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Letters to the editor: Diversity isn't just a shower curtain; Limit your plastic use, please

Diversity isn't just a shower curtain


I'd just left my synagogue this past Saturday and still had my kippah (aka yamulke, aka "that weird little beanie") on when I stopped at a nearby home specialty store. Inside, a nice couple were talking by the shower curtains. On seeing me, the man moved to stand between me and his wife, pushing her backwards.

Now, I'm a little old lady and was wearing a nice wool sweater and a new pair of jeans. Five foot and a bit of change tall if I stretch. With a rockin' yellow flower print purse slung over my shoulder. Not what comes to my mind at least when I think of someone to be afraid of. I looked over my shoulder and there was no one else there so I moved towards the couple. Again the man backed-up, keeping his wife behind him and spreading his arms out.

So, I left the store without a word spoken but the question remains. What was he so afraid of? A small woman with a small white hat? A religion? Something in his past that only he could see? I'll never know. And he'll never know that I just wanted to ask if I could look at the print shower curtain he and his wife were standing in front of.

Because he was afraid. And probably a bigot.

Diversity isn't about being different ... and it isn't about being basically the same as everyone else either. It's about the acceptance of differences and the expectation that we must all find a way to live together peacefully without requiring change or assimilation. It isn't about just words. It's about how you live and how you treat other people.

Live well. Live with honor. Live in peace.


Kim Solomon

River Falls

Limit your plastic use, please


I am writing to remind readers to limit the use of plastic when possible. By 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans, and presently an "island" of plastic in the Pacific between California and Hawaii is described as being larger than the state of Texas and growing rapidly.

An estimated 10,000 marine animals are strangled, suffocated or injured by plastic each year. Only 14 percent of plastic packaging is currently collected for recycling. The rest ends up in landfills, waterways (including the oceans) or scattered along streets and highways.

Recently in Spain a beached whale died due to 64 pounds of waste in his body, most of it plastic including a lot of straws.

Kinni Cafe provides straws for beverages if they are requested, which is commendable. It would be helpful if more eating establishments would refrain from automatically providing straws with each glass of water or other beverage (and if customers would request no straw be provided.) This would be cost efficient, as well as helpful to the environment.

Other simple ways to avoid plastic are foregoing plastic bags for one or two items purchased, bring your own bags to the store when shopping, and make your concern known to companies responsible for packaging. Plastic is inevitable and a permanent fixture in our culture, but we can be more proactive in educating ourselves about its environmental impact, limiting our use as we can, and recycling.

Bev Hoppe

River Falls

Trout: Be careful what you wish for


The Kinni Corridor Project meeting Thursday, April 19 featured the introduction of Jeff McMenimen, representing the Hoisingron Koegler Group Inc. HKGI has been chosen as the new consultant group to advise the Kinni Corridor Committee as they move forward in the planning for the River Falls portion of the Kinni.

In his introductory comments Jeff related the experience of putting on his waders and exploring the Kinni both above town and below. When asked for his further comments he stated that above River Falls there are lots of small trout. In the lower portion, after the dams, he found the large trout. If we remove our dams, will we be left with a Kinni inhabited totally with small trout? Be careful what you wish for!

William Hansen

Town of River Falls

Favor needed from Historical Association


The Pierce County Historical Association wishes to ask the reading public a favor.

Obituaries provide genealogical information of interest to the PCHA and especially those about military service veterans. Over a number of years the PCHA has been collecting information about the military veterans of Pierce County. And they are placed in the numerous notebooks gathered about these people.

But, the PCHA wishes to request that those who write obituaries for their family members who did serve in the military to go into a bit greater detail about that person's service. Please, include the branch of service, when served (years), where served, rank achieved, medals earned, what the person did, and anything else that tells more about that person's service.

Every veteran deserves recognition and thanks for their service and the PCHA sincerely wants to be certain every single man and woman who has served receives that recognition.

We are losing veterans almost weekly, and PCHA does wishes to include their names and information in the archives being set up and added to about these people.



What is human trafficking?


What is Human Trafficking? According to the United Nations and Fierce Freedom (

"... Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. ..."

Please join us May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hudson House, Hudson, Wisconsin, (doors open at 6 p.m.) to listen to Aynaz Anni Cyrus. Citizens for the St. Croix Valley (www.citizensforthestcroixvalley) is sponsoring this event. Anni grew up in Iran. As a young child, she was forced to marry. Beaten and raped, she went to the courts but was told to go back to her husband and obey him. With the help of her grandmother, Aynaz managed to escape and spent three years as a refugee on her own in Turkey. After gaining US citizenship in 2010, safety and the freedom to be herself finally became a reality. The sense of relief and joy of living freely would not last, though. Now, with the poorly vetted refugee program, she finds the same dangerous ideology has begun seeding itself in the United States. As an apostate of Islam, once again she lives in fear as TEN fatwas have been placed on her. Join us and hear her story. Learn how Iran has changed and what life is like for women living under sharia. Understand how and why sharia still threatens her today. "To be free as a human is to be free from Islamic laws." Anni Cyrus.

Darla Meyers

Town of St. Joseph