Peninsula Pulse December 23-30, 2020

In this issue

  • DCEDC Welcomes Molly McCormack

    The Door County Economic Development Corporation welcomes Youth Apprenticeship student Molly McCormack to its offices as its economic development intern. McCormack is a Gibraltar High School senior who will assist the staff with projects that positively affect the community.

  • FFA Members Earn National Awards, New Scholarship for Nontraditional Women Students

    Anna Olson, daughter of Eric and Julaine Olson, received a $1,000 National Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Grant sponsored by Caterpillar. Her plan is to purchase a dairy heifer calf to continue expanding her dairy cattle herd and her skills as a dairy entrepreneur. Chloe La Crosse, daughter of Jeremy and Tracy La Crosse, received a […]

  • Sports: The Year in Review

    The pandemic put the breaks on many sports seasons and events in 2021, but there were still many teams and athletes whose accomplishments merited mention in an unprecedented year in sports. The Sturgeon Bay Co-op boys swimming team – led by Brock Aune’s third-place finish in the 100 breaststroke and sixth-place finish in the 50 freestyle […]

  • Letter to the Editor: In Appreciation for Our Community

    Dear Door County, Thank you. I’m a “front line” health care professional working in the Emergency Department at the mightiest hospital in the Midwest: Door County Medical Center (DCMC). I shudder to think where we would be now had our community not managed to slow the spread of a disease you won’t necessarily know you’ve […]

  • Music 2020 Changes Wind Ensemble’s Tune: Musicians, Teachers Rise to Technical, Timing Challenges

    COVID-19 restrictions meant some sour notes for high school band programs, but students are still finding ways to make beautiful music from the new arrangements. Marching-band activities vanished at Sturgeon Bay High School because of social-distancing requirements. In addition, marching in changing patterns would have caused contact-tracing issues each time the musicians crossed paths, said […]

  • David Insurance Agency to Join Vizance

    David Insurance Agency will join Vizance – an independent insurance agency serving Wisconsin and surrounding states – effective Jan. 1.  David Insurance has focused on providing businesses and individuals with exceptional service and advice since 1950. Its team of associates will continue to operate under the David Insurance name from its offices in Sister Bay, Racine, […]

  • A Rare Treat: Dark Sour Beers

    If you’ve read any of my past articles, it’s probably become quite clear how much I love the sour revolution that’s taking place in today’s craft beer world. Sour beers – for those who are unfamiliar with the style – are made by introducing some sort of brewing bacterium into the beer to create tart […]

  • Commercial Boat Operators Needed at Plum Island

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened the Commercial Special Use Permit application period for commercial boat operators to transport and guide the public at the Plum Island Unit of Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge for the 2021 season.  Plum Island is located in Lake Michigan off the tip of the Door peninsula, near […]

  • Perspective: Filling the Leadership Void

    Back on March 15, as the COVID-19 virus spread in the country’s largest cities, we in Door County still hoped to keep the virus from spreading here. And if it was here undetected, we hoped to trace it and keep it contained. To do so, our worlds would be turned upside down: Schools would close; […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Thanks to You, Benji Is Safe

    To the wonderful “someone” who found our dog and put him in the dog park for safety, then alerted the authorities as to where he was – to you, our heartfelt thanks. And to Robert of Baileys Harbor maintenance, who found me while I was looking for Benji, and who drove me to the dog park […]

  • Server of the Week: Kate Utzinger

    Correction: In a previous issue, this piece was attributed to Kick Ash Coffee in Ellison Bay. Kate is the owner of Kick Coffee in Sturgeon Bay. The temperatures are dropping, and this year has been tough, But we’re always still looking for that hot caffeinated stuff. Kate Utzinger has done all she can to keep […]

  • Server of the Week: Tracey Steebs at Kick Ash Coffee

    Maybe you’ve seen her in the shop, Maybe you’ve seen her online, If you haven’t met her at all yet, just pop In to Kick Ash for some coffee so fine! Tuesdays with Tracey, she’s on social media, Staying connected with you – have no fears. As retail manager, she’s always there to greet ya, And […]

  • Framed: There’s a Squatch in These Woods

    Bigfoot – sporting some holiday cheer, no less – was spotted heading east from the western side of the peninsula. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, which tracks sightings across the country, lists 99 sightings of the hairy cryptid in Wisconsin since the 1970s, but only one of those – so far – has come from Door County: A Forestville […]

  • Jeanne Barnard on The Peninsula Singers: a Post-Pandemic Reinvention

    Numerous studies have proven that singing in groups provides a wide array of benefits, including assisting with depression and grief and relieving stress. That’s because the activity triggers endorphins, which creates positive feelings and possibly even changes pain thresholds in the process. Whatever the science, singing in groups simply makes a person feel good – […]

