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Monday, August 31, 2009

Why it's a Community Center, not Senior Center

The Evansville Community Center project validation committee will meet tonight.

One of the very first decisions made several years ago, and explained by Chris Eager at a Evansville School Board meeting, was that due to the small number of seniors in Evansville, and the large amount of money needed to build a center, it was only feasible to create a Community Center that served all ages.

In the posts earlier below, see the number of seniors, Male and Female, and it is very clear that in order to have a chance of success, this must be a "circle of life" project. Stay tuned to the Evansville Observer for the minutes of the validation committee as they proceed.

Evansville: 2000: Census: Male

Click on the post for the data from the census.

Female: Age Distribution: Evansville 2000

Click on the post for the data.

Sustainability Corner

Sustainability is the ability to endure---and after touring the exhibits on the expenditures possible to attain sustainability...the debt involved is considerable. Click on the post for one site on how to be sustainable. I will post some video later.

Minn Rollergirls get attention

Packed between the Minnesota Gopher Marching Band and the Minnesota Viking pom squad and Harley riding Viking were the Minnesota Rollergirls.

One of the grandparents duly noted: "Oh those aren't college girls."

Click on the post.

Science and Religion Corner: On Hand Washing---

Yesterday on location at the Minnesota State Fair, was a hands on exhibit on hand washing---with visitors being able to wash their hands and then test how well they had done==by going through an ultraviolet booth. Big push coming now that the swine flu cases are set to spike, for all to be more aware of the need for better hand washing.

Ironic that the gospel yesterday was the one where the disciples did not hand wash and were criticized by the the Jewish elders.

School kids will be asked to stay home. Employees who are sick will be screened before they can come back to work. The swine flu press has been asleep and will awake shortly.

Invention corner: Travel: "Little Cloud Nine"

One of the problems of travelers on international flights is how to sleep in an effective position===I had the opportunity to preview the "Little Cloud Nine" inflatable sleeping aid and in fact had it demonstrated by the famous London Fly Girl who was in town from Germany. The "Little Cloud Nine" is being tested right now on some international flights.

If you lean back and sleep, you snore...so leaning forward is the key...Click on the post for the product web site. If you order.,..tell them that the Evansville Observer sent you.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Harvest Windmill Fest Coming

Vendors Needed for Evansville’s Harvest Windmill Fest

Oct 2,3 and 4th, 2009

Evansville, WI, August 28, 2009 — Evansville ’s 2nd Annual Harvest Windmill Festival is hosting a Buy Local Farmer’s Market on Sat, Oct 3rd from 10 AM to 3 PM at the corner of East Main and Union Street . Anyone within a 30 mile radius of Evansville who would like to sell their locally grown or produced consumable products is welcome to call to register. There is a nominal fee of $20 to participate. Should vendors also wish to sell on Sun, Oct 4th from noon until 3pm , there is no additional fee. Items such as vendor grown produce, jams, jellies, eggs, soaps, candles, cheese, meats, candy, herbs, spices, baked goods, canned foods, and non-alcoholic beverages, fresh & dried flowers are permitted.

Note: This year we will also be accepting craft or art vendors so watch for news to come regarding that.

For more information or to register, please contact the Evansville Chamber of Commerce by emailing evansvillecoc@litewire.net or calling 608-882-5131.

Video: Health care rountable discussion

Click on the post for a recent discussion.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Court Report: Brodhead; August 2009

Click on the post for the latest.

Football Corner: Viking fans excited about Favre and season

Click on the post for he new look in Minnesota. It appears that Favre will be playing on Monday night---relax. I'm on location and will do the local color. Regardless of how the season turns out, the objective of the Favre acquisiton has already been realized===there is excitement and twitter in Viking country.

NYT: Bank Losses drain FDIC fund

Click on the post for the latest.

Minutes: Case Validation Task Force: August 25, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Union Bank & Trust Meeting Room


Present: Chair Chris Eager, Betsy Ahner, Lori Allen, Thea Brunsell, Mary Calley, Toni Coats, John Decker, Ron DeKelver, Gordon Franklin, Nicole Hamby, Phil Hamilton, Bill Hartje, Carla Heimerl, Rose Helms, Fred Juergens, Jim Kopecky, Dan Laux, Tim Magee, Kolleen Onsrud, John Peterson, Gene Prudhon, Janis Ringhand, Sverre Roang, David Ross, Sherri Savchuk, Wally Shannon, Audrey Shomos, Diane Skinner, Gil Skinner, John Willoughby, Phil Woodworth, Richard Woulfe, Doug Zweizig, Consultant Kurt Saterbak. Absent: Barb Andrew, Matt Brown, Steve Hagen, Dan Janes, Michelle Sturz.

1. Call to order

Chair Chris Eager opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.

2. Introductions

Chair Chris Eager welcomed all participants and thanked them for being present, Chris asked everyone to keep an open mind and enjoy the process. Chris introduced Kurt Saterbak, consultant to the Friends of the Evansville Community & Senior Center.

3. Project Overview

Kurt Saterbak gave a general review of the current and proposed activities at the Center. A 4 minute video of amenities in the proposed center was viewed – woodworking shop, game room, craft room, community room, sitting/living room, with mention of existing programs – lunches, foot clinics, health fair, new opportunities abound. What can we be?

