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Letter to the Editor

By Staff | Mar 19, 2008

To the EDN:

In response to Betty’s editorial in Thursday’s paper, I have often said the same thing when it comes to administrative salaries in our school district. Between the three administrators more than 250,000 tax dollars are leaving the district every year. Mr. Magnuson is not only living practically rent free but also receives $3,000 a year for gas expenses. I hardly ever see his truck leave the middle school during the day, so I wonder if this gas is being used for personal visits to Spencer. I also am curious as to how much he spends locally dining out or buying groceries. I have never seen him uptown supporting local business. Now comes to light that Mr. Magnuson is looking to outsource the custodial positions. If that’s the case then we will have another very large sum of money leaving the community. I think it’s time for not only the local community to start speaking up, but also the School Board members. Mr. Magnuson’s contract is up in July and I personally feel it’s time to cut our losses with him. In the future we should offer lesser paying contracts to individuals in those positions who wish to live outside the community. Make them want to move to Estherville.

As for the School Board members, come on, if you don’t want the position then let somebody in there that is going to be passionate about what they are doing instead of being pawns. We have a very large project going on with the building of a new school house, if things don’t change with the way we are handling business, I am afraid that by the time it is all said and done Mr. Magnuson is going to leave us with a mountain of debt. If the School Board resigns his contract I am going to be very upset and I hope the community feels the same way, please stand up on the issues in coming months and let’s get our school district back on the right track.

Integrity is composed of three key characteristics an individual or company must incorporate. Honesty, Fairness and Compassion. An entity may be honest and fair but lack compassion, or fair and compassionate but lack honesty, but without all three they lack integrity. There are people on the School Board that need to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and ask “am I the right person of the job.”

Randy Ouellette

Estherville

Letter to the Editor

By Staff | Mar 19, 2008

To the EDN:

There seems to be some confusion over the purpose of House File 2092 and current Emmet County Sheriff Larry Lamack and candidate for Sheriff, current Emmet County Chief Deputy Mike Martens, aren’t helping to clarify the issue. H.F. 2092 isn’t taking away any of the authority of the county Sheriff to deny a permit, it simply requires them to provide a reason for denying the issuance of a permit. The manner in which Chief Lamack treats his constituents now is treating them all as if they would be a threat if licensed to carry a concealed firearm. This is known as prior restraint. Guilty until proven innocent. It just so happens that in Iowa more than fifty percent of Iowa Sheriffs issue concealed carry permits already.

Sheriff Larry Lamack, and Deputy Mike Martens also speak of the danger to their officers not knowing who is carrying a weapon and who isn’t. Isn’t that exactly the same situation they have now? The difference would be that those who have completed a firearms training program and received a permit through the Sheriff’s office are statistically more law abiding than the average citizen.

Sheriff Larry Lamack, who instituted a ‘no issue’ policy 20 years ago, believes that H.F. 2092 would remove the ability of law enforcement to decide who should receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon. That is not the case. It simply requires the Sheriff to provide a valid reason to deny issuing a concealed carry permit such as a person charged with a felony, drunk and disorderly, spousal abuse and dozens of other offenses. H.F. 2092 simply puts Iowa in line with the 40 other states that trust their citizens to carry concealed firearms. The difference is that Iowa’s requirements are stricter than most of those other states in the fact that Iowa’s proposed law is not a pure ‘shall issue’.

None of the opponents of concealed carry in Emmet county has given a single example of a problem caused by an Iowa resident with a concealed carry permit. As a matter of fact, they would be hard pressed to find a problem caused by a law abiding concealed carry permit holder in any of the other 40 states that provide for ‘shall issue’. The National Academy of Sciences has done studies that indicate licensed concealed carry permit holders are more lawful than the average citizen. And just because the Emmet County Sheriff doesn’t care to carry a concealed firearm when he is off duty doesn’t mean that is the same decision every other Emmet county citizen should be forced to make. If Sheriff Lamack decided to wear watermelons on his feet when walking around town would all Emmett county residents be so inclined to do the same?

It appears that if Emmet County doesn’t want to live in a nanny state they are fortunate to have two other choices for Sheriff who believe in the Constitution and more specifically, the Second Amendment. Gene Haukoos and Brent Shatto indicate that they trust the citizens of Emmet County rather than fear them.

It appears that the Daily News poll indicates that the majority of readers of “To carry or not to carry: That is the question” believe that law abiding citizens should be allowed to carry. It’s nice to know so many people still believe in the Constitution and the Second Amendment.

David Beckley

New Virginia, Ia.

Letter to the Editor

By Staff | Mar 19, 2008

To the EDN:

The Iowa General Assembly is considering a broad range of legislation on energy issues, including bills on renewable energy and energy efficiency. We urge our Iowa policymakers to not act too hastily and truly consider the long term ramifications of proposals that may sound good at the Capitol but have adverse impacts on local communities and Iowans. The renewable energy and energy efficiencies being considered by our Legislators currently have the potential to result in significant rate increases for Iowans at a time when Iowans can least afford it. Affordability needs to be the key word and balance to all of the energy bills now being debated.

Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative believes that legitimate responses to climate change must encompass a balanced, common-sense approach that ensures adequate, reliable and affordable electric service. Any plan to address carbon emissions must include responsible investments in all resources, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and other generation technologies. Iowa Lakes supports reasonable solutions that include an economy-wide plan to address greenhouse gases, so that no single industry sector is economically disadvantaged and Iowa’s economic growth and prosperity are enhanced.

In order to maintain reliability for our member-owners, increased base-load generation is needed. Electric cooperatives, Alliant Energy, and the municipal utilities have proposed building the Sutherland coal plant in Marshalltown, Iowa in order to meet the growing demand of the Iowa economy and system reliability.

Iowa Lakes’ commitment to energy efficiency remains a common thread in our business culture and practice. Advances in technology have made these efforts even more successful. Statewide figures for electric cooperatives show that in 2006 cooperatives invested 11.7 million dollars and saved consumers 18 million dollars while tripling our energy efficiency in the last four years. Providing opportunities in energy efficiency for our member-owners has been one of our top priorities so that we may continue to provide safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy.

In 2006, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative invested over $1 million in energy efficiency programs and services saving member-owners more than $1 million as a result of these energy efficiency programs and services.

The proposals currently before the Iowa Legislature place unnecessary and costly mandates on cooperatives. These bills are not necessary and have the potential to have severe unintended, adverse affects on Iowa electricity consumers. The Iowa Legislature should be considering incentives, tax credits, rebates, and building codes and continue to build on the considerable success that we have recently experienced in obtaining quality jobs within the energy industry. Iowa is ranked 3rd in the nation in terms of wind energy. This has been accomplished through 30 years of investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency by the industries that are on the front line. Legislators should use extreme caution in moving forward with legislation that sounds too good, but doesn’t consider the financial impact on all consumers or the availability of future technology to capture greenhouse gasses.

Sincerely,

Terry L. Bruns, CPA

President/Chief Executive Officer

Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative

Letter to the Editor

By Staff | Mar 19, 2008

To the EDN:

ELC 8th grade students have been participating in a program called ALLSTARS. We are learning about good decisions and how they affect our lives. Things that we have done include opinion polls about negative choices, commitment sheets about our futures, and skits about problems that may occur. Mrs. Gardner, the middle school guidance counselor, brings topics that help us express our feelings about good and bad choices. They help us think about how making good decisions will help us down the road.

Sincerely,

ELC 8th grade students