6-29 letters

Dear Editor and Foto News Readers:

While reading the June 22 edition of the Foto News I noticed a letter written by Julie Stevenson of Merrill supporting Kim Simac in the upcoming recall elections against Senator Jim Holperin. I noticed that this letter is actually a form letter that can be downloaded from Kim Simac’s website. One has to wonder then how well the author really knows Kim Simac or how she will tackle the vexing problems which confront our State if she were to be elected. This form letter really provides very little guidance as to why a voter should support her.

Kim Simac agreed to debate both Senator Holperin and Bob Lussow on June 20, 2011 at the Tomahawk School Auditorium. I assume this debate was planned weeks in advance taking the schedules of the participants into account. They all agreed to the debate. Curiously, she cancelled her appearance at the debate. Kim Simac’s website has the moniker “A Leader who won’t run away.” Did she not run away from a debate with Senator Holperin and Bob Lussow? It is very disconcerting that Kim Simac has not publically disclosed her position on issues such as public schools, how she intends to create good jobs that pay wages you can actually support a family on and that have good benefits, and her view on what the role of government in the lives of ordinary working people in the district would be. She seems to be hiding her agenda by running away from public appearances. I was at the debate at the Tomahawk School Auditorium and Senator Holperin talked at length about his views, his intentions, and how he has and will continue to support the hard working people in the 12th senate district. This is the kind of open and honest dialog voters need to make a decision prior to the election. We need a Senator who works for us, keeps us informed, and considers our input in his decision making process. Senator Holperin is that kind of Senator and we need to keep him in district 12.

Brian Hafeman


Dear Editor:

I would like to address the issue that everyone has been speaking of… The Book.

Unfortunately both my daughters have read it, my first daughter hadn’t mentioned it to me, so my fault, I was totally unaware that she was reading it. My second daughter brought it home and was appalled by the content and she shared it with me. Those that are familiar understand that this is an adult rated book, the author himself states this. How it got in our school, the length of time it has spent there and the educational merit that keeps it there are certainly questions I have but let’s keep the main thing the main thing. It is adult rated material, not appropriate for children and against our own district policy, due to profanity. Is there no other educational material available that could teach the lessons that Montana 1948 teaches?

What I have seen happening, is when certain individuals bring forth their concerns, the school board becomes annoyed. Seemingly taking the attitude of… here they are again, the same folks with yet a different issue. What I would urge people to do is look past who is asking the questions and focus on the matter at hand, honestly examine the concerns in an unbiased manner. The group of two women, however you want to reference the word “they,” are representing a much larger group in the community. Perhaps people are afraid to speak out because of this kind of treatment, do not want their names mentioned, or simply might just be too busy to get involved. Getting involved to the point of really understanding how things work takes a great deal of time, reading and research, and personally I am grateful to those who have been engaged. I encourage anyone who votes for school board officials or any public office for that matter, to attend occassional meetings so you have some idea of what is happening and how the people you elected vote.

Have there been many questions, and even uncomfortable discussions? There certainly have been, but none of us should have a problem with this process. We all make mistakes, the problem is not the mistake itself but the refusal to admit when one has done so, being honest about that failure will build trust. Failure is an event; it does not have to define us. Listening is the most important part of communication, seek first to understand then be understood. My hope would be that most of us understand there are different personality types, varied perspectives due to gender, background and experience that all play a role in how we receive each other’s opinions and that knowledge would have us being more respectful.

In closing, I have to ask what will our future generations be like when we put material in a child’s hands and say, well it’s not like they don’t see this on TV and in the movies anyway. Is that all the better we can do? Are we no longer striving for excellence instead settling for mediocrity? Sadly children watch far too much negative media and that is why I feel it is our responsibility as adults to set the example and put as much positive as we possibly can in front of these young minds! They are our future.


Dorly Dahlke



This letter is in response to the rebuttal by Angie Drew on June 22 to Karen Cournaya’s Letter to the Editor regarding the book Montana 1948.

