Readers Respond

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Letters to the Pilot

A view against Progress AWAYSIS

To The Editor,

On my way home this last weekend I became very disturbed with all the work that is going on dealing with Project AWAYSIS. Before all the work had begun, I loved to observe the fountain on my way home. It bothers me to think that Storm Lake would get rid of such a site that has actual meaning behind it. The fountain and flowers was a site that was dedicated Robert J. Kolb after he was killed in a hunting accident. I honestly do not understand how a site that has been dedicated can just be relocated. A location that has been dedicated to someone does not have the same meaning if that location has to be changed.

I also do not agree with the fact that the city of Storm Lake decided to have the public help pay for the project even if certain individuals do not agree with the project. Storm Lake got a tax passed that would allow them to tax the community to help pay for the project AWAYSIS. I honestly do not believe that this should be allowed.

- Lacey Koster, Newell, BVU student

Ashamed in America

To The Editor,

I received this from a friend and I agree with everything that is written here and I need to share it with others, it is my feelings exactly.

Proud of your country? Your leader?

I'm not, I am ashamed. I am ashamed of this President. Aren't you? After watching his press conference today, a sense of shame overtook me. I'm ashamed that he took to the podium today as if he emptied out a container of laughing gas. I'm ashamed of a President who has the temerity to laugh when asked a question about war. I'm ashamed of the fourth estate who care more about having the honor of being the butt of one of the President's jokes than about exposing the truth to the American people. I'm ashamed that millions of my fellow Americans are so scared and so desperate for leadership that they believe the President's crap.

I am ashamed. I'm ashamed of the President, this megalomaniac hell bent on leaving his butt print on the map of the Middle East, no matter how much destruction is wrong and no matter how much blood flows in the streets of lands that never threatened us. I'm ashamed that when I see the American flag waiving, images of flag-draped coffins flash in my mind. I'm ashamed of Freedom's March. Ashamed when I see villages reduced to rubble. Ashamed when I see the tiny little corpses. God, they're so painfully tiny-lined up in a row, little angles wrapped in colorful blankets that starkly contrast against their gray-tinged faces. Ashamed when I see wailing Iraqis slam their hands against plan, unvarnished coffins, over and over, asking, "Why? Is this democracy? Why?" When I see those image of of funerals, of broken families, I want to crawl into my TV, I want to go to them and grab their slumped shoulders and scream "I'm sorry, good god, I'm so sorry. I want to leave, I want us to leave, believe me. But they won't listen...No one listens anymore..."

I am ashamed. Ashamed that Justice is not longer blindfolded, but gagged. Ashamed that in America, in AMERICA, I can only protest in "free speech zones" the size of postage stamps. Ashamed that by the time I'll take my oath as an officer of the court to support the Constitution, I'd be swearing to uphold a tattered document that has managed to survive over 200 years only to be shredded by this President in less that eight...

I am ashamed of myself. For not having the courage or the strength to do anything else but sit here and blog. I write. I protest. I vote. And yet, I'm impotent. Stuck in a unrelenting cycle of hope and despair and hope and despair. What a curse it is to be 23 and want to change the world. What a curse to be so disillusioned so early in life. What a curse to want to change the world that will not change...that cannot change? That cannot change as long as we sit and wait for others to change it... That cannot change until they- until we - appreciate the gravity of the situation before us" we are losing America.

This is not America. I refuse to accept it. America doesn't torture. America doesn't' jail people incommunicado for years. America doesn't sit idly by as an entire people are exterminated in Darfur. America doesn't stifle science. America doesn't conduct massive, secret spying on innocent citizens. America doesn't believe the individual is an annoyance. an impediment to supreme government power. This isn't the greatest democracy on earth. This isn't the nation that pioneered human rights. This isn't the America that leads world, that leads humanity towards a greater good. No, I refuse to accept this America of shame...

- Anonymous

Also another great man wrote this and I want to share: Teddy had it so right! Not Kennedy, but Roosevelt! Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907:

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace or origin.

But this is predicted upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...

We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that loyalty to the American people."

- Theodore Roosevelt 1907

- Somer Gibson, Storm Lake

Ethanol isn't causing high gasoline prices

To The Editor,

Ethanol is a powerful substance. We Iowans know it produces jobs, creates corn demand and cuts oil imports. Ethanol is good for the economy and it promotes energy security.

Now some folks in New York are trying to blame ethanol for pushing the cost of gasoline to near-record levels. It's just one more in a series of unfounded attacks on this domestically-produced renewable fuel.

Remember when critics claimed ethanol would make the air in our cities dirtier? (It actually makes the air cleaner.) Do you remember the charge that it took more energy to produce ethanol than the fuel created? (Non-biased studies confirm that ethanol is a positive net energy producer.)

You might even remember being advised not to invest in ethanol plants because they would never be profitable. (Ethanol production is attracting investment from around the globe and is currently one of the nation's most profitable industries.)

Today, ethanol is contributing to our country's clean air efforts by replacing cancer-causing MTBE. Critics say this will somehow lead to $4 per gallon gasoline. This is an amazing claim, since ethanol is only a small portion of the gasoline mixture and costs about $2.50 per gallon.

In fact, most ethanol is contracted prior to production and is selling for significantly less than $2.50.

Some legitimate questions are being asked and deserve answers.

Is the ethanol supply growing fast enough? Yes. The industry is expanding 25 to 40 percent per year. Growth is limited only by the availability of processing equipment and experienced plant builders. Billions of dollars are being invested annually in ethanol production capability.

Why switch from MTBE to ethanol to control pollutants? Because MTBE is a health risk, the suppliers of the product are pulling it off the market. These are the same people who told us ethanol wouldn't work to clean the air and that we should rely on MTBE!

Crude oil prices rocketed from an average of $15 per barrel in 1986 - 1999 to around $70 per barrel today, more than a 400 percent increase. Oil company profits are sky high.

When you fill your car's tank with ethanol-blended fuel, 90 percent of what you pump comes from oil wells and 10 percent is ethanol from U. S. corn. Which portion do you think contributes most to the price per gallon?

I don't blame Big Oil for trying to tarnish ethanol's reputation. A quarter century ago the oil companies had a choice - embrace ethanol and invest in the industry or oppose ethanol and attempt to undermine its future. Mistakenly, they chose the latter.

That is why we should not fall for their latest anti-ethanol line.

- Bill Northey, Spirit Lake, farmer and candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture

Thanks from ACES class

To The Editor,

We, the officers and members of the Advanced Career Exploration class of Storm Lake High School, want to thank the following people for volunteering their time and efforts to assist the ACE students in their Career Competitions at Buena Vista University on April 19. You helped us gain more workplace experience, knowledge, and skills. Your kindness also helped us to relax and do our best!

Special thanks goes to: Pat Cone, Don Elk, Clark Fort, Craig Fratzke, Nancy Fratzke, Liz Groher, Janelle Gustafson, Dick Hakes, Diane Hamilton, Marge Hunzelman, Stacy Sporrer, Cindy Subr and the Buena Vista University Library Staff.

- SLHS ACE Class and Pegg Havens, instructor