Progressive Income Taxes

Oh, so progressive.

Americans who earned in the top 1 per cent paid more individual income tax than the bottom 90 per cent combined in 2016, according to new figures released by the Internal Revenue Service.

That year, the United States government collected a total of $1.44trillion from 140.9 million income taxpayers, according to the IRS.

These filers reported a total of $10.2trillion in adjusted gross income.

The statistics show that the top 50 per cent of all taxpayers paid 97 per cent of total individual income taxes.

The bottom 50 per cent paid the same amount of income tax as the top 0.001 per cent, according to the IRS figures compiled by Bloomberg.

That means approximately 1,400 taxpayers – who make up the top .001 per cent – paid 3.25 per cent of all income taxes.

Interestingly, the tax reform last year that was supposed to be, according to the lefties, be a giveaway to the rich, actually resulted in the rich paying a higher percentage.

In 2018, the top 20 per cent of income earners – those earning at least $150,000 a year – will pay 87 percent of income tax, according to the Tax Policy Center.

That is an increase from about 84 per cent of income tax that the top 20 per cent paid in 2017.

The figures show that 1,400 taxpayers paid about the same amount of taxes as 70 million taxpayers who earn incomes that are in the bottom 50 per cent

The highest earners – those making $3.2million a year – who account for the top 0.1 per cent will pay 22 per cent of all income tax in 2018.

That is an increase from 18.9 per cent in 2017.

US Threatens Saudi Arabia over Alleged Killing

We are at a new place in our nation’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia warned on Sunday that it will respond to threats and political pressure with tough measures of its own after President Donald Trump said the oil-rich kingdom deserves “severe punishment” if responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

The apparent threat of economic retaliation from the world’s top oil exporter came after a turbulent day on the Saudi stock exchange, which plunged as much as 7 percent at one point.

The statement was issued as international concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago. American lawmakers have threated sanctions against the Saudis, and Germany, France and Britain jointly called on Sunday for a “credible investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The kingdom has called such allegations “baseless” but has not offered any evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate.

For generations, the United States and Europe would look past Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses because we needed their oil to fuel the economy. Those days are over. Thanks to American innovation and fracking, the US is now the largest producer of oil in the world and the world’s largest exporter of oil. Saudi Arabia’s importance in world affairs has diminished.

There is still risk to isolating Saudi Arabia. They have been a force of stability in an unstable region. And they are still a major oil producer whose behavior can impact the world economy. But it isn’t like it used to be.

UWO Staff Frets about Cuts Despite Decline in Enrollment

This is funny. A professor whines about staff cuts.

OSHKOSH (WLUK) –Concerns among UW-Oshkosh faculty are rising as the school plans to reduce positions.

“The impact is going to be on the students, and that’s unfortunate,” said political science professor, David Siemers.

Siemers said faculty work load would go up; he blames the significant reduction in state support.

“This is an intentional financial crisis of the states choosing, we didn’t create that problem,” said Siemers.

Siemers said more classes for each faculty member means less attention for each student, and a less quality education.

In the SAME STORY…

“We’re down about 1,800 students undergraduate students in the last five years. So as a result we simply cannot support the same size faculty and staff,” said Leavitt.

Looking at the 6 fall semesters prior to the current one, there was a 15% decline in enrollment. The university said that’s essentially a loss of nearly $10 million.

It seems to me that the UWO staff has been enjoying a reduced workload for years without nary a peep. Now that the school is finally (way too slow) taking a tiny bit of action to rightsize the staffing level to the number of students, Professor Siemers is fretting. Whatever.

Jared Kushner Obeyed the Law

This is really trashy journalism.

Over the past decade, Jared Kushner’s family company has spent billions of dollars buying real estate. His personal stock investments have soared. His net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million.

And yet, for several years running, Mr. Kushner — President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser — appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes, according to confidential financial documents reviewed by The New York Times.

His low tax bills are the result of a common tax-minimizing maneuver that, year after year, generated millions of dollars in losses for Mr. Kushner, according to the documents. But the losses were only on paper — Mr. Kushner and his company did not appear to actually lose any money. The losses were driven by depreciation, a tax benefit that lets real estate investors deduct a portion of the cost of their buildings from their taxable income every year.

[…]

Nothing in the documents suggests Mr. Kushner or his company broke the law. A spokesman for Mr. Kushner’s lawyer said that Mr. Kushner “paid all taxes due.”

So the story is that Jared Kushner followed the law to grow his business and pay his taxes. That’s it.

So why did the New York Times feel the need to write the story? Why did they write the headline as, “Kushner Paid No Federal Income Tax for Years, Documents Suggest”? Because they are intentionally stoking one of the basest emotions – jealousy. This isn’t journalism. It’s voyeurism. 

Jared Kushner is a man who followed the law to minimize his taxes. Don’t we all do that?

 

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New baseball coach for West Bend West Spartans

West Bend West has a new head baseball coach as Dan D’Amico has been hired to fill the post following the end-of-season retirement of Billy Albrecht. D’Amico, 31, is currently a teacher at Waukesha North High School.

“An opportunity to coach a team like West Bend West doesn’t come up every day,” said D’Amico. “Having coached a summer team for the last six years and playing high school summer baseball myself the tradition of West Bend West is hard to miss. I was well aware going in of what success coach Albrecht had in the past.”

D’Amico mentioned the strong tradition of baseball in the community of West Bend overall.

The WIAA spring baseball season starts in March 2019.  D’Amico said he realizes baseball fans are not familiar with starting a season in the snow but it should be an enjoyable experience.

“This will be a good situation for West Bend West because it will allow the kids to play more baseball,” he said. “They’ll get a chance to play for their high school in the spring and they’ll get a chance to play club or with some travel team in the summer.”

D’Amico was more than familiar that he was coming into a new stadium situation as Carl Kuss Memorial Field is undergoing an extensive upgrade. “Fortunately I was able to play in the last regular season game at Regner,” he said. “We played West Bend East in the last game before the playoffs.

“I’m well aware of the history of the stadium and it’s a beautiful stadium and I think the upgrade is going to be a wonderful opportunity for both schools and the community and I’m excited to see what it looks like,” he said.

D’Amico was coach of the Waukesha North boys varsity baseball team for the past five seasons. He started as an Assistant Varsity/JV Head Coach in 2013 and became head coach the last four years. D’Amico attended UW-Stevens Point where he majored in Physical Education. He is currently a Phy Ed teacher as well as a football and track assistant coach at Waukesha North.

