Thursday, February 28, 2013 • Vol. 48, No. 40 • Verona, WI • Hometown USA • ConnectVerona.

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Verona Press
The
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District dissolution on dockets
City, town planning votes
in next couple of weeks
MARK IGNATOWSKI
Unified Newspaper Group
A draft of the agreements that
will turn the Verona Fire Depart-
ment into a city-run department is
headed to both the city and town.
The two municipalities are set
to digest the two agreements and
make decisions in March. Elect-
ed officials have a few weeks to
wrestle over the finer details of the
agreements. Several issues they’ll
have to agree upon include: the
fate of fire department personnel,
the cost of services and the level of
services residents will receive.
The pr ocess cont ai ns t wo
agreements – one to dissolve the
current fire district, and another for
the city to provide service to the
town for at least the next 30 years.
The agreements, drafted by city
administrator Bill Burns and town
administrator Amanda Arnold,
have been reviewed by attorneys
and are now ready for a look by
Verona Fire District
Photo by Jim Ferolie
In sync
Members of the Wildcat Dance Team leap in unison during their performance at the sixth annual Multicultural Showcase at Verona Area High School last Friday. The show,
which is put on three times during the day – once for freshmen and sophomores, once for juniors and seniors and again for the public – featured 23 acts from a variety of
cultures. Among them were hip-hop, Bollywood and LGBT dance, Korean, Hawaiian and Spanish singing, African stepping, European magic and spoken word poetry.
More photos: Page 2
Epic’s
redesign
placates
neighbors
Plans could be ready
for initial city review
in April
MARK IGNATOWSKI
Unified Newspaper Group
Updated plans to expand
the Epic campus earned a
more favorable reaction
from neighbors last week
than the original plans did
in December.
The expanding health
care soft ware company
proposed moving its North-
ern Lights Road shift away
from the Westridge Estates
subdivision and revamping
its building design to blend
in with the surroundings
and displace less light.
The company is working
submit plans for part of the
8-to-10-building project to
the city for review by the
Plan Commission as soon
as April, city administrator
Bill Burns told the Press on
Monday.
Things didn’t go nearly
as well two months earlier,
when Epic invited neighbors
in the Westridge subdivision
to review concept plans for
its next growth phase – two
new campus additions to the
north and east of the cur-
rent buildings. That move
requires purchasing vacant
lots originally planned for
houses and apartments in
Westridge and realigning
City of Verona
Plan aim: bolder action downtown
JIM FEROLIE
Verona Press editor
With a new planner in town and
the city poised to take advantage of
increasing economic activity, Verona
is taking a hard look at the future of
the city’s downtown.
After setting the table with a couple
of smaller discussions, the city and the
planning firm it has hired, MSA, are
looking for residents’ feedback on what
is most important in the long run. The
first of what could be multiple public
forums for the Downtown Transpor-
tation and Corridor Study is set for 6
p.m. March 7 at Verona City Center.
City administrator Bill Burns said
there aren’t as yet any hot-potato
issues like roundabouts or split one-
ways to discuss, but city leaders felt
residents ought to be given a chance
to kick things off before a new plan
starts taking shape.
“We didn’t want to go ahead and
put together the draft concepts with-
out talking to the public and giving
them a chance to talk about what
their concerns and their issues are,”
Multicultural show
If you go
What: Downtown plan public forum
When: 6-8 p.m. March 7
Where: Verona City Center, 111
Lincoln St.
Info: Call city administrator Bill
Burns at 845-6495
Turn to Epic/Page 8 Turn to Downtown/Page 12
In brief
The city and town are set to vote on dissolving the Verona
Fire District to have the city run the department. The town
will contract for services, and both sides must agree on:
• What services will be provided
• How the services will be paid for
• What happens to the existing personnel
Turn to Fire/Page 12
Unified Newspaper Group’s
family magazine included in
this issue!
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February 28, 2013 The Verona Press ConnectVerona.com
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Photos by Jim Ferolie
Getting some culture
This year’s Multicultural Leadership Club was the biggest ever, with 31 members from at least 13 dif-
ferent ethnic backgrounds, and adviser Carri Hale couldn’t have been happier. Johnnie Yang (left, per-
forming Taylor Mail’s “What Teachers Make” in spoken word) wrote the script for the show while she
got to watch the process. She also called the audience the “most mature” yet.
Above, teachers and performers all dance to V.I.C.’s “Wobble Baby.
Below, Jarrell Homsely pirouettes along with others on the Wildcat Dance Team.
Julio Cesar Fuentes-Cruz works some electrifying hip-hop moves.
Catch some video
The Verona Press spliced some
scenes from the show together to
illustrate the variety of culture on
display. To see it, visit:
Right, Deanna Sagapolu (left)
and Nghi Tuong sing a pop song
in both Korean and English.
February 28, 2013 The Verona Press ConnectVerona.com
3
Verona Area High School
AP scores hit all-time high
SETH JOVAAG
Unified Newspaper Group
For the second straight year, more Vero-
na Area High School students who tackled
college-level courses last spring earned
passing scores on year-end exams than
ever before, according to data released last
week by the state Department of Public
Instruction.
Nearly 21 percent of VAHS students
in 2011-12 tackled Advanced Placement
courses that can earn them college credits,
slightly lower than the 22 percent of stu-
dents who took AP tests in 2010-11.
At the end of AP courses, students take
high-stakes exams to see if they’ve mas-
tered the content. On a scale of 1 to 5, a
3 is generally a passing score. VAHS stu-
dents who took AP classes scored 3 or bet-
ter on 82.6 percent of the exams. That’s
a 4-point increase from last year and the
highest percentage in 16 years of data.
Among 16 school districts in Dane
County, VAHS ranked third – trailing only
Mount Horeb (84 percent) and Oregon
(83.9) high schools in terms of the percent-
age of students earning passing marks.
At VAHS, 313 students took a total of
535 exams last year. In the 16 Dane Coun-
ty school districts, VAHS ranked third
behind Middleton-Cross Plains and Sun
Prairie high schools in terms of how many
kids took AP classes.
VAHS continues to struggle with low
numbers of minority students in AP cours-
es, however.
Only five of 149 black students (4 per-
cent) and five of 166 Hispanic students (3
percent) enrolled in the courses, according
to DPI data. Asian students provided the
lone exception, as 12 of 52 eligible stu-
dents (nearly 23 percent) took AP tests.
Female students bettered their male
counterparts, with 83.6 percent of girls
earning passing scores, compared with
81.4 percent for the boys. Both were all-
time highs.
VAHS offers 13 AP courses in subjects
ranging from biology, calculus, English,
history, psychology, music theory and sta-
tistics, according to the high school’s web-
site.
Wisconsin ranks first in the 13-state
Midwest region in terms of how many
seniors scored 3 or better on an AP exam
last year, with 20.6 percent, according to
a DPI news release. Nationally, the figure
was 19.5 percent, and the state ranks 14th
in that category, and 24th in terms of the
percentage of 2012 graduates who took
AP courses, according to an annual report
from the College Board.
The data from DPI can be viewed by
gender and race and can be compared to
other districts at its website, dpi.wi.gov.
On t he homepage, scrol l t o t he t ab
named “data and media” and click on the
“WINNS” link, then follow the prompts to
see VAHS results.
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Press launching revamped website
Our news websites are get-
ting an overhaul this week.
All four websites in Uni-
fied Newspaper Group will
have new websites, including
ConnectVerona.com. Each
will still have all your news
and photos plus new features.
Our websites will be going
in the direction many news
sources are, which will be
to have a pay wall for some
content. This means read-
ers who do not have print or
online subscriptions will pay
a small fee to look at more
than a few features.
Not everything will be
behind the wall, and those
who choose not to pay will
have access to some content,
as well as an allotted number
of articles to read.
But for those who do sign
up, you will receive full
access to an unlimited num-
ber of articles, videos, access
to special sections and an
electronic edition.
There will also be an addi-
tional website added for our
quarterly magazine, Your
Family.
New design
The websites will be
designed to please the eye with
the top stories on a slideshow
with the main photo. Our new
look will be more modern,
clean and user-friendly.
The content will be the
same, but there will be more
and it will be easier to navi-
gate.
Paywall, but not yet
Although we are changing
to a paywall, we will transi-
tion slowly to give everyone
a chance to sign up.
At first, more content will
be available, but that will
change as time passes.
Easier to buy photos
All of our photos will be
easier to purchase. You can
purchase them right from the
websites, and they will be
mailed to you if you choose
that option.
Sharing
The websites will also
allow for sharing of stories
and photos on your Face-
book and Twitter feeds right
from the websites.
–Unified Newspaper Group
Verona Area School District
Officials criticize lack of
funding in Walker’s budget
SETH JOVAAG
Unified Newspaper Group
Gov. Scott Walker’s pro-
posal last week to freeze
spending limits for public
schools over the next two
years didn’t sit well with
the head of the Verona
Area School District.
Joi ni ng a chor us of
public school advocates
critical of Gov. Walker’s
proposed biennial bud-
get, superintendent Dean
Gorrell said he was sur-
prised and “frustrated” by
the Republican governor’s
plan. He called it a “worst-
case scenario” for schools
as the district heads into
its annual budget-planning
process.
“It’s hard to imagine
many kinds of businesses
that are looking at long-
term sustainability with
this kind of business mod-
el,” he said.
Walker’s proposal calls
for raising state funding
for public K-12 schools
by $129.2 million over
the next two years, or 1
percent annual l y. That
boost in state aid could
lower property taxes. But
at the same time, districts
couldn’t exceed current
spending limits without
going to voters first, some-
thing officials here haven’t
discussed.
That could spell trouble
for many districts, includ-
ing Verona. Health insur-
ance and ut i l i t y cost s
typically increase year to
year. Even modest salary
increases for staff could
drive costs up hundreds of
thousands of dollars more,
since salaries are the vast
majority of the budget.
Walker’s proposed bud-
get still requires passage
by state lawmakers, which
could take weeks or even
months. Many critics are
calling for a compromise
that will allow districts
to raise revenue caps by
at least $100 per student,
which would mean nearly
a half-million dollars more
in spending authority for
VASD’s 2013-14 budget.
Gorrel l and busi ness
manager Chris Murphy
said in a conference call
last week that they need
more information from
state education leaders
about the impact of Walk-
er’s proposals before deter-
mining how much fund-
ing each of the district’s
10 schools will receive in
2013-14. It’s too early to
say if class sizes, staffing
levels or programs will be
affected, Gorrell said.
But typically, staffing
decisions are made by mid-
April so the district can
issue contracts to teachers.
“We can’ t wai t t oo
long,” Gorrell said. “We
can’t wait until June to do
our budget.”
Continuing trend
Until several years ago,
districts typically could
increase annual spending
by roughly $270 per stu-
dent. That fell to $200 per
student in 2010 under for-
mer Gov. Jim Doyle, who
was facing a massive bud-
get deficit.
Then Walker’s 2011-13
biennium budget further
cut spending limits. Verona
schools had to cut spend-
ing by $550 per student,
or roughly $2 million, in
2011. That cut was mostly
offset by greater pension
contributions required of
public employees under
Act 10, the controversial
law that sparked wide-
spread protests in spring
2011.
Last year , spendi ng
was allowed to increase
by about $100 per student
to $10,539, bringing the
VASD budget to roughly
$57 million.
Before last week, Gor-
rell said he had anticipated
spending limits next year
would increase by at least
$100 per student, and state
Superintendent Tony Evers
had called for a $225-per-
student increase.
School boards have the
power to choose whether
to spend up to the revenue
caps. With Walker’s pro-
posal to freeze spending
limits, that “local control”
is eroded, Gorrell said.
“I understand that it’s a
way to provide property
tax relief, but it does take
away yet another decision
that the board has to make,
in my opinion,” he said.
Critics abound
Since Walker’s budget
address last week, many
public school advocates
have joined leading Demo-
crats in chastising the pro-
posal, which includes a $73
million boost in taxpayer-
funded aid to expand vouch-
er schools to several new
cities, including Madison.
Evers, the Wisconsin Asso-
ciation of School Boards and
the School Administrators
Alliance all released blister-
ing statements. The SAA
called it “the worst state
budget for public school stu-
dents in Wisconsin history.”
Local Rep. Sondy Pope-
Roberts of District 80,
the ranking Democrat on
the Assembly’s education
committee, blasted the plan
on her Facebook page:
“A 24% increase in over-
all private voucher school
spending and a 0% increase
for public schools? That is
not acceptable,” she wrote.
Fellow Democrat Sen.
Jon Erpenbach of Middle-
ton, said Walker’s proposal
for K-12 funding has deep-
ened a political divide.
“It’s getting to the point
where you’re either for
public education or you’re
for pri vat e educat i on, ”
Erpenbach told Baraboo
School Board members
Monday, according to the
Portage Daily Register.
“Those are the lines that
are being drawn.”
Walker’s proposal also
calls for a new perfor-
mance i ncent i ve grant
program that, beginning
in 2014-15, sets aside $64
million to reward schools
that score well or show
improvement on the state’s
new school report cards.
Fi ve l ocal school s –
Country View and Stoner
Prairie elementary schools,
Core Knowledge and New
Century charter schools and
Verona Area High School –
scored in the top two tiers of
that new system this spring,
which could qualify them
for rewards. But Gorrell said
that how, exactly, that pro-
gram could affect Verona
are still unknown.
“We don’t have any inside
information,” he said. “We’re
playing that waiting game.”
