Mad Pooper

I hope I never have to put up a sign like this in my neighborhood.

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Target Buys Shipt

Interesting move.

The traditional brick-and-mortar retailer announced a $550 million purchase of Shipt, which it said will bring same-day delivery to about half of its stores by early 2018. By next year’s holiday shopping season, Target (TGT) expects to offer same-day delivery from a majority of its stores and in all major markets.

Shipt uses a network of over 20,000 personal shoppers to fulfill orders from various retailers, delivering them within hours in more than 72 markets. Until now, the company has been focused on delivering online grocery purchases, competing with Instacart, which offers shopping services from a variety of grocery chains. Shipt will continue to serve the retailers it already works with, some of which compete with Target’s grocery business.

Live Feed of the 58th District Candidate Forum

Courtesy of the Washington County Insider.

In general, all of the candidates largely agree on the issues. Here are a few interesting (it may be a generous use of the word “interesting” for some folks) nuances and observations as we go:

1st question about support for the 2nd Amendment.

  •  All of the candidates support gun right. Shocking, I know. Zimmerman had a lot of comments about crime coming out of Chicago.

2nd question about taxes

  • Gundrum doesn’t support tax increases at all and cites example of Washington County
  • Stanek thinks efficiency in government is the way to reduce spending and reduce taxes
  • Koehler praises Walker for moving WI in the right direction
  • Zimmerman seems to have microphone problems a lot. He wants toll roads so that Illinois folks can help pay for WI roads. He would have tolls at the borders that only pull from cars with out of state plates. He seems to have an ax to grind with Illinois.

3rd question on Dark Store taxation

  • Zimmerman wants level playing field with sound appraisal practices
  • Gundrum agrees that it needs to be a level playing field. Gundrum had some stats specific to West Bend and the property tax impact of the issues. He also testified in Madison regarding Dark Store legislation.
  • Stanek wants fair taxation specifically to make sure that small businesses don’t get penalized compared to big box stores.
  • Koehler mentioned that there is legislation moving through Madison now and she supports it. There’s a lot of pressure and movement happening around it.

The feed dropped out and I missed the 4th question. Sounds like it was about transportation.

  • Missed Koehler answer.
  • Zimmerman touted a Great Lakes Basin railroad project to help commerce and theft in Chicago rail yards (he mentions Chicago and Illinois a lot). Also touted Embridge line pipeline.
  • Gundrum not running to support tolls or tax increases. Believes there is way too much bureaucracy in transportation. Would like more local input because locals can be more efficient.
  • Stanek doesn’t support any tax increases or new taxes, but doesn’t want to borrow anymore. Thinks the way to fix it is to make entire state more efficient and redirect savings into priority transportation projects.

5th question about opioid crisis.

  • Stanek says we need to focus on education and the proper prescribing of legal opioids. Also need to punish dealers harshly. Says it contributing to crime creeping up from Milwaukee
  • Koehler spent many years dealing with mental health issues with various organizations. The answers are in the addicts and understanding their specific circumstances. Cites a shortage of mental health professionals and crisis prevention services in the state and Washington County. Says the State needs to set up the infrastructure to accept and treat addicts. Also supports tough on crime enforcement.
  • Zimmerman says we need another War on Drugs like Nancy Reagan advocated. Problem with gift cards being used to buy drugs and then pivoted to slamming Washington County for using surplus to buy gift cards for employees. Hinted that unused gift cards might be used to fuel drug problems.
  • Gundrum had stats for increase in overdose deaths. County joined lawsuit against Big Pharma for business practices that contributed to problem. Also… education.

6th question about drug testing for welfare recipients and welfare as a whole.

  • Gundrum supports drug testing and welfare reforms.
  • Stanek also supports Walker’s reforms. We’ve made it too easy for people to stay home and not work
  • Koehler supports it, but says problem is that it is a questionnaire and not an actual drug test. Says it needs a real test of bodily fluids. Says she knows how people game welfare system from her time working in Milwaukee and has a unique perspective to know how to fix it.
  • Zimmerman supports and says we need to redo Welfare to Work. Touted Tommy Thompson and mentioned that he met TOMMY! last month. Claimed that Reince Priebus encouraged him to run for Assembly – clarified that this was not an endorsment.

