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Letters to the Editor: May 15, 2014

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To the Editor:

I had the honor of being part of the Junior ROTC graduation ceremonies recently at a high school in Minnesota. The graduates were in the Navy ROTC program and they numbered 243 cadets. What I found interesting was other guests from retired Navy, Air Force, Marines, and civilian organizations were there also.

I was representing the Special Forces Association to which there are a few of us left and gave the medal we give to a young cadet for his efforts in living up to the SF traditions. Didn’t they know that the Navy has special operations people too, and they are called SEALs? I guess when they called down to the Minnesota Zoo they didn’t have any seals available, so we stood in.

I have never seen so many young people of different ethnic backgrounds wearing so many medals for commendation in my life. It made me proud to know these traditions are still practiced, albeit away from the general public. They aren’t done secretly, anyone can attend, it’s just they have come to learn that when you open things up to the outside world there’s going to be big problems.

What I noticed was the first dozen rows of cadets, all polished and in proper order sitting alert and erect, were followed by a few dozen other cadets who basically lounged about in the back rows and had very little concern for tradition and principles. You just knew these guys were never going to get anything. They could easily have been janitors for all I knew. I cannot say truthfully that these guys were only there because they needed extra credit to graduate so they joined ROTC with the hopes they would at least get out of school with a D-plus, but in a way they represented an element of the military society.

When I look at the last five years, I can’t remember ever reading so much about some minority group forcing its morals on the rest of us. Currently, some bigot who’s been around for over 30 years can’t run his basketball team any more. Some man who gave a $1,000 donation to some organization that stood for traditional marriage values was fried by the company he worked for that practices tolerance and open mindedness. And some 50 college students protest Rice as a commencement speaker just so the school can have Nancy Pelosi, who crammed healthcare down our throats, to speak instead.

It’s almost as if those back row cadets are now in charge and the bright lights of truth are shining down on them. I’m wondering if in the next election there will come a man who has a magic flute and who will play the tunes that drive the nonconformists into the river and free us of our unnecessary burdens and political correctness. After all; America is about freedom for everyone, not just the minority.

Robert Pike, Town of Stanton


Boy Scouts bring hope for future

To the Editor:

I was traveling by Trollhaugen Ski area last Saturday afternoon, May 10, near Dresser when I saw colorful tents scattered among the trees and open areas under the zip line at Trollhaugen Aerial Adventure Park. From the trailers in the parking lot I identified the activities as a Boy Scout event, and being a former Boy Scout myself I decided to stop in and see their activities. There were Boy Scout troops from Hastings, Minn., New Richmond, River Falls, Hammond, Hudson, Somerset, Grantsburg and many other cities of northwestern Wisconsin.

I had the opportunity to talk to David Lovett, the professional Scouter out of the Northern Star Council, with several men and women who helped make this exciting weekend possible for the boys. I watched as the boys tossed tomahawks, built catapults, worked a rope course, cooked their own meals, challenged themselves with the zip line and even had some fun playing capture the flag. Some of the leaders were gathering in the chalet for training and coffee so I had the opportunity to interview some of them and learn what being a Scout leader was like these days.

The adults were having just as much fun as the boys. Many of the adults had on their uniforms but in real life they were doctors, businessmen, teachers, fathers and mothers. I thought to myself that these boys could have been out causing trouble that I see so much in the media, but these adults were willing to spend time with the youth in their communities and help them succeed in life.

I am pleased to report that the young boys I saw ranging in ages from 11 to 17 were well behaved, organized and learning, thanks to the attention and dedication of the many volunteers. I have a new faith in the youth of America and can assure you this generation will be the leaders of tomorrow. The tents and equipment may have changed from the time I was in Scouting but the needs of the boys haven’t.

The next time you encounter a Boy Scout, remember you were young once and see if there is an opportunity in your community to help start a troop or volunteer to help a troop or the organizations who sponsor them.

Thank you volunteers and sponsors.

Fred A. Brede, Osceola


Burke will bring positive change

To the Editor:

We need major change in Wisconsin. Mary Burke, a smart, hard-working woman with a great deal of practical, hands-on, real-world experience and a great education, is the person who can lead our state up from our low job rankings.

