Homeless population needs help locally

You have seen them. They are the unheard, the homeless of your beautiful city, and yes they see all the upgraded infrastructures, the lighted bridges and fancy paved walkways. At night they too are part of Eau Claire, yet they have no right to lay on a bench as they are told by police they cannot. They cannot go to the homeless shelter because it’s filled to capacity. They are the unheard, their voices I hear in my heart and head as I write this.

I stopped there yesterday, the cold wind whipping and temps now dropping, and I know their names. I don’t know what else I can do; I try to help with what I have. Some food is provided by Chippewa Valley Street Ministry, but they need a place to get out of the cold and have a warm shower.

They can’t even go into a place given the overcrowded homeless shelters. Catholic Charities owns the Sojourner House, which is closed. I am asking you: Can we ignore our brothers and sisters? Change is done one random act of kindness at a time. They may have had some hard times. Can we make this world, this Eau Claire County, this city, a place where humanity and caring for one another is known? I believe we can.

I have faith and know with hope in my heart there are people who could change the course of some homeless lives. Can we together show humanity towards one another to help those in need and show a willingness to reopen the Sojourner House?

I am a person of deep faith and I ask in humility and hope that someone in Eau Claire shares this heartache and will get monies to help these people. God bless you for hearing the unheard.

Linda Churchwell

Chippewa Falls

Time for a change in our highest office

President Donald Trump finally decided on an election strategy designed to energize his ever-faithful base. In order to “Keep America Great,” he promises to combat all dissent directed at societal problems by the use of force up to and including the military. Furthermore, he wants his supporters to be present at polling places to prevent “voter fraud” despite the fact that it has never been proven to be an issue, even by his own investigative commission.

Keep in mind that he also encouraged his base to vote twice “just to be sure their vote is counted.” He continues to denigrate the free press, threaten his opponents with potential violence and pardons felons who broke the law on his behalf. He refuses to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power if he loses and threatens “bloody civil unrest” instead.

We have all seen this form of governance south of the border and understand what a banana republic represents. These are not happy prosperous countries but are actually failed states which allow drug cartels and other criminal enterprises to flourish resulting in a continuous exodus of frightened inhabitants northward. While having an authoritarian strongman who governs by fiat supported by unprincipled political loyalists appeals to a minority of Americans, a vast majority of us are appalled by the possibility.

If we truly want to Keep America Great, that majority must vote this failed administration out of office Nov. 3. Our children and grandchildren’s future are depending upon us to do just that.

Dr. Charles Nordstrom (retired)

Eau Claire

Embattled president warrants support

Americans are sick of the hatred and lies regarding the presidential election. The “fake news” is like nothing we have witnessed. We are left to do our own research for facts and information.

Joe Biden was chosen to be the “moderate” candidate, yet he says he will be the most progressive president ever. He states taxes will increase, but only for those earning over $400,000. This is simply not true.

The Democrats talk about the New Green Deal with a price tag of $51 trillion to $93 trillion by some estimates. Under the guise of “global warming,” will they follow Barack Obama’s fiasco? (Solyndra, $535 million, bankrupt in 2011; Abound Solar, $400 million, bankrupt in 2012; Ener1, $118.5 million, bankrupt 2012, and the list goes on.) We are already at unsustainable national debt levels.

Trump has been vilified and hated since 2016. He had not served one second when this over-the-top hatred began. We’ve been hammered with many fake stories: “Russian interference and collusion.” The exhaustive and expensive Russian collusion investigation found nothing.

Trump has been successful at creating jobs. There are lower taxes, and at times the lowest unemployment level ever for Blacks, Hispanics and many Americans. He is putting China on a level playing field for trade. He has brought companies back to America. The full list of accomplishments can be found online.

Do you want a booming economy, regulated immigration, secure borders, law and order, police and a border patrol that is respected, and fair trade? The obvious choice is Donald Trump.

Nancy Wininger

Sheldon

Action needed on election interference

June 2019: Senate refused to bring to the floor a bill to provide funds for election security, despite evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. No action taken.

Aug. 28, 2020: Senate panel chaired by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (the only bipartisan account of the 2016 Trump campaign interacting with Russian intelligence operation) found more evidence of Russian interference. No action recommended.

August 2020: Senate Office of the Director of National Intelligence informed congressional select committees updates will be only in written form, no longer in person. No questions will be asked/answered.

Intelligence officials issued warnings:

August 2020: “We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment’,” William Evanina, National Counterintelligence and Safety Center director.

Aug, 28, 2020: Carter Center’s project to promote democracy in international elections said the center is weighing direct engagement on U.S. election issues for the first time.

