Local News - ... (Archives)

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31 Aug  
New administrators to greet Mercer students
""I will absolutely, 100 percent, miss being in the classroom," Ann Klemm said Thursday at Mercer K-12 School. "At the same time, I get to build other relationships with them."  Klemm, a high school science teacher at Menasha, was hired from more than 40 applicants."
Border blanking
"The persistent rain made the season opener feel like the middle of the high school football season.  And the Midgets played like it.  "The kids played good," Hurley coach Scott Erickson said. "We've got a nice ballclub; we knew that going in. Once we got a few things ironed out, we found some openings and we've got a lot of speed.""
Area softball league recognizes Cabianca
"The history of the Range tells us that its people have always loved baseball and softball. If you turned back the pages of time 50, 60, and 70 years, a baseball player could start at age eight in the Farm League and play through Little League, Babe Ruth (or Senior League), high school, and then into the softball leagues as an adult."
Stunning sunflowers
"Bright yellow sunflowers the size of saucers stand out against a cool blue and green backdrop of forest and sky.  The Rowes have planted 10 to 15 acres of sunflowers for about 15 years, according to Gloria Rowe."
Captive wild animals subject of proposed DNR rules
"New rules for private owners of feral swine, wolf-dog hybrids and mute swans were presented at a lightly-attended Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources public hearing Thursday at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center."
Public hearing attendees complain of fewer deer
"The consensus of those testifying Thursday at a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources public hearing on changes to deer density goals is: The DNR needs to allow more deer to maintain a herd that provides adequate hunting opportunities."
Few changes, greater access proposed in Apostle Islands plan
"That could be good news for travelers who have visited the park's 21 islands and 12-mile sliver of land along the Bayfield Peninsula coastline. But the draft management plan released recently by the National Park Service also includes an attempt to bring more people to places that currently aren't easily accessible."
New Firewood Restrictions
"In response to the threat of EAB reaching the CNNF, the Forest is tightening restrictions on the movement of firewood. The revised restriction prohibits the possession, storage, or transportation of firewood originating from a distance of more than 25 miles into the Forest (unless certified), as well as any firewood from a federal or state quarantined county or area."
MI & WI Governors to Hold Clean Energy Forum
"Local and regional groups and individuals involved or interested in developing technologies that will cut pollution while producing alternative energy will be in the audience.  The invitation-only event will be held at 1 p.m. the Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw. The governors will speak with reporters after the event."
Smokers React to Cigarette Tax Increase
"John Harrin says, "I think it's ludicrous, personally, I understand that they're trying to convince people that it's for a good cause to help promote non-smoking, which is a good thing, but a multi-billion dollar industry to tell the American public to try and tell the public that we're going to lose our business by raising prices, doesn't make sense.""
Last chance to sign up for No Call list
"Don't want to be bugged by pesky telemarketers for the next two years?  Today is the deadline to sign up for Wisconsin's No Call phone list. Cell phone numbers can also be added to the list."
Farm matchmaking a way to preserve rural America
"Farmers are getting older and working later in life: The average age rose to 57 (from 55) and the ranks of the 75-and-up set increased by 20 percent from 2002 to 2007, according to a recent survey. Meanwhile, the number of those younger than 25 has dropped by nearly a third.  The high cost of getting started is intimidating, even for farming enthusiasts like Phillips."
Sensenbrenner seeking treatment for prostate cancer; will seek re-election 
"“I intend on maintaining my active schedule, both in Washington, (D.C.,) and in the (fifth congressional) district, and will still hold the numerous town hall meetings that have been scheduled," Sensenbrenner said in a statement.  In a separate campaign statement also released Monday, he said he was seeking re-election in 2010 to "continue the battle to improve our economy, restore jobs and reduce government spending.""
[If he quit the House, he might also lose his health insurance, like so many normal Americans. - Bob]
Tempe pastor reiterates wish for President Obama's death - ABC, Pheonix
"Parishioners leaving the Faithful Word Baptist Church Sunday carried not just their Bibles, but guns as well.  Pastor Steven Anderson said he and his congregation have received death threats after a controversial sermon earlier this month.  "Guns are a great deterrent," said Anderson. "We haven't had any violence because people know if they come down here swinging a baseball bat, we're ready to protect ourselves."
[What concealed weapon would Jesus carry? - Bob]
AFCSME Wraps Highway to Health Care Road Tour
"In Washington, D.C. today AFSCME President Gerald McEntee and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will speak at an event at AFL-CIO headquarters culminating the rock and roll themed tour. AFSCME is part of Health Care for America Now, a national grassroots coalition pushing for health care reform that includes a robust public option to compete with private insurance companies."
Per-Student Spending Gaps Wider Than Known - Washington Post
"Private schools without religious affiliation spend almost twice as much per student as their public and Catholic counterparts and more than double that of other Christian schools nationwide, according to a new study."
 

