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Star News

Quotes of theYear:

“I promised my Great Aunt Libba before she passed away that I would earn my EagleScout Rank. I did it.”— Cody Church on earning his Eagle Scout rank.

“T he board sees it as an opportunity to turn on a light bulb.” — School board president Dave Fleegel defending the punishment levels set in the district’s athletic code of conduct.

“W e have to look north and see how we have maintained through time.”— Leadership Medford class member Aemis Balsis of the challenges facing Medford.

“I take it as a kind of a personal insult that this same ordinance was brought back with the exact same wording without any consideration for addressing our valid concerns from last year.” — County board member Ray Soper about a proposed animal control ordinance.

“A fter further consideration, I figure I can put up with four minutes a month and keep citizen comments on the agenda.” — Rib Lake village president Bill Schreiner about keeping the citizen comment on the board meeting agendas.

“I have a lot of irons in the fire” — Dale Baumann about his plans after the sale of WADAL Plastics.

“T hey need to decide who they represent, the WMC or their own constituents” — Alderman Greg Knight about the state legislature’s unwillingness to pass the needed legislation to close the dark store loophole.

“I t has been a great partnership.” — Rib Lake district administrator Rick Cardey about the school and community partnership that runs Tannery Creek ball diamond.

“Y ou are worrying too much about words on paper. . . .It is just words on paper,read them and fill in the blanks.” — County board member Lester Lewis about the complexity involved with setting up a county revolving loan fund to help with sanitary system upgrades.

“I t is like living with third degree burns, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” — Amannda Szomi talking about living with epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

“I think the point is we keep it on the to-do list so that is doesn’t get lost.” — Alderman Greg Knight about waiting to decide what additional duties the next city treasurer will have.

“F arming isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle.” — Joe Tomandl IV about the need to have a passion for farming in order to be successful.

“I t makes my heart happy.” — Rib Lake elementary principal Jon Dallmann about the progress students made this year in reaching achievement goals.

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On July 18 The Star News called for the creation of a concert series in the downtown and elimination of city barriers for those holding events. “Ironically, the biggest barrier to setting up a downtown concert series is likely to be the city itself. More precisely, it is the mountain of bureaucratic busywork that any group seeking to hold an event in the city must climb through.

Especially for those who are new at putting on events, the city is far from being user friendly.” The Star News also called for a return to having boarding houses as a way to increase housing options. “Rather than rejecting boarding houses, local zoning and building codes should welcome them as an important and necessary housing option, especially for at-risk populations.”

On July 25 The Star News praised responders for working quickly to restore power and clear roads in the wake of storms. “The rain was still falling and the skies were still charged with lightning when workers began to respond to make sure power and phone service were restored, roads cleared and those in need of medical help reached.” The Star News also called on the city to construct a public restroom along the Riverwalk in the downtown. “Building the restrooms would be a good one-time use of cash to spend down some of the city reserves and be a project that would have direct benefit to the community for decades to come.”

On Aug. 1 The Star News praised the efforts of those who help put on community events. “These unsung heroes in our communities deserve our gratitude.” The Star News also called for a more complex approach to dealing with the complex problem of income disparity.

“When it comes to the minimum wage, one size does not fit all. Nor will a blanket minimum wage increase solve America’s income disparity issues.”

On Aug. 8 The Star News called on the public to contact the school district and let school officials know what they want from the high school. “The school board and its engineers know the hard numbers needed to simply keep the doors open. It is time for district residents to provide input and tell the elected officials what they want the high school to be.” The Star News also supported a bill designed to clarify when and how those convicted of crimes can have their civil rights restored.

“If Wisconsin wants to do more than pay lip service to the ideals of democracy, state residents must allow excons a clear path to having their rights restored.”

On Aug. 15 The Star News called for county government to look ahead for major expenses and include that in their budgets. “A zero increase budget approved at the county board is only half the picture. Any budget must include looking ahead three to five years for major purchases and asking the hard question of how those will be paid for.” The Star News also praised a Republican tuition plan that would lock prices at the year students entered school. “It is refreshing to see a conservative legislative proposal that acknowledges cutting is not the solution to every problem. This proposal ensures the continuation of Wisconsin’s progressive university tradition as a means for upward social mobility while at the same time being fiscally responsible.”

On Aug. 22 The Star News called for the city to open more roads to ATV and UTV use. “The Medford City Council should open city streets to all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) traffic with some common sense safety limits regarding high traffic areas.” The Star News also called for America to stand strong with Hong Kong for its civil rights demonstrations. “Beyond the esoteric and economic, Americans need pay attention to Mainland China and its handling of largely civil protestors because under the umbrellas and gas masks, they are people.”

On Aug. 29 The Star News used the Aging and Disabilities Resource Center of the Northwoods as an example of regionalization not living up to its hype.

“While well-intentioned as a way to provide the most bang for the taxpayer dollar, Madison lawmakers need to avoid the temptation of one-size-fits-all solutions.”

The Star News also called for a ban on hand-held use of mobile phones while driving. “Wisconsin should join Minnesota, Illinois and 19 other states in adopting a statewide ban on using hand-held cellphones while driving.”

On Sept. 5 The Star News reminded readers of the need to consistently battle the spread of invasive species. “Constant vigilance is necessary in order to protect the biodiversity and environmental health of Wisconsin. It also takes an ongoing commitment at the government level.” The Star News also praised major corporations in the Business Roundtable for recognizing that pursuit of profits is not the sole goal. “The fact that major corporations are beginning to look beyond just their profit margins is a recognition of the fundamental truth that we are all stewards and all have a social responsibility.”

On Sept. 12 The Star News criticized a compromise measure allowing limited expansion of ATV use for not going far enough. “The compromise is better than nothing, but not much better.” The Star News also supported keeping cursive writing as an important part of classroom instruction. “Embracing the future does not require abandoning the past. Cursive writing should continue to be an important part of elementary school learning across the state.”

On Sept. 19 The Star News supported Taylor County working to share in the cost of purchasing election equipment. “Local and county government needs to invest wisely in ensuring access to the polls for all voters.

More importantly they need to be partners in making that investment.” The Star News also supported a proposal to increase research into chronic wasting disease (CWD). “More research needs to be done about CWD and its potential impacts, not only on human health, but its potential to jump species into the state’s domestic livestock.”

On Sept. 26 The Star News called on local governments to take an active role in community growth. “The days of local governments being passive observers in economic growth are long gone. Communities in Taylor County and throughout northern Wisconsin must be ready to pick up the ball and run with it.” The Star News also supported looking at Red Flag laws in Wisconsin.

“Domine’s death was as much an indictment of the gaping holes in America’s mental health system as it was about access to firearms. Care is there, if you can afford it or qualify for some program. For everyone else, there is the downward spiral self-medication, dependency, and in the case of Robert Domine, tragedy.”