Peninsula Pulse February 12-19, 2021

In this issue

  • Door County Economic Development Corporation Welcomes Julie Schmelzer

    The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) has welcomed Julie Schmelzer as its new director of business development, overseeing revolving loan fund programs, existing business programs and small-business support efforts throughout the county.  Schmelzer joins DCEDC with more than 30 years of experience in community development and public administration, working for counties in Wisconsin and […]

  • Creative Entrepreneurship during COVID-19 Times

    In March 2020, social-distancing protocols changed the way we shopped, dined and interacted with almost everything. Businesses were forced to make choices: adapt to new COVID-19 protocols to remain open, seek funding to replace lost income and wait it out, or close down. The difficult choices were made even harder for individual or small-business owners […]

  • Historical Museum Presents A Door County Winter Exhibit

    The Door County Historical Museum is sharing A Door County Winter: a new display in the windows of its display annex in the former Younkers Home Store on the corner of 4th Avenue and Louisiana Street in Sturgeon Bay. The display includes vintage winter outerwear, furs and hats that bring to life the cold-weather styles […]

  • Suds with Sophie: Trappist No More, A Salute to Former Monastic Brewery Achel

    The Belgian monastic brewery Achel – pronounced “Ak-ill” – has recently lost its last monks and therefore must lose its certification, although they can continue to call their brews Trappist Achel – they lose the use of an official Trappist product logo. Now you may be wondering, “What do monks have to do with brewing?” […]

  • Bits & Bites

    Wild Tomato’s February Donation Creation This month’s Donation Creation features beer-infused wild-boar sausage with onion jam, potatoes, bacon, rosemary and arugula salad on a bed of mustard aioli. Proceeds from this month’s Donation Creation will go to the Door County Medical Center Auxiliary.  Kitchen Barons Delivers New to Sturgeon Bay is Brad Hunsader’s new venture, […]

  • Pandemic Hits Some School Enrollments

    State organization pursuing waiver on student data for one year Enrollment losses can cause schools to lose thousands of dollars in school funding, and many districts statewide had unusual declines related to family decisions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With thousands of families statewide either homeschooling or sending students to neighboring school districts in response […]

  • Editor’s Note: What I’ll Keep Post-pandemic

    Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, tweeted a help-wanted ad a couple weeks ago for another of his companies, Neuralink. In the short term, employees would work to solve brain/spine injuries. In the long term, the work would help to create human/artificial intelligence symbiosis. “Latter will be species-level important,” he concluded. Sounds like gratifying work – helping to […]

  • Letter to the Editor: A Greener and Cleaner Festival Challenge

    After last season, it seems clear that folks will flock to Door County even if we don’t provide a “festival,” so perhaps this would be an opportune time to rethink our festivals.  Perhaps we could use them as a way to educate people about this fragile shelf of limestone jutting into a constantly – and sometimes […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Thankful for Vaccine and Its Handling

    My husband and I would like to thank the Door County Public Health Department for its excellent handling of the COVID-19 vaccines. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers for their wonderful service, smiles and knowledgeable information.  Several members were stationed outside in the sub-zero temperatures but remained cheerful and ready to help. We […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Shout-Out to the Baileys Harbor Fire Department on its New Fire Station

    Congratulations to the Baileys Harbor community on its new fire station! As a member of the Baileys Harbor Condo Association, I’ve followed the Baileys Harbor Fire Department’s efforts from early on. I was impressed with how Chief Brian Zak, Assistant Chief Eric Peil and their team carefully weighed every step in the process, from selecting […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Shout-Out to the Baileys Harbor Fire Department on its New Fire Station

    Congratulations to the Baileys Harbor community on its new fire station! As a member of the Baileys Harbor Condo Association, I’ve followed the Baileys Harbor Fire Department’s efforts from early on. I was impressed with how Chief Brian Zak, Assistant Chief Eric Peil and their team carefully weighed every step in the process, from selecting […]

  • Letter to the Editor: A Primer on Cross-country Ski Trails

    This letter is to clarify etiquette on cross-country trails. In Door County, all state parks have designated ski trails, on which skiing is the only activity allowed during the winter. Despite clearly posted signs at all entrances stating “No hiking, no biking, no dogs,” perfectly groomed trails continue to be obliterated by hikers. In cooperation […]

  • Server of the Week: Diane Lopez at Peninsula Pub

    You come in from afar To a tiny bar in the middle of a busy peninsula, And with your kin, you sling some gin And burgers as big as your head. Without you, there would be no glue To hold this tiny pub together. Princess D is the very best you’ll see – Her service […]

