Congrats HHS girls hockey team

TO THE EDITOR

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Hudson High School girls hockey team on a remarkable hockey season this year. This team has demonstrated teamwork, perseverance, determination and a positive attitude throughout their entire season.

After a slow start to the season, the girls team joined the Hudson High School boys hockey team at the state tournament last weekend. The girls team advanced to the state title championship game after four grueling overtimes during their first game. Even when they were utterly exhausted, the girls demonstrated an unbelievable amount of grit and commitment to their team by never giving up. This same level of play was demonstrated during the championship game where they were narrowly defeated in a two-overtime game. Again, this team's character shined as they played their hearts out. People from other teams at the tournament went out of their way to complement our team on their hard work and ability to keep up the game. Our Hudson girls team earned the support and respect of everyone that watched and cheered them on.

This past weekend's performance demonstrates the kind of players we have on our Hudson girls hockey team. Every single player brought hard work, respect and a positive attitude to their practices and games. These girls have been exceptional role models for our youth players, and they represented the Hudson community with dignity and grace throughout the entire tournament.

Thank you to the players, coaches, and managers for building a team that Hudson is so proud of. This past weekend, you were all a class act. You might have taken second place in the state tournament, but you are #1 in our hearts. Hold your heads high!

Sue Hellmers

New Richmond

Duffy Town Hall

TO THE EDITOR

At his recent Town Hall in Hudson, Rep. Sean Duffy (WI CD 7, R) displayed alarming ignorance about Social Security.

For example, an older man asked Mr. Duffy what could be done to raise the dollar amount of annual combined income that triggers federal taxation of Social Security benefits above the $32,000 amount that was set in Reagan's tax reform bill that took effect in 1984 and had not been indexed for inflation. Mr. Duffy said that he was not anywhere near retirement age so he didn't know anything about that $32,000 amount. (See, Social Security Benefits Planner, Income Taxes and Your Social Security Benefit at www.SSA.gov)

Regardless of his admitted lack of knowledge regarding basic facts about the program, Mr. Duffy claimed several times during his one-hour meeting with constituents that Social Security, and Medicare, must be "reformed" to cut program costs, and future benefits must be reduced to make the programs "sustainable."

Mr. Duffy pointed to the national debt. However, by law, Social Security cannot contribute to the annual federal budget deficit.

Social Security is required to pay benefits only from its trust funds, which are generated by the dedicated payroll tax of 12.4 percent on annual earnings, known as FICA. Any projected future shortfall between program revenues and benefits could be rectified simply by raising the cap on annual earnings subject to FICA, set at $132,900 for 2019. (See, Reuters, Nov. 1, 2018, Social Security and the U.S. deficit: Separating fact from fiction)

The total national debt is growing, but Social Security isn't the debt driver. (See, NYT, Feb. 15, 2019, The Federal Debt is Rising. Concern is Not.)

Mostly what Mr. Duffy did not mention even once during his talk with constituents: The $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations and extremely wealthy individuals that has eroded federal revenues, along with large spending increases for the military, that Congress has passed and Mr. Trump has signed into law. (See, WaPo, March 5, 2019, The federal deficit ballooned at start of new fiscal year, up 77 percent from a year before)

Mr. Duffy, stop blaming current or future Social Security recipients for the fiscal mess resulting from your Republican-majority votes in favor of Mr. Trump's ill-founded notions regarding taxes and the economy.

Judith Green

Town of Hudson

Human slavery in the St. Croix Valley

TO THE EDITOR

On April 4, Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) at the Hudson House, 1616 Crest View Drive in Hudson, there will be a presentation given by Terry Forliti of Breaking Free! (http://breakingfree.net/about_us.aspx). In addition to being a survivor of "the life," Terry focused on empowerment of the marginalized while obtaining her degree in Organizational Leadership in 2005. Terry is the Executive Director of Breaking Free! and a member of the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force.

Unfortunately, for many of us, we have lived in ignorance about the human slavery/trafficking crimes against humanity in the St. Croix Valley. Please attend this special event, with opening remarks by St. Croix County District Attorney Michael Nieskes. Young adults and students are encouraged to attend to help identify a potential victim of human slavery in our area and how to avoid becoming a victim of human slavery. Victims are frequently targeted through social media, and we have all seen how our society has disappeared into unfeeling social media to the exclusion of real human contact, especially our youth. If a potential victim leaves their home and takes a bus to somewhere, chances are good that within 24 hours, that potential victim will be held in human slavery. This is in OUR neighborhood.

