Colt Decides to Only Arm Government

I won’t support a gun company that won’t support the 2nd Amendment. Samuel Colt is rolling in his grave.

Gunmaker Colt says it is suspending its production of rifles for the civilian market, including the popular AR-15.

The company, based in West Hartford, Connecticut, has received some criticism from gun rights advocates for moving away from the civilian market.

Governor Evers Open to Gun Confiscation

I wonder if Evers has one of those Banksy frames that shreds the Constitution.

During the governor’s news conference, a reporter asked Evers if he would support a mandatory buyback program.

Evers first said he’s focused on red-flag and universal background check legislation, but when pressed, said he’s open to the idea of mandatory buybacks.

“I’d consider it, but my focus is on these two bills,” Evers said.

O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, turned heads during the presidential debate last week when he proclaimed, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” in arguing that guns meant for warfare should be banned. He called for a mandatory buyback of assault-style rifles to prevent gun violence after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso in early August.

Nass Sticks up for Farmers

Governor Evers wants to impose onerous and expensive new restrictions on farmers. Thankfully, Nass is sticking up for the farmers.

A key Republican lawmaker vowed Wednesday to block new state restrictions designed to protect farmers’ neighbors from the stench of manure following a flurry of complaints from Wisconsin’s agricultural community.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has spent the last three years drafting revisions to farm siting regulations. The latest version calls for dramatically expanding manure storage facility setbacks from neighbors’ property lines for new farms and farms looking to expand.

Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, co-chairman of the Legislature’s rules committee, issued a terse statement Wednesday accusing department “bureaucrats” of ignoring the industry’s concerns and making life harder for farmers. He promised to do everything he can to block the rules if they reach his committee in their present form.

I don’t remember who first said it to me, but whenever I am in the country and that manure smell wafts through my nostrils, I say, “mmm… smells like money.” That smell represents the hard work that farmers do to feed their families and ours. Instead of trying to make farms smell better for the sensibilities of suburbanites and city dwellers, let’s educate people on the importance of farming, because nobody cares about the smell of shit when they are starving.

Climate Confessions

NBC News has a page where they invite readers to “Tell us: Where do you fall short in preventing climate change?” It appears to be their opportunity to absolve readers of their climate sins and encourage them to do better. I don’t think it’s working out how they planned. I took a screen shot because I’m sure they will be “filtered” soon.

Washington County to have an elected executive

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

After much debate and a second vote by the County Board, Washington County will have a county executive. The structural change in government offers the citizens of Washington County an opportunity to reset the direction of the county for years to come.

The vote by the County Board last week to change the county’s form of government from a county administrator to a county executive came after the same board rejected the idea in June. Washington County has long had a form of government where the executive function is delegated to a hired administrator by the County Board. The county administrator is unelected and responsible to the County Board that hired him or her.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a county administrator form of government. In it, the elected County Board exercises both the legislative and executive functions of government with the executive functions being completed by a hired employee. This form of government ensures that the executive function will be completed by a competent executive, but all of the power is retained by the County Board.

The choice by the County Board to enact a county executive form of government represents a distinct ceding of power from the legislative branch of government to the executive branch of government. An elected county executive has to power to hire and fire department heads and veto County Board actions. Perhaps most important of all, an elected county executive is responsible to the voters, not the County Board. The County Board will no longer be able to fire a recalcitrant executive. In our county’s new form of government, the executive branch will truly be an independent, coequal branch of government.

The two things that a county executive form of government provides are accountability and direction. In our current county administrator form of government, accountability is diffused and it is difficult for citizens to hold their county government responsible. For example, if a county citizen is upset with a pockmarked county road, or the fee for county parks, or county transit, what can he do?

He can complain to the relevant county officials, but they are all ultimately responsible to the County Board. A citizen can complain to his or her County Board supervisor, but no single supervisor can enact change. It would take a citizen, or a coalition of citizens, complaining and getting 14 individual County Board supervisors to support making a change. If those supervisors will not act, it would take finding 14 people of like mind to run for office and win in order to change the makeup of the County Board. Ultimately, the county administrator form of government insulates the county bureaucracy from accountability.

As we see in other counties that already have an elected county executive who is responsible to the voters, having a single executive allows the citizens to hold that executive accountable if he underperforms or otherwise misbehaves. The county executive is not wholly responsible for policy, but he or she is responsible for the fair and quality execution of that policy. That kind of accountability has a ripple effect through any large organization.

