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

Letter to the Editor:

On Oct. 8, I gave the following prayer for the Monument Dedication in Peshtigo. It was indeed an honor to be part of this historical service.

Most merciful Father - 141 years ago, the Peshtigo fire swept through this town and destroyed most everything in its path. We pray for all the men, women and children who died that day, may they never be forgotten. O God, source of all that makes life possible, giver of all that makes life good - may we never forget those dear souls who died by living life now to the best of our ability and seeing life as a gift from you.

Bless the Fire Museum and protect it so that all who enter may learn from the past, be thankful for all they have now - life, family, friends, food and shelter, and especially you, dear God. Bless the volunteers who keep the Fire Museum clean, well maintained and offer their knowledge of the great fire of Oct. 8, 1871 to all who visit.

Bless this new bridge over the Peshtigo River in honor of those who have served and defended our country and those who protected, defended and rebuilt our community.

And bless each person here this evening with peace, joy, and renewed hope in you so that we can confidently face the future unafraid, putting our whole trust in your goodness, love and mercy, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Rev. Jean Waldron,

Peshtigo & Harmony

United Methodist Churches



Letter to Editor:

We wish to commend the Wausaukee Community Associa-tion, supporters and local businesses for enthusiastically collaborating once again in staging another successful Fall Festival this year, held on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The resoundingly popular Fall Festivals held in previous years certainly warranted a follow-up. And the good news is that this year, the event’s organizers decided to not just replicate their feat but outdo themselves as well. They accomplished this by inviting excitement to downtown Wausaukee with additional crafters/vendors and extra entertainment for all ages.

We would like to thank the organizers who spearheaded this event. They volunteered their time in preparing, decorating and promoting our small community which brought many visitors who can now appreciate the natural beauty that our area has to offer. Also, a special thanks to the Dave Schroeder Family Dairy Farm for donating all the corn stalks used to enhance the autumn season appearance.

May this event be an annual fruitful success!

Sincerely,

Village of Wausaukee



Editor:

Last March a meeting took place with me, two other Wausaukee School District Special Ed teachers and the Wausaukee School District Administrators to discuss Special Education programming for the 2012-13 school year. At this meeting we (the teachers) were told that a school board member wanted to know why the three of us were Wausaukee School District employees and the rest of the Special Ed staff were CESA employees. We were told repeatedly by Superintendent Jan Dooley that this was a request for information only.

The following evening the president of the school board, Dave Kipp, asked for a motion to issue preliminary notices of non-renewal for the three of us. This motion came despite numerous objections from staff and parents and after assurances that no one was going to lose their job.

Just prior to this board meeting, the school board president wrote a letter to the editor in which his comments were construed as an attack on the unions and union leadership. This became an issue in the non-renewals due to the fact that all three of us belong to the union but even more so because I was the president of the Wausaukee Education Association.

In May the Board went ahead and issued non-renewals to the three of us. We were then issued contracts through CESA 8 to teach in Wausaukee for the 2012-13 school year. This action on the part of the school board resulted in a prohibitive practice complaint against the district due to the anti-union nature of the Board president’s letter to the editor. Throughout the coming weeks all those involved decided that maybe a third party could help resolve the issue. The teachers involved made it very clear that the only remedy we were seeking was reinstatement of our district employment.

A meeting with a third party mediator, the school board, the teachers, attorneys for both sides, and the director of the Northern Tier Uniserve took place in late August. Within 30 minutes of the start of the meeting, the Wausaukee Board of Education made it clear that our request to be district employees was not a possibility in their eyes and asked the mediator to ask us to name a money amount that we would accept to drop the complaint.

We had never considered any other option and after some very emotional debate decided that if we could not remain District employees then we should at least get the amount of retirement and sick leave benefits we had already worked so hard to attain. After many hours of negotiations, we made a final offer of $30,000 to be split three ways. The Board again turned the offer down and it was decided that the issue would be brought to hearing.

The next day we received word that the district had reconsidered and were now willing to settle the issue for our last offer. This amount is not even a quarter of what we have earned toward our retirement and sick leave benefits. Many people, including some of my colleagues, have said they don’t understand what I am so upset about, that I haven’t lost anything, that at least I still have a job.

To all of that I say this: I have lost substantial retirement and sick leave benefits but even worse than that is the sense of belonging I no longer have. I have been an employee of the Wausaukee School District for 23 years. I grew up in this community, I graduated from this school and my children have graduated from this school. I have owned a home in this district for at least 30 years and now own a business here as well. I have always put students first. I have always fulfilled my contract and have never had any disciplinary action taken against me, and now I feel extremely insignificant in the eyes of the district I have devoted my life to.

What makes the district’s decision even harder to understand is that this decision has not saved the taxpayers any money – it actually costs more to have us contracted through CESA. In fact, just before the paperwork was signed we offered one last time to let the district keep the money and put things back the way they were but they refused.

The one thing they could not take though was the support and care I have from my students, friends and family. I couldn’t get through this without that and truly appreciate all who have stood by me throughout this ordeal.

Sincerely,

Kimberly A. Marsolek,

Elementary Special Education Teacher,

President of WEA Loca



Times Editor:

Re: Support Tiffany

As your Wisconsin State Representative, I want the very best for those who live, work and raise their families in our community. I have had the privilege and honor of serving you in the Wisconsin State Assembly for the past 6 years and have met some incredible leaders along the way. My friend and colleague, Tom Tiffany, is one of those leaders and deserves your vote for Wisconsin State Senate on November 6th.

I have very much enjoyed the opportunity to represent a portion of Oconto County during my tenure in the Assembly. Because of changes due to redistricting, I have lost all of Oconto County and acquired other areas. I have developed strong relationships and friendships that will continue. I believe Tom Tiffany will provide strong representation for Oconto County.

I have personally watched Tom work diligently on behalf of Wisconsinites to improve the economic climate in our state and expand opportunities for all of us. Tom is committed to promoting the growth and success of business by fostering a positive business and political environment. Tom knows the value of manufacturing, agriculture and tourism and the significant impact they have on Wisconsin’s economic development success.

Tom and his wife own a small business in Rhinelander. Tom’s conservative values along with his public and private sector experience and his passion for streamlining government position him as the best candidate for the 12th Senate District. Please join me in supporting him.

Gary Tauchen,

State Representative,

6th Assembly District

Bonduel



Times Editor:

For Clergy Month

Thank you, Pastor

Say thank you to your pastor,

October’s Thank You month, you know.

Tell him that you appreciate him,

And wanted him to know.

Thank him for the time he spends

On messages each week.

Thank him for the time he spends

With the sickly and the weak.

Thank him for the time he spends

Studying God’s precious word.

And for the many prayers he prays

For those who haven’t heard.

Thank him for the tears he sheds

For others, you and me.

And for those lonely precious hours

He spends upon his knees.

So thank God and your pastor

For being faithful, kind and true.

For through the work of your dear pastor,

God is daily shaping you.

By Joyce Bedora

of Krakow, former

Peshtigo Resident




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Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
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PeshtigoTimes.com

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