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The 12-05-2013 issue of the Oregon Observer.
The 12-05-2013 issue of the Oregon Observer.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013 Vol. 129, No. 22 Oregon, WI ConnectOregonWI.com $1
Village of Oregon
Taxes rise by 2.9 percent
Unified Newspaper Group 
The Village Board unanimously adopted a 2014 budget last week that will have the owner of an average-priced home in the Village of Oregon pay about $17 more than last year for the vil-lage portion of its property tax bill.Village admin-istrator Mike Gracz estimated the average home value here dropped in the past year from $213,000 to $210,000. The vil-lage’s share of property taxes on that home will increase by an esti-mated $16.85, from about $1,168 to almost $1,184. Village taxes amount to about one-third of the total tax bill, and about 66 per-cent of the village’s general fund revenue comes from property taxes. Village officials were still calculating the total tax bill earlier this week and were planning to send tax bills in the mail within the next week or two.Gracz said the property tax increase would allow the village to add money to its street improvement fund and equip-ment capital fund. He reduced equipment spending in his proposed budget that was requested by police chief Doug Pettit and public works director Mark Below in order to increase the village’s fund balance by roughly $75,000.The village plans to spend about $87,000 for a mill and overlay of Pleasant Oak Drive and about $85,000 for similar work on East Richards Road next year.The village also plans to spend $185,000 of borrowed money to replace a 1992 Inter-national snowplow/dump truck.The village’s mill rate of $5.63 per
Village of Oregon
Board purchases west side home, lot
DiMaggio property will add to parks system
Unified Newspaper Group 
The Village Board last week approved village staff’s plan to purchase a home on Jefferson Street, along with 16 acres that extend north across the Oregon branch of Badfish Creek.The property, at 455 Jef-ferson St., is the estate of the late Joseph DiMaggio. A purchase closing is scheduled for Monday morning, Dec. 9, with a price of $290,000.The purchase puts to rest a dispute over the property that goes back almost a decade, when DiMaggio raised concerns over the village’s zoning of the land and periodic flooding of his property.His son, Joe DiMaggio, and daughter, Jean Trainor, met with village officials in early 2010 to ask the village about changing the zoning
Village of Oregon
Dog park named after former Park Board chair
It’s official: Jon Blanchard Dog Park
Unified Newspaper Group 
A group of about a doz-en people gathered at the village’s dog park Satur-day morning to dedicate the park in honor of former Park Board chairman Jon Blanchard.Blanchard, who stepped down in May after 27 years on the board, is credited with “the vision” behind developing the park, said the board’s current chairman, Daniel Olson.“Twenty-seven years is a remarkable commitment to the village,” Olson said. “We all agreed on the Park Board that it was worthy of some recognition.”Blanchard, a 29-year resident of the village,  joined the board in 1987. He oversaw the develop-ment of 12 parks, the last being the dog park – which is now officially the Jon Blanchard Dog Park.Blanchard said he was honored and appreciated being recognized for his
Get Connected 
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 Ashes to Ashes?
Oregon on alert after tree-killing beetle is confirmed in Madison
Turn to
 /Page 2 
Photo courtesy
Wisconsin DNR
A variety of traps, including panel traps like this one, can reduce the spread.
Photo courtesy
City of Fitchburg
Photo courtesy
University of Georgia
Photo by
Scott Girard
Ash trees surround Oregon Village Hall. Now that the emerald ash borer (right) has been confirmed in Dane County, Oregon will have to decide on a tree-by-tree basis whether to inoculate trees (below) or wait for them to die.
Unified Newspaper Group 
Oregon officials were not surprised when a case of emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed in Madi-son’s Warner Park. It’s something they’ve expected for years.But similarly to many local municipalities, ash trees are prevalent in Ore-gon, both on private and city right-of-way prop-erty. If the invasive beetle, which kills ash trees by eating the tissues under the bark, makes its way here, as expected, that could mean a lot of decaying trees.Village of Oregon public works director Mark Below said ash trees are “very numerous” in the village, calling them the “favored species” both on terraces and private property after Dutch elm disease caused problems in the state with elm trees beginning in the 1950s.He said “(EAB)’s been a concern for years” at the village level, with on and off discussions about what would be done when the beetle showed up.“It’s not a surprise to anyone here,” Below said. While the issue hasn’t been discussed recently, Below said the village will address the problem tree by tree, noting that many municipalities have been meeting with county offi-cials for years to work out a plan, though there hasn’t been a meeting for awhile.Prior to the confirmed
Turn to
Dog Park
 /Page 3 
Turn to
 /Page 12 
Turn to
 /Page 8 
Photo by
Bill Livick
The Village of Oregon will purchase the DiMaggio house at 455 Jefferson St. to add to the parks system.
