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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Feb. 18
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‘Selfish’ legislators

I believe it is obvious our governor has deceived us once again. We are now in debt $2 million; that’s even more than we had four years ago and he certainly does not have an excuse with a Republican lock on the house. He definitely has not balanced the budget. He also said he would not run for president if he were reelected governor. Apparently he has a very short memory because he is more concerned about Washington than Wisconsin.

They are still talking about less taxes, but only for the rich. The rest of us had to pay more because our taxes went up the last two years. They also talk about raising sales tax and gas tax to raise revenue. Well, guess what? Taxes are taxes, and this hurts the poor people more because everything is going up and taking more out of their paycheck. Taking from the poor and giving to the rich is the way of this administration. They recently gave themselves a raise. That is government money too. They take from the schools and other workers and give themselves a raise when they are already getting a very good salary plus health insurance, pensions, mileage, per diem pay and a full-time staff for what amounts to a half-time job!

What the heck is wrong with this picture? They won’t even raise the minimum wage which would actually help to grow the economy. If people had more they could actually buy more and would not need as much support from other programs. They even talk about drug testing and accountability from schools. What a bunch of hypocrites.

There is also a need for term limits and a new map drawn up for redistricting that is fair. If Iowa can do this why can’t Wisconsin? We are also way behind in jobs with a living wage, Minnesota and Iowa are better.

Lincoln freed the slaves and Kennedy and Johnson got equal rights for all so stand up and demand your rights. Demand accountability from this selfish bunch of legislators. The Legislature has taken away laws that were meant to protect our water and environment. Everything is for sale in Wisconsin. There is no truth, value or trust in this legislature. You cannot believe them at all and this goes from the top on down. They are all for sale.

Patricia Hazen

Keep Updike

I am an avid high school sports fan. Quite often I will take advantage of going to games, matches or meets around the area to watch area athletes compete. This past volleyball season, I took the opportunity to attend the Platteville vs. River Valley volleyball match for the Southwest Wisconsin Conference championship. ‘

I was so impressed with the quality and class of the Platteville volleyball team that I decided to travel to watch the regional final match against River Valley. In this match, Platteville was on the brink of having their season end. The Platteville team could have very easily thrown in the towel, but this did not happen. Platteville went on to win the last set and win the regional championship. I was very impressed with the win, but more so the effort, the teamwork and the determination this team showed that night. I even remarked to someone on the way out the door, how I felt the $4 I paid at the door was not enough. Not one single person in that gym that night gave up — not the players, not the coach or even the fans. This team, this family overcame adversity and won.

As I am sure you all are well aware of, the Hillmen went on to win sectionals, and a chance at the state championship, only to lose to the eventual state champs. What a great season! What a great team! What a great coach!

You can’t imagine my dismay when I read in The Journal that “After state trip, volleyball coach may be replaced.” How can this be? How can any team, any coach be that successful if all these accusations are true? What message would you be sending all Platteville students and athletes if Coach Updike is let go?

I am sure everyone made mistakes for this to escalate to this urgency. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has problems. How we deal with these mistakes and problems directly affects happiness and quality of life. Even professional athletes and coaches make mistakes. How we deal with these mistakes is what truly matters. One of the best reasons to support high school athletics is the chance to teach young adults how to deal with adversity. Teaching kids how to deal with adverse situations can provide them with another important life skill.

The recommendation to not renew Coach Updike’s contract seems like a “quick fix” by the superintendent. To perpetuate the idea that a “quick fix” is an actual solution to a problem would be a terrible mistake. A “quick fix” may be an easy route to take in this situation, but very seldom is it the right solution to any problem.

I am sure by the responses to the article in the paper, and the opinions of the overwhelming majority of people in the community, you can see that most people think that the recommendation to not renew is a hasty, if not a poor, decision on the part of the superintendent.

No one can argue the success of this coach as far as win–loss record. To have that kind of success does not come easy. There is a lot of hard work, determination and passion in what you do, to get to this level of success. Who would not like to have these traits rub off on their child? This is exactly what sports in high school teach. I saw nothing but all of these traits along with complete class the nights I attended the matches.

