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Letters to the editor: Giving thanks for kindness on Halloween

Giving thanks for kindness on Halloween


Halloween eve, just as dark was falling, I noticed a big yellow Lab running down the middle of the busy street in front of my house. I was immediately annoyed because it would soon be dark, I was the only one home to give out candy, and now I had an "AWOL" dog who could get hurt or

killed, running toward the nearby highway.

I grabbed my flashlight and some tissues and caught up with him, only to find he had been rolling in stinking doggy doo and his collar was coated in poop, obscuring his owner's information. The dog was so strong, he started pulling me and the struggle was on. I couldn't maneuver the dog so that I could see the tag, nor could I pull him toward my house.

Within five minutes, four young men, about age 14, came walking down the street. They were well-dressed, as though going to a Halloween party. I asked if they could help me. Without hesitation, and with the greatest respect and politeness, they assessed the situation. One held the dog, another got out his phone, the third wiped the poop off the dog tags and the fourth flagged down the owner when she came to claim the dog some time later.

After the dog was safely with the owner, they washed their hands at my house. They were sincerely happy to have been able to help. They didn't complain that they were detained. They had come upon a problem and jumped in to help solve it in a cheerful, cooperative and intelligent way. Positive, generous kids! You could just feel their goodness of spirit.

I don't know who you are, but young men, you sure comported yourself well! (And may have saved one naughty dog). Both you and your parents can be assured that you were very kind. thoughtful and helpful on Halloween. It was really appreciated. What a treat! Thanks again.

Linda Alvarez

River Falls

Reject fear-mongering


In the past weeks we've watched the unseemly spectacle of active duty military deployed near the Mexican border to repel a large caravan of Honduran asylum-seekers. President Trump has invoked terms of a hostile, criminal "invasion" to make Americans fear these refugees.

Trump appears to neither understand nor care that these are undoubtedly, for the most part, ordinary families trying to escape poverty and horrific violence in their home country, risking

everything, including their lives, to seek safety in the U.S.

Their exodus has at its historical root U.S. interference in Honduran politics going back at least to the Reagan administration. In its war against leftists in our hemisphere, the U.S. destabilized the Honduran government and economy, propping up repressive regimes that have made life unlivable for many Honduran citizens.

President Obama too fell short in his failure to support Honduran democracy in 2009 when oligarchs overthrew the elected liberal reformer Manuel Zelaya.

Joseph Nevins writes at ". . .the role played by the United States in shaping the causes of this migration raises ethical questions about its responsibility toward those fleeing from the ravages its policies have helped to produce."

In light of this dishonorable history, we need to reject Trump's fear-mongering and take a hard look at ourselves and how our increasingly cruel immigration policies are compounding the harm we have already done to those who now ask for our protection.

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

Seeking what early immigrants did


Turn back the clock to the 1500s (Columbus 1492) and we remember the first immigrants who reached our shores fleeing from religious persecution ( a "caravan" of sorts). They were immigrants struggling to find a better and safer life. They struggled to survive in this unknown world and we celebrate Thanksgiving because we are reminded that they were welcomed by the inhabitants of the land they were "invading" despite their different culture, language and religion. And, a meal was shared in gratitude!

That is the country we are so proud of today and for which are expressing our gratitude on Thanksgiving. We are reminded that much of our American population is descended from these first immigrants. It has become a custom in many families to invite the "stranger" or the "lonely" or the "needy" as well as newcomers to the area, to share the Thanksgiving meal. Let us do so again this week in prayer and love as we gather with family and friends for our Thanksgiving meal. And, though, we may not actually be inviting an "immigrant," let us affirm our desire to "walk" with the immigrants who are walking from Central America in the "caravans." As we express our gratitude for what we have, let us affirm our desire to share with these immigrants and others, from countries where violence and hunger exist. They are coming to our "shores" seeking what the early immigrants did, those who made and whose descendants still make America the great country it is today.

Rev. Barb de Souza

River Falls