7th question – yes or no, favor legalizing pot?

  • All said “no”

8th question asked how elected officials should listen to Conservation Congress, etc. when making decisions about DNR and conservation issues.

  • Koehler said that she would have to look it but said that elected officials need to listen to the people before making decisions and be careful about special interests.
  • Zimmerman said we should abolish the DNR (jokingly). Generally said we need to limit the DNR and its power.
  • Gundrum wants more local input and control over environmental issues.
  • Stanek talked about being a hunter and fisherman. Thinks that hunters and fishers have a vested interest in conservation and the DNR should listen to them.

9th question about business development. How would the state address attracting business and creating a skilled labor force to fill the jobs?

  • Stanek said that the state is already moving on those issues with schools encouraging trades and college paths. Also thinks that jobs will attract people to migrate into state.
  • Koehler says state needs to lower the cost of doing business in WI by reducing taxes and streamlining regulations. Need to invest in education and worker training. Need to end welfare benefits cliff so that people can gradually get into work without losing all of their welfare at once.
  • Zimmerman supports Welfare to Work. Invest in education – particularly tech schools. Support foreign investments from countries that are allies of US. Doesn’t support Uranium One deal, but supports Foxconn deal. Talked about railroad project again.
  • Gundrum supports education. Need to improve teacher recruitment and streamline license process for teachers. Talked about counties sharing transportation services to help people get to work. Need to get infrastructure in line to support greater business.

10th question. Lightning round. Closing statements of 1 minute or less.

Boiler-plate stump speeches.

Gundrum and Koehler touted their pro-life position.

Zimmerman touted his early and strong support for Trump (not sure if that’s a winning point in Washington County where Trump lost the primary handily).

 

 

Ron Johnson’s Perfect Analysis

Well, when you say it like that, it seems obvious.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) did not mince words when asked to comment on Tuesday night’s election results in Alabama. When asked what he believed the “message” from last night was, Johnson said that “Alabamians didn’t want somebody who dated 14-year-old girls.”

He then said that Steve Bannon should learn that the GOP needs better candidates in order to win Senate races before going into an office away from the camera.

Madison Taxpayers Waste Money on Broadband

Two years. Half a million dollars. 19 people served. Way to go

After two years and spending more than $500,000, Madison is well short of goals for the pilot program. ResTech had delays in extending fiber cable to the neighborhoods, and once there, found unexpected barriers in getting permission from property owners to connect to buildings and so far has signed up few customers.

The problems were outlined in a story in the Wisconsin State Journal on Nov. 20, the same day the termination letter was sent.

The “Connecting Madison” pilot program has potential to bring service to 161 buildings with 1,083 apartments in the neighborhoods with connections projected by the end of 2016.

But as of Nov. 17, ResTech had made broadband service available to just 86 buildings and had only 19 customers.

Candidate Forum for Candidates for the 58th Tonight

If you’d like to learn more about the Republican candidates for the 58th Assembly District, there’s a candidate forum tonight hosted by the Common Sense Citizens of Washington County. Also, I believe that there will be a live stream of it by the Washington County Insider if you can’t make it in person.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13 Common Sense Citizens of Washington County will host a candidate forum at the West Bend Moose Lodge at 7 p.m.

Candidates include: Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, Rick Gundrum, and Steve Stanek.

Candidates will introduce themselves and then all four will be asked the same questions.

Candidates will be encouraged to stay after the forum to greet the audience and answer individual questions.

GOP Reaches Compromise on Tax Bill

So far, so good.

House and Senate Republican leaders have reached an agreement in principle that would lower the corporate tax rate to 21 percent beginning in 2018, several people briefed on the plan said, a central component of the $1.5 trillion tax plan they hope to vote into law by next week.

The agreement would also lower the top tax rate for families and individuals from 39.6 percent to at least 37 percent, a change that would deliver a major tax cut for upper-income households.

I thought that the Moore defeat would raise the fear of Senate Republican defections would push the House to just pass the Senate version. I’m pleasantly surprised that not only does it look like the caucus is hanging together, but that what we know of the compromise looks better than expected.

