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Wisconsin’s Legislature begins serious budget work

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a sample:

Over the next few weeks, the Republican-led Legislature is going to hash out a budget and send it to Governor Evers for his signature. Governor Evers has arguably the most sweeping veto power in the nation with the ability to strike out words and sentences to make the budget more to his liking, or he could veto the whole thing. What he cannot do is write new language into the law. That is the exclusive prerogative of the Legislature.

What Governor Evers decides to do with the budget will determine how likely he is going to be able to get any of his agenda done for the rest of his term. If he uses his veto pen to strike out every Republican initiative he can, then those same Republicans are unlikely to every put a bill that Evers wants on his desk. If he accepts some compromise, then some of the ideas stricken from his budget proposal may see life again in a separate bill.

In the end, the Legislature holds an ace. Wisconsin will not shut down if Evers vetoes the entire budget and the state enters the new fiscal year without a new budget. By law, the old budget that was passed by many of the same legislative Republicans and signed by Gov. Scott Walker will continue in force. From a conservative perspective, a new fiscal year with no spending increases and no tax increases sounds pretty great.

Grief is Not a Political Platform

Good for these kids. And shame on all of the opportunists who jump on their grief to advance their tyranny agenda.

It was meant to be a vigil for Kendrick Castillo, who was killed after he charged one of the two classmates who opened fire at his school in suburban Denver just the day before.

But the gathering at a neighboring school Wednesday night quickly turned political. There were speeches by politicians and at least one activist from the gun control group Moms Demand Action.

Some students from the STEM School Highlands Ranch, where nine students were shot Tuesday, reacted with anger, walking out in protest. There were chants of “mental health” and shouts of “f-ck the media” and “f-ck this.” One student, who later took the podium, said, “We can’t be used for a reason for gun control. We are people, not a statement.”

STEM School senior Fischer Argosino, who was at the vigil, told TIME the handling of the event was “inappropriate” and “disrespectful.” He said he resents the politicization of the students who had just lost a friend and experienced the trauma of yet another school shooting.

“We needed a time to mourn his passing and kind of process what happened. Because I would say it still doesn’t feel real,” Argosino said.

RIP Doris Day

A true American icon.

Hollywood legend Doris Day has died at the age of 97.

Her death was announced by her charity, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, on Monday.

The foundation said in an emailed statement she was surrounded by close friends and ‘had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia.’

The “Bar”

Interesting concept. I’m not sure it would ever work in Wisconsin.

A bar without booze sounds like an oxymoron, like an aquarium without fish or a bakery that doesn’t serve bread. But in cities like New York and London, where bars often function as second living rooms for apartment dwellers with little space, an alcohol-free nightlife option can appeal to people who, for whatever reason, would prefer not to drink.

Sam Thonis, who co-owns the bar with Regina Dellea, got the idea for Getaway three years ago, when he and his brother, who doesn’t drink, were trying to find a place to go out together at night. “There weren’t many nightlife options in New York that didn’t revolve around alcohol or weren’t trying to push that on you in some way,” Thonis says. “The more I talked to people, some of whom are sober and some of whom aren’t, the more I felt that people wanted that kind of space.”

In response, Thonis and Dellea made their bar a studiously 0% alcohol space, meaning that not even non-alcoholic beers that have a trace amount of alcohol are allowed on the menu. In the US, the term ‘non-alcoholic’ may be applied to beverageswith 0.5% alcohol by volume or less, which means many popular non-alcoholic beers aren’t actually alcohol-free.

“It’s 0% as much as humanly possible, so if you’re sober and it’s an issue for you, or you don’t even want the smell of alcohol around you, you’ll be safe,” Thonis says. But it still looks and feels like a bar – it only opens in the evenings, the lights are low and no one appears to be working on their screenplay.

Getaway, which opened in April, is part of a growing global wave of nightspots that specifically cater to people who are avoiding alcohol, but still want to go out and socialise in spaces that have traditionally been dominated by drinking. There’s Vena’s Fizz House in Portland, Maine and The Other Side in Crystal Lake, a suburb of Illinois. In London, alcohol-free Redemption bar now has three locations, as well as a menu of vegan, sugar-free, wheat-free food. In January, The Virgin Mary, an alcohol-free pub, opened in Dublin.

Google Leans Left

We all know it, but just in case you didn’t… Google has a huge liberal bias. The next time you are looking for something, try the same search in multiple search engines and you’ll be surprised by the vastly different results you get.

Nearly all (86 percent) of the stories came from just 20 sources and of them, 62 percent were considered to be left-leaning.

The research sheds new light on the unprecedented power the search engine has in influencing the external traffic to news sites, a hot topic in the worlds of media and politics given Facebook’s recently reduced output.

For example, the researchers found that CNN got a 24 percent bump in traffic as a result of having its stories featured in the ‘Top Stories’ box.

The most featured sources, in order, were CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News, BBC, USA Today, LA Times, The Guardian, Politico, ABC News, CBS News, NPR, NBC News, CNBC, Reuters, Huffington Post, The Verge, Al Jazeera, The Hill and People.

For some stories there was a shortage of sources but a search for Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State, turfed up stories from 38 sources.

