Planned Parenthood says an Appleton clinic that provided access to abortion services will remain closed due to security issues.
The clinic was one of three Planned Parenthood facilities providing such services in the state. The remaining two are in Milwaukee and Madison.
Services at the Appleton clinic temporarily were suspended last fall due to staffing issues. The clinic remained closed following the shooting at a Colorado clinic in November as Planned Parenthood conducted a security review.
Last November, a gunman at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic killed three people and injured nine. The man faces 179 felony counts, including murder and attempted murder.
“The security issue became paramount,” said Chris Williams, COO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
Planned Parenthood conducted an evaluation of building security and security protocol and determined “the Appleton facility was just not going to be able to meet the stringent … approach that we need to take,” said Williams. Similar reviews were conducted at facilities in other parts of the country.
Another Planned Parenthood facility in the city, where patients can access health care services other than abortions, will continue to operate.
Williams said there are constant threats against Planned Parenthood sites and the clinic in Appleton, over the years, has been the target of “numerous threats and acts of violence.”
Teri Huyck, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said, “This was a tough decision to make.”
She said Planned Parenthood is “doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our patients,” some of whom might have to travel 200-300 miles to the Milwaukee or Madison clinics.
Such assistance may require help with travel costs and overnight says.
Williams said about 600 patents went to the Appleton North clinic in 2014.
He said the cost to upgrade security at the facility was about $300,000 — two times the assessed value of the building.
Purists might scoff at new twists to the classic game of cribbage.
But that hasn’t stopped 88-year-old Gib Miller — an Appleton woodworker and avid cribbage player — from bringing new, creative ideas to the table.
To those not in the know: The multiplayer card game cribbage is a counting game in which participants take turns playing cards from their hand and a special “crib” that players contribute to in order to earn points using a unique scoring system that rewards them for creating achievements like pairs, runs and combinations that add up to 15. Players keep track of their score by “pegging” on a cribbage board, and the first person or team to reach the end of a board wins.
For Miller, the best parts of any cribbage session include the laughter and the chatting — and maybe some bragging after laying down a loaded hand. He figures his new ways to enjoy cribbage might bring in more folks from younger generations. It’s a game of camaraderie.
“It’s a means of getting people together, as opposed to playing something by yourself on the phone,” he said.
Miller, owner of Miller Creek Crafts, has long served as a cribbage ambassador in the Fox Valley. He’s combined his love of the game with his woodworking skills to a make an unusual mark. Miller has handcrafted hundreds of custom cribbage boards over the decades and devised a number of new variations of the card game. His additions hold true to the classic rules, yet offer a little something more.
He calls it “cribbage plus.”
He’s built and copyrighted boards that offer cribbage plus baseball or cribbage plus golf. He has a version for basketball enthusiasts, one for football fans and another for deer hunters. He’s inquired about a patent, but has yet to hear whether his additions are enough to constitute a new game.
He said his bigger goal is to keep people dealing. It’s been a favorite hobby dating back to his preteen years.
“My grandfather taught me how to play it way back then,” he said.
At 88, Miller is as dedicated as ever. He spends about four hours a day in his workshop and takes custom orders that could include school or business logos, the USA Today Network-Wisconsin reported. He’s donated boards for fundraisers.
Miller’s boards aren’t made to tuck into a cabinet when the fun is done. They’re works of art for display on a wall or on one of his handmade stands. They’re designed to be part of game rooms and homes.
His main retail outlet is Little Chute’s Party and Print, and Miller’s boards have been a hit.
“His pieces are the most commented on pieces in the store,” owner Karen Anderson said. “Everyone gravitates toward them.”
She said the craftsmanship, Miller’s game variations and his ability to personalize have led to purchases from many who hadn’t had a cribbage board in their plans.
“It keeps me out of the bars and off the streets,” Miller joked.
He’s given introductory cribbage lessons at Party and Print. He’s also taught the game to students as part of Boys and Girls Club programming at Appleton’s Wilson Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School.
He’s convinced cribbage is the perfect game for kids still learning math — “it puts meaning to the numbers.”
It isn’t for every kid, but Miller has loved to watch the enthusiasm of those geared up “to go home and beat their dad or beat their uncle.”
In a game that requires quick arithmetic, Miller’s efforts put in a few extra pluses and minuses.