Tillerson Ready to Talk to North Korea

This is a change.

Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US is ready to talk with North Korea without preconditions.

“We’ve said from the diplomatic side, we’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk,” Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday, in what amounted to a direct public invitation for North Korea to put aside an escalating cycle of tests and taunts and engage in diplomacy.
“We are ready to have the first meeting without precondition,” Tillerson said. “Let’s just meet, and we can talk about the weather if you want. Talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table, if that’s what you are excited about. But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face, and then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map of what we might be willing to work towards.”

Doug Jones Wins Alabama Seat

I admit that my outrage machine has been broken over this whole race. I find myself just shrugging and saying, “whatever.”

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Doug Jones, a Democratic former prosecutor who mounted a seemingly quixotic Senate campaign in the face of Republican dominance here, defeated his scandal-scarred opponent, Roy S. Moore, after a brutal campaign marked by accusations of sexual abuse and child molestation against the Republican, according to The Associated Press.

The upset delivered an unimagined victory for Democrats and shaved Republicans’ unstable Senate majority to a single seat.

The most immediate impact of this is that the House is going to just pass the Senate version of the tax bill. I suspect that they won’t want to risk putting a final bill back through the Senate.

Russia Pulls Out of Syria

Tyranny lives to see another day.

Vladimir Putin has said Russia will withdraw the bulk of its forces from Syria following the “successful intervention” in the conflict there.

The announcement comes after the defence ministry said last week that Russia had “completely liberated” Syria from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), despite reports that the terrorist group still controls some remote territory there.

Speaking to soldiers at Russia’s Khmeimim airbase during his first trip to Syria, where he was welcomed by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Mr Putin said he was ordering the defence minister and head of the general staff to begin withdrawing Russian forces to their home bases.

“In two-and-a-half years, Russia’s military along with the Syrian army have defeated the most battle-worthy gang of international terrorists,” Mr Putin said. “In connection with this, I’ve made the decision that a significant part of the Russian military contingent located in the Syrian Arab Republic will return home to Russia.”

The notable thing about Putin’s quote is that he doesn’t even pretend anymore that he isn’t the totalist dictator of Russia.

Suspect Commissions Defend Staff

Of course they do.

The state’s ethics and elections commissions defended their staff Tuesday against Attorney General Brad Schimel’s report on a leak investigation stemming from a now-shuttered investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign.

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission criticized the report for “omissions and inaccuracies” and called on Schimel to acknowledge that ethics staff cooperated.

Schimel responded that a letter from ethics commission officials doesn’t list a specific error and accused commission chairman David Halbrooks of having a conflict in the matter because he was granted immunity in the John Doe investigation.

Meanwhile the state Elections Commission defended its administrator and a staff member against a call for their termination, while saying it will ask Walker for permission to hire an outside lawyer to represent them in matters related to Schimel’s report.

“Nothing in that report has caused us to question our support of interim administrator Michael Haas,” chairman Mark Thomsen said.

There’s the problem. What bothers me about this is that there is an utter lack of introspection. If nothing else, given that these commissions are tasked with upholding the campaign and ethics laws, they would want to be above reproach. Even the appearance of bias or corruption should be a cause for concern. If they were serious about their jobs, I would have expected a statement that said something like, “the report has serious accusations that deserve a thorough review.”

Instead, we get a knee-jerk defense, claims of inaccuracies without proof or specifics, and the erection of a wall around their staff. These are not people who are serious about the truth and yet they are in charge of impartially judging the ethics of others? Puhlease.

Choosing the Republican candidate for the 58th

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. We have an embarrassment of riches in the 58th in that good candidates make hard choices for the voters. Here it is:

The special primary election for the 58th Assembly District is coming up quickly. Absentee in-person voting has already begun and the election is Dec. 19. The Democrats have an uncontested primary, but there are four Republicans vying for the seat.

Before evaluating the candidates, we should pause to thank them all for running. It is no easy task to reorient one’s life, place it under the microscope and ask your neighbors for their vote. This is especially true in today’s charged political environment. All of the candidates on the ballot are stepping forward to serve the citizens of the 58th Assembly District and are entitled to our gratitude for being willing to serve.

