Viewpoints

Wed
16
Aug

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that I noted here a few weeks back that newspaper headlines are most often written by somebody other than the person who wrote the story, and so can frequently be misleading.
Case in point.

The headline said student-athletes at Iowa voiced concerns in a survey, and the lede said the concerns were about bullying and hazing. It wasn’t until the eighth paragraph, on the jump page, after a sub-head, that we learned that fewer than eight percent (7.73) of those surveyed had concerns. The proper headline should have been that over 92% of those surveyed had no concerns. In fact, there was a hint of that earlier in the story when it was reported that “UI athletes on average are pretty happy with their athletic experiences.”

A little later on, it was noted that six percent reported verbal abuse and only one percent sexual abuse, hardly alarming statistics.

Wed
16
Aug

Word for Word 8/16/17

Fr. Mark Osterhaus
Fr. Mark Osterhaus

The Gospel Message of Jesus Christ Offers an Alternative

This past week we marked the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Over the past several weeks, tensions with North Korea are rising. As our nation’s leaders warn North Korea about the North Korean missile program, their leaders have responded by threatening to have a plan for launching missiles “close to Guam”. We as a planet stand again at the brink of the use of nuclear weapons.

And it may not be the leaders of North Korea or our nation who cause the spark which leads to the launching of missiles. One analyst speculated that some “rogue element” such as a military maneuver of an ally gone wrong could escalate into a conflict involving weapons of mass destruction.

We can’t afford to be at the brink. We need to back up several steps from the brink, employing diplomacy and other peaceful means towards a new kind of coexisting.

Wed
16
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Iowa Healthiest State Initiative: Walk on Waukon

To the Editor:

Seven years ago the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative launched the “start somewhere” walk as an opportunity to engage Iowans to join us in making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. Since 2011, hundreds of thousands of Iowans have walked on the first Wednesday of October and we’ve seen a growing increase in making Iowa communities more walkable. Communities are adopting complete street policies, hiring staff dedicated to incorporating walking, biking and transit in transportation plans and launching walking school buses so kids can walk or bike safely to school.

This year the Healthiest State is reminding Iowans to care for their own health by walking every day by kicking off the Walk more-Connect more campaign in partnership with Walk more-Connect more-NE Iowa.

On October 4 we are challenging Iowans to “get your walk on” so it’s appropriate that we would kick off the challenge with the Corn Days Family Fun Walk/Run in Waukon!

Wed
16
Aug

Letter to the Editor: A Waukon RAGBRAI® story

To the Editor:

I’m sure that Waukon is full of individual stories about RAGBRAI weekend. Here’s one more:

Because this weekend also included the Waukon Men’s Golf Tournament starting early Saturday morning and we had six participants staying at our house, we had not volunteered to work at RAGBRAI. A lady knocked at our door early Friday afternoon. She was driving the route as her husband, age 72 and participating in his 23rd ride, was scheduled to stay in the library with 45 others. She asked if she could pay us to let him have a shower.

We were happy to take them both in and provide air mattresses for them on our porch. They were a delightful couple from Clinton and joined our group for dinner and breakfast. They left us with a thank you note and $40.

It seems that a 62-year-old cousin, whom I had never met, was also biking across the state. She is a lawyer in international relations, living in Washington D.C. She also joined us for dinner.

Wed
16
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Appreciation for RAGBRAI Waukon volunteers

To the Editor:

Friday, July 28 most of us were fortunate to experience the phenomenon of RAGBRAI. Some were part of the core group that took a leadership role on a planning committee, some hosted folks in their yards or homes, and close to 500 of you stepped forward to volunteer in some capacity Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday of RAGBRAI Waukon.

Add on to that all the good citizens of Allamakee County who helped their church or non-profit with dinners large enough to feed the RAGBRAI masses and we have nothing short of a total community effort to welcome and house these bicycle enthusiasts. I don’t think any of us thought that many people could ride into our lives and back out in just 24 hours.

Wed
16
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Giving a hoot about owls

To the Editor:

What is it about owls? The animal has suddenly become one of the hardest working marketing images in the U.S.  Owl images on TV sell eyeglasses, cold medicine and are now trip advisors.

Don’t get me wrong. I get the wise old owl thing of big eyes and the rotating heads. I especially enjoy seeing those rare white owls we are fortunate enough to see occasionally in this area. It was awesome to have seen a snowy owl a couple years ago near Effigy Mounds.

However, here’s the owl’s real claim to fame: they can fly virtually silently and eat about 80 pounds of mice per year! As a cat fan, I have thought about that as my feline friends thunder through our house pretending to see a mouse, which is usually a figment of their own imagination.

Wed
09
Aug

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that Mother Nature really smiled on Allamakee County as Ragbrai ended over the weekend.

Temperatures were moderate and there was no rain. In late July, heavy thunderstorms and readings in the 90s are always a possibility. As a result of the excellent conditions, the sponsoring Des Moines Register declared this the most beautiful ride of them all. Newspapers and TV, for example, showed the light fog turned early Saturday morning’s landscape into a sort of a French impressionist painting effect. And the shots of the Mississippi River near the power plant in Lansing were fantastic!

All of which proves again that we who live here sometimes seem to take it for granted.

I avoided the activities as much as I could, feeling I would only be in the way at my age.

Wed
09
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Proud of this place he calls home

To the Editor:

Waukon and Allamakee County, I couldn’t be prouder to call this place home!

Early on in the process of RAGBRAI preparations, I heard someone say that “if a town could ruin RAGBRAI, it would be Waukon,” and I’m happy to say that nothing could have been further from the truth. For those 48 hours we worked as a community of kind, caring and compassionate people who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, sheltered the homeless, welcomed the traveler and showed the state and each other what we are capable of.

Friends from outside the area repeatedly told me how great the community did and they found our warmth, hospitality and organizational skills to be unmatched. Those who came to our medical tent were grateful for the care they received and for the treats we fed them while we patched up their wounds or as we gave them IV fluids.

Wed
09
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Appreciation for his hometown hosting RAGBRAI®

To the Editor:

My appreciation goes out to all the organizers, volunteers, hosts, churches, businesses, bands, police officers and others who helped to make Waukon a place of hospitality for the riders on RAGBRAI®. At the edge of town, riders were greeted by a crowd of residents and an artistic archway. To satisfy our hunger, there were local churches and restaurants who served an amazing variety of food for affordable prices.

From one end of town to the other, people allowed their lawns to be transformed into campgrounds. Throughout town, there were benches, signs and bicycle-themed art that created a festive atmosphere. In the evening, a local band played fun music for a massive crowd in the middle of downtown.

Wed
09
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Well done, Allamakee County

To the Editor:

Everyone who worked so hard to make RAGBRAI happen, please give yourselves a huge pat on the back and put a big smile on your face. It was a fantastic event and one of the most exciting small town Iowa events I have experienced.

Many thousands of people from all over the country and even outside of the U.S. got to experience Allamakee County and had a great time doing it. Well done, indeed!

Ben Ross
Waukon

 

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