Author Archives: Owen

Kaepernick’s “Workout”

What a clown. He wanted a media stunt – not a tryout. He has to keep his public profile up to keep the endorsement dollars flowing. He’s going to be 66 and still saying “I’m ready.”

The league said in a statement that Kaepernick called them at 2:30 p.m. ET, saying he would not appear at a workout set up by the league at the practice facility for the Atlanta Falcons. The quarterback held a session in Riverdale, south of Atlanta. Dozens of people flocked to see him.
Representatives for Kaepernick said their client had asked for the session to be open to the media and the NFL had balked. Agent Jeff Nalley and attorney Ben Meiselas also said Kaepernick had been denied being able to have his own film crew.
“From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one,” Kaepernick’s reps said in a statement.
Kaepernick’s camp was also upset with the liability waiver the NFL wanted the player to sign, saying it was “unusual” and “addresses employment-related issues.” They said the NFL rejected the standard waiver they had proposed.
The NFL said the waiver it sent was the one used by NFL teams to sign free agents and at the combines for draft prospects.
“At noon today, Colin’s representatives sent a completely rewritten and insufficient waiver,” the NFL said Saturday.

City Officials Are Upset that Not Enough Black Folks Want to Sell Weed in Chicago

Heh

As it all unfolded, Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th, stood at the front of the room, surveying the process and silently taking it all in. Not all of the people crowded in the room, taking copious notes and whispering to their team members, were actual dispensary owners.

But with the exception of a few women and two African Americans in the room, most of the representatives for marijuana businesses were white and male, Ervin pointed out.

“I wanted to see for myself how many applicants and where they were deciding to cite their locations. And it proved what I thought: Our communities are going to get left behind,” he said. “This will probably generate a billion dollars’ worth of sales in the city. With no African American participation, I just think that’s a problem that needs to be addressed.”

Lightfoot issued a statement acknowledging the lack of diversity and said she was not satisfied with the current equity in the city’s cannabis industry. She vowed to improve minority representation by next May.

“Transforming the cannabis industry won’t be easy, but I want to make clear that we are working with advocates fighting for equity in this emerging industry to ensure we help diverse businesses thrive and fix the unjust policies of the past,” Lightfoot said in the statement. “That’s my pledge.”

Wisconsin’s Grade Inflation

It’s not just for kids anymore. This from Dr. Will Flanders at WILL, writing for RightWisconsin.

A Lake Wobegon Effect? Wisconsin is a state, according to the latest report cards, where (almost) everyone is above average.Despite proficiency rates in that hover around 40% in both math and reading, 87% of schools in the state meet or exceed expectations.

A part of the explanation for this is that growth and proficiency make up different shares of a school’s overall achievement score depending on the number of low income kids in the school. Because low income kids start from behind in many cases, growth makes up a bigger share of the score when a school has more low income kids.

It is laudable to account for student growth, but we should recognize that it makes comparisons between schools more difficult. When a school like Kluge Elementary in Milwaukee “Meets Expectations” with proficiency rates of 4.1% in math and reading, something is unbalanced.

If proficiency rates are 40% and 87% of schools are considered to meet or exceed expectations, then our expectations are woefully low. The soft bigotry of low expectations isn’t very soft anymore.

Obama Warns Dems to Not Veer Too Far Left

Once again, I find myself agreeing with Obama.

Former President Barack Obama on Friday warned the Democratic field of White House hopefuls not to veer too far to the left, a move he said would alienate many who would otherwise be open to voting for the party’s nominee next year.

Though Obama did not mention anyone by name, the message delivered before a room of Democratic donors in Washington was a clear word of caution about the candidacies of Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The two have called for massive structural changes — and in Sanders’ case “revolution” — that would dramatically alter the role of government in people’s lives.

The centrist wing of the party has warned for months that a far-left nominee could alienate moderate Republicans and independent voters needed to oust President Donald Trump.

“The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it. And I think it’s important for us not to lose sight of that,” Obama said. “There are a lot of persuadable voters and there are a lot of Democrats out there who just want to see things make sense. They just don’t want to see crazy stuff. They want to see things a little more fair, they want to see things a little more just. And how we approach that I think will be important.”

You’ll notice, however, that Obama is not saying that he disagrees with those socialist policies or that they shouldn’t govern that way if elected. He’s merely pointing out that most Americans don’t want to be socialists and it will be difficult for Democrats to get elected if they campaign on those policies.

US Customs and Border Protection Arrests Smuggler with 35 Pounds of Liquid Cocaine

I suppose it looks odd for someone to need that much shampoo.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston caught an airline passenger trying to smuggle 35 pounds of liquid cocaine in shampoo bottles into the country earlier this week, the agency said in a press release.

The CBP said officers discovered the bottles containing cocaine valued at more than $400,000 in the checked luggage of a 26-year-old Colombian citizen Monday after observing him at baggage claim and conducting a bag search. A K-9 search indicated the presence of narcotics, backed up by testing.

“Our officers are the first line of defense at our ports of entry, so they are trained in the various smuggling methods people use to bring illicit goods into the U.S.,” CBP Port Director Shawn Polley said in the press release. “We take every opportunity to intercept those illicit goods before they enter our communities, in this case, it was 35 pounds of liquid cocaine.”

Weather Isn’t Climate

Unless it provides a useful propaganda image.

Veneto’s regional council rejected a plan to combat climate change minutes before its offices on the Grand Canal, in Venice, were flooded, it has emerged as the city continues to battle high water levels.

Venice has been hit by recurrent flooding since Tuesday, with 70% of the lagoon city engulfed on Friday morning as the acqua alta, or high water, level reached 1.54 metres amid heavy downpours.

On Tuesday night, as Veneto councillors were debating the climate emergency in Ferro Fini Palace, Venice experienced its worst flooding since 1966.

