Evers Vetoes Tax Cut

Governor Evers want to just spend your money.

MADISON (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a Republican-authored $250 million income tax bill on Wednesday at an elementary school in Wauwatosa, arguing that the Legislature should instead work with him on a compromise that includes more money for education.

And, apparently, he doesn’t know how government works.

‘‘There’s no time for compromise right now,’’ Fitzgerald said, noting that the Assembly adjourned last week for the year. The Senate plans to meet just one more time in about a month.

Remember when you get your paychecks that you could have been paying less in taxes if it weren’t for Governor Evers.

SEIU Spends Worker Dues To Defeat Trump

Is this what union members pay dues for? To advance the political ambitions of union leaders?

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the nation’s largest labor unions is unveiling plans to invest $150 million in a nationwide campaign to help defeat President Donald Trump, a sweeping effort focused on eight battleground states and voters of color who typically don’t vote.

The investment marks the largest voter engagement and turnout operation in the history of the Service Employees International Union, which claims nearly 2 million members. The scope of the campaign, which quietly launched last month and will run through November’s general election, reflects the urgency of what union president Mary Kay Henry calls “a make-or-break” moment for working people in America under Trump’s leadership.

Two Million Taxpayers Would Receive Tax Cuts Under GOP Bill

But Evers will still veto it. It’s his money… not yours, don’t you know?

More than 2 million taxpayers would see a tax cut from a Republican passed bill in the Wisconsin legislature, according to an analysis from the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE).

“We find it would reduce taxes for about 2 million taxpayers and reduce state tax revenue by about $200 million, so the reduction per affected taxpayer is about $100,” the CROWE study found. “Low-to-middle-income taxpayers would benefit the most. Moreover, the expansion would reduce the effective marginal tax rates (MTR) and thus provide work incentive for some low-to-middle-income taxpayers, although it would also raise the effective MTR and thus reduce the work incentive for some relatively high-income taxpayers.”

The state Senate and Assembly both passed the tax-cut package Thursday on largely party-line votes.

Gov. Tony Evers opposed the cuts, but has not said if he will sign or veto the bill.

The Sanders surge and the slippery slope

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Check it out:

One of our national great failures is that we, the people, have allowed our government schools to teach that communism, and its more polite brother, socialism, are anything other than the violent, failed doctrines of tyrants and lunatics. This is one of the reasons that Bernie Sanders is surging through the primaries and might be anointed the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party right here in Wisconsin.

Communism is not just an alternate form of organizing society or an altruistic expression of collective will. It is not just another way of accomplishing the same goals as capitalism and liberal democracy. Communism is an evil and murderous creed.

Communist governments have killed at least 100 million people over the last century. That is far more than every other kind of government combined. The oppression and killing by communists span cultures, geographies, and time. Whether in communist China, Soviet Russia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, Ethiopia, or elsewhere, communist violence is not a bug. It is a feature.

Some defenders of socialism and communism contend that the failures and atrocities of communism in places like Russia and North Korea were caused by externalities and circumstances that can be avoided on the next attempt. What these defenders neglect to share, or understand, is that centrally planned societies and economies require a tremendous concentration of power into the hands of a very small group of people. Those central planners are subject to the same emotions, flaws, passions, egos, jealousies, and sins of any other human. Communism does not bestow virtue on the practitioner. If anything, the old saw holds true that absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

Even if communism could be implemented by purely perfect noble beings, the very construct of the doctrine is contrary to the human condition. By eliminating free markets (legal ones) and individual rewards (except corrupt ones), people have little incentive to be productive or worry about making things that people actually want. The absence of incentive robs people of their initiative and denies society the benefit of their ingenuity. The result is the inevitable decline of a decaying society. The lessons of history are all too important today as a sizable number of our fellow Americans are supporting Bernie Sanders, and more importantly, his ideology. Sanders has put together a string of primary victories as he heads into Super Tuesday. Here in Wisconsin, a recent poll by the UW-Madison Elections Research Center shows Sanders the overwhelming favorite of Wisconsin’s Democrats with twice the support of his closest rivals, Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg.

Now that he is a national figure, Bernie Sanders likes to disavow communism in favor of something he calls “democratic socialism.” It is a distinction without a difference. Wordplay has always been a favorite tool of communists. Without going into Sanders’ long history of support and praise for communism and communist regimes, one need only look at Sanders’ platform to see it for what it is.

Sanders’ “Medicare for All” is the same government takeover of the health care system that we have seen for decades. Sanders would have the government outlaw private health care providers in favor of a health care system run by the federal government. Such a system puts government bureaucrats in charge of our personal humanity — our health.

Enacting the Green New Deal would require the government to force action in the energy and construction sectors of our economy. It would also require the government to obliterate private property rights in order to impose environmental mandates across the country.

Sanders’ plans for what he calls “workplace democracy” would shove people into unions and require the government to dictate the policies of heretofore private companies. Given government control of wages, health care, private property, etc., unions would be relegated to little more than enforcement arms of the government.

Does this sound familiar? Look at the verbs in the preceding paragraphs. “Outlaw.” “Force.” “Require.” “Obliterate.” “Impose.” “Dictate.” All of these policies require a colossal concentration of power into the hands of a select few in faraway Washington, D.C., to centrally manage our health care, work, economy, energy, and homes. With such concentration comes the inevitable violence and oppression to bend the people to the will of the central planners.

While some of my fellow conservatives relish the idea of a Sanders’ victory because they believe that Sanders would be the easiest challenger for President Trump to defeat, we must not risk our great nation for game theory and political theater. In this case we must follow the communists’ example and smother the threat before it grows — peaceably in the voting booth.

Trump In India

Wow. Quite an event.

Across the stands of the world’s biggest cricket stadium, a sea made up of the faces of Donald Trump and Narendra Modi stared out. The 125,000-strong crowd who had gathered to welcome to US president on his first visit to India alongside the Indian prime minister, at a rally dubbed “Namaste Trump”, not only danced and chanted to show their appreciation, but many also donned masks of the two leaders.

“America loves India, respects India,” said Trump as he stepped out to address the rally, to roars of approval. “India gives hope to all of humanity.”

The event, organised in Ahmedabad in Modi’s home state of Gujarat on Monday afternoon, was the pinnacle of Trump’s visit to India and a platform for the two leaders to show off their enthusiastically friendly relationship. Before taking to the stage, Trump rally favourites Madman Across the Water by Elton John and Macho Man by the Village People boomed out across the giant stadium.

The effusive bond between the two leaders was on full display, and Trump delivered a gushing speech paying tribute to an “exceptional leader … and a man I am proud to call my true friend”, while Modi sat behind him looking pleased. “Everybody loves him but I will tell you this, he is very tough,” added Trump, who unusually did not appear to divert from his speech script at all.

Black Folks In Madison Object to Hiring of Hispanic Superintendent

Are we becoming a society where we will only be satisfied with people who are the same as us? This kind of enforced segregation is not good for anyone. What does it teach our kids?

A letter signed by 13 black community leaders in Madison expresses concerns about the Madison Metropolitan School District’s hiring of Matthew Gutiérrez to be its next superintendent.

The concerns include how much larger and more diverse MMSD is than Gutiérrez’s current Seguin Independent School District in Texas, student performance scores in Seguin and a “flawed, incomplete” process that “lacked substantive input from the Black Community.”

“We are dissatisfied with the process and how the input of the Black Community was minimized, if considered at all,” the letter reads. “Given the differences between Madison and Seguin, we expected a greater and broader background of experience, skills and abilities that would move the Madison District further in cultural competency, social justice, and academic outcomes for black students.

“Dr. Gutiérrez is woefully lacking in all of these categories.”

Put it in another light… would it be acceptable for a bunch of white folks to send a letter saying, “We are dissatisfied with the process and how the input of the White Community was minimized, if considered at all”? Hard to imagine.

I don’t know if Gutierrez is the right person or not. I presume that he is liberal enough for the folks on the Madison School Board. But it is clear that the folks who signed this letter would not be satisfied with anyone who is not of the same race.

Students Sue Principal Over Gun Shirts

It’s a shame that they have to go to court over this. Sadly, it’s necessary. Do you see how infringement of the 2nd Amendment leads to infringement of the 1st?

A pair of sophomores at Kettle Moraine High School sued their principal in federal court a day after she told them they had to cover the T-shirts they wore to school because the shirts depicted guns.

Their lawsuit, filed in federal court last week, contends the First Amendment protects their right to show support for the Second Amendment and asks a judge to order the school not to prevent them from wearing the shirts.

A week earlier, a middle-schooler sued his assistant principal in Neenah over the same issues, but a different gun-themed shirt.

Both cases come a few months after Markesan High School settled a similar case that made national headlines in 2018. After a judge granted the students a preliminary injunction, the principal agreed not to restrict Matthew Schoenecker from wearing shirts with guns or weapons if they don’t advocate or imply violent or illegal use of guns.