The second thing that an elected county executive provides is the opportunity to establish a vision for the county. Washington County is in transition. While still largely rural with important rural interests, the county is becoming increasingly urban with important commercial and residential interests. What will the Washington County of 2025, 2030, or 2050 look like? With an interstate, land to build, airports, and a fantastic workforce, will Washington County aggressively compete for the economic growth being spurred in the rest of southeast Wisconsin? Or will we prefer to leverage the county’s idyllic natural beauty to attract commuters and nature enthusiasts? Or something in between? What is the right mix and balance?

These are the things that a county executive will help define and give the voters the opportunity to choose the direction they want. And, more importantly, if a county executive takes the county down a path that the voters do not want, it only takes a single election to change direction.

As candidates for county executive step forward to ask for our votes over the next few months, I welcome an array of competing visions for the future of our county so that we, the voters, may debate and decide the future direction of Washington County.

Feds Reject California’s Request for More Money for Homeless

Excellent.

“Your letter seeks federal dollars for California from hardworking American taxpayers but fails to admin that your State and local policies have played a major role in the current crisis,” Sec. Carson wrote in a letter responding to the leaders.

“If California’s homeless population had held in line with overall population trends, America’s homeless rate would have decreased. Instead, the opposite has happened, as California’s unsheltered homelessness population has skyrocketed as a result of the State’s over-regulated housing market, its inefficient allocation of resources, and its policies that have weakened law enforcement.”

Fix your own house, California, before you ask the rest of us to pay.

Looking at School Performance

Pathetic. Just pathetic.

Just four out of ten K-12 students are proficient in math and English language arts, according to new data from Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Statewide, only 40.9 percent of all students are proficient or advanced in English language arts, down from 42.4 percent last year. In math, only 43.4 percent of all students show proficiency, a small decrease from last year’s 43.8 percent. According to DPI, a student who rates “proficient” means simply that the student is performing at grade level.

More than one-third of students, 34.4 percent, scored basic on the English languages arts section, while 23.2 percent scored below basic. A larger portion of students received scores of below basic compared to last year, showing a troubling decline in achievement. Millions more dollars have been sent to classrooms in recent budgets, including an increase of more than $655 million in the 2019-21 budget, on top of a $630 million increase in 2017-19. Student enrollment has remained stagnant. 

In social students, 49 percent of students demonstrated proficiency, down from last year’s proficiency of 50.6 percent. Science results were not reported this year because of a change in tested topics.

The results come from the spring 2019 administration of the Forward Exam, which is the fourth time Wisconsin students have taken the test. Nearly 589,000 students in 3rd through 11th grade took the exam. Participation was 98 percent for public school students, and 90.6 percent for private school choice students. 

Madison Agrees to Pay Teachers More

Heh.

The Madison School District and the teachers union reached a tentative agreement Tuesday to increase base wages for teachers and district employees this year by the maximum allowable amount.

It’s not much of a negotiation when everyone at the table agrees on the maximum amount. Were the taxpayers represented in this negotiation?

Washington County to have an elected executive

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. This week it’s actually about Washington County. Pick up a copy!

After much debate and a second vote by the County Board, Washington County will have a county executive. The structural change in government offers the citizens of Washington County an opportunity to reset the direction of the county for years to come.

[…]

The second thing that an elected county executive provides is the opportunity to establish a vision for the county. Washington County is in transition. While still largely rural with important rural interests, the county is becoming increasingly urban with important commercial and residential interests. What will the Washington County of 2025, 2030, or 2050 look like? With an interstate, land to build, airports, and a fantastic workforce, will Washington County aggressively compete for the economic growth being spurred in the rest of southeast Wisconsin? Or will we prefer to leverage the county’s idyllic natural beauty to attract commuters and nature enthusiasts? Or something in between? What is the right mix and balance?

These are the things that a county executive will help define and give the voters the opportunity to choose the direction they want. And, more importantly, if a county executive takes the county down a path that the voters do not want, it only takes a single election to change direction.

As candidates for county executive step forward to ask for our votes over the next few months, I welcome an array of competing visions for the future of our county so that we, the voters, may debate and decide the future direction of Washington County.

High School Kids Put on Probation After Displaying Trump Flag

There’s something going on

Cheerleaders from a North Carolina high school have been put on probation after they held up a flag in support of President Donald Trump before a football game.

The North Stanly High School cheerleading squad was placed on probation on Monday for waving the Trump 2020 banner last month during a home game.

Members of the squad posed for photos with the banner on August 30 before the game in Stanly County, which is about 50 miles north-east of Charlotte.

The banner read: ‘Trump 2020: Make America Great Again.’

I don’t have a problem with the school’s action. They have a rule and they are enforcing it. As long as they do so consistently, so be it.

