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Inside this edition

A pig’s adventure through Clyde

An oil painting of the LWR off Highway 60 by Jen Salt

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Botanist identifies plants of the Lower Wisconsin River

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Spring Green, Wisconsin

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Vol. 2, No. 13 Free, Single-Copy

Spring Green Golf Course open for season

Lone Rock Bistro first to offer carryout drinks following state law passing Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Mike McDermott, Contributor An overhead view of the Spring Green Golf Course, which is now open for the spring and summer seasons. Mike McDermott, Contributor One of the surest signs that Spring has arrived is the opening of the local golf course. In the absence of a winter golf trip to a warm climate, most golfers put away their clubs for approximately five months. Seeing the snow melt and weather turning for the better leads golfers to a happy place, knowing golf at our local course is not far off. Instead of just watching golf on television, we can actually

go out and play golf with our friends. The Spring Green Municipal Golf Course is now open for play, and on good weather days has been quite busy. While much will look familiar at the golf course, there is noticeable change brought on by the Village of Spring Green removing more that 15 mature ash trees separating the 9th hole and Highway 23. Given the need to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer, the trees

were taken down late last year. A new batch of young trees will be going in this year, but it will be a number of years before they are grown enough to provide security for golfers or vehicles on that hole. Fees for 2021 will be the same as they were in 2020. Daily users will pay $10 for Nine holes, or $20 for as much golf as you want to play in one day. For those interested in buy-

The Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom is the first local spot to announce to-go cocktails following the state passing the bill allowing restaurants to sell carryout alcohol on Friday, and going into effect Sunday. Gov. Tony Ever’s signed the bill March 26, allowing bars and restaurants holding a Class B liquor license to serve mixed drinks and glasses of wine to-go in tamper proof containers. The bill stipulates the carryout drinks can be for pickup only, not delivery. Mike Haight, General Manager of the Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom said they will be able to offer over 100 drinks to-go within a few days, as soon as the tamper proof packaging arrives. The bar will be offering 12 and 14 ounce cocktails, and can make any drink normally offered at the bar. Including old fashioned and hand muddled mojitos. For a list of specialty drinks, visit www.lonerockbistro.com

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Spring Green Board continues to mull ATV/UTV routes, reaffirms administrator Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief Despite no action being taken, the Spring Green village board heavily discussed the possibility of allowing an ATV/UTV route through the village at its regular meeting March 24. In February, the board received a request from a group of local ATV/UTV users, requesting a route through the village, and charged Police Chief Mike

Stoddard with drafting an ordinance that regulates signage, usage and time restrictions to be reviewed at this meeting. The routes would include N. Wood Street to Madison Street, Madison Street from Shifflet Road to N. Lexington Street, and Lexington Street to Madison Street, stopping at the municipal parking lot on E Jefferson Street.

The route would need approval from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WDOT) to travel across Highway 23 and Highway 14. If the WDOT does not approve travel across the highways, the alternate route would include N. Westmor Street to Highway 14 to Somerset Road to County Highway G to N. Wood Street.

Currently, the route is being reviewed by regional WDOT employees, but has been approved by the county, said Andrew Kurek, a Spring Green Police officer. The board discussed the large amount of feedback opposing the route they

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Richland county, town of Spring Green to receive expanded broadband

Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief

Various utility companies in Richland County and one in the town of Spring Green were recently awarded Public Service Commission (PSC) grants to expand access to high-speed internet in rural areas. Four projects in Richland County and one in Sauk County was

awarded a total of $2.1 million. In the town of Spring Green, Reedsburg Utility Commission (RUC) was awarded $334,000 to extend 30 miles of gigabit fiber in the northeaster part of the township. RCU estimates that 166 households will be served by the broadband, and at least 10 busi-

nesses, including Wilson Creek Kennels, Nature’s Own Taxidermy, Usonian Inn and Spring Green Motel. To view eligibility for this project and to get on an initial construction list for services visit, https:// ruclightspeed.com/springgreen2/ by June 1.

“We are now accepting construction forms and payments,” said Tara Leege, Marketing Specialist for RUC. “The deadline to get on the initial construction list and take advantage of pre construction pricing is June 1, 2020.”

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opinion

WednesdaY, March 31, 2021

Winds of War Embroil Region, Cannons deployed after years of idle display Gary Ernest Grass, Legal Editor

Arena village hall leveled - War Correspondent’s Report: April 1, 2021 PLAIN, WI.—At first there were a few, then maybe a dozen, but by dusk more than 40 men and women had mustered near the Kraemer Library, to prepare for what all had feared but which now seemed inevitable: the winds of war had come to Plain. “We can’t let them get away with this,” said a Plain resident, requesting anonymity, expressing a common sentiment among the group. “Some things a village just cannot tolerate, and this is one. If the Governor doesn’t want to protect us, we’ll protect ourselves.” Plain’s Village Board had appealed to Governor Evers last week for national guard units to be sent to Plain, but Evers did not respond. The makeshift troops did not attack anyone, nor did they cite a specific reason for the agitation except noting that Spring Green had surreptitiously been pointing a cannon at them for years. Most drilled with their rifles until morning twilight, while others planned, laboring over topographical maps. A few inspected defensive positions around the village that had been

scouted earlier in the week. Last week, the Lone Rock Village Board held an emergency meeting, authorizing the Lone Rock Militia to rally at Dillon’s Tailor Shop to rehabilitate the cannons normally kept on public display at Battery and Garrison Parks. Spring Green and Plain took similar actions, and by Monday, historic artillery units had been removed from public monuments in all three villages, to be deployed against their emerging rivals. Meanwhile, a House on the Rock employee was overheard at Grandma Mary’s in Arena asking for a map showing “the precise borders between all the villages.” There are reports a cannon at the House may be pressed into use. Whether that use is defensive or mercenary in nature is unknown. It was also widely rumored that Spring Green was sending American Players Theater members to infiltrate and report on the other villages, using their thespian skills to gather intelligence. Valley Sentinel has so far not been able to confirm these rumors. An APT representative was unavailable for comment, being reportedly on a “field exercise.” So far the only physical damage has come from an attack on Arena, where

Photo by Taylor Scott, Managing Editor A cannon in Battery Park in Lone Rock with various cannon balls on display.

Photo by Taylor Scott, Managing Editor The cannon at the Veteran’s Memorial in Plain.

Photo by Taylor Scott, Managing Editor The cannon at the Spring Green Municipal Golf Course. a small contingent of shock troops from Spring Green suddenly appeared on West Avenue. Though armed with rifles, the troops were not reported to have fired, however in the confusion a small explosion was reported and the troops fled the scene—with reports that Arena Cheese’s copious amounts of co-jack had been the primary target and bad information was to blame. The Arena Village Hall initially appeared to have escaped unscathed, but those hopes turned quickly to ash. Sparks from the explosion apparently set alight a crate containing undistributed water bills, and the resultant blaze soon engulfed the structure. Firefighters did not respond in time, fueling suspicions that they were loyal to Spring Green. Arena’s Village Hall was insured, and the water bills can be reprinted. Village officials have yet to comment

on when this will happen. The people of Arena did not mount an immediate counterattack—citing a lack of a cannon, nor did Spring Green press its advantage, but both sides are feared to be preparing for action in the future. The White School Collective is said to be supplying Spring Green troops with wood-fired pizza, while a group out of Tower Hill State Park calling themselves the ‘Site 12 Brigade’ is supplying pizza to Plain, Arena and reportedly Lone Rock. Citizens interviewed region-wide urged there is still time to turn back and embrace peace. Thankfully, there have been no casualties so far, except for water bills. No one is quite sure what started the hostilities, but some are now referring to this as the War of April Aggression, otherwise known as the War of April Fools.

