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Monday, November 30, 2009

Yahoo: Finance: Cyber Monday looks strong

OnLine sales looked strong today...and I can attest to that being on the phones 11 hours today----lots stronger than last year, looking for deals, looking for essentials, and ...maybe a little pent up demand...but Christmas is back......

Click on the post.

Gazette; The Evansville Wind Turbine: The $100K surprise

Click on the post for the latest

Video; Evansville City Admin Explains

Video: Common Council: 11/10/2009: City Administrator Dan Wietecha explains final budget details, and his recommendation not to have own salary increase. The Council diregarded his advice and granted him a raise.

Download File

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pioneer Press: Soucheray: "Until we start killing more deer, none of us are safe"

Click on the post for the latest.

The Top Ten Reasons for Tiger Woods not speaking to the police till Sunday

#10. He wanted time to complete reading the biography of Edward Kennedy.

#9. He wanted to review with his wife the proper swing of a nine iron.

#8. He wanted to finish watching the latest of the vampire movies available.

#7. He wants to change his name from "Tiger", to something...anything else.

#6. He wants to rename his yacht "Privacy" and cannot think of another name.

#5. He wants to check the insurance coverage for hitting a fire hydrant.

#4. He wants to get the story straight about what happened.

#3. He wants to review the thin line between love and hate.

#2. He wants to review whether he really did have an affair with that woman.

#1. He cannot figure out which iron to use.

Duluth Trading: 12 Days of Christmas Deals---Deal #5

Click on the post for the deal for the day.

Wind Turbine Syndrome clinical study published

Wind Turbine Syndrome*
*Clinical study of health effects of large wind turbines published*

-- Press Release --

Rowe, Mass., Nov. 28, 2009 -- Dr. Nina Pierpont, a pediatrician and
population biologist in Malone, New York, has announced the publication
of her book-length study: Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural
Experiment. [1]

In interviews with 10 families living 1,000-4,900 feet away from
recently built industrial-size wind turbines, a "cluster" of symptoms
was revealed: from sleep disturbance, which affected almost everyone, to
headache to tinnitus, vertigo, nausea, irritability, memory and
concentration problems, and panic episodes. Industrial wind turbines
have a total height of 300-400 feet or more, with blades of 125-150 feet
that sweep 1.5-2 acres of vertical airspace.

The book includes supportive reviews and notices by several noted
physicians in related disciplines. Although primarily directed towards
medical professionals, it includes an informative and often poetic
version for the lay audience.

The individuals affected by Wind Turbine Syndrome noticed that they
developed symptoms after the turbines near their homes started turning.
Symptoms were relieved when they left the area and resumed on their
return. Eight of the ten families eventually moved away from their homes
because of the severity of the symptoms.

Although not everyone living near turbines is subject to these symptoms,
the data Pierpont presents are a concern, considering the current
political drive to construct more and ever larger industrial wind
turbines close to people's homes, as well as in the habitats of other
equally or more sensitive animals.

Pierpont's sample size was large enough to show that individuals with
pre-existing migraines, motion sensitivity, or inner ear damage are
particularly vulnerable. People with anxiety or other mental health
problems are not particularly susceptible, she says, contradicting the
common claim of industry developers that "it's all in their head".

"This report is a public health wake-up call that our elected officials
and administrators need to take very seriously", said Eric Rosenbloom,
president of National Wind Watch, a clearinghouse for information about
the adverse effects of industrial wind energy development.

Pierpont and other health and noise experts agree that at a minimum,
large wind turbines should be 2 kilometers (1-1/4 miles) from any
residence. [2]

According to Pierpont, low-frequency noise or vibration from the wind
turbines acts on the balance organs of the inner ear to make the body
think it is moving. And this misperception of motion affects other brain
functions, including physical reflexes, spatial processing and memory,
and physiological fear responses (such as pounding heart and nausea).

Notes
1. Santa Fe, NM: K-Selected Books. See http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/
2. http://www.wind-watch.org/ww-noise-health.php

Friday, November 27, 2009

ThanksGIVING Day

Many celebrate Thanksgiving by adding a charitable run/walk to the morning. There are a surprising number of your neighbors from Evansville participating in the annual Berbee Derby to raise money for technology in the classrooms. And they have a lot of fun!

