Serenity lost

Country living offers quiet days and seeing wildlife in the yard.

Not so this summer.

Industry has decided to build across the road. They removed a grove of mature pine trees and cut down a hill to level it. If they wanted to build on a flat treeless lot, I would guess there were other choices.

So, now we have lost the deer, wild turkey and a variety of birds.

Our once scenic, quiet walking path is now a noisy, dusty mess and our view is a building and increased traffic.

Progress is heart wrenching.

Carol Williams

Somerset

Farmers, blenders need biodiesel tax credit

After nearly two years, the biodiesel tax incentive stands without movement. This no-brainer legislation enjoys strong bipartisan support from both aisles of Congress because they know it works. But why has there been no forward movement?

Angie Craig deserves credit for being one of the first U.S. House representatives in co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill, along with 52 other House members to extend the tax incentive. Biodiesel adds nearly 5,400 jobs in Minnesota and contributes roughly $1.7 billion in economic activities to the state.

Craig understands the significance of biodiesel to Minnesota farmers and the state’s economy. But the biodiesel tax credit expired at the end of 2017, and biodiesel producers are relying on signals from Congress that the incentive would be renewed. News of biodiesel plant closures have begun with the recent announcement of four more plants this past week. That’s people not working, renewable energy not being created and our dependence on fossil energy continues. With this incentive, biodiesel producers are able to create more jobs for rural communities -- boosting economic growth and contributing to a healthier environment. The situation is becoming critical for farmers and biodiesel producers alike.

I encourage Craig to continue informing her colleagues of the benefits of biodiesel and the tax incentive. They need to understand the urgency of the tax credit. We need every member of Congress to make extending the biodiesel tax incentive a priority when they return to work in September. In an already tumultuous agricultural environment, we are in need of some certainty and this is an easy, bipartisan way to support U.S. soybean farmers.

Brad Hovel

Cannon Falls

Brad Hovel farms in Cannon Falls and is a director with the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

Get together and win

Every Tuesday at 9 a.m., our group meets at different apartments at Comfort Homes in River Falls. There are 12-14 of us having pastries, fruits, etc., plus other food provided by others. What a wonderful and exciting time.

We tell jokes, express our opinions about issues and talk about our life experiences. At ages 60-87, we have the freedom to express our opinions without being judged, and we can just be ourselves.

We also have evolved into a caring, concerning and helping group — which is family. We plan ahead for special events, have a weekly financial report, and express our concerns and needs at the Grands complex and forward them to the appropriate people to be considered.

Recently, we started going to the gazebo by the pond for wine. On special days, we have a large meal paid for by the dollar each of us puts into a fund on Tuesday mornings. We have gone to the winery twice.

Our group, a family, provides much social interaction also leaving with an upbeat attitude.

The main reason for this letter is to encourage others to get together and experience some of the things we do. It is a WIN! WIN! get together.

Frank R. Maule

River Falls

We are becoming dementia friendly communities

Recently, a coalition of agencies provided forums for caregivers on a variety of topics including caregiving, ambiguous loss and grieving, resilience, and how to participate in research. Those who attended were grateful for information and affirmation that contributed to better caregiving.

The coalition would like to thank Rivertowns Media for providing ongoing support through articles and announcements throughout the region. They are a true partner in creating dementia friendly communities in St Croix County.

Many agencies provided financial and marketing support in collaboration with the New Richmond Dementia Friendly Coalition. Members include Adoray Home Care and Hospice, Alzheimer’s Association, Comfort Keepers, The Centre, The Deerfield/Presbyterian Homes, the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Our House, Friday Memorial Library, St. Croix Hospice, Westfields Hospital, WITC-New Richmond, and the ADRC of St Croix County,

Those who are caregivers and those with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other type of dementia have been “nourished” by these forums.Thank you to all who made them possible!

Nancy Abrahamson

River Falls

Nancy Abrahamson is a dementia care specialist with the Aging and Disability Resource Center, New Richmond.

