Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today's Sign Of The Apocalypse

Unholy alliances abound but even I, in all my cynical glory, never saw this coming. From Yahoo Sports...
Randy Moss is getting involved in NASCAR.

The record-setting New England Patriots wide receiver announced the
formation of Moss Motorsports, LLC earlier this week, with its intended
participation to begin in the Craftsman Truck Series.

Moss anticipates that the team will debut at some point in the
second half of the 2008 season and run selected races through the conclusion of
the year. The partial schedule is a prelude to a full-time campaign in

Maybe Favre is going to drive the blasted thing.

"This is not science."

Those are the words of Dr. Paul F. Schuster, an hydrologist with the US Geological Survey and one of the people named on the so-called list of 500 scientists cited by The Heartland Institute in an attempt to cast doubts on climate change research. Dr Schuster goes on to say:
They have taken our ice core research in Wyoming and twisted it to meet
their own agenda. This is not science."
But surely, you scoff, one small mistake on a list of 500 does little to refute it.
Please remove my name IMMEDIATELY from the following article and from the
list which misrepresents my research."
Those are the words of Dr. Mary Alice Coffroth, of the Department of Geology at SUNY Buffalo. Add to that the words of Peter F. Almasi, a PhD Candidate in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Columbia University:
Just because you document natural climate variability doesn't mean
anthropogenic global warming is not a threat. In fact I would venture that most
on that list believe a natural cycle and anthropogenic change combined represent
a greater threat."

The deniers love to cite the most rabid, the most passionate proponents of a man-made climate change theory or to misrepresent the words of more moderate researchers. Somewhere out there in the middle is the truth.

We are affecting the climate of our planet. The failure of the agriculture system in Australia is a clear example of man's, often well-intentioned, intervention. We have had a negative impact. We can have a positive one. We just need to move beyond denial to acceptance. Hell, even Flyin' Jim Sensenbrenner admits there's a problem. Now we need to start working together on solutions. Oh yeah, and stop lying about what somebody else's research.

Annie, Get Your Gun At EHS This Weekend

The Observer has the scoop on the High School musical this weekend.

Through The Looking Glass

Jeff takes a look through the glass and sees that it's at least half full for Evansville. This is the take of a man who knows the value of a full glass.

Take a look around. See what's new.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Recollection Of Planning Past

A long, long time ago in a place very far from here...

No. Wait. It was Beloit in the steamy Summer of '98. The alligators were coming up the steps to get in the shade of the porch...

No. Hang on. It was fairly pleasant that Summer in Beloit and the closest alligators were on the menu at Heaven on Seven in Chicago. But that's neither here nor there right now.

The point is (didja think I didn't have a point?) that it seems like a very long time but it's just only 10 years ago. A pittance, a trifle in economic planning terms.

Six of us were pulled off the road and told that we were a By-God Planning Team. We were going to figure out ways to save money for the Fleet. Nothing was off-limits. Everyone would take our calls (I may still have that 1997 company-wide phone directory. I think it was the last one on paper.)

We worked our tails off. Calling people and writing spreadsheets (yes, dammit. In Lotus 1-2-3.) We came up with five first-rate Action Plans and presented the Hell out of them when the VP's tour came through town the end of the week.

Then. Nothing happened. We were shocked, shocked, I say and not a little appalled that the Fleet Team didn't run right out and implement each and every one of our Action Items. Hadn't we shown them how well they worked, how much money they could save by spending a little?

1999 came and went and 2000 right along behind it. In 2001 two of our Action Items showed up on some of the agendas for regional and national teams. By 2002 there were more in place. By 2003 and 2004 all of the Action Plans we'd identified and reported out were in place and saving money in one or more Fleet locations but Beloit was running with all of them and building on them as well, finding new ways to save and improve.

It's hard work to plan and even harder to implement those plans, especially if they call for a change in the culture. But it's worth it to stick with it. Results show. Patience and perseverance pay off.

Congratulations to my old teams in Beloit. Now, let's see how planning can pay off again a little closer to home.


Does it have legs? That's the question asked of any movie after its opening week. Can it hold its audience?

By any account 88 Minutes is going downhill. In its second weekend it did $3,593,890 on 2168 screens giving it a two-week total of $12,625,951. Pacino's thriller isn't benefiting from word-of-mouth.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall seems to have good legs in its second week. It pulled in $11,028,060 over the weekend on 2799 screens to give it a cumulative gross of $35,090,955.

Expelled did fairly well in its first week, especially since it only opened on 1041, screens but it doesn't seem to have legs. Its second weekend take was down to $1,394,940 for a two-week gross of $5,297,860. Given the nature of documentaries in general I think Expelled's light is starting to flicker. Given the subject matter of this picture I can't imagine the producers will be hoping that, somehow, it can grow legs.

It Would Be Difficult To Care Any Less

How are you feeling?

Burned out? Used up? Tired of the same old, same old? Which of these make you care the least?

Miley Cyrus' pics in Vanity Fair?

