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  • 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 area...one 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 www.hundredpushups.com 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.
  • In this day and age, when it seems as though everyone has more to do in less time, it’s no surprise that stress management is a growing field of study and a popular self-help topic.
  • 2015 has been a very busy year for Calumet County supervisors and staff, but a most rewarding one.
    As we look back over the year, we made significant progress on a number of important projects.
  • I am very concerned about retirement and senior issues, especially the MPRA Law which was passed by sneaking it onto the 2014 Federal Omnibus spending bill.
    Over 90 percent of congressmen didn’t even know it was in the must pass spending bill. It was never publicly debated and had no public input. This new law wiped out a 40-year-old ERISA law which protected pensions. It must be stopped and reversed.
  • The greatest gift that our schools can give to this community is for each child to be prepared for their future ready to pursue any career they want by working, attending college or joining the military. Our district, takes this responsibility seriously. We understand that our goal as an educational institution is to find success for each and every student. As educators, we also know that we cannot do this alone. A successful educational organization is dependent upon great teachers, committed administrators, dedicated board members, involved parents and supportive community members. We also need support from our state’s policymakers.
  • The holiday season is a time for family, friends and celebrations.
    But between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, there is a tragic jump in the number of alcohol-related injuries and deaths due to traffic crashes and falls.
  • It is easy for citizens to take shots at government on all levels, but people also should be willing to commend government when it does something well.
    Such is the case with Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and his relatively new Office of Open Government (OOG). The office was created about six months ago and, in Schimel’s words, business is booming.
  • In Wisconsin (http://dma.wi.gov/dma/news/2015news/15162.asp) and across the nation, we are reducing the size of our armed forces and the National Guard.
    Do these cuts make sense given world events? It is a dangerous and uncertain world. Terrorist groups remain committed to harming America and our allies.
  • We polished off the last pieces of our Thanksgiving pies a few days ago—double-crust mincemeat and single crust pumpkin, to be specific.
    I’m kind of particular about my own pies, especially for holiday occasions, and insist on making the crust and filling from scratch, if at all possible. The resulting pies are memorable, and so is the mess in the kitchen. Consequently, washing dishes is a typical, although not cherished, holiday tradition at our house. Having said that, I must confess that I am not a total pie snob—just a partial one. I will happily eat short-cut, fast-fix, store bought, frozen or fast food versions of pies made (or purchased) by others. I guess I just like to challenge myself.
  • Chilton Public School District residents are encouraged to do what good citizens should do and stay informed on what could be a significant referendum coming their way in the spring.
  • A profound situation has been fostering in the area for several years now and it recently resulted in another Kohler strike.
    I do recall the Kohler strike back in the early ‘50s that got quite violent at times. I would hope that this one doesn’t escalate to those past proportions.
    I have numerous friends and relatives that work at Kohler Company. One presented me with several sheets of information regarding the back and forth dialogue between Kohler Company and the union. I read and re-read the offers and counter-offers, and my thoughts were, “confusion reigns.” Quite a boondoggle. A very close relative of mine stated that as a simple explanation, he hasn’t had a raise in five years and the newly offered raise would not cover the cost of his increased medical insurance and co-payments. So, bottom line, no increase in usable revenue in his household.
  • Between 1914 and 1918, nationalism died in Europe, and transformations occurred in many countries in the world.
    Russia, in 1917, terminated its alliance with the Allied Powers (Britain and France) because of the Communist Revolution. The Armistice of 1918 ended World War I. To establish peace, Britain and France were granted, by the League of Nations, mandates which guaranteed them complete control over their assigned countries. The French were mandated Syria and Lebanon, and Britain was assigned Palestine and Transjordan.
  • Dec. 10 in history:
    1799—Metric system adopted in France, first country to do so
    1884—Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published.
    1952—Clive Anderson, English lawyer and television host, is born. Man, I loved the original “Whose Line” show when growing up!
    1965—The Grateful Dead’s first concert performance under this new name.
  • Snowflakes are in the air. Temperatures have dipped into the 20s. It’s dark by 5 p.m. You don’t need me to tell you that chili season is here.
    Maybe you whipped up a batch for hunters to take up north, or made a big potful to warm up the crew after outside chores, or just needed a break from Thanksgiving leftovers. That bowl of chili really does hit the spot, doesn’t it?
  • Everyone is encouraged to take part in one or more of the many Christmas events being held this weekend in Chilton, New Holstein, Kiel and the surrounding area.
  • Teen boys MUST be allowed to change and shower next to high school girls.
     Does this statement sound absurd? Would this be an educational environment that fosters safety, dignity and privacy for our children? Absolutely not!
