By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Letters to The Platteville Journal for Aug. 19
Placeholder Image

‘Platteville philosophy’

Last week I asked the Platteville School Board and administration to explain to me this “Platteville Philosophy” (“Coach departure angers speakers at meeting,” Aug. 12). The reason I did this was because coach Jim Lawinger doesn’t fit that philosophy, so I’m trying to figure out just what is Jim’s shortcoming. He is a former decorated student–athlete who retires and decides to move back to his hometown and give back to the community’s young people. Jim was, and I hope will continue, to train Platteville’s young people, athletics, discipline and lifelong lessons. 

Platteville’s young people had another gentleman just like this years ago in a man by the name of Mac McKichan. I grew up in the Mac McKichan era and am very thankful for what he did for my friends and myself. I am proud of where I grew up, but it pains me to be eating breakfast this week with a gentleman who graduated in the 1950s from Platteville High School who tells he is no longer proud to tell people he is a Platteville alumnus. This gentleman is a former athlete and my guess is that he was probably a pretty good student also. It is unfortunate that I believe he is not the only alumnus feeling this way.

Last year we released a volleyball coach that took us to state, and now we will start this school year by releasing a coach who dedicated his time to two varsity sports. The school administration can continually hide behind statements like we (the public) don’t know the whole story. I believe the intelligent people of this community understand that these two coaches gave a tremendous amount of Platteville and its youth. 

Coaches will always make mistakes, but it seems at Platteville our coaches have to be perfect and they are the only ones who can’t learn from their mistakes. The coaches deserve better than what this Platteville administration gave them. 

So to all the former and continuing Platteville coaches, thank you for all the great lessons you provide our youth and also the entertainment on the court/field.

Curt Timlin
Platteville High School Class of 1985

A hall of fame coach

This letter is in support of Jim Lawinger, girls basketball and softball head coach at Platteville High School. I played football with “Louie” in high school, followed his athletic career at UW–Platteville, and noted his very successful coaching career in multiple sports in the Milwaukee suburbs. This is a coaching career that spans more than 40 years of helping student-athletes achieve as teams  and develop as young adults. Incidentally this career led to Jim’s induction in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.  

I am certain that Coach Lawinger brings a level of passion and knowledge for his sports, as well as a depth of commitment to the overall welfare and development of each student-athlete that is at the very highest level in the coaching/teaching profession. It’s been said that the really good coaches don’t coach sports, they coach people. When you look at Jim Lawinger’s career as a high school coach you will find that he has done exactly that, and done it with remarkable and consistent success. 

If my daughter was in high school, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have coaching her than Jim Lawinger. Platteville High School, you’ve got a gem of a coach in this man; you’ll be well served to keep him around.

Terry Kramer

Kramer is an assistant wrestling coach at Madison La Follette High School, and formerly was the assistant and head wrestling coach at Fort Atkinson High School.


Challenge decisions

Although Platteville Public Schools Superintendent Valenza stated inaccuracies to the letter to the editor “Volleyball Awards” Aug. 5, I would like to know specific information that was inaccurate. Superintendent Valenza felt it was important enough to respond with a letter to the editor. She took the time to state inaccuracies; however, she failed to state what the inaccuracies were. After rereading the letter to the editor “Volleyball Awards” published July 22 and confirming with several individuals that were directly involved, I find no inaccuracies in that letter.

As a taxpayer and retired Platteville Public Schools educator, it troubles me to find that a superintendent would take the time to write a half-hearted apology to the student–athletes. I read this as a cover-up of her personal agenda to dismantle certain athletic programs within the school district. Superintendent Valenza’s apology I am sure smoothed over a hostile situation; however, what part did she play in correcting this? I still wonder where the WIAA Sportsmanship certificate, which was awarded to the Platteville school/community, is to this day.

When addressing philosophies and policies in last week’s newspaper, Superintendent Valenza states politics but nowhere can I find what Platteville’s philosophy is regarding athletics and athletic coaches. The mystery still remains!

