Peninsula Pulse March 15-22, 2024

In this issue

  • PULSE OF PHILANTHROPY: Cherishing the Essence of Door County

    10 Years of Transformative Philanthropy As I reflect on my journey over the past decade with the Door County Community Foundation, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and reverence. These 10 years have remarkably demonstrated the power of collective philanthropy and the enduring generosity that defines our cherished Door County community.  When […]

  • A Preview of Local Board Races and Shortages at the Coast Guard

    Local board, judge, and school board races are on the ballot in Door County on April 2. This week, Debra Fitzgerald joins Myles Dannhausen Jr. to talk about the candidate profiles in this week’s edition of the Peninsula Pulse, plus the latest on broadband funds making their way to the peninsula and staffing shortages at […]

  • Obituary: Ronald Melvin Smith

    Sept. 21, 1936 – March 9. 2024 Ronald Melvin Smith, age 87 of the Town of Liberty Grove, passed away on Saturday, March 9. 2024 at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay. He was born on Sept. 21, 1936, to the late Theodore and Marguerite (Moeller) Smith in Chicago. Ronald graduated from Senn High School. […]

  • DOT Hosts Informational Session for Sturgeon Bay to Egg Harbor Highway 42 Construction

    The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will host a construction information session Tuesday for residents and businesses who own property within the upcoming Highway 42 work zone between Sturgeon Bay and Egg Harbor. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19 at 1:30 pm at the Sevastopol Town Hall, located at 4528 Highway 57 in Institute. […]

  • Obituary: Loralee “Lori” G. Holton

    Nov. 20, 1941 – March 1, 2024 Loralee “Lori” Grace Holton, 82 of Sister Bay, formerly of Burr Ridge, Illinois, passed away unexpectedly with her husband by her side on Friday, March 1, 2024 at Door County Medical Center. Lori was born on Nov. 20, 1941 in Chicago, the daughter of the late Alfred and […]

  • NWTC Sister Bay Seeks Community Ideas

    The NWTC Learning and Innovation center in Sister Bay is seeking ideas for community classes and additional feedback from residents and business owners on what they would like to see at the center. Meet with NWTC Coordinator Tammy Brunette from 9-10 am on Tuesdays in March and April to share your thoughts and ideas. The […]

  • Kick Ash Issues Allergy Alert, Recall

    Kick Ash Products of Ellison Bay is recalling Door County Love Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola with Lot #061241, because it may contain almonds without the label declaring their presence. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to almonds run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. No illnesses […]

  • Obituary: Judith C. Ahrens

    May 1, 1939 – March 13, 2024 Judith C. Ahrens, 84, of Baraboo, died on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at Meadow View Memory Care. She was born May 1,1939 in Sturgeon Bay, daughter of the late William and Ella Ahrens. Judy completed her education at Silver Lake College and eventually became CFO of Aurora Health […]

  • Obituary: Doris Leona (Miller) Kniffin

    July 23, 1932 – March 12, 2024 Doris Leona (Miller) Kniffin, 91, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away on Tuesday morning, March 12, 2024, at Cardinal Ridge Residential Care. She was born on July 23, 1932, in Louisburg, Kansas, daughter of late William and Pearl (Gaunce) Miller. After her parents took ill, she was raised by […]

  • Obituary: Michael “Mike” Hansen

    Aug. 29, 1958 – March 10, 2024 In the garden of his life, Michael “Mike” Hansen has tilled his last furrow and set sail on the ultimate voyage. Born in Kenosha on Aug. 29, 1958, he charted his course through 65 years of adventure before docking at the peaceful shore of Sturgeon Bay on March […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Not the Republican Party You Knew and Loved

    Northeast Wisconsin’s economy is predominantly based in three areas: agriculture, tourism, and construction – and none of these sectors can survive without immigrant labor. A recent social media post bemoaned someone’s successful career as a fruit picker, until immigrants moved in. It’s a sentiment most of us here from Cherryland can identify with. All the […]

