Stevens Point Journal from Stevens Point, Wisconsin on January 20, 2017 · A3
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Stevens Point Journal from Stevens Point, Wisconsin · A3

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Friday, January 20, 2017
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STEVENS POINT JOURNAL |STEVENSPOINTJOURNAL.COMK1FRIDAY,JANUARY20,2017| PAGE 3A local & region DNR climate change move is foolish EDITOR: It takes children time to learn they can’t hide by merely putting their head under a pillow. When an adult uses this same childlike tactic we suspect something very foolish or downright deceptive is going on. So, when our own state DNR recently stripped the words “climate change” from its website and chose words that lead readers to believe there is controversy in the climate research world about its cause when there really is none, alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear. The only controversy involves political opinion, not scientific fact. Hiding from scientific evidence that our climate is in peril is both foolish and deceptive. Problems left unsolved get worse and harder to manage. We depend on the stability of this planet. We have no other. Data says our world set heat records each of the last three years, the weather is becoming more extreme, the world’s ice is melting away as greenhouse gas levels rise. We need to act now; spreading doubt leads to procrastination we can’t afford. If we were rightly angry when we found out the tobacco industry was dishonestly paying marketing firms to create doubt about the health risks to smokers, then we should be even more upset by our own DNR’s attempts to create doubt about climate change, and we should tell them so. We are all invited to learn more by attending a “Merchants of Doubt” viewing at the Unitarian church, 504 Grant St. in Wausau, at 2 p.m. Jan. 28. Dan Barth, member of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Mosinee We must protect U.S. Postal Service EDITOR: Here’s something every American should be concerned about. The two Republican chairmen of the Congressional Oversight committees, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office last fall requesting a preliminary investigation into the cost and continued need for the U.S. Postal Service’s letter mail and parcel post monopoly and the mailbox statute, which means that no one except USPS may use your mailbox to conduct business. For the past few years during which the Republicans have controlled the U.S. House of Representatives, there has been a major, but unsuccessful, move to eliminate that constitu- tional protection and statute so that any private company could begin to handle your mail and anyone could have access to your mailbox, which is now protected by federal law. The story of the U.S. Postal Service begins in 1775. To enable the Post Office Department to serve all Americans, no matter how remote, yet still finance its operations completely (since 1970) from its own generated revenue, Congress gave the Department a monopoly over the carriage of letter mail and parcel post by a group of federal laws known as the Private Express Statutes. Without such protection, Congress reckoned that private companies would siphon off high-profit delivery routes, leaving only money-losing routes to the department, which then would be forced to rely on taxpayers to continue operations. In the past two centuries, Congress has held to this belief and has protected that statute. I’m not comfortable with some minimum- wage, part-time employee handling my personal and private mail and having unlimited access to my mailbox. Are you? Ron Berry, Marshfield Good roads will bring more jobs EDITOR: I am writing today in regards to the article “Federal agency warns state on road plan.” In this divisive political time, it can be rather difficult to have an actual discussion on the merits of any infrastructure plan. Do we raise money via a gas tax and increase tab fees or do we just scrap improvements altogether? Scott Walker’s plan is to keep delaying (also known as abandoning) ongoing construction projects in the more densely populated areas of our state. Here is why we cannot delay these improvements; we need to encourage employers to this area (like the new Dollar General distribution center in Rock County, paying a starting wage at $16 per hour to hundreds of people). What company is going to want to be in a state with crumbling roads, especially warehouses? Not many. No one wants a raise in taxes or tab fees, but this tax could be made to be specific to ensure that all money raised goes directly to the roads and not some government “slush fund.” These infrastructure plans are definitely needed in Wisconsin; this will put people to work for good wages and attract companies. Let’s agree to better roads, and a better future for the working class. Shannon