The arts, and other industries, need help

All industries are facing troubling times amidst the coronavirus pandemic, and the live events industry is facing a devastating reality — there’s no relief in sight.

As COVID cases continue to break records, President Donald Trump called for the Senate to cease negotiations on the HEROES Act, rather than push for aid we all desperately need. We literally cannot afford to wait any longer.

As the owner and operator of a recording studio, I work with artists from around the world to record their records, and I have witnessed first hand the negative economic impacts of the pandemic. With venues closed and tours cancelled, many artists are relying on the small earnings from streaming services. I have changed my business model to allow artists to pay in installments, and rented out larger venues to allow for proper distancing while recording tracks. Many artists and venues across the country were unable to receive PPP loans and are searching for new ways to make a living in these unprecedented times.

The Senate cannot continue to patiently wait before revisiting negotiations on the HEROES Act. The arts industry, and all industries for that matter, are in dire need of a stimulus bill. We need action and compromise, not complacency and stubbornness. The American people deserve better. We need the Senate to pass the HEROES Act today.

Brian Joseph

Eau Claire

We need to bridge a great divide in U.S.

Our country is deeply divided. We are like members of hostile tribes, staring at each other across a chasm, broad and deep. Seventy percent of the country believes that if the “wrong” candidate won in the presidential election, “America will not recover,” according to a survey cited by New York Times columnist David Books.

But we live in the Chippewa Valley. We are decent folks in a community where decency is a civic virtue.

We can fight like crazy about a ref’s call at a football game, or a proposal at a PTA meeting, or the upshot of a City Council decision. We can argue like crazy about the results of a presidential election. But at the end of the day, we know that we are all human beings living on a small planet. And we know that we all want a good life for ourselves and our families.

At the end of the day we can sit down together over a socially distanced beer or cup of coffee and talk to each other. More important, we can listen to each other. We may agree to disagree. We do not have to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” But we can go forward together, and live our lives as friends and neighbors.

I know we can go forward together. Or at least that is my very great hope.

Maury Pasternack

Eau Claire

Young men’s efforts to return purse lauded

At a time when much seems to be wrong in this world, God gives us a sweet reminder of the good people around us.

I foolishly lost my purse recently by leaving it on my car and driving away. However, two honest young men found it and returned it to me. It had my driver’s license, cash, gift cards and credit cards. They could have just pocketed the loot and no one would have known, but they didn’t.

I hope some mother or father is really proud of them. They took the purse to the address on the license, only to find out that we had moved the previous month and the address was wrong. So they found my number on a card in my purse, called it, and proceeded to return the whole thing to me.

I doubt they will ever know how grateful I was — not just to have it back and not have to replace the cards and license, but they encouraged me. They are such a great example of good honest people who care for strangers. I don’t know who they are, but I am very thankful for them. I hope God blesses them richly.

Sheila Wilkinson

Eau Claire

Immediate future looks bleak for Trump

Donald Trump: You’re fired. Well at least we’re pretty sure about that, but I can see a couple things happening.

1. Trump will try to screw as much up as he can by Jan. 20, that’s just how vindictive he is.

2. Because the Republicans held on to the Senate, Joe Biden will probably have some difficulty with his agenda.

3. Trump is probably going to go from the White House to the jail house or leave the country.

4. I also think Melania is going to say hit the road Donald and take their son with her.

Just saying.

Wayne Weisser

Eau Claire

Party platform may need to be revisited

If gerrymandering and voter suppression are the only way to get your candidates elected, maybe it is time to revisit your party platform.

Diana Germain

Chippewa Falls

Important work still ahead for president

While we await the Electoral College outcome of the presidential race on Dec. 14, we have plenty of time to speculate about the future role of Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the years ahead. What could be more fun?

In my Leader-Telegram letter of Dec. 12, 2019, I estimated that Trump’s popular vote count would rise from 63 million in 2016 to 69 million in 2020. I was way low, as he garnered over 72 million. Assuming the most votes ever cast for a Republican presidential candidate are not enough to secure another term, let’s project the next four years for Trump.

I can’t imagine him simply going back to his international real estate empire when his super talented kids could do nicely without him. I think he’ll use some of his billions, along with a group of likeminded investors, to establish the America First Media Group.

To dominate talk radio, I think he’ll buy the EIB Network from his good buddy Rush Limbaugh. He could even co-host the daily shows on occasion.

Since Fox News is now evolving into just another Democratic Party “mainstream media” outlet, he’ll want to perhaps buy or merge with Newsmax to instantly become the cable channel with the largest audience. The new media mogul could lure folks like Stuart Varney, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Jeanine Pirro and Mark Levin from Fox in a heartbeat.

In his spare time, Trump can continue to hold unto his 72 million faithful voters as he prepares for his upcoming challenge of President Kamala Harris in 2024. Oops, I guess I let slip what I think Biden’s role will be if actually elected; a placeholder for a minimum number of months until he returns to his basement in permanent debilitated retirement.

David Hanvelt

Eau Claire