Peninsula Pulse June 5 – June 12, 2020

In this issue

  • Door Poetry: Tom Toerpe

    Tom Toerpe compiled by the DOOR COUNTY POETS COLLECTIVE Tom Toerpe lives in Baileys Harbor, where he’s been a regular contributor to the public library’s annual Local Lines poetry display. His poems have appeared in a variety of publications, including the Peninsula Pulse, Wisconsin People and Ideas, Thema, Exquisite Corpse and Harp-Strings, as well as […]

  • Artist Profile: Megan Woodard Johnson

    Imagine you’re making a map of the area where you live. Where would you delineate borders? Alongside the obvious landmarks, would you also include handprints left in cement sidewalks, past residents, foundations of old buildings, and the route you took to school when you were a kid? Such a record-making process could soon become too […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Incredulous with Kitchens

    Incredulous was my response to Rep. Kitchens’ perspective piece in the May 22-29 Peninsula Pulse. I emailed him in early April to please vote “yes” to move the April 7 election so citizens did not have to choose between health, the foundation of life; and voting, the bedrock of democracy.  Rep. Kitchens’ response was that he […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Climate Change a Threat Multiplier, U.S. Military Says

    It’s not just tree-huggers who are concerned about climate change. Of all the organizations and institutions focused on global warming, the United States military – hardly a bastion of left-wing thinking – is the largest and arguably in the best position to understand the multiple threats that warming poses. And during the past 10-plus years, […]

  • Letter to the Editor: The Economy versus the People?

    Recently, someone wrote to the Pulse to support reopening Door County for business by saying that the economy is a larger (more important) concern than the health of our residents (and possibly also our visitors). Although I understand that times are tough (my family experienced serious rationing during WWII and many years of poverty afterward), […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Pursuing the Common Good

    Congratulations on the well-thought-out and well-written editorial “Where Are We Going?” The worse the conditions that we face, the greater the need for well-balanced reasoning. I believe your plea for pursuit of the common good gets to the core of many issues. The question is, what is the common good? The one “good” that is […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Take Responsibility

    The recent horrible murder of a compliant black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis has shone a light once again on the clear, uneven justice dealt out by law enforcement across this country. Although many white Americans cannot stand the sight of a black football player taking a knee on the football field […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Who Should “Mask Up”?

    Confusion about wearing a mask in public – or not – is kind of like riding ocean swells in a foundering ship.  The professionals can’t even agree on protocol. The CDC reversed its position last month and began recommending that everyone wear a mask in public amid the coronavirus pandemic.  However, the WHO – in a video […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Doing Our Part to Lessen the Problem

    Today we set aside time to honor the people who gave their lives in all the wars fought since our country began. In the midst of fighting the coronavirus, we owe a thank-you to all the people who are selflessly saving lives and preventing the spread of this insidious disease. Thank you to business owners […]

  • Prevea Kewaunee Health Center Now Open

    The Prevea Kewaunee Health Center, 1020 Marquette Dr. in Kewaunee, is now open for patient care following a temporary closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The health center is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 8 am – 5 pm. Urgent care for minor illnesses and injuries is available during these times. Patients may arrive without […]

  • Aging & Disability Resource Center to Begin New Food Program

    The Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of the Lakeshore is beginning a new food program.  Starting June 22, anyone age 60 or older may pick up a pre-ordered bag lunch from one of three Kewaunee County locations: the Kewaunee Human Service Building, 810 Lincoln St. in Kewaunee; the St. John Lutheran Church parking area, […]

  • Discover Wisconsin to Shine Spotlight on Door County

    Discover Wisconsin ( will shine the spotlight on Door County during an episode on June 6, 6:30 pm, but you can watch it before it premieres: On June 3, 3 pm, turn to the Discover Wisconsin YouTube Channel; and June 3, 7 pm, check out the Discover Wisconsin Facebook page. The show kicks off in […]

  • Coordinated Community Response: Protecting Adults at Risk during a Pandemic

    by Door County Circuit Court Commissioner Jennifer Moeller, Register in Probate Wisconsin law defines an adult at risk as any adult who has a physical or mental condition that impairs the individual’s ability to care for her or his needs; and who has experienced, is experiencing or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect […]

  • PET TIP: Hot-Weather Safety

    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.  […]

  • Luxemburg Bancshares Announces Semiannual Dividend

    Luxemburg Bancshares, parent company of Bank of Luxemburg (, has announced a semiannual dividend of $0.68 per share, payable on June 15 to shareholders of record as of June 1, 2020.  At its May 19 annual meeting, shareholders reelected Susan Heim, CEO and owner of Quali T Screening in Luxemburg; Tim Treml, president and CEO […]

  • Kellstrom Ray Agency Welcomes New Team Member

    Heather Olson – broker/owner of Kellstrom Ray Agency – has welcomed a new team member, Elise Evenson. Evenson grew up in Door County, is newly licensed and is ready to start her new career in real estate and excited to help both buyers and sellers. She also enjoys boating, kayaking and fishing.

