First of all, July 4th at the Rec Complex…Mother Nature was so kind to us this year, unlike last year’s sauna. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day…great music, good food, a lovely Miss West Union pageant, lots of things for the kids to do, awesome fireworks, and, of course, the fellowship and camaraderie of the whole event.
Every Miss West Union candidate was beautiful, and any one would have been a wonderful representative for our town. Congratulations to Julie Breuer, who will be West Union’s new ambassador for the coming year.
I am already looking forward to next year’s 4th of July festivities, as the celebration seems to get bigger and better each year. If you weren’t able to come this year, make plans to join us next year!
CUTLINE: The Tu Duc Tomb is a 4950-square-foot complex composed of 50 different elements. Here, one can see part of the high walls, moat and walkways that take you around this part of the complex. (Jerry Wadian photo)
Hue: the Imperial capital and soul of Vietnam
By Jerry Wadian
Hue was the old imperial capital, and still reigns as the spiritual, cultural and literary center of Vietenam. It is also a city of great charm, historic sights, the Perfume River, and bloody memories from the Battle of Tet in 1968.
While Hue has weeks’ worth of sights, we came to Vietnam to visit UNESCO sites, and the main one in Hue is the Citadel. The Emperor Gia Long moved the capital from Hanoi to Hue in 1802, and set to work building the Citadel in 1804, finishing it in 1834.
CUTLINE: The Walz family recently celebrated its first high school graduation, pictured (front, l-r) Jeremy, Alex, Becky, Allison, Ashley; (back) Andre.
by Becky Walz News Editor
An introductory column is way overdue for many folks, but there are still many people throughout northeast Iowa who may want a chance to get to know me as the news editor of the Elgin Echo, Fayette Leader, and Ossian Bee.
I have worked in the newspaper industry for nearly 15 years in various capacities, from ad sales, design, composition to sports writer, and now I have reached a longtime goal as editor.
With four teenage children, I find that our house in Calmar usually has people coming and going — family, friends, and classmates.
The next place on the journey Professor Don McComb and I took through Vietnam was to the Danang area. Our first stop was Hoi An, one of the most unusual cities in the world because it is a step back in time.
Hoi An was important seaport from the second century B.C., until the Thu Bon River silted up in the 19th century. With ships no longer able to use the river, nearby Danang became the seaport and Hoi An drifted into obscurity.
However, the river silting eventually proved to be a huge blessing. With little reason to change, Hoi An didn’t, and the various wars went right by the town without affecting it. With some structures remaining intact since the 17th century, Hoi An became a virtual time capsule.
CUTLINE: These “stores” in Vietnam may seem unduly small and dirty, but they line Highway 1 from Saigon to Xuan Loc, 30 miles of little shops. They normally supply one kind of item and provide a living to the entrepreneurs running them. (Jerry Wadian photo)
Vietnam: slow change in an ancient land
By Jerry Wadian Contributing Writer
A month ago I took off for a two-week tour of Vietnam, courtesy of a Faculty International Grant (FIG) from Upper Iowa University. I went with Dr. Don McComb associate professor of graphic design.
It’s been 40 years since I was there. Much has changed, yet much is still the same; in fact some things are about the same as they were 100 or more years ago.
(Submitted by Donald Lewis, ISU Extension entomologist)
While everyone has an opinion about "how bad" the ticks are in any given year, the bottom line is there is no statewide survey or census to measure tick abundance. All we have are people’s perceptions, and those vary all over the place! That’s in part because tick populations are highly variable from place to place and from moment to moment, depending on weather and other conditions. Experiencing a large number of ticks on you or your dog after being outdoors is largely just the bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
My name is John Pleggenkuhle, DC, board member of Main Street West Union. I moved to West Union in 2011 after spending a few years in Arizona. At that point, my wife, Andrea, and I decided to bring our children back to northeast Iowa to be closer to our families.
When we were looking for a place to call home, we were drawn to West Union as we discovered what the community had to offer. West Union, although a small rural community, appeared very progressive. While many rural communities were going by the wayside, West Union had a choice. The residents could choose to do nothing and watch as the younger generation moved to other areas, or they could choose to take steps to make their community a place that people would see as a great place to work, play, educate, shop, and raise a family.
Currently, the geothermal contract presented to the City Council is under review with a lawyer. The lawyer is determining the compliance issues within federal and state law concerning a City-owned geothermal infrastructure and appropriate lease revenue for the access to the geo system.
I would like to comment on the first contract brought to the City for approval. The contract, if approved as presented, would have the City paying the Alliant bill for operation of the geo system, the City purchasing additional insurance (approximately $20,000 per year premium) for infrastructure below the street (think leaks), and receiving no revenue to put into an account for replacement of current infrastructure and normal depreciation costs.
Tobacco prevention happens on a local, national, and global level. From Youth Leadership Day to World No Tobacco Day, everyone can bring an end to tobacco use.
On May 6, the annual Eighth-Grade Tobacco Education and Youth Leadership Conference was held at EWALU in Strawberry Point. Approximately 60 students from 10 area schools were equipped with prevention messages to take back to their peers. During small breakout sessions, the students learned about Youth Advocacy, ISTEP (Iowa Students for Tobacco Education and Prevention), and Tobacco 101, which was facilitated by a group of West Central High School students.
Team-building was another big theme of the day. Through the EWALU ropes course, students were shown leadership opportunities to sustain and help their school anti-tobacco groups flourish.
The month of April has been a busy month for the Supervisors. One of the articles on the agenda for the month was a meeting with Dr. Anthony Leo, who is the Fayette County medical examiner, and Mr. Chuck Geilenfeld, who is the owner of Geilenfeld Funeral Home.
The Supervisors, medical examiner and funeral home director decided to meet to better understand the reasons behind the need for and the cost the County is incurring for autopsies.
The County currently has a budget of $70,000 to cover the cost related to autopsies. As with many counties, we continue to see this cost increase. After meeting with Dr. Leo and Mr. Geilenfeld, we do have a better understanding of the law they must follow and what they are doing to help keep the expenses under control.