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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dateline Menomonie: Ethanol Plant to begin production

Folks in Menomonie are excited about the new ethanol plant in the neighborhood. Over 500 folks applied for the 25 jobs created.

Click on the post for the full story. Enjoy.

Evansville Cross Country Season Begins Today

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Action Photos from first CC Event

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Althouse Corner: Where are the protests?

Click on the post for an interesting article by Ann Althouse.

Watercooler: Janesville Honors Volunteer Mowers; 10 Years of Dedication. Could this work in Evansville?

Janesville was faced many years ago with a shortage of budget and staff to mow all the "City of Parks."

Click on the post to read the story of the honor given to one "volunteer mower" who has been doing this service in Janesville for the past 10 years.

All around the country cities are confronted with the lack of budget for the many tasks they perform. And...taxpayers do not want higher taxes. So, taxpayers step forward to pitch in and assist.

The question for Evansville residents. Would this work in Evansville?

You make the call.

( Reprint from 10-13-2005) ---Monroe acts to hire City Administrator; Or, Great Debates in Evansville History; Or why you need to know your alderman

( Ed.note. One of the great public referendums of Evansville History was the public referendum on the issue of whether Evansville should have a City Administrator. The following sketch was written on 10-13-2005. Today more than ever, Evansville needs to act to fulfill the public will that a City Administrator be hired. Our city staff work hard, but it is not realistic to expect that they can fill this huge gap. It is time to act.)

Years ago before Evansville hired its city administrator, there was a great debate in the J.C. McKenna Middle school auditorium. A consultant had written a comprehensive report on Evansville government, and one of the recommendations was that we hire a city manager. There was a lot of disagreement on the issue. It was a very vigorous debate that evening. A first affirmative and first negative plus some limited rebuttal. Then some questions and answers from the audience. Some hard feelings and old laundry were aired.

Then Evansville voted on Friday. Voted overwhelmingly for a city manager. Today it is hard to imagine functioning without one. One might disagree about individual policies but it is hard to imagine not having a person to go to that can present the policy of the council to the public and can interact with the public as the city manager can.

Click on the post for the story of Monroe. It does highlight again for all that the city manager does not make policy but only implements the policy of the council. This is often overlooked by locals. They tend to blame the manager for policy. Think again. If you have a complaint, call your alderman. The alderman can make a motion to the council for change, not the city manager. The manager could make a recommendation, but not a motion.

Click on the post for the Monroe story. Best Wishes Monroe on your move to City administrator.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Da Vinci's Workshop: Chicago: Museum of Science and Industry: August 28, 2006

On Monday, August 28, 2006, 27 Evansville students, community members and staff chaperones, led by Mr. Richard Cole, explored a classic exhibit of Leonardo DiVinci at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Imagine 5 rooms where the designs of Leonardo from his workbooks were created for all to see. There was a replica of the horse he designed, the catapult, the knight robot, pulleys, cranes, the parachute, the hanglider and much, much more.

When museum staff asked for three volunteers to help launch the catapult, three youngsters quickly came foreward. After just one launch, the kids were eager to launch many more. They had done the time machine thing and were ready for battle.

A big thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Steve Zwicky whose generous contribution made this trip possible.

It was pretty stunning to realize that 4/5 of the notebooks of DeVinci have been lost, and the ideas we reviewed were only a fraction of the total.

What a wonderful day!. Click on the photo for the largest version.

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U505 Sub Exhibit: Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

The U505 exhibit was pretty awesome. It featured this German submarine that was captured toward the end of WWII. There is a dramatic re-creation of the capture in audio and video as well as a tour of the inside of the submarine.

The picture does not capture the quality of this sub which is a beauty to behold. German subs had taken a terrible toll on merchant shipping of the Allies in the first part of WWII and reached a peak in 1942 with over 1200 merchant ships lost.

If you get a chance to visit Chicago, take in this exhibit. Click on the post for a history of the U505. Enjoy.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

"Fred" has the comparative perspective on "Taxes"

Click on the post for a comparative of Evansville on Taxes.

Re: Mailbag: Weather sirens - totally useless?

William Lathrop <bill@wlathrop.com> wrote:
<< Couldn't figure out how to post directly to the Observer - so hoping you will cut and paste for me.  Thanks for this valuable forum.  I visit fairly regularly.>>

Recently, tornado activity in Rock County lead to the activation of Evansville emergency sirens.

Fortunately for us - less so for others - the severe weather was in eastern Rock county - far from Evansville and no threat.  This is not the first such false alarm - in fact perhaps most alarms are false, leading residents to disregard or certainly discount them. 

But because Evansville sits at the western edge of Rock County - does that make us the Canary in the County?  If severe weather were in Green County heading toward us, would our sirens sound? 

Clearly our emergency sirens are an investment in technology, equipment and maintenance.  Perhaps they would be a better investment if they were actually of some value.  I would encourage our city's managers to review emergency siren policy, adopt practices that would ensure adequate notification in the event we were threatened, and publish notices to the effect that our emergency sirens are a useful and important part of the city's infrastructure.


William Lathrop
608.513.7299 (cell)

The Czar---the poem

(Ed. note. I found this little poem on a crumpled piece of paper at a local Manpower office in a nearby city. I have faithfully reproduced it without editing.)

It would be
to be
like sha na na

To dance on
lighted stage
fans and toss
t-shirts... and

It would be
to be great
not just near
let's make it clear
but yes

To strut
proud and tall
near and.....
to be a czar
to rule
if not a
at least a

EHS: 2006: Ms. Gillespie Talks of AP Results

EHS principal Jamie Gillespie talks of the results of AP courses over the past few years. This occured in the school board meeting discussing how many terms AP classes should have, and how many should be offered.

MP3 File

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Mercury Corner: Update--

Click on the post for an article on a lower tech possible solution to reducing mercury in electric power plants.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Re:Mailbag: Jim Hurley writes: for posting on Observer site

James Hurley <hurley@aqua.wisc.edu> wrote:

We got the video of the mercury conference back from City Cable and we’re slowly but surely converting it and putting it up on our web site.  Could you post the following on your blog?  Thanks.
- Jim
Mercury 2006 conference and Evansville’s participation
It has been a few weeks since the conference ended, a conference that included representation from 69 nations to discuss the worldwide problem of mercury pollution.  I can’t begin to express my thanks to the people of Evansville that participated in this important meeting.  From the fifth graders (now enter sixth grade) at Theodore Robinson Intermediate School who participated in the student art project, to the teachers who made it possible, to all those who carried flags at the opening ceremony.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I hope you all felt a part of a global community of concerned people and maybe learned a little science, too.
We have made the opening ceremony available online at www.mercury2006.org.  It runs pretty well on a high-speed connection.  The flag ceremony and the slideshow of student artwork are included, as are speeches from Chairman George Goggleye of the Leech Lake Band and Senator Russ Feingold as well as a moving drum ceremony by the Mole Lake Singers.  The discussion sessions from the four following days are there too, if you want to learn all you’ll ever need to know about mercury pollution.
Thanks again to everyone from Evansville who made the mercury conference even more special.  I’m really proud to be from this city.
- Jim Hurley

Observer Blooper of the Week: Ordinance 2005-27 is law.

A reader called The Observer today and mentioned that Ordinance 2005-27 was passed into law in 2006. It is 55 pages long.

So. What happened to the application of the ordinance in the case of the request to change the future land use designation of the Maas property to the interim land use map? One would have thought that the Planning Commission would have been required to follow the ordinance. Stay tuned. The Observer is not sure what happened.

Op Ed Article of the Week: Monroe Times: On the Wis. AG battle for more detailed Agenda items--why it matters

Click on the post for an interesting article describing the efforts of our Wis. AG to get more detail in agendas of local boards of government. This is an issue that The Observer has been noting for some time. Enjoy.

Agenda: Revised; Public Works, August 28, 2006; NOTE--- NO PARKING for period of road construction; NOTE: Added Engineering Services to be discussed


The regular meeting of the Public Works Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 28th day of August, 2006, at 6:00 p.m., at City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

Public Works Committee

Regular Meeting

Monday, August 28, 2006, 6:00 p.m.

