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Opinions

Fri
12
Jul

Out of tragedy comes a rededication to journalism

The first anniversary of the terrible newsroom attack in Annapolis, Maryland, passed by with minimal fanfare. In a way, it was rather refreshing, as we, as a society, seem to relish reliving dark days, but in reality, many folks in journalism are constantly thinking about it — while still doing their jobs.

Not much has changed since a gunman went on a rampage at the Capital Gazette and killed five people. The Associated Press has described it as the worst attack on journalists in U.S. history, and considering the attention it got that dark day on June 28, 2018, it’s understandable.

Fri
12
Jul

Gerrymandering jeopardizes democracy

The fate of our democracy is in the hands of the public. It can only survive if people act in its defense.

There is much concern about the issues threatening our democracy. Among them are gerrymandering efforts, which tip the scale as to who gets elected.

The practice was started in 1812 by Elbridge Gerry who was the governor of Massachusetts. He redrew the state’s electoral district’s into the shape of a salamander so his party would have a better chance at winning. Over the years, both parties have used this tactic to continue their political party’s domination.

Every 10 years, district lines are redrawn following a census. State assembly and senate districts as well as congressional districts are changed based on population changes. The party in power has the advantage. They can pack the opposing party’s voters into a few districts and spread the rest out thinly over the remaining districts so their party’s voters always make up the majority.

Fri
12
Jul

Shopping locally benefit to community

We all pinch pennies and shop bargains. When I was young, we made the annual trip to Green Bay to buy school clothing and supplies. Shawano is smaller, so the stores cannot buy at the same volume, therefore everything in Shawano is more expensive. At least, that was the belief.

Many children that grew up in the 1960s experienced this annual pilgrimage to the big city. Because we experienced this in our youth, we repeated the process with our children. The result is that to this day we believe that everything in our small town is more expensive than the same items in the big city.

That is not true. Today many stores in Shawano contract with an agency that lets them know what the large city stores advertising on television are selling their items for. Shawano store prices are adjusted daily based on what the larger stores are advertising. You do not have to go to the big city to get a deal.

Thu
27
Jun

Many voices help bring lake level issues to quick resolution

Sometimes, it pays to make waves.

As area boaters take to the water, especially during the upcoming Fourth of July holidays, they should take a moment, as do we, in congratulating the Shawano Area Waterways Management (SAWM) board and members for their timely and persistent campaign to get water levels raised.

We welcome the June 26 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order that water levels at the Shawano dam be maintained at 802.9 feet above mean sea level (msl) until Nov. 15. As advocated by SAWM and supported by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the rise of 4-5 inches provides greater safety for boaters and more extensive access to the waters above the dam.

Walleyes for Tomorrow and Sturgeon for Tomorrow have countered that 802.5 msl is necessary for a healthy fishery in the years to come. As spawning is long past this year for walleyes and sturgeon, there should not be a negative impact through November.

Thu
27
Jun

Accepting Medicaid funds could help farmers

Wisconsin Farmers Union applauds the Joint Finance Committee vote last week to fund the University of Wisconsin Dairy Innovation Hub. This important investment in our land-grant universities is essential for Wisconsin to remain a leader in the dairy industry.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the state legislature has not only fully funded its universities and colleges, but also just provided $8 million directly to dairy farmers to pay their Dairy Margin Coverage premiums. Why is it that Minnesota can manage to fund university research and provide direct help to struggling dairy farmers, while the Wisconsin state legislature struggled to find money for just one of these worthwhile initiatives?

Thu
27
Jun

When life hands you lemons, hide them before the police see

The old adage says that when life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade.

What it doesn’t tell is that if your children try to sell that lemonade by setting up a stand, that action will bring lights and sirens to your neighborhood.

As if there are not enough government restrictions in our lives, the time-honored tradition of children trying to raise their own spending money has gone from being a lesson in responsibility to a stern warning that if you attempt to be an entrepreneur, you will be looked at like you’re a bootlegger or speakeasy during Prohibition. The police will fine the kids (and, by extension, the families) for selling something without a permit. Instead of being encouraged to learn commerce and enjoy the fresh air, they’ll be driven back into their homes to play video games all day, every day.

Fri
21
Jun

Censored valedictorian gets to speak his truth, after all

Nat Werth has a lot to be proud of in his high school career. Becoming the valedictorian of your class is no easy feat, and with that honor, you get to give an address to your fellow classmates, teachers, assorted school staff and hordes of community members eager to know what 13 years of education has produced in each graduating class.

For Werth, giving that address should have been a highlight — if not the highlight — of his K-12 education. He didn’t get the chance, though. The valedictorian for Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School had his address cancelled by the school’s administration. Werth said in news reports that he talked about being a gay teen in a parochial school in his address, and an excerpt from his speech called into question the validity of the claim of Lutherans, shared by a number of other Christian denominations, that homosexuality is a sin.

Fri
21
Jun

Fight Trump climate change falsehoods with facts

To the editor:

The best way to fight back with President Donald Trump’s falsehoods on climate change is with facts, so keep these seven climate change facts in mind no matter what falsehoods the administration tries to spread.

• Climate change is real and man-made, and there is overwhelming scientific consensus that this is true. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists worldwide agree that climate change is real and driven by human activity. That is considered a consensus.

• All major climate change reports are thoroughly researched and based on the most accurate, up-to-date science. The National Climate Assessment report was developed and written by NOAA, NASA, the Department of Defense and experts at 10 other agencies.

Fri
21
Jun

Kucksdorf column paints Muslims with broad brush

To the editor:

In his June 15 column, Mr. Richard Kucksdorf advocated that the U.S. declare war on “radical jihadi Muslims.” In that piece, he seemed to be making three points: that the Islamic religion spurs its followers to violence; that radical jihadi Muslims are bent on killing anyone they can; and the U.S. should declare a borderless war against them.

To the first point, Islam is not the only religion that has violent passages in its scriptures. The Judeo-Christian scriptures are filled with calls to violence and killing. Even Jesus in John’s gospel advocates carrying a sword. Those scripture passages have been used to justify violence from Christians since the Crusades through the Holocaust, but that history is not a true expression of Christianity, and a few Muslims carrying out terrible acts of violence are not a true expression of Islam.

Fri
21
Jun

State treasurer seeks adequate funding for office

One hundred and seventy one. That’s not only the age of Wisconsin but also the age of its state treasurer’s office. This constitutional office has been serving Wisconsinites since the very beginning.

Yet over the past decade, there have been numerous attempts to diminish the role of the treasurer, eroding important checks and balances. The final straw came last year, when lawmakers sought to permanently remove this office from our Constitution. Wisconsinites, in response, voted overwhelmingly to preserve it. After I worked with a bipartisan coalition to save the office, I ran knowing I would have to roll up my sleeves and rebuild it from the ground up.

Even I was surprised at how big a task that would be.

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