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31 July

Paavo Nurmi Marathon - Chamber of Commerce
"Kick-Off to "The Paavo Weekend" Paavo Spaghetti Feed from 4 - 7 pm at St Mary's Church in Hurley. Music and Entertainment starting at 7pm at the Iron Horse Trail Head by Dorothy & the Boys, Color Guard, National Anthem, Marty's Golenaires and the Torch Lighting Ceremony around 8:30. "
Rhythmic service
"Iron County has two summer VISTA programs this year: 4-H TrailBlazers and 4-H LEAF. Every year the eight-week programs are youth-focused, and the volunteers' majors are education-related.  "There isn't a better way to give back to our community," said Caitlin Mackey, one of the volunteers. "We get to use what we've learned away at college back at home.""
Softball games return to fair
"The Iron County Men's Slowpitch Softball League will play its annual tournament this weekend at the Iron County Fair in Saxon. The opening round schedule for Saturday includes: Rigoni's-Manny's, 11 a.m.; Beer Barrel-Wakefield American Legion, noon; Pit Stop-Spiders, 1 p.m. Sports Bar has a bye. The second round will begin at 2 p.m."
Thousands of Voters To Receive Verification Letters
"The Government Accountability Board says the letters it's sending are required by state and federal law under the 2002 Help America Vote Act.  Those who receive the letters are being asked to call the board because some part of their voter information does not match their driver's license or state identification card."
Jury To Begin Deliberations In Dale Neumann Trial 
"Dale Neumann was the final witness in his second-degree reckless homicide trial Thursday, telling Marathon County jurors that he couldn't seek medical help for the 11-year-old girl who had undiagnosed diabetes without disobeying God."
Dairy Price Support Program
"The department estimates the increases will boost dairy farmers' overall revenue by $243 million.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the price increase will provide immediate relief and keep
dairy farmers on the farm while they weather what he called ``one of the worst dairy crises in decades.''"
New strategy to replace Doyle
"The group, Wisconsinites Interests Now (WIN), had intended on recruiting 10,000 volunteers to recall Doyle a full year ahead of the end of his current term.  But in a press release issued by Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG), that group said it had advised WIN to suspend its effort and concentrate on November 2010. "
Oshkosh Corp. gets $38M in military contracts
"A $21 million order from the U.S. Army calls for the repair of about 120 vehicles and trailers. The vehicles are rebuilt in like-new condition, at no more than 75 percent the cost of a new vehicle.  The second deal with the U.S. Marine Corps involves two orders. One is for the repair of as many as 400 military trucks, and is worth more than $9 million. The other is a $7 million order for a restraint system that helps keeps gunners strapped in place."
Doyle: New Chrysler owner won't buy Kenosha plant 
"Chrysler owned the plant prior to the bankruptcy. When Fiat bought Chrysler in June it preserved the option of also buying the Kenosha engine factory by July 31.  Without the purchase, the facility remains on schedule to close October 2010, ending 800 jobs."
Why Sunday Schools Are Closing - The Wall Street Journal
"The decline in Sunday schools appears to be gradual but steady. A study by the Barna Group indicated that in 2004 churches were 6% less likely to provide Sunday school for children ages 2 to 5 as in 1997. For middle-school kids, the decline was to 86% providing Sunday school in 2004 from 93% in 1997. Similarly, there was a six-percentage-point drop in Sunday schools offered for high school kids -- to 80% from 86%. All in all, about 20,000 fewer churches were maintaining Sunday-school classes. And the future does not look bright: Only 15% of ministers regarded Sunday school as a leading concern. The younger the pastor, the study showed, the less emphasis he placed on Sunday school."
Canadian Union: Americans Are Being Told Lies About "Canadian-Style" Government Administered Health Care - Workers Independent News
"Canada’s National Union Of Public And General Workers wants Americans to know that lies are being spread about what a public option healthcare reform plan in the U.S. would do. Union spokesman Mike Luff says one lie repeated often in TV ads in the U.S.is that the government would suddenly take over health care decisions in a public option plan. The ads call that a “Canadian-style” system."
Dobbs Ratings Reportedly Take A Nose Dive Since Eruption Of Birther Controversy
"But, that said, Mr. Dobbs' ratings over the past two weeks, during the height of the "birthers" controversy, are also down significantly compared to his overall numbers during the second quarter of 2009 when he averaged 769,000 total viewers and 222,000 in the 25-54 demo.  In summary, if Mr. Dobbs' affinity for "birthers" is a ratings ploy, it's a pretty ineffective one."
To all the birthers: No, Obama's grandmother didn't say he was born in Kenya - Current
"What Liddy was referring to is actually an affidavit filed by a street preacher named Ron McRae, who conducted an interview with Sarah Obama, the second wife of President Obama's grandfather, through a translator. (Sarah Obama is not the president's biological grandmother, but he calls her "Granny Sarah.")  In that interview, Sarah Obama does in fact say at one point that she was there for her grandson's birth. But that was a mistake, a confusion in translation. As soon as a jubilant McRae began to press her for further details about her grandson being born in Kenya, the family realized the mistake and corrected him. And corrected him. And corrected him."

30 July

Northern Wisconsin June unemployment numbers dismal
"June unemployment numbers in northern Wisconsin showed little or no improvement from May, according to the latest figures from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.  Iron County's rate of 12.6 percent was only slightly better than the 12.8 percent in May and nearly twice as high as the 6.7 percent of a year ago."
Recall vote likely coming soon in Mercer
"A recall election for Mercer School Board member Shannon Hiller is likely to be held in September.  Mercer resident Richard Boes said Wednesday that he hoped to submit recall petitions to school board clerk Tracy Benzel by the end of the week. "We have more than enough signatures," Boes said."
Weighty proposition
"Cameras will record the trucks that go by. The weight of the truck and the set-up of the axles -- key to determining how the weight of the load is distributed -- are most important. Detecting a truck's speed determines how far apart the axles are.  "You can do all that at 55 mph," said David Simon, roadside facility engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation."
Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission marks 25th year
"A hushed crowd listened spellbound Wednesday as Tom Maulson recounted the bad old days during the "Walleye Wars" of the late 1980s and early 1990s, as Native American spear fishers attempted to exercise their treaty rights at lakes across the northern third of Wisconsin that makes up territory ceded by Lake Superior Chippewa Indians."
Ashland engineers idea may become law
"Bill Kurtz, a disabled veteran and president of Chequamegon Bay Engineering, testified Tuesday before the Assembly Military Affairs Committee about a bill sponsored by State Rep. Gary Sherman, D-Port Wing, that requires the contract-awarding agency to select a firm headed by a disabled veteran as long as it’s within 5 percent of the low bid."
Feingold optimistic health care bill will pass by Christmas
"Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold Wednesday gave President Barack Obama high marks for pushing the debate on health care reform forward, but doesn’t think any plan will be ready for a vote until near the end of the year.  He says if a bill is passed, ‘‘it’s going to be right down to the wire around Christmas.’’"
Indicator bacteria found in Washburn's water
"Coliform bacteria are generally not harmful in themselves, but their presence can be an indicator that other potentially harmful types of bacteria may exist in a water supply, Kluver said."
Bear Hunters Advised to be on the Lookout for Wolves
"The Department of Natural Resources is warning people training their dogs to hunt bears to be on the look out for wolves.  This comes after 4 dogs were killed by wolves in the past two weeks. "
State wins $30.2 million in charter school grant
"Wisconsin and four other states have been awarded $82 million in competitive, federal charter school grants, the U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday.  For Wisconsin, that translates to a two-year, $30.2 million grant that can be spent on planning new charter schools, funding first- and second-year start-up costs, and disseminating information on best practices, the state Department of Public Instruction said in a news release."
Witness thought girl dying of diabetes had the flu
"Wilde, a loyal member of Neumann's Bible study group, testified for the defense as Neumann's attorney tried to show the father didn't know how ill his daughter was.  Wilde said she went to the home because she "sensed from the Holy Spirit that I needed to go there."  Madeline was on a couch, unable to walk or talk but she made some "responsive moans," Wilde testified."
Actions louder than words: Doyle mum on 3rd term, but war chest grows
"With 15 months to go before the election, three Republicans have announced their plans to run for the state's highest office. Gov. Jim Doyle has not said whether he'll seek a third term. But his silence appears undermined by the latest round of campaign finance reports that suggest he's a likely contender."
Right wing Christian group launches ad campaign opposing health care for ‘the least of these’ - Examiner
"The ad attempts to instill fear in patients, particularly the elderly, falsely asserting that they will face denial of vital treatments and that Obama’s real goal is to deny care to 'our greatest generation' and deny life to 'our future generation.'"
Economic Report: 70 Percent Of U.S. Working Women Have No Or Inadequate Health Insurance - Workers Independent News
"Seven out of 10 working age women have either no health care coverage or inadequate coverage. That works out to 64 million women who have experienced problems paying medical bills or have limited access to health care because of cost. Those are findings in a report issued by the Commonwealth Fund which found that women tend to have lower average incomes then men, but they also have higher out-of-pocket costs."
Euthenasia Counseling - Snopes
"One of the common claims made about the health care reform bill currently before Congress (H.R. 3200, entitled "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009") is that it mandates "everyone who is on Social Security" be given counseling about euthanasia every five years, purportedly with the aim of encouraging seniors to end their lives in order to ease the financial demands on the Medicare system. This claim is erroneous, a mistaken interpretation of a complicated section of lengthy legislative bill.  What the referenced portion of the bill (Section 1233) actually describes is a provision that would allow patients (if they so choose) to consult with doctors about the range of end-of-life care options available to them, and to have the cost of such a consultation (no more than one every five years, unless the patient's medical status changes significantly) covered by Medicare:"

