Opinions

Sat
22
Jul

Travelers find reminders of home in Denmark

While just teenagers, two young brothers came to the United States with a suitcase and a prayer. Walter Robenhagen (my grandfather) and Fred Robenhagen (Elaine Buettner Knope’s grandfather) set out on their own from their homeland Denmark to make a life here in America.

Elaine Knope, her daughter, Lori Acken (a well-known writer for TV Weekly Magazine/Channel Guide), nieces Elisabeth Roen Kelly and Ellyn Rowan Ruhlmann, and cousin Terry Malcheski recently returned from a trip to Denmark, a trip they will long remember.

Elaine commented: “It is such a small country, probably one-fourth the size of Wisconsin. I can understand why my grandpa immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1895 when he was only 18. He saw no future in Denmark because most of the land was already owned and he wanted to farm.”

Sat
15
Jul

Much going on in our little city

Today’s article is a little of this and a little of that. Shawano is a “happening” little city.

It’s great seeing all the young ballplayers and their moms, dads, grandparents and friends enjoying themselves at the youth league tournaments. It is so nice to observe the support these kids receive. What a wonderful way for young families to spend quality time together.

An additional positive is the impact these tournaments have on our local economy. Many of the out-of-town families stay at our local hotels. Visitors also frequent our restaurants, discover what fun it is to “shop Shawano,” purchase gas, and enjoy our beautiful parks, walking trails and other amenities.

A word of thanks to Ollie Burmeister for being a longtime local businessman. Ollie’s presence in the downtown will be missed. We wish him a long and enjoyable retirement.

Sat
15
Jul

Letter: Statistics provide food for thought

To the editor:

Points to ponder:

1. One-half of U.S. popcorn is grown in Nebraska.

2. Seven percent of Americans think chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

3. Twenty-five percent of Japan’s population is retirement age. The sale of adult diapers exceeds those for babies.

4. In 37 states, the highest paid employee is a sports coach or athletic director.

5. Sixty-five percent of U.S. households own pets.

6. There are over 700,000 health insurance policies on pets.

7. The cost of raising a medium size dog to age 11 is $16,400.

8. Coca Cola was originally green.

9. One-third of America’s hundred best paid CEOs earned more than their corporation paid in federal taxes.

10. The largest block of Republican voters are white males with a high school education or less.

Bert Grover,

Gresham

Fri
07
Jul

Letter: Does Trump ever feel shame?

To the editor:

CNN erred badly, was called on the carpet, quickly retracted the article, apologized, fired three reporters and was graciously forgiven by the maligned party. Pretty classy.

Trump couldn’t let CNN’s mistake go. Just as all bullies do. He saw they were ashamed by their error and thus weakened. It made hitting on them great fun.

We have all been in CNN’s shoes. I know mothers have been there. I have. A long time ago, my young son was diagnosed with ulcers. In those days, it was attributed to stress, and who was responsible for their stress? The mothers. I was devastated and shamed.

Like the news media, where truth is paramount, parenting has even higher hurdles to climb in search of excellence. They make mistakes and are then susceptible to criticism and even bullying.

Shame. It really stings, and, yes, there are consequences that sometimes are unfair. Without it, without shame, we don’t have one of the greatest deterrents to man.

Fri
07
Jul

Respect should begin at home

Here is a Native American Indian legend, a story about respect.

There once was a man who was raising his young son. The mother had passed away in childbirth and he was teaching his son all that he knew. This son grew up and in time wanted to go to a nearby village and find himself a companion. Many months passed and the young man returned to his home, and with him he had a woman, his wife. They lived in the home of his father.

Shortly after, they had a son, and the father, now a grandfather, began teaching this young boy all that he knew. How to respect the forest, the animals and life. The mother, tired of sharing the home with the old man, told her husband she wanted the old man out.

The father spoke, “I cannot, this is his home and he built it for us.”

She spoke, “If you do not make him leave, then I will take our son and I will leave.”

Sat
01
Jul

Let freedom ring on the Fourth of July

It feels like we just celebrated Christmas, and in a few days, we will be celebrating the Fourth of July. It seems as we age, time has a way of speeding up. I remember when I was young and wishing to be older.

If I only knew then what I know now. My dad used to say, “We get too soon old and too late smart.”

Did you know that for the first 20 years after the Declaration of Independence was written, people didn’t celebrate it? By the 1790s, a time of bitter partisan conflicts, the declaration had become controversial. One party, the Democratic-Republicans, admired Jefferson and the declaration. The other party, the Federalists, thought the declaration was too French and too anti-British, which went against their current policies.

Sat
24
Jun

Effective decision-making can take some practice

“I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would chose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” — Sylvia Plath, “The Bell Jar”

Psychologist William James said, “There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.”

Fear of making the wrong decision is one of the reasons that many people hesitate when faced with a choice. Some people ride the fence when it comes to decision-making, not wanting to be accountable if a decision is wrong.

Sat
24
Jun

Trump exhausting, needs to behave

To the editor:

Exhaustion. That’s what is happening. We are all being hammered with words: traitor, emergency, fake, enemy, lies, ridiculous, terrible.

It is no different than the child in our own family who has exceptional skill and enormous ambition and wants “to get on with things.” They will use the same words. They know they pack a punch.

“Hey, kid, not so fast,” you say. “You are part of a family with rules and commitments to family values. The rules will be obeyed.”

Trump, your rules are “laws of the land” and your commitment is to the Constitution. Just like the kid who is exhausting the parent, you are exhausting your citizens.

Any lawless behavior needs to be curbed.

We cannot cave.

Mary Podzilni,

Town of Wescott

Sat
24
Jun

People don’t yield at trail crosswalks

To the editor:

I’m concerned about a lack of knowledge about the city crosswalks with the Mountain Bay Trail.

People are supposed to yield to pedestrians and bikes at these intersections. By my count, approximately 1 in 50 vehicles actually yields at these crosswalks.

I always wave to thank these people who are in the minority.

John Soderstrom,

Shawano

Sat
17
Jun

Local woman waits for life-saving liver transplant

Have you ever prayed for a phone call? Diana Whealon does, every single day. In October 2015, Diana learned she has bile duct liver cancer, a rare type of cancer.

I wrote an article about Diana last year, and many of you asked for an update. Diana appreciates your concern and prayers. She said, “If only one person becomes a donor as a result of hearing my story, it will be well worth it.”

Going through treatments, hospital stays, setbacks and lack of appetite resulted in Diana losing 70 pounds. She recently shopped for size 4 clothes. Doctors hope she can regain some weight to ready her for the customary 20-pound loss that occurs after a transplant.

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