Evansville Water: The Movie: Part 1

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Mailbag: Mark Writes: On Lake Leota Referendum; On Bond Term; On Dredging and more

(Ed. Note: This was a comment that I have posted for better visibility.)



Personally, I do not have an opinion on Lake Leota other than I would like to see it restored. Financially, I don't know if that is the right decision or not for Evansville. Most of us are concerned about the property tax mill rates. $2,000,000 is the number I have seen floating around and at first glance it seems like a lot of money (which apparently includes creek wall restoration, which is necessary in some form one way or another, if I understand it correctly).

My big question is how would this be financed? I am assuming it would need to be financed through bonds. If so, how many years would this be financed over and what would the actual impact on our taxes be? If the bonds could be spread over many years and have a minor impact like $10-$25 year for the average home, I think most people would be in favor of it. If it started creeping up to $100, $200, $400, $500 on the average tax bill, you would lose more support as the yearly tax impact rose. I have heard that a referendum should be proposed and I would support that if we were given specifics on what the tax impact would be. I think a general question like, should we spend $2,000,000 to restore Lake Leota would be a bad referendum, because it wouldn't give us the information we need to make an informed decision. Also, if different options are explored as suggested, I think the question should be phrased to ask, no restoration vs. A, B or C and what the associated tax burden be for each. This will allow citizens to review each option (and do the math for their actual property tax assessment) and make an informed decision of whether or not to support restoration.

Another question that I have heard is why dredge it when it will fill back up over the years? It definitely would be a bad idea if the bond term would be longer than the dredging is expected to last before it would be needed again. I am wondering if there is better engineering than we had the last time it was fully dredged? Is there any possibility of putting some sort of natural filter/settling pond before the creek enters the lake to control the silt from entering the lake? Maybe this filter could be periodically cleared to maintain it's functionality as a filter and keep the lake at the same depth at a minimal maintenance cost?

If the lake were restored and had more depth than it had in recent years, I think it would be nice to see the park district rent paddle boat rentals on Lake Leota.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Home" riff by Jake Smith

Just a short little riff by Jake Smith called "Home" to play while you savor the short moment of quiet as the kids leave. Thanks, Jake and RKM Studios.

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"Cathedral" riff by Jake Smith

A little riff by Jake Smith to get em ready for Back to School. Thanks, Jake, and RKM Studios.

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"What Would Elvis Do?"

Classic Audio Observer: On the Scandal of Blog News; What the King might say.

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CNN: Next Shoe to Drop is Auto Sales

August Auto sales numbers are expected to be down---and in fact the rest of the year should be down according to CNN.]

Click on the post for the full story.

Beloit College Corner: Gazette: Former Beloit College Pres holds wood exhibition

Click on the post for the latest from Gina Duwe of the Janesville Gazette.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Public Works--8-28-2007---Citizen concern re: Water: Roger Berg explains possible remedies

Complete Audio Water issues--

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Engineers will be at next Public Works

Roger Berg suggested that the next Public Works meeting all the engineers would be invited and questions could be asked.

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Minutes: Public Works; July 2007; What difference a month makes

Public Works Committee

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.

Public Works Garage, 535 South Madison Street, Evansville, WI

MINUTES

Call the meeting to order at 6:00pm
Roll Call- All present; Braunschweig, Juergens, Sornson, Sauer, Wartenweiller
Approve Agenda – Approved Unanimously
Approve minutes of June 26 and July 12, 2007 Meetings- Approved unanimously

Citizen appearances- None
Lake Leota Restoration Update –
City admin wanted more info from SOLE as to how to they got to where they were in as far as their request of the city. SOLE rep went through a rough synopsis of SOLE’s chronology.

Juergens wants engineering project to work not only on SOLE’s prposed plan but also on any other alternative proposals.

Site Plan Reviews

Manor- City engineer just received it and believes the real issue is stormwater aspect of the plan. Plan not complete.

Construction Updates

Main Street Progress Report
Treiweller to begin August 6th depending upon contingincies.
County Trunk Highway M Progress Report
Utilities should be doen this week. Bay culvert is still being negotiated with D&D.
North Prairie Productions Progress Report
Meeting yesterday. Site will be stripped soon.
Capstone Ridge Phase 2 Progress Report
Doubts if this will start when planned due to current real estate market.
-----------------------------------------------------

Westfield Meadows Progress Report
Stormwater detention pond ready for inspection.
Infrastructure ready for city to complete and take ownership
Fees in leau of parkland dedication may be revised to get the land

---------------------------------------------------------
Communications from City Engineer
Rather than have PW deal with adjusting water rates we will have W&L deal with it.
Communications of Public Works Director
Revision of Sidewalk Assessment Policy/ordinance
Brief look at existing ordinances and a sample waiver form in regards to the special assessments.
New Business
Relocating streetlights from Main Street to other locations
Main St. money can be used to move lights. PW director would like to see them on Main St. extending to 4th street. 13 to be removed
2008 Capital and Operating Budgets
Went through 5 year capital budget. Updated spreadsheet to be attached.
Looked through 2008 operating budget. Assumed nominal (3%) increases.
6th & Vision retention pond is operating well at this time.
Adjourn
Mason Braunschweig, Chair, Public Works Committee

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

Check MailCompose Search Mail:

Unleash the Power of Video

The Power of Video on The Observer----can now market your business-------even if you're NOT a rock star------email fre2Observe @yahoo.com

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Public Works

4 0f 4 video: Roger Berg speaks on 8-28-2007

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Public Works: Roger Berg Presents; Pt II

Second video of assessment of Roger Berg of problem as well as possible solutions to westside water problems.

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Roger Berg Speaks: 3 of 4

Public Works presentation---

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Asian Stocks fall in reaction to Wall Street pull back

Asia is reacting to Wall Streets fall on Tuesday. Click on the post for the full story. What will Bernanke do? Stay tuned to the Evansville Observer.

Mr. Roger Berg Presents: Part I

Roger Berg gives his assessment of the problem as well as the solution. video 1

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Public Works: Residents voice water concerns: City, Developer responds

At the top of the agenda for tonight's Public Works meeting at 6PM at Public Works office on Madison Street was the recent water problems on the westside of Evansville. After citizens voiced their specific situation, the city engineer, Dave Sauer spoke, and then with questions on the impact of the development of Westfield Meadows, Roger Berg, one of the investors of Westfield Meadows presented his assessment of the situation and the remedies available.

The Observer will be publishing full audio and selected video of the meeting.

This was an important meeting for the future of Evansville and was marked by a feeling that Evansville government as well as developers such as Mr. Berg were committed to solving the current problem in order to ensure the success of future development. It was marked by citizen suggestions for solutions as well as alternatives presented by developers and government.

At the April 23rd meeting of Public Works, you can hear on audio the Observer giving the two hopeful remedies for the future---the improvement of the Southgate Pond and the holding pond on Porter Road with the V-notch. Both did not function as promised.
The proper functioning of the holding pond and the v-notch was a precondition of the builders permits for Westfield Meadows. Some citizens attending the meeting asked that development be suspended till the solutions were found. Public works said they did not have the power to do this.

Stay tuned. This is the Evansville Observer.

We attend the meetings.....We're where the mainstream media gets their news.

OPEd: Finance Corner: Tale of the Tape: All Three Tech Charts Negative

Advances & Declines
NYSE NASDAQ Advances 444 (13%) 634 (20%)
Declines 2,832 (85%) 2,401 (76%)
Unchanged 67 (2%) 109 (3%)
Up Vol* 205 (7%) 156 (9%)
Down Vol* 2,870 (93%) 1,480 (88%)
Unch. Vol* 8 (0%) 46 (3%)
New Hi's 17 41
New Lo's 75 75

Click on the post for the full article in Yahoo Finance. The bleak numbers above give a snapshot of what happened today.

Mr. Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve as you will recall, did lower the rate charged to banks last week---the discount rate. However.....so what. That does not help customers facing higher interest rates on mortgages and credit cards. The market seems to be demanding....yes demanding a lowering of interest rates. And they want it before the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Hesitant leadership can and will have an additional devastating effect on the housing industry. And the folks that were responsible for supervising the lending practices of the sub=prime lenders? You guessed it. The Treasury.

Stay tuned. What will happen tomorrow? Is this a battle of wills between the market and the new Fed Chief? Lets see what the pundits say this week.

Stay tuned. This is the Evansville Observer. I ask a lot of questions. No answers particularly. Still. The questions are occasionally important. Stay tuned.

NYT___Dow down 280

Dow stocks plunged today on concerns over the financial stocks segment-- click on the post for the full article in the New York Times.

Classic Victor Paulson: On Baseball: On Babe Ruth; 1930's

Victor Paulson is 92 and longtime resident of Evansville. He worked the farm that is the Piggly Wiggly. He speaks of Babe Ruth and the early days of baseball.

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Public Works meets TODAY----Water....Development Updates on Agenda

Click on the post for the full agenda. Westside water concerns may be moved to top of agenda. Stay tuned.

"Gravity Works"

At the last Evansville Common Council, where citizens appeared to speak on the problems of water on the Westside, after everyone had spoke, Mason Braunschweig spoke.

He said, "This is not just a 6th street problem. It is a larger problem. If you stand at 6th and Garfield, and look down, you can just see----water runs downhill. It's pretty simple. Gravity works. The problem is a larger one...of water flow. The water ends up at 6th Street and Vision, but it is not their water."( video pending)

Tonight at Public Works, citizens will get a look of how the city intends to proceed.

Some citizens have taken the primitive approach----remember back in prehistoric times when there was too much rain and one just burnt offerings,...or even unfortunate people...till the rain stopped. That was primitive.

In modern scientific times.... there is engineering. Mathematics....and liability insurance that covers the errors of engineers. Risk management we call it.

Tonight we will see which time warp we are stuck in----the primitive-----or the modern. Stay tuned.


Mason Braunschweig, Evansville Common Council President addresses citizens and pledges focus of Public Works dept on West side water issues.

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OpEd: What the housing crisis means for higher education

In the past fifteen years, as parents of college bound students watched their kids head off to college, they kept their mortgage banker's telephone number handy. WHY? That's simple. A huge majority of the source of funding for college tuition was parents using the equity in their homes for tuition. Simple cash out transactions. Ditto for folks buying cars. Americans used their mortgages like credit cards. With home equity lines etc, ...lines of credit with various names on them.

Financial advisors of 20 years ago would have cited the golden rule of never leveraging a retirement asset for college expenses and would have vigorously objected to impairing the security of a home by additional debt. Those old rules were simply trashed and laughed at.

With the price of college education rising, and the price of median home plunging, and the foreclosures rampant across America, and credit for even good, or great borrowers unavailable.....it does not take a rocket scientist to see that a day of reckoning is here.

Speaking of the "reckoning" word, in 1986, my wife bought me the book "The Reckoning" by David Halberstam---the story about the rise of Japanese auto business and the fall of the American auto industry. It has been a slow moving reckoning in the auto business. I just hope the reckoning in education is as slow. It just does not seem slow. If you plot your home equity on a graph and plot the rise of college expenses right next to it, it is pretty clear.

Stay tuned.

Standard and Poors: House Prices in Steepest Decline in 20 Years

Click on the post for the full story from Standard and Poors.

Wisconsin Lawmakers seek to control Predatory Payday Loan Business in Wis.

Click on the post for the full story courtesy of The Wheeler Report.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Classic audioObserver: "Never Underestimate the Power of a Broom

A little nostalgia

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Never Underestimate the Power of a Broom

A little nostalgia

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Gazette Corner: Schools held hostage by budget delay

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

Gazette Corner: Student Financial Aid-- Students still waiting to hear

Click on the post for the full story in the Janesville Gazette today. The waiting list has grown to 3800 students. The state aid portion is disbursed first come, first serve and it has run out of money.

Stay tuned.

Value Investing

Memories of Don Sheehan, Dale Carnegie Salesman and trainer; On what things are worth, and much, much more.

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The Pea Green Carpeting

Secrets on when to buy; the reversal of human emotions, and much, much more. This is reposted from 2005 and is in response to the comment of Mr. PC, who yesterday reminded me that there are moving averages that can help one decide to sell, but .....for buying....there is no such math method. I thought this story might be a substitute.

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Agenda: Water and Light: Wed., 6:30PM

The regular meeting of the Water & Light Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on August 29, 2007, at the Utility Shop, 15 Old 92, Evansville, Wisconsin at 6:30 p.m. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.
Water & Light Committee Meeting
Regular Meeting
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Utility Shop, 15 Old 92, Evansville, Wisconsin.

6:30 p.m.
Agenda

1. Roll Call

2. Approval of July 25, 2007 Water & Light Minutes

3. Citizens concerns

4. Water/sewer adjustments

a) John Sornson: new lawn

5. Discussion and possible motion on energy conservation assistance for a windmill project of Berg Real Estate, INC.

6. Discussion and possible motion on bids for the substation construction.

7. Update on Water & Light Electric Rate Case

8. Committee Reports – Chairman Thomas Cothard

9. Committee Reports – Superintendent Scott George



10. Any other legal action to come before the committee

11. Motion to adjourn

Thomas Cothard

Committee Chairman

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tidbits: A moment of Thanks

Thank goodness for the beautiful weather today.

Over the past week or so, wherever I went with movie camera in hand, logging in the rain events, I came across the guys from Public Works----coping as best they could to make the system work at Allen Creek, or on the Westside. I mean from 6am to midnight they were all over the place.

Regardless of the cause of everything, which we can discuss. And we will. These guys put it on the line last week, and ----I tip the famous Observer hat to your effort....Thanks.

Nostalgia: (Orig post 7-15-2007) OpEd: Why is not the sub-prime mortgage crisis Page One?

Last week, members of the St. Paul, Mn. government met with interested folk to discuss the preparations for the 2008 Republican National Convention----specifically the need for providing the groundrules for picketing and public expression of opinion during the convention.

It only took a moment to remember wistfully back to the good old days of 1968 when the Democrats had met in Chicago and "Happy Hubert Humphrey" had been nominated for President mists the tear gas and rioting. Clearly much had been learned since then.

One of the strategies that seems to be used is to not talk about the issues that might be very divisive----and the subprime mortgage crisis in America seems to be one of the big ones to me.

Over the past decade, all across America, folks have been buying homes who were new arrivals to the country---a wide range of citizens that might not have qualified for homes under earlier loan ratio guidelines----and these families now had begun enjoying the good life----mothers as soccer moms etc, kids in the suburbs.

Many of these families now have been rudely awoken with the adjustment of their mortgages and have learned about their subprime mortgage. There are supposedly a million of such families that will face foreclosure.

The economic press has been saying that "We think this subprime crisis can be handled with minimul damage to the larger economy." Just to translate that for the regular folk----"We do not plan on talking about this problem."

In some parts of the country, this is really called the "predatory lending problem." It is an issue of economic justice. It is an emotional issue. It is a large problem that needs to be addressed. However---- There is nothing that politicians want less than an emotional group of citizens demonstrating about social justice right outside a convention.

Click on the post for an interesting article that looks at the subprime crisis and why it deserves front page coverage.

The lack of effective oversight of the banking community is pretty stunning. One wonders whether that lack of oversight extends to other areas.

So------it is going to be interesting trying to get the presidential candidates to say anything on this issue---it is a lot easier to hide behind a 30 second "I love Hillary video spot."

If there is an oil shock or upward adjustment of interest rates, one just wonders how many Americans will be facing loss of their homes and what the effects to families and communities will be.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nostalgia: (July 19, 2007) OpEd: School Planning : Independence of Consultants, Depth of Analysis Key

(Ed.note: Independence of Consultants has been a strong theme of both school and city press coverage this summer----or put it another way----the lack of independence. It's time to raise the flag a little bit. Celebrate our independence. Celebrate the ability of our community to get what it needs to be successful.



At the end of July, the Evansville School Board will meet to hammer out the goals for the 2007-8 school year, as well as develop a plan of action for board development. Two of the board, Melissa Hammann and Jeff Herbers are new. They are coming up to speed on the issues and process of the board.

One theme of the recent Buildings and Grounds as well as School Board meeting for July, was the necessity for "Independence"------the board was dissatisfied with the analysis of the 4 period day since it never even considered options. There were real scheduling problems to be considered, and the study just seemed to go over the motions of things and not provide any guidance for the board to review.

With respect to the "site review"----the look five years out for the needs of the school district---if you reviewed Mr. Hatfield's comments on video, he identified the "chicken and egg" issue of the centralized versus the distributed site as having very different cost components----the community back in 1999 strongly preferred a centralized campus by a 60-40 margin of public survey. Having two additional campus locations, with the ususal building principals and athletic fields of all the sports naturally, would add tons to the cost of such design. On the contrary, a strategy of demolition of part of the oldest part of the elementary school and rebuilding plus site enhancement might significantly add value to the campus, and cut the cost of construction significantly.

