Looking Back on 2016

Kathleen Vinehout
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
We settled into a deep freeze this past weekend. After a long glorious autumn, the third week of December brought frigid temperatures not usually felt until mid-January.
So I took time out from normal senator and farmer duties to reflect on 2016.

Ethics Commissioner Kinney resigns

Only a few months after the creation of the state Ethics Commission, one of the commisioners has resigned, expressing serious concerns about transparency in the behavior of the commission and the ability of the commission to actually enforce ethics on state politicians.

Commissioner Rober Kinney resigned, apparenlty partly due to the inabilit of the commission to take action on an ethics complaint filed by the Democrats against the Republican Assembly Campaing Committee for not filing proper accounting of their fundraising and expenditures. Kinney was also unhappy the the commission could not vote to keep themselves from making political contributions. Many have felt that the splitting of the former GAB into two commissions was a mistake, particularly since it was structured to make it difficult for either of the two new bodies to make decisions. More on this story later.

Christmas Eve Music and Fun from Our Valley to Your Radio

Kathleen Vinehout
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
Looking for a homegrown Holiday treat for Christmas Eve? Look no further than your radio for a special holiday performance from Wisconsin’s beautiful west coast.
Big River Radio Wave’s Christmas Show airs on Wisconsin Public Radio across Wisconsin on Christmas Eve. The show comes straight from our valley to your radio.
The show originates at the renovated Big River Theater in Alma, Wisconsin. In fact, the creator and host, Mac Cherry, is my neighbor.

Happy Holidays


We're quickly falling into that time of year when people start to think about the holidays and stop thinking so much about politics.  Maybe not this year. 

Anyway - I'd like to invite you all to spend a little more time over the next few weeks thinking about your families and those things in life that make you happiest, and to stop thinking about the past election and the upcoming  coronation  err --- inauguration. It's coming no matter what, so you might as well try to have a little peace and joy for a while. The recount in Wisconsin is supposed to end tomorrow and be reported on Tuesday, so that will be one more thing that will be over with. I'm working on relaxing a little and getting caught up on the rest of my life. I'm sure you'll hear more from us before New Years, but it may be a little less than normal.  That Turkey ain't gonna eat itself.

New Transportation Ideas Needed to Handle More Intense Storms

Kathleen Vinehout
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
Winter came to Buffalo County. The weather turned to snow and then to ice.
In our hilly part of the world, rural people are used to finding new ways out of the valleys during bad weather. However, for residents living in Schoepps Valley (pronounced “Sheps”) the usual way out is not an option.

Army denies easement for Dakota Access Pipeline - construction halted

People at the Oceti Sakowin Camp are rejoicing this afternoon as the Army has announced that the Corps of Engineers is denying the easement for the pipeline under Lake Oahe. This essentially halts construction for the time being, and the Army Corps of Engineers is planning for an Environmental Impact Study with public input.

Request for immediate halt of recount denied

Today Judge James Peterson denied the request filed by two PACs supporting Donald Trump. The request asked fro an immediate temporary halt of the recount in Wisconsin. The judge ruled that allowing the recount to proceed would not hurt anything, and that the recount may proceed while the lawsuit makes its way through the federal court system. 

Judge Peterson has scheduled a hearing for the suit on Dec. 9. This is three days before the recount will need to be completed so that the results may be filed in time for the vote of the Electoral College.

Where did "The Feed" Go?

You may or may not have noticed that The Feed disappeared from the site today, and from the top menu. We've run that feature for several years now on the site.  It's a Rebelmouse page, and it has always been kind of a fun and nifty feature. Unfortunately Rebelmouse is changing quite a lot, and they've dropped their free plan,and the new non-free plans are way out of my price range. We were grandfathered in, but although they are doing a whole lot of neat stuff with their paid platform, things are not changing particularly on the free sites. There will be some more new stuff going on here and over on https://wis.community as time goes on, but The Feed is now dead here. 


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