Athletics disparity


WATERLOO — Another high school football season has concluded in Iowa, and once again the parochial schools in classes 4A and 3A, with their unlimited budgets and ability to recruit players at will from neighboring states (if they choose), emerged victorious (yawn).

It is difficult for me to comprehend how the larger public schools around the state can remain competitive for a state championship when the rules and conditions are so heavily stacked against them.

Holiday Hoopla


CEDAR FALLS — Holiday Hoopla 2017:

Here comes Santa Claus here comes Santa Claus

Right down Main St. Lane

riding in on an assault vehicle

Lead by elves and unknown followers

Scaring all the children away

Oh what a sight to see.

Bells are ringing

Children are screaming

All seems a little not right.

So shut your doors

Turn off your lights

Hide your cookies and milk

Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Clause here comes Santa Claus

Right down Main St. Lane

He has a big cannon filled with ammo

Coming for you

Hear the screams of mommy and daddy

Granny and grandpa take flight

Jump in bed and cover your head

Santa Claus comes tonight.

Bells are ringing

children screaming

All seems a little not right.

Peace on Earth will surely follow if this is the path we take. I think not people. Wake up to what is going on in our own community! Couldn’t he have come in on a horse or roller skating or led by a local marching band or hey, I know, a sleigh. Let’s get back to tradition!

P.S. The fireworks were great, and our traditional stop at Cup of Joe, fabulous.

St. Mary’s site


CEDAR FALLS — How has the city of Waterloo let the site of St. Mary’s become the site it is today? The school and church was the home for so many of us, not to mention the great Sullivan family (five Sullivan brothers). Even if it isn’t used as a school or church, it needs to be used in some way.

Being the great Sullivan brothers attended St Mary’s and there are many homeless veterans around, maybe the site could be a homeless shelter for veterans? Something. It’s sickening and heartbreaking to see this once beautiful site crumbling the way it is.

Waterloo, step up and do something about it, please. I know the St. Mary’s family and the Sullivans would truly appreciate it and would love to see our old building back and functioning again.

Letters response


CEDAR FALLS —According to Bob Kaiser and Dave Smith’s Nov. 27 letters, our country has gone to pot.

No values, the sick and poor sponging off the government, our news agencies all gone amuck.

If these two individuals find it unfathomable to live in the United States they should move to one of the Arabic or Muslim countries where if one misses religious services on Sunday, it’s a possibility they could be beheaded. Or Russia, where there is no freedom, no civil rights whatsoever. And if one discloses this fact, they are usually exterminated quite discreetly.

If these two anti-Americans could happen to take their idol President Donald Trump with them, that would be the frosting on the cake for those of us who still believe in the goodness and strength of our own country.

Shameful thoughts


CEDAR FALLS — Sen. Charles Grassley recently attempted to defend his vote to eliminate the estate tax by asserting those who have large estates didn’t spend their money on “booze or women or movies” and should be rewarded. How crass. How shameful.

No doubt some of the wealthiest worked hard for their fortunes, but many had the privileges, tax benefits, power and “luck” most Americans (even in Iowa) did not have or do not have. A recent Des Moines Register article reported two out of 1,000 U.S. citizens who die face paying an estate tax because their estates were greater than $11 million (per couple).

Grassley believes it is unfair that citizens with $11 million at their death should pay a tax for their good fortune in this great land. Furthermore, he believes that we Iowans who don’t have $11 million upon our deaths must have spent our money on “booze or women or movies.” Shameful!!

Wonder if Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Rod Blum agree? They also voted with Mr. Grassley to increase the country’s debt by more than $1 trillion and saddle our children and grandchildren with more debt. Shameful!!!

America’s enemies


WATERLOO — Wake up, America. You’re about to be taken over by failing to recognize the enemies of your country. They are the socialist-communist, the Muslim terrorist and the political homosexual. All of these people have one goal — to destroy America by annihilating the U.S. Constitution.

Bottle bill


DENVER — Iowa’s 5 cent bottle redemption law is again under fire. This law has been threatened before, but is especially vulnerable in the current Legislature which has consistently chosen to represent corporate interests over public priorities.

This law is broadly supported across the political spectrum: 88 percent of Iowans feel it has been good for the state. The only study showing less than 50 percent support was done by the beverage industry, which, along with Hy-Vee, Walmart and other corporations, has repeatedly sought repeal. The redemption law is not outdated and continues to work well. The plan to replace it with curbside recycling and unspecified “incentives” to recycle is utterly naïve and defies common sense. Presently 86 percent of deposit containers are returned; if the law is repealed, that figure is expected to drop below 30 percent. The only real incentive to return containers is the monetary one we currently have.

Many have said repeal will mean ditches filled with litter, especially in our rural state where many cannot access curbside recycling. What also must be noted is this law supports the Humane Society and other organizations and provides jobs at redemption centers. Please remind your legislators of the benefits of this law.

Shimp should resign


WATERLOO — Chris Shimp represents Ward 5 at City Council. He will have the distinction of being the only councilperson having pleaded guilty under Iowa law to public intoxication (Courier 12/1/2017). Following his arrest, Mr. Shimp issued a public apology and stated he “would take full responsibility.”

What does taking full responsibility mean? Only Mr. Shimp knows. Given the impact Shimp could have on the lives of Waterloo citizens, one has to ask if the citizenry has enough confidence in Shimp’s character to believe the behavior for which he was arrested won’t, in the future, occur again, simultaneous with decision making council sessions.

Were he truly willing to “take full responsibility,” Shimp’s first step should be to voluntarily resign his seat. He might ask himself what effect his presence on council might have on the council’s reputation and confidence level as well as that of the city. He surely would find it to be mostly negative.

Should he elect not to step aside voluntarily, the citizenry has a remedy via Iowa statute 66.1A to ask a district court that an elected officer be removed for intoxication. How embarrassing! Hopefully, it won’t come to that.



CEDAR FALLS — I look forward to reading the paper for local news and for a variety of views on the Sunday opinion pages. I want to hear a healthy exchange of ideas on the issues of the day. That kind of dialogue is getting harder to find in The Courier, especially with local contributors from the left and right. I have noticed the people on the left rotate from week to week while Dennis Clayson remains a fixture on the right. Perhaps it is time to find other voices on the right as well.

As a reader who wants to hear both sides, I will admit my frustration with Clayson’s all too frequent tone and content. Each week, his column includes more name calling and more questioning of the intelligence and integrity of those with opposing views. Please stop. It does no good. There is far too much of that going around these days. Instead argue the merits of your position. I want to hear voices from right, left and center. I want a civil discourse. I think our community and our country would benefit from that kind of conversation.

Fire Station 6


WATERLOO — I applaud our City Council for their integrity in maintaining our Waterloo Fire Rescue and Waterloo Police Department individually. These officers are highly trained for their specific jobs in these departments. We are protected and kept safe as they watch over the city of Waterloo.

The reason for this communication is reaching out to neighbors living in the surrounding area of Fire Station No. 6 (on Ansborough just off Ridgeway). The station is closed frequently due to staffing of fire personnel. Believe me, I understand budgets and costs; however, I am confident there are other areas in our city some services could be adjusted without due harm.

I am urging all citizens in this area to contact our council and share the concern of the staffing at Station No. 6. With the growth in this part of town, it is becoming all the more important this station be open and operational 24/7.