  • USDA’S Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Available

    Agricultural producers can now apply for the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides direct payments to offset the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The application and a payment calculator are now available online, and staff members of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) are available by phone, fax and online tools to help […]

  • $2,500 Grants Available for Small Businesses

    Applications are open for a new grant program designed to assist Wisconsin’s smallest businesses. The We’re All in Small Business Grant Program, funded by the federal CARES Act, will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption, health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent and mortgages, […]

  • Gibraltar Inducts New National Honor Society Members Virtually

    Gibraltar inducted 13 new members into its National Honor Society (NHS) chapter virtually on May 22, when inductees, their families, current members and the school body were invited to join via Zoom. The presentation included a virtual procession of names, videos made by the NHS officers talking about the four pillars of NHS, a reading […]

  • Door County Medical Center Auxiliary Scholarships Announced

    Door County Medical Center (DCMC) Auxiliary awarded $33,000 in scholarships to graduates of Algoma High School and five Door County high schools, as well as earlier graduates who are currently enrolled in programs in the medical field. Current DCMC employees were also awarded funds in the areas of health information, radiology and nursing. DCMC employees […]

  • Sturgeon Bay Principals Show Appreciation for Staff

    Sturgeon Bay principals and administrative staff worked secretly to show their appreciation to all staff district members by placing yard signs that thanked them for their dedication to students and the community. The principals worked with a local printer who outsourced the signs. “I felt acknowledged and appreciated upon seeing my sign in my yard,” […]

  • What Have Area Schools Learned about Broadband Access?

    When COVID-19 required private homes to replace public classrooms, families and teachers up and down Door County found that their internet access was often inadequate or unreliable.   Through surveying school administrators, the Peninsula Pulse learned a lot about the internet challenges that the home-schooling model has presented for school districts, administrators and educators. For example, […]

  • Parklet Concept Not Dead Yet

    But its obituary is likely in the offing The concept of expanding local businesses into parking spaces to create “parklets” along several streets in Sturgeon Bay didn’t exactly die, but it also didn’t gain much life support from the Sturgeon Bay Parking and Traffic Committee. That three-member committee reviewed the Sturgeon Bay Pilot Parklet Program, […]

  • PERSPECTIVE: Try Trust Instead of Judgment

    The time between sleep and waking belongs to the animal mind, a receiver of sensory input. Around here, that means things like birdsong, lapping water, cedar and pine. It’s magical but short – a few blissed-out moments. Then reality crashes through, and these days, it brings COVID-19 top of mind.  So I pull myself from bed, […]

  • PULSE OF PHILANTHROPY: The Choice to Call Door County Home

    This June marks 10 years that I’ve been writing columns for the Peninsula Pulse. If I collected all the feedback I’ve received to everything I’ve written during the last decade, it would not equal the response to my most recent column, “We Must Hold Together as One County.” That last column was about the terrible […]

  • Door County Unemployment Soars to 20 Percent for April

    Door County’s unemployment rate climbed to 20 percent in April, the only full month when the state’s Safer at Home order was in place. The number represents 2,886 jobless people in Door County out of a workforce of 14,444. The impact of COVID-19 hit all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, according to the numbers that the […]

  • Bank Closures Position Nicolet for Strength, CEO Says

    Nicolet National Bank has closed seven locations in northeast Wisconsin, three in Door County in Brussels, Ellison Bay and Fish Creek. The other four are in Appleton, Kewaunee, Oshkosh and Suamico.  The permanent closures have affected 56 employees, including 12 executive-branch employees, according to Nicolete Chairman and CEO Bob Atwell. Nicolet was not a victim […]

  • New Legislation Bites Ticks Back

    Ticks become active beginning in May, and this year, for the first time, new legislation has been passed to try to bite the creatures back. The Wisconsin Assembly passed two bills in January that require the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to warn visitors about the dangers of Lyme disease and to sell insect […]

  • Southern Door Hosts Virtual Commencement

    Southern Door High School celebrated its 2020 graduates with a virtual ceremony, during which members of the board of education presented each senior with their diploma. The graduates also received a complimentary photo taken by Harmann’s Studios, a class poster and gifts from the senior banquet committee. A grad video is available at

  • Ag Station Names New Superintendent

    Rebecca Wiepz is the new superintendent of the Peninsular Agricultural Research Station (PARS), the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 120-acre research farm near Sturgeon Bay. Wiepz started June 1. She has specialized experience in fruit-crop research and familiarity with PARS, where she’s been a research gardener. Wiepz is returning to the station to oversee a robust orchard-fruit […]

