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Letters: A local newspaper?; Civil War reality

An honest response


RiverTown Multimedia employees Steve Gall and Anne Jacobson wrote in their Aug. 17, 2017 op ed column that "It truly is your newspaper. Please don't stop critiquing us." Well, if you mean what you say, here goes.

Is the River Falls Journal really a "local newspaper?" I would argue not, in that the majority of weekly newspapers in Minnesota as well as weekly papers in New Richmond, Hudson, River Falls and Ellsworth are owned by Forum News Publications, Fargo, N.D. This ownership entity is so powerful that the Fargo office submitted the election editorials in the past presidential election that all four Wisconsin papers had to print, telling us as readers, why we should support a particular candidate. Mr. Gall and Ms. Jacobson—western Wisconsin is not North Dakota, culturally, politically or economically. Would it not have been more appropriate for locally produced op-ed pieces have been run, even if they may have sided with the Fargo piece?

And, where was the "local" aspect of our papers when there was a wholesale housecleaning of editors and writers long employed by the Hudson and River Falls papers, to include the publisher, both editors and all but two of the regular staff of reporters? Both papers had been recognized over the years for outstanding journalism. Why the purge?

In your Aug. 17 opinion piece, five of your paragraphs begin with 'local newspapers and their websites" and then tout the important strengths of said newspapers. et, there are fewer original pieces and less investigative reporting in both the Journal and Star Observer, replaced by a plethora of shared stories, often from far removed sources.

So, yes, western Wisconsin needs strong local papers, but thus far, I have not observed or read many positive changes since Forum News Publications began to assert its control. The great "Whiteout" as you labeled your front pages might better be called the great "Whitewash," at least for the River Falls Journal and the Hudson Star Observer.

Richard Timmerman

River Falls


Civil War reality


While living in London during the Blitz of 1940-1941, American broadcaster Edward R. Murrow valiantly signed on the air with "This is London..."

Murrow would later fly 25 bomber missions over Europe, which were recorded for later broadcast.

A young American Eighth Air Force airman had only a one-in-three chance of surviving 25 missions, which would allow him to rotate home. Murrow had integrity and he had guts.

In contrast, the sophomoric newsreaders of today are graduates of the many socialist journalism schools at major universities. They have faced no dangers beyond warm beer; no integrity and no guts.

The Civil War is America's bloodiest conflict. An estimated 620,000 combatants lost their lives during the war, roughly 2 percent of the population. Today, this would equate to the death of 6 million soldiers.

Southern Civil War monuments honor a vast portion of those 620,000 dead.

It is so easy and gutless to pass moral judgement on Confederate soldiers "who gave their last full measure of devotion" for their Southern cause.

Unionized American public education and our country's socialistic-fascist college curriculum (read Nazi) have impeccably fashioned ignorant Americans.

The typically, poorly educated American citizen believes that "The United States of America" was founded on democracy.

In Charlottesville, many sides were swinging bludgeons. President Trump is correct in his observations. America's leftists want to erase history by destroying monuments honoring past citizens with whom they disagree.

The American Left is becoming close to being the moral equivalent of ISIS.

James Anderson

River Falls


Economic sanctions


The latest economic sanctions are to levied on Russia (again) and North Korea (multiple agains). How well do economic sanctions work is another question.

Cuba was the first country that I remember being given economic sanctions. At the time, the Cuban people were our friends. This was about 50 years ago. Well, we sure showed them. To punish Fidel Castro, we set the Cuban people back 50 years. Did Fidel go hungry? Don't be foolish.

We put economic sanctions on Iran. That drove Iran to sell their oil and gas to China. Again, maybe the Iranian populace suffered but the Ayatollahs and other leaders did not. Sanctions may have deepened their hatred toward us.

Vladimir Putin doesn't seem to be losing weight because of our sanctions. The only suffering will be from the Russian citizens.

The greatest suffering and untold number of deaths by starvation will be involved in economic sanctions against North Korea. The populace is already starving. Kim Jung Un is not starving and he seems not to care about his people, so sanctions toward North Korea only hurts those who are already in agony.

Marvin L. Nelson

River Falls


Two mongrels and the anti-white supremacy protest


I left the dogs home alone all Sunday afternoon and were they mad!

"Where were you?" they shrieked as I parked in the driveway.

"I was at the River Falls Rise Up Demonstration Against Hate, downtown doing my civic duty with 50 other peaceniks."

Now, the dogs know that "democracy" is an action word, even if you are just holding up a sign and waving at passing traffic. They were OK to let me sweat it out in 85 degrees and high humidity without them.

"So what did you do, Ma?"

"Well, in response to the Charlottesville White Supremacy Rally, we created signs, sharing our beliefs that all people are created equal, that no race is superior to another and that differences should be resolved in a peaceful manner. We felt we had to make a firm stand now because Hiltler's movement started with just 59 people. The KKK feels that our President supports them and they already have 5,000-8,000 members, according to their Grand Wizard. We protested Nazi hatred in our society. Did you know there are now 917 separate hate groups in the U.S., with four close by St. Paul and several in Wisconsin. There have been thousands of hate crimes this year alone, a significant increase. It is good to let haters who threaten a race war know the vast majority of citizens do not support that. Illegal behavior will not be tolerated."

