Viewpoints

Wed
27
May

Letter to the Editor: Sincere appreciation

To the Editor:

In my 37 years of being in the health care field, I have never seen a bigger impact to how health care is delivered than with the changes that have occurred due to COVID-19.

One day Veterans Memorial Hospital is open and access is as simple as going to the front desk or patient room to visit, and the next you are greeted at the only open entrance with a person gowned, gloved and masked. You are asked questions, your temperature taken, and then escorted to where you need to go. It bothered me to have that happen at first, but I have come to realize that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon.

Wed
20
May

Word for Word 5/20/20

Trusting God -  Finding Peace

Wed
20
May

Letter to the Editor: Let’s talk about mental illness in our community

To the Editor:

One in five people will have some kind of mental illness in their lifetime. Yet despite how common these conditions are – as common as silver cars, and more common than being left-handed – stigma remains the greatest barrier to individuals seeking help regarding their mental illness.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This serves as a great opportunity for our community to begin eliminating stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness.

Now, more than ever before, it is important to talk about mental illness. Many of us could be feeling increased anxiety, stress and feelings of isolation due to the COVID-19 outbreak and social distancing requirements. For those Iowans who already live with a mental illness, this pandemic could be causing symptoms to compound.

Wed
20
May

Letter to the Editor: Can we find a solution for discarded cans?

To the Editor:

Look at all the nickel cans. The ditches are full of nickel cans. I can’t understand why people throw these nickel cans away. There are all kinds of cans and plastic bottles thrown away.

I was born in the early 1930s and money was hard to come by. We would make fish hooks out of safety pins. Now, all you have to do is pick up cans and you could buy ten years’ worth of fish hooks. Maybe we should raise the reimbursement to ten cents?

Last year I went fishing at the mouth of the discharge water of the power plant in Lansing. I got two fish, picked up a pail full of cans and plastic bottles, plus my pockets were full.

Last year, I parked over by Bloody Run in the casino parking lot. I couldn’t believe all the cans and bottles along the riprapped bank. At 87 years old, there is no way I could pick them all up. Now the casino has all kinds of containers to put trash in. Maybe somebody could come up with a better idea than ten cents a can.

Wed
20
May

Letter to the Editor: Can society end drug addiction?

To the Editor:

Drug addiction is not well understood in modern society. A better approach to the way we view both drugs and drug addicts would go a long way to improving treatment outcomes. It could also change treatment options themselves. A more welcoming and understanding attitude throughout society is necessary for a serious reform on the way we approach drug addiction treatment.

First of all, the way society treats drug addicts is so judgmental and closed minded that it is no small surprise addicts have trouble keeping clean sometimes. In our society, once a person suffers from drug addiction, they are painted with a tarred brush. They will face judgment and suspicion for the rest of their lives. It is a heavy burden that follows recovering addicts as they try to get on with their lives, making that job much more difficult. It’s hard to get a job or secure stable living with a dark cloud of suspicion.

Wed
13
May

Word for Word 5/13/20

Rev. Tim Rupert
Rev. Tim Rupert

Grace holds a central place in a life of faith. For my faith tradition, talk of grace begins of course with God’s grace. God giving us love, blessing, help, healing. God doing this freely, with great care for us. Grace is about receiving. Receiving needed support, needed relief, needed compassion. This aspect of grace reminds us that we are people who need help and grace in life, in all manner of ways. We receive grace from God, and we receive grace from other people. So during this time of pandemic and uncertainty, I’d encourage all who are being offered help, offered grace, to receive it. Welcome a friendly word or an offer of support. Take advantage of food pantry supplies and other forms of assistance. In whatever ways you’re being offered grace now, receive it as a gift. Accepting grace, accepting help can be difficult for us. But it is vital and life-giving. So open yourself up to grace. Be kind enough to yourself to receive it.

Wed
13
May

Letter to the Editor: Practice social distancing, vote absentee!

To the Editor:

I believe that by now, all registered voters in Iowa have received an absentee voter request form in the mail. Please consider using it, and not just because of COVID-19.

Voting from home allows you to carefully consider the candidates and any referenda that may be on the ballot. It assures that whatever happens on election day, your vote is already in.

If you haven’t gotten the mailing yet, you might want to call the Auditor’s office and make sure you are registered, or, if you know you’re not registered, get that done. You don’t want to miss out on choosing our politicians!

You may be one of those people who are skeptical about the privacy of absentee ballots. Let me assure you, as someone who has been on the Absentee Board, on and off, since Billy Roe, Jr. was Auditor, that your ballot is sacred and secret.

Wed
13
May

Letter to the Editor: Voting is important!

To the Editor:

It’s time to make our voices heard on June 2. How fortunate we are in these unpredictable, frightening, isolating times to still be able to vote safely!

All we need to do is call the Allamakee County Auditor’s Office at 563-568-3522 by May 22 and request an application for an absentee ballot. It will come by mail relatively quickly. It gives us the power to help choose candidates for U.S. Senator, Iowa State Representative and Allamakee County Supervisor, among others. It must be returned by mail or hand-delivered to the courthouse by June 1.

If you choose to vote absentee in person, or at the polls on the the actual voting day (June 2), the Auditor’s Office will give you instructions.

Wed
06
May

Word for Word 5/6/20

Rev. Ron Pederson
Rev. Ron Pederson

God’s Cure For Diseases
 
Every Fall a new flu shot is available at drug stores and clinics. It is never 100% effective but it greatly reduces your chances of getting the flu.  God has also blessed us with many vaccines through the years that are 100% effective.  There is a vaccine for polio, chicken pox, the measles, the mumps and many other diseases.

But what about Covid 19? Will there finally be a cure for that? Of course no one knows the answer to that question. I think it fair to say that most of the experts believe there will be a cure eventually. And how long will it take?  Dr Fauci said that it will likely take a year to a year and a half to develope a vaccine for Covid 19. No one knows for sure.

Wed
06
May

Letter to the Editor: Are we really all in this together?

To the Editor:

“We’re all in this together.”

Are we? Are we really all in this together? I wonder if the way we think about deer and chronic wasting disease is the same way we’ve come to think about the coronavirus?

The human animals are about to “open” up again. As early as today in some states we are going to gather together, despite professional recommendations. And, not unlike the deer, as a result of our desire to be together we put each other at serious risk.

Very little attention is being paid to the fact that our most vulnerable people will likely pay the ultimate price in a war that they cannot win. They are the statistics for Veterans Services, the Homeless, Nursing Homes, the Department of Human Services, etc. They are the numbers that aren’t added in. They are the bodies inside unmarked boxes on the battlefield. And, they are as silent in death as what they heard in life.

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