Evansville Water: The Movie: Part 1

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Wisconsin Wit

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The New Electric Sports Car--The Tesla---Zero to 60 in 4 seconds

Click on the post for the latest. This electric really moves. No golf cart. A little pricey. Enjoy.

Gazette Corner: Janesville proposes "Sober School"--new charter school for Janesville

Janesville officials have proposed a separate charter school that would be sober. It seems that there is so much liquor and drugs available at regular schools that there is a need to establish a separate school that would be sober. It used to be that there would be a "drug free zone." Evidentally that program did not work. Click on the post for the full story in the Janesville Gazette.

What do you think? Should Evansville follow suit and have a sober school? You make the call.

Homecoming Parade: Girl's Cross Country Team Celebrates Record Winning Streak

(Ed. note. Click on the lower right corner of pictures to enlarge.)

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Franklin Park: Playground Equipment Arrives

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Gazette Corner: New Evansville Youth Center in the News

Click on the post for the article by Gina Duwe in the Janesville Gazette on the new Evansville Youth Center.

As soon as the detailed accounting of the donors to the Center are available the Observer will let readers know the detailed list of paid for and donated items that all add up to the total value of this wonderful resource. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 29, 2006

School Beat: Finance Committee: Mr. Larson and Mr. Hatfield join to recommend to Board elimination of Half-Day Kindergarten

this is an audio post - click to play

Agenda: Public Safety: Wed., Oct. 4th, 6PM

NOTICE

The regular meeting of the Public Safety Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 4th day of October, 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 Safety Committee
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 6:00 P.M.

Regular Meeting

Evansville City Hall

Council Room

31 S Madison Street



AGENDA (Revised)
1. Call to Order

Roll Call
Motion to approve the August 30, 2006 Minutes as printed.
Citizen appearances other than agenda items listed
Evansville Police Report
Evansville Medical Service Report
Old Business
New Business
Ordinance 2006-__, Ordinance Creating Section ________, of the Municipal Code of the City of Evansville, Wisconsin Relating to the Issuance of Alcohol Licenses.
Ordinance 2006-__, Ordinance Amending Section 6-37 (4) (e) of the Municipal Code of the City of Evansville, Wisconsin Relevant to the Issuance of Alcohol Licenses
Resolution 2006-41, Amending the City of Evansville Fee Schedule, Various Parking Violations
Symdon Chevrolet - Off-sight Car Sale, 1st Community Bank Property at E Main & Union/Exchange Street
Discussion on 2007 Police Department Operating Budget
Provisional and/or Operator’s Licenses
Motions to approve the request for an operator license for:
Brenda L Gunderson, Angus Haus
Jessica A. Frank, Night Owl
Jennifer J Jozefowicz, Night Owl
William H. Frain, Grove Quik Mart
Cheryl A. Hurst, Pete’s Inn
Sherri L. Glick, Angus Haus
Susane Kuhl-Tucker, Angus Haus
Motion to adjourn
Thomas Cothard, Chairperson

Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the Clerk’s office by calling 882-2266 with as much advance notice as possible.

Please turn off all cell phones while the meeting is in session. Thank you!

Observer Poll: 96% of Evansville Opposes 4 Yr. Kindergarten

(Ed. note. This is an ongoing poll. You may only vote once.)

Would you support raising taxes to support adding 4 Year Old Kindergarten in Evansville Schools?

Answers Votes Percent
1. Yes 3 4%
2. No 66 96%

Economic Development: Mayor Dave: One Stop Shopping: Virtual and Physical Initiative

(Ed. note. I have edited this economic development press release of Mayor Dave. It contains concepts that are relevant locally.)

Office of the Mayor
David J. Cieslewicz City-County Building, Room 403
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
(Phone) 608 266 4611
(TTY) 608 266 4443
(FAX) 608 267 8671

Building a Healthy City: The Mayor’s Economic Development Initiative
Since taking office in 2003, I have made economic development a key priority. While the City of Madison
has one of the strongest economies in the nation, we will not remain that way if we don’t anticipate changes,
and take advantage of them.

To that end, I have reinvigorated the Economic Development Commission (EDC); organized the Healthy
City economic development conference; organized the city’s first-ever Small Business Conference; and much
more. This year, I am continuing those efforts with a series of initiatives designed to keeping Madison’s
economy strong and create good-paying jobs for all of its families.
Streamlining the Development Process

I am proposing creation of both a virtual, and an actual, “One Stop Shop”. On the virtual side, I am
proposing to purchase enterprise permitting software, which will significantly streamline the flow of
information between the public and city government, and within city government itself. This builds on the
City’s ongoing commitment to increase convenient online access to information through services such as
Legistar.

In addition, I am proposing to create a physical “One Stop Shop” in 2007. This will be a single location
where members of the public such as developers can simultaneously meet with City staff from various
agencies. It will also enable better communication among staff, helping to ensure that members of the public
receive reliable, consistent information from City government and make the development process more
predictable for both neighborhoods and developers.

Creating a Zoning Code for the 21st Century
My budget includes $300,000 to rewrite the City’s aging zoning code over the next two years. The code
includes countless cumbersome, outdated provisions that have accumulated over the years, making it
confusing to developers and City staff alike. This is a continuation of the process that started with the
adoption of the City’s new comprehensive plan, and will reflect development principles including infill and
New Urbanism. A modern zoning code will eliminate obsolete zoning provisions, and create new ones that
reflect Madison’s growing economy. This process will streamline development by reducing the need for
zoning variance requests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------
Elevating Economic Development in City Government
3
My budget includes funding to restructure the city’s key economic development agency, the Department of
Planning and Development. This will include the elevation of a new Director of Economic Development to
sit on the mayor’s Management Team and report directly to me, the combination of key economic
development functions under the economic development director, and additional investment in the Office of
Business Resources.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dateline Normal, Mn. : Walkable Neighborhoods: Condos; Progress Heralded--Fiction

The fall colors are great up north, so I thought I would fire up the old Lincoln and run up Hwy 10, let the miles and miles of billboard signs slip by and head for my favorite getaway, Normal Mn.

Over a strong, no sugar, lots of whipped cream coffee at the local coffee shop across from the Spruce Goose Motel, I mentioned to Herman, my country boy lawyer friend, that because of the high cost of housing, many folks approaching retirement were looking at condos---but were facing a slight problem------cost.

The condos on the mass transit routes, whether in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or Madison, were approaching $300M.

Herman just laughed. " It serves you right, Wolfman. You have seen the marketing about Madison----that it is the new Berkely. Have you been to Berkely lately? Unless you have a rent controlled apartment on campus, you cannot afford to live there. Then he went on, "I read recently that even in downtown Madison, they are building affordable condos of 600 to 800 sq. ft.. I suppose they will sell for $275M.

"Well," I retorted, "Even if you are correct, what is the solution?"

"I am glad you asked," he replied.

"Up here in God's country, we have two types of housing on the drawing boards. The first is "walkable" and the second is "floatable." Both are about 400 sq. ft., and fit into the lifestyle of the modern dude.

The "floatable" housing is more like a riverboat. It fits nicely on one of the lakes up here and can be towed behind one's car.

The "walkable" models are like the old time flats, except smaller. They are crate-like and yes they do have those fold down beds from the wall for a real economy style. Developers love em. They are made from fiberboard and go up quickly. Only the wall that has to support the bed is really well constructed. I think one of these units will still sell for $150M. It is pretty pricey for northern Minn, but when one compares this to Berkely or Chicago---It's a bargain. "

The best thing up here in God's country is the mortgage----we offer a full 75 year mortgage. It makes things real affordable.

Thank goodness I am back in good ol Wisconsin. Where there are none of them floatable neighborhoods. Where we still have affordable housing. And where four walls are well built and not just one.

Alleluia.

Classic Observer: (Orig Post 7-14-2006) "The Best"; Or the Story of No Delay

If one is an investor, in times of crisis, one quickly learns what the best consists of. Great companies have great products, hire the best people, communicate with quality to their shareholders and even in crisis engage their shareholders. As you may have guessed, these companies are rare.

As far as financial ratings, these companies have AAA S&P ratings. One of the things that one learns in reviewing the profile of millionaires in America, is that is generally these folks buy the best---and they seek the best in quality investments--most are very, very conservative.

When it comes to hiring, one might wonder how to find the best. The news recently gives us a hint. Recently, with the death of "Kenny Boy Lay", the chapter in the largest corporate corruption scandal in America has been laid to rest. At his funeral, which included a visit by former President George H.W. Bush, Ken was praised as being like Jesus as well as Martin Luther King. Some of you out there might wonder what it takes to be extolled at your funeral as being like these celebrated individuals. Now you know.

Quality companies hire quality employees and look beyond hiring relatives and friends. They are open to consultants that will bring them the very most qualified applicants for the job.

