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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mpls-St. Paul: RNC: Daily Planet: "The UnConvention and UnUnConvention"

In addition to the RNC meeting and party in St. Paul on Sept 1st---there is the unconventional party being celebrated in Minneapolis---click on the post for the story in the Daily Planet.

Pioneer Press: St. Paul: RNC: Police Harrassment Preemptive Strike?

The action has started early in St. Paul. Stay tuned.

Added Audio Podcasts Available for Town of Union meetings

Due top popular demand as evidenced by increasing downloads of audio podcasts, The Evansville Observer has enlarged the archive of audio available for download in the archive. The audio files are loaded and the video will come next.

Click on the post to view this file. It can be accessed by clicking the picture of the windmill on the right of the blog or the red "xml" next to Union meetings. Enjoy.

We are pleased to offer these resources to citizens as well as news reporters who are seeking primary sources to write the news. History is written first with primary sources. Enjoy.

Gazette: Gazette, WISC, join forces to provide Rock Co News Coverage

Click on the post for the latest.

Theatre Corner: ECT will present "Escanaba In Da Moonlight." in October--Mark your calendars

Evansville Community Theater will proudly present the comedy, “Escanaba In Da Moonlight,” written by Jeff Daniels for 6 shows in October on the JC McKenna Middle School stage.
“Escanaba In Da Moonlight,” is a raucous look at the traditions of Deer Camp as told through the escapades of the Soady Family. The year was 1989 and Reuben Soady was in danger of becoming the oldest member of his family to have never taken a buck.. Come, see The Buckless Yooper, Jimmer Negamanee from Menominee and the rest of the family as they deal with aliens, big bucks and the supernatural.

ECT will present the show on October 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at 7:30 PM with a matinee on Sunday October 19 at 2 PM . All shows will be in the McKenna Auditorium, 307 S 1st St in Evansville .
Tickets are $8 if purchased in advance and $10 at the Box Office. For more ticket information, please contact Melissa Schnepper at 882-4523

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gazette: Edgerton Drops 4 Period Day

Click on the post for the latest.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "There are NO Jails in Normal, MN."----FICTION

Click on the post for the latest.

Denver: DNC: Police, Protestors Clash

Click on the post for the latest from Yahoo news.

Background; RNC: Answer Coalition: Rally on Monday, September 1st--St. Paul Capitol

(Ed.note: Click on the post for the website of the Answer Coalition in Chicago. I hope to have audio and video of involved participants on Sept 1st---Stay tuned to the Evansville Observer.)

Protest the Republican National Convention
Sept. 1-4, 2008
St. Paul, Minnesota

End the War Now!
Moratorium on foreclosures and evictions!
Jobs, Health Care, Education, Housing!
Equal Rights for immigrants and ALL!

To get on the bus from Chicago to the RNC go to http://marchonrnc.org/ChicagoBus for more info. Join thousands of people to demand an immediate end to the war.

The big protest march and rally begins on Monday, September 1 with a mass rally at 11:00 a.m. at the Minnesota State Capitol. The march steps off at 1:00 p.m. to the Xcel Center, site of the Convention. Delegates begin to arrive at the convention at 2:30 pm. There will be a 4:00 to 6:00 pm closing rally with musical performances and more speakers.

There are more protests and events scheduled over the 4 days of the convention, including a protest on Thursday, Sept. 4 that is timed to coincide with McCain's acceptance speech.

All out for the RNC. For more info call 773-463-0311.

The ANSWER Coalition will also be protesting at the Democratic National Convention, August 25-28.


Help Build a Better World! Intern with ANSWER Chicago
Click Here to Fill in the Application Today!

Join the struggle for social justice in our communities and all over the world. Be a part of building an independent people's movement to stop war, racism and all forms of oppression. Help organize to end colonial occupation in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Haiti, and everywhere.

This spring, summer and beyond ANSWER will continue to organize and support a wide variety of progressive actions, including protests against the war in Iraq and mobilizations for immigrant rights. ANSWER is involved in the people's movement in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, all over the US and all over the world.

ANSWER uses a diversity of tactics and strategies to build, sustain, expand and deepen the new anti-war, anti-racist, pro-justice movement that has emerged. More info

Audio; Nostalgia: "Do We Really Mean It?"

"Do We Really Mean IT? Let's Suspend the Rules.

Are we a people of law or convenience? Do we just suspend the law whenever it gets difficult? Mr. Connors asked the question: "Do we really mean it?"

Classic Observer of yesteryear

MP3 File

WSJ: Madison Schools Plan Referendum on Nov 4th.

Click on the post for the latest.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Public Works Meets Tuesday---Referendum Language on Agenda

Click on the post for the updated agenda.

Evansville City Beat; Archive of Meeting Audio Expanded on Podcast

Due to the rise of traffic indicating interest in audio of public meetings, The Evansville Observer has expanded the number of audio files available for listening nationwide.

Click on the post for the listing of audio now available. To listen to a selection, just right click on it, and download to your desktop. Click to listen or upload it to your Ipod to listen to. Mail it to your friends. Make a cd of your favorite city hall meetings. Who knows. Maybe you want to make a special cd and give it as a Christmas gift. O.K. that might be going too far.

Enjoy. It is free from the Evansville Observer. Remember. We are NOT a newspaper. We do not throw out our work every night. We save it.