His baseball boards take the shape of the infield diamond and add some elements of the national pastime. Those who land on second base, for instance, score a double and are awarded two more points. A few peg slots further into the shortstop position indicates a solid defensive play and take points away from the player.
His golf variation strips points for water hazards and shots into the woods. It offers extra points for birdies, eagles, double eagles or holes in one.
His handcrafted boards range in cost from $65 to $120, half of which is material costs.
“There’s $25 worth of brass eyelets in this one,” Miller said, gesturing to his deer-hunting model.
Each requires patience, time and a steady hand. There’s cutting, sanding and painting. The biggest boards require more than 360 drill holes — precisely spaced — “and if you screw up the drilling, you’re out of luck,” he said.
His detail goes right down to the pegs. He does better than the red, white and blue plastic pieces standard to the typical store-bought board. His hunting-themed boards come with miniature rifles. His baseball boards include bats and balls.
Miller spares no details.
He makes a board that’s a replica of the old-fashioned high-wheel bicycle. The large wheel comes off the frame and serves as the game board. The pegs are screwdrivers and wrenches and the seat is made to hold a deck of cards.
The brand of cards included? Bicycle, of course.
Miller’s love for cribbage goes beyond the workshop. Miller gets together with three of his cousins each Wednesday morning for breakfast, followed by three hours of play. Each meeting is worth something. They tally games to determine a year-end champion and award a trophy.
Whether at the table or in the workshop, Miller is still having fun with cribbage. Though long retired, he said he couldn’t imagine retiring his tools.
“It keeps me healthy,” he said.
This is an AP Member Exchange shared by USA Today Network–Wisconsin.
In the material world, form follows function, with objects designed to meet the needs for which they were created.
To ceramic artist Debbie Kupinsky, those same functional objects can become art when given a narrative. Properly done, those narratives can add an emotional element to average household items, sparking distinct, personal responses from those who view them.
Recollections, Kupinsky’s exhibition opening Jan. 15 in Madison’s James Watrous Gallery, is designed to achieve that goal. The artist, an assistant professor of sculpture at St. Norbert College in De Pere, employs mundane, everyday objects in her exploration of life, identity and the nature of memory.
“I try to consider the objects I work with as part of a still life,” says Kupinsky, who operates a studio in Appleton. “I hope that each viewer sees something different in these objects so that they can place themselves within the work and create their own narratives.”
Working mostly in clay, Kupinsky creates slip-cast replicas of found items and natural objects, incorporating them into larger tableaux that include wooden supports, drawings and other actual items. Unmoored from their original context, the items take on a new meaning for viewers. Many now see them through personal lenses of nostalgia, as markers of significant life events, the artist explains.
“When viewing my pieces, I’ve had people tell me that they relate the work to their memories of people close to them that they associate with the objects,” Kupinsky says. “When I take a trip to the thrift store or antique mall, I am very aware that the objects were once important to someone and lived in a different context.”
Bells of all types form a significant part of the show. Many of them commemorate significant events such as 25th anniversaries that have come and gone in the lives of the people who once possessed them. Such potential stories stimulated an emotional response from the artist.
“The repetition of these objects and the sense of lost meaning or preciousness really struck me, so I began collecting them and working with them,” Kupinsky says. “They are meant to create sound and to be held, but most people just put them on a shelf. I wanted to change their context.”
Kupinsky’s show at the Watrous Gallery will feature two wall installations and a series of wall works that are assemblages of Kupinsky’s found and slip-cast objects. She also has two similar, concurrent exhibitions in the state — one at St. Norbert College’s Baer Gallery and the other at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan.
Kupinsky says she has always been attracted to clay as a medium and continues to explore its artistic possibilities and potential for narrative. People develop relationships with even the most mundane of objects that are handled and used on a daily basis, she says. Those relationships give the objects a deeper meaning, which viewers of her works can reflect on and interpret.
“If a viewer engages with a work because the objects evoke a memory, person or experience, it is almost more powerful than a figurative work acting out its own implied narrative,” she explains. “I want the individual pieces to be something that any person could make and want to remove that wall of the making from the work itself.”
Kupinsky’s work evokes strong emotions for her as well. She recalls a particular thrift store visit that went a long way in forming the artistic principles she preaches.
“I spotted a pair of shoes that were very much like shoes my mother would always wear. Once I had created porcelain versions, I let them sit in my studio for almost a year before I had the idea to find a pair that reminded me of my father,” she remembers. “Sometimes the simplest objects can evoke emotion and memory, like the absence of the figure.”
