Category “Lakeshore News”

Vorpagel to Seek 27th Assembly District

Good to see this.   My home­town should remain in good hands.

(Ply­mouth, WI) Today, Tyler Vor­pagel pub­licly announced his cam­paign for Wisconsin’s 27th Assem­bly Dis­trict on the Repub­li­can ticket. The 27th Dis­trict seat cov­ers north­ern She­boy­gan and south­ern Man­i­towoc coun­ties and is cur­rently held by State Rep. Steve Kestell, who has announced his inten­tion to retire at the end of this term.

After the suc­cess­ful reforms of the past four years that have put our state’s fis­cal house in order, I hope to be part of the next gen­er­a­tion of con­ser­v­a­tive lead­er­ship needed in Madi­son,” said Vor­pagel, who expressed thanks to Rep. Kestell for his years of service.

I have truly been blessed to grow up in such a won­der­ful part of our state, and I will take our val­ues of hard work, fis­cal respon­si­bil­ity, and com­mon sense,” Vor­pagel said. “I want to make sure that the cit­i­zens of the 27th have some­one work­ing hard for them in Madison.”

I’m heart­ened by the sup­port and pos­i­tive response my cam­paign has received from many local, county, and state elected offi­cials, as well as vot­ers across the 27th dis­trict,” Vor­pagel said.

Ply­mouth Mayor Don Pohlman said, “I have known Tyler for many years and we have worked on many issues for the bet­ter­ment of our com­mu­nity and I am proud to sup­port his cam­paign because I know he will con­tinue to be there not only for Ply­mouth, but for every­one in the 27th Assem­bly District.”

State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive André Jacque (R-De Pere) endorsed Vor­pagel, not­ing, “Over the past decade, I have enjoyed work­ing side by side with Tyler Vor­pagel, both in elect­ing fis­cal and social con­ser­v­a­tives to office at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment and in achiev­ing results for our shared con­stituents in the 6th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict. I am proud to call Tyler a friend and know that he will be a ded­i­cated advo­cate for his con­stituents and com­mon­sense con­ser­v­a­tive solu­tions that aid job cre­ators and empower peo­ple, not government.”

I’ve known Ty Vor­pagel for about six or seven years now (maybe longer, I’ve lost track), and he’s one of the truly good guys work­ing in pol­i­tics today.  For the past three years, he’s been Tom Petri’s Dis­trict Direc­tor — ele­vated when Dave Ander­son left to help Sean Duffy set up his dis­trict office — and started as a lowly staffer there in 2007.  Dur­ing the 2010 cam­paign, I’d occa­sion­ally used Ty as a source for mate­r­ial on high­way fund­ing and other issues Petri’s office spe­cial­ized in as I pre­pared Ron Johnson’s brief­ing papers.

The 27th Dis­trict con­tains the cities of Ply­mouth and Kiel as well as the Vil­lages of Kohler, Elkhart Lake, Cleve­land, and Howards Grove.  All-in-all, it’s about a 57% Republican-leaning district.

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Leibham to Announce Decision on Tuesday

Just in my inbox:

State Sen. Joe Leib­ham will make a cam­paign announce­ment Tues­day regard­ing his poten­tial bid for Con­gress in Wisconsin’s 6th District.

I am thank­ful for and hum­bled by the great amount of input I have received from con­stituents and friends over the last few days about the pos­si­bil­ity of run­ning for Con­gress,” Leib­ham said. “I look for­ward to gath­er­ing with friends and fam­ily on Tues­day to for­mally announce my decision.”

Leib­ham, a res­i­dent and tax­payer of the 6th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, lives in She­boy­gan with his wife, Heather, and their three young children.

Leib­ham has rep­re­sented por­tions of She­boy­gan, Man­i­towoc, Calumet and Fond du Lac coun­ties in the state Sen­ate and the greater She­boy­gan area in the state Assem­bly. Prior to his years of pub­lic ser­vice, Leib­ham worked in the pri­vate sec­tor for Sar­gento Foods in Ply­mouth and the She­boy­gan County Cham­ber of Commerce.

I also got another email detail­ing the where, when, and what, but I won’t be divulging that at this time.  Mostly because, traf­fic is going to be hell­ish enough in She­boy­gan due to media trucks and the like, so why screw it up even more?

