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Summer enters the home stretch this week, which means August has arrived and we're at the height of fair time. The St. Croix County Fair wrapped up in July, but people are still talking about it. Across the river, Washington County Fair runs Aug. 2-6 in Stillwater and then it is Wisconsin's turn again with the Pierce County Fair Aug. 10-13 in Ellsworth.
In recent years, Wisconsin lawmakers have eased regulation on the largest animal feeding operations in the state. Recently proposed changes to the state's administrative rule regarding livestock facility siting, however, could prove a step toward restoring some local regulatory autonomy over all feeding operations. In his May 23 presentation before the St. Croix County Ground and Surface Water Study Group, County Corporate Counsel Attorney Scott Cox outlined current possible avenues for local municipalities to regulate livestock operations.
Employees of Three Square Market of River Falls will have a chance at a new way to work with optional implanted chip technology starting Aug. 1. For those who volunteer, an RFID chip will be implanted in their finger and will allow them to make purchases in their break room "micro market," open doors, log in to computers, use the copy machine and more. The company expects about 50 employees to participate.
It's obvious the world is changing at a rapid rate. What an understatement. The older generation reminisces about the time when the world moved a slower pace. Sitting on the front porch with a glass of lemonade in the evenings after supper, chatting with a neighbor over that white picket fence, taking the time for real conversations face-to-face as opposed to a quick text or Snapchat over a screen.
The Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited is delighted to announce the completion of a conservation project on the Trimbelle River west of Ellsworth. This project is another example of the vision of Kiap-TU- Wish in the 21st century: to conserve, protect and restore cold water streams. The project area is on the Mike and Suzanne Holst property along County Highway O about one mile south of U.S. Highway 10. There is a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources easement on the property and it is open to public fishing.
The River City Chorale is celebrating its ninth season of choral music by presenting a series of concerts in July. Over 140 vocalists from Hudson, Stillwater, New Richmond, the St. Croix River Valley, the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin will perform with the ensemble this summer. The public is invited to attend.
Fair tickets will be available starting Monday, July 17. You can be the first one on your block to purchase your season gate pass and advance sale ride tickets for the 2017 Pierce County Fair. "Butter than Any Udder Fair" is the 2017 theme. The fair runs Thursday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 13, and features free daily entertainment, as well as over 11,000 fair entries, fabulous food, over 100 commercial exhibits and a great midway.
Owners of wells that pump more than 100,000 gallons of water a day are no longer subject to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources review for maintenance and replacement of existing wells. Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill June 1 that reduces DNR oversight of high-capacity wells, which are used mostly by farmers and industrial businesses. The new law allows well owners to forego DNR review for well maintenance, reconstruction and ownership transfers.
The St. Croix Valley Master Gardener Association will be sponsoring a fun contest for kids at the Pierce County Fair, where they can enter their biggest vegetables and flowers. This contest is open to all kids under the age of 16; they need not be affiliated with 4-H or any other youth organization.