• By the Numbers: April Fools’ Day

    April Fools’ Day The origin of the tomfoolery and hoaxing that takes place on April 1 – also known as All Fools’ Day – is a mystery. 1582 The year France changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, which shifted the start of the new year to January 1 rather than the Julian calendar’s […]

  • By the Numbers: Vernal Equinox

    Spring officially began at 4:58 pm on Wednesday, March 20: the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above Earth’s equator. It’s celebrated as a time of rebirth in the northern hemisphere. 2 The number of times in a year when Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward […]

  • Justin Isherwood: What Is ‘Bitter Cold’?

    The weather reporter said, “Bitter cold, frigid cold, dangerously cold.” NPR characterized recent Midwest temperatures as “unbelievably cold.” I have a problem trusting a news source that refers to Wisconsin and Minnesota temperatures of -20 as “unbelievably cold.” Out of fairness, it did compare Duluth’s temperature to the daytime temperature on Mars, also at -20. […]

  • In Search of Civility: Talking Politics

    People disagree all the time. For every strong opinion, there is an equally strong and opposite one. Yet not all disagreements lead to uninviting family members to Thanksgiving dinner or end in destroyed friendships. Political disagreements, on the other hand, have become increasingly harmful and difficult to handle. Why is this happening? Recent research by […]

  • By the Numbers: St. Patrick’s Day

    On March 17, people of Irish descent and millions of want-to-bes celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, most without any real knowledge of Patrick. He was born in Dunbarton, Scotland, in 385. His grandfather was a priest and his father a deacon, but Patrick had little faith himself – that is, until at the age of 16 […]

  • Door County Environmental Council Statement on the Forestville Millpond

    by the Door County Environmental Council Board of Directors The Door County Environmental Council strongly supports a comprehensive cleanup and permanent restoration of water quality in the Ahnapee River and Forestville Millpond. The question is, how is this best accomplished? Minutes from meetings of the Door County Land Conservation Committee for the past three years […]

  • By the Numbers: Best and Worst States for Women

    With March being Women’s History Month and women holding only 23.7 percent of the seats in Congress – despite making up 51 percent of the U.S. population – the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2019’s Best and Worst States for Women. To identify the most women-friendly states, WalletHub compared the 50 states and […]

  • Commentary: Looking at ‘Dollars and Sense’

    by the Wisconsin Policy Forum Cities and villages in Wisconsin rely more heavily on property taxes than any other state in the Midwest – and to a greater degree than most states nationally – according to a new report by the nonpartisan, independent Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF). In 2015, Wisconsin municipalities received 42.2 percent of […]

  • Commentary: Principles of Collaboration

    Collaboration has become one of the trendiest ideas in the nonprofit world. Donors and grantmakers are increasingly demanding it, and the charities are responding accordingly. Generally speaking, this is a good thing. A strong and robust collaborative partnership leads to greater organizational efficiencies and increased effectiveness, and it can accelerate the speed of social and/or […]

  • Commentary: League of Women Voters Calls for Redistricting Reform

    by Andrea Kaminski With a legacy going back almost a century and a presence in all 50 states, the League of Women Voters takes the long view on how voting-district maps are drawn. In Wisconsin, the League has been active in apportionment and redistricting since the 1930s. Through the decades, our stance has sometimes lined […]

  • By the Numbers: Amazon’s Effect on American Communities

    Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association combined efforts to study the economic impact of Amazon’s retail operations in the United States. 16 The number of Amazon Books brick-and-mortar stores that are open or in the works. 44,000 The number of displaced shops in 2016, amounting to 380 million square feet. 637,000 The number of […]

  • Commentary: Feeling More Deeply Connected

    by Georgia Feldman Walking under the modernist, green-and-white arches to the Lowenstine Academic Building at the Conserve School in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin was a big moment. The picturesque entrance was intimidating as much as it was beautiful. However, the most intriguing part of the building was that it seemed to be built into nature, […]

  • Commentary: Balancing ‘Me’ and ‘We’

    by Orlaine I. Gabert, Door County Civility Project The third tool of civility is inclusivity. It asks each of us to listen to viewpoints different from our own so that we can see issues in other ways and try to find common ground. However, we seem to live in a world of either me or […]

  • Commentary: Congressman Gallagher’s Lessons from the Shutdown

    Let’s face it: the government shutdown was stupid. I don’t say that to place blame on any particular party or person. The blame game is endless, and while it provides a short-term sugar high, it ultimately poisons the body politic. Rather, the shutdown was stupid because border security is one of the most solvable problems […]

  • By the Numbers: Politics and Global Warming

    Researchers from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication conducted a nationally representative survey of registered voters to determine global-warming beliefs and attitudes. The survey documents “an increase in Republican understanding of the reality of human-caused global warming, worry about the threat and support for […]

  • By the Numbers: Black History Month

    1688 The year of the first recorded protest of the slave trade in America, made by Quakers at a meeting in Philadelphia. In their written protest, the Quakers wrote, “Pray, what thing in the world can be done worse towards us, then if men should robb or steal us away, & sell us for slaves […]

  • Commentary: An Open Appeal to All Elected Officials

    by Steven W. Stanger “At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! Had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but […]

  • Commentary: A Community Worth Fighting For

    I remember June 13, 2015, very clearly. It was a typically beautiful Saturday in Door County. The sun was shining; people were smiling; and seemingly all was right with the world. I was standing in front of a party tent, looking out over the crowd, waiting to be invited to the microphone to speak. We […]

  • Commentary: When a Good Story Ruins the Story

    A few months ago, I read a story on the ethics of restaurant critics. It was not about the morality of a stranger with a pen imposing a subjective opinion on an establishment to the potential ruin of its operators and employees. Rather, it concerned the way in which a popular writer can go to […]

  • By the Numbers: The Longest Partial Government Shutdown

    0 The number of other democratic governments that have shutdowns. Most avoid this sort of gridlock by requiring a simple majority to pass a budget. 6 The number of departments that had full funding and are not affected. They are Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Labor and Veterans Affairs. 8 The number of […]