29 July

Hippie Heritage
"Hurley’s class of 1971 took to the streets for the annual Iron County Heritage Festival Parade on Saturday decked out in their psychedelic finest, donning tie-dye shirts and dressing up a Volkswagon van as part of a “hippie” theme."
Pyramid Hitch joins Iron County Fair lineup
""The horses are hitched to a wagon and it's a show performance event, not a horse-pulling competition," said fair board member Mary Smith. The horses will be set up in a formation like bowling pins, with four to the back, then three ahead, two in the second row and a lead horse."
Iron County approves license fees
"The Iron County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to pass a resolution to set the fees for a domestic partnership license at $75 and a 5-day waiver fee at $10, the same amount paid by those seeking a marriage license.  It was the only resolution during the meeting that did not pass unanimously. Board members James Lambert and Jack Prospero voted no."
Declining Lake Levels
"Just about everyone who presented said the main reason our lakes are declining is because this area of Wisconsin has been in a severe drought for several years, but the presenters were also quick to point out this is part of a natural cycle.  "Levels were low in the 30's, the 50's and 60's and then again in the late 1980's there was a 2 to 3 year period where is was really dry and hot and lake levels went down, but after all those times of low they came back up," says Tim Asplund a statewide limnologist for the Department of Natural Resources.  Asplund goes on to say researchers are hopeful the lake levels will rise again."
State lottery sales dip 4% from last year
"Wisconsin Lottery officials say they're pleased that overall sales have dipped only 4% since last year, considering the recent levels of consumer uncertainty.  Lottery administrators say sales in the fiscal year that ended June 30 were about $473 million. That's down from $495 million the previous year. About $130 million is earmarked for property tax relief."
Feingold: Health reform could pass by Christmas
"The Wisconsin Democrat says he wants any bill to include a public health insurance option to compete with private insurers and cover those without insurance.  Feingold says he hopes any reform is passed with bipartisan support so that it's more acceptable to constituents. At the same time, he says he won't support a watered-down bill that "is just a label.""
Dave Zweifel's Plain Talk: Brain tumor ad just propaganda
"A letter writer to The Capital Times last week put it succinctly: Simply lower the eligible age for Medicare from 65 to zero.  Do that, increase the payroll tax to pay for it and do away with the billions of dollars in insurance costs both for American companies and individuals and everyone will come out ahead."
Father said he never considered medical care for daughter - Jounal Sentinel
"Prosecutors say Madeline was too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk and that Neumann had a legal duty to take her to a doctor.  In the tape interview hours after Madeline died, Neumann said her death did not shake his faith and he would not say whether he would do anything differently if any of his other three children became seriously ill."
Executive Pay Reform Legislation Moves In The House - Worker's Independent News
"A bill making its way through the House won’t cap pay of executives, but it will require businesses to form a compensation committee that includes independent directors. The legislation made it rhough the House Financial Services Committee on a 40 to 28 vote and is expected to find itself in front of the full House by the end of the week."
Why You Can't Trust Your Health Insurer - Slate
"Otto Raddatz, a restaurant owner in Illinois, was rescinded in 2004 by Fortis Insurance Co. after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Fortis said this was because Raddatz had failed to disclose that a CT scan four years earlier had revealed that he had an aneurism and gall stones. Raddatz replied—and his doctor confirmed—that he had never been told about these conditions (the doctor said they were "very minor" and didn't require treatment), but Fortis nonetheless refused a payout until the state attorney general intervened. The delay in treatment eliminated Raddatz's chances of recovery, and he died."

28 July

Spaceship Launcher Featured at WI Air Show
"Aviation lovers can get their first look at an airplane designed to launch spaceships at an experimental aircraft show in Wisconsin.  Virgin Galactic's White Knight Two carrier aircraft is scheduled to arrive at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture gathering in Oshkosh on Monday."
Mother says sin caused daughter's illness
"The mother says she realized her daughter was seriously ill on March 22, 2008, the day before she died. She says she was worried because the girl was weak and very pale. The mother testified she could not remember hearing the girl speak clearly that day.  She says the family's response to the girl's condition was to pray for her."
Emerald ash borer found in Green Bay
"The destructive emerald ash borer has been found in Green Bay, the Wisconsin agriculture department said Tuesday.  The discovery means that the invasive pest, responsible for killing tens of millions of trees in the United States, has been discovered in three distinct locations of Wisconsin:"
WI election plan draws criticism on voter security
"Many concerns were raised prior to last year's presidential election about the threat of voter fraud, but few problems were reported. Only six people have been charged with election-related crimes in Milwaukee County stemming from the election and a Government Accountability Board survey of district attorneys released in April showed that only two other election cases were known to be filed statewide."
Appeals court affirms Minn. ballast water rules
"In a decision Tuesday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals deferred to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, saying the agency's review process and the resulting regulations met the legal requirements.  The regulations require by 2016 that all ships treat their ballast water before dumping it into the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior. New ships must comply starting in 2012."
Faith and Community Groups Organize to Promote Health-Care Reform - Washington Post
"In recent weeks, hundreds of clergy members and lay leaders have descended on the offices of members of Congress, urging lawmakers to enact health-care legislation this year. With face-to-face lobbying, sermons, prayer and advertising on Christian radio stations, the coalitions are pressing the idea that health care for everyone is a fundamental moral issue."
Want an abortion? Get a note from a dude. - Feminist.com
"File this under paternalism-gone-amok: An Ohio bill would force women to get men's permission before obtaining an abortion... "   Adams told the newspaper that, in cases when the mother does not know the identity of the father, the abortion would be prohibited."  You know, because if you're a slutty whorebag, you should be punished with a pregnancy you don't want. No, seriously. Adams said, "[T]here is merit to chastity, and to young men and women waiting until marriage."
  • Lead Birther Bill Sponsor Votes To Recognize Hawaii As Obama's Birthplace - TPM
    "The House resolution to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood -- which included language recognizing the state as President Obama's birthplace, in a none-too-subtle jab at the Birthers -- passed this evening by a 378-0 vote."
  • 'The Wacko Wing' - The Progress Report
    "Asked if he believed Obama was a citizen, Campbell responded, "as far as I know, yes." Matthews retorted, "as far as you know? I'm showing you his birth certificate!" Matthews is correct that many conservative lawmakers are comfortable "feeding the wacko wing." Just today, Politico reported that Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said birthers "have a point." "I don't discourage it," said Inhofe."
  • Born in the U.S.A. - FactCheck.org - August 21, 2008
    "We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said."

27 July

Heritage Parade 2009
"As part of the Iron County Heritage Festival, which includes events from Hurley to Mercer and Iron Belt, one of the highlights is the parade down historic Silver Street. This year's theme was "Snow Capital of Wisconsin", a celebration of the approximately 200 inches of snow each summer that makes Hurley a snow mobiling and skiing mecca."
Foundation fetes five
"Four individuals and one couple were inducted based on their achievements or community involvement after graduating from the Hurley School District.  Jack and Joan Giovanoni, Dorothy Walesewicz, Richard "Dick" Laihinen and Jim Mattei were all inducted."
Hurley inducts new class
"Four athletes and one team were inducted into the Hurley High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Hurley K-12 School.  Wayland "Mop" Baron, Darin Saari, Justine (Skoviera) Bobula, Dr. Edward Kinney, and the 1981 state finalist baseball team were all inducted."
Lifting of waste barrels in Lake Superior postponed until next year
"The barrels are among nearly 600 targets that have been identified as having a high probability of being barrels dumped by the Department of Defense from 1959 to 1962 and are believed to contain materials from the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant."
State Officials Receive Federal Money To Restore Trees
"The federal government is giving state officials and conservationists $15,000 to restore trees in the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes in northern Wisconsin.  The money will go to the Fish Sticks project, which aims to restore trees in shallow areas of the lakes. "
Changing The Way The DNR Secretary Is Chosen
"A public hearing is set for Tuesday on a bill that would change how the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is selected.  Under current law, the governor appoints the secretary who is then confirmed by the state Senate.  A proposal by state Rep. Spencer Black, a Madison Democrat, would have the Natural Resources Board make the appointment."



On the trail again
"From the Brule area, the trail winds on toward Drummond and then to Mellen and Hurley before crossing into Michigan. Nason said the trail is mostly complete within Wisconsin, with the exception of two short road walks. Overall, Wisconsin has a greater percentage of its North Country Trail segment completed than any other state, but it also has the smallest section of trail running through it."
Eau Claire
UW-Stout Women's Basketball: Thomas adds 13 to roster
""This is a nice, athletic group," women's basketball coach Mark Thomas said in a release. "They have quality speed and quickness and they each complement each other... The class is led by 5-foot-6 guard Kayla Crowley (Oregon), 5-foot-8 guard Kayla Windt (Hurley), 5-foot-5 guard Kimmy Keehr (Spring Valley) and 5-foot-9 swing Tori Sandstrom (Cary, Ill.)."
BadgerCare Plus Core Plan in demand
"State Department of Health Services officials estimated that 81,000 people across Wisconsin are eligible for the program, and they expect 40,000 to 50,000 people to participate, said Karen Timberlake, the department's secretary.  "It's very clear that there is a lot of pent up demand. ... That's why this program is so important," Timberlake said."
Wisconsin awarded $22.1 million in stimulus energy funds
"Wisconsin will use its funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to coordinate and expand state activities and policy development to boost renewable energy generation, decrease reliance on fossil fuels and invest in clean-energy manufacturing, DOE said.  Included in the state plan are new programs to help factories in Wisconsin adopt more energy-efficient practices. Other elements of the plan include investments in businesses that make clean-energy products and components, such as wind, solar, biofuels and advanced electrical storage systems."
  • Midwest governors talk high-speed rail
    "Eight Midwest states have cooperated closely for months to promote a regional high-speed rail network with Chicago as its hub.  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and other governors attending what's billed as a Midwest High Speed Rail Summit are expected to lobby again Monday for a cut of $8 billion in federal stimulus cash for such projects."
  • Doyle in Chicago for rail conference
    "Earlier this year, Gov. Doyle, seven other Midwestern governors and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley co-signed a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in support of a high-speed rail network that links cities around the region."
Just ask us: When will center provide second-trimester abortions? 
"... no firm date has been set for the procedures to start until organizers’ security concerns are addressed.  "We’re trying to make the building as secure as we can," Brunette said of the facility at 1 S. Park St.  The center’s co-owners — UW Hospital, UW-Madison’s doctor group and Meriter Hospital — approved the plan in February to provide abortions primarily to women 19 to 22 weeks pregnant."
Researchers Create Cells That They Say May Be Equivalent to Embryonic Stem Cells - Washington Post
"Chinese scientists have bred mice from cells that might offer an alternative to human embryonic stem cells, producing the most definitive evidence yet that the technique could help sidestep many of the explosive ethical issues engulfing the controversial field but raising alarm that the advance could lead to human cloning and designer babies."
New Rule: Not Everything in America Has to Make a Profit - Bill Maher
"It wasn't that long ago that when a kid broke his leg playing stickball, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun put a thermometer in his mouth, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle and you were done. The bill was $1.50, plus you got to keep the thermometer... If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private health care "soulless vampires making money off human pain.""
Violence Escalating Against Anti-Coal Activists  - Change.org
"Coal is the dirtiest fuel around, which is why movements are springing up across the country to end our reliance on this supremely destructive fossil fuel. The epicenter of this movement is Appalachia, which once produced two-thirds of America's coal.  These activists are often being met with hostility and even violence by the coal miners and their families, tens of thousands of whom still rely on King Coal to put bread on the table. "
Revealed: the secret evidence of global warming Bush tried to hide - Guardian, UK
"Graphic images that reveal the devastating impact of global warming in the Arctic have been released by the US military. The photographs, taken by spy satellites over the past decade, confirm that in recent years vast areas in high latitudes have lost their ice cover in summer months."