School Beat; Archive Video Library Expanding via Podcast

Due to popular demand seen in rising podcast downloads, The Evansville Observer has expanded the library of the "oldies but goodies"----the audio from Evansville School meetings from the past----

Click on the post for the current listing---it is a work in progress. After choosing one of the audio files to listen to, just right click your cursor and save it to your desktop. Click to listen or just upload it to your Ipod to listen while jogging or..whatever.

Enjoy. Remember when you are in a meeting, and cannot recall what someone said previously---just click on the audio archive---maybe some nostalgic audio might help.

Click on the post for the current audio available.

Nostalgia: Dateline Normal: "The Trellis Manager"---FICTION

How a small community became obsessed with trellises right after "American Idol." What Freud had to say about it all.

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Nostalgia: "On BlueBerry IceCream"----Classic Speeches of Evansville

Nostalgia; Michael Pierick speaks to Evansville Planning Commission on Impact of Uncontrolled Residential Growth beyond Smart Growth Plan and possible impacts on taxpayers---2007

MP3 File

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Glimpses of the Evansville Community Band---at the Park

Click on the post for a short video of the Community Band at Lake Leota recently. Compliments of a readers. Thanks.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wind; Better Plan Blog: Eric Rosenbloom on Benefit of Wind---fact and fiction

One of the assumptions of both sides of the disucssion of wind turbines has been that the energy that wind produces will be causing a direct decrease of the other energy source fuels and the depeletion of the ozone etc.

Eric Rosenbloom has written an analysis of what the effects have been in other countries, and what the equation really is.

Click on the post for the article in pdf format.

Wind: Better Plan Blog: The strategy of Influence peddle first; inform later..if ever

Right out of the handbook for wind development comes the strategy. Click on the post for the latest.

Budget Status: Evansville Municipal Court--- Year to Date: July 31, 2008

(ed.note: Because the Municipal Court was in Session on 8-18-2008, no report was available at the Committee of the Whole Meeting. This is the 7-31-2008 report of Revenues and Expenses. Double click for largest view. Revenues exceed expenses. )

Capital Times: Wiley: " Wisconsin Has Lost It's Way"

Outgoing Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Writes. Click on the post for the story in the Capital Times.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nostalgia: June 2007: Dateline Normal, Mn.: "Why Debt Comes First"----FICTION

(Ed. note: This is one of a long series of tales from a land up in northern Minnesota.....a land of fiction.....but other than that.....it is a lot like our own. Enjoy. )

Recently, after watching just one too many videos of the Plunkett Raysich study, I took a long drive. It was spring. I needed a break in the schedule. To fish. To play a little tennis. So I headed up Hwy 10 north of the Twin Cities to Normal, Mn.

On the long drive, I kept thinking of all those charts of the consultants----the ones that showed that even though locals were not increasing their birth rate.....it was those folks from out of town that kept coming.....and coming....and coming....and they were the ones we were building the schools for. We needed to get ready and incur some debt for them. Why I wondered.

So, I just blurted it out to Herman: "Why would the debt come first Herman? I just do not understand.

Herman just let our a huge bellylaugh. "You are just too busy, Wolfman. (that's what he always called me. It is real simple. The debt always comes first when a revolution happens. Always."

"Whatever do you mean, " I asked.

Herman went on: " In a community where there is a broad section of ages, folks stay in their homes till they die. It is real stable. Real diverse. Real stable."

"Exactly." I said. That is what Evansville is all about. A diverse age range that makes life interesting."

Then Herman said; "The problem is that those old folks pay a small fee for property tax compared to what a young couple would pay with two kids. Two kids would be worth $16,000 of revenue to a school district. Thus, it motivates a sophisticated leader, to add debt, big time....and force seniors out of their homes with higher taxes so younger folks can move to town. It is called in planning documents "recycling the housing stock."

"It sounds pretty "green," but it is terrible news for seniors," I said.

Herman mused, " I guess debt is a form of security for a long career. Nothing is more threatening to a career than a stable community. And lots of seniors. They just got to move on to keep the enrollment up. "

"That's pretty cynical Herman, " I replied. "Do you mean to say that the reason to incur the debt is to keep the enconmy moving by moving the seniors out of their homes?

"Yup," Herman replied. That is what all that "Applied Population gismo" is all about.

It was a long trip back home. Thank goodness I am back in good old Wisconsin. Where we do not believe in any of that debt first and then enrollment growth. Where we believe in a diverse community of all age groups. Where we resist sophisticated plans to divide and conquer.


Video; The Onion: War for the White House: BS is the major issue

The Onion weighs in on the current campaign with timely video. Click on the post.

Committee of Whole: 8-18-2008: Finance Director Lisa Speaks:

Committee of Whole; Report of Finance Director; Audits: Realignment of duties; Record retention and organization

MP3 File

Committee of Whole: 8-18-2008: Water and Light Report; Scott George Speaks:

Committee of Whole; Water and Light: Scott George reviews projects on agenda for 2009 and expenses

MP3 File

Committe of Whole: Park Board: 8-18-2008: Ringhand Speaks:

Committee of the Whole: Quick survey of status of parks and what is on the agenda for expenses.

MP3 File
Committee of the Whole; City Hall: Remarks regarding repairs still necessary for City Hall as well as current space available.

