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home : opinions January 24, 2015


WITC

Stray dogs hurt by new policies
I have many questions about the stray dogs of Barron County that have no voice. People that care need to step up. We need to make sure the innocent victims of human irresponsibility are not abused.
If Cameron cannot afford to transport strays to Barronett Happy Tales Boarding what happens to them? How many other communities will follow this trend? What kind of care will they receive in a police department basement?
If they are sick what happens? Who is going to walk them? Since most are not claimed what happens next? How are they going to get a chance to get adopted?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
School bills don't make the grade
The first legislative proposals of both the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate deal with school accountability. Assembly Bill 1 seeks to replace the 3-year old School Report Card system with another state oversight board and enable the board to convert failing public schools to independent charter schools. Senate Bill 1 does not go as far, but also proposes another oversight board in addition to the Department of Public Instruction.
Current law allows the DPI to intervene in schools with poor Report Card grades for 5 years by implementing new curriculum, expanded hours, individualized learning plans, professional development programs and personnel changes. The new bills seek to repeal these provisions.
What measures will be installed in their place is unclear, but early indications are that they won't be much different. Both bills maintain an emphasis on achievement in reading and math, improving learning gaps and improving attendance and graduation rates. To help schools meet their goals, intervention hinges on forming detailed plans with special programming and supports.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Humane questions
I have many questions about the stray dogs of Barron County that have no voice. People that care need to step up. We need to make sure the innocent victims of human irresponsibility are not abused.
If Cameron cannot afford to transport strays to Barronett Happy Tales Boarding what happens to them? How many other communities will follow this trend? What kind of care will they receive in a police department basement?
If they are sick what happens? Who is going to walk them? Since most are not claimed what happens next? How are they going to...Michelle Hyllested, Rice Lake

Monday, January 19, 2015
The cost of bipartisanship
Leadership in the Wisconsin Assembly this week changed the per diem stipends for representatives' food and lodging from $88 to $138 per day. At first glance, the changes seem a little self-serving, especially when there are many other issues of higher priority to constituents.
The State Senate has indicated per diems will stay at $88. Any cost over the stipend the legislators pay out of pocket. Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, who travels as far as any legislator, said the $88 has been "adequate" since she entered the Legislature in 2011. Bewley chose to rent an apartment instead of hunt for hotels during overnight stays.
Legislators can keep any money they don't spend, but must cover any extra costs out-of-pocket. Getting a hotel room-much less a room and day's worth of meals-for $88 is not impossible, but can be difficult.
But the per diem changes are more equitable than the old ones, which were passed in 2001. The changes include lowering the stipend for representatives who do not stay overnight in Madison from $88 to $69.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Stopping bullying starts at home
A boy in the fourth grade taunts a little girl because she's black. Another boy makes fun of a fat child. A girl calls a dyslexic boy stupid. As adults we know this is wrong and we want it to stop. Nearly every school across the United States has classes in bully prevention.
Bullying has become a national problem in the United States. Young people are killing themselves because they can no longer take the harassment from their classmates. We want our children to grow up without prejudice or hate; however every year we see more of this type of action growing in our children. Where does it come from? Why do we as Americans have such disgust for anyone who is different from us, whether it is color, sexual preference or religion?
We spend thousands of dollars in our schools every year on the growing problem of bullying. These bully classes take away precious time that should be spent teaching our children reading, writing and arithmetic. These are skills that our young need so they can compete in the world of economics today. We need these basic subjects taught so America can continue to be a leader in the world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Hands off local control of sand
Local exploitation of natural resources, benefitting multi-national corporations, should be locally compensated.
Sen. Tom Tiffany's continued efforts to limit local control of frac sand mining goes 100% against the traditional Republican thinking which supports local control. His statement, that a town's road agreements "should not become extortion agreements" (Wisconsin Public Radio 12-15-2014), completely ignores the reality of frac sand mining.
Why should the profits from this trillion dollar oil and gas industry only line the pockets of shareholders in distant states and countries? Why shouldn't the local people, whose quiet, rural way of life has been disturbed, be the first to be compensated by this multi-national industry?
It is safe to say that no Republicans who live in my town, Sioux Creek in Barron County (2/3 of the voters), would support taking away local control from our town board.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Enough is enough
Would state management endanger wolves? Three days following the relisting of Great Lakes wolves, one of Wisconsin's wolf recovery biologists, Richard Thiel answered, "The jury is out."
The following examples of mismanagement by Wisconsin may have something to do with that: 17 wolf packs are gone; 500 killed in trophy hunts; 170 killed at the behest of livestock farmers; 180-360 poached wolves; decrease in pack size to 3.2; the unprecedented use of hound dogs trained to track, trail and fight with ...Melanie Weberg, Osceola

Thursday, January 8, 2015
Difficult job lies ahead
Few would envy the principal task Wisconsin lawmakers have ahead of them. Crafting a new budget that will meet the needs of the state over 2 years is always an undertaking that requires a strong measure of wisdom, compassion, restraint and statesmanship. But projections of revenue over the coming biennium show a $2.2 billion deficit will make this budget an even more difficult one to balance.
Adding to the feat is the relatively large number of freshman legislators in both houses, who immediately are faced with one of the biggest challenges they'll ever have to deal with. It doesn't help matters that the state has been lagging behind much of the nation in the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008. With more than 163,000 Wisconsinites still looking for work and many more under-employed, legislators have to be careful about taking any action that might cause the recovery to stall.
Given the results of the fall election, the Republican leadership in both the Assembly and Senate should have little trouble moving along their agendas. Their biggest problem might be a governor whose aspirations now seem focused outside of Wisconsin.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Reader inspired by positive letter
It was so inspiring to read Karyn Schauf's letter in The Chronotype. Her uplifting and positive attitude can show us all how to be happy in life. Sure, we can dwell on the opposite if we look at life that way.
Following her letter, a Mr. Johnson showed his outlook on life with his negative thoughts. Apparently he is not a happy camper. His negativity seems to imply that he is not a Christian but knows all about the history of religions. I would suggest he read the Bible, especially the gospel of John. Perhaps he would change his beliefs.
Louie Armstrong sang, "What A Wonderful World." That's a great way to look at life!
Recently I worked a cryptogram in a puzzle book. It said "A chip on the shoulder usually means there is wood higher up." Fitting?
God bless us, everyone!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Think before you drink
Because of parties and get-togethers, the risk of sharing the road with a drunken driver is higher on holidays like New Year's Eve, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In fact, the most dangerous day of the year for drunken driving on the nation's roads is New Year's Day.
So, please, if you're planning on feeling no pain when the new year rolls in, first appoint a designated driver in your group.
Other smart moves are to save the number of the local cab service in your phone before heading out. Arrange a hotel stay for you and your friends. Plan to stay with a friend.
According to the state's Division of Motor Vehicles, traffic fatalities in Barron County are down considerably this year. Seven traffic fatalities were reported in both 2012 and 2013. This year to date, three have been reported.
Let's keep that number there and before you tip that first glass or bottle tonight, think before you drink.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


 




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