Tax dodger ponies up
Hold on, city of Sturgeon Bay. I was reading Wednesday's edition of The Door County Advocate and noticed that my company and myself as the agent were pointed out as a no-good, tax-dodging, lowlife outlaw.
Let me point out that last year between federal tax, state tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, state sales tax, county sales tax, state unemployment tax, federal unemployment tax, property tax on company buildings, city of Sturgeon Bay personal property tax (yes, we did pay this bill) and many miscellaneous taxes, Englebert and Larsen Plumbing LLC paid in excess of $85,000 to our taxing entities. This is not a huge sum to many of our larger local employers, but for our small business it is very substantial; in fact it hurts.
I would like to thank The Powers That Be at the city of Sturgeon Bay for advertising in the Advocate that we were delinquent on our city personal property tax bill. Everyone needs to know. I spent Thursday morning trying to scrape together the 53 cents we owe. You read that right: 53 cents. I hand-delivered it and have receipt in hand.
Thank you, Sturgeon Bay Common Council and all The Powers That Be. You are the best of the best. By the way, the Larsen in our company name is spelled with an E. You have it listed as Larson. Maybe you have us mixed up with another Englebert and Larsen Plumbing LLC. That investigation can wait for another day. I have to go to work so we can pay our taxes.
Partner/owner, Englebert and Larsen Plumbing LLC
Victims often know attacker
My experience reporting on sexual assault cases tells me some misconceptions can creep in because of the publicity about the Castro kidnapping and assault case in Cleveland. The repetitious publicity could convince youngsters that all predatory monsters are ugly, old men who live in suburbs of large cities. The current story unfortunately casts unfair slur on one specific ethnic group. Nothing could be further from the truth, and Door County's history with sexual assault and predatory behavior proves it.
Over the last 30 years, most predators on the Peninsula have come in all shapes, colors, ages, sizes and ethnic backgrounds. Most predators were male; most knew their victims; most had been victims. Remember the shipyard worker and his girlfriend who kidnapped a co-worker and held her as a sex slave for a couple weeks? He was an older, Caucasian hippie-type from out of town. His victim was no less demonized than the three children in Cleveland. How about the grandfather who almost single-handedly built a church and molested his children and foster children on the way to and from church for years before being convicted - he died serving his prison sentence.
Then there was a school teacher who left a trail of suicides in his wake as he transferred among schools in Wisconsin. Last I heard, the trail continued west to Kansas and Colorado. Then there were a farmer, a youth pastor, and so many others.
Remember the wanted poster published by the Sturgeon Bay Police Department and Door County Sheriff's department in the mid-1990s? The poster, which attracted national publicity, contained photos and biographies of more than 30 sexual predators - most of them home-grown, and all of them male of all ages and social economic stripes. That doesn't mean kids are safe with all women. How about the female teachers who made sexual partners of their students?
Also remember, sexual assault has nothing to do with sensuality or affection. It is a vicious crime that is all about force, power, control based on lies and an underhanded "grooming" of victims. It is a crime that is all about the predator getting what he/she wants at the expense of anyone else.
Most insidious in the Door County experience have been the incidents of sexual assault by a boyfriend, stepfather, father, grandfather or uncle. Equally insidious, county and state statistics prove that almost all sex offenders are incurable and will repeat their crimes.
Since there is no sure fix for the offenders, we must work to help the victims and, more importantly, we must teach our boys to be real men, to treat women and children with respect, and to do what is right. It won't be easy, but we must protect the children and teach them to protect themselves before they become victims. God help the babies.