/ / Oops! Desmond did it again

Oops! Desmond did it again



We have finally figured out why Oneida County refuses to fire its corporation counsel, Brian Desmond, after all these years of flagrant incompetence.

There are several reasons, actually.

One, his bumbling schtick must provide ongoing rounds of belly laughs, which would be just compensation for supervisors who toil at largely thankless jobs. Then, too, with Desmond around, county supervisors can always point to someone who is more inept than they are.

Never mind that all this superior inferiority costs the county boatloads of money. Never mind, because it’s not coming out of supervisors’ pockets, is it? 

Let the taxpayers eat piers.

Speaking of piers, here’s the latest: Just as we predicted would happen, an appeals court has rejected Oneida County’s claim that it can regulate piers more restrictively than the state can, something the county has tried to do ever since the days of Larry Heath.

Of course, the county’s legal argument was drafted by none other than Desmond, so it was doomed from the start. For one thing, he was facing some formidable legal minds, including Adam Jarchow and Paul Kent. For another, he had to be able to read a statutory paragraph or two without getting confused.

As a result, this morning, instead of watching poor harassed pier owners dismantle their county-condemned piers, county officials are busy gathering up the broken bricks of their collapsed ordinance.

But they won’t be able to put Dumpty Desmond back together again.

All of which makes us wonder: Just how much did this folly cost county taxpayers? We’d like to know so we can add it to the tally that Desmond owes taxpayers. (Heads up for county board chairman Dave Hintz and finance director Darcy Smith: We’ll be asking for those costs, whether they are covered by insurance or not.)

The sad truth of all this is that a seventh-grader could have looked at this case for about five minutes and known the county could not possibly win. Desmond wrote a 14-page brief (wonder how many hours of taxpayer time he chewed up on that?) and never could figure it out.

Indeed, it didn’t take the appeals court judges many pages into their decision to dismiss Desmond’s argument as something out of Neverland.

That’s because there wasn’t much to figure out. Statute 30.13 allows municipalities to regulate piers so long as those regulations are consistent with other provisions of 30.13, but it doesn’t allow the local regulation of piers that are already exempt under a separate statute, 30.12. 

Specifically, chapter 30.13 authorizes the construction of a pier without a DNR permit if the pier is exempt under 30.12 or (emphasis added) if it meets certain other conditions, such as satisfying the requirements of any existing municipal ordinances. Sunflower, the pier owner in this case, had claimed exemption under 30.12, so the provisions that followed the ‘or’ didn’t apply.

Pretty simple, right?

Instead, Desmond wanted to rewrite the statute to replace the “or” with an “and,” at least as far as local ordinances were concerned, so that the statute now would read that a permit wasn’t needed if the pier is exempt under 30.12 and (emphasis added) it satisfied the requirements of any existing municipal ordinances.

The appeals court judges aptly noted that Desmond’s take would have required a rewriting of the statute, something he should have been able to figure out with his bloated salary. We dunno, maybe he doesn’t have a seventh-grader around to help him figure all this stuff out.

But wait! We hear someone out there (probably Desmond) crying, No fair! 

After all, he did prevail in the circuit court of Oneida County judge Patrick O’Melia, so Desmond’s arguments couldn’t have been that much off the wall, right? 

Well, wrong.

We don’t think O’Melia fell for Desmond’s beyond-weak position even for a second. It’s just that in good-old-boy land, the good-old-boys must be protected, no matter how obvious it is. As we have previously written, O’Melia is a pillar of the county’s good-old-boy establishment, and his decision, peppered with irrelevancy and mumbo-jumbo, represented the work of a water boy carrying buckets for the larger regime.

We said that when he first issued his decision, and, now that he has been predictably overturned, we emphatically say it again.

Indeed, judge O’Melia is Oneida County’s equivalent of Ireland’s St. Patrick. St. Patrick is said to have driven all the snakes in Ireland into the sea, while in his decision judge O’Melia attempted to drive everyone’s property rights deep into the lakes, along with everyone’s piers, never to be seen again.

Fortunately, justice can swim in angry waters. (So can snakes, but that’s another Oneida County story.)

Anyway, back to the bill for all this. One is left to wonder what the costs for this misadventure will be. After all, Desmond has a history of running up big bills with his legal follies.

Remember when he advised sheriff Grady Hartman to withhold records The Times had sought from the sheriff’s department related to internal investigations concerning then deputy Lee Lech.

