BUFFALO CENTER |Â Virginia Olthoff’s daughter says she was a cheerful, kindhearted woman who loved to give others affectionate nicknames like “â€¦
This is in response to John Johnson’s letter regarding the left’s supposedly hypocritical stance on border control versus gun control.
First off, most people on the left do not have any problem with having a border that is safe and secure, both for the sake of the citizens of the United States as well as the citizens of Mexico. Our issue with border control relates more to how some politicians choose to implement those security measures, and the ideas they have to try and solve the problem (building a wall that will do nothing to actually stop people from coming here, for instance, and which would be a complete waste of money that could be put to much better use).
We also take issue with the nasty rhetoric used by some to describe immigrants. Whether they’re here legally or not, they deserve to be treated like human beings. Stereotyping and discriminating against them is not the way to tackle the issue.
Second, an immigrant’s legal status does not have any bearing whatsoever on how likely they are to commit murder. That’s not how it works. The vast majority of undocumented/illegal immigrants are non-violent. Besides that, plenty of people have been killed by citizens who were either born and raised in this country or came here legally, too.
Finally, John, if you want your view points to be taken seriously and respected, maybe drop the snide tone and dismissal of “lefties”, as well as the jabs at Hogg. Just saying.
Angela Niles, Mason City
You may remember the Pentagon Papers case. The decision from the Supreme Court shows us why we can’t have a delusional tyrant defame the free press. From Justice Black, concurring with Justice Douglas regarding New York Times v. United States:
“In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people.
“Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.
“In my view, far from deserving condemnation for their courageous reporting, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the Founding Fathers saw so clearly. In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam war, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do.”
Paul Barenthin, Northwood
It has been over a year since we started our journey to save Albert Lea’s health care. We have rallied, lobbied, raised funds, attended countless meetings, written letters, called politicians and visited the state capitol. I and several others even learned how to tweet!
We are fortunate that Save Our Healthcare has the support of both city and county. There are many brilliant, determined and compassionate people working together to accomplish our goal to regain control of our health care.
Have you ever heard the song â€śUnanswered Prayers?” I believe that we will live to appreciate the turn of events that started a year ago. Let go of the past and look to the future! In the meantime, we still have ER, clinic, same-day surgery, Health Reach, and cancer center. Mayo will provide surgery here until 2019 and baby delivery until 2020. Soon Mayo will add inpatient behavioral health to treat the mentally ill (a disease like cancer or diabetes; with proper care, there is much hope.)
We are now in the first phase with the consulting firm that will guide us in restoring our lost services. We have had many calls from potential providers that are interested in our endeavor. They recognize that at the intersection of two interstates lies a beautiful city with caring residents, an historic downtown, vibrant businesses and thriving education institutions. They see a Blue Zone community with walking trails, bike trails, parks, gorgeous lakes, beautiful assisted living centers, and much more.
Remember that you are an important part of our success.
Merilynn Linde, Albert Lea, Minn.
The process for confirming President Trumpâ€™s Supreme Court nominee has started. As a member of Concerned Women for America of Iowa, I support the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court in 2006, and his record is exemplary, supporting the Constitution and its original intent. Not only does his record show that he is a guardian of our liberties as spelled out in the Constitution, he is highly regarded by those with whom he has worked. He has an extensive resume from clerking in the Ninth and Third Circuit Courts to serving as associate counsel and senior associate counsel to President George W. Bush.
Alberto R. Gonzales, former Attorney General of the United States, has remarked that Kavanaugh understands the appropriate role of a judge, that he is disciplined and not arrogant.
Kavanaugh is the kind of individual that I want as a public servant. He has demonstrated that he bases his rulings within the confines of the Constitution and that he is a conservator of liberty. He is highly capable, and I believe he is an excellent nominee for the Supreme Court.
Carol A. Evers, Riverside
Oh Skipper, there you go again! While there are certainly twists in this yearâ€™s elections, there are many more twists than what’s been reported.
When writing about the challenge to incumbent Pat Wright who has been treasurer for eight years, and worked in that office for 40, you stated Natasha Lewerke was fired from the Treasurerâ€™s office â€śfor an error in dispersal of funds involving car dealerships.â€ť The Globe Gazette newspaper reported on June 2016 that the State’s audit revealed “based on the DOT’s calculation, a dealership and a company performing upfitting avoided paying approximately $283,867.â€ť Thatâ€™s one heck of an error; it wasnâ€™t a dispersal. I think it was one dealership and one company that turned chassis into saleable trucks; no cars involved. The devilâ€™s in the details.
