Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Off-Duty

No Good Cholesterol

Heh. It’s a good reminder that real science never considers itself “settled.” Keep learning. Keep exploring. Keep questioning.

There may be no such thing as ‘good’ cholesterol after all, a federally-funded study suggests.

 

Researchers found that high levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) were not associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease.

Marijuana is the New Tobacco

Huh. Who would have thought that burning one plant and inhaling the fumes into your lungs might have the same impact as burning another plant and inhaling it into your lungs. I expect that one would get similar results if one burned hay and inhaled it into one’s lungs.

Cannabis has been dubbed ‘the new tobacco’ by doctors after a raft of new research revealed it is as damaging to the heart as smoking cigarettes.

 

In regular users, the drug was found to increase blood pressure and heart rate significantly in a similar way that heavy smoking does, according to the results of one study.

 

In the trial, scientists in Canada – where recreational use is legal – gave 21 otherwise healthy volunteers who smoked cannabis frequently a ‘vape’ containing the drug.

A single session of inhaling it was enough to alter the part of nervous system responsible for blood pressure and pulse, according to scans.

 

The changes could be enough to increase the risk of a heart attack in less healthy patients, they warned.

Ian’s Rage

Stunning devastation.

Fort Myers was one worst battered by Ian, with apocalyptic photos showing homes decimated by its wrath as roads turned into rivers with the tsunami of floodwater.

Naples and nearby Sanibel Island were also rocked by the ‘historic’ hurricane, with images of the latter showing a beachside pool overwhelmed by water as the region saw winds in the excess of 155mph.

 

The images show the current, embattled state of the Sunshine State’s southwest coast, with now nearly 2million out of power and forced to their home’s rooftops as water levels are still reported to be on the rise.

It always hits closer to home when you have a personal connection with a place. We spent about seven weeks in the Ft. Myers beach/Sanibel/Cape Coral area through December and January. We celebrated the new year while anchored on the backside of Sanibel. In the silence of the bay, we watched the fireworks in the distance while listening to the dolphins breathe as they fished in the bay. The places we called home for those seven weeks will never be the same.

More Pollution Leads to Fewer Hurricanes

Smog saves lives. If we could afford it, everyone should let their cars run in the driveways to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives.

Cleaner air in United States and Europe is brewing more Atlantic hurricanesa new U.S. government study found.

 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study links changes in regionalized air pollution across the globe to storm activity going both up and down. A 50% decrease in pollution particles and droplets in Europe and the U.S. is linked to a 33% increase in Atlantic storm formation in the past couple decades, while the opposite is happening in the Pacific with more pollution and fewer typhoons, according to the study published in Wednesday’s Science Advances.

 

NOAA hurricane scientist Hiroyuki Murakami ran numerous climate computer simulations to explain change in storm activity in different parts of the globe that can’t be explained by natural climate cycles and found a link to aerosol pollution from industry and cars — sulfur particles and droplets in the air that make it hard to breathe and see.

Couple Dies from Fractal Burning Accident

Be careful out there.

“Foul play has been ruled out and the deaths were found to be accidental in nature and are believed to be caused by electrocution from fractal wood burning — a technique in which high-voltage electricity is used to burn lightning or tree-like patterns into wood that has been soaked in a chemical solution,” the department said in the statement.

 

“Through the investigation, it was determined that the fire started in the garage before spreading to the home,” the department continued. “We believe that the fractal wood burning equipment that caused the electrocutions likely caused the fire.”

 

The technique — which involves using a high-voltage transformer, often repurposed from a microwave — is employed by woodworkers to decorate various wooden items, including decor items and wooden cutting boards.

Pilot Fakes Qualifications

I desperately want to know what that button was.

Between April 2016 and March 2018, he was employed as a pilot by BA CityFlyer, operating out of London’s City Airport, and by the now-collapsed Irish regional airline Stobart Air, which was owned by Aer Lingus. He was with each carrier for a year, per court documents reported by the newspaper.

 

Officials at BA CityFlyer first became suspicious after an incident “on the ground” in Switzerland when the pilot pressed a button “no qualified pilot would,” a source told The Times, without providing further details.

 

He was investigated by the CAA, which took legal action.

 

The Times reported that the pilot manipulated the log recording his flight hours while working for a previous employer, Hangar 8 Management, which operates the same Embraer 190 jet as BA CityFlyer. He also falsely said he’d held a private pilot’s licence since 1998, according to court documents quoted by The Times.

Monkeys On the Loose

This sounds like the beginning of a horror movie.

Jamie Labar was working at the front desk at a Super 8 hotel in Montour County, Pennsylvania, on Friday when she heard that there had been a crash on the highway nearby.

 

“I thought it was just another car accident because there’s always accidents there,” she said.

 

But it was not just another accident. The Pennsylvania State Police said that a pickup truck with an enclosed trailer full of 100 monkeys had collided with a dump truck and that four of the monkeys had escaped.

Tornadoes Tear Up Midwest

Prayers for all those affected. Mother Nature can be a B sometimes.

A devastating tornado outbreak has killed dozens of people across multiple states, with Kentucky possibly seeing its deadliest tornado system ever, officials said.

 

As many as 70 people are believed to have been killed in western Kentucky, and the death toll could exceed 100, according to Gov. Andy Beshear. Those numbers “could rise significantly,” he said Saturday afternoon.

 

[…]

 

The Associated Press has confirmed the deaths of 30 people across five states, including 22 in Kentucky, from the storms, as search and rescue missions are ongoing.

 

“Dozens” were killed at a candle factory in Mayfield, where 110 people were working when the storm hit Friday night, Beshear said at a 4 a.m. press conference. Around 40 people were evacuated, although the facility had major structural damage from the storm and housed dangerous equipment, he said late Saturday morning.

We just recently spent a fair amount of time in Western Kentucky. It’s a wonderfully beautiful area with good people. Horrible to see this happen.

Vaccinated Are Dying

Again, the real value of the vaccine appears to be that it lessens the severity if you are infected.

More than 2,500 fully vaccinated over 50s have died from COVID-19 in the past month in England, new data shows.

 

In a report published by the UK Health Security Agency analysis revealed 2,683 fully vaccinated over 50s have died within 28 days of positive COVID test in the last four weeks.

 

Some 511 unvaccinated people died in the last four weeks of COVID-19.

 

The figures reflect the fact that the vast majority in this age group has had at least two COVID vaccines.

 

Death rates among the unvaccinated are significantly higher.

 

For people aged over 80, the unvaccinated have a death rate of 125.4 per 100,000 compared to the vaccinated 54.9 per 100,000 in the past four weeks.