Questioned whether he will be changing jobs and teaching in the West Bend School District, D’Amico said, “My students ask me that 15 times a day and right now there’s no teaching job that’s been offered to me and I plan on staying in Waukesha as long as they’ll have me.”

Albrecht coached WB West baseball team for 13 years. He retired the end of the 2018 season.

Soft opening for Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen

The opening of Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen, 110 Wisconsin Street, is so close…. you can almost taste it. The new outdoor sign went up Friday afternoon just in time for a soft, soft opening this weekend. It’s an invite-only sort of event, which will run the next couple of days as the staff gets its footing. Pronounced cool-lah-chino, the modern Italian restaurant is the homegrown concept of Bibinger’s owner Travis Dowden. Designed to deliver Italian-inspired, honest cooking, with an emphasis on using the highest quality ingredients, locally-sourced whenever possible. The new sign for Culaccino was produced by Odd Job Shop in West Bend.

New sign in place at Washington County Fair Park

The folks at Washington County Fair Park took the new sign on Highway 45 for a test drive on Thursday afternoon and lit up the LED board. The new digital sign is about twice the size of the old and it’s in color; staff said the goal was an easier read for motorists along the highway. Also new: the lettering across the top, a larger banner for the Fair Park & Conference Center and a larger banner for the Washington County 4H. The project was completed by SignEffectz.Inc.

Ground breaking Monday, Oct. 15 for new West Bend Medical

Construction is underway for the new West Bend Medical at 140 E. Water Street in West Bend.

The 13,125-square-foot building will be located on the northeast corner of Water Street just east of Wisconsin Street (across from the old Dublin’s Restaurant). The groundbreaking will be held on Monday, Oct. 15 at 6:15 p.m. “We are excited for the opportunity to bring our brand of healthcare back to the heart of West Bend,” said Dr. Chad Tamez.

“We (the physicians and staff of West Bend Medical) have dedicated our careers to helping our community be healthier both inside and outside the office,” said Dr. Carey Cameron.

Doctor Wolter said, “Redeveloping an unused site in the downtown area is simply an extension of our commitment to making West Bend a better place to live.”

Development in Germantown

Although construction is already underway on 140 acres in Germantown, a ceremonial groundbreaking was held Tuesday afternoon to acknowledge the new Briggs & Stratton facility and Germantown’s future Gateway Corporate Park.

Stats on development include:

-706,000-square-foot industrial distribution facility for Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

-Gateway Corporate Park will be home to future build-to-suit projects up to 1.4 million square feet.

-To put the project into perspective, the Amazon development in Kenosha is 1 million square feet and the Germantown development is 700,000+ square feet.

-Thirty jobs will be created at the distribution facility.

Christian Tscheschlok, Executive Director of Economic Development Washington County, said the county EDWC got involved in April 2018 and made quick work of helping secure the project.

“This is exciting on so many levels because really what it’s showing is the opportunity in front of us right now as it relates to some of the spillover from the Foxconn effect,” said Tscheschlok.

“You’re seeing the market heat up so substantially in southeast Wisconsin and some of the effect for Washington County will be to leverage the position we have to be able to tap into multiple labor sheds, available space and land that is still cost effective for development and new opportunity and a workforce that’s highly skilled and you put all that together and we represent a significant place for economic development that’s going to come off of some of the challenges they’re already facing already in the Kenosha/Racine area.”

-Guest speakers included Chad Navis, Director of Industrial Investments – Zilber Property Group, Dean Wolter, Village Board President in Germantown, John Kersey, Executive Vice President with Zilber Property Group and Bill Harlow, Director of Global Distribution and Warehousing Briggs & Stratton.

-Target completion date for Briggs distribution facility is April 1, 2019.

West Bend School Board votes 6-1 on 2018-19 teacher contract

The 2018-19 teacher collective bargaining agreement was approved on a 6-1 vote during Monday night’s West Bend School Board meeting. Ken Schmidt was the only dissenting vote.

Dave Hammelmann with the West Bend School District said, “We did complete the WBEA teachers union and we had two negotiation meetings in September.

“The negotiations did end in at impasse for both 2017-18 and 2018-19 so in general where we ended up is within the preliminary budget you all approved and authorization was given to that.

“In general it’s a 2 percent across-the-board increase for teachers which includes the teachers making over $70,000 who in the past had been at a cap. So they received in the past a cash-in-lieu-of payment instead of a natural base increase. So this plan does include that so I’m pleased to say that’s where we are.”

Ken Schmidt said he would be voting ‘no’ on the proposed contract.

“I have no problem with the amount of dollars that will be disseminated however the way they are disseminated is a challenge for me. Across-the-board base wages makes us as a district locked into that increase and that can have repercussions for the future, especially if we get into tight budget years.

“This economy is on steroids, we’ve got a great economy and because of that property values are up. There’s a high demand for housing and so on and that means there will be more taxes coming into the coffers but that’s not always going to be the case. Property values can go down and have a bad economy and then what do we do?

“Maybe give a partial across-the-board increase that would be ok with a maybe a bonus but … 2 percent lock it in across the board I think that locks us in as a district to maybe some obligations we may have problems with in the future and have to cut this or that to fund this increase, we could even be facing an operational referendum and I don’t want to see that in the West Bend School District.

“I think there’s a more reasonable way of providing this increase to our faculty and support staff.”

Board members voting in favor of the contract include Tiffany Larson, Nancy Justman, Joel Ongert, Tonnie Schmidt, Chris Zwygart, and Kurt Rebholz.

Details on the compensation package regarding health insurance and benefits included in the contract were not provided.

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said after the meeting all teachers were treated the same. “Everybody got a flat 2 percent and that was true for all the support staff as well,” he said.

Questioned how teachers will be encouraged to excel if they’re all treated the same, Kirkegaard said, “At this time we do not have a quality process in place that addresses performance, all of the different things. That’s not there and that’s one of the things we’re going to work on for this year is to try to put something back in place so for future years you potentially have a flat amount but you also provide additional incentives based on certain criteria and that’s what we’ll work on this year.”

Paying tribute to Jeff Klotz

Funeral services were held Friday for Jeffrey Steven Klotz who was called to be with the Lord and his older brother, Daniel, on Oct. 5, 2018 at age 61.

Since the news broke about Jeff’s death many have written memories and tributes. A collection of thoughts and comments are below:

Jenny Kruse-Zaskowski – Our thoughts and prayers to Jeff’s family. As a very frequent shopper he is a testimonial to true leadership. He was always working side by side with all of his youth employees. He instilled great work ethic in his entire staff and showed customer and community service like no other. What a loss to our community.

