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Amy Dickinson: Helpful man poses a #MeToo riddle

Dear Amy: I like to think that I am a caring and sensitive man — one who respects women and appreciates the spirit of the #MeToo movement.

Therefore, a recent experience has me disturbed. I am looking for some objective feedback.

One recent evening, I was with a woman that I know well. We had drinks before, during and after dinner.

It became apparent to me that she was quite intoxicated and probably should head to bed to sleep it off. I helped her up the stairs to the bathroom. After a few minutes, when I heard the bathroom door open, I came back upstairs to check on her. This is when things got “tricky.”

She was naked, and she made strong sexual advances toward me.

I knew that the “right” thing to do was to help her get dressed and into bed for sleep, and then go on about my own business. But I was weak, partly due to my strong attraction to her. We engaged in sexual activity, and during the acts I believed there was a possibility that the next day she would not remember (or at least she might not remember how things got started). Yet I continued, and for this I am feeling remorseful.

Have I committed “date rape”? Am I a “predator”?

If the situation came to a courtroom, or if I were a public figure, would people judge me to be a “bad” man?

And finally, Amy, does it matter that this woman is my wife of 25 years? — Wondering Husband

Dear Husband: I hope this didn’t really happen; I’m assuming instead that your question might be a disingenuous and rude little riddle, designed to trip up an unsuspecting reader.

However, let’s press on.

You ask for an objective opinion. Here’s mine:

Let’s establish at the outset that no, you are not a caring and sensitive man. No, you do not respect the #MeToo movement. That much is quite obvious.

Taking the scenario you describe at face value — yes, you sexually assaulted your wife. She was drunk; you were sober. She wasn’t able to consent to sex — not that you asked her.

No, you did not commit “date rape.” You did, however, commit “marital rape.” You pursued an incapacitated woman for the purpose of having sex with her. Yes, this makes you a predator.

Importantly, and unfortunately — your wife is married to a man who thinks this is a clever and legitimate question worthy of some sort of debate. I genuinely feel sorry for her. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Turn in your good husband card. You are a cad.

Dear Amy: You ran a question from “Pay it Forward,” who was insulted when a stranger in line at the store offered to pick up their tab. “Pay” refused the gesture.

Here is my response: My wife of 40 years died last week. She died suddenly, during a routine medical procedure.

I couldn’t face another night eating alone, so I reserved a table at a favorite restaurant — an expensive gourmet place that my wife and I frequented.

After appropriate hugs and condolences from the staff, I was seated next to a social older couple who ordered what I was going to select. I asked about their order and the conversation turned to some things that we both had in common.

Eventually, I explained my lack of a dinner companion. We chatted amiably, friended each other on Facebook and they departed.

I motioned for my bill and found it has been taken care of by my newfound friends.

Their kindness and generosity made me tear up. (Of course, I reached out to them to thank them.)

My point is that the ability to accept an act of kindness is a lost art and it is this country’s most desperately needed form of etiquette.

We can’t give kindness if we don’t learn how to accept it. — Thomas

Dear Thomas: My sincere condolences. You have attached the perfect lesson to accepting this generosity, and I think your story is going to inspire a lot of people to do the same. Connecting with others helps keep all of us afloat.

Dear Amy: Ah, your advice to “Middle Schooler” about dealing with testing jitters made me smile ... especially this part: “...imagine a big, friendly golden retriever sitting calmly beside you while you take your test.”

What a great image! I’m not in middle school, but I’m going to use it. — A Fan

Dear Fan: Well, it works for me!

breakingtop story
Authorities identify Menomonie woman killed in two-vehicle crash

Authorities have identified the Menomonie woman who died after a Monday morning crash just outside city limits.

The victim was Amy L. Kahl of Menomonie, 44, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The two-vehicle crash happened at 6:45 a.m. Monday on Hwy. 25, a quarter-mile north of 420th Street, said Sgt. Jason Bakken of the State Patrol Eau Claire post in a news release.

Authorities believe road conditions were a mitigating factor in the crash, Bakken said.

A 2006 Ford Mustang driving southbound crossed into oncoming traffic on Hwy. 25. It was struck by a northbound 2008 Dodge Ram pickup truck.