Vanity Fair is still around?

Annie Liebowitz is still around?

Roger Rocket and Mindy McCready did or did not exchange high heat?

What sombody else's pastor said, if he didn't say it to you? Haggee, Wright, Robertson? Any of 'em.

Britney Spear's and Doogie Howser?

Too, too much of too, too little in my paper this morning.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Laissez le Bon Temps Roullez

The Summer of 08 is shaping up to be a fun time for those of us on the Left side of the Cheddarsphere. Not only will we have the Retrial of the Century (well, it seems like he's dragged it out that long) of Scooter Jensen but it looks as if we will have Little Johnny Gard to kick around again.

The unloved Speaker of the Assembly and failed candidate for the US House has decided to ask the good people of Green Bay to finance another house outside of their district and send him to Washington. It's another chance for them to realize that Gard isn't even the best candidate at his breakfast table.

Let's join John and pop the top on a cold one, shall we? You don't have to drink that awful stuff he pours down his neck, though.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It Just Ain't Right

Saw a guy today on his riding lawnmower wearing a parka.

That ain't right.

Ken Mehlman and Scott Walker Have a Chat

This just never gets old. Does it?

Originally posted 3/25/06

h/t The Rev Is In

One R Who Gets It

From Brett Davis' Newsletter

Celebrating Earth Day

This past week, Americans commemorated Earth Day, a unique reflection on our use and conservation of natural resources. As you probably know, this celebration has Wisconsin roots. It was former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson who initiated the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. A Clear Lake native, Nelson championed landmark laws in the U.S. Senate including the Wilderness Act, the National Trails Act, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the National Environmental Education Act. Nearly 40 years later, Wisconsin’s citizens and legislators are committed to Nelson’s conservation legacy.

In the 2007-09 Wisconsin budget the Legislature dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to state conservation and environmental protection programs. Foremost among these efforts is the renewal of the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship Program until 2020 with increasing funding annually, from $60 million to $82 million. The Stewardship program will allow the DNR to protect ecologically valuable forests, prairies and waterways for future generations. This reauthorization also ensures open access for hunters, fishers and other outdoor enthusiasts, expanding opportunity for families and friends to enjoy and appreciate Wisconsin’s natural landscapes.

Another conservation victory in the 2007-09 budget is more funding to fight non-point source pollution. Water is our most valued resource, a source of nourishment and recreation. The DNR estimates that up to one-half of state lakes and waterways are in some way affected by non-point source pollution. The current budget boosts funds $18 million to $135.2 million for soil erosion abatement and other land management programs to curb the adverse affects of water pollution.

With the global demand for oil at an all-time high and skyrocketing gas prices, the Wisconsin Legislature took action by investing in renewable energy at historic levels. The budget established the Renewable Energy Grant and Loan Program which widens the breadth of businesses eligible for grants and loans for research into renewable energy technology.

In addition, during the state budget process, Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) and I were successful in securing a $4 million grant to provide an incentive for the creation of Wisconsin's first soybean crush facility in Evansville. The new crush plant will create 40 jobs, reduce transportation costs, and provide the oil needed for renewable fuels like biodiesel.

Additional conservation achievements in the 2007-08 budget include a $1.2 million increase for invasive species control and a $13 million increase in state recycling grants. Over the next two years, $32.9 million in recycling grants will cover one-third of local recycling costs state-wide.

Finally, Governor Doyle, the Legislature, and the Department of Natural Resources recently reached a bi-partisan agreement to protect our Great Lakes from being drained for profit. The deal will move the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact forward in Wisconsin, which is a key provision necessary to preserve Wisconsin’s water needs and Great Lakes ecosystems. The state Legislature is expected to pass the legislation in the coming weeks. No matter how you celebrated, I hope you enjoyed Earth Day and know that your state government is committed to conserving Wisconsin resources for generations to come.

Showing The Way On Privatization

Given the way I've looked at privatizing government functions in the past, I'm still a little soft on any further efforts to remove regulatory function from the government to industry. However, if the choice is between private testing for compliance and nobody testing for compliance I may have to rethink.

From Congresswoman Baldwin's newsletter:
Our Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on draft legislation
concerning food safety. Read my opening statement by
or going to my website.

At my request, one of the witnesses at the hearing was Mr. James
Lovett, Corporate Senior Vice-President of Covance Laboratories, which
operates one of the largest food testing facilities in the world in
Madison. The Madison lab grew from a research branch at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison. Discussion included ways in which independent testers,
such as Covance, can work more directly with the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to ensure the nation’s food safety. Proposed
legislation gives the FDA authority to rely on our Wisconsin-based

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I don't know what scares me most.

That there is a Topix page as: (sic) Search for "wigderson""

That I'm the ninth hit on it.

Or that James can only claim 50% of the Top Ten

Taking Care Of Them What Takes Care Of You

It's the government equivalent of "sleeping your way to the middle." How do you get yourself a job for a state agency that's facing job cuts? Take care of the boss.