Despite the plethora of sources, 75 percent of the promoted stories about Tillerson came from The New York Times and CNN, the researchers found.

Classy Union Protester Accosts GOP Senator in Bathroom

Keepin’ it classy…

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New restaurant opening in Germantown

There’s a new independent restaurant opening in Germantown in the next couple of months. It’s an old-school location with a unique twist and a recognizable owner.

Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach is the genius behind a new eatery called The Precinct. It will be in the old Germantown Police Station on Church Street, just around the corner from Barley Pop Pub, N116 W16137 Main Street.

The old PD is being transformed with a 1940’s bar from a tavern up north, a wall of graffiti, an open-concept kitchen, garage doors for European flare and a menu that stays true to the farming heritage of Germantown.

“The plan has been in the process for nearly two year,” said Janisse-Kanzenbach. “It really came to fruition last year when we bought into the Barley Pop and it’s been under lock and key since.”

There were several goals Janisse-Kanzenbach listed as she detailed the closing Café Soeurette in downtown West Bend and opening a new venture.

“This was part of the plan to get our own building, being able to build a concept we wanted and getting out from underground,” she said. “Within the next two to three months Café Soeurette will close and shortly thereafter The Precinct will open.”

The Precinct has amenities attractive to Janisse-Kanzenbach. “We actually have a parking lot, we’re ADA accessible, we were able to design the whole building taking it down to the studs and building it back exactly how we wanted.”

Like Café Soeurette, Janisse-Kanzenbach is working toward an open-kitchen concept. “We always had such a personal relationship with our customers at the Café and we wanted to carry that on,” she said. “I liked talking to the customers and with the window in the kitchen at Café Soeurette people could see who was cooking and they’d know where their food was coming from and that is important to me.”

As far as the location, Janisse-Kanzenbach said she did her homework. “When I opened Café I was young, 28 years old, and I hopped on the first thing that became available. This time I wanted to do my research with demographics and make sure it made even more sense,” she said.

“I wanted to find an area that made sense and my business partner Deb Reinbold owned this building and it was the last one I looked at and it really made sense. At first I looked at it and there were 15 rooms and I didn’t see it at all and then my husband Cory went through, he’s normally the pessimist, and he said I had to just look at it as an open shell; I was shocked he was on board with it. Then it became this transition of buying into the Barley Pop and these properties. I’ve joked with customers it’s kind of the next step of me growing up as an adult. I feel a little adult these days,” she said.

The location across the street from Janisse-Kanzenbach’s other venture, Barley Pop Pub, make sense to her… even if it’s not clear to others.

“It’s two completely different concepts,” she said.

Barley Pop Pub has more of a sports bar atmosphere. “I think people will embrace The Precinct,” said Janisse-Kanzenbach. “It’ll be similar to what we do at Café with supporting local farmers. We’re still working on the menu, but it’ll change quarterly, and we’ll do lunch on Friday and Saturday, and we’ll add a one-a-month brunch with an a ’la carte eggs benedict and bloody Mary’s.  It’s very different than what’s happening at the Barley Pop.”

Staff is completely behind the idea. “I have staff that’s been behind me for so long,” she said. “I’ve been honest from the start, but they’ll be happy they can finally let the cat out of the bag.”

Aside from the open-kitchen concept and garage doors for added light, Janisse-Kanzenbach will bring in an old-school bar that her husband found on Craig’s List.

“We’ve had the bar over a year and a half. It’s an 18-foot back bar, front bar with an art-deco look and it was in amazing shape and we drove up near Marinette and hauled this bar back to West Bend and it’s interesting,” she said.

There was a treasure within the treasure as Janisse-Kanzenbach found something behind the mirror. “We took one of the mirrors off and there was a post office box number and combination probably from one of the owners,” she said. “I’m going to frame it and put it on the wall.”

Below is the official announcement made by Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach

This morning I woke up to a picture of a new baby that was born from a friend and past employee. It put the biggest smile on my face.

Let’s reminisce, this individual somehow found out nearly 12 years ago before it was public that I was going to be opening Café Soeurette and told me he would keep my secret as long as I made one promise that I let him be part of helping get me up and going! I was shocked and happily obliged.

Over the years he came and went as an employee but always one of my biggest cheerleaders for the café, it’s crew, west bend and myself. He even asked me to assist in proposing to a lovely lady (also a long-time customer) at café and I was honored to help and witness it! Then came their rehearsal dinner about a year later also, at café.

About a week ago they stopped into Café and I gave them a gift for the little one they were now expecting. We chatted for some time, catching up, talking about their bundle of joy to arrive. What an exciting time! Over the years it has been an honor for all of us here at the café to share in so many memorable events in people’s lives.

The conversation then turned to Café hosting some music for a local event this summer and I had to decline. I was sad but also happy to let this couple know what was in store for my family, staff, and my partners future!

Birth of a new baby brings so much joy and excitement but if you are a parent you know it also comes along with fear and question if you are doing the right thing daily. I have had all these emotions for quite some time now, but mostly joy and excitement! My staff, partners and I are excited to finally make this amazing news public.

We are in the process of remodeling a building for a new concept restaurant. We own the building and have gotten to design every single aspect to our own specifications, well besides the brick wall we ran into, literally, but hey when life throws you lemons make lemonade right!