Art Phillips in his comments regarding the data of recent housing starts provided a needed caution to the notion that if we build it, they will come. All of Minnesota, specifically the Twin Cities is closing schools like crazy, and are facing the decline of enrollment due to the aging of the population and decline of school age children per household---all elements that our city planner has discussed as coming to Evansville. This is not factored into the future enrollment projections. Future homes may not have the same number of kids per home. If you build it---less will come.

What are my thoughts on this? A site selection that is independent and has the approval of the board rather than foisted on the board for a rubber stamp is the way to go. The school board is charged with running the school district and setting policy---this future planning is an area where they are on the bubble. The site must be one THEY approve, not one selected by others. They have the obligation to govern---- nobody else.

The data of housing starts, nationally, as well as locally, provides the clear need for caution. Those who have overbuilt schools have paid a HUGH cost for the error. Evansville, with some restraint, has the possibility of getting it right.

Community involvement, REAL, not phoney, is the key. It should start now---not later. Openess builds trust. There is some improvement to be made. It is not just a matter of spin. It must be real genuine open process. The public will know the difference.

Where will the Observer be? Behind the camera. Catching the dialogue as our community procedes. Stay tuned.

Jim Brooks Speaks:

Urges consultation. With landowners affected and citizens affected.

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Adams and Sons Speaks

"Professional planning requires cooperation and comprehensive design reflecting the community goal rather than just one owners goal. And it has to make "business sense."
The Observer could not have said it better.

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Wyse Asks: Who did you consult with?

Seems like a pretty simple question......

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Allen Creek Development: RA Smith Open House---summary

"Mike" of RA Smith Consultants made a presentation on the Allen Creek Development Design concepts last Tuesday at Redevelopment Authority. Developers, Planners, City Administrator, Mayor Decker, as well as some citizens were present: Yes, "Grumps" and "The Evansville Observer were present.

The presentation opened with the market analysis. Mike said that Evansville has a broad market citizenry of about 10,000 citizens in the market area---most of the shopping that they do, or over 200 million annually is done in Madison or Janesville. Of the possible businesses that could elect to come to Evansville, fear that a WalMart would come is inappropriate---all of the folks wanting to come would be smaller. And all of the jobs that these small businesses could generate would be entry level retail positions.

There are three areas for commercial to go---downtown, East and the Union Allen Creek Area, and the city has the role of deciding who will go where.

On the railroad line-----Considering the lack of population density, and the huge cost of railroad development, there is NO possibility of any passenger use of it. There might be more shipping but that is unclear.

On trail/ bike path along Allen Creek---Chris Eager asked whether we would live to see such a path---the answer was that because of the layout of the area, it would have to be an unconventional path, and if the engineers had their way and it had to be to the widest specs, it would not happen.

"Mike" said that folks he talked to wanted to keep zoning the same "MOSTLY". Then he presented a series of large pictures that included East Main in the Allen Creek project.

Jim Brooks noted that in the past the critical flaw of development process had been the lack of consultation with the neighborhood, and it seemed that RA Smith was headed in the same direction.

Tony Wyse asked who had been consulted with. Right in the process of answering the question, Adams Roofing spoke up and said that their phone calls had not been returned with respect to input. But--they hoped that any development would be done with a professional process that was inclusive of the parties involved and they had understood that their property was not probably the best use possible, and IF it "made business sense" they had no firm oppositon to positive change.

Tony Wyse also suggested that the Allen Creek Project should stick to its focus and not wander.......

Citizens who have a interest in these matters should attend next month's Redevelopment Authority meeting. There are five videos of the essential presentation. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Allen Creek Project: Redev: RA Smith

RA Smith presented some initial impressions at a open house at Redevelopment on Tuesday night 7:30PM, 5 Video segments of initial presentation. ---The Market Study is first.

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Allen Creek: RA Smith: 2 of 5

2nd of 5 video segments. You can right click your mouse on the download icon and save to your computer for full screen viewing.

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Allen Creek: RA Smith: 3 of 5 video

RA Smith Consultant presentation on Tuesday of initial concepts of Allen Creek Development---citizen feedback time is now.
All video is downloadable---right click and download to desktop and run in full movie mode.

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Alllen Creek: RA Smith: 4 of 5 video

Smaller web view is darker than downloaded video. Right click and download to desktop for full screen viewing.

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Allen Creek: RA Smith 5 of 5

Redevelopment meeting, Tuesday, August 21--open house of RA Smith presenting initial concepts of plan.

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Reflection: The Flood: Pleading in the Alternative----

This morning we received a notice that there was a flood warning with unlimited duration---or until cancelled. This has caused me to wonder, as I do occasionally, and consider alternative courses of remedy.

In law, when one is harmed, one has a right to plead in the alternative-----One can say the defendant has breached a "contract" or in the alternative, has broken a statute etc. It just means that one can plead all at once with alternative theories.

Today---with respect to weather, we just get to rely on meterologists----and yes science---and after what seems to be 30 days of rain and woe, I beg to consider alternative methods of "pleading"---bear with me on the theory.

In olden primitive times, when one wanted to have rain, one danced a dance---yes, a rain dance, and if rain came, it meant that the gods were pleased and gave rain. If on the other hand, NO rain came, then it meant that the gods were UNHAPPY with one. Usually, one had to sacrifice some cattle, goats or oxen and burn the sacrifice till the gods changed their mind.

In later religious traditions, it was assumed that some "sin" or "evil" behavior was causing the wrath.

Today I am formally giving notice of my unhappiness with traditional meterology as a weather changing exercise.

I propose a two pronged "pleading in the alternative"---

A) Those of you who are praying---need to be more specific----You need to pray that the "stationary front over Wisconsin in Evansville move to Illinois or at least a couple hundred miles. My theory here is that possibly whoever is hearing the petitions is not getting enouth specificity to take the desired corrective action.

B) In primitive times, in cultures all around the world, (cf. Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and The Profane) it is assumed that "EVIL" can have bad consequences to one directly. In short----we must have some evildoers among us that need badly to repent---and mean it this time. So---REPENT----and lets get some sunny weather. OK?

Gazette Corner: FEMA teams coming;

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

You can help in the damage assessment effort----complete a damage assessment form listed on the blog as appropriate---residential or commercial----and get it to our City Hall as soon as possible.

4 Period Day: Gender Equity Boys/Girls

Since 2002 the ACT scores for Girls have soared. The scores for boys have remained constant.

Melissa Hammann reviewed the data and questioned whether the block schedule is working for boys in our system.

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Dateline Normal, Mn.: Mailbag: Herman writes/calls: Epistles of Noah, II----FICTION

The latest from the Land of Normal, Mn., a land of fiction, but other than that.....

4-Period Day not a factor in Dropout rate

School staff indicated that in their judgement at risk resources were a factor in dropout rate but not the 4 period day.

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"I never met a teacher......"

My primary observation of the 4 Period Day study performed by CESA---and I have waited a week reviewing the video several times---was that it reflected a fear of DATA and a fear of ACTIONABLE IDEAS. The lack of both made the study a waste of time....and money. I had argued in the school board election debate that a consultant review would be useful. I now have to admit that I was wrong. Readers may make a note of it.

School Board members pressed for both the data and the conclusions at the recent August school board meeting. They found little if any of either. They seemed frustrated that there were no actionable ideas----but judge for yourself in the videos to follow.

This is one of several video snapshots of the meeting. The Evansville Review has a good article this week by Tammy Pomplun which you may find interesting. Enjoy.

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National Weather Service---

/O.CON.KMKX.FF.A.0005.000000T0000Z-070825T1200Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
SAUK-COLUMBIA-DODGE-WASHINGTON-OZAUKEE-IOWA-DANE-JEFFERSON-
WAUKESHA-MILWAUKEE-LAFAYETTE-GREEN-ROCK-WALWORTH-RACINE-KENOSHA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...BARABOO...PORTAGE...WISCONSIN DELLS...
BEAVER DAM...WEST BEND...PORT WASHINGTON...DODGEVILLE...MADISON...
JEFFERSON...LAKE MILLS...WAUKESHA...BROOKFIELD...MILWAUKEE...
DARLINGTON...MONROE...JANESVILLE...BELOIT...ELKHORN...
LAKE GENEVA...RACINE...KENOSHA
347 AM CDT FRI AUG 24 2007

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN AND SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN...
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...IN SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN...
COLUMBIA...DANE...GREEN...IOWA...LAFAYETTE...ROCK AND SAUK. IN
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN...DODGE...JEFFERSON...KENOSHA...
MILWAUKEE...OZAUKEE...RACINE...WALWORTH...WASHINGTON AND
WAUKESHA.

* THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING

* AN EXTREMELY WET PATTERN...WITH PERIODS OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WILL CONTINUE ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST
WISCONSIN.

* SOME THUNDERSTORMS WILL PRODUCE HEAVY RAINFALL. AS MUCH AS 1
TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN...COULD FALL THROUGH TONIGHT. THIS WILL
LIKELY RESULT IN ADDITIONAL FLASH FLOODING. WIDESPREAD FLOODING
OF LOW LYING AREAS WILL BE SLOW TO RECEDE...AND WOULD WORSEN
WITH EACH ROUND OF HEAVY RAIN.

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS GENERALLY ALONG AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM
THE WISCONSIN DELLS...TO BEAVER DAM...TO PORT WASHINGTON.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS ISSUED WHEN RAPID AND DANGEROUS FLOODING
OF CREEKS...STREAMS...AND RIVERS ARE POSSIBLE. FLASH FLOODING IS
A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS
AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE
ISSUED.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Wisconsin Emergency Management requests Prelim Damage INFO: Alert your neighbors: Spread the word:

(Ed.note: Press release and forms on posts below.)


Observer:


Wisconsin Emergency Management is requesting preliminary damage information. Please share the press release and damage forms on the Observer. Forms should completed for damage resulting from the heavy rainfall August 18-20. Forms can be emailed to me at dan.wietecha@ci.evansville.wi.gov, dropped off in person at city hall during regular hours (we will probably be open some this weekend but hours are not yet determined), or in the overnight utility drop box at city hall. We need forms back asap since we need to compile the data and return to the county by Monday afternoon. I am also posting info on city website.

Thanks.

-Dan





Dan Wietecha

City Administrator



City of Evansville

31 S. Madison St.

PO Box 76

Evansville, WI 53536



Office (608) 882-2263
Cell (608) 751-9811
Fax (608) 882-2282

Press Release : NEWS FLASH:::::: Rock County Emergency Management: See forms below and letter from Dan Wietecha---Quick Deadline---

Rock County

Emergency Management



Shirley A. Connors

Coordinator

Telephone: (608) 758 8440 P. O. Box 351

Fax: (608) 758 8401 3530 N. County Hwy F

E-mail: connors@co.rock.wi.us Janesville, WI 53547-0351




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/23/07

Possible Federal Preliminary Damage Assessments for Rock County

Residents asked to Report Flood Damage

Wisconsin Emergency Management is requesting Rock County gather information to determine whether the recent flash flood events warrant a Preliminary Damage Assessment by FEMA inspectors. FEMA will conduct assessments in Crawford, Richland, Vernon, Sauk and La Crosse Counties due to significant flood damage in that region. Depending on reports gathered from other southern Wisconsin counties, including Rock County, the Governor may request the FEMA teams extend visits to those counties next week.

Significant flash flooding occurred in parts of Rock County during the period of August 18-20. Reports of in excess of 6 inches of rain fell in northern Rock County over that weekend. Rock County Emergency Management has contacted local municipalities to request their assistance in gather flood damage reports from private homeowners and businesses. The Cities of Evansville, Edgerton, Janesville and Milton as well as the Villages of Clinton, Footville and Orfordville have agreed to assist with gathering information from local residents and businesses. Residents of the rural towns in Rock County should contact Rock County Emergency Management at 758-8440.

It is very important that homeowners, renters or businesses that incurred damage as a result of the heavy rainfall that began Saturday, August 18th report damages. Forms to report damage can be obtained through the local municipality or the Rock County Website at WWW.co.rock.wi.us . Completed forms should be returned to the local municipality by Monday morning. Information submitted will be compiled in a summary report and sent to the State of Wisconsin. Individual assistance in the form of either grants or loans for private residents and business may be available according to Wisconsin Emergency Management depending on the extent of damages.

###

Detailed Business Damage Estimate: Form to be sent to City Admin: See letter from Dan Wietecha

Business Detailed Damage Estimate

Section I. Business Information
Business Name Mailing Address City State Zip Code
Owner Name Municipality (Township, City, or Village) Owner Home Phone Business Phone
Section II. Disruption Informaiton
Is the business presently in operation?
_____YES

_____NO
_______ Number of days business has been
closed as a result of disaster.

_______ Number of days business anticipates to

remain closed.
Narrative Information on disruptions to business
Section III. Inventory/Property Losses
$ Estimated Uninsured Inventory/Property Loss Narrative Description
$ Estimated Insured Inventory/Property Loss Narrative Description
$ Unknown if insured Inventory/Property loss Narrative Description
SECTION IV. Property Owner/Landlord Information (IF DIFFERENT)
Name Mailing Address City State Zip Home Phone Work Phone
Section V. Building Damage
ESTIMATE $ AMOUNT INSURED?

TYPE OF DAMAGE “USE BEST GUESS” Yes No Unknown NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGE

Structural Damage (exterior and interior)
Furnace/Air Conditioner
Water Heater
Sewer/Septic System
Water Utility/Well

Clean/Sanitize Expense
Replace Carpeting
Access to Business
(driveway/bridge, ramp, etc)

Other
Other
Other
Other

Residential Detailed Damage Estimate---See post of City Administrator Dan Wietecha

Residential Detailed Damage Estimate

Section I. Resident/Occupant Information
Last Name First Name M.I. Mailing Address City State Zip Code
Township, City, or Village of Residence Evening Phone Daytime Phone Check One
____ RENT ____ OWN

SECTION II. Property Owner/Landlord Information (IF DIFFERENT THAN OCCUPANT)

Name Mailing Address City State Zip Home Phone Work Phone
Section III. Habitability/Displacement Information
Habitiability Displacement Disposition

Is the residence habitable (safe and sanitary)?
_____YES (Skip this section)

_____NO (Complete this

section)

Key Criteria: SAFE AND SANITARY

Guidelines: Are conditions livable? Has disaster interrupted utility services such as water, sewer, power, heat/AC? Is the structure stable? Are there other circumstances that make it unsafe or unsanitary to continue living there?
_______ Number of occupants displaced
_______ Number of days occupants expect to

remain displaced
____ Staying with friends/relatives: Whom?___________________________
____ Staying in Public Shelter: Where?______________________________

____ Staying in hotel/motel: Name __________________________________

____ Relocated to/secured new temporary residence

____ Relocated to/secured new permanent residence

____ Still living in home that is not habitable (refer to human services agency)

____ Don’t have a place to stay (refer to human services agency)

____ Other: _____________________________________________________

REFERRED TO:

Temporary Street Address, City, State, Zip Temporary Phone Number
Section IV. Personal Property Losses
$ Estimated Uninsured Personal Property Loss Narrative Description
$ Estimated Insured Personal Property Loss Narrative Description
$ Unknown if insured personal property loss Narrative Description
Section V. Residential Damage
ESTIMATE $ AMOUNT INSURED?
TYPE OF DAMAGE “USE BEST GUESS” Yes No Unknown NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGE

Structural Damage to Home (exterior and interior)
Furnace/Air Conditioner
Water Heater
Sewer/Septic System
Water Utility/Well

Clean/Sanitize Expense
Replace Carpeting
Access to Home
(driveway/bridge, ramp, etc)

Other
The damaged property is: (check one):
____ A primary/full-time residence; ____A Summer/Vacation Home or Cabin ____Other (explain:____________________)

PLEASE COMPLETE THIS FORM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, AND DROP IT OFF AT CITY/VILLAGE HALL DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS.
If you need more writing space, please staple or clip an additional sheet of paper to this form.

( Sept 23, 2005) Nostalgia: Virtual AND Brick and Mortar not OR; Will Virtual Schools be the savior not the scourge of traditional schools

(Ed.note: This was one of the first posts of the Evansville Observer, and I have reposted it due to popular demand.)


Remember back many Christmas seasons ago when folks first started ordering on the internet. In that first year there was a lot of speculation that presto, the brick traditional stores would be history.

Then the returns came. The Christmas returns. What an internet snafu. Soon it became clear that brick and mortar could work WITH the virtual store and the best retailers have done exactly that.

Several years ago, the first virtual schools came into existence. Some were charter schools. Most were seen as a threat to traditional education. Traditional union spokesmen opposed them as being a threat to strong schools. Today some of these college on line schools have a growth rate of 30% or more.

As we face the energy crisis, and as the physical part of the infrastructure of education becomes increasingly expensive, we may look to the retail model as providing some instruction as to how to model our educational system.

