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 letter to the Merrill Community:

The Merrill VFW Post 1638 and Auxiliary recently conducted its Annual Buddy Poppy Drive. We distributed Buddy Poppies near the Park City Credit Union/First Street Coffee sign and County Market entrances throughout the week preceding Memorial Day. We also conducted a Buddy Poppy Drive at Merrill’s Food Truck-a-Palooza. In this time of ever rising expenses, we were awestruck by the generosity of the people who live in the Merrill and surrounding areas. Please know that every dollar or handful of change goes toward supporting Veterans in need. We, as members of the VFW or Auxiliary, donate our time for this fund drive.
Everyone that donated, thanked us – they said it to us, but the meaning was – Thank you veteran, for your service and sacrifice on our behalf – please know that respect and love came along with every dollar. It was rewarding for us to hear about veteran experiences or memories of veterans no longer with us and it’s heartwarming to see everyone wearing their poppies throughout the week.
Please know that the services made possible through these donations are available to ALL veterans, active service members, or their families, as needed – not just those who are members of the VFW. A big thank you goes out to Merrill and the surrounding communities for your generosity. See you next year!

– Denni Radloff, Jill Schmunk, and Kathy Palazzo – Buddy Poppy Drive Co-Chairpersons
Merrill, Wis.

“No Backpack Policies” have no place in our community.
Store policies which prohibit backpacks may seem reasonable as deterrent to theft. However, these policies are particularly discriminatory towards the most vulnerable people in our community. Additionally, customers should have the right to privacy; these policies can infringe on this right. Bags often contain personal items, leaving them unattended increases the customer’s risk of their items being stolen, leaving your store open to potential liability. Consider how this affects people of low income and the homeless, many of whom rely on backpacks to carry their essential belongings. People with disabilities use backpacks to carry medications and medical equipment. Separating customers from these items is cruel, and a potential violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. No backpack policies reinforce racial stereotypes with selective enforcement. A well-staffed store, with engaged employees making a living wage would be a far more effective loss prevention tool than singling out marginalized people. I implore Hometown Grocers Inc. to reconsider their unwelcoming and discriminatory policy.

-Adam Dotter
Merrill, Wis.

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