Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Door-knockers, mailers try to make impression as mining vote nears in Oneida Co.Submitted: 11/01/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Door-knockers, mailers try to make impression as mining vote nears in Oneida Co.
ONEIDA COUNTY - Pete Zambon and seven other volunteers have done it more than 500 times in Rhinelander in the last three weeks.

Knock on a door, and start a conversation about mining.

Zambon and volunteers in the Protect the Willow organization in Oneida County feel confident next week's vote will go their way. They're hoping people will vote "no" on an advisory referendum on sulfide mining in the Town of Lynne.

Zambon had never canvassed before this fall. He now likes it.


"I found it was really fun, talking to local citizens, local community members who I didn't already know," Zambon said Thursday.

His message to voters?

The county's water, wildlife, and recreation are too precious to vote yes on considering a sulfide mine in Lynne.

"When you can talk to somebody, and give them your personal reasons why you care, and they can see that you're being genuine, and they see that you're a real human being, it makes a different kind of an impact," Zambon said.

As Zambon walks and knocks, he sees blue and white yard signs made by his group, telling voters to Protect the Willow. They're all over the county.

"I'm seeing signs line the roads and it's a very good feeling," said Jeff Brown, another group member. "People are becoming aware of what the concern is, and how what happens in Lynne might affect their neighborhoods in another part of the county."

There are few yard signs supporting the referendum. But there are plenty of mailings.

The mailers are from the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Issues Mobilization Council. They tell readers state law protects the environment from irresponsible mining. In one ad, deer stare into the camera, with text telling the reader to vote "yes."

Sugar Camp's Taylor Pitlik doesn't need convincing. She's sure about her support.

"A lot of people have come to me asking, 'What do you think, how does this work?'" Pitlik said Thursday.

They ask her because Pitlik just graduated from Michigan Tech University with an engineering degree and studies in mining.

"I think it's helpful knowing that a girl from the Northwoods and [who] moved back here is interested in hearing the options. It kind of opens their mind to, 'oh, maybe, what is the modern mining industry like today?'" she said. "People fear that, yeah, the next day, a company will come in, start digging, things like that. That just doesn't happen."

Pitlik wants the door to stay open to mining. She'd like to hear the options. After all, it could mean a job for her in the future.

"I think it would be a great opportunity for me and other young adults in the area for a job," Pitlik said.

The referendum will be on ballot next Tuesday for Oneida County voters. The county board is not bound to follow the wishes of voters.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

STEVENS POINT - Emergency calls for help with "poison gas" brought police, firefighters, and paramedics out to a homeless shelter in Stevens Point early Sunday morning.  Crews quickly determined there was no danger.

According to our partners at the Point/Plover Metro Wire, police were called to the Salvation Army Hope Center on Briggs Street -- just west of UW-Stevens Point -- around 6:20 a.m.  People at the shelter were already evacuating the building.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER -
The One for the Heroes lunch at Rhinelander GM-Toyota Saturday, gave people the chance to rub shoulders with first responders while also supporting their agencies.

Fire fighters, police officers and other first responders were treated to a brat or hot dog lunch while community members were able to make a donation for that meal. The money raised will go back to the departments that attended.

Those agencies gave tours of emergency vehicles and demonstrated equipment like drones and diving gear. 97.3 WHDG, a host of the event, attended the lunch with its Hodag Hot Wheel. There was also a bounce house for children who attended.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, event organizers believe they had raised more than $200 dollars.

+ Read More

MADISON - More Wisconsin grocers are asking municipalities for liquor license extensions so they can take alcohol purchased online out to customers' vehicles.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that Walmart and Pick 'n Save first started offering curbside pickup of beer, wine and spirits in the Milwaukee and Fox Valley areas in 2017. Other stores quickly followed, but the practice has been met with criticism that it could allow minors to buy alcohol or make liquor access easier in a state that's known to overindulge.

Neenah Alderwoman Marge Bates says curbside pickup could worsen binge drinking in the Fox Valley. The city has been asked to amend retail liquor licenses to allow for curbside pickup of alcohol, though it hasn't happened yet.

Wisconsin Grocers Association President Brandon Scholz predicts online grocery sales will grow rapidly.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - Despite rain and cold temperatures Saturday, about 250 people braved the weather for the 5th annual White Deer Triathlon.

The race started with a 3 kilometer paddle across Boulder lake, followed by a 22 kilometer bike, and finally a 6 kilometer run from Camp Manitowish to the Boulder Junction Community Center.

Race organizer Theresa Smith said the race this year was very different from year's past.

"They said it's been the most challenging that they've done, if they've done all five years of the White Deer Triathlon," said Smith. "So we're very proud of everyone that's finished."

+ Read More

MADISON - Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he doesn't support banning abortions as early as six or eight weeks into a pregnancy, and would prefer that states have the power to determine whether abortion should be legal.

Johnson commented on abortion during a news conference with reporters during the Wisconsin Republican convention on Saturday.

Johnson says he supports a national law banning abortions after 21 weeks. Wisconsin has a 20-week ban. Johnson says he would also prefer that states get to decide whether abortion should be legal, rather than relying on the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized it.

Conservatives have been pushing strict anti-abortion state laws in Alabama, Missouri and elsewhere to force the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade.

+ Read More

MADISON - A three-judge panel of federal judges has temporarily blocked a decision forcing Wisconsin Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to be questioned by attorneys representing Democratic voters in a federal redistricting lawsuit.

Vos has appealed the lower court's decision to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Journal Sentinel reports that judges wrote in a brief order Friday that they were suspending the requirement that Vos testify and turn over documents until they further study the case. Vos had been scheduled to testify on May 29.

Vos argues he can't be deposed due to legislative privilege, which protects lawmakers from being sued.

The lawsuit by Democratic voters challenges the election maps Vos and other Republican lawmakers drew in 2011 that have helped the GOP keep large majorities in recent years.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A flight over the Northwoods brings views of lakes, tree canopies, and small communities. The list of people who have traveled across the Northwoods skies is short, but you could in as little as six months. The Rhinelander Flying Service offers classes to aspiring pilots from all over the Northwoods.

Valerie Dalka is just a few weeks away from being able to fly a plane solo. She says flying is the easy part, landing is where she needs some work.

"Right when you're landing you have to do this thing called a flare and you have to pull back really hard on the controls," said Dalka. "And it's really hard to just continue pulling back that far."

She's been taking lessons at the Rhinelander Flying Service for years. 

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: