Too little masking at local farmers market

My spouse went to the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market last weekend (as we are transitioning to returning to Eau Claire). She estimated that maybe half of the buyers wore masks and they all were crowding together.

I'm very disappointed that so many people, and the farmers market itself, are so inconsiderate of others, and downright dangerous for some. I noticed the week before that they had a table offering masks, but it was about a third into the farmer's market. Why not put it at the entrance offering it right when people arrive and actually asking those that don't have it to put one on? They could even require it if they really cared.

A friend in Denver said their farmers market is requiring masks and there is a $999 fine if one isn't worn. I've heard that Menomonie's market has much better compliance also. I posted my concerns on their Facebook page and it appears to have been removed. I also inquired politely about it via the market's website contact form and I have not received a reply. It appears they would rather ignore concerns about safety.

I thinks this lack of communication is particularly galling. Trust is an important aspect of farmers markets — such as where the food comes from and what could actually be on the vegetables. The Saturday farmers market has lost ours. Based on this experience, we will support and work with local farmers that we know and trust in a different way. It has been nice to return to the community in many ways, but this aspect of our return has been disappointing.

Richard Spindler

Eau Claire

BLM efforts could be put to a better use

The death of George Floyd was murder and the cops should be punished accordingly.

I am not sure what to make of the post-murder events. While the U.S. is not a perfect country, we surely are the greatest country in the world providing the best opportunity for anyone to get ahead in life should they make the right choices. If you think this statement is poppycock, why are so many people trying to come into the U.S. illegally?

It seems like the punks doing all the damage view the U.S. as fundamentally flawed. The average age of these anarchists seem to be in their 20s. What in the world do they really know about the good in our history and what have they done in their lives to this point to help make the US better? To date, most of what they have has been given to them by family or government.

And the Black Lives Matter movement seems more focused on the few bad police encounters than the black-on-black crime in Chicago which produced 85 deaths in a recent month.

Tearing down statues, changing names of colleges, defunding the police does not make black lives matter more.

I think if the Black Lives Matter movement cared more about bringing up the standard of living for black citizens versus trying to bring down the rest of America, they would start marching for reform in the black communities. If they could be the genesis to reduce the 75% of black kids being born out of wedlock and reduce the percentages of black kids who drop out of high school and have a criminal record, I think you would see the black community flourish.

The rioting is simply sanctimonious virtue signaling.

Jon Hehli

Altoona

Our president has simply gone too far

I often feel compelled to write a letter to the editor regarding the egregious actions taken by our current president. This time I really think President Donald Trump has gone too far by sending federal troops to Portland, Ore.

This is an authoritarian tactic worthy of dictators in countries such as Russia, China or North Korea. It may be different if the governor of Oregon or the mayor of Portland had asked for federal assistance. In fact, they didn’t and don’t want them there.

Yes, there is some vandalism occurring there, but let the city or state officials deal with those who violate laws. The presence of heavily armed, camouflaged, unidentified troops who are snatching people off the streets without probable cause is just inciting further violence. In addition, these troops are using tear gas and rubber bullets without provocation. This is a violation of the people’s right to protest, which is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

This is not Trump’s fight to fight. For him, this is only a tactic he is using to appeal to his core base and get re-elected. His portrayal of protesters as domestic terrorists and anarchists is an attempt to advance his conspiracy theory that citizens are not safe and only he, as the “Law and Order” president, can save them.

In truth, Trump's actions are a strategy to deflect from his poor performance regarding the coronavirus epidemic, the economic downfall it has created and his falling poll numbers. Watch out Milwaukee, Trump is aiming for you as well.

Linda Presley

Eau Claire

Expert weighs in on climate change realities

We read and hear so much conflicting opinion about the seriousness of climate change and what we can do to slow it or at least prepare for it. Let me share with you what I think is one of the most objective insights I’ve seen, written by one of the most respected meteorologists in the world.

Richard Lindzen, retired professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a recent lecture, “Global Warming for the Two Cultures,” that the standard narrative about rising CO2, dire temperature increases and the imperative of drastic changes in the global economy is “based on reasoning that borders on magical thinking. ... Misrepresentation, exaggeration, cherry picking, or outright lying, pretty much covers all the so-called evidence. ... An implausible conjecture backed by false evidence and repeated incessantly has become politically correct ‘knowledge’ and is used to promote the overturn of industrial civilization. What we will be leaving our grandchildren is not a planet damaged by industrial progress, but a record of unfathomable silliness as well as a landscape degraded by rusting wind farms and decaying solar panel arrays.”

Birney Dibble

Eau Claire

Both parties should limit gerrymandering

What’s good for the gander is good for the goose, right? So let’s apply this nonpartisan wisdom to the upcoming redrawing of the boundaries for our legislative and congressional districts.

Redistricting is done every 10 years following the national census, and in 2011, the political party in power hired a private law firm and behind locked doors proceeded to create districts that favored keeping their party in power, just as the other party had done in previous decades. This time, though, experts in computer technology and demographics took rigging of the maps to an unprecedented level, thus ensuring that in the first election with the new maps, Republicans won 60 out of 99 seats in the Assembly despite losing the aggregate statewide vote.

The upshot of all this is that gerrymandering allows elected officials to pick their voters rather than the other way around. In these “safe” districts, constituents of the party not in power do not have a voice, as the officeholder does not have to fear losing in the next election.

Gov. Tony Evers has formed the People’s Maps Commission, which will consist of nine residents (no politicians or lobbyists) to draw the next legislative maps in 2021. This will be an open process, with public hearings held in all eight congressional districts. Using the 2020 census data, new maps will be drawn and sent to the Legislature for approval. A similar process has been used very successfully in Iowa since 1980, as well as in a few other states.

I reside in the 93rd Assembly District and am represented by Warren Petryk. I respectfully ask that Petryk, as well as Charlene “Charlie” Warner, his Democrat opponent, strongly and repeatedly endorse this nonpartisan approach to redistricting, thus ensuring true representation no matter which party is in power.

David Lundberg

Eau Claire