Peninsula Pulse Dec. 22-29, 2023

In this issue

  • PULSE OF PHILANTHROPY: Our Most Important Resolution

    Eat healthier. Exercise more. Lose weight. Stop smoking. These are the most common resolutions people will make as we begin another trip around the sun. Yet if the purpose of a New Year’s resolution is to commit ourselves to a behavior that will improve our quality of life, we’re ignoring the one strategy that has […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Let Freedom Ring

    I have always revered President Roosevelt’s freedom speech of Jan. 6, 1941 where he identified the Four Freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Recent declarations by candidates running for elected office threaten to take away our freedoms. •Freedom to vote and have it count (ie no […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Racism in Wisconsin

    In the 2023 ranking of the most racist states in the U.S., Wisconsin once again came in first. It wasn’t close. Wisconsin scored 11 points lower than the second worst state (only the District of Columbia had a lower score than Wisconsin).  In another analysis, states were ranked on a state’s progress on delivering […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Control the Spread of Invasives

    I’d like to thank the Door County Highway Department and the employees that cut the brush along Highway 57 between Baileys Harbor and Sister Bay. Traveling that section of highway weekly for almost 40 years, I have watched the saplings, bushes and brush multiply, obstructing views when pulling out at intersections, limiting the visibility, and […]

  • Obituary: Charles Robert Gulley

    Nov. 11, 1933 – Dec. 24, 2023 Charles Robert Gulley, 90, Forestville, passed away Dec. 24, 2023, at the Meng Hospice Residence in DePere. Charles was born Nov. 11, 1933, in West Frankfort, IL to Amon and Nina (Waller) Gulley.Chuck attended and graduated from the Frankfort School system, where he played basketball and baseball.   […]

  • Obituary: Stephan James Morkin

    Nov. 11, 1950 – Dec. 19, 2023 Stephan James Morkin, 73, of Sturgeon Bay, formerly of New Lisbon, passed peacefully Tuesday evening, Dec. 19, 2023 surrounded by his loving family after a very brief illness. Born Nov. 11, 1950 to Killian Thomas Morkin and Diane Sue (Genrich) Morkin in Waukesha, Steph graduated from Whitnall High […]

  • Obituary: Marian Adams

    Oct. 9, 1928 – Dec. 18, 2023 With her family at her side, Marian G Adams (Collins), 95, passed away at her home at Parkview Gardens in Racine on Dec. 18, 2023. She was born in Racine on Oct. 9, 1928 to Lewis and Anna (Smith) Collins. Marian was united in marriage to Trulon Y. […]

  • This Year in Outdoor 2023

    Door County Triathlon Named Best in Country This spring, USA Today readers named the Door County Triathlon the best in the country after six weeks of voting. A panel of experts had nominated 20 races for the vote, and the Door County event won over triathlons such as the Hawaii 70.3, the Chicago Triathlon and […]

  • The Year in Community 2023

    Boys & Girls Club Regional Merger Includes Door County The Boys & Girls Club of Door County and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, which includes the Boys & Girls Club of Shawano, merged as one organization, effective March 1. The Door County club previously entered into a management agreement with the […]

  • The Year In Podcasts 2023

    The Door County Pulse Podcast hit some big milestones in 2023, surpassing 1 million listens all-time, and more than 276,000 in the last year. From 104 episodes, here were the 10 most popular episodes of the last year, covering a wide range of topics and guests.  What’s Up in Madison?: Assemblyman Joel Kitchens talked about […]

  • The Year In Literature 2023

    2023 Hal Prize 2023 marked the 26th year of the Hal Prize. This year’s writing and photography submissions were judged by Toya Wolfe for fiction, Edward McPherson for nonfiction, Sean Hill for poetry and Allen Morris for photography.  2022 Hal Prize First-place Winners Fiction: “Newlyweds in Front of a Lilac Bush” by Victoria Lynn Smith […]

  • The Year In Education 2023

    The education stories that kept us busy this year included the mysterious resignation of the Southern Door School District’s former superintendent, Chris Peterson. School board members spent hours in closed session from March through June, even while the district’s $14.9 million, voter-approved capital-improvement project moved forward, with some large changes. In the northern half of […]

  • The Year In Business 2023

    In a way, 2023 marked a changing of the Door County guard, as long-standing businesses with serious cred and widespread recognition hit the market, either selling by year’s end or in the process of doing so. Meanwhile, the year hosted its share of beginnings, including the grand opening of Door County Medical Center’s new Sister […]

  • Best of the Web 2023

    Sadly, nothing drives website traffic in Door County like a fire at a major business. This year was no different, as our most-viewed stories of the year all revolved around the fire at Rowleys Bay Resort and the ensuing decision by the owners to sell the property.  On a positive note, that was the only […]

  • The Year in Art 2023

    PenArt Hires New Executive Director Peninsula School of Art (PenArt) in Fish Creek selected Adam Erickson as its new executive director, following a national search led by Ford Webb Associates. He’ll begin his tenure May 1.  Most recently, Erickson served as adviser to the president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and he […]