[…]

WI Carry Inc., a gun-rights advocacy group, supported all four plaintiffs. President Nik Clark said he was surprised Kettle Moraine and the Neenah middle school didn’t take notice of the outcome from Markesan.

“There is so much demonization of guns by public schools (these prohibitions as just one example) but also public schools SANCTIONED multiple walkouts the past couple years to call for gun control, but a kid can’t wear a shirt showing his gun pride?” Clark said in an email.

Assembly Amends Drunken Democrats Bill

Hopefully the State Senate will reject this altogether.

Assembly Republicans amended the bill Thursday, the last day of the chamber’s two-year session, to limit the extended hours to bars in 14 southeastern Wisconsin counties: Kenosha, Racine, Walworth, Rock, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Jefferson, Dane, Ozaukee, Washington, Dodge, Columbia, Sheboygan, and Fond du Lac. Municipalities within those counties would have to pass a resolution allowing extended hours before they could take effect in those jurisdictions.

Hunger in Venezuela

What a shame. There is not reason for this other than it is the predictable result of the implementation of socialism.

A total of 9.3 million people – roughly one-third of the population – are moderately or severely food insecure, said the World Food Program’s study, which was conducted at the invitation of the Venezuelan government. Food insecurity is defined as an individual being unable to meet basic dietary needs.

The study describes food insecurity as a nationwide concern, though certain states like Delta Amacuro, Amazonas and Falcon had especially high levels. Even in more prosperous regions, one in five people are estimated to be food insecure.

“The reality of this report shows the gravity of the social, economic and political crisis in our country,” said Miguel Pizarro, a Venezuelan opposition leader.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has been largely reluctant in recent years to invite international organizations to provide assessments of the nation’s humanitarian ordeal, though the World Food Program said it was granted “full independence” and collected data throughout the country “without any impediment or obstruction.”

“WFP looks forward to a continuation of its dialogue with the Venezuelan government and discussions that will focus on the way forward to provide assistance for those who are food insecure,” the agency said in a statement.

There was no immediate response to the findings by Maduro’s government.

The survey found that 74% of families have adopted “food-related coping strategies,” such as reducing the variety and quality of food they eat. Sixty percent of households reported cutting portion sizes in meals, 33% said they had accepted food as payment for work and 20% reported selling family assets to cover basic needs.

Baltimore Schools Defend Trump/Nazi Teaching

Uh huh… “out of context.” Suuuure. Or, the teacher sent exactly the message he/she intended to.

The photo of the slide shows a picture of Trump with the words “wants to round up a group of people to build a giant wall.” Below that picture is another one depicting a Nazi symbol that captioned “been there” and another showing a communist hammer and sickle with the words “done that.”

On the side of the slide are the words “oh, THAT is why it sounds so familiar!”

Szeliga also shared a quote from Baltimore County Public Schools regarding the matter.

In the statement, the district said the slide had been used as part of an AP history lesson in which topics “being discussed included World Wars and the attempts by some leaders to limit, or prevent migration, into certain countries.”

“In isolation and out of context with the lesson, the image could be misunderstood. In our Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which are college level courses, we expect and encourage analysis and discussion around historical and current events even if they are considered controversial,” the district continued.

“This lesson was not intended to make a political statement. If a student has concerns when discussing a controversial issue, schools have the tools to address the concern and support the student,” the district also said in the statement.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

2020 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is at Sunset Farms in Allenton

The family at Sunset Farms, 6600 Sunset Drive in Allenton, will be hosting the 2020 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm on June 13.

Sunset Farms is a sixth-generation family farm. This will be the fourth time hosting Washington County’s Breakfast on the Farm; the last time was 2013.

A 2014 article by Dairy Professional Development featured Sunset Farms:

The farm employs 26 full-time and 6 part-time and seasonal workers, milks approximately 900 cows, has about 100 dry cows, raises most of their young stock and steers and crops 3,200 acres. Fifth- and sixth-generation family members, along with a few employees, own the farm.  Sunset Farms includes Albert and Mildred and their sons and wives, Ray and Anne, Dan and Ellen, Bernie and Cindy, and Paul and Sue. In addition, some of the next generation has joined the family corporation, including Karen Hughes who serves as herd manager; Carl, Ed and Dave Wolf; and Tim Baier.

“We continuously strive to improve our farm and the care of our cows. Cow comfort is what drives our modernization,” says herd manager Karen Hughes. The farm’s mission is to produce safe nutrition, create a good quality of life for employees as well as neighbors and friends, and ensure everyone involved enjoys their work together.

