Peninsula Pulse April 3-10, 2020

In this issue

  • Volunteers Needed for Door County Triathlon

    Producing Door County’s largest athletic competition requires lots of help, so volunteers are needed on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Door County Triathlon weekend, July 16-19, 2020. All volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and may enjoy a free pig-and-corn roast and beverages before or after their shift.  To review a list of […]

  • To Our Readers: Our Commitment Doesn’t Waiver

    We hope you are well as we all work through the limitations the pandemic has imposed on all of us. Like you, we are learning as we go about how best to cope with the uncertainty that now grips our world. We want to let you know how much we value the trust you place […]

  • Prepping for a Surge: Door County Medical Center adapts to treat community

    As other corners of the country have turned into hotspots of the COVID-19 crisis, northeast Wisconsin has been spared the worst blows, but local health-care officials have not been resting easy.  At Door County Medical Center (DCMC), the staff has used this time to prepare the hospital for a surge of patients, even as it […]

  • Have Compassion, Not Fear

    “Can we come up this weekend to open our cabin and do some spring cleaning?” The question was addressed in an email to Dave Lienau, the Door County Board chair who is getting exasperated with these queries. “No, stay home. Follow the governor’s orders, and stick to essential travel only,” he responded.  At this point, […]

  • PERSPECTIVE: It’s Time for Wisconsin to Lower the Voting Age for Presidential Primaries

    I am one of about 40,000 young Wisconsinites who will be eligible to vote in November but ineligible to vote in the spring presidential primary.  In almost half of the states across the country, 17-year-olds who will have turned 18 by the time of the general election are permitted to vote in that year’s primaries […]

  • Closing the Door: How Door County Decided to Ask People to Stay Away

    This story is published in conjunction with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism At the time, it seemed almost absurd. During an emergency meeting of the Sister Bay Village Board of Trustees on March 16, trustee Rob Zoschke leaned back in his chair and asked bluntly: “Should we be telling resorts to close down and […]

  • Time Extended to Request Absentee Ballot

    U.S. District Judge William Conley declined to postpone the election amidst election-related lawsuits, but gave voters additional time to cast an absentee ballot until 5 pm tonight. What Wisconsin Voters Need to Know: Absentee ballots can be requested until 5 pm on April 3. Absentee ballots returned to clerks by 4 pm on April 13 […]

  • At Home with Restless Kids?

    Try these activities to stimulate, amuse, enrich, pacify Photos by Alissa Ehmke Ever since schooling and work have moved to the home, the parenting landscape has changed completely. The COVID-19 pandemic has now made engaging with and entertaining kids during all of their waking hours a top priority for all parents. I have three kids […]

  • Framed: Door of Life Food Pantry

    On March 28, Pete and Roberta (pictured) Thelen delivered groceries purchased at Piggly Wiggly – including some additional items from Jay Kita, the store’s manager – to help restock the pantry at Door of Life in Sister Bay. Heidi Penchoff, who’s in charge of the pantry, was overwhelmed by the generosity of the parishioners of St. Luke’s […]

  • Manners Matter: Low on Funds

    Dear Mary Pat, I was supposed to see a concert in Green Bay at the end of April. It’s been rescheduled for mid-August, when I know I’ll be too busy to make it. They aren’t giving any refunds. I could really use that $70 right now because I’m out of work. Any suggestions?  Signed, Low […]

  • Servers of the Week: The Kita Clan and Staff at Piggly Wiggly

    Manager Jay Kita called his entire extended family into duty at the Piggly Wiggly in Sister Bay last weekend to help his staff keep the shelves stocked and the hungry fed through the coronavirus emergency. 

