Viewpoints

Wed
05
Jun

Word for Word 6/5/19

Rev. Kim Gates
Rev. Kim Gates

From all that I’ve learned about the Almighty, God doesn’t take vacation - at least not like we do! I think it’s good news that God doesn’t go off and leave us to our own devices - just think what more of a mess our world might become if God was absent for weeks at a time! But human beings, on the other hand, don’t function well if they are “on” all the time with no breaks. Once again, this is a clear reminder that we mere humans are NOT God.

However, Jesus did take time away from his busy ministry itinerary. Jesus was as fully human as he was divine so the humanity of Jesus needed to “take a break.” In the UMC, our clergy get 4 weeks of vacation every year and a week of continued education (plus every four years we get a 4 week “Renewal Leave”) which are all designed to give pastors the needed breaks that are healthy and rejuvenating so that our ministry doesn’t stagnate or “burn out.”

Wed
05
Jun

Letter to the Editor: Harmful to women’s health care

To the Editor:

As a Congressional candidate, Ashley Hinson will continue to harm Iowa’s women and women’s access to health care.

In a League of Women Voters’ forum January 21, 2017 Hinson stated that when she moved to Linn County she wasn’t able to get into an OB-GYN and relied on Planned Parenthood for her health care needs. In the same forum she also stated, “the government should typically stay out of women’s healthcare decisions”.

Yet, as a state legislator, Hinson repeatedly inserted her harmful votes into the lives of Iowa’s women. She also stated she wasn’t going to vote to make it harder for women to get healthcare services, yet, that is exactly what her votes have done.

Wed
08
May

Word for Word 5/8/19

Fr. Mark Osterhaus
Fr. Mark Osterhaus

On May 1st of each year, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.  St. Joseph was the legal father of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew, the people in Jesus’ hometown, when asking about Jesus, questioned: “Isn’t this the son of the carpenter?” So, Jesus is identified by the occupation of Joseph.

May 1st has become a day dedicated to the rights of workers all over the world.   The issue of income inequality is at the forefront of many May Day demonstrations and protests in a variety of countries. Many church communities have stepped up in support of the right workers have to organize and to receive just compensation for their labors. Jesus and Joseph both labored for their daily bread.

Wed
08
May

Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on climate change and Mother’s Day

To the Editor:

With the advent of Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of and grateful for the many experiences and lessons learned from my own mother.  Among the most impactful, are those things she modeled by example. As a lifelong Girl Scout and leader, she imparted the number one rule for girls on a field trip or a night at camp, that being, “always leave a place better than you found it”.

As a mother (and hopefully, someday a grandmother), I am reminded of my duty to carry on this responsibility and help leave the world better than I found it. It’s been a challenge to understand what I, as one person, can contribute to that end beyond recycling, composting and turning down the thermostat. I am fearful of the rapidly compounding effects of climate change, and the conditions in which future generations will find themselves.

Wed
08
May

Letter to the Editor: Totally dumbfounded

To the Editor:

I was totally dumbfounded when I read in the Cedar Rapids paper’s March 24 issue that a Republican Representative, Andy McKean, switched to the Democrats, especially when so many Democrats, the good ones, are leaving their party. He’s joining a party that is anti-Christ, anti-military, anti-law enforcement, anti-gun rights, anti-marriage, anti-border control and wants to eliminate your right to work, supports Planned Parenthood and the abortion of babies, and wants very bad criminals to vote.

They have no program, period, just anti-Trump, one of the best presidents ever. People are happy and working; that’s all people, women, colored people, Spanish people. Give Trump four more years and we probably will be a great country again.

Wed
01
May

Letter to the Editor: Clearing up Lansing splash pad concerns

To the Editor:

There seems to be some questions and misconceptions concerning how much water the new splash pad will use and how that might affect a household water bill. The good news is that it will not raise anyone’s water bill. The City already has water at the ball field, the South Front Street Park and at all fire hydrants. These are not metered and do not affect household water bills.

There also seems to be another misconception concerning the amount of water that will be used for the splash pad. The splash pad will not run continuously. The splash pad will have a controller and an activator to regulate the amount of water being used. These enable the City to control the hours of operation as well as how many four to eight-minute cycles in an hour that water is cooling young and old on a hot, humid afternoon and early evening.

Wed
01
May

Letter to the Editor: Is addiction a choice or a disease?

To the Editor:

Being that there are approximately 21.5 million Americans that struggle with addiction each year, one would venture to say that substance abuse is a relevant topic in today’s world. Even more troubling, 80% of those same people also struggle with an issue with alcohol. 8 million people struggle with what is called a co-occurring disorder, or “double trouble.” One question that continues to raise many arguments though, is addiction a choice? Or, is it something more?

Wed
24
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Help protect native species

To the Editor:

I am old enough to remember the first Earth Day in 1970, when 20 million people from communities throughout the United States came out to peacefully celebrate the environment and our precious earth. Some cleaned up litter, others planted trees, and, yet, others called for policy changes that would have lasting positive effects on our planet.

Earth Day is now celebrated worldwide in 193 countries and coordinated by the non-profit Earth Day Network. The theme for Earth Day 2019 - Monday, April 22 - was Protect Our Species.

The rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides. Species in danger include coral reefs, whales, elephants and insects, to name a few.

Wed
17
Apr

Word for Word 4/17/19

Rev. VanderVelden
Rev. Grant VanderVelden

Someone once described parables of Jesus as “narrative time bombs” - stealthy little stories that steal their way into your heart with their comfy tales about everyday things with which most folks can identify: farmers and seeds, women and bread-baking, fathers and son, landlords and tenants.
But then, without warning, the parable’s volatile fuel detonates, and BAM!

You’re thrown off balance and knocked off your feet as the parable blasts new awareness and understanding into your oftentimes heavily fortified heart and armor-plated mind.

“Jeepers! I thought Jesus was just talking about farmers planting seeds or the problems parents have with their kids, but what he’s really talking about is me, and everyone else, and our relationship with God! And, uh-oh, we don’t come off looking so good!”

Wed
17
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Concerns with gravel road detour

Editor’s Note: The following was a letter also emailed by the author to the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors and the Allamakee County Engineer’s Office. The original letter contained photos of the condition of areas of the gravel road detour around the Irish Hollow Bridge replacement project on County Road A26 (Iowa River Drive) following the recent snow/rain storms that swept through the area Wednesday, April 10.

To the Editor:

I am writing to you with great disappointment, frustration and safety concerns. This is due to the poor road conditions on the A26 detour. It is an impassable detour, to say the least. I am not certain how one expects to continue to re-route traffic on this impassable road.

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