  • Lindenberg Awarded Blei Memorial Scholarship

    by Marise Redmann The 2020 Norbert Blei Memorial Scholarship – the seventh annual – has been awarded to Gibraltar High School graduate and Peninsula Pulse intern Solomon Lindenberg.  He’s been writing for the Gibraltar school newspaper, The Viking Voice, since his freshman year and was editor-in-chief during his senior year. The young journalist was also instrumental in […]

  • Door County COVID-19 Update: Jun. 5-12

    As of press time Wednesday, Door County’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 remained at 38, with three deaths. Statewide, there were 18,917 cases and 607 deaths, with the percentage of tests coming back positive continuing to trend downward.  During the weekly Facebook Live session June 1, County Health Manager Sue Powers and Door County Medical Center […]

  • Golf League Results: June 5, 2020

    IDLEWILD Senior Men’s Thursday 8:30 am League  May 28, 2020 • Low gross: Glen Herlitz 41, John Tong 41 • Low net: Glen Herlitz 34 • Closest to pin #13: Harold Forbes • Longest putt #11: Glen Herlitz Open to all senior (50-plus) men, any week. Arrive by 8:20 am to play.

  • Steel Bridge Songfest Goes Virtual

    Adaptability and spontaneity has been baked into the DNA of Steel Bridge Songfest since its inception in 2007. Each event has been drastically different from the one before, which is, in fact, a large part of its appeal. The Songfest has inhabited many venues throughout the years – a yacht club, a parking lot and […]

  • Door to Nature: Ruffed Grouse

    I was driving home from Egg Harbor when I noticed a hen ruffed grouse begin to cross Church Street about 30 feet ahead of me. I stopped to let her go, and after a bit of hesitation, she quickly and carefully crossed within the crosswalk lines, with her 12 newly hatched chicks close behind. This […]

  • Wild Things: Cooler Spring Extending Bay Action as Lake Catches Heat Up

    A cool spring has extended the action for Green Bay walleyes and smallmouth bass, even as Lake Michigan trout and salmon catches get underway. The mixed bag – which also includes panfish spawning in shallow bays and harbors on Green Bay, as well as in inland lakes in Door and Kewaunee counties – comes at […]

  • Manners Matter: Our Wedding, Our Way?

    Dear Mary Pat, My fiancé and I were supposed to get married in May, and obviously, we had to cancel. Our original wedding was supposed to have 265 guests and be fairly over the top, if I’m honest. We decided to hold off until next May and plan the exact same wedding then. After thinking […]

  • Run, Recycle, Reuse … Your Old Shoes

    The Crossroads Trail Run – called Going the Distance … at a Distance this year – will take place virtually June 16-20 at a Safer at Home location. To find out more and register, visit  Do you have running shoes you no longer need? Although this year’s run has a different look, the Friends of […]

  • TAP, Write On Collaborate on #ENOUGH Project

    Third Avenue Playhouse and Write On, Door County are collaborating on the #ENOUGH Project: a nationwide initiative to encourage middle and high school students to write 10-minute plays about gun violence. #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence is a new campaign of theater activism that seeks to provide middle and high school students with the […]

  • Birch Creek Offers Online Program

    Forty-two of Birch Creek’s world-renowned faculty members will be teaching music students in Percussion and Steel Band, Symphony and Big Band Jazz this summer through the newly launched Birch Creek Online program. In April, the Birch Creek Summer Residential Academy sessions and all summer concerts were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, students will […]

  • TAP Talks, Happy Hour Cast Reunions

    Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP) has developed two new ways to stay engaged with the TAP community since the pandemic forced the theater to close in March. TAP Talks is an online talk show in which co-Artistic Directors Bob Boles and James Valcq talk with actors, directors, playwrights and theater professionals. Each episode lasts about 45 […]

  • Door Community Auditorium Reschedules Some Performances

    The Door Community Auditorium (DCA) is rescheduling its July and August performances to 2021. The fall and winter Main Stage shows are largely remaining as scheduled for the time being and will have a socially distanced seating chart, using only 37.5 percent of the auditorium’s capacity. The DCA launched ticket sales June 2 for DCA […]

  • House and Garden Walk Canceled

    The Door County Medical Center Auxiliary has canceled its July 28 House and Garden Walk. Maribeth Hetherington, auxiliary president, said, “Although we remained hopefully optimistic we could still have the walk recognizing the 60th anniversary of Commitment to Community, there were too many uncertainties related to the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. […]

  • Parks Slowly Reopening in Kewaunee County

    The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department ( is slowly reopening its parks, and some have new amenities. Riverview ATV Park – designed for off-road recreational vehicles such as ATVs, UTVs and dirt bikes – is officially open until mid-November. New at the park, visitors will be required to purchase a trail pass for each vehicle being […]