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WI-06">Initial Ratings in from WI-06

With the retire­ment of Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac), nat­u­rally comes the horse race aspects of the new real­ity.  Long has the race been marked either “Safe Repub­li­can” or “Solid Repub­li­can” when Petri was there.  That is no longer the case, but it hardly the “great oppor­tu­nity” many out-of-state lib­er­als believe it to be.

Here’s Cook:

Mov­ing the race from “Solid Repub­li­can” to “Likely Repub­li­can.”  All-in-all, a drop of one level, but about a 75 per­cent chance the GOP is hang­ing on to the seat.

Here’s Sabato:

As men­tioned, Rep. Petri’s (R, WI-6) retire­ment opens up his mar­gin­ally com­pet­i­tive dis­trict, but this is prob­a­bly not the right year for Democ­rats to flip it. Obama won about 46% in this dis­trict in 2012 (after very nar­rowly win­ning it in 2008), and there are only five cur­rently Demo­c­ra­tic House dis­tricts where Obama did worse. So this doesn’t really fit the pro­file of a dis­trict the Democ­rats could win in 2014. Petri’s dis­trict is very sim­i­lar to that of another retir­ing Repub­li­can, the afore­men­tioned Rep. Camp (R, MI-4). In fact, Obama’s 2012 per­for­mance in the dis­tricts was almost iden­ti­cal: He got 45.5% in Camp’s dis­trict and 45.8% in Petri’s. So it’s rea­son­able to make the same rat­ings change we did when Camp retired: WI-6 goes from Safe Repub­li­can to LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

And finally, Rothen­berg:

After explain­ing who the likely can­di­dates are on both sides of the aisle, they come to this conclusion.

For now, we’re main­tain­ing our Rothen­berg Polit­i­cal Report/Roll Call rat­ing of the race as Cur­rently Safe for Repub­li­cans.

Nat­u­rally, this could all change.  Lib­er­als seem to be hop­ing and pray­ing that Glenn Groth­man wins the GOP Pri­mary, see­ing his ten­dency to make gaffes their only chance of get­ting a win here.  As I’ve said before, I don’t believe Glenn will win this primary.

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Gilly’s to Close in Sheboygan

Admit­tedly, I’m both shocked and not too sur­prised this is hap­pen­ing.  Only went there myself once since they opened and you hon­estly had no idea if or when they were open with the style of restau­rant they had going.

Drive-In-Only, barhop ser­vice” was great in the 50s and 60s, but the world has passed them buy.  If She­boy­gan couldn’t get a Sonic to sur­vive — and they didn’t, it’s now a BP sta­tion — how was Gilly’s going to cope with­out the love and loy­alty it has in its Fond du Lac location?

Gilly’s Frozen Cus­tard has closed its 1950s-style drive-in restau­rant on Sheboygan’s south side, a spokes­woman con­firmed Tuesday.

The family-owned restau­rant had been a fix­ture in Fond du Lac for more than six decades when it expanded into She­boy­gan in 2010.

How­ever, restau­rant offi­cials said the sea­sonal, drive-in-only con­cept, with carhops tak­ing orders and deliv­er­ing food to cus­tomers’ vehi­cles, and no indoor seat­ing, proved to be a tough sell in Sheboygan’s cooler sum­mer climate.

She­boy­gan is just too close to the lake, and we didn’t have enough busi­ness,” spokes­woman Amy Deer­ing said. “We’re very sad. We love the community.”

Deer­ing said the restau­rant at 2720 S. Busi­ness Drive would nor­mally reopen for the sea­son later this month, though the own­ers decided to close for good late last year. The loca­tion employed two full-time work­ers and about a dozen sea­sonal employees.

The prop­erty has since been put up for sale, and Deer­ing said they’re hope­ful a buyer will emerge soon.

That being said, I’m sad­dened to see it go.  My nieces and nephew who live on Sheboygan’s south side just lost their favorite cus­tard place.

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Petri to Announce Retirement on Monday

Con­grats to Amer­i­can Majority-Wisconsin and Media Track­ers.  Now go find us can­di­dates who can hang onto the state Senate.

Joe Leibham’s going to win this.  Count on it.

Wash­ing­ton, D.C. –U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tom Petri (R-WI) will make a state­ment on Mon­day, April 14, at his town hall meet­ing in Neenah, Wis­con­sin, announc­ing that he will not be a can­di­date for reelec­tion to Congress.

The town meet­ing will be held from 4:00 — 5:00 p.m. at the Neenah City Hall (211 Wal­nut St.), in the City Coun­cil Chambers.


