Opinions

Wed
19
Oct

Rural education suffering under Tiffany

To the editor:

Northwoods students are getting short-changed when it comes to education. While there have always been differences between city and rural schools, adequate state funding helped level the playing field. Not anymore.

Thanks to Republicans like Scott Walker and Tom Tiffany, our rural schools are being starved to death in many ways. Here are just three:

Staff: Funding caps had already decimated faculties and services. Act 10 made things much worse. Experienced teachers retired; fewer students went into teaching. The resulting shortage makes teachers free agents. Small-town schools like mine seem like minor league teams, developing great teachers who leave for better pay and benefits elsewhere.

Wed
19
Oct

Bravely facing ‘assembly required’ challenge

Last week, we went to see and hear one of my favorite writers, Michael Perry. He was appearing with his band, The Longbeds.

We’ve seen Michael a couple times before, but this was the first time we’d heard his band, and it was a really fun evening. Michael told stories and sang in a three-hour concert that didn’t seem nearly that long. “Times goes fast when you’re having fun!”

One of the things he talked about was a question I hear very often: “How do you come up with the ideas for your column?” And his answer was sort of like mine always is: “I listen and I watch and I pay attention to what’s going on around me - and I have a memory which is chock full of goofy stuff. Sometimes people say, “You should write about …”

Wed
12
Oct

Writer poses questions about Pulaski’s new stadium

To the editor:

Some things never change, and that goes for the Pulaski Community School District. After overall approval by the board to borrow $2.8 million to build the Field of Dreams in the hopes of getting donations, what happens when they do not meet their goal? This would affect the already strained budget, and the burden would be placed on taxpayers.

Two mailers were sent out begging for donations for their Field of Dreams. One has to wonder, was this sent out with taxpayer money? Another question — who is paying the staff when they are coordinating this project during work hours? I believe that would be the taxpayer again.

When there was raw sewage damage in neighboring homes when the construction company broke a line while constructing the sports complex, nothing was mentioned at school board meetings.

Wed
12
Oct

Bubble Wrap, a pop culture icon

We recently got a shipment of my medication, which came wrapped in several wonderful sheets of bubble wrap! Enough for a couple of hours of bubble-popping therapy!

Oh, come on. Admit it. You know you like popping those wonderful little pockets of air just as much as I do. Popping Bubble Wrap (that’s a copyrighted brand name, by the way, but it’s been genericized by now) is sort of cathartic. It’s one of those little acts of destruction that’s neither offensive nor harmful. And besides, that little popping sound is sort of relaxing.

I’ve often wondered if someone (someone much more musical than I am) could take sheets of bubble wrap of various sizes and play music with them. The different sizes would have to make different pitches, wouldn’t they? The bigger the bubble, the lower the note, right?

Wed
05
Oct

Writer impressed with Gallagher

To the editor:

I’m writing to encourage fellow 8th District Wisconsinites to vote for Mike Gallagher for our congressman. I like that Mike believes politics should be a term of service to the country and once that term is complete, public servants should go back to their regular lives.

Mike has pledged to lead efforts to tie congressional pay to passing budgets, to eliminating congressional pensions and to freezing congressional pay.

I like that from his experiences — working in his family’s Green Bay pizza restaurant growing up, serving as a Marine, serving in our nation’s intelligence community and then in the private sector as a strategist for a

Green Bay-based energy company — Mike has a solid basis of knowledge about the world and about economic issues in our country.

Wed
05
Oct

Choose candidate who can mold future

To the editor:

This election is getting far too reckless. We have a two-party system that allows them equal opportunity to put forth their platforms and convince the public which is best for the current situations.

One party has been pirated by a populist opportunist who is totally unprepared and unqualified to be the most powerful person in the world. This could have happened to either party.

If this coup-de-tat is legitimately supported, it represents a split in one party. What this would mean for the future is wide open to speculation, but leaders of both parties don’t want to find out.

While populist rhetoric raises the temperature, it is in no way a litmus test for governance of the world.

One party is offering a legitimate and realistic vision for the future, while the other offers vicious attacks, impossible promises and flip-flops.

Wed
05
Oct

Tiffany’s no longer working for Northwoods

To the editor:

Of all the misguided, reprehensible things Sen. Tom Tiffany has done, the most egregious is his treatment of veterans, especially those living at nursing homes like King. Tiffany serves on the legislature’s budget committee; his decision to raid over $30 million from these facilities is political malpractice.

Why did Tiffany do it? To fill the budget hole Republicans created by mismanaging state government and giving obscenely high tax cuts to the wealthiest Wisconsin taxpayers. What’s worse, these raids follow a string of Republican efforts to block state veteran funding, consolidate county veteran offices and deny justice for veterans suffering from asbestos exposure. Obviously, Tiffany cares far more about his rich friends and corporate donors than taking proper care of our heroes.

Wed
05
Oct

Time to vote Tiffany out of office

To the editor:

Supporters of Tom Tiffany cite his name recognition as a sign of political strength. Indeed. Let’s recognize him.

Tiffany’s the guy who railed about Madison not representing Northwoods interests … until he was elected. Now he votes like he lives in Waukesha County.

Tiffany’s the guy who secretly signed onto illegal redistricting, voted to gut the Open Records Law and enthusiastically supported eliminating the Government Accountability Board. No surprise there. He’s the guy who holds midnight hearings to ensure that no one testifies.

Tiffany’s the guy who takes dark money and uses dirty campaign tricks. When caught, he whines that he was “getting his message out” or acting as a “private citizen.”

Wed
05
Oct

The little house behind the house

If you’re a farm-raised kid about my age, you probably also have some pretty clear memories of those little duty houses. The outhouse was our “bathroom” (don’t you love euphemisms?), but there was no bathing done there. It was not an elegant room; decor was not a priority. It was all about functionality.

About 10 years ago, my sister told me about an incident that happened when my mom was in the hospital after suffering from two heart attacks. My mom, God rest her soul, was 90 at the time, and even though she was greatly distressed by the heart attacks, she was able to retain her sense of humor.

Because she was so weak, Mom asked my dad, also 90, to help her into the bathroom and to stay with her while she did her duty. So Dad took a chair into the bathroom and sat next to her. Mom said it reminded her of the old days of the “two-holer” out behind the old log house.

Wed
21
Sep

Punctuation gives sentences meaning

Sept. 24 is National Punctuation Day, a day to recognize and celebrate our friendly neighborhood commas, periods, hyphens, dashes, ellipses, quotation marks, question marks, exclamation marks, parentheses, colons, semicolons, brackets, apostrophes, slashes, em-dashes and ampersands.

It’s a day to protest the ever-increasing use of “emojies” or “emoticons” to replace the noble marks who’ve served us so well over the years.

Space constraints on social media platforms like Twitter have led to a reduction in the use of conventional punctuation, and emojies are being used to serve the same key purposes as punctuation marks. And while we used to have to make up our own emojie by creatively placing standard punctuation marks (like :) for a smile), now we can simply click on any number of cartoon-like images graciously supplied by our email servers.

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