Breakfast on the Farm kicks off Saturday, June 13 at 6:30 a.m. and features all-you-can-eat pancakes served with scrambled eggs, applesauce, cheese, sausage, milk and coffee.

Activities include wagon ride to the farm, barn tours, petting zoo, pedal tractor pull, live music, Roden Barnyard Adventures, antique tractors, $1 Sundaes or Root Beer Floats   Tickets in advance – $6 Tickets at the door – $7 and Children 3 and under FREE.

West Bend Common Council selects District 8 alderwoman

On a vote of 6 – 1 the West Bend Common Council selected Meghann Kennedy as the new representative to fill the vacant aldermanic seat in District 8. Kennedy, who currently is part of the West Bend Park & Rec Commission, will fill the remaining term following the resignation of alderman Roger Kist.

Kennedy was one of four people who interviewed for the seat. Others vying for the seat included Aaron Zingsheim, Clifford Van Beek, and Alice M. Iaquinta. During a 5 p.m. interview before the Common Council, Kennedy spoke for 15 minutes outlining her work at Kohl’s Corporate where she meets with senior leadership, analyzes revenue and business trends.

Kennedy manages a multi-million-dollar business and specializes in digital processing. She has a strong background in math and analytical skills.

A resident of Villa Park for seven years, Kennedy said she wants to serve the community. “I’m good at working in collaboration,” she said. “I’ve already established relationships within government and City Hall and I look to hit the ground running.”

Questioned why she wanted to serve the community; Kennedy expressed a desire to “be part of the solution.” She described herself as a “fiscal conservative” who was interested in a “balanced budget.”

“I want to see the City grow effectively and efficiently,” she said.

Questioned about the current testing in the Villa Park subdivision and her knowledge about the gas emissions and the landfill, Kennedy mentioned she had discussions with the DNR and the city’s Doug Newman. “Villa Park is not only going to affect District 8 but the entire City,” said Kennedy. “We have good people in place and I look forward to working with consultants.”

“I’m excited to serve, it’s a good challenge and I’m interested in learning and help guide the future for families,” she said.

Kennedy received an endorsement from Mike Staral, who heads the City Park and Rec Committee.

After one round of ballot voting, Kennedy was announced the winner.

City Clerk Stephanie Justmann swore in Kennedy who immediately took her seat on the council. She will fill the remaining term in District 8, which will run to election day April 2021.

It was Friday, January 10, 2020 when alderman Roger Kist submitted his letter of resignation to the city clerk. Kist had served on the Common Council since he won election in April 2009.

Commerce Financial Holdings, Inc. in West Bend sold to Nicolet Bankshares, Inc.

Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCBS) (“Nicolet”) and Commerce Financial Holdings, Inc. (“Commerce”) today jointly announce the execution of a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which Nicolet will acquire Commerce and its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Commerce State Bank (“Commerce Bank”).

Based on the financial results as of December 31, 2019, the combined company will have pro forma total assets of $4.3 billion, deposits of $3.6 billion and loans of $3.2 billion, as Commerce would represent approximately 16% of the combined company’s year-end assets.

Mike Daniels, President and CEO of Nicolet National Bank said, “We are excited to partner with great people who have a purpose very complementary to ours: to serve our customers, shareholders, and each other. Both Nicolet and Commerce are entrepreneurial organizations that know what it’s like to build a business from scratch. This quality allows us to relate to each other and our customers and will be a driving force as we move toward integrating our two cultures in the coming quarters.”

Bob Atwell, CEO and Chairman of Nicolet said, “In each merger, we have purposefully found partners who focus on serving customers and the community.  When we combine our resources and cultures, we can positively impact the community banking landscape of Wisconsin.  The geography isn’t as important as the characteristics of the communities and the passion of the people.”

Joe Fazio, CEO of Commerce said, “We have known Nicolet for a long time and we like their reputation for doing things the right way.  We are going to leverage the combined strengths of Commerce and Nicolet, which are our people and relationship-focused attitudes, to accelerate our growth.  The time feels right for the next chapter.”

Jack Enea, Chairman of Commerce said, “This merger creates an opportunity for shareholders to rapidly get to the next level of our strategic plan.  We have created a strong bank that centers on talented and experienced people.  That model will continue and expand through our combination with Nicolet.”

Transaction Information: Under the terms of the merger agreement, Nicolet will acquire Commerce with Nicolet being the surviving corporation. In the merger, Commerce shareholders shall receive 1.15 shares of Nicolet common stock for each share of Commerce stock. Based on Nicolet’s closing price of $72.32 as of February 14, 2020 the merger consideration is valued at approximately $129.6 million, which excludes Nicolet’s pre-existing ownership of Commerce shares.

