The Ottumwa Courier

April 17, 2013

Attitudes can change perspective

Ottumwa Courier

---- — Attitudes can change perspective

I just want to say the new format of the Courier is very hard to read and I do not like it. Most of the time I need large print or takes me longer to read if it is small print.

I love receiving the paper and reading it. The old format was clearer and took me awhile, but I could read it. This one is almost impossible and takes me twice as long.

I know of many others who do not like it either. I know a lady that is in her 80s and I am sure of others that are older that it makes it hard to read too. Not just older, young and old alike. I am not that old but have a hard time reading it, so the new format is very difficult for me as well.

I would like to voice my opinion on behalf of the others that I heard did not like the new format and would like the old format back. So I hope we can have it back.

To add, the phone books with the small print make it very difficult to read as well. We all would like to have good eyesight, and I, for one, wish it was better. So if possible, it would be nice to have the old format of the Courier back.

Sylvia Pettigrew


Grassley on the wrong side of gun issue

I am so proud of Sen. Grassley

He is standing firm, trying desperately to ensure that criminals, mass murderers, the mentally ill all continue to be able to purchase any gun, any time, at gun shows, online or through private purchases.

It’s great to know that Sen. Grassley is on the side of mass murderers and criminals. Just imagine how embarrassing it would be if he were on the side of the 90 percent of Americans who support universal background checks.

Just imagine how awful it would be if he were on the side of the 20 little children who were slaughtered in Newtown.

Barbara Paulding


No more pink slime, please

I’m writing in response to the AP article in the paper about “pink slime.”

This bothers me because we grew up knowing what was in our ground beef — it was meat, not trimmings treated with ammonia. Ground meat, on the other hand, does not have to be treated with ammonia to be safe to eat.

I personally don’t want to eat it anymore. Maybe it is 100 percent pure beef but so is ground bone meal and the dried hooves we feed our dogs. The trimmings they make “pink slime” from used to be made into dog food.

So if ammonia makes it safe to eat, it should be added to the label of contents on the packaging, as: “This items contains ‘pink slime’ or as ‘lean finely textured beef’ added with ammonia to make it safe for human consumption.”

I want my ground beef made from meat. Look it up on the Internet yourselves. YUCK!

Mary Rosenbalm


The high price of Obamacare

As a small business owner, I have spent hours studying what Obamacare will cost me. It is going to be tens of thousands of dollars. Since the government won’t let me print money, the only funds I will have to pay this is what I get from customers. So, customers, prepare yourselves for substantial price increases at many of the businesses you patronize.

You didn’t really believe Obama when he said we could add 30 million people to insurance rolls, eliminate annual and lifetime maximums and mandate free preventive and contraceptive care and not pay more for it, did you?

Randall Bradley

Ottumwa business owner

Teacher offers thanks for support

Receiving the 2013 Alternative Educator of the year award for Iowa is a huge honor. I would like to tell everyone how much I appreciate their cards, encouraging words, Facebook messages and emails. Without all of you, I wouldn’t be where I am today!

I also want to acknowledge my parents, Dave and Sharon Benson. They are the reason I am where I’m at today. They are great role models and teachers!

I want to thank my husband, Kenny, and children for their support and putting up with me while I was going through college. They were patient and understanding when things they wanted to do didn’t always happen because I was busy earning my degree.

My brother, Jim Benson, always encouraged me to keep going when things were getting difficult. He believed in me and reminded me about how great it would be when I achieved my goal. He was right! You guys are great and I love all of you!

To the rest of my family and friends, you have been awesome, and I love you too! Kim Kitterman has also been a huge help to me — thanks Kim. As you all know, I am really not that great. I have made A LOT of mistakes and will make many more, but I do love kids.

God has put a heart in me that is passionate about today’s youth and helping them be successful. I have always heard that if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life ... I haven’t “worked” a day since getting my job at Cardinal (this is my fifth year at Visions, CHS’s alternative program). I am truly thankful for my job and the opportunity to work with kids. I have fantastic students and work with great parents. I want to thank them for being awesome and making my job not a job,. Love you guys!

Kids are the most important resource we have and deserve the best we can give them. Thanks for helping me earn this award! It actually belongs to all of us!

Heidi Kildow


Southern Iowan proud of Ottumwa

I thought the segment on The Today Show was great. It showed the best of Ottumwa and how hard you have worked to make the transition of languages and differences in lifestyle mesh together and how lucky everyone feels to live in Ottumwa.

Yesterday, a small group of us talked about the reach-out work the churches in the area did to make new people feel welcome. It included visiting back and forth between countries and learning each other’s languages.

Ottumwa, you make all of us southern Iowans feel proud!

Frances Benell


Attitudes can change perspective

I know, for many years, that the city of Ottumwa has been going through financial hardship. We’ve lost major employers, and the city’s tax base has decreased. We have an aging demographic, and there’s no question about that. However, the Ottumwa school district added a large kindergarten class this year, the biggest in over a decade. That encouraging piece of news is just the tip of the iceberg.

Indian Hills Community College is one of the most superb public institutions in America. We have a beautiful civic center that most towns our size could only dream of, and the arts are making a comeback. The Wapello County Trails Council is working on developing an extensive citywide trails system. Our downtown revitalization project, spearheaded by Main Street Ottumwa, is already showing signs of revival and new life. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation and The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation are hard at work and actively recruiting new companies to help existing businesses expand and grow. The Young Professionals Organization targets young people in our community to help retain and grow that demographic. The Ottumwa Regional Airport is the largest field in an 80-mile radius. Very soon, Ottumwa will receive a new water treatment facility to replace the existing century-old plant. Our city’s aging infrastructure is being brought into the 21st century. A new sewer system is in the works, and now, individuals are working on bringing fiber optic capabilities to Ottumwa.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that we have a long way to go. In the same sentence, I truly believe we’re on the cusp of some great things in Ottumwa. For us to succeed, four things must happen.

1. The right people must be in the right place.

2. We must stay dedicated.

3. We must work together.

4. We all must stay optimistic and hope for a little bit of luck.

We’re starting to get all the pieces of the puzzle in the right places. Republican or Democrat, as Ottumwans we MUST work as one.

Friends, believe in Ottumwa, stay optimistic and be patient because our hard work will eventually pay dividends!

Schuyler Black