4. Campaign Process and Timeline – moved to follow Brainstorming.

5. Brainstorming Session
Basic elements for a vital small community –

1. Transportation
2. Shopping
3. Products & Services
4. Community Center
5. Education
6. Diversity
7. Open Environment
8. Economic Growth & Development
9. Vision
10. Good Chamber
11. Cooperation & Support
12. Health Care
13. Clean & Healthy City
14. Exercise Opportunities
15. Pride
16. Support For Youth
17. Safety Net
18. Investment In People & City
19. Good Neighbors
20. Political Balance
21. Communication Centers
22. Engaged Citizenry
23. Quality Infrastructure
24. Affordability For Citizens
25. Security In The Environment
26. Quality Libraries
27. Work Opportunities
28. Unique Attractions
29. Churches
30. Recreations/Parks
31. Public Safety
32. The Arts
33. Government
34. Public Works
35. Businesses
36. Banks
37. Historical Perspective
38. Child Care
39. Trust
40. Charities
41. Service Clubs
42. Volunteers
43. Variety Of Housing
44. Preservation Of Natural Beauty
45. Good Food
46. Healthy Food
47. Traditions
48. Civic Programs
49. Place To Have Civic & Town Hall Meetings
50. Education For Pet Care And Less Traditional Educational Needs
51. Job Center
52. Commercial Center
53. Entertainment

How would a community and senior center reflect the values of Evansville –

1. Faith In Selves
2. Caring Community
3. Networking
4. Face-Face Meetings & Connections
5. Care About Seniors
6. Caring Community In General
7. Put Our Money Where Our Mouth Is
8. Show Community Identity
9. Opportunity To Share Talents
10. Maintain New Friendships
11. Provide Services
12. Community Center Could Provide Space For A Lot Of #1 Questions
13. Exhibit Space For Art
14. Pride In Community
15. Ability To Share Resources – Tools Like Woodchucks Tools
16. Place To Promote
17. Celebrate & Encourage Volunteerism
18. Lifelong Learning
19. Have Fun
20. Venue For Celebrations
21. Promote Exercise & Health
22. Inclusionary
23. Local
24. Reflect Sense Of History
25. Investment
26. Circle Of Life
27. Attract And Retain People
28. Sense Of Belonging
29. Sense Of Place
30. Drawing Greater Community Into City

How will/could the new facility be used –

1. Meeting Space
2. Variety Of Events
3. Create Revenue
4. Networking
5. Blood Drives
6. Voting
7. Technology
8. Entertainment
9. Classes
10. Art Exhibits
11. Base For Field Trips
12. Travel Clubs
13. Partnerships With Schools
14. Mentorship Programs
15. Food Panty & Shelter
16. After School Events For Scouts
17. Multi Age Activities
18. Organized Activities For Kids During Non-School Time
19. Community Open-House/Expo
20. Accessible For Large Gatherings
21. Free Up Other Facilities
22. Politicians
23. Sports Lessons
24. Movie Nights
25. Emergency Location
26. Gardening
27. Swimming
28. Parties
29. Woodworking
30. 12 Hour Per Day Activities
31. Fundraiser Events
32. Specialized Library For Clientele
33. Good Use For Real Estate Parcel
34. Township Meeting
35. Concerts

How will this new Community & Senior Center facility benefit Evansville –

1. Additional Meeting Space & Classrooms
2. Space For Celebrations
3. Elicit A Sense Of Community
4. Keep People In Town
5. Location
6. Bring In Revenue
7. Enliven Downtown
8. Improve The Neighborhood
9. Cultural Programming
10. Sense Of Community/Pride
11. Market For Larger Groups In The Surrounding Area
12. Marketable To Families
13. Prevent Sprawl
14. Improve Economic Development; Attract New Community Members
15. Connection Between Generations
16. Accessible To All Ages
17. Supplies A Need For Seniors Who Are A Vital Part Of Our Community
18. Bring Seniors To Our Community
19. Cocktails Available
20. Air Conditioned
21. Handicap Access
22. Catering Kitchen
23. Draw People To Live Here
24. Central Meeting Place
25. Provide Educational Opportunities
26. Strengthen Community Ties
27. Good Way To Promote City

What questions do you still have about this project –

1. Can Alcohol Be Used, Served Or Sold
2. Who Will Run Facility – Board/Director/Etc.
3. How Will Positions Be Funded
4. What Is The Funding Stream For Entire Facility
5. Are Current Plans Too Much Or Too Little To Meet Needs Of Community
6. What Is The Mission And/Or Vision
7. What Is Distinction Between Senior & Community
8. Does Current Site Allow For Expansion
9. How Would Programming And Events Coordinate With Other Community Facilities Or Compete With Them
10. Timeline
11. Operations & Maintenance
12. Liability And Insurance
13. Security Inside And Outside Facility
14. Neighborhood Improvements
15. Is It In The Flood Plain
16. How Would Transportation Be Managed
17. Will Taxes Go Up
18. Will They Go Down
19. Employment Opportunities
20. Percent Of Pledges Needed To Start Project
21. Who Is Going To Pay For It And How Will It Be Paid For
22. Is It Feasible
23. Do We Have A Plan B
24. Is It Necessary
25. Parking
26. Role Of City
27. Other Sources Of Income - Such As Grants
28. Foundations
29. Government Programs
30. Is It Big Enough
31. Timing Of Project With Today’s Economic Conditions
32. Will Pledges Be A One Time Gift Or Over Time
33. Can We Get A Swimming Pool


4. Campaign Process and Timeline

Chris asked everyone to introduce themselves to their table mates as we skipped that process at the beginning of the meeting. We will meet again next week to finish the remaining questions in the brainstorming process, Monday, August 31, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at UB&T meeting room.

Adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Next meeting – Monday, August 31, 2009, 7:00 p.m., Union Bank & Trust

Gazette: Evansville School Board proposes 1.1% levy increase

Click on the post for the latest.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Audio; Evansville Community Center --Validation Committee

Audio; Evansville Community Center; Validation task force met to review mission, plan, and concerns prior to fund raising effort; This is the first 15 minutes of a 2 hour brain storming session of around 30 citizens who attended.

MP3 File

Gazette; Janesville denies rebuilt request----

Click on the post for the story in the Gazette. The Council found that rebuilding in the floodplain was unwise, and creating an emergency plan that would help homeowners rebuilt would only make matters worse and help the problem to be an eternal one.

WSJ: Registered Cars in Wisconsin Drops---surprise?

Click on the post for the story in the Wisconsin State Journal. Recent stories have indicated some surprise that people are actually conserving---less cars, less water, less purchasing, less....I thought that was the whole idea.

Tonight at the Evansville Public Works committee meeting, discussion will be whether there should be a rate structure that actually promotes conservation, by rewarding and not punishing low volume users of water. The inital rate filing by the Evansville City Engineer had reversed a long standing tradition of having a low fixed amount billed and then relying on the variable to pick up the rest of the revenue. The federal stimulus aid has modified some of the initial alarm, but the filing is still in place and was a hike from 2.40 per month as fixed to about $24.00. Stay tuned. Common Council will decide in September or October on the final mix between fixed and variable. The Mayor and the members of the Public Works indicated they wanted options to consider.

The notion that we can fund a project to be "conservative" and "save" on windmills, and then turn around and create a rate structure that harms the person who conserves makes a mockery of "green" and makes us the laughing stock of all. Stay tuned.

CapTimes: Ron Mcrae---some alternative ideas on the Edgewater

Click on the post for some commentary.

Gazette; Favre will play Monday night--

Click on the post for the latest.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Video: 3 of 3: City engineer talks of Water/Sewer rates

Audio; The pros and cons of a "Conservation rate" are discussed. Public Works asks for some options to choose from.

Download File

Video: 2 of 3: City Engineer: Sewer rates discussed

Video: 2 of 3; Dave Sauer discusses Fixed/Variable rate setting and the concept of a "conservation rate"---says it is more "risky"--admits that the city can revise the mix in the future if necessary.

Download File

Video: Evansville Water Rates--1 of 3: Fixed; Variable;

Video: Public Works: New Water and Sewer Rates discussed; Initial rate filing for new waste water treatment plant was with heavy fixed fee; Public Works discussed some options for a "conservation rate" that would provide an incentive for conservation. Janesville is having the same discussion.

Download File

Star Tribune: NO COLA for Social Security next year--check to go down

Click on the post for the story in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.

Pioneer Press; St. Paul: Woodbury Upscale Mall faces foreclosure

Click on the post for the latest.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gazette; Janesville ponders "conservation rate" for water utility--ditto for Evansville

Click on the post for the article in the Janesville Gazette. Janesville may approve a "conservation" rate....Evansville is considering one also. What is the difficulty of the pondering----is conservation just rhetoric or is it real? Stay tuned.

Video: Finance; Swonk: CEO's still in Denial after all these years

Denial....lies...and incompetence...are still among us in the financial sector...and what about the future? Any plans to make the white collar crimes seen in the past two years punishable in the future. Click on the post for the analysis.

Twitter: Suicide if Twitter hooks up with Google

Click on the post for the latest.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Video: 1 of 3: Art of Jonathan Wilde

Video: 1 of 3: Docents introduced from the Chasen Museum of Madison; Why did Jonathan Wilde live here?

Download File

Yahoo: Finance; Appraisers who travel long distances are a threat to your health

Click on the post. Guess where the appraisers who appraise our fair city are located?

Video: 3 of 3: Art of Jonathan Wilde

Video: Classic painting of the interior of the home of Jonathan Wilde in Evansville---explanation by docents and relatives too....

Download File

Video: 2 of 3: "The Art of Jonathan Wilde"

Video: 2 of 3: "Art of Jonathan Wilde" presented at Theodore Robinson annual meeting---classic painting of Wilde features Evansville--with commentary from docents, family and friends.

Download File

Gazette; Rock County lands flood grant---

Click on the post for the story. Do the math.