  • Norton Joins 1,000 Point Club, DC United Caps Season at State Swim Meet

    Southern Door senior Nicole Norton joined the 1,000-point club this season, reaching the milestone during an Eagles victory over Peshtigo. Norton is pictured with her mother, Marissa; and father, Jason. Photo by Ann Bretl.  The DC United boys swim team competed in the recent state swim meet in Waukesha after finishing third at sectionals. Jacob […]

  • Bowling League Results

    Majors League  Feb. 9, 2021 • High team game: Innovative LED Solutions 1,129 • High team series: Apple Valley Lanes 3,264 • High game (women): Alisa Rupp 204, Kayla Fort 197, Kayla Fort 185  • High series (women): Alisa Rupp 557, Kayla Fort 548, Natasha LeMieux 487  • High game (men): Scott Voeks 279, Dylan […]

  • Door County Writes: ‘Valentine’s Anxiety’

    by Michael Brecke For some reason, my memory doesn’t remember the fourth-grade Valentine’s Day party, but the fifth grade, that’s different. That is when my anxiety about which valentine to give to which person hit. More specifically, which valentine to give to which girl. I had a preadolescent crush on one of the girls in […]

  • ‘Wisconsin People & Ideas’ Taking Submissions for Writing Contest

    Get the attention your writing deserves through Wisconsin’s largest and longest-running writing contests, hosted by Wisconsin People & Ideas, the quarterly magazine of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.  Winners in both the fiction and poetry categories will earn awards of $500 to $100, publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas and a reading […]

  • Write On Offers ‘Hike & Write’ Series

    Write On, Door County is offering a new Hike & Write series on the trails of its new writing center in Juddville. Each month, there will be a new theme for hikes that are ideal for families, individuals and those looking for a safe, beautiful outdoor activity. Booklets that guide visitors on a hike will […]

  • Ongoing Programs at Algoma Public Library

    The Algoma Public Library is offering some ongoing programs through February. On Tuesdays, head to the library’s TikTok page for a new book challenge, fun video to duet or react to, and other interactive content. The library also hosts Write It Wednesdays, when you can sign up to receive virtual writing prompts to get the […]

  • Jump-start Your Writing with ‘Developing a Writing Habit’

    Write On, Door County ( is offering Developing a Writing Habit, a six-week online course for beginning and established writers who need to develop or jump-start their writing. Led by Twin Cities author Robin Sauerwein, the class will help participants set goals to help them become the writers they want to be. The course will […]

  • Door County Writes: ‘Lemon Drops’

    by Cindy Crebbin Elegant glass pitcher holds coldwater as sugar siftsdownward and is stirred.Deep yellow lemon,like the color of forsythia,sliced into thin pieces, rind and translucent fruit:spokes of wheels in sunlight,gleam as jewels.A work of art — homemade lemonade.  I sit and gaze at the transparent pitcher as I slowly sipthe taste of cool lemon drops. Cindy […]

  • Door County Writes: ‘Black Ice’

    by June Nirschl, written in response to: Tell a story about a time when you were very cold. Help your readers picture exactly where you were and what you were doing. You’re allowed to use the word “cold” only twice! I gave a sharp twist of the SUV steering wheel to the right, pulling the […]

  • Ellison Bay Pottery Winter Hours

    Ellison Bay Pottery will be open Fridays and Saturdays, 11 am – 4 pm, during the winter. It will also offer a 10 percent Valentine’s Day discount Feb. 12-13 and free shipping through February. To get more information, visit or call 920.740.5859.

  • Mini ‘Love, Door County’ Packages from Artisan Market Now Available

    Although the “Love, Door County” Pop-up Market has been consolidated to one day – Feb. 13, 11 am – 2 pm, at the Door County Fitness Studio – the gift packages representing this market and its participating artisans have expanded to include four “mini” packages, starting at $25.  “The four ‘mini’ packages are a deconstruction […]

  • Capturing Door County: The “Super Realism” of Audrey Off

    Audrey Mae Off’s work captures the essence of Door County through picturesque landscapes and iconic maritime scenes that anyone with a love for the county will immediately recognize: the bold, red North Pierhead Light at the end of the canal; a laker coming through the Steel Bridge; rocky shores with breaking waves; and seagulls among […]

  • Pet Tip: Cold Weather Pet Safety

    It’s the time of year Wisconsinites have come to know and love: a time of bitter-cold temperatures along with snowy, icy streets. The Wisconsin Humane Society reminds those who care for animals that cold weather poses threats to their furry friends and suggests these tips to help keep their animals safe: • Keep animals inside. Even […]