But there’s something going on with kids and Trump. I’ve been to three high school football games this year. At two of them – in different cities with kids from different schools – the kids in the stands had Trump signs. One school had a Trump flag they hung over the railing and another school had several kids wearing MAGA hats with one kid wearing a Trump cape. What’s up?

It seems that it’s becoming the rebellious cool thing to do for kids to support Trump. Is it because so many of their teachers are anti-Trump and they are pushing back? Is it because they are rallying around the pro-America message? Is it just the cool thing to do because some kids did it first and others followed along? Or is just anecdotal and not a trend at all?

I’ll report back on how the rest of the season goes.

 

UAW Strikes Against GM

It could be because they have a legitimate dispute with GM about labor contracts. It could also be an orchestrated distraction to distract their members and the public from their own corruption. And now if anyone pokes deeper into the corruption, the UAW can accuse them of strike busting. Slimy people.

DETROIT – About 48,000 members of the United Auto Workers union went on strike early Monday as contract talks with General Motors broke down.

Union members walked out of factories and set up picket lines at 33 plants across the nation as well as 22 parts warehouses.

The strike, depending on its length, could easily cost GM hundreds of millions of dollars. The last time the union declared a strike at GM was in 2007. The two-day work stoppage was estimated to have cost the Detroit automaker more than $300 million a day.

The called strike comes despite GM saying it presented a “strong offer” to the union that included the addition or retention of thousands of jobs and more than $7 billion in new investments over the next four years.

[…]

The circumstances add to the tension of already unprecedented negotiations, following UAW Region 5 Director Vance Pearson, a member of the union’s International Executive Board, being arrested and charged by federal officials Thursday with embezzlement of union funds, among other charges.

The affidavit detailing the charges also reportedly implicated UAW President Gary Jones and former UAW President Dennis Williams, whose homes were raided along with Pearson’s by FBI, IRS and Department of Labor agents two weeks ago. Pearson, who joined the UAW in 1981, succeeded Jones as director of UAW Region 5.

[…]

“This union exists to support our local unions and this strike is about our local union members,” he said. “We will not be deviated from that because that is what is in their interest, that is what they want and that is what we will do.”

 

Barrett’s “Plans” for Sales Tax Money

Doesn’t it seem like he just tries to make stuff up that sounds good? Of course, once the money is flowing into Milwaukee, it could be used for anything… like trolleys, employee benefits, and other stuff that doesn’t sound as good.

If the tax were approved, it would raise an estimated $160 million, Barrett said, and 25 percent, or $40 million, would go to property tax relief in the form of a credit.

Barrett said the city of Milwaukee would use part of the money for lead abatement on aging homes with lead paint and replacing lead laterals in the city’s water system.

He said without the additional revenue, the Milwaukee Police Department is likely to have fewer officers in the next city budget.

“I do not want to do that,” Barrett said. “A way for us to avoid that is to have this sales tax.”

Some enterprising reporter should look into the city budget and see what other spending is being prioritized over these things already.

Hulk Smash

So… one of the actors who plays a fictional green giant comments on the British Prime Minister’s invocation of said fictional character. That seems about right for our modern civic discourse.

Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo has reacted to Boris Johnson’s comments in which he compared the UK leaving the EU to the green superhero.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the prime minister said Hulk “always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be”.

But Hollywood star Mark said the Hulk “only fights for the good of the whole”.

“Mad and strong can also be dense and destructive,” he added.

NY School Principals Given Power to Ask for “extreme risk protection order”

What could go wrong?

In New York, school principals are now allowed to petition the court for an “extreme risk protection order” requiring the safe storage of firearms the youth might have access to, such as a parent’s gun. Supporters of the law say educators are uniquely suited to pick up on the kind of troubling behavior seen before school shootings, like the 2018 attack in Parkland, Florida, in which an expelled student killed 17 people at his former high school.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Washington Co. Supervisors vote a final time on elected County Executive 

With two Washington County Supervisors absent, (Roger Kist and Brian Gallitz) the County Board voted for a second time on a resolution to change the form of government to an elected county executive, rather than an appointed county administrator.

It was June 12, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted 13-13 on a resolution to create a county executive position.  A tie vote resulted in failure of the motion.

Electronic vote above from June 12, 2019 meeting 13-13 tie.

Two short weeks later, the issue was brought back for review. On Friday, June 28 Supervisors Chris Jenkins, Russ Brandt and William Symicek requested a county executive resolution be placed on the July 10 county board meeting for reconsideration.

During the Wednesday, Sept. 11 meeting the County Board voted 13 – 11 to approve creating an office of County Executive of Washington County.

