Lobbying becomes a necessity
In a June 5 letter the writer uses a speech by U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble to rant on what he considers control of the Congress by lobbyists.
He made no connection between Congressman Ribble and any lobbying or lobbyist. He asserts that "unlimited money" is available from "special interests" and then singles out "Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans" as well as Gogebic Taconite as major villains.
He then asserts that although many Democrat congressmen stuff their purses with lobby money, "they are doing their best to provide a national health-care plan and preserve Medicare and Social Security." Perhaps this shows the writer's bias.
If we want to have a reasoned, nonpartisan discussion about lobbying, we need to realize that all advocacy could be called lobbying, whether it is done by a company, a labor union, an environmental group or the Chamber of Commerce. It could be Planned Parenthood, Right to Life, Association of Mature American Citizens or AARP, NRA or Common Cause; these organizations receive money, voluntarily given, to advocate for their causes. Are all of these organizations in the "public interest" as they claim to be? Your answer will depend upon your ideological leaning.
In the case of private companies, they lobby because they must. Government is so pervasive and so powerful that many companies' very existence is at stake, so they lobby. Gogebic Taconite is a great example. It is a mining company that needs government permits to operate at all. Should we be surprised that they lobby? Corporations are not motivated by "public interest" but by necessity.
Labor unions are a special case, because much of their political and lobbying money comes from dues which, in many cases, are extracted involuntary as a condition of employment. Labor unions are not motivated by public interest but rather by the interests of their leadership.
It seems that all attempts, over the years, to curb lobbying, including the current president's campaign promises to exclude lobbyists from his cabinet, have failed. Since we are not likely to be able to get government out of our lives, we should recognize that lobbying is inevitable, even necessary.
This is what democracy looks like.
Thanks to emergency responders
Thanks to all of the emergency response personnel - first responders, EMTs, volunteer firefighters and sheriff's deputies - for their outstanding work at The Clearing on May 8.
An accident left someone seriously injured in a remote part of the property. The effort by all of the emergency personnel, along with their compassion for the injured person, makes me proud, and grateful, to live in Door County.
Those who visit, but don't live in a rural area, might think that there are shortcomings with regard to emergency response. That's not the case, at least not in Door County.
Given the circumstances, I don't think the situation could have been handled any better than it was. That was a very good feeling during a very bad situation. These people deserve to be thanked every day for what they do!
Why DCHS needs your help
Many in our community are already aware that the Door County Humane Society has been undergoing a dramatic transformation, but some may not realize just how extensive and necessary this transformation truly is.
As a member of the DCHS staff, I can attest to the dire need for a complete renovation of our old building and construction of a new addition. Simply put, the building this organization had been operating in since it was founded 12 years ago was no longer functional. A heating and cooling system that couldn't be regulated left dogs (and their human caretakers) on one end of the building chilled, while at the other end of the building, resident cats (and their human caretakers) were becoming overheated. Persistent plumbing issues, and the need to utilize areas without sinks to house an ever-growing population of homeless animals, had us carrying water from room to room.
Damage inside the walls contributed to air quality issues, and the best efforts to curtail the spread of illness weren't helped by a failing ventilation system. Continuing to allocate funding for repairs that would never solve the problems no longer made sense. It is no easy task for our small staff and dedicated volunteers to provide care to the dogs and cats we protect.
We are the only organization in Door County that serves the lost, abandoned and unwanted animals of our community, and we do it day and evening, 365 days a year. We are proud to have continued this mission and grown with its demand. Today, we're especially proud to be transitioning into a facility that functions, a healthy space for both animals and humans - a space we're unlikely to outgrow.
A lot has changed. The only thing that hasn't changed recently at the Door County Humane Society is the love. Because all animals arriving at the shelter are guaranteed a safe place until they find their forever homes, the improved facility was designed with features that go far beyond function.
Our feline friends are more relaxed in comfortable colonies than they were in cages, and soon our canine companions will feel calm and collected as they get the exposure they deserve. Getting acquainted is easier for potential pet owners, too, thanks to private adoption rooms.
We're so grateful to everyone who has supported DCHS over the years, because it has turned a beautiful vision into reality. But we need the help of our animal-loving community now more than ever. Just five percent of annual funding comes from the municipalities our shelter serves; the rest comes from generous donors.
Our most important capital campaign to date - TaDa - is under way. We are asking our supporters to Take Action for Deserving Animals now. Your donations are the key to unlocking the doors to our future without the added financial burden of a mortgage. Please visit our new facility, or go to dooranimals.com, to find out how you can help today.