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  • Progressive activists have finally, blatantly, and unintentionally unveiled their real war on women.
  • On May 29, we will congratulate one hundred and twenty seniors as they graduate from high school into adulthood. We will also bid farewell to our retirees - Becky Warden, Jim Riehn, Bev Schwoerer, Paula De Smidt, Wally Schneider and Mary Beth Klemme and thank them for their years of service to the district.
  • An interesting aspect of modern day politics in America is playing out right now in front of everyone’s eyes.
  • I’ve always liked meatloaf—I’m talking about the food dish here, not the band formed back in the 1970s by Marvin Aday, who also uses Meatloaf as his stage name.
  • A full year has gone by since our Act 32 building projects were started.
  • Wisconsin school districts—including those in the Tri-County News area—have done the right thing to take advantage of a 2009 law permitting them to do major energy efficiency projects without having to go to referendum.
  • Anyone who watches the national news saw a reminder recently that the world remains a place of political tension—not that anyone really needed that reminder.
  • Involvement in artistic and cultural activities “enriches our experiences, expands our sensibilities, and enhances our understanding,” according to Vassar’s Institute for Innovation in Social Policy (IISP).
  • Mark Sherry’s use of the word “bubbler” in his most recent article reminded me that words and terms are often regional or generational.
  • We writers are a superstitious lot.
    We’re not concerned with avoiding black cats, sidewalk cracks, or stepladders, unless they fit into a story somewhere. Our unique superstitions involve the writing itself—the actual craft. We know that writing is more than any talent we possess. But that, along with a love of language and a curious nature, certainly help. The rest is a kind of magic that comes and goes at its own whim.
  • Lower gas prices paid at the pump over the past half year or so have not been good for Wall Street, but they have been good for the American consumer.
  • The school board election is over and in May we launch a new beginning.  We congratulate our newest member, Randall Bonde, and our returning incumbent, Dan Dietrich. Congratulations and welcome to the Kiel Area School District School Board!
  • Wisconsin has a jobs crisis.

  • Last week in this space readers read about how Wisconsinites continue to flock to get concealed carry permits yet the state has not turned into the wild West scene that some people predicted a few years ago.
  • When asked to envision learning in schools, many individuals visualize rows of desks filled with well-groomed children of similar ethnicity.
    An energetic teacher is at the front of the class explaining a lesson and responding to questions of those that have raised their hands. Any disruptive student is out of the classroom allowing all to learn in a pleasant environment. This once classic picture of an average classroom is no longer realistic for most public K-12 classrooms.
  • At first, I only wanted to a) make phone calls, and b) check my e-mails more easily than I could with previous cell phones. I had absolutely no interest in any other apps, or the phone’s other built-in features. I’m not actually sure which things are apps and which are features—maybe it doesn’t matter. I was also concerned that I might accidently download an app that would turn out to be expensive, so I was very cautious. As time has passed, however, I’ve decided that as long as I don’t have to enter credit card information, I’d be willing to consider an app. Since I’m still discovering the free stuff, why would I want to spend any money on apps, anyway?
  • A few weeks ago a milestone of sorts was reached.
    On March 24, the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Criminal Information Bureau’s (CIB) Firearms Unit issued the 300,000th concealed carry permit since the program’s inception in 2011.
  • Breaking news: “Wisconsin legislators pass a bill requiring private and parochial schools accepting voucher payments to abide by open records and open meetings laws.”
  • Sooner or later warmer weather will arrive and stay for a while, and with it pet owners will be more inclined to take their dogs out for walks.
    In addition to their dog, a collar, and a leash, required equipment for everyone who walks their dog must be something to clean up after them in case they have an accident.
  • If you’re thinking that this sounds like the opening line of a vintage Twilight Zone episode, I noticed that, too. But let’s press on anyway. The irony is that in order to actually consider the human mind, one has to use one’s mind, or brain, if you prefer. Dang, this still sounds like a Twilight Zone episode. I can even picture Rod Serling’s dark suit, narrow tie, and impressive eyebrows, and hear his carefully controlled voice (like he was talking through clenched teeth) with the spooky theme song playing in the background. That’s not where I intended to go with this opening. Time out to focus.
  • We all want good roads.
    Wisconsin’s manufacturing, service, agriculture, and tourism industries require well maintained roads to allow for the free movement of goods and people. Where the agreement ends is how we go about paying for these improvements. Recently some have argued conservatives should embrace a gas tax increase. I, and many other conservative legislators, did not go to Madison to raise taxes. Before conservatives even consider any increased transportation funding, every last efficiency at the DOT must be identified and implemented and for no reason should we increase the overall tax burden on the taxpayers of Wisconsin.