    For the past several months, I have been working on a bill, Assembly Bill 469, that, until recently, many legislators scoffed at, social media dubbed me the pee-pee police and school districts proudly touted local control. The legislation addresses what has been a misunderstood and important issue about privacy, safety, acceptance and balance in our schools. Sadly, though, the federal Department of Education (DOE), through the Department of Justice, is trying to unilaterally decide what is best for our Wisconsin high schoolers. The DOE has been actively suing individual school districts throughout the United States over the past year regarding who, on the basis of sex, is allowed to use a locker room or bathroom.
  • Thanksgiving is a holiday for all to reflect upon the good fortunes and the blessings we have received in our lives.
    I take the opportunity to pause, reflect, and give thanks. When a comment of praise is sent my way concerning the city, it is difficult to consider it a personal achievement. The success of New Holstein is a cumulative effort of those who live and work here. Each and every one of us contributes in our own special way.
  • Everyone has a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving—and make sure to take a moment on Thursday to think about that reason or reasons.
    For some people it might seem difficult to find one reason, let alone many. Everyone’s situation is different, and there can be a lot of hurt and pain in this world—physical or otherwise. For people of faith, they can be thankful for a God who is hearing their prayers and will answer them, and thankful for the paradise which awaits. Even those whose faith is absent or shaken can know that there are still good people in this world who are ready, willing and able to lend a hand or at least a prayer for them as well.
  • The attacks in Paris last week were about evil and terrorism, not about the religion of the terrorists.
    Some people are mistakenly targeting their anger about these ever increasing atrocities around the world toward the Muslim faith. That is no more fair than lumping together and describing Christians as mass murderers since many of those infamous people in U.S. history were brought up in that faith.
    The Islamic State or ISIS is killing Muslims, and mainstream Muslims detest that group and their acts. ISIS is also killing non-Muslims and has vowed to bring their terror to the U.S. as well.
  • It’s no accident that so many philosophers and writers have used the backbone as a metaphor for discipline, force of will or character. Your spine (or “backbone”) is the primary physical support for your body’s entire frame. It’s a remarkable piece of natural engineering composed of 33 separate vertebrae that act as a single unit to provide stability as well as flexibility while you’re sitting, standing or in motion. A healthy spine is both strong and resilient. With proper nutrition, exercise, postural habits and chiropractic care, it can allow us to lead an active lifestyle well into old age. However, poor biomechanics, injury and disease can cause problems with the spine that result in misalignment, inflammation, pain and restricted movement.
  • Now that the second week in November is here, day after day of unseasonably warm weather days are starting to give way to calendar appropriate fall temperatures.
    Our outdoor potted flowers are valiantly hanging on, with only a couple nights spent inside on the porch. Geraniums and impatiens, begonias and fuschias—they still look amazing. How often can that be said in Wisconsin this late in the season?
  • The week of Nov. 16-20 is American Education Week.
    This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. This year’s theme is “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility.  Below is the history of American Education Week taken from the National Education Association Website.  
  • Remember when the future of Social Security was the hot topic of the day?
    Well, the issue is still out there. It has not gone away, and it seems to be heating up again. The current presidential campaign has something to do with that, but it is an issue which needs to remain in the forefront.
  • Being admitted to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility is usually unexpected and stressful.
    Often it occurs after an injury or illness, so the person is dealing with multiple changes and worries at once. One of the most frequent questions is, “When am I going to go home?” Even though we may not have an exact answer at admission, it is something that we work on starting at admission. Many of our residents come to us for a “short-term rehab” stay. This means that they are at our facility to heal, get medical care and therapy to regain their independence.
  • It really irritates me when a favorite product of mine—health and beauty, cleaning supply or food item—suddenly disappears from store shelves.
    I’m not talking about a store being temporarily sold out of my favorites; when they’re gone, never to return, I’m frustrated. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me over the years. It’s almost as if there are industrial spies staked out near our house watching to see which products I use, so they can report back to their companies. “That’s right, boss, we’ve definitely got her hooked on product X; time to pull the plug!” And there I am, going through withdrawal symptoms again.
  • This week Senate leadership announced a five-stop economic development listening tour.
    The Senate Economic Development and Commerce Committee will be traveling around the state to gather feedback from local stakeholders and Economic Development groups. The main focus of the tour is to solicit input about how the Legislature can craft policies to keep Wisconsin's economy moving forward. Individuals can provide input to the committee either in person or via a Web site set up to support this tour.
  • Last April, we went to referendum for a new pool. The citizen's vote told the Board of Education and the Administration that the proposal allowing authority to build a new pool, in addition to a therapy pool and a remodeling of the locker rooms was too costly. The vote was a message from the citizens to review the needs related to the pool.
  • Take a moment next week during Wisconsin School Board Appreciation Week (Oct. 4-10) to thank a local school board member for their service to their school district.
