It was sad to see the beautiful Christmas decorations all over town being taken down in recent days. What a super job so many people did this year in making the city festive. Lots of hard work went into the decorating that so many did. Hope it occurs again next year. *** Did you know? The Trees for Troops Program supplies Christmas trees to military members and their families across the country. In 2022, Wisconsin tree growers donated over 800 trees shipped to 77 military bases. Since the program began in 2005, Trees for Troops has delivered nearly 250,000 trees to U. S. troops. +++ Strange But True — A 2009 study found that lost wallets were 88% more likely to be returned to their owners if they contained a photo of a baby. You’re also more likely to recover your wallet if you carry pictures of a puppy, family members or an elderly couple. So get your wallets out and check your photos. Perhaps it’s time to update your photos? +++ Nearly 350 people are struck and killed annually on the roadside near disabled vehicles. If you drive, you need to be aware of the Slow Down Move Over laws, which require drivers to slow down and change lanes to give emergency responders more space on the roadside. Even if your state doesn’t have these laws, it makes total sense to slow down and move over when you see a vehicle on the roadside. Who would ever want to be involved in hitting someone who was responding to a disabled vehicle. *** County road construction has gotten to be very costly. I gleaned from the 2023 Clark County Budget that it includes $3.93 million for road construction. The approximate cost per mile is $180,693. In 2023, Clark County plans to do 20.2 miles of county roads replacement. The county will also be doing 23 miles of chip sealing. Clark County has 301 miles of county roads. With a 20 year replacement rotation, the county would need to be doing an average of 15 miles per year. With increased costs, and not much for increases in state transportation aids, counties have struggled to stay on a 20 year rotation. *** Here are a couple of things that are noteworthy and I am glad that our area politicians are indicating they support. I was particularly happy to see that newly elected Rep. Karen Hurd R-Fall Creek noted that helping local units of government with increased general transportation aid and shared revenue is among her priorities. Any government with $6.5 billion in surplus funds should be helping local units of government increase their funding, as there have been no significant increases in shared revenue for years. Yet expenses have increased significantly and taxes at the same time were restricted in how much they could be raised. All eight of our area legislators are indicating they support the new $344.5 million Science and Health Building on the UW- Eau Claire Campus. Those are some nice possibilities from politicians who have a tendency to follow the party line. Let’s hope they remain advocates for those they represent rather than a political party. *** The Stanley area has experienced one power outage due to a winter storm and we need to be prepared for others. Here area a few Xcel Energy tips related to safety and preparedness. First, stay informed via Xcel Energy Mobile app or Xcel Energy website or follow Xcel Energy on Facebook or Twitter. Related to preparedness: Stay away from downed power lines. Build a home emergency kit. First and foremost know where your flashlight is and make sure it works! Keep your gas meter clear of snow and ice. Xcel Energy has operational plans to deal with outages and understands the inconvenience, so they strive to restore power as soon as possible. *** As I indicated in this column previously, Stanley is poised to have a new store on the site of the former Deano’s Bar, Rollin’s Feed Mill and J. R. Black’s Machine Shop. On Wednesday, January 11, I had an opportunity to talk to the Family Dollar District Manager and she showed me a picture of the store that will be developed. The store will be a new Family Dollar/Dollar Tree combination. The store sign will read Family Dollar in red and Dollar Tree in green. Upon entry the store color scheme on the left will be red for Family Dollar and green on the right for Dollar Tree. She noted that checkouts will be for all store purchases. The projected new store opening is sometime this summer. Similar stores are opening soon in Abbotsford and Turtle Lake. *** I loved the Joe Heller cartoon that appeared in some weekly newspapers two weeks ago. It was a picture of Barbara Walters sitting across from Pope Benedict XVI in the clouds and near the pearly gates. The Walters caption read “Finally, I get to interview a Pope!” *** If you watched local news on WEAU TV 13 on Tuesday, January 10, you likely saw a news clip on the opening of a new A& W Restaurant near Woodman’s in Eau Claire. The owners of this venture are Dee and Jerry Wells. They are also the owners of the Mobil Mart in Withee and the attached A& W Restaurant in that community. The Withee A& W was their first restaurant and with its success they branched out and opened an A& W in Spencer and built a Culver’s in Medford. In addition, they are also the folks developing an A& W on the northwest corner where Highways 27 and 29 cross in Cadott. Plans are to have the Cadott A& W open by the end of May. Dee Wells has as her goal to have ten restaurants before she retires. *** This past week I have observed considerable activity at the former Gordy’s building, where Lube Suppliers is planning to open in April. Construction crews have been on site and cement trucks have been making deliveries. *** Smile time. From George Burns: Nice to be here? At my age it’s nice to be anywhere. +++ At my age, flowers scare me. +++ When I was young, I was called a rugged individualist. When I was in my fifties, I was considered eccentric. Here I am doing and saying the same things I did then, and I’m labeled senile. +++ By the time you’re 80 years old you’ve learned everything. You only must remember it. +++ Old age is when you resent the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated because there are fewer articles to read. +++ You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there. +++ People ask me what I’d most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit. +++ Authors unknown: Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician. +++ At my age getting lucky’ means walking into a room and remembering what I came in for. +++ I have successfully completed the thirty-year transition from wanting to stay up late to just wanting to go to bed.
BY DAVID JANKOSKI