Hateful speech feeds more hate

Mr. President, your speech about the mass shootings missed the point entirely.

Other countries have the same violent video games, mental illness, and social media that we have, yet we do not see many mass shootings. And, since mass shooters expect to die or to commit suicide, I don’t think your death penalty response is going to deter them. Finally, psychiatrists firmly deny any link between mental illness and violence; rather, those with mental illness are more likely to be killed by others’ guns.

Mr. President, you forgot to mention your hate-filled, racist, and anti-immigrant tweets. Don’t you think, if you were honest, that calling our immigrants and asylum-seekers murderers, rapists, hordes, infestations, traffickers, drug-smugglers, and criminals, you feed into the hate that motivated the El Paso shooter? Don’t you know that the shooter used some of your exact terminology in his online manifesto? And you know, don’t you, that El Paso is a tolerant community with many Hispanic immigrants, but not much history of violence? The shooter drove for over ten hours to get to El Paso. (And, by the way, the Ohio attack took place in Dayton, not Toledo.)

Don’t you think your tweets that tell four women of color legislators to go back home (even though three were born here) exacerbate people’s hate; after all, your supporters re-chant your tweets? Don’t you think your hate-filled tweets toward black head of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, who I believe is the voice of morality in our Congress, are far more than a little bit racist? And, Mr. Trump, have you noted the massive increase in the number of hate crimes since your presidency?

Words matter, Mr. President. And if your supporters continue to support you, after all of this and your history with racism, don’t you think you are embedding our democracy and our values with unconscionable things?

Jackie Brux

River Falls

Mueller was clear: Russia is interfering in our elections

With all due respect to the writer of an Aug. 1, I would if the person read and heard the same news that I did concerning the Mueller report.

I agree that Mr Mueller did not say that his team had found sufficient proof that President Trump, nor that members of his campaign, had colluded with the Russians, but he made it very clear that the interference of the Russians was the greatest danger we now have as to the interference of a foreign entity in our election process. (It had happened in 2016). He repeated this warning several times.

In addition when Mr Mueller was asked to respond to the question as to whether the investigation his team had made was a witch hunt. He answered, “No.”

I agree that there was no indictment of Trump for obstruction of justice. But Muller also made it clear he could not exonerate him, meaning Mueller could not "free or declare free from blame" (Oxford American Dictionary) that is, indict because of the rule that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

This is no way clears the President of obstruction of justice. The report sites enough examples of obstruction that the Mueller team could indict. If you remember, when Mueller was asked if when Trump is not longer president could he be indicted for obstruction, Mueller answered yes.

Barb de Souza

River Falls

Time for mental health prevention instead of intervention

I am writing in response to Mr. John Kucinski’s letter to the Editor, published on Aug, 4, 2019. Mr. Kucinski questioned the need for a proposed mental health “wing” that is allegedly replacing the small basketball court in the St. Croix County Jail. Inmate boredom, as he asserted, promotes inmate fights and destruction of jail property. I argue that inmate boredom is the least of our concerns.

I worked as an art therapist with the women inmates at the St. Croix County jail from 2013-2015. During that time, I was the only mental health professional these inmates saw outside of a psychiatrist prescribing medications. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 15% of men and 30% of women in jail have serious mental health conditions, and 83% of jail inmates did not have access to mental health services. Additionally, the U.S. Justice Department stated that in 2017, 63% of jail inmates meet the criteria for drug dependence or abuse.

Although I no longer serve the St. Croix County Jail, I still frequently think of those I worked with and how they came to became inmates. The “how” is always complicated, but it consistently came down to the following: cycles of intergenerational trauma, using drugs to cope with said trauma or adverse physical or emotional pain, and failure of the correctional system to effectively help them to rehabilitate causing repeat offenders for mental health or addiction-based charges.

I agree when Mr. Kucinski suggested enacting a Rule 25 program to best treat those as it pertains to criminal, mental health, and addictions law. Until systematic change occurs, we need to meet inmates where they are at with the reverence they deserve on their path to coping and recovery. As a society, we also need to make mental health services more affordable and accessible to all to encourage prevention instead of intervention.

In my time at St. Croix County Jail, I never heard any mention about a basketball court, let alone how it mitigated inmate boredom.

Ann E. Lawton

River Falls

Time to staff St. Croix Jail accordingly

The County Board voted to remodel the St. Croix Jail gym into a quasi-mental health wing at a cost to the taxpayers of $7 million. The issue now is how are we going to assist the sheriff by providing the staff necessary necessary to address the problems. Jailors are not trained nor are they qualified to deal with the mental health and drug/alcohol issues causing the problems in the jail. Mental health therapists and AODA counselors are.

In order to protect the jailors, other inmates, and the inmates themselves, we need to have these therapists. One County Board supervisor at the meeting said we do not have the money. The good news is that we do!

At that same meeting the head of the Highway Department said that the department came in $1 million under budget. St. Croix County is the fourth richest county in the state. If taxpayers are going to spend $7 million to build a brick structure, they surely want to staff it with the personnel necessary to address the issues.