That legal reasoning proved wrong, too, and it cost taxpayers $52,645.38.

Enough is enough. If the county isn’t going to do the responsible thing and remove Desmond, then it should at least sit him in his office, far way from courtrooms and legal briefs, and just give him a paycheck for doing nothing.

That way, county officials will be getting better legal advice than they are now — in this case nothing is better than something — and taxpayers will only have to pay his salary, not his salary plus the legal fees for the cases he loses.

Finally, we tip our hats to all those advocates for ever more restrictive shoreland regulations that seek to strip property owners of the reasonable use of their properties. You fought for years to keep local pier regulations and never lost them until you let Desmond lead the crusade.

That was a gallant fight, if not a particularly wise one. Let’s hope the outcome is a portent of the future when it comes to restoring property rights in Oneida County.


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On your marks, get set ... action!

Sports’ movies have been a big hit in Hollywood. Whether fact, fiction or based on a real life event, they are fun to watch. Often inspirational, here are some of my favorites and what I take away from them.

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The Lockdown Democrats

America is starting to reopen for business across the country — except for a handful of states where lockdown orders are expected to remain in place for weeks to come. With very few exceptions, the cities and states that have ordered their businesses to remain comatose and their millions of workers to go without paychecks are blue, blue, blue. This list includes New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California and Oregon. They all have Democratic governors.

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Traditions, mascots, jerseys — my love for college football

When people ask me my favorite sport to watch, I usually say football or baseball. In terms of my favorite league, college football stands on top.

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The models aren’t the problem

This past week, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes made some curious and telling remarks at a task force meeting he was leading on climate change.

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A plan for non-native plants

As many know, the fight against terrestrial invasive species has been heating up across the Northwoods (and other areas, of course). The Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) recently came out with its update of the non-native plant plan from 2005, targeting non-native species and putting special emphasis on some species of concern.

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Need lake project funding? Here’s where to look

Lake associations generally have slim budgets for projects to sustain or improve water quality and lake ecosystems. It’s even tougher for individual property owners to find money to take on lake enhancement projects, like a natural shoreline restorations.

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The weird Andrew Cuomo boomlet

Usually, when a CEO severely underperforms peers, he or she is fired or handed a gold watch and given a quick retirement party. In the Democratic Party, a rotten performance is a qualification for the presidency.

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Golf a great way to enjoy the summer breeze

On Sunday, a very fun event took place in Florida between some of the all-time greats in two different sports.

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The Northwoods is open for business

This weekend, as is customary for Memorial Day weekend, a steady stream of visitors and second-homeowners will be pouring in to the area.

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A blast from the past: NASCAR puts a smile on my face

This week, NASCAR returned for the first time since March 8. The sound of roaring engines and cars zooming by delighted me as I watched on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It made me happy for a number of reasons.

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Shutdown’s silver lining

The government has closed most schools.

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Monitoring rare plants locally helps put together bigger pictures of rare species

For my next adventure, I decided to sign up to do some rare plant monitoring. I though that would be a fun way to spend a day outside and get to also learn some new things. (subscriber access)

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Our lakes need a ‘Smokey’

Imagine that for preaching forest fire prevention each state or county was on its own. They had to craft their own messages, create their own materials, handle distribution, and more, all at significant cost. (subscriber access)

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Why I root for the Evil Empire

Growing up as a sports fan, lots of people understood why I liked the Packers and Boise State. But one team that I receive more flack than any other is the New York Yankees.

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Grading the governors on economic response to COVID-19

The U.S. economy is at last moving into the recovery stage from the coronavirus, at least in most states.

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The coronation of the bureaucratic state

For years now, in the pages of this newspaper, we have warned about the dangers of the bureaucratic state.

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My favorite sports’ memory

Like most sports fans, I have many great memories when it comes to my favorite players and teams. Many moments stand out as epic and celebratory, but there is one that stands out more than any.

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Stakeholders made their voices heard

Every year I wonder why people do not go to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) spring hearings. Every year I wonder why people do not make their voices heard. Even when the option came about to fill out the questionnaire online, turn out was not what I would have expected from such a passionate group of people.

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It’s up to us all

Clean Boats, Clean Waters training sessions have become to some extent casualties of the coronavirus. There likely will be fewer of them, and in Vilas County, for example, attendance will be limited to eight people.