Two years ago, one of my girls attended a class with fellow J.C. McKenna students and went physically to class 4 times in Madison and submitted papers and offered posts for discussion weekly on the internet on their required reading. The teacher reviewed the posts and offered guidance. It was a very interesting class, and she became quite involved in it, especially as other classmates posted comments on her work. A little like this blog. Anyway.

It may be that far from the scourge that was once thought, VIRTUAL in the proper balance, may indeed be the savior as schools nationwide face the energy crisis and funding crisis that is not delivering the physical resources to do the job.

Redevelopment Open House:

RA Smith presented an open house on Tuesday night at Evansville City Hall at 7:30PM and presented some beginning conceptual designs of what "could be" for discussion and input on the Allen Creek Corridor----

The problem with this first period of the study is that BOTH the wealthy landowners and the non-wealthy landowners were NOT consulted--as was specified as STEP ONE in their required project detail. Adams and Co were present and were more than gracious as Chris Eager apologized for the oversight of the consultant.

Mr. Jim Brooks, west side resident noted that the last time development was discussed, the East main community was cut out of the loop, and this looked like a repeat performance.

MP3 File

Allen Creek Corridor: Ped traffic, bike

The design of the walkway may be a little tricky.

MP3 File

Mayor Decker Speaks: The Senior Center may be one of "Anchors" on Allen Creek Corridor--Stay tuned



MP3 File

The "JEDI" Instructor Speaks: 1 of 3

At the August Regular school Board meeting "JEDI" Virtual Schools, based in Cambridge, Wi,, made a presentation on their services. The Evansville schools has seen an increased loss of students from open enrollment from 3 last year to 14 this year. This is over $100,000 in lost revenue due to the fact the district does not offer virtual courses that might fit certain students needs.

Download File

Jedi Teacher Speaks: 3 0f 3

School Board: August 2007--Jedi School Concept

Download File

"JEDI" Teacher Speaks

2 of 3, Evansville School Board presentation of the "JEDI" School concept

Download File

Downtown: Dan Wietecha Speaks

At Redevelopment Authority meeting on Tuesday night, Evansville City Administrator Dan Wietecha speaks of the current status of the Downtown restoration project.

MP3 File

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Water Update Wednesday 8-22-2007,7:30PM

Update on Porter Road Holding pond, V-Notch, Abby Koth and rear of homes on S. Sixth.

Download File

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Redevelopment Schedules Open House for Tuesday, August 21st--7:30PM City for North Union Street Redevelopement

)(Ed. note: The following is from the Evansville City Web Site.:)

Allen Creek and North Union Street

The city has hired RA Smith & Associates to help develop a master plan for the future redevelopment of North Union Street as an extension of our traditional downtown. The city's Redevelopment Authority will be hosting a mid-project open house to present the draft report and to learn additional public comments. The open house is at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, August 21, on the third floor of City Hall.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AWARE: Julie Hermanson speaks on United Way Campaign

Julie Hermanson of AWARE of Evansville, speaks of the United Way campaign and what it means for citizens that want to contribute to AWARE.

Julie wishes to thank the many business owners and individual contributors that have been generous supporters of AWARE. Remember, you can donate to AWARE simply by sending a check to AWARE, 209 S. 1st St., Evansville. Call 882-9900 for further questions on program details.

Download File

Dateline Oregon, Wis: "The Village is considering buying the houses in the flood plain"

On Page A7 of the Wisconsin State Journal this morning, is an article on the problems of flooding in Oregon. You may have to pick up a paper copy to get the story. There was an online version of this story, but I cannot find it now on the web site. If anyone can find the online version, please let me know.

Behind the possible deletion of the online version of this story, I surmise a vigorous debate about what Oregon is going to do to address the flooding concerns of residents that have built on the floodplain.

Stay tuned to The Evansville Observer. We bring you the news.

Yahoo Business: Financial Services Job Cuts Soar

Click on the post for the full story.

Unleash the Power of Video

The Power of Video on The Observer----can now market your business------email fre2Observe @yahoo.com

Download File

Thanks to Jake Smith on lead guitar and RKM Studios.

Minutes: Redevelopment Authority: August 21, 2007

Evansville Redevelopment Authority

Board of Commissioners

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 7:30 pm

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

MINUTES

1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm by Chair Chris Eager. Present: Chris Eager, Betsy Ahner, Tony Wyse, John Decker, and Barb Jacobson. Absent: Tom Calley and Roger Roth. Also present: Executive Director Dan Wietecha, Mayor Sandy Decker, Alderperson Diane Roberts, Alderperson Fred Juergens, Plan Commission member Jim Brooks, City Planner Tim Schwecke, Mike Stumpf of RA Smith, and members of the public.

2. Declare Quorum. There being a majority of the commissioners present at call to order, a quorum was declared by the chair.

3. Approve Agenda. Ahner made a motion, seconded by Jacobson, to approve the agenda. Motion carried unanimously.

4. Approve Minutes of July 17, 2007 Meeting. Decker noted a correction needed to the vote regarding TIF Projects with Historic Properties. Decker made a motion, seconded by Jacobson, to approve the minutes. Motion carried unanimously.

5. Old Business.

1. Main Street Construction. Wietecha said that G. Fox & Son would likely finish with the underground utilities on East Main the middle of next week. Trierweiler Construction is on schedule: sidewalks have been removed on West Main, new curb and gutter installed, the electrical contractor was laying conduit today, and new sidewalks should be poured on Friday. Next they will be pouring the concrete street; it will be closed to traffic while the concrete cures. Installation of the bricks on West Main should begin around mid September. The overall completion date for the project is mid November.

2. Allen Creek Master Plan. Mike Stumpf presented work-to-date on the Allen Creek Master Plan. The draft recognizes a general transition from downtown commercial on the south end to highway commercial on the north end. It includes the potential for future residential or mixed-use development east of the corridor, opportunities and difficulties posed by Allen Creek and the railroad, an emphasis on Leonard Leota Park as a key focal point at the intersection of Madison and Union, and the impact of development outside city limits north of the corridor. The commissioners discussed the orientation of buildings, parking area, and sidewalks to maintain a traditional downtown environment while also allowing sufficient motor vehicle access.

6. New Business. None.

7. Other Business. None.

8. Adjournment. Decker moved, seconded by Ahner, to adjourn the meeting. Motion approved unanimously at 9:05 pm.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "The Second Opinion"--FICTION

Herman explains the myth of "second opinions"---when to seek one, and when to refrain.

MP3 File

Monday, August 20, 2007

Video: Status on Westside

Video of School Construction site, causeway adjacent, holding pond at Porter Road and Sixth, and the V-Notch--8-20-2007 9:30Am

Download File

Allen Creek: Lake Leota: Flooding

8-20-2007; Status report on rising flood waters at Allen Creek, flooding behind VP backing up into backyards of homes on Cherry Street.

Download File

Aware: Julie Hermanson Speaks

Julie Hermanson Speaks on "Koats for Kids" Program as well as GED program.

Download File

Mailbag: Update: Mason writes:

( Mason Braunschweig, chair of the Public Works committee sent me this note. about 4:30PM Monday the 20th.)

(Observer):

Last night the PW Dept. was dealing with the flooding of Allen Creek. They started at 8:00 pm and were still working over there the last time I checked at about 3:30pm. I have just checked the creek and found it to be managed. I have also checked the S.west side and found the ponds to have been depleted versus the last time I checked early this morning.

We are just getting nailed with rain. As to your question I believe that we will pump some of the water out of there as soon as it is done pumping at Allen Creek. The lift station that pumps into the sewerage treatment plant had digital alarms for Madison St. & Cherry St.

....

Mason

Evansville Park Board meets TONIGHT

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Town of Union Planning Meets August 30th: Growth allocation, wind, on agenda

Click on the post for the full agenda

Minutes: Economic Development Committee: August 2007

Call to Order. Tony Wyse called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Present: Chair Tony Wyse, Fred Juergens, Gene Bass, Julie Meredith, David Olsen, Roger Berg , and Matthias James. Rock County Rep. James Otterstein, Mayor Sandy Decker, Dan Wietecha City Administator and Bridgit Larsen Chamber of Commerce were also present. Also present were visitors.

Approval of Agenda. Fred Juergens made the motion to approve the agenda and Gene Bass seconded. All in favor.

Motion to waive reading and to approve the minutes of the Aug. 21st. 2007 regular meeting and approved as printed. Fred Juergens made the motion and David Olsen seconded. All in favor.

