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Friday, April 27, 2012

Minutes: Tourism: March 2012

City of Evansville Economic Development Committee Subcommittee on Tourism Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 2 PM Creekside Place, 102 Maple St., Evansville, WI MINUTES 1. Call to order at 2:10 p.m. 2. Roll call. Present: Sue Berg, Mary Rajek; Ex Officio Sandy Decker, Jim Brooks. Guest: John Decker. Absent: Greg Ardisson, Susan Farnsworth, Dave VanDerHaegen. 3. Motion to approve agenda. Tabled due to lack of quorum. 4. Motion to waive the reading of the February 29, 2012, minutes and approve them as printed. Tabled due to lack of quorum. 5. Citizen appearances. John Decker reported that he would represent the Civil War Rally ‘Round the Flag event at the Civil War Expo to be held March 24 in Kenosha. 6. Discover Wisconsin. The current contract with Discover Wisconsin ends in June. Four options to renew are available: a. $36,000 to produce a new 30-minute TV program in a 2-year contract identical to the last one; b. $18,000/$12,000 to join a group of 6 destinations featured in one 30-minute TV program broadcasted in one season ($18,000 for 3 broadcasts in spring/summer; $12,000 for 2 broadcasts in fall or winter); c. $10,000 to be a part of a theme program with up to 4 destinations in a 30-minute TV program in a contract otherwise identical to the $36,000 option d. $3500 + $3500 for a 2-year contract that extends the life of the current program on video links plus Discover Wisconsin web presence (destination page, calendar). $3500 is the 2-year commitment to be matched by $3500 in local advertising sales led by DW. e. The $10,000 program has a unique opportunity. DW is in the process of working on an Ice Age Trail program focusing on the Rock County area. The IAT Alliance has contributed funds; remaining cost is $6500. Janesville CVB and Chamber have invited Evansville to share in the program at a rate of $2000. Distribution of Evansville brochures would be included in the package. f. After extensive discussion, consensus of the group is to recommend that the Economic Development Committee commit $3500 in room tax dollars to extend the web contract 2 years (2012 to 2014) and to commit $2000 to participate in the Ice Age Trail program (2013 to 2015). 7. Strategic initiatives. Berg reviewed the five strategic initiatives identified as strongest tourism assets for Evansville; the Civil War event in May; the Arts; Nature; Agri-Tourism; and History. David Spiegelberg from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism anticipates having a summary report ready for presentation around mid-April. 8. Budget considerations a. Floral baskets Berg reported that the Economic Development Committee approved allocation of $1350 from room tax funds for downtown floral baskets. b. Berg also reported that the Economic Development Committee approved allocations from room tax funds of $500 for Civil War promotion; $500 for fireworks; and $250 for promotion of the new Theodore Robinson Plein Air Painting event June 8-17. c. A barn quilt brochure for the Evansville area is underway. The self-guided historic walking tour brochure may have enough quantities to get through the season. The Discover Wisconsin brochure needs to be updated. Berg will collect printing bids. 9. WIGCOT report a. www.wigcot.org for handouts. Berg summarized highlights of the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism held in Green Bay March 4-6, 2012. In particular: 39% of visitors travel within one month of planning; 23% of visitors travel within two months of planning; forget apps because no one traveling wants to “go to the store” and download apps; instead stick with QR codes. 10. Grant Programs. Berg noted that these grant programs may be potential sources of future funding. a. State Farm / community revitalization, marketing sponsorships b. National Endowment for the Humanities / interpretation of historic places brochure c. National Endowment for the Arts / Our Town Program 11. Set next meeting date. Tabled until after mayoral appointments are announced. 12. Meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.

Nostaliga: 2008: Video: " Minnesota Hail to Thee"--U of Minn Marching Band

Nostalgia: 2008: Congrats to Molly on her graduation: Video: Right prior to loading the busses to the Metrodome, the U of Minn Marching Band sings "Minn. Hail to Thee."

ALEC Exposed film premiers at Barrymore TONIGHT

The Madison premier of the new Greenwald Film; Koch Brother's Exposed will show at the Barymore tonight: April 27, 2012 at 7:30PM. The Barrymore Theatre is at 2090 Atwood Ave, Madison, Wisconsin. Admission is $10 the day of the show. After the show, there will be a discussion of the role the Koch's have played in funding ALEC and meddling in wisconsin politics. On Friday night, Center for Media Democracy Mary Bottari, John Nicols of the Nation Magazine, and UW profs Joci Rogers and Julie Underwood will be on the discussion panel. If you cannot get to the film tonight, you can order a copy of the film at the Center for Media Democracy web site, and go to the facebook event page. Enjoy.

www.tinyurl.com/removewalker

To access an archive of some of the video of the Recall Walker campaign on Utube, click on this shortened URL. Enjoy the Evansville Observer channel on Youtube. Remember to vote on May 8th.

Wis. Primary Debate Coming Friday, May 4, 2012

WISCONSIN 2012 DEBATE: THE DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL RECALL PRIMARY Tune in for a live debate between Democratic Gubernatorial primary candidates. The May 4th Debate will be broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television at 7:00pm. If you are interested in being in the debate audience, call 800-253-1158 and leave a message with your name and daytime phone number * * * * * *

Subscribe FREE to The Evansville Observer

On the front page of The Evansville Observer is a "Email" icon. Just put your email address on this line and each day you will receive an email from the Evansville Observer "feed" from Feedburner, listing the stories that have been added that day. You can read the stories, send them to your friends, post them on facebook and then delete. Now you will never miss an important news item. You can unsubscribe at any time. Check it out. This feature is also available on The Agenda Blog and the Minutes blog, and The Tales From Normal, Mn. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"The Rise of "Gangsta" Government"

(Ednote: This is reprinted due to popular demand from the Reflections blog) The Rise of "Gangsta" Government: Oh the Glories of Little Bohemia 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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mailbag; Vinehout Writes; re; Gov. race

Education: People are Priceless A woman at the farmers market shared her story. She taught special students. They often came from poor areas, had troubled parents and frequently could not speak fluent English. Without help they were destined to face a troubled life. She had much success changing students’ lives. She spent hours helping them read and write; encouraging the youngsters. But recently her school district announced severe layoffs for the coming year. How would the layoffs affect her and her students? Next year class sizes were expected to be 45 to 48. Students would spend most of their day in front of a computer. The school administration touted this as ‘education reform’ and ‘individualized instruction.’ But parents and teachers know it is individualized learning – with a human teacher – that best helps troubled students. This story is from a school district in Wisconsin. And it may be coming to a school near you. A recent audit from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction showed more than 2,300 staff and teaching positions were cut in this school year; a more than 50% increase over last year. Eliminated positions are widespread. Seventy-four percent of schools cut staff in this school year. Seventy-three percent cut teachers. The audit showed actual school data that mirrors an earlier survey of school superintendents. The cuts fell disproportionably on business and technical education, librarians, reading and science teachers and special education. With deep funding cuts and heavy restrictions on raising local money, school superintendents turned to the largest part of their budget – staff. Local superintendents tell me they have struggled with almost twenty years of tight budgets. Some schools survived by referendums. Others cut programs, slashed staff and increased class sizes. Some schools survived using federal dollars they saved and other schools found new health insurance plans that saved money. But these ways to reduce spending won’t be available next school year. In an earlier survey of most of the state’s superintendents, two-thirds reported that next year’s cuts would be as bad or worse. The federal dollars that helped many superintendents weather the budget storm dried up and the savings from increased employee contributions to pensions and health insurance were already booked in next year’s budget. In some cases, employees are already paying most of the cost of health care. Many school staff told me they are now paying a $4,000 deductible on their health insurance or more. A teacher recently told me she delayed going to the doctor despite serious symptoms because she didn’t have the money. In the end it is the children that suffer most. And it is all of us who pay down road when children with special needs are not given the one-on-one personal support they need to become highly functioning adults. Education is an investment for all of us. Education pulls children out of poverty, inspires and motivates. For many of us, the school is the center of our community. People are fundamental to education. A motivating teacher changed my life, many times. Any parent who sat with a youngster and helped them with homework has seen the effect one-on-one human interaction has on the developing student. A computer is a tool to assist students and teachers in learning. But it is grave mistake to replace the human teacher with a machine. I remember the name of the teachers four and half decades ago that changed my life. My guess is that you do too. Replacing those caring, stimulating and motivating souls with a computer will not result in an enlightened generation to come. Click here to download the PDF

Recall Walker Campaign Will be Decided by Grassroots Organizing, not Traditional Media

One of the amazing things about the Recall Walker campaign that gathered a million signatures, was that it was a grassroots campaign, not a top down organized campaign, but a bottom up campaign. I challenge you to find in the midst of the rallies on State Street in Madison one advertisement in traditional media for the events---it was all done by word of mouth, social media, flyers, email, neighborhood organizations etc.. So...do not be surprised that in the days leading up to the primary election we find sparce media coverage of the campaign....The big money will come in the regular election contest...and for that, it will be best for citizens to shut the tv off, put the phone answering machine on, and instead check your social media sites and community organizations.....person to person, one at a time...that is what will decide the election...it will be close...what do you think will be the result?? But forget the big traditional media...they are dead.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Why Secret Service Abstinence Matters": Tales From Normal, Mn.: FICTION

In a routine public works committee meeting today in Normal, Mn., the nuts and bolts leader of that committee explained to the three folks attending, that it was very important to have the secret service abstinent since in the past the highest leaders of our distinguished nation, and indeed the IMF, have participated in such unseemly conduct that it was important for someone to be sober and chaste....to preserve our black bag for nuclear response, and to ensure that someone was incharge...just in case....leadership was needed. He then mentioned that this nation is confronted by the wild and crazy behavior of North Korea that is planning to conduct a nuclear test just to make up for a failed rocket launch, and that when faced with trying to unravel the logic of such rogue states, it takes clear minds, and sober minds to unravel the rogue logic, and thus sobriety and chaste thought is essential, and indeed may not be available at the highest levels of government...the secret service needs to be alert. Stay tuned as I follow this developing story.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Evansville School Board Meets Monday, April 23, 2012

EVANSVILLE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda Monday, April 23, 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. Annual Board Reorganization. A. Election of Officers. IV. Business (Action Items): A. Approval of Selection of Delegate Representative to CESA 2. B. Approval of Staff Changes: Staff Retirement, Staff Resignations, Staff Reduction in Contract, and Child Rearing Leave. V. Budget Finance – Chair, Treasurer - A. Discussion Items: 1) Update on Evansville Education Foundation. 2) Non Represented and Support Staff Benefits. B. Develop Budget Finance Draft Agenda for May 21 Meeting. VI. Policy – Chair, Nancy Hurley - A. First Reading of Policies: 1) Policy #251-Organization for Administrative Purposes. 2) Policy #251 Exhibit-Organization Chart. B. Second Reading of Policies: 1) Policy #322-Student School Day. 2) Policy #411.4-Student Bullying. 3) Policy #722.1-Staff Accident Reports. C. Develop Policy Agenda Draft Agenda for May 21 Meeting. VII. Future Agendas – Chair, President - A. Discussion of May Board Meetings: May 14 and 21 Regular Meetings. VIII. 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: 4-18-12 Re-Posted: 4-19-12

Recall Walker Signs Evansville, Wi

Recall Walker Signs Sprout up in Evansville, Wisconsin as Signs spread all across Wisconsin. For questions about set up of your own signs, contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Recall Walker Signs Sprout in Evansville

Check out the Recall Walker Signs that have sprouted up in Evansville, Wisconsin on Hwy 14. For further information on how to get your own signs, contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Recall Walker Signs Arrive in Evansville

Be sure to drive through Evansville, Wisconsin today.... stop in for a cup of coffee at a local coffee house, and view the Recall Walker signs now on Highway 14 on East Main Street. You can get your own signs for Recall Walker by contacting people4progresswi@gmail.com

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Best of Vinehout": 1 of 3: Campaign: Gov

"Best of Vinehout": 1 of 3: Kathleen Vinehout on the Campaign Trail, Stoughton, Wisconsin, April 15, 2012; Produced by The Evansville Observer, www.evansvilleobserver.blogspot.com



"Best of Vinehout": 2 of 3: Campaign Gov

"Best of Vinehout": 2 of 3: Campaign forums; Stoughton, Wisconsin April 15, 2012; Produced by The Evansville Observer, www.evansville.blogspot.com

"Best of Vinehout": 3 of 3: Kathleen Vinehout on Campaign

"Best of Kathleen Vinehout, Campaign Trail, Stoughton, Wisconsin, April 15, 2012 3 of 3 videos

OpEd: Neither "Reverse Robin Hood" nor "Robin Hood" will do"

Wisconsin has a structural imbalance in its fiscal affairs, and neither a "Robin Hood" nor "Reverse Robin Hood" will work...but SHARED SACRIFICE will. That means getting beyond slogans, and examining how to generate tax revenue fairly affecting all income groups, and cutting expenses. Only Shared Sacrifice will work. The Reverse Robin Hood of Gov. Scott Walker has clearly been a failure and divided Wisconsin, rich from poor, sick from healthy, old from young, union from non-union----and unless this is solved, there will be an accelerating exodus of business and families from Wisconsin seeking a state where government does what works for communties and families to work together effectively. If you want to see what this might look like, go to seethe movie "Margin Call". We are headed for a selling panic if this situation is not addressed shortly. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Issue Corner: Governor: Quality Education & Funding

(Ed.note: This is one of the identified issues at the Governor Candidate Forum in Stoughton, Wi on Sunday, April 15, 2012) Question: Over the last 20 years, state aid to school districts has been a smaller and smaller portion of the total cost of quality public education. Our children are receiving fewer educational opportunities. Gov. Walker has reduced revenues to schools by another $1.6 billin in this 2 year budget. The result? More teacher layoffs and program cuts hurting children. The Legislature can fix the school-funding formula tomorrow by taking two actions: By passing State Superintendent Tony Evers""Fair Funding for Our Future" Plan and By approving "The Penny for Kids" one-cent increase in the sales tax to restore Walker's $1.6 billion in cuts. Specifically, "The Fair Funding for Our Future" Plan calls for a base state funding of $3000 for every student in every district, increases state aid if the district has a high number of students living in poverty, helps districts with declining enrollments, increases state aid each by 2% or the CPI to provide stability, eases the state revenue limits, and places the school levy tax credit monies into school aids. Specifically, "The Penny for Kids" would increase the state sales tax from 5% to 6% on the dollar producing nearly $900 million per year in revenue that would then be sent to schools as state aids making up for Walker's cuts."

Issue Corner: Recall Walker Campaign: Budgets Etc

(Ed.note; This was one of the many issues discussed at the Governor candidate Forum in Stoughton, Wisconsin on Sunday, April 15, 2012) This is a question on Revenue Limits. "Since 1993 the State of Wisconsin has removed local control from public schools and municipalities by restricting their ability to tax. the state calls this "placing revenue limits" on schools and municipalities. The state has reduced shared revenues while limiting local governments ability to raise property taxes or use other means to increase revenue. This state law is "starving" local governments and schools---jeopardizing the fabric of out communities and the future of Wisconsin. Question 1) Please outline a multiple pronged approach to allow local governments to increase local control of revenue and determine the level of services that are right for their communities. Question 2) Do you favor repealing the revenue limits for schools, counties and municipalities and return Local Control to those jurisdictions?

Dateline Normal, Mn.: Legislator Proposes Abstinence and Sobriety for Secret Service and Military: FICTION

Dateline Normal, Mn.; Legislator Proposes Abstinence and Sobriety for Secret Service and Military: Cites Benefits:FICTION Word has spread like wildfire today as Legislators in Normal, Mn., that sleepy fishing town in northern Minnesota, where the peace of walleye fishing gives the politicos a clearer understanding of how to remedy world problems,...the legislators proposed that all secret service and military personnel would immediately be required to pass abstinence and sobriety tests or be discharged from service. The news has prompted such an immediate surge of discharges from service, that the result has been a tremendous increase in the esteem and pride of those serving this great country, and also a tremendous increase in the prospect for world peace. Married men just have not seen the attractivenes of traveling all around the world to be sober and abstinent. Conservatives from Wisconsin have been particularly pleased with the result, since they have always asserted that abstinence, and indeed ignorance is the cure for most of the ills of society, and especially the cure for TOP Gun types... Stay tuned as I follow this developing story.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Progressive Corner: Recall: A Teach-In coming Tuesday

Waunakee Rebuild the Dream Presents a Teach-in Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Time: 7:00 PM Matthew Rothschild Editor The Progressive Magazine http://www.progressive.org/ "What's at Stake in the Recall" Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine, which is one of the leading voices for peace and social justice in this country. Rothschild has appeared on Nightline, C-SPAN, The O'Reilly Factor, and NPR, and his newspaper commentaries have run in the Chicago Tribune, the L.A. Times, the Miami Herald, and a host of other newspapers. Rothschild is the host of "Progressive Radio," a syndicated half-hour weekly interview program. And he does a two-minute daily radio commentary, entitled "Progressive Point of View," which is also syndicated around the country. Rothschild is the author of You Have No Rights: Stories of America in an Age of Repression (New Press, 2007). He also is the editor of Democracy in Print: The Best of The Progressive, 1909-2009 (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009). Waunakee High School Small Auditorium 300 Community Drive Enter the building via door 17. The parking lot is off of South Street for this doorway.

The Woodchucks Signs of Evansville

The Evansville Observer strongly recommends the work of the Woodchucks of Evansville, Wisconsin, a non-profit community based group located at the Evansville Senior Center...Check out their new signs made to your specifications. Contact Fred Juergens at Creekside Place during regular business hours for details --608-882-0407

Mailbag: Vinehout Issues "Call to Action"

As weeks turn to days before the primary elections we all must work hard to get the word out about our candidate for Governor. We have options to spread the word and get people engaged in our grassroots campaign. ORDER YOUR DVDs NOW! You can host a house party with a virtual Kathleen. Gather your neighbors, friends and family, put out the snacks, and view a DVD featuring Kathleen’s speeches and responses to questions about important issues. SPREAD CAMPAIGN LITERATURE OVER YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD! You can spread the word by distributing campaign literature in your community. You will be energized by the beautiful spring weather and by sharing our campaign message about a fresh start for Wisconsin. SEND OUT POSTCARDS ENDORSING KATHLEEN! You can share your personal support for Kathleen by sending grassroots endorsement postcards to your friends, family and others. Take out your address book and send a message that can make a difference. All the resources you need to call your friends and family to action! Email us today at volunteer@kathleenvinehout.org with the number of DVDs, postcards, & pieces of literature you need Orange isn’t just for Hunters! People recognize orange is for our grassroots campaign to change our Governor and the way we govern in Wisconsin. Many of our fellow volunteers have made hundreds of Vinehout for Governor signs that need to appear in yards all around the state! Stop by the campaign headquarters to pick up your sign(s) today. If you can’t make it to the headquarters but plan on attending one of Kathleen’s upcoming events let us know and we’ll send extra signs along. Sharing the Good News! Kathleen is winning over people all around the state. This week she was the top vote getter in a gubernatorial straw poll following a candidate forum in Darlington attended by people from southeastern Wisconsin. Share news from your neighborhood. How are you spreading the word? Do you have activities and ideas that really taking off? Submit your ideas and grassroots efforts to Jamie Rebman at Jamie@kathleenvinehout.org. Grassroots Idea of the Week: Potluck With a Purpose Host a potluck at your house. Invite friends and family over for dinner—before dessert is served, go around your neighborhood and pass out Vinehout literature! Kathleen is Wisconsin PTA “Friend of Children” Award Winner Friday April 27th – Wisconsin PTA State Convention - Fontana Kathleen will be honored during Convention General Session * The Joan Dykstra “Friend of Children” Award * This award honors elected or appointed public officials who share the PTA goal of promoting education and children’s issues. Kathleen is recognized for her tireless work in the State Legislature to improve the quality of education in Wisconsin. In doing so Kathleen is a champion for the hopes and dreams of all Wisconsin children. Here’s a look at Kathleen’s schedule for the next week Saturday April 21th WAUSAU – 7th Congressional District Convention Kathleen will speak about why we need a fresh start for Wisconsin 9:00am-11:30am – Labor Temple - 318 South Third Street MADISON – 2nd Congressional District Convention Be part of the discussion about Kathleen’s goals for Wisconsin’s future 1:00pm-4:00pm – Madison Labor Temple – 1602 South Park Street Sunday April 22th ST. FRANCIS – Meet & Greet with Sen. Kathleen Vinehout Join area residents for a cup of coffee and conversation with Kathleen 2:00pm-4:00pm – Fixx Coffee Shop – 3558 East Sivyer Street RACINE – Meet & Greet with Sen. Kathleen Vinehout Kathleen welcomes folks to an informal conversation about important issues 5:00pm-7:00pm – The Grind Cafe- 7300 Washington Avenue Monday April 23th RACINE – ReFUND Wisconsin Town Hall Join Kathleen in this discussion of investing in Wisconsin values 6:30pm-8:30pm – Bray Center – 924 Center Street Tuesday April 24th GREEN BAY – Kathleen visits the Green Bay School District Kathleen gets a first-hand look at how Green Bay schools are dealing with Walker’s education budget cuts 8:30am-11:00am – Green Bay School District – 200 South Broadway Wednesday April 25th MADISON – Guest at the WisPolitics Luncheon Come and participate in a discussion with Kathleen about Wisconsin’s future 11:45am-1:00pm – The Madison Club – 5 East Wilson Street WHITEWATER – Visit to UW-Whitewater Join Kathleen on campus to discuss issues important to students and faculty 3:30pm-4:30pm – University Center – 800 West Main Street WHITEWATER – Candidate Forum hosted by UW-Whitewater College Democrats and others Kathleen will share her views on the critical issues facing Wisconsinites 7:00pm-9:00pm – UW Whitewater Highland Hall – 800 West Main Street Thursday April 26th EAU CLAIRE - Join Kathleen as we take back democracy in the state. Share the enthusiasm. Hear stories of democracy in action around the state and become a part of the movement. 5:00pm-6:30pm - Stella's Red Room - 302 East Madison Street Friday April 27th FONTANA – Wisconsin PTA State Convention Kathleen receiving Wisconsin PTA “Friend of Children” Award 2:00pm-3:30pm - The Abbey (on Lake Geneva) – 269 Fontana Blvd ELKHORN – Meet & Greet with Walworth County Democrats Kathleen will gather with area democrats and progressives 5:00pm-6:30pm – Walworth Democrats Office – 10 South Washington Street LAKE MILLS – Speaking at the Lake Mills P.I.E. Meeting Kathleen will fire-up this informed and engaged group of citizens 7:30pm-8:30pm – Waterhouse Foods - 110 East Lake Street

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mailbag: Chamber of Commerce; Re: Memorial Day Celebration

Evansville Area Chamber of Commerce Announces 2012 Memorial Day Weekend Celebration & Raffle Evansville, WI – The Evansville VFW Post 6905 and Evansville Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism are planning fun for the whole family Memorial Day Weekend. Saturday, May 26th: First Annual Chamber Open Golf Classic Join Chamber and community members for the first annual Chamber Open Golf Classic hosted at the Evansville Golf Club. Tee off for a challenging day on a mature course for a good cause! Golfers will have a chance to purchase Rally in the Alley raffle tickets, along with a chance to win a variety of great prizes – including NEW CAR! For more information, contact the Chamber at 608-882-5131 or go to http://evansvillechamber.org. Monday, May 28th: 4th Annual Rally in the Alley Raffle Bring the family to VFW Post 6905 (179 E. Main St., Evansville) for the Chamber’s annual Rally in the Alley Celebration from 11:00am - 6:00 pm. Enjoy food, music, and a chance to win great raffle prizes! New for 2012 -- A portion of the Raffle proceeds will go to support the Evansville Honor Flight for WWII Veterans. For more information, visit: http://evansvillechamber.org. Raffle tickets have just arrived, and prizes for this year are set: 1st Prize – 2012 Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV 4x4 2nd Prize – $500 Cash 3rd Prize – Ruger 10-22 Semi Automatic or $200 Cash Only 1,000 tickets will be sold; tickets priced at $20 per ticket or 6 tickets for $100. Winner must be 18 or legal guardian to win. Tickets are available at the Chamber Office at 8 W Main St. and from local businesses and establishments displaying the Rally in the Alley Raffle poster starting next week. Contact Chamber Director Mary Rajek, 882.5131 or stop by the Chamber Office, 8 W. Main with questions / requests for tickets.

Minnesota Faces Crisis with Possible Loss of Vikings

Top officials with the NFL are meeting today at the Minnesota State Capitol to discuss, urge etc. legislators to get a deal done for a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Folks all over the nation know that the top three assets of Minnesota are in order; 1)The Vikings 2) Walleye Fishing 3) Cheap Beer, mostly imported from Wisconsin. The loss of the Minnesota Vikings will put a lot of pressure on Walleye Fishing...My sources tell me that Minnesotans are drinking as much cheap beer at present as humanly possible and not to expect a further increase in consumption to bail out Minnesota. It is factually true that watching the Vikings over the past two seasons has been troubling for football fans, but the possible loss of the team would mean that all that could be done on Sundays is visiting with family, going to church, ice fishing, and SCRABBLE. The prospect of just a limited menu might tip Minnesota into well...a real low... Stay tuned as I follow this breaking story.

Issue Corner: Fair Tax System---Key Questions for Governors Race in Wisconsin

(Ed.note: this is one of the questions for the candidates for Governor at the Stoughton, Wis meeting last Sunday. This question is on taxes from the Institute for Wisconsin's Future, a Wisconsin think tank in Milwaukee. Governor Walker balanced the budget by cuts alone. He reduced tax assistance to low-income parents and seniors while opening new tax breaks for businesses and investors. He cut staff at the Department of Revenue, though it's clear that small investments in catching tax delinquents bring large returns in revenue. He gave new tax credits to big firms, though such profitable companies as General Electric, S.C. Johnson and Associated Bank go year after year without paying Wisconsin income tax. Three questions: 1) Do you believe in a balanced approach to budgeting? An approach which doesn't just reduce funding but also finds additional sources of revenue? 2) Will you build the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's capacity to catch tax cheats? 3) Do you support a Buffett rule for corporations, to force all big, profitable companies to pay a fair share of income tax?

Recall Walker Signs Sprouting up

Video: Recall Walker signs are sprouting up between Mazo and Black Earth----check them out...some signs have messages on both sides....Drive safely....all the signs are creating lots of buzz

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mailbag: Vinehout Writes

FoodShare: Who’s Minding the Store? FoodShare is a vital program for low-income people who cannot afford to feed their families. But the program has been plagued with oversight problems. Past reports include a prisoner incarcerated for almost four years who still received FoodShare benefits with an unknown individual using those benefits. Auditors recently found 334 instances where the FoodShare card was used to make a purchase in Wisconsin on the same day the card was manually entered to make another purchase in another state – including New York, North Carolina and California. Recent audits by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau provide insight to what is happening and why. Systems are supposed to be in place to enforce rules and identify fraud. But audits show state officials have not performed routine data matches, checked routine reports or adequately staffed fraud and abuse positions. Nearly all the money for FoodShare comes from the federal government but the state shares responsibility for oversight of the program. To be eligible for Foodshare, families must meet both financial and non-financial requirements. Federal law prohibits prisoners or those who live outside Wisconsin from receiving benefits. Every 12 months the state must recertify households to continue to receive benefits. The state must make sure individuals have not gained employment that makes them ineligible or moved out-of-state. In some cases, people who moved out-of-state had their case closed right away. However many cases remained open for several months, increasing the risk of fraud. Systems and staff to monitor the program are inadequate. Beginning just last year two staff members were assigned to review cases. With the new staff, fraud detection improved. But those two staff members reviewed less than half of all cases reported by the federal government. State officials told auditors they can’t monitor more cases because of staff shortages. Another problem is individuals who received benefits but were subsequently imprisoned. The problem with prisoners receiving benefits and ‘someone else’ using the benefits is not new. Auditors first identified the problem four years ago. The agency responded with the promise of a system of data matches - comparing lists of prisoners to lists of program recipients - every month. But four years later, despite repeated recommendations from auditors, the routine data matches were not being performed. Two years ago auditors found 33 individuals who were in prison and still receiving benefits – ten of which had been in prison for over a year. One individual received FoodShare despite being in prison for almost four years. These inmates should have been caught during the routine recertification process. But they were missed Again state officials committed to resolving the problem. But a recently released audit shows that did not happen. Only one time did state officials performed the monthly data matches of prisoners to FoodShare recipients. No regular matches by caseworkers were completed. In the one match that was performed, officials discovered 235 cases of prisoners receiving benefits. Last fall the Governor created a new position of Inspector General to monitor fraud and abuse. The Department of Health had 19 new positions budgeted to monitor fraud and abuse in public programs. But none are on the job yet. State officials expect the new fraud and abuse monitors will be in place midsummer. State officials also said regular reports on FoodShare money spent out-of-state are sent out to counties but are not consistently monitored. They expected to resolve this situation with a memo. The Department has also come under federal scrutiny for privatizing the administration of FoodShare. In a visit a year ago federal officials threatened to withhold federal FoodShare money if the state continued to send so much administration of the program to private contractors. Previous audits exposed problems with the oversight of other contracts administered by the Department of Health. Many of the problems of fraud and abuse can be resolved through proper administrative oversight. To accomplish this, the state must make an investment in staff. Watchdogs must be well trained, proper procedures must be in place and systems must be evaluated. Program integrity is the result of an investment in staff and structure. Auditors are continuing their work and expect a comprehensive review of the program integrity issues in the FoodShare program to be released later this year.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Minutes; Historic Preservation: March 2012

Evansville Historic Preservation Commission Minutes Wednesday, March 21, 2012 6:30 P.M. Evansville City Hall Present: John Decker, Steve Culbertson, Rich Modaff, Steve Christens, Betsy Ahner Absent: Rick Schuch Also Present: Mayor Sandy Decker, Vickie Arneson, Mason Barber The meeting was called to order at 6:31 PM by Chair Richard Modaff. Motion by Culbertson to waive the reading of the February 15, 2012 minutes and approve them as read. Second by Christens. Motion carried. Applications – Appearances 227 Garfield Ave - Homeowner Vickie Arneson was present to explain the dilemma she and her husband were facing regarding their home. The flat porch roofs on their home need replacing along with a railing that has been removed because of rot. In order to maintain eligibility for historic preservation tax credits, the Wisconsin Historical Society wants them to replace the railing with one built to original specs but if they do that it won’t meet the building code. City building inspector Dave Wartenweiler has told them he would allow an exemption to the code if the Historic Preservation Commission agreed to it. The Arnesons propose adding an extra slat in the railing design so that no space has a diameter of more than 6 inches. They will also be requesting permission to add more posts to help support the weight of the railing and increasing the height of the railing from 34 to 36 ½ inches. If the extra slat is not allowed by the State Historical Society then they will go with a design that just adds the extra posts and raises the height. Modaff asked if they were able to determine if this railing design was original to the house when it was built in 1940. Vickie said she was told by a home inspector that the railing was the original one. Also a neighbor has a 1950’s era photo showing the railing. Mayor Decker stated that several years ago she attended a seminar in Madison and the speaker stressed the importance of keeping water out of a home, so the roof repairs should be made as soon as possible. Motion by Decker to express that the sense of the Evansville Historic Preservation Commission is that either design, shown as C and #2, are historically appropriate and meet with our approval. Second by Christens. Motion carried unanimously. 119 East Main Street – Building owner Mason Barber was present to explain his plans for the building that he and his wife Karen own. This building previously housed Auto Transformers and has been vacant for over 5 years. The Barbers would like to operate an auto collision repair business in the building. Insurance agents in Evansville have told Karen that a business like this is needed by their policy holders. The volume they anticipate having will allow them to house all autos inside the building and they will enter and exit at the rear of the building. Parking places in front of the building will be open for customers to the downtown area. They plan to bring the 1926 aesthetic back to the building. The vinyl siding on the front of the building will be removed and the garage door will be replaced with an original looking but non-functioning door. Windows will also be replaced with more energy efficient glass and the trim will be cement board, an engineered product which will look like wood but require less maintenance, Lastly, the garage door will be an original-looking non-functioning wood door. Motion by Decker to approve the design presented as being historically appropriate and recommend the design to the Plan Committee in connection with the Conditional Use Permit. Second by Christens. Motion carried unanimously. At this time Chairperson Modaff vacated the chair and Vice-chair Christens took his place. Motion by Culbertson to accept the application for 103 South Third Street. Second by Decker. This is a placarded house. Modaff came before the HPC and explained that hail recently damaged his rubber membrane roof. If approved by the insurance adjuster he would like to replace the entire roof with 5 tab architectural shingles. Motion carried unanimously. Modaff resumed his seat as chair. Old Business a. Motion by Christens to allocate $500 for Rally Round the Flag 2nd Annual Civil War Living History Event, May 18-20, 2012. Second by Culbertson. Motion carried with Decker abstaining. Decker thanked the Commission and said the money will be used to cover expenses for the event, including $1,500 for the First Brigade Band, $500 for rental of Creekside, five reenactment groups at $350 – 400 each, and Frank Medina playing at both the Friday night cemetery event and Sunday morning church services. A major change in the event will be a school day which is expected to draw 2,000 middle school students. The Wisconsin Tourism Promotion office has said this event has the potential to draw regionally and even nationally. b. Motion by Christens to allocate $50 for a scholarship to the WAPHPC in Madison, April 2012. Second by Ahner. Motion carried. c. Antes Cabin – the Parks Committee is very close to moving the cabin. It appears they have found a contractor who will move it for $100 if Power and Light will elevate it. Administrative a. Grove Society – The front doors need refinishing again. The Old House Group will meet at 7 PM on Friday evening at 236 West Main Street. b. Nothing to report on document management c. Landmarks – the Walking Tour guides are being reprinted and expanded by 4 pages. This will allow several new properties to be added. The Historic Preservation ordinance will need to be amended to include the two new districts. Work on this will begin when the Leota Park application is approved. Other Business Modaff said it would be nice to have the WAPHPC meeting back in Evansville now that we have Creekside Place. Mayor Decker asked Culbertson and Christens if they would be interested in serving another term. Both agreed to do so. It appears the Rock County Heritage Group is getting back together. The Rock County Historical Society has offered Evansville a 15 ft x 30 ft painting showing a log cabin and woods, but they didn’t have any other information on it. Mayor Decker’s research shows that it was the backdrop for the 1939 Centennial celebration. Evansville Community Theater has agreed to store it. Motion by Ahner to adjourn. Second by Culbertson. Motion carried.

OpEd: "The Get Back Rule Does not Work in Politics"

Whenever there is a loss....stock loss, divorce,....anything...there is a human need to get back...to be made whole...to be repaired..it is a natural thing...and if you take just a moment, and are older than thirty(30) and have taken any losses that you are dimly aware of, you will agree that the get back urge is powerful indeed. One of the things I have noticed in the speeches of the candidates in the Recall Walker campaign is that they assume that there was not a problem, and that Walker fixed it....the case is that there WAS a problem, and Walker DID NOT fix it. Recently at a city meeting, Evansville City Adminstrator Dan Wietecha was asked what the prospects were for a cut in state aids mid biennemium---he replied that there would not be probably mid term cuts, but that the cuts would be years to come from then on. He said that BOTH political parties had been part of the structural imbalance that the state was dealing with... I find it curious that Democratic party candidates phrase the cuts as Scott Walker cuts when the reality is that CUTS were necessary, but the CHOICES that Scott Walker made were not the ones that worked from anyones point of view--they did not increase jobs, and devastated every sector of the Wisconsin economy. CUTS will come...and politicians need to talk about it.

OpEd; The 4 Period Day is Toast

Beyond the fact that the 4 period day was the most contested policy change in Evansville School district history, and beyone all the hype, it was just about a salary raise...nothing more. It resulted in decreased classroom instruction time, and of course increased teacher compensation. Period. The decreased classroom time has taken its toll. The day has come for a change. Maybe not a total change back to the 8 period day, but the "times they are a changin"

Library to Discuss Potential Separation of Library Director

NOTICE A special meeting of the Eager Free Public Library Board of Trustees for the City of Evansville will be held on the 18th day of April, at 6:00 p.m., at Eager Free Public Library, 39 W. Main St. Eager Free Public Library Board of Trustees Special Meeting Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 6:00 p.m. 39 W. Main St., Evansville, WI 53536 AGENDA If you need special accommodations to attend this meeting, please contact Kathi Kemp at 608/882-2260. 1. Call to order. 2. Closed session: Upon proper motion and approval vote, the Library Board will convene in closed session pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes section 19.85 (1)e to discuss Library Board negotiating strategy and options regarding potential separation of Library Director. 3. In open session, possible motion regarding potential separation of Library Director. 4. Adjourn. Next regular meeting: April 24th, 2012.

OpEd: We need a new way of ENDORSING and GOVERNING

Kathleen Vinehout mentioned in her speech in Stoughton on Sunday that we need a new way of governing this state, and Doug LaFollette mentioned that the endorsement of the Unions for Kathleen Falk was a strategic error. If the major error of Governor Walker was that he did not bother to listen to the people, what is the major error of folks that endorse candidates prior to the primary? You make the call. What of the efforts of all the grassroots organizations that made the recall happen...a recall campaign that had hardly one penny of traditional media paid...it was all social network or word of mouth or personal networking.... So---the actions of the Unions shows that they do not understand the movement they are participating in...Make a note of it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Evansville Council Reorg Meeting Tomorrow: 4/17/2012

Common Council Meeting Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 6:30 p.m. Organizational Meeting City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville WI AGENDA 1. Call to order. 2. Roll call. 3. Administer Oath of Office to District #1 Alderperson Mason Braunschweig, District #2 Alderperson Cheryl Fuchs, Dist #3 Alderperson Jon Senn, and District #4 Alderpersons Ben Ladick and Josh Manring. 4. Administer Oath of Office to Mayor Sandy Decker. 5. Roll call of new Council. 6. Motion to approve Resolution 2012- 07, Commending Tony Wyse for his Service to the City of Evansville. 7. Motion to approve Resolution 2012-08, Commending Todd Culbertson for his Service to the City of Evansville. 8. Executive Assistant Position: Motion to approve Agreement Between City of Evansville and Candie M. Jones. 9. Nomination and election of Council President. 10. Motion to appoint The Evansville Review as the City of Evansville’s official newspaper for a term of one year. 11. Motion to waive the seven-day notice on aldermanic and citizen appointments. 12. Committee Aldermanic Appointments. A. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Braunschweig as Chair and Ald. Brooks and Ald. Manring as committee members to the Finance and Labor Relations Committee. B. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Braunschweig and Ald. Brooks to the Plan Commission. C. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Brooks as Chair and Ald. Hayes and Ald. Ladick to the Water and Light Committee. D. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Jacobson and Ald. Senn to the Evansville Fire District Board, and Ald. Hayes and Ald. Manring as alternates. E. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Braunschweig as Chair and Ald. Fuchs and Ald. Manring as committee members to the Public Works Committee. F. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Brooks and Ald. Senn as committee members to the Economic Development Committee. G. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Fuchs as Chair to the Park and Recreation Board. H. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Jacobson as Chair and Ald. Hayes and Ald. Fuchs as committee members to the Public Safety Committee. I. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Ald. Jacobson and Ald. Senn to the Redevelopment Authority. J. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Ladick to the Historic Preservation Commission. K. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Ladick to the Evansville Youth Center Board. 13. Committee Citizen Appointments. A. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Carol Endres, 407 Badger Drive, for a three-year term to the Plan Commission. B. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Betsy Ahner, 66 North Water Street, for a five-year term to the Redevelopment Authority. C. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Kim Miller, 8 Sherman Court, for a five-year term to the Police Commission. D. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Jake Anderson, 248 North Water Street, and Rod Courtier, 240 Kinsey Court, for three-year terms, and Randy Withrow, 118 Hancock Lane, for an unexpired term ending in 2013 to the Park and Recreation Board. E. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Eloise Eager, 401 Badger Drive, and Vicki Lecy-Luebke, 13941 West Elaine Drive, for three-year terms, and Bob Flaherty, School District Representative, 7636 North Morning Meadow Lane, for a term ending in 2013 to the Eager Free Public Library Board of Trustees. F. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Sandi Konkel, 8837 West County Road A, and John Otto, 39 West Liberty Street, for three-year terms to the Evansville Youth Center Board. G. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Larry Dobbs, 65 North Sixth Street, for a five-year term, Gilbert Wiedenhoeft, 256 West Main Street, for an unexpired term ending in 2016, Judy Bratzke, 118 Joshua Drive, as alternate for an unexpired term ending in 2015, and Dean Arnold, 140 North Third Street, as alternate for an unexpired term ending in 2014 to the Board of Review. H. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Sue Berg, 321 Garfield Avenue, and Gene Bass, 8328 North Cemetery Road, for three-year terms, and Sarah Bauer, 18309 West Emery Road, for an unexpired term ending in 2013, to the Economic Development Committee. I. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Steve Culbertson, 243 West Main Street, Steve Christens, 15 North Second Street, and Richard Schuch, 25 North Second Street, for two-year terms to the Historic Preservation Commission. J. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Janet Sperry, 10736 West Whitmore Road, for a five-year term to the Housing Authority. K. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Sue Berg, 321 Garfield Avenue, as Chair for a three-year term, and Mary Rajek, Chamber Executive Director, and John Decker, 143 West Main Street, for unexpired terms ending in 2013, to the Tourism Subcommittee of the Economic Development Committee. L. Motion to approve the Mayoral appointments of Eric Pease as Chair, 215 South Sixth Street, Kent Englund, 584 Garfield Avenue, and Janice Turner, 233 West Church Street, as alternate for three-year terms to the Zoning Board of Appeals. M. Motion to approve the Mayoral designations of Jeff Hanson, 535 Greenview Drive, as first alternate and Janice Turner, 233 West Church Street, as second alternate to the Zoning Board of Appeals for 2012. 14. Adjournment Sandra J. Decker, Mayor

Ragin Grannies: Recall Walker: Stoughton: 4/15

Ragin Grannies Perform at Recall Walker Governor Hopefuls Forum, Stoughton, Wisconsin; April 15, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Body Transformation Project --Part II Launches

The second installment of Body Transformation Challenge has begun at the Evansville Health Club---12 spots are available on a first come first served basis...check it out today. The results of the first Challenge were inspiring. You now can step up and be transformed...

Signs Sprouting Up Between Mazo and Black Earth

For questions about how to set up your own signs contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Signs are Sprouting Up Daily Between Mazo and Black Earth----

For questions on how to get your own signs, contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Friday, April 13, 2012

Via Twitter: Eager Library seeks your ideas in Community survey

Have you filled out the community survey? We want to know what you think of Your Library.

Evansville Plans Three More Years for Discover Wisconsin Media

NOTICE A regular meeting of the Economic Development Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the date, time and place stated below. Notice is further given that members of the City Council may be in attendance. City of Evansville Economic Development Committee Monday, April 16, 2012, 6:00 PM Creekside Place, 102 Maple Street, Evansville, WI AGENDA (NOTE: Meeting location) 1. Call to order. 2. Roll call. 3. Motion to approve agenda 4. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the March 19, 2012 regular meeting and approve them as printed 5. Citizen appearances, other than listed agenda items. 6. Tourism subcommittee report (Sue) a. Motion to accept recommendation from subcommittee to allocate monies from room tax to continue relationship with Discover Wisconsin Media Works for three more years and to print Evansville Barn Quilt Map. b. Wisconsin Dept of Tourism report to be presented. 7. Meeting Reminder: next meeting May 21, 2012, 6:00 pm a. Reminder of Retail Market Analysis Follow Up Meeting on May 10 8. Facilitated discussion between City and Chamber of Commerce led by Judy Whalen 9. Motion to adjourn

Signs Sprouting Up Betweeen Mazo and Black Earth--Check it out

For questions about how to set up your own signs contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Audio: How We Recall Scott Walker

Audio; Wisconsin Progressive Grassroots Festival: Ed Garvey: How we Recall Scott Walker


MP3 File

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wisconsin Missed a Development Boom

http://www.longfellownokomismessenger.com/hiawathacorridorstory.html A lead article in the Nakomis Messenger this month highlights the development boom that has resulted from the Light Rail in Minneapolis. That same boom is what Governor Scott Walker killed. Make a note of it.

Signs Sprouting up between Mazo and Black Earth, Wis

For questions about setting up your own signs contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Resume of the "Doc of Rock": Prof Dennis Cooper

(Ed.note: Here is the bio of the "Dock of Rock" Prof Dennis Cooper of UW River Falls whose music is featured on The Evansville Observer. If you are interested in a career in Animal Science, just tell him the Observer sent you.) Agriculture and Natural Resources Specialist Dennis Cooper Animal and Food Science Department UW-River Falls 410 So. 3rd Street River Falls, WI 54022 715-425-3704 dennis.p.cooper@uwrf.edu Dennis is an Extension Dairy Specialist working primarily in the area of human resource management on dairy farms. He has made many presentations and written several articles on recruitment, selection, performance evaluation, job quality, and other areas of HRM. He has been a national leader in recognizing and communicating the importance of farm image as a factor in recruitment. As a ruminant nutritionist, he has developed a strong interest in management intensive rotational grazing for dairy cattle. Education Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota M.S. from the University of Minnesota B.S. from the University of Minnesota

Matthias James Pottery Sale coming April 27th

Annual Spring Pottery Sale April 27-29, 2012 Come into Allen Creek Gallery April 27-29, 2012 to draw your discount of 10% to 40% off your entire purchase of Matthias James Pottery

OpEd; The Rise of Natural Gas: and the plunge of Coal

If you check the stocks of coal companies, you will see them plunging---as natural gas rises up as the fuel of choice that can make America GREEN. Communities that use coal directly as a fuel source to power their electric generation are only deluding themselves if they think they are GREEN in any way....they might be green because they have an energy fair, but not in their conduct. As an important side point, major industrial companies want to locate in communities that have a inexpensive source of electricity---and will choose natural gas sourced power every day.... Make a note of it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Recall Walker Signs Sprouting Up

Video: Recall Walker signs are sprouting up between Black Earth and Mazo---check them out...some signs are doublesided---for questions on setting up your own signs contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Recall Walker Signs Sprouting Up

Video: Recall Walker signs are sprouting up between Black Earth and Mazo---check them out...some signs are doublesided---for questions on setting up your own signs contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Recall Walker Signs Sprouting up

Video: Recall Walker signs are sprouting up between Mazo and Black Earth----check them out...some signs have messages on both sides....Drive safely....all the signs are creating lots of buzz. For questions about set up your own signs, contact people4progresswi@gmail.com

Audio: David Newby: Former Pres AFL-CIO

Audio: Presentation by David Newby, Former President of AFL-CIO "Fighting for Economic Justice; America's Vanishing Middle Class: Saturday, February 19, 2011, Wisconisn Progressive Grassroots Festival, Wisconsin Heights High School


MP3 File

Monday, April 09, 2012

What is YOUR 50 year Plan? Why the Donation Policy matters----

What is YOUR 50 year plan? I have been asking my friends this question lately, and indeed I have been getting some puzzled looks. The point is do you have a vision for anything, anybody other than your self for any time period beyond next week, next etc.? People who donate to organizations have a long vision---they also want to know that their donation will be honored and not tampered with by rookie organizations. As Attorney Walter Shannon of the Shannon Law Firm said at Finance Committee last week, if there is any chance that there will be "touch points" by other entities of the designated money, then donors simply walk. There are so many worthwhile organizations to donate to, it is simply not worth the time to consider donating to those who do not have the institutional integrity to get the donation done. I urge citizens to listen to the presentation by Mr. Shannon at Finance. The donation policy or lack thereof has created a divisive atmosphere in the City of Evansville departments over the past five years, and it needs to be clarified, especially if any fund raising for a new library is to be successful....or any fundraising for ANYTHING is going to be successful.

OpEd: No Slamjam for TIF5 Refi Please

It has been one of the topics of discussion since the very first meetings on TIF 5, the TIF district for the downtown, on what would be the remedy if the TIF failed to get the tax increment necessary to succeed. One of the remedies for the risk was to have the developers of the Eager Store to guarantee the increment independent of any appraisal, and pay a fixed amount each year for increase taxes. If you watch carefully in the video from last weeks Evansville finance meeting, City Administrator Dan Wietecha says that the guarantee worked precisely as it was supposed to. It is the other properties in the TIF district that have not gained the increment necessary. After these comments, Mr. Wietecha then said that "one idea" might be to relax the guarantee from the Economy store, and give the developers a lower payment each year. If one assumed that once the TIF 5 explodes, then it will be placed on the taxpayer roles, then that idea would make this happen sooner. So the idea that one could SOLVE the increment problem by making it WORSE is a novel idea indeed, and a clear indication that the City Council and indeed each citizen of Evansville needs to review this video and let the City alderpersons know your thoughts on it.

City of Evansville Proposed Donation policy

Mailbag: Tammy Baldwin Writes:

Congress recently voted on a federal budget for the coming fiscal year. Our nation’s budget is a statement of our priorities and values. In these challenging economic times, I believe our highest priorities must be job creation, economic growth, and protecting the middle class. Consequently, I supported a balanced approach to meeting our nation’s fiscal challenges—one that would preserve the Medicare guarantee, provide tax relief for working families, and make the investments necessary to keep our country moving forward. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives passed a budget introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan that does not reflect these priorities. This budget ends the guarantee of Medicare and replaces it with a plan that would provide vouchers for the purchase of insurance which would not keep pace with rising medical costs. It would also make deep cuts in education and investments in roads, bridges, and transit, as well as slash investments in science and medical research. At the same time, the budget would protect the $4 billion in tax breaks oil companies receive every year, while allowing interest on student loans to double this July.1 The plan also includes the elimination of unspecified tax deductions which could extend to many deductions relied upon by middle class families, including those for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. By not specifying these cuts, the budget hides its true impact on Wisconsin’s middle class families. Yet, it would extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest and provide an additional tax break to those earning the most. Under the plan, people earning more than $1 million a year would see an additional $265,000 in new tax cuts on top of the current Bush tax cuts.2 My test for a budget proposal is whether it is good for middle class Wisconsin families. The Ryan Budget fails that test. I supported the Democratic Budget alternative that included investments in infrastructure, tax credits for job creation, and initiatives to promote the hiring of veterans. It would have invested in expanding life-saving medical research, strengthening innovative manufacturing, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Small businesses also would have gained increased access to Small Business Administration loans under the plan. In addition, the Democratic Budget included two provisions I have championed in Congress. First, the plan incorporated my legislation to implement the “Buffett Rule” to require millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share in taxes and help reduce our deficit. Second, the plan would have prevented an increase in the interest rate for some student loans. The Republican Budget will allow the Stafford Loan interest rate to double, from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2012. I offered an amendment to that budget to keep the loan rate as is, just like in the Democratic Budget, but my amendment was blocked. The Ryan Budget presents a clearly different path for the country than the budget I support. I invite you to review the contrasting plans below and decide for yourself which road forward you prefer. I welcome your opinion.

Evansville School Board Meets Tonight: (7:30pm)

VIII. Information & Discussion: A. Update of 2012-13 Budget Draft. B. Special Education Least Restrictive Environment Presentation. C. School Board Unofficial Election Results. D. High School Low Enrollment/Class Size Courses. E. Middle and High School Student Handbooks. F. District Office Staffing Plan. G. Selection of an Audit Firm. H. Upcoming Board Meetings. I. First Reading of Policies: #322-Student School Day, #411.4-Student Bullying, and #722.1-Accident Reports. IX. Business (Action Items): A. Approval of Staff Changes: Full and Partial Lay-Offs, Staff Retirement, and Job Share Request. B. Approval of Audit Firm Selection. X. Consent (Action Items): A. Approval of Policies: #453.1-Emergency Nursing Services and #841-Bequests and Gifts. B. Approval of March 12 Regular and March 14 Special Meeting Minutes. C. Approval of February Reconciliation Report and

Friday, April 06, 2012

Video: 2008: John Mourning Speaks: On land Purchase

School Beat; Ad Hoc Committtee: 9-10-2008: John Mourning speaks on purchase of land; on high risk of attempting to define ten years out the details of an educational system that is rapidly changing away from brick and mortar.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Evansville Finance Meets Today--Thurs April 5, 2012

Agenda: Finance: Thursday, April 5, 2012 NOTICE: The regular meeting of the Finance and Labor Relations Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the date, time and place stated below. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance. Finance and Labor Relations Committee Regular Meeting Thursday, April 5, 2012, 6:00 p.m. City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI Note: 6:00 meeting time AGENDA 1. Call to order and roll call. 2. Approval of Agenda. 3. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the March 5, 2012, regular meeting and approve as printed. 4. Citizen appearances other than agenda items listed. 5. Motion to accept the City and W&L bills as presented. 6. Unfinished Business: A. Discussion and possible motion regarding library funds. B. Motion to recommend to Common Council adoption of Donations and Fundraising Policy. C. Discussion: Personnel Policy. 7. New Business: A. Discussion and possible motion regarding debt restructuring. B. Discussion and possible motion regarding rail crossing on East Main Street. C. Non-represented employee contracts. (1) Committee may meet in closed session: possible motion to meet in closed session pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) to discuss non-represented employee performance evaluations, contracts and wages. (2) In open session, discussion and possible motion to recommend to Common Council approval of non-represented employee contracts. 8. Adjournment. Mason Braunschweig, Chair Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the City 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.

Evansville School Board Meets Monday, April 9, 2012

EVANSVILLE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda Monday, April 9, 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: 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. Executive Session – Under Wisconsin Statute 19.85(1)(c) to Discuss Lay-Offs. IV. Approximately 7:30 pm – Return to Open Session. V. Public Announcements/Recognition/Upcoming Events: • Energy Fair – April 20 • Week of the Young Child – April 23 • Open Enrollment Application Period – February 6 – April 30 • Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week – May 7-11 • Employee Recognition – May 9 • Back to School Days - August 15 and 16, 2012 • Congratulations 8th grade math 24 team at the Regional tournament in Mt. Horeb on March 12. Alex Viet placed 1st, Alex Diebold placed 2nd, and Jacob Kennedy placed 6th. The team earned three of the six trophies. • Congratulations to Butch Beedle and Mike Czerwonka who were both recognized as People Who Matter by the Janesville Gazette. VI. District Administrator Report – Budget, Transition Planning, and District News. VII. High School Board Representative Report – High School Events. VIII. Information & Discussion: A. Update of 2012-13 Budget Draft. B. Special Education Least Restrictive Environment Presentation. C. School Board Unofficial Election Results. D. High School Low Enrollment/Class Size Courses. E. Middle and High School Student Handbooks. F. District Office Staffing Plan. G. Selection of an Audit Firm. H. Upcoming Board Meetings. I. First Reading of Policies: #322-Student School Day, #411.4-Student Bullying, and #722.1-Accident Reports. IX. Business (Action Items): A. Approval of Staff Changes: Full and Partial Lay-Offs and Staff Retirement. B. Approval of Audit Firm Selection. X. Consent (Action Items): A. Approval of Policies: #453.1-Emergency Nursing Services and #841-Bequests and Gifts. B. Approval of March 12 Regular and March 14 Special Meeting Minutes. C. Approval of February Reconciliation Report and Bills. XI. Set April 23, 2012, Regular Meeting Agenda. XII. Adjourn. Posted: 4-4-12

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Finance Meets Thursday, April 5th: "Debt Restructuring "on Agenda

NOTICE: The regular meeting of the Finance and Labor Relations Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the date, time and place stated below. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance. Finance and Labor Relations Committee Regular Meeting Thursday, April 5, 2012, 6:00 p.m. City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI Note: 6:00 meeting time AGENDA 1. Call to order and roll call. 2. Approval of Agenda. 3. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the March 5, 2012, regular meeting and approve as printed. 4. Citizen appearances other than agenda items listed. 5. Motion to accept the City and W&L bills as presented. 6. Unfinished Business: A. Discussion and possible motion regarding library funds. B. Motion to recommend to Common Council adoption of Donations and Fundraising Policy. C. Discussion: Personnel Policy. 7. New Business: A. Discussion and possible motion regarding debt restructuring. B. Discussion and possible motion regarding rail crossing on East Main Street. C. Non-represented employee contracts. (1) Committee may meet in closed session: possible motion to meet in closed session pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) to discuss non-represented employee performance evaluations, contracts and wages. (2) In open session, discussion and possible motion to recommend to Common Council approval of non-represented employee contracts. 8. Adjournment. Mason Braunschweig, Chair Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the City 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.

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.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"Spread the Light---forget the smoke": Tales From Normal, Mn.: FICTION

Spread the Light Liturgy Still will be held in Normal, Mn.: FICTION Recently in the frozen tundra, some sensitive congregations of the faithful have been concerned about the Holy Saturday liturgy in that while all those members of the Congregation of the Faithful are spreading the light in the pews, there is..well...some...smoke that is being inhaled...and it might be bad for ones health.... I just got the text from Normal, Mn. Church of the Holy Faithful, that the traditional service of the "Lights" will be held on Saturday night this week, and not withstanding the squimishness of certain Christian sects that are worried about a little smoke, the Light of Christ will be spread as in the traditional liturgy, before the environmental progressives got involved in liturgical development. There is limited seating so arrive early. Lumen Christi

Mailbag: "Bear Trader" Reflects on Coal, Natural Gas...and Much, much more"

(Ed.note: The reflections of Bear Trader are conservative reflection and not investment advice) On Coal...Natural Gas...and LNG....The long View The future of coal. People are not going to give up coal on the long term. The "renewable energy" cant is bogus. Windmills are a 14th Century technology even with modern aerodynamic redesign. Solar is bogus because covering the USA with solar cells and storage batteries wouldn't begin to supply the amount of energy required while the cost of installation and upkeep would be totally ruinous. The same applies to windmills. On the long haul the "anthropogenic global warming" hysteria will blow over since it is faith, not science. Coal will be back and in a very big way. From an investor's viewpoint I suspect we will never live to see it happen. Coal in the ground is another matter, but only the Big Boys can play in this game. Lots of action in this play in Australia lately. Natural gas has always been a feast or famine affair caused by regulator action and changing extraction technology. The current low natural gas prices can't last because the drillers need $4 gas to break even. Right now the drillers owe a tremendous amount of money and must service their debt so they maximize sales even when this looses them money. This cannot last for ever. That this is even possible now is a product of Federal Reserve manipulation of interest rates to absurdly low levels (so the gas guys can service the debt). When you see a full court bull press in the media you have to remember that when you are playing poker if you don't know who is the sucker the sucker is you. (Sorry about that.) Right now there is a glut of gas, the greatest gas glut of all time. Not impossible we will see gas well below $2. Lots of talk about liquid natural gas. To make a difference in the US gas market LNG export capacity will have to be greatly increased. This means new large gas pipelines, liquification plants, tankers, and port facilities. We are talking about a lot of natural gas here. This means years, some real money, and regulatory support. There are plans for a very large new gas pipeline in Alaska parallel to the existing oil pipeline from the north shore to Anchorage with construction of liquification plants and port facilites for LNG tankers. The Canadians are planning a similar project from their arctic fields to a Pacific port. Negotiations are underway between Canada, the US, and Alaska to rationalize these two projects. Qatar has a major LNG liquification plant under construction. Lots of natural gas in the area, this could prove a big deal. A lot of Russian gas reserves in Western Siberia are underutilized and the Russians are mulling exporting LNG from Vladivostok. They can get a lot more for LNG in Japan (since Japan is shutting down its' nuckear plants) than they are getting for pipeline gas from the Chinese. The Chinese are building a very large gas pipeline from Iran into southwest China. India is mad for being cut out of the deal. Lots of gas in the Arctic. Really a bunch. Lots of oil, too, but more gas. This will probably lead to war, perhaps in our lifetimes. Lots of geopolitics here.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Evansville Police and EMS; March 2012

8. Evansville Police Report – There were 1206 calls for service for the month of February 2012 compared to 1158 in February 2011. There were 71 license plate transactions for February, 2012. Year-end totals should be available in March or April as we are still waiting for the RCSO annual report. The Rock County Records Management System vendors have been narrowed down to three vendors, with a decision expected by April 1, 2012. The new squad had to be reordered and expected to arrive in May. EPD staff completed required TIME System MDT/MDC training in February/March. Officers Jones and Job are scheduled for Evidence Technician Training March 26-30. Chief and Lieutenant are scheduled to attend the Concealed Carry update on March 15. Officers Schmidt and Job will be attending ARIDE training April 2-3. The DAAT training on April 23 will be attended by Officers Nankee and Schmidt. On May 14-17, Officers Job and Mahan-Strupp will be attending Instructor Development. Rachel Marx will be back for one week in March. Officers Anacker and Mawhinney are almost finished with part-time police officer training. Officer Matt McElroy is currently in training at the academy for court officer. Officer Reilly has yet to start his training. Chief and the Lieutenant continue to work on officer evaluations. Chief McElroy will be on vacation March 8/9. Accreditation continues with a lot to review and editing to be done. We continue to utilize Rock County Computer Services, General Communication, and Home and Office PC to get systems working properly. Rock County Computer Services recently installed some temporary hardware in the department’s garage for testing purposes. Upon completion of all testing for Narrow Banding, the Police radio re-programming will be between May 16, 2012 and January 1, 2013. Files are scanned on a daily basis and we continue to place significant information on the city’s police website. 9. Evansville Medical Service Report – The service had 30 runs for the month of February, 2012. Upcoming training includes advance skill testing for all EMS EMT’s. Mercy Training Center tests these skills every six months. Round one of CCR training with the Evansville Fire Department was completed. Coordinator Beaver will be assisting eight Webelo Scouts obtain their Readyman badge at the end of the month. EMS will be participating in the week of the young child at the Fieldhouse on Friday along with the parade at the beginning of the week. The aluminum can drive will be in the month of May. A mock prom accident is in the works to be held at the high school before prom weekend. In April, the Fire department and EMS will be touring the Grange Apartments along with the Old Ben Franklin apartments. EMS is working on compiling information for the radio grant that EMS had written. A $5,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation was applied for and received. This grant will be awarded in May. We also applied for a grant from Walmart with the intention to use the money for the purchase of Knox Boxes for the city. Ambulance specifications have been designed and approved to move on to the building phase. We expect the ambulance to be delivered this summer.

I and E Club meets April 11th----

April 11 Meeting of the I&E Club! Learn Inventor Tips from Looney Tunes Character Join the invention development experts from Appleton’s Fox Valley Technical College Fab Lab for a light hearted but still very informative presentation that highlights lessons from one of the most recognized inventors of the modern era: Wile E. Coyote! Speaking in Evansville April 11 are Herb Goetz and Mark Payne. They will view the invention development process through the eyes of Wile E. Coyote—or at least some of it--and share some “do’s and don’ts” before attempting to take an invention to market. They’ll cover topics like patenting, prototyping and licensing before concluding with a review of the long list of resources, referrals and services they can provide to the inventor. After the presentation, guests are encouraged to network and enjoy refreshments with April’s sponsor, Formecology, LLC. A landscape design, build and care firm, Formecology is led by local entrepreneur John Gishnock, III, whose special niche is sustainable, eco-friendly results. The presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at the Evansville Area Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club. Free and open to the public, the monthly meetings are hosted at Creekside Place, 102 Maple St., Evansville. For more information, contact Sue Berg at 608-882-0986 or suebergsolutions@gmail.com, or Gishnock at 608-314-6656 or john.g@formecology.com.