Evers to Challenge Walker

Wait… what? Way to come out of the gate strong, Tony.

best

Shulteis to be Washington County Sheriff

Congrats to Marty Shulteis!

County voters were blessed with two great men on the ballot for this office. It’s nice to have an election where you can’t go wrong.

Vukmir to Challenge Baldwin

Congratulations to Leah Vukmir on her primary victory!

And congratulations to Kevin Nicholson on his run. I hope that he sticks around to help Republicans win in November and then run for office again in the near future.

On to November!

Strong Turnout in Washington County

Way to go, Washington County!

turnout

76% of the voters in this county are Republicans. That tells us that the fears of apathy in the GOP base may be a little overstated.

Investing in a 20th Century Education Model

Here’s an interesting bit of data from a report about Open Enrollment that was presented to the West Bend School Board last night. According to that report, 452 kids left the district through open enrollment compared to 193 who entered the district. That’s a net outflow of 259 kids. Of those who left, 19%, or about 85 kids, left to go to a virtual school. And of all of those who left, the top two reasons given for leaving were convenience or they moved. In other words, the physical location of the school buildings didn’t work for the family.

In the 21st century, why does the School Board want to invest tens of millions of dollars in physical buildings instead of investing in modern education delivery models?

UPDATE: I may be reading the colors on their pie chart wrong. It looks like it might actually be 21% left for virtual schools. Hopefully we can see the raw data at some point.

Looking at Wisconsin

I always find it interesting when national media folks comment on Wisconsin. Like this:

To that end, Democrats hope the number of party voters who participate in Wisconsin primaries on Tuesday approaches the 1 million who voted in the primary in 2016, a presidential year, compared with 300,000 votes for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2014.

Democrats would love to capture the Milwaukee suburban House district of Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who is leaving office. Ryan supports former aide Bryan Steil to replace him, but Steil must fend off a primary challenge from avowed white supremacist Paul Nehlen.

Among Democrats, ironworker Randy Bryce was confronting Cathy Myers, a local school board member.

Notice how for the 1st District race, they throw in the “white supremacist Paul Nehlen” comment, even though he is one of 6 GOP candidates – 4 of which are credible and Nehlan is not one of them. But they don’t even mention that “ironworker Randy Bryce” is a deadbeat dad with a criminal record.  It’s almost as if the reporter got all of his information from a Democratic insider…

The benchmark for turnout is probably a good one though. Good to watch. I’ll be shocked if the Democrats get a million voters, but if they do, it would signal a strong Dem year.

School Board President Advocates Violating District Policy to Conceal Referendum Costs

During the West Bend School Board meeting last night, the Board President said:

Schmidt also wanted to know if the interest cost would be on the ballot and again voiced his concern about student enrollment projections.

Board President Joel Ongert said, “It will not be on the ballot.”

That would not only be dishonest to the taxpayers by concealing the true cost of the referendum, but it would be a direct violation of the School Board’s own policy 615. That policy states:

It shall be the policy of West Bend Joint School District No. 1 to provide disclosure to District residents and taxpayers regarding the total costs of any proposed referendum, whether it is a facilities referendum, operating referendum, or any other type. The genuine transparency regarding the planned use of public funds provides for a much more fully informed electorate, facilitates better communication with (and within) the community regarding referendum details, and builds trust among all District stakeholders.

Any proposed referendum presented to the District’s Board of Education for approval must disclose the following information and be available for review by the public upon request

1. The total principal dollar amount of the borrowing (typically done through the issuance of long-term bonds (debt)) over its entire term.

2. The total dollar amount of interest expense of the borrowing (i.e., typically a certain annual interest rate is applied to the long-term bonds to calculate the total interest expense over its entire term.

3. The total dollar amount of the referendum, including all principal (see item #1 above), interest (see item #2 above) and any other (e.g., brokerage, bond issuance) costs.

4. All major assumptions and factors used to arrive at item #3 above (i.e., the interest rate used in calculating total interest expense, term of bonds (i.e., time period of the debt), exact nature/type of the bonds, etc.).

If the referendum proposal/resolution is adopted by the Board, any additional communication (e.g., mailed materials to District residents, postings on the District website, communication to media, presentations at Board meetings and other meetings within the community) regarding the referendum must continue to disclose items #1 through #4 above.

I highlighted the relevant part of the policy.

