I am opposed to filling the pond on Wapello Street pond with dirt for another ball field.

This pond is one of Ottumwa's better attractions and I like seeing it every time I drive by it. It home for much wildlife including geese and ducks.

The cost of filling it is another issue since the money spent filling it could be used for many deserving projects and it's going to be very expensive to fill.

Please call the parks department and express your opposition to filling the pond.

I oppose filling the Wapello Street pond.

Jay Oakes

Ottumwa

Four years ago Tom Lazio said, if elected Mayor of Ottumwa, he would work as a full time mayor.dedicated to listening and communicating with all citizens. By any measure he has certainly fulfilled that promise. The Mayor of Ottumwa is most importantly the face of the city for prospective employers, current employers, and state and federal agencies. Tom Lazio is recognized state wide as a leader to be depended on. He continues to capably represent Ottumwa in various organizations related to city government. Tom's participation in several charities, boards, and community organizations show his commitment to the betterment of Ottumwa and is much too long to list here. Tom Lazio's skills as mediator and calm demeanor has been a positive influence as the city council conducts the business of the city. To find a more trusted, positive, capable, and forward thinking candidate for Mayor of Ottumwa would be very difficult. Vote for Tom Lazio for Mayor.

David MacKenzie

Ottumwa

Ottumwa Park, what a wonderful place to spend some time. I spend a lot of time there photographing wildlife. My favorite place to photograph is the pond the park department wants to fill in. The article in the Ottumwa Courier dated October 4, 2017 calls it a dying pond, but my thought is it is far from dead. I have plenty of photos to prove my thoughts. I arrive at the park every morning around 5 a.m. with a cup of coffee and wait for it to get light enough to take photos. When it gets light the birds start flying in for their morning meal.

There will be great blue herons, great white egrets, green herons, a variety of ducks and geese, bald eagles and my favorite, kingfishers. So you see there is plenty of life that is supported in that pond. In my opinion the parks department should try to have the pond designated as a wetland. If the pond were a wetland there would be no need to dredge it because wetlands are usually shallow, marshy and have lots of vegetation around it.

I think it would be a shame to fill in a body of water especially when there is not a plan for its future use. I say this because an article in the Ottumwa Courier dated September 30, 2017 says it could be used for the expansion of baseball and softball fields. Then there is another article in the Ottumwa Courier dated October 4, 2017 that the eventual use of the filled in pond has not been settled.

My question is, why would you destroy a fertile and an active body of water that supports wildlife when there is no definite plans for its use. My next question is, does the parks department have a professional estimate of the cost to fill in the pond.

Billy Young

Ottumwa

I’m writing a letter to the editor concerning last fall. I had a situation that I feel needs to be acknowledged. I am the night desk clerk at Ottumwa’s Super 8 motel, and this particular evening I had worked there was an elderly couple staying with us. I was called to the room to assist the wife with getting her husband back in bed. He had fallen to the floor and she hadn’t been able get him back in the bed. Well, I attempted numerous times to lift him up. He would only slide on the floor away from me. When I couldn’t get the task done, the wife chose to leave him there. I then left the couple’s room, but the more I thought about the situation I just couldn’t leave the problem there. She hadn’t wanted to call an ambulance, not wanting to bother anyone with their problem. I didn’t know exactly what could be done but as I said I didn’t want to leave the man on the floor.

After a short while I wanted to try something to see if I could call the fire department in a non-emergency situation. I called their dispatcher and asked if I could get the number to the station and talk to a fireman. After some effort, the dispatcher gave me the private number and I called and got a fireman. I explained my situation and asked if they would be willing to drive out without lights and sirens. After explaining, they volunteered their help. Let me acknowledge this whole situation was early in the middle of the night, and still they were coming to help me and the elderly couple.

When they arrived, two firefighters came to the room and helped me get the gentleman back into his bed. The wife was very appreciative of the firemen’s extra effort and so was I. This city has exceptional public service which is outstanding. Thanks again to the firemen that came out into the night to help. You have a most thankless job in which you perform.

Allen Smith

Ottumwa

Freedom of speech, a right granted to all Americans by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, is one of the greatest rights of our country. it grants the freedom to all citizens to peacefully express their opinions.

The current controversy in the National Football League, with the kneeling of players on the field during our national anthem, is certainly a right they have been granted by our Constitution and I think they have a valid reason for their protest.

The bottom line is, by our Constitution, we do not have to stand when our national anthem is played or sung. We do not have to put our hands over our hearts or salute. In fact, we can peacefully wave the flag of another country or peacefully display any non-obscene gesture we choose and that is part of the right granted to us by the Constitution.

For me, that is all the reason I need to stand with my hand over my heart for the 90 seconds our anthem is played. It seems this is a very minimal act for American citizens to show their appreciation for those that came before to create the laws giving us this right, and to those that have given their lives to defend it.

Life is full of choices and the NFL players and their owners have made the choice granted to them by our Constitution to use the national anthem as a platform for their protest. I have also made a choice granted to me by that same document not to ever attend or watch and NFL game or purchase any items licensed by them.

Robert Wormhoudt

Ottumwa