Friday, September 18, 2015

Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings displays elitist comments when it comes to race, religion, diversity

As many of you know, I do a lot of volunteer work with Fit Oshkosh, a local non-profit which teaches racial literacy in the area. The organization's executive director, Tracey Robertson, is totally committed to helping bridge the differences that exist between the races, but that job is not always easy. In fact some days are just downright much more difficult than others. So are some people, for that matter. Case in is what she posted earlier this week:

"Today, I had a meeting with someone in City Government here who when asked by a colleague about a past racial incident related to the Jewish community in Oshkosh proudly said, "my daughter didn't even know what a 'Jew' was." (He) then proceeded to say "they" (meaning Black people) need to "understand the history of Oshkosh." So, let me make sure I understand you.....your daughter doesn't need to know the history of anyone (i.e., the "Jews"), but the rest of us need to know the history of Oshkosh? If that isn't White Privilege operating (everyone needs to learn about your largely-fictitious history, but you do not need to bother to know anyone else's) then I don't know what it is, and that was a conversation highlight! Needless to say, there is alot of work to be done with this person. ‪#‎stillfuming"

Tracey was kind enough not to mention who the person was, but I'm not sure that he should be spared public embarrassment, scrutiny, or humiliation, if that is what's called for. It was our current mayor and common council member, Steve Cummings. This man is a so-called leader and representative for the city, yet holds onto such ignorant and elitist attitudes as this?! How can this city ever be as respected and progressive as its neighbors or other not-so-close communities with this kind of mindset emanating from Mr. Cummings. He needs a wake-up call about history, as well as present-day happenings, because at some point today's actions, or lack thereof, toward understanding and acceptance will be tomorrow's history.

I recommend if people are upset or outraged about this man's attitude and comments, they write him and explain why bridging these differences and finding common ground between the races and amongst minorities is not only an important thing to do - it's the RIGHT thing to do. Mr. Cummings can be reached at his common council email address of Or if you want to let all of our city council members know how you feel and that it's important for the city to work on its diversity awareness, you can do so by going to the following page:

Mental illness and suicide the topics of latest Eye on Oshkosh

Last night we taped another episode of Eye on Oshkosh and it is now online on our You Tube channel. The topics are mental illness and suicide, something that is on the rise in the United States and we need to do something to stop it.
For example, did you know that internationally, more than one million people die by suicide? In the United States alone, during 2013 (the most recent year for which numbers are available), 41,149 died from suicide. That is a number that devastates nearly a quarter of a million people annually, meaning the family, friends and others left behind by the person taking their own life. Other statistics you may be surprised to know:
  • Since 2007. there has been a rise in death by suicide among our military veterans.
  • Alcohol is a factor in at least 30 percent of all suicides.
  • Fifty-two percent of suicide death are by using a firearm. Firearms are now the leading method of suicide in women, as well as men, something that was not always the case.
  • Completed suicides increase with age. Currently white males over the age of 65 have the highest suicide rate in America, followed closely by African Americans and Native American males.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of 15 to 24 and the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 25 to 34.
  • Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for 1 to 14 year olds in the United States. This is one of the fastest growing group of people dying by suicide in addition to African American and Native American males.
  • Depression or other mood disorders, including anxiety, play a factor in 60 to 90 percent of all suicides.
To learn the signs to look for and how to help someone who might be considering suicide you'll want to watch this show.

And for more information, you can also visit:, and

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Major personnel changes at Oshkosh City Hall

I spoke with Oshkosh City Manager, Mark Rohloff, via email this evening and he informed me of two major personnel changes within the City.

First, James Rabe has been appointed by Rohloff as our new Public Works Director, taking the place of David Patek. James is currently the city's engineering supervisor in charge of the stormwater program.

The second major change is Oshkosh Police Chief Scott Greuel has announced his retirement, effective in January.

I am awaiting more specifics on both of these personnel changes and how replacements for their current positions will be found. When I have that information, I will pass it on, both here and on the Eye on Oshkosh Facebook page, as well as the Oshkosh Independent site.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Winnebago County Sheriff visits Eye on Oshkosh

Winnebago County Sheriff John Matz recently visited Eye on Oshkosh to discuss a wide range of topics. The conversation included why there is currently no discussion of jail expansion; new courthouse security being readied for late 2016; a new diversion program for drug offenders; 911 operator training; training and safety of K-9 officers; the upcoming budget for 2016; and much more. Follow the link below to view the show on Your Tube, or, if you're in the Oshkosh, WI area check your local cable access guide for replay times.