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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: March 17, 2021

Dear Editor:

President Joe Biden signed the huge COVID Relief Bill Thursday, March 11, 2021.  This legislation provides, among many other things, $1400 for each individual in a family whose income is less than $75,000 for an individual or $150,000 for a couple.  It is meant to help low income families â€catch up' on the arrearage of rent and/or utility (water, heat, electric) payments.

One of the criticisms of the bill is that payments go to all those meeting the financial requirements.  Many do not need these funds.  I recently had a friend approach me with just this concern.  He knew that the St Joseph Conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVdP) works with those in real need.  His solution was to send us the amount of his relief check!!  This way his funds would go to those most affected by the pandemic †the poor †those who have borne the brunt of this crisis.

For those of you that might consider such generosity, let me introduce the St. Joseph SSVdP Conference.  We are a Catholic lay ministry to Those In Need †with a one hundred (100) year history in Marinette and vicinity.  We are a faith-based non-profit corporation organized under 501 (c)(3) and certified as a Charitable Organization by the State of Wisconsin.

We work directly with anyone in need, without regard for race or creed.  Our mission includes both immediate help (Vendor payments for rent, utilities, etc.) and assistance in long range planning and support to attain goals leading to fiscal independence and sustainability.

We collaborate with other local non-profits, Federal and State programs, i.e. Human and Health Service programs.

Our primary intervention tool is the home visit.  We operate in teams of two.  Prayer is intrinsic to our interventions. 

Funding is comprised of donations from Holy Family Parish, parishioners of Holy Family Parish, St Mary's †Peshtigo and SS Joseph & Edward †Walsh, other community individuals and grants secured on a local (Tri-County United Way, WPS Foundation, Stephenson National Bank and Trust, Provident Health Foundation and M & M Area Foundation, etc.), state (Rural Housing, NEWCAP) and federal level (FEMA-EFSP).

Please consider a donation to our conference for a corporal work of mercy.  One Hundred percent (100%) of your gift will go to a local individual or family in need.   Last year we served 488 different local families and this year we have already served 428 different families!

Better yet, join our ministry.  We meet the second and fourth Monday at 5:00 pm at Holy Family Parish Hall and we are open to the public.

It's Lent, almsgiving is good for the soul and for individuals and families in need!!

Our address is St Joseph SSVdP Conference, PO Box 563, Marinette WI  54143-0563.  Make checks payable to SJC-SSVdP.

In the spirit of St Vincent de Paul,

David Harper,

St Joseph SSVdP Conference  - Spiritual Advisor



Dear Editor:

I am writing in to express my support for Debbie Sievert as she runs for re-election for for Alderperson (District 3). As a young family moving into Peshtigo, Debbie was very welcoming to us and helpful with our neighborhood questions. She was always available to answer any questions and if she didn't know an answer, she got back to us. She has served as an Alderperson the entire time we've lived here and served our community very well. Debbie has proven to be an effective and professional go-between for our family and the city.

Samantha Jagielski,

Peshtigo



Dear Editor:

On April 6th the citizens of Peshtigo will be voting on a referendum to allow the city property tax level to exceed State imposed spending limits. In the almost 50 years that my husband and I have lived in this city I have always been appreciative of how nice a place it is to live. It has nice tree lined streets, good city services and no slum areas. It takes money to keep a city in good condition, and right now there are some big projects that need extra money to fix problems. This is why I will be voting yes on this referendum.

What we don't need is to pass a referendum to spend over $33,000,000 to renovate our high school. The proposed plan includes a lot of wants and not that many needs. Is another gym, a weight room and a larger girls locker room a need? How many days a year do we need an air conditioned school. Couldn't the school partner with NWTC for classes in the manufacturing and construction trades? We pay a lot of taxes to have that campus available.

If the school was so outdated and unacceptable why would there be so many students from other districts who chose our school? The families of these students would not pay anything for this renovation project, since their taxes go to where they live. Also, we are already subsidizing these students because it costs almost $5,000 more per student than we receive from state aid to educate them. That comes to $800,000 a year to have these 160 guests in our schools. These are the reasons why I am voting no on the school renovation referendum, and I urge other to do the same.

Celeste Meintz,

Peshtigo resident



Dear Editor:

I would like to share with your readers the Debbie Sievert I've come to know. While I do not live in Ward 3, I am a volunteer in the office where she works. I have witnessed how she interacts with coworkers and visitors. Debbie is friendly, respectful, and willing to help someone who needs assistance completing a project or planning an event. She has a calming demeanor that allows her to listen thoughtfully, grasp people's problems and concerns, then asks what she can do to help out. When volunteers are needed, she is ready to step in and assist, whether it's working on the large flower planters all over town in the spring or changing them to fall decorations she helps (even in the rain!). She assists at the many city-sponsored special events at Badger Park, working to improve and beautify riverfront green spaces, etc. This may not be a long letter but hopefully it has provided insight to another side of Debbie, the Alderperson. Please vote on Tuesday, April 6. It is your right to cherish, not to take for granted.

Linda Nogalski

Peshtigo



Letter to Editor:

We have a very fine recreation center that the community can be proud of, but we are not being told the truth about what it is costing us. Marinette's Finance Department gave a false narrative to the Parks and Recreation Committee stating that fewer dollars were spent in 2020 to subsidize the operations of the recreation department than before the REC Center was built. This is not true.

The deficit for all recreation programs and facilities has more than doubled since the new Center was built. The average deficit in prior years was $521,000; last year it was $1.2 million. This is not because of revenue shortfalls due to Covid-19 restrictions on programing and events. This is mostly due to the loan payments for the construction of the new Center. Our debt service for the new Center has been well over $1 million per year.