Valery Brussat  – A great loss to our community. Sending prayers to his family.

Debra Jurcek  – What a great loss and shock. Just recently I asked him to stock something for me and a week or so later it was at the store. He really cared for his customers. Prayers to his family.

Grant Baehmann – What a wonderful man and boss he was. He will be deeply missed.

Sharon Grammel (Duckett)  – Jeff was a great boss and mentor when I worked for him and Carole back in the early 80’s at Benidts Red Owl. I am just shocked and saddened. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Klotz family.

Anna Marie – My first summer job. I remember for lunch he’d always ask me to make him a hot ham sandwich on a Kaiser roll with plenty of horseradish sauce. He was a good man to work for and always with a smile on his face.

Barb Datka Redman – So sad. Jeff gave my son his first job. He was/is a very good man and his will be felt by the entire community.

Lisa Ryan – What a huge loss. I will forever remember a tall blonde haired man, always saying hello to me. Jeff? You were a man who cared about his customers and treated those customers as friends. RIP dear man. I wish your family peace and comfort in your memory.

Pattie Coffelt Philipps – So sad to hear this. We’re regular customers and always saw Jeff working at the store. Always a smile and hello. Heartfelt sympathy for his family, friends, and employees.

AnnMarie Corbett- Prayers to the family! He always greeted everyone with a smile and a Hello…The store won’t be the same without him!

Tom Jensen -He will be terribly missed. Jeff was a natural leader who taught by doing and not by intimidation. From him, I learned to importance of hard work, friendliness, and never giving up until the job was done. These examples were important for this snot-nosed kid in 1980 at the old Red Owl on Washington Street. God Bless you Jeff.

Jenny Schulteis – He was absolutely a quiet community leader. He helped D11SC, Inc. With our Thanksgiving and Christmas meal initiatives to provide meals for local families in need. He was happy to so this with a joyful heart.

Larry Last-  I was shocked. Jeff as so many say will be missed. A pillar in the community, always supporting events and teams and more. Gave so many jobs to teens. My most favorite grocer ever. Always ready to great customers with that kind and caring spirit. You have been a great example to me and so so many more. Prayers to all your loved ones Sir. Rest in Peace and we all shall meet again on the other side.

Josh Wiedmeyer – He is going to be truly missed. My daughters and I shop every Saturday morning at the Pig. Jeff always said hi and would go out his way to help. How many grocery store owners today are still on the floor stocking, shelf facing or just being completely approachable? He was one of the very last of those guys and the very reason I would shop a grocery store. He was awesome!

Mark Hoefert – I remember when Jeff started working at the Red Owl store in West Bend, as the Assistant Manager to Gregg Benidt who had purchased the store. The Benidt family owned numerous grocery stores in Waukesha at the time – as I recall, Jeff had worked for them before they bought the West Bend store. Gregg himself died at a young age in a tragic car accident near his home on east Paradise Road in the Town of Trenton. I used to tell Jeff that someday he would own the Red Owl store and he would laugh at me. I was 1/2 right – he may not have become the owner of the Red Owl store, but he did become owner of his own Piggly Wiggly. I don’t think I ever knew a more positive, upbeat guy. Always smiling.

Lisa Lange I can’t wrap my head around this news. I just saw you last week. Jeff I have known you for many years. You always had a smile on your face when I ran into you at the Pig. I watched your kids and even worked for you and Carole in High School. Sending many thoughts and prayers. R.I.P Jeff.

Jeff never met a golf course he wouldn’t play, a mountain he wouldn’t hike, or a person he wouldn’t help. A masterful and hilarious storyteller. A good man, a great man, and a great loss.

Halloween Trick or Treat in Washington County                By Samantha Sali

Halloween is almost here. Here are some of the trick-or-treat times for Washington, Ozaukee, and Dodge Counties.

Thursday, October 25, 2018  – Mayville (Downtown), 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 27, 2018  – Cedarburg, 5 – 8 p.m., Grafton, 5 – 8 p.m., Farmington, 4 – 7 p.m., Hartford (Downtown), 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., Kewaskum, 5 – 7 p.m., Port Washington, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Downtown Trick or Treat (Participating businesses will have a pumpkin in the window.) 4 – 7 p.m. city-wide trick or treat, Richfield, 3 – 6 p.m., Slinger, 5 – 7 p.m. (Afterward families are welcome to a free event as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, food and beverages.), Trenton, 4 – 6 p.m., West Bend, 4 – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 28, 2018 – Addison, 3:00 – 6 p.m., Belgium, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Jackson, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Mayville (City), 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Mequon, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Saukville, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Thiensville, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018  Halloween – Germantown, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Hartford (City), 6 – 8 p.m.

Updates & tidbits

– The doors at Good Shepherd Lutheran and Little Lambs Child Care will be open to the community this Sunday, Oct. 14, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Tours of Good Shepherd and Little Lambs Child Care, treats, door prizes and more. Bring your friends and relatives to see the blessings showered on Good Shepherd and the vision to connect to Christ, each other and our community. Join in the activities and the fun.

– There’s a complimentary session on Monday, Oct. 15 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in West Bend on how to plan to finance a college education. RSVP at 262-224-5058 or email peter.kapler@thrivent.com

– Keller Inc. carried out its 4th annual Police Dedication and presented about a dozen checks for $2,500 each to area police departments including Germantown Police Department.

In-person absentee voting is underway in Washington County for the Nov. 6 General Election.

– The VFW Post #1393 in West Bend, 260 Sand Drive, is gearing up to host its annual spaghetti dinner on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.. All money raised goes to the organizations general fund. Bring the family and come join us.

– The Allenton Volunteer Fire Department and St. Lawrence Fire Company have announced plans for their annual Pancake Breakfast and Open House in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week. This year’s event will be Sunday, Oct. 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Allenton Fire Department.

-American Legion Post 36 will host a brat fry on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27 at Highway 33 and 15th Avenue in West Bend. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds go to local veterans programs.

– The annual Interfaith Tea is just around the corner and you’re invited. This year’s theme is Tailgating. Celebrity waiters will serve you and your guests and there will be an amazing silent auction, a fun purse auction, 50-50 raffle and a beer and wine pull. Lots of fun on tap and all for a good cause. Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is a local organization that matches volunteers with senior citizens to help with doctor appointments, shopping, cleaning and just paying it forward. Reserve your seat today and contact Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.  See you Oct. 14 at the West Bend Mutual Prairie Center.

– Hartford’s H.e.l.p. Corner at Redeemer Church is slated to open mid-September.

