Readers Respond

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New jail is full already?


/ Storm Lake

I thought it interesting that Gary Launderville, our candidate for sheriff, stated during the campaign that there were two things that he thought we needed in BV County for law enforcement. One of those was a LARGER JAIL. The other was another deputy.

A two year old jail is already full. Will we have to add on or ship some prisoners out to other counties?

Don't blame the poor migrants


/ Via Internet

About your story on immigration and the upcoming session of the Iowa Legislature:

Senator Steve Kettering, get a life.

Fix the real issues that face our nation, without blaming and deflecting the issues on poor migrants.

I am not saying don't close the borders or don't have immigration reform. I am saying stop playing your silly politics on the backs of these poor migrants who come to feed their families or pick our food - or soon, you will be the one picking your own food in the fields.

Anyone that is afraid of poor people coming to do the low wage jobs should go look in the mirror and slap ther person they see there, hard. Because as an American citizen, if you are not successful, the only person you have to blame is yourself.

Giving Iowa thanks


/ Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers

It's been a tough year for Iowans. Major snowstorms struck early, making roads impassable, buildings collapse and the lights go out. Historic floods swamped nearly one-quarter of the state's farm land, destroyed towns and washed away roads and bridges. Deadly and destructive tornadoes ripped apart homes and lives and scattered possessions. Wild swings in commodity prices stung farmers and tough economic times have touched every household. There are crops still in the field waiting to be harvested.

And yet we give thanks this Thanksgiving.

We are grateful for the blessings of faith and family. We give thanks for the opportunity to live and work in freedom, to pursue our dreams and ambitions and are indebted to the many men and women who voluntarily serve and who've sacrificed so much to keep our country safe.

We give thanks for the perseverance of the human spirit. Even during difficult times faced this year by Iowans, families and communities have come together and worked together to help others get back on their feet.

Many farms and towns devastated by the tornadoes and floods are slowly rebuilding thanks to the strength and resolve of friends, neighbors and complete strangers. Their stories of accomplishment and perseverance have been inspiring.

One of the best examples is the Aplington-Parkersburg Falcons football team. On May 25, one of the most destructive tornadoes ever to touch down in Iowa smashed into the small Butler County town of Parkersburg. It pulverized much of the community and destroyed its high school. Six lives were lost.

As people began the long, difficult task of rebuilding, they rallied around their football team. The players responded with 11 straight victories. Despite falling short in a recent playoff game against third-ranked Emmetsburg, the Class 1-A squad lifted the spirits of those in the area and exhibited the kind of strength and resolve that make Iowa's rural communities special places to live, work and raise families. "Our kids have learned more life lessons since May 25," said Falcons head coach Ed Thomas. "It has made us better people."

This Thanksgiving, we're also grateful for the many men and women who work hard to help put food on our tables. Despite the unrelenting rains that fell this spring and summer and a shortened crop season for many parts of the state, the land still yielded abundant bushels of corn and soybeans. Farm families toiled diligently to replant flooded acres and have put in long days to bring in the harvest. They also went to great lengths during the constant barrage of storms to care for their livestock. One farmer spent several summer evenings sleeping in his hog barn to monitor the well-being of his animals in case the building lost power while a dairy farmer near Stanley stood in the path of an approaching tornado to finish milking. Now that's dedication.

As we gather with friends, family and neighbors this Thanksgiving, we reflect on these stories of triumph and perseverance. We're also mindful of the words of W.T. Purkiser, a prolific writer, respected scholar and well-loved preacher - words that came to life this year in Iowa. "It's not what we say about our blessings," he once wrote, "but how we use them, that's the true measure of our thanksgiving."