Bits and Pieces for Aug. 31|
Let’s start out with a little news.
The school district board approved a 10 percent increase in property taxes at a meeting this week.
That’s a pretty good piece of change in an era with inflation under control — so far — and incomes here and elsewhere fairly static.
I’ve even been involved in heated discussions over the budget, backing the board.
Another news topic is Syria. I’ve been fretting about it all week, thinking we should get out of there, now.
We have a very questionable record for getting into conflicts in the Middle East and like our other adventures, there is no good end for the U.S.
We would be stepping into a sectarian civil war, and that always turns out poorly. It is something like trying to keep peace in the midst of a bar fight. You are the one who is usually hurt.
I promise to forget Obama’s “Red Line” remark, if we just start the engines on the military ships — and get going in the homeward direction.
It has been months since I’ve provided an overview of what’s going on in the Antigo area.
So it’s time to fix that. Here are a few of the items I gleaned from city of Antigo reports, mostly from Jerry Wilhelm, the building inspector/assessor.
— The former Wisconsin Public Service office is being converted into a call center for this district.
The building was the utility’s Antigo office and Mick Macklem was the last of the managers before things started shutting down.
The utility’s historic facility was across the street from the Journal in what today is the CAR thrift shop building. Many moons ago, coal-fired generators ran at that site to keep Antigo lighted and powered.
— The remodeling of the former Subway building is moving ahead nicely with installation of windows during the past week.
The building was purchased by Gowey Title and Abstract, which plans on having its offices there.
— Badger Housing, owner of the building on Clermont Street that houses the driver’s license office, has finished an addition for the Wisconsin Probation and Parole headquarters, which has been tucked into the basement of the Safety Building.
Space simply ran out in the basement as business boomed.
There is plenty more. Work on Bridge Dental Clinic continues in the Antigo Medical Building on Langlade Road and the General Clinic’s remodeling is continuing, much of it in the basement and the cardiovascular offices.
The basement of CoVantage is getting attention, too. Remodeling is underway at Northcentral Technical College and a new, freestanding office at Wetterau Wood Products has been built.
What I find even more interesting is what’s coming — those projects that are not so certain.
The city continues working on the Pebble Ridge apartment complex at the intersection of Steinfest Road and Charlotte Street.
There are a number of issues to settle before planning begins, but that is expected soon. Construction should be in spring. The building inspector said, “It should be a very nice addition to the community.”
Another: Antigo Housing Authority is looking at a project at Park View Manor. It would install a new elevator on the southwest corner of the building and the apartments are to be enlarged.
The new facility for adult care at 1415 10th Ave., with 16 units, will soon be getting a twin on the same site. This is just to the east of the high school campus on the south side of 10th Avenue.
This is a busy community when you look closely.
On to more typical “Bits” topics.
On Wednesday, the Wausau television stations had stories about the theft of the frame of the Volkswagen that provided the basis for the spider in the sci-fi flick made at least partially in Gleason, “The Giant Spider Invasion.”
Friends and I were in the community that day for “Gleason Days,” and the film was being made. We took part in a running scene with the “spider” chasing us.
Director Bill Rebane, who now lives in Saxon, had advertised the frame as a movie artifact for $35,000.
It was probably worth in scrap steel price about $200.
Someone at WAOW Channel 9 in Wausau did a fine research job, these are facts I’ve never seen before.
The giant spider was created by covering the Volkswaagon frame with artificial black fur. The fake legs of the spider were operated from the inside by a seven-member crew. The back of the car was the front of the spider, using its red tail lights for glowing eyes.
The film's plot revolved around a spider invasion, which occurred when, what appeared to be, a meteorite crashed in rural Wisconsin, spawning spiders of varying sizes.
Such foolishness — I still have the CD.
You can tell I had a great time over 38 years ago.
Did you ever wonder why you are fascinated by certain things?
On Thursday, we ran a picture of a long-closed amusement park in New Orleans that went with a story about how the city is making a comeback on the eighth anniversary of Katrina. I was fascinated with the prospect of an abandoned amusement park.
The Six Flags park closed the day before the storm arrived, was damaged and in eight years, vandals have had a field day.
It is located in the Ninth Ward, which was hard-hit by flooding and while attempts were made to get it going again, the damage was simply too great. So it became what’s called an “urban exploration destination,” although those who go are subject to arrest for trespassing.
Stephen King has penned a 2013 book, “Joyland,” about misadventures at a closed amusement park. Six Flags New Orleans looks like a perfect setting for a horror novel — fascinating.
This is Labor Day weekend, and I expect to play it quietly.
The people at Elton are holding their shindig this year at the school building, always a good time.
The Phlox Sportsman’s Club is holding its 39th corn roast at the Norwood ballpark from 3 to 10 p.m. Sunday. There will be corn, refreshments, music and prizes. The Rolling Stone Lake party is this weekend and there are dozens and dozens of other events throughout the area. Check your Friday Antigo Daily Journal for the page three list, or on the Web att antigodailyjournal.com.
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