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Gas Main Leak Causes Evacuation of Half of New Holstein

This is never good, imme­di­ately scary news.

New Hol­stein police report a major gas main break, affect­ing half the city.

Some res­i­dents and busi­nesses have been evac­u­ated. A shel­ter is set up at City Hall, 2110 Wash­ing­ton Street.

Accord­ing to police, a road con­struc­tion crew struck one of the city’s pri­mary gas mains while work­ing at the inter­sec­tion of Wis­con­sin Avenue and Mason Street Wednes­day afternoon.

Wis­con­sin Pub­lic Ser­vice is on the scene, as well as Calumet County and New Hol­stein emer­gency man­age­ment and first responders.

Local news reports out of Green Bay are expected to be updated through­out the night.

UPDATE I — Appar­ently the gas line was rup­tured around 3:30 PM CT.

UPDATE II — Media reports put the evac­u­a­tion at around 30 homes and effect­ing nearly 600 residents.

FINAL UPDDATEWLUK in Green Bay reports the leak was finally fixed around 2:45 AM.

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Kohler Co. Confirms Plan to Build 5th Golf Course


(…the very rich guys who can afford greens fees at these sim­ply amaz­ing golf courses.)

Kohler Co. offi­cials have con­firmed plans for a fifth golf course in She­boy­gan County, but oth­er­wise remain tight-lipped on the details.

Speak­ing Mon­day night to the Wil­son Town Board and a crowd of close to 100 peo­ple at the board’s meet­ing, com­pany offi­cials said they’re plan­ning an 18-hole golf course on a 247-acre prop­erty Kohler owns along Lake Michi­gan, just north of Kohler Andrae State Park.

That’s the same site where Kohler had been look­ing to build a lux­ury wilder­ness retreat called the Tented For­est, which they recently scrapped.

Michael Belot, gen­eral man­ager of Kohler’s hos­pi­tal­ity divi­sion, spoke briefly to the board and said the com­pany is plan­ning a golf course with a club­house, main­te­nance facil­ity and golf cart barn. Golfers would access the devel­op­ment from South 12th Street.

Belot declined to pro­vide addi­tional details after the meet­ing, but said the com­pany will pro­vide more infor­ma­tion once the pro­posal goes before the town’s Plan Commission.

The Town Board will be asked to issue a conditional-use per­mit for the project. That will allow the com­pany to respond to any con­cerns raised by the community.

Town Attor­ney John St. Peter said a golf course fits the exist­ing zon­ing for the prop­erty and no other local approval will be needed.

The meet­ing marked the first time Kohler pub­licly acknowl­edged its plans for a new golf course since word got out in late Feb­ru­ary that the com­pany was look­ing to expand its golf empire in She­boy­gan County.

The fact that they will have golf carts is a sign they want to make this course closer to what Black­wolf Run has at its 36-holes and what the Irish Course is at Whistling Straits — a much more com­par­a­tive, but upper ech­e­lon, golf course the rest of She­boy­gan Co. is used to.

If I were to take a guess, I’d say Kohler Co. would want these up and run­ning by 2020.  That’s when Whistling Straits is sched­uled to host the Ryder Cup and what­ever this golf course is even­tu­ally named would be a wel­come attrac­tion to an area that con­tin­ues to prove to be Wisconsin’s Golf Mecca.

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Sheboygan to Get a Sam’s Club

Missed this from last week.

Town of She­boy­gan offi­cials have approved a plan by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to build a Sam’s Club at the for­mer Menards prop­erty near Inter­state 43 and Wis­con­sin 42.

The pro­posal was unan­i­mously approved by the Town Board and Plan Com­mis­sion, clear­ing the way for the Arkansas-based retailer to build the nearly 140,000-square-foot store, which would become the 13th Sam’s Club in the state.

Town offi­cials favored the project because of the poten­tial to grow the local tax base, spark new devel­op­ment and draw shop­pers from sur­round­ing counties.

Cur­rently, the clos­est Sam’s Club loca­tions are in Green Bay and Milwaukee.

You could add Apple­ton to that list, but I can under­stand the I-43 ref­er­ence.  (Though given the qual­ity of Ozau­kee Co. roads, I’d head to Green Bay myself just to spare my shocks the dam­age.  Seri­ously, drive I-43 South from Oost­burg to Port Wash­ing­ton, you notice the difference.)

