Editorials, Columns, Letters to the Editor and Community Discussions

Editorial Policy: On certain topics in areas of great community interest, the editors of the Valley Sentinel may take positions they believe best represent and serve the interests of the community. Any opinions or positions taken by the editorial board are separate and distinct in labeling and substance from the community journalism that appears in the rest of the publication and does not affect the integrity and impartiality of our reporting.

Column Policy: Editors may feature opinion columns written by public figures, members of the public or other publication staff. Columns reflect the opinions of the individual contributors and do not represent positions of the publication. Guest columns of an anticipated length more than 500 words should seek prior editor authorization.

Letter to the Editor Policy: Letters submitted for consideration are subject to fact-checking and editing for space and clarity. Submissions must have a compelling local community interest. Letters to the editor must fit within a 500-word limit, and include name, city and phone number. Phone numbers are for office use only and will not be published. Letters of a political nature, without chance of rebuttal, will not be published the week before an election.

Community Discussions Policy: From time to time the editorial board may select letters to the editor of a particular compelling community interest where a public figure or accountable public action is the recipient of criticism and allow, in the same issue, the subject of the criticism chance for rebuttal, with expounded independent input. The format shall be point, counterpoint and expert analysis. This community discussion shall serve as a moderated dialogue that presents multiple views of important community topics.

Spring Green band Violet Palms after midnight at Slowpoke Lounge for their album debut Sept. 11. Pictured, from left, Tim Gittings, Ben Feiner and lead singer Marcus Truschinski, Craig Benzine and Michael Mertens. Photo by Amberly Mae-Cooper.

Alys and the Ark captivates opening as Violet Palms album release electrifies the Slowpoke Lounge

On the stroke of midnight on Sept. 11, the electrifying sound waves from the band, Violet Palms, was released into the world. Twelve songs from the band’s debut album, “Compassion Fatigue”, were celebrated on the renowned stage at Slowpoke Lounge and Cabaret in downtown Spring Green, in preparation for the marked, midnight release. Opening for…

Spring Green band Violet Palms performs at Slowpoke Lounge. Pictured, from left, guitarist Ben Feiner and lead singer Marcus Truschinski. Photo by Rob Steffen.

REVIEW: Spring Green band Violet Palms announces release show for debut album ‘Compassion Fatigue’

Spring Green-based alt-rock band Violet Palms will be launching their new album Compassion Fatigue during a special performance starting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11 at the Slowpoke Lounge & Cabaret (137 W Jefferson St, Spring Green). The event will be opened by music from Alys and the Ark. Slowpoke suggests that attendees donate $5-10…

Members of Valley Sentinel pictured with the publication’s 22 awards, including Best in Division E, after the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s awards banquet in Madison March 24. Pictured from left: Beverly Pestel, columnist; Anna Stocks-Hess, former graphic designer; Nicole Aimone, co-owner, publisher, editor-in-chief; Taylor Scott, co-owner, publisher, managing editor; Julianna Williams, graphic designer; Gary Ernest Grass, esq., legal editor. Photo by Kathleen Farrow.

Valley Sentinel wins Best in Division E at Wisconsin Newspaper Association awards banquet

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association recently recognized the state’s newspapers for their exceptional work during its 2022 Better Newspaper Contest Awards Banquet. The event took place on March 24, at The Madison Concourse Hotel in downtown Madison. Among the winners, Valley Sentinel was awarded as the Best in Division E.

Sunshine Week, held annually in March, was launched in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors (now News Leaders Association), and aims to promote open government and shine light into the dark recesses of government secrecy.

EDITORIAL: Open government report card — Arena improves, Lone Rock sued, other local public bodies receive letters

Sunshine Week is a time to celebrate government transparency and public service, as well as a time to address lapses in the same. In October 2020, shortly after incorporating and shortly before our first edition, we sent out a Wis. Stat. 19.84(1)(b) written request by email from news media to our local governmental bodies asking…

With the many things going on in Lone Rock and Richland County covered by this edition, we wanted to put together an illustration that created a representative interpretation of the issues raised. “County line, Lone Rock, Wisconsin” (2023) Mixed media/digital, by Valley Sentinel/AI/ Public Domain.

Legal Editor’s Column: Lone Rock Lawsuit, open meetings update

A couple months back, I wrote here that the Valley Sentinel was suing the Village of Lone Rock. It feels like time for an update, and I wanted to talk about our two cases — one not yet filed and one possibly almost done, and why they are so different.

An undated picture of Minerva Montooth. Photo courtesy of Minerva Montooth.

The (not so) Plain and Simple Correspondent: Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom

In the Roman pantheon, Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, justice, law, victory, and the sponsor of arts, trade and strategy. Gracious! It boggles the mind that even a goddess could possibly incorporate so many sterling qualities. As it happens, there is a human being who comes close. She lives at Taliesin – “Shining Brow”,…

David Kopitzke speaks to Senator Marklein and Assemblyman Kurtz about the need to take action to save our campus, at a recent listening session held in Richland Center. Image Credit: WKOW

UW-Richland information session and town hall meeting to be held

Community is invited to share ideas about how to save campus.

An information session and town hall meeting will be held on Thursday, January 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on the UW-Richland campus in the Pippin Conference Center of Melvill Hall. 

With the many things going on in Lone Rock and Richland County covered by this edition, we wanted to put together an illustration that created a representative interpretation of the issues raised. “County line, Lone Rock, Wisconsin” (2023) Mixed media/digital, by Valley Sentinel/AI/ Public Domain.

Legal Editor’s Column: We’re suing Lone Rock over public records, here’s why

Last Halloween, the Village of Lone Rock held a public meeting and did not notify the Valley Sentinel. The next night they held public hearings on their annual budget and a village board meeting. The Valley Sentinel was sent an e-mail notice less than an hour before the meeting started. We asked for various public…

The exterior sign at the UW-Platteville Richland campus in Richland Center. Photo via UW-Platteville Richland

EDITORIAL: UW-Richland will not be saved outside the courtroom, action is needed now

Richland County and the greater community were disheartened just over a month ago when a unilateral directive from University of Wisconsin System President Jay Rothman directed the administration of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Richland campus in Richland Center to start winding down operations and to plan to discontinue in-person instruction starting fall 2023, with the…

Selina and Red were more concerned about sleep than hunting at times on this trip. Photo by Mark Walters.

An Outdoorsman’s Journal: Mississippi Duck Hunt/The Best of Times

“Fifty-one opening days of duck hunting ago I was a very young boy in a very low income, single parent family, and my dad was raising my brothers Mike, Tom, myself, my sister Lynn and sometimes my brother Bob. We lived kind of like I do now, which is a very busy life that is…

Over five months of hard work was spent in the forests and swamps for Mark Walters to harvest this bear. Photo by Mark Walters.

An Outdoorsman’s Journal: Success on the Bear Hunt

“This week’s column is about a successful conclusion to my 2022 bear hunting season that has absorbed large parts of my time, thoughts, and pocket book since I began running baits in northern Juneau County as well as southern Jackson on April 15th.”

Follow along each week on the adventures of Mark Walters, a syndicated…

It had been 21 days since Mark Walters had a day time hit at his baits when these two bears showed up. Photo by Mark Walters.

An Outdoorsman’s Journal: Ten Sunsets on a Bear Stand

“This week’s column is a short summary of the first ten days of my bear hunting situation in which I did not miss a day sitting in a tree.”

Follow along each week on the adventures of Mark Walters, a syndicated outdoor adventure columnist who lives in Necedah, Wisconsin. He began writing his column, An…


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