The merger agreement provides for a cap and collar to potentially re-set the exchange ratio or change the mix of consideration should the Nicolet Common Stock Price, as defined in the merger agreement, rise above $82.00 per share, or fall below $62.00 per share.

The estimated transaction value is a 1.9 multiple of Commerce’s tangible book value as of December 31, 2019 and equates to approximately 18x Commerce’s 2019 after-tax income. Additional assumptions and metrics can be found with the attached Financial Supplement.

Leadership/Employee Information: Post-merger, Joe Fazio will join the Board of Directors of Nicolet Bankshares and Nicolet National Bank. Tom Hopp and Dave Borchardt, Commerce’s President and CFO/COO, respectively, will join Nicolet National Bank.  All customer-facing employees of Commerce are expected to stay on in the same capacity.

Approvals and Closing Date: The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.  It is subject to Commerce shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.  Upon consummation of the transaction, all branch offices of Commerce Bank are expected to open as Nicolet National Bank branches.

Primary election results in Washington County

Unofficial election results are in for two primary races in Washington County. The polls closed at 8 p.m. and while there was a predicted turnout of about 10 percent in Washington County it appears the turnout may have exceeded 20 percent.

There was a primary for Justice of the Supreme Court. Advancing to the April 7 election will be incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly and Jill J. Karofsky.

In Washington County Kelly received 75 percent of the vote while Karofsky received nearly 19 percent of the vote.

In the Slinger School District four candidates advance to the April election where there are two open seats on the Slinger School Board. Candidates advancing to the April 7 election include Bruce Hassler (Incumbent and Vice-President), Jen Novotny, Jody Strupp, and David Zukowski (Interim Incumbent).

A Community Forum will be held Tuesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Slinger Middle School cafeteria. The forum is designed to provide community members an opportunity to meet the Slinger School Board candidates and ask questions about their candidacy.

April 7 is the election to determine who will gain the two seats on the Slinger School Board.

Canvassing for all results will occur before the end of the week.

Slinger and Hartford HS Snowboard teams finish season strong | By Delaney Braun

The Hartford and Slinger High School snowboard season has wrapped up with an excellent finish. All members on the girls’ team and six of the student athletes on the boys’ team competed in the toughest race yet at Mt. LaCrosse.

The state qualifying boys included Brady Jackson, Conor Schmitt, Gabe Kebbekus, Zak Raskin, Isaac DeWalt, Ethan Smith, and Brayden Wiedmeyer. All of the girls’ team qualified as well and the team was able to come home with some pretty amazing accomplishments.

Friday was met with some frustration and hard training from the racers to prepare them for the race the next day. The coaches were strategic with the courses and amount of time they required the racers to prepare.

The courses on Saturday were challenging. Marisa Reyes took second in boardercross, following Kallie Weyer in 11th and Ava Stortz in 15th and the girls took second overall.

For the boys boardercross Cole Rummel of West Bend took first along with Ethan Benedict in ninth and Brian Pomeroy in 15th. Ethan Smith and Brady Jackson took the 12th and 13th spots and Isaac DeWalt finished 17th.

Giant slalom was the next event. Reyes took an unfortunate fall during her race. That left Kallie Weyer scoring highest for Slinger in 12th place and Sophia Parkinson of Hartford taking 14th.

Ava Stortz had a nice finish in 17th. For the boys, Rummel again took fourth, Smith from Slinger took fifth. DeWalt finished 14th and Pomeroy in 15th. An honorable mention to Conor Schmitt, taking 22nd, beating all but one boy on the Slinger team that event.

Last but not least was Slalom. Reyes took ninth place and Weyer finished 15th. Rummel took fourth, Smith was seventh, Pomeroy 12th, and Jackson 14th. Benedict and DeWalt were close with Benedict taking 18th and DeWalt was 19th.

For the event team results, the Hartford and Slinger ladies took second in boardercross and third in giant slalom and slalom. That is a huge accomplishment for them. For the boys, they took fourth in all events.

Congratulations to the West Bend snowboard team for taking first place overall in boardercross. Overall results were third place for girls and fourth place for the boys.

Thank you to all the parents for the constant support this season, the racers really could not do it without you.

Socks in the Frying Pan coming to UWM at Washington County on Friday, March 6

Get your tickets today to Socks in the Frying Pan. Performance at UWM at Washington County on Friday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss this award-winning trio from County Clare Ireland – the universal hub of Irish traditional music. Socks in the Frying Pan includes Aodán Coyne on guitar and vocals and the accomplished Hayes brothers — Shane on accordion and Fiachra on fiddle and banjo.

They blend Irish traditional melodies with their own personal flair, which has gained them critical acclaim and accolades including New Band of the Year by the Irish Music Association.

Public hearing on special assessment for property owners on 18th Avenue

There’s going to be a public hearing on March 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at West Bend City Hall. The special assessment is tied to the reconstruction of 18th Avenue between Vogt Drive and Decorah Road.

“The way the assessments are calculated are based on the frontage of the lot,” said City Engineer Max Maréchal. “We’ve established the cost of lineal foot of project and we multiply that by the frontage of each property. If your frontage is smaller than you will get a smaller assessment.”

According to preliminary numbers the total for the special assessment varies from $1,757.14 to $5,449.47 to over $16,000. That last increase is for an address that houses a non-profit organization on 18th Avenue.

“That will be up to the common council to address,” said Marechal. “This is what the public hearing is for so aspects can be addressed between the public and the council.”

The special assessment, overall, is based on an existing policy. “When there are new improvements the property that benefits directly the government entity has power to assess for the cost of installing those new improvements,” said Marechal.

Improvements on the 18th Avenue project include curb and gutter, streetlights, sidewalk, etc. About 85 properties are included in the special assessment.

Neighbors on 18th Avenue and Decorah Road question, if the entire community is using the streets and sidewalks, then why are only the property owners in that area charged with a special assessment to cover the cost of improvements?

Marechal went back to his statement of “property that benefits directly” from the work. “Direct benefit to the property,” he said. “Are there properties immediately adjacent that will benefit.”

Marechal said his office is receiving phone calls. “Most of the people understand what’s going on but we’re also open to answering any other inquiries,” he said.

The reconstruction project on 18th Avenue between Vogt Drive and Decorah Road was completed in October 2018.

The entire first portion of the project was less than a mile in length. There’s a second phase of the project waiting in the wings which will run from Vogt Drive south to Paradise Drive.

“Obviously we will follow the same process as the first phase,” said Marechal. “Which means we will go to the City common council and ask them whether they intend to assess for new improvements; will that directly benefit those properties or not and we’ll go from there.”

Slinger HS student wins design contest for Drug Treatment Court | By Todd Martens

The Washington County Drug Treatment Court Team invited students from Washington County high schools to submit designs for its county-wide Drug Treatment Court logo design competition.  Students from five County high schools submitted over 30 logo designs for the team’s consideration.

The team appreciates all the hard work students put into submitting designs which reflect this important new program.  The goal of Drug Treatment Court is to help persons with substance abuse problems get sober, stay sober and rebuild their lives.

After careful consideration and considerable debate, the team chose the design submitted by Slinger High School student Morgan Rogacki.  Congratulations to Morgan and thanks to her for submitting a design which we felt best embodied the mission and spirit of Drug Treatment Court.  The logo will be used in Court program documents, Court letterhead, and certificates given to Court participants.

The decision was a difficult one.  The winning design received six votes, and the runner up received five.  Both designs were outstanding.  The team would like to specially thank and acknowledge the design which came in second place—it was submitted by Germantown High School student Hannah Hermann.

We appreciate all the hard work put in by students to design Drug Treatment Court logos.  The designs were all excellent, and we thank you!

Washington County Drug Treatment Court Judge Todd K. Martens will recognize Morgan Rogacki and her contribution to the Washington County Drug Treatment Court in a ceremony during the Slinger School Board meeting at 7 p.m. February 24, 2020.

Downtown West Bend establishment may have cracked the recipe for Dick’s Pizza

The Inferno Bar & Grill, 140 N. Main Street, in West Bend thinks it may have cracked the recipe for Dick’s Pizza.

In the 1980s Dick’s Pizza was an institution in West Bend. The original Dick’s Pizza dates to the 1950s when Dick Turnquist opened on north Main Street near where West Bend Tap & Tavern is located.

“In 1977 Turnquist started building the new restaurant on 18th Avenue but he was killed in a car crash three weeks before even opening,” said owner Earl Richter about the crash on Paradise Drive when Turnquist swerved to avoid hitting a dog.

An employee at the restaurant, Paul Schloemer became the new owner and ran the business for three years before Dave Wolf bought the pizza place in March 1980. Twenty-one years later in December 2001 Richter bought the business.

“We really grew the sales within the first three or four years,” said Richter. “My sales were probably fifty percent higher than anything they’d ever done but all of a sudden one restaurant after another started opening in this town.”

