Viewpoints

Wed
18
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Full-time ranger keeps Yellow River State Forest safe

To the Editor:

We have been going to Yellow River State Forest for the last 27-plus years. We have seen many, many improvements over the years, especially in the last 19 years since DNR ranger Rylan Retallick has been in charge. Not only does he make sure that the campgrounds are clean and looking nice for campers, but he takes pride in keeping the park safe.

For example, a few years ago we were camping in Creekside Equestrian Campground on Memorial Day weekend when all of a sudden someone started shooting guns. We were not but 100 yards away from where the bullets were hitting. We had kids, adults, dogs and horses taking cover. Talk about scary!

Wed
11
Aug

Letter to the Editor: A world burning up and under water must finally act on climate change

To the Editor:

The shocking extreme weather of late comes as no surprise to scientists who warned for decades that we are heading toward climate catastrophe.

“These extremes are something we knew were coming,” Christian conservative and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe recently told the Washington Post. “The suffering that is here and now is because we have not heeded the warnings sufficiently.”

Those warnings go back to 1988 when Iowa native and then-NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen testified before Congress that “we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.’’

Wed
11
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Protecting all life at Yellow River State Forest

To the Editor:

I would like to express my sincere concern about the decision to reduce the amount of time the park ranger spends at Yellow River State Forest. As a local resident and someone who not only currently frequents the park, but also grew up going to the park, this is very concerning to me for a number of reasons.

I am worried about things getting out of control and people not treating Yellow River with respect if there is not a ranger around. My husband and I have recently returned from a trip around the U.S. spent staying at National Forest and BLM land in our camper. I saw this time and time again: When there was no ranger present, we would arrive at campsites that had trash everywhere, bullet holes on the signs, and people target shooting in places they are not supposed to.

Wed
11
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Failing to represent Iowans

To the Editor:

During a TV interview, U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson gave herself an A for her job performance as Iowa’s First District Representative. Hinson claimed she was working hard to support infrastructure. This claim would be admirable if it were true, but it is not.

Hinson has been a vocal opponent of the infrastructure bill “Invest in America Act.” In fact,  Hinson voted against the “Invest in America Act” which recently passed the U.S. House.

Wed
04
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Much-needed economic relief for Iowa families

To the Editor:

This past month, Iowan families began receiving in-pocket relief thanks to the American Rescue Plan. July 15, the Child Tax Credit program began providing direct payments to families with children 17 and under. If you have children, you might have noticed a direct deposit or check of up to $300 per child from the IRS. If you received this payment, you’re not alone - four out of five Iowans with children qualify.

Wed
04
Aug

Letter to the Editor: A successful fair

To the Editor:

Kudos to the Allamakee County Fair Board, 4-H, FFA, Extension staff, Master Gardeners, buyers at the auctions and all the other volunteers who helped make the 2021 Allamakee County Fair a success. The flowers and well-groomed grounds were a tip-off that the fair was well planned and would be well executed. Many activities kept young and old involved nearly all the time (or at least the opportunity was there!).

In this difficult time of divisiveness and rancor, the event felt like a time for community building and a celebration of our shared agricultural heritage, as it was meant to be. Thanks to all who worked so hard to bring us together in a healthy, youth-focused venue!

Wed
04
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Passive management at YRSF?

To the Editor:

It seems that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has adopted an unusual method - you could call it - to manage one of the state’s gems, Yellow River State Forest in Allamakee County. This ideology is being called “passive management.” The rationale for this change is their decision to take the full-time park ranger down to only 25% presence. The rest of his time is to be spent at the Volga River Recreational Area.

Wed
04
Aug

Letter to the Editor: A response in poetry

To the Editor:

A black-footed ferret
Is secretive, nocturnal, and solitary.  So, am I.
Undomesticated. I don’t cook either.
I was a predator, too, of the warm and fuzzy,
The prairie dogs of the world, the little beloveds
Of the grassland colonies. The fat ones,
The juiciest. Back when there were colonies.

Black-footed ferrets, like me, are
Endangered, but not critically.
It’s true, black-footed ferrets suffer
From a loss of habitat.  It is fairly difficult
For us to live in just a cornfield,
Or a hayfield, or a beanfield
That runs all the way to either horizon.
These last couple years,
I found that became difficult.

Wed
04
Aug

Letter to the Editor: So close, yet...

To the Editor:

We seemed to be so close in May and June to getting our lives back. To do so, we need to get as many people vaccinated as qualify for the vaccine. Public health experts estimate that the average person who gets infected with Delta spreads it to three or four other people as compared with one or two other people with the original virus.

Wed
04
Aug

Letter to the Editor: Honoring Republicans

To the Editor:

The American people owe heartfelt thanks to Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for their moral and political courage in their willingness to serve on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attempt to subvert democracy and overturn the results of a fair and free election. Unlike Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst and Representative Ashley Hinson (who have shown the political courage of church mice), Cheney and Kinzinger are putting country over party and are willing to jeopardize their political careers to uphold their oaths to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.

Their bravery will likely result in their defeats in future primaries, but their sense of duty overrides such concerns. Although I disagree with them on most policy issues, I salute and thank them for their courage and sense of duty to the country.

Thomas Hill
Lansing

 

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