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June 3, 2015     Sioux County Index-Reporter
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commentary 6 I Sioux County Index-Reporter June 3,2015 Commentary Memorial Day: A Day to Remember Flags fly. Shots are fired. Soldiers and loved ones are remembered. These are just some of the moments that occur on Memorial Day, a day where we stop and take stock of what it truly means to live in America. The only reason we are here today is because of the sacrifices of those before us, some who we may know and others who we do not. They sacrificed for us, not knowing us either, but realizing that they had to do whatever it took to defend us. I truly admire those who are willing to put their hopes and dreams of life on hold and go and serve our nation. Because of them, my hopes and dreams have the opportunity to be fulfilled. This is not to say that a soldier's dreams and hopes are never fulfilled, but instead they are put aside for a little while with the hope that some day they can be fulfilled. Sadly, for some they never get that opportunity. Instead, they get the opportunity to be known as someone who gave it all for their country. I also truly admire the families and friends of those individuals who decide to go off to war. They also are giving some- thing up when their loved one leaves. Many have become the sole supporter for their family, making sure that everything is going OK. Some even have to care for their loved ones when they return home due to the effects of war. With great courage and determination, they work tirelessly for their loved one. Sometimes, in the end they too pay a sacrifice. I would like to take this opportu- nity to say thank you to all those men and women who have so selflessly given of their time and energy, and sometimes ultimately their lives in defense of and for our nation. Without you, we would not be able to live the life that we do today. I also would like to thank those family members and friends who remained at home, but yet are also part of the war, whether that be losing a loved one or having to care for an injured soldier once they return home. Your commitment and dedication is some- thing to be praised. Thankfully, I have never had to experi- ence what either a soldier or their loved one goes through. But these people are the people that make you proud to call America home. Memorial Day offers us a day of reflection, a day to look back and think about those who defended so fierce- ly the nation we love. May this day serve as a reminder and a remembrance. However, I hope this is not the only day where we are able to remember, salute and give thanks to those who have defended us. May each and every day be an opportunity for us to give thanks. This can be through a card, a simple shake of the hand, or placing a wreath on the gravestone of a deceased soldier. Whatever way you decide to pay respect, may each and every soldier know their sacrifice and dedication is appreci- ated. Memorial Day should just be a con- tinuation of the thanks we should give to our servicemen and women, both retired and active. Kyle Hoogendoorn Letter To The Editor Dear Editor: I am one of approximately 1,200+ ef- fected landowners along the proposed Dakota Access route. My land is in Boone and Webster counties of lowa.This is some of the best farmland in Iowa. I have man- aged this land since 1974 when my father passed away. Over these years there have been major investments made for tile, re- moval of outdated buildings and fences, and adding modern grain storage and drying facility. My farms are surrounded by five ethanol plants which is where my grain is sold. For over 32 years l was also an IRS estate and gift tax attorney (fed- eral) and traveled two-thirds of Iowa in that job. I have seen first-hand the huge investments of time, labor and money on farms as they were passed between gen- erations to become what we call "Century Farms". Why am I "fighting" Dakota Access? First, they want to use eminent do- main to force property owners along the route to grant an "easement". This pipe- line has NO benefit to Iowa as it is only a conduit to save rail costs (which will be in the billions of dollars), none of which will come to landowners as payments. Second, there is NO "public purpose" as required by the Iowa Code since this is a solely private development. Third, this line traverses the best farmland in Iowa and when, not if, there is a spill, this will cause environmental damage to our land, water, air, wildlife, recreation and quality of life for those ef- fected by any spill that will cost millions and take scores of years to mitigate. Look only to the BP spill in the gulf ($28 billion Q & A with U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and ongoing), and the Exxon Valdes spill along Alaska ($12 billion+ and over 20 years later still ongoing). In 2014 there were over 7,000 oil spills from pipelines, ships, trains, etc. and that number is vast- ly understated as spills at drilling sites are often never reported. Fourth, climate change and global warming are real. We are in a new para- digm where carbon-based fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) no longer are sustain- able if the Earth is to survive. Every day we receive enough solar energy to power ALL our electric needs. What was missing was the means to store this energy. WE do have that, as well as cheap solar/wind/ geothermal/wave technology/hydrogen fuels/plus energy efficiencies/and other non-carbon based technologies that we can adopt so as to move away from tradi- tional carbon/CO@ polluting fuels. Fifth, I want to leave the planet "bet- ter" for my children, grandchildren, and other heirs. It is my "responsibility" to help clean up the mess we are now in, not just pass it on to others.That is called "legacy", and I still have a voice in how I continue to live. As a disabled Vietnam veteran, I know life can be sometimes hard. But those are the choices we all make, every day, and mine is to get "in- volved". Please join me in the "fight". The "health" of the planet we leave to our family and heirs is literally at stake if nothing is done NOW!! Keith Puntenney 1404 Aldrich Ave., Boone, Iowa Q: How is the avian influenza affecting Iowa's poul- try farms and egg production? A:The contagious disease known as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is wiping out tens of millions of birds and costing producers hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. In an unprecedented bird flu outbreak in U.S. history, at least 30 poultry farms in Iowa this spring have detected the fast-spreading disease among their flocks. Consumers may feel the impact of higher prices at the grocery store as affected producers in the nation's number one egg-producing state recover from the crisis and repopulate their barns. Egg shortages in the food supply chain are becoming a growing concern as the disease spreads across the Midwest. According to Iowa's agriculture secretary, the disease has spread to one of three laying hens in Iowa. Important biosecurity precautions require time-consuming and costly steps to ensure affected facilities are appropriately depopulated, disinfected and disease-free before resuming operations. These are necessary steps to help ensure Iowa's egg and poultry industries remain competitive suppliers to cus- tomers who depend on Iowa producers to provide a reli- Avian Flu able, affordable, wholesome food supply. Q: How can authorities help producers respond? A: Producers have expressed uncertainty about the lack of clarity, guidance and timeliness of government assistance.The federal Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) coordinates with state officials to implement preven- tion measures and quarantines to stop the disease from spreading, provides guidelines for the safe disposal and removal of the infected birds and administers assistance with the recovery process to help producers restore their flocks and protect their livelihoods. I've also contacted Senate appropriators to help ensure adequate money is in the pipeline to fight the disease as the committee digs into the details of its spending bills over the summer months. Q" What other steps are you taking at the federal level to address this problem? A: As a farmer, I can understand the financial and emotional toll that Iowa's poultry producers are experi- encing. When drought, disease or other disaster strikes a farm's crop or livestock, the farmer's capacity to recoup and recover depends on a number of factors, such as adequate insurance coverage, financing and applicable government assistance. To help expedite and coordinate effective management of this crisis, Sen. Joni Ernst and I wrote a letter to USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. It is urgent that Iowa producers are able to humanely euthanize infected flocks as quickly as possible. We called upon the USDA to deploy all available resources to help producers cope with the outbreak and effectively communicate guidelines and expectations with affected producers. We also urged Secretary Vilsack to have the USDA weigh in with private sector companies develop- ing a vaccine for HPAI to help expedite the development and commercialization of promising vaccines so that they are an available option. Preventing future outbreaks is an important corollary to this unwelcome upset of Iowa's farm economy, l've talked personally with Secretary Vilsack several times since the disease hit Iowa's poultry barns. As the outbreak threatens to infiltrate even more farms and create an even more expensive pinch on our rural communities and agriculture economy, l'm working to make sure Iowa's needs are being heard in Washington. The team manages comptex health issues, uncovers diagnoses and provides family practice services at our Boyden tocation. Cart [712] 725-6800 to schedute an appointment. 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You can send your information for consideration to us at: Index-Reporter PO Box 420 Hull, IA 51239 You can also drop items in our mailbox outside our front door, 1013 First St. Call if you have any questions: 712-439-1075 We appreciate your business and want the newspaper to meet the needs of our communities. or Email them to: hulloffice@ncppub.com