Opinion

DISENFRANCHISING AREA YOUNG ADULTS

As Door/Kewaunee Legislative Days sponsors have gone public with their contrived and limiting survey, requesting issue ideas to bring to our state legislators, these pseudo inclusive efforts fail miserably in encouraging unfettered participation by all our area citizens as “stakeholders,” in the legislative process of influencing state “leadership.” 

 

Having taken the time to directly communicate to the Executive Directors of both Door and Kewaunee County’s Economic Development Corporations (D/KEDCs) with a couple simple suggestions for being more inclusive and less controlling over the issues allowed for April’s supposed community wide legislative lobbying efforts; I’ve not received one written word in response to my suggestions.

 

I’ve criticized the three applied pre-conditions of conformity for any issues suggested to be deemed worthy of lobbying efforts.  I’ve asked what issue isn’t potentially a state-wide or national issue and what issue can’t be argued as being controversial by someone and lastly, if we’re bringing any issue to Madison, it’s a forgone conclusion that we’ve not been able to resolve it locally.

 

Addressing youth disenfranchisement, I’ve directly suggested to most of our area school superintendents and to both our county government sponsors of the D/KEDCs that using our young adults to lobby for efforts dictated to them by political and/or by corporate economic interests is nothing but a public relations gimmick to bolster the community image of our D/KEDCs.  To disingenuously recruit our youth to lobby under contrived, controlled and dictatorial conditions is usury, short-sighted and unconscionable. 

 

As supposed “adult,” community leaders, frequently lamenting how difficult it is to keep our young adults interested in remaining in the area for the (readily debatable) good job opportunities locally, perhaps we should instead be encouraging our youth to be discussing, selecting and voicing their own critical issues during this lobbying opportunity instead of dictating to them, the terms and talking points for their participation.  

 

Looming student debt for post-secondary education, global warming, universal health care, fair wages, open government, decriminalizing cannabis use or ending racial oppression are issues that our young adults might want to have the opportunity to champion.  Respecting these young people, their opinions, abilities and ideas is the logical first step to engendering constructive future community involvement, loyalty and civic engagement. 

 

As “adults,” let’s not waste this golden opportunity for deliberate and honest inclusion of our youth, their ideas and future vision, through our own continued ignorance or arrogance, or the apparent official economic development and local government sanctioning of unquestionable irresponsibility and social detriment currently defining the terms and conditions promoting D/K Legislative Days.

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YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW

Democracy depends on open government


They say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, but when it comes to public records, the state Legislature doesn’t seem to believe in this principle. 


In Wisconsin, cities, police and fire departments, state agencies, and even the governor’s office are required to retain public records and make these available to the public. For example, emails generated by staff in the Department of Justice must be retained for three years from the date of creation and then transferred to the Wisconsin Historical Society or UW-Madison archives. For most of our state’s history, these rules also applied to those who wrote the laws. 


But decades ago, when it wrote the law, the Legislature decided to exempt itself from having to retain most records. This exemption means the state’s 99 representatives and 33 senators can simply destroy or delete records in their possession that they would like to shield from public scrutiny. 


This quirk in the law has been used by some legislators to protect constituents’ personal information, and by others to hide their communications with corporate interest groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. And I know that some of my colleagues in the Senate make it a point to delete their calendars daily.

 

For a state with a rich history of transparency and with technological advancement, this double standard is no longer acceptable. State lawmakers should have to comply with the same record-keeping standard they require for others.  

 

Unfortunately, we have seen transparency slide in the opposite direction in recent years. In 2015, Republican lawmakers passed a budget “999 motion” to limit what records they needed to provide. It was removed from the budget only after public outcry. The Legislature has also limited what the public can know about campaign contributors. 


I believe, as I recently told a Milwaukee TV station, that the ability of lawmakers to destroy records is an invitation to corruption, Already, we have seen that some lawmakers have been destroying the emails they received urging them to vote against the package of lame-duck bills they passed in December.


Our public tax dollars pay for all of the functions the lawmakers perform. The public has a right to see records that show who is exerting influence over these allocations.

 

The fix is easy. We can simply pass a law to delete the legislative exemption to record keeping and bring the state Legislature in line with the Public Records Management and Preservation Program.     


This coming legislative session, I will reintroduce a bill I co-authored in 2011 with former state Senators Tim Cullen and Jim Holperin to do away with this outdated exemption. When this bill was last introduced, legislative Republicans refused to even give it a public hearing. 


Unfortunately, those in power rarely give it up willingly. What’s needed is a loud and unified public demanding that lawmakers’ records be kept safe and available upon request. 


There’s a saying that sums all this up nicely: “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” There should not be 132 standards for record keeping in the Wisconsin Legislature; there should be only one standard of transparency.

 


Your Right to Know is a monthly column distributed by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council (wisfoic.org), a group dedicated to open government. Wisconsin state Senator Chris Larson represents Wisconsin’s 7th Senate District and is the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Committee on Education.

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Sheriff-elect shows class and confidence

Door County may have just elected one of the most self-confident and self-assured sheriffs in Wisconsin history.

Tammy Sternard won a race as a Democratic for Door County Sheriff. She has kept in place her opponent, Chief Deputy Pat McCarty, who ran against her for sheriff as a Republican. That keeps McCarty in the number two position in the department and in a perfect place to mount a campaign for sheriff in the future.

Far too many in politics today view their opponent as an enemy. Apparently, Tammy Sternard has enough self-confidence to rise above traditional politics.

By keeping Chief Deputy McCarty in his position Sternard shows class and confidence. She sends a strong message that she is above the expected partisan politics of retribution that is far too pervasive today.

Sternard replaces another sheriff who demonstrated the same non-partisanship that should be part of the office. Steve Delarwelle served Door County as an effective, quiet and confident leader. Delarwelle never sought publicity. He was a professional law enforcement officer and never a typical politician. And he was smart enough to win a competitive race for sheriff.

These two people, both of whom Door County should be proud, are examples of why being a sheriff should not be a partisan office. Administering a law enforcement agency has nothing to do with being Republican or Democrat. Today, it has more to do with how to reduce recidivism, be smart rather than tough on crime and how to work in a community to prevent rather than punish criminal activity.