  • Sturgeon Bay Featured in ‘Municipality’ Magazine

    Sturgeon Bay’s 2020 economic-development efforts have been featured in the February 2021 issue of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities’ The Municipality magazine in an article titled “Economic Development during and after the Pandemic” by Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward. Thanks to Destination Sturgeon Bay, Tim Graul’s cover photo also offers readers a glimpse of the […]

  • Ridges Announces New Executive Director, Mike Reed

    The Ridges Sanctuary has named Mike Reed as its new executive director, replacing Steve Leonard. Reed brings more than 30 years’ experience with the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay, serving as its director, 2011-19. During his time at Bay Beach, Reed created a volunteer-based wildlife-rehabilitation program, developed a nature-based four-year-old kindergarten in conjunction […]

  • Cradle to Career Receives Award from 100+ Women Who Care

    The 100+ Women Who Care of Northern Door County giving circle recognized and awarded three local nonprofit organizations in January.  The Door County Cradle to Career program of the Lakeshore Community Action Program received the main award of $10,000 and will use it to deliver services that promote family stability and wellness, educational attainment and […]

  • Salvation Army Sets Record Red Kettle Campaign

    The Salvation Army of Door County had a record-setting 2020 Red Kettle Christmas campaign thanks to the hard work and generosity of the community. The amount raised was just over $105,000 – the highest total ever. Door County was also the state’s top-ranked county among Salvation Army service-extension units, meaning that the organization does not […]

  • Sonny’s Hosts Blood Drive

    Sonny’s Pizzeria will host a blood drive Feb. 25, 11 am – 5 pm, to support the Community Blood Center (CBC), which is the sole provider of blood, platelets and plasma to Door County Medical Center. Schedule a donation by calling 800.280.4102 or visiting Enjoy complimentary Sonny’s pizza afterward, and receive a CBC pizza […]

  • Englebert Returns to State Wrestling Meet

    After 132 matches in his wrestling career at Southern Door High School, senior Grant Englebert is banking on wrestling three more this weekend to reach his final goal. Englebert, who placed second at 160 pounds in last week’s Valders Sectional, is competing in this third consecutive Division 3 state meet Saturday at Wausau East High […]

  • Bits and Bites: After Hours at Kick Ash, Last Chance for Wickman Ramen

    Kick Ash after Hours Kick Ash Coffee in Ellison Bay is open late on Saturdays through February, 4-9 pm, for coffee, snack boards, wine and desserts for those who are missing community time.  Celebrate Fire & Ice Virtually The Fire & Ice gala will be a virtual this year, and your ticket includes not only […]

  • County Cancels Remaining COVID 19 Community Testing Clinics

    Door County and the Wisconsin National Guard are canceling the  three remaining scheduled COVID 19 testing drive thru clinics that were planned through early March.  The dates that will be affected are as follows: February 22, March 1, and March 8.  The clinics have been canceled due to the drop in demand for the service.  […]

  • Municipalities Consider Short-Term Rental Regulation

    Sevastopol Town Board will take a first look at draft ordinance Feb. 15 Towns such as Liberty Grove and Sevastopol have started down the long and sometimes rocky road of regulating short-term rental properties (STRs): residential dwellings that are rented for short stays, generally through online lodging marketplaces such as Airbnb and Vrbo. The state […]

  • City Installing Cable for Canal Lane Residents

    The City of Sturgeon Bay has agreed to front the cost to provide high-speed internet to 16 heavily wooded, privately owned properties on Canal Lane, half of which are currently improved. Property owners would then reimburse the city for the costs. The property owners approached the city in the fall asking for assistance in obtaining […]

  • Wild Things: Perch, Pike, Trout and ’Eyes

    Whitefish not the only game in town Ice anglers have a smorgasbord of species to choose from when heading out onto the frozen waters of Green Bay. A terrific deep-water fishery for whitefish is the focus of many trips, but they’re certainly not the only possible catch. If you don’t mind sorting through smaller ones, […]

  • Door to Nature: Winter Seed Pods

    The thin covering of snow so far this winter is allowing some plants to show their seed structures above the surface. Often they go unnoticed prior to winter because they blend in with the other plants and woodland debris on the ground. The conspicuous remains of many plants are a pleasant reminder of the forthcoming […]

  • Roof Fire Snuffed Out

    The temperature was hovering just above 0 F when the Gibraltar Fire Department was dispatched Saturday around 9:40 am to a chimney fire on Gibraltar Road in Fish Creek. Deputy Chief Jerrad Anderson, the first to arrive, sized up a scene that included smoke coming out of the roof on both sides of the cabin. […]