  • Wild Things: Brown Trout Tournament Falls Victim to SARS-CoV-2

    Continued concerns over what scientists are now calling Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has forced organizers to cancel the Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament. A statewide “Safer at Home order” that’s in effect until April 24 and a national social-distancing recommendation until April 30 means the planned April 23-26 event is off.  Darren Collin, […]

  • Going Garbage Changes

    Going Garbage has made some changes to its operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective March 27, it will accept only credit/debit cards (no cash) at its drop-off site at 10564 Old Stage Road in Sister Bay. House account charges will be invoiced as usual. Only employees may access the office until further notice. Residential […]

  • Fincantieri Shipyards Continue Work During Quarantine

    As the COVID-19 virus affects much of the world, Fincantieri’s Wisconsin shipyards are continuing their work in support of America’s infrastructure. The Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and the Navy have told Fincantieri leaders that their contracted work is vital to the nation’s economic and national security, so there is an expectation of continued […]

  • NWTC Continues Remote Learning Operations

    In just two weeks, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) has transitioned to remote operations to continue providing education and training that prepares the local skilled workforce. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order, NWTC has closed all campus facilities to students and the public until April 24 and is […]

  • Letter to the Editor: ‘My Heart Will Be in Ephraim’

    I first went to Door County in 1981. I had just been through a painful divorce, and my 11- and 14-year-old daughters, suffering as well, rarely had a kind word for each other. We went to Ephraim in June (ah, the innocence of thinking it would be summer). We stayed in a small rental cottage […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Smiling Always Helps

    Smile. It doesn’t hurt. You cannot get COVID-19 by making eye contact with someone, wishing someone a good day, saying hello to someone or smiling at someone. Door County is known for its kind, friendly ways – let’s continue those. Be kind; be safe; and remember that a smile never hurt anyone. Wish everyone well. Tim […]

  • Letter to the Editor: The CARES Act Conflict: Partisan Values in Stark Relief

    The U.S. Senate deadlocked over the third coronavirus pandemic-response bill. The first two dealt primarily with free coronavirus testing, sick leave and unemployment compensation. The third – the CARES Act – is a $2 trillion bill that seeks to address the pandemic’s economic consequences. The disagreement swirled around five points of contention: • Who controls loans […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Nonsense from the White House

    If someone has a rational explanation for U.S. Attorney William Barr standing, looking and acting like a doleful marshmallow (with zero to contribute in the absence of a means to criminally prosecute the coronavirus) next to POTUS Trump on the coronavirus task force podium yesterday rather than Dr. Anthony Fauci, I’d like to have it […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Supporting Dan Kelly

    I encourage people to vote for Justice Dan Kelly for the state Supreme Court on or before April 7. He has been endorsed by a majority of sheriffs across Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Police Association, Wisconsin Right to Life and the Wisconsin Realtors Association, to name a few.  He is a justice who believes in the […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Sending Great Appreciation to Scand

    This began as a thank-you, but in time, it has become a love letter.  I spent four weeks in February at Good Samaritan–Scandia Village recuperating from knee replacement and receiving physical therapy. As I hear about the incredible challenges facing facilities providing care, nursing and assisted living to Americans all over the country, I am […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Have We Forgotten Our Door County History?

    Eighty-five years ago on July 7, 1935, Door County held a centennial festival honoring Increase Claflin, Door County’s first pioneer, who settled here 100 years earlier, in the spring of 1835.  The celebration was held on the shore of Little Sturgeon Bay on the property owned by Charles Gustafson, who donated a small piece of […]

  • Door to Nature: Wild Leeks

    Nature’s greening of the earth Here it is, many days after St. Patrick’s Day, and the color green is still on my mind. As I look out at my drab, brown, partly snow-covered woods, I think about the first plants that should be pushing out of the ground in April: the wild leeks. If you […]

  • This Old Store: Anderson’s in Ephraim

    Of all the little grocery stores on which northern Door County families have depended, Anderson’s in Ephraim is distinctive: Not only did the Anderson family operate it for a century, but then the Ephraim Historical Foundation restored it as a museum. Since the 1960s, it has served as a memorial to honor all the other […]

