City budgets here and elsewhere need to tighten belts and look for ways to gain the maximum good out of all services that a city can offer.
Here in Platteville, we are fortunate to have one area that consistently puts great effort to show a positive working image for Platteville — our public library. If people think that today’s public library is just a collection of books, they need to stop in and see all of the services our library performs.
They provide children’s and family programs, hold tutorials on how to use computers and other electronic resources, and actively participate in the library consortium so that if they do not have a book, it may be found and ordered through another library. Books can be in print, audio recordings or downloaded on an electronic reader. Their online catalog and personal account records allow a person to order a book from their home, and then an email will notify the patron when the book has arrived. For citizens who do not own a computer in their home, the library provides computers for patron use; one of the growing uses of these computers is to do job searches and complete job applications.
The staff continually tries to engage the citizens of Platteville with activities such as constructing a Peeps candy diorama or, my favorite, the summer Bingo reading activity. I am looking forward to the new Bingo game this summer, which challenges the reader to complete 25 books of a variety of genres. The patron entering the library is always greeted with a smile, and can count on the staff to do their best to serve their patrons.
If you have not been to our library for a while, you might be surprised at the worlds that it can open to you. And yes, you can even check out a book.
735 Lutheran St., Platteville
For Memorial Day
Memorial Day will soon be upon us and the nation should remember its veterans, and, for me especially, those who served in World War II. In that conflict, there were 16 million in uniform: 7 million in the Army, 4 million in the Navy, and 600,000 in the Marines (plus the Coast Guard). Casualties of 670,000 included killed, wounded or missing. Those veterans are dying at a rate of 800 per day!
Three of my brothers served during World War II.
Sgt. Gene Shaver entered the Army in 1943. Following basic and advanced training, he arrived at Le Havre, France on Nov. 3, where he would have his last hot shower until Feb. 20, sleeping mostly in frigid foxholes! On Nov. 8, his unit, 3rd Battalion, 99th Infantry Division, was on the front lines, tasked with defending a 6,000-yard front. The Germans attacked on a bitterly cold and overcast Dec. 16, 1944 with shelling, then tanks and infantry. After many intense battles (3rd Battalion sometimes using weapons and ammunition taken off German dead), the Allied High Command declared the Battle of the Bulge ended on Jan. 20, 1945. The 99th was then assigned to George Patton’s 3rd Army (armored) and in the ensuing weeks, liberated 32 towns, sometimes two or three in one day. One of those towns was Buchenwald, a death camp. After the war, Gene held several jobs managing livestock cooperatives. He died on Dec. 7, 2009 at age 87.
Seaman 1st Class Harold R. Shaver was trained in electronics at Navy Pier in Chicago and was assigned as a radio and radar technician on a baby aircraft carrier, the USS Long Island, CVE1. Its planes reportedly aided in the capture of Guadalcanal’s Air Field. As a civilian, Harold graduated from Moody Bible Institute and served 30 years thereafter as a Wycliffe Bible translator. Working among the Nomatsigengua Indians in the high Andes of Peru, he created an alphabet, a written language and then produced translations of the Old and New Testaments. He retired to Flippin, Ariz., where he died on May 23, 2012 at age 87.
Private First Class John D. Shaver entered the Army in late summer 1945. The Pacific warfare had ended, but the Japanese surrender was not until Sept. 2, 1945 on the USS Missouri. John attended the signal school at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and spent the rest of his 18-month shortened term at Fort Lewis, Wash. After attaining his chemistry degree from Western Illinois University, he was a civilian instructor for the Air Force, then a science teacher at Barry High School, followed by earning his doctorate in science education, teaching at Western Illinois University until his retirement. He lives in Macomb, Ill.
Across the nation, numerous veteran recognition efforts have surfaced. Lamentable treatment of Vietnam veterans has finally spurred many museums and other, more local, symbols. In Platteville, the Vietnam Moving Wall was here in 2010. Many Vietnam veterans were applauded and thanked for the first time during the Main Street parade and at the wall itself, set up in the UW–Platteville parking lot. City Park dedicated its wonderful, life-sized, bronze statues representing every war on July 4, 2012, with regional legionaries and other notables represented.
On May 20, 2010, 1,000 motorcyclists left La Crosse bound for Lambeau Field. The next day, joined by others on the way, 1,244 bikers (the number of Vietnam fatalities) arrived in Green Bay. The service at Lambeau Field was attended by 30,000 people from 27 states. Those involved experienced a moving and memorable program. Some closure was experienced by those veterans!
And so we remember.
A bad Walker budget
The proposed state budget is full of controversial provisions and potential long-term consequences on such vital issues as education, health care and the economy. Yet Gov. Walker’s proposal has not received nearly as much attention, feedback and scrutiny as the budget that passed two years ago.
Unfortunately the co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee held just four public opportunities – in communities that represent just two percent of Wisconsin’s total population – for citizens across Wisconsin to tell the committee what they think about the state budget. That’s tied for the fewest number of budget hearings held since at least 1985.
Democratic legislators have been traveling in the state in the past several weeks to give as many people as possible the chance to weigh in on the budget, especially since so few were able to attend the official hearings. We’ve been holding events big and small all across Wisconsin to hear thousands of opinions on the budget – at homes, coffee shops and public town halls.
And that’s why concerned Democratic legislators came to the 49th Assembly District Friday — to gather input directly from Wisconsin’s middle-class families to build a real middle-class budget, one that supports public education, ensures more access to affordable health care and provides Wisconsin families with real economic security while also being responsible with taxpayer dollars.
Too often the wealthiest individuals and lobbyists have the loudest voices at the Capitol — the voices representing the people of Wisconsin deserve to break through and be heard.
We look forward to continue hearing from hardworking families and citizens all over Wisconsin on how we can work together to craft a budget that actually helps Wisconsin’s middle class. The most recent budget was historically bad for working families so it’s more important than ever that we focus on their priorities.
Rep. Peter Barca
Rep. Sandy Pasch
Rep. Janis Ringhand
Rep. Daniel Riemer
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.