So--as I see it---whether it's rigged accounting or rigged personnel selection---both do not add up to the "Best." Make a note of it.

"Condos Coming to Downtown Madison?"

Click on the post for the latest from the Wisconsin State Journal. These proposed condos might be affordable. 600-800 sq. ft. Stay tuned.

(Revised) Minutes: Economic Development: Special Meeting: Sept 27,2006

CITY OF EVANSVILLE

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

MINUTES

Special Meeting

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

6:00 p.m.

1. Roll call. The meeting was called to order by chair Wyse at 6:08 p.m. Present: Gene Bass, Roger Berg, John Decker, Cheryl Dickert, Fred Juergens, Tony Wyse. Absent: Dave Olsen, James Otterstein. Also present: John Morning, Mayor Sandy Decker.

2. Approval of agenda. Juergens moved, seconded by Berg, to approve the agenda as distributed. Approved by voice vote.

3. Defer approval of minutes of September 19, 2006 regular meeting until the regular meeting in October. So moved by Juergens, seconded by Berg. Approved by voice vote.

4. Citizen appearances, other than on items listed below. John Morning appeared on behalf of the Evansville Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Morning distributed a position description for Promotional Director for the Chamber of Commerce and stated that the Chamber Board of Directors was committed to filling the position as described. Compensation to be offered will be $30,000.00 per year, and a "cafeteria" type of benefits plan may be offered, subject to negotiation with candidates for the position. The Chamber requests that the City of Evansville Economic Development Committee commit $12,000.00 of its proposed 2007 budget toward remuneration for the position.

Juergens moved, seconded by Dickert, to request an amount of $12,000.00 for the Economic Development Committee's 2007 budget to fund a portion of the proposed Evansville Chamber of Commerce Promotional Director position.

Mr. Morning provided a further description of the Chamber's potential realignment of staff positions in the event the Promotional Director position, as described, is filled. Decker asked whether the Chamber could fund its portion of the proposed staff budget from membership dues alone, or whether supplemental fundraising would be needed. Mr. Morning stated additional fundraising would be required, but that the Chamber Board was confident such efforts would be successful.

Decker moved to table the pending motion to permit the committee to consider other funding requests, seconded by Wyse. The motion to table failed on a 3-3 voice vote.

The chair suggested it would be appropriate to consider other potential expenditures in the debate on the pending motion.

In the ensuing discussion, it was observed that the committee typically contributes $475.00 (or 1/2 of total cost) toward the cost of the "Evansville" page in the annual Rock County Visitor's Guide, and should contribute 1/4 of the cost of reprinting the 4-color Evansville Visitor's Brochure (or $850.00). The committee tentatively has committed $1,950.00 toward an outdoor advertising program for the 2007 Main Street reconstruction period (to be paid in 2006), and an additional $500.00 for the purchase of a web camera to provide images during the 2006 - 08 construction seasons in the vicinity of Main and Madison Streets. In terms of other 2006 expenditures, the committee has committed $160.00 to the on-line economic development courses through the UW- Extension. Finally, the committee is to pay the expenses of the supplemental "open to local businesses" signage produced by Main Street Signs for the current Madison Street project. The anticipated cost of a Trade Market Analysis will be covered as a project expense of Tax Increment District #6, approved by the Common Council on September 26, 2006.

Berg moved, seconded by Bass, to call the previous question. Approved by voice vote. Berg further requested a roll call vote on the question whether the City of Evansville Economic Development Committee should commit $12,000.00 toward remuneration of the proposed Chamber of Commerce Promotional Director position for 2007. Those votes were: Berg "yes"; Bass "yes"; Dickert "yes"; Juergens "yes"; Decker "no"; Wyse "no." The motion passed.

5. Discussion on EDC signing contracts for billboard rental during construction next year. Mayor Decker presented the proposed outdoor advertising contracts for the April - September 2007 period, as negotiated by the Downtown Reconstruction Task Force. John Decker moved, seconded by Bass, to authorize the committee chair to execute the contracts. Approved by voice vote.

6. Discussion of committee goals, objectives, and projects and create 2007 budget. The chair noted that the major portion of this agenda item was dealt with under item 4 Citizen Appearances, and invited additional discussion. Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to urge the City of Evansville to pursue a "Preserve America" designation. Approved by voice vote.

7. Motion to approve 2007 budget. Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to submit a total Economic Development Committee budget request for 2007 in the amount of $15,000.00. Mayor Decker observed that the committee's 2006 budget was $5,000.00, and that a preliminary budget proposal of $10,000.00 had been developed at her request, in order to meet anticipated additional promotional expenditures during and after the 2007 Main Street reconstruction. Juergens asked about committee expenditures in prior years. In 2005 the committee spent its entire budget, with the major expenditure ($4,000.00) being for the Sortis grant-writing program. In earlier years the committee usually did not expend its full budget allotment. Following discussion, Berg requested a roll call vote on his motion to submit a total Economic Development Committee budget request for 2007 in the amount of $15,000.00. Those votes were: Juergens "yes"; Decker "no"; Dickert "yes"; Bass "yes"; Berg "yes"; Wyse "yes." The motion passed.

8. Adjournment. Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to adjourn to the next regular meeting of the committee in October. Approved by voice vote at 8:50 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

John Decker, Secretary

Note: Meeting minutes are not official until approved at a subsequent meeting of the committee.

Minutes: Economic Development: September 19, 2006

CITY OF EVANSVILLE

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

MINUTES

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

6:00 p.m.

1. Roll call. The meeting was called to order by chair Wyse at 6:08 p.m. Present: Gene Bass, Roger Berg, John Decker, Cheryl Dickert, Fred Juergens, Tony Wyse. Absent: Dave Olsen, James Otterstein. Also present: John Morning, Mayor Sandy Decker.

2. Approval of agenda. Juergens moved, seconded by Berg, to approve the agenda as distributed. Approved by voice vote.

3. Defer approval of minutes of September 19, 2006 regular meeting until the regular meeting in October. So moved by Juergens, seconded by Berg. Approved by voice vote.

4. Citizen appearances, other than on items listed below. John Morning appeared on behalf of the Evansville Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Morning distributed a position description for Promotional Director for the Chamber of Commerce and stated that the Chamber Board of Directors was committed to filling the position as described. Compensation to be offered will be $30,000.00 per year, and a "cafeteria" type of benefits plan may be offered, subject to negotiation with candidates for the position. The Chamber requests that the City of Evansville Economic Development Committee commit $12,000.00 of its proposed 2007 budget toward remuneration for the position.

Juergens moved, seconded by Dickert, to request an amount of $12,000.00 for the Economic Development Committee's 2007 budget to fund a portion of the proposed Evansville Chamber of Commerce Promotional Director position.

Mr. Morning provided a further description of the Chamber's potential realignment of staff positions in the event the Promotional Director position, as described, is filled. Decker asked whether the Chamber could fund its portion of the proposed staff budget from membership dues alone, or whether supplemental fundraising would be needed. Mr. Morning stated additional fundraising would be required, but that the Chamber Board was confident such efforts would be successful.

Decker moved to table the pending motion to permit the committee to consider other funding requests, seconded by Wyse. The motion to table failed on a 3-3 voice vote.

The chair suggested it would be appropriate to consider other potential expenditures in the debate on the pending motion.

In the ensuing discussion, it was observed that the committee typically contributes $475.00 (or 1/2 of total cost) toward the cost of the "Evansville" page in the annual Rock County Visitor's Guide, and should contribute 1/4 of the cost of reprinting the 4-color Evansville Visitor's Brochure (or $850.00). The committee tentatively has committed $1,950.00 toward an outdoor advertising program for the 2007 Main Street reconstruction period (to be paid in 2006), and an additional $500.00 for the purchase of a web camera to provide images during the 2006 - 08 construction seasons in the vicinity of Main and Madison Streets. In terms of other 2006 expenditures, the committee has committed $160.00 to the on-line economic development courses through the UW- Extension. Finally, the committee is to pay the expenses of the supplemental "open to local businesses" signage produced by Main Street Signs for the current Madison Street project.

Berg moved, seconded by Bass, to call the previous question. Approved by voice vote. Berg further requested a roll call vote on the question whether the City of Evansville Economic Development Committee should commit $12,000.00 toward remuneration of the proposed Chamber of Commerce Promotional Director position for 2007. Those votes were: Berg "yes"; Bass "yes"; Dickert "yes"; Juergens "yes"; Decker "no"; Wsye "no." The motion passed.

5. Discussion on EDC signing contracts for billboard rental during construction next year. Mayor Decker presented the proposed outdoor advertising contracts for the April - September 2007 period, as negotiated by the Downtown Reconstruction Task Force. John Decker moved, seconded by Bass, to authorize the committee chair to execute the contracts. Approved by voice vote.

