Readers refute Tiffany, Jarchow
Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Adam Jarchow have sent a commentary to state newspapers claiming to be champions of the public good and labeling those who advocate for the environment as “dogmatic.”
In reality, it’s Tiffany and Jarchow who are dogmatic in advocating for private property rights with no mention of responsibilities to protect our natural resources for the benefit of all. In particular, they have pushed through legislation, hidden in the state budget bill which makes it much more difficult for local and county governments to enact rules to protect our lakes, streams and groundwater from irresponsible development.
When applied to the Northwoods, their approach strikes at the heart of everything those who live and visit here hold as sacred. Many of us consider this the greatest place on earth, largely for the incredible beauty and quality of our lakes and streams and the times spent with loved ones, fishing, boating, swimming, watching sunsets to wailing of loons.
The two legislators never mention this. They simply complain about environmental regulations that supposedly could inhibit the ability of businesses to locate in small communities. That might be a concern if the regulations in question were in fact needlessly restrictive. But what happens when regulations are too lax? Then water and other resources are placed at risk.
In Oneida and Vilas Counties, the lakes and rivers are the backbone of a multi-million-dollar tourism economy and are a primary reason people choose to live here. What if we allow our shorelines to become excessively developed without responsible practices to prevent runoff of nutrients and other pollutants into the water? The damage – environmental and economic – would be severe and likely irreversible.
Such damage is exactly what Tiffany’s and Jarchow’s policies risk allowing – and have in fact allowed by weakening protection of our lake and river shorelines. How severely would degraded water resources damage the economy? What happens to the stores, gas stations, restaurants, motels, car dealers and other businesses when people no longer visit because the lakes have lost their luster?
A recent study prepared by Oneida County resident David Noel and released by the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association found that poor water quality in the county’s lakes could mean the loss of $2 billion in property value and $100 million in annual tourism revenue. There is every reason to believe the impacts in Vilas County would be similar. These are steep prices to pay for allowing unwise development.
Tiffany and Jarchow seem to wear it as a badge of honor that the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters gives them failing grades for their legislative performance. In reality, that is a badge of shame.
Economic prosperity and environmental protection are not at odds, as these legislators seem to suggest. They go hand in hand. A quality environment is essential to a sound and sustainable economy. We can’t have one without the other. If this belief makes us “dogmatic,” then that is a label we will wear with pride.
Bob Martini, President, Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association
Steve Budnik, President, Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association
Cassian residents urged to vote
Town board elections will be here before we know it. We finally have a chance to rid our town board of members who use their elected positions to carry out petty vendettas, and to impose their will on the voters who put them in office. We have a clerk, treasurer and one new supervisor who are knowledgeable, fair minded and trying to do a good job despite the actions of their fellow board members.
There are a couple of candidates running for office who are experts as far as our roads, how our town garage should be run and will actually listen to the concerns of our residents.
If you have any interest in how your tax dollars are being spent, and how your neighbors are being treated, please go to a town meeting once in a while. I used to be too busy or unconcerned to go to meetings, until hearing about some of the things going on with the town shop, cemetery and fire department.
I urge my fellow voters to be informed before Election Day, April 4. It’s your town and you have the power to change things for the better.
Dick Lane, town of Cassian
A case against back-in parking
I typed in a search on my computer for problems with back-in parking and found
complaints in Austin, Texas, Victor, Idaho, Denver and Hoboken, N.J., to name a few.
Victor, Idaho residents dislike it and the main problem is that council is ignoring their discontent with the change to back in parking.
Of the complaints, store owners are just seeing cars slowing down and heading away. It’s caused a reduction in business.
Out-of-towners can’t read signs while they’re parking. So there’s no uniformity; Out-of-towners are just pulling forward into the stalls.
Elderly drivers complained that impatient drivers in back of them get too close and block them from backing up while honking their horns.
It was stated that it’s easier for vehicles pulling out to see bicycles, but most car-bicycle accidents are caused by drivers not being alert to bicycle traffic. They only focus on automobiles so a bicycle is a surprise.
Chris Rog submitted a real motivational sell in favor of back-in downtown parking but it lacks a connection to reality. Elderly citizens are on the rise and their numbers are high in our area. Backing alternately through traffic cones is even difficult for some officers in high speed maneuvers. I focused on the aged because body flexibility in the neck and back reduces during age progression due to arthritis and inflammation conditions. I have had older drivers visit and when leaving, I cringe at the backing zig-zag steering all the way down the driveway.
One thing that Chris failed to address is inclement weather. Wet heavy snowfall or freezing sleet that clings to the rear windows and the side view mirrors. Add this to the cars of elderly and careless drivers and you can hand out accident reports and fines at the same time.
Besides, this idea has not been objectively investigated. How can you subversively sell an idea when you don’t support it with anything but opinionated flowered words. I want to see evidence not hearsay testimony. Don’t hide the cons in the closet.
Food for thought.
Craig Strid, Rhinelander