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Of 16 school districts in Dane County,
Verona ranked:
3rd 3rd
AP scores
For VAHS
4
February 28, 2013 The Verona Press ConnectVerona.com
Verona Press
Thursday, February 28, 2013 • Vol. 48, No. 40
USPS No. 658-320
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Opinion
I
f you saw the Wisconsin
Badgers’ Ben Brust make
his miracle shot against
Michigan on television earlier
this month, chances are you
were still talking about it with
your co-workers or classmates
on Monday morning.
I was, too, and it got me
thinking.
When I
was a middle
schooler in
the 1970s, the
best morning
to go to school
was Wednes-
day. This had
nothing to do
with what was
planned for us
at school that
morning.
It was all about the previous
evening.
Several readers will remem-
ber that in the mid-1970s, most
families had only three or four
television channels to choose
from. Tuesday night was when
the ABC television network
scheduled its blockbuster lineup
of situation comedies, beginning
with “Happy Days,” followed
on the half hour by “Laverne
and Shirley,” “Three’s Com-
pany,” and -- if your parents
didn’t know you were watching
– “Soap.”
Unless your parents were
ogres, if you were below the age
of 14 you watched those shows
religiously. The next morning,
the bus ride to school and much
of the school day would be con-
sumed by the repetition of Jack
Tripper’s double entendre from
the night before, intense dis-
cussions about whether Fonzie
really would marry Pinky Tus-
cadero on next week’s episode
(assuming she survived the
demolition derby), or specula-
tion about what the women on
“Soap” were really referring to
while they gobbled that cake.
To a large swath of Ameri-
cans, Tuesday evening televi-
sion (and the discussion of it
the next morning) was a shared
experience.
Television once provided the
nation with a number of shared
experiences. Perhaps the great-
est example was the miniseries
“Roots.” I’ve watched this
show on cable within the last
10 years, and unfortunately, the
1970s production values make
it less impactful than was when
it first aired, but back then, the
entire nation was talking about
that show. It ran every night
over nine days, and every morn-
ing you could count on a vigor-
ous debate.
I was reminded of this phe-
nomenon a few weeks ago as
I sat through rehearsals with
Verona Area Community The-
ater.
Don’t worry, VACT isn’t
doing one of those word-for-
word recreations of a 1970s sit-
com. We were just recounting a
shared experience of our own –
but in an entirely different way
from when I was growing up.
Typically, for actors who are
not in lead roles, a rehearsal
can be a great deal of “hurry up
and wait.” You come on stage,
do your little bit, exit, and then
wait for your next entrance.
It may be 15 or 20 minutes of
downtime.
To fill this void, many of the
actors bring books. A popu-
lar choice of reading material
among the actors in the last
show I was in was the “Game
of Thrones” series by George
R.R. Martin, which is also a
popular television series about
to start its third season on HBO.
I, in fact, was turned on to the
books after watching the televi-
sion series, as were many of my
VACT colleagues.
Over the course of the
rehearsal schedule, I heard
countless comments on either
the book or the show.
“I’m surprised at how closely
the television show resembles
the novels,” or “I’m trying to
finish the third book before the
third season of the series begins
in March.”
Despite the large number of
comments by the “Game of
Thrones” fans in the cast, how-
ever, I did not hear much dis-
cussion about the show.
This may be because the most
frequent comments among my
castmates tended to be along the
line of “I got the second season
on BluRay last Christmas and
watched it all in one weekend,”
or “I have the entire series on
my DVR.”
Thanks to the wonders of
modern technology, almost none
of my castmates had watched
the television show the way I
had watched “Happy Days” or
“Roots” all those years ago, by
sitting on the couch the day it
was actually broadcast. They
don’t need to. They can watch
almost anything when it is con-
venient.
In our busy world, I am sure
this counts as a blessing, but I
cannot help but wonder if this
technological wizardry also
comes with an unintended con-
sequence, the decline of the
shared television experience.
“Roots,” and the discussion
that followed each episode,
brought us closer together in
our own communities and as a
nation. It was what people were
talking about.
“Game of Thrones,” despite
what seems to be a large audi-
ence, does not have the same
effect. None of my castmates
gathered in a corner to debate
whether King Joffrey would
get his or if Robb Stark would
someday rule.
Several years ago, a book
titled “Bowling Alone,” lament-
ed how people were eschewing
bowling leagues, service groups
and other community activi-
ties in favor of more solitary
pursuits. The DVR and entire
seasons of television shows on
DVD, I fear, provides us with
one more thing we can do by
ourselves.
Of course there is Ben Brust
and his miracle shot, but it is
just a matter of time before the
Badgers’ season, like the Pack-
ers’ season before it, comes to
an end.
Then what will we talk about?
Karl Curtis is a devoted fan of
pop culture and a former editor
of the Verona Press.
Have we jumped the shark
on shared experiences?
Curtis
Community Voices
Letter to the editor
County preservation efforts lauded
The Dane County proposal to
preserve nearly three miles of
frontage along the Sugar River
south of Verona, land currently
owned by the Bruce Co. is certain-
ly to be applauded.
A footnote to this is that Trout
Unlimited recently decided to
bring their national convention of
officers and key chapter leaders to
Madison Marriott West later this
year.
Primarily a conservation orga-
nization, TU chose to convene
here upon invitation from local
TU members and, when they vis-
ited last year, they loved the great
trout fisheries and conservation
efforts here.
Hats off to Dane County, local
TU members and to all who have
worked to preserve and maintain
our precious local trout ecosys-
tem.
Jeff Holcomb
Verona
From ConnectVerona.com
Poll results
Do you think schools should spend more money to beef up security in
and around schools?
The Verona Press encourages citizens to engage in discussion
through letters to the editor. We take submissions online, on email and
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Special rules apply during election season or other times of high let-
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letter, including those with libelous or obscene content. We can accept
multiple submissions from local authors, but other letters will take pri-
ority over submissions from recently printed authors. Please keep sub-
missions under 400 words.
Deadline is noon Monday the week of publication. For questions
on our editorial policy, call editor Jim Ferolie at 845-9559 or email
veronapress@wcinet.com.
Submit a letter
February 28, 2013 The Verona Press ConnectVerona.com
5
Verona resident performs in percussion extravaganza
A Verona resident will
perform in the Wisconsin
Youth Symphony Orchestras
(WYSO) annual Percussion
Extravaganza at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 2.
Eric Peterson and the per-
cussion ensemble will per-
form a diverse repertoire by
Antonin Dvoák, Andrew
Stout, Bela Fleck, the Bee
Gees and jazz legend Dave
Brubeck.
Thi s year ’ s Ext r ava-
ganza, “Heart Beats,” will
celebrate the life-saving
skills taught by the Ameri-
can Red Cross and the beats
that energize all percus-
sion music. Peterson and
the percussion ensemble
received training in hands
onl y CPR duri ng t hei r
rehearsals and will help
the event’s audience learn
the correct compression
tempo for this important
skill when they perform an
arrangement of the Bee-
Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.”