MP3 File

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ad Hoc Evansville Schools Planning Committee meets

Click on the post for the agenda of the recent meeting.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "FEMA Track and Field"------FICTION

Click on the post for the latest.

Fannie and Freddie Mac----Rescue coming?

The Chinese have reduced their interest in this type of debt----and that may make rescue inevitable---click on the post for the article in Bloomberg.

"Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven's Door" or "Son of a Preacher Man"---a true story

(Ed.note: click on the post for a version of the song by Bob Dylan)

Last Sunday, as the family headed out of town to launch the youngest to college, we reached for the music---it had been a long standing tradition that the very first song was always supposed to be a Tom Petty number. I offered that I had a special Tom Petty tape from years ago and they said "O.K."

As the song began, there were some moans. "We don't want Bob Dylan," they said in unison. "Relax" I said. Tom Petty is coming shortly. Then Tom Petty came on stage to thunderous applause and he began singing "Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven's door with Dylan, in limited acoustic version. We had never heard this version. We all loved it.

As the car rolled along, I remembered a famous lunch I attended last December----a lunch of all the community organizations in Evansville. I don't get invited to too many lunches, and was just launching into the entre when the main speaker arose. We will call him "Son of a Preacher Man"----

He began by recounting that he indeed was the son of a preacher man---and that many organizations in Evansville had dreams----and those in attendence knew what they were. He went on: "For a second, let's just go around the room and list off all of these dreams"----and they obliged. The new library, the new fire station, the new city hall, the new police quarters, the Lake Leota Project, the new schools, two of them, the new community center, and the new waste water treatment plant."

Just then, I decided to bite into my sandwich: The speaker went on. "I know that there are some who think we need to make choices. That we cannot have ALL of these things at once. For me, as the son of a Preacher man, I think otherwise. We can have it ALL!!! And NOW. That is what I believe."

That is when I chocked on my sandwich.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Common Council; Committee of Whole: Lake Leota: What If ....discussed....

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Video; Common Council of the Whole: Discussion of WWTF; The Capital Expenditure a result of State mandates and not residential development

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Monday, August 18, 2008

St. Paul: Republican Convention: Police Union Unrest Perfect timing for RNC

Click on the post for the latest. Perfect timing for the RNC. A problem with gangs in St. Paul plus a little police union unrest. Plus 50,000 protestors plus 15,000 media.

Do not worry. I will not wear the Packer sweatshirt. Just the Media sweat, gold and black. Stay tuned. Street view from the convention is coming.

Dateline St. Paul: Daily Planet: Poverty in Focus for Protests

Click on the link for the latest.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

8-16-2008: Committee of Whole: Lake Leota Discussion

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8-16-2008: Common Council: Committee of the Whole: Dan Wietecha reviews TIF 5 and current items under discussion. Park and Ride---Development and Park and Ride

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The new Waste Water Treatment plant is in design stage. This upcoming expense is not the result of residential development, but rather the result of increased requirements for quality from the State of Wisconsin. Janesville is also poised to build a new plant.

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Committee of the Whole: 8-16-2008: J. Lindemann Roundabout Options Discussed

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Discussion of Appraisal;Police Station: Move to new quarters

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tidbits on the Fire Station

MP3 File
8-16-2008: Committee of Whole: Dan Wietecha discusses Status of TIF 5 and review of progress so far and possibilities

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Audio: Part II, Uncut audio of Evansville Common Council Committee of the Whole: Budget Session 2008:

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Budget Discussion: Saturday, August 16, 2008: Evansville Committee of Whole: Uncut Audio: Part 1

MP3 File

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blogs; Dateline LondonFlyGirl: "On Movin too Fast."

LondonFlygirl checks in. Took a few moments from jetlag. And reflects. Click on the post

Dateline Normal, Mn.: " The Legend of the Loon Lodge"-----FICTION

(Ed.note: Click on the post for the sound of the loons.)

Dateline Normal, Mn.: On the order of the Loon Lodge: On the secrets of membership; On loons; On fish...and much more

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Evansville Park Board Meets Monday--

Click on the post for the agenda.

Town of Union: Wind: Planning Commission meets Tuesday, August 19: Wind on Agenda

Click on the post for the latest.

Economic Development meets Tuesday, August 19th--Commuter Van on Agenda: Structure Issues

Click on the post for the full agenda.

School Beat: New Ad Hoc Planning Committee meets August 18th---Memories of Plunkett Raysich--VIDEO

Plunkett Raysich Presentation at Buildings and Grounds Meeting on February 21, 2007--Costs of Options discussed in the PRA report are detailed. Options Explained. Costs range from 30 Million to 44 million.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Evansville Committee of Whole Meets Saturday re Budget: August 16, 2008

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Video: Common Council: 8-12-2008: Ben Answers the Question.

Common Council: 8-12-2008: Candidates for 4th Ward Alderman asked about knowledge of current issues: Ben answers the question

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Minnesota Independent: The Battle of the T-Shirts

The T-Shirt Wars are heating up. Click on the post for the latest.

Pioneer Press: St. Paul: RNC: Panic in St. Paul as few bars opt for 4am closing

Could be pretty quiet in St. Paul for the Republican Convention. Maybe the delegates will be going over to Minneapolis to drink.

Click on the post for the story.

CapTimes; Business: New Costco opens next week in Middleton

Click on the post for the latest.