Sept. 1, 2020: Facebook takes down Russian operation (a network of fake accounts and pages by Russian operatives) that recruited U.S. journalists amid rising concerns about election misinformation.

Sept. 1, 2020: Mark Zuckerberg and his wife pledged $300 million for election security.

Sept. 18, 2020: FBI Director Christopher Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee Russia is trying to actively influence the U.S. elections using social media, proxies, state media and online journals to sow “divisiveness and discord” and attack Joe Biden’s campaign.

Sen. Ron Johnson, chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has failed to address the issue of meddling in our elections. Instead, he opened an investigation into business dealings of Hunter Biden with a Ukrainian oil company.

Sen. Johnson: What are you doing about Russian interference in our elections?

Lynne Hausman

Menomonie

Dems fare well in economic statistics

I keep reading that President Donald Trump has been good for the economy. He is taking credit where credit is scarcely due, having become president eight years into the longest economic recovery in history.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden had already pulled the U.S. out of the Great Recession and reached an unemployment rate of 4.7% (fourth quarter of 2016). Trump contributed to lowering unemployment to 3.5% by December 2019 but has taken credit for the entire economic revival. Currently he is overseeing the largest loss in jobs since World War II.

When Obama left office the federal deficit that year was $585 billion, up from $442 billion in 2015. Trump has increased it every year, doubling it before COVID-19.

As Trump said in May 2016, “I am the king of debt. I love debt. I love playing with it.” This clearly worked for Trump’s business, which went through six bankruptcies, but bankrupting the federal government would pass on the risk to everyone holding government debt.

With regard to the stock market, Democratic administrations since 1952 have had annualized real stock market returns of 10.6% compared with 4.8% for Republicans. The S&P returns in the first 930 trading days of each presidency were up 79% under Obama and up 47% under Trump. Even with a second term, he is unlikely to do as well as under the Obama administration, and given current instabilities, could do much worse.

Jo Ann Hoeppner Cruz

Eau Claire

Facial coverings offer win-win situation

Here in Wisconsin, with the COVID-19 running rampant and people wearing masks, there is a two-pronged benefit — first to keep away the virus but another positive here in Wisconsin is to keep away our winter’s cold weather.

Mark Warns

Eau Claire

Goodbye Social Security, Medicare

President Donald Trump is planning to end Social Security and Medicare. His book, “The America We Deserve,” outlines a plan to privatize Social Security. He created an executive order to cut payroll taxes that fund Social Security. He threatened to veto COVID-19 relief, if the package did not cut payroll taxes. His Labor Day speech promised to permanently cut payroll taxes, if re-elected. These cuts could end Social Security in 2023.

Social Security Works states, “only a veto-proof majority in Congress would have the power to stop him.” There are senators willing to end Social Security.

AARP states, “Cutting Social Security funding will put benefits and the whole program at risk.” Trump stated Social Security can be funded by “general revenue.” What general revenue? His 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ballooned the federal deficit. The resultant corporate/millionaire tax cuts decreased federal revenue by over $1.5 trillion. Millionaires and corporations like Amazon, Netflix, GE pay no income taxes.

This president is attempting to end Social Security/Medicare. He sabotaged our U.S. Post Office. On Nov. 10, his lawsuit to end the Affordable Care Act starts at the Supreme Court.

His opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden plans to strengthen Social Security/Medicare, save the U.S. Post Office, provide health care, and fight COVID-19 and climate change by repealing tax breaks for the ultra rich and corporations. (No new taxes for those earning less than $400,000/year). Biden’s financial plan is endorsed by the Moody Institute and Goldman Sachs. The choice for healing America is a President Biden.

Bill and Lenore Mercer

Menomonie

Berge the right choice in Assembly race

I am writing in support of Emily Berge, candidate for representative of the 68th Assembly District.

I am an emergency medicine and critical care physician. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been frustrated by our state legislators’ inability to come together to find solutions, and appalled at the amount of misinformation about COVID-19 that has spread even more quickly than the virus.

I feel we need more government representatives who promote solutions based on evidence. I believe that Emily would be a thoughtful and reasonable representative in this respect.

I met Emily several years ago in our local “Moms on the Run” fitness group. On long runs, the miles go by much faster when you are having interesting discussions. I remember talking to Emily last year about local health care during a long Saturday run. We discussed our concerns about health care access in our community. I was impressed by her insights as we discussed ways to help patients gain access to health care and support free clinics and mental health services.