The 58th Assembly District is privileged in that there are so many good, honorable, conservative people in it who are open to public service. This brings us to the first Republican candidate, Spencer Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is a 38-year-old professional driver and flight line technician who touts himself as a “Trump Conservative.” He has run for office several times in the past few years including the 99th Assembly District in 2015, the 48th Assembly District in 2010, the Senate in Nebraska in 2012, a couple of runs for the Dane County Board and most recently challenging Paul Ryan last year. Zimmerman hails from Janesville, but plans to move to the district if he wins. With all due respect to Mr. Zimmerman, the 58th has plenty of great people who could represent them without having to import someone from Rock County.

One of those other great people is Tiffany Koehler of Slinger. Koehler lost to Bob Gannon in the Republican primary in 2014, but that did not deter Gannon from hiring Koehler as a legislative aide. If elected, Koehler pledges to continue on Gannon’s legislative agenda and to be an independent voice for the citizens of the 58th in Madison. Koehler considers herself a fiscal hawk whose background in nonprofits has honed her ability to get things done with limited resources.

Recently, CNN published a report saying that Koehler had become a supporter of Obamacare after her recent bout with cancer. Koehler said that nothing could be further from the truth and she remains a firm opponent of Obamacare. She does, however, support Obamacare’s mandate forbidding insurance companies from excluding people with pre-existing conditions and the mandate prohibiting lifetime coverage limits.

Rick Gundrum is a fifth-generation resident of Washington County who is currently the Washington County Board Chairman and serves on the Slinger Village Board. Gundrum worked in radio broadcasting before starting his audio video production business in 2000.

If elected, Gundrum promises to tackle tax reform, reforming and shrinking the state’s government bureaucracy and pushing more control to local governments. Gundrum said he has a leg up on the other candidates because of his experience working in government. He is most proud of the fact that Washington County has the lowest property tax rate since World War I, the property tax levy is the lowest in 10 years, and the county has been embarking on creative cost-saving measures like a health clinic for county employees, zero-based budgeting and merging county health services with Ozaukee County.

The last Republican candidate is Steve Stanek from West Bend. Stanek runs a small business doing disposal services. Stanek is committed to fiscal responsibility, helping Wisconsin’s businesses grow and add jobs, and public safety – particularly the effects of the opioid crisis. He has been involved with local government including serving on West Bend’s Value Task Force for the last two years. Stanek said he stands apart from the other candidates because of his capacity to be a leader and effect change.

The glaring issue that makes Republicans pause when considering Stanek is that he gave Tom Barrett a $3,000 donation in October 2010 when he was running against Scott Walker for governor. Stanek has given to several Republicans over the years, but the Barrett donation stands out. He said the donation was a “business decision” because his employer at the time held fundraisers for Barrett and encouraged the donations. That is a tough pill for a Republican primary voter to swallow, but it is, admittedly, an anomaly in Stanek’s record of political involvement.

As a voter in the 58th writing this column one week before the election, I remain undecided. Such is the consequence of a great slate of candidates from which to choose. Fortunately, Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is holding a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the West Bend Moose Lodge. This will provide an excellent opportunity for citizens of the 58th to hear the candidates for themselves and make up their minds.

Terror Attack in New York

These kind of IS-inspired attacks have become the normal.

A man is being held after an attempted terror attack at New York City’s main bus terminal, officials say.

“Terrorists won’t win,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said after a blast at the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan during the morning rush hour on Monday.

The suspect, named as Akayed Ullah, 27, was wounded when a “low-tech explosive device” strapped to his body blew up in an underpass, officials say.

“President Maduro insists the Venezuelan system is entirely trustworthy.”

Uh huh.

Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, says the country’s main opposition parties are banned from taking part in next year’s presidential election.

He said only parties which took part in Sunday’s mayoral polls would be able to contest the presidency.

Leaders from the Justice First, Popular Will and Democratic Action parties boycotted the vote and said the electoral system is biased.

President Maduro insists the Venezuelan system is entirely trustworthy.

“It makes me infuriated.”

I feel the same way every time the government increases my taxes too.

