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  • Teen boys MUST be allowed to change and shower next to high school girls.
     Does this statement sound absurd? Would this be an educational environment that fosters safety, dignity and privacy for our children? Absolutely not!
    For the past several months, I have been working on a bill, Assembly Bill 469, that, until recently, many legislators scoffed at, social media dubbed me the pee-pee police and school districts proudly touted local control. The legislation addresses what has been a misunderstood and important issue about privacy, safety, acceptance and balance in our schools. Sadly, though, the federal Department of Education (DOE), through the Department of Justice, is trying to unilaterally decide what is best for our Wisconsin high schoolers. The DOE has been actively suing individual school districts throughout the United States over the past year regarding who, on the basis of sex, is allowed to use a locker room or bathroom. 
  • Thanksgiving is a holiday for all to reflect upon the good fortunes and the blessings we have received in our lives.
    I take the opportunity to pause, reflect, and give thanks. When a comment of praise is sent my way concerning the city, it is difficult to consider it a personal achievement. The success of New Holstein is a cumulative effort of those who live and work here. Each and every one of us contributes in our own special way. 
  • I am more than troubled by the rhetoric we now hear from our “political leaders” directed toward Syrian refugees.
    Evidence suggests that one of the Paris attackers entered Europe on a forged Syrian passport and then melded into the European populace. As a result, Scott Walker and the governors of 25 other states have announced they will not accept Syrian refugees because “we cannot determine” who is friend or foe. The rhetoric is simply that and has no basis in fact. 
  • Everyone has a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving—and make sure to take a moment on Thursday to think about that reason or reasons.
    For some people it might seem difficult to find one reason, let alone many. Everyone’s situation is different, and there can be a lot of hurt and pain in this world—physical or otherwise. For people of faith, they can be thankful for a God who is hearing their prayers and will answer them, and thankful for the paradise which awaits. Even those whose faith is absent or shaken can know that there are still good people in this world who are ready, willing and able to lend a hand or at least a prayer for them as well. 
  • The attacks in Paris last week were about evil and terrorism, not about the religion of the terrorists.
    Some people are mistakenly targeting their anger about these ever increasing atrocities around the world toward the Muslim faith. That is no more fair than lumping together and describing Christians as mass murderers since many of those infamous people in U.S. history were brought up in that faith.
    The Islamic State or ISIS is killing Muslims, and mainstream Muslims detest that group and their acts. ISIS is also killing non-Muslims and has vowed to bring their terror to the U.S. as well. 
  • I would like to pay tribute to my military family. That’s what I call them. Veterans of World War I and veterans of World War II.
    My dad, Alex Stewart, Army, WWI, was on the ship Tuscania on the way to France and it was torpedoed and sunk. He survived but gave his life jacket to another young man and later received a letter from this young man’s mother to thank my dad but sadly this young man died (was killed in war).
    My brother “Bub” Alexander Jr. was a fighter pilot in World War II. There might be someone who remembers him flying low over Kiel years ago. He did receive some awards, among them the Distinguished Flying Cross. He retired from the Air Force. His rank was major. 
  • I believe it’s time to do a letter that doesn’t ruffle too many feathers.
    Let’s move back in time to a place in the history of New Holstein that would show an unequaled surge in job employment. I’m referring to the glory years of Tecumseh Products. It was a time when a large company maintained a branch in a small city and paid above average (for the community) wages and benefits. 
  • Thanksgiving is a good time to remember that the U.S. has always acknowledged that our nation is dependent on God’s grace and providence; believing in this statement I’d like to make the following proclamation. 
  • Now that the second week in November is here, day after day of unseasonably warm weather days are starting to give way to calendar appropriate fall temperatures.
    Our outdoor potted flowers are valiantly hanging on, with only a couple nights spent inside on the porch. Geraniums and impatiens, begonias and fuschias—they still look amazing. How often can that be said in Wisconsin this late in the season? 
  • The week of Nov. 16-20 is American Education Week.