This means in April 2020 there will be a race for the seat for Washington County Executive. So far county administrator Joshua Schoemann has not indicated if he will run for the post. He said he’s going to take a couple days and then make a statement on his decision.

A quick look at some of the change in vote since June:

District 1 Supervisor Kristine Deiss changed her vote from an initial ‘nay’ on June 12 to a ‘aye’ on Sept. 11.

District 4 Supervisor Chris Jenkins, who requested the issue be brought back for review, voted ‘nay’ twice on the issue.

District 10 Supervisor William Symicek, who also requested the issue be brought back for review, voted ‘aye’ twice.

District 16 Supervisor Russel Brandt, who also requested the issue be brought back, changed his vote from a June 12 ‘nay’ to a ‘aye’ on Sept. 11.

District 22 Supervisor Rock Brandner changed his vote from a June 12 ‘aya’ to a Sept. 11 ‘nay.’

Moving forward:

A couple notes as the process moves forward:

Supervisor Jenkins – “I brought it back and then voted against it a second time because it still deserved time to do the research and get feedback but for me, I feel our electorate voting has pretty limited knowledge on county government. To me now laying this task on the people in the county to have this very important vote, honestly it scares me a bit. So now that it’s past there’s going to have to be a lot of education on what sort of role (county executive) this is. I also feel the difference in position is we will now be tasking the operations of the county to someone who wins a popularity contest. There’s a role for that in democracy but I hope we find a balance. Finally, I thought it was brought up initially because we lacked leadership. I love Joshua Schoemann (current county administrator) and if he decides to run that will be great but I worry about the monster we just created has just opened the position to anyone who wants to run. Education of the electorate is going to need to be done.”

Voting in favor of now changing the county administrator position to an elected county executive position means the county just violated the terms of Joshua Schoemann’s contract. It means the county will have to pay him $130,000 because of a violation of the original terms of agreement.

Schoemann has been on tour the past year and a half talking about the dire situation of the county’s fiscal health. He’s often compared it to “falling off a financial cliff.”

A question was posted to supervisors about how they could vote to spend $130,000 in taxpayer money in this fashion.

Supervisor Jenkins – “I don’t know. I didn’t vote for it.”

Supervisor Kristine Deiss – “That is a legal binding contract. But what would happen down the road? I don’t think you can equate changing this form of government into the dollar and cents because the supervisors knew that was going to be a cost but I don’t equate that to the decision that had to be made because the decision affects our future and how this county will be run and that’s the bigger picture… as far as I’m concerned.”

Supervisor Peter Sorce – “It’s all Communism. I asked one question, let’s bring in some guys from Milwaukee and let’s talk to them and they told me to go screw myself. That’s the kind of a board we have.”

On a side note: The County Board did not take up the POWTS issue. It was removed from the agenda as the county executive vote was expected to take up a majority of the meeting. The POWTS issue is slated now to be voted on at the October 2019 meeting. Early indications are it is being recommended to vote it down.

Fund for Lake Michigan awards grant to the City of West Bend for Downtown Riverwalk improvements 

Opening of the newly renovated Riverwalk on the east bank of the Milwaukee River in downtown West Bend has fueled excitement over plans to reconstruct the Riverwalk on the opposite bank of the river.

The concept plan for the west bank Downtown Riverwalk was unveiled last month. Improvements include areas for the public to sit and relax along the river, an accessible fishing deck, a kayak launch, and a new bike/pedestrian path under the Washington Street bridge that will link the Riverwalk trail in downtown West Bend to the existing trail north of Washington Street.

“The City of West Bend is grateful to the Fund for Lake Michigan for this design award. Our community prides itself on both quality of life and a strong downtown business district, so there is widespread support and anticipation for the west bank reconstruction,” said West Bend Mayor Sadownikow.

As part of the design, the engineering firm Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) Inc. is investigating ways to address water quality issues posed by stormwater runoff from nearby streets, roofs, and parking lots that flows directly into the Milwaukee River.

The design will include green infrastructure to capture and treat runoff in the immediate area of the Riverwalk area. SEH is also exploring the possibility of incorporating stormwater treatment for runoff that flows into the project area from outside of the Riverwalk.

The Fund for Lake Michigan has generously awarded a $100,000 grant to the city to help pay for project design and engineering.

Fund for Lake Michigan Executive Director Vicki Elkin said, “The West Bend project is an opportunity to achieve long-term measurable improvements in water quality while supporting the City’s recreational and economic goals. We are excited to fund it and to see more and more municipalities address their development needs in a way that promotes a sustainable Lake Michigan.”