Tammy Sternard has a four-year example from Steve Delarwelle that she appears smart enough to follow. She’s off to very good start.

Now, lets get politics out of the courthouse and make positions like sheriff and county clerical positions like clerk, treasurer and register of deeds appointed rather than elected non-partisan positions.

And while that may take some time to accomplish, be confident Door County should be proud of retiring sheriff Delarwelle and his replacement, Tammy Sternard. May retirement bless you, Steve. And Tammy, may you and all with whom you serve be safe and protected.

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

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When most people make a $360,000 mistake there are consequences.

When most people make a $360,000 mistake there are consequences.
Not, apparently, if you’re the mayor of Sturgeon Bay or a former city administrator or county economic development director.

The Sturgeon Bay city council voted Tuesday to pay developer Robert Papke $360,000 to settle litigation over a failed hotel on the west-side waterfront.
Papke claims he was misled by officials who encouraged him to develop the hotel project but withheld information about the title to the property.

The city settled and taxpayers are footing the bill. Papke has said that those promoting the waterfront development “threw roses at my feet” to get him to invest the more than $500,000 in expenses related to the hotel. Those would include Mayor Thad Birmingham, former city administrator Steve McNeill, and former Door County Economic Director Bill Chaudoir. All three were involved in pushing the project and misleading Papke.

McNeill and Chaudoir have retired and Birmingham’s term as mayor expires in April.

The $360,000 payment to Papke could have patched a lot of potholes. There are better uses for taxpayer dollars than lawsuits and litigation. And if anyone in the private sector made the mistakes that have resulted in this settlement there would be consequences. Not, though, in city government, not even an apology from the people who got Sturgeon Bay into this mess in the first place.

Two are retired and one should be held accountable if he seeks another term as mayor of Sturgeon Bay.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Kitchens blames his victims

Offering yet another poisoned plateful of rhetorical misdirection and adding victim shaming to their list, Joel Kitchens’ full collusion in undermining the democratic principles of our state government claims in his December 13, E-Update that anyone criticizing GOP lame duck legislation isn’t rational or objective, and has reacted hysterically.  Joel blames the news media for honestly reporting that his straight party line GOP actions were factually treasonous to democracy.  Horrified over news reporting disparaging Republicans, Joel pathetically accused the media of insulting all Wisconsinites.

 

Using psychologically abusive language, further blaming his constituent victims, Joel describes reliable political critics as closed minded illiterates.  Joel refers his readers to Representative Dale Kooyenga, whom Joel claims as measurably smarter than the rest of us by virtue of Dale’s Joint Finance membership and holding CPA credentials, both irrelevant to proof of superior intelligence or justification of unconstitutional legislation. 

 

Claiming the lame duck bills are “pretty technical stuff,” and were a “challenge,” to the GOP majority to “educate the public on,” this GOP chose NOT to allow adequate explanations within the timeframe.  Conversely, they’re openly admitting that they are incapable of informing the public and they just don’t care to try.  And that supposedly defines voters as the functionally illiterate populace?   Blame and belittle the voters.

 

Admitting that this “special,” legislation was GOP partisanship and that he “worked hard,” to “modify…the overly partisan,” portions of it, Kitchens, intuiting GOP efforts would be considered “partisan and mean-spirited,” proudly defends his “extraordinary,” effort to make the legislation “as good as possible.” In other words for us mere workforce dullards, he’s unquestionably spared no lipstick for this pig.

 

Inevitable in the GOP talking points dutifully repeated by Kitchens, and again revealed in the third paragraph is the real reason Joel expanded on his weekly emailed GOP propaganda.  He’s unsure that the “benefits,” of the legislation so highly praised as necessary for our own good and forcefully inflicted upon us, will prove adequate to polish his already dubious political resume’.   

 

Narcissist doubts and worry about how he and his GOP colleagues are “portrayed,” again is clearly all that really matters to them.  How they’ve abused their illegally gerrymandered power, functionally crippled state government for the foreseeable future and pathologically endangered their constituents’ very lives is ultimately secondary in every respect to flattering their egos, maintaining dictatorial power and control. 

 

As uninformed as Joel deems his constituents to be, he admonishes us to trust him, even while he’s attaching unattainable verbal conditions to his “pledge,” to work with the people’s governor “as much as they can.” After willfully subverting any vestigial balance of state power by irreparably dividing government, Joel unwittingly admits they’ve made compromise impossible, then either threatens or promises “that nothing will be accomplished.” 

 

Lawyering up at constituent expense to defend themselves against the very people these elected officials supposedly serve, indisputably highlights the inexcusable traits of perpetrators of domestic violence, the abusive authoritarian criminals that these petty GOP apparatchiks really are.  

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Representative Kitchens is lying

By Casey Buhr

 

On November 20th there was a feature on DCDN where Joel Kitchens had indicated the thrust of the extraordinary session would be to maintain the progress they have felt has been made over the last eight years. He noted he would not do anything to deliberately take power away from the governor. It appears he was lying on multiple fronts.

 

https://doorcountydailynews.com/news/411095

 

In the Joint Committee on Finance hearing on Monday John Nygren spoke about how small communities were suffering from discrimination as they didn’t have the resources to offer the same amount of early voting hours as do larger municipalities, e.g. Madison and Milwaukee. He said he had heard from constituents that they felt they were not on equal footing because of this. Instead of working on a solution that could offer opportunities to the smaller communities to enable them to expand their available hours the Republican chose instead is to reduce it for everyone. I believe the sensible thing is to try to offer as much opportunity for as many people to vote as possible. The Republicans believe that a red herring argument is sufficient enough to try to limit the opportunity of those within the perceived “liberal bastions” from being afforded a more reasonable length of time to vote. They aren’t concerned about the fairness of it at all, they are concerned with positioning the system in a manner that benefits them in elections.

 

I don’t see how voting to support reduced early ballots supports Joel’s claims about the intent of the session or what how he intended to act in the session.

 

A prominent campaign promise from Tony Evers and Josh Kaul was to remove the state from being a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans in the legislature determined it should not be in the hands of the Attorney General, directed by the Governor but instead it should go through the Joint Committee on Finance which houses a 12-4 Republican majority.  Essentially the GOP has determined that the voice of the people is meaningless, that our choice, the choice of the majority of voters in this state is irrelevant. The arrogance is galling.

