Local elected officials aren't doing the job
The past couple of weeks have been especially tough for so many families in our state, and in St. Croix County. Recently, more than a third of COVID-19 tests administered in our communities have come back positive, and with hospitalizations and deaths serving as a lagging indicator, the holiday season promises to be an increasingly dark one in our corner of Wisconsin. Our circumstance is unfortunate, but was completely avoidable.
What will it take for legislators like Rob Stafsholt, Shannon Zimmerman and Gae Magnafici to work responsibly to solve these major problems that face our community? Stafsholt and Zimmerman recently spent more than $2 million in the 2020 election, doing nothing but dishonestly attacking their opponents … while at the same time, refusing to -- quite literally -- show up to do their jobs. This is unacceptable.
Nobody wants more shutdowns of local business. Nobody wants to see their neighbors lose jobs, livelihoods and their homes. The struggle of so many with depression and other mental illness -- which is an issue this time of year under normal circumstances -- is especially real this year.
Unfortunately, when we have needed them the most, Stafsholt, Zimmerman and Magnafici have been absent, refusing to show any leadership, any bipartisanship or offer any tangible solutions to the problems our region faces in the weeks and months ahead. Their actions have told families and small businesses in the St. Croix Valley that they must fend for themselves.
They have offered us nothing.
Pay close attention to the actions of these legislators as this crisis continues. More of the same is nothing short than a dereliction of duty.
Show the world our resolve
The election is over and, as in so much in life, there are winners and losers. And for those who have lost there is sadness and often anger and disappointment, but we move on because we must. We are still family, friends and neighbors and citizens of a country we love.
We still need to remember that love and kindness are far more successful and lead to happiness rather than hate and violence which are so destructive. We cannot live in a divided country and survive without severe consequences. Remember that old saying, "United we stand, divided we fall"? It is true so. we must pull together and behind our masks, smile and greet our neighbors with kindness even those we don't always agree with.
We do agree, though, I believe, that what we all want is peace and justice for all. The world is changing rapidly and not always the way each one of us might want or think is best but being angry and resentful will have a far greater toll on us individually as well as collectively. Let us talk and hear each other's thoughts in an atmosphere of respect and concern.
So, River Falls friends and neighbors, let's shake hands (Oh my, we can't do that can we? For now anyway!) and work together with our new leaders for peace and acceptance, and, of course, to control this pandemic which can attack both the winners and losers and make losers of all of us.
We can show the world that we Americans can solve our divisions in a fair way and that we are still the greatest Democracy in the world. And in making it work, which is a task we are all called to be involved in, we are proving America was and still is great!
Barb de Souza
Will Biden mirror Trump?
The current U.S. president has been hammering into us that under the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris administration we will have no graduations, no weddings, no Fourth of July, no Thanksgiving, and no Christmas.
How will that differ from what Americans have already experienced and will continue to suffer through during the remainder of this year under his "leadership"?
Don’t turn a blind eye to wind power
Developers of industrial wind projects have their eye on Wisconsin. But state laws on wind turbines are in dire need of review.
Wisconsin's Public Service Commission has allowed its siting rules to become out of compliance. The PSC’s Wind Siting Council has failed to meet its 2019 statutory requirement to review and recommend updates to PSC 128 Wind Siting Rules.
The PSC is currently courting candidates for council vacancies to comply with this long overdue responsibility. The commission should be reminded of its responsibility to protect public health and safety as it attempts to fill the vacant seats.
The council has been populated by wind developers, pro-wind lobbyists, and public members with financial interests in wind energy. Individuals with expertise in wind turbine noise, infrasound and vibration, and non-participating landowners would help balance the Wind Siting Council. The requirement that a University of Wisconsin faculty member with experience in the health impacts of industrial wind should be a priority. That seat has been vacant since 2010.
In 2009, Act 40 took away local control on this issue; the residents living near existing or proposed projects have no voice. The PSC and Wind Siting Council have been allowed to ignore private property rights, turn a blind eye to environmental impacts, and fail to protect our rural heritage and way of life. The lack of an active Wind Siting Council has silenced Wisconsin voices. It is time for change.