  • Hal Prize Winners Displayed at PenArt

    The Peninsula School of Art is now exhibiting the winners and honorable mentions of the Hal Prize in its Annex Gallery through the end of January. A casual reception was held Dec. 8 with light refreshments. Some photography winners and their families attended to see their work and read the notes from this year’s photography […]

  • Jodi Rose Gonzales Named Global Impact Artist of the Year

    Local artist, art therapist, author and yoga teacher Jodi Rose Gonzales was recently recognized as Global Impact Artist of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals. The organization celebrated her on the NASDAQ billboard in New York City’s Times Square. Gonzales maintains studios in Sturgeon Bay (Enclave) and Sister Bay and aims to […]

  • Holiday Shows At The Planetarium

    The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will present holiday planetarium shows highlighting the magic of the season. The shows are Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 at 7 pm. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center, 2200 Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay.

  • December Events At Crossroads

    Throughout December, get cozy at the Collins Learning Center from 1-4 pm on Saturday afternoons. Warm up after a hike or just stop by for a cup of hot cider and popcorn.  On Dec. 23 the Saturday Science program will be a naturalist-led hike to visit several of Crossroads’ evergreen forests. Learn how these trees […]

  • Seeking a Vision for the Nautical Drive Waterfront

    After receiving public feedback last week, a waterfront planning and design firm based in St. Joseph, Michigan, is putting together a plan on how best to use the waterfront area on city-owned property at the end of Nautical Drive next to the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. Representatives from Edgewater Resources conducted a visioning session Dec. […]

  • Egg Harbor Preservation Push

    Committee will gain power to declare properties historic An Egg Harbor committee is working to gain the power to declare houses and business structures “historic,” allowing the village to block demolition and significant alteration of those buildings. To start learning how to make those declarations, the board members didn’t need to look far to find […]

  • City Grants Hotel More Time to Buy Land

    Cobblestone Hotels has been given an additional five months to buy property to build a four-story, 62-room hotel at the corner of Egg Harbor Road and 12th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay. The Common Council voted Tuesday to approve an amendment to the development agreement that extended the deadline for Cobblestone Hotels to acquire the property […]

  • The Clearing and CCC Host Climate Action Workshops

    The Climate Change Coalition of Door County will welcome input while planning activities to improve the environment during Climate Action Workshops 9 am-noon Thursdays, Jan. 4 and 11 at The Clearing’s Jens Jensen Center at Ellison Bay.  With Deneen Wiske, Roy Thilly and Jeff Lutsey on hand, the CCC will take suggestions and examine the […]

  • A Backward Glance Shows Life is Good at the 45th Parallel

    Our world is a peninsula of some 309,000 acres of land about 70 miles long and roughly 20 miles at its widest. Edged with Lake Michigan water and shot through with woods, farmland, streams, forests, lakes, meadows and bluffs, our villages, towns and city settle a small part of the 36 billion acres of land […]

  • The Year In News 2023

    New Developments Planned and Completed One of the largest, income-qualified housing projects in the area opened this year in Sister Bay. Supported by tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), and assisted by other federal, county and village contributions, Mosaic Property Ventures completed The Shoals off state Highway 57. Once open, […]

  • A Christmas Past

    Dec. 22-23, 29-30 The Door County Historical Society hosts its inaugural event,   A Glimpse of Christmas Past, at Heritage Village at Big Creek throughout the month of December. This holiday celebration invites the community to step back in time and experience the rich history and festive traditions of Door County. Heritage Village has been transformed […]

  • A Big Year Recapped

    by JULIE GILBERT, Destination Door County president and CEO What a year 2023 has been. I would like to share with you a few of our programs that were initiated this year. Art In The Door was launched with a contest designed to highlight the artists of Door County. Their winning masterpieces are featured in […]

  • The Year In Green 2023

    Thousands of trees were planted, more lands were protected, the future of local conservation organizations was plotted and celebrated and light was shed on the numerous environmental issues important to Door County. Meanwhile, a film that chronicles the history of Door County conservation was released in time for Earth Day 2023. Pulse Celebrates Conservation Volunteers […]

  • Those We Lost in 2023

    Ronald D. Berg Ronald Berg spent most of his 89 years serving his community as a Sturgeon Bay alder and on the boards of many community nonprofits, the County Board of Supervisors and the Door County Chamber of Commerce. Berg died in August.  Jean Berkenstock For 43 years, the woman dubbed “the Magic Flute” was […]

  • The Year in Music 2023

    Summer Music Preview We’ve got music in Door County. If anyone doubts this, they could spend a couple weeks in our office as we’re putting together the weekly paper and its variety of musical offerings. Week in, week out there’s plenty of music to catch, even during the “off-season” winter months. This year was no […]

  • Year in Review 2023 – Palate

    Local Restaurants For Sale Ellison Bay’s Wickman House went on the market this year, though the list price for $989,000 did not include the restaurant name or brand. Owner Mike Holmes had a buyer by year’s end and was expected to close on the sale on Jan. 1. In January of this year, the Wickman […]

  • Spend A Week As A Lighthouse Keeper

    The Ridges Sanctuary’s Resident Docent Program is an opportunity to spend a week living as lighthouse keepers did in the early 1900s. Living quarters for resident docents are in the Upper Range Light. Built in 1869, the Upper Range Light and its companion Lower Range Light are the only lighthouses of this design still on […]

  • TAP Adds Matinee Showtime For It’s A Wonderful Life

    In response to increased ticket demand, Third Avenue PlayWorks (TAP) added an additional matinee showtime for It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play on Dec. 30 at 2 pm. Visit or call 920.743.1760 to purchase tickets. TAP is located at 239 N. 3rd Ave. in Sturgeon Bay.