Audio; " The Art of Jonathan Wilde"

(Ed.note: Selected video clips of this meeting will be coming on The Observer. )

Audio; Annual Meeting of the Theodore Robinson Society, Evansville, Wis, August 20, 2009; Docents Judith Mjaanes and Audrey Dybdahl from the Chazen Museum in Madison, Wi present slides, commentary, and interact with friends and relatives who knew Jonathan Wilde. 1 hr.

MP3 File

Gazette; Blogs; Outsource the appointed suits; leave the denim alone

(Ed.note: In the blog comment posts today in the Gazette, under the article by Mr. peck on the DNR, appears the following comment. Click on the post for the article.

"Governors have too much power already. I say we agree to let the Canadians appoint our appointed officials, and we'll appoint theirs. That way, no conflicts of interest. Or the Mexicans. Either way."

"Goodboy" had the above comment in today's OpEd blog column by Mr. Peck----and instantly one can see this individual has hit on the solution---Americans have been concentrating on how to cut further from the denim workers, those who have been taking it in the shorts for the past two years in terms of damage to their work hours, rate of wages, pensions, ...well everything...and yes...they have been taking it for a little longer than just the last few years.

The revolutionary concept is to outsource leadership itself---O.K., it would change the concept of "giving back to the community" and would change to a tradelast concept==="giving back to another community".


Eager Library Faces Computer Upgrade needs

Click on the post for the minutes of the July 2009 meeting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

WSJ: Some Retailers launch Christmas in July

Click on the post for the latest---plus the song.

Video: Yahoo: The Drive Through Wedding---

Click on the post for the latest trend from Florida. I know just where this might fit here in town. Where would you suggest?

Star Tribune; Unemployment rate falls to 8.1% in Minn on Jobs gain in July

Click on the post for the latest.

Gazette; Blogs: Teachers Salaries raise eyebrows

Audio: Nostalgia: 2005: The Case of The Roundabout

(Ed.note: The roundabout still may be built someday on Hwy 14. Some of us may not live to see the day, so I have republished this little bit of history for all to remember it by.)

How I avoided a crisis in our town

MP3 File

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wind Turbine Hearings: Town of Union, Wisconsin; 2008: Audio/Video

22 Audio and Video files are available on podcast, single entry, unlimited download per entry fee. Enjoy.

Twitter / Search - favre

Twitter / Search - favre

Click on the link for the latest "twitter" on Favre.

Yahoo: Sports: Rumor: Vikings to release Jackson?

These are divided times...Difficult times...but there is one common thread we can all agree on----Let's beat the Minnesota Vikings!!!!!Click on the post for the story in Yahoo.

MinnPost; Klobuchar; The Second Reincarnation of Brett Favre

Click on the post for a classic.

WSJ: UB&T buys Amcore Bank branches in Belleville and New Glarus

Click on the post for the latest.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gazette: Sanford to close Janesville Plant

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

Gazette; Favre meets with Vikings...may "unretire?"

Click on the post for the latest.

Freys Home after Wonderful Trip to Beijing, China

click to enlarge

Reflection: In Difficult Times.....Cancel the Travel and Entertainment-----

In difficult corporate times, one of the first categories of expense to be cut is travel and entertainment....the theory is....in times of difficulty....sacrifice is necessary...and then when profits have returned....THAT will be the time to celebrate...and not before.

In some cultures...such as government cultures...this rule is not followed...and the custom of entitlement makes those employed blind to the plight of the general population. Employees feel they are entitled to the perks they have always had...and the paid donuts...and the travel...and all the extras. After all...did not John Maynard Keynes himself say that it was up to government to "fill the gap" during difficult times..and what better gap than donuts could there be??

Thus cutting the budget pertains to others, not themselves....thus...they don't get it when regular folks say "Cut the donuts!!"...Make a note of it.

In review...it does appear from an intense analysis of our own family travel pattern, during the crisis times, there is an intense desire to get away for a break, and rather than travel less.... the numbers appear that we are traveling ....more. So---it is the reverse Travel and Entertainment rule.

If you know someone who has cut....write.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Economic Development Meets TOMORROW--August 18th

Click on the post for the latest.

City of Evansville releases budget suggestions presented via email

(Ed.note: Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the City of Evansville has relased the following idea summaries from email ideas submitted to it for budget reduction.)

Emailed Budget Suggestions
Suggestions that have been added since the 7/31/09 update are in italics.

General Suggestions – All Departments:
1. You can’t deplete services to balance a budget, but some areas could reduce expenditures, but then the argument of why us and not them comes to play (of which you may not have a choice in the matter either) and it will be depicted as playing favorites.
2. Everyone getting a paycheck from the city should take a day off. Everyone: the council, the administrator, the judge, all the employees. Whether you make $10 or $50 an hour it will add up and everyone is sharing in it.

Capital Budget:
1. One question that I feel is a big one is, how does the capital budget play into the numbers game of the budget. I could see not starting a project or projects that would cover the shortfall.

1. Encourage all elected officials to forego their stipends for the next fiscal year. Those who will not do so should face opposition in coming elections. Our leaders must lead in times of fiscal crisis.
2. Perhaps some consolidation of services could result from closer proximity of PD to the City Hall.
3. Eliminate the City Administrators position. We have a very capable mayor and operated for many years without an administrator. We have in place plenty of qualified board members and councils to over see the Mayor. We have a Finance Director, City Clerk, Deputy Clerk, Human Resource Director and many assistants that run City Hall fine and would do fine w/ just the Mayor over seeing them. They all know city business very well.

1. Examine very seriously the possibility of cutting staff at the police department -- I've been looking over the "incident reports" in the Review. It appears that there are less than two incidents per hour, and a sizeable fraction of those are assisting people or handling phone messages at 535 E. Main, where the Police Station currently sits. How many people are necessary to handle two incidents per hour? Another sizeable number of incidents are "security checks". Exactly what does this mean -- a cop in a car drives by a place? There have been over 40 in the last two weeks at Antes Drive. Does this mean a cop drives through the park about 3 times a day? Each counts as an "incident"? Maybe I'm way off base, but please look into staff reduction at the PD.
2. Sell the current police station on Main St and move operations to the old fire station as soon as possible. Perhaps some consolidation of services could result from closer proximity of PD to the City Hall.

Public Works:
1. W&L could share equipment with Public Works which would spread out those purchases for DPW equipment to later dates.
2. In the winter if there is no snow what exactly do they do? How come I see hired summer help doing all the work while the full time year around people stand around doing nothing? Lets cut the summer help and require the full time employees to do work. Let's create a work cycle in the winter where some work a second shift to reduce overtime for snow removal on a late afternoon shift.

1. Reduce mowing frequency of city parks; this may keep the city from hiring a seasonal worker or two in the PW Department for 2010.
2. Sell the city-owned parkland on S. 4th street (near the college apartments) to a developer.

1. Council should consider an increase in cemetery fees. The cemetery should not be a drain on finances but should provide income to the city or be sold to a private group.

Water & Light:
1. Water & Light is actually exempt from this process, because they are a revenue based enterprise, not fund based like the city side of the budget.
2. W&L could share equipment with Public Works which would spread out those purchases for DPW equipment to later dates.
3. Council should consider an increase in payment from the water and light utility. The benefits of owning our own utility need to be further explored.
4. Start w/ cuts w/ Water & Light. They have more employees and vehicles then any other city department. They have new buildings and many new pieces of equipment. When there is no building going on in the city why are we building them new buildings and buying them new vehicles? They hire out most of their work. Why am I seeing W&L employees weed whacking and mowing lawn? Do they not have enough of their own work to do? At a typical incident when I drive by I see 4 guys standing around talking while one is actually doing the work. What company has all new equipment and trucks when there is no new building going on? I think they are a vital part of our community I just think we could cut some of the positions to save money.

Reuters: Friday; Insiders selling

Click on the post for an article from Friday on the insider selling.

Yahoo: Finance: Lowes profit down on lower demand

Speculators are watching the home improvment sector as it corrects sharply...click on the post for the story on the earnings release for Lowes.

Yahoo: Finance; Futures Indications: 9:20am ET

Mon 9:20am ET- Briefing.com
S&P futures vs fair value: -15.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -22.50. This morning's weakness comes in the wake of a global selloff...

Follow the stock news on Twitter

Click on the post for the link to the twitter feed on stocks this morning. It is also displayed on the right side of the Evansville Observer. It's the Evansville Observer; we set the standard in mico news for our readers.

Yahoo: Finance: Stock Futures point to plunge at opening today

Click on the post for the latest.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

9-2007: Nostalgia: Finance: 5 Year Capital Plan---Original Wastewater Upgrade was slated at 1 million

Finance Committee discusses the adoption of the five-year capital plan--2008---2012

MP3 File

Coursemart: New E Textbooks---background

The world is changing. Click on the post for some background on the two forms of E books that Coursemart has to offer for textbooks---the downloadable version and the on line version. Enjoy. Now there is an alternative to the high cost of college textbooks.

Audio: Bonus; Communion Hymn---8/16/2009

Audio; Musical Bonus; Communion Hymn--Cat Stevens style with guitar,

MP3 File

Datline Normal, Mn.: "Fire at Normal, Mn. Bait Shop--Parana and parasites rescued first"---FICTION

Click on the post for the latest.

Pioneer Press: New University of Minnesota Stadium excitement building--no alcohol may crimp revenue

Click on the post for the latest.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Star Tribune; Pro Se---the trend

Click on the post for the latest.

Can Football be the difference????

It's been years ago since I faced the challenge...of a growing bank...or credit union...that had manual books...and lots of effort raising deposits...and I vividly remember the thrill of watching football....some real violent hitting on Monday night football...and what a release it was from all the frustration of the times.....If you check the charts...1978 to 1983 has interesting chart similarites to the present....

So...the question is...for Wisconsin...and the Midwest....Are you ready for some football???? Minnesota has the stadium ...but is the team any better??? At least they will be sober in the stadium this year and can write the history. In Wisconsin..will anyone remember????For the Packers...we need them to deliver...but what are the prospects???? The Observer does not cover sports...but still I wonder....What do you think???

Nostalgia; October 2008: "Every Day in Every Way...Things are getting cheaper......"

Click on the post for some classic nostalgia from the Observer.

Mailbag; White House writes Re: Health Care Reality Check

Dear Friend,

This is probably one of the longest emails I’ve ever sent, but it could be the most important.

