Actions are child-like

Do we have children as our legislators? It sure seems so.

The will of the people means nothing to the Republicans who are in control of the Legislature so that they can control all our costs for two years.

They wanted to end pre-existing conditions coverage, reduce early voting, pass a Medicaid work requirement so we can’t expand Medicaid, approve 82 Gov. Scott Walker appointments on a single day and remove the governor’s authority over an agency that Tony Evers promised to disband.

Do we need to have playpens, rattles and pacifiers for them? Took bad they can’t take defeat like adults.

Shirley Revoir


Increase start times

We read the article in the paper recently regarding a study done in Seattle with great interest. This study was large, scientifically valid and published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

It showed that students who started school later slept more and performed better in school. Previous studies have shown that delaying school start times for high school students has decreased motor vehicle crash rates and improved mood disturbance and behavioral problems.

A study done here in 2003 (assisted by two high school students from Altoona, Mai Vue Xiong and Rachel Johnson) and published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal, compared results between students at an early-start school (Altoona at 7:50 a.m.) and a later-start school (Chippewa Falls at 8:30 a.m.). The study showed there were trends toward increased sleepiness and less total sleep time in the early-start school.

While Altoona has moved to a later start time (8:20 a.m.), similar to Chippewa Falls (8:30 a.m.) and Regis (8:30 a.m.), the Eau Claire (early bird classes at 6:30 a.m. and regular classes at 7:35 a.m.) and Menomonie (7:40 a.m.) school districts continue to have early start times. Elk Mound High School has an intermediate start time of 8:03 a.m.

Since the biologic clock of adolescents favors a later wake time and multiple studies have shown improved sleep and performance as well as decreased morbidity and mortality with later school start times, we strongly support a review of school start times for our high school students.

Since a number of the schools in our region have done this successfully, arguments regarding sports and after-school work schedules seem to be less compelling.

Dr. Donn Dexter and RN Sara Sandager

Eau Claire

Movie an eye-opener

I recommend that people of all political persuasions view the movie “Dark Money” to understand better the consequences of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision, especially on Wisconsin.

During the movie, the effects on two states, Montana and Wisconsin, are depicted. Wisconsin, unfortunately, is the apparent poster child for everything wrong with the decision to lift restraints on undisclosed sources of campaign money.

Gov. Scott Walker, conservative members of the state Supreme Court and the Republican-controlled Legislature are all portrayed as “dirty,” in that they are beholden to organizations, such as Americans for Prosperity, which are nothing more than fronts for people like the Kochs and possibly even foreign interests.

While ensuring that their sources of campaign funds are hidden, Republicans have done away with any sort of independent watchdog such as the Government Accountability Board.

Montana has responded somewhat differently. Yes, outside groups have become involved in Montana elections, but, unlike Wisconsin Republicans, legislators from both parties understand the consequences on citizens of unrestricted and undisclosed campaign donations. In a bipartisan effort, the Montana Disclose Act was passed and signed.

Again, I recommend that all voters view “Dark Money” and then decide for themselves whether it is time for the citizens of Wisconsin to determine what is good for Wisconsin rather than the WMC, the Kochs and other well-funded corporate and foreign interests directing the governor and legislators to pass into law measures that best serve these special interests.

Charles Russell

Eau Claire