  • Chilton High School principal
    Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Chilton High School (CHS) prepare students for a wide range of careers that reflect the modern workplace.
  • There are plenty of reasons why residents of the Tri-County News area should go to the polls next Tuesday, April 5 to cast their votes.
    The fact that it is their civic duty and a right earned and preserved for them by the blood of others over the last couple centuries is always reason number one.
  • If one reads any research on continuous improvement in business or education you will read about the importance of building a positive culture. In fact, without the right culture the efforts to change and improve will not take place. A positive culture is a critical element in growth and improvement.
  • Last week was Sunshine Week in Wisconsin.
    It is not a day to finally celebrate the appearance of the sun here after a long winter—there is probably snow outside as this is being read—but it is a week to promote open records in government.
  • Police School Liaison Officer
    There is an increasingly serious threat to the safety of the children in our community, and it is right in your home—your medicine cabinet.
    Prescription drug abuse among teens is becoming more common, and the effects can be extremely dangerous—both short term and long term.
  • The City of Kiel established the Friends of the Community Center organization late last year and the committee has been meeting monthly to revitalize the Community Center programming and facilities. This organization is an appointed committee of the City of Kiel government and is governed by approved by-laws. The committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 2:00 P.M. at the Community Center and anyone interested in Center activities are welcomed to attend.
  • Do we only honor our Armed Forces veterans one or two days out of the year?
    Calumet County Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3153 is presently conducting a county-wide drive to collect items which will be taken to the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King.
  • There’s little doubt that elite golfers (and their coaches and trainers) recognize the value of chiropractic care.
    But what about the weekend warrior? Can chiropractic care help the average golfer play better, longer and with fewer injuries?
  • To appoint or not to appoint, that is the question.
    Actually, it is somewhat of a waste of time to discuss whether or not a new Supreme Court justice should be appointed by President Barack Obama and ratified by Congress before the next president takes over. It seems fairly clear that the president will appoint someone and that Congress will reject the appointment, especially if all that happens soon. This will be one time where an executive order will not work.
  • “When all else fails, read the instruction manual.”
    I’ve gleefully teased others with this old adage for years when they jump in to assemble, use or repair something without reviewing the directions. I was surprised recently, however, to discover that the saying also applies to me. I had just sat down at my sewing machine to do a quick mend on the back right pocket (that all-important smart phone holding zone) of my favorite jeans. The fabric surrounding the pocket’s left upper corner had worn away to mere threads. A tiny hole had widened into an inch wide gap. It was way past time to reinforce the spot with an inside patch and some strategically placed zig zag stitching.
  • The Chilton School District once again will be providing summer school opportunities.
    We will be following a similar approach to last year by offering activities in three main areas to better serve the needs of our students—Enrichment instruction, Remedial instruction, and Tiger Sports Drills and Skills.
    Several aspects of the program will be similar while others are new. Please be aware that transportation (busing) is not provided for summer school sessions. The summer school registration and class information catalog will be available online at in April.
  • Many Wisconsin communities, especially in rural or light urban areas, rely on pre-hospital, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) care from dedicated volunteers.
  • The conversation at the most recent meeting of the New Holstein Common Council was one worth having but, in the end, the council made the right decision in looking to replace a retiring Department of Public Works employee.
  • Congratulations are in order to Amerequip of Kiel and New Holstein for once again earning a state-level award, this time for its great corporate culture.
    The company has been rapidly growing in recent years both in terms of facilities and personnel.
  • A talk was given in Wausau last week, the title of which was, “What Happened to Economic Opportunity in Wisconsin?”
    There is an easy answer to that question, but please read on....
  • I wore my red leather cowboy boots to church on Sunday.
    It was Valentine’s Day, after all, and the boots nicely matched the sparkly red sweater I wanted to wear one last time before putting it away until next December. Most sparkly wearables in my closet are reserved—my own personal fashion rules, not for anyone else—for the holiday seasons from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day. Those are the short, dark days of winter, when I can use all the sparkle I can get. I have three red sparkly sweaters and a skirt in this category—a V-neck, a turtleneck and a mock turtleneck, plus a skirt that I can’t part with, even though it hasn’t fit me in at least a decade. Sometimes I think about remaking the skirt (bag, hat or muff?), but some part of me clings to the idea that one day it’ll fit again. Depressing, eh? All of the aforementioned red sparklies were picked up at thrift stores, like almost everything else in my wardrobe. But this isn’t about the sparklies—it’s about the boots.
