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Sound Off for Aug. 16: Shoplifting scheme, polling places, Bucks arena, presidential politics

By Greg Peck
August 16, 2015

On shoplifting scheme: Regarding the front-page story about Rick Donahue last Sunday, my concern is that the past article in The Gazette detailed how District Attorney O'Leary's office fails to want to prosecute cases and plea bargains too often. I hope voters remember this at election time. It shows either incompetence or laziness.

-- Contractors clear construction site items to the dump. That's quicker than returning them for store credit. Several economically challenged tenants will scavenge Dumpsters, landfills and construction site cleanup areas to return these items for store credit to pay rent. Common and, yes, apparently illegal.

On polling places: Council members Liebert and Marklein have their priorities all screwed up. They don't want to spend $7,000 to implement a reasonable proposal from City Clerk-Treasurer Godek, yet they want to be paid to serve as council members. Phooey, I say.

-- There are two pressing safety issues facing Janesville School District children. First, the lack of safety belts on most school buses. Second, the use of schools as polling places. Perhaps the expected $500,000 windfall, which is to net $100,000 from the crowned prince, can address these issues.

-- Madison School should be removed as a site. A couple of years ago, I walked in during school. No one noticed me, and the ropes were down. I could have gone down either hallway to classrooms without any questioning. During polling hours, it's difficult for teachers to get to the office. The site has limited parking, especially for voters with handicaps.

On presidential candidates: A Sound Off Wednesday called Republican candidates circus clowns. Twenty-five million people tuned in to watch the debate. Republicans have 17 people, most of whom are qualified to be president. Democrats can't even come up with one. They have an old socialist and the most corrupt woman in America.

-- We have four good candidates running. They are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. The other 12 can take a hike. As far as Democrats, Hillary and Bernie Sanders both can take a hike.

-- We get daily updates about Hillary in denial concerning her emails and FBI findings of top-secret inclusions and then her denials concerning responsibility relative to Benghazi for the moment taking a backseat. What will be next for this wannabe president?

-Our three-time elected governor has a long list of accomplishments. He also has a long list of unhinged opponents. It has to be frustrating when you have liberals to support who are either under investigation for probable criminal acts, get shouted off the stage by two people or a platform of going metric. Clown act, yes; train wreck to boot.

On property upkeep: Regarding Wednesday's Sound Off, years ago the city made a big deal about a woman's carriage barn, but the landmark Monterey Hotel has been idle over 20 years. Look what Beloit did with its riverfront. Maybe we need Diane Hendricks to come up and buy the hotel so somebody will get something done with this beautiful building.

On firefighters: Kudos to the town of Beloit Fire Department for saving a dog at a house fire (Page 10A, Wednesday). They even took the time to give the dog oxygen so it could survive. I love you all.

On barbecue restaurant: A new business, Backyard Barbecue, is owned by Lester Grace. I went, and it was fantastic. Everyone should try it. And just so you know, everyone was working with gloves. That's to the snarky comment someone made in Sound Off.

On Bucks arena: Forbes Magazine has called Wisconsin's funding of the new arena a huge mistake, saying the Bradley Center is a fine venue and the state already has a $2 billion deficit. Wait a minute, I thought Scott Walker took care of that? Oh, well, as long as he takes care of his rich buddies.

-- Now that taxpayers are paying $250 million for the arena, we should all get free season tickets. Way to go, Scottie; another thorn in your side.

On international education: Wednesday's article said the district charges $24,000 for each foreign student, $14,000 for tuition and $10,000 for room and board. These are always reported and almost never clarified. Who gets the $10,000 for room and board? Does The Gazette intentionally lead us to believe the district gains $24,000 instead of $14,000?

EDITOR'S NOTE: The host family gets $500 per month for room and board costs.