Opinions

Wed
31
Aug

Van Stippen passionate about government service

To the editor:

I was driving along Highway 32 a couple of weeks ago and noticed a really large sign. It said Van Stippen for Senate #12. I was impressed; this was pretty sharp as campaign signs go. However, I had no idea who Bryan Van Stippen was.

That evening I Googled him and was directed to his campaign website. Wow! This candidate has an impressive resume.

I read through the documents posted and came away very impressed. Of course, candidates can pay to look good online so I followed up by attending one of Bryan’s campaign events. (I rarely support candidates that I have not met, shaken hands with, heard speak and talked to personally).

Let me tell you, Bryan Van Stippen is the real deal. He’s knowledgeable about the issues and cares deeply about the people he wants to represent. Bryan is ambitious, but not for himself, for his future constituents. He’s a good listener and passionate about improving our lives through government service.

Wed
24
Aug

Progressiveness deserves praise

To the editor:

We, the people, once an all-inclusive identification, now find ourselves in a multi-class identification effort that tends to be used for the purpose of degrading individuals.

Now, instead of looking upward for inspiration where we find only greed and superegos, we have turned our eyes downward, where we are able to see those poor souls that we can blame for whatever we choose.

In this election, one party offers us a clear definition of a country that deserves our praise, not our chastisement. A party, with a history of progressive accomplishments, stands ready to do what we always do — make an already great country greater by doing great things for the good of the greater amount of the people.

Dennis J. Gaines,

Lakewood

Wed
24
Aug

OAHS doesn’t want to be a secret

To the editor:

We all hate them — those TV commercials by the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States. You know the ones I’m talking about; the commercials with the abused, cowering, “tied up in the cold” animals that pull at our heart strings.

Most people also hate thinking about animal shelters in general. People imagine rows of cages where animals spend their last dire months, hanging onto the slim hope of being adopted. It’s not a pretty image.

But, like everything else in life, all things are not created equal. No two animal shelters are the same. From a business aspect, the Oconto Area Humane Society is still a “new” shelter.

And although we are relatively young, we have gone through many changes over the years. We are not the shelter we were five years ago, and we have changed enormously since we first opened our doors in 2005.

Wed
17
Aug

Good-paying jobs needed for Gillett to survive

To the editor:

Mr. Carlson, if you had not taken my words out of context to fit your narrative and understood my point of view, you would not have had to write your letter is such a manner. What was said was if you continue to take money from the taxpayers without any lucrative businesses being brought into the city of Gillett, the school cannot and will not survive, nor will the city.

You choose to only see your side and not that of the land owner or retired citizens on a fixed income. Instead, the city promotes businesses that have no intention of employing anyone or are just there to take money offered. This also seems to be a problem at the county level as well; recent poor research and not checking thoroughly into these enterprises results in more empty buildings and less tax base for the city.

When you bring viable manufacturing back and provide good-paying jobs, then you can address school programs.

Wed
17
Aug

Writer proposes layoffs at Gillett schools

To the editor:

On Aug. 9, you, the taxpayers of the Gillett School District, voted no. To you who voted, I want to say good job.

To those of you who wrote a letter in opposition of the referendum, great job. I believe your letters made the difference.

As you well know, this thing is not over. Now we, the taxpayers, need to hold their feet to the fire. We need to be on them, the School Board, to make the changes at the top.

The administrator has said that programs will have to be cut. If it’s about the kids, why are you ready to punish the kids? Leave the kids alone, Mr. Administrator and School Board. You, the School Board, need to start at the top of the food chain, starting with administration. Starting with deep layoffs.

Also, make district employees pay 40 percent of their health insurance. Also, about retirement, I believe what should happen is that we should go to 401K, where they pay for their own retirement.

Wed
17
Aug

Notes from a well-seasoned political junkie

I try very hard to avoid controversy in this space. It’s not that I don’t have opinions on controversial issues, it’s just that I prefer not to foist them on others.

But, boy, it’s hard to not comment on the political circus that’s going to dominate our TVs this fall.

I’m something of a political junkie. I’ve had an abiding interest in politics ever since I was a teenager. When I turned 18 in 1957, Wisconsin was deep into a weird political situation. Sen. Joe McCarthy, whose anti-Communist tirades in the Senate were an embarrassment to most Wisconsinites, had died, and a special election was held to fill out his term.

So, in my first-ever national election, I helped Bill Proxmire to become the first Democrat to be elected to the Senate from Wisconsin in over 25 years. He beat former governor Republican Walter Kohler in that race and then won six more full terms in the Senate, always winning by very wide margins.

Wed
10
Aug

It’s time for a change in District 12

To the editor:

District 12 state Sen. Tom Tiffany’s newly proposed legislation would prevent local governments from using eminent domain power to build public parks and trails. Yet Tom supports legislation granting energy conglomerate Enbridge the right to take private land to install an oil pipeline using eminent domain. World-class hypocrisy here?

Sadly, Tom’s attention is focused not only on an oil pipeline but a conduit to funnel our tax money to private voucher schools while neglecting our public schools, the heart of rural communities and the pipeline to success for the next generation.

Wed
10
Aug

Gillett has many positives to celebrate

To the editor:

I was at a meeting last week where a Gillett resident made the comment, “Gillett is already dead. Why don’t you just let it die.”

This statement really bothered me, partly because I grew up, graduated, got married, work, live and, God willing, will probably die in Gillett. It also bothered me because a resident feels, thinks and would make this type of comment.

We make choices every day, choices about our careers and where we live. We can choose to look for the negatives, or we can choose to see the positives.

It is easy to see the great things that are going on in our community. We have Seneca, Northport, the new assisted living center, our community center and library, a fine grocery, a well-stocked hardware store, auto repair shops, gas stations, banks, great restaurants, fire, police and ambulance services.

We also have a positive number of other small businesses in and around our community.

Wed
10
Aug

Garage sales give new life to cast-offs

Do you remember an old song that said, “I’ll Never Say Never Again Again”?

About 10 years ago, I wrote a column about rummage sales because we’d just gone through the throes of having one. I thought at the time that I didn’t ever want to go through that again, but guess what?

Yup! We did it again!

Somebody famous must have said it because it’s been around for a long time: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” And that’s probably just a corruption of an older idiom, also by somebody famous, (probably Shakespeare; I should know this stuff, but I’m retired now!): “What is one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

This doctrine of psychological chaos is obviously part of the driving force behind sales of this type. I think there’s a basic philosophy behind garage sales that says if you can’t possibly give something away, you can probably sell it.

Wed
03
Aug

Don’t burden taxpayers with referendum

To the editor:

Our tax dollars don’t come from a bottomless bucket. They come from hardworking people who struggle to make ends meet. Let’s do what is good for everyone in our community, not just a few at the top.

The Gillett School District can’t spend more money than what we have and still survive. If the School Board was serious about cutting the fat from the budget, you don’t start from the bottom up, you start from the top down.

So, taxpayers, let’s hold the School Board accountable for fixing the budget without putting a burden on our taxpayers. Please vote no to the school referendum on Aug. 9.

James Schultz,

Gillett

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