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The First Amendment

The Platteville Journal

DECEMBER 23, 2015


Bo and Gardo

was going to write about

Christmas this week as I previously have in this space of your
favorite weekly newspaper, but as
often happens, events intervened.

To be precise, an event you can read on

page 1 this week intervened Wisconsin
mens basketball coach Bo Ryans abrupt
retirement and replacement by Iowa
Grants and UWPlattevilles own Greg
Steve Prestegard
Gard for at least the rest of this season.
(For my previous Christmas thoughts,
go to
It may be ironic that Ryan retired during the season, as did
his (non-interim) predecessor, Dick Bennett, in 2000. (Though
it is more likely that Ryans timing was out of respect to Gard
and his brothers, Gary and UWPlatteville coach Jeff, during
the illness and death of their father, Glen.) Bennett and Ryan
are kind of the first fathers of basketball in Wisconsin, given
the number of high schools and colleges that run Ryans swing
offense and have adopted Bennetts defense-first philosophy.
After two years at UWMilwaukee, UW hired Ryan after
UWs brief flirtation with the more colorful Rick Majerus, a
Milwaukee native and former Marquette coach and Bucks
assistant coach. (Like Ryan, Majerus was an experience to
interview.) When Ryan announced this summer that this
would be his last year and he wanted Gard to replace him,
UW athletic director Barry Alvarez said he would not necessarily be hiring Gard. Ryan fixed that, though whether Gard
is the UW coach at this time next year obviously depends
on the rest of this season. Gard seems fine with that, given
that he said last week that hes never had more than a oneyear contract in more than 20 years as Ryans assistant.
Ignorant national commentators (but I repeat myself) criticized Ryan for the timing of his retirement. These are the
same paid mouths who have criticized Ryan for the playing
style of his teams, for his answering the question he wants to
answer instead of the question hes asked, for his crankiness
in front of national media, or other made-up reasons that betray a lack of insight into how things really are. To get a better view of Ryan the coach and man, talk to Ryans current
and former players and assistant coaches and those who were
around here in the 1990s, when UWPlatteville fans kept
weekends in March open for postseason college basketball.
Ryans announcement comes one year after the hiring of
Platteville High School graduate Paul Chryst, son of former
UWPlatteville athletic director George Chryst (who hired
Ryan from UW to UWP), as UW football coach. The amusing story a year ago was how George Chryst would have
reacted to Pauls and Ryans both being UW coaches. Ryan
was 52 when he got the UW job, and Gard (who I recall as
part of the 198889 IowaGrant state-tournament boys basketball team) is 45, neither of which fits into the whiz kid
category of attention-getting coach hires.
The reason Ryan and Paul Chryst were good hires and Gard
is a good hire regardless of its timing is that each knows what
it takes to win at UWMadison, specifically what you can and
cannot do. UW has lost out on football and basketball players over the years because those players couldnt meet UWs
admission standards. Additionally, Ryan and Gard seek to develop complete players tall players who can shoot outside
and guards who can play inside, and of course players who are
fundamentally sound on offense and defense and not every
highly touted recruit can do those things outside of their comfort zone. It would be a mistake on the level of hiring Gary Andersen as football coach to hire a coach with no background at
a world-class university who then (1) underperforms and/or (2)
leaves complaining about the academic standards.
If you are a UW alumnus (and I am), you want teams
that do well (as opposed to the 1980s basketball teams that
achieved two .500 seasons and zero postseason berths), but
you also want studentathletes who dont cheapen your degree by their bad academic work and represent your alma
mater well. Ryans teams have represented Wisconsin well,
and Gards teams will represent Wisconsin well too if hes
given the opportunity past this season.
Those who were fans of Ryans UWPlatteville teams probably think differently of him than current UW fans as Jeff
put it Wednesday, we in Southwest Wisconsin dont think of
him as coach, we think of him as Bo, and as a friend. When
I interviewed him three years ago, former Journal owner
Dick Brockman recounted among his most fond memories the
trips to the east for Final Fours, all but one of which ended
with Ryan and his players cutting down the nets after earning one of the four gold trophies now found at Williams Fieldhouse. That would be a good legacy for any coach Ryan has
the best winning percentage in NCAA Division III history
but add his 14 NCAA Division I tournament appearances and
the last two seasons, and it makes you wonder why hes not
in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Platteville


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G uest O pinion

Christmastime, in a land without

by Eric Cleveland

f you believe in the true

meaning of Christmas, there
are no boundaries.

Im a Christian man living in Afghanistan.

It was my conscience plea that beckoned me to this forgotten land.
As a well-schooled trauma surgeon, I
lent the triage a helping hand
A humble Red Cross unit lacking comic
relief except for the irony in its name
As it came to be called Santas
Santa Claus had helpers to work
with misfit toys.
Here we spend our day fixing broken
girls and mangled boys.
IEDs explode! Are you listening?
Car bombs ring! People go missing.
Its a gruesome sight to be in Kabul
tonight, pray for the innocent in Afghanistan.
Twas the night before Christmas and
here do I stand, ankle deep in the sand
With eyes searching the night sky for
the star of Bethlehem

Oh the Taliban, the Taliban. They

gaze at me with suspicion.
I fear not repercussion for my surgical skills transcend religion.
I let my God given talent do the talking no matter who lay before me on the
Sometimes I feel like the Mujahideen see me as a Shepard with no discernible flock.
I am like a Shaman made in the image of God. I live in the reflection of
the Lord Jesus.
Yet I have no problem hanging my
Christmas stocking on the star with a
crescent moon.
For my faith has been tempered by
the fire and set in stone.
Alone in the darkness under the
desert sky, I burn Frankincense and
Myrrh to honor the birth of my savior.
As Christmas day comes to this forgotten land I contemplate the life of
He was persecuted from the manger
all the way to Calvary escarpment
While holding the knowledge that his
death would cleanse the sins of man

And what gifts have we to lay before

the King? Apathy? Or maybe to reinvent
The meaning of Christmas and give the
gifts to ourselves from the God of Gold.