The 12th Annual Per-
cussion Extravaganza will
be held in Mills Concert
Hall at the UW Humani-
ties Building, 455 N. Park
St., Madison. Tickets are
$10 for adults and $5 for
youth and will be avail-
able at the door or online
at brownpapertickets.com/
event/307902.
For further directions and
information, please contact
the WYSO office at 263-
3320, ext. 11 or visit wyso.
music.wisc.edu
Evansville FFA
22nd Annual
South Central Wisconsin
Farm Toy Show
Sunday, March 3, 2013
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Evansville Field House
401 S. Third St., Evansville, WI 53536
(Please use the Fair St. entrance)
Admission: $3.00 (children under 10 are FREE)
Kiddie Pedal Pull at 12:00pm
Lunch provided by the Evansville FFA
(Sandwiches, chips, desserts and beverages)
Exhibits include: Farm machinery, trains, cars
& trucks, train & farm displays, real farm tractors,
a kiddie pedal pull, & much more.
For more information contact:
Ron Buttchen, 32 Cemetery Rd.,
Evansville, WI 53536
(608) 882-4125.
Supported by the Evansville FFA & Alumni
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&&&&&&&&&&
Tobin and Jackie Ruhde of New Glarus are pleased to an-
nounce the engagement of their daughter, Therese Ruhde, to
Michael Yarroch, son of Joan Pavlowich and William Yarroch
of Hancock, Michigan. The couple plans to wed on May 30,
2013 in Riviera Maya, Mexico with close friends and family
in attendance.
The bride-to-be is a 2004 graduate of Verona Area High
School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Val-
paraiso University in 2008 and is currently in her final year of
medical school at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
and Public Health in Madison. The future groom is a 2003
graduate of Hancock High School in Michigan and received a
bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Michigan
Technical University, Houghton Michigan. Michael is employed
as a Manager at Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Madison, WI.
&&&&&&&
Tobin and Jackie Ruhde of New Glarus are pleased to an-
&
Tobin and Jackie Ruhde of New Glarus are pleased to an-
&&&&&
Therese
Ruhde &
Michael
Yarroch
&&&
Therese
&&
Therese
&&&&
Ruhde &
&&
Ruhde &
&&
Ruhde &
&&&
Michael
&&
Michael
&&&
Yarroch
&&
Yarroch
&
Therese
Ruhde &
Michael
Yarroch
UN274612
30-DAY CHURCH
CHALLENGE
Are you just getting by in life?
Feel lost, overwhelmed, inadequate?
Believe you were meant for something better?
Want a challenge that could change your life?
Join us for the
30-day Church Challenge!
Sundays, February 24-March 24 at 9:15 a.m.
West Madison Bible Church
2920 Hwy. M (near University Ridge Golf Course)
Verona, wl 58598 º (GO8j 845-9518
www.westmadisonbiblechurch.com
Take the challenge...You’ll be glad you did!
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Photos submitted
Service dog mission
Kehl School of Dance students take part in a
charity performance Sunday at Verona Area
High School. They performed their new dances
for the year at the as a fundraiser for two local
families in need of service dogs.
The fundraiser raised more than $3,000 for the
families, both of whom have young boys, one
with epilepsy and one with autism. Because
of the high costs, one family will have to raise
around $12,000, so they look to the fundraiser
to offset costs.
Those that cannot attend the performance can
still donate at the studio, 5117 Verona Road,
through March 5. For more information, contact
dance@kehldance.com.
Left, Hannah Anderson shows off her skills.
If you go
What: Youth Symphony
Orchestras Percussion
Extravaganza
When: 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 2
Where: Mills Concert
Hall at the UW Humanities
Building, 455 N. Park St.,
Madison
Tickets: $10 adults, $5
kids
Photo by Jon Harlow and Krystal Stankowsi
Percussion ensemble member Eric Peterson plays the xylophone.
POLICE REPORT
Info from Verona police logs:
Feb. 6
3:43 p.m. A burglar report-
edly stole a kitchen stove/oven
and a lockbox from a fore-
closed home in Kettle Court.
Police believed the burglary
happened sometime over the
previous three days.
Feb. 8
3:38 a.m. The Depart-
ment of Public Works let
police know that a plow truck
knocked over a light pole on
the corner of Maple Road and
Spruce Circle. There were no
injuries, and the light pole fell
into a neighbor’s yard.
Feb. 11
10:09 a.m. Staff at Verona
Area High School extinguished
a fire in a boys bathroom.
Police cited the 19-year-old stu-
dent, who allegedly had ignited
paper towels and put them in
the trash, with negligent han-
dling of burning material.
Feb. 13
2:31 a.m. Police arrested
a 42-year-old woman on the
300 block of East Verona
Avenue based on probable
cause that she was operating
a motor vehicle without the
owner’s consent. Tipped off
by Stoughton Police, Verona
officers stopped her and
found drug paraphernalia
and the stolen vehicle keys.
11:05 p.m. A vehicle
crashed into a backyard on the
200 block of Todd Street with
the female driver and two or
three males fleeing in a second
vehicle. Police attempted con-
tacting the vehicle’s registered
owner, a 26-year-old woman,
and suspected 24-year-old
male getaway driver.
– Rob Kitson
Tim Andrews Horticulturist - LLC
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your mower blades!
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February 28, 2013 The Verona Press ConnectVerona.com
Bible discussions
Resurrection Lutheran Church, 6705
Wesner Road, Verona will be hosting
discussions on the Bible miniseries at
6:30 p.m. March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April
1. This miniseries is running on the
History Channel on Sunday evenings in
March, culminating on Easter Sunday,
March 31.
Resurrection’s pastor, Nathan Strutz,
and assistant pastor Timothy Rosenow
will be leading the discussions.
For more information contact
Resurrection at 848-4965 or email:
pastor.resurrection@tds.net
CKCS Trivia Night
Enjoy an evening of trivia fun and
prizes to support Core Knowledge
Charter School from 5:45-8 p.m. Friday,
March 1, at the Fitchburg Community
Center, 5510 Lacy Road.
Registration fee is $30 per person with
up to eight people on a team.
To reserve a spot or table for a team,
please email Jack Grotsky, Ravi Talluri
or Brett Stousland of the Verona Area
School District. You can also call 318-
3574.
Mixed media and fiber art
The art group, 3150 Studio Artists,
will be showing a collection of their
Mixed Media and Textile Art, at the
Madison Senior Center starting Friday,
March 1.
The artists - Barbara Lulack, Bea
Neal, Chris Thomas, Linda Olson, Mary
Young, Pam Bell and Patricia Towne
- come from Verona and surrounding
areas and are dedicated to exploration,
experimentation of Mixed Media and
Fiber Art.
