A collection of recent letters to the editor published in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Leafy Madison isn't great for solar -- Jim Blair
Several recent letters to the editor, such as Mondays "Transmission lines will be obsolete," have called for solar panels on roofs as a way to "go green" without transmission power lines. With the more electric power generated at or near where it is used, there would be no need for those ugly poles and high voltage lines.
That may work in the desert Southwest, but not in Madison, because here we have trees and farmland. The rural areas grow food and the city streets are lined with trees. Most yards also have trees. In the summer, the tree leaves shade the houses, including the roof, which cools them and reduces the need for air conditioning. That also reduces the efficiency of solar collectors. In the winter, the sun is lower, days are shorter and roofs are covered with snow, especially in well-insulated houses.
If we are going reduce green house gas emissions with wind and solar, that means putting the turbines where the wind blows (the Great Plains) and the solar collectors where the sun shines (the Southwest).
Another option is nuclear.
Jim Blair, Madison
Politics should weigh core interests -- Norman Jensen
Jonah Goldberg’s column in Wednesday's paper, "Political leanings can’t be reduced to genetic programming," on genes and politics was enlightening and refreshing.
I especially liked his (borrowed) formulation of essential political interests as safety and security versus social justice. It seems to apply personally, locally and nationally.
Nationally, it seems we’re unbalanced in favor of national security at the expense of social justice. As a fan of the Nordic model of social economy, I wonder whether Nordic countries could protect themselves and stand up to aggression from Russia.
I long for a political process that focuses on a balancing of core human interests rather than the adolescent bickering and gaming that so consume the political energy and social morale of our time.
Norman Jensen, Madison
Traffic problems worthy of protest -- George Sutton
Madison always welcomes a chance to protest. Instead of protests that only involve a single segment of the population, why not protest about traffic and roads. This affects 100% of the people. Even if you don't drive, you sometimes ride in a vehicle.
Some say, our traffic isn't as bad as Los Angeles or Chicago, but Madison doesn't have millions of people -- yet. Imagine how bad the traffic would be if we had double the population. We don't have good long range plans for handling traffic in Wisconsin's capital city.
The Beltline, built in the 1950s as a two-lane ring road, has five major state highways feeding into it. It has run out of room. Using the median or shoulder space for another lane isn't an option. These are the only safe lanes for first responders to do their jobs, and some of them have already been injured or killed trying to assist motorists.
We must think about future roads and bypasses to take traffic out of the city. Transient traffic, especially heavy trucks and drivers traveling all of way cross town would gladly use a bypass. We must make better use of the transportation funds for roads.
George Sutton, Fitchburg
Blaming Acosta is just a distraction -- Pete Papageorge
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta should not resign. Liberals need to stop with their continued nonsense and harassment of President Donald Trump.
Why should Acosta resign? The only legitimate reason for his resignation is to smear Trump again. Liberals need to just stop and so do their drones in the media. Acosta's handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case was legal and not out of the ordinary. If it were, judges would have not allowed the deal. Plus if it was such a bad deal, why didn't President Barack Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, intervene?
Liberals fail once again to do their research on issues like this and spout off like they are under orders, all speaking the same talking points.
Democrats are attacking early on this massive Epstein case for damage control. They are deflecting by blaming Acosta, because they know what is coming. Prominent Democrats are going to be exposed.
Pete Papageorge, Oshkosh
Freedom Inc. bullies opponents -- Marilisa Sieczkowski
Phil Hands' editorial cartoon in the June 27 State Journal was spot-on.
The bullies of Freedom Inc. conducted a coordinated campaign to harass anyone who disagreed with them about keeping police in our troubled high schools. That included shouting down citizens, calling them “white supremacists,” and shutting down the meeting completely so no one else could speak. After one such meeting last July, Police Chief Mike Koval said this:
“If you saw some of the dynamic that unfolded... what you saw was a choreographed and orchestrated show of force. It's daunting, it's meant to intimidate, it's meant to marginalize. For those who may otherwise want to express some civic opinion that is counter to their own, you are literally leaving the hallway in fear.”
I know because I was surrounded and physically jostled by the Freedom Inc. bullies at one such School Board meeting last summer, and I'm a 70-year-old woman with osteoporosis. School district officials just sat there. Two of the young people then followed me to my seat and sat on either side of me. That felt like harassment to me.
Marilisa Sieczkowski, Madison