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Saturday, May 30, 2009

NYT: Student Loan Forgiveness Programs rely on State budget Health? HUH...

Students that have gone into public service and incurred heavy debt on the assumption that the loan forgiveness programs will remain intact may be in for a rude surprise.

Click on the post for the full story in the New York Times.

Audio; Pres. Obama nominates Judge Sotomayor

Click on the post for the audio.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Virtual Theodore Robinson

Click on the post for a virtual tour of some of Theodore Robinson's works. Enjoy.

Video: Audio: Recent Wind Turbine Hearings at State Capitol

Click on the post for the latest audio and video from the Better Plan blog of the wind turbine hearings at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gazette: OpEd: Should "empathy" overrule "law"?

Click on the post for the OpEd in the Gazette today.

Audio: MPR: Minn: Gov. Pawlenty will use "unallotment" in lieu of budget agreement to trim budget

He will delay, not cut, k12 budgets, will cut state aids to cities but may spare some small cities with special situations. Click on the post for the interview on MPR.

Video: 8 of 8: Richard Krake: The Art of Theodore Robinson

Video: 8 of 8: Richard Krake, artist, painter, speaks on "The art of Theodore Robinson."

Download File

Video: 7 of 8:Richard Krake: The Art of Theodore Robinson

Video: 7 0f 8: Richard Krake, Evansville Painter Presents "The art of Theodore Robinson" at the 2009 Eager Free Library Celebration of Artists.

Download File

OpEd: Uniform Standards for Wind are not green if they build the human health hazard right in

Recently the League of Conservation wrote the following about the move to let the PUC set uniform set back requirments for wind turbines:

"Support SB 185 & AB 256: Establish Uniform
Guidelines for Wind Power
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters urges you to support SB 185 & AB 256,
which are before a joint hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Utilities,
Energy, and Rail and the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities on Tuesday.
Wind is a critical part of Wisconsin's plan to develop clean and renewable energy,
which reduces our dependence on dirtier fossil fuels and keeps more of our money
in-state. Unfortunately, the current patchwork of confusing and overly-restrictive
local regulations for permitting new wind farm developments has failed. SB 185 &
AB 256 will authorize the Public Service Commission to convene a stakeholder
committee that will establish uniform standards for regulating wind power. This
legislation is critical to meeting our renewable energy goals and reducing our global
warming pollution."

Interesting. It seems that building the negligent setback right in to uniform standards that disregard human health is green if we just call it "green."

The natural world it seems does not include humans. Be good to the the fish. Let the public be damned. That seems to be the conclusion I get from this position. And you?

OpEd: Toward an independent DNR---that puts citizens first....ditto for PUC

In the Conservation Priorities for 2009-2010, the League of Conservation Voters has written:

"In the last fifteen years, politically motivated legislative actions have eroded the
integrity of Wisconsin’s conservation and outdoor traditions. Such actions unnecessarily
jeopardize the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places where we
hunt, fish, and hike.

Two issues in particular have raised concerns over the integrity of natural resource
decision-making in Wisconsin:

» The change from an independent Department of Natural Resources
Secretary to a Governor-appointed Secretary in 1995.
» The temporary or permanent delay of votes for Natural Resources Board
appointees by the state Senate.

Independent DNR Secretary

The Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) oversees the agency
responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws and rules that protect air,
water, land, and sporting opportunities in Wisconsin.

Prior to 1995, the Secretary of the DNR was selected by the Natural Resources Board
(NRB). The citizen-based NRB was originally organized in1928 to reduce the role of
politics in conservation matters. Its formation made Wisconsin a national leader in
resource management for nearly seventy years.

Unfortunately, that came to an end in 1995, when the authority to appoint the
Secretary of the DNR was removed from the NRB. Instead, the DNR Secretary became
a partisan political appointment of the Governor.

Click on the post for the full text of the priorities.

Pioneer Press: St. Paul braces for Big Budget cuts--layoffs

Click on the post for the details.

CapTimes: OpEd: Lucas: Who is the biggest loser? Favre, Tarkenton, or....Lucas---

Click on the post. You make the call.

Gazette: Janesville Schools face multi-million dollar shortfall

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WCLO: Police stand off ends peacefully

click on the post for the latest.

