8-4-10 Letters to the Editor


One of the many good things about living in the Merrill area is the presence here of a small Quaker meeting. Even though we have met for more than 30 years, only a few know about us, so I would like to tell you a little about us.

We meet twice monthly (dates vary) at Christ United Methodist Church for worship at 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. Our worship is in silence so that we can focus on the presence of God in our meeting, and be receptive to the movement of God’s Spirit within us. Occasionally, when a worshiper is moved to speak, there may be a message of love, trust, generosity or whatever the Spirit may move the speaker to say.

We believe that all people are God’s children since all are endowed with God’s Spirit. We have no formal creeds, since truth cannot be exactly formulated in human language. But we have the “testimonies” which encourage: simple living, equality of all people, world peace and understanding, and universal sisterhood-brotherhood.

The Quakers have existed since the 1650s, organized by George Fox as an alternative to required worship in the English Established Church. One quote from George Fox is, “Walk cheerfully over the world, responding to That-of-God in each person.” Other Quakers who may be familiar are: William Penn, John Woolman and Elizabeth Fry.

The dates of our meetings vary. Please call 715-536-7918, 536-5011 or 536-5889 for information. Visitors are welcome.

James A. Lewis

Society of Friends (Quakers)


To the Editor,

I would like to thank the community, business and civic organizations and individuals that donated to our trip to Kentucky for our 10U Babe Ruth Softball Regional Tournament. Your generosity helped alleviate the travel expenses so every family could attend. I would also like to thank the parents for their time and sacrifices they made getting the girls to practices and games. Merrill should be very proud of these 12 girls that played their hearts out for Wisconsin. The Merrill girls showed that a little town from Wisconsin was on a mission and other states better be ready to play us. The mission came up one game short with a runner up finish at the Ohio Valley Regional Tournament, which was like the World Series for the Midwest. The girls showed very mature sportsmanship and were a class act. I would also like to thank coach Mark Weix and coach Jason Krueger for helping us get there.

Thank you, Foto News, for the great articles.

It was a pleasure for me to coach these girls. Thank you for all the support and for being a part of a loyal, involved and caring community.

Coach Huey Krueger

10U Babe Ruth

Softball Allstars

Letter to the Editor,

At this time after four months out on strike, IAMAW Local 2362 would once again like to thank the Merrill Teachers Association for helping us with the fabulous start up of our own food pantry at Strike Headquarters.

We would like to thank all the Local Unions, businesses and individuals who have helped keep that food pantry stocked. Although our numbers are few, the food pantry has been so important to all of us.

We would like to thank all of you who have taken time to show your support by dropping off water (it’s been HOT!), soda, snacks, fruit, monies, and grocery cards and those of you who have shown us such support with your waves, honks and words of encouragement.

We are still out here on strike until we can negotiate a mutual contract between the company and the union.

Without all of your heartfelt support it would have been a much more difficult journey, but “We’re still Here!”

Sincere thanks to our community,

Machinists Union LL2362


If you’ve been out to the MARC Complex for a soccer game, I’m sure you’ve noticed you have a long walk from the parking lot to the soccer fields. We are attempting to get closer parking for the handicap, elderly, parents, grandparents and visitors.

There will be a Park and Recreation Commission meeting on Aug. 11 at 4:15 p.m. in the City Hall basement conference room. We are on the agenda.

Hopefully, we can get this issue resolved for better parking and access to the soccer fields.

It will help to show your support at this meeting.


Dave & Jean Mootz


To the Editor:

In a July 28 letter to the editor, several individuals expressed concern about changes to the Human Growth and Development curriculum in the Merrill Area Public Schools. These updates in the curriculum are required so MAPS will comply with Wisconsin Assembly Bill 458, known as the Healthy Youth Act, which amended the human growth and development instruction law (section 118.019, Wisconsin Statutes).

The letter stated; “We believe our students need and want truthful information on a very sensitive subject.”

Precisely! I could not agree more heartily! That is the intent of this law!

Assembly Bill 458, Amendment 1, states: “Under the bill, if a school board opts to provide instruction on human growth and development, the instruction must address the health benefits, side effects, and proper use of contraceptives and barrier methods approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent pregnancy and contraceptives and barrier methods approved by the FDA to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Assembly Amendment 1 clarifies that instruction must address the health benefits, side effects and proper use of contraceptives and barrier methods approved by the FDA to prevent pregnancy and barrier methods approved by the FDA to prevent sexually transmitted infections.”

The Healthy Youth Act updates our standards to reflect the health risks teens face today.

Exactly what health risks do teens face today? The WI Dept. of Health Services estimates that treating teen STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) cost taxpayers $117 million annually. According to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, there were 39 cases of Chlamydia reported in Lincoln County in 2009, in the 10-19 age bracket. This is just “the tip of the iceberg,” as the majority of Chlamydia cases go unreported and untreated.

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy, Wisconsin taxpayers spent $156 million on costs associated with unintended teen childbearing in 2004 alone. In 2009, according to the Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavioral Study, 60 percent of 12 grade high school students in Wisconsin stated they have had sexual intercourse. Our students need to have the information to deal with the challenges of today’s world, Assembly Bill 458 helps provide for this.

However, the Healthy Youth Act gives parents/guardians an easy option to have their children exempted from this class: “Under current law, no pupil may be required to take instruction in human growth or development or in specific subjects covered by that instruction if the pupil’s parent files with the teacher or the school principal a written request that the pupil be exempted.”

It is for the well-being of all our young people that the Healthy Youth Act was passed. Our students are at a great disadvantage without the best education based on the best and most current health information available. They deserve no less.

Catherine LeMay-Brown

Human Growth and Development Committee Member

Dear Editor,

I just have to respond to Scott Walker’s editorial in the paper (last) Tuesday. First, I would like to say that I am a State employee. This means Walker threatens by job, my home, my health care, and my pension. He won’t get my vote. This is why he shouldn’t get yours.

His self praise editorial was full of rhetoric and deliberate errors. He states the obvious, that we need to create jobs, yet in the same breath he brags about cutting jobs. Walker would have you believe that public sector jobs and employees are a drain on society and therefore evil. Some of us are a bit odd but we are not evil. We are not a drain on society. We serve society, and unemployment is unemployment.

Walker wants to cut taxes in the middle of a huge deficit. This will increase the deficit and reduce police, fire, and education services. I hate taxes as much as the next guy. But now is not the time. We need to get the major corporation who pay NO taxes to pony up their fair share.

His “brown bag common sense” may have something brown about it but it has little to do with common sense. “Don’t spend more than you have” and cutting taxes work against each other. It will lead to the spiraling down of vital services. “Smaller government is better government” is just plain false. We have all seen that our government cannot function now. Making it smaller will make it less functional. A more efficient government is what we need. “People create jobs, not the government” is, again, false. There are millions of people making aircraft, tanks and other military supplies vital for the defense of our nation. What about teachers, police, firemen and women, resource management, food and other product inspections, park service and more? The government creates millions of jobs. To say that it does not qualifies as the brown part of his “brown bag common sense” and I can use it to make my garden grow better.

The rest of his speech is a rehash of the failed policies of the Bush administration and, as such, is inherently dangerous. His call for less regulation threatens every Wisconsin citizen, and in the long run, every American. It is deregulation that caused the financial meltdown and the gulf oil disaster. Deregulation led to poisons in our food and our children’s toys. Deregulation literally kills people.

Walker’s claims and plans show he is the type of politician we need to keep out of government, not in.

Doug Curtis


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