Friday, October 26, 2018

Kewaunee Co. Finance Committee Proposed $1 million dollar internet plan

Following is an informational document I prepared and emailed to the Finance Committee members who are scheduled to take up this issue during their November 2, 8:00 AM meeting.  I also sent it to the entire County Board.

This is in regards to a ridiculous idea that would take $1 million dollars that Kewaunee County received from Dominion and use it to finance building POP (point of presence) towers to facilitate internet access in our County.

This a complicated issue and something the County should leave to private enterprise.  To accentuate how ludicrous this idea is, I took this statement from the Personnel, Advisory and Legislative Committee minutes of their October 2, 2018 minutes.  Mr. Luft is quoted as saying "the allocation of the funds ($1M) sends a message to the community that we are listening to their concerns".


So this is the information I forwarded directly to the board members.  This whole idea to me sounds like an Obama phone scam for the taxpayers.  Could this $1M be better spent reducing our taxes in the County or some improvements that might benefit all citizens of our County?  Guess what, soon our Sheriff will be demanding the new jail be built.  Would you guess that will cost more than $1 M?

Information for Kewaunee County Board Members on Internet Access in Kewaunee County
             Prepared by Ron Heuer 10/26/2018
As both a former board member and Chairman of the Kewaunee County Board, I continue to take interest in the activities of the current board and the actions of the board in general.  A current discussion underway concerning spending County dollars on a broadband project is of great concern.  Kewaunee County, in no way, should spend a single taxpayer dollar including Dominion monies to support a broadband company tower build project. 
Why?  Because today private enterprise already provides internet service to those who wish to pay for it.  Taxpayers should not be subsidizing internet service for local business or for individuals - read on.
The Issue at Hand
The Administrator Mr. Feld, very likely with urging from certain uninformed board members, decided to allocate the $1M the County received from the Dominion settlement to a County broadband internet project.  This decision, according to the Administrator, was made in consideration of the economic development for the county.
At the October 2, Personnel, Advisory, and Legislative committee meeting a motion was passed to recommend to the Finance Committee to remove the $1M line from the Economic Development Fund in the budget and for this project to be taken up as a stand-alone item.
A decision of this magnitude is not to be made by the Administrator.  This is a Finance Committee and full Board decision.  This decision considering economic development was largely based upon 4-year-old survey data from KCEDC (a year in the internet/cyber world is equivalent to 10 years in most other business tasks and services as technological innovation is moving at breakneck speed).  Never should the government at any level get involved in any process the private sector can fulfill.
Further there is broadband service available to every county residence today if they are willing to pay for it.  There is no need for any government intrusion in this matter.
First, let us understand and agree on - What is Broadband?
The word (Broadband) has been bantered about by the Administrator and other county board members.  So, what is broadband?  That depends on who is selling you internet service.  Locally, many companies hype broadband service at 4MBPS download, but is that really broadband?  That depends on who is doing the talking.

According to the FCC, who a
s part of its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps.  This decision, at the time,  effectively tripled the number of US households without broadband access.

In 2015, 6.3 percent of US households didn’t have access to broadband under the previous 4Mpbs/1Mbps threshold, while another 13.1 percent didn't have access to broadband under the new 25Mbps downstream threshold.  So that means 18.4 percent, nearly 1/5 of all U.S. households did not have access to the new broadband threshold speeds. 

That wasn’t acceptable to anyone, including the FCC, so they further dictated/ruled that rather than the 25 MBPS download standard being applied the new broadband would be
10 MBPS download and 3 MBPS upload.  So, this is the current standard.
Internet speeds have gone from just 56 Kbps to a potential 500 Mbps over the past 20 years and it likely will not stop there. As companies begin to explore the potential of 1 Gigabit per second Internet speeds, people’s expectations of what is considered fast Internet will likely shift again.  
Currently the FCC is considering upping the lower limit for what is considered broadband Internet which indicates perceptions are already changing about high-speed Internet and what is truly fast and what is normal.
Until a few years ago, cable was considered the fastest Internet. The greatest problem with cable is speeds are inconsistent.  The reason for this inconsistency is only so much data can be fed through the cable and if upline users are tapping the data hard, the people downstream are getting less available data.
Current Broadband status in the County
The entire population of Kewaunee County is 20,500 people.  The cities of Algoma, Kewaunee and Luxemburg, already have cable access with broadband internet, so one can assume about 8,500 people in those cities are covered.  That would leave 12,000 people (4,285 households 2.8 people per household) who conceivably would not have access to broadband.

According to various sources, about 15% of the population do not use the internet and don’t want it.  That would take out 642 households and reduce the total without broadband to 3,643 homes. 

Those 3,643 homes do have access to various internet providers to include:  AT&T, Cellcom, Verizon, Mercury, Bertrand, Viasat, Hughsnet, etc., etc.

