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What should we do about our beloved Cheese Days?

To the editor: At the end of this month, community leaders will be deciding on the fate of the Colby Cheese Days festival — if it will be held or canceled entirely due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has certainly presented us with challenges and dire consequences to not only our nation but to our community as well. The virus proved to be very hazardous, enough to warrant it to become a pandemic and drastically alter/ threaten our lives. As businesses begin opening up, it’s hard to ignore the concern for not only public health but also for liability, which as a business owner I completely understand.

However, life cannot be forever stalled, and in the words of our police chief; we cannot live in fear. Cheese Days, now more than ever, is an event poised to be the greatest one yet; with more public attention from the almost-successful attempt to make Colby cheese a state symbol, the potential of bigger crowds and more participation is highly likely. If the dates would remain set, who knows who it will attract: state officials that support our town’s cheese, news media, and maybe even Charlie Berens could be convinced to make an appearance (after all, he did support the measure for it to be a state symbol). And what better segment would be to show a town that worships a cheese in Wisconsin? Even Shelia Nyberg, executive director of Clark County Economic Development Corporation and Tourism Bureau, wants to pitch in resources to help bolster the image of Colby and the Cheese Days festival.

But, most importantly, we all need something to look forward to. So many summer events are being canceled around us, which means less and less moments for us to enjoy being together, celebrating the summer and watching our kids have fun. Mind you, things are being canceled not only because of health concerns but also because most of the fiscal support is absent, due to the crippling of the economy and the businesses that donate to these events to make them happen. But I honestly think that we wouldn’t have that problem. From what I have personally seen, when asked to rally, our city, our town, answers the call. Too many times have I been overwhelmed with the actions of our local businesses and community leaders to make things possible to help others and make people’s lives special, because we love this town and we care about its members.

You can call me naive or even crass for putting “fun”/cheesy pursuits at the risk of people’s health, and that is fine. But keep in mind this would not be the first time an event moved forward amongst a pandemic. In 1969 the H3N2 virus (“The Hong Kong Flu”) hit its peak in the United States, with one million people dead globally, and 100,000 Americans perished. During that time a music show was still being brainstormed and planned out. Seven months later, on a small dairy farm, the music event took place, despite the threat of the virus spiking again, and its attendance went down in history as one of America’s most iconic festivals.

It was August 1969, they called it “Woodstock”… and America survived and life moved on. Hell, my mom was a junior at Colby High and doesn’t recall the pandemic, but certainly remembers that Hell’s Angels were rumored coming to Cheese Days and half the town was deputized. But that’s another story. I am not saying Cheese Days will become a festival lousy with hippies and musicians lighting guitars on fire, but the parallel of an event involving concentrations of people in the shadow of a pandemic with success was the intention.

The decision happens at the end of this month, and they want your input. Agree or disagree, if you have an opinion about Cheese Days being canceled, please let your voices be heard by contacting Connie Gutner at

God Bless Colby and On Wisconsin.

Trump’s retaliatory acts should worry all of us

To the editor: What do the names Glen Fine, Michael Atkinson, Christi Grimm and Steve Linick have in common? They are the names of four inspectors general that President Trump has fired in the last two months. Inspectors general are independent “watchdogs” authorized by Congress to make sure tax dollars are not misappropriated and the actions of their respective departments are legal.

While it is disappointing Mr. Trump does not like or want congressional oversight, it is alarming when he retaliates against those that have done their job or even those that might do their job. Glen Fine was supposed to lead a panel to keep tabs on how trillions of dollars for pandemic relief were spent. He was fired before he could take his position. The result was 25 percent of the total $2.2 trillion went to fewer than 2 percent of firms getting relief. Ten percent of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Plan was in loans of more than $350,000, with at least five large companies getting loans of $10 million. Many small, independent companies discovered there was no money left for them.

Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, after he told lawmakers about a whistle-blower complaint that ultimately prompted impeachment proceedings.

Christi Grim, the principal deputy inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, was fired when her office revealed the dire state of the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pathogen.

Steve Linick, inspector general for the State Department, opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s use of government employees to provide “personal services” for him and his wife. Mr. Linick was fired Friday.

These retaliatory actions put tax dollars and the country at unnecessary risk. They are a sign of weakness, not the mark of a leader.

America needs a leader.

Maxine Luchterhand


Wishful thinking will not solve our problems

To the editor: President Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again.” Due to his decision to ignore intelligence warnings as early as November, a dozen warnings in his daily briefings beginning in January, and his determination to “listen to his gut” instead of science, he has a huge job to do.

With more than 36 million people unemployed, 1,515,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 90,000 dead, the country is in desperate need of a leader. Some people say we should not criticize the president because he is doing the best he can. That is exactly the problem.

The only thing Trump seems to be good at is blaming others. He refuses to listen to experts and continues to say the coronavirus will just go away. He sets out guidelines for states to follow, then encourages people to violate them. He suggested people consume bleach. He says some people will be affected badly, meaning they will die, but we have to open up the country.

Where is his plan? When was the last time Trump told us the truth? Big rallies, finger pointing, wishful thinking and lies will not make America great again.

Darlene and Dennis Bucheger Greenwood

Pandemic offers tough lessons to United States

To the editor: COVID-19 has been an eye-opener for America.

This country has 4.3 percent of the world’s population, yet leads the world in the number of cases.

Since the Reagan era, cuts to all government agencies and infrastructure have been progressive, leaving government agencies inadequate funding (except for the military which now gets over 50 percent of discretionary budget).

The current president had terminated a USAID study of viruses and the committee charged with planning for a pandemic, and refused help from the World Health Organization. The delay in confronting the pandemic has cost about 20,000 additional American lives so far.

Once the pandemic began, our health system failed. Having only a for-profit system eliminated treatment for the many with no health care. Those who lost jobs have no health care. No vaccine is in sight, the virus is not being traced, and medical supplies are inadequate.

The vast majority of CARES money went to huge corporations with little to no oversight. Included was another tax cut for the wealthy corporations. The president is insisting new bailouts be tied to cutting taxes that support Social Security, forcing more elderly into poverty.

America’s food system is based on mega corporations created by consolidation. When one link breaks, the country suddenly finds itself with shortages.

At this time we have a federal government run by Wall Street that is unwilling to protect, educate, or support 90 percent of its citizens.

How long will Americans accept this?

Glory Adams Eau Claire