As an emergency physician, I appreciated her reasoned approach to the health care issues facing our city. In these last few weeks, as we have seen local cases of COVID-19 increase, the need for Wisconsinites to come together to find solutions for stopping this pandemic is more crucial than ever. Social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing face coverings in public will only go so far in stopping COVID-19 spread if legislators continue to create division and spread misinformation.

Our state and nation are suffering, and the only way to move forward is to work together. I support Emily because she will work to create solutions instead of promoting more division.

Abigail La Nou

Chippewa Falls

State candidate refuses PAC money

John Rocco Calabrese is my recommendation as the Democratic candidate for the open seat in Assembly District 29. When he wins the election on Nov. 3, I predict he will quickly become one of the most popular and respected young politicians in Wisconsin.

He possesses an enviable skill set for public life; his genuine warmth and easy conversational style make it impossible not to like him. His empathy and respect for others guarantees he will focus on our needs, and his strong intelligence guarantees he has the capacity to contribute to the complex work of the Assembly.

I believe he has the requisite qualities for the highest levels of political leadership. Indeed, it might be the beginning of a new grass-roots dynasty in northern Wisconsin, possibly following the footsteps of revered political leaders, such as Gaylord Nelson, Bill Proxmire and Dave Obey.

John’s maturity and basic decency is very reassuring in these partisan times when the Republican leadership is hostile to any progressive legislation for working people.

The area where John’s ethics are in sharpest contrast with other politicians, of both parties, is in campaign financing. He refuses to accept dark money from corporations or PACs because he knows this is the ultimate wellspring of political corruption. His financial integrity means he will never do the bidding of lobbyists, but it also means he is counting on small donor contributions from his fellow citizens.

For a closer look at this intriguing candidate, check his website: calabreseforwisconsin.

The salvation of our great American experiment with democracy depends, in part, on courageous politicians like Calabrese shaming those who grovel for handouts from large corporations and political action committees.

John See

Menomonie

Trump move not end of Social Security

One of the most egregious political ads I have seen is the one stating that President Donald Trump has eliminated the source of Social Security funding and that Social Security benefits will end in 2023.

Perhaps those who invented this nonsense are referring to the president’s recent executive order to offer employees the option of voluntarily deferring payment of their share of the Social Security tax. Why would they want to do this knowing they are creating a debt for themselves, the payment of which is due on January 1, 2021?

Of course, the president knew this. His order was not meant to cut back on Social Security taxes but to motivate the Democrats to compromise on a COVID relief bill. The president’s action resulted in no loss of funding to Social Security. However, in 2011 and 2012 during the Obama administration, the Social Security tax was not merely deferred but reduced 2%.

No actuarial in their right mind would conclude that Social Security is going to run out in 2023. The most logical reason for making these outrageous claims in this political ad is to scare Social Security recipients into voting for Joe Biden. Too bad he could not come up with something from his track record as a politician to convince people to vote for him.

Cheryl Frisch

Colfax

Caretakers of local parks applauded

Because of the pandemic, we spend a lot of time in nature and thus have explored most of the parks in Eau Claire.

We admire their beauty and are very appreciative of the excellent care they receive — consistently. They are free of litter, trails/picnic areas are clean and maintained, grounds are beautifully groomed. All of these factors are also true of our cemeteries.

Thank you to our Parks Department for the excellent management and care of our natural areas. You are appreciated a lot.

Dorothy Sorlie and Jim Urness

Eau Claire

In support of Congressman Ron Kind

Congressman Ron Kind knows the challenges rural Wisconsinites face when it comes to communication and has proven committed to addressing them in order to help Wisconsin.

At a time when most things are virtual, people face unique changes and differences when it comes to health, education and work. Rural Wisconsinites, students and seniors often lack internet connection because it is either expensive or nonexistent. Kind recognizes these challenges and has continued to support broadband internet expansion in legislation like the Save the Internet Act.

Additionally, the recent attack on the U.S. Postal Service, in the guise of efficiency, is something that would affect rural Wisconsin more than those who ordered the changes realize. The USPS is a great equalizer: It provides regular, affordable mail delivery to every residential and business address in the U.S. The USPS is vital for rural communities and Kind has shown that he is committed to protecting it. Kind acted quickly and efficiently to help secure funding for the USPS and postal workers in the HEROES Act and, more recently, the Delivery for America Act to prevent the removal of mailboxes and any other changes to the USPS.

Kind is acutely aware of the challenges that face this district. His voting record proves that he listens to his constituency and is willing to work on either side of the aisle to get things done for Wisconsin. Moreover, he advocates vigorously for the entire Third District. He has earned our support.

Lorraine Davis

River Falls