ThanksGIVING Day Fun

 

 

 

 
Posted by Picasa

Black Friday Deal Corner: Side Clip Suspenders $10 at Duluth Trading

Perfect stocking stuffer. Click on the post for the radical price for today only.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Video: Yahoo: Finance Tech Ticker: Bernanke got everything wrong

Click on the post for the latest.

Yahoo: On Line Retailing Looks Bright this Christmas

Click on the post for the latest.

Nichols: Bill Moyers and the tale of two Quagmires

Timely memories about classic choices that define....and destroy. Click on the post.

Deal Corner; Follow the deals on "Cybermonday.com "

Click on the post to follow the deals.

The Santa Ball Cap---

Click on the post for the seasonal cap.

Next No-Call Deadline is Nov. 30th

Next No-Call Deadline Is Monday, Nov. 30
Information Courtesy of the WI Dept. of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection

MADISON...Nov. 30, is the last day to sign up for the next no-call list, which goes into effect Jan. 1. Consumers can always sign up later, but they will not be on the list until April 1.

To place your number on the list, simply go online to https://nocall.wisconsin.gov/web/home.asp or dial 1-866-966-2255 (1-866-9No-Call). This website and toll-free number are available 24 hours a day.

Consumers must sign up every two years. If you are not certain that you signed up within the last two years, you should sign up again to be sure you are not dropped from the list.

For more consumer information, or to file a consumer complaint, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection online at http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/, via e-mail at hotline@wi.gov, or by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-800-422-7128.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mailbag: I and E Club; Wednesday, Dec 9; Special fun all invited

Evansville Area Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club (I & E Club)
Please Join Us for Our December Holiday Bash!
Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 pm
For our December meeting, we will be having an invention activity/contest. We will divide into groups, and each group will have a number of random items to create an invention. In addition to this fun invention activity, we will have plenty of food and refreshments and ample time for networking and sharing ideas. Please bring an item/object that might not be useful by itself, but if you are creative and add a few more "items" you might come up with the next latest, greatest invention. Note that your “item” will go home with you at the end of the meeting.
The Club will provide food and beverage. Please feel free to bring an appetizer or dessert to pass.
Come share resources, exchange ideas, and be mentored. The club welcomes not just inventors and entrepreneurs, but also established businesses, new businesses, and investors. Everyone, of all ages is welcome! Keep in mind that invention is more than just creating new gizmos, it is innovation too. It can be creating a new service, process, concept, mind-set, message, or strategy which is better than the existing alternatives. You never know who you might meet and what you might learn!
We Meet on the Second Wednesday of Every Month @ 6:30-8:30 PM
Location: Eager Economy Building
7 East Main Street
Evansville, WI 53536
(brick building, lower level)
For more information contact:
John Gishnock

Plan Commission to meet Tuesday to approve duplex at 204 W Main with CUP

(Ed.note: This is the staff report that goes with the agenda for the meeting on Tuesday.)

Description of Request: The applicant has applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for use of an
existing residential property for a twofamily
residence . There are a number of twofamily
residences in
the surrounding blocks. The residence at 204 W. Main Appears to have previously been used as a twofamily
residence
Zoning: The property is currently zoned R2
Residential District, which allows twofamily
residences as
a conditional use.
Parking: Section 130321
requires 3 parking stalls for single family and two family dwelling units. The
property has two parking stalls within the existing garage and two stalls on the driveway apron. Section
Staff Report – Conditional Use Permit
204 W. Main Street
Page 2
130321
allows waivers of the parking requirements. Staff recommends granting a waiver of the
requirement for three stalls per unit and allowing the proposed use with the four existing parking stalls.
Recommended Motion: The Plan Commission approves a CUP for a twofamily
residence at 204 W.
Main Street and the waiver of the requirement for three parking stalls per unit.

NYT: Housing--a new dip coming?

Click on the post for an article form the New York Times.

Plan Commisison Meets next Tuesday

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

WSJ: The Overture Center may cost taxpayers money soon

Click on the post for the latest in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Gazette; Changes for Brodhead Businesses

Check out the latest from Gina Duwe in the Gazette. Click on the post.

StarTribune: "The Tweet before Christmas.....

Click on the post for the full story. Twitter has a role in many retailers marketing plan this Christmas.

Blogs; Mayor Dave's Dream: Every town like Potosi--but so many brewery museums?

Click on the post for the latest. If you build a place revering booze...they will come.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Summary

(Ed.note: I found this little note rolled up and inserted in a Mountain Dew bottle and in the gutter near the local park. I have dried it out and printed it without editing.)



