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Letters to the editor: Disability vote coalition; SCEMS is not the best option

Disability vote coalition


I'm writing this as a citizen and not affiliated with any political organization.

As you know Wisconsin had a very important election on April 2 for the State Supreme Court. This is the highest court in Wisconsin's system and responsible for deciding whether or not Wisconsin laws are constitutional. The purpose of this letter is to educate people of all abilities about the voting process. Everyone who is able and eligible to vote should be encouraged to participate.

The Supreme Court makes key decisions in several areas such as education, employment, and disability related issues like access to healthcare and voting rights. If an individual has a question about the candidates, they can find factual information at Click 'Get Personalized Information on Candidates and Issues."

For individuals with disabilities, Wisconsin has a very helpful disability vote coalition website and phone line. To inquire, call 1-844-347-8683 or you can visit

Ramsey Lee


Turningpoint April events


April is a busy month at Turningpoint as we raise awareness around child abuse, sexual assault and crime victims' rights. This year we are celebrating 40 years of serving our community and empowering survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Pierce and St. Croix counties. In this letter, we highlight prevention and invite the community to join us in our efforts.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. During this month we recognize the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and promote the social and emotional well-being of children. Here at Turningpoint, we provide services to children and youth who have experienced both physical and sexual abuse, as well as offering preventive education throughout Pierce and St. Croix counties.

National Crime Victim Rights' Week is April 7-13. This year's theme — Honoring Our Past and Creating Hope for the Future — encourages honor and respect toward the crime victim advocates, allied professionals, and selfless volunteers who have worked for increased rights for crime victims. The theme also invites us to look toward a future of inclusive, accessible, and innovative resources and services for all survivors.

The month of April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. We all play a role in ending violence, from modeling healthy behavior to addressing inappropriate conduct. You can help by calling out victim-blaming comments or rape jokes in person and on social media. Remind those around you that sexual assault is never the victim's fault. Believe survivors when they share their stories. Seemingly small actions like this make a critical impact.

To raise awareness, Turningpoint invites you to join us at the following family friendly, community events. This year, Hands Around the Courthouse will take place at 11:30 a.m. April 16 at the St. Croix County Government Center. This event focuses on child abuse prevention and crime victim rights. Stop by for the local food trucks, information on victim services, and a live program beginning at noon.

The annual Take Back the Night rally will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 25 at St. Bridget's Church in River Falls. This event focuses on ending sexual violence, promoting healthy sexuality and showing support for victims. Come for the pizza, creative and informative booths, and candlelight vigil.

Turningpoint staff

Pierce and St. Croix counties

SCEMS is not the best option


SCEMS has been on life support with serious staffing issues for over a decade. There was no meaningful oversite, no requirements for complete written reports, and no detailed information provided on daily staffing of the ambulances etc. The EMS commission and City Council failed in their attempts to correct the problems.

When the Hudson Hospital Health Partners offered their EMS Lakeview to the City, an option was available.

This hospital-based non profit Lakeview EMS has provided excellent dependable service to Stillwater and surrounding communities as well as St. Joseph township and Somerset for years. Lakeview provides a professionally managed service at no cost to the municipalities and charges lower rates to the patients while SCEMS is considering raising rates 80 percent. The dispatch service used by Lakeview is innovative and highly efficient. Lakeview uses a full time paramedic service. SCEMS has only four full-time staff and all the others are part-time. Trying to schedule part-time staff who work other jobs and only sign up for the shifts they want, results in major scheduling problems.

Why would the Council consider investing over $500,000 to remodel a Ward Avenue building and continue to spend over $300,000 in the budget to support a struggling part-time EMS service now that another viable Hudson-based EMS option is available? I feel continuing to spend money trying to save SCEMS is a poor use of taxpayer money and does not provide the most dependable EMS service.

The City is required to provide an EMS but they do not have to actually operate it. Hudson contracts out for legal, engineering, assessment, garbage and other services and still maintains local control.

Judy Kelly