Politicians from the regional council’s majority rightwing parties: the League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia, rejected amendments to fight the climate crisis in the 2020 budget that were proposed by the centre-left Democratic party.

Sharing pictures of the room as water entered, Andrea Zanoni, the Democratic party’s deputy chairman of the council’s environment committee, wrote on Facebook: “Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority parties rejected our proposals to tackle climate change.”

Madison School District Sued for Violating Open Records Law

The taxpayers are going to be on the hook for this obvious violation of the law.

Today, the Wisconsin Transparency Project, on behalf of an anonymous Madison resident using the pseudonym John Doe, sued the Madison Metropolitan School District in Dane County Circuit Court. The suit alleges that the District is unlawfully insisting that Doe identify themselves before it will turn over records.

Doe has filed a number of open record requests over the last four months with the District using the online public records database and portal muckrock.com. MuckRock allows its users to send anonymous requests through its website and use the website to receive, track, and share the records provided. Doe’s requests ran the gamut from routine weekly board updates to grant applications and annual School Improvement Plans. The district refused every request because of Doe’s unwillingness to be identified.

State law is perfectly clear that requesters may remain anonymous: “no request . . . may be refused because the person making the request is unwilling to be identified or to state the purpose of the request.” Wis. Stat. § 19.35(1)(i). The District claims Doe must identify themselves so it can decide whether releasing the records would pose a “safety concern,” but the law does not allow that excuse.

Government bodies are becoming increasingly opaque and refusing to comply with the law. Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s District Attorneys are failing to enforce the law. It would only take a few bureaucrats or elected officials being prosecuted and those records would be flying out the door.

Taxes Up. Ranking Falls.

Progress?

Wisconsin’s state and local tax ranking has fallen over the prior year but remains a little higher than the year before that, the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau show.

Taxes took up 10.3% of Wisconsinites’ income in 2017, a slight increase from 10.2% in 2016. Despite that uptick, the state took a modest step forward compared to its peers around the country, with Wisconsin’s ranking dropping to 19th highest in 2017 from 16th highest in 2016.

The public should be cautious, however, about reading too much into the 2017 data alone since not much has changed since 2015. That year, the state’s taxes took up 10.4% of personal income and ranked 22nd highest.

 

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

An end of an era as Sager’s Mens Apparel in West Bend has closed

After 87 years in business Sager’s Mens Apparel in West Bend has officially closed.

The store sign came down Tuesday, Nov. 5, before the snow. Above the entryway is now the old West Bend Pilot sign. That’s expected to be restored.

Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald Sager took over the business from is father in 1970. Scott Sager and his sister Sara ran the business until it closed.

Sager’s Men’s Apparel, Inc. has been in the men’s clothing business since 1932. We specialize in tuxedo sales and rental, men’s suits, sport coats, and dress slacks. We distribute tuxedos from Nedrebo’s and DuBois formalwear, and carry an extensive selection of our own in-stock formalwear. Our Store is in downtown West Bend.

Below are some reactionary comments to Sager’s announcement posted on social media:

Kenneth Wendland – I remember that store when I was a kid growing up on Parkfield Drive. Said to see it go.

Alex Gaeth – Well that sucks, it was a great place, great customer service, and I liked it that it was a small, family company.

Sandy Erdman – Best of luck to them! I remember when we repeated our wedding vows and I wore my wedding dress and Sager’ s decked my hubby out in white trousers and purple vest. Our colors. So handsome he was!!!!

Nicole Moederndorfer Nooo! They were phenomenal! Amazing service! No one will compare.

Jim Groh – Was a great store over the years

Cheryl-Sheri Hay – Sad day in West Bend. Sager’s was a family store that was committed to friendly customer service. Happy Retirement

Connie Thull – A West Bend landmark! Enjoy retirement!

John Steffan – Congratulations on your retirement you will be greatly missed got my 1st tuxedo from them

Van Kline – I bought a suit there when I got home from Viet Nam. Time goes on I guess.

Rich Zerillo – We so loved it when Sager’s would “donate” (let a couple of us guys borrow for the evening) a tuxedo, so we would look super-sharp @ Januli’s for Diva Night. Thanks for all you have done over the last 87 years as a small business in our great little city of West Bend!!

Jo Ann Taylor – Sager’s was the “Go to Place”, to dress my Husband! Doug Trusted the Mr. Don Sager’s opinion over His Mine! Happy Retirement!

Dianne Brisingamen – Congrats on retirement, but man, you will be very missed!

Tim Stern – Thank you to Scott and family, Sagers was a staple in the West Bend community and downtown, I certainly hope you are able to enjoy retirement Scott!

Shirley McDaniel Schwartz – Sager’s was always an anchor store in downtown West Bend. They will be missed! Enjoy the hunting and fishing Scott!

Lisa Brown – So sad! They actually knew how to fit a ‘husky’ man. Other competitors just assume the ‘skinny’ fit works on everyone. Enjoy your retirement!!

Heidi Belger Schulz Many well-dressed men have walked out of those doors! They will be missed!

Angela Bins – Thank you for making my wedding day great with your rentals and for helping my dad purchase his father of the bride suit. You’ll be greatly missed.

Susie Janel – End of an era for sure! Your business will be missed but enjoy retirement.

Karen Liepert – Best wishes on your retirement. Enjoy your outdoor activities. Thank you for your commitment to the community.

Michael Sterr – Congrats to the Sager’s! Not many businesses can last that long. They will be missed in downtown

Cyndi Seefeldt – 87 years!!!!!! That’s impressive! Sad to see a family business go!

Suzanne Weinert Tennies – Wonderful, generous, community minded family. Appreciated your community involvement. Best wishes in the future. Hope your retirement is filled with many blessings.

