Dear Editor:

7-20 letters

Dear Editor:

I must respond again to a letter from Ms. Stevenson. I did not accuse her of using a “template” or an “example.” I accused her of plagerism. The definition of plagerize from Webster’s dictionary is “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own.” Her letter of 6-22-11 was a direct copy, word for word, from Simac’s website. I do not have to discredit anyone who does that. They discredit themselves.

Concerning Kim Simac, again, I do not have to discredit her. She does that herself. She has stated that teachers should not be permitted their first amendment rights. In a speech at a Tea Party rally in Madison on 2-9-11 she said “Any teachers who even discuss any of their own personal views regarding this budget should be fired.” She has compared our public school system to Nazi indoctrination in a blog post titled “The scary comparisons of the indoctrination tactics of our youth today and those of the Hitler Regime of the past.” (“Faith in the Public Square” 10-6-10) She has called Medicare, one of the most cost efficient and effective insurance programs in the nation, “a corrupt and losing venture” on her Twitter page back in 2009. When the Wausau Daily Herald (7-9-11 asked her what her focus in the legislature would be she replied “I don’t know exactly what I’d be working on. I don’t have this whole thing figured out yet.”

Are these the “conservative values” that Simac supports? Are these the “responsibilities” she will attempt to follow through on? Is this how she will “Serve her community”? Does this represent what she thinks is “doing what is right”?

A voter’s responsibility in any election is to be aware of what their candidate stands for. I hope voters do not disregard these public statements of policy and intent.

Doug Curtis


Dear Editor:

In Foto News issue #25 was an OPINION letter authored by Julie Stevenson expressing her support for Kim Simac’s bid for Wisconsin’s 12th Senate District seat currently held by Jim Holperin.

In issue #26 Brian Hafeman of Tomahawk responded to the letter by stating all it is is the sample letter to the editor displayed on the Committee to Elect Kim Simac For State Senate (the Committee) website simply copied by Ms. Stevenson, implying no thought or effort were put into it by her.

In issue #27, Doug Curtis of Gleason also responded to Ms. Stevenson’s letter stating she was guilty of plagiarism for similar reasons.

In issue #28 a frustrated Ms. Stevenson responded by reiterating her position in a different format.

What has been missed in all this point/counter-point is the truth. It is simply that the sample letter to the editor on the Committee website was an original letter, containing original thoughts, authored by Julie Stevenson, which she intended to send to the Foto News. Seeing the letter and liking it, the Committee asked permission to display it as a sample letter for others who may need help in getting started writing such a letter to their local news media.

That the sample letter on the website was originally authored by Julie Stevenson, is 100% her own, original thoughts, and only subsequent to her authoring it was placed on the website is not clear from the website page. This was an oversight, but should not detract from the truth of this whole scenario.

Bill Fehrmann


To the people of Merrill,

I have been following the controversy surrounding whether the book Montana 1948 should remain on the reading list for 10th graders at Merrill High School. I felt it my duty as a born and raised member of the community to at least read the book and the letters in the Foto News and form my own opinion.

I initially read some of the opinions and was appalled at what I was hearing. To present students with a book that many of you described as having “graphic sexual content” and being “sexually explicit” worried me.

I am a person who likes to consider all sides of a story before reaching a conclusion so I bought the book and read it. Based on the opinions I read in the newspaper, I was expecting either a salacious or a scandalous novel. I, however, did not experience either of those and I would like to present my interpretation of the book. I found roughly two paragraphs in the entire book that may be seen as having sexual content, but I wouldn’t describe them graphic. Consider that this book is told from the perspective of a man reminiscing on this one event in his childhood – therefore the narration is done by his 12 year old self – a narrator that is younger than the students who are reading this book. Also, his parents are good Christian people who refuse to talk about the incident or to swear in front of him.

For those of you writing to the editor and stating your opinions, I would first question if you have actually read the book? Once you read it, I hope you see that the themes and lessons the book presents outweigh the two paragraphs that contain extremely mild sexual content. One of the major lessons is that you should always do what is right no matter who is opposing you. A second is that rape, no matter what the context in which it occurs, is wrong. A third relates to the loss of innocence and that there will be situations in your life that force you to mature and that while you can look back on how things used to be, one instance can change your life forever. These are just a couple of the lessons students can learn from this book. If you feel that these lessons are not important for students to learn then by all means continue your attack on this good book.

Another problem people stated about the book was that it has a depressing or unsatisfying ending – that in a world where teens are presented with depressing and negative images in the media, we should present them with “butterflies and sunshine” books. The media does present a lot of depressing and negative news but that doesn’t mean that what they present is any less real. Teens must be prepared for the real world (maybe not the exaggerated version the media gives us but for a place where bad things as well as good things occur). Ignoring reality isn’t going to make it change or disappear! Reality is messy, painful, and depressing as well as clean, beautiful, and exhilarating. Without the bad, we would never realize what is good. Teaching students about the bad things in life can teach them not only that you must stand up and hold tight to what is good but it also prepares them to act appropriately when the time comes.