The policy is laudable and has been on the books since 2012. Why is the School Board President seeking to violate their own policy and conceal relevant costs from the taxpayers? Will the other school board members follow his lead?

West Bend School Board Eyes $85 Million Referendum as Enrollment Declines

Yikes.

WEST BEND — A conservative estimate places interest cost for a $50 million referendum at about $35 million. The referendum funds would build a new Jackson Elementary and renovate parts of the West Bend high schools.

Baird director of public finance, Brian Brewer, estimated the cost using an interest rate of 4.75 percent. Market rates are between 3.5 and 3.75 percent. No action was taken by the board related to referendum information during the Monday meeting.

“I want to go into this conservative,” Brewer said. “I believe rates are poised to be higher than they are.”

That seems like a reasonable estimate. There are some other fascinating comments in the story. Like this one:

The Jackson fund was also discussed by the board and it was recommended by Bray Architects that it be used to pay down debt rather than reduce the referendum amount.

So rather than use the money that the district has been saving for years to pay cash for some of the building, Bray is recommending that we borrow it anyway. This is horrible fiscal management if the board takes their recommendation. It is always better to pay cash, if you have it, than to borrow the money and pay interest on it. Why would Bray recommend that the taxpayers pay interest on money they already have? because then Bray gets control over spending it.

Then there is this:

The amount of taxes paid for school debt will also reduce after debt from previous projects is paid of.

It is not clear if that is the reporter’s comment or if it is a summation of information given at the meeting. Most likely, it is the latter. It’s a nonsensical statement. The West Bend School District currently has about $130 million in outstanding debt. Our taxes are paying off this debt. If the taxpayers approve the referendum, that debt would balloon to about $205 million. That’s roughly $5,125 for every adult in the district.

The suggestion in that statement is that once we pay off some of the old debt, it won’t “cost” any more to pay the new debt. That’s BS. The debt is the debt and it must be paid. The fact that we pay off some old debt does not make the new debt any less. That would be like saying that buying a new car is free because you paid off the old car. That’s how the financially illiterate get themselves into trouble.

Baldwin’s tragic record of inaction

My column in the Washington County Daily News today looks ahead to the general election and how Senator Baldwin’s record of inaction has not been harmless. Here’s a taste:

Then, and only then, Sen. Baldwin acted. She called for an investigation. Baldwin knew of the abuses at the Tomah VA Medical Center for months. She was badgered by a constituent and veteran to do something. But neither her conscience, concern for veterans or pleas from constituents compelled her to act. The only thing that got Sen. Baldwin’s attention was a news story that was unfavorable to her. At least we now know what it takes to get Sen. Baldwin to do something on behalf of her constituents. It takes the media running a story involving her.

A Stroll Through My Ballot

Tomorrow is election day in Wisconsin. I usually vote in advance, but I didn’t get to it this time. I’ll be voting tomorrow. As I look through my ballot, here are a few closing thoughts on the contested races before I exercise my franchise:

Governor

Scott Walker does have an opponent. I won’t be voting for him. I stand with Scott Walker.

Secretary of State

I’ll be voting for Jay Schroeder, but mainly because he isn’t Spencer Zimmerman.

State Treasurer

I’ll be voting for Travis Hartwig. I’m disappointed that both Republicans want to expand this office.

U.S. Senator

Leah Vukmir – all the way. She is a proven conservative and I know that she’ll be a great, staunchly conservative Senator.

Representative in Congress District 5

Sensenbrenner for the same reason as Vukmir. Plus, Vipond is a pro-abortion gun-grabber.

Washington County Sheriff

This is a tough vote for me. Both candidates are good guys with solid records. But elections are about making a choice and I’ve made mine. I’ll be voting for Jason Guslick. I like his pronounced vision for the role of Sheriff, firm support of civil rights, and priorities.


Go vote!

 

A Correction

In a quick piece about the GOP candidates for the 59th Assembly District, I said:

My concern with Ramthun is that he has also been on the Kewaskum School Board for the past several years and helped push though a massive school building referendum. The process leading up to that referendum used all of the shady techniques we’ve come to expect from some school boards and Ramthun was in the thick of it.