Josh McCutcheon – Wish the Sagers the best. Scott was awesome and went out of his way many times for my developmentally disabled clients. All my business suits came from there. Happy retirement…you will be missed!!

George Prescott inducted into Wisconsin State Hall of Fame Boys & Girls Club

Local philanthropist and former grocery and restaurant owner George Prescott has been elected to the inaugural class of the Wisconsin Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame.

Prescott, 72, said he’s busy these days with about a dozen grandkids was honored to receive the award.  said

“Working with Jay and feeling the success that comes out of this entity is just beyond believe,” he said.

Dressed in blue jeans and a red sweater and sneakers Prescott was soft spoken and humbled by the award.

According to Jay Fisher, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, there were 22 people nominated for the award and six were selected.

“The standards for the award were for people who served on different committees and boards and really stood out in the community,” he said.

The Boys and Girls Club is West Bend is 21 years old and has served about 60,000 kids.

“We’re so lucky and what makes it happen is connections,” said Prescott.  “We call on the people to make it happen and they outperform.”

Prescott was inducted with others including former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and philanthropist Marty Stein.

“This award is so big it makes me feel little,” said Prescott. “We just did what we had to do to make this happen; I feel proud.”

The initial Hall of Fame Award was presented over the summer in Madison. Prescott was out of town at the time, so Fisher said the Boys & Girls Club Board presented Prescott with the award in July.

“Obviously George has spent time here,” said Fisher. “He’s donated a lot of dollars; his name is on the building and he really helped get the Boys and Girls Club started with Sharon Ziegler and this wouldn’t be possible without George.”

Prescott is still part of the Board of trustees.

“He’s done more for the Boys and Girls Club in this community as anyone has in the state of Wisconsin,” said Fisher.

The Boys and Girls Club opening in West Bend in 1998. A gym was added in 2003 and an addition with an art room, kitchen and technology center was completed in 2016.

In 2001 when Prescott owned the Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend a customer, Janice Weninger spent $1 on the Megabucks lottery and won part of the $20.3 million jackpot.

The store owners also received some money from the Wisconsin Lottery for selling the ticket. Prescott spread the wealth to his employees and even donated to the Boys & Girls Club.

Below is a story about George Prescott and the Boys & Girls Club in 2010

George Prescott presents lessons in Parkinson’s             Around the Bend  May 29, 2010         

George Prescott made a guest appearance at the Boys & Girls Club last Friday to give kids an education on Parkinson’s disease.

The children at the club hosted a nickel carnival and all proceeds were donated to a Parkinson’s charity in honor of Prescott.

The former owner and chief executive officer of Prescott Supermarkets, Inc. and current owner of Timmer’s Resort on Big Cedar Lake is a strong supporter of the local Boys & Girls Club.

Prescott spoke for about 15 minutes, talking about when he first received the diagnosis in 2001.

“My wife would bug me because my left arm had no control. I initially blamed it all on an old motorcycle accident but then the doctor told me I had Parkinson’s,” said Prescott.

Children at the Club, who ranged in age from 7 to 11, asked a variety of questions and Prescott’s answers were simple but direct. “I take 15 to 20 pills a day,” he said, “some supplements, others medication.”

Prescott talked about exercising and getting down on the ground with a foam roller. “It’s mostly on my left side and I’m right-handed, but I can tell it’s starting to affect my penmanship.”

Prescott spoke briefly about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Few youngsters in the room were familiar with Fox. Prescott mentioned how Fox’s tremors were so bad his children would call him ‘shaky daddy.’

Other questions ranged from ‘does it hurt’ to ‘do you tilt?’ One little girl asked his name, to which Prescott responded confidently, “I’m George. George the grocer.”

Another asked how old he was. “I’m 62 and going to be 63 in September.  How old are you and when is your birthday?” he asked the little girl.

Then about 80 hands went into the air; everybody wanted to tell Prescott their birthday.

A couple of final questions had students naming other people afflicted with Parkinson’s. One little boy said Hitler, another mentioned Johnny Cash and then proceeded to sing Cash’s “Cry Cry Cry” in about as deep of a baritone as a 7-year-old boy can muster.

Then a final question, “Are you rich?” said a little voice from the back of the room. Prescott played it cool and said he was wealthier than average and “yes I have a bit of money.”

After receiving dim stares, he humbly said he was a millionaire. A boy in the back of the room shouted in wry fashion and with an innocence of youth, “Oh yeah, RIGHT!”

Prescott, who arrived without an entourage, earring or body art – some of the standards held by trendy, higher profile millionaires – took the comment in stride.

He then opened his wallet and donated a crisp $100 bill to the nickel carnival.

After the Q&A, club director Jay Fisher joked with Prescott.

“We start ‘em young here at the Boys & Girls Club, George – ‘How old are you and how much are you worth.’”

Washington County Dist. 2 Supervisor files non-candidacy papers

Washington County District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist, 82, has filed non-candidacy papers. Kist said he will not be running for election to the County Board in April 2020. He indicated he wanted to file early “to give others the opportunity to consider filing papers.”

Kist has been a member of the Washington County Board since April 2016.

Kist is also alderman in District 8 in West Bend. He said his current term on the council ends in 2021. Kist did not discuss his seat on the council other than to say he has been asked by several people if he’s going to run for mayor.

Kist was elected District 8 alderman in 2009. He beat incumbent Neal Narveson; Kist has won reelection to the two-year term ever since.  In April 2014, Kist took out papers to run for mayor of West Bend. He challenged incumbent Kraig Sadownikow and lost; however, he retained his aldermanic seat in Dist. 8.

Kist retired as manager of Washington County Parks in September 2003; he held that position for 35 years.

Kist joined the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in September 2003.

Kist has been active in politics and parks his entire life; he’s been dedicated to making Washington County a better place.

