Letters to the editor
Journal eases life's journey
I would like to express my very sincere thankfulness and gratitude to the River Falls Journal.
Life is definitely a journey with unexpected twists. Some of those are good and change your life for the better. Other times, the hand you're dealt is heart wrenching and unfair. You feel so helpless and hopeless.
Then someone can come along and help lift some of the burden. Thank you so much for doing a story on Mission for Mooney and Robert Mooney's need for a kidney donor. Getting the word out is so very important. Thank you for being part of that.
TO THE EDITOR
As I write this Thursday morning the news outlets are filled with the details of another school shooting. This one was in Florida but it could have been anywhere. To make it even more heart-rending I cannot remember how many shootings of this type there have been in recent months. It feels as if something is eating at the soul of this nation and we have become numb to horror.
Our political leaders seem incapable of coming to grips with the problem or even talking about it. In the days and weeks after every tragedy we hear from them that so soon after a mass shooting is not the right time to have a discussion about gun laws. That right time never comes and we lurch from heartbreak to heartbreak, seemingly unable to help ourselves. Is this the best we can do? Has this great nation fallen to such a level of helplessness? I know our political leaders are decent men and women who grieve as the rest of us as we fail over and over to protect our children, our teachers, our worshipers, our ordinary citizens attending a concert, so why are we not doing anything?
Speaking for myself, no candidate for political office will receive my support or vote without a declared intent to attempt to turn this around. This is threatening the foundations of our society and vague position statements about the Second Amendment are no longer sufficient. I encourage every qualified citizen to register and to vote and to demand our leaders help us to seize control of our own destiny. This latest horror was in Florida, or was it Texas, or Colorado or Massachusetts? It could happen here and we are foolish to pretend otherwise.
Equal rights for all
In response to Donna O'Keefe, who wrote the following in her Jan. 29 letter: "Fairness is assumed to be a reachable goal rather than an arbitrary concept."
Donna, equal rights and opportunities for others does not mean fewer rights and opportunities for you. It's not pie.
Abby Van Stone
They pledged allegiance
Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have seen at least 150 mass shootings claiming over 1,100 lives by a lone shooter since mid-1966.
Our elected representatives first duty is to protect the people, to keep them safe. Our president overturned a previously enacted measure that would make it improbable for mentally incapacitated people to own a firearm. The governor of Florida made it easier to buy an AR-15 than to purchase a car.
Certain members of Congress have traded $5,900,000 for the lives of the mass shooting victims and steadfastly maintain their allegiance to the NRA.
Yak, yak, yak
TO THE EDITOR
Another mass shooting. This time killing 17 students in Florida. Another call was made for stricter background checks and a few others that in no way impinge on the 2nd Amendment.
Once again the Republicans say this is no time to bring up talk on guns. So, on and on it goes and massacre after massacre happens.
Truth be told, more laws will not end mass murders with guns. The only real solution is to ban all high capacity military style assault rifles and all bullet clips holding more than seven shells held by anyone other than law enforcement or the military. The ban would end all sales of these items immediately and require all items held by the public be turned in to the ATF. Non-compliance would be a federal felony. Reimbursement would be made.
Democrats can argue for stricter laws and Republicans can continue to be shills for the NRA and mass shootings will continue until hell freezes over.
Twice in the 20th century, these types of weapons were barred from public ownership so it is useless to argue that this is a new thought or a "slippery slope."
There's a saying "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Wrong, "Guns kill people. Some more than others."
I'm a gun owner and I uphold the 2nd Amendment, but I see this as the only real solution.
Marvin L. Nelson
Parkland, Florida, plus more
TO THE EDITOR
It is taking the anguished and angry cries of heartbroken schoolchildren to get the attention of the yellow bellied members of Congress who are so afraid of upsetting their Supreme leaders: namely our Nazi-loving so called president and the N.R.A.
This time these kids will get results, I am sure; their anger has already turned to action, as they so aptly put it. This IS the time for action—prayers and hand wringing and good thoughts are a dime a dozen, blowing in the wind until the next automatic rifle is in the hands of some deranged person, giving he or she their 15 minutes of fame.
Gun laws be damned. There is no place in a civilized society for a weapon like this, not even in police work. These are not rifles in any sense; these are out-and-out savage killing machines, and should no longer be manufactured at all. Enough of them are already in circulation to equip a good-sized army
Remember too, that the high school kids are soon, if not already, voting age, so goodbye to Trump ,Paul Ryan, Mitch, and many more. I hope young people all over join their movement; yes, here in Ellsworth, River Falls, Prescott, Spring Valley, Plum City, Elmwood, Pepin and Hudson, hopefully nationwide. You have the energy, the common sense and the intelligence to make a lasting change.
