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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Maybe he's all tooted out...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Sorry I'm to busy for most of this stuff and very tired of people that never pay a nickles worth of taxes in Tomahawk shooting off. What should I do reply to people, who have never had a full time job, sold dope for spending money and that can't think any better than using a ctrl c to express someone elses writings as their own thoughts. A waste of my time.

Maybe tomorrow I'll go down to SARA Park and listen to Mrs. Swenty rage about how bad she and her school principle husband have it on their $200,000 per year income and benifit package. So sad.

Perhaps I'll have an awakining...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:31 pm 
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Tooten-

I am offended. Never worked a full-time job??? Sold dope for spending money -what are you talking about? I am a teacher. I am a PROFESSIONAL. I teach, care for, and love my students. I work hard and put in many more than 40 hours per week. Again, I am offended.

Unions aside - You go ahead and support Walker and this bill. Once state aid is eliminated for public schools watch what happens to all our property taxes. It's calling robbing Peter to pay Paul. Right now, I'm "Peter." Down the road, we'll all be "Peter." Who's "Paul?" Big business. Right now 60% of major corporations in Wisconsin pay NO STATE TAX. We're all going to be taken down, Tooten, and eventually it will trickle down to you.

By the way, I'm not hiding the fact that I'm a teacher, or as Rush Limbaugh would say, "a bottom-feeding freeloader." What exactly is your profession?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:57 pm 
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Your not posting mindless copies of other peoples writings are you, Memi61? So don't take offense. He knows who I'm talking about and I do find his plagiarizing offensive. If he doesn't like it....Tuff Crap. This board should be a place for an exchange of ideas about things that are happening in Tomahawk for it is the local paper's message board.

By the way, if you read my previous posts you would see that I'm retired and because of ever increasing property taxes struggling to stay in the place that I've lived in for the last thirty seven years. I now pay property taxes in excess of 20% per year of what I paid for my home in the first place. WEAC continues to pay off and lobby the same politicians that they supposedly work for and are given sweetheart deals. Who pays for it, the property taxpayer. 6% plus increase in Tomahawk school taxes again this year. Dufuss Doyle and his cronies gave you folks all kinds of increases over the last eight years and now your crying like babies. Most of the teachers in Tomahawk have a pay and benefit package right at $100,000 per year. In case you haven't noticed that's a good living for the Northwoods.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:16 am 
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Mission accomplished!! Blissfulness obvious!

Oh and tooten you DO need to check the link Kerry posted to find out teacher salaries. You are WAY off the mark with $100,000 with benefits. You will also see that the Swentys do not make $200,000 plus benefits.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:34 pm 
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I do wonder if the lines of slander have been crossed.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:17 pm 
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I'm not sure if posting links to websites would be considering plagiarism... It's an easy way of directing people to sources of information, that's for sure, and when citing facts it's important to show where they come from.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:04 pm 
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The Merrill Teacher’s Association would like to make you aware of the harmful effects of Gov. Walker’s Budget Repair Bill and the difficult decision that teachers made to challenge his efforts in Madison.

Merrill teacher want to be part of the solution yet we cannot do it alone. Sadly, regardless of the Budget Repair Bill outcome, Merrill school programs and personnel cuts will still have to be made. Having a public employee pay more for their benefits helps Gov. Walker with one part of his budget but his funding for schools is a separate issue and we will still see cuts in this area.
Last week Wisconsin labor unions offered to accept the pension and health care concessions in the governor’s budget. Yet he is unwilling to negotiate and still insists on eliminating collective bargaining. Gov. Walker is in a rush to eradicate unions and strip away the rights of workers. Our current MTA contract ends with the 2010-11 school year. Without a contract and without collective bargaining, we will have very little say, if any, in your child’s educational future.

For decades Merrill public schools’ right to bargain collectively has provided many positive outcomes, such as rigorous curriculum, school safety, staff longevity, highly qualified instruction and high test scores. Wisconsin students’ ACT scores rank second in the country. States without collective bargaining are among the lowest in the nation. Under collective bargaining, teachers are able to focus on their students and their classrooms rather than fighting for fair working conditions.
We continue to seek a positive resolution to the state’s and Merrill’s economic concerns. We continue to fight for our right to collectively bargain. We continue to hope that everyone will join their voices with ours to help protect the strong educational system we have in the state of Wisconsin.

We are fighting for workers’ rights. We are also fighting for your child’s future in the state of Wisconsin. We hope you join us in this fight.

