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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nostalgia: Video; Meet the Evansville Artists--2009

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

Mailbag; Ice Age Trail Information

EXCERPT FROM MAYOR’S COLUMN IN FEBRUARY 15, 2012 REVIEW Ice Age Trail Two weeks ago the National Park Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Rock County, and the Ice Age Trail Alliance held a public information session at Creekside Place. Planning is underway to complete the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Rock County. The Rock County Trail will connect with the Kettle Moraine Trail in Walworth County, include Magnolia Bluff County Park, and extend to Albany, where it will connect with the Sugar River Trail. Corridor options were presented at the open house. Two of the four preliminary options include Evansville. The Ice Age Trail is a National Scenic Trail located entirely within Wisconsin. It is one of only eight National Scenic Trails in the U.S. (The Appalachian Trail is a well-known National Scenic Trail.) When completed, the Ice Age Trail will be about 1,200 miles long. To date, over 600 miles have been completed. The Trail provides mostly off-road hiking and backpacking, with bird watching, magnificent scenery, and wildlife viewing. Some portions of the Trail allow for camping, bicycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. ATVs are prohibited on the Trail. The Trail objectives include following glacial features and moraines, preserving natural glacial features, providing support facilities and interpretive opportunities, and offering varied and scenic hiking experiences, including significant archeological, geological, historical, and cultural sites. The Rock County planning process began in 2006. The information about Evansville used in the development of the corridor options is now outdated. Some updated information was provided at the Creekside meeting and additional material will be submitted shortly. The National Park Service representatives were very interested to know that application has been made to them for listing Leonard Leota Park as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. A copy of the application was supplied to them at the open house. It was also emphasized that there are three current National Register historic districts in Evansville, with more than 300 buildings and structures of historical significance in our community. Our Bird City Wisconsin designation was also of interest to them. The information about Evansville in the corridor report indicated there were no overnight accommodations available. We now have Cobblestone Inn & Suites in our community. We have numerous options for food and refreshments. The Trail is built and maintained by volunteers. I spoke about the strong volunteer network in our community organizations. During the Creekside session, a presentation on the geology of our area was given by UW geologist David Mickelson. The Johnstown Moraine runs east-west just north of Evansville. Mickelson described the Evansville Golf Course as an outstanding visual example of the contours of the terminal moraine. The Park Service is taking public comments until March 15. I encourage citizens to take the time to review the Rock County Alternative Corridors Report. Evansville is part of segment 3 and is included in corridor options C and D. You can make on-line comments at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/. Go to Ice Age National Scenic Trail and find the list of documents open for comment. You can also mail comments to: National Park Service; Ice Age National Scenic Trail; 700 Rayovac Drive, Suite 100; Madison WI 53711. Following the comment period, a preferred corridor will be identified and a refined plan developed. There will be two additional public open houses as the planning moves forward. Property for the trail will need to be purchased or easements obtained. It is likely to take up to two years to complete the planning process and begin Trail work. We have great natural assets in the Evansville area, including Gibbs Lake, the Johnstown Moraine, Magnolia Bluff Park, Leonard-Leota Park, and Allen Creek. We value our rich historical resources. We are a community with a strong agricultural tradition; we respect the land and our rural heritage. We have a concentration of Rock County Barn Quilts in the Evansville area. Evansville is the boyhood home and final resting place of renowned American Impressionist Theodore Robinson. Having Evansville located on the Ice Age Trail would be a tremendous amenity for our citizens and would bring visitors to our community, growing our local economy. Your public input is important to support this terrific opportunity.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Excitement Builds for Announcement of New Evansville Supr of Schools

Excitement is building, and maybe we all will know who will lead the school district...maybe next week.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Branding---the problem of negatives

Video: Prof. Scovotti talks about "branding" with a warning about "negatives": This was part of a lecture at the Evansville I and E Club.