– 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.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Turkey Frees American

Great!

IZMIR, Turkey — American pastor Andrew Brunson walked out of court a free man today after 24 months of imprisonment, including house arrest.

A Turkish judge convicted Brunson on charges of “providing aid to terrorist groups without being a member,” while sentencing him to time served and lifting a ban on foreign travel, clearing the way for his return to the U.S.

Brunson hugged his wife and shed tears of joy as he left the courtroom flanked by an American delegation. Making a statement in perfect Turkish, the Evangelical Presbyterian minister, who moved to Turkey in 1993, said, “I’m an innocent man — I love Jesus, and I love this country.”

[…]

Brunson, who had maintained his innocence throughout the the trial, ran a small Evangelical Presbyterian parish in the coastal city of Izmir with about 50 members. He was active in humanitarian aid projects to serve Syrian refugees, and that’s where Turkish investigators say he came in contact with members of terrorist groups.

He was jailed in October 2016 amid accusations of having links to groups Turkey blames for a bloody coup attempt three months earlier. Several of Brunson’s parishioners testified as witnesses, both for and against him.

The final courtroom drama played out in a series of bizarre and dramatic surprises as several witnesses for the prosecution recanted their testimonies.

One woman said she did not personally know Brunson. Two men contradicted their past assertions. When the newly appointed prosecutor asked them about past statements they made asserting that a parishioner — a member of the blacklisted Kurdistan Workers Party — was building bombs, both men said that the statements were rumors they had heard from the other.

Woke School Cancels Education

Sigh

When Shorewood High School chose “To Kill a Mockingbird” as this year’s annual fall play, it seemed a relevant commentary on the times.

Based on the Harper Lee classic about a white southern lawyer defending an innocent black man in the 1930s, it is a story about segregation and racism, a broken criminal justice system and the sacrifices of those who would stand up for what is right.

But Lee’s book, which has been banned by many schools across the country, remains as controversial today as it did when she wrote it. On Thursday, just hours before the curtain was to go up, Shorewood canceled the production in response to a planned protest over the use of the ‘N’ word in some scenes.

News of a protest had circulated on social media early in the day.  And by mid-afternoon, Superintendent Bryan Davis pulled the plug, saying the district should have done a better job engaging the community “about the sensitivity of this performance.”

“We’ve concluded that the safest option is to cancel the play,” Davis said in a statement.

Vote today!

I voted today, and so can you! Find out how by following this link.

Astronaut and Cosmonaut Survive Rocket Malfunction

Wow.

A capsule carrying the two crew members of a Russian Soyuz rocket that malfunctioned on lift-off has landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague are reported to be “in good condition”, both Nasa and Russian media said.

Search and rescue teams are now en route to the landing site.

The rocket had taken off for the International Space Station (ISS) when it suffered a problem with its booster.

The crew had to return in “ballistic descent mode”, Nasa tweeted, which it explained was “a sharper angle of landing compared to normal”.

Replay of U.S. Senate Debate

 

Senator Stroebel to Advance Referendum Reform

It is remarkable that school districts are one of the only government bodies that can do massive construction projects without putting it out to bid. Given the school-construction-industrial-complex that has sprung up in Wisconsin (now, apparently aided by hired gun Gard), reform is necessary.

With a prominent Wisconsin lawmaker irked that a record could be set for approvals of school projects this year, a lobbying group has emerged to block legislation that could upend the state’s school-referendum system.

Former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker John Gard has registered as a lobbyist for an organization called the Wisconsin Construction Group, which advocates for “school construction and school referendums.” Gard filed a disclosure form with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission on Thursday — one day after a Wisconsin Policy Forum report found that state voters will have the opportunity in November to approve a record $2 billion worth of school referendum spending this year.

The prospect that a record could be set has irked Wisconsin Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, who has promised to again pursue legislation that would curtail the use of school referendums. Stroebel has also criticized construction companies for offering so-called pre-referendum services to help school districts win voters’ approval for spending proposals.

[…]

In a statement released on Tuesday, Stroebel deemed Wisconsin’s current system for school projects uncompetitive. He noted that school districts, unlike most other forms of government, are not required to bid out their projects, even those whose cost runs into millions of dollars.

A proposal Stroebel sponsored in the most recent legislative session, Senate Bill 236, would have required school districts to bid out such projects. The bill passed the Wisconsin Senate but failed in the Assembly. Stroebel blamed lobbyists “who don’t want transparency.”

“I am not surprised Mr. Gard is involved as he has been one of the go to lobbyists for anyone opposing reform in the construction industry in recent years at the expense of the taxpayer,” Stroebel said. “There is nothing inherently wrong with a school district seeking technical expertise from a company, but the way construction companies advertise their services shows the real world unspoken understanding.  ‘You give me the contract. I’ll help pass your referendum’.  The question should be, will you deliver the best building at the best price?”

So. Much. Winning.

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

If there is an October surprise in the making, it may be that despite prophecies of a blue wave, President Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican Party are having a winning October.

The month began with news that the United States had come to a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Act. Overall, NAFTA had been a tremendous success. Since taking effect in 1994, trade between the three nations quadrupled and had a positive impact on America’s economic growth. Meanwhile, Americans benefited from lower consumer prices and access to less expensive labor.

But every agreement has a downside. That less expensive labor depressed wages in America and the nation lost a lot of manufacturing and textile jobs to Mexico. When Trump ran for office, he promised to renegotiate NAFTA to get a better deal for Americans and he has done just that.

The new trade deal that is to replace NAFTA is called the USMCA. It is not a wholesale restructuring of the NAFTA. In fact, it keeps in place many of the best parts of NAFTA, but it also makes some significant changes to the benefit of the United States. One of those changes is of particular importance to Wisconsinites as it opens up Canada’s dairy market to American milk.

A few days after the USMCA was announced, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report that the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in August. That marks the third month in a row that the national unemployment rate has been below 4 percent. The reason is simple: The American economy is booming. There is no reason to not be working in America if one is able. We are in a state of full employment.

Then, just six days into October, President Trump’s second nominee for the Supreme Court was sworn into office. Brett Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified justices to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court. With a Yale law degree, a distinguished career in the private and public sectors, and more than a decade as a judge on the second most important appeals court in the country, Kavanaugh’s legal pedigree is pristine.

During his many years on the bench, he gained a reputation as a fair, smart, thoughtful and reasonable judge who was respected by people of all political persuasions. Perhaps most importantly, Kavanaugh is a proven judicial conservative who upholds the Constitution and respects the limited role of the court. His rulings over the years demonstrate a keen understanding of the Constitution, civil rights, separation of powers and bedrock legal principles like people being innocent until proven guilty.

