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Monday, November 21, 2011

Mailbag: Tammy Baldwin Writes:

The Obama Administration recently finalized a new effort to help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure. The new plan allows those with government-backed mortgages to refinance their existing loans with a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. This is welcome news for those who qualify. To find out if you qualify for this new program or other existing programs, click here.

Since the housing collapse began in 2007, too many families have lost their homes in foreclosure, some as the result of potentially criminal behavior by mortgage lenders. Middle class families struggle to refinance mortgages with artificially high interest rates. Small businesses struggle to get the credit they need to grow, and high unemployment persists. I understand these frustrations and I know that economic recovery will not occur until the housing market recovers.

Many factors led to the current housing crisis. One of these factors was the actions of Wall Street firms making huge gambles in the housing market. Big banks made billions in risky loans which were chopped up and sold off to unsuspecting investors and pension funds as low-risk investments. These false claims were then backed up by the very ratings agencies who were supposed to protect these investors. In the years leading up to the collapse of the market, Wall Street reaped billions in profits. When this house of cards collapsed, middle class Americans were left holding the bag.

Now, having been bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, most of these institutions have returned to business as usual, reaping huge profits and paying big bonuses.

The U.S. Department of Justice and State Attorneys General initiated lawsuits against some of the worst offenders, including Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Ally Financial. These suits are currently in settlement talks and there are reports that the big banks may be granted immunity from both civil and criminal penalties in exchange for a relatively small payment. If this reported deal is allowed to proceed, once again, big banks could be let off the hook and homeowners would be left holding the bag.

I am leading an effort in Congress to see that those families who were victimized by unscrupulous and illegal activities by banks and mortgage companies are made whole.

Earlier this month, I wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder opposing any settlement that grants large mortgage servicers immunity for their wrongdoing while offering no significant help for struggling homeowners. To read my letter to Attorney General Holder click here.

I also introduced a Congressional Resolution (H.Con. Res. 85), expressing that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that any action taken by the Department of Justice should hold mortgage servicers fully accountable for fraudulent behavior, and adequately compensate victims harmed by the servicers’ wrongdoing. Read my resolution here.

Over the past few years, I have heard from homeowners throughout Wisconsin whose lives have been turned upside down by the collapse in housing, and the loss of jobs and retirement savings. I will pursue every avenue to see that those who were wronged are allowed a remedy.

If you or someone you know is a distressed homeowner seeking assistance, you will find a number of resources on my website. As always, my staff also stands ready to assist if at all possible. You may contact my Wisconsin office at 608-258-9800. I look forward to being of service as I continue my work to address Wisconsin’s economic challenges.


Tammy Baldwin
Your Member of Congress

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

OpEd: Word on the Street: Germany is not the Debt Savior

Thursday night we had a relative visit who is based in Germany----she reports that the word on the street in Germany is that they will not rescue anybody----the dream of Germany bailing out Greece or France or Italy is just a fantasy--make a note of it.

Podcast Download volume of Police Commission Hearings Doubles

There has been a doubling of podcast downloads of the Evanville Police Commission Hearings. Stay tuned.

Nostalgia: 2008: Video: The Fireside Chat: Chris Eager of UB&T Speaks

Video: The Fireside Chat: Chris Eager, President of UB&T speaks on the economy, banking and how UB&T is responding, and has some thoughts for the community on surviving and thriving in these times.

This the classic video from 2008 that preceded the visit of ABC News to Evansville, Wisconsin to review whether small town community banking could be the answer for the big time banking problems of America.

What is interesting to me is that the very first rule of banking and investment is the "Know the Customer" Rule. But ironically in a big city like New York, brokers NEVER have face time with their customers, and in fact in some cases it is prohibited. Transactions are what matter. Period.

Thus the Wall Street Protesters today are saying exactly the same thing---that the needs of individual savers and investors and borrowers are ignored generally in the current scheme of things, and the system is not designed to serve the public.

Chris Eager asserts that small town banking, UBT, can serve and respond to the problems the community faces, and the Evansville community is not immune to the problems. Today, November 2011, there are far more foreclosures than back in 2008, and the challenge appears far greater than 2008------the challenge still remains.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Recall Walker Website:

Click on the Post to access the "Recall Walker" website and all the activities.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Evansville School Board Meets

Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda
Monday, November 14, 2011
6:30 p.m.
District Board and Training Center
340 Fair 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

6:00 Two board members are available to listen to the public on a drop in basis.

