These letters appeared on The Journal Times' opinion pages the week of Nov. 27 - Dec. 3
Todd: Tate loves the City of Racine
This letter is in support of Alderman John Tate II, as it pertains to his bid to occupy the 66th Assembly District seat in Madison. I have known Tate since he was a very young boy. In fact, he was raised three doors down form our house.
Upon returning to Racine after a few years away, imagine my surprise when I learned that the little guy from down the street had grown up, gotten a masters degree, became a social worker and an alderman. Over the last few months, I have come to see Tate as a natural leader who will have a great impact on the politics of this city and, if elected to the assembly, the state.
I think one of the most impressive parts of Tate’s personality is his incessant love for this city. If elected to the assembly, Tate’s insightfulness of, and astute reaction, to the issues facing the citizens of our district will provide solid political leadership for years to come. As a community activist who also loves Racine, I personally endorse John Tate II in his endeavor to represent Racine in the state legislature.
Younk: Thankful for holiday lights
We would like to compliment all of the Kiwanis volunteers who, year after year, put up a magnificent holiday light display at the Racine Zoo. The picture on the front page Nov. 22 was spectacular.
Thank you for bringing so much joy and cheer to the people of Racine. We encourage all of you to take a trip out to see it. We know we will.
David and Dianne Younk
Johnson: A beast fable
Say you're a Republican. Your circus parade has passed. No one's followed the Chief Beast that's fouled everything in sight (no bucket or shovel big enough?). Now What? You find a bogeyman and blame it — the media, Obama, the FBI, Hollywood, British Intelligence, Big Foot ...
Say you're Paul Ryan. You want tax cuts for the rich beyond their frothy fantasies but the Chief Beast is a lump of incompetence, antagonizing the votes necessary for the Billionaire's Relief Bill. Now what? You pretend his "heart's in the right place" though we know his "heart," his self-regard, is enlarged, diseased. Pretend the infected is normal and the amateur dictator is just "new at this." Poor Paul, so minimal, so snared in the trap.
Say you're Evangelical. Your moral tank's on empty. The Beast knew your sick dreams and promised everything. Nothing's come of it and his lies are so large even you've noticed. You suspect maybe hell is on Fifth Avenue and he descends golden escalators to tempt you. He knows your politics is your religion. Avarice and salvation are incompatible, so now what? There is no "now what" and what's left of you is deplorably obvious.
Say you're the Beast. Your staff calls you "idiot" (down-graded from "buffoon"). You got the second-most votes. You're the indictable head of an inept, treasonous combine. Your performance is a burlesque that would astound the Marx Brothers. Bankruptcy's not an option. Now what?
Smith: Neubauer understands challenges
Not everyone is older than 50 and male (and white), though you might not guess that by looking at the composition of our state Assembly. We need younger people to step up and let their voices be heard, and we need more women, too, to represent our interests — all our interests.
Greta Neubauer fits the bill. Having grown up in Racine, Neubauer has a real understanding of the challenges, and the strengths, of our community. From behind the scenes and from early on, she has been actively involved in environmental, educational and political issues and has ideas for how to bring about change. She is just what this district needs — a fresh face with fresh ideas who will go to Madison and in a quiet, determined way will speak up for us, the people of the 66th Assembly District.
As we all learned just over a year ago, elections matter. Be sure to cast your vote in the Dec. 19 primary for Greta Neubauer.
Meteyard: Bring back Festival Park and Zoo ponds for ice skating
After a beautiful Saturday spent in Chicago with my daughter, we came back to Racine with questions in our head. We wondered why Racine no longer utilizes the Festival Park ice skating pond? Or why Zoo Pond is not used for ice skating.
Chicago was a beautiful sight under the Bean with families and kids gliding around on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Maggie Daley Park was filled, too. I remember as a kid the fun we had at the Zoo pond with it’s nice warming house. Can’t Racine bring back that wonderful opportunity for kids in Racine on a Sunny Saturday around Christmas time?
Kohn: Thankful for medical care in Racine
Mike Kohn says “Thank-you Racine!” I express to you, the Greater Racine community, my appreciation for the resources you have given since 1993 to my care. We arrived in Racine from San Antonio, Texas, following my dad’s retirement from the Army. I am in my wheelchair or bed 24/7. Many from Racine have gone the “second mile” on my behalf. Thank you.
Supervisors from the Racine Community Care staff have provided a caring network of resources. The Wheaton Franciscan Home Health initiated home health aides morning and night seven days a week. Their attention to my personal needs resulted in my exceptional welfare. Thank you Sue, Mary, Kelly, Judy and Courtney.
I attended Careers for more than 24 years. They were professional and responsive to my needs. Thank you Laura and staff. Transit Bus also gave transportation five days a week. Thank you Pam, Harvey and staff. The Lakeview Pharmacy were responsible for my medication needs. Thank you Pete, staff and workers. Dr. Matthews, Shelby and staff, Four Mile Clinic, attended to my medical welfare. As well, Dr. Morse and staff in Milwaukee gave of their expertise. Thank you.