There are various requirements for the differing internet users in the County.  The following table outlines those user types and the type of broadband they would require.
Categories of internet users in Kewaunee County today include:
User Type
Data Requirement
Large integrated Businesses (a Kinnard Farms operations) requiring greater than 25 MBPS broadband consistent service to link all farm operations data via WIFI
Depending on size of business, 100 – 200 MBPS download/Upload 100.  More than likely will contract with an AT&T or Spectrum
Small Businesses (Cold Country Winery, Blaha Body Shop)
10 MBPS Download/3 MBPS
Employee Working from Home, email, teleconferencing, large document uploads, cloud data management
50 MBPS Download/3 MBPS
Home user’s high data (family user email, online research, video conferencing, downloading Netflix or other movies)
50 MBPS Download/3 MBPS
Home user’s lower data (email, online research, YouTube video, etc.)
10 MBPS Download/3 MBPS
It has been reported that local companies cannot market their products on the internet. Specifically, Cold Country Wines not being able to sell their product(s) online from this County today is absolutely incorrect.  Just go to their site, they are already selling wines online 
So, how are current Internet users in Kewaunee County today being serviced?

Highspeed Internet (Broadband) delivery

A.)   DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) (Century Link and AT&T)
B.)    Satellite (Viasat, Dish and Hughes Net, Directv/AT&T)
C.)    Cable (Charter/Time Warner)
D.)   Internet POP (Points of Presence, Silo/Tower/Grain Elevator, Etc.)  Companies like Mercury/Bertrand/Door County Broadband use this delivery method
E.)    Fiber Optic (AT&T/Spectrum)
So, how do the 3,643 homes in the countryside get broadband?

I have spent several hours researching the various providers and phoned many of them to understand their plans and services and to determine the number of customers they already service here.  Obviously, they wouldn’t share their exact numbers as that is proprietary information, but based on the information I received, it would be safe to assume that 2,500 of the 3,643 countryside homes have broadband already. In reality, we are dealing with probably 1,100 homes that are struggling to find the right service for themselves.   
Following is a table that displays various providers in the area that already provide broadband service in the countryside area.  These are the people we need to concern ourselves with.

Cost p/Mo
Other Notes
Verizon 4G LTE
$49 and up
5 Ghz service off Cell Phone Towers
2.4 Ghz - POP (points of presence, tower, repeater towers, silos, grain elevators)
Hughes Net
Yes – 2 Yr.
$49 and up
5 Ghz service off Cell Phone Towers
Door County Broadband Silver

2.4 Ghz - POP (points of presence, tower, repeater towers, silos, grain elevators)
Yes – 2 Yr.
We Connect
Yes – 2 Yr.

A reseller/aggregator for Dish and Hughes Net


Yes – 2 Yr.

Dish Network
Yes – 2 Yr.


2.4 Ghz - POP (points of presence, tower, repeater towers, silos, grain elevators)

What is the difference in delivery?  I am only going to deal with those folks that live in the countryside.  They have three options, those options reflected in the following table.
Satellite providers -Viasat, Hughsnet, Dish, Directv
Direct communication to a satellite, latency is a bit high as the signal is travelling such a great distance.
POP providers - Door County Broadband, Mercury, Bertrand

These providers are the most likely to reach local residents as they are line of sight POP (Point of Presence) providers.  Service is 2.4 Ghz, low penetrating frequency with trees.
Phone providers – Cellcom, Verizon, AT&T

Service provided from cell phone towers utilizing 5 Ghz less interference form natural obstacles like trees.


In my research, I found the POP providers are ready, willing, and able to provide POP service to the customers in Kewaunee County with their own towers, silos, and repeater towers with no investment from the County. 
The POP providers problem isn’t one of being capable or able to provide service, it is defining who needs service. Demand is actionable by these companies, if demand can be determined.
So what the Finance Committee should do is pass a motion that would authorize the Administrator to use whatever internal department resources required to complete a comprehensive survey by mail to those 3,643 rural, countryside homes to determine what types of service these homes already have, which homes do not have broadband internet service.  This probably would max out at a cost of $4,000 which I am sure can be found in existing budgets of the Administrator or Tourism. 
Once the data is collected and mapped out, that information could be provided to the internet providers, to include Satellite, Cellphone and POP. 
Let the private sector then fill any voids and permanently take this issue off the table for the County.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

County Board Members Per Diems--- Period April - September 2018

Your County Board Supervisors per diem and expense report for the period May through September 2018.  Note, in most cases, the expenses and per diems are in direct correlation to the number of committees the board member is involved with.

