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An editorial year in review from

Star News


As one year comes to an end and another begins, it is good to take a look back. The following is a review of editorial topics and issues impacting the area from 2019: On Jan. 3 The Star News looked ahead to the coming year and identified the things to watch and be prepared for in the coming year including: the economy, need for leadership, the need to begin discussion on the next 50 years of Medford Area Senior High.

On Jan. 10 The Star News called for a balanced approach to management of water levels at the Chelsea Lake Dam.

“Regardless of who owns the dam, there needs to be a common sense approach to management of the lake level with credence given to how the lake has historically been managed.” The Star News also called on the state to drop participation in a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. “Rather than wasting taxpayer money on what was nothing more than an election year political stunt, a better use of those resources would be to make access to healthcare economically feasible for more Wisconsin families.”

On Jan. 17 The Star News celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Frances L. Simek Memorial Library in Medford. “Serving as a gathering place and central hub of the community has always been a focus of the Frances L. Simek Memorial Library.” The Star News also criticized the federal government shutdown. “It is time to step back from the political concept that in order for one side to win the other must lose.”

On Jan. 24 The Star News called on the school district and city to work together to allow the use of a holding tank for a team room bathroom at the football field.

“Other than one being above ground in a little plastic hut and one being below ground, there is little practical difference between a holding tank and the Porta-Potties the district has used at the fields for years.” The Star News also compared the push for rural broadband in the county as being similar to the push for rural electrification a century ago. “The profit driven model of infrastructure expansion is the same barrier today as it was a century ago when efforts were being made to provide electric service in rural areas.”

On Jan. 31 The Star News praised those who are forced to work outside even during dangerous cold weather.

“Thank you to all those who kept food on grocery store shelves, roads clear for commerce and who served as protectors enduring discomfort and danger to save the lives of others.” The Star News also condemned the federal government shutdown. “While there should be a healthy debate on the best method to secure America’s borders, holding American workers and their families financially hostage to score political points should not be allowed regardless of who sits in the White House or in the chambers of Congress.”

On Feb. 7 The Star News called on the attorney general to drop the case against deputy Steve Bowers. “There is little question that Bowers violated department policy and was punished for that violation. It grows increasingly doubtful that Bowers’ actions rose to the level of a felony misconduct in office charge.” The Star News also called on the state to increase public defender funding. “Justice is far from blind. This is especially true when it comes to the poor and the criminal courts.”

On Feb. 14 The Star News joined in celebrating national FFA week. “FFA prepares its members to be advocates for rural America. FFA gives them the tools to uphold the values of hard work and fair play that have kept Wisconsin and the country strong for generations.”

The Star News also called for a bipartisan end to the Dark Store loophole. “It is past time for Wisconsin to close the Dark Stores loophole and protect homeowners and small businesses from tax shifts that do nothing but benefit a small handful of mega retailers.”

On Feb. 21 The Star News called on the Rib Lake Village Board to keep the public comment period in their monthly meetings. “Silencing dissent doesn’t make a community’s problems go away.”

The Star News also called on the city to deny a variance for signs at Huey’s Hideaway Children’s Museum and instead change the sign rule. “The city zoning board of appeals should say no to a variance, but the city should say yes to changing the rules and allowing the signs in educational and recreational areas.”

On Feb. 28 The Star News opposed a plan to allow school board members to appear by telephone at board meetings. “When it comes to making decisions about spending taxpayer dollars and educating the community’s youth, simply phoning it in isn’t good enough.

Being there matters.” The Star News also criticized Gov. Tony Evers on a veto of a Republican-backed tax cut. “Evers’ veto was sound on fiscal policy, but weak on the realties of governing and sets the stage for governmental gridlock in the future.”

On March 7 The Star News praised organizers of the culture fair. “In the children’s story “Stone Soup” each of the villagers brings something to add to the soup turning it into a hearty feast to be shared by all. The same is true of all the people and cultures across the country making America a hearty banquet to be shared by all.” The Star News also called on local government to replace the revolving loan fund programs. “A locally funded and locally controlled revolving loan fund will give communities an important tool to help small businesses flower and grow.”

On March 14 The Star News reminded readers that government must be held accountable with open access. “When it comes to government, it’s your right to know. It’s really that simple.” The Star News also called for changes to the licensing codes that put undo burden on business owners. “Medford cannot afford to stand in the way of any business development, nor should it.” On March 21 The Star News praised Taylor County for establishing a local revolving loan fund program to replace a federal one that was being phased out.

“While the locally funded loan program will only be a fraction of the size of what was available under the CDBG programs, the county-based plan has the edge in being nimble and not having to follow clunky one-size fits all federal rules in making loans.” The Star News also called for a statewide approach to sex offender residency. “Rather than conflicting and confusing local restrictions on residency, there needs to be a uniform statewide solution that protects the safety of all state residents and prevents municipalities from dumping their unwanted residents on others.”

On March 28 The Star News praised the Taylor County Board for showing leadership in supporting efforts for a countywide fiber optic network. “Taylor County supervisors have made the right choice in moving forward with making the dream of affordable, high speed internet a reality for county residents and businesses.” The Star News praised a decision by judge Richard Niess in restoring the balance of power between the legislature and the governor. “Wisconsin’s constitution separates the powers of the legislature, governor and courts. Niess’ ruling takes the step toward restoring the balance of power between the branches of government and reaffirms importance of following what the law says, not what some people wish it says.”