24 July

Heritage Festival Schedule
"We've got a special event coming up and we want you to be part of it. Please join us for the Iron County Heritage Festival, July 24-August 9. We've brought back some of your favorite events and added a few new ones. We look forward to seeing you in IRON COUNTY, WI."
Jenni Kallas, Iron County Development Zone
Jimmy Lee and Johnny Crash Appearing
Jimmy Lee and Johnny Crash will be playing popular covers at Nora's Red Carpet Lounge starting about 9PM on Sat , 25 July. 
Iron County Heritage Festival takes off today
"The festival celebrates the county's mining and logging history, salutes some of its outstanding citizens and athletes, and reunites friends and residents at traditional festivities such as church bazaar and Finnish dance."
Gardens on display
"Gardens at five private lakeshore properties will be open to the public Saturday during the fifth annual Mercer Garden Tour.  The tour, hosted by the Woods and Blooms Garden Club, includes the downtown Century Pines Park, which the club created."
Sherman returns rule-breaking campaign contribution
"State Assembly member Gary Sherman, D-Port Wing, is among several house members who have returned campaign donations that violate internal Assembly rules prohibiting lawmakers from receiving contributions from the time the governor's budget is introduced to the legislature until the time it is returned to the governor with the legislature's changes."
Two more falcons makes three
"Ashland's other two young peregrine falcons have apparently fledged from the nest, joining their third sibling that fledged earlier this week.  Todd Naas, a wildlife biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said Thursday that, although they haven't seen all three fledglings at the same time, they believe all three are on top of Ashland's oredock."
Elk Foundation distributes grants to northern Wis. counties
"As it has in previous years, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) provided funding toward radio telemetry equipment for students in the Chequamegon School District to help research habitat and track movement patterns of elk in the Clam Lake area."


Deer Hunt Survey
"State wildlife officials want to hear your ideas about how to control Wisconsin's deer herd.  A Natural Resources Board advisory committee plans to post a survey online beginning Saturday.  The survey will be online until at least Tuesday."
[The Survey can be seen by clicking Here. - Bob]
Mining Site Tour
"A Washington state based company is interested in mining in the Northwoods, and we're bringing you an inside look at where it would happen.  Members of the Oneida County Mining Impact Committee and concerned citizens spent the day in the Oneida County Forest checking out where the proposed mine would be."
State announces arrests of 11 illegal immigrants tied to gang activity
"The investigation and arrests involved the Waukesha Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Justice and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The enforcement action was done in connection with Operation Community Shield, a national initiative that uses federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target the public safety threat posed by transnational street gangs, a press release from Van Hollen's office said.  Ten of the 11 males arrested are known members of gangs: La Raza, Vatos Locos, Latin Kings, HomeBoyz, and the 38th Street Gang, the release says."
[I find the listing of La Raza as a Latino street gang to be incredible. - bob]
Schools to compete for $5B from stimulus law
"The $5 billion education fund is Obama's big shot at overhauling schools over the next couple of years.  But, Wisconsin will be left out of the competition.  The administration says it will not award money to states that bar student performance data from being linked to teacher evaluations."
Doctors must inform patients of alternatives
"Two days later Bubb suffered a stroke. Tests revealed his carotid artery was 90 percent blocked. He sued Brusky, alleging Brusky didn't inform him of all the testing options.  The Supreme Court says state law mandates Brusky had to tell Bubb about all the options."
Coordination: Old concept, bold new weapon for property rights
"Simply put, a mandate for government agencies to coordinate with local governments is found in most federal land-use statutes and agency regulations, and in many state statutes"
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 24 July 09

[Dr. Park was on the Daily Show last week to talk about robotic v. manned space exploration.  When will Colbert show up in town to talk about "The Fighting Fermi"?- Bob]

Philippine rebels rule out talks despite truce - Associated Press
"After a year of sporadic clashes in the southern Philippines, Arroyo ordered Thursday a suspension in military operations against the 11,000-member Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Her aides hope that will restore trust and allow some 300,000 villagers displaced by the conflict to return home.  The rebels have been fighting for Muslim self-rule in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation for decades. Talks broke down last year when the government accused them of attacking Christian villages after the Supreme Court threw out a preliminary autonomy deal as unconstitutional."
Are you on Facebook? This will be of interest to you.
"ALERT: Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission. Click on "Settings" up at the top where you see the "Logout" link. Select "Privacy". Then select "News Feed and Wall". Next, select the tab that reads "Facebook Ads". In the drop down box, select "No One". Then save your changes. Do it now. Help your friends...cut and paste this into your status"



23 July

McCoy, Corbett win in Mercer
"Eighty-six runners and 64 walkers from seven states participated in the third annual Run for a Vet Race on July 4 in Mercer. The race, which is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Post 424, honored military men and women. The proceeds were donated to veterans' families in need through the Wisconsin Family Assistance Centers"
Wisconsin Life Expectancy
"Women have a higher life expectancy than men.  Men, on average, are projected to live to be 77, compared to nearly 82 years for women.  Life expectancy has been on the rise in the state.  Life expectancy at birth between 1989 and 1991 was 77.4 years."
Wausau hit by Dust Bowl-like drought
"As of Wednesday, Wausau had received 17.4 inches of precipitation, 3.8 inches below the amount expected at this time of year, according to the National Weather Service in Green Bay. Less than 0.2 inches of rain has fallen in July, well below the normal of 2.8 inches.  Farmers, lakes, rivers and lawns are paying the price."
Wait list for virtual charter schools "exhausted"
""We have exhausted the wait list," DPI spokesman Patrick Gasper said this week. "We have been able to go through all the names on the list. ... All those who are remaining on the wait list should be receiving a notice this week that they have an opportunity to attend.""
Proposed law would make thrill killing of wild animals a crime
"The bill would extend the same felony penalties for animal cruelty to those who intentionally or recklessly kill or harm wild mammals or birds by pursuing or harassing them with a motor vehicle or motor boat."
Wisconsin life expectancy holds steady at 79.4
"Anyone born in Wisconsin between 2005 and 2007 is expected to live to be nearly 80 years old.  The life expectancy of 79.4 years for those newborns is the same as it was for children born between 2004 and 2006."
John Nichols: Republicans for fiscal irresponsibility
"But what Sebring fails to note is that several Republicans -- including former presidential candidate Ron Paul and Tennessee conservative John Duncan -- voted against the measure, while a number of others abstained from voting.  Why the conservative objections to the measure?  This was not just a support-the-troops vote. Moore has cast plenty of those.  In addition to maintaining the occupation of Iraq and dramatically expanding the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, the so-called "defense" measure included a massive bailout for European banks."
Church suspends sharing of chalice at communion to stop spread of swine flu - Times Online
"Not even during the Black Death were churches asked to take the precaution.  The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to bishops asking them to spread the order to clergy at each of the 16,000 parish churches throughout England. "
Talk Radio Rules Blue Dog States - Buzz Flash
"Lies from Sean Hannity such as, "If you don't have private insurance the year that this bill is passed, you can't get that later on from your employer." Lies from Rush Limbaugh that the bill would "outlaw individual private coverage." Lies provided in talking points from the Republican National Committee such as "Democrats are proposing a government controlled health insurance system, which will control care, treatments, medicines, and even what doctors a patient may see.""

