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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Jan. 14
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Democracy 101

Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves of the basics of being a citizen in a democratic society.

It’s easy to overlook, but the most fundamental and powerful tool we have is our vote. Each eligible voter has a single vote to cast. That vote, combined with others of like mind, determines the people that represent us and the policies that are enacted. Regardless of a person’s wealth, education, ethnic background, or family situation, each person has one vote.

As elections come and go, people look for reasons that their candidate lost. As simple as it may sound, a candidate loses because there weren’t enough supporters who made an effort to vote. Good intentions and strong opinions don’t put people in office. Votes do.

As candidates run for office, they have to appeal to the people who are actually going to vote. If you pay attention to the seemingly endless political campaigning that is part of American life, you will notice that politicians are constantly trying to determine where the votes are. They will support laws and policies that are favored by the people who will go to the polls and vote during an election.

If you are a voter, do you have to wait for the next presidential election to make your voice heard? No. The presidential elections get the most attention, but they are not necessarily the most important. Each year there are local elections whose outcomes have a great impact on our everyday lives. Annually there are elections for school boards, county boards, town boards, city councils, and referendum items. The outcomes of those elections will be determined by those voters who become informed about the issues and get out and vote.

If you are an eligible voter, be an active part of the democratic process. Get out and vote.

Gary Munson

New Rotary

I would like to say how proud I am to be a founding member of the Rotary Club of Southwest Wisconsin/Platteville. It’s a nice mix of people from various walks of life looking to give back to their community. Currently we’re working on trying to raise money to achieve a matching grant for the Moving Platteville Outdoors Rountree Trail project. We have done a dine-out night at the Ticket, delivered pies for Thanksgiving, and held a Scrooge contest with Julie Klein of Benvenutos as Platteville’s biggest Scrooge this past year.

Rotary sponsors foreign exchange students both ways, incoming and outgoing. A couple of students who had this opportunity have spoken to our group about their experiences and one of our members was a recipient of this scholarship while she was in school. Another lofty Rotary goal is to eradicate polio worldwide. It might even be achievable in my lifetime — we are that close!

It’s a fun group. We meet the first and third Tuesdays at noon at Benvenutos. We have one other service event each month and a social outing each month.

We are a young club and looking for new members. If you’re interested in seeing more of who and what we are, please join us for lunch.

Jane Leighty

Is this line necessary?

I beseech the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to demand transparency, honesty and accountability to the public in considering arguments justifying the Badger Coulee transmission line proposal.

During technical hearings, one utility expert’s agreement with the needs and benefits was based on reading the applicants’ cover letter. Others danced around grotesque profits that will be made but could not skirt the fact that no economic benefit is guaranteed ratepayers.

American Transmission Co.’s real estate manager claimed to be unaware a route crossed an Amish community even after driving through the state’s largest Amish community near Cashton, to which the judge asked if she’d seen Amish people.

Though utilities use UV-sensitive cameras to detect line losses, only one ATC representative admitted being aware that transmission lines emit UV.  Lawyer moves were so smooth they made it look like a transmission expert recommending against the line was, instead, on their side.

When waging a federal battle to own part of the under-construction CapX2020 line, ATC claimed, “… there can be little doubt that they [Badger Coulee and CapX2020] constitute a unified plan … and thus constitute a single project.”  But, when asked in this case why Badger Coulee wasn’t presented alongside CapX2020, ATC claimed, “… the Badger Coulee project and the CapX2020 projects were not part of a unified project.”

Does the answer depend on the goal of the moment?

It is within this context of contradictory and evasive moves that the PSC should consider arguments being used to justify the need for Badger Coulee.

Deb Severson

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.