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Platteville Journal Letters to the Editor for July 18
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Recalling the recall

In a speech the other day, former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold assured the recallers that Gov. Scott Walker would have lost if only the kids were still in school and if the parents hadn’t taken that “darn” vacation. So the timing was wrong, that’s why the recall failed?

Not to be outdone, he then assured the Walker supporters that “Gov. Walker should be allowed to finish the term he was elected to.” Too bad it wasn’t said before they spent thousands of taxpayer dollars.
Isn’t this kind of strategy, pandering to both sides, a maneuver reserved for someone coming up for re-election?

Gov. Walker alone stood up against an onslaught of attacks to balance our Wisconsin’s budget, while some in his own party spoke out against him. Because of their actions, it no doubt fueled the recallers. We need to hold them accountable.

According to Mr. Feingold, the recall was a “liberal political tactic.” Does that mean in political speak, when your side fails, you are at liberty to tack to the other side?

Sharon Richter


The Platteville Bank

The City of Platteville now has an additional title as of the July 10 Common Council meeting. The new title will be the City of Platteville “Commercial Loan Center.”

At the meeting our city council loaned two private businesses approximately $467,757.

If the businesses default, guess who pays for these loans? The city council passed these loans with one dissenting vote.

Nor has the city council taken any personal responsibility for these monies. It will then be your and my responsibility to repay these loans.

This is your city council in action.

Michael Mayo


Mayo ( is a candidate for the Common Council.

Telephone rates

I’ve often wondered why all the large utility companies have an office in Madison. Now I know. It’s easier for their lobbyists to have a sleepover with our Legislators when they want a bill passed to their benefit.

Earlier this year, our Legislators passed Wisconsin Act 22, which deregulated all telephone companies, giving them the right to raise our rates as much and as often as they want, without any Public Service Commission regulation.

The ink wasn’t dry on the paper before TDS, our phone company, sent a flyer, saying they were raising our land line phone rates by $4.04 a month — from $15.48 to $19.52 — and the total talk package from $30.98 to $35.02. This is a 23 percent raise and is uncalled for at this time.

If we are going to get this portion of Act 22 rescinded, we will have to call our senators and representatives. Remember, the number of citizens who speak up is important, so don’t put it off till tomorrow. Call your legislators today. Utility companies are a monopoly and should be regulated, so call Sen. Dale Schultz, (608) 266-0703, and Rep. Travis Tranel, (608) 266-1170. Also call (1-888-225-5322) or fax (717-359-5633) the Federal Communications Commission and the Citizens Utility Board, (608) 251-3322 ext. 10.

We have several options.

1.    Have a meeting in a central location and have our Senators and Representatives attend.

2.    Deduct the $4.04 a month until the phone company meets with customers.

3.    Cancel your service on a certain day unless the raise is rescinded.

Remember, if you do nothing, you will probably get another raise next year and thereafter.

Ken Irish


Kuhle’s response

Beginning with my service in 1994 as our school district representative to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, I’ve called for legislative relief for our schools which were hamstrung by union contract language in state statutes.

Principals could not put annual performance reviews in employee files unless the employee agreed with the evaluation, which prohibited schools from replacing employees who were not doing a good job, and forced teachers and support staff to carry more than their fair share of the workload.

Salary increases were tied to longevity instead of to employee initiative and performance.

Hundreds of millions of state education dollars were wasted each year because districts could not switch health insurance providers.

Despite these handicaps, Wisconsin schools are among the best in the nation. And more expensive than necessary.

In February of last year, area papers published my letter that called on elected officials to do a better job explaining why their proposed collective bargaining reforms were desperately needed to save millions of dollars on health insurance, create equal opportunity for advancement in the public-sector workplace, save thousands of teachers and public servants from layoffs, and help balance Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes.

Our Assemblyman and his supporters are citing my letter posted on to claim my opposition to Wisconsin’s collective bargaining reforms. This is clearly incorrect.

