Letters 2-13-13

I am a member of the Knightowls Snowmobile Club and an avid ice fisherman on Lake Alice. As club members we all have a responsibility to monitor the trails we ride. For some reason an annual tradition of running down trail markers on Lake Alice the weekend of Alice in Winterland has gained great popularity.
Now I for one can see the thrill of running down those pesky orange markers with their reflective tape shining in the headlights just taunting one to give it a beat down. However, many people not familiar with the lake trail depend on those markers to get across the lake safely and therefore they do serve a purpose other than truck target practice. Furthermore, those markers don’t just magically appear on the lake. It takes volunteers’ time and effort to place them out there for all to see.
So I would ask anyone reading this to contact a club member if you know who the brave souls were that eliminated those dangerous markers so we can give them the recognition they so rightly deserve. And in the future we hope to have cameras and/or eyes on the lake so as to make sure those responsible get what they deserve.
Nick Rosenmeier
Snowmobile Club
To The Editor:
On Jan. 28, we made the painful decision to put our dog, Murphy to sleep.
We are just so grateful that Merrill is fortunate to have the Rockwood Animal Hospital. They are some of the most caring and compassionate people we have ever dealt with. We know the tears they shed that day with us were for the compassion they felt for Murphy.
Along with the current staff at Rockwood we certainly cannot forget Dr. Kate and Dr. Chris for their expertise over the years.
Thank you again Rockwood.
Russ and Joan
Dear friends,
I am writing about an issue that we don’t talk about a lot, the issue of abortion. Last month was the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize all abortion in our country. It has been 40 years since this decision was made and it is sad to think of the lost lives and potentials that have been lost. 56 Million Lives have been lost to abortion. How sad is that. I grew up in the 60’s and bought the lie that my rights as a woman were more important than the life inside me. I even worked in an abortion clinic outside Detriot MI and unfortunately saw the clinic owner was not interested in the woman but it was a money making business. I do not condemn anyone who has had an abortion, but I do ask that we as a country rethink this issue. Why would we allow this practice to go on? It hurts us as a nation and confuses our children, on one hand we push for animal rights yet forget that innocent child in the womb. It concerns me to that abortion is often surrounded by fear, shame and secrecy and separates families. The lie that my parents will “kill me” if they knew I was pregnant. The reality is often far from that, yes they may be upset but in the end, parents want to help you through this time and you don’t have to be alone through this. Also, there are some great organizations that want to help you and your baby.
Life is a beautiful gift from God, may we as a nation learn to cherish it. I pray that our nation will rethink the words, And Justice and Liberty for All and include those little babies in the womb in this commitment. They need us to stand up for them, as they don’t have a voice to be heard. It is time for us silent to speak out. Thanks for reading this and I ask you to get involved.
God’s Best in 2013
Paula Thomas
Dear Editor,
Diana Smith’s letter last week was spot on. Tiffany, and other recipients of the $15.6 million in contributions by the mining interests, immediately began paying back the people who bought them.
They held the only public hearing hundreds of miles from the people who will be directly affected. Mining opponents had to drive themselves to Madison while supporters were bused in by the Koch brothers paid stooges, Americans for Prosperity. (You remember these guys. They were the ones who mailed out announcements stating absentee ballots could be sent in a week after the recall. Blatant, unprosecuted, voter fraud). Then Tiffany, who received $74,000 from Gogebic Taconite and its employees, rigged the meeting allowing the people that bought him to speak first, use pictures and graphs which no one else was permitted to use, allowed the CEO of Gogebic to speak far longer than anyone else was permitted, and denied the minority party the closing statements he had previously agreed to. The Army Corps of Engineers who has a large amount of authority in Wisconsin, was not asked to testify. The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, who have even more say in whether the mine is permitted, were not invited to testify.
All these were procedural manipulations which, while apparently legal, are immoral and just another way of cheating. The larger issue is that Tiffany and his cronies did not even author the legislation they are trying to force through. Lawyers for Gogebic Taconite wrote the legislation and gave it to Tiffany to try to pass.
Tiffany has abdicated his responsibility as a newly elected senator almost immediately upon taking office. Gogebic Taconite was not elected to our state government. Yet they are the ones who, with Tiffany’s endorsement, are writing legislation that will affect us all. I wonder if Tiffany is intelligent enough to write legislation himself or is just too lazy to be bothered with little details like doing the job he is being paid for.
Tiffany is proving, at the first opportunity, that he is a paid shill for mining interests.
Doug Curtis
The Small Claims Court System in Wisconsin is a JOKE! It rewards bad merchants, contractors, and other people who have no “fear” of the Court because they know they will never have to pay an award to the people that won the judgment against them. Oh sure, they will have this on their credit report, and you can docket the judgment for a fee from the County which will put a lien on the property of the debtor, but stand in line, most of these people have a bad credit history already and don’t care.
After “winning” a judgment against a contractor that destroyed our home four years ago we did not receive a penny, the last words coming out of the courtroom from this guy, with a smile were “People have tried this with me before and I won’t pay.” You know what…he was right! The system protects the debtor and not the people who win the judgment!
We have since went back to Small Claims Court and filed a contempt motion against this contractor, and the judge in Marathon County ruled he was not in contempt, even after not following the orders of the original judgement! If you get a traffic violation and will not comply with the court’s order, action against you is swift and furious, why should Small Claims Court be any different?