“I took a risk” to enter graduate school, Tischauser said. “Now they want to take more money out of the measly salary I take home. It makes me infuriated.”

But liberals call me selfish when I want to keep more of the money I earn instead of surrendering it in taxes.

Dad 1. Goblin 0.

I feel bad for the dad being forced to take a life, but I’m sure glad that he had the means and state of mind to do so.

Officers told Fox San Antonia that 19-year-old Andrews Herrera was killed after he approached Carlos Molina, 32, just before 9 p.m. Wednesday. Molina was eating at the fried chicken chain with his family when Herrera demanded that he hand over his property and threatened his children with a gun, police say.

According to the news site, Molina told Herrera that he had no money and asked whether his family could leave. Most of the family left the restaurant, but Herrera then pointed the gun at two of Molina’s children as they walked out of a restroom. In response, Molina drew his licensed handgun and shot Herrera several times, fatally wounding him, police said.

Doe Judge to Step Down Because of Bias

Remember. He’s not stepping down because he’s biased. He’s stepping down because he was caught being biased.

MADISON – The John Doe judge overseeing possible contempt proceedings of nine state officials withdrew from the case Friday because he had posted comments about the case on Twitter before he was assigned the case this spring.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge William Hue said he had forgotten about the posts until the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asked him about them on Thursday. He said Friday he was disappointed to be losing an interesting case but thought he needed to step aside so no one questioned whether the judge hearing the case was impartial.

“I don’t want to be the focus of any attention here,” Hue said.

IS Pushed Completely Out of Iraq

Good news!

(CNN)The Iraqi military has “fully liberated” all of Iraq’s territory of “ISIS terrorist gangs” and retaken full control of the Iraqi-Syrian border, it said Saturday in a statement.

“Our heroic armed forces have now secured the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on his Twitter account. “We defeated Daesh (ISIS) through our unity and sacrifice for the nation. Long live Iraq and its people.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

A prank from heaven… courtesy Bob Gannon

West Bend business owner Jacci Gambucci shared a story during Sunrise Rotary about a recent incident at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

During the security check Gambucci was pulled aside by TSA. Several other TSA arrived, talked in hushed voices, and then turned her over to the Milwaukee County Sheriff.  Gambucci thought she got busted for a pocketknife until the Sheriff told her otherwise. “It looks like you have ammunition in your purse,” said the Sheriff’s deputy.

“But I don’t even own a gun,” said Gambucci. Then it hit her. “It’s Bob!”…as in former state Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon.

A bit of the back story: Following Gannon’s untimely death, his remains were cremated and his wife Kris filled spent bullets with his ashes. Gannon was a big advocate of gun rights and this way his friends could have a piece of Bob to remember him by.

Gambucci received one of the bullets at a Rotary meeting, dropped it in her purse, and there it stayed.  “I could just hear Bob’s big laugh in my head,” said Gambucci. “He would love how ridiculous this situation was and the trouble he caused. It seemed like a prank from heaven.” The Sheriff eventually told Gambucci she could have “Bob” back since the TSA agents believed her story.

“Who could possibly make that up,” she said.

The next conundrum was what to do with Bob since she had to fly back from Atlanta the next day. Throwing the bullet away was not an option, out of respect, but Gambucci told the story at a business dinner that night and a client thought it was great and offered to keep Bob on her desk.

Since Bob loved publicity Gambucci thought it was a great idea, so as soon as she got back to the hotel she sent links that were “All about Bob” so the bullets new owner would have the appropriate back story of who Bob was.

Another Rotary member offered Gambucci his bullet, but she refused for the time being.  “I am flying to Florida for the Orange Bowl and don’t want to risk a repeat,” she said.

Neighbor in Town of Addison calls Washington Co. Sheriff about wolf in his yard

Washington County Sheriff’s got a call Saturday morning about a wolf in a field on William Tell Drive in the Town of Addison. “The homeowner said they thought they saw a wolf,” said Deputy Brian Herbst.  “It was out in the farm field behind their house; it was just lying in the field.”

Deputy Herbst and the homeowner approached it and got within 75 yards and the animal ran off. After it got about 100 yards away it turned around and laid down again.