    Like most government officials at the local level, school board members get paid very little but often have to endure much. There can be months of often mundane meetings, but then an issue will come along which packs a meeting room or library with suddenly riled up citizens.
  • The 2015-'16 school year is well under way, but not so far along that it has lost that "new car smell."
    It is certainly never too late for students, parents, and everyone involved with a child's education to rededicate themselves to the joys and importance of education. It is not too late in mid-September, and it is not too late in mid-May.
  • Before life settles down into a somewhat normal pattern this week it is fitting to take some time to look back at one of the last blasts of summer which occurred this past weekend-the county fairs.
    Specifically, a word of thanks is warranted for all the people who make these fairs happen-not just the fairs for Calumet and Sheboygan counties over the Labor Day weekend, but also the Manitowoc County Fair a week earlier and the Fond du Lac County Fair which was held in July.
  • It hit me all of a sudden Sunday morning-I was personally responsible for the Green Bay Packers' loss to Philadelphia on Saturday night.
    I know, it was only a pre-season game, so it doesn't count for the season, and if you listen to all the interviews (pre- and post-game), the coaches, commentators and players go on and on about the purpose of the preseason being to try out all the new players, blah, blah, blah...it's all about the deadline for roster cuts, blah, blah, blah...and that may very well be true.
  • In conversation with potential nursing candidates, the question often arises as to how much I make.
    My answer is that I hope to make a difference in just one patient's life everyday.
  • I've never been one to cut the cloth tags out of clothing-they contain useful information, after all, like washing instructions, brand name, where manufactured and the size. Hmmm, let me re-think that statement.
  • In recent years, Wisconsin has seen a large exodus of college graduates seeking opportunities in other states.
    According to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Morris Davis, on average the state lost roughly 14,000 college graduates per year between 2008 and 2012. Almost half of those who left were young adults between the ages of 21 and 24 who recently obtained degrees. To be sure, this loss of talent comes with consequences. This "brain drain" stunts entrepreneurial efforts, shrinks the tax base, and ultimately hinders the state's overall ability to innovate and grow economically.
  • The carnival trucks have rolled into town in preparation for the annual Kiel Picnic. Every August I tell my colleagues about the excitement I have outside my office window and brag that we start our school year off with a huge community picnic. I realize the Kiel Picnic has nothing to do with the start of a new school year; however the celebration is an indicator that school is just around the corner.
  • About a week ago the Milwaukee arena deal cleared another significant hurdle with passage by the Wisconsin Assembly.
    While there are still a few hurdles remaining-and anything can happen in politics-it appears the deal will get done. Milwaukee will get a new arena. That is a good thing, and here is why:
  • The word "hero" gets tossed around a lot, and people can always debate whether or not someone fits the bill.
    There was never any doubt that Kiel native Trevor Casper acted heroically that terrible day in March when the state trooper was gunned down in Fond du Lac. The release last week of the final report on the incident not only confirmed that but took his actions to an entirely different level.
  • There will be people-even some reading this right now-who believe Donald Trump can and should be America's next president.
    This week, Trump himself showed why that can not, should not, and will not happen.
  • Scott Walker made it official Monday-he is running for president-and now the real fun begins.
    Wisconsinites have had a little breather after an unprecedented run of big elections, but now the campaign cycle ramps up again. From now through next November, get ready to be flooded with rhetoric.
  • July 1 of each year marks the start of a new fiscal year for the Kiel Area School District. Unlike other business calendars that run from January 1 to December 31, school districts end the budget year on June 30. This means that summer work is filled with preparing for the annual audit and closing out one budget year while developing the next year's budget. In addition to budgeting, we focus on facilities projects and the interviewing and hiring new staff for vacant positions.
  • Commendations are in order for everyone who organized and in any way participated in last Saturday's New Holstein Youth Soccer Tournament.
    For a variety of reasons the number of teams in the tournament may have dwindled some over time, but this remains a major event for the community.
  • At work, shortly after moving to this area, I was asked to bring some ground up to the checkout stand.
  • From time to time everyone-including government entities-needs to take a step back, look at their policies and procedures, and ask themselves, "Is this really the best way to do things? Is it accomplishing what we hoped it would?"
    The federal government mandate that gasoline be blended with ethanol falls into that category. If nothing else, the questions need to be asked.
  • If Milwaukee is ever going to get a new arena to replace the Bradley Center, tax dollars are going to have to be part of the way it is funded.
    That does not mean just tax dollars from taxpayers living in the city of Milwaukee or the Milwaukee area, but quite probably tax dollars from taxpayers living in Chilton, Kiel, New Holstein, Ashland, Platteville, Peshtigo, etc.