  • When you watch the news, often times it is about all the horrible things going on in the world—shootings, terrorism, accidents, natural disasters, and the list could go on.
    It’s easy to get caught up in the events and start to feel paranoid and unsafe about your homeland. Our society has changed a lot over the years as a result of some of these acts of violence. We now have law enforcement officers in schools, extra security in airports, and many other examples of heightened security in our daily lives.
  • This newspaper has long had a policy of not endorsing political candidates in any race, at least not in this editorial space.
    Based on what is happening in the current presidential race, any candidate this newspaper would have endorsed probably should be thankful for that policy.
  • On Feb. 16, the Kiel School District residents will be asked to vote in a primary election for two seats on the school board.  This is a very important vote as it impacts the future direction of our school district. The top four out of five candidates from the primary will move to the ballot in April.
    The School Board is a group of people who are elected to make decisions about how to manage a school system. 
  • Kudos are in order this week for Riesterer & Schnell, a locally based business which has made a very generous donation to the coming Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center.
    In light of its 85th anniversary in business and recognizing that northeast Wisconsin farmers are who got them to this point, Riesterer & Schnell’s Board of Directors last week approved a donation of $250,000 to the center.
  • A HAND IN HEALTH—Get out on slopes or somewhere and move
    I had the pleasure of spending the last week of January in Winter Park, Colorado, for a family ski vacation.
    It had been two years since the entire family went to Colorado, and that last trip in 2013 was a doozy. Both Estelle and Edwin became very ill and barely left the house, and our flight home was delayed seven hours. Not fun....
  • Throughout my first term in office, I have had the opportunity to participate as a member of the Assembly Health Committee.
    Over the past few weeks, the committee has held hearings on administrative rules. After a law is passed, the state agency that oversees the program creates rules to comply with the new law. During one of these hearings, we had the opportunity to listen to disabled adults and parents of disabled children tell their stories concerning prior authorization for physical, occupational and speech therapy in the Medicaid program. When a person with a disability requires therapy, they must petition the Department of Health Services (DHS) as often as every three months, even if they are permanently disabled, have already gone through prior authorization and have been approved by their for-profit insurance carrier.
  • Now that we’re almost a week into February, we can look forward to a flurry of cool February events (double pun intended), including this Saturday’s ice carving contest in Kiel.
    In the 20-something year history of this event, local temperatures on February’s first weekend have ranged from almost 40 degrees above to several degrees below zero—with or without snow.
  • Welcome to the 2016 edition of the School District of Chilton Spring Newsletter!
    Yes, I did say spring. As I write this letter, we are preparing for a heavy snowstorm to descend upon the area within the next day or two. Wisconsin winter weather certainly has its challenges, but spring is surely on its way!
  • There is a long way to go before the next U.S. president is elected, but the results of Monday’s caucuses in Iowa did serve to bring even greater interest to the races.
  • Over the last few weeks, we have been taking a number of phone calls from our patients and community members asking whether our Fox Valley Hematology and Oncology (FVHO) clinic at Calumet Medical Center will remain open.
  • In recent decades people have often complained about how it could be possible that people who commit unspeakable crimes such as murder could ever get out of prison.
  • Talk about a great community effort in a small, rural word comes to mind, “Wow!”
    As a committee member, race volunteer and a runner myself for nearly 40 years, what a sight greeted my eyes as I marshaled at my usual two- and five-mile split on Calumet Avenue. Never in all my years of volunteering have I had the pleasure and privilege to see quite so many runners and walkers.
  • One of the best-run private volunteer organizations in the local area and probably well beyond is the Kiel Area Basketball Association (KABA).
    With strong leadership, lots of adult and high school basketball player volunteers, and a heavy reliance on online communication, KABA hosts several weekends of tournament and northeast Wisconsin boys and girls league basketball games for elementary and middle school students every winter on up to six courts at the local schools.
  • Two of my favorite exercises are simple push-ups and squats.
    They’re extremely effective, biomechanically challenging, and very helpful for individuals with low back and/or midback/shoulder pain. They’re also the kind of exercise that you should aim to be able to do relatively easily, no matter how old you are. Today, let’s talk about push-ups.
