3-7-12 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in support of Alderperson Steve Hass and ask that voters in the second ward re-elect Steve to the City of Merrill’s Common Council. As an alderperson, Steve has shown his leadership abilities. He is currently the Common Council President, Chair of the Personnel & Finance Committee, and past Chair of the Health & Safety Committee. Steve is an active alderperson researching issues before reaching a decision. During my tenure as Police Chief for the City of Merrill, I have round Alderperson Hass to be open minded and fair doing what is best for the City of Merrill and for the residents living in the second ward. Re-electing Alderperson Steve Hass would be in everyone’s best interest.


Ned R. Seubert


Dear Editor,

I have not been a big proponent of the current recall process. My reasons why are this: Last year we held a legal election and the MAJORITY who voted elected a Governor, Lt. Governor, Senator, and Assembly persons. All of a sudden a group of folks whose candidates were NOT elected decided they didn’t like the results. They started an action to recall the candidates who were legally elected by a majority. Those elected did nothing illegal or immoral, yet the minority decided to recall them. It is my understanding that the main purpose of the recall law is to take out elected officials who were doing illegal and or immoral stuff while in office. It was not designed to just up and change elected officials because we don’t agree, if that was the case we’d be recalling all the time and get nowhere.

This past week I noted an article in the Wausau Daily Herald that a signature on a recall petition for Senate District 29 in Marathon Co. was traced to a candidate for a city council seat here in Merrill, Mr. John Speigelhoff.

Speigelhoof has admitted to signing the petition “by mistake.” I have signed many election petitions in my 72 years. Everyone I’ve signed it was pretty clear that one MUST BE A RESIDENT of the area of jurisdiction of that election. If you aren’t a resident you are committing voter fraud when you sign it.

Mr. Speigelhoff represents area unions, I am quite sure he is well aware that one doesn’t sign papers of any kind without reading them thoroughly to make sure one knows what they are signing. Did he sign the papers by mistake or did he sign them to add numbers to the effort?

Voters here in Merrill should check with Mr. Speigelhoff to verify his intentions. Signing papers not knowing what you’re signing is irresponsible for a man of Speigelhoff’s stature.

Thanks for your time.


Chuck Bolder


Dear Community,

To the staff and friends of T.B. Scott library, the people at the high school who make things work, and especially to the art students: I have been deeply moved and enriched by the new display of art at the library. It is an excellent example of something wonderful produced in a collective effort from many sources.

Thank you to all known and unknown for efforts seen and unseen that produce life in our community. I encourage everyone to come and be affected by some amazing art from our high school students.


Rick Adsit


Dear Editor,

Certainly, it’s the duty of schools to ensure student safety and a bully-free environment conducive to learning. Merrill’s anti-bullying policy already includes prohibitions on cyber-bullying for students and employees, as do most. Should an incident occur, the complaint is referred to appropriate law enforcement agencies. Senate Bill 427, is an unnecessary and unwarranted trespass by the state into the authority of local school boards.

The requirement in SB427 of schools to prepare annual bullying reports only adds another layer of bureaucracy while increasing the paperwork burden through the tracking and compiling of this data – along with increased costs – so becomes another unfunded mandate.

Exactly what are “appropriate responses to bullying that occurs off school grounds”? Who determines if the incident “infringes on the rights of the pupil,” especially when the bill’s authors seek to lower the threshold of what behavior constitutes an illegal bullying incident?

Per state law (statute 947.0125(3)(a)), it only takes an “intent to harass, annoy, or offend another person” and if “profane language” is used, the standard is met. Because current law reads: “…any obscene, lewd, or profane language or suggests any lewd or lascivious act.” instead of “…and suggests”, the inclusion of a swear word in an internet communication can become an illegal act. SB427 further compounds the law’s senselessness, elevating the posting of such a message – without directing it any particular person – a new crime! The Class B forfeiture is punishable by a fine up to $1,000. How absurd!

If what someone says online can be controlled to the extent of declaring a profane comment that “annoys” or “offends” another as illegal, why limit it to electronic or computerized means of communication? What about speech exercised during protests? Couldn’t the noise and chanting be considered annoying and some of the messages voiced, offensive? It is only when we protect free speech of those with whom we may disagree that we remain free. SB427 adds bear grease to an already slippery slope towards eliminating free speech for all.

Clearly, it’s a back-door attempt to abridge everyone’s right to free speech on the internet. This unconstitutional bill was introduced by Wisconsin State Senators Cullen, Coggs, Carpenter, Erpenbach, Taylor, King, Schultz, Risser, Kedzie and our own Jim Holperin. Cosponsors are Representatives Knilans, C Taylor, Pocan, Turner, Staskunas, Ringhand, Loudenbeck, Pasch and Pope-Roberts.

Will SB427 mark the beginning of the end for free speech on the internet? I provided testimony against SB427 at last week’s Senate hearing in Madison and encourage readers to likewise exercise their right to free speech in contacting these Wisconsin legislators, asking them to withdraw support. Also, please contact your state Senator urging a “NO” vote on SB427 and a redraft of Statutes 947.0125 to protect free speech.

Kind Regards,

Loretta Baughan



I recently went to the school forest with Mrs.Sinz 5th grade Jefferson class, and I gotta give Mrs.Wendorf all the credit in the world for how she runs the school forest. I’ve never met a teacher that has so much knowledge about the outdoors and the resources that have to deal with land. This is knowledge that kids can use in everyday life. Thank you Mrs.Wendorf for being the director of the school forest, and I hope you’ll be around for a long time as director of the school forest.

Tim English


Dear Editor,

Lincoln County has built, developed and maintained an institution – namely Pine Crest Nursing Home – that the people of Lincoln County can be proud of.

Pine Crest Nursing Home is second to none in providing a safe, secure, home-like setting for elderly, incapacitated, disabled residents of Lincoln County. This is due in part to the empathetic staff and management team of Pine Crest, but also the vision of former Lincoln County Board Members who in the past have recognized this great need.

Discussions have arisen again about the fate of Pine Crest Nursing Home. The current Board of Supervisors will decide whether to keep, privatize or sell Pine Crest.

Before you decide to sell or privatize please consider the following:

• Able bodied are allowed free movement rather then spending most days alone in their room.

• There are community rooms for gathering together for church services, activities, entertainment events, exercise, cards, bingo, music, etc.

• Meals served in the dining hall are healthy, varied and geared to individual needs.

• The Special Care Unit is specifically equipped for special need individuals.

• Other professional services onside include social workers, physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy.

• The building, grounds & rooms are clean and well maintained.

• Excellent personal care is provided by a well trained staff.

In consideration to all of the above as we relatives of current, past and future residents, want you to know we are strongly advocating for the continued ownership/management by Lincoln County. We believe we have a wonderful facility in Pine Crest Nursing Home. At present Lincoln County controls all facets of its operation. When sold we lose control of ownership and control of the special care & services provided to people unable to care for themselves.

Thank you,

Margaret Robl


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