Peninsula Pulse July 3-10, 2020

In this issue

  • Green Photo of the Week: Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability

    This photo of Kelvin-Helmholtz waves in the shallow atmospheric layer over Lake Michigan was taken June 21, 10:08 am, from a shore residence north of Jacksonport. According to the National Weather Service, they are vertical waves in the air associated with wind shear across statically stable regions. They can appear as breaking waves and as […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Back the Need to Keep Us All Safer: Require Masks

    Please help us. Give our businesses the support of county and/or local government to keep their employees and everyone in our community safe.  Seeing the masses on the street and milling around outside venues is both encouraging and frightening. Some of our businesses – the ones that have the physical space to make it possible – are […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Black Lives Matter and J-1 Visas

    Instead of what I consider to be empty Black Lives Matters protests and writing letters to representatives across the state, why don’t local protestors encourage and recruit minority high school students from Milwaukee for local waitstaff, cooking and housekeeping positions? I find it hypocritical to protest equal rights and at the same time recruit hundreds […]

  • Letter to the Editor: To the Person Who Stole My Propane Tank

    This is just for the person who went in my backyard and stole the propane tank I just got filled for my grill. I am a 62-year-old crippled man living on a fixed income, not always making it month to month. I have peripheral neuropathy (nerve palsy), which makes it hard to walk. I can […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Removing Monuments Moves Us Forward

    The Editor’s Note in last week’s Perspectives lacked a certain “dogged persistence” into “prying out” how these monuments have always been and still remain symbols of white supremacy. It isn’t simply a historical case of “It was.” The racism and oppression that these monuments symbolize is an “It is.”  The people who are calling for […]

  • Letter to the Editor: ‘Just Suppose …’

    It’s June 19, and my wife and I are on high alert. Why? We have family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who live, work and own businesses not far from the places where politically charged events are scheduled today and tomorrow. My daughter there tells me that I am lucky to be safe and in the “cheap […]

  • Ploor, Redmann-Smith Earn Northern Sky Scholarships

    Mya Ploor and Lia Redmann-Smith have both earned Northern Sky Theater’s Werner and Sue Krause Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship is available to Door County students who are pursuing a degree in and exhibit a love for theater or music performance, and who have participated in the performing arts throughout high school. Grade point average and […]

  • Door County Alumni Profile: Peter Burress

    When considering the direction for his postsecondary studies, Peter Burress – a Sister Bay native and 2012 Gibraltar School alumnus – took to heart a message that his mother, Jane, always emphasized as a youth minister at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay: To whom much is given, much is expected.  During […]

  • Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Interlake Steamship Company Host Keel Laying

    Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) and the Interlake Steamship Company hosted a ceremonial keel laying June 23 to celebrate the historic start of assembly on the first U.S.-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier built in more than 35 years. The FBS shipbuilders and more than a dozen Interlake team members stood in a socially distanced manner to […]

  • An Authentic Adventure on Washington Island

    Paddling around beneath arches of intricate masonry, I imagined that I could hear the clink of glass and the rustle of people coming from the boathouse above me. Which sparkling socialites once mingled in the large room above my head? According to our tour guide Matt Lapp, when Icelandic inventor Chester Thodardson bought Rock Island […]

  • Framed: Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club Sailboat Races

    The Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club hosts sailboat races every Thursday that are open to all. These boats took part in the June 25 races. Photo by Tim Sweet. 

  • Golf League Results: July 3, 2020

    IDLEWILD Senior Men’s Thursday 8:30 am League  June 25, 2020 • Low net (tie): Dan McCluskey 36, Glen Herlitz 36 • Low gross: Jim Schaefer 40  • Longest putt #3: Steve Heinz • Closest to pin #6: Jim Budny • Closest to water #9: Gene Ackatz Open to all senior (age 50 or older) men, any week. Arrive […]

  • Manners Matter: The Reluctant Guest

    Dear Mary Pat, My wife’s brother and sister-in-law have a second home in Door County that they insist that we use when we visit here. I’m never fully comfortable since I’m afraid our kids are going to damage something, and to be honest, I’d be more relaxed if we stayed in a hotel where there […]

  • Server of the Week: Adam Pokorski, Rusty Dusty Vintage and Records

    His name is Adam, and he sells old junk He also sells records: rock, blues and funk If you need a jean jacket or a patch for yours, Why not ask Adam? It’s what he procures Want a trucker hat or an old flannel shirt? Go to Rusty Dusty – you know it won’t hurt Find […]

  • U.S. Supreme Court Ends Al Johnson’s Trademark Debate

    The United States Supreme Court refused to hear a petition from a New York attorney who sought to cancel the “goats on a roof of grass” trademark owned by Al Johnson’s. The court’s June 22 denial put the decade-long lawsuit to rest for good.  Attorney Todd Bank has been involved in attempts to strip Al […]

  • Pulse of Philanthropy: Lessons for Nonprofits from 50,000 Wills

    People’s reluctance to talk openly about their charitable giving has always frustrated me. Most folks will excitedly share stories about their beautiful new sailboat or the vacation they took to some exotic, far-away land. Yet when it comes to the charities we support, we tend to be far more hesitant to share.  I’ve always found […]

  • Door County Barn Quilts Highlight History, Personality

    Door County’s most expansive gallery space begins at one end of the peninsula in Southern Door and stretches all the way to the northernmost tip of the county on Washington Island. Nestled among the cows and crops, and crowning distinguished old barns, the colorful barn quilts of Door County dot the countryside.  Beginning in 2010, […]

  • Editor’s Note: Thanks for the Debate

    I wrote a column a couple of weeks ago about the destruction of monuments, statues, flags and bronzed figures. It apparently caused a few people to think about where they stood on the issue. Some wrote down their thoughts. These came to me directly in the form of emails and texts not intended for publication. […]

  • Why Are Water Levels So High?

    In recent years, rising lake levels have plagued many of Door County’s lakeside businesses and residences in the form of truncated beaches, eroded shorelines and submerged docks and piers. While many people are scrambling to combat flooding and damage to infrastructure, climate scientists are working to find out what has been causing the latest rise […]

  • Maple Grove Motel Open Under New Management

    The Maple Grove Motel in Gills Rock has been updated and reopened under new management for 2020. John Nolte has renovated the 1950s-era motel to retain the vintage ambience while making repairs and improvements, including refurbishing the original retro furniture, adding new Kohler fixtures, new beds, interesting décor (including rotary-dial telephones), Wi-Fi and high-definition Roku […]

  • Nor Door Athletics Baseball Tournament

    Results June 26 Sister Bay 8, Institute 0 June 28 Kolberg 9, Washington Island 7          Maplewood 1, Egg Harbor 3          West Jacksonport 9, Baileys Harbor 3 Schedule All Sunday games start at 1:30 pm. All Friday games start at 8 pm. July 3 West Jacksonport at Institute July 5 Maplewood at Washington Island […]

  • Belgian Days Goes Drive-Through

    Health warnings against large social gatherings during the global pandemic have caused the cancellation of many local festivals. Instead of canceling the 59th annual Belgian Days festival at the Brussels Town Park, however, the Brussels Lions Club got creative and planned a “drive-through” food and beverage service. The fundraiser will be held July 11, 3-7 […]

  • Dairy Farmers Persevere during the Worst Crisis in Decades

    Organic milk production sustains fourth-generation Wilke farm It hurts to say so, but California is now the Dairy State. During the past 15 years, there has been a 49 percent decrease in the number of dairy farms in Wisconsin. In just two years, from 2016 to 2018, the state lost almost 1,200 dairy farms, and […]

  • All Municipalities Approve New Tax Deadline

    The property-tax deadline of July 31 has been officially extended to Oct. 1 for all of Door County, according to Door County Treasurer Jay Zahn. The Door County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in May that allowed the deadline extension, but all 19 municipalities then had to approve the extension. That was completed June […]

  • Farmers’ Market at Sturgeon Bay’s Market Square Reopening

    The farmers’ market at Market Square is slated to reopen to near-normal operations July 4. Two spaces will be provided between vendors to adhere to recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which means that most vendors will not be in their usual spaces. There will also be more vendors on […]

  • Sturgeon Bay Responds to Erosion in Sunset Park

    The City of Sturgeon Bay is working to protect Sunset Park’s shoreline. High water and strong winds throughout the fall and spring caused significant erosion that has removed a portion of the beach area and lawn and has caused several trees growing on the park’s edge to fall into the water.  The Common Council plans […]

  • Door County Continues to Lag in Census Response

    Door County continues to trail the rest of Wisconsin and the country in census response rate. As of June 23, the response rate in the county was 45.3 percent, compared to 68.6 percent in Wisconsin and 61.7 percent nationally.  Door County’s low response rate is due in part to the large number of second homes […]

  • Door County Medical Center Revisits Visitor Restrictions

    Door County Medical Center (DCMC) recently revised its visitor restrictions, but the DCMC Pete and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing Facility continues to restrict all visitation. At this time, only compassionate-care visitation is allowed there at the discretion of the administration. Visitor restrictions are in place under the direction of the Department of Health Services and […]

  • Habitat for Humanity Celebrates Groundbreaking for 43rd Home Build

    On June 23, Door County Habitat for Humanity (DCHH) celebrated the groundbreaking for its 43rd home build. Despite a few raindrops, it was a wonderful celebration to begin the build. Dave and Carrie Link generously donated most of the value of the land for the 43rd home, so the purchase price for DCHH was greatly […]