  • Letter to the Editor: The Fix

    Remove money and religion from politics. End gerrymandering. Enact term limits. Get rid of the electoral college. This is how we fix it. One person, one vote. Kevin P. Lind Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

  • Letter to the Editor: Give Vogel Chance to Complete Broadband Effort

    Jeanne Vogel is running for re-election as a Supervisor for the Town of Sevastopol. I recommend you vote for her. She cares about her community. She does her homework. She has ably initiated the effort to bring high-quality, high-speed, affordable internet services to all the citizens and businesses in the Town of Sevastopol. Re-electing Jeanne […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Reetz Has What it Takes to Make Excellent Judge

    I have watched Jennifer Moeller in the courtroom and find her approach to justice and the law to be very black and white. The reason we elect people to the bench is because humans possess compassion and can see shades of gray. We need Brett Reetz on the bench. His experience, common sense and compassion […]

  • Food Storage, Distribution Favored in TID #9

    A 17.8-acre parcel owned by the City of Sturgeon Bay between South Neenah Avenue and Shiloh Road in Tax Increment District (TID) #9 could be developed with an industrial building used to facilitate the storage and distribution of cold and dry food products. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council passed a resolution March 5 in support […]

  • Sevastopol School Gets Visitors, Students Involved in Fine Arts Fair

    Art teacher Cara Krueger and the Sevastopol School fine arts department plan to get even more people involved in the Fine Arts Night this week, than they did in the first-year event last year. Last year, Krueger had art of every student in 4-year-old kindergarten through fifth grade on display. At the event open to […]

  • What’s In Port: The First 1,000-footer Built at Bay Shipbuilding The “Walter J. McCarthy, Jr”

    by THE DOOR COUNTY MARITIME MUSEUM Tom Wenstadt, contributor The merchant vessel (M/V) Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived Jan. 16 at the mouth of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where it anchored for the night. The next morning, the vessel backed six miles up the bay to the Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding storage dock. This vessel was the […]

  • Server of the Week: Chris Kruse, Drömhus

    Step on into our cozy little spot. There you’ll find Chris, he’ll show you what we’ve got. Serving artists, musicians, and everyday folk. Best smile at Drömhus? Chris has our vote.  When the Sunday jazz band starts to bop and swing, Chris keeps the glasses filled without missing a thing. He knows his fine wine, […]

  • Airborne Art

    Rebecca Carlton’s ceramic-bird sculptures represent the world’s languages In a bare-bones industrial space inside the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC,) artist Rebecca Carlton is assembling three suspended sculptures that represent the world’s languages. About 7,000 languages are spoken around the world, according to the Linguistic Society of America. Carlton wanted to represent all of […]

  • Bestsellers list for week ended March 3

    HARDCOVER FICTION 1. The Women, by Kristin Hannah 2. Wandering Stars, by Tommy Orange 3. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride 4. Three-Inch Teeth, by C.J. Box 5. Martyr!, by Kaveh Akbar HARDCOVER NONFICTION 1. Mostly What God Does: Reflections on Seeking and Finding His Love Everywhere, by Savannah Guthrie 2. The […]

  • Book Recommendation: “Still True” by Maggie Ginsberg

    Recommended by SALLY COLLINS, Peninsula Pulse contributor  Set in the fictional town of Anthem, Wisconsin, Maggie Ginsberg’s award-winning debut novel, Still True, peers into the complicated private lives of three individuals.  Those individuals are Claire Taylor, an unemployed newspaper reporter who was recently relocated to the small town with her husband and 10-year-old son, and […]

  • New Open Mic For Prose Writers

    Write On, Door County will begin a monthly open-mic storytelling series for writers of fiction, essays, memoir, and other forms of prose, with an inaugural session on March 24, 2-4 pm.  The series will continue on the fourth Sunday of each month, hosted by Tony Smith and Rosemary Steubi. Light refreshments will be served and […]

  • Bargains For Bookworms

    The Friends of Door County Libraries will host a book sale on March 16, 9:30 am – 12 pm.  What started as a single July book sale has expanded to a year-round event, with volunteers processing some 2,000 donations a month. All book sale proceeds support the Friends, funding programs and activities at all eight […]

  • Local Author Publishes Book Of Short Plays

    Local author Phyllis Zatlin’s new book of plays, All That’s Golden Doesn’t Glitter, illustrates that old age isn’t for the faint of heart.  Published in cooperation with the Door County Playwrights’ Collective (DCPC), the collection of four short comedies includes “Her Favorite Grandson,” “Where’s There’s a Way There’s a Will,” “Old Letter Writers Never Die” […]

  • Updated Job Descriptions Will Precede Permanent Fire Chief Pick

    Before a permanent chief is selected for the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department (SBFD), the job description for that position and the assistant chief will be updated. Police and Fire Commission chair Wayne Spritka said the chief’s job description was last revised in 1997, while the one for the assistant chief was last updated in 2001, […]

  • Women of Note

    Five female Door County musicians will take the stage at the Kress Pavilion on March 22, 7 pm, as part of the Art of Music winter concert series. Those five performers – Dorothy Scott, Katie Dahl, Cathy Grier, Ruby James and Jeanne Kuhns – will perform together in a show titled Women of Note. The […]

  • Listen Up!

    Here are just a few things to check out this weekend throughout the county: File photo by Len Vilano.  GET CRAFTY  Kitchen Collages March 16, 9 am – 12 pm, Peninsula School of Art, 3900 County F in Fish Creek At this month’s Family Art Day, participants can create kitchen-themed collages based on Favianna Rodriguez’s […]

  • Sipping On Whiskey Ditch

    Ever heard of a whiskey ditch?  According to musician Simon Hedeen, the term comes from Montana. There, early pioneers made rye whiskey, which they would serve up with a scoop of slushy snow from the nearest ditch. This mixture was the drink of choice of one of Hedeen’s friends – aptly nicknamed “Montana” – and […]

  • Southern Door Announces Valedictorian, Salutatorian

    Thomas Jackson, son of Mary and Christopher Jackson, and James Zittlow, son of Mike and Sue Zittlow, are the valedictorian and salutatorian respectively of the Southern Door County School District Class of 2024.  Upon graduation, Jackson will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Zittlow is undecided on his choice of university, […]

  • Students Still Can Enter Civics Games

    The deadline to register for the Wisconsin Newspaper Foundation’s Wisconsin Civics Games has been extended until March 18. The competition, which aims to promote civics education and encourage Wisconsin high school students to develop an interest in public service, will host regional competitions virtually on April 11-12. The top-performing teams will advance to the state […]

  • Open Door Pride Scholarship Available

    Open Door Pride will award a $500 IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equality and Accessibility) scholarship to a graduating Door County senior who demonstrates a passion for inclusivity, diversity, increasing sensitivity, and building community.  Applications are due by April 30. Requirements and guidelines are available at Open Door Pride’s mission is to affirm diversity in Door […]

  • Gibraltar Adds Names To Honor Roll

    Gibraltar Area School this week provided some additional names that were not provided for the high school honor roll published last week. They include: Highest Honor Roll – Ombeline Finck. High Honor Roll – Delaney Fitzgerald, Charlotte Grasse. Honor Roll – Christopher Orsted, Seth Parker.

