Readers Respond

Monday, January 31, 2005

Letters to the Pilot

A cattle producer's market dilemma

To the editor:

I usually raise and finish my own calves. I have been told for years to give the consumer what they want. I have fewer dependable markets to sell my fat cattle every year.

If Japan wants BSE tested beef, and a pack is willing to do it, let them. We have 60,000 head of cattle sold every week in the U.S. If you watch TV market reports, sometimes there are four out of five days with not enough cattle sold for a market test.

Consumers may or may not pay more for U.S. beef, but give them the choice. They already pay more for Angus beef. Angus beef is no better quality beef than any other beef. Angus is just a breed of cattle. That is highly advertised.

Cattlemen are all worked up about the reopening of the Canadian border to live cattle. All the time live cattle have been blocked from crossing the border, boxed beef has been allowed to cross the border. If BSE were going to affect the beef consumer, they could not be affected at all by live cattle with BSE. The slaughtered cattle not the live cattle could only affect the beef consumer. They could only then be affected, if it had BSE. Even if it had BSE, unless they eat the brains, spinal cord, eyes, tonsils, or portions of the small intestine they would have no adverse effect.

If you are going to promote closing the border to BSE beef, do it. Forget about the live beef. Sooner or later we will have a case of BSE in the U.S. Give the consumer what they want, even if they don't know what they want. Educate them to know there is a difference between Angus and USDA choice.

Don't let dollars or political pressure dictate a food safety issue. Keep the border closed to all beef. If the border is opened, let the consumer know where it came from like they do with t-shirts. If it is not grown and fed in the U.S. it should say so, and it should not be at the expense of the U.S. cattlemen. If a piece of meat is not grown in the U.S. under our health standards it should not be allowed to be stamped USDA choice.

- Eben Salton, Webb

Voting yes on Awaysis issue

To the editor:

We urge you to join us in supporting the February 8, $3.5 million bond initiative for Project Awaysis.

A vote "yes" is a vote that will attract professional workers to our county. Completing the Awaysis project will help businesses, K-12 schools, and BVU compete for the hard-to-recruit technical and professional positions. Anecdotal evidence indicates that these potential employees look closely at entertainment, recreational and cultural opportunities that exist within a community.

A vote "yes" is a vote that will provide better opportunities for youth and family recreation. Not only will this benefit our local families, but it will attract families from surrounding communities.

And finally, a vote "yes" is a vote of confidence in the 200+ volunteers who have given many hours brainstorming, researching, and organizing the various components of Awaysis. We have faith that the leadership shown by the city and the volunteer committees have done their homework and have created a plan that will make the community an attractive place to visit, and an even better place to live.

This vote is only one step of the Awaysis project, but it's a step that is imperative to Awaysis' success and the future of Buena Vista County and our communities. In our minds, there is no vote other than yes!

- Ken and Karna Converse, Storm Lake

To the editor:

It's not a big secret that Storm Lake needs a new pool. First, the present pool does not meet ADA standards. Second, parts for repair are unavailable because they are so obsolete. Last, pride in our community should make us anxious to say "We can do better than this."

Carloads of people from Storm Lake are traveling all summer to take advantage of swimming facilities in neighboring towns, some of which are smaller than Storm Lake. Traveling with those carloads of people are purses and wallets of money that will be spent not only on swimming but on food, clothing, gas and other items in those neighboring communities. Nobody travels out of town without spending money on something.

Several years ago when a citizens advisory group developed a proposal for a new outdoor aquatic center which had a price tag of over six million dollars at that time. Then along came Vision Iowa. A new and even better outdoor aquatic center can now become a reality for $3.5 million with their help. Included in the total Awaysis plan there also could be an indoor water facility that would attract people year round.

The election coming up on February 8 will give citizens a chance to have that aquatic center and will also bring those dollars back into our own economy.

I urge you to vote yes on February 8 to make an investment in Storm Lake for future generations and to bring our outdated pool up to 21st century standards.

- Julie Egland, Storm Lake City Council

To the editor:

The upcoming vote on February 8 on a bond issue for the water park portion of Project Awaysis is a no-brainer.

Yes the project will make our city more attractive to new industries. Yes the project will put our city on the map and enhance our image to the rest of the state. Yes the bond issue vote will help finance a new pool for our youth which is so very long overdue. Yes the project will improve the quality of life for every resident.

The Vision Iowa grant is the spark we needed to really achieve something worthwhile and great for our area. The additional building, spending, new jobs... will only trickle down economically to every business, and every citizen. Vote yes on February 8.

- Tom Fitzpatrick, Storm Lake

To the editor:

Storm Lakers have a chance to impact their future like never before! On February 8 we will be asked to vote on a $3.5 million bond issue that will change the future of Storm Lake. The outcome of this vote could be the single most important thing ever to happen to our City.

A yes vote gives us an unprecedented opportunity to create new jobs, new businesses and new attractions. The future developments that Project Awaysis will bring to Storm Lake will benefit all of us. We cannot afford to let this opportunity get by us. Please join us in shaping our future by voting yes on February 8.

- Randy and Dixie Johnson, Storm Lake

To the editor:

February 8 is probably one of the most important dates in the history of Storm Lake. How else could you describe an event that could positively impact Storm Lake and the Buena Vista County area for years to come?

Passing the Project Awaysis bond issue is our first step toward the kind of economic development that has benefited the Lakes area to our north for a number of years. The marketing of their beautiful natural resources, I think, is one of the reasons that Spirit Lake built 71 new homes last year, while the Storm Lake area built five new homes, even though our population has doubled theirs.