“We stood and watched a bit, my sergeant came out and said ‘Yup… looks like a wolf.’ We approached it to make sure it wasn’t hurt and it moved away again and then it laid down,” Herbst said.

The homeowner said he had seen a wolf before in his field, about a year or two prior. Herbst said he too had seen wolf but “never down this far.” Herbst contacted the DNR but all of them were busy that morning.

Warden Joe Jerich did follow up and talked to the Deputy on scene. “I asked if he could approach the animal to see if it was injured and then it ran off,” said Jerich.  “We want to give him a chance to survive if he can and if it was injured we’ve have to make a decision how to handle it.”

Currently nobody from the DNR has seen the wolf. Both Deputy Herbst and the land owner said it was much larger than a coyote, even if it would have been a coyote with its fur primed out.

“Wolves could show up in this county but it’s highly unlikely,” said Jerich.  “Their range is generally to the north but coyotes are really common in this county and when their fur is primed out in this weather they look a lot bigger.

Deputy Herbst said the homeowner found wolf scat in his yard. “I haven’t had any other calls,” said Jerich. “We’ll have to see if it turns up again.”

UW-WC Ambassadors and Foundation Board honors Jeff Szukalski

Jeff Szukalski, owner of Jeff’s Spirits on Main, was honored by the UW-Washington County Ambassadors and the UW-WC Foundation Board for his generosity to UW-WC.

In presenting the gift, Joan Rudnitzki, thanked Jeff for his support and many kindnesses. “It was a great honor,” said Szukalski. “This is a great college and foundation and they do great things for the community and the kids. I’m happy to support the college.”

Szukalski said his love of the community is what prompts him to give back. “It’s just a great place to be and a great place to grow up and connect with friends,” said Szukalski. “Being involved is just the right thing to do.” The presentation was made during the annual holiday get together for faculty and staff at UW-WC sponsored by the Ambassador Council with support from the Schlegel Foundation.

West Bend listed in 30 Best Small Cities

We’re number 24! We’re number 24! Travelalot.com has come out with a list of the top 30 best small cities in the United States and the city of West Bend is listed No. 24.

The qualifications for the ranking reads: “Big, crowded cities don’t have a monopoly on cultural offerings. If you’re looking to visit (or move to) a place that flows to a slower pace and has a lower cost of living, these towns under 100,000 residents still have plenty to cool things to do.”

The copy reads: “Riverfront Parkway lines the Milwaukee River in sections just north of the downtown area and the path is dotted with sculptures. On the other side of the river the Eisenbahn State Trail stretches north and south for a total of 25 miles. Those aren’t bad offerings for a southeastern Wisconsin town about an hour outside of a major economic center.”

On Facebook neighbors chimed in on what they thought made West Bend one of the TOP best small cities in the U.S. Some of the answers included the Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market, locally-owned restaurants, MOWA, and the Kettle Moraine Symphony.

Deer Management committee outlines plan to hunt in parks

The Deer Management Committee met for the first time Tuesday night at City Hall in West Bend to outline some of the parameters in its Urban Deer Management Plan.

Members of the committee included Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, Paul Schleif, Chris Dymale, Larry Polenski, Joanne Kline, Duane Farrand, Michael Jentsch and Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins.

In November the West Bend Common Council approved a resolution to allow hunting in two city parks under strict rules that must still be approved by Council. The hunting measure is designed to help manage the deer herd in the city.

The resolution detailed several suggestions and the Deer Management Committee addressed a 14-page packet of guidelines. Only adult bow hunters who pass a proficiency test would be allowed to hunt during a four day time span in January 2018. The only parks where this will be allowed as a test is Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park. The parks will be closed during the four-day hunt, January 10-14, 2018. Written exam and proficiency test/shooting test as established by the committee. Hunters will only get one shot at a proficiency test. Individual must score 100% on Bow hunter Exam.  Fees will be set yearly with City Council

Some of the issues the committee addressed several times was that safety will be a top priority, this will be a lottery system and six people will receive permits. The participants must stay in their assigned zones. The guidelines drafted by the Deer Management Committee must still be approved by the Common Council. That review will most likely occur at the Dec. 18 meeting.

