Readers Respond

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Get a city-county trail project in gear


It is appalling that the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors recently rescinded their promise to provide safe traveling lanes on C-65 for the many people who are already walking, running, and biking there. I am further offended by the discriminatory attitude of several board members who feel it is appropriate to expect people who choose non-polluting forms of transportation to hold bake sales and other special fund raisers in order to travel around the area without having their lives threatened. Many of us do not have the luxury of time and resources to start new committees. I am sure that I am not the only home owner in the area who is working seven or eight jobs to pay off bills for complete water pipe replacement, new faucets, and other plumbing problems caused by the corrosive water situation in Storm Lake.

Regardless of whether they personally use any trails that may be built, everybody in Buena Vista County would benefit from their construction. It is a well documented fact that real trails (ones not constructed with joint damaging, shin splint causing cement) increase tourism which, of course, brings positive economic impact.

The success of King's Point Resort could be greatly enhanced by the additional recreational opportunities of trails in our area.

Let's hope that the supervisors reconsider their decision and that the city and county begin working together on providing trails to improve the quality of life in Buena Vista County.

A time for change


I got this e-mail from a friend who states that Lee Iacocca said most of the things in this message. I haven't confirmed any of it yet, but I agree with what is being said and it should be repeated. The message stated that Lee said "'Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course'. Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned 'Titanic'. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the bums out!'"

No Lee you aren't the only one who is fed up. I ask how much more can this country take? I see people losing their houses, jobs, and families because of the financial crisis our country is in right now. The President is giving us all a Stimulus Check soon, ours won't even cover one month's mortgage. Where is the relief? The businesses will reap the benefits. I've had enough. How about you?

With the upcoming election we need to focus hard on what we are being told. I have had enough of the last eight years and want a different leader. Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down, now is the time for change.

Under the leadership we have now, we were lied into a bloody war, with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for change in our leadership.

Look around, and ask: 'Where have all the great leaders gone?' We need a leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it? We need a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry. I am standing up and saying "I want change." "We need change, we HAVE to change."

We didn't elect officials to sit on their butts and do nothing but remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some ignorant, uneducated bonehead will call you names ? Give me a break. We aren't going to get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play and that role is to fight for America, fight for change.

It was a night to remember

From Schaller-Crestland Junior Class students / Schaller

According to dictionary definitions prom is defined as "a formal banquet or event in high school or college." For Schaller-Crestland, prom this past week was a wonderful evening for students, staff, administration and guests to experience a formal evening of food and dance at Kings Pointe Waterpark Resort in Storm Lake. The junior class worked hard all school year to make the event a reality. The support of parents and community with fundraisers and concession stands throughout the year paid off Saturday April 5th as over 90 students and 30 adults walked the red carpet at Kings Pointe.

The junior class would like to thank the staff at Kings Pointe for making their evening so special. Mandy Diamond, our Kings Pointe event coordinator and former Schaller-Crestland graduate, worked with the class and parents to ensure a fun and safe evening for our students. The formal table settings-with way more silverware than we are used to-and beautiful surroundings added to our "Viva Las Vegas" atmosphere!

The elegant experience with be a lasting memory for our students as they go off to college and life in the real world. We realize that high school students are probably not the normal clientele for a business like Kings Pointe. We thank them for taking the risk and giving us the opportunity to host our event with them. Thanks also to our school administration and school board for supporting our off-campus event. We would also like to thank the bus drivers for the evening: Jerry Sampers, Marvin Carlburg and Arnie Wiener for getting us safely to and from the Pointe. It was a night to remember!

For the love of dogs


We would like to thank the students at BVU involved in Beaver Animal Rescue and Care program and the TLC Shelter for the wonderful carnival they put on to raise awareness of animal care issues, specifically spaying and neutering.

Dr. Laura Bernhardt gave a awesome speech on the problems shelters and rescues are trying to clear up because of so many people not understanding or caring that every puppy they buy from a pet shop comes from a puppy mill where they are considered no different than a bag of wheat, a cash crop.This is not just our opinion, everything has been researched and documented just recently on the Oprah Winfrey show. Please try to get a hold of a copy of the show if you can. It sheds a lot of light on the way things are. Oprah said she is a changed woman after finding out the way things are. If you buy from a pet shop, you are buying a cute, cuddly puppy (with probable health issues), but it's poor mother is sentenced to it's filthy crate and another litter after litter.