 

For 70-79 the gap is even wider, with the unvaccinated death rate at 103.8 per 100,000 compared to 16.2 for the vaccinated.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Casey’s General Store in Town of West Bend sold

The signage for Casey’s General Store on CTH P in the Town of West Bend came down earlier this week as the sale closed on the property just north of Mile View Road.

The Casey’s General Store, 5105 Highway P and the store in Hustisford sold to Lakhbir Sing.

It was November 2018 when Casey’s first moved into the Town of West Bend. Casey’s purchased the former Tri-Par station owned by brothers Steve and Mark Gall.  In 2018 they sold seven Tri-Par stations in Washington, Dodge, Ozaukee, and Sheboygan counties.

Amber Mayer is the manager of the new Refuel Pantry West Bend. “This will be a BP,” she said. “We liked this location because we’ve heard good things about the products, the food is great including the chicken and fish, this is a nice road and it’s a good location.”

Mayer said based off of prior sales they looked at Casey’s numbers and compared that to Tri-Par receipts and thought there was room for growth.

Lakhbir Sing owns 22 gas stations including locations in Oshkosh, Lake Mills, Oxford, Sun Prairie, Fall River, and Hustisford to name a few. According to Sing’s LinkedIn page he has an economics degree from UW-Parkside and is the principal owner of Refuel Pantry since August 2014. Sing is also the owner of a Big Apple Bagel store in Liberty Station since 2014.

As far as gas prices are concerned Mayer said Refuel Pantry West Bend will be “competitive.” Asked to define the word “competitive” Mayer said, “We are generally cheaper than most places; it will be competitive to local which is equal or less.”

The new Refuel Pantry West Bend will be open 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. There are 11 employees at the store on Highway P.

 Rededication of Schowalter Sculpture

Residents, family, friends, and staff at Cedar Community gathered Sunday for the rededication of the sculpture donated in 1989 as a memorial tribute to Rev. Philip Schowalter.

A writeup from Cedar Community read: Rev. Louis Riesch, Cedar Community visionary and founder, commissioned the work “Eternal Life” in 1989 as a memorial to Rev. Philip Schowalter in thanks and gratitude for his faithful service.

In 1990, the work was dedicated at the northwest entrance to the Cedar Ridge campus where Philip and his wife, Audrey, served as the first managers of the newly constructed campus. The abstract work was intended to evoke the strong spiritual legacy of Pastor Schowalter.

Words from the original dedication describe the work this way.

  • three steel triangular sections representing the Holy Trinity and a strong spiritual foundation
  • two outstretched steel arms representing welcome and service
  • one stainless steel ring in the center of the sculpture, representing the fulfilment of Christ’s redeeming work

Audrey Schowalter said she very much appreciated the rededication and was touched by the memorial stone and the large turnout at the ceremony.

“Today, August 22, 2021, we proudly rededicate the work to honor Rev. Philip and Audrey Schowalter for their faithful service, joyful commitment, and legacy of leadership here at Cedar Community,” said Nicole Pretre, CEO at Cedar Community. A large turnout of the Schowalter family for Sunday’s ceremony.

Designs unveiled for new clubhouse at West Bend Lakes Golf Club

It has been nearly six months since a devastating fire raced through the clubhouse at West Bend Lakes Golf Club, 1241 Highway 33 in the Town of Trenton. It was March 14, 2021, and 15 area fire departments responded.

Kicking through the rubble of what was once a 100-year-old building, the Merkel family counted its blessings as no one was injured and they worked quickly to pick up the pieces. With generous support from the community the 18-hole course opened for the season.

Below are the first drawings to be released of the new clubhouse. Designs are courtesy American Construction Services.

“Team American is proud to be working with the Merkel family to restore full operations of West Bend Lakes,” said company President Kraig Sadownikow.  “Their golf course is a landmark in the West Bend area and we are excited to be associated with a family business that gives so much to the community.”

The building is approximately 4,000-square-feet which includes bar/dining area, pro shop, full kitchen, office, and storage. “Our design intent was a small homage to the Augusta National Clubhouse,” said Adam Hertel with American Construction Services.

The Merkel family said it is pleased to be moving forward. Some statements from the family are below. “I like the openness and the country style with the porch. We are blue collar but we wanted to keep it with a ‘country feel. We’re not going for a high-end, white collar, fancy. We want it to be a clubhouse where people could come and relax.

“The new design features all one level, no second story. From the customer side it will be more user friendly so you don’t have to go down 10 steps to get outside.

“The ground level of the first floor will be lower than what it used to be because it was built on stilts. There will be fewer steps to get in or out.

“This is a little bit smaller than we want but today’s costs are just not conducive to that. It will work very efficiently for us. I’m hoping to get it started pretty soon.”

Plans for the new clubhouse must still be approved by the State of Wisconsin.

The Merkel’s credit businesses in the community for their help including Tommy Schwai, Jeff’s Spirits on Main, Jeff Lamby, and Equipment Rentals. The cause of the fire was electrical in nature.

Six veterans from Washington County on Saturday, August 28 Honor Flight

Six veterans from Washington County will be participating in Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

The local veterans include WWII Army veteran Anthony Elsinger, Vietnam Army Lloyd Westerman of Kewaskum, Vietnam Army Thomas Foshag of West Bend, Korea Army Eugenie Olsen of West Bend. Vietnam Army Walter Kohler of West Bend and Vietnam Air Force Richard Lindbeck of West Bend.

Walter Kohler was drafted in 1956. “I was honored I could do my part for my country,” said Kohler.  He talked about receiving a good conduct medal and he scored pretty high with his shooting skills. “When I came home, everybody was waiting for me and that made me feel pretty good. When you’re away from your family for almost two years it’s pretty nice to get back home,” he said.

Richard Lindbeck served in the U.S. Air Force. During his time in service Lindbeck was part of the military police in Saigon. He recalled being “shelled by the Vietcong” during his service in Vietnam. Lindbeck is a former alderman in West Bend and he served as the president of the Wisconsin Chapter of Vietnam Veterans.

Hartford welcomes new alderman                                                              By Steve Volkert

On Tuesday night, the Hartford Common Council unanimously voted in Justin Webb onto the Common Council to replace Rachel Mixon. Webb is an attorney in Milwaukee dealing in cyber security and has lived in Hartford for the past 14 years. Webb’s term is up in April 2022 at which time he will need to run for the position in the Spring election.

Bob’s Main Street Auto successful school supply drive                     By Rachel Espitia

Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing in West Bend had another successful year for its School Supply Drive.  This year the locally owned auto repair shop raised $738.18 to purchase over 800 school supply items. The supplies were taken to a local non-profit organization and will benefit over 500 children in Washington County. Bill and Laurie Rate, owners of Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing said, “We can’t thank our community enough for their support. It’s a great feeling knowing we are able to help over 500 children here in Washington County.”