Designating State Hwy 28 as Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway

On Wednesday, September 11 state Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) and Representative Tim Ramthun (R- Campbellsport) along with leaders from Washington County gathered in the Senate Parlor in the State Capitol to introduce legislation to honor 9/11 victims and designate a portion of State Highway 28 as the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway.

Seventeen veterans from Washington County on September 28 Honor Flight

There are 17 veterans from Washington County participating in the 54th Stars and Stripes Honor Flight’s (SSHF) that will take off Saturday, September 28.

One of the oldest veterans will be 92-year-old Richard Mihalek of Germantown who enlisted into the Navy in 1945 when he was 17 years old.

Other local veterans on the flight include: Vietnam Army Kenneth Zimmerman Hartford, Vietnam Marines Thomas Kilcourse Hartford, Vietnam Army Dennis Marthaler Hartford, Vietnam Air Force Daniel Maciejewski Hubertus, Korea Army Clifford Conaway Jackson, Vietnam Army Harry Krueger Kewaskum, Vietnam Marines William Richter Slinger, Vietnam Navy Ronald Buechler West Bend, Vietnam Navy Leonard McGinnis Jr. West Bend, Vietnam, Army Paul Fellenz West Bend, Vietnam Army Ronald Hausner West Bend, Vietnam Army James Wollner West Bend, Vietnam Army Roger Kaschner West Bend, Vietnam Navy Bruce Post West Bend, Vietnam Army Michael Reseburg West Bend, Vietnam Army Adrian Krueger West Bend

Two Allegiant Airlines A320 aircraft will leave Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport at approximately 7:00 a.m. on flight day, bound for Baltimore Washington International Airport with 171 local veterans (and their guardians) ready to experience a full day of honor and thanks.

On that day, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will welcome 9 WWII veterans, 13 Korean War veterans, and 149 veterans of the Vietnam War.

Southeastern Wisconsin veterans who will be taking their Honor Flight on September 28 have a wide variety of service histories, including service as Vietnam War paratroopers, helicopter pilots, reconnaissance Marines, tank gunners and artillery soldiers.

After the planes land in Baltimore on flight day, the veterans will board coach buses to tour Washington DC’s WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and more. The day will also include viewing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.  A DC Park Police escort will ensure that the veterans do not spend time stuck in traffic.

Be sure to come to SHRED Day at Horicon Bank in West Bend on Saturday, Sept. 14 for ‘After the Honor Flight’ and meet local veterans who have been on the flight and those prepping to take part on September 28. The free event runs 10 a.m. – 12 noon.

“We are so honored to welcome another 171 local heroes to their Stars and Stripes Honor Flight,” said Paula Nelson, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. “Our veterans will join us from all over southeastern Wisconsin for this trip of a lifetime. So many of our oldest veterans came home many years ago without a true homecoming. We look forward to welcoming them home the way they should have been welcomed home decades ago. We are so grateful to our volunteers and our community for their support of our veterans and our mission.”

Prior to the September 28 flight, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown 7,018 local veterans on these trips to Washington, DC since 2008, and has honored more than 50 veterans locally who were not able to fly.

As an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff and no offices, the organization is proud to share that $.97 of every donated dollar goes directly to flying and honoring veterans.

Honor Flight is a national program with more than 130 hubs from coast to coast. The WWII Memorial did not open until 2004 and many veterans are unable to visit Washington DC without assistance. Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight network have taken well over 223,000 veterans to see their memorials.

Timeline of activities for the Saturday, September 28 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight:

4:30 am –Veterans and their guardians begin check in at Mitchell Airport’s main concourse

5:45 am – National Anthem and boarding entertainment by vocalists “Bounding Main”

6:30 am – Flights depart for BWI Airport, water cannon salute on runway

9:30 am (ET) – Flights arrive at BWI Airport, load buses for DC tour

6:30 pm (ET) -Return to BWI Airport, load planes for departure back to MKE

8:30 pm (CT, approximate) Return flights land at Mitchell Airport, veterans deplane for parade through the airport’s main concourse. The 484th Army Band and the Brookfield Central Lancerettes dance team will provide spirit for the Homecoming parade.

Active senior living apartment complex closer to fruition in West Bend TIF District

The development of a new active senior living apartment-style complex moved one step closer to fruition this week as the West Bend Common Council emerged from closed session to approve a purchase agreement with New Perspectives on the south half of TIF #12.

The proposed five to six-story active senior living apartment-style complex is being proposed on a 4.45-acre parcel on the south end of the former Gehl property just to the west of S. Forest Avenue.