Albrecht Free Clinic unveils $50,000 matching grants

A big announcement from the Albrecht Free Clinic, 908 W. Washington Street in West Bend, as it unveils $50,000 matching grants from Aurora Health Care and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

According to Ruth Henkle, executive director with the Albrecht Free Clinic, Froedtert and Aurora, have agreed to underwrite a challenge grant as each will provide a $50,000 match.

“As a result, each dollar raised will result in three dollars in funding for our community healthcare services,” said Henkle. “If the rest of us rise to the challenge and contribute $50,000, we’ll generate $150,000 more to continue and expand our mission.”

The Albrecht Free Clinic provides access to basic, quality medical care through the generosity, caring and compassion of volunteers and donors.

Neighbors will receive a mailing from the clinic this weekend that details its medical, dental and behavioral health services and how it has seen a 46 percent increase this past year.

Over $86,000 was recently raised during a matching campaign with the Thomas J. Rolfs Family Foundation.

Carrie Killoran, executive vice president – central region, Aurora Health Care said Aurora Medical Center in Washington County has a long-standing relationship with the Albrecht Free Clinic.

“Aurora Medical Center remains committed through volunteerism and service delivery,” wrote Killoran. “We are especially proud to be a part of this very important initiative to help secure the future of the Albrecht Free Clinic so that they can continue to serve those in need.  Their work aligns perfectly with Aurora’s purpose to help each other live well.”

Henkle said the organization would not be able to exist without the support from both Aurora and Froedtert.

“The majority of our volunteer medical providers come to us from both healthcare systems,” she said. “In addition, they support the care of our patients through a voucher program so our patients can receive labs, X-rays and specialty care they need that we do not provide at our clinic.

“We also send our patients to their pharmacies for medications.  There are many additional things both systems do to support our operation. We have a wonderful partnership with Aurora and Froedtert and they truly value us as a safety net for the uninsured medical population living at 200 percent or below the federal poverty level.”

Donations can be made between now and January 31, 2018 to take advantage of the opportunity to triple your impact by participating in the Aurora/Froedtert challenge grant.

Candidate forum for 58th Assembly District is Wednesday, Dec. 13

There is a special primary election Dec. 19 as four Republicans are running to advance to the special election Jan. 26, 2018 to fill the vacant seat in the 58th Assembly District.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13 Common Sense Citizens of Washington County will host a candidate forum at the West Bend Moose Lodge at 7 p.m.  Candidates include: Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, Rick Gundrum, and Steve Stanek.

Candidates will introduce themselves and then all four will be asked the same questions.

Candidates will be encouraged to stay after the forum to greet the audience and answer individual questions.

In-person absentee voting is already underway. It will run until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15.

The 58th Assembly District includes the communities of Slinger, Jackson, Town of Polk, parts of Richfield, Town of Trenton and West Bend.

The seat in the 58th became vacant following the unexpected death of Rep. Bob Gannon. His term expires January 7, 2019.

West Bend School Board has two open seats

As of Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, no one has filed for candidacy or non-candidacy for two open positions on the West Bend School Board according to Deb Roensch, executive assistant to the Superintendent in the West Bend School District. The deadline for filing for candidacy is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at the Education Service Center.  The deadline for incumbents to file notification of non-candidacy is Friday, Dec. 22 by 5 p.m.

Rezoning West Bend Brewery property

This week the West Bend Plan Commission voted to rezone land on N. Main Street that includes the old West Bend Brewery building along with the strip of other properties to the north.

Bob Bach from P2 Development is planning on razing the buildings for a 99 unit, three-story apartment building. Local businesses that would be affected include RT’s Speed Shop, Ray’s Shoes, Pruett’s Floor Covering, Casa Guadalupe and the cleaning-supply shop on the far north end.  The rezoning would affect 2.65 acres of land 445-485 N. Main Street. The zoning was changed from General Business and Warehouse to Mixed Use District.

