Commentary: Wally Funk’s Lifelong Journey to the Stars

Plane flying in the sky

Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk always wanted to fly.  She had her first flying lesson when she was nine years old and grew up making wooden planes, building treehouses, riding horses, biking, hunting, and fishing.  As a young girl growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, Wally recalls, “I did everything that people didn’t expect a girl to do.”   

Wally’s curiosity and love of flying, however, would ultimately shape the rest of her life.  She obtained her flying license at Stephens College when she was in her teens, then joined the “Flying Aggies” aviation team at Oklahoma State University, where she earned a degree in education.  Wally then got her first job at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where she was the only female flight instructor.

At the height of the Space Race, in 1961, when she was just 22 years old, Wally became infatuated with the idea of taking her passion for flying to the next level, as an astronaut in space.  

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Wisconsin Bill Targets Unequal Private Funding of Elections, A Major Concern in 2020

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

Abill passed this week by the Wisconsin State Assembly would forbid local municipalities from accepting private funds for election management, directing those funds to pass through the state government and be equitably distributed throughout Wisconsin.

The measure is a response to ongoing concerns over the millions in private election funding poured into the state by the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a Chicago-based nonprofit heavily funded by Facebook co-founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Passed largely on party-line votes in both the state House and Senate, the bill is likely to be nixed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

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