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Letters: Truly make RF the City on the Kinni; Food pantry in awe of generosity

The party without a heart


On television Sept. 25, I watched with dismay the poor, the sick, the crippled and the elderly people trying to influence Republican senators. They wanted "no" votes on the latest Republican Health Care bill.

They will learn the hard way that 99.5 percent of Republican senators and house members only listen to what the millionaires and billionaires want on most items.

Giving money to the "lesser" people takes away money the very rich covet. Therefore, most Republican senators will vote "yes" to deprive health care from millions of Americans. A pox on all their efforts.

Marvin L. Nelson

River Falls

Truly make RF the City on the Kinni


I was blessed to move to River Falls from the flat lands of Western Minnesota nearly 40 years ago. I purchased a home in the southwest corner of town and was quick to discover that a couple hundred yards down the hill was the beautiful Kinni River. Nearly every day since I have walked the Kinni with my dogs observing multiple species of birds, trout, deer, raccoons, opossum, otters, fox, rabbits, squirrels, and even one bear and a rattlesnake. The beauty of nature and sounds of the river have always brought me joy. When friends visit, they often ask, "Where is the falls?" I have always answered, "We don't have falls anymore, we have dams and these ugly ponds in town, but just over the hill I can show you the beautiful Kinni." They too have been amazed by the Kinni.

Now we have a chance to bring the beauty and wonders of the Kinni to the City. Removing the upper and lower dams would restore the natural beauty of the Kinni in River Falls. You get a glimpse of what removing the dams would do just by looking at the natural, flowing Kinni north of Division Street where once sat an ugly sediment pond. Removing the two dams would restore a natural, flowing Kinni surrounded by public land and parks right in the middle of River Falls.

Since I have moved to River Falls so much has been done to beautify our city: parks, gardens, flowers, landscaped streets, and beautification of the UWRF campus. We now have a chance to truly make River Falls The City on the Kinni. Please urge your friends, neighbors, and city officials to support this effort.

Dr. Robert Johnson

River Falls

Restoration of the Kinni


Restoration of the Kinnickinnic River through dam removal would help our river to stay cold and clean, provide additional green park space near our main street, and give us the opportunity to increase our use of solar power.

The dams are causing an increase of the river's temperature from about 61 degrees above the dams to 65 degrees below the dams. This warming is approaching the threshold temperature for the survival of the trout and other living organisms in the river.

When the dams are removed, the stagnant and eutrophic waters of the impoundments will be replaced with a free flowing cold and clean river.

New parkland with nesting area for waterfowl could be created where the impoundments exist today.

Additional handicapped accessible trails would provide beautiful views of the river for all. Natural limestone waterfalls would again be exposed and likely attract more tourists to our town.

Our hydro-electric facility produces only 1 to 2 percent of the city's total consumption of electricity. We could replace this with green solar energy without any negative effects on the Kinnickinnic River.

River Falls is a wonderful community! Let's continue to share ideas and listen to each other. We all want what is best for our river and our town. Please consider attending the multi-day Kinnickinnic Corridor Planning Charrette (workshop) Oct. 25-28 at the library. Everyone in the community is invited to come and share ideas, learn, and give input as we all move forward to do what is best for the Kinnickinnic River and River Falls.

Sarah Hall

River Falls

Protect the kids


Someday soon we'll read about a high powered attorney suing a school board because of brain damage sustained from high school football. The school will not be able to claim ignorance of the dangers because they are becoming more and more known.

Save the taxpayers from a huge lawsuit — ban high school football. Let River Falls be one of the first to ban football.

Protect the taxpayers and the kids.

Phil Dean

Town of Clifton

No tax cuts for the super rich


When I was in fifth grade I remember seeing over-sized magazines from Russia explaining Russia's five-year plan.

We learned that in Russia the government, which owned the means of production, decided five years in advance how many pairs of shoes and other products would be produced. That is the opposite of capitalism which decides what to produce based on what sells, that is based on what customers want to buy.

Our federal government is in the process of attempting to change the tax laws to reduce taxes for the higher income citizens. They say that will stimulate the economy. This is called the "Trickle-Down" theory. The Trickle-Down theory claims that if you give the "Job Creators" more money, they will create more jobs and pay the workers higher wages.