Merrill Teacher’s Association Executive Committee
Tom Andreska, Janet Wardall, Mark Seaman, Cathy Ordemann, Bethany Preboske, Tana Frost, Mary Andreski


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:09 pm 
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By now anyone who has educated themselves about this issue knows that the state budget has very little to do with Governor Walker's proposal. The Koch brothers, whose father was a founding member of the right wing group The John Birch Society, are the shadowy figures behind what is going on. These brothers, whose wealth is over $43 BILLION DOLLARS, have the goal of eliminating ALL unions. They essentially bought the Scott Walker and are expecting him to do their bidding. There method is to get the workers fighting among themselves (i.e. public vs private) while they are then free to syphon off even more wealth than they already have. If you have somehow missed this, please educate yourself by looking up and reading about the Koch Brothers. Ah....and that letter a few weeks ago offering bus rides to Madison in support of Walker was written by a man from Virginia, who is a member of Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by the Koch Brothers. None of these people are from Wisconsin.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:07 pm 
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...and that's why the Koch Brothers donated $43,000 to Scot Walker's campaign fund.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:43 am 
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I've wondered if there was a call to the gov from the real David Koch, that of course will never make the media, chastising him for being duped over the prank call?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:26 pm 
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mimi61, How much has the teachers union donated to the Dem. candidates each year ? Bet it was more than $43,000.00 ! They had duffus doyle bought and paid for.
Is this a little like the kettle calling the pot black ?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:30 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor that was printed in the Feb. 22, 2011, Tomahawk Leader involving the student walk-out regarding the governor's budget repair bill:

I was going to address this “To whom it may concern,” however I believe this should be a concern for everyone. On Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, as I was driving down School Road to the Tomahawk School complex, I encountered a large group (50-100) high school students walking towards me on the road. They were basically blocking my ability to drive forward towards the school. They started to move over, but before I could continue on my way the snow combined with dirt and ice, started to fly. At first they were directed at each other, then for some reason I became their target. With a few students still on the road in front of me, I was not able to get out of there before the situation got worse. Before I knew it, my car was getting battered with snow, dirt and ice balls coming from every direction. Most of them were coming from behind me, and I only know that because they were all aiming for my sun roof, which I had open due to the nice weather. So not only were they hitting the outside of my car, they basically filled my dashboard and passenger seat with dirt and snow. At that point I got out of my vehicle hoping it would get them to stop. A few more snowballs came sailing towards me then it finally ended.

I went to the high school office to report the incident and was told that a bunch of students were protesting and that it was their right to do so. I was told that it would be brought to Mr. Swenty’s attention and I was apologized to by the secretary in the office.

As a parent I am very disappointed in the students who chose to attack me, and my car. What if it would have been “Your Mom” or “Your Grandmother”? How would it make “them” feel? How would that make “you” feel? As for the parents of those students, I would be very ashamed if I found out that my son or daughter was involved.

As for Mr. Swenty, what upsets me the most is the lack of accountability that was taken for this incident. For example, thanking the kids for doing such a Good Job protesting! Well, except for them throwing the snowballs. What do we learn from that? More importantly, what do the students learn from that? If it weren’t for the protest the students would have been in class where they belong and this wouldn’t have happened. Someone dropped the ball. So now, do I need to be concerned with the whereabouts of my children while they are in the school’s care? As a parent it concerns me that the students were off school property, unsupervised, without their parent’s knowledge, or permission. What if something would have happened to one of them while they were off the school grounds? Who then, would have been held accountable? Because at that point Mr. Swenty, “I’m Sorry,” just isn’t good enough.

Mary Jones
Tripoli


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:32 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor from the Feb. 22 Tomahawk Leader:

In regards to the protest that happened at the Tomahawk High School on Wednesday, Feb. 16, it offends me that some people might think our kids here in Tomahawk are in isolation, and that they would have no realization of the impact stemming from what is happening in Madison. I, as a state employee, have been following the events intently. The media attention that result from Mr. Walker’s shenanigans this week have made our household very well aware of what possible impact this will have on our lives, as well as the State of Wisconsin’s future. Many questions and lively discussions have been going on for the last 5 days in our home, and likely, many other households. I am proud that my daughter has taken notice, made a stand, supported her teachers, and displayed her first amendment voice. She marched for Me and our rights – she knew what she was doing, along with many of the other students. So please, give our kids more credit than contending the teachers “put them up to it.”