City Hall, 31 S. Madison St., Evansville, WI


(Revised 8/25/06)

1. Call the meeting to order

Roll Call
Approve minutes of July Meeting
Citizen appearances
Downtown Streetscape Plan
Lake Leota Restoration
Communications from City Engineer
Approval of Sidewalk Bid

Discussion regarding hiring of additional city engineering services for North Prairie Production biodiesel fuel facility project
Communications of Public Works Director
A. Motion to direct Superintendent of Public Works to prohibit parking on Water Street, north side, from South Madison Street to Maple Avenue; and Water Street, south side, from South Madison Street to Almeron Street, until road construction on South Madison Street is completed in 2006

New Business
Bill Hammann Chair, Public Works Committee

Gazette Corner: CJCC: Drug Courts Come to Front Burner; Sept. is Decision Time

Click on the post for the latest on the recent CJCC, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meeting that discussed the variety of options that could serve as jail alternatives---support for drug courts appears to be growing as well as electronic monitoring----as Dan Hinkel notes in the article, these type of offenders involving drug and alcohol and possibly domestic violence issues have to have a network of support that addresses the needs of the offenders as well as the community. As the Observer surmises, this network will be one of the areas of discussion. Stay tuned for the CJCC meetings in Sept. This is a developing story.

It's Adirondak Time---at Cunningham Carpentry--Evansville

Custom adirondack chair available--features lumbar support----yes this unique chair is tailored to your figure----- highest quality construction---- at Cunningham Carpentry, 304 Cherry Street, Evansville, Call 608-882-0679 and place your order. Tell him The Observer sent you.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mailbag: Reader has the scoop on Bob Dylan; On Digital Content Vs. LP


Ok, here are a few things I've learned (unless this stuff is all BS):

On Dylan's "new" voice in 1969 - he was in a sort of country music mode; also note the last paragraph).

In February of 1969, Dylan returned to Nashville to begin work on Nashville Skyline. It had been over a year since his last album, John Wesley Harding, was released, and it had been fifteen months since he produced that album, the last time he was in a recording studio.

The songs on Nashville Skyline were very relaxed with modest ambitions, something reflected in the studio work ethic. "We just take a song, I play it and everyone else just sort of fills in behind it," Dylan recalls. "At the same time you're doing that, there's someone in the control booth who's turning all those dials to where the proper sound is coming in."

Dylan was also singing with a soft, smooth, country-tinged croon, and many listeners would be startled by this 'new' voice. Dylan credited it with a break from cigarettes, but a number of friends and family members were able to draw a connection with his 'new' voice and the one he used to use when he played at the Ten O' Clock Scholar in New York City and the Purple Onion coffee shop in Minneapolis during the winter and spring of 1960.

Here's a note on the information content:

The key to this question is the difference between a digital and an
analog recording. Natural sound is by definition analog.
When a CD recording is created, this analog is sound is digitized. To
do this, they take a lot of snapshots of the analog sound. For a CD
recording they take 44,100 snapshots in a minute. These snapshots are
then converted to digital information with a certain precision. For a
CD recording this precision is 16 bits which means that every one of
the 44,100 snapshots needs to be converted into one of the 65,536
(2^16) possible values.

You can probably see where I am going: by definition a digital
recording doesn't include all the sound information. You could
visualize a CD recording as a really large chest with a lot of
drawers. Because the number of snapshots that are taken are not
infinite (the maximum is 44,100 per minute), the process of taking
snapshots results in the loss of information. Information is further
lost because each of these snapshots must be made to fit in one of the
65,536 drawers of the chest.

A record player which plays LP’s is strictly analog. A vinyl record
has a groove carved into it that mirrors the original sound's
waveform. The record player than transforms this groove to an analogue
sound signal which can be fed into an amplifier.
In this process, no information can be lost. No snapshots need to be
taken and the sound doesn't need be converted to one of the possible
65,536 values. There basically is an infinite number of 'snapshots'
and 'possible values'. Therefore vinyl recording sound richer than CD
recordings (as long as you have a decent vinyl record player).

And please don't neglect to read this great article. It's enlightening; for example, the only music media to increase in sales recently is vinyl!!



Re:Mailbag: On Bob Dylan; More on Digital Recordings; Has our Hearing Gone or has the quality gone too?

(Ed. note. Some of you audiophiles can weigh in on this. There is a debate among the inner sanctum at The Observer on the comments recently by Bob Dylan that all of the cd recordings in the past 10 years or so are basiclly (expletive deleted). He reflected that his own recordings sounded better in the sound studio than in the final product.

The Observer has argued that in reviewing the sound of "Lay Lady Lay," one must ask---- who was the singer that actually hit the high notes? In the more recent Bob Dylan, his range seems very narrow indeed. Is it him or the cd or both.

This letter from one dedicated reader of the Observer sheds light on CD quality. )


I saw this on the FAQ page of a company that does transfers of LPs to CDs.  I guess I'm not the only one who's noticed this.  So maybe we need to spend a little more on the players, too?  I think that BOSE would be ok, though.

Q:  What about the "harsh" sound of CD's?


- "Harshness" is caused by cheap or improperly designed converters (analog to digital at recording, and digital to analog in your playback unit).  We use analog to digital converters of the highest quality, specially designed for audiophile-grade work.  Our CD's sound as warm as the source LP's, with no added harshness or coloration (minus the vinyl noise, crackles and pops).  The quality of the converters in your playback unit is also important.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: Field Exercise Days: Fiction

Recently I have been up to Normal, Mn., up that long and winding road, Hwy 10, to a little spot of heaven just south of Brainerd. After my usual night's rest at the Spruce Goose Motel I headed across the street to the diner for coffee with Herman, my old country boy lawyer friend. Herman had recently been nominated to head the Police Commission as well as the Public Safety Committee of Normal. They had been combined to be more efficient.

Over a strong, black coffee, with lots of sugar and whipped cream, I mentioned that getting older was really a bummer---that one had to be an exercise fanatic just to maintain ones weight. I mentioned that I had noticed that Herman as well as most all of the police officers in Normal seemed very thin. I wondered what their secret was.

"Well, Wolfman,(that's what he always called me) we pride ourselves up here as being the "Champion of the Field Day Exercises."

"Huh?", I responded.

Then Herman went on, "For the past 40 years or so, the last two weeks prior to school getting back in session is called "Field Exercise Days." It is a real sacred time.

Police from all the surrounding communities get together to do exercises to become more effective in using their radio gear, their manuevering techniques, and yes their fitness. It is just wonderful! You must realize that up here in God's Country we don't have any of them 5k runs for fitness. That's for the metro folk. Not us.

"I still don't get it," I exclaimed.

"Well," he said, "let me explain further. Up here prior to school getin in session, there is a real problem with underage drinking. In fact, every single night during these two weeks, there is some place where young teens are gathered in the fields to drink illegally and defy the law."

"So, up here, we dress up all the police from all the communites in "full battle gear" so to speak, and then raid the beer parties. It takes real skill to detect where the party is going to be held, and when, and to make the bust. Most of the time we end up chasing young folks in the corn fields.....in full battle gear."

"I can't imagine police staff in full swat gear running in the corn fields," I said.

"It's a thing of real beauty," Herman replied. Kind of a cross between a Rocky IV and a Prefontaine movie. We even listen to Rocky music before each raid. It really gets the guys pumped."

My mind raced ahead as to the revenue possibilities in the concept. "So, there must be tons of fines and revenue for Normal involved?" I asked.

"Shucks NO, Wolfman," It's about the EXERCISE. All the young folks have parents who know parents and it is just not worth our time to prosecute anyone. We just do it for the EXERCISE."

"And for the TROPHIES," he went on. Then he pointed to a huge trophy in the diner that was inscribed "Champion, Field Exercise Days, 2005."

It sure is good to be back in good old Wisconsin where we DO have 5K fun runs for fitness. And where folks don't have to get in full battle gear and run in the corn fields just to get and stay trim.

