Readers Respond

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Letters to the Pilot

Million dollar service

To the editor:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again! Million Dollar Service is worth, well, a million bucks. Recently, when we found out that Walgreen's was going to buy our entire block, (where my wife and I have our pizza business), we went to Citizens First National Bank for help and they treated us like a million bucks. Like royalty really, and for the rest of my life I'll be telling everyone! Awesome service translates into word of mouth advertising and that's simply good business.

Lots of businesses and families are moving into our booming little city, and I hope they all get to read this very special letter. Go Storm Lake and Go Citizens First National Bank.

PS. Citizens Community Credit Union Should also get special mention. They've also given my family tremendous personal service. Thanks Deb!

- Randy Harrington, Storm Lake

Running the river

To the editor:

In 1963 I canoed the Raccoon River for the first time. I remember clean water, clams on the bottom, and fishermen with a large stringer of huge smallmouth bass.

During the last five years I canoed the entire Raccoon from Buena Vista County near Marathon to the Des Moines River near Sec Taylor Stadium. I remember seeing three live clams, a few small catfish and carp, and water that seemed to stay murky, even after weeks without rain.

In July of this year, OUTER and a group of volunteers did an extensive water testing on this beautiful river. Water samples are taken from the pastoral upper portion of the North Raccoon to the mouth of the river in Des Moines. Their findings give those of us who live in the watershed a snapshot of the condition of the water on the Raccoon.

Water testers discovered E. coil bacteria levels were extremely high compared to other Iowa streams.

Also, high levels of chloride indicated the presence of human and animal waste in the Raccoon River watershed. Many of the highest levels were found at the mouth of Outlet Creek coming from Storm Lake.

Why? What is going on that is making this meandering waterway a cesspool for central Iowa? Could it have something to do with Iowa's 100,000 septic tanks that are not working properly and are not receiving the yearly upkeep that is needed to make them safe and efficient? Is raw sewage getting into our river from the 500 small communities that have inadequate sewer treatment systems?

These problems exist in a stream that could be bringing many dollars into the communities along the river. Canoeists, fisherman, and campers love clean water and people in Iowa and especially those of us who live near the watershed must admonish our legislators to help us bring back this attractive asset.

Now is a great time to talk to our candidates for Public Office. Now is a perfect time to get them to listen to our need for help in updating our small communities sewage treatment. There are ways to do this effectively and at a reasonable price. Now is the time to insist on commitments from those who would represent us to clean up the water of the Raccoon River.

- Jim Riggs, via e-mail