  • Baileys Harbor Cautiously OKs Celebrations

    With no certainty about the containment of COVID-19 this season, the Baileys Harbor Town Board instructed its community association to proceed cautiously with event planning for 2021.  The board gave the go-ahead on Monday for Brynn Swanson, Baileys Harbor Community Association (BHCA) director, to take reservations from vendors and food-truck operators for a July Fourth […]

  • Kewaunee County Housing Study Focuses on Quantity, Quality

    Kewaunee County has a demand for single-family homes, senior-living units, and rentals, according to a new housing study (available at by Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission (Bay-Lake RPC). “The housing study by Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission was conducted to help us identify ways to solve the gaps within Kewaunee County,” said Scott Feldt, Kewaunee County […]

  • Baileys Harbor Looks for Big Energy Savings, Green Solutions

    With major concerns about the fuel-oil-heated town hall, Baileys Harbor officials want a solution, but they also want to know all of their energy-saving options. The town board on Monday delayed hiring HVAC and energy specialists from Trane to provide an investment-grade audit for an energy plan because Trane’s Thomas Huberty had not specified a […]

  • Forum Addresses the Child Care Trilemma

    Three of the primary goals of  Early Child Care and Education programs are quality, affordability, and competitive staff compensation. Meeting any one of these goals creates conflicts and/or challenges for meeting the other two. This is often referred to as the Trilemma of ECE programs. United Way of Door County hosts the latest in its series […]

  • Dollar General Hearing Set for Feb. 25

     The public hearing for a proposed Dollar General store that was postponed last year due to COVID-19 concerns has now been scheduled for Feb. 25, 6 pm, with Zoom and call-in options for participants. The meeting will start with a presentation by the developer, Peter Oleszczuk of Midwest Property Development. Participants will each have three […]

  • Skate This: Teresa K. Hilander Community Ice Rink

    The recent cold snap isn’t great for a lot of outdoor activities, but it makes for a great base of ice at the Teresa K. Hilander Community Ice Rink in Sister Bay. The rink has been a popular spot this winter as people seek safe outdoor activities. Founded in the late-1990s by a group of […]

  • Ice Coverage on Lake Michigan Isn’t What It Used to Be

    The rescues that brought 66 people from three separate ice floes safely to shore last week appeared pretty dramatic as viewed from land.  It wasn’t a scene witnessed often, if ever, in Door County, with two U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Air Station helicopters out of Traverse City, Michigan, lowering personnel to the ice to help […]

  • Open Door Bird Sanctuary Hosts Winter Open Days

    Open Door Bird Sanctuary ( will host its third annual winter Open Days on Feb. 13 and March 13, 11 am – 3 pm. Stop by to hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski (supply your own equipment) on the trails; enjoy the bonfire and warm beverages; and meet some resident raptors, too! Admission for the general […]

  • Shipyard Tour Rescheduled to Sept. 11

    The Noon Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay has rescheduled its 27th annual shipyard tour ( or to Sept. 11. Traditionally, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, CenterPointe Yacht Services and the Coast Guard cutter Mobile Bay open their doors the first Saturday of May to offer public tours during this Rotary fundraiser, but plans have been revised […]

  • Vineyard Walks, Sampling at Parallel 44

    Enjoy some fresh air, wine, exercise and discussion with Parallel 44’s winemaker, Steve Johnson, during vineyard walks each Saturday in February.  Johnson will lead visitors through the vineyard, making stops to sample wines made from various vines and Parallel 44’s specialty ice wine. The walk will conclude with a glass of wine of your choice […]

  • Algoma Bird City Committee Seeks Photo Submissions

    The Algoma Bird City Committee is seeking unusual bird photos for its annual World Migratory Bird Day celebration. Photographers of any age or skill level may submit photos of birds in any natural setting – in backyards, at feeders, in the air, in trees, along shorelines – as long as the photos were taken in […]

  • Crossroads’ Ski and Snowshoe for Free Offered When Conditions Permit

    Crossroads’ Ski and Snowshoe for Free will be offered Saturdays and Sundays when snow conditions permit, and Crossroads now offers kicksleds for use as well. Check out weather conditions and learn more at

  • Fish Tales Lecture Series Returns Virtually

    Crossroads at Big Creek will share the science of Great Lakes fisheries through the Fish Tales Lecture Series, in partnership with the Door County Library. To participate in the presentations via Zoom or Facebook Live, visit to connect. All presentations will start at 7 pm. The series will begin Feb. 18 with “The Science […]