Video: 6 of 8: Richard Krake: The Art of Theodore Robinson

Video: 6 of 8: Richard Krake presents at Eager Free Library on "The Art of Theodore Robinson, May 21, 2009

Download File

Video: 5 of 8: Richard Krake: "The Art of Theodore Robinson

Video: 5 of 8: Richard Krake, painter, speaks at the Eager Free Library, Evansville, Wi on "The Art of Theodore Robinson, May 21, 2009

Download File

Music; Timeout: Mayo Clinic Lounge Duet

Click on the post to check it out.

Better Plan: Wind Turbine Siting: Letters to the editor of Wisconsin State Journal

Click on the post to see what the people are saying.

StarTribune; Home Price drop in March for Twin Cities was largest nationwide.

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

Drudge: Police Staffing Crisis in Ohio---going nationwide?

Click on the post for the latest. I thought that one of the conditions of the stimulus for these jobs was the community agreeing to fund the officers in the out years---I guess that is just a wink and a nod and a promise to be broken.

Washington Times; 60% Reversal rate raises questions about Sotomayor

Check it out. Click on the post for the full story.

UK Telegraph: China warns US Federal Reserve about printing money...

Click on the post for the latest.

Channel 3000: Columbia County Wind Turbine Battle Heats up

Click on the post for the latest.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wed Night: Free: At Monona Terrace

Video: 4 of 8: Richard Krake: The Art of Theodore Robinson

Video: 4 of 8: Richard Krake speaks at the Eager Free Public Library on May 21, 2008 on "The Art of Theodore Robinson.

Download File

Video: 3 of 8: Richard Krake; "The Art of Theodore Robinson"

Video: 3 of 8: Richard Krake, painter, presentation at the Eager Free Library on "The Art of Theodore Robinson."

Download File

Video: 2 of 8: Richard Krake: "The Art of Theodore Robinson"

Video: 2 of 8: Richard Krake speaks on "The Art of Theodore Robinson at Eager Free Library Celebration of Artists 2009.

Download File

Video: 1 of 8: Richard Krake: "The Art of Theodore Robinson"

Video: 1 of 8: Richard Krake, Painter, speaks at the Eager Free Library on "The Art of Theodore Robinson" during the celebration of Artists 2009

Download File

ZPM---the Car that runs on Air

Click on the post for the latest.

CapTimes; Cap Times Speaks on the Beer Tax.....

Click on the post for the latest.

Monday, May 25, 2009

NYT: The Brain Drain on Wall Street -----

The best and brightest of the thieves of Wall Street are leaving...and some leaving the country....take time to celebrate their departure. Click on the post for the latest in the New York Times.

NYT: Moody downgrades all local government debt in United States

Click on the post for the recent article in the New York Times.

Video: President Barak Obama---Memorial Day 2009

Click on the post for the video of the President's speech.

Scenes of Memorial Day--2009--Evansville, Wisconsin

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Memorial Day: 2009: EHS Marching Band


click to enlarge.
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Scenes of Memorial Day 2009


Click to enlarge.
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Audio: Memorial Day Address---

Audio: Memorial Day Address: Evansville, Wisconsin; 2009

MP3 File

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Video; Meet the Evansville Artists--2009

Video: Eager Free Library: May 21, 2009: Introduction of the Artists that are displaying art right now in the Library

Download File

Audio: Celebration of Evansville Artists 2009

Audio: Richard Krake Speaks on "The Art of Theodore Robinson---keynote speech for Eager Library Celebration of Evansville Artists on Display at Eager Library Now----

MP3 File

Yahoo: Finance; Foreclosure Explosion--the gated communities are next

Click on the post for the latest from Yahoo finance.

Municipal Court Report; Brodhead: May 2009

Click on the post for the latest.

TONIGHT: Artists Exhibit at Eager Free Library---

CapTimes: A Sketch of Madison in the Great Depression

Click on the post for the article today.

Travel: Jefferson's Monticello-----

The brand new visitor center has opened at Monticello in Virginia. Click on the post for the website and the virtual tour if you cannot get there for a personal visit.

I recently took the tour and was very pleased. Touring his home really gives one a perspective on his life and achievements.

Park Board; The Escape of the Minnows----

Read all about the recent Evansville Park Board meeting and the escape of the minnows. Click on the post.

New Business Opening: Phillips Photography opens at 11 West Main in Evansville

NOW OPEN! Phillips Photography has opened their doors for business on Main Street in Evansville!! Phillips Photography is owned by Justin & Jennifer Phillips of Evansville. Justin has been a photographer for over 15 years. Phillips Photography was started in April 2008 and has recently moved to 11 West Main Street, next to Evansville Floral. Check out the many photo galleries online at www.phillipsphotostudio.com anytime or stop by and visit the studio.

The new location allows Phillips Photography to offer a full service portrait studio at competitive pricing. Why drive to Janesville or Madison when you can have all your needs met a block away? Our main studio hours are 10am - 3pm Tuesday through Saturday or by appointment. We are also available to book appointments during the evenings or weekends at anytime convenient for our customers. Just give us a call at 882-9030 to schedule a time. We can also take the photo shoot outdoors at the newly filled Lake Leota or just about anywhere else you would like a portrait taken.

Click on the post for the website.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blogs: Better Plan: Wind Turbine Hearing Transcripts

Click on the post for the complete transcripts of the recent wind turbine hearing at the Wisconsin State Capital.

Blog Corner: Dateline Chasin the News speaks on Police Station

Click on the post for the latest.

Background: W. Virginia: The Secret of the Greenbrier----

There was a secret that Americans did not know---in the event of attack, there were secret quarters that could accomodate the entire Congress and the President----and it was at the Greenbrier---click on the post for the view.

At the back of the Greenbrier, built into the mountain, were added sleeping and meeting room accomodations for our government. I assume that the Congress would have been evacuated by helicopter rather than the 4 hour auto trip from Washington.

I hope to have some photos of the "Bunker Tour" shortly. Stay tuned to the Evansville Observer. I do hope to review the medical care of the wounded at the battle of Lewisberg today, so I can compare and contrast to current modes of care.

Discover Media Works----the Background

Click on the post for the background of Discover Media Works, the firm that the City of Evanville plans on hiring to tell the story of Evansville in media---the city plans on using the revenue stream from sales tax to pay the bill.


Evansville Common Council sets Special meeting Tuesday--Marketing on agenda

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

On Assignment: Dateline Virginia: Lewisberg----The Battle of Lewisberg Reinactment

The Observer is on location covering the reinactment of The Battle of Lewisberg---full schedule today and tomorrow---hope to have pics next week on the battle in the streets.

Click on the post for the agenda of battles.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Slideshow: On Location: Greenbrier: plus Civil War Battle

Click on the post for the slideshow.

Evansville Park Board Meets Monday----

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Evansville May Municipal Court Report

Click on the post for the municipal court Report for Evansville, May 2009.

Mailbag: Reader writes re Wind Turbine Hearing

In these exceptionally hard economic times we have an industry that is flourishing in Wisconsin. The wind turbine industry has in 2008 enjoyed exceptional growth by a factor of 9. Does this sound like an industry that is stalled out, restricted in any way, or one that needs help from Lawmakers in Madison? They want it all, but all has yet to be determined. A 9 fold increase is not enough. This industry is being driven by greed.

All Americans are suffering the consequences of the greed driven business practices of the banking industry and Wall Street. While Governments, businesses, and families, are experiencing major budget shortfalls the wind industry wants more, more from the taxpayers, more from the ratepayers. These greed driven business practices are sure to have a negative impact on the long term renewable energy goals in Wisconsin.

The unprecedented growth in installed wind capacity in 2008 indicates there is no need for and type of siting reform. Many communities are welcoming wind turbines with open arms. There is no need to force residents to live under turbines. Wind developers must continue to work with local Governments for approval of wind turbine projects.

A one size fits all rule developed by the PSC and wind developers will not adequately address the diverse land use in Wisconsin. Only local control of land use can protect the health and safety of residents, agricultural activity, and property rights. The PSC and wind developers asked for siting control last year. One year later the PSC has not brought anything to the table for review, instead they continue to ask for a blank check.

Any siting rules must be written and approved by elected officials, with input from professionals in noise, health, safety, agriculture, property rights, and property values. This new set of rules would then be given to the PSC to implement and police.

Are we really missing out on 3.5million in revenue for each turbine not built? That’s 3.5 million over 30 years not each year. Where would all this money come from? Do turbines print $100 bills as they rotate? No, all the money comes from the taxpayers and rate payers. Wind developers will take our tax and rate dollars tack on a health profit margin for themselves and the return a few dollars to landowners and local governments. Remember, the greed driven wind developers are here in Wisconsin to make money, not produce renewable energy.

Wisconsin is an agricultural state. Process vegetable business is a $750,000,000.00 industry that employs thousands of people. This industry will be put in serious jeopardy if growers are unable to apply pesticides in a timely manner with aerial application. Wisconsin’s grain crop does not rely as heavily on aerial application, but it can increase crop yields by as much as 30%. It was made clear at the hearing that not one pilot in Wisconsin will fly inside or within ½ mile downwind of a turbine facility.

This wind industry needs to slow down. A state wind moratorium should be put in place until all the negative impacts of wind turbines can be addressed and properly regulated.

This hysterical approach to wind development by advocate’s, and developers is going to harm Wisconsin’s citizens and our economy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Red Alert: Wind Turbine Siting Hearing Today---Wisconsin State Capitol

Click on the post to see Better Plan blog and the video of the latest wind farm in Wisconsin and an indication of how close these wind turbines might be...and are..



11:00 AM

At the Capitol

Room 411 South

Joint hearing of Assembly and Senate Energy Committee on SB 185: regarding Turbine Siting Reform

Mailbag: Reader warns about brand of curcuit breakers

Click on the post for the research article re Federal. Enjoy. If you have a question, your electrician can advise.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Minutes; Finance says TWO bays for EMS

Click on the post for the latest.

Breaking News: LIVE: Pres. Obama: 12:30

This afternoon, President Obama will be making a major announcement: health care industry leaders are agreeing to take steps that could save the country $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

The coalition taking this action represents union members, insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, and they have agreed to reduce the annual health care spending growth rate by 1.5 percentage points for the next 10 years.

This is big news for our country and for families who are struggling with the high cost of health care. The steps these organizations have agreed to take, combined with comprehensive health care reform, could result in savings of roughly $2,500 for American families.

The President will be speaking today about this important step forward, and you can watch his remarks live at 12:30 PM EDT on www.HealthReform.gov. While you’re there, be sure to sign the statement of support for comprehensive reform and encourage your friends and colleagues to visit the site.
Today’s announcement is another big step toward comprehensive reform and with your help we will make reform a reality.

Jenny Backus
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


"Accreditation is about more than paper"---a true story

Over 30 years ago, when I was in the hospital business, I recall the tension of the whole organization as we prepared for accreditation. I knew nothing about it except that the budget category for photocopy expense was budgeted to double. The hospital administrator called a meeting in the auditorium, a very rare occurence, when all the key people in the organization could hear at the same time what was required. It was a short meeting.

The administrator began by noting that for some, this whole process might seem like just a lot of paperwork----but it was far more than that. It was essential that every employee of the organization knew what the proper procedures were, and knew why they were required. The inspectors could ask anyone a question about anything, and during the audit, each employee would respond. Training was an ongoing process, but it was essential to know before the audit that everybody was on the same page as to what was the paper procedure and the real procedure, and that they be IDENTICAL.

Accreditation was not just posing to be the best. It was about being the quality that we aimed for.

I never forgot that.

Quote of the Day---

(Ed.note: The quote below is from the Evansville school reports for May 2009. It appears that the latest research says one's IQ can be increased in the school years, but there is apparently some concern that too much of an increase may be harmful....."

"The spring conference was interrupted with many phone calls and conversations between us and our
districts about swine flu. In between we had an excellent conference! I attended two sessions held as a
follow-up to key note speaker Ian Jukes. Jukes had been working diligently for over 20 years to get
schools to realize how they need to change to meet the impact of technology on our schools. He
emphasizes a project based approach that engages students, provides access to all the technologies they
are comfortable using outside of school, and prepares them for independence. A major concern of his is
that our current school model creates dependency on the part of students as well as teachers. He also
included information on the amazing progress being made in brain research. Most of what we were taught
as cutting edge 10 years ago appears to be simplistic or just plain wrong. There is ample evidence that IQ
can be increased throughout the school age years. One interesting finding is that there is very little impact
on success of having an IQ over 120. Social, political and communication skills emerge as greater key

Evansville School Reports---May 2009

Click on the post for the reports that will be discussed today.