Breaking Free! offers an opportunity to escape this human slavery, but we can help our community by being educated. This event is open to the public with special invitations extended to churches, schools, businesses, police and local government representatives. The signs of human slavery are not what you would expect. With our community being a major corridor for human trafficking, please attend this event to be educated about this evil in our midst.

Darla Meyers

Hudson

Front page not necessary

TO THE EDITOR

The March 7 front page article "Two Hudson Ambassadors Removed From Court" is a catchy headline grabber but shouldn't we have thought about the consequences of this article on the girls called out ... who are still in HIGH SCHOOL by the way? This is akin to a public flogging. It's wrong.

It's also wrong that the Hudson Ambassador President blames the parents of the two girls who were removed from the Court by saying "...I would hate to see [the program] go away because of two bitter parents." I don't blame the parents of any of the girls for being bitter given what transpired! I didn't see any acknowledgment that the Ambassador President or board admitted to any wrongdoing. That's disappointing.

What happened here smells bad and I'm sorry that the Hudson Star Observer felt it was necessary to put the picture of the high school girls on the front page of the paper.

Sue Schettle

Hudson

Tell Sen. Johnson to uphold our Constitution

TO THE EDITOR

The U.S. House now has voted to block President Trump's recent national emergency declaration-a declaration that Mr. Trump made in hopes of shifting around U.S. taxpayer dollars to cover the costs of starting construction on his southern border wall, that wall he promised us all Mexico would pay for.

Congress, even when both the House and the Senate were in firm Republican control during Mr. Trump's first two years in office, exercised its Constitutional power of the purse by consistently refusing to appropriate all the money Mr. Trump wanted, whenever he wanted it, to build his wall.

Five of Wisconsin's eight Representatives in the House voted with the majority to nullify Mr. Trump's emergency declaration and to preserve our U.S. Constitution's separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of our government.

Republican Reps. Gallagher (WI CD 8) and Sensenbrenner (WI CD 5) were among those five, but, unfortunately, our Rep. Duffy (WI CD 7) was not.

Rep. Sensenbrenner, the longest-serving of our current Wisconsin members of Congress and one who helped manage Republican efforts to remove Bill Clinton from office, supports a border wall but disapproves of Mr. Trump's executive overreach; he said: "insufficient action-however frustrating it may be-is still the prerogative of the legislative branch. It is imperative that no administration, Republican or Democratic, circumvent the will of Congress." (NYT, Feb. 26, 2019)

Next, the Senate will take up a resolution of disapproval regarding Mr. Trump's emergency. Tell our Sen. Johnson to vote, like Rep. Sensenbrenner, for nullification and for upholding our Constitution's system of checks and balances in government.

Celeste Koeberl

Town of Hudson

Level the EMS playing field

TO THE EDITOR

This afternoon I was in the audience of an ad hoc committee meeting at City Hall at which the topic of discussion was EMS service proposals being presented by St Croix EMS and Lakeview EMS. Although I have been aware of this controversial issue at the local level, I have not attended a public meeting since the Mayoral race of last year.

My first reaction was being appalled at how biased our mayor was during the entire session. His questions to St Croix EMS representatives were hostile at best, while his remarks to Lakeview representatives were friendly and welcoming. Next I was appalled at our Mayor's suggestion that the City of Hudson would be willing to pay $100,000 to upgrade the county dispatch communication system in order to cut the time it takes for dispatch to notify Lakeview of a 911 call.

It appeared that for some committee members the only thing that mattered was the almighty dollar and one individual (luckily not a Hudson City Council member) even suggested the service should be paid for only by those who use it. However, most rational people would agree that Emergency Medical Service is similar to Fire and Police protection; to snow removal and public education, i.e. we ALL benefit. And the cost should be paid by the entire community.

While it is good that the council is comparing their options, it would behoove the community to have a level playing field in order to make a properly informed decision that best serves the residents of the City of Hudson and its contracted neighboring municipalities.

LaVonne McCombie

Hudson