Kist was a young pup when he moved to Ridge Run Park in November 1967. Originally hired as caretaker of the park, Kist said it “reminded me a lot of when I worked on the farm.” A supervisor at the park, Kist sported a handlebar mustache and eventually became a fixture known as Ranger Roger.

Aside from the parks and Washington County Tourism, Kist has been a familiar face in politics on both the West Bend common council and as a supervisor.

“When I was on the council, I was also chairman of the local Republican Party,” said Kist. “I remember Mike Schlotfeldt was elected alderman and he chaired the Democratic Party. When he sat down, he looked over at me like the devil had just shown up.”

Kist took his time and built a relationship with the representative from Dist. 6. “When Mike decided not to run again, we had a little party and he said to me, ‘Roger you’re the only friend I’ve got.’”

Over the years Kist has made quite a few friends and below are some comments from those he’s met along the way who talk about the impact he’s made in this county.

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler: I met Roger before he ever ran for alderperson as he has always been actively involved in the community. He donates his time to a number of community events, and supports almost every community function. Anyone out in the community will see him at Music on Main, Farmer’s Market, church festivals, parades, and numerous fundraisers in the community. During his time as an alderperson he has not been someone that pounds his fists or grandstands, but he always speaks up on issues that are important to him and his constituents. He has called me on a number of police issues to get a better understanding of our policies and practices. He has been a strong supporter of the police throughout his tenure as alderperson. I have always enjoyed working with Roger as an alderperson and appreciate all he has done for the community. More important, I value his friendship.

Washington County Supervisor Marilyn Merten: “Roger has always been a considerate and caring individual and he’s willing to do a good job at whatever he did.” Merten was county clerk and worked with Kist when he was at the Washington County Planning and Parks Department. “I’d contact Roger to help make the grounds look nice at the county building. Roger would always take care of it.”

Leah Baughman at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: “Roger Kist is very active and in touch with the West Bend community and knows what is needed to help support its citizens. When asked if he would like to be a part of the Interfaith/RSVP Advisory Council Roger very graciously accepted right away. Even though this venture has just begun he has been an important member that has contributed many great ideas and support.”

Todd Tennies remembered Kist when he worked and lived at Ridge Run Park.  “As a little boy I can remember going to Ridge Run Park and riding bikes past the log cabin as we headed to our favorite fishing spot. Roger would always stop and say ‘Hi’ and ask us how the fishing was. He was always friendly and willing to talk to us kids. After his retirement from the county he settled in and served the community through his involvement in city government. He did a great job and always had an interest in what was best for the community. His interest in our county also carried over into the Tourism Committee for Washington County. He did an extraordinary job promoting the Washington County Fair Park as well as all of our wonderful parks we have in this county.  Great job Roger.”

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said Kist is somebody he really admires. “The things he’s accomplished at the county and city and he can still walk down the street and people know him from Ridge Run Park. I wish I could be more like him with his ability to relate to people and between him and his wife the way they’re prepared for every meeting. I’m very lucky I’ve been able to spend time on the council with him.”

Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said serving the community is in Roger’s blood. “Whether it’s an elected position, or in his career or during his time off he’s always been committed to service and giving back to the community.

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said Kist’s name is relatively synonymous with park land and this community.  “To promote the development, use and preserving of parks and the fact he has not wavered in his opinion is really a tribute to him. He’s everywhere. He’s the longstanding West Bend member of the Mid-Moraine Municipal Association and he attends league conferences and the Alliance meetings.”

Former West Bend city clerk Amy Reuteman spent 15 years at City Hall and noted, “Roger Kist has been there forever. And he’s early; you can always count on Roger to be early.”

Thank you, Roger Kist, for your dedication and service to help make West Bend and Washington County a great community.

On a side note: In 2017 I hosted an evening at Music on Main. It was right before the school year was to get underway and I challenged readers of WashingtonCountyInsider.com to bring their school picture to the event and I’d treat them to a beverage of their choice. Roger Kist was the first attendee to respond. I told him I thought he looked a lot like Dennis the Menace.

Special blessing for Eagle Scout project in Barton

An Eagle Scout project completed by Simon Weinandt, 18, with Scout Troop No. 762 in West Bend received a special blessing in the park across from St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

Reverend Andrew Infanger led a small procession across the lawn following 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.

Following a reading from the First Letter of the Apostle Peter, Rev. Infanger prayed a blessing over the Stations of the Cross.

“Oh God, your son was delivered up to death and raised from the dead in order that we might die to sin and live lives of holiness. By the favor of Your blessing draw near with mercy to Your faithful people who devoutly recall the mysteries of Christ’s passion. Grant that those who follow His footsteps and bearing their cross patiently may receive as their reward the vision of Christ in His glory. For He lives and reins with You for ever and ever.”

Rev. Infanger then blessed the Stations with holy water and incense.

After the ceremony Weinandt received compliments about the “beauty of the completed project” and “this is quite an Eagle Scout project, you should be proud.”

“I built the Stations of the Cross at St. Mary’s and it’s been a lot of work,” he said. The 14 Stations each feature a stone base, a large wooden cross and a series of bronze images “portraying events in the Passion of Christ from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment.”

“The most challenging part was not at all in the building, but it was in the planning,” said Weinandt. “People are eager for it to be used as soon.”

Weinandt will be attending tech college in Red Wing, Minnesota where he will study to be a luthier; it’s a maker of string instruments like violin, bass, and cello.

Washington County leasing space for Solar Now Program

There are about 12 acres on the southwest corner of River Road and Creek Road in West Bend that will soon be home to solar energy panels.

The project is starting to take shape as a field of beams are being driven into the ground.

According to Washington County Public Affairs Coordinator Ethan Hollenberger the county is leasing property to We Energies. “The county is not responsible for any of the capital required to build or maintain the solar generation,” he said.  “Washington County will not own the solar generation.”