O’Connell, Wisconsin Rapids Letters to the Editor STEVENS POINT - If you’re looking to catch some live music, there’s plenty of opportunities and variety in the Stevens Point area. Here’s what’s coming up the next week: » The Tomorrow River Concerts series returns with a performance by LJ Booth and Chris Kokesh, with special guest Matt Buchman, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdayat the Lettie W. Jensen Community Center, 487 N Main Street in Amherst. Based in Central Wisconsin but recognized nationally, Booth is a fine songwriter, singer, guitarist and storyteller. Kokesh is a veteran on the folk music scene with her crystalline vocals, tasty fiddle and solo guitar work. Buchman, aprofessor and director of jazz studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, will play the piano. The opening act for the evening will be The Bench, an alternative rock band made up of high school students from Amherst and Stevens Point Area Senior high schools. The performance will be the debut of lead singer Sophie Disher with the group. Tickets are $12 for general, $10 for seniors and are available in Stevens Point at the Stevens Point Area Co-op and Kindred Books, in Waupaca at the Bookcel- lar and at the Jensen Center. » Pat & Patience will perform from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Fridayat Rookies SportsPub, 3425 Church St. » The Big Scuba Duo will perform from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridayat the Elbow Room, 1321 2nd St. » Open Mic Night will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridayat Sunset Point Winery, 1201 Water St. » Catfish & Caviar will perform from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridayat the Hotel Mead and Conference Center, 451 E Grand Avenue in Wisconsin Rapids. » Hammer Entertainment will provide music and karaoke from 9 p.m. to 2a.m. on Fridayat 2nd Street Pub, 925 2nd St. » Ross Thorn will perform from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdayat Sunset Point Winery. » Gumbo will perform from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdayat Central Waters Brewing Company, 351 Allen St. » Tuck Pence will perform from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdayat Bootlegger's, 3703 Portage County Qin Amherst Junction. If you have an live music event coming up that you’d like to promote, please contact Nathan Vine at nvine@gannett.com. Nathan Vine: 715-3452252, on Twitter @NathanAVine. Stevens Point-area live music roundup COURTESY OF LETTIE W. JENSEN COMMUNITY CENTER LJ Booth and Chris Kokesh, with special guest Matt Buchman, will perform Saturday at the Lettie W. Jensen Community Center in Amherst as part of the Tomorrow River Concerts series. Tomorrow River Concert series makes its return NATHAN VINE USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN WAUSAU - The people working to create the largest accessible playground in central Wisconsin are confident they will be able to begin construction in May. “We’ve had an immense amount of support,” said Patrick Hoerter,who along with his wife, Destiny,is working to raise money for JoJo’s Jungle, an extensive 1.3-acre playground built over a rubberized surface for wheelchair access. “Once people know about it, they’ve been tremendously supportive. The trick is getting the word out to those who want to be part of it.” Dedicated to their son Jo- Jo who died of a genetic disease two years ago, the Hoer- ters plan to break ground on the Jungle on May 21, which would have been JoJo’s 5th birthday. It’s an aggressive timeline, but Patrick Hoerter said fresh fundraising efforts, including the sale of personalized pavers, will soon be announced. As part of their effort to educate people on their idea, Patrick and Destiny will speak at a luncheon on Thursday,an event organized by the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation. The Greenheck Foundation already has committed $1 million to the project, and it continues its support by helping the effort find more donors. That event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1p.m.in the conference room of the Dudley Tower, 501 First Ave. Patrick Hoerter estimates it will take $2.1 millionto build the playground at Brockmeyer Park, 4200 Stettin Drive,on Wausau’s west side. He aims to raise a total of $2.4 million,with $300,000 being used to create an endowment fund to pay for ongoing maintenance of the playground once its built. Friends of JoJo’s Jungle, the advocacy and fundraising group led by the Hoerters, has raised about $1.25 million so far. The idea for JoJo’s playground was inspired by the Hoerters’ son, Josiah,or Jo- Jo. JoJo had a genetic disorder called MECP2 duplication syndrome.That caused JoJo’s brain to be overactive so that it could not tell the boy’s body what to do. The disorder meant he could not properly digest food, for example. JoJo died at age 2 in February 2015. Before