I would also like to thank the Tomahawk School District for taking the opportunity, rather than suppressing the situation, allowing the kids to express their thoughts and actions in a controlled, democratic and peaceful manner.

Marissa Isensee
Tomahawk


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:33 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor from the Feb. 22 Tomahawk Leader:

Much attention has been given in recent weeks to education “reform.” While a focus on these important issues is welcome, the voices of educators – those of us working daily in classrooms across the nation – have been inexplicably ignored in the debate.

Educators were working to improve our public schools before it became trendy, and we are eager to collaborate with parents, community leaders and anyone else who shares our vision. We offer no "manifesto" and no easy answers, only the promise of hard work and a chance to make a difference.
The status quo is not acceptable, but improving public education is a complex challenge. Ideology and simple solutions are no substitute for hard work and proven practices.

We cannot move forward without acknowledging the real challenges facing our public schools. One out of every five children in our nation today lives in poverty. Poor nutrition and health care and illiteracy in the home, among other things, have a real impact on learning. Helping all students succeed requires addressing this whole spectrum of needs – a fact ignored by many “reformers.”
Too much of the debate has focused on blaming teachers. Yet, teachers are not the problem in education today, and neither are our unions. Nobody wants unqualified teachers in classrooms. We need to focus on nurturing great teachers, by strengthening preparation before they enter the profession, and ensuring ongoing opportunities for experienced teachers to build their skills.
We must move away from the current systems for evaluating students and teachers. Standardized tests are clearly not the solution, either for measuring student achievement or judging their teachers. We need to focus on measuring the skills our children will need for the 21st Century – critical thinking, reading comprehension and writing, and the ability to ask pertinent questions. And, we need to allow teachers and management to collaborate on new methods of evaluation that will give a better picture of what students are learning, and help teachers improve their practice.
There is no silver bullet to improving education, and movies and manifestos that claim to provide simple solutions do a great disservice to students and teachers. The only way to provide a viable choice to every family is by improving our neighborhood schools.

As an educator, I truly hope that this national debate will allow for real dialogue about the challenges facing our education system and the hard work and collaboration necessary to address them. Let's put aside the rhetoric and stop the blame and start working together to give all of our students the world-class education they deserve.

Sincerely,
Amanda Oliva
Wausau


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:34 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor from the Feb. 22 Tomahawk Leader:

After witnessing a week of exaggerations and falsehoods concerning state budget issues, I am making a plea for honest, rational discussion. Perhaps the greatest dishonesty is suggesting that public employees are better compensated than private employees. If we include wages and benefits, as honesty requires, we find that private employees are better compensated than public employees. That's because public employees have always accepted significantly less pay, on average, in order to have the security of good benefits. Moreover, although teachers have avoided furloughs, they had their salaries essentially capped for 15 years before “the crash” while they also lost benefits. These are matters of fact.

If public employees give up more, the advantage of private over public will become greater, increasing the present unfairness. And this is without factoring in something as important as educational background. (Nationally 30 percent of private employees have four-year degrees; 60 percent of public employees do, but they receive 25 percent less in wages.)
If we want equality between the two groups, and we want to cut public employee benefits further, then logic dictates that we must raise wages to equalize private and public compensation packages. If that is not possible, maybe we should consider that more resources do exist – just not in the hands of public employees if they are to have equality with the private sector.
Be honest. Be rational. Be fair.

Greg Robinson
Harshaw


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:35 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor from the Feb. 22 Tomahawk Leader:

What is at stake here is the very profession of education. Those who have chosen to go in to this profession really don’t have a choice that it is a public sector job. Are there private sector or religious options? Yes, but they are not the norm. It was teachers who helped solve budget problems in the 1970’s by taking benefits in lieu of pay. Teachers again stand ready to help solve budget problems. However, this bill in its present form destroys the profession of education under the guise of the taxpayers’ right desire to solve budget problems. Politicians are using this bill to bust unions and with it the very notion of the profession of education in the public sector. Imagine how the medical community would respond if politicians told them how many patients they must treat on a weekly basis or what safe working conditions meant. A profession by definition must have a level of self-governance. That is what is at stake for the profession of education.

Many are asking how teachers could leave kids high and dry. First, most teachers have stayed on the job; second those who haven’t genuinely believe they are fighting for decades of education to come in Wisconsin. Make no mistake this bill is an attack on unions, unions that hold the unique collective bargaining rights of a profession, not simply basic worker rights and benefits.
Isn’t it ironic that those who say they are balancing budgets for their children and grandchildren are doing it at the expense of their education? The governor says he will not introduce the budget until this is resolved, perhaps because his budget guts a billion dollars from public education and he just doesn’t think the taxpayers would stand for it.