Neighbors remembered a number of things about Dick’s Pizza; from the thin crust to the spicy tomato sauce to the hot cheese.

The Inferno Bar & Grill will have pizza samples available on Thursday, February 20 starting at 3 p.m. through dinner.

Sample pizzas will be made on the spot so they stay warm and fresh.  Everyone that comes in can get a free slice of pizza.  It will be served party style, so it is cut into small squares.

Pizza will be available for sale with a $3 off pizza special every Thursday.  The full pizza menu is below. It also includes the soup of the day and chili options.  You can also combo the soups with sandwiches for discounts, and there is a “half a sandwich/cup of soup” option.

The Inferno is also contracting for delivery. For those who want to call in and get food to go –  (262) 353-9016.

Bernie Wins Nevada Partisan Caucus

While entertaining, it is shocking that a washed up commie has this much support in the Democratic Party.

· Sanders is doing very well based on entrance polls and early results.
· There were reports of problems calling in results to a state party hotline.
· Biden is trying to revive his flagging campaign with a second-place finish.

Sanders was leading comfortably in early returns, prompting three TV networks to call the race for him. Far behind him, Joe Biden was locked in a tight race for second place with Pete Buttigieg.

If that result holds, it will mark at least a partial victory for Biden after two demoralizing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. Before the Super Tuesday contests, he will have an advantage in the South Carolina primary, the next contest in the campaign.

West Bend School District Plans to Reduce Staff

This is a responsible response in light of the decline in enrollment.

The current projected reductions are based on enrollment projections for next year and course registration trends for the current year. Adjustments will be made if course registrations shift in a substantial manner from their current levels. Based on current data, the following reductions are recommended:

● Elementary – Reduce 6 classroom teaching positions
● Silverbrook – Reduce 1 classroom teaching position
● High School – Reduce 6 classroom teaching positions

The administration first uses attrition to achieve these reductions. Teachers who retire, resign, or are on a non-renewing 1 year contract are the first level of staff used for accomplishing reductions. The administration is already aware of seven positions that can be reduced through this type of normal attrition. Employees have until March 13th to declare their intent to retire so additional attrition this year is very possible.

Let’s hope that enough people retire or quit so that nobody needs to be let go.

Trump Pushes for Trillion Dollar Spending Bonanza

Just say no, folks. We don’t have the money. If you want to spend a trillion dollars on this, find a trillion dollars elsewhere (and more to eliminate a budget deficit) to cut.

In another election year, Trump has outlined a new $1 trillion plan for spending on roads, rails, water systems and other infrastructure. This time, the president is proposing to rely fully on federal spending. That fundamental change from his first plan drew praise from some state transportation officials and industry groups, even though Trump doesn’t spell out how to pay for it all.

Since outlining his budget proposal last week, Trump has done little to promote his new infrastructure plan. A politically divided Congress has no obligation to consider it. In fact, Trump’s prior infrastructure proposals all stalled, even when Republicans controlled both the House and Senate.

Some Republicans already are lowering expectations.

“The Republican House version of the bill won’t be a trillion dollars, I can tell you that right now,” said U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, the ranking GOP member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “It will be a lot farther south than that.”

Tax Cut Heads to Evers’ Desk

Remember that we do not have a tax surplus… yet. We have a projection that says that we will have a surplus at the end of the budget next summer. Bearing that in mind, this is a good bill. It takes a projection that says that the state is collecting more taxes than it needs and reduces the taxes accordingly. If the projection is wrong and we head into deficit, then they can adjust taxes the other direction. To my point in a column a few weeks ago, however, this is not spending money we don’t have. It isn’t spending anything at all. It is simply having the government collect LESS so that it does not run as much of a surplus over the term of the current budget.

The tax cut bill would would deliver an average reduction of $106 for most qualifying filers. Married couples who file jointly would see an average cut of $145; all other filers would see an average reduction of $81. The bill also would reduce taxes for manufacturers by nearly $45 million by exempting their machinery and tools from property taxes and trim state debt by $100 million.

This is a good bill. It is unfortunate that Governor Evers will likely veto is so that the government can overcharge for their services and spend more.

Debate Fireworks

Now I know how the Democrats felt while watching the Republican debates in 2016.

