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Letter to the editor: Registered National Hate Group in Hudson; Records request frustration

Registered National Hate Group in Hudson

TO THE EDITOR

Citizens For the St. Croix Valley see few limits when proselytizing for their anti-Muslim position. This extremism has landed them on the Southern Poverty Law Center's national hate map (https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map). Around since 1971, the SPLC "monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the U.S. and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public." This includes all those in the following categories: Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalists, Racist Skinheads, Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim, Neo-Confederates, Black Separatists, and a few other ideological categories.

RELATED: As Hudson discusses inclusion, 'Citizens' flagged as hate group

This year CFTSCV joins 953 other strategic haters on SPLC's nationwide hate map. All demonstrate their allegiance to the American flag through various kinds of malicious activity against people different from themselves. The overall size and reach of those with a SPLC designation varies, but the common ground is the promotion of hatred based on either race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Go to https://www.splcenter.org/20171004/frequently-asked-questions-about-hate... for answers to commonly asked questions about the SPLC. This will help to understand what it is that they do and why they do it.

What is it about Hudson's culture and history that has allowed this level of bigotry to flourish? CFTSCV now merit being called a national hate group by the SPLC, and because of this Hudson's reputation has been tarnished. Instead of hoping that they'll go away or denying that they even exist, it's not too late to recognize the importance of doing something to help stop CFTSCV from furthering their hate-filled agenda.

Eden Penn

Hudson

Records request frustration

TO THE EDITOR

I recently made a public records request to the Town of Hudson asking to see the legal fees the Town paid (with taxpayer money) defending the Board's mistake in the brushing of Jacobs Lane.

The first request was answered by the Town Clerk (who I'm sure was Goring's nanny in another life) stating, "that Information was considered attorney client privilege and would not be forthcoming." Wow! A bill paid with the good people of Hudson Township's money that cannot be viewed by the good people of Hudson Township.

On my second request for the protected documents I referenced the Wisconsin Appellate Court decision in Juneau County Star v. Juneau County. The court ruled that legal fees are not protected by attorney client privilege and must be released.

The Town Clerk waited her allowed two weeks and sent me a bill for $70. The ransom's amount for public information. After sending the money I received roughly 20 pages of material I had already seen. Maps of Jacobs Lane copied off the internet and a note stating the Town had no legal bills because the insurance paid the bills. Isn't she cute. First the documents are protected and now they do not have any. Really!

The Town Clerk should do some reading, in that same decision the court ruled on that exact issue. All legal bills must be turned over even if handled by insurance.

In answer to my third request, besides quoting statutes, lawyers' opinions and her opinion the clerk again claims the Town has no bills.

Then why did you take my $70?

I did see Chairman Johnson in a new white T-shirt.

Just another example of the Town bullying one their own and the ignorance of small town justice.

John Windolff

Town of Hudson

Vandalism of rainbow flags and help from the FBI

TO THE EDITOR

Hudson, River Falls, Prescott, New Richmond, and Hammond have had police reports filed about LGBTQ rainbow flags that have been stolen and/or desecrated. Just in the last few years there has been 20 such police reports filed in our area alone. All have been categorized as general vandalism, not as a hate crime. The FBI defines a hate crime as follows:

"A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity." (https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/civil-rights/hate-crimes)

The targeted desecration of LGBTQ flags is clearly a hate crime by FBI standards. One of the functions of the FBI is to assist local police with tracking of larger patterns. And, one of the ways each of us can help fight hate crimes is by reporting a rainbow flag vandalism to local police and directly to the FBI.

I have contacted the FBI and discovered how simple it is to file a report. Wisconsin's FBI field division is located in the Milwaukee area, but there's a FBI resident agency in Eau Claire that oversees St. Croix County. When an individual wants to report a hate crime motivated incident, they call 715-835-3761. Callers will be linked to a filing agent, who will ask a series questions, lasting for about 10 minutes. During my phone conversation, I was told that past victims should report on vandalized rainbow flags, even if the incident occurred a while back. The FBI needs information from over a span of time to identify an overall pattern. It is also important that the reports be substantiated by the victim directly to file a firsthand account of the offense.

On March 31 of this year, the Hudson Police filed an assault hate crime that occurred on Second Street against a gay man. Without a pattern of other LGBTQ hate crime incidents, this assault looks like an isolated occurrence. The FBI's database has the ability to track hate crime activity and statistically connect the dots at large. All of us need to be sure that the Eau Claire satellite division of the FBI is able to track hate crime activity for Hudson and its surrounding communities together. Hate crime vandalism against the LGBTQ community is on the rise in St. Croix County, and only five months into 2018 the total number is the already same as the police reports filed for rainbow flag incidences in all of 2017.