  • Edward Jones’ Tara Pierre to Host Virtual Coffee Club for Women

    Edward Jones financial adviser Tara Pierre will host a virtual coffee club for women via Zoom on July 8, 8 am. She will provide education on financial market topics and an update on the stock market and the economy in a relaxed environment. Call 920.746.0781 to find out how to connect to this virtual coffee […]

  • Washington Island Ferry Line Resumes Regular Schedule

    The Washington Island Ferry Line resumed its regular summer schedule June 26. After months of uncertainty, Hoyt Purinton, president and general manager, said the decision came down to demand. “I think people really miss the island,” he said. “We’re seeing an uptick in demand to get to the island, whether it’s people visiting family who […]

  • PET TIP: Gardening Safety Tips

    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 provide tips to help pets stay healthy and happy.  […]

  • Then and Now: Sister Bay

    As the Dörr Hotel rises in Sister Bay and restaurants have expanded in Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor and Sister Bay, people rightfully raise the question, is Door County getting overdeveloped? But that question is not new. Back in 1986, the Milwaukee Journal put that question front and center with a special, 18-page edition of its […]

  • ‘Hamilton’ Is Perfect for Independence Day

    After listening to the original Broadway cast recording for more than half a year in 2016, my wife and I stood outside the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York, still in shock that I had two tickets stowed away in my breast pocket to see what we considered to be the greatest musical of our […]

  • This Weekend, Give Yourself a Break

    Even during a “normal” year, the Fourth of July seems to have two sides. On one side, it’s all about family, food and carefree fun. On the other side, it involves a complex web of coordinating schedules, making sure the kids don’t set themselves on fire, and hosting family members, which can be a mixed […]

  • A Summer of Silent – and Socially Distanced – Sports

    Door County’s silent-sports scene is quieter than usual on the race front, with most annual events on pause for 2020, but that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing some of the same courses on your own time. Race or no race, this summer is the perfect time to lace up, suit up, strap in or grab […]

  • Door to Nature: American White Pelicans

    Door County has a wonderful variety of bird-watching habitats. It’s always a treat to find a new species in our area, and that happened Oct. 24, 1978, when one white pelican landed near the dock at Gordon Lodge along North Bay. It seems that the quiet bay is a good spot for other unusual migrant […]

  • Len Villano

    DNR Closes Rock Island State Park for the Season

    There won’t be any grand adventures to Rock Island State Park this season: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced June 29 that the park would be closed for the season. Mike Bergum, East Central District superintendent, said several factors contributed to the closure. “We’ve closed it for all of our staff, in part because […]

  • Kick Ash Coffee Celebrates One Year

    On July 2, Kick Ash celebrated its one-year anniversary in its new space at the corner of Highway 42 and Mink River Road in Ellison Bay. Kick Ash produces artisan granola, freshly roasted coffee and gluten-free bakery items, and it sells fun and creative gifts. The current location offers comfortable seating inside in the renovated […]

  • Spritz: a New Pop-Up Concept at Goose & Twigs

    Goose & Twigs Lodging in Sister Bay has debuted a new food-and-drink concept called Spritz to attract guests coming and going on Friday and Saturday evenings. The idea is modeled after the Italian aperitivo: a few hours between the end of the workday and before dinner that are filled with nibbling on snacks and sipping […]

  • Grants Available for Humanities, Cultural Nonprofits

    Wisconsin’s humanities and cultural organizations can apply now for grants of up to $7,500 to help them cope with financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant Program distributed a little more than $300,000 during its first round of grants earlier this month, and a second grant round has opened […]

  • The Fall of Champagne Rock

    The hidden gem known as Champagne Rock is no more. The tiny park on Cottage Row in Fish Creek had been a favorite spot for those in the know to get away from the crowds to enjoy the sunset or a picnic, or to soak in the panoramic view of the bay from atop the […]

  • Suds with Sophie: Celebrate America with American Styles of Beer

    by Sophie Nelson, [email protected] Take your celebration of America’s independence one step further this year by buying American-made beers in styles that were also made in America!  Many styles that we are familiar with today are styles created in Europe and brought to America with the large waves of immigrants from many countries. Not all […]

  • Construction, Nature by Appointment at Crossroads

    In 2018, the Leadership Door County class approached Crossroads at Big Creek about creating a kayak launch/landing/wildlife-viewing platform at The Cove Preserve. As popular as it is, it’s difficult to access. Thanks to several foundations and individual donors, Crossroads is starting construction on a pull-through, curved driveway between 20th Place and Utah Street that will […]

  • Let’s Pack a Picnic!

