FRIDAY FINISHERS: Coping with nature's winter tantrum

FRIDAY FINISHERS: Coping with nature's winter tantrum

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We knew it was only a matter of time before winter reared its ugly head, and boy did it ever. After being lulled into January with springlike weather and mild temperatures and skating beneath a few heavy snowstorms that have pummeled the northern part of the state, Racine felt the fury of winter’s return along the lakefront where high lake levels and 50 mph winds combined last weekend to do heavy damage. Parks, bluffs, piers, stormwater discharge pipes and homes took the brunt of the surge and debris was scattered up and down the lakeshore.

The damage was severe enough that Racine Mayor Cory Mason issued a declaration of emergency to try to get state and federal assistance to help with repairs. We suppose we can take a little solace in the fact that we didn’t get the 10 inches of snow that was forecast with the storm — just a mere dusting of 3 inches. We’ll pick up and clean up as we always do — and keep an eye on the weather reports. Winter is back.

Too often, it seems, when we hear word of the acquisition of a local company our response is “Uh-oh” as it raises fears that a successful Racine County firm will be cannibalized and its operations shifted to some other state or country and that local jobs will soon disappear. Not so this time.

Less than a year ago, Cree Lighting was sold to Ideal Industries, headquartered in Sycamore, Ill. Today, Cree Lighting is in the midst of an $8 million investment to vertically integrate its manufacturing production and increase efficiencies, efforts that are expected to boost employment of 1,000 here by about 10 percent. The company continues to innovate — as it did with LED lighting — and is introducing a new architectural lighting advance called Cadiant Dynamic Skylight, which replicates a natural sky over the course of the day in interior spaces of businesses. It’s a pleasing development following the acquisition and we hope Ideal continues to light ‘em up.

They’re also continuing to light things up over at Foxconn, where the company this week announced the selection of five Wisconsin subcontractors to build its High Performance Computing Data Center in Mount Pleasant. That means an investment of $2.3 million in contracts as the Taiwan-based firm moves ahead with its creation of the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park.

Four of the five contracts awarded went to firms in southeastern Wisconsin, including concrete work, reinforcement, earthworks, and elevated deck platforms for the dome-like structure that will be a resource center for computing and software operations.


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