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Letters to the Editor

Consider the St. Croix Health Center

TO THE EDITOR

The Fund to Benefit the St. Croix Health and Rehabilitation Center is a group committed to making life at the St. Croix Health Center as much like home as possible. Thanks to the support of St. Croix County residents in two separate referenda, we have a beautiful new facility that now includes assisted living, a memory care unit, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation center.

One of the amenities funded through our group was a therapy pool with a lift chair, open not just to the residents, but any in the community. Our group is raising funds for additional exercise machines, teaching mannequins for staff training, and a larger secure outdoor exercise area for memory care patients.

There are certain amenities, however, still of interest and desired for the comfort and well-being of our residents such as an aquarium, game tables, and enhanced landscaping and walking areas.

Long term, committed staff live up to their motto, "Our residents don't live in a facility....we work in their home." While voters supported the basics with their tax dollars, to remain fiscally responsible as a county facility, we need your help to enhance the quality of life for our residents.

Any donations made to Fund to Benefit, under the umbrella of the New Richmond Area Community Foundation, are tax exempt. If you can help make this a special Christmas for our residents, visit our Facebook page at "Fund to Benefit St. Croix Health Center" or contact Lisa Leahy or Mary Wienke at the St. Croix Health Center for more information. We greatly appreciate the wonderful support we have received from our community to date! This home is our home, not meant for the rich and famous, but for the rest of us, if we need it.

Pat Jonas, Chair

Kim Dupre, Publicity

Fund To Benefit the St. Croix Health and Rehabilitation Center of New Richmond Area Community Foundation

A massive give-away to the rich

TO THE EDITOR

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that the GOP tax "reform" bill in its House and Senate versions is basically a massive give-away to the richest Americans at the expense of everyone else.

Impervious to the warnings voiced by hundreds of economists, educators, health care professionals, and advocates for children and the poor, the Republican-controlled Congress appears hell-bent on ramming through a bill of potentially disastrous consequences that most of our representatives and senators will not even have read.

This is bad enough in itself, but even worse is the calculating animosity driving it. Stephen Moore of the conservative Heritage Foundation, President Trump's economic advisor, has approvingly called the tax bill "death to Democrats." Its provisions are intentionally designed to

hurt more liberal areas of the country.

Moore says the tax cuts "go after state and local taxes, which weakens public employee unions. They go after university endowments, and universities have become play pens of the left. And getting rid of the mandate is to eventually dismantle Obamacare."

I would like to know when we stopped being "one nation indivisible" and when it became OK for one party to collectively punish the constituency that didn't vote for it. Under the 1949 Geneva Convention, collective punishment of an enemy is a war crime. How is the GOP's collective punishment of Democratic constituencies not a war crime against the American people?

In his Second Inaugural Address, an earlier Republican President spoke of "binding up the nation's wounds, with malice toward none, with charity for all." Our current President instead appears dedicated to tearing our wounded country apart.

GOP, the season of traditional "good will" and generosity toward others is upon us. Look into your hearts. Is this cruel new America the country you want and claim to love?

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

Vote for Jarchow

TO THE EDITOR

Let me tell you why it is important for your readers to get out and vote on Dec. 19 for Rep. Adam Jarchow to fill Sheila Harsdorf's open Senate seat.

I know from personal experience that Adam gets things done. He is hard-working and full of

passion for helping the citizens of his district. He is a great listener, a problem-solver, and is

very much in touch with what is on the minds of his constituents.

My family struggled in the courts for over 10 years to fight for our property rights. We kept

losing our battles because the laws, as written, were not strong enough or clear enough to

protect our property rights. After losing our case at the United States Supreme Court last June,

Adam immediately sprang into action to fix the laws in Wisconsin. Adam Jarchow introduced

legislation last summer known as the "Homeowners Bill of Rights." It passed the Senate and

Assembly with bi-partisan support in early November, and Gov. Walker signed it into law on Nov. 27. It still amazes me that Adam was able to get this legislation passed in less than four months. Like I said, he gets things done!

Since he was first elected to the Assembly in 2014 to represent the 28th District, Adam has had a dozen of his bills passed into law. He is not afraid to stick his neck out, and is willing to take on

the hard issues.

The "off-cycle" election in December to pick the Republican candidate is a bit unusual, and perhaps is why it is so important for people to get out and vote on Dec. 19. While Adam Jarchow's opponent, Shannon Zimmerman, is doing a great job in the Assembly, he does not

have the necessary experience and, to-date, has not had any bills passed.

If you want to make sure your property rights are protected, and you want great representation

by an energetic, passionate legislator, you will vote for Adam Jarchow for Senate, and leave

Shannon Zimmerman in the Assembly. These two, together, make a great team for this district.

Donna Murr

Eau Claire

Hudson summer resident

Money out of politics

TO THE EDITOR

In 2010, U.S. Supreme Court decided to grant organizations like unions, nonprofits, corporations, and other artificial entities, the constitutional rights that had been reserved for ordinary Americans. This decision was referred to as "Citizens United."