  • Door County Kayak Tours Launches Glow Roll on June 12

    Door County Kayak Tours (DCKT, will launch its new Glow Roll event June 12, 6:30 pm, when its e-bikes will be decked out in LED lights of different colors to light up Ephraim. Participants may ride their own bike or rent one from DCKT. Meet in the parking lot next to Wilson’s at 6:30 […]

  • Settlement Farmers’ Market to Open June 10

    The Settlement Farmers’ Market, 9106 Hwy 42 in Fish Creek, will begin its 17th season June 10, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm, and run weekly on Wednesdays through mid-October. This year, it will offer more than just locally produced foods.  Expect to find fresh, locally caught whitefish fillets; homemade sourdough bread; a variety of freshly […]

  • Free Fun Weekend June 6-7

    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ( is hosting the eighth annual Wisconsin Free Fun Weekend on June 6-7, when park-admission fees, fishing licenses and trail-pass requirements will be waived to encourage Wisconsinites to enjoy Wisconsin’s outdoors. Participants are encouraged to join the Wisconsin State Parks’ OutWiGo initiative by tagging their Free Fun Weekend photos […]

  • Hiking the Yellow Trail in Whitefish Dunes State Park

    Whitefish Dunes State Park is known primarily for its sandy beaches and stunning lakeside views. The park was established in 1967, and in 1982, 230 acres of its total 867 acres were designated as a state natural area. On the lakeside, the dunes are open, sandy and home to common milkweed, beach wormwood, beach pea […]

  • Obituary: James L. Schneider

    July 12, 1944 ~ June 1, 2020 James L. Schneider, 75, of Algoma, died Monday, June 1, 2020 at Bellin Hospital ER in Green Bay. He was born July 12, 1944 in Algoma, the son of the late Raymond and Mabel (Berthold) Schneider. Jimmy worked for Vollrath Company for a few years before working at […]

  • Obituary: Patrick James Hellen

    June 2, 1953 ~ May 25, 2020 Patrick James Hellen, 66, of the Town of Baileys Harbor, died on Monday, May 25, 2020 at the Jack and Engrid Meng Hospice Residence in De Pere. He was born June 2, 1953 in Brainerd, Minnesota, son of the late Francis Joseph and Lila Ellen (Thomas) Grimm. After […]

  • Obituary: Richard J. Ostrowski

    May 26, 1952 ~ May 29, 2020 Richard J. Ostrowski, 68, of Egg Harbor, passed away suddenly during surgery Friday, May 29, 2020. He was born May 26, 1952 in Stevens Point the son of the late Bernard and Joan (Czerniak) Ostrowski. Richard graduated from Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids in 1970 before pursuing […]

  • Obituary: James C. Matson

    September 19, 1938 ~ May 28, 2020 James C. Matson, 81, of Ellison Bay, died on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay. He was born September 19, 1938 in Chicago, IL, the son of Arthur Edwin Matson and Hazel Louise (Johnson) Matson. James attended North Park Academy in Chicago […]

  • Obituary: Irene Sophie Ott

    January 4, 1918 ~ May 26, 2020 Irene Sophie Ott, 102, of Sturgeon Bay, died on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at Pine Crest Village. She was born at home in Jacksonport on January 4, 1918, the daughter of Herman and Jennie (Robinson) Carlson. Irene attended school in Jacksonport and Sturgeon Bay. She was baptized and […]

  • Obituary: Dick Beschta

    May 1, 1948 ~ May 28, 2020 Dick Beschta, 72 years, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away at his home early Thursday morning (May 28, 2020).      He was born May 1,1948 in Appleton the son of the late Donald and Dolores (Eckert) Beschta. His family moved to Sturgeon Bay where Dick finished high school and […]

  • Obituary: Darrell Floyd Lettie

    May 6, 1953 ~ May 28, 2020  Darrell Floyd Lettie, 67, of Sister Bay, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, May 28, 2020.      He was born May 6, 1953 in Sturgeon Bay, son of the late Floyd Wesley and Helen Ellen (Tanck) Lettie. Darrell graduated from Gibraltar High School with the Class of 1971. He worked […]

  • Obituary: John M. Smejkal

    December 25, 1943 ~ May 23, 2020 John M. Smejkal, 76, of Gills Rock, Ellison Bay, passed away Saturday, May 23, 2020.      He was born December 25, 1943 in Chicago, IL, the son of the late Walter and Harriett (Seyller) Smejkal. His family moved to Manitowoc in the early 1950’s when his father, Dr. […]

  • Obituary: Mary A. (Lax) Anheuser

    November 21, 1943 ~ May 26, 2020 Mary A. Anheuser (nee Lax) of Sister Bay, formerly of Hartland, WI passed away at home Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at the age of 76. She valiantly fought pancreatic cancer for over two years.      Mary was born in Manitowoc on November 21, 1943, the daughter of the […]