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GROWING OLD FORESTS

Northern Wisconsin was once covered with extensive old growth forests. Before Europeans came into the area these forests were complex ecosystems of a variety of tree species of many sizes and ages. As we all know, the pioneer farmers, loggers, and robber barons destroyed 99% of these awesome treasures. Had our ancestors been wiser in their use of these natural resources we still could have old growth forests in abundance. We could still have all the ecological, economic, and aesthetic benefits of old growth forests. The biggest tragedy of all this is the loss of what could ...

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TOGETHER WE ARE THE SOLUTION

Together we are the solution. That is the theme of a group working for the Anti-Corruption Act.  The group includes both conservatives and liberals.The American Anti-Corruption Act sets a standard for city, state and Federal Anti-Corruption laws that put power back in the hands of the people.Each Anti-Corruption Act stops political bribery, ends secret money and fixes our broken elections. The Act's specific provisions vary by locale based on Constitutional limitations and the necessity of specific anti-corruption measures.  For a brief description ...

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SOMETHING IS HAPPENING TO ORION THE HUNTER

I’m eager to write a second article about Orion, now well-placed above the south-south-east horizon in February. Its most famous star, Betelgeuse, is becoming dimmer. According to astronomer Nadia Drake, “The red star Betelgeuse is the dimmest seen in years, prompting some speculation that the star is about to explode.” (National Geographic website, Dec. 26, 2019) It has been known for some time that Beetle-Juice, as most of us call it, is in its last stage-of-life. It is an enormous, bloated, red super-giant star. It is understood that it is running out ...

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THOUGH SUNS COLLIDE

Endlessly parading,the centuries are marching on reviewbefore the timeless present;and endlessly they will continue marching, marching,marching on into the future.Yet of this awesome endlessnessa precious portion falls to me. Space stretches far beyond horizonsin a vastness dwarfing the imagination.yet of this expanse,a bit of dust that answers to my nameis mine exclusively. No one else can fill this time and space.It is potential for a newness,a uniqueness,a never-happened-before-and-never-to-...

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PROTECT WISCONSIN WATER

Please support Assembly Bill 700 and Senate Bill 632 that would help protect Wisconsin's drinking water.  This bill passed into law would help ensure quicker communication between the DNR and health department and the county land and conservation department in counties where groundwater standards have been threatened by violations made by Discharge Elimination System permit holders.  The entire text of the short bill is HERE.A case in La Crosse County revealed that the county and residents were unaware of a potential risk to groundwater contamination for 10 ...

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LET’S FINISH WHAT WE STARTED

 During this time of year, we’re surrounded by reminders to set goals for the next twelve months and fulfill our New Year’s resolutions. As the weeks pass by, we typically find ourselves falling back into our old habits and routines. Once we slip up, it may seem like our resolutions are hopeless and we push off our goals to next year.While preparing to head back to Madison, I thought about small, yet realistic intentions to continually motivate me in this New Year. Step by step, I’m hopeful these intentions will guide me to put differences aside and ...

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WISCONSIN OLD GROWTH

"I always laugh that if we could have people lay down in the woods in a nice wind ...under some big pines and just listen to that hum that goes through those trees and watch those trees sway, that the peace that would be encountered would put a lot of psychiatrists out of work."  John Bates, naturalist and author When you sit on shore in the Boundary Waters soaking in the solitude, or view the Milky Way on a clear night, or listen to the hum of the wind in trees a thousand years old, you know how insignificant we really are. Nature has the ability to put our ...

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THE KIDS’ TABLE – A FORGOTTEN REPUBLICAN LEGACY

Post-WWII rural America. I grew up a city mouse—town mouse really—on the edge of farm country, a mysterious realm spreading northward toward Wisconsin. In no time, I could be pedaling along a road bearing my family’s name, a single thread bordered by barbed wire and acres of hope, crisscrossing other such threads to form the web of community. Owen Center was out there too, at a quiet intersection—a grange hall next to a church, across from the one-room schoolhouse where my dad had toiled with other farm kids through the eighth grade. This tiny cloister ...

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OBJECTS IN THE SKY – PERSEUS AND ALGOL

The star Algol appears in the constellation Perseus. Stars in constellations generally have technical names with Greek-letter prefixes (alpha, beta, gamma, etc.) in decreasing order of brightness, or magnitude. Thus Algol is officially known as Beta Persei, or the second-brightest star in Perseus. In the case of Algol, there is a problem. It isn’t always the second-brightest star. Algol is a variable star, decreasing and increasing in brightness with a very regular period of just a bit less than 3 days. This was a phenomenon that was readily observable by the ancients, ...

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I WISH MY LIFE WAS BEFORE . . .

I wish my life was before doppler radar and clever weather men I’d know about impending rain by how the cows are all lying down at once at forenoon in a green May meadow I’d know about the dry spell ahead by the dust devil that scatters July’s newly raked hay I’d know about a lightning strike by the silence just before it I’d know about the length of winter by the pattern on the curled wooly worm on the milk ...

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