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Letters to the Editor: May 12, 2016

Appreciation for all participants

To the Editor:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Wisconsin would like to thank the New Richmond community for supporting the “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” event benefitting the 10 matches and five children on the waiting list in NR. With your sponsorships, prizes for raffles and 39 bowlers participating, we exceeded our fundraising goal reaching a total of $10,438 in order to serve children facing adversity.

We would like to extend a special thank you to Jamie Gibson, Joyce, Hannah and the rest of the crew at Gibby’s Lanes for donating the venue and rentals for this local event. Without Gibby’s extra effort to accommodate, this event would not have been possible.

Thank you so much also to the nine local teams that created a jovial atmosphere for the Hollywood-themed event, including top fundraising individual Sherryl Peterson on the Alto team, two teams from Ellicott Dredge Technologies, WESTconsin Credit Union, costume contest winners RCU, Bremer Bank, Bernard’s, and NRHS Alternative Learning Center students and teachers who collected more than 90 pledges from local donors.

We are also grateful for our generous sponsors who helped enable the event, including PMC Global Solutions, Kiwanis of New Richmond, Hudson Staffing, County Materials, Kristo Orthodontics, Freedom Valu Center, Bremer Bank, WESTconsin Credit Union and Royal Credit Union.

Finally, thank you to all the businesses who donated prizes for our raffle, including Two Fish Thrift Store, Barley Johns, 45th Parallel and many, many more. Because of your support, children will have the adult mentors they need in order to reach their highest potential, making a lasting impact on their lives as well as the fabric of the New Richmond community.

Heidi Herron

Regional Director of Community Development

Big Brothers Big Sisters


Abdication of civic duty

To the Editor:

Ninety percent of respondents to a recent poll felt that genetically modified organisms that end up in our food should be labeled as such.

Eighty percent felt that foods containing DNA should be so labeled. This letter isn’t about the safety of our food, it’s about ignorance. And since I consistently write on political matters it concerns political, make that civic ignorance.

I’ve watched over these last seven plus years as America’s first anti-American president has wreaked havoc on this land much like the Clint Eastwood character in his movie “High Plains Drifter.” His every move, from appointing a sheriff (attorney general) who couldn’t enforce the law, to inviting the marauders the town hired him to protect them from a barbecue has been designed to denigrate this land. He is historic not only in that he is the first president elected because of the color of his skin but also because he is the first president re-elected with an economy as damaged as the one we have experienced these last seven years in peace time. His loyal opposition has done little to counter his anti-American dictates and the electorate is unhappy with both the president’s party and the opposition party as well. While the electorate points its finger at the politicians they’ve forgotten that they, the electorate, are the ones responsible for “ hiring “ them.

Judging by the apparent selection of candidates we will be presented with this fall it looks likened are going to do it all over again. Prior to his election it didn’t take much digging to learn that our historic president was an anti-American fraud. This election we have two candidates, possibly even more flawed than Oh-Bah-Ma and we have chosen them over other candidates because one is a women (another historic) and the other a populist blowhard who is voicing our discontent with the establishment.

Ms. Clinton would be history’s only stated policy, once president, is either to pass legislation or lead the way for a constitutional amendment that would outlaw criticism of her. Can you spell monarchy? This country was founded on opposition to kings and queens who sent their opposition off to imprisonment in the north tower or to the gibbets for criticizing their royalty. The First Amendment was penned to protect the electorate from just such behavior and now we are considering electing someone with the stated intention of quashing our constitutional rights. I’ve raised the specter of a Donald Trump with Oh-Bah-Mah’s pen and phone (and penchant for disregarding the Constitution). Now let me raise that same specter of queen Hillary with pen and phone and presidential dictates and stated intention of quashing the Constitution.

On the other side we have the Austrian corporal. It is an indication of the discontent of the electorate that this intentionally politically incorrect populist has garnered the majority of the delegates necessary to propel him to the Republican nomination for president. He speaks to the electorate’s anger over the economy, the degradation of our sense of morality, our loss of status in the world and the feeling that Washington has betrayed them. That he has insulted just about every one of the left’s sacred cows only seems to have endeared him even more to the electorate. He, too, has no stated policy other than winning the nomination.