For info, call 848-9519
The Young and the Restless
Run, jump, slide, balance and dance at
the Verona Public Library.
Enjoy a session for children up to age 5
from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 1.
The Young and the Restless open
indoor play time is an opportunity for
kids be active, develop motor skills, and
make new friends.
Rain garden workshop
Learn how to conserve water with a
rain garden workshop from 9 a.m. - noon
Saturday, March 2, at the Verona Public
Library.
The cost for the workshop is $5.
For more information, to register or
to order plants, visit myfairlakes.com/
plantdane.aspx.
Introduction to Excel
Solve the mystery of the spreadsheet
with Introduction to Excel, a how-to
computer class at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday,
March, 5, at the library.
This program is free. Register online
at veronapubliclibrary.org.
Green Eggs and Ham
Join the library for a free breakfast in
honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday from 9:30-
10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 6.
Staff will be serving green eggs, ham,
muffins, and juice.
Please register each person in
your party who will be eating at
veronapubliclibrary.org.
RSVP
Learn about volunteering with RSVP
of Dane County at 9:15 a.m., Tuesday,
March 5, at the Verona Senior Center.
Volunteers will be on hand to share
information about what it means
to volunteer as a driver, what time
commitment is required and more.
Family wellness fair
A family wellness fair will be held
from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at
Savanna Oaks Middle School, 5890
Lacy Road.
The f ai r wi l l i ncl ude l ocal
organizations providing educational
booths, family fun activities, food, and a
speaker at 8 p.m. Chandra Dobson form
the Madison Police Department will be
speaking on “Cyber Safety for Teens.”
The public is invited to attend. For more
info, email klassyb@verona.k12.wi.us.
Men’s group
Join the men’s group for a con-
versation with Gary Kuzynski, who
provides chair massage three times a
month at the Verona Senior Center and
also does foot reflexology, a fascinat-
ing, and sometimes very beneficial
service for overall health.
The conversation takes place at 9:30
a.m. Friday, March 8, at the senior cen-
ter.
Green and Gold Bingo
Start celebrating the Luck o’ the Irish
at the Green and Gold Bingo event at
12:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the senior
center.
All prizes are either green or gold.
Play costs $1 per two cards. Come
wearing green and gold to be eligible for
added prizes.
Coming up
Community calendar
Churches
ALL SAINTS LUTHERAN
CHURCH
2951 Chapel Valley Road, Fitchburg
(608) 276-7729
allsaints-madison.org
Pastor Rich Johnson
THE CHURCH IN FITCHBURG
2833 Raritan Road, Fitchburg, WI
53711
(608) 271-2811
livelifetogether.com
Sunday Worship: 8 and10:45 a.m.
THE CHURCH IN VERONA
Verona Business Centre
535 Half Mile Rd. #7, Verona.
(608) 271-2811
livelifetogether.com
Sunday Worship: 9 a.m.
FITCHBURG MEMORIAL UCC
5705 Lacy Road, Fitchburg
(608) 273-1008 • memorialucc.org
Phil Haslanger
GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN
CHURCH ELCA
(608) 271-6633
Central: Raymond Road & Whitney
Way
SUNDAY
8:15, 9:30 & 10:45 a.m. Worship
West: Corner of Hwy. PD & Nine
Mound Road, Verona
SUNDAY
9 & 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Worship
LIVING HOPE CHURCH
At the Verona Senior Center
108 Paoli St. • (608) 347-3827
livinghopeverona.com, info@
livinghopeverona.com
SUNDAY
10 a.m. Worship
MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH
201 S. Main, Verona
(608) 845-7125
MBCverona.org
Lead pastor: Jeremy Scott
SUNDAY
10:15 a.m. Worship
REDEEMER BIBLE FELLOWSHIP
102 N. Franklin Ave., Verona
Pastor Dwight R. Wise
(608) 848-1836 www.
redeemerbiblefellowship.org
SUNDAY
10 a.m. Family Worship Service
RESURRECTION LUTHERAN
CHURCH
Wisconsin Synod, 6705 Wesner
Road, Verona
(608) 848-4965 • rlcverona.org
Pastor Nathan Strutz and Assistant
Pastor: Timothy Rosenow
THURSDAY
6:30 p.m. Worship
SUNDAY
9 a.m. Worship Service
ST. CHRISTOPHER CATHOLIC
PARISH
301 N. Main St., Verona
(608) 845-6613
Stchristopherverona.com
Fr. William Vernon, pastor
SATURDAY 5 p.m. Sunday Vigil,
St. Andrew, Verona
SUNDAY 7:30 a.m., St. William,
Paoli
9 and 11 a.m., St. Andrew, Verona
Daily Mass: Tuesday-Saturday at 8
a.m., St. Andrew, Verona
ST. JAMES EVANGELICAL
LUTHERAN CHURCH
427 S. Main Street, Verona
(608) 845-6922
www.stjamesverona.org
Pastors Kurt M. Billings and Peter
Narum
Service
5 p.m., Saturday
8:30 and 10:45 a.m., Sunday
SALEM UNITED CHURCH OF
CHRIST
502 Mark Dr., Verona, WI
Phone: (608) 845-7315
Rev. Dr. Mark E. Yurs, Pastor
Laura Kolden, Associate in Ministry
www.salemchurchverona.org
9:00AM Sunday School (for all ages)
10:15AM Worship Service
Staffed nursery: 8:45am-11:30am
11:30AM Fellowship Hour
SPRINGDALE LUTHERAN
CHURCH-ELCA
2752 Town Hall Road (off County
ID)
(608) 437-3493
springdalelutheran.org
Pastor: Jeff Jacobs
SUNDAY
8:45 a.m. Communion Worship
SUGAR RIVER
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
130 N. Franklin St., Verona
(608) 845-5855
sugar.river@sugarriverumc.org,
sugarriverumc.org
Pastor: Gary Holmes
SUNDAY
9:00 & 10:30
Contemporary worship with
children’s Sunday school.
Refreshments and fellowship are
between services.
WEST MADISON BIBLE CHURCH
2920 Hwy. M, Verona, WI 53593
Sunday (nursery provided in a.m.)
9:15 a.m. - Praise and worship
10:45 - Sunday School (all ages)
6 p.m. - Small group Bible study
ZWINGLI UNITED CHURCH OF
CHRIST – Located at Hwy. 92 & Ct.
Road G, Mount Vernon
(608) 832-6677 for information
Pastor: Brad Brookins
SUNDAY
10:15 a.m. Worship
ZWINGLI UNITED CHURCH OF
CHRIST –
At Hwy. 69 and PB, Paoli
(608) 845-5641
Rev. Sara Thiessen
SUNDAY
9:30 a.m. Family Worship
430 E. Verona Ave.
845-2010
Park Printing
House, Ltd.