One final point I would like to make is that a good book is one that engages the readers and challenges their beliefs and views about certain situations. By challenging your beliefs, you learn that situations are not black and white but, usually, grey. These books teach you to look at all viewpoints before passing judgment and can make your beliefs even stronger.

If you are concerned about students reading this book then instead of attacking the book, engage with the student and read it with them. Help them to understand what they are reading and stress the importance of the lessons they can learn from Montana 1948. Show them that reading isn’t something negative. Show them that reading is an essential part of maturing and becoming an intelligent, well-versed adult.

Meghan Truckey

Former Merrill


Dear Letters-to-the-Editor,

If past performance is an indicator, this week will mark another year of potential success for non-profits, organizations and local businesses that utilize the Lincoln County Fairgrounds as a revenue-raising venue.

Last year, according to Fair Board Profit & Loss statements, the Lincoln County 4-H Fair grossed over $127,800, for the Fair Board. Many non-profits and organizations consider the Lincoln County 4-H Fair a “money maker” and earn revenues in addition to the amount generated by the Fair Board. Moreover, the Lincoln County 4-H Fair is not the only fund-raising event held at the Fairgrounds.

Lincoln County is lucky to have a revenue generating entity as a county property. In spite of that fact, the maintenance costs for the Fairgrounds consistently fall back on to the Lincoln County taxpayer. I personally have brought this fact, backed by the county’s own figures, to the attention of the Lincoln County Board and its Public Property Committee on several occasions over the past two years. In the interim, the County Board has decided to pursue draconian measures such as combining departments and doubling subsequent employee workloads, while willfully ignoring an easy source of revenue for the county. Why?

Please let me state the obvious for County Board members. The Lincoln County Fairgrounds can generate enough funds for both lessees AND COVER ITS OWN MAINTENANCE COSTS. Why are you deliberately passing those costs on to the Lincoln County taxpayer?

Diana C. Smith


Letter to the Editor:

Jim Holperin and Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) do not respect the will of the people of the 12th District. They also do not respect the decisions of the Government Accountability Board. They are using any and all legal tactics to avoid allowing the voters to go to the polls. This may be acceptable in Illinois politics, but not in Wisconsin where we have a proud history of open and fair elections.

They are also attempting to smear Kim Simac, a typical tactic in today’s politics, but in the process they’re doing the same to the people of the Northwoods who strongly believe that running away was NOT acceptable for our representative.

The latest frivolous complaint is only one of many that the DPW has filed since Jim Holperin fled the state in February, choosing to support special interests rather than fulfill his obligations as an elected official. They hope that continued legal action will delay or better yet, bring to a halt the recall of Jim Holperin for his “dereliction of duty” as State Senator for the 12th District.

In accusing the people of the 12th District of “fraud, a wholesale pattern of lying, deceiving, and misleading people into signing recall petitions” Jim Holperin and the DPW show not only a condescending attitude toward the people of the 12th District, but it is an insult to all who reside here.

Even more insulting and hypocritical, the DPW has now chosen to use Washington DC fundraisers, the latest featuring Nancy Pelosi, to fund their desperate attempts. How much money will Jim Holperin and the DPW use from special interests and Washington DC insiders to keep his job?

As the people of the 12th District learn more about Kim Simac – her down to earth ideas and beliefs – her support will continue to grow in the Northwoods. She is not a career politician. She is a local small business woman who shares our love of the Northwoods, our work ethic, and the desire for a Northwoods that provides long term jobs for them and their children. She will work for all residents in the 12th District – not just the loudest special interest groups.

President Obama has stated: “everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to their own version of the truth.” The desperate measures of the Holperin campaign and DPW show that they don’t agree, or even care about, his opinion on the use of the truth.

Kevin Stevenson


Letter to Editor:

Diversity and Tolerance – Our great state of Wisconsin has been overtaken and invaded by many special interest groups that supposedly have all us voting residents’ concerns at hand. Don’t you wonder just why so much money is being poured into our state from outside? Who is benefitting from all this? Could it be Wisconsin takes care of its own and we aren’t as dumbfounded as “they think we are” so we need to be bought off? Are we letting them?

District 12 residents need only to look as far as voting records and a person’s character and backbone strength, in the current times, to know what we want our state to be like, thus we know who to cast our votes for. Is it same old same old once in office? Are we blind sheep being led by outside influences with lies, ugly name calling and defamation of character because they know decency and what is best for all Wisconsinites will prevail in the long run? Wisconsin is on a roll to the top, let’s keep it going.

By now, you must have seen how we have been pitted against each other all through this Wisconsin budget battle by these “outside groups” – leading right down to Mr. George Soros, one of the most richest, most powerful government controlling person on earth. By now, hopefully you have done your own research and not just read propaganda of lies. By now reports coming out – yes in the news media – where Walker’s budget has helped various areas of our state, jobs, schools.

Wisconsin is doing good compared to other states, Wisconsinites care, do you or do you still fight the party line, spew filthy words, same rhetoric we have heard for months or have you done your research yourself, heard debates with open ears and eyes if so, go vote your head and heart for Wisconsin and your own family’s future. We deserve better because we are – now are you? Let’s keep Wisconsin green and clean!

Lin Kenworthy


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