On the DNR DNR list
I am one of the “pests” on the Department of Natural resources “blacklist” (the DNR’s Do Not Respond list). I spent much of my adult life managing and improving trout resources in Grant, Richland and Lafayette counties as a DNR fish manager. The number of trout streams and miles of trout water roughly doubled during the 20 years I worked in these counties and the trout population in the 150 trout streams in these counties is 20 times greater now than it was in 1972 when I began working in this area.
What has been the DNR regulatory response to this remarkable transformation? There has been no response. This was very unprofessional. I and others have complained for years about this bad management but nothing has changed.
In 1990, the DNR created 1,000 special trout rules to (supposedly) improve trout populations. No comprehensive research program was created to determine whether these rules worked or failed. This too was very unprofessional. The only major impact these rules had was they “pushed” tens of thousands of bait fishing keep and eat anglers out of trout fishing.
After the 2002 season the DNR terminated 546 of these rules. Again, I and others have spent years complaining that the remaining special rules are excessive and unnecessary. The fact that new Fisheries Director Justine Hasz has as one of her goals to simplify trout rules shows that she too understands that most of these rules are unnecessary.
I welcome any DNR or private response.
Hazen for Hillary
To the people who said Hillary Clinton is dishonest and gave a list of reasons that included her husband’s affair, I say she is a strong woman who stood by her husband. Many other presidents had affairs, including Thomas Jefferson, Grover Cleavland, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. Many of our Congressmen and senators have had affairs also. It just wasn’t talked about as publicly then.
All they want is to sling mud because they know that Hillary is the most qualified candidate for the presidency. She has been investigated and questioned for 11 hours for the Benghazi tragedy, which cost taxpayers $349,000. She has also been investigated for using her phone while she was secretary of state for texting and emails. It has been determined that Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell also used their phones in the same capacity when they were secretary of state. In both cases nothing was found to be wrong. These incidents were brought to everyone’s attention to damage her reputation and character. They want to put doubt in the minds of voters who do not know the truth.
Republicans are spreading these lies because they want to stay in office and control Congress. They also want a Republican president so they can cut Social Security and Medicare. These programs are vital to the elderly middle class. We have paid in to these programs based on what we make, so why don’t the wealthy have to do the same?
Hillary wants to help our economy by raising the minimum wage, women’s rights, equal pay for equal work, education and the climate by protecting our water and air quality. We cannot let big money run American democracy. It belongs to everyone.
Vote to Amend
It seems that during every election cycle our talk turns to the money in politics. But just as in our conversations about the weather, everyone complains about it, but no one does anything about it. Well, although we still can’t change the weather, this April we have a chance to do something about the money in politics.
In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as people, allowing them to contribute unlimited funds to political campaigns in a decision referred to as Citizens United. The result has been that billions of dollars (yes, billions) are being spent on a presidential election. I’ve not met a single individual who thinks this is a good idea.
On April 5 the citizens of Platteville will have an opportunity to vote on a local referendum which, if passed, will put our city on record to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United. The amendment basically says that corporations are not people and money is not speech. The referendum also directs our city council to tell our state and federal legislative representatives to pursue the passage of such amendment. Sixty city and town governments in Wisconsin have already done so, and across the country, sixteen state legislatures have called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. If we want to preserve some semblance of a democracy, we simply can’t allow a handful of CEOs and multi-billionaires to run our campaigns.
I hope you agree with me that we must put an end to this obscene spending in political campaigns. Although we still won’t be able to change the weather, we can help get the ball rolling on this important Constitutional amendment.
The cost of justice
Town of Kendall officials appear to be dominated by miserliness when it comes to justice. Ray McDonald served as town clerk for 38 years. In the current circuit court controversy, the board, after five long years, refuses to pay him $265 in postal expenses. That $265 figures out to approximately $7 a year. Compare this with the thousands of dollars the town is spending on legal fees as an outgrowth of this dispute.
Digging their heels in, officials continued to refuse to pay Mr. McDonald, even after a warning from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The matter was referred to the Lafayette County district attorney, who issued a summons to town chairman Micah Bahr to appear in court March 7.
The issue is now being fought by Kendall officials with a date of March 21 for the next go round. One of the township’s attorneys, Holly Wilson, who charges $170 per hour, represented Mr. Bahr last week.
According to the minutes from the April 23, 2013 meeting, the amount of Mr. McDonald’s postal claim was subtracted from his paycheck. Wisconsin statutes say it’s illegal to withhold payment from an elected employee’s pay. The amount owed to Mr. McDonald is now doubled to $530 by the WDWD.
There is far too much money being spent on legal fees. In 2015, the imbroglio with the Darlington Fire Department cost more than $6,000 and will keep growing once the lawsuit is filed. The lawsuit to remove an Amish farmer’s driveway is costing more than $4,000, and will increase with the June 2 motion hearing. Violating state statues is a serious matter.
But the overriding issue is the unprincipled behavior of Kendall officials. Residents should demand justice for our former clerk.
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