 

Again I don’t see how a vote supporting this type of legislation fits within the parameters of how Joel said he’d react.

 

These couple of issues addressed here just scratch at the surface too, there are many others… wresting control of the WEDC, the State senate confirming 81 appointments, et all. There was so much more done, in a such a short time in darkness. An incoming Governor Walker in 2010 made a request to the Doyle administration about lame duck interference yet doesn’t seem to be bothered by it now.

 

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/investigations/daniel-bice/2018/12/04/gov-scott-walker-reverses-course-lame-duck-sessions-since-2010/2200571002/

 

I imagine when confronted on his actions, Joel will likely fall back on “we’re protecting the separation of powers” and he might condescend as he and others in his caucus have taken to do lately, by explaining the checks and balances in our country. Perhaps he’ll use the classic “sure there are a lot of things wrong with the bills but the good outweighed the bad.” Joel has portrayed himself as an independent thinker, one who evaluates the merit of the argument through the weight of the evidence however the actions he’s taken in supporting the legislation in the recent extraordinary session suggests that partisanship and power are higher priorities than the will of the people or transparency in the democratic process. They have subverted our will for their own benefits.

 

If securing the legacy of the outgoing governor and protecting the checks and balances of our government were such a priority for Joel and the rest of the elected state Republicans then why wasn’t it attended to in the last 8 years?

 

If the bills that were going to be presented were such powerful tools for good then why all the secrecy surrounding them? Why would they be released at the latest possible hour on a Friday giving limited opportunity to delve into them. Why were they given only one hearing for the public on the following Monday where the main drivers of the legislation, Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald where not present to defend the bills? Why were they then brought forth on Tuesday into a session that was delayed into the middle of the night, with negotiations behind closed doors amongst Republicans only to have a revised version come out and vote essentially immediately?

 

Now the Republicans are scrambling trying to blame the media for their coverage, for hyperbole. Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos lamented that the Republicans didn’t get a fair opportunity to tell the public about the bill and referred to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as an arm of the Democratic party.

 

 

The public didn’t rush this bill. I’m certain if adequate time were given for them to digest what the Republicans were attempting to do there would have been a louder outcry against it but that is precisely why they moved so quickly on it. The same reason they’ve moved so quickly on so much heinous legislation (as noted in the opinion piece from DCDN on Dec 5th, 2018). Even with the outcry I certain that the Republicans were going to do it anyway, regardless of what their constituents or a what a majority of voters in this state wanted.

 

Democrats received 54% of the votes for Assembly amounting to only 36 seats compared to the Republican 46%, 63 seats. Democrats won every statewide contest.

 

https://isthmus.com/news/news/dems-sweep-statewide-offices-in-midterms-but-remain-underrepresented-in-assembly/

 

The will of the people is to change the manner in which this state has been run, to change direction and set the state back on a course that aligns better with its progressive heritage. The Republicans have gerrymandered their majority and used it to curb the powers of their opponents. This isn’t about balancing it’s about grabbing and holding power.

 

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-republican-party-has-become-a-conspiracy-to-seize-power/

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Wisconsin lawmakers embrace secrecy, fast-tracking

Your Right to Know/Dee J. Hall

 

This spring, I taught an investigative reporting class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that investigated the state of Wisconsin’s democracy. We interviewed current and former lawmakers and activists on the left and right, consulted public opinion polls, talked to regular people and tapped experts who study voting, redistricting and money in politics.

 

The conclusion: Many people in Wisconsin feel state government is moving in the wrong direction, away from the citizenry and toward the interests of politicians and their financial backers.

 

One of the trends we identified as part of our Undemocratic: Secrecy and Power vs. The People series for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism was the increased fast-tracking of bills under Gov. Scott Walker. In his first two years, after Republicans took over the governor’s office and both houses of the Legislature, one out of every four bills was introduced and passed in less than two months, according to the analysis by UW-Madison graduate journalism student Teodor Teofilov.

 

Among the fast-tracked bills that session were some of the most consequential in state history. They included redistricting, which is still tied up in a court battle that could set the national benchmark for how far majority parties can go in drawing lines to ensure their own members’ election.

 

More recently, in the 2017-18 session, Teofilov’s analysis found much less fast-tracking. But one of the bills that did pass quickly awarded more than $3 billion in state taxpayer money to Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn — believed to be the biggest state subsidy of a foreign company ever in the United States.

 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, was especially dismissive of our fast-tracking story, calling the analysis of 20 years of bill passage “politically motivated and superficial.” He insisted that the Legislature under his leadership had “approved bills in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.”

 

A few months after this criticism, Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, orchestrated one of the fastest fast-tracks ever — just over five days (including Saturday and Sunday) from bill introduction to final passage.

 

Hundreds of people jammed Capitol hearing rooms on Dec. 3 as the Republican leaders aimed to hobble the incoming Democratic administrations of Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul.

 

Efficient? Yes. Effective? Perhaps. Transparent? Hardly.

 

The bills — which Fitzgerald had said publicly were little more than legislative “inside baseball” — were instead sweeping efforts to shift power to the Legislature from the executive branch, limit early voting and enact major changes to road spending, agency oversight and public benefits.

 

As GOP lawmakers entered the hearing room Monday, protesters booed and shouted, “You’re changing our democracy!”

 

But Vos and Fitzgerald did not hear those chants. They declined to attend the hearing to discuss their bills. U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, likened the process to a “third-world dictatorship.” News of Wisconsin’s lame-duck session maneuvers made national news.

 

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, after the package of bills passed, Evers called the lawmakers “power-hungry” and accused them of overriding the will of voters “while hidden away from the very people they represent.”

 

It would be difficult to craft a more fitting exclamation point to our “Undemocratic” series.

 

Your Right to Know is a monthly column distributed by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council (wisfoic.org), a group dedicated to open government. Dee J. Hall is the council’s secretary and managing editor of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

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Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer

 

Sore losers and lame ducks are about to try to steal a Supreme Court seat, restrict voting in Wisconsin and subvert the will of the people expressed in the elections of Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.

