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Letters to the editor: Caregivers are not alone; Dates and Democrats

Dates and Democrats


The monthly calendar not only provides us with the knowledge of what day it is, their illustrations ignite our inner desires.

You can purchase calendars that will leave you laughing, or evoke awe with their visions of grand mountain ranges.

There are calendars crafted to promote hormonal infusions; high-resolution photographs of scantily-clad women fondling socket wrenches or barely-attired men swinging fireman axes.

Recent events suggest a new calendar theme.

I suggest a January 2018 calendar with a scantily clad Al Franken standing in front of a sewage treatment plant, licking a plunger.

December? How could it not be a bare-chested Bill Clinton inhaling deeply the the scent of a stained blue dress.

James Anderson

River Falls

Gun control remains unresolvable


There are around 400 million guns in the United States but more than 99 percent of them are used for peaceful purposes by people like me who love to shoot and who wouldn't think of hurting another human being. Shooting is fun; it's like golf, but instead of whacking a ball towards a distant hole, you aim at a target.

Firearms can be used for self-protection, but so can golf clubs, baseball bats, knives and trucks. But "non-guns" are never blamed when they are used to kill. Guns ALWAYS are! Somehow, human responsibility is left out of the mix. In the two recent shootings, the murderers were able to pass firearms background checks because someone or some agency screwed up. That's human incompetence, not ineffective gun laws.

Regrettably, the focus on guns is always about self-defense, never about "fun," which is why most people own guns. The vast majority of privately owned firearms in this country are used for pleasure target shooting, plinking (shooting at tin cans and such) and hunting. Shooting is an enjoyable and safe sport—so safe that liability insurance for gun ranges costs almost nothing. The problem is that those who hate guns can't relate to why people like me love them. Their focus is "guns are bad—they kill people;" ours is "shooting is fun/people kill people."

Not surprisingly, anti-sentiment is stronger in big cities where crime runs rampant than in rural America where gun deaths are infrequent and hunting and shooting are considered wholesome sports. By comparison, recent studies suggest that nearly all football players will eventually suffer brain damage—many will die prematurely. Knowing this, I doubt that many football fans would vote to ban the sport! Why? Because they LOVE the game. We shooters love ours too!

Certainly, we should deny firearms to those who might misuse them. But identifying these "bad guys" is not an exact science, as illustrated by the two shooters whose names weren't in the background-check database.

If we really want to reduce the murder rate in this country then perhaps we should address the social problems (education, health care, equal opportunity for all, racism, religious fundamentalism) that keep people down and cause some to go berserk.

The politically correct term "gun-safety legislation" is just a ruse to OUTLAW GUNS. And that's a "no-go" for millions of gun-lovers like me. That's why "gun control" remains an unresolvable issue. one that democrats (I'm still one of them) need to come to terms with if they hope to win future elections.

Cliff Jacobson

River Falls

Congrats, Sheila


Kudos to Sheila Harsdorf for her appointment to Gov, Scott Walker's cabinet. Although I loathe Scott Walker more than life itself, a member of HIS cabinet has way more cachet and sway than any "member" of Trump's cabinet, who were hired—let's face facts—each one to implode and dismantle their department.

Jane Fosberg

River Falls

Care out loud


While the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson has an exhibit on religion that facilitates community understanding between Christians, Muslims and Jews, the Citizens for the St. Croix Valley is promoting a speaker of anti-Muslim rhetoric for area pastors and regional church leaders. The Dec. 1, River Falls event suggests a forum with open questions about Muslims, but the speaker Shahram Hadrian has a confirmed position that seeks to sever all American ties with any Muslim relationships.

Shahram Hadrian is a former Muslim who has dedicated his life to the teaching of Jesus Christ. Christians and Muslims convert to each other's religions, but what makes Hadrian unusual is his outspoken condemnation of his former religion. Hadrian's website (, quotes him to say that he wants to expose, "the true goal and the threat of Shari'ah Law in America." He travels around the United States preaching to groups about how Americans should find all Muslims a threat. The DVDs he's made include titles like, "Unveiling the Face of Islam / A Wake Up Call for the World," "Islam's Assault on the Constitution," and "Chrislam Exposed: The Seductive Lie of a Common God Between Christianity and Islam." His views propagate fears that generate bigotry and are not supported by an educated base of international organizations.

