Opinions

Sat
09
Jan

Tales of a small-town mayor come to life

Here we are in 2016 already. I don’t know about you, but to me, 2015 seemed to go by quickly. A new year brings with it another chapter in life waiting to be written.

Speaking of writing, a book I have been working on for several years is nearing completion. It is about my experiences as a small-town mayor. I have not used names of individuals or the name of our community. Profits from book sales will be donated to local civic and nonprofit groups. Here are a few excerpts:

My phone rang. The caller asked, “Is this the Mayor?” I replied, “Yes, speaking.” The voice on the other end said, “You don’t know me. I used to live there, but I don’t anymore.”

She continued, “I have read the horrible pamphlet about you, and I have heard about the videos on social media. I know who is responsible, and I am so sorry.”

Sat
09
Jan

Letter: Health care changes shortchange public

To the editor:

Regarding Dr. Gruner’s letter to the editor in The Shawano Leader:

As you know, you talk to us from great privilege, and when you say, “I’ll keep you posted,” my thought is that, as a member of the general public, I wish I could keep you posted.

With the changes in health care (Affordable Care Act), the power battle between Washington, insurers, hospitals, patients, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment suppliers and the general public came down like this: Insurers got a fair shake; uninsured and underinsured patients truly benefited; while hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment companies were left free to charge exorbitant prices.

The general public? No real strategy for cost containment. At the moment, the hospital sets the price and the insurer jumps to it.

So, I guess, there is nothing for me to “post.”

You say, “We are committed to improving the health of the communities we serve.”

Sat
09
Jan

Letter: ThedaCare problems extend beyond insurance battle

To the editor:

ThedaCare’s Dr. Gruner speaks with a forked tongue, as the city has found out when at the last minute ThedaCare said no to a medical residency training center at the old Shawano Medical Center and now is telling all those people with Network Health Plan that they will be dropped or have to pay an out-of-network extra charges.

Why can Bellin and Prevea accept our plan but ThedaCare can’t? The reason is just plain greed of the worst kind. They knew most would blame Network Health even after it offered ThedaCare more money — but not enough for Dr. Gruner and his bunch.

Dr. Gruner talks about the wonderful service, but why is it every time you go to a fast-food place, you see new people? The same at ThedaCare. Most times, you get to see a nurse or a PA, but you paid to see a doctor.

Fri
01
Jan

Letter: ThedaCare CEO addresses insurance situation

To the editor:

A few weeks ago ThedaCare announced our termination of our Network Health Plan contract. Since then many people have contacted us with questions. Our decision also caused some angst for some of you. That was not our intent. ThedaCare is focused on making health care better for consumers, patients, families and communities. We are committed to improving the health of the communities we serve.

In that spirit, I want to keep you current on the status of our effort to secure a contract extension with Network Health Plan.

Sat
26
Dec

Graceland Cemetery lot becomes dumping ground

To the editor:

After following the rules and removing all plants from the four lots I tend at Graceland Cemetery on time, I was surprised to get a call from another cemetery lot owner telling me all discarded materials from other lots had been placed on the historic Kuester lot located right on the circle in front of the chapel. I immediately drove out to take a look.

I thought I was on the wrong road as I didn’t even recognize the lot or see any of the headstones. Instead I saw dozens of discarded hooks, ornaments and miscellaneous materials taken from other lots. If any of our relatives were to come and visit the cemetery during this holiday season, they would share my shame at the condition of the resting place of these city pioneers.

Sat
19
Dec

Removing flowers from graves is deplorable

To the editor:

Through the years I have read articles and seen on TV about the destruction and theft in cemeteries. I always thought what demented moron or morons could do such horrible acts on the resting places of the loved ones we have lost.

On a quiet cemetery lay several of my loved ones: my husband, parents, grandparents, sisters, brother and other relatives. In early spring, I visited the graves of my family members, and to my surprise, the decorations for my husband and parents were gone. They could not have blown off as I had them wired on. I was shocked and angry to think it happened to me.

The summer moved on, and in early October after many visits, the decorations on my sister and brother’s graves were missing. They, too, were wired on and couldn’t have blown off. My sisters and I have been putting flowers on their graves for 50 years.

To the person or persons that did this, shame on you. Get yourself help as you are very mentally ill.

Fri
11
Dec

Letter: Teen reading program continues through Jan. 4

To the editor:

Everyone knows about summer reading programs, but here in Shawano we don’t let the fun stop there! We have a Not-So-Summer Reading Program for teens that runs through Jan. 4.

Teens can register and participate in the library or online at shawanolibrary.org under the Programs/Teens! There will be five weekly prizes of $10 gift cards for local restaurants and five overall prizes of $50 gift cards from various retailers. Teens, ages 12-18, will get to choose which prizes they want to be entered for with each book they read or library program they attend. They are required to read teen or adult books or graphic novels from the library (any library within our system) to qualify. Children’s books, audio books, e-books, personal or school books, and movies do not qualify.

Fri
11
Dec

Letter: Concert doesn’t need to feature holiday music

To the editor:

Do you have any idea, John Ainsworth, how long it takes to prepare a concert? For a Dec. 1 concert, preparation begins in September.

So these third-graders would be learning Christmas music at the beginning of the school year instead of letting each season progress as it comes – fall, October with Halloween, November with Thanksgiving, etc.

These children and you, John, still have a whole month to enjoy Christmas music!

June Brockman,

Shawano

Fri
04
Dec

As city’s CEO, mayor fills variety of roles

“Earn your leadership every day.” — Michael Jordan

Thank you so much for the kind emails, social network comments, phone calls and cards. Serving as your mayor has been one of the most humbling yet exhilarating experiences of my life. I shall treasure the memories forever.

Several have asked me to explain the duties of a Wisconsin mayor. I will do my best to give you details, and a little personal commentary as well.

The mayor is the chief executive officer of the city and is elected by the voters on the first Tuesday in April, usually in even-numbered years. A mayoral candidate must be a citizen of the United States and of Wisconsin and an elector of the city. Electors must be 18 years of age, and must have resided in the state and the city for at least 10 days.

Fri
04
Dec

Letter: The world apparently needs Christmas

To the editor:

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, we attended the winter concert performed by the third-grade students of the Olga Brener Intermediate School.

The students were all dressed as neatly as could be. The staff had obviously prepared them very well for the task at hand. The auditorium was packed with courteous and attentive family and friends of the students. After the concert, we stopped for a treat at a local restaurant as other families apparently had.

A perfect evening, but where was the Christmas music? They did not perform even one Christmas carol! Even the pseudo-Christmas music (“Rudolph,” “Jingle Bells”) was avoided. The staff of our local school district is so afraid of offending even one resident that they ignore the expectations of the vast majority.

Even the very marginally religious respect the Christmas season as a time of giving, sharing, family gatherings and the renewal of practicing good will toward others.

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