RTN Development, LLC, based in Minnesota, stepped forward with the proposal. The purchase of the property is still being negotiated.

Nick Novaczyk, is CEO with RNT Development.  “This will be a market-rate rental,” said Novaczyk. “There will be about 130 to 150 units with underground parking.”

“With the purchase agreement we will now push our concept forward with regard to how big of a building, how many parking stalls, and other things to get this accomplished,” said Novaczyk.

The project, according to Novaczyk, is to be completed in partnership with New Perspective Senior Living, the very same organization serving the West Bend community with independent living, assisted living and memory care on Continental Drive.

That former Gehl Company property had been under remediation for the past 7+ years.

“We liked this spot in particular because of its proximity to downtown,” said Novaczyk. “Also, the access to the Eisenbahn State Trail, MOWA, and the riverwalk.”

The northern end of the Gehl lot will also be under development as the City announced an agreement on May 6, 2019 with RafRad LLC and Kinseth Hospitality with the intention of constructing a hotel and office building in the downtown on a portion of the 8-acre site formerly home to Gehl on the southwest corner of Water Street and Forest Avenue.

Novaczyk said the timeline on occupancy is expected to be “in early 2021.”

Hartford Union H.S. Mary Scherr awarded 2018-19 NFHS gymnastics Coach of the Year | By Teri Kermendy

Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is proud to announce Mary Scherr has been named 2018-2019 National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Gymnastics Coach of the Year for Wisconsin.

“I was very surprised and honored to receive this award.” said Mary Scherr.

Annually, the NFHS identifies and recognizes a coach from each state for significant achievement in their sport.  State level recipients are considered for NFHS Sectional Recognition.  National Coaches of the Year are then chosen from the sectional winners in which Scherr will be considered.

“Mary is an outstanding coach to our young athletes at HUHS and promoting the sport of gymnastics. She is well respected not only by the North Shore Conference coaches but also by coaches around the state. HUHS is very lucky to have Coach Scherr.” said Scott Helms, HUHS Athletics and Activities Director.

WBFD receives $169,090 FEMA grant

West Bend Fire Chief Gerald Kudek appeared before the West Bend Finance Committee this week to discuss acceptance of a FEMA grant.

The purpose of the FEMA – Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program is to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards.

After the extremely competitive grant process, FEMA has determined that our project for the Plymovent Exhaust System in all of our stations was consistent with the AFG Program’s purpose and was worthy of this award.

Diesel engines, used in fire trucks, produce a mixture of toxic gases and particulates from the combustion process. These hazardous vehicle exhaust emissions in a fire station are one of a firefighter’s most significant cancer health risk. It is essential to create healthy and safe working conditions by reducing these risks.

The Plymovent Exhaust System will eliminate this hazard from our fire station with a vehicle exhaust capture and removal systems. The automatic start-up and disconnect source capture systems are the recommended method for controlling exhaust emissions in our three fire stations.

The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is a 10-percent match program.

The budget for this project is $186,000. FEMA’s awarded grant amount is $169,090.90, and the City’s portion would be $16,909.10.  The Finance Committee approved the request.

Aldi in West Bend to temporarily close for remodel starting next week

Neighbors in West Bend are going to have to change their shopping patterns as Aldi, 1114 S. Main Street, prepares to close for a month.

The store is undergoing a significant remodel and addition. It will close Wednesday, Sept. 18 and officially reopen October 25.

Clerks at Aldi are handing out the above coupon at the checkout register. The opposite side features $5 coupons* to shop at Aldi in Hartford or Menomonee Falls while West Bend undergoes an upgrade. (*The $5 coupon is only good with a minimum $30 purchase.)

More warehouse storage space is being added along with some interior refrigeration work currently underway.

ALDI Corporation, which has 2.5 acres, acquired 2.47 acres of land from the adjacent owner (King Pin) for expansion.

The site plan is for a 2,440 square-foot commercial building addition located on the west side of the building with minor architectural building alterations proposed to the remaining building.

In 2017 ALDI announced a nationwide “plan to remodel and expand more than 1,300 U.S. stores by 2020.”

Early plans indicate ALDI will spend “more than $37 million dedicated to enhancing stores in the Milwaukee-area.”

Gas station in Newburg closes until March 2020

Casey’s General Store, 432 Highway 33, in Newburg has closed temporarily.

“Casey’s is putting in a new store,” said Newburg Village Administrator Deanna Alexander. “The tentative plan is to open in February or March of 2020.”

