Readers Respond

Monday, June 5, 2006

Letters to the Pilot

What you see is what you get

To the editor:

About Richard Dirkx, Candidate for BV County Supervisor:

If I were to give this article a heading it would probably be "What you see is what you get". I've known this man, his fine wife since they started farming the hard way. It has been fun to see this American Dream System come to fruition in the Dirkx family. As their children came along... Jeff, Jodie, David and Scott... the belief system has held firm. Now grandchildren are being taught the values in that belief system.

Quiet determination is a virtue. Being too quiet is sometimes the wrong thing. Richard has a record that needs to be told. He is conservative in his beliefs and actions. he has integrity that makes him a little reluctant to toot his own horn but it's time to toot. Richard has been involved in doing much inside of the city limits of Storm Lake as well as in the farm sector.

Richard's concern is to keep farming and livestock a viable part of the lives of all of us who live here. As farm population declines, a louder voice for agriculture is needed and Richard will be that strong voice. And this is a place where the belief system comes on strong. So, what you see is what you get, and should be. I believe in this man and support him strongly.

- Don Kier, Newell

Supervisor chair makes endorsement

To the editor:

I committed to support Sandy Johnson immediately after the Jail Bond Election last fall. Sandy was the significant difference in the results, an overwhelming favorable vote! Earlier a strong majority voted against the proposal. Sandy Johnson was the volunteer planner and coordinator of our efforts to inform the public of the needs for a new jail, one with flexibility.

Sandy Johnson will bring to the supervisors table a wealth of experience, a good handle on the obligation she has stepped up to perform plus she understands the unique processes and hurdles of government. And she personally knows many of those we deal with in Des Moines.

Sandy Johnson will bring an open mind, valuable experience, grant writing talents and the dedication to the task. I urge everyone to consider their vote for Sandy Johnson, a vote for the future success of Buena Vista County.

- Bill Lanphere, Storm Lake

Sometime, a darkhorse is best

To the editor:

The primary season is in full swing. If you doubt it just look at all the signs posted throughout the county. We are blessed with a large group of candidates for the three open county supervisor seats. Deciding whom you should cast your vote for will require some thought this year.

Sometimes the old "dark horse" description seems to fit a candidate. We think we have such a candidate in district one this year. Gary Small has strength and a following that can only be attributed to his positions on the issues and his demonstrated leadership qualities. His common sense approach makes sense. One example is his belief that economic development can be expanded without the use of tax abatements. He says, "Why take properties off of the tax roles to bring business to the county? Why not use the interest rate buy down to draw new businesses to the county?" Seems to make a lot of sense to me.

We are impressed with his demonstrated leadership qualities. While serving as fire chief he led the successful drive to fund the construction of a new fire station in Rembrandt. When most thought it couldn't be done he wouldn't accept failure as an option. He went to work and lead the community's effort to get the job done. The Rembrandt community now has a new fire station complete with a meeting room that serves the whole area. Don't ever tell Gary that something can't be done. He loves the challenge of finding answers to puzzling questions and searching out the best solutions for difficult issues.

Remember if you are registered to vote you can ask for a Republican ballot and cast a vote for common sense leadership on June 6.

- Nancy and Steve Young

Couldn't make Forum, but candidate speaks

To the editor:

My name is Willard Christensen. I am a life-long resident of Buena Vista County, graduating from Highview Consolidated School in 1953, and have purchased my grandfather's farm of the 1880's. I was employed first with Redig Excavation, then formed my own business (Christensen Landscaping) over forty-five years ago.

I was unable to attend the forum held recently and feel it is important for you to get to know me a little better. I put the rip-rap around Storm Lake Island with a helicopter, seeded the 71 bypass by airplane, seeded at Sioux Rapids and Manson through Fort Dodge also with an airplane. I planted 10,000 trees near Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City and between disposal ponds and Interstate 520. Hopefully the trees cut the odor as the ball diamond is just across the interstate. I also had numerous other jobs of this size from Maquoketa to Scottsbluff, Neb. and from Grand Forks, N.D. to Binkelman, Neb.

I have worked for both large and small contractors and have employed as many as fifty workers at one time of all ethic origins. They were all welcome as long as they were legal, wanted to work and showed up for work on time. I do believe that they need to learn the English language, so they can be productive and contributing members of our country.

My wife, Florence (retired teacher) and I have three sons in Oskaloosa, Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta, GA. They all worked for our organization earning money for their college education. We have four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

I am running for Buena Vista County Supervisor in District I. I feel we have to control spending and study the things we are buying and make sure that the whole county is included in our thinking. It is difficult to say what I will do, because there are five members on the board. There has to be a spirit of co-operation as we would represent many different interests.

I do promise to listen to your concerns as I believe in a voice for all citizens. On June 6, it is important that you vote.

I am a straight forward, bottom line person, who does not hesitate to speak up and give my opinion. I believe this would be an essential quality for a supervisor representing this county.

- Willard Christensen, Storm Lake

A voice for farmers, landowners

To the editor:

The slate of candidates for County Supervisor is full of qualified candidates. For this we can all be grateful. The various ideas and views have made for interesting public debate. There is one candidate though whom I think has qualifications and leadership which distinguish him from the field. That person is Richard Dirkx.