Upon speaking with Mr. Ramthun, I mischaracterized his involvement. He was off the school board from 2014 to 2016 when the committee work and biased survey took place. He was reelected to the board in the Spring of 2016. He did vote “yes” to put the referendum on the ballot in August of 2016. He says that he opposed the referendum and thought it would fail. He also voted against borrowing more money when the project costs exceeded the referendum amount.

Police Barred from Pride Parade

I guess there’s no pride in the police with these folks.

Local law enforcement groups will not be marching in next Sunday’s Pride Parade following pushback from members of Madison’s LGBT community who told the event’s organizer they felt unsafe with officers participating armed and in uniform.

OutReach LGBT Community Center board member Jill Nagler said members of the community, particularly people of color, have been voicing concerns about police involvement in the parade for more than a year. Those against official police involvement in the parade say police forces as a whole perpetuate homophobia and racism and make many in the community feel unsafe at Pride events.

This is a growing cultural trend on the Left where they are outright anti-police. For a movement that pride’s itself on inclusiveness, they are some of the most exclusive people in our society.

West Bend School Board Meets About Referendum Tonight

The West Bend School Board will be meeting tonight. Part of the agenda is to plan the referendum they plan to put on the ballot in November. If you’d like to attend, here are the details.

Education Service Center

735 S. Main Street, West Bend

August 13, 2018

6:30 pm

They are also taking a look at the preliminary budget for next year. That should be interesting.

Yes, Google Tracks You

We see these stories over and over again. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Google, Apple, etc. gather data on you – including location – whenever they please. The issue comes in when they lie to their consumers about it. That’s consumer fraud and should be prosecuted.

Google records your movements even when you explicitly ask it not to.

Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even after you have enabled privacy settings purportedly designed to stop data-gathering.

Researchers created a visual map of the movements of Princeton postdoctoral researcher Gunes Acar based on the location history stored in his Google account.

Dr Acar carried an Android phone with the ‘Location History’ setting switched off during his travels.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Is Kewaskum Classic Car Show in jeopardy?

One of the most popular car shows in Washington County may be in jeopardy.

Mark ‘Kurly’ Kissinger posted a note on social media over the weekend that he was “taking a break from this year’s Kewaskum Classic Car Show.”

The annual Grand Larsony Custom Classic Car Show started in 2000 and was organized by Grand Larsony owner Richard ‘Kissey’ Kissinger.

In 2015 ‘Kissey’ announced he was stepping down from the event.

The show, a popular stop for the car clubs, normally drew about 400 classic cars to Main Street in Kewaskum. Over the years Kissey used the car show as a way raise money to benefit local people in need.

In 2016 Mark ‘Kurly’ Kissinger of Jackson said he would be taking over.  “My father and I ran a car show in Slinger for a number of years,” said Kissinger.  “I’ve gone to Kissey’s show and I don’t plan on changing anything.”

Kurly Kissinger is Kissey’s godson. Kissinger’s father Mark is Kissey’s cousin.

This would have been the 18th annual show.

Early word is Kissey is looking to step back in. The show is normally the third Sunday in September; this year it would be Sept. 16. The Kewaskum Fire Department normally serves beer at the event and already holds a permit.

West Bend teen’s Eagle Scout project benefits Washington County Humane Society

Bailey Marshall, 16, of West Bend has been involved in Boy Scouts since fifth grade. He belongs to Troop 765 in Jackson. Marshall currently has a Life rank and is working on his Eagle Scout Badge. For the past month Marshall has been building tables, chairs and benches for the Washington County Humane Society’s new courtyard.

Importance of Scouts: It really helps me build my character and with public speaking. It’s teaching me how to be a man. Right now I’m working on a communication badge and in my troop I’ve made a lot of special bonds with people and they’ve been encouraging me to keep moving forward.

Washington County Humane Society is a great local organization: I’ve had pets from the Humane Society and when I found out they were building a new courtyard I went to talk to Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Jacklin and she wanted me to help with building tables, benches and chairs. I was totally onboard.

Details behind Eagle Scout project: I found designs for the 3 tables, 3 benches and 6 chairs online. I solicited donations from people in the community; both items and money and then I set a date to put it together. No one showed up but we got it done anyway with the help of my mom, dad, and step dad. We have a couple more chairs to build; it was rough but I loved doing it. The project will help me toward my Eagle Scout Badge and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I hope the Humane Society likes it too.

Marshall completed the project and with fellow scouts and volunteers delivered the set to the Washington County Human Society on Highway 60.

