Merrill Area Residents:
My name is John Shull and I am a candidate for the Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) Board of Education. Someone recently inquired as to why I am running for the Board of Education. The answer is simple: I care deeply about the future of education for my children and for all Merrill area residents. My wife and her 13 siblings all graduated from Merrill High School. Two of my children have already graduated from Merrill High School and two more are currently students at Washington Elementary. As Merrill area residents, we all have an interest in the quality of our children’s education.
I am proof of what a quality education can do for a person’s life. Neither of my parents graduated from high school. However, I remember my father sitting with me at the dining room table going over my spelling words and math problems. I remember one particular high school teacher taking me under his wing and providing me with a glimpse into what life can offer with a quality education. With the help of both my parents and teachers, I was able to work my way through college. A quality education, however, does not begin in college, but rather it begins with parents working together with the educators at our grade schools, middle school, and high school.
Our Board of Education has a significant impact on the quality of our children’s education. Unfortunately, many from outside the Merrill area believe our Board of Education is dysfunctional. Our school district’s inability to hire a superintendent in the last 2 years is evidence of this dysfunction. Further evidence includes the resignation of more than 35 teachers at the end of the 2012 school year. The fact is our district has difficulty hiring and retaining qualified administrators and teachers due to our dysfunctional Board of Education.
As you may know, members of the Board of Education appear to have difficulty working with each other. There appears to be a constant stream of letters to the editor from one board member criticizing other members on the board. Sitting board members publicly criticizing other sitting board members by letters to the editor or other means should never happen. This conduct does not enhance our children’s education. It hurts our children’s education. Even if board members disagree on particular issues, they should disagree in a civil manner and never by writing letters to the editor criticizing specific board members or the decisions of specific board members. Board members should not be fighting, but rather working together to improve our schools.
I am running for the Board to bring civility back to it. Civility among the board members will allow board members to work together as one cohesive unit. Civility among the board members will allow them to better serve the public and to enhance the quality of our children’s education. In the coming weeks, I will discuss with you my views on specific issues. As a candidate for the Board of Education, I ask for your support. Thank you.
Letter to the Editor,
Oh where oh where has our congressman gone? Oh where oh where can he be? Good question, so what’s the answer? Only Congressman Duffy knows and he isn’t talking. He didn’t talk about the fiscal cliff legislation which directly affected his constituents because it included the extension of unemployment payments, elimination of the alternative minimum tax, protection of the food lunch and the meals on wheels programs to name a few. He is silent about the ramifications of the Sandy Hook shootings and assault weapons legislation. He isn’t talking about the not so distant debt ceiling limit either. When he did vote recently, he voted against the fiscal cliff bill and against helping the victims of Sandy Hook.
If I recall correctly, Congress was actually in session for 137 days in 2012, perhaps Congressman Duffy has been overwhelmed with work/travel, making communication a problem. How many days did he have to work last year? I know he had a campaign for re-election last fall, but I’m not certain where since he didn’t surface much around here. He probably wasn’t too concerned; after all, with the help of Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers, the 7th District was gerrymandered to suit Duffy’s special needs. Now, his main focus seems to be a fear of being “primaried” from within his own party if he doesn’t toe the line.
Congressman Duffy owed his constituents an “aye” vote on that Fiscal Cliff legislation which may not have meant much to him, but did mean the difference between paying bill, making the mortgage payment and eating for many of his constituents. When he did vote, he voted Nay. He owed the people of the East coast an Aye vote as well, where is his humanity?
So Congressman Duffy, where are you and where do you stand? And where has the new media been, isn’t one of their responsibilities “to inform?”
Nancy L. Meier
To the Editor:
The front page of last week’s Foto News was certainly good news for Merrill. It speaks well of our citizenry and our commitment to preserving our title of “City of Parks.” More laudatory than the title, though, is the commitment to providing spaces for recreation and healthy exercise and just plain enjoyment of nature. The people willing to give time and effort to this cause are to be commended and celebrated.
This same commitment led a former Common Council of the City of Merrill to pass an ordinance protecting what was then called Wildwood Park and preserving it as a refuge for wild life and a place of natural peace and beauty for Merrill’s citizenry. Sec. 1 of the ordinance reads as follows:
No person whall carry or have in his possession any firearm, sling shot, bow and arrow, airgun or other weapon, or discharge or cause the discharge of any missle therefrom within, or into the confines of WILDWOOD PARK. . .
The ordinance (#321) was passed on October 6, 1931, and signed by the Mayor, Dr. A.R. Wittman, my grandfather.
Wildwood Park became Council Grounds State Park in 1938 and along with all other state parks has recently been opened to hunting and trapping twice a year in spite of overwhelming opposition by those who attended the DNR hearings on the question. Many people were not aware of the hearings and certainly not of the legislation passed last summer to open the parks to such activity. The reason for the public’s ignorance of the new law is that state Representative Jeffrey Mursau (R – Crivitz) added it as an amendment nine days after the only public hearing on an assembly bill of interest mostly to hunters and fishermen.
Joel McNally of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sums up the situation this way:
Hunters’ fond dreams of shooting whatever they want wherever they want shouldn’t trump the desire of the rest of us to enjoy the peace and beauty of our state.
Act 168 is called The Sporting Heritage Act of 2012. How about the heritage of the lovers of nature?
Ann Wittman, SCSC