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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Country Cousin

Issue Date: March 21, 2019

Spring has sprung!

Hallelujah! This past week we've been enjoying some really spring-like weather, especially during the day, and it looks like there's more to come, at least during the day. Spring officially arrived today as scheduled, so apparently the shirt-sleeve days were the real thing and not just a delayed January thaw.

The only rain predicted for the next 10 days is called for on Sunday, March 24. No snow in the forecast!

Predictions are for a week of days not quite as fine as the past few, but well above freezing, and for night-time lows well below freezing, so the maple sap should keep running. Maple trees need warm days and freezing nights to keep producing. How sweet it is!

However, there are warnings that if the thaw happens too quickly we could be faced with floods, hopefully not as bad as the ones devastating Nebraska this week.

ATV and snowmobile trails are pretty much closed for now, and springtime weight limit restrictions are on for most vehicles on town and county roads.

If it keeps thawing as quickly as it has been, our driveway will once gain become a navigable waterway, as it used to do every Spring, back in the days before Global Warming or Climate Change.

EXAGGERATING?

Had a call the other day from a friend in southern Texas, who said he thought his son was exaggerating when he told how bad this past winter had been for him at his home near Appleton.

He asked how the winter had treated us in Crivitz. Told him we could finally see part of the propane tank. He was suitably impressed. Didn't bother to mention that a large snowbank plowed up in front of that tank had served as the backdrop for a giant snow drift that buried it and the car parked next to it.

Friend said the main problem right now in his part of the country is the tumbling tumbleweeds. Said they blow around and then pile up in hedgerows or take root where they aren't wanted - which is just about everywhere.

He believes they are an invasive species that immigrated here illegally with the Spanish Conquistadors and never left.

THINGS TO DO

Granted the weather is lovely, but it's not quite nice enough yet, or dry enough, to do much playing (or working) outdoors, so some of us need other things to do when we get tired of indoor chores.

Like to play cards?

Wagner Fire Department is hosting card parties at the Wagner Town Hall at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 and Saturday, March 30. The $3 door donation includes lunch and a chance at prizes and raffles in addition to sharing the fun in a variety of card games.

The Women of Faith of St. Mary Church in Peshtigo are sponsoring the last in their series of three card parties on Sunday, March 24. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m. and play will begin at 1p.m. with games of Smear (formerly known as Schmier) and Pinochle. A lunch of sandwiches, dessert, and coffee will be served and prizes will be awarded. The party, like the three that have already gone by, will be held in the St. Mary Church school gym on Wood Ave. in Peshtigo.

UNHAUNTED???

Congratulations to Marinette County Sheriff's Department for solving the 42-year-old McClintock Park Murder case. A young couple camping at the park were shot to death there on July 9, 1976, and the woman was raped. Recent DNA testing techniques made it possible to arrest and identify the person responsible, Now 82 years old, he has lived with the guilt of those deeds all is life, and is currently in Marinette County Jail.

Meanwhile, McClintock Park, tucked away on the Peshtigo River in the Town of Goodman, may again become a popular camping destination.

Back in 1976, popularity of the lightly used park had been growing. After the murders camping there dropped off sharply. With the perpetrator unidentified and at large, people feared he might return to seek other victims.

Also, a year or so after the murders, rumors began circulating that the beautiful and remote McClintock Park was haunted.

Today, it is the only Marinette County Park that has a camping area for ATVs and direct ATV trail access, but it remains quite lightly used.

Perhaps the publicity resulting from solving the murder case will also bring the park and campground back to life.

IS ELVIS ALIVE?

Speaking of life, if you're among those who still think Elvis isn't really dead, go to Equity Hall on Hwy. 64 in Pound on Saturday, March 23 for a performance by nationally acclaimed Elvis impersonator Tony Rocker and you may be convinced he's not. Watch the bulletin boards, check the ads, or call 715-789-2147 for more information.

COMING AUCTION EVENT

On Sunday, March 31, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy of Marinette is hosting its largest fund raising event of the year - the annual auction. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. Proceeds support a variety of program needs and provide tuition assistance. Admission is free. For those who wish to bid, auction booklets, complete with listings of all oral auction items, and a bidding number will be available for $10. Bidders or not, everyone is invited to come and spend the day. There are some fantastic items being auctioned.

ON THE SOAP BOX

THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE


A major argument of those who favor abortion is that they believe a woman has a right to choose whether her baby lives or dies. However, those same people argue strongly against the Voucher system for school choice, which gives non-wealthy parents the right to choose what school their children will attend and to at least some degree, what they will be taught.

Parents who want more oversight and input as to what their children are taught in school often choose to enroll them in a private or religious school rather than send them to the public school in their community. Paying tuition at the private and religious schools can place a burden on families, sometimes a prohibitive burden.

Some of us believe that choice should be available to all parents, not just the wealthy.

For that reason, the statewide School Choice Voucher Program was expanded under the direction of former Gov. Scott Walker to help lighten the financial burden on parents. This program often doesn't cover the whole cost, but it helps a lot.

