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Platteville Journal Letters for Dec. 12
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‘Farmer of the land’?

We hope Rep. Travis Tranel will be a true “farmer of the land” as he indicated in his run for a second term as our representative. A farmer works to preserve and protect the land.

We feel there are many things to consider before changing any bills already in place, such as the mining bill. Please consider what the changes will be in the future for the environment, our water quality, the life and health of all Wisconsin citizens and the asthetic beauty of our state. Will lessening restrictions in the mining bill benefit the people of Wisconsin or the mining companies most?

The minerals have been here for thousands of years. Take the time and research the long-term outcome. Hastily made decisions are often times regretted later!

We expect Rep. Tranel to support and vote for the good of his constituents and the State of Wisconsin.

Al and Linda Mezera

Drivers can’t see walkers

This subject has been on my mind for a long time. It has to do with walkers, joggers and bikers who like to do their activity in the dark, regardless of fog, snow, rain, ice, or other vision or control limiting conditions.

I deliver the newspaper in the early hours of the morning and on many occasions have narrowly missed people who are inappropriately dressed for conditions. By this I mean little or no reflective material, lights or warning of any kind. These are people who are running/biking/walking “on” the back roads, around the mound, on dark narrow side streets, many times when there are perfectly good sidewalks available to run on (bikes excluded). There are many fine running and riding trails available all around our area.

A very recent example: my wife was driving around the Mound last week when out of the very thick fog a jogger appeared. Although dressed in blaze orange, he had no reflective material on and in the fog, he wasn’t visible until the last moment. At this point he was on the opposite side of the road. But my wife had to return down the same road and feared running into this man who would now be on the same side of the road as she was on. She missed him, but had she not known that he was there, who knows what would have happened.

Although the law gives pedestrians the “right of way,” it’s time we made laws for those who are using roadways for other activities, especially at night. In all states that I know of, bicycle laws require front and rear lights, but the law needs to be enforced and the lights need to be brighter and more visible. And with the new technologies in reflective and lighted clothing, walkers, joggers and pet-walkers need to be “required” to wear sufficient reflection and lighting to be plainly seen at a distance, when they are on the roadways. If we do this, maybe we can stop some of these useless car/pedestrian/bike tragedies.

Many people in the Platteville area think nothing of walking/jogging wearing dark “black, gray, brown or blue” clothing. Think about it, people. Dark clothing at night with no lights or reflectors on you is an accident waiting to happen.

Please, even though there are currently no laws in effect to protect you, please protect yourselves! Parents, if your kids are riding their bikes at night, even trick bikes, make sure, no matter how much they argue, that they have lights and reflectors on them. Police, please aggressively enforce the laws we have in effect for bikes and people in roadways.
Remember, a car is going to win the battle against your body, every time. Take all precautions to protect yourself.

Ken Sundwall
30972 County X, Platteville

Main Street vs. dot-coms

With the holiday season upon us the stores and malls are full of shoppers looking for that special gift for loved ones. And while local retailers are still the preferred outlet for Christmas shoppers, Internet sales continue to grow dramatically. Early estimates for 2012 show a whopping 20-percent increase over last year in Internet shopping in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin retailers welcome the opportunity to cater to the needs of our customers both on the Internet and at our stores. Wisconsin customers pay all state and local taxes whether they purchase in store or through the Internet from Wisconsin retailers.

Current Wisconsin law requires state and local taxes to be paid for any purchase made on the Internet. Online-only retailers however, are exploiting a massive loophole in the system and aren’t collecting sales tax at the point of sale despite that fact that the tax is still due.

Wisconsin retailers must compete in an unfair market place with on-line retailers, costing the state not only lost sales tax revenue but Wisconsin jobs. We urge Gov. Walker and legislators to put Wisconsin first and deliver more jobs for Wisconsin by treating out of state online retailers the same as in state retailers.

Gov. Walker and legislative leaders have made job retention and creation a top priority in Wisconsin and we applaud them for advancing legislation to build Wisconsin’s economy. However, we can do more to support Wisconsin business. It makes no sense for Wisconsin to give out-of-state Internet companies an advantage over in-state business. Online-only retailers don’t collect the tax, leaving that responsibility with their customers who are not aware of the law and in most cases do not comply, leaving customers with a potentially significant unpaid tax liability.

Out-of-state Internet companies employ nobody in Wisconsin, pay no taxes in Wisconsin and give back nothing to local communities or charities in Wisconsin. It is time to put an end to this ridiculous unfair advantage out of state internet companies exploit over Wisconsin business.

Joe Pankratz
President, Wisconsin Jewelers Association

Walker’s ‘listening’

In late November, Gov. Walker announced that he would be traveling around the state to discuss his legislative agenda and upcoming budget. Newspaper articles reported he would be speaking with workers and business executives.

I was interested in knowing if he’d be in the Platteville area and whether I could attend one of his “listening” sessions so I called the governor’s office. The phone rang and rang and rang, but no one answered. So the following day I went online to the governor’s office website and filled out the “contact us” form with my request for information. After three days passed with no response, I decided to try the phone number one more time. This time the call was answered — by a recorded message stating I could leave my message or opinions. Again, I left my request for information along with my name and phone number. That was a week ago. Still no response, still no information about whether I might attend a “listening session.”

I think it’s fairly clear Gov. Walker isn’t interested in listening. The fact that he’s holding these sessions at businesses says a lot. He’s handpicking his audience to ensure that his message isn’t questioned or challenged. For those of us that aren’t employed, the door is obviously not open to his “listening sessions.”

In recent days the legislative leaders have announced their new committee chair appointments. Once again it’s clear that the governor and the Republican leadership in this state are preparing an assault on Wisconsin’s middle class and poor citizens. I know that we are all tired of politics, but unfortunately here in Wisconsin we aren’t able to take a rest. If the governor has his way, we will become a state without strong public schools, with low wage jobs, and an environment that even Illinois residents will shy away from visiting.

Don’t allow this to happen. Let our representatives and state senators know we haven’t fallen asleep.

Donna Swanson
5940 Stanton Road, Platteville

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.