Latest from The Spokesman-Review
A few minutes into the riverboat tour of the city, as we moved slowly past row after row of beautiful historic buildings—some reborn as condominiums and apartments— past leafy trees and shaded parks and then on out to the edge of the vast expanse of Lake Michigan, I turned to the woman sitting beside me.
“How did I not know about all of this?” I asked her, with a wide gesture that took in Festival Park, white-sailed boats skimming the surface of the lake and the distinctive architectural wing over the art museum.
“I know, right?” she said, laughing. “Welcome to Milwaukee.”
The city of Milwaukee’s past is storied and diverse. Long known for its German heritage and beer-brewing legacy, and the pale brick buildings which gave it the “Cream City” nickname, the once-industrial hub has become a vibrant, culturally diverse destination that reflects the best of MidWest hospitality and contemporary urban sophistication.
Milwaukee is surprisingly walkable and has more than 150 miles of bike trails. There are 17 museums in the city limits. And then there’s that beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline.
I spent a week in Milwaukee but following the tips below you could hit the highlights in a weekend.
Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport is just a short drive from downtown. Amtrak offers service to and from Chicago.
Historic: Milwaukee’s landmark hotel is the historic Pfister Hotel. Built in 1893, the opulent downtown Victorian masterpiece was hailed as the “Grand Hotel of the West.” The Pfister Hotel holds the largest collection of Victorian art of any hotel in the world and offers a unique artist-in-residence program. The Pfister Narrator, another in-residence program, puts local writers in the lobby and around the premises to capture and record the words and impressions of hotel guests.
Contemporary: With a total revitalization of a historic 100-year-old warehouse into a luxurious hotel with 100 loft-style room and an upscale vintage/industrial vibe, the Iron Horse Hotel draws business travelers and is especially popular with Harley Davidson enthusiasts coming to Milwaukee to tour the Harley Davidson Museum.
Take a Milwaukee River Cruise Line tour. The company offers a variety of themed cruises from the City Skyline cruise to the Beer and Cheese cruise to the Hip Hop Margarita Cruise. For a more personal experience, rent a kayak from the Milwaukee Kayak Company and float the river at your own pace.
Rent a Bublr Bike and see the city on two wheels. Bike stations are located across the downtown area and make it easy to explore.
Milwaukee’s food scene is vibrant and diverse. I ate a lot of good food while I was there, but my favorite was my dinner at Braise. Chef David Swanson—a multiple James Beard Award
nominee—created the Restaurant Supported Agriculture program to make fresh local produce easily accessible to area restaurants. The restaurant also holds regular classes through its culinary school.
You can’t go to Milwaukee without dipping into a cup of frozen custard. Try Kehr’s chocolate swirl custard at the MilwaukeePublic Market.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is undergoing an expansion but the current exhibition is “From Van Gogh to Pollock” —running through Sept. 20— is one that should not be missed. The exhibit explores features more than 70 pieces 20th Century art collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.
I have never been on a motorcycle but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the Harley Davidson Museum. The history of the world-renowned Milwaukee is intimately tied to American history and the exhibits create a timeline of popular culture.
The classics like Miller and Pabst, are still around, but for a taste of the new generation of the Milwaukee beer, stop by Lakefront Brewery. Long tables fill the tasting room and the patio overlooks the Milwaukee River. and both are great spots for hoisting a few.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes about travel for Spokesman.com
They are one of the first signs of the holiday season: bright red cranberries in a sauce or compote on the Thanksgiving table. Sometimes they’re part of the centerpiece or decorations and they’re there all the way through Christmas.
It used to be that when the holidays were over, the cranberries were gone. But that was then. In the last decade cranberries have moved out of the holiday-only aisle and into the year-round pantries of most Americans. Now they’re baked into cookies and scones, sprinkled on salads and eaten as a quick, healthy, snack.
Most of us grew up with a kind of Norman Rockwell-inspired image of New England as the only place cranberries grow but that isn’t true. Wisconsin has been growing and harvesting the berries for 140 years and since the mid-1970s has produced more cranberries than any other state. Today, more than half the cranberries grown and consumed around the world come from Wisconsin, with Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington trailing.
