time will be allowed for audience participation and questions.

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Can Republicans and Democrats find common ground?

Linda Schreiber is a member of the League of Women Voters of Johnson County.

Rural policy is an area where Republicans and Democrats should be able to find common ground (no pun intended). The new Congress presents a real opportunity as work begins to pass a Farm Bill in 2023. This legislation is renewed roughly every five years to authorize rural development programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The current Farm Bill will expire on September 30, 2023.

Reauthorization allows policymakers the ability to review programs included in the legislation, consider changes, and address implementation barriers that may have come up since the previous Farm Bill passed.

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Understanding the proposed right to firearms amendment

Linda Schreiber is a member of the League of Women Voters of Johnson County.

The League of Women Voters of Johnson County will host a virtual program, “Understanding the Proposed ‘Right to Firearms’ Amendment,” on Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m. This program, planned by the LWVJC Education Committee, will address the proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution that will appear on the ballot in November. The language needs a simple majority of “yes” votes to be added to the constitution.

Temple Hiatt, a longtime gun violence prevention advocate and activist, will address the proposed amendment. She is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and a member of the Iowa City community for over 40 years. Temple’s personal experience of gun suicide by a family member informs her understanding of the sensible steps that we can take to prevent gun violence.

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Droppett not so convenient for can, bottle return

Terese Grant and Linda Schreiber co-authored this commentary. Bills pending in the Iowa House and Senate would allow retailers to stop accepting recyclable containers.

Droppett CEO and President Doug Webb painted a rosy picture of his company’s recycling system in a January guest editorial for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Droppett is owned by CRINC, which is owned by Doll Distributors (Budweiser) and Iowa Beverage Systems (Miller/Coors).

Recycling declined dramatically during the global COVID-19 pandemic after Governor Kim Reynolds gave retailers the option to suspend redemption.

The two largest retailers took different paths. Fareway discontinued redemption and does not accept containers; it does have agreements with redemption centers. Hy-Vee continued redemption at locations equipped with reverse vending machines and partnered with nearby redemption centers.

If bottle and can redemption is limited to Droppett systems only, recycling may decline further, producing more unclaimed money for distributors (already estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars).

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