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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Special Retirement Seminar: See Video on Observer---Deforest, Wisconsin Public Library---6:30PM-8:00PM

Seminar Coming Re Wis Retirement System: May 31st Public Informational Event: Wisconsin Retirement System’s Future in 2012: “What You Need to know about Your Wisconsin Retirement System Account” Featuring expert analysts: Roger Springman and Buzz Davis Under present Wisconsin planning, discover changes that may soon take place affecting retirement all WRS accounts starting in 2012. Informed citizens may be able to give input that could have a positive effect on those decisions. Come to learn and share your ideas as well! May 31, 2012- A second event due to popular demand!! 6:30 pm – 8:00pm DeForest Public Library 203 Library St. DeForest, WI 55352 This is a public Service event open to all & Free. The Wisconsin Advisory Committee set up to review Wisconsin Retirement System’s Status will release its recommendations in mid-June. Join us to hear experts who’ve analyzed what changes are likely to be made to the Retirement System. This is information important to be aware of and share with all you know who are or will depend on the retirement system for their pensions. Now you can see and hear EVERY word from this seminar on the Evansville Observer Youtube site. See the videos on the front of The Evansville Observer. This is a blockbuster issue that has not seen the amount of press that it deserves.

Mailbag: Wireman: Videos regarding Union and Woman's Issues

Why Labor Unions Matter: How Labor Unions Protect the Rights of All Employees - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obWZANR-AGY Unions Protect Us All - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nTUr3YTyAY Living Wages or Safety Nets?: Minimum Wage Earners vs. the One Percent - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHUxWggZ_Xo Myths about Families Driving American Policies: All Working Women are not Sarah Palin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19y-h6qpy-E What Do Working Mothers Really Need? How Can We Help Working Moms? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5Wqgz-QA9I Code Words, Food Stamps and Getting Along: Or Why Newt Gingrich Was Wrong - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG40C5saCAY The American Dream, Growth Jobs & the Myth of Meritocracy: Why your kids may not get American Dream - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS3lTMkSTuo

Mailbag; Wireman: Ed Schulz Coming to Baraboo on Saturday

We just got word Ed Schulz will join John Nichols in Baraboo on Sat. Evening. See ticket information below. nicholsal.JPG June 2nd 7:00pm Al Ringling Theater Baraboo Tickets $5 alringling.com (608) 356-8864 Sponsored by the Center for Media and Democracy

Recall Walker Signs Sprouting Up

Video: Recall Walker signs are sprouting up between Black Earth and Mazo---check them out...some signs are doublesided---

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Evansville Observer on Youtube on blueray

When you on your big screen, choose Youtube, and the login with your account name and password. Then search for Evansville Observer and you will see the video files available. Beautiful full screen video. The excitement is building. Check it out. It will only get better after Apple and Google launch their TV applications.