Dateline Sheboygan: Naming Rights Bring Big Bucks for Educational Foundation

To date Sheboygan Educational Foundation has brought in 1.46 million from naming rights---from school cafe, school store, to the locker rooms. Click on the post for the full story.

One can just imagine the marketing battle as various businesses fought for the naming rights. Would it be the "UB&T Weight room," "We're the heavyweights in banking, " or maybe for the football Varco would have the tagline on the ad boards "We put the steel in Big Blue."

And after the open process bidding war, who knows what the final grand total dollars for the Foundation would be. The key would be of course to make the money go to a foundation---- not petty cash.

I would never have dreamed that someday we would be lookin to Sheboygan as a role model, but then......when it comes to cash in, one must be flexible.

And you? What do you think?

You make the call.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jeff Pieterick, VP, Mark and Peter DeRossi answer questions for The Observer

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Jeff Pieterick, VP. Sales and Marketing for North Prairie Production, Mark, and Peter DeRossi,QEP,CPEA Lead Environmental Compliance Engineer for Foth & Van Dyke

Retired Farmer asks: Where is the breakeven for soybeans in this equation?

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this is an audio post - click to play

How about for use on older diesel engines? sulfur etc. Jamie Derr Speaks

this is an audio post - click to play

What would happen if gasoline prices went higher? What about the excise tax for biodiesel--will it remain past 2008

this is an audio post - click to play

What are the advantages of biodiesel? Jamie Derr Speaks

this is an audio post - click to play

What the biodiesel jobs will consist of? Mark Speaks

this is an audio post - click to play

What About any future expansion of this plant? Mark speaks

this is an audio post - click to play

A question on Odor--Peter E. DeRossi, QEP, Foth and VanDyke Speaks

this is an audio post - click to play

Dateline Milton Schools; On Fund Balance: On the Fund Balance of Evansville Schools

The Milton School Board recently had to decide whether to cut staff positions or save less than they had hoped for to put in their Fund Balance. If you click on the post you will note that it was a difficult decision with lots of emotions of parents and school board members.

The fact that leapt off the page in that article, was the statement that the AVERAGE fund balance for school districts in Wisconsin is 16% of annual expenditures.

Consider then the current fund balance situation of Evansville School District. The annual expenditures published in The Evansville Review today and as will be discussed at the Annual Budget meeting on Monday August 28th at 7PM in the EHS Media Room is $15,447,480. If Evansville were in the AVERAGE situation, the fund balance would be $2,471,596. Instead, our ending fund balance is $983,877. This is VERY BELOW AVERAGE.

Why does this matter?

Putting this all in a personal perspective, what happens when your checkbook balance is low and your savings are zero. This tends to put a lot of tension in your everyday life. Years ago, it was said that Americans had about 30 days cash on hand in the case of an emergency. And about as much food on hand. The situation for families I will leave you to review for yourself. The numbers say that Americans are living day to day and have little "reserve."

So--as a school district, it is a worthwhile objective to increase the fund balance to AVERAGE levels so that the district can face surprises without the sense of panic of being on the edge of little reserves. School districts with AVERAGE or ABOVE AVERAGE reserves can look to make infrastructure ie. heating and energy improvements that can prolong the life of buildings. School districts that have little reserve cannot. The list goes on and on.

At the last minute, in the August Evansville School Board meeting, there was the request to pay for $7500 for new football helmets. On the argument that they were needed for safety. It was approved.

On the Observer polls, Evansville folks have approved the increase of athletic fees rather than cut some sports etc. No increase from the $55 was proposed or approved. Many Madison schools have fees over $100.

Somehow there has to be revenue to pay for expenses---and increasing fees for the EXTRAS has to be one of the items on the agenda. Nobody is beyond the discussion. As I see it, it would be prudent to increase fees for the EXTRAS rather than cut teaching positons, and classroom related expenses.

The historical lack of adequate revenue due to rate caps has caused the erosion of the fund balance in Evansville Schools. Only painful increases of fees can help raise the balance so that the school board can effectively deal with the normal surprises that confront them. That is how I see it.

And you?

You make the call.

Jimmy Carter Speaks: On the Lebanon-Israeli Situation

Click on the post for an interesting interview with former President Jimmy Carter on the Israeli-Lebanon war situation.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Jeff Pieterick Speaks: On Purpose of the OPEN HOUSE TODAY at EHS ATRIUM --1PM_8PM--for North Prairie Productions Biodiesel Plant

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this is an audio post - click to play

North Prairie Productions --OPEN HOUSE--NOW----Aug 23--1-8PM EHS

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(Ed.note. This is a must see event for all Evansville citizens. Get the info on the new biodiesel plant. Find out why Evansville city and business leaders are so excited about this new business coming to Evansville. Have concerns? Now is the time to ask questions. The Observer will be providing coverage of this event. Be there.)

On August 23, North Prairie and Landmark Services Cooperative will host a community open
house at the Evansville High School from 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. to introduce the proposed biodiesel
project. The open house will provide an opportunity for local residents to learn more about the
project and to meet members involved with the project.

“We look forward to sharing our excitement and more information with local residents as we
work to establish Evansville at the center of Wisconsin’s renewable biofuels industry.
Biodiesel production represents a step forward in the state’s effort to promote energy
independence, and this NPP/Evansville initiative will greatly enhance the effort,” said

Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made from animal fats and vegetable oils,
such as soybeans. Biodiesel is safe for compression-ignition, diesel engines without
modification. As a pure fuel, biodiesel contains no petroleum but it is typically blended with
petroleum diesel to create biodiesel blends from five percent (B5) to 20 percent (B20).
Biodiesel significantly improves the lubricity of petroleum diesel fuel at levels as low as 2
percent (B2) and therefore is a preferred addition to petroleum-based, ultra-low sulfur fuels.

North Prairie Productions, LLC, currently has an office in Waterloo, Wis., but intends to move
company headquarters to Evansville in the future. Additional company information and
background on biodiesel is available on the company website at www.npnrg.com or by calling
toll-free at 877-299-2435.

(Orig Post--6-7-2006) Planning Commission: Evansville Observer asks the million dollar question---Is TIF #6 about subsidy of Commerical

(Update: The recent Evansville Common Council approved in closed session the expenses for Ehlers and Associates to revise TIF #6 from an "industrial" TIF to a "mixed use" TIF.

In an industrial TIF, at least 51% of the development must be industrial. The discussion in the planning commission and on the audio, was whether the "industrial" designation was realistic since it seemed that the developers wanted more commercial than industrial possibly.

Anyway, there will be an open public hearing in Sept for Evansville citizens to hear the details on TIF #6 and the mix of commercial and industrial that is proposed. Remember that this is not for the biodiesel===that is TIF #7.)

( Click on the audio to hear the question on TIF #6. Adjust the tone for poor quality. It is a million dollar question since the assessments to commercial amount to almost a million dollars. )

Normally it is not the purpose of TIF financing to subsidize development that would normally occur. My question to Mr. Wagner of Ehlers and Associates, the financial advisors to the city of Evansville, was whether the 51/49 split of industrial/commerical was just a way of getting around the intent of the law.

His response was that there was language in the proposed TIF that provided for special assessments to the commercial so that it would not amount to a subsidy. He admitted that he recommended that the city use flexible language in the TIF so they had some options on these assessments---however the intent of the TIF was not to subsidize commerical but the other way around---to provide a stream of increment during the first ten years of the build up where the increment from the commercial would come first and the build up of the industrial would come over twenty years.

Several of the planning commission members including Hammann and Braunschweig indicated that they did not support subsidy of the commercial and it was not their intent in voting for the TIF to do so.

What is the answer to the question of whether this will be a subsidy. The current answer is "Maybe." Stay tuned.

this is an audio post - click to play

Dateline Normal, Mn.: Circus comes to town; "Ethics" crisis erupts----fiction

Recently I have been on the road on a fishing trip up to Normal, Mn.. Yes, up that long road, Hwy 10 north of St. Paul, and just a little short of Brainerd. Lots of folks had the same idea last weekend, and it was bumper to bumper.

