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Etc.: Between storms
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When things accumulate in your notebook, you hope you get them out of your notebook before the rain makes your notebook unreadable:

Sports irony: When you observe and/or cover sports for a quarter-century (sigh), you can still see something you’ve never seen before.

Until Wednesday, I had never seen a sporting event played during a tornado warning. Two tornado warnings were issued during the Highland–Potosi regional final game before the game was suspended at 6:45 p.m. due to lightning.

The tornado warnings were for northern Grant County, so the tornado sirens didn’t go off, as they would have in the days before the National Weather Service became more exact in storm warnings. (I’m guessing having the tornado siren going off probably would have stopped the game.) The sky to the north and west was a blue/green/dark gray color you don’t normally see, but though it got windy, the rain didn’t start until the lightning stopped the game for, as it turned out, two days.

To have a game pushed back a couple days is something I have seen before. Back in 1989, Potosi’s baseball and softball teams played in the sectional at Marshall. The games were scheduled for Tuesday, before they were rained out; then Wednesday, before they were rained out; and then Thursday, before they were postponed due to wet grounds. Three days later, the Chieftains finally played, but by then, I wasn’t there to watch because I had to be at the state track meet, then in Madison.

Something similar to that happened later that year during the summer baseball playoffs. The 1989 regional games were pushed from Tuesday to Thursday, the day before the Onalaska Sectional. That may well have led to a pair of upsets of 20-win teams in the sectional — Platteville over Holmen 4–2 in extra innings and Lancaster over Onalaska 3–2, followed by Lancaster’s beating Platteville 6–5 to go to state, as predicted by exactly nobody.

Belmont High School was supposed to play its sectional final game in Potosi Thursday. The game briefly moved to Belmont before ending up in Boscobel on Sunday. This is the first time I recall a sporting event involving a public school played on a Sunday.

In a season fouled up by Mother Nature, postseason games further messed up by weather is completely appropriate.

Non-sports non-irony: Grant County had the last tornado in Wisconsin in 2012, on Sept. 4. Grant County had the first tornado in Wisconsin in 2013, on Wednesday.

The pledge: Platteville resident Michael Mayo asked at the May 14 Common Council meeting why the council doesn’t begin its meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance.

That’s a good question. (Neither does the Platteville School Board.) As appropriate, given the setting, might be an every-meeting reading of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Most of that, of course, has everything to do with what takes place at government meetings,

A graduation speech in five sentences: The winner of our unofficial best commencement speech contest is once again from Platteville High School. David Ababio managed to distill a year’s worth of commencement speeches into five sentences from eight speakers:

“Four score and seven years ago, I had a dream that one day in this decade we would do things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. The only thing we had to fear was fear itself, and through struggle we learned that perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. For courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The best way to guarantee a loss is to quit. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure, but remember this: The complacency of success is the first step to mediocrity.”

From the polls: Recent polls at

What does Memorial Day most mean to you?
•    Remember our war dead: 7.
•    Remember our family’s dead: 3.
•    Honor veterans: 16.
•    The first week of summer: 2. (Certainly not this year.)
•    No work or school: 2.

Some people would find choices four and five, and maybe choice two, inappropriate. It is interesting how much Memorial Day has become a second Veterans Day over the years. Veterans Day, Nov. 11, and the traditional Day of the Dead, Nov. 1, are of course in months with generally terrible weather, so perhaps that’s how we have sort of a second Veterans Day.

Should the Grant County Board chairman lead Grant County?
•    Yes: 11.
•    No, Grant County should have an elected county executive: 22.
•    No, Grant County should have a county administrator: 39.
•    I don’t know: 2.

The poll is unscientific, but a 61–11 edge against having the current county board chair (whoever he or she is) as the county’s de facto top administrative officer seems reasonably definitive.

Do you believe there is more crime in Grant County?
•    Yes: 61.
•    No: 18.
•    I don’t know: 5.

This week’s question focuses on the dispatch centers in Lancaster and Platteville, and whether they should merge or not.