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Letters to The Platteville Journal for April 29
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Down on design

This letter is a response to the Library Block “makeover” (April 22).

We ask: Is this truly the best Platteville can do? The current architectural proposal does not blend with our historic district. We count four simple, subtle changes from the initial design! It is ludicrous to call this a makeover.

As long-term residents in our downtown historic district, we are disappointed. The shoebox design for the Library Block lacks creativity … lacks beauty … lacks charm. Please take a long look at your proposal! Ask yourself: How does this blend with any historic district … anywhere?

Platteville has a history of demolishing many historic buildings in the recent and remote past. This is our opportunity as a community to construct a library block for which we can be proud. If not now, when?

Paul Mariskanish, M.D.
Jennifer Long

1.5 million cookies

This is what a girl can do: In five short weeks, together with her Badgerland Girl Scout sisters, she can sell 1.5 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies!

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is an important activity because it provides troops and girls the opportunity to undertake service projects, go to camp, to travel and embark on so many exciting adventures available to Girl Scouts.

This is what a community can do: You and your neighbors purchased 1.5 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year. This program gives girls both the financial ability to widen her horizons and many practical skills she’ll apply in her day-to-day life. When you bought your Thin Mints from a Girl Scout, you helped her learn the program’s five essential skills: decision-making, goal-setting, interpersonal communications, money management and business ethics. I think you’ll agree those are qualities we want our youth to possess as they grow into tomorrow’s leaders.

This is what a volunteer can do: In February and March, adult volunteers helped 7,143 Girl Scouts sell 1.5 million boxes of cookies. Badgerland Girl Scout volunteers ordered cookies, scheduled booth sales, tracked the dollars and performed all the tasks necessary to make sure the cookie business operated smoothly at the troop level. And, somewhere in between, the volunteers made sure their Girl Scouts were having fun and achieving their goals while participating in this most iconic of American girl programs. The Cookie Program could not happen without the amazing volunteers and Girl Scout families who invest so much time and energy to ensure its success. Thank you Girl Scout volunteers for modeling for your girls exactly what leadership looks like!

This is what we can all accomplish when we work together with a singular mission: To build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Thank you for helping Girl Scouts achieve.

Marci Henderson
CEO, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland Council

More money for WPR

I am writing as president of Wisconsin Public Radio Association, the citizen support organization for Wisconsin Public Radio. I come to this role as a listener, viewer and unabashed fan of WPR and Wisconsin Public Television before I became a donor, fundraiser and advocate.

Through the efforts with Friends of Wisconsin Public Television and WPRA, I have come to understand how excellent and how unique our public broadcasting system is in comparison to peer organizations around the country. I know this because I’ve talked with station staff and volunteers from other states. I learned that WPR is where public radio began and that WPT was among the first public television stations in the country. I learned that WPR and WPT are a creative, effective and efficient partnership of the Educational Communications Board and UW–Extension to best serve our state.

Public radio and television have made enormous contributions to our state, preparing young children for school, teaching students in the classroom and beyond, preserving and sharing our state’s history and culture, informing vital issues of the day and entertaining us during “recess periods.” And they’re the backbone for our safety system including Amber Alerts.

I am proud that WPR and WPT maintain a dialogue with communities around the state — not just assuming they know local issues and concerns, but meeting with people across the state to hear firsthand. I am proud of the educational programming for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. I am proud of programs like The PBS NewsHour, Masterpiece Theatre, Morning Edition and All Things Considered. All these programs are brought to you through your annual, sometimes monthly, donations that pay for all these wonderful programs WPR and WPT bring into our state. And I am proud of the public private partnership that brings state funding and your donations to WPT and WPR. We work hard to bring that community support to the service.

All this is possible through a terrific public–private partnership that provides all of us with exceptional service, and exceptional value from investments from all sources. That terrific public private partnership is being challenged significantly by proposals being considered as part of the 2015–17 state budget. Proposals to significantly reduce the budget of the Educational Communications Board will drastically affect the ability to provide the high level of public broadcasting that has become a cornerstone of our state reputation. The loss of funding and reassignment of personnel will drastically affect the ability of the Educational Communications Board to provide infrastructure support and educational services that benefit everyone in Wisconsin.

I invite you to join us in an effort to reduce the crippling budget cuts in the first draft of Wisconsin’s next budget. Help sustain the sound, essential investment in WPT and WPR that serves our listeners, viewers, teachers and students by contacting your legislators and telling them to continue the state funding of public broadcasting.

Dean R. Dietrich

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.