I know you all reading this right now are probably like, What? She has Café and Barley Pop and now a new restaurant is under construction is she crazy? Guess I am a little bit crazy! But mostly crazy excited!  Today I announce the Birth of Precinct, Tap & Table!

Doris Romaine Yach of West Bend celebrates 100 years

Doris Romaine Yach of Cedar Ridge is celebrating her 100th birthday on May 9. Sharp, humble, and easy with conversation, Yach said she’s “taking it one day at a time.”

“It creeps up on you,” she said about her age.  “I didn’t do anything special. When the doctor says, ‘How are you?’ I say the bottom half needs a little help, but the top half is doing OK.”

Born in Campbellsport in 1919 to Edgar and Hedwig Romaine, Yach grew up on a farm, the oldest of three children. She went to a small schoolhouse, spent a year at UW Madison and then on to UW-Whitewater where she met her husband in journalism class.

She married Harry J. Yach on July 3, 1943 when she was 24 years old. The couple had six children and Yach said she was “the traditional housewife.”

“There wasn’t a ‘me’ for many years… it was always the kids first,” said Yach. “I tell them today I missed doing a lot of things I should have been doing but I was the typical housewife and the kids came first.”

Kids came home every day for lunch said Yach.  All six kids went to Catholic grade school and high school and some college with her support even though she was not raised in the Roman Catholic religion but converted later.

“We always knew she would help but she also taught us how to be self-sufficient and rely on ourselves to deal with problems,” said son David Yach.

“My West Bend grandfather, Henry Opgenorth, was one of the four men who started the insurance company in 1894 when they had the big fire down in the business section. My grandfather said we’re not going to pay the premiums to the big-city people, we’re going to start our own insurance company,” she said.

Below is an article from the Ziegler Company web page citing an early start to a business with Ben Ziegler.

The Ziegler Companies, Inc. provides a complete range of investment services and is widely regarded as the largest institutional bond underwriter in the United States, not to mention the largest investment banking firm for healthcare finance outside Wall Street.

In 1902, West Bend, Wisconsin, was a small bustling mill town famous for the hotels it had built to put up travelers making the two-day trip between Milwaukee and Fond du Lac. The son of a hotelier and county treasurer, 18-year-old Ben Ziegler had been selling fire insurance policies to area farmers and merchants to supplement his income as an assistant for the county’s treasurer and register of deeds. In 1902 an insurance agency owned by a friend of Ziegler’s father ran into financial trouble; as the agency’s co-signer, Ziegler’s father assumed its debt and the responsibility for finding a new agent for the business. Despite Ben’s young age, Ziegler’s father made Ben that new agent, and the young entrepreneur promptly began selling insurance policies to area businesses out of a room in his father’s hotel. By 1905 Ben had saved up $6,500, which he used to pay off his father’s farm and saloon, and a home for him two years later. By 1906 Ziegler and his former employer in the insurance business, Henry Opgenorth, formed a new agency, Opgenorth and Ziegler, which fell apart only 18 months later after disagreements over the business. Opgenorth and Ziegler split the territories and went their separate ways.

Yach’s grandfather died in 1925.

Yach was the oldest of three children. Both her brother and sister have passed. Yach’s daughter-in-law, Nancy, said “Yach was strict but loving. Her kids could come to her with anything,” she said.

About 80 people visited for Yach’s 100th birthday party including children, grandchildren, relatives and friends from California, Washington, Phoenix, Colorado, Massachusetts, Arizona, Illinois, and Minnesota.

I keep busy and knitted 25 dish clothes for the craft room at Cedar Ridge.

“I’m proud of my family as a unit,” said Yach. “They’ve all worked hard, and they will come to me and say ‘My work ethic… I got from you.’ They’re all good kids.”

“Through the years the friendships are important,” said Yach.

Yach has six children, 15 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.  “Doris still sends birthday cards to all the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and other friends and relatives,” said David A. Yach.  “Doris instilled in me the importance of reading and learning something new every day. Being the teacher, she was we had no choice.”

David Yach said his mother is “dependable, resilient and caring.”

“As my mother has aged, she has been an inspiration to me by never complaining and always dealing with age-related problems with a smile on her face,” said David Yach.

New Verizon store, Pet Supply store and addition to First Baptist Church

The Plan Commission meeting in West Bend this week tackled 106 pages of proposed development. One of the items up is construction of a new Verizon store on W. Washington Street across from Sendik’s.

Plans from MSI General call for two buildings. The first site plan is for a 3,000-square-foot commercial building, located approximately 300’ west of 18th Avenue on the south side of W. Washington Street. The development also has a second commercial building pad proposed to the west. The details for the second building have not been determined and a separate site plan approval will be needed when that development has been determined.

The building location is directly north of Sendik’s and to the west of First Bank and Starbucks.

Neighbors will remember that location was going to be home to Pizza Ranch. It was actually the second proposed location after Steve Kearns bought the original site just to the west of Westbury Bank.

