Letters to the Pilot

Monday, February 2, 2004

Readers Respond

State Park, add the progress, but keep the trees


It is fantastic that plans are in progress to enhance development in Storm Lake, and I would personally be very enthusiastic about the idea of an improved pool facility for

families, a desirable beach area, and an impressive lodge constructed out of wood and stone. I was quite mortified, however, to read in a recent Dana Larsen editorial about "bulldozing out a large part of our rare bit of established woodland to expand the municipal campground." It just happens that the grove of trees he is referring to is one of my favorite places in Storm Lake. Running or hiking through their shade, especially on a hot, sunny day, has provided me with countless pleasure every time I have passed through that special natural area. I consider these trees to be among the most priceless commodities we have, and their destruction would be a great tragedy.

Storm Lake would be greatly improved by the addition of more trees, not only in our park areas, but in public, business, and residential areas throughout the community. I have been saddened, on numerous occasions, to see trees destroyed in the name of "progress" when they could have been preserved by more creative planning. Such actions would have enhanced the properties involved rather than create eyesores.

After my boys died a few years ago, I decided to honor their memories by having two spruce trees planted in their favorite park. I really didn't have the money in my budget for such an expense, however, I found the aesthetic and therapeutic benefits to outweigh the financial costs. Many others have found comfort by such tributes to loved ones, and perhaps this type of action should be encouraged as a way to help pay for the addition of trees to parks and other areas.

It is wonderful that plans are in place to upgrade Storm Lake with a destination park, however, any changes that would be detrimental to nature are counterproductive to the overall purpose of making this a more desirable place for people to live and visit.

- Andriette Wickstrom, Storm Lake

Editor's note: The area in question is a part of the Mandeville Park woods, earmarked for a loop of campgrounds expansion in the Destination Park preliminary plan.

SL teachers deserve a raise


With all the diversity that the teachers have to put up with I believe that they are entitled to at least a four percent raise. My granddaughter teaches at North and also has to drive to East every every day to teach, can not this be corrected so that she does not lose valuable time on the road?

- William Anderson, via e-mail

Editor's note: The current discussion toward a single community-wide elementary school stands to make more efficient use of teacher resources.

Retain BV students in SL


We often hear the complaint that we educate our young people in Iowa and they move and settle elsewhere. Well what are we doing about to provide opportunities here?

When I was growing up we had many good young quality student teacher interns at our public K-12 school and some in business banking in the town bank in Newell, from Buena Vista College. Maybe expansion of the student intern program out of BVU College of Business and College of Education would help the region provide experience and place young people locally.

Maybe a public high school internship career of shadowing and even part-time summer employment opportunities would help high school students in each town gain valuable experience and insight and practical common sense in current career choices for young people today. I myself would have enjoyed sharing insight in various types of careers.

I grew up on a grain livestock farm and my internship was all farm work related. I have good insight there but kind of focused in one main area - maybe all my eggs were in one basket when the farm and economy got tough in the early 1980s.

A person growing up in a family with a small business that they operate and manage, whether it be a retail store supplying goods and services, a small manufacturing company, a professional office, and career on a grain/livestock production business all deal with a comprehensive set of business, social community related skills which should not be underestimated and under-appreciated.

In short we often have more personal skills than we realize from growing up and experiencing various situations in a small town. A history of families moving back and forth between Des Moines and suburbs to Storm Lake over the years is an observation I've noticed, getting business, office, and education experience in Des Moines and then moving to Storm Lake for a family friendly small town beautiful city experience where they can raise their children and family in a good solid progressive Midwestern community...Storm Lake has become a regional magnet for growing, developing families, businessmen, careers, education, healthcare and recreation.

The multicultural population was at first a challenge that took a reeducation and evaluation of needs by the whole community but today a new awareness of the benefits and advantages of an open multicultural freedom-loving, American Midwestern city is evident to all.

Storm Lake is probably a microcosm of the whole American Cultural diversity system, better than most county seat towns in Iowa. Storm Lake residents are now leaders in NW Iowa in example how to adjust to changes, manage progressive change and create a better overall community and opportunities for all of its residents.

- Brad Smith, "a dislocated Storm

Laker and Newell Native,"

Des Moines