Once again, President Trump kept his promise to appoint judicial conservatives to the courts and Senate Republicans followed through by confirming his appointment. Justice Kavanaugh solidifies a majority of judicial conservatives on the Supreme Court.

Perhaps all of this good news is why President Trump’s approval rating surged to 51 percent in the Rasmussen poll and is his highest rating in that poll since March of 2017.

Nothing lasts forever. The economy is great and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell predicts that unemployment and inflation will remain low through 2020, but things can change quickly. And while the Supreme Court now has a majority of judicial conservatives, not even Supreme Court justices are immortal.

If there is one thing that could disrupt the positive direction that America is moving, it would be for the Democrats to gain control of the U.S. Senate. We have all come to understand over the past few weeks that the Democratic Party is untethered from any traditional norms of civility, honesty and even decency. They will stop at nothing to oppose President Trump even if it means burning down the country in the process.

We saw this behavior from Wisconsin’s own Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Less than 48 hours after Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Baldwin announced that she would not vote for his confirmation. This was a radical break from traditional senatorial behavior to reject a nominee without researching him, learning about him, or even speaking to him. And although Baldwin admitted her opposition, almost all of the Democrats in the Senate had made the same decision. The brouhaha that Democrats manufactured over the last few weeks was not designed to change any minds. It was designed to attempt to rationalize the Democrats’ predetermined opposition to the American people.

Baldwin’s behavior reveals the larger psychosis currently infecting the Democratic Party. Their single- minded effort to #resist President Trump has become the only real plank in their platform.

If Senator Baldwin is reelected and Democrats take control of the Senate, will they vote down the USMCA to punish Trump even if it means Wisconsin’s dairy farmers will pay the price? Of course they will. Will they oppose every judicial appointment Trump makes — even when those appointments are eminently qualified? There is no doubt. Will Baldwin and her peers prevent Trump’s deregulation that has been a boon to American businesses? Absolutely. Will Baldwin and her peers seek to impose higher taxes and socialized health care? They have already said that they will.

There is something that Wisconsin voters can do this November to support and promote this economic and judicial renaissance we are enjoying. They can vote Tammy Baldwin out of office and replace her with a woman who will fight for Wisconsin’s interests — Leah Vukmir.

Nikki Haley Resigns

She has been one of the best UN Ambassadors we’ve ever had. I look forward to voting for her for President some day.

President Trump has accepted Nikki Haley’s resignation as UN Ambassador, according to two sources briefed on their conversation. The timing of her departure is still unclear.

What we’re hearing: Haley discussed her resignation with Trump last week when she visited him at the White House, these sources said. Her news shocked a number of senior foreign policy officials in the Trump administration.

Background: Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, was easily confirmed four days after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

She has overseen Trump’s shift in dealing with the UN, including the U.S. exit from the UN Human Rights Council, which Haley called the organization’s “greatest failure.”

Note: I haven’t seen this confirmed anywhere else.

So. Much. Winning.

My column for the Washington County Daily News is out today. It’s also in the Waukesha Freeman, from what I hear. Here’s a taste.

If there is one thing that could disrupt the positive direction that America is moving, it would be for the Democrats to gain control of the U.S. Senate. We have all come to understand over the past few weeks that the Democratic Party is untethered from any traditional norms of civility, honesty and even decency. They will stop at nothing to oppose President Trump even if it means burning down the country in the process.

We saw this behavior from Wisconsin’s own Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Less than 48 hours after Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Baldwin announced that she would not vote for his confirmation. This was a radical break from traditional senatorial behavior to reject a nominee without researching him, learning about him, or even speaking to him. And although Baldwin admitted her opposition, almost all of the Democrats in the Senate had made the same decision. The brouhaha that Democrats manufactured over the last few weeks was not designed to change any minds. It was designed to attempt to rationalize the Democrats’ predetermined opposition to the American people.

Baldwin’s behavior reveals the larger psychosis currently infecting the Democratic Party. Their single- minded effort to #resist President Trump has become the only real plank in their platform.

Live Broadcast of West Bend School Board

For some reason, the live stream of meetings of the West Bend School Board have not worked for months due to “technical difficulties.” I know… in an age when I can live stream anything in 3 seconds with my phone, that excuse sounds ridiculous. Thankfully, the Washington County Insider is on the case!

You can watch the live stream here.

They are going to talk about the union contract being at an impasse tonight. They are already late, so there’s no telling when it will come up.

UPDATE: Sure enough, the school board declared an impasse after two meetings with the union and imposed the district’s last offer – a blanket 2% base increase including those at the top of the scale. Given the lack of bleating from the usual union folks, it seems that they are pretty happy with it.

Once again, this School Board has failed to utilize their power to create a compensation structure that rewards better student outcomes and the teachers who generate them. In the West Bend School District, every teacher is treated the same, so everyone will trend to the middle, or just good enough to not get fired. Mediocrity throughout.

Taylor Woke

Why? WHY!?!? am I finding myself agreeing with Piers Morgan TWICE in a month?

Oh Taylor.

Why, why, WHY?

Just when I thought you were the only sane celebrity left in this increasingly mad world of frenzied partisan bullsh*t, you suddenly decide to go all ‘woke’ on me.

As you once sang: ‘Why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart?’

Of course, we all know the answer.

Taylor Swift, who is hugely popular in middle America, hasn’t chosen this moment to abandon her very sensible apolitical stance and come out as a Democrat because she genuinely thought: ‘Oh, I must alienate half my audience today.’

No, she’s done it because the howling Twitter mob hammered her into submission.

‘I’m not going to sit here and go into my political views,’ she said a few years ago, ‘because that’s not what I choose to do. I choose to do music.’

Exactly.

She was right then, and she would be right now.

But such a refreshing attitude from an entertainer is now deemed unacceptable.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected President, Taylor has been roundly abused by vicious trolls on social media for NOT attacking him in public.

She was branded a coward and a traitor, and a dog whistler for white supremacists.

Even mainstream media piled on her, condemning her for her silence.

Astronaut Kelly Apologizes for Quoting 20th Century Hero

What a disgrace that (1) people thought he should apologize and (2) that he did.

One of the unwritten rules of social media is avoid inspirational quotes.

American astronaut Scott Kelly put that to the test on Sunday when his use of Winston Churchill quotes landed him in hot water with people who oppose the wartime British prime minister’s views on empire and race.