ARCHIVE WashingtonCountyInsider.com April 10, 2017 – The first location was on W. Washington Street just to the west of Westbury Bank. On August 15, 2016 PRWB Real Estate LLC closed on the purchase of 1.7 acres on W. Washington Street for $300,000. Then, within a couple weeks, PRWB Real Estate LLC flipped the property and sold the parcel for $500,000 to Steve Kearns.

Some of the details the Plan Commission will be reviewing include:

· A driveway connection to W. Washington Street is proposed.

· An internal driveway connection is proposed at the southwest corner of the site to provide a second access through the Sendik’s development.

· A traffic impact analysis was originally completed when the Pizza Ranch development was considering the site. An updated analysis is needed to verify that the new specific commercial uses don’t require off-site improvements for W. Washington Street or N. 18th Avenue.

· 19 standard parking and 1 barrier free parking stalls are provided for this phase of the development. Additional parking will be constructed with the next phase.

A couple other items on the agenda include a 1,872-square-foot addition to Affiliated Clinical Services on E. Washington Street, a 7,000-square-foot addition to First Baptist Church on S. Main Street, and development of a new Pet Supply store on S. Main Street in the former location of Grimm’s Dollar Express.

Hotel and office building to be developed on former Gehl lot in downtown West Bend

The City of West Bend has entered into an agreement with RafRad LLC and Kinseth Hospitality with the intention of constructing a hotel and office building in the downtown on a portion of the 8-acre site formerly home to Gehl on the southwest corner of Water Street and Forest Avenue.

In partnership with the Washington County Site Redevelopment Committee (SRC), the City of West Bend completed a hotel study specifically dedicated to the former Gehl site. City staff approached SRC and identified the site as a high-priority redevelopment site.

Paul Stangl, of RafRad LLC, has been a driving force behind bringing a hotel to our downtown. Along with Kinseth Hospitality, Stangl has a history of successful hotel development. Many residents may be familiar with their developments and most specifically with their development of the Hampton Inn and Suites located in the City of West Bend.

 “We feel this project will not only fill a need in the downtown area but will further draw visitors and the community to the area,” said Stangl.

“We have many great initiatives happening in our downtown,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau.  “Combine those with the positive citywide business and residential energy, there is no question this makes a lot of sense.”

With the east side of the Riverwalk near completion along with multiple nearby developments, the City of West Bend believes the downtown will continue to be a desirable destination to live, work and play.

Korean War veteran Delbert Clay of Hartford on May Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Korean War veteran Delbert Clay, 87, of Hartford, is heading to Washington D.C. on the May 11 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Born in 1931 in Missouri to Mary and Grover, Clay’s family moved to Milwaukee when he was 11 years old, where he lived his entire life, until moving to Hartford three years ago. He attended Riverside High School and graduated in 1949.

At 21 years old, Clay received a note from Uncle Sam.  “I was drafted in 1952. It’s a comedian who said, ‘I fought like hell and had to go anyway. You can’t fight the government, you just have to pick up and go,” he said.

Basic Training was in California and while the food was fine, Clay shared a little of what he endured. “It was just a lot of harassment, anything they could do to irritate you,” he said.

After basic training ended, Clay had a 10-day delay-in-route, so he flew home and got married to his high school sweetheart, Audrey. “After that, I went to San Francisco and got shipped out to Korea,” he said.

Clay was assigned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division. “We were on the line wherever we went and when the war ended, I was back at NCO working with officers and training the guys that would come in.”

Clay was a corporal when his service ended in 1954. “I got wounded and received a Purple Heart. I also got a Combat Infantry Badge and things like that, but those don’t matter much.”

When Clay came home, he continued working for Cleaver-Brooks. “I just couldn’t sit still anymore so I went to work for an insurance company,” he said.

After retirement, woodworking and golf became Clay’s main hobbies. “It used to be bowling, but I can’t bowl anymore. I learned woodworking by just fiddling around. I had a brother in law that could build anything, so he taught me a lot,” he said.

While Clay’s wife, Audrey, passed away in 2016, he reminisced about their early years. “We went out for a blind date when I was 16 and she was 14. We were attached to the hip for 68 years,” he said.

Clay and his wife had three boys, Daniel, Dennis, and Dean, “My son signed me up for the Honor Flight, but I wasn’t really happy with it at the time. There was a reason for that though. I didn’t want to pick one son over the other (Daniel passed in 2013). My other son, Dean, ended up passing away just a few months ago.

Clay is looking forward to the Honor Flight. “Just to see all the memorials again, the plane camaraderie, and the mail call,” he said.

Clay is looking forward to seeing the Korean Memorial but said he’s impressed by a number of them. “The Vietnam Memorial is sad,” he said. “You see a lot of people are crying and sobbing.  Korea wasn’t fun but Vietnam was bad. Those guys came home and were treated like dirt.”

Vietnam War veteran Dale Mueller of Hartford on May Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran Dale Mueller, 71, of Hartford, is heading to Washington D.C. on the May 11 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Mueller was born in 1948 in Arlington, Minnesota to farmers Harry and Luella. Mueller graduated from Arlington-Green Isle High School in 1966 and got accepted into St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud Minnesota, “I was in St. Cloud for one year, I was looking to become a teacher. I was short on money and was going to skip a year, but the military came around, so I enlisted. I picked the Army because I didn’t want to go for four years and the Army was the only branch at the time that offered a 3-year enlistment,” Mueller said.

