Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Union Letters to the Editor
Aug. 9, 2021 4:18 pm
City of Washington not honoring promises
In 1923, the city of Washington asked for permission to come across a small strip of our land to access their new sewer plant. This was reaffirmed in 1957. Now they want to build a bypass road and abandon the access.
We have no problem with that, but what we do have a problem when they plan an approximate 2-block boulevard with a median, which we will not be able to access our cornfield with the large equipment because of the median. This will give us no way to access our east gate.
With the strip of land that they promised would be ours, we would be able to use that gate. There will be a 5-mile detour to reach a field one-quarter mile away through the city and on Highway 92. The other gate to this field is not placed for easy access. But the city claims this promise is not enforceable after 20 years.
Last year, they paved the street we live on and needed to extend a culvert. We agreed they could access our land and they again promised it would be put back in the same condition it was in. If they put any grass seed on it, it was a little bit of leftover seed from seeding the sidewalks. We have nothing but a weedy mess. They say “sorry” and will take care of it but we never see them again. Just another promise they have no intention of keeping.
Another example when they tiled the subdivision to run into another culvert dumping out on another cornfield assuring us that the water would run down the ditch. That was a big joke, for water is going to flow wherever is easiest. For the past 10 years, the city looks at it, tells us they are sorry and will do something about it and we lose the crops in that corner due to flooding.
A big thank you to Supervisor Stan Stoops and Councilmen Steven Gault and Fran Stigers who looked at it and within a week they had a tile put in to run the water to a drainage ditch. It is the first time we have had corn growing in that corner.
For 50 years, the city has been a good neighbor. If there was a problem, it would be worked out. This past 10 years, the city has been a bully. Many promises seldom met. When you talk to them, they tell you all they will do and promptly forget it when you leave city hall.
Possibly legally they can claim that small strip of land we were promised was ours when they no longer use it but morally a promise is a promise.
Keith and Sara Murphy
Be aware if calling 911
On Monday, Aug. 2, I had to call 911. My granddaughters, ages 1 and 4, were lying on the floor playfully wrestling when the 1-year-old hit her head on the floor. She stopped moving, was silent, her eyes were closed and she was unresponsive to my gentle but getting progressively louder coaxing to move or talk. She did not respond.
I did not attempt to move her and called 911. My son, two police officers, three EMTs, and lastly a third police officer all showed up within a five or so minute time span.
There were four children in my house at the time, none of which are vaccinated. My home has a sign posted on the front door about the caution being taken in my home regarding the virus. None of the police wore a mask. I asked them to please wear one. One of the police officers said, "I don't think I have one."
None of them performed any vital or remotely helpful function while in my home. All they did was stand there. Social distancing was not possible because my living room is small. After many minutes and they still weren't wearing a mask, I again asked the cops to please wear one. A couple minutes or so later the police went outside and left.
This morning, I talked to the chief of police and told him what had occurred regarding his officers not wearing a mask inside my home even after I asked them to, twice. He gave me the official company line (including that officers are provided masks) and ended with "...it is up to the officer's discretion..." (whether to wear one or not). I made it clear to Chief Dave Thomas that it is not OK for police to ignore those residing in the home when the request is simply to wear a mask if inside that home.
Yes, this obviously has to do with COVID and which side of the fence you are on about it. However, the point I am stressing here is that the police ignored the expressed wish for them to do something simple that would in no way whatsoever impede their purpose for being there. That their presence served no useful purpose at all for even one moment in this instance further amplified the unsettling feeling I had about them making it known that their wishes took precedence over mine while they were inside my home.
Aideen Vega-Van Auken
A special kind of mask
Since so many of us have accepted mask wearing as the new normal, I've realized how much I rely on lip reading. For the deaf and hearing impaired, not being able to see a person's lips is like getting no message at all.
Hearing aids do not restore perfect hearing ... we still like the clues we get from watching lips. I wear a special mask from Amazon.com that has a clear plastic insert over your mouth. They are hand washable.
I spread the word to people in public service jobs: clerks, nurses, waitstaff, cashiers, anyone who asks about my special mask. Another benefit: people can see your smile!
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