Letters to the Editor

We welcome letters to the Editor, a chance for members of the community to comment on issues of concern to them. All letters must be original, not duplications of letters addressed to public officials or written by others. The views and opinions expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication, its publishers, Editor, or staff.

To the Editor:
A Conditional Use Permit has been filed with Lincoln County to put in a railyard owned by Prairie River Junction, LLC on Duginski Rd., right across from Doering Dr.
The fact the permitting process has gotten this far is unconscionable for a number of very important reasons:

  1. It is a fact, railyards decrease property values considerably and in a county with a low tax base, this could be financially disastrous for the county revenue.
  2. There have been approximately 3 train derailments a day in 2023 thus far, so over 500, with the majority in railyards. Trains often carry very hazardous chemicals for both land and air. This proposed parcel sits approx. 50 ft. from a wetland that drains directly into Prairie River then into the Wisconsin River, that provides the water for the town of Merrill and all communities downstream. The estimated cost to clean up the derailment in Palestine, Ohio, alone is approximately $375 million dollars. Though the railroads are responsible for the cleanup, Lincoln County doesn’t have the funds to reimburse the property owners for their chemically poisoned land that is no longer habitable [should a derailment occur]. This property is also within blocks of the administration building and police department
  3. The Commissioners took an oath and were bonded to guarantee decisions would be in the best interest of the citizens they serve upon taking office.
  4. This project should not be near homes and watershed areas and provides zero benefit to the community.

– Kerrie Kanda
Merrill, Wis.

To the Editor:
Nursing homes – public or private?
I have visited several close friends, relatives, my grandmother and mother, over the past many years at Pinecrest Nursing Home. I have spent a considerable amount of time there and never observed mistreatment or lack of care or consideration or impatience toward residents by staff. Nor have I heard a single complaint by patients.
A psychiatrist from Wausau made a visit to my mother to see if he could prescribe medication that would help her, suffering from alzheimers, to make a better adjustment there. When I shared my opinion regarding service provided by staff, his fitting response was, “they are angels here”.
So take your pick for your own future nursing home care: Pine Crest or a private for-profit nursing home that could possibly provide substandard if not abominable care.
To keep Pine Crest a county institution, sign the petition at Westside Grocery, Johnsons Gifts, Cenex near Post Office, or St. Vincent de Paul.

– Bill Ritter
Merrill, Wis.

Letters To The Editor Policy:
*Letters must be 250 words or less. (There will be no exceptions to this. Any letter longer than 250 words will not be printed.)
*The writer must include their full name, complete address, and a phone number where he/she can be easily reached for verification. Phone numbers and street addresses will not be published, but will be used for verification purposes, if necessary. Letters must be signed and the name, city, and state will be printed.
*Letters may be edited for style, grammar, and length. Form letters or those we determine to be libelous or slanderous will not be accepted. Any letter deemed derogatory, inflammatory, or involving vulgar language will not be published. We reserve all rights to reject material submitted to this publication.
*Letters will be published on a “first come, first served” basis. Any letters which we are unable to publish in the printed newspaper may be run online at www.merrillfotonews.com and/or may be printed in the paper at a later date.
*In fairness to all, and due to space constraints, there is a limit of two letters per year from an individual writer. Additional letters may be submitted to our Paid Letters to the Editor column and will require payment in full prior to publication at the same rate as Political Letters to the Editor (see policy below).

Political Letters To The Editor Policy:
All letters submitted as an endorsement for a political candidate, referendum, or political agenda will carry the same guidelines as above; however, they will be charged $40.00 per letter of up to 250 words in length. Longer political letters will be accepted but will be charged $10.00 per additional 100 words. All political letters must be prepaid prior to printing. Letters to the Editor will not be accepted from candidates running for election or representatives of an organization endorsing their own referendum, as these are clearly advertisements and not opinion letters; those submissions will be referred to our Advertising Department to be run as paid ads.

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