Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Commentary

Voice of the People 07/22/18

  • Tooner-406

An open letter to Dunn voters

Dear voters of Dunn County:

It appears that we once again have a chance to elect a new sheriff for Dunn County.

The primary race on the Republican side has two candidates that are seeking the chance to run against a Democrat in November. The primary for the chance for one of them to continue is on Aug. 14. It is important to get to the polls that day to vote.

My vote is going to Adam Zukowski without a doubt; the person for the job of taking over the leadership of the Dunn County sheriff’s office.

Yes, he married my daughter’s best friend from their high school days (Mary Styer). Yes, he is the father of three wonderful and respectful children from their marriage. I have to smile whenever I see him on the campaign trail with one or all of the family members surrounding him.

I am a product of the Madison Police Department, Menomonie Police Department, Dunn County sheriff’s office and the deputy director of Wisconsin Emergency Police Services. Those 34 years of service I feel taught me what attributes it takes to be a top-notch sheriff.

Zukowski meets every one of those measurements.

Adam has served the people of Dunn County with dignity and respect for the past 15 years. Adam served the people of Wyoming in its state patrol for seven years, also with that same dignity and respect.

Please join me in August and November in making Zukowski our next sheriff.

RICHARD RISLER

Menomonie

The right to your opinion

Recently, someone said, “I’m glad Dennis doesn’t have any yard signs out.”

That’s what democracy is all about. In Russia, North Korea and China, you can be jailed, executed or put in cruel labor camps for the rest of your life if you voice your opinion and the leadership doesn’t like it. Our president congratulated Vladimir Putin on his win, told the Chinese leader that decided he would be leader for the rest of his life that that was a good thing, and said the North Korea leader was a great leader.

This president has said that the press and journalists are our enemies. The president treats our allies with disrespect and acts like Russia, China and North Korea are OK.

I am happy that I can have an opinion and that you can too; that’s what democracy is all about. I am happy that we have the right to vote and I hope we all get out and vote. The president scares me.

DENNIS GJERSETH

Humbird

Hybrids already pay hefty tax

I have been watching, with interest, the ongoing debate about the wheel tax, surcharge or whatever you want to call it.

I especially like the “not charging trucks the additional tax because they already pay a higher registration fee.” A 10,000-pound truck pays a $155 fee already and would be exempt. Based on this reasoning, of those already paying a higher registration fee, does this mean all hybrid vehicles would also not have to pay the increased tax?

In Wisconsin’s new budget, the owners of all hybrid vehicles will be charged between $150 and $175 per year on their registration fee/​tax/​penalty for producing less carbon into the atmosphere. Burning less fossil fuels and causing less road damage due to less vehicle weight is just cause to single out someone for additional taxes. It is unfortunate that the state would penalize individuals for thinking of the environment.

So, hybrids exempt; yes or no?

As the years go by, a larger percentage of the road budget goes toward pay and benefits. Since less money is available for road maintenance, there is less work that can be done, which means there is a need for less employees.

LEONARD SCHULTZ

Fountain City

Climate change remains threat

An author in a recent Sunday column (June 17) said we need more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not less.

He claims that agriculture production needs more carbon to enhance production. He offers satellite image findings of arid land now greening due to plant growth. He supports withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord because the impact of compliance with our own goals would barely affect the predicted temperature increases.

Everyone knew the goals of the accord would have a minimal impact, but the importance of the accord was that every nation realized the threat and agreed to work to mitigate the impact. Every nation but North Korea and Iraq — and now the U.S.

It requires a heroic denial of reality to promote more CO2 for the world. Denial of warming temperatures for the past decade, melting glaciers, extreme weather events, acidification of the oceans, a melting Antartica and North Pole, extinction of flora and fauna unable to adapt to changing climate, raging forest fires in the northwest where the locals now claim two seasons “winter and fire” and rising seas are just some of the impacts of rising greenhouse gases of which CO2 was 411 parts per million this past May.