22 July

Everywhere You Look -- Hurley's Improving
"Everywhere you look in Hurley there are improvements. Perhaps the most noticable change is the facade upgrade and expansion of the Brite Spot 2 on the corner of US-51 and Silver Street. However, it is pretty hard to look anywhere in the City without seeing improvements... Hurley's downtown is truly something the City can be proud of. Area business people take pride in their businesses and it truly shows."
Area Loses Its Last New Vehicle Dealership
"Bessemer Auto discontinued sales of new vehicles last year. Lahti's received notice from GM they will lose their dealership later this year. With the closing of Hurley Honda/Toyota Motor Sports in Hurley, the Gogebic Range no longer has a new vehicle dealership."
One falcon flies the oredock coop
"One peregrine falcon has fledged out of its nest on the Ashland oredock and a state Department of Natural Resources official said the other two youngsters could fly off on their own any day.  DNR Wildlife Biologist Todd Naas said Tuesday the first youngster left the nest Sunday night, and it appeared as if it was more of a glide to the ground rather than a hard fall, as the bird was uninjured. The falcon was able to hop on top of the security fence near the dock, but was unable to fly any higher."
Federal Money To Cut Diesel Emissions
"Federal environmental officials say Wisconsin and Minnesota will get 2-point-4 million dollars in recovery money to cut diesel emissions by school buses.  Part of the money will be used to replace nearly 100 old buses serving districts in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Waukesha counties."
Woman claims she was raped, sues UW fraternity
"A 21-year-old woman who says she was drugged and sexually assaulted multiple times at a Madison fraternity house last fall has sued the local chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity, its parent organization and the alumni organization that owns the house for negligence.  Madison police continue to investigate the incident, according to a spokesman, but no arrests have been made."
'We want to act,' says Obama's Great Lakes coordinator
"Politicians and bureaucrats have been promising to restore the Great Lakes for more than a decade, but President Barack Obama's newly appointed Great Lakes coordinator says it's time to stop talking about it.  "This region doesn't have the stomach for much more planning," Cameron Davis said Tuesday night before a public hearing on Great Lakes restoration. "We want to act.""
Drought persists for northern Wis. farmers
"Farmers in northern Wisconsin say five years of lingering drought have caused concern about the long-term effect on their crops.  The State Climatology Center says the upper part of the state has received six fewer inches of rain this year than average."
Christian Right, Bush and Abstinence Education to Blame for Rising Teen Pregnancy - The Political Carnival
"...According to the CDC, birth rates among teenagers aged 15 or older had been in decline since 1991 but are up sharply in more than half of American states since 2005. The study also revealed that the number of teenage females with syphilis has risen by nearly half after a significant decrease while a two-decade fall in the gonorrhea infection rate is being reversed. The number of Aids cases in adolescent boys has nearly doubled."
Health Insurance Industry Spins Data in Fight Against Public Plan - Washington Post
"The poll Ignagni was citing actually undercuts her position: By 72 to 20 percent, Americans favor the creation of a public plan, the June survey by the New York Times and CBS News found. People also said that they thought government would do a better job than private insurers of holding down health-care costs and providing coverage.  In addition, data from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last year, compiled at the request of The Washington Post, suggest that the people who like their health plans the most are the people who use them the least. "

21 July

Hurley losing nearly $500K in state aid
"Hurley District Administrator Chris Patritto said the decrease will undoubtedly cause a tax levy increase. The exact amount of increase won't be known until October, but Patritto said he expects the tax levy to rise at least $1 from last year's $8.50 per thousand."
22nd Annual Northern National Art Competition
"About 550 pieces of art were turned into the 22nd annual Northern National Art Competition.  Only 91 art pieces were chosen.  31 awards will be handed out, ranging from three $1,000 prizes to two $500 prizes."
Sixth Wisconsin resident dies of swine flu
"This marks the second Saint Joseph's patient to die from complications arising from the virus. Emily Eaton, 12, of the town of Rib Mountain, died June 17 at the pediatric intensive care unit at the hospital. She suffered from immune deficiencies since birth and was particularly vulnerable to the H1N1 virus, according to a family statement released after her death."
Statewide poverty conference to be held in Wausau
"The conference will explore potential solutions to issues facing poor families in Wisconsin.  Keynote speakers will include U.S. Rep. David Obey and Wisconsin 7th district and Timothy Smeeding, director of the Institute for Research on Poverty and professor at the LaFollette School of Public Affairs in Madison."
Midwest manufacturing executives upbeat, survey finds
"The survey conducted by Baker Tilly found 60% of Midwest manufacturing executives were optimistic about the outlook for the economy over the next six months.  But a different survey of U.S. managers also out Tuesday found one-third of U.S. managers believe the economic crisis will last more than two years."
Emerald ash borer contained to two areas - for now
"Wisconsin agriculture officials said a preliminary examination of almost 7,000 purple traps hung on ash trees around the state shows the invasive beetle hasn't been detected outside of the two areas.  That could change when crews start removing the traps in southern Wisconsin in early August to analyze insects found in them, according to Jennifer Statz, emerald ash borer program manager for the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection."
Wis. court: Religious teachers can't claim bias
"In a 4-3 decision, the court said religious schools have a constitutional right to hire and fire employees to carry out their missions, and that includes many teachers.  Justice Michael Gableman said all employees whose positions are closely linked to the religious mission of their employers cannot make claims like age, gender and racial discrimination under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. In the past, courts had generally only exempted religious leaders like ordained clergy and ministers from such laws."
Fine could rise for handicapped-parking fraud  
"State lawmakers are considering a plan that would increase fines for people who fraudulently use a placard for disabled drivers. The fine would increase from $300 to $500.  The proposal would also stiffen penalties for anyone who produces, copies or sells fake parking cards."
Prayer dispute settled: Walmart rehires fired Muslim worker - Star Tribune
"The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced Monday that Walmart agreed to the accommodation after CAIR-MN intervened on behalf of employee Abdi Abdi, who was fired from his job in February as a stocker and loader at the Woodbury store.  CAIR-MN says that Abdi, a four-year employee with Walmart, was let go for violating a new supervisor's ban on prayer during work breaks. A previous supervisor had allowed him to perform his daily prayers, the organization said."
Gun Crazy in the Senate - NY Times
"For Alaska to permit residents who have committed repeated violent misdemeanors or who have committed misdemeanor sex offenses against minors to carry a concealed weapon is terrible public policy. For the Senate to extend that permit to 47 other states would be the height of irresponsibility, as well as a breathtaking violation of legitimate states’ rights."
[Somehow, I don't think having Chester the Molester hanging near the elementary school packing heat is the bearing of arms the founders envisioned. - Bob]

20 July

Man sentenced for March burglary
"Michael  Benjamin Celeskey of 8th Ave. S., in Hurley was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of burglary stemming from the March 9 burglary of a Tank Hill, Iron Belt residence, according to Iron County District Attorney Marty Lipske."
Great Lakes water levels rebound after long slump
"The three biggest lakes — Superior, Huron and Michigan — have risen steadily since fall 2007, when for a couple of months Superior’s levels were lowest on record and the others nearly so. Erie, shallowest of the lakes, actually exceeded its long-term average in June. So did Lake Ontario, although its level is determined more by artificial structures than nature."
Final preparations under way for second trial in prayer death case
"Dale Neumann, 47, of the town of Weston, is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in connection with the death of his 11-year-old daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann, on March 23, 2008.  Dale’s Neumann’s wife, was convicted May 22 on the same charge. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 6.
Walker pulls in $1.1 million in race for governor
"Walker is in a three-way race for the Republican nomination. Former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann of Nashotah announced this month he is running for governor; he has not filed a report.  Appleton businessman Mark Todd of Appleton, the third Republican in the race, filed a report saying he raised $6,250 during the first half of the year."
Wis. lawmakers record contributions during budget
"Gov. Doyle introduced the budget on Feb. 17 and signed it on June 29. The Assembly passed a rule on Feb. 4 barring members from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions while the budget was in play.  The rule was designed to allay concerns that special interests were influencing state spending by handing legislators contributions.  The lawmakers include Democratic Reps. Fred Clark, Ted Zigmunt, Sandy Pasch and Gary Sherman and Republican Reps. Jerry Petrowski, Keith Ripp and Rich Zipperer."
Pared-Down Episcopal Church Is Looking to Grow Through ‘Inclusivity’ - NY Times
"Whether Episcopalians really can regenerate a church based on youth and “inclusivity” remains to be seen.  So far, they have paid a price for their actions. Four bishops, the majority of their dioceses and numerous parishes around the country jumped ship in the last few years to form a new, theologically conservative entity called the Anglican Church in North America."
Housing complex owners vote to ban smoking - EauClaire Leader-Telegram
"Members of the Fairfax Parkside Homeowners Association on Wednesday voted to outlaw smoking inside residences that are part of the 34-unit development. The ban also prohibits smoking in shared spaces, such as porches and garages, but does allow it in yards and on patios... "This doesn't restrict a smoker from living here," Hanvelt said of the smoking prohibition. "It just means that there are restrictions on where they can smoke.""

17 July

Pence meeting turns into dust-up
"Lack of dust control in Pence dominated Tuesday's meeting of the town board.  Paving of a portion of Bugni Road was also discussed. Prior to hearing from Stanley Matusewic, who lives on Spring Camp Road, the board accepted a low bid of $19,250 from Ross Peterson Construction for paving a portion of Bugni Road.  A second bid of $30,108 was submitted by Angelo Luppino Inc., of Iron Belt"
Swine flu hits Iron County
"Two adults' tests were confirmed earlier in the week, according to a health department news release.  The individuals began showing flu symptoms after a visitor from lower Michigan, who stayed with them, had the same symptoms -- fever, cough, headache and malaise."
With new authority, Bad River to set water quality standards
"With the authority recently granted to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa to establish its own water quality standards within the Tribe's reservation, tribal officials will now begin the lengthy process to set those standards."
'Small' army sent to do battle
"After battling Eurasian watermilfoil unsuccessfully over past years with gargantuan efforts using chemicals and hand-pulling, officials with the Minocqua-Kawaguesaga Lakes Protection Association have decided to soldier on with an army - a small army of insects measuring one-tenth of an inch.  MKLPA purchased 45,000 weevils to place in Lake Minocqua and in Kawaguesaga Lake this July."
Shrinking Lakes
"Extended droughts over the past few years have left lakes in northern Wisconsin so dry that some docks are sitting on solid ground.  Department of Natural Resources spokesman Jim Bishop says frustrated residents are asking if they can at least rototill the expanded property or plant gardens there. "
GOP phone message slams Obey
"Democrats have said the spending and tax cuts in the stimulus bill provide both short-term and long-term jolts to the economy. Brachman called the automated calls "just another partisan attack" at a time when Congress is tackling the economy and other issues.  "(Republicans) would prefer that we do nothing to fight unemployment and nothing to reform health care," he said, referring to them as "more of the same people who ran us into this mess.""
State to purchase two trains from Spanish company locating here
"Wisconsin will purchase two trains from a Spanish manufacturer that plans to establish assembly and maintenance facilities in the state, Gov. Jim Doyle announced Friday morning.  Talgo Inc. is expected to create about 80 manufacturing and maintenance jobs in Wisconsin.  Locations of the assembly and maintenance facilities haven't been chosen yet, but a statement from Doyle said they're likely to be located in south-central or southeastern Wisconsin."
Sen. Kohl promotes deputy chief of staff Karsting
"U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl has promoted his deputy chief of staff, who will replace his outgoing chief of staff.  The Wisconsin Democrat says Phil Karsting will replace Paul Bock, who had held the position since 1997. Bock is moving to the private sector."
Wisconsin unemployment up to 9.2% in June 
"The national unemployment rate in June was 9.7 percent.  The state report shows that there were 25,700 more non-farm jobs between May and June. But compared to a year ago, there were 123,000 fewer jobs."
What's New Robert L. Park Friday, July 17, 2009
'Green News Report' - July 16, 2009
"End of the 'free ride' for mining companies?; Swine flu surges again.... PLUS: Sarah Palin was for 'Cap-and-Trade' before she was against it... All that and more in today's Green News Report!"
Should Religious Conservatives Fear the Hate Crimes Bill? - US News and World Report
"But conservative Christian groups, who've led the charge against expanding the federal hate crimes law since the mid-1990s, are stepping up warnings that the bill threatens religious liberties, including the freedom of clergy to condemn homosexuality... As religious conservatives mount a last-ditch effort to derail the bill, however, legal experts say the legislation narrowly focuses on violent acts and that pastors' speech remains protected by the First Amendment."
Face-Lift Company Settles "Fake Reviews" Suit, In Which Employees Were Instructed to Post Satisfied-Customer Cyber-Reviews - Daily'Dog
"False reviews have become more of a problem as more people rely on sites like Yelp, Amazon or Epinions to rate and learn about products and services. Some review sites have grown so powerful that consumer reviews can make or break a new business."
Letter from AMA to Chairman Rangel Supporting House Health Care Reform Bill - TPM
""On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association, I am writing to express our appreciation and support for H.R. 3200, the 'America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,'" wrote AMA Vice President Michael Maves in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel."