  • Three Municipalities Bring Broadband Dollars Home

    Three Door County municipalities partnered with AT&T have earned broadband grants to help defray taxpayer costs for bringing Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) for all addresses within their borders. The towns of Egg Harbor, Sevastopol and Sturgeon Bay all received a grant from the Wisconsin Capital Projects Fund, which funded 30 projects across Wisconsin, totaling […]

  • Hwy 42 Construction Timeline Outlined

    The crowd was smaller and quieter for the informational, preconstruction meeting on the downtown “core” part of the project than the one that preceded the first phase of Egg Harbor’s upgrades along state Highway 42. With fewer than 30 people in the audience at the Kress Pavilion, Village Administrator Megan Sawyer introduced the utility contractors […]

  • Possible Ways To Recoup Costs For Ice Rescues

    It came up during the County of Door’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee meeting this week that maybe some of the anglers requiring ice rescues – or the tour guides and captains putting those anglers on precarious ice conditions – shouldn’t be getting off free of charge. The idea was floated by District 14 County […]

  • Ice-Fishing Traffic Raises Concern At Point Beach

    With much of the ice unsafe on Green Bay this winter, some fishing guides and anglers seeking thicker ice parked along narrow roads near the small access points in the Point Beach neighborhood. In response to concerns about traffic and lines of trucks and trailers along roadways, the village is considering a combination kayak-and-ice fishing […]

  • Sister Bay Seeking Artists

    The Village of Sister Bay wants to honor those who donate money to local parks, enabling the purchase of benches, trees, playground equipment and other amenities, by erecting some kind of recognition feature – a donor wall or plaque or other artistic feature that honors those who have helped improve local parks.   The village’s Parks, […]

  • Pedestrian/Bike Trail Would Include Boardwalk Under Bridge

    A proposed trail would allow pedestrians and bicyclists in the City of Sturgeon Bay to access the Ahnapee State Trail near the Bayview Bridge without having to cross the path of motor vehicles on state Highway 42/57. Routed under the bridge, the proposed trail is intended to provide a safe route between the Ahnapee State […]

  • The Basics of Bird Identification

    I may be 23, but you wouldn’t be able to tell based on my hobbies. I love crocheting, baking and the occasional crossword puzzle – and I’m starting to think birdwatching is the next step in my journey to become the youngest old person ever. I’m no bird buff as it stands, but I’m in […]

  • Astronomical Society Preps For Eclipse Event

    Door Peninsula Astronomical Society (DPAS) members have been getting questions about whether they will have a viewing event for the April 8 solar eclipse. “We’ll have our solar scopes set up for safe viewing of the sun,” the DPAS posted on Facebook. “Sturgeon Bay will see about 86% of the sun covered. Nothing compared with […]

  • Stargazing Made Easier Through Websites

    Don’t want to miss what’s happening in the night skies? Keep track of what NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is capturing at Reliable resources for backyard viewing opportunities include and the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society Facebook page, as well as and Upcoming happenings include Saturn lining up just below Venus on […]

  • DNR Presents Statewide Bob Ross-Themed Run

    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will organize a virtual event inspired by artist Bob Ross, titled Run for the Trees: Happy Little 5K.  Between Earth Day on April 22 and Arbor Day on April 26, participants can walk, run, skate, scooter, cycle or use a mobility device anywhere to complete the 3.1-mile race. […]

  • Mediterranean Favorites Team Up For A Cause

    It’s hard to resist the seasoned meat of a gyro or the satisfying crunch of pizza crust. Can’t decide between the two? Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille has you covered. Their March Donation Creation pizza features gyro meat, mozzarella cheese, diced tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives, feta cheese over a tzatziki base, finished with […]

  • Talking Up The Tataki

    Tataki is a Japanese cooking method typically used to prepare tuna. The process involves searing the fish briefly on each side in a very hot pan or grill. After searing, the tuna is dipped in an ice bath to quickly stop the cooking process. Once chilled, the tuna is sliced and served with soy sauce. […]

  • Martini Time In Carlsville

    Door County Distillery has a new martini menu at their tasting bar. Martini options include the Door County Sidecar, Handlebar Martini, Cherry Lemon Drop, Chocolate Covered Cherry, Ward 8 and the Rudolph-tini. Door County Distillery is located at 5806 State Hwy 42 in Carlsville. 