As an advocate of the first amendment, I fully support the right of Citizens for the St. Croix Valley to present a prejudicial public speaker. This group is outspoken about their perceived fears and have every right to share their worried worldview. (The entire Dec. 1 invitation is on the

The point of this letter is to illustrate that River Falls and surrounding communities has a small outspoken group that actively works to segregate and separate. As our cultural centers and other institutions try to take a step forward for diversity, this group is there to push us all back. This is not a singular incident, rather another example of systemic prejudice.

Now is the time to care out loud. Please support the inclusion efforts of your River Falls institutions, they'll need your help.

Tony Bol


Caregivers are not alone


Recent news of pop star David Cassidy's critical illness, complicated by early onset dementia, as well as Glenn Campbell's recent death due to Alzheimer's remind us that memory loss can affect anyone.

If your loved one has memory loss, River Falls has a new respite center, Among Friends, located at the United Church of Christ and open to all residents of Pierce and St. Croix counties, where family members with memory loss will enjoy chair yoga, music, and other activities that encourage socialization and communication. Caregivers are free for a few hours to run errands or just relax. The center is available on Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Those of us who have volunteered have had as much fun and have found the experience as positive as the participants and their caregivers. The center was created to meet an unmet need in our community. We know there are lots of caregivers who need a few hours to themselves so that they can resume their responsibilities with renewed energy, knowing that their loved one is being well taken care of in a stimulating environment.

Please share this news with family, friends, and neighbors who might have a family member with memory loss. Call Among Friends at 715-293-2561 or send an email to to find out more.

Laura Zlogar

River Falls

Hate into our valley


The Citizens for the St. Croix Valley say that they are about educating themselves. They say that they are not a hate group. Yet they have collaborated to bring hate into our valley.

They are promoting a speaker, sponsored by a Tea Party group, who is known to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a promoter of anti-Muslim messages. This same speaker has been known to stir up hatred in other rural communities. The SPLC states that Sharham Hadian operates "TIL Project Ministries," which is based around anti-Islam, anti-LGBT, anti-abortion, anti-media and other far-right ideologies. He positions himself as a pastor and operates his business with a pitch of "love offerings" of money, paid speaking engagements and the selling of DVDs, books and pamphlets.

Many of us in the Midwest associate this type of snake oil theatrics with other, less educated parts of the country. Yet here it is, in our beautiful valley.

If the mission of the CFTSCV is to educate, they would seek out educated, diverse and opposing views to advance their understanding and dialogue. Instead, they are promoting a speaker who will validate their bias rather than expand their knowledge. We see your true colors. This group is sowing the seeds of hatred and division right here in our back yard.

I call on those members of the CFTSCV who are not intimidated by the vocal leadership of your group (who will no doubt attack me personally in the next edition of this paper) to reject the spreading of hate.

Don't go to hear this speaker at Kilkarney Hills on Dec. 1. There are better ways to prepare for

Christmas than to expose yourself to a false prophet.

Kerry Geurkink


RF and the Kinnickinnic


There are four different groups that have a hand in determining the outcome of the restoration of the Kinnickinnic River through dam removal or not.

• SEH, (Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.) is a consultant firm that works with government, commercial and industrial clients. SEH was hired by the city of River Falls as a consultant team to work with the Kinni Corridor Project Committee.

• The Kinni Corridor Planning Committee is an 11-member volunteer group appointed by the River Falls City Council in October 2016 to guide the two-plus-year process to create a plan for the Kinnickinnic River Corridor.

• The Utility Advisory Board is composed of six citizens who are appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. There is one council representative (seven members).

• The River Falls residents and others concerned with the Kinnickinnic River

On Nov. 20, SEH presented an overview to the Utility Advisory Board. On Dec. 18, SEH will discuss costs of each option (remove no dams, remove one dam, or remove two dams). On Jan. 15, the Utilities Advisory Board will make a recommendation to the Kinni Corridor Committee. On Feb. 27, 2018, the city council will decide to either relicense or surrender the license of neither, one or both dams. This decision will be based upon the recommendations from the KInni Corridor Committee along with the Utility Advisory Board.

If the council decides to relicense, the new license will be for 40 years. Ultimately and realistically, if this relicensure is adopted by our city council, it will be another 40 years again until we look at restoration of the river through dam removal.

Inter-Fluve is a firm that specializes in investigations, design, and restoration of rivers, lakes and wetlands. Inter-Fluve presented a very lengthy report called Restoration of the Kinnickinnic River through Dam Removal. The link to the site is listed below. I would encourage people to go to page 70, #8 and read their conclusion.

Please contact your representative and share your opinion

David Fehringer

City of River Falls