General J.B. Van Hollen hired his campaign field director as a state
Justice Department receptionist and has twice promoted him to positions in the
agency's criminal bureau.

Agency employment records show Van Hollen, a Republican, appointed Tim
Jennings as a part-time office associate on Jan. 26, 2007, days after Van Hollen
took office. Jennings worked as a receptionist, sorted mail and handled filing
for $11.55 an hour.

In August, Van Hollen appointed Jennings to a part-time
analyst position in the Division of Criminal Investigation and bumped his pay to
$12.77 an hour. His duties included creating timelines and other analyses in
criminal probes.

In March, Van Hollen gave Jennings a temporary DCI analyst
post at $16.08 per hour. His duties include studying gang activity in the Fox

Okay. That's just good old fashioned cronyism. It happens all the time and in both parties. Most of the time there's nothing in the hiring that would embarrass the good people of Wisconsin. For all we know, Jennings may have been some kind of super-expert on Fox-Valley gangs when he took the receptionist job and was just biding his time.

I was among those who applauded when van Hollen hired former Dane County Sheriff Gary Hamblin to run the crime labs and most everyone thought that hiring former Tommy! counsel Ray Taffora was a grand idea.

But now, for a bright shiny new dime, can anybody tell me what might be troubling about this?

Last week, the attorney general hired Republican aide Bill Cosh as his new

Cosh testified in former Republican Assembly Speaker Scott
Jensen's misconduct in office trial in 2006 that he did campaign work on state
time. The Justice Department helped convict Jensen of misconduct and is
assisting Dane County prosecutors in a new case against him after an appeals
court granted him a new trial last year.

If Cosh comes back to the stand during the Show Trial of the Summer how will the jury view his testimony now that he's working for the prosecution? Is JBvH undermining the case against Scooter? Is he doing it on purpose? Why didn't you listen to us when we told you he wasn't the right man for the job?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

By, Golly. They're Right. There Is Waste And Fraud.

TUCSON, Ariz. - The government is scrapping
a $20 million prototype
of its highly touted "virtual fence" on the
Arizona-Mexico border because the system is failing to adequately alert border
patrol agents to illegal crossings, officials said.

The move comes just two months after Homeland Security Secretary
Michael Chertoff announced his approval of the fence built by The Boeing Co. The
fence consists of nine electronic surveillance towers along a 28-mile section of
border southwest of Tucson.

Do you feel safer now? Me either.

Guess The Number Game

I'll steal a page from Fred.

Guess the significance of this number.


Updated: If you go to the campaign websites of Flyin' Jim Sensenbrenner, Rock Star Paulie Ryan and State Sen. Alberta Darling and search the homepages and bios you see the word "Republican" three times, every one of those in a news release. Only the independently wealthy, world-travelling Sensenbrenner is so bold as to proudly identify himself as a Republican prominently on his website.

This ain't for "gotchas." I didn't scour every page of their websites for references to party affiliation but there are those who think it odd that a candidate would downplay their party affiliation in a campaign. It's not unusual.

In 2006 Tom Reynolds of New York was in charge of recruiting Republican candidates to run for the House of Representatives. His own campaign website didn't bother to tell his constituents which party could call him a member.

Get over yourselves, kids. Go outside and play. This whole "He doesn't tell people what he is," farrago is simply silliness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Third Person Silly

A lot has been said about State Rep Don Pridemore and whether he might or might not be facing a challenge in the primary this year. More words have been spent on reaction to the reaction to the non-announcement.

But, to me, the fun part was Pridemore's prideful reaction to WRTL's reaction to Pridemore's initial announcement which, he claims, was not really an announcement he meant. Who writes press releases in third person perfect anymore? It reads like a SNL script.

Wisconsin Right to Life has launched a ridiculous attack against
Representative Pridemore. [snip]

It is not Gleisner’s pro-life record that Representative
Pridemore objected to, though; on the contrary, Representative Pridemore is and
has always been an unwavering supporter [snip]

has its origins in private conversations Representative Pridemore has
had with them and other third-party groups to ask for their viewpoints and
suggestions about possible areas of legislation to research and explore in the
future. “If the Democrats’ plan to appoint judges starts to gain momentum, we
will need to have something in the works to assure that voters retain their
rights,” said Pridemore. [snip]

should be ashamed of themselves,” Pridemore said. “I have promised them that

I could say that the release suffers from a bad case of eye-strain but I'll just offer these words from another source.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 18:12

Little Known Fact

Many bloggers noted that yesterday was the 172nd anniversary of the founding of the Wisconsin Territory.

It is much lesser known that on this day, April 21 in 1836 a spokesman for Wisconsin Fullers, Wheelwrights and Chandlers issued a proclamation announcing that the Wisconsin Territory was a tax hell and calling for a cut in the taxes on buggy whips and mustache wax.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

'S About Time

MOTEGI, Japan - Danica Patrick became the first female winner in
IndyCar history Sunday, taking the Indy Japan 300 after the top contenders were
forced to pit for fuel in the final laps.