Recollections, an exhibition of Debbie Kupinsky’s ceramic work, is on display Jan. 15 to March 6 at the James Watrous Gallery on the second floor of Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St., Madison. For more information, visit wisconsinacademy.org/gallery.
PFLAG Appleton holds its September meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 9, at the Goodwill Community Center, 1800 Appleton Road (entrance 2), Menasha.
The guest speaker is Lawrence University Biology Prof. Nancy Wall, speaking on the topic, “What’s Biology Got To Do With It?”
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Goodwill Community Center in Menasha. For more information, call Jennifer P. at 920-740-8331 or visit the group’s Facebook page.
Americana comes to Appleton for the Mile of Music Festival, the city’s second annual celebration of folk, country and blues-influenced music. Mile of Music brings more than 200 performing artists to over 60 venues in the Appleton area. Performers include former R.E.M. members Peter Buck and Mike Mills, producer Butch Vig with his new band Emperors of Wyoming, and co-founder Cory Chisel.
Admission to most performances is free, but $150 priority-access passes are available. To order, visit mileofmusic.com.
Aug. 7 to 10
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A group of Republican mayors — including Appleton Mayor Timothy Hanna — is encouraging the GOP-led House to pass a bill to ban workplace discrimination against LGBT people.
The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP group, announced the endorsement of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which passed with bi-partisan support in the U.S. Senate but then stalled in the U.S. House, where Republican leaders have refused to allow any action.
In recent weeks, support has fizzled for the bill among civil rights leaders concerned about its broad religious exemptions, especially in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that businesses can have religious beliefs.
However, the president, Senate leaders, Democrats in the House and some advocacy groups want to see ENDA enacted this year.
To reach that goal, Log Cabin Republicans launched a campaign to collect endorsements from Republicans across the U.S.
“In a workplace environment, people should be judged on their merit and the quality of their work product,” Mayor Brian Smith of Irvington, New York, said in a news release on July 30. “This is an issue that started for me 40 years ago when one of the greatest Mayors, Ed Koch, was pushing for this while he was in Congress. The fact that it hasn’t been passed in 40 years is a disgrace. I believe history will look poorly on anyone who doesn’t support ENDA, whether it’s 50 years from now or 10 years from now. America is — and should be — a place where the freedom to be who you are should not be a barrier to your ability to have a job and provide for your family.”
Log Cabin Republicans executive director Gregory T. Angelo said, “Right now, in a majority of states, there are no state laws prohibiting an employer from firing or refusing to hire someone simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is time for the House to hear the message of these Republican mayors: pass ENDA now and give all hard-working Americans the workplace protections they deserve.”
Republican mayors backing ENDA include, in alphabetical order:
• Scott Avedisian of Warwick, Rhode Island.
• Robert Blais of Lake George, New York.
• Dale Berman of North Aurora, Illinois.
• Jim Brainard of Carmel, Indiana.
• William Brown of Riverton, New Jersey.
• Kevin Burns of Geneva, Illinois.
• Frank Catalina of Peekskill, New York.
• Suzette Cooke of Kent, Washington.
• John Dennis of West Lafayette, Indiana.
• Nicholas DeSantis of New Stanton, Pennsylvania.
• Mark Epley of Southampton, New York.
• Timothy Hanna of Appleton, Wisconsin.
• Sophie Heymann of Closter, New Jersey.
• Scott Kaupin of Enfield, Connecticut.
• Marvin Natiss of North Hills, New York.
• Michael Nohilly of Interlaken, New Jersey.
• Sarah Reinhardt of Spring Park, Minnesota.
• Angelo “Skip” Saviano of Elmwood Park, Illinois.
Appleton becomes Americana Central during the weekend of Aug. 7–10, when the Wisconsin city hosts the second Mile of Music Festival.
More than 200 performing artists will take the stage in more than 60 venues in and around downtown for a grand celebration of the Americana genre of music in all of its forms.
Included on the schedule are big names, such as Peter Buck and Mike Mills, both formerly of R.E.M., now playing in the Baseball Project; and Butch Vig, the legendary producer of Nirvana’s Nevermind and Smashing Pumpkins’Siamese Dream albums, playing with Emperors of Wyoming.
In addition to the name acts, top local musicians from throughout Wisconsin will perform.
