Peninsula Pulse Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2020

In this issue

  • Letter to the Editor: Fair Maps: One Chance Per Decade to Get Them Right

    Here’s the thing about fair maps: We have only one chance in a decade to do it right. The 2020 census and redistricting are just around the corner. We have to act now to make sure there are fair voting maps for fair elections in Wisconsin for the next 10 years. A majority of citizens, […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Support the Clean Water Task Force’s Recommendations

    Make one short phone call, or write one email to contact your Kewaunee County Board supervisor to ask him/her to vote for resolutions supporting the state’s Clean Water Task Force bills and recommendations. Our two state legislators sat on the task force. The upcoming spring may again be messy, wet and late, and numerous liquid-manure […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Welcoming UW-Madison Nursing Students

    Thank you to the Door County community from Door County Medical Center, the Department of Public Health, Sunshine House, the ADRC, Ascension Home Health, Scandia Village, the Northern Door Child Care Center, Door County EMS in Sister Bay and Washington Island, and the WICHP program for providing an excellent glimpse into rural community health for […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Message Sent to Senator Ron Johnson on Jan. 24

    Hey, Ron,   I know the Senate hearings are pure torture for all you guys, but I hope you can take a moment to check out a new website that popped up a couple days ago, created and funded by Republicans whom I (and hopefully you) respect. Here’s the link:   And here’s a quote from […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Who Gets Something for Free?

    From a Wyoming coal miner in the USA Today/Green Bay Press-Gazette on Jan 24, I quote, “… something wrong in their [Democrats’] heads to think you can [have] everything for free.” Where are most Democrats? New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington (and Wisconsin). These states have the highest income, inheritance, sales and property […]

  • By the Numbers: An Aging County

    27,610 Estimated population of Door County as of July 1, 2018 – down 175 people from the 2010 census 22.5 Percentage of Door County’s population that was 65 and older in 2010 29.8 Percentage of Door County’s population that is age 65 and older today 13.8 Percentage of Wisconsin population that is age 65 and […]

  • The People Behind the Page: Kait Shanks

    The Peninsula Pulse employs 24 full- and part-time staff members who live in or have strong ties to Door County. This crew brings you the news in print, on video, online and in podcasts every week. In each edition of the Pulse, we’ll introduce you to one of the people behind the page. This week, […]

  • Framed: Solo Surfer

    On Jan. 18 at 11:30 am, on the shore across from Cana Island in Baileys Harbor, a solo surfer eyed up the winter waves. He assessed the ice floes and decided against heading out that day, but a group of four or five surfers have gone out this season. Submitted.

  • Manners Matter: Learning Table Manners

    Dear Mary Pat, My parents always want us to have family dinners together. With my after-school sports schedule, it’s not always possible. When I am there to share a meal with them, I feel like all they do is criticize: “Don’t scrape your teeth,” “Keep your elbows off the table,” “Don’t slurp your milk” and […]

  • Server of the Week: Andrew Markham at Skip Stone Coffee

    If you need a morning java or scone, Go see barista Andrew at Skip Stone. He’s worked there since it opened its doors, And when he’s not there, he’s usually somewhere outdoors. Hiking in the winter and golfing in the summer, He lives here year-round to help you wake from your slumber.  Stop by for […]

  • Lake Winnebago Sturgeon-Season Opener an Unusual Tradition 

    A return to colder air in the middle of next week may be too little, too late to help opening-day sturgeon spearers on Lake Winnebago. The annual season – a tradition not unlike deer hunting in its popularity among its passionate devotees – is set to open Feb. 8 on the state’s largest inland lake […]

  • Remembering Gerald Pelrine

    by Fred “Doc” Heide Though Northern Sky Theater enjoys growing visibility, noteworthy figures from its past may not always be widely recognized. Such is the case with Gerald Pelrine, who passed away Jan. 15 from a heart attack at age 64. Because he left the theater in 1991 after its first year, many may be […]