Citizens appearances other than on the agenda - None.

Chamber of Commerce report. Met with the East Side Businesses to discuss their needs. One of their issues was the lack of signage or visibility of the signage. The Chamber is organizing the focus groups for the strategy/summit. They had members and non-members meet at the Night Owl for a social hour.

City Administrator Report. Update and discussion on motel. Talked about where the possible site for the motel would be best suited for Evansville; several members of the public participated in the discussion with the committee. Talked about the tax increment financing this development has requested. Fred Juergens made a motion to support this project on the east side of Evansville and David Olsen seconded. Eight voted yes in favor and Tony Wyse voted opposed.

City Website Update and Discussion. Some of the links were down for a little while when city switched from Charter to Litewire. The camera will be aimed at the west side of the construction on Main Street.

Report from the Downtown Reconstruction Task Force. The sidewalks on the west side to be started on Monday, along with the 8 inch concrete to be put on the street before the bricks are to be laid down. This concrete will take 2 to 3 weeks to cure.

Update and Discussion on Economic Development Strategy/Summit. Mayor Sandy Decker, Bridgit Larsen and Judy Whalen to meet next week with the small focus groups. They had a great response to this project. Fred Juergens made a motion to finance up to $300 for the lunches for the focus groups, $1000 for the main summit, and $400 for the key note speaker. Roger Berg seconded, and all voted in favor.

Final review and approval of the revised policy for the Economic Development revolving loan fund. Edit the draft and will discuss and approve next month.

Adjournment. Fred Juergens made a motion to adjourn and Roger Berg seconded. All in Favor.

Channel 3000: Some Oregon Residents Flooded out of Homes

Click on the post for the details on Oregon.

'Sandbag"----the NOUN; "Sandbag"---the verb

Grammer of the day: On the importance of understanding the difference between "sandbag" as a noun and "sandbag" as a verb.

Click on the post.

Channel 3000 Video Update on Weather and News

Click on the post for the latest this morning.

Rock River Flood Warning Noted

(Ed. note; This is from Yahoo Weather, National Weather Service)

O.CON.KMKX.FL.W.0037.070820T1851Z-000000T0000Z/
/AFTW3.1.ER.070820T1851Z.070821T0600Z.000000T0000Z.NO/
436 AM CDT MON AUG 20 2007

THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR
THE ROCK RIVER AT AFTON.
* FROM THIS AFTERNOON UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
* AT 0415 AM MONDAY THE STAGE WAS 7.84 FEET.
* MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 9.0 FEET.
* FORECAST TO RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE BY THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUE TO RISE TO
NEAR 10.0 FEET BY AFTER MIDNIGHT TOMORROW.
* AT 10.4 FEET...THIS LEVEL IS ABOUT A 5 YEAR FLOOD

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Park Board Meets on Monday Night, August 20th

Click on the post for the agenda.

WCCO: 4 Killed; National Guard Called out in Southern Minn flooding

(Ed.Note: The Observer is on assignment and is north of Winona.)

On Friday, Winona was clear skies and beautiful along the river drive. On Saturday and Sunday it turned deadly with flooding. The National Guard has been called out to assist.

Click on the post for the story and video from WCCO NEWS.

Video Mailbag: Mark writes:

Click on the post for the video report from Mark this morning from 6th Street:

Mark writes:

"I can't wait until we get another 200 houses behind us creating more runoff issues. We can't widen the creek and bridge at Croft Rd. because it will cause flooding in Magnolia. Why wasn't/isn't my neighborhood given the same consideration? "

Saturday, August 18, 2007

School Beat: 6-25-2007---Nostalgia

Mr. Roger Berg Reviews Lot 5 Westfield Meadows purchased by the Evansville School District-reviews the stormwater detention pond, the engineering studies by MSA, Foth and VanDyke etc.

Download File

Weather Service Flash Flood Alert

Flash Flood Watch


/O.CON.KMKX.FF.A.0003.070818T2000Z- 070819T1100Z/ /00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z. 000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/ SAUK- IOWA-DANE-LAFAYETTE-GREEN-ROCK- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...BARABOO... DODGEVILLE...MADISON... DARLINGTON... MONROE...JANESVILLE...BELOIT 1107 AM CDT SAT AUG 18 2007
...FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM CDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* A PORTION OF SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...DANE...GREEN...IOWA... LAFAYETTE...ROCK AND SAUK.

* FROM 3 PM CDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

* SEVERAL ROUNDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS...SOME WITH HEAVY RAINS...WILL OCCUR. THE GROUND IS RELATIVELY MOIST DUE TO RECENT RAINS. THEREFORE...FLASH FLOODING IS POSSIBLE.

* RUNOFF FROM THE HEAVY RAINS MAY LEAD TO FAST-FLOWING WATER OVER ROADS... PONDING OF WATER IN LOW LYING AREAS... AND SOIL EROSION OR MUD SLIDES. HILLY TERRAIN IN PARTS OF SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN ENHANCE THIS KIND OF FLOODING. URBAN AREAS MAY ALSO EXPERIENCE CLOSED ROADS DUE TO ACCUMULATING WATER.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS ISSUED WHEN RAPID AND DANGEROUS FLOODING OF CREEKS...STREAMS...AND RIVERS ARE POSSIBLE. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.



NEW: More detailed local map tracking!
Mark your exact location on weather.com radar maps - click here

School Finance Committee meets Wednesday: New Food service van; Coke contract: House Construction on agenda-

Click on the post for the latest.

"Just Like Jesse James"

In one of those old Cher crooning songs, she sings that she will shoot him down in flames, "Just like Jesse James." Yes. You would have to find an old Cher cassette to get that track, but I did have one for the trip to Northfield this weekend. And---it brought back memories of the fate of Jesse James----and why each year in Northfield, Mn., they celebrate "The Defeat of Jesse James Days" as the centerpiece of their historic heritage. Yes. They have the bricks. They have the historic homes. They celebrate the Defeat of Jesse James.

Click on the post for all the history. Click the link for the Cher video.



In the old days, the banks were not insured. You lose your savings and it is curtains for your family. Jesse James had made quite a name for himself as a bank robber. He was feared nationwide.

On that fateful morning as word spread that Jesse was robbing the bank, each man went and got his gun. They waded in and made a celebrated accounting of themselves. The Jesse James Gang was over.

Singlehanded, no one of them could have managed it. Together they got the job done.

Travelogue: "The Contented Cow"-----the speakeasy

Well it's alum recruiting weekend for Carleton College in Northfield, Mn. this weekend. Alums who are on the board responsible for fundraising for the college fly in from all over the country to gather for the special annual meeting. There is excitement as the alums gather after another year of absence. After the serious part is over, some of the parents hope to chat with the alums for a moment, just a moment as older parents of alums know, to reconnect.

Last night, at the "Contented Cow", the local speakeasy right on the river, there was a little Bob Dylan type band playing ----when something pretty unusual happened--that make me feel right at home like Evansville.

Right in the middle of the second set, while our youngest and I were strolling by the river,near but not in the speakeasy, two young students yelled out from the overhanging porch where the band played, "There's Julie,...There's Julie".

The youngest was startled, and over the roar of the music used a gesture to indicate that no, she was the younger sister. Just then, Julie came along, and the bar patrons came to the edge of the porch and raised their camera phones to snap both of their pictures for evidence.

Both of the girls were pleased. The oldest because the locals remembered her as being so young. And the youngest because she was being thought of as one of the college locals.

Relax. They never recognized me. Dressed in my New York Yankees cap and shorts. They never knew. The Evansville Observer was on the job undercover. Catching those little things that the mainstream media misses.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mailbag: Mr. Connors Writes: Evansville Population surges 4 in one year;

The city's population is estimated to be 4,900, an
> increase of 861 (21.3%) from Jan. 1, 2000.


> The interesting thing is that the final population
> estimate as of Jan. 1, 2006, was 4,896. If one does
> the math, that means the city's population grew by
> only 4 people from Jan. 1, 2006, to Jan. 1, 2007.
> Feel free to post this message on your site.
>

AWARE: Julie Hermanson speaks

Julie Hermanson speaks on the "Snackpacker" Program as well as the Back to School Supplies Drive-----

Download File

Project Update: Tom Speaks

Historic Downtown Update

Download File

Federal Reserve Cuts Discount Rate 1/2 percent; Stocks UP;

Maybe the Federal Reserve was looking at the three graphs we were looking at last night. Anyway, the moment of cutting rates finally came in the heat of August---with lots of bad news on the street.