Oregonian: Wind; Nina Pierpont suggests 2 miles setback

The research of Nina Pierpont Phd is cited by many, including the Town of Union Wind Turbine Study Group, but the research cited suggests a setback of greater than a half mile---the article in the Oregonian suggests 2 miles.

As one of my professors of old used to say, "If you're going to cite Newton, best follow one of his equations, and not one of your own."

Click on the post for the full article.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Turmoil in Georgia; Gorbachev Speaks

Click on the post for an interesting article as Gorbachev unravels the history of this current hot spot.

School Beat; Janesville: 1 Million in Budget Cuts under Discussion

Click on the post for the latest.

Public Service Announcement: Have you requested the Lottery Tax Credit?

Lottery Tax Credit

According to the Rock County Tax Records, there are Evansville residents that have not requested the Lottery Tax Credit. Some may not do so for personal reasons, religious reasons, etc. And there are others who just never thought to ask about it.

In order to receive this credit off your property taxes, you must request it when making payment. This past year it was $96.87. Not that this is a large amount but it will help to offset the cost of a gallon of gas, or buy you that whatyoumaycallit that you have wanted for years.

When paying your property taxes in 1/09, please remember to ask the Rock County Treasurer for your Lottery Credit.

Alderperson Barbara Jacobson

Video: Have any of You lived near a Wind Turbine? Dialogue: Ecoenergy/Town of Union

Have any of you lived near a wind turbine? Dialogue between Town of Union plan commission and Ecoenergy.

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Evansville School Reports Now Available for August

Click on the post for the most recent Evansville School Report released on August 11, 2008.

Evansville Schools: Planning: AdHoc Committee Meets August 18th: Citizens Welcome to Meeting 7PM; J.C. McKenna Cafeteria

(Ed.note: The following is unedited from the School Website report of Supr. Report for August 11, 2008)

Long Range Planning
We have a good cross section of staff and citizens who will meet in the JC McKenna cafeteria at 7 p.m.
on Monday, August 18. The meeting is open to any interested citizens and staff. Hopefully, most board
members will also be able to attend. We have prepared a binder of background documents and will add
more as additional information is developed. These are challenging times to think about the future. A
natural impulse would be to wait and see what happens. Some of the problematic decisions I have seen in
the facilities in a variety of districts came about due to a general belief that districts would stop growing
and you could just patch or make a small addition and everything would be fine. Decades later the results
of those decisions are still being felt. The 2000 referendum on the other hand was truly visionary while
still keeping in mind the available resources of the district. My hope is that whatever plan we develop can
stay true to the visionary process and mindset that prevailed at that time.

Gazette; Lake Leota; Fireworks to come in September

Gina Duwe suggests the timetable for fireworks. Click on the post for the latest from The Janesville Gazette.

Mailbag; Lake Leota; Ald. Barb Jacobson writes:

The history of this Lake reiterates that this is not a natural lake, and many times over it's course has had to be dredged. In this day and age, this is no longer feasible because of the great costs associated; and how long it may truly be before it needs to be dredged again and then at what cost, as everything skyrockets. I truly love lakes and was an avid boater for years. I also realize how important they are for our environment, and the eco system. However, Lake Leota at best will not be dredged deep enough for boats, and will only offer some limited fishing. My fear is that the Lake will then become a mess as a duck pond; an expensive one at that.

I realize I am a transplant to Evansville thus, have no history to this Lake . Was it the drawing card that brought me here to Evansville ……no. Has it been the drawing card to even half the people who have moved here in the last five to ten years?

I have much appreciation for the members of SOLE; for all their tenacity and hard work over the years, and their tackling of the diversity on this project. They are passionate on their beliefs to restore the Lake to the way it was years ago.

I am not saying that the City should go forward with the Lake project, or that it should not. What I do believe is that this issue should go to all the residents of Evansville via referendum, and allow the people to make the decision.

Please keep in mind that Evansville residents have other issues to tackle as well. We shortly will have a new district Fire Station, and are in need of costly work on the water treatment plant. Rode repairs, and flooding issues. As the City Council prepares to work on the City budget, we need to keep in mind that no one necessarily wants property taxes to rise; do we take on the $1.5 million Lake Leota project along with the necessary City infrastructure costs in 2009? Will this increase the property owners taxes, and by how much? Let's deal with the Lake Leota issue in referendum.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "Financial Feelings," or "Normal Accounting"----FICTION

(Ed.note; This is one of a long series of fictional tales that are on xml audio via itunes and can be subscribed on the right side of the blog. The Tales from Normal are copywrited and are available in book form via Blurb Press. The can be searched from the Blurb bookstore for this and all titles. They are FICTION....but other than that....)

Click on the post for the latest.

Blogs; Chasin: Chasin Weighs in on 4th Ward Appointment

Click on the post for the latest.
"Walleye Days Come to Normal, Mn.---FICTION: A little reflection on the BIG fish; On the theory of the leisure class. On how it does or does not add up. Or should it?

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Video: 3 of 3: 4th Ward Alderman appointment: Ben answers the Question: Final Comments and Vote: 4-3

Video: Common Council: 4th Ward Alderman appointment: Final comments and Vote: The vote was 4-3. You can watch. Enjoy.