The Ram truck’s driver has been identified as Jessica M. Bauer, 33, of Plum City.

Kahl was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System—Red Cedar in Menomonie with fatal injuries. She was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, according to the state patrol.

Bauer was uninjured and was wearing a seat belt at the time. She is not believed to have been under the influence of alcohol, according to the state patrol.

The Wisconsin State Patrol, Menomonie Fire Department, Menomonie EMS and the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

The top 10 most crash-prone intersections in Dunn County
The top 10 most crash-prone intersections in Dunn County


Friday, Dec. 7

Barnabas Christian Coffee House Supper: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., 19 West Spring St., Chippewa Falls. Includes meal.

Senior Dining: 12 p.m., Bloomer: Senior Center, 2121 Duncan Road. Cadott: Kathy’s Diner, 304 E. Mills St. Chippewa Falls: Senior Center, 1000 E. Grand Ave. Cornell: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 201 S 6th St. Donation: $4 at sites and home delivery.

Saturday, Dec. 8

Barnabas Christian Coffee House Live Concert: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., 19 W. Spring St., Chippewa Falls. Info, 715-404-5330.

Veterans For Peace and friends meet for a peace vigil: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Corner of Bridge and River Streets, Downtown Chippewa Falls. All welcome.

Police-Sheriff calls: Friday Nov. 30 - Tuesday, Dec. 4

Chippewa County emergency and law enforcement agencies responded to the following calls:


10:38 a.m., drug abuse, 500 block of N. Dewey St., Eau Claire

12:16 p.m., theft, 2700 block of Commercial Blvd., Lake Hallie

1:06 p.m., fire response, 800 block of 1st Ave., Chippewa Falls

1:06 p.m., drug abuse, 13000 block of 36th Ave., Lake Hallie

1:17 p.m., drug abuse 2900 block of Commercial Blvd., Lake Hallie

1:35 p.m., assault/battery, 400 block of Myrtle St., Cadott

4:56 p.m., theft, 2700 block of Commercial Blvd., Lake Hallie


12:51 a.m., burglary, 11900 block of 35th Ave., Chippewa Falls

1:20 a.m., drug abuse, 11900 block of 35th Ave., Lake Hallie

4:35 p.m., fire response, 1100 block of Pine Acre Ln., Chippewa Falls

4:40 p.m., fire response, 1400 block of Loffler Ct., Chippewa Falls

8:19 p.m., theft, Miles St., Chippewa Falls

9:11 p.m., domestic disturbance, 12600 block of 44th Ave., Chippewa Falls


3:08 a.m., domestic disturbance, 300 block of S. Prairie St., Chippewa Falls

3:42 p.m., fire response, 26400 block of Hy 27., Holcombe

6:28 p.m., drug abuse, Hy 27/Lavorta Rd., Cadott

10:24 p.m., assault/battery, 3000 block of Cty Tk 00, Chippewa Falls

10:32 p.m., drug abuse, E. Wisconsin St., Chippewa Falls


3:35 a.m., fire response, 900 block of Pearl St., Chippewa Falls

7:09 a.m., theft, 12600 block of Hy 24., Bloomer

12:33 p.m., theft, 13700 block of 44th Ave., Chippewa Falls

3:14 p.m., theft, 18900 block of Cty Tk J., Chippewa Falls

4:41 p.m., domestic disturbance, 1100 block of Water St., Chippewa Falls

10:22 p.m., drug abuse, 2100 block of Bracket Ave., Eau Claire


3:01 a.m., drug abuse, Clairemont Ave./Hwy 53, Lake Hallie

11:34 a.m., domestic disturbance, 1900 block of Cty Hwy 00, Lake Hallie

4:23 p.m., theft 14900 block of Cty Tk S., Chippewa Falls

6:34 p.m., auto theft, 100 block of Main St., Chippewa Falls

Pet Profile: Aslan

Aslan is a male three-year-old domestic shorthair cat who is looking for a good home.

He is up-to-date on all of his vaccinations except for his rabies shot, and he is neutered. Aslan is a calm, quiet and even-tempered feline who gets along with other pets well and is suited for any type of home.