Iâ€™ve got to admit that Natasha is not short on moxie, responding to her termination by suing Cerro Gordo County, Pat Wright as treasurer and Pat Wright personally. The case was dismissed with prejudice. “The lawsuit continued to be drug out [sic] and it was most important for me to be able to run for this position,” Lewerke said. “Pursuing my dream to be treasurer is much bigger than any lawsuit.” I guess so! Her signs just say â€śCounty Treasurer Natasha Lewerke.”
Skipper got one part very right, people are not real aware of county elections. Next time you look at one of Natashaâ€™s signs, imagine an uninformed voter seeing it. Doesnâ€™t she appear to be the incumbent? â€śRe-elect Pat Wright for Treasurerâ€ť seems a bit more forthright.
Oh well, this year it seems that the Republicans are abounding in truthiness â€¦ like attributing a political portfolio to a first-time candidate because her husbandâ€™s brother won a seat. My son-in-lawâ€™s a brewer; think Fat Hill will let me run their vats?
Tracy Smith, Clear Lake
Hey lefties, question: If gun control is the answer to school shootings, would not border control be the answer to illegals killing American citizens?
And before you whine about politicizing the death of Mollie Tibbetts at the hands of an illegal immigrant, you and your happy cohorts in the media need to look at yourself and your gushing support the likes of David â€ścameramanâ€ť Hogg. Newspapers ran stories covering his nationwide bus tour.
John Johnson, Britt
In 2014, the Iowa Gun Owners sent their Federal Candidate survey to then candidate Rod Blum. They asked Rod Blum if he supports repealing the â€śLautenberg Domestic Misdemeanor Gun Ban.â€ť The Lautenberg Amendment, named after Sen. Frank Lautenberg, made it illegal for convicted domestic abusers to buy a gun. Domestic abuse victims need such protections because these victims are five times as likely to end up dead if their abuser can access a gun. Sen. Lautenberg argued that wife-beaters and child-abusers should not have guns. But Rod Blum wanted to repeal the Lautenberg Amendment, in essence saying, wife-beaters and child-abusers should have guns.
On this same survey, Blum vowed to oppose any expansion of background checks to purchase a firearm. Those who currently wish to purchase guns or ammo without undergoing a background check can do so through private gun sales or over the internet. Most gun owners and NRA members want universal background checks. They support universal background checks because, as law-abiding citizens, they do not want criminals and people with mental health issues to access guns. But Rod Blum opposed universal background checks.
In April 2017, I spoke to Rep. Blum in person. I wrote down questions about Blumâ€™s survey answers, gave him the paper with my contact info, and asked him to respond to these questions. Blum took the paper, shook my hand, looked me in the eye, and promised to respond to these questions. Rod Blum never contacted me about this or answered my questions. As a concerned citizen, I do not want women and children who have suffered abuse to be shot by their abusers. And as a voter, I do not want a representative who tells me to my face he will answer these questions, and then breaks that promise.
Caleb Gates, Cedar Rapids
From the time Mary Markwalter took over at the library, she has been trying to get the society out of there. One of the first things she did was to remove about half of their shelving and put it in another room. It was not used for anything, just sitting there empty. But she asserted her authority.
She has not been friendly to the people working in the room (ask some of the genealogy members), being rude and constantly remarking how the society was taking up room, time and library assets while doing nothing meaningful.
Mary enjoys power, and some of us in the society wonder if she really wants (or needs) the room, or whether it’s just another attempt to gain total control over her little fiefdom. She runs the building like a prison, which is another example of her desire for power. So I wish everyone would just step back, take a deep breath, and ask the real purpose in this proposed change. Is there a real purpose in this, or just another step in Mary’s little game of total control?
Also consider this: once she gets the genealogy department out of there, how long before she sets her sights on the archives room?
The library is a needed, respected and loved part of Mason City. But it should not be run on someone’s ego or desire for authority.
Lowell Swenson, Mason City
Congratulations to Mason City Newman on its baseball championship this summer. However, I wonder if it is somewhat tainted. While attending a Lisbon game this summer, I overheard a fan say, “Everyone hates Newman because they recruit players.” It is evidently legal in Iowa but could be considered morally objectionable.
Putting all that aside, here is my main reason for this letter. I was not able to attend the championship game in Des Moines but was kept apprised of the progress. When hearing that my grandson, Brett Givens, who pitched for Lisbon, hit three batters in the first inning, it raised a question mark for me. Is the Newman coach teaching his players to get hit by pitches? My grandson does not throw exceptionally fast but is very accurate, can spot his pitches very well and did not hit another batter all year in over 15 games pitched.
While looking at Iowa high school baseball statistics, I noticed that Newman pitches were hit by pitches 106 times and that no other team in all of Iowa was hit 100 times. I wonder if Newman would have won as many games if it hadn’t been “lucky” enough to for the players to get hit by pitches at possibly exact opportune times.
One wonders if this is really luck or a set pattern by a super egotistical coach who wants to win at any and all costs? If so, I hope there’s not a “slip up” one of these years and one of his players gets seriously injured. Also, I wonder if the Iowa High School Athletic Association should initiate an investigation, and could a reprimand, suspension or worse be in order?
James Givens, Rio Hondo, Texas
Update on genealogy library (GL) eviction: Thirty-five supporters attended the library board meeting on Aug. 21. Twelve or more spoke 75 minutes on the importance of keeping the GL intact in its present location in the MCPL, plus we’d gathered 725 signatures on a petition. The board tabled it, as three members were absent. Two members stated they did not see the necessity of voting on this matter, as they had already voted on it. (May 5, voted to evict the GL). They approved an extension until Sept. 30, but told us to continue looking for alternate space.
City Council wants the two groups to reach a compromise. The Library Board proposes: 1) NCIGS turn ownership of our collection over to the MCPL. 2) The collection would be moved to another area. (Library director stated in July they only had room for 500 of our 5000 items.) 3) Our members can apply to become volunteers to conduct genealogy searches. (Impossible with 90 percent of the collection missing.) NCIGS Board learned of this proposal the night before the meeting. It was never formally sent. The “stinger” is the room is to become a meeting room with a fee. That is more important than a genealogy library?
NCIGS proposes: 1) GL be left as is, but renamed the Genealogy and History Center and operated by NCIGS. (MCPL is almost totally lacking in history resources, which the GL has); 2) NCIGS will pay $1,200 a year (FY2018 the library received $1,315 for all rented rooms). The Globe Gazette Editorial Board stated NCIGS should not have free space. We were never asked to pay anything.
Now, who has been willing to compromise? We need the public to speak up for us. Please contact your city councilman. Thanks for your support.
Carol Tinkey, Mason City
Gov. Reynolds understands Iowa farmers. She has signed into law affordable health care for farmers, testifying to the EPA in favor of Iowa’s biofuel industry, and pressing President Trump’s administration to support ethanol production and expand markets for Iowa farmers among this growing trade war.
Fred Hubbell’s criticism of Gov. Reynolds as “nothing more than politics” shows an extreme negligence of the farming community.
This November, I am supporting our Governor, Kim Reynolds.
Nancy Rockman, Mason City
I’ve been saddened to read about the Mason City Public Library’s threat of removing the genealogical collection from the building. The collection represents unknown long hours, days and years of hard work done by dedicated volunteers to preserve such important history for future generations.
Many people do not become interested in researching their family lineage until mid-life when they have more time and motivation to do the research. Libraries are the logical places for people to seek such help, as I did when finding our family’s past.
I have used the MCPL, Forest City Public Library, St. Olaf College library and archives, plus many other resources in the past. I also used the local newspaper archives to obtain obituaries that were put on index cards in both the Lake Mills and Forest City libraries. This information has helped many people, locally and out-of-state, to flush out family ancestors. It has been exciting to connect descendants to early ancestors who were early residents of my hometown of Lake Mills.
A town’s genealogical collections should be considered a “real gem” in the library collection, with those using it appreciating the volunteers’ service of love by the preservation of the town/community’s history for future generations.
Elaine Bergan, NorthwoodÂ
Of all the issues being discussed and debated in the run up to mid-term elections, it is quite disheartening that global warming and climate change are hardly mentioned at all.
Tariffs and immigration reform are, of course, pressing issues â€” they have an impact on our daily lives, and should be addressed. But is there anything more urgent than working together to find ways to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and at least attempt to mitigate the catastrophic effects of global warming, such as melting polar ice, rising sea levels, and drought? Arenâ€™t we already seeing some of these effects in extreme weather conditions, wildfires, and massively destructive hurricanes?