In the last few years a new industry has grown up around the Wisconsin cranberry harvest: Agritourism. Now you can tour the marshes and get a glimpse of the unique processes involved in growing and harvesting one of the three fruits that are unique to North America (the others two are blueberries and concord grapes.)
I was curious and joined a tour at two Wisconsin cranberry farms: Glacial Lake Cranberries and Elm Lake Cranberry Company.
At Glacial Lake Cranberries we boarded a bus and drove along the narrow pathways between flooded marshes. The iconic image of cranberry fields is a flooded bog filled with floating berries, but they don’t grow that way and the low-growing vines are perfectly acclimated to the sandy soil acidic soil left behind Wisconsin’s ancient glacial lakes. From June through late September they form and ripen. Then, during harvest the marshes are flooded and red-ripe cranberries are scooped off the vines by special tractors (this used to be back-breaking work done by hand) and, thanks to the four small hollow chambers in each berry, float to the top of the water.
Like any kind of farming, growing cranberries is hard work, subject to the whims of nature and the ups and downs of volatile markets. It’s easy to forget the hard work behind the berry when in the fall the cranberries ripen and the beds are flooded to create a temporary marsh.
At Elm Lake Cranberry Company, the rich crimson color of the berries, contrasted against the vivid blue of the sky and the brilliant gold larch trees reflected in the water, was as pretty as a postcard.
With slow, graceful, movements, harvesters dressed in hip-high waders walk the circle of berries corralled by a yellow plastic boom and I watched as a man stretched out his arms, extending the wooden rake in his hands to gather and pull toward him the bright red cranberries while a vacuum swept them up onto a conveyor belt and into the deep bed of a waiting truck.
I know it’s intense and a lot is riding on getting the berries to market without bruising them, but he made it seem like water ballet.
Most of the berries are taken to a nearby processing plant where they will be frozen before being processed into juice, sauce or dried sweetened berries. Only a very small percentage of Wisconsin’s cranberries are packaged fresh for holiday sales.
Like every other behind-the-scenes look I’ve gotten into the heart and soul of any kind of farming—usually thanks to the agritourism movement— I came away with a deeper appreciation for the small red berry that has always been such a big part of my holiday table. And now, in ever increasing ways, a part of my everyday diet.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap’s audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the U.S. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at email@example.com
Last fall I spent a few days exploring Appleton and the other small towns and cities that make up Fox Cities, Wisconsin. It's such a beautiful part of the country and I can see why Appleton has been called one of the best small towns in America.
I loved the Edna Ferber and Harry Houdini exhibits at the History Museum at the Castle. I made paper at the Paper Discovery Center on the banks of the swift-moving Fox River, a hands-on center that pays homage to the city's past. I toured the grand Hearthstone House, the first house in the world to be powered by hydroelectricity.
And then, because I always try to stop by at least one antiques shop or mall when I travel, I went antiquing.
For those of us who love old things, even in this age of online shopping, it's interesting to see what people collect in different places. I almost always find some little something I don't want to leave behind.
In Appleton, I stopped by the Fox River Antique Mall and hadn't been there long when an old 1920s camera tripod caught my eye.
It was made of golden oak and in great shape. The slender telescopinng legs were straight and still had the original brass screws to tighten them to the desired height.
I've seen similiar tripods (reproductions) at Pottery Barn, World Market, Restoration Hardware and other decorating and home good stores, most made into lamps and other accessories, and they can be expensive. But the vintage piece in the antique mall near Appleton cost about what I'd pay for lunch and I knew I could make something out of it. I bought it knowing it wouldn't fit in my small carry-on suitcase but before I left I stopped by the post office, put the tripod into a flat-rate box and shipped it home.
Later, still thinking I would make a lamp, I bought an old-fashioned Edion-style lightbulb and put it aside with the box holding the tripod, waiting for the right time to start a new project.
Then, warm weather arrived and we started spending more time outdoors, eating most meals on the patio and lingering until long after dark. I put candles around the garden and shadowy corners of the patio. One evening I was looking for something with a little height to hold a candle and I remembered the tripod I'd sent home from Appleton. I finally opened the box and, after putting a white candle on the brass fitting at the top, I put the tripod in a corner beside the wisteria vine that screens the patio. It was exactly right.