The plan calls for the hiring of two new deputies. Where does that money come from?

Neither the programming already in place in the jail, nor the staffing, nor the administration of meds currently is solving the problem. Closing the gym is only going to add to the stress and frustration in the jail.

Since we are already spending $7 million, let’s staff it correctly to protect the jailors, other inmates, and the inmates themselves by adding two new mental health therapists and two new AODA counselors to the staff. A building without staff is like a school without teachers. One can’t succeed without the other.

John Kucinski

River Falls

New Richmond helps soccer score success

The fall soccer season in New Richmond is right around the corner, and we just ended another great spring/summer season where our players traveled all around and competed in many tournaments, bringing home many metals and making New Richmond proud.

The soccer landscape is in a time of change on all levels, from local to national. As a newer New Richmond Soccer Club board member, it can be challenging to understand and stay on top of it all. But the one thing that has been consistent is the support NR soccer gets from its sponsors, its incredible parent volunteers, its volunteer coaches who put in so much time, effort, and passion, and all of our parents and players who love this game. It shows.

So, before we ramp up another fall season, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people. And special thanks to the New Richmond Parks Department for all the work at Freedom Field. They’re building a beautiful place for soccer that we can all be proud of.

People help behind the scenes, manning booths, getting the fields and goals ready, etc. Parents run the players all over the place. And, of course, players represent New Richmond so well.

Now as we begin the gall season and as we continue to grow, we look forward to continuing our community partnerships and forming new ones. We know that a local club is only as strong as its community support. Thanks for all of yours.

Scott Herron

New Richmond

Trump’s tweets sways market

Throughout my life I’ve heard of people being prosecuted for violating the laws against price fixing, insider trading, and market manipulation.

Anyone in President Donald Trump’s loop is able to hedge their financial investments on the tweets and tariffs he is suggesting in advance. The stock market reacts to every tweet. It is unbelievable the unlimited amount of money that potentially is being made by this inner circle.

Russia’s farmers are enjoying their newfound China market for their crops at the expense of our American farmers. Imports from Russia have increased to the U.S. as well as the rise in the U.S. national debt since the tax break for the rich.

I recently spoke to an owner of a trucking company. He said times aren’t that great in his business, but I think we are on the right path. I asked him what’s on that path that is right. The only thing he could come up with is the president says times are great and it should be coming this way.

Sometimes the fear of the obvious is stronger than the reality of the truth.

Tony Huppert

Spring Valley, Wis.

Climate change isn’t really a partisan issue

Do you remember when George W. Bush ran for president and agreed with the vast scientific evidence that humans are accelerating earth’s warming? Remember when he vowed to work toward a solution?

As recently as 2008, climate change was not a partisan issue. What happened?

There many reasons why, but the media is largely to blame. In the interest of “equal time” it was common for an environmental newscast to have one expert representing the 95% of climate scientists who agree on urgent climate change action and then give the same amount of airtime to the “opposing” view. The opposing view represented a tiny percentage of opinion, yet got the same amount of time. People started to believe there was a real choice in what to believe.

When discussing climate change, there is no legitimate scientific evidence that is an equal alternative to the majority consensus. None.

In 2008 there was no partisan debate about the effects of human activity on the planet and there shouldn’t be one now. The science hasn’t changed.

The only debate left is what we are going to do about it. HR763-Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 is place to start.

Danielle Johnson

New Richmond

Trump is a president for all Americans

The clown car of 24 desperate Democrat socialist presidential candidates are peddling free everything to Americans and illegal aliens that would bankrupt our country. It is utter lunacy akin to the man feigning he is conflicted regarding impeachment of the president who committed the crime … of getting elected president despite the lies intended to frame then (candidate) Donald Trump

President Trump is actually working for all Americans.

A low-information man proffered, “I am in favor of an impeachment inquiry beginning right now leading to an impeachment vote in late fall. I’m not confident this will get me a new president, but I believe it’s the best path to success.” One ought to really pity those who are so utterly and woefully uninformed and lack basic intellect about the political process and the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors, which are required for impeachment.

The majority of Americans, tired of anti-cop President Barack Obama and his every failed policy undermining and destroying our great nation, voted for the outsider, a businessman, to expose the Washington corruption and actually solve problems for all Americans, which is exactly what Trump is accomplishing.

The president is doing his duty, which is to protect all Americans and that means securing our southern border despite the judicial harassment by activist judges and the resistance in both parties – RINOS (Paul Ryan, et al beholden to their donors aka Koch Brothers, Wall Street, K Street, Chamber of Commerce) who want cheap labor, which undercuts and drives down wages for the American worker while Democrats who can’t win elections appealing to U.S. citizens, believe flooding our country with illegal aliens will eventually provide a new voting block. Folks, it’s all about their personal power and not the well-being of Americans.

The majority of Americans wanted Obama to fail based on his policies. Elections have consequences and Trump has reversed most of the failed policies of the Obama-era. Thank God for President Trump.

Mary Grosenick