Well, at least his motto of “Make America great again “ gives us the feeling he is at least pro- America. We can’t say that about either of his potential opponents both of whom feel America and our way of life is a major problem in the world and not the reason people from foreign countries risk life and limb to reach our shores.

Point is, it was our ignorance that elected Oh-Bah-Mah that has led to this quandary. I am appalled at the lack of a sense of civic responsibility I experience when the subject of politics comes up. To begin with, it is considered impolite to discuss something that consumes more than 50 percent of the wealth our labor generates and affects us right down to the weave and color of our socks and underwear. And even when the subject is allowed to come up I either hear that “politics doesn’t affect me” or the lack of knowledge (without looking it up, what is the name of your state representative, senator, congressional representative,etc.?) indicates to me that the person doesn’t have a clue as to what they are talking about.

Winston Churchill is quoted as having said, “ The greatest argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with an average voter.”

In this age of information somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of people get what information they make political decisions with from broadcast TV ... the comic book version of the news.

We love living in the freedom and opportunity this land provides but we aren’t willing to make the effort to be informed despite the plethora of information on both the Internet and published news media. And remember the controversy over requiring showing identification when voting? It was argued that traveling 30 miles was a hardship and a deterrent to obtain a credible ID to be presented when voting?

Yet people in lands where the right to vote is brand new are willing to walk for days and risk attack and death just to cast their vote.

The percentage of our population that actually makes the effort to show up to vote is embarrassingly small. If we lose the freedoms and opportunity we so enjoy it won’t be the fault of an opportunistic politician, it will be ours because we’ve abdicated our civic duties.

Jim Schroeder

New Richmond

A great place to visit

To the Editor:

While the warm days of summer might seem like a long way away, the signs are unmistakable.

Marsh Marigolds are blooming along the Red Cedar River and the peepers are screeching in Price County. And starting last weekend, you were likely to see visitors to local streams and lakes with their fishing gear. One of those visitors could be the man who delivers the mail to my Capitol office in Madison. I remember what he said the first time I met him after I started in the State Senate. “I love it up North, it’s such a great place to visit.”

He’s right, in addition to being a great place to live, it is a great place to visit. We have updated figures showing just how important tourism is to our state’s economy, especially in the North. In the 13 counties I have the privilege to represent, over 15 percent of our workforce contributes to Wisconsin’s tourism success.

The first week in May is National Travel and Tourism Week, America’s annual salute to travel and tourism. It’s a great reminder of the benefits that visitors to our region provide. A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 232,662 visitors to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in 2015 spent $36 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 571 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $44 million. According to a recently released-report, Wisconsin’s overall tourism economy topped $19 billion in 2015.

While facts and figures tell some of the story, those of us lucky enough to share the hospitality of our neighbors and businesses know that it is not just the unmatched natural beauty of the North that draws so many to Northern Wisconsin. From the Delta Diner just up the road from my house in Delta down to Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake and over to The Pines in Mercer, hundreds of businesses run by hard-working, outgoing people make visitors feel welcome enough to come back season after season, year after year.

We are blessed to be surrounded by the Apostle Island National Lakeshore, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, tributaries and portions of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and a vital leg of the North Country Scenic Trail. This year marks the 100th year of the National Park Service. I was proud to author legislation adopted by the Senate to commemorate this anniversary. I was even more thrilled to hear from a constituent whose father had been among the thousands who came to see President Kennedy speak at the Ashland airport when he came to tour the newly-created Apostle Island National Lakeshore. Our region wouldn’t be the driving force in tourism that it is without the legacy of all those who joined in the effort to preserve these National Parks.

I’m proud to join my colleagues on the state’s Tourism Council and leaders across the North in highlighting the excellent work of those in our tourism industry. And like all of you, I’m ready for a great summer as we head to the woods, trails, lakes and streams that are so unique to an area I’m proud to call home.

Sen. Janet Bewley

25th Senate District