But when Kelly tried to apologise for the tweet and offered to educate himself, Churchill fans attacked him for discrediting the politician’s record.

Kelly, whose sister-in-law is former Democrat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, used a famous remark by Churchill to comment on deep divisions in American politics.

Suddenly the Left Likes Justice Roberts

Ever notice how the Left lauds conservatives when they side with liberals? That’s the suck of the Washington Swamp.

Roberts has labored for the past 13 years to keep the judiciary branch as a sacrosanct institution, able to rule on the most contentious issues of the day — guns, abortion, health care — without succumbing to the vitriol of presidential and congressional politics. That has sometimes led Roberts to put aside his own conservative conviction, most notably in his 2012 defense of the Affordable Care Act in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

Though he has also sided plenty of times with the court’s conservative bloc, his relative moderation suggests that the umpire imagery of his confirmation hearing was not merely vote-seeking rhetoric. An analysis of his decisions by the polling and politics site FiveThirtyEight even wondered if Roberts was “a secret liberal.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Remembering “quiet community leader” Jeff Klotz from Klotz’s Piggly Wiggly

Neighbors in West Bend are mourning the loss of community leader Jeff Klotz.

Klotz was co-owner of the Piggly Wiggly in West Bend, Campbellsport and in April 2016 he purchased a store in Fond du Lac.

George Prescott of West Bend was a fellow grocer. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” said Prescott. “He had good service, a good reputation and I’m just shocked.”

Bob Bonenfant, formerly with WBKV Radio, knew Klotz personally and worked with him on radio ads.

“I just liked the guy,” said Bonenfant. “I never saw a person who worked so hard in his life. He was always here at the store and he was working.”

Klotz had a very high profile at the store on Highway 33 in West Bend. He could be seen regularly in the aisles wearing his green Piggly Wiggly apron and talking to customers or stocking product.

“For an owner he did everything from stocking shelves to making sure the carts were picked up,” said Bonenfant.

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said, “Jeff Klotz was a quiet leader and a man who gave hundreds of high school kids the opportunity to have their first job.”

Todd Tennies said Klotz was always a big supporter of high school athletics. “I know he had a son who was a good football player and he donated a lot to sports groups. He was always very community minded and I’m saddened by his loss,” said Tennies.

Jeff Szukalski, owner of Jeff’s Spirits on Main, was shocked by the news.

“Jeff was a great guy, great friend, great business guy and he cared about the kids in the community,” he said. “He was always there to pitch in for the Food Pantry and for the West Bend Christmas Parade.”

Klotz’s Piggly Wiggly was previously located on N. Main Street in Barton. The store moved to E. Washington Street in 2004. Jeff Klotz was active in the West Bend Baseball Association, West Bend Christmas Parade, youth sports leagues and the West Bend Food Pantry.

The Washington County Sheriff Deputies were called to Klotz’s home in Kewaskum early Friday morning.

An autopsy shows Klotz died from natural causes related to high blood pressure. Services for Jeff Klotz will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in West Bend. Details will be posted shorlty by the Phillip Funeral Home. Early plans are set for Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Woman crashes into Big Cedar Lake off CTH K and State Hwy 144

Nobody was hurt following a single-vehicle accident early Wednesday morning at State Highway 144 and County Highway K.

Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said a woman from Fond du Lac was eastbound on CTH K and failed to stop at the intersection, continued east and ended up in Big Cedar Lake.

The accident happened shortly after 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 3. “Another motorist called it in. That person said the woman was driving erratically around I41 and CTH K,” said Schmidt. “The woman missed the stop sign at the bottom of the hill and drove into the lake and landed half on the pier.”

Schmidt said alcohol was not a factor in the accident nor a medical condition.

The woman, 38, told authorities she was on I41 and missed her exit. She got confused and took CTH K and was driving at a high rate of speed and didn’t see the stop sign or the intersection.

A citation will be mailed to the woman. Schmidt said she was not injured.

Accepted offer on former Graymont building in downtown West Bend

The former Graymont building, 206 N. Sixth Ave., in downtown West Bend has an accepted offer.

Seed of Hope Center is looking to purchase the building. The medical clinic, based in West Bend, provides free pregnancy testing, sexual health consultations, and parenting education.

“We have been serving Washington County for 26 years,” said executive director Laura Denk. “We’ve moved around a bit and we’ve been thinking we have so many women that come to us and those who love our services and we wanted to put our roots down in Washington County and make it permanent.”

Seed of Hope Center has moved four times in the last 17 years. It is currently located in the office building, 279 S. 17th Avenue, in West Bend. Prior to that it was located in the Spaulding Clinical building off Oak Street and prior to that it was in two different locations in Hartford.

“We love everything about the building but the biggest thing that attracts us to it is the location,” Denk said. “We work so closely with many different agencies in Washington County and we felt we would be surrounded by other agencies that could provide services some of our moms need.”

Denk mentioned Family Promise, Life of Hope, the Department of Social Services, Froedtert St. Joseph’s Hospital and Friends of Abused Families as key partner agencies in the community.

Currently Seed of Hope Center has about 3,000 square feet of space. The site on Sixth Avenue measures a little more than twice that.

“We want to build an educational kitchen so we can teach,” said Denk. “A lot of our moms learn how to set a menu and grocery shop but some don’t and this would be a good opportunity to teach.”

Seed of Hope Center averages 600 – 800 people that take advantage of classes each year.

“Our future, future goal would be to provide not a shelter, but a home for moms prior to giving birth,” Denk said. “Some of the young ladies that come here were never nurtured and they never learned how to be a parent. We’re looking for a short term 6 to 9 month stay that helps these moms learn life skills, deal with their own life struggles and just to get them on their feet so when their baby is born they could raise their own family.”

Denk said the goal would be to be in the same building but they haven’t even explored that yet.

“Buying this building is just a stepping stone,” she said. “The purpose of buying the building is to be one location for all our services.” Denk credited the multiple donors and supporters for assisting in the purchase of the building. The building on the northwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Elm Street was built in 1961.

According to the city assessor the property was assessed at $414,500 in 2018. The total property tax in 2017 was $9,726.13. The portion that went to the BID assessment was $1,320. Seed of Hope Center is a 501c3 non-profit. The city assessor’s office said it would have until March 1, 2019 to apply for exemption. Seed of Hope Center is planning to move into its new location before the end of the year.

In March 2016 the property went up for sale. Below is the archived story from Around the Bend.

Property updates: The former Graymont building, 206 N. Sixth Avenue in West Bend, has finally hit the real estate market. The property is formerly home to Western Lime Corporation. It changed to Graymont in April 2012 after the company moved from a small office above the Husar building.

