When you work late in downtown Platteville, the bump in the night comes from above you (one of Platteville’s above-first-floor apartments), not below you, unless in our case the ghost of Pancho Steinberg’s Mexican deli is here somewhere.
Schultz vs. Marklein vs. Wittwer: Those with an unhealthy interest in politics have been speculating on whether or not state Sen. Dale Schultz (R–Richland Center) will run for reelection. If he runs, Schultz already has a Republican opponent, Rep. Howard Marklein (R–Spring Green), but now he has a Democratic opponent too, Ernie Wittwer of Hillpoint.
This is where it’s useful to repeat three points I made in this space when Marklein announced his candidacy:
• The 17th District hasn’t been represented by a Democrat since Richard Kreul made UW–Platteville Prof. Kathryn Morrison, the first woman elected to the state Senate, a one-term senator in 1978. Morrison is the only Democrat to have represented this Senate district since 1854. However, the 17th District is probably less Republican than it once was because, thanks to shifting Wisconsin population, the district has grown toward Madison and thus become more Democratic, including Iowa County.
• However, Schultz has never won with less than 57 percent of the vote in a general election since he was first elected to the Senate in 1991, in good Republican years (1994 and 2010) and bad (2006).
• Moreover, one could surmise from reading the VoteDaleSchultz blog (last updated after Marklein announced in April) that Schultz plans on running given that Schultz reminded readers of his 98.7-percent Republican voting record.
Can you hear it now? Good! Living as close as we do to the Platteville EMS shed, I have heard the new ambulance several times since its debut a month ago. I’m told the ambulance options were picked because of concern that previous ambulances’ sirens weren’t loud enough to get people to stop going through intersections.
Well, mission accomplished. The new ambulance is loud. Armageddon loud. When you hear the new ambulance, you half expect to see pestilence, war, famine and death following it. If Platteville EMS recruited drivers (some EMS services do, but not Platteville), I think they’d be flooded with applicants.
From 48 to zero to zero: Football meeting number three between Platteville and Dodgeville turned out to be much more like meeting number two (36–0 Platteville, on Dodgeville’s Homecoming) than meeting number one (48–45 Dodgeville), right down to Dodgeville’s uniform choice — impossible-to-read orange jerseys with black numbers. It baffles me that Platteville has the higher seed and was the host, and yet, because of the WIAA’s alternating-uniform-color-by-alphabetical-order rule (which makes sense for neutral-site games but not when you’re playing at one of the participants’ stadiums), Platteville wore their road uniforms. (Which they also will wear at Brodhead/Juda Friday night. I think.)
Meanwhile, the Hillmen continue to play like a playoff team, particularly on defense, because they have been the next best thing to a playoff team for the past month. You don’t have to be a football expert to know that the Hillmen need to give up fewer points to the Cardinals than in any of their last three playoff meetings against Brodhead/Juda — to wit, 49 in 2004, 66 in 2005 and 55 in 2011.
The two most exciting words in sports … are, according to Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, “game seven,” the final game of a best-of-seven series. But in high school volleyball, they should be “game five,” when game five is the last game of a regional final.
The Platteville and Potosi volleyball teams had this interesting parallel experience Saturday night. At the home of the teams that beat them for their conference title (River Valley and Belmont, respectively), in the regional final, the Hillmen and Chieftains won in five games, the last a nailbiter. (Well, in the case of Platteville, the last three games were nailbiters, since they lost the first two; the Hillmen gutted out a 26–24 win in game four.) Platteville won 15–12 after falling behind 5–1 in the last game, and Potosi won an excruciating 18–16 fifth game.
Here’s another parallel: Potosi plays North Crawford in the sectional semifinal at Prairie du Chien Thursday night. One night later, Potosi hosts North Crawford in a Level 2 football playoff game. I was going to suggest that the Trojans bring their football team with them to Shullsburg, the original site of the sectional semifinal Thursday night, and stay in, say, Platteville overnight to save the cost of a round trip from Gays Mills to Potosi. The WIAA moved the sectional semifinal from Shullsburg to Prairie du Chien, but they could still keep going after the semifinal, I suppose.
Speaking of “Shullsburg” … Opera for the Young and a number of Westview Elementary School third-graders put on “The Barber of Seville” Monday morning. (I was there as the newspaper editor doubling as father of one of the cast members.) I was amused to see the Westview performers all wearing red S letter jackets, and that made me wonder where all the Shullsburg letter jackets came from. (The S stands for “Seville,” since this production is set around “Seville High School” in the 1950s.)
Afterward, the actor who played Figaro commented that he had never seen a larger audience of parents and other relatives for one of their performances. Since Opera for the Young performs in five Midwest states, that speaks well of at least Westview parents.
Speaking of big attendance: The Platteville Noon Optimists’ hosting the Harlem Ambassadors basketball team at Platteville Middle School Thursday was quite a success, with more than 600 attending. Our Jason Nihles was one of the victims — I mean players — on the Platteville All-Stars (note I didn’t say “Old Stars”) team. Nihles, by the way, is demanding a trade due to playing time.