It was June 2019 when Washington County Supervisors voted on a resolution approving the Solar Now Pilot Program.

“The Solar Now program, as approved by the Public Service Commission, is for governments to lease land for this purpose,” said Hollenberger.  “We are receiving a lease payment based on the generation of the site. Next year, it is just over $98,000.”

“This is a great program for County as it allows us to continue to invest in budget areas the public believes are priorities such as public safety,” Hollenberger said.

Saukville and New Berlin are a couple of the other communities also investing in the Solar Now Program. Waukesha County is also exploring the opportunity. The County anticipates energy generation to begin in 2020.

Two supervisors file non-candidacy on Washington County Board

As of 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 there were two Washington County Supervisors who filed certificate of non-candidacy paperwork.

District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist filed his papers on Friday, Nov. 1 announcing he would not seek another term. On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Dist. 4 Supervisor Chris Jenkins filed a certificate of non-candidacy.

Chris Jenkins is with his son filing paperwork at the Washington County Clerk’s office.

“I did so now, as Roger did, to allow adequate time for someone to consider running in my place,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins was first elected to the Washington County Board in April 2018. He said he will serve out the remainder of his term which ends following the election in April 2020 when the new candidate is sworn in.

“Over this term, the County Board and how it currently operates was not my cup of tea,” said Jenkins.  “I hope the efforts to shrink the size of the Board, and change how the policy-making process occurs, improves things. I am optimistic that a county executive will produce the strong leader the county-level of government sorely needs.”

Jenkins also serves as District 4 alderman in the City of West Bend.  “I will take this added time to better focus on my roles and responsibilities at the city level,” he said.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020. Candidates who are running may begin circulating papers to collect signatures on December 1, 2019. Those signatures must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.

Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.

For the city council, aldermen need to submit 20-40 signatures from people in their district. Mayoral candidates must submit 200-400 signatures to run for office.

On a side note: Two people are currently vying for the newly elected county executive post in Washington County: Joshua Schoemann and Adam Gitter.

It was Sept. 11, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted a second time to switch from a hired county administrator to an elected county executive.

Paving of Eighth Avenue in West Bend complete

Dump trucks hauling hot, black asphalt came and went on a regular cycle Monday, Nov. 4 as two layers were put down on a section of Eighth Avenue in West Bend. The four-block stretch between Highway 33 and Walnut Street had been under construction since May when the Holy Angels Festival was underway.

The costs of the reconstruction project was $1.35 million and it took a little more than five months to complete.  The general contractor for the project was Wood Sewer & Excavating, Inc. from New London, Wisconsin.

There were several subcontractors working at various times which included sanitary sewer installation, water main installation, storm sewer installation, roadway excavation, curb and gutter installation, curb ramp replacement, roadway reconstruction and restoration of disturbed areas.

There was a strong smell of rich asphalt in the air along with a consistent hum of heavy equipment as dump trucks unloaded a sea of asphalt into the pavers. In their wake a series of steel wheel rollers chased up and down the road, packing the pavement and removing any visible seems.  By mid-day contractors were skeptical they would finish the project but by 4:45 p.m. they were just wrapping up the second layer. Landscaping around the curbs and pavement markings should be completed in the coming weeks.

West Bend Common Council to honor veterans tonight including one of their own

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is teaming with the West Bend Common Council in an annual tribute tonight, Monday, Nov. 4 to honor local veterans.

All veterans will be recognized including District 1 alderman John Butschlick, 72, who served in Vietnam and is taking part in Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

Butschlick was 19 years old when he enlisted in the Army. A 1965 graduate of Campbellsport High School, Butschlick had played trumpet in Mr. Jacobs class for four years.

“I wanted to play in the band so I would NOT go to Vietnam,” he said.

Butschlick’s dad was diagnosed with a bad heart they sold the family farm in Campbellsport and moved to Kewaskum.

“I worked at Regal Ware for about a year and then enlisted,” he said. Basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

After eight weeks of basic, Butschlick’s name was mixed up with someone else and he went on as a clerk typist and remained at Fort Leonard Wood.

“But I got my orders in December 1967 and that said I was going to San Francisco and then onto Vietnam,” he said. “Needless to say, my recruiter was not my best friend and my plan did not work.”

Butschlick said Vietnam was horrible from the start. “The stench,” he said. “There was nothing sanitary there; all feces were burned, and it was warm and humid.”

Butschlick was assigned to an artillery group as a fuel administrator. “My first six months I couldn’t believe I was even in a war zone,” he said. “We played volleyball, we had hot meals, our sergeant was a fantastic cook and it wasn’t bad at all.”

In August, Butschlick reup for six more months in the military; he also signed up for leave over Christmas however his new captain denied the leave in December and pushed it off another month.

While dropping off paperwork a warrant officer changed Butschlick’s leave but the captain caught up with him and that brief favor cost Butschlick his assignment.

“I got back from leave and I was sent on the first chopper out; I was on a gunner,” he said. “I lost my field position.”

Nervous, Butschlick met with a pastor and within a couple weeks he was transferred and assigned to headquarters as a commanding officer jeep driver. “This was during the Tet Offensive and I thought I was lucky to be a driver, but my buddies said the snipers would pick off a driver first and then go after the captain,” he said.

“My second tour was scarier than hell.”

Butschlick credits his mother for helping keep him safe. “I didn’t know it at the time but she said a prayer every day and in that prayer she was always asking God to protect me while I was in Vietnam and I firmly believe my mom’s faith brought me back safely,” he said.

Butschlick has kept the copy of his mother’s prayer. It’s on a weary index card, the print is from an old-school typewriter and there are pencil marks where Rose Butschlick wrote in cursive the correct pronoun.