Patrick finished 5.8594 seconds ahead of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves
on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval after leader Scott Dixon pitted with five
laps left and Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan came in a lap later.

This is a good thing for the newly reunited open wheel series.

Now Patrick has exactly as many Indy Car victories as Guido Dacco. The bar has been raised.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I Apologize In Advance For Sounding Like Andy Rooney

Why is it that people who will tag Senator Obama with Jeremiah Wright and who will link (subtly) Willard's hopes and dreams, discounted though they may be, with the Yearning For Zion crowd don't seem to have any trouble with McCain and his supporter, John Hagee?

From Catholics United:
John Hagee is a prominent Texas pastor who has referred to the Catholic
Church as "the Great Whore," calling it a "false cult system" and "the apostate
church." Hagee has also compared women to terrorists and dogs, and made light of slavery. In 2006, he argued that Hurricane Katrina was an act of retribution
from God for a "homosexual parade" in New Orleans. Pastor Hagee also advocates immediate war with Iran and an end to the peace process in the Middle East.

Friday, April 18, 2008


For Christmas in 1971, the first after my 16th birthday, my parents gave me a replica of a Texaco gas pump. Taped to its side was a paid receipt for 100 gallons of gas at Smith's Mobil. The total for that present was $41.99.

I put $43 worth of gas into the Buick Tuesday night.

[insert heavy sigh here]

How To Tell When It's Not Your Time

Start with a bad decision...
Slemp, his son Jared and a family friend took their snowmobiles up to the
crater's rim, where John and Jared parked their vehicles, then crawled on their
bellies to peer over the cornice -- a dangerous overhanging shelf of snow at the
crest of a mountain -- into the crater itself.
Bad luck ends well...
The cornice broke loose and Slemp dropped about 150 feet. His son began to
slide down with him until their friend grabbed him and pulled him back to
safety. The elder Slemp landed on a snow bank,
Whew! Except...
when he stood to climb back up the crater, the shelf of snow crumbled
beneath him and he tumbled about 1,300 feet further down the crater, riding a
tidal wave of avalanche debris on his hands and knees.
D'oh! Certain tragedy? Not yet.
At 5:20 p.m. PT, the sheriff's office received a phone call that a man had
fallen off the crater rim but was up and moving around.
Wow! How did he survive that?

But Slemp was wearing a heavy snowmobile suit as well as a helmet and heavy
boots, and he happened to fall in an area without craggy crevices or boulders
which could have killed him.

"[He] picked a great place to do this," Gary Kapezynski, the training coordinator for the volcano rescue team, said. "This was one of two places at the crater which were snow covered and there were very few cliffs ... if he'd have gone off in other places, I don't think he would have made it."

Go read the rest.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Quick Comparison

This isn't a big story. It doesn't matter if Cindy McCain has great recipes. Nobody is really surprised that they were ripped off from somewhere to make her look "homey" to the base. Nobody really believes that John McCain is married to Cindy for the tasty vittles.

File it under "Bad Behavior" and let it go.

This, on the other hand, should be front page news every night until these people are hounded out of office and put in jail.

Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how
the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects -- whether they would be
slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called

The high-level discussions about these "enhanced interrogation
techniques" were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation
sessions were almost choreographed -- down to the number of times CIA agents
could use a specific tactic.

The advisers were members of the National Security Council's
Principals Committee, a select group of senior officials who met frequently to
advise President Bush on issues of national security policy.

At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President
Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director
George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The Pope should wag his finger at GWB until he finds a conscience and fires these people.

Why isn't this breach of National Ethics and basic human decency a bigger story? Are you comfortable with torture in your name and on your behalf? Are you willing to say nothing?

Then you should be as ashamed as these so-called principals.

Come And See The Plans

The culmination of the planning sessions following the Economic Development Summit will be presented tonight starting at 5:30 at the High School Media Room.

The Agenda follows


The meeting of the Evansville Redevelopment Authority for the City of Evansville will be held on the date and time stated below at Evansville High School Media Room, 640 South Fifth Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

Evansville Redevelopment Authority
Thursday, April 17, 2008, 5:30 PM
City Hall, 31 S. Madison St., Evansville, WI


I. Call To Order

II. Declare Quorum

III. Approve Agenda

IV. Approve Minutes of March 18, 2008 meeting

V. Old Business

A. Economic Development Summit: Task Force Presentations
i. Workforce Development
ii. Governmental Relations
iii. Downtown Revitalization
iv. Marketing
v. Entrepreneurial Environment & Networking

B. Tid #5: Discuss Properties

VI. New Business

A. Nomination and election of Chair through April 2009

B. Nomination and election of Vice Chair through April 2009

VII. Other Business

VIII. Adjourn

Christopher A. Eager, Chairman

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

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Overheard At The White House. 16 April, 2008

I don't know, Dick. I didn't really think his hat was that funny.

