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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From our readers

Dear Editor:

We are privileged to live in the United States where freedom reigns. However, that freedom is not free. It is paid for by the sacrifices of the men and women who have worn the uniform of our nation's military services. Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor those who signed a blank check up to life itself to protect our freedoms.

Veterans Day is observed once a year on Nov. 11th, but for the men and women of the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center and Menominee VA Clinic, every day is Veterans Day as we proudly serve and care for over 20,000 of America's heroes each year. Also, nearly one third of our 690 employees and one half of our 450 volunteers are military Veterans who proudly served our country.

We strive every day to fulfill our medical center's vision of being Focused on Excellence-Putting Veterans First.  To achieve this we continue to transform to provide the very best care to our Veterans for years to come. This transformation is called MyVA, and one of its main focuses is to improve our Veterans' experience so that they can truly say that it is "My VA."

MyVA initiatives have already improved access to VA health care for our Veterans. We were one of the first thirty-nine VA Medical Centers to establish same day access for our Veterans to have their more urgent primary care and mential health needs addressed. We also offer direct scheduling of audiology and optometry appointments without a referral from a primary care provider, providing more timely care for these services. We are partnering more with our stakeholders and community partners to ensure that our Veterans receive the best care possible.

On behalf of our employees and volunteers at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center and Menominee VA Clinic, I sincerely thank all Veterans for their service and sacrifice to insure the freedoms we all enjoy and pledge that we will continue to provide them with the care and services they need and deserve.

Sincerely,

James W. Rice

Medical Center Director

To the Editor:

The members of American Legion Auxiliary Machickanee Unit 523 Abrams would like to express our sincere appreciation for the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Thank you for serving this great country. Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for the security we have and feel here at home. We know you sacrificed much for your country and all of us.

 And though you may no longer wear the uniform, we know you're always on call to serve and protect the freedom and security of the United States of America.

We invite everyone to pause today to remember those who have fought for our freedoms. Thank you to all who have so bravely protected us.

American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation's veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours, with a value of nearly $2 billion. As part of the world's largest women's patriotic service organization,  Auxiliary volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary's mission or to volunteer, donate or join American Legion Auxiliary Machickanee Unit 523 Abrams contact President Ann Lotter at 920-373-5339 or Membership Chairperson Patricia Lindsten at 920-835-4069.

In closing when you see a Veteran say THANK YOU for their service to our country, and God Bless America.

Ann Lotter, President

American Legion Auxiliary

Machickanee Unit 523



Editor:

I am writing this letter in regards to the cutting of pay to David Zahn Director of Parks and Recreation in Peshtigo. David has worked for the city for 3 years and has increased the productivity and programs for the city during this time. I understand there is a change in the law but I do not agree with the solution.

Despite strong arguments from former Mayor Al Krizenesky and objections voiced by David Zahn, the person affected, Peshtigo City Council at its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2 approved a Personnel Committee recommendation that changes Zahn's position as City Parks and Recreation Director from salaried to hourly, at $18 per hour, which is $2 per hour less than a starting employee in the Public Works Department.

Tom Gryzwa explained the decision was not related to Zahn's job performance. He said the recommendation was made because of a new United States Labor Department ruling, effective on Thursday, Dec. 1, which changes the threshold after which overtime pay is required for salaried personnel. Any employee earning less than $47,471 a year now cannot be considered an exempt salaried employee and must be paid for overtime hours. Gryzwa said there was nothing personal about the recommendation, but Zahn happened to be the only city employee whose salary fell below the guidelines. He repeated that at the $18 per hour, plus the 206 hours of overtime (to be worked during the summer with approval of either the mayor or committee chair), Zahn would still earn the $43,000. Zahn apparently was not included in the 1 percent raise granted for a number of other city employees.

I live on a budget based on my salary. David will be cut almost $300 a month. For me that would be my car payment or my utilities not be paid each month. Now he can make up this money by working 206 hours of overtime in the summer. Where did they come up with that number? To me that means he has already been working that much overtime! What a dedicated guy! What if they don't approve the overtime? Read between the lines, folks! I also understand his secretary has been cut from 4 hours to one hour a day.

There is a simple solution, don't pay him overtime! Increase his pay for the work he has already been doing for the city and get him above the threshold. You obviously have it in your budget if you have been paying him for all that overtime. Peshtigo this is not the way to treat an employee! You will never find a person like David that has worked so tirelessly for your city. The Personnel Committee needs to spend more time looking at this situation.

Sincerely,

Ann Buscher


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841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
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