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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: August 12, 2020

Dear Editor:

As a mayor, I've seen firsthand how severe weather and flooding can impact people's lives.  I've witnessed homes destroyed, schools flooded and damaged, and small businesses closed.  

Unfortunately, this devastation isn't unique to my community.  Every year Wisconsin breaks new records with larger floods. We have to be smart and respond with stronger infrastructure that will keep us safe. We have to build for tomorrow's floods. 

Congress should do their part and enact tougher building standards to meet future flood risk, especially where public dollars are being spent. Recent Pew polling found 85 percent of Americans think federally-funded projects located in flood-prone areas should be built to stronger standards. 

Building for future risk means elevating buildings and roadways, ensuring storm sewers can handle larger rainfalls, and protecting critical infrastructure like hospitals, fire stations and electrical substations. 

The good news is that for every dollar invested in stronger building standards, it saves $5 - $7 in rebuilding and recovery.  It also creates jobs and spurs faster economic recovery following a disaster.  

We need Congress to act. Our quality of life, our success as a state, depends on our ability to adapt, be strong, and bounce back from severe weather and flooding.

Bryan Kennedy, Ph.D., 

Mayor, City of Glendale

Chair, Milwaukee County

Intergovernmental Cooperation Council 

Commissioner, Milwaukee

Metropolitan Sewerage District 



Editor:

Folks in Wisconsin's north woods should take the coronavirus seriously because it can infect and damage the heart.

Viruses are sneaky and have lots of tricks. Each virus that infects us is unique, and it takes time to figure out what a new virus does to the human body. Back in February, many thought that the new coronavirus was like the flu virus. It is not at all like the flu. This coronavirus causes disease that makes the flu look like a walk in the park.  Scientists are finding that the coronavirus can infect the heart and cause significant changes in many recovered people's hearts. If the extensive presence of heart damage holds up to more research, and the heart damage does not heal over time, it could be bad for our community.

This virus can invade multiple organs in the human body. It can infect the nose, throat, and lungs and then invade the kidneys. Along the way, in the blood, it somehow changes clotting. Scattered blood clots in the organs and strokes in the brains of folks killed by the infection are common. Do they find the virus in the hearts of infected people? The answer is yes. Half of the autopsied patients had viral particles in the heart.

That is concerning, you might say, but autopsied patients were very sick from COVID-19. What happens to the hearts of folks that recover?

Research that tried to answer this question just appeared in the respected Journal of the American Medical Association-Cardiology.  They used magnetic resonance imaging to look at the hearts of recovered people. In 100 recovered COVID-19 patients, almost 80% had evidence of abnormalities in the heart. Compared to uninfected people, the hearts of many of these recovered people pumped blood less efficiently. Yet, only 30 of the 100 infected people in this research had to go to the hospital. Most were not that sick and recovered at home. 

What is this virus doing to the heart? Will the changes resolve in most patients? Will COVID-19 put some folks in heart failure? Can drugs stop it? What will it do to high school athletes? These are critical questions, and no one has the answers yet. Panic doesn't help much in the face of high rates of infection in Marinette county. But let's be cautious with this virus until this research is confirmed, and we understand more about long-term impacts. We have to be patient because it takes time to get answers to long-term questions like this.

We will need new ways other than death and infection rates to measure the coronavirus's impact on our community and health. The possibility of a coming epidemic of heart disease should cause us to have a little heart and put on a mask and protect healthcare workers, ourselves, and each other.

Patrick F. Kiser Ph.D.

Peshtigo



Dear Editor:

I write you today to share what I believe to be excellent customer service by one of the Marinette Police Officers.

 This past week, sixteen of us took a motorcycle trip around Lake Michigan. Our plan was to return Saturday, the 11th. Our group strongly believes in one for all, all for one. So if something happens to one, we all experience it. Well of course, on Saturday as we were about to leave Michigan, one of our bikers experienced a flat tire. We made it over the bridge into your town, pulling into the area where a horse drawn logging wagon is located. There, we attempted to discover and fix the tire. Without repair, our return would have been delayed. While doing this, I observed a police squad turning into this area.

 As the officer approached, Sergeant Matt Borths identified himself, and with a positive, upbeat attitude, he stated he saw us and thought we might require assistance. When saying one bike had a flat tire, Sergeant Borths assured us that he was happy to help. I then shared identification that I was a retired police commander traveling with other retired police and fire persons.

 During recent times, the atmosphere toward law enforcement, along with law enforcement's response is sometimes not very positive. Sergeant Borths not only responded because he felt we may have needed help, but even before his knowing our professions, displayed a welcoming smile and demeanor. When I mentioned the current political anti-law enforcement environment with him and his positive helping, his response was, "That's our job and we follow our chief in providing excellent service to all." He then provided us with locations where we could obtain air and ensured us that he would stay with the downed bike while it traveled there to be sure the driver and bike was safe. After providing this safe passage, he left us off with a "Have a great day. We're here if you need us again" message.

 As I am one who has held command positions in law enforcement as well as a Board of Directors Chair and President of large corporations, I recognize good and bad service to others. I observed Sergeant Borths' excellent leadership, demeanor and positive attitude during our entire contact. His adding that his community's service does not stop when he leaves, well that was just added to his excellent law enforcement and community care.

 Sergeant Borths understands customer service. His tone, voice demeanor and calm responses provides a professional manner in handling everyone's needs, assuring all that the City of Marinette would do everything possible to make one's stay or travel through safe, welcoming, and wonderful. I am also sure that Sergeant Matt Borths' demeanor is not only a lifelong trait but also a result of yours and Chief John Mabry's leadership.

 I understand courtesy, diplomacy, and excellent customer service. Sergeant Borths displays all. I am sure you are aware of his immense value to your organization. Please, on all our riders' behalf, I would appreciate it if you would thank him and Chief Mabry again. Know that your city will always be remembered as one that is awesome.

Respectfully,

William Hominick


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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