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Today's Opinion

State needs to fix DA’s Office staff shortage


Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder gave District Attorney’s Office staff members a lecture in court earlier this week. Based on the list of problems Schroeder cited, the prosecutors probably had it coming, but they also have a good excuse: There aren’t enough people in the District Attorney’s Office to do the work.

With Gov. Scott Walker about to release his state budget proposal, the judge’s dressing down of the local prosecutors may have come just in time. The District Attorney’s Office is funded by the state.

Casino backers aren’t giving up

The state legislators representing Kenosha and Racine counties joined together Wednesday to call on the governor to reconsider his decision on the proposed Kenosha casino.

Last Friday, nearly a month before the deadline, Gov. Scott Walker told the Bureau of Indian Affairs he decided against allowing the Menominee Nation and Hard Rock International to put a casino at the former Dairyland Greyhound Park site. That decision, if it stands, ends a 17-year effort by the Menominee to build a casino in Kenosha.

Wisconsin law influences national debate


Last winter in Wisconsin, the Legislature debated a bill to require outside agencies to investigate shooting incidents involving police. That bill eventually passed.

It was in part a tribute to the effective advocacy of Michael M. Bell of Kenosha. His son, Michael E. Bell, 21, was fatally shot in a struggle with police in November 2004, a shooting that was ruled justified by the police department and the Kenosha County district attorney. The family raised questions about the investigation and filed a civil rights suit against the city of Kenosha and the police department in 2008. Before it went to trial, the city settled with the family for $1.75 million.

Local Columnists

Walker’s plans point to a coal-dependent energy future

By Ross Astoria

Last year was a busy year in climate and energy. Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide peaked at over 400 parts per million, up from pre-industrial levels of about 280 parts per million. Average surface temperatures were the hottest ever recorded and 9 of the 10 hottest years have all occurred during the past 15 years. We also learned from NASA that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is in irreversible decline, which all by itself will increase sea levels by 10 feet.

Meanwhile, in September the People’s Climate March drew 400,000 people to New York City demanding action on climate. In November, President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China penned an agreement on greenhouse gases. The United States pledged to reduce emission between 26 and 28 percent by 2025, as compared to 2005. China agreed to peak its emissions of carbon pollution by 2030 or earlier. It also intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuel energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030. This will require China to install 800 to 1,000 gigawatts of non-emitting energy generation by 2030 — roughly equivalent to all of present US generating capacity.

If you believe that ...

By Steve Lund


There is a problem with the reason Gov. Scott Walker’s administration gives for rejecting the proposed Kenosha casino.

Another unexpected path

By Teri Franklin

It’s Saturday afternoon and the house is quiet. It’s rest time, that part of the afternoon familiar to all families with kids 5 and under. We use the phrase, “resting our bodies,” but as I open my eyes and look around, I am quite aware that I often need the nap as much as everyone else.

I look around the room and see my dresser, my desk and a few photos, things that are obviously mine. But this is not my room, not my house, not my life; at least not the one I knew. It’s the new norm.

Syndicated Columnists

The sacrifice of Sarah Palin


When Democrats were looking for evidence of a Republican war on women, they overlooked Exhibit A — Sarah Palin.

This isn’t to say that Palin was part of the war on women, though many Democrats would say so. Rather she was one of the war’s most conspicuous victims — fragged, you might say — by her own troops.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe


Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.

It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

For the Patriots, without apology


I never knew how much fun it was to be loyal to a hated outlaw sports team until the whole world came down on my dear New England Patriots.

Having rooted over the years for Boston teams that many felt sorry for — God help us — and found psychologically interesting, it was a rush to hear MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough the other morning describe my Patriots as a “ruthless killing machine.” Wow!

Politics in Video

Voice of the People

Why not drug test all who gets tax breaks?
Governor insults our intelligence
Where’s the report from Walker’s consultants?
Kenosha was treated like a political toy
What some call satire is really bullying

Governor drops another ‘bomb’ on Wisconsin
Walker forgot to represent the voters
Kenosha area should focus on something besides gambling
Walker does not have state’s interest at heart
Drug testing should start with governor

Streetcar grant is not free money
Governor did what was best for him, not state
Why not allow gambling on the trolley?
Menominee should try casino without Hard Rock
Maybe we should allow state-run casinos
Drug testing should apply to elected officials

City should follow advice from consultants it hired
Trolleys help make this city special
City needs to coordinate transit services with jobs
Embrace the future; anticipate growth
Bullying is not free speech