Click on the post for the full story on Yahoo News.

Minutes: Finance: Aug. 9, 2007; Hotel; TIF; and the legendary Employee Handbook

City of Evansville

Finance & Labor Relations Committee

Regular Meeting

Thursday, August 9, 2007, 5:30 pm

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

MINUTES

Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm by Chair Tom Cothard.
Roll Call. Present: Chair Cothard and Alderpersons Mason Braunschweig and Diane Roberts. Also present: Mayor Sandy Decker, Finance Director Eric Jepperson, Administrator Dan Wietecha, Kevin Krysinski, Jim Turner, and Gib Wiedenhoeft.
2006 Audit. Cothard brought the review of draft of the 2006 audit by Johnson, Block & Co. ahead to the start of the agenda. Krysinski noted several financial policies and procedures need to be better established, especially better work order and physical inventories for Water & Light. Some past issues, such as the reconciliation of accounts, have been taken care of.
Approve Agenda. The agenda was approved as presented without objection.
Minutes of July 9, 2007, Meeting. Braunschweig moved, seconded by Roberts, to waive the reading of and to approve the minutes as presented. Motion approved unanimously.
Citizen Appearances. Turner and Wiedenhoeft indicated that the SOLE Committee supports the budget amendment for the design engineering for Lake Leota during 2007.
Water and Light Bills. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to approve the Water and Light bills in the amount of $748,588.02 and authorize their payment. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.
City Bills. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to approve the City bills in the amount of $1,337,840.21 and authorize their payment. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.
Unfinished Business:
Employee Handbook. Wietecha indicated that a number of the comments received on the draft have been included in the proposed final version. Braunschweig noted that the draft had been discussed in previous meetings. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to Common Council approval of the revised employee handbook. Motion approved unanimously.
Jepperson Contract. Wietecha noted that with the change in duties of Jepperson’s position, an increase in salary is in order. Although the office re-organization appears to be going well; it is still a bit early to call it a permanent change. Wietecha also noted that mid-year raises can cause problems during annual reviews. He recommended a 1% salary increase now, with an additional increase to be considered at the end of the year. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to Common Council approval of an amendment to Finance Director-Treasurer Eric Jepperson’s contract, including a 1% salary increase. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.


New Business:
Budget Amendments: 2006 year-end capital project carry forwards. Jepperson indicated these amendments were for projects that had been delayed or not completed in 2006 and that they had been reviewed with department heads. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to Common Council approval of Resolution 2007-30, Amending the Adopted 2006 and the Adopted 2007 Budgets to Include Appropriations for Capital Project Carry Forwards. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.
Budget Amendments: 2007 mid-year. Wietecha noted that these amendments were requested by committees to adjust their operating budget for previously unplanned expenditures. Cothard indicated his reservations about using general fund reserves to pay for the engineering for Lake Leota. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to Common Council approval of Resolution 2007-31, Approving Mid-Year Amendments to the 2007 Budget. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.


Dental Insurance.

Wietecha indicated that the change in management by the City’s current dental insurance provider has resulted in untimely payments and poor customer service. Changing providers to the Delta Dental Premier Plan would mean going with a company without the payment and service problems and at a cost savings. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to recommend to Common Council approval of changing the City’s dental insurance to the Delta Dental Premier Plan. Motion approved unanimously. Cothard made a motion to recommend to Common Council approval of naming Dave Mosher & Associates as agent of record for the City’s dental insurance. Motion approved unanimously.


Hotel Project.

Wietecha indicated that the hotel appeared unable to proceed with a site close to downtown and was now looking at a location on the east end. With hope of having a development agreement that could be approved at the September meeting, he gave an overview of the hotel’s request and asked about concerns that may need to be addressed in the project. The developer is requesting $270,000 in tax increment and $50,000 as a low-interest loan. The figures appear reasonable based on the construction estimate; however, neither Ehlers nor the assessor has yet commented on the construction and financial information. Wietecha said that the $50,000 loan is above one of the policy limits being considered by the Economic Development Committee. Cothard asked about the previous assessments for the lift station. Decker pointed out that this might accelerate the need for the roundabout on J. Lindemann. It was noted that this proposal is for a unique commercial project, very different from the infrastructure proposal on the D&D property.
Adjournment. On a motion by Cothard, seconded by Roberts, the meeting adjourned at 7:06 pm.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Roller Coaster on Wall Street: Tale of Three Graphs

(Ed.note: Data compliments of Yahoo Finance:)


Advances & Declines

NYSE NASDAQ
Advances 1,302 (39%) 1,393 (43%)
Declines 2,023 (60%) 1,731 (54%)
Unchanged 44 (1%) 90 (3%)

Up Vol* 2,738 (123%) 1,117 (33%)
Down Vol* 3,749 (168%) 2,208 (65%)
Unch. Vol* 42 (2%) 53 (2%)

New Hi's 12 36
New Lo's 1,080 395
*in millionsmore...


Young students of the market will note all three graphs sharply down. These three graphs are plotted on a weekly cumulative basis in Barrons's magazine sold at the Citgo at 51 and 14 in Janesville every Saturday.

In some trading circles, when, and only when, all three of these charts are positive on a cumulative basis, has the market recovered. However, from my observation, most folks cannot wait that long. Kind of a "are we there yet" thang.

Is this a real valid rule of trading? I do not know. What a good rule is---is beyond me.

Stay tuned. The mysteries and the news. The stock market is in the mystery segment.

Office Hours for Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in Evansville next Week---

Good Morning,



Helen Forbeck, Field Representative for Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin will be holding Office Hours on behalf of the Congresswoman in Evansville next Thursday, August 23rd. Please stop by if you have any need for help with the federal government or if you have questions or comments about legislation, federal grants or doing work with the federal government.





Thursday, August 23rd



12:30 - 1:30 PM Eager Free Public Library,

39 W. Main Street

Tidbits: Sidenotes: The Variable V-Notch

After the Tuesday night session, I had a chance to visit briefly with Dave Sauer and "Wort" regarding the water issue.

I asked both whether they were familiar with the "Rainfall Frequency Atlas of the Midwest" by Floyd A. Huff and James R. Angel. It did not ring a bell, but they were familiar with the 100 year data.

I asked regarding the "occupancy permits" and who would have to sign them for a house to be occupied. Mr. Wartenweiler said he was the person who would have to sign the form if appropriate.

I asked Dave Sauer about the V-Notch. Specifically, I asked whether if there was an equation involving saturation of earth, SE, and rainfall, R, and stormwater flow SF, would not the V-Notch have to be raised up higher after the first rainfall to compensate for the fact that there was less saturation capability. And raised up even higher after a third rainfall.

He responded that there was such a thing, although the current V-notch is fixed. He said it was something to review.

I asked him whether it was best for all parties to have an independent review---he said "no." He felt that is what the engineer does every day. We politely disagreed.

Then I gave them both an Evansville Observer pen so they could access the website and review the speeches.

Home Construction Update

Click on the post for the latest from yahoo News on the housing starts picture nationally.

Mailbag: Susan Granger Writes: Re: Kick Results for Ronald McDonald House

For those that were able to sponsor me, I did 37 kicks last night! (Hmmm, seems like I am slower this year than last year..)

Thanks again for helping out the Ronald McDonald House!

"Water, Water, Water"----the Movie--now available

Residents that are following water issues on the Westside of Evansville can download audio and selected video of public meetings from The Evansville Observer. These are provided at no charge to our viewers.

Those citizens that want a DVD copy for their records, may be interested in the NEW gift set blockbuster movie---"WATER, WATER, WATER"-----two DVDs, TWO hours of civic meetings---April Public Works testimony of Mr. Dave Sauer and questions from residents-( 1hr) --as well as the recent August 14, 2007 Common Council meeting which covered the recent flooding.(1hr).

For further information on this movie, email fre2observe @yahoo.com

Mr. Sauer Speaks: 2 of 2

Evansville Common Council: Video: 2 of 2 Mr. Dave Sauer Speaks.

Download File

"This is the first we have heard of these problems"

This is a famous quote from the meeting at Common Council of 8-14-2007.

For the record. The Public Works meeting of 4-23-2007, which is covered by FULL AUDIO and selected VIDEO on The Evansville Observer, reflects in the video and the minutes of that meeting that Council President Mason Braunschweig, Mayor Decker, City Administrator Dan Wietecha, Mr. Dave Sauer, Mr. Wortenmueller, Mr. Sornson as well as Mr. Fred Jeuegens were in attendance.