550 E. Verona Ave.
Verona • 845-6505
Call 845-9559
to advertise on the
Verona Press
church page
Thursday, Feb. 28
7 a.m. – Home Instead at Senior Center
9 a.m. - Daily Exercise
10 a.m. - Gilda’s Club at Senior Center
3 p.m. - Daily Exercise
4 p.m. – Marcy & the Highlights at Senior
Center
6 p.m. - Salem Church Service
7 p.m. - Words of Peace
8 p.m. - Daily Exercise
9 p.m. – Chatting with the Chamber
10 p.m. – Memorial Baptist at Historical
Society
Friday, Mar. 1
7 a.m. – Marcy & the Highlights at Senior
Center
1:30 p.m. - Chatting with the Chamber
3 p.m. - Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
5 p.m. - 2011 Wildcats Football
8:30 p.m. - Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
10 p.m. - Home Instead at Senior Center
11 p.m. – Gilda’s Club at Senior Center
Saturday, Mar. 2
8 a.m. – Common Council from 2-25-13
11 a.m. - Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
1 p.m. - 2011 Wildcats Football
4:30 p.m. – Memorial Baptist at Historical
Society
6 p.m. – Common Council from 2-25-13
9 p.m. - Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
10 p.m. - Memorial Baptist at Historical
Society
11 p.m. - Gilda’s Club at Senior Center
Sunday, Mar. 3
7 a.m. - Hindu Cultural Hour
9 a.m. – Resurrection Church
10 a.m. - Salem Church Service
Noon - Common Council from 2-25-13
3 p.m. - Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
4:30 p.m. - Memorial Baptist at Historical
Society
6 p.m. – Common Council from 2-25-13
9 p.m. - Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
10 p.m. – Memorial Baptist at Historical
Society
11 p.m. - Gilda’s Club at Senior Center
Monday, Mar. 4
7 a.m. – Marcy & the Highlights at Senior
Center
1:30 p.m. - Chatting with the Chamber
3 p.m. - Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
5 p.m. - 2011 Wildcats Football
9 p.m. - Hindu Cultural Hour
10 p.m. – Home Instead at Senior Center
11 p.m. – Gilda’s Club at Senior Center
Tuesday, Mar. 5
7 a.m. – Home Instead at Senior Center
9 a.m. - Daily Exercise
10 a.m. - Gilda’s Club at Senior Center
3 p.m. - Daily Exercise
4 p.m. – Marcy & the Highlights at Senior
Center
6 p.m. - Resurrection Church
8 p.m. - Words of Peace
9 p.m. - Chatting with the Chamber
10 p.m. - Memorial Baptist at Historical
Society
Wednesday, Mar. 6
7 a.m. – Marcy & the Highlights at Senior
Center
1:30 p.m. - Chatting with the Chamber
3 p.m. – Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
5 p.m. – Common Council from 2-25-13
7 p.m. - Capital City Band
8 p.m. – Renters Assistance at Senior
Center
10 p.m. - Home Instead at Senior Center
11 p.m. – Gilda’s Club at Senior Center
Thursday, Mar. 7
7 a.m. – Home Instead at Senior Center
9 a.m. - Daily Exercise
10 a.m. – Gilda’s Club at Senior Center
3 p.m. - Daily Exercise
4 p.m. – Marcy & the Highlights at Senior
Center
6 p.m. - Salem Church Service
8 p.m. - Daily Exercise
9 p.m. – Chatting with the Chamber
10 p.m. – Memorial Baptist at Historical
Society
What’s on VHAT-98
Calling all churches
Is your service time changing? See a change that has yet
to be made? Please let us know so we can have the correct
listing in our church directories. Call Victoria at 845-9559
ext. 249 or email communityreporter@wcinet.com.
Thursday, Feb. 28
• 10 a.m., Women’s group discussion, Verona Senior
Center, 845-7471
• 6-8 p.m., Business idea class, Verona Public Library,
258-5450
Friday, March 1
• 9:30 a.m., The young and the restless session,
Verona Public Library, 845-7180
• 5:45-8 p.m. Trivia Night to support Core Knowledge
Charter School, Fitchburg Community Center
Saturday, March 2
• 9 a.m., Rain garden workshop, Verona Public
Library, 845-7180
Monday, March 4
• 6:30 p.m., City Plan Commission, City Hall
• 6:30 p.m., Bible discussion, Resurrection Lutheran
Church, 6705 Wesner Road, 848-4965
Tuesday, March 5
• 9:15 a.m., RSVP info session, Verona Senior
Center, 845-7471
• 9:30 a.m., Hometown helpers, Verona Senior
Center, 845-7471
• 6:30 p.m. Excel workshop, Verona Public Library,
845-7180
Wednesday, March 6
• 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Green eggs and ham breakfast,
Verona Public Library, 845-7180
Thursday, March 7
• 5-8 p.m., Family Wellness Fair, Savanna Oaks
Middle School, 5890 Lacy Road
Friday, March 8
• 9:30 a.m., Men’s group – Gary Kuzynski, Verona
Senior Center, 845-7471
• 12:30 p.m., Green and gold bingo, Verona Senior
Center, 845-7471
Sunday, March 10
Daylight Savings Time starts
Puttering and Other Ways to Savor Life
During my childhood, my father would often preface his trips to
the garage with the announcement that he was going downstairs to
“putter,” often saying that he was “just going to putter around” in
the garage. What he usually ended up doing for the next few hours
was fixing broken toys, lamps or other appliances, or working on
the cars. I distinctly remember looking up the word “putter” after
hearing my father use the term, trust me, he “puttered” a lot, and
chuckling when I read the definition: to occupy oneself with minor
or unimportant tasks. But even then I knew that what my father
was doing wasn’t minor or unimportant. Seeing him fix broken
stuff around the house was an important lesson on the value of
resourcefulness, frugality, and helping others. Some of my most
productive days now are those lazy Saturdays when I putter around
the house, doing some housework perhaps between writing these
short pieces, and then maybe going for a walk. We never know
what we might find or how we might get inspired when we putter.
You don’t always need a prioritized list in order to get stuff done
or to savor life in all its glory. Sometimes you just need to take the
time to putter.
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy
name.”
Psalm 103:1
Thursday, February 28, 2013 • Vol. 48, No. 40 • Verona, WI • Hometown USA • ConnectVerona.com • $1
The
Verona Press
The
Verona Press
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District dissolution on dockets
City, town planning votes
in next couple of weeks
MARK IGNATOWSKI
Unified Newspaper Group
A draft of the agreements that
will turn the Verona Fire Depart-
ment into a city-run department is
headed to both the city and town.
The two municipalities are set
to digest the two agreements and
make decisions in March. Elect-
ed officials have a few weeks to
wrestle over the finer details of the
agreements. Several issues they’ll
have to agree upon include: the
fate of fire department personnel,
the cost of services and the level of
services residents will receive.
The pr ocess cont ai ns t wo
agreements – one to dissolve the
current fire district, and another for
the city to provide service to the
town for at least the next 30 years.