I see the poor street orphans scurry

through the streets in search of food
and shelter.
The dirty hands belong to us who
were given a second chance at redemption.
When it comes to righteousness, the
religions of the world seek power over
Believe in God or the Prophet as long
as the quest is peace on earth,
Good will to all with malice to none.
If that be our destiny why not vow to
make it so?
My Christmas wish is for the worlds
children, snug in their bed, food in
their belly
And dreams filled with hope in their
Therein lies my salvation. When the
need of my work at Santas Kitchen
comes to an end
Peace out!
Eric Cleveland lives in Platteville.

The Platteville Journal, P.O. Box 266, Platteville, WI 53818-0266

2010 downtown plan

In 2012 we were surprised to hear
by word of mouth a proposed $4.5 million student housing project to sell our
largest parking lot downtown with a
substantial monetary incentive to the
developer. Soon after many residential
areas had permit-parking-only signs
erected in front of their homes as a result of an approximately 600-bed dorm
with a little more than 30 parking
stalls in a residential area.
Concerned with our vitality of doing
business on Main Street I decided to
engage in city meetings, interact, and
learn about the process to understand
how this can happen. The Main Street
Program director told me all the information is on the city website. This
comment may seem easy to him, but in
reality to business people taking care
of their own business, and in my case
having a son volunteer for the Army
then deployed to Afghanistan is not so
easy, which was relayed to the Main
Street Program director. I hope the following information will help others to
The 2010 Downtown Revitalization
Plan was prepared by the Platteville
Downtown Redevelopment Authority
with assistance from MSA Professional
Services, Inc. and AECOM, and adopted by the Common Council Jan. 11,
2011. The Platteville Redevelopment
Authority is a state statute-authorized
and governed entity from Wisconsin
State Statute 66.1333(3).
Feb. 16, 2010: RDA minutes show
City of Platteville Redevelopment Authority was awarded a $20,000 planning grant.
March 16, 2010: The lump sum fee
for the work is $40,000. MSA work and
professional services agreement was
Dec. 6, 2010: The planning draft is
intended to function as a guide to help
city officials and economic development
professionals attract and direct investment in downtown Platteville in ways
that support the long-term viability

and sustainability of the downtown

Jan. 25, 2011: The council would
like to see a residence hall constructed
downtown. The RDA discussed the
need to have a payment in lieu of taxes
agreement with the UWP Foundation
related to the residence hall.
March 7, 2011: RDA discussed a
Parking Authority, parking fee and
parking permit system. Housing Sites
were action items under the Downtown Revitalization Plan. The UWP
Foundation or other university-related
projects could be a catalyst for other
projects. Some of the developers that
werent chosen for the UWP Foundation project may be interested in doing
a project.
May 17, 2011: RDA Action Plan:
Our city manager provided a memo
regarding anticipated redevelopment
projects that can be considered as part
of the downtown plan.
Looking at the Revitalization Plan
Chapter 4, page 32, the Downtown
Platteville Future Use Map shows
multiple UWP sites. I am concerned
that this map shows obstruction of
the view over part of Main Street. Our
building location is part of the obstruction. I also observed the same obstruction of view in Chapter 4, page 43 on
the Downtown Platteville Site Specific
Recommendation. How do we know
what is planned when it is covered?
Involving myself with other business
people to form a Downtown Parking
Alliance gave hope to solve and plan
for future parking issues. How can this
be possible when a document given out
by the city manager exposes parking
decisions for a development made in
closed session?
The latest vote passing the Library
Block developers agreement even after a letter from the Platteville Regional Chamber requesting to delay
the vote for more public input on the
new changes to the agreement is very
The brick walls experienced has
brought on a lot of stress and concerns

for our future on Main Street Platteville after 30-plus years.

Is it fair to ask that this document
be shredded?
Lori Erschen Bahr
Erschens Florist, Platteville

A Library Block fan

Iwould like to express my appreciation for all of the parties that came together to make the Library Block Project
a reality. It was a joy to see all parties as
well as our legislators come together for
the groundbreaking Dec. 11. Members of
the city staff and the Common Council
members showed due diligence in vetting the development agreement and ensuring this project would meet the needs
of our growing community.
I look forward to watching as the
project progresses downtown.
Betsy Ralph-Tollefson
Platteville Public Library Board of Trustees


My Letter to the Editor of Dec. 16

needs correction. The actual prison sentence Timothy Riley received from Grant
County Circuit Judge Craig Day was
only 2 years and 90 days of confinement,
not 4 years and 90 days as I reported.
Scott M. Martin

The Platteville Journal will print

most letters to the editor, regardless of
the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is
libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters The Journal determines are excessively long. All letters must be signed
and the signature must appear on the
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submitted letters may not be published
due to space constraints. Thank you
letters will not be printed. All letters
and columns represent the views of the
writers and not necessarily the views of
The Platteville Journal.

Every person may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being
responsible for the abuse of that right, and no laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge
the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libel, the
truth may be given in evidence, and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged
as libelous be true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party
shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.
Wisconsin Constitution, Article I, section 3