Opinions

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.

Thu
15
Dec

Letter: There are angels in our community

To the editor:

When I read your recent article about how the community came forward to support the American Legion with funds for a new roof, I thought of the song “Angels Among Us.”

We really do have angels among us in our community. All the people who sent checks to the Legion, Flo at SAFPARC, the Fosters at Habitat, Muffy at SAM25 — I could go on and on.

We should all be thankful for the caring people in our community.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and be thankful you live in Shawano.

Marion Nemetz,

Shawano

Sat
10
Dec

Christmas spirit evident throughout city

Shawano is a beautiful city all year, but it is particularly charming during the Christmas season. Driving down our city’s main street lined with lighted Christmas trees, snowflake banners, colorful wreaths and decorated store windows resembles a Rockwell picture.

The lit trees located in the Spirit of Shawano Park on the corner of Main and Green Bay streets add to the ambiance of the downtown. The merchants on Green Bay Street have decorated their stores with lights and trees, too, adding to the festive mood of shoppers.

The other day, my hubby and I stopped to have a hot chocolate at Beans and Books Coffeehouse LLC. We could just feel the joy of the season in the air. As we continued with our shopping, so many friendly employees as well as customers greeted us with a smile and “Merry Christmas.” It was a truly pleasant shopping experience.

Sat
03
Dec

What’s the story behind that Christmas tree?


Photo by Lorna Marquardt One tree in Lorna Marquardt’s home year after year is a Raggedy Ann and Andy tree, with traditional candy canes representing the dolls’ legs and a variety of dolls hanging from, around and even on top of the tree.

Christmas trees are placed in many homes, churches and stores around the world. There are numerous interesting stories about the origin of the Christmas tree, and today I will share with you some of that history.

In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and the longest night of the year falls on Dec. 21 or Dec. 22 and is called the winter solstice. Centuries ago people believed the sun was a god and winter came because the sun became sick and weak. Pagans used branches to decorate their homes to keep away evil and as a reminder spring would still come.

The evergreen fir tree has been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.

Sat
03
Dec

Letter: Flaws cited in Clintonville school study

To the editor:

As a member of the citizens task force on the Clintonville elementary school issue, I wish to share information and my perspective as one of the few members who was not a teacher, spouse of a teacher or parent.

At the last meeting of the group where a recommendation had to be made to the school board, new information was provided by the elementary school principal and the superintendent.

The principal shared her opinion that she favored the north side site so that students could be assisted by high school students, elementary students could make use of the swimming pool, and teachers who provide services at both schools would not waste time traveling between locations.

The superintendent also said that he favored the “campus” concept.

It was suggested that a survey could go out regarding a north side site. I was the only member who voted for this. By the way, less than half of the task force was present at this final meeting.

Fri
25
Nov

Another hunting season brings back memories

Aristotle said, “If some animals are good at hunting and others are suitable for hunting, then the gods must clearly smile on hunting.”

My dad is always in my thoughts during deer-hunting season. It seemed he was “getting ready for the hunt” for weeks. Back in the 1950s and ’60s when he hunted, many of the stay-warm conveniences of today were not available. No electric socks, no sophisticated hand-warmers, no thinsulate.

I remember my mother ordering dad long-johns from the catalog. He had some warm wool socks, gray with a red top. He wore red- and black-checkered wool hunting pants, a hat with ear flaps, and warm gloves. His red hunting jacket (in those days it was red, not blaze orange) was heavy and warm. Hunting boots completed his attire. You would have sworn he was headed to the North Pole; he was a big man and looked a little like Santa without a beard.

Sat
19
Nov

Kindness a better motivator than cruelty

During my lifetime, 13 presidents have been elected: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

This recent election was by far the most controversial one I have witnessed. I love Lee Greenwood’s words, “And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me.”

I, too, am very proud to “be” an American, but I am certainly not proud of the behavior of Americans during and following this election. I am concerned about the message we are sending to our youth. There seems to be such a lack of respect in our country, and we need to fix that.

Sat
19
Nov

We’d be wise to stay alert with Trump at helm

To the editor:

The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011 saw Donald Trump front and center. Donald had been heaping scorn on the president for months with his Twitter account. Over and over the message was that Obama was not born in the U.S. and thus was not qualified to be the president.

At that dinner I saw the hugely talented Obama roast Trump unmercifully before finally flashing his birth certificate onto the room’s big screens. The look on Trump’s face alarmed me. He was not joining in the fun.

That spectacle has haunted me. There is another spectacle coming up: the changing of the guard at the White House. We will witness the first black president being shown the door while the winner boldly enters “our house.”

Sat
19
Nov

School taunting over immigration hits home

To the editor,

The Shawano Leader ran a brief AP story days after the election about “a few” incidents of post-election harassment, including taunting in schools. It made it sound like these were a few isolated events happening somewhere far away. Unfortunately, this was taking place right here in Shawano.

My daughter came home late last week upset about people chanting “Build the wall” in the halls at school. Part of me wanted to dismiss this as kids being stupid, but it is more than that. When directed at students who are immigrants, or the children of immigrants, they are saying, “We hate you. You are not welcome here.”

We just came through a bitter election cycle where the winner, though he claimed not to be a racist, ran a campaign filled with enough sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to be endorsed by the KKK.

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