Summer faded into fall and when the nights finally got too cool, I surrenderd and moved back indoors. But I brought the tripod with me. I bought a package of small plastic caps at the hardware store and covered the sharp metal spikes on each telescoping leg (useful for balancing and steadying a heavy camera in grass or soil, but not kind to hardwood floors) and replaced the chunky white candle with a wax-covered flameless candle. I set the timer and now each afternoon at 5pm the faux candle comes to life and flickers throughout the evening, creating a warm glow in what would otherwise be a dark corner. And each time I look at it I remember the trip to Appleton.
Most of us like to bring home some kind of little souvenir of the places we've traveled to. I know I do. They are special because they are tangible reminders of a vacation or travel experience. But when I stumble on a lovely old thing and can come up with a practical use for it, I love it all the more.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap's audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of 'Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons' and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgˆ
Hoping to catch Wisconsin at Martin Stadium in 2014?
Well, that's not going to happen.
But you can see the Cougars play a "home game" against Rutgers in 2014 at CenturyLink Field on Friday, August 29. WSU returns the favor with a game at Rutgers on Sept. 12, 2015.
In turn, WSU's home-and-home series against Wisconsin, originally scheduled for 2014 (in Pullman) and 2015 (in Madison), has been pushed back to 2022 (in Madison) and 2023 (in Pullman) by way of a "mutual agreement."
"Adding two BCS opponents to those already on future nonconference schedules benefits our program and is sure to be appealing to our fans," said athletic director Bill Moos in a statement. "Our 2014 schedule also allows us to bring five quality Pac-12 games (Arizona, USC, Cal, Oregon and Washington) to Pullman to showcase our newly completed facilities."
The latter part of that quote seems to imply that WSU doesn't plan to move any of its Pac-12 games to CenturyLink Field in 2014, as they have for the past two seasons (and will again this year, with Stanford visiting the CLink).
We were fortunate again this year, the whole family was together for Christmas. We gathered, exchanged gifts, caught up on one another’s lives and enjoyed one another’s company. And we ate. We ate a lot.
When we weren’t sitting down to our traditional Christmas dinner, we were snacking on things I’d gathered on my travels and brought home to share with my family. That’s come to be one of my travel traditions and now wherever I go I spend time looking for goodies to bring home with me.
This year, while playing board games or working on a jigsaw puzzle we opened a can of Virginia peanuts that traveled back from Roanoke tucked into a corner of my suitcase.
We made pots of good Door County Coffee & Tea Company coffee and nibbled peanut brittle from Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri.
I passed around a can of delicate and delicious Clear River pecan pralines I bought in Fredericksburg, Texas and hand-carried home. And we cracked pecans I gathered from where they’d fallen from the trees around the same city.
I spread tart cherry jam from, also from Door County, Wisconsin, on our toast at breakfast. In the afternoon I sliced a block of Wisconsin's Schoolhouse Artisan Cheese to go with the bottle of crisp white wine I brought back from Rhine River valley in Germany.
One night I made a big pot of chili and seasoned it with heritage chili pepper powder I bought at the Chili Pepper Institute in Los Cruces, New Mexico. I made a batch of brownies with brownie mix spiced with the same chilis.
We warmed up with mugs of hot buttered rum, savoring the bottle of Koloa rum I picked up in Kauai and saved especially for this holiday season.
This is the time of my life when I can travel freely and I don’t take it for granted because I know that could change at any time. My children are mostly grown and my work takes me around the world. I can’t always take them with me, but I can bring the world back to the ones I love and share it with them one delicious bite at a time.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She can be reached at email@example.com
(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)
When Christmas comes to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, it is wrapped in a big white tent and filled with music, food, handmade crafts and the ancient tradition of German Advent markets.
Osthoff Resort General Manager Lola Roeh spent time in Nuremberg, Germany before returning to Wisconsin and coming to lead the Osthoff. Nuremberg’s famous Christkindlesmarkt left an indelible mark on her imagination and she was determined to bring the tradition to the resort. Fifteen years ago she did just that and now the Old World Christmas Market at the Osthoff Resort has grown to be an important part of the region’s holiday season, catering to those who return each year to add to a collection or simply savor the tastes of an authentic German Christmas by eating schnitzel and red cabbage or sipping Glühwein.
