Viewpoints

Wed
03
May

Letter to the Editor: Earth Day and Effigy Mounds

To the Editor:

Happy spring fellow human earthlings!
 
I write these words on Earth Day, 2017. If you have been following the seven years of our exposing the damage caused at our beloved Effigy Mounds National Monument by federal employees you may care to know that we have recently received our last long awaited redacted (FOIA) Freedom of Information Act Request.

People lived here in the Driftless Area for thousands of years before our European ancestors arrived. These cultures had a very nature based society and revered their home to the extent they built earthworks, earth art many in the shape of other creatures.

Historically there were white folks who came on the scene who appreciated these mounds uniqueness and importance to the human story. The likes of locals Ellison Orr and others formed a group and petitioned congress for protection beginning around 1905. Effigy Mounds National Monument would finally be created in 1949.

Wed
03
May

Letter to the Editor: What should Iowa be known for?

As I was sitting down with my family for Easter dinner, I felt blessed to have wonderful company and plentiful food at our table. As we sliced our ham dinners, scooped scalloped corn on our plates, and buttered our rolls, we were thankful for the hard work of Iowa farmers toiling in the fields and tending to their livestock that made our meal possible. We are thankful for the perseverance, sacrifices, knowledge, and work ethic demonstrated by Iowa’s family farmers.

Wed
26
Apr

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that there was a photo story in a recent edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette about the Palace Theatre in the downtown section of that city.

What caught my eye and jogged my memory, and perhaps has caused me to readjust my thinking, was the location in the photo of the large building next door, Yager’s men’s and boy’s clothing store.

I have always thought of my family as being middle class while I was growing up. I may have over-estimated. Perhaps we were lower middle class.

The fact that one day sometime just after WWII, my Dad bought suits for himself and me at that store jarred my feelings. Why would my Dad, who often had few bucks to spend and who was careful with where he spent those he did have, have driven to Cedar Rapids to make those purchases? We had a couple pretty nice men’s clothing stores in Waukon at that time.

Wed
26
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Distinction is important

To the Editor:

When I was five years old I began the first grade in a small country school in Kansas. I did not know I was a kindergarten student in this rural school, or that my classmate was a pre-kindergarten. I only knew I was glad for Mrs. Gregory and I could go to school, even though she taught grades one through three. That was the beginning of my education in reading, writing, arithmetic and the spelling and vocabulary were tested every Friday.

Fri
21
Apr

Guest Editorial: Here we go again

Well, it seems the Republican leaders in Washington, D.C. have decided to take another run at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare. There is going to be an amendment proposed but it does not change the original bill, which failed to gain enough support three weeks ago.
It will still cause 24 million people to lose their insurance coverage. People with pre-existing conditions may pay three times as much for premiums, as much as $30,000 per year. This legislation will cause states to phase out their Medicaid expansions, which will leave another 14 million people without insurance.
The Freedom Caucus of the Republican Party, of which Representative Rod Blum is a member, wants the Essential Benefits of the ACA completely removed.

Wed
19
Apr

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that I watched this morning the swearing-in of the new Supreme Court judge, Neal Gorsuch.

I also watched large portions of his time before senators considering his nomination.

Except any sort of consideration in those hearings seemed lacking. Republicans knew that, thanks to former senate leader Democrat Harry Reid, they had the final word if necessary in the so-called nuclear option. Democrats, still angry over the Electoral College loss to President Trump, and the failure of their court candidate, Garland, in 2016 to even get a hearing in the senate, stayed firmly opposed.

Personally, I think the person who benefited most as a result of the actions is Garland! Democrats argued loudly and long that he should have at least been called before the senate.

They have a point.

Wed
19
Apr

Word for Word 4/19/17

As a Lenten practice I’ve been trying to read poetry for my morning meditation and was recently moved by “Blessing for a Broken Vessel” by Jan Richardson. It reads: Do not despair. You hold the memory of what it was to be whole.

It lives deep in your bones. It abides in your heart that has been torn and mended a hundred times. It persists in your lungs that know the mystery of what it means to be full, to be empty, to be full again.

I am not asking you to give up your grip on the shards your clasp so close to you,

But to wonder what it would be like for those jagged edges to meet each other in some new pattern that you have never imagined, that you have never dared to dream.

Wed
19
Apr

Letter to the Editor: More to consider with proposed abortion ban

To the Editor:

My name is Emily Garrett. I was born and raised in Waukon. I count myself blessed to have been raised in such a warm Iowa community.

I have since moved away to pursue a medical degree and to train as an obstetrician and gynecologist. I have delivered babies to happy couples, troubled teenagers, sexual assault victims and even grieving mothers after the intrauterine death of their child. In fact, as I type this I am working 80 hours per week at night, while eight months pregnant with my first child, delivering babies and helping mothers have safe pregnancies and healthy newborns.

This is not meant as a complaint, but rather an illustration of the time and emotional and physical energy I’ve invested in caring for women. I hope someday to return to my home state to take care of Iowa women during and outside of their pregnancies.

Wed
19
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Has Big Foot ever been found?

To the Editor:

The April 5, 2017 issue of The Standard featured an article about the search for “Big Foot” in the Yellow River State Forest area. My interest perked when I got to the “Local Insight” section of the article and read the question about the area in Allamakee County which is called “Big Foot” and is located in the county’s Paint Creek and Linton Townships.

I grew up on a farm a half mile east of Rossville on Highway 13 (now Highway 76) and just “up the road” was the Crossroads. Turn north and the road goes to Waterville and turn south the Big Foot Road leads to Volney. I  was very disappointed that no one thought to ask some of the local historians about the origins of how Big Foot got its name.

Wed
19
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Privileged to experience the Honor Flight

To the Editor:

As I write this letter to the editor I ponder if I should because I don’t know if I can properly express my feelings. I had the privilege of going on the Honor Flight April 8.

It was so great, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. The treatment was so nice, so well organized and all done by volunteers, such wonderful angels.

We were supposed to be at the Milwaukee Airport by 5:30 a.m. Saturday. Julie and I left home at 11 p.m. Friday. The wonderful jet plane (Airbus) took off at 7 a.m. and one and a half hours later landed in Washington, D.C. Take-off and landing speed 152 miles per hour. I was very impressed by the very nice airports.

Jeana Steffens, our granddaughter, was like an angel to me. She pushed me for miles looking at all the memorials and monuments in D.C. Changing of the guard was great. Before we took off from Milwaukee, we had a minister say a very nice special prayer for us.

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