Tag: 110117

Join the “Hunger Blitz” Dec. 3rd at Museum

By Joe Ruzicka, La Porte-Dysart FFA Growing Communities Chair
Even though Iowa is a world leader in grain and livestock production, 12% of the 1.2 million Iowa households are food insecure, many right here in our community. Food insecurity basically means a household may sometimes have to choose between buying food or other household necessities such as utilities, clothes, or attend to medical needs. The Northeast Iowa Food Bank serves 60-80 families weekly and that number increases yearly and includes an alarming number of senior citizens. We need you, your family, business, church, or group of friends to help.
The La Porte-Dysart FFA Chapter is partnering with OUTREACH in Union, Iowa to organize a food-packaging event to help alleviate food insecurity in our community and Northeast Iowa.  Called the “Hunger Blitz.”The event is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, December 3rd at the La Porte City Historical & Ag Museum in La Porte City. Our FFA chapter has worked with OUTREACH over the last four years packaging food at the Union High School and Middle School and it was a fantastic and fun experience.
Here is how you can help. We would like you, your family, your community organization, church, or business to provide funds and/or manpower to package meals to be distributed through the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. The cost is $.25 per meal (that’s right-just 25 cents!) and is packaged in sealed plastic pouches that contain six meals each. These are put together in an assembly line-like manner with about 10 people per station (see photo above). Depending on the number of groups and people who want to get involved, our goal is to schedule two different packaging shifts on December 3rd, one at 1:30 PM and another at 3 PM.
If you, your family, your organization, church, business, or group of friends would like to participate in this worthwhile event, please e-mail Chapter Advisor, Louis Beck, at l_beck@union.k12.ia.us by November 22. We need how many people in your group are willing to be involved, how many meals your group chooses to finance, and who the contact person is. If you or your group wants to just contribute money to purchase meals, our FFA members will gladly package the meals.
The La Porte-Dysart FFA Chapter hopes to hear from you soon about this exciting opportunity to give back to our communities.

Calhoon – 40

Rick and Terri Calhoon of La Porte City/Buckingham celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on October 15th. Rick Calhoon and Terri Sides were married October 15, 1977 at St. Paul United Methodist Church, La Porte City. Rick and Terri have two children Brandee (Jeremy) Clark and Heather (Mike) Chingren. They also have 3 step-grandchildren and 2 step-great grandchildren. 
Rick and Terri spent time serving their country in the United States Marines Corps before obtaining jobs in the civilian realm. Rick retired from Ecolab Pest Elimination and continues to work in pest control by being the owner/operator of CPC Pest Control, as well as working as a technician for the Black Hawk County Elections Office. Terri retired from the United States Postal Service and now works for the Union Community School District. Rick and Terri enjoy spending time with their family and friends, and driving around in their classic cars.
The couples’ children and their spouses will be hosting a celebration for Rick and Terri on Sunday, November 5th from 2-6 PM at the La Porte City Veterans Hall, 302 Cedar Street, La Porte City. Family and friends of the couple are invited to attend the celebration. The couple requests no gifts as your presence is “present” enough.

