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Letters to the editor: Drunk driving is a choice

Drunk driving is a choice

Editor's note: This letter was originally posted to the author's Facebook page and shared with the New Richmond Police Department. The letter is published here with the author's permission.

Dear Drunk Driver,

Right now you're in the St. Croix County Jail, where the weight of a likely hangover and the reality of where you are and what you face are beginning to bear down on you.

The details of what brought you to this point are no doubt fuzzy, so let me bring some clarity (although I wasn't even there).

Last night you could have killed my family.

What began as a quick phone call to let me know they were on their way home ended abruptly when my husband told me with alarm that someone was careening across the highway, and he had to call 911.

For the following 25 minutes I paced the floors of our house, fearing that something awful had happened to my husband and son. And it almost did. For 25 minutes I had no idea if my family was safe. And they almost weren't.

When you came barreling onto the highway, you just missed crashing headlong into the passenger's side of my husband's car, where our son sat. You then swerved into a light pole, which fell into the oncoming lane, and drove into the New Richmond Wal-Mart parking lot in an effort to elude my husband, who was now following you while on the phone with dispatch.

For 25 minutes, I didn't know they were safe because he had to follow you, stay on the phone, and fill out a police report. When my husband was finally able to call me, I broke down in tears, shaking and terrified by what had almost happened. He was the one who had to calm me down, despite the fact that he had gone through all of this chaos.

Driving drunk is a choice—a choice that puts families at risk. Husbands, wives, sons, daughters; every vehicle on the road carries someone who is loved, who would be missed, whose loss would shatter another.

You put so many at risk through your recklessness. I don't know you, and never will, but I hope the next time you have the opportunity to get behind the wheel, you will think of all the lives you take in your hands, and consider the weight of that responsibility.

Today I am grateful that my son still gets to celebrate his ninth birthday in a few weeks, that I slept beside my husband last night, and that we have a weekend to look forward to together. All of it could have vanished in a second at your hands.

Michelle Reed


Do the work that's needed

To the Editor:

A couple of Sunday's ago, I read two articles in the Eau Claire Leader about four new Republican Assembly representatives heading to Madison and one Democratic Assembly who lost his re-election bid.

The two articles lead me to believe there isn't a large difference in the list of legislative priorities between the Democrats and Republicans.

One article titled, "Trempealeau's Danou leaves Capitol with unfinished business."

Democrat Rep. Chris Danou, who lost his Assembly seat after eight years, said his top priorities when first elected in 2008 were to address declining support for rural schools and invest in things that improve rural quality of life, such as roads, libraries, parks, recreational areas and high-speed internet.

The other article was titled "The new GOP 4: Looking out for west-central Wisconsin."

The foursome is made up of representatives Rob Summerfield of Bloomer, Treig Pronschinske of Mondovi, Shannon Zimmerman of River Falls and Rob Stafsholt of New Richmond.

In the article, Pronschinske of Mondovi, who upset Danou, said his priorities in the Assembly include improving "rural education, transportation, and access to broadband and good cell service ..."

In addition, he noted stagnant or declining populations have reduced the tax base and this has put "stress on local governments by limiting funding available for schools, roads and other essential services."

I didn't see much difference between Danou's 2009 wish list and Pronschinske's 2017 wish list.

What was needed eight years ago still needs to be done. Apparently, Republicans were too busy chasing the mythical Bigfoot of voter fraud, disparaging public workers, dismantling public education and replacing all things progressive with TEA Party ideology.

Perhaps Pronschinske and his fellow freshman Republicans can use their list of priorities to guide their votes and educate their legislative leaders on the real priorities of rural Wisconsin. After all, none of the four Republicans mentioned anything about the need for legislation related to transgender bathrooms, drug testing high school students or unemployed people or making it harder for Wisconsin citizens to vote.

I encourage these new representatives to actually consider the interests of western

Wisconsinites instead of the big-money interests. Don't let yourself be held up by the strings of the out-of-state puppeteers. Stand up for us and use your own legs and backbone for support. Remember, you are not in Madison to be a passive lapdog for the future, political aspirations of your party bosses.

James P. Nelson

Richmond Township

Not fit to be president

To the Editor:

Donald Trump, a man of many words ... well a man of many racist, sexist, and homophobic words.

On Jan. 11, 2017, Mr. Trump was questioned by CNN. Instead of answering the questions to the best of his abilities Trump decided to say, "Not you, your organization is terrible."

Hearing Trump say that is like a five-year-old ignoring their mother because she wouldn't let them have cookies. It's childish and irresponsible.

Throughout Trump's entire campaign there have been rumors and videos of his racist, sexist, and homophobic words. For example, on Feb. 12, 2016, when asked about his response to the president of Mexico refusing to pay for the wall Trump simply yelled, "The wall just got 10 feet higher!" The supporters sitting behind him threw up their signs with enthusiasm while others applauded his heinous comment.

But why stop there with "fake news?"

Back in 2005 while Trump was on a bus to an event, he and his buddies laughed and joked about grabbing a woman by the genitals without her permission. Because, "When you are a star you can do anything."

More famous words from Donald J. Trump.

Let's not forget about all those sexual assault claims from his wife and the 13-year-old Jane Doe, or what he did to Miss Universe. You know, calling her "Miss Piggy" and forcing her to work out while reporters and journalists recorded her, humiliating her.