Mailbag: Wireman: WRS Pensions Under Attack

WALKER THREATENS RETIREE BENEFITS If you or anyone you know is on the Wisconsin Retirement System or expects to be in the future this is long but well worth reading. Walker likely to change the system in ways that hurt you. I sent you notice of a meeting about it yesterday. Basically it looks like Walker and the Republicans want to privatize the system that could cost CURRENT BENEFITS to current retirees and future retirees. NOW is the Time to Defend it! Months of investigation and reasoned analysis by union leaders, retiree activists, and political scientists have led to the conclusion that the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is under assault by Walker and the Republican majority. Really? How bad can it be? ANSWER: Not good and it could get worse! What’s to Gain? Why the assault? The WRS is under assault for three main reasons: Ideology . . . right-wing desire to end large, public benefit programs just like Paul Ryan wants to do at the federal level with Social Security, desire to “privatize” public pension programs by changing them to 401(k) style programs thereby sending millions in extra fees/charges to Wall Street and investment companies from individual annuitants. to undermine public employment and public employee unions because public employees are the last major opposition to the right-wing agenda for Wisconsin. Public employees have family supporting wages and benefits. By pitting public employee benefits vs. private employee benefits; they attempt to “divide and conquer”! But the WRS is So Sound and Safe . . . The fact that WRS is strong, cost effective, is in the top 4 of public pension programs in America, and is 99.7% funded does not matter. It manages about $77 billion in stocks, bonds, real estate trust funds; $13billion of which is invested in Wisconsin. And it doesn’t bust budgets! State and local government spending for pension contributions in Wisconsin only amounted to 1.26% of total government spending in 2009. Where is the evidence of assault? It began early with the passage of the 2011-2013 State Budget Bill which called for a study to: 1) examine creating a defined contribution plan and 2) determine the feasibility of allowing employees to “opt out” of WRS. The study is due June 2012 and will go directly to the Joint Finance Committee and Governor rather than the legislative committee established by law to review retirement issues. The study may well endorse the above changes as a pre-emptive move to “save” the system from future problems and/or offer employees greater flexibility. Not wanting to wait, in January 2012, Republican Rep. Pat Strachota introduced AB 539 allowing WRS “opt out” for new University of Wisconsin System hires. What is often ignored is that Rep. Strachota is a member of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), an organization comprised of corporations promoting privatization and deregulation , and she borrowed one of their bills to write AB 539! The Wisconsin legislature is full of ALEC members: Robin Voss, Alberta Darling, Scott Suder, Van Wanggard, Terry Moulton and Scott Walker is a former ALEC member. WRS is a complicated system carefully crafted over many decades by Republican and Democratic leaders and even small changes like the April 2012 Wisconsin Employment Relation Commission (WERC) ruling on teacher base pay could have an impact. This ruling will reduce teacher contributions to the WRS as school districts would be able to only negotiate over local base wages, effectively reducing teacher salaries by 20% or more . . . and their 5.8% matching contribution. So, provisions like employee “opt outs”, reductions in contributions , and even changing who gets appointed to WRS governing boards or organizations like the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) and Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) can all add up and have adverse impacts. Wouldn’t adding a defined contribution option like 401 (k) be a good idea? No. The WRS operates as a defined benefit system which means you receive a known and predictable retirement benefit (annuity) guaranteed for a specified period. Defined contributions plans like 401(k) programs DO NOT guarantee a set monthly benefit. “Retirement income” is the money left at retirement meaning annuity payments are directly related to the current value of the portfolio. Market goes sour? So too does your annuity. The WRS has a small Variable Fund that operates like a defined contribution plan. Because of incredibly high volatility, ETF and SWIB have recommended closing it to new applicants and, in 2008, annuity values went down 40%! You get much greater peace of mind with a defined benefit program! The WRS brings great value because of its large volume transactions and low fees reduce management costs to nearly half that of most defined contribution programs. An added danger of defined contribution plans is “risk shifting.” Employers in defined contribution plans are only responsible for their contributions and take no responsibility for annuity outputs; their stability or adequacy . It is entirely YOUR risk! But my annuity is “guaranteed”! My annuity can’t drop; can it? “Yes” it can. You start with a base or floor which, by Sec. 40.19 WI Statutes, it cannot be reduced below. Over the past twenty five years, good performance allowed annuities to expand well beyond base amounts by about 4.6% per year. Unfortunately the 2008 bank-Wall Street collapse reversed this historic pattern, requiring the WRS to deploy one of its best stability tools: 5-year rolling average adjustment. Through 2013, the fund will re-stabilize itself and hopefully begin rebuilding upward again. In 2012, longer-term annuitants saw a 7% drop in their monthly payment. Many saw a reduction of several hundred dollars in recent years, but no one went below their guaranteed floor! The WRS can self-correct and protect its “floor guarantee”, so long as major market down-turns are not too close together and politicians don’t make matters worse with ill-conceived legislation. However, because the WRS is a defined benefit program, to save the WRS from actuarial failure under the most adverse of scenarios, it could be necessary for the legislature to revisit the “floor guarantee” to allow for greater management flexibility. What can be done to stave off the assault? Walker and Republicans are clearly showing their desire to change the WRS. Vote for Tom Barrett and Mahlon Mitchell on or before June 5th. If you live in a senate recall area, vote Compas in the 13th, Lehman in the 21st , Dexter in the 23rd, or Seidel in the 29th and support them with help and contributions! Democrats have shown far greater support for the WRS than most Republicans. Stay informed and work with others. Join an activist organization like the WI Alliance for Retired Americans, WI Coalition of Annuitants , contact your home union, or join a retiree chapter of your union. Contact or petition YOUR representative and senator! Take a delegation to their office and hold them accountable. Also, consider getting involved by signing a petition found at http://signon.org/sign/save-the-wisconsin-retiremen?source=s.em.cp&r This is the time and moment to defend YOUR retirement system!! For information on WI Alliance For Retired Americans, go to www.retiredamericans.org or call 608-241-1831 . For information on WI Coalition of Annuitants go to www.wicoa.org This publication was prepared by Protect Our Retirement System (POWRS). POWRS is a statewide working group of activist retirees and can be contacted at powrs2012@gmail.com. DEBUNKING THE MYTHS about the Wisconsin Retirement System The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is a defined benefit pension program serving 572,000 active public employees and retirees (12% of Wisconsin’s adult population), affecting about 20% of Wisconsin’s population when families are included. Public employees of 1,400 units of government, including state employees and school districts are covered by the program. It is the 9th largest public retirement system in the country. The WRS provides exceptional return and security for its covered employees. Its nearly $77 billion in assets are managed by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) which invests in a wide array of stocks, bonds, real estate, and other investments. It is a true gem amongst public pension programs. Unfortunately significant disinformation and distortions are now being spread about the WRS in the hopes of undermining it for political gain and to justify program changes in 2013. This flyer reviews some of the more common myths and provides reality checks. Myth 1: Public employee pensions are busting state and local government budgets. Fact: Public employee pensions have very little impact on state and local government budgets in Wisconsin. In 2009, pension contribution costs represented 1.26% of government spending . . .well below the national average of 2.9%. Fact: Investment earnings support all Employee Trust Fund (ETF) administrative costs (about $31 million for 2010) and a great majority of annuitant distribution costs. In 2010, earnings covered 66% of the $3.8 billion in annuitant distribution costs and employee contributions covered an additional amount. Fact: All wages and benefits are earned compensation. No employee gets anything for free! General Employees currently contribute 5.8% of wages to their pensions. Myth 2: Public employees’ “gold plated” retirements are excessively generous. Fact: . In 2010, ETF paid out $3.8 billion in retirement payments. The average retirement benefit was $23,800 per year, 83% of WRS annuities were under $40,000 per year, and 26% were less than $10,000 per year. Fact: These benefits are typical. Nationally, public employee pensions average $23,407 per year. Private sector defined benefit pensions average $20,298 per year. MYTH 3: Public employee pensions hurt Wisconsin’s economy by increasing taxes. Fact: In 2006, WRS beneficiaries (86% of them live in Wisconsin) spent $4.5 billion, accounted for over 33,000 jobs that paid $1.7 billion in wages and salaries and over $730 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Their spending generated $1.48 in economic activity for every dollar paid in benefits. A 2012 study found $5.52 in total economic output for every dollar contributed by taxpayers to WRS. Fact: SWIB invested over $13 billion in Wisconsin companies in 2010 . . . many of whom use Wisconsin employees. WRS is an asset for all of Wisconsin! Myth 4: Defined contribution plans are better than defined benefit programs. Fact: The National Institute on Retirement Security and other organizations report that defined benefit plans, like WRS, are economically more efficient than defined contribution plans, delivering the same level of benefits at nearly half the cost. Most defined contribution (called 401k) programs built on individual investing are far more risky and costly due to added fees/charges than large, public pension programs. Fact: WRS has performed very well. The main Core Fund effective rate of return averaged 10.4% per year over the past 25 years and, because of this performance, the average annuity increased 4.6% per year over this period. Myth 5: WRS is not flexible and doesn’t meet the needs of employees. Fact: WRS has benefits similar to defined contribution plans while providing steady, low-cost performance. WRS provides individual accounts, retention in the event of system departure or job change, and the option for additional contributions. Fact: WRS has a feature called “money purchase” which is similar to a defined contribution plan. This feature allows employees to receive their final annuity as a series of payments based on the current market value of their account. Myth 6: WRS is not sustainable and will not be here for future retirees. Fact: WRS is “fully funded” (99.7%) which means the WRS assets are large enough to cover all expected current and future retirement payments for all current annuitants and active employees. WRS has always met all benefit payment obligations. WRS is rated as one of the top four public employee retirement systems in the nation by the Pew Center for the States . . . a true national leader! Fact: The size of WRS ($77 billion in assets) and the use of several risk management mechanisms to smooth market losses over 5-year periods provides great sustainability and stability. If it isn’t broken…don’t fix it! Sources: NASRA Issue Brief. “State and Local Government Spending on Public Employee Retirement Systems”. National Association of State Retirement Administrators. February 14, 2012. Wisconsin Retirement System, Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, January 2011 The Trillion Dollar Gap, Underfunded State Retirement Systems and the Roads to Reform, Pew Center on the States, February 2010. 2010 Comparative Study of Major Employee Retirement Systems. Wisconsin Legislative Council, December 2011. Pensionomics 2009 and 2012, Measuring the Economic Impact of DB Pension Expenditures, National Institute on Retirement Security. February 2009 and February 2012. David Mills and David Stella, “Good Pensions for Everyone Would Boost Economy”, Capital Times, March 10, 2012. Department of Employee Trust Fund information can be found at http://etf.wi.gov/ . This publication was developed by Protect Our Wisconsin Retirement System (POWRS). POWRS is a statewide working group of activist retirees and can be reached at powrs2012@gmail.com .