For more information on how to adopt Aslan, or information on the process of adopting other animals like him, you can contact the Chippewa County Humane Association at (715) 382-4832 or visit the Chippewa Falls location at 10501 County Hwy S., 54729.

top story
'The demand is still there': Chippewa Falls nonprofit celebrates six months of success in fighting a hidden issue

A local nonprofit is celebrating six months of being open to the public — and the time has been both successful and eye-opening.

The Legacy Community Center and newly reopened Agnes’ Table has been open in downtown Chippewa Falls for six months, and in that time a large amount of food and a substantial number of people in need have come in and out of their doors. In just half a year, the Legacy Community Center has distributed 12,386 pounds of nonperishable food items from its emergency food closet to 631 households.

Dave Gordon, president of the Legacy Community Center Board of Directors, said the need for facilities like the Legacy Community Center often goes unnoticed in the Chippewa Valley.

“You don’t see poverty in Chippewa Falls,” Gordon said. “You don’t see people sleeping under the bridge, you don’t see people living in their cars, and you don’t see people begging on the street corners. It’s easy to say that we don’t have a problem. That’s one thing we are trying to help people understand that even though they don’t see it, the demand for food and services is still there.”

The Legacy Community Center is staffed by three women: Rebecca Al-awdi (executive director), Karen Anderson (community outreach coordinator) and Almeada Sullivan (Agnes’ Table program director). In addition, the facilities require approximately 100 volunteer hours a week to fully staff both programs.

Besides distributing food to families in need, the Legacy Community Center in its first six months has also redirected 123 individuals to other agencies for additional help with services like shelter and transportation — issues people deal with daily in addition to food shortage. Of those 123 people, 53 percent were homeless.

Gordon said one of the goals of the Legacy Community Center is to become a location where both people in need and community members alike can go to learn about what the city needs to do to address various issues.

“We hope to become a source for the community to see the needs of the people and decide what we are going to do about the issues,” Gordon said. “And if we have the services available in this community to address the problems, are there things we can do together to be more effective in helping folks?”

In addition to the Legacy Community Center, the new location for Agnes’ Table is reaching more people than ever before. After being located in a local Methodist church for 14 years, the new facility next to the Legacy Community Center is open five days a week instead of three. It has served 5,810 meals to date, which includes 1,080 breakfasts and 200 lunches (not previously possible due to the church facility’s limited availability).

Besides providing food and a meal or two for someone in need, Agnes’ Table is a place for people to gather, socialize and use a safe haven, Gordon said.

“There was a gentleman in here eating breakfast and he said, ‘I can tell you what Agnes’ Table means to me’,” Gordon said. “He said his wife died a couple of months ago and on Monday mornings he gets up, gets dressed and comes over here for breakfast. He said this place is helping him get up in the morning. So, it’s not only the food, it’s other things that are important, too.”

The holiday season is one of the times of the year where both the Legacy Community Center and Agnes’ Table see peak foot traffic. More and more families walk through looking for food for the holidays, and up to 100 people a night attend dinner at Agnes’ Table to escape the cold and eat a warm meal. However, along with peak use comes the age old issue of finances.

The two facilities are funded by United Way (which provides $12,000 a year for three years to Agnes’ Table), Rutledge Charities, the Dental Foundation and above all else individual donations from members of the community.

Gordon said even though there are 13 food pantries in Chippewa County, one aspect sets the Legacy Community Center apart from other operations: availability. The Legacy Community Center is open five days a week; in comparison, six of the 13 food pantries in the county are open once a month and five are open once a week.

Gordon said the need still outstrips the services his and other pantries are able to provide, and that facilities in the area need the continued support of the community to stay open.

“Obviously, now the challenge is to keep going,” Gordon said. “It costs money to run this facility: we have to rent space, we have a staff of three, food and many other things. Our message to the community is we’re here and there is a proven need, so we need you to continue to support us.”

“You don’t see poverty in Chippewa Falls. ... That’s one thing we are trying to help people understand that even though they don’t see it, the demand for food and services is still there.” Dave Gordon, president of the Legacy Community Center Board of Directors