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

Issue Date: April 22, 2020

Dear Editor:

Menominee Schools will have a 44 million dollar referendum on the May 5th ballot. The last attempt was for 26 million in May 2012.

I did attend the last two task force meetings and a few board meetings. A mailing was to go out to all voters in Menominee to see if there was an interest for this referendum, which never happened. The decision to move forward was based on less than 300 people responding online. Not all were in favor.

There are 200 less students now than in 2012 with a declining birth rate over the last four years. The amount of money requested is based on rough estimates of constructing a building with NO conceptual drawings and doing other work at the High School. What percentage will be spent on the high school building? Also, there are four years left on the Sinking Fund millage at over 2 million dollars. There is no plan to "repurpose" the Blesch building which is only 30 years old, in other words, close it down as an instructional building as was discussed in numerous meetings. A word of caution, Closing Blesch for any length of time would mean it could not be reopened for use without being updated to full building code and ADA compliance before use again. This building was designed for Middle School age groups. The 1951 section was remodeled in1991 along with the new construction of the current building. Blesch received all new roofing 2 years ago and has many expansion options to fulfill our needs with safety in mind. I believe the school board has not looked at all options.

Central is in need of remodeling Central has 19 classrooms, Blesch has 32 rooms with 700 students combined. At 20 students per room that leaves 16 extra rooms. As one board member stated, "It's only two coffee's at the drive up", speaking of the $11.77 per monthly cost per household which determined the total amount of $44,000,000, "So now what can we build?" was said. $12 a month seems small to some people, but to others it's copay for prescriptions, gas to the Dr's, or money to survive.

The last 20 years the school board has not budgeted enough money to maintain a proper building and sites project list. The amount was approx. $100,000 to be used for extra work such as doors, sidewalks, electrical, parking lots, etc. beyond regular maintenance. Once again the district is falling behind and Blesch will still need to be maintained!

I cannot support this impulsive, irresponsible referendum. I Do support an annual sinking fund millage.

You must request an absentee ballot. Vote NO.

Richie Armbrust,

MAPS retired Operations Supervisor



Letter to Editor:

My name is Pam Berg, and my husband and I were blessed to call Robert Saxton our friend. He came into our classroom year after year, revisited the pain of fighting in Vietnam, and helped us to educate children. He spoke with pride about this own children, two of whom joined the military, and how important it is to realize what a great nation we are lucky enough to reside in.  When a student refused to properly pay respect to the flag during the pledge, even though it was the student's right to do so, another student asked Mr. Saxton how he felt about that. Mr. Saxton did not even blink when he said, "It makes my heart sad because, as a veteran, I lost friends defending that flag. But, the great thing about this nation is people get to make their own statements. I support that."

Mr. Saxton was an extraordinary human being. He had a wife of many years, children and grandchildren. After standing beside one another through thick and thin, his wife, Peggy did not get to hold his hand while he fought for his life. She did not get to have family and friends comfort her when she was quarantined, waiting to see if she too would have the virus. She did not get to have friends and family comfort her when he passed away.

When Peggy very honestly told people her husband had Covid-19, I was shocked to see how some people treated her. I was equally shocked to see a local paper plastering Robert Saxton's name across their front page without even a conversation with the grieving widow. I am over and over again infuriated by the insensitivity of people throughout this. 

As an educator of twenty-five years, I would like to offer the people some life advice during this pandemic. It sounds to me like we need it.

1) If someone you know is diagnosed with Covid-19 the correct way to respond is to say things like:

- "I'm so sorry. Can I bring anything to you?"

- "I will pray for you." 

2) If the person is hospitalized and their spouse/family/ roommate is quarantined the correct response is:

- "I'm so sorry. Can I deliver anything to you?" 

- "I'm sure you're lonely/scared/insert sorrowful comment here. How can I help?" 

- Maybe FaceTime them to keep them company. 

- Leave a small gift on their porch. 

3) If someone loses a loved one to Covid-19 the correct response is to say things like, 

- "I am so sorry for your loss."

- "I'm sorry you can't properly grieve with family and friends right now."

- "I'm sorry this terrible virus does not discriminate and hurts good people."

- "I wish I could hug you." 

Let me be clear. This virus could hit ANY of us. Unless the family was partying on a beach with 1,000 people instead of social distancing, they didn't "do" anything wrong.

And one more thing. Robert Saxton may have died of Covid-19, but make no mistake folks. That does not define him, nor can we as a society let it. How he lived defined him, and will continue to define him in the memories and hearts of all of us who loved him.

I hope none of you loses someone you love to this terrible virus and, if you do, I hope people treat you with more compassion, grace and kindness than the Saxton family has received.

Thanks for listening. 

Pamela Berg,

Peshtigo



Dear Editor:

"Over the last few weeks, I have been contacted by many constituents who have had trouble with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and receiving unemployment insurance," said Rep. Nygren. "Given the unprecedented amount of individuals applying for unemployment assistance, DWD has been overwhelmed with requests. According to DWD, more than 313,000 Wisconsinites have applied for new unemployment benefits between March 15 and April 6. This is estimated at 18 times more than the same time period last year."

"With that said, lives have been upended and the delays in addressing unemployment inquiries are unacceptable for the people of Wisconsin," said Rep. Nygren. "Friends, family, and neighbors who applied for unemployment insurance have been waiting for weeks to receive payments."

"If Governor Evers is going to have our state remain closed until May 26th or later, it is imperative that the DWD, which is ultimately under his control, begin efficiently serving the taxpayers of Wisconsin. At no fault of their own, thousands of Wisconsinites are now unemployed."

"Thanks to the federal government, DWD is eligible for $18.9 million in federal administrative funds," said Rep. Nygren. "This federal funding helps with administrative costs like responding to and fulfilling requests. Additionally, the bill Governor Evers signed into law last week allows the Governor to transfer state employees between agencies. That would help add additional employees at DWD to assist with the increased workload immediately."

"I urge Governor Evers and DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman to remedy this crisis."

Rep. John Nygren


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