Please, write letters to the editor

I need something interesting to read. We are living in a very interesting time. Surely

you have an opinion on that.

The 32 pages of the new consolidated newspaper The Star Observer serves Hudson, River Falls, New Richmond, and towns in between such as Somerset and Star Prairie. It publishes approximately the following pages: five of classified ads and paid ads, three of government notices, one of church notices, one of meetings and a pastor’s column, one of health information, one of hunting articles, five of town sports, one of obituaries, one of various community stories, one editorial and “chit-chat” columns, eight of local stories from the various towns, and one of letters.

I am not interested in most of those pages. The letters to the editor are the most interesting. I would like to see more letters to the editor. although in my last letter to the editor I was under the 350 word limit but the paper still deleted two sentences and altered a third.

None the less the letters to the editor are the most interesting part of the paper. Please write more letters to the editor.

Cheryl Maplethorpe


Compassion, not criticism

I was saddened to read Meredith Berg’s letter in last week’s Star Observer.

Her response to the tragic loss of several area young people to suicide is at best … well frankly there is no best, at worst cruel.

Her contention that a cartoon about a president who regularly ridicules others who disagree with him, is in some way responsible for the loss of these children is beyond comprehension.

The mental health of both teens and adults in this country is a national crisis that requires a thoughtful and comprehensive examination that will hopefully lead to more and better treatment and prevention. Blaming it on working parents and the teaching of evolution is hardly an explanation, not remotely helpful and devoid of empathy.

Through both personal and professional experience I have come to see the complicated and painful issues that can lead to suicide. Mental illness is just that -- an illness, not unlike diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

When diagnosed, we seek help from professionals, undergo treatment and take medications, but sometimes none of it works and we lose people we love. No one would think of blaming a death from cancer on the victim or their family.

To blame those who succumb to mental illness or their families, most who go above and beyond to help their loved one, lacks both compassion and understanding of a crisis that calls for both.

Instead of looking for who to blame, it seems more Christian to me to find ways to help. I encourage people to find out about the “Make it OK” movement that is all about removing the stigma of mental illness and the isolation that brings by learning to talk openly about it ( Find out about QPR -- Question, Persuade and Refer, a kind of mental health CPR. Learn about our local chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

If you’re thinking about suicide, or are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or

Text: HOME to 741741.

The loss of these young people and all those living with this disease demand more from us.

Meg Heaton


We must positively support our teens

The Nov. 14 letters titled “Who wouldn’t be depressed?” stated that teens would feel depressed and alienated when they read about our president being mocked and ridiculed, even in our own paper. Maybe you missed a couple things in these past three years.

First, I don’t know a single teenager that even reads the newspaper in print form. Secondly, it is no secret that our president mocks anyone he deems lesser than himself, including women, minorities, immigrants, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, etc. The list is endless. If you were a teenager who fell into any of these categories, wouldn’t you question your worth?

The state of Minnesota just released its 2019 Student Survey, and it is troubling. This report shows that students feel less engaged in school and are struggling with their mental health. There has been a significant increase since the previous study, which was completed in 2016 (coincidence?). It also shows that more students at all grade levels are considering suicide. Minnesota Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker states, “Relationship building is actually the first component of mental health.” Students further report that they are less likely to consider suicide if they feel that teachers and adults cared about them.

I agree with you in that “things” don’t build strong families. I also agree that the media, including all forms of social media, has probably strongly impacted these statistics. I do understand that you have children and grandchildren, and taught for 30 years. However, teaching children rules and handing them a Bible is not the solution, either. The times have changed and, whether we like it or not, we must change with it in ways that positively support our teenagers. This requires a strong, supportive community that is willing to collaboratively work together to properly support their mental health challenges. Instead of telling them what they need, maybe we should just listen.

Julie Price

New Richmond

All things Trump point to all things Putin

As the western world celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the fall of Germany’s wall, we recall this was the first step in realigning the Soviet bloc into independent republics. NATO pledged to protect these newly independent countries from Russian aggression. Now we have Donald Trump’s new global realignment.

Despite the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia sought to influence the 2016 U.S. elections, Trump took the world stage in Finland, alongside Vladimir Putin, and told the world that he didn’t think Russia was involved. So much for U.S. intelligence.

Then there was the public speech asking Putin to release the hacked-Democratic emails. Then, the meetings with Russian policy makers, telling them no worries about FBI head Comey because Trump fired him. So much for obstruction.

Trump has a “beautiful relationship” with Putin, so much so that U.S. foreign policy in Europe has been totally upended. Think about what has happened:

  1. Trump had that secret meeting with Putin, with no advisers or media present. All we know is that relationship was “beautiful.”

  2. Trump calls on Europe to readmit Russia to the G-7 (after being removed for invading Ukraine) So much for Russian aggression.

  3. Contrasting with Trump’s praise for Putin, Trump charged that the EU is “U.S. enemy number one,” and repeatedly mocked NATO. So much for allies and enemies.

Compare all this with recent events and we see a totally new global dynamic:

  1. First, there’s Ukraine. In Trump’s mind, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not so bad, and he held up our military assistance to Ukraine.

  2. Then, there’s Syria and Trump’s dramatic tweet announcing our pull-out from Syria. As U.S. troops left Syria, Russian (and Turkish) troops moved in. Within days, 700 Kurds were killed. People say Trump did this on a whim, but if you think deeper, he likely had Russian interests in mind.

Trump’s foreign affairs are in tatters, and the rest of the world wonders if it must cater to Trump’s ego to get the support it depends on.

Jackie Brux

River Falls

Pro-life doesn’t equal pro-birth

“Do not deny the value of all life” is the headline for a letter published in the Nov. 7 issue of the Star Observer. But Donald Trump is not the right individual to praise about this important subject. Trump was pro-choice until it became more convenient to be pro-birth for his new interest in a different political party. And now that he professes to be pro-birth, watch to see what he does about pro-life instead of what he says.

Once the child is born, is the life no longer valued? Look at the policies that Trump promotes that allow children to go hungry, receive no medical care, or die, and ask if he is pro-life. This cynical use of a wedge issue for his purposes certainly does say a lot about his character.

So if anyone wants to be a single-issue voter, I would like to recommend that you become educated and vote based on Trump’s apparent lack of integrity. I believe one would have to choose any other candidate currently interested in the important position of U.S. president.

As a side note, I am also a lifelong Catholic Christian and would not personally want an abortion, but I have never voted for a candidate based on this deliberate wedge issue. As an independent voter, through the use of diverse news sources, it is easy to become informed on all candidates’ character, abilities, and policies and choose the best moral, ethical, sensible qualified leader for the United States.

Please vote wisely; our democracy depends on it.

Shirley Matzek