Iron County Progressive




From State Senator Janet Bewley

Chasing Away Those Winter Blues



February, the time of year that sometimes tests our love of winter.  There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a fresh blanket of snow on the pine trees that line the roads in northern Wisconsin.  But that snow comes with responsibilities and hard work.  Whether it’s the residual road salt or the inevitable scraping of the windshield, there are a few downsides.  But I like to focus on the good during the sometimes long wait for the warming of spring to arrive.



In addition to being beautiful, this year‘s abundant snowfall brings with it tremendous opportunities to get out and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities that our neighbors in the southern parts of the state can only dream about.  From the solitude of snowshoeing to the excitement of snowmobiling, there is never a lack of recreation to be found if you’re willing to bundle up and brave the elements.



During the month of February, there will be two opportunities to chase any winter blues away by getting out and seeing mushers from throughout the country compete in Bayfield County.  On February 1st and 2nd, you can attend the 25th Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race.  Multiple races over the two days begin just north of the City of Bayfield at the Echo Valley Gravel Pit on State Highway 13 with the course following The Sand River Trail System of Bayfield County.  In years past, I’ve volunteered as a dog handler, guiding excited teams to the starting gate.  This year I’ll be presenting the winners with their awards on Sunday afternoon.  And later in the month, on February 15th, the Northern Pines Sled Dog Race will begin at the Northern Pines Golf Course in Iron River. This is a newer race, but equally fun and exciting.



In addition to being a great opportunity to get out and experience the outdoors, attending a sled dog race is a great way to connect with the heritage of both indigenous peoples and early settlers.  Many historians believe that the Inuit people of what we now know as Northern Canada were some of the first to use sled dogs and that the practice spread throughout the northern parts of the continent.  People are sometimes surprised to find out how many families and individuals in Northern Wisconsin are keeping this practice alive.  I count myself lucky to have watched young mushers Talia and Morgan Martens from Brule as their skills and confidence have grown from year to year.  Talia says she was running dogs before she could walk and recently competed in the 158-mile 2018 Junior Iditarod.



I know the cold can be a deterrent, but if you’re interested I hope that you will stop by and enjoy either of these races or any of the other winter events that will be ongoing throughout the months to come.  To see more of the events going on statewide, I encourage you to visit www.travelwisconsin.com.  Hope to see you at the races!

This week in review with Rep. Beth Meyers 

e Voting Easier, Not Harder



The people of Wisconsin highly value our right to vote, no matter what political party. Our state has one of the highest rates of voter participation in the nation. Anyone who has voted here knows we are lucky to have many hard-working and dedicated volunteers and government employees who make sure our elections run smoothly.

And yet, there is a concerted effort by Republicans to lessen civic participation.

Recently, Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty (WILL), a conservative group with close GOP ties, sued the Elections Commission to immediately cancel the registration of more than 200,000 voters who did not respond to a mailing from election officials asking if they had moved.

In the past, voter purges like this incorrectly removed many voters who are in fact properly registered, whether because of incorrect data or simply not submitting a timely response (who hasn’t sat on mail too long?). This is why the Election Commission originally wanted to wait until 2021. As a legal brief by the Wisconsin League of Women Voters contends, this purge “likely once again contains a substantial amount of unreliable and demonstrably inaccurate information.” As of right now, this case is pending.  [Since this article was published, an Ozaukee County judge found the commission in contempt and ordered the voters to be purged immediately, but one day later, an appeals court halted the decision while it reviews the case]

This should not be a Republican or Democrat issue. In my district, Bayfield County, which leans Democratic, and Price County, which leans Republican, would both lose 4.2 percent of the voters from the voter rolls if the purge goes through. Every American adult deserves to exercise their right to vote, and we should do everything we can to protect that right and make voting accessible. 

If you need to check your registration, find your polling place, make sure you have the right ID or have any other voting questions, please visit myvote.wi.gov. You can also email me at rep.meyers@legis.wisconsin.gov or give my office a call at (608) 266-4690.

Puerto Rico Adjournment

This week, I adjourned in honor of the American citizens that reside in Puerto Rico. Here is a brief transcription of my floor speech:

"Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand to adjourn in honor of the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico. In December, I had the opportunity to attend the Council of State Governments National Conference in San Juan. The conference was held in Puerto Rico to help stimulate their economy after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

"The island has been hit with over 1200 earthquakes since December 28th. One person has died, 550 homes have been damaged.

"I ask you to keep Puerto Rico and the U.S. citizens there in your thoughts and prayers, and if you have an opportunity to get out of town, get on a plane, go visit Puerto Rico.”

Contact Information

If there is an issue that is important to you, even if you are sure I agree or disagree with you, please contact my office. Hearing from my constituents gives me the perspectives I need when researching, discussing and voting on any given bill. Please call, email, write or contact me on social media:

Phone Number: (608) 266-7690Email: Rep.meyers@legis.wisconsin.gov

Address: P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708

Twitter: @beth_rep

Facebook: @RepBethMeyers

Thank you for your interest, and again, feel free to reach out to my office if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thank you!

From State Senator Janet Bewley

New Year’s Resolutions



Well, another full year has come and gone. I don’t know about you but it seems that 2019 just flew past.  The older I get the faster they seem to go.  All the more reason to make the most of the opportunities that come with the New Year.   Like many of you, I make a few resolutions – this year I am going to try and be on time.  As many of you know, one of my favorite things about being your representative is the chance to talk with people across the 25th Senate District, people whose lives are very different from mine – dairy farmers down in Barron County, loggers in Douglas County, commercial fisherman out of Bayfield, to name just a few.  I get caught up in these conversations and end up being late for my next meeting.  Doing a better job of being on time will make me a better Senator, and make my husband happy!



Another resolution I’ve made is to work even harder to bridge the partisan divide in Madison.  The legislature has just returned from its winter break as well, just as Governor Evers’ passes his one year anniversary in assuming office. It’s no secret that the Governor and the Republican majority who control both houses, the State Assembly and the State Senate, have had multiple disagreements over the last 365 days, from school funding to gun safety legislation.



The New Year provides a chance to put the partisan fights of the past behind us and work together to get even more things done for the people of Wisconsin. I know it’s a common theme in much of my writings but I truly believe that finding areas where both Republicans and Democrats can agree are what the vast majority of citizens expect from their elected officials.



Just this week I had the opportunity to testify alongside two of my republican colleagues, Senator Robert Cowles from Green Bay and Jerry Petrowski from Marathon.   Sen. Cowles and I are co-authors of Senate Bill 631, which would establish a hydrologic restoration general permit. With flooding seeming to be an ever more common occurrence throughout the state, the permit will authorize new wetland, stream, and floodplain restoration and management activities.  We can’t stop the rain but we can establish a smoother regulatory process for those interested in flood prevention activities on their own land.



Sen. Petrowski and I are co-authors of Senate Bill 628, which will make some important changes to the wildlife damage abatement program and the wildlife damage claim program.  The bill is the result of collaboration between a diverse group of stakeholders, including the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.



It’s easy to get caught up in hot button issues, but we need to concentrate on the things that can bring us together.  I hope that as the year develops and the presidential race starts to dominate our TV screens and radio dials, that we can continue to find ways to work together on issues that matter to our friends and neighbors.  That is a resolution that I plan to keep.