On a side note: Marshall loves math and has his sights set on getting into the auto industry. He said he loves working with tools and hopes to be a mechanic. During his down time Marshall can be found on his scooter and doing flips on his backyard trampoline.

West Bend Plan Commission reviews concept plan for Fleet Farm

The West Bend Plan Commission spent time Tuesday evening looking over the proposed concept plan for a new 190,000-square-foot Fleet Farm to be located on the southeast corner of Highway 33 and County Highway Z.

The gas station and retail store would include a 5,000-square-foot convenience store along with a 5,000-square-foot convenience store and outdoor garden center.

Commission member Sara Fleischman asked how customers would get to the two retail lots being planned for future development.

City planner Jim Reinke said the commercial outlets would be accessed off the private drive that runs east west.  “They will be entering off the main drive into the parking lot,” he said.

Commission member Jed Dolnick praised the design of the building but asked what type of signage the retailer would have since the building is set back a distance from State Highway 33.

“Are they going to handle signage needs with monument signs off Washington Street or will the signs be really high up,” asked Dolnick.

Reinke said that hadn’t come up yet but more than likely there will be signs on the building.

West Bend Director of Development Mark Piotrowicz spoke a bit about the surrounding wetlands and some kames to the west and east of the proposed development. He said previous plans looked at access off CTY Z but this proposal blocks that area off.

“There’s a bigger buffer now from the wetlands,” he said.

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said a traffic study is currently underway and those details will determine possible signals or a controlled intersection taking into account Highway Z and Shepherds Drive.

Fleet Farm is still working with the DOT on access permits off the state highway.

“We’re very excited about what we’re presenting and the materials we’re using and we believe it will be a great improvement to what we have in the existing market and we’re very excited to get this store open,” said Tom Carrico with Fleet Farm.

As far as what will become of the current Fleet Farm on Hwy 33 and 18th Avenue, Carrico said the company is already well into exploring a sale of the property.

“It’s in our best interest to sell that as well,” said Carrico. “We are very excited to get a new store going in West Bend.”

Mayor Sadownikow made sure if the sale of the site on Hwy 33 and 18th Avenue were to take a while, he wanted to make sure the building would not fall into further disrepair.

There are several more steps that have to be taken before construction can officially get underway including zoning requirements, land division, two conditional use permits, and a public hearing is still needed for an amendment to the 2020 Comprehensive Plan for the City of West Bend from commercial, open space and two-family residential to commercial and open space land use for lands located on the southeast corner of CTH Z and W. Washington Street.

King Buffet closes in West Bend

The owner of the strip mall on W. Washington Street confirmed this week King Buffet has officially closed. The storefront, 1431 W. Washington St., is listed for rent.

King Buffet was known for its reasonable price (under $10), peanut chicken, and friendly staff that helped with soda refills.

On a history note: Do you remember the other businesses that used to be in that strip mall. I recall there used to be a Boot Corral in one of the shops and Video Plus was on the end cap for year. It’s where the new West Bend Sausage Plus is anticipated to open.

Some input has included Karen’s Energy, Cash and Carry, and Pruett’s Floor Covering.

Nice donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County

A nice donation was made this week to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County.

Each summer Steve Taylor organizes a Vintage Motorcycle Poker Run. This year 68 people participated in the event and raised $2,000. On Friday a check was presented to the organizations Executive Director Jaymee Harvey Willms.

Over the past seven years $14,000 has been donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County.

“Steve has asked that the money go to our annual recognition dinner,” said Harvey Willms. “In our 50th year we’d like to potentially invite some of our past members to the celebration. For a nonprofit to last 50 years in the community really says something about our organization.”

Some of the sponsors for the Poker Run include: Lutz Chiropractic, C&C Business Management, Newburg State Bank, Arby’s Restaurant, Eddie’s Lakehouse, Creative Cut, Midwest Table Repair, Nicole Seering, Chrissy Taylor, Dave Mapes, Curly & Lois Kohlwey, Gary Mapes, Butch Straveler, Steve Taylor, Terri Megonigle, Leslie Bassett, Jeff Mapes, Carol McKee, and Dean Herriges.