Evansville School Board Meets Today---Half Day Kindergarten on Agenda; Low Enrollment Courses

Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda
Monday, May 11, 2009
5:30 p.m.
Theodore Robinson Intermediate School LMC
420 S. Fourth Street
Note, public notice of this meeting given by posting at the District Office, Levi Leonard Elementary School
Office, Theodore Robinson Intermediate School Office, J.C. McKenna Middle School Office, High School
Office, Evansville School District Web Site: Evansville.k12.wi.us, and by forwarding the agenda to the
Evansville Review, M&I Bank, Union Bank & Trust and Eager Free Public Library
Mission Statement: The Evansville Community School District, in active partnership with
families and the community, will provide a positive learning environment that challenges all
students to achieve personal excellence and become contributing citizens of the world
I. Roll Call: Michael Pierick Tina Rossmiller Dennis Hatfield Sharon Skinner
Melissa Hammann Kathi Swanson Jeff Herbers
II. Public Announcements/Upcoming Events:
• Recognition of Staff/Retirements – June 3, 3:30 p.m., High School PAC
• Last Day of School: June 9, K-8; June 10, High School
• High School Graduation, Friday, June 12, 7:00 p.m.
• Back to School Days – August 13 and 19
• Heroin Issues in Rock County
III. Public Presentations. Regarding Items Not on the Agenda. Items Related to the Agenda
Presented at This Time if the Citizen Needs to Leave.
IV. District Administrator Report – Energy Conservation and Economic Development Stimulus
V. Principals'/Administrators' Report – Staff Development, Celebrate, Gifts/Donations, and
Energy Conservation.
VI. Information & Discussion:
A. REACh Presentations.
B. Middle and High School Student Handbooks.
C. Half Day Kindergarten.
D. Field Trips:
a. Germany Field Trip.
b. Baseball Overnight.
E. 2009-2010 Board Goals.
F. Board Development Committee.
G. Facilities and Transportation Committee Report.
a. Report on Visitor Bleachers
H. Finance Committee Report and Budget Update.
a. Update on Program Based Budget Process.
I. First Reading of Policies: #363.2-Computer Network Policy K-12 Students; #542.1-Support
Staff Negotiations; #554-Network Computing and Telecommunications: Faculty and Staff;
#560-Absence for Religious Holidays; #672-Purchasing; #672.2-Local Purchasing; #690-
School Properties Disposal Procedure; #810-Goals for Positive Relations; #833-Motorized
Vehicles on School Property; #881-Relations With Parent and Civic Organizations; #882-
Relations With Local Government Authorities; #883-Relations With Police Authorities;
#891-Cooperative Educational Programs.
J. Second Reading of Policies: #345.6-Graduation Requirements; #661.3-Personal Checks
Returned for Non-Sufficient Funds; #663-Bonded Employees and Officers; #664-Cash in
School Buildings; #673-Payment Procedures; #681-Accounting System; #682-Financial
Reports and Statements; #683-Inventories; #684-Audits; #830-Use of School Facilities; and
#860-Visitors to the Schools.
VII. Business (Action Items):
A. Approval of Field Trip to Germany and Baseball Overnight Trip.
B. Approval of Social Studies K-12 Alignment Document.
C. Approval of Advanced Biology Textbooks.
D. Approve High School Low Enrollment Courses.
E. Approval of Policies: #640-State and Federal Aid Eligibility Determination; #651-
Revenues From State and Federal Tax Sources; #652-Revenues From Investments; #653-
Revenues From School Owned Real Estate; #654-Grants and Gifts From Private Sources;
#657.2-Student Financial Aid; and #661-Depository And Disbursement of District Funds.
F. Approval of April Regular and Special Meeting Minutes.
G. Approval of April Bills and Receipts.
VIII. Set Next Agenda.
IX. Upcoming Meeting Dates:
• Negotiations – EEA (Teacher) – May 7 and May 14, 4:30 pm, District Office.
• Facilities and Transportation Committee Meeting – May 11, 4:30 pm, TRIS LMC.
• Budget Finance Committee Meeting – May 18, 5:15 pm, District Office.
• Policy Committee Meeting – May 19, 8:00 am, District Office.
• Negotiations – Food Service – May 21, 2:30 pm, District Office.
X. Executive Session – Under Wisconsin Statute 19.85(1)(c)(e)(f)(g) to Discuss Negotiations and
District Administrator Evaluation.
XI. Adjourn.
This notice may be supplemented with additions to the agenda that come to the attention of the Board prior to the meeting. A final
agenda will be posted and provided to the media no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting or no later than 2 hours prior to the meeting
in the event of an emergency.
Persons needing special accommodations or more specific information about the agenda items should call 882-5224, Ext. 3387, at least
24 hours prior to the meeting.
Posted: 5/6/09

Yahoo: Krugman: "The Lost Decade"----

Japan is the model for the U.S. recovery and it will not look pretty. Click on the post for the article in Yahoo today.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pioneer Press: Bayport, Mn. City Council to address possible cut in City Administrator pay

The Bayport administrator might be a little overpaid---in a town of 3500, where half of the citizens are in the Stillwater Prison, his salary sets the top of the range.

