PAGE 2 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - MARCH 17, 2010 Serving Northwest Wisconsin eader L MANAGER Doug Panek firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Gary B. King email@example.com STAFF Nancy Jappe firstname.lastname@example.org Tammi Milberg email@example.com Marty Seeger firstname.lastname@example.org Brenda Sommerfeld email@example.com Sherill Summer firstname.lastname@example.org Gregg Westigard email@example.com Carl Heidel firstname.lastname@example.org Priscilla Bauer email@example.com Mary Stirrat firstname.lastname@example.org Greg Marsten email@example.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Raelynn Hunter firstname.lastname@example.org Welding to blame in shed ﬁre by Marty Seeger FREDERIC – On Friday, March 12, the Frederic and Luck fire departments responded to a shed fire at the Gerald Knauber residence on 3274 130th St. Knauber called 911 at approximately 11 a.m., when a piece of equipment he was welding ignited the ﬁre. Both Frederic and Luck ﬁre departments fought the blaze for approximately three hours, but they were unable to save the items inside the building, which included a skid steer and several tools. “It damaged everything inside,” said Frederic Fire Chief Brian Daeffler, and added that the siding on a garage next to Knauber’s work shed was also damaged. Tuesday accident The Frederic Fire Department and Northland Ambulance was also called out on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 16, on 350th Avenue, for a one-vehicle accident. The man, whose name could not be released at press time, drove off the road and struck a tree. He was unharmed in the accident, and didn’t need transport by ambulance, but the car he was driving was totaled. The Frederic Fire Department was initially called because smoke could be seen rising from the car, but when they arrived, no ﬁre was reported, and the man was outside of the vehicle unharmed. Hay, baby A cooperative-owned newspaper, the Inter-County Leader is published every Wednesday by the Inter-County Cooperative Publishing Association, Box 490, Frederic, WI 54837. Second Class postage paid at Frederic, WI 54837. Seven-month-old Kate Reedy of Spooner delights in a 4-day-old goat at the Home Sweet Home Show held at Webster this past weekend, March 13 and 14. - Photo by Sherill Summer Clouds on the ground HOW TO REACH US Web page: www.the–leader.net E-mail: email@example.com (send all news releases here) DA awaits evidence SIREN - No charges have been ﬁled as of yet on the snowmobile fatality that killed Jeffery Busse of Webster on Feb. 4. Burnett County District Attorney Bill Norine explained that there is still some forensic information that is being collected on the fatality, and he wants to take his time to determine his options in this matter. He is not sure when a ﬁnal decision will be made whether or not to ﬁle charges other than the operating while intoxicated and illegal operation of snowmobile on road that have already been charged to three individuals. The statutes of limitations is six years. - Sherill Summer Subscription concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertisements: email@example.com Deadline for ads: 10 a.m. Tuesdays Deadline for copy: 4:30 p.m. Mondays OFFICES Frederic P.O. Box 490, Frederic, WI 54837 (M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) 715-327-4236 Fax - 715-327-4117 (news copy) Fax - 715-327-4870 (ad copy) Siren 24154 State Road 35, Siren, WI 54872 (M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) 715-349-2560 Fax - 715-349-7442 Program/from page 1 and ends with a speciﬁc challenge to parents and community leaders, showing them how they can reinforce the decisions their youth are making. School counselors, Julie Bever and Douglas Ramich, are helping prepare staff for activities for staff members to use with students before and after the program. Contact Ramich at 715-825-2101, ext. 2170 with any questions. Check out the Rachel’s Challenge Web site for more information. www.rachelschallenge.org — with submitted information St. Croix Falls Box 338, St. Croix Falls, WI 54024 (M-W, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. T-F, 9:30 - 4 p.m.) 715-483-9008 Fax - 715-483-1420 How to subscribe: The Inter-County Leader [ISS No. 87509091] is published weekly. Subscription prices are $34/yr. in Polk and Burnett counties; $38/yr. in Barron, Chisago, Washburn, St. Croix counties; $41/yr. anywhere in the United States $23/yr. for servicemen or women; $23/yr. for students or schools (9 months). Payment is needed before we can start the subscription. No refunds on subscriptions. Persons may subscribe online at www.the-leader.net, write us at Inter-County Leader, Box 490, Frederic, WI 54837, or stop by one of our three ofﬁces. Thick fog provided a surreal backdrop in this photo and it also created some hazardous driving conditions for area drivers this week. - Photo by Gary King Board of directors Vivian Byl, chair Charles Johnson Merlin Johnson Janet Oachs Carolyn Wedin Mudslide, ﬂ ooding at Taylors Falls An award-winning newspaper 2009 Member • National Newspaper Association • Wisconsin Newspaper Association The Inter-County Leader is a qualified newspaper for the publication of legal notices, meeting the requirements as set forth in Chapter 985.03 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Every government ofﬁcial or board that handles public money should publish at regular intervals an accounting of it, showing where and how each dollar is spent. We hold this to be a fundamental principle of democratic government. Publisher reserves right to reject any advertisement or news release or letter of opinion at any time. A mudslide along Hwy. 8 north of Taylors Falls forced the closing of the highway last Thursday evening at about 6 p.m., March 11. Minnesota DOT crews had the highway cleared and open to traffic by late Friday. Runoff from melting snow, along with rain, also created flooding of the cement tour boat dock at Taylors Falls which usually stands at least 2 to 3 feet above water level (photo at right). Photo above kare11.com; photo at right by Rob Harrison Brieﬂy BALSAM LAKE - The Polk County Historical Society will meet Tuesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. at the Community Room of the Polk County Justice Center. Speaker Linda Lee will present button history. The buttons of the past 300 years mirror great people and events of many eras. Reﬂecting back in history we have the George Washington button, the Victorian buttons, The National Recovery Act buttons and children’s buttons. Most people are attracted to buttons by their surprising beauty or uniqueness. Buttons are made of many materials from porcelain, colorful enamels, brass, glass and plastic. Button collecting has tripled in the past decade, according to Lee. She became a collector of buttons in 1989 and has collected buttons from all over the United States and in Canada. She inherited her grandmother’s button collection which she displays proudly. Lee has been past president of the local Button Club in Amery. She will be speaking about her travels and collection, care, value, and how to display your buttons. She will answer questions and will help identify your button. If you would like to know more about button associations she will bring convention information. - from PCHS ••• NEW RICHMOND - The Criminal Justice Club at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College invites the public to attend a pancake breakfast with all the trimmings on Sunday, March 28, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Amery VFW. The breakfast is to help raise funds for students to visit and learn about prisons in other parts of the U.S. - from WITC ••• MILLTOWN - The Milltown Public Library will host a Meet the Candidates event this Thursday, March 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. Candidates for the Milltown Village Board and current members will be on hand to answer questions. Take this opportunity to share ideas about the future of the village in a casual environment. Refreshments will be served courtesy of the Friends of the Milltown Public Library. - with submitted information ••• FREDERIC - The Frederic Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Communitywide Garage Sale will be held May 8. The Chamber is encouraging all local residents to take part in this sale. Ad costs are priced at a low, reasonable price to beneﬁt those who participate. Area businesses are also encouraged to place ads to support this event. Please contact Carol Thompson at 715-327-4271 for entry or ad information. - with submitted information MARCH 17, 2010 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - PAGE 3 Construction will resume soon on the St. Croix Tribe of Chippewa’s new casino, which is expected to be open by July 1, featuring more than 400 slot machines, 12 table games, a new restaurant, buffet, deli, bar and lounge. The facility will also include a convention center and an attached 50-room hotel with an indoor pool. Construction has been at a standstill for most of the past year as the economy made it difﬁcult for the tribe to fund the project. This past week that changes with the securement of $55 million in loans. Miron Construction is the primary contractor for the project- Photo by Gary King Tribe secures funding to complete casino Signing of loan papers last week marks a big step forward for St. Croix Tribe, area economy HERTEL - The St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin have announced that funding has been secured for the completion of their new casino in Danbury. A total of $55 million will be available to the tribe for the construction project. Heartland Business Bank of Green Bay is funding a $17-million conventional loan for construction and a $38-million loan guaranteed by the Department of the Interior. Loan papers were signed at a special ceremony at the Hole in the Wall Casino & Hotel in Danbury last Thursday, March 11. “We need to show that we are progressive and competitive as a tribe and today is the start of that,” St. Croix Tribal Chairman Lewis Taylor said of the loan closing. Construction has been at a standstill for most of the past year as the economy made it difficult