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Letters to the editor: Guilt abroad; Poppy Day

What has happened to my country?


I opened the newspaper today and read this: "Hondurans lose protection. About 86,000 who have lived in the U.S. for decades told to leave by 2020."

I wanted to scream, to cry in frustration. And I did cry but in sadness and disillusionment. What has happened to my country? What has happened to the values of our nation as expressed in the words of the Statue of Liberty? What has happened to our leaders? They are not all white with blue eyes. They all came from immigrant families even though, perhaps, many generations ago.

Do they know what it is like to pick up a family, a life, and return to countries which are still not safe, as Honduras, for example? To leave the safety and the life it has taken so much time to construct, hoping that their children will not have to go through what they did. Think of the pain for those children! This is an inhuman order. Are our leaders, as has been suggested, afraid of the browning of America?

This sounds like racism to me no matter what the excuse is. And many have been given. These people are our neighbors, and friends who have come to the land of safety and opportunity, built new lives, entering into our job market, starting business and contributing to our economy. And in addition to this inhumane order for Hondurans, also people from Nepal, Nicaragua and Haiti have received orders to leave in the next years. Why?

I hear in the news, that there are so many job opportunities in our "booming" economy but not enough people to fill them. These immigrants are the ones who, while building new lives, take the low paying jobs Americans do not want to take.

Who am I then, to shed tears over this article? I have lived in another country and know what is thought of the USA, the example of true democracy. I am a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and I am a woman of faith. Though a Christian myself, I believe the other major religions of the world have the same principles of equality and respect for human dignity.

Note: The Temporary Protected Status of Hondurans and others who escaped violence in their countries is being terminated by the president. Our State Department is warning Americans not to travel there because of violence by criminal gangs and drug cartels. Others are now trying to flee the violence.

Barb de Souza

River Falls

Guilt abroad


What can I say? Are we through lying yet? Are we sick of lying? Are we "winning" through lying? What happens to a government's credibility when its leader is a notorious liar who throws falsehoods around as easily as toilet paper frisbees? It is one thing to accept that there is a portion of this country's electorate who do not care if President Trump is lying, because this is nothing but a perpetual game of dissing the opposition, and their contempt for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is boundless.

It is something else when we move from "my world" to "the world." How well do the counterclaims against Obama and Hillary hold up when you're talking to citizens and politicians from countries around the world? Can people respond to complaints about Donald Trump lying from citizens of the world by saying they are only angry at losing the election?

Taken out of the nasty hot dish that is partisan politics in this country into the reality of our standing as part of a community of countries, the reality of having a serial liar, and a man willing to break security and trade agreements based upon his willingness to lie about them becomes less a matter of who can pretend to be most earnest or entrenched in those lies. We may be somewhat delusional in this country, but our illness is not tempting to other countries. And the foolishness of a lying unhinged leader is no cause for celebration for anyone else in this world (except those anxious to see us crumble under the weight of accomodating fools). Trump is not to be trusted. If the voting public in the U.S. is not convinced, be assured the rest of the world is very convinced. And it's not partisan.

Paul White

River Falls

Find truthful info regarding health care


As was pointed out by the letter from Vibrant Health Family Clinic physicians, your series on health care lacked important perspective on health care issues. Similarly, the letter from the physicians lacked perspective.

A group of Wisconsin residents has formed an organization devoted to seeking facts and truth regarding healthcare, health insurance and making this information available to the public. Our group is Public Access to Health Care (PATH).

Many have experienced confusion, distress and anger regarding the costs of healthcare, lack of transparency about most aspects of healthcare, including its costs, the premiums for insurance, and the difficulty in comparing costs and in obtaining accurate information regarding health insurance coverage. In addition, many of us have found that keeping up with statements, EOB, and other healthcare-related paperwork is burdensome. Dealing with insurance companies when they deny coverage, require prior authorizations, or invoke "networks" to bar us from access to health care providers causes many people to give up and not seek medical care.

PATH seeks to provide both facts and truth. We aim to provide facts regarding the items mentioned above as well as truthful conclusions about healthcare and health insurance—our conclusions are based on careful research and evidence rather than on whim or party politics. We wish to promote accountability, transparency, and accuracy among healthcare providers, health insurance companies, and makers of public healthcare policy.

To learn about PATH and to find truthful information regarding health care, visit or write us at

Glenn Potts

PATH member

River Falls

Poppy Day


Each year, American Legion Auxiliary volunteers distribute millions of red crepe paper poppies in exchange for contributions to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans. The veterans who make the flowers are able to earn a small wage, which helps to supplement their incomes and makes them feel more self-sufficient. The physical and mental activity provides many therapeutic benefits for the veterans. The poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn by Americans to honor those who served and died for their country.

Our objective is to provide disabled veterans with an income and rehabilitation activity, adn to remind Americans of the sacrifices of their veterans over the years. Donations received by Auxiliary volunteers for the poppies are used exclusively to assist and support veterans and their families.

Poppies will be offered May 17 at Family Fresh and May 18 at Dick's IGA and Shopko. They will also be offered on Memorial Day at St. Bridget's Cemetery and at Greenwood. Poppy cans have been placed around town to provide a convenient place to donate.

Thank you for your generosity.

Jeanne Williams

Poppy Chairman