The spiritual and personal care received from Calvary Memorial Church and First Free Evangelical Church remains priceless. Thank you, Pastor James and Pastor John.
I, along with my dad, have just moved to the State of Michigan. I have two sisters there. Racine, you have made resources available providing outstanding care for me. I thank the Lord for you, do continue with the care for your people and community. Thank you, Racine.
On behalf of son, Mike Kohn
Allendale, Michigan, formerly of Racine
Locke: Gun regulations necessary to stem violence
I am not giving up on my message to Paul Ryan on gun violence. I’m a pacifist at heart. I want to make my quieter voice heard and protect the innocent in this serious issue.
I am not condoning “control” of all guns and would not want to prohibit hunters from taking part in an enjoyable sport; however, I do think that fair regulations are necessary.
The evidence is all around us. Like trucks in current mass killings, semi-automatic guns are continuing to be used as vehicles to destroy lives, a way to abuse other human beings and to show superiority. The national budget even reflects our penchant for ever increasing military spending.
I want the speaker to take action to protect our nation’s innocents.
Azarian & Kaprelian: Thank you, Small Business Saturday participants
This is an open letter from every tiny mercantile everywhere to American Express, and all of the citizens of Racine — much appreciation for your support of Small Business Saturday 2017. American Express initiated this event several years ago nationally, and Racinians implemented the experience on Saturday, Nov. 25 to the 'nth degree.'
Speaking for ourselves, we haven't seen such genuine enthusiasm and respect for our presence in Downtown Racine in a long, long time. After spending 40-plus years on Main Street, all we can say is "Racine ... we love you!" A heartfelt thank you to all!
David Azarian and Mary Kaprelian
Main Street General Store, Racine
Milner: Evergreen Academy got unfair depiction
I was asked to speak at the assembly honoring Veterans Day held at Evergreen Academy on Nov. 10. This was for grades two through eight and I was not looking forward to it because of the attitude of the youth I see today and also because I am a Vietnam veteran and we weren’t welcomed home the way vets are today. The experience was very pleasing. The room was filled with kids that were attentive, quiet and respectful.
They started with a color guard from one of the area high schools and then we sang the national anthem. No one took a knee! When the other two vets and I were finished, there was a question-and-answer period. This was not prompted by the teachers. The students were just told not to ask inappropriate questions. The questions showed me that these students are being taught by teachers who really love their job and the students they teach. I have to add that one class crafted a United States flag in honor of the occasion. It was heartwarming.
This school has not been around very long, but has already outgrown its facilities and is building a new building. This is interesting when students are leaving Unified like rats leaving a sinking ship. There are many programs at Evergreen not mentioned in the recent article. The paper tried to make it appear giving students a snack is more important than knowledge. This is not true. If I had children of school age, this is where they would attend.
Beranis: Let Trump drain the swamp
It is time for Americans to have the Democratic wool from over our eyes sheared? The stink that Trump is encountering trying to drain the Washington, D.C. swamp is terrible and getting worse.
It seems since Trump took over the presidency, a lot of rumors about high ranking government officials' wrongdoings have been labeled as lies by the Democrats. Excuse me, but the rumors are morphing into facts.
Were Hillary Clinton’s antics glossed over? Dozens of federal laws were violated by her; thousands of emails destroyed and classified information leaked. Was there any collusion with the Russians in the 20 percent Uranium deal? Is the Clinton Foundation just a cash cow for money laundering? Did she buy the DNC, getting absolute control over it? Did Clinton pay for the fake dossier? Is the Special Council made up of political hacks involved in the 20 percent Uranium deal, and sanctifying Clinton in investigations?
Are Obama administrative holdovers still wreaking havoc because Hillary Clinton lost? Pelosi and Schumer have tried to block everything Trump was voted into the presidency for. The targets are border walls, heath care, immigration policy, political appointments and now tax reforms.
The liberal press has targeted the Trump family for any reason they can dream up. Any Trump business deserved being attacked. Melania Trump wearing high heels while walking from the White House to Air Force One was a real crowdpleaser. If justice prevails, a new federal prison has to be built just to house these offenders.
Karweik: Thankful for Paul Ryan's tax reform
In the 30 years I have been on this earth, comprehensive federal tax reform has eluded us. Individual taxpayers and small business owners like myself have instead faced an ever-growing tax code that costs us more and more each year to understand and does nothing but hamper our economy.
Luckily, it appears that hope is on the horizon. A few weeks ago the House GOP, led by our very own Paul Ryan, passed comprehensive tax reform. While no plan is going to be perfect, this plan comes pretty darn close. It flattens the individual code by simplifying deductions, lowering rates and reducing brackets. It also lowers rates for small business owners known as “pass-throughs” to ensure they can better compete, hire more employees and grow the economy. Lastly, the plan finally brings our corporate tax rates into the 21st Century by cleaning up loopholes and bringing down the rate to a more internationally competitive 20 percent.
Americans deserve a tax code that is flatter, fairer and simpler to understand and the House GOP plan does just that. I want to thank Speaker Ryan for his hard work and I hope Sen. Johnson and Sen. Baldwin can get behind American taxpayers and job creators and help advance these important reforms.