  • For McHugh, Crisis Ends Shot at National Title

    Stories of the COVID-19 virus ending promising sports seasons prematurely have become regular topics of conversation during the last few weeks. The National Collegiate Athletic Association – taking a lead from the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League – decided on March 11 to cancel all of its winter and spring championships. Many […]

  • Washington Island Ferry Limited to Essential Traffic Only as Islanders Hunker Down

    It was only natural that Washington Island residents would raise the question: Should we stop running the ferries? Communities around the country have taken once-unthinkable measures to keep the novel coronavirus at arm’s length. Shutting down bars and restaurants once seemed drastic. Two weeks later, places such as Key West and North Carolina’s Outer Banks […]

  • Door County News & Notes: April 3

    Municipalities throughout the county are adapting to the new paradigm of physical distancing. The City of Sturgeon Bay announced that council meetings are canceled for the foreseeable future, and City Hall is closed except for the April 7 election. However, many services are available by phone, email or online at Other communities such as […]

  • Broken Routines

    Closures cause caregivers to take on new challenges Susan Reynolds-Smith’s son Reis is struggling to understand why his world is being turned upside down. Normally he would be spending his days getting exercise and taking part in community-based outings and work programs for six hours a day at Sunshine House.  But now Reis, a 24-year-old […]

  • Door County Emergency Response Fund

    by Bret Bicoy, President and CEO, Door County Community Foundation On March 19, United Way and the Door County Community Foundation activated the Door County Emergency Response Fund ( Door County Medical Center is already working hard to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis, and the Emergency Response Fund is a coordinated philanthropic response to […]

  • Connecting in a Disconnected World

    For many of us, the doors to our familiar routines have been inconveniently closed for the last two weeks. For others, however, the public-health crisis and resulting economic shutdown threaten to sever ties to a lifeline. Mental-health professionals in Door County are taking steps to hold those threads together. Door County Health and Human Services […]

  • Mental Health in Isolation

    Daily practices to battle mental burnout When the news started coming in about more and more places closing their doors due to COVID-19, I knew it would only be a matter of time until the Peninsula Pulse needed to follow suit. When the time came, I was prepared. Determined to be productive, I set up […]

  • An Update from Destination Door County

    by Jack Moneypenny, President and CEO, Destination Door County I wanted to share what we at Destination Door County are doing as we continue to navigate this global health crisis. We’re hopeful that, by working together now and following the recommendations from state and local health authorities, we will have the best chance to enjoy […]

  • Capitol Report: April 3

    Judge Dismisses Lawsuit to Delay April 7 Election A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the City of Green Bay to postpone the April 7 election, stating that the city and its mayor were not the proper parties to bring forth the lawsuit. The City of Green Bay’s suit against the State of Wisconsin […]

  • Reps in the News: April 3 – 10

    Representative Joel Kitchens Rep. Joel Kitchens released the following statement on the upcoming April 7 election in light of the coronavirus. “Gov. Tony Evers has been adamant that the April 7 general election and presidential primary will proceed as planned – at least for the time being. Legally, the only way we can postpone the […]

  • State News: April 3 – 10

    Fred Risser, Nation’s Longest-Serving State Legislator, to Retire Democratic state Sen. Fred Risser – the nation’s longest-serving state legislator – announced March 26 that he won’t seek re-election, bringing an end to a career that has spanned 64 years. The 92-year-old Risser was first elected to the state Assembly in 1956, then to the state […]

  • Suds with Sophie: Beer-Tasting Practicum

    by Sophie Nelson [email protected] If you’ve been behaving anything like I have during this time of social isolation – that is, working your way through your beer stash – I’ve got the perfect way to drink your beer and maybe learn to enjoy it a little more. A lot more goes into the beer-drinking experience than […]

