Letters to the Pilot

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Readers Respond

Schools thank Hy-Vee

To the editor:

On behalf of our students and staff, we would like to publicly thank Jim Carney and HyVee for the generous yearly donations through the HyVee Shop Smart for Education Program.

The monies given to our schools have helped our students and programs in a variety of ways. Through this program, HyVee helps to pay for needed equipment, supplies, field trip expenses, school assembly costs, etc.

Since the program began in 1998, our friends at HyVee have donated $26,007.25 in seven years to Storm Lake Community Schools.

We continue to encourage our students, parents, staff and community patrons to collect the HyVee cash register receipts and turn them in to our schools. The slips will be counted and given to our friends at HyVee at the end of the school year. Our schools then receive the generous donations that really help our students and programs.

Thank you, HyVee!

- Juli Kwikkel, East and West Principal; Ed Rude, North and South Principal; Diane Jones, Assistant Middle School Principal; Ron Bryan, Middle School Principal; Steven Webner, Assistant High School Principal; Mike Hanna, High School Principal; Bill Kruse, Superintendent.

Spectacular impact


School is back in session, and it seems like the Star Spangled Spectacular was yesterday! What a great day! The weather was perfect, community support was, as always, incredible, and attendance was record-breaking. Most notably, the volunteer crew was outstanding!

We were truly honored to be asked to serve as your 2004 Star Spangled Spectacular Commodores. What a privilege! As our planning began last year, we quickly realized what a talented group of volunteers we had working with us. Our volunteers donated countless hours to make this Storm Lake's great get together

We would like to thank our Grand Marshals, Jeff and Mary Anne Vonk. Special thanks go to Jeff Vonk, the Director of the Iowa DNR for his long time support of Storm Lake and NW Iowa.

A great number of volunteers also helped out on the 4th of July weekend. They include Hannah Friesen, Tom and Kieran Cullen, Ryan Schultz and the Shakespeare actors, Terry Argotsinger, Cilla Robinson, Les Vohs, Russ Eddie, Carey Larson, Virgil Bielenberg and family, Joleen and Ray Dentlinger, and Steve and Shally Kappenman.

As in past years, the City of Storm Lake was instrumental in the success of this event. Mark Prosser and his officers, Bob Williams and his park crew and Mike Jones and his fire fighters provided many hours of assistance throughout the planning stages and the weekend of the 4th. No request went unanswered, and 20,000+ people were available to enjoy our beautiful resources in one of the safest events around.

There are many people on our committee to thank. We are truly grateful for their commitment to this event. Without each and every one of them, this event could not happen each year. They are: Co-Commodores - Mark and Jenny Petty; Past Commodores - Barb and Ed Anderson; Fundraising - Dick Hakes and Craig Fratzke; Treasurer - Ken Converse; Parade - John Cullen and Mike Diercks; Ride/Run - Hugh Perry and John Brostad; July 3rd Event - Bruce Kurtz; Food Booths - Ann Roth;

Traffic Control - Josh Newhouse; Car Cruise - Les and Colleen Vohs and Howard and Lois Hatlelid; Canoe Races - Craig Messenbrink; Children's Art Fair - Jenny Jochims, Witter Gallery; Fireworks - Orren Knoffloch, Brad Sargent and crew; Avenue of Flags - Todd Oxley; Kiddie Parade - Stacie and Steve Eddie; Patriotic Ceremony - Don Rogers; Publicity - Dawn Prosser; Technical Support - David Walker; Ice Cream Social - Alan Bridge; Sleepy Hollow - Dolores Cullen; Dave Fedderson and Chamber Ambassadors

What a great group! Thank you! Thanks also to all the other volunteers, too numerous to mention, who helped in each of these areas.

Good luck in 2005, Mark and Jenny. You'll do a great job, and we can't wait!

- Mike Kohler and Molly Wilson

2004 Commodores

Storm Lake Star Spangled Spectacular

The Medicare blame

To the editor:

Speaking about the 17.4 percent raise in Medicare to take effect next year Senator Charles Grassley said recently "It's very intellectually dishonest for Kerry to blame Bush." The farmer continues, "President Bush doesn't have anything to do with the increase."

For once I at least partially agree with Grassley (as the Leader of the country some blame should fall on Bush's shoulders). The person who should be taking a monster size chunk of the blame is Charles Grassley.

Every year the major pharmaceutical companies like to chum up to Grassley with great big donations and a pat on the back.

Grassley's Prescription Drug Act gives most of the benefits to these companies at the expense of seniors. The act locks seniors into a card for a year but lets drug companies raise prices any time they want.

The act forbids the federal government from using its purchasing power to negotiate a bulk rate with drug companies and bans the re-importation of approved drugs from Canada. The reason prescription drugs are so cheap in Canada is because their government has the power to negotiate prices. Doesn't America deserve that same purchasing power?...

It is time for Drug companies to stop focusing on milking the American people for every penny they can, and begin to focus on curing disease.

Thanks for the opportunity to speak my piece.

- Nicholas Bergin, Iowa City