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Today's Opinion

OUR VIEW: Committee should request DOT audit

One of the items in the state budget vetoed by Gov. Scott Walker was an audit of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s State Highway Program.

The governor said he made the veto because the Joint Legislative Audit Committee already has the authority to request an audit.

Dream Playground reaches milestone

LAUREL — To Tammy Conforti and a cast of hundreds who have helped reach a fund-raising goal of $650,000 toward building the Dream Playground, which will be put up in the coming weeks at Petzke Park. Hitting that target triggers a $350,000 grant from the city of Kenosha for the 15,000-square-foot, full accessible playground that will be built primarily with volunteer labor. Conforti expects more than 3,000 people to pitch in for construction sessions Aug. 20-23 and Sept. 7-12. Kudos to Niagara Botting, which recently donated $75,000 to put Conforti’s crew over their financial target. There are still opportunities to help put the playground together at www.thekac.com/playground.

OUR VIEW: Appeals court OKs residency requirement

Residency requirements — rules that employees of a city or some other unit of government must live within a certain area, usually within the city limits — have good arguments both for and against, but the choice to have them or not ought to be a local decision.

That was our position when Gov. Scott Walker proposed the elimination of residency requirements for public sector workers as part of the state budget in 2013. The Legislature made only minor changes in the proposal, and the measure became law.

Local Columnists

PETER SKOPEC: Budget puts transportation spending on a smarter path

By Peter Skopec

After months of public debate, intense negotiation and backroom bargaining, the biennial budget battle is over. Transportation spending proved to be a serious bone of contention, and for good reason.

Wisconsin’s transportation budget has grown increasingly imbalanced in recent years. Rather than make much-needed repairs to our aging infrastructure, state officials chose to spend heavily on new and wider highways over the past decade and a half. In many cases, these highway expansion projects were based on shaky forecasts from the Wisconsin the Department of Transportation that overstated future road usage and failed to account for changing travel preferences, especially among young people. It’s no surprise, then, that WisDOT’s traffic growth projections along many recently expanded roadways are failing to materialize.

STEVE LUND: Let them all talk

By Steve Lund


A clown car is the most frequently used metaphor for the large field — 16 and counting — of Republican presidential candidates, but that’s not fair — to clowns. Clown cars are funny. The Republican presidential candidates are not funny, at least not so far.

Improving summer

By Dana Hutson

It’s summer in Kenosha, by far my favorite time of year. Anybody who’s talked to me for five minutes already knows this. You could say I’m obsessed; some do. In fact, I’m already lamenting how quickly the days are passing by. The days had just begun to warm up when they started getting shorter. ( I’ve never understood that — shouldn’t the longest day of the year be a blazing hot day right smack in the middle of summer?)

But as I type this, I’m listening to kids squealing with delight as they play in the water outside my front window. My dog is sprawled out on the hardwood floor panting, cooling down after a walk along the lakefront. A couple of weeks ago, we had a gorgeous 4th of July weekend; our grandkids swam in the pool, watched the dock diving dogs perform, and saw lake rocketeers (is that a word?) put on a show in the channel. What’s not to like about summer?

Syndicated Columnists

LEONARD PITTS JR: Violent policing is an issue for everyone

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

This will not be a column about Sandra Bland, although it could be.

Certainly there is cause for outrage over the way a Texas state trooper escalated the routine traffic stop of an indignant African-American woman into a violent arrest; she died of an apparent jail cell suicide three days later. But Chuck would say that in habitually defining police violence as a black problem, we make it smaller than it is.

STILL: Access to health care is a big issue in rural Wisconsin

By Tom Still

If you live north of Highway 10 in Wisconsin and you need health care, the chances are high you are, or will be, a patient at the Marshfield Clinic.

With 55 clinical sites and more than 700 physicians, the Marshfield Clinic is a dominant source of health care in northern, central and much of western Wisconsin. From dental clinics to food safety testing to research in about 400 active studies, the clinic offers a surprising array of services to its 400,000 or so patients.

Where are the young voters?

By Catherine Rampell

A new report from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University finds that, in 2014, youth voter turnout fell to its lowest level on record. Just 19.9 percent of 18- to 29-year-old citizens cast ballots last fall, compared with an average of 26.6 percent for the same age range in other midterm elections over the previous 40 years.

To be fair, voter turnout hit record lows across the board, not just among younger voters. But among the young, turnout fell especially steeply from an already low baseline.

Politics in Video

Voice of the People

Dream Playground needs volunteers
Everyone loses when abortions are allowed

Golfers’ treatment of Watson showed class
Confederate flag is a symbol of treason
A parade should have more than three entries

It’s about love, honor and respect
We shouldn’t neglect our spiritual sides

It’s easy to love music in Kenosha
We need more love, less bigotry
Artists deserve to be recognized