Staying Safe Online – November 1, 2017

Staying Secure on Social Media
The number of scams and malware taking advantage of social media users and platforms is on the rise. Social media scams are easy to create and can target thousands of people at once due to how users interact with pages, posts, and contacts. Once your account is compromised, malicious actors can leverage it as a conduit to spread scams and malware to your network of friends or contacts. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and lnstagram are a few very common examples of social media sites where you or your account could be at risk. 
How to Identify and Prevent Attacks
Shortened URLs are a common tactic used by scammers to conceal where malicious links lead, since many social media sites have a character limit. A simple scam involves an email with links that are allegedly to posts you have been tagged in. The links will use a URL shortening services to hide the true link destination – a malicious site that can infect your device. To avoid this, do not click on shortened links in emails and social media messages you receive. Instead, copy and paste the shortened URL into a URL extender to see where you are really going and then choose to click or not. Additionally, never enter your login credentials in a website that you linked to from a social media post, message, or email. Malicious websites that look like the real thing are often used to steal login credentials to compromise accounts.
Fake coupons are another tactic scammers use commonly on social media platforms. The scammers create a fake coupon requiring you to click a link to download it and put the coupon on a malicious website that can infect your device with malware. Treat these with the same skepticism as other suspicious emails and messages.
Click baiting is another way a scammer can get your information or install malware on your computer. Click baiting is when there is a “teaser” to get you to click on the link. For instance, it might suggest a really interesting story (“you won’t believe what happened next”), challenge you (“I bet you can’t. .. ),” or promise a “giveaway” or “sweepstake.” With the sweepstakes and giveaways, the scammer creates a fake website giving away a product. They then post the link on social media, directing users to the website to take part in the giveaway. Once there, you may be prompted to enter information, thus exposing your personal data. The website may alternatively attempt to download malware onto your device.
One way to identify and avoid this type of scam is to look for spelling errors. Another way is to check and see if the website is affiliated with the company purportedly offering the giveaway. Additionally, ask yourself, is the prize too good to be true? Scammers frequently make the prize seemingly larger-than-life in order to attract as many people as possible.
Lastly, when using social media, avoid accepting friend requests from people you do not know. If accepted the scammers can use this to gain access to your personal information with the goal of stealing your identity. If you receive a direct message from someone that you do not trust, delete it. Finally, consider following the guidelines below on what information you should NOT share on social media:
Your date of birth- this is a piece of personally identifiable information that criminals can use in committing identity theft;
Your address and phone number- these are privileged pieces of information that you do not need to share on your profile in order to enjoy social media;
Answers to common “security questions” – if you proudly post pictures of your first new car, your high school sports memorabilia, etc., you are posting the answers to the security questions that are commonly used to validate who you are when accessing sensitive accounts or resetting passwords;
Location-based check in – these “check-ins” let everyone see that you are not at home and can make you a target!
A Public Service Announcement Courtesy of Cedar Valley Bank & Trust

Letter to the Editor – Virginia Meyer

Dear Editor,
I have retired to a small acreage and I worry that my property could become unlivable or lose much of its value if an unregulated CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) is built too close to my home.  Livestock farming is vital to Iowa’s economy.
Livestock operations of reasonable size have thrived in the past. But Iowa’s CAFOs are not of reasonable size. Existing loopholes allow for the concentration of enormous numbers of animalswith minimal oversight or inspections. Some have unchecked problems with manure management, and there is no effective local control of their location.
Factory farm manure spills and runoff have seriously contributed to our 750 impaired waterways, and as these facilities proliferate so does the degradation of our water.
In addition to the many thousands of existing CAFOs, the DNR has recently discovered 5000 unaccounted for facilities, an example of the lack of control in this rapidly expanding industry.
CCI and other concerned citizens are calling for a moratorium on new or expanding factory farms until meaningful and mandatory regulations are passed.
We would not tolerate minimally regulated industry moving in and despoiling the air and water in our urban neighborhoods. Why should rural residents tolerate such polluting industry next door?
Virginia Meyer
Lone Tree, Iowa

Letter to the Editor – Paul Pate

To the Editor: Make Your Voice Heard, Be a Voter on November 7
An election that could have a major impact on your daily life is rapidly approaching. City elections take place throughout Iowa on Tuesday, November 7. Although these elections do not receive very much attention, they are every bit as important as the general elections held in Iowa every two years.
As a former mayor of the state’s second largest city and former president of the Iowa League of Cities, I can assure you that city government plays an important role in the lives of Iowans. That is why all eligible Iowans should make their voices heard and vote on November 7.
Unfortunately, city elections usually have drastically lower turnout than general elections. Iowa is one of the best states in the nation for voter registration and participation, but those numbers do not hold up well for school and city elections. We can and should do better.
When you stop and think about all the things city government oversees that affect you each day, you will realize the importance of city elections. Around 30 percent of your property tax bill goes to city government. Decisions regarding streets, utilities, stoplights, law enforcement, fire departments, garbage collection, and snow removal are all made on the city level. City governments can dictate local ordinances, set curfew hours, decide whether you can use and sell fireworks, and decree what type of pets you can keep. They can dictate whether or not you can build a fence on your property.
Don’t you want a say in how all those things are determined? If the answer is “yes”, then the next steps are simple: Register to vote if you haven’t already. If you are registered, make sure your information is up-to-date. Visit sos.iowa.gov/registertovote and do it instantly, online. Then, research the candidates for mayor and city council and pick the ones that best represent you and your values. The final step is to be a voter on November 7.
I want all eligible Iowans to make their voices heard in our elections. The way to do that is by being a voter. City elections are about you, your family, and your community. You have a say in how you want your tax dollars spent and your city to operate. On November 7, step up. Be a voter.
Paul Pate
Iowa Secretary of State 


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