for the tribe to fund the project. Construction will resume on the Danbury project in late March. The tribe projects completion of the new facility by July 1. The Department of Interior’s Indian Affairs ofﬁce announced last year that it would be offering federally guaranteed loans for American Indian owned businesses “to signiﬁcantly improve the quality of life in tribal communities nationwide. Overall, the Department of Interior will invest more than $3 billion through President Obama’s economic recovery plan. The St. Croix Tribe, with casinos in Turtle Lake, Hertel and Danbury, generates millions of dollars in revenue each year and employment for tribal members and hundreds of local residents in northwestern Wisconsin. - Gary King, with information from St. Croix Tribe Governor acts on tribal chairman’s suggestion Taylor urges lawmakers to support bill to allow mutual aid between tribal law enforcement and sheriff’s department MADISON/HERTEL - Presenting the sixth-annual State of the Tribes address to legislators at the state Capitol recently, St. Croix Tribal Chairman Lewis Taylor suggested appointing a Native American to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. Lewis Taylor “If we can have some Native American sitting in the state Board of Regents as we develop curriculum for the future of our great state, recognizing sovereignty,” Taylor said Gov. Jim Doyle responded by appointing, last Thursday, the ﬁrst Native American to the UW Board of Regents. Eau Claire attorney Ed Manydeeds will serve on the board, pending conﬁrmation by the state Senate. Taylor said that’s fast work. “Yeah. As a matter of fact, what I think the atmosphere in Wisconsin is really changing in recognizing that Indian people have contributed greatly to society and now it’s an honor to them to serve us.” Taylor, wearing his signature white cowboy hat, addressed legislators on behalf of the state’s 11 tribal nations. He talked of the need for more school funding, improved highways, and better broadband access on reservations. He repeatedly stressed the need for more jobs, noting that the recession has hit “Indian Country” hard as with the rest of the nation. Taylor said tribal communities are being especially hard hit in part because of their remote locations. He added that Indian people have always been “dedicated to endure,” and native communities create employment that serves both tribal and non-tribal communities. Mutual aid bill Taylor also called for action on Assembly Bill 737 that would help tribal police work more closely with their state counterparts and get the same retirement beneﬁts. Right now the tribe’s law enforcement ofﬁcers are unable to offer mutual aid to Burnett County officers - and vice-versa - due to an opinion issued by the state attorney general. “Is that what you call progress?” Taylor asked “I don’t think so. Let’s work together. Let’s protect each other - we need some relief in tribal law enforcement activity.” Taylors comments were met with applause. Taylor’s entire speech can be listened to at www.wrn.com/2010/02/state-ofthe-tribes-at-capitol/ - Gary King with information from Wisconsin Public Radio and National Public Radio Nominations sought FREDERIC - The Frederic Area Chamber of Commerce is now taking nominations for the 2010 Volunteer and Citizen of the Year. Nominations can be submitted by calling Carol Thompson at 715-327-4271 or going to Affordable Quality on Main Street during the day to fill out a brief nomination form. All forms need to be received by March 31 for consideration. – submitted Bank number looks good Two-vehicle accident Emergency responders tend to a vehicle driven by Stephen J. Perner, 70, Grantsburg, who was involved in an accident on Thursday, March 11. Perner was westbound on Assembly Road in Wood River Township when he pulled from a stop sign at the intersection of Assembly Road and Williams Road and into the path of a southbound vehicle on Williams Road driven by Spencer A. Wicklund, 23, Frederic. Wicklund’s vehicle is shown in the background. Perner was issued a citation for failure to yield the right of way. Melanie Perner, 62, of Grantsburg was injured in the accident and required medical transport. - Photo from the Burnett County Sheriff’s Department All thoughts of winter melted away when the thermometer at Grantsburg’s U.S. Bank branch hit a warm 61 degrees on March 14, making for a very pleasant and springlike Sunday afternoon. - Photo by Priscilla Bauer PAGE 4 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - MARCH 17, 2010 B U R N E T T C O U N T Y H E A D L I N E S Manthey retires from DNR by Carl Heidel GRANTSBURG - Wisconsin DNR avian ecologist Pat Manthey has decided it’s time to retire. Sort of. She’s really just shifting gears a bit as she moves from paid full-time staff to part-time volunteer. Friends and co-workers gathered at the Crex Center in Grantsburg last Friday evening, March 12, to celebrate her work and to wish her well in retirement. Manthey’s passion for wildlife is lifelong. She started out to become a chemist, and then in graduate school became a biologist. But all she really wanted, according to her, was to have “someone give me a job watching birds.” That request was granted, but the watching involved a lot of restoring and rescuing. Manthey was instrumental in the successful efforts to reintroduce the trumpeter swan to Wisconsin after it was extirpated in the late 1800s by over harvesting, and in recent years she has led rescue operations to heal injured swans and return them to the wild. She has also had a role in other restoration projects, among them working to bring ospreys back again. And she has been a key ﬁgure in forging supportive relationships between wildlife groups and commercial and industrial organizations. Manthey claims that now that she is retiring she plans to return to part-time volunteer work, but from the twinkle in her eye when she says that, and from the mud boots on her feet ready to slog out into the muck to rescue a bird, there is some question about “part time.” All that retirement will do, really, is give her more time to just watch birds. Pat Manthey, retiring Wisconsin DNR avian ecologist, had a few tales to tell to the crowd gathered at her retirement party. – Photos by Carl Heidel Mary Wicklund (L), a volunteer worker in the avian rescue program, and Pat Manthey (R) swapped a few stories at Manthey’s retirement party. Webster schools continue development of enrichment classes by Carl Heidel WEBSTER - Webster schools have their own version of No Child Left Behind, and it has nothing to do with failed federal educational programs. That was the word given to the Webster Board of Education at its meeting Monday, March 15. Three of the schools’ teachers told the board that staff and administration are continuing to develop and expand a plan to provide enrichment for all eligible students. For students who are struggling with their class work there is a growing sees is staff education. She said that resources for these programs are abundant, and teaching staff need to be informed as to what resources are available. Jill Norman, high school guidance counselor, provided a broad overview of efforts at the high school level to provide Advanced Placement classes. She indicated that students who participate in the AP program are in a better position when it comes to competing for acceptance by colleges and universities. Norman commented that these students are more readily accepted for admission to the higher education schools where recruiters are beginning to seek out students with AP classes in their resumes. In addition, students who have gone through the AP program have a better chance to get scholarships, and in many cases they can either test out of basic college classes or receive college credits for their high school AP work. High school language arts teacher and AP English teacher Kendra Avery said that even AP students who do not continue into college have an advantage as they enter the workforce. They have learned work skills such as collaboration, reasoning, problem solving and writing and communication skills that employers are looking for in the people they hire. Avery noted that although only about 16 percent of the students pass the rigorous final AP exam, 80 percent of those Kendra Avery, AP English teacher, described the benefits for students who complete the AP course work. system of remediation activities to help these students to achieve at their grade level. For students who do not ﬁnd sufficient challenge in regular classroom studies there is an expanding set of enrichment offerings to allow them to explore beyond classroom limits. Third-grade teacher Kari Roppe told the board that elementary teachers are offering both remedial programs and gifted and talented programs. Attempts to ﬁnd the students who need these special offerings begin already at the kindergarten and ﬁrst-grade levels. One of the big challenges that Roppe High school guidance counselor Jill Norman described the Advanced pPacement program. – Photos by Carl Heidei who complete the course will succeed in college and manage to complete their college work in four years or less. And all students in the AP program are able to boost their grade point average scores. In other business the board: • approved open enrollment requests for 2010-2011; • approved a tuition agreement with the Siren School District; • and approved youth option requests from Anne Kelby, Shaina Pardun and Tiffani DeMarre. Kari Roppe, third-grade teacher, said that resources for elementary enrichment programs are abundant. Woman warned not to drive gets OWI WEBSTER – Lashane Oiyotte, 25, Webster, was arrested and charged with OWI, third offense, on March 14 shortly after midnight. The arresting officer reported talking to her when she was on foot at about 11:30 that night and she appeared quite intoxicated. She allegedly admitted to being drunk. She was trying to get her car door open at the time and the officer advised her not to drive. She walked off, but about an hour and a half later the ofﬁcer saw the car drive by. He followed the car, stopped it, and arrested Oiyotte after giving ﬁeld-sobriety tests. Other OWI arrests this past week included: • Veronica