16 July

Feelin' fresh
"The Iron County Farmers Market opens Saturday morning for the season.  The market is open at 10 a.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays in the pavilion on U.S. 51 opposite the state visitor center.  Farm market president Ron Ahonen of Kimball, Wis., said three growers will have produce ready for opening day."
Windsled controversy being resolved
"A heated controversy erupted several months ago when the school board announced they were considering purchasing their own windsled, using a school-owned van, and having a trained school employee operate both vehicles to transport island students across Lake Superior in the winter."
Half of Harley Jobs Cuts in Milwaukee
"The latest round includes 700 hourly and 300 salaried positions.  Harley spokeswoman Rebecca Bortner says 480 jobs will be lost in Milwaukee by September, with the remaining cuts in Kansas City, Mo., and at Harley-Davidson Financial Services in Chicago."
Doyle plans September trade mission to China, Japan
"The trip, covering just more than a week, is scheduled for Sept. 13 to 22 and will include Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel and Rod Nilsestuen, secretary of the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  The first leg of the trip centers on Tokyo, including the annual meeting of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association."
New report says Wisconsinites are fat  
"A new report from the state Department of Health Services released Wednesday says at least half the adults in every Wisconsin county are either overweight or obese. The report says one in four Wisconsin high school students are overweight or obese.  The report says the obesity rate for adults in Wisconsin has more than doubled since 1990."
From Amish fiction to vampire lit, Christian fiction branches out in ways both tame and edgy - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The Christian book business, optimistic that a little literary escapism might be an antidote for readers in hard times, is turning to bonnets, buggies and bloodsuckers.  Even as Christian publishing suffers during the recession — one study found net sales for Christian retailers were down almost 11 percent in 2008 — several publishing houses are adding or expanding their fiction lines with both the tame (Amish heroines) and boundary-pushing (Christian vampire lit)."
Judge will decide whether to drop union's suit over 35-hour workweek  - Journal Sentinel
"A decision on County Executive Scott Walker's order to cut the hours of nearly 2,000 workers inched forward Wednesday when a judge said he would decide whether to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the union representing the workers.  Reserve Judge Dennis Flynn of Racine ruled June 26 that Walker had the right to impose the 35-hour workweek as part of an emergency fix of a looming budget deficit. District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees had sought an injunction prohibiting the reduced hours."
Fox Continues Promoting Birther Lawsuit While Ignoring Red Flags Indicating It’s A Hoax - News Hounds
"In other words, two months after formally declaring he didn’t think Obama is a legal president, Cook volunteered to serve in Afghanistan under Obama. Two months later, he filed another lawsuit, even though a lawsuit was not necessary, to revoke his deployment because Obama is not a legal president, a view Cook had all along."

15 July

Regular School Board Meeting
A G E N D A -- Regular School Board Meeting
Hurley School District Monday, July 20, 2009
5503 W Range View Drive Beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Hurley, WI 54534 Held in the High School Library
New bathroom coming to Riccelli Park
"The defeated bid motion was followed by a motion to go ahead with the construction based on specifications already drawn up that would cost the city $23,624. Mayor Joseph Pinardi said the project would be a group effort from the public works department."
Man charged in Mercer stabbing
"Kohegyi is charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and substantial battery. The stabbing allegedly occurred at Kohegyi's residence in Mercer.  The reckless endangerment charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine."
Eagle Bluff hosts two aces
"There were two holes-in-one at Eagle Bluff this past weekend. James Linn of Wakefield used a pitching wedge on the 124-yard ninth hole on Saturday. Ralph Ansami, of Saxon, Wis., shot his ace on Sunday on the 16th hole. He used an 8-iron for the 146-yard shot."
Union Laws
"The state has approved some union contracts that prohibit the release of information identifying individual workers.  Advocates for open government say that conflicts with the open records law."
Bill Could Allow Lawmakers To Create Secret List
"A legislative committee is set to consider a bill that would allow state lawmakers to create secret lists of emergency successors.  The measure calls for every legislator to secretly make a list of three to seven people who would succeed them. "
Doyle refuses questions on travel expenses
"At a Milwaukee event to announce the expansion of the state's BadgerCare Plus health insurance program, a reporter asked whether Doyle would consider changing the way he tracks travel expenses to start routinely filing original receipts, as required by the state travel policy."
Wisconsin's senators ready questions for Supreme Court nominee
"Herb Kohl would love for this week's confirmation hearing to be a window into the heart and mind of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.  But Kohl, a committee veteran of six confirmation hearings over 19 years, knows that's not likely. "The nomination procedure has become pretty canned and scripted," he said, making the hearings "much less valuable than they should be.""
State Supreme Court says personnel records wrongly denied
"But "the ratification of the collective bargaining agreement did not create an exception to the Public Records Law," Justice Patience D. Roggensack wrote for the six-member majority. The court didn't accept the unions' argument that the public's rights can be taken away through the collective bargaining process, Roggensack said."
Wis. court limits local wind turbine regulations
"The court says localities can restrict wind energy systems only when necessary to protect public health or where the regulations do not impact a system's cost or efficiency.  The ruling strikes down a Calumet County ordinance that set minimum height, noise and setback requirements for wind turbines."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 10 Jul 09
Episcopal Vote Reopens a Door to Gay Bishops - NY Times
"By voting to affirm that “any ordained ministry” is open to gay men and lesbians, the Episcopal Church effectively ended what many regarded as a moratorium on ordaining gay bishops, which the church passed at its last convention three years ago.  The moratorium was adopted in what proved to be a largely unsuccessful effort to calm conservatives in the Anglican Communion, which has torn itself apart in the last six years since the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire elected the communion’s first and only openly gay bishop, Bishop V. Gene Robinson."
Man Charged $23 Quadrillion For Smokes - CBS News
"The bank corrected the error the next day.  Bank of America tells WMUR-TV only the card issuer, Visa, could answer questions. Visa, in turn, referred questions to the bank."
Grassley Admits That ‘Empathy Standard’ He Finds ‘Troubling’ In Sotomayor Didn’t Apply To Alito - Think Progress
" NPR: By your standard that would be disqualifying. He should have said instead my family, my background counts for nothing.
GRASSLEY: That’s absolutely right. […]
NPR: But you didn’t vote against Justice Alito’s confirmation.
GRASSLEY: No I didn’t."

14 July

Heikkinen scores an ace
"Bill Heikkinen of Ironwood fired a hole-in-one at Eagle Bluff on Friday. He used a 7 wood on the par 3, 143-yard 16th hole."
Drought causes fire risks to grow in northern Wisconsin
"With Wisconsin entering its fifth consecutive year of drought, woods and fields that are normally a verdant green are drying out, setting the stage for the possibility of wildfires; something that normally declines in probability once green-up takes place in the spring."
Wis. bear population up sixfold over last 20 years
"Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ed Culhane says there are about 30,000 bears in the state. There were about 5,000 a few decades back."
Wisconsin DNR: Wolves kill 4 dogs in last week
"DNR Wildlife Biologist John Dunn says the attacks happen when bear hunters start training their dogs. He says if the dogs run through a wolves’ den, wolves will try to protect their pups.
Dunn says dog owners can help prevent the attacks if they know where a wolf pack is living. But he says that can be difficult."
Gov. Doyle signs river protection bill
"Gov. Jim Doyle has signed a bill he says will preserve the Totogatic River in northern Wisconsin.  The measure designates free-flowing portions of the river a state wild river. The designation restricts new dock, bridge and culvert construction. It also allows removal of natural obstructions to maintain steady water levels."
Recovery Act Money & Water System Upgrade
""Butternut has been known for the second best water in the nation, best in the state and we'd like to continue to provide that to our residents," says Village President Troy Scherwinski.  The only problem is the pipe and well system the village has is severely out of date."
Wisconsin Reports Fifth Swine Flu Death
"The city's health department said Tuesday the victim was an adolescent who had a common underlying medical condition.  So far, two adults and one adolescent in Milwaukee have died from the virus as well as a 12-year-old Wausau girl."
Man blows a 0.34 during court appearance on drunken driving
"A 50-year-old Hartland man appearing in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday for a second drunken driving offense was immediately ordered to submit to a preliminary breath test after court personnel smelled alcohol on his breath.  Court Commissioner Martin Binn said the preliminary breath test showed his alcohol level to be 0.34, more than four times the amount considered legal to drive."
Sotomayor takes a pass on Feingold's gun rights question
"A supporter of gun rights, Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold tried unsuccessfully to get Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to talk about her approach to a key gun rights question that could come before the high court in the coming years: whether the Second Amendment right to bear arms should govern the states, not just federal law.  It would be odd, Feingold suggested, if the gun rights of Washington, D.C., residents under federal jurisdiction were protected by the U.S. Constitution but those of Wisconsinites were not."
Attorney issues warning about testing opinion on open carry firearms
"Attorney Eric Larson, whose firm represents more than 30 local governments, wrote in a memo that individuals or groups might try to test how police respond to guns out in public.  Larson also wrote that communities could face new litigation from gun owners who feel that their rights have been violated."
USDA predicts dip in sweet corn production in Wis.
"The USDA expects 6,500 of those acres to be harvested in Wisconsin. That would be a decrease of 300 acres, or 4 percent.  The USDA also says Wisconsin has 81,300 acres of sweet corn contracted for processing, down 9 percent from 2008."
Will you be my friend? Gov candidates reach out
"The update, including a link to a newspaper article, was instantly sent to some 7,000 people who choose to follow him on Twitter or are friends with him on Facebook.  "What we're doing is very calculated," says Keith Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager. "It is our intent to have the most savvy social media campaign of this race.""
Libraries' BadgerLink expands resources 
"BadgerLink, a free service available at all Wisconsin libraries as well as for residents with computers, is expanding the scope of databases on the site, ranging from the Britannica Online School Edition to more than 8,000 online full-text magazines and journals.  The expansion includes full text and images for historical newspapers, multimedia information about children's literature and the pending availability of "Enciclopedia Juvenil," a Spanish language encyclopedia for children."
  • Feingold on Cheney's Secret CIA Program: Failure to Notify Congress a Violation of Law
    "The failure to notify the congressional intelligence committees of the program prior to last month was a violation of the National Security Act and individuals who ordered that Congress be kept in the dark should be held accountable."
  • More Democrats call for investigating the CIA - Politico
    "The executive branch of government should not create programs like these programs and keep Congress in the dark," Durbin said on ABC’s “This Week”. "To have a massive program that was concealed from the leaders in Congress is not only inappropriate, it could be illegal.""
13 July  
Due to an extended weekend in areas without dependable access to high speed internet, MyHurley was not updated on Monday, July 13th.  The weather across the UP and Traverse City was great.  I enjoyed visiting with relatives and old friends. 

10 July

HURLEY CITY COUNCIL Tuesday, July 14, 2009
  • Board of Public Works - 5:30 P.M.
  • Police, Fire & License Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Parks & Recreation Committee
  • City Council Meeting - 6:30 P.M.
Bayfield County cuts $225,000 from budget
"Members of the Bayfield County Executive Committee Thursday voted unanimously to approve budget cuts totaling $225,624 in order to deal with revenue shortfalls that County Administrator Mark Abeles-Allison has projected could total over $244,000 by the end of the year if no action to reconcile the budget is undertaken."
Hearing Set For Today On Northern Wisconsin's Forest Resources
"Democratic Congressman Steve Kagen of Appleton says the subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture will hold the hearing on Monday, July 20, at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel."
Number Of Kagen's Challengers Grows
"A 53-year-old Kaukauna roofing contractor with no experience in politics is the third Republican to announce his candidacy for the 8th Congressional District. Reid Ribble says he filed nomination papers this week because he thinks the ballooning federal debt in the trillions of dollars is crippling the economy."
BadgerCare Plus improved health care access, report says
"The BadgerCare Plus program improved access to health insurance for children and the enrollment of low-income children in the program, according to the preliminary findings from an evaluation done by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute."
Doyle meets with Chrysler CEO about Kenosha plant
"Doyle's spokesman, Lee Sensenbrenner, confirmed that the meeting occurred but declined to comment further... Chrysler faced outrage from the Kenosha workers this year when it agreed to accept U.S. government funding to keep operating but announced that it was closing Kenosha but not an engine plant in Mexico."
Status of minimum-markup law has not affected gas prices
"But the department announced in March it will continue to enforce the other parts of the 1939 Unfair Sales Act, which prohibits gasoline dealers and other retailers from selling products below cost. The minimum markup part of the law bars sales of gasoline at less than a 9.18 percent markup over the average posted wholesale price. Opponents of the law say it hurts consumers by keeping gas prices high, while supporters say it protects family-owned gas stations from predatory pricing by larger competitors."
Cutting along Raven Trail raises concerns of area bikers, hikers
"Clear Lake is one of three lakes in the NH-AL forest with a recreational management classification, the others being Crystal Lake and Bittersweet recreation areas. However, the classification does not prohibit these areas from being logged.  Thinning and cutting is done in state forests mainly to keep a diversity of natural tree species. Areas near the Raven Trail have been actively managed for years, according to forestry supervisor Jeff Olsen."
Nonprofit must pay property tax, judge rules - Journal Sentinel
"Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael O. Bohren determined that ProHealth Care could be taxed on its headquarters because the corporation supports many for-profit ventures and because it does not pass a litmus test as a "benevolent" organization.  The leader of a statewide coalition of 170 nonprofit groups said the case appears to represent the latest example of government tax collectors turning to nonprofit entities to replenish depleted tax coffers."
Ensign's Weirdest Moment - TPM
"... (Because the comedy never stops, remember that Gov. Sanford too is a member of the C Street group/Family.) In one of the more surreal episodes in this whole drama, while folks from 'The Family', including Sen. Coburn (R-OK), were trying to get Ensign to end his relationship with the girlfriend and write her and her husband a big check."

09 July

Ashland County DA Shawn Duffy announces congressional bid
"Obey, a Democrat, has held the seat three years longer than his 37-year-old Republican challenger has been alive, but that didn't stop Duffy from making the initial announcement of his candidacy in Obey's home town of Wausau Wednesday morning, before repeating the announcement at his own birthplace of Hayward."
Gurnoe-Soulier re-elected at Red Cliff
"Incumbent Red Cliff Tribal Chairwoman Rose Gurnoe-Soulier was re-elected by a 342-125 vote in the Red Cliff general tribal election Tuesday.  She defeated former tribal chairwoman Patricia R. (Patsy Ruth) DePerry to retain the post."
Duffy throws hat in ring against Obey
"Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy officially announced Wednesday that he is challenging long-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wausau, for his seat in Congress."
Ashland County D.A. Makes Run for Congress
"Obey has represented the district since 1969.  The 37-year-old Duffy was appointed Ashland County DA in 2002.  He's a professional lumberjack and was a cast member on MTV's ``The Real World Boston'' in 1997."
UW System Seeks Fee Hikes
"The UW System Board of Regents is expected to approve a $2.2 billion operating budget Thursday. It would increase average room and board rates by $284 dollars, or 5.3 percent. "
New budget tax, fee increases total $1.9 billion
"Raising the $1.77-per-pack cigarette tax to $2.52, $308 million; new 7.75% income tax bracket for the wealthiest taxpayers (those with taxable incomes of $225,000 or more for single taxpayers, and more than $300,000 for couples filing jointly), $287 million; cutting the tax exemption on capital gains investments from 60% to 30%, $242.5 million; extending the hospital tax first passed in February to attract more federal health-care aid, $242.2 million; a new 75-cent monthly fee on phone lines, $107.6 million."
UW expands its deal with Google
"The combined library holdings of UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Historical Society make up one of the largest collections of documents and historical materials in the United States. Three years ago, the university and Google announced a partnership to digitize these collections and make them available far beyond the university's boundaries."
Cap Times: Doyle stonewalls request for open records on judge applicants
"More than a month after The Capital Times formally requested routine records from Gov. Jim Doyle's office about nine finalists for three Dane County judgeships, his aides have only now made the records available -- less than two hours before the appointments were announced."
Pharmacists can't refuse Plan B pill, appeals court says - Los Angeles Times
"That order prevented state officials from penalizing pharmacists who refused to dispense Plan B as long as they referred consumers to a nearby pharmacy where it was available.  On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction, saying the district court was wrong in issuing it based on an erroneous finding that the rules violated the free exercise of religion clause of the U.S. Constitution."
Sean Hannity Caught Selectively Editing Obama Speeches, Again - Huffington Post
"... Fox's Sean Hannity takes the recordings made by those cameras and starts splicing and resplicing up a storm, in order to make it seem that Obama said a bunch of things that he didn't say. And then, armed with his cut-up, bowdlerized junk, Hannity plays his audience for fools."
[First section calls out Hannity for lying by editing ... and then rips MSNBC and CNN. - Bob]