Badger Project: Gerrymandering defeats campaign cash? Peter Cameron, The Badger Project Wisconsin Democrats were flush with cash in the 2020 election cycle. Billionaire liberals like Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other super rich donors used a loophole in Wisconsin campaign finance law to dump money into the coffers of the Democratic Party, which routed a considerable chunk of contributions to state legislative candidates. More favorable to Democrats in the last election, the loophole allowed four Democratic candidates and one Republican to destroy the previous record for most cash raised for a Wisconsin State legislative race. Each candidate brought in at least $1 million, much of it from their party. A seat in the state Senate pays an annual salary of $53,000. Republicans complained about getting pounded by all the negative advertising those dollars bought. Liberals, highly motivated to beat then-President Donald Trump, felt good about their chances. The result: Democrats achieved a negligible gain, picking up a couple seats in the Assembly, where they

remain outnumbered 60 to 38. The party’s Senate results were more discouraging, losing two more seats and nearly giving Republicans a ⅔ supermajority there. Some Republicans said their strong showing was proof that their ideas were more popular. Democrats see the results as Republicans reaping the benefits of political boundary manipulation. “The fact that Democrats spent huge amounts of money on campaigns around the state, with little positive results, shows the strength of the gerrymandered legislative districts in Wisconsin,” said David Czarnezki, a Democrat and former state senator who now serves as a Milwaukee County supervisor. Since Republicans, aided by hyper-efficient computer programs, redrew the districts under great secrecy in 2011, they have consistently won a greater share of the seats in the state legislature than their share of the total votes cast. In 2020, Republicans won about 50% of all votes cast in state Senate

races, but about 64% of the seats up for re-election, according to an analysis by The Badger Project. In the Assembly, Republicans won about 54% of all votes, but about 62% of seats. In 2014 and 2016, Democrats received more than 50% of all votes cast for state Senate seats, but won only about 40% of the seats, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin State Journal. Gerrymandering districts is “the most important driver of election outcomes,” said Barry Burden, a political science professor and director of the Elections Research Center at UW-Madison. “Although there are improvements to be made in the campaign finance system and in other election rules and practices,” he said, “the configuration of districts has proved to be the most powerful determinant of state legislative election results.” Burden noted both parties have won recently in statewide elections for president, U.S. senate and governor — races that can’t be gerrymandered — calling it “a sign of the inherent po-

litical competitiveness of Wisconsin.” “But that competitiveness has not been apparent in the state legislature, where the majority party has been able to rely on extremely stable majorities that seem immune to partisan swings that affect other elections,” Burden said. “A wave election such as the 2018 midterm or a big financial advantage is not going to allow the Democrats to take back control of a state legislature designed to resist public influence.” Many experts, including a federal court, have called Wisconsin the most gerrymandered state in the country.

The results

Thanks mainly to six-figure infusions of cash from their party, the fundraising of Democratic candidates dwarfed Republicans in many swing districts. But they got meager returns, at best, for their money. State Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-La Crosse) was one of the few Democrats to

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opinion

WednesdaY, march 31, 2021

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Badger Project: Is modern gerrymandering unbeatable? continued from page 2

win a swing district. Pfaff raised and spent a state record $1.5 million and squeaked past his Republican challenger Dan Kapanke, who raised and spent about $600,000, by less than half a percentage point. Jonathon Hansen, a De Pere city councilman, raised and spent more than $1.4 million, while his Republican challenger Eric Wimberger raised and spent about $800,000. Hansen lost by more than 8 percentage points and 8,000 votes. “We raised a lot of money, but campaign spending can only go so far in terms of overcoming gerrymandering and the partisan lean of a district, especially given that the numbers of voters willing to ticket-split continues to dwindle,” Hansen told The Badger Project. Neal Plotkin, a substitute teacher, raised and spent more than $1.2 million in his challenge to powerhouse fundraiser and longtime state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), who spent about $1 million. Plotkin was beaten by more than 8 percentage points, a total of 10,000 votes. And Paul Piotrowski, a Democrat and former police officer from Stevens Point, raised and spent more than $1.1 million in his challenge to incumbent state Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point), who spent more than $700,000. Piotrowski lost by more than 12 percentage points or 12,000 votes.

The loophole that allows campaign millions to flow

Huge donations from outside the state are becoming the norm in Wisconsin, where legal changes have allowed ever-increasing political donations in recent years. Following the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case, McCutcheon vs. F.E.C., that deemed Wisconsin’s annual $10,000 limit on total political donations unconstitutional, the Republican-controlled legislature went even further in loosening campaign finance laws, including doubling the limit on direct donations to political candidates. In 2018, the Wisconsin GOP benefited from the loosened restrictions, outraising the state Democratic Party by millions. In 2020, liberals turned the tables and flooded America’s Dairyland with cash.

Other possible explanations for Republican dominance

Bob Kulp, a Republican who served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 2013 until last year, said money doesn’t really buy elections, at least at the state legislative level. “A legislator who’s doing their job and is responsive to their friends and neighbors and they’re handling their business, I think that you could put a lot of money against the incumbent and it won’t necessarily change the election,” he said. “Unseating an incumbent is a pretty tough thing.” he added. Democrats are currently far behind in both houses of the state legislature in terms of seats, so the party has to run against incumbents in many

districts. Like every state, Wisconsin must draw new district maps before the next state election in 2022. But Wisconsin is different from many states in that the governor can veto any maps drawn by the legislature. That’s an almost certain outcome, considering Gov. Tony Evers is a Democrat and Republicans control both legislative houses. In that case, the courts must settle the issue. Republicans are proposing that the state’s Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority, take direct control of the bevy of likely lawsuits and make the final decision regarding the maps. But in a recent hearing, the court’s right-leaning Chief Justice Patience Roggensack expressed skepticism with the idea, saying the state court lacks the staff to draw maps. The last time Wisconsin state government was split — in 2002 — the state Supreme Court flirted with overseeing a process for drawing districts, but ultimately declined and kicked the issue to the federal courts. Roggensack and Justice Annette Ziegler, both conservatives on the court then and now, rejected the state court overseeing the process at that time. Anticipating the upcoming court battles for redistricting, Republicans have already hired lawyers that could cost the state $1 million or more in legal fees, according to a report from WisPolitics. Evers has launched The People’s Maps Commission to draw what he says will be fair maps. But the commission has no legal authority, as the state’s constitution gives the