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My last dance

“The Last Dance” documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls has been the topic of conversation among sports fans. Fans love a glimpse of what happens behind-the-scenes and I am one of them.

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Ban this! No, never mind!

Recently, many politicians were in such a hurry to ban plastic bags.

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Bleeding blue — Why I love my Broncos

One team I keep saying repeatedly as my favorite team in college athletics is Boise State. I love my Broncos and bleed blue always. Of all my favorite teams, they just might be my most treasured.

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For Congress: Tiffany will give northern region a strong voice

In the strongest terms we can, we endorse Tom Tiffany for Congress in next Tuesday’s election, and urge voters to cast their vote for a representative who we believe will give the Lakeland area and northern Wisconsin a strong voice in Congress — a much more spirited and forceful voice than that of any representative in recent memory.

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Wetlands are nature’s problem solvers

Lakes and rivers seem to get a lot of “press,” if you will. But wetlands do not get a lot of that attention. UW-Extension Lakes has a series of CLMN (Citizen Lake Monitoring Network) webinars on YouTube now, the most recent of which was all about those wetlands. The webinars are hour-long informational sessions about various aspects of water. (subscriber access)

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Fix or protect?

Your state has many lakes with multiple needs, but a limited amount of money. Where do you spend it? To revive lakes that have become severely impaired? Or to protect those still in excellent condition? Which provides more benefit for the dollar?

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Packers shore up O-line on Day 3

In day three of the NFL Draft, the Packers picked six players in rounds 4-7 to finish their virtual draft experience. Here’s what I thought of the picks:

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Let people try gelsolin!

We need new drugs to fight COVID-19 and other diseases. But our government’s approval process makes that too hard.

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Day 2 picks enhance offense

The 2020 Packers’ NFL Draft class is one that will be looked upon with heavy interest. At the end of the day, did the Packers improve? Here’s what I thought of day two, rounds two-three.

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Everything I ever wanted to know about dragonflies, but was afraid to ask

As many who read the Outdoors section of The Lakeland Times are aware, the Lakes and Rivers Convention, originally slated to happen at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Stevens Point, was turned into an online event. It was still very widely attended, and there were so many great sessions that it was still hard to decide what to attend.

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Just like that

Wednesday April 22 and it’s still cold, like late winter, a pesky white sheet of ice covering the one-third of our lake from the windy point to the Birch Lake Bar, the recent days and nights too chilly to get rid of it.

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It’s time to come together and love Love

Jordan Love. The headline for the Draft that has Packers fans squabbling and shaking their heads. With so many different opinions on the pick, I’m here to assure you we’re going to be OK.

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An arbitrary, capricious, and ruthless governor

In our many years of reporting on and analyzing state government, it is hardly an understatement to say that the GOP lawsuit challenging the authority of the Evers administration to unilaterally lockdown this state for another month and contesting the sweeping powers the governor and his health services secretary claim is perhaps the most important of our lives.

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Words for the Class of 2020

There will be no graduation festivities this spring at dozens of American colleges and universities, including Ohio State, Brigham Young, Howard, Swarthmore, Notre Dame, Duke, UCLA and Yale. That means this year’s graduates and their closest relatives and friends will not have the benefit of sitting on hard chairs and listening to the commencement speaker.

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How I became a Packers fan

Living in Minnesota my whole life, I get a common question as a sports fan: Why are you a Packers fan? While I can answer this in a number of ways, I have one simple answer.

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Doing what we love — a tribute to Jacob Friede

It was with total shock, and then a heavy heart, that I read an email Monday morning from our general manager, Heather Holmes. She forwarded an email to me from Jacob Friede’s mom letting us know Jacob’s life had been taken in a boating accident last weekend. I sat, staring at the computer, unsure what to think or how to respond.

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The harms of hard surfaces

We read and hear a lot of impervious surfaces on lake properties and why they are bad for our lakes. A paper from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Center for Land Use Education puts the concern in clear perspective.

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‘Clue’ still entertains as a cult classic 35 years later

I’ve been in a mystery mood lately and decided to revisit one of my all-time favorite movies, “Clue,” this past weekend.

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‘If We Were Villains’ a stunning, captivating mystery

To say I love a good murder mystery would be an understatement. From the writings of Agatha Christie to modern authors, there’s something alluring about the prospect of a mystery needing to be solved and finding the clues and piecing it together as you read.

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In pandemic, media irresponsibly stoking needless fear

We start with the good news, which you can find here but not in many other media outlets: COVID-19 is not nearly as dangerous as we all thought it once was, nor increasingly does it seem to be so easily transmitted.

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A whole new ballgame: when sports return

It’s no secret COVID-19 has changed the professional sports schedule. Usually there would be baseball, basketball and hockey on right now, in addition to NASCAR, the PGA Tour and other sporting events. Now, everything is different.

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The waiting game

For those of us who live on lakes, ice-out is a date as important as almost any holiday.

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For the love of the game

The sports reporter who loves movies. Though it may seem like they are two different topics, but they are both something I am passionate about with some similarities.

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Best of the best: Where Giannis ranks among current stars

Before the season was suspended, the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo was having a phenomenal season. But where does he rank among current NBA stars?

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‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ still great fun nearly 20 years later

There’s nothing quite like an old favorite to lift your spirits and bring some levity to an incredibly stressful. And so, as I was sitting at home looking through some of my favorite films to revisit and do just that, I came across a film I hadn’t seen in years, but always loved.

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Lake’s best friend?

Dogs use their amazing noses to help us in many ways. They can sniff our drugs being smuggled across our border, help track down and find missing children, locate people amid wreckage from storms, and do many other things we humans cannot.

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The challenges of distance metings

Like many people, I have attended a variety of online meetings lately. What has been the most interesting, over the course of the last week, was participation.

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A modest proposal

Clean Boat Clean Waters education is the cornerstone of aquatic invasive species prevention in our state. It’s great as far as it goes. Does it go far enough?

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We all have a favorite field guide

I am like a kid in a candy store when I have a new field guide. I love them, and there are so many of them out there. Enthusiasts can find field guides dedicated to plants, animals, insects, fish and any other thing, truly, that may be of interest. A field guide to edible plants is always fun to flip through. But I have to say there are some I will likely never try. Mushrooming is huge with some people, but I do not know enough about it to feel safe just picking up a field guide and heading out into the woods.

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Gov. Evers: Putting the partisan back into nonpartisan

We’re hearing a lot as we approach the spring election about the importance of having nonpartisan redistricting after this year’s census.

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Trump fails. Biden steps up

Is Joe Biden president yet?

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Democrats escalate war on northern Wisconsin

What’s worse than a bureaucrat?

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Through the ice

It can be tricky getting a kid hooked on fishing. It’s all about action — number of bites, not size of the fish. Take a kid out and catch nothing, the kid equates fishing with boredom.

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A glimmer of light in a Dark State

Of all the Sunshine Weeks we have covered, this is simultaneously one of the most discouraging ones and one of the best ones.

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Not wasting a serious crisis

My sainted mother was a public school teacher until she married my father and immediately, as a married woman, was forced by local Massachusetts rules then in force to leave the classroom.

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What to do, what to do

For a day or two, it would be easy to pretend it was just too cold, or too rainy, and we did not want to go anywhere or do anything.

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Right now, a time for shared sacrifice

These are tough times, and in tough times Americans unite.

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‘Dark Waters’ a riveting depiction of a real-life tragedy

Some of the best movies find their roots in real life, and “Dark Waters” is no different.

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What matters

The evening sun dips into purple above the treetops, casting a mellow light across Birch Lake, where grandson Tucker and I, jig rods in hand, hunch over holes drilled in the ice. No one else is around. Earlier in the day, Tucker (7) walked around the edge of the lake with his mom and dad and dogs Bruce and Pizzy, while younger grandson Perrin (6) and I tended the jig rods.

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What the pandemic tells us

When Americans are confronting the most threatening national crisis in a generation or more, it would be uplifting to offer a few encouraging words about the president of the United States. And a few is about as many as can be offered at this point. Not only is his performance to date far below what his country needs, but he also shows no sign of having learned the lessons that might allow him to improve.

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A great guide to growing my own food

With many Northwoods residents stuck inside, or staying home, we are all looking for more things to do at home and more ways to stay occupied. While I have always enjoyed gardening, I can say with a degree of confidence, that I am not the best at it. But I think that is part of the beauty of gardening. You do not really have to be “good” at it to enjoy it. My situation has changed over the years, meaning I have had different soil types to deal with, I have had to create gardens out of lawns and other areas, and I have, most recently, had to downsize quite a bit.