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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

Bear Trader Replies Re; Bank Holiday in a Digital Age

(Ed.note: "Bear Trader" is a "bear" on market matters and his thoughts are reflection, not market advice.) As far as European events are concerned, nobody, but nobody, knows what will happen to our derivative backed financial system ($600 Trillion notional and counting!). The European Central Banks are pretty sure they are ready for it, they say. Could be. I think they are whistling past the graveyard. Got to keep up public confidence, don't you know. One thing is for sure, the various Big Boys and Girls don't intend to be the ones that end up realizing the losses. There will be big hiccups in derivative settlement ranging from years of squabbling to years of inter-country fighting over who takes the loss. We could see finance retreating into national borders as in the Great Depression, and no 'return to normalcy' for generations if ever. Major war is, hopefully, not terribly likely. Greece is a small potatoes thing. The big problem is the debt and unfulfillable politician''s promises. Democracies can't handle telling the voters to go quietly away and starve somewhere else. The voters will vote in their local equivalent of Adolf Hitler. Plato and Aristotle both held that Democracy always ends sooner than you think, and ends with the election of a Tyrant. If you think the USA hasn't been moving in this direction for over fifty years then you haven't been watching. Economic progress has been halted, or more precisely, can no longer be the tide that raises all boats. We cannot live on Ipads, Ipods, or other toys. That is why you are seeing the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. As far as bank holidays in the USA, I think access to FDIC insured accounts of about $1000 a week maximum should be available after a few days, probably over a weekend. Business would halt until the bank clearance system is back on line. This is a fairly likely scenario. Suggestions for individuals interested in protecting their families? What follows should be seen as insurance, as a small expense today to hedge low probability but potentially catastrophic future possibilities. Call this "the Greek scenario". Some cash on hand could be useful. Do not stockpile hundred dollar bills as they attract too much attention. Stick to well used twenties. A little food storage, enough for about four weeks, no luxuries, only staples. Rice and dried beans store well. Don't worry too much about 'a balanced diet', the "informal" marketplace will provide. The wise can read between the lines. Consider electric power outages, maybe days or weeks long, and amazing gasoline prices. On 5/27/12, The Evansville Observer wrote: > Question for you Bear Trader-- > When FDR took office, he declared a bank holiday that took I think three > days. Then we went off the gold standard. > Soon, when Greece leaves the Euro, EVERY option spread involving Greece will > have to be restated or settled? In a world where everything is online, what > will the bank holiday look like?How will not this disrupt the LIQUIDITY of > the current banking system in the US and in fact all of our deposits? > I know not how much liquid cash you have on hand, but I would guess the > average American is not expecting a 4-5 day bank holiday where everything is > frozen. > Corporations are preparing for the Greek situation by moving money out of > greece every night to Britain and pounds...What do you see as practical > steps that every family can do to prepare? > If Jamie Dimon was wrong about the 2 Billion dollar trade that might be a > 5billion dollar trade, what about the millions of other trades out there? > Is not this too big to bail out?Give me your thoughts----thanks. >

Video: 1 of 3: Art of John Wilde

(Ed.note: With over 11,000 video downloads, this video is the virtual tourist record setter of The Evansville Observer and makes the point that the Artists of Evansville are a key element that makes Evansville special.) Video: 1 of 3: Docents introduced from the Chasen Museum of Madison; Why did John Wilde live here? Video available on The Evansville Observer, www.evansvilleobserver.blogspot.com We set the standard for online news in Southern Wisconsin

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Assistant Director of Eager Library Named

Please welcome our new Assistant Director for Eager Free Public Library. Megan Becker began her duties on May 21st. She comes to EFPL from a library in Mequon. Megan and her husband will reside in Fitchburg. The Trustees of the Library are initiating a search for a new Director. In the interim, Megan will be Acting Director

Eager Library Spring 2012 Newsletter

The Friends' major fund-raiser every year is the Ice Cream Social and Charity Auction on the EFPL Lawn to kick off the Evansville Community July 4th Celebration. This year, we're pumping up the excitement level. • ELVIS PRESLEY will entertain the crowd! (Well, sorta like Santa Claus, it's not the Real Elvis.) For all you hound dogs and lovers of blue suede shoes, he will bring back memories. For the younger set, it will just be a blast to see and hear what their elders rocked to a generation or more ago. • RAFFLE! This year's ICS will feature raffles for an Apple iPad, an antique quilt, and an adult StingRay bicycle. These three items have all been donated by Friends of the Library, and your committee decided they have too much value to be auctioned. You'll be able to buy raffle tickets soon, and we urge all our Friends to buy and to volunteer to sell raffle tickets around town, perhaps even to out-of-town folks, during the next month. Winners don’t need to be present at the drawing. Take a chance; maybe you’ll win something really super! • THE AUCTION itself will be a whole new animal as well. The ICS committee has gathered a grand assortment of items unlike any offered before. You'll want to come to the Social just to see some of the unique and fascinating goodies on which you can bid. And hopefully you’ll bid freely, because you know that this is how we raise money to support Eager Free Public Library. Shelving, security system, movie projection equipment, language-learning programs: these acquisitions and support for the library's services and programs all were paid for with money the Friends raised in the last several years. We would be grateful to receive a few more unique and intriguing auction items. If you’ve not donated (tax-deductible!) to our auction in the past & wish to help this year, please call Audrey Shomos (882-4070 ) to arrange your donation. Thanks! • SOCIALIZE! Schoepp's ice-cream, beautiful (and taste-y) home-made cakes and cupcakes for you to savor as you socialize with your friends. We’re also challenging you, as a FRIEND, to invite a friend who is not yet a FRIEND to come to the ICS with you. Introduce them to the glories of our library & how we support it as an entire community. Ask them to join you as a FRIEND OF THE EAGER FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY!