Hartford teen wins People’s Choice Award at 2021 Art & Chalk Fest

The Museum of Wisconsin Art’s 2021 Art & Chalk Fest People’s Choice Winner was Kaylee Goodman of Hartford. Goodman, 17, chalked a portrait of Amelia Earhart.

Kaylee Goodman is one hot mess, but in a good way. The smiley teen is a making her mark as a budding chalk artist. Armed with a case of soft pastels and brilliant fluorescent sticks of chalk, Kaylee sits down on her pallet of hard concrete and gets lost in the zone.

This isn’t school-yard scribbling, but a splash of magic that pours from the stained fingertips of a 17-year-old. “If she’s late for supper we normally find her in the driveway,” said mom Sandi.

She good naturedly chides her daughter on how she leaves her own unique Hansel-and-Gretel trail of breadcrumbs. “We know when she’s been in the car because there’s a chalk smudge on the visor,” she said.

Most often Kaylee’s face looks like she’s been made up for a school play as there’s streaks of chalk across her forehead and often the bridge of her nose. Though it all, Kaylee smiles. “I originally went to Chalk the Walk in West Bend at the shopping mall on S. Main Street and I chalked a mermaid,” said Kaylee.

The larger-than-life mermaid with long, flowing hair and flared blades of a fish tail caught the attention of teachers who referred Kaylee to a show at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

“It was past the deadline and I didn’t think I could get into their event but they still wanted me,” she said. The Art & Chalk Fest in West Bend was a sunny day and a bit of a swelter; at least that’s what Kaylee remembered.

“It was very warm and I chalked both days but it was fun,” she said. “I’ve done chalk drawings for a couple years and there’s something different from just drawing on a piece of paper. I love how you can get creative, even on concrete,” she said.

Kaylee reminisces about her early career and waves it off as a learning experience when she talks about her “nothing drawings.”

“They were stick people when I started but I ventured into faces and people and I’m getting better; now I kind of show off what I can do,” she said. Art teachers in the Slinger School District have worked to give Goodman confidence. “They tell me I’m very good,” she said modestly.

Sandi chimes in. “We could draw something in chalk and it would literally look like that thing,” she said. “But when Kaylee chalks … it’s as if they’re right there. People are also starting to recognize her and she’s so dedicated.”

Kaylee does most of her initial drawings in sketch books. “After I sketch, then I ink and then color with marker,” she said. “I normally get them printed before an event so I can sell them to make money to cover my chalk supplies.”

A working artist, Goodman said she’s currently focused on drawing people but she is trying to broaden her horizons with shadowing and landscapes.

On a sunny afternoon, Goodman can be found colorful chalk in hand in her driveway just south of Pike Lake State Park. While her pallet is a little rocky in some areas, she has a large, smooth patch closer to the house.

“Kaylee can sometimes get swallowed up by the expansiveness or her pieces,” said Sandi. One piece measured about 40 square feet. “We just can’t get that big again,” she said.

Washington Co. Executive Committee selects tentative County Supervisory District Plan

After a 20-minute presentation from Washington County data and GIS manager Eric Damkot the County Executive Committee, on a voice vote, selected Plan 3 for an upcoming redistricting map.

It was February 12, 2020, when the full County Board voted 15-7 to reduce the size of the board by the year 2022 from 26 supervisors to 21. The proposed map will have an impact on the April 2022 election which not only includes supervisory seats but also the number of different versions of ballots that will need to be composed by the county clerk.

Every 10 years following the census the supervisory districts are adjusted based on population.

According to Damkok the census data was supposed to be released in March 2021 and the County Board would have 180 days to adopt a tentative plan, select municipalities and wards and then adopt a final redistricting plan before circulating papers started December 1, 2021.

Because of a delay from the governor’s office the census redistricting data was released August 12, 2021. Now the County Board must still select municipalities and wards and adopt a final plan, however the timeline will be crushed into the next 90 days.

There was a lot of intense data that went into the redistricting process.  Three plans with maps and boundary outlines were presented to the executive committee.

Some of the conversation from county supervisors included a shoutout from Supervisor Peter Sorce who felt the process was unfair and politically motivated to get rid of five supervisors.

Damkot said, “We didn’t map supervisors until after the districts were drawn. There were no outside influences.”

Supervisor Lois Gundrum said, “By keeping 5 full districts in West Bend that gives 25% of voting power on the board and townships could lose power. That’s a concern.”

Supervisor Pam Konrath echoed that statement. “Smaller townships do lose their voice,” she said. The next meeting on the issue is September 8, 2021.

Lovey’s last kiss at Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary | By David Fechter | Photo by Jessica Eirich

Five days ago, a video was posted at Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary of Lovey the deer who was dying of old age; she was nursing her twin fawns for one last time.

Lovey is the oldest doe at Shalom. Born on Memorial Day in 2012, she was a bottle-fed fawn that many visitors had the chance to feed.  In the posting we let everyone know that the end was near for Lovey and if any of her fans wanted to say their goodbyes, now was the time.

The next morning when we checked on Lovey, we told her that her friends were coming to see her one more time. To our amazement, Lovey managed to somehow get the strength to make it over to the visitor viewing area by early afternoon that day; she stayed there until last night.

Yesterday afternoon visitors started telling us that a deer had her head through the fence and was kissing a brown bear. As soon as I heard about Lovey kissing a bear through the fence, I checked it out. When I arrived, Lovey was resting on the ground on her side of the fence and Clark the bear was on the other side watching her.

I stayed there for quite a while watching; Lovey was too weak to stand. I thought to myself, did Lovey really kiss a bear, or were they sitting there sniffing each other through the fence, making it looked like a kiss.

This morning Lovey passed away.

Later this afternoon Jessica Eirich who was at Shalom yesterday sent me a picture of Lovey kissing Clark. As soon as I saw the picture, I said out loud “Oh, my God.”

You see, Lovey has been living next to Lewis and Clark every single day since they were cubs. That’s almost eight years. They loved each other; the proof is in the picture.

This morning Lewis and Clark seemed different, very tired.  After seeing Jessica’s picture, I now know Lewis and Clark were not tired, they were heart broken and silently crying inside. So long, Lovey. You will be missed by everyone.

Dugouts installed at Carl M. Kuss Memorial Field in West Bend, WI

One more finishing touch added to the upgrade at Carl M. Kuss Memorial Field in West Bend, WI as the dugouts were installed on Monday. A crane lifted the 10,000-pound dugouts into place. The dugouts are the same size as the former facility and they are even with the playing field so there’s no step to access the field. There is a small closet on the east side of the dugout for storage.