Contact us

PO Box 144 Spring Green, Wisconsin 53588 USA (608) 588-6694 editor@valleysentinelnews.com valleysentinelnews.com Editorial Editor-in-Chief Nicole Aimone Managing Editor Taylor Scott Legal Editor Gary Ernest Grass, esq. Interns Graphic Design/Pagination

legislature the ability to approve the districts. Even if the federal courts give Wisconsin more competitive maps for the coming decade, Democrats still might face an uphill climb to win majorities in the Assembly and Senate. Liberal voters tend to gerrymander themselves by residing in concentrated urban areas. Modern Republican voters are much more spread out across the state and country, including in vast rural areas where Democrats are less popular. That gives Republicans a natural advantage in the redistricting process, Burden said. While he lost ground in many urban and suburban areas from 2016 to 2020, President Donald Trump dominated rural precincts, helping Republicans maintain and even gain seats while he lost re-election. Kulp, the former Republican Assemblyman, scoffed at the idea that favorable redistricting helped him win his district in rural central Wisconsin that includes parts of Marathon and Clark counties. “Hard left people indicate that I was only there because of gerrymandering, which is really stupid,” he said, “because you have to go a long way from my former residence in Stratford in the 69th District, in order to carve out a purple district., let alone a blue district.” “We are just a heck of a lot redder than we’ve ever been,” he added. The Badger Project is a nonpartisan, citizen-supported journalism nonprofit in Wisconsin.

Deadlines: The display and classified

Valley Sentinel is published in Spring Green, Wisconsin every Wednesday by Lower Wisconsin River Valley Sentinel, LLC. ISSN 2694-541X (print) — ISSN 2694-5401 (online) Anna Stocks-Hess Graphic Design/Infographics Whitney Back Editorial Adeline Holte Graphic Design/Editorial Nicole Hansen Editorial Matthew L. Beyer

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On certain topics in areas of great community interest, the editors of the Valley Sentinel may take positions they believe best represent and serve the interests of the community. Any opinions or positions taken by the editorial board are separate and distinct in labeling and substance from the community journalism that appears in the rest of the publication and does not affect the integrity

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and impartiality of our reporting.

Est. 2020 igne conflatum “Forged in Fire”

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Community

WednesdaY, march 31, 2021

COmmunitycalendar Richland Hospital Egg Scavenger Hunt

Youth photography workshops

The Richland Hospital and it’s rural clinics are holding an Easter egg scavenger hunt in Richland Center at Kroupkop and North Park, in Spring Green at North Park, Lone Rock at Fireman’s Park, and Muscoda at Riverside Park until April 4.

Registration is now open for the Driftless Area Land Conservancy’s upcoming Youth Photography Workshops on April 17 & 24, 1:30-3 p.m. for 4th-8th graders. Adults must accompany their children and masks must be worn.

Clues and information for the hunt can be fount at www.richlandhospital.com. Enter to win a prize basket by sharing a photo of your hunt on the event Facebook page, https://www. facebook.com/events/krouskop-park/egg-scavenger-hunt/905422760213737/

To register for the free event visit https://www.driftlessconservancy.org/general-field-events

Gov. Evers, DHS Announce Everyone 16 and Older Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Starting April 5

Tony Evers, Governor

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), today announced everyone age 16 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 5, 2021. Wisconsin currently leads the nation in being one of the most efficient vaccinators for getting available shots in arms. With increased vaccine supply and an accelerated vaccination pace in recent weeks, the state is able to push the eligibility date four weeks earlier than expected. “We knew all along our COVID-19 vaccination program would be a massive undertaking, and we’re proud Wisconsin is currently leading the country in these efforts and that we’re now able to give all Wisconsinites 16 and older the opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Gov. Evers. “This marks a major milestone in our state’s fight against this virus and gets us closer to overcoming this pandemic and bouncing back together. Thank you to all the folks in public health, vaccinators, and staff helping

make this possible.” While everyone will be eligible starting April 5, some areas of the state may have a higher demand for vaccinations and may have waitlists. Vaccine providers will prioritize anyone previously eligible such as public-facing essential workers and people with medical conditions. There continue to be many options available for getting vaccinated, including through DHS, federal, and local community-based vaccination clinics, pharmacies, healthcare providers, local and tribal health departments, and employers. More information about each of these options is available on the COVID-19 where to get vaccinated page. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for individuals age 16 and 17. To find a local vaccine provider visit the COVID-19 vaccine provider map or visit https://vaccinefinder.org. Individuals can also call the toll-free vaccine hotline at 1-844-684-1064 with questions or help registering for a vaccination appointment. The hotline is

also available in Hindi, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish. Certain vaccine providers are using the COVID-19 Vaccine Registry. Anyone can register for an appointment using the COVID-19 vaccine registry. After you register, you will be notified when you are able to schedule an appointment. Appointments are based on whether a vaccine provider in your area uses the registry for scheduling and has available vaccine, and your place on the waitlist. Other vaccine providers may use their own scheduling system. “We have built-up a strong network of vaccine providers across the state. Every community is different, some providers may have openings and others may have waitlists but I assure you that anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one in the coming weeks,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to reach 80 percent community immunity in Wisconsin.” Since the first shipment of an

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine arrived in mid-December, Wisconsin continues to be a national leader in administering vaccine quickly and has administered over 2.7 million doses. As of March 29, more than one million people have been fully vaccinated and more than a quarter of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As more Wisconsinites get fully vaccinated and COVID-19 disease rates remain high, it is critical for everyone to continue good public health practices. Masking up, staying physically distant, washing hands, and getting tested continue to be crucial tools for protecting ourselves and our communities against COVID-19. People who are fully vaccinated can review recently released post-vaccination guidance. For information, resources, and data related to Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccination program, visit the COVID-19 vaccine webpage.

Highway 23 bridge expected to be open to one-lane traffic by June Wisconsin Department of Transportation The relatively good weather this winter and even warmer weather these last few weeks have kept this project on schedule. The dedicated employees of Kraemer North America worked nearly every day this winter. They took only a few days off for some large snowfall events and a week of bitterly cold temperatures. WisDOT, WisDNR and Kraemer North America worked together to ensure the bridge removal process minimized debris from entering the Wisconsin River. A detailed river bottom scans both before and after the deck removal confirmed minimal debris entered the river. Kraemer North America hired a dive team to remove the few pieces identified by these two scans. That dive team successfully removed those pieces in early January. Currently, the wooden falsework needed to pour the concrete deck is in place. Next week, Kraemer North America will begin placing the deck reinforcing bars into their specified locations. With continued good weather portions of the new concrete deck (i.e. driving surface) will be poured in April. A few of reminders again as mentioned in the previous email: · Thank you for your patience during this construction project, utilizing our

Photo via WDOT A view of the construction working being done on the Highway 23 Bridge. The bridge is expected to be open for single-lane traffic by June. detour route and driving safe. southbound vehicles) in June of 2021. will remain open to boaters and other · The bridge will remain closed The entire project is to be completed and recreational users, but some portions throughout the winter and spring. The the bridge fully open to traffic in Sepwill be restricted for your protection. bridge is to be open to traffic (likely one tember of 2021. Be alert for crews working and use lane that will utilize traffic signals to · The river under the bridge will be a caution when navigating this area. alternate traffic between northbound to work zone during construction. The river