  • Year-End Sale at Spot and Space

    Spot and Space are having their annual year-end sale Dec. 30 and 31, 10 am – 6 pm, with 40 percent off everything, both in the stores and online. No code is needed to purchase online, and shipping is free.  Now is a great time to stock up on gifts for the whole year. Spot […]

  • In Memoriam: Those We Lost in 2020

    James “Digger” DeGroot Nowhere was the idea of a Door County character encapsulated better than in the man known only as Digger. James “Digger” DeGroot was Fish Creek’s unofficial mayor, earning his stripes first at Peninsula Players Theatre, then as the founder of Digger’s Grill, and finally as the mainstay at the Fish Creek Information […]

  • Moments: Images of 2020

    It was a year that didn’t look like any other. Elbow and fist bumps were goofy until they became a sign you cared. Masks were a joke, then they were ubiquitous. Crowds were a sign of a bustling economy – until they became a target of scorn. Here’s a look at 20 images that help […]

  • Year in Review: Between Pandemic and Politics, Art Remained Relevant

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, as Charles Dickens famously penned for the opening of A Tale of Two Cities.  The worst of times were brought on by a global pandemic that at first caused galleries and studios across the county to delay openings. When they did reopen, it […]

  • Year In Review: Dining’s Year of Constant Innovation

    Door County’s food scene has been evolving rapidly during the last decade, so when the pandemic closed restaurant doors up and down the peninsula, the foundation had already been laid to support a very outdoor-focused culinary season. Al fresco dining has become ubiquitous throughout the county, and this year saw an increased – albeit forced – […]

  • West Side School Project Revived

    The rehabilitation of Sturgeon Bay’s West Side School into housing units is back on the drawing board. The project was halted in July when the developer, Northpointe Development Corporation in Oshkosh, did not receive housing tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) that would have enabled the developer to provide rents […]

  • Free, At-home COVID-19 Test Kits Available

    The state now has free, at-home COVID-19 saliva-collection kits available for all Wisconsin residents, without or without symptoms. The kits will give everyone who wants to be tested the opportunity to do so. “We also know that getting to a health care provider or a community testing site isn’t easy for everyone,” said Gov. Tony […]

  • Ad Hoc Committee Will Prioritize Baileys Harbor Marina Needs

    Marina supervisor Mark Jonas and Town Chair David Eliot agree that a lot of work could be done to improve the marina in Baileys Harbor, and in December, Eliot assigned a committee to get to work determining the priorities. Initially, he appointed Dr. Tim Tishler, Paul Salm and Chris Warecki. At least three other people […]

  • Phase IV of Cana Island Lighthouse Restoration Proceeding

    With the first three phases of the Cana Island Lighthouse restoration completed, the Door County Board of Supervisors authorized the start of the fourth phase, contingent upon receiving sufficient funds from the Door County Maritime Museum, donations and grants.  The fourth phase consists of three primary components. Those are, with estimated costs, restoration of the […]

  • A&E Firm Selected for Washington Island Dairy Renovation

    The Door County Board of Supervisors selected the Samuels Group, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, to provide architectural and engineering services, as well as a cost analysis, to remodel the Historic Island Dairy, 1309 Range Line Road on Washington Island, to meet the needs as a county EMS facility. The fixed cost negotiated with […]

  • 2020 Book Releases and Awards

    2020 Book Releases Seeing-Eye Boy by Terence WinchPublished by Sturgeon Bay’s Four Windows Press, Seeing-Eye Boy comes out of Winch’s gritty upbringing in the Irish ghetto, bringing to life the Irish-immigrant world of 20th-century urban America and offering an inside look at a place where the two cultures blended. Sarah’s Cross by Dean M. KingKing’s […]

  • NONFICTION: The War with Winter

    By Michael Brecke My father used to wage war against winter. With shovel and snow blower, with salt and ice melt, each year he fought a battle, pitting his wits and his strength against the wintry onslaught.  I used to marvel as he shoveled the roof and cleared the sidewalk and driveway, wrestling with piles […]

  • Framed: Pickleball

    (From left) Jack Follic, Guy Fortin and friends take their own net to play pickleball in Sturgeon Bay’s Sunset Park every decent morning at 6:30. Photo by Craig Sterrett.