  • Vehicle Crashes Rose 7 Percent in 2019

    Deer collisions were primary factor in increase Vehicle accidents in Door County rose 7 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, according to data provided by the Door County Sheriff’s Office. There were 723 vehicle accidents in 2019, including five fatalities. That’s down from 2018, when there were seven fatalities on county roadways. Door County has […]

  • County Gets a Lesson in Influence

    State reps say redistricting reform unlikely to gain traction When the Legislative Committee of the Door County Board of Supervisors met Jan. 20, it got a lesson in what affects state politics, and it wasn’t encouraging for proponents of a county-wide referendum on redistricting reform. State Sen. André Jacque and state Rep. Joel Kitchens were […]

  • Bills to Watch: Vaping, Minimum Wage

    LRB-5342 Prohibition of vaping on school property This bill would prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes on school grounds. A memo accompanying the bill stated, “The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control show that between 2018 and 2019, the number of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes rose 50 percent, from […]

  • Reps in the News: Jan. 31-Feb. 7

    Representative Joel Kitchens Rep. Joel Kitchens said he is excited that the Wisconsin Assembly passed his bill that releases $5.2 million in Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds. “Almost 25 percent of that total – or $1.4 million, to be exact – will be coming to Door County to replace the large toilet-and-shower facility at the Tennison Bay […]

  • State News: Grants Given to Help Black Holocaust Museum Reopen

    America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) in Milwaukee is a step closer to reopening its doors after being closed for more than a decade, thanks to funding from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Lynching survivor James Cameron founded the museum in 1988 as a memorial that promotes racial repair and reconciliation while shining a light on the […]

  • DMV Reminds Voters to Get Proper ID

    The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reminds residents to obtain valid identification, free of charge, in time for the spring primary.  Valid identification for voting purposes includes a driver’s license, identification card, military or student ID card, and other forms. There is no separate voter ID required. A federally compliant REAL […]

  • Jim Schuessler Reflects on Role as Executive Director of DCEDC

    As Jim Schuessler, executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC), leaves the county to become the executive director of Yuma [Arizona] Multiversity – an urban education hub for existing institutions of higher education – he reflected on his 18-month tenure. “As both a broadcaster and economic-development professional,” he said, “I have been blessed by […]

  • 22 Enrollees in the Entrepreneurial Training Program

    For the 19th consecutive year, many prospective Door County entrepreneurs started the new year by enrolling in the Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP): eight efficient, weekly sessions during which entrepreneurs develop plans for business start-ups, expansions and acquisitions. This year on Jan. 20, a record 22 ETP enrollees started their journey to develop a sustainable business […]

  • Learn About Ahnapee Youth Apprenticeships at the Kress Feb. 6

    The Ahnapee Regional Youth Apprenticeship Consortium – which includes Luxemburg-Casco, Kewaunee and all five Door County high schools – invites employers to learn more about the Youth Apprenticeship Program on Feb. 6, 4-6 pm, at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. This expo will provide an overview of the program areas, discuss the application and selection processes, […]

  • Alumni Door County Profile: John Parent

    On taking chances that feel right and pay off Deciding to get an education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was a bit of a gamble for 2009 Sturgeon Bay alumnus John Parent. He had explored a wide range of schools from east to west, but he chose UW-Madison because of the availability of the Chick […]

  • Southern Door Shares STEAM Program in Milwaukee

    Southern Door was one of four school districts in the state that was asked to showcase its pre-K-12 STEAM program at the State Education Conference in Milwaukee. Students, staff members and parent representatives were on hand for two full days to share Southern Door’s opportunities, demonstrate STEAM activities and answer questions from board members and […]

  • Sevastopol Music & Drama Department Updates Sound Equipment

    Sevastopol School’s music and drama department is updating its sound equipment thanks to generous donations from community organizations and businesses, grants from the Raibrook Foundation and the Ruth & Hartley Barker Memorial Fund of the Door County Community Foundation, and contributions from Sevastopol’s Parent-Teacher Organization, the Sevastopol Music and Theatre Guild, and Jandu Petroleum Pride […]