Facing Crisis
Responding
Nation
Extending Eternal
War
States
Rigging Budgets
Pleading for Bailout
Failing to
Cut
Cities
Raising Taxes
Building
Libraries..TIF Projects
Ice Arenas
Preening, Proud
Politicians
reveling in stimulus
Debt Dreams
Citizens
in
Foreclosure and
Debt
Dispair

Seeking Alpha: Bear Corner or Reality Corner?

Click on the post for a summary of where we are in the market recovery.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Drug Makers Raising Prices Before Reform - NYTimes.com

Drug Makers Raising Prices Before Reform - NYTimes.com

Video: The Geography of the Recession---a must watch

Click on the post for a short recap.

Administration widening pursuit of financial fraud - Yahoo! Finance

Administration widening pursuit of financial fraud - Yahoo! Finance

Journal Sentinal: Milwaukee County Executive Walker makes Cuts---to hold levy even

Click on the post for the full story.

NYDailyNews: Roubini: Roubini calls for bold policy; Worst to come; Does not specify actions he recommends

Click on the post for the article today.

Wind Corner: "Mafia Tied to Wind Fraud in Italy"----

Click on the post for the article today.

One of the key ways folks can determine if a project might just be plagued with fraud, is that the project pays off in about 60+ years if one applies the net revenue to the purchase price....when the project has a life cycle of twenty years. Make a note of it.

StarTrib: Minn: Northstar Commuter Debut mostly flawless---solid ridership

Click on the post for the latest.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Audio: Nostalgia: Indian Chants: The Mercury Conference

Audio: Classic Chants of the Indians from Northern Minnesota; prayer for peace; pure water and respect for nature; Do you remember what year the children from Evansville participated in this conference??

MP3 File

Audio: Evansville School Board: 11/9/2009

Audio; Evansville School Board: 11/9/2009; Votes 4-3 NOT to purchase house on 2nd Street. Beginning at minute 30 to the end of the discussion, classic dialogue on the issue.

Mr. Hatfield explains that the School Board is in the business of education, not flipping real estate...And further that one cannot raise the fund balance by buying an asset and then burning it----the school accountant differed, and was instructed of the erroneous thinking. This is a classic discussion for all students in accounting.

Melissa Hammann weighed in on the issue and said the School Board has decided that nothing will be built till the debt on the High School is paid for in 2021.

Classic audio beginning at the 30 minute mark. Enjoy.



MP3 File

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mailbag: Chamber of Commerce: Buy Local Coupon Book ready

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
November 19, 2009

Contact: Krista S. Korfmacher, CMP
Evansville Chamber of Commerce
Office: 608.882.5131
evansvillecoc@litewire.net
www.evansvillechamber.org C


Buy Local Evansville Coupon Book For Sale Now!

Evansville, WI – The Buy Local Evansville Coupon Book 2009-2010 edition is now available for sale for $20. This year’s book has over $4000 worth of value from more than 40 local Evansville merchants. Enjoy savings on food, fuel, entertainment, services and at retail establishments.

The coupon book makes a great holiday gift for that hard-to-buy-for person, as well as for your employees, teachers, clients, day care providers and students. Coupons are valid for one year.

If you would like to purchase a book, please contact the Evansville Chamber of Commerce at 882.5131 or via email at evansvillecoc@litewire.net.

Several local businesses also have the coupon book for sale, including GeneO’s, Evansville Hometown Pharmacy, Union Bank & Trust, Roger G. Roth & Associates, LLP, Evansville Floral, LLC, Allen Realty, Midwest Dental, Piggly Wiggly, Evansville Senior Center, American Family Insurance, Sunshine Kennels, Karate America, Landmark Cenex and ApplianceWorks.

Please contact the Evansville Chamber of Commerce if you have any questions.

(ATTACHMENT: Press Release Cover)


# # #

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dateline Normal, MN.: " State Mandates Mandatory 1K---Needs the money"---FICTION

Click on the post for the latest.

Gazette: Wisconsin on list of ten states facing fiscal "calamity" or catastrophe.

Click on the post for the latest.

Gazette; Evansville Proceeds with eminent domain case

Click on the post for the latest.

Video; Evansville City Admin Explains

Video: Common Council: 11/10/2009: City Administrator Dan Wietecha explains final budget details, and his recommendation not to have own salary increase. The Council disregarded his advice and granted him a raise.