Community

WednesdaY, March 31, 2021

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Pot-belly pig goes on weekend adventure through Clyde Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief A pot-belly pig went on a grand adventure through the town of Clyde this weekend, befriending neighborhood cattle on its way. On Sunday morning, Town Clerk, Deanna Brennum sent out an email questioning if someone was missing

a pot-belly pig. Brennum witnessed the animal during her morning walk, where she saw it mingling with a neighboring farm’s cattle. Brennum described the pig as about 25 pounds, wagging its tail and seemed friendly. “I was just in shock as he seemed so

at home in a place that was definitely not his home,” said Brennum. “It was something out of the story of Charlotte’s Web. The proud pig was quite enamored with the black steer and was prancing along side of it with his head in the air and his little tail just wagging. The steer would head butt the pig

and the pig would head butt it back.” Around 9 p.m. Brennum sent a follow up email saying the owners had been located, and collected from his four to five mile adventure. The animal owners brought the family dog to collect it, because the pig would respond to the dog’s presence.

Photos by Deanna Brennum, Town of Clyde Clerk Left: The pig runs behind the feeder to meet his new-found friends, some neighboring cattle. Right: The pig scurries around a farm during his walk through Clyde.

Local utility companies receive grants to expand internet access continued from page 1

RUC will be expanding gigabit fiber in Bear Valley on 25 miles of roadway on Highway 130. The project will cost $860,000, with grant funds of $327,000. The Richland Telephone co-op plans to lay 50 miles of main fiber

optic in rural areas of Richland county on Highway 80, the fiber will serve 225 locations. The project will cost approximately $1.7 million, with grant funds covering $690,000. A second project from Richland Telephone co-op includes laying

18 miles of main fiber optic lines between Highway 14 and Highway 56 in Richland County, covering 145 locations. The project will cost $1.2 million, and the grant will offer $500,000. Tech Com, Inc received $323,000 in grant funds to lay

18 miles of main fiber optic along Highway 80 to Highway Z in Richland County. This will include an area of County Highway A to Highway 56 and Highway 14. The project is expected to cost $685,000.

River Vally High School student named runner-up in collegiate pitch competition River Valley High School Sophomore Kylie Morrey was a runner up for a cash prize at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Midwest High School pitch competition earlier this month. Morrey was one of 15 students to participate in the annual “Shark Tank” style business pitch with teams from high schools throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. The teams have six minutes to pitch their start-up idea, and five minutes for a question and answer period with the judges, that includes members of the UW-Whitewater Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO), who also organizes the event. The contestants compete for a cash prizes of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 and gain feedback on their business ideas and pitches, this year’s event was held via Webex. According to the UW-Whitewater CEO website, the pitch contest was created in 2017 to “is to help foster creativity, innovation, and a solution-orientation within high school students and provide them the practical skills of business model development and professional presentation skills” Morrey competed with students from Aurora, Illinois, Barrington Illinois, Wilmette Illinois, Fort Atkinson Wisconsin, Menasha Wisconsin. A team from the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora,

Morrey Illinois won the first place prize of $2,000, with Solidify, a chemical compound to prevent the impact of acid rain on concrete. The student from Fort Atkinson took home the second place $1,000 prize with a pitch titled Heated Hoodie. Another team from IMSA won the third place $500 cash prize for their pitch titled Contrush. Students from Willmette and Barrington Illinois took home fourth and fifth place, respectively. Morrey was joined with the student from Menasha as a runner up. —Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief

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Community

WednesdaY, march 31, 2021

Spring Green gold course rate stay steady in 2021 continued from page 1

ing a season pass (unlimited golf), the rates are: Family - $350, Couple - $300, Single - $235. For the 2020 season, in the interest of giving more young people access to golf, we allowed juniors (under 18 year of age) to play for free. We will once again be offering free golf for juniors, with one requirement; juniors must register with the Spring Green Golf Club by filling out a membership form and getting a bag tag. A family membership would cover parents and college students between the ages of 18-24. Golfers bringing their personal motorized golf carts to the course will need to pay an annual cart fee of $50. The Village of Spring Green no longer handles the sale of memberships. If you

would like to purchase one you can contact us at sgmunigolf@gmail.com. We also have membership forms in the sign-in folder at the starter’s shack by the first tee box. When playing at the Spring Green Golf Course, we ask all golfers to sign in at the starter’s shack near the 1st tee, and indicate whether you are a member or a daily fee patron. For those paying daily fees, we have an envelope payment system at the starter’s shack. Please encourage all golfers you know to sign in and pay the proper fees. Without managing that system properly we would not be able to allow junior golfers to play at no charge. We will be auditing golfers on a random basis to ensure they have signed in and paid. Those who are found to have played without paying will be subject to a fine from

the Village of Spring Green. The unusual impact of COVID-19 resulted in a number of on-course changes in 2020. Bunker rakes, ball washers, and benches were removed from the course. Flagsticks were not to be touched, and a special device was inserted into each cup to keep the ball from falling all the way to the bottom. As of the beginning of this season, we will be going back to pre-2020 practices with most of those golf course fixtures. (There will still be a foam sleeve preventing the ball from falling to the bottom of the cup.) This decision is driven by the lack of scientific evidence pointing to the virus being spread by contact with surfaces such as bunker rakes or flagsticks. However, it’s still up to each golfer to decide whether to use any of those amenities while

playing at our course. If you feel safer not touching the flagstick or bunker rake, please follow what you feel is best for you. The leadership of the Spring Green Golf Club is working to ensure this vital resource remains viable for years to come. We look forward to seeing you back on the course this year. For more information check out our website: sites.google.com/view/sgmunigolf The Annual Membership meeting for the Spring Green Golf Club will be held on Tuesday, April 6th, at 6:00 PM in the Post House Garden. The meeting will be immediately followed by the SG Men’s League draft. In case of bad weather, the location will change to the Wisconsin Riverside Resort.