 

Republican legislative leaders are attempting to take power away from Evers and Kaul, rig the 2020 Supreme Court race to favor a conservative justice and make it more difficult for Wisconsin citizens to vote. The special legislative session starting Tuesday should be repudiated as the unconstitutional power grab that it is.

 

Legislative leaders have stated publicly that spending $7 million of taxpayer money to move a Supreme Court election to March will benefit their conservative candidate. Combined with their effort to further restrict absentee voting, Republican legislators are shamefully making it more difficult for people to vote. Democracy is better served when more people participate in the process, not less.

 

Restricting the power of a newly-elected governor as Republicans propose reeks of being sore losers. The same kind of power grab in North Carolina was ruled unconstitutional.

 

The special legislative session should be canceled. Legislators need to respect the will of the people who elected Evers and Kaul.


And at the very least they should leave legislating to regular sessions when the process is transparent and deliberative.

 

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

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GOP legislators should resign immediately

By Donald Freix

 

While Representative Joel Kitchens and state senate elect and current Representative Andre Jacque were posing for pictures over a monetary gift to a worker training project for which they have not been reported as having had anything to do with, we see precisely defined the term, “two empty suits.”

 

Failing to speak to their constituents, as their GOP legislative leadership, Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald crafted legislation to attack the separation of state powers and to enshrine such things as voter suppression and tax giveaways to their wealthy election campaign donors, along with depriving the new (unnamed as yet) State Superintendent of Public Instruction of constitutional authority and autonomy, “Mr Education,” Joel Kitchens and Andre Jacque smile for the camera.

 

Joel Kitchens has not yet said a word to the local press about any of this GOP legislative betrayal of the formerly great state of Wisconsin and all her citizens as of his Friday “email update,” wishing us all a great weekend. Wasting taxpayer money on informing us about local events, his job is not tourist ambassador nor gossip columnist. If not rank incompetence or deliberate obstruction to hide current GOP legislative machinations, this amounts to complete and abject failure of his sworn duty and responsibility to his constituents, and that means every voter in this district, bar none.

 

If Kitchens doesn’t release an immediate press release today, stridently condemning all of the lame duck extraordinary session legislation, even for no other reason than on the simplest terms of rushing these bill quickly through to avoid public scrutiny, he is complicit in this blatant abuse of power, and tendering his immediate resignation from the Assembly should be his only alternative choice.

 

Every unconstitutionally gerrymandered GOP state legislator should be calling out this blatant power grab for what it is, stridently and publicly refusing to support it in any respect and should be calling for a legislative vote to replace their current leadership in Madison, or resign their legislative seats. Nothing short of unmitigated and total condemnation of this lame duck process and its intentions should be tolerated by any voter in this state. Bowing to GOP fascist authoritarians is not bipartisanship, people. Don’t believe it coming from the lips of any GOP legislator not fully condemning their leadership today. They’d unequivocally be liars and certified political cowards.

 

Donald Freix

 

Fish Creek, WI

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Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer

                       

Picking the Right People New Governor’s First Challenge

 

As Governor-elect Tony Evers populates his administration with appointments he would be wise to follow the practice of former Governor Tommy Thompson.

 

Thompson’s first major appointment as a Republican governor was a Democratic state senator, Tim Cullen, to head the Department of Health and Social Services. Doing so fulfilled a pledge Thompson made to be a governor of all the people, not just those who voted for him. Thompson crossed the political aisle many times. He compromised. Tommy Thompson worked well with members of the opposition. His appointments occasionally created opportunity for fellow Republicans to replace Democratic legislators but he produced an environment of comity and bipartisan civility in state government that is missing today.

 

Tony Evers can help return a more civil government to Wisconsin. Appointing respected Republicans to positions of power will demonstrate confidence and strength.

 

Former state senator Dale Schultz should be considered. He knows his way around the capitol has a reputation for independence and integrity. Schultz would make a great secretary of Health and Family Services, Administration or Revenue.

 

Former State Rep and Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb could step back into his former position and work effectively to restore Wisconsin’s crumbling infrastructure. Gottlieb, like Thompson, recognized the need to raise and index the gas tax.

 

Few Republicans in Wisconsin know how to navigate both the state and federal governments as well as Dave Anderson from Wausau. Evers would have an instant entree into the offices of Republican legislators, and many Democrats as well, if he hired Dave Anderson to work in his administration.

 

And if there is one Walker appointment worth keeping in a new administration it is Stephanie Klett at the Department of Tourism. If her enthusiasm could be taxed we would never have to worry about balancing a state budget.

 

Those without political affiliation could also contribute to a successful Evers administration.

 

Kewaunee County board member Lee Luft would make an outstanding head of the Department of Natural Resources. Luft is well-informed and passionate about air and water quality. His background in the paper industry makes him a good choice to balance job creation and environmental common-sense.

 

Few farmers are as articulate as Door County’s Rich Olson. His strong advocacy for family farms would make him one of Wisconsin’s most effective secretaries of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The family farm is vanishing fast. A family farmer heading this important agency would say strongly that Tony Evers stands with them.

 

Education played a big role in Evers’ victory. Returning former UW Board of Regent member Mark Bradley would be wise. His experience and knowledge of higher education would assure continuity and historical perspective. Evers’ second appointment to the important Board of Regents should be former Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton. Her service to Wisconsin is not over. Her talents need to be tapped to make Wisconsin better.

 

An important appointment will be Secretary of the Department of Corrections, a problem-plagued agency in need of reform. The DOC now expends more money than the entire UW system. For too long Wisconsin politicians have been “tough” on crime at the expense of being “smart” on crime. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections needs a leader who appreciates restorative justice, recidivism and the sociology of crime. If I were Tony Evers I’d ask former State Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske to either serve long enough to change the direction of the DOC or recommend someone who can. Geske is an internationally-recognized expert on restorative justice whose voice in changing corrections policy would be invaluable.

 

Picking the right people is the primary challenge for a new administration. Some of these suggestions could make Tony Evers as effective as many Wisconsin governors who have come before him.

 

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

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Thank you from the next Door County Sheriff

By Tammy Sternard       

First I want to thank Pat for being willing to run for office, running for office is never easy. I was so glad we both ran clean campaigns and focused on what we believe in, our values and our community issues in a respectful manner.