Some vendors, including the sausage maker who flies in each year to sell authentic Nuremberg sausages—made with his secret recipe— have been with the market since the beginning.
While shoppers move from booth to booth, Father Christmas parts the crowd, calling out Christmas greetings. Seasonal music fills the big heated tent.
I had only just walked in when I spotted a booth filled with beautiful handmade paper mache Santa and Father Christmas figures. Each exquisite piece was made in authentic vintage German molds, hand painted and decorated with glass glitter or tiny glass beads. I spent almost half an hour looking at each one, trying to decide which would come home with me. Finally, I chose a petite Father Christmas, ornamented with glass beads and holding a tiny Christmas tree. He was wrapped and packed for the trip home and the little figure was the first decoration I put out when I returned.
Elkhart Lake is beautiful any time of year but the elegant white structures of the surrounding resorts, including the crown jewel, the big, rambling, historic Osthoff Resort, shine brightest in winter. The summer crowds are gone and the small town becomes a place to escape the hectic pace of the holiday while celebrating the best of the season.
The Osthoff Resort
Old World Christmas Market
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Photo by Kaki Smith)
The house was just an ordinary little cottage in Sturgeon Bay, not one of the tall old farm houses—part of the dairy and agricultural legacy of the area—that line the roads along Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula. It was just an average family house in a nice little town. But the Maple tree in the front yard was another matter. Even in a place crowded with trees in full color, that tree was enough to make anyone slow down and take a second look. Covered in brilliant and beautiful leaves, it seemed to be even more intense than any of the others around it and everyone in the car, each of us adults who’ve seen beautiful autumns before, people who might have become jaded at some point, had some comment. Out came the cameras and photos of a beautiful Maple tree were added to the albums on our smart phones.
All that fuss over a tree? Absolutely. It doesn’t matter if you’re not happy about summer slowly fading away to be replaced by winter’s chill. It doesn’t matter if we complain about the shorter days and nights cool enough to chase us indoors when just a few weeks ago we would have lingered over one more cup of coffee or glass of wine. This time of year, when nature throws a party and colorful leaves fall around us like confetti and drift onto sidewalks and stick to the windshield of the car, we celebrate.
But, of course, that party is better in some places.
I got lucky. I could have been anywhere in mid-October. But at the peak of the most beautiful time of the year, I was in Door County traveling along the narrow peninsula that juts like a thumb on the east side of Wisconsin, a place that is sometimes called the Cape Cod of the Midwest. It’s an apt description. Small villages dot the shoreline of Lake Michigan or, on the other side, Green Bay. White clapboard houses, big red barns and, of course, hardwood trees whose leaves show their true, beautiful, colors for a few weeks each year, dot the landscape.
And during those weeks everything changes. Ordinary roads turn into picturesque leafy lanes that curve and meander under an arching canopy of trees so beautiful you crane to look up through the windshield as you drive. Hillsides become a patchwork quilt of color with scarlet, green and gold, stitched together as far as the eye can see. Markets are filled with apples and pumpkins and even a rainy day is beautiful.
It’s easy to see why people allot precious vacation time to this season, booking cottages or hotel rooms in the quiet weeks before winter sets it. Especially in a place where for a few weeks each year even little trees in front of an ordinary house dazzle us before they settle down to sleep the winter away.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at email@example.com
(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)
Just today, the rattle of someone pulling a boat and trailer, bouncing over the patched pavement of the street in front of my house, was a familiar and significant sound. I know it well. And I know what it means. When neighbors start bringing home the boats and campers, when outdoor toys are put away so that winter tools and gear can take their place, I know we’ve really reached the end of Summer at the Lake season.
Every place I’ve ever lived has claimed bragging rights for being the lake-loving mecca. But the truth is, wherever there is a lake to get away to, and most states have plenty of them, people will get there. Cabins become family heirlooms, passed down and cherished, and a unique culture—peculiar to that particular place—grows and evolves.