Mill rate increases
 2.9 percent
 4.5 percent
 2.8 percent
 3.4 percent
 4.2 percent
 1.4 percent
December 5, 2013
Oregon Observer ConnectOregonWI.com
case in Madison, it had not been found in Dane Coun-ty, though it had been con-firmed as close as 28 miles away in Janesville. Dane now joins sur-rounding Rock, Jefferson, Dodge and Sauk coun-ties, along with 16 others throughout Wisconsin, as quarantined for exporting certain wood products.Private citizens are also prohibited from tak-ing firewood from Dane County to non-quarantine counties, and campers in parks in Dane County can-not bring leftover firewood home with them if they live outside of the county.County parks direc-tor Darren Marsh told the
Oregon Observer 
 the county will let local com-munities handle the initial response, and step in only if the beetle spreads more rapidly than expected and it becomes an emergency situation.“Many of our commu-nities have really stepped up and done a really good  job to develop a plan for dealing with EAB,” Marsh said. “I think Dane County communities are really positioned well to handle the issues locally.” He added that since 2007, when county offi-cials traveled to northern Illinois to see how commu-nities infested with EAB were handling it, the coun-ty has taken a proactive approach, encouraging municipalities to invento-ry their ash trees, develop sites to bring wood waste to and explore options for using wood waste for car-pentry or other activities.He also encouraged pri-vate home owners to take this opportunity to identify the trees they have in their yards, and make a decision on whether to have their ash trees removed or treat-ed, which would require injections every two to three years.Below recommended contacting the county or city of Madison parks departments with ques-tions on trees, and said the costs of removing or injecting can vary greatly based on size, location and private contractor used.In the past, Below said the village decided to take a “wait and see” approach with EAB, and it will now be on the next public works committee agenda to decide on a specific response. The village has not determined how much money, if any, it will spend to save ash trees.Signs of EAB infestation include a thinning cano-py, D-shaped holes in the bark, new branches that sprout low on the trunk, cracked bark and increased woodpecker attention, spe-cifically if they pull at the bark to get to the insect larvae beneath it, accord-ing to a city of Madison news release.
Saturday, December 7, 2013Oregon Community Sports Arena
8:30-10:30 am –
5 per person
 (Under 2 yrs.-FREE)
Proceeds benefit Oregon Youth Hockey 
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 Ask The Oregon
What Can Senior Centers Do For You?
Lots of senior adults don’t utilize senior centers for the same primary reason: they don’t feel ‘old.’ But these days many senior centers have evolved way beyond providing basic services to only those seniors who aren’t able to get around easily. Have you ever wanted to paint, but didn’t have the time? Maybe you want to write creatively, or learn photography but you need the support of others to feel more comfortable. From teaching computer skills, to planning vacations, to helping with career advice, senior centers now offer a plethora of opportunities for seniors of all ages. Some are even dropping the name, ‘senior’! Check with acquaintances or the BBB to find a senior center in your area, and you just might be surprised. Discover the benefits of senior centers.
Stephen RudolphFACHE, CSA 
5396 King James Way, Suite 210, Madison, WI 53719
(608) 442-1898 • www.comfortkeepers.com
 How poisonous is chocolate for my pets?
 Chocolate contains theobromine which can be toxic to pets. Baking chocolate and cocoa powder have the highest amounts of theobromine followed by semisweet chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and chocolate-flavored treats. Pets with chocolate toxicity may have vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, very fast heartbeats with abnormal rhythms, or may die. Mild symptoms occur when the pet eats 9 mg of theobromine per pound of body weight (180 mg for a 20-pound dog, or about a half ounce of baking chocolate or 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate). Severe signs occur when the pet eats 18mg of theobromine per pound of body weight (360 mg for a 20-pound dog, or an ounce of baking chocolate or a half pound of semisweet chocolate). It may take up to four days for the effects of theobromine to wear off. If you know your pet has consumed chocolate, you should contact your veterinarian right away.
1350 S. Fish Hatchery RoadOregon, WI 53575
(608) 835-0551
Photos submitted
It’s turkey time!
First-graders at Prairie View Elementary School shared a meal together Nov. 26 to celebrate and show how thankful they are for each other. Above, from left are: Charlotte Horton, Aubrey Nickles, Annabelle Monte and Lily Bartelme.
Photo by
Scott Girard
Horse-drawn carriage rides
Paul and Traci Goplin are offering horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown Oregon during the holiday season. The rides are $4 and begin behind Mason’s on Main, and are offered from 2-5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday throughout December. The rides began last weekend.
