Opinions

Sat
20
Jun

Letter: State needs to reverse course on voucher program

To the editor:

The first School Choice Program was created in the Milwaukee schools by the state Legislature in 1989 to allow children of poverty who were not learning to attend a school of their parents’ choice, which in essence meant attending a religious school.

Despite the program’s failure to show an increase in student achievement, Republican lawmakers expanded the program to Racine in the 2011-12 school year and began to expand the vouchers statewide beginning in the 2013-14 school year.

Those who teach in voucher program schools do not have to meet the same requirements for employment as those who teach in public schools. Voucher schools do not have to meet the same standards nor serve all students.

Sat
20
Jun

Much good news to share about city

“When you think positive, good things happen.” — Matt Kemp

There are so many good things happening in Shawano lately, I hardly know where to begin. I will start by sharing this story of “friends helping friends.”

One of our city employees, Dohn Dallmann, is fighting cancer and receiving treatment. There are many expenses insurance doesn’t cover. His co-workers at the Shawano Public Works Department decided to pitch in. Last week they held a brat fry benefit.

Public Works Director Eddie Sheppard commented, “The event was a huge success! We have a nice check to help Dohn and his family with expenses.”

He continued, “Being in Shawano for nearly two years, I must say I am so impressed by the way the Shawano community comes together to support their own. Shawano is really special that way, and I’m proud to be part of this caring community. Thank you to the staff and all who came out to support Dohn.”

Sat
13
Jun

Many helped get medical residency training center project moving

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford

Recently, exciting news was released announcing the proposal for a medical residency training center to locate in the soon-to-be-vacated hospital campus. Today, I would like to recap the process and give public thanks to many who helped during this nearly two-year effort.

On June 12, 2013, the council adopted Resolution 52-13, which allowed for the appointment of a task force whose purpose was to make recommendations for future development of the hospital campus. Appointed were Jeanne Cronce (chairperson), Terry Hilgenberg, Russ Schmidt, Sheree Repinski, Robyn Shingler, Doug Knope, Holly Zander, Chuck Dallas, Elaine Knope and Todd Raether. The task force gathered community input through public forums, and the information was used to approach developers statewide. Thank you, task force members, for your time and valuable contribution.

Sat
13
Jun

Letter: Residency training center plan raises questions

To the editor:

As an emergency medicine resident in Milwaukee, and a native of Seymour, I read with great interest the article “Medical residency training center proposed for former hospital site.”

I commend the city’s work along with those of the developer and Dr. Jonathan Boy. Since 1997, the number of federally funded residency spots has held still, while the number of medical students had markedly increased. Increasing the number of residency spots is vital to fill the void of physicians in our state.

Sat
06
Jun

Upgrades coming this summer to several Shawano parks


Contributed Photo An adaptive swing has been added to the Memorial Park playground. It allows for a more balanced and stable sitting platform for children.

Contributed Photo Born Learning Trails will be installed this summer at Kuckuk Park and Memorial Park.

“In summer, the song sings itself.” — William Carlos Williams

Our city parks are wonderful assets to both our residents and visitors. Driving by the ball diamonds located in Memorial Park brings a smile to my face. It is nice seeing families/friends having fun together. There is a time and place for computer games, iPhones and modern technology, but it is nice to see our youth enjoying being outside while developing their physical and social skills.

Our 5-year-old great-grandson plays T-ball, and it couldn’t be more entertaining, watching the little guys and girls hit the ball and run as fast as they can, sometimes in the wrong direction. Amazingly, by the time they are in midseason, they are already learning how to hit, catch and be a part of a team. The older the kids become, the more competitive and exciting the games tend to be. The tournaments bring many families to Shawano, and our local businesses are pleased to welcome and serve them.

Sat
30
May

Community mourns death of county worker

This week an accident claimed the life of a Shawano County employee, Derek Stempa.

This column is entitled “Positively Shawano,” but there are some times it is difficult to feel positive when such tragedy hits our community. However, it is during these times of great sadness that the light of love and caring shines its brightest.

Since the tragedy, I have witnessed many acts of kindness and compassion done out of true concern and not for acknowledgment. I won’t go into specifics, but I just want to say it is heart-warming to witness the way the people in our community rally and show their support and love.

For those of you who do not already know, an account has been established at Capital Credit Union. The Shawano office is located at 1305 E. Green Bay St. There are also offices in Green Bay, Appleton and throughout northeast Wisconsin.

Derek left behind a loving wife and two small children.

Sat
30
May

Letter: New scholarship available to Gresham community

To the editor:

Gresham Scholarship Fund has enjoyed great support from the community since we all began to pull together in this effort 14 years ago. We have shared a common goal: to help Gresham students pursue secondary education.

A few years ago, we began to think about how we might expand on this theme and help other community members further their education. The board of directors has carefully increased the amount of each scholarship as support has grown.

The challenge we face: never reduce the scholarships awarded to graduating seniors of Gresham High School.

The Community Scholarship is only available to members of the Gresham community and is worth $1,000. Any community member who has completed one semester in a post-secondary education institution with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 is encouraged to apply. The application deadline is June 30.

Sat
30
May

Letter: Walker needs to focus on job he was elected to do

To the editor:

Democrats and citizens concerned for an open Wisconsin government, with funds being utilized as expected, have launched a probe into Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s job creation agency after the Wisconsin State Journal reported a troubled organization made a loan to one of Walker’s top donors five years ago. Who? Minahan’s Building Inc.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association’s board said at a news conference that they were outraged by the findings. The report begs serious questions about whether the agency and Walker’s administration did an improper political favor for the donor.

Fri
22
May

Jamboree will include kickoff of sturgeon sculpture project


Contributed Photo This is one of 12 brass sturgeon sculptures that will be permanently mounted and hidden in plain sight on the exteriors of buildings throughout the downtown Shawano area as part of a project inspired by a Leadership Shawano County class.

“As a leader, you have the power to help others become winners.” — Ken Blanchard

Leadership Shawano County was started in 2000 by former chamber of commerce director Val Wiley, along with UW-Extension staff Linda Olson and Jim Resick. Chuck Dallas, a graduate of Leadership Wisconsin, brought the idea to Shawano and encouraged the formation of the local program.

The goal of LSC is to build a pool of citizens with a broad knowledge of ideas, issues and concerns facing our local communities. Participants become aware of the challenges and existing resources, and it is hoped they will take a leadership role in helping to meet those challenges.

Fri
22
May

Letter: Poverty, homelessness are not lifestyle choices

To the editor:

This is in regard to the story from May 14 entitled, “Council denies homeless shelter permit.”

I was initially disheartened by the conversation at the City Council meeting regarding the issuance of a conditional use permit to Shawano Area Matthew 25 (SAM 25) to create an emergency center/shelter on Green Bay Street. As a family physician in Shawano and Menominee counties, I know poverty and homelessness are something many of my patients struggle with on a daily basis.

The notion that these individuals choose this lifestyle is simply untrue. Most of these people have dealt with personal tragedies, physical and mental illness, single parenthood, addiction, abuse, neglect and just bad luck. I am frequently awed by the determination and courage these individuals display as they fight each day to survive. I do not know that I could be so brave if I had such a battle to fight.

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