Thumbs down to Walworth County withholding sex offender map. The Gazette has filed an open record request seeking a map identifying places where sexually violent people can live in the county. We haven't heard back, yet, and we're not optimistic. A Walworth County official Michael Cotter said he doesn't think the map is a public record, citing "competitive" reasons. Supposedly, landlords could use the map to drive up rents for sexual predators. Sorry, Mr. Cotter, concerns about sex offenders' rent costs shouldn't take priority over the public's right to know. Besides, Walworth County isn't financially responsible for housing sex offenders. Release the map, already.
Thumbs down to Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he had no idea he had received parking tickets for an improperly registered vehicle, a meter violation and parking too close to a crosswalk. He paid a $108 fine for the nearly year-old tickets after the Journal Sentinel discovered them. It's hard to fathom Barnes didn't know about the tickets. But if he truly didn't know, well, he should have known. The episode is a bit reminiscent of the legal woes of Randy Bryce, the former Democratic congressional candidate who became delinquent on his child support payments and only paid them off after launching his campaign. Disrespecting the law doesn't play well with voters.
Thumbs up to Parker and Milton baseball teams. The two teams put together impressive playoff runs, with ninth-seeded Parker upsetting top-ranked Craig and then nearly beating Milton. If not for committing seven errors against Milton, the Vikings likely would have advanced to the sectional match-up against Sussex Hamilton. Instead, Milton played Sussex Hamilton, losing 6-3 in an admirable effort. Both Parker and Milton exceeded expectations this year, with Milton going 19-8. Parker finished 13-14, but ending its 12-game skid against Craig gave the Vikings a lot to celebrate. At 20-3, Craig had a terrific season, too, but the Parker loss killed its state tournament dreams.
Thumbs up to the Kersten family. The family hosted the annual Rock County Dairy Breakfast on Saturday for the second year in a row. With depressed dairy prices forcing some farms to close, we cannot take remaining family farms for granted. The Kersten farm features 140 cows, and the family feeds them with crops grown at the farm. "It's rough right now until the milk prices stabilize. The price is coming up, but it's still tough," Dennis Kersten told The Gazette. Attending dairy breakfasts is one way to connect with the people who help make the food we put on our tables. Wisconsin's connection to dairy is world famous, but that doesn't mean it will last forever. We should all do what we can to support this industry.