Letters to the Editor


Youth football proved critics wrong

A June 2011 headline (“Leadership change riles Oregon Youth Football parents”) and subsequent article(s) and letters to the editor left some believing that a change in leadership for the Oregon Youth Football Board (OYFB)was terrible and unwarranted.

Here we are in 2015, and it is time to report about how these changes have helped OYF and football at the high school level as well.

In May 2011, Tony Ricker ran for president of the OYFB and won the vote at the annual meeting after the prior president was voted out. People said Tony would only do it for one year, and would leave as soon as his son left the program. Todd Huppert also ran for a board member spot, Dan Paltz was the treasurer and Jen Kloepping, Tammy Duff and John Jicha rounded out the team willing to work with Tony. 


End tobacco use in Wisconsin

November 19 marks the Great American Smokeout Day, a day that challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps people know about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay off of tobacco.

As members of the Oregon FACT group, Wisconsin’s youth tobacco prevention group, we are doing our best to spread the truth about tobacco to our peers and community. Fortunately, youth cigarette smoking has been steadily declining in Wisconsin and is currently at all time lows. However, the use of other tobacco products, like e-cigarettes, little cigars and chewing tobacco, are on the rise. These products come in flavors like cotton candy, bubblegum and cherry, are packaged like candy and are considerably cheaper than cigarettes.


Rethink high school grading system

Oregon is a village that is based around its high school and anyone involved in a student’s life should demand a greater focus on how the students are being prepared for higher education. 

The current grading policy consisting of summative (graded assessments like tests and projects) and formative (ungraded assessments like homework and quizzes) grading is teaching the wrong educational habits for higher education and needs to be corrected by telling administration we need to go back to a traditional system.

Formative and summative grading is training students that if they do not do homework and do not study, they can rely on their natural intelligence to get good grades. Students are able to just show up to a test and get good grades without work. In college it is nearly impossible to get by without putting in work outside of class. 


Village should reject hotel TIF

Oregon Village Board, please reject the $1 million TIF request from S&L Hospitality for a new hotel in Oregon.  

I am all in favor of a hotel in Oregon but it must succeed on its own merit and not use public funding to artificially make the case. 

The fact no one has built a hotel here should be a red flag; investors will make the decision to build a hotel here and take on the risk for a return on their investment when the time is right. 

Could it be the population growth or volume of visitors has not quite yet hit the tipping point for this to succeed despite the studies that have been done? 

Forcing this through with a subsidy creates risk for all of us to inherit an unusable building before the economics make sense for the project and I believe granting this financing would be an abuse of TIF. 


Taking issue with coverage

This letter is addressed not only to the Oregon Observer, but to those who profess to have firsthand knowledge of business details regarding the unfortunate sensationalized situation with The Academy of Sound.

Our attempts to resolve the drum issue over the last six months have been unsuccessful as it relates to the entire building and all tenants. The only issue of discussion is infiltrating drum noise.  It has grown into much more as a result of media intervention and the weaving in of unrelated “stories.”

We can take the responsibility for trying to resolve the situation and we do. That’s what a landlord is supposed to do for their tenants and all of their tenants. 


Downtown renovation is admirable, but tenants might not afford the rent

I admire the work that the Thiels have put into the buildings in downtown Oregon; it would be very sad to lose the history that is connected with the properties and the quaintness of our downtown.  

Certainly, as land owners, and ones that have put money, time and sweat into their properties, they should be able to do as they wish with their property, within the guidelines of the existing laws and regulations.

What I’m not as sure about is whether they should be the ones deciding which businesses our little downtown needs.  Given the history of their own upscale business, I’m also not so sure they are qualified.


Communication needed between tenants, landlord in historic building

I’ve been thinking about the possible eviction of The Academy of Sound ever since reading your article. It just baffles me.  

I have no issues with Holstein’s or with the tenant having complaints about the noise from the drum lessons – they are certainly entitled to having an issue with the noise.

What I do not understand is why this was never brought to the academy. And why, if the tenants felt uncomfortable talking to Academy of Sound about it, the Thiels didn’t.  

It is sort of the same as one sibling complaining about something the other did to mom. What mom should do is talk to each child to get the story and see what can be worked out between them, but the Thiels decided to call an attorney to write a letter?  


Burke: Working for village has been a rewarding challenge

The last 15 months with the Oregon Police Department have been the most challenging of my career. But because of what we have been able to overcome and achieve, they have also been my most rewarding.

The cooperation and support I have received from both inside and outside the department has been unmatched and something I will never forget.

Friendships have been created that will last a lifetime. The Village staff, especially Mike Gracz, and the Board, led by President Steve Staton, have been an absolute joy to work for and I couldn’t have asked for better bosses. The Police Commission, led by Maynard Stoehr, has worked with me to hire four new officers and promote three and has also invested a lot of time and energy over the past five months in the process that led to the hiring of new Chief Uhl. All of these folks deserve credit for where the department is today.


Oregon needs its spirit lifted

The news has been more disturbing than usual lately and so it came to my heart that I would write a letter to the editor in the hopes of lifting the spirits of the community of Oregon.

We all have the need to be loved, and from that need, the ability to love.

From our ability to love we have compassion, and from that compassion the ability to empathize.

So let us love one another as we love ourselves and recognize that we are all beautifully broken.  It is through our brokenness that we come together to create the beautiful portrait that is the Oregon community.

Jeff Boudreau
Village of Oregon


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.  


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