28 Aug

 
Mercer recall Sept. 29
"Voters in the Mercer School District will decide on Sept. 29 whether Shannon Hiller will remain on the Mercer School Board.  The board set the election date during a special meeting Tuesday.  As target of the recall, incumbent Hiller is an automatic candidate in the election. "
Kimball Park "A Special Place"
"The park was created under the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. The Wisconsin Legislature created this innovative program in 1989 to preserve valuable natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation."
Wisbusiness.com Focus on Energy: Nine Wisconsin businesses are honored with the Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency
"* Professional Hospitality, LLC has saved more than 1.9 million kWh of electricity and 10,000 therms of natural gas-enough energy to power 204 homes for a year. To reduce energy usage, Professional Hospitality installed guest room energy management systems; bathroom motion sensor controls; vending machine controls; low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators; and compact florescent lighting in 10 hotels across Wisconsin. Locations include ...The Days Inn in Hurley; ..."
AIS and VHS Enforcement
"The DNR will be at random boat landings in Oneida, Vilas and Iron counties educating people about Aquatic Invasive Species and the fish virus Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia.  The two are damaging to the lakes and the fish in them."
Potawatomi Tribe Protecting The Environment
"If you watch tv, it's hard to miss these ads from the Forest County Potawatomi discussing how important it is to protect the environment. The Potawatomi community's not just talking the talk, they're walking the walk. Huge changes are happening at buildings like the Health & Wellness Center in Crandon. "
Overtime concerns raised about Department of Corrections furloughs
"Critics argue overtime costs could rise with the need to cover the shifts of those taking unpaid days off, but department officials said the plan is designed to minimize overtime and significant increases aren't anticipated.  "We're anticipating because we're going to be running on a much leaner staff, we would have less overtime," said Deputy Secretary Ismael Ozanne. While there could be some overtime costs, "we don't expect it to be significant.""
State panel rejects plan to fill $33 million hole in transportation fund
"A slide in gas tax collections and motor vehicle registrations triggered a $49 million hole in the state's transportation fund in the two-year budget that ended June 30. Department of Transportation officials applied savings and other unused funds to bring the deficit down to $33 million.  The Joint Finance Committee voted 13-0 to reject the department's proposal for filling the hole. The department had proposed moving about $15 million from the department's fund for development of major highways and an additional $18.3 million from a state highway rehabilitation fund."
Vets home leader learned of ouster by e-mail
"The ousted leader of the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King says he learned Thursday he was being replaced through a mass e-mail to staff.  Bill Crowley says he learned of the decision along with the home's hundreds of employees when Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Ken Black announced the change by e-mail."
LaborFest again at Labor Temple on Labor Day  
"The event is free, but organizers encourage attendees to bring a non-food household item like toothpaste, shampoo, paper products, or detergent that can be distributed through local food pantries to unemployed or underemployed families."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, a Republican who argues that health insurance rates could be reduced by removing the fraud and waste in the health care industry, will object to the government having access to financial records that would allow the justice system to detect, prosecute, and punish the offenders.  Citing privacy concerns, they will ignore that there has been none since the Republicans passed the Patriot Act.
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 28 Aug 09
  • WIKIPEDIA: IT’S STILL A BEAUTIFUL IDEA, BUT MAYBE NOT PERFECT.
  • FLAGGING: WIKIPEDIA CURBS EDITING OF ARTICLES ABOUT PEOPLE.
  • SCOPES REDUX: LOBBYISTS MAY BE NOSTALGIC FOR DAYTON.
  • ELECTROSENSITIVITY: REFUGEES FROM WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY.
  • NESSIE: CLOSE AT LAST TO SILENCING THE DOUBTERS?
How to save Fido when the Rapture hits - Victoria Advocate
"A company called Eternal Earthbound Pets, USA is made of up of a group of animal-loving atheists who, for a small fee, will take care of your beloved Fido and Mr. Fluffy Poo once you are taken up to heaven during the Rapture... Their service plan is simple enough: "For $110.00 we will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved. Each additional pet at your residence will be saved for an additional $15.00 fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind and the health and safety of your four legged friends.""
A Million And A Half U.S. Workers Will Exhaust Unemployment Benefits By Year's End - Workers Independent News
"Those projections by the National Employment Law Project come a day after a Federal Reserve official said the real U.S. unemployment rate is closer to 16 percent, significantly higher than the 9.4 percent claimed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those comments were made by Atlanta Fed Chief Dennis Lockhart during a chamber of commerce speech in Chattanooga, Tennessee."
America’s Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making - NY Times
"About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.  If the analysis is extended further into the future, well beyond 2012, the Obama agenda accounts for only a slightly higher share of the projected deficits."
Innocent Man May Have Been Executed Based on Faulty Science  - ACLU
"A report (PDF) released Tuesday by Dr. Craig Beyler to the Texas Forensic Science Commission found that a fire which killed three children in 1991 was not arson. This finding is important because the children were not the only people killed as a result of that fire. Their father, Cameron Willingham, was executed in 2004 after being convicted of murdering them by intentionally setting the fire."
 