West Bend H.S. Class of 1948 class reunion

The West Bend High School Class of 1948 will hold its 70th class reunion August 18, 2018. The reunion will be held at New Perspective (formerly The Lighthouse), 2013 Continental Drive in West Bend from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.  A brunch will be served and the cost is $20 per person. Call Pat at 262-438-5938 or Dick at 262-438-5951 for reservations and further information.

2018 Board of Review is Aug. 28, 2018

The City of West Bend sent all property owners a 2018 property assessment. The 2018 Board of Review will be held on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 10 a.m. in City Hall.

Keep in mind the city did explore an advisory referendum with a wheel tax or a property tax increase or asking Washington County for a share of its sales tax. A final decision is still pending to determine how to pay for more road improvements in the City of West Bend.

There’s also the possible November referendum for the West Bend School District. A decision will likely be made to move forward with the referendum in the next few weeks. The early number being thrown about is a $50 million referendum however that’s without taxes and interest and it would be placed on top of the $130 million the district still has with current referendum debt.

So that total would be brought to more than $180 million in outstanding referendum debt for the school district alone. A representative from Baird is supposed to give an update in a couple of weeks.

Finally, remember your property tax bill is made up of taxes to be paid to the city, county, school district, Moraine Park Technical College and the state. The last city-wide revaluation was 2011.

The Audubon Inn in Mayville is for sale

Step inside the magnificent Audubon Inn, in Mayville WI and you’ll be staying at the same boutique hotel as Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. Built in 1896 this unique hotel on the National Registry of Historic Places showcases historic charm with modern amenities. Guests will enjoy boutique shopping, museums and internationally renowned Horicon Marsh.

Onsite restaurant NOLA North Grille’s bar and dining rooms feature impeccable woodwork, tile, and stained glass, creating unforgettable ambience, 18 cozy guest rooms located on the 2nd and 3rd floors offer double Jacuzzi tubs and high ceilings.

Savanna Rose raises money for Children’s Hospital

The grand total is in and a very happy Savanna Rose is proud to report $748 was raised during Saturday’s Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market as she held her 4th annual Teddy Bear Drive.

The event benefits Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Rose has done some fantastic work the past few years. “In 2015 we raised $450. In 2016 we raised $900 and last year we raised a whopping $1,500,” she said.

“Money is used to purchase over 570 Teddy bears along with art supplies for children in the hospital. This could not be possible without your love and support!”

Rose said the reason she does this is simple. “I’ve always loved children and have wanted the best for them. I have a personal interest in the field of medicine. The Teddy Bear Drive allows me to combine my passions for music, helping kids, volunteering, and the medical field all into one,” she said. ”When a child comes to the hospital it can be a very scary moment. Unfamiliar people, machines, and environment. Sometimes a stuffed animal can comfort children in times of stress and chaos.” Over the past four years Savanna Rose has raised $3,747 during the Teddy Bear Drive.

Updates & tidbits

Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 14.  Polls are open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The sixth key was the charm as McDonald’s in West Bend teamed with Russ Darrow to give away a 2-year lease on a new Jeep Wrangler during an event at the Highway 33 restaurant to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County. Ten people qualified to have a shot at starting the vehicle. Steven Arneson, 26, of West Bend was the sixth person to climb behind the wheel and push the button and the Jeep roared to life along with the crowd. “I was telling everyone at work that I was going to be the winner,” said Arneson.

The annual St. Frances Cabrini Used Book Sale and Rummage Sale is Saturday, Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 9 from 8:30 a.m. – noon in Mother Cabrini Hall in the lower level of church. Used book donations will be accepted from now through Sept. 7 at noon in the lower level of the church, at the south side door.

The annual Allenton Picnic is next weekend, August 17, 18, and 19. There’s lots of family activities including games and rides, music and food and don’t forget Sunday’s parade.

-St. Frances Cabrini annual Rummage sale is Thursday, Sept. 20 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. to noon in Mother Cabrini Hall in the lower level of the church. Baked goods will also be available. Rummage items can be dropped off Sept. 15 through Sept. 19. No TVs or big furniture.

– There’s a golf outing Sept. 23 at West Bend Lakes Golf Club and proceeds will go to the Luke Gromowski Ironman Scholarship Fund. Luke Gromowski was a senior at West Bend East when he died in a car accident in November 2014. A $1,000 scholarship will be presented each year to a senior from West Bend East and West High School that participated in football from fifth grade through their senior year. Registration for the outing is 8 a.m. with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. The cost is $100 per adult and $50 for a student. Contact Ed Ihlenfeld at 262-707-5449 for more detail.

– Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill in West Bend is looking for a part-time line cook position. Rally Time has a family-friendly team atmosphere. The position is primarily day shift and coverage as needed. Call Dan at 262-389-1142 or Cindy at 262-389-0839 or stop at the bar for an application.

– A hat tip to local shop owner and former West Bend alderman Terry Vrana for the hard work he put in to restored the Build, Boost & Buy in Barton wall mural. Vrana has spent the last year upgrading the facade of the old fire hall on the corner of N. Main Street and Highway 144.

-Full time and part-time bartenders wanted at the V.F.W. Post 1393, 260 Sand Drive, West Bend. Call Jerry Faber for details 262-388-7006.

Sign up today for the 8th Annual Swinging for Seniors Golf Outing at West Bend Lakes Golf Club. All proceeds benefit Senior Citizens Activities, Inc. Stick around after golf and take part in the Classics for a Cause Raffle and a chance to win a 1968 Ford Mustang.

-There will be a Memorial for John Geib on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.  at the West Bend VFW Hall, 260 Sand Drive, in West Bend. Military Honors are scheduled for 5 p.m. Bring pictures and/or memories to share. John E. Geib, age 70, of Mansfield, MO, formerly of West Bend, passed away on June 23, 2018.

Special blessing for Little Saints Early Learning Center at St. Frances Cabrini

A special blessing took place Sunday morning at the new Little Saints Early Learning Center at St. Frances Cabrini Parish. The former convent, 615 W. Hawthorn Drive, will now be home to the new care center for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years old.

“As we celebrate another use for this building made for our Notre Dame Sisters who taught here, it is now a place for our youngest people to come,” said Rev. Nathan Reesman.

Aside from blessing the facility Rev. Reesman also blessed the new principal at St. Frances Cabrini William Waech, facilities director Missy Dieterich, and the rest of the staff.

“This is great for the parish and the community,” said Waech.  “It just offers families that are working full time a place they can trust for their children.”

Rev. Reesman said the child care center had been in the vision of the parish for quite a while; however they didn’t have the space until now.

“After the Notre Dame Sisters moved out of the convent the space was used as a Youth Formation Center,” Reesman said. “The timing was just opportune and the space became available and last fall we were given a generous donation to do something like this.”

Dieterich said the remodel at the convent included morphing the chapel into an infant and toddler room. “We pulled up the carpet and repainted it and moved the sacristy cabinet was moved to another room and repurposed as storage for the teachers,” she said.

Furniture and toys have been donated.

Dieterich said they can accept 36 children. Current enrollment is 29 with room for more.

St. Frances Cabrini will not count the Little Saints Learning Center into its school enrollment.

The K3 – 8th grade enrollment at St. Frances Cabrini School for the coming year is 255 students.

 

Joyride in a Plane

I’ll bet you $4.20 that the dude was high.

It isn’t immediately clear. However, an audio recording of the conversations he had with air traffic control give some insight into what happened on the plane after the Horizon Air employee took off.

In the recording, the man can be heard starting to worry about how much fuel he had on board. He also suggests he could land the aircraft by himself because he had played “some video games”.

The man, who is referred to by what is believed to be his first name, also discusses:

  • The co-ordinates for the orca carrying her dead calf on her back

  • Looking at the view and possibly going to look at the Olympic Mountains, in Washington State

  • If he can do a barrel roll before landing and “calling it a day”

  • Whether or not Alaska Airlines would give him a job after a successful landing

Killer Executed… Finally

Speaking of evil.

‘I just want to say I’m really sorry’ – those were the last words spoken by Billy Ray Irick before he was put to death in a Tennessee state prison on Thursday.

Witnesses to Tennessee’s first execution in nearly a decade say Irick at first signaled he would have no last words, but then gave a brief statement to those watching.

Journalists present reported that the blinds between a witness room and the execution chamber were opened at 7.26 p.m. Thursday, and about a minute later, Irick was asked if he had any words before the lethal injection drugs began flowing.

Irick was convicted in the 1985 rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl he was babysitting.

[…]

Irick was first set to be executed on May 4, 1987.

He was allowed to live for another 33 years after killing Paula Dyer. She would have been 40 years old. Her kids might have been in High School or college.

