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Letters to the Editor

Learning so much

To the Editor:

This past January I was able to attend the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention at the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.

During my time in the Wisconsin Dells, I gained 39 sisters. Yes, 39!

During the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention, I was able to compete for the title of Wisconsin's Fairest of the Fairs with 38 representatives from counties in Wisconsin. Even though the outcome wasn't what I initially hoped, I still feel as if I came out on top as I grew in so many ways. I feel more confident, I learned so much about the fair and agriculture industry, and I gained some amazing friends that I will forever call my 'Fairest Sisters.'

Thank you to everyone for the amazing love and support; if you would have asked me a year ago to do what I accomplished these past few days I would have told you were crazy and that it wouldn't be possible, but I look at myself now and can't believe what I did achieve.

I spoke on stage in front of hundreds of people, sang Jackson June Carter and Johnny Cash on stage, and accomplished so much more. I couldn't be happier with the outcome of this competition and can't wait to continue to represent St. Croix County as your 2016-17 Fairest of the Fair.

We recognize the following for their donations toward the auction basket that was sold at the Wisconsin Association of Fairs: Chickadee Do-Da; B. Dalton Liquor; The Hazelnut; Haffner Construction; Shelby Weiske; Robin and Colleen Haffner; John F. Ball; and Mary Jensen.

We also recognize the following St. Croix County Fairest of the Fair program sponsors: St. Croix County Fair Board; Wicked Stitch Embroidery; Beth's Jewelry Shop; Gregerson Ace Hardware; and Haffner Construction.

Annamari Haffner

2016-17 St. Croix County Fairest Fair of the Fair

National prayer breakfast

To the Editor:

I can't help to be saddened by the suffering people have to endure throughout the world.

The suffering in war torn countries, families being separated, and all the death and destruction that exist can make even a heartless person sad.

Then there are natural disasters destroying communities by earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, causing concerns for everyone on the planet.

With all these concerns plus others, the President of the United States of America, The Commander and Chief to the Armed Forces, the Leader of the Free World, instructs a room of religious leaders to focus their prayers, not for peace in the world, not for cures of deadly diseases, not for the safety of our Armed Forces, but to 'Mock the Power of Prayer' by making a joke of it, as the headlines read: "Trump Mocks Schwarzenegger, Prays for 'Apprentice' Ratings at Breakfast with Religious Leaders."

I find it interesting how a person's true personality and priorities can be revealed at a simple breakfast meeting.

One's priorities are based on the person you truly are.

Tony Huppert

Spring Valley

Pure evil

To the Editor:

There has been much discussion as to whom the greatest threat to the United States is. First to mind is ISIS and next comes a list of countries to include Iran, China, Russia, etc. None of them are right. The greatest threat to the United States is Planned Parenthood.

Here is an organization that claims to exist to help people, specifically women. They provide limited health care services which are already available from legitimate health care groups and DHS, especially since ObamaCare was implemented. Years ago they convinced Democrats they deserved hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, which they still receive annually, of which a portion is then contributed back to liberal politicians to help them get elected and re-elected. Sort of a legal bribery, if you will.

In the name of health care and free choice, Planned Parenthood exists to kill babies. Their primary function is to perform abortions and they make a ton of money doing so. There has been no person, no group and no war that has killed more babies than Planned Parenthood. Their purpose is pure evil.

We continue to have thousands of people, especially women marching for pro-choice, unless you mention our children's education and all of a sudden "choice" becomes a nasty word. We have Black Lives Matter screaming how black lives matter while completely ignoring the hundred-fold of black lives snuffed out each year by other blacks.

We have riots, aka protests, supporting legal and illegal immigration because some people believe foreigners have more rights than Americans. Have you not seen what the many tens of thousands of radical Muslims do to people who disagree with them? They kill them. Christians are routinely beheaded. Women have fewer rights than goats. Gays are treated even worse. It is almost as repulsive as what Planned Parenthood does to our babies.

America needs to get her conscience back again, before it's too late.

Thomas Wulf

New Richmond

To the Editor:

This week there were rumblings about Congressman Sean Duffy wanting to run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Before Mr. Duffy considers such a run he should take a look at the area he already represents.

Mr. Duffy's district has been in the lower percentage of full-time employees with unemployment standing at 5-6.9 percent with the exception of St. Croix County.

The reality of St. Croix County, however, is most of the employed workers travel every day to Minnesota to get paid a decent wage or to be employed at all.

Mr. Duffy's district also is also in the bottom 20 percent for new business creation. While a small portion of this is not a direct blame to the congressman, there is a majority of the blame on him and his continual budget cuts to important issues that companies are looking for prior to establishing themselves in a community.

Allow me to elaborate on some of them.