27 Aug

 
on the passing of senator ted kennedy
"“Ted Kennedy was the greatest Senator of our age. He had a commitment to justice and he knew how to use the legislative process to achieve it. The passion of his life was health care reform. Above all else he would want us to redouble our efforts to achieve it. We will miss him in the fight.”'
Youthful emphasis
"In June, Hallberg began her yearlong service as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Iron County. As a VISTA, or volunteer in service to America, Hallberg's task is to draft and implement youth programs here.  So far she's created a plan to carry out President Barack Obama's United We Serve initiative throughout Iron and Gogebic counties, and began contributing to the Gogebic-Iron Range's Next Generation Initiative to attract and retain young people. She'll continue work on these projects and develop additional projects throughout the year."
WDNR's water wardens to step up boat checks
"This weekend, more "water wardens" will be on patrol in the north, including Vilas and Iron counties.  Iron County Department of Natural Resources warden John Windt said the water wardens have been issuing citations throughout the summer, while also emphasizing education about exotic species to boaters."
Fall Hunting Season To Begin Next Week
"The DNR says surveys identified nearly 150,000 resident geese in the state, which is up 27 percent from a year ago.  The agency says the mourning dove population is stable and predicts about 14,000 hunters will kill some 140,000 doves this season."
Stimulus Spending Vote Scheduled For Today
"Spending federal stimulus money on everyone
from children with disabilities to fish farmers is up for approval before a Wisconsin legislative committee.  The Legislature's budget committee on Thursday is scheduled to vote on approving more than $104 million in stimulus spending."
Statewide student testing system to be phased out
""We must begin now to make needed changes to our state's assessment system," Evers said in a news release. "A common sense approach to assessment combines a variety of assessments to give a fuller picture of educational progress for our students and schools."  Students will continue to take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations for at least the next two years while the new assessment system is developed, Evers said."
52 Wisconsin banks unprofitable in second quarter
"Fifty-two Wisconsin banks, including three of the four largest based in the state - M&I, Associated and AnchorBank - were unprofitable in the second quarter, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. report.  Altogether, Wisconsin banks lost about $161 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of $207 million in the same period in 2008. The number of non-current loans worsened, with 4.17% of total loans in arrears. That's up from 1.99% in the second quarter last year and an increase from 3.44% in the first quarter of this year."
Oshkosh gets $281 million contract
"Oshkosh Corp. said Thursday it has received a $281 million contract to produce more than 2,500 trucks and trailers for the U.S. Army.  The order is part of a five-year contract for production of up to 23,000 vehicles and trailers, and for support services and engineering."
AP NewsBreak: Wisconsin to phase out student tests
"Education leaders heralded the move as a step toward more accountability. It may also help put Wisconsin in a better position to compete with other states for $4.35 billion in federal education stimulus money under the government's "Race to the Top" reform program."
Doyle to lead trade mission to Israel 
"The mission, scheduled for Nov. 16-20, will give participants the chance to meet with distributors, potential customers, and business and government officials.  Israel was Wisconsin's 40th largest export customer in 2008, making purchases worth more than $68 million. The three industries at the center of the mission -- life sciences, water technology and agriculture -- are industries that provide promise for increasing exports to Israel."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, a person that a person moved by the two weeks of ceremony and national observances  that preceded President Reagan's burial will complain about the "over the top" coverage of Senator Kennedy's comparatively quick and subdued funeral plans.
State: Jews most frequent target of hate crimes - Times Herald-Record, New York
"The report analyzed crime data submitted to the state by police agencies from all 62 counties. The results of the state's number-crunching are distilled in an eight-page report made public last week.  The report found that police agencies identified 596 hate crimes throughout New York last year. Jews were targets 36 percent of the time, with blacks targeted 25 percent of the time, gay men, 11 percent, and Hispanics, 4 percent."
Have a Health Care Reform Headache? - Nursing Link
  • "66 percent of the uninsured were either poor or near poor, as defined by the federal poverty level.
  • Young adults, age 19-29, comprise a large share of the uninsured, mostly because of their low incomes.
  • 79 percent of the uninsured were U.S. citizens. "
Letter to Honorable Charles B. Rangel Scoring Health Reform Bill - Congressional Budget Office
"According to CBO's and JCT's assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a
net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period.
That estimate reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill's insurance coverage
provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO
estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions
that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those
10 years."
Files prove Pentagon is profiling reporters  - Stars and Stripes
"Contrary to the insistence of Pentagon officials this week that they are not rating the work of reporters covering U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes has obtained documents that prove that reporters’ coverage is being graded as “positive,” “neutral” or “negative.” ... “They are not doing that [rating reporters], that’s not been a practice for some time — actually since the creation of U.S. Forces–Afghanistan” in October 2008, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters Monday."
[Isn't saying it is no longer happening an admission that prior to the election, it was happening? Bold face is mine. - Bob]
NPR Slices and Dices Michael Steele - TPM
"On Morning Edition today, Michael Steele gets tied in knots trying to explain how the GOP (or maybe just Steele himself?) wants to preserve Medicare against cuts, while also cutting Medicare and opposing government-run health care programs in general. It's an impossible dance for anyone, but Steele is burdened with two left feet."
[You can hear the audio here. - Bob]

