Opinions

Sat
09
Feb

Small towns have their advantages

“If you are any good, why aren’t you in New York?”

When you work in newspapers, you get used to hearing comments about your work. How your paper sucks. How you are incompetent, naive, money-grubbing, and, most recently, fake.

This comment was different. This was not personal. It was territorial.

I confess that I did not have a good response at the time.

I have one now.

Today, cities are growing in population while small towns struggle to keep schools and businesses open. Millions of people are drawn to the tempo, the entertainment, the diversity, the job opportunities of an urban lifestyle. Many also express a longing for that “someday” when they can retire and live where they want to live. In “God’s Country,” or “Up north,” they say. They live their entire lives wanting to be somewhere else.

Sat
09
Feb

Help with garbage cans greatly appreciated

To the editor:

A big thank you goes out to all the young people who have helped me take out my big garbage cans this winter — sometimes even in the summer.

People just stop as they are going by to help me when they see me with my cane tugging on those big cans.

One day, a lady stopped to help me with my wheelbarrow when I finished cleaning my rabbit barn.

I don’t know any of these people.

Just younger people helping an old lady who can’t walk very well any more. There are a lot of very nice and helpful young people out there. We just don’t hear about them as much. Thank you.

Don’t cut our young people short.

Bev Echtner,

Cecil

Sat
09
Feb

Learning 3 lessons will help resolve border issue

Let’s face it: The government shutdown was stupid. I don’t say that to place blame on any particular party or person. The blame game is endless, and while it provides a short-term sugar high, it ultimately poisons the body politic. Rather, the shutdown was stupid because border security is one of the most solvable problems we face, and we got no closer to solving it.

To avoid another shutdown on Feb. 15, we need to learn three lessons from our stupidity. First, there is massive miscommunication about what is actually being proposed. In January, I went to the White House with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to meet with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on border security. Within minutes it became clear that, although Republicans and Democrats speak in different tones about the problem, their proposed solutions are not as dissimilar as the media suggests.

Sat
09
Feb

Racine officials showed bad judgment on records

The more we know about the efforts by officials in Racine to shield public records from public view, the more outrageous it seems.

In late January, the office of Racine City Attorney Scott Letteney disclosed a summary of records it has fought tooth and nail to keep secret. It showed these to be ordinary email communications, mainly between Racine Alderwoman Sandra Weidner and her constituents.

In one email, Weidner asked the city attorney’s office whether a given contract would need city council approval. Another attached a resolution regarding the creation of a redevelopment authority. There were also emails concerning a bar license and a constituents’ claim for garage damages.

These are the kinds of records routinely released by local governments throughout the state.

Sat
26
Jan

Ag, tribes noticeably missing from State of the State

It’s a new year with a new governor, and Tony Evers laid out his agenda for Wisconsin in his State of the State address Tuesday night. It was an interesting speech, albeit incomplete.

Evers noted that we were once a state known for innovative technology, but now our ability to even generate start-ups and small businesses is behind the times.

He pointed out the need for more education funding, getting back to the point where the state is providing two-thirds of the money for the schools, and local districts pick up the rest. Hopefully, it would cut down on the need for school districts to ask voters for budget overrides and referenda for basic needs like computers for students.

Evers is proposing a five-fold increase in mental health programs for K-12 students, and he wants to make sure everybody has access to quality and affordable health care. He even introduced someone in the audience who benefitted from the federal Affordable Care Act.

Sat
26
Jan

Longest shutdown causing pain

To the editor:

Federal government shutdowns can cause pain. Essential employees are still required to work but don’t get paid. Non-essential personnel stay at home and agency activities and services come to a halt.

Shutdowns have occurred when Congress fails to approve funding for government operations and agencies. Since 1976, there have been 22 gaps in budget funding which lasted only one day. Since 1990, the practice has been to shut down the government for funding gaps. Shutdowns have lasted anywhere from three days to the recent shutdown which is the longest in history.

Sat
19
Jan

It’s time to change State of the Union

There’s really no love lost between U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump, especially as the federal government shutdown approaches a full month. However, I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read that Pelosi was recommending Trump delay his State of the Union address due to the continuing shutdown.

It’s a sure sign Pelosi doesn’t like Trump when she doesn’t even want him to come over to her house.

Pelosi’s argument is that, with much of the federal staff furloughed or working without pay, there might not be enough security to keep the president, the vice president, all the cabinet members (at least the ones still in their jobs), 535 elected officials with the legislative branch, and anyone else who is part of the menagerie.

I can understand her concern, considering the last time a State of the Union was targeted, we wound up with Kiefer Sutherland as president. Oh, wait. That was just a television show.

Sat
19
Jan

GUEST COLUMN

America needs workers but legal workers. The confusion is caused by politics. Are the people we are discussing immigrants or migrants? America is a country of immigrants, and no person disputes that fact. But if we are to maintain our identity as a country, we must enforce our laws. Those who wish to immigrate to our country should want to assimilate. Migrant workers do not need to assimilate but should be documented.

I propose a plan with three lines of effort — build the wall, document and educate.

Build a wall with controlled entries that is patrolled on both sides. This will help stop the deadly human trafficking.

Sat
19
Jan

Volunteers, Knights of Columbus made dinner a success

To the editor:

For the last 16 years, there are very clear choices that we Knights and Lady Knights make when we decide to put our communities and families first and do the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Council 12185 Elmo Novelli and Alvin J. Rathsack Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner.

We would like to thank all those businesses and people for your generous donations toward our Thanksgiving dinner.

Thank you to the Knights and Lady Knights and all those community members who have donated their time with preparations of food, delivering dinners, cooking, serving and cleaning to make this special occasion a reality.

We served 277 sit-down meals, and we delivered 251 meals to Shawano, Keshena, West Branch, Neopit, South Branch and Cecil.

Paul A. Marroquin,

Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus No. 12185

Sat
12
Jan

Protecting people the correct thing to do

There comes a time when “political correctness” or insisting on political correctness is immaterial, or at least not the major item.

On Tuesday evening, I was checking out in a gasoline convenience store. I noticed that their Amber Alert listed the Jayme Closs of Barron, Wisconsin, alert from Oct. 15, 2018. I had been notified on my cell phone just two hours earlier on Tuesday of a new Amber Alert of Angel Ros Tomow (Angel Madosh) of Shawano. I mentioned this more recent Amber Alert, questioning why the new one was not on their in-store notice. The clerk, a mature female, told me that she noticed that the girl was listed as “Indian.” This clerk said she took it as an offense and refused to list this Amber Alert because the alert notification was not politically correct.

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