After hours of road rage, bad coffee, and a broken tail pipe that needed fixing on the run, we arrived, all set for some serious relaxation. Alas. It was not to be.

The Circus had come to Normal, Mn. It was specifically the "Billy Bob Circus," one of the various small town circuses that specialize in northern Minnesota towns.

Lenore, the sister-in-law of Rex, the mayor of Normal, has had a long and passionate political career out of advancing the rights of animals. For the enemy to come to her hometown was just pure joy. She was in heaven as she rallied the citizens to protest for fair treatment for animals.

That, however, was NOT the panic that occured in Normal last weekend. Everyone knew Lenore and respected her concerns, although some differed.

It seems that Henry, the part time worker at the bait shop, the one with the colored stones, was heard to remark that the fine ethical treatment that Lenore described was something he had just dreamed of as a worker at the bait shop. Soon other workers were discussing what ethical treatment of employees might consist of. With all the long hours, strong coffee, and heated talk, soon a bit of real rage developed.

My dear readers might not understand. Up in northern Minnesota, very little of employment is really "by the book" employment. Much is what is frequently called "under the table" or "off the books" or sometimes it is just called "cash."
Soon the word spread around town that folks were beginning to get "uppity" ideas about their workplace conditions. Ideas were floated about "sick pay" and even the idea of actually paying social security taxes.

How far did the panic spread? It was around town in a split second. Even the young war vets who were home on leave from a recent war abroad were seen watching and listening to the speeches on ethical treatment of circus animals, and wondering how they could get some of those same ethical standards for their wartime battle units.

How did it all turn out? Well. I did not wait to find out. I headed home early. Some of the locals were beginning to get suspicious of my Observer signs and wondered whether I might be watching and listening to their local laundery.

Thanks goodness I am not in Normal, Mn. anymore. Thank goodness I am back in good old Wisconsin---where employment practices of all firms are conducted according to the law and the highest possible standards. Alleluia.

1000 Cellphones; or, "HUH?"

The other day I visited a local technology store and an older gentleman was in front of me. In fact, there were lots of customers browsing in the store.

"What can I do for you, sir?" the store clerk asked the gentleman.

"My cellphone doesn't work for (expletive deletive).

At that precise moment, everyone in the store turned in unison and nodded in alleluia approval. "YES".

So----I have read with some skepticism the recent article (click on the post) that three young men were arrested in Michigan for having 1000 cellphones.

The theory of the arrests was that these men were involved in a terrorist plot. It may have involved the Mackinac bridge. There was also the theory that they were planning to transport them to Texas to sell for a $5 profit per phone.

Nowhere in this discussion is the possiblity that the guys were just lookin for a good telephone connection. Just to test this, answer the question how many old cell phones do you have in your possession? How many do you currently have that operate but are constantly being recharged? After all the electric outlets are counted that are recharging cell phones, how many remain to light your home. How many folks can receive a cell phone call clearly in Evansville? For 1 minute? For 2 minutes? How much of your day is spent saying "HUH?", or "I am losing you".

It would be hard to go back to the rotary phone. Americans are sold on the notion of being mobile, active, dynamic and yes young. The only problem is----- the technology has let us down.

As always, my dear readers, I will let you be the judge of what a terrorist looks like. However----if the day comes when having a lot of cellphones in your possession or at home is a sign of a terrorist, much of America will be under the spotlight.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Notice of Public Hearing: Big Box: Sept 5, 2006



Evansville Plan Commission

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 6:00 pm

Regular Meeting

City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, WI

Notice is hereby given that the Plan Commission will consider Ordinance 2006-25 that would amend the City’s zoning code (Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code) by regulating large-format retail stores in all commercial zoning districts within the city. These include the B-1, B-2, B-3, and B-4 districts. In the map below, those areas that would be affected by the proposed ordinance are generally shown in black (or the darkest shade of grey). You may inspect and obtain a copy of the city’s zoning map and the proposed ordinance at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall, 31 South Madison Street; Evansville, WI. Questions about the proposed ordinance can be directed to Tim Schwecke, City Planner (920-728-2814).

All interested parties are invited to attend this public hearing and provide comment.

Tim Schwecke, City Planner

Published 8/23/06 and 8/30/06

Common Council: Notice of Public Hearing: Transportation Map: Smart Growth: Oct. 10, 2006



Evansville Common Council

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 6:30 pm

Regular Meeting

City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, WI

The Common Council will conduct a public hearing to consider Ordinance 2006-28 that would amend the City’s smart growth comprehensive plan by changing the future transportation map as follows:

J. Lindemann to be a major collector
Brown School Road to be a minor collector
Water Street to be a truck route
Exchange Street to be a truck route
Porter Road to be a minor collector from 5th Street to city limits
Main Street to be a minor collector from 4th Street to city limits
Cemetery Road to be a future minor collector from USH 14 to city limits
You may inspect or obtain a copy of the ordinance and the City’s current comprehensive plan at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall, 31 South Madison Street; Evansville, WI. Questions regarding this proposed ordinance can be directed to Tim Schwecke, City Planner, at 920-728-2814.

All interested parties are invited to attend the public hearing and provide comment.

Tim Schwecke, City Planner

Published: 8/30/06

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Gazette Corner: Good Neighbors

Gina Duwe has the scoop. Adverse impacts from the proposed biodiesel plant in Evansville will be minimul according to reports. Any concerns? Come to the open house next week.

Click on the post for the full story in the Janesville Gazette.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Evansville Common Council Approves Funding for Countryside Park Restroom/shelter structure beginning 9/2006

(Ed. note. The following was noted in the minutes of the August 8, 2006 Common Council minutes.)

"Motion by Cothard, seconded by Roberts, to approve Resolution #2006-25, amending the adopted 2006 city budget to fund the construction of a restroom/shelter structure and addition of playground equipment at Countryside Park beginning in September 2006. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote."

Former City Administrator Jennifer Petruzello to Assist

)Ed. note. The following is noted in the minutes of the Evansville Common Council on August 8, 2006)

"Ald. Cothard led the discussion regarding temporary budget preparation assistance. Jennifer Petruzzello has agreed to assist city staff with the 2007 budget on an as needed basis for $35 per hour.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Braunschweig, to hire Jennifer Petruzzello to assist staff with the 2007 budget on an as needed basis for $35 per hour. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote."

Evansville Water and Light to file for rate increase

(Ed. note. The following is noted in the minutes of the Evansville Common Council for August 8, 2006.)

"Water & Light Committee

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Sornson, to approve Water Rate Case application to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to increase water rates. A preliminary draft report from Virchow Krause Company LLC shows the need to increase water rates 34% to ensure the city’s ability to provide adequate and safe water. Motion passed"

Evansville Common Council: Minutes: Council denies Application 2006-15 to Amend Smart Growth Plan

(Ed.note. The following was noted in the Evansville Common Council minutes of August 8, 2006)

"Mr. Schwecke presented the Landowner-initiated comprehensive plan amendment, Phil Maas applicant (Application #2006-15). The Maas property is currently designated as agricultural/underdeveloped on the interim future land use map and on the future land use map it is shown as a location for future urban residential (walkable neighborhood) development. But the Maas property was left off of the Interim Future Land Use Map in an effort to control the rate of residential development in the city. This amendment does not automatically mean development of a residential subdivision on the Maas property. The landowner and developer would need to petition for annexation into the city, and the Common Council could refuse to grant annexation at this time. The applicant submitted an application to amend the interim future land use map to show the subject property as walkable neighborhood and neighborhood activity center so as to be consistent with the future land use map. The Plan Commission recommended passing this ordinance on a vote of 4-3. This project would push projected growth rates over target, assuming all other previously approved development projects built out.

The developer for this project, Mr. John Morning reported that currently residential development in Evansville is following a fairly conventional approach. Development of the subject property would create a type of housing not currently available in the city and would help to meet some key objectives in the city’s comprehensive plan. If this ordinance is approved, this would allow him to review all the development issues, and he would work with the city for win-win answers to all the issues. He is anticipating developing 90-100 lots over a period of five to eight years. Tonight, he is not asking to create lots, but the opportunity to review the development issues. He will move forward with this project only if it has a positive impact on the city.

