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CIVIL DISCOURSE - An Occasional Attempt To Restore Civility To Civil Discourse


Our apologies to the Door County Advocate for a recent use of a photo taken by an Advocate employee and posted on our website. The Advocate copyrights their photos and that makes it illegal for us to use them. The experience prompted our staff to be much more careful about using photos without knowing from where they come.  In this case, a member of our staff wrote a sports story about the resignation of a Southern Door coach and took a photo from the Southern Door High School Face Book page. mistakenly thinking it was public domain. It won’t happen again. Apologies to the Advocate and a thank you to their sports director, Korey Malien for bringing it to our attention.

Not only do I owe the Advocate an apology, I also owe them a thank you for much more detailed and in-depth reporting than is possible in a two-minute radio newscast.  The Federal Communications Commission prohibits daily newspapers from owning television and radio stations. There are exemptions to the rule but they are rare. As a daily reader of at least five newspapers, I’ve often thought the rule makes little sense. Cross-ownership, as owning both radio and a newspaper is called, has the potential to make listeners and readers better citizens. A short radio story can hopefully prompt a listener to seek out more detailed and in-depth information available in a newspaper. The result is a more informed electorate and a better democracy. That’s my first reason to subscribe to The Advocate.

The second reason this radio veteran encourages buying a newspaper is because companies like Gannett, owner of The Door County Advocate, invest significant revenue protecting the public’s right to know. Gannett has the resources to pursue open meetings and open records cases and make possible investigative reporting that a small radio company cannot afford.

Six are in and more to come. That’s the word about our first assembly district seat being vacated by seven-term State Representative Garey Bies of Sturgeon Bay. Bies is ending his career with a flourish of legislation. Garey’s legislative legacy will be passage of laws that reflects his many years of law enforcement.  Far too many legislators pander to the public with “tough on crime” rhetoric.  Garey Bies will go down in Wisconsin history as a legislator who was “smart on crime.”

If you could tax rumors about who else is going to get into the race we’d balance the federal budget.

More Democrats and possibly one additional Republican will be announcing plans soon.

Few places are more exciting to take a three-year-old granddaughter than the Door County Public Library. Ours was amazingly entertained for two hours on a recent Saturday afternoon roving from iPads to books, to games and toys. Door County residents, second-home owners and visitors are fortunate to have such an impressive and well-utilized facility. Stop at the library. You’ll hear several languages, see people of all ages, be impressed by the many activities and leave knowing your tax dollars are well spent.

You may not know that the four radio stations of donate one thirty second message each hour to a non-profit, civic or service organization. Applications for the free ads are on our website. When you hear the Door County YMCA as often as you do on our stations do not worry they are overspending on advertising. You’ll regularly hear the Door County Community Foundation, Kewaunee County Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity, Alcoholics Anonymous, The Go Bo Foundation and many more. Our Door and Kewaunee non-profit organizations are often strapped for cash. We can help them with publicity because of the support of the regular advertisers you hear year-round and see here in our e-paper.

Recently the Pembine Business Association invited me to share ideas on how the Door County Buy Local Initiative was started. An energetic crowd welcomed me to Pembine and assured me they would be moving forward to promote Buy Local.  This is a time of year when making as many purchases as possible locally is even more important. Taxes and high heating costs cut into the disposable cash of many in business. Spending money with local firms assures employment for future generations. Buying out-of-town what is available in Door and Kewaunee Counties is like taking a paint-brush to the signs you see entering communities like Sturgeon Bay, Algoma and Kewaunee and reducing the population posted twenty or thirty people. Consider if the 73% retail leakage from Door County on clothing and 70% leakage in the furniture category was spent locally instead.  It would definitely mean jobs. The single greatest opportunity for economic development is spending money locally. Buy Local is a jobs issue. Thanks to everyone who displays our Buy Local signs and stickers and an even bigger thank you to those who are switching some of their purchases to home-town businesses.

That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours. Email me at


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