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On April 4 The Star ….

On April 4 The Star News called on the weight limits for hauling maple sap to be increased. “Wisconsin should treat maple syrup producers the same as other agricultural producers and ease restrictions to allow operators to haul heavier loads during the harvest season.” The Star

News also supported a plan to increase town representation on the Medford Area Fire Commission. “It is unfair to expect town residents to pick up more of the fire department’s tab without having more seats at the table.”

On April 11 The Star News questioned the intent of the purchase of 23.8 acres by Medford Area Elementary School. “In the absence of a public plan, the district is open to legitimate taxpayer concern that the purchase is nothing more than a costly boondoggle. The $411,000 purchase is a significant amount of money to invest in a parcel simply to sit on it.” The Star

News also praised the economic impact of hosting events and called on more leadership to make these events possible.

“Medford must continue to develop the community leadership needed to keep these events and the positive economic impact they bring, by investing in the facilities infrastructure needed to be a venue host.”

On April 18 The Star News called on the city to revise the recreation commission funding rules to be more inclusive.

“The city should amend the recreation commission bylaws to specifically allow funding for groups such as Huey’s Hideaway and specify that recreation funds must be used for programming rather than payroll.” The Star News also called for changes to the overtime rules to be phased in over a period of time.

“Rather than helping workers and rural communities, the plan for a one-year jump in the exempt limit would harm workers and hurt their communities through cuts employers would need to make in order to keep their doors open.”

On April 25 The Star News called on the state to not reduce the training standards for CNA positions. “Wisconsin must not lower its standards simply for the expediency of getting a warm body in a position. When it comes to health and safety, it should not be a question of settling for who you can get, but getting the best people you can.” The Star News also called on action to bring more young families to the state. “Wisconsin is facing an uncertain future. The state must grow to survive and must be willing to make changes in how things have always been done to become more attractive to the families it desperately needs.”

On May 2 The Star News called for a reduction in high-pressure standardized testing of students. “Wisconsin taxpayers and students are being poorly served by the over reliance on standardized testing.

Students are more than a number and it is time that the state recognizes this.”

The Star News also praised the creation of new cellphone policy for county employees. “Current cellphone policies in the county are haphazard with it being left up to departments and their oversight committees to determine if the devices are warranted.”

On May 9 The Star News called on local government to not stand in the way of redevelopment efforts. “Every community has areas that are ripe for redevelopment. Local government needs to be a partner in redevelopment efforts.” The Star News also praised Republicans in the legislature for cutting non-fiscal measures out of the state budget bill. “The joint finance committee made the right call to streamline Ever’s proposed budget and cut out the political grandstanding in favor of focusing on the task of crafting a passable budget.”

On May 16 The Star News supported a change in the Medford school district athletic codes regarding how violations are handled. “While the ‘in the presence of’ rule still remains problematic, recognizing a distinction between those who use and those who choose not to is a good step forward.” The Star News called on rural legislators to stand up to the Madison power-base and call for dark store legislation. “It takes true leadership to gather a coalition and publicly challenge the stranglehold of power that is choking Wisconsin. Wisconsin is sorely in need of this level of leadership.”

On May 23 The Star News shared advice to area graduates. “The challenge for recent graduates and for all of us, is in order to arrive at our dream goal, we must be prepared to face the choices and challenges along the journey.” The Star News also called on Congress to pass the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). “Congress needs to quickly approve the USMCA and bring with it a return to stability between the country’s major trading partners.”

On May 30 The Star News called on the county to continue with setting up a program to help homeowners with septic system upgrades. “In the words of county supervisors Lester Lewis, the county should not be intimidated by the legalese or the number of pages in the program handbook, but rather focus on the goal of improving the lives and protecting the resources of Taylor County residents.”

On June 6 The Star News praised farmers and said more needs to be done to ensure the future of agriculture in the state. “The decline of family farming is a cancer eating away at the foundation of rural America. It is undermining rural communities and impacting consumers at every level from Main Street businesses to factories and professional services.”

The Star News also called for the federal government to stop taxing scholarships.

“Rather than punishing those who work hard to earn scholarships, the government should stop taxing scholarships and instead work to promote access to higher education.”

On June 13 The Star News supported the idea of a half cent increase in the state sales tax in order to provide funding for transportation. “Wisconsin needs a viable longterm solution to maintain its transportation infrastructure. A statewide sales tax increase would provide that solution.” The Star News also called on local governments to use zoning to protect their communities’ interests.

“Rather than being passive observers as county and state officials shuffle paper and make decisions, local zoning gives town officials tools to look out for their own interests and a seat at the table.”

On June 20 The Star News again called for the state to settle the Steve Bowers felony case. “Taylor County taxpayers have better things to be spending their money on than carrying the burden this case continues to place on their backs.”

The Star News also voiced opposition to a lawsuit to try and eliminate the Wisconsin State Bar. “WILL’s lawsuit against WisBar is nothing more than an attention-seeking waste of limited judicial resources. The lawsuit is a petty attempt to break a system that is working in order to advance a skewed political agenda.”

On June 27 The Star News praised those involved with the fundriasing and construction of an inclusive playground in the Medford City Park. “Children’s laughter is a universal language. It transcends boundaries of culture, socioeconomic level and physical or mental ability. The sound of children’s laughter is a reminder that whatever differences people have, we are all fundamentally the same deep inside where it counts the most. It is the sound of hope.” The Star News also opposed politicially-motivated tax cuts. “Rather than attempting to buy votes with borrowed money, the governor and legislature should use the money to invest in the state’s future by doing things like putting more money into transportation projects to repair and maintain roads and bridges.

Alternatively, the state could increase funding for schools and colleges.”

On July 4 The Star News called for the state to scrap the cap on liquor licenses in a community due to changing trends in how they are being used. “Generations of do-gooders and the side effects of misguided social engineering attempts have made the neighborhood tavern an endangered species in Wisconsin, while doing nothing to curtail the consumption of alcohol in the state.” The Star News also supported the passage of the Equality Act. “There is a peculiar notion among some Americans, especially those who benefit most from the status quo, that freedom is a finite resource.”

On July 11 The Star News questioned why barriers were installed limiting access to a pedestrian bridge on the Medford City Park. “What is perhaps most peculiar is why the city decided now, seven years after the bridge was opened, that the barriers were needed.

Is the city so flush with cash that it has money to waste on unneeded barriers?”

The Star News also said that the state budget process worked the way it was intended. “As a whole, the system worked as intended and with compromise and partial vetoes, both sides broke even.”