Mailbag: Wireman: Volunteer Opportunities Re: Election

GROUPS NEEDING VOLUNTEERS THE DEMS sun & mon. from 12 p to 5p to show up at our office 210 N. Bassett St. We will give them a short training and then send them to the Brat Fest to sign people up to volunteer for GOTV. We also need people to sign up for GOTV, (see below) we still need a lot of people to help on election day. They can sign up by entering the following link in to their web browser bit.ly/dane2012gotv . They must write the link exactly as written and it is case sensitive. we must schedule 170 volunteer shifts per day in order to reach our goal for "Get Out The Vote Weekend." Recruit your friends, family, and co-workers to come with you by copying this link: bit.ly/dane2012gotv and posting it all over the internet. We need the most help for election day and Monday June 4th. We may also need help during the weekend, but if people go to the website, they will be able to see which locations and times we are still open. We need help both with phone calls and with canvassing doors, the information is on that website. A canvass shift consist of approximately 50 doors, which is what a person can do in 3 hours. A phone shift is 3 hours. Still a little uncomfortable about volunteering? That's normal. We'll give you a training beforehand and make sure you're up to speed before volunteering. Click here to stand up and tip the scales our way. Already signed up but still want to help? Great. Any chance you could sign up for another shift on Monday June 4th and/or Tuesday June 5th? These are the days where we need the most help. Already did that and still want to help? Phenomenal! Encourage them to sign up for every shift they can. Dane County Field Team Democratic Party of Wisconsin 608-692-9740 danefieldoffice@wisdems.org WE ARE WISCONSIN today, mon and rest of week we will be lots and lots of doors. We are running canvasses all days. The first canvassers we send out is 11am, then the times change during the day, all depending on the time people have available. During the evenings we launch canvassers go out at 5pm. Thursday will be our big weekday canvass, and that will also be at 5pm. I assume they are making phone calls as well in case you don't want to do doors. Saturday starts our 4 days of Get out the Vote, these 4 days we will have many doors to knock on to ensure that people vote on Tuesday. The times for this will be 9am, 12pm, 3pm, and 5pm. Except for Sunday morning, we will not be canvassing until 12pm on Sunday. also here is an e-mail volunteer@wearewisconsin.org Madison - Baldwin St. Office 412 Baldwin St. Madison, WI 53703 Contact: Steph Mulvey (608) 535-9771 ; Steph@wearewisconsin.org Madison Labor Temple 1602 S. Park St., Madison, WI 53715 Contact: Andrew Collier (608) 620-3053 ; andrew@wearewisconsin.org Madison - American Federation of Teachers 6602 Normandy Ln, 2nd Floor Madison, WI 53719 Contact: Ben Tobias (920) 960-8238 ; ben@wearewisconsin.org THE HOURS MAY BE DIFFERENT for sun prairie HERE SO CONTACT THEM Sun Prairie Office 1571 Ivory Dr., Sun Prairie, WI 53590 Contact: Neal Waltmire (608) 535-9131 ; neal@wearewisconsin.org ©2012 Wireman & Associates | 4001 Monona Dr, Madison WI 53717

Seminar Coming Re Wis Retirement System:

May 31st Public Informational Event: Wisconsin Retirement System’s Future in 2012: “What You Need to know about Your Wisconsin Retirement System Account” Featuring expert analysts: Roger Springman and Buzz Davis Under present Wisconsin planning, discover changes that may soon take place affecting retirement all WRS accounts starting in 2012. Informed citizens may be able to give input that could have a positive effect on those decisions. Come to learn and share your ideas as well! May 31, 2012- A second event due to popular demand!! 6:30 pm – 8:00pm DeForest Public Library 203 Library St. DeForest, WI 55352 This is a public Service event open to all & Free. The Wisconsin Advisory Committee set up to review Wisconsin Retirement System’s Status will release its recommendations in mid-June. Join us to hear experts who’ve analyzed what changes are likely to be made to the Retirement System. This is information important to be aware of and share with all you know who are or will depend on the retirement system for their pensions.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mailbag: Bold Progressives: Amazon drops ALEC

WE DID IT! Over 95,000 PCCC members petitioned and Amazon answered. CEO Jeff Bezos announced yesterday the company would drop its membership in ALEC. Victory!! We got word as we protested outside Amazon's annual shareholder meeting with over 500,000 petition signatures in hand from PCCC members and our allies. Amazon bowed to public pressure and will no longer fund ALEC's agenda of union-busting and voter-suppression -- but corporations like AT&T are still standing by ALEC.

Friday, May 25, 2012

OpEd: Are YOU Divided? Will YOU be conquered?

In the now famous video of Gov. Walker speaking to Ms. Hendricks of ABC Supply in which he says the plan on destroying unions is one of divide and conquer.....think of what he might have meant for your situation. If you have lived in Wisconsin for the past ten years, recount the losses for non-union labor....these have gone on for a decade and have been very painful..Just think locally of manufacturing employees that were terminated, with little fanfare, and then told if they disclosed anything about their terminations, their pensions would be invalidated. Nice. Nobody has ever even written of it in the newspapers, much less protested it. So in the pain of it all, those who have gone before in the pain process and taken a decline in standard of living, may have just a bit of resentment about those union folks who may have not taken a cut, or at least they think. That is the "division". If because of personal pain, you believe that others and including yourself deserve a politician that would be terrible for all, you are deeply mistaken. The misdeeds of Gov. Scott Walker are far beyond unions, and reach to every corner of Wisconsin society. Just recount a bit of it...the disrespect for law, the disregard of open meeting laws, the poisoned politics, the misrepresention of intention, the repeal of rights of women for equal pay...and on and on... It's called the Stockholm syndrome, or "The Patty Hersch Syndrome", as in falling in love with your captors....and it is treated with therapy....Make a note of it.

I and E Corner: Conference Coming June 6-7

June 6-7 Special Conference in Madison A special invitation from Lynn Pitman, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives and April 2011 Guest Speaker at I&E Club The I&E Club members might be interested in the upcoming Madison Cooperative Jobs Conference on June 6-7. The conference is sponsored by the City of Madison, UW Center for Cooperatives, and the Madison cooperative business community. The June 6th pre-conference session will focus on small business succession planning and the use of cooperative conversions as a way to maintain thriving businesses under employee ownership upon the retirement of the owners. The workshop is 9:00-4:00, followed by a reception from 4:00-6:00. This session will be led by Roy Messing, Business Succession Planning Program Coordinator, Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Kent State University. Topics will include: creating a successful decision-making process; the various succession options; and the tax, legal and financial environment of selling to employees. Roy is has significant experience working with small business owners to develop transition plans to employee ownership, and he'll bring a variety of case studies and best practices to the discussion. Topics on June 7 will include the role of cooperatives in our community, an introduction to cooperative finance and successful cooperative start-ups, and how cities and cooperatives can work together to support job creation and local ownership. The conference will run from 8:30 until 4:30. All conference sessions will be at the Pyle Center of the UW-Madison campus. Registration is $25 for one day, or $40 for both. Complete program and registration information is available at: http://www.cityofmadison.com/business/coopconference/schedule.cfm Madison Cooperative Business Conference: Growing Jobs through Co-Op... cityofmadison.com