Mueller completed Basic Training in Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1968. “Being from a small town, it was quite an experience, hard, eye-opening, and scary too,” he said. “I got to meet people from all over the country. After that, I went to schooling for transportation for six weeks and then I got my orders for Vietnam.”

Mueller shipped out in the spring of 1969, assigned to Cam Ranh Bay. “I was very lucky,” Mueller said. “My job was to process all the troops coming in and leaving. I’d work with the Air Force in scheduling flights and getting assignments for people. Two weeks after my arrival, we took on incoming rockets, I was so scared I ran out of the barracks. I ran through the barracks screen door, tore the door off its hinges, trying to get the bunker. Everybody was laughing at that. I was so scared, the first couple times, I slept in a flight jacket and helmet.

Mueller shared that while serving was a serious matter, his unit tried to keep things fun and lighthearted at times, often pulling practical jokes on others. “After people landed, we’d put them on buses to be shipped out. We’d tell them that if you hear a loud boom or rocket, the bus would stop, and they’d have to get out and lay in the ditch. So, the bus driver would start driving up the hill and when he’d drive down, he’d make the bus backfire. He’d slam on the brakes and everyone would hop out and lay in the sand and I would say, ‘Welcome to South Vietnam.’”

Mueller’s service ended in the summer of 1971. “I got home and had a good, cold Midwest beer and spent time with my family, went fishing, just getting used to life in the States,” he said.

He met his wife, Sue, in 1972 and married her in 1973, Mueller recalled when they first met. “She was teaching and coaching basketball. I was a basketball official and things sort of took off from there.”

For a few years after his service, Mueller worked in construction before moving to Hartford because his wife got a teaching job at Peace Lutheran. “Then I worked in retail sales and helped start an organization called Builders for Christ,” Mueller said. “I did that until I retired in 2014.”

Mueller and his wife have two daughters that they are extremely proud of, Sarah, who works at Walmart, and Emily, who is an athletic trainer at Kewaskum High School. While he doesn’t have any grandchildren, Mueller has a wonderful grand-dog named Nico. In his spare time, Mueller enjoys hunting, reading, and old classic cars. This summer, he and his wife plan on just enjoying life and taking care of their grand-dog Nico.

Mueller signed himself up for the Honor Flight, without any inclination he’d be chosen. Aside from meeting other people and reminiscing, he’s looking forward to honoring the 58,000 servicemen and women that didn’t come home.

UWM at Washington Co. Teams capture WCC State Tennis Title | By Deb Butschlick

For the second year in a row the men’s and women’s tennis teams captured the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference State Tennis Tournament in Madison at the Neilsen Tennis Stadium.

Players from both teams were able to advance to the finals round in both singles and doubles.  The men scored 18 out of a possible 22 points and the women scored 12 out of 15 possible points. Coach Debbie Butschlick, Paige Airaudi (#2 Doubles Champ) Ariahna Grossenbacher (#1 Singles Runner Up), Sammie Brown (#3 Singles Champ), Meghan MacFarlane (#2 Singles Runner up), Caryn Hamm (#4 Singles Champ), Kayla Boehm (#2 Doubles Champ) Coach Roger Peterson, Daniel Britton (#6 Singles Runner up), David Britton (#5 Singles Champ), Matthew Melsheimer (#1 Singles & #1 Doubles Champ), Brody Jossart (#4 Singles Runner up & #2 Doubles champs) Nathan Melsheimer (#2 Singles Runner up & #1 Doubles Chaps), Seth Wordell (#3 Singles Champs & #2 Doubles Champ)

Pick Award winners at UWM at Washington County

Student athletes from UWM at Washington County were recognized Tuesday evening during the annual Athletic Awards Banquet. A couple of the major award winners included:

Scholar Athlete – Meghan MacFarlane

In 1968 the WCC initiated the Scholar Athlete Award. Each campus would have one scholar athlete award. Scholar athlete is determined by the athletic board. Most important is academics, followed by athletics and finally campus and community involvement.

Pick Female Athlete – Meghan MacFarlane     Pick Male Athlete – Brody Jossart

Former athletic director Tom Brigham said MacFarlane qualifies as a good example of a scholar athlete.

“The three criteria she showed was excellence in academics, excellence in athletics and campus and community involvement,” said Brigham. “She is a fine young lady and the parents did a wonderful job as all the parents have done here.”

MacFarlane was a standout athlete in volleyball, basketball and tennis. MacFarlane is studying nursing and she will continue her education at UW-Milwaukee.

Coach and athletic director Deb Butschlick said MacFarlane leads by example and she has her priorities straight as a student athlete.

“She puts academics first,” said Butschlick. “She is far above a normal player. She can pick up any sport; she never played tennis before, but she can excel in any sport.”

Brody Jossart was 2nd team all-conference in soccer, soccer captain of the year, and men’s tennis he received the coaches award.

“Brody led by example and was always a pleasure to coach,” said Mitchell Bury. “Brody is a dedicated student athlete and he’s been selected WCC all conference for two years in a row,” said Butschlick.