I want everyone to know I'm confident that Pat and I will be able work together and our department will move forward in a positive manner. Our department is full of men and women who bring honor and professionalism to the badge each and everyday and it is my honor and privilege to get the opportunity to lead them.

I would like to take a moment to thank and acknowledge my family. Throughout the ups and downs of this experience they were always there for me whether it was to offer words of encouragement, keep me focused, help me find the positive or simply kick me in the butt. I knew I could always count on them to help me keep moving forward.

They have sacrificed a lot of family time over the last several months helping me run this campaign. I believe it really showed our kids how to be respectful and responsible while chasing a dream and that playing fair is always the best way to go, regardless of the outcome. I love them very much and hope I've made them proud over the last year. I'm grateful to have such a loving and supportive family.

For many of you that know me personally I'm generally a pretty quiet and shy person. This process had often times taken me way outside my comfort zone. This experience truly has been very rewarding. It has given me the opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally. I truly do appreciate all the support from friends, co-workers and the community.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my career and very honored to get the opportunity to be your next Sheriff.

Again, thanks for all the support over the last year!

Tammy

Door County Sheriff-elect

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Nine More Wisconsin Communities Vote to Amend the U.S. Constitution

By Dan Powers         



On November 6th, Wisconsin residents in nine more communities voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that only human beings should have inalienable human rights and money is not the same thing as free speech.

 

All referenda passed with overwhelming majorities: Jackson County (69%), Sauk County (72%) and Wood County (80%); as well as the villages of Readstown (91%), Westfield (87%) and Weston (83%); and the towns of Kickapoo (85%), Rib Mountain (78%) and Vermont (86%).

 

That brings the total to 142 Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment. According to Wisconsin United to Amend, in total, about three million people (55% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions.  Across the country, 19 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as over 780 towns, villages, cities, and counties.

 

In Wisconsin, resolutions calling for a non-binding statewide vote on Citizens United (the 2010 Supreme Court ruling) have been introduced into the state legislature (AJR 53 /SJR 54). The referendum asks voters if the Wisconsin legislature and the Wisconsin congressional delegation should support and ratify an amendment stating: "Only human beings - not corporations, unions, nonprofit organizations or similar associations - are endowed with constitutional rights, and Money is not speech, and therefore limiting political contributions and spending is not equivalent to restricting political speech."  

 

In Door County, 18 of the 20 municipal government units (including the Door County Board) have overwhelmingly passed and sent resolutions of support for holding the statewide referendum.  Still, neither house has let the bills out of committee for public comment. Hopefully, in the next biennium, Rep. Kitchens and Sen. Jacque will help to get the bills to the floor.  

 

A large majority of Americans, regardless of party, think special interest money has too much influence in American political campaigns.  And several polls indicate that government corruption is either the most important or a very important issue facing the country. However, only a strong outcry from the public will ever overcome the sway of big money in our state and federal elections.

 

Dan Powers

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Civil Discourse: A post-election call to civility

By Roger Utnehmer                          

Thank you to those who cared enough about democracy to vote and to the candidates who cared enough to put their names on ballots and compete for public office.

Congratulations to the winners. May this be an opportunity to recommit to civility in our civic discourse. We need public officials confident enough to compromise when appropriate, to cross aisles when it serves the common good and to reject the rhetoric of division.

People of good will are divided. Many today are frustrated with the inability of elected officials to cooperate. Elections present opportunity to improve as incumbents are affirmed and new leaders are elected.

We owe sincere appreciation to those who serve. Far too few today are willing to sacrifice their privacy and endure the personal attacks leveled at public officials. We need civil disagreement or few will have an interest in public service.

Again, I say to those who ran, thank you. To those who won, please commit to civil discourse, compromise and bipartisanship.

And to those who allow others to manage the affairs of government please give public servants the respect and civility they deserve.

That's my opinion. I'd like to hear yours.

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Vote for Frostman

By John Hauser      

As we consider the choices we face on Election Day, the contrasts between candidates are not limited solely to their positions on the political issues of the day.  There is room for legitimate debate between intelligent people on how best to create a flourishing society, but we have little chance of achieving that unless we elect representatives who place service about self.

I know Caleb Frostman to be an individual who is motivated by the success of those around him rather than his own, and who will work tirelessly to achieve that success.  I know Caleb Frostman to be somebody who will decide what is best for his District, not by obeying the will of the leaders in Madison, but by listening to the citizens that he represents.  Caleb embodies the virtues of wisdom, respect, integrity and, perhaps most importantly, service.

We need more people like Caleb working for us in Wisconsin.  Please join me in voting to re-elect Caleb Frostman as Senator for Wisconsin District 1.

John Hauser

Sturgeon Bay, WI 

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To the Sevastopol School District Voters and Property Owners

By Lisa Bieri      

The referendum votes on November 6th offer residents of the Sevastopol School district an
important opportunity.
Voters have a chance to improve the District's school facility in a way that will impact every
grade level. This is a chance to support the school's already outstanding educational programs
and offer new opportunities in all areas.
Teachers and students at Sevastopol do perform at a high level, and that causes some to ask
why the facility upgrades are needed. The District cannot ignore the fact that all areas of
education have changed since the oldest buildings were constructed in 1924 and 1946. And
technology is taking education in directions many have never experienced. Learning
environments that are up-to-date and safe will allow students and teachers to blend the old with
the new and enhance student learning experiences.
The District cannot afford to push facilities maintenance and renewal down the road for three
important reasons:
1) Teachers and students are expected to perform at the highest level possible for each, and
this community has come to expect, if not demand that;
2) The District must continue to improve safety and security;
3) Costs will not decrease, and maintenance items will continue to rise.
To summarize, the operational referendum will allow Sevastopol School to continue with
excellent academic and extra-curricular programs. The facility referendum offers a long-term
solution for meeting the needs of elementary students, safety and security needs, and
technology/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) needs for the school
district.
Quality education affects not only those students being served, but an entire community. Thank
you to all the community members who have invested time in the facility planning, those who
attended open houses and those who have reached out with questions.
Lisa Bieri

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Open letter to Door County Voters

By Garey Bies       

One of the Offices on the Ballot this Election is for the Office of Sheriff. This Office will affect our daily lives more than any other on the Ballot. I am writing this to ask you to Vote for Chief Deputy Pat McCarty. In my opinion Chief Deputy Pat McCarty is the person who is the most Qualified.  Both candidates are nice people and hard working. As the former Chief Deputy I got to know both them when they were hired.