6. Discussion of committee goals, objectives, and projects and create 2007 budget. The chair noted that the major portion of this agenda item was dealt with under item 4 Citizen Appearances, and invited additional discussion. Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to urge the City of Evansville to pursue a "Preserve America" designation. Approved by voice vote.

7. Motion to approve 2007 budget. Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to submit a total Economic Development Committee budget request for 2007 in the amount of $15,000.00. Mayor Decker observed that the committee's 2006 budget was $5,000.00, and that a preliminary budget request of $10,000.00 had been developed at her request. Following discussion, Berg requested a roll call vote on his motion to submit a total Economic Development Committee budget request for 2007 in the amount of $15,000.00. Those votes were: Juergens "yes"; Decker "no"; Dickert "yes"; Bass "yes"; Berg "yes"; Wyse "yes." The motion passed.

8. Adjournment. Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to adjourn to the next regular meeting of the committee in October. Approved by voice vote at 8:50 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

John Decker, Secretary

Note: Meeting minutes are not official until approved at a subsequent meeting of the committee.

On Gas Prices

Click on the post for an article on gas prices. Some 40% of Americans seem to think that the plunging prices are because of price manipulation. And that prices will skyrocket up right after the election.

What do you think? You make the call.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

School Beat: Monroe: Business and community step up volunteer pace

Click on the post for the story in the Monroe Times about the increase of volunteer effort by Monroe in behalf of Monroe schools.

"Walton" weighs in on Bricks....and much more

Click on the post for the latest from "Walton."

Barn Reconstruction In Cooksville: McGee of Evansville at work

(Ed. note. Click on the lower right of each photo for the larger version.)

 
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"Sugar Sugar"----Dateline Normal, Mn.---Homecoming comes to Normal---Fiction

(Ed.note. Any resemblance betweeen this fictional story and the real world is purely coincidental. The Blue and Gold colors of the Normal Nuggets is not meant to offend the Chicago Bears. The school fight song has been omitted because of strong language.)

Click on the post.

The Last days of fabulous weather recently prompted me to drive back in time to the annual homecoming celebration in my favorite getaway town, way up north, on Hwy 10 near the land of Lake Woebegon, in northern Minnesota,---- Normal, Mn. . As I came into town, I noted the banners and decorated stores announcing the weeklong celebration. The local football team, The Normal Nuggets, were on every poster. The team used to be called the Normal Panthers, but because of the possibility of giving offense to the panther lobby, the name was changed to a more wholesome title.

I had hoped to chat with my old friend, Herman, the country boy lawyer in the local coffee shop, but it was so crowded with fans all decked out in blue and orange--- those were the frozen tundra colors of Normal---- and they all were singing the local school song.

So, I thought I would just ask a question of the whole restaurant.

"When does the parade start?", I asked.

Everyone in the restaurant just turned and stared.

"We don't have a parade," they all said in unison.

"Well, years ago we did. But then we felt that just as we should change the name of the "Panthers" to the "Nuggets" it would also be healthy to stop throwing candy from all the floats. One thing led to another. Pretty soon, we just decided to hand out candy at the school and just forget the parade. After all. This way kids don't miss any classroom time. It's just what's best for the entire community. "

"And what about the bands?", I asked.

One of the guys responded. "Yes, the music was important. We thought the kids would miss that. We just asked that each child quietly hum the song, "Sugar, Sugar" as they ate their candy. Turns out the kids really like the song. They don't even miss the bands."

It sure is good to be back in good old Evansville. Where we don't have blue and orange as our school colors. Where we are the "Blue Devils" and not the "Nuggets." And where even if we can't throw candy, we still can hum quietly my favorite song----"Sugar, Sugar."

Alleluia.

The Illness Business; The Wellness Business; The Difference

Click on the post for the story about lost revenue now that schools have been mandated by the Fed to actually have healthy foods in the vending machines.

It was very attractive from the revenue side to sell just junk. Make a note of it.

"I believe"---the poem

(Ed. note. I found this poem crumpled up and wrapped in a brown paper sack in a dumpster near the Old Ace Hardware on Main Street in Evansville. I rushed home to dry it out from the liquid stains and have worked diligently to preserve this text, which I have reprinted without editing.)




I believe
in
brick
solid and
brilliant
glaze


I believe
in
building
with money
taxpayer
money
mostly

I believe
in
brick
that lasts
forever
I
think---
I hope


I believe
in
windmills
and mini
museums
that last
forever
I
believe

The Rising Cost of Student Loans

Click on the post for the breaking news in finance today that Marblehead is bringing a large securitization of student loans to market. In reviewing the fees they will get for this, there is a fee of about 12% upfront, plus another 3% and 1% later. Sounds attractive from a revenue perspective.

From a student perspective, the days when one could say that a student loan was probably the cheapest loan a person would ever get is .....over. Plan accordingly.

School Beat; Whitewater plans referendum to bridge school budget shortfall

click on the post for the article in the Janesville Gazette covering the upcoming referendum in Whitewater.

"The Little House Out Back"; Reflections by Victor Paulson

(Ed. note: The Observer has written about "The little house out Back" as part of the historical preservation that might be necessary if we have a huge energy crisis. I have consulted one of our local experts on constructing model privys, Victor Paulson, 95, who has built over 60 of them, and shares his memories of the Evansville of old. )

"The Little House Out Back"


They dug it wide; they dug it deep,
Somewhere out in the back,
Some boards and nails, a roof, a door
And the Privey was intact.

No work of art, this little house,
A coat of paint or two,
A crescent in the door, perhaps
Was all it amounted to.

Two holers were the standard size,
But sometimes there were three
One large, one medium, and then
One small, for kids, you see.

When the new catalog arrived
The old one found a home
In that little house out in the back
Where it's use was so well known.

It wasn't so bad on summer days
For sometimes they could stay
Long enough for the dishes
To be washed and put away

A different tale come wintertime
When those boards were "berr" so cold
They'd hightail it out and back again
In record time, we're told.

Backhouse, Outhouse or Privy
Were common names they say,
For that little house out back,
So vital in it's day!

rms

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New York Times weighs in on "torture" deal in the making

Click on the post for an opinion article in the New York Times about the deal in progress between Congress and the White House on following the Geneva Convention.

Historic Preservation Survey Project Results Meeting Scheduled: Masonic Temple: Thurs. Sept 28th, 7PM

NOTICE

The Historic Preservation Commission will meet for the presentation of Historic Survey Project Results on the 28th day of September, 2006, at 7:00 p.m., at Masonic Temple, 104 West Main Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

Evansville Historic Preservation Commission

PRESENTATION OF HISTORIC

SURVEY PROJECT RESULTS

Thursday, September 28, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

Masonic Temple, 104 West Main Street

The City of Evansville Historic Preservation Commission invites you to learn about the results of the recently completed intensive survey of architecturally and historically significant properties. The Evansville Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan identified this survey as a priority for the Commission.

Timothy Heggland, the consultant selected to conduct the study, and Joe DeRose, Survey and Register Historian at the Department of Historic Preservation of the Wisconsin Historical Society, will present survey findings and recommendations and answer questions.

Light refreshments will be served by the Evansville Grove Society.

Project funding has been obtained through Federal funds from the U.S. Department of the Interior as administered by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Richard Modaff, Chair

Evansville Historic Preservation Commission

Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the City Clerk’s office by calling (608) 882-2266 with as much advance notice as possible.

The Masonic meeting room is not heated. Please dress appropriately to the existing weather conditions.

Re: K12now Notification from Evansville School District------About Homecoming



K12now System <noreply@bounce.k12now.com> wrote:

Dear Parents:

Please look on the EHS website for an important letter from Principal Jamie Gillespie regarding homecoming. This message is appropriate for all parents! Follow the link below. If you cannot click on it, copy and paste it into your browser.

http://www.evansville.k12.wi.us/EHS/PDF/homecoming.pdf



----
Message sent from Evansville School District by K12now.
To manage your K12now subscriptions visit http://my.k12now.com
----

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dateline Normal, Mn. : "Can't We all be in Charge?"; Or "Shared Governance" Shines In Normal, Mn.--fiction

(Ed. note. The following story from Normal is dedicated to one of my daughters who has been debating issues of "power" and "shared governance" with The Observer. Any resemblance to the real world is purely coincidental.)


It's been a pretty quiet week here in good Old Evansville, so I thought I would head the road up on Hwy 10 north of the Twin Cities, and spend a night or two in one of my favorite getaway towns--- Normal, Mn.. I stopped in late at the Spruce Goose Motel and rose in the morn and met my old friend, Herman, the country boy lawyer, for a spot of coffee, as usual, in the deep blue Viking mugs. It felt good. The Vikings were losing on T.V. The Packers were victorious. What could be better. I could at least be tolerant of the differences within the frozen tundra and sip from a Viking mug. I was tolerant and compassionate and benevolent. I could listen. After all, the Packers were in the win column.