  • Northern Sky Theater and Werner and Sue Krause Announce Second Annual Scholarship

    Northern Sky Theater and Werner and Sue Krause have announced their second annual scholarship to support a Door County high school senior who’s pursuing a course of study in theater arts or music performance. “As patrons of performing-arts organizations throughout the state, we are keenly aware of the joy that live theater and music performances […]

  • This Old Store: Trodahl’s/Witalison’s Market

    A long-ago store in Egg Harbor It’s one of those little stores that went on for decades. The grocery stores in Egg Harbor that long-timers seem to remember best were Trodahl’s and Witalison’s – and actually, they were the same store. In addition, there were two owners before Marvin and Agnes Trodahl, two between the […]

  • Municipal Meetings: Jan. 31-Feb. 7

    DOOR COUNTY  Town of Gibraltar: Feb. 5 – Town Board, 7 pm. Town of Jacksonport: Feb. 3 – Parks Committee, 7 pm. Town of Liberty Grove: Feb. 3 – Highway Committee, 8 am. Feb. 5 – Fire Board, 2:45 pm. Feb. 7 – Town Board, 6 pm. Town of Washington: Feb. 3 – Zoning and Planning Committee, […]

  • Valentine’s Show on Feb. 1 at Plum Bottom’s Downtown Gallery

    Plum Bottom’s downtown gallery, 7813 Hwy 42 in Egg Harbor, will host its annual Valentine’s Day show Feb. 1, 10 am – 4 pm, featuring the work of resident jewelry artist Angela Olson Luberger. She has created a distinctive collection of spinner rings, earrings and necklaces that will make great gifts for that special someone.  Mary […]

  • PenArt Invites Submissions for What We Make Showcase

    Peninsula School of Art (PenArt, invites community members to submit artworks to What We Make: Peninsula School of Art Community Showcase. An opening reception will be held Feb. 13, 4-6 pm; and the exhibition will close March 28.  To be eligible, submitters must have participated in an Open Studio, Teen Workshop, Critique Group and/or […]

  • REVIEW: ‘Virgil Wander’

    During the 1980s and ’90s, many Americans were thinking fondly of rural Minnesota, largely thanks to Garrison Keillor and his radio tales of Lake Wobegon: “The little town that time forgot, that the decades cannot improve.” If Lake Wobegon was not the listener’s hometown, it might have been the place where Grandmother had lived.  People […]

  • Door County Reads Events: Jan. 31 – Feb. 7, 2020

    Friday, Jan. 31 • Hometown Writing, led by Jerod Santek, artistic director of Write On, Door County. Through guided exercises, you’ll discover how to tap into memories of certain locations and discover the stories those towns have to tell, 10-11:30 am, Baileys Harbor Library, 2392 Cty F.  • Third Avenue Playhouse’s play reading of Marjorie […]

  • Publishing Industry News: Jan. 31, 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 2020 Edgar Award nominees for Best Novel include Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland, The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths, The River by Peter Heller, Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee, […]

  • Announcing the 2020 Hal Prize Judges

    The judges of the Peninsula Pulse’s 2020 Hal Prize contest in poetry, prose and photography will be Coburn Dukehart, digital and multimedia director for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism; novelist Jane Hamilton; author and Lawrence University professor David McGlynn; and poet Ed Bok Lee. Conducted annually since 1998, the Hal Prize seeks to encourage […]

  • Love on Holiday: Finding Love and Love Gone Away in Visual Art

    When pat mAcdonald was songwriting with Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (The Last Emperor; Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence; The Revenant) during the 1990s, he had to translate Sakamoto’s lyrics into English.  Instead of seeking a literal translation, Sakamoto provided mAcdonald with pictures to better capture the essence of what he was going for. It made it […]