  • Public Health Working Through Vaccine Waitlist

    The Door County Public Health Department will receive 200 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, allowing it to begin working through the list of people whose appointments have been cancelled.  By the end of the week the department will have provided 916 doses of the vaccine to Door County residents.     Those with cancelled […]

  • Obituary: Peter Solway Schuster

    April 26, 1956 ~ February 6, 2021    “We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”- Albert Schweitzer As so many in Door County can tell you, it was never a question of if you knew Pete Schuster, rather it was how you knew him. His roots in this place […]

  • Obituary: Claude C. Marcussen

    September 21, 1954 ~ February 5, 2021 Claude Christian Marcussen, 66, of Sturgeon Bay, died peacefully in the comfort of the “cube”, early Friday morning, February 5, 2021. He was born September 21, 1954 in Washington, D.C., the son of Clarence Claude Marcussen and Mary Ann (Peot) Marcussen. His father was serving in the United […]

  • Obituary: Dorothy Alice Peterson

    July 12, 1929 ~ February 4, 2021 Dorothy Alice Peterson, 91, of Algoma died at Algoma Long Term Care Unit on February 4, 2021.  She was born July 12, 1929 in Wayside, WI to Ehrfried and Olga (Mack) Schwahn.   On October 31, 1949, she married Peter O. Peterson in Rankin.  She and her husband farmed […]

  • Obituary: Kevin Michael Volkmann

    January 24, 1962 ~ January 29, 2021 Kevin Michael Volkmann, 59, of Normal, IL, died Friday night, January 29, 2021 at the Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. He was born January 24, 1962 in Sturgeon Bay, WI, the son of Kenneth Julius Volkmann and Carol Catherine (Junion) Volkmann. Kevin grew up attending Saints Peter […]

  • Obituary: Marshall B. Hanks Jr.

    June 6, 1943 ~ February 4, 2021 Marshall B. Hanks Jr, 77, of Sturgeon Bay, died peacefully in his home on February 4th, 2021. He was born in Fort Hood, Texas to Marshall Sr and Jane (Anderson) Hanks on June 6th, 1943. He married the love of his life, Marilyn, on April 11, 1964 in […]

  • Obituary: MaryLee A. Riddle

    August 25, 1960 ~ February 3, 2021 MaryLee Annette Riddle, 60, of Brussels, died at Aurora Baycare Medical Center on February 3, 2021, surrounded by her family. She was born August 25, 1960, in Sidney, MT to Ernie and Shirley (Yadon) Valnes.  On November 28, 1980, she married Philip Riddle in Sidney, Montana. MaryLee was […]

  • Obituary: Ruth Marie Marth

    November 27, 1948 ~ February 2, 2021 Ruth Marie Marth, 72, of Sturgeon Bay, died peacefully on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at Whispering Heights Assisted Living. She was born November 27, 1948 in Manitowoc, daughter of the late Donald Charles and Mildred Hildegard (Herman) Schmitt. Ruth graduated from Lincoln High School with the Class of […]

  • Obituary: Margo Ann Jackson

    November 26, 1943 ~ February 3, 2021 Margo Ann Jackson, 77, of Sturgeon Bay, died Wednesday morning, February 3, 2021 at Sturgeon Bay Health Services. She was born November 26, 1943 in Seymour, daughter of the late Alfred and Lulu (Snell) Melchert. Margo graduated from Seymour High School with the Class of 1962 before attending […]

  • Obituary: Gerald Vento

    April 17, 1950 ~ January 31, 2021 Gerald Vento, 70, of Sturgeon Bay, died in the comfort of his home with family by his side on Sunday, January 31, 2021. He was born April 17, 1950 in Milwaukee, son of the late Steven Alfred and Clara Regina (Prostlk) Vento. Gerald grew up in the Milwaukee […]

  • Obituary: Donette G. Hatch

    January 12, 1953 ~ January 29, 2021 Donette G. Hatch, 68, of Sister Bay died Friday evening January 29, 2021. She was born January 12, 1953 in Sturgeon Bay the daughter of the late Donald and Audrey (Anderson) Hatch. Donette graduated from Gibraltar High School before attending Bethel College and receiving her degree. She then […]

  • Obituary: Craig Allen Henneman

    July 10, 1944 ~ January 28, 2021 Craig Allen Henneman, 76, of the Town of Nasewaupee, died early Thursday morning, January 28, 2021 at Aurora BayCare in Green Bay. He was born in Bartlesville, OK in 1944, the son of Clarence Oscar Henneman and Bette Marie Henneman. Craig’s family moved to Pecatonica, IL in 1951. […]