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against. A billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ And, no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Warren said, referring to quotes attributed to Bloomberg that were circulated in a “Wit and Wisdom” booklet handed out at his company. It’s not clear that Bloomberg ever made those comments, according to a CNN fact check.
When pressed by moderators to explain the comments attributed to him in the booklet and several lawsuits, which were detailed in a Washington Post article earlier this week, Bloomberg said he didn’t have any tolerance for the kind of behavior that the #MeToo movement exposed. He then attempted to pivot by touting the number of women he has elevated to senior roles, noting his company was voted one of the best places to work.
“I hope you heard his defense: ‘I’ve been nice to some women,’ ” Warren retorted as Bloomberg rolled his eyes. “That just doesn’t cut it. … We need to know what’s lurking out there.”
In a lengthy exchange that was clearly uncomfortable for the former New York mayor, Warren repeatedly pressed Bloomberg to say how many nondisclosure agreements he had asked women to sign for sexual harassment or gender discrimination suits (he eventually said “very few”).
“None of them accuse me of doing anything other than — maybe they didn’t like a joke I told,” Bloomberg replied, as some in the crowd audibly gasped or groaned. He added that the women had signed the agreements because they wanted to keep the matter “quiet.”
“They signed those agreements and we’ll live with it,” Bloomberg said. (“Come on,” an exasperated Biden said in the background).
“I just want to be clear. Some is how many?” Warren continued, pressing him as the moderators let the exchange play out.
“And when you say they signed (the agreements) and they wanted them, if they wish now to speak out and tell their side of the story about what it is they alleged, that’s now OK with you? You’re releasing them on television tonight?” she asked.
“I’m simply not going to end these agreements because they were made consensually and they have every right to expect they will stay private,” Bloomberg said.

Kelly and Karofsky Advance

The results exactly reflects where Wisconsin is… divided electorate, Dane County liberal turnout balanced against WOW Counties conservative turnout. Turnout for the general election should be much larger, but the patter remains.

Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly and Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jill Karofsky will advance to the April 7 election to compete for a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Kelly and Karofsky, both judges, were the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s statewide primary, besting Marquette Law School professor Ed Fallone by significant margins. The results pit Kelly, the conservative-backed incumbent who has served on the court since 2016, against a Dane County local, backed by liberals, who was first elected as a circuit court judge in 2017.

With 97% of the precincts in, Kelly, of North Prairie, got the most votes, at about 50%, while Karofsky finished second, with 37%. Fallone was a distant third, at 13% support.

MyVote Wisconsin Voting Site is Down

Goodness… could the WEC be any more dysfunctional? This is a basic service.

An online system that allows voters to look up their polling location experienced problems Tuesday as spring primary voters went to the polls.

The problem with MyVote Wisconsin stemmed from a server that crashed and had to be taken offline, Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said. The site was crashing for some visitors, while others experienced long delays as it retrieved information.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, the Elections Commission was in the process of configuring a replacement server.

The Elections Commission does have a backup polling location service, gettothepolls.com, for voters and clerks to access while they fix the problem.

“If you need to look up your polling place, continue to use the backup site,” Magney said. “If you need to find out if you’re registered to vote, go to MyVote.”

Vote for Justice Dan Kelly

It’s election day in Wisconsin! In my city, the only thing on the ballot if the primary for Wisconsin Supreme Court. It’s important that you get out and vote for Dan Kelly. It’s so important that I even put on pants, emerged from the basement, and squinted at the giant ball in the bright in the sky to go meet the guy.

Just say no to boozy Democrats

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part, but go pick up a copy to read the whole thing.

Second, the fact that the Democrats are coming does not change the underlying reason that Wisconsin has an earlier bar time. Wisconsin forces all bars to stop serving alcohol at 2:00 a.m. on weekdays and 2:30 a.m. on weekends because the people consider it a public safety hazard for bars to be open later than that. Does that safety consideration disappear because it will be mostly Democrats getting sloshed at a bar in Milwaukee at 3:30 a.m. instead of someone else? Since the bill would impact the entire state, what if a Republican in West Bend gets sozzled and stumbles out of a bar at 4:00 a.m.? Is that safe?

Wisconsin’s bar time has not changed in a very long time. It is possible that the public safety considerations have changed since the last time state lawmakers set closing time. If lawmakers want to consider changing the bar closing time, then they should do the homework to fully understand the impact on public safety. Then, after a public debate with public hearings, state lawmakers can permanently change the bar time for everyone in the state.

Changing public policy should be done after rigorous study and robust debate with the entire public’s interests in mind. It should not be done on a whim to appease a single group of visitors who want to get drunk into the wee hours of a Wednesday morning. If Democrats want to keep drinking after the bars close, they can pick up a bottle and head for their homes and hotels like Wisconsinites have been doing for years.