Ms. Drew seems to think that Karen Cournaya’s “small group of followers” are simply a bunch of busybodies who have nothing better to do than harass the Merrill School Board with trivial items. Nothing is farther from the truth. This group is taking a bold stand: The young minds in the Merrill community need to be protected from adult and inappropriate subjects in school. They are not wasting time and dollars. They are doing what we all should be doing as parents and citizens to preserve morality in our public schools.

In the United States, our children are constantly being bombarded with immoral images in the media. These images include, but are not limited to, inappropriate sexual behavior, alternative lifestyles and extreme violence. When children, and adults for that matter, view these items repeatedly, over time, they eventually become desensitized and the value of life itself becomes trivial to them. Human beings become sexual objects or even “unfit to live.”

Since there is more than enough evil being funneled through these various media sources to our children, why would we want them to read even one more page of that garbage in our schools?

Montana 1948 is not a history book. Montana 1948 is a novel – and this particular novel takes historical truths and makes them more interesting and tantalizing to the reader by describing violence and sexual situations in graphic detail. Murderers and sexual deviants in our society are not just “born” that way. They may be born with mental issues – but they are also groomed by what they see and read.

Carol Arnold

Graduate of Merrill Senior High

Mother, and aunt to several MAPS students

Metamora, IL

Dear Editor,

With a special election for State Senator coming soon, I cannot vote for a coward to represent us in Madison who would rather run away and hide in Illinois than to stand up and defend his big government belief.

I also cannot vote for an individual who claims to be a conservative republican, but who is not nor ever has been a member of the Republican party. Who has never expressed his beliefs in conservatism above socialism. Can we believe him now?

That leaves Kim Simac, an individual who truly believes the government belongs to the people and is willing to stand up and fight for the people of this great state. That leaves me no option but to vote for Kim Simac and I encourage and hope that you will also vote for a free and honest state government.

Larry Tank


Dear Editor:

We would like to add our “Amen” to the letters from Rev. Michael McLain and Maraline Collins written to the Foto News regarding the book Montana 1948 being selected for English literature classes.


Darroll &

Lois Wendorf



“If they send one of yours to the hospital, send two of theirs to the morgue”- a line from the movie “Untouchables” which is where Wisconsin politics seems to be today.

Currently there are 9 recall races underway in Wisconsin, but are they being held for the right reasons? Recalls were designed to address ethical or legal issues.

The three Democrat Senators are being recalled due to their choice to leave the state rather than be present to argue and vote on a bill in the Senate. They failed to report for work, not just a day or two, but for weeks with no intention of coming back until they got their way. How many middle class workers could do what they did? They were not forced to take sick or vacation pay and they still collected full wages!

What would have happened to you if you had made that same choice? Would you have had any pay? Would you have used all your vacation? Would you have had time off without pay? Would you even still have a job?

Six Republicans are being recalled as well – purportedly due to one – just one! – vote they made. They are not accused of dereliction of duty, not any ethical or legal issues. They are victims of special interest groups (unions) seeking to overturn the will of the people. It is the deep pockets of these special interest groups that are funding these recalls. They have also used intimidation against businesses of all sizes – from giants like Walmart to locally owned restaurants where wages are a mere fraction of union pay.

State Senator Jim Holperin is one of the Democrats facing a recall now. He has the support of these special interest groups that are paying for materials, radio and television ads. They are also paying canvassers to go door to door seeking votes. All of this is being done to create support for elected officials who did not represent their district and exacerbated the strife within our state.

BUT – back to the recalls.

The recall election process needs to be changed. Under the current system anyone with the money and influence can force a recall election. Anyone or any group with enough money can seemingly buy an office. Left unchanged, power for the sake of power and achieved at any cost will become the norm.

The business of governing will cease as elected officials are too worried about these special interest groups to make decisions. There will be no election cycle or season, but rather just ongoing campaigning. Indecision will become chaos, and economic growth will slow to a trickle, and tax revenue will fall off year after year. City, county and township budget money will be wasted on never ending elections, rather than plowing snow, fixing roads and supplementing education.

Is this really the way we want to govern ourselves?

Kevin Stevenson


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