  • Birch Creek Warms Hearts with Feb. 15 Concert

    Birch Creek will celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend with a Feb. 15 concert of Broadway’s favorite love songs featuring tenor and Birch Creek alumnus Jonathan Zeng and his ensemble of soprano Diana Stoic, bass Jackson Kidder, and pianist Michael R. Oldham. The event will begin with social time at 5:30 pm, followed by heavy hors d’oeuvres […]

  • Swingin’ Door Big Band’s Valentine’s Eve Show on Feb. 13

    The Swingin’ Door Big Band will perform a Valentine’s Eve show at the Lodge at Leathem Smith in Sturgeon Bay on Feb. 13. The band includes 22 talented musicians and four vocalists who will delight attendees with music by Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and more. The Lodge at Leathem Smith will offer a […]

  • Dancin’ on the Door Offers Fun Options for Adults, Kids

    Dancin’ on the Door will welcome new yoga instructor Cora Orrick on Feb. 11, 11 am – 12 pm, with a class geared to all ability levels to benefit HELP of Door County. Advance registration is requested but not required; drop-ins are welcome. Yoga mats will be provided. The cost is $7 per person. Dancin’ on […]

  • The Play’s the Thing Begins with ‘Popcorn Falls’ on Feb. 3

    Peninsula Players ( will present the first in its The Play’s the Thing 2020 play-reading series Feb. 3, 7 pm, at Björklunden in Baileys Harbor. It’s a reading of Popcorn Falls – a new, two-person comedy by James Hindman – that’s produced with support from and in coordination with Door County Reads and its exploration of Virgil […]

  • Don’t Miss TAP’s Winter Play Reading Festival, Jan. 31 – Feb. 2

    The second play of Third Avenue Playhouse’s fifth annual Winter Play Reading Festival will be Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, on Feb. 1, 7:30 pm. Mark Moede and Mary White, directed by Robert Boles, will be the play readers. Admission is pay-what-you-can. In a Manhattan walk-up apartment, waitress Frankie and Johnny – the […]

  • Register for the Washington Islands Birding Festival, May 14-17

    The Washington Islands Birding Festival will take place May 14-17, when a limit of 60 participants will visit Washington, Plum and Rock Islands.  Registrants should make their Washington Island lodging reservations early. A list of open hotels, motels, inns, campgrounds and more is available at The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will have bird […]

  • DCMGA’s Garden-Education Series Begins Feb. 11

    The Door County Master Gardener Association will host the first of its 2020 garden-education series at Crossroads at Big Creek on Feb. 11, 7 pm: “What’s New for 2020?” by Kori Zawojski, co-owner of Sunnypoint Gardens. Learn about the latest and hottest garden trends, and enjoy a plant “fashion show” featuring the newest varieties in […]

  • Newport’s Candlelight Ski/Hike/Snowshoe Event Feb. 8

    Newport State Park will hold its 30th annual candlelight ski/hike/snowshoe event Feb. 8, 5:30-8:30 pm, when a portion of the park’s trail will come alive with candlelight to guide skiers, hikers and snowshoers into a glowing, magical winter wonderland. Participants can start at the picnic-area parking lot (Lot 3) anytime between 5:30 and 8:30 pm. […]

  • PBS Wisconsin’s Garden and Landscape Expo Feb. 7-9

    Now that winter has settled over Wisconsin, the 27th annual PBS Wisconsin Garden and Landscape Expo will deliver a bit of spring-like warmth Feb. 7-9 to the Exhibition Hall of the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. PBS Wisconsin (formerly Wisconsin Public Television) hosts the community educational event and fundraiser in partnership with the UW-Madison Horticulture […]

  • Maritime Speaker Series Continues Feb. 6

    The next Door County Medical Center Maritime Speaker Series presentation will be Don Mikulic’s “The Ledge, the Lake and the Limestone” on Feb. 6, 7 pm, in the Reddin Bridge Room of the Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM), 120 N. Madison Ave. in Sturgeon Bay. Mikulic will discuss Silurian dolomitic strata outcropping along the bluffs […]

