Thursday, May 19, 2016

Service Dogs trained at Oshkosh prison

The latest episode of Eye on Oshkosh is now online ( Host Cheryl Hentz spends the hour talking with Brenda Cirricione, president and lead trainer of Journey Together Service Dog, Inc., and three of her board members and/or volunteers for this organization that works with Oshkosh Correctional Institute inmates to train service dogs for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Also making an appearance were five dogs in training, each of whom lives at the prison with their inmate trainers: Jazz (2-year old Yellow Lab), Chance (1 and 1/2-year old rescue mix), Echo (5-month old Briard), Dash (8-month old black German Shepherd) and Frost (10-week old Yellow Lab). The board members and/or volunteers included: Shari (board member, instructor at the prison and coordinator of volunteers), Jenny (vice-president of board and Medical Coordinator), and Cindy (trainer at prison, socializer trainer and assists with selection of dogs for the program). This program is fascinating because it involves working with local inmates who are providing a service and gaining valuable experience in working with and training dogs, who will then go live with members of the military or others in the community who suffer from PTSD.

During the hour, the panel discussed what makes a good dog for the program, and who makes a good trainer; what the dogs are capable of doing when fully trained and how long that takes; the difference between service dogs, emotional support dogs, therapy dogs, and companion animals. If you are interested in learning more about the program, making a financial contribution to it, or volunteering with this wonderful group of people and dogs, please visit them at OR on Facebook under Journey Together Service Dog Oshkosh.

Eye on Oshkosh thanks Brenda, her husband Brad (behind-the-scenes dog wrangler), all the ladies and the dogs for making the trek to our set to make this show possible. We also want to thank the Oshkosh Correctional Facility and Wisconsin State Prison System for making this training program and this particular show possible. We understand the coordination that had to go into getting the dogs transported from the prison to the set and back again, and we are deeply greatly for that.

As host and producer, I also want to personally thank Scott at Oshkosh Media and my entire crew tonight of Daryl, Amanda, Nick, Haadi, Ed and Morgan for their amazing patience, skill and professionalism in putting together a show that had so many moving parts and components to it this evening. Well done, everyone!!!

The show can be seen at this address:

Friday, May 06, 2016

2016-17 season of Grand Opera House revealed on Eye on Oshkosh

The latest episode of Eye on Oshkosh is now online. Cheryl Hentz spends the hour talking with Oshkosh Grand Opera House Foundation executive director Joe Ferlo about the upcoming annual fund drive and the 2016-17 season. As in past seasons, there is something for everyone, no matter their taste. This is a fun, delightfully entertaining episode you won't want to miss. The show can be seen starting next week on local cable access channel 2 or now on You Tube by going to this link:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Eye on Oshkosh back in the studio and two new shows now online

We were finally able to get back in the studio last night and get a couple of new shows taped. There were a few different circumstances that prevented us from taping for about a month, but we’re back with new shows and hope you’ll check them out.

In this one, host Cheryl Hentz spends the hour talking with Dr. Laura Hartman, Asst. Professor of Environmental Studies at UW-Oshkosh, and Cassandra Fowler, a senior environmental studies major, about the university's first-ever sustainability-themed Free School coming up tomorrow, April 23, 2016. They also discuss the campus' various "green" initiatives and simple ways to go "green" in our own homes. The show can be found at this link:

In the second one, Cheryl and guest co-host Miles Maguire talk with Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings about new programs the city is working on with regard to rental housing certification, a possible education component tied to it so landlords and tenants alike can learn what their rights are, and a new plaque program for historic buildings in the city. They also discuss the possibility of a pilot program where dogs would be allowed in some city parks; and the possible creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator-type position being created for the city. To view this show, follow this link:

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Pet Remembrance Service offered at First Congregational Church

Pet Remembrance Service offered at First Congregational Church

Pets give us such joy and unconditional love; and are often regarded as members of the family. When we lose them, the grief we experience can be as powerful as it is with the loss of any human family member; in some cases, more so. Because of that pet memorial services have become very common over the years. They give us a chance to celebrate the life of a beloved pet and grieve their loss. They also provide an opportunity to start coping with the loss and moving toward healing.

With that in mind, the Animal Ministries group at First Congregational Church in Oshkosh is hosting a citywide Pet Remembrance Service. At this special service we’ll share memories, we’ll laugh, we’ll cry; but most importantly, we’ll acknowledge our loss and pay tribute to these cherished members of our families. So if you – or someone you know – has recently lost a pet, or simply would like to honor a pet who has passed some time ago, please join or invite them to join us.