I’ve been thinking about this since I spent Labor Day weekend in Wisconsin exploring historic Elkhart Lake. First settled in the 1860s, Elkhart Lake boomed in the 1870s when the Milwaukee and Northern Railroad added a stop at the downtown depot. At its peak, more than 2,000 visitors arrived each week, pouring into the sprawling resorts that built up at the edge of the lake. By 1894, Elkhart Lake was a true village.
Today Siebken’s Resort, the Osthoff Resort and the towering Victorian Village are all built on the bones of those earlier hotels and summer resorts.
Late one afternoon we climbed onto a pontoon boat and circled the scenic glacial lake as our guide filled us in on the unique history of the community.
The beautiful spring-fed, rock-lined, glacial lake covers almost 300 acres. Just over 120 feet deep at its deepest point, Elkhart Lake is ringed by Wisconsin forest. Most of the homes and summer cottages have remained in families for generations. While its history is uniquely American—Speakeasys, road races and summer stock theater—there is a quaint European vibe that reflects the German heritage of early developers.
I’m sure Elkhart Lake is a great place at the height of summer, but I was glad to be there at that particular moment. Labor Day marks the unofficial end of lake season in most places. But that only means the summer crowds go away. The lake never closes. And, of course, neither do the resorts that surround it. By visiting in September, I was able to appreciate the beauty without the bustle of the busiest time of year.
As we circled the lake, passing vintage cottages, picturesque boathouses and an occasional rambling mansion tucked behind the trees, I could see that the seasonal cabins were being swept and cleaned and closed. Boats were back in the small boathouses that perched over the water’s edge. Thoughts were turning to autumn bonfires and, soon enough, ice skates and snow shoes.
That is my favorite time at any lake. Sure, summer is fun, but there is something special about the silence of other months. When it’s possible to have the sunrise and sunset to yourself, with enough quiet time to think and reflect. Soon enough, the snow will fall, then melt. The birds will fly away and then return. And before we know it the summer at the lake will start all over again.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Wisconsin judge struck down on Friday the state's controversial collective bargaining law pressed by Republican Governor Scott Walker (pictured), ruling that it unconstitutionally limits the rights of many public sector union workers. Walker responded to the ruling by saying that a "liberal activist judge in Dane County" wanted to take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and governor. "We are confident that the state will ultimately prevail in the appeals process," Walker said in a statement. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law passed by Wisconsin lawmakers in a contentious session in 2011 violated the union members' free speech, association and equal protection rights in the state and U.S. constitutions/Reuters. More here.
Question: Any lessons here for Idaho?
The failed multimillion dollar campaign to boot Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office is on its way to Idaho. We don’t know what form it will take, but you can imagine that some of the messages tried in Wisconsin will also be attempted here, all in an effort to return Idaho’s education system to a status quo that empowers labor unions and puts their interests ahead of schoolchildren. The labor unions don’t like that Idaho’s education reforms are allowing excellent teachers to be recognized and rewarded for their great work, are creating heightened transparency in the union negotiation process, have restored the power of elected school boards and now provide a means for school districts and their students to take advantage of technological innovation/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: Is Hoffman and other Hard Right Republicans producing a straw man by trying to tie attempts to overthrown Superintendent Tom Luna's education reforms to the Wisconsin recall vote?
By DINESH RAMDE,Associated Press
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin man whose camcorder was briefly stolen has found a way to get back at the suspected thief: He uploaded to YouTube a video that the suspect took with the camera, a clip in which the man reveals his name, shows his face and admits he stole the camera.
Chris Rochester, 25, of La Crosse, said his camera was stolen a few weeks ago from the car of his boss, Republican state Senate candidate Bill Feehan. Police eventually arrested the suspect and returned the camera to Rochester, who set it aside.
Then, when Gov. Scott Walker made a recent visit to La Crosse, Rochester used the camera to film the event. When he went back to retrieve the video, he found 20 other segments the suspect apparently recorded.
Most were uneventful, generally 15- to 20-second clips of television screens. But one video caught Rochester's eye.