The Job Creator's companies are currently swimming in cash. They have so much money they don't know what to do with it. They are even buying back their own company's stock. One thing they don't do with all their excess cash is hire more workers or raise their wages.

Reducing taxes for the Job Creators will not help the middle-class families or the workers of the United States.

What businesses need in order to expand their businesses is more customers. In order to produce more customers, the people who want and need to buy things, need more money to spend.

The federal government should not reduce the taxes on the rich, they should increase support programs for low-income families. If low income families had more money to spend, they would buy more. Companies would have to expand to accommodate all of the demand for their products. Companies would hire more workers. Competition for workers would cause wages to rise.

According to 2013 data (data analysis is always a couple of years behind current data) the top 1 percent of the wealthiest in America already holds approximately 36 percent of the wealth of all Americans. The bottom 80 percent of the wealth continuum holds approximately 11 percent of America's wealth.

Giving the wealthiest more money through tax cuts will not stimulate the economy. The Trickle-Down theory doesn't work. The economy will be stimulated when customers have more money to buy goods.

Give the money to the customers, not the Job Creators.

Cheryl Maplethorpe

Town of Clifton

Food pantry in awe of generosity


Last Friday, the River Falls Community Food Pantry was astounded to receive an enormous contribution collected at the River Falls High School during Homecoming week. The generosity of students and their families nearly overwhelmed our facility as volunteers rushed to help get everything organized and onto shelves, ready to serve our neighbors on Monday.

We express our deepest appreciation to this healthy, thriving, and charitable community which gave so freely! Thank you again and again!

Pam Ballard

RFCFP President

Candice Anderson

RFCFP Executive Director

Kinni: Who pays for this fiasco?


The DNR rates the Kinnickinnic as a Class 1 trout stream. Wisconsin has 13,271 miles of trout streams, and 5,365 miles are rated Class 1. Driving around the border of Wisconsin is 1,379 miles. Just our Class 1 trout streams alone could go around Wisconsin almost four times. Is improving one mile of already Class 1-rated river worth millions of dollars and lots of effort?

Should we risk damaging the Lower Kinni (located below both "trout-damaging" dams) which is already listed as an "Outstanding Resource Water (ORW)" by the DNR?

Brown trout were added to the Kinni in the 1900s. They are not even native to North America. If FOTK wants to "restore" the Kinni to how it was originally, then remove all the non-native brown trout. Hypocrites.

FYI: Milwaukee is adding six bubbling fountains (from floating mechanical aerators) on their own Kinnickinnic River to improve conditions for fish in areas with slower currents.

Talk about spreading misinformation! Look close, the FOTK posters show a huge waterfall starting well above even the current bridge location. It was a small falls and rapids running over the same rocks you can still walk on right now. The top of the "falls" will begin at the base of the Junction dam!

Lake Louise would fare even worse without the dams, becoming a small river running across a big mud flat.

FOTK shows people climbing the historic Junction Mill smokestack like a climbing wall! Is our whole town a personal toybox for the amusement of the local fly-fishing upper class?

Who pays for this fiasco? Once it goes wrong, takes too long, costs too much, the Minnesotans and corporate sponsors will move on to something easier and more interesting. River Falls will be left to deal with the mess and expense. Keep the dams!

Brian Janovec

River Falls

Kinni: Dams no longer needed


I grew up on a farm in Kinnickinnic Township. There, the upper Kinni flowed through our farm, north to south, flowing freely as it wound its way towards River Falls. Even today, 50-60 years after my childhood growing up on the Kinni I can walk along "our" stretch of the river and recall those wonderful memories of days gone by.

In his book "A Sand County Almanac," Aldo Leopold said, "Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them."

The progress for River Falls, it could be said, was in part the installation of the dams. They were an essential part of the growth of that community, but I think their value has long past. The small electric generation produced is no longer an essential need, and the damage to the river greatly exceeds the value of the electricity.

I believe we are in a time where global warming is affecting our climate. One result is a slow but steady increase in temperatures. The dam impoundments are known to warm the water released into the lower Kinni. The increased temperatures of this impoundment water, added to the overall temperature increase in our part of the world spells disaster for the wild Kinni trout downstream.

We are a community of knowledgeable, thoughtful, and caring citizens. While I appreciate that the history of our city's success is, in part, tied to the dams they are in no way essential today. I don't take the wild things for granted, nor should you.

Dale Jorgenson

River Falls