Last April, Graymont moved across the street to 215 N. Main Street, formerly the Ziegler building.  The property at 206 N. Sixth Ave. was built in 1961, updated in 1994, is 7,500 square feet and is listed by agent Jodi Brandt from RSM Property Management & Realty at $495,000.

The closing date according to RSM Property is November however that date may be pushed up a bit. We’ll keep you posted.

Fire Prevention Week is underway                       By Ron Naab

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of Oct. 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage.

This horrific fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. Both fires started on Oct. 8 and intensified on Oct. 9. The Peshtigo fire came to a halt when it reached the shores of Lake Michigan.

During Fire Prevention Week the goal is to educate children and adults on being safe in case of a fire. The teaching theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is: Look, Listen, Learn. Be aware of your surroundings because fire can happen anywhere. Look for places fire could start around your home, your work place and the places you have fun at. Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.

Test your smoke detectors, if they are 10 years old replace them. Do a drill so all know what to do and where to go. Finally, learn two ways out of every room and out of your house. Make sure all doors and windows are cleared of any clutter.

In Washington County the week starts off Friday night with the Richfield Fire Company 25th Annual Fire Prevention Week Kick-Off on Friday evening starting at 6:30 until 9 p.m.

There will be a huge display of fire trucks and emergency equipment along with a landing of the Flight for Life Ambulance Helicopter [7:45 pm].    This will be followed by the other departments in the county hosting activities throughout the week.

Washington Co. Fire Prevention Week activities are below:

Allenton Vol. Fire Department and St. Lawrence Fire Company    Pancake Breakfast & Open House on Sunday, Oct. 14, 8 a.m.-12 noon at the Allenton Fire Station

Boltonville Fire Department Open House at Boltonville Fire Station on Monday, Oct. 8, 6-8 p.m.

Fillmore Fire Department Open House on Saturday, Oct. 13, 1-3 p.m.

Germantown FD Fire Safety Fair at Station No. 2 on Edison Dr., Saturday, Oct. 6; 10 a.m. -2 p.m.

Hartford Fire-Rescue Open House on Saturday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Jackson Fire Department Open House on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6 – 8 p.m.

Kewaskum Fire Department Open House on Thursday, Oct. 11, 6:00-8:00 pm

Kohlsville Fire Department Open House on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Richfield Fire Prevention Week Kick-Off at RFC Station 2 on Friday, Oct. 5, 6:30-9:00 pm

Slinger Fire Department Open House at Slinger Community Park on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6 -8 p.m.

West Bend Fire Department Open House at Station No. 1 on Saturday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Washington County Supervisor resignation letter             By William Blanchard

On Thursday, Dist. 11 Washington Co. Supervisor William Blanchard submitted a letter of resignation to the Washington County Board. His letter is below followed by a note from County Administrator Joshua Schoemann

Early on in my life, my parents taught me the importance of giving back to your community.  Whether it was delivering meals on wheels with my dad, mowing the lawn or shoveling the sidewalk of an older neighbor, helping with a handicapped Boy Scout troop or going on mission trips to Mexico to assist with building homes, I have looked for ways to give back and serve those less fortunate.  That sense of giving back has been carried through to my adult life.  For 28 years I have honorably served this country.  I have sacrificed the comforts of home and modern life to serve in other countries.  I have sacrificed time with friends and family for training and deployments.  Additionally, I have volunteered my time as a Firefighter and EMT with Campbellsport Volunteer Fire Department and now as a Firefighter with Boltonville Fire Department.

As my military career winded down and I began to seriously contemplate retirement, I looked for a new way to serve my community.  After serious contemplation and discussions with my family, I decided to run for County Board Supervisor.  I knocked on doors and got to meet many of my neighbors that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet.  Unfortunately, I didn’t win the election but it was a blessing in disguise as my hero, my Dad, passed away from cancer the day before the election and I needed the time to deal with the loss.  I was thrilled when I learned that the County Board Supervisor position for District 11 was open and even more thrilled when I was appointed to that position in August.

I am devastated that I am now forced, under duress, to resign from my position as Washington County Board Supervisor for District 11.  Over the past few weeks, I have been subjected to harassing calls and threats to resign or else… Why am I being forced to resign?  NOT because I have done anything wrong or committed any ethics violation but, rather, because my mentally ill daughter is receiving services from Washington County.

Therefore, with a heavy heart, I submit this letter as my resignation from my position as Washington County Board Supervisor for District 11.

From: Joshua Schoemann Joshua.Schoemann@co.washington.wi.us Date: Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 9:16 PM Subject: Resignation Announcement

To: Sent to all County Board Supervisors.

I have received multiple communications from several Supervisors about the email you received from Supervisor Blanchard today announcing his intent to resign as a County Board Supervisor. As with all Board communication I highly advise you to refrain from any discussion amongst yourselves regarding this matter, including any ‘Reply’ or ‘Reply All’ to the original email from Supervisor Blanchard. I only give this advice as the matter may relate to the Open Meetings Law, as it may or may not be discussed by the County Board and as it has been considered by the Ethics Committee.

Please be advised this matter is of a sensitive nature, and thus requires the County’s strictest diligence. While Supervisor Blanchard is certainly allowed to share, as he did, any and all detail he feels appropriate, the County must follow all legal protocols within the ethics realm, as well as within the realm of treating clients and navigating through the court system with clients (if there were to be any).

Please know that Chairman Kriefall, Attorney Stern and I have worked hard to follow these protocols to date, including the process for seeking an ethics opinion via County Code. In the coming days we will work through further protocols to ensure compliance, while informing the Board as legally allowed.

I thank you for your patience, understanding and for not politicizing this 100% non – political matter.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Joshua Schoemann County Administrator

Slinger student working on Eagle Scout Project             By Alex Lange

I have been very busy these past couple of months with demolition and fundraising on my Eagle Scout Project for the Slinger VFW.

I removed the pergola at Jim’s Place. Then with the help of Kevin Zee Home and Ground Improvement we moved the brat shack, shed and the large tables to allow access to the brick pavers for removal. Later, I removed six light posts and two permanent garbage cans. Some members from my troop volunteered their time to help remove the bricks from the patio and put them on pallets. I also removed the rotted fencing. This Saturday we took the pallets of bricks off the patio and moved them towards the back of the lot with the help of Randy Duquette. This has cleared the way to work on the new foundation.

