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An uncooperative attitude in the ‘Snomo Capital’

It’s a darn shame that the Snowmobile Capital of the World, a title the city of Eagle River uses for promotional purposes, couldn’t figure out a way to make a reenactment of the historic torchlight parade possible Saturday night of the 50th running of the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby.

Though concerns over a lack of snow, road damage, barricades and a police escort are all viable issues, we are surprised the city council couldn’t offer conditional approval that would challenge the Eagle River Recreation Association (ERRA)?to meet some basic performance standards on those points.

That might not be “business as usual” for a city council faced with all kinds of permit requests during the year, but we believe the city has certain obligations to non-profit organizations that are the heart and soul of the community.

Couldn’t they at least have met them halfway, leaving the door open for further dialogue and final permit approval by the mayor or city administrator? With that approach, the ERRA?could have worked with a city official to meet whatever conditions the council needed handled. There could have been a bottom-line stipulation stating that a lack of snow would force cancellation of the event, which will be the result in any case.

The council could have given its conditional blessing with a stipulation that the ERRA win the support of the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Transportation and downtown merchants. By not requiring those approvals up front, the city could have cooperated with the cause — an event that might not occur unless everything fell into place.

It would be easy to justify special treatment on this permit request when you consider the nature of the event — the 50th anniversary of the oldest, grandest racing event in the world. That the Snowmobile Derby has put Eagle River on the international map for five decades should be enough reason for the city to bend over backwards with cooperation.

We do understand the city council’s obligation to protect city property and public safety. We’re just saying there were options — or should have been options — where the city could do their job and show an attitude of cooperation at the same time.

Big turnout, big results for a worthwhile cause

More than 100 plungers jumped into the icy waters of Big St. Germain Lake last Saturday for a great cause, raising $25,000 to benefit the Angel On My Shoulder cancer support program.

Hundreds of spectators watched as the civic-minded volunteers plunged, one, two and three at a time in front of Fibber’s Bar & Restaurant for the 13th straight year. The event has raised more than $300,000 for Angel on My Shoulder over the years.

The proceeds will go to a compassionate program that helps cancer victims and their families deal with this life-changing disease, providing comfort and hope for people who soon learn they are not in the fight alone.

 

Behind the editorial ‘we’

Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.

 

 

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 4:25 PM
Last Updated on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 3:34 PM
 

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