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Video; 2 of 3: 4th Ward Appointment: Qualifications and answers

Video: 8-12-2008: 2 of 3: Todd Culbertson and Ben Ladick present qualifications and answer questions to Common Council

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Video: 1 of 2; Common Council 4th Ward Appointment:Candidates: Culbertson and Ladick

Video: 1 of 3: Todd Culbertson and Ben Ladick candidates share qualifications with the Council and answer questions

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Wind; Better Plan Blog: Video: Both sides of shadow flicker:

Click on the post for the video from Better Plan blog. Enjoy. One of these gentlemen has appeared before the Planning Commission for the Town of Union to share his experience.

Breaking: Gavel to Gavel Video of 4th Ward Alderman Appointment--Todd Culbertson appointed

(Ed.note: Three video coming shortly)

The Evansville Common Council made it's choice for 4th Ward Alderman last night at the regular Common Council meeting. The citizens of the 4th Ward will get their chance to vote for their choice at the next election assuming that both run for the position. The unedited video, three, providing every word of the candidates will follow for the citizens of the 4th Ward to see. Both candidates are active in Evansville business and articulate and committed to the development success of Evansville. It is wonderful that the 4th Ward did not have an uncontested affair. Choice is good. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Evansville Observer---Worldwide Headquarters

NEWS-----COMMENT------DISCUSSION Posted by Picasa

Brodhead Municipal Court; August 6, 2008---Newspaper Report

Click on the post for the report.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Evansville Municipal Court---July 2008 Newspaper Report

Click on the post for the Municipal Court Newspaper Report for July 2008.

Politics; Minn: Group begins effort to stop Robo calling in Minnesota

Click on the post for the latest.

yahoo: Biz: The Deepening Credit Crisis

Click on the post for the latest.

4th Ward Poised to Welcome new Alderperson

As we recognize the service over the past six years of John Sornson as 4th Ward Alderman, and the countless hours of meetings involved, the 4th Ward is also poised to welcome the new---and the Evansville Common Council will swear in that new appointment tomorrow night. The Observer hopes to capture the moment on film. Stay tuned.

Welcome Home Hurley's

Peace has returned to West Main Street. All is Right with the world. The Hurley's have come home. Wave or honk as you go by. Welcome home!!!!!!

Common Council meets Tuesday--August 12th

Click on the post for the amended agenda.

Historic Pres to review request for home demoliton on East Main

Click on the post for the agenda for the meeting on Wednesday.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Blogs; Wind: The Latest from "BetterPlan--Rock County"

Click on the post for the latest.

School Board; Building and Grounds Committee Meets Tomorrow: Ad Hoc Committee on Planning meets August 18

Click on the post for the latest.

Finance Committee: TIF 5 Has received over a million dollars of capital advances from City: Auditor recommends repayment

(Ed.Note: Click to enlarge document. This is one page of the draft audit letter for the City of Evansville for 2007. If was presented at the Finance Meeting on Thursday. It reflects Advances to TIF 5 that total over a million dollars. The Auditor recommends that these advances be paid off or repaid. Click to enlarge document. )

Wisconsin State Journal: New Closed Door policy on Football Info frustrates WSJ---what to write about now?

What will the WSJ write about if not the Badgers? If you review the page layout of the paper over the prior years, if you eliminated booze and Badgers, how many column inches do you have?

Click on the post for the article in today's WSJ.

You make the call.

Mailbag: Gaboda Writes: On Lake Leota

Matt Gaboda has left a new comment on your post "Park Board Recommends no Referendum on Lake Leota":

I can understand both perspectives on this issue. I am not aware of a budget surplus in the city, I am FOR a referendum, I think at this time and with this issue, it is the citizens call. The Park and Recreation Board needed to let the people make the call on this one.

It is not a waste treatment plant, where there is no choice, or everyday needed infrastructure improvements.

The council needs to put this on the ballot and let the people decide the reservoirs fate.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

"Chasin" Blog: "Chasin" Weighs in on Lake Leota"

Click on the post for the latest from Chasin.

Evansville: Audit 2007: Auditor cites lack of "accounting and financial policies manual"

(Ed.note: In the audit presentation on Thursday night, the Evansville auditor stated in the draft report: )

"We continue to recommend that the City prepare an accounting and financial policies manual that includes the following:

Purchasing procedures
Treasury functions including an investment policy
Fund accounting
Utility billing procedures
Cash receipts procedures
Journal entry approval
Fraud risk management
Disaster recovery plan
Chart of accounts manual
Work order processing
Utility collection and write-off procedures
Interest and reconciliation of customer deposits."

The phrase "Continue to recommend" in audit management reports suggests that the same recommendation was made last year....and it was disregarded.

Evansville: Audit: 2007: Auditor suggests statutory audit of TIF 5

(Ed. note: The following is a portion of the draft audit report of the City of Evansville for 2007 and was presented on Thursday night at Finance Committee:)

"TIF Districts"

The City had a significant amount of financial activity in the TIF Districts during 2007. With regard to the Districts, we recommend the following:

The City should file annual reports with the overlying jurisdictions.
The City may need a statutory audit for TIF 5
The City should review the capital costs allocated in relation to the allocation of debt proceeds.

Republican Convention: The yard Signs are Ready-----

Click on the post to order your own yardsign---soon all of the area surrounding the Republican National Convention in St. Paul will be covered with these type of signs. Stay tuned.