The community donations toward the construction of the Center that offset some of the loan payments is being drawn down and will disappear relatively soon. Projections show our annual deficit to operate the recreation department will not decrease even with some reduction in the loan payments.

Recreational programing averaged roughly 6% of the annual budget before the REC Center was built. Going forward it will be between 12%-15%. (A detailed budget analysis can be viewed on Facebook at â€Doug Oitzinger Marinette Alderman.â€)

I do not regret building the new REC Center, though I wish there had been better management of the construction project and more frugal management of its operations today. I am not critical of revenues being down because of restrictions on the Center's use due to Covid-19. I would have placed even more restrictions on its use in the interest of public health.

But I am critical of the inaccurate representations of the REC Center's impact to our budget. Unfortunately, I had to request information through an Open Records request to verify some financial data because the administration wouldn't provide it voluntarily. Transparency in local government is essential if its citizens are going to respect and believe what they are being told by their elected leaders. As long as I am on the City Council, I will continue to push for that transparency.

Doug Oitzinger,

Marinette



Dear Editor:

A year ago when the whole pandemic started the CDC said we needed to remain 6' away or wear a mask. Not both!  Being outside a person did not need a mask. Depending upon who's advice you follow now you might want to wearing one, two or three masks indoors and outdoors. I see people driving their cars wearing a mask. Crazy and confusing?  The medical doom and gloomers wanted everyone to get tested for free even though there is/was no cure other than letting Covid run its course.  Now they are pushing free snake oil called vaccines that were rushed into use with minimal testing at best.  The CDC's definition of Vaccine: â€A product that stimulates a person's immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.  Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but can also be administered by mouth or sprayed into the noseâ€.  It seems the CDC forgot their own definition as none of the current Covid vaccines prevent a person from getting Covid they are just supposed to minimize the symptoms. Now the CDC, doom and gloom medical folks along with the Chicken Little The Sky is Falling politicians are not happy because many people and even some governors are tired of the whole flattening the curve bill of goods they were selling and waiting for the vaccine so stuff is opening up finally.  I feel bad for all the people in assisted living and nursing homes that are very lonely.  Then there are all the people that died in hospice alone. Why did they as we know where they were headed?  It isn't like Covid was going to change the end result.  Do not forget all the people that died and no one could come to their funerals to say goodbye. If masks and â€social distancing†work visiting them all should not have been a problem should it?  So we could go grocery shopping but not to nursing homes, assisted living, funerals or even church.

Does anyone believe all this free stuff is not going to cost tax payers a lot of money in the future?  Do you think the economy will recover or ever be the same? One thing we can and need to do is wholesale change out all the elected officials responsible for not using common sense. They allowed the CDC, doom and gloom medical folks and the Chicken Little The Sky is Falling politicians to make a big yearlong mess of this country and the economy. Heart related problems and cancer are still killing more people than Covid.  Why hasn't more been done to solve these long time diseases?     

Pete Pfankuch,

Crivitz



Dear Editor:

In January of 2020 Governor Tony Evers created a Blue-Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity. The Commission was non-partisan and represented all of rural Wisconsin. The Governor also created a new Office of Rural Prosperity, housed within the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC.)

The Commission reached out to all areas of rural Wisconsin by means of: public forums; small group conversations; visits with organizations, businesses and local leaders; and, invitations to the public for comments and ideas. The eighty-page report of the Commission's findings details an enormous range of challenges facing rural communities including broadband expansion, healthcare, childcare, jobs, housing, education and many more. In the words of WEDC's Chief Executive Officer â€The report lays the groundwork for a sustained strategy aimed at building and maintaining prosperity across rural Wisconsin.â€

The report also identifies State government failures over the last decade to recognize the needs of rural communities, including budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin, the rejection of federal dollars to help expand rural access to health care, tax dollars to out of State companies and the defunding of critical State agencies. In an unprecedented effort to retain power the Republican controlled Senate and Assembly have devoted their time and energy to suppressing the vote, stripping the office of the governor of the ability to govern, gerrymandering congressional districts, and filing frivolous lawsuits.

Karl Jaeger is the Democratic candidate for the 89th assembly district. In his service on our County Board and in his campaign, Karl has been steadfast in dealing with the serious issues that the Blue-Ribbon Commission has identified. He has proven himself to be committed to the hard work of achieving rural prosperity. Vote for Karl and let's return State government to the business of caring about the people of Wisconsin.

Amy Schwaba,

Marinette



To the Editor:

There is a Special Election for State Assembly District 89 coming up and the two candidates have very different issues they are highlighting. It's not that they have different approaches to a similar set of issues, they are talking about completely different issues.

Elijah Behnke's website addresses guns, religion, abortion, election irregularities, etc. While most of these are fear-based falsehoods to me, even on his chosen issues, he offers no particular legislation which he would support if he were elected.

Karl Jaeger's website lists clean water, healthcare, public school funding, and broadband expansion as his major issues. For each one of these, he offers specific legislation or actions he would support. Healthcare is a major issue for me, and I like Jaeger's proposal to expand BadgerCare with Federal Medicaid dollars. The recently passed Covid Relief package provides even a bigger incentive for Wisconsin to join 38 other states already in this program. That's potentially billions of federal dollars coming back to Wisconsin which we originally paid to Washington!

All of our surrounding midwestern states regardless of political party have already done this, saved their taxpayer's money and expanded health insurance. It's time for some grown-up thinking in Madison and enough of the fear-based falsehoods.

For me, the choice is clearâ€I am going to support Karl Jaeger on April 6.

Sincerely,

Mark Smith,

Oconto Falls


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