Junk Science At A Theater Near You

"Masterson, I had you in my big-time book. Now I suppose I'll have to
reclassify you — under
shills and decoys".
-Lt Branigan; Guys and Dolls

I used to think that Ben Stein was something a little bit special, a political thinker who had a sense of humor about himself and about life. But now he's hooked up with the cold-fusion, flat-earth junk science crowd for Expelled.

The main point of his new movie seems to be that somehow "Big Science" has conspired to keep out ideas because they are afraid of them. The website for the movie doesn't really argue for the validity of any of these "rebellious" scientific thoughts but only that they must be true because people are trying to keep them out of classrooms throughout the USA.

It seems that not only is there bad science in Stein's new movie there's more than a bit of bad scholarship. It looks as if they lifted some of their animations from other sources without attribution.

Ben Stein says no one can shut him up. He'll be really embarrassed if he ever figures out that no one is trying to silence him and that when he speaks he can only make himself look bad. Shutting him up would be a kindness.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

15 Blocks From Wrigley Field

From the Gazette:

The cougar spotted near Milton might be dead.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials hope to compare DNA from a cougar shot Monday by police on Chicago’s North Side to DNA from a cougar spotted northeast of Milton in January.

Chicago police said an officer shot and killed a 150-pound cougar
in an alley after several residents reported seeing the cat, which was more than
5 feet long.

There. In Chicago. I'll think twice before I complain about a possum in the trashcans again.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Louis Kaye has a post in honor of Paul Ryan and his faux-reform brigade.

Don't you wish that your entire retirement was in the market right now?

Call 'Em As You Sees 'Em

If you think you've seen fraud or waste in a Wisconsin state program or agency there's a number now to report it. From Sen Erpenbach's newsletter:
Fraud Hotline Launched – Wisconsin has launched a new toll-free hotline for
the public to report alleged incidents of fraud, waste, and mismanagement in
state government. The hotline is managed by the non-partisan Legislative Audit
Bureau. Callers can reach the hotline at 1-877-FRAUD-17 or 1-877-372-8317. A
caller’s personal information will be kept private and callers are asked to be
as specific as possible. For description of the type of information to include
in a call visit
this site. The LAB will follow up on calls as well as referring
information to other appropriate authorities for investigation.

Monday, April 14, 2008

It's Time To See Who's Leading What

Common Council Meeting
Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Organizational Meeting
City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI


1 Call to order.

2 Administer Oath of Office to Ald. Ringhand, Ald. Wyse, Ald. Sornson, and Ald. Braunschweig.

3 Roll call of new Council.

4 Nomination and election of Council President.

5 Motion to appoint The Review as the City of Evansville’s official newspaper for a term of one year.

6 Motion to waive the seven-day notice on aldermanic and citizen appointments.

7 Committee Aldermanic Appointments.

A Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Cothard as Chair and Ald. Braunschweig and Ald. Roberts as committee members to the Finance and Labor Relations Committee.

B Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Braunschweig to the Plan Commission.

C Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Roberts to the Plan Commission.

D Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Cothard as Chair and Ald. Sornson and Ald. Jacobson as committee members to the Water & Light Committee.

E Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Jacobson and Ald. Wessels to the Evansville Fire District Board, and Ald. Wyse and Ald. Sornson as alternates.

F Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Braunschweig as Chair and Ald. Ringhand and Ald. Sornson as committee members to the Public Works Committee.

G Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Ringhand and Ald. Wyse as committee members to the Economic Development Committee.

H Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Ringhand as Chair to the Park and Recreation Board.

I Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Roberts as Chair and Ald. Wessels and Ald. Sornson as committee members to the Public Safety Committee.

J Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Jacobson and Ald. Wyse as committee members to the Redevelopment Authority.

K Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Wessels to the Historic Preservation Commission.

L Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Ald. Cothard to the Evansville-Union Implementation Committee.

8 Citizen Committee Appointments.

A Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of John Gishnock for a three-year term to the Plan Commission.

B Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Steve Melanz for a five-year term and Phil Kress as alternate for the balance of a term ending in 2010 to the Board of Review.

C Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Carol Endres for a three-year term to the Board of Appeals.

D Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Fred Juergens and [ ] for three-year terms to the Park Board.

E Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Rebecca DeMarb for a three-year term to the Economic Development Committee.

F Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Steve Culbertson, Steve Christens and [ ] for two-year terms to the Historic Preservation Commission.

G Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Roger Roth for a five-year term to the Redevelopment Authority.

H Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Sue Wilbur for a five-year term to the Housing Authority.

I Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Gwen Clendenning, Susan Kruser, and Wally Shannon for three-year terms to the Library Board.

J Motion to approve the Mayoral appointment of Rob Savaske and [ ] for three-year terms and [ ] for the balance of a term ending in 2009 to the Youth Center Advisory Board.

9 New Business

A Motion to approve Resolution 2008-09, Designating Authorized Parties to Sign for Transactions Involving City Bank Accounts and Transactions.

B Motion to approve Resolution 2008-10, Providing for the Sale of Not-To-Exceed $870,000 Note Anticipation Notes (for Madison Street construction).

