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4/17/14 Oregon Observer
4/17/14 Oregon Observer

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Published by: veronapress on Apr 16, 2014
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Thursday, April 17, 2014 Vol. 129, No. 41 Oregon, WI ConnectOregonWI.com $1
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Common Folk 
OHS teacher Kindschi shares culture with Russian village
Unified Newspaper Group 
Call it “Paul Bunyan diplomacy.”Though the leaders of their two countries are not seeing eye to eye, when it comes to folklore, it turns out Russians and Ameri-cans are not too different from one another. That’s what Oregon High School globetrot-ting teacher Lou Kindschi discovered during a recent cultural exchange trip to Russia.The Russian-Ukranian border certainly has the world’s attention these days – an unpredictable hot spot in a post-Cold War Eastern Europe beginning to heat up. Kindschi was stationed about five miles from the border, so as the conflict in nearby Crimea raged, she was meeting in schools and small homes, talking to residents about their history and sharing folk stories. The program was offered by an organization called “American Friends of Rus-sian Folklore,” a group dedicated to promoting American understanding of Russian folklore and tradi-tional Russian life and cul-ture. The group’s mission is to travel across the country, documenting and archiving local folklore to preserve it before it’s lost forever.“Russia is so vast and has so many kinds of cultures,” she said.The group recently received a grant from the U.S. State Department to send U.S. teachers along to help record the local his-tory and exchange informa-tion about American folk-lore. The offer was well-received.“The Russian Embassy thought it was a good idea, because we could share our stories of folklore to these rural areas, and we would speak at local schools,” Kindschi said. “It’s so rich with opportunities to really see rural Russia. It also gave the Russian scholars an opportunity to talk with children in those areas, and tell them, ‘You’re sitting on a treasure here – when your grandmother was singing or telling stories, this has value.’”
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With a Russian inva-sion happening just a few miles away, the trip offered a much more interesting perspective than Kindschi could have possibly hoped for. One morning, she was
Oregon School District
Last vote for ousted trio: abstentions, no action
Unified Newspaper Group 
In its last meeting before three new members are sworn in April 28, the Ore-gon School Board couldn’t muster the votes needed to pass two resolutions on pro-viding supplemental pay - partly because three out-going members declined to vote. The additional income would be directed to several district teachers that board members fear could be hired away by other school districts, possibly in the coming weeks. The board met for about 45 minutes in closed ses-sion Monday night before returning to vote on a motion by Dan Krause to direct district superinten-dent Brian Busler to open discussions with the Ore-gon Education Association regarding supplemental pay, which would allow the district to pay specific teachers more than usual.Rae Vogeler seconded the motion, but with outgoing members Courtney Odori-co, Lee Christensen and Wayne Mixdorf abstaining
Turn to
 /Page 3 
Ag teacher’s Brazil trip tackles growing challenges
Unified Newspaper Group 
When it comes to answering the question, “How do you feed 9 bil-lion people in 2050?” Oregon High School agriculture education teacher Jillian Beaty might have found some answers among the towering South American sugar cane.Beaty recently returned from eight days touring Brazil with an American Farm Bureau program,
Turn to
 /Page 16 
Next week
Find out how Beaty’s ag students are investigating hydroponics and urban gardening.
‘She said, ‘I never knew  what to think about  Americans, and now I meet you and you are simple folks,  just like we are.’
Kindschi speaking of her Russian friend 
Turn to
 /Page 8 
Photos submitted
Oregon High School teacher Lou Kindschi recently traveled to Russia, about five miles from the Ukraine border, where she toured small rural schools to exchange folk stories with residents. She said she was overwhelmed by the kindness of the people, and both sides learned they have much in common.
April 17, 2014
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The finer things
Rome Corners Intermediate School held its Fine Arts Festival Thursday, April 10. Students put their musical, dancing and other talents on display for a full crowd in the school’s caf-eteria. Above, Miranda Moore performs a solo on her violin.Jaison Fishwild, a sixth-grader, plays aa song dedicated to his grandfather.Fifth-grader Grace Cooper sings “Cheer up Charlie.”Sixth-grader Megdalen Edwards sings “All of Me” by John Legend.