The Pick Family is the proud sponsor of the Female and Male Athlete of the Year awards. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of this award, which was started in 1988 and given annually to the outstanding female and male athletes at UWM-Washington County.

Updates & tidbits

– The Kettle Moraine Symphonic Band will hold a free spring concert on Sunday, May 12 at UWM-Washington County Theatre on the Hill. The concert starts at 3 p.m.

 – New signs are being installed today, Friday, May 3 at Cafe Floriana, 611 Veterans Avenue, Suite 104. The locally owned coffee shop and bakery opened in March 2019. The shop is located on the first floor of Cast Iron Luxury Living which is formerly home to the West Bend Company.

 – It took less than three minutes and the West Bend School Board voted its officers into place for 2019-2020. School board president Joel Ongert retains his seat as president, Nancy Justman was selected vice president, Tonnie Schmidt was selected clerk, and Chris Zwygart was selected treasurer. All nominations were unanimous.

– On Tuesday, May 7, representatives from Kwik Trip appeared before the West Bend Plan Commission with a request to build a larger-than-normal sign at the corner of Paradise Drive and River Road.  A new Kwik Trip is being developed where the old Egbert & Guido’s Express / Citgo used to be. Kwik Trip said it would like to exceed the city standard of 16 square feet and instead place a 21.59 square foot electronic message sign on the corner. Neighbors have been notified and so far, nobody’s complained.

– Holy Angels Students of the Month for April 2019 include Georgia Haddorff, Hailey Kiefer, and Nora Walter.

– It looks like former Green Bay Packer Donald Driver will be paying a visit to students in West Bend. The all-time leading wide receiver for the green and gold is working in cooperation with Goodwill on an annual Pack’er Up Donation Challenge. This year’s event encouraged families to: Clean out your closets and donate any participating Goodwill Store & Donation Center.

Holy Angels principal Mike Sternig confirmed Driver will be coming to school later this month. The students are excited, and it’s been said “it’s the worst kept secret in West Bend.”

Donald Driver is a spokesman for Goodwill. During past school visits in Wisconsin the Packer Hall of Famer reads to students from one of the three children’s books he’s written. Driver played for the Packers for 14 years and later took home the trophy on Dancing with the Stars. Early word his arrival is expected to be May 20.

– The annual Ride of Silence will be Wednesday, May 15 in the parking lot just south of the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The ride will start at 7 p.m.

What I have learned from my Mother (among other things) | By David Yach

Just ahead of Mother’s Day a special tribute to Mom Doris Yach from her son David about the many things he’s learned from his mother. This week Doris turned 100 years old and May 9, 2019 was proclaimed ‘Doris Yach Day’ by the City of West Bend and Washington County.

Son David Yach submitted the article below, “What I have learned from my Mother (among other things)”

I learned many things from my mother –as a young boy, a young man and as a adult with children and grandchildren of my own. Here are just a few of them.

I learned that it puts a smile on a 10-year old boy’s face if you let him ride a horse in Texas. And I sure wish I still had that cool black cowboy hat with the curled-up edges.

I learned that mothers must beam when they see their 7-year old ride in grandpa Edgar’s standard oil fuel truck.

I learned the best way to thaw out frozen hands from playing in the snow with only knitted mittens or cotton gloves is with cold water run under a faucet.

I learned that you can leave long-lasting handprints and footprints in fresh concrete at 90th and Hadley.

I learned that cub scouts can be a lot of fun if you have a mom who is willing to put up with the chaos of being a den mother and be willing to help you turn an old 78-LP record into a super neat ash tray.

I learned that camping with the ENTIRE family must be the only way to enjoy a vacation…… as long as the tent is insufferably hot, the ham steaks are cooked on an open grill, and the duty roster with everybody’s job is typed and posted to a tent post.

I have learned that mothers had to be the most trusting souls in 1956 through 1958 to let Bob and I take the bus to County Stadium to see the Braves play baseball or to the downtown sports show at the Arena. With an extra nickel for the transfer both ways.

I learned that you have to have shoes that fit really well. Never buy cheap shoes. You ‘ll pay for it sooner rather than later.

I have learned that you can teach your children how to play sheepshead and cribbage but then after that…. they’re on their own. And no matter what your age is, winning never, never, never, gets old.

I learned the beauty of music when she played the piano.

I learned the discipline of thrift as she watched the boys count their 8th grade snow shoveling money and their paper route money and marched them to the savings and loan to deposit it all.

I learned how to “ladder CD’s” at her knee.

I have learned that whenever a house guest departs you send them on their way with a cellophane bag of cookies even when you know the cookies will be devoured before the border.

I learned that it when you are in your 80’s and as long as you are in door county it is perfectly acceptable to eat cherry pie for breakfast.

And as long as you are in Door county, a perfect day is traveling from one winery to another and sampling at each and every stop.

I have learned that no matter how far away your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren are, making things like baby blankets, stocking caps, lacey socks, afghans, Christmas tree skirts and scrubbies show them how much you care for them and love them.

First Corinthians chapter 13

For I have learned the very meaning of Love from my mother.

Love is patient. She has taught us patience. Love is kind. She has showed us kindness.

Love is not rude Love does not seek its own interests. She has always put others first.