C Mayoral Proclamation Designating May 18-24, 2008 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

10 Motion to adjourn.

Sandra J. Decker, Mayor

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

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

Hold On A Second, There

Can we wait until we know how this is going to end before we get our knickers in a twist?

The management company hasn't even heard from the kid yet. I know it's emotional and everybody wants to see the right thing done. Let's just wait until he's asked them to break the lease before we all get exercised.

Updated: As I thought, the management company has seen the light. There was no need to suspect the worst, especially over the weekend when there was more than enough time for speculation.

Good News In The Area

More Jobs in Brodhead:

Construction is beginning on a $3.8 million expansion project at the North
American headquarters of Kuhn North America in Brodhead that will add at least
50 jobs in the next year, said Greg Petras, director of operations.

The company broke ground Tuesday on its two major projects: a new lobby/visitor center addition and office renovation, and a 66,000-square-foot manufacturing plant expansion.

The projects are scheduled for completion in August and
September, respectively.

And Janesville:
Saying Janesville residents want more health care options, Dean Health
System and SSM Health Care of Wisconsin announced today they will build a $140
million hospital and medical campus on the city’s southeast side.

The 50-bed hospital and adjacent physician office complex will open
in 2010 on 50 acres that Dean bought in 2000 on the southeast corner of Highway
11 and Interstate 90.

The new complex will create 350 jobs in Janesville, said Craig
Samitt, Dean’s president and chief executive officer. While Dean will build the
physician complex, SSM, the parent company of St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison,
will build the hospital.

And Evansville is moving forward on the crush plant.
Landmark Services Co-op could break ground on the state’s first soybean
crushing plant in Evansville by June 2009 with the help of a $4 million state
grant announced Tuesday.

Gov. Jim Doyle awarded the grant to Landmark President John Blaska
at the co-op’s Evansville facility.

“This is a great moment,” Doyle said, “and a major step forward for

Landmark will match the grant to help plan and build an $80 million
plant that would process 80,000 bushels of soybeans a day, Blaska said. The
plant would be on the city’s east side next to where construction on North
Prairie Production’s biodiesel plant is stalled.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

That's All I Got To Say About That

I'll just say this about that and then let it go. I'd like to see him tell this sailor that she had no place in the military.

Grace Murray (Hopper) was born in New York City on 9 December 1906. She
graduated from Vassar College in 1928 and received a PhD in Mathematics from
Yale University in 1934. She was a member of the Vassar faculty from 1931 to
1943, when she joined the Naval Reserve. Commissioned a Lieutenant (Junior
Grade) 1944, she was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance and immediately became involved in the development of the then-embryonic electronic computer. Over more than four decades to follow, she was in the forefront of computer and
programming language progress.

Leaving active duty after the war's end, Dr. Hopper was a member of
the Harvard University faculty and, from 1949, was employed in private industry.
She retained her Naval Reserve affiliation, attaining the rank of Commander
before retiring at the end of 1966. In August 1967, Commander Hopper was
recalled to active duty and assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations' staff as
Director, Navy Programming Languages Group. She was promoted to Captain in 1973, Commodore in 1983 and Rear Admiral in 1985, a year before she retired from the Naval service. She remained active in industry and education until her death on 1 January 1992.

USS Hopper (DDG-70) is named in honor of Rear Admiral Grace
Murray Hopper.

Good News In The Gazette

When the market is bad for bean oil it's good for bean oil. If you know what I mean.

High soybean oil prices are bad for biodiesel but good for soybean farmers. There are those who would use high commodities prices to stall biofuel mandates. They forget that the market will decide where the grain goes.

Landmark Services Co-op could break ground on the state’s first soybean
crushing plant in Evansville by June 2009 with the help of a $4 million state
grant announced Tuesday.

Gov. Jim Doyle awarded the grant to Landmark President John Blaska at the co-op’s Evansville facility.

“This is a great moment,” Doyle said, “and a major step forward for Wisconsin.”
Landmark will match the grant to help plan and build an $80 million plant that would process 80,000 bushels of soybeans a day, Blaska said. The plant would be on the city’s east side next to where construction on North Prairie Production’s biodiesel plant is stalled.

And, as a side note, I got a note from my freight forwarder this week that says that export equipment is short. Due to the weak dollar the US is exporting so much grain that there is a shortage of grain ships for export. Consequently, exporters are using regular shipping containers to move feed grains to port.

It's easy to point fingers at ethanol when you don't understand the markets. Reality is, as usual, much more complex than a soundbite.

So Much For That Culture Of Personal Responsibility

Once again the Current Occupant of the White House has sent General Petraeus to the Hill to take the brunt of the criticism for the administration's failures in Iraq.

Josh Marshall shares this from another General's appearance there a week ago. This is what Army Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Richard A. Cody had to say.

