Our view: Bear exhibit, farm tour, art show make us proud

2:42 PM, May 17, 2013  |  Comments
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Ms. Grizz has returned to Wildwood Zoo. The long-time resident who died in 2011 has been taxidermied and is on display next door to her previous exhibit while she awaits construction of a new bear enclosure.

The zoo must build a new exhibit before it can get a new bear. The city gave the zoo permission to move ahead with construction of the exhibit, which is still a couple of years away from completion.

"The bear exhibit was always the focal point of the zoo, and I think the new exhibit when it's complete will be even more so," said Darlene Schubert, education director for the city's Parks and Recreation Department. "The plan is to have some very unique features that I haven't seen at another zoo."

? Thanks to Norm-E-Lane Farm for hosting more than 400 Marshfield-area fourth-graders this week during the Food for America farm tour.

The students learned about the dairy operation from the milking parlor to the methane digester, which produces enough electricity to power about 500 homes in Clark County using manure the cows produce.

"They get to see a fully operational farm in this area," said Mark Zee, a Marshfield High School agriculture teacher and FFA adviser. "We try to make a connection to where their food comes from."

That's something everyone can benefit from.

? For 50 years, the Marshfield Art Fair has been providing access to artists and their work for visitors. In its first year, 75 artists attended. This year, 105 juried artists were featured, and more than 4,000 people attended. During the intervening years, the event changed location and date to its now-traditional Mother's Day date. Live entertainment and children's activities were added. New Visions Gallery Inc. took over coordination from the Marshfield Art Committee.

But the draw remains the art and the artists who create it.

"People get to talk to artists working in the field. A lot of times when you see artwork, you don't get to see the face behind it. It's exciting to get to talk to the artists who created the work by hand," said Betsy Tanenbaum, director of New Visions Gallery.

We look forward to many more years of arts celebration in Marshfield.

? Marshfield Fire Chief James Schmidt retires May 24 after more than 31 years of service to the Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department. He reflected, recently, on his time in service to Marshfield.

He is proud of the development of the regional training center and construction of the new fire station. However, he is most proud of his role in changing the organizational culture of the department.

"The high level of cooperation that currently exists within the organization has helped us overcome most any operational challenges we have faced over the past six years," Schmidt said. "The fire service truly becomes your second family, and when the alarm sounds, regardless of any interpersonal conflicts, all members work as a team for the common goal of saving the life or property of someone they typically have never met."

We wish Schmidt well in his retirement and look forward to a high-level of service from whoever is named his replacement.

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports