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Letters to the Editor: Nov. 13, 2014

Getting past personal issues

To the Editor:

Upon retirement in 2001, my wife and I moved to New Richmond. It was a spontaneous move after some 40 years in the investment business, mostly in the municipal finance area. It was a great move for us. In 2001, as you will remember, there had been and was a rapid population growth and business development in western Wisconsin., much of which was in St. Croix County. After our move we quickly learned that there seemed to be some resistance to growth in New Richmond. Nothing much seemed to “get done.”

Over the next few years various processes started and some progress seemed to be happening, slowly but somewhat surely. Jerry Brown, Patrick Overton, the Vision 20/20 group and the Government Entities Network all, to some degree, were part of this change. I’m sure there were other factors.

I attended the public meeting on Nov. 6 at the Community Commons. It was designed to be part of a process that will eventually lead to the resolution of the use of the old middle school property. In my opinion, this meeting is just the middle portion of the process that will lead to a final resolution. The whole meeting was well conducted, but I sensed there were people hanging onto their personal issues and couldn’t or wouldn’t accept the fact that something has to be done with the property. Discussion of actual designs and finances will come at a later phase. Currently, all affected parties should work toward a common and negotiated agreement, and then get down to the physical part of the process.

Let’s work toward that goal and stop “admiring the project” and get this done. Let’s show Washington that diverse opinions can be resolved and progress can be made.

Bill Langford, New Richmond

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Where’s Waldo?

To the Editor:

Where's Waldo? That was my first thought as I read the Oct. 29 Tribune Press Reporter article authored by LeAnn R. Ralph titled "St. Croix Judge hears oral argument in Forest vs. PSC" in regards to the hearing held on Oct. 21.  Waldo was nowhere to be found that day.

In Ms. Ralph's article, Mr. John Lorence of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) was quoted no less than 14 times. However, unless Mr. Lorence was incognito or able to speak through a medium, or called on the Starship Enterprise to "beam me over to Hudson, Scotty,” I did not see anyone that resembled Mr. Lorence in the courtroom that day. The courtroom was full of people from the Town of Forest who oppose the installation of a 44 500-foot wind turbines within the 36 square miles of the town. The additional room available to the residents of Forest, regardless of whether they were pro or con, consisted only of those who oppose the project. Not one of them saw Mr. Lorence, either. And, not one person in support of the project was present other than those who represented the PSC and Highland Wind.

Ms. Ralph wrote that Town of Forest counsel, Mr. Oliveria, "made much" of points that came up during the day. "Made much" instead of "as stated" indicate to me this article was written as an editorial or an opinion piece and not as a factual representation of what took place during the hearing on Oct. 21.

Remember the show “Dragnet?” Joe Friday and Bill Gannon always wanted "just the facts ma'am.” But if the "facts," as written are distorted or flat out wrong, how are we to know what we can or cannot believe?

It is a fact, Mr. John Lorence was not present in the courtroom on Oct. 21. It was Mr. Justin Chasco who represented the Public Service Commission that day. Other statements in the article are very misleading, such as the results of a survey completed by less than 50 percent of the town residents. But the blatant inaccuracy attributing 14 different quotes alone to someone who wasn't there indicates reporter negligence.

I say "Book 'er Danno!"

Cindy Kuscienko, Town of Forest

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The most pressing issues

To the Editor:

Before last week’s elections I sat down to think about the most pressing issues facing whoever is elected.

Here are two areas of extreme urgency, which I want to share with you.

First: As a nation, we have no more important business than stopping the flood of outside money in our elections, as enabled by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Unprecedented amounts of cash are being spent by anonymous, unaccountable front groups trying to influence our vote. Mostly we have no idea who is financing these shadowy organizations.

Even the candidates complain about ads being bought on their behalf, over which their campaigns apparently have no control.

This is dangerously distorting the democratic process. The good news is that grassroots momentum is gathering to overturn Citizens United. Americans across the political spectrum want to bring transparency and accountability back to our elections before they become meaningless gestures based on deceptive anonymous ads rather than real information.

Second: As members of the world community, we need to kick the U.S. into gear as a global leader in mitigating the effects of climate change.

A United Nations panel has just released the most alarming report yet on the threat in our century if we don’t act purposefully to respond to this challenge.

We have a dauntingly limited amount of time to avert irreversible catastrophic change. If we do nothing, our children and grandchildren will inhabit a world unrecognizable from ours of today.

It¹s our highest responsibility to make the incoming Congress creatively address climate change. We can and must summon America’s ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit to bring about a carbon-neutral economy for a brighter, more sustainable future.

As a state: If we deal with these two priorities, I believe we’ll also have solved many of Wisconsin’s current problems.

Thomas R. Smith, River Falls

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Government gridlock

To the Editor:

A couple of my dear relatives voted Republican this year because they wanted to stop President Obama’s “socialist” agenda. Although I don’t agree with their description of our president’s agenda, their vote made sense. Given now the majority of Republicans in the House and Senate, it might indeed be difficult for President Obama to do anything meaningful for the rest of his term. Since I am fed up with government gridlock, I voted for the Democrats, hoping that our president might thus be surrounded by more people willing to work with him. Given my concerns, my vote also made sense. What did not make sense to me, was the number of people across the nation who, though fed up with government gridlock, still voted for Republicans to represent them in Washington, D.C. Facing the prospect of at least two more years of government gridlock, we have little reason to complain. We’ve simply gotten that for which we’ve asked with our votes.

David Almlie, Town of Somerset

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Submit a letter

The New Richmond News wishes to serve as a forum for the exchange of opinion. We encourage readers to write letters to the editor adhering to the following guidelines:

-- Letters should be as brief as possible, preferably fewer than 500 words.

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-- A letter from a group must be signed by the person who actually wrote it.

-- For their protection, letter writers will be contacted to confirm the authenticity of their letters.

-- Letters will be edited for style, length and libel requirements.

Letters may be emailed to nrneditor@rivertowns.net no later than noon Monday for publication. For more information, call Editor Micheal Foley at 715-243-7767 ext. 241.

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