08 July

State highway maintenance cutbacks may have safety implications
"The cutbacks in funding paid by the state to county highway departments for routine maintenance such as mowing road shoulders, patrolling highways for problems and removing road-killed animals or debris have been slashed or eliminated to help cope with the state budget crisis."
Eagle Bluff to hold scramble
"A couples golf scramble will be held at Eagle Bluff on Saturday with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. The cost is $40 per couple for the 18-hole event. It includes lunch, golf and prizes. Each team must consist of a male and a female. Call 715-561-3552 to sign up by Friday."
Lawmaker Proposes Prisoners To Not Be Part Of Census
"When the state updates its political boundaries every 10 years, it uses the census to make sure every district has an equal population.  The census currently counts prisoners where they're incarcerated even though they can't vote."
[This could affect representation and grant money to rural districts. - Bob]
MTV cast member-turned-DA expected to announce challenge to Obey
"Duffy, 37, was appointed Ashland County district attorney in 2002. He was a cast member of "The Real World Boston" in 1997. He met his wife, Rachel Campos, on the show.  Republican Dan Mielke will also run again in 2010. He's a farmer from Randolph who lost to Obey last year."
Wisconsin stimulus money tracker updated
"The interactive map shows stimulus funding that has been announced so far going to Wisconsin municipalities, counties, school districts, transportation projects and government agencies. It also shows county and state unemployment rates and rankings."
[Be sure to see Wisconsin stimulus money tracker. - Bob]
Audit: States using stimulus just to stay afloat
"The GAO said about half the money set aside for road and bridge repairs is being used to repave highways rather than to build new infrastructure. And state officials aren't steering the money toward counties that need jobs the most, auditors found.  The Obama administration intended for the stimulus to jump-start the economy, build new schools and usher in an era of education reform. But government auditors said many states are setting aside grand plans to stay afloat."
Wis. regulators to consider plans for wind farm
"Wisconsin Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of Madison-based Alliant Energy, wants permission to start the first phase of the farm on 32,500 acres just north of Albert Lea in Freeborn County. Plans call for scores of turbines that would generate about 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 50,000 homes."
Economy closes one relief group, forces cuts at World Vision - Religion News Service
"International Aid needed to collect about $1.5 million in the past two months to balance its $70 million budget, but only gathered between $150,000 and $200,000, according to CEO Gordon Loux.  "Since we have insufficient funds, the board felt it was prudent to cease operations," Loux said."
Paul Krugman: HELP Is on the Way - NYTimes
"There are a number of ways to look at this number, but maybe the best is to point out that it’s less than 4 percent of the $33 trillion the U.S. government predicts we’ll spend on health care over the next decade. And that in turn means that much of the expense can be offset with straightforward cost-saving measures, like ending Medicare overpayments to private health insurers and reining in spending on medical procedures with no demonstrated health benefits."
Max Baucus And Democratic Senators Going For The Green. Corporate Money, That Is! - HillBilly Report
"Now why would Senator Max Baucus keep single-payer advocates out of negotiations? Does receiving  $1,500 a day, every day, from January 2003 through 2008 from groups and individuals associated with drug companies, insurers, hospitals, medical supply firms, health service companies and other health professionals answer that question for you? It does for me."
[I hope that the 40 Republicans in the Senate that will vote their party line take no joy in their support from the Dino-crats. - Bob]
Feingold Seeks Strong Public Option in Health Care Reform
"U.S. Senator Russ Feingold speaks from the Senate floor on a strong public option in health care reform on Thursday, June 18, 2009. "

07 July

Hurley's 2009 4th of July Fireworks
The video of the fireworks was shot from my balcony at Haven North.  The sponsors, firemen, police, and other volunteers are to be congratulated on the best fireworks show they have ever put on.  I decided to run much of the test of the Declaration of Independence over the top of it basically because I thought it might be good for everybody to read that about once per year.  It is, after all, what the holiday is all about. - Bob
PS: clicking on the little version takes you too larger video at You Tube.
Saxon-to-Odanah project on U.S. 2 begins
"A $3.1 million U.S. 2 improvement project between Saxon and Odanah was scheduled to get under way Monday as a result of federal stimulus funding.  The project will involve milling and replacing two inches of road surface for a nine-mile stretch."
Eagle Bluff team wins DOVE golf scramble
"The ninth annual DOVE Tee Off Against Domestic Violence golf scramble fundraiser was held at Eagle Bluff on June 27.  Golfers were flighted after nine holes.  The championship team was the Eagle Bluff team of Jeff Tenlen, Lee Leinon, Mick Holmes and Nancy Dalpiaz. They received the traveling trophy."
  • Hurley All-Stars fall to Spooner
    "The Hurley 11-12 year-old Little League All-Stars lost 11-1 at Spooner Monday. Hurley hosts Ashland at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Hayward Wednesday in the round-robin format."
  • Kuklinski notches 87th win at Ashland
    "Cory Casari of Hurley was looking for his second feature win in as many nights as he led at the start of the street stock feature, ahead of a tight-knit group of seven cars."
Fun for old, young and those in between at Red Cliff powwow
"Ten-year-old fancy shawl dancer Sonya Henri came to Red Cliff's 31st Annual Traditional Powwow on Friday just for, as she put it, "the fun."  But her friend, 8-year-old Sagen Quale, had more ambitious aspirations."
New Statewide Seatbelt Law
"... Wisconsin has one of the lowest seatbelt use rates in the country.  Local law enforcement is hoping a new law will change this fact.  A new state law went into effect on June 30th that has made it legal for police officers to pull you over if you're not wearing your seatbelt."
Rare Moose Killed in Traffic Accident in Oneida County
"A moose is a rare animal to see here in Northern Wisconsin. But Friday night a Bull Moose known as the "Monico Moose" was killed in a car accident... Jung says a Chevy Cavalier traveling on Highway 8 hit a Bull Moose near the intersection of Highway 8 and Old Highway 8.
Green Power Express wind project advances
"The Green Power transmission network is expected to provide grid access for many of the highest efficiency wind farms in the upper Midwest and will cover portions of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Wisconsin.  It is expected to include approximately 3,000 miles of extra high-voltage 765-kilovolt transmission and will connect with existing lines in Illinois and Indiana. The project will facilitate the flow of up to 12,000 megawatts of renewable power to the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions of the country."
Environmentalists urge better wetlands protections
"But federation policy manager Marc Smith says Great Lakes wetlands still are threatened because states do poorly at tracking legal exemptions that allow some to be destroyed.  Also, some states are cutting back on staffers who review applications to degrade wetlands."
Badger Poll: Wisconsinites not happy with way things are going
"A whopping 86 percent of the respondents said Wisconsin is in the midst of bad times, compared to 78 percent in October 2008 and 41 percent in December 2007, when the recession started.  However, 31 percent said things will get better over the next 12 months, compared to 25 percent saying things will get worse."
Religious groups' radio ads back health overhaul - Assoc Press
"In the ads, the religious leaders discuss the moral reasons for making health care more affordable. They are being sponsored by national and local groups including Faith in Public Life, Faithful America, the PICO National Network and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good."
Fired Workers Demand Justice from Taco Bell
"For starters, on the morning of March 24, Taco Bell workers were fired with no notice or opportunity to respond. Taco Bell management made claims of worker status issues as the basis for the firings while using Social Security Administration (SSA) “no match” letters to make its case... Even before the firings occurred, workers pointed out in a May 14 meeting with local clergy, they suffered discriminatory treatment compared to non-Latino coworkers, including: harder work assignments, fewer training opportunities, fewer breaks, lower wages, and rules against speaking Spanish to customers. Prior to being fired, workers were forced to train their replacements.
Same Old Tricks - TPM
"The NRSC has responded to criticism of this latest misleading video and in its defense says it could have used a much worse image of Franken, one of him in diapers. But that photo, as we reported yesterday, has already been repeatedly shown to be doctored and not a real image of Franken. So, yes, they could have used another fake to make their bogus point."

06 July

Report Examines Governor Doyle's Travel Records
"The report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and a University of Wisconsin journalism class says Doyle and his staff failed to properly account for 145 travel expenses over two years."
Stronger Drunken Driving Laws
"State Rep. Tony Staskunas, a Democrat from West Allis, says he believes the Assembly will vote on his bill in September to require ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders with a blood alcohol content above 0.15 percent. "
Faith-healing cases challenge courts
"But recent cases in the news have judges and child care advocates dealing with parents who claim adherence to lesser-known faiths, such as a Minnesota family following an Internet-based group's American Indian beliefs, and an independent Oregon church that has been investigated in the past for the deaths of members' sick children.  Legal and religious scholars say it's becoming more difficult for courts to decide when to honor the religious beliefs of parents and when to order conventional medical treatment for extremely sick children."
MPS puts detailed spending records online
"""MPS manages millions of dollars in support of public education each year," Superintendent William Andrekopoulos said in a statement. "The district is also in receipt of millions in federal stimulus funds over the next two years. In every decision we make to spend those dollars, we ware committed to transparency and accountability.""
Learning community dorms on UW-Madison campus: Cool or not cool?
"... officials say they’re never sure which dorms will drop to the bottom of the list on any given year, falling victim to the whims of 17- and 18-year-olds.  In particular, the university has had some trouble enticing students to live in dorms they label as learning communities, or those that bring faculty, staff and unique seminars into dorm life."
Just how close is Dane County to getting commuter rail?
"On June 29, however, the Madison area saw arguably the biggest single step toward getting a regional transit system when Gov. Jim Doyle signed a state budget that included approval for Dane County to form a regional transit authority (RTA). It would have taxing authority within federally set boundaries, and discussion so far has centered around the idea of the RTA enacting a half-cent sales tax that would raise some $38 million annually."
President's pastor - The Post and Courier
"Cash has been in the news recently after Time magazine reported that the Obamas had chosen Evergreen Chapel at Camp David as their primary place of worship.... But after the Time story appeared, the White House put out a statement saying Obama "and his family continue to look for a church home. They have enjoyed worshipping at Camp David and several other congregations over the months, and will choose a church at the time that is best for their family.""
Congress's $1.2 Million a Day Drug Habit—and Pharma's Phony "Gift" to Health Care Reform -Common Dream
"By making voluntary "concessions," the industry positions itself to combat any real change that might affect its profit margins. And with drug spending estimated to total $3.3 trillion over the next decade, $80 billion in discounts is a small price for Big Pharma to pay to preserve its stranglehold on the American health care system. So is $1.2 million a day to preserve its friends in high places in the United States Congress."