  • Prevea Health Offers Online Screenings for People with COVID-19 Symptoms

    Prevea Health is offering free online screening and evaluation for COVID-19 through Prevea Virtual Care at The virtual visit assesses the patient’s symptoms and provides information about COVID-19. If additional care is needed, patients will be given instructions about where to go for lab testing and follow-up care while maintaining a safe distance from […]

  • Lakeshore CAP Closes Office to Public

    Lakeshore CAP offices are closed to the public to help decrease the spread of COVID-19. If you are homeless or in need of housing or any other assistance, call 920.682.3737, press 0 for the front desk, and leave a message. Messages will be checked regularly Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. If you are […]

  • PBS Wisconsin Introduces Statewide Educational Programming to Aid At-Home Learning

    As schools in Wisconsin have closed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, PBS Wisconsin and Milwaukee PBS are rolling out an ambitious plan, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, to support at-home learning for students and families by broadcasting a new weekday television schedule of programming with digital resources that connect to Wisconsin’s state […]

  • Door County Habitat for Humanity Creates ‘Little Free Library’

    With Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order in effect, Door County Habitat for Humanity (DCHH) has closed its offices and the ReStore to the public and suspended building activities – but that does not mean the organization has stopped serving the community. DCHH found a supply of N95 respirator masks in the safety equipment normally used […]

  • This Week on the Podcast

    Andrew Kleidon-Linstrom and Myles Dannhausen Jr. continue to keep you updated on Door County’s response to the COVID-19 emergency with podcast updates five days a week. This week, they talk to Rep. Mike Gallagher; the Door County Economic Development Corporation’s new CEO, Steve Jenkins; and Kate Roth about Baileys Harbor’s coloring contest to get people […]

  • Agropur Cheese Plant Donates Protective Equipment to Emergency Personnel

    Kewaunee County Emergency Management is asking local businesses to see whether they have personal protective equipment that could be used by emergency personnel during the COVID-19 crisis. One of the businesses that has answered the call is the Agropur cheese plant in Luxemburg, which is donating 16 boxes of nitrile gloves, six cases of lab […]

  • Door County Maritime Museum Shares YouTube Videos ‘Shipwrecks’ Exhibit

    Because of Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order, the Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) is closing its doors to guests for now, significantly limiting the number of staff in the office and cutting office hours. Administrative staff will be working from home and available through their work email addresses. If you have a question or […]

  • Pet Tip: Have A Bored Dog?

    compiled by the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus In response to COVID-19, The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) Door County Campus has temporarily suspended adoption services, and all adoptable animals have been moved to the Green Bay and Milwaukee campuses. To learn about WHS’s response to COVID-19, visit Until adoption services resume, WHS will […]

  • Once Upon Our Peninsula: April 3 – 10

    News from this week’s past All items are from the Door County Library’s newspaper archives, and they appear in the same form as they were first published, including misspellings and grammatical errors. Door County News April 7, 1915 J. L. Miner, historian of Washington Island, while on his way to Sturgeon Bay had a thrilling […]

  • Bowling League Results Apr. 3-10

    Women’s Masters March 16 • High team series/game: Rouer’s Grand Slam 1,636/549 • High series: Nicole Sperber 575, Penny Kramer 572, Missy Mueller 552, Jody Wheat 544, Sara Mueller 512, Joan Franda 506 • High game: Jody Wheat 204, Nicole Sperber 203, Sara Mueller 200, Penny Kramer 200 • Split conversions: Shirley DeFere 5-7, Dee […]

  • Miller Art Museum Launches Sketchbook Challenge

    The Miller Art Museum invites the community to participate in a sketchbook challenge to document this unprecedented time and will provide free sketchbooks to participants. Pick up a blank sketchbook anytime after 5 pm on March 30 from the literature box outside the south door of the museum’s office, 360 Nebraska St.  In February, the […]

  • Think Summer For Baileys Harbor’s Coloring Contest 

    The Baileys Harbor Community Association (BHCA) is hosting a coloring contest with the theme of “Favorite thing to do in the summer in Baileys Harbor.” A winner will be chosen from each age group – four to six years old, seven to nine, 10 to 17, and adults – and each will receive a big floatie […]