“My faith is what got me through this whole thing… and my mom’s,” he said. “When I got out of the service my mom gave me the prayer cards.”

Butschlick was discharged in 1969 when he was 22 years old.

When he returned to the states he stayed in Chicago and worked at First National Bank as a margins clerk. “Life was actually moving too fast for me over the next three years and then I moved back home and worked at Fleet Farm before I bought the Tastee Freeze and turned it into Little John’s Drive in,” he said. “John Heisdorf worked at the restaurant with me; we called him Big John and I was Little John.”

Little John’s was located on Highway 33 in West Bend in the lot behind the Fleet Farm; that building was there in there in the 1970’s. Alice Kohlman was the cook at Little John’s. “Alice was the best and I loved working with the people,” he said.

The restaurant eventually closed and Butschlick sold it in 1980. “That was when Pizza Hut was across the street, along with Dick’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Red Owl was next door to the east,” he said.

Butschlick returned to work at Fleet Farm before taking a job with the City of West Bend.

In April 2014, Butschlick was elected Dist. 1 alderman in West Bend. He won reelection in 2016 and 2018. Butschlick is up for election in April 2020.

Join the Common Council for tonight’s recognition of veterans. Other council members who served include Dist. 2 alderman Mark Allen was in the Coast Guard 1971 – 1984 and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist.

West Bend Common Council votes on how to fill mayoral vacancy

West Bend Common Council has unanimously voted to appoint Council President Steve Hoogester as acting mayor until the April 7, 2020 election. According to City Attorney Ian Prust, said Hoogester can still retain his seat as District 6 alderman and he does not have to run for council again just by taking this post.

Prust said, should there be a tie vote on an issue, Hoogester has to notify the council ahead of time that he will abstain as alderman to make a vote as mayor. City administrator Jay Shambeau and Prust said a tie situation would be extremely rare as a council member would need to be absent to create a situation for a tie vote to occur.

The mayoral seat became vacant Oct. 21 following the resignation of Mayor Kraig Sadownikow who cited a conflict between his private business and his elected position with the City. The decision to have Hoogester serve in the interim took about 25 minutes.

On a side note:

District 2 alderman Mark Allen was in favor of selecting a citizen from the community to fill the post. He noted, that would avoid creating a situation with a district not being represented for the next five months.

District 8 alderman Roger Kist said he ran for mayor twice during his career and would be interested in being appointed mayor.

Former Dist. 7 alderwoman Deb Anderson was in the audience at the special meeting and had inquired about serving as a citizen mayor until the 2020 April election.

Updates & tidbits:

-Interfaith Caregiver’s Kindness Crews will be rolling out a group volunteer opportunity starting in December. Kindness Crews are a group opportunity for individual volunteers to help a number of clients in one day with services. Volunteer by yourself, a friend, or bring a whole group! Kindness Crews will go out on the third Thursday of every month from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Join us after percolate on December 6 at 9:00 am for a short information meeting to learn more.

There will be 21 veterans from Washington County on the Nov. 9 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Veterans include: Vietnam Army Ralph Charette of Germantown, four veterans from Hartford including Vietnam Air Force Jeffrey Lauenstein, Korea Army Edgar Loomis, Vietnam Air Force Jeffery Hoppens, and Vietnam Army Jerrold Green. Two veterans from Kewaskum including Vietnam Army Ronald Amerling Kewaskum and Vietnam Air Force James Dorn. Vietnam Army William Schneider Richfield Vietnam Army Donald Thies Slinger

-Senior Citizen Activities, Inc. is hosting its 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Walk & Crafts on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at 2378 W. Washington St. Suite A, West Bend.

In order to do justice to the Sager family, below is the obituary that ran in 2005 for Fred Sager.

Longtime local businessman and community leader, Donald Frederick Sager, 66, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 17, 2005, at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend after a courageous battle with cancer. Born September 5, 1938. Beloved husband of Maradel, (nee Honold). Loving father of Scott (Karen), Susan (Todd) Zeeb and Sara (Michael) Lehner. Dear grandfather “Bumpa” of Kailee, Jonathan, Claire, Lauren and Hannah. Preceded in death by his parents, Frederick A. and Cloris A. Sager, and granddaughter, Amanda Lynn Zeeb. Survived by brother, Steve (Mary) Sager of Fond du Lac and sister, Marjorie (Glen) Klug of Boltonville, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Donald is lovingly remembered by many friends and business acquaintances.

Donald was born and raised in West Bend. As a boy he loved to fish and hunt with his dog, Tucker. An athlete in high school and college, he played football and basketball. He attended Valparaiso University and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. Donald returned home to take his place at his father’s side in the family clothing business. He met the love of his life, Maradel and they married on August 12, 1961 and together raised a beautiful family.

Donald’s father, Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald worked alongside his father through high school and college. He took over the business from Fred in 1970 and made it his own. At one time, Sager’s Mens Apparel operated in four locations, West Bend, Port Washington, Grafton, and Fond du Lac. Sager’s Mens Apparel, in downtown West Bend, continues a rich tradition of formalwear and men’s clothing through his children Scott and Sara. Donald was known for his swift use of a tape measure, he’d size you up in seconds, fit you with a suit or tuxedo and send you out the door. His philosophy was “We always try to sell a better product, and our customers aren’t really our customers, they’re our friends.” His favorite time of the retail year was Prom season because he loved to tell the young men how to dress appropriately, tuck in your shirt, pull up your pants, open the car door for the young lady, shake her father’s hand and ask “What time should I return your daughter, sir?” He also enjoyed working with wedding parties and reminding the nervous groom his first sentence should be, “I’m sorry, honey.”