I do agree with the death penalty as the ultimate punishment for the most heinous crimes, but justice deferred for 30+ years is no justice at all. I see no reason at all why cases like this can’t be put at the top of the docket and let all of the appeals take their course in a matter of weeks – maybe months. Decades is unacceptable.

Washington County Chair Responds to Sheriff

Now Don Kriefall, Washington County Board Chair, responds to Sheriff Schmidt’s column from the other day. This is an important discussion for the future of Washington County. Go read the whole thing on the Washington County Insider.

One of the initiatives discussed with Sheriff Schmidt was to offer to Washington County partners the ability to provide dispatch services for them at no cost. Funds saved by each municipality could then be earmarked to maintain or repair roads. As many municipalities had passed resolutions requesting a portion of the County sales tax, primarily due to the rising cost of roads, this would save those municipalities more than the amount of sales tax that they had requested.

Another initiative was to explore sharing a jail and circuit court with one or more county, Ozaukee and/or Waukesha. After the closing of the Lincoln Hills juvenile facility, one of the solutions offered by Governor Walker was to rehouse juvenile offenders in county jails contiguous to Milwaukee County. The initiative to share a jail/circuit court facility could provide several things;

  • The ability to create a court dedicated to prosecuting drug offenses,
  • The ability to share judges and allow caseloads to be more efficiently handled,
  • The ability to allocate District Attorneys to prosecute cases more efficiently.
  • The ability to repurpose each County Jail/Circuit Court and make them juvenile holding facilities and courts.

Another long term initiative would be to explore creating a metro sheriffs’ department. As this has been done effectively in other jurisdictions through the US (the Village of Richfield currently contracts with the Sheriffs’ office to provide police services) combining all police departments into a metro unit could provide the following;

  • The ability to eliminate the need for mutual aid pacts for major events,
  • All would fall under one umbrella for liability insurance and worker’s comp,
  • The ability to better allocate resources in a more timely fashion at major events,
  • No issues with who is in charge of any scene,
  • All local police officers would be hired by the Sheriff’s Department and assigned to their local communities.

As stated, these are some out-of-the-box solutions that could create efficiencies without negatively impacting services, and in most cases actually provide better services. I agree with Sheriff Schmidt that agencies that are too small struggle to meet the needs of the citizens they serve.

The population of Washington County is 135,000, 30,000 more than Green Bay, so I would challenge the assertion that it would be too big to be personal and responsive to the community.

Where I totally disagree is his perception that this is a political struggle. The constitutional authority delegated to a County Sheriff does not require a “fight” or an adversarial relationship with the County Board. It requires that we work together collaboratively to better serve the citizens of Washington County. We will continue to explore ways to provide the best possible services that positively impact the quality of life for the citizens of Washington County.

Ballots Found in Ohio

I’m always wary when officials “find” ballots. And it’s curious how “found” ballots always seem to favor Democrats. If I had the time, I’d be interested in going back through the past 10 years or so and seeing how often “found” ballots help the Democrats versus the Republican. Perhaps USA Today could dig into that.

COLUMBUS – The tight race between Democrat Danny O’Connor and Republican Troy Balderson just got tighter.

Election officials in Franklin County found 588 previously uncounted votes in a Columbus suburb. The result: O’Connor had a net gain of 190 votes, bringing the race’s margin down to 1,564.

ABC News Misses Interesting Fact

This story is horrible.

The man who was arrested on a filthy New Mexico compound with 11 abused children was training the children to commit school shootings, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

The documents allege that 39-year-old Siraj Wahhaj was conducting weapons training at the property in Amalia, near the Colorado border. A foster parent of one of the 11 children allegedly stated to law enforcement that Wahhaj had “trained the child in the use of an assault rifle in preparation for future school shootings,” according to a criminal complaint.

Law enforcement was aware of a short-distance shooting range that had been installed at the compound, Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

A defense attorney for Wahhaj is disputing the claims made by prosecutors in court documents that the children were being trained to commit school shootings, the Associated Press reported.

Here’s how the same story starts over on the Daily Mail. Notice the difference?

The Muslim extremist father arrested at a New Mexico compound with 11 starving children had been training them to carry out school shootings, new legal documents claim.

ABC News never mentions that the man was a Muslim extremist and he was running a killer training compound on American soil.