Letters to the editor: Nice billboard
Nice billboard; wrong county
TO THE EDITOR
A billboard on Highway 65 south of River Falls thanks St. Croix County residents and gives a web link to a UW-Madison fundraising site. The problem is that the sign is in Pierce County, in a position where most who see it are Pierce County residents.
I wrote to the organization noting their apparent lack of knowledge of western Wisconsin geography — after all Madison is far from here. They responded that they knew the sign was in the wrong county. It was there because our area has so little available billboard space. Heavens! We have a critical billboard shortage! I guess we prefer our beautiful countryside to messages from entities hundreds of miles away. I can't decide which is a worse use of donor dollars — locating a billboard in the wrong county due to ignorance or due to expediency.
Their website does have a nice piece for Pierce County honoring long-time UWRF history professor Dr. Ed Peterson. I asked where the billboard for this is, and have yet to get a response. If any body spots it, please let me know. It might be in Polk County.
Three times doesn't make it right
TO THE EDITOR
In following the (Ellsworth) school board vs. Prairie View saga, we have heard over and over again that the board voted three times to destroy the building, and not sell it to be repurposed into senior apartments.
They say the buyers have no offer, but the board will not receive an offer, and instead chooses to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of your taxpayer money to demolish the building and then at the same meeting they spoke of asking the voters for a million dollar levy override in the spring for more operating money for the school. I'm no accountant, but that makes no sense, turning down real money and then asking for more taxes!
They may have voted on this three times, but three votes doesn't mean they are right. That's the danger of acting without all the facts.
It's the job
TO THE EDITOR
Many, many years ago when I was in grade school, our school only had bus capacity to take half the students home on the first trip. So, the students that remained at school had to mop the floors and rearrange the desks while we waited for the school bus to return. It was our job.
Later on in life when I worked at Armour Meat Packing I worked alongside a Jewish guy that escaped from a concentration camp in Germany in WW2. We both did our job slicing up the hogs. Religion and politics didn't matter, It was our job.
There are a lot of jobs we do in life we don't agree with but, it's the job. I had an employee mention they were uncomfortable selling sexy air fresheners, the ones that hang in customer's cars, at our store. I explained I understand and I appreciate your time with the company, but it's the job.
The standing for the anthem, as far as your personal feelings, political feelings, religious feelings are, it doesn't matter, if that's what the boss wants, "It's the job." Do the job or leave the job, don't embarrass yourself by being a hypocrite.
How long will it take to connect the dots?
TO THE EDITOR
With deadly hurricanes slamming Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, tragic earthquakes in Mexico, and hundreds of western wildfires now lowering air quality in our own region, it's hard to know what more can be said to convince skeptics that the earth really is in violent revolt against human abuse of the environment.
Hurricane Maria has already left Puerto Rico without electricity, maybe for months. Meanwhile a failing dam threatens to compound the disaster for tens of thousand downstream. How much damage can a society absorb or afford?
It may seem as though we in the Heartland occupy a sweet spot away from the multiplying natural disasters surrounding us. Of course one "once-in-a-thousand-years" storm, becoming more and more frequent these days, could change that fast. And it may not be long before we, with our Midwestern love of uncrowdedness and relative weather safety, become host to thousands of climate refugees from the southern and coastal states.
Psychologists have noticed that deep anxieties are seeping into those of us safely inland who have been viewing the continual media coverage of these catastrophic events. Even far-removed onlookers can experience a kind of PTSD as if they themselves were victims of the destruction. On a subconscious level we know that, the relative stability of our particular region notwithstanding, our fates really are entangled in this new age of disaster.
There's no exact cause-and-effect relationship between the new hurricanes and climate change, but it's an established fact that warmer ocean temperatures contribute to the formation of these monster storms. How many lives lost and homes and neighborhoods destroyed will it take for us to connect the dots? And aren't those in power who willfully and irresponsibly ignore the increasing climate chaos guilty of criminal negligence, or worse?
Thomas R. Smith
Plum City School Board member resigns; says thank you
TO THE EDITOR
Thank you to the electors of the School District of Plum City for allowing me to represent you as a member of the Board of Education for the last 4.5 years. I was hoping to at least finish my term, but upon recommendations from the district's legal counsel, I have been forced to make a decision to choose between being on the Board or being an employee of the district (e.g. bus driver or coach).
It is legally deemed a conflict of interest to be both at the same time. I have decided to resign from the Board and remain as a driver. I chose to be a driver years ago (prior to election) to be helpful for extra-curricular events. I never realized how much I would enjoy driving a bus!! And after some unforeseen health issues in my recent past, it provides a source of income that I've come to rely on. Again, THANK YOU for your trust in me the past few years, and I hope you can understand and respect my decision. God bless!