According to Craig Larsen with the West Bend Baseball Association the next thing will be to seed the outfield and eventually put the lights in place. As far as restoring the ivy to the outfield fencing, that won’t happen. “There’s an insect like the emerald ash borer that’s preventing us from putting in the ivy,” Larsen said. The WBBA even consulted with the Chicago Cubs to investigate questions about returning ivy to Carl M. Kuss Field.

STH 175 in Slinger reopen following completion of bridge work              By Ron Naab

Motorists in the Village of Slinger are celebrating the completion of road work as a segment of STH 175/ W. Washington Street from Maple Road over the bridge to Spur Road has now reopened.  According to officials in the Village of Slinger contractors started work July 26, 2021, on WIS 175 over County Shop Drive and the Wisconsin Central Railroad; it would take approximately four weeks to complete bridge deck repairs.

PRD election and $80,000 referendum result

A strong turnout Tuesday night, August 25, 2021 as the Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District held an election at the Town of West Bend Town Hall. Cars were lined up on both sides of the road from 4:30 p.m. until polls closed at 7:30 p.m.

The PRD also held its annual meeting.

The commissioners race included incumbent Dave Claussen and Ross Anderson. The pair ran on the same billboard. Claussen was a no show for the annual meeting. He was also not in attendance to accept the nomination for election. Commissioner Roger Walsh was also up for election but did not run for another term.  Two newcomers secured the win filling two open seats; each will fulfill a 3-year term.

Matt Haldemann 387

Jeff Braun 376

Ross Anderson 244

(I) Dave Claussen 228

$80K Referendum on Genthe Pond  442 yes 109 No

Approve obtaining a contractor to clean-out the Genthe Pond off West Lake Drive south of Peninsula Drive and change the pond infrastructure to lesson future problems for a cost not to exceed approximately $80,000.

Budget 405 yes  149 no                 Levy 363 yes  181 no

WAC veteran Margaret Borsch turns 100 on Sunday, August 22, 2021

Margaret Borchardt doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.

“A big day? Yes… it’s my birthday today and I’m 100 years old,” she said. “It is unbelievable. I don’t know if there is a secret to getting this old… it just happened.

Borchardt is a resident at The Waterford in West Bend.

Born in Milwaukee on August 23, 1921, to Christine and Peter Borchardt.

Margaret doesn’t recall what hospital she was born at. “Maybe it was at home on the kitchen table,” she said. “I don’t know.”

A middle child, Borchardt had one brother and two sisters.

While growing up Borchardt belonged to St. Gall’s Church in Milwaukee on 3rd Street between Clark and Center. “I went to Riverside High,” she said. “I worked at the City Hall in Milwaukee in the comptroller’s office as a keypunch operator. It was during the Depression so it really was great to have a job.” Borchardt enlisted in the Army in 1942 when she was in her 20s. “I did it because it was something new for women and it gave women a little importance and I thought I always wanted to be a nurse and when they said women could join the medics, I thought that’s for me,” she said.

“My brother was in the Navy and so I thought I’d join. My mother wasn’t too sure; she thought it was kind of risky. She didn’t make a big deal but we knew she was concerned.”

Basic training was at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Borchardt said she arrived in Iowa either by train or bus. “Our training consisted of learning to march,” she laughed. “I did office work for the most part until I went into the medics and worked at the hospital.”

Borchardt was initially in the machine records unit for a year before becoming a medic for two years. She recalled her duties included making beds, changing dressings, and giving blood.

“They’d make an announcement when they were bringing fellas in from the field that if anyone wanted to give blood they should and we’d go,” she said.

Borchardt was stationed for a year in Dallas, Texas and then at Camp Polk Louisiana. After the service Borchardt served in the Army Reserves. “Every summer for my two weeks training I’d go up to Camp McCoy and I did that for 20 years,” she said.

Borchardt returned to her job at Milwaukee City Hall and worked there until she retired. Never married, Borchardt lived in an upper flat with her baby sister Jane in a duplex on Pierce Street in Milwaukee; her parents lived in the lower level. “For fun, we would go bowling,” said Borchardt.

West Bend boy earns money through lemonade stand for baseball bat of his dreams

Just over one week ago a 10-year-old’s dream of owning a prestigious baseball bat for upcoming tournaments became a reality. Left-handed Bowen LeMay set out with grit and determination, similar to that of his pitching demeanor when on the field with the U11 Bulldogs.

At Bowen’s insistence, he and his dad Bob LeMay, set up a lemonade and sweet treats stand outside their West Bend home. Bowen’s dad gently counseled him that selling lemonade would most likely not cover the cost of the bat he was dreaming of but Bowen’s instinct told him otherwise.

Once the community learned of Bowen’s desire to put in the hard work on one of the hottest days of the year, folks began to pour in to help support the cause. Neighbors could be seen gathered around the lemonade stand conversing with Bowen, Bob and Bowen’s mom, Rhonda LeMay. There were words of encouragement and many donations, both large and small.

It all added up to one thing – a dream come true. Bowen purchased his bat with the proceeds from his hard-earned money and the support of his friends, family, neighbors and surrounding community, some of whom simply came to the stand to give a donation.

Bowen said he and his dad mixed up lots of pitchers of lemonade. His dad would measure and fill and he would stir the beverage. He also handed out a piece of free candy to everyone that made a purchase.

“I want to just say thanks to everyone who gave donations for my new tournament bat fund. I’m going to be using it for my next season with the U11 Bulldogs,” said Bowen.

The LeMay’s immediately went to the local RBI Academy to test it out and Bowen gave the bat a double thumbs up. Bowen said of his newly acquired dream bat, “I just can’t wait to crush some balls.”

Ida Strikes

Stay safe, folks.

Around a million people are without power in southern Mississippi and Louisiana as Hurricane Ida tore through  the region on Sunday, knocking out electricity to all of New Orleans while whipping up sustained winds of more than 150mph and tearing the roof off buildings.

 

Authorities late Sunday announced the first death as a Louisiana resident died from a fallen tree in Ascension Parish – even as the storm was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane.

 

‘APSO reports first death related to Hurricane Ida. Shortly after 8:30pm deputies received reports of a citizen possibly injured from a fallen tree at a residence off of Highway 621 in Prairieville,’ according to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

NCAA Opens Door to Paid Collegiate Athletes

I support this.

The NCAA adopted an interim policy that will allow college athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, ahead of legislation going into effect in several states which would allow for such compensation.

“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”

 

The expected approval from the NCAA Board of Directors came a few days after a recommendation from the Division I Council to allow athletes in every state to pursue compensation for their name, image and likeness without jeopardizing their college eligibility.

