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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From our readers

Dear Editor:

On Saturday, Sept. 8 at Iron Mountain City Park, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will conduct the 4th Annual Dickinson County Out of the Darkness Community Memorial Walk to raise needed funds for research and education. Walk organizers urge the community to join in remembering our loved ones lost to suicide and those who struggle with depression and mental illness.

One person can make a difference and help stomp out the social stigma of depression, mental illness and suicide. Help take a stand to save lives. For info contact Carole Waitrovich & Tina Tappy by email at letswalk4agr8cause@hotmail.com or Phone: 906-396-7819.

Suicide takes an enormous toll on families, friends, co-workers, schools, military, and entire communities. Sadly, every minute of every day, someone attempts to take their own life and every 14 minutes someone dies by suicide.

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that 36,909 suicide deaths were reported in the U.S. In 2009. Nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year, and 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. Most people with mental illness do not die by suicide. Yearly medical costs for suicide are at nearly $100 million (2005). Men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide than women. Women attempt suicide three times as often as men. Suicide rates are highest for people between the ages of 40 and 59, and white individuals are most likely to die by suicide, followed by Native Americans.

Sincerely,

Tina Tappy,

Walk Co-Chair



To the Editor:

Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law Must be Reinstated Before the November Elections

Since I first became Attorney General, I have spoken to and heard from tens of thousands of people on a variety of subjects. If these contacts are any indication of what matters to the people of Wisconsin, election integrity is at the top of the list. At the Department of Justice, we’ve accomplished a great deal with respect to election integrity, including the creation of a statewide elections fraud task force and the investigation and prosecution of multiple election law violations.

Throughout the past year, the battle for election integrity has focused on Wisconsin’s new Voter ID law. The law, which took effect on June 9, 2011, is simple: qualified voters who appear at the polls must present proper photo identification to prove that they are who they say they are. Before Voter ID, a person could merely state a name and then vote without verifying his or her identity.

To me, and to the large majority of people who come into contact with me, the need to present photo identification in order to vote is a common sense way to deter illegal votes and create confidence in the outcomes of our elections. The United States Supreme Court agrees. Just four years ago, it upheld the constitutionality of an Indiana voter ID law, which provided the model for Wisconsin’s law.

Earlier this year, on Feb. 21, the non-partisan statewide spring elections were conducted, without any major incidents, under Wisconsin’s new Voter ID. Since then, the law has been enjoined by the Dane County Circuit Court in two separate lawsuits. Two federal cases also are pending.

The legislature has the prerogative (and obligation) to regulate the conduct of elections, so long as it does so consistently with the federal and state constitutions. My first duty as Attorney General is to uphold and defend the laws of this state, including election laws. I firmly believe Wisconsin’s Voter ID law is constitutional, that it protects, rather than impedes, the right to vote, and that it must be defended aggressively. Our democracy suffers an irreparable harm every time an election occurs under processes that differ from what the legislature has constitutionally prescribed. That is why earlier this year my office asked the state’s appellate courts for extraordinary relief to stay the lower courts’ rulings, one of which was only a temporary injunction at that time.

While the Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to accept the Voter ID cases before the state’s presidential primary and general recall elections, it can still act before the general election in November. Therefore, we continue to pursue every legal avenue to have the cases heard in an expeditious manner.

The lower court actions are now completed, the full trial records have been prepared for appellate court review, and appellate proceedings have now reached a stage where I am able to ask the Supreme Court to hear these cases directly. So, on Aug. 21, 2012, the first day on which I was permitted to move to bypass the Court of Appeals, I asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to assert jurisdiction over the state Voter ID cases and to restore the law before this fall’s election.

Many people are tremendously frustrated that a circuit court judge can countermand the will of the people by enjoining a law. Others support the lower court decisions to enjoin the law. I believe that many on both sides agree that this is a tremendously significant issue that should be decided by the state’s highest court before we elect our next president. Circuit court orders have prevented the Voter ID law from being applied in the past four statewide elections, including a historical recall election. I have respectfully asked the Supreme Court to expedite its review of these cases so that it may consider the merits before a fifth election occurs by means other than those prescribed by law.

J.B. Van Hollen,

Attorney General



Dear Editor:

Last Wednesday evening my wife and I visited the Lauerman House in Marinette and it was possibly the best meal I have ever had, but that is not the reason I am writing this letter.

The reason I am writing this letter is that I was impressed by the ingredients Chef Reginald used in his dishes. The vegetables were from the farmer’s market in town and the meat was grass-fed and came from local farms. Besides having an amazing dining experience we were happy to know that we were helping other local residents.

This effort to buy local is one I wish other area restaurants were making and I think it should be rewarded. Please patronize the Lauerman House and thank them for buying local.

Daniel Olson,

Lena

Editor:

While we’re waiting for the safety study Rep. John Nygren proposed about the fatal accidents on one stretch of 41 between Peshtigo and Marinette, how about enforcing speed limits? Cars are still going the 70 or 75 they were doing on the bypass or speeding up to the 65 limit long before they reach the point where the speed limit increases.

R. Meyer,

Peshtigo


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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