Evansville School Board Meets Monday, Feb 27, 2012

EVANSVILLE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda Monday, February 27, 2012 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: www.evansville.k12.wi.us, and by forwarding the agenda to the Evansville Review, M&I Bank, Union Bank & Trust and Eager Free Public Library. I. Roll Call: Dennis Hatfield Kathi Swanson Eric Busse John Rasmussen Tina Rossmiller Sharon Skinner Nancy Hurley II. Approve Agenda. III. Approve January 23 Minutes. IV. Approve Switching Date of March 26 Board Meeting to March 19. V. Budget Finance – Chair, Eric Busse - A. Discussion Items: 1) 2011-2012 Budget Update. 2) 2012-2013 Budget Process Update. 3) Update on Evansville Education Foundation. 4) Request for Proposal of Annual Financial Audit Process. B. Develop Budget Finance Draft Agenda for March 19 Meeting. VI. Policy – Chair, Nancy Hurley - A. First Reading of Policies: 1) Policy #841 – Bequests and Gifts. 2) Policy #453.1-Emergency Nursing Services. 3) Emergency Nursing Manual. B. Second Reading of Policy: 1) Policy #225.1 - Colleague Assessment Questionnaire. 2) Policy #341.6 – Kindergarten Instruction. C. Approval of Policies: 1) Policy #225 – Evaluation of the District Administrator. 2) Policy #231 – Recruitment and Appointment of District Administrator. 3) Policy #232 – District Administrator (Job Description). 4) Policy #233 – Resignation and Release of District Administrator. D. Develop Policy Agenda Draft Agenda for March 19 Meeting. VII. Board Development – Chair, Kathi Swanson - A. Board Presidents’ Meeting Report. B. Employee Handbook. C. Update on District Administrator Search. D. Location of Future Board Meetings. E. Develop Board Development Draft Agenda for March 19 Meeting. VIII. Future Agenda – Chair, Kathi Swanson - A. Develop March 12 Regular Board Meeting Agenda. IX. 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 agenda items should call 882-5224, ext. 3387 at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. Posted: 2/17/12

Monday, February 20, 2012

What is an ACO---an Accountable Care Organization

Introduction This AHA Research Synthesis Report presents an overview of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), including a discussion on the potential impact of ACOs, key questions to consider in developing an ACO, and a review of the key competencies needed to be an effective ACO. This report focuses on the overall concept of ACO yet highlights the specifics of the ACO model proposed in health reform legislation. What are ACOs? The term Accountable Care Organization (ACO) describes the development of partnerships between hospitals and physicians to coordinate and deliver efficient care (Fisher, 2006). The ACO concept envisions multiple providers assuming joint accountability for improving health care quality and slowing the growth of health care costs. The concept was also included in national health care reform legislation as one of several demonstration programs to be administered by Medicare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010). However, ACOs described in health reform legislation are operationally different from other ACO models. The role of ACOs in integrating and aligning provider incentives in care delivery requires participating organizations to posses certain key competencies, as identified in the literature:

What does ACO" mean to you

St Mary's Hospital and Dean Clinics are considering merger or a variation of merger. The objective is to be an "ACO". What does this mean?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chili Cook Off Coming March 10th---Creekside

Join us at the Chili Cook-Off! Saturday March 10th At Creekside Place 6:30-9pm Walk away with a Matthias James chili bowl FREE with admission!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Observer Congratulates President Obama on Reelection:

The bold action of President Obama in slowly but surely engineering the withdrawal of troops from Afganistan and Iraq combined with the bold act to elimate Osama Bin Laden, has given Americans a portrait of a Commander, a President that can advance and retreat as necessary to achieve national objectives...and further to achieve domestic objectives of justice in taxation and ...survival..for the middle class. Congratulations Mr. President on your election in 2012.

