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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Heroes of the Week: Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services Volunteers

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The non-profit Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services provides education for functionally illiterate adults who want to advance their general knowledge, learn English or prepare for a General Education Development (GED)/High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) exam. Tutoring classes in basic computer skills, job readiness and pre-vocational training, and college and business preparatory writing skills are also available.

Milwaukee Achiever helps more than 1,900 adult learners annually at its two learning centers (Scott Center, 1215 South 45th St., and Silver Spring Center, 5566 North 69th St.) and all tutoring sessions are led by more than 300 highly skilled and dedicated volunteers.

"Volunteers are truly the backbone of Milwaukee Achiever and we are immensely grateful to these dedicated souls who return to give of their knowledge and passion each week," said Winnie Butler, Milwaukee Achiever's operations coordinator.

Milwaukee Achiever is avidly seeking tutors in all areas, but is particularly in need of computer tutors due to the format of the GED changing to completely computer-based tests in 2014. Tutoring experience is not necessary, but volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma (or GED/HSED). Those interested in volunteering are urged to contact:


Milwaukee Achiever also welcomes student interns of all backgrounds to complete internships for college credit. For additional information, visit Milwaukee Achiever's website at www.milwaukeeachiever.org.

Issue of the Week: Van Wanggaard Does the Right Thing

It couldn't have been easy. But on Tuesday morning, Van Wanggaard did the right thing by announcing that he would not contest the results of his June 5 recall election in Racine's 21st Senate District, which Wanggaard lost by more than 800 votes to his Democratic rival, John Lehman, who had represented the district prior to 2010.

We're sure that Wanggaard felt pressure to drag out the recount via a court case for as long as possible. Not only would he be able to raise huge sums of money during his legal challenge, but he'd also keep his seat in the state Senate as long as his appeal was tied up in the courts. And that would possibly have had huge implications for the workings of state government, because Wanggaard's presence in the Senate, no matter how shaky, preserves the Republican majority in that chamber. That would allow Republicans to ram through controversial bills—perhaps a misguided mining bill, for example—without bipartisan input or support.

Fortunately, Wanggaard acted with integrity and is respecting the wishes of Racine voters. Lehman should be sworn in without delay and the Democrats should take power in the state Senate, as voters intended, while Republicans continue to control the state Assembly and governor's office, as voters also intended.

Wanggaard is promising to run for this seat when it's up again and Republicans are already talking about recalling Lehman next year, as soon as it's legally possible. Wanggaard would have an easier chance of winning in 2013 or 2014, since District 21 was radically redrawn by his fellow Republicans to favor him or any Republican who runs for this seat.

The voters have a right to recall their elected officials, of course, just as Wanggaard had the right to challenge the results of this election. But we're hoping that Wisconsin voters and their elected representatives do the right thing and work together, instead of polarizing the state even further.

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