Family & Community


Father’s day

Finding the perfect card for my dad has never been easy. He hates mushy sentiments expressed in a greeting card. He likes funny cards, so I ordered one that I thought he would like, but it was looking like it wouldn’t arrive in time, so I decided to write this for him.

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Counting all the costs of war

On Memorial Day we remember the veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in our many wars. We should mourn the fallen. We should mourn because they did not die for their country.

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The road to poverty is paved with good intentions

As a proposed increase to the minimum wage became part of the COVID Relief bill, then later scrapped, my subconscious pointed out a flaw in my thinking. I had a vivid dream where I was talking to numerous business owners who are a part of our vibrant local food scene. Many of these restaurateurs, farmers, and value-added food producers make $50,000 per year or less while paying the current minimum wage, or slightly more. Paying workers based on a wage ratio limit would not necessarily guarantee a living wage, so in the dream they were asking me what they should pay. What would be a competitive pay rate?

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Grief, worry, hope, and kindness

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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Wisconsin Legislature strikes mask order; Governor reinstates four hours later

Talk to your friends and neighbors; this is not a partisan political issue. It's an issue of what is right vs. what is wrong, and what is good vs. what is bad for the people in our communities and state.

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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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Still fighting for $15 minimum wage

Wisconsin has been at $7.25 an hour since 2010 when the state made the increase to keep up with federal minimum wage.

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Happiness, simplicity, and other worthy pursuits

The other morning, while watching snow gently falling, outlining the lampposts and trees, I felt peace. More than that, I felt happy. Soon after, I found myself asking, “why can’t others find happiness in these simple things?” Of course other people do, but maybe not enough. Will, my significant other, has said to me, “sometimes I feel like asking people, ‘have you ever turned around to watch the sunrise?’” It is a question that should be asked of people who resort to violence. Surely there must be some deep unhappiness that leads people to act as they ...

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Video: Norfleet and Kilian Discuss Environmental Justice in Wausau

 A video discussion on the "Brother2Brotha Who's Talking" podcast with guests Chris Norfleet and Tom Kilian. Recorded November 7, 2020, it touches on local topics such as the East Riverfront, the Wausau Mall Redevelopment, Thomas Street, and the overall need for local frameworks that foster an inclusive democracy and equity for all. Note: Tom Kilian has served as a volunteer on Middle Wisconsin's digital efforts since 2013

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MOM AND APPLE PIE

“...remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could.” Abigail Adams In 1776, Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, wrote a letter to her husband asking that the political and legal status of women be improved under the new government being formed. She was asking that the revolutionary rhetoric about being “created equal” and “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” include women. The founding fathers did ...

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