  • Seasonal, Island Coast Guard Station Not Opening Due to Personnel Shortage

    More reliance upon volunteer USCG Auxiliary The U.S. Coast Guard will not open its seasonal Washington Island Station this year due to a shortage of personnel that’s hit the entire military branch. Petty Officer First Class Taylor Barnes, who is going through his third winter at the Sturgeon Bay U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) station, said […]

  • Ridges Uses Mandatory Cutting to Boost Research

    A crew’s careful tree-cutting operation near the historic Baileys Harbor Range Lights served two restorative purposes, leaders at The Ridges Sanctuary said.  During a narrow window of cold temperatures and snow cover this winter, workers cut and removed trees and brush without harming the fragile habitat. The work was necessary to widen a tree-free corridor […]

  • More Sounds of St. Patrick’s Day

    If you plan to celebrate St. Paddy’s by eating and drinking the weekend away, you might as well listen to some live music during your festivities. Here are a few venues where you can do just that.  MARCH 16  Ben Larsen  4:30-7:30 pm  Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club, 600 Nautical Dr. in Sturgeon Bay A third-generation […]

  • Radio Play By Bayside Reader’s Theatre

    Door County-based theater troupe Bayside Reader’s Theatre will present its second show, a one-night-only performance of Arsenic and Old Lace, on March 15, 7 pm.  The seven-member troupe consists of Mark Moede, Bruce Newbern, Vance Toivonen, Christopher Powless, Richard Carlson, Donna Johnson and founder Cherryl Fonfara, who came together to do readings from stage, movie […]

  • Live Comedy At Door County Gala

    A trio of comedians – Mike Stricker, Abe Auer and Vanessa Tortolano – will take the stage at Door County Gala on March 23.  Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm. Tickets cost $10 at the door.  Door County Gala is located inside Door County Boardwalk, 1023 Egg Harbor Road […]

  • Washington Island Scandinavian Dancers To Visit Norway

    The Washington Island Scandinavian Fest Dancers have received a $30,000 grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) to help fund their 75th anniversary trip to Valdres, Norway.  It was one of nine non-profit organizations to receive ASF’s public program grant this year. ASF began its Scandinavian Folk Arts and Cultural Traditions program in 2017 to nurture […]

  • Griffon String Quartet Awarded Green Bay Grant

    Midsummer’s Music’s resident ensemble, the Griffon String Quartet, received a grant for its work with older adults from the Tom and Jan Krautkramer Family Fund of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation.  The quartet offers B Double Sharp performances for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia as well as their caregivers. The events are intended to […]

  • Tickets Available for Women’s Fund Story Slam

    The Women’s Fund of Door County will present its 11th annual Tales of Our Lives Story Slam on April 20. The event will be held at Northern Sky’s Gould Theater for the first time this year. “I’ve been attending the event annually and was a ‘slammer’ for the first Tales of Our Lives,” Northern Sky […]

  • Meet the Candidates for the April 2 Election

    It’s that time of year when we introduce you to the candidates who want to help lead our municipalities, our county and our school boards. Voters have choices in five municipalities for this year’s April 2 spring election: the towns of Baileys Harbor, Gardner, Sevastopol and Washington, and the Village of Sister Bay; on the […]

  • Door County Circuit Court, Branch One

    Two candidates – Jennifer Moeller and Brett Reetz – each want the Door County Circuit Court seat currently held by Judge D. Todd Ehlers, who is retiring when his term ends July 31, 2024.  Jennifer Moeller, 55, lives in Sturgeon Bay and works as the Door County FamilyCourt Commissioner and Register in Probate. She has […]