Council discussed infrastructures, current developers agreements, and traffic connectivity on the west side of the city.

Mayor Decker opened the public hearing at 8:33 PM. The following people appeared before council and spoke against this ordinance:

Mark Schnepper, 547 S. Sixth Street

Elaine Strasburg, 16826 W. County C

Jim Brooks, 563 S. Sixth Street

Ayn Steinlein, 243 E. Main Street

Michael Pierick, 126 Grove Street

Matt Rohloff, 15903 W County C

Kendall Schneider, Town of Union Chairperson

Diane Skinner, 263 Garfield Avenue

Kelly Czerwonka, 215 Campion Drive

Matt Gaboda, 552 S. Sixth Street

Mayor Decker closed the public hearing at 8:50 PM.

The Council discussed that the Interim Future Land Use Map shows anticipated future development during the first 10 to 15 years after adoption of the plan. The long-term Future Land Use Map shows anticipated development more than 10 to 15 years after adoption of the plan, which is what the city wants to be in the future. The Smart Growth Plan is the city’s plan to move from the Interim Future Land Use Map to the long-term Future Land Use Map. The Council had to balance many of the same issues when they wrote the Smart Growth Plan. Balancing these issues for the Smart Growth Plan was very complex and difficult.

The Council reviewed how they must balance the intertwined issues of business interests, accelerating residential growth rate, importance of agriculture land, economic development, traffic connectivity, citizens’ interests, developers’ interests, impacts on municipal services, city’s demographics, city’s housing plan, concerns from the school district, and goals of the Smart Growth Plan. Balancing these issues is still very complex and difficult. For example, the Council discussed the traffic concerns in this area and how, currently, traffic must drive through the downtown when traveling north to Madison. If the area was developed, the traffic going to Madison from the Westside of the city could be routed away from the downtown, which is a goal of the Smart Growth Plan. Satisfying this traffic goal would violate the Smart Growth Plan’s goal of controlling the city’s growing population because this new subdivision would push the city’s available lots for new homes over its cap for the next 10 years. From tonight’s public hearing, other public input, and the Smart Growth survey, more than 90% of the citizens expressed concerns about accelerating the growth rate in the city’s population. The consensus was the negative impacts from this ordinance out weight the public benefits.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Hammann, to call the question. Motion passed.

Motion by Hammann, seconded by Braunschweig, to adopt Ordinance #2006-20, amending the interim future land use map contained in the City’s Comprehensive Plan in response to development application 2006-15, amending the document on page 1, line 31 by replacing the “(d)(4)” with (4)(d).” The motion failed unanimously on a roll call vote.

Gazette Corner: Focus turns to Crushing Plant in Evansville

Click on the post for the latest from the Janesville Gazette.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

North Prairie Productions Chooses Evansville for Biodiesel Plant; OPEN HOUSE scheduled at EHS for Aug 23rd--1-8PM.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jeff Pieterick, 877.299.2435
North Prairie Productions Chooses Evansville as Site
for Biodiesel Production Plant

EVANSVILLE, WI – August 17, 2006 – North Prairie Productions, LLC (NPP) today
announced its intention to purchase approximately 15 acres of land from Landmark Services
Cooperative on the east side of Evansville for the purpose of locating a biodiesel production

“After careful study and evaluation, the board of directors of North Prairie Productions has
concluded that the Evansville location provides an ideal site for the commercial production of
biodiesel,” says Jeff Pieterick, NPP vice president. “For this reason, we’ve decided to focus our
efforts on Evansville as a home for our enterprise, and we are actively moving forward to make
it happen.”

Pieterick cites geographic location as the feature that first attracted NPP to Evansville. The
Wisconsin-based company had previously announced its intention to build a 45-million-gallon
per year biodiesel plant in southern Wisconsin. Upon further study of the Evansville option,
Pieterick states that the NPP Board was particularly impressed with the site’s “existing rail
loading facility, good road infrastructure, market accessibility, availability of utilities and
outstanding local leadership.
“In our attempt to locate our biodiesel project,” he explains “every effort was made to identify
not only a good fit for NPP, but a site that presented opportunity to establish this biodiesel
plant where it would be a good fit for the community. We closely examined Evansville’s Smart
Growth Plan, and after numerous informal discussions with many Evansville residents, as well
as city and community leaders, we believe this is an outstanding environment in which to

In these discussions, Pieterick took particular note of the Evansville community effort to
introduce geo-thermal heating and cooling to the design of their high school, along with a
small wind turbine. This project contributed to a subsequent initiative that remains ongoing to
brand Evansville as a model for its pursuit of applied renewable energy systems. According to
Pieterick, “We hope to contribute to this community’s focus upon renewable energy by
creating jobs and opportunities here in the renewable fuels industry. Our interest from the start
has always been focused upon being an active member of whatever community we chose to
call ‘home.’ Evansville has simply come to the fore as a near perfect fit.”
North Prairie Productions, LLC plans to have its biodiesel plant operational by late 2007. This
facility would convert up to 45 million gallons of soybean oil per year into similar quantities of
high quality biodiesel (B100), employing well-established technologies to manufacture
biodiesel that meets strict industry standards.
“The level of community support in Evansville has been truly remarkable, and we look forward
to further developing relationships as we become active members of the area’s business
community,” Pieterick says. “We have started a dialogue with area business leaders which we
intend to continue and expand to include the entire community as our project unfolds in the
coming weeks.”

On August 23, North Prairie and Landmark Services Cooperative will host a community open
house at the Evansville High School from 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. to introduce the proposed biodiesel
project. The open house will provide an opportunity for local residents to learn more about the
project and to meet members involved with the project.
“We look forward to sharing our excitement and more information with local residents as we
work to establish Evansville at the center of Wisconsin’s renewable biofuels industry.
Biodiesel production represents a step forward in the state’s effort to promote energy
independence, and this NPP/Evansville initiative will greatly enhance the effort,” said
Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made from animal fats and vegetable oils,
such as soybeans. Biodiesel is safe for compression-ignition, diesel engines without
modification. As a pure fuel, biodiesel contains no petroleum but it is typically blended with
petroleum diesel to create biodiesel blends from five percent (B5) to 20 percent (B20).
Biodiesel significantly improves the lubricity of petroleum diesel fuel at levels as low as 2
percent (B2) and therefore is a preferred addition to petroleum-based, ultra-low sulfur fuels.
North Prairie Productions, LLC, currently has an office in Waterloo, Wis., but intends to move
company headquarters to Evansville in the future. Additional company information and
background on biodiesel is available on the company website at www.npnrg.com or by calling
toll-free at 877-299-2435.
Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements. All statements regarding North Prairie Products, LLC’s
expected operations, financing plans, business strategy, budgets, projected capital expenditures, products and
services, competitive positions, growth opportunities, plans and objectives of management for future operations, as
well as statements that include words such as “anticipate,” “if,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,”
“may,” “could,” “should,” “will” and other similar expressions are forward-looking statements. Please recognize that
all forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to
differ materially from the estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections and strategies reflected in or
suggested by the forward-looking statements. NPP disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forwardlooking
statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.

"Fred" has some additional details on the biodiesel plant happening in Evansville

Click on the post as "Fred" reviews some additional interesting details. Enjoy.

Minutes: Historic Preservation: August 16, 2006

Evansville Historic Preservation Commission
  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday August 16, 2006 7:00 P.M.

2nd Floor, City Hall

Present: Dennis Wessels, Steve Culbertson, Rich Modaff, Steve Christens, Betsy Ahner

Absent: Louise Keely, John Decker

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by chair Rich Modaff. Motion by Culbertson, second by Wessels to waive the reading of the July 19, 2006 minutes and approve them as written. Motion carried.