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Free agency frenzy: Packers off to good start

The Packers’ 2019 season had a little bit of everything — exciting games, fun players, close finishes and a playoff run. Now that free agency has mostly come and gone, have the Packers improved?

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Because the state of Wisconsin said you can

With everything changing in our lives, seemingly by the day, it is comforting to know we can still do things to bring a touch of normalcy to our lives. As of this writing, and I for one expect it will continue, we can all still go fishing.

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Gray to white

Last Friday afternoon I sat on the lakefront screen porch, needing only a fleece for warmth, and listened as the melt water from the roof hit the leaves on the ground below. It was a lovely sound after a snow melt that had been agonizingly slow, highs in the upper 30s, low 40s at best, and back to well below freezing overnight, the decline in snow all but imperceptible.

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Retro Rewind: ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ captures the heart

Throughout the history of film, there have been many movies that have meant a lot to a person, a movie that is special and brings out many emotions. For me, that movie is “How to Train Your Dragon.”

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Book review: ‘Heresy’

“Heresy” by Melissa Lenhardt is a western. There will be mayhem, shootouts and standoffs. There will be horseback races, whiskey and tired cowboys at the end of the day. Cattlerustlers who need to be set straight. The only difference? Women get all the action in this novel.

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The unsung heroes

Congress passed and the president signed a $2 trillion “stimulus” bill.

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Book review: ‘By The Way’

People are busy these days, rarely finding time to themselves. The short “By The Way” devotional radio segment, broadcast throughout the United States and beyond, changes that for those who chose to listen.

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Draft day buzz: Packers should look at receiver

The NFL Draft is one of the last avenues to improvement of one’s team in the offseason. The Packers will look to use their picks to fill in the gaps of their team.

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Book review: ‘Monday’s Not Coming’

What would you do if one day, out of the blue, your best friend just ... disappeared? Without a trace, without so much as a message or a text?

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No sports: Now what do I do

No games to cover and no professional sports to watch. As sports reporter at The Lakeland Times, I miss the games and the action. But I’ve stayed busy in the day-to-day activities.

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Tony Evers: A devastating failure of leadership and competence

This is a bewildering and stressful time around the world, but it was even more bewildering and stressful in Wisconsin this week as voters marched to the polls, or in many cases didn’t, to cast ballots in the state’s spring elections — elections that should have been postponed.

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It’s time to quit playing games

We’ve seen enough, and we think most of citizens have seen enough, too.

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Learn to love the wet

I should have written this column a month ago, since February 2 was World Wetlands Day. The topic is also timely because the Oneida County Board on February 18 voted to reduce the setback for grading near wetlands from 15 feet to 5 feet.

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Mass Transit Is Making Gridlock Worse

Why in the world is the federal government, 20 years into the 21st century, continuing to pour tens of billions of tax dollars into little-used mass transit rail projects? In a digital age with increasingly popular and affordable door-to-door ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, universal use of cars by all income groups and the revolution of smart driverless vehicles around the corner, subway systems and light rail are as old-fashioned as the rotary phone. The federal government and urban planners in at least 25 cities are frantically spending money to lay down tracks that, in 10 or 20 years, they will have to rip right out of the ground.

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Michael Bloom’s Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card

The recent decision by Oneida County circuit judge Michael Bloom to dismiss the walking quorum complaint against Rhinelander mayor Chris Frederickson and four city aldermen is a case study demonstrating both how good-old-boy politics still dominates in Oneida County and how the state’s activist judges are, case by case, rewriting the state’s open meetings and open records laws.

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Daylight Savings Time

I have never been one to understand it, to be honest. People are fond of saying, “we get an extra hour of daylight!” Or “we are losing an hour of daylight!” My question is: how many hours a day do you sleep? Are you awake at all in the morning or evening? Because there really is not that much difference in the amount of daylight we get that next day. It is adjusted — with time being a construct of humanity to keep things orderly.

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Improving debates

First, a confession: I really like presidential debates. Why, you ask? Because these debates give us voters the chance to watch and evaluate the candidates while they stand shoulder-to-shoulder and have to answer the same questions. Away from their carefully orchestrated campaign events, without their teleprompters or an audience of planted, friendly supporters, candidates in a debate are under pressure and facing criticism from both opponents and moderators.