It is not right or fair that so-called winners of a judgment in Small Claims Court can’t collect or even get a contempt motion against the debtor for not complying with the original judgment. These people should be put in jail and not rewarded! At least if Small Claims Court is going to render itself this useless, return the filing fees and the fee to the Police Department for serving the summons like any other business would if it did not do its job – but then of course you could always take them to Small Claims Court… right!
Small Claims Court needs to be eliminated and make these cases a criminal offence so debtors can go to jail for not complying.
Steven M. Goetsch
To the Voters of the Merrill School District,
Respectfully, I am once again asking you to cast one of your three votes to re-elect me, LIN KAUTZA, to serve on our Merrill School Board. It is my way of “giving back” to both the Merrill School System that gave me an exceptional educational base for success, and to the City of Merrill that gave me valuable life lessons and experiences, along with a strong set of values and ethics.
My family, the English Family, has been in Merrill for many years. All of us believe in community service which takes many forms. We believe in the importance of helping out, giving our time, skills and talents to support our school and community initiatives.
My last three years on the Merrill School Board have been my contribution, my way to “give back,” to thank my Hometown, Merrill, and the Merrill School District for making my life better.
If you return me to the School Board by voting for me next week, Feb. 19, you will enable and empower me to continue to fulfill my commitment to community service, to “give back” with gratitude and pride to where it all began for me.
Many negative opinions are expressed and written about my fellow board members and I. But, just for clarification, in spite of all that is said and written about us, all 9 members of our current Board work very hard together to try to make the best decisions. We are all committed, and because an unpopular decision may come down, does not mean thought, study and discussion did not take place prior. Each of the members of our Board works hard, and tries hard. Often it ends up being a case of “there is more to it than meets the eye (or ear)”, and “all is not what it seems.” I just wanted you to know that. Each of my fellow board members and I have learned from each other, and it is important to understand that overseeing a School District is a continuous “work in progress.” And, one other point, the Department of Public Instruction, the State Legislature and School Law, often affect the extent to which timely, and relevant decisions are made. Their laws are binding and can affect what we do.
It is important for you to know that I am very proud to be one of the nine on our Merrill School Board, and I hope to continue, with your help and support, and with your vote for me, LIN KAUTZA, for School Board in the upcoming elections: next week, Feb 19, and again on Tuesday, April 2.
Many thanks to you, to my Hometown, Merrill, and to my Alma Mater, Merrill High School. I couldn’t have done it without you!
With Pride,
LIN Kautza
Candidate & Current School Board Member
Merrill Area Residents:
My name is John Shull and I am a candidate for the Board of Education. I do not have a Democratic agenda or a Republican agenda for the Board of Education. I do not have a liberal agenda or a conservative agenda for the Board of Education. We have too many ideologues on both the Board of Education and in the general society. My only agenda is a kids first agenda. The Board of Education’s only agenda should be doing what is best for the kids sitting in classrooms all over the Merrill area, not advancing a political cause.
Doing what is best for the kids sitting in classrooms does not necessarily mean spending more money. For too long, our government has thrown money at certain problems without demanding results. Taxpayers across the United States must live within their means or they will eventually spend their way into bankruptcy. The same goes for our government. Our school district must live within its means and do more to trim its budget without going to taxpayers for additional revenue. At this point, I do not favor a tax increase for our district. We must first be sure that our district has exercised every reasonable option to trim its budget.
We must also do everything we can to support the history and heritage of our public schools. I grew up in a very rural area and attended a public school that had less than 80 total high school students. My high school graduating class was 19 students. Small rural schools hold a special place in my heart as well as in society. The people of Hamburg and surrounding areas have attended Maple Grove Elementary School for generations. I have met many of the teachers at Maple Grove as well as the parents of Maple Grove students and it truly is a special place. The parents, teachers, and students at Maple Grove impress me. I support Maple Grove Elementary School’s fight for survival.
Our school district faces many other important issues, some of which I will address before the April 2 election. One of these issues is pay and benefits for the professionals who educate our kids. The pay and benefits for our teachers and administrators must be competitive with other districts in the area or we will lose good, qualified teachers and administrators to neighboring districts.
We may disagree on how to resolve some the important issues facing our school district. However, we should be able to have a civil discussion regarding our differences. Perhaps through a civil discussion, we can find common ground which will benefit all Merrill area residents. I ask for your support on Tuesday, February 19 for the primary election and on Tuesday April 2 for the general election. Thank you.
John Shull
Pine River
Board of Education Candidate
Merrill Area Residents,
You have a very important decision February 19 and again on April 2. I am asking for your vote to represent you on the Merrill School Board. I am not a one issue candidate. I am an area leader passionate about education. I have experience leading your school board bringing in a new superintendent and helping her to be effective, right from the very start – a process that will be repeated this year starting June 1. I have experience leading your school board successfully dealing with a number of very difficult issues from budget shortfalls to contract negotiations. Our challenge now is to work out the new landscape resulting from Act 10 in a way that solves our budget difficulties without disenfranchising our teachers. Our teachers are not the enemy – they are the very heart of our district and a large part of what makes us special. They are talented, highly educated, deeply caring individuals who deserve a seat at the table helping us to develop win/win solutions, not just a commodity to be left on the sidelines. It is no different in business – the most successful leaders partner with their employees to achieve excellence. Finally, I have a track record leading your school board in a way that is always inclusive of the community. I made sure all voices were heard. On difficult topics where consensus could never be reached I made sure all points of view were treated with the utmost respect. I look forward to serving you again on your school board and I am asking for your vote on February 19.
Jeff Verdoorn

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