  • Bowling Scores

    Majors League  Dec. 15, 2020 • High team game: Innovative LED Solutions 1,226 • High team series: Innovative LED Solutions 3,333 • High game (women): Caitlyn Krishka 172, Abby Engard 172, Abby Engard 163 • High series (women): Abby Engard 484, Ashley DeGrave 448, Caitlyn Krishka 430 • High game (men): Geoff Hansen 279, Doc […]

  • Boost Land-Protection Spending, Wisconsin Residents Say

    Support continues to grow statewide for a program that uses public funds to protect land and water and to provide for recreational opportunities and responsible forestry, according to a poll released this month. “The support for conservation funding is at an all-time high,” said Charles Carlin – director of strategic initiatives for Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s […]

  • Green Facts

    • The emissions attributable to the world’s richest 1 percent of people are double those of the world’s poorest 50 percent. In the United States, the richest 1 percent of people have incomes of at least $500,000 annually.  • Carbon-dioxide levels dropped 7 percent worldwide in 2020 because of economic shutdowns. To meet the goals set out […]

  • Door County Cooperative Distributes Annual Profits

    Door County Cooperative began mailing more than $160,000 to local residents as part its stock retirement program. Annual profits of the co-op are distributed to its qualifying members, who will receive a check for 5 percent of the total stock they’ve earned in the company. The remaining profit amount becomes co-op stock before it’s redeemed […]

  • Year in Review: Best of the Podcast

    This year was an intense one for the Door County Pulse Podcast. As a newer addition to Peninsula Publishing & Distribution’s offerings, it seemed that this was the year when everything had finally fallen into place for the podcast, and new and exciting things were just on the horizon for 2020.  Then March came, and […]

  • Manners Matter: Just Not My Thing

    Dear Mary Pat, Over the holidays, my mother makes a thing with Jell-O and cottage cheese and mandarin oranges that’s an awful, vibrant color, and she keeps on making it because she thinks I like it. I guess I must have said – once, years ago – that I liked it, or maybe she just […]

  • Tales from the Trails: J.B. Sensenbrenner’s ‘The Love of Hunting’

    by Mike Shaw, Peninsula Pulse contributor Few endeavors lend themselves better to storytelling – and in some instances, embellishment – than fishing and hunting. Jim “J.B.” Sensenbrenner of Appleton, a part-time Door County resident, certainly thinks so. He also felt that all of us reluctant shut-ins could use a good yarn or two, which is […]

  • The Canceled Year: Our 2020 Year in Review Issue

    I thought my business partner was nuts.  David Eliot sat in the chair next to my desk in the back corner of the Pulse office as the rest of our paper’s staff churned out work from the desks around us. He lifted his eyes from what he was reading on his phone and asked, “So, […]

  • 2020 Best of the Web: Our Most-viewed Articles

    It was a busy year at, as people visited the site more than 2.1 million times, viewing 3.4 million pages. Yes, many of those visits were searches for the latest news regarding COVID-19. When the crisis hit in March, we worked quickly to transform our home page into a resource for information about how […]

  • Bruemmer Park Zoo to Add Animal Statues

    Kewaunee County’s Bruemmer Park Zoo will have a new attraction come spring: life-size statues of an elephant, lion, rhinoceros and zebra.  Steve Bruemmer – grandson of Leo Bruemmer and great-nephew of Otto Bruemmer, sons of Kewaunee County Judge Louis Bruemmer, for whom the park was named in 1930 – has donated $20,000 to purchase the statues.  […]

  • DCMM to Close Jan. 11-12

    The Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) in Sturgeon Bay will be closed to the public Jan. 11-12 to allow museum staff to complete some building-maintenance projects. Regular winter hours (daily, 10 am – 4 pm, January – April) will resume Jan. 13. The Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower will open to the public in May.  

  • Obituary: Erma Airielle Veith

    June 13, 1922 ~ December 18, 2020 Erma Airielle Veith, 98, of Sturgeon Bay, WI, died Friday morning, December 18, 2020 at the Pete and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing and Hospice Care Center at Door County Medical Center. She was born June 13, 1922 in Velva, ND, the daughter of Harry and Selma Amanda (Olson) […]

  • Obituary: Patricia Anne Graham

    May 22, 1931 ~ December 17, 2020  Patricia Anne Graham, 89, of  Sturgeon Bay, died in her sleep at her home on Thursday, December 17, 2020.     She was born May 22, 1931 in Hollywood, California, daughter of the late Clyde Olyn and Anne Anita (Smith) Phillips. Pat graduated from South Pasadena High School (CA) in […]

  • Obituary: Richard “Rick” Glass

    February 1, 1948 ~ December 7, 2020 Richard W. Glass, age 72, of Bloomington, Illinois, died peacefully on December 7th, surrounded by his family at his much-loved log cabin in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Rick was born in Akron, Ohio to Robert and Marilyn (Basford) Glass. He graduated from Joliet West High School in 1966, the […]