Download File

Video: Brady Lueck, Metal Sculptor;

Meet Brady Lueck, Fine Art Metal Sculptor now displaying his art at the Allen Creek Gallery on East Main Street. You can see more of his work at www.sculpturalsteel.com or call him at 1-262-949-6400 or stop in at 137 East Main Street, Evansville, Wi to see his work.

Download File

Video: Mathias James, Potter, Opens New Gallery

Video: Mathias James, Potter, Evansville, Wi has opened his new Gallery--the Allen Creek Gallery, at 137 East Main Street, Evansville, Wi 53536; Website www.allencreekgallery.com, Phone 608-882-2415

Download File

CapTimes: LapTop City Hall Blog----Blog details the city budget meeting in Madison

Click on the post for the scoop.

Common Council: Audio: Budget: 11/10/2009

Audio; Final discussion prior to approval of budget; Discussion of capital expenditures in coming years, library etc; discussion of cut of 30% to teen center; discussion of last minute raise for City Administrator when all other department heads have been frozen.

MP3 File

WSJ: Layoffs at Wick Homes Hit Mazomanie

Click on the post for the latest.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Audio; Evansville Schools: Assessment of Disabled students

Audio: Evansville School Board; Nov 9, 2009: Presentation of How Evansville Schools assesses disabled students and the challenges that these students in the Evansville School District present.

MP3 File

Audio: Evansville School Board: 11/9/2009

Audio; Evansville School Board: 11/9/2009; Votes 4-3 NOT to purchase house on 2nd Street.

MP3 File

Evansville Schools November Reports-

Click on the post for the reports.

WSJ: Roll over shuts down Hwy 14 South of Oregon

Click on the post for the latest.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Evansville City Budget Hearing, Tuesday, November 10--6:30PM

Click on the post for the details.

Evansville Municipal Court Report---October 2009

Click on the post for the full report.

Blogs; School Beat: "Chasin Calls for full audit"

In response to the news that there was a theft in the IT dept at the Evansville Schools of about $100,000, there is a growing call for a full, and independent audit of the School District.

The independent audit could focus on purchasing over the past 10 years in all departments, not just IT, and specifically on document backup of expenses reimbursed, as well as inventory control. A focused audit by a experienced audit firm, and not just the cheapest friendly accountant available, is required to regain the confidence of the community.

Click on the post for the comments of "Chasin."

Grand Opening: Allen Creek Gallery; Mathias James Pottery

Video: Tour of the New Allen Creek Gallery, Home of Mathias James Pottery, as well as introduction to Brady Lueck, Fine Art Sculptor. His work is displayed in the gallery and also at www.sculpturalsteel.com

Download File

Evansville School Board Meets Monday

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Evansville Finance Committee Discusses Purchasing--no action taken

The Evansville Finance Committee met last week and had a brief discussion on purchasing policy, but took no official action, and nothing is being carried forward to the common council meeting next Tuesday.

In light of the weak purchasing controls that blindsided the Evansville School District recently, a prudent independent review of the current purchasing procedures for the City of Evansville is in order.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Mailbag; Rep. Brett Davis Writes; Re Educational Reform---opportunity missed last week

80th Assembly District Update - November 6, 2009
Assembly Misses Key Opportunity
to Pass Education Reforms

Last night the State Assembly acted on legislation designed to make changes to Wisconsin's education system. The bills were intended to make our state eligible for federal "Race to the Top" funding. However, the measures that passed are a far cry from the meaningful reform that is needed.

One key provision that is required to make Wisconsin eligible for the Race to the Top grants is removing the prohibition on evaluating teachers based on student test scores. There was a bill, Senate Bill (SB) 372, which was approved last night that addresses this issue by removing the firewall between student test scores and teacher evaluations. However, the problem is that SB 372 built 425 more firewalls in its place.

The legislation fell short of the reforms needed because it simply retains the status quo due to two provisions in the bill. First, the language that was approved forced teacher evaluation plans to be a mandatory subject of collective bargaining in all 425 school districts in Wisconsin. This will result in either very watered-down evaluation plans or no plan being implemented at all. Therefore, I authored an amendment that would remove the collective bargaining provision and simply leave it to school boards to implement an evaluation plan. Unfortunately, this amendment failed.