    About two or three times a year I decide it’s a good idea to see if I can do 100 straight push-ups. I heard about this particular challenge and found a training plan on and went to work. I even won $100 off a poor fella who didn’t think I could do it this past August. Little did he know that I had just finished the training and accomplished the goal of 100 consecutive push-ups just the previous week. I guess I could have shared that little bit of information with him.
  • Our family had our post-December Christmas get-together on Jan. 9 this year.
    Our grown-up children and their children have their own Christmas traditions now, so we’ve been getting most everyone together a week or more after Christmas for several years now. I like it this way. Allowing us to focus on the church celebration of the festival first, with a family celebration a couple weeks later, has added a measure of peace to the holiday season. It also gives us more time to plan, decorate, clean, bake and cook!
    By the time we finished off the leftovers and packed up the tree and holiday decorations last weekend, I realized with surprise that the month of January is more than half over.
  • Level heads need to prevail in Manitowoc County as officials discuss the possibility of a Meijer store locating on the current Expo grounds.
    As previously reported in the Tri-County News, the proposal would enable the large retailer to locate a store in Manitowoc, but it would cost the Expo grounds its grandstand and track. That is what makes this a local issue for the Tri-County News area as there are race car drivers from Kiel, New Holstein and elsewhere in this area who call that their home track, not to mention local race fans who enjoy watching those events in the spring, summer, and fall.
  • The Department of Public Instruction collects enrollment data from all school districts twice a year. This data is used as part of the school funding formula to determine revenue limits and state aid. School Districts across the state of Wisconsin are experiencing a trend of declining enrollment. This is a highly talked about subject, especially when discussing state funding.
  • The City of Kiel budget for 2016 was approved with no major changes anticipated for 2016. The budget for the city calls for an increase in spending of 3% to just over $2.8 million. City taxpayers saw an increase in the levy of 1.24% with the tax rate remaining at just over $5 per $1000 of an assessed property value. On the revenue side of the budget property taxes make up 40% of the city income, followed by intergovernmental revenue (state shared revenue and transportation aids) at 28%, other finances (taxes and transfers from utilities) at 15% and charges for public services (garbage and recycling pickup) at 7%. On the expenditure side of the budget public safety (police and fire protection) makes up 36% of the budget followed by public works (streets, signs, snow removal, storm sewers) at 22%, debt service at 15%, culture and recreation (library, community center, parks) at 11% and capital outlay at 8%. Overall this is a good budget for the city and the city is in good shape financially. Looking forward, over the next several years, we will see the closing of a TIF district and some retirement of debt that will allow for increased expenditures on city infrastructure such as roads. The lean years of the past are behind us and the outlook is positive.
  • Vern knew about stories, and wrote her own
    The community of New Holstein took its collective hats off to Vern Rolbiecki last week, honoring her for outstanding service to the community during her lifetime as a New Holstein resident and civic leader.
  • Just a couple weeks ago, I was working on our office newsletter.  We email one out every month with personal stories, office updates, and informative columns about health-related topics.
  • Now that it’s early January again, many of us are reluctantly preparing to submit to that dreaded, annual, sometimes painful procedure—no, not a colonoscopy—I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions.
  • Golfers in the Tri-County News area have been keenly aware over the past few weeks of reports that Badger Creek Golf Course has been sold.
    As a news story in this week’s Tri-County News details, those reports are true. This week’s story gets information directly from the new owner, Don Pfister of Pfister Farms.
  • I was shocked and saddened to hear of the unexpected death of Glen Riesterer—a quality person taken too soon leaving behind a beautiful family and a thankful community.
    Glen and Renae respected their daughters’ involvement in choir and theater during my time at KHS. I traveled each year with the choirs and always had total support from the Riesterer family.
  • Christmas has come and gone, and hopefully everyone got what they wanted in the way of gifts.
    It is never too late, of course, to give someone a gift. Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, recently gave state politicians some gift ideas which he would like to see “given” in the year ahead.
  • Many people wonder what a nurse practitioner (NP) is and how are they similar and different than a physician?
  • Kudos are in order for a couple state agencies which have been stepping up efforts to make sure contributions from hard working Wisconsinites are not being skimmed off the top by people looking to scam the system.
  • We’ve been seeing all kinds of decorated Christmas trees in store windows and magazine pages for weeks now.
    Many are images of perfection, with color coordinated shiny glass balls, and elegantly twisted wired ribbon cascades. Others are themed creations—everything woodsy, pets or seashells. Still more are period pieces—Victorian lace, frontier rustic, or 1950s foil and plastic.