18 East Main Street – Susan Finque represented Peter Dast, the owner of the building. She provided photos and drawings of the proposed door that would be installed this year in the east side of the building to give Real Coffee an alternate entrance and access to the green space on that side of the building. She also presented photos of step two, the construction of a small porch and steps leading from the level of the door, 4 feet to the ground. Wessels voiced his desire for more information on the porch materials when that is brought before the Commission. Ahner asked if there were any plans to paint the bare concrete wall and Finque said she often thought a mural painted or designed by a community artist would be appropriate. She asked the Commission to think about sponsoring such a project. Motion by Wessels to approve the installation of the proposed door in the east side of the building. Second by Culbertson. Motion carried.

120 W. Main Street – Involving materials for the roof of a planned carriage house that could also be used on the home when it is re-roofed. The building of the carriage house was approved at an earlier meeting. Owner Steve Carlson presented colored brochures with information on a new slate look material made from recycled rubber. It also comes in a cedar shake look version. Members were impressed with the appearance of the material and asked if he could bring a sample to the Commission when he receives it. Motion by Culbertson to approve the installation of a standard composite roofing material or the DaVinci roof product on the carriage house, with the recommendation that the cedar shake look be used. Second by Wessels. Motion carried.

245 W. Liberty – Roof replacement. Motion by Wessels to approve the application. Second by Culbertson. Motion carried. Commission members were pleased to learn that the homeowners planned to reuse the half-round gutters.

16 W. Main Street – Motion by Culbertson to accept the late application. Second by Wessels. Motion carried. Motion by Wessels to approve the application to replace the rear second floor porch railing. Second by Culbertson. Motion carried.

252 W. Liberty St.- Motion by Culbertson to accept the late application. Second by Wessels. Motion carried. Motion by Christens to approve the application to re-roof the garage/horse barn. Second by Wessels. Motion carried.

Intensive Survey and Final Public Hearing – Ahner reported the library meeting room is not available for September 28. It is also not known if Joe DeRose is available.
Bricks on Main Street – Wessels reported that Rep. Brett Davis was at the last City Council meeting and it is looking very good for funding. Ahner reported an application is being prepared for submission to the Dept. of Commerce for additional funding for the bricks.
Grove Society – Ahner reported they are waiting to hear if the September 28 meeting is a go.
Baker Building – Culbertson reported the electrical has been moved and is now next to the building instead of almost on the lot line. He has cut and ready to install the steps for the back door.
Redevelopment Authority – did not hold a meeting in August due to the lack of a quorum.
Easement form draft – members had no changes to the draft circulated by Decker, but it can be placed on the agenda for the September meeting when he can be present.
Plaque program – There is a restored farm house near the cemetery that will be part of an annexation and the owners may be interested in becoming a plaqued house when the program is ready to go.
A brochure from the National Preservation Institute is included in the meeting materials. There are several meetings in Madison if anyone is interested in attending.

Motion by Culbertson to adjourn. Second by Wessels. Motion carried.

The next meeting will be September 20, 2006.

Gazette Corner: On Biodiesel for Evansville

Click on the post for the article by Gina Duwe of the Janesville Gazette on North Prairie Productions decison to choose Evansville. The corporate offices will move here also. Enjoy.

Dateline St. Paul: Hamiline Prof. Consults to City of Maplewood to Aid in Governmental Unrest--Makes Diagnosis

(My thanks to my brother, Denis, for allowing reprint of this article running today in the Midway Monitor. Click on the post for the full article. )

One of the key questions that all communities face today is whether we can come together and discuss issues of mutual interest and not kill each other in the process. Hamline Professor, David Schultz has been called to Maplewood,Mn. to consult on the issue.

I must clarify for readers that it is stretching to call Maplewood a "community" as folks in Wisconsin might understand the term. People mostly just drive through Maplewood on the freeways on the way to Mpls or St. Paul. In fact, the only two memories I have of Maplewood are the Maplewood Traffic Court and the Maplewood Bowl. The first of these was held bi-weekly in a very large auditorium. I went with a friend once in a minor license plate violation matter. Each case was called and one had to "walk on down"-----yes, the place was as large as a Billy Graham revival meeting.

Anyway, the second memory was the Maplewood Bowl, which was like the Badger Bowl.

In summary, Maplewood was a "drive thru" community. I do not believe they ever had an identity to preserve in the first place.

Anyway--Prof. Schultz has some ideas on this subject. A timely one all across America. Click on the post. Enjoy.

"Grumps" goes over the equation between "tax levy limits" and athletic fees

With Tax Levy Limits, schools that focus on classroom instruction have had to make the choice of raising student athletic fees, dropping sports, or cutting teacher positions.

Click on the post as "Grumps" goes over the equation. It is the rare school indeed that has held student athletic fees even and then alas, alas due to budget constraints cut teachers or sports such as cross country or soccer. Most see raising sports fees as a way of preserving sport. A way of preserving classroom instruction revenue. Period.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Minutes: Finance and Labor; August 7, 2006

Finance and Labor Relations Committee

Regular Meeting

Monday, August 7, 2006 5:30 PM

City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI

Chairperson Cothard called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM. Present were Chairperson Cothard, Ald. Braunschweig, and Ald. Juergens. Staff present: Eric Jepperson, Finance Director, and Jim Beilke, Clerk/Treasurer. Mayor Decker and Ald. Sornson were present in the audience.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved as printed

Approval of Minutes

Motion by Juergens, seconded by Braunschweig, to waive the reading and approve the minutes for the regular meeting on July 10, 2006, as printed. Motion passed.

Citizen appearances other than agenda items listed - None

Water & Light Department Bills

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens, to approve the Water & Light bills in the amount of $644,153.04 and authorize their payment. Motion passed.

City Bills

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens, to approve the City bills in the amount of $304,442.28 and authorize their payment. Motion passed.

Unfinished Business

The committee reviewed the status of insurance/collateral covering city’s deposits, and the consensus was to remove this item from the monthly agenda, because if there were a problem, the finance director would present the insurance/collateral report before the Finance Committee to address the issue.

The consensus was to remove the report on the status of revised Employee Handbook until the new city administrator is hired.

The motion regarding Resolution #2006-8 remained on the table because the new youth center construction project was not completed.

Mayor led the discussion regarding insurance company denial of coverage for MIG/Dewane Landfill Superfund Site. There was no formal record noting the denial from Wausau Insurance Company to pay for the city’s cost in the amount of $45,000 to clean up the MIG/Dewane Landfill Superfund Site. The city attorney advised it is not worth pursuing this matter further.

New Business

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens to recommend to Common Council the approval of a proposal for professional services to revise TID No. 6. The Plan Commission approved an industrial type TID. Now, the city wants to change TID No. 6 as a mixed-use TID. Motion passed.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens to recommend to Common Council the approval of a proposal for professional services to create TID No. 7. Motion passed.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens to approve City Attorney and City Engineer expense for preparation of future Department of Transportation and Department of Commerce grant applications. The Committee was concerned about controlling costs.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Braunschweig, to include (1) approving only industrial development relative to TID No. 7 and (2) requiring monthly reports showing all costs for these grant applications. Motion passed.

The original motion, as amended, passed.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens to recommend to Common Council to approve Resolution #2006-25, amending the adopted 2006 city budget to fund the construction of a restroom/shelter structure and addition of playground equipment at Countryside Park beginning in September 2006. The Committee raised the issue of the Park Board running out of money for park projects. They made it clear that when the park’s designated monies runs out, there will be no monies from other fund balances for park projects. Motion passed.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens to recommend to Common Council to approve Resolution #2006-31, amending the adopted 2006 city budget to increase the appropriation for 10-5114-740, Tax Refunds. Motion passed.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens to recommend to Common Council to approve Resolution #2006-33, amending the Adopted 2006 City Budget to Increase the Appropriation for the Pool/Park Store Maintenance Expenses by $5,475. Motion passed.

The Committee reviewed the 2006 Adopted Budget and make recommendations for the 2007 budget per Resolution 2006-16. Additionally, they reviewed five-year (2007-2011) capital plan.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Braunschweig, to contact Public Administration Associates, LLC (PAA) for their service to find candidates for the city administrator position. Motion passed.

The Committee discussed the Municipal Code Corporation proposal for supplement No. 2. The consensus was to maintain our municipal code in-house. Staff was instructed to come back with a plan.