The other harmful provision in the bill prevents the teacher evaluations from being used to hold poor teachers accountable through possible discharge or disciplinary measures. In fact, this provision is seen by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards as weakening Wisconsin's application for the federal grant program. It makes little sense to allow for the evaluation of teachers, but not give school boards the opportunity to remove the bad teachers in our schools.
Some argue that teachers should not be fired due to a few of their students testing poorly on the standardized WKCE exam. I agree, and the legislation specifically states that school boards must come up with multiple criteria in addition the standardized exams. In fact, I led an amendment that would have changed the language of the bill to state that a teacher could not be fired solely based on the test results.

Overall, I believe we missed a perfect opportunity to pass meaningful education reform, especially with the President visiting our state and talking about the need for changes to our education system. The legislation that passed last night had bipartisan opposition because they did very little to reform our current system. Wisconsin needs to enact multiple measures to ensure our schools remain strong and competitive.

Earlier this week I announced my vision for both reforming our education system and creating a sustainable school finance system. This is done by modernizing our student assessment system and giving school districts the tools they need to budget responsibly and lower property taxes. I will outline this package of reforms in more detail in future updates.

Gazette; The Potters Journey---Allen Creek Gallery open Today on East Main

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

Friday, November 06, 2009

Grand Opening of Allen Creek Gallery---Nov 7th

Click on the post for the info. This is the weekend of the Grand Opening of the Allen Creek Gallery, a must see at 137 East Main Street.

St. Paul Parish Hosts Fair Trade Sale November 14, 2009

St. Paul Parish Hosts Fair Trade Sale Nov. 14
Submitted by Nancy Hurley

Wouldn’t it be wonderful this Christmas to find beautiful, handcrafted gifts at prices you could afford? Wouldn’t it be even more wonderful if your purchases could help artisans and farmers worldwide support themselves and their families? That’s the idea behind fair trade, and you can be a part of it. On Saturday, November 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. St. Paul Catholic Church in Evansville will host a fair trade sale that’s open to the public.
You’ll find gorgeous jewelry, scarves, baskets, pottery, table linens, Christmas ornaments, Nativities from around the world, and children’s books and toys along with food products like chocolate, soup mixes, coffee, and tea. By eliminating the middleman fair trade organizations can offer these items at a surprisingly reasonable cost while still providing craftsmen and farmers in developing countries a fair price for their work.
The Fair Trade Sale is being organized by the St. Paul Council of Catholic Women in cooperation with SERRV, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating poverty by providing opportunities and support to artisans and farmers around the world. The group hopes to make the sale an annual event.
During the sale the St. Paul Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) will sell soup made from fair trade mixes, cornbread, beverages, and homemade baked goods. CYO includes youth from the parish in grades eight through twelve. Proceeds from the CYO sale, as well as ten percent of the proceeds from the Fair Trade Sale, will be used to mail holiday care packages to local soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Admission to the event is free, but participants are asked to donate either $1 or one of the following items for local Thanksgiving baskets for area residents in need: cranberry sauce, jello, cake mix, frosting, or stuffing. About 150 Thanksgiving baskets will be distributed by the Evansville Ecumenical Care Closet later this month.
For more information on the Fair Trade Sale, or to place a soldier’s name on our list to receive a holiday care package, please contact Nancy Hurley at 882-4327 or NJH223@GMAIL.COM.
###

WSJ: Wind Corner: Public Hearing for Glacier Hills draws crowd, divided views

Click on the post for the scoop from the Wisconsin State Journal.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

OpEd; Absentee policy in focus; CDC advises employers to adopt non-punative policies

The CDC, Center for Disease Control, has advised and recommended employers nationwide to avoid punative absentee policies that could endanger public health and harm families.

Some employers have failed to inform employees that there are any exceptions to their strict "occurence" based systems.

If you have an instance where your employer has avoided following the CDC guidelines, send the Evansville Observer a note about this and we will post. The marketplace needs to know. Email fre2observe@yahoo.com

StarTribune; State of Minn short of cash---delays corporate refunds and sales tax refunds

Click on the post for the latest.

There has been a rumor also that shortage of revenue in Wisconsin might prompt a revision of state aids and that the state might revise their payments and cities would have to scramble to "adjust" their budgets.

Would city employees take furloughs rather than cut funds for creek walls and fish? Stay tuned.

EMS Can Drive This Saturday, November 7th

EMS Aluminum Can Drive
Saturday, November 7.

Please have cans at the curb by 8:00 am or deliver to EMS Garage 31 S. Madison St.

For rural or business pick-up, please call 882-2269 and leave message.

Proceeds go to new equipment for ambulances.

