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Letters to the editor: Hell bent on embracing tolerance, diversity; Time is running out

Time is running out


Time is running out for people to sign up for Affordable Health Care. The deadline for Open Enrollment is Dec. 15. Our concern is for people who don't have insurance, run into a medical emergency, and lose all they have in order to pay for their medical bills. Insurance CAN be affordable and no longer are those with pre-existing conditions shut out of the system.

Unfortunately, it has been difficult to get the word out. Funding for advertising has been reduced by 90 percent and the time period to sign up has been cut in half, so we are trying to get information to people without health insurance as best we can.

So―what problems are there besides the fact that open enrollment is only until Dec. 15?

Where can you sign up? You can either call 1-800-318-2596 for help or can go online at Better yet, if you go to, there is a listing of local people who you can call to get help for free. They can tell you if you qualify and will walk you through the signup.

They can easily help you find the best and cheapest insurance you can get, plus obtain a subsidy for you if you need it; 84 percent of the people who get coverage through ACA in Wisconsin get subsidies, and there is still money left. The less money you make, the greater the subsidy will be.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation and also a lack of information out there. Insurance can be affordable. What you can't afford is not to have it. First of all, there will be a fine next year if you don't have health insurance. More importantly, if you have even one significant medical emergency, you can potentially lose everything you have.

We strongly encourage anyone without insurance to give it a try. Check local agents, listed on will take the guess work out of the process. As an example, there is an agent in Hudson, specially trained in doing this work, that spends her entire day working with people to find affordable insurance for them. She won't turn anyone down and her services are free. There are a couple of agents who no longer have time to do it, but there ARE agents on the list who still help. If you are uninsured, be sure you get on the phone or a computer to sign up before Dec. 15. The final decision is yours. By trying, nothing is lost, and there is a lot to be gained.

Kay Brooks, New Richmond

Bev Krumm, New Richmond

Melissa Wittstock, New Richmond

Hell bent on embracing tolerance, diversity


A small but extremely aggressive and vocal group of people in the area are hell bent on convincing us and our local government that we must embrace the newly found American values of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. They are armed with the weapons of intimidation and demonization. The names we have been called and the labels they have attached to us are ones that can be found in any politically-correct playbook (Saul Alinsky — Rule 5: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon). Do they not see the hypocrisy?

Have they who shall not be named been successful in getting you to change or question the values, morals, and traditions you've held your entire life; getting you to back down and apologize for your thoughts; and/or getting you to no longer speak up in the face of danger and evil? If so, I'm telling you to go back to your foxhole and regroup. We are not experiencing some little spat on the local level. These battles are going on all over the state, our country, literally the world. Battles are won or lost at the local level.

Where I and other Citizens 4 St. Croix Valley stand on various issues is not rooted in fear but in history, fact (research, first-hand information), wisdom, and (for many) the Bible. It is difficult to debate issues when the other side relies on political correctness, feelings, emotions, and social justice (i.e. apples and oranges). Those attacking us want you to believe they know who we are, how we think, or where we stand. They know very little. Everything they say and do is spun to advance their agenda. Our aim is to educate. And warn.

Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Not lack of emotions or feelings or diversity or inclusion or tolerance. Knowledge.

Pat Sabin


EPA: What are you waiting for?


Thanks to the 2016 update of U.S. chemical policy, the EPA now has the authority to protect us from toxic chemicals. EPA proposed rules to restrict three dangerous chemicals many months ago, but the Trump administration has yet to act.

The case for action is strong: More than 300,000 workers and consumers are exposed to tricloroethylene (TCE) through both industrial processes and dry cleaning. It has been shown to cause cancer and has been linked to fetal heart malformations. Methylene chloride and N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) can be found on the shelves of our local hardware stores in paint strippers. Acute exposure to methylene chloride is responsible for at least 50 reported deaths since the 1980's. Exposure to NMP is associated with developmental harm, including increased fetal and infant mortality.

By finalizing bans on these high exposure industrial and consumer uses—in dry cleaning, vapor degreasing and paint stripping—EPA can protect thousands of workers and millions of consumers.

What are they waiting for?

Karl Hamann

Red Wing

Fear drives some


In my recent Viewpoint on this page, I shared that Citizens for the St. Croix Valley is responsible for driving curriculum change in our school district because of rumors last spring about teachers spreading "the message of Islam."

In response, they posted on their Facebook page, "I would like to thank Hudson High School for the action it took. This is not our imagination."

CFTSCV are actually thanking our schools for exclusionary measures that they initiated themselves, which are emotionally rooted in their fear and hate. Our school district should be thanked for handling matters with utmost professionalism in the face of such blatant bigotry.

Eden Penn


Buyers' remorse!


Yes folks, there are starting to be signs of remorse of working class voters who fell for Trump's pledge to replace Affordable Care Act with a healthcare system that would be better for everyone!