  • Sturgeon Bay Common Council Districts 2 And 6

    Three alderperson seats are up for re-election and there are races for two of those: Matthew Huston is challenging incumbent Dennis Statz for the District 2 seat, and Tom Benzshawel is running against incumbent Seth Wiederanders in District 6. District 4 incumbent Spencer Gustafson is running unchallenged for his seat. District 2 Candidates Dennis Statz […]

  • Baileys Harbor Town Board

    Paul Kordon is challenging the incumbents, Terry McArdle and Sue Tishler, for one of the two seats that are up for re-election on the Baileys Harbor town board.   Terry McArdle (incumbent), 78, is a retired attorney who did his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and received his Juris Doctorate Degree from Seattle University […]

  • Gardner Town Board

    Two supervisor seats are up for re-election on the Gardner Town Board, but there’s only one race. Incumbent Glenn Dart is running unchallenged for his Supervisor 4 seat, but Ted Anderson has challenged incumbent Kevin Fleischman for the Supervisor 3 seat.  Fleischman did not respond to our request for participation in the questionnaire, but below […]

  • Sevastopol Town Board

    Four candidates are running for two supervisor seats that are up for re-election on the Sevastopol Town Board. Incumbents Derek Denil and Jeanne Vogel are both running, as are challengers Mark Haberli and Trent Olsen. Derek Denil (incumbent), 34, works as an area operation manager for Precision Diagnostics. He graduated with the Sturgeon Bay High […]

  • Sister Bay Village Board

    Four people are running for three trustee seats on the Sister Bay Village Board: Kurt Harff, Louise Howson, Eric Smith and incumbent Denise Bhirdo. Incumbents Don Cox and Sarah White are not running for re-election.  Denise L. Bhirdo (incumbent), 60, is a co-owner of Bhirdo’s Gas Station and Second Hand Sue’s. She is a high-school […]

  • Washington Town Board

    Three candidates are running for two supervisor seats on the island’s town board: incumbents Loren Roznai and Lawrence “Larry” Kahlscheuer, and challenger Peter Sownie. Larry Kahlscheuer (incumbent), 74, is retired from law enforcement and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He is married to Diane and they have three grown children who they raised […]

  • Southern Door County School District

    Three candidates are vying for two seats up for re-election on the Southern Door County School District Board: Adam Schopf, Seth Wilson and incumbent Janel Veeser. Janel Veeser (incumbent), 43, lives in the Town of Union and works as a higher education teacher at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. She has a Master’s Degree in Management […]

  • Sturgeon Bay School District

    Five candidates are vying for four seats on the Sturgeon Bay School District Board – challengers Jeffrey Matson and Cathy Meyer, and incumbents Angela Kruse, Wayne Spritka and Damion Howard.  Angela Kruse (incumbent), 53, lives in the City of Sturgeon Bay and works as a sales associate at O’Meara’s Irish House in Fish Creek. She […]

  • Wild Things: Spring Hearings Back to In-Person

    For the first time in five years, citizens can gather at the county level to vote for representation on the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC). The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fish and wildlife hearings and WCC county meetings will be held April 8 in all counties, with an option to provide input on a variety […]

  • Gibraltar Uses Interest Income to Broaden Construction Scope

    Interest income on the $29.8 million building referendum approved a year ago by Gibraltar school district voters has been so good that the school board has expanded the scope of the project, the school board learned on March 11. During the annual meeting in fall 2023, Gibraltar schools superintendent Brett Stousland noted that some additional […]

  • Community Investment Fund Receives Innovation Award

    Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund was honored with an Innovation Award at the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism, March 12, held in Lake Geneva. The Innovation Award is presented to a business or community that has demonstrated outstanding initiative through the implementation of new strategies that positively impact their organization and destination.  Destination Door […]

  • Door County Getting $3.9 million for Communications Project Upgrade

    Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) announced this week that the County of Door would receive $3.9 million for the upgrade of its public safety radio system that assures all peninsula residents and visitors can contact emergency personnel when they need them.  The county is in the beginning stages of a full-system upgrade to its communication infrastructure […]