The Committee discussed temporary budget preparation assistance. The consensus was to talk to Jennifer Petruzzello about using her services.

The Committee discussed the status of Mezera federal lawsuit. Mezera filed a lawsuit against a police officer and the city, claiming the police officer released protected driver’s license information to an unauthorized individual.

Motion by Cothard, seconded by Juergens, to adjourn at 6:58 PM. Motion passed.

Prepared by:

James Beilke

City Clerk/Treasurer

The minutes are not official until approved by Finance and Labor Relations Committee at the next regular meeting.

Gazette Corner: Libraries---Changing, Growing

Gina Duwe has the scoop. Libraries are growing and changing. New facilities in Brodhead and Albany, and well, all over. Will Evansville be next?

Click on the post and enjoy.

Victor Paulson Remembers: Pearl Harbor, War Shortages, & More

(Ed. note: Victor Paulson,95, is a longtime resident of Evansville. He shares his recollection of Evansville during the early years.)

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

Classic Audioblogger: "The Cow Power Coop" or Reflections on the Energy Shortage

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

School Beat: New Web Based Software makes School Board Minutes, Agendas, Details available to all

Click on the post for some of the latest in web based software that helps school districts make their agendas, minutes, and the details available not only to the school board, but also the community. Enjoy.

Gazette Corner: Update on the Crosswalk Fuss in Edgerton

Here is an srticle for the file for reference when we do the sidewalks in Evansville. Enjoy.

Leader of the Pack

(Ed.note. Evansville cross country has begun training. Be careful driving since their training runs are on city roads. In honor of the winning tradition of Evansville cross country, I have reprinted the classic, "Leader of the Pack." from Feb. 2006)

Some years ago, there was a magical period in boy's cross country at Evansville High School when there were 5 fast and talented male runners and Evansville had a chance to go to the State Championship Round. As you may remember, the first three ran in a pack---Mike Thornton, Jay Marin and Justin Frey.

The Observer knows because his task was to stand at the first mile marker and call out the mile split. For Mike Thornton, if he was running the first mile at 5.04 that meant that he was right on target. Jay Marin needed be be next on his shoulder, and then Justin Frey a step behind. It was like clockwork. What a dream first three runners.

The following year, the burden of leading the races passed to Jay Marin. Now it was he who had to hit the split perfectly. One of the things I noticed as a parent of a cross country runner is that just before the race, the leaders, such as Ann Knutson or Jay Marin, intensely feel the burden of leading. They frequently throw up. They wonder whether they still have it for the race. The desire. Well, everything. It is not guaranteed. They know that the past is gone. It is up to them. Now.

One race, the boys were wearing special t-shirts with goofy sayings on the back. Some were even wearing goofy sayings on their shorts. Some were wearing colored socks. They were laughing and giggling a bit about it.

One boy went up to Jay and said, "Jay, which of the t-shirts do you like best?"

Jay replied, "Listen----I plan on LEADING this race. I don't give a (------) about what is written on your shorts."

When you are a LEADER, the key thing is to LEAD, not to listen or glance about being distracted by the titter of the crowd or whatever is written on others butts. Being in front is special. One has to keep the head up high. Looking to the future.

Make a note of it.
this is an audio post - click to play

Cap Times Op Ed: Anti-Loitering Law is not the Answer

Some on the Madison Common Council have suggested an anti-loitering law for Madison. The Cap Times speaks to this issue in it's Op Ed piece today.

Architects at work on new fire station for Evansville

( Ed.note. The Observer hopes to attend the next meeting so our listeners can have more detail than this one line. Stay tuned.)

Noted in the recent Fire District minutes:

"Presentation heard from two (2) architects from Strand and Associates."

Audiopodcasting and the Classroom

My brother in law sent me an interesting article on the use of audiopodcasting in the classroom and why it is a cheap and exciting application of technology that can get results. Thanks, Chris. Enjoy.

The Rolling Stones Remembered: "I Can't Get No Satisfaction--the analysis"; The miracle of the loaves and fishes

One of my favorite bands has always been The Rolling Stones. I have loved using their songs for running, having a special magical sequence of 'Start Me Up" and then "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" to get me motivated during the first few miles.

The other night, I happened to mention the song "I Can't Get No.."" and it was amazing that everyone could remember where they were when they first heard the song in 1965 or after. One person remembered a street dance where the band members were a little anxious whispering "Should we play it?" and then the band began and the crowd went nuts.

It seems that "I Can't Get No..." was kind of a Pearl Harbor event. Even though most of the folks I talked to admitted that at their tender age, they had no clue exactly what the lyrics were about, the beat was very catchy. Later, lack of satisfaction became clear in various areas of life and everyone kinda identified with the song. It was a "generation thing."


Last Sunday was "Loaves and Fishes Sunday"-----the Sunday where the Gospel was of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. As is usual in our family, there is the quiz after church. I just asked the question, "So----what was the miracle?"

Members of the family quickly replied that it was a clear cut math thing----5 or 6 loaves and fishes feeding thousands equals a miracle.

"What about Elijah?" I asked. Usually on this Sunday, the first reading is from the Book of Kings,2, that reviews how Elijah fed the multitude also. Usually pastors see this as more of a "sharing" of bread, and not a clear cut miracle. My family was supportive of the work of Elijah as a nice gesture but no miracle. The Observer was not so sure. I remember sharing among kids ages 2-4 and yes even older, and I made the case that sharing can be a miracle too.

My major point was on the miracle thing---that the real miracle was that they were "satisfied." It was not a "math thing." The parables of old were not based on the sliderule. They were about obvious but hidden things. Like getting satisfied. Finding Peace. The Miracle.

In the end, the family outvoted me. They did compromise later by saying that both might be miracles.

So---How about you? Where were you when you first heard, "I Can't Get No....". And, yes, right before school begins, relaxing by the pool, it would be good to totally relax and find some peace and satisfaction.
this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, August 14, 2006

School Beat: Evansville Schools reveals proposed 4K timeline

4 Year Old Kindergarten Considerations
Timeline for 2006-07
Update on Grant: We did not receive the $10,000 planning grant again. 2006-07 Planning costs
could come from the curriculum budget. Costs for materials for the 2007-08 pilot would be built
into the 2007-08 budget if you decide to move forward.
Update on 4 Year Kindergarten State Task Force:
It now looks like this report will be ready in September or October. Preliminary indications
shared by the WASDA legislative contact is that funding will not be pulled. The committee is
likely to recommend support of community based programs with possible vouchers. This is the
model we have been pursuing in our planning. I do not think this committee will be a barrier to
moving forward on a program of our own.
Update on Publicity: Most of you probably have seen recent articles in the Gazette and State
Journal advocating for 4 Year kindergarten. A Gazette editorial specifically encourage
Evansville to consider implement 4 year Kindergarten.
Timeline and Process:
I believe we should schedule a separate hearing in October or November once the state task force
report is released. We would mail a brochure/invitation to the families of all children in our 2-4
year old census:
explaining what our proposed program is and is not and
include projected costs.
There was much misinformation shared by parent opponents at the last discussion of this topic.
Their comments have helped us identify specific information we need to prepare and present to
provide an accurate picture of what the program would and would not be.
I also believe the committee needs to formally amend their initial goals. They did not have an
understanding of how the school revenue formula works when they set a goal of not creating any
additional taxes.
At a regular meeting make a formal motion to approve the pilot 4K program for 2007-08. This
decision needs to be made at this time to be part of the 2007-08 budget planning process.
If approved, continued pilot planning. Including how the students will be selected.
If approved, registration of students.
Summer curriculum time for team to plan with local providers.

Agenda: Evansville School Board; Monday August 14, 2006; 4Yr. Kindergarten Timeline, MSchool Walkthru, Budget Adjust on Agenda

Board of Education Evansville Community School District
Regular Meeting Agenda
Monday, August 14, 2006
High School LMC- 640 S. Fifth Street
5:30 P.M.