James Runyon
Appleton (formerly Tomahawk)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:36 pm 
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Sen. Jim Holperin’s first formal statement on Special Session Senate Bill 11 as published in the March 1 Tomahawk Leader:

On Monday, Feb. 14, Special Session Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) was introduced at the request of Gov. Walker as a “budget repair bill” necessary to correct a $137 million revenue shortfall in the state’s fiscal year which ends June 30, 2011. A final vote on passage was scheduled for four days later.
It became immediately apparent that the 144 page SB 11 did far more than simply correct a budget imbalance in the current fiscal year. The measure was full of policy changes that affected Medicaid (SeniorCare, FamilyCare, BadgerCare, etc.), the sale of state facilities, and several other state programs far into the future. Most important, the bill would repeal nearly all of the current statutory rights of public employees to organize, negotiate and bargain collectively with their employers. Noisy but peaceful protests began the following day.

A single, lengthy public hearing was held the day after SB 11 was introduced, and the hearing generated even more questions about the contents of the bill. On Thursday, Feb. 17, 14 State Senators refused to come to the floor to vote on the measure, saying more time was needed for the public to fully understand the long term impacts of the legislation.

After serving nearly 15 years in both the State Assembly and Senate, I’ve learned one thing that really upsets people is the quick passage of legislation which directly affects them, but which they were not aware of and did not have the opportunity to comment on.

The following day, as protests spread statewide, public employees agreed to the fiscal concessions which Gov. Walker claimed were necessary to both correct the current budget shortfall and eliminate the $3.6 billion deficit which is projected over the coming two years. Having won an agreement by public workers to pay more toward their pensions and health insurance, Gov. Walker was asked to compromise on eliminating the worker’s rights to organize and bargain collectively. He refused to discuss the matter, and so it became quite clear that the issue was no longer just balancing the state budget, but rather eliminating worker’s rights.

Over the next few days, repeated attempts were made to seek a meeting with the Governor. All such requests were denied. The 14 Democratic Senators stayed away and began attempts to talk with Senate Republicans about some middle ground. Those attempts continue.

The basic right of public workers in Wisconsin to organize and bargain has been a part of Wisconsin law for many decades. The law has been changed many times to adjust for economic conditions, but every single Governor in the past 50 years, both Republican and Democrat, has worked with the legislature to make those changes while protecting the fundamental right of workers to bargain collectively.

Many have said the Senators who walked out behaved childishly and are not doing the job they were paid to do. However, it is always the job of the minority to make sure that the legislature takes sufficient time to consider the consequences of legislation, and that people’s rights are respected and protected. In this case, leaving the Capitol was the only way to buy enough time for the proper consideration of legislation which would eliminate the rights of public workers.

While we have been gone, a great deal more has been learned about the consequences of SB 11, yet no essential state business has been neglected. Wisconsin government is working, no one has been laid off and no fiscal harm has come to the state.

In the 12 days that I and my colleagues have been away, we work long days in meetings, on the phone and by e-mail with constituents. Most important, we continue to seek compromise and middle ground with the Governor and Republican State Senators on the matter of worker’s rights. We believe there is a compromise which both requires sufficient financial sacrifices by public workers to balance the budget, yet still preserves the fundamental right of those workers to organize and bargain collectively. We remain hopeful that such a compromise is not far off.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:39 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the March 1 Tomahawk Leader:

It truly is a dark day in Wisconsin when I as a taxpaying citizen and a public employee cannot get my governor to take my call or listen to me but a “billionaire” from New York has no difficulty. Who does Gov. Walker really represent?

We all get upset and rightfully so when we hear stories about bullying in schools and on social networking sites, but it’s OK when the highest official in the state can talk about having a baseball bat in his office. Something is dreadfully wrong.

Dotti Andersen
Taxpayer and proud public school teacher
Tomahawk


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:40 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the March 1 Tomahawk Leader:

Taxpayers in Wisconsin are fed up with the missing 14 Wisconsin senators’ antics. Our governor may be forced to layoff government workers because the Budget Repair Bill hasn’t been voted on.
Because of their dereliction of duty a recall has been initiated of Sen. Holperin in his district. Most workers would easily lose their jobs if they didn’t show up for work, but the people Sen. Holperin represents need to say, “You’re fired” by getting out and collecting signatures on petitions, not easy, but very doable with the present situation.