Donald was past president of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and served on St. Joseph’s Community Hospital Board for many years. He was a long-standing member of the Downtown West Bend Businessmens’ Association and was a member of the founding organizational team of the Teen Factory, predecessor of the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend. In 1985, Donald along with his son, Scott and five other men started the West Bend Hunter Education Program. This program has instructed over 3000 students in the safe and responsible handling of firearms in the past twenty years. Don always felt, “That if you take your kid hunting, you’ll never have to go hunting for your kid!”

Donald was an avid outdoorsman and master tinkerer. He loved to train dogs, pheasant hunt, make lunch for deer hunting, hunt for ducks on the Mississippi River with his brother, fish for panfish and walleyes with his buddies, play with his grandchildren and use a 10-penny nail to fix everything. He had a great gift for painting, if it moved, he painted it and usually himself in the process, too.

He was a caring and loving man and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, or better yet, sell you one. He continually supported his family and community, and gave more than he ever had. He never said no. He will be greatly missed by his family and the community, he touched many lives.

Visitation for Donald will be Sunday, March 20, 2005, from 2 PM to 5 PM at Phillip Funeral Homes, 1420 W. Paradise Drive in West Bend. Funeral services will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend, would be appreciated. Donald always felt that “our kids are our greatest gift.”

The family is grateful to Dr. Rajesh Trivedi and his staff and the many other doctors and caring nurses who tenderly cared for Donald at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Evers Unleashes Another Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Republicans

Making friends everywhere he goes

While talking to staffers in the ag-department last Thursday Evers was quoted as saying the firing of Brad Pfaff was “amoral and stupid,” adding “We can’t let the bastards keep us from doing our good work.”

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald accused Evers of being “shockingly disrespectful” to Republicans.

An Evers spokesperson says the governor isn’t going to apologize.

Wisconsin Democrats Support Lax Drunk Driving Law

Heh

MADISON, WIS. (AP) — The state Assembly has refused to concur with a bill that would stiffen penalties for repeat drunken drivers.

The bill would increase the minimum time in prison for a 5th or 6th offense from six months to 18 months. Prison officials estimate the change would generate $13.6 million in additional operating costs annually.

The Senate passed the bill last week. Republican leaders in the Assembly tried to place the bill on their agenda Tuesday during a floor session. But they couldn’t muster enough votes to overcome Democrats’ objection.

Democratic Rep. Mark Spreitzer told Republicans that his colleagues objected to the bill because it doesn’t include funding for treatment. He says without that piece people would just spend 18 months behind bars, come out and drive drunk again.

“Holiday” Tree

How stupid

“It’s a holiday season for a whole bunch of people in the state of Wisconsin, even those that aren’t part of the Christian faith. I think it’s a more inclusive thing,” said Evers. “I know a lot of people love to have that debate, and I think it’s a good debate to have.”

[…]

Our Charles Benson asked Evers if his family called the tree in their home a “Christmas Tree” growing up, and Evers acknowledged that this was true but reiterated that the tree was in their home, not on the grounds of City Hall in Plymouth, Wisconsin.

There is only one holiday that uses a large, decorated, evergreen tree as part of its celebration… Christmas. It is a Christmas Tree even though other holidays are also happening in the same time period. Calling it a Holiday Tree is not inclusive. It is wrong and stupid.

Tax Raisers Take Over West Bend Council

Well, that was quick. After almost a decade of conservative governance and a mayor who kept spending and taxes in line, the tax increasers have been unshackled.

November 11, 2019 – West Bend, WI – The West Bend Common Council voted 5-3 Monday night to increase the mill rate to $7.85 per thousand dollars. That’s 6 cents per thousand more than 2019 and will raise taxes on residents whether their property increased in value or remained the same.

Those voting in favor of the increase were aldermen John Butschlick, Mark Allen, Steve Hoogester, Justice Madl, and Roger Kist.

Those voting against were aldermen Andrew Chevalier, Chris Jenkins, and Rich Kasten.

It’s not that they raised taxes. That might actually be necessary from time to time. But this wasn’t necessary. The city has the money sitting there in surplus that they could have used to keep taxes flat for another year. The council chose not to because a pervasive “we need to raise spending and taxes a little every year” attitude in the council now.

 John Butschlick, Mark Allen, Steve Hoogester, Justice Madl, and Roger Kist. You failed us. 

Politics before mental health

My column for the Washington County Daily News is in print and online. Here’s a taste, but be sure to pick up a copy.

While the debate over the state budget was contentious last spring, there was at least one issue on which both Republicans and Democrats agreed. Legislators on both sides of the aisle agreed that the state needs to do more to provide mental health services for people throughout the state. To that end, the state budget increased state funding for mental health services in several areas including spending $15 million for a mental health crisis center in the Chippewa Valley. Gov. Tony Evers’ partial veto of that provision, and the support of Assembly Democrats, tell us a lot about the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in 2019.

[…]

In a state budget, this one item is relatively small. It betrays, however, the priorities of Governor Evers and the Assembly Democrats. Why would they all work to redirect government spending from Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls to Madison? Why would they redirect money intended for a private health care service provider to a government facility? Simple. Politics.

Madison and Dane County were key to Evers’ narrow victory over Republican Scott Walker in 2018. With an impressive turnout of almost 70% — 12 points higher than average — Dane County gave Evers 220,052 votes to propel him into office. Without those votes, Scott Walker would still be in office and Tony Evers knows it. Looking at the statewide electoral map from last year, the entire Chippewa Valley, with the exception of Eau Claire County, voted heavily for Scott Walker.

It is no coincidence that Tony Evers did everything he could to redirect money from areas of the state that supported Walker to reward his supporters in Madison. It was just an added bonus that he could also redirect the money into a government facility instead of a private health care system. Evers cares more about his political supporters in Madison than the people of northwestern Wisconsin who need mental health services. And every Assembly Democrat agrees with Evers.