It's pretty clear that the president-elect doesn't know how to play nice and that he has no boundaries.

Maybe sexually assaulting woman, making fun of disabled reporters, and claiming that anything bad that has ever been reported or written about you is all just fake news and propaganda is all

just part of being a great president.

Who knows? Maybe one day Brock Turner could be president.

Kyara Miller

New Richmond

Church, not politics

To the Editor:

Where does the line get drawn when it comes to the separation of church and state?

I am a average Christian man who believes in helping others and doing things for my community, but lately I have attended several different churches and have found that the message coming from the pulpit were not the teachings of the Bible— they were more like an ad for who to vote for and why they are a good candidate.

I am not happy that churches are turning into talking points for political endorsements. That's not why they are in existence. They are here to educate the teachings of God to those who believe. Recently, I was in St. Paul at a very beautiful church probably worth millions of dollars and yet a few blocks away there were two homeless people asking for money on the corner.

Isn't that what the church should be reaching out to?

Not political figures.

If we turn on the television we are exposed to (The Ministry) pastors like Benny Hinn, Rev. Joseph Price, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen—all of whom are multi-millionaires—continue to collect tons of cash while making a mockery out of religion.

I ask of all the religious leaders to go back to teaching the things that people need—love, caring, helping your neighbors, taking care of your families.

These are the things that need to be promoted in the sanctuary—not who we should be voting for.

Mark Struble

Star Prairie

Concerned Citizen of SCC

Get involved

To the Editor:

I am a concerned citizen of St. Croix County.

I own a modest home and my property taxes went up over $500 this year.

So I thought I would monitor more closely what my local elected officials are doing to justify this increase. I watched the video of the St. Croix County Board Meeting of Jan. 3, 2017.

I became particularly alarmed when board Supervisor Roy Sjoberg asked the county board to consider applying a "Living Wage Policy" in St Croix County, as well as adding an agenda item to review/vote to turn St. Croix County into a sanctuary county.

This leads to bigger government, anarchy and higher taxes for all.

I urge each resident of St Croix County to duplicate what I have done. Research/Google What does Living a Wage mean? What constitutes a Sanctuary County? (U.S. Code § 1324, Bringing in and harboring certain aliens).

Then visit the St. Croix County website:

Click on "County Board" tab for a list of meetings as well as past meetings to listen and watch. Call your elected county board district supervisor and voice your concerns.

Unsure about who is your supervisor?

A territory map is available on the website to help you determine who represents you.

It's your money. Get involved.

Sere' Leber

New Richmond

Drain on 'their society'

To the Editor:

The number one reason Obamacare has been such a hot topic is because our elected Congressional representatives have to personally pay a percentage for health care and a lot of them don't like that.

Their wages and fringes aren't enough; the very thought of them having to be treated like regular taxpayers is wrong in their minds.

Before you get sucked into their thought of unfairness, think about the citizens that couldn't get health care because of pre-existence conditions, age, and other challenges of life. Having young adults covered under the parent's insurance until they were 26 was put in there for Congress so their children were covered at the taxpayers' expense—that part they did like.

Don't forget about the farmer that was paying $2,500 per-month with a $13,000 deductible with $25,000 out-of-pocket in-network and $48,000 out-of-network per-year, or the contractor that was paying $6,000 per-month health care premium before the changes.

Look around before you start complaining how much you are paying. Some people are just trying to make it, while others are spending their time on earth blaming everything on everyone else while taking advantage of every possible subsidy or tax loophole to avoid paying any taxes because they feel they're special.

The same ones are using every resource possible to make sure if they do get sick someone else will pay for their medical expenses.

Just remember the ones that are trying to dismantle Obamacare will be coming after veterans, Social Security and Medicare next.

If you have been listening, there isn't any talk of improving any social program, just dismantling. In their minds, the old, the young and the weak are a drain on "their society."

Tony R Huppert

Spring Valley

Are Christian churches bowing to Islam?

To the Editor:

St. Pat's Church sponsored a fake "town hall" meeting to "listen" to points concerning the sponsorship of refugee resettlement project.

I listened to seven representatives from seven churches in the area belittle and insult the faith and practices of what, I believe, was a Christian audience.

I watched as presenters used the Delphi method of crowd manipulation to control the direction of the meeting by controlling any opportunity for comments that may have been oppositional to the project.

I came to the realization all these denominations of churches colluded in a united front with no intention of "listening" to the concerns of the community ... even when those concerns stemmed from economic, safety and cultural impact.

I question ... how far are the churches willing to go?

First, intimidation and creation of fear (police presence)? Are these "Christian" churches willing to sacrifice their doctrine in order to appease their own desire of "world order?" Are the clergy in Hudson preparing to bow down to Islam? Will reading the Koran or Islamic-based music become part of an "inclusive" worship service? Are the church leaders willing to allow their facilities to be used for a mosque as part of their "good works?" Are there plans to convert part of church into a mosque?

In the U.S., more than 50 churches, including the Washington National Cathedral, hold Koran readings.

Do mosques allow Christian services to be held? Is there any reading of the Christian liturgy in mosques?

How is it then that so few Christian leaders have raised their voices against the unprecedented attack on Christian beliefs in this country?

All references to Christianity have been removed for most public and some private facilities.

1 Peter 2:1 ... Christians, are you willing to welcome the wolf in sheep's clothing into your flock?

Dianne Joachim

New Richmond