Viewpoints

Tue
24
Dec

Letter to the Editor: Putting tax dollars to good use?

To the Editor:

When I learned that the City wanted to hire a City Manager, I thought, “yes,” they could use one. I think they could use some help managing the budget and cut back on wasteful spending. For example, cutting down perfectly good trees, replacing of downtown plaza, replacing street lights with “prettier” ones, roofing of the former JCPenney building they don’t own, etc., etc. etc.

Now, I read in the council minutes the City Manager (hired to help eliminate wasteful spending) and council are discussing new furniture for City offices and comfy chairs in the council chambers. Where does putting tax dollars to good use fit into that one?

Brenda A’Hearn
Waukon

 

Wed
18
Dec

Letter to the Editor: Senator Ernst and Social Security

To the Editor:

Senator Ernst has told us what she believes. During a Republican primary debate in April 2014 and again in an interview by KCCI media May 29, 2014 she said, “We have to reform Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. And the way we do that with Social Security is by looking at transitioning our younger workers onto individual plans or individual savings accounts, whether that’s tied to the market, whether it’s based on interest rates - however we want to do that, we can have that discussion.”

Ernst reminded us of her goal at a September 5, 2019 town hall where she said members of congress should discuss social security “behind closed doors.” The only reason politicians ever take actions behind closed doors is that they know the results will be massively unpopular. Raising taxes on the wealthy (who mostly escape Social Security taxation) to pay for Social Security benefits is favored in opinion polls and is a discussion that should be held in public.

Wed
11
Dec

Word for Word 12/11/19

Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg
Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg

For your meditation:
Isaiah 11:1-10
Matthew 3:1-2
Romans 15: 4-9

Peanuts - The little girl Lucy is saying that Christmas is a time for kindness and good will; a time to accept one another, welcome  others to our homes and into our lives. Charlie Brown responds by saying, “Why just at Christmas? Why can’t we be kind, accepting and hospitable all through the year?” Lucy looks at Charlie Brown and says, “What are you? Some kind of religious fanatic?” Well, that old religious fanatic, the Apostle Paul, was of the same mind as Charlie Brown. He saw Christian acceptance as a year round everyday quality which is an outgrowth of faith in the Christ who freely welcomes and accepts others all the time.

Wed
27
Nov

Word for Word 11/27/19

Pastor Steve Oden
Pastor Steve Oden

Thanksgiving

But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. He fell facedown at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan.(Luke   17:15-16)

Thankfulness is foundational to the Christian life. Thankfulness is a conscious response that comes from looking beyond our blessings to their source. As Christians, we have been forgiven, saved from death, and adopted as God’s children. There could be no better reason for a grateful heart!

Wed
27
Nov

Letter to the Editor: Our churches are all on the same team

To the Editor:

I read with interest the Word for Word article by Pastor Ron Pederson of King of Grace Lutheran Church (November 13, 2019).

He recounted his experience of ministering to a dying man and seeing that man come to have faith in Christ.

Rev. Pederson offered a fresh perspective, perhaps not in the exact words I would use in light of my own church denominational background, but nevertheless his words demonstrated the genuineness of someone entering the Christian faith for the first time.

Being offered this fresh perspective is important to me, because I need to know that while other Christians from other churches may use slightly different words and phrases that I am used to, we are all really on the same page.

Whether the church is Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist, or some other Biblically-based denomination, our goal is primarily the same: to see those around us brought closer to God.

Wed
20
Nov

Letter to the Editor: Quitting is a journey

To the Editor:

What do smoking, chewing and vaping have in common? Nicotine.

We are seeing youth rates of nicotine use increase with the prevalence of electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes, JUULs, vapes, etc). In Allamakee County, 22% of 11th graders used an electronic smoking device in the past 30 days (Iowa Youth Survey, 2018); this is an increase from 6% reported in 2016.

The week of November 17-23 is Northeast Iowa’s Tobacco Awareness Week. The 21st marks the nationwide Great American Smokeout. This annual event encourages people to stop using tobacco for the day and to make plans to quit. The Board of Supervisors from Allamakee, Delaware, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties have proclaimed Tobacco Awareness Week throughout their counties.

Wed
13
Nov

Word for Word 11/13/19

Rev. Ron Pederson
Rev. Ron Pederson

A Dying Man Shows Christian Doctrine Practical

Several years ago I had the privilege of calling on a dying man. The doctors had told him he had three days to live. He had four. He was not a member of the church but his wife was. She called me and asked me if I would come to the hospital and visit him. I said sure.

Wed
13
Nov

Letter to the Editor: Musical revue

To the Editor:

Football is in the air; on the stage and on the field. Outstanding players in both are exciting fans of athletics and the performing arts alike at the Waukon High School.

Good News! The musical made a play for our hearts and won. Ethan Hooten as the BMOC (Big Man On Campus) Tom moved as a true hero. His love, Connie, was played winningly and wise by Oonagh Ahouse. Aislinn Goettel lit up the stage with her smile and flounce portraying the pixie Babe. Ryan VanderVelden excelled at physical comedy and vaudevillian mugging as he brought the underdog Bobby to life.

Denzel Decker made his character, Coach, convincing as he wooed the staid academic professor, Kenyon, played with verve by Madelyn Helgerson. Fine character performances came from Chase Boydston, Ashton Gallagher, Haillie Bresnahan and scene stealer Miann Barr. A special applause to flapper Alaina Gebel.

Wed
13
Nov

Letter to the Editor: Speak up for farmers

To the Editor:

Iowans need to speak up for our farmers, and against federal policies that endanger Iowa agriculture, our biofuels industry and our rural economy.

A proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could cripple rural America by weakening the Renewable Fuel Standard.

It also would be another broken promise; the EPA rule is contrary to an ethanol plan announced in early October by the Trump Administration.

Iowa farmers are worried about these mixed messages out of Washington, D.C. - especially after ongoing trade wars and bad weather, which have created extra challenges. The Iowa Corn Growers and other commodity groups object to the EPA’s plan.

I encourage all Iowans - farmers and non-farmers - to join a quick and easy public comment initiative by the National Corn Growers Association.

Wed
06
Nov

Word for Word 11/6/19


Fr. Mark Osterhaus

Last week we celebrated Halloween. As many of you know, the term comes from “All Hallows Evening”, or the night before the Feast of All the “Hallowed Ones”. “Hallowed” can also mean “Holy”.  Another term for the “Holy Ones” are “Saints”. So the day following Halloween, November 1st, for centuries, has been known in some churches as All Saints Day.

I go into all this to talk about saintly behavior. I know that none of us are perfect, and we probably think we are far from sainthood.  But I would like to point out some saintly actions I have witnessed in our area:

A postal carrier who paused on her route last winter to ask if I needed help getting out of a snow bank when I was stuck at Yellow River State Forest.

The person who bakes pies for every benefit and fundraiser.

Those people who make frequent phone calls to a lonely neighbor.

EMTs and First Responders who help at a moment’s notice.

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