The agreements, drafted by city
administrator Bill Burns and town
administrator Amanda Arnold,
have been reviewed by attorneys
and are now ready for a look by
Verona Fire District
Photo by Jim Ferolie
In sync
Members of the Wildcat Dance Team leap in unison during their performance at the sixth annual Multicultural Showcase at Verona Area High School last Friday. The show,
which is put on three times during the day – once for freshmen and sophomores, once for juniors and seniors and again for the public – featured 23 acts from a variety of
cultures. Among them were hip-hop, Bollywood and LGBT dance, Korean, Hawaiian and Spanish singing, African stepping, European magic and spoken word poetry.
More photos: Page 2
Epic’s
redesign
placates
neighbors
Plans could be ready
for initial city review
in April
MARK IGNATOWSKI
Unified Newspaper Group
Updated plans to expand
the Epic campus earned a
more favorable reaction
from neighbors last week
than the original plans did
in December.
The expanding health
care soft ware company
proposed moving its North-
ern Lights Road shift away
from the Westridge Estates
subdivision and revamping
its building design to blend
in with the surroundings
and displace less light.
The company is working
submit plans for part of the
8-to-10-building project to
the city for review by the
Plan Commission as soon
as April, city administrator
Bill Burns told the Press on
Monday.
Things didn’t go nearly
as well two months earlier,
when Epic invited neighbors
in the Westridge subdivision
to review concept plans for
its next growth phase – two
new campus additions to the
north and east of the cur-
rent buildings. That move
requires purchasing vacant
lots originally planned for
houses and apartments in
Westridge and realigning
City of Verona
Plan aim: bolder action downtown
JIM FEROLIE
Verona Press editor
With a new planner in town and
the city poised to take advantage of
increasing economic activity, Verona
is taking a hard look at the future of
the city’s downtown.
After setting the table with a couple
of smaller discussions, the city and the
planning firm it has hired, MSA, are
looking for residents’ feedback on what
is most important in the long run. The
first of what could be multiple public
forums for the Downtown Transpor-
tation and Corridor Study is set for 6
p.m. March 7 at Verona City Center.
City administrator Bill Burns said
there aren’t as yet any hot-potato
issues like roundabouts or split one-
ways to discuss, but city leaders felt
residents ought to be given a chance
to kick things off before a new plan
starts taking shape.
“We didn’t want to go ahead and
put together the draft concepts with-
out talking to the public and giving
them a chance to talk about what
their concerns and their issues are,”
Multicultural show
If you go
What: Downtown plan public forum
When: 6-8 p.m. March 7
Where: Verona City Center, 111
Lincoln St.
Info: Call city administrator Bill
Burns at 845-6495
Turn to Epic/Page 8 Turn to Downtown/Page 12
In brief
The city and town are set to vote on dissolving the Verona
Fire District to have the city run the department. The town
will contract for services, and both sides must agree on:
• What services will be provided
• How the services will be paid for
• What happens to the existing personnel
Turn to Fire/Page 12
Unified Newspaper Group’s
family magazine included in
this issue!
2
February 28, 2013 The Verona Press ConnectVerona.com
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Call us for a FREE consultation!
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March 16
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35 Year Anniversary 35 Year Anniversary
35
YEARS
Stop in for a free gift with every building designed in
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Verona, WI 190 Paoli Street
608-845-9700
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First Business Bank
Guttersmiths Roofing & Sheet Metal
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Protective Coating Specialists
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Photos by Jim Ferolie
Getting some culture
This year’s Multicultural Leadership Club was the biggest ever, with 31 members from at least 13 dif-
ferent ethnic backgrounds, and adviser Carri Hale couldn’t have been happier. Johnnie Yang (left, per-
forming Taylor Mail’s “What Teachers Make” in spoken word) wrote the script for the show while she
got to watch the process. She also called the audience the “most mature” yet.
Above, teachers and performers all dance to V.I.C.’s “Wobble Baby.
Below, Jarrell Homsely pirouettes along with others on the Wildcat Dance Team.
Julio Cesar Fuentes-Cruz works some electrifying hip-hop moves.
Catch some video
The Verona Press spliced some
scenes from the show together to
illustrate the variety of culture on
display. To see it, visit:
Right, Deanna Sagapolu (left)
and Nghi Tuong sing a pop song
in both Korean and English.
February 28, 2013 The Verona Press ConnectVerona.com
3
Verona Area High School
AP scores hit all-time high
SETH JOVAAG
Unified Newspaper Group
For the second straight year, more Vero-
na Area High School students who tackled
college-level courses last spring earned
passing scores on year-end exams than
ever before, according to data released last
week by the state Department of Public
Instruction.
Nearly 21 percent of VAHS students
in 2011-12 tackled Advanced Placement
courses that can earn them college credits,
slightly lower than the 22 percent of stu-
dents who took AP tests in 2010-11.
At the end of AP courses, students take
high-stakes exams to see if they’ve mas-
tered the content. On a scale of 1 to 5, a
3 is generally a passing score. VAHS stu-
dents who took AP classes scored 3 or bet-
ter on 82.6 percent of the exams. That’s
a 4-point increase from last year and the
highest percentage in 16 years of data.
Among 16 school districts in Dane
County, VAHS ranked third – trailing only
Mount Horeb (84 percent) and Oregon
(83.9) high schools in terms of the percent-
age of students earning passing marks.
At VAHS, 313 students took a total of
535 exams last year. In the 16 Dane Coun-
ty school districts, VAHS ranked third
behind Middleton-Cross Plains and Sun
Prairie high schools in terms of how many
kids took AP classes.
VAHS continues to struggle with low
numbers of minority students in AP cours-
es, however.
Only five of 149 black students (4 per-
cent) and five of 166 Hispanic students (3
percent) enrolled in the courses, according
to DPI data. Asian students provided the
lone exception, as 12 of 52 eligible stu-
dents (nearly 23 percent) took AP tests.
Female students bettered their male
counterparts, with 83.6 percent of girls
earning passing scores, compared with
81.4 percent for the boys. Both were all-
time highs.
VAHS offers 13 AP courses in subjects
ranging from biology, calculus, English,
history, psychology, music theory and sta-
tistics, according to the high school’s web-
site.
Wisconsin ranks first in the 13-state
Midwest region in terms of how many
seniors scored 3 or better on an AP exam
last year, with 20.6 percent, according to
a DPI news release. Nationally, the figure
was 19.5 percent, and the state ranks 14th
in that category, and 24th in terms of the
percentage of 2012 graduates who took
AP courses, according to an annual report
from the College Board.
The data from DPI can be viewed by
gender and race and can be compared to
other districts at its website, dpi.wi.gov.
On t he homepage, scrol l t o t he t ab
named “data and media” and click on the
“WINNS” link, then follow the prompts to
see VAHS results.