I. Roll Call: Dennis Hatfield Kathi Swanson Eric Busse John Rasmussen
Tina Rossmiller Sharon Skinner Nancy Hurley Board Rep. Hertina Kan
II. Approve Agenda.
III. Public Announcements/Recognition/Upcoming Events:
 American Education Week – November 13-19
 Congratulations to Brielle Greenleaf, Competed at WIAA State Cross Country and Placed 29th

 Other Announcements
IV. District Administrator Report – District News and Strategic Planning.
V. High School Board Representative Report – High School Events.
VI. Information & Discussion:
A. Presentation on Testing Throughout District.
B. School Board Election Timeline.
C. Selection of Delegate and Alternate to WASB Convention in January.
D. 2012-2013 Budget Calendar.
VII. Business (Action Items):
A. Approval of Staff Resignation and One Year Administrative Contracts for District Administrator and Director of Human Resources.
B. Approval of the 2012-2013 Budget Calendar.
C. Approval of M&I Authorized Person.
D. Approval of July and August Reconciliation Reports.
E. Approval of District Administrator Search Process.
VIII. Consent (Action Items):
A. Approval of October 10 Regular, 2011 Annual, and November 8 Special Meeting Minutes.
B. Approval of October Bills.
IX. Set November 28, 2011, Regular Meeting Agenda.
X. Adjourn.
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 community.
Vision Statement:
Creating a culture of excellence in:
 Academic achievement
 Character development
 Pursuit of arts, athletics, and other activities
 Community engagement
 Highly effective staff
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: 11/8/11

Economic Development Meets Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011

Click on the post for the full agenda.

The Return to Post WWII Austerity: NYT

Click on the post for a look.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Video: LOMR: Straight Talk from Mr. Mauch

Video: LOMR: Buyer Beware: The fiction that "nobody knew" and other matters Mr. Mauch gives some straight talk.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Video: Yahoo Finance: Pulling out the streetlights----

Click on the post for what one town in Michigan is doing for austerity.

Italian Prime Minister will resign after Italy becomes Austere:;;nice

Let's all make a promise that is conditioned on Italy becoming austere. It's kind of a catchy concept.

The New Robot Warehouse; CNN

Click on the post for the latest.

Lee Enterprises Reports Loss: WSJ

Lee Enterprises is the owner of the Wisconsin State Journal and Capital Times. Click on the post for the story.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Radio Shack Moving-----500 feet.....This Weekend

It's not levitation---but they are moving to the former furniture space on the end. A larger space for inventory, and a little larger space for showroom. They will move from two registers...to four....Just in time for the Christmas season.

Snow Coming?

Click on the post for some weather.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Evansville Common Council Meets Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011

Common Council

Regular Meeting
Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI

Revised 11/07/2011 adding Items 6B6 and 6C2
1. Call to order

2. Roll Call

3. Approval of Agenda

4. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the October 11, 2011, regular meeting and to approve them as presented.

5. Citizen appearances
A. Public Hearing: 2012 Operating Budget.
(1). Staff report.
(2). Initial discussion by Council for clarification.
(3). Public hearing.
(4). Final discussion by Council. (Any changes to the budget must be included in the motion. Changes to the levy will affect the tax rate and that rate will be recalculated by the Finance Department)
(5). Second reading and motion to approve Ordinance 2011-16, Adopting 2012 Operating and Capital Budgets and Setting Tax Levies.

6. Reports of Committees
A. Youth Center Advisory Board Report

B. Finance and Labor Relations Committee Report
(1). Motion to accept the Water & Light bills as presented.

(2). Motion to accept the City bills as presented.

(3). Motion to approve Purchase of Services Agreement with Rock County Humane Society.

(4). Motion to approve Purchasing Policy revisions.

(5). Motion to approve Agreement with InfoSend, Inc. for printing and mailing of monthly utility bills.

(6). Motion to approve Agreement with Sunland Development LLC for Capstone Ridge.

C. Plan Commission Report
(1). Motion to recommend Rock County Land Conservation Committee approval of PACE application 2011-10-28.08.

(2). Motion to approve Agreement to Convey Property and Drainage Easement Maintenance Agreement. [Pond behind Ace Hardware.]