Chief Deputy Pat McCarty started his career in Jail/Radio division he then moved on to the Patrol division for 17 years and the last 4 years as the Chief Deputy. In the Patrol Division in a small rural Sheriff's Department like Door County you get exposed to all types of Law Enforcement issues.  Many of the issues are serious, high stress, life threatening situations where your training and experience is the thing you depend on. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty is the only Candidate with this Experience. This Experience is what keeps the citizen safe as well as the Deputy. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty knows what it is like to respond to or have a vehicle stopped, where it becomes life threatening, and your backup is 15-20 minutes away or more.  Chief Deputy Pat McCarty is the Only Candidate with that Experience. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty was also the SWAT team Commander. The only Candidate with that Experience

As Chief Deputy, Pat McCarty is the Administrative head of the Sheriff Department which oversees all division of the Department. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty is the only Candidate with that Experience.

Pat McCarty is an active member of his community. He and wife have been Married for 22 years and they have one son who is a student at St. Norbert's. Pat coached football for 24 years at Sturgeon Bay High and Southern Door with the last 4 years as Head Coach for Southern Door. Being a coach and Head Coach should speak volumes about his character of his ability to be a leader.  His 8 years of service to his Country in the U.S. Army and Wisconsin National Guard says a lot about his commitment of service. No other candidate for Sheriff has this Experience.

In conclusion I ask you to consider Voting for Chief Deputy Pat McCarty because he the only person who is ready for the JOB, the moment he takes the Oath of Office. He will not need On The Job Training. He will not have to check with someone else on what to do. He will not think He is a CEO who just sits behind a desk looking for someone else who has the experience to do the job.    VOTE Pat McCarty for SHERIFF

Garey Bies Former Deputy Sheriff/Chief Deputy, Former State Representative

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Letter to the Editor--Open letter to Door County Voters

By Garey Bies   

One of the Offices on the Ballot this Election is for the Office of Sheriff.
This Office will affect our daily lives more than any other on the Ballot. I
am writing this to ask you to Vote for Chief Deputy Pat McCarty. In my
opinion Chief Deputy Pat McCarty is the person who is the most
Qualified. Both candidates are nice people and hard working. As the
former Chief Deputy I got to know both them when they were hired.
Chief Deputy Pat McCarty started his career in Jail/Radio division he
then moved on to the Patrol division for 17 years and the last 4 years as
the Chief Deputy. In the Patrol Division in a small rural Sheriff's
Department like Door County you get exposed to all types of Law
Enforcement issues. Many of the issues are serious, high stress, life
threatening situations where your training and experience is the thing
you depend on. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty is the only Candidate with
this Experience. This Experience is what keeps the citizen safe as well
as the Deputy. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty knows what it is like to
respond to or have a vehicle stopped, where it becomes life
threatening, and your backup is 15-20 minutes away or more. Chief
Deputy Pat McCarty is the Only Candidate with that Experience. Chief
Deputy Pat McCarty was also the SWAT team Commander. The only
Candidate with that Experience
As Chief Deputy, Pat McCarty is the Administrative head of the Sheriff
Department which oversees all division of the Department. Chief
Deputy Pat McCarty is the only Candidate with that Experience.

Pat McCarty is an active member of his community. He and wife have
been Married for 22 years and they have one son who is a student at St.
Norbert's. Pat coached football for 24 years at Sturgeon Bay High and
Southern Door with the last 4 years as Head Coach for Southern Door.
Being a coach and Head Coach should speak volumes about his
character of his ability to be a leader. His 8 years of service to his
Country in the U.S. Army and Wisconsin National Guard says a lot about
his commitment of service. No other candidate for Sheriff has this
Experience.
In conclusion I ask you to consider Voting for Chief Deputy Pat McCarty
because he the only person who is ready for the JOB, the moment he
takes the Oath of Office. He will not need On The Job Training. He will
not have to check with someone else on what to do. He will not think
He is a CEO who just sits behind a desk looking for someone else who
has the experience to do the job. VOTE Pat McCarty for SHERIFF
Garey Bies Former Deputy Sheriff/Chief Deputy, Former State
Representative

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Letter to the Editor: Vote McCarty

By Dennis McIntosh, Sturgeon Bay      


Dear Editor:   As an experienced law enforcement professional, who completed 32 years of service in three different communities, two as Chief of Police in Northeastern Wisconsin Cities and as a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and as a former member of the Northeast Wisconsin Committee of Lawyer Regulation, (after appointment by the then Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court), I feel compelled to endorse the most qualified candidate for the position of Sheriff of Door County. I know both candidates and both are good people, but only one has the leadership experience needed to supervise, manage and oversee the entire operation of the Door County Sheriff's Office.  That candidate is Chief Deputy Pat McCarty.  Mr. McCarty has proven himself over and over in the various roles he has fulfilled in his career. Mr. McCarty while serving our country in the United States Army with the elite 101st Air Borne Division, rose to the rank of Sergeant, a leadership position.  He has worked in many aspects of the Sheriff's Department.  Mr. McCarty Commanded the S.W.A.T. which successfully handled a number of dangerous incidents here in our county, everyone one of those incidents ended peacefully, without anyone being hurt. That is leadership! For last four years Mr. McCarty has participated in the overall operations of the Door County Sheriff's Department as the Chief Deputy, including preparation and presentation of the 8.4 million dollar annual budget.  As the second in command of the entire department he has participated in every aspect and responsibility that the agency has. His participation with the community, including our youth is unmatched, for example, from his web site: Coached youth and high school sports, including baseball, basketball and football for the last 24 years, (with many successful seasons, which emphasizes his leadership qualities),  he is a member of the NWTC Criminal Justice Advisory Committee. He has given presentations to a variety of civic organizations on law enforcement related topics, he has been the keynote speaker for a number of law enforcement academy graduations and he is a member of the Northeast Wisconsin ad hoc committee on juvenile justice and jail overcrowding.  Please put your political party aside, put friendships aside and put personalities aside and vote for the person with absolutely the most qualifications and successful leadership experience, Pat McCarty.


