A collection of recent letters to the editor published in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Referendum needed to reform maps -- Brian Parks
The Chicago Tribune editorial about gerrymandering published in Tuesday's State Journal, "Ending remap abuses is now up to voters," stood in stark contrast to the State Journal's own editorial a few days earlier, "Iowa model still best fix for fair maps," which urged a revisit of Assembly Bill 303.
Painfully obvious here was that Illinois is one of many states allowing publicly sponsored voting measures while Wisconsin is not. Our only avenues toward pushing legislation are to petition our state representatives or create a non-binding advisory referendum.
Some might argue that to grant the people the opportunity to create binding measures would be to follow the slippery slope toward states such as California, where the electorate is bombarded by an insane number of such measures during each election. Well, I for one would be happy to sip this so-called Kool-Aid in contrast to the regular doses of snake oil that our Legislature continues to serve.
Being fully reliant on representatives to do the right thing is a path that silences the full voice of the people. Asking them to enact a process that neutralizes redistricting is the same as suggesting they shoot themselves in the foot.
Brian Parks, Madison
Cartoon got bullying wrong -- Tova Walsh
I'm writing in response to Phil Hands' editorial cartoon in the June 27 State Journal. The cartoon targets the organization Freedom Inc., suggesting that members of the organization are bullying the members of the Madison School Board.
The cartoon fundamentally misunderstands what bullying is. Members of Freedom Inc. are confronting a School Board with the power to make decisions that affect their lives. When members of Freedom Inc. speak up, members of the School Board may feel uncomfortable. But no matter how uncomfortable they feel, it does not mean that they are being bullied.
Bullying involves a power imbalance wherein the bully seeks to harm, intimidate or control someone more vulnerable. Here, the School Board holds power over the youth of color who are coming together through Freedom Inc. to call for racial justice.
The board should welcome and value the presence and voices of the committed young people who attend board meetings and speak out on issues of importance in our community.
Tova Walsh, Madison
Jesus reinforced the Ten Commandments, which forbid murder including abortion -- Linda Kelly
A recent letter to the editor "Jesus didn't preach about abortion" asserts that it is "sacrilegious" for Christians to cite Jesus Christ as support for their anti-abortion stance.
The Old Testament, in the sixth of the Ten Commandments, clearly states, "Thou shall not kill," and in the New Testament, Jesus clearly states in several places that he came not to abolish the laws, but to fulfill them.
Indeed, Jesus even raises the bar by stating that it is not only wrong to break the commandments, it is henceforth wrong to even contemplate breaking them.
It is both faith and science that assure us abortion is taking a life, killing a human at the earliest stage of development.
Linda Kelly, Middleton
Dane County should rethink plan to 'suck muck' -- Bruce Porter
Dane County began its "Suck the Muck" project last summer, which is designed to reduce phosphates entering the Yahara chain of lakes by dredging Dorn Creek, which is between highways Q and M west of Middleton.
I am concerned with the negative effects this dredging has had on the Dorn Creek wetland and the effects this project will have on other wetlands as it goes forward.
The dredging has transformed Dorn Creek into a sunken ditch with exposed rapidly eroding banks and with the creek water surface several feet below the surrounding terrain. This has partially drained the marsh adjacent to the creek, thus destroying much of its value as wildlife habitat.
The dredging also has increased the rate water flows downstream to Lake Mendota. This and the lowering creek bed due to dredging will significantly reduce the ability of the surrounding wetland to slow down and spread out flood waters during heavy rain. This is quite likely to lead to increased and more rapid flooding of Lake Mendota and carrying unabated runoff form the eroding creek banks and farm fields with it.
If the same methods are used on 6 Mile Creek, then the Waunakee Marsh will be destroyed. It is time to reconsider how this project is being done, or if it should be at all.
Bruce Porter, Middleton