Audio; Tales; "The Eternal Payback"---FICTION

Audio; Tales From Normal, Mn.: " Politicians get Religious with Eternal Accounting"--FICTION

MP3 File

Gazette: Former Evansville IT coordinator confesses to theft

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

I hope to report more on this after the Evansville School Board meeting. This case raises lots of questions about internal control, purchasing, inventory control, as well as auditing, or depth thereof and timeliness. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

WSJ; Text of Pres. Obama's speech today in Madison, Wi.

Click on the post for the full text in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Finance Committee Meets Thursday, Nov 5th;

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Mailbag: Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin to hold office hours in Evansville next Week.

Good Afternoon,



Helen Forbeck, Field Representative for Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin will be holding Office Hours on behalf of the Congresswoman in Evansville next Tuesday, November 10th. Please stop by if you have any need for help with the federal government or if you have questions or comments about legislation, federal grants or doing work with the federal government.





Tuesday, November 10th



12:15 - 1:15 PM Eager Free Public Library

39 W. Main Street

WSJ: Pres Obama Comes to Madison Today: Education Stimulus in Focus

The Wisconsin State Journal has complete coverage. Click on the post.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Mailbag; Rep. Brett Davis Writes: The Path to Responsible Budget for Wisconsin

80th Assembly District Update - October 30, 2009
Path to Fiscal Recovery is Responsible Budgeting
By Rep. Brett Davis & Rep. Leah Vukmir


In these tough economic times almost everyone has had to take a hard look at their budget. Small businesses and families sit down on a regular basis and examine ways to not spend more than they bring in. However, that same simple and responsible budgeting rationale has continued to elude those in government that craft the state budget.

For two decades our state has had a budget deficit despite the fact that Wisconsin's constitution requires the legislature to maintain a balanced budget. The problem lays in how "balanced" is defined. The Department of Administration and State Controller submit two reports each budget cycle: one based on statutory standards, and another based on Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) as approved by the Government Accounting Standards Board.

In 2007, the budget report based on statutory standards claimed a general fund balance of $130.7 million. This report allows various budgeting gimmicks, such as lapses from segregated funds, to be used to "balance" the state's budget. The other, based on GAAP, revealed a more realistic balance of a $2.5 billion deficit. Sadly, there is no requirement for the budget to adhere to the principles of GAAP.

If our budget is compared with other states, only Wisconsin and Illinois have reported GAAP deficits in each of the past 10 years. In 2007 alone, Wisconsin joined the ranks of California, Illinois, and Maine as the only four states with GAAP deficits. In fact, Wisconsin's deficit, as a measure of personal income and population, was the largest in the country for our size.

Things are not getting any better, either. The state budget that passed earlier this year continues these harmful fiscal policies, and has once again spent its way beyond the means of the taxpayers to the tune of $2 billion.

As a state, we cannot allow this to continue. One thing is clear - state government shouldn't be exempt from common-sense budgeting techniques. Therefore, we are introducing the Truth in Budgeting Act, which will implement two major provisions to put Wisconsin back on the road to fiscal recovery.

First, the legislation will ensure balanced and honest budgeting practices. Starting in 2015-16, the bill will require the state budget to be prepared according to GAAP principles. While we would all prefer to accomplish this far sooner, we also recognize closing this large of a budget gap will take time.

The second provision focuses on budget accountability by implementing zero-based budgeting. Currently, state agencies operate on the cost to continue, which equates to the amount received last year plus additional funds based on inflation. Instead, the Truth in Budgeting Act requires agencies to prepare their budgets starting at zero, and justify each component on the basis of cost, need, and relation to statutory responsibilities. Ultimately, this will provide for increased accountability through executive and legislative review of agency funding.

By enacting these common-sense budgeting reforms, we can take a large step toward putting our state back on the right track. Balancing our state budget should be a simple concept that both sides of the aisle can get behind. We believe strongly that government needs to learn to tighten its belt, just like families and small businesses across Wisconsin, especially in times of economic downturn.

Dateline Normal, Mn: "Ready for Swine Flu"---FICTION

Click on the post for the latest.

StarTribune; Empty Desks; Empty Offices; Businesses Prepare

Workers working by computer from home. Businesses that are overcentralized in operations and who refuse to allow telecomputing would be SOL. How prepared is your business?

Click on the post for the article in the Star Tribunes.

Yahoo: Retirement; Turning the Traditional Risk Pyramid on its side

Click on the post for the latest.