Readers Respond

Monday, February 28, 2005

Letters to the Pilot

A few thoughts on Awaysis

To the editor:

I certainly voted in favor of AWAYSIS. I have a few reservations, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. Watching the process will be exciting. But here are a few thoughts.

As I look at the plans, it seems as if the Great Lawn can be established without sacrificing any of the presently standing big trees. They took a century to grow and could not be replaced during the lifetime of any of us now living. The Lodge would be a make free from the "git-go", except for a lounge with tv for those who need that sort of thing.

Maybe the historical society exhibits could be housed in the Cobblestone and finally, I'm sure that someone thought that removing the small trees and bushes from the area where Mandeville Park was a good idea. But it wasn't.

It only succeeded in destroying the habitat for many small animals and birds who needed the underbrush for protection and nesting. They will not see what was created.

My thanks to Andriette Wickstrom for reminding me of a few of these thoughts.

- Mel Suhr, Storm Lake

Outside the box on BV Jail

To the editor:

It's time to take a few steps, OUTSIDE THE BOX, on the issue of relocating the jail.

On Monday morning, February 21, 2005, I circled the court house twice in order to find a parking place so I could go in and buy the new stickers for my boat. As I was circling I kept thinking that it would sure be nice to have more parking. That is when this idea popped into my head.

I think the board of supervisors and the jail task force may have overlooked a very good solution to the jail relocation.

Let's look at moving the other part of the court house offices instead of the jail. Have the current court house be the jail, sheriffs office, communication center, clerk of court and law library.

Let's move the Treasurer, Auditor, Assessor, Recorder, Environmental, and the Board of Supervisors to the old Wal-Mart building. That building is over 66,000 square feet. It is heated and air conditioned and has a great parking lot. The current court house is 45,552 square feet of which 3291 square feet is jail and exercise room. So now you are thinking that the Wal-Mart building is too big for those offices. Here is where we have a couple of other options. Lets move all the other county offices in the Wal-Mart building too. Or - wouldn't it be great to have half the building be a recreation/wellness center. The current fitness center that is run by the hospital is 17,000 square feet.

I know that it would be a lot cheaper to remodel and move the other offices than it would be to move the jail and communication center.

I also know that there are many people who would love to see a recreation/wellness center.

Maybe there would even be enough room for the senior center too...

- Cal Johnson, Storm Lake

Teach an Iowan to fish... neatly

To the editor:

The parable generally stated says that if you give a man a fish he can feed himself for a day - teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime.

Providing the training, guidance and education to teach someone to catch or produce food has, without question, far greater value than simply handing someone food or a meal. The same situation occurs with dealing with the beauty of our home, neighborhoods, community and State. Teaching someone to care for the natural and physical beauty of where we live is much easier and beneficial (in the long run) then becoming janitors or custodians and picking up, fixing up, cleaning up or painting up after others.

We provide training in the wrong way. In fact we encourage littering at athletic events, parades, etc. - often school janitors/custodians. That form of expense costs our public schools several million dollars a year.

What it really requires is simply a frame of mind and a school culture that says we will not put up with littering in our school. Pride and respect become commonplace.

The resulting product is a highly unique and creative paperless program totally contained on a single CD - that is designed for both school administration and teachers.

Pilot schools were selected for the 2004/2005 school year to test out the newly developed educational materials. One of those schools, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Community Schools became the first in Iowa to successfully adopt the program. In addition they were the first school that we know of in Iowa that implemented the concept to encompass the school athletic events during the fall of 2004. Our hats off to the school and to all the staff and students that made it happen. Both teams and schools become winners regardless of who wins the game. Let your school officials know about the opportunity.

- Gerald F. Schnepf, Keep Iowa Beautiful

Cartoons and sexual references

To the editor:

It truly scared me as I read your article about how cartoons nowadays are supposed to be including sexual references. Can these people be serious? As a youngster I also had my entire Saturday wasted before my eyes in front of the tube watching my favorite cartoons. At no time, however, did I think about any of the characters being gay or lesbian. I was there for a good laugh.

It is just a little far fetched for me because the children are watching these tv shows for amusement, nothing more and nothing else. What parent in their right mind would ever come up with the notion that my child is watching this cartoon because of the sexual reference that it has throughout it. It just doesn't happen.

To bring down the characters from Sponge Bob because he and his friend Gary were holding hands is crazy! Friends hold hands all the time, but this doesn't mean they like each other in sexual ways. I don't see how this could warp children's minds about cartoons and give them bad ideas about cartoon characters.

There are a lot worse shows on TV children could be watching with violence, murder, and dealing drugs. I think we should be more concerned about them watching these programs than be concerned what bad cartoons they watch. The thing about this proposal is there is so many ways to interpret something, how does a child interpret sexual conduct right away out of the cartoon? Does it just dawn on them as they are sitting there laughing away - hey wait a minute they are promoting gay and lesbian! This is absurd and it goes to show you people can take the fun out of anything.

- Drew Johnson, Storm Lake

Finding new career confidence

To the editor:

I am a senior at Buena Vista University and I am very grateful for all the opportunities available to us students. For example, I have tried to participate in as many of the different events put on by the Career Services department to help with the transition into the working world as I can.

I have benefited from the help they give with resumes. I went in only knowing the basics about writing a resume, but I came out a few meetings later with a great resume. I was able to take this resume with me to the Career Day recently hosted by Buena Vista University.

This was the first year I had gone to the Career Day and I think it was very beneficial for me. I met with different companies and even had an interview. When I walked into the event I was nervous and a little intimidated. However, as I started walking down the rows of booths sponsored by various companies I realized how easy it was to go up and talk to an employer. I had gone in and had a mock interview in Career Services and listened in on different sessions on interviewing before Career Day so when I got down to meeting with the employers I was confident and ready to go. That is, of course, after my nerves settled from seeing all the commotion.

Also, once a year there is an Etiquette Dinner that has let me know how to dress for success during interviews... Some of these things may seem insignificant to some people, but for someone like me who has had very limited experience in interviewing it is very beneficial.

I would personally like to thank the people who work in the Career Services department here at Buena Vista University. I am now much more confident about entering the working world because of the help they have given me.

- Ashleigh Grove, BVU student