I hope everyone in Platteville had a great summer, but Tuesday is just around the corner. At this time last year we had the opening of Rountree Commons. This year we have a new and larger dorm that was built on the grounds of UW–Platteville, and again the great minds of UWP did not set up any additional parking facilities for the additional 750 students who will be living there.
So who has to be concerned about the new arrivals and their vehicles? We the taxpayers.
I am sure if you talk to anyone at UWP they will tell you that everything is taken care of and they have parking for all of the new students … just like they did for Rountree Commons. The students will park in any and every available space in front of our homes.
At the last Common Council meeting we heard talk of a new Innovation Center with a price tag of about $8 million. That is more than half of what our city budget is today, and guess where the money is going to come from? That’s right, the taxpayers of Platteville.
I guess UWP needs the Innovation Center to come up with the solution on how to take care of its student body in a kinder and more respectful way and be a “good neighbor” to the city of Platteville.
UWP tells us that they are looking for contributors to fund their portion and will also accept gifts in kind. Isn’t that the way Wimpy paid back everyone in the old Popeye cartoons? “Buy me a hamburger today and I will pay you in kind.”
We have been told how much money the university did not get this year, but did you see the new additions at Camp Randall Stadium, and here in Platteville the students will be treated to a live concert right before classes start.
If I remember correctly, I was not allowed anything that would stimulate me before I went to bed at night so as I could get a good night’s sleep. Yet UWP is going to wind up the entire student body along with their friends from other schools and or neighborhoods. And we all know that the parties will not continue after the music stops and all of the students will go right home and get some rest for the following days classes.
I have no idea what the cost of the concert will be, but I am sure that the monies could be better used to purchase additional parking facilities for the new dorm.
As it is now many of the students have to park as far away as the Family Aquatic Center and walk to their dorms. That is a wonderful thought for someone who has arrived from a warm climate and is then forced to deal with our wonderful Wisconsin winter at 30 below zero.
If my daughter was faced with this type of under-available parking, which could interfere with my child’s health and welfare, I would be alarmed and put her in a school that thought first and acted later.
Please do not get me wrong: I am all for education and teaching our students the best information that is available, but with actions like these, who is truly looking out for our children’s best interests?
Michael V. Mayo
375 S. Chestnut St., Platteville
On the drug war
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” an unalienable right sought in the Declaration of Independence, is more restricted in the U.S. than in most other countries.
Life is sacrificed through the death penalty at a higher rate than in the U.S. than in any western democracy. Only China and five undeveloped countries exceed the U.S. in taking lives.
Liberty is more restricted for Americans. The U.S. has the highest prison population rate in the world. Much U.S. incarceration involves prisoners serving long mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.
Pursuit of happiness through use of unapproved drugs is illegal in the U.S. However, the “war on drugs” is not working. All it is doing is filling our prisons. Prison is where people learn to be more effective criminals. Most prisons offer limited opportunity for rehabilitation. Prisons sentence citizens to high taxes to pay for prison expenses.
A sensible solution would be to decriminalize marijuana, making it and other drugs available through legal channels with medical oversight. Supervised legal channels for access would provide a workable alternative to illegal drug smuggling, which would wither on the vine as demand for drugs is reduced.
Obviously it will not be easy to change attitudes toward “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the U.S. Likewise it will not be easy to change the drug culture in the U.S.
For now the bottom line is: Save taxes! Reduce the prison population! Eliminate mandatory sentences for nonviolent crimes!
7 points vs. 5 goals
I want to weigh in on your reporting (Aug. 21) of the Common Council’s discussions concerning the Museum Task Force recommendations. I was on the task force and was present at all but the first meeting.
Task force members diligently looked into many ideas that could aid the museums while at the same time reduce the overall expense to the city. After several meetings, there were two formal sets of recommendations made at our last task force meeting June 20. After some discussion and tweaking, the vote of 5–1 was in favor of John Miller’s seven-point recommendation.
In July, I received by mail a packet from the city with a document titled “City of Platteville Staff Report and Fiscal Note: Museum Task Force Recommendations.” On page 4 of that packet was the seven-point recommendation that the task force had actually voted on and approved with the 5–1 vote June 20.
But on page 5 and 6 of the packet there is a document titled “Mission Statement — 5 Goals.” As far as I know no one on the task force wrote those or voted to recommend those goals. All I can assume is that the city manager decided to add to the items the task force had voted on. The task force did not officially or otherwise recommend that our first priority was the summer staffing issue or that the museums should be closed for five months of every year (which I believe is a bad idea).
On page 2A of The Journal Aug. 21 you reported that the task force “proposed establishing a timeline for implementing changes in staffing, hours of operation, exhibits and special events.” You further report that we recommended how to staff summer hours and that we recommend asking the Jamison Museum Association members to volunteer three hours a week.
We did not vote on or recommend any of these ideas. These ideas may have been written by the city manager?
Since the third recommendation made by the task force was to have a new combined board of directors run the museums instead of city oversight, it would be up to that new board to decide matters of hours of operation, staffing, and mission of the museums. The Common Council members and the city manager should not be burdened with these details. Their concern should be the funding of the museum and the assurance of a smooth transition if indeed the council decides to divest the museums as a department of the City of Platteville.
Tracey Lee Roberts
Editor’s note: The task force report and city’s Staff Report and Fiscal Note can be read at http://media.morristechnology.com/webmedia/upload/wisconsin/article/2013/08/13/VIII.G._Museum_Task_Force_Recommendations.pdf.
No more interventions
On bombing Syria: It was disgusting and disheartening to hear John Kerry (John Kerry, for God’s sake!) reprise the UN speech of Colin Powell on the way into Iraq.
I’m sick of perpetual war. I’m done with watching our civil liberties disappear everytime they get involved in ‘another one’. I’m tired of watching our Congress threaten poor people, children, and the elderly with cuts to their entitlements, benefits, and government aid, to pay for it. I’m tired of the only people coming out on top during these “incidents” being the private contracting corporations, sucking up the wealth of the richest nation in history, and funneling it to their CEOs, who use it to buy more politicians who like nothing more than to kiss the butts of these guys for election funding, while searching for the next “war” to keep the cashflow on schedule, and the payments coming in ...
Hell no to another intervention.
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