 

The NCAA’s decision to suspend restrictions on payments to athletes for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances applies to all three divisions or some 460,000 athletes.

While I acknowledge that this will change college athletics forever, it is just Unamerican to not allow adults to engage in a legal commercial exchange. For the vast majority of college athletes, there is no financial future for them in sport. A few will make a professional league, but even that is limited to a handful of sports that have professional leagues. And, let’s be real, this only impacts the best of the best in any sport.

But I just don’t have a philosophical problem with a star tennis player getting paid to do ads for the local car dealership or get a slice of the pie when the school profits off selling something with their face on it.

FDA Approves Aducanumab

Great!

Aducanumab addresses Alzheimer’s in a new way compared to currently approved drugs. This therapy slows progression of the disease, rather than only addressing symptoms. It is the first approved therapy of this type; it demonstrates that removing amyloid from the brain may delay clinical decline in people living with Alzheimer’s. Amyloid is the protein that clumps into sticky brain plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

Fired Principal Escorted From Campus After Graduation Speech

First, why would they let him give a speech if they already fired him? Second, at least the kids will remember it :)

“I was kicked out for one reason that I truly love you and this community,” Nakamura said. “I came here to serve you, to love you, to be in the mix and the grind with you.”

 

He also encouraged students to study and do their best. He shared experiences from his personal upbringing, including his mother’s death to a heroin overdose, and mentioned how much he loved his job at Stagg.

 

He touched on race, violence in neighborhoods, fighting for higher education, and working to set the bar for future graduating classes.

 

Brian Biedermann, director of educational services, confirmed Nakamura’s keys were confiscated and he was not allowed back at graduation ceremonies.

Fat Wisconsin Alligator On the Loose

Ahhhh… Bonduel. You be you. Did they check the local tavern?

The owner of a Wisconsin zoo is stupefied over how his “unathletic” and “overweight” alligator got loose, which was later safely returned.

 

Steve “Doc” Hopkins of Doc’s Zoo at Doc’s Harley-Davidson in Bonduel said he noticed the animal was missing Saturday morning.

 

Of the four animals kept in the zoo’s outdoor pen, only one, Rex, escaped.

 

[…]

 

He added, “The only thing I can think is maybe he was pumping iron all during COVID or something and planned his escape. I don’t know.”

 

Hopkins warned the public to be careful if they encounter Rex but noted that because of his failing health, he probably can’t do much damage.

 

“The old gator is very unathletic and quite overweight,” said Hopkins, according to WLUK. “He can barely open his jaws. He has terrible arthritis in his jaws. If he can open up his jaw an inch and a half, it’s a lot. … The most he could do is probably slap you with his tail and that is only if you get close and upset him.”

Plenty of Vaccines Available

If you want one, there are plenty to be had.

The state has set aside 86,580 Pfizer doses, 65,900 Moderna doses and 10,200 Johnson & Johnson doses for the week, however those numbers will soften starting Monday, according to the State Department of Health Services. Now they have ordered 9,120 Pfizer doses, 2,070 Moderna doses and just 2,100 Johnson & Johnson doses.

 

“We’ve got a long way to go, to vaccinate more of the population, we need to reach a much higher percentage of the population,” said Tomaro.

 

According to the Department of Health Service data, 44.2% of the population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, one step closer to the Biden Administration’s plan to get 70% of Americans covered for community immunity.

Massive Pileup

Wow. Prayers to those who wee caught up in this.

WEST BEND — An unexpected spring snowstorm led to a massive pileup along Interstate 41 on Wednesday morning, leaving one woman dead and six injured.

 

On Wednesday the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a total of 20 different accidents along Interstate 41 between highways D and 60.

 

According to a press release, at 11:13 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office Communications Center began taking a series of 911 calls from motorists on I-41 near Highway D in the Town of Wayne for a multi-vehicle crash involving both passenger vehicles and commercial motor vehicles.

 

[…]

 

The sheriff’s office was handling the largest incident on I-41 northbound just south of Cedar Creek Road. At that scene, there was a total of 48 vehicles involved, 38 of which were damaged.

 

Six patients were transported to local medical facilities with various degrees of injures. Another 26 were evaluated and treated at the scene.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation confirmed that the one victim killed in Wednesday’s crashes was a 37-year-old woman from Trenton, Tenn.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

City of West Bend borrows $1.5 million after “mistake” and looks to borrow $10 million more tonight

The West Bend Common Council recently voted 5 – 2 in favor of borrowing an extra (approximately) $1.5 million after a “mistake” was made on bidding out the Seventh Avenue reconstruction project.

The City engineer said they realized the “mistake” on Monday, March 8, 2021. The council was notified about the “mistake” in an email sent 5:24 p.m. on Friday, March 12, 2021. The council was to vote on the project at its Monday, March 15 meeting.

Below is a copy of the letter set to aldermen on Friday, March 12.

Mayor and Council,

Some of you have asked about the agenda items included for Monday’s meeting around the planned borrowing. These resolutions are required as part of this year’s borrowing process. The borrowing is for the 2021 portion of our 5-year plan. The adopted capital plan is attached and included with our budget on our website. Phil Cosson provided a document that today was added to the agenda with similar level of detailed projects included in the $5.5 million borrowing.

Good news that the 7th Ave project bids came in lower than estimated. Also, we mistakenly included water and sewer utility costs in our original $2.3 million estimate. The end result of borrowing the $5.5 million in 2021 will greatly reduce our anticipated 2022 borrowing (approx. $1.5 million). We will be able to utilize the funds borrowed in 2021 for our 18th Avenue project constructed in 2022.

Our projected 2022 extra (beyond our $3 million annual amount) borrowing of $1.8 million for 18th Avenue should be reduced to approximately $300,000.

Phil, Max, Carrie and I will all be present on Monday to further explain this good news and logic for maintaining the borrowing at $5.5 million this year.

Please call my cell over the weekend 262-355-6102 or on Monday if you have any questions.

Enjoy the weekend!

Jay Shambeau  City Administrator  City of West Bend  (262) 335-5171

During the Monday, March 15 meeting Dist. 4 alderman Randy Koehler asked if the council borrows about $1.5 million over the project cost in 2021, is there a way to make sure the council borrows less next year? He also asked, “We’re just going to sit on that $1.4 million for a year and do nothing with it? That doesn’t make any sense to me. And if we don’t need it why are we borrowing it,” asked Koehler.

 

The representative from Ehlers Public Finance Advisors said “the City could earn interest on the $1.4 million. You also have the ability to lock in at the day of sale at a fixed rate for the life of the debt at a low interest rate environment for not only this year’s projects but a portion of next year’s projects.”

Koehler responded. “You said we have the ability to earn interest but we’re also going to be paying interest on money for a year that we’re just going to leave sit there. I would like us to scale this back by $1.4 million and just borrow the $4.1 million that we need to do the projects this year. That way we’re not tying the hands of the council next year and we’re also not saying we have an extra $1.5 million and then next year we borrow the same… we can’t determine how that will go next year. I want to scale this back and borrow just what we need.”

A clarification was made that the money borrowed would have to be spent on roads.

City engineer Max Marechal was asked if the money could be used in 2021 on other road projects. Marechal indicated contractors are already booked through the end of the year.

During a separate interview Phil Cosson from Ehlers indicated the interest for a year on the extra $1.5 million would cost the City $20,000. The interest received on the borrowing would be “nominal,” according to Cosson. Questioned what the dollar figure on “nominal” is he said “less than $1,000.”

“Do we think the rates are going to be better today, or are they going to be better next year,” said Cosson. “I don’t have a crystal ball…”

Cosson said interest rates would have to move “about 100 basis points or 1 percent in order to make up for that $20,000 interest payment.”

Questioned whether a 1 percent jump is normal, Cosson said, “I can’t estimate that… we’re not hearing the Federal Reserve is going to change policy over the next six months or so but it is certainly possible they could move up.”

The final vote on March 15 to borrow an extra $1.5 million was 5 – 2.

Those voting in favor: Alderman Dist. 1 Jon Butschlick, Dist. 2 Mark Allen, Dist. 3 Brett Bergquist, Dist. 5 Jed Dolnick, Dist. 7 Justice Madl

Those voting against: Dist. 4 Randy Koehler and Dist. 8 Meghann Kennedy

During tonight’s meeting, Monday, April 5, 2021 the council is voting on a proposal to create a new Tax Increment District #15 in the area north of Highway 33 and Main Street. Click HERE for details starting with Page 72.

This would be a $10 million borrowing with total borrowing of about $15 million with interest.

The vote is being held the day before the April 6, 2021 election which means no one will be representing taxpayers in Dist. 6 since that seat is open following the death of alderman Steve Hoogester.

 

The former chair of the council finance committee, Adam Williquette, reviewed available data on the proposed TID #15 and sent a note last week to alderman warning them of the dicey situation this proposal could mean for taxpayers.

Dear Council Members,

I am writing to voice some concern with the new proposed TID# 15 in West Bend. I not only bring the municipal background of TID creation and municipal finance, but an even greater understanding of TIDs due to my profession as a commercial real estate broker for the last 17 years. Having been on common council and having a good knowledge of the city’s finances, I write this as a West Bend resident with no ill intention to any of the parties involved in this development.

 

In looking at the TID plan, I find it confusing that West Bend would include borrowings for the following:

$1,000,000 developer incentive (What is this paying for?)

$4,545,000 MRO to Developer (What is this paying for?)

$2,200,000 for Riverwalk restoration south of Highway 33

$1,500,000 Main Street Improvements

I can understand how the following could be seen as “beneficial to the TID” and applicable for TID borrowing given the boundary:

$500,000 for Riverwalk North of Highway 33

Unlike other similar recent TIDs in West Bend, this has a whopping projected borrowing of $9,725,000 (without interest).

So now we get to the cash flow part of the TID plan. It factors in a very aggressive building schedule and is projecting that $17,000,000 would be completed by January 2022 to be paying $349,000 in taxes to pay for expenses in 2023. Even then the TID is only projected to cash flow $4,920 that year.

Then projecting that the project will assess at $30,000,000 in January 2023, the taxes for 2024 will be $558,000, with expenses increasing to $554,000, this projects a cash flow of $3,800 for the year.

The TID increases slowly to a maximum $14,000 surplus in 2046 (24 years from now) before finally paying off enough debt to pay surpluses of $323,711 in 2047, $711,057 in 2048 and, $714,489 in the last year of the TIDs life.

The first 24 years of this TIF are razor thin, and if things such as construction schedule are off by anything, the TIF will lose money over that time period and not actually benefit the taxpayers until 2047, and even then, everything would have to go 100% as projected.

This reminds me of the downtown River Shores TID # 10 which would have been costly to the taxpayers had the developer chosen not to pay their shortfall, which we should be thankful they had deep enough pockets and a great moral compass to do so. Thankfully, they also further developed Cast Iron Luxury Living to generate further increment in the failing downtown TID. If they didn’t have deep pockets, again, this would not have happened.

Next is downtown TID# 9, which has been one, if not the biggest, drain on city finances for the past few decades. This was the Veterans Avenue relocation which sat vacant, and then was sold largely to non-profit groups and did not pay anywhere near its TID “projection” or potential had the city held out for higher taxed entities.

The last one is downtown TID# 12. This was the relocation of a company downtown and trade for their former headquarters. In exchange for a lot of their taxes in return, they stayed in West Bend. Good, yes, but the taxpayers paid for it. The city even paid a consultant $100,000 to tell them this was a good idea, on the taxpayer’s dime. TID# 9 & 12 accounted for a huge amount of the city’s debt payments for many years and there is still work to pay those debts down. At least there has been some headway the last few years to put as much increment in those TIDs as possible. We do not need to attempt another downtown TID that we can’t look at and call a no-brainer and gamble with the taxpayer’s money again. We have had many successful TIDs in West Bend that passed that test and need to continue that as a test for approval of new ones.

TID # 15 is a Blight Rehabilitation TID. The other Blight Rehabilitation TIDs that West Bend tried downtown lead to the biggest drain on West Bend’s finances for the last decade and a half because the city gambled with the taxpayer’s money and lost.

This brings me back to some of the expenses of TID# 15. The MRO (Municipal Revenue Obligation) on the Table 4- Cash Flow shows the MRO as all principal. I assume it includes interest because the borrowing says it will be $4,545,000 MRO to Developer and the Cash Flow spreadsheet says it has a total cost of $8,574,201. If we calculate interest on that number, it is around 4.5% over the life of the TID. If those costs are going to pay for public infrastructure, which TID costs generally are required to do, why would we not issue GO Bonds at a 2% interest rate? I suppose that would look like a tax increase, but nonetheless save the taxpayers money.

The EDWC was asked to do an independent look at this TID. They were denied access to all information other than the public information by the city. (Which is the same information I was able to make these conclusions from.) If this project is such a great idea, why would the city not allow an independent economic development group that is one of the city’s trusted advisors on many other financial decisions, come to the “same great conclusion” that the plan is good and should be passed?

On top of the numbers not looking great, or even good, there seem to be a lot of unanswered questions. Why not do a pay-go TID where there is little to no risk for the taxpayers? Why try a Blight Rehabilitation TID again with worse projections than those of the past that failed?

 

I urge you all to ask more questions, not support this in its current form, or table this until further information is gathered.

This is a great project, but not the way that it is gambling with the taxpayer’s hard-earned money.

If any of you have any questions on my thoughts, please feel free to reach out to me.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Adam Williquette West Bend, WI

Monday’s West Bend Common Council starts 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

West Bend council votes 6-1 to move forward on development of TID #15

Following a one-hour closed session the West Bend Common Council cast a 6-1 vote (Dist. 8 Meghann Kennedy the lone dissent) to approve a project plan and establish boundaries for creation of TID #15.

The focal point of TID #15 would be the redevelopment of the old West Bend Brewery which would be converted by HKS Holdings, LLC into 181 apartments and retail space. “Tax base, foot traffic and connectivity between the north and south of the river walk were the key points of the project,” said Phil Cosson with Ehlers Public Finance Advisors.

HKS proposes a mixed-use development with 181 high-end apartment units and a commercial space for retail or a restaurant.

After closed session District 5 alderman Jed Dolnick rattled off a list of direct questions. “The current value of the brewery and land is worth $770,000 (amount corrected) and it will be replaced by a structure that is conservatively estimated to be $35 million,” he said.

“The only money we (the City) will borrow is for the public improvements of the City river walk, the river walk going under Highway 33 and improvements to Main Street plus a third of the cost to clean up this site but we are not borrowing any money ($10 million) to build this.

“The third point, the most confusing, the MRO is not being paid for by borrowing it is being paid for out of the tax being paid on the property.”

Cosson confirmed all of Dolnick’s statements.

Kennedy voted against the proposal adding, “I’m really excited for this project, it’s beautiful and I think it’s going to bring a lot to the City. My no vote is on the belief that we have four potential new board members that could be on this board tomorrow (April 6 is Election Day and the even-numbered seats are up for election) so that is why I’m voting no,” she said. “I think this issue should be put before the new board.”

During his initial review of the $35 million development plan, Cosson said:

It will take 23 of the 27 years to fully pay back the tax increment district (TID)

There are up to $9.7 million in capital expenditures that are TID eligible.

The $1 million incentive to the developer is for cleanup of the site including relocation of the We Energies site. Cleanup is estimated to cost $3 million total.

$500,000 for river walk north. The $1.5 will be borrowed and it would be paid back by the City from increment from the development.

River walk south is $2.2 million and that includes a tunnel under Highway 33.

Portion of Main Street improvements which will be tackled in 2023.

HKS estimates it will have its development constructed by 2023.

MRO = municipal revenue obligation – a contract between developer and City. After the City’s obligations are first paid the remaining increment will go back to the developer up to $4,425,000.  “The key is the City costs, borrowed money, will be paid first and what gets paid last is the MRO payment which will be due on an annual basis,” said Cosson. “If the valuation comes in less or it under performs the developers are the ones at risk and they are the ones that will be hurt.”

Increment from the HKS development is 1 half of 1 percent appreciation factor as the revenue that comes into the TID.

The proposed TID #15 must still go before the Joint Review Board later this month, April 15.

Dairy Destination is June 12 at Sunset Farms in Allenton

Washington County Dairy Promotion is rolling out a brand-new event for 2021, “Dairy Destination – Carloads of Fun. This event provides a unique opportunity to load up your car with family and friends and head to one of Washington County’s finest dairy farms, Sunset Farms located in Allenton, WI.

Upon arrival, you will be guided to the auto trail where you will roll through the entire dairy operation from the comfort of your car. Cows, calves, dairy barns, farm equipment and other fascinating sites that make the wheels turn on this dairy operation.

There will be games and surprises along the way for the kids. Each car will receive a signature “Dairy Dream Box” filled with dairy products, treats, and prizes valued at over $30.

Mike Strupp, event co-chair, said the goal of this new event is to show-case locally available dairy products through a fun and creative adventure at the farm.

The event is Saturday, June 12 through advanced ticket sales only. Tours run 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Your ticket will indicate your tour arrival time.

Tickets go on sale May 1, 2021 and can be purchased online at washingtoncountydairy.com A limited number of tickets will be sold on a first-come first-serve basis. It is recommended to purchase early to guarantee a spot. The cost is just $20 per carload and promises to be fun for all ages. Tickets are non-refundable.

Washington County Dairy Promotion is dedicated to promoting the dairy industry through promotion and education in classrooms and through community events. Proceeds from this event make these programs possible. Washington County Dairy Promotion is supported and operated by dairy farmers and partners in the dairy industry.

Reported bomb threat deemed hoax by West Bend Police

Pick ‘n Save north, 2518 W. Washington Street, in West Bend was evacuated around 10 a.m. Thursday after police received a call about a bomb threat.

Police combed the area and visited other businesses along Wildwood Road including the strip mall to the north, Stein’s, and the Stockhausen mall area.

The entrances to the grocery were blocked with police vehicles and yellow tape. Employees and customers were evacuated from the store. Business owners in the area were also visited by police to ensure there was nothing amiss.

After a little more than an hour no device was found. Police issued the press release below.

Pick ‘n Save reopened around 1:30 p.m.

BOMB THREAT 2518 West Washington Street

On Thursday, April 08, 2021 at 9:23 AM, a person that did not identify themselves called the West Bend Police Department and stated a bomb had gone off at the Pick N Save North store.

West Bend Police Department personnel and West Bend Fire Department personnel responded to the store. Police officers arrived and found there was no explosion. Officers were directed to an unattended package in the parking lot.

Police and fire personnel then assisted in evacuating the area. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit responded and examined the package. The package did not contain any explosive device or material. Personnel searched the store and surrounding area before opening the store.

The store and Wildwood Road from Washington Street to Park Avenue were closed for approximately one hour. Investigators are working on identifying the caller.

Helping small businesses recover in Washington County

Washington County, WI and Economic Development Washington County (EDWC) have partnered to offer easy-access rocket fuel financing to propel county businesses who are ready to move past the pandemic and engage in what’s next because ‘Together. We’ve Got This!’  County Executive Schoemann released the following statement on the new program:

COVID-19 and Safer at Home has ravaged our economy, and in particular our small businesses. While programs from the state and federal government have provided assistance to a great many, as the dust settles it appears that a small portion of ultra-small businesses have been hit particularly hard and have received little or no economic support.

That is why I’m excited to announce this pro-growth initiative aimed at providing funds to our farmers, restaurants and small retail establishments quickly and with no collateral necessary.  I’d also like to thank the Washington County Board for approving money for this program as I recommended: money returned to Washington County from Sales Taxes generated by the “Miller Park” tax.

I feel this money belongs to the businesses that helped generate it then and need our help now.   This is yet another example of how we are working to create a pro-growth environment.

Loans will become available on April 7 and EDWC will take applications until funds are exhausted on a first come, first serve basis. Financing subject to review and approval of EDWC. We anticipate high demand for the program.

More information on the WashCo Small Biz Loan is available at edwc.org/washcosmallbizloan/

Local establishments change hands as liquor license applications are reviewed

It was March 12, 2021 when a story was posted on WashingtonCountyInsider.com about the sale of Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen in West Bend.

Jeremy Hahn bought the establishment. On Monday, April 5, 2021 he will be one of six requests before the City of West Bend Licensing Board.

Hahn, who currently owns The Boardroom, The Inferno, and Garden Lounge, will be requesting an Original Class B Combination license for 110 Wisconsin Street. It will be the future home of Vino Con Volo. Hahn said his chef at The Inferno is classically trained in Italian cooking. “He ran Buca di Beppo in Milwaukee for 10 years so it could be a good fit,” Hahn said.

As far as the menu is concerned, Hahn sees things remaining Italian but will try to push for a lunch crowd.  “We’re going to have a special with burgers but I’m not 100% yet.” Hahn said he is leaning towards an “airplane theme” since his dad is a pilot and the blades on the ceiling fans resemble propellers from a plane.

Also on the docket for Monday is a liquor license request for The Wedge 53095 Uncorked. The story about the new cheese and wine store was first posted on WashingtonCountyInsider.com on January 15, 2021.

The business is owned by Jessica Youso.

Just a bit up the road at 1539 N. Main Street the old M&R Bar has changed hands. Who has some history knowledge to tell us what M&R stands for?

B&K Sal Properties has applied for the license. Robert F. Salinas is the one filing the application. Right now, renovations are underway and there is a Dumpster in the parking lot as new life is breathed into the building.

Finally, it looks like the location to the south of Saloon Royale will be named Mavens on Main, 241 N. Main Street. Chad Goeman has applied for a liquor license. Monday’s meeting begins at 6:25 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Fond du Lac County Breakfast on the Farm is Sunday, June 27

Envision Greater Fond du Lac Agri-Business Council is gearing up for its annual Breakfast on the Farm. This year’s event is Sunday, June 27 at LaClare Family Creamery in Malone.

“We actually did a drive-thru last year and this year we are ready to celebrate June Dairy Month in person,” said Amy Ries, director of agricultural program.  “This is going to be a safe, outdoor event and we encourage families to come celebrate agriculture in Wisconsin.”

The breakfast is $8 in advance and $9 at the event. Breakfast will feature scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, pork sausage, cheesy potatoes, coffee and milk. “We will have custard in a separate van and those will be $1 apiece and we will also have LeClare Creamery goat ice cream sundaes and those will be $1 as well,” said Ries. “All proceeds from the goat ice cream goes to the Ag Ambassador (ag in the classroom) program.)

Sheboygan County Breakfast on the Farm

Sheboygan County Dairy Promotions Association has announced its 2021 Breakfast on the Farm will be at Devin Acres in Elkhart Lake on Saturday, June 19. Breakfast on the Farm in Sheboygan County will include pancakes, eggs and cows. The event at Devin Acres, W3844 Primrose Lane, Elkhart Lake is with your hosts Kevin and Deb Kirsch on Saturday June 19, 2021 from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Wall panels put in place at new Milwaukee Tool in West Bend

The walls are finally going up at the new Milwaukee Tool in West Bend. The walls arrived on a flatbed and were then lifted in place by a crane. The new manufacturer is located on River Road.

 Transplanting 4th-generation rhubarb in Cedar Creek

On a dreary Saturday morning with temps in the low 50s Kevin Zimmer and his sidekick Coco set off on a mission to transplant a 4th generation rhubarb patch from the old Peil Farm.

Climbing into his 6-wheel drive red pickup Zimmer cut through the back of his property on County Highway C and headed south through the 97-acre Peil farm; a parcel he closed on purchasing this month.

Rolling through a tree line, past low rock walls that date to the mid-1800s, Zimmer is elated about transplanting the old Peil family rhubarb plot.

“This is just really nice rhubarb,” he said, his eyes a little wild, similar to when local auctioneer Mike Paul talks about his love of bread pudding or limburger cheese.

“It’s really nice rhubarb. Kinda like when you drive down the highway past a farm and you see great big rhubarb. It’s that kind of rhubarb; we like rhubarb.”

Coco kept her eyes forward, watching turkeys cross in front of the vehicle. She had heard the story before, she hid her excitement well.

The 97-acre Peil farm has an extensive history. Zimmer grabs the original abstract title off the dashboard. “I just really want to know how old this rhubarb patch is,” he said. “In 1849 the farm traded for $200 and if you page through in 1914 it traded for $5,700 on a 10-year land contract.”

Zimmer plans on developing the property, located north of Highway 60 and east of Hillside Road. His mission today was to save the rhubarb.

Armed with a yellow-handled shovel and a “rhubarb extracting tool” Zimmer got to work, separating the thick stalks and cutting through the roots.

Putting the business end of the shovel into the rich soil Zimmer jumped on the blade for good measure and heaved up a ball of leafy rhubarb.

The project moved rather quickly as Zimmer narrated. “This is nice rich dirt; rhubarb really likes organic dirt, sun and manure,” he said. “I could have my own Saturday morning gardening show.”

“If any of the Peil kids are watching and they want some of their heritage rhubarb back… I’ll part with a few,” said Zimmer. Before noon Zimmer potted 75 rhubarb plants.

Recipes are now being accepted as the sweet harvest is just around the corner.

Revising COVID Numbers

I don’t really believe any of these numbers or rankings. The U.S. vastly overcounted COVID deaths by combining those who died “from” COVID with whose who died “with” it. China’s numbers are utterly unbelievable. Some countries are not testing at nearly the rate of others, so nobody knows how many actually died of COVID. We really don’t have any idea how many people COVID-19 killed with any specificity. We never will. We missed out opportunity for data integrity.

Mexico has published revised figures indicating that the number of deaths caused by coronavirus is 60% higher than previously reported.

More than 321,000 people are now believed to have died from Covid-19 in the country.

 

The revised toll places Mexico with the second highest number of Covid-related deaths in the world, after the US.

[…]

That places Mexico above Brazil, which has registered 310,000 deaths, and below the US which has recorded 549,000 fatalities – despite having a population of 126 million which is far smaller than either country.

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