Nowhere in my letter is there criticism of Wisconsin’s reforms.

The measures needed to balance the budget required courageous legislators to put public good ahead of their political careers. Before my opponent voted against the Budget Repair Bill which included the collective bargaining reforms, he was quoted in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, “Politically, a ‘no’ vote is so much easier.”

His quotes in the Platteville Journal on Feb. 23, 2011, “I have no idea how we allowed ourselves to get to this point” and on March 2, 2011, “I have no problem allowing unions to collectively bargain for non-fiscal items” proves his profound lack of understanding of state statutes, and the serious issues facing our state.

My opponent’s claims that he could pass collective bargaining reforms without upsetting the most powerful unions in the state reveals a naïveté that scares me.

Despite my opponent’s endorsement by the state GOP establishment, I’ve never avoided tackling the tough issues to protect a political career. I’m running for the Assembly to solve the hard problems: to improve health care, to lower the cost of health insurance, to do a better job of providing government services, and return the savings to the public to get Wisconsin working again.

Dave Kuhle

Hazel Green

Kuhle is running for the 49th Assembly District Republican nomination.

Walmart vs. geese

The water in the retention pond in front of Walmart is 95 percent gone. What remains is extremely hot, brackish, and mostly mud. There is no rain in the forecast and the heat is again reaching record levels. The grass has no nutritional value, there are no pond grasses in the water that remains — food is almost gone.

After contacting everyone I could think of in June I felt I could at least help maintain some water for the geese. I purchased a 45-inch child swimming pool and slipped it under the fence at the retaining pond, I tied the pool to the fence so when the rains came I would be able to remove it and leave absolutely nothing behind to be considered litter by Walmart. I filled the pool with 35 or so gallons of water I carried myself — 3 gallons at a time because that is all I can lift.

I carried the water in my trunk every day and replenished it so it remained cool and fresh. The geese were using this water. As the grasses dried up and died I started feeding them cracked and shelled corn so they would grow as fast as possible to get out of the fenced area and find other water.

I provided the pool, I provided the feed, I provided the labor, I paid for the water and I refilled the pool every day. After eight or nine days Walmart management saw the pool, dumped the water on the ground, removed the pool and crushed it.

The geese would have had water until it rained if Walmart had just done nothing.

Rain chances came and went. Time went by and the water levels dropped. Finally, I tried again to help the geese. This time I bought a 15-gallon storage container and new rope to anchor it. I bought these supplies from Walmart. I put it inside the fence, anchored it again, carried 15 gallons of water to the geese. When I went to replenish the water the next day Walmart management had again removed the container and dumped the water on the ground.

The Canadian geese family could have had water if Walmart had done nothing.

Walmart’s heart is in your pockets and not in the community. For me this Walmart no longer exists. There are many other great stores in Platteville

Sandra K. Miller


A fan of Etc.

I wanted to write and thank you for your story “July 4’s Veterans Day.” As a Vietnam veteran I appreciated it. When you made the reference to the Sterling Hall bombing in Madison, it reminded me of a column I wrote a few weeks ago, where I also mentioned it. I write Across the Fence, a weekly column that appears in newspapers in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. By the way, the future grandchild I mention in the story is now here and it’s great to be a grandpa.

We subscribe to the Platteville Journal, so we get to keep up on the news from Platteville. My wife, Linda, was born and raised in Platteville and many relatives and friends live there. Her Brockman relatives used to own and publish The Platteville Journal. We were down to visit Dick and Kathy Brockman just before the 4th and got to visit the park and see the statues. It’s a wonderful addition to Platteville.

Thanks again for your wonderful article.

Howard Sherpe


Tranel “gets it”

I read the article on Travis Tranel in last week’s Platteville Journal. That guy gets it.  He’s definitely a conservative, but understands the importance of selling good ideas to the public. He certainly has wisdom beyond his years.

The Republicans have a gem in this first-term legislator. It will be interesting to see if they are smart enough to keep him.

Kevin Statz