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Platteville Journal Letters to the Editor for July 11
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The Platteville Veterans Honor Roll dedication ceremony was just simply said “awesome.”

Remembering our men and women who have served and are serving with a tribute to their sacrifices and service to our great country on Independence Day in Platteville with prayer hit my heart.

Just two days before the dedication a letter came from my son. Since arriving back from Afghanistan, he has been going through an Army Ranger leadership training session to learn survival skills while conducting missions in different climates. My son is going through his final phase as I write this letter, which includes jumping out of an airplane into the Florida swamps conducting missions for a few weeks. He says they will get two MREs a day and about two hours of sleep a night. He reminded me in his letter that he has been going to church in the field every time the chaplain comes.

Before my son was deployed I attended a presentation from an Army chaplain who just came back to our great country from Afghanistan. It was clear the dedication this chaplain showed was sincere and a priority. He informed us that at times he had a very difficult time, especially when a soldier died or was severely injured. The chaplain knew his work of just providing a time for the soldiers to pray with him, or a listening ear was beneficial to our soldiers’ spirit.

The prayers said at the Veterans Honor Roll dedication is a great tribute to all our soldiers and chaplains serving right now, and preparing to deploy. Please keep the prayers flowing; my son will be deployed again in October, and our very own National Guard 229th soon.

Lori Erschen Bahr

Erschen’s Florist, Platteville

Suffering in the heat

The last two weeks have been very hot. While patiently waiting for rain, the pair of Canadian Geese that make Platteville their home watch as the water slowly dries up where they live. At stake are the lives of the six young cygnets they are raising. These Canadian Geese have returned to Platteville year after year to raise their family in a safe and friendly environment. A lot of residents, like me, watch with pride and interest each year as these young geese grow and flourish.

The location chosen by this lifelong bonded pair is the retention pond at the Walmart store. When the water started drying up in late June, I contacted the City of Platteville for assistance. I was advised the city could not, or would not, assist by adding water. The manager of the water department gave me the phone number of the DNR and I was advised to contact Walmart. He also suggested that I attend the Common Council meeting that was being held that night.

I went to Walmart and spoke with the manager, Mike. He called me back later the same day and said management had agreed they would fill the retention pond; however, the Compliance Department would have to approve this.

That night I attended the Common Council meeting. I spoke of the need for water for the geese. I talked about the city’s refusal to help. I advised them of the Walmart decision and let them know Mike would call the city when approval was received from the Compliance Department. The next morning Mike called me and said the Walmart Compliance Department (from a different location) had refused permission.

I tried contacting the Department of Natural Resources Dodgeville office for assistance. They forwarded my request to the Boscobel office and I got a call from Dan. He advised it was not their practice to help a single family of Canadian Geese. He said they might survive for a while with no water as long as there was dew. However, he agreed that in this weather, there is no dew in the mornings.

The adult geese can leave in order to survive, but they will not do so until all the babies have died; one by one, until all are gone. Then and only then will the parents abandon this nesting side – until next year.

I am writing this letter in the hope that knowledge of their plight might generate some interest among the people who live in Platteville to try and help the geese. I am trying one last time to help get water for the Platteville family. And they are a Platteville family. This is, and has been their summer home for years.

These geese are not a threat to anyone and have chosen a safe spot to raise their young. Unfortunately, when the weather is dry the young geese cannot exit the pond for water because they cannot fly. The water that remains in the pond is brackish and only inches deep. The water is muddy and getting too warm. Time is short without rain for these young geese. By the time you read this letter the water may already be gone.

The City of Platteville has a real opportunity to enhance the city’s image. Many Wisconsin cities and towns have been adopted by wildlife of one kind or another. They come to raise their families and return year after year. Some areas have geese; some have swans, or other unusual residents. Visitors stop to see these wildlife ambassadors of good will. Platteville can take advantage of an unusual occurrence to add warmth and caring to the cities image. Just one more reason that can help make Platteville a nice place to live. Use this unusual Platteville family to enhance our image. It is a nice picture.

Sandra K. Miller


‘Decline and dismay’

Our nation has been in a state of decline and dismay for the past five years, and in an acute disarray for the past 3½ years under the Obama imperial presidency. Despite Obama’s multi-trillion-dollar expenditures our nation keeps falling farther down the ladder of expectations until half the population is receiving some kind of federal dole.

The Presidency and the Congress have failed to resolve the nation’s economic problems, nor have they found jobs for the more than 8 percent of the population that is seeking gainful employment. It is time to concede this failure and to empower the governors of our 50 states so they can do what must be done to recover from this national disaster. It is time to recognize our nation is a Republic, not a Democracy, and that many of the states are succeeding where the nation is not. It is surely time to try something unique and different.

Walt. Hannan

515 Barber Ave., Livingston