  • Skate-Ski School At Peninsula State Park

    Peninsula Nordic Ski Club’s inaugural Skate School will take place on the Peninsula State Park Golf Course on Jan. 7 from 12-1:30 pm. Skate skiing is a sport that pairs the enjoyment of cross country skiing with increased cardio conditioning. The golf course will be widely groomed and offer different levels of difficulty starting with […]

  • Southern Door Seeks Community Input On Superintendent Hiring

    The Southern Door County School District Board of Education has created an online survey as part of its district superintendent hiring process. The survey is designed to gather insights from the Southern Door community on the qualities and characteristics considered essential in a new school district superintendent. Email [email protected] for a link to the survey. 

  • 7th Annual New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop

    Hundreds of revelers will gather in Sister Bay on New Year’s Eve for what has become a Door County tradition. The Cherry Drop, from FM 106.9 The Lodge, will be back at Husby’s Garage on Dec. 31. A crane will hoist the 300-pound cherry made of lights 120 feet above the ground on the day […]

  • Servers Of The Week: Carolyn and Andy Ripp, Hitching Post

    Not just any servers can get down, when the bar fills with 40 middle-age clowns. But out by Whitefish Bay at the Post, these two servers are owed a big toast. In walked a crowd, and up went the elf but they didn’t miss a beat as she perched high on the shelf. Smiling and […]

  • January Speakers Series Program At Door County Maritime Museum

    The next presentation of the 2023-2024 Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) Maritime Speaker Series will feature The Search for the Linda E, presented by Brennan Christianson, DCMM Collections Coordinator. The presentation will be held in person and online on Jan. 4 at 7 pm. The program recounts a story that began on Dec. 11, 1998, […]

  • DCHS Featured Pet: Vulmer

    Meet Vulmer, a one-year-old male cat available for adoption at the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus. Vulmer is a handsome black and tan tiger pattern with green eyes. This eight-pound fellow has stolen the hearts of the staff at the campus. When he arrived, he was very fearful, but has since come out of […]

  • Strong Year Anticipated For Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturers

    The Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance announced results from its Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Vitality Index Study at its quarterly membership meeting at Fox Valley Technical College. The study provides an indication of the strength and vitality of manufacturing employers in the region.  The study gathered information from presidents and CEOs of northeast Wisconsin manufacturing companies with […]

  • Southern Door Student Wins Dairy Association Award

    The Wisconsin Holstein Association (WHA) awarded Southern Door Middle School student Evan Brey the top award in his age range (12 and under) for his Junior Holstein Association project. Brey will be recognized at the WHA Junior Holstein Convention in Fond du Lac on Dec. 30. At school, Brey is a student council officer and […]

  • Farm To School Funding Available

    The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting applications for the Wisconsin Farm to School Grant Program through 5 pm on Feb. 2. DATCP will award a total of up to $250,000 in Farm to School grants. Farm to School programs facilitate locally produced, healthy food purchasing and education practices at […]

  • Community Voices

    My Friend Let me tell you about my friend Jay Whitney. Whether it is fundraising for the Go Bo Foundation, Write On, Door County, Secret Santa, or for someone in need in our community, Jay has always been one of the first to say “yes” and share his talent of music to raise funds. This […]

  • Light Up Your Holiday Spirit

    Luminaries softly light the way during peaceful evening hikes at some of Door County’s most beautiful natural landscapes.  Join Crossroads at Big Creek for its Winter Solstice Luminary-lit Hike on Dec. 22 from 5:30-7 pm at 2041 Michigan St. in Sturgeon Bay.   At The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, the Hidden Brook and Range Light […]

  • Land Trust Protects Four More Sites To Wrap Up 2023

    Door County Land Trust (DCLT) wrapped up 2023 in a big way, announcing the future opening of its 15th nature preserve for the public in mid-December and then the completion of three additional land conservation projects just before Christmas. One week after announcing the future development of the 75-acre Bear Creek nature preserve in the […]

  • Local Booksellers Receive Holiday Bonus

    Three local booksellers were among 600 independent booksellers across the country to receive a James Patterson Holiday Bonus, which were announced on Wednesday, Dec. 13.  Liz Welter of Novel Bay Books in Sturgeon Bay, Margaret Magle of Other Worlds Books & More of Sturgeon Bay, and Heidi Raak of Yardstick Books in Algoma will each […]