Per Diem and Expense Report of your County Supervisors

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Capital Power Cancels Wind Turbine Contracts for Kewaunee County

Capital Power purchased Element Power's contracts for wind development some time ago.  Those contracts with individual land owners reaching from HWY 29 and County TRK B down to Two Rivers Wisconsin.  Capital Power out of Edmunton Canada had named this project "Tisch Mills".

This morning I spoke to Matt Martin, Capital Power Tisch Mills project manager and he gave me an update on this project.  The first, and most important update point from the perspective of Kewaunee County residents is that on March 14th, 2018, Capital Power released all land leases for development in Kewaunee County.

The reason for this is primarily due to the changes in capacity of the current wind generators.  The Tisch Mills project is planned for 100 MW, and with 4 MW generators now employable by Capital, they need fewer generators, 25-30 total to produce the 100 MW.  Also, with these larger generators, the developer can strategically place these generators further from homes eliminating some of the controversy around the noise, shadow flicker, etc.

At this time, Capital Power will continue to hold those land contracts in Manitowoc County from the Kewaunee County line, South to Two Rivers area.  Capital Power has this project in a holding pattern while they continue to study the environmental impact on birds and bats. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Partisan Primary Election: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Partisan Primary Election: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

On June 19th, the Kewaunee County Board of Canvassers met to verify and certify the results of the June 12th special State Senate General election.  As usual, that process went very well without any discrepancies. 

I wanted to take a moment to extend my thanks to our County Clerk, Jamie Annoye, her staff and all the poll workers in the townships villages and cities who do a terrific job at all of our elections to ensure elections in this county are managed, reported and certified in a very professional manner.

Notice the title of this article.  It is about an upcoming August 14th Partisan Primary Election.  This Partisan Primary will be a challenge to everyone including those managing the election process and yes, the voters.  Why?  Primarily because of the number of candidates in the various races and how that impacts, ballot printing, absentee voting, the programming for electronic voting and training for poll workers.  

THIS IS IMPORTANT, PLEASE TAKE NOTE.  In a Partisan Primary, the voter must make a selection as to what party they are voting, then that voter can only vote for candidates that represent that party.  If the voter selects (votes for) a candidate out of that party in any of the races, that vote on their ballot becomes invalid and not counted for that race.  The balance of the ballot remains valid.

Voting procedure for paper ballot and absentee voters.  Voters will first choose a party, then vote for candidates in that party throughout the races.  Absentee voters, remember to complete all the information on the form to include having the witness signature, if you don't do that your vote will be disqualified.    

Voting procedure on electronic voting will be somewhat easier because it won't let you make a mistake.  On electronic voting you will be prompted to select a party.  Once you have done that, the electronic system will only display those candidates who are running with that party, so you less likely to make a mistake

The following information listing the candidates by office came directly from the attached Ballot Proof .  I would suggest you familiarize yourself with the attached ballot proof as Kewaunee County Voters will have a total of 47 candidates on the ballot.  In addition to those on the ballot, there are now write-in candidates that have registered, I have those listed at the bottom of those on the ballot.

Candidates on Ballot Proof by Election

2018 Partisan Primary - 8/14/2018

GOVERNOR                               Incumbent:   Scott Walker

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation
Scott Walker                                   Republican

Robert Meyer                                  Republican

Andy Gronik                                   Democratic

Matt Flynn                                      Democratic

Tony Evers                                      Democratic

Josh Pade                                        Democratic

Mike McCabe                                 Democratic

Mahlon Mitchell                             Democratic

Kelda Helen Roys                           Democratic

Paul Soglin                                      Democratic

Kathleen Vinehout                          Democratic

Dana Wachs                                    Democratic

Phillip Anderson                             Libertarian

Michael J. White                             Wisconsin Green

Total number of Governor Candidates: 14

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR      Incumbent:   Rebecca Kleefisch

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Rebecca Kleefisch                          Republican

Kurt J. Kober                                  Democratic

Mandela Barnes                              Democratic

Patrick Baird                                   Libertarian           

Tiffany Anderson                            Wisconsin Green

Total number of Lieutenant Governor Candidates: 5

ATTORNEY GENERAL             Incumbent:   Brad Schimel

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Brad Schimel                                  Republican

Josh Kaul                                        Democratic

Terry Larson                                   Constitution

Total number of Attorney General Candidates: 3

SECRETARY OF STATE           Incumbent:   Doug La Follette

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Jay Schroeder                                 Republican

Spencer Zimmerman                      Republican

Doug La Follette                            Democratic

Arvina Martin                                Democratic

Total number of Secretary of State Candidates: 4

STATE TREASURER               Incumbent:    Matt Adamczyk (Filed Non-Candidacy)

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Travis Hartwig                               Republican

