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Letters to the Editor

The innate goodness in people


I swear that Christmas is a time when God wants to remind us of the innate goodness in people! I find myself in a state of reflection every year after we at Love Baskets distribute gifts to families that need a little help putting something under their tree for their children. We are the people (a mix of community members, The Salvation Army, and Toys for Tots) who organize this gift drive every year in the New Richmond and Somerset school districts. There are so many stories of selflessness to tell! We have people and organizations who help us year after year, without expectation of recognition, and for them we are eternally grateful. And there are new people that come on board to give us renewed energy and resources. I wish I could tell all my stories and thank each and every one of them in this letter.

What I think I'll do instead is share my thoughts on how we all need to have a purpose in life. It

particularly struck me in a few quite different ways.

First, I've always wanted to mention the quiet, but observant employees at Walmart. They keep an eye on our "Angel Trees" (snowmen this year) and make sure that they stay covered with tags of gift ideas. They also are the guardians of the Toys for Tots boxes. Kudos to Manager Heather, who cooperated so well with us and Customer Service Manager Chris, who took special interest in helping us out. As a child, I remember crabby clerks at Christmas time. I've never experienced one at Walmart!

Perhaps the most striking moments this season were the times spent with the CIP (Challenge

Incarceration Program) men and women when they came to haul those gigantic (and full) Toys for Tots boxes and the big bags of family gifts from here to there—on the trucks and off the trucks. I don't know what we would do without them! Not only did they do the job as asked, but showed organizational skills and attention to detail that was quite notable. I don't know what got them in trouble, but what I saw was a goodness that I hope, between our program and the many other community service projects they do, puts them back on the right track for when they go home. I suspect that many of them are mothers and fathers who were deeply wishing they were home with their own kids. Hopefully next year and for many years after that!

Finally, there is the dear lady at The Deerfield, Dorothy Blair, who graciously wrapped the pajamas we gave to the approximately 20 children at Grace Place. She also has made Angel Tags for us in the past. She is the ultimate of a person who looks for a purpose in her life. I sure hope that I am staying as involved as she is when I am her age! What a great lady!

To all those hundreds of people who helped us out—We hope you and yours had a very merry

Christmas! God bless and may you have a very happy New Year!

Kay Brooks for Love Baskets

New Richmond-Somerset

Hope to victims


St. Croix County is very fortunate to have Judge R. Michael Waterman in their courtroom. This week Judge Waterman very accurately recognized a domestic abuse case for what it was — domestic abuse and sexual assault. He clearly observed the victim truthfully answering intimate and very personal questions in detail and the abuser blatantly lying.

There is hope when judges recognize domestic abuse and are willing to call it what it is. This should be encouraging to any domestic abuse victim to know that there is a judge out there that will believe them — even when their story seems too bizarre to have even happened. Thank you Judge Waterman! You are a breath of fresh air and bring hope to victims!!

Thank you!

Darlene Bochman


Political indignation?


You were our chosen leaders, governors, legislators, and president. You were called to direct our states and our nation and to be our moral compass and balanced voice. In times of disarray and frustration, you donned the mantles of moral fervor and robes of justice. I watched as you named the demons among us who were the downfall of our nation.

They were the immigrants, the gays, the blacks, the Muslim, or the poor. We were to trust your word, honor of your efforts, and follow your lead. You have taken to the national stage dressed to play the role of a leader but you have no character.

Most recently, I have watched as you legitimized a sexual predator and condoned name-calling, lies, threats, and bullying in order to protect your own personal or political goals. You have dramatically changed your opinions from one day to the next. No sullied behavior has been beyond your support or legitimization if it furthered your objectives or protected your own past.

And now I hear you blaming a new demon for our national issues. It is now that fault of the press, the FBI, or an intrusive investigator. You demonstrate annoyance rather than understanding for our sick, disabled, and elderly. The most vulnerable no longer are your concern. You pursue legal grounds to justify your actions while having no moral grounding.

You were our leaders but that can no longer continue. Now when you point to a culprit and call for our indignation, I can no longer trust your judgment or believe in your accusations. I can no longer call you my leaders.

Deborah Monicken

North Hudson