Note, public notice of this meeting given by posting at the District Office, Levi Leonard Elementary
School Office, Theodore Robinson Intermediate School Office, J.C. McKenna Middle School Office,
High School Office, Evansville School District Web Site: www.evansville.k12.wi.us, and by
forwarding the agenda to the Evansville Review, M&I Bank, Union Bank & Trust and Eager Free
Public Library.

I. Roll Call: Michael Pierick John Willoughby Tina Rossmiller
Dennis Hatfield Arthur Phillips
Mike Larson Dennis Knudson

II. Public Announcements/Upcoming Events.
A. K-12 District Wide "Back to School Days" – August 17 and August 23, 2006.
III. Public Presentations. Regarding Items Not on the Agenda. Items Related to the Agenda May
be Presented at This Time.

IV. District Administrator Report – 4 Year Kindergarten Timeline, Back to School Schedule, and
Professional Development Schedule.

V. Principals'/Administrators' Report – Staff Changes and Class Sizes.
VI. Information & Discussion:
A. 2006-07 School Budget.

B. Ringhand Bus Contract.
C. First Reading of Policies: #225-Evaluation of the District Administrator; #225.1-
Colleague Assessment Questionnaire District Administrator's Position; #250-
Administrative Operations; #252-Administrative Councils and Committees; #330-
Curriculum Development; #330-Exhibit(#251.1); #331-Curriculum Documents; #445-
Student Interviews by Non-School Personnel (Interrogation and Search); #445.1-
Procedures for Conducting Student-Law Enforcement/Social Services Interviews on
School Premises; #449-Due Process; #453-School Health Services; #453.1-Emergency
Nursing Services (#453-Student Health and Emergency Services); and #453.2-Student
Immunizations; and #446.1-Locker Searches.
D. Second Reading of Policies: #211-Administrator Ethics; #223-Administrator Professional
Development Opportunities; #223.1-Guidelines for Attendance at Meetings, Workshops
and Conventions; #251(#250)-Organization for Administrative Purposes; #251 Exhibit-
(#251) Organization Chart; #253.2-Development and/or Approval of Handbooks; #260-
Temporary Administrative Arrangements; and #334-Curriculum/Instructional Program
VII. Executive Session – Under Wisconsin Statute 19.85(1)(c)(e)(f) to Discuss Offering of
Employment Contracts for Coaching or Classroom Positions.

VIII. Business (Action Items):
A. Approval of Budget Adjustments: Elementary Art, Building, Technology, and Athletic
Operating Budgets, and High School Block Study.

B. Approval of Leases: Kids Korner, Evansville Kid Connection, and Primetimers.
C. Approval of Ringhand Bus Contract.
D. Approval of 66:03 Agreement With McFarland.
E. Approval of Teacher Contracts: .42 Math High School and .15 Elementary Music.
F. Approval of Co-Curricular Contracts: Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach and JV Boys
Soccer Coach.
G. Approval of Policies: #253.1-Development and Review of Administrative Rules; #363.2-
Computer Network K-12 Students; #537-Professional Development Opportunities; #538-
Evaluation of Faculty and Staff; and #554-Network Computing and Telecommunications:
Faculty and Staff.
H. Approval of Minutes.
I. Approval of Bills and Receipts.
IX. Committee Reports:
A. Finance Committee: Annual Meeting Format.

B. Buildings and Grounds Committee: Middle School Walk Through Report.

X. Financial Report.

XI. Set Next Agenda.
XII. Retreat – 2006-2007 Board Goals and Operation.
XIII. Adjourn.
This notice may be supplemented with additions to the agenda that come to the attention of the Board prior to the
meeting. A final agenda will be posted and provided to the media no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting or no later
than 2 hours prior to the meeting in the event of an emergency.
Persons needing special accommodations or more specific information about the agenda items
should call 882-5224, Ext. 3387 at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Posted: 8/10/06

Iran's President starts Blogging

Click on the post for an article on the blogging of the Iranian President. It is a little ironic that he is beginning a blog at the very time he is cracking down on some blogs. Stay tuned.

Classic Augioblogger: Mason Speaks on the purpose of Smart Growth Amendments

(Ed. note. Be patient with the audio. It is not the best.)

Mason Braunschweig made the point at the recent Evansville Common Council meeting that the purpose of amendments to the Smart Growth Plan was to correct things that were not forseen at its inception on 6-15-2005. There were several such technical corrections presented and routinely approved at last Monday's meeting. The request to break the Plan by adding additional growth was not such a technical correction.

this is an audio post - click to play

"This is not just 11 people"--classic audioblogger --Evansville Common Council 8-8-2006

The Vote of the Evansville Common Council on 8-8-2006 was 8-0 to deny the request of Mr. Maas to amend the Smart Growth Plan so as to develop property ahead of schedule and thus increase the rate of growth of Evansville.

Mr. Mourning rose to argue that this was just 11 people. What about the others who were not at this meeting?

Mr. Fred Juergens replied in the classic audiobloger for today: click on the icon to hear.

The Common Council Vote may have been surprising to some, but it reflected the entire community sense of what was appropriate. It was not just 11.

this is an audio post - click to play

Minutes: Redevelopment Authority: July 18, 2006

Evansville Redevelopment Authority

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 18, 2006, 7:30 p.m.

City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin


I. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 7:32 p.m. by Chairperson Eager. Present: Ahner, Decker, Eager, Hammann, Wyse. Absent: Arnold, Roth. Also present: Mayor Sandy Decker.

II. Declare Quorum. There being a majority of the Commissioners present, a quorum was declared by the Chair.

III. Approve Agenda. The agenda, as distributed, was approved without objection.

IV. Approve Minutes of June 20, 2006 Meeting. Motion by Hammann, second by Wyse, to approve the June 20 minutes, as distributed. Approved by voice vote.

V. Old Business.

A. Discussion of marketing study for TIF 5. The Chair reported that the Finance Committee has declined a proposed budget amendment for a proposed marketing study, and has returned the proposal to the Commission, with the suggestion that it be further developed, and submitted first to the Plan Commission. Mayor Decker advised she will ask Ehlers & Associates to draft an amendment to the Project Plan for presentation to the Plan Commission.

B. Discussion of investor attraction study. The Chair reported that Mr. Otterstein has had discussions with Wendy Soucie of Sortis regarding a possible marketing plan, intended to reach investors who might be interested in developing property within the TID. Members of the Economic Development Committee reported in some detail on the presentation made earlier in the evening to that committee by Sortis. The Commission will await further input from Mr. Otterstein.

VI. New Bussiness.

A. Applications for assistance. None received.

VII. Other business.

A. Discussion of vacancy on Board. Mayor Decker advised that Dean Arnold has resigned from the Commission, and also from the Economic Development Committee, due to other time committments. Commissioners suggested that the Mayor seek to appoint a downtown businessperson as a replacement.

VIII. Adjournment. Hammann moved, seconded by Wyse, to adjourn to the regular August meeting. Approved by voice vote at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

John Decker, Acting Secretary

Please Note: Minutes of the Commission are not official until approved at a subsequent meeting.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Agenda; Economic Development: August 15, 2006, 6PM


The regular meeting of the Economic Development Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 15th day of August, 2006, at 6:00 p.m., at City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

City of Evansville
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Economic Development Committee

Tuesday, August 15, 2006, 6:00 PM

City Hall, 31 S. Madison St. Evansville, WI

Roll call.
2. Approval of agenda.

Motion to waive reading of the minutes of July 18, 2006 regular meeting and approve them as printed.
Citizens appearances, other than on items listed below.
Update on proposed TID #6.
Discussion on the presentation by Sortis LLC of a proposal for marketing development opportunities in the City of Evansville, focused primarily on TID No. 6 and/or TID No. 5.
Update on Streetscape/Bicycle Trailways grant application.
Update on proposed joint session with Chamber of Commerce and ECP.
Discussion of committee goals, objectives, and projects leading to the development of a budget.
Update on potential bio-diesel facility.
Update on Alliant Energy grant.
Tony Wyse, Chair

Classic Audioblogger: A Modest Proposal for the Improvement of Justice in Evansville

this is an audio post - click to play