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Our View: Personal use of Minocqua town equipment raises important questions

As we report today, the Minocqua town board recently fired public works employee Mark Heil after only about a week as a full-time employee, though he had been employed part-time since last October. Specifically, Heil was fired for using a town front-end loader to plow a private driveway on Church Road, in violation of town policy.

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Trump’s critics on the economy: So wrong, so often

There’s an old saying about baseball and life that no one ever had a 1.000 batting average. It turns out that’s not exactly true. At least when it comes to the Trump economy, anti-Trumpers defied the near-impossible statistical odds and somehow have batted 1.000 on their predictions. They managed to get it wrong every time.

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Trump’s corrupt pardons

The power of the president to grant pardons as stated in the Constitution is unconditional, as President Donald Trump has observed. But as he prepares to bestow that favor on Roger Stone and perhaps other felons who have protected him, someone should advise him that a corrupt pardon is nevertheless a crime that can be prosecuted, if not overturned.

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Our View: Too much government equals no prosperity

At a recent county public hearing to consider a hotel project planned for Hwy. 51 where once stood the Bay View Inn and a laundromat, the project’s developer, Glenn Schiffmann, who was obviously exasperated, said what many in the room must have been thinking: There’s just too much government. We agree with Mr. Schiffmann and we are just as exasperated.

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Will we like Mike?

In the seven presidential elections since 1992, the Republican presidential nominee has won the popular vote exactly once. The lone GOP candidate to receive a majority of the national vote was George W. Bush in 2004. Bush’s election-day victory over Democrat John Kerry, who had, in most observers’ views, “won” the debates between the two, was explained by the respected Democratic pollster Peter Hart: “Voters preferred I Like over IQ.”

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Revolutionary Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders leads the race for the Democratic nomination.  He may become America’s first self-described “democratic socialist” president.

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For the GOP, Tiffany is the clear choice

The Republican and Democratic primaries for the seventh congressional district are Tuesday — the winners will face each other in May to determine who replaces Republican Sean Duffy as our representative in Congress — and in both parties the choice is straightforward and clear. On the Republican side, we believe voters should nominate Northwoods state Sen. Tom Tiffany as the best candidate for northern Wisconsin.

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Zunker would best represent Democrats in 7th district race

As on the Republican side, the Democratic primary for the seventh congressional district this coming Tuesday — the winners will face each other in May to determine who replaces Republican Sean Duffy as our representative in Congress — offers a clear choice. That choice is Tricia Zunker, the president of the Wausau school board and an associate justice on the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court.

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Crumbling roads and Tony Holes represent failure at all levels of government

In a story in last Friday’s edition, Minocqua town chairman Mark Hartzheim was quoted as saying he could not remember roads being in as poor a shape as they are right now. He’s not alone. Everyone knows it. Everyone talks and complains about it. The problem is, no one is doing much about it.

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Shredding the myths of the Democratic Party

After President Trump finished his triumphant State of the Union speech Tuesday night, House speaker Nancy Pelosi did something no one was anticipating: She stood up and ripped apart the printed copy of the speech, calling it a manifesto of untruths.

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Our View: Shredding the myths of the Democratic Party

After President Trump finished his triumphant State of the Union speech Tuesday night, House speaker Nancy Pelosi did something no one was anticipating: She stood up and ripped apart the printed copy of the speech, calling it a manifesto of untruths.

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Don’t regulate the rail industry

President Donald Trump rightly touts the economy-wide savings from his deregulation initiatives. But one federal agency didn’t get the memo. Some members of the Surface Transportation Board, which has oversight over the nation’s network of freight railroads, wants to resurrect price controls on the industry.

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The silver linings of the human journey

It’s a rough start to the year 2020. Politically, the nation, at least its major media, seems to be consumed by ongoing attempts to remove President Trump from office, and, in general, political polarization has reached ever new heights around the world, from Brexit in Britain to Hong Kong protests.

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The economy’s unsung hero is low interest rates

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, President Donald Trump again talked positively about negative interest rates. That’s not a very good idea considering negative interest rates are a warning signal of deflation, which can be as bad for an economy as runaway inflation.

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Our View: Oneida Board deserves praise for refusal to borrow money

For those who wanted Oneida County to borrow up to $2 million from the state Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) to fund some pretty important capital improvement projects, Tuesday was a bitter blow to their big-government dreams.

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