• The Wisconsin Legislature reached a compromise on a statewide workplace smoking ban. The ban, including restaurants and taverns, would begin July 5, 2010. Several Door County taverns went smoke-free in the last year in anticipation of such a move. Existing cigar bars and smoke shops are exempt from the ban. Fines for smoking in workplaces range from $100 to $250.
Workplaces will be allowed to create outdoor smoking areas. Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa already have smoking bans.
• The May 6 meeting of the Door County Information Systems Committee yielded little new information about the new fiber pipeline proposed for the county.
IS Director Tim Ullmann said he received some information from Norlight Communications over the week prior to the meeting, but nothing for the county board to consider. He had hoped to have more solid details for the meeting. Ullmann said the biggest question in the project now is who would own the network. He mentioned Sturgeon Bay Utilities, Sister Bay Utilities, and the county as possibilities.
Supervisor Ken Fisher questioned the need for the fiber pipeline at present and asked if “all citizens really need fiber-to-the-home.” Ullmann urged the board to judge the project not by what is needed now, but what may be needed and desired in the future.
The next IS meeting is scheduled for June 3 at 3:30 pm at the county government center.
• It’s been a big spring for Door County in the press. Mentions in The Week magazine, USA Today, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s recap of “Wisconsin’s Marathon Weekend.” Peninsula State Park was featured as the cover story in the latest issue of Wisconsin Trails, and Door County’s growing silent sports scene earned a cover story in Silent Sports magazine.
• The Wisconsin State Senate held a hearing May 12 on a bill that would create uniform siting standards for wind turbines. Currently standards are set by local ordinance. Senate Bill 185 would direct the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to establish statewide standards. The hearing can be viewed at http://www.Wiseye.org.
• Clark Lake, Logan Creek and Lost Lake are now considered to have VHS fish disease present and, therefore, have restrictions on bait harvest, said the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The status means that a determination that low-head dams on these waters are not preventing fish from Lake Michigan from reaching them. Fish from these waters have not yet tested positive for VHS.
DNR fish crews netting Clark Lake in Door County earlier this spring found fresh run steelhead, indicating that the low head dam on that lake is not an effective barrier for steelhead. And Logan Creek and Lost Lake are upstream from Clark Lake. More information on VHS rules can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/vhs/