  • Egg Harbor Reviews Downtown Condo and Retail Proposal

    The Egg Harbor Plan Commission reviewed a proposal for a 27-unit condominium and retail project in the center of the village during its Tuesday meeting. The proposal requires a conditional use permit from the village to move forward.  The Residences at Egg Harbor would be located on the site of what is now Mueller’s Mini […]

  • Ellison Bay Groundhog Day Parade on Feb. 2

    The ninth annual Ellison Bay Groundhog Day Parade will roll again on Feb. 2, 2 pm. To participate, just show up at the Nicolet Bank and Ellison Bay Post Office parking areas at 1:15 pm, and parade organizers will help you line up. The theme for the 2020 parade is football and the Super Bowl, […]

  • Candlelight Ski/Hike/Snowshoe at Peninsula State Park Feb. 1

    Peninsula State Park will host a candlelight ski/hike/snowshoe event on Feb. 1, 5:30-8 pm, when skiers, hikers and snowshoers may head out on a one-mile candlelit trail and enjoy a bonfire with refreshments at the end. Participants may wish to take a small flashlight or headlamp. Pets are not allowed. Enter at Highland Road. The […]

  • Open Door Bird Sanctuary Hosts Open Day Feb. 1

    On Feb. 1, Open Door Bird Sanctuary will host its second annual winter Open Day. Stop by anytime between 11 am and 3 pm to enjoy the trails for a snowshoe, hike or cross-country ski. (Equipment is not provided.) The trails – almost two miles among the three – are all fairly level and traverse various […]

  • Crossroads Teams Up with Door County Reads for Two Programs

    Crossroads at Big Creek is partnering with Door County Reads to offer two programs.  Tap into memories of your hometown to discover its stories through guided writing prompts during Hometown Writing – a program facilitated by Write On, Door County – on Jan. 30, 1-2:30 pm. Then at 7 pm, attend the Door County Reads lecture “Home […]

  • Winterfest Weekend Is Here

    The 33rd annual Fish Creek Winterfest is happening this weekend, Feb. 1-2, on the shore of Green Bay in Fish Creek. It’s a chance to get outside, get goofy and enjoy some great food, family fun and fireworks! Then keep the good times rolling with the Fruit Loop Run on Sunday morning. SCHEDULE Saturday, Feb. […]

  • Rosenau and Mueller in Concert Feb. 15 at SWY231

    Painted Recordings and UtzingerMusicStudio will present Chris Rosenau and Jon Mueller in concert Feb. 15 at SWY231, a new creative space and concert venue at 231 N. 3rd Ave. in Sturgeon Bay. The doors will open at 7:30 pm; the concert will start at 8 pm. Rosenau and Mueller became friends in the early 1990s. […]

  • Celebrate Community Concert Features Siegel and Jordan

    The Door County Medical Center Presents: Celebrate Community Concert on Feb. 14 will feature Corky Siegel and Lynne Jordan at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. Siegel is known internationally as one of the world’s great blues harmonica players and as a celebrated composer, blues pianist, singer, songwriter, band leader and author. He has earned […]

  • Winter Malaise Showcase in Algoma

    After the galleries and shops shut down during Algoma’s First Friday art nights, the entertainment continues at Ape’s Bar and Grill, 518 4th St. in Algoma. Already into its third concert, the First Friday Winter Malaise Showcase features an eclectic assortment of acts, and each show begins and ends with local heavyweights Ben Luten and […]

  • Obituary: Robyn Beth Weborg

    Jan. 25, 1982 ~ Jan. 26, 2020 Robyn Beth Weborg, 38, of Sister Bay died suddenly at home. She was born in Galveston, Texas, the daughter of Betty Weborg and the late Jeff Weborg. Robyn graduated from Gibraltar High School in 2000 before attending the Aveda Institute to obtain her cosmetology license. She married Ryan Andrew Petersen […]