The Mile of Music Festival launched last year, co-founded by Appleton natives Cory Chisel and Dave Willems. The first year was a great success, with more than 100 artists appearing at more than 40 venues, ranging from local bars to the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel. The festival was advertised as a cover-free zone designed to celebrate original music and outstanding songwriting.
A highlight of Mile Of Music 2013 was the surprise appearance of Norah Jones with Chisel and his band The Wandering Sons.
Most of the events at Mile of Music 2014 are free, but $150 priority access passes are available. They will get you priority access to the top 11 music venues and the Lawrence University Chapel showcases.
But most performances are open to all, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The genre of music known as Americana is a loose combination of sounds from folk, country, blues and rock. The Americana Music Association was founded in 1999 to create a networking infrastructure to support recognition of the genre.
The association has sponsored the Americana Music Honors and Awards each year since 2002 to recognize outstanding achievements. Past recipients of album of the year awards have included Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Alison Krauss and Loretta Lynn.
In 2009, the Grammy Awards added the category “best Americana album.”
Americana also has emerged as a unique radio format dedicated to sounds connected with American roots music.
Chisel grew up in Babbitt, Minnesota, and Appleton. Key musical influences came from his uncle, who introduced him to blues musicians such as Howlin’ Wolf and Robert Johnson. His father, a Baptist pastor, exposed Chisel to the spiritual power of church music.
After touring extensively, Chisel and The Wandering Sons grew a core fan base that resulted in a major label deal with RCA subsidiary Black Seal Music in 2007. In 2012, they toured with Norah Jones.
Chisel was recognized by his Wisconsin peers in 2010, when he was named artist of the year by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry.
At this year’s Mile of Music, be sure to catch Milwaukee pop-rock duo Vic + Gab. The sisters Victoriah and Hannah Gabriela Banuelos have received strong support from 88NINE Radio Milwaukee. They were named one of the must-hear Wisconsin bands by Paste magazine late last year.
Vic + Gab have placed a song on the MTV show Skins and are looking prime for an upward trajectory.
Also, look for the Oshkosh-based indie rockers The Traveling Suitcase, who delivered one of the most talked-about performances at last year’s festival. The trio’s Nicole Rae and Brandon Domer began making music together in high school but then drifted apart for a number of years before reuniting in 2010 to form a band that at one point counted seven members. It’s since been pared down into a trio with guitarist Bill Grasley. Rae is both lead vocalist and drummer, which gives the band a unique focal point onstage.
The definitively Americana Milwaukee-based band Hugh Bob and the Hustle also are worth catching in their return engagement at Mile of Music. Hugh Robert Masterson, aka Hugh Bob, refers to the band’s music as “north country.” It has roots in traditional country and folk music but its subject matter focuses on the lives of people who live up north. The band has received strong support from both Country Music Television and Paste magazine.
In just two years, Appleton’s Mile of Music has grown into one of Wisconsin’s top music events of the year. Artists from both coasts, Canada and places in between will present songs that celebrate roots music in all of its vast variety.
Whether you travel to Appleton for one night or the entire weekend, you can expect to be moved by the experience. For the schedule and other information, visit www.mileofmusic.com.
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Voters in Appleton on April 1 elected transgender candidate Gypsy Vered Meltzer to their city council.
Meltzer, 31, told the Post-Crescent, “I can see some push back, but I hope they’ll get over it. I hope things don’t go that route. I don’t want to lose focus on the issues and increasing communications between the city and its residents.”
Meltzer, who identifies as male and moved to Appleton in 2000 to go to school, defeated Barney Lemanski in the municipal election. The vote was 295-199.
Fair Wisconsin, a statewide LGBT group, said Meltzer is the first openly transgender individual to hold elected office in the state. The election is historic, said Fair, which endorsed Meltzer in the race for the District 2 post.
In an appeal for support before the election, Meltzer offered this to voters: “I have been going to city council meetings and learning everything I can about how the city operates. Serving on city council has been a dream of mine for many years, and I couldn’t do it without your support and encouragement. I am excited, prepared and confident. I will follow through on all my promises with a commitment to openness and transparency. I have no higher political aspirations beyond serving Appleton. Non-partisan local government is the arena in which we can truly improve our quality of life and meet the needs of our community!”
On a Facebook page for the District 2 alderperson after the election, Meltzer said his mission is “the same as the city of Appleton, to meet your needs and improve the quality of your life.”
On the Web…
For more about Meltzer, go to https://www.facebook.com/VoteVered