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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

home : opinions : good, bad, ugly May 22, 2015

5/4/2012 6:00:00 AM
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly May 4

The good ...

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department deserves kudos for its pro-active approach in training officers to deal with people affected by autism spectrum disorders.

Anticipating an almost certain increase in law enforcement contacts with autistic individuals, the department is participating in training sessions on how to better communicate with autistic people. As the newspaper reported this week, a tip sheet about how to manage interactions with autistic people has been placed in every squad car.

We applaud the department for taking aggressive steps that will go a long way toward preventing tragedies in the future.

The bad ...

A story in today's edition (page 3) describes the posh lifestyle of the union bosses over at WEAC.

As we report, the average compensation for the union's eight top execs soared to more than $200,000 in 2010, an increase of about 10 percent over the previous year. Its total workforce of 147 employees raked in more than $1 million more than the previous year, and, why not, with revenues above $25 million.

Oh, and being a teachers' union, they handed out scholarships because it's all about the kids - a measly total of $20,300, or $1 for every $1,236 of revenue.

Talk about the 1 percent versus everybody else.

The ugly ...

In the first of a two-part series in today's edition, we take a long look at the timeline of the Hwy. 51 fiasco - ur, reconstruction project - through the lens of the town of Minocqua, specifically, its records dealing with the public and with the state Department of Transportation.

What the records show is that the DOT planned from the start to eliminate a massive number of driveways, and never bothered to bring up this matter to town officials except in the most general, downplaying way. We suspect the agency knew the controversy it would cause, and so waited until the last minute to drop the bomb.

What the records also show is a determination to ignore local concerns and local officials, except in a very few cases. Even after the intervention of Gov. Scott Walker, regional officials and DOT secretary Mark Gottlieb stood their ground against our local community and essentially forced us to bow to the agency's will.

Government isn't supposed to work like this, from the top down.

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