  • Obituary: Herbert J. Mikels

    May 4, 1929 – Jan. 28, 2020 Herbert James Mikels, 90, of Sturgeon Bay died at Anna’s House. He was born in Sturgeon Bay to Julius and Martha (Berg) Mikels.  On May 20, 1961, he married Arleen Busse at Sawyer Methodist Church; she died June 23, 2001. Herb farmed in the Town of Sturgeon Bay for many years. He […]

  • Obituary: James Cagle

    May 14, 1938 – Jan. 26, 2020 Artist and teacher James Cagle, 81, died at his home. He was born in Sweetwater, Tennessee, and later moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Prof. Cagle was a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago and Michigan State University and retired as a professor emeritus of fine arts in 2007, completing […]

  • Rooftop Fire Contained at Gibraltar School

    Gibraltar Schools are closed today due to a contained propane fire on the roof of the middle school gym that began between 4:00 and 4:30 am. Fire trucks from all county departments responded quickly to contain the fire within one HVAC unit. There is no damage to the school. The Door County Sheriff’s Department announced […]

  • Obituary: Kristine Ann Klessig

    Nov. 27, 1964 – Jan. 25, 2020 Kristine Ann Klessig, 55, of Tomahawk died at her home. She was born in Sturgeon Bay to Merton and Jeannie (Werkheiser) Klessig.  She was a graduate of Sevastopol High School. Kristine loved being on a motorcycle, fishing, camping, puttering in the yard and pontooning. She loved all animals and was a member […]

  • Obituary: Marion June Birmingham

    Jan. 5, 1923 ~ Jan. 24, 2020 Marion June Birmingham, 97, of the Town of Sevastopol died peacefully, surrounded by her family, at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay. She was born in Sturgeon Bay to Herman and Elsie (Thenell) Geitner. After graduating from Sevastopol High School as the salutatorian in 1940, June studied at Green […]

  • Obituary: Lennix Gregory Ebel

    Jan. 21, 2020 Lennix Gregory Ebel was born an angel at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay. He will be forever held in the hearts of his parents, Wade Michael and Laura Ellen (née Hardin) Ebel of the Town of Sturgeon Bay; brothers, Michael Allen and Mavrix Wade Ebel; paternal grandparents, Greg and Sue […]

  • Obituary: Kim Marie Denton

    Kim Marie Denton, 62, of Forestville, died on January 17, 2020.  She was born November 12, 1957, in Sturgeon Bay to Robert and Lee Ann (Bridenhagen) Jess. Survivors include her husband Grant Deshotels; two children, Jenny (Kerry Joe) Denil, Brussels; Ian (Fallon) Deshotels, Green Bay; two grandchildren, Karissa and Jax Denil; one brother, Karl Jess; […]

  • Obituary: James B. Cushing

    James B. Cushing, 73, was married to the love of his life, Marilyn, nee Hagman, for 40 years. Loving father of Laura Geis, Lisa (Ted) Parks, and Stacy Calloway Cushing. Proud Grandfather of Brady and Charlotte. Jim was a graduate of Hinsdale Central High School and Ohio Wesleyan University and a member of Phi Delta […]

  • Obituary: James L. Kramer

    James L. Kramer, 99, of Sturgeon Bay, died Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Green Bay. He was born November 14, 1920 in Sturgeon Bay, the son of the late Walter and Edith (Rohr) Kramer. Jim graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1940. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII […]

  • Nelson’s Announces Plans to Expand Shopping Center

    Nelson’s Shopping Center in Fish Creek has plans to expand its store in Fish Creek, adding extensive storage space to the back of the building. The existing store is 15,628 square feet. The expansion would add more than 8,000 square feet of storage, bringing the center to 23,828 square feet.  Owner Gary Nelson said he’s […]