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As founder of We the Irrelevant, a website that tracks how well (or poorly) the actions of legislators match up with what the public has asked them to do, I have sent multiple open records requests to Wisconsin legislators on a variety of controversial initiatives. Each time, I’ve asked them…

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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With little fanfare, the 2020 census got underway on Jan. 21 in a tiny community along the Bering Sea called Toksook Bay, Alaska. It is so remote that the census bureau director from Washington, D.C. was late to his own ceremonial kick-off event. Lizzie Chimiugak Nenguryarr, a 90-year old el…

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Last week, we visited about politics. I figured I would push the envelope a bit more this week to get some serious buzz from a controversial topic.

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Like a lot of our neighbors, I grew up on my parent’s dairy farm right here in Somerset. My mom and dad milked around 140 cows with each of us kids helping out when we were old enough- and even when we were not. We still remember the small things from those days; sunlight dancing through air…

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Last week I started doing something I’ve never done before. I started writing fiction.

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I was in shock that in less than a month that there could be two similar quality movies released in theaters. However, I guess January movie releases have a reputation to uphold. I really did think that I wouldn’t witness a movie worse than The Grudge, well Gretel and Hansel had other plans …

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I was invited to attend the dedication of the Veterans Memorial Wing at the Hammond Health Services on Jan. 29.

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The first votes in the nomination process that will determine the names on the ballot for the presidential election in November happened this week.

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“Wind and solar power are the intermittent freeloaders on the electricity grid. They are treated as if they’re generators, adding power to the grid, but instead they provide something the grid doesn’t need — power that can’t be guaranteed.” -Jo Nova (Australian climate blogger)

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Food allergies are a complicated issue that school districts must take very seriously, and a peanut-free classroom is a relatively simple solution. As a parent of a child with several serious food allergies, I have a lot of experience in this department.

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At the time of the American Revolution, the future United States was a small, colonial backwater on the world stage. There were an estimated 2-3 million people living here. Yet it somehow produced an array of talented, creative thinkers and politicians — Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison…

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Memories fade, but calendars do not lie. It’s been 40-years since the U.S. men’s hockey team defeated the Russian team to claim the gold medals during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The victory is forever known as the Miracle on Ice.

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There are just some weeks where there are not a lot of new movie releases and this week was one of those where we just saw the release of the Gentlemen by Guy Ritchie. In the recent past Guy has had a mixed bag of success with his movies. Mostly recent he was headed in a downward spiral with…

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The email came a couple of weeks ago from a neighboring newspaper editor on the other side of the river which has the same owners as the Baldwin Bulletin.

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One of the things I do before I watch films in the theater is take a look at what other critics think of the movie. I do this because I want to know up front if there are some perceived problems with the movie so I know what I should keep my eyes open for. Every reviewer I saw for Dolittle g…

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January is Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention month and while this issue can seem abstract and far away, trafficking happens here. I am cosponsoring a Joint Resolution to acknowledge the threat of human trafficking and make it clear that Wisconsin has zero tolerance for this modern-d…

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Wisconsin’s commitment to good roads and reliable transportation goes back more than a century and is built into our identity.

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The debate and discussion the Baldwin-Woodville School Board had about Greenfield Elementary becoming peanut-free got me thinking.

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Well, we are on the back side of January now. February and Ground Hog’s Day are coming up, the days are getting longer, and we can now dare to dream of spring.

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Watching the Minnesota Vikings see their season slip away in the second half of Saturday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers a couple of things came across my line of thinking.

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What a difference a week can make. Last week, I saw probably the worst movie of 2020 and this week I get to see one of the best movies of 2019. You read that right 1917 was actually a movie that was released in 2019, December 2019. This is one of the intriguing parts of films in January. Aud…

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I want to start out by making it clear that I have nothing against cowboys.

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You no doubt remember the old line attributed to Ben Franklin when he was asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had created: “A republic, if you can keep it!” Well, I’ve noticed an interesting thing in recent years: it’s got bi-partisan appeal.

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The holidays have unofficially wrapped up. When the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve, we found ourselves in a new decade and with the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us. Without holiday cards to expect or visits by grandkids or nieces and nephews, many of our neighbors are entering a …

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Just shy of two years ago, this column explored the heightened importance of open government when public health is at risk. Multiple examples showed the government was not sharing timely information with the public, or even other branches of government, on issues such as clean drinking water…

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Here’s a basic truth about people who make decisions on public policy: they rarely have all the facts they want. Over the years, I’ve sat in countless meetings in which, after we’d reached a sticking point, someone said in exasperation, “Well, what are the facts?” We’d all look around the ro…

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“What do you think?” my husband, Peter, asked about the link he’d sent me as we prepared to head home from the holidays.

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The first week of January is probably my least favorite time at the movies because Hollywood tends to release some pretty bad movies. There are a couple of factors which I think leads to this perception and practice. The first one is that studios tend to release some of their best movies at …

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About a year ago, most of the world was introduced to Amy Bockerstette. Some were lucky enough to know her before a magical moment on a golf course. As part of a pre-tournament practice round, she played the so-called loudest hole in golf, the par-3 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale course wit…

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As we discussed last month, the State of Wisconsin is currently considering eliminating a popular waiver for vaccinations needed to attend school. They are doing this because vaccination rates are dropping below the level needed for herd immunity and we are seeing the resurgence of childhood…

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I’ll admit I don’t have enough information or material on one topic to fill 650 words, so this week’s column is going to be sprinkled with a smorgasbord of materials.

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Happy 2020 to you all! Have you stopped writing 2019 on checks (if you still write those) and other documents? It always takes me a while to catch up with the new year.

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I glanced up as the bells rang to herald new customers walking into the used clothing store. I was looking for a pair of warm dress pants. Visiting my parents in Minnesota, I had forgotten entirely about the possibility of extreme cold and the idea of going out that night in tights and a ski…

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The following is what I hope to see happens in 2020 on a local and national level. I’ll say it right now, I’m hoping for at least one.

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Did you have a good Christmas? Were you able to spend some time with friends and family? Did you survive the umpteenth retelling of that embarrassing story from your childhood?

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Over the last couple of years, since Disney bough the Star Wars franchise, Christmas means a new Star Wars movie. This year’s entry into the Star Wars mythos is Star Wars: Episode IX- The Rise of Skywalker which is the concluding movie to what George Lucas began in 1977 with Star Wars: Episo…

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Like many of you, I have spent the past weeks decorating, baking, wrapping, and preparing my home for the pitter patter of my grandchildrens’ feet. We’re all looking forward to sharing the holiday with our loved ones. But like many of you, I have not always had that opportunity.