She has worked as a consultant and at Trek Bicycles, started by her father, where she helped grow the business. Employing nearly 1,000 Wisconsinites, Trek buys over $40 million in goods and services from local Wisconsin businesses helping create jobs in our state. She also worked in the Doyle administration in the Commerce Department,

Wisconsin is currently ninth out of 10 Midwestern states in job creation since 2011. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put us dead last, 50th out of 50 states in short-term job creation. Forbes put Wisconsin 35th out of the 50 states for job creation in 2013. The governor’s jobs promise of 250,000 for his first four-year term lags by about 145,000 jobs. The Kaufman Report put us in the bottom five states for entrepreneurship in 2013, tied for 46th, including Washington, D.C. Clearly Gov. Walker’s plan is not working.

Mary Burke has the necessary vision, experience, and ability to solve problems by working together with others to improve our jobs outlook. Her plan includes such ideas as; increase venture capital funds by $80 million; focus on clusters of like-minded businesses such as heavy equipment manufacturing, paper and printing, and more. To provide a well-educated and trained workforce, she wants to improve our education and training funding, allow for student refinancing of student loans for education, raise the amount allowed for college tax deductions, and expand the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Program.

Please help elect Mary Burke as governor of Wisconsin to bring positive change, jobs and pride back. We and our children deserve it.

Barb Arnst, Town of Richmond


May is Mental Health Awareness Month

To the Editor:

Parenting can be challenging at times. Parenting a child with mental health needs can be even more challenging, for a variety of reasons. Children with extraordinary needs require extraordinary parenting skills. Parents often find themselves being blamed for their children’s issues. Having a child with challenging behavior can often cause the family to isolate themselves to avoid problems in the community.

In addition, resources to assist children with mental health needs and their families are often limited and difficult to find. In Wisconsin, over 100,000 school-age children have a substantial mental health issue that limits their ability to be successful at home, in school and in the community. Yet, only about 3 percent of these children receive the public mental health services that they need. You might be surprised to learn that Wisconsin’s public mental health service rate ranks 49th out of 50 states.

Why should you care about this? Because helping families who have children with mental health challenges is not only the compassionate thing to do, it’s the right thing to do for our communities. Families who are supported in their community are better able to support their children and meet their needs. This results in children experiencing greater success in school, having fewer problems with truancy and delinquency, and increases the likelihood of the child growing up to be a contributing, tax-paying member of the community.

There is an organization in Wisconsin that is dedicated to helping families with children who have social, emotional or behavioral challenges – Wisconsin Family Ties (WFT). WFT is a statewide parent-run organization that provides the information, support and advocacy that families need to make real, lasting changes. Their services are free to families.

In addition to direct work with families, Wisconsin Family Ties sponsors an annual Family Fun Day at Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells. This event is open to all families in Wisconsin who have children with emotional, behavioral or social challenges. Tickets are at a dramatically reduced rate and include lunch. WFT also hosts the annual Children Come First Conference. This conference is the region’s largest children’s mental health conference and features speakers and workshops that are of interest to parents and professionals alike. This year’s conference will be held on Nov. 9 and 10, at Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells.

For more information about Wisconsin Family Ties or children’s mental health, call 800-422-7145 or visit WFT’s Facebook page at

Deb Ramacher, western Wisconsin regional coordinator, Wisconsin Family Ties


Name changes out of line

To the Editor:

I see the wackydoodles in Minnesota want to pass legislation changing the name Asian carp to Invasive carp so as not to offend people of Asian descent. This could get out of hand.

We soon may have Central Old Continent measles, a southern border stand-off, Northern Baltic meatballs and, my favorite, the garden pest which will be known as the Far Western Pacific Ocean but North of Antarctica beetle.

Speaking of Minnesota, the Vikings football team doesn’t have a single Norwegian on the team. As a person of Norwegian descent and a descendent of the original Vikings of a thousand years ago, I am highly offended. I demand that they rename their team the Upper Midwest Football Club. This also covers those people who are offended by being identified as Minnesotans.

By the way, the Vikings of a thousand years ago and the football team of the same name have one thing in common. Neither group of Vikings ever won a Super Bowl.

Marvin L. Nelson, Town of Troy