Thank you,


Dennis McIntosh

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer

DoorCountyDailyNews.com
President and CEO

Thoughts for Door County From a Cape Cod Visit.

Many similarities and a few contrasts provide the opportunity for the Cape Cod of the Midwest, otherwise known as Door County, to learn from the Door County of the east coast, otherwise known as Cape Cod.

Both claim scenic beauty, similar architecture, abundant opportunities for arts and entertainment, traffic congestion, non-resident property ownership and impressive shoreline preservation.

Contrasts are rooted in regulations. Billboards and plastic bags are banned throughout Cape Cod. Signs warn of fines of up to $10,000 for littering. There is not a single stop sign or traffic light on Nantucket Island. Roundabouts, called rotaries, control traffic. Zoning protects business districts and residential neighborhoods from exploitation, eye-sores, big box stores and chains. Consistent architectural integrity is part of what creates the charm that is Cape Cod.

When dying oysters in a Nantucket bay were connected to lawn chemicals, landscapers voluntarily stopped using chemicals and came up with other options.  Public sewer and water systems were extended to rural areas when beaches were threatened and well water polluted.

A four-lane highway through the center of the cape keeps traffic from congesting small communities along either side.

Like Door County, Cape Cod businesses express the need for an immigration policy that would allow them to hire foreign workers.

Affordable housing is a serious challenge. Bar and restaurant owners provide housing accommodations for staff. A ferry fee for those having a thirty-mile one-way commute is part of the compensation package for workers in the trades and hospitality industries.

Economic development is as much retail and hospitality as it is healthcare or light industry.

Main streets are vibrant and there was not a Walmart to be found, not that anyone was looking.

Preserving charm is what Cape Cod has done best and it is what Door County can learn to assure a future as prosperous as it is beautiful.

That's my opinion. I'd like to hear yours.

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Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer                          

Immigration is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. Missing, however, is the voice of clergy. Without the strong voice of religious leaders, the civil rights movement of the 1960's would never have been successful.

From open housing marches in Milwaukee led by Father James Groppi to the March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it was articulate and persistent advocacy by religious leaders that turned public opinion into support for voting rights, open housing and recognition of basic human dignity for all.

Today, our country is torn apart by the debate over immigration. Families are divided. Children are separated from parents. In Wisconsin, immigrant families live in constant fear. This tragedy is the fault of political leadership missing-in-action. And it is also the fault of silence from the religious leaders who have a moral imperative to speak out in defense of the least among us. If religious leaders would speak from their tradition of respect for human dignity, a preferential option for the poor and the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger, it would be much more difficult for politicians to ignore finding a solution.

We may disagree about what that solution should be but the reality today in northeast Wisconsin is that immigrant labor is an essential component of a thriving economy. Removing undocumented immigrants would paralyze business and industry, especially agriculture. Ignoring the problem may be good politics but it is a moral failure and an economic disaster.

Those who believe we are created in the image of God are pained by the disrupted families, pervasive fear, political demagoguery, and marginalization that is being inflicted on our immigrant community. And by not speaking out against the racism and fear-mongering over immigration, we condone it by our silence.

I stand in support of those who strive for a better life and hope for the American dream. I esteem the family values evidenced by immigrants. Many in northeast Wisconsin send more than half their take-home pay back to families in Latin America. I applaud those who speak in defense of the immigrants and ask our religious leaders to speak with the same passion on their behalf as clergy did a generation ago in support of black Americans.

How we are treating immigrants is the imperative moral issue of this generation. The voice of our religious leaders will be a welcome addition to the discussion.

That's my opinion. I'd like to hear yours.

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Letter to the Editor: Governor Walker's Foxconn Bait-and-Switch

By Senator Dave Hansen    

Since Governor Walker's initial announcement of the Foxconn deal he has been promising it will create 13,000 jobs.

 

But anyone who remembers his promise back in 2010 to create 250,000 jobs during his first term in office knows to take such promises with a large grain of salt.

 

The same day that Walker made his promise of 13,000 new jobs, Foxconn's owner Terry Gau would only commit to creating 3,000 jobs and even President Trump said 3,000 jobs would be initially created.

 

Since that time the Foxconn project has been a moving target with Foxconn officials recently admitting that they now plan to build a much smaller plant less than half the size of the original and one that will require far fewer workers.

 

That number is likely to become even smaller now that Foxconn admitted what many of us already said would happen:  that most of the assembly and production jobs will not be done by people. Foxconn executive Louis Woo admitted as much when he said it's more likely that Foxconn will only hire 2,000 workers initially and that the majority of the assembly jobs will be done by robots.

 

The impact on other state businesses is now a question mark as well since Foxconn also recently announced they will go to businesses in other states for the parts and materials they need.

 

The one thing that does seem consistent here, though, is that the people of Wisconsin will be paying off this boondoggle for a good part of their lives.

 

In fact, even if Foxconn doesn't hire a single employee, it can still reap up to $1 billion or more in public assistance including:  $764 million in local property tax subsidies, $164 million in new state and local roads for Foxconn at the expense of our own local roads and highways, $120 million for a new electric line that will be paid for by utility customers who may have no connection to Foxconn whatsoever, a $139 million sales tax exemption for building materials, and $15 million in state grants to help local governments pay for Foxconn.

 

It's been estimated that the Foxconn deal could cost every man, woman and child $500 or more and that taxpayers won't see their money returned in full until at least 2043 and possibly later.

 

Governor Walker and Republicans are fond of saying that "you know how to spend your money better than the government does."  Except, of course, when they're doing favors for their corporate friends. In this case they've decided that billions of your and your children's money is better given to a foreign billionaire than used to feed your family, pay your rent, put toward your health insurance or invest in your local schools and roads.

 

Given Foxconn's ever-changing stories, their past history of making big promises only to renege on them, and the Governor's own issues with the truth, it's time to call the Foxconn deal what it is, a classic bait-and-switch that is harmful to taxpayers and that will do nothing to help the vast majority of struggling families and communities around the state.

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Opinion: Nicotine Recovery Makes Other Recovery Better

By Dakota Londo, Community Impact Coordinator for United Way of Door County            

September is National Recovery month, which increases awareness and understanding of mental health and substance abuse disorders and celebrate the people who recover.