I reflected to Herman that I had a few concerns about power these days and .....wondered how power operated in God's country. After all, Herman had recently been elected to the Normal School Board and also was a big activist in Normal, Mn. politics. I figured he should know.

"Shucks, Wolfman," (that's what he always called me) up here, we don't have any power."

"What?", I exclaimed.

"Yup", Herman went on. " Many years ago, we figured out that we could declare a budget crisis and just lay it on the line. We did not have the money to pay for supervisors, so we let every employee take a day as "Shift supervisor." The best part was, though, that we told everyone that normally we would cut wages, because of the budget crisis, but if they took the "in charge" for the day assigned, they could keep their normal pay."

"I cannot believe they fell for that," I said.

"They grew to love it, " Herman explained.

"Even when they were not "in charge", they were always looking over everyone's shoulder and in fact, they became a total auditing department. It is just wonderful!."

"So in fact everyone and noone is in charge?." I asked.

"Exactly" Herman exclaimed. "I know it is hard for you to understand, Wolfman, being as you like those chain of command charts, and being old fashioned as you are, but these are new fangled times, and .....besides.....it's a whole lot cheaper lettin everyone be in charge."

I had heard a lot about this new fangled "empowerment" and "Shared governance" but I never though it could have happened in God's country. What a shock.

Thank God I'm back in good ol Wisconsin. Where we have a structure to our lives. Where we have someone to report to. Where folks are accountable. Where it's not just some web of everybody ...and nobody....that decides.

Alleluia.

School Beat: Finance: Finance Committee discusses Improved Fee Accounting; Supr. Heidi Carvin announces solution is possible for problem

At last Monday's Evansville School Board Finance meeting, members discussed specifically the fee for percussion, but also discussed in general how fee accounting is handled and how it might be improved.

Supr. Carvin and Deb Olsen announcend that they had discussed a new way of splitting off the individual fees whether for parking or for band, and this way they would not be lost to view in the overall fund balance number. Mr. Hatfield offered that it was important that these funds not be switched around to other needs or the public would lose their trust in the system. Mr. Peirick offered that these funds would in fact be considered above and beyond the funds needed and used for cash flow.

Click on the audioblogger for some of this discussion.


this is an audio post - click to play

School Beat: Finance: Mr. Hatfield seeks basis for deciding on budget cuts; How to evaluate programs fairly and evenly--the unfunded mandates etc.

At the Finance Committee Meeting of the Evansville School Board last week, there was a wide ranging discussion of the gradual tightening of the budget and the difficulty in having a framework to decide when reviewing the different needs such as ELL, Special Ed, At Risk, AP, GT and yes Athletics, how to decide the order in which things will be cut or funding added in the case of rising enrollment.

This was a very timely discussion. Yes, the enrollment in the district was up 100 students. Good news for revenue. However, just a glance at the enrollment increases shows that there are 48 at risk students at the high school. There are some needs created by the mix of the enrollment increase that the school is evaluating as we write.

You may recall that some of the "at risk" services were cut back after Mrs. Dobbs retired. Supr. Carvin reviewed this and noted that Mrs. Dobbs had been very persistent in getting these kids to graduate and that her absence had been felt. Some additional staffing was needed for the at risk students since 48 was too large for just a 1/2 person to teach at the High School.

This discussion is just the opening chapter in what may be a lengthy series of discussions at School Board meetings in the upcoming year as the public weighs in on this topic and offers their view of what is important to them.

The Observer hopes to bring you the audio so you can listen in.


this is an audio post - click to play

Local People Corner: "Popeye"

 

As an added benefit when you stop in to Evansville Oil Pros, you can personally inspect the tatoos of "Popeye", more commonly known to locals as "Rich."

There has been some movement in limited people watching circles as to whether these historic tatoos would qualify as a historic site. Locals are reviewing whether the term "site" could refer to a moving site and human receptacle....of ink.

Rich indicated to the Observer that folks certainly could stop by to see the tatoos------ that is---- if they did buy an oil change.

 

The tatoos refer to his days in the service and the units he served with----and the "Popeye" tatoo refers to his nickname-----caused by his propensity for bulging muscles.
 

Rich denied any liking of spinach.
 

Click on the audioblogger for Rich's own tale of the tatoo's. Posted by Picasa
this is an audio post - click to play

Agenda: Public Works: Volunteer Mowing on Agenda: V Notch on Agenda: Sept 25th, 6PM

( Ed. note. It would be nice if the 4th Ward could find a volunteer or two to mow Franklin Park. We could set the example for the city. Any thoughts, 4th ward?)

NOTICE

The regular meeting of the Public Works Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 25th day of September, 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, September 25, 2006, 6:00 p.m.

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

AGENDA

1. Call the meeting to order

Roll Call
Approve minutes of September Meeting
Citizen appearances
Downtown Streetscape Plan
Review preliminary street design itemized budget
Lake Leota Restoration
A. Discussion and possible motion to approve $35,000 for cutting a V-notch and constructing a cofferdam.

Communications from City Engineer
Communications of Public Works Director
A. Volunteer Mowers for City Parks

New Business
A. Establishing Sidewalk Construction Procedures

B. Discussion on Cemetery Policies

Adjourn
Bill Hammann Chair, Public Works Committee

Please turn off all cell phones while the meeting is in session. Thank you!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Nathan" covers the Wisconsin State Journal beat

"Grumps" has referred to a story by Nathan that notes with some dispair the loss or surrender of the Wisconsin State Journal to a lower standard. Click on the post for the post. This has been an evolving story over the past 35 years. As a young copy boy at the Wisconsin State Journal in 1970, I will only say that ....well......the slide down has not been really steep.

On a positive note, www.althouse.com has celebrated her 6,000,000th visitors on Friday. Prof. Althouse has really hit a nerve of interest in topics of a serious nature. So--my conclusion is that the readers are on blogs and not papers. It will be o.k..

If one goes back to the microfiche and looks at the newspapers in the 1920's and 1930's one sees that in the era of Joe DiMaggio, newspapers carried the play by play....It was the newspapers that covered the social scene and the...business news was as good as the New York Times in those days.

Agenda: Water and Light: Wed. Sept 27, 2006

NOTICE

The regular meeting of the Water & Light Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 27th day of September, 2006, at 6:30 p.m., at the Utility Shop, 15 Old 92, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.
Water & Light Committee Meeting
Regular Meeting
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Utility Shop, 15 Old 92, Evansville, Wisconsin.

6:30 p.m.

Agenda
1. Roll Call

2. Approval of August 30, 2006 Water &Light Minutes

3. Citizens concerns

4. Committee Reports - Chairperson Thomas Cothard

5. Committee Reports - Superintendent Scott George


6. Any other legal action to come before the committee

7. Motion to adjourn

Thomas Cothard

Committee Chairman

Church Beat: And the Trumpets Rang Out with Joy; St. Paul's Church Celebrates 100 Years

(Ed. note Photo courtesy of Tim Rooney. Click on lower right corner for largest version.)




In an exhuberant joyous celebration of the Mass last night that was followed by dinner and a movie, the congregation of St. Paul's Parish noted their 100 year anniversary.

Bishop Morlino as well as former pastor Father Bob Hughes were in attendance. As the service began, it was an adjustment to see the new, and slightly older Fr. Hughes on the altar, and it was also an adjustment to hear Trumpets blaze out during the opening hymn. The congregation adjusted. It did bring back memories of trumpets ringing out at the cathedral in Madison on Christmas Eve. Many remembered those Sundays when Notre Dame would play and Fr. Bob would keep the congregation up to date on the exploits of the Irish. And Father Bob's photographic memory of every EHS Blue Devil stat of any parish teen. Yes. It bought back fond memories.

Bishop Morlino, in a shorter sermon than normal, spoke to the readings for the day, and reflected on why bad things happen to good people. How can there be such terrible suffering to children for example. How can this be? He went on to reflect that even when the Lord was on the Cross, there was no intervention.

So...Bishop Morlino went on, we are saved. It just does not look like we think it will look. We have to be always watchful to see how this transformation will occur in our lives.

Yes, it would have been nice if The Observer had taken the tape recorder and caught those trumpets on tape. I will make a note of it for the records so that for the next 100 year celebration, those who follow me with the Observer will catch this.

Thanks to all who made this occasion so special.

Brunsell Funeral Service Remembered

With Pastor Rev. Margo Martens of the Cooksville Luthern Church presiding over a well attended service at Ward Funeral Home for Daniel Stuart Brunsell there was warmth and remembereance shared of Dan's life.

His niece remembered the time that she had been in grade school and called him to come and get her on a very rainy day since she had missed the bus. Fifteen minutes later Dan showed up totally soaked from rain and escorted her home. She had forgot that Dan did not drive. Dan also remembered each birthday and holiday with a handmade card----and each was personally delivered.