Board votes to reaffirm Crary as village administrator continued from page 1

have received in various forms including letters to Village Clerk Wendy Crary from residents who live along the route or do not support the route because they believe it will have a negative impact on local tourism. “As far as I know, there has only been the one,” said Jeff Johnson, a member of the River Riders ATV club. However, in the board packet for the March 24 meeting, Crary included five letters from Village residents who opposed or had concerns about the route. When the board originally discussed the matter in February when the route was first proposed, they discusses placing timing restrictions on the use of recreational vehicles and giving the route a trial period of one year, which Trustee Joel Marcus said he heard as a desire from various residents. The draft ordinance from Stoddard stipulates that ATVs cannot be used until a half hour before sunrise, and for a half hour after sunset, as well for the ordinance and routes to be reviewed annually. “We talked about that last time, running it for a year and just seeing how it goes,” said a member of the River Runners ATV club at the meeting. “My opinion is, I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding, they’re not as noisy as the Harley. So the people that think

we shouldn’t let these come down our streets that maybe we shouldn’t allow motorcycles are coming because motorcycles are a lot louder than these things are.” The ATV club members went on to say the recreational vehicles and riders would follow the rules outlined in the ordinance. Area resident Barbara Pratt spoke in support of limiting the ordinance for a year, as well as how this would help bring additional customers to downtown businesses. “And I understand that this is the purpose to support the business.” said Pratt. Trustee Robin Reid echoed thoughts of misunderstanding from village residents. “I also heard from a fairly large number of village residents and town residents who also love Spring Green. And a lot of people didn’t understand that we have time restrictions, they didn’t understand the route was going to be very rigid,” said Reid. “In other words, people can’t just drive all over town. They didn’t understand that you’d have to have a driver’s license, and your vehicle needs to be roadworthy, those things weren’t understood. There are a lot of misunderstandings, a lot of these issues are addressed in the ordinance itself and are very clearly spelled out.” Reid said she supported a year-long

trial period for the ordinance, and gaining feedback about their experiences with the route. Trustee LuEtta Miller echoed Reids words, adding that she contacted other municipalities and the Sauk County Sheriff’s office regarding safety concerns. “They have had very few if any illegal activity throughout the length of duration that they have the municipalities that had the ordinances,” said Miller. Ed Lilla, a Wood Street resident spoke during the meeting, saying he is not opposed to the route, but does have concerns. “I don’t accept all that somehow, village residents are ignorant to the fact that, you know, motorcycles make noise and other things make noise. And these vehicles aren’t that noisy. I bought this home, and I’m improving it. And I understood that motorcycles, Harley’s and everything else passing in front of the house make a lot of noise,” said Lilla. “20-30 of these vehicles in a caravan, which may not happen here, that’s what I’m waiting to see. I’m glad to see that the ordinance has the best time of operation, I’m glad to see that the ordinance addresses alcohol, you know, I trust that this group will be good stewards, and that won’t be an issue. But I do have a 12 year old son that’s kind of finding his way around town on his bike and things like that

now.” Lilla continued, “I have some reservation on the review, I think once these things go into place their hard to remove.” Ultimately, the board chose to take no action on the item, and returned it to committee for updated language surrounding the year-long review clause. The board will take up discussion and possible action on the route and ordinance at its next meeting.

Village Administrator

At it’s Feb. 10 board meeting, the village board voted to create a village administrator position, that was designed for village clerk Wendy Crary to fill that position in addition to her current duties. Following approval of the position and position description, the board voted to appoint Crary into the position, however that action item did not appear on the approved and publicly noticed agenda for the meeting. At the regular March 24 meeting, the board took up an agendized action item to reaffirm Crary’s appointment as village administrator, per the village attorney’s advice, according to Crary. The vote to appoint Cray as village administrator was unanimous.

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Arts & Culture

WednesdaY, march 31, 2021

Page 7

If you’ve always been taken with Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn: Audrey Bill Gordon, Contributor

Audrey: More Than An Icon

An excellent, tastefully done documentary, the film chronicles the life of Audrey Hepburn from a young girl separated from her parents during World War II and suffering from malnutrition, to an overnight movie star, to her later years as the face of UNICEF. Lots of archival video and insightful interviews with family members, friends, and Hollywood associates. A worthwhile investment of your time. 5/5 stars

Viewing information How to view: Netflix Release date: 2020 Duration: 100 Minutes Genre: Biography, Documentary Rating: R

Photo via Netflix

If you want to see what all the buzz is about: Promising Young Woman Bill Gordon, Contributor

Promising Young Woman

Billed as a thriller, it’s more drama than thriller (although the conclusion is certainly suspenseful and builds to a crescendo). Deeply affected by the sexual assault of her friend Nina while both attended medical school, Cassandra (Carey Mulligan) launches a one-woman crusade to entrap and educate men (and women) on the gravity of their misconduct. Cassandra employs highly effective in-your-face strategies to drive her message home to those complicit in the sexual assault on Nina. Smartly done and a worthwhile message for all. Promising Young Woman has five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Carey Mulligan). Written and directed by Emerald Fennell. (Still in theaters, currently available for rental on online sources.) 4/5 stars

Viewing information How to view: Prime Video Release date: 2020 Duration: 113 Minutes Genre: Drama, Thriller, Revenge Rating: R

Photo via Prime Video

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“The good stuff.”

Page 8

Arts & Culture

WednesdaY, March 31, 2021

Art from around the Valley: Oil painting of LWR off Highway 60 I’ve had a love affair with the Wisconsin River since I can remember. The river’s source begins at Lac Vieux Desert in the Lake District of Northeastern Wisconsin and travels 430 miles to meet the confluence of the Mississippi River, near Prairie du Chien. A while back I’d heard rumors of a re-construction project on my favorite stretch of river road, Highway Sixty West along the Wisconsin from Gotham to Muscoda. This eleven-mile Scenic Highway is to me, the most magical section of the road with its curves and rock outcroppings which never lose sight of the river. A trip back in time to relax and leave the world behind for a while. I began an art project to document, photograph, and interview the locals to understand the history of this river road before it was gone. The oil painting entitled “The Wisconsin River from Sixty West near Muscoda” was part of the project. I liked the way the tree seemed to frame the very essence of the river. This scene was captured near the base of the mysterious Bogus Bluff. As legends have it, this was a place of post-Civil War counterfeitors, hidden Spanish gold, and an intriguing lost cave where an ancient culture left behind artifacts and other treasures. Time still flows along the beautiful Wisconsin River through legend and history but one must always remember to be respectful of its powerful shifting sandbars, sudden drop offs, and strong currents. —Jen Salt, Contributor Jen Salt is an artist who lives in a place she calls “Crow’s Lair Cottage”-just outside of Spring Green where she’s lived for five and a half years. “The Wisconsin River was the draw to move here and I’ve never looked back, coming from a big city. This is home.”

Painting via Jen Salt

APT’s Winter Words Series – Thoughts on ‘Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue’

Alison Graves, Contributor In music, a fugue is a short melody or phrase which is introduced and then developed and interwoven throughout a composition. In psychiatry, it refers to a “fugue state”—a period of loss of awareness of one’s identity. In Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, it could be both. A drama written in 2006 by Quiara Alegría Hudes, APT’s reading was directed by Melisa Pereyra as the third in its series of four live-stream, one-night only Winter Words play readings, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue creates something new by melding both types of fugue. Lyrical, touching and without being political, it traces the legacy of war in a coming-of-age story portrayed through three generations of a Puerto Rican family living in Philadelphia. APT’s reading featured a stellar cast, with Donovan Diaz as Elliot Ortiz, a young marine in the Iraq War; Wendy Mateo as his mother Ginny, an Army

