Thumbs up to Adulting 101 classes at Hedberg Public Library. The critics cannot fathom why some young people need a class on how to act like an adult. Their parents should be teaching them those skills, such as doing laundry and paying the bills, critics say. But the sad reality is, many parents today don’t know how to be an adult, and so there’s no way their kids can learn from them. Other parents simply are absent during their children’s formative years and never bothered to impart any life lessons. Regardless of the reasons, there is a demand for basic information on “adulting,” and these class are meeting an important need.
Thumbs up to naming government center after retiring Walworth County administrator. Some assume you have to name buildings after famous people, but there's no rule on that. Retiring Walworth County Administrator Dave Bretl is as deserving as anyone to have his name over the doors of the county's administrative building. Walworth County is one of the few counties in the state--and maybe the nation--to be debt free. It's raised cash to pay for improvements, and it likely won't have to borrow until at least 2021. State-imposed levy limits restrict local government's ability to raise taxes, and so Walworth County has been playing by the same set of rules as debt-burdened local governments. Perhaps before he retires, Bretl will share with Rock County his secrets on how to develop a pay-as-you-go system.
Thumbs up to Janesville Boys & Girls Club's academic plans. The program gives kids a place to go after school finishes for the day, making it a natural school district partner. The two entities have started sharing resources and information to boost reading skills among Janesville students. The effort comes as Superintendent Steve Pophal attempts to achieve his "promise" of having 90 percent of third-graders reading at grade level. We've wondered how Pophal plans to hit this lofty mark, knowing there's only so much help teachers and staff can give students during school hours. The district's partnership with the Boys & Girls Club will create additional instructional and practice time for kids who need it most.
Thumbs up to matching gift challenge. ARISEnow has been quietly raising millions of dollars toward its goal to finance improvements for downtown Janesville. Perhaps it's most significant contribution to date is the Bubbler feature at the town square. The organization is about $200,000 short of its $6 million goal and recently received a $10,000 donation from Mitch and Louise Pelsue. The couple is challenging Janesville residents to match their amount. This is the type of motivation that's sometimes required in the homestretch of a fundraising campaign. It comes at important inflection point for the downtown. The ARISE initiative has taken root, but there's still much more to accomplish to realize all its benefits. Now is the time to channel your Janesville pride, reach into that pocketbook and help ARISE achieve its goal.