Donald H. Broten Jr.
Bernard “Ben” Jean Lucien Chaput
Carole A. Colombe
Timothy R. Klade
Frederick B. Kuen
Kris E. (Yoss) Mawhinney
Vernon William Roehl
Terrence “Terry” Smith
Elaine J. Wolff
The chief of police in Edgerton wants parents to be more involved in bullying prevention, and he said a proposed city bullying ordinance could help.
“Too many times we cite a child and the parents don’t take an active role in it. At least now if we do see it, parents now have to become responsible,” Chief Robert Kowalski said.
“A lot of this ordinance actually entails a parent responsibility.”
The ordinance defines bullying as “an intentional course of conduct which is reasonably likely to intimidate, emotionally abuse, slander or threaten another person and which serves no legitimate purpose.”
The ordinance outlaws bullying, allowing children to bully others and retaliation to bullying. Officers would give citations on a “case-by-case” basis, Kowalski said.
A first bullying violation would result in a letter to parents to serve as a warning. Kowalski said the department would work with parents and the school district within 90 days of the warning. If parents fail to address the issue or work with police, they may be cited for enabling bullying behavior.
Students who continue to bully within the 90-day period would receive a citation for bullying, and parents would be required to take action if their children are issued a citation. The sort of action parents would have to take is still being determined, Kowalski said.
Before it is finalized, the school district will have a chance to review the ordinance. Edgerton School District Superintendent Dennis Pauli is on board with the policy.
“I fully endorse the chief’s ordinance,” he said. “The safety of our students is our top priority.”
The ordinance originally carried fines ranging between $100 to $250 for each violation after a warning, but the forfeiture could not exceed more than $100 per day, meaning the maximum fine would need to be paid over three days.
At Monday’s city council meeting, the council voted to amend the forfeitures to range from $10 to $500. Fines would depend on the number of prior violations and the severity of incidents, Kowalski said. The city council will hold a public hearing before taking a final vote on the ordinance. Dates for those actions are not yet scheduled.
Council member Anne Radtke said the ordinance sounded “excellent” and added education should be part of the punishment. Kowalski said the district has that as part of its plan.
“We have a great relationship with the school and the community and we want to maintain that, so if there is something out of line, this provides us another chance to work with the schools, to work with the families to alleviate the issue,” he said.
Pauli said preventing bullying is a top focus for the district, and the proposed ordinance will help keep students safe.
“We should never take bullying-type behavior lightly and must remain vigilant in our quest to ensure students a safe learning environment,” Pauli said.
And while he hopes he won’t have to cite anyone for bullying, Kowalski said the new policy serves as a guide and can help students see how serious bullying is.
“I hope to never have to give a parent a ticket for this ordinance,” Kowalski said.
“I hope it sits there and never gets used. From what I see, I don’t think I’ll ever have to use it, but at least we will have this available to us (if needed).”
Janesville dentist Tom Haye still remembers his first-ever patient by name, occupation and tooth.
Haye said it was the late Charles Ferguson, a Janesville bridge builder who showed up with a broken tooth. An incisor. It was the week of Oct. 6, 1969.
At the end of that week—Haye’s first full week running his then brand-new dental clinic in Janesville—Haye had $14 in a cigar box he once used as the clinic till. He remembers how much his one-man practice cleared that first week because his spouse called him at work to ask if he’d take her on a weekend trip to the couple’s hometown of Dubuque, Iowa.
“She called me and said, ‘Do we have enough money to go to Dubuque?’ I looked in the cigar box and said, ‘Yeah, I’ve got a whole stack of money here.’ Later, I took the money out and counted it. It was 14 one-dollar bills,” Haye said.
This year, Haye Dental Group is celebrating Haye’s 50th year as a practicing dentist in Janesville. Haye, who is 83, said he’s celebrating the 50-year milestone by continuing to do what he’s done in Janesville for half a century.
“There’s no quitting,” Haye said.
Now, Haye practices about one day a week, seeing some of the same patients he saw when he was in his early 30s. Some of those patients have children and grandchildren who come to the clinic. Haye said some people are easy to recognize even if he’s never met them.