I have also been very active raising funds. Speaking to local service organizations, churches and businesses that also have been very supportive of my project. Tile sales for the Honor and Appreciation Wall have been steady as well. I have enough funds to begin buying some of the necessary supplies to begin rebuilding, starting with the foundation.

City of West Bend recognized as Ice Age Trail Community

The City of West Bend received special recognition this week as an Ice Age Trail Community.

The Certificate of Special Senatorial Recognition read: Congratulations on your recognition by the Ice Age Trail Alliance as an Ice Age Trail Community. Thank you for your deep respect for the rich history of this area and your commitment to enhancing awareness of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.  Signed United States Senator Ron Johnson.

Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester presented the announcement during the Common Council meeting.

In June 2017 the West Bend Common Council approved the Ice Age Trail Alliance property acquisition on Highway 33. The woodsy lot belonged to the Living Trust of Sharon E. Marth. The parcel was sold June 1, 2017 for $360,000 to the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Inc., A Wisconsin Corporation.

Mike Wollmer, executive director with Ice Age Trail Alliance, said the acquisition of the Marth property will extend the trail from Ridge Run Park out to Highway 33. “It will eliminate the long road walk that currently exists between Camp Silverbrook and Highway 33,” he said.

West Bend Fire Department Citizen Awards

The West Bend Fire Department handed out a couple of citizen awards during the Monday night Common Council meeting.  This is the 2018 Fire Department Citizen Appreciation Awards.

Deputy Fire Chief Charles Beistle recognized Washington County Sheriff Deputies Timothy Dexter and Justin Jilling and Kewaskum volunteer firefighter Josh Harter were recognized for helping at a house fire in Dec. 20, 2017.

On December 20, 2017, Deputies Jilling and Dexter were enroute to serve a warrant when they noticed an unusual amount of dark colored smoke coming from a residence in the area. Upon investigation they found dark colored smoke originating from the rear of a residence. Already on scene was Josh Harter (a volunteer firefighter from Kewaskum) who works in the area and saw the smoke himself. He stated that he had already called 911 and was attempting to alert the occupants. Deputies and Mr. Harter attempted to alert residents who were not home. They also used extinguishers to attempt to put out the fire. Through the efforts of all the individuals involved they helped reduce the property damage by early notification of fire department and Deputies using their extinguishers. With their efforts they also saved the lives of family pets inside the house, that were later rescued by the fire department.

Steve Eklund and his wife were also recognized for contacting the WBFD about faulty lighting on their Christmas tree. On Monday January 8, 2018, Steve Eklund and his wife were taking down their artificial Christmas tree when it began to smoke. It gave off a choking electrical smell which filled the room. He unplugged the tree which took away any further hazard. He contacted the fire department after investigating and found the LED wiring system had failed and began to overheat. He brought his findings and tree to the fire station and reported his findings. All information was passed on to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Mr. Ecklund was willing to put in the extra interest and effort to try to make sure this doesn’t happen to somebody else. If this would have happened during the night or other times when adults were not right there, I believe it would have been worse results possibly even fatal.

Halloween Trick or Treat in Washington County                By Samantha Sali

Halloween is almost here. Here are some of the trick-or-treat times for Washington, Ozaukee, and Dodge Counties.

Thursday, October 25, 2018  – Mayville (Downtown), 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 27, 2018  – Cedarburg, 5 – 8 p.m., Grafton, 5 – 8 p.m., Farmington, 4 – 7 p.m., Hartford (Downtown), 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., Kewaskum, 5 – 7 p.m., Port Washington, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Downtown Trick or Treat (Participating businesses will have a pumpkin in the window.) 4 – 7 p.m. city-wide trick or treat, Richfield, 3 – 6 p.m., Slinger, 5 – 7 p.m. (Afterward families are welcome to a free event as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, food and beverages.), Trenton, 4 – 6 p.m., West Bend, 4 – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 28, 2018 – Addison, 3:00 – 6 p.m., Belgium, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Jackson, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Mayville (City), 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Mequon, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Saukville, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Thiensville, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018  Halloween – Germantown, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Hartford (City), 6 – 8 p.m.

Don’t forget the Downtown West Bend Association will host its annual Fall Fest on Friday, Oct. 12 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Dress up in your Halloween costume and trick or treat in downtown West Bend. Look for the pumpkin in the window of participating businesses.

There will be lots of spooktacular activities for the whole family to enjoy including face painting by Maverick Tattoos LLC and balloon art by First Baptist Church of West Bend, Wisconsin.   Compete in pumpkin bowling sponsored by Slesar Glass Shop and Sals Pizzeria! Roll a hand-size pumpkin knock down pins and win prizes.

Updates & tidbits

 In-person absentee voting is underway in Washington County for the Nov. 6 General Election.

– Visit Heritage House, Cedar Community’s restored turn-of-the-century farmhouse, located at their main campus, 5595 County Road Z, West Bend, on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a family fun day. Tour Heritage House and Ye Olde School, enjoy complimentary desserts and refreshments, musical entertainment, fall color rides throughout the beautiful trails, old-fashioned school games and pumpkin decorating. This event is open to the public and free to attend.

– The VFW Post #1393 in West Bend, 260 Sand Drive, is gearing up to host its annual spaghetti dinner on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.. All money raised goes to the organizations general fund. Bring the family and come join us.

– The Allenton Volunteer Fire Department and St. Lawrence Fire Company have announced plans for their annual Pancake Breakfast and Open House in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week. This year’s event will be Sunday, Oct. 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Allenton Fire Department.

– The annual Interfaith Tea is just around the corner and you’re invited. This year’s theme is Tailgating. Celebrity waiters will serve you and your guests and there will be an amazing silent auction, a fun purse auction, 50-50 raffle and a beer and wine pull. Lots of fun on tap and all for a good cause. Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is a local organization that matches volunteers with senior citizens to help with doctor appointments, shopping, cleaning and just paying it forward. Reserve your seat today and contact Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.  See you Oct. 14 at the West Bend Mutual Prairie Center.

– Hartford’s H.e.l.p. Corner at Redeemer Church is slated to open mid-September.

– 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.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Justice Kavanaugh

Ahhhhh

The US Senate has voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, after weeks of rancorous debate.

The Senate backed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination by 50 votes to 48.

Make not mistake, the controversy over this appointment did not have anything to do with Brett Kavanaugh. Trump could have appointed a new RBG and the same thing would have happened. The anti-Trump derangement coupled with the fury of the midterm elections have pushed the liberals into a mass hysteria.

Thankfully, sanity prevailed and we were able to put a good, smart, man on the court who will respect our constitution.

Congratulations, Justice Kavanaugh.