Dan died last Wednesday of a massive heart attack. In his lifetime he had struggled with mental illness and yet at the time of his death was working at the Evansville Manor part time.

One lady at the service remembered the time that during the winter Dan had escorted her to her car so she would not fall. Dan was noted for his gentleness and his humor and his courtly treatment of the ladies.

Pastor Martens told the story of her brother, Lonnie, who preferred to be called Lon. He had lived on the edge of society. He had lived in the LaCrosse area and had a big love of eagles. During a visit, Pastor Martens had gone eagle watching with Lon and he pointed out the many eagles in the area. She could not see any of them. She remarked that "There are no eagles in Minnesota."

Lon paused and said, "Have you ever looked for eagles?"

Pastor Martnes went on to say that those on the edges of society have something to contribute to our society and a wisdom to convey that is unique. It was that way with Lon. And it was that way with Dan Brunsell.

She asked members of the congregation to keep our eyes alert for folks on the edge so that we can see them....and respond to their needs. They have something important to contribute and is is important to discover what this is.

The Observer agrees. And thanks Rev. Margo Martens for a wonderful service. It was warm, well attended and captured the essence of Dan very well. She got the story straight.

Leak of NIE, National Intelligence Estimate, Shakes Pres. Bush Marketing

The leak of the national intelligence estimate that says that the war in Iraq has increased rather than decreased the risk of terrorism was the shock on Sunday. Click on the post for the full story on Yahoo news.

School Beat: Monroe: "TLC"; The Learning Center; The power of volunteers

Click on the post to read of the effort of Monroe Schools to create a TLC, The Learning Center, partially staffed by volunteers.

Whether it is through volunteer grass mowing in our cities such as Janesville, or volunteers in our schools, in the face of limited funding for schools, the role of volunteers is becoming essential. Volunteers are NOT taking the place of paying jobs, but rather the empty place of no staff to do the job.

This story of volunteers is a developing story....stay tuned.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Video: Historical: Farnsworth Building: TIF: Process

Video; Historical Archive: Evansville Plan Commission discusses process for review of TIF reimbursement of expenses in approved "facade" improvement. 2006

Download File

Watercooler: Gazette Corner: Update on Lake Leota Status: When would the taxpayer referendum be?

The decision to cut a V-notch so that Lake Leota can fully drain will come shortly. As the article in the Janesville Gazette by Gina Duwe points out today, the city of Evansville cannot afford to renovate the downtown and do the Lake. Mr. Hammann lists the cost of the downtown restoration as 1 million. The portion of the paving bricks that has been identified as the city portion was previously identified as $200M. It is unclear how we get to 1 million from there. I assume the million includes the repair of the water and sewer infrastructure currently being done and the full three year project including all stretscape amenities.

The Lake Leota project will most probably cost a million or two or more and it would be nice to see our city leaders discuss the timing of a referendum for the voters to decide. The public is split on this issue. Some feel that Lake Leota is not just a mess of weeds but that this is just nature reclaiming her own. They feel that a stream would be just fine. Others feel that a restored lake is essential.

As for the Observer, I believe this can only be decided by a referendum that clearly outlines the costs and objectives of the lake restoration---I will live with the taxpayers' wish.

Gazette Corner: Evansville Schools win NCLB Blue Ribbon Award

Click on the post for the article today in the Janesville about Evansville Schools winning the NCLB Blue Ribbon Award. The 10th graders were the class that put it over the top, but overall, it represents the cumulative result of efforts made in all the grades over the past several years. Well done.

Friday, September 22, 2006

St. Paul's Church Celebrates 100 Years on Saturday

 

St. Paul's Church in Evansville will be celebrating their 100 years anniversay on Saturday, September 23rd. Bishop Morlino will be in attendance.

The ceremonies will begin at Holy Cross Cemetery at 3:30PM with the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard in a special dedication of a Marker to the Unborn. The Knights will then escort the Bishop to Church for service at 5PM.

200 Parishners have reservations for the Mass and dinner after. A TV broadcast of the Mass will be available downstairs for overflow worshipers. Posted by Picasa

Travel Corner: Kim writes from Tuscany, Capri

(ed. note. Click on lower right of the photos to enlarge)


The Island of Capri


On Sunday we went to Tuscany...well...Tuscany is a region and we went to
>three different cities in it. That was like another 3 hour bus ride...but
>at least no ferry ride!!! Tuscany is byfar the most gorgeous place EVER!!!
>IT was raining the whole day and I STILL thought it was the PERFECT
>place...i would live there in a heart beat!!! We went to the most romantic
>city in Italy...cuz it had a street called street of the kiss...Via Del
>Bacio and Street of Love...Via Dell'Amore That was such a cute town...We
>even got to have hot chocolate!!! Then we toured a wine cellar...and got to
>taste a little...mmmmmm...that town was sooooooo hilly...i never knew there
>could be that many hills in one little town!!! And then we went to a family
>owned restuarant in a diffrerent town. We got a 4 course meal and LOTS and
>LOTS of vino...which was probably not the best idea with a 3 hour bus ride
>to follow...but whatever! when in rome...right? hahaha

Observer mourns loss of Dan Brunsell, 53

Dan Brunsell, 53, passed away on Wednesday at home in Evansville. Visitation will be tomorrow, Saturday, September 23rd at 10AM at the Ward Funeral Home on 5th Street. The Funeral Service will be held following the visitation at 11:30AM.

Dan loved walking. Recently when I chided him to pick up the pace, he did. He bought a bike. Dan was outgoing and offered a friendly wave to folks of all stations in Evansville, rich and poor, old and young. He always carried a little newspaper clipping in his billfold and when he stopped by Observer headquarters on his way out to the Pig, he would share his favorite clipping from the Cap Times.

During heated political times, I always found that Dan had a unique perspective. And a helpful and funny one.

May he rest in peace. Godspeed Dan.

Coach "D"


Coach Denise Frey of the Evansville Blue Devils Ladies Cross Country Team had little time to read the paper recently since she was welcoming her 4th grandchild to the family.

Coach "D" runs with the team daily, and sets the standard for grandmothers locally...and some of the rest of us also.

Coffee Beat: Where "Tall" is "Small"---Starbucks raises prices

When ordering a Starbucks, one must always, sleepy as one might be at the time, focus and order the "Tall" and not the "small" coffee etc. There is an entire world where at Starbucks words don't mean what they used to.

O.K. So you rightly point out that it is not just coffee. We seem to be having a larger problem here. Maybe this phenom has affected politics---- where freedom might just mean imperialism and democracy might just mean terror interrogation.....

O.K. it's infected employment...education....ok. well...everything. But.. I need some coffee here....let's focus on the coffee....

The prices on Starbucks drinks have been raised. Click on the post for the details.

Back in the old days, folks could actually make coffee themselves and use a rotary phone. Now it is very important to sip the coffee slowly while talking on a real or maybe a fake cell phone.

Remember the slogan of Caribou Coffee---"Life is short. Stay awake for it."

It's raining this morn, and I'm listening to Bob Dylan singing "Rainy Day Women," and I do agree that a Starbucks would be great right now. Whatever the cost.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Movie Beat; "Iraq for Sale" coming in October

Click on the post for the information on the movie, "Iraq for Sale." It is coming via private screening in October. Click on the video for sample of the film. It is as if Pres. Harry Truman, or his spirit, has arrived. If you want to see the film, click on the sites near us and reserve a seat. Enjoy.

Minutes: Economic Development: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006

CITY OF EVANSVILLE

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

MINUTES

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

6:00 p.m.

1. Roll call. The meeting was called to order by chair Wyse at 6:05 p.m. Present: Gene Bass, Roger Berg, John Decker, Fred Juergens, James Otterstein, Tony Wyse. Absent: Cheryl Dickert, Dave Olsen. Also present: Becky Heimerl, John Morning, Mayor Sandy Decker.

2. Approval of agenda. Juergens moved, seconded by Berg, to approve the agenda as distributed. Approved by voice vote.

3. Approval of minutes of August 15 meeting. Deferred.

4. Citizen appearances, other than on items listed below. None.

5. Presentation by Chamber of Commerce. Becky Heimerl and John Morning appeared on behalf of the Evansville Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber's Board of Directors has noted that several neighboring communities have identified a "go to" person who responds to inquiries of potential new businesses or industries. Evansville does not have such an individual, at least on any kind of formal basis. The Chamber is concerned that potential new businesses may be "lost" to other communities unless Evansville hires an "economic development czar."

Discussion ensued as to pending efforts of the Chamber of Commerce, the Evansville Community Partnership and the Economic Development Committee to coordinate activities in areas of mutual interest or concern. Several participants in the discussion suggested that ECP's interests were of a broader nature than those of the C of C and the EDC, and that the latter two entities were most appropriate for sponsorship of an economic development coordination function.