Core Nurse veteran from the Vietnam War; Armando McClain as Elliot’s father, Pop, also a Vietnam War veteran; and Triney Sandoval as Grandpop, a Korean War veteran. The play was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and is the first installment in a trilogy of plays by Hudes that follow Elliot’s return from Iraq. The second play, Water by the Spoonful, received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and is followed by the trilogy’s final play, The Happiest Song Plays Last. Hudes body of work also includes the Tony-award winning musical, In the Heights. Like a musical fugue, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue weaves each character’s story throughout as they narrate each other’s actions and their own war experiences, telling of their literal and figurative battle scars. It also reflects on the second definition of fugue, as it explores the bubble of silence that often seems to

envelop the stories of military veterans. Through the course of the play, the legacy of war, post-traumatic stress, and the nature of military service are revealed. Each family member has their own stand-alone narrative, and they are also woven together, much like the garden Ginny plants and reflects upon in her beautiful monologue. Her garden has grown since Elliot left for Iraq. “Each seed,” she says, “is a contract with the future.” It is her expression of faith that “something better will happen tomorrow.” Grandpop speaks of the flute he took to Korea, where he played Bach to soothe his fellow soldiers during breaks in the fighting. He discusses a musical form he compares to an argument: “The voice is the melody, the single solitary melodic line. The statement. Another voice creeps up on the first one. Voice two responds to voice one. They tangle together. They argue, they become

messy.” How to sort the major and minor keys, “all at once on top of each other”? asks Grandpop. He is speaking as much for the play as he is for himself and the intertwined strands of the family’s relationships, their military experiences and wartime remembrances when he explains, “It’s about untying the knot.” The trauma expressed and untied by each character, and their wounds recounted—both physical and psychological—is transformative for the story tellers and for the listeners. The seeds are planted for the audience to take in and learn from. The final reading of APT’s Winter Words series is sold out, but if you can, find a friend or family member in your COVID-pod who has Zoom access and watch Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea by Nathan Alan Davis, directed by Ameenah Kaplan, on April 5.

APT’s The Road Back : Spring Green is back in business American Players Theatre

The announcement of APT’s 2021 in-person Summer Season was an emotional event here in Spring Green. And, from what we’ve heard, it was for you as well. So to start, we want to thank you for the support, the excitement and even the tears you’ve shared with us since then. Your emails, notes and social media comments make us so happy, and keep us going when challenges come our way (and they do keep coming). But today is for accentuating the positive, so thanks once again for being the best audience we could hope for. Another group that was particularly happy to hear about APT’s return to in-person performances is our friends in the Spring Green area business community. The pandemic – and the cancellation of our 2020 season – has hit them hard. But they have persevered, and are so eager to see you back in their shops and restaurants this summer. “We are very excited APT will be performing again this summer! Last summer, we would sit and look out the windows at the eerily quiet streets of

Spring Green, missing the vitality and energy that all these people bring to our small town,” said Eric Ferguson, who owns the White School Collective. Their Friday night pizza parties have become a tradition around town, and APT visitors that were lucky enough to experience their exceptional wood-fired pizza buffet were in for a treat. Eric said, “We had to make some changes to get through the year. Instead of doing a buffet, we switched to take-out, a change that we’ll maintain.” Curbside pick-up is also available, and by the time the APT season rolls around, dining will also be available in the garden, with limited dining indoors. They’re also offering pre-ordered dinners on Tuesdays, and planning pop-up events in the garden on Saturdays, like cocktails and street food. Ruth at Prairie Flowers & Gifts is looking forward to catching up with APT customers, after the winter that lasted a full year! She has lots of new things at the shop, including a line of clothing from Italy, new hats and scarves for women, and locally made, fragranced wax melts. Meanwhile, next door at Convivio,

they have expanded their espresso counter and their outdoor patio space. Espresso drinks, wine by the glass, and spritzers are always available, and the backyard is a delightful place to visit with friends in a socially distanced way. Plans are in the works to expand their delicious selection of baked goods on the weekends as summer approaches. Owner Mary D’Alton said, “It’s never been this challenging to run a brick and mortar retail store in a rural community. We feel very, very lucky that we’re still in business. We’ve been fortunate to have been supported by our loyal local customers and friends of APT. We look forward to visits from APT audience members – many of whom have become familiar faces that visit each summer. We love to hear what they think of the plays and share their excitement.” The Spring Green General Store, a popular stop for the APT crowd, has pivoted to make the last year work. “There were tears of sorrow when we had to close our doors in March,” owner Karin Miller said. But though they weren’t open for in-person shopping, they regrouped and launched an online

store, started food-buying clubs, and offered personal shopping and backdoor pickup. In June, they deemed it safe enough to re-open. Karin said, “We have expanded our outdoor seating, we sanitize everything constantly and require everyone to wear masks (except when eating). We’ve reduced our indoor seating, installed plastic shields, offer contactless pay, curbside pickups, back porch pick-ups – in short, we are doing everything we possibly can to keep ourselves, and you, safe!” They hope to return to live music events soon. Though Bobfest – their annual day-long homage to Bob Dylan – is not happening this May, they hope that the other musical bookend of the season, Beatlefest, will take place in person on Labor Day. These are just a few examples – there are dozens of businesses in the Spring Green area that cannot wait to welcome you back this season. We hope you’ll take some time to visit them. While we wait for summer to arrive, check out the Spring Green Area Chamber of Commerce website to refresh your memory of all this area has to offer.


Outdoors/recreation

WednesdaY, March 31, 2021

Page 9

Botanist records the plants of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Diane Shwartz, Voices of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway

The plants of the Lower Wisconsin River Valley have stories to tell us. Are the soils sandy, fertile or wet? Are they rare or endangered? Is the plant edible or possess special properties? Michael Nee, a retired botanist from Richland Center, wants to tell these stories by cataloging the flora of the lower Wisconsin Riverway. His goal is to identify and record the plants at 28 properties, most of which are state natural areas. He’s been working on the project for several years and hopes to have it completed soon. The result will be a published book. “I need to spend several weeks at the herbarium at the UW-botany department to do research to really get this done,” he said. Nee has been studying the plants of the riverway for decades. As a graduate student in late 1960s and early 1970s, he studied plants at the Blue River Sand Barrens and Avoca Prairie, prior to their designation as state natural areas. His work, in part, helped secure those designations. After graduating in 1979 from UW-Madison with a Ph.D. in plant taxonomy he spent the bulk of his 34-year career working as a curator at the New York Botanical Gardens, before retiring to his family farm in Richland Center. “I needed a project to do in retirement, and this is it,” he said. Nee said that in the lower Wisconsin Riverway there are many species which are nearly or quite confined to the bot-

Photo by Michael Nee Wild Rice, Zizania Poaceae along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway. tomlands. Each has its own history and ecology. • Wild rice, Zizania Poaceae, grows in huge populations in shallow water of the lower Wisconsin Riverway downriver from Boscobel to the Mississippi River, but much smaller patches upstream. Wild rice is common in northern Wisconsin, but in the driftless area is confined to the Wisconsin and Mississippi River valleys. Wild rice has been an important part of the economy in northern Wisconsin and northern