Blackburn, 37, Balsam Lake, was arrested and charged with OWI and operating with prohibited alcohol content on March 14. Police were called to the Top Spot tavern in Balsam Lake with the report of a hit-and-run, a vehicle had hit another parked vehicle. Witnesses had gotten the license plate number. The officer went to the home of the registered owner and found Blackburn and the vehicle there. Blackburn admitted being at the Top Spot and said she didn’t realize she had hit another car. She was given ﬁeld sobriety tests and arrested. Her breath test registered .14. • Emily Wirth, 28, Osceola, was stopped after a police ofﬁcer that was following her vehicle saw her drive it into the ditch twice, then return to the road past the center of the road. She was given ﬁeld sobriety tests, including a breath test, which registered .208. She was charged with OWI, ﬁrst offense. • Brian Kochendorfer, 37, Stillwater, Minn., was stopped while driving near Osceola for speeding and erratic driving and was arrested for OWI, ﬁrst offense. — with information from the Polk County Sheriff’s Dept. Edina Realty Realtors receive recognition SIREN - Edina Realty recently announced that the following Realtors from the Siren ofﬁce have been named members of Edina Realty’s President’s or Leadership Circles: Len Chute, President’s Circle; and Ann Boudewyns and Bobbie Knudson, Leadership Circle. Members of Edina Realty’s Circles are those who achieved an outstanding level of sales performance and customer service in 2009. “Becoming a President’s and Leadership Circle member takes exceptional market knowledge, expertise, negotiation skills and a high level of customer service,” said Bob Peltier, Edina Realty president and CEO. “It’s because of these agents’ hard work, dedication, and outstanding skills that Edina Realty continues to outperform the market year after year.” - with submitted information MARCH 17, 2010 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - PAGE 5 P O L K C O U N T Y H E A D L I N E S Liquor license for Wayne's denied again Luck looks to promote economic development by Mary Stirrat LUCK — For the second time in nine months, Wayne’s Foods in Luck has applied for and been denied a license to sell liquor at its store on Hwy. 35 at Butternut Avenue. The Luck Village Board voted on the application at its March 10 meeting, denying it on a vote of three to two. Voting in favor of granting the license were trustees Gene Cooper and Peter Demydowich, with Marsha Jensen, Lori Pardun and President Steve Nielsen opposed. Trustee Jen Nelson was absent from the meeting, and there is one vacancy on the board. When Wayne’s applied last July, the board denied the application by a vote of four to three. Since that time, the board has realized that an ordinance allowing only one liquor license in the village is somewhat vague, and that the board must provide a reason for the denial. The reason must ﬁt criteria outlined by the state, including health and safety concerns, proximity to churches or schools, and public opposition. The discussion during the meeting as recorded in the minutes, said village attorney Adam Jarchow, will provide adequate reasoning. Discussion included reference to a petition with nearly 300 signatures opposing the license and the need to maintain the businesses on Main Street, the Bottle Shop in particular. Had the license been granted, the store would have built an addition of 2,800 square feet, using local contractors, at a projected cost of $150,000 to $175,000. Three to ﬁve new employees would have been hired, some full time and some part time. “It will create new jobs in Luck,” said store manager Bob Determan while explaining the proposal. “There’s no doubt about that.” Determan said that the addition would be “contagious,” creating “a proactive climate of growth and prosperity.” The village would realize additional revenue through an expanded tax base, and the increased customer base would take advantage of downtown businesses. Resident Eric Dueholm spoke against issuing the license, saying that the total tax increase to the village would be about $1,100. He said that the village would stand to lose more than that since the current liquor store would most likely go out of business. Chuck Adleman also spoke against the license, believing it more important that business be kept on Main Street. “If we start losing things like the Bottle Shop,” he said, “we’re going to lose business after business after business. “Main Streets don’t die overnight,” he said. “They die one business at a time.” Both Cooper and Demydowich, the two trustees who spoke in favor of granting the license, said they believed that giving Wayne’s the ability to sell liquor will beneﬁt the downtown businesses. Both also alluded to the fact that the board does not have the authority to grant or deny licenses to other businesses wanting to locate within the village, but the selling of liquor is under different regulations. Cooper told the board that he does not foresee new home or industrial construction within the village over the next few years, and felt this is a good way to increase the tax base. He also said that a successful business must be able to expand in order to be competitive. “I see this as an absolute plus to the community,” he said. After the vote to deny the license, Determan asked if there was any appeal process that the store can take. Attorney Jarchow said that an appeal can be made through circuit court. In related business, the board discussed the need to change the village ordinance regarding the issuance of liquor licenses. The current ordinance allows only one such license in the village, but the wording is vague. According to discussion, the board will need to determine the number of licenses it wishes to allow, and firm up the language to indicate its decision. Economic development Similar to last summer, when the board denied Wayne’s application for a liquor license, the board went into a discussion on economic development. A flyer about economic development within the village has been developed, covering topics such as “What is economic development?” “Why should the public and private sectors be concerned about economic development?” “Does economic development really matter?” and “What is the economic impact of gaining or losing jobs?” The board discussed mailing the ﬂyers out to residents of both the village and town of Luck, at a total estimated cost of $400. Demydowich asked whether the township was going to put any money toward the mailing, saying, “If this is going to beneﬁt the town, too, I’d like to see them kick in some tax dollars.” The board voted to mail the ﬂyers only to village residents, at a cost of about $200, and ask the town to help with mailing them to township residents. Membership in the Polk County Economic Development Corporation was also discussed, with the board voting to put $1,000 toward membership. Actual membership requested was $1,226, or $1 per village resident. The board reduced that amount by $200 to cover the cost of mailing the ﬂyers. Because the village may possibly be establishing a “Lucky Bucks” program that might cost $750, Demydowich opposed the $1,000 membership. Other business • Library director Jill Glover presented the annual report for the library, indicating total circulation of more than 42,000 items and more than 2,100 registered There were 288 programs users. throughout the year, with 1,561 participants, not including events like Santa Day. Glover thanked the board for its support, and also thanked the library volunteers who provide numerous hours to help the library operate smoothly. • The board approved the consolidation of the parks and recreation committee with the public works committee, calling it the public services committee. Demydowich was named chair of the committee, and Cooper and Nielsen were appointed as members. • The board accepted the resignation of parks and recreation employee Mike Smith. The letter of resignation was dated March 4 and was effective immediately. Dates set for administrator hiring Applicant ﬁeld narrowed to 10 by Gregg Westigard BALSAM LAKE – The hiring process for the selection of a Polk County administrator is moving ahead on schedule. The selection committee, at its meeting Monday, March 15, narrowed the ﬁeld of applicants for the position and set the next dates for the process. The Polk County Board plans on hiring an administrator at a special board meeting April 13. There were 47 applications for the county administrator position. That ﬁeld has now been narrowed to 10 names with three alternates. Those 10 will be interviewed on video and the taped interviews brought to the selection committee in two weeks. Information on the 47 was presented by Denise and Bill Frueh of Public Administration Associates, the firm hired to aid in the hiring process. The review on applications and narrowing was done in closed session at the end of the Monday meeting. Before that closed session, the committee set the dates for the rest of the process. First up is a meeting of the selection committee on Monday, March 29. The committee will narrow the field from 10 names to four at that meeting. Those four will be invited to an interview and get-acquainted meeting Friday and Saturday, April 9 and 10. The Friday date will be a reception where the ﬁnalists and their spouses will meet informally with the county board members and their spouses at Paradise Landing. The Saturday session will be a series of interviews and related exercises. Taking part in that session will be the selection committee and other county board members plus some county staff members. The full details on the Saturday involvement will be decided on March 29. At the close of the Saturday session, the selection committee will discuss the candidates and make a recommendation of a county administrator candidate. The county board will meet Tuesday, April 13, to make a selection and extend a job offer. That meeting will be the ﬁnal session for the present board. The new board, elected the previous Tuesday, April 6, will take ofﬁce April 20. The Monday meeting was the ﬁrst inperson meeting with the Fruehs. Present at the meeting were the three supervisors on the committee, Bryan Beseler, Patricia