11-21-12 Letters to the Editor
A Word from the Community Food Pantry:
The Thanksgiving and Christmas season present wonderful experiences for many families. At the heart of our celebrations is a delicious and memorable dinner. Turkey, ham or other delicacies grace our tables. Shortly, plans for these occasions will unfold.
But there are parents and children who are anxious about the holidays. Food is increasingly expensive and they wonder how they will provide for their families.
Fortunately, the Food Pantry has made these celebrative days a joy for families and children in need. We have been able to do this only because of your generous support. Many a turkey or ham has been provided through your special gifts. And what a difference that has made in the lives of children and families.
In addition to special events like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Pantry provides basic staples throughout the year to those in need. Cereal, peanut butter and bread are everyday food for children. We have faced a very heavy demand for basic food items and that will continue long after Christmas. Your generous support has made it possible and we seek your support for these items as well.
With gratitude to all who make the Pantry possible, we are:
Denis McCarthy, manager and Rev. Dale Kuck representing the Board of Directors
Letter to the editor:
Where are the people of Merrill, especially the children, supposed to swim next summer with the city pool closing? I suppose the standard answer from those that decided to close the pool will say we have two choices, Council Grounds or the Prairie River Middle School (PRMS) Pool.
I wonder how many parents want their young children at the Council Grounds swimming area where there are no lifeguards, swift currents, excessive alcohol use, foul language and occasional reckless boat/wave-runner occurrences. There also is the matter of logistics in getting to the park.
The PRMS Pool, if it would even be available, is a wonderful facility but how would it be on a sunny 90 degree day to be inside when you could be outside enjoying a summer day the way it should be.
I don’t know if it would be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but maybe a good idea would be to resurrect the old swimming beach on the Prairie River in Stange’s Park. It was good enough for many years, centrally located, shallow enough and life guards could work well there. Just wondering!
I just had to write to thank the Bible Presbyterian Church group who came to rake my leaves for Make a Difference Day. They did a great job and were here for 2 ½ hours as I have quite a few trees and an extra large yard.
I hope they still got a lunch at the school as they never left until quarter to 2.
Thanks again, and may God bless each and every one of you.
Act 168: The Sporting Heritage Bill
Once again, it appears that our governor, Scott Walker, has been up to his Machiavellian tricks, with agreements made behind closed doors and hands shaken under the proverbial table. Several months ago, a heist worthy of James Bond occurred, and this time, it was not the heist of labor unions. This time, the governor took from the citizens of Wisconsin part of their heritage: their state parks. How could we have known? Has the Democratic process, a rich Wisconsin Heritage, once again been bypassed in our fair state?
In the summer of 2012, Scott Walker signed Act 168, otherwise known as the Sporting Heritage Bill, with no input from the Department of Natural Resources, no input from the public, no public hearings. There is nothing sporting about that. Because of the questionable manner in which this bill was enacted, Act 168 should be subject to judicial review. The Sporting Heritage Bill ordains that our state parks will be open to hunting and trapping, from October 15 to the Thursday before Memorial Day, as of January 1, 2013. Prior to writing and signing Act 168, our governor should have done his homework and consulted documents published by numerous organizations whose purpose it is to protect the natural resources that are part of our heritage, specifically, a document published by the Wisconsin DNR: the Wisconsin Park System Strategic Plan of 2008.
In order to create this Strategic Plan, an extensive citizen involvement process was embarked upon, through statewide meetings and surveys. Survey respondents indicated that they value the sense of peace and quiet Wisconsin State Parks afford all visitors and also felt that quiet, passive recreation should be emphasized. The Strategic Plan states that Wisconsin State Park System properties function as “outdoor classrooms,” strive to promote the three Es of environment, education and embracement, and provide for customer comfort and safety. Nowhere in this lengthy document is there mention of hunting or trapping. Furthermore, in only one brief sentence, are white-tailed deer even mentioned. “overabundant white-tailed deer populations are disrupting a delicate ecological balance across much of the state.” This fact cannot be denied, and under the status quo, limited deer hunting seasons are permitted in 46 of our state parks and forests. These limited deer hunting seasons are part of an ongoing and necessary deer management program in our state.
The friends of Wisconsin State Parks have also unequivocally voiced their opposition to Act 168, and have stated that “the law is fundamentally at odds with the purpose of State Parks” and cite Wisconsin Statute 27.01, which states that the purpose of state parks is “to provide area for public recreation and for public education in conservation and nature study.”
Although the time allowed for public comment is coming to a close, please let your voices be heard. We must not permit “Open for Hunting and Trapping, October through May” signs at the entrances of our state parks. Our state parks should remain part of Wisconsin’s Heritage for everyone, not just for those with guns and traps.
Your comments can be forwarded to: DNRWisconsinParks@wisconsin.gov
Catherine G. LeMay-Brown
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