Click on the post for the full story.

Yahoo: Finance: William Black: The Boondogle

Click on the post for the latest.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

WSJ: Oregon Schools considering utilizing rather than fighting virtual

Click on the post for the latest.

Notice of Open Book---Evansville

Notice of Open Book
City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street
Evansville, WI

The 2009 Assessment Roll will be available for inspection beginning the afternoon of May 27, 2009 at City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin, during regular business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Assessor, Dean Peters, will have Open Book and be available to answer questions on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, from 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. Please schedule an appointment with him by calling Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc., at 1-800-721-4157.

The 2009 Board of Review will be held on Tuesday, June 2, 2009, from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Third Floor of City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. The Board of Review may not hear an objection to the valuation of property unless, at least 48 hours before the Board’s scheduled hearing, the objector provides to the Board’s Clerk written or oral notice of intent to file an objection.

Judy Walton
City Clerk

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mailbag: Update; Rep. Brett Davis Writes:

80th Assembly District Update - May 8, 2009
Budget Shortfall Highlights Need to Prioritize Spending
The biennial state budget process is continuing to unfold at the committee level this month, with many issues being discussed before the Joint Finance Committee (JFC). Earlier this week, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) revised its revenue estimates for the state budget. The initial reports are that the state is facing an additional tax revenue shortfall of up to $1.5 billion over the next two years. JFC decided to delay further action until more detailed reports were available. Although this grim economic news is not welcome, it should strengthen the notion that our state needs a budget that is not only fiscally responsible, but also has a plan to improve the job creation climate in our state.

Moving forward, it is important we prioritize state spending on programs that will help get our economy back on track and create jobs. One such program that is important to economic development is the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). The WTCS provides an excellent education option for our state’s employers and workers. The Technical Colleges have been a high demand resource that gives those just entering the workforce, and those who have recently been laid off, the skills they need to make a living and raise a family.

I believe that WTCS must have the tools they need to help get our workforce back on their feet. Since 2003, state aids to WTCS totaled $118.4 million a year, without an increase. Governor Doyle’s budget proposal actually cut state aids to WTCS budget by $3.37 million. The other main funding source of the Technical College System is property taxes, and a property tax increase to help foot the bill must not be an option.

Therefore, I am supportive of an option to help the WTCS handle the increase in worker training demand in the short term by allocating $35 million ($17.5 million in ‘09-10 and ‘10-11) of the federal economic stimulus funds for supplemental funding to our technical colleges. It included a clause specifying that the funding should be prioritized to high demand programs with waiting lists. Unfortunately, this option was voted down in JFC, but I am hopeful we can amend the budget at the next stage to include this option.

In addition, JFC took up the Governor’s proposed Regional Transit Authority (RTA) provision. In Dane County, a half-cent sales tax could be imposed to pay for commuter rail and other transit projects. The final provision that passed would allow an un-elected board to impose a 0.5% sales tax increase in Dane County to fund an RTA even if its voters oppose the sales tax increase in a non-binding referendum. According to the LFB, it is estimated to be an increase in the sales tax of over $20 million, or $172 per household.

Although I believe we need to discuss transportation issues and find ways to address pollution and emissions, I believe more taxpayer protections need to be included, especially for residents of Dane County that will not benefit from the proposed rail projects. As this issue moves along, I anticipate to author amendments when the budget comes to a vote before the full State Assembly.

With the state and national economy remaining weak, it is important we act at the state level to pass a state budget that will help, not hinder, our economic recovery. By prioritizing state spending to invest in programs like the Technical College System, we can give workers the continuing education tools they need to succeed when the economy rebounds. At the same time, we need to enact a fiscally responsible state budget that does not increase the already high tax burden on families.

