Constitution should protect gender equality

On Jan. 27, 2020, the Equal Rights Amendment was fully ratified and went from having a name to having a number: 28. Although the Department of Justice temporarily blocked the National Archivist from certifying the 28th Amendment, one administration cannot halt America's progress toward equality forever.

Until now, gender equality has existed as piecemeal law, both in federal law and in state law. This is insufficient. What Americans have needed all along is foundational law. With the 28th Amendment, the Equal Rights Amendment, we can fix the gender equality gap in our Constitution, bringing our country one step closer to liberty and justice for all.

The 28th Amendment reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Sally Bean

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Christmas shopping came, went; shop local, they say

If you've lived in the River Falls area for 60, 50, or maybe 40 years, you can remember when the city was a regional retail center. Customers came from Prescott, Ellsworth, Lawton, El Paso, Martell, Spring Valley, Hammond, Roberts and even some from New Richmond and Hudson for certain ag implements, cars and trucks. There wasn't Hudson-On-The-Hill or Woodbury shopping malls.

Why has River Falls given up on the retail shops? How soon will it become a ghost town of just commuter houses?

Let's look at some of what's missing:

  • Women's dress shops (Town Shoppe, Lynn Rose, Eda & Freda's)
  • Furniture, appliance stores (Tousleys, Davis-McLaughlin)
  • Radio/TV sales and services (Arnie & Bob's, Kahut's TV)
  • Men's stores (Benson's, Kulstad's)
  • Butcher shop with freezer lockers (Kay's)
  • Automotive sales & service (Ford: Moody's -- Chev, Pontiac, Buick; Lindquist -- Olds, Jeep, Nash; Lunds -- Plymouth, Dodge; Zastrow's -- Mercury)
  • Fix-It Shop (Cliff's)
  • Hotel and restaurant, with regular scheduled Greyhound Bus Service
  • Implement sales and service (Harck-John Deere; Lunds-International, Farm-All; Allis Chalmers
  • Gift shops (Ivy Shoppe;and a portion of Nelson Drugs)
  • Dairy bottling plant with ice cream counter
  • Smead's Manufacturing Office Supplies (Basically the first manufacturing plant on Main Street that may have led to the modern-day industrial parks)
  • Feed elevator (Equity)
  • Billiards parlor

There may be more; if I missed some of the "oldies," I'm sorry. About the only original retail stores left from 60 years ago are: South Fork Café (formerly O'Brien's and Hansen's), State and First National Banks, Freeman Drug Store, Falls Movie Theater, Dairy Queen, a bowling lounge and restaurant (that's moved off Main Street, requiring more space) four four or five taverns that would qualify for 60 years on Main Street.

Well now, what is the City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Business Development Committee, etc., doing to correct this very sad retail dilemma? My suggestion: Put them all on a bus together and visit Hudson and New Richmond business districts, to see local ownerships, as well as nationally recognized businesses they have attracted.

Oh, no! There goes Shopko; and the River Falls Journal containing the sales flyers and special local promotions listed.

Did you realize that you can't even purchase the most basic of items in town? Men's and women's underwear!

Keith M. Olson

River Falls

Call for unity

I have been struck by the argument of the GOP that impeaching Donald Trump will destroy the possibility of unity between Republicans and Democrats and therefore, in the interest of unity, Trump should be given a get out of jail free card. The GOP should instead be talking the truth about Trump and the election.

Why don’t Republican officials explain that the issue of election fraud is dead?

The states certified the results. The Justice Department investigated and found no significant fraud. Cases were brought before the court and there was no evidence found to substantiate any claims of fraud. Some of the judges presiding over these cases were appointed by Trump. The U.S. Congress voted to accept the results of the electoral college with Republican support.

Please explain to Republican supporters, who must still believe in the Tooth Fairy, that there is no election fraud. That would go a long way to unifying this country.

Why do some Republican officials attack other Republicans who say Trump has broken the law? They don’t want the facts to be revealed.

Let the light shine in and maybe Republican supporters like the one last week who still believes the election was “stolen” may listen and see that the emperor has no clothes. We will never unify all opinions, that’s OK, but let’s at least talk facts.

Wes Caine


The truth: Liberty wasn’t lost

The letter writer of the article "Public liberty lost" in last week’s Star Observer states that foreign enemies and U.S. citizens willfully stole the presidential election and then closed his letter with the statement, "Thou shall not steal." Given that in over 60 court cases brought by or on behalf of the Trump campaign where claims of voter fraud were rejected due to the lack of evidence, a more appropriate closing statement would have been, "Thou shall not lie."

Paul Wright