"This is my house, yes, and a stolen camera that I stole. But it's OK, the cop won't figure it out," the suspect says in the 79-second video, as he pans around a home and points out the kitchen and bathroom. Later he adds, "Oh yeah, to introduce you, my name is Houaka Yang. So yeah, how do you do."
Finally, he turns the camera to reveal his face and says with a smile, "And this is me. Hi."
The 20-year-old Yang was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court Wednesday, but the judge recused himself because he knew one of the victims. A new court date wasn't immediately scheduled.
Yang was charged with two counts of being party to misdemeanor theft and one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon. The charges carry a maximum penalty of two years and three months in jail and a $30,000 fine.
A message left with Yang's public defender Wednesday was not immediately returned.
Rochester said he almost disregarded the videos on his camera, thinking maybe he'd accidentally hit the 'record' button.
"Then it hit me pretty quickly as to what it was," he said. "I was astounded. I was like, 'Wow, I can't believe this.'"
Yang was already in custody, but Rochester decided to have fun with the video by sharing it with friends. So he uploaded it to YouTube under the title "Confessions of a stupid criminal: Thief is sure he won't get caught."
As reporters began asking him about the video he began to realize it was more entertaining than he first thought, he said.
Police recovered the videocamera after investigating a number of other thefts in the area. Rochester said he didn't think Feehan had been targeted as a Republican political candidate.
Security videos at Feehan's home showed two suspects rifling through the car in his driveway. Investigators showed the footage to officials at a local high school, who identified one suspect, La Crosse police Sgt. Randy Rank said. The 14-year-old in turn identified Yang, he said.
Rank said police weren't concerned that Rochester uploaded the video even though Yang's case is still pending.
"It's his recorder, those are his images on there," Rank said. "I don't see an issue with it."
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hugs a boy during his visit to Bob's Diner in Carnegie, Pa., Wednesday. Santorum's main opponent, Mitt Romney, won Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Story here. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Question: Is it time for Santorum to bow out — and let Romney focus on President Barack Obama?
(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)
Following the main street through the center of Fish Creek, Wisconsin, on the western shore of the Door Peninsula, I stopped at the literal end of the road and stared out at the blue-white ice-skimmed surface of Green Bay.
Sunset Beach Park is as far as you can go.
A hundred yards or so to my right, out on the frozen shoreline of the bay, there were three people setting up cameras and tripods and occasionally their voices, scraps of conversation or a sudden burst laughter, carried to where I was standing. But for the most part, I was wrapped in cold winter silence.
Of course, winter isn’t really silent at all. Even snowflakes make a sound when enough fall together. And as I sat on the curving stone wall looking over the cobbled beach, I began to notice the occasional sharp fracturing sound of the ice as it moved, edge against frozen edge.
The park, aptly named, faces due West and provides a expansive view of the sunset and I imagine in summer, high season for the peninsula, when small towns swell with tourists and part-time residents, there is always a crowd at the end of the day. But it was still an hour to sunset on a cold February day, when the temperature was dropping with the sun, and still the view was irresistible. Minute by minute the colors of the sky changed.
Suddenly the quiet was broken by the chatter and squeals of three teenage girls. They’d been strolling shoulder to shoulder down to the beach but when they saw the way the clouds surrounding the sun were stained, and shafts of light were streaking across the water toward them or shooting straight up, piercing the cloud cover like searchlights trained on the sky, they forgot whatever they’d been discussing and ran headlong down to the shore and out to the dangerous edge of the brittle iceline. The mother in me reacted and I almost called out to them to be careful. I could imagine their response, noticing for the first time the woman they’d hurried past, rolling their eyes at my warning. I held my breath as they danced and laughed.
“Ohmygod, Ohmygod,” they called out, posing for one photograph after another, taking turns behind the camera. “This is so beautiful.”
“ Take one of me like this.”
“No, take one of me.”
By then, as if summoned to a meeting, a few more people had joined me at the park and cars were pulling over. On the ice, half a dozen serious photographers jostled for position, some setting up in one spot only to abruptly move to another- a better-angle for taking the perfect photograph. Other people simply pulled out cellphones and held them up, ready for the moment when the color would peak.
