Tuesday, September 16, 2014
   
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Letters to the Editor

More public input needed

Gothenburg City Council member Jeff Kennedy said to us at the “stakeholder’s input” special City Council meeting July 24 regarding the Lake Helen master plan, “Every council meeting is open and anyone can come.”

He’s right. I am urging any of you who are interested in the city to do just that. Council needs to be reminded periodically that the stakeholders in public projects are the taxpayer-owners. The city council listened patiently and all the various state entities present answered taxpayers’ questions patiently after holding their meeting without mics and talking quietly among themselves.

Some of the answers we got, however, were not helpful. When questioned about the cost of alternatives to filling in the north part of Lake Helen (probably draining and dredging), no one had asked for a proposal on that. Why not? We understand (now) that a project cannot be done without grant money, but that does not preclude pricing alternatives. At this point, the grant process needs to be handled immediately, within a week after the ‘’public input” meeting Aug. 7, and apparently the Department of Environmental Quality is making these decisions for the citizens of Gothenburg. Again, I urge us all to keep a better eye on our council’s actions.

Publishing a map containing “proposed future” elements for a filled-in Lake Helen was irresponsible at best, and was apparently put together with ideas and input from only the city administrator and the hired engineer with no taxpayer input, no public hearings and no city council approval. Setting up expectations for the myriad of hardscape projects (city administrator) Bruce (Clymer) thinks desirable without the steps of exploring better alternatives, compromises and best options for funding, etc., before publishing a visual is terrible government.

We have an excellent city council who should be delegating less of their leadership and policy-making decisions, especially the very sensitive area of land use.

My bottom line requests are: 1) Show up at the public input council meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 , and 2) Let the council know that you care what happens with your Lake Helen. Hopefully at this meeting council will use mics and talk to all of us, not just each other.

 

 

 

Vandals provide life lesson

This is to the person/persons responsible for breaking out the back window of our van with your beer bottle. Let me start by saying how impressed I am by your strength and accuracy. I must say that I am disappointed that I didn’t get to witness the explosion, as I’m sure it must have been a great one. With glass spread from the dash to the middle of the street it must have been impressive!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you. When I got up early Sunday morning with the intention of going to work for a few hours before church you helped me see the importance of taking Sundays off. It reminded me the importance of doing for others, like, trying to get all of the glass off the street and sidewalk so that our children and the many young neighbor children do not get cut. Also, because of your example it was very easy to teach an important life lesson for our children. Through your actions it was a good way to show our children that some people can and do make rational and intelligent decisions when they drink to excess.

Finally, thank you for forcing us to spend money, we had worked so hard for, on something practical and necessary, like a van window, instead of spending it the way I had intended, doing something fun with our family. Which is both frivolous and a luxury.

Again thank you for making us your target. Please do not feel the need to share your kindness and consideration with others, as I’m afraid you will only be disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm that you will make others feel.


   

Plenty to be furious about

In 2006-07 the Bush administration in cooperation with the Mexican government, conducted a “gun walking” operation within “Project Gunrunner” named “Wide Receiver.” The idea was to track guns purchased by “straw buyers” in the U.S. to drug cartels in Mexico. When Mexican officials failed to track the weapons crossing the border, as many as 450 AR-15 and semi-automatic AK-pattern rifles were lost. The operation was shut down.

At an April 2009 press conference in Mexico, President Obama said “...more than 90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops...” The left intentionally distorts this figure to advance a gun control agenda. In truth, it pertains only to guns submitted for tracing by the Mexican government, a far smaller number than the total recovered from all countries.

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and Attorney General Holder also made visits to Mexico. Holder bragged about a major new effort to supplement the operation “Project Gunrunner.” I believe Obama and Holder began operation “Fast & Furious” just to prove their narrative that the U.S. has been flooding Mexico with weapons. Straw buyers purchased over 2,000 weapons and took them to Mexico. The difference was the Mexican government knew nothing of the plan and no effort was made to track the weapons whatsoever.

The operation was under the direction of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms. ATF agents were instructed to tell gun shop owners to go ahead and make the sales to straw buyers. Owners complained, fearing reprisal. ATF agents also complained, but were prevented from intervening by the Attorney General’s office.

The lid came off when U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in a firefight in Arizona. Guns recovered at the scene were traced to “Fast & Furious.” U.S. agent Jaime Zapata was also killed in Mexico. ATF agent John Dodson (whistleblower) contacted ATF headquarters and the Justice Dept. Office of the Inspector General. After no response Dodson and other agents contacted Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley fought the Dept. of Justice for a year before turning the matter over to Cong. Darrell Issa who has subpoena power.

During congressional hearings, Holder refused to be forthcoming with documents. He was caught in a lie as to when he first became aware of the operation. Holder appointed two U.S. attorneys to investigate. They report directly to him. Isn’t that just peachy.

After refusing to comply, Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress. Obama invoked executive privilege. What are they hiding? Dennis Burke, who was Napolitano’s chief of staff when she was governor of Arizona also became a member of Obama’s transition team. He was rewarded with a U.S. attorney job in Arizona.

His job? Become the guy that has to fall on the sword? What is Obama’s defense? Bush started it. Good men were killed. Throw the criminals out in November.

We’re supposed to worry about Mitt Romney having a Swiss bank account?


   

Way to go ‘Kiddos’

Last Friday morning, June 22, my wife and I were driving in Daryl Keiser’s funeral procession from the American Lutheran Church to the Lutheran Cemetery northeast of Gothenburg.

As we were going north on Lake Avenue at the Evangelical Free Church four young men were washing a car in the church parking lot. They stopped washing the car while the funeral procession drove by. A block north of the church another young man on a bicycle stopped and put his hand over his heart as the procession went by.

To these young men I say thank you, commend you and give you a big pat on the back. You stopped what you were doing and showed respectfulness to the family and Daryl. Someone taught you well. These acts show that not everything or everyone is wrong or gloomy in our society today.

Daryl would have said way to go “Kiddos.”


   

DI coverage commended

Thanks so much for the great coverage the Destination Imagination (DI) program has received over the past several years. The Times has always done a great job recognizing the students that have participated in the program and their accomplishments at the competitions. The recent coverage for our team advancing to Global Finals was fabulous, We couldn’t have asked for anything more.

The front-page publicity was fantastic and very helpful as the kids went around the community selling raffle tickets. Thanks to the articles in The Times, a majority of community members contacted were already aware of the team’s accomplishments and were very generous in helping them meet their fund-raising goal. I had several people contact me to offer praise and congratulatory remarks for the team.

The success of this team and the great coverage the DI program received has also sparked an interest in other parents who want to learn more about the program and would like to see their child participate in the future.

Destination Imagination develops skills our youth need throughout life. The students that choose to participate in DI are the promising leaders of the future. Thank you for showcasing this great group of kids and a great program offered at Gothenburg Public Schools. Gothenburg has so much to be proud of.

 

 

   

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