Mailbag: Wireman: Absentee Ballots Info

Most requests for absentee ballots must be submitted to the clerk by the end of the day on May 31. There are exceptions for sequestered jurors and hospitalized electors, etc. See the May 17 memo on the GAB web site for more info. Voters mailing an absentee ballot must have it postmarked by Election Day, June 5, and received by 4 pm on Friday, June 8. Hand delivered ballots must be received by 8 pm on Election Day. In-person absentee (early voting) runs through June 1, but you may wait in line longer at the clerk's office than you would at your polling place on election day. Shirley H.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dinner Party at Creekside is Coming SOON, June 2, 2012

Dinner Party at Creekside Place Date: Saturday, June 2, 2012 Time: Cocktails at 5:00PM Dinner at 6:00PM Cost: Member: Single/Couple $17.50/$35.00 Non-Member: Single/Couple $22.50/$45.00 (Gratuity included) This dinner will be catered in by JL Richards of Oregon, the featured entrée will include chicken cordon blu with seasoned red potatoes, crisp green beans, and for desert we will be serving brownie alamode. The tickets are $17.50 per member guest and $22.50 per non member guest (this includes gratuity). Reserva-tions may be made by calling 882-0407 or you may stop by the front desk at Creekside. To confirm your reservation guests are requested to prepay for the dinner prior to the Monday, May 28th.

Video: 1 of 8: "The Art of Theodore Robinson"

(Ed.note: Over 1600 people have downloaded this video and it is at the top of "virtual tourism" charts for the Evanville Observer) Video: 1 of 8: Richard Krake, Painter, speaks at the Eager Free Library on "The Art of Theodore Robinson" Video compliments of The Evansville Observer, www.evansvilleobserver.blogspot.com We set the standard for online news in Southern Wi.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mailbag: ALEC petition: www.boldprogressive.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Share the petition on Facebook or share on Twitter. you signed our petition telling corporations to stop funding ALEC. Because of people like you, 14 corporations and 39 Democratic state legislators have dumped ALEC. Now, we're going after Amazon, one of the biggest corporations that still supports ALEC. This Thursday, we're going to take the fight to them by delivering your petition signatures to Amazon's shareholder meeting in Seattle alongside our partners at SEIU and Color of Change. Over 85,000 people have signed on already! Can you spread the word and help get even more signers before the petition is delivered? Click here to share the petition on Facebook or Click here to share on Twitter. (You can also forward this email to friends and family -- they can sign on here.) Thanks for being a bold progressive. -- Kristiane Skolmen and James Ploeser, PCCC organizers

The Rapid Rise of "Mobile"

About 25% of the traffic of The Evansville Observer is from "mobile" users, handheld phones, ipads etc. The number has been rapidly rising. This phenomenon has been mentioned in the discussion of "Facebook" in that in that stock issue, the idea of monetizing the handheld traffic had come into question, and that as that traffic had zoomed up in the recent months....What we are seeing on The Observer is rapidly rising mobile plus broad age participation and both men and women.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mailbag; More Election Information

ink to print out the absentee ballot request from the clerk's website: http://www.cityofmadison.com/election/absenteeVoting/documents/AbsenteeBallotRequest-2012.pdf DATA FROM LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS AND REQUEST AT BOTTOM FOR HELP MONITORING ELECTION You can still register to vote at your municipal clerk's office before the election or at your polling place on Election Day. Bring an official proof of residence document. To register, you will be asked to provide the number of your Wisconsin Driver's License or Wisconsin ID, if you have one. If you do not have one, you may provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you don't have any of these numbers, your clerk will assign a voter number for you. These IDs will not be needed to vote, once you are registered. If you are one of the many registered voters who are moving between May 8 and June 5 (students, this applies to you!), you will be able to vote in your old voting district. You can do this in person at your old polling place on Election Day or by absentee ballot before the election. You must request an absentee ballot from your municipal clerk. You can do this in person at your clerk's office before the close of business on Friday, June 1, or you can cast an absentee ballot by mail. Click here for instructions on requesting and casting an absentee ballot. Be sure to follow the instructions very carefully, or your vote might not be counted! Today the gubernatorial recall election campaigns are a-buzz about Wisconsin job numbers. Thirty-second TV ads don't tell the story! For differing views, see the press release from the Department of Workforce Development and an analysis by Forbes Magazine contributor Rick Ungar. Click here for the website Alice in Political Land, a web-based radio talk show. Recent interviews include one by Madison author and consultant Peggy Wireman with the LWV-WI executive director about new voting laws. If you can spare a couple of hours on Election Day, help the League monitor the June 5 election. Click here for information about our election observer program and an online volunteer sign-up form. You don't need to be a League member to be an observer. The League will provide training, a packet of materials and a polling place assignment. Find the League on Facebook! Like How to register and absentee vote; how to evaluate jobs numbers on Facebook Your contribution to the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network will help make democracy work in Wisconsin! Make a secure online donation or download a printable contribution form here.

OpEd: The Sharper Message

Walker did not need to destroy education to save Wisconsin....or destroy unions...he just needed to keep his promises about creating jobs. It is possible to REFORM education, and REFORM educational funding, and WEAC is not going to lead the way on that. So there is a middle way that has not been created yet, yet I see it as possible. Tom Barrett said in the televised debate that he did support a revised educational funding formula that added a sales tax to support education. This is reasonable since the property tax has been exhausted as a source, and voters if given the opportunity to raise their taxes on their homes, will reject it, and reject the candidate that opens that door---make a note of it. Standards for promotion in education must mean more than just interviewing all the teachers in a school for their present job. There must be a measurable way of evaluating teacher performance...I have not seen it yet. So--the bottom line. The message that "everything will be restored as it was before Walker" is a non starter. And the message that the property tax will be the source of restored funding is a non-starter. The message must be delivered by Barrett as to what his solution is. Voters need to hear it.