Mr. Otterstein pointed to Milton's recent resolution of its coordination issues: three of its community organizations, including its tourism board and chamber of commerce merged into a single entity. He urged consideration of a similar merger in Evansville. Mr. Bass responded that all three of Evansville's entities are experiencing a resurgence of interest and activity, and that merger discussions at the present time are premature and potentially counterproductive. Ms. Heimerl observed that the ECP is having its annual planning retreat this coming Saturday, and that the topic of a better partnership with the Chamber and the EDC is on the agenda; the Chamber is also committed to its own similar examination.

Mr. Wyse asked for elaboration on the type of position the Chamber was suggesting. He noted the delay and difficulties inherent in creating a new position on the City payroll. Mr. Otterstein suggested the City could engage an independent contractor, rather than an employee, to serve as coordinator. Mayor Decker proposed that any employment or engagement decision await the hiring of a new city administrator; that search is now under way. Mr. Berg responded that time is of the essence in view of new industrial development activities, and that an economic development coordiator should be found as soon as possible.

Mr. Morning said that the Chamber Board hoped that the EDC would be able to work out a cooperative arrangement on the subject, and that the retention of existing businesses and recruitment of new businesses were central to the Chamber's mission. Mr. Juergens responded, saying that the EDC was eager to assist the Chamber, but that a better understanding of how the function is to be fulfilled would be helpful to the discussion.

Mr. Decker observed that the EDC would like to have a more-specific proposal from the Chamber. The Chamber may want to consider how an economic development coordinator position would mesh with the Chamber's other administrative functions.

Juergens moved, seconded by Decker, to request the Chamber of Commerce to produce a position description for Economic Development Coordinator, and bring it to the next EDC meeting with a proposed budget. Approved by voice vote.

6. Status of ECP, C of C and EDC Coordination efforts. Ms. Heimerl referenced ECP's planning retreat, and said the Chamber has a similar activity under discussion. The Chamber remains committed to a joint planning session, but concurs with ECP's approach of self-evaluation of each organization as a useful first step.

7. Status of TID #6. Mayor Decker advised that a special meeting of the Common Council is scheduled for September 26, and that approval of TID #6 is on the agenda for that meeting. A meeting of the Joint Review Board, for its approval of TID #6, is scheduled for October 16.

8. Update on Streetscape/Bicycle Trailways grant application. Mr. Decker reported that Secretary of Transportation Frank Busalacchi was in Evansville on Monday, September 18 to present the City with a symbolic check in the amount of $398,800.00, representing the award of the full amount of Evansville's grant request. The Department of Commerce staff has approved the form of the income survey for a potential Community Development Block Grant for additional streetscape funding, and Jeff Farnsworth and Chris Eager are undertaking the work of the survey. In addition, private fundraising efforts have been renewed.

9. Update on Trade Market Analysis grant application. Mr. Otterstein reported that Department of Commerce staff had responded favorably to the initial proposal he had worked up for staff review. He will now develop and submit the final grant proposal for funding of a proposed trade market analysis. If the grant application is approved (possibly as early as October), a 25% local cash match will be required when the contract is let to the UW-Extension. The total budget for the TMA is $19,000.00, so the local match would be $4750.00. Mr. Otterstein cautioned that, in view of the number of CDBG grant applications under development from the Evansville community, it would be best to seek staff guidance as to the expected amount of overall CDBG funds during the current cycle. It may be necessary to prioritize the applications.

10. Discussion of committee organization, projects and budget. Brief discussion was had, due to the time constraint imposed by scheduled commencement of the monthly meeting of the Redevelopment Authority. Consensus was reached that a special meeting of the committee must be held next week to conclude this item of business. In addition, Mr. Wyse will inquire whether the Redevelopment Authority would be willing to exchange meeting times with our committee.

11. Possible project to inventory local industry for subcontracting needs. At the August meeting Mr. Olsen noted that local manufacturers may be interested in subcontracting certain processes to outside, local shops. Mr. Otterstein said that such an inventory would fit well within the proposed Trade Market Analysis, and that he will incorporate such a section in it.

12. Update on proposed biodiesel facility. Deferred.

13. Update on web site changes and maintenance. Mr. Bass reported on the contacts he has made with businesses capable of providing such services. The committee will need to decide what revisions to make to the web site before proceeding further on selection of a contractor. Mr. Juergens circulated a proposed outline for revisions to the site's organization, for ease of navigation. Mr. Bass and Mr. Juergens volunteered to serve on a subcommittee to propose web site changes and maintenance, and were so appointed by the chair.

14. Update on web based training session. Mr. Juergens reported that he and Mr. Decker participated in the initial training session at City Hall, and found the program to be informative and efficient. For those interested, the Power Point slides from the session are available online. The title of the program was "Chasing the Dollars or Funding the Vision." Our local attendees concluded that our committee has been guilty of the cart-before-horse sins suggested by the seminar title, but that conveyance and draft animal can be gotten back in proper sequence at next week's special committee meeting.

15. Adjournment. Whereupon, Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to adjourn to a special meeting of the committee on Wednesday, September 27, 2006, commencing at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. Approved by voice vote at 7:39 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

John Decker, Secretary

Note: Meeting minutes are not official until approved at a subsequent meeting of the committee.

Gazette Corner: Evansville Cross Country in the News

Click on the post for the coverage in todays Janesville Gazette on Evansville's Cross Country Team.

The anchor....and the Boat-- a true story

Some years back, when I was a sophmore in high school, my dad and I talked about a sailboat. After looking at several at the classic Johnson Boat Works in White Bear Lake, we thought they would be far too expensive. We did get a chance to talk with old man Johnson, the founder. He said he would keep an eye out for something if it came in on trade that would be a bargain.

Then. He called. A C-Boat. It came in on trade. It would need some work. In fact a lot of work----- on refinishing the bottom. Lots of sanding.

Then the work began. Dad bought the sander. We had just a little time before snow came and then early spring to get it ready.

The boat came with one set of heavy duty sails. A jib and a large mainsail. No spinakker. That is a D boat. The good news. The boat was a Melgis. Made in Wisconsin. God's Country. And--- it had a brand new ANCHOR. Dad said that was good. He did not explain why.

After sanding and staining, and painting the deck a really cool light blue, we put the name on. The "C- Wolf."

In the spring we borrowed a trailer and docked the boat at a old time family friends home on White Bear Lake. What a thrill. Getting the boat lift in was a big chore.

The next morning we got the call. The boat had sunk. Oh no! But I was reassured that once the hull expanded the leaking would end.

It never did. It did slow some. I did get two bailers that worked pretty well. The nest two years were filled with glorious sailing adventures.

And you wonder I suppose----- about the ANCHOR.

It is good to have an anchor. The old leaking Melgis was sold to dad and the salesman said, "It has a really good anchor."

If you are sold anything---- whether it is a C-Boat or a restored development...it takes more than an anchor. It takes a boat. Anchors do not float anything. Make a note of it.

Dateline Monroe: Impact Study Approved on Courthouse Change: TIF #7 funds to be used; Evansville Impact ordinace on Planning Agenda Oct. 2

Monroe City Council approved the impact study regarding the placement of the new courthouse---and also aspects of downtown commerce. Click on the post for the full story in the Monroe Times.

The funds will come ultimately from TIF #7, but until it generates increment will come from the general fund.

This is an example of the growing trend for impact studies prior to development or change.

On October 2nd, the Evansville Planning Commission will be reviewing two ordinances, 2006-30 and 2006-31 that would mandate traffic impact studies. Citizens should plan on attending this meeting at City Hall. In the past, citizens just had the opportunity to complain afterwards. Now, with the impact studies that could be required, planning can take place to create an effective transportation plan.

October 2nd is the day that Evansville will consider such ordinances. There will be a public hearing for citizens to be heard. Be there.

Minutes: Historical Preservation: The Historic Standpipe

(Ed. note. The following is from the recent Historic Pres. meeting and deals with the new two historic areas to be designated---one of which is the standpipe.)


"Copies of the Intensive Survey were distributed. Tim Heggland is proposing two new districts, Lake Leota Park is listed as a “designed landscape”, and the standpipe is deemed eligible to be placed on the National Register. There was a discussion on homeowner’s reactions to being placed in a historic district. It benefits them because they are able to apply for tax credits for work done on their homes. Mayor Decker will address a letter to the 25 homeowners in the proposed districts and invite them to the meeting at the Masonic Temple on September 28 to hear Tim’s report. She also noted, we have received permission to give $660 remaining from the project to the library for the purchase of books on restoration.

