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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Sept. 18
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Support public schools

As the new school year begins, the Platteville Area Retired Educators’ Association, serving Grant County and the Darlington area, commends the educators who serve our schools.

We also commend the parents and other community members who support our schools. Our communities recognize that our schools are the heart and soul of our way of life. The pre-K–12 schools, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, and UW–Platteville are “big business” and servants of our communities.

We urge readers to join with us in advocating for high-quality and effective public education. Writing your local schools and your Assembly representative or Sen. Dale Schultz (R–Richland Center) and expressing your opinion about the good job educators are doing and your point of view regarding school improvement will be appreciated.

PAREA is non-partisan. We recognize all students deserve great schools and that working together as a community is critical.

Tom LoGuidice, President
Jean Sanders, Secretary
Platteville Area Retired Educators Association

Closed Kendall

Inherent in government leadership is the ability to bring out the best in those it governs. Those in such positions should encourage participation and discussion.

Wisconsin has a long and venerable tradition of open, transparent government. The legislature has explicitly promoted the idea that “all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information” and mandates in the Public Records Law that local residents have complete access. Further, Wis. Statute 19.31 states “the denial of public access generally is contrary to the public interest ...”

Sadly, the public interest seems to be given short shrift in the Town of Kendall. Persons who request to be on the agenda to discuss township business may be denied. Most agendas do not have an option for public comments. Those who have questions regarding the spending of taxpayer funds are not permitted to speak. Minutes — read to the board but not the residents — may raise questions that are ignored. The town clerk’s monthly financial report is also scanned by board members during whispered conversations among themselves and out of earshot of residents in the audience.

Sometimes threats and intimidation are meted out. Chairman Micah Bahr threatened to sue writers of letters to the editor, including me. And at the Aug. 12 meeting, the chairman informed someone he would not allow her to speak at future meetings.

What kind of government can long endure when threats, intimidation and suppression of speech are the new norm, the abiding principle of the current town board — Don Christiansen and Jackie Steffes — i.e., that good governance for the Town of Kendall is closed government. The enduring and eternal principle of governance must be that the best government is open government.

Don Schultz
Mineral Point

Pumpkins for Parks

The residents of Livingston have been raising money for a while to replace playground equipment in the village’s parks.

In order to assist with that, I grew some pumpkins and gourds in my garden this year. Tim and Kristi Loeffelholz, owners of the Friendly Place in Livingston, have provided a place to host the pumpkins.

While it was not a good season in my garden for growing large carving pumpkins, if you are looking for some smaller decorative pumpkins or cute “ugly” gourds, please stop by the trailer in front of the Friendly Place and pick some up. There are no prices, but folks are asked to leave a donation for whatever they take. Please be generous; every penny donated will go to playground equipment for the kids. For anyone who has extra pumpkins and would like to donate them to the cause, they can just stop and put them on the trailer with the rest.

Neil Campbell

‘Cowardly crime(s)’

Secretary of State John Kerry probably does not want to remember history, when he speaks about the atrocity in Syria and calling it a “cowardly crime.”

Was it not our government that gassed the children at Waco, and shot in the back a child at Ruby Ridge? These parents were not out destroying property or shooting people, as the protesters were doing in Egypt, Libya and now Syria. They were in their own homes. But our government went in with tanks and gassed those children, just because they could. And “we the people” did not hold anyone accountable.

The man we now have in our White House voted numerous times not to help a little child that survived an abortion. These little babies want to live, but the man in our White House voted no! Couldn’t this be called an atrocity and a “cowardly crime” also?

The Vice President said the Syrians have no “code of morality.” Joe, do we even know what that means anymore?
We have supported and encouraged these uprisings in Egypt, Libya and now Syria, so do you think if we stopped supporting them with millions of our tax dollars, they just might go home and get a real job?

This government-controlled media cascades us with “Oh, the poor children, the poor children,” all the while fueling us up to send our sons and daughters over there, so our kids can be killed.

And the madness continues while “we the people” sit back and accept it.

Sharon Richter

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.