Superintendent Valenza’s statement says policies apply to all staff including coaches who aren’t teachers. I have to question if these policies and ethics apply to our administrators. For instance, is it ethical for our superintendent to direct the local newspaper to make an open records request on one of its employees, withhold employees’ district mail, or not to follow the chain of command established by the Platteville schools?

In light of the recent dismissal of yet another successful coach, I strongly urge citizens to become active and challenge these recent administrative actions. Please talk to the officials we elected to serve us on the Platteville School Board.

Sue Wehnke


The real Dickey

I would like to clarify two things. You mentioned the Town of Paris and wasn’t quite such where it was located (“The unincorporated,” Aug. 12).

The city of Paris was recorded in 1839 when Wisconsin was still a territory. It was recorded in Iowa County Book G page 61. Streets were 40 feet wide with the exception of Main, Grant and Menomony streets, which were 50 feet wide. Blocks were laid out 50 feet in front on 100 feet depth. Of course there were three exceptions which were 40 feet in front and 125 feet depth. Marshal DeTantabaratz founded and recorded this city. He had financial difficulties and hanged himself in 1842. The city became extinct shortly thereafter. The site was behind Badgerland Auto Sales and Service, 4624 Highway 61/35, on the road between Dickeyville and Tennyson/Potosi. It had a landing for the steamboats that came off the Platte River. The city was located by the conjunction of the Little Platte and Big Platte rivers. 

The second item is the letter written by Mary McDonald Gershon Aug. 12. After reading the submission, I called Mary to find out where that information came from. She told me she writes fiction stories and that is what she did with this article entitled “Which Dickey?”

How Dickeyville really got its name: The Village of Dickeyville is named after Charles Dickey and was originally called Dickeysville. Mr. Dickey was an early settler (1841), operated the first store at the intersection where the old U.S. 151 and U.S. 61 segregated. He was also an assistant surveyor for Grant County, held county offices including the County Coroner, and was a member of the County Board of Supervisors. He established the post office in Dickeysville in 1849 and was a Justice of the Peace for the Town of Paris, the town chairman for six years, and assessor for two years. He was a Civil War veteran, enlisting in Company I of the 10th Wisconsin Infantry. He was a corporal when discharged because of his disability on Dec. 24, 1862.

The family moved to Kansas in 1872. He established a post office in Dickeyville, Kan., but it was short lived. It became connected to Phillipsburg, Kan. Charles Dickey died in 1902 at the age of 90 and is buried in Phillipsburg.

Karen Reese


High gas prices

The petroleum industry would like you to believe that the recent $1 gasoline price spike is due to a problem at one refinery and is a rare occurrence affecting what is normally a “free market” system. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Because America has not built an oil refinery since 1977, the oil companies are able to manipulate prices by holding back production of refined petroleum products pretty much anytime they want.

Thankfully, over the last decade a glimmer of hope has developed for consumers. America’s ethanol industry has built 170 biorefineries since the year 2000. Together, they produce almost 15 billion gallons of motor fuel at a price that is lower than gasoline — even in the best of times for oil prices.

Ethanol is 100 percent renewable and 100 percent made in America. Ethanol also has an octane of 113, as opposed to the typical 84 octane of gasoline. With enhanced octane, engines run better, which is why 62 percent of new cars can run on E15, not just E10.  

Automakers see the benefits of higher octane for consumers, but oil companies refuse to allow the many “branded” stations under their control to sell E15. They also spend millions lobbying politicians for the repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard so they can keep their stranglehold on retail pricing. The RFS is the only policy which allows market access for our fuels to the consumer.

On Aug. 14 wholesale gasoline sold for $2.71 — almost exactly $1 higher than just a few days ago. Ethanol is priced at $1.43 and has not moved appreciably with the gas spike.

Without ethanol in the marketplace, the price spike would have been much more severe. If we had more E15 in the marketplace, the price spike would have been noticeably less severe.

Remember that the next time you hear someone repeating the petroleum industry’s line about “free markets.” For oil companies, free markets mean markets controlled by them and higher prices for you.

Erik Huschitt
President, Wisconsin BioFuels Association

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 determines 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. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.