Another community has offered us $2,000 remaining from their grant project to have an application for the National Register of Historic places written for the standpipe. This would give the pipe protection from removal by the Public Service Commission. HPC members voiced their concern about the process of getting approval from the National Parks Dept. for repairs and maintenance. Mayor Decker will visit with Joe DeRose about this. Motion by Culbertson that the Mayor talk to the Evansville Water and Light Department and encourage them to approve the submission of an application to place the standpipe on the National Register of Historic Places. Second by John Decker. Motion carried"

Agenda: Special Meeting: Economic Development: Sept. 27th; 6PM

NOTICE

A special meeting of the Economic Development Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 27th day of September 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

Economic Development Committee

SPECIAL MEETING

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 6:00 PM

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

AGENDA
Roll call.
2. Approval of agenda.

Motion to waive reading of the minutes of September 19, 2006 regular meeting and defer approval until the regular meeting in October.
Citizens appearances, other than on items listed below.
Discussion of committee goals, objectives, and projects and create 2007 budget.
Motion to approve 2007 budget.
Adjournment
Tony Wyse, Chair

Althouse Corner: 45's You Can't Throw Out: A bit on Alice Cooper

Click on the post for a little boomer reflection, analysis: On Alice Cooper, shock and politics then and now; Get the lava lamp and incense ready. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mercury Alert: It's more than just the fish

Click on the post for an article explaining that the danger of mercury contamination has spread beyond fish, to over 30 different species.

Classic Monroe: The Cheese Days Proposal

O.K. for all those guys out there who are looking for a dramatic proposal stunt---this has been done. The after the 5k Race down on one knee, Cheese Days Proposal. Click on the post for the details.

"Fred" has comments on the Economic Dev. meeting last night

"Fred" has comments on the discussion last night at Economic Development on the plans for a coordinator.

At a big box meeting some six months ago, the Main Street coordinator of the Stoughton downtown renovation indicated that without a single "go to" person, the chance of success in handling inquiries from prospective businesses that could come to town is ZERO.

The Observer is pleased to hear of this discussion last night.

Economic Development: Forms subcommittee of Juergens, Bass to explore, recommend city web improvements

Last night, in an Economic Development meeting that ran out of time to discuss some key items on the agenda, the committee appointed a subcommittee of Ald. Fred Juergens and Gene Bass to review what improvements could be made to the city web site with the amount left in the budget for 2006.

Economic Development: Ald. Juergens Urges Focus on Development Goals

(audioblogger is pending.)

Last night at the Evansville Economic Development meeting, Ald. Fred Juergens indicated that in trying to review what the Economic Develoment committee should be doing, he reviewed the Smart Growth Plan dated June 15, 2005. He found that other than expressing nice feelings of neighborliness and good will, the Smart Growth Plan does not get specific about what they should be doing.

Mr. Juergens spoke of his personal hope that "Green Development" would be the focus of the business that was sought for Evansville in order to add to the impact of the biodiesel plant and possible crushing facility.

Without having some goals in mind, it would be hard to get to a specific budget that would produce results. And the committee noted that time is of the essence in producing a budget number and moved to schedule a special meeting to get this done.

8 1/2

Whenever I read the number 8 1/2 my mind wanders back to my freshman year in college. It was the dreaded Freshman English and the assignment was to write a film review of an "enriching" film, on a list presented by the instructor. Waiting till the last minute, I decided to see Frederico Fellini's "8 1/2".

As I left the theatre, I was just a little upset. Not by the film. But by the fact that I did not have a clue what the film was about. It was like no other film I had ever seen. That is understatement.

I have titled this post "8 1/2" because that is the time period that we in Evansville will have to wait till any new subdivisions are planned or annexed. So....It is important that citizens stay fit and trim so they can wait the 8 1/2 years and celebrate at that time----and not before. I have been doing my best to bike each day so that.....after 8 1/2 years, in 2014, I will be ready to raise my hands and clap for joy for the next developer proposal for the increase of housing for Evansville.

In the meantime, this is notice that at the next Evansville Planning Commission meeting on October 2, two ordinances that provide for impact studies...of traffic and of population....might appear on the agenda. These ordinances are logical extensions of the speech of Doug Zweizig (click on the post for the original speech on June 15, 2005) and go to the very heart of community planning and development.

Plan on attending.

Remember. In Evansville Beauty is not just skin deep...It goes clean clear through to the bone. Ditto for Planning.

"Grumps" weighs in on The Biggest Hypocricy

"Grumps" has identified the greatest hypocrisy.

And you? You make the call.

Dateline Madison: The art of the Manhole Cover: Classic Design: Should Evansville follow their lead?

Click on the post and then on the picture for the new design of manhole covers for Madison. Very classic and distinctive.

I can just see a newly designed historic manhole cover for Evansville. We could have Baker do the work as opposed to Neenah foundry.

Now all that is left is the design. And the cost. They cost about $200 apiece. I wonder how much our current ones cost.

So---you make the call. Are artistic manhole covers, with historic Evansville design in our future?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dateline Monroe: Protecting Core Curriculum---Fund Raising for the Rest

(Ed. note The issue of this post was also addressed briefly at last night's Evansville Finance committee meeting. I will have audio and the article shortly. The issue of what will be protected as essential or "core" curriculum is on the table.)

Click on the post for an article in the Monroe Times concerning the budget gap that Monroe faces----the discussion about what is "core" has arisen. Enjoy.

Gen. Colin Powell: Objects to Pres. Bush attempt to redefine torture

Click on the post for an article on the comments of Gen. Colin Powell. Along with the article is a sample of the comments, and very spirited ones on both sides of the issue.

School Beat; Finance: Enrollment hits 1834; Increase of 100 over last year; 6%

With all the news that housing building permits down, etc. it was pretty surprising that the enrollment numbers have still been strong. Evansville school district has currently 1834, which is 100 over last year, and many of these came during the school year.

Gridiron Club raises $13,000; Will make presentation to school board

With spirited fund raising, Mr. Cashore announced that the Gridiron Club has raised $13,000 and will make a presentation to the board. This is a group separate from the Sports Boosters. There is a policy that any donation over $500 has to be made to the board.

School Beat: Finance: Supr. Heid Carvin announces: Half Day Kindergarten on chopping block

(Audioblogger pending.)

At Monday night's Evansville School Board Finance Committee meeting, Supr. Carvin indicated she would ask the full board to vote on the elimination of the half-day kindergarten option at the OCTOBER board meeting.

Supr. Carvin indicated that many of the folks who were for the half day were upset with the fact that there was such late notice of the proposed change. She indicated that the current enrollment was 12. Mr. Hatfield noted that the Finance committee could make a recommendation on the basis of the numbers of state aid and then the full board could take the interest of the community or "politics" in consideration at that meeting. Supr. Carvin said that there were just a small number of parents who wanted this program and it was not wanted by the larger community.

School Beat: Finance: Percussion Fees, Fee Review

At Monday night's Finance Committee meeting of the Evansville School District there was a discussion of the percussion fee which had been changed in a recent policy version to be $100 per year.

The Finance committee voted to recommend a $55 or $60 fee. At the same time, they indicated an interest in a full review of fees as well as fee accounting, so that fees for areas such as band could accumulate to meet future needs. Mr. Hatfield wanted no fee for persussion. On a split vote, the Finance committee voted to recommend the lower amount. Those who had paid the higher fee this year would have the difference refunded.

This full review of fees will also involve discussion of the current policy that if an individual sport does a fund raiser, the money is placed in the general fund for all sports. This has been a sore spot teams such as cross country, which can hold all the fund raisers they want but the money never goes to cross country.

Foreclosures and Evictions Up Dramatically in Past Four Years in Rock Co.

Click on the post for the article in the Janesville Gazette detailing the rise of evictions and foreclosures in Rock County over the past four years.

Gazette Corner: Grant Secured for Jail Alternative program--RECAP

Click on the post for the story in the Janesville Gazette today about the grant that the CJCC had submitted that found success and will form the building block for the jail alternatives program--or community RECAP.

The program as outlined in the article does seem to address the concerns of the community about these individuals being a threat to the safety of the community---all the participants will be non-violent, drug or alcohol and also first time offenders.

This program is intended to have an impact on the jail needs of Rock County. It is hoped that the lessed rate of incarceration will lead to a smaller cost of jail construction as I understand the program.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to The Evansville Observer.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mayor Sandy Decker's Remarks accepting Grant of $398,800 and Dee Losey's Remarks

(Ed. note. Double click on all photos for largest version.)




After the Secretary of Dot presented the City of Evansville with the check for $398,800 Mayor Sandy Decker thanked the DOT---- in a special moment Dee Losey, one of the few residents that might have remembered the days when the paving bricks were in their glory, spoke of the gratitute of our citizens for this grant.

