LETTERS

Your letters: Story County Immigrant Fund needs your help. Ames reads Leopold, and more.

Letters to the editor

Story County Immigrant Fund needs your help

For the past months, I have been volunteering with the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Story County Immigrants. I’m what we call a “caseworker” — I work directly with the families that need our assistance. We provide assistance in the form of rent and utility bill payments. The fund since March 2020 has allocated over $250,000.

Funds are crucial for our existence. Funds are critical for these families.  I’m asking you from the bottom of my heart for monetary assistance. Every little bit helps. 

For immigrant families, asking for help is incredibly difficult. Asking for money carries many burdens. Month after month our families hope this will be the month they don't have to ask for assistance. Asking for money feels like a personal failure, but right now is a necessity. Let’s show our community support and solidarity.

I’m asking you for help on behalf of our families. We need your help. We need money! If you can help, please mail a check to Immigrant Fund, ℅ St. Cecilia, 2900 Hoover Avenue, Ames, IA 50010 OR donate online via GoFundMe.

Jamet Colton, Ames

More:Fund raises over a quarter-million dollars for Story County immigrants during the pandemic

From opinion:Food drive helps fight hunger in Story County

Ames reads Leopold

Ames has celebrated Aldo Leopold’s contributions to American conservation through reading his essays as a community event, “Ames Reads Leopold,” for the past 12 years and did so again this year, albeit, outside and with other precautions as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A group of about 50 people gathered at Ada Hayden Heritage Park on a very windy March 21 to hear five community members read a Leopold essay that related to one of the “Faces on the Stones,” such as Ada Hayden. 

On behalf of the event planning team, we are very appreciative of all the community members who braved the strong winds to participate in honoring Aldo Leopold. We also want to thank this year’s readers, Merry Rankin, Deb Marquart, Clark Wolf, Kevin Ellis, and Jim Pease. We could not have heard our readers without Story County Conservation’s speaker system operated by Jerry Keys. Ames Public Library supplied a display of Aldo Leopold and other conservation resources. I also want to thank all the additional partner organizations who supported this year’s event including Ames Parks and Recreation, Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park, Iowa State University (ISU) Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Environment, ISU Bioethics Program, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Office of Sustainability/Live Green! Initiative, Outdoor Alliance of Story County and ISU Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Student Association.

An Iowa native, Aldo Leopold is widely acknowledged as one of the founders of wildlife conservation in America. Although Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac was first published in 1949, his words continue to be as poignant today as then. Plan now to participate in the 2022 Ames Reads Leopold.

Bruce Wight, Outdoor Alliance of Story County

For subscribers:Your letters: Bravo, Ames schools. Biodiesel is good for Iowa. Legislation needed against spam calls.

Walter Suza:What’s the cost of sending our kids away?

Sidewalk zealots score again

The sidewalks zealots have scored again. Meanwhile, common sense and taxpayers took it in the shins.

The City Council recently approved infilling almost three blocks of sidewalk in the older commercial area north of Lincoln Way and east of Duff to the Resource Recovery Plant.  This was added to a $2 million street rebuilding project for this area.

City staff acknowledged: No one lives in this area; How many pedestrians use this area was not evaluated; How much the sidewalk might cost was not available; Sidewalk infilling in much of this area is not feasible, since many of the businesses in this area use what could be sidewalk for parking; Infilling on two blocks will be along land owned by the city.

These latter two sidewalks are along the east side of the street just west of the Resource Recovery Plant and along the north side of most of the block just west and north of the Resource Recovery Plant.  A field (the old coal yard) is to north of this latter planned sidewalk. The businesses in this area are those customers would almost always drive to.

City staff says they followed our Complete Streets Plan in developing this project. City staff is interpreting the plan as mandating sidewalk infill on one side of the street. I don't think the plan so mandates. Neither the council nor staff wants to discuss this. Rather, it appears the council's fanatical focus on "connectivity" is driving this wasteful spending for a sidewalk on which very few of us will walk. 

Merlin Pfannkuch, Ames