Across the country we are seeing vigorous debate about health insurance reform. Unfortunately, some of the old tactics we know so well are back — even the viral emails that fly unchecked and under the radar, spreading all sorts of lies and distortions.

As President Obama said at the town hall in New Hampshire, “where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's actually been proposed.”

So let’s start a chain email of our own. At the end of my email, you’ll find a lot of information about health insurance reform, distilled into 8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage, 8 common myths about reform and 8 reasons we need health insurance reform now.

Right now, someone you know probably has a question about reform that could be answered by what’s below. So what are you waiting for? Forward this email.


David Axelrod
Senior Adviser to the President

P.S. We launched www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck this week to knock down the rumors and lies that are floating around the internet. You can find the information below, and much more, there. For example, we've just added a video of Nancy-Ann DeParle from our Health Reform Office tackling a viral email head on. Check it out:

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage

Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.
Learn more and get details: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/health-insurance-consumer-protections/

8 common myths about health insurance reform

Gazette; Lt. Gov Lawton stands up----For independent DNR

Click on the post for the story. This story is a hot one right now. We in Evansville have paid a price for a DNR that is not independent, one that focuses on pandering politics and not science. A DNR that is independent of governor appointment is the beginning.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Minn; DOT moves to use twitter for traffic alerts

Now drivers in Minnesota can get traffic alerts via Twitter---on their computers and cell phones---be careful not to look at them while driving......Click on the post for a sample.

St. Paul: "The Giving Garden"----

Click on the post for an idea to make a note of. Very timely. And something we could do.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "The Committee of the Hole"--FICTION

Click on the post for the latest.

Dateline Normal, MN: "All the books are Harlequin Romance in Normal, Mn. Library"---FICTION

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

WSJ: Madison Police offer Social Media Classes

Click on the post for the latest.

RockNetRoots: On Weed Immunity----

Is Janesville government above the law because it has exempted itself from violations of weed removal? Click on the post for the discussion on Rock Net Roots blog.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Britain: Times on Line: "Three waves of recession"

Click on the post for an interesting graph. Which phase are we in?

Gazette; Janesville says NO to water tower

Click on the post for the latest.

Minn: Pioneer Press; Engineers and Design consultants deny liability for bridge collapse

Click on the post for the latest. In order for liability insurance not to be a joke, when there is negligence, it would seem that the culpable party should pay---otherwords, design and engineering just becomes fashionable suit stuff where the content is not taken seriosly and the public interest is laughed at. This is a case to follow. Stay tuned.

Evansville Common Council Meets Tonight----

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Yahoo: Medical News; The new Wireless Pacemaker

Click on the post for the latest.

Mailbag: Reader suggests cuts:

"Joe Matrix"
Date: Aug 10, 2009 1:34 PM
Subject: budget suggestion
To: budget@ci.evansville.wi.gov

I am a city resident retired for 25 years. I have a few things I have observed over the years that I'd like to comment on and some ideas I think would help w/ the budget.

1- Start w/ cuts w/ Water & Light. They have more employees and vehicles then any other city department. They have new buildings and many new pieces of equipment. When there is no building going on in the city why are we building them new buildings and buying them new vehicles? It's the standing joke around town that we keep purchasing them new cars and building them new buildings when we don't have any new construction. They hire out most of their work. Why am I seeing W&L employees weed whacking and mowing lawn? Do they not have enough of their own work to do?

I heard they bought a new van and didn't like the color of it so they spent 3000.00 to get it re-painted. That is foolish spending.

At a typical incident when I drive by I see 4 guys standing around talking while one is actually doing the work.

What company has all new equipment and trucks when there is no new building going on?

I think they are a vital part of our community I just think we could cut some of the positions to save money.

2- DPW - I think is the most mismanaged Department in city history. In the winter if there is no snow what exactly do they do? How come I see hired summer help doing all the work while the full time year around people stand around doing nothing? Lets cut the summer help and require the full time employees to do work. Let's create a work cycle in the winter where some work a second shift to reduce overtime for snow removal on a late afternoon shift.

3- Eliminate the City Administrators position. We have a very capable mayor and operated for many years without an administrator. We have in place plenty of qualified board members and councils to over see the Mayor. We have a Finance Director, City Clerk, Deputy Clerk, Human Resource Director and many assistants that run City Hall fine and would do fine w/ just the Mayor over seeing them. They all know city business very well.

Blogs; Rath of Madison: Developers of Edgewater "managing" social media?

Click on the post for the latest on the Edgewater development.

Evansville School District; Administrators Report --Budget Update

Click on the post for the latest from the Evansville School District regarding the budget situation.

Observer moves to cover the Sermons of Pastor Josh--Oak Grove Church

The Observer is just beginning to follow and archive the podcast sermons of Pastor Josh of the Oak Grove Church of Evansville. Click on the post for the archive. Subscribe to automatically receive updated sermons.

In review of the volume of traffic on The Evansville Observer, it might surprise you that the traffic is in this order--1) Evansville Idol 2) Traffic convictions and then Politics and Religion are tied for 3rd. Yes. As many folks listen nationally to the sermons of Evansville preachers as listen to the politics. And more people listen nationally to the sermons than attend church in Evansville.