  • Peninsula Poetry: Phil Hansotia

    Phil Hansotia moved to Door County 16 years ago, after retiring from a distinguished career at the Marshfield Clinic. A member of the Wallace Poetry Group, he has been an active member of the poets’ community in Door County and Wisconsin. Caravaggio Press published his book, Looking for America: Poems of Memory and Discovery, in […]

  • Write On Cancels All Classes through May 7

    In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Write On, Door County has canceled all live classes and events through May 7 and will reassess the situation in mid-April to determine whether more programs must be canceled. The nonprofit writing organization is planning virtual programs to offer on its website and through social media. The fiction-writing workshop […]

  • Pen Park Naturalist Releases Book about Camp Meenahga

    Local Kathleen Harris has released her book From the Lookout: Memories of Peninsula State Park’s Summer Camp for Girls through the Wisconsin Historical Society Press this spring. Brimming with nostalgia, the book brings to life the sights, sounds and smells of an idyllic summer retreat – one that lived on as a place of respite in […]

  • ‘Mastering the Inland Seas’ Focuses on Great Lakes Navigation

    Theodore J. Karamanski’s sweeping maritime history, Mastering the Inland Seas: How Lighthouses, Navigational Aids, and Harbors Transformed the Great Lakes and America, demonstrates the far-ranging impact that the tools and infrastructure developed for navigating the Great Lakes had on the national economies, politics and environment of continental North America. Blending popular and original historical scholarship, […]

  • Publishing Industry News: April 3, 2020

    Curious about what’s happening in the world of books and publishing? Catch up on the biggest acquisitions, news, adaptations and more here! • The organizers of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo – the annual November write-a-thon during which authors write a novel in a month – have created a new initiative called StayHomeWriMo. Visit to see […]

  • Preserving My Sanity at the Ephraim Wetland Preserve

    Spending time outside is more important than ever. Getting your lungs full of fresh air and your mind focused on different sights and thoughts are ways to stay sane after being confined to your home all day. Monday evening was no exception. At 5 pm, the end of my remote work day, I decided to […]

  • While Quarantining, Watch and Listen

    There are a lot of things that aren’t easy right now, and a lot of us need some distraction. There are also a lot of ways to stay busy during a quarantine (did I just say “a lot” three times?), some of which include binge-watching TV programs, consuming movies, reading, and listening to podcasts. In […]

  • Obituary: Patricia Ann Moegenburg

    July 6, 1932 – March 29, 2020 Patricia Ann Moegenburg, 87, of Sister Bay and formerly of Baileys Harbor, died at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay. She was born in Sturgeon Bay to Eugene and Gladys (Hickey) Heald. Pat attended grade school in Baileys Harbor and graduated from Gibraltar High School in 1950. Upon graduation, […]

  • Bruemmer Park Zoo Closed; Rest Remains Open

    The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department has temporarily closed the lower portion of Bruemmer Park Zoo to the public effective March 23 to help lessen the spread of COVID-19. “We’ve noticed more people visiting the animals at the zoo since the closures of other public places have been ordered, and now, unfortunately, we need […]

  • Master Gardener Association Canceling Events

    The Door County Master Gardener Association (DCMGA), in cooperation with the UW-Extension, is canceling public events through the end of May due to the public-health concern. These cancellations include Mark Konlock’s April 21 program about Wisconsin gardens, Mark Dwyer’s April 28 program about coleus, and the DCMGA Plant Sale Committee’s May 5 program about the […]

  • Watch Comet Atlas from Home

    Thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society (DPAS) has teamed up with Crossroads at Big Creek for the second year to offer outreach programs about space. This includes watching the progress of Comet Atlas, which, like all comets, goes by the name of its discoverer. In this […]