    This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. This year’s theme is “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility.  Below is the history of American Education Week taken from the National Education Association Website.  
  • Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, is being observed this week in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Armistice Day was established long ago to mark the end of World War I.
    An armistice was signed by the United States and other combatant countries at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918.  World War I was to be “the war to end all wars.” 
  • Remember when the future of Social Security was the hot topic of the day?
    Well, the issue is still out there. It has not gone away, and it seems to be heating up again. The current presidential campaign has something to do with that, but it is an issue which needs to remain in the forefront. 
  • Being admitted to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility is usually unexpected and stressful.
    Often it occurs after an injury or illness, so the person is dealing with multiple changes and worries at once. One of the most frequent questions is, “When am I going to go home?” Even though we may not have an exact answer at admission, it is something that we work on starting at admission. Many of our residents come to us for a “short-term rehab” stay. This means that they are at our facility to heal, get medical care and therapy to regain their independence. 
  • A little less than a week from now is Veterans Day—Wednesday, Nov. 11—and citizens everywhere are encouraged to remember the day in some special way. 
  • To the editor:
    Although it seems just like yesterday, in 2013 we ordered, sold and dedicated the official flag of the city of Kiel.
    At that time we took orders in advance and bought a few extra. After all of those flags were sold, there have been people asking if they could still get a flag. In order to do this we had to place a new order and again meet the minimum quantities to get them at a reasonable price point. 
  • It almost seems like a silly question, but it’s worth answering nonetheless.
    Why? Because it’s too important not to—a great many people could avoid the potentially serious health problems associated with being overweight or obese by losing the extra pounds. And the sooner the better. 
  • It really irritates me when a favorite product of mine—health and beauty, cleaning supply or food item—suddenly disappears from store shelves.
    I’m not talking about a store being temporarily sold out of my favorites; when they’re gone, never to return, I’m frustrated. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me over the years. It’s almost as if there are industrial spies staked out near our house watching to see which products I use, so they can report back to their companies. “That’s right, boss, we’ve definitely got her hooked on product X; time to pull the plug!” And there I am, going through withdrawal symptoms again. 
  • Wisconsin is a manufacturing state and a significant percentage of what we make here is exported around the globe.
    But Congress’s failure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank has put thousands of Wisconsin manufacturing jobs in jeopardy.
    The Ex-Im Bank finances the purchase of U.S.-produced goods to foreign buyers, like Boeing 787s to international air carriers. The U.S. is now the only industrialized nation in the world without a government agency to perform that function, leaving U.S. exporters at a clear competitive disadvantage.
    In Wisconsin, 224 exporters had been using the Ex-Im Bank. 
  • Well, here we go again. Kind of like when I was a kid and we used to watch Saturday night wrestling on our table-top black and white television. This letter has actually two parts to it on two different subjects. But they sort of tie together in the end.
    First, I read with interest the submission by Eric Mathes with whom I am often on the other side of the line drawn in the sand. Just a reminder to all, that beside my discern with his beliefs, I also stated in a previous printing that were Eric to show up destitute on my doorstep, I would take him in and offer comfort and shelter. That being said, my hackles were quite dormant until the part that claimed my writings to be quite rhetoric. Let me state, I do not write fantasy. My opinions are for the most part backed by facts taken from other sources and many from words uttered by those of whom I write about. I don’t dream these things up. The information was out there long before my pen inked my words into the local newspaper. 
  • We have had an exciting start to the school year.  So exciting that November is already upon us!  The old cliché, “Time flies when you’re having fun” is what comes to mind for me.
    The students are well into the routine of school.  As I walk through the halls and attend events, I observe our students and staff highly engaged with each other as well as engaged in the task of  learning.  Parent/Teacher conferences last week also demonstrated that the parents appear quite engaged in the learning as well.  Along with the academic course work, we had a successful Homecoming Week, and successful seasons in girls’ tennis, girls’ swimming, cross country, boys’ soccer, and football.  The high school musical practices are underway and preparations for the Veteran’s Day Programs are being completed. 

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