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Letters to the editor

Concerned constituent feels she deserved better in court


During a recent court appearance in front of (Pierce County Court) Commissioner Gavic, it quickly became apparent to not only me and my lawyer, but to the witnesses as well, that he prefers to perform victim blaming, and let off a known domestic violence abuser off with a "slap on the wrist."

Why do I have to change my entire life around to better accommodate the abuser? I thought this was the 21st century, not an era that predates women's rights.

To top it off the commissioner was far harsher to my female attorney than to the male attorney.

There was an injunction out, a restraining order against the abuser, but I was coerced to drop it in order to make proceedings go more smoothly with the abuser. My daughter and I deserve more respect than this!

Molly Murphy


Archaic treatment of women


On July 7, 2017, I had the honor of going to a court proceeding held in a beautiful old-fashioned courthouse in Ellsworth, Wis. Apparently the building wasn't the only thing that was old-fashioned that I encountered that day. This court hearing was conducted in front of Commissioner Jorg Gavic, which I'm sad to say, his archaic rhetoric rang loud and clear that day.

What I witnessed, was a 2-hour long hearing that consisted of blaming the victim of domestic abuse and treating the female lawyer much harsher than the opposition's male lawyer. Commissioner Gavic's solution to this victim's harrowing ordeal with the abuser was to enforce additional hardship in trying to find someone else to make the exchange for their child to the supervised visitations with her father (the domestic violence abuser). In addition to this, throughout the female lawyer's statements, Commissioner Gavic was observed staring at the clock, and even looking bored. Which is in direct contrast as to how he acted when the male lawyer spoke.

It would appear that the commissioner is a remnant of the "good old boys" club, where a woman should be meek and mild, and "boys will be boys." To witness this blatant and apparent judicial abuse was very appalling and disheartening. We hold those in power to a higher standard, but it is definitely hard to do so in this case.

Sandy Stoffel

Hastings, Minn.

Grove Street property


In the July 4 Article "Pierce County Board talks parking" it was reported that the board voted unanimously to endorse the idea of a parking lot. This is not correct reporting of the meeting or the vote that occurred.

I voted against proceeding with this proposal at this meeting.

From an employee parking standpoint this may not be a necessary use of county funds. Later this summer many county employees will be reporting not to work at the courthouse, but rather at the new jail in a different location. County vehicles that previously used parking spaces at the courthouse will also be moved to a different location.

The combination of less usage and more spots available indicated to me that it would be wise to examine need under the new conditions before further committing county resources and funds to this project. The 90-spot employee parking lot, as proposed, could end up being a duplication of unnecessary parking and expenses that could be saved.

If we examine the proposal not as a 90-spot employee parking lot but rather as a fairgrounds parking lot expansion it does still not address wants in the most efficient manner. The Pierce County Fair is held in the summer, when other large institutional parking lots in the city are under used.

We can gain far more than 90 parking spots for the Fair for far less cost by cooperating with other government units and institutions that have unused parking during the Fair. If Fair parking a truly a shortage then a shuttle bus from unused parking lots is far cheaper than building a parking lot for Fair overflow on a handful of days a year.

Ben Plunkett

Pierce County Supervisor District 5

River Falls

Deceptive Chinese practices


In fulfilling one of his many campaign promises, President Trump moved in April to have the U.S. Department of Commerce launch a trade investigation into Chinese companies illegally dumping steel into the U.S. market for the sole purpose of putting American foundries out of business.

Known as a "section 232" investigation, the Department of Commerce is looking into reports that the Chinese government has for years been underwriting their steel companies with massive subsidies which allow their producers to actually sell steel in the U.S. market at below cost. While you may think this is good at first glance, the reality is that China subsidizing their steel exports is resulting in the loss of American jobs and a serious threat to our national defense.

In fact, retired Brigadier General John Adams has said of steel dumping, "As capacity declines we get into a space where the future of [the steel industry] to be able to provide for defense is going to be compromised. What we're trying to avoid is the diminution of our capacity to the point where it means we can't rely on American domestic production for things we do not want foreign producers to do."

