Opinions

Sat
21
Nov

News coverage of hemp field destruction superficial

To the Editor:

So far, the “news” coverage of the outrageous DEA overstep of law and authority in the Menominee Reservation hemp field destruction has been superficial at best.

What about the local government reaction? First of all, it has been reported that Menominee County deputies were present in camo combat gear with military weaponry to “protect and serve.” Not to protect the Menominee County residents they pledged to serve but the invaders from Washington. From whom? Well, apparently the citizens of Menominee County. We wonder what the citizens of Menominee County feel about that.

Then readers learn in The Shawano Leader that, “Oconto County Sheriff Michael Jansen said his agency assisted in Friday’s operation by destroying some of the confiscated plants.” How and why did Oconto County get involved in this injustice? Perhaps the Leader will tell its readers. Perhaps not.

Sat
14
Nov

Letter: School district addresses medicine pouch misunderstanding

To the editor:

The Gresham Community School District takes seriously its responsibility to maintain an open and supportive school environment.

The district regrets that there have been misunderstandings in recent days regarding the religious practice of Native American students.

While not agreeing with all statements appearing in the media, the district’s response to this incident has been to undertake constructive actions that will promote greater knowledge and understanding within our school community.

The district has established a policy which allows students to wear medicine pouches in connection with sincerely held religious beliefs.

In addition, we are establishing training opportunities for our staff concerning cultural responsiveness.

Fri
06
Nov

How SMU and city bring power to the people

Today’s column continues with questions and answers:

Q: Why are my Shawano Municipal Utility electric bills so high?

A: Brian Knapp, SMU general manager/city administrator: “The bill you receive from Shawano Municipal Utilities includes charges for electric, water and sewer services. Our average residential customer’s monthly bill for all three services is approximately $169. Of that amount, $113 is for electric service and $56 is for water and sewer usage. When you compare electric charges with those of friends and relatives served by other utilities, it is important that you compare only the electric charges, and not the total SMU bill, which includes water and sewer charges which are not provided or billed by investor-owned utilities like WE Energies, WPS and Alliant Energy.

Fri
06
Nov

Letter: Clintonville Utility Board member explains rate process

To the editor:

I would like to clarify several points in regard to the Clintonville utility rates. The Public Service Commission and only the Public Service Commission sets rates for the city of Clintonville. The Badger Power Marketing Authority bills both Clintonville and Shawano for electricity.

The price is a cost per kilowatt-hour. It is one price for the entire city. It is not broken down down into residential, commercial or industrial. That one price is, using the formulas as required by the Public Service Commission, broken down into residential, commercial and industrial bills by the Clintonville Utility. These are the bills that everyone pays.

Sat
31
Oct

How to start a Neighborhood Watch and other questions

“Open communication fosters trust.” — John C. Maxwell

Thank you for your positive feedback regarding the question-and-answer articles. If you have a question you would like answered, please email me at mayor@shawanonet.net.

Q: How do I start a Neighborhood Watch program?

A: (Police Chief Mark Kohl) This is a partnership program between the police and you, our citizens. It is an opportunity for neighbors to look out for one another. The program is designed to enlist the active participation of citizens to reduce crime by reporting suspicious activity to police and to improve the quality of lives in your neighborhoods.

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: Clintonville residents should keep an eye on council

To the editor:

The number of people who used to attend Clintonville City Council meetings has diminished to just a handful, if that many. Yet many critical issues are under consideration, including the 2016 budget, the need to repair the Hemlock Street bridge, funding the needed storm sewer in the industrial park to eliminate flooding of factories, and also the sale of Angelus to a nonprofit organization — costing the city $300,000 in lost tax revenue.

It also appears that council members are not voting for what they know, but who they know.

At a recent meeting, the agenda included the appointment of a representative to the Badger Power Marketing Board. The acting mayor and the mayor discussed this, and the acting mayor submitted a name to Badger Power. Even I know that all committee appointments need council approval first. This experienced council member did not think this committee appointment needed council approval.

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: School needs renovations proposed in referendum

To the editor:

What good news to see that renovations are being evaluated for the Shawano middle school.

The upgrades being planned are so needed to be able to keep using this building for many years to come. It is amazing that the HVAC had survived for 60 years! Some of the other items mentioned, such as security enhancements and accommodations for people with disabilities, are timely and welcome additions.

What is needed in a school has evolved in the years since I was a student at this campus, and I would like to thank the School Board for moving our school system forward with this.

Remember to vote on Nov. 3.

Kathy Qualheim,

Shawano

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: Many residents can’t afford referendum tax hike

To the editor:

As a Shawano resident, I have some observations about the Nov. 3 property tax increase referendum, and I’ll tell you why my overall conclusion is to vote no.

Where does the money come from to pay for these renovations? Well, the district only looks to one source – the taxpayers. When I suggested applying for grants (Shawano Area Community Foundation) or private funding (Crawford, Egan, Pevonka), I was told by officials, “Oh, we can’t do that.” In other words, they don’t want to, and they just want to let the taxpayers pay for it.

How about teaching our students that we need to save money for what we want? Could we let them be creative with fundraisers? Could the athletic clubs take charge paying for the revamping of the locker rooms, as they did for the football and soccer fields?

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: Vote no on Nov. 3

To the editor:

Shawano residents should vote no on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and oppose the Shawano Community Middle School’s push for a $14 million property tax increase.

This referendum takes place during an off-year election, when voter turnout is low and the polls will be flooded with union members and bureaucrats, so it is critically important for taxpayers to defeat this multimillion-dollar property tax increase.

The $14 million property tax increase on the ballot is supposed to include the construction costs for Shawano Community Middle School and the interest on the debt incurred, but we can’t afford the price tag. Some of the proposed construction includes $598,000 for updating the gym, $755,000 for fixing up the locker room and $869,346 for modernizing the kitchen. One of the most expensive plans calls for $6.4 million to upgrade the heating system and add rooftop air-conditioning units.

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: ‘Let’s get after it,’ Shawano

To the editor:

“Let’s get after it!”

How often have we heard Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers say this? As concerned parents, family members, business leaders, educators and citizens of Shawano, we need to take a long look at the upcoming referendum to update and repair the aging Shawano Community Middle School. The building is in dire need of attention. The students at Shawano Community Middle School deserve a safe and secure environment to learn.

At this time, the building has not had any major work done to the heating and cooling systems for years, and repairs and replacements of these units are needed. The boys and girls locker rooms have not been updated since the building was built. They have been in constant use, not only by the SCMS students, but also many community members that use the gyms. The locker rooms are small and unsafe due to the fact that they are difficult to monitor. Don’t you think this needs to change?

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