Jill Millies                                      Republican

Dawn Marie Sass                           Democratic

Cynthia Kaump                              Democratic

Sarah Godlewski                            Democratic

Andrew Zuelke                               Constitution

Total number of State Treasurer Candidates: 6

UNITED STATES SENATOR      Incumbent: Tammy Baldwin

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

George C. Lucia                             Republican

Leah Vukmir                                  Republican

Griffin Jones                                  Republican

Kevin Nicholson                            Republican

Charles Barman                             Republican

Tammy Baldwin                            Democratic

Total number of United States Senator Candidates: 6


Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Mike Gallagher                               Republican

Beau Liegeois                                 Democratic

Total number of Representative in Congress District 8 Candidates: 2

STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 1     Incumbent: Caleb Frostman

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Bill Nauta                                       Republican

Andre Jacque                                  Republican

Caleb Frostman                              Democratic

Total number of State Senator, District 1 Candidates: 3


Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Joel Kitchens                                  Republican

Total number of Representative to the Assembly, District 1 Candidates: 1


SHERIFF  - Incumbent:  Matt Joski

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Matt Joski                                      Republican

CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT - Incumbent: Rebecca A. Deterville

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Rebecca A. Deterville                    Democrat

CORONER  - Incumbent:  Rory Groessel

Candidates                                    Party Affiliation

Rory Groessel                                 Democrat

As of July 3, 2018, there are 3 registered write-in candidates that poll workers will need to keep track of, they are:
Paul Boucher - Governor (Democratic)
Corban Gehler - Lieutenant Governor (Democratic)
William Henry Davis III - Lieutenant Governor (Democratic)

To view the official primary ballot, click here.......

August 14, 2018 Partisan Primary Ballot

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Kewaunee County Land Owners Take Another Hit!

Kewaunee County Land Owners Take Another Hit!

The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) are lying to the voters.  Their radio, TV and print campaign in support of Caleb Frostman not only smears Andre Jacque, but those lies also negatively impact Kewaunee County land values.

This is the same tactic used by the Kewaunee Cares folks and other Progressives who are applying the Democrats tactic of “tell a lie long enough, and people will start believing it.” 

The lie? 

WLCV is airing a radio ad here in Kewaunee County that claims "more than 60% of the wells have feces in the water".  This is outrageous and an outright lie and WLCV should stop promoting this lie now.  I couldn't find a copy of this radio ad online to link to, so a friend of mine recorded it.  Click on this link to listen to the ad (turn up your volume)!

Here is the truth! 

According to Kewaunee County Land and Water report there are 4,896 wells in Kewaunee County.  Over a 14 year  period 2004 – 2018 there were 1358 of those wells tested in Kewaunee County.  That means a total of 27.7% of all the wells in the County had been tested one time or another.  Of thoses wells tested, 407 or 29.97% were deemed unsafe for high content of coliform, e-coli or nitrates.  

Very important, read the small print on the slide above as it explains these wells had previously tested positive for coliform or high nitrates.
This is where the Dr. Borchart report is being misrepresented by WLCV.  Borchard randomly selected 621 wells from Kewaunee County and tested them.  Of the 621 wells tested 208 tested positive for high bacteria (fecal) or nitrates.  Then he randomly selected 131 wells of the 208 and tested further to determine the source of the fecal contamination.  

The results of those 131 well samples showed 62 contained human or bovine microorganisms, 29 samples contained human microorganisms, 7 samples contained both human and bovine microorganisms, and 40 contained bovine microorganisms. The next two slides are from Dr. Borchart's presentation.

The WLCV owes Andre Jacque an apology, they need to apologize to all the residents of Kewaunee County for misrepresenting the real picture with regard to our private well situation.  These kind of exaggerated statements hurt our county.  They negatively impact sales of our homes and they negatively impact tourism growth in the county.  

I would be the 1st person to say. "It would be a wonderful world if we had no wells polluted, but that is not reality."  This problem with Kewaunee, Door, Calumet and other counties with Karst rock is not a new problem.  Yes it needs to be managed, the dairy farmers in Kewaunee Co. have been responsive to change, but organizations like Kewaunee Cares and WLCV should not misconstrue or misrepresent the data.

Here is a question you have to ask yourself.  What kind of character does Caleb Frostman really have.  He resigned his position as a Director of Economic Development for Door County to run for this office.  Certainly he must understand that running these type of ads destroy the image of Kewaunee Co.  BTW, Door County has the same well problems we have, but Kewaunee Cares and WLCV and Frostman don't talk about that.

Get out and vote for this special election on June 12th.  I would suggest you vote for Andre Jacque, a solid conservative that does care about clean water, a pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty candidate.  

One other comment.... This special election that will cost the County about $60K (unbudgeted) and was totally unnecessary as whoever wins this election will not cast one vote or sit in any actual senate session as there will be none until after the November election.