To research these issues, simply use the search line at the top of the blog and choose your search word. Enjoy.

Council: 8-14-2007: Mr. Sauer Speaks:

Video: 1 of 2 Mr. Dave Sauer Speaks

Download File

Council: 8-14-2007 Mason Speaks II

2 of 2 video of Mason Braunschweig, Evansville Common Council remarks.

Download File

Common Council: Mason Speaks: Pt I

Mason Braunschweig, Evansville Common Council President addresses citizens and pledges focus of Public Works dept on West side water issues.

Download File

NYT: Asian Markets Plunge on Panic Selling

Click on the post for the latest from the New York Times.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Council: 8-14-2007 Ald Fred Juergens Speaks

Ald Fred Juergens urges a focus on recent ten year data to create a solution that meets what appears to be intensifying rain activity

Download File

Council 8-14-2007: Mark Speaks: -+

Mark added some photos to the ones presented by Jim Brooks, indicated the city bears responsibility of proper supervision of this development area: He is tired of promises and wants action. Class action lawsuit is possible but not desired unless remedy is not forthcoming

Download File

Council: Jim Brooks Speaks, Pt I

Jim Brooks, member of Evansville Plan Commission and resident of 6th Street addressed Council, presents pictures of water, v notch, and offers opinion on possible solutions

Download File

Council: Jim Brooks Speaks: PT 2

2 of 2 Video of Jim Brooks speaking on 8-14-2007 re water issues on Westside of Evansville.

Download File

OpEd: Observer Speaks: On Independent Review: On Examination of Conscience---the difference

(Ed.note: This was a comment on an earlier post that I have posted for better visibility.)

Evansville Observer said...

Bill and Mark:

I call for an INDEPENDENT ENGINEERING REVIEW----that is NOT termination or treating people arbitrarily. It is full due process and it is done in professional circles every day--pre surgery, post mortem, etc etc. It is not just folks reviewing their past deeds---that is examination of conscience and is in the realm of religion. It is also NOT fellow employee review---which is what was done in the Pat Tillman case---the guy who shot him made up the story. NO.

INDEPENDENT REVIEW recognizes that after a crisis event, such as a bridge collapse, or engineering failure, there was something that was not seen---and fresh eyes help.

INDEPENDENT REVIEW allows dignity and due process to the contractor and ensures results to the community.

Without it---nothing will be resolved.

That is as I see it.

The Observer

1:49 PM

Gazette Corner: Gina Duwe covers the Westside Flooding

Click on the post for the story by Gina Duwe on the flooding on Evansville's Westside.

You can see some of the folks she mentions later today on video on the Observer. Stay tuned.

Minutes; Evansville Youth Center: August 15, 2007

EVANSVILLE YOUTH CENTER

ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

AUGUST 15, 2007

* CALL TO ORDER.
* ROLL CALL – Erin & Rob Savaske, Dave & Tina Rossmiller, Sandy Konkel, Chris Ehle, Tracy Schroeder (YC Manager), Don Clark (YMCA), Dan Wietecha (City of Evl).
* APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Reviewed and approved as printed.
* CONDITION REPORT – Due to the large amount of rain received lately, the YC has flooded again this week, as well as, on several different occasions. At these times, the City has been contacted and clean-up arrangements made. The water appears to be entering from the slab foundation in the back storeroom, then flowing into the computer area and conference room. Some items were damaged in the storeroom (property of the Center and The Aware Agency). Mold is a huge concern at this time. Tracy has had to close several days during clean up as a result of the mold smell. Dan updated the group on repairs that occurred last year. The group did a walk-thru of the building and also outside. The Board presented several ideas of how to proceed: remove the tree in back, re-grade the slab area, apply Dry-lock paint to the inside rooms and relay the carpet. Tina contacted Carpets Plus regarding other flooring options; stay with carpet or replace with ceramic tile. Vinyl tiles would not be a viable option. Further items were discussed, including the issue of property lines. Dan advised us to proceed with clean-up and interior application of Dry-lock. He will report back to the City on the situation.
* OTHER – Lemonade stand was successful. Approximately $100 was raised. Tracy will put a thank you ad in the Review.
* ADJOURN

Westside Residents Speak Out

Common Council--4-13-2007---
Evansville Westside residents tell of water problems and demand remedy

MP3 File

Council: Water: 8-14-2007: 2 of 2

Final audio segment of Water Issue Discussion on 8-14-2007. Both audio segments cover every minute of public discussion on this matter at Council.

MP3 File

School plans house building while neighbors plan possible evacuation

Last night at the Evansville Common Council, one resident noted that the recent rain has pushed water very, very close to the electrical transformers that power the sub-pumps that have kept the water at bay in their basements....and that resident asked what the emergency evacuation plans of the City of Evansville were for these residents.

Meanwhile....just down the block.....the Evansville School Board will meet tomorrow morning to discuss supervision of the home building construction course---on the lot recently purchased in Westfield Meadows right next to the viaduct. The collegial board, after a presentation by the developer, video on the Observer, voted unanimously for the purchase.

Here is the agenda within the agenda of the Monday, August 13th Buildings meeting:


o Football Lights
o Waterless Urinals
o Update on Summer Project Work

5. Building Trade House Oversight Committee Meeting – August 17th at 7:30 a.m.

6. Other."

Public Works---Mr. Sauer--re Water

Public Works Meeting--4-23-2007--Mr. Sauer, City engineer of Foth Van Dyke reviews two things that may improve matters--the completion of the retention pond, and the improvement of "Southgate Pond" which did not work in optimal fashion during the last water event.

In Common Council meeting of August 13, 2007, from the pictures and testimony presented, NEITHER of these two hoped for improvements worked effectively.

Download File

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nostalgia: April 2006: "Grumps" had a question----

A year and a half ago, Grumps had a good question. Click on the post for the question and the comments. Enjoy.

Citizens Pack City Hall to voice concerns on Westside water

Full audio and partial video on this meeting tomorrow morning on The Observer.

Residents turned out in full force to show in pictures and graphic description the the water problems of the West side of Evansville. Stay tuned to hear and see them tomorrow on The Evansville Observer.

Evansville Common Council meets TONIGHT; 6:30PM

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Nostalgia: 4-23-2007--Public Works: Observer asks Mr. Sauer---What if you are wrong?

Public Works Meeting--4-23-2007---After the presentation by Mr. Dave Sauer, The Observer asks the first question of all investments----what if one is wrong. What is Plan B.




Download File

Blog Corner: Paul Soglin: Waxing America--Focusing on Crime in Madison, not trolleys

Click on the post for a wide ranging discussion by Paul Soglin. He even recommends walkable neighborhoods or denser housing so the city of Madison comes out on the deal as opposed to traditional housing which only covers "70" of the cost of servicing it. That is his number.

He actually recommends higher property taxes. Yes.

Click on the post for the latest.

Mailbag: Breaking: Susan Granger Writes: Karate America Fund Raiser for Ronad McDonald House TODAY

Hello everyone!



Me again, still kicking out here in Verona and Evansville! Our annual fund raiser for the Ronald McDonald House in Madison is here again! This is really short notice as I was out of town and the date snuck up on me! Basically this is how it works:

I do as many front leg front kicks as I can in 15 seconds.

You sponsor me X amount of $ per kick, or a flat donation.

Make checks out to RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities)

If you are willing to sponsor me, I’ll send you a self address stamped envelope to make it easy to get the funds in by next Friday the 24th. (Just please send me your mailing address).

I kick TONIGHT (yes, this is me at the last minute!!)



Last year we raised just in Verona over $29,000! Total amount we’ve been able to give the RMHC is over 100,000 in the last 4 years. This year, my students here in Evansville are also getting to participate too! Let me know if you want pictures of the event – Ronald himself comes and it is just a huge fun day filled with positive

Police Commission II----Lacy Wourms v. Scott Fields & City of Evansville---the Movie

Indications of interest are now being taken at fre2observe@yahoo.com.

The movie comes in two versions---

1) Complete 3 DVD version of initial hearing, assignment of hearing examiner, charges to the parties, deadlines and details reviewed. 1dvd And the Evidential Hearing, 2 dvds, 3.5 hours, the opening statements, the witnesses, the cross examinations, all the drama---all the closeups of the witnesses and participants.

2) The Evidentiary Hearing---two DVD set covering the 3.5 hours of hearing and decision.

This is the only opportunity to have a movie of the initial hearing. None was officially taken.

These movies are NOT a substitute for offical records. Those can be ordered at court prices.

For further details, email fre2observe@yahoo.com