 Infestation likely after bug is found in Madison
Continued from page 1
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December 5, 2013
Oregon ObserverConnectOregonWI.com
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OPD to take part in ‘booze and belts’ campaign Dec. 13-21
The Oregon Police Department will take part in a statewide anti-drunk driving and pro-seatbelt campaign Dec. 13-21.The initiative, “Booze and Belts,” will focus on “cracking down on impaired and unbuckled motorists,” according to an OPD news release.“Fatal and serious injuries caused by traf-fic crashes are tragic any time of year, but they are even more devastat-ing especially for fami-lies during the holiday season,” said OPD chief Doug Pettit. “To pre-vent needless deaths and injuries, our officers will be out in force dur-ing the Booze and Belts mobilization looking for unbuckled and impaired motorists along with other unsafe driving behavior.” The news release said there were 27,000 drunk driving convictions and 105,000 convictions for failure to wear a seat belt last year in Wisconsin.“If you drive drunk, you are seriously jeopardizing your life and the lives of others on the road. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid a crash, you still are risking an arrest that will cause humiliation, huge fines, possibly hav-ing to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicles, and perhaps even jail time,” Pettit said. “We also take safety belt enforcement serious-ly. Too many drivers and passengers are seriously injured or killed while being ejected from their vehicles or tossed around violently inside them dur-ing a crash.” The eight days of mobi-lization on the issue are part of a statewide effort to reduce “preventable traffic deaths” to zero throughout Wisconsin, the release said.“Our goal is voluntary compliance with traf-fic laws, so we urge you to make the responsible decision to buckle up and drive sober,” Pettit said. “But if you make an irresponsible decision, we will stop you and we won’t give you a warning or a second chance.”
Man dies in town of Rutland crash
A 27-year-old man died in a van versus semitruck accident Tuesday morning on Hwy. 14 in the town of Rutland.The crash occurred at 10:45 a.m., just north of Hwy. 92, according to a release from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.Public Information Offi-cer Elise Schaffer said in the release the male driver of a conversion van crossed the centerline and hit the semitruck head-on.The county medical examiner pronounced the 27-year-old driver dead at the scene.The semitruck driver, a 33-year-old Baraboo man, sustained minor injuries and was taken to UW Hos-pital, the release said.Officials have not released the name of the deceased at this time.years of service. Village President Steve Staton joined Olson in praising Blanchard’s work on behalf of the village. Olson said Blanchard brought “certain values and attributes” to the Park Board that set a tone of respect and patience at its meetings.“One of his notable attri-butes was his patience,” Olson said. “He exhibited not only patience with new members on the board and was very respectful of differing points of view, but more important than that, I think, is simply the patience that he exhibited with people who came before the Park Board.“Jon always made peo-ple feel comfortable,” he added. “The meetings were and still are pretty infor-mal, and I think that’s to Jon’s credit.”Blanchard and the rest of the board began talking about developing a fenced dog park – the village’s first – a few years ago but put the idea on hold while the county considered building a dog park as a component to the Lyman Anderson County Park, a mile or two south of the village. But when it became apparent that the develop-ment would not happen for several years, Blanchard re-introduced the concept about last fall. The Vil-lage Board approved it last December, and Blanchard oversaw the park’s steady progress, including the decision to add a separate area for small dogs within the park, until he resigned from the board in May.The 12.5-acre park is located on Park Street and is bordered on the north by the Oregon branch of Badfish Creek, on the east by U.S. Hwy. 14, on the south by Park Street and on the west where North Perry Parkway will even-tually be extended to con-nect with South Perry Parkway.The park is open from dawn to dusk daily. Use of the park is currently free, but users will have to purchase a daily or annu-al permit at Village Hall beginning Jan. 1.Olson pointed out that the timing to name the park in Blanchard’s honor “was just right” because it had been unnamed before last Saturday.“We thought it more than appropriate to name the park after Jon since a lot of the vision for that park and its development in the village was certainly his,” Olson said.
Dog Park:
 Former park board chair honored 
Continued from page 1
Photo by
Julia Meyers
The village held a ceremony Saturday morning to celebrate the renaming of the dog park in honor of former park board chair Jon Blanchard, far right, pictured with his family in front of the new sign.
Reports collected from the log books at the Oregon Police Department.
Nov. 10
7 a.m.
 A 43-year-old man reported sometime around 10:15 p.m. the night before they heard a loud bang and found their mailbox damaged on August Drive. The mailbox looked like something was set to explode inside of it.
10:20 a.m.
 A 34-year-old man on S. Burr Oak Avenue reported that his wooden playhouse had been tipped over and damaged overnight due to unknown persons or the weather. It appeared to be due to weather. Damage was around $100.
11 a.m.
 A 30-year-old man reported finding a bag of nee-dles in his basement ceiling while remodeling his house on Waterman Street. A neighbor informed the man a former resident of the house was in prison for drug use. The man brought the bag to the police department for disposal. The bag contained three syringes, condoms, alcohol wipes and information on a Madison area needle exchange.
Nov. 11
1:45 a.m.
 There was a report of a large fight at a Braun Road dance after closing, including the use of chains, pipes, rocks and other weapons. A 19-year-old woman had a damaged car window. Two large pipes and part of a belt were recovered at the scene.
Nov. 13
7:43 a.m.
 A 47-year-old woman reported a car going through the school bus stop sign and failing to stop. Police met with driver, who stated he had observed the bus but did not have time to stop when the bus driver activated the sign/lights. Driver was warned and advised another violation would lead to a citation.
– Scott Girard 

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