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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

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?

Taiwan reconfirms equality as well as democracy

By Arthur I. Cyr

A woman will be the next president of Taiwan, whichever party wins the election next January. On July 19, the governing Kuomintang Party (KMT) selected Hung Hsiu-chu as presidential candidate. The presidential election will match her against Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the principal opposition, and their 2012 presidential nominee.

The KMT suffered a severe defeat last November in municipal and county elections. In consequence, President Ma Ying-jeou stepped down as party chairman. The successor party chairman as well as the senior legislative leader decided not to seek the presidency, facilitating Ms. Hung’s rise.

Writer’s overflow


Hi, my name is Bob, and I’m an idea hoarder. I was forced to admit this when one of my friends called me out by showing me a few of my previous columns where I covered more than one topic. Most of my columns have been about one thing, but I’ve had a few where I’ve covered multiple topics. My friend told me that some of these topics could be columns in themselves, and he would like to see some of these discussed in more detail.

Here’s the thing though: unlike the Lunds, Snyders, Guidas, and Gileses, who have to write multiple times a week, I get set to print only once every four weeks. So, while the mainstays have more column space to fill and may occasionally have to deal with writers’ block or worry about “overdoing an issue,” I have the opposite problem. I have writer’s overflow.

Syndicated Columnists

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.

Strategy for future is next president’s top job

By Georgie Anne Geyer

By chance, in the withering summer heat, I came across an article by Dr. Henry Kissinger in the Harvard Gazette of last May. In an era when Gen. George C. Marshall, who was Ike’s trusted aide during World War II, is little referenced, the piece is called “Reflections on the Marshall Plan.”

Oddly enough, it made me think of where we are today in our foreign policy — a hodgepodge of nibbles and quibbles, invaders and crusaders and revolutions and circumlocutions, from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan.

Politics in Video

Voice of the People

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

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

The Bible is an instruction book
Voting districts need to be changed
Organization hopes to fund 1,000 Lake Michigan projects
Concert in 1970 left deep impression

We need investment in energy infrastructure
Yellow ribbons would honor returning soldiers