"What did you like best, Ma?" Tico asked.

"Many cars came by and waved, one lady brought water and said she was a Republican but she didn't like hate either. I had the good fortune to learn a lot of things from my fellow demonstrators and a real nice lady who came by and wanted to ask questions about our movement. She is a Republican and she shared about her beliefs and I shared my Democratic ones with her. It was informative and we had a robust, intelligent conversation. It was so cool. We both thought peaceful resolution and personal interaction is the best move our country forward."

"You learned a lot, Ma, from one person at a time. Us puppies hope people did that all over the U.S. today at their various demonstrations across the U.S."

Then we got the leashes. It was time for a walk and a rousing rendition of "Give Peace A Chance."

Linda M. Alvarez

River Falls


Rejection of progressivism gave us Trump


Media bias is mind boggling today, but the number of Americans believing distorted progressive narratives is dangerous.

Merriam-Webster's definition of fascism is "a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."

How do Republicans fit this description?

Republicans love our country, exalt the individual, disfavor centralized government in favor of states rights, prefer free market capitalism and minimal business regulation, support free speech for all, and revere tradition, but dislike social regimentation unless, as in abortion, it takes life. I would argue that the left, and not the right, tries to suppress opposition. Otherwise why try so hard to destroy conservative media?

Progressives insist that preborn humans aren't babies, biological sex can be changed at will, voter fraud is a myth, filling the country with millions of unskilled illegal immigrants costs nothing and results in economic growth, our nation's founders were anti-religion, an illegitimate president resides in the White House, and Antifa is a peaceful group. Research refutes it all.

Truth? Democrats defended slavery. They stopped civil rights legislation until Lyndon Johnson wanted it as his presidential legacy. President Woodrow Wilson supported racial segregation and eugenics; President Franklin Roosevelt unconstitutionally imprisoned Japanese Americans and nominated former Ku Klux Klan member Hugo Black to the Supreme Court; Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat icon, organized KKK groups in the 1940s; Margaret Sanger, patron of Planned Parenthood, thought diversity threatened America's future and endorsed sterilizing inferiors; Sen. Ted Kennedy left a woman to drown to save himself; presidents Bill Clinton and John Kennedy defined marital infidelity; unrepentant domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn teach at liberal U.S. universities; and, progressive appeasement gave Iran nuclear capabilities.Rejection of progressivism gave us Donald Trump.

Donna O'Keefe

River Falls


Schools left hanging; FoxConn coddled


Last week our 93rd District State Assembly Rep. Warren Petryk and his Republican friends voted in favor of a bill giving Foxconn, a high tech foreign corporation from Taiwan, a $2.85 billion incentive deal to build a factory near Racine. Even if Foxconn dodges owing income taxes, as most manufacturing companies already do, they will still get checks from the taxpayers of Wisconsin over the next 15 years totaling $2.85 billion.

Additionally, the company will get a $150 million break in sales taxes for the purchase of building materials, supplies, equipment and services. They will also be eligible for breaks in property taxes for the next 30 years. The total cost to Wisconsin taxpayers is estimated to be the equivalent of $1,500 for every household in Wisconsin. Even if all goes well, the non-partisan Fiscal Bureau estimates that the state will not break even on this incentive package until the year 2043.

To make matters worse, the legislation lets Foxconn off the hook from having to obey environmental regulations. They will not be required to get permits to alter streams and wetlands, nor will they have to submit an environmental impact statement before beginning construction, which is one of the main tools used get ahead of environmental problems.

The state budget for the next two years, due months ago, has yet to be finalized. Warren Petryk and his like-minded representatives in the State Assembly have focused all their attention on the Foxconn give-away while public schools are still left hanging in the wind wondering what kind of limited financial support they can expect for the school year that's about to begin. Go figure!

Harlen Menk



Mental health & addiction


You may have heard about the opioid crisis in America, but in fact opioids addiction is only part of a far bigger crisis. In our own St, Croix County, the causes of preventable death are as follows: #1 Suicide, #2 Overdose, #3 falls related to alcohol and at #4 car accidents. It's worth noting that not long ago, car accidents were number one. Something has gone very wrong in America and our county.

On Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. St Croix County Medical Examiner Patty Schachtner will speak on the topic of "mental health and addiction in our county." She will be talking about both the degree of our problem, as she encounters it and how we can start to tackle it. It's a topic that affects us all, one way or another.

When: Thursday, Sept. 14. Free food and social hour at 6 p.m., presentation at 7 p.m.

Where: The Chalet at Badlands Snow Park, 772 Kinney Road, Hudson.

Directions: I-94 to Highway 12 exit north, to Badlands Road east, to Kinney Road south, entrance on west side of road.

Sponsored by the St Croix County Democrats as a community service.

Jim Laskin

Glenwood City