D. Public Safety Committee Report

E. Public Works Committee Report

F. Water & Light Committee Report

G. Economic Development Committee Report
(1). Update: bridge naming contest.

H. Redevelopment Authority Report

I. Parks and Recreation Board Report

J. Historic Preservation Commission Report

K. Fire District Report

L. Police Commission Report

M. Energy Independence Team Report

N. Library Board/Liaison Report

O. Board of Appeals Report

7. Unfinished Business
A. Second Reading and motion to approve Ordinance 2011-14 Designation of Snowmobile Routes. [Sponsors Wessels and Jacobson].

8. Communications and Recommendations from the Mayor
A. Update: Dennis Wessels resignation.

B. Motion to waive the seven-day notice on citizen appointments.

C. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Jacobson as chair and Ald. Fuchs as committee member to the Public Safety Committee.

D. Motion to approve Resolution #2011-19, a Resolution Promoting Civil Public Discourse.

E. Discussion on legislative advocacy and lobbying.

9. Communications from the City Administrator
A. Discussion: personnel policies.

B. Update: Water & Light Superintendent.

C. Update: City Engineer.

10. New Business
A. First Reading of Ordinance 2011-17 Relative to Outdoor Storage in Light Industrial District [Sponsors Fuchs and Brooks]

11. Introduction of New Ordinances

12. Meeting Reminder:
A. Regular meeting, Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 6:30 pm.

13. Adjournment

Sandra J. Decker, Mayor

Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the Clerk’s office by calling 882-2266 with as much advance notice as possible.

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

Saturday, November 05, 2011

"The Doc of Rock": Hand Jive

Video: Soul Sessions: On Location near River Falls: The Doc of Rock, with Denny, brother Mike on Lead Guitar and Mike on Bass. "Hand Jive"

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Evansville LOMR---the MOVIE

Click on the post for the clips of this meeting last Tuesday, October 25, 2011.

Every word of this meeting will be posted in complete video for citizens of Evansville. Enjoy.

I and E Club Meets Nov. 9th:

Nov. 9: Inventing a Career, Making A Business Real

A local entrepreneur will speak about the business of art, and the dream of “hanging out your own shingle,” at the Nov. 9 meeting of the Evansville Area Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club.

Margaret LeMay is the owner of Integrated Art Group, LLC. Her company specializes in curating fine art collections for corporations, professional offices, healthcare organizations, and private collectors. And while she could have elected to work out of her home, instead she chose to open a Main Street shop.

The whys, hows, headaches and heroics will be part of LeMay’s presentation at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Creekside Place, 102 Maple St., Evansville. The meeting is free and open to the public, thanks in part to monthly meeting sponsors and donations. November’s sponsor is FuzzyKnuckles Mitten Co., ably led by founder Mary Calley. FuzzyKnuckles is all about recycling, combined with warmth and incredible charm. Calley is the woman who creates exquisite mittens out of old but beautiful sweaters. Acquire your next pair of mittens by contacting Calley at 608-921-5852, or—just in time for holiday shopping—check out her brand-new line of aprons!

For information about sponsorships or the I&E club, contact Sue Berg at 608-882-0986 or suebergsolutions@gmail.com, or John Gishnock III at 608-314-6656 or john.g@formecology.com.

Berg Solutions, LLC

Video: LOMR: Dave Sauer Presents:

Video: LOMR: Evansville Public Information Meeting: 10/25/2011: Dave Sauer presents what the LOMR means to the affected homeowners; Plus answers questions. Video 1

Video: LOMR Presentation: Dave Sauer

Video: LOMR Presentation; 10/25/2011: 2 of 2: Dave Sauer Presents FEMA LOMR details to affected homeowners at Public Information Meeting;

Consequences of Lying on Home Condition Report in Real Estate Sales in Wisconsin: Knight Barry

So you think you might have a remedy? Click on the post.

Evansville Finance Meets Today, Nov 2, 2011

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Evansville, Wi City Meetings Now on Podcast, Full Screen Video; Audio

Click on the post for the full screen video and audio of Evansville, Wi city meetings. Over five hundred titles are available. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Evansville Schools faces Rising Debt Service:

Click on the post for the schedule of debt. The "Backloaded" bonds the school has mean the debt service rises each year till maturity.