Parents who want to participate in the statewide School Choice voucher program for the 2019-20 school year must complete the online application on the Private School Choice Programs Student Applications website before Saturday, April 20.

There are those who want the school choice voucher system eliminated, claiming it takes funds away from the public school system.

It probably does do that, to some extent, but if all the children currently enrolled in private schools were suddenly dumped into the public school system, their costs would go up. Whether the money to support primary education comes in the form of state aid or from local property taxes, it all comes from taxpayers. Neither the state nor the federal government have any money of their own.

Is it fair to require parents to pay the full costs for students enrolled in the public school while they also pay for their children to attend the school that promotes the moral values they believe in?

To be eligible for Voucher payments, voucher schools must meet state-established criteria and students must be able to pass state standardized tests in basic subjects, so there is assurance that the money really is being used to educate children.

The existing voucher program puts the tax money to use educating children whichever school they attend, and that is what it was intended for.

We have laws requiring children to attend school, and that is good. But if we allow only access to public schools, we are putting the children of today and in future years at great risk of being indoctrinated with government propaganda that is at odds with the personal beliefs of their family and the well being of the general community.

For America to remain free, it is vitally important to retain school choice, for poor and moderate income families as well as wealthy ones.

It is also a proven fact that competition results in better products, and for public schools to compete with private schools for students is a win/win for everyone in the long haul.

Tell your legislators keep the School Choice voucher reimbursement programs growing as planned, and by all means put a halt to current attempts by Gov. Tony Evers and his friends to repeal it!

We cannot let Madison bureaucrats and union bigwigs dictate what our children learn. There is a great danger that having a sole source for education in our state would do just that.

OCEANFRONT PROPERTY

Gov. Mike Huckabee, on Fox News, says he's sure the New Green Deal proposed by some of the new Socialist legislators in Washington will work. Says he's just as sure of that as he is sure that the nice Nigerian Prince who emailed him for help will repay the $50,000 he loaned him, and give him the $1 million he promised for helping him out. "Seems like a decent enough guy," Huckabee said.

And I have some ocean front property in Arizona that recently went on the market!

COOKIN' TIME

BROCCOLI CHICKEN STIR FRY


Garlic, crushed red pepper, and chili paste add heat; hoisin sauce and ginger sweeten it. Great served over any style rice, but jasmine rice is best.

3 cups broccoli florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch

strips

1/4 cup sliced green onions

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon chile paste

1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 cup chicken stock

Place broccoli in a steamer over an inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and sauté the chicken, green onions, and garlic until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Stir the hoisin sauce, chile paste, and soy sauce into the skillet; season with ginger, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir in the chicken stock and simmer about 2 minutes. Mix in the steamed broccoli until coated with the sauce mixture.

SWEET AND SOUR PORK STIR FRY

1 (1 1/4 pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin

salt and ground black pepper

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained with juice

reserved

2 tablespoons brown sugar

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha(R))

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon butter

2 tablespoons chopped green onion tops

Cut tenderloin into 4 pieces. Arrange in a single layer between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until each is about 1-inch thick. Generously season with salt and black pepper. Whisk ketchup, rice vinegar, reserved pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic, hot chili sauce, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Set aside. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. Place pork in pan; reduce heat to medium. Cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Return skillet to medium heat. Stir butter into hot pan. When butter melts and starts to brown, stir in pineapple chunks. Cook, stirring, until pineapple is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in ketchup mixture and 1/4 cup green onion (white parts). Reduce heat to low and simmer until garlic and onion have softened, 5 minutes. Return pork to skillet; cook, stirring, until pork is heated through. Garnish with 2 tablespoons green onion tops.

PINEAPPLE CHEESECAKE

Great springtime flavor, and pretty springtime colors too. And the ingredients are all available in this off season for fruit.

2 cups flaked coconut

1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans

3 tablespoons flour 3 tablespoons butter or margarine,

melted

1 env. (1/4 oz.) unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1/2 cup sugar

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese

1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, drained with 1/2 cup juice reserved 1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine coconut, nuts, flour and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. While the crust bakes, sprinkle gelatin over water in small saucepan; let stand 1 minute Cook on low heat 5 minutes or until gelatin is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Beat cream cheese spread and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in gelatin and reserved pineapple juice. Gently stir in pineapple and COOL WHIP; pour over crust. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

Thought for the week: Lent is speeding by. Lord, help me remember the reason for this season, and strive to become a better person"a person more ready to listen to You and do what You want, instead of a person who constantly asks You to do what I want. Amen.

Oops! Guess I can't get away from asking. Maybe that's not a bad thing after all. You said "Suffer little children to come unto me," and I, and all of us puny humans, are indeed Your children. Amen again.

This column is written by Shirley Prudhomme of Crivitz. Views expressed are her own and are in no way intended to be an official statement of the opinions of Peshtigo Times editors and publishers. She may be contacted by phone at 715-291-9002 or by e-mail to shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo.com.


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