The Village issued building permits earlier this year. So far, no building/design plans have been submitted to the Village. Work crews were busy taking stock out of the store/gas station this past Monday, Sept. 9. Neighbors in Newburg are familiar with how the store used to look, Tri-Par, before being bought out by Casey’s General Store.

West Bend musician wins New Horizon Award from US Polka Association

A young West Bend musician has received the New Horizon Award from the United States Polka Association (USPA). The award, which is the only national award for a young up-and-coming performer, was presented to Joe Heger at the USPA annual convention in Cleveland, OH.

The USPA is one of two major polka music associations in the United States dedicated to the promotion of the Polish genre of polka music.

The New Horizon Award is given to an outstanding young (under 21) musician who has demonstrated extreme accomplishment in performing polka music.

The USPA award was presented to Heger by Allen Bales, the leader of the Julida Boys Band which has played polka music in the Washington County area and beyond for the past 40 plus years.

Bales was Heger’s first trumpet teacher and ultimately became a great mentor and friend after he discovered a very young Joe playing along and twirling his plastic toy trumpet to the music of Hank Guzevich and his Polka Family Band at the West Bend Germanfest about 13 years ago.

Heger has been busy this summer performing with his own Polka Fusion Band and with the Chad Przybylski Band from Pulaski, WI. Since June he has logged more than 20 performances including Milwaukee Polish Fest and the Minnesota State Fair. Heger be at The Milwaukee Brewing Company and La Crosse Oktoberfest later this month.

Slinger Gridiron Club partnering with local businesses to build team success

Slinger youth football opened its season over the weekend and the Gridiron Club rolled out a partnership with new food vendors including Tony Herrera, owner of Angelo’s Pizzeria.

Bill Brewer, president of the Slinger Gridiron, said they’ve partnered with businesses before to enhance the club’s safety sponsorship and this year they’re trying something new with food vendors. “Angelo’s Pizzeria is running our concession stand this year,” he said. “Tony Herrera supports us with fundraising and our club supports his business.”

Aside from providing fresh food at the concession stand, Angelo’s Pizzeria is also donating 20 percent of the proceeds back to the Gridiron Club.

Herrera said he wants to be a good member of the community and giving back to the kids and the club is a win, win for everyone. “We serve fresh pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs and then we’re doing a 20 percent donation,” he said.

Slinger Gridiron proudly exists to provide the 5th-12th grade students in our School District with the opportunity to play tackle football.  We’ve worked hard to create a fun program that builds character in our players, developing qualities in them like leadership, teamwork, discipline and courage.  Our players learn that hard work is of greater value than natural ability, and that a competitive spirit and a desire to perform to capacity will help them succeed now and in the future.

Teamwork, commitment, and fair play are required, at all times, from all Directors, Coaches, and Players affiliated with Slinger Gridiron.

Germantown’s Anthony Roskopf recognized as 7,000 veteran on Honor Flight

There was a special ceremony at Mitchell International Airport today as 16 veterans from Washington County took part in the 53rd Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Korean War Army veteran Anthony Roskopf of Germantown was recognized as the 7,000 veteran to fly on the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight out of Milwaukee.

Roskopf was drafted in 1953 when he was 23 years old. “I worked on a farm at the time in Menomonee Falls,” he said. “The farm is right where COSCO is today.”

Roskopf went to Fort Leonard Wood Missouri for basic training. In July, rather than being shipped to Korea, Roskopf was ordered to go to advanced radar repair school at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. “While we were there a hurricane came into Chesapeake Bay and tore up the whole base and tipped our trailer over,” said Roskopf.

Roskopf then was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas however he worked mainly in White Sands, New Mexico. “We worked with a lot of highly classified material,” he said.

“Certain Guns”

Herein lies the root thought process behind benign tyranny.

(CNN)Let me start by saying this: I don’t want to take away all guns. In fact, I can’t think of a politician or gun violence prevention advocate who has suggested repealing the Second Amendment. However, I do believe it should be really, really, hard — if not impossible — for certain people to get their hands on certain guns.

Who are “certain people?” And what are “certain guns?” Today we already ban certain people from having guns – mainly felons and the insane – but we do so after rigorous due process is afforded. We do so because the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right that our founders knew deserved the utmost protection. That is why they protected it in the Bill of Rights.

When we loosen those definitions and suspend due process, we are on the path to tyranny. In Milano’s case, it is a benign tyranny rooted in the illogical assumption that access to firearms is a problem that needs to be solved. She’s a true believer who thinks that if only we could remove guns from our population, then we would be a safer society and that there wouldn’t be other negative consequences to such a situation. It’s a naive belief that is easy for someone to have who is protected by walls and armed security.

