Opinions

Sat
09
Dec

Many school districts fail test on records

State law makes nearly all governmental records open to inspection and copying, and requires custodians to release records “as soon as possible and without delay.”

So how are they doing?

Recently, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty conducted an experiment to see how well school districts are complying with the state’s Open Records Law.

We asked the state’s 20 largest school districts for records from the last two years relating to their compliance procedures and how quickly they fulfilled requests. The results were tabulated in a recent report. Here are some highlights:

The good: Of the 12 school districts that fulfilled our request without charging a fee, six of them (Appleton, Green Bay, Janesville, Racine, Waukesha and West Allis-West Milwaukee) reported response times, on average, of 10 business days or fewer.

Sat
09
Dec

House gets cluttered in search for things

Somehow, even though I knew that it was December and having a house in order is a sensible thing, my house got in disorder shortly after Thanksgiving. I was feeling at a loss when I finished putting up the Christmas lights outside. Sure, I could putter around with them more, or get Christmas items up in the house; but I turned my attention to other things inside instead.

I was determined to find that baby quilt I had started a couple months back and put away. However, no matter how often I looked where I thought it should be, it remained undiscovered. It got me thinking about other things I knew I had, but had forgotten where they were.

Sat
09
Dec

The Lost Is Found

The panicky feeling that settles quickly deep inside when something is lost can be overwhelming. To the degree one registers that feeling is measured by how valuable the item is that’s lost.

This past Thanksgiving, my family came over to share the bounty and give thanks for all we have been given throughout the year. It was a good day, full of prayerful gratefulness, laughter and, of course, food. In our family, we are blessed to have three little grandnieces, two of whom came with their momma and daddy that day.

They were all preparing to leave when I noticed the library book I had placed on a small table in the kitchen was not there. I knew as I was getting ready for the day, I’d questioned my decision to leave my book in such a prominent spot. Brushing the thought aside, I’d busied myself with preparations. I wish I would have heeded my own thoughts.

Thu
07
Dec

INDOOR GARDEN GIFTS

For many gardeners, keeping that green thumb active during the winter months can become a challenge. We long to get our hands dirty and dig in to outdoor gardening projects as winter marches on. If you have a gardener on your gift list, here are a some great ideas to spread the joy of indoor gardening this holiday season.

Bulbs for forcing: Forcing bulbs now at the start of the season for bloom later this winter and early in the spring is a great way to bring that color and fragrance indoors. Buy bulbs for forcing and pot them up. Place in a cool location. Most bulbs require 12 to 16 weeks of cold treatment before they are ready to bring indoors or to a warmer spot to begin forcing.

Sat
02
Dec

World War II veteran remembers serving on Meredith


Vaughn W. Collicott

Contributed Photo Vaughn Collicott served aboared the USS Meredith DD726 during World War II.

The sun was shining as I headed to Home Plate Café to have breakfast with Vaughn Collicott, World War II Navy veteran.

We ordered our breakfast and chatted while drinking coffee. Mr. Collicott brought with him memorabilia including medals, pictures, his honorable discharge papers, and a letter he sent to the deputy director of naval history giving his personal recollection of the bombing of the Meredith.

Vaughn was born in Nebraska on Oct. 18, 1923. When he was one year old, his family, which consisted of his parents, two sisters and three brothers, traveled by covered wagon with a caravan of two other families. They settled in Walworth County.

Vaughn recently lost his wife of 70½ years, Doris. Their daughter, Diana, lives in Edgerton. They lost a son to liver cancer.

Sat
02
Dec

Sometimes things don’t go as planned

I knew I was having a bad day when I overslept, and my body was resisting picking up the pace.

Somehow, all the plans I had made for the day were being remade in my mind. Then, when I was about ready to sit down to breakfast, I remembered a project that I was going to do and drop off while I was in Shawano.

I have a small copier to print stuff from the computer, but it also copies sheets of paper when I need to make copies of something. It is a simple contraption that works excellent, unless there is operator error, which there was.

If I don’t do it right, I have to do it over, I thought. So I did it over, and then it stopped printing mid-page, and the change ink cartridge warning beeped. I have had this printer for several years, and it normally starts printing lighter and lighter, or doesn’t print everything, and then I know it is time for new. However, if it wants to quit mid page, we will change the ink cartridge.

Sat
25
Nov

County needs to send message on voting districts

To the editor:

On Nov. 14, I appeared before the Shawano County Board to urge them to consider a resolution that asks the state Legislature to create a nonpartisan redistricting process for drawing Wisconsin’s state and congressional voting maps.

Every 10 years after the U.S. Census, states are required to redraw our voting districts with the new census data. Under our current system, the political party in the majority draws the maps. This is a clear conflict of interest.

Politicians combine census data with voter information to draw districts that favor their party. Now there are software advances that allow gerrymandering with shocking precision. Before the GOP redrew Wisconsin’s district maps in 2011, Democrats held 52 seats in the Assembly after winning 57 percent of the vote. Four years later, Democrats won 52 percent of the Wisconsin Assembly votes but held only 39 seats.

Sat
25
Nov

Never a better time to adopt a cat

The Shawano County Humane Society’s mission is to improve and save the lives of domestic animals through compassionate care, community engagement and advocacy for animals.

This year the shelter has received a very large influx of cats/kittens. Normally, there are two times a year litters are born; this year, due to the mild weather, there were three. Right now, the shelter has more cats/kittens than any time in the past.

Due to the number of felines currently in the shelter, the society has an ambitious goal. They would like to find a loving home for as many of them as possible. The shelter is full and room is needed for animals that come in on a daily/weekly basis.

Sat
25
Nov

BOOKS & STUFF

As you might know, we held Erika’s memorial service on Nov. 14. We wanted it to be a celebration of who Erika was. What a tribute to our beautiful daughter to have so many take time from their busy lives to attend her memorial. We have no way to properly thank everyone, but we do want to mention the wonderful care we received from Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Pastor Wes Jedras and Pastor Les Munnik. The meal and service at Chet & Emil’s was perfect! I’m proud to be surrounded by such a caring community. Thank you, all.

This wasn’t much of a week for reading, but I did squeeze in a very short e-book. “Two Tocks Before Midnight” by Clay Boutwell was listed as something that could be read in two sessions, but it only took a couple of hours.

Sat
25
Nov

Thanksgiving done, now shifting to Christmas

By now, your turkey is probably gone, either eaten, or packed away in the freezer. I got a small bird this year. With hunting and plans with other families, it is always hard to know just how big of one I need, but also had some ham available, just in case that small size bird wasn’t enough.

For me, I dread making the turkey. First, it needs several days to thaw in the refrigerator, which takes up a lot of room. Next, you have to take that plastic wrapper off, plus rinse the thing and pull out all the goodies inside, like a neck, gizzard, heart and liver.

That is normally done in the wee hours of the morning, because a big bird needs to get in the oven fairly early in order for it to get fully cooked. This smaller version didn’t need to be in quite as early.

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