As we all stood there, watching the sun move slowly, inexorably, to the edge of the horizon, washing the entire western sky in a deep pink, I thought about what primal drive compels us to stop for sunrises and sunsets and to record them if only in memory. Whatever it is, spiritual call or instinct, I was, in that moment, aware of its presence and grateful for it.
It has to be a good sign, don't you think? Evidence that no matter where progress and time are taking us, we are, at heart, still connected to the natural world. On a raw Wisconsin winter day, we are held by its gravity and pulled by its beauty enough to make our way down to the shore to stand and wait, to celebrate the gift of the sun that paints the sky with fire.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at email@example.com
Judge Roberto Castenega of Argentina, samples the aroma of one of the entries in the Semi-soft Goat's Milk Cheese category during the opening day of the World Championship Cheese Contest at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, Wis. on Monday. More than 2,500 entries will be judged throughout the three day gathering, sponsored every two years by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart )
- 1. It’s me, Mario! — CindyH
- 2. Hey JohnA! Is this what it smells like when you wade in to the OpenCDA mosh pit? — Dennis.
- 3. Roberto thinks longingly of the old goat he left behind — Charlie.
Washington State women's basketball team got its first ever win against a Big Ten team and they did it on the road, pulling away from Wisconsin on a historical night for April Cook. And Post Falls grad Katelyn Loper has a monster game for Hofstra.
Wisconsin Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie, survived a recall election Tuesday.
MADISON, Wis. – Two Democratic Wisconsin state senators targeted by Republicans survived their elections Tuesday, ending a tumultuous summer of recalls spurred by anger over how lawmakers reacted to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal curbing collective bargaining rights of public workers.
Democrats picked up two seats through the nine recalls but were unable to wrest majority Senate control away from the GOP.
Public employee unions have virtually held elected officials "hostage" for too long, Gov. Butch Otter says, voicing his support for fellow GOP Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Otter has weighed in on the issue at a Republican Governors Association-sponsored website. Walker is pushing a bill to limit collective-bargaining rights of many public employees — a bill that has drawn the ire of unions, and has caused Democratic lawmakers to leave the state in an attempt to delay a vote and force negotiations/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you support Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin or the public unions opposing him?
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Crisis in Dairyland - Revenge of the Curds|
Is anyone else irked by some television news accounts that try to find parallels to popular uprisings in the Middle East? If so, you'll enjoy Jon Stewart's opening monologue from Monday nights "The Daily Show" which takes up that issue at about 5:30 in. (The rest of it is worth watching, though.)
It's possible that folks at The Spokesman-Review are a bit sensitive about such lame comparisons because photographer Holly Pickett, a former colleague, has been on the scene in Tunisia, Egypt and now Morocco, and we wouldn't worry quite so much if she were shooting photos in Madison, Wisc.
The Daily Beast has ranked the states in terms of most tolerant (Wisconsin) to least tolerant (Wyoming). Idaho finished 45th of 50 states — or as the sixth least tolerant state in The Daily Beast rankings. You can see Boise Weekly's story about the rankings here.
- 41. Kentucky
- 42. North Dakota
- 43. Arizona
- 44. Utah
- 45. Idaho
- 46. Ohio
- 47. Nebraska
- 48. Kansas
- 49. Arkansas
- 50. Wyoming
Question: Are you surprised that Idaho finished below all southern states but Arkansas?
Lead pilot Joe Duff makes a fly over in his ultralight aircraft with 10 juvenile Whooping Cranes following as part of Operation Migration on their journey from Wisconsin to their wintering habitats at Chassahowitzka and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuges along Florida’s Gulf Coast. This is the 10th group of birds to take part in a landmark project led by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, an international coalition of public and private groups that is reintroducing this highly imperiled species in eastern North America. There are now about 106 whooping cranes in the wild in eastern North America thanks to their efforts. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Hal Yeager)
Gonzaga’s semifinal opponent in the Maui Invitational will be Wisconsin, which edged Arizona 65-61 late Monday night.
The Badgers (3-0) led 13-0 before Arizona scored. However, the Wildcats battled all the way back to tie it at 45 and they even took the lead on several occasions.
Wisconsin guard Trevon Hughes scored 24 points and forward Keaton Nankivil had two dunks in the closing minutes.