The plan dic­tates that Sam’s Club will find homes for the remain­ing ten­ants at the cur­rent loca­tion.  Last I checked, that’s a rental stor­age facil­ity man­aged by Menards.  The loca­tion was tran­si­tioned to its cur­rent use when Menards couldn’t find another buyer for the prop­erty when they built a “Super Menards” across the high­way.  At one time, there was a Jo-Ann Fab­rics there, but they moved to the city’s south side.

Wal­mart (of which there is one down the street from this loca­tion) hopes to have the Sam’s Club open by 2015.

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Guy Zima Recaptures His Old Green Bay Council Seat

He’s BAAAAAAAaaaaaack!

Well, I will give Zima’s folks up in Green Bay credit for this.  You can’t keep a fire­brand and cur­mud­geon down.

Among the win­ners in Tuesday’s local elec­tions was for­mer Alder­man Guy Zima, who reclaimed his Dis­trict 9 coun­cil seat by defeat­ing Angela Warner in a closely watched contest.

Zima defeated Warner by nearly a 2-to-1 mar­gin. Healso beat her hus­band, Jim Warner, who gave up the Dis­trict 9 coun­cil seat to try unseat­ing Zima in a County Board race decided Tuesday.

Zima said vot­ers sent a strong mes­sage that they were dis­sat­is­fied with the rep­re­sen­ta­tion they received after he was dis­placed from city gov­ern­ment two years ago.

The peo­ple spoke very loudly and clearly,” he said. “They want some­body who will speak up and have some debate, rather than just a rub­ber stamp.”

Of the husband-and-wife team that he van­quished on two fronts Tues­day, Zima said: “They kind of ran as a team, and that team lost. I think these folks beat themselves.”

Angela Warner, who was mak­ing her first bid for elected office, said she was shocked and dis­heart­ened that vot­ers had rejected she and her husband.

Warner, how­ever, defended the strat­egy of chal­leng­ing Zima in two races, say­ing that she thought vot­ers were ready to “get rid of him completely.”

What is wrong with our city?” she added. “They want it run by a bunch of crazy people.”

Zima isn’t crazy.  He’s just highly entertaining.

In real­ity Zima — who leans con­ser­v­a­tive and once upon a time was in the state Assem­bly I believe — has long been a light­ning rod for his actions, stances (and out­bursts) on the city coun­cil.  But, he also is known to be very respon­sive to his dis­trict even if that flies in the face of actions that Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmidt wants to accom­plish for the city.

It was a strange, silent two-year reprieve.  That is over now.

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Kestell Announces He Won’t Seek Re-Election

Well, heads up to Wis­con­sin Elec­tion Watch, they had this rumor over a month ago. (Dis­claimer: I occa­sion­ally write for them, but did noth­ing on this subject)

This now makes the third Repub­li­can retire­ment from the Assem­bly for She­boy­gan Co.  The 27th (where my par­ents live) includes the lower third of Man­i­towoc Co. and the north­ern part of She­boy­gan Co.  It should be a Repub­li­can hold, but I’m unsure who the bench is at the moment.

The last one who con­sid­ered chal­leng­ing Kestell in a pri­mary was She­boy­gan Falls Mayor Randy Meyer, and he’s fac­ing re-election today.

Just over a month ago, Rep. Steve Kestell said he hadn’t yet decided whether to seek re-election to his 27th Assem­bly Dis­trict seat.

Kestell, R-Elkhart Lake, has now decided, and the answer is no.

In a release sent to media Tues­day after­noon, Kestell, 58, said his deci­sion has the bless­ing of his family.

Dur­ing my years in the state Leg­is­la­ture, I’ve worked every day to uphold the belief that elected offi­cials should strive to do the right thing, for the right rea­son, and in the right way,” he said. “I am proud of what we’ve accom­plished together, and I look for­ward to new chal­lenges as the future unfolds.”

Kestell, who serves as chair­man of the Assem­bly Edu­ca­tion Com­mit­tee, was on the fore­front of the push this win­ter against a Repub­li­can bill that would have cre­ated sanc­tions for poorly per­form­ing pub­lic schools and pri­vate schools that accept taxpayer-subsidized students.

Repub­li­cans ulti­mately dropped the plan and instead adopted a bill that would require all schools that accept pub­lic dol­lars to include per­for­mance data on report cards the pub­lic can view.

Kestell was first elected to his seat in 1998.

That being said, if Jack Lech­ler is the best RACC can come up with on short notice, I’m going to bang my head against the wall.

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