Schmidt and Ken Sample, and the five department heads on the committee, Sara McCurdy, Sherry Gjonnes, Gretchen Sampson, Deb Peterson and Todd Demers. Also present were Supervisors Bob Dueholm, Kathy Kienholz and Jim Edgell. The meeting was staffed by corporation counsel Jeff Fuge and employee relations manager Darlene Kusmirek. Supervisor candidate Jim Drabek and the press were present for the open part of the meeting. Bill and Denise Frueh presented information on the 47 applicants for the Polk County administrator position. - Photos by Gregg Westigard All members of the CA selection committee and several supervisors were present to review the county administrator applications. PAGE 6 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - MARCH 17, 2010 P O L K C O U N T Y H E A D L I N E S Board defeats furniture purchase Approves unfunded training room study by Gregg Westigard BALSAM LAKE – The Polk County Board defeated a resolution to purchase $39,268 of ofﬁce furniture improperly ordered last December. The vote came at the monthly county board meeting Tuesday, March 16. Only eight supervisors voted for the resolution which would have solved part of the issue of what to do with the 80 chairs and 40 tables from the voided order that are now stacked in two rooms at the government center. In a related vote, the supervisors approved a study of how to outfit some rooms in that building for use as training and conference rooms. The furniture was ordered by Human Services Director Sherry Gjonnes in late December. Her action violated three sections of the county purchasing policy and the order is void even though the furniture was delivered and paid for. The furniture would have been used to outﬁt conference and training rooms at the government center even though the training facility idea was not part of the county’s capital improvement plan. The furniture order had not been approved by the human services board. The vote to purchase the furniture after the fact was eight in favor and 14 opposed. It would have taken a two thirds majority, 15 votes, to approve the resolution. Voting to approve the purchase were Bob Dueholm, Patricia Schmidt, Marvin Caspersen, James Edgell, Ken Sample, Russ Arcand, Jay Luke and Gerald Newville. Voting against the purchase were Joan Peterson, Dean Johansen, Herschel Brown, Kathryn Kienholz, Wendy Rattel, Brian Masters, Craig Moriak, Mick Larsen, Diane Stoneking, Bryan Beseler, Larry Jepsen, Kim O’Connell, Gary Bergstrom and Larry Voelker. Neil Johnson was absent. The furniture issue drew a round of government center for use as training and conference rooms. The concept is that this could save money by requiring less staff travel time and expense for professional training. In addition, technology improvements in several rooms, including the county board room, would allow better public access to county business and increase government transparency, according to a resolution authorizing an evaluation of the technology. A similar resolution was defeated at the January board meeting. The resolution the board considered calls for an investigation of what it would take to purchase and install audio and visual equipment in the county board room and audio equipment in three conference rooms. The resolution is called a study of Purchase of Conference Room/Training Equipment. After much discussion, the resolution for the study passed by a vote of 15 to 7. Much of the discussion in a long debate was on whether to add $70,000 in funding for the completion of the study. During that discussion it became known that the study has already been done. Todd Demers, information technology director, presented a detailed plan titled Evaluation/Consideration of Purchase of Conference Room / Training Equipment. His plan said that the county board room could be equipped for sound and video and three conference rooms equipped for sound for $63,000. An alternate upgrade of the three conference rooms would bring the price up an additional $35,000 to $98,000. Another part of the Demers plan would equip the rooms for videoconferencing. That would add $18,000 to the cost. A January county board resolution on outﬁtting rooms for training and conferencing called for spending up to $200,000. With the Demers plan and the furniture issue, details on the cost of that January request are now available. The full technology segment would cost $116,000 and the furniture for the rooms $40,000 for a total of $156,000. Some of the 80 chairs and 40 tables purchased in December and now stored in the county conference rooms. - Photo by Gregg Westigard criticism during the public comment section of the meeting. James Drabek, Balsam Lake, called for the supervisors to be accountable to the taxpayers and vote the purchase down. Tom Magnafici, Garfield, said local businesses would have loved to bid on the order and called the proposed purchase an outrage. And James Duncan, Balsam Lake, said that the action gives every county employee a black eye. Duncan added, “ﬁre the person” who made the voided order. Some supervisors argued for completing the purchase, saying that the purpose, setting up a conference/training facility, is valid and would save the county money. Sample said the vote should be a ﬁnancial decision and not a personal vote on what was done. Schmidt said, “We must make the most of a bad situation.” Edgell said mistakes were made and will be dealt with by the human services board, but the purchase should be made. Sample asked if the supervisors were prepared to take a $20,000 loss getting rid of the furniture. Bergstrom said the furniture was not budgeted and not necessary. He called the resolution “laundering a bad transaction.” Stoneking said the resolution bails out an unauthorized purchase. Jepsen said the county did not need the furniture and it had never been requested. Masters said there had been attempts to keep the invalid purchase hidden. Masters added that the people are livid about the issue. With the purchase of the furniture defeated, the board passed a resolution to dispose of the items by any means necessary. The seller, Staples, has said the items were special order and not returnable. The county property director was directed to dispose of the 80 chairs and 40 tables. The human services board will deal with the personnel issue related to the policies violations at a future meeting. Technology study The furniture was to be used as part of a project to equip several rooms at the Polk Finance Committee opposes furniture purchase Human service chair calls for return by Gregg Westigard BALSAM LAKE – “Don’t buy the furniture” is the recommendation of the Polk County Finance Committee. A resolution to purchase the $39,000 worth of furniture improperly ordered by the human services department was considered at the county board meeting Tuesday evening, March 16. The finance committee, at its meeting Thursday, March 11, went on record opposing that resolution. On Monday, March 15, at a special meeting of the human services board, board Chair Diane Stoneking said that the furniture should be returned to the seller as soon as possible. Finance meeting The finance committee was unanimous in recommending nonpassage of the furniture resolution. Jeff Fuge, corporation counsel for the county, said that the December purchase of training room equipment made by Human Services Director Sherry Gjonnes did not follow the county purchasing policy and is void. He added that the order of 80 chairs, 40 tables and other items was a special order from the supplier and cannot be returned. The items have been delivered and paid for and are stacked in two rooms at the government center. “Can we look at the taxpayers and justify a $40,000 expense?” county Board Chair Bryan Beseler asked. “Last fall we were talking about what jobs we could save. This project is the cost of a person. We have a training room. We don’t need ﬁve.” “Human services knew they were going to have a budget surplus last summer,” ﬁnance Chair Gary Bergstrom said. “They knew and they did not share that with us when we were working on the budget.” (Gjonnes has said the funds for the training room furniture would come from the HS department 2009 surplus. Department surplus levy money returns to the county general fund). The motion to recommend nonpassage was made by Beseler and seconded by Kathryn Kienholz. Joining them in opposing the purchase were Bergstrom, Brian Masters and Mick Larsen. If the full board fails to approve buying the furniture, the county will need to dispose of the items. Fuge said there would probably be a ﬁnancial loss in the process. “I don’t know when I have been that mad,” Beseler said, talking about his reaction when he first saw the rooms full of chairs and found out what had happened. The human services meeting “I have heard lots of outrage about this purchase,” Stoneking said. “I am not happy with this at all.” With that statement, Stoneking asked for a motion to return the $39,000 invalid furniture order to Staples, the firm that sold the furniture and supplies the county with much of its ofﬁce supplies. Stoneking said that Staples should make an effort to help the county dispose of the furniture, given the volume of business Polk County does with the ﬁrm. It was pointed out that the order of chairs and tables was a special order and not from stock and was not covered by a standard return policy. The committee approved a motion to work with Staples to attempt a return at the least loss to the county. During the discussion, Supervisor Craig Moriak asked Fuge who the furniture, now piled in two meeting rooms at the government center, belongs to. “The county is in possession of it but it does not own it,” Fuge said. “Ms. Gjonnes owns it.” Candidates forum set for March 30 in Balsam Lake Sponsored by Community Education BALSAM LAKE – Community Education staff in Polk County are working together to create a public forum for Polk County Board of Supervisor candidates. On Tuesday, March 30, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Unity School in Balsam Lake, Polk County residents and county board candidates will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face and discuss issues and concerns. Unity Community Ed has hosted several candidate