Love is not quick tempered. It does not brood over injury

Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

By her actions, she has showed us how to let our own children grow roots…and wings.

She has showed us…..

Love bears all things. Love believes all things. Love hopes all things. Love endures all things

This is what I have learned from my mother.    By David Yach

Illinois Proposes Massive Tax Hike on Cars and Gas

Don’t laugh. The politicians in Madison from both parties are looking to Springfield with green eyes at proposals like this.

A proposed hike in Illinois’ annual registration fee for electric vehicles, from $17.50 to $1,000, is being called unfair by current EV owners, and a sales disincentive by manufacturers — just as the new technology is beginning to gain broader traction.

“It’s outrageous,” said Nicoletta Skarlatos, 56, of Chicago, who bought a Tesla Model S five years ago. “I thought Illinois was progressive and would want to encourage EV ownership.”

Aimed at raising money to make overdue road improvements across Illinois, the proposed legislation would also more than double the state’s gas tax to 44 cents a gallon and raise the registration fee for standard vehicles to $148, from $98, among other elements.

But the kicker is a nearly 60-fold increase in the electric vehicle registration fee — one that is sure to cause sticker shock across a nascent segment of the auto industry, which has depended on government incentives to entice early adopters.

Unionizing Efforts

Heh.

Delta Airlines is facing significant criticism after posters discouraging its staff from joining a union were widely shared online.

“Union dues cost around $700 [£540] a year,” one of the posters states.

“A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun. Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union,” it continued.

The posters point to a website featuring Delta branding which encourages workers not to unionise.

Without confirming it produced the posters, a spokesperson for the airline said it had “shared many communications, which on the whole make clear that deciding whether or not to unionise should not be taken lightly.”

[…]

Politicians and union representatives were among those to condemn the posters online.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said the posters were “a disgrace”.

“I say to Delta: Stop trying to undercut workers’ right to form a union and negotiate for better wages,” he tweeted.

The pro-union people are permitted to say any outlandish thing they want about the company. They tell the workers how evil the company is… how greedy they are… how selfish they are… how badly they treat employees… and on and on and on. All of this in an effort to encourage people to unionize. But when a company makes the slightest effort to discourage the employees from unionizing, the socialist bullies immediately pounce on them.

No, Bernie, Delta wasn’t trying to “undercut workers’ right(s).” They were merely presenting a counter-argument. That is allowed in a free country, but not in Bernie’s socialist paradise.

Rideshare Driver Career Path

In response to my post yesterday about the rideshare driver strike, a helpful reader sent me this Career Map for a rideshare drier. Seems about right…

Killing America

This is the #1 threat to our Republic.

Kill Your Pet to Combat Climate Change

In response to a story about how climate change is threatening our pets, Jay Weber made this brilliant point:

This is proof Gore and others aren’t serious about climate change. If they were, the story would be ‘We need to kill off all pets.They are useless, meat consuming, fart machines’

If you have a pet, you aren’t really serious about combating climate change.

Biden Wants “Free” Healthcare for Illegal Aliens

So ol’ Middle Class Joe is all in to tax hard-working Americans to pay for the healthcare of foreigners living illegally in our country. Nice.

Vice President Joe Biden said at a California campaign event that the nation has an obligation to provide health care for people, including those who came into the country illegally.

Biden made the statement on a West Coast swing Wednesday.

‘I think that anyone who is in a situation where they’re in need of healthcare, regardless of whether they are documented or undocumented, we have an obligation to see that they are cared for,” Biden said in Los Angeles, where he held a major fundraiser.

Iron Throne to Live in Aggieland

Just so you know

If you want to see Arya Stark’s Valyrian steel dagger, Brienne of Tarth’s sword Oathkeeper and more all you have to do is head down to College Station. Texas A&M Cushing Memorial Library’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Collection is home to those treasures and more from Game of Thrones. Once the show ends, the college will also be home to the Iron Throne of Westeros. The university is home to author George R. R. Martin’s official repository since 1993, according to Austin 360. There they have various manuscripts, letters, books, memorabilia and more from the author being preserved. Find out more about George R. R. Martin’s connection to Texas A&M University here.

Rideshare Drivers Strike

Looks like unions are trying to kill Uber and Lyft at a critical time in their corporate development.

Rideshare drivers are striking and protesting in major cities across the United States, with many participating in a 24-hour strike of the Uber and Lyft apps that began at midnight on 8 May.

Cities affected by the stoppage – which varies in length from two-hour strikes to day-long boycotts – include Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Philadelphia and others. Strikes are also expected overseas in Britain, Australia and elsewhere.

The protests come the day before Uber launches its shares in a public offering on the US stock exchange.

The 4,300-member Rideshare Drivers United in Los Angeles is picketing outside Los Angeles international airport throughout the day in addition to participating in a 24-hour strike.

“All of us had to guess when Uber’s [share launch] was, knowing this would be a key moment the public, investors and elected officials would be looking at Uber to see what kind of company it is, and we knew the voices of drivers had to be elevated in this. And that’s why we chose this time to organize,” said Nicole Moore, a part-time Lyft driver and organizer with RideShare Drivers United.