America needs to produce our own steel for our bridges, skyscrapers and most importantly our military, I support President Trump's investigations and look forward to him ending this deceptive Chinese practice.

Stephanie Brown

River Falls

Swept under the rug

Last week, the paper reported on a Hudson man accused of possessing hardcore preteen pornography. His name is John Nerbonne. You can follow his case on CCAP at You can also follow the case of a man named Joseph Brabeck.

In the case of Brabeck, you will find a man charged with very serious sex crimes against children. You will find that he has been out of custody since the start of the case as the presiding judge lowered his bond to allow for his release. You will find that the St. Croix County District Attorney's Office has let this case be continued for over two years, denying justice and peace of mind to the community.

In the case of Nerbonne, he too is out of custody despite facing enough prison time to effectively be a life sentence. Keep an eye on this one. Look to see if the DA's put this case off indefinitely as well.

I was sitting in court one morning. A member of the support staff joked with the assistant district attorney. She laughed as she asked whether the case coming up was going to be swept under the rug just like all his other ones. She joked about how she could write a book for these guys, that they should wait to strangle their girlfriends until after they get their lawyer to make their cases go away.

So, while we're locking up 18-year-old kids for marijuana possession, take a look at who we're not locking up. Start asking yourself why. Start putting the political pieces together. Start following the money. Justice is justice. It should be blind and not a function of whether you're rich. I challenge the community to pay attention, hold elected officials accountable and demand better.

Sarah Yacoub


Two mongrels, Medicaid and the common good


Chupi, the 15-year-old Silkie terrier, died last month after stealthily getting into kibble without permission. Problem was, she had no teeth. That leaves Ma and the two remaining pups.

On yesterday's walk, Tico the Manchester mused, "I wonder what Chupi would think of Ma picking up other dogs' poop in those bio-degradable bags she totes for us?"

"Yeah," replied Sofi, the Rat Terrier. "They're pricey!"

I answered with, "Kids, it's part of the common good. Someone didn't have a bag, there's poop, it's a health hazard, I have a bag, I can do it, let's all help out."

"Like that 3.8 percent tax on unearned income for Medicaid, that folks making over a quarter million bucks contribute?" opined Tico, who listens to Wisconsin Public Radio a lot.

True. I'm glad President Obama instituted that and I hope it continues. Our granddaughter, who has Rett's syndrome, would have no wheelchair, no hospital bed, no gastro-tube, no seizure meds or helper at school without Medicaid. She wouldn't even have a lift for the car to get her home from her doctor visits.

"Her family wouldn't even have a home," said Sofi sadly, who overheard Ma on the phone, hearing about the cost of her last hospitalization for pneumonia and uncontrolled seizures.

"And she's a great kid," I added. "It's not her fault she was born with Retts. That's why people who can afford to contribute to the common good should, just like I contribute with my bio poop bags because I can."

We walked a long time and decided that the real scoop on the measure of a nation is the way it treats its animals and its people in need: with generosity of heart because it can.

Linda M. Alvarez

River Falls

Islam is death


The United States of America was founded on the traditions of Western civilization and Judeo-Christian convictions.

This synergy created the most powerful country, economy and world power in human history.

As an American, I do not owe an apology to anyone anywhere in the world. My country's success is the result of these forementioned philosophical and religious principles, which are referenced in all our country's founding documents.

Currently, the United States of America, and Western civilization is being threatened by Islam.

The person telling you that Islam is a peaceful religion is either ignorant or lying to you. Read the Koran, nosce hostem (know the enemy).

Historians believe that Mohammed was a psychopathic dwarf whose mother abandoned him. Factually, he was raised by an uncle. Given the prophet's early life, is there any wonder for the sickness that is Islam.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has recommended that Muslims who mandate Sharia Law in our country be deported.

If you do not intend to become an American, get out of my country.

James Anderson

River Falls