Mailbag: I and E Club: Meets Wed. May 13--6:30PM--Copyright in focus---Speaker Elizabeth T. Russell

Hello Everyone:

Just a reminder of the I&E Club meeting on Wed, May 13, at the Eager Economy Building, 7 East Main Street, Evansville, 6:30 - 8:30 PM.

The guest speaker this month will be Elizabeth T Russell. Ms. Russell holds an undergraduate degree in music and earned her law degree from New York's Pace University. She is admitted to practice law in New York, Connecticut and Wisconsin. A former arts administrator, Elizabeth is a solo practitioner focusing on copyright, trademark and arts and entertainment law. She is the author of Art Law Conversations: A Surprisingly Readable Guide for Visual Artists. Her full bio appears on her website: www.erklaw.com.

I hope you all can join us...please bring a friend(s)!

Best Regards,

Cindy Hammer
Evansville Area I&E Club

Video: Yahoo Finance; William Black---The stress Test Lie.

Click on the post for the former regulator assessment.

Video; CSI: Paul Ryan speaks on the budget; On GM; On Energy.....

Click on the post for the latest.

USA Today: Obama to Unemployed --More Help is on the Way---

Click on the post for the latest.

Gazette; Beloit; Running the fleet on Water

Beloit is becoming a leader in energy innovation. Click on the post for the latest.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

TwinCities.com: Cuts, Furloughs coming for Wisconsin State employees--and cities,schools

Click on the post for the latest.

Murdoch: Newspapers must charge for online content

Yes. Click on the post for the full article in marketwatch.

Goldman; Demographics and Depression

Demographics matter. Click on the post for an interesting analysis.

Audio: EMS Report: April 2009

Audio: Evansville EMS Report: April 2009

MP3 File

Evansville Police Report; April 2009

Audio; Evansville Police Report: April 2009

MP3 File

Gazette Extra: Applicants for Virtual Schools exceed Wisconsin cap---lottery next

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

USA Today: Is there a Kindle in Your Future?

The newly announced Kindle could mean a revolution for textbooks as well as newspapers---and anything that is distributed by syndication i.e. blogs. Soon, you can read lots of things wirelessly, for a fee. ....and for a price that will be much less than paper. How green is that?

Click on the post for the full story.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Audio: Public Safety: 5-6-2009:Police Station update

Public Safety: Police Station remodel update: 5-6-2009

MP3 File

Public Safety: May 5, 2009: College student HS coop program

Public Safety: May 5, 2009: Ald Jacobson asks the questions regarding college student hired for high school coop program for police dept.

MP3 File

CapTimes; $17 Million Verdict agains American Family reinstated

The Cap Times has the story. Click on the post.

Nostalgia: Audio: Council: Police Dept Budget: 9/24/2008

Audio: Police Budget 2008-9: Chief Scott McElroy discusses fleet, call for service increase ; expenses of relocation and more...

MP3 File

Gazette: Milton may get Federal Funding for Fire Station--80-90% covered by USDA and Homeland Security

But..but...they have wanted it for a long time. Click on the post for the full story.

Who wudda thunk that the grant was to be made to the US Dept of Agriculture. I expect by the end of today there will be thousands of grants submitted also. Stay tuned. These are real stories...it is not made up.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Public Safety Committee to Discuss Police Station remodel--Wed night

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Mailbag: Keeping Jobs in America Corner: Kenosha Engine Workers rally and ask help

On Monday, Kenosha community members rallied at the UAW Hall to protest the closing of their Chrysler Engine Plant in favor of factories in Mexico. To add insult to injury, these 800 jobs are being exported as part of a taxpayer funded bailout. Please copy and send the following message to the President:

Dear President Obama,

I call on you today to intervene to save the Chrysler Kenosha Engine Plant from closing at the same time that Chrysler will be opening an engine plant in Mexico. It would be a betrayal of your goal of investing in America if Chrysler is allowed to close the Kenosha plant and import the very same engine from Mexico.

You did the right thing by standing up to the wealthy investors to protect the pensions and health care of Chrysler retirees. Please do the right thing for 800 Wisconsin workers and force Chrysler to keep the Kenosha Engine Plant open.

Sign and Print Your Name
Include your address for verification purposes.

Your letters can be mailed to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Audio: Nostalgia: August 2008: Discussion of Police Station Remodel

Click on the post for the discussion at the Committee of the Whole in August 2008. Cars were planned to be stored inside the building. Mayor ask aloud about possiblity of additional floor to be put on for expansion plans. Enjoy.