Please do your research before you buy, talk to the breeder and look at the facility. Ask if they sell to brokers (that's a bad sign) and after you buy, get your puppy spayed or neutered. OR just go to a shelter/rescue where you can take your pick from puppies to adults. Purebred or "designer breeds" already spayed or neutered, vaccinated with age appropriate shots at a lot cheaper cost.

Thank you TLC for doing what you do and providing a HUGE service to the community. We don't know what would happen if you ever retire It's a thankless job, but very rewarding and full of kisses! We want to tell you, you are appreciated by more people than you know.

I work at an area Veterinary office and witness first-hand how many dogs are brought in to us as strays. Roughly only about 2 out of every ten dogs gets claimed. Don't close your eyes as to what happens to the ones we can't place in responsible homes.. It's heart-wrenching!

We hope next year, an even bigger crowd will show up at the carnival. You can browse dogs for adoption and/or bring your dog to socialize with others. All the dogs enjoy the walk. Who knows, your dog just might even win a prize.

Tail wagged the dog on Iowa smoking bill

From Rep. GARY WORTHAN / Storm Lake

The tail has just wagged the dog. It has now been proven once and for all who has the upper hand in a show-down between the Iowa Legislature and the casino operators. We all know know who is in charge, and it is not the Iowa Legislature. The State of Iowa is so addicted to the revenue derived from the gambling industry that the casino operators can now dictate to the Iowa Legislature what laws they will accept and which laws they will not. In a deal crafted behind closed doors, where only the leaders of the majority party of the Iowa Legislature were present, the casino industry carved out an exemption to the smoking ban for itself to the exclusion of all others. In the conference committee that was appointed to work out the differences between the House and the Senate on the Smoke Free Air Act, it was apparent early on that the deal had already been struck and that the minority party members present were, at best, pawns, there only to supply some credibility to the proceedings.

With the passage of the Smoke Free Air Act, here is a list of the places where smoking will not be allowed:

Restaurants and bars, including outdoor patios or gardens

Any indoor place of employment, no smoking lounges or break rooms allowed

Stadiums or any outdoor entertainment venue

Government owned property, including parks

Public and private school property

Private clubs that have employees or volunteers

Construction equipment with enclosed cabs

Child care facilities

Shopping malls, taxi cabs and buses

Farm buildings.

Smoking will be allowed:

In your home

Smoking rooms in hotels

Outdoor employment


Farm equipment

Trucks, only if non-smokers never use the vehicle

Private rooms in nursing homes

Iowa Veteran's Home

State Prisons


Casinos will now be the only place where food and drink are served that a patron will be allowed to smoke. How's that for a monopoly? Imagine what it would be like to be a tavern or lounge owner within an hour's drive of a casino and have to compete under these circumstances. The Iowa Legislature just abandoned our local businessmen and kowtowed to corporations based in New Jersey and Nevada. Not a proud moment for Iowa.

The pattern is inescapable, the smoking ban compromise crafted behind closed doors with only a handful of Legislators present, the subterfuge required to eviscerate Chapter 20 and push it through the Legislature in the dark of the night, and the attempt now under way to ram through a budget one piece at a time when there are probably less than ten members of the Legislature who have seen the budget in its entirety. I hate to say it, but this is not democracy. This is government by cabal and we may pay the price in the not too distant future.

Small Business Week

From DAREL BURNS / Storm Lake

National Small Business Week, April 21-25, celebrates the tremendous importance of small businesses to the American economy, our local community and our way of life.

Small business is vital to the success of our economy. There are more than 25.8 million small businesses in the United States, which create approximately 75 percent of all new jobs each year. The drive and determination of entrepreneurs helps ensure that the American spirit of initiative and equal opportunity flourishes.

For many Americans, small business ownership is the American dream. SCORE helps them achieve their dream of small business success. More than 10,500 SCORE expert counselors offer free and confidential business advice to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs nation-wide.

D uring National Small Business Week, our local SCORE chapter will honor the talents and achievements of small business owners and provide them with a forum to network and explore new opportunities for their businesses. Nationally, SCORE will team up with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to honor the nest and brightest entrepreneurial talent.

Small Business Week is a fitting time to inform your readers about the many resources available to entrepreneurs, such as SCORE's free counseling and low-cost workshops and seminars. To learn more about SCORE visit the Storm Lake chapter's website at www.westernia.scorechapter.org.