Will we hear cries for mercy?


On Sunday morning, the congregation heard the cries of a blind beggar named Bartimaeus in Mark's gospel. Learning that Jesus was among the crowd, Bartimaeus shouted, "Have mercy on me!" People in the crowd told him to quiet down.

Would you have prevented Jesus from hearing the cry of Bartimaeus? Have you ever wished that hurting people would shut up, quit shouting that black lives matter? Tired of hearing about people whose gender identity is changed and should be honored? Bartimaeus is not fiction. He is real among us, calling out, "Have mercy" to anyone who will listen. Will we hear and respond or seek to silence these needful ones?

A throng of thousands, men women and children, are approaching our southern U.S. border on foot, fleeing rampant violence in their home countries of Central America. They cry out like Bartimaeus, "Have mercy!" Some of our most powerful national leaders characterize these families as dangerous criminals. Without proof, they claim ISIS is among them. Truth be told, much of the desperation these refugees have suffered is the result of U.S. policies aimed towards destabilizing local governments and making huge profits for American corporations. We are, in part, to blame for the desperation these refugees face. But if the powerful among us have their way, they will not be welcome here.

Look at Jesus. In the large throng he stops, listens and hears the cry of a blind man shouting "Have mercy on me!" Jesus finds blind Bartimaeus and asks, "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus' mercy has no limit. Bartimaeus pleads, "Let me see again!" And in response, mercy pours out, and his plea is answered.

The question facing you and me in our time is simply this. Will we hear cries for mercy and will we respond with compassion?

Harlen Menk


Reproductive Health Services


Pierce County Reproductive Health Services, located on South Wasson Lane in River Falls, provides safe, skilled, confidential, respectful, non-judgmental, unbiased reproductive health care to women-and men-in our community.

A person seeking health care on a free or sliding-scale basis may receive a physical exam, screening and treatment for STDs, breast or cervical cancer screening, UTI, pregnancy testing, pre-conception counseling, emergency contraception, prenatal-care coordination and other services. Family planning is an important part of reproductive health-the licensed medical professionals at PCRHS provide all medically accepted forms of birth control, plus natural-family planning counseling.

This facility benefits all of us through preventing unintended pregnancies, improving maternal health and preventing, diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted diseases.

Maureen Ash

Town of River Falls

Online portal is discrimination


Because we don't have a Pierce County Herald office in Ellsworth anymore I drove to River Falls to place a thank you ad in the Herald after my husband, Gary, passed away. I was told I would have to do this online. I don't want to do this online and give them my credit card information.

I believe this is a form of discrimination.

Not everyone has internet or wants to use their internet this way. I would think management would be anxious to get business any way that is convenient for the person wanting to place an ad. I would think they would want to make it convenient for longtime subscribers to be able to place ads as easily as possible.

I just got my notice that my subscription will expire soon. After 53 years it may just stay expired.

Carol Gilbertson


Voting is done


I apologize for being so late. Voting is done. Who was elected, why, both for who and why even vote? Congratulations if you did because that's what freedom of choice and caring is all about.

Did you think to research, check qualifications? If you did, I applaud you; if not, don't complain.

You see a veteran, apologize, lower your head. If you love freedom and our country, apologize but you made the choice.

Think, maybe next time. Been there, it's not easy to put your name on a ballot. No regrets.

Myrna Larrabee


Former Ellsworth Village Board trustee, Pierce County Board, Pierce Pepin Cooperative