Well the failed healthcare plan that the Republicans presented and approved by Trump would have caused an estimated 24 million Americans to lose their healthcare, from the Congressman Budget Office. It barely failed; thanks to the Democrats and John McCain it did fail.

One thing that the failed plan did was exposed the complete hypocrisy of the Republican senators and congressmen who refused to even study the bill to see what was in it. Trump and the Republican leadership obsessed with giving billionaires another giant windfall at the expense of millions of Americans that would lose their healthcare.

We have already gone through this with the George Bush giant tax cuts that did absolutely nothing for the vast majority of Americans. One must remember that with the tax shelters, tax havens, deductions, and other tax schemas available to the wealthy, virtually none of them pay the full tax. Why do you think Trump didn't reveal what he paid in taxes? Ask yourself that.

Remember this if people don't have access to healthcare it is a virtual death sentence or an early death for a percentage of them. Classic lesson learned, inform yourself before you vote, don't listen to what they say but look at what they do. In Trump's case it was all there in (SPADES.)

Dennis Klinkhamer

Clear Lake

Air quality regulations could be eliminated


As if the Trump administration's attacks on public health and the environment weren't enough, Wisconsin Public Radio reported on Nov. 21 that the Wisconsin State Assembly is considering a bill to eliminate all of our state's air quality regulations by the end of next year.

Wisconsin regulates 293 pollutants not covered by federal law, including 94 which have been found in Wisconsin's environment. Our legislators argue that the DNR can reintroduce regulations subject to approval by the legislature. Rep. Jimmy Anderson of Fitchburg objects, "It seems that we're sweeping away the entirety of the regulations that are above the federal level and asking the DNR to re-do the work."

Sarah Barry of Clean Wisconsin explains that the extra regulations are especially important in protecting Wisconsin residents from the emissions of smaller plants not regulated by the federal government, which may have the most damaging effects on health and the environment.

This irresponsible move on the part of the Assembly may reflect an alarming trend toward what some call "air pollution denialism" now influencing government policy. Professor Robert Phalen at the University of California at Irvine has mind-bogglingly claims that "Modern air is a little too clean for optimum health." He asserts that a certain level of pollution somehow immunizes us against dirty air. This man is a current nominee for science advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Meanwhile, the American Lung Association has joined with other organizations to sue the EPA for delaying the implementation of smog standards. The EPA's manifest neglect of its mission blows holes in any argument for trusting the agency to enforce even its minimal standards.

It appears that any policy in which Wisconsin has proudly led the nation is now threatened by powerful moneyed interests with a stake in undoing our laws.

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

Secret fund for harassment victims


It has recently come to light that the United States Congress has a secret fund that it uses to compensate victims that have been sexually harassed by our elected officials. Who the heck signed us up for that?

Over the past 20 years some $17 million has been paid out to roughly 260 victims of sexual harassment perpetrated by members of Congress. The fund, set up by Congress, operates with total anonymity. Both the accused and the accusers' names cannot be revealed to the public. The American taxpayer is paying for the indiscretions of our elected officials, and we do not even have the right to know where or to who the money is paid. This is wrong on so many levels it's hard to wrap your mind around it.

How did it work? Were members of Congress each given a credit card that they could pay off up to five victims a year? Did they have to apply for the funds and demonstrate a history of deviate behavior? I heard they would rub Mazola oil all over each other and jump naked into a vat of $100 bills and what stuck to them they could keep. Whatever the method, it is time to end this and drain the swamp.

In 2011 the 175-year-old tradition of the use of Congressional pages was discontinued due to budget cuts. Insiders claim the real reason was the 72 adolescent pages that serve Congress were on the receiving end of the majority of harassment charges committed by Congress. Eliminating the temptation of pages is Washington's way of dealing with the problem. What has happened to America?

John Windolff

Town of Hudson

Harsdorf does well for herself


Congratulation to Sheila Harsdorf in her new role as Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. As a Scott Walker loyalist and rigid adherent to his pro-business, anti-health care, anti-education agenda, no one is more deserving of such a wondrous prize of political patronage. To underscore this contention, consider that Ms. Harsdorf:

• Voted to insulate lead-paint manufacturers from prosecution when their product proved hazardous to children.

• Authored and passed a motion to cut $250 million from the UW System including $7.47 million and 110 jobs in her own district.

• Opposed the expansion of BadgerCare, resulting in a loss to Wisconsin taxpayers of $360 million.

• Voted to gut Wisconsin's open government laws and block access to public records.

• Opposed a motion that would have allowed Wisconsin residents to refinance their student loans at a lower rate.

While these actions might create some doubt as to just how well Ms. Harsdorf did for her constituents, there can be absolutely no ambiguity in determining that she sure did quite well for herself.

Anthony Pedriana

River Falls