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 that Valley Sentinel be sent meeting notices for the respective governmental bodies. Recently, we sent reminder letters by mail to the local governmental bodies in our immediate coverage area that have not been consistent in sending us meeting notices, with several having sent none at all in the past nearly 2.5 years.
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 directive also promising a transition plan that floated the red herring ideas of online instruction and continuing education.
It’s become increasingly clear that the only way to save UW-Richland is inside a courtroom.
We hope for a day when this is a given in our society, but put simply, it is the editorial policy of Valley Sentinel that love is love. Period.
Occasionally, when perhaps a devil’s advocate is needed or more circumstances should be considered, we find ourselves at odds with our readers in our very unscientific weekly (okay, okay, it’s semi-regular at best) social media poll. This is one of those occasions.
Sunshine Week – Examples of Open Government
As covered in the March 11 River Valley School Board story, board member Sara Young proposed an ‘Equity and Understanding Work Group’, composed of teachers, administrators, a community representative and a parent, who would be charged with admirable equity, diversity and inclusion tasks, including proposing district policy.
On Tuesday, President Joseph R. Biden announced that the US expects to have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May, two months earlier than anticipated.
As winter gives way to spring (seriously, 40 degree weather? At least a few of you are guilty of breaking out the shorts this week), we’d like to revisit some of the ideas we’ve heard most over this past winter, while acknowledging that it’s never too early to start planning out next year’s winter activities and how we make them happen.
This week, the WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network, also known as WisEye, a non-profit State Capitol broadcast organization, announced they intend to implement a paywall on their content. We regard this move as disastrous for open and accountable government at the state level in Wisconsin.
🎶 Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men? 🎶
Just kidding… but not really.
Having at least one History minor on our editorial board requires us to differentiate between the anti-monarchist insurrection of Parisian republicans (little ‘r’) in 1832 (as beautifully adapted in song by Les Misérables) and what happened last Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.
And indeed, what happened?