Washington Co. Parks stickers on sale

Beginning January 1, 2018 visitors to Washington County parks listed below will need to purchase a $5 daily pass or $30 annual sticker. Parks include Ackerman’s Grove County Park,

Glacier Hills County Park, Heritage Trails County Park, Homestead Hollow Park, Leonard J. Yahr County Park, and Sandy Knoll County Park. Park visitors will have three methods of payment and have up to seven days from the date of their visit to pay, much like a highway toll system. Each of the parks listed above will have an entrance station where park visitors will be required to take a pass form unless they already have an annual sticker, have pre-paid, have an event code, or are attending a soccer game. Annual stickers are on sale now. For more information and a complete list of pricing call the Washington County Planning & Parks Office at 262-335-4445 or visit washcoparks.com

Updates & tidbits

-Join the Festge family as it hosts a Grand Opening Celebration at Rally Time Sports Bar & Grill, 1373 N. Main Street. The celebration runs 11 a.m. – close.

-To honor Mother Cabrini and the 100th Anniversary of her death, St. Frances Cabrini is collecting items for the Albrecht Free Clinic whose mission is, “To serve individuals in Washington County who are underinsured, uninsured and otherwise unable to afford medical services.” St. Frances Cabrini Month of Charity runs until Dec. 22.

  Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing is collecting toys and money for Family Promise of Washington County’s Christmas Event. This event will help give local, needy children the Christmas they deserve. With a donation the shop is giving a free tire rotation or a set of free wiper blades (max $32 value) with any service. If you are looking to donate toys or help contribute feel free to stop by either of their locations or give a call at 262-338-3670.

-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tickets are $8 and include all-you-can-eat pancakes plus a public skate voucher for the 2017-18 season. Children 3 years old and younger eat free.  There will be photos with Santa and letters to Santa will be collected.

 -Help is available to families in Washington County that need assistance with winter heating bills. Contact Kay Lucas with the Washington County Human Services Department which oversees the Energy Assistance Program. The number is 262-335-4677.

-Winter on Main in downtown West Bend will be held the next two Fridays in the Downtown West Bend business district. Shop local DIVA businesses, dine at your favorite restaurant and explore Historic Downtown West Bend from 5 p.m. 7 p.m.

-The Kettle Moraine EAA Chapter 1158 Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 9 at West Bend Municipal Airport, 310 Aerial Drive. Come have breakfast and watch Santa arrive in a helicopter. Breakfast is 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.  No cost to see Santa. $6 per person for breakfast, children under 4 eat free.

-The Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours is Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon – 3 p.m. Four Historical Homes featured including: George Kissel Home – 215 E. Sumner Street, Charles Uber Home – 505 E. Sumner Street, Louis Kissel Home – 407 East Sumner Street and Adolph Laubenstein Home – 203 Church Street. $15 per person and tickets available through The Schauer Arts Center

Grad Students Whine About Real World Taxes

Yep.

Li, like other UW-Madison grad students, makes $18,000 per year. But under the bill, different versions of which passed the House and the Senate, she’d be taxed as if she makes roughly $50,000.

This is because her tuition, which is fully funded, would be taxed as if it was additional income under the bill. It’s a policy change that would dramatically affect “what type of person can go to grad school,” according to Don Moynihan, the director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

“When you’re a graduate student, you get paid a small amount of money … but you get the benefit that your tuition is paid,” Moynihan said, speaking as part of a panel alongside Li. “[If the provision becomes law], only the fairly wealthy will be able to afford to take this on.”

Li’s story echoes those of many graduate students around the country who have come out in opposition to the controversial tax. Li acknowledged that although her ability to pay for graduate school would be jeopardized under the bill, her classmates who have spouses and families would be even more affected.

Um, no… she won’t be “taxed as if she makes roughly $50,000.” She does make roughly $50,000 and will be taxed accordingly. The fact that over half of her income is paid in the form of tuition relief is immaterial. She is receiving something of value in exchange for her work. That is compensation. Here’s a handy definition:

(a) The term compensation means any form of payment made to an individual for services rendered as an employee for anemployerservices performed as an employee representative; and any separation or subsistence allowance paid under any benefit schedule provided in conformance with title VII of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 and any termination allowance paid under section 702 of that ActCompensation may be paid as money, a commodity, a service or a privilege.

So what these graduate students are complaining about is the fact that they have been receiving tax-free compensation for years and now it might be taxed like everyone else’s compensation. Boo hoo.