It's now up to Congress

TO THE EDITOR

In D. M O'Keefe's opinion piece "Facts and Misleading the Public," she again uses the term collusion. In the U.S. legal code, collusion is only used in anti-trust laws. In non-legal terms, collusion refers to a secret collaboration, such as the Trump Tower meeting or Mike Flynn's secret conversations with the Russian ambassador. Indeed, there were about 100 meetings or conversations by Trump or his associates with the Russians. Most, when confronted, lied about it. Some criminally. Lots of collusion going on there!

Let's be clear, part of what Mueller was investigating was whether there was a criminal conspiracy with Russia to affect our elections. In Mueller's written questions to Trump, the President couldn't recall or remember almost 30 times. Others questioned by Mueller deleted or used encrypted communications which did not allow Mueller to corroborate witness statements. Thus he was not able to prove a criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt.

As far as obstruction, Mueller outlined several possible cases of obstruction. Over 1,000 former federal prosecutors have stated that if Trump were a private citizen they would indict him. These are the facts. It's now up to Congress, especially Republicans who actually believe in the Constitution and the rule of law, and ultimately the American people to determine how corrupt this President is.

Thomas Loosmore

River Falls

'G' made a huge impact

TO THE EDITOR

As educators we strive to make a difference in people's lives. The passing of Bob Gustafson highlights the life of a remarkable commitment to educational excellence. "G" to his students, he was loved, respected and an extremely effective teacher. He not only inspired students, but motivated fellow staff members to excellence and influenced local, state and federal government levels through his political activism. Quietly in retirement, his hundreds of hours of volunteerism were legendary, his impact giant.

Bob, we owe you a deep debt of gratitude for your over 50 years of service to our community. You made a difference. A major difference. Thank you.

Bill Halverson

River Falls

Putin for president

TO THE EDITOR

Eliminate the middleman.

Phil Dean

Town of Clifton

100th anniversary of 19th Amendment

TO THE EDITOR

We would like to thank Mayor Dan Toland for issuing a proclamation honoring the 100th anniversary of Wisconsin Ratifying the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution: Granting national suffrage to women. At the River Falls Council meeting on May 28, he proclaimed June 10, 2019 as a celebration of that event 100 years ago.

In doing so, he joins others in the state. The Wisconsin 2019 Assembly issued a joint resolution to celebrate June 10 and reaffirmed "Wisconsin's commitment to empowering and uplifting voices of women across our great state." On April 11, Gov. Tony Evers in Executive Order #19, created a committee to celebrate, educate and engage Wisconsin citizens with the efforts made toward securing women's full participation in democracy.

Wisconsin was the first state in the Union to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution after it passed the U.S. Congress on June 4, 1919. This came after years of dedication by women's rights groups working even before Wisconsin's statehood. The Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution after ratification by two-thirds of the states on Aug. 20, 1920.

A local committee has been planning the 100th anniversary event.

Committee members include representatives from the UWRF Library and Archives, River Falls Historical Preservation Commission, Pierce County Historical Association, St. Croix County Historical Society, River Falls Public Library, Tuesday Club and AAUW.

A community program will begin on Wednesday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the River Falls Public Library with a speaker, a tea, activities including button making, exhibits and displays. We will have period hats and "Votes for Women" sashes for participants to wear.

Again, the planning group would like to thank Mayor Toland and the Council for recognizing this significant historical event. Also special thanks to Jennifer Nelson who created and provided amazing period hats for the presentation.

Committee Members: Heidi Heinze, River Falls Historical Preservation Committee, St. Croix County Historical Society; Mary Baumgartner, Tuesday Club; Maureen Olle-LaJoie, RFUWS- Library and Archives; Lorraine Davis, AAUW; Julie Huebel, Pierce County Historical Association

Hope For Creation

TO THE EDITOR

A recent United Nations assessment, in a 1,500-page document backed by international experts and approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was issued last month bearing dire warnings for the health of our planet.

It said with certainty that humans are transforming Earth's natural landscapes so dramatically that one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, where plant and animal diversity has already fallen by 20% in the past 100 years. The assessment found that climate change has become a major driver of wildlife decline by altering the local biomes that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in. The current rate of extinction has never been higher in the human era.

With such stark ramifications for plant and animal life worldwide, it is essential that residents of planet Earth, and people of faith of the River Falls community, find reason for HOPE and act to protect God's creation.

For the past several years, River Falls citizens and members of multiple local faith communities have been quietly studying global warming and working to bring Hope for Creation. This group began by educating itself and the broader community by offering discussion groups about Pope Francis' encyclical, "Laudato Si! On Care for our Common Home"; speakers, such as climatologist Paul Douglas and Father Bud Grant, theology professor and coordinator of Environmental Studies at St. Ambrose University; and various movies to discuss climate change.

Hope for Creation is now in the process of inviting all River Falls area churches to sign a "Commitment to Creation" document, thereby recognizing the urgency of environmental challenges and finding ways to reduce our impact on our common home. By agreeing to the commitment, faith communities will join the ecumenical efforts of Hope for Creation.

Participating churches will appoint representatives to the Hope for Creation Steering Team, identify an in-house church team to address their own unique congregational goals and action steps for sustainable futures, and participate in an upcoming Year of Living Creationally. The Year of Living Creationally will begin in the fall and continue through 2020 with collaborative efforts to create a more sustainable future in River Falls.

Hope for Creation will work over the next several months with churches, UWRF, the City of River Falls, and individual citizens to identify practical, systemic, and spiritual efforts we can take to create a more prosperous, sustainable and HOPEFUL future for current and coming generations in River Falls. Watch for more details about the unfolding story of Hope for Creation in this newspaper and in your local church communications.

Hopeful Blessings,

Hope for Creation Leadership Team

Krista Spieler, Mike Noreen, Tom Westerhaus

 

American caddy

TO THE EDITOR

It's hard to imagine any large corporation spending over $55 million a year to provide transportation for the CEO to attend golf outings at the CEO's "privately" owned golf courses.

Over $55 million per year is being spent while the corporation is experiencing alarming growth in debt and internal and external turmoil. Some employees are losing everything they own because of the CEO's decisions, causing eliminations of markets for products of the corporation. Markets that have taken his predecessors decades to establish and now markets that might never return because of competition and the instability of the direction of the CEO.

In the private sector that CEO would be told, "YOU'RE FIRED," but it looks like in the public sector he is told, "YOU'RE REELECTABLE."

Tony Huppert

Spring Valley

Pro-immigration rally

TO THE EDITOR

There will be a pro-immigration rally on Friday, June 7, from 5-6 p.m. at the intersection of Cascade Avenue and South Main in River Falls. It will be peaceful, lawful, and respectful. All are welcome to join us. The rally is in opposition to the new immigration policy proposed by the Whitehouse, as well as the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

Betty Murphy, River Falls

Rev. Barbara de Souza, River Falls