Evers Violates Open Record Law and Won’t Release Emails

GREAT story by Fox 6

The FOX6 Investigators regularly conduct open records spot checks on public employees’ emails. A recent spot check on two weeks of state lawmakers’ emails uncovered the practice of using personal email addresses to communicate about sensitive government information.

In September, the FOX6 Investigators requested just over four weeks of emails to and from Governor Tony Evers and his chief of staff, Maggie Gau. Assistant legal counsel Erin Deeley denied the request. FOX6 narrowed the request to emails from one week; Deeley sent another denial letter.

Finally, the FOX6 Investigators asked for just Governor Evers’ emails from just one day.

Denied.

 

Oostburg Focuses on Teaching and Improves Scores

Good for them.

He turned to his teachers for ideas. Together, and with the assistance of a two-year transformation program, they rethought the whole business of education at Oostburg, and they settled on some surprising conclusions:

  • Teachers should have more power to figure out how to teach their own students.
  • Students needed to be encouraged to be more ambitious at an earlier age — whether their plans included a four-year college, a two-year tech school or heading straight into the workforce.
  • And Oostburg’s schools really should teach to the test — often viewed cynically as a sign of systemic wrongheadedness — because the test had the same goals as the schools did. But not quite in the way you’d think.

Seven years later, the results are hard to argue with.

Oostburg’s 2018-19 ACT scores were seventh out of nearly 400 schools — in a tier where every other school spends more per pupil and household incomes are higher than in the little village 10 miles south of Sheboygan.

And student participation in Advanced Placement courses and exams increased sixteenfold, data from the state Department of Public Instruction show.

Weather Underground Scion is Now DA of San Francisco

Yikes.

Boudin entered the race as an underdog and captured voters’ attention with his extraordinary life story: He was 14 months old when his parents, who were members of the far-left Weather Underground, dropped him off with a babysitter and took part in an armored car robbery in upstate New York that left two police officers and a security guard dead.

His mother, Kathy Boudin, served 22 years behind bars. His father, David Gilbert, may spend the rest of his life in prison.

“Growing up, I had to go through a metal detector and steel gates just to give my parents a hug,” Boudin said in his campaign video.

He said that as one of the dozens of people whose lives were shattered by the deadly robbery in 1981, he experienced first-hand the destructive effects of mass incarceration and it motivated him to reform the nation’s broken criminal justice system.

He was raised in Chicago by Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn before studying law at Yale University. He later won a Rhodes Scholarship and worked as a translator for Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez before coming to San Francisco.

You’ll notice how his concern is over the fact that he had to visit his parents in jail instead of the three people his parents killed and the family they left behind. He was not a victim of mass incarceration. He was a victim of just incarceration.

Hong Kong Continues to Rage

Freedom fighters.

A Hong Kong police officer shot a masked protester at point blank range in a shocking skirmish broadcast on Facebook Live on Monday morning.

The outbreak of violence happened at a blockaded junction in Sai Wan Ho during rush hour as a police officer attempted to arrest a masked man during a wild scuffle in the city’s 24th straight weekend of pro-democracy demonstrations.

Footage showed the policeman drawing his sidearm as a second man moved towards the officer in an attempt to liberate his comrade.

The protester appeared to take a swipe at the officer’s pistol and just moments later he opened fire, hitting the masked demonstrator in the torso.

As shrieks pierced the air, other demonstrators rushed at the officer who quickly fired another two rounds.

The masked demonstrator he had originally tried to collar broke free in the struggle but another man went to ground as the shots were fired.

Haley Says Trump Cabinet Members Were Part of Resistance

To be fair, I suspect that this kind of “we know better than the big guy” stuff has happened in every cabinet since Washington’s. Cabinets are filled with Type A folks who have been successful.

Ms Haley says Mr Kelly and Mr Tillerson told her they “weren’t being subordinate, they were trying to save the country”.

“It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said,” she wrote in her book With All Due Respect, which was seen by the Washington Post before its release on Tuesday.

Mr Tillerson, she added, told her people would die if the president were not restrained.

Ms Haley, 47, said she had refused the request from Mr Kelly and Mr Tillerson, and called it “dangerous” and “offensive”.

“Instead of saying that to me they should have been saying that to the president, not asking me to join them on their sidebar plan,” she told CBS.

“It should have been – go tell the president what your differences are and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing. But to undermine a president… it is really a very dangerous thing and it goes against the constitution, and it goes against what the American people want. It was offensive.”

Mormons Fear in Mexico

Sad

By Lizbeth Diaz

COLONIA LEBARON, Mexico, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Members of a breakaway Mormon community tucked in the hills of northern Mexico buried the last of their dead on Saturday after a devastating massacre, and some headed for safer ground in the United States.

Hundreds of friends and family from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border gathered in rural Colonia LeBaron to honor Christina Langford, who died in an ambush on Monday that killed nine. Family members say she exited her car with her arms outstretched to signal she was not a gang member – but not before wedging her infant daughter’s car seat on the floor of the vehicle.

The baby, Faith, was found unharmed in the bullet-riddled sport utility vehicle.

[…]

Tucked away in the fertile valleys of the Sierra Madre mountains a few hours drive south from the U.S. border, the communities stem from the late 1800s, when upheaval over polygamy in the Utah-based church led to their founding.

Shrouded in fog on Saturday morning, LeBaron showed its roots, with some aging buildings appearing to be straight from a Wild West movie set. LeBaron is scattered with signs touting religious life but also advertisements for rodeos featuring alcohol, hinting at traces of secularism.

Agriculture is the heart of the local economy and pecans are among the main crops, with children often helping collect the nuts on their families’ property. Many families send their sons to the United States to work when they get older, though they maintain deep roots in Mexico.

While fears of further violence may send some north, Rosa LeBaron, 65, said she had no doubt the tragedy would bring their community closer.