Opinions

Sat
03
Dec

What’s the story behind that Christmas tree?


Photo by Lorna Marquardt One tree in Lorna Marquardt’s home year after year is a Raggedy Ann and Andy tree, with traditional candy canes representing the dolls’ legs and a variety of dolls hanging from, around and even on top of the tree.

Christmas trees are placed in many homes, churches and stores around the world. There are numerous interesting stories about the origin of the Christmas tree, and today I will share with you some of that history.

In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and the longest night of the year falls on Dec. 21 or Dec. 22 and is called the winter solstice. Centuries ago people believed the sun was a god and winter came because the sun became sick and weak. Pagans used branches to decorate their homes to keep away evil and as a reminder spring would still come.

The evergreen fir tree has been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.

Sat
03
Dec

Letter: Flaws cited in Clintonville school study

To the editor:

As a member of the citizens task force on the Clintonville elementary school issue, I wish to share information and my perspective as one of the few members who was not a teacher, spouse of a teacher or parent.

At the last meeting of the group where a recommendation had to be made to the school board, new information was provided by the elementary school principal and the superintendent.

The principal shared her opinion that she favored the north side site so that students could be assisted by high school students, elementary students could make use of the swimming pool, and teachers who provide services at both schools would not waste time traveling between locations.

The superintendent also said that he favored the “campus” concept.

It was suggested that a survey could go out regarding a north side site. I was the only member who voted for this. By the way, less than half of the task force was present at this final meeting.

Fri
25
Nov

Another hunting season brings back memories

Aristotle said, “If some animals are good at hunting and others are suitable for hunting, then the gods must clearly smile on hunting.”

My dad is always in my thoughts during deer-hunting season. It seemed he was “getting ready for the hunt” for weeks. Back in the 1950s and ’60s when he hunted, many of the stay-warm conveniences of today were not available. No electric socks, no sophisticated hand-warmers, no thinsulate.

I remember my mother ordering dad long-johns from the catalog. He had some warm wool socks, gray with a red top. He wore red- and black-checkered wool hunting pants, a hat with ear flaps, and warm gloves. His red hunting jacket (in those days it was red, not blaze orange) was heavy and warm. Hunting boots completed his attire. You would have sworn he was headed to the North Pole; he was a big man and looked a little like Santa without a beard.

Sat
19
Nov

Kindness a better motivator than cruelty

During my lifetime, 13 presidents have been elected: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

This recent election was by far the most controversial one I have witnessed. I love Lee Greenwood’s words, “And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me.”

I, too, am very proud to “be” an American, but I am certainly not proud of the behavior of Americans during and following this election. I am concerned about the message we are sending to our youth. There seems to be such a lack of respect in our country, and we need to fix that.

Sat
19
Nov

We’d be wise to stay alert with Trump at helm

To the editor:

The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011 saw Donald Trump front and center. Donald had been heaping scorn on the president for months with his Twitter account. Over and over the message was that Obama was not born in the U.S. and thus was not qualified to be the president.

At that dinner I saw the hugely talented Obama roast Trump unmercifully before finally flashing his birth certificate onto the room’s big screens. The look on Trump’s face alarmed me. He was not joining in the fun.

That spectacle has haunted me. There is another spectacle coming up: the changing of the guard at the White House. We will witness the first black president being shown the door while the winner boldly enters “our house.”

Sat
19
Nov

School taunting over immigration hits home

To the editor,

The Shawano Leader ran a brief AP story days after the election about “a few” incidents of post-election harassment, including taunting in schools. It made it sound like these were a few isolated events happening somewhere far away. Unfortunately, this was taking place right here in Shawano.

My daughter came home late last week upset about people chanting “Build the wall” in the halls at school. Part of me wanted to dismiss this as kids being stupid, but it is more than that. When directed at students who are immigrants, or the children of immigrants, they are saying, “We hate you. You are not welcome here.”

We just came through a bitter election cycle where the winner, though he claimed not to be a racist, ran a campaign filled with enough sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to be endorsed by the KKK.

Sat
19
Nov

What makes a ‘good’ Democrat?

To the editor:

Just who is intolerant of whom? Just for the record, I don’t belong to or advocate for any political party.

Now, if I take to the streets if I don’t like how any election turns out, I wouldn’t make a “good” Democrat.

If I riot and cause property damage because I don’t like the outcome of an election, I wouldn’t make a “good” Democrat.

If I threaten to kill a candidate who won election to any office, I wouldn’t make a “good” Democrat. By the way, if you threaten the president in any way you may well get a visit from law enforcement.

If I have to pull a person from their car and beat them nearly to death just for having a Trump sticker on his car, I wouldn’t make a “good” Democrat.

This is the same thing that happened when Obama was elected when the conservatives rioted! Oh that’s right, it didn’t happen. Grow up, people!

Bruce Watters,

Bowler

Fri
11
Nov

Recipes bring back special memories of Mom

I put it off for a long time, years in fact. Finally, I was ready, the time felt right. I waited until my hubby left to cut wood. I needed to do this alone. I felt apprehensive, nostalgic and uneasy.

I went to the shelf where I put it many years ago. I took the small colorful pink, green and yellow metal box and placed it on the dining room table. I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down. Mittens sensed something was up. She climbed onto the chair next to me and just sat there. I reached over and petted her. For some reason, she had a calming effect and I was glad she was there.

Taking a deep breath, I slowly opened the precious metal box. As I paged through the recipes of delicious things my mother made for our family, the memories over-whelmed me. I could feel the tears welling up and slowly spilling over when I found her homemade ice cream recipe:

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 pint cream

a little milk

Fri
11
Nov

Letter: Praise for Shawano PD and RadKIDS program

To the editor:

I want to recognize and thank the Shawano Police Department, specifically Officers Shane Stange and Heidi Cartwright, for offering the RadKIDS self-defense program in Shawano.

My daughter attended the 5- to 8-year-old session, and Officers Stange and Cartwright did a phenomenal job teaching the children physical skills to protect themselves from violence, while also ensuring the kids internalized that no one has the right to hurt them and it is not their fault if someone does try.

Addressing safety education and violence prevention in today’s world is a difficult job to do without scaring children. It has been extremely well-organized, taught in a manner that is non-threatening, and realistically prepares the children of Shawano to handle a range of potentially dangerous situations they could encounter — whether it is at home, at school or even their own backyards.

Fri
11
Nov

Letter: Theft of sign shows Trump influence

To the editor:

Ten days before the election, I put up a Clinton/Kaine sign on my lawn. Two days later, a Trump sign appeared on a property a short distance down the road. Two nights later, my sign was stolen.

The deputy sheriff I requested to come out advised me that, given the divisiveness and anger generated by this election, I not pursue what had suddenly become a feud by putting up another sign since the election was only a few days away.

The incident, sadly, is a demonstration of how Trump has swayed a certain class of people to blind hostility and convinced them that political opinions and the right to free speech is reserved for Trump supporters only and no longer permitted for Clinton supporters.

Jeanne L. Connors,

Town of Wescott

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