London: Markets: Conservative: Ambrose Pritchard writes the history of the current bubble

Thought provoking conservative analysis. Enjoy.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Park Board Recommends no Referendum on Lake Leota

(Ed.note: The following is a portion of the agenda for Common Council for Tuesday, August 12, 2008 Click on the post for the full agenda.)

"H. Parks and Recreation Board Report
(1). Recommendation to move forward with dredging Lake Leota without a referendum at a cost of $1.4 million, dependent upon the City Administrator’s success with getting the neighboring property owners to allow dumping of dirt on their properties."
July 4, 2007---- EHS Marching Band and Color Guard rock the crowd with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Just a moment of nostalgia as the seniors head on off to college. Rock on. Best Wishes from the Observer.

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MOVIE EMPORIUM Opens on West Main in Evansville

Diane Bump of Movie Emporium Welcomes Evansville Residents to her store on West Main in the old Hometown Video building: Explains specials; Explains game specials; Explains childrens video specials. Best wishes for Success from The Observer

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A Special Message; Ryan McNeal, intern at The Evansville Observer has left the room---if you know a senior or Junior high school student that might be interested in an opportunity to learn, have them contact the Observer at fre2observe@yahoo.com

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This video moment from The Evansville Observer is brought to you as a public service. Turn the volume up to hear the singing.

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Finance Committee: Wietecha: Budget Considerations for 2007

(Ed.note: This is a memo that was given to all Finance Committee members last night at finance. It lists some things that are new for 2007 to be considered. )


August 6, 2008

To: Finance & Labor Relations Committee
From: Dan Wietecha, City Administrator

Re: Miscellaneous Items to Consider with 2009 Budget

As we begin budgeting for 2009, there are a few items to highlight simply because they are new.

1. Expenditure Restraint Aid – Because of tighter levy limits, more municipalities are expected to be eligible for this funding. Consequently, Evansville and other cities already participating in the program can expect a reduction in 2009. We currently receive $60,000 from the state.

2. Room Tax – Estimating 50% occupancy, this would be about $30,000 in new revenues to the city. It must be spent on marketing or tourism promotion. Marketing is one of the key items in the recently approved economic development plan, and I expect the economic development committee to propose a budget for the room tax.

3. Stormwater Utility – The stormwater management utility became effective August 1st. It has some front-loaded expenses for capital projects but is projected to break even in 2010. The city already approved a $60,000 loan to start the utility, but it may need additional funds in its first year.

4. Capital Budget – Several recent projects have involved multiple city departments, state grants with certain restrictions, multiple TIF districts, deferred assessments, and just too many moving parts. Lisa and I will be revamping the format for the 5-year capital budget to better track these projects in the future. We may also look at booking all expenses through the capital projects fund and then allocating them as contra-expenses to the different departments.

5. New Fire Hall – The city’s share of the annual debt service on the new fire station is estimated around $100,000.

6. Post Office Property – Late last year the city purchased the post office building to accommodate future expansion of the library. The city does receive rent from the postal service. This does cash flow in 2009 but will be about $12,000 short in 2010 and each subsequent year.

7. Interfund Loans – Since tax increment projects have a lag time before they start generating revenue, the city has approved interfund loans for projects in TID #5 at 1.5% and TID #6 at 5% interest. We will be revising our unwritten policy 1) to better document such loans, 2) to better track the loans and accrued interest, 3) to charge a fair rate of interest, and 4) to apply the policy to any other non-TIF interfund loans.

Yahoo: Tech Ticker: Is Oil under $100 Bad News?

Click on the post for the video on Yahoo Finance and the wild comments about it. Enjoy.

Chasin Corner: Football: The Lawsuit

Chasin the News as well as many commenters have weighed in on the Gazette article. Click on the post for the latest.

Mailbag: Bear Trader writes: About the Money supply and the bubble

(Ed.note: "Bear Trader is a regular writer to the Observer. Click on the post for the monetary web site called shadowstats that he cites.)

Evans-Pritchard is in error about Milton Friedman. The "money supply
expansion a la outrance" is not a Friedman idea. Friedman was actually
a sound money guy. The massive money supply expansion is Keynesian.

A while back the Fed stopped publishing M3. I figured at the time this
had to be for political reasons. M3 increase in the last few years
really went wild, although, since the bubble burst - and the bubble
burst because of an amazing expansion of credit, an expansion that went
parabolic until the debts incurred could not be paid off - a series of
bubbles, actually, that started with WWI - M3 has been dropping even
though the Fed has been "pushing on the string" as hard as they can.

I find
pretty accurate. Following graphs are from the shadowstats website:

Gazette; The New "E" Ticket from the Evansville Police Dept

A Safe traffic stop. And a ticket one can actually read. Click on the post for the story in the Janesville Gazette by Gina Duwe.

Finance: Observer requests budget review of staffing for Municipal Court

At the very beginning of the Finance Committee meeting last night, the Evansville Observer requested that the current clerical staffing of the municipal court be reviewed. Last year it was left to the very end of the budget season, when little money was left to discuss anything.

I mentioned that the pace of release of information has changed and that courts around the country release dispositions very quickly in order to eliminate the phone calls and added stress that delay causes. It appeared to me that while every area of city government has seen dramatic increases in expense, the court has not. It is an essential part of government.