he died, though, Patrick and Destiny promised that they would build a playground that he could have used. Today, JoJo’s Jungle is their way to honor their son, a smiling boy with a happy spirit. The playground will include equipment such as swings and zip lines that children who have a wide variety of physical and other limitations, even paralysis, will be able to use. Also planned: A boat that rocks as if it were in water and a feature that allows kids to pump water through a series of troughs. There will be places for parents to sit and watch their kids play. The idea has captured the imaginations of many and has garnered support from not only the Greenheck Foundation but also other high- profile organizations such as the Green Bay Packers Foun- dationand the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The project has been a way for the Hoerters to work their way through grief, and it’s been at times an all-consuming project for Patrick Hoerter as he pushes for the playground’s groundbreaking. “We’re determined to see this through,” Patrick Hoerter said. “It’s just resolve. There’s no question about it.” Keith Uhlig: 715-845-0651 or keith.uhlig@gannett wisconsin.com; on Twitter @UhligK. JoJo’s Jungle hopes to begin building in May You can help build JoJo’s Jungle Interest in learning more about JoJo’s Jungle? People can attend the luncheon organized by the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Founda- tionthat will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdayin the conference room of the Dudley Tower, 501 First Ave., Wausau. Organizers are asking those planning to attend to RSVP by Monday by emailingpam@ providingopportunities.org. More information, including how to donate, can be found at www.jojosjungle.org. KEITH UHLIG USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN KATHERINE ELLIS/USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN Patrick and Destiny Hoerter smile with their four children at their home in Wausau. STEVENS POINT - The Wisconsin Auctioneers Association’s annual conference will offer residents an opportunity to find out if they are sitting on a goldmine. The organization will offer a free antique/vintage appraisal fair from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Stevens Point Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center, 1001 Amber Ave. Members of the public are welcome to bring in items for members of the WAA to value. The convention, with the theme “Point to the Future,” is being held from Jan. 29-31. Networking, continuing education, and informational sessions will be held. Tim Luke, who has appeared on the television shows “Cash in the Attic” and “Antiques Roadshow,” is one of several keynote speakers. For more information, please visit www.waaconvention.org. Conference to offer free antique appraisals NATHAN VINE USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN WAUSAU - A former girlfriend of rock singer Steven Tyler who says he persuaded her to get an abortion when she was a teenwill come to tell her story to an anti-abortion rallySunday in Wausau. Tyler, 68,has been the lead singer of rock band Aerosmithsince 1970. Julia Holcomb says she met Tyler at a concert in 1973 when she was 16. Holcomb’s parents gave Tyler guardianship of her,and she was in a relationship with him for three years, according to her memoir. Holcomb became pregnant one year into their relationship, and Tyler pressured her to have an abortion five months into her pregnancy, according to her version of events. “I became very quiet and withdrawn after the abortion,”Holcomb wrote in her memoir, “The Light of the World: Steven Tyler and Julia Holcomb Story,” which was published in its entirety on conservative activist website LifeSite- News in 2011. “I was grieving the loss of my baby and I could never look at Steven again without remembering what he had done to our son and me.” Holcomb, who lives in Houston, Texas, is now an anti-abortion activist. She has been married for 30 years,and the couple has seven children. Members of Saint Mary’s Oratory are excited Holcomb will come to its 15thannual anti-abortion rally,said the- Rev. Aaron Huberfeld.He said that her story is compelling and he thinks young people, in particular, will relate to some of the struggles Holcomb has overcome in her life. The rally will start with a mass at 10 a.m.Sunday at Saint Mary’s Oratory at 325 Grand Ave., Wausau. Participants will forma pro-life chain outside the church at 11:30 a.m., where people will prayand hold up anti-abortion signs. A free lunch will be provided at noon and Holcomb will speak at 1 p.m. at the church. Arielle Hines: ahines@wausau. gannett.com or 715-845-0658; on Twitter @theariellehines. Singer’s ex to speak at anti-abortion Wausau rally ARIELLE HINES USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN Tyler

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