04 July

  IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

03 July

Schoeneman, Mercer School District settle
""I've admitted my fault and my mistake, and I think everybody's ready to move on," Schoeneman said Thursday.  However, some district residents say they don't believe the community is ready to move on. Ruth Leverson said she and her husband, Glen, "don't believe she should be teaching. It just boils down to that. Our kids learn by example.""
Finger biter charged with battery
"Celeskey told police the woman sat next to her at the bar and called her some names, the complaint said. Celeskey said she told the woman to stop, and the woman tried to punch her. "Celeskey said that was when she bit the woman's finger.""
Bad River granted water quality standard authority
"The EPA decision only grants the Tribe the right to the same treatment as states, or TAS, in regulating water bodies within the reservation. Bad River must now continue the process by actually setting standards for those bodies of water — a procedure requiring another round of public comments. A third step includes yet another round of public comment and a decision by the EPA whether to grant the Tribe enforcement authority of those standards."
$1.1 million in stimulus funds go to Port Wing wastewater project
"The funds will come in the form of a $680,000 grant and matching loan designed to replace the aging and deteriorated existing treatment facility, said Town of Port Wing Town Chairman Dwight Johnson. The funds are part of an overall $3 million project, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also providing funds."
Lake Express Offering Discounted Ferry Rides
"Lake Express makes two daily roundtrips between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich. 
It usually charges $91 each way."
State still has most swine flu cases in the nation
"Wisconsin continues to lead the nation in confirmed and probable swine flu cases with 5,861- about 17% of the national total. Texas, the state with the next highest number of cases, has 3,991, almost 2,000 fewer than Wisconsin.  However, the cases here have resulted in a much smaller number of deaths than in other state."
Wis. gov't agency's logo likened to anarchy symbol
"The logo for the state Government Accountability Board is the letter A inside a purple ring. The horizontal segment in the A extends a little past each diagonal leg, to the inner edge of the ring.  Some say it looks like the traditional anarchy symbol, which also features an A whose edges extend outside a circle around it."
Records staff shocked as man strips 
"“He didn’t even have a watch on,” said Madison Police Officer Kip Kellogg, who responded to the call on the first floor of the City-County Building. “He shocked the women in Records. I’m sure he has many mental issues. He was thinking he could get a shower, and we would provide him with new clothes."
[I too expect the government to take the shirt off my back, but don't expect them to replace it. - Bob]
Fired Workers Demand Justice from Taco Bell
"Even before the firings occurred, workers pointed out in a May 14 meeting with local clergy, they suffered discriminatory treatment compared to non-Latino coworkers, including: harder work assignments, fewer training opportunities, fewer breaks, lower wages, and rules against speaking Spanish to customers. Prior to being fired, workers were forced to train their replacements."
New Anglicans split on women - The Washington Times
"The new province is a mishmash of former Episcopalians, ranging from almost-crossing-the-Tiber Anglo-Catholics to low-church charismatics, and it's a mystery as to how they're all going to get along. Many are against ordaining women. Others are just as adamant that females be given access to the diaconate, priesthood and the episcopate. The Episcopal Church approved female priests in 1976 and elected its first female bishop in 1988.  The ACNA's new canon laws state women can be deacons and priests, but not bishops."
Michael Jackson's Thriller is NOT the Top Albumn Ever - RIAA
Level   Title   Artist
GREATEST HITS  1971 - 1975
Mark Sanford: The Movie - TPM
"We were discussing in the office yesterday who should play Mark Sanford in the movie. Kevin Costner? Mark Harmon? But that was before we saw Andy Cobb play the role. He's a dead ringer for Sanford."

02 July

Iron County losing some state aid
"The governor vetoed 81 items worth $10 million. Iron County reduction in state aid is less than one percent of the county's $8 million budget, but the annual cuts are slowly increasing, said Iron County Clerk Mike Saari."
Regional transportation authority survives in state budget
"A regional authority would bring under one umbrella Bay Area Rural Transit (BART), the county aging unit services and other transportation services. The authority had been pushed for by local lawmakers during Superior Days, as well as Rep. Gary Sherman, D-Port Wing, and Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar."
Disabled Deer Hunt 
"Disabled hunters can start signing up for Wisconsin's annual disabled deer hunt.  The 20th annual hunt will run from Oct. 3-11 this fall.  Disabled hunters can get special permits by completing an application with their doctor and submitting it to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Arbitrator: Walker exceeded authority in ordering 35-hour workweeks
"The County Board would have to agree to such a move first, the arbitrator, Amedeo Greco, said in his decision.  As a practical matter, that would likely prove difficult. Sixteen of the County Board's 19 supervisors last week called on Walker to reconsider the 35-hour workweek he declared by executive order May 14.  Walker disagreed with the arbitrator's decision and said it conflicted with the reasoning behind a judge's ruling on the subject last week, when Reserve Judge Dennis Flynn said the county executive had the right to order furloughs without the board's consent."
Some fireworks retailers feeling pinch of economy
"Derrick Sukow of Fireworks Depot near Merrill says traffic and sales are down from a year ago. He says people who are buying are settling for some of the cheaper fireworks, not the top quality ones.  Gloria Jaegler of Old Glory Fireworks in Merrill says she has noticed more comparison shopping as people for look for the best deals because of the economy."
12 hospitalized in connection with E. coli in beef 
"The victims may have become ill after eating beef produced by JBS Swift Beef Co. of Greeley, Colo., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The number of people reported ill so far is 23. Wisconsin and Michigan appear to be the hardest hit by the outbreak so far, with six ill people in each state identified by the CDC."
Clerk expects domestic partnership rush after gov signs historic bill
"That's the day same-sex couples across the state, including an estimated 1,400 to 2,400 couples living in Dane County, will be able to take advantage of a historic piece of legislation signed Monday by Gov. Jim Doyle that for the first time recognizes domestic partnerships across the state. Along with the recognition come dozens of legal protections that previously were only granted to married couples, including the right to take family leave to care for a sick or dying partner, the ability to access a partner's medical records and the right to inherit a partner's property."
India Court Rules Gay Sex Legal, Rejects Colonial Law - Bloomberg
"An Indian court ruled gay sex between consenting adults was not a crime, ordering that the rights of citizens were violated by parts of a 150-year-old colonial-era law that made it illegal.  “We declare that section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, in so far as it criminalizes consensual acts of others in private,” runs counter to basic human rights guaranteed by articles of the Indian constitution, Chief Justice A.P. Shah of the Delhi High Court said in a ruling."
Area health care panel addresses insurance, reimbursement concerns... Online La Crosse Tribune
"The story said Medicare paid an average of $5,812 for each beneficiary in La Crosse in 2006, while the average was $16,351 in Miami.  Franciscan Skemp Healthcare chief executive Dr. Robert Nesse told more than 100 people in the La Crosse Public Library basement auditorium Wednesday there was no evidence Miami residents got better health care for three times the cost as La Crosse."
Ill. Woman Fined $25 For Potty Planters In Yard - CBS News
"The planters in her front yard brought Tina Asmus national publicity last month. This week, they brought her a $25 fine. Asmus said Tuesday she will go to court to fight to keep her lawn ornaments, which are made from two old toilets and a bathroom sink."



01 July

Ehrhardt: Local funding an on-going challenge
"Changes include an increase in state revenue limits, which are based on enrollment; cuts in special education and low income student funding; and the end of a provision that allowed districts to avoid arbitration over teacher pay."
Cost of Superfund cleanup chief citizen concern
"The proposed $83 to $97 million cost of cleaning Ashland's Superfund site — and who contributes to the cost — was the primary concern raised Monday during a public meeting on proposed cleanup plans."
Swimmer's Itch
"The agency says the irritation can last from two days to several weeks, depending on a person's susceptibility, but there are no permanent health problems.  DNR water specialist Frank Koshere says swimmers itch is found in some of the state's finest recreational lakes and there seems to be no special circumstances or characteristics for lakes having the problem."
Bear Attacks Woman
"DNR Northern Region Wildlife Supervisor Mike Zeckmeister says the bear has grown accustomed to raiding bird feeders and garbage cans.  Federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service trappers are placing traps in the area. The DNR plans to euthanize the bear since it appears unafraid of humans."
First Confirmed Cases of Swine Flu in Vilas County
""These findings confirm the H1N1 virus is in Vilas County and people should continue to take precautions to protect themselves against the spread of influenza," said Gina Egan, Vilas County Health Officer. "We have informed all local hospitals and clinics of these results and numbers are expected to grow as we continue to monitor the situation countywide and statewide.""
Budget alters contract talks between teachers' unions, school boards
"The qualified economic offer, known as the QEO, has been in effect since the state implemented revenue caps on school districts in 1993. It allowed school boards to cap increases in the total annual compensation -- wage and benefits -- for teachers at 3.8 percent if the two sides couldn't reach a compromise at the bargaining table.  The measure was repealed when Doyle signed the state budget Monday."
Wisconsin is first state with same-sex marriage ban to offer domestic partnerships
"Starting Aug. 1, couples will be able to apply for a declaration of domestic partnership with their county of residence and would pay a vital records fee for processing the paperwork. Partnerships will be dissolved through a termination process at the county clerk's office.  Couples would be offered 43 of the more than 200 rights and benefits extended to married couples, such as allowing domestic partners to take family and medical leave to care for a seriously ill partner, make end-of-life decisions and add health care coverage."
Abortions hit record low in Wisconsin
"The state Department of Health Services study found that 8,229 abortions were performed in Wisconsin last year, down from 8,267 in 2007.  The number of Wisconsin abortions has now fallen for five straight years, since 10,557 abortions were reported in 2003. The 2008 number also was the lowest since Wisconsin started tracking abortions in 1974."
Oshkosh evaluates job needs after $1B contract
"Oshkosh Corp. says it's too early to know how many jobs its new billion-dollar military contract will create, but the number is "significant."  The contract awarded Tuesday to the Oshkosh-based company calls for more than 2,200 bomb-resistant all-terrain trucks. The Defense Department says it urgently needs strong protective trucks that are also light and can maneuver Afghanistan's rocky terrain."
AP analysis: Many promises broken in Wisconsin budget process 
"In the end, little changed.  Republicans complained they were shut out of the process and all voted against the budget.  The only bipartisanship seen was when three Democrats joined with Republicans in voting no on the deal."
Supreme Court Punts - Inside Higher Ed
"The two legal positions in conflict can be summarized this way. The universities argue that anti-bias policies -- including those barring discrimination against gay people -- are legal if they are applied equally to all student organizations. Public universities should have the right to set standards for handing out the limited funds available for student organizations, as long as those standards aren't designed to discriminate against some ideas or groups. The Christian organizations argue in response that they have the right to free association -- and that forcing them to follow university anti-bias rules could result in the groups admitting students who have no shared religious ideas with the organization to start with."
AMERICA'S TEN MOST IMPERILED WILDLIFE REFUGES - Pub Emp for Environmental Responsibility
""Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (WI) – wind farms and declining water quality and quantity;"