There it is. Good news...and the other news...everything is covered in the Observer.

Reflection; In Difficult Times....cut from the TOP first....

Click on the post for the latest.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Background; Abby Joseph Cohen---prophet--perpetual Bull---predicts Bull Market started August 6, 2009

One of the key qualities of being a prophet, whether of religious nature or the other religion...the stock market...is that when one is right, one is heralded worldwide...and when one is wrong...one is stoned...

The History of Abby Joseph Cohen is one of a perpetual bull, who occasionally was right, but just missed the downturns....Lest you laugh, that quality is of most investors who buy, but then have a hard time selling, and even worse, cannot short or get out of positons...

Anyway---last week, Abby Joseph Cohen announced that "The bull has begun." She has announced this so often in the past that it has become laughable...the problem is...she may be right this time....Intense emotion and conflict of opinion are present at bottoms of markets...and yes despair. We seem to have all those. This time, right when everyone is disregarding the prophetic advice of Abby Joseph Cohen...she might be right. Stay tuned.

Click on the post for the wikipedia background for Abby Joseph Cohen.

Video; Pres. Obama: "Necessary Reform--Absurd Attacks"

Click on the post for the latest from the White House.

RockNetRoots: Re; Paul Ryan: "Another Grand Achievement for our Congressman"

Click on the post for the latest.

Trivia; Podcasts re; Evansville Water Rates draw National Attention

2,114 Video: 4 of 4: Water Rates: Dave Sauer Speaks 3 4 861 140.08 MB
2,113 Video: 3 of 4: Water Rates; Sauer Speaks 3 4 864 135.06 MB

There has been considerable teasing in the Observer family of why the sudden spike in podcast volume of viewers----861 downloads for one and 864 for the other....some have even suggested that the large volume of visitors is really the intelligence agencies trying to figure out where Normal, Mn. is located......Even the Observer has wondered....

After contacting the service that handles the statistics, the volume of 861 downloads and 864 downloads for the video of Mr. Dave Sauer talking about the structure of the water rate filing for Evansville, Wisconsin, they confirmed the accuracy of their numbers...... I wondered WHY the interest.....

However...the stimulus funding for projects under the Obama administration applies to projects that have bids completed and ready to go by October 2009---and it is now clear that water projects...and sewer projects are among the classifications that might be of focus. Even Janesville is considering building a water tower---they are not sure they need one....but getting another one might be nice just in case.....

The other thing that might have caused the volume of interest is the structure of the water rate filing by Evansville..... which is hostile to water conservation, is directly aimed to harm senior citizens, low volume users of water, and appears to be directly benefiting certain businesses that use large volumes of water---guess who that might be-----If one forces seniors from their homes....then what?

It is going to be of interest to citizens what the Evansville Common Council does next Tuesday when it considers this---or will it? Click on the post to view the agenda and see if you see the agenda item where this discussion could occur--Public Works said they would discuss this and provide the council with options. Despite rhetoric about changing the rate structure, where is it on the agenda? The rest of the nation is interested in seeing what Evansville will do. Is "conservation" and "green" sensitivity just....bull and baloney? You make the call.

CapTimes: Cuna Mutual to appeal 6.2 million verdict for punitive damages on disability claim denial

Click on the post for the latest.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

BBC NEWS | Business | Nissan rolls out new electric car

BBC NEWS | Business | Nissan rolls out new electric car

Financial Times: Murdock vows to have all news content paid for----not free

Click on the post for the latest. The model for news delivery is changing. Stay tuned.

Gazette; We the People Blog: Should Teacher Compensation be frozen?

Click on the post for the latest.

Finance Committee Meets Tomorrow Night----

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Chasin: Blogs: West Main Curb and Gutter not included in Stimulus

Click on the post for the latest from Chasin.

Customer Service via Twitter

Click on the post for an article on customer service applications for business utilizing Twitter.

Coupon of the Day----Walgreens

doubleclick to enlarge

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Yahoo: Spending rises as income drops?

Click on the post for the story from Yahoo.

Gazette; Larson Acres Informational meeting; EHS: 5-8PM TONIGHT

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

Health Corner: The Consumer Protections of Proposed Health Reform----

Click on the post for the key protections.

Coupon of the Day::::Healthy Choice - News & Offers - Healthy Savings

Healthy Choice - News & Offers - Healthy Savings

Gazette; Evansville Receives 4 Million from Stimulus Money for Wastewater Plant

Click on the post for the latest.

The Common Council will vote to receive the money at the Common Council this month. Unclear is whether the rate structure will be amended to promote conservation rather than impede conservation, and whether the current draft filing of rates that harms low consumption seniors will be amended. Stay tuned.

Video; White House: Health Care; "Facts are Stubborn Things"

Click on the post for an informative video on the disinformation that is all over the place in the health care reform debate.

Gazette; Sanford might pull out of Janesville

Click on the post for the latest.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Video: Wisconsin DNR wins coveted Observer B Grade Acting Award for 2008: Straight Talk on Floodplains: 10-29-08

Video: 1 of 3: "Straight Talk on Floodplains"----Citizens: "We're in an Earthquake Here......" Citizens ask what city can do for them-----answer.......nothing.