Last week, the General appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee
and testified that this method of engineering has failed. “Today’s Army is out
of balance,” Cody said. He continued:

"The current demand for our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeds the sustainable supply, and limits our ability to provide ready forces for other contingencies. . . . Soldiers, families, support systems and equipment are stretched and stressed. . . . Overall, our readiness is being consumed as fast as we build it. If unaddressed, this lack of balance poses a significant risk to the all-volunteer force and degrades the Army’s ability to make a timely response to other contingencies."

In normal times, when an active four-star general implies in public that the Army is under such strain that it might flounder if an unexpected war broke out, or might
require a draft to muster adequate troop levels, he could expect to provoke
concern and comment from, say, the President of the United States. Some time
ago, however, George W. Bush absolved himself of responsibility for his Iraq
policy and its consequences by turning the war over to General David H. Petraeus

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

They'd Have Been Better Off If...

Heck, if the Brewers just need somebody to throw BP in the 9th inning I'll do it for half the coin.

I just think they'd have been better off to sign...

Verne Gagne.

He's got better control and he's still quicker to first than Eric is.

Economic Development Taskforce Presentations Next Thursday


A regular meeting of the Economic Development Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 17th day of April 2008, at 5:30 p.m., in the Media Room of the Evansville High School, 640 S. Fifth St. Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

City of Evansville
Economic Development Committee
Thursday, April 17, 2008, 5:30 PM
Evansville High School, 640 S. Fifth St. Evansville, WI

Roll call.

2. Approval of agenda.
Motion to waive reading of the minutes of February 19th, 2008 regular meeting and approve as printed.

Citizens appearances, other than on items listed below.

Economic Development Summit.
Task Force Presentations
1. Workforce Development
2. Governmental Relations
3. Downtown Revitalization
4. Marketing
5. Entrepreneurial Environment & Networking

Chamber of Commerce report.

City Administrators report.

Motion to Adjourn.

Tony Wyse, Chair


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

I was searching YouTube for somem of my favorite songwriters and came up with this gem. Call it your Moment of Zen for the day.

Ladies and gentlemen, Tapio Heinonen, The Finnish King of the Eyebrows

Monday, April 07, 2008

Just Sayin'

Now, I know it's not true but wouldn't it be funny if Osama bin Laden's middle name was McCain? I mean, has anybody checked?

Are You Less Tolerant Than A Fifth Grader?

What's got the whackos up in arms this week? Wacky Week.

An elementary-school event in which kids were encouraged to dress as
members of the opposite gender drew the ire of a Christian radio group, whose
angry broadcast prompted outraged calls to the district office.

Students at Pineview Elementary in Reedsburg had been dressing in
costume all last week as part of an annual school tradition called Wacky Week.
On Friday, students were encouraged to dress either as senior citizens or as
members of the opposite sex.

A local resident informed the Voice of Christian Youth America on
Friday. The Milwaukee-based radio network responded by interrupting its morning
programming for a special broadcast that aired on nine radio stations throughout
Wisconsin. The broadcast criticized the dress-up day and accused the district of
promoting alternative lifestyles.

"We believe it's the wrong message to send to elementary students,"
said Jim Schneider, the network's program director. "Our station is one that
promotes traditional family values. It concerns us when a school district
strikes at the heart and core of the Biblical values. To promote this to
elementary-school students is a great error."

It must be because the Ellen person wears pantsuits. Or could it be that this guy is the greatest threat to American Values since Osama bin Laden?

Sunday, April 06, 2008


The new glasses look great and see well.

When I first put them on I noticed that the sweet spot was a little narrower and that the peripheral vision range was a little smaller but I know that will work out as I get used to them.

I thanked Emilie for making sure they fit correctly and for making the purchase as pain-free as possible (I am not a happy shopper.) I stood up and took the first few tentative steps that every glasses wearer knows so well.

I was convinced that it was all a piece of cake. Looking good, seeing better, a quick nod to the greeters on my way out.

And I walked into the doorpost.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Linky Love

There's been some changes to the old blogroll. Scoot on over and check them out.

Why Is It Always The Parks Board?

Okay. Not our Parks Board. It was Iron Mountain's Parks Board where incivility reigned.

Dan Burke says Tina Peterson threw a pen that hit his cheek at a Parks and
Recreation Committee meeting last week.

Burke says Peterson threw the pen while swearing at him, then "stormed out." He says it couldn't have been an accident.

Peterson told WLUC-TV she meant to throw the pen to a nearby table
and didn't intend to hit him. The Dickinson County prosecutor's office is
reviewing the complaint and is expected to announce a decision Friday.

Which gives me a chance just before his last two meetings to thank Fred Juergens for his service, both as my alderman and as Parks Board Chair.

From this side of the dais I'd have to say that Fred has had an interesting few years.

Thanks, Fred

Friday, April 04, 2008

Just Building Traffic. Nothing To See Here. Move Along.

Al Arnold has the skinny on the City of Orlando and Nipplegate.

Who made the nipples disappear?

You make the call.

Yikes. I feel just like Falafel Boy.

The Hawk Can't Read

At the risk of posting a parody of a parody of a cliche, I can think of nothing more to say about this than:

Holy Schneikies
A 13-year-old girl touring Fenway Park on a school trip was attacked by a
resident red-tailed hawk that drew blood from her scalp Thursday. She wasn't
seriously hurt, but some observers saw an omen for a certain New York Yankees
slugger in the attack at the home of the Boston Red Sox.

Wait for..............The Rest Of The Story!

The girl's name is Alexa Rodriguez.

How Unseemly

"The full membership of the FIA will be invited to attend the meeting
at which the widespread publicity following an apparently illegal invasion of
the FIA President's privacy will be discussed," they stated.

"The FIA has noted that Mr Mosley is preparing legal proceedings
against the newspaper in question."

Britain's News of the World Sunday tabloid detailed how he had paid
for sex with prostitutes in an apparent Nazi-themed orgy.

Mosley has denied any "Nazi connotation to the matter" and has
blamed a "covert" operation against him.

Notice that Max Mosley denies only that the matter had any "Nazi connotation." I believe the President of the FIA when he says that. It is my firm belief that he wanted the girls to treat him like Bernie Ecclestone and they assumed it was some kind of Nazi fantasy.

On an absolutely unrelated note:
Mosley is the son of British Union of Fascists party founder Oswald Mosley,
a former British politician who served in Parliament for both the Labour and
Conservative parties. Oswald Mosley died in 1980.
I give Britain's Fascists credit for not hiding under some other party's name.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Excuuuuuse Me!

I spit my soup last night. (Campbell's Spicy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. Not as good as I wanted it to be.) I was reading the Gazette's Editorial Page and there it was:
Partisanship raises concerns in local politics
A problem is developing in local politics.

Partisanship probably has been around as long as the Rock County Labor
Coalition, which has been endorsing candidates for years.

But partisanship seemed to play a bigger role in Tuesday’s Rock County
elections than ever before. It has gone beyond mere endorsements of candidates. Now, it involves encouraging candidates to seek office and then backing them in an attempt to influence nonpartisan municipal, school and county boards.

So what? If they’re encouraging and supporting quality candidates,
what’s the problem? There are several.

First, local unions, led by United Auto Workers Local 95, provide an
experienced and savvy political machine. When a candidate gets union support, members might help erect signs, write letters, make phone calls or even offer campaign money. That puts Average Joe Candidate at a disadvantage.

Second, union-backed candidates who win could enter office beholden to
the union and its agenda, rather than constituents in general and the greater good of the community.

So. Here we are on the day after the election and The Gazette has found that there are partisans participating in non-partisan elections. (They weren't the only ones. Some idiot over at Fred's place thought it might be unconstitutional for teachers to vote on school referenda and wanted The New Supremes [Now with 17% more dunderheads] to look into it)

Why would I spit good soup over this, though?

It's because the editorial was over the masthead of The Gazette and the name of Publisher, Sidney Bliss. The very same Sidney Bliss who sits on the board of WMC and who, presumably, supports the actions of that body.

I'm sorry, Sid. (May I call you Sid?) You have no standing to decry the partisan actions of anyone until you take care of that line on your CV. I know that belonging to WMC is a good way to troll for advertisers and build those relationships that lead to good billing weeks. Fine.

But where do you get off saying (or paying someone to say) that anyone is unfairly using non-partisan politics to further an agenda when you sit on the board of an organization which has raised meddling to an art form.

Deal with that beam in your own eye, Sid. Then we can have a chat about the mote in Mike Sheridan's.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

To The Candidates, Thanks

Congratulations to all of the winners from yesterday and my thanks to all who ran.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Didja Vote Yet?

I was #23 at 7:20 this morning.

I heard one prediction of 500-600 turnout in Evansville this election. I'm guessing closer to 775.

If I Promise That The Ads Will Go Away For 10 Weeks, Will You Go Out And Vote?

A very earnest woman called and left a message Saturday while we were out. I don't remember the exact words but she promised something along the lines of that if we voted for the smarmy judge from up north he'd promise to stop biting heads of chickens at the Burnett County Fair (after his contract was up in September) and that he double-pinky-swore to start telling the truth, maybe, sometime later.

The best part, though was when she said that our Sheriff, Scott McElroy, was endorsing the lying judge from up north. Number one, because Scott is our Police Chief and, B, because our Sheriff, Bob Spoden has endorsed Louis Butler for Supreme Court Justice.

So, here we were in the last weekend of the campaign with accusations and allegations swirling all around the candidate who supports cutting the safety net under the working mean and women of Wisconsin and his handlers still couldn't bring themselves to make sure that their script was telling the truth.

Please, I beg of you, do the right thing today. Go out and vote for Louis Butler for Supreme Court Justice. Let's not settle for a lesser candidate again.

Aprilpo Of Nothing

Sometimes all it takes is to pay attention.
You can get in on the bowling-tie fun, too.
All it takes is a little Scooby love.
On the other hand, a Presidential candidate in bowling shoes comes very close to crossing the Dukakis tank-hat line. Fred got that much right.