Letters to the Editor: June 10, 2020

Letters to the Editor published in the June 10, 2020 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.


Tomahawk Police Department: All eyes are on you

Dear Editor,

The challenges that came with COVID-19 have been stressful and frustrating for us all. The Tomahawk community has spent the past few months navigating many obstacles related to the global pandemic: our students have been learning from home; our local businesses have been forced to shift their operation models; traditional community events and celebrations have been cancelled. I applaud our community for responding and adapting to COVID-19 and for keeping our neighbors safe; however, I am disappointed at our community’s lack of acknowledgement to another current event taking ahold of the nation’s attention.

The international response to the arrest and murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has been powerful. Communities across the globe including in New Zealand, London, and Rio de Janeiro took to the streets to show their support and solidarity for people of color experiencing violence in America. Communities throughout our own country including L.A., Chicago, and New York have been addressing the racism occupying our streets and institutions for centuries. Communities in the state of Wisconsin have rallied through peaceful protest in epicenters including Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay. Yet in our hometown communities, like Tomahawk, there is a lack of recognition at the systemic level of the issues and events the rest of the world have prioritized.

The institutional racism embedded in the United States justice system will only be addressed successfully if every American community invests in the cause. Although Tomahawk is not considered a racially diverse area, we cannot let that be an excuse for inaction, ignorance, or a justification for racism. Just because dozens of community members aren’t in Tomahawk’s streets, does not mean our local institutions are excused from their necessary contribution to the movement to end disparity and injustice.

To the Tomahawk Police Department: All eyes are on you to lead our local community through these challenging times. I want to know what measures the Tomahawk Police Department are enforcing to ensure your approach is trauma-informed and inclusive of diverse communities. What trainings are our local police officers required to attend? Do they address implicit bias and relationship-based policing; crisis intervention, mediation, and conflict resolution; de-escalation and minimizing the use of force; and appropriate engagement with youth, LGBT, English language learners, individuals from different religious affiliations, individuals who are differently abled, and people of color? What other measures are the Tomahawk Police Department taking to ensure every member of our community feels safe and supported? I look forward to your response.

Cait Christenson




Use of religion for partisan purposes was disturbing

Dear Editor,

It was a perfect embodiment of his presidency. On June 1, Trump proclaimed that he is “an ally of all peaceful protest.” Then he had peaceful protesters forcibly removed with smoke bombs and chemical riot agents so he could have a photo op in front of St John’s Episcopal church. This in order to support his call for law enforcement to “dominate” the protesters and his threat to use the U.S. military against Americans. Some ally.

But the use of religion for partisan purposes was the most disturbing. The Episcopal bishop of Washington DC was outraged. “Let me be clear,” she said, “the President just used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus for partisan political purposes.”

The next day he went for a photo op at the shrine to Pope John Paul II. The Catholic Archbishop of Washington found that “reprehensible,” a manipulation that violated Catholic religious principles, adding that John Paul would not have condoned the use of violence to silence and intimidate protesters for a photo op in front of a place of worship.

Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest, added, “This is revolting. The Bible is not a prop. A church is not a photo op. Religion is not a political tool. And God is not a plaything.” At least a few Republicans are speaking out. The GOP governor of Massachusetts ripped Trump’s “bitterness, combativeness and self-interest.” About this nakedly political optics, even Trump loyalist Tucker Carlson of Fox News declared that Trump “seemed aware only of himself.”

The chief of police of Houston put it this way: if the President doesn’t have something constructive to say, he should keep his mouth shut because he is endangering American lives. Trump’s former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis responded by saying that the President has spent three years in a deliberate effort to divide rather than unite the American people, adding that he could never have imagined the commander in chief ordering troops to “violate the constitutional rights of their fellow citizens” for a “bizarre photo op.”

More than ever, it has become obvious that Trump’s presidency is incendiary and divisive. As the American people see more clearly Trump’s narcissism and authoritarianism, maybe we are witnessing the unraveling of his toxic presidency.

David Barnhill




In response to Beaudry letter in May 27, 2020 issue

Dear Mr. Beaudry,

I am a 79 year old woman and I often write letters to the editor and I must say I am fed up with a President who constantly degrades everybody who utters a negative word about him or maybe just asks a question he doesn’t want to answer.

I am fed up with a President who lies all the time and is now trying to go so far as to issuing an executive order to protect his lying. I know that by researching reliable sources that provide fact checking of the information disseminated from all sources – and not the entertainment news outlet, Fox News.

I am also fed up with a Republican party who chooses to ignore the repulsive and childish and offensive behavior of this man!

Somehow Nancy Pelosi must have called a session of the House in Washington in order to craft that enormous spending bill – where all spending bills must originate – and the Representatives must have been in chambers to pass it. And you know what – Mitch McConnell and his Republican controlled Senate voted in favor of that apparently pork-filled bill! And you know what? The President signed that pork-filled bill. And you know what? That bill had a provision for oversight included in it to make sure the monies got where they were intended, but do you know who struck that provision before he signed it? The President. Two chances Republicans had to squelch it if it was that exorbitant and they didn’t. So I guess since you support him, you really don’t care what that bill provided because we’ll never know with any certainty where these tax dollars were spent.

And you know what? Mitch McConnell recently called all the Senators back to D.C. for what? To approve a couple of judges at a time when we have a pandemic going on and the CDC’s guidelines advised against any kind of unnecessary travel. What do you think those votes cost the American taxpayers? In my opinion the man sitting in the oval office is the poorest, lamest excuse we have ever had for a president let alone a leader. Actually, I wouldn’t even want him for a friend as he exhibits everything I dislike in humanity.

So in spite of your admonishment, I will continue to speak out about what I see as gross incompetency from those elected to be leaders of this country. I love America and it truly pains me to watch our great nation lose total standing in the global arena, the absolute inability to endorse a scientifically based plan for the pandemic and watching the utter destruction happening all over with no one offering any solace or resolutions – in fact many telling the man in the White House to quit speaking and turn off the twitter.


Judy Leggett




What our prisons are all about

This letter is to inform people what our prisons are all about. How inmates live and get treated and handled and to show what and how our taxpayers money is used.

This letter is also on behalf of our son who is an inmate at O.S.C.I. He wants people to be aware of how the prison is and what taxpayers are paying for.

There is 172 inmates on his unit, 12 sinks, 14 showers, 10 urinals, 6 toilets between 2 bathrooms where our son is. He is in his cell all the time, except to go to the bathroom, shower, meals, work, in and outdoor recreation.

He has had a stroke, his medicine wasn’t given to him. He has had edema, bolting swelling, water and varicose veins on his legs. He needs surgery on one of his knees and also has to have something with his right ankle and foot. He had trouble with one eye. He has headaches, anxiety and depression, loss of memory. He’s only 47 years of age.

This has all happened to our son since he has been in prison. He’s suppose to have a pillow to elevate his feet. His request was denied so he gets no help and there’s nothing anyone will do. On our visits inmate can’t leave their chair or the visit ends. Inmates can’t use the bathroom the visitors use during the visits. The prison is so worried about contraband. When things are needed a lot of the time nothing gets done.

When money is sent to the inmate like $20 all the inmate gets is $12. Some goes to the inmates release fund. God only knows what happens to the rest of the money.

People at the prison are aware of things but don’t do much about anything so nothing gets done.

The prisons are paid by the state to care for the inmates. People should need to look into and see what their money is being used on other than the prisoners. Let prisoners that are no trouble to the community out to live their lives. Save us taxpayers and the state money.

Thank you,

Julie and Paul Wagner

Park Falls

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