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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Aug. 21
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Closed for business

I’m saddened to inform you that I’m leaving Miners Sports Bistro but glad to say that I’m leaving it in a good hands with good people like Vanessa Berg and Joe Perkins.

I have to say I cherished my time in this beautiful town of Platteville. I had the opportunity to meet some great people to where I could and will call them my friends.

I have to leave so I can spend more time with my kids and family, but if I ever decide to move, I have to say with confidence that Platteville is and will be a place where I could call home and grow old.

I appreciate my landlords Cheryl and Dave Zmina, and Stephany and Mike Becker for the opportunity, along with bartenders Page Powers and Jacob Zilbar, wait staff Casey Elmer and Lauren Bradley, and many, many more.

I will always appreciate Platteville for the support and warmth that you gave to me and my family. To all my customers (locals and university students and faculty members) I hope I can see you soon again, along with all the friends that I made, like Kevin Long and his lovely wife from Tricor Insurance, Chris my neighbor from the jewelry store, the great couple from the coffee shop, Katherine and her husband from Steve’s Pizza, my entertainer Rosalie and Jim Morgan, good old friend Randy from Chicago’s Best and my good old buddy Dale Jacobs and his staff from Dale’s Second Street.

I will always be grateful for the opportunity given.

Tony Zeneli
Former owner, Miner’s Sports Bistro

Not earning salaries

Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Rep. Mark Pocan, and the remaining members of Congress:

You are paid $174,000 per year for being a member of Congress. This puts you in the top 5 percent income level in our country. Five percent is pretty close to the top 1 percent earners who many of you have demonized. With the benefits you receive on top of your salary, your total pay package comes to about $285,000. In stark contrast, your fellow working citizens have an average yearly income of $50,000. You make 3.4 times the amount of money the average American worker does!

Would you explain to us why you sought and received President Obama’s intervention to exempt you and your staff from the mandates of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? And would you explain to us why the unions, businesses and even the staff of the IRS are asking for exemptions from the Obamacare mandates if the Affordable Care Act is so good for the rest of us?

Some congressional members have told us the exemptions given to members of Congress and their staff were needed to prevent a “brain drain” from our government. In a piece entitled, “A Country Founded by Geniuses and Run by Idiots,” Fritz Edmunds tells us why we really should not be too concerned about this possible “brain drain.”

Edmunds says, “If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and being in the country illegally … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.”

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book, but not to vote for who runs your government … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If your government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than 10 rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman or a 3-year-old girl who is confined to a wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched…you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If a 7-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If your government’s plan for getting people back to work is to provide incentives for not working by granting 99 weeks of unemployment checks without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was diligently sought, but couldn’t be found … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV, and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government … you might live in a country founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

When the Affordable Care Act was before Congress, one of your leaders famously said, “We need to pass this bill so we can know what is in it.” Really? We do not think a “brain drain” from Washington would have hurt this country very much, because only idiots vote for bills they have not read. You want your approval rating to go up among the American people?

Don’t be an idiot and exempt yourselves from the very laws you force your constituents to live under. If the legislation you pass is so good for us, then it should be good for you as well!

Michael Mueller

Response to letter

I wish to respond to Spencer Bilderback’s criticisms of the Platteville High School coaching staff (Aug. 14) so that the general public who does not have direct contact with student athletes or the coaches can put his comments in perspective.

First of all, I do not feel that a newspaper is the place to air complaints about an individual coach; that type of complaint needs to be dealt with the administration. Secondly, I do not know how the selection of students for honors takes place, but I do know that to single out one award-winning student in such a way was very unfair.

I began teaching at PHS in 1990 and quickly grew to admire my colleagues for their dedication to students and expertise in their craft. This held true until my retirement in 2010. In 1995, I began to look at them as coaches as well, because our oldest son started his athletic career as a freshman in cross country. Both of my sons participated in cross country, track, baseball and basketball. We as parents and they as students, supported their friends in other sports activities as well as non-athletic extracurriculars such as forensics and music. I sat in many bleachers as a parent and a teacher over my career.

I can say without reservation that the coaching staff in both athletic and non-athletic activities maintained then, and continue to maintain, a high level of commitment to excellence. This excellence can translate to awards and honors. One only has to look at the plaques and pictures that line the entry halls to the high school or on the high school track to see that Mr. Bilderback’s comment that “mediocrity has ruled in Platteville sports” is simply not true. The coaches do see that excellence goes beyond trophies, though, in that they work to develop the character of the students as well as their on-field talents.

I have nothing but praise for the coaching staff in our district. Have I ever disagreed with a decision by a coach? Yes. Did I ever express that concern to my sons? No. The coach was the person on the front lines who needed to have to ability to have the team work according to his or her expectations, and I did not ever wish to undermine their authority.

Our coaches work very hard to make sure that our students perform to the best of their abilities on the public stage and they put in very long hours to accomplish this. Most of them are teachers as well and they also come the next day after a contest to teach history, math and all the other subjects in our schools. Their dual roles as teacher and coach should be a valued one and we are fortunate that so many of our teachers are willing to be coaches. They open themselves up to criticisms that would make many people want to walk away from coaching, and indeed in the past the public has not always been fair with the coaches. This is not healthy for the district, the coaches or the students. We as parents and citizens of Platteville need to support them and not use a public forum to denigrate them as coaches and as people.

My hat is off to all the hard working coaches in our district.

Rosemary Anderson

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.