Culture


Contaminated brownfields: how did it come to this in America?

Photograph of brown field with run down brown building
The business is long gone, the buildings removed but the aftermath is not.  Left behind is a “brownfield,” a nice word for a site contaminated with deadly poisons, and no one left to pay for clean-up if that’s even possible. And what to do with it once it is cleaned up? Another industrial site, another fence line community in the poorer part of town where the people of color live. There are thousands of brownfields all over America. How did it come to this? No one intended to damage the Earth and make humans sick. We blundered into it.

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Proven “pot-ential” for rural communities

Photograph of a cannabis leave with more plants in the background.
Governor Evers’ 2021-23 budget will enable Wisconsinites to bounce back from the pandemic stronger than ever. His budget includes initiatives, like marijuana legalization, that will get our economy back on track and create new opportunities for our rural communities.

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A call for equity and sustainable systems

Man's hand standing holding growing cayenne plant.
Photo from Ron Chapple stock.Equity, the fairness with with which we treat one another, has finally become a hot topic. Sustainability, the pursuit of an environment healthy enough to ensure a livable planet for ourselves and for our children has, thankfully, become another. Together they pack a pretty explosive punch! Ignore them and we may find ourselves flat on our backs; the soul of our humanity bruised and battered by tooth and claw competition on a shriveling planet.Around the world, including here in Wisconsin, small family farmers are being forced off their ...

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Grief, worry, hope, and kindness

Photograph of snowy winter scene
At the end of January, Will and I suffered the loss of a beloved pet. After talking with friends, we found out that three of them also recently had pets reach the end of their lives. Some lost people in their family as well. Some, like me, are worried about family who are sick.

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Retiring the Corporate America flag

Throughout the past few years, so much of what I believed has been turned onto its head. Most notably, my view that corporate influence on government is the greatest threat to democracy.

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How we grieve is who we are

Growing up in this environment made me better able to deal with grief. Some would say that I still am too stoic, I appear to uncaring. I am not, however I do grieve, and even cry. Just how I was raised was that we get the important things done first, then we deal with grief later.

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America the Beautiful

The same short-sighted, profit-centered thinking that opposed creating the National Parks hinders creating the “good change” we need today.

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Some thoughts on the role journalism plays in society

Unity is more than just a good idea; it is vital. That isn’t to say that we must unite to create false equivalencies and accept fiction as though it were fact. We must restore faith in an objective truth, one of the tenets of good journalism.

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Abusing religious freedom

Freedom from religion is just as important to liberty as “prohibiting the free exercise” of any sect.

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Expectations of the U.S. presidency on this Presidents’ Day

All good Americans need to look at our leaders more critically, asking if we would want this person as our boss, as our public relations person, as the mouthpiece of our nation.

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