I have used both Uber and Lyft extensively. I used to be an Uber guy, but I switched to Lyft because I can get Delta Skymiles using Lyft. The friction of their growth is being driven by the new business model. Remember that Uber and Lyft are not cab companies with a labor force. They are simply apps that connect a transient labor force with consumers. The key to the financials is that they have to make the price low enough to be acceptable for consumers while also providing enough money to attract enough drivers to fill demand. The apps serve as real-time supply & demand measurement devices and seek to hit the sweet spot for maximum profitability.

Frankly, they aren’t working right yet as evidenced by the fact that neither Uber or Lyft are profitable. Meanwhile, as a customer, I can tell you that the pricing is OK, but not vastly better than a cab in most cities. And depending on the city, the customer experience is very uneven. Some Lyft and Uber cars and drivers are great. Some are pretty shabby. What keeps me as a customer is the convenience and transparency of the app and the easy receipts for business expenses. But I have been at an airport more than once and jumped in a cab when the app tells me that the driver is 10 minutes away. Again, it’s about convenience.

Back to the strike… remember that Uber and Lyft were never set up with the intention of having full-time drivers. The drivers are supposed to be people with other jobs who choose to drive from time to time to make some extra money. In order to attract these workers in the Gig economy, Uber and Lyft have to set the rates high enough to attract drivers. What SHOULD happen is that if enough drivers look at the rates and decide it isn’t worth the effort, they just don’t log on. If Uber and Lyft can’t attract enough drivers, then they will have to raise the rates. The problem is that they can only raise prices so much before customers balk. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft are both struggling to be profitable taking a cut as the facilitator. Now that some of the Uber and Lyft drivers are unionized and treating their labor as a full-time gig instead of a side hustle, it increases the upward pressure on driver rates and aggravates the problem.

So at the root of it all, we have to question whether, after all of the hype, are rideshare businesses structured like Uber and Lyft a sustainable business model? Perhaps this opens up the market for new entrants who will find another model. The problem is that people who travel a lot don’t want 15 rideshare apps on their phones. The cab companies have come to the table (late) with a pretty decent app that provides the convenience of ridesharing with a dedicated labor force. Is that the answer? Maybe. The problem with cabs that Uber and Lyft sought to fix was the convenience and quality. The Curb app addresses the convenience and the competitive pressure has helped equalize the quality.

We are going to know a lot more in a couple of years. As public companies, Uber and Lyft won’t have the same ability to raise capital if they can’t get profitable. And one inevitable recession will shake out overly-optimistic investors.

First Names Matter

Ha!

Sixteen members of a family journeyed far for “Lovett or Leave It,” but were shocked to discover that they had signed up to see former President Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, rather than their beloved Lyle Lovett.

“My sister is a huge Lyle Lovett fan, and we have been trying to get a weekend together with my cousins for a long time,” Belinda Walker of El Paso, Texas, explains to ITK.

Be Like Nate

This kid is my new hero.

“I had my hand on a metal baseball bat just in case,” Nate told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “‘Cause I was gonna go down fighting if I was gonna go down.”

Denver Harshes on Shrooms

Interesting.

Voters on Tuesday appeared to reject an attempt to make Denver the first US city to decriminalize psilocybin – the psychoactive substance in “magic mushrooms” – and add a new chapter to the city’s role in shaping wider drug policy.

The citizen initiative on the ballot followed the same tack taken by marijuana activists to decriminalize pot possession in 2005 in the city. That move was followed by statewide legalization in 2012. A number of other states have since broadly allowed marijuana sales and use by adults.

With all precincts reporting late Tuesday night, the no votes for the initiative held a substantial lead over the yes votes, according to unofficial returns.

Late results showed nearly 55% of voters had rejected the proposed ordinance.

The arguments for legalizing (or decriminalizing) mushrooms are identical to those regarding marijuana. The fact that this didn’t pass is because there are fewer people taking mushrooms than smoking pot. It just shows that those arguments are, and always were, insincere. People want to legalize pot because they want to smoke pot. It’s as simple as that.

UPDATE: Well, well… it passed after all. Is the vote legitimate if half of the voters were high? lol

Water Before Trollies

When they have a point, they have a point.

MILWAUKEE — The Black Panthers and Freshwater for Life Action Coalition joined forces to demand lead laterals be removed from homes in Milwaukee. The activists stormed into City Hall with a jug of water on Tuesday, May 7 for the first of what they promised would be many protests in front of a much larger audience.

“I brought a gallon of water here for you,” said Robert Miranda, Freshwater for Life Action Coalition spokesman. “Milwaukee unfiltered fresh H2O.”

The group interrupted a Milwaukee Common Council meeting to ask city leaders to take a sip.

“Fresh and clean out of the tap that has a lead lateral. We’d like you to come forward and have a drink of this water if you don’t mind,” said Miranda.

The group demanded all lead laterals be quickly removed from homes in the city. They believe those lead laterals are responsible for elevated lead levels in children.

“You’ve got billions of dollars in construction on the upper east side and downtown Milwaukee, but what do you have in the black and brown communities? You have crumbs, and we’re going to sit here and tolerate that?! No. We are not going to tolerate that any longer,” said King Rick, Black Panthers.