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Press launching revamped website
Our news websites are get-
ting an overhaul this week.
All four websites in Uni-
fied Newspaper Group will
have new websites, including
ConnectVerona.com. Each
will still have all your news
and photos plus new features.
Our websites will be going
in the direction many news
sources are, which will be
to have a pay wall for some
content. This means read-
ers who do not have print or
online subscriptions will pay
a small fee to look at more
than a few features.
Not everything will be
behind the wall, and those
who choose not to pay will
have access to some content,
as well as an allotted number
of articles to read.
But for those who do sign
up, you will receive full
access to an unlimited num-
ber of articles, videos, access
to special sections and an
electronic edition.
There will also be an addi-
tional website added for our
quarterly magazine, Your
Family.
New design
The websites will be
designed to please the eye with
the top stories on a slideshow
with the main photo. Our new
look will be more modern,
clean and user-friendly.
The content will be the
same, but there will be more
and it will be easier to navi-
gate.
Paywall, but not yet
Although we are changing
to a paywall, we will transi-
tion slowly to give everyone
a chance to sign up.
At first, more content will
be available, but that will
change as time passes.
Easier to buy photos
All of our photos will be
easier to purchase. You can
purchase them right from the
websites, and they will be
mailed to you if you choose
that option.
Sharing
The websites will also
allow for sharing of stories
and photos on your Face-
book and Twitter feeds right
from the websites.
–Unified Newspaper Group
Verona Area School District
Officials criticize lack of
funding in Walker’s budget
SETH JOVAAG
Unified Newspaper Group
Gov. Scott Walker’s pro-
posal last week to freeze
spending limits for public
schools over the next two
years didn’t sit well with
the head of the Verona
Area School District.
Joi ni ng a chor us of
public school advocates
critical of Gov. Walker’s
proposed biennial bud-
get, superintendent Dean
Gorrell said he was sur-
prised and “frustrated” by
the Republican governor’s
plan. He called it a “worst-
case scenario” for schools
as the district heads into
its annual budget-planning
process.
“It’s hard to imagine
many kinds of businesses
that are looking at long-
term sustainability with
this kind of business mod-
el,” he said.
Walker’s proposal calls
for raising state funding
for public K-12 schools
by $129.2 million over
the next two years, or 1
percent annual l y. That
boost in state aid could
lower property taxes. But
at the same time, districts
couldn’t exceed current
spending limits without
going to voters first, some-
thing officials here haven’t
discussed.
That could spell trouble
for many districts, includ-
ing Verona. Health insur-
ance and ut i l i t y cost s
typically increase year to
year. Even modest salary
increases for staff could
drive costs up hundreds of
thousands of dollars more,
since salaries are the vast
majority of the budget.
Walker’s proposed bud-
get still requires passage
by state lawmakers, which
could take weeks or even
months. Many critics are
calling for a compromise
that will allow districts
to raise revenue caps by
at least $100 per student,
which would mean nearly
a half-million dollars more
in spending authority for
VASD’s 2013-14 budget.
Gorrel l and busi ness
manager Chris Murphy
said in a conference call
last week that they need
more information from
state education leaders
about the impact of Walk-
er’s proposals before deter-
mining how much fund-
ing each of the district’s
10 schools will receive in
2013-14. It’s too early to
say if class sizes, staffing
levels or programs will be
affected, Gorrell said.
But typically, staffing
decisions are made by mid-
April so the district can
issue contracts to teachers.
“We can’ t wai t t oo
long,” Gorrell said. “We
can’t wait until June to do
our budget.”
Continuing trend
Until several years ago,
districts typically could
increase annual spending
by roughly $270 per stu-
dent. That fell to $200 per
student in 2010 under for-
mer Gov. Jim Doyle, who
was facing a massive bud-
get deficit.
Then Walker’s 2011-13
biennium budget further
cut spending limits. Verona
schools had to cut spend-
ing by $550 per student,
or roughly $2 million, in
2011. That cut was mostly
offset by greater pension
contributions required of
public employees under
Act 10, the controversial
law that sparked wide-
spread protests in spring
2011.
Last year , spendi ng
was allowed to increase
by about $100 per student
to $10,539, bringing the
VASD budget to roughly
$57 million.
Before last week, Gor-
rell said he had anticipated
spending limits next year
would increase by at least
$100 per student, and state
Superintendent Tony Evers
had called for a $225-per-
student increase.
School boards have the
power to choose whether
to spend up to the revenue
caps. With Walker’s pro-
posal to freeze spending
limits, that “local control”
is eroded, Gorrell said.
“I understand that it’s a
way to provide property
tax relief, but it does take
away yet another decision
that the board has to make,
in my opinion,” he said.
Critics abound
Since Walker’s budget
address last week, many
public school advocates
have joined leading Demo-
crats in chastising the pro-
posal, which includes a $73
million boost in taxpayer-
funded aid to expand vouch-
er schools to several new
cities, including Madison.
Evers, the Wisconsin Asso-
ciation of School Boards and
the School Administrators
Alliance all released blister-
ing statements. The SAA
called it “the worst state
budget for public school stu-
dents in Wisconsin history.”
Local Rep. Sondy Pope-
Roberts of District 80,
the ranking Democrat on
the Assembly’s education
committee, blasted the plan
on her Facebook page:
“A 24% increase in over-
all private voucher school
spending and a 0% increase
for public schools? That is
not acceptable,” she wrote.
Fellow Democrat Sen.
Jon Erpenbach of Middle-
ton, said Walker’s proposal
for K-12 funding has deep-
ened a political divide.
“It’s getting to the point
where you’re either for
public education or you’re
for pri vat e educat i on, ”
Erpenbach told Baraboo
School Board members
Monday, according to the
Portage Daily Register.
“Those are the lines that
are being drawn.”
Walker’s proposal also
calls for a new perfor-
mance i ncent i ve grant
program that, beginning
in 2014-15, sets aside $64
million to reward schools
that score well or show
improvement on the state’s
new school report cards.
Fi ve l ocal school s –
Country View and Stoner
Prairie elementary schools,
Core Knowledge and New
Century charter schools and
Verona Area High School –
scored in the top two tiers of
that new system this spring,
which could qualify them
for rewards. But Gorrell said
that how, exactly, that pro-
gram could affect Verona
are still unknown.
“We don’t have any inside
information,” he said. “We’re
playing that waiting game.”
See website for
information on other
classes and more
www.springdaleyoga.com
437-4082
New Monthly Class
2-Hour Joint Movement Flow
Sat., March 9, 10:30 a.m.
Free Newcomers Class
Sat., March 2, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Beginning Yoga Classes
Tues. 6:30 p.m. & Fri. 8:30 a.m.
8435 Cty. Rd. PD
Between Verona & Mt. Horeb
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Of 16 school districts in Dane County,
Verona ranked:
3rd 3rd
AP scores
For VAHS

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