 

 

26 Aug

 
Obey to host telephone health forum
"U.S. Representative Dave Obey says he will conduct a telephone forum beginning 7:30 p.m. Monday that will allow thousands of people in the 7th Congressional District to participate. People can sign up to participate by registering on www.obey.house.gov."
DNR secretary, staff get lesson in fish surveys
"With Lake Superior's world-class fishery under their purview, officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' fisheries management unit have spent decades analyzing lake trout, herring and other species."
A great place for smiles
"Doyle said Tuesday the state has set aside funding for feasibility study for a new dental school in Wisconsin, which is sorely lacking in providing dental care access to its residents. Doyle also visited the BRICK ministries and food shelf while in Ashland."
DNR Secretary helps start (and fund) local biomass initiative
"The forests of northern Wisconsin are on track to be a vital part of a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and the former University of Wisconsin experimental farm will soon play an important research role in that shift, state and local officials said."
Second Vote Possible For Union Workers at Mercury Marine
"Longsine says more than 70 percent of those voting Sunday rejected concessions that Mercury Marine says it needs or many of the 850 manufacturing jobs will be moved to a nonunion plant in Stillwater, Okla.  Longsine says he knows some members are having second thoughts and many expected a second vote."
Wisconsin Unemployment Figures
"The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that Beloit still leads the state with 17.6 percent unemployment in July.  That was down from 18.6 the previous month, but far higher than a year ago when it was just 8.3 percent."
Medical costs rose 7.9% for largest employers, business group says
"The Business Health Care Group, a coalition created to help rein in health care costs in southeastern Wisconsin, said that its largest members saw a 7.9% increase in medical costs last year, an estimated 2% less than the overall market for the Milwaukee area."
Doyle hires Pines to defend state in case
"Doyle, a Democrat, had to hire outside counsel after Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the law last week. Doyle selected Lester Pines, who is close to Doyle and has separately challenged a 2006 state constitutional amendment barring gay marriage."
U. of Wis. bans beer ads during sports broadcasts
"The university has ended long-standing sponsorship agreements with MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev for advertising during Badgers sports broadcasts. The deals, which brought the university about $425,000 per year, were not renewed after a campus committee recommended doing away with them as part of its fight against binge drinking."
Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors: price hikes in fall 
"Price increases have been helping insulate revenue results for MillerCoors, a pairing of SABMiller's U.S. unit and Coors Brewing Co., from the increasing trend of consumers limiting their spending.  Anheuser-Busch said in a statement it plans on raising prices on a majority of its volume in the bulk of its markets this fall too, to cover some increases in its costs."
Court Dismisses Abortion Protesters' Bid To Stand On Handicapped Ramp - Religion Clause
"... the court held that it was reasonable to require the protesters to stay on the sidewalk next to the ramp. Their presence on the ramp impairs access to the clinic, while walking instead alongside the ramp still gives them access to everyone entering the clinic."
Recession's Effects Will Impact Workers Through 2014 - Workers Independent News
"Based on Congressional Budget Office projections, the report says we’re facing what looks like a sustained period of low economic growth and high unemployment. Employment isn’t expected to fully rebound from this recession until 2014. As a result, consumption – the driving force in the economy – will be reduced through 2014."

