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Our latest edition published December 2 and will be available, free on newsstands in the area shortly.

Last week’s e-edition is available below:

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Valley Sentinel is your independent, local news source covering arts & culture, outdoors & recreation, local meetings, events in our larger Lower Wisconsin River community.

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Covering Arena, Lone Rock, Plain, Spring Green and the surrounding areas in Sauk, Iowa and Richland counties.

Recent Stories (updating soon!)

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Evers, DHS Announce Gender-Neutral Language Options to be Added to Wisconsin Birth Certificates

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers June 28 with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that beginning Thurs., July 1, 2021, Wisconsin parents will have a new, gender-neutral option for identifying the parents of a child. Birth forms used to generate birth certificates will be updated to include an option for “parent-parent,” in addition to “mother-father.” This change reflects
the Administration’s commitment to gender-neutral terminology and recognizing that families are diverse and should all be recognized and valued in state systems.

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From The Plain and Simple Correspondent…Them and Us: Transcending Gender Differences 2

Humans have been debating the definition of “normal” as regards sexuality ever since we climbed dripping wet out of the swamps and looked around in search of intimacy. In between conducting sieges, banging vengefully on each other, and finding other fun ways to be hurtful, our ancestors have loved and lived in a bewildering variety of ways. Look at the ancient Greeks, who practiced homoeroticism openly and with impunity, as their decorated pottery attests. The Romans looked askance at intimate relations between men but it was okay for women to engage in it, I’ve read. They had another hang-up: if women were raped, it humiliated the entire family, especially the male members, and was considered the women’s own fault. (Punish the victim is still a favorite playbook in many Middle Eastern quarters, not to mention closer to home. Sometimes the raped woman is disowned or even killed.) The Egyptian pharaohs reputedly practiced incest, marrying brothers to sisters, or fathers to daughters, to perpetuate the throne within the clan, although some scholars now dispute this in part because incest was frowned on for ordinary folk. The point may be, what was conventional or “normal” depended on where you lived, when you lived, and what your status was on the social ladder.

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Rep. Dave Considine

Representative Dave Considine— Personal Property Tax Bill

On June 29th the Wisconsin State Assembly voted on Assembly Bill 117 relating to eliminating the personal property tax. I have been an advocate of repealing the personal property tax since I was elected. The personal property tax is unfair to small businesses. It taxes the tools they own which are necessary to conduct their business like blow-dryers for a salon, ladders for a roofer, or ovens and mixing tools for restaurants. However if the state eliminates this tax, it should supply the revenue it takes away from local municipalities. These dollars are what local governments use to repair local roads and supply police, fire, and EMT services.

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Driftless Grace— Something (or nothing) happens

My mind inevitably goes blank when someone asks me what I did yesterday (or over the weekend, or on Tuesday — wait, isn’t today Tuesday?!). Lately, though, that response has been close to the truth of what I’ve been doing: nothing. At least, nothing that strikes me as worth talking about.

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Sen. Erpenbach , D-West Point

Column: Republican Budget Falls Short—Wisconsinites Pandemic Recovery Disregarded by GOP

MADISON – Despite overwhelming public support for Governor Tony Evers’ state budget proposal that prioritized a successful economic recovery for the state, Republican politicians settled for less. Senate Democrats introduced an amendment to enact key proposals from the Governor’s Bounceback Budget, including investing in schools, increasing access to affordable health care, securing federal funding for the state, and ensuring that Wisconsinites have access to clean drinking water. Unfortunately, Republicans voted against these commonsense proposals and turned their backs on the communities that they represent.

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Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green

Sen. Howard Marklein: State Budget Passes the Legislature

MADISON, WI – Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) made the following statement June 30 following the final Senate’s passage of the State Budget bill: “I am very proud of the legislature’s state budget. We made strategic investments to support the priorities of the people of Wisconsin while respecting the hard-working taxpayers we serve.

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Community comes together following tragic Wisconsin River accident that leaves a local man missing

“One of the most dangerous things about the Lower Wisconsin River is that it doesn’t look dangerous.”

Timm Zumm, president of Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway (FLOW), shared those words of warning and wisdom this week during a brief break in the search for 22-year-old Parker Kruse, of Arena, who was knocked overboard in a boat collision after rescuing someone in need on July 3 into a Wisconsin River that was high and swift.

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The Sauk County Gardener— Help Your Garden Feed You

This past week I was checking out our basswood tree that finally started blooming, trying to see what bees and other pollinators were visiting it. As I moved the branches around, a whole kaleidoscope of moths just flew out of the tree. Although it was actually quite pretty to see, I knew my broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale were in harm’s way. I spoke with a fellow gardener, John, and he said he had more white moths than he’d seen before as well. Unfortunately, the dreaded cabbage moths are thick this year. Start checking your plants closely so you can hand-pick the eggs and worms. You can also use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis var Kurstaki or Aisawai) as it is can be a highly effective organic way to control cabbage worms. This needs to be sprayed every 1 to 2 weeks or after it rains to help control the cabbage worm and other cole crop pests. If you decide to use an insecticide – organic or otherwise – read the label closely to ensure it can control the pest you are trying to get rid of and only apply the correct amount.

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Local kids jam in Downtown Spring Green

On recent hot summer days you may have seen Eli Saperstein and Dylan Perry sitting on the corner of Lexington and Jefferson Streets in Spring Green — or, rather, you may have heard them first. Equipped with five gallon buckets and drumsticks, both describe themselves as long time drummers.