Signs for the Ages: "Soglin for Mayor": Nixon's a Crook": Reflection

If you walked down State Street in Madison in 1970..and gazed to the right, you would have seen two large signs on the buildings....one proclaimed "Soglin for Mayor" and the second sign on a different building...."Nixon's A Crook". This week without fanfare, Paul Soglin had hip surgery...and someone replaced him at the helm. Paul became mayor again recently and addressed the Edgewater...the Library...the Overture..and the budget for the city of Madison....and he did again what the citizens of Madison have COUNTED on him to do....come thru for them.... Best wishes on a speedy recovery, Paul Soglin. After all these years....we are still counting on you...

2007: Art Phillips Speaks: re: School Building

7-16-2007--Building and Grounds, Evansville School District, Art Phillips, Board member cautions that review of sites is fine, but with respect to building anything, the recent slowdown in building activity must be taken into account---the future is unknown. It can go either way.

School Enrollment Growth Did not Happen

The audio recording from 2007 of Supr. Carvin speaking to the Evansville Planning Commission is pretty stunning for its presentation of what the dream was, and what the history was that unfolded. The dream for school expansion was based on data from 2002 to 2007. In retrospect, the sharp decline in building permits mentioned in the audio was the warning of things to come. Enrollment has been flat since 2007. Enrollment "decline" is NOT somthing that has suddenly occured in 2012---it is something that school board members Art Phillips, Michael Pierick and Melissa Hammann frquently reminded the community of. The stimulus funds may have delayed the day of cutting, but that day is here. Stay tuned.

Mar 2007: Supr.Carvin - Planning Commission

Planning Commission meeting of Monday, Mar. 5, 2007. Supr. Heidi Carvin reviews enrollement data and projections, reviews building permits for Evansville and Union; Answers questions

MP3 File

Mailbag: Tammy Baldwin Writes:

Middle class Wisconsinites and working families have had a raw deal in recent years. Jobs have been shipped overseas, Wall Street banks have gambled away people’s hard-earned retirement savings, and mortgage lenders have engaged in shady practices, forcing many Americans out of their homes or close to it. What’s worse is government policies often encourage these harmful actions. The deck has been stacked for powerful interests who manipulate the system to their benefit. As your Representative, I am working hard to restore an even playing field. I’d like to share some encouraging recent news from this fight that may be of interest to you. Sincerely, Tammy Baldwin Your Member of Congress Help for Homeowners Last week, the federal government, 49 states including Wisconsin, and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers reached a $25 billion settlement over foreclosure abuses perpetrated against America’s homeowners. While much more work remains, I believe this is a good first step toward making defrauded homeowners whole and reforming our broken mortgage system. Wisconsin will receive an estimated $140 million that will go mainly toward direct relief to affected homeowners, refinancing benefits for eligible borrowers, and remediation programs and services. I have been leading the fight in Congress to see that the victims of fraudulent bank practices be adequately compensated and that the banks be held accountable for their actions. The settlement is narrowly limited to one area of financial abuse and does not right the wrongs of the past five years. It also only involves loans serviced by the nation's five largest mortgage lenders. However, the settlement does pave the way for continued investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. [Read more on the settlement] Introducing the Buffett Rule For far too long, our tax code has unfairly benefited the wealthiest Americans, while middle class families have taken it on the chin. It's up to Congress to fix this obvious injustice. I recently introduced the Paying a Fair Share Act (H.R. 3903), also known as "the Buffett Rule," to help level the playing field between middle class taxpayers and millionaires and billionaires. The "Buffett Rule" is so-named because billionaire Warren Buffett has decried the fact that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he pays. In 2008, the top-earning 400 Americans, who made an average $270 million each, paid the same average effective tax rate as the typical Wisconsin construction worker, using the standard deduction and exemption. The Paying a Fair Share Act would reduce the budget deficit by tens of billions of dollars by ensuring that millionaires pay at least a 30% effective tax rate. I am calling on my colleagues in the House to join me in taking this first step to strengthen our middle class and rebuild our economy with a commitment to shared responsibility and shared sacrifice. [Read more] Holding Members of Congress to the Same Standards as Everyone Else As we work to end corrupt practices and establish transparency on Wall Street, we must apply the same rules to everyone who has access to insider information, including Members of Congress. Last week I voted for, and the House passed, a long-sought measure that would ban insider trading by Members of Congress. The STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge – S. 2038) is bipartisan legislation that would prohibit Members of Congress and employees of Congress from profiting from non-public information they obtain via their official positions. This is a loophole we must close if we are to restore the American people’s faith in Congress and the work of democracy. [Read more] Weatherization Projects Create Wisconsin Jobs, Keep Energy Costs Down The Wisconsin Weatherization Program has helped more than 30,500 Wisconsin families save an average $400 per year on their energy utility bills while creating jobs and supporting local businesses. In Beloit, I’ve seen first-hand how energy upgrades have helped a displaced auto worker avoid financial ruin and how the funds for weatherization projects create jobs and boost sales at local businesses. I am pleased that my advocacy on behalf of Wisconsin families and businesses contributed to averting devastating cuts to the program. The Department of Energy has announced that Fiscal Year 2012 funding for the program will be maintained close to recent levels rather than be cut approximately 60 percent, as sought by House Republicans. I made a strong case to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu why the Wisconsin Weatherization Program should be maintained and am delighted that the Secretary agreed with my recommendation. [Read more] For more information on my work in Congress, visit TammyBaldwin.House.Gov Share this on:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Streetscoop: Evansville School District

In the school packet for the recent Evansville School Board meeting, in the Bank Reconciliation, it notes that in November 2011 the balance in Fund 27 for Special Education was NEGATIVE 806,374.96 and in January 2912 it was NEGATIVE 1,367,977. I assume that this is because the State of Wisconsin does not promptly pay the District for Special Ed Expenses, and the district has to obtain short term financing to cover this... The policy of forcing local school districts to loan money to the State at the same time that State is giving gifts to corporations speaks for itself. What is not clear to me, is what the net will be and what the actual difference between the reimbursement of the State of Wisconsin and the costs incurred. This goes to highlight the point that Mr. Michael Pierick made last year at the School District meeting that highlighted Open Enrollment. Especially when Open Enrollment is lengthened to May as a closing date, it opens the possibility that there could be a surprise that would have to be covered by ADDITIONAL concessions or cuts. I see that as something to be avoided at all costs, but the board decision to leave Open Enrollment wide open, it remains a possibility.

Streetscoop: Florida:

Residents of many communities in Florida recently received the news that their electric rates will DECREASE due to the decline in the cost of energy production because of the decline in natural gas costs....In related news, cities up north, who rely on COAL and non green fuel sources, have applied for rate increases, all the while pretending they are green, but NOT. Baggage handlers and folks who rely on tourism for their employment are concerned about the effect on their jobs of airlines hitting passengers with fees for additional luggage etc. It seems to them that many tourists are choosing to DRIVE...or just vacation locally. One Florida resident mentioned to me that he loved living in Florida, except that it was kind of like living in a gated community where everything has been abandoned.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

State of Wisconsin Academic Institutions seeking talent who PREFER 401K over Premier Defined Benefit Plan

Recently the distinguished Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has requested legislation that would allow new employees of academic institutions in the state of Wisconsin to choose 401K retirement plans over the traditional defined benefit plan. Rephrased: Governor Scott Walker is seeking academic talent for Wisconsin schools that would rather than choose the finest defined benefit plan in the nation, a plan that investment institutions have sought to emulate in their specific investments, and a benefit plan that is arguably the best in the nation---Walker is seeking the possibility that new employees would want an option to have the 401K plans that have proven to be "dismal" in performance over the past 20 years. Rephrased: Dimwits wanted to work in Wisconsin academic institutions.

Fiddlers' Summit Coming to Evansville

Many of you have heard about the Fiddlers’ Summit—Starring Ken Waldman with David Greely and Friends, coming to the Performing Arts Center on Saturday night Feb 25 at 7 pm. It’s going to be a great show and I hope you can attend. More information about the show and performers is below. I’ve attached a flyer that you can send to your email list or print and post, if you’d be so kind. You can get tickets—without charge—at Real Coffee at Daun, the Evansville Pharmacy or by calling 608.882.0598 to reserve them. You can also reply to this email to have tickets at will-call. We’re really hoping to get 600 tickets into the hands of people who will come and enjoy the show. Donations will be taken at the door and after the show. The show could also use a few volunteers. We will need two or three for will-call, three ushers, and several donation-takers before the show. We will also need people to take donations after the show as well. If you are willing to volunteer, please reply to this email. I’ll be away from the desk for a few days but I’ll get back to you early next week. Thank you Jim Brooks for E-Arts and ECP It will be One Hot Night In February when E-Arts presents The Evansville Fiddler’s Summit—Starring Ken Waldman, with the famed Cajun fiddler, David Greely, fiddler Brian O'Donnell and multi-instrumentalist Colin Bazsali of Madison’s own Barley Bros. on Saturday night February 25 at 7 pm. This most excellent string-band variety show, which will take you from Evansville to Anchorage and back, by way of Lafayette , Louisiana , is being staged for your free-will donation at the show. That’s right. Tickets can be had at no charge before the show and you can pay what you will at the venue. J im Brooks, speaking for E-Arts said, “We are bringing this family friendly show to the PAC and hope to give away all 600 tickets to people who will fill the hall for a wonderful night of energetic music. It’s a Cabin Fever-Reliever kind of a show and we want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to see it.” E-Arts is dedicated to bringing the best in live entertainment and the arts to Evansville . Their past shows have included Gaelic Storm with Rising Gael, The Second City and American English. The group has also been responsible for bringing Garry Wesley’s Elvis Tribute show, The Mad Hatters and Westside Andy and the Mel Ford Band to the PAC in winters past. This show will be a fun-for-the-whole-family variety show featuring Alaska’s Fiddling Poet, Ken Waldman, who has drawn on his 25 years in Alaska to produce poems, stories, and fiddle tunes that combine into a performance uniquely his own. A former college professor, Waldman has had published six full-length poetry collections, a memoir, a children's book, and has released nine CDs that combine old-time Appalachian-style string-band music with original poetry. Since 1995 he’s toured full-time, performing at some of the nation’s leading universities, festivals, arts centers, and clubs. David Greely took up the fiddle at 17, after hearing Richard Greene play through an amp with a wa-wa pedal in concert at the Warehouse in New Orleans, when Seatrain opened for Black Sabbath. The next day, in a Baton Rouge pawnshop a couple of blocks from where he was born, he bought a J apanese plywood fiddle and two brand-new $35 bows. Rosin applied, strings tuned to an open G chord, he figured out how to play a recognizable version of the “Sally Goodin” that he’d heard the night before, and made up two more tunes before supper. David and Steve Riley formed a band that became known as Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and spent the next 23 years together traveling literally around the world, searching archives for tunes, writing songs, making records and getting nominated for Grammies. They spent half the year in Louisiana Dance halls, where audiences vote with their feet: on the dance floor or out the door. The other half was spent on the road, playing folk festivals and concert halls. Two members of Madison ’s own The Barley Brothers will join the fun onstage that night. Brian O’Donnell brings his talents on fiddle and guitar to our show while multi-instrumentalist, Colin Bazsali, will play banjo, mandolin, and harmonica. These two play a monthly gig at Madison ’s Malt House and played together for years as part of The Cajun Strangers. Ticket outlets are Real Coffee at Daun and the Evansville Pharmacy. You can reserve yours by emailing J im Brooks at ecpi@litewire.net. Only 600 tickets have been printed so E-Arts hopes that they all get into the hands of people who will attend. It will be a great show and fun for everyone. For more information you can call 882-0598.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Common Council Meets on Valentines Day--

Common Council Regular Meeting Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 6:30 p.m. City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI Agenda (revised 2/13/2012) 1. Call to order 2. Roll Call 3. Approval of Agenda 4. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the January 10, 2012, regular meeting and the February 2, 2012, special meeting and to approve them as presented. 5. Citizen appearances A. Introduction from Rock County Circuit Court Candidate Tod Daniel. B. Introduction from Rock County Circuit Court Candidate Barbara McCrory. 6. Reports of Committees A. Youth Center Advisory Board Report B. Finance and Labor Relations Committee Report (1). Motion to accept the City and Water & Light bills as presented. (2). Motion to approve Resolution 2012-03, Approving Year-End Amendments to the 2011 Budget and New-Year Amendments to the 2012 Budget. (3). Motion to approve non-represented employee salaries for 2012. (4). Discussion and possible motion regarding control and management of invested moneys earmarked for library. C. Plan Commission Report D. Public Safety Committee Report E. Public Works Committee Report F. Water & Light Committee Report G. Economic Development Committee Report 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 adopt Ordinance 2012-01, Amending Chapter 2 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Charges for Non-Sufficient Funds. [Sponsors Brooks and Braunschweig]. B. Second Reading and motion to adopt Ordinance 2012-02, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Duplex Standards in R-2 District, Duplex Definitions, and Duplex Regulations. [Sponsors Braunschweig and Brooks]. C. Second Reading and motion to adopt Ordinance 2012-03, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Conditional Use Permit Applications. [Sponsors Braunschweig and Brooks]. 8. Communications and Recommendations from the Mayor A. Motion to waive the seven-day notice on citizen appointments. B. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Phil Kress, 239 W Liberty Street, to an unexpired 5 year term ending in 2014 to the Board of Review and to remove him as alternate. C. Motion to approve Resolution 2012-04, Appointing City Engineer. 9. Communications from the City Administrator A. Motion to approve application for Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) in amount of $35,000 for additional LED streetlights. B. Recommendation to keep Mark Sendelbach as Water & Light Superintendent beyond 45 day introductory period. C. Motion to disallow claim by Terry N. Bridgewater alleging city negligence. 10. New Business 11. Introduction of New Ordinances A. First Reading of Ordinance 2012-04, Amending Chapter 126 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Cross Connections. [Sponsors Brooks and Hayes] 12. Meeting Reminder: A. Discuss: reschedule next regular meeting to Tues, March 6, or Wed, March 7. 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.

Nostalgia: "Winds of Time; Evansville Windmill Art Festival

Nostalgia: One of the most popular entries in the Evansville, Wi Windmill Arts Festival;;;

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nostalgia: July 2005: What the United Airlines Pension Crisis means for YOU

July 2005: Pension Crisis Looms: Why United Airlines Crisis matters Since September 11, there has been a wide range of articles about the crisis that has confronted the airline industry. Anyone who has travelled by air knows that the world has changed big time for travellers. Airlines seem to be losing money on each ticket but trying to make it up in volume....something that any business owner could tell them is bad business...but they persist. A week ago, the PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation), a federal agency that insures the pension benefits of companies, took over the pension liabilities of United Airlines 123000 employees and retirees in the U.S. The problem is that this agency is 23 billion in the red at the current time and in poor shape to handle all the potential claims of the 20% of Americans that have defined benefit pension plans, plans that corporations have an incentive to avoid through the bankruptcy process since they are usually the ones that are underfunded. You may have thought this was just a problem at United Airlines. Wrong. It is a problem for every American who has a pension. The article titled "Pension Fury" or "Pension Roulette" by Tim Grey in the AARP Bulletin this month is a good article that explains what this crisis could mean for you. Click on the post title to access the article.(www.aarp.org/bulletin) The question I have is "Has deregulation really worked?" The regulated system for airlines had capital requirements for maintainance, pensions etc., but with the free for all market place, the public is not guaranteed that the essentials are covered. How about energy? or telephone? Are you any better off haveing 10,000 providers for long distance calling you for quotes on your long distance? How about the stock market? Now we have a totally transaction system where the system is designed to exploit not serve. So, is this a a pension crisis at United or is it more---- a deep crisis of deregulation of industries that are in the public interest and should have SOME minimium level of regulation, and more than at present. What is your call? Posted by Evansville Observer at 12:21 PM

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Nostalgia: New Evansville Ford 2008

Video: Nostalgia: Rudy Bennett describes the "New Owner, New Attitude of the New Evansville Ford.

OpEd: "The Downsizing"

Having just returned from the warm temps of Florida, it has been a real adjustment---and I had a close up look at how Seniors adjust to retirement---and have concluded that there are several phases---in the first visits, Seniors stay for a week, and go out to dinner every night. Later when they go to Florida three months of the year, they go out to lunch, and leave the dinners for the short timers. Later, when they stay 6months of the year, they go out to breakfast and stock up the freezers with goodies for the other two meals---in short it is a downsizing from the first years. Here in Wisconsin we are seeing the "Downsizing" first hand---downsizing of manufacturing jobs, any jobs, tax revenue, income, hopes, dreams and opportunity as the entire State of Wisconsin faces division and decline, division of the political process into a maelstrom of ranting on all sides, and decline as folks decide to leave to avoid it. It is way beyond anger. It is anguish. Anguish that recognizes that the old song "You can't Always get what you want" may in fact be true...And there may be no guarantees how long it will be till the dreams downsized can be realized. And the far greater anguish is that you may not be able to get what you need, forget the wants. stay tuned....this story is in development.

Evansville School Board Meets Monday, February 13, 2012

Evansville School Board Meeting Monday, Feb 13 to review Reopened Contract

The Evansville Wisconsin School District at its regular meeting on Monday night, February, 13, 2012 will review the agreement with teachers to reopen their contract---as reported by other media, the agreement will result in fewer teachers being laid off, and savings to the district toward their 1.5 million shortfall. The Evansville Observer hopes to provide live audio and video coverage of this meeting. It is a rare occurence to have parties reopen for their mutual benefit---mostly in these matters, because they are too painful, there are only cancelled meetings with no result. Congrats are in order.

Evansville School Board meets Wednesday to select administrator applicants

Board of Education Special Meeting Agenda Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:00 p.m. District Office Conference Room 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 I. Roll Call: Dennis Hatfield Kathi Swanson Eric Busse John Rasmussen Tina Rossmiller Sharon Skinner Nancy Hurley II. Executive Session – Under Wisconsin Statute 19.85(1)(c) to Discuss and Select District Administrator Applicants for Initial Screening Interviews and Finalize Interview Protocol

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Glory Days of the FBI Revisited at Little Bohemia: Government now modeled after "Gangsta" ethics

Recently I took a winter pilgrimage of sorts up to Manitowish Waters in Northern Wisconsin to spend a weekend near "Little Bohemia"---the resort where the FBI had that famous gun battle with John Dillinger as depicted in the recent movie. As I approached the lodge in the erie darkness, I was stunned that the very dark display of the film was in fact how it was in real life....we had a wonderful time at dinner there where there are momentos of the Dillenger event and I do recommend everyone to take a trip to see for yourself...but I digress... Those were the days when bold robbers met their fate at the hands of skillfull lawmen of the young FBI....what has happened to those days when bribery and extortion were met with the righteous wrath of the courageous FBI? Take for example the recent event in Madison, Wisconsin where a noted corporation, posing through a middleman, threatened the State of Wisconsin that they would leave for the warm weather of Florida unless they were paid several million dollars to relocate to the nearby Middleton...... How is this different from the famous extortion cons of the wild 1930"s. Very simple. Now we call it Economic Development.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Beyond Pay to Play: Pay or we Leave:

(Ed.note: In honor of the move of Spectrum Brands or Rayovac of Madison, I have republished the story of the "Cookies." ) Thursday, September 6, 2007 "The Cookies"---- a true story Tuesday, September 18, 2007 "The Cookies"----- a true story Years ago, one of my friends was the savings manager of the downtown Minneapolis Minnesota Federal. Minnesota Federal was a very staid old line savings institution. The two benefits of this job were the Athletic Club membership he was given to entertain depositors and woo new deposits. The other duty was to manage the depositors on "cookie day" each week. I think it was Tuesday. All customers were treated to cookies and coffee. It was great to stop off while switching busses and get a cup of coffee and one of those great chocolate chip cookies. I suppose I could have felt uncomfortable standing around chatting with the older folks about stuff----actually I loved it cause they always had some great stories, and besides....the cookies were great. Depositors who created a new account for $5000 or more, or added $5000 to an existing account got a wonderful set of stainless steel silverware. I can see it now in the classic wooden case. How elegant. Someday I thought. Someday I will get some of that silverware. One day I stopped in and there was NOTHING. What a shock. What a letdown feeling!! It had been a terrible winter day battling traffic on 35W and ...well...I really was in the mood for some coffee....and the cookies. What a blow!! I went right over to my friend, Mike, and asked, "What the heck is the deal, Mike? How could you destroy such a sacred tradition like the cookies?" Mike just smiled. Then he went on: "The stainless steel silverware was a reward for those folks that deposited NEW money. The plain truth is that we had a large number of present customers that threatened to take their $5000 out of the bank if they did not get the silverware. It became a blackmail game. The incentive just did not work. So---we discontinued it, along with the coffee and cookies." Over the years I have thought a lot about that incident. Things have changed. Yes I have learned how to make my own coffee. Mike taught me a wonderful lesson that morning. A lesson about Economic Development. A lesson about sales. Economic Development is about going out and getting the NEW money---not about being blackmailed by the old. The stainless silver cookware goes to the NEW. Thanks, Mike.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Audio: Evansville Schools: Enrollment:

Audio: Evansville School Dist: January 9, 2012: Discussion of enrollment for upcoming school year, several options on Sage funding for k-3. Discussion of enrollment trends.

MP3 File

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Agenda: Special Evansville Council Meeting: TODAY

Common Council Special Meeting Thursday, February 2, 2012, 6:30 p.m. City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, WI AGENDA 1. Call to order. 2. Roll call. 3. Approval of agenda. 4. Motion to defer the reading of the minutes of the January 10, 2012, regular meeting until the February regular meeting. 5. Citizen appearances. 6. Discussion of City Attorney memo regarding the January vote on confirmation of the mayoral appointment of City Engineer. 7. Review of mayoral appointment process. a. Use of position-specific expertise for practicality and efficiency. b. Confirmation process is not either/or. c. Next steps in cases of non-confirmation. 8. Justification for request for proposals for municipal engineering services. 9. Motion to waive the seven-day notice on mayoral appointments. 10. Motion to confirm the mayoral appointment of Town & Country Engineering, Inc. as City Engineer. a. Selection committee overview. b. Presentation by Town and Country Engineering c. Other relevant information. d. Council discussion and action. 11. Adjourn. 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.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I and E Club Meeting Feb 8th Features Eric Larsen:

I&E Club Meets Feb. 8, Features Local Entrepreneur Larsen Mark Feb. 8 on your calendar, and learn how a local computer programmer created a business and earned contest honors. The Evansville Area Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club hosts Eric Larsen, who created the box office software Expresso Ticketing. It’s a product that offers a high-end ticketing sales experience to small-sized venues. He also entered and earned honors at Accelerate Your Business Contest, designed to foster economic development in Rock County. Larsen will be speaking at the meeting set for Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Creekside Place, 102 Maple St., Evansville. Everyone is invited to the meeting, which is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available, courtesy of Evansville Farmers Market. The local group—which will be hosting an indoor market Saturday, Feb. 25 at Creekside Place—is accepting applications for vendors. See evansvillefarmersmarket.org or their Facebook page for more information. For more information about 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. Or go to www.linkedin.com and search, under “groups” for Evansville Area Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club.