In a recent Channel 12 poll 2,342 viewers answered the question “Do you agree with state Democrat's decision to not show up at Thursday's Senate session?” and 62% voted they didn’t agree with the Democrat’s decision to be AWOL and only 37% agreed.

Even people who seldom watch the news now know that Organizing for America and other radical groups are coming from all over the nation to butt into Wisconsin's business and that’s making people even madder. People who work in the private sector don’t have extra “sick” days to take off work to go to Madison, but they’ll show how they think the next time they cast their ballot, and when they collect signatures for a recall.

Could these missing Democrat Senators be missing to keep the assault on our Capitol going? Let’s send them all home…the protesters and Sen. Holperin.

Joyce Bant
Hazelhurst


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:41 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the March 1 Tomahawk Leader:

I am responding to Gov. Scott Walker’s TV advertisements (that) say Harley workers in Wisconsin are O.K. with the new labor agreement they ratified. We are not O.K. with throwing out the window 45 years of collective bargaining we accomplished throughout the years to establish the work rules and benefits we had. We are not O.K. with paying more for our health insurance. We are not O.K. with a seven-year wage freeze. We are not O.K. with casual workers. We are not O.K. with freezing our pension. We are not O.K. with our new collective bargaining agreement. We are not O.K. with belittling our seniority.
There are many people in this company that used to like coming to work and do their jobs. There is no more family environment and the passion of being a Harley employee is gone. A lot of us feel betrayed and are orphans now.

We are not O.K. with the ultimatum of either accepting the new agreement or the company will move to another location. Not that many years ago that would probably be considered extortion.
Unions have increased the standard of living for all working people.

We are O.K. with keeping the jobs in Wisconsin. That’s the only reason the new bargaining agreement was ratified.

We will stand with our brothers and sisters as long as it takes to protect the workers’ rights in Wisconsin and in the U.S.A. The budget is not the driver for Walker’s agenda, union busting is! This fight is just not about unions, it’s about take-aways from working people.

In solidarity,
Al Dean
United Steel Workers Local 460
Tomahawk


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:42 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the March 1 Tomahawk Leader:

When we moved to Merrill over 15 years ago, I realized this was a union town, but not until last week did I fully realize we also have a union newspaper, the Merrill Foto News. By the time I finished reading through Jamie Taylor’s four left-leaning articles looking fervently for any hint of professional journalism, you know, the kind that actually reports on the facts without interjecting opinion or personal bias, I was so upset I wanted to throw-up in the “steady river of humanity flowing around the building in the street”(s) of Madison. If you want to be a reporter, save the opinions for the opinion page. Stick to the facts – preferably for both sides and let the readers form their own opinions. After all, if we have quality teachers teaching in our community, I would hope that would be what they teach our students to do – to think for themselves and form their own opinions on any subject based on the facts rather than the underlying emotions or biases concealed in the presentation of those facts.

The facts many Merrill residents have refused to accept for years in this union town are that we have declining enrollment and with declining enrollment comes less funding for schools. And with less funding for schools and declining enrollment comes the need for fewer teachers. Why do we have declining enrollment? Could it be because the union mentality has driven many of our previously prosperous manufacturing jobs to other states or countries because they could no longer afford to pay the excessive union salaries and benefits? Could it be that unwillingness to compromise on collective bargaining rights in the past have resulted in jobs, families and students leaving the area? Could it be that there is simply no one left to pay for your benefits? Could it be time to wake up and smell the coffee?

This community is a microcosm of what is going on at the state and federal level and it is time for all of us to set our opinions aside and face the facts – we are broke and there is no one left to bail us out. It is time to buck-up and show-up. We all have a job to do, so dig in and do it. Go out and vote when elections happen. When elected to do a job, show up to do it. Hold your elected officials accountable for what they said they would do either by re-electing them, voting them out or if need-be, recalling them. And learn to think for yourselves based on facts, not the opinions “reported” by the biased media. We cannot continue to be a nation, state or even community of great people if we continue to settle for mediocrity at every level along the way. Be the best you can be and expect no less from those around you.

LaDonna Fermanich
Merrill


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:43 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the March 1 Tomahawk Leader:

I’m tired of paying taxes.

When I listen to what our new governor says about paying taxes it’s funny how he attacks the state workers. They did not get their insurance, retirement and other benefits overnight. They got their pay and benefits over the last 50 to 75 years. A little each year.

We are in bad times now and it will take years to get out of. This is not the industrial revolution anymore. Computers have taken millions of jobs.

I go to the grocery store, gas station, hardware store or wherever you go the price has gone up by leaps and bounds.

Every place you go you help pay for people’s wages and benefits.

I bet our new governor gets a good salary and very good benefits and he has been in office about two months. That also goes for our Senators and Legislature people both state and federal.

Gov. Walker, you were elected to office not to be a dictator or try to break unions or attack one group. Every time we spend money we are helping people at that establishment pay their insurance, taxes and retirement.

If your law is passed I’m sure my taxes will not go down. The money will be a drop in the bucket.
I’ll just go on paying my taxes and enjoying this wonderful United States.

Darwin Kluball
Tomahawk


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:44 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the March 1 Tomahawk Leader:

For the vast majority of my professional career I was forbidden by law from joining a union, however, coming from a union family, I understand and fully support every workers right to negotiate their wages, fringe benefits, and working conditions.

I find it totally incredible Governor Walker and his gang of ultra-conservative, right-wing, Republican toadies, and school yard bullies, under the guise of “budget relief,” have the audacity, the pusillanimity, the absolute depravity, to heinously attempt to eviscerate the collective bargaining law in Wisconsin, ripping the very heart and soul from the middle class, denigrate the lives and memories of those who struggled to achieve its passage, plunge the hopes, the lives, the future of thousands of our working middle class into the depths of degradation, then sentence to an uncertain future and life, the young and the old, our most vulnerable, by denying them adequate health care.

His threat to use the military to force compliance with his edict and will is less than despicable, tyrannical, a debasement of the rights of man, and a call to the ballot box to the multitudes. If I may paraphrase, from my childhood when the world was in turmoil and tyrants were just as active then as now, “when they attacked the Poles, I did nothing; when they attacked the Jews, I did nothing; then, they attacked me and it was too late.”

Well, the Sudetenland is in danger of falling to the despots and it will take the sweat and tears of many to return it to its proper place in society if we allow that to happen.

I fear we have learned little from history and now see the inmates are in control of the asylum, relegating Wisconsin to a vassal state where public workers have little value other than fodder, gobbled up to satisfy the appetites of the far right and those who control the wealth.

Sincerely,
Curtis G. Powell
Tomahawk


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:45 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the March 1 Tomahawk Leader:

I have been following the local news on the union situation all week. As a union retiree it hits home. I decided to do a little research and this is what I found.

Most teachers pay little to nothing for their health insurance. The private sector employees pay on average 28 percent of the cost of their health insurance. They pay very little when it comes to their pensions. They now contribute 0.2 percent and for every dollar they put in the state puts in $57. This is one of the top ten pay-ins by any state in the nation. Private sector companies don’t even come close.

In a time when everyone has had to take less they continue to want more. In December they tried to force thru another raise in benefits before the Governor took over. This failed by a slim margin.
Teachers in Wisconsin get to retire at 50 to 55 years old with full pay. Fortune 500 companies don’t have that kind of retirement age. Now they call in sick, how mature of them, they really care don’t they. The average salary in the private sector here in Wisconsin is $34,500, in the public sector it’s over $58,000.

My pension has been cut twice the last two years and we have also had to pay more for our medical coverage. My son in Green Bay has taken two pay cuts in the last two years. And my daughter works two weeks on and one week off so the company does not need to fire people. Why shouldn’t they help out? What the Governor wants is far less than the national average and in these times may only get worse. Maybe he should just cut the schools budget and let people get laid off or be fired? I looked at my taxes and can’t believe the amount that goes to the school no doubt to cover these ridiculous pensions.

Wisconsin is in the bottom 10 states for per capita private sector pay. Yet we are in the top 10 states when it comes to taxes. How is this fair? I guess the unions don’t care they want their raises every year despite the state’s condition or ability to pay. A perfect example of why other countries are becoming economic power house while the U.S. loses more and more ground every year. Look at Illinois to our south, some of the highest taxes in the nation. Companies flying out of the state. Chicago where I worked once had factories every few blocks. Now nothing. They can’t even get anyone to buy their worthless bonds since everyone knows they can’t pay them back.

The public sector needs to learn that their fellow Badgers are hurting far worse than these proposed costs to them. They receive these great benefits on our backs, benefits most of us dream of and wish we had.

Take a look at your property taxes and see what the schools get. Give me a break already, get back to work and stop hiding behind the children.

Dan Miltimore
Irma


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