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Letters to The Platteville Journal for May 20
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The old dividing line

One opinion regarding the razing of a block of valuable commercial property next to the UW–Platteville campus, thus close to UW–Platteville’s Karrmann Library, is the inclusion of a hotel to serve mostly campus needs. This is like the recent creation of a bus/van service to transport students, and the public, and thus cover up the mistake of siting a dorm without providing enough off-street parking.    

At one time Platteville officials insisted there be no UW–Platteville facilities in the area between Hickory and Chestnut streets. Campus development thus went to the west while the Hickory Street buffer was in place. Unfortunately, our city officials seemed to forget the principles of good land-use planning when they had to deal with alternative proposals.

Walt. Hannan, P.E. 

Hannan was the UW–Platteville campus planner from 1945 to 1960.

A vote for tickets

We have served cheese curds at Platteville Dairy Days for several years. When we first learned of the Dairy Day Committee’s plan to move to a ticket system, we naturally had some concerns. However, we did come to understand and appreciate the committee’s issue in obtaining from food vendors its percentage of vendors’ receipts in a timely manner.

We subsequently found the ticket system to work smoothly and to actually help our bottom line. We did not experience any significant ticket problems with our cheese curd customers. We found the system to be quite efficient and save us the trouble of calculating our gross and net profits. So we found the new program to be convenient and actually help offset the very significant increase in our cheese curd cost.

Ken Kamps
Secretary/treasurer, Platteville Breakfast Optimist Club


Save bees, ban Roundup

The whole world seems to be learning how important honeybees are to our environment and that our honeybees and other insects are having problems surviving. Because of this lately there has been a big push to ban neonictinoids to save our honeybees. However, this action is missing the real culprit, glyphosate; the main ingredient in Roundup. But Monsanto, which makes Roundup, is so huge and powerful that no University researchers want to go against the company’s statements that Roundup only affects plants.

Roundup is the real cause of CCD in honeybees. I have been studying the effects of Roundup on honeybees for 20 years. It makes the field force, those adult bees that are collecting the nectar and pollen, so sick that they do not return to the hive. Honeybees know that if they die in the hive other bees will have to waste time carrying out their dead bodies, so if possible a honeybee will die away from the hive. But before they die they will unknowingly make a couple of trips bringing some of the contaminated honey and pollen back to the hive, which is converted into royal jelly in a gland in the worker bee’s head, is fed to the young larvae, and kills them.

If the queen is laying many eggs a day she has to be fed a lot of royal jelly. If the royal jelly is contaminated too much it will kill her. Within three days all the older bees, which are the hive’s field force, will have died out in the field, and cannot return to the hive. Because so much food is needed in the hive the younger adult bees will try to take over their older sisters’ jobs and become field bees, and they too, do not return to the hive after a few trips to the field. So the population of bees in the hive rapidly decreases. The young larvae are all being killed by the contaminated food and the queen may be killed if she is fed too much of it. So we have a case of CCD. The population of honey bees in a hive has crashed with no dead bees being seen near the hives.

Most of the adult bees are gone, the young larvae are killed, and if the queen is also killed, the colony has no way of producing a new one. This can all happen in a matter of three days. Sometimes the queen will abscond or leave the hive, with only a few hundred of her workers that are still alive, but their chances of survival are almost nil.

Many of the combs which remain in the hive are contaminated with glyphosate from the dead larva in the cells and the contaminated honey and pollen that was stored in the cells, so much so that new bees may not use them. A new swarm will not even consider moving into the hive and wax moths and other insects do not enter the hive as well. They seem to know the comb is bad for them. The contaminated combs may force a new package of bees, which has been placed in the hive, to abscond or leave, rather than try to live with the contamination. Or they just may not use some of the combs that are contaminated.

In fact, some combs get so “hot” chemically that the bees don’t want to even walk on them. If there is no other room in the hive the bees may actually try to tear the combs apart and build new combs. But this takes lots of bees for as the bees tear apart the comb they get sick and leave the hive to die, so they just drop the pieces of old comb to the bottom of the hive, where other bees will cover it with propolis. If this happens the population of bees in the hive may not increase as normal or it may gradually decrease, if the bees cannot produce young at a faster rate than the other adults are prematurely dying.

But honeybees are not the only insects affected by Roundup. It kills most all of the insects that are in the sprayed field or nearby. Before these insects die they will have glyphosate in the their bodies and insect eating birds that feed on those insects die as well. That is why brown thrashers, catbirds, bluebirds, goldfinches, orioles, flycatchers, wrens, chimney swifts, and blackbirds will disappear as well after a field has been sprayed with Roundup.

In other countries it has been proven that glyphosate is moving through the food chain working its way all the way up to humans mother’s milk. But in this country no one even looks for glyphosate in other insects, birds, mammals, amphibians, or even humans. Could this be the same problem that our bald eagle is facing as it, too, is having trouble with its reproduction? Could glyphosate or Roundup be the DDT of the 21st century, working its way through our whole food chain?

We need to ban Roundup now before it is too late. As we now know, glyphosate bioaccumulates in the environment, and we have just learned that it is also carcinogenic. Perhaps it may already be too late!

Terrence N. Ingram
President and executive director, Eagle Nature Foundation, Ltd.
Editor and publisher, Small Beekeepers Journal
Apple River, Ill.


EMS questions

On Tuesday, May 26 the Platteville Common Council plans to vote to transfer the control of the Platteville EMS operations from the city to Southwest Health. This will be a 20-year contract. The hospital will eventually provide a paid paramedic service rather than the ambulance service we are now provided through the city and a volunteer EMT squad.

Questions that concern me are: At this point in time, if I fall and break my hip and need to be conveyed by ambulance to the hospital, the costs could range from $650 to $800 depending on the level of care I require. If this happens in the future, what will the cost be when my care needed is the same but I am conveyed by the paramedic service provided by the hospital?

Of the approximately 1,300 ambulance calls that could be received by our current EMS during 2015, how many of these calls would require a paramedic ambulance service?

City staff reports that revenue and expenses for our current EMS system were budget neutral — income equals expenses. When the new plan begins the city and the townships will be paying to the hospital a support fee of $130,000 to $150,000 per year for most of the years while the contract is in effect. What will this support fee be used for? How much control, if any, will the city and the townships have over the use of this money and the paramedic service?

Jessie Kilian 


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. “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.