Letters Buckle up every time

To the editor:

As the holiday season approaches, many Americans will take to the highways to visit family and friends. This is an important time to remind everyone of the importance of buckling up on every trip.

Seat belts do save lives and there is never a good reason not to wear a seat belt. Seat belts reduce fatalities by up to 45 percent in passenger cars and 60 percent in light trucks. Let's take a look at a few of the reasons why some people choose not to wear their seat belts and the truths behind them.

"I'm a good driver." Even if you have a perfect driving record and have never been involved in a traffic collision, it is not a sound reason to avoid wearing your seat belt. Poor drivers can cause crashes with even the best of drivers.

"I'm just going to the store." Nearly 52 percent of all traffic crashes occur within five miles of the victims' home, and nearly 77 percent of all traffic crashes occur within 15 miles of home. So when you are "just going to the store" is the most important time to wear a seat belt.

"My car has airbags, so I don't need to wear my seat belt." Airbags are not meant to take the place of seat belts, they were meant to enhance their safety. An airbag increases the effectiveness of a seat belt by up to 40 percent.

"They're uncomfortable." There are many ways to make your seat belt more comfortable. At the local auto dealer or auto parts store you can find clips and extender to customize the fit of your seat belt. And remember, seat belts are much more comfortable than an ambulance and a hospital bed.

Buckling up is the most effective and immediate way to save lives and reduce injuries from crashes on America's roadways. The best way for you to help is to make sure everyone is always buckled up in your vehicle � every trip, every time.

Louis R. DeCarolis Ph. D.

Regional Administrator

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Wakonda has bright future

To the editor:

What do the Minnesota Twins and the Wakonda school have in common?

While on two totally different scales, both have managed to fight off elimination to go on to greater successes. The Twins were almost contracted this past spring only to go on and win their division and finish runner-up to an Angels team that eventually would win the World Series.

While everyone knows the story of the Twins, not too many people outside of Wakonda realize the accomplishments this tiny town has had over the last year.

Earlier this year Wakonda patrons had to decide whether or not to close the doors and join with Vermillion. The voters overwhelmingly said "no" and the school continued to do business as usual.

Just this fall, the athletes at Wakonda proved that Wakonda was still alive and kicking. The cross-country boys earned a second place finish at state! The volleyball team had a very successful season which saw them earn a second place finish in districts. During their stellar season they defeated the number one team in the state! With basketball just around the corner, more success is sure to be delivered.

Although sports is not near as important as academics, it's nice to see Wakonda continue to experience success in all spectrums of the educational experience.

As a proud alum I would like to congratulate the coaches and athletes who have strived to keep Wakonda on top. I am very confident in the future of Wakonda and believe everyone else is as well. Way to go and keep up the good work!

Jeff Ganschow


Thanks for giving blood

To the editor:

It's not every day you can do something to save someone's life, but it can be a common experience � if you give blood. This year over 4 million Americans will need a "transfusion" to survive illness or injury. Next year even more will need it as demand continues to grow. Blood is indeed something special. It can't be manufactured, and it can't be replaced with animal blood. Yet statistics show only 5 percent of all possible donors actually roll up their sleeves and give.

The Wakonda Community has made a brighter future for many patients. Thank you! Your results are as follows for the blood drive on Oct. 23.

Eighteen people registered and 13 units of whole blood were collected. There were also two new donors with the Siouxland Blood Bank and Brenda Ganschow and Barbara Hackett reached the one gallon mark! Congratulations need to be passed to everyone for giving the gift of life!

The Siouxland Community Blood Bank serves all the blood needs of our 27 area hospitals and their patients. The only way blood products are made available for area patients is if individuals in our communities volunteer to donate blood on a regular basis.

Thank you again Wakonda members for all of your personal support and for including us in your "Make a Difference Week!"


Jessica K. Clark

donor consultant

Siouxland Community Blood Bank

Sioux City, IA

There is life after election

To the editor:

Now that the election is over and we have all found out that there is life after election day, I would like to let you know that, while I appreciate the opportunity to have opinions shared by "letters to the editor," I do not appreciate seeing one of our prominent young people, one who has sacrificed time, effort, and money to serving the public; certainly one who, so far as I know, has never behaved in an inappropriate manner and certainly one who stands head and shoulders above most of us by his commitment to public service, attacked in such a shameful manner as B.J. Nesselhuf was a few weeks ago.

The letter which appeared just before election day was, simply put, character assassination and completely uncalled for. Rather than address point-by-point the lame accusations contained in that letter, I would hope the author of that letter would find it fitting to publicly apologize to B.J.

Maxine Johnson


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