Buy/View photos
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April 17, 2014
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Town of Dunn
TIF law could help Dunn
Unified Newspaper Group 
A new state law could help the Town of Dunn with new development projects.Gov. Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 338 earlier this month, which allows large, urbanized towns to create tax incre-ment financing (TIF) dis-tricts as a way to encour-age development.TIF is a development tool in which tax incre-ments above a certain base value are placed in a special fund and used to pay for improvements inside the TIF district. Cities and villages have been able to create TIF districts for many years for revitalizing blighted areas, attracting lucra-tive industries and more recently to mix develop-ments in ways that might not be possible other-wise. But critics say it’s too often used for proj-ects that don’t need the help.The law requires the town to have a population of at least 3,500 people and equalized values of at least $500 million. The Town of Dunn meets both criteria, but town officials said they have no specific plans to use TIF in the near future.Town chair Ed Minihan said the town would like-ly look at TIF on a case-by-case basis for devel-opment projects. “We are exploring how we might be able to use that concept creatively,” Minihan told the Hub. Town land use manager Erica Schmitz said she was reviewing the details of the law and that the Town Board has yet to discuss the new law.She noted that the town doesn’t have much devel-opment outside of single-family residential homes, but that other future proj-ects might be eligible for TIF.The town didn’t have any role in drafting the law, Minihan said. The bill was drafted by Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Mara-thon) and Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg).and Jeff Ramin and Steve Zach voting against, the 2-2 vote resulted in a failed motion. Krause said the “time may have come” for the idea of giving supplemental pay for certain teachers, but said it should not be done without first reaching out to the teachers’ union and “getting some feedback.”“We’ve always taken the market into consideration, but in this case, we’re tak-ing certain teachers in a certain area and saying the market affects them in a way it doesn’t affect other teachers, and there-fore regardless of senior-ity or anything else, we’re going to give them more pay because the market will take them away if we don’t,” he said. “I want to talk to the unions to let them know what we’re thinking … and we value their input.”Krause said he asked the board to move quickly on the matter and possibly meet again later in the week for further discussion or action “because we may lose our top candidates for an open position.”Vogeler said the move would be a “very signifi-cant change” from the way the board has done busi-ness in the past, necessitat-ing talking things over with district employees first. “It would possibly set up a two-tier scale … and cause some disruption and a little bit of angst among the employees – ‘Why are some people getting this very significant raise while other people are not?’” she said. “To head that off, it’s important we engage the employees in this conversa-tion.”Vogeler said with three new board members joining in two weeks, final deci-sions on the matter should wait until then.“Any kind of decision like this should be taken in terms of the big picture,” she said. Zach opposed the motion, saying he wanted to take immediate action on the pay increases “because of pending recruitment, that’s critical to take action on supplemental pay so as to be able to extend an offer.” After Krause’s motion failed, Zach offered a new motion to offer the unspecific teachers a sup-plemental retention bonus addendum that board mem-bers had discussed. Jeff Ramin seconded, but the motion failed with exactly the same vote as Krause’s.
 Supplemental pay issue put off 
Continued from page 1
School libraries receive state funding
According to a press release last week from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Oregon School District will receive $108,781 from the state’s Common School Fund. The amount is based on the number of children ages 4-20 liv-ing in public school dis-tricts across the state. The Common School Fund was established by the Wisconsin Constitution as a permanent trust fund. The district must use the funds by June 30 to purchase books, digital resources and technology housed in school librar-ies. State Superintendent Tony Evers said the funds are integral in helping students develop college- and career-ready skills needed for their future.“The allocations from the Common School Fund are the main and sometimes only funding available to purchase the school library resources – digital and print – that are accessible to students in our schools,” he said.
Local couple buying another historic building
No major changes planned yet
Unified Newspaper Group 
The couple that bought and renovated the two buildings that are now Mason’s on Main restaurant and bar on South Main Street confirmed Tuesday that they have an accepted offer to buy another historic building on the same block in downtown Oregon.Jerry and Bonnie Thiel have a May 30 closing scheduled for the property at 101 S. Main St., the home of two businesses, DeBroux’s Diner and Academy of Sound.Jerry Thiel told the Observer buying the building “is just a long-term invest-ment” and he doesn’t foresee any significant change of use for it.“We’re hoping that Greg (DeBroux, owner of the din-er) is going to elect to stay with us and that the down-town only gets better, and that he can prosper along there with everybody else,” Thiel said. “I think there’s enough business to go around for everybody. We’re buying the building hope-fully to enhance his business going forward.”The building was listed for sale at $495,000, and was assessed last year at $393,100.Thiel said he believes the building was constructed in about 1898, the same year that the Netherwood Build-ing in the 100 block of Janes-ville Street was reconstructed after it burned down, and the former Masonic Lodge was built on South Main Street. That building is now one half of Mason’s on Main.Thiel said the only change planned for the 101 S. Main St. building is replacing a door that current owner Jeff Aebly had installed more than two years ago. It has been the subject of numer-ous discussions and potential legal action by the village because it’s in violation of the South Main Street His-toric District Ordinance.“We don’t want to change anything except that door,” Thiel said. “We’re hoping the village will give us a lit-tle time after we purchase it to put in a historically correct door.”Thiel said a rumor that he and his wife were consider-ing opening a brew pub in the building is not accurate. “It is a possibility, but I don’t believe that is going to be the venue or the building for it,” he said.He noted the building they’re buying is “in rela-tively good shape.”“We hope to straighten out a few things and make it last another 100 years or so,” Thiel said.Academy of Sound music studio occupies most of the building’s second floor, along with a two-bedroom apartment.Thiel also confirmed that he and his wife had made an offer for the property at 455 Jefferson St. the former DiMaggio family home, which the village bought last year. Most of the 16.5-acre parcel has been turned into park land, but the house and about an acre of land have been listed for sale. The Village Board discussed the Thiels’ offer two weeks ago in a closed session and rejected the offer.
Jerry and Bonnie Thiel have a May 30 closing scheduled for the property at 101 S. Main St., the home of two businesses, DeBroux’s Diner and Academy of Sound.
Photo by
Scott De Laruelle

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