Budget cuts have been made to schools throughout his district.

Unfortunately, by these actions parents have had to spend more money on school supplies for their children putting more stress on their family budgets. The budget cuts have also made it difficult on the schools. Many wonderful teachers have left a district in hopes of better opportunities.

With the world becoming more and more technical, employers are looking for

people that have more than a High School diploma. Those who have been afforded a college education, often graduate and move on to work in another state that has better wages and opportunities.

Employers are also looking for the best high speed internet service to operate their businesses. If you have ever been to Northern Wisconsin, you will find that they are far behind when it comes to internet speed and providers. Again, this is something that Congressman Duffy has been asked to address by his constituents.

Wireless providers is another item that is slowing growth in the north.

Coverage is spotty, at best, and the need for a few more well-placed cellular towers would help draw employers and allow their businesses to run more effectively and efficiently.

Another failure that is looking Mr. Duffy in the face is the shape of the roadways and bridges in his district. There have been many votes that have passed through Congress that take money away from the highway funds. If people in Congressman Duffy's district are ever going to have a chance to have new businesses show up and create jobs, there needs to be a much better infrastructure.

Senior citizens in the state of Wisconsin struggle to balance between eating meals and paying for their prescription drugs. They are continually threatened with cuts to Medicare and Social Security, both of which Congressman Duffy had voted to cut funding for.

Let's put some effort into the position you temporarily hold. Stop voting on cutting school funding, improve the roadways and bridges in your area, make the area more appealing to companies so that they want to do business in Wisconsin, and most of all, start representing the people and not special interest groups.

Mark A. Struble

Star Prairie

A valuable program

To the Editor:

In response to the article by Steve Massey on the Opinion Page of the New Richmond News, Feb. 9. 2017, I write this response.

Community voices could not have a finer example of what it takes to "Build Community" than by the Programs For Change Westfields. The mission statement speaks volumes.

This is my story:

During the years between 1992-96 the State of Wisconsin Legislature provided $16,000. to each of the state's 16 technical colleges to put in place an AODA prevention program for the very reasons Mr. Massey outlined so well in his article. The technical college instructors were reporting problems with heavy alcohol consumption by students. The faculty requested help dealing with the problems in the classroom adequately/appropriately. The Wisconsin statewide statistics were very negative; next to Alaska's statistics, Wisconsin held second place in overall alcohol consumption rates with resulting campus problems. If the 16 technical colleges did not implement an Alcohol and Other Drug (AODA) prevention program they would lose state aid funding.

I was invited to apply for the position after more than 100 applicants were interviewed. I had an advanced degree, years of working in the medical profession and experience as an AODA career counselor in the St. Croix Falls inpatient treatment center. I also had personal experiences with an individual who was chemically dependent and lost with no hope in sight of recovery.

As a mother/parent who rarely had alcohol in the home, what I knew about alcoholism you could put in a thimble; all my years of medical training did not provide education about this insidious, terrible disease. My motivation to understand led me to request attending a 21-day treatment program as part of my master's degree. I was quickly identified as a strange imposter by the other patients but quickly gained acceptance and understanding for my motives. My thimble needed to be filled.

At the end of my first year serving as the AODA prevention program manager to the four WITC campuses (Ashland, Superior, Rice Lake and New Richmond), it was very clear that that our program would never succeed for so little money invested. I requested and received permission to write for a federal grant to solve our fiscal dilemma. The U.S. Department of Education was offering request for proposals. Our first grant was hugely successful. The reluctant administrators became interested, but apprehensive because AODA was not a welcome subject to spend money on.

By the end of the third year into the first grant we did community building between all four campuses via the college health nurses on each campus. From this small beginning WITC received follow-up grant money each year, and a National Exemplary Status award at the end of our fifth year. The only technical college in the U.S. to receive this rating; all other awardees went to four-year universities. Needless to say, the media paid very little attention. Each of the four college health nurses received more salary, and more prestige; one has gone on to complete a Master's Degree.

Our award-winning program was to use a social ecological approach and incorporate all health- and safety-mandated programs under one big umbrella called The Wellness Program.

This included the AODA prevention program but took the limelight off just one aspect of health and wellness. These mandates included OSHA stringent requirements which carried heavy fines if not implemented adequately, infection control, safety issues, and others.

The four college health nurses were very welcome on the administration and faculty planning teams.

Whether WITC campuses still have an active AODA/Wellness program now, I do not know since I have long been retired. But the foundation was laid and bridges were being built.

My husband, Dr. Milton Kier, is a graduate of Michigan State University and a firm believer in lifelong learning. Together we stand ready to meet you, support and encourage you in any way we can to help you build bridges to meet the worthwhile goal of your mission statement.

Donna Kier

New Richmond

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