Council President Mason Braunschweig replied that the revenues of the court do not cover the expenses.

Naturally the Observer was a little shocked to hear that only profitable sections of government were seeing increases.....the discussion then proceeded to other areas of government.

I asked only for a review since the Committee of the Whole will be happening on Saturday, August 16, 2008, when court is in session.

Finance; Committee of Whole to discuss City budget on Sat, August 16, 2008

There will be a Committee of the Whole meeting on August 16, 2008, and capital projects will be under discussion. There is also a memo to all alderman regarding special features of this budget season, including the new Stormwater Utility budget. The budget has been set to $75,000 and the revenues for this area are just beginning to be accrued.

MP3 File

Finance: 2007 Audit: Johnson Block & Co.--- "Good"

Unedited comments of the 2007 audit of the City of Evansville accounting. His rating overall was "Good." Some improvement over the prior audit, and there was the expected consequence of treasurer transition of having transition challenge.

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Finance: Mailbag: Ald Ringhand writes:

Letter from Ald. Ringhand: Requests to Finance Committee to keep 2.5 million in Capital Budget for Lake Leota so it is ready to be used in case referendum passes.

MP3 File

Finance; Water and Light Lineman Job Description and Staffing issues discussed:8-7-2008

The Case of the Lineman Description and On Call staffing: Memories of the Witicha Lineman or Where is Glenn Campbell when we need him?

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

OpEd: On Energy Saving

Let's use all that energy saving advertised from air conditioning, and add it to all the energy saving from extra value meals and other "extra" frugality, and then when we total all it up, spend it.

When I add all the hype up, no matter how we calculate the energy saving, it comes up to zero dollars to spend. How about you?

Without actual conservation and not just hype conservation, there will never be a solution to the problem we face.

Wind; Better Plan Blog: More towns adopt the Half Mile set-back

Click on the post for the latest.

OpEd: Economy: Observer declares recession has arrived

If you listen to the news, you know that nobody wants to declare that the recession has arrived. Today I am suggesting it has----and by the classic indicater----the COMEDY CENTRAL or MOVIE indicator. None of the other news media will dare use such popular indicies...but the Observer will.

In the depth of the Depression, there was just one area of revenue in business that was sacred---you guessed it---the movies. They cost .25 and it was a necessity, and even more necessary than bread---it provided the motivation, and cheering up, and maybe even faith that everyday folks needed to get by.

Today---in the news market that is present, where all the links lead nowhere...where there are really no correspondents covering the news in depth---there is really only one source for the news----and it is COMEDY CENTRAL. Yes. I have clocked the T.V. I have watched, and I am now totally dependent on Jon Stewart and the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

Some of my readers may respectfully disagree---and I understand. However, before you trash this theory, click on the post and watch Stephen Colbert at the National Press Club dinner in 2006 and his remarks. That should convince you. Only the comics have any credibility. That is the dead sure sign of recession.

That is how I see it.

Video; Politics; Paris Hilton Responds with hot policy idea

Click on the post for the latest.

OpEd: Reflection: On Breach of Contract: Can a breached contract be extended?

If you click on the post, you can see the wikipedia definition of breach of contract. In fact, last week, we had an interesting example of this concept in the case of the Pheasant Lodge that was discussed in the Town of Union Planning Commission. One of the planning commissiion members reflected that it seems as though the Town lived up to its responsibilities and they were pretty clearly laid out, but the other party breached in every respect living up to the agreement---yet...he said it seems we cannot hold them accountable......One can only wonder why that member felt that way. Clearly the planning commission had the right to non-extend the conditonal use permit and chose otherwise.

What was the transaction that happened here? Clearly the notion of breach of contract and material breach must not apply to the Town of Union, Wisconsin. Some other principle of law must apply. I wonder which prinicple it is?

Nostalgia: Memories of the Mercury Conference: Leech Lake Indian Chants

Magical Moment at the Mercury Conference in Madison: The Chant of the Leech Lake Indians---For Purification, For Protection, For Peace

MP3 File

Monday, August 04, 2008

Daily Planet; Mpls: Alledged Brutality raises questions

In less than thirty days, about 50,000 folks are going to be traveling to St. Paul, Minneapolis to attend the Republican National Convention...and yes incidentally check on the possibility that Brett Favre might be in a Viking uniform. Anyway....the news that a citizen was beaten recently who also previously received a judgement of $150,000 against the Minneapolis Police force, has caused some observers to be wary of those that are going for the Convention---and raised questions in some minds whether some of those attending might be ready for a payday if some violence ensues. Click on the post for the full story.

Relax. There may be 50,000 protestors, but keep in mind that there will also be 15,000 media on either side of them filming---and yes as a blogger I will be filming, but I will be wearing a bright bulky orange and green sweat shirt that says Green Bay Packers on one side, and in bold letters, MEDIA on the other.

I do have an sheleleigh from Ireland I could take with me, but have chosen to not take it with me. It could be turned as a weapon against me.

Still. I just wonder whether the $150,000 would be considered taxable income or what. This could portend budget difficulties for the St. Paul Police force if they cannot control the crowd effectively....and peacefully. I guess that is why they have been working on the plan for about a year. Stay tuned.

Star Tribune: Viking Favre Deal still possible

Click on the post for the latest from the Minneapolis Star.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Republican Convention: Daily Planet: Theatre: Mass Exodus Planned

Click on the post for the latest. It will be difficult for the Evansville Observer to film if everyone is leaving town. I will have to pick my film locations to capture those coming and going. It appears there will be over 15,000 media people alone. I just wonder how much hotel rooms will go for.

Stay tuned.

Welcome to the Evansville Observer--Kayaking in the Apostle Islands

Town of Union: Conditional Use Permit: Pheasant Hunting Lodge: Use of Alcohol Discussed; Use of facilities discussed.

Download File
Town of Union: Plan: 1-31-2008 Final Motion to Extend Conditional Use Permit with stipulations.

Download File

Nostalgia; Orig post August 2006: Dateline Normal: "Field Exercise Days"---FICTION

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

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

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

"Huh?", I responded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 01, 2008

The theory of the Least Interested Party---the exception in cheese country.

One of the things that every teen knows, and indeed this is something that is talked about over campfires in the stag camping set, is the "Theory of the Least Interested Party."

Very simply put---in any relationship of two people, given the assumption that both parties care about each other to some degree, the party that can display the least outward "interest" has an inherent advantage in negotiating. This is why kids are cool. The cooler the better. Cool has an advantage.

Over a lifetime, couples discover that the ebbs and flows of interest can go both ways, and eventually, if the relationship is to survive, other elements have to emerge such as mutuality of interests, values etc., if the relationship is to survive. Otherwise, one party in desperation must review other individuals that have an interest in him or her, such as "X" really appreciates me even if you don't etc. By the time the normal teenager is 18....usually....one is aware that this is no way to create a solid relationship. Yet.....some.....never.....learn....and football players learn last one could presume from the press about the saga of the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre.

"Minnesota loves me more than you do," he might have said. Tampa Bay also loves me a lot....and then there is......One can just imagine the scene. Finally in desparate move to shut him up......the Packers offer him 20 million to work in public relations for them......HUH?

That's the oldest con in the books----the least interested con with the cajun twist---only a midwesterner could fall for it.

St. Paul: Pioneer Press: St. Paul Police Picket at XCel Center---will the RNC be affected.

Nothing like the prospect of 50,000 protestors coming to town and the police being in the middle of a work slowdown or strike. Click on the post for the info.

Dateline Normal, Mn: "The First Hour of Consultation is FREE"----FICTION

(Ed.note: This is the latest of a long series of tales that are available on podcast, RSS syndication, itunes, as well as in book form. If you are looking for an older one, just search in GOOGLE. This is FICTION, but other than that.....)

Click on the post for the latest from the land of Normal, Mn.

Chasin Blog: The Nightmare: Favre as a Viking

What is Chasin worried about? Those classless Minnesota fans? Relax. Just one hard sack on that hard astroturf in the Metrodome where nobody can hear anything cause the sound is so loud and Brett would retire without pay. Period.

I see the rumor of the Minnesota trade as a game piece that has no credibility. Wish I could play a piece like that and get 20 million for not writing---one would have to create the reverse incentive by writing such trash that the silence of not writing would be worth 20 mil to someone. Something to think about.

Click on the post for Chasin.

Evansville Plan Commission Meets Monday: Used Cars on the Agenda

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Audio: Town of Union: 7-31-2008: Plan: Conditonal Use Permit Actions; The Pit; The Case of the Pheasant Lodge--2hrs.

Town of Union: Plan: 7-31-2008: Conditional Use Permit actions re: The pit---and The Case of the Pheasant Lodge--two hours.

MP3 File

Reflection: "The Pit"--the novel by Frank Norris and the movie by D.W. Griffith

Last night at the Town of Union Planning Meeting, the first item of agenda was "The Pit"-----and as the discussion roamed along, having brought my trusty tripod with me, I could allow my mind to wander as the film rolled. It bought back memories of novels of old, and of the "naturalists", Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, and the scenes of the trading pits in New York and Chicago. If you ever visited a trading pit you know what I mean----the options are the ones that always seemed the wildest for me.

One of the most noticable things about the "pit" is the character of the traders---independent to the last. Trading on their own capital or maybe their companies capital....they are intense and colorful. They have a rumpled down to earth appearance---no french fashion here. Just functional attire please. At the end of the day, there is always the picture of the empty trading floor---with the little white pieces of paper. After all the ups and downs, I always wondered who really won and lost----my theory, and the one that led me to become a broker, was that in the end, only the banks and brokers won.

Last night, at the Union Planning Commission meeting, after all the discussion of conditional use permits and the irregular nature of them that necessitates that we never follow any set rules about anthing so that total chaos can envelop the discussion and which allows the suits to charge large fees to describe to the partipants what the chaos might portend in the inner sanctum of the courtroom, and then imagine the additional fees if one could not make the proper legal moves.......
I was just intensely determined to pick up that novel "The Pit" and give it one more quick read---to see if there might be a new ending for the case where the world wheat market was cornered by a crazy greedy maniac.

In the end, after all the room was empty and only the books remained last night, I remembered that even in the middle ages, in King Arthur's Court, after all the sword play was over, it was mostly the horses, the large white and black horses that were the real winners. Mostly everyone else was dead. That's great if you are a horse.

Money: MSN: Video: Write Off the rest of 2008

Commerical credit is contracting. Click on the post for the video story from MSN.