The problem is that once the wedge is created in our rights by those with benign interests, it can easily be wrested wider by those with more malignant intent. This is the same well worn path toward tyranny used in nations around the world for centuries. Disarm the population for their “own safety;” force them to rely upon the “authorities;” and then use those authorities to impose the will of tyrants. History is our guide and despite the fantasies of some, human nature has not changed enough that we would get a different outcome should we tread that path.

Federal Judge Upholds 1st Amendment

In what should have been the easiest ruling ever.

A federal judge in Green Bay ruled Friday that Northeast Wisconsin Technical College violated the First Amendment when officials ordered a student to stop handing out Valentine’s Day cards containing messages from the Bible, including “Jesus Loves You!” and “God is Love!”

Polly Olsen, 29, a Green Bay woman studying to become a paralegal, filed a lawsuit against the college a little more than a year ago and came to the attention of President Donald Trump, who invited her to the White House in March.

On Valentine’s Day 2018, Olsen was handing out cards with Bible messages to students and staff when a campus official told her she was violating school policy and took her to the security office. Olsen has said the cards were a family tradition started by her late mother.

“There can be no doubt that in handing out her homemade valentines to her fellow students, friends and staff at NWTC, Olsen was engaged in a constitutionally protected form of expression,” U.S. District Court Chief Judge William C. Griesbach wrote in his decision.

Griesbach ruled in favor of Olsen, awarded damages of $1 and ordered that NWTC not use a school policy in order to prevent other students from handing out similar cards or messages.

The NWTC policy in question is called “Freedom of Speech, Expression, and Public Assembly.”

It is infuriating that we have to even litigate things like this. The woman was handing out cards. If you received one and didn’t want it, throw it away. End of problem. The school did not need to insert itself into such a simple human interaction with its stupid and unconstitutional policy.

Woman Steals $100k From George Webb, Allegedly

Wow. How does that even happen?

WEST BEND — One West Bend woman is accused of stealing as much as $100,000 from a local business and appeared in court to fight her charges.

Pamela Hastings allegedly stole from a George Webb restaurant between January and May of this year. Police spoke with the restaurant owner, who said he found his daily bank deposits did not add up and realized some were missing entirely. The ensuing investigation led police to the 47-year-old, who was responsible for the bank deposits at that time. Hastings allegedly admitted what she had done verbally and in an apology to the owner. She was able to provide the missing statements and the information she gave matched what the owner observed, according to a criminal complaint.

When questioned by police, the defendant allegedly stated she was in financial hardship and turned to stealing from the restaurant. Hastings admitted stealing before the period the owner noticed money missing, the complaint states, but she could not give the money back because she had already spent it.

If you run a business, non-profit, charity, or anything else that handles money, never trust any one person. Check, verify, triple-check, audit, have multiple layers of sign-off, etc. Even good people get desperate and bad people will put themselves in a position to thieve. In this case, the owner caught it, but only after a lot of money was stolen over five months. If the owner had simply checked his bank account every day to ensure that the deposits were put in from the day before, he would have caught it much earlier. It’s a shame that you can’t trust people to do a simple deposit, but that’s the world we live in.

Iran Attacks Saudi Arabia

Iran attacked by way of their Yemeni proxies, but that’s how Iran always attacks.

Ten drones launched by Iran-backed militants sparked a huge fire at the world’s largest oil processing facility and a major oilfield in Saudi Arabia in the early hours of this morning.

The fires at Abqaiq in Buqyaq, which contains the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country’s second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control since the drone attacks at 4.00am local time.

Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran.

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, considered an Iranian proxy force in the region, has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia run by state-owned oil giant Aramco.

“Hell yes we’re going to take your [insert scary-looking gun here]”

He’s not going to get elected, so perhaps that is why he is willing to voice what many Democrats actually believe. Yes… yes, they want to forcibly seize your guns. Which ones? That depends on how they are feeling that day.

(CNN)Beto O’Rourke’s best moment on Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate — which also doubled as his best moment in the 2020 campaign to date — came when ABC’s David Muir asked whether he supported a mandatory buyback of assault weapons.

Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke said to raucous applause from the crowd in Houston, Texas. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.” 

The former Texas congressman defended that stance in an interview on CNN’s “New Day” Friday, insisting the issue would not hurt his party.

“It’s not a concern of mine and that’s in part informed by listening to people in conservative parts of America,” he said. “And folks are saying, ‘Look, I would give up that AR-15 or that AK-47. I don’t need it to hunt, don’t need it to defend myself in my home.’ They recognize this is a weapon designed for war, to kill people as effectively, as efficiently, and in a great a number as possible.”