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Author: Kenneth Cole

Reopening Schools in Wisconsin: The dilemma of returning to normal during abnormal times

This is an opinion piece. No more and no less. Just an opinion shared in an online publication, not much different than someone’s post on Facebook, a pundit’s commentary, or a politician before the cameras. Some of us stay in our lane, while others venture far outside of it. In the midst of a global pandemic that will soon kill well over a half million Americans, it’s unsettling knowing that there’s even room for opinions such as mine. In this case, we share our opinions in the hopes it will influence policy as we manage the tragedy that is...

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Year In Review 2020: Finding hope while others fall off a cliff

2020 has been a turbulent period beyond the conventional methods of description. In terms of COVID-years, the past 12 months have had the glacial progress and weight of 12 regular human years. Each month brought a new chapter of events for the public to process, which required an expanded vocabulary to explain the news and a library of images to show the extent of what was happening. It was a very dangerous year for photojournalism with a pandemic and civil unrest. To be embedded in the heart of events as they unfolded required physical stamina, professional skill, and a...

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Shorewood residents worry that proposed Atwater Beach fee could restrict recreational access

One of the first times I ever stepped foot in the ocean was at the Inkwell on Martha’s Vineyard. It was 1970 and for a kid from Ohio, the Atlantic Ocean was nothing like the creeks, ponds and swimming pools of the Midwest. The ocean left an indelible impression on me, and it is one that continues to shape my life to this day. Thirty years later in Santa Monica, I would often find myself surfing in the Pacific Ocean at Bay St. Beach. A long stretch of sand with views of Venice Beach to the South, and the...

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When Silence Kills: What has your inaction done to stop the deaths of innocent black people?

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. What have you done to stop this? No, really? What have you done? I’m talking anything that extends beyond your keyboard, phone or thumbs, what have you done? Me? Well, there’s not much I need to do to “fix” this. After all, it’s not something I broke in the first place. But, when I see something wrong, I will do my part. Now, this next part may seem self-righteous or self-congratulatory, but in light of all...

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A Tragic American Fable: The Pied Piper of Coronavirus

America is dancing down the street behind its very own Pied Piper. A boisterous and grandiose entertainer with a long red tie who has tempted many a citizen with a tune of prosperity, freedom, and greatness. A tune that compels them to leave their homes and join millions of others, hand-in-hand, through the streets and into the waiting arms of a global pandemic. His latest melody has captivated the young and the old, the rich and the poor, and those on the left and the right. From villages and hamlets that sing the Pied Piper’s songs, to those who...

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Kenneth Cole: Am I Suspicious to You?

Another modern day lynching occurred on February 23, when an innocent black man was shot and killed while jogging by a white father and son in suburban Georgia. It follows a long timeline of such violence directed at men of color, and a particular flashback to the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin. Years later the same question remains: why do black men look suspicious to white eyes? Casual denim shirt, unassuming look on my face. Nothing special. But to you, does that mean there’s something up my sleeve? To many I may “fit the profile,” but still have done...

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