Let us see this week how long I can string one subject to another by a connection between the two, starting with what starts next week:
Reason #1 to start school after Labor Day: On Monday, nearly every school district in northeastern Iowa, including Dubuque and Western Dubuque, called off schools two hours early because of heat. If you don’t have air conditioning in your classrooms, and most schools don’t, starting school before Labor Day is a good way to start having to make up time in school later in the school year. Which brings up …
School and pool: I always go to the Platteville Family Aquatic Center Doggie Dip because it is the funniest annual event in Platteville. You see dogs that love the water, dogs that want nothing to do with the water (including dogs that you’d think should be water dogs), dogs that want nothing to do with other dogs, and everything in between. There seems an opportunity to increase Doggie Dip attendance given that no other area pool has such an event; the closest I’m aware of is in Prairie du Chien.
The Doggie Dip is the last event at the Family Aquatic Center each year. That’s a sad note (since all of us have one fewer summer left in our lives, with another damnable winter weeks away), but for the last two years the week before school has been accompanied by brutally hot weather, with no opportunity to cool off in the pool. (You don’t really want to cool off in the pool after the dogs have gone swimming, if you know what I mean). I assume the closing date is because of lifeguards’ and employees’ leaving themselves for college, so I don’t know what can be done about that, but the timing is unfortunate. Which brings up …
Doggone it: Some weeks ago the City of Platteville asked whether dogs should be allowed in City Park. Dogs are part of the “Domestic Animals Prohibited” sign on the southeast corner, though I’ve seen enough dogs in City Park to figure out that the ban is not always enforced, probably because the police have better things to do than stake out City Park. Laws that are unenforceable are laws that generally should not exist.
The city should not ban dogs in any park. Dog owners are property taxpayers too, and yet their rights are violated by not being able to take their dogs to a park paid for by their taxes. The, well, number two argument about what dogs do outside is a valid point, except that dog droppings in such areas as, oh, Main Street are prohibited too, and yet some dog owners ignore what ought to be common courtesy. Some people will be irresponsible regardless of what the law requires or bans.
Wittwer vs. Democrats: Speaking of laws, or those who make laws, It’s kind of ironic that Ernie Wittwer won (pending recount) the 17th Senate District Democratic primary by seven votes despite losing in Grant County. That’s ironic because while Bomhack had more votes, Wittwer certainly had more active support, including yard signs and letters on this page.
Of course, it’s also ironic that Wittwer won despite the fact that Democratic Party leadership was underwhelmed with Wittwer to the point of recruiting another candidate, who is now 0 for 2 in Democratic primaries. A letter on this page suggests that candidates need to be “willing to work across party lines to make Wisconsin a better place,” which would be a fine sentiment except for, so far, the lack of difference between Wittwer’s positions and his party’s positions. (Generally in politics, “compromise” is something you think the other side should do.)
One more thought from last week: Darlington Police Chief Jason King’s letter after his loss to Lafayette County Deputy Sheriff Reg Gill may have been the classiest sayonara by a defeated candidate that I have ever read. Losing an election shouldn’t be on the top 50 list of worst things to happen to someone.
Degree of difficulty: It was amazingly hot in the press box at Martens Field in Darlington for Platteville’s season-opening football game Friday afternoon, so I can only imagine how hot it was on the field. (It was hotter than last year’s marathon Dodgeville–Platteville game, which, you’ll recall, was literally as long as a Super Bowl, complete with the 45-minute-long halftime.) And yet I didn’t see one player do the cramp dance, which either means they got to the sidelines, or that coaches and trainers (and the players themselves) did a good job of keeping players hydrated.
Recall that one year ago Platteville had the most difficult schedule in the state, with seven of nine games against teams that made the playoffs. This year, the schedule challenge is not just the opponents (six of nine opponents, including Division 6 finalist Darlington and Division 1 third-round entry Holmen Thursday, were 2013 playoff teams), but the fact that the June 16 EF2 tornado pushed two Hillmen home games to neutral sites, Cuba City Thursday and Potosi Sept. 5.
That will mean, trivia fans, that Platteville will be playing its first home game away from Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium since the Hillmen (and UW–Platteville) moved from Hill Field at Legion Park (where the football field included second base, similar to Packer games at the late Milwaukee County Stadium) 42 years ago. That also means just two Hillmen home games ... unless the Hillmen get the magic three Southwest Wisconsin Conference wins.