How can anyone claim that playing in a state tournament was not a positive experience? Maybe you should ask the 444 other volleyball teams in the state if they would have liked the chance to be there. Coach Updike helped give these girls a great opportunity. She developed this team into a championship caliber team.

Senior Ashley Budden put it best with her quote from the article, “Bittersweet farewell,” written by Jason Nihles on Nov. 13: “This season was great. We had a blast. We had fun with every win, every game we played and pushed ourselves every single time we played.” It sure sounds to me that this athlete had a very positive experience not only at the State tournament, but the entire season.

Please take the time to interview everyone on this team to find out how they feel about Coach Updike. You will only find negative responses during an investigation if that is all you are looking for! All members should have the opportunity to have input.

I urge the school district not to take the easy route and do the “quick fix.” This board has the opportunity to correct the mistakes by everyone involved with this team. Take the example this team set with its match against River Valley, and don’t throw in the towel on this team, this coach, and the fans. Let all involved work through this. There are many more positives going for this team than negatives. With your help, I am sure these issues can be resolved.

Platteville has a volleyball team that is the envy of many teams through-out the state. This is a direct reflection of Coach Updike. It still takes a great coach for a team to have the kind of success Platteville has experienced under Coach Updike’s term as coach. Make a directive to your superintendent to put an action item on your agenda to renew Yvette Updike’s contract as head coach of the PHS girls volleyball team.

Sue Wehnke

Walker and evolution

Gov. Scott Walker was quite correct in refusing to answer a question regarding his belief in evolution in London last week. The question was inquisitional, irrelevant and immaterial.

The Theory of Evolution is not a single, unified theory, but a vast collection of theories some of which are well-accepted by scientists while others are quite hotly debated. Most politicians are not trained scientists and have little basis for rationally debating the technical aspects of either the physical or biochemical processes which led to the orderly progression of life on Earth. For those interested in a diverse, theistic-oriented, albeit controversial discussion of biochemical evolution, the book Darwin’s Black Box by biochemistry professor Michael J. Behe is highly recommended.

The abuse of science by pseudoscientific political factions is clearly evidenced by the conscription of the science of genetics by the Third Reich to prove to the German people that Jews carried genes for communism, and that the Slavic people and the Gypsies were degenerate, inferior subspecies of the human race who had no place in the glorious, thousand-year Aryan Reich. Even in the 20th century, Nobel laureates, including James Watson (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA) and William Shockley (co-inventor of the transistor), have maintained that intelligence is directly correlative to skin color and darker-skinned people, particularly Negroes, are less evolved, and therefore less intelligent, than lighter-skinned people. I take this that I should enter trivia contests and apply for membership in Mensa and Phi Beta Kappa only during the winter months when my skin is an intelligent fawn-pink and refrain from taking IQ tests or being a contestant on “Jeopardy” during the summer when my patently unhealthy, cancer-baiting habit of sun-worshiping renders my skin a moronic deep-brown color.

What Gov. Walker — or any other person or politician — believes, accepts or subscribes regarding evolution or religion is strictly Gov. Walker’s business.

Dr. David E. Miller

Walker’s UW cuts

Gov. Scott Walker proposes to cut the UW budget by $300 million, coupled with a 13% reduction in state aid for the UW system in the next biennium.  He suggests that the university absorb these cuts by, among other things, increasing the teaching loads of UW professors, presumably by getting by with fewer professors.  Although professors’ teaching loads vary somewhat, depending on rank and research activity, six lecture hours per week is very common.

Unfortunately, Scott Walker hasn’t the slightest idea about a professor’s work load.  Most people only become familiar with a professor’s work load in graduate school while working closely with a faculty adviser.  Preparing a grant proposal to support a research program takes many hundreds of hours, keeping up with the literature, citing the appropriate references, and so on.  And for young assistant professors especially, procuring research funds is an all consuming, formidable task. 

The general public, by and large, has no idea about what goes into supporting a research program.  Having spent an insignificant amount of time in a university community, Scott Walker certainly doesn’t.

Fred Domann

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.