This Pet Remembrance Service will be held from 10 to 11 am on Saturday, April 30 in the FCC Sanctuary. If you wish, you may bring a picture of your beloved departed pet or pets to share with us as you say a few words about those you have lost. Please do not bring pets that are still with you to this service. A special Pet Blessing service for those pets will be held in October, as we have done the past few years. Those attending will also receive a special memento to take away from this service.
While the service is free and open to the public, a freewill donation will be taken.

If you have any questions regarding this service, or about becoming a member of the FCC Animal Ministries Group (you needn't attend First Congregational to be a member), please call Cheryl Hentz, facilitator at 920.209.PETS (920-209-7387). We hope to see you at 10 am on Saturday, April 30 to celebrate and honor the life of your dearly departed pets. First Congregational Church is located at 137 Algoma Blvd., one block west of Main St., near downtown Oshkosh.

* Feel free to share this with others.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Eye on Oshkosh talks LGBTQ issues, events

The latest episode of Eye on Oshkosh is now online and can be found at the link above. In it, host Cheryl Hentz talks with Dr. Liz Cannon and Matthew Reinhart of the LGBTQ Resource Center on the UW-Oshkosh Campus. We'll find out about the center and what it's purpose is and who it serves, then later chat about a few transgender issues, and upcoming events the center is hosting or sponsoring. For more information, people can visit

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oshkosh School Board Approves Proposed Cuts if Referendum Not Approved

The Oshkosh School Board approved a list of $3.4 million in cuts for the 2016-17 school year and an additional $4 million in cuts for the 2017-18 school year that would be instituted if the April 5 Referendum for Learning is not approved by district voters.

The Referendum for Learning is a request for increased funding that will go before school district voters on April 5. The referendum is in response to continued pressure on the school district’s budget due to inadequate state funding that does not keep up with inflation or increasing educational costs.
The state allows school districts to ask local voters to approve increases beyond the state-imposed revenue limits for their community.

If voters approve the referendum on April 5, it will provide $4 million per year for seven years that would be used to protect academic programs for Oshkosh students and make security improvements to district schools. If voters do not approve the referendum, the board-approved cuts will go into effect beginning in the 2016-17 school year. The cuts were developed by a 33-member staff/community budget reconciliation committee over the course of several meetings.

Examples of what will be cut over the next two years if the referendum fails include:
• Mandatory study hall for all middle school students in place of elective classes like Family-Consumer Science, Career/Technology Education and STEM
• Eliminate or restrict lower enrollment classes and electives in middle and high school (ex: CAPP,
Business, Technology and Engineering, Agriculture, French, German, Art and Music/Orchestra)
• Reduce art, music and gym opportunities in elementary school
• Increase athletic fees and combine several North and West high school teams into one
• Close and/or combine schools

“Voters need complete information about what will occur if the referendum passes and what if it fails,” said Superintendent Stan Mack. “We have been very clear that if it passes, we will be able to protect academic programs and enhance school security. We need to be equally clear what will be cut if it fails so residents know the impact that would have on our school programs.”

More information about the Referendum for Learning can be found at

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Washington Elementary named School of Recognition

For more information contact:
Kim Brown
Director of Learning
Oshkosh Area School District
(920) 424-0289

Washington Elementary Named as School of Recognition

The Wisconsin Title 1 School of Recognition is an honorary award for schools that have been successful in educating students from low-income families. State Superintendent, Tony Evers, states, “The staff and administration of these schools are committed to breaking the link between poverty and low academic achievement through rigorous programming and attention to student needs. Many positive educational opportunities exist for students across the state.”

This year, Washington Elementary is recognized for their students’ achievement as a Beating the Odds School. This will be the tenth year they have been recognized and the ninth consecutive year that Washington Elementary School has received this recognition. Principal of Washington School, Susan Martin, shared “At Washington, we believe that no significant learning can take place without significant relationships. These relationships ground our students for academic success. The educators at Washington are passionate individuals who work diligently to meet the academic and emotional needs of every child- we are truly a ‘school family.’”

Tony Evers will host an awards program at the State Capitol on March 14 to further recognize Wisconsin Title 1 School of Recognition award recipients. Washington School will receive a plaque and $500 for use in their school.

Congratulations to everyone at Washington Elementary on this special honor.