Viewpoints

Wed
12
Dec

Word for Word 12/12/18

Fr. Mark Osterhaus
Fr. Mark Osterhaus

Clear Vision and Words That Both Inform and Unite

Two longtime members of our community of Waukon and the faith community of St. Patrick Parish have died recently. Their professions, and what they did to serve our community, can relate to the Season of Advent and the coming Feast of Christmas.

Dick Schilling’s funeral was Monday, December 3. Dick served as editor of the Waukon Standard for 36 years! To serve for that length of time as editor in one community is remarkable. Dick had written his column “And Then I Wrote…” from 1965 until just two weeks ago. Dick was a man of his word and a man who knew the importance of words. When we think of the power of words to unite, challenge and encourage, we realize just how important our local paper (and our radio station) are for us.

Wed
12
Dec

Letter to the Editor: More than anticipated

To the Editor:

Phone calls, e-mails, like comments, and even hugs were more than I ever anticipated after my previous letters published in The Standard dated 11-14-18 and 11-28-18. Did I expose some things that were never meant to see the light of day? “The more you stir a stinking mess, the more it stinks” (not my words). How about we all start stirring?

For those who didn’t understand my reference to cost of a culvert versus the cost of a bridge, let me explain. The difference could well be a million or few, besides a road closure for four to six months, plus a change order if we forgot something. You may someday be shocked if you see a couple toll booths at the foot of fairground hill.

I have gotten no answers to questions I put forth. I can understand that they may not want to “own” the situation. When will the planner reveal his hand, streets rebuilt or maintained? We now know that maintained is assumed to be free and yet we are all paying for it.

Wed
05
Dec

And then I wrote...

in honor of Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that it is with a very heavy heart that these are my words filling this column space this week, rather than the rightful author who has done so for longer than I have even been alive.

For those not yet aware, and who are looking for the usual wit and wisdom of the man who committed a vast majority of his life to informing, enlightening, educating and even entertaining this Waukon community he also called home for nearly all his life, it is with deep regret that I must tell you that Richard “Dick” J. Schilling, long-time editor - and more recently, editor emeritus - of this newspaper, was found deceased in his home this past Tuesday, November 27 - ironically, the same day of the week he would faithfully bring to the newspaper office for publication the column that usually appears in this space.

Wed
05
Dec

Word for Word 12/5/18

Rev. Kim Gates
Rev. Kim Gates

The Christmas lights and décor are up outside and in - there are presents being purchased and put under the trees - there are concerts and parties - there are family gatherings and extra Church services. And we do all this because???? Well, tradition, of course! Hasn’t Christmas been celebrated since the very night Jesus was born? No, actually there is no mention of commemorating his birth whatsoever in our Biblical text. But isn’t that where all our “traditions” come from?! Alas, no again, most of our 21st Century celebrated Christian “traditions” are of human making.

Wed
05
Dec

Letter to the Editor: The rule of law

To the Editor:

Well, in January the rule of law will start and after two years of the Republican party letting their president sell out this country to Putin and doing nothing about it, “time’s up”. No more running roughshod over the rule of law and the Constitution and making up laws to fit the crimes that he has committed as he goes along.

I hope Mr. Quandahl will do something about all the untruths or better yet pure out unforgiving lies that only he and a few others believe, such as the 2nd Amendment and your guns being taken away by the Democrats, and many other Republican fairy tales. Mr. Quandahl and the Republican party have been campaigning for years and years on that, they know not the law. I hope all those who locally support the Republican party pray for  the  rule  of  law  to  save  this  country  for  future  generations.

Wed
28
Nov

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that I have confessed here before my ignorance of the Bible, but one verse has always caused me to wonder about the reference, and that verse comes to mind every winter’s start.

“... and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land” is how it goes. It refers to spring, but I wonder what sort of voice a turtle has. I’ve caught a few, and all I ever heard was a hiss from a large snapper. Or since it deals with spring, does the verse really refer to the turtle dove?

What causes it to come to mind each winter is the sound I heard before rising and looking out the window Saturday morning, when the sound of the snow shovel was heard in our land.

By the time this gets into print, Thanksgiving Day will be over.

I hope the national political tone was muted over the holiday, but I sort of doubt if it was.

Wed
28
Nov

Letter to the Editor: Isn’t it strange what a bout with potato salad can do?

To the Editor:

On second thought (Daylight Savings Time offers an extra hour of think time before the alarm goes off), just what is the job of a city council? Isn’t it to question the experts and their motives for what they are proposing?

Why only fix five blocks of First Avenue NW? Is it because that is where the public property is? The courthouse, library, school, church-owned property, parking lot as well as their own business - attorney, doctors, accountants, printing shop, plumbing shop, storage buildings, bank, apartments, repair shops, various rentals, etc.

So, what just happened on First Avenue NW was described as “maintenance”. Is the rest of the town also going to get “main-ten-ance” without assessment? What is the plan? Are north-south streets and east-west avenues going to be rebuilt or are they going to be “maintained”?

Wed
28
Nov

Letter to the Editor: Barely a trickle to the middle or the bottom

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Mr. Engle’s letter of November 14 in which he attempted to defend the Republicans’ massive tax give away to corporations and the wealthy.  Although corporations did face a top federal tax rate of 35%, given the loopholes and exemptions the corporate lobbyists had already written into the tax code, the actual rate corporations paid before the new tax bill was much lower.

One study of 280 of the largest corporations found they had pretax profits of $1.4 trillion, but the maximum any one of these corporations paid was about 28.5%, and some paid nothing at all.  Overall, the average rate was 13% to 15%.

Wed
21
Nov

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that there is an old saying to the effect that government which governs least governs best.

The recent mid-term election, which still isn’t over, mainly thanks once again to Broward County, Florida and its incompetent supervisor of elections, would seem to indicate that Americans subscribe to that idea. Voters gave Democrats control of the house, but Republicans maintain control of the senate. That probably means very little legislation has a chance of succeeding.

If nothing else, election results show a nation badly divided, and ditto for the state of Iowa, but for a slightly different reason.

It isn’t universally true, but generally on the national scene the more populous West Coast and the Northeast states voted liberal, while the great mid-section voted conservative.

There’s a lesson to be learned there about the importance of the Electoral College to small population states.

Wed
21
Nov

Word For Word 11/21/18


Rev. Grant VanderVelden

Hooligans lit the fire in the first-grade classroom with a pile of textbooks. But textbooks apparently don’t burn very well. The classroom was destroyed, and the one next to it damaged, but that was all.

It was a Saturday evening, so the custodian called the principal at home to report the fire. When the principal arrived at the school, it wasn’t just the blackened remains of arson that made her sick. It was graffiti sprayed on the walls that truly turned her stomach: “No co-existence with cancer.” “Death to Arabs.”

The principal was an Arab, and her school was the rarest of things to be found in the heart of Jerusalem: a school whose students were 50 percent Arab and 50 percent Jewish. And on this dark night, she was in mourning.

“My first thought was, ‘Our dream is finished.’ Surely NO parent will want to send their children here anymore.”

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