Opinions

Fri
27
Jan

More insights into life in the early 1900s

My father rarely talked about what life was like for him growing up in the 1920s and ’30s. Recently, my cousin, Lynn (Roggenbuck) Erbach, sent me a copy of notes written by my father’s sister, Arline (Robenhagen) Roggenbuck. The pages from her notebook gave me an insight into the joys and struggles of life back then. Here, in her own words, are more of her memories:

“I shared a bedroom with my sister Olga until she left home to marry. During the earlier years, our bed was far from comfortable. Our mattress was ticking filled with cornhusks. No Beauty Rest mattresses for us. As we turned, the dry cornhusks would snap and crackle. Usually at harvest time, the mattress would be filled with new husks.

“The Depression years were tough. There was little money to buy anything new. One year, my mother spent a total of $5 for her years clothing. $1 for a cheap pair of shoes, $1.95 for a corset she needed due to backaches, and the remainder for dress material.

Fri
27
Jan

Letter: We must be vigilant to avoid being taken in by ‘fake news’

To the editor:

We are living in the era of “fake news.” We can no longer trust what we are told. The internet is rampant with stories that, unless checked, spread like wildfire.

In The Shawano Leader’s Jan. 21 edition, journalist Tim Ryan quoted members of the Shawano Republican Party as saying that individuals were being paid to protest against Trump during the inauguration on Jan. 20. The website Snopes.com calls the claim a hoax. We need our news agencies to report real facts, not easily rebunkable falsehoods. A comment pointing out the Republicans’ false claims would have been appropriate.

Could the Trump Administration return us to the values of the 1980s, when students had a better knowledge of how government works? I’m hoping this Republican comment is true. I’m hoping it includes a thorough understanding of the amendments to the Constitution, especially the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and the rights of assembly and petition.

Fri
27
Jan

Letter: Clintonville schools need more than new facility

To the editor:

The Clintonville School Board at its last meeting voted to place a referendum asking for $24 million bonding to pay for a new elementary school and demolish the existing buildings on 8th Street, including the historic 1918 former high school.

I spoke at the meeting in favor of placing a priority on improving the performance of our schools in educating our children rather than concentrating on brick and mortar improvements. The recent report card from the state found our school “underachieving.” When I questioned the superintendent about the decline of academic performance, I was told it was due to a high level of poverty in our community and the families of students.

I asked the board to look at funding incentives for teachers to live in our community, to raise the salaries of teachers to attract and keep outstanding teachers, and to provide help to students who are struggling. These actions take money that cannot come from bond revenue.

Fri
20
Jan

Aunt Arline’s notes provide look at life in early 1900s

Like me, many of you had parents or grandparents who lived in the early 1900s. My dad, Milton Robenhagen was born in 1918. His sister, one of my favorite aunts, Arline (Robenhagen) Roggenbuck, was born in 1920. Many of you knew my Aunt Arline. She lived in Shawano all her life until her passing in 2007. She married Gary Roggenbuck, a war hero who received a Purple Heart. He drove truck for Badger Breeders. He died prematurely from a bee sting, leaving my aunt, a mother of six, a widow.

Life back in the early 1920s, ’30s and ’40s was much different than life today; simpler yet not easier in many respects.

Sat
14
Jan

Community rallies to give Legion post new roof

I recently received a communication from the commander of American Legion Post 117, Al Boyd. He asked me to help him give well-deserved thanks to those he referred to as “angels of our community.”

Commander Boyd explained: “We needed to put a new roof on our building. After two months of fundraising, things did not look good for our grand old building. Problems kept cropping up, and it looked like we were putting money into an endless pit.”

Boyd continued: “Then Audrey Criscione, Paul Hintz and Steve Lovelady came into the picture. A Friday night fish fry with a social media post, a newspaper story and word of mouth made it a Friday unlike any Friday we have had in years! The wonderful folks of Shawano showed up en masse. We ran out of fish and still they came, leaving donations.”

Fri
06
Jan

Good customer service critical to business success

Like most of you, when I go to a restaurant, a store, city hall, clinic, etc., I expect it to be a good experience. I deserve good customer service, and so do you.

I personally prefer to do my business locally. Although online shopping might be convenient, I like having personal interaction with a local employee who needs his or her job. I expect that service to be good; actually, exceptional would be more accurate. I understand some customer service jobs do not pay well, but as a customer, I still expect your best. Take up your wages with your boss but treat your customers with pride and respect.

Fri
30
Dec

A little kindness can go a long way

It’s 4 a.m. and I am unable to sleep, so I guess I’ll occupy my time by writing this week’s article. I am attired in a Christmas gift — purple pajamas and a purple robe. I smiled to myself when I opened the gift and saw purple. It made me think of one of my favorite poems.

When I am an Old Woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

And learn to spit.

Sat
24
Dec

Holidays hard for those who have lost loved ones

I enjoy listening to Andy Williams sing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” maybe because I think it is, too.

The children are so adorable in their church and school programs. They “try” to be good as they wait excitedly for Santa. Shoppers are bustling about looking for that special gift. Cookie jars are filled with freshly baked cookies. The trees are trimmed and presents have been wrapped. The spiral ham and Door County Christmas wine have been purchased for Christmas dinner. People are generally in a festive mood, while quietly performing little acts of kindness for others. Yes, a wonderful time of the year!

Sat
24
Dec

Carrying reflections into the new year

As another year draws to its close, I like to glance back — and look ahead. It’s a good time to reflect on how we and our organizations have grown, changed and improved over the past 12 months. Several of our 2016 initiatives at ThedaCare allowed me to engage directly with the community — a job I always value.

Exploring our strategic facilities plan and the possibility of a next generation medical center, for example, has given me the opportunity to hear from so many in our community. I love the chance to hear enthusiastic feedback from our team-members and caregivers closest to the project, and to foster conversations in the community that deepen understanding and help people see the potential. It’s all about transparency and engaging with others, and I continue to enjoy the work.

Fri
16
Dec

Christmas season filled with traditions

I often bring my laptop into the kitchen to write my weekly article. As I was about to begin writing, I looked out the kitchen window and, to my delight, saw the swans were back! Twelve of them, floating gracefully downstream, sometimes their behinds in the air as they searched for their breakfast.

The view of the swans, geese and ducks renewed my appreciation for Mother Nature and our beautiful Wolf River.

We plan to put up our Christmas tree on Sunday. Earlier this week, I visited Old Glory candy store. I was so happy to find adorable little gingerbread houses to hang on my tree. In addition, I purchased the double cherries on a wire similar to those we put on our tree when I was a child. Actually, it is no longer wire, as it has been determined the wires could be a danger. Doesn’t matter, they are just what I wanted for my old-fashioned tree.

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