Spreading the good news about Storm Lake

FILLERS

BY JOHN CULLEN

Storm Lake continues to receive prominence on the national political stage. In the past couple weeks The City Beautiful was lauded by two Democratic presidential candidates because of our success in integrating immigrants into our community.

Pete Buttigieg, meeting with the Des Moines Register editorial board a week ago, said that while marching in the Star Spangled Spectacular here on the Fourth of July “We saw some of the growth and vibrancy that is happening there,” and compared it to his own city of South Bend, Ind., where he is mayor.

Last week, during the presidential debate in Detroit, John Delaney mentioned Storm Lake in his closing statement. “We can invest, not just in technology, but in people and entrepreneurs, whether they be in Storm Lake, Iowa, or Detroit, Michigan, or Baltimore, Maryland.”

Both Delaney and Buttigieg have campaigned in Storm Lake, plus Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand this week, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Ryan, Michael Bennett, Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, Steve Bullock and Bernie Sanders (four years ago). Kamala Harris and John Hickenlooper will be here Friday. Joe Biden campaigned here in 2008 during his run for president.

Storm Lake has been on the national stage because of immigration for the last decade, and our fame increased in the wake of Art Cullen’s Pulitzer Prize in 2017 and subsequent book about our community, which brought international attention to The City Beautiful. Art has been featured on national television several times, including a Monday morning appearance on MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle show. Our modest Times office at the corner of West Railroad and Geneseo Streets has become a favorite stop on the national tour for presidential candidates and national media.

Another great advocate for Storm Lake who has brought favorable publicity to The City Beautiful is Public Safety Director Mark Prosser. The chief has told Storm Lake’s story of immigration success to audiences across the nation, celebrating the vibrancy of immigrants who bring life to small towns that would otherwise falter. And he notes that, despite nonsensical claims to the contrary, immigrants actually commit no more crimes than the regular population and, in fact, immigrant communities are often safer than homogenous communities.

Storm Lake is fortunate to have many others who sing our praises to people far and wide, including Storm Lake United CEO Gary Lalone, Superintendent of Schools Stacey Cole (as well as her predecessors), Buena Vista University President Josh Merchant, Mayor Mike Porsch and countless other civic boosters.

Thanks to all for spreading the good news!

OLD-TIMERS may remember Ed Jenson, who was a DJ and sportscaster on KAYL during the 1970s and 80s. He passed away last week in Greer, S.C., at the age of 68.

Ed enjoyed a 40-year career in radio, including the last 18 in Greer as news director and sportscaster at WORD. He was the voice of the Greenville Drive minor league baseball team, and the press box at the baseball field will be named in his honor.

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