Viewpoints

Wed
24
Oct

Letter to the Editor: Luster Heights should be a lesson

To the Editor:

I often wonder what has become of the officers and staff who worked at Luster Heights. Have they found equal jobs elsewhere?

How is our county coping with the loss of cost-effective labor that the inmates provided? Luster Heights had work agreements with Lansing, Harpers Ferry, Eastern Allamakee schools, Allamakee County Conservation and the DNR. Inmates helped maintain Lansing’s Mt. Hosmer Park, Waukon’s City Park, and our County’s secondary roads.

They also did community service projects, building shelves for libraries and the county fair, growing plants for the Allamakee County Master Gardeners, and a nativity scene for St. Ann’s Parish in Harpers Ferry. The inmates’ contributions to our county were enormous and appreciated by many.

Wed
24
Oct

Letter to the Editor: Trickle down fantasies

To the Editor:

Remember when our federal government’s current majority party promised that its tax cut program would pay for itself and raise all workers’ boats? Guess what?  The Treasury Department recently announced that the federal budget deficit for the 2018 fiscal year grew to $779 billion, a 17 percent increase.

Because the tax plan cut the top corporation tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, their tax revenues are down by over 30 percent. In the fiscal year 2017, corporate tax revenues were $297 billion, but in 2018, they were down to $205 billion.

Workers were told that the tax cuts would fill their bank accounts, but most of the cuts went to the wealthiest top one percent of families who will receive an average tax cut saving of $51,140.  Families earning $25,000 or less will save $60 on their federal taxes, and families earning between $48,600 and $86,100 will save $930.

Wed
24
Oct

Letter to the Editor: Fiscal responsibility in local government

To the Editor:

A candidate running for supervisor in Allamakee County is campaigning on fiscal responsibility, but has demonstrated over the past two years that she doesn’t hold that quality. As a representative to the Iowa House, she voted to cut corporate taxes, no doubt thinking that having the state’s largest companies pay less would end up putting money into state coffers. When has the trickle-down theory ever worked?

Those cuts caused a huge budget imbalance, which our representative then tried to “correct” by voting to take $131 million from state savings and cutting funding to crucial services across the state, to universities, the Iowa Flood Center, health care clinics, corrections, local schools, and much more. As a result of her vote for only a 1.1 percent increase in school spending, the third lowest in Iowa history, schools in Allamakee County saw a substantial budget shortfall.

Wed
24
Oct

Letter to the Editor: Halloween

To the Editor:

In just a few days it will be Halloween, October 31 will again be celebrated starting at sundown and carrying over to and including November 1, known as All Saints Day which replaced Samhain in the year 835 by Pope Gregory the Fourth. It took a while with Christianity leaving Samhain from about the fifth to the fifteenth centuries. The Roman Catholic Church liked to incorporate versions of the older religious traditions in an effort to convert those into All Souls Day, which is today’s Halloween.

Wed
17
Oct

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that a story in one of the Sunday papers about Iowa’s first governor, Ansel Briggs, noted that he was responsible for setting the state’s borders. The east and west limits were easy because ol the two major rivers, and he noted that Iowa’s “rivers as borders flow to an inseparable union.”

After weeks of a further separation of the nation’s two political parties, I wish I could express the same hope for the country.

But I can’t.

And the main reason I feel that way is not the differences in philosophy, but rather all the evidence of mob rule ... monocracy instead of democracy.

Wed
17
Oct

Letter to the Editor: Clarifying SF 45 for IPERS employees

To the Editor:

It is an honor and privilege to represent you in Iowa Senate District 28 and I appreciate your support. I’ve received numerous calls about a letter to the editor written by former educator Steve Paul and published in last week’s paper. In the letter he asked people to call me and warned that SF 45 was going to take away IPERS from all State employees.

According to Mr. Paul, “Breitbach’s party is pushing this change. This is being done under the table.” He failed to mention only one Senator proposed this bill, it had no co-sponsors, no subcommittee meeting and no support to move forward in the Senate. The bill would have affected Chapter 411 employees, such as peace officers and firefighters, but not IPERS employees.

Wed
17
Oct

Letter to the Editor: Healthcare providers suffer under privatized Medicaid

To the Editor:

Governor Branstad turned over $5 billion to private for-profit insurance companies in 2016 to manage the Medicaid program. Since AmeriHealth and United Healthcare took over, healthcare providers have been underpaid or not paid at all for the services they provide to Medicaid recipients. These complaints continue today.

Rural hospitals are paying the high price for the privatization of Medicaid. Adding to the reimbursement problems is that Governor Branstad and his party who controls the state house and state senate sought exemptions from the Affordable Care Act. This resulted in the removal of the requirement that Medicaid retroactively pay for care from the time of application.  Consequently, rural hospitals have had to absorb the cost of care provided prior to approval. One rural hospital in northeast Iowa reported that the managed care company refused to pay claims using the excuse that  this hospital was not credentialed.

Wed
17
Oct

Letter to the Editor: Public funds need to be used for public education

To the Editor:

I love kids, so I have a passion for public education. I believe public education is the best hope for our children, our community and our country to thrive.

The irresponsible economic practices of the current state government have caused the funding of education in our state to become inadequate. Our local schools are struggling to hire teachers, and families are struggling under the burden of increasing costs of community colleges and state universities.

Do not be misled by the claim that school choice or vouchers are the answer. Public funds need to be used for public education. Give all kids a chance. Keep schools strong and affordable by voting out the party in control of our State money.

Do not weaken our schools and our state with your vote. Give all kids the opportunities they deserve! Vote wisely!

Kathy Hannum
Waukon

 

Wed
10
Oct

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that the fuss over the need for a seventh FBI background investigation for a supreme court nominee caused me to remember when 1 underwent an investigation while in the Navy.

I don’t know what sort of classification I held while on the staff of the air group aboard the aircraft carrier. I was communications officer, and we sent two low classification “confidential” messages in that time, once to note the need to offload one squadron on Guam because of parts recall, and the other to report that all jet aircraft were inoperative until repairs were made to a catapult.

But after being named classified materials control officer for the newly-formed replacement air group training squadron, someone felt it was necessary for me to acquire a Higher clearance, and so FBI agents visited my home town.

Wed
10
Oct

Word for Word 10/10/18

Rev. Ron Pederson

Sanctification (holiness) and Good Works

Not the Law and the Commandments, but the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins in Christ, is the mother of sanctification (holiness) and good works. This is seen most clearly in regards to keeping the First Table of the Law, love for God (Matthew 22:37-39).  It is impossible to have any love for God without first knowing and believing that all our sins are forgiven in Christ.  Without knowing and believing that all our sins are forgiven in Christ, we remain in our sin and guilt, and in a state of dread and terror of God, the opposite of love for Him.  But when we know and believe the Gospel, that Jesus suffered and died on the cross for our sin in our place, and now in Him we have the forgiveness of all our sins, then our spontaneous response is to begin to love God from the heart, the First Table of the Law --- The starting point for sanctification (holiness) and good works.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Viewpoints