A recent poll of Republican voters showed 14 percent more of them are accepting the reality of climate disruption. Recently, three more House Republicans joined with Democratic colleagues working to address the issues, a coalition promoted by Citizens’ Climate Lobby. The “other side” will continue to cherrypick “facts,” as the author did, to discredit the reality of global warming and the deleterious rise in CO2. It is up to the rest of us to continue to deal with the world as it is, which includes those who offer contrarian, provocateur “points of view.”

PETER WHITIS

Eau Claire

City Council gets it right

Almost 30 years ago, the citizens of Eau Claire changed the makeup of our City Council to provide for a citywide directly elected council president.

Before that, the council president was appointed by the council members. That meant that the council president was beholden to the majority on the council, not to the voters for his/​her position. While we had good people as appointed council presidents, as one council president I served with said, “I’m not here to lead. I’m here to run the meetings.”

As one of the 5-5-1 committee that brought the referendum forward, our intent was that the council president be a separate elected position, with the same equal vote, but who could not only chair meetings, but also act as a liaison with the council, city manager and citizens. A president position would assist in resolving issues, keeping the council focused and leading the vision for our city.

We found no other Wisconsin city that had this unique, directly elected council president. With the recent resignation of the council president, our City Council was faced with the precedent-setting decision to appoint a current council member, appoint a nonelected person or leave the president’s position open for the voters to decide.

While many speculated that the intent of the 5-5-1 plan would be circumvented and an appointment made, the foresight, restraint and statesmanship of our council members made sure the decision on who is best to fill the remaining term of the council president would be made by the voters in April. As I believe it should be.

I want to congratulate the Eau Claire City Council for its decision. It stands as a testament to the good government we have in our city.

MARK LEWIS

Former Eau Claire City Council member and president

McCabe top Dem  candidate

I would like to introduce you to Mike McCabe, who is running for governor for all people of Wisconsin.

As an independent running as a Democrat, he has a different kind of leadership and positive vision for the future of our state. He represents Wisconsin values and believes in restoring power to common people in our democracy.

McCabe runs a people-powered campaign by not accepting “legalized bribes” from people and corporations that expect to be rewarded by political favors. Instead, he relies on small donations and thousands of volunteers to get his message out.

He is the former head of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign that exposed both Democrats and Republicans who were corrupted by these “legalized bribes.” He also has not forgotten people who live in rural areas of our state.

Mike was born and raised on a farm in Clark County and is concerned about industries that put political power and profit over people and the land. He is the first gubernatorial candidate to come to rural western Wisconsin and see the impact of industrial scale sand mining firsthand. Mike will listen to those impacted by mines.

Mike wants to clean up our government and believes in local democracy and empowering citizens to make decisions that affect their lives.

Before extreme Republicans came to power, our communities cared about their neighbors and looked out for each other. Now we are divided by greed and self-interest. Mike represents hope for us to change our corrupt political system. But he can’t do it alone. He needs “we the people,” with our Wisconsin values, to take our responsibilities as citizens seriously.

Become involved. Go to city council meetings, volunteer at your voting ward, find out who your local politicians are, join campaigns and donate.

SHEILA DANIELSON

Black River Falls

Trump action traitorous

Well, he did it ... now what?

As I watched the Helsinki summit press conference in slack-jawed disbelief, I recalled then candidate Donald Trump’s boast that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and “get away with it.” Well folks, he just shot our intelligence service and by extension the United States on the world stage.

Are we going to let him “get away with it?” Our feckless vice president clearly turned away from this latest crime scene with a simple shrug of the shoulders.

What will the enabling apologists of the now defunct GOP do about it? Sadly, I think we all know the answer to that question.

Perhaps it is time to empty Congress of all politicians who fail to condemn Trump’s divisive, and now traitorous actions, and replace them with true patriotic statesmen from both parties who will safeguard our democratic principles and belief in the rule of law.

Are we just going to turn away from this crime scene sadly shaking our heads saying, “Oh well, it’s not our problem”? Our children and grandchildren are waiting for our answer.

DR. CHARLES NORDSTROM (RETIRED)

Eau Claire


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