Rising Interest of Women in Wisconsin Governor's Race

At the time of the primary election for Governor of Wisconsin, only 10% of viewers of Evansville Observer Utube video channel were women. As of today, it is about 41%. It appears that women voters are doing their research as to the issues---and women may be the difference in the election. However--the irony is that most of the video offered by the campaigns is men talking to men...The videos that have gotten much viewing are women talking to women----Where is Falk talking about why she supports Barrett? Where is Vinehout talking to women voters about the policy wonk improvements needed? Make of note of it. The interest of women is rising in this election. They are looking for women leaders of the progressive persuasion to speak to them on the issues.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"It was just a dumb trade?"

This week JP Morgan announced that the broker-trader in London named "The Whale" had done a dumb trade that was going to cost the firm 2 BILLION dollars, but could cost more....the next day, they announced that the loss was more like 3 BILLION dollars...but could be more...Jamie Dimon, the chairman of JP Morgan was on the hotseat, and at the annual meeting, there was a vote on whether he should be removed...How could this have happened? He is so meticulous and such a wonderful leader and all....yada yada yada Every hedge that involves two options, maybe one a call and one a put, the net of the two is the NET risk of the trade---BUT if one of the two options becomes ILLIQUID or aka "WORTHLESS" then all bets are off as to the result of the trades....and the risk of that happening is NOT reflected in any data that a president of a firm would have....and there are tons of leveraged derivative "Hedges" out there that involve the European Union...and guess what, they are denominated in euros, and what happens when everyone reverts to their own currancy? In summary, the present assessment of risk by firms is a complete fiction...and is going to end badly. In summary....this was not a "dumb trade"---that is just a smoke screen public relations comment. What is crystal clear is that we need to revert back to Glass Steegal rules that were abandoned....or beware of the coming results.

Mailbag: Wireman: Details on Absentee Ballot Procedure for Election

this weekend is the last chance to reach UW students who are leaving town or graduating, and educate them on how they can vote. Graduations will be this Saturday and Sunday at the Kohl Center, and that area would be a good place to reach students--a shift from about 11:45 to 2:15 on either day would reach students leaving the morning ceremony and coming for the afternoon ceremony. The attached flyer has been checked for accuracy by the city clerk's office, and gives students instructions on where to vote depending on their circumstances. It is designed to be printed double-sided--the absentee ballot request file on one side, and the student voter guide on the other side. If anyone knows already by tonight that they are interested in this, I would be happy to make copies by tomorrow morning. Unfortunately I am leaving town for a funeral so I can't do anything after tonight. But anyone is free to make copies of this material. Please forward this to anyone you know who might be interested in reaching out to students this weekend. I know I saw other groups out doing voter registration but didn't think to ask them how to contact them in the future. Thank you everyone for all the work you're doing! Sherri Swartz How Do I Vote in the June 5 Barrett-Walker Election? If you have voted with your Madison address in the past, and you are staying in Wisconsin until June 5 or plan to return to Wisconsin in the fall, you can: 1) Vote at the Madison City Clerk’s office, 210 Martin Luther King Blvd, Mon. May 21-Fri. June 1 (most days 8 AM-7PM, limited hours Memorial Day weekend). OR 2) Request an absentee ballot—see form on back. This form can be mailed to your summer address. OR 3) Vote from your hometown address, if it is in Wisconsin. (You cannot vote from a temporary summer address if you plan to return to Madison in the fall.) If you are staying in Madison after graduation, vote at your usual location, or vote early at the City Clerk’s office, 210 Martin Luther King Blvd, May 21-June 1. If you’ve never voted before in Madison, you can register when you vote. Bring an ID and proof of address to register as a new Madison voter. Call 266-4601 to find your voting location, or look it up on www.vpa.wi.gov. If you have never registered to vote in Madison and you are not living in Madison this summer, you must vote at your hometown address. You do NOT need a photo ID to vote in the June 5 recall special election. Questions? Call Madison City Clerk at 608-266-4601) 266-4601 Make Sure Your Absentee Ballot Gets Counted! Ten to 15 percent of absentee ballots do not get counted. To be counted, mail it early—postmarked no later than election day, seal and sign the envelope, have a witness sign the envelope, and make sure you’re registered at the address you use to vote! Absentee Ballot Request In order to receive an absentee ballot, you must be registered to vote at your current address. I request an absentee ballot for the elections I have checked below:  Recall Primary, May 8, 2012  Recall Election, June 5, 2012  Fall Primary Election, August 14, 2012  General/Presidential Election, November 6, 2012  All 2012 Elections in which I am eligible to vote  _ Name (please print) Residence Address Madison, WI Mailing Address (if different than Residence) – Send ballot to:  I have attached a copy of my Photo ID Card If sending a copy of your student ID, you must also send proof of current enrollment. Signature of Elector  Return to: Madison City Clerk 210 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd #103 Madison, WI 53703 ©2012 Wireman & Associates | 4001 Monona Dr, Madison WI 53717

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mailbag; Vinehout Writes Re Wisconsin Budget Process

State Budget Fix: Moving Debt into the Future “Please tell me what’s really happening with the state budget,” the man asked me. “It’s so hard to know what’s going on.” Welcome to the murky world of state finances. Digging deep into state finances is not for the faint of heart. The numbers are big and the problems even bigger. The past several budget years started in the red. State law requires every Governor to submit a balanced budget. If things stray too far into the red, the Governor and Legislature must then craft a ‘budget repair’ bill. February estimates necessitate the state take action on repairing the budget. But recently, the administration announced things look better. In a recent Department of Administration memo, the numbers show a better than expected balance at the end of this budget. Legislators are scrambling to see what numbers are real. Reports suggest the national economy is improving. This is good news. I certainly hope this translates to improvements for Wisconsin. But it’s too soon to verify if this actually happened. What I can verify is the numbers released by the administration include several actions that raise cash by ‘refinancing and restructuring’ debt. This includes delaying – or not paying - debt payments coming due. Not paying bills can free up cash but costs all of us more down the road. Imagine your mortgage is coming due but you need cash. You ask your banker if you can delay making the mortgage payment. He says OK – but it will cost you in additional interest and principal payments over the life of your mortgage. The same thing happened in state government. Instead of a mortgage, the state sells bonds to finance debt. The bonds are paid off usually over 20 years. The Walker administration delayed paying over $500 million in debt payments. The consequence is increased principal and interest payments over the next 20 years. Delaying debt payments was only part of the strategy to improve immediate cash flow by increasing long-term debt. There are other actions to gain cash up-front that cause the state to pay more down the road. The administration sold bonds at a ‘premium’ - meaning bonds were sold for more than they are worth. The state pays higher than market interest rates to gain cash up-front to finance current expenses. This premium long-term interest rate means a higher debt payment. This action helps raise immediate cash – and makes the check book look a little better – but costs us all more in the long run and puts the state in worse financial shape by adding to the long-term debt. Some debt ‘refinanced’ by the administration was taken to lower interest rates – in the way you might refinance a mortgage to capture a lower interest rate and, hence, a lower monthly mortgage payment. But even this action was done for only short-term gain. The refinancing brought in a little over $10 million in savings. Rather than reduce the debt payments – spreading the new lower interest rate over the life of the loan - the administration decided to take all the cash up-front. This kept the debt at the higher interest rate. Delaying payments has been used by governors when the state faced a financial crisis. But the accumulation of techniques used to raise cash at the expense of increased long- term debt is unusual. As is the size of the debt delayed and the speed at which it was delayed. The timing of the action is also suspect. Not in 30 years has the administration released new revenue numbers before the usual pre-budget action in November. Without the help of experts in the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, it would be virtually impossible to track the debt delayed and bonds refinanced. The difficulty in verifying numbers and ‘unspinning’ the spin highlights a critical problem in state government – the lack of transparency in state finances. If we want to have an honest discussion about how to move our state forward and cure our financial woes, we must have an honest discussion of what’s happening right now and how this action will affect our state’s future financial health. Click here to download the PDF