I am encouraged by the efforts of people like Don Hofstrand, providing reliable information about the causes and effects of global warming, and by groups such as the Citizens Climate Lobby, organizing ordinary citizens, and helping us use the power of our voice and our vote to demand concrete actions by those we have elected to represent us at all levels of government.
Whether it is at a political rally or town hall meeting or just in conversation at the coffee shop, we should keep this issue out front. It should not be said by our children or by future generations that we were bystanders or silent witnesses to one of the most catastrophic disasters facing humankind. Please call, write, email, or speak directly to those we have elected to represent our voice, and to those who are seeking your vote, and let them know how important this issue to you.
Paul Collier, Mason City
I am deeply disappointed and dismayed that the Mason City Public Library Board and Director Mary Markwalter are demanding that the North Central Iowa Genealogical Society vacate the library’s Genealogy Room, which houses over 5,000 historical reference materials relating to genealogy. While some of the items can be found online, many others are accessible only in print.
According to my (print) Webster’s dictionary, a library is “a place where literary and artistic materials such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes are kept for reading, reference, or lending.” Furthermore, the collection is a natural extension of the library’s historical archives; both may be referenced by the same users. Properly promoted, the two sections can enhance the library’s fine reputation.
In addition to personal interest, genealogy is a topic often assigned to students from elementary level through post-high school. Social studies and history teachers and their students often visit the collection.
NCIGS is a nonprofit organization maintained by volunteers who also staff the genealogy room during daytime library hours. Any proposed move is expensive beyond our means, in large part because any area housing the collection must be climate-controlled to prevent damage to valuable documents by heat, cold and humidity. The purchase or rent and remodeling of suitable quarters is vastly beyond the means of NCIGS.
To date, no other potential use of the space has been divulged.
Please join teachers, NCIGS and other interested citizens in preserving this valuable library of materials by attending the Mason City Council meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 21. The library board meets at 4:15 p.m. the same day in the second floor of the board room.
Doris Smith, Mason City
According to USA Today, genealogy is currently the second most popular hobby in the U.S.
Despite online resources, family history isnâ€™t becoming an armchair-only hobby. A few years ago, University of Illinois Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism professor Carla Santos described â€śgenealogy touristsâ€ť as a fast-growing segment of leisure travelers. Theyâ€™re tourists in search of their own stories. After interviewing visitors to the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Santos described them as searching for a â€śgenerational sense of the self.â€ť
â€śIt starts at home, where they learn everything they can online. Then they want the tactile experience of research, of going to the library to learn more.â€ť
â€śThis form of tourism is growing rapidly and is increasingly popular as western societies age,â€ť Dallen Timothy, professor at Arizona State University and editor of the Journal of Heritage Tourism.
During the last major library remodeling, the club and the library worked together, planning club space in the library as part of the libraryâ€™s long-term plans. Now some club shelving has been removed at the librarianâ€™s instructions causing irreplaceable documents to be stored on the porch of a club member.
Genealogy resources that canâ€™t be found on the internet are a draw to the genealogist. Not all resource material can be digitized; old maps and plat books are valuable for research and information.
The genealogy group depends on membership dues for its finances and doesnâ€™t have funding or cash flow to be able to buy or rent space elsewhere.
Library use is trending down. Libraries need to support resources that bring people in the door to justify their existence.
Library board: reverse the eviction order and support this valuable part of your community.
Patty Paul, Boerne, Texas
I am worried for our country. If we do not get off our backside and stop this violent movement that is happening now by the far left and right, we will lose our republic and Constitution to socialism. We have a right to march and protest peacefully, but we do not have a right to violence.
As a citizen of the United States, we not only have a right to vote, but it is our duty to vote. We need to elect people who will represent us and enforce all our laws equally without a two-tier system.
In Webster’s dictionary, look up the definition of a republic and socialism. Then decide which we want to be governed by. Let us act now, so we don’t have to react later.
Alyce Hugeback, Hampton
On June 1, Mark Suby, president of North Central Iowa Genealogical Society, received a letter from librarian Mary Markwalter. It stated: â€śDue to the changing space utilization needs of the library, the Mason City Public Library Board of Directors is requesting that the North Central Iowa Genealogical Society remove the items owned by the Society and its members and vacate the space currently used by the Society at the Mason City Public Library by August 1, 2018.â€ť
The Genealogy Library has been located in the MCPL since 1979. The first few years, they operated out of a few boxes but over the years through grants and donations, the library has grown to over 5,000 books. There are books on immigrants from European countries, passenger lists from ships, several sections on Iowa with histories of towns, cemetery records, church histories, plat maps, family histories, census, military records, and vital records from 1855-1940, and so much more.