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Minnesota for thousands of years. It is now produced in commercial quantities in “rice paddies” in Minnesota and California. Rose mallow, Hibiscus laevis, is at the very northern edge of its range, and grows along the Mississippi River in Grant and Crawford Counties, and up the Wisconsin River as far as the Wauzeka area, but has not been found further upstream. It is a very conspicuous and beautiful plant with large flowers, so it would have been noticed if found further upstream. Seeds of Hibiscus laevis are commercially available, but other spectacularly large and colorful species of Hibiscus are more commonly grown. American lotus, Nelumbo lutea, grows in shallow water, and there are populations along lakes and rivers in many areas of Wisconsin, some probably planted populations. In the driftless area it is essentially confined to the Mississippi and Wisconsin River valleys. Along the Mississippi River there are some huge populations, but in the lower Wisconsin Riverway it is very local. It can be found at the Smith Slough

and Sand Prairie State Natural Area, obviously in the slough, not the sand prairie! • Swamp white oak, Quercus bicolor, is found in much of Wisconsin, but in the driftless area it is confined to the major rivers. In the lower Wisconsin Riverway, it is one of the dominant trees in all the floodplain forests. Nee is also working on a prairie restoration project at Button Bluff, a 60 acre parcel of land located between Lone Rock and Gotham on County JJ, some of which is in the riverway viewshed. The Button cemetery sits at the base of the bluff and is the resting place of his mother’s family members so preserving the bluff is important. He has recently restored a small prairie adjacent to the cemetery. The 28 properties in Nee’s plant survey include: Clifton Road, Mazomanie Oak Barrens State Natural Area, Loddes Mill Bluff State Natural Area, Ferry Bluff State Natural Area, Mazomanie Bottoms State Natural Area, Arena Pines and Sand Barrens State Natural Area, Tower Hill Bottoms State Natural Area, Tower Hill State Park, Spring Green Preserve State Natural Area, Bakken’s Pond State Natural Area, Smith Slough and Sand Prairie State Natural Area, Gotham Jack Pines State Natural Area, Button Bluff, Avoca Prairie State Natural Area, Frank’s Hill, Blue River Sand Barrens State Natural Area, Blue River Bluffs State Natural Area, Richwood Bottoms State Natural Area, Boscobel Bluffs, Woodman Sand Prairie State Natural Area, Woodman Lake Sand Prairie and Dead Lake State Natural Area, Wauzeka Bottoms State Natural Area, Adiantum Woods State Natural Area, Millville Oaks Woodland State Natural Area, La Riviere Park, Wyalusing Hardwoods State Natural Area, Wyalusing Walnut State Natural Area and Wyalusing State Park. Voices of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway is a blog run by Diane Shwartz that focuses on telling stories and experiences of the unique portion of the riverway. Voices of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway can be found at, www. voicesofthelwr.com

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Page 10 WednesdaY, March 31, 2021

Outdoors/recreation

DNR: Volunteers needed for frog call surveys Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

MADISON, Wis. – Frogs will soon begin chorusing throughout Wisconsin and the Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to lend their ears for help with two different frog and toad surveys. One survey requires volunteers to drive along set routes three nights during the frog mating season. The other is a phenology survey, aimed at understanding how climate change may be affecting frogs, which people can complete at home or at a nearby wetland, lake or river. “The information volunteers provide is essential to monitoring and conserving frog and toads in Wisconsin,” said Andrew Badje, a DNR Conservation Biologist who coordinates both

Photo by A.B Sheldon Spring peepers are beginning to call now, signaling the need for volunteers for the Wisconsin Frog & Toad Survey. surveys for the department’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program. Since both surveys occur at night after school and when the workday is done, the two surveys are great activities for families and can be completed while social distancing. “Many families rediscovered how essential nature was to their wellbeing during the pandemic by getting out to enjoy parks, birdwatching and more,” Badje said. “Our frog surveys are yet another great opportunity to connect with nature this year.” New volunteers can learn the different calls to identify the species, as well as learn more about frog and toad biology and ecology, by watching a series of short videos on all 12 frog and toad species in Wisconsin.

Traditional Driving Survey

The Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey (WFTS) is a citizen-based monitoring program coordinated by the DNR, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) . The DNR began the Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey in the early 1980s along pre-set driving routes in response to known and suspected declines of

numerous Wisconsin frog species, including the northern leopard frog, American bullfrog, pickerel frog and Blanchard’s cricket frog. Known as North America’s longest running citizen science frog calling survey, volunteers have logged 10,108 survey nights and 99,452 site visits since the survey began. “Over the years, these citizen scientists have helped DNR conservation biologists define the distribution, status, and population trends of all 12 frog and toad species in the state,” Badje said. Volunteers survey one night each in early spring, late spring and summer and make 10 stops per night (five minutes at each site). They identify the species calling and record that information and the relative abundance of each species. There are roughly two driving routes per county and many Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey routes are still available for 2021. Visit https:// wiatri.net/inventory/frogtoadsurvey/ Volunteer/googlemaps/RouteFinder. cfm for the Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey statewide map.

Phenology Survey Easily Done From

Home Or Nearby Neighborhoods

The DNR has recently added the opportunity for an unlimited number of volunteers to conduct phenology surveys. Such surveys help monitor frog breeding seasons in relation to fluctuating spring weather conditions. Volunteers select one site to monitor throughout the spring and early summer and spend five minutes per night, as often as possible, recording data. Volunteers have documented the highest levels of American bullfrogs and Blanchard’s cricket frogs since the survey began, a sign that proactive conservation measures for these two species are likely paying off. They also have been instrumental in documenting new populations of Blanchard’s cricket frogs along the Mississippi River in recent years, and in places they haven’t been documented in over 30 years. Volunteer data has also documented a long-term decline for the northern leopard frog over the 38-year survey, while showing that spring peepers, boreal chorus frogs and green frogs have been on more stable paths since the survey began.

Birding Report: Parade of migrating birds arrive on southerly winds Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Most of the state welcomed a parade of migrating birds this past weekend thanks to southerly winds and mild temperatures. The north finally saw a significant influx of early migrants such as robins, red-winged blackbirds, grackles, sandhill cranes, ring-billed gulls, killdeer, American woodcock and a wide variety of waterfowl. Canada geese were on the move there in large numbers, as were bald eagles, a few golden eagles and some red-tailed, rough-legged and sharp-shinned hawks. Feeder watchers noted a few more dark-eyed juncos, pine siskins and purple finches, as well as the highest numbers of common redpolls so far this year. Some evening grosbeaks also continued, and small numbers of Bohemian waxwings were found migrating along the Lake Superior shore. Gobbling wild turkeys and drumming ruffed grouse were widely reported. Farther south, waterfowl migration was impressive at many sites with open water, such as Lake Winnebago, Lake DuBay, Madison Audubon’s Goose Pond Sanctuary and elsewhere. A few of the ducks

found were canvasbacks, redheads, scaup, bufflehead, mallards, wood ducks, pintails, gadwalls, shovelers and green-winged and bluewinged teal. Goose numbers were incredible at some southeast Wisconsin locations, including Canada, cackling, greater white-fronted, snow and a few Ross’s. Tundra swans were also on the move, as were American white pelicans. The first common loons arrived on mostly southeastern lakes. Other new waterbirds included horned grebe, Bonaparte’s gull, greater and lesser yellowlegs and Wilson’s snipe. The south is also now seeing the second wave of early migrating landbirds, featuring species such as eastern phoebe, golden-crowned kinglet, brown creeper, tree swallow, northern flicker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, fox, swamp and savannah sparrows, and a few yellow-rumped warblers. American goldfinches have begun to molt into their brighter summer attire, giving the males a patchy yellow appearance now. Nesting season is even well underway for some species there. Great horned owls and bald eagles now have nestlings. Barred

