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Letters: A thank you for the library; immigrants valuable to economy

Partisanship

TO THE EDITOR

Thoughts from a grandparent after nine months contemplation of a new life:

Nana's hair is really long.

Nana's protesting without a song.

Nana wants to do what's right to make your future looking bright.

Nana draws attention with her sight to start the conversation.

When Nana's asked about her hair she says, "it's there until we get things right."

The common man should not fight themselves, but make the 1 percent give back their share, for we are the ones who put them there.

Give the common man his dignity through our health care, education, affordability, and a world that respects the planet that gives us life.

Give us the right to be free from burden the one percent has not, one catastrophic health event.

Nana will not rest, little one, until her time is done.

There is much work to do: come together 99, united in respect for the common man, who is all colors, faiths and brands.

If we do not get this right, the future will be lost from sight.

Please stop the partisanship and unite behind the issues for which we should fight.

There is only 1 percent who benefits from our divisions.

Beth Benson

Ellsworth

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We must come back to what made us great

TO THE EDITOR

Please forgive my late reply to Ms. Sarah Yacoub's letter to the editor from June 29. It is easy to blame one party or another for this mess called health care! But please let me give you my experience of 64 years and you think about this.

Twenty years ago my hernia surgery cost $2,000, which I paid myself. Last summer a hospital in St. Croix County charged $13,000 dollars for four hours of total hospital time as my wife helped me out the main door. Thank God we have insurance, but why the four-hour price?

I must tell you this: Can you trust anything but God these days? And speaking of abortion on demand, when did we forget to help the least of these that need help? We are a very sick nation and it is not health care that will save us. It is doing the right thing and that right thing is helping those we personally know who need our help. Whether it be safe food, money or just a listening ear that our neighbor needs.

Why are we burning ourselves out pursuing more money that buys less and less everyday? I believe personally that this mess started when abortion was legalized in 1973. Since that time we lost the Vietnam war, never went back to the moon, child abuse skyrocketed, the list goes on and on. And involving ourselves overseas militarily that makes us look like war-mongers! This nation, if it is to survive, we must come back to what made us great: the love and fear of God through surrendering to His Son Jesus. Simple and every person must allow themselves freedom to ask God if this Jesus can save me (us). As the old folk song says: The times they are a changing.

God bless.

Stephen Gullixson

Baldwin

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Thank you to our library

TO THE EDITOR

We have a beautiful library in River Falls managed by Nancy Miller, head librarian. This library is a definite asset to the community and is especially noted for the way it finds various avenues to serve as many residents of the area as possible.

The latest project is under the direction of Heather Johnson, Adult Services and Circulation Librarian, who provides books, tapes, and videos to be checked out by the assisted living residents at Comforts of Home. The residents of this senior living facility are very appreciative of the service, which makes all these materials available to them without the worry about obtaining transportation from their living site to this free public source. Senior citizens living at Comforts of Home are thankful for the way this service brightens their lives.

Ethel Johnson

River Falls

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Legal question

TO THE EDITOR

I was wondering who is legally liable if the dams and lakes are removed and replaced with a series of waterfalls?

At some point a young swimmer, daring climber, or inexperienced kayaker will attempt to traverse the "new' waterfalls and become injured or worse.

The new waterfalls will have been designed by someone, built by someone, and endorsed by the city. They are not natural formations anymore, they are man-made structures. Consequently, someone will have to take responsibility for their design and continued maintenance, and also claim responsibility for possible legal issues arising from their use. Sooner or later, people will try to kayak over the falls and someone will get hurt. Fair or not, their next move would be to sue whoever made these sharp, rocky waterfalls, and argue that they should have been made from softer "safety" rocks. Sad but true.

When looking at the artist rendering of the waterfalls on the yard signs around town, I find it amusing that the area in the foreground still looks like a calm lake area, with children swimming and a kayaker sitting without paddling., the stairs have no safety rails, and the large picturesque series of falls must be immediately after a huge rainstorm. Go north of town once and look at the Kinnickinnic. That is really how much water flow is available.

Perhaps a practical and economical solution could be to have a company install decorative rock features on the face of the current dam, paint the cement a rocky color and pattern, and improve the look of the existing area in and around the dam. We could make the existing dam look like a pretty impressive 30 foot waterfall.

Dave Langlois

River Falls

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Immigrants valuable to economy

TO THE EDITOR

My pastor asked me, "What is the solution for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.?" My answer? "Document them."

