Thumbs Up/Down for Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Thumbs up to the MacDowell Music Club's Organ Crawl. This first-time event will be Saturday, April 12, and visit six Janesville churches. The public can learn how a pipe organ creates pitches, tones and volumes, and how an organist pushes and pulls knobs and presses pedal boards on these complex instruments. The club, which promotes music and musical education through scholarships, is offering this educational program free. The crawl starts at 12:30 p.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 315 Cherry St. Other stops: First Congregational, 54 S. Jackson St., 1:15 p.m.; First Presbyterian, 17 N. Jackson, 2 p.m.; St. Mary's, 313 E. Wall St., 2:45 p.m.; First Lutheran, 612 N. Randall Ave., 3:30 p.m.; and St. John Lutheran, 302 N. Parker Drive, 4:15 p.m. A different organist will explain the machine and answer questions at each stop. Guests can visit one church or all six and learn about each pipe organ and musician's uniqueness. Afterward is an optional dinner at O'Riley and Conway's Irish Pub downtown. For dinner reservations, call Carol Fosshage at 608-756-5856 or Charlotte Hawley at 608-752-9133.
Thumbs up to a tough bond for Phillip Zadurski. The Burlington man faces a bevy of drug-dealing charges—including many second or subsequent offenses—after being stopped Feb. 19 in East Troy. His attorney, Peter Wilson, argued in Walworth County Court that $100,000 cash bond is excessive. It's Wilson's job to argue for his client, but the court was wise to reject a smaller bond. Zadurski apparently didn't learn lessons from previous court appearances. Police say they found him with 186 grams of heroin and other drugs. District Attorney Daniel Necci estimated the heroin's street value at $20,000 and said it could be the county's largest heroin bust in a decade. Given Necci's concerns that Walworth County's heroin problem is an epidemic, courts are right to get tough with traffickers. Wilson requested a speedy trial, and that was set for May 19.
Thumbs down to snowmobiling deaths in Wisconsin. Some snowmobilers are their own worst enemies. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Ashley Luthern reported in a story printed in Wednesday's Gazette that 23 people have died in snowmobile crashes this season. Abundant snow encouraged lots of riders this season, especially up north. However, cold weather froze waters solid, offering safer travel. Last season, unstable ice took a toll, when five snowmobilers drowned. Nine of those who have died this season had blood-alcohol levels ranging from 0.13 to 0.27—all higher than the 0.08 level the state deems intoxicated. The state considers alcohol a factor in six other fatalities. Advocates in Vilas County have worked hard to promote snowmobiling safety in recent years, and fatalities have fallen. Enthusiasts might want to consider what's working in Vilas County and spread it across the state.
Thumbs up to bringing Jack Hanna to Whitewater. If you're trying to raise money to revitalize your downtown, animal expert Jack Hanna is a good attraction. Hanna has made numerous TV appearances, and the nonprofit Downtown Whitewater brought him to town in 2010. He spent time in March hanging with mountain gorillas in Rwanda. He'll bring film of that outing, along with unusual animals, to UW-Whitewater's Hamilton Center on Monday, April 7. To help save rare animals from extinction, he realizes you must touch people's hearts before you can touch their minds. Hanna's last Whitewater event raised money for bike racks and Christmas decorations. This time the money might go to installing more benches or helping renovate historic buildings. Tickets are available at various Whitewater businesses. For more information, call 262-473-2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.