Photo via DNR Conservation Biologist Ryan Brady Hooded mergansers and other waterfowl are plentiful across Wisconsin right now. Can you spot the well-camouflaged female in this photo? owls and redtailed hawks are prepping nests or on eggs. Great blue herons are active at rookeries, while hooded mergansers and wood ducks are already scoping out nest cavities. The first mourning dove nests have also been reported. Expect a slow to modest pace of migration over much of this week

due to largely unfavorable winds. The weekend’s birding conditions should be good, and then warmer, south winds should usher in new migrants early next week. Find out what others are seeing and report your observations to www. ebird.org/wi. Good birding!


Outdoors/recreation

WednesdaY, March 31, 2021 Page 11

An Outdoorsman’s Journal

Mark Walters, Contributor

Mississippi River Perch Challenge Hello friends, The last two years in the month of March I have headed down to Buffalo City which is located on the Mississippi River about 40-miles north of Lacrosse and used my ATV to go three miles where I fish some of the backwaters of the Mississippi for perch and walleye These backwaters are very close to the dam that controls pool number 5 and I have had excellent success shore fishing for perch and walleye that temporarily migrate to it for the spawning season. In all honesty I have been very excited for this trip for at least a month.

Sunday, March 21st High, 57, Low 30 Sustained 40 mph wind

I have my ATV in my enclosed trailer and a four wheeled feed cart to pull behind it with gear. Because all of my gear for this overnight experience will not fit into the cart, I have an Otter Sled strapped to the top of it. As you are about to find out bad luck would soon come my way! I arrived at the public boat landing at Spring Lake where I planned on unloading and taking the pleasant trip down to the dam with my golden retriever Ruby. As soon as I pulled into the landing a fisherman told me the trail had recently been closed to ATV travel. In all honesty, I would have rather been punched in the gut than hear that report. My new plan had me pulling my load exactly three miles and here was the killer. The wind was blowing into my face at a sustained 40-mph and I actually verified that report. I pulled my load and kept going

back to the line I would use, that I created when I hiked 1244 miles of the Appalachian train back in ‘91. “Eyes that see, ears that hear, feet keep moving, Home is near!” So, I make the journey and am super excited to catch some huge perch and walleye and when I hike into the backwater, I have some really bad news. The main channel of the river has created a sandbar that has 100% blocked the entrance. In other words, migrating perch and walleye could not get to where I was fishing. On another front, this was a challenge to myself and I had not brought any food whatsoever, I was going to live on fish. I rigged three poles with worms and spread them out over 60-yards of shoreline and after 4-hours concluded that I was going to starve. I knew that I could go to the river, but the sand was blowing so intensely that it looked like it was snowing. Just before dark I moved one pole over to the river and caught a teninch perch right off the bat. In the dark I moved my entire operation over to the river and though I caught several red horse which are inedible, I did not catch any more perch. A couple other side notes, I did not bring a tent and a light rain began and it was so windy that for the first time that I can remember, I could not light my propane light. I was super hungry, so I filleted and fried my one perch and it actually made me feel very good.

Monday, March 22nd High 61, Low 44

I was up long before the sun and caught one undersized walleye that I really wanted to eat but let go. At daybreak it was the lets watch people in boats show while they watch

Photo by Mark Walters, Contributor The main channel had created a sandbar that blocked the fish from swimming into this backwater!

Photo by Mark Walters, Contributor Walters and Ruby on the trek to paradise.

Photo by Mark Walters, Contributor Red horse were plentiful on this trip!

the crazy guy on shore show! You cannot reach this spot by vehicle or ATV so it was all mine. I started catching perch, very slow but I was catching them, and one was almost 13-inches, but unfortunately I lost most of my spot to fishermen that anchored over it. I fished super hard and loved it and it was amazing to watch the people show. There was one guy that every time someone caught a fish he would watch with envy and literally move his boat within 15-feet of them or me if I caught one. The other crazy part of this day is that by 3:00 when I loaded the cart, I had caught 44 red horse. I filleted five of the perch and fried them before

the hike back and that gave me big energy for the trek. Another side story is that since I thought I was using the ATV, I only had hip boots or cowboy boots, neither are ideal for a long slog, pulling a load. I love the Mississippi, my first job out of high school was as a deckhand on a river boat when I was 18. I tried canoeing up it back in 87 and this trip was just another notch in the belt of positive, life experiences. Live till you can’t! —Sunset

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Page 12 WednesdaY, March 31, 2021

COVID-19 Dashboard Wisconsin Summary

576,632 Positive Cases

Cases as of 3/30/2021

+3,862 from 3/22

2,715,398 Negative Cases

+26,712 from 3/22

6,612 Deaths +36 from 3/22

Vaccine Summary Statistics Updated: 3/30/2021

3,002,745

2,753,146

Allocated

1,453,436

Administered

1,244,508

Pfizer doses administered

55,080

Moderna doses administered

Johnson & Johnson doses administered

Vaccine Data Updated: 3/30/2021

Richland County

1,272 Positive Cases -19 from 3/22 8,031 Negative Cases +70 from 3/22 15 Deaths +0 from 3/22

These two core measures are all measures of herd immunity in Richland, Sauk and Iowa County. We do not yet know what level of vaccination leads to herd immunity for COVID-19, or how current or future variants might affect herd immunity. We know based on other diseases that herd immunity is likely at least 60%, and if more transmissible variants become more common, that threshold may become higher, so our current target range is 60-90%. -Madison Public Health and Dane County

Richland

Target Range

31.5%

31.1%

Iowa County

1,950 Positive Cases +15 from 3/22 11,122 Negative Cases +106 from 3/22 11 Deaths +1 from 3/22

Sauk County

5,475 Positive Cases +65 from 3/22 34,818 Negative Cases +106 from 3/22 44 Deaths +0 from 3/22

Sauk

Percent with at least one vaccine dose

Percent with at least one vaccine dose

22.4%

19.8%

Percent fully vaccinated

Percent fully vaccinated

Iowa

Target Range

35.8%

Percent with at least one vaccine dose 22.2%

Percent fully vaccinated

Cumulative total confirmed COVID-19 cases by date in Wisconsin Cases as of 3/30/2021

Graphic by Whitney Back

Cases per zip code Cases as of 3/30/2021

Data From: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm

Target Range

Profile for Valley Sentinel

Valley Sentinel - 03-31-2021  

Valley Sentinel - 03-31-2021  

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