A good many cities in this state would love to have a lake with the size and the beauty of ours. That's why we should take advantage of the situation now, especially when many of our government officials and the Vision Iowa people are entrusting us with millions of dollars to help us promote our lake and the tourism industry. If we don't do it, some other city will, and that other city will reap the benefits from the economic development, the tourism, the new businesses, and the new homes that should be in Storm Lake's future.

As an 80-year-old looking to the future of Storm Lake, I'm appealing to grandparents and parents to think of this as a small investment for their children and grandchildren, and vote yes on February 8th. Just maybe, with this kind of investment, we could convince more of them to stay and work and live in Iowa and Storm Lake.

- Don Gallagher, Storm Lake

To the editor:

We moved to Storm Lake in 1952. During our "lifetime" here we have been involved in many projects pertaining to the community, church and school. It is our opinion that Project Awaysis is the most important project that has ever been offered to the citizens of Storm Lake. We are impressed with the many opportunities of growth and development this program has to offer. We are especially excited about the waterpark. We have needed that for ten years or more and the eight million dollar gift from Vision Iowa is going to make that possible. All we have to do is vote yes on the $3.5 million bond issue on February 8 and we can start things rolling. We definitely will be voting yes on February 8 and we encourage everything else to do so.

- Wayne and Bernie Andrews, Storm Lake

To the Editor:

I have never used the current swimming pool and am not likely to use the new outdoor water park that is proposed to replace it. I grew up in Storm Lake before the current pool was built and learned to swim in the lake off Circle and Sunset Parks. The new water park will cost me many hundreds of dollars over the period of the bonding. One might think that I might share the

concerns of those who have questioned whether Storm Lake needs the outdoor water park that is the subject of the February 8 vote or any of Project Awaysis.

Not so! Project Awaysis is a breath of fresh air and I support it! It will be good for our community and future generations will thank us for our foresight.

- Robert L. Wilson, Storm Lake

To the editor:

The citizens of Storm Lake have a tremendous opportunity to leave an incredible legacy for future generations, with voting yes on the upcoming vote on the city's share of funding for the Awaysis project. The eventual end result will be a source of community pride and I am certain drive additional economic growth. Currently there are literally dozens of waterpark-based resorts being built around the country. The Awaysis project is so much more than that - it is a once in a lifetime chance to add a new face to the community. As a native son of Storm Lake, I would first ask its citizens to vote yes on the bonding passage, and second send my gratitude to community leaders who worked hard to bring such a monumental project to fruition.

- Dr. Scott Hadden, Victoria, MN

To the editor:

The Buena Vista County Project Awaysis Plan is about as perfect as it can get!

I'll give it a 99 on a scale of 1 to 100, an A++ grade. Our city, county, and state leaders have definitely gone above and beyond the call of duty on this. A huge thank you to all of them from all of us.

I enjoyed Mayor Kruse's letter to the editor recently, entitled "A Vote for Awaysis is a Vote for the Future of Storm Lake". He mentions six benefits for all of us: 1. State of the art water park; 2. Much nicer golf course; 3. New beach; 4. Upgraded campground; 5. Much improved marina, 6. New playground.

Here's a few more just for fun. 7. A new center for seniors; 8. A 21st Century skating park for kids; 9. An awesome fountain in the lake; 10. A really cool nature center; 11. County-wide pride and opportunity for all.

The vote on February 8 should be 99 to one in favor of Project Awaysis. Get out and vote yes and be proud to live in Buena Vista County.

- Randy Harrington, Storm Lake

No on Awaysis

To the editor:

Reasons to vote "no" on the bond issue for the aquacenter on February 8. The "City Dads" did not seek the wishes of the tax payers but instead were influenced by "The Pie in the Sky" committee to spend the three million for the slides and light house.

They are selling the idea of the cost as being only $5 per month, on a home assessed for $100,000 but $60 to the tax he is already paying would be approximately $1,846 yearly. Payment by a working man with a family or a retired couple with fixed income would be hard to pay.

When we think of the future wants of the county and the schools which I feel are necessary, this will make a burden for them.

Choosing our priorities now will save money to be spent in a more useful way.

So vote "no" when you go the poles on February 8.

- Max E. Ireland, Storm Lake

Don't discourage dissenting opinion

To the editor:

Since this is a free country everyone has a right to his opinion. However, to prominently display a quote like "I've heard a few people say they don't agree with Awaysis. We'll be hoping these are the people who don't turn out to vote..." seems to us to be blatantly egregious. Everyone in this country is entitled to an opinion. We are a Democracy. We believe that everyone who is eligible should vote. Because someone has an opposing opinion does not make him wrong. We should be encouraging everyone to take part in voting whether or not to spend money on any proposed projects. To publicly (via a newspaper) wish people not to vote is frightening for our democracy.

It is sad when people of opposing opinions are afraid to speak up for fear of being ridiculed. We can think of no project that is perfect.

If people do not want a project which eliminates a grove of trees where 30 to 40 different kinds of birds nest; if they do not want the elimination of scenic roadway; if they do not want an indoor water park where people who use a lodge have privileges before local people; if people do not want to leave the downtown where they can eat and shop for a more distant location; if people question changing the shoreline of the lake; if people want the school house and the log house to stay within the city instead of in a corn field, they have the right to those opinions. And they have the right to vote on their opinions.

Please, please do not discourage dissenting opinions.

- Bob and Tina Wolverton, Storm Lake