Undocumented immigrants are already living in Wisconsin as active community members: working hard, raising their families, supporting the economy, and paying taxes. Undocumented immigrants don't take public assistance from Wisconsin U.S. citizens; they simply aren't eligible. Undocumented immigrants don't take employment from Wisconsin U.S. citizens; they do jobs that U.S. citizens don't want to do. Undocumented immigrants' children have the same right to get public education; their parents pay state taxes. Undocumented immigrants contribute to the state economy, paying for housing, food, gasoline, and goods. The same as Wisconsin U.S. citizens.

According to a March 2017 report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), undocumented immigrants in the State of Wisconsin paid $71,792,000 in state and local taxes. If comprehensive immigration reform granted them all legal status, it would increase Wisconsin state and local taxes by $19,899,000.

Conversely, what will Dairy State residents do when dairy prices increase exorbitantly (90 percent higher, $6.40/gallon of milk)? At the behest of the National Milk Producers Federation, Texas A&M University's Texas Agrilife Research investigated what would happen if the federal government checked dairy workers' immigration documents. Their study shows that a complete loss of immigrant labor would shut the doors of at least one-in-six dairy farms and reduce U.S. economic output by $32.1 billion.

Monday, July 31 at 7 p.m., Baldwin Library will host "Immigration Myths and Realities." A retired pastor and his wife, a retired special educator, will share their experiences working with immigrants in the Eau Claire area to help us learn about this topic. A Baldwin dairy farm manager will also be present to answer questions. I hope you can come.

Tony Mata

River Falls

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Climate change serious as nuclear war

TO THE EDITOR

This past week, arguably the most significant world news event was the 120-mile-long section of the Larsen C ice shelf breaking off the Antarctic continent. The resulting trillion-ton iceberg is roughly the size of Delaware or seven times the size of New York City.

Scientists fear that the continuing loss of such large pieces of coastal ice may "uncork" the land ice they hold in place and cause catastrophic sea-level rise. Consequences include the devastation of densely populated coastal areas, the creation of millions of climate refugees, and massive destabilization of international political and economic systems.

Meanwhile, closer to home, every day brings new reports of destructive, life-threatening wildfires in the West and flooding, increasingly here in the Midwest. In more ways than one, we have generally come to accept disaster as the "new normal."

By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, the Trump Administration has signaled its indifference to a global threat galvanizing every other major nation on earth. We should be mobilizing America's ingenuity and resources to meet the environmental challenges that pose an existential threat to civilization and democracy worldwide. As U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in our neighboring state of Minnesota said recently, "The climate change issues that we face are as serious as the threat of nuclear war."

That our President and his administration have consistently ignored the crisis of climate change should cause us to consider what we have to lose and how we allowed our country to turn away from participation in global survival strategies.

The newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed guarded optimism in getting Trump to rethink the Paris Accord. Can he achieve what the collective clear heads of America have been unable to do and convince Trump to help "Make the planet great again?"

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

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Three strikes

TO THE EDITOR

I want to thank Mr. James Anderson for his profoundly insightful "Letter to the Editor" (July 13, 2017). I found it so deeply moving that it inspired me to add my feeble two-cents by quoting the words of the leader of ISIS to his followers for whenever they were "liberating" a city: "Now, kill every male among the little ones and kill every woman who has had sex with a man. But all the female children, who have not yet had sex, keep alive for yourselves."

Enlightening, isn't it. Oh but, oops, my bad: those words were actually the Divine Command of the God of the Judeo-Christians coming through God's instrument: Moses. (Numbers 31: 17-18).

So, the Big ISIS in the Sky, yep, that Father-God, the Father of Jesus, leading through Moses, was a flat-out S.O.B. Oh, I know, blah-blah, but it is never okay to rape, murder, or make any female one's sex slave.

If Mr. Anderson was wrong about "Judeo-Christian" traditions going back to sex-slavery, maybe he is wrong about his other assumptions? Like the U.S. being founded on "Judeo-Christian convictions"? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Thomas Paine were not Christians: they were Deists: go ahead and look it up! Two strikes.

Are we, in fact, being threatened by Islam? I think that if one were really going to go all the way into honesty, it is a tad bit more likely that the billionaires of Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States pose a greater threat: after all, who pulls the strings of the politicians? We are being told to fear some Jack-with- a-bomb: but to turn a blind eye to corporate and state hitmen and policies that undermine democracy and justice all around the world. Strike three.

Robert Daniel Smith

River Falls

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