Bottled-water scam finally feels squeeze
"The sad part is that ending the bottled-water fad took a recession, when common sense should have kicked in long ago.  While some bottled water does come from the natural springs and mountain lakes depicted on the labels, most is just municipal tap water - water that is packaged and sold at enormous cost. Two years ago, the Earth Policy Institute estimated that each gallon of bottled water costs $10 a gallon to go from the groundwater to your lips."

Fox News, NRO, Limbaugh run with "death book" smears - Media Matters
"As Media Matters for America noted, the organization Towey founded, Aging with Dignity, sells "Five Wishes," a booklet that, like "Your Life, Your Choices," is designed to guide people in the creation of a living will. Huffington Post news editor Marcus Baram reported on August 22 that "Towey seems to have his own axe to grind" in criticizing "Your Life, Your Choices" in that Towey "has repeatedly tried to get the government to spend millions to purchase his 'Five Wishes' book," citing "VA sources.""
Eternal Earth-Bound Pets
"Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus."
 

25 Aug

 
SECOND AUGUST DISCUSSION ON HEALTHCARE
"Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) will field questions on healthcare reform during a District-wide Telephone Forum on Monday, August 31st. This follows an earlier healthcare discussion that Obey participated in on August 3rd with the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups in Superior."
Jauch and Sherman Join Governor Doyle to Celebrate Ashland Dental Clinic Grand Opening
"State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and Representative Gary Sherman (D–Port Wing) joined Governor Doyle and Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary Karen Timberlake in grand opening ceremonies for the Lakes Community Health Center Dental Clinic in Ashland. The two lawmakers were helpful in securing $250,000 in a state grant earlier this year for equipment and renovations to the building in addition to a Federal earmark appropriation obtained by Congressman Dave Obey and Senator Herb Kohl."
Area contractor objects to street bid award
"The bid was awarded to the firm from Kimball, Wis., although Angelo Luppino of Iron Belt, owner of Luppino Construction, complained the work should have been rebid.  Luppino bid $848,469, according to city manager Scott Erickson."
Hurley Firefighter's Picnic
"The Hurley Volunteer Firefighters held their 2009 annual picnic Saturday at Riccelli Park. Although the day started off a little on the cool side, it ultimately turned out to be a beautiful sunny "fall day".  The picnic was attended by Hurley Firefighters, family members, residents, and Firefighters from, Ironwood Township, Mercer, Montreal and Oma."
[Coverage includes a slideshow. - Bob]
Float trip celebrates memory of conservationist Martin Hanson
"And in the way that projects with Hanson's determined backing tended to have, in February of this year — just four months after his death — the Brunsweiler River was given protection as a state Wild River, as a bill authored by Assembly member Gary Sherman (D-Port Wing) and State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor James Doyle."
Ag official: Bayfield farm preservation 'a model'
"The Town of Bayfield's farmland preservation program is providing Wisconsin with a successful example as the state's agriculture department works to implement its own program, its deputy secretary said Friday."
Feingold calls for withdrawal from Afghanistan
""I've never been convinced that they have a good answer to the concern that I have and that other people have," he said. "Are we helping drive more extremists into Pakistan by continuing to build up troops and resentment in Afghanistan?""
Domestic Partnerships
