To all members of the American Legion family, Post No. 544

                  It has been brought to my attention that there is a continuing issue with the no smoking ban and the disrespect of officers. As part of the writing and receiving of this letter, I will inform you that these issues will be clarified and acted upon accordingly.

                  The American Legion Post has been here for a long time and it will continue as the American Legion Post No. 544.

                  The smoking and disrespect will no longer be tolerated without consequences. There will be no policing of these issues, however, the Commanders and the President will, and have the authority to, control this situation. If it continues to occur, action will be taken upon your membership, and you as a member are responsible for your guests in this Post.

You must realize that in order for us to continue to pay our bills here, our biggest source of money comes from the seniors and hall renters. There has been continued complaints of smoking and I will not have the disrespect that has been shown here in the past.

                  We will be moving into a new year and I anticipate no further problems. I need everyone’s cooperation to continue with our programs and not have them be jeopardized by a few members. If you have a problem, it needs to be brought to the attention of your Commander and President and it will be addressed accordingly.

                  This Post is no exception to the no-smoking in public places ruling made by the State. It will be enforced.

Mary Weil

Amer. Legion Commander, Post No. 544, Twin Lakes


How to share Hooker Lake is petition topic

                  Many of you have signed the petition to show opposition to adding Saturday to the extended wake hours until sunset on Hooker Lake.

                  On Oct.  8, the Salem Town Board asked for more citizen input to make their decision. I was told by the Salem Town Board to collect signatures – and I did. Ninety-two of you spoke to me and told me “Enough is enough.” Whether it was the extra noise during your quiet time, or the excessive waves while trying to fish or paddle around the lakeshore after 7 p.m., you told me that 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. (9 hours) seven days a week is more than fair to share the lake; the extra Tuesdays and Thursdays of extended skiing was excessive.

                  Hooker Lake is only 87 acres of navigable water and the most common comment was “Hooker Lake is too small for skiing.”

                  I collected the 92 signatures at the boat launches, the bait shop and by going door to door. The DNR states “the lakes belong to everyone.” Craig Helker, DNR Water Resources Manager, agrees, stating, “All residents of the community, not just the (lake) property owners have a say in the lake… . People have a right to quiet and it has just as much validity to request their (quiet) hours as do the skiers.”

                  The mere thought that an extra three people at the annual HLMD voted to negatively change a lake seems preposterous. Technically, they had the right to make the motion and it passed. The key thing here is that people say the Hooker Lake Board “recommended” the extension. No. I do not agree and I am an HLMD board member.  According to Chapter 33 Public Inland Waters, repeatedly it states the job of lake commissioners is to “protect and rehabilitate” the lake.

                  Board members should never approve or propose anything can be construed as negative upon the lake. Additionally, Chapter 33.455 Regulation proposed by board of commissioners states in paragraph 1, 2 and 3 that we are to only propose. This is only common sense. Only in Chapter 33.47 Special assessments and charges does it state it can “recommend.”

                  The greedy want to discount your voice and they tried at the November town meeting. They knew they had to collect signatures and didn’t get even one. The timeline to get signatures started on Oct.  8 and ended on Nov. 12.

                  After hearing citizens’ comments at the Nov. 12  Salem Town Board meeting, the board tabled the vote of the extended skiing hours until a study can be done. This motion will come up again in the fall of 2013 and is only a shallow victory.                   You must speak up against those who wish to extend full wake from sunrise to sunset on Hooker Lake. Hooker Lake board meetings are the second Thursday of the month, (not December) at 7 p.m. at the Salem Town Hall. Fishermen and nature lovers unite. If you like the quiet time in the mornings and evenings, let your pen and voice be heard.

Tim Vanderhoef



Walker correct in not building health insurance exchange

                  Gov. Walker has notified the Obama Administration that Wisconsin will not build a state-based health insurance exchange. By deferring to the federal government’s insurance exchange, Walker did what is right for Wisconsin.

                  Obamacare gives states three options in building health insurance exchanges, all governed and controlled by federal policy. The Obama administration has continuously promised to provide cost comparisons between the federally facilitated exchange, the State-based exchange and the partnership exchanges. The cost estimates have still not been provided.

                  Numerous contracts have been signed for the development of the federally facilitated exchanges, but the documents have not been made public despite FOIA requests for them. Obama has not provided an answer concerning whether the federal government or the states will be responsible for paying for the state-run functions of a partnership exchange.

                  Plans sold on the state exchanges must meet “essential health benefits.” These benefits have not been defined in formal rulemaking. The states have not received the promised “actuarial value calculators” to enable them to make informed decisions on plans sold on the exchange. How can states make informed decisions when the Obama administration will not answer critical questions?

                  Many states haven’t agreed to build state-based health insurance exchanges by the deadline in spite of pressure from Obama to do so. Obama has extended the deadline, which will give him more time to pressure these governors. Call Governor Walker and tell him his decision was correct. He should not build a state-based exchange.

Amy Holterman


Wisconsin’s election results are scary

                  Many are happy with the recent national election results, as I am, but the state election results are scary. The right-wing Republicans now control the Assembly, the Senate and the Governor’s office. Recently, Governor Walker has indicated that he will not set up an Affordable Health Care State Exchange. The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Association and other business groups recommended that there be a Wisconsin Health Exchange. Will Wisconsin businesses lose out on business because of Walker’s decision?

                  Part of the reason Democrats lost seats in the Senate and the Assembly is the redistricting by Republicans last session to make strong partisan seats.

                  Most voters say they want the legislators to compromise and get things done, yet when they voted for Rep. Kerkman, they voted for an uncompromising Republican. Rep. John Steinbrink worked for compromise with the Republicans and voted with the Republicans over 17 times. He had a 91 percent approval rating with the Wisconsin Conservancy Voters.

                  Voters were so involved in the national elections that they did not pay close attention to the state elections. As a consequence, the overwhelming Wisconsin Republican government might do away with environmental safeguards and approve mining in northern Wisconsin that would cause damage to our water, soil and our tourist industry.

                  They also might try to bring back a milder photo identification voting law that would pass constitutional muster. The Republican majority might expand the charter schools even though the charter schools have proven unsuccessful.

                  People seem to be uninformed when voting for state officeholders. John Steinbrink had a far better record. I hope he will run again.


Vera Boone

Twin Lakes



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