Incident a reminder of multiple tragedies

On June 9, something tragic occurred on the Chippewa River.

Deemed homeless, but a resident of Eau Claire, the life of Steven Feld was taken in the rapidly flowing Chippewa River. Those who knew him say he was a soft-spoken man, always willing to help someone in need. He did exactly that, when he served our country and became a veteran.

Here is where the tragedy begins.

It is tragic that every veteran is not guaranteed housing and mental health care once they have completed their service to our country. It is tragic this problem has never been resolved after so many wars and years. It is tragic that the military can spend billions on weaponry and cannot budget enough for housing and health care for these veterans without going through yards and yards of red tape. It is tragic that this is even an issue for so many that served so valiantly. Steven is just one of many who could not find decent housing. It is tragic that veterans should even have to think about housing upon returning to civilian life.

For all men and women considering enlisting, get a written guarantee there will be housing, health care and employment readily available wherever you choose to live once you leave military life. These men and women will be asked to take part in the unbelievable if thrown into combat. The least we can do as a nation is assure them housing, mental health care and employment.

Tragedy takes many forms. This tragedy could have been prevented. The Chippewa River, like the military, can be relentless.

Rest in peace, Steven.

Gwenn Nyhagen

Eau Claire

Fair maps needed to ensure fair voting

Support is building in Wisconsin to undo partisan redistricting, also known as gerrymandering.

In April 2019 Buffalo County became one of the 51 Wisconsin counties passing a County Board resolution calling on the state to adopt a process of establishing nonpartisan redistricting plans. We should all thank our County Board members.

Recently, Gov. Tony Evers created the People’s Maps Commission. The commission will work across the state and present “fair” maps to the Legislature for consideration after the completion of the 2020 census. This is a model Iowa and other states use that works very well.

Many Wisconsin counties have added an election ballot referendum question:

“Should the Wisconsin Legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for preparing legislative and congressional redistricting maps?” This passed in several counties throughout the state.

When this has been voted on previously, over 72% of voters have said “yes.” Ask your County Board member to let your voice be heard on this issue by adding it to your ballot. Our County Board, state legislators and governor have recognized that the current way districts are drawn does not represent the bidding of all the people.

Now it is our turn to do our part. We all need to keep the momentum for fair maps going. Contact your state legislative candidates and ask them if they will publicly support fair maps legislation and promise to vote to end Wisconsin gerrymandering.

Sandy and Craig Brooks

Buffalo City

Support our flag if freedom is a priority

I am a veteran.

I ask if you care about freedom, spend a few dollars, purchase and display Old Glory. Maybe it will catch on.

Jerome Bertram

Eau Claire

Precautions needed to protect the vulnerable

Do you remember after the coronavirus spread in the U.S. how the American people came together to help protect the vulnerable segment of our society, the elderly and people with a compromised immune system, by wearing masks and social distancing?

Nope, either do I.

Thomas Davenport

Eau Claire

Yet another victim of political correctness

I have just read that Leinenkugel’s, intrinsically identified with Chippewa Falls for over a century, has decided to drop the “Indian Maiden” symbol from its beer logo. How sad.

It was stated, as well, that the decision to do this was made “several” months ago. Hmmm ... methinks that this yet another example of an American corporation bending over like grass in the breeze to appease irrational “woke” and politically correct interests, even though they represent a fraction of a percent of the U.S. population.

There is nothing derogatory about the symbol. It is sympathetic and demurely portrays a young woman. She is proud. She is graceful. Her portrayal speaks of Leinenkugel’s’ heritage in the Chippewa Valley. But, alas, she is probably unacceptable to the few; therefore, she is denied to all.

I do have a recommendation for Leinenkugel’s, however. Perhaps it can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the making of this decision, which, no doubt, by this time is a fait accompli. Recently, another iconic female symbol of an American company was involuntarily retired to appease the radicals and politically correct. I assume that she is looking for another logo to grace.

Leinenkugel’s could replace the Indian Maiden with Aunt Jemima.

William Thiel

Eau Claire

We must learn from mistakes of the past

We hear about slavery every day now on the news. Slavery is not something we want to condone, but we cannot erase it from history. Today, most slavery in the world is the industry of sex slavery, which has no boundary of color, sex or age.

Slavery is part of our history as far back as thousands of years B.C. In the Bible, when a nation defeated another nation, the defeated became slaves of the victor. Slavery in the U.S. started as early as the Jamestown settlement in the 1600s when a ship captain took over another ship filled with slaves from Africa, headed to Europe. He took the slaves to Jamestown to sell them.

In the early English colonies, the majority of slaves were white, as England rounded up children and sent them to the new world to a life of slavery. They also sent people who were in prison or in debt to the new world, to a life of slavery. They called it indentured life. The majority, however, never obtained their freedom.

The worst part of our history is how the U.S. became a country. Individuals of another part of the world arrived here to settle a new world. A new world? This was not a new world; there were already people here, a nation of Native Americans. We came in great numbers and took their land and destroyed their world, culture and lives. While we enslaved Blacks, we killed Native Americans.

We cannot erase all the bad that took place in the past. It is history now. We can, though, make a better effort to treat all who live in the U.S. as equals, based on them being fellow human beings, and not judging them by color, sex, age or religion.

Gerald Nelson

Osseo

‘All lives matter’ a more prudent mantra

The mural for Black Lives Matter is beautiful, but it supports racial separation.

Do not all lives matter? As I white woman, I feel discriminated against by the building owner and the artist. People seem to forget discrimination does not discriminate, it affects many.

Here is the true definition of discrimination: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age or sex. What is happening now is causing racial separation, and I believe all of you may get your wish.

People are getting angry (all races) because of things like the Black Lives Matter mural. I say change “Black” with “All.”

Lori Vorwald

Altoona