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Committee of the Whole Meets Thursday, May 17, 2012

Common Council Special Meeting as Committee of the Whole Thursday, May 17, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Creekside Place, 102 Maple Street, Evansville, WI Agenda 1. Call to order 2. Roll call 3. Approval of agenda 4. Previous minutes approved at May 8, 2012, regular Common Council meeting 5. Citizen appearances 6. Basics: A-ha sheets, parking lot scribe, process monitor, notes & minutes 7. Report on League New Officials Workshop: new ideas, surprises (5 minutes) 8. May 8 Financial Overview: Comments, follow-up questions, or topics for parking lot (5 minutes) 9. Wrap-up from last Committee of the Whole meeting (20 minutes) a. Additions to list of “Appreciate What Is” b. Other comments/questions c. Cohesive Team Model i. Trust ii. Attention to results 10. Trust at Pivotal Moments (30 minutes) a. Ehlers Public Finance Seminar panel on economic development b. Procedure for city administrator hiring 11. Break (15 minutes) 12. Constructive conflict (15 minutes) 13. Commitment (10 minutes) 14. Accountability (15 minutes) 15. Attention to results – How do we succeed? (20 minutes) a. What is top notch service b. What are components of quality of life c. How are top notch service and quality of life translated to city budgeting strategy 16. Check-out (15 minutes) a. Review Cohesive Team Model b. A-ha sheets c. Parking lot d. Next steps 17. Adjourn. Sandra J. Decker, Mayor

Summer Clean Up Coming==Thursday May 17, 2012

Hello For the ninth year, third-graders from Levi Leonard school led by Nancy Greve-Shannon and the Evansville Community Partnership will team up to clean up the downtown. This year we will sweep from 1 pm until 2:15 on Main and Madison Streets and we need your help. We need 6-10 adults to take charge of a small group of very willing sweepers and cleaners for just one hour. The more adults we have, the better the event is for all concerned. Please plan on meeting us at Shannon Law Office on Main Street at 1 pm. We will reconnect at Creekside Place at 2:15 for snacks and camaraderie before going our separate ways. I hope you can help us this year as we make ready to welcome Summer guests to downtown. Nancy Greve-Shannon Jim Brooks

Wall Street Corner: "The Bathing Suit Rule"

Years ago I had the pleasure of training to be a securities broker on Wall Street, and trained in the heat of the summer in New York...It was memorable sitting on the steps of Wall street, across from the Starbucks, and reflecting that everybody was not there...they were at the beach...because it was just deserted..... With the summer coming prior to the Presidential Election, it foretells to be a hot, hot time....with a scarcity of retail activity...and I just am very thankful I am not a broker in this coming environment.... Hence...in our family there is a special rule..."The bathing suit rule" and every time my younger brother calls me with a special stock pick advice, I just say...but remember, Denis..."The bathing suit Rule"---wait till the temps get to 100 degrees and then buy something......

Mailbag: MoveOn.org; Is DNC supporting Recall Walker?

Dear MoveOn member, As a Wisconsin progressive working day and night for the recall of Scott Walker, I'm shocked: The Democratic National Committee still isn't giving financial support to the recall fight in Wisconsin. After more than a year of grassroots efforts, Wisconsin citizens have accomplished more than anyone thought possible. We now have a Democratic challenger to Scott Walker who is neck and neck in the polls, even though Tom Barrett is being outspent by Walker's millions from out-of-state donations. There is no more time for the Democratic National Committee to wait—if Walker wins, it would be a huge setback to Democrats in races across the country this year. We need the DNC's support immediately! That's why I created a petition on SignOn.org to DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, which says: Democratic National Committee and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, invest now in the crucial fight to remove Scott Walker from office in Wisconsin—the people have worked hard and it's time to help. Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=275536&id=41477-2996462-en9ikrx&t

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Last Man Standing" found kneeling: The story of Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan

Stock Markets were rocked today by the loss announced by JP Morgan of "at least" TWO BILLION dollars. The head of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon said he felt "comfortable" with the situation. As pundits will recall, Jamie is the hero of the book "The Last Man Standing"---it is available from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Man-Standing-Ascent-JPMorgan/dp/1416599533 The irony is of course that Mr. Dimon is one of the strongest advocates of non-regulation of the banking industry. Mr. Johnson, author of 7 Bankers, has called for his resignation today.

Mailbag: Recall Walker Happenings for Saturday, May 12, 2012

Labor Temple at noon We Are Wisconsin speakers, food, sign ups This Saturday at noon, We Are Wisconsin will host a grassroots Solidarity Kickoff at the Labor Temple in Madison. Click here to RSVP on Facebook. It’s going to take every ounce of grassroots energy we have to beat back Walker and his limitless out-of-state campaign cash. At this kickoff on Saturday, we’ll come together to show the Koch brothers and their allies that their slick TV ads can’t match our energy and momentum. This Saturday, please join us for food, music, speakers, and fun as we energize for the final push. P.S. Please remember to bring a non-perishable food item to the Labor Temple on Saturday to support the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive. After that, we’ll be hitting the streets to start vital conversations with our neighbors about how – together – we’re going to send Scott Walker packing. Polls show this race is going to be incredibly close and every single one of these conversations with voters will have an impact. Grassroots activism is how this started and it’s how we’re going to win. Please join national American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, John Nichols, SCFL President Kevin Gundlach, Rep. Chris Taylor, and our dear friend Sly to kick off the start of the general election. We can’t wait a minute more to start working to get Tom Barrett elected. Whether you’ve been volunteering nonstop for a year or are just getting started, we need absolutely everyone on board.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mailbag: Theodore Robinson Society: Kendall Schneider Writes:

Hi All, I would like to meet again this month at 7:00 on May 10th at Creekside Place. A couple of topics would be a request from the organizers of the Pleine Air event coming up for some funding, another would be possible fundraising to help with costs associated with bringing D. Scott Atkinson to Evansville for the Theodore Robinson Annual meeting on Sunday September 16th the weekend of the 14 South artist's weekend. Kendall

Friday, May 04, 2012

Twitter: Library news: Moms Celebrated on Sat, May 12th

Moms, come Sat. May 12 from 10 am - 11am to enjoy muffins with your child at the library! Beverages also provided.

