The cost of honesty
Let me get this right. I find a wad of money in the street. I am a good, honest citizen and turn the money in to the authorities. If no one claims the loss in a certain period of time, do I get to claim it? No, the county gets it.
This doesn't sound like a reason to be honest to me.
Needs vs. Goal
Faced with its imminent Campaign Kick Off for 2013, the United Way of Door County's board grappled with a difficult decision - what should the target of this year's campaign be. Typically the board forecasts what it feels can be raised during the upcoming campaign and publishes that as its "goal." As the board also decided to recognize and celebrate the critical role played by its Community Investment Committee (CIC), it decided to take a different approach in this year's campaign.
Briefly stated, the role of the CIC is to review all of the nonprofit agency applications for funding in the coming calendar year, interview the agencies' representative(s), prioritize the perceived critically of needs for the community, and recommend to the board what level of funding it feels is appropriate based on United Way's four Impact Goals: Basic Needs; Health Care; Community; and Alcohol and other Drug Abuse (AODA) prevention and treatment.
I know from personal involvement how seriously the CIC's members take this responsibility. In accomplishing its work this year, the CIC interviewed 25 nonprofit agencies representing 37 separate programs. Virtually none of these agencies duplicate any of the others' functions.
As far as we know, no other charitable organization in Door County has as much in-depth interface with as many helping agencies as does the United Way of Door County. Perhaps no other group has as clear a picture of what collectively the true needs are throughout our community - derived from direct contact with those who strive to meet these needs. So rather than guess as to what we feel we might be able to raise in this year's campaign, the board felt it was more important and more forthright to share with you the amount which represents what our community's needs are throughout our community. This amount is $530,000 based on all of the agencies' direct input.
Admittedly, while an impressive figure, it is a realistic figure. At the same time, we have confidence that our community can and will step up in this year's campaign to help meet this challenge so that "both sides of the Door" will be just as healthy and beautiful. Donors to United Way can feel proud that as these needs are being met in 2014, they will be partners in this commendable work.
President, board of directors
United Way of Door County
Enough with the bike lanes
I was happy to see the letters in a recent Advocate expressing dissatisfaction with the city's decision to put bike lanes on Michigan Street. I, too, question the city's wisdom, or more appropriately, lack of wisdom in undertaking this ill conceived idea.
By the way, who exactly dreamed up this nightmare? I travel Michigan every day four or more times and also, at best, have seen less than a handful of bikers using these lanes. The majority of bicyclists were using the sidewalk, both adults and children.
Actually it would appear that even bicyclists who use the road don't like the lanes, as I had an episode where an adult bicyclist traveling toward the highway was actually riding outside of the bicycle lane in the motor vehicle lane, although there were absolutely no obstructions in his way that would impede his use of the bicycle lane.
He only went into the bike lane when I blew my horn to get his attention and pointed to his "city designated" bike path, at which time I received a dirty look from him. Apparently he was trying to show his contempt for the bike lane and prove that he could ride wherever he wanted to.
Bicycles have been ridden on Michigan Street for decades without incident. Why now is there a need to fix something that doesn't appear to be broken? Why spend, I'm sure, tens of thousands of dollars to design, lay out, paint and remove old paint patterns to fix something that's not broken? And now why spend most likely the same amount, if not more, to "improve" it?
The only improvement that could be made would be to eliminate this error in judgment and put Michigan Avenue back to its original traffic design. Michigan Street was not designed for traffic to be shifted to one side or the other. This is evidenced by the placement of the manhole accesses in the middle of the street where they are not an impediment to the vehicles traveling the street.
Aren't there better ways the city can spend our tax money than by cowering to a small elitist group who, in their effort to declare their superiority over us poor, ill-informed automobile drivers, would eventually demand these lanes on every street in town? For once, let common sense prevail.
Michigan Street is one of the main thoroughfares from downtown to the highway. It was designed at its existing width to accommodate motor vehicles with enough room for parking on both sides. And as stated before, for decades, motorists and bicyclists have peacefully coexisted on this street. Don't try fixing something that's not broken. Return Michigan Street to its original pattern, and leave well enough alone.
The taxpayers of this city deserve better management of their tax money than spending it on projects that are unwanted by the majority of people. Give us our street back!
Thanks for returning wallet, phone
My husband and I came to Door County in 2008 for our honeymoon and returned late last week to celebrate our five-year anniversary. While in Egg Harbor for this trip, we decided to literally lay on the grass near the marina and soak up the sun, people-watch and just relax.
Unbeknownst to us, my husband's cellphone and money clip had fallen out of his pocket while we were laying there. When we had returned to Sturgeon Bay, I received a call from his cellphone, which was strange as he was sitting right next to me in the car!
Turns out a local man named Greg from Fish Creek found his cell and money clip and called the most frequented number (me) to return it to us. I am writing this in the hopes that Greg from Fish Creek who works out of Jacksonport (Fleetwood Builders) sees this and knows how incredibly grateful we are! You made an anniversary getaway that much better!
Thank you, Greg! You are a stand-up, honest man! God bless!
Erica and Charles Balcerek
GOP tells the big lie
You don't have to wear glasses to read between the lines.
This week we have been bombarded with rhetoric from the Republican leadership regarding the House of Representatives' positions on the Affordable Care Act as well as confronting the president on defunding it and its apparent results of closing the federal government down.
"We speak for the American people ? it is time for the Senate to listen to us," Speaker Boehner is quoted as saying Friday morning.
The facts are far different. Republicans are coming off an election in which they failed to retake the presidency despite high unemployment and a weak economy and failed to retake the Senate even though far more Democratic seats than the opposition were at risk. For the GOP leadership to claim to speak for the voters, even though they held the House only through the combination of gerrymandering and the vagaries of redistricting, is in fact a lie. Factually, the Democrats won the popular ballot by 1.4 million votes. This is not a party that has the right to make statements of speaking for the American voters or make extreme demands on the president.
The GOP is following this 1935 quote by Joseph Goebbels, Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda, to a "T": "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." The upcoming confrontation will likely damage the American economy as well as the Republican brand. I feel this political moment of truth will happen sooner or later. We might as well have it happen now when it will be clearly apparent who and what are the causes.
Garrett U. Cohn