Click on the photo to view my Christmas video message from the Capitol!
Merry Christmas! It has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Sheboygan County in the state legislature for the past two years and to have been chosen by you in November to serve two more years. My family and I pray that you enjoy a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous new year. We pray too for the protection of the men and women serving our great nation, who volunteer to spend their holidays away from home so that our families may live in peace and security in our homes. God bless America!
The 2017-18 legislative session is just around the corner in January. As was my custom in the last session, I will do my best to keep you informed about the latest developments via this newsletter. We took numerous important steps in the last session to make Wisconsin a better place to live and work, but there is plenty of work remaining to be done. I hope you'll keep the ideas coming because, in my experience, the best ideas come from you!
As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
Masters Gallery Foods, Inc. (headquartered in Plymouth, WI) has announced plans to build a new packaging and distribution facility in Oostburg, WI. The first phase of the project, estimated at $30 million, is expected to be completed by early 2018 and will create about 120 new jobs over the first 2-3 years; the long-range plan has the potential to create an additional 200 or more jobs in the future. I'm proud that this business chose Sheboygan County, rather than an out-of-state alternative location, as the right place to invest!
Enjoying Wisconsin's Outdoors
2017 state park stickers and state trail passes now available. Vehicle admission stickers provide access to more than 60 state park, forest and recreational properties across Wisconsin; the price is discounted for multiple vehicles in the same household and for senior citizens. Separately, a state trail pass is required for biking, skating, horseback riding or skiing on certain state trails; no trail pass is required for walking or hiking. Although it is too late to purchase these passes and receive them in time for Christmas, the 2017 stickers and passes are immediately valid (even in these last few days of 2016) and may be purchased at state park facilities, DNR service centers or with a credit card by phone at (888) 936-7463.
Candlelight events at state parks, forests and trails. With the early snow, conditions should be good for the 30 candlelight events planned at Wisconsin public properties this winter. Skiing, snowshoeing and hiking by candlelight has become very popular in Wisconsin, with some events last year attracting more than 1,000 participants. Events are scheduled beginning on January 7th. Visit the DNR website and search keyword "candlelight" for more information.
Tree pruning. Winter is the best time to prune oak trees and many other types of trees as well. Oak wilt, a disease common in the southern two-thirds of Wisconsin, is fatal to oak trees; it is spread by beetles that feed on the sap of tree wounds, but these beetles are not active in the winter. It is also much easier to see and prune broken, cracked, hanging or competing tree limbs of all varieties in the winter while there are no leaves on the trees. Click here for some expert tips on how to do the job right! Many new oak wilt infections are also the result of moving firewood from place to place; the best practice is to leave oak firewood where it is cut for one year or until the bark is naturally loose.
Ice safety. The DNR reminds folks that there is no such thing as "safe" ice on ponds, lakes and rivers. We had a recent cold snap but are now seeing more mild weather, and ice conditions vary significantly across the state. The DNR does not monitor ice conditions; consult local sources such as bait store operators, fishing clubs or snowmobile clubs to learn about your local ice conditions. Always tell someone where you are going; carry a cell phone in a waterproof bag; and consider wearing a life jacket in case of an accident.