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Editorial: Local parks receive some nice upgrades

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The New Richmond Parks and Recreation Department has worked on a few new additions over the past few months.

They have added a tennis court to Mary Park by moving the basketball standards to the side and painting and striping both courts and basketball areas.

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The Department also has two full basketball courts open to the public at Woodland Creek, along with parking.

"This is a little gem that people are just finding out about," Parks and Rec Director Joe Kerlin said. "Youth basketball teams are starting to use them for practice."

The directions to the courts are take County Road A to Creek Wood Drive in the Woodland Creek development. The parking lot is the first right.

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What would we do without punctuation?

To show our devotion to those little marks in our sentences, the fifth annual National Punctuation Day is planned for Sept. 24.

The "celebration" was begun by Jeff Rubin, the Punctuation Man. We don't make this stuff up.

According to Rubin, careless punctuation mistakes cost time, money and productivity. The special day reminds everyone of the importance of proper punctuation for communicating clearly at school or at work.

"Punctuation has been devalued by a generation of computer wizards who ask, 'What's the point? Nobody writes in complete sentences anymore,'" Rubin said. "But the rules of proper punctuation haven't changed just because of computers."

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Think property values are on the decrease in this state? Think again.

The full market (equalized) value of the state's property rose 3.3 percent this past year, compared to 6.2 percent the year prior, according to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Association.

This was the smallest increase since 1987, but it's still an increase.

Of course, the increased valuation has as much to do with new construction than anything else, but there is still some growth.

Appreciation in residential property (2.8 percent) lagged behind commercial (4.2 percent), manufacturing (4.3 percent), agricultural (3.3 percent) and undeveloped (6.2 percent) classes, according to the WTA.

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This summer marks the second biggest retreat of the Arctic sea ice shelf in recent history, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Those who laugh off the climate change debate, saying it's just part of the Earth's natural cycle, are fooling themselves. The visual evidence of melting ice is significant proof that the planet is warming and we'll likely suffer the consequences for years to come.

The ice cap at the North Pole reflects sunlight, keeping the polar regions cool and moderating global climate. If the cap eventually melts away during summer months, we will see some significant temperature hikes and experience rising ocean levels.

Last year's melt set the current record.

According to scientific measurements, Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over at least the past 30 years, with the most extreme decline seen in the summer melt season.

According to satellite images, Arctic sea ice totalled 2.03 million square miles, a decline of 795,000 square miles since the beginning of the month. The melt is now 760,000 square miles below the 1979 to 2000 average.

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