  • Northern Door Children’s Center Closed Until April 6

    Northern Door Children’s Center, at the direction of the Board of Directors, has closed until April 6 due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Door County. On Monday, they will reopen and remain open for the foreseeable future. Governor Evers has determined that child care centers are considered essential services and has requested that […]

  • Changes to State Park Operations

    Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order recognizes outdoor activity as an essential activity. Under this order, we must do all that we can to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. People should stay as close to home as possible and avoid travel outside of their community. Distance is key while visiting state parks and […]

  • COVID-19 Webinar: Overview of CARES Act

    Senator Ron Johnson will give an overview of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in a webinar tomorrow at 12 pm. The historic $2 trillion federal stimulus package, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and signed into law by President Trump last week, aims to mitigate the […]

  • Obituary: Michael Roland Gulmetti

    Dec. 9, 1946 – March 24, 2020 Michael Roland Gulmetti, 73, of Sturgeon Bay died suddenly at his home.  He was born in Rockford, Illinois, to Larry and Ruth (Ditto) Gulmetti. He served his country in the U.S. Army for several years during the Vietnam Conflict. Michael lived most of his life in Rockford, where he and his […]

  • Obituary: Thomas E. Hunt

    Dec. 29, 1946 – March 28, 2020 Thomas Edward Hunt, 73, of Brussels died at his home.  He was born in Sturgeon Bay to Robert and Lois (Petersilka) Hunt.  On November 14, 1998, he married Cheryl E. Buelow in Sturgeon Bay.  Tom enjoyed working with and restoring cars, especially with his brother, Gerald. Survivors include his wife, […]

  • Obituary: Isabelle M. Derse

    March 18, 2020 Isabelle M. Derse (née D’Aoust), 99, died March 18, 2020. Beloved wife of 56 years to the late William; loving mother of the late Kathleen (the late Robert) Weinbauer, the late William (Caroline) Derse, the late Michael Derse, Thomas Derse, Robert (Susan) Derse, James (Linda) Derse, Mary (the late Ronald) Coppersmith, John Derse […]

  • Obituary: Larry Ohnesorge

    Dec. 14, 1953 – March 25, 2020 Larry Ohnesorge, 66, of Green Bay died peacefully at the Jack and Engrid Meng Residence.  He was born in Poynette, Wisconsin as the oldest son of Ronald and Joyce Ohnesorge.  He was a graduate of Marshfield Senior High School’s Class of ’72. Larry served our country in the U.S. […]

  • Obituary: Jill J. Jessen Jorgenson

    Dec. 28, 1948 – March 25, 2020 Jill J. Jessen Jorgenson, 71, of Washington Island died March 25, 2020. She was born on Washington Island to Karly and Evelyn Jessen. Jill graduated from Washington Island High School in 1967. Following three years of college, she returned to the Island and married the love of her life, Kermit […]

  • Obituary: LeRoy “Lee” Blaine Rusche

    Dec. 18, 1943 – March 23, 2020 LeRoy “Lee” Blaine Rusche, 76, of Sturgeon Bay died at home in the arms of his loving wife, Crystal. He was born in Sturgeon Bay, the youngest son of Harold Henry Rusche and Alice Maxine (Collins) Rusche. Lee attended Cherry School and graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1962. […]

  • Publisher’s Note: In Gratitude

    The last couple of weeks, I have found myself feeling incredibly grateful for the people in my life. Not just at home, but everywhere. The clerks at the grocery store. The bartender behind the counter. My coworkers, my neighbors, sales reps, postal workers, the guy who waved as he drove by, firefighters, garbage collectors, the […]

  • Obituary: Joan Marie Nystrom

    Nov. 20, 1935 – March 24, 2020 Joan Marie Nystrom, 84, of Baileys Harbor died at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay.  She was born in Chicago to Jacob and Anna J. (Hjornstad) Lura. In 1955, she married Karl Henry Nystrom. He died in 2017.  Joan was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Baileys Harbor. […]