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Letters to the Editor: School test progress, Councilman Joerger retires, pipeline projects, abortion

Congratulations on school test progress

By Susan Ayers, Charles City

I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to the Charles City Community School District, its educators and the students who go there to learn. Despite one of the most challenging years in my memory, related to a nation-wide pandemic requiring multiple major changes in the basic functioning of the district, our district was able to improve several of the metrics used to measure the performance of our students.

The joint efforts of so many are reflecting measurable positive change. This is despite a state-wide trend of Iowa schools showing decreases as measured by the state-approved tool.

All of the citizens of Charles City want our students to become successful adults who leave our district with a great educational foundation and necessary skills. The most recent measurement of student achievement reflects that all our buildings are now performing in the acceptable range.

This is a wonderful first step that provides concrete evidence that the efforts of all are leading to the results desired. These results should convince the community, our teachers and our students that their hard work is achieving the desired goals.

I am thrilled to see positive progress for all involved — both academically and also in the skills set reflecting positive character. Keep up the great work!

Thanks to the district, the teachers and the students for their efforts to work toward positive change. Also, thanks to the Board of Education for leading this charge. I can’t wait to see next year’s progress report.

Thank you, Jerry!

By Patrick Lumley, Charles City

As 2021 winds down, I would like to personally thank Jerry Joerger for over 50 years of distinct service to the community — a noteworthy accomplishment that could literally take up four pages of the press on how the community and municipal government have changed over the decades during his terms on the City Council.

From Yeg’s Sporting Goods on Main to leadership roles in the Elks to a champion and ambassador for the Continental Amateur Baseball Association (CABA) World Series in Charles City, Jerry, like many individuals in Charles City, especially those in the terrific service clubs we have, donates a large amount of time and positive energy to continue making Charles City a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Jerry has been a cornerstone to the council for many years. His sage advice, tax expertise and always looking out for the best interest of Charles City and its citizens will be missed. When you see Jerry out and about, thank him for the terrific community service!

Some information on pipeline projects

By Kathy Carter, Rockford

Two companies are proposing to build pipelines across Iowa to carry hazardous material. Now there’s rumors of a third. The information they give is not clear — perhaps this can help.

  • Land agents — those trying to get people to sign easements — are NOT allowed to trespass on your property.
  • Surveyor must have permission from landowner. If no permission has been given, the company has to provide 10 days written notice. That written notice is to be by certified mail, restricted delivery. That means that only the addressee, or the person designated in writing by the addressee, can sign for that piece of mail. They have the right to refuse to sign for that mail piece. That means 10-day notice requirement has not been met.

The Summit project wants to tear up my property. I have had no notice about any surveyors, yet I got a call on Monday saying they were in the acquisition phase and wanted to make me an offer.

Landowners, keep in mind, if you are not 100% in favor of having hazardous materials running across your land, you do not have to sign an easement, now or anytime.

Do not let Summit or Navigator pressure you. Some “agents” are claiming that your neighbors have already signed when they haven’t, just to get you to sign.

If you do grant easement, either voluntarily or by eminent domain, the compensation is taxable income – you get to pay taxes on it. You continue to pay property taxes, but the pipeline will have access to the easement area at any time. And you have no control over who may own that easement from that point forward.

Anyone can submit comments and objections to the IUB (Iowa Utilities Board) using the website or by postal mail.

Abortion rights and responsibilities

By George Cummins, Charles City

Several states are passing laws restricting abortion and women’s choice. There is increasing pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

The discussion focuses solely on the woman involved but should also include the father’s rights and responsibilities.

All pregnancies involve a woman and a man. The woman is fertile a couple of days a month from puberty to menopause. Oral birth control and morning after pills are by prescription, expensive and some women experience detrimental side effects. IUDs and tubal ties require surgery and the latter is not restorable. Funding for Planned Parenthood which provides educational and health services to women has also been reduced or eliminated in some cases.

A man is generally fertile from puberty to death and possibly several times a day with multiple partners. Condoms are cheap and available over the counter. Vasectomies are reversible. Male birth control pills had side effects and were pulled off the market. Medicines for erectile dysfunction and to enhance sexual performance are advertised and readily available. I know of instances where a man has had more than one woman pregnant at the same time.

Any legislation or court ruling restricting a woman’s rights to an abortion should also include an amendment that the father of the child will be held responsible for child support for its first 18 years and enforced.

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