I was surprised to see your blanket praise of an ill-conceived and short-sighted attempt by the Iowa legislature to provide some energy assistance to Iowa residents. (See "Register Your Protest Against High Energy Costs," River Cities' Reader, Issue 309, February 7-13, 2001.) I guess if you want to give Senator Maggie Tinsman credit for cutting the funds that supply the staff that actually carry out the LIHEAP program, weatherization for low-income homes, and water-quality monitoring, go ahead. At least Governor Vilsack had the presence of mind to line-item-veto the cut to low-income housing funds that were included in the plan. This plan literally robbed programs that help poor people. It allows for a quick fix to provide very limited assistance while leaving underfunded programs wanting for this year. Really: Taking away the money that makes homes more energy-efficient somehow helps? I thought the Reader looked beyond the political gimmicks to uncover the real story. You missed this one by a mile.

Shelley Sheehy,

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