“Some people have the same smile as their mom or dad,” he said.
Haye has seen a lot of smiles. Based on a numerical filing system he’s always kept, Haye estimates that in 50 years practicing dentistry in Janesville he’s seen at least 500,000 visitors—a half-million smiles, some with critically problematic teeth.
Haye Dental Group is now a three-generation family enterprise with two locations on the east and west sides of Janesville, but in 1969, Haye and his dental practice were brand new to the city. He wouldn’t even get his business listed in the local telephone book until 1970.
Haye started out on the fourth floor of the Court Square Professional Building on South Main Street in downtown Janesville—a space the owner had offered to renovate special for a one-man-show dental office. At the time, Haye had never even heard of Janesville. All he knew about the city was that it seemed affordable and close enough to Chicago and Milwaukee to drive to those cities whenever he felt like it.
Otherwise, Haye was thinking about settling in New York, California or Arizona.
After looking at the office space where he would later place his first clinic, Haye drove past the downtown YMCA still located on West Court Street. Five minutes later, he had made his decision.
“At the time, I liked handball, and I wanted to play handball. So I went in the YMCA to look around. They had two brand-new handball courts there. That did it,” Haye said. “I said, ‘OK. It looks good. Let’s check out the rest of town.’”
Haye started work in the late 1950s as a pharmacist, but he decided he didn’t like filling capsules and counting pills all day. He went back to college, the University of Iowa, and earned a doctorate in dental surgery.
In Janesville, Haye said he built a reputation and practice by supplying a workmanlike service to workmanlike people of a blue-collar city. Haye simply made himself available whenever, Haye’s son and partner at Haye Dental Group, John Haye, said.
John Haye, who has been practicing dentistry for 32 years, said his father’s longevity is humbling, and it’s rare. Most dentists don’t practice for a half-century. The career is demanding; the deadlines never stop.
“He’s been on call for 50 years. In those earlier years, I remember growing up as a kid, and, you know, he never said, ‘No,’ to an emergency. I think that was, you know, how he built the practice. It didn’t matter about money. He would see everybody. He’s bighearted with it,” John Haye said.
Today, Tom Haye appears spry for a man a shade past 80 years who has had a hip surgery or two. He’s got a fit, compact physique, still built like the baseball shortstop he was during his college days.
Every day Haye comes into work, he wears a tie and the same color oxford dress shirt he’s worn since 1969: always light blue.
Haye said he might try to practice 60 years. Why keep doing it? Isn’t 50 years of root canals enough?
Haye said root canals aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out. Most, he said, are “uneventful.”
Or maybe he’s just that good. One longtime patient thinks so.
Haye showed an award he keeps at his desk that might be his crowning achievement. It’s a large molar made of crystal mounted on a trophy base. The trophy was a gift from a longtime patient who wanted to thank Haye for taking care of her teeth for 45 years.
“If you take care of everybody, at the end of the year, the money is there. You can’t work for money,” Haye said. “That’s how I always looked at it.”
A Janesville man who followed Janesville police officers with a camera, insults and profanities during summer 2018 was found guilty of disorderly conduct in Rock County Court on Monday.
But a jury decided Aaron M. Oleston, 39, of 3053 Palmer Drive No. 17, Janesville, was not guilty of obstructing an officer at the time of his arrest.
Oleston claimed he was exercising his free-speech rights, although that was not an issue during his trial Monday in Rock County Court.
Judge John Wood had ruled earlier that the case could not be dismissed on First Amendment grounds.
A state appeals court rejected Oleston’s appeal of that ruling.
Oleston also said he was challenging police because he was upset at how police treat homeless and mentally ill people, although he wasn’t allowed to say much about his thoughts on that subject when he testified in the one-day trial Monday.
Assistant District Attorney Jerry Urbik successfully objected to questions on those topics, saying they were not relevant.
When asked why he used vulgar language, Oleston said police “harass” and “use” the homeless people who were hanging out in Fireman’s Park, adding, “That’s what terrorists do.”