It is considered a top-notch genealogy library, a place where not only citizens of Mason City and Cerro Gordo County come for information about their ancestors, but also serves the surrounding eight counties, plus people all across the country who stop in or write us.
There is renewed interest in genealogy with DNA testing and the TV show, plus, Rod Hungerford is in the library most weekdays to assist people who donâ€™t have a computer or have no idea how to use one to find genealogy records.
So what is to happen to this valuable genealogical collection we have amassed? NCIGS is a small organization and doesnâ€™t have money to pay rent, so will it end up in the city dump? We need help and input from the citizens of Mason City.
Carol Tinkey, Mason City
I am writing to express my strong opposition to the proposed â€śevictionâ€ť of the Genealogy Room at the Mason City Public Library. This Genealogy Room holds an extensive collection of genealogical materials including local, regional and state family histories, cemetery records and other related items of interest â€“ gathered over many years. These materials are of great interest to people in the North Iowa and southern Minnesota areas. This collection is one of the most complete and most sophisticated of its type in Iowa and Minnesota. Many volunteers have spent hours collecting and collating these materials and have organized them into albums, journals and displays.
My granddaughter and I have spent hours there obtaining family records. It has been an educational experience for both of us. She, as a young girl, was able to learn of some of her ancestry and to establish a hobby of studying genealogy. I have often thought of how blessed we are to have such a wealth of information close to us in the Mason City Public Library.
It would be a shame, a tragedy to move this extensive collection to another location. Most likely, it would result in it being fragmented and located to multiple locations.
I am hopeful that the Library Board and the City Council will reconsider and give second thought in order to keep this very valuable Mason City resource in its current location.
Judy Evans, Mason City
I see in the paper that due to a shortage of personnel in the military we are now going to allow people in with past drug use and other issues with the law. In the 1950s and ’60s similar people were given a choice of prison or military duty when in trouble with the law. Let’s save the $200 million the government is now offering in bonuses for new recruits, offer the old either-or choice to offenders, and also take some burden off our prison system.
Robert Freund, Greene
Donald Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or Mr. Magoo as Trump once called him, to end the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, just the latest in a series of actions indicating Trump believes he is above the law.
These actions have not been actions and words that we would see from an innocent man. An innocent person would fully cooperate in every way possible to expedite a conclusion and clear their name and get back to running the country. Trump has shown time and again that he intends to thwart the investigation, even at the risk of triggering a constitutional crisis.
Yet in a recent poll, 37 percent of Americans said Trump was honest and trustworthy. This also tells us that this same 37 percent from the poll are idiots and/or woefully uniformed. I am begging for Mueller to subpoena Trump’s income tax returns. The only reason anyone would not release them voluntarily as all previous presidential candidates have since it has been expected over the last 50 years, is obviously because they don’t want voters to know what is there. Duh?! Is the audit still ongoing after two years?
For those of us that thought that maybe after elected he would tame down and do a respectable job, you can kiss that thought goodbye. It is much worse than I could have ever imagined. He has embarrassed Americans and insulted our allies over and over and again. He represents the greatest danger this great country has been in for decades. He makes stupid Americans even more stupid! Trump has proven at least one thing: the Constitution may have given the president too much power, at least in Trump’s case.
Steve Epperly, Mason City
After the filing of the Freedom of Information Act request by the Democratic senators was denied, I became concerned about the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Why are the Republican senators sanitizing Kavanaughâ€™s government records during his service under President George W. Bush? Is it the possibility that Kavanaugh lied to the Senate prior to his confirmation in 2006? Why not turn over all the records that will show whether Kavanaugh was or was not involved in discussions about Guantamino Bay torture?
Any member of Congress, including Sen. Grassley, should be concerned enough to let the record speak for itself.
Julie Stewart Ziesman, Waukee
There seems to be a great deal of conflict surrounding the genealogy society’s use of a room in the Mason City Public Library. The room has been in use for the past 40 years and is lauded as one of the great collections for persons searching for their ancestors. The service is used not only by locals but by many across the state of Iowa and internationally as well. Since the availability of tracing ancestors through DNA, the process has become a phenomenon worldwide.
The service of the society is not only widely known, it has the ability to provide necessary help required by those of us who need help and are not Internet-savvy. Placing this service on the Internet is not a viable solution because the society has the guidance of a valuable person to give help to those of us who need it. Let’s face it: I still recall having to leave my comfortable chair to walk across the living room and turn the knob on the television to channels 3, 6 and 10.
I don’t understand why this service, which is such a gem and a star in Mason City’s history, can be closed without a win-win agreement. The library board meets at the library on Aug. 21 and is open to the public. Please attend to fight to keep this service that Mason City should be proud of.
Nancy Hewett, Mason City
I read with a heavy heart Steve Bohnel’s article about the Mason City Public Library’s decision to force the North Central Iowa Genealogical Society to move out of the public library building.Â As both a Mason City native and as a genealogist, I am appalled at the library’s decision.
Public libraries all across the country — small and large — know that family history researchers are among their most important patrons and supporters. Libraries have changed a lot over the past half-century, but one thing remains the same — it is a place people can go to get help with all kinds of research.
Small nonprofit genealogy societies like NCIGS really have few options. Many small genealogy and family history societies across the Midwest rely on public libraries and historical societies for their physical existence.
Yes, there is a lot on the internet, but family history researchers know that there is no substitute for getting help from local volunteers (and professional librarians) who know the local territory. What better place than a public library?
I am a director of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, a past president of MGS, and a past director of the Association of Professional Genealogists. I graduated from Mason City High School in 1968, and have always thought the Mason City Public Library was one of the best things about Mason City — a real gem the Mason City should be proud of.
I hope there is a happy ending to this story.
Jay Fonkert, Roseville, Minnesota
Using comedy to present a serious subject is tricky, but the lively choreography and amazing singing talent on stage at Mason City Community Theater carry it off splendidly. The outstanding talent of both new and returning members reminds me that we don’t have to travel to a big city for professional live theater; it is right here under our noses. You won’t want to miss the youngest members of the cast who don’t miss a beat and appear to be having the time of their lives.
So get on over to Mason City Community Theater for the remaining shows Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., and better bring a little extra change in case you need to to use “the facilities.” Just kidding!
However, our donations to One Iowa North Scholarship Fund are welcome and the tips on conserving water that are posted on the walls remind us of what not to take for granted.
Beverly Butler, Mason CityÂ
Factory farms are detrimental to public health. They contribute to hazardous water conditions where people and animals can get sick by drinking or even touching water. It makes a person think, why are so many confinements going up?
Part of the reason is because counties and local folks have no say in the construction of factory farms. Even if a community opposes them due to environmental, health or other reasons, the DNR gets the final say — and they almost always get rubber stamped.Â
We need local control in every county so the people can decide what they want.Â
Thankfully, more people and their county supervisors are saying enough is enough! Twenty-two counties have passed resolutions or written letters requesting action from the Legislature. They are nonbinding but sent a clear message to the Statehouse that people on the ground want more protections from factory farms. Has your county taken action?
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is listening to people who want change. No more factory farms until we have local control and fewer than 100 impaired water bodies in Iowa.Â
Shannon Walker, ClarionÂ
As a past member of the Board of Directors and past employee of Timely Mission Nursing Home, I was sadden by the death of Virginia Olthoff and the mistakes that may have been made. However, it should also be noted that Timely Mission has a long history of treating residents with respect and dignity.
While no nursing home is perfect, I know that the staff and board of Timely Mission care deeply for the residents they serve. The people of Buffalo Center and surrounding communities have been very fortunate to have this facility in our community for 50 plus years.
Timely Mission has always passed yearly inspections by the State of Iowa with few or any discrepancies. The threat of the state imposing a $30,000 fine will only impose hardship on the current residents and staff. This money would need to be made up by higher fees to residents or lower employee pay. It will do nothing to fix the mistake that was made.
I sincerely believe that while Virginia may have not been treated correctly, everything necessary is being done to make sure it never happens again. The people of Buffalo Center should continue to have full confidence that their loved ones will be treated with the respect and love they so deserve.
Denny Murra, Buffalo Center
BUFFALO CENTER |Â Virginia Olthoff’s daughter says she was a cheerful, kindhearted woman who loved to give others affectionate nicknames like “â€¦
Kristen Arnold recently shared her opinion whose to blame for Iowa’s pollution (“Iowa deserves better waterways,” published Aug. 1). Her view was corporate farmers. My contention is she needs to evaluate her footprint first.