Trump has made a difference

Something has puzzled me since Donald Trump was elected president and the American left descended on his character. The criticism of his core values, communication, and character are more based on opinion than fact. We need to pay closer attention to accomplishments he has been able to make.

If I understand the writings of Jewish authors Dennis Prager and Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, many practicing Jews have a different outlook on the importance of character. Human flaws and not so admirable behaviors are rampant in Old Testament stories. Yet they don’t exclude the owners and perpetrators from bringing about important changes in the history of the Jewish people.

Jacob, for example, favored his youngest son, Joseph, nearly destroying his family. David had an affair with Bathsheba. Moses disobeyed God and was kept from the Holy Land. But without each of the men, there would be no Jewish people, no Jewish liberation, no Jewish faith, and hence, no Jerusalem and no Jewish sovereign state.

The actions these biblical men took were of immeasurable value to those who came after them. Many Jews think Donald Trump’s actions make up for his human failings. Yes, he’s brash, sometimes obnoxious, sometimes arrogant, and often misunderstood. But, he struck back at Assad in Syria, stands up against Iran’s desire to wipe Israel off the map, and makes clear that the U.S. will support the Jewish people as anti-semitism raises its ugly head higher at home and around the world.

Refusing to acknowledge all the good that President Trump has brought to the country with his policies and executive orders is a tragic mistake. His pro-life values are recognized as extraordinary worldwide. His relationship with military troops rivals that of Ronald Regan. Though his methods of communication can be off putting, the messages convey truth about hypocrisy, political maneuvering, and politicians who care more about their careers than the country and its people.

I’m guessing that Trump supporters recognize his value much like many Jews do.

Nancy Dannecker

Maiden Rock

Democrats are the real obstructionists

Haven’t progressives heard? After investigation by honorable, fair Robert Mueller and 29 attorneys, no one is charging President Donald Trump with a crime. Even before Mr. Mueller’s anti-climactic July testimony before Congress, 65% of polled Americans wanted to leave the collusion/obstruction mess behind. More than a few intelligence investigators are now being investigated for manufacturing evidence.

The real obstructionists occupy the House of Representatives, not the White House. Determined to prevent Trump successes, Democrats there refuse to support any conservative idea generated by Republicans. They offer no constructive ways to address bad laws, government inefficiencies, unworkable policies, and business killing regulations.

Their pursuit of impeachment diverts attention from the nation’s problems, which they’d address with bloated government, soaring taxes, industries regulated into oblivion, trillions of dollars spent on doomed-to-fail Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, and elimination of immigration laws they once supported.

Collusion comes from mainstream media that ignore or misrepresent over 200 improvements to government programs and agency functions, regulations, tax rates, and military spending, all initiated by the president.

The same media refuse to condemn violence against, and doxing of, conservative journalists, commentators, authors, speakers, and business owners, as well as non-partisan law enforcement professionals — police, immigration, customs, and border control officers — simply doing their jobs.

Media are obsessed with supposed right-wing hatred, backed by little evidence. What was the purpose of Jake Tapper (CNN) asking Beto O’Rourke, “Do you think it is racist to vote for President Trump in 2020?" So he could reply that it’s hard not think that because of (the allegations of bigotry Americans hear ad nauseum).

People of many races who have known the president for decades insist the racist narrative is false, his words sliced, taken out of context, and assigned absurd intentions. Trump supporters must be white bigots, even if they’re black. Hello, collective guilt.

Calling all Trump supporters stupid, ignorant or hateful won’t gain Democrat votes in 2020. Neither will blaming the president for the independent actions of lunatics bent on taking out innocent victims to gain attention or make a statement. How is the left’s disdain for over 60 million fair minded, right leaning voters not intolerant, non-inclusive, and bigoted?

Stephanie Brown

River Falls

Stephanie Brown chairs the Republican Party of Pierce County.