forums in the past, using a panel-style discussion with prepared questions and time-lines. This forum will be a departure from that format, with the intention of giving constituents the opportunity to speak directly to the representative(s) who are in the voters’ home districts. The inclusion of Community Ed staff from Amery, Osceola, Frederic, Luck and St. Croix Falls in planning and managing the forum will ensure that constituents and candidates from every district will be informed before the April 6 election. Letters of invitation have been sent to all candidates, and “response so far has been very good,” says Tanna Worrell of the host location, Unity School Community Ed. Coffee and refreshments will be available at the forum, and each resident will receive a handout with a map of the district areas, as well as a list of candidates running in each district. It is expected that discussions between candidates and residents will be genuine and respectful, and that each person will have the opportunity to spend time with the candidate(s) in their home district. Unity School is located on Hwy. 46, between Balsam Lake and Milltown. The forum will take place in the High School Cafeteria. For more information, please call your local Community Ed: Unity – 715-825-2101, ext. 1560; Amery – 715-2689771, ext. 220; Osceola – 715-294-2127, ext. 407; Frederic – 715-327-4868; St. Croix Falls – 715-483-9823, ext. 224; Luck – 715-472-2152, ext. 103. - submitted MARCH 17, 2010 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - PAGE 7 P O L K C O U N T Y H E A D L I N E S Deputy takes stand in own defense Committee weighs over 20 hours of testimony; decision expected Tuesday by Greg Marsten BALSAM LAKE – The dismissal hearing focusing on embattled Polk County Sheriffs’ Deputy Eric Swan wrapped up on Wednesday, March 10, with the deputy himself taking the stand in his own defense. Previous testimony was outlined in a Leader story last week (March 10 issue). A decision on whether Deputy Swan will be dismissed is expected Tuesday, March 23. (See sidebar story). In the final day of testimony last Wednesday, Swan disputed allegations that he used “inappropriate force” in an incident in Amery last August where he assisted a municipal officer in a suspected DUI arrest, captured on a squad car dash cam. He also saw few discrepancies between his report of the incident and the video account. The video in question went through serious scrutiny, with sheriffs’ officials implying that it was merely the latest evidence in Swan’s lengthy disciplinary record that includes several squad car crashes and resulting disciplinary procedures, including a previous attempt to dismiss him when a motorcyclist was injured during one of his driving incidents. Administration officials cited the latest issue as another example of “overly aggressive” tactics used by the deputy in his nearly six years of employment with the PCSD. Swan’s union attorney contended that the policies he is accused of violating are too vague, dangerous and subjective to be applied reasonably, and also disputed his role in the video takedown incident, and subsequent reporting allegations. Sheriff Tim Moore moved to dismiss Swan from the force recently, which Swan appealed through his union, the Wisconsin Police Professionals Association. His case went before the county Public Protection and Judicial Committee in three days of testimony, culminating with Wednesday’s testimony by Swan and two of his supervisors, Sgt. Brent Waak and Sgt. Mike Stoffel. Both sergeants supported Swan’s use of his PR-24 nightstick in the disputed arrest on Aug. 30 in Amery, where he was assisting an Amery police officer in the control of a man suspected of driving while intoxicated. “He took rapid control of the subject,” Waak stated, supporting the so-called “arm bar takedown” and following thigh strike with the baton, while Amery ofﬁcer David Drinkwine aimed his Taser at the subject. “He’s obviously not complying.” Sgt. Waak later admitted Swan could’ve followed several courses of action instead, and also revealed an incident where Swan may have been less than honest in an incident report. That issue goes back to when Swan’s squad car was damaged after colliding with a Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Swan took the stand Wednesday in his own defense to allegations of “inappropriate force” in an arrest, and errors in his ofﬁcial report of that incident. – Photos by Greg Marsten signpost on Hwy. 8, claiming he was avoiding a driver in the wrong lane. ‘I though there was maybe some issues with how this happened,” Sgt. Waak stated. “When he reported it to me, he tried to minimize what happened.” Sgt. Mike Stoffel also supported his colleague’s conduct in the Amery arrest, calling it a “good use of force.” “They either comply, fight or flight,” Stoffel said. “You move to control the situation so they don’t do the other two [ﬁght or ﬂight].” However, Stoffel also admitted he had concerns about Swan’s driving, “at one time.” When put on the stand, Swan outlined his more than two decades of work in law enforcement, which included five years as the Clear Lake Police Chief, and various municipalities where he was an ofﬁcer. He also admitted to being ﬁred 26 years prior in Davenport, Iowa, for an alleged use of excessive force incident, in a brawl with an intoxicated man. (PCSD and Clear Lake officials were aware of the ﬁring.) Swan also admitted to being the brunt of a dispute in Clear Lake prior to joining the PCSD, due to an arrest involving the son of the local ﬁre chief. “Overnight I went from being a good guy...to otherwise,” he said with a shrug, adding later that the man’s blood alcohol level was “several times the legal limit,” and that he felt the arrest was “the right thing to do.” Swan was also put under the microscope in his review of the videotaped Amery arrest, and was adamant that the disputed incident report was correct, even though the timeline didn’t seem to jibe with his account at times. The primarily issue seemed to be over what he heard Amery Ofﬁcer Drinkwine tell the subject of the arrest, Mark Robarge, as he made a stumbling move toward him. In dispute was whether Swan was even on the scene to hear Drinkwine’s comment to “stop sneaking up on me,” as Swan said in his report. PCSD attorney Oyvind Wistrom pointed out the sweep of his headlights as Swan arrives at the scene, several seconds after the “sneaking up” comments. Members of the Polk County Public Protection and Judicial Committee and an administrator weighed a third day of testimony regarding the dismissal of Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Swan. Wistrom contended that the video clearly proved Swan’s report was in error numerous times, and in several critical details. Wistrom also set aside contention from Swan’s attorney that the use of force was necessary, or that he was singled out over the years in disciplinary matters. Swan’s attorney, Gordon McQuillen, outlined several meetings between his client and PCSD Chief Deputy Steve Moe, and had Swan explain why he refused to admit wrongdoing in the Amery arrest, suggesting that he was concerned about rumors he might be charged for possible federal civil rights violations. McQuillen dwelled heavily on the timeline of those meetings with administrators, and suggested Swan was never told those meetings were disciplinary in nature, and that he requested union representation all along, but claimed he was given conﬂicting information by Moe and others. McQuillen said Swan was not about to “set himself up” by admitting to Moe that he’d done something wrong, for fear of reprisal, stating his “could’ve would lead to should’ve.” He also quoted a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on an excessive force allegation (Graham v. O’Connor) siding with law enforcement, citing the Fourth Amendment’s “objective reasonableness” standard. “[The PCSD] has the luxury of 20/20 hindsight,” McQuillen said of the video, reviewing and criticism after the fact. “...but not for the ofﬁcers who are there on the scene. They don’t have that luxury.” PCSD attorney Wistrom chided the “smoke and mirrors effort” in the union’s defense of Swan’s “failure to accept responsibility for his actions.” He told the committee Swan’s ﬁring was all about the “inappropriate force” Swan allegedly used in the Amery stop, and his accompanying report with its inconsistencies, and how his truthfulness and trust would forever be questioned. “[Deputy Swan] has a long history of what we believe to be bad judgement,” Wistrom said. “And a reasonable review disputes his report...that it was, in fact, an after-the-fact justiﬁcation.” The Public Protection and Judicial Committee went into closed session to Swan decision next Tuesday by Gregg Westigard BALSAM LAKE – The Polk County Public Protection Committee will reconvene Tuesday, March 23, to continue its deliberations on the Eric Swan dismissal issue, according to the county’s Corporation Counsel Jeff Fuge. The committee will be expected to make a ruling on the issue at that meeting. The Tuesday meeting will include a closed session for those deliberations. It will include four of the ﬁve members of the committee; Kim O’Connell, Neil Johnson, Brian Masters and Joan Peterson. They are the ones who listened to three days of testimony on whether the dismissal of Sheriff’s Deputy Swan should be upheld or reversed. Committee Chair Jay Luke has removed himself from the hearing because of a longtime family acquaintance with Mark Robarge, the citizen involved in the incident that led to the dismissal issue. review over 20 hours of testimony and nearly three dozen exhibits, including the disputed dash cam video, PR-24 baton, numerous e-mails and communications, as well as the two county policies Swan was accused of violating. Should they decide to uphold Swan’s ﬁring at their meeting on Tuesday, Swan has the right to appeal his dismissal to either the Circuit Court or a state employee relations arbitrator. Should Swan retain his position on the force, it is unclear how his assignments or future standing would be affected, if at all. This is the second time the PCSD has attempted to terminate Swan. CORRECTION: In last week’s Leader a story about a deputy dismissal suggested committee Chairman Jay Luke recused himself from hearings due to a long friendship with the deputy. His reference was actually to the subject of an arrest, Mark Robarge. Fair number of GM dealers may be spared STATEWIDE - General Motors is offering to renew contracts with 600 of the 1,100 dealerships it had originally slated to close this fall. Last year, the automaker sent letters to an undisclosed number of Wisconsin dealers, telling them that they should prepare to wrap up their operations. Shocked and frustrated, at least 52 dealers have filed lawsuits to stay open or reach a settlement. Bill Sepic of the Wisconsin Auto and Truck Dealers Association has no exact data, but ﬁgures there’ll be a fair number of GM dealerships here that’ll be reinstated. “I think we’ll probably track pretty close to what’s the national percentages,” he says. GM ofﬁcials say they’ll be evaluating dealerships on customer satisfaction, proﬁtability and sales, the same criteria used to initially decide which dealerships should close by October. Many local dealers – including Leonard Ironside – are still fuming over that announcement. He says he and his family worked for 26 years to build their business in Wisconsin Rapids. “And to have that pulled out from under you and then have the uncertainty of the past eight months is maddening.” Ironside filed for arbitration after he got his letter last year. And just last Friday, March 12, he got another letter from GM – offering to renew his contract. He thinks he’ll take it. Meanwhile, other dealerships have already shuttered their doors or switched to used-car sales. Those who choose to renew with GM must comply with speciﬁc sales requirements. - Kirk Carapezza, Wisconsin Public Radio Sign up for e-mails of breaking news and updates @ www.the-leader.net PAGE 8 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - MARCH 17, 2010 L e a d e r Results from last week’s poll: F O R U M Best bet Aside from the spring weather, this week’s best bet to step out of the house would be Tuesday evening’s hour-long presentation at Unity Schools titled “Rachel’s Challenge.” (See front page story). Rachel Scott was the ﬁrst person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. The program is based on the message Rachel embraced and lived prior to becoming a victim of the school shooting in Colorado that impacted us in numerous ways as a society. “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same,” Rachel wrote for a class writing project. It’s not just that message, but a message she created as a young girl that seemed to set the stage for the millions of people who have been touched by her story. Without giving away the program, let’s just say you’ll be moved by the stories in this program, created and presented by Rachel’s father, brother and sister - in schools across the nation. Unity students will see the program during class hours, the public, including parents and community leaders, are invited to the evening program. It starts at 7 p.m. An entertaining - and better yet - life-changing program. Mark your calendar. If you can’t make it, consider watching a brief video at rachelschallenge.org. Editorials by Gary King We b Po l l This week’s question: Should schools be looking at four-day weeks to save money? 1. Yes 2. No To take part in our poll, go to www.theleader.net and scroll down to the lower left part of the screen J o e H e l l e r Area News at a Glance Judge stops Stillwater bridge plan STILLWATER, Minn. - This was not the news supporters of a new river crossing at Stillwater wanted to hear. On Thursday, March 11, after considering the matter since Sept. 14, 2009, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis issued an opinion to stop the proposed new bridge over the St. Croix River. “I think it’s a very disappointing decision,” said U.S. Rep. Ron Kind Thursday afternoon. He added he’s already been on the telephone with area leaders about the ruling and he’s committed to working with local authorities to push the bridge plan forward. “We’re going to work very hard to ﬁx this,” he said. “Every year we delay this, the price tag for the bridge gets higher and higher.” He said anyone who has driven on the bridge recently realizes that it needs to be replaced. In his opinion, Davis agreed with the Sierra Club, which brought the lawsuit, noting the construction plans violate the U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Davis noted the National Park Service’s previous position in 1996 that a new bridge would dramatically impact the river’s scenic status was ignored when the bridge was eventually approved. The Park Service and the U.S. Secretary of Interior violated the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Davis claimed, when the bridge was given the green light to proceed. The St. Croix River was designated a wild and scenic river in 1964, giving it special protections. Kind said he was surprised at the decision, noting that officials went through a thorough process that attempted to address all the concerns. - rivertowns.net No snowmobile ‘sting’ HAYWARD - Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Sue Miller refuted “wild stories” that have circulated recently about the actions of a snowmobile law enforcement accident and drunk driving reduction team that was active in Sawyer, Bayﬁeld and other northern counties this winter. Speaking at Monday’s meeting of the Sawyer County Forestry Committee, Miller said the effort “was not a sting, not a secret. We were very visible. We set up a trailer beside a major business at an intersection in Cable. We sat with marked machines and in full uniform right where the trail crossed the road and they (snowmobilers) would ﬂy right past us.” - haywardwi.com (Sawyer County Record) Teen sentenced to 30 days RICE LAKE – A 15-year-old girl will spend 30 days in secure juvenile detention and onee year on probation for causing the drunken-driving death of a 17year-old girl last summer. The girl, who was 14 years old at the time of the crash, appeared in Barron County juvenile court Tuesday, March 9, for sentencing after pleading guilty last month to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. She was convicted of causing the death of her passenger, Rhonda Hellstern of Turtle Lake, after she rolled the pickup truck she was driving in the town of Vance Creek on July 4. A second passenger, Danielle Nordquist, 17, of Clayton, was injured in the crash. A later investigation revealed that the girls had been at an underage drinking party. Judge James Babbitt sentenced the girl to the recommendations of District Attorney Angela Beranek and defense attorney Andrew Nielsen of Minneapolis, with the exception of changes to curfew times and restitution. The recommendation, according to Beranek, was the most comprehensive sentencing the girl could receive given the juvenile conviction. At the start of the hearing, Beranek read a victim impact statement written by the Hellsterns. They wrote about Rhonda’s warm smile and outgoing personality. “We will not get to see our baby grow up, graduate from high school and fulﬁll her dreams,” the Hellsterns wrote. “We will have no grandchildren. “It is hard to get the mail and see all the college information,” they wrote. “It is a constant reminder of all that we have lost.” The Hellsterns lost their other child, 23-year old Tony Hellstern, in an automobile crash in Polk County nine months before Rhonda was killed. Nielsen said that his client was not a violent person, did not have a juvenile record and that the act was not premeditated. He said the girl had “a lot of remorse” and was not “a bad seed.” He agreed with Beranek’s recommendations. Babbitt offered the girl a chance to speak before sentencing her. She turned slowly toward the Hellsterns and cried, “I can’t tell you how sorry I am for all that I did. I don’t expect to ever forgive myself.” - Rice Lake Chronotype Views expressed on these pages or by columnists elsewhere in the paper do not necessarily represent those of the Inter-County Cooperative Publishing Association management or board. Where to Write President Barack Obama 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C. 20500 www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ Gov. Jim Doyle P.O. Box 7863, Madison, WI 53707 firstname.lastname@example.org Congressman David Obey (7th District) 2462 Rayburn Ofﬁce Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20515 or Federal Building, Wausau, WI 54401 (715) 842-5606 Rep. Nick Milroy (73rd District) Room 221 North, State Capitol P.O. Box 8952, Madison 53708 E-mail: email@example.com Rep. Ann Hraychuck (28th District) State Capitol, P.O. Box 8942 Madison, WI 53708 Phone: 608-267-2365 • Toll free: 888-529-0028 In-district: 715-485-3362 rep.hraychuck@ legis.state.wi.us Rep. Mary Hubler (75th District) Room 7 North, State Capitol P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708 or 1966 21-7/8 St., Rice Lake 54868 (715) 234-7421• (608) 266-2519 firstname.lastname@example.org U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl 330 Hart Senate Ofﬁce Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510 (715) 832-8492 (608) 264-5338 email@example.com Sen. Robert Jauch (25th District) Room 19 South, State Capitol P.O. Box 788, Madison, WI 53707 E-mail: Sen.Jauch@legis.state.wi.us Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (10th District) State Capitol, P.O. Box 7882 Madison, WI 53707 (608) 266-7745 • (715) 232-1390 Toll-free - 1-800-862-1092 firstname.lastname@example.org U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold SDB 40, Rm. 1, Washington, D.C. 20510 or 1600 Aspen Commons Middleton, WI 53562-4716 (608) 828-1200 email@example.com T h e I n t e r - C o u n t y L e a d e r i s a MARCH 17, 2010 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - PAGE 9 Letters t o t h e e d i t o r United Way grateful I would like to recognize the generous folks who donate through Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative’s Operation RoundUp for their donation to the United Way of Polk County. I realize that it is the Operation Roundup Board that makes the final decision where the dollars are directed. But, I also realize that it is members of the community that