As a result of this ruling, big organizations with large amounts of money have been allowed to act like individual citizens and donate money (considered freedom of speech) to our politics. The consequence of this ruling is that the U.S. now has extended political campaigns with lots of money donated by large organizations in order to buy campaign advertising, make phone calls and deliver mailings to influence the vote. This is occurring within all political parties. How can the contributions of an individual American voter compete with the millions of dollars donated by these organizations? Is the individual American's voice even being heard?

In order to get rid of this Supreme Court decision, we must pursue an amendment to clarify what "We the People" and "Free Speech" mean in the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment would specifically define who is considered "We The People" and clearly state that money is not part of free speech as defined in our Constitution. A nonpartisan group called United to Amend has been working nationwide to initiate the Amendment process. Go to Wisconsin@unitedtoamend.org or call 608-316-1792.

St. Croix County has now authorized a Referendum so voters can decide for themselves whether they support having corporations, unions, nonprofits or other artificial entities considered human beings and whether money is freedom of speech. If passed, this will be a first step toward seeking an Amendment to this part of the U.S. Constitution. Nationwide, over 700 communities and 18 state legislatures have passed this resolution to amend. The Resolution will appear on the April 10, 2018 ballot.

Deborah Monicken

North Hudson

Children and abuse

TO THE EDITOR

I am too young to speak for myself. My dad has abused us. He is so normal in public situations that no one would believe what he does at home. If my mom and sister were to say what he does to us, you would think they were mentally ill, but they are telling the truth.

How do we get the court system to trust the words of the deeds hidden at home? How do we get the Guardian Ad Litems to trust the words that seem totally unbelievable, but in truth, happen?

The trauma the children go through is horrendous when the legal system grants 50/50 placement. Abusers should not get the automatic benefit of 50/50. With the severe abuse, sometimes the placement should only be for the abuser to get professionally supervised visitation. This allows for much less trauma for everyone. When a child is made to go back to the abuser, the trauma they experience goes on far longer than the time period they have with that parent.

Everyone else suffers — the child and the parent who has to deal with the fallout of that encounter that lasts for days and sometimes weeks — and they get revictimized again for having to spend time with the abuser. These victims, adult and child alike, need a personal advocate, not more condemnation from the legal system. When you see someone that seems to be hurting in an abusive relationship, they probably are. Are you a safe enough person for them to tell the truth to?

Darlene Bochman

Menomonie

Tenth District Senate race

TO THE EDITOR

I am writing this in regard to the upcoming 10th District Senate race. Over the years Sheila Harsdorf has done a great job in representing the 10th. District. She has now moved on to a new challenge. Good Luck Sheila!

It's time to select a new 10th District Senator. I am voting for Adam Jarchow who has proven that he stands behind our district and for its continued improvement of our communities and heritage.

He has been instrumental in helping to create new jobs, bringing reality back to budgeting for the future, education as well as tackling waste and fraud. He is a sportsman and has many friends in the sportsman community as well as being a great family man who loves his community. His experience in law as well as the Assembly only add to his depth of understanding rural issues and how to get things done.

Bill Blair

Osceola

Former Polk County Treasurer

Another funding source for broadband untouched

TO THE EDITOR

I took it upon myself to do a little research relating to telecommunications taxation in

Wisconsin. The best place to start was the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. One thing I knew for certain is on my Internet Service Provider (ISP) monthly bill is a Universal Service Fund tax from the state. While this tax is mandated from the state for telecom service providers, they are allowed to charge back this tax on their monthly bills to us. It reminds me of the old saying; "Corporations don't pay taxes, people do."

Calls to the DOR lead me to numerous call transfers, emails, and playing "telephone tag" for

information. I wanted to know the process for local assessment and state assessment. All of this is intertwined with my support of Dunn County's commitment to better broadband service for its rural citizens. When it comes to broadband in the rural areas of this state, we are second class citizens.

Did you know that telecom/telephone taxes at the state level go into the general fund? Those of you not familiar with accounting term, it's called General Purpose Revenue (GPR) This means that the state can use this funding for whatever is needed and it is not dedicated to any one purpose. The amount for Fiscal Year 2016 for the telephone companies/ISPs was $76.5 million! I asked the DOR person why is this money going into a general fund when it is known that broadband service in the rural areas of this state is a huge problem and what is needed to change the current policy.

While the State Broadband Office supplies grants through the Public Service Commission (PSC)

and works with telecommunications vendors operating in this state, the funding level doesn't meet the need. The solution seems simple enough. The rural areas of this state need to contact their elected officials they sent to Madison and tell them to create a bill addressing this situation. These general fund dollars need to go to a segregated fund dedicated to the state's broadband problem. Some of our current elected officials we sent to Madison are up for reelection in 2018 and some of them stated that broadband was a key part of their platform when they ran for office in 2016.

Terry Nichols

Town of Colfax, Dunn County

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