Thank you to all who fly the rainbow flag in support of LGBTQ friends. Your courage and conviction demonstrate the true heart of our community. We need to protect each other and help our law enforcement officials with accurate tracking, alongside our solidarity of shared concerns.

Tony Bol

Hudson

National EMS Week

TO THE EDITOR

May 20-26 marks the 44th annual celebration of National EMS Week in the United States. Each year, the celebration offers a special time to recognize the crucial role EMS providers play in the community. But even more, it serves as an excellent reminder to say thank you.

As the medical director of EMS at Regions Hospital, my team and I see first-hand the lifesaving care EMS teams from your community provide to our patients, long before they arrive at the hospital. This care is highly professional, timely and undoubtedly critical to a patient's short-term and long-term success.

Because we do not always have the chance to say thank you to these providers — as they are swooping into our Ambulance Arrival Center or administering critical care at the scene — this week, my team and I would like to give a big thank you to each of these real-life superheroes.

The work these first responders do every day is simply amazing. And we are so thankful to be their partner in EMS — this week and 365 days a year.

Your community is in excellent hands.

Please join us as we say thank you to our first responders during National EMS Week.

RJ Frascone, MD, Medical Director, Regions Hospital Emergency Medical Services

Propaganda packaged as education

TO THE EDITOR

An attendee at the recent event sponsored by the Citizens for the St. Croix Valley came up to a guest at my table and stated, "I am offended by your wearing of the Hijab. I would be just as offended by someone wearing a Nazi swastika." I don't know this woman but she was clearly emotional and afraid at the sight of a woman who was wearing this obvious symbol of her religion.

I can't get this exchange out of my head. I keep wondering how much hate propaganda have you been exposed to in order to have such a fear reaction? What triggers a person to feel such a strong reaction to the simple wearing of a hijab? How is it possible to dehumanize another person in such a way? Isn't this reaction consistent with the type of conditioning that has been used to justify hate crimes, genocide and even terrorism? Us versus them?

Some in the audience at this event applauded statements from the speaker such as, "If you live in America, you should look, act and speak like an American." Like most Americans, I am a descendent from immigrants. My ancestors were mostly German and Irish and who tended to live by first generation immigrant families where they felt safe. They didn't always look and sound like other Americans. They were not particularly welcome after a surge of immigration in the late 1840's. There was even a political party called the No Nothing Party (also called The American Party) which had as its political platform the opposition of immigrants and the Catholic Church. To her dying day, my Irish grandmother felt the sting of overt discrimination and of being called, "Dirty Irish." This country has a long, sad history when it comes to welcoming those who are different in any way.

Perhaps the woman who was offended by the sight of a hijab was conditioned to believe that Muslims are to be feared. This would be consistent with the online messaging and guest speakers from our local hate group, which regularly shares propaganda and calls it education. I pray that hearts can be open to listen and learn from our Muslim brothers and sisters. That instead of inciting fear, my neighbors in this beautiful part of the country can learn to move beyond hate and fear.

Kerry Guerkink

Hudson

Fishing poles

TO THE EDITOR

Painter Jon McNaughton unveiled his new painting depicting President Trump sitting on a bench with a young man. In President Trump's hand is a fishing pole symbolizing the opportunities for self-sufficiency the United States offers anyone — literally anyone — with the drive and ability to take advantage of them.

On the ground at the man's feet are the heretical gospels of "socialism" and "social justice," the twin tyrannies that drive liberals in the 21st century and guaranteed to lead the world back to

20th century hellholes. The bankrupt doctrine of socialism — "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" — has been set aside, along with the equally fraudulent goal of "social justice" — the current mantra of American progressives and socialist, Bernie Sanders.

McNaughton said "There has not been a better time, in our lifetime, to prosper than today.

The economy is growing and President Trump has suggested, through his educational policy, that people can be taught a skilled vocation."

"How will President Trump make America great again? This mantra is about giving American citizens an equal opportunity to find success. Equal opportunity is different than equal results."

McNaughton's Wednesday tweet - "You can give a man a pole." "It doesn't mean he will use it." And that's the heart of it.

During the Obama years, Americans were encouraged to be dependent on government assistance like food stamps but President Trump changed that. Americans are being offered a fishing pole, but it's their responsibility to actually use it. It's the country the Founding Fathers were trying to build.

Liberals dislike the dismantling of the welfare state. It is what the country voted for in 2016 and it's what the country's going to keep getting if Democrats can be kept out of power in the November midterms.

Mary Grosenick

Hudson

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