Readers Respond

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My father, the sheriff


/ Storm Lake

As 2008 closes, many of us look back throughout the year and look forward to the next. This year I am looking back throughout the past 20 years and seeing the close of a great era in BV County. That would be the retirement of Sheriff Chuck Eddy, my dad.

He has achieved so many accomplishments that many either don't know about or have forgotten. Chuck first off re-united the BV County Sheriff's Office with the Storm Lake Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol, a relationship which the Sheriff before broke down. That was his campaign slogan back in 1987 - "United with Eddy." He then had the challenge of the "Crash of Flight 232." Many people don't know the position that BV County Sheriff's office played in the recovery of the parts.

He has seen many tragic traffic accidents, murders, and accidental deaths. Many that he would get called out after hours to help with.Since 1988, I can remember many Christmas' that were put on hold because dad got called out and was needed by someone else at that time. For anyone to say that he was not a "Working Sheriff" is 100% wrong.

He has always had BV County in his heart and tried to make this county the best that it can be. He has shown that by the many legislation meetings that he has attended throughout the 20 years to push for the betterment of the county. He has been the President of Iowa State Sheriff's and Deputy's Association where again - he had BV County in mind at all times.

I know that many people of this county feel the same way that I do - we are seeing the longest running and most respected Sheriff of Buena Vista retire. It's his time to be with his family and enjoy his vacations, but he will be greatly missed. No disrespect to any future Sheriff - those shoes are very big to fill and may never be filled as great. I am very proud to say that my dad is Chuck Eddy and "Good Luck" in your retirement.

Local control on ag issues

From LYNN HEUSS and ED FALON / Via email

This year, the Iowa Republican Party Platform added the following plank: "We support local control of agricultural zoning practices." For many years, the Iowa Democratic Party Platform has contained this plank: "We support local control for CAFO siting, maintenance and operations." President-elect Obama has it in his agenda.

"Regulate CAFOs: Strictly regulate pollution from large factory livestock farms, with fines for those that violate tough standards. Support meaningful local control."

And according to a 2007 poll by The Des Moines Register, sixty-four percent of Iowans agree with local control.

So... Republicans say they want it. Democrats say they want it, including President-elect Obama. The majority of Iowans say they want it. Why won't Iowa legislators support local control?

They should.

Local control gives county supervisors and residents the opportunity to decide if and where confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) construction is appropriate in their county. The concept is not new. Under Iowa law there is substantial local control over school, city and county governance. Local control is a significant part of our history, and it certainly makes sense to extend that authority to CAFOs - whose impact on local residents' health, air, water, economy and property values is unprecedented.

Due to the continued proliferation of CAFOs and their growing public impact, there is urgent need for legislative action. First, CAFOs create huge problems as it relates to land, air and water quality. In Iowa alone, more than 320 manure spills at CAFOs were reported between 1992 and 2002, causing concern for drinking water.

Second, regarding CAFOs' carbon footprint, Approximately 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from industrial livestock production.

Third, the number of Iowa farmers raising hogs has fallen drastically, from 75,000 in the early 1990s to less than 8,500 farmers today. CAFOs are often owned by out-of-state national, or even trans-national companies, which means most of the money leaves Iowa as hogs are sold.

Finally, CAFO hogs are often raised in dismal conditions. Each year in the US, about 25 million pounds of antibiotics are given to livestock for non-therapeutic purposes -- eight times more than prescribed to humans to treat disease. The FDA states that the use of antibiotics in livestock causes microbes to become resistant to drugs used to treat human illness, making some human illnesses harder to treat.

So, again, why doesn't the Iowa Legislature support local control? The primary reason is money, which is the same reason we don't have universal healthcare, a balanced transportation system, and land-use planning to control urban sprawl, to name a few issues. Simply stated, key Iowa politicians are beholden to corporate lobbyists and special interests and they don't want to bite the hand that feeds them.

Democrats have a solid majority in both the House and Senate, along with a Democratic Governor. Like Obama, they were elected on a platform of change. They need to listen to the majority of Iowans and support local control, a change most Iowans have wanted for over a decade.