I came to know Richard while he served as Chairman of the Buena Vista County FSA County Committee. During that time Richard always had the interests of agriculture in mind while looking out for the taxpayers. The farmers and landowners showed their confidence in his leadership by electing and re-electing him to three successive terms.

Richard Dirkx has made the commitment to public service in the past and I am delighted to support his commitment to service again on the County Board of Supervisors.

- Rex Wittrock, Alta

Supporting Sandy

To the editor:

We're writing to express our support of Sandy Johnson in her effort to be elected to the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors, District 3, on June 6. We have known Sandy for well over 20 years, not only as a neighbor and a friend, but more importantly as a concerned citizen of Storm Lake and Buena Vista County.

Sandy has worked tirelessly on a volunteer basis in a wide variety of organizations, and has acquired experience that would certainly be highly valuable to the Board of Supervisors. Her involvement with USDA Rural Development would be beneficial to promoting economic development in Buena Vista County. Her skills and knowledge of state and federal agencies will help to facilitate access to potential programs available to the county, and her involvement in the Buena Vista County Visioning meetings has given her a unique insight into what bold possibilities the future holds for the county and it's residents.

We're particularly impressed with Sandy's understanding of the county's environmental issues, and her desire to establish a strong working relationship between county government and local conservation organizations such as Pheasants Forever, to create a county that is attractive, healthy and vibrant.

- Dave and Kim Anderson; Harvey and Marian Buckendahl, Storm Lake

Caregivers Month

To the editor:

Iowa Caregivers Month is a statewide recognition and public awareness campaign that has been sponsored by the Iowa CareGivers Association every June since 1992 to honor direct care workers who provide care to Iowans of all ages in a variety of health care settings.

During this month of recognition, the Board of Directors of Genesis Development would like to recognize the staff of Genesis at all of our

locations - Jefferson, Boone, Storm Lake, Winterset, Vinton, Belle Plaine, Indianola, Panora and Ringgold and Decatur Counties - for the many, many hours of caring, dedicated assistance that is given to each of the

individuals served by Genesis. The professionalism exhibited by the staff

as they provide opportunities and assistance in residential settings, vocational work centers, community employment settings, rehabilitation

endeavors, educational activities, social events, community outings, life skills training and day-to-day living is inspiring and essential to the

well-being and quality of life of those involved in Genesis services.

Opportunities, choices and support provide a degree of normalcy and independence to the more than 800 people throughout Iowa who are affected by the quality care that is given by more than 230 Genesis employees. As a team they do amazing things that have enabled many, many people with disabilities to live independently, master job skills, attain employment, be more involved in their communities, and become more independent and confident in their abilities to do things for themselves.

Thank you to the entire Genesis staff for your dedication, patience, teamwork and compassion as we continue to provide quality services and

opportunities for people with disabilities across the state of Iowa.

- Genesis Development Board of Directors:

Larry Hecht, Storm Lake

Steve Cruse, Johnston

Bob Weeks, Winterset

Randy Schmitz, Boone

Ken Wallace, Jefferson

Ken Curell, Boone

Ken Putzier, Storm Lake

Amy Love, Jefferson

Ned Johnston, Rippey

Adria Stonehocker, Ames

Scott Johnson, Jefferson

Gail Rueter, Grand Junction

A mother's plea

To the editor:

The swing set sits empty, the beds not slept in, and the sound of the children running though the house is gone. My heart stopped and my life ended that horrible February day.

On February 3, my five wonderful children were taken away from me. D.H. S. claimed my children were in significant harm and danger, needing to be removed immediately, from hear-say, and unfounded and untrue reports on me.

D.H.S. has now put me on a ten year Central Abuse Registry, when I have never abused my children. What they have done is abuse.

I am allowed very little time with my children due to transportation problems though D.H.S. and that my five children are in four different foster homes, in two different counties.

I am the mother of five great children from Oregon. I came to Iowa for a better life, and now we have no life at all together. We were a close loving bonded family. I promised my children it would be over my dead body would anyone take or hurt them... I'm not the perfect parent, but none of us are. I've done a good job with all that I have dealt with in raising my children. My children and I have how been mentally and emotionally scarred from this event. Our hearts have been stomped on. Our close bond shattered. Our spirits broken and our faith tested.

I might rub people the wrong way with my truthful opinion and my strong will but that's who I am. But at the end I can look in the mirror, and my children can look at me and know I've done a good job. My children have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I will stand up, voice my opinion and make sure nobody takes that from them.

Most people might be overwhelmed with all I do with my children and all the special care I put out for the needs of my children. I need them, as much as they need me. It's almost been 13 years since God gave me a second chance at life. On July 22, 1993, I was in a house fire alone. Much of my body was burnt with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree burns. I had to learn to talk again, move again, and to walk again. But I swore to walk before my daughter, Lynndee, did so I could teach her how to walk. I did... I thought that would be the biggest and most painful challenge I would have in my lifetime, but it seems that the State of Iowa has topped that pain, The day they took my children - my life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this... I just need my story heard so my children and I can find someone to help us, and to listen to us.

- Billie Alvarez-Rooke, Alta