make this fund possible by rounding up each of their month’s bills. I am grateful for the generosity of our community members and of Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative’s staff and board in administering this program for the community. You are all, through this program, an asset to this place we call home. Carolyn Matosky Reginal Director United Way of Polk County Centuria Help for Haiti Let’s give Robin Fornengo a great sendoff. She’s a licensed practical nurse who is medically trained to help people. She will be raising money to buy supplies in Florida and then take the supplies to Haiti where she will help the ill, injured and others at orphanages and clinics. We will be selling tickets for raffles, doing bake sales and much more. One of the beginning fundraisers will be May 1 and May 22 at the Cloverton Town Hall in Cloverton, Minn. If you want to donate or help, call us at 320-242-3147 or 715-244-3324. Bonnie Fornengo Dairyland Some amendments/addendums may be added to this bill S.B. 324. Hopefully, they will be in a follow-up letter to the editor. Then you who are not pleased with this bill can call your representatives. Tell them how you feel and what you think. Maybe we can soften the blow to our precious children. Bernadette L. Tolan Luck Government control The folks in Bone Lake Township really should attend their annual meeting April 13. There is a proposal on page 16 of the Indianhead Advertiser from March 8, 2010. The Bone Lake Planning Commission is proposing the addition of a “sustainability component” to the Bone Lake Comprehensive Plan. The only reason to have a comprehensive plan is to carry it out with – as yet unwritten regulations. That’s what a plan is. It states what the authors of the plan intend to do if the plan is adopted. That can only happen if enforceable regulations are adopted to enable the plan. Goal No. 1 states, “The Town of Bone Lake will foster improved local energy production, efﬁciency, conservation and diversification.” Really? Just how will they do that?? They list efforts to “disseminate information.” OK. But all this information is readily available already through the extension office in Balsam Lake or other sources. Do the taxpayers of Bone Lake Township want their taxes to increase to hand out information that is already available for the asking? Goal No. 2 states, “Encourage citizens to embrace energy policies and practices as a part of strategy to meet future energy needs.” Encourage? Encourage with what? Regulations?? Warm, fuzzy thoughts?? Objective No. 3 under Goal No. 2 states ‘Encourage all forms of renewable energy projects including wind, solar, bio energy and others that become available.” Oil, coal and natural gas are being created as we speak which, I think would technically make them renewable sources of energy, but Al Gore and the global-warming liars have told us they are bad. Do we want the government to tell us what forms of “renewable” energy would best serve each of us? Goal No. 3 states “Encourage sustainable practices by citizens in the town for obtaining food.” What the heck? Since when is it any of the government’s business what “practices/lifestyle choices” citizens utilize in pursuit of their food?? Goal No. 4—“Conserve, protect and maintain our clean water supply.” The last time I checked I thought EPA and DNR were already doing that—with a vengeance. This is the “creepy creeping Marxism” that we should all be guarding against. This proposal has the fingerprints of the misguided Jeff Peterson groupies and tree huggers all over it. I frankly don’t care what others do. Let the buyer beware. But when they attempt to use the government to impose their lifestyle choices on the rest of us, they need to be stopped. I don’t know any farmer or businessman that isn’t acutely aware of the need to operate their business in a “sustainable” way. This nonsense is not about sustainability. It is about government control of the citizens at all levels of government. This will be voted on at the Bone Lake Township annual meeting on April 13. Bob Blake Rural Frederic The new IRS, part II According to the Burnett County Comprehensive Planning Public Opinion Survey Report, “The predominant reason people gave for living in Burnett County was the natural beauty (64 percent).” In 2006, the surrogate power of the Burnett County Board turned down an offer of nearly $500,000 for the former Evans property on Little Trade Lake, and the proposed buyer would have wanted to keep the property in its natural beauty. The county wisdom was that they could get more and have it developed. Well folks, last time I heard, that property is still in county hands, with no property taxes but yours being collected. Join the New IRS - also known as the Incumbent Replacement System. The Burnett County Land Committee meeting of Feb. 2, where the Whispering Pines proposal was discussed, resembled an assembly of vultures feeding on the perceived beneﬁts of development which will likely be short term at best. In 20 years, the current land committee people will be long gone, and Spirit Lake will likely see degraded water quality, algae blooms, increased weed populations and elimination of wild rice beds. Say goodbye to the “natural beauty” – the predominant reason people gave for living in Burnett County. There were 237 signed petitions from nearby landowners opposing the Whispering Pines development on Spirit Lake. The following 10 county board supervisors voted yes to approve the development: Brent Blomberg, Priscilla Baur, Gene Olson, Chuck Awe, Ed Peterson, Norm Bickford, Emmett Byrne, Gary Lundberg, Maury Miller and Gerry Pardun. Join the New IRS. Vote these tyrants out of ofﬁce at the next election. Leon Moe Trade Lake Morals and ethics This morning, after catching some more news about Ben Roethlisberger and a 20year-old female who is pressing charges for sexual assault, something hit me. We all know that the pro athletes are continuously in the public eye for moral and ethical standards. Look at the new charges against Roethlisberger, Tiger Woods’ infidelity, Kobe Bryant’s infidelity, Mark McGuire for steroids, the Canadian women’s hockey team drinking beer after winning the gold medal, and a host of others over the past 10 years. The public is always shocked, dismayed and appalled by the actions of these athletes. We tend to say “another overpaid athlete doing stupid things.” We tend to make a judgment long before the court case ever comes up. We tend to call them “spoiled brats” and a host of other derogatory names. I’ve got an idea: Let’s subject our politicians to the same scrutiny. Let’s hold them to the same moral and ethical standards we hold the pro athlete to. Let’s judge them in public long before the case comes to trial. If we held the politicians to the same standards, there wouldn’t be but one or two politicians left in the entire United States. We have deadbeat dads (several), Rangell of New York for accepting vacations from corporations, liars (only those that speak out loud), bribery (any one of them that accept PAC money, soft money, and campaign contributions), collusion (the people that negotiated the Medicare medicine rates and ended up pharmaceutical executives making over $1 million), domestic assault (at least ﬁve have restraining orders), inﬁdelity (too numerous to count), etc. Look at the damage this scrutiny does to the athletes. Most lose lucrative endorsements and livelihood (game suspensions). Man, we could save a bundle by subjecting them to suspension of pay for anything from one day, equal to $628, to a year, equal to $228,000. Or, we could take the public opinion polls which they use extensively to get us to believe one thing or another, and pay them by their poll ratings. Congress, as of two weeks ago, had an overall approval rating of 19 percent. We multiply their annual salary of $228,000/year times 19 percent, and they would now get paid $43,320/year. No automatic raises, no COLA raises (just like Social Security), no per diem, no committee compensations (which range from a couple of thousand dollars a year to $50,000 additional), no nothing. If the voters truly want control of government, now that would be the way to do it. Remember that congressmen and senators can retain their jobs, salaries, and all benefits after being convicted of felonies. Private sector positions aren’t afforded the same luxury: you are dismissed almost immediately. The way to really take control back from the special interests and lobbyists is to not vote for any incumbent on the local, county, state and federal levels. Dave Wilhelmy Siren Soften the blow Now that our Wisconsin assemblymen and senators have removed our local control and parental involvement from the kindergarten through 12th grade sex education curriculum of our schools, what can we expect? Whether our children are ready or not (and parents usually know this best) our children will be learning about human growth and sexual development, applications of condoms, abortifacient methods of birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, masturbation and diversity of sexual orientation, such as homosexuality, transvestitism, etc. …and no abstinence program included. Do you know who will teach this most delicate, controversial, personal information? As I understand, it may be Planned Parenthood. PP does receive thousands of our tax dollars. Do our children need all of this in addition to the complexities of adolescence? Where does this so-called education lead our children? This education certainly does not teach trust, loyalty, caring for others and the other characteristics of integrity that are necessary for family/society to succeed and so create a world we want to live in. Gov. Doyle already made it known, he will sign this bill. So, now what? done and it says 51 percent of us, are connected to the Internet. I search Trade Lake and found the names and telephone numbers of the three supervisors, but no e-mail addresses. A form e-mail! I tried it and after two weeks, no response. Responsibility and accountability? Next, I tried the Grantsburg School Board. No phone numbers for the seven. I found e-mail addresses supplied by the district. The seven folks listed are not the last seven elected, unless