So now the so called DACA ''problem.'' Very simple solution—as a group, these folks are better citizens than many of our homegrown self-righteous types that have no charity in their souls. Just because you are a citizen of this country by an accident of birth doesn't make you a better person. The economic effect they have is very much on the plus side. If they are forced out by Trump's I.C.E. Gestapo goons, this country will be worse off because of it. Some other country may be glad to get a group of somewhat educated hard workers; and suppose a few of them develop a very deserved hatred for the rotten treatment that they have gotten from the country that once valued their talents and work ethic-and become enemies with mayhem in their hearts.
We will restore the Kinni, but when?
TO THE EDITOR
The question is no longer IF the dams will be removed from the Kinnickinnic River, the only question remaining now is WHEN. Public support has weighed in heavily in favor of the restoration of the Kinnickinnic River through dam removal throughout this process.
The outcome of over a year's worth of the Kinni Corridor planning process has resulted in a recommendation for dam removal from the committee to the City Council that states "the future of the Kinnickinnic River Corridor should be based on a long-term vision of a free flowing Kinnickinnic River, including associated ecological restoration to maintain the current classifications as a Class I trout stream."
The resolution currently before the City Council calls for the relicensing of our hydroelectric facility for the final time, with immediate removal of the Lower Dam to proceed upon expiration of our FERC license in 2023. Allowing for restoration of the stretch of the Kinni currently impounded by the Lower Dam up to the dry ledges of our falls at the base of the Upper Dam. The resolution further calls for removal of the Upper Dam with a target date of 2048. However, 30 years is far too long to wait to restore this precious resource.
There are significant opportunity costs in prolonging the presence of the Upper Dam. Communities across the country are restoring rivers through dam removal, showing time and time again the positive ecological and economic benefits of river restoration. As soon as we have a fully restored Kinnickinnic River and Junction Falls waterfall coursing through the heart of our city our community will enjoy these benefits. Why wait another 30 years?
Our community has decided to restore the Kinnickinnic River because it is the right thing to do, the only question remaining is when will we do what is right.
Opinion of trout enthusiasts?
TO THE EDITOR
The Kinni Corridor planning meeting of Jan. 25, 2018 resulted in a recommendation to relicense the dams to include a timeline for eventual removal. The main issue raised during this discussion was the possible negative impact on the trout population due to warming of the Kinni, attributed to the presence of Lake George and Lake Louise. A couple of vocal trout fishermen appeared to dominate this discussion.
Moving on to Mark Lobermeier's Q and A with the City Council Feb. 13, 2018, Mark implied that the health and welfare of the current resident bird and animal populations in Lake Louise is of little importance. This applies to the turtles which have had Lake Louise as their home since the narrows at this point were an earlier, natural beaver dam location. Mark also indicated that beavers would not be welcome in a "Freed" Kinni.
Are the non-native brown trout (here since introduction in the 1960s) actually important to the majority of the River Falls businesses and taxpayers or are they primarily important to a determined group of local trout hobbyists?
An Army Corps of Engineers study states that the bottom draw feature of the Junction Falls Dam helps moderate summer river temperature spikes.
The trout enthusiasts say that temperature measurements have been taken and indicate the river is warming. Is this a published, peer-reviewed scientific work outlining the many parameters of daily climate conditions, sampling locations, the measuring tools and their calibration or is this information the well intentioned best effort of a dedicated local trout enthusiast? When talking about a degree or two comparison of temperatures taken at a variety of locations and times, calibration and reference data are extremely important! Does the current temperature study rise to support the importance being placed on its conclusion? Just asking!
Town of River Falls
Congress should punch a time clock
TO THE EDITOR
After arriving in Washington in 2013, newly elected United States Sen. Ted Cruz gave an interview. Sen. Cruz remarked that he was stunned by the lack of any work ethic among his fellow Senators.
Cruz observed that only 10 percent of a typical Senator's time was engaged in working legislatively for the citizens of our country.
According to Sen. Cruz, 90 percent of a Senate member's time was spent raising campaign funds for the next election.
Term limits should become law, but these self-absorbed individuals will never vote to limit their time in the "take all you can carry for free gold mine" that is Washington.
Many members of Congress walk in the Capitol middle-class citizens, but quickly become wealthy.
Special interests see that members of Congress for sale. Fact is, they are.
Members of Congress are offered deals that you and I will never see. These deals often take place in the shadows or are consummated after the congressional member leaves Washington.
I am advocating for a class action lawsuit by the citizens and taxpayers of the United States. The lawsuit will demand that all federal elected officials be required to punch a time clock.
On any given day, if a member of Congress spends only 10 percent of their time fulfilling their job as described by the United States Constitution, but spends 90 percent of their time campaigning or raising funds, they will only receive 10 percent of their salary for that day.
I have had to account for my time to every employer during my 50-year working life.
We are Congress' employers.
Members of Congress have been stealing from us.