Click on the audio for these remarks.

this is an audio post - click to play

DOT Secretary presents check for $398,800 to Mayor Decker

Click on the audio post as the Wisconsin Secretary of DOT presents to Mayor Sandy Decker the check for $398,800 as a grant for the Evansville Main Street Trailways Project.

As the Secretary mentions, there were grant proposals totaling over 60 million dollasrs but only awards for $9.80 million were made, and Evansville was high on the list for projects.

It is an understatement to say that without this grant, any paving project with historic bricks would have been impossible. This grant was the key to this project moving foreward.

The downtown four corners is the anchor. The boat is to come. It takes both the anchor and the boat. Stay tuned to The Evansville Observer as other projects unfold.


this is an audio post - click to play

Mayor Sandy Decker Presents Sen. Erpenbach a historic paving Brick in Appreciation



After the Secretary of Transportation had presented Evansville Mayor Sandy Decker with a check for $398,800 for the Evansville Main Street Trailways Project and Dee Losey and Sandy had accepted on the citizens behalf, and given the secretary of DOT a ceremonial paving brick in appreciation, Mayor Sandy Decker also gave one of the paving bricks to Sen. Erpenbach who had worked on the city's behalf in securing the grant for the city of Evansville

Gazette Corner: Latest on the Roundabouts

Discussions are going forward about those roundabouts that the Wis. DOT have recommended for both the intersections East on Hwy 14.

Click on the post for the full story in the Janesville Gazette by Gina Duwe.

Branson goes "green."---Virgin Fuels

All the world is going green, or so it seems. Click on the post for the story on Richard Branson and his new division--Virgin Fuels.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Evansville Observer Poll Results as of 9-19-2006

(Ed. note. These polls are ongoing and your vote can still count. Each person can vote only once. Refresh your browser on the Observer site to get a new poll. )

Would you support increasing athletic fees at Evansville Schools by $10 per sport as opposed to eliminating sports such as soccer, track or cross country or limiting football participation?

Answers Votes Percent
1. Yes, Increase $10/sport 41 75%
2. No 14 25%

Total Votes: 55


Would you support raising taxes to support adding 4 Year Old Kindergarten in Evansville Schools?

Answers Votes Percent
1. Yes 2 3%
2. No 65 97%

Total Votes: 67


The "Block schedule" or the "Four Period Day" has been in Evansville High School for almost 10 years. Do you support changing back to the 7 one hour format because the block schedule has not achieved its objectives?

Answers Votes Percent
1. Yes, change back to 7 periods 33 92%
2. No, Keep the block 3 8%

Total Votes: 36


The Evansville Planning Commission for the past 15 years has had the City engineer as a sitting and voting member of the Planning Commission. Should the ordinance be changed to prohibit city employees from being voting members?

Answers Votes Percent
1. Yes, Accept his advice but no vote 29 88%
2. No --Leave as it. 4 12%

Total Votes: 33


Should Evansille follow the example of Madison and Janesville and adopt a "low mow" policy of limited grass mowing to conserve energy and cost?

Answers Votes Percent
1. YES 17 59%
2. NO 12 41%

Total Votes: 29


Should the City of Evanville as well as Evansville Schools utilize "Community Service" labor consisting of citizens who substitute service for fines for non-violent offenses. This would be an alternative to jail for those unable to pay.

Answers Votes Percent
1. Yes, Community Service is ok 19 95%
2. No 1 5%

Total Votes: 20


The Evansville-Union Joint Planning Committee will consist of six(6) citizens. Three from Union. With respect to the three citizens who will represnt Evansville, from which of the following should they come:

Answers Votes Percent
1. New Jersey 3 14%
2. Illinois 0 0%
3. Union 0 0%
4. Only Evansville 15 71%
5. Evansville or Union 3 14%
6. Anywhere if they are special 0 0%

Total Votes: 21


Should the City of Evansville initiate a routine process of polling in order to discover public opinion in matters of public interest?

Answers Votes Percent
1. Yes 13 93%
2. No 1 7%

Total Votes: 14


Should the City of Evansville and the Evansville School District record their public meetings in digital audio and make these recordings available on their public web sites?

Answers Votes Percent
1. Yes 10 91%
2. No 1 9%

Total Votes: 11

Scenes of Cheese Days Parade at Monroe Today

 

By tradition, the brown swiss are at the head of the parade.

 
 

The sizable Monroe High School Marching Band.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Breaking News: It's Official: Evansville Joins WPPI

News Release
Evansville Municipal Electric Utility
September 15, 2006
Contact: Scott George, Superintendent

882-2288

Evansville Joins Wisconsin Public Power Inc.
Local Utility to Receive Power from Nonprofit Power Company
Evansville Municipal Electric Utility will begin taking power on October 1 from Wisconsin Public Power Inc. following the approval of the local utility as the regional nonprofit power company’s newest member-owner.

At its annual meeting on Friday, the WPPI Board of Directors unanimously approved Evansville as the 44th member of the state’s fifth-largest power company. The Evansville City Council resolved in July to apply for membership to WPPI.

“Our new ownership position in WPPI will help us to continue bringing reliable and affordable power to the Evansville community,” said Utility Superintendent Scott George.

Evansville Utilities has been providing electric service to the community since 1901 and serves more than 4,300 electric customers.

The local utility is the fourth community-owned utility to join Sun Prairie-based WPPI in 2006. The others include the municipal utilities serving Independence, Iowa and Negaunee and Norway, Mich.

- more -

“The continued growth WPPI is experiencing provides our members with load diversity, greater economies of scale in the acquisition of new resources and a stronger market presence,” said WPPI President and CEO Roy Thilly.

Formed in 1980, WPPI and its members will now supply electricity to more than 165,000 customers in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan.

# # #

Rock Co has Jail Plan--waits for State O.K.; Bracelets featured

Click on the post for the story running today in the Janesville Gazette by Dan Hinkel. Rock County will feature bracelets and there are several kinds, like 6. Some even have alcohol sensors.

What do you think of the plan? You make the call.

New Wis. Law allows Cities to allow NEV--

Under Wisconsin Act 329, enacted by the Wisconsin Legislature on April 14, 2006, "cities, town or villages may by ordinance allw the use of a neighborhood electric vehicle on a roadway that has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less and over which the governing body has jurisdiction.

A city, town, or village that passes an ordinance under this section shall enter into an agreement with, or obtain the consent of, each governing body that shares jurisdiction over a roadway within the city, town, or village, to permit neighborhood electric vehicles to use or cross the roadway. An ordinance passed under this section may contain a provision for the city, town, or village to license neighborhood electric vehicles that are used within the city, town or village limits."

As I understand this--- Evansville, if it wished to permit NEV use within the city would have to get the agreement of the State DOT regarding use on WEST Main street, or at least get permission if a NEV used Water street, to CROSS Main Street at Water St. so folks could get over to the Piggly Wiggley.

The other thing that would have to be changed is the speed limit which goes to 45 before the left turn at McDonalds. The NEV could turn left at the PIG but then have to go the back way against the one way to get to the ACE.

The NEV can only operate on roadways where the speed limit is 35mph or lower. This is even though the car only goes 25 mph.

The Observer did get some sample ordinances, such as from Reedsburg and Mt. Horeb.

It is unclear whether Evansville will participate with WPPI in the electric car initiative.

Evansville became a full fleged member of WPPI offically just minutes ago. I await a joint press release from WPPI and Scott George and will pass it on to my Evansville readers as soon as I receive it. Stay tuned.

The Evansville Observer. We break the news that others only write about. Read the Observer for news when it happens, not days later.

Reedsburg uses NEV utility for electric meter reading--saves money

The white NEV electric powered vehicle shown below is from the Reedsburg Utility Commission and replaces the gas powered trucks they used for meter reading. In a letter to Columbia Par-Car at 1115 Commercial Ave, Reedsburg, Wi 53959, Jerry Dorow of Reedsburg Utility Commission says:

"Over a period of 5 days the NEV traveled an average of 24 miles per day, used under normal operating conditions, and consumed about 6.35 KWH per day. A brief summary of what we've discovered thus far---an average cost to "fill" the tank (charge batteries) to replace the 6.35 KWH used is about $0.51 ($.079 KWH) equal to an operating cost per mile of $0.02. Comparing these costs to our previous mode of transportation, a Dodge Dakota pick-up Truck, over a 5 day monitoring period the cost to fuel the Dodge truk was $23.47( gas at $3.00) per gallon) equal to an average cost of $0.20 per mile.

As you can see from our results we are saving a significant amount of money ($.18 per mile) by driving the NEV instead of the Dodge Truck. We are very pleased with our purchase of the Columbia NEV and look forward to the future saving it will bring by continuing to make it our main mode of transportation for our Meter Reader position. "

WPPI Annual Meeting: Evansville Joins WPPI: Electric Cars Showcased

 
 

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

 
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