    Picnics are having a moment. Now is a great time to take your mealtime out of doors because it’s easier than ever to get takeout – thanks to the increased availability and ease of ordering – and Door County has seemingly endless options for places where you can perch to chow down. Plus, keeping your distance […]

  • Fourth of July Car Cruise

    The Jacksonport Women’s Club will host a Fourth of July Car Cruise starting at Lakeside Park in Jacksonport. It will head north up the east side of the peninsula and return on the peninsula’s west side on Highway 42. Proceed on your own with a map and suggestions for stops at scenic spots, restaurants, galleries, […]

  • Destination Door County Launches Recruitment Campaign

    Destination Door County launched a four-week recruitment campaign June 29 to encourage people to live, work and play in Door County. The paid media buy will reach across the country through its social-media channels and e-newsletter database, and it will target viewers regionally by age demographics and geographical locations through online digital banners and paid […]

  • ‘Madonna’ Joins Washington Island Ferry Fleet

    With a whack of a bottle of bubbly against the upper-floor passenger deck by Washington Island resident Karen Jess, the Madonna was christened as Washington Island’s fifth vessel. The christening of the newest member of the fleet took place Monday morning before a crowd of guests and employees spread across the shipyard’s tarmac. Speakers for […]

  • Higher Self Happy Hour

    Join Jodi Rose Gonzales – an artist, art therapist, yoga instructor and author – for Higher Self Happy Hour, a fun self-discovery workshop that combines guided imagery, collage, writing and gentle yoga. It will be held July 9, 1-3:30 pm, at the Tree of Life Yoga Studio at the Spa at Sacred Grounds in Ephraim. The $45 […]

  • Outdoor Yoga at the Kress

    Yoga is now underway outdoors – rain or shine – on the second-floor south deck of the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. There is plenty of space to maintain six feet of distance among participants.  Enjoy restorative yoga on Tuesdays, 10-11:15 am; Level 1 on Wednesdays, 9-10:15 am; and Level 2 on Saturdays, 9-10:30 am. A $10 […]

  • Katie Dahl Plays at The Cookery

    The Cookery in Fish Creek is hosting a Wednesday happy-hour series featuring music by Door County singer-songwriter Katie Dahl. Starting July 1, she will perform outside every Wednesday, 3-5 pm, with her frequent sideman Rich Higdon on upright bass, spoons and washboard. In case of inclement weather, performances will be canceled. There is no cover […]

  • Where to Find Live Music

    Several businesses have added outdoor live music to their calendar. These include Stabbur, One Barrel Brewing, The Cookery, Sonny’s Pizza, Door 44 Winery and Parallel 44 Winery, and Joe Jo’s Pizza and Gelato, but the calendar is constantly changing. To see up-to-date listings and times, visit

  • Obituary: Dr. Phiroze “Phil” Lovji Hansotia

    November 8, 1937 ~ June 23, 2020 Dr. Phiroze “Phil” Lovji Hansotia, 82, of Ellison Bay, died Tuesday night, June 23, 2020 at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay with family at his side. He was born November 8, 1937 in Deolali, India, the son of Lovji C. Hansotia and Banu Sohrab (Bhathena) Hansotia. […]

  • Obituary: Carol Kostichka-Bretl

    July 22, 1937 ~ June 28, 2020 Carol Margaret Kostichka-Bretl, 82, of Crivitz and formerly of Door County, died on June 28, 2020 at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay.  She was born July 22, 1937 in Sturgeon Bay to Phillip and Alvina (Splingaire) Pfister.  After graduating from Sturgeon Bay High School she married […]

  • Obituary: Joseph Lee Ervin

    March 10, 1943 ~ May 31, 2020  Joseph Lee Ervin, 77, died at his farm on Washington Island, on May 31, 2020, following a decade of dementia. He was born March 10, 1943, in Lansing, Michigan, to Grant Devalson Ervin and Queene Laura Belle Munger. Joe graduated from Michigan State University with a Master of […]

  • Obituary: Dr. George Leonard (“Len”) Apfelbach

    June 25, 2020 Dr. George Leonard (“Len”) Apfelbach, Jr, age 89, of Fish Creek, WI, died on June 25, 2020 at Silverado North Shore Memory Care Community in Glendale, WI, from advanced stage vascular dementia. He is survived by his children Martha Witko (Frank) of San Carlos, CA, Paul of Mequon, WI, Eric (Paula) of […]

  • Obituary: Margaret Slaughter Wilbanks

    September 29, 1931 ~ June 24, 2020 Margaret Slaughter Wilbanks, 88, of Sturgeon Bay, died early Wednesday morning, June 24, 2020 at Anna’s Healthcare CBRF where she had resided the last several years. She was born Margaret Phillips Slaughter on September 29, 1931 in Blytheville, AR, the daughter of Alvah Maurice and Grace (Phillips) Slaughter. […]