Does she know the water quality in the Des Moines River before and after it passes thru her community? A farmer is required to test his soils. Does she know what emissions are emitted from her car? A new John Deere tractor’s engine actually has cleaner air coming out than going in. Does she know her personal trash probably goes to a landfill which as it decays, if at all, produces methane gas?
We all have ownership in our water issues. Each of us leaves a footprint on the environment each and everyday.
Instead of blaming someone else for the problem, let’s focus on creating and solutions.
Brent Fedders, Mason City
In response to Roxann Newell’s letter to the editor (“Touched by aunt’s forgiveness,” July 25): One should not make a judgement until they are sure they have all the facts.
Before my statement was read, I asked the judge if I could say a few words. She said yes. I told everyone that my statement was not at attack on Codie, but an attack on what Codie did. The Globe did not post that part.
Very few people besides myself and my wife knew what was going on. Many times we shared a meal with Ken, Kathy and Codie, and sometimes just to visit.
Both me and my wife would offer words of encouragement to Codie. Many times we would listen to Ken and Kathy’s hopes and frustrations concerning Codie.
As far as Sharon being able to forgive Codie: Sharon did not know Codie personally due to a 35-year rift that Sharon had with Ken. The rift continued up to Ken’s death.
It’s easy to forgive when you don’t know what’s going on.
Marv Hackbart, Mason City
What is wrong with these people? That’s what my dear mother would say if she was alive today!
Returning after nearly half a century, I am baffled. So before I got back to whence I came, I’ll throw by 50 cents worth in. Mason City’s economy is nonexistent. If y’all want to kick-start Cerro Gordo (fat hill), I’d suggest the economic development council hire a jam-up grant writer instead of raising utilities and taxing the middle class for all these past foo-pas your city’s council seems to dream up.
That bottle bill is no longer working. Use a closed-down plant or factory and build a state-of-the-art recycling facility. Get some people working and get rid of these flies!
Use that boarded up Marshal and Swift building a nonprofit alternative education program. Teach vocational skills, small-engine repair, welding, plumbing and such. Use Patrick’s Place as a culinary school for healthy foods, growing herbs and seasonal veggies.
And now that Younkers is gone, bulldoze Southbridge! Turn it into a park, with food truck vendors and artisans. Have a splash station for summertime fun. Ice it over in the winter for outdoor skating, cocoa shacks and soup stations. The grants are out there.Â
Lastly and of grave concern is your court system. I cannot call it a judicial one. The plea deals or probation for crimes against the innocent and vulnerable sickens me. And I have no suggestions for that.
Dear Mother would say at times, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!” Needless to say my experience has been enlightening. I’ve made some awesome friends and learned a lot about this weather!
Jo Parker, Mason City
My family went to Pine Lake State Park for a greatly anticipated weekend of camping, swimming and beach picnics. When we arrived, we learned the water was unsafe due to bacterial contamination. How disappointing for the weekend but how tragic for life!
I’m happy to pay taxes to protect public land, but now we can’t even enjoy them. In Iowa where there are seven times more pigs than people, our waterways are under perpetual toxic harm. We know that corporate agriculture is the biggest contributor to water pollution in Iowa.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Can you imagine the amazing recreational/tourist possibility of our rivers and public parks if our waters were pollutant-free?
Bottom line: this isn’t just our swimming water, irrigating water, life-sustaining water. To get the clean water that Iowa’s families deserve, we need polluters to pay to clean up the mess they made.
Kristyn Arnold, Des Moines
No justice. It was very disheartening and disappointing to see another admitted pedophile to be given a very soft plea deal, as reported in the Globe Gazette on July 17.
This time it’s Hancock County County Attorney, Robert Blake Norman, making the shameful deal with Damien Kyhl, who sexually assaulted multiple children over multiple years.
Instead of taking him to trial and being able to take this sexual offender off our streets for decades, it appears he’ll be serving what could be five years of a negotiated 10-year sentence.
In no time. this pedophile will be back out and able to reoffend against our children. Also, no justice for the victims. Shameful.
We can only hope that the judge presiding in this case sees this as the dangerous plea deal this and refuses to accept it. It’s past time for our county attorneys to quit making these soft plea deals with these dangerous individuals.
Pat Ropella, Mason CityÂ