Defense attorney Jim Fitzgerald said Oleston saw his daily bicycle rides to the police department with cameras as his civic duty.
Oleston regularly posted his videos with often vulgar commentary criticizing police on his YouTube channel, Nomad Transparency.
Oleston also was concerned about the use of tax dollars, which is one of the reasons he videotaped a City Hall renovation project and objected to a squad car being left running for a lengthy period, his lawyers said.
Oleston was charged with five counts of disorderly conduct and one count of obstructing an officer for incidents outside the Janesville Police Department on Aug. 13 and Aug. 15, 2018.
He had been videotaping police doing their jobs previously, but the incidents in question involved police officers who were leaving or entering the building at shift change, wearing civilian clothing.
What Oleston did was largely indisputable—he captured it on video, and it was recorded on the body camera of the officer who arrested him.
He called out to them using sexually vulgar language, asked some if they were going home to beat their wives and accused others of being “Nazis,” terrorists and of working for “Blue ISIS.”
He narrated one video, saying, “Today we’re going to test my First Amendment right, freedom of expression, by flipping off every f——— cop that comes out of this sally port, see if they respect my right to flip pigs off.”
In another instance, he notices an officer’s personal vehicle is missing a front license plate, and he asks other officers what they’re going to do about it.
Officer Erin Betley, who assisted in Oleston’s arrest, said that during booking, Oleston made a sexually suggestive comment.
Betley said the remark disturbed her, and she found it rude.
Other officers who testified also said Oleston’s comments disturbed them, but they didn’t react to them.
Oleston was charged with obstructing for his behavior when he was arrested. Urbik said Oleston did not respond to an officer’s repeated commands that he drop his camera, and the officer had to take it from him.
Oleston testified he didn’t want to damage his expensive camera, and the video did not show a struggle. It did show Oleston cooperating as officers handcuffed him.
Officer Jeremy Wiley testified that when he grabbed the camera, Oleston let go.
Under cross-examination, Oleston denied Urbik’s assertion that he hates police. Only bad police, he said.
Urbik then produced a caricature—over the objections from the defense that it was prejudicial—that Oleston had posted online showing a pig dressed as a police officer with a death’s-head figure inserting a gun into the pig’s mouth.
Urbik urged the jury in his final arguments to consider whether Oleston’s behavior—bullying, harassing and intimidating the officers—would be acceptable if instead of police the victims were employees of a bank, school or factory.
The officers—like other citizens—have a right not to be subjected to such treatment while off duty, Urbik said.
While the jury was not in the courtroom, Wood remarked that disorderly conduct is not easy to understand.
When jurors returned, he told them that being disorderly means saying words or conduct that tend to cause or promote a disturbance, but no actual disruption is required.
Urbik had argued that members of the public could have seen and heard Oleston’s interactions with police because the area is home to apartments and businesses, but no evidence was presented that anyone but Oleston and police were there.
Urbik noted the police officers had changed their walking route when leaving the police department so they could avoid Oleston.
Wood also said that words that are only a “personal annoyance” are not disorderly conduct.
“He wanted to provoke a disturbance,” Urbik said in his final arguments. “He wanted to get them enraged so he could get it on video so he could say, ‘See how terrible officers of the Janesville Police Department are ...”
Police officers have the same right as anyone else “not to be confronted by people shouting profane insults at them and having a camera shoved in their faces,” Urbik said.
Fitzgerald said Oleston “could have chosen his words a little bit better, but that does not mean he committed a crime, let alone six crimes.”
The jury deliberated for one hour and 45 minutes before reaching its verdict.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 11.
Still undecided is a related case in which Oleston is accused of violating the terms of his bond by videotaping a Janesville police officer at the Rock County Courthouse. He had been ordered not to come within 1,000 feet of a Janesville officer unless reporting a crime. That order remains in effect.
Oleston recorded his walk into the courthouse Monday morning, titling the video “12 Jurors 1 Judge Half A Chance.”
In the video, he criticizes the new security checkpoint as a waste of money and a way to intimidate people.