Thumbs up to Rep. Bryan Steil holding listening sessions. Today marks the return of listening sessions for the 1st Congressional District. This normally wouldn't be news, except that former Rep. Paul Ryan mostly stopped holding town halls after becoming speaker of the House. He put on teletown halls instead, but there's a big difference between addressing your congressman in person versus over the telephone. Many members of Congress canceled town halls two years ago in the face of anger over a GOP proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. We encourage our new representative, Bryan Steil, to remain steadfast in the face of constituents' criticisms at these events. We prefer to see our congressman engage the community.
Thumbs up to YMCA Board of Directors bringing back three former board members. For all the controversy swirling around past decisions made by the board of directors, it's steadily working to make amends. The board took a big step forward last week in bringing back three banished board members--Dan Honold, Jeff LaBrozzi and Larry Squire--who had been removed from the board in apparent violation of the board's bylaws. The three could have held a grudge and refused to return, but new board President Steve Yeko Jr. said the board was “pleased to share that all three board members agreed to return to active participation.” As we've written in previous editorials, there remains a lot of questions about what's gone wrong with the Y, but we're optimistic it will soon resume its role as a positive influence on the community.
Thumbs down to Foxconn changing its plans. Who really knows what Foxconn plans to do in Wisconsin? Conflicting reports over the past week suggest the Taiwanese company is scrapping plans to manufacture TV screens in the state. The company has reportedly concluded labor costs in the U.S. are too high. “In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.,” a Foxconn official told Reuters. “We can’t compete.” This sounds like Foxconn's sly way of saying the $4 billion in subsidies the state has offered are not enough. Foxconn now says its Racine County site would most likely become a research facility, not a factory. But does anyone believe Foxconn would hire 13,000 people--the amount a factory would employ--to run a research facility?
Thumbs up to barring political ice sculptures from competitions. Most kids don't go to Lake Geneva's Winterfest to see sculptures depicting President Trump as a pile of feces. But that's what one of the teams made last year, and there's been some backlash. We imagine most people attend these events to escape the talking heads on their TV sets ranting about the president. They want to see penguins, turtles and other happy creatures. One of the creators of the feces piece, Dusty Thune, complained new rules against making political or controversial statements would suppress artistic expression. That may be true, but a private organization is running the competition, and so it's free to censor speech as it sees fit.