In our area the Door County Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition work to prevent and reduce substance abuse and related problems by providing leadership, education and support to communities and institutions throughout Door County. They host town hall meetings, community conversations, film screenings, and panel discussions surrounding topics of substance abuse and addiction. Also, the coalition partners with the Door County Mental Health Focus Group to educate and promote mental health awareness to reduce the stigma of mental illness in the community. The coalition consists of government officials, local school faculty, non-profit groups, churches, counselors, and prevention specialists.
A partner of the coalition is Re:TH!NK, The Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network, which works to improve the health of residents by reducing tobacco use and exposure through prevention strategies.
Re:TH!NK and the Door County AOD Coalition are using Recovery Month to highlight the fact that 40% of all cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by adults with mental illness or substance use disorders.

While that number is shocking, there is reason for optimism. One study shows that individuals offered tobacco cessation as part of their treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use have a 25% increased likelihood of long-term recovery. The statewide Wisconsin Nicotine Treatment Integration project (WiNTiP) raises awareness of the connection between tobacco use and other issues by helping behavioral health providers integrate tobacco cessation into the care they give.

Free help is available through the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (7884-8669). Medicaid recipients should also ask their physician about the Medicaid Quit Tobacco Benefit.

Readers can learn more by finding the Door County AOD Coalition and reTHINK on Facebook or visiting www.helpusquit.org for more information on WiNTiP

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Letter to the Editor: Nicotine Recovery Makes Other Recovery Better

By Paul Schmitt    

September is National Recovery month, which increases awareness and understanding of mental health and substance abuse disorders and celebrate the people who recover.

In our area the Door County Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition work to prevent and reduce substance abuse and related problems by providing leadership, education and support to communities and institutions throughout Door County. They host town hall meetings, community conversations, film screenings, and panel discussions surrounding topics of substance abuse and addiction. Also, the coalition partners with the Door County Mental Health Focus Group to educate and promote mental health awareness to reduce the stigma of mental illness in the community. The coalition consists of government officials, local school faculty, non-profit groups, churches, counselors, and prevention specialists.
A partner of the coalition is Re:TH!NK, The Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network, which works to improve the health of residents by reducing tobacco use and exposure through prevention strategies.
Re:TH!NK and the Door County AOD Coalition are using Recovery Month to highlight the fact that 40% of all cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by adults with mental illness or substance use disorders.

While that number is shocking, there is reason for optimism. One study shows that individuals offered tobacco cessation as part of their treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use have a 25% increased likelihood of long-term recovery. The statewide Wisconsin Nicotine Treatment Integration project (WiNTiP) raises awareness of the connection between tobacco use and other issues by helping behavioral health providers integrate tobacco cessation into the care they give.

Free help is available through the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (7884-8669). Medicaid recipients should also ask their physician about the Medicaid Quit Tobacco Benefit.

Readers can learn more by finding the Door County AOD Coalition and reTHINK on Facebook or visiting www.helpusquit.org for more information on WiNTiP

Dakota Londo, Community Impact Coordinator for United Way of Door County

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Letter to the editor: Roundabouts not pedestrian friendly

By Rick Rogers, Sturgeon Bay      

It is good to hear that the Ahnapee trail is extended to Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay.  The pedestrian traffic this may bring reminds us of an experience crossing at the roundabout at Hy 57/42 and Michigan Street last winter.   We were walking westbound along the south pedestrian crossing and were almost run down twice.  

From the curb on the southeast side we could clearly see the northbound traffic to our left and were able to wait for a break and cross safely to the south center median.  From there, because of the hill in the roundabout, we could not see or hear the traffic coming from the north.  Being unable to see or hear, we waited for visible traffic to clear and started on the crosswalk from the median towards the southwest corner.  We were part way across when a pickup truck came out of the roundabout without warning at full throttle—it couldn't possibly have yielded to us even though we had the crosswalk right of way.  We were barely able to run back onto the island to safety.  We waited for visible traffic to clear again and the exact same thing happened—a pickup truck suddenly came out of the roundabout at high acceleration forcing us to jump back.  Traffic was thankfully light and after these attempts we crossed safely. 

There are numerous safety and design issues here.  Drivers and pedestrians cannot see each other from behind the hill.  Drivers apparently do not realize there are blind crosswalks across the exits of the roundabouts.  The speed limit of 45 mph is much too fast for blind pedestrian crossings.  The roundabout design requires full attention and instantaneous decisions while traversing the circle and transitioning to the out ramp and drivers may not have time to see and respond to pedestrians in the cross walks close to the circle.  Aggressive drivers can traverse the entire roundabout in less time than it takes pedestrians to walk across the two lanes.  The recommendation of holding an arm out to pause traffic cannot work when drivers can't see us.

Possible changes to improve safety:  Remove the hill so it is no longer a blind pedestrian crossing.  Give extra marking to the crosswalks with signs, flashing lights, etc.  Post speed limits that are less lethal to pedestrians. Remove the pedestrian crossings and build a bridge for pedestrians.  Encourage pedestrians to traverse the circle in a counterclockwise direction which, while still dangerous, gives marginally better sight lines.




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Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse--WMC Evers attack ad disgraceful distortion of the truth

By Roger Utnehmer

The Wisconsin Association of Manufacturers and Commerce is running an ad attacking gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers that is a disgraceful distortion of the truth.

WMC should be ashamed of lowering the political discourse in Wisconsin to a low level.

The WMC-paid ad claims Evers spent money on pay raises for his staff rather than raises for teachers, saying in the commercial, "That's almost 400 grand that went to bureaucrats instead of teachers."

The fact is that when the legislature appropriates money for the Department of Public Instruction staff it simply cannot be used to pay teachers. WMC is smart enough to know that. Wisconsin voters deserve better from what has been a respected voice for business and commerce. This kind of negative advertising is lowering the quality of civic discourse by distorting facts for political advantage.

Former WMC leaders like Paul Hassett and Jim Haney, both Republicans, led an organization that was respected by members of both political parties.

Distorting the truth damages the legacy great leaders like Hassett and Haney have left. WMC should pull the ad and offer an apology to not only Tony Evers but to the people of the State of Wisconsin.

That's my opinion. I'd like to hear yours.

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