"Pam says, "Signing that piece of paper doesn't change anything other than the relief; knowing that she's secure, I'm secure, or whichever.  Pam says she and Penny had a commitment ceremony almost three years ago.  Penny adds that they hope legalizing marriage for gay couples will be the next step for Wisconsin."
Doyle hires new legal counsel
"Doyle announced Susan Crawford, the deputy director of the state Office of Recovery and Reinvestment, would serve as his legal counsel starting Monday. Crawford will continue her role with the recovery office.  Doyle made the appointment two weeks after Chandra Miller Fienen resigned from the post when it was reported she didn't have a Wisconsin law license."
Feingold questions Afghanistan military strategy
"Feingold has long supported military efforts in Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but he now says he's "not convinced that simply pouring more and more troops into Afghanistan is a well-thought out strategy.""
Two state tribal groups get recovery aid  
"The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and American Indians Against Abuse, Inc. were among seven tribal governments and 10 tribal coalitions to receive more than $6.7 million. The awards were made to groups in Alaska, Arizona, California, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin."
4chan hackers target Christians on Facebook - The Age
"The online group called 4chan - which hacked former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin's email account and spread hoax news about a spate of celebrity deaths - is now targeting Christians on Facebook.  The hackers stole login details and passwords from an unnamed Christian dating site and used them to break into Facebook accounts."
Former Lowe’s Workers Win $1.72 Million Sexual Harassment Suit - Workers Independent News
"Two of the employees said they were being harassed by co-workers who thought they were gay and a third employee was a female who had allegedly been harassed by a supervisor. The three workers will split the settlement which is the largest such settlement ever awarded per employee in the western United States."
China Racing Ahead of America in the Drive to Go Solar - NY Times
"Chinese companies have already played a leading role in pushing down the price of solar panels by almost half over the last year. Shi Zhengrong, the chief executive and founder of China’s biggest solar panel manufacturer, Suntech Power Holdings, said in an interview here that Suntech, to build market share, is selling solar panels on the American market for less than the cost of the materials, assembly and shipping.  Backed by lavish government support, the Chinese are preparing to build plants to assemble their products in the United States to bypass protectionist legislation."
IU national survey finds majority of Americans believe 'myths
"Findings from a national survey of Americans by researchers from Indiana University Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research (CHPPR) and the Indiana University Center for Bioethics says that Americans do believe the "myths" about health care reform, confirming that the White House may indeed be losing this battle.  "A surprisingly large proportion of Americans believe what the White House has dubbed 'myths' about health care reform," said CHPPR director Aaron Carroll, M.D., M.S. "Ironically, we found that the least believed myths, such as those related to mandatory end-of-life decisions and euthanasia counseling, are those that have gained the most traction in the media and have resulted in changes to the House bill.""
Augmented Reality: 5 Barriers to a Web That's Everywhere - ReadWriteWeb
"It's widely believed that the operating system for the iPhone 3Gs will be updated this Fall, possibly in September, to allow developers to use the phone's location awareness and internal compass to orient displays of information and imagery placed on top of the view through the camera."
 

