Save Gibraltar's rural roads
To the Town Board of Gibraltar:
You must be well aware that there is a growing resistance and resentment to your plan to cut trees and brush on Gibraltar Bluff Road. If I notice it, you can surely see it. The time to act is now!
I understand that the board's next meeting on Aug. 7 has not been finalized and will not be completed until Friday, so we still have time to begin "conflict resolution" measures. I am not a politician but I do have common sense.
I propose you set up a committee to resolve the highly charged matter of the trees and brush trimming along Gibraltar Bluff Road and elsewhere. The committee should consist of like-minded citizens with a different viewpoint from the present "clear cut" position you expound.
The committee should be represented by two Town Board members or their designees and seven volunteers willing to do the "heavy lifting" in defense of preservation of the beauty of county roads. May I suggest individuals from Door Property Owners, Door County Environmental Council, Friends of Gibraltar Roads, like-minded concerned citizens, and oh yes! People who live and own property along the affected areas.
This committee was not my original idea but copied from what occurred in the town of Liberty Grove. Call your friends and neighbors from the Sister Bay area and copy their "conflict resolution." Don't let rigid, narrow ideas damage your town, but let's exchange ideas and push the envelope of development forward.
Thanks for your consideration!
Alan and Elizabeth Stover
Voucher program horrors
I was prompted to write this letter by Mr. William Perloff's analysis of state Rep. Garey Bies', the governor's and Republicans' priorities for the state budget.
The move to expand the voucher program was but one example of misplaced priorities given the lack of accountability and evidence of success of the program. Mr. Perloff's analysis let Mr. Bies of the hook too easily. The school voucher program has been operating since 1990, hundreds of millions of dollars, perhaps close to a billion dollars of Wisconsin taxpayer money has been spent on a program with no accountability to the taxpayers of Wisconsin.
Granted, Mr. Bies was not there when then-Gov. Thompson initiated the "experiment." Nonetheless, Rep. Bies has followed his party's direction for expanding this program on each vote over his years in office, even though it has cost all of us more tax dollars.
You might think to yourself that none of this really impacted me; it was targeted at Milwaukee, then Racine later on. In the early years half the funding for the program came from reducing state aid to all other school districts throughout the state. If your local property taxes were increased to pay for the operation of the schools, it is very likely that a chunk of that increase was because of the voucher program.
It got "better" in 2001 Wisconsin Act 16. During that legislative cycle they decided to no longer reduce local school aids but instead have the state pick up 55 percent of the tab, so even if you lived in a zero-state-aid district, you were now picking up the tab via your income tax payments
Let me point out one of the most glaring hypocrisies of the program so that as a taxpayer you know what you are paying for. Until 2005 there were absolutely no requirements to be a voucher school "teacher"; I repeat, NO qualifications. No requirements for health exams, not even a requirement for criminal background checks for voucher school "teachers." In 2005 Act 25 was passed and added a requirement that voucher program teachers, "generally possess at least a high school diploma."
Expanding this program? This is not a record Mr. Bies should be "proud of."
Posturing while scandals unravel
It seems those partisan Republicans have been so busy trying to score political points that they have neglected the economy. In a recent speech at Knox College, President Obama stated: "With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop."
Implicit in this statement is that Obama is the one whose eye has stayed on the ball. I'm sure it has, but unfortunately it involves lining up his fourth putt, not the state of his pathetic economy.
While Obama has been golfing, vacationing with the family and opining on select local criminal cases, what are those distractions and phony scandals the Republicans have been fabricating?
Well, there is the contemptible Eric Holder and his Justice Department supplying guns to Mexican criminals in an operation called Fast and Furious. They were going to track the movement of the guns but, shockingly, they lost track of hundreds of the weapons that were subsequently linked to crimes in the United States, including the murder of a Border Patrol agent.
Instead of using the lessons of history and just plain common sense to develop a useful profile of our enemies, the Obama administration has instead decided to spy on every U.S. citizen.
Then there is the IRS targeting Republican and conservative Americans for political purposes. Select American citizens and groups were harassed, intimidated and stonewalled by the ostensibly non-partisan IRS. And now this same agency will be running ObamaCare!
Finally, there is the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Four Americans, including our Ambassador were killed during the attack. Calls for help were left unanswered by the U.S. Government. The Obama Administration's first reaction was to develop a spurious narrative to explain the reason for the attack. When these "talking points" were shown to be nothing but a pack of lies, Obama assured the American public that a full investigation was being conducted. Here we are, almost a year later, and we are still waiting for the Obama Administration to finish it's investigation of the Obama Administration so they can tell us what the Obama Administration was doing that night.
I know there is a substantial segment of the population that remain unaware of these things.
More distressing, I know there is also a large segment of the country that knows about these things but is so ideologically driven that they are comfortable with Hillary Clinton's stated position on Benghazi: "what difference, at this point, does it make?" These are the Obama voter. But what about those of us who take these events very seriously? Many of us believe these matters go directly to our national security and even the foundation of our constitutional republic. Just because these events transpired on Obama's watch does not mean they are not scandalous. And just because those of us who want accountability did not vote for Obama does not mean our concerns are phony.