Download File

Monona Terrace; Thursday Special

Gazette; The "Pliability" of disorderly conduct laws"

Thank You Janesville Gazette----after all the media frenzy that avoided the issue--here is the article on disorderly conduct that I have been waiting for. Click on the post and enjoy.

Mailbag; Wind; Gaboda Writes:

The saddest part of this legislation is that it has turned into a jobs/economic issue, and not about local subdivisions proving they can competantly create a legal, science and fact based ordinance. It truly is depressing to see an issue about siting these machines too close to homes turn into an economic issue. You cannot safely site that many large turbines in WI, that is a fact. The state is in the process of a power grab, and rural WI will once again be the loser. I sat and watched Wisconsin residents plead with tears of anger and frustration for over 8 hours at a public hearing at the capitol. They came on their own time, hoping to see a democracy work for them. I think tomorrow you will see what democracy has become. I think their testimony will be overshadowed by the construction unions complaining about how many jobs they could have if we throw away all of the well researched local ordinances.

My thoughts are viewed as anti-wind. I like to look at it like I am pro safe siting.

Buzz: Apple tablet: When will the launch be?

Click on the post for the latest.

Gazette; Vote on Wind Turbine Standards Bill is Tuesday

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

Wind Corner: The Jellyfish wind Turbine----for your home

Click on the post for the latest.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "The Worship of Deep Pockets"---FICTION

Click on the post for the latest.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Audio: Tales from Normal, Mn.: "Loon Lodge"---FICTION

Audio: Tales From Normal,Mn.: "The Legend of Loon Lodge"---FICTION

MP3 File

Welcome to the Evansville Observer

Dr. Evermore---the story

Click on the post for the latest from Freedom, Wi and Dr. Evermore.

Coupon for the Day

Gazette; Gardening: The Scoop on Lettuce

This article is one I have been waiting for---after the first lettuce batch was in, I was wondering just how long one could make the season---this article has the secret.

Click on the post.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: Nostalgia: 2008: The "PPP"---FICTION

Audio: Fiction: "The Public Private Partnership"----FICTION

MP3 File

Gazette; Milton Police Open Facebook, Twitter Accounts

Click on the post for the article in the Janesville Gazette----Milton paves the way--hip and digital--connected. Will other police departments follow?

The Evansville Observer will be displaying the Milton PD Twitter on the top right column this weekend to show the public how this technology can be used for public benefit.

NYT: Long Term Unemployment Benefits set to expire; Crisis coming

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

Gazette; "We the People Blog"---Depression v Recession?

Posting from Detroit on location. It's Depression. Click on the post for the latest. It's time to eat beef, not baloney.

Garage Sale Weekend in Evansville---Don't forget Lunch at St. Paul's on Garfield--a must stop

The ladies have been working hard in the basement at St. Paul's on Garfield--stop in for lunch....a true shopper wastes not time in food preparation---focus on the shopping and leave the meals to the ladies at St. Paul's. Enjoy.

Audio; Wellness, Illness, and the politics of Scarcity

A bit on Ivan Illich; How Illness and wellness are different---and what it means to you.

MP3 File

Gazette; Gardening Group demos Rain Barrels---

Check out the article today in the Janesville Gazette. With water rates rising, now is the perfect time for a rain barrel for you home.

Mailbag: Rep Brett Davis Writes: Re: Introduces Legislation to remove statutory barrier for Wisconsin to Fed. Incentive Funds

80th Assembly District Update - July 31, 2009
Davis to Introduce Legislation Making
Wisconsin Eligible for up to $612 Million
in Federal Education Funds

MADISON...State Representative Brett Davis (R-Oregon) this week announced plans to introduce legislation making Wisconsin eligible for up to $612 million in funds tied to the new federal Race to the Top program.
"This legislation will remove the statutory barriers currently in place and allow Wisconsin to compete for these funds," Davis said. "The funds would allow Wisconsin public schools to seek innovative student achievement initiatives."

Davis is introducing the legislation with State Senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac). The bill will alter Chapter 118.30(2)(c) of Wisconsin State Statutes to eliminate the prohibition on the use of results from state testing in teacher evaluation.

Announced this week by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, The Race to the Top program was created as part of the Federal Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress earlier this year.

In fact, Secretary Duncan was quoted in the New York Times early this month as saying, "Believe it or not, several states, including New York, Wisconsin and California, have laws that create a firewall between students and teacher data. I think that's simply ridiculous. We need to know what is and is not working and why."

$297 million of the program's funding is set aside for a Teacher Incentive Fund for states and districts that "create or expand effective performance pay and teacher advancement models to reward teachers and principals for increases in student achievement and boost the number of effective educators working with poor, minority, and disadvantaged students and teaching hard-to-staff subjects."

$315 million of the program's funding is set aside for a Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems program for states that "expand their data systems to track students' achievement from preschool through college and link their achievement to teachers and principals."

The statutory change is needed because the Race to the Top program requires "no statutory or regulatory barriers to linking data about student growth and achievement to teachers for the purposes of teacher and principal evaluation."