24 Aug

 
Paving bid to be considered Monday night
"[Ironwood] City commissioners will consider awarding an $806,905 bid to Northwoods Paving Monday night for street paving projects.  The bid from Northwoods Paving, which operates out of a plant along U.S. 2 in Kimball, Wis., was the lowest one received, according to city officials."
Are you ready for some fun?
" Hurley is hoping to put more atmosphere back into the Ironwood-Hurley opening football game.  Attendance remains high for the game both teams get up for every year, but with activities and food booths hosted by local organizations, there should be more than just football this year."
She runs to fight leukemia
"Hurley native Chantelle Traczyk, daughter of Tim and Betsy Traczyk, will run her second marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training in October.  Her first marathon with Team in Training was last January in Phoenix and she raised more than $4,800 for LLS."
Governor's Stewardship Announcement 
"Governor Doyle says the state was able to purchase this land from private owner and conservationist Joe Hovel through the State Stewardship Fund. The Governor says he's thankful for all of Mr. Hovel's work to keep the land wild.  "We're very, very grateful. You know, behind every major Stewardship purchase in this state you'll find a very generous landowner and someone who has really cared for that land and this is another example of it," says Governor Doyle."
Area Airport Gets Money To Construct Hangars
"A local airport is getting 640-thousand dollars to construct hangars.  Governor Jim Doyle recently approved the project for the Manitowish Waters Aiport.  The state is funding more than 4-thousand dollars for the project.  The town of Manitowish Waters is providing close to 28-thousand dollars."
AirTran scores high, Midwest scores low in safety analysis
"AirTran Airways, the airline invading Milwaukee’s travel market, has the best record for safety among the nation’s major airlines, according to a recent analysis.  Milwaukee’s former hometown airline, Midwest Airlines, scores low, placing worst among the nation’s regional air carriers, according to an examination published Monday by the Web site The Daily Beast."
Wisconsin commerce agency to lay off employees
"The Wisconsin Department of Commerce says it plans to lay off up to 15 employees from its safety and buildings division.  Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel warned employees last week the job cuts were coming as a result of the downturn in the construction and building industries."
Sour economy taking chunk out of gambling
"Gamblers like Silha who are looking to stretch their gambling dollars in the midst of a sour economy have confounded American Indian nations in Wisconsin and state budget writers alike. As a more frugal clientele cuts into casino earnings, the money paid to the state under gaming compacts dwindles."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, a person that regularly reads their horoscope will wonder how I am coming up with these predictions.  [To be honest, I am more scientific than astrologists.  I use exponential regression of deflections of paths of wooly worms to extrapolate ASCII codes.  I suspect that this is approximately 27.367% more accurate than a Ouija board. - Bob]
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 21 Aug 09
  1. NIH: TO THOSE WHO HAVE MUCH, MORE SHALL BE GIVEN.
  2. GHOST RESEARCHERS: THIS SHOULD NOT BE GOING ON.
  3. CLIMATE: OCEAN TEMPERATURES RISE TO A RECORD.
  4. FREE ENERGY: NEVER PAY ANOTHER ELECTRIC BILL.
  5. PELAGRA: IT’S SHOWING UP AGAIN IN AFRICA.
Religous Hate in Western Kentucky Borders on the Occult - HillBilly Report
"Let us pray.  Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who issued press releases this week attacking me personally.  God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround us and tell lies about us.  We bless them, but they curse us.  Therefore find them guilty, not me.  Let their days be few, and replace them with Godly people.  Plunder their fields, and seize their assets.  Cut off their descendants, and remember their sins, in Jesus' name. Amen."
AUDIO: Arizona pastor's sermons call for execution of gays, Barney Frank and the President - The Political Carnival
"Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona [...] calls for the execution of gays in numerous sermons that you can listen to here.  "The same God who instituted the death penalty for murders is the same god who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals, sodomites and queers""
Mercury Marine union in Fond du Lac rejects pact - Journal Sentinel
"Sunday, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 1947 voted by what it called a wide margin to reject contract concessions that could have saved more than 800 manufacturing jobs and may have brought more employment to Fond du Lac.  As a result of the vote, Mercury says it will move much of its manufacturing over the next 36 months to Stillwater, Okla., where it has operated a plant for 30 years."
Steele: Roy Blunt Should Be Cleaned Out Of The "Crapper" - TPM
""His [Matt Blunt's] daddy [Roy] screwed around with a tobacco lobbyist. Then slips language into the homeland security bill favorable to the tobacco lobbyist," said Jericho. "I mean here is a guy that has committed adultery multiple times. Yet he had a senior position, and still does, in the Republican Party. Guys like Papa Blunt make us sick to our stomach. They aren't conservatives, and they sure don't reflect moral absolutes the way that we expect the Republican Party to stand up."  Steele responded: "Look, now don't, don't sit - I mean, I agree with you. When, when, -- when stuff gets in the crapper, you gotta clean it out.""
 