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Community column: Katie Green’s ‘Along the Milky Way’

My maternal grandmother in Iowa loved her milk cows. Born in 1878, she and millions of others like her in the 19th Century nourished a tender relationship with their farm animals. In the first Federal Census in 1790, 90-some percent of the people enumerated in this country were engaged in farming of one kind of another. By the 1940 census – the last one we can have access to — the statistics were reversed, with 90-something percent of our citizens off the farms and doing something else for a living. I cherish a photo of Grandma perched on her milking stool, cheek against the flank of a cow, filling a bucket to be drunk at the next meal by her many dependents, or to make butter, or use in many other delicious ways. Such as to whip up a batch of her buttermilk “gems”. Yum! My cousin Jerry, who grew up in my grandparents’ house, would only drink the Brown Cow’s milk (a Guernsey, perhaps), not the other milker they kept at that time. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two, myself, but he had developed discriminating tastebuds and insisted on Brown Cow. On the other side of the tree, my father’s family established successful dairies in Dundee, Illinois in the mid-1800s, replicating dairies they had owned in Western Massachusetts before emigrating West.

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Anna Stocks-Hess

Finding your gender and sexuality in a rural small town

Discovering yourself in any space can pose challenges for someone. Whether it be your career choice or becoming the person you were born to be, figuring yourself out is a long journey. This is also a journey that never ends. Don’t expect to wake up one day, and suddenly be your completed self. You should be growing and changing every single day.

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Business Spotlight: Inspired Nutrition

Tell us a bit about Inspired Nutrition and your mission
Inspired Nutrition started after my cousin opened her Nutrition club in Muscoda. We started these nutrition clubs because we were seeing great results with the Herbalife product. Our mission is to get our products into households to help people live a more healthy active lifestyle.

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Last Leaf public house open for apps, cocktails in pub and patio

Last Leaf Public House (134 W. Jefferson Street, Spring Green), in the former Freddy Valentine’s location, is now open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. serving cocktails and appetizers for dinning inside the pub and on the patio.
Appetizers include hand cut fries, sweet potato fries, smoked salmon dip, chicken curried frites and chicken wings.
Menu options, hours and dining will increase sometime in mid-July.

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Rep. Dave Considine

Representative Dave Considine— Celebrate our dairy farmers

It’s been one heck of a year. Through it all, our farmers have been strong and steady. They have added extra hours onto their already long days to ensure that we have safe and healthy foods on our table each night. They also have weathered unpredictable markets, pricing, and supply issues. Producers and processors are hard workers, they give back, and they make up so much of what we value in rural communities.

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RVACG holds inaugural student gardening program to get young students outside

The River Valley Area Community Garden started a Student Gardening program to get young students out in nature and learning about gardening. The program had its first event June 8 where students had the chance to assist gardeners with planting different type of plants and produce in garden beds. The program will include planting and tending to the garden beds, arts and crafts as well as story time in the garden.

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Community Column: Flag Day — Wave The Thing But Don’t Worship It

The radio this morning has paid homage to Flag Day by playing some of my favorite music –for example, John Philip Souza’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”– and some that I have an aversion to –e.g. our national anthem, which is unsingable and filled with bloodthirsty war images besides. I much prefer “America the Beautiful”, which contains stirring, idealistic phrases that move beyond a narrow definition of patriotism and aspire to something far better, such as “crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”

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RV Golf takes on conference cup

Saturday, May 29th was the 11th annual SW Golf Cup between rival SWAL and SWC conferences. The event is held each year at Dodgepoint Golf Course. The top 24 golfers from each conference compete head to head in various formats of match play.

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RV Girls Soccer

This week was a fun week of soccer. Our JV team played extremely well against Platteville. We moved the ball well and Claire and Isabelle scored great goals.

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RV Trap first in the conference

RV Trap Shooting finished 1st in the top conference for the Spring 2021 season. With a total of 59 shooters, we had 5 finish in the Top 100 for the State: Joseph Day, Jaydon Rose, Sam Cady, Gaige Dilley and Joshua Crook.

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RV softball dominates season

RV Softball Player Emily Esser making a catch. The RV softball team is currently No. 1 in conference play, dominating Lancaster June 1 11-0, and beating out Mount Horeb 6-4 June 5.

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Birding report: Early June — migration wanes and nesting waxes

As we head into the unofficial start of summer, bird migration is winding down. Shorebirds are the most prominent remaining migrants, many of them headed for breeding areas on the far northern tundra. Species most commonly being seen include semipalmated, least, and white-rumped sandpipers, ruddy turnstone, sanderling, dunlin, and semipalmated plover. Unusual finds include whimbrel (especially along northern Lake Michigan), red-necked phalarope, and American avocet. Wilson’s phalaropes, a species whose core range lies in the Great Plains, have been far more numerous in the state this spring than any in recent memory.

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The Sauk County Gardener — scouting for Japanese beetles

This last week’s higher temps and humidity made me think we skipped summer and jumped right to August! I tried as best I could to time my plantings between the bouts of rain and the times of high heat. I wasn’t able to completely avoid the high heat as I spent one afternoon out in my newly installed cutting garden beds planting 50 dahlia bulbs and 30 ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Casa Blanca’ Oriental lilies. I ran out of steam before I could plant the nine rose bushes. I’m still working on getting all my annuals planted and there are some vegetables I need to get planted as well. Now is the time of year when I have way more garden tasks compared to the hours I have to spend in the garden – especially when the heat and rain do not cooperate with my schedule. I am sure many of you feel the same way.

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Home Talent: Plain A’s Fight Back in Loss to Mazo Mustangs

Plain A’s’s effort to come back from down six runs in the seventh inning came up just short, as they fell 14-12 to Mazomanie Mustangs on Sunday. Plain A’s put up nine runs in the failed comeback. Keegan Smith, Jack Meixelsperger, Derek Bodendein, Will Jewell, Zach Paulus, and Brock Mahoney powered the rally with RBIs.

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