Pickle: Questioning the Lodi stadium renovation

I love football and soccer. I love for the student athletes to have good facilities, however I question the return value for this renovation.

How many Division I athletes has Lodi turned out in football or soccer? How many Division 2 or 3 athletes has Lodi turned out? Would artificial turf reduce injuries to any of the students? Probably not, because of the speed increase of the game on artificial turf.

What would happen if they improved the existing facility and put the balance into the classroom or support for teacher improvement? The renovated facility would be beautiful and nice to have but school is to turn out students who can compete on an academic level and few will ever get to use those athletic skills to get a satisfying life job beyond high school. Is the use of this new renovation going to provide more productive students who can survive in the real world?

John H. Pickle, Jr.,

Former high school and small college athlete

Ripp: Refinery waivers harm Wisconsin farmers

I voted for President Trump with hope that he would protect the interests of farmers across the country. And he has – the Administration and Environmental Protection Agency kept their promise to farmers when they lifted the seasonal ban on E15, a gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol. Like thousands of Wisconsin farmers, my family’s success depends on the competitiveness of the market. We were encouraged when it was announced that E15 was going to be sold year-round. But the small refinery exemptions being distributed by the EPA undermine that progress. These waivers excuse oil companies from following federal fuel standards. Exemptions are supposed to be reserved for small refineries facing hardship, but the EPA has been giving them to massive corporations like Exxon.

This policy doesn’t just hurt Wisconsin farmers, but our entire economy. Ethanol production in Wisconsin creates $4.2 billion in economic activity, contributes $982 million in wages, and supports over 19,000 jobs.

Ethanol production is vital to Wisconsin because of how central it is to our agriculture industry. President Trump promised to support rural businesses, but these refinery waivers harm the very people he vowed to help. It’s time for government to protect our communities over multi billion-dollar companies.

Keith Ripp, Lodi,

Former State Representative

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