Letters to the Editor


Bike path is a safe route into town

I like to bike, but more importantly, I want to arrive at my destination safely. 

I periodically commute to work in Madison, but typically forego the ride on Hwy. MM because of safety concerns. Instead, I drive to the south side of the city before getting on my bike. 

The other day I decided to bike from Madison to Oregon, traveling south on Fish Hatchery road to the new bicycle trail. Although Fish Hatchery is not ideal, it’s much safer than Hwy. MM. 

And once you get to the paved path at Swan Lake, it’s a dream. The path winds through rolling farmland with great views in both directions. And there are no cars! 

Kudos to president Steve Staton and our Village Board members for having the vision and persistence to see this project through.  


The Undefeated – an ode to OHS girls soccer

When we look back at your days spent in school.

We will remember games that we thought were cool.


It is hard to imagine what it will be like to remember this perfect season.

The Oregon girls soccer team showed all of us that you were playing for a reason.


There were many trials and tests and opponents would challenge.

Other coaches predicted they could win at best they would only imagine.


It took a very good team to put a goal inside your net.

16 opponents went without their challenges were always met.



Wisconsin celebrates five years as a smoke-free state

I can’t believe it’s already been five years since Wisconsin became a smoke-free state. 

Sunday, July 5 marked the date I stopped worrying about having to breathe secondhand tobacco smoke in workplaces throughout Wisconsin. 

Like many teens across the state, I love our smoke-free Wisconsin. 

I was 11 when the state went smoke-free, and I’d never want us to go back to the way things were before. It’s great to know that I’m not exposed to secondhand smoke when my family and I go to Headquarters Bar and Restaurant for dinner.

Besides protecting people from secondhand smoke, it’s also helping to lower youth smoking. Five years ago, one out of every six Wisconsin high school kids smoked. Today that number’s down to one in ten.


Policy enforcement could have played a role in Lt. Clark’s death

Relative to the Officer Karey Clark issue – there remains no doubt that Clark is, for the most part, responsible for his death.

However one could argue that the people he worked for have some culpability, specifically chief David Burke.

Policies Burke stated that were in place were merely assumptions. Burke’s failure to monitor the two-key policy could wind up something more than just an embarrassment to the Oregon Police Department. Had Burke dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s during the September to January timeline, Clark might well be alive today.

As they say, at the end of the day Karey Clark made some bad choices and it cost him his life. And at the end of that same day, there have to be questions relative to Burke’s qualifications to lead.


Another sad story about Oregon police

I was reading the Wisconsin State Journal (the other) morning in the Village of Spring Green. 

Once again I observed yet another article about the Village of Oregon Police Department. 

Let me see if I have this all correct.

You recently had a former police chief named Doug Pettit who directed staff to perform illegal duties, neglected to inform the village board of illegal activity at a sports bar, misused village equipment and is now facing two felony counts of tax evasion. 

He had a former officer under his responsibility apparently amending/falsifying reports. 

Most recently a deceased former lieutenant is being accused of stealing drugs from the evidence room at Pettit’s former department. 


Time to thank Pettit for service

To my Oregon neighbors,

Do you know that the man who served you well for almost 40 years has little time to be left with his family? Do you know that he took medical leave because he has cancer? Do you know he retired to put up a fight with this awful disease?

His infraction has been dealt with. Now it is time to say thank you for those many years he led our police force. There isn’t a lot of time left and it is the right thing to do as he says goodbye to his family and grandchildren. Grandchildren he will not be able to see grow up.

Thank you Chief Pettit for watching over us all these years.


Judy Haskins
Village of Oregon


State legislators should focus on reducing incarceration rates

Thanks to the months of work by the Young, Gifted and Black coalition and their allies, the Dane County Board unanimously approved a resolution Thursday, May 21 regarding the Dane county jail. 

This resolution tasks members of the community to bring forward recommendations to reduce the jail population and to address the factors which have resulted in the worst racial disparity in terms of arrests and jail population of any county in the U.S.

But while the goal of “building the people, not the jail” was moving forward in Dane County, on Tuesday, May 19, with about 30 minutes notice and virtually no discussion, the legislative Joint Finance Committee accepted the Department of Correction’s request for an additional $5 million to increase the prison population. 


Library can help students, adults beat test anxiety

remember how nervous I used to get before taking exams. It was difficult to sleep the night before, so I would stay up studying and memorizing timelines, people, dates and facts. 

My brothers and I were good students who studied and tried hard. However, all of us were anxious about exams. There were always high expectations for our end-of-semester report cards. 

Our teachers would hand them to us and tell us to give them to our parents. Of course, we would look at them on the walk home. A few of us would practically fly home with smiles and good news, while another few would slowly drag feet down the sidewalk. 

No one wanted to disappoint our mother and especially not our father. Sometimes we didn’t make it to the top of the grading charts as our parents had hoped. 


Walking your dog shouldn’t be a drag

One common complaint I hear among dog owners is that their dog pulls on the leash during walks. 

I feel their pain, especially since Gandhi was once in the habit of using his 88 pounds of canine power to drag me around our trails. 

It hurt my knees and my arm to “walk” him as he lurched me along like a trailer with two flat tires. He pulled on me, I lost my balance and pulled back, and on we went. Neither of us was having much fun.

To Gandhi, I probably felt like excess baggage that he had to lug around in order to get where he was going. Dogs walk faster than humans, after all. Their natural gait is like a jog to the average person. 

To me it felt like my arm was about to rip away from my body, and with each awkward step must it have looked as if I were reenacting a scene from “Night of the Living Dead.”


Thanks for a decade of service to Brooklyn

I’d like to send a sincere thank you to the residents of Brooklyn for being their village president over the past 10 years.  

It has been an opportunity of a lifetime to lead the village through its transition from a village described as “sleeping,” to a community with a shovel-ready business park, weekly community activities created by the recreation committee “crew” and an economic development plan that is underway.

My unfulfilled goal is to bring jobs to Brooklyn, especially for the long time residents who have been hurt the most by the changes in the local and national economy. The work force here is excellent and the labor needs of a company will be well-met if they locate in the village business park.


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