With this end-of-year edition we want to cheer the good and jeer some of the not so good things that occurred in 2019. So here goes:

CHEERS to the Eagle River City Council and the Northland Pines School Board for truly working together, for the first time, to help solve the funding dilemma over renovation of Pleasure Island Road.

JEERS to the liberal federal judges who continue to stand in the way of federal and state wildlife experts in their attempt to manage a sustainable, reasonable number of gray wolves in Wisconsin.

CHEERS to the Eagle River Recreation Association and its Save the Dome campaign. Its quick action to raise funds and renovate the ice-making infrastructure was a grand success prior to the skating season.

JEERS to Gov. Tony Evers for making no attempts in his first year of office to reverse the short-sighted legislation that stripped counties of local control over shoreland zoning, eliminating Vilas County’s exemplary, innovative lake classification system.

CHEERS to the Rotary Club of Eagle River on being named “Business of the Year” by the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. The club’s leading support of the Save the Dome project and improvements to Silver Lake Beach that included bringing back swimming lessons were just two examples of the club’s “Service Before Self” efforts in 2019.

JEERS to the Department of Transportation for replacing a true Highway 45 bypass through Eagle River with a two-lane that will severely bottleneck traffic when the big summer weekends arrive in 2020.

CHEERS to Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River on its 75th anniversary of educating thousands of youngsters in natural resources conservation while also introducing those downstate and out-of-state students to this vacation and retirement paradise.

JEERS to the small minority of boaters and anglers who continue to transport exotic weeds and other aquatic invasive species on their boats and trailers, threatening habitat and water quality on our pristine lakes.

CHEERS to volunteer-based groups such as Fishing Has No Boundaries and Wounded Warriors, which use fishing and a great North Woods experience to help people with disabilities and combat veterans.

Don’t take ice for granted

With the initial heavy snowfalls that deterred ice development this year, we want to urge snowmobilers to only use area lakes after they’ve been properly marked.

Ice depths and the amount of slush vary widely from lake to lake, so sledders, anglers and others need to use extreme caution while venturing out for the first time this winter. We’re asking our readers not to use past experience as a guide on ice depth or lake safety.

Behind the editorial ‘we’

    Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and reporters Doug Etten and Michelle Drew.