White House: No Bailout for Newspapers----

Click on the post for the latest.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Mailbag: Eager Free Library Agenda for MAY-----

May 7th at 6:00 - To Kill a Mockingbird movie, book discussion and dessert buffet. Join us in the EFPL meeting room for a discussion of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and One Book One Town choice for 2009, led by Evansville High's English teacher Bill Hartje. Desserts mentioned in the book will be served. The Academy Award winning movie with Gregory Peck and a cameo by the young Robert Duvall as the recluse Boo Radley will be shown.

May 21st at 6:00 - Eager Free's 3rd Annual Local Artists Exhibit and Reception. Come meet some of Evansville's many fine artists and talk with them about their work. French food "From Monet's Table" will be served and prints by Evansville's American Impressionist Theodore Robinson will be on display. Local artist Rich Krake will talk a little about Theodore's life in Evansville and in Giverny, France, where he lived near Claude Monet and associated with many American and French Impressionists like Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sergeant, Theodore Earl Butler, Lilla Cabot Perry, Berte Morisot and others in Monet's orbit.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Audio: Shields & Brooks: PBS News Hour

Audio: Shields and Brooks commentary-on David Souter, On Chrysler...and much, much more.

MP3 File

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Observer Standard: NO DELAY

Audio podcast of local meetings on the Evansville Observer will be reported within one hour of the meeting, along with narrative. The Observer will continue to set the standard for local news. DELAY is not an enhancement of news distribution.

Make a note of it.

OpEd: The Magic of a full discussion:

It is interesting.

The history of Evansville.

The only city in America that had two referendums on the issue of the Iraq war.

The Union-Evansville discussion of wind turbine setback set the standard WORLDWIDE on the issue of turbine set back as relates to health and safety for citizens. The Evansville Observer has the traffic statistics to prove it.

The city of Evansville has national focus for the banking crisis in 2009 and the focus of ABC news on the power of local community banking to combat the sophistcated corrupt derivitive mentality of WALL STREET.

Why is it that with the tradition of the power of a full discussion that we cannot even consider a full discussion of our planning of a local siting plan for a police station?

It's time to review the press clippings and believe.

StarTrib: Minnesota Teachers seek 223M Pension Fund Bailout--Is Wisconsin Next?

Click on the post. We hear very little about the current valuation of school district pension funds and one wonders where and when the surprise will come. Stay tuned.

CapTimes; New "Mini-Marathon coming to Madison +5k---

Check this out. Plus party and entertainment afterward.

Books: Food Craving America: Kessler:

Foods capture the mind---click on the post for an interesting article about the recent book by former FDA Head Kessler.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Nostalgia: Nov. 2006: Mr. Bill Connors Speaks on Half-Day Kindergarten---Reviews the Numbers, the Logic

Click on the post for the presentation in 2006 by Mr. Bill Connors, former City of Evansville Administrator at the Evansville School Board Meeting considering Half Day Kindergarten. All of the arguments made then are relevent now.

Readers are urged to pick up a copy of the Evansville Review this week for an excellent article by Tammy Pomplun. I was ill and unable to attend this meeting, but..no problem---the parents who showed up were eloquent in explaining what an asset for our community Half Day Kindergarten was and what a loss losing it would be---and is.

It does appear that the Evansville school district plans on having some of the children who prefer half day just leave at noon----it is called the "pullout" version. Nice touch. Then the school plans on billing the State of Wisconsin for a full time student I presume.

Let me see. I cannot recall what they used to call that practice in Accounting 101. Maybe my readers can recall.

Statistics: Evansville Observer Podcast Listeners Growing

The statistics show that readers of the Evansville Observer are lisening in to Evansville City meetings, as well as other meetings, even Church sermons aka the Good News, and this growth has been seen since distribution in Itunes and Mediafly.com where people all across the nation can listen. The graph above is of just the listeners to City meetings.

The Evansville Observer has requested of the City of Evansville under the Freedom of Information Act, the release of the digital records of the Common Council and Planning Commission for podcasts. The City has refused this request on the basis that these are just private records so they can prepare minutes.

Ah yes. Memories of Richard Nixon.

Stay tuned. Listen in. Citizens want to know what their government is doing even if they cannot attend the lengthy meetings.