Mailbag: Wireman: Recall Walker Rally announced for Wed May 9,2012: State Capitol

. On Wednesday, May 9th, we will not be holding the regularly scheduled meeting of the Democratic Party of Dane County at the Concourse Hotel. Instead, we hope you will join the Democratic Party of Wisconsin for a rally at 6:30pm on the steps of the Capitol with the Democratic Nominee for Governor. The primary election on Tuesday, May 8th will determine who will be the Democrat to reclaim our state from Scott Walker's radical agenda and bring Wisconsin values back to the Governor's office. On Wednesday, May 9th, the Democratic Party will stand up with our nominee and let Walker and his big money allies know that they cannot divide us, and together, we will make history. The rally will be at the State Street side of the Capitol at 6:30pm. Our nominee, the three other candidates, and some special guests will be there to help us start the final phase of the recall of Scott Walker. If you'd like to RSVP, you can do so on the Dane Dems Facebook page or at this URL: http://danedems.nationbuilder.com/democratic_unity_and_forward_to_victory_rally

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Mailbag: I and E Club: "Small Mistakes in HR can Cost you BIG Money": Wed, May 9, 2012:

Hi everyone Just a couple of notes to share: 1. First, make time to join us next Wednesday! 2. And, just a heads up, too: our main fundraising event is the Lunker Lob, a ton-of-fun kid event (well, OK, adults have loads of fun, too)! It is held at Lake Leota park on the Fourth of July, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. We are already recruiting prizes and volunteers to work two-hour shifts. Just email me if you can help with prizes (or connections) and shift. Thanks! Sue "Small Mistakes in HR can Cost Big Money" Presented May 9 Come to hear human resources consultant Maggie Ley present “Small Mistakes in HR can cost big money: a primer for new and small business owners.” Ley is speaking at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, at the Evansville Area Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club. The meeting is free and open to the public, and will be hosted at Creekside Place, 102 Maple St., Evansville. Ley has more than 25 years of experience in human resources management, having served as human resources director for law, accounting and investment firms. With particular expertise in coaching, team building, and employee handbooks, Ley has become known for her dedicated approach to client service, firm grounding in the rules and regulations of employment law, team-focused leadership style, exceptional communication skills, and the ability to develop programs that are tailored to small business needs. Sponsoring this meeting is Wendy Pryce and her "sweet sensations,” which are delightful concoctions baked from scratch the old-fashioned way. Come to sample treats, and to meet interesting people who might have the connection or piece of information that matters to you. It’s a relaxed, informal way to trade phone numbers, tips, and ideas! For information about sponsorships or I&E club, contact Sue Berg at 608-882-0986 or suebergsolutions@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

OpEd: Politics: The Ying and the Yang

If you step back for a moment....and reflect how Wisconsin got to where it is----Gov. Scott Walker got elected governor...and what were the grievances of those who elected him....one of them was high property taxes that supported public education...and with the lack of growth in Wisconsin, many communities had property taxes that were DOUBLE those of other parts of the USA that have higher concentrations of population in urban areas, and a better tax base. Who caused the failure of the legislature to revise the basis for school aid funding? Now enter WEAC. With the push for 4K. Expansion of the school system. Higher funding...and to come from where? the property tax? I think in retrospect residents of Wisconsin hit a wall of purchasing power....the end of property tax as a way of funding schools is at hand. A sales tax will have to be legislated...there is no other solution unless you plan on having all of Wisconsin being uninhabitable. One of the flaws then was the narrow focus...the focus of partisans just thinking of their special interest...higher property taxes beyond the levy limits to support their cause...and it imploded...was anything learned....NO...the partisans endorsed in a primary...how creative...when experienced politicos NEVER endorse candidates in a primary because it makes enemies all around....Doug LaFollette said it best at a recent forum...."The labor endoresements in the primary was strategic error". What he hinted at was that partisan enthusiasm harmed the overall effort to unseat Scott Walker. So....blinded by narrow self interest....a continuing theme .....the old chinese fortune cookie...."He who seeks a thing directly...will never attain it". Wisconsin is faced with the disintegration of a civil society, and pain is all over the place...to be the big tent is more than talking.... The Democratic primary debate is Friday....tune in to public radio and Tv...It should be interesting...Which candidate has the specific proposals...Which candidate can unite the people? Which candidate can win? You make the call.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Evansville Police Report: March 2012

(Ed.note: This is the Evansville Police Report section of the minutes of March 2012 Public Safety Minutes) 8. Evansville Police Report – There were 1228 calls for service for the month of March 2012, compared to 1401 in March of 2012. There were 60 license plate transactions for March. All training that was scheduled for staff was completed in February and March. Officers Schmidt and Job completed ARIDE training April 2-3. DAAT training on April 23 will be attended by Officers Nankee and Schmidt. On May 14-17 Instructor Development training is scheduled for Officers Job and Mahan-Strupp. Chief McElroy and Lieutenant Koehler continue to work on Police Office Evaluations. Office Anacker and Mawhinney are in their final phase of training-working with a second officer. Officer Matt McElroy currently attending the police academy and training for court officer is scheduled to graduate on May 4, 2012. Officer Reilly plans to start his training in April. Accreditation/Policy Updates continue with recent completion of Policy 6.14 on Eye Witness Identification. Files continue to be scanned daily and the Police Website is updated with significant information. The radar trailer is continued being placed outside in good weather. The department expects the new squad to arrive in May. The squad room dictation and office computers were lost over the April 1 weekend. These were replaced with less expensive laptops from Hanson Electronics in Evansville. The Intoximeter room laptop is also in for repairs, which was will be shared until this laptop is repaired. A TV was added to our conference room to utilize for presentations. An email was sent to Roger Berg in regard to the parking for the Eager Economy Building asking him to address this issue with Plan Commission. There are currently 55 parking stalls.