one has resigned and been appointed. I need to check the minutes later. Next, I tried the county. All 21 supervisors had phone numbers and six had e-mail addresses. Why the 15 shy folks do not have a county e-mail address and a workstation set up at the county is a good question to be asked. Since all the county employees do not have e-mail, I again tried the form email. Three weeks and no response. Form e-mail lacks accountability. In summary, folks who have Internet have varied access to the incumbents. Since the taxpayer is common to all groups, why can’t we have all phone numbers and all direct e-mail addresses? The incumbents are to be open to listening to those they serve, right? How do the 49-percent who do not have Internet access find out who and how to contact the incumbents? The Burnett County Directory has a wealth of information in it. It is also on the county Web page. Wanda and team: Thank you! Next, I went after how we are informed. Our two local papers keep us informed every seven days and cover about 40 percent of us. They do a good job of reporting the facts and this week is Sunshine Week, which is openness in government and freedom of information. Without our local newspapers we are blind. To Gary, Todd and your teams, thank you for protecting our freedoms. Someday I would like to see more reporters who report the facts and then state their opinion. These folks have a wealth of information and opinions. Reporters get edited and those of us who need more detailed information have to go to the speciﬁc Web page for details in the minutes of meetings. Since papers update us every seven days I look to be updated every 8 days by them. The Grantsburg School Board produces a draft of minutes in the shortest time. The town is then next. The county has no sunshine! Thirty days of minutes is not acceptable. Do county supervisors read 30-day-old newspapers? If the two other big taxing units can produce a draft in eight days or less, than why can’t you? The county by its own admission is poor in communication. Well, share your information in eight days or less. If you don’t, you feed the perception that you are hiding information from those you serve. Rich Hess Trade Lake Political letters No letters will be published during the campaign from political candidates and their immediate family, campaign managers or spokespersons, paid consultants, public relations ﬁrms or major contributors to speciﬁc candidates or ballot measures. Letters to the editor The Leader welcomes letters to the editor. Letters are subject to being edited for length, taste and/or clarity, and we urge writers to be brief and limit their letters to 500 words or less. Writers must provide their name and give their complete address and phone number. Content that will cause letters to be rejected include: Crude language, poor taste, disrespectful comments regarding a group’s or individual’s ethnicity, gender, religion, culture, sexual orientation or race; other incendiary language or personal attacks. How do you reach your local ofﬁcials? How do we contact public incumbents that serve us? The tax bill that all property tax payers receive has all the spenders on it. No phone numbers or e-mail addresses; why? Well, maybe next year. I checked our two local papers and no local information to be found. We just had a county and local survey c o o p e r a t i v e - o w n e d n e w s p a p e r PAGE 10 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - MARCH 17, 2010 Important information about the 2010 U.S. Census Recently, you should have received a notice in the mail letting you know that the U.S. Census form will soon be delivered to your home. Please do not ignore the census form when you receive it. It is actually your constitutional duty to ﬁll out your form since the U.S. Constitution requires a census to be completed every 10 years. It is important that you respond and make sure that our community is accurately counted. That data will be used for drawing the boundaries of legislative districts, in addition to ensuring that states and communities receive their fair share of funding from the federal government. Locally, accurate census data will help determine how federal and state government can best allocate their resources to local hospitals, schools, job training cen- ters, public works, and transportation departments. I was recently asked, “Do I have to fill out the form?” The answer is yes. Federal law does require the census form to be accurately filled out and returned. In 2000, Nebraska and Ann Wisconsin had the Hraychuck highest response rates to the census at 28th District 75 percent. Assembly I understand that there are some concerns about privacy and the personal information that is asked. For example, why do they need the full names of all persons living in your household? These are not new questions to the census. In case you didn’t know, the U.S. Census Bureau asks for full names to ensure that people are not counted twice, to eliminate simple errors like counting “Jane Doe” as a male, and to allow only you to obtain a record from the Census Bureau at a later date if you need to prove your residence for the purposes of a passport or Social Security beneﬁts. The information that is collected by the Census Bureau is protected by federal law, is strictly conﬁdential, and is only used for statistical purposes. Federal courts have upheld that no agency, including the IRS, FBI, or CIA, can have access to census data. Information collected by the census is kept sealed for 72 years, after which time it becomes subject to public review. This year’s census form only has ten questions and should only take about 10 minutes. If you would like more information on the U.S. Census, or would like to review the questions ahead of time, you can do so by visiting the U.S. Census Bu- reau Web site at: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/. If you are currently unemployed or are looking for some additional employment, the U.S. Census Bureau is still looking for individuals to assist with the collection of census information in Burnett County. The Chicago Regional Census Center is encouraging job seekers to call, toll-free, 866-861-2010 – or to visit www.2010censusjobs.gov – to register to test for these unfilled positions which pay between $11.50 and $15 per hour. Testing dates, times and locations across Wisconsin are available by calling that toll-free phone number. If you have questions about the 2010 U.S. Census, please feel free to contact my office. I can be reached toll-free at 888-529-0028 or by e-mail at Rep.Hraychuck@legis.wisconsin.gov. Senator Harsdorf listens Nexen Operations Manager Dan Conroy takes State Sen.Sheila Harsdorf on a tour of their Webster facility, explaining the advanced manufacturing technology. – Photos submitted State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf held listening sessions in Polk and Burnett counties on March 15. Here a group of over 20 in Siren asked Harsdorf, a variety of questions about state issues. Free hearing tests for veterans Burnett County Veterans Service Officer, Chris Sower presented a certiﬁcate of appreciate to Dianne Thompson of Miracle Ear, Siren, for providing free hearing tests for veterans of Burnett County. Through her efforts many veterans have received service connected compensation for hearing loss. - Special photo Canary Ruled Pads Limit 6 per customer. Stock number UNV-10630 79¢ Each Bonus Buy Good 3-15-10 thru 3-19-10 Rubber Stamps We offer Brother self-inking rubber stamps. Great for return addresses, marking items, endorsements, signatures and many other uses. Great Selection of HP Ink Cartridges We have a large variety of cartridges in stock. If we don’t have it, we can get it. Zeiler named AFP WI Volunteer of the Year WISCONSIN DELLS — Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin has named grassroots coordinator Jim Zeiler their volunteer of the year. Zeiler, of Grantsburg, received the award Saturday, March 13, at the Defending the American Dream Summit at the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Zeiler was presented the award by talkradio host, author and Fox business commentator Herman Cain. The Wisconsin State Director for Americans for Prosperity, Mark Block, says Zeiler’s tireless work in protecting the nation’s freedom is inspiring. “Taxpayers have a friend in Jim Zeiler. He believes in our nation and Wisconsin and fights for our freedoms every day,” Block said, “Wisconsin’s citizens are more engaged because of the efforts of Jim Zeiler. Volunteers like Jim make our state a better place to live in.” Block highlighted the many tea parties, town hall meetings and events in northern Wisconsin that would not have been possible without the leadership of Zeiler. Americans for Prosperity of Wisconsin is a grassroots organization with more than 54,000 members statewide. Its mission is to educate citizens about economic policy We Ship UPS from our Frederic & St. Croix Falls stores Jim Zeiler of Grantsburg accepts the Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin Volunteer of the Year award from talkradio host, author and Fox business commentator Herman Cain. - Special photo and mobilize them to achieve fiscal and regulatory restraint by state governments and to return the federal government to its constitutional limits. More information can be found by visiting ww.ﬁghtbackwisconsin.com - from AFP Inter-County Cooperative Publishing Association 303 N. Wisconsin Ave. 107 N. Washington St. Frederic, Wis. St. Croix Falls, Wis. 715-327-4236 715-483-9008 24154 State Rd. 35N Siren, Wis. 715-349-2560 715-468-2314 11 West 5th Ave. Shell Lake, Wis. 505452 19a,b,c,d 30r,L MARCH 17, 2010 - INTER-COUNTY LEADER - NEWS SECTION - A - PAGE 11 B U R N E T T C O U N T Y H E A D L I N E S Burnett County Historical Society remembers county roads Educational program draws crowd by Carl Heidel DANBURY - The Great Room at Forts Folle Avoine was ﬁlled with enthusiastic history buffs Sunday, March 14, as Clayton Jorgensen led a memory journey down the historical roads of Burnett County. The program was part of the ongoing series of historical presentations that the Burnett County Historical Society has been offering during the winter months.