21 Aug

 
WDNR chief visits Iron County for announcement
"Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank lauded local officials, environmental groups and area residents on Thursday in Mercer as he awarded Iron County a near $50,000 DNR New Lake Protection Grant for continuing upgrades to its zoning ordinance."
Son of Hurley native leads team to softball crown
"The girls Little League team from Warner Robins, Ga., won the Little League Softball World Series championship game Wednesday, defeating Crawford, Texas, 14-2, in Portland... The Warner Robins team was coached by Roger Stella Jr., son of Roger Stella Sr., who grew up in Hurley."
Bad River Tribal Elder Center open for activities
"But above all, the Bad River Tribal Elder Center offers up an improved space for lunch and activities for one of the most, if not the most, important segment of the Bad River Tribe — its elders."
Doyle plans stops in northern Wisconsin
"Gov. Jim Doyle and members of his administration are planning a number of stops in northern Wisconsin over the weekend and into the week.  On Sunday, Doyle plans to make an announcement in Land O’Lakes about protecting the Northern Highland/American Legion State Forest Project."
  • Emerald Ash Borer
    "Wisconsin agriculture officials say quarantines are being imposed in two more counties to stop the spread of the destructive emerald ash borer.  The bans on transporting hardwood firewood, ash logs and ash nursery stock from Brown and Kenosha counties go into effect Saturday."
  • Preventing the Spread of Emerald Ash Borer
    "So far, E-A-B hasn't been found in the Northwoods, but it is in Kenosha, Brown, Ozaukee, Vernon, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan,Crawford and Washington Counties.  While E-A-B can fly and migrate on its own, the main cause for E-A-B spreading is through people moving firewood."
86-year-old at home in camper
"Receiving about $570 a month in social security doesn't go far when Marshall's paying about $300 a month to camp... "I got food stamps, but I don't need those. I've got lots of canned food. I don't eat much with only four teeth," he says."
[The USA can do better than this. - Bob]
The Reporter
Fond du Lac,WI
Winning $10000 Powerball ticket sold in Fond du Lac
"Wednesday’s winning Powerball numbers were 14, 24, 31, 43 and 51, with a Powerball of 27. The Power Play prize multiplier was 5.  Other winning $10,000 tickets were sold at Freedom Mini Mart in Appleton, Super One Foods in Hurley and Bob’s Citgo in Oshkosh."
Wisconsin job cuts not as severe as region, nation
"A quick run of numbers released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Wisconsin losing 3.9% of its payroll jobs since July 2008. Among neighboring states, only Iowa (3.1%) and Minnesota (3.7%) declined less. Of course, Michigan (with a 6.6% drop in jobs) led them all."
Farmers turn to Twitter, Facebook, texting
"Many large corn and soybean growers are tech-savvy communicators who text message, use the Internet and connect with consumers on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  Sixty-two percent of growers with 1,500 or more acres have sent or received text messages during the past year, according to an Agriculture New Media Usage study by Nicholson Kovac Inc."
Wis. AG won't defend domestic partnership law
"Normally, Van Hollen would represent the state against such a challenge. But in this case, the Republican attorney general says he will not because he cannot "ignore the Constitution."  Van Hollen's decision means the state will likely have to hire an outside lawyer to defend the law."
Van Hollen says he won't represent state in domestic partner lawsuit
""But I will not ignore the Constitution.  My oath isn’t to the legislature or the governor.  My duty is to the people of the State of Wisconsin and the highest expression of their will -- the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin.  When the people have spoken by amending our Constitution, I will abide by their command.  When policymakers have ignored their words, I will not.""
Wisconsin gasoline markup law isn't dead yet
"Writing for a three-judge panel, Judge Richard Posner sympathized with mom-and-pop gas stations who say the law has protected them from the possibility of larger rivals undercutting their prices. He was critical of Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's decision to not appeal the ruling on his own.  The Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association has the standing to appeal in the attorney general's place, he wrote, because the hundreds of businesses it represents would be directly hurt without the law."
Textbooks being written for Texas schools appear to lean to the right - Houston Chronicle
"The standards, which the board will decide next spring, will influence new history, civics and geography textbooks.  The first draft for proposed standards in United States History Studies Since Reconstruction says students should be expected “to identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority.”"
[Warning... Texas and California, to large indispensable websites, with statewide adoption, dictate the content of textbooks nationwide. - Bob]
Employees join in purchase of Fein Brothers - Journal Sentinel
"Two longtime employees of Fein Brothers have teamed with a Madison businessman to buy the inventory, assets and brand of the restaurant supply store founded more than 80 years ago. Todd Minkin, a 20-year employee, and Ben Minkin, a 12-year employee, joined with Kevin Kavanaugh, who owns a restaurant supply store in Madison, to form Dine Out Inc."
Poll: Huge Majorities of Fox Viewers Duped by GOP Lies about Reform - 75% Believe in ‘Death Panels’ - Pensito Review
"Just days after a poll found Fox News to be the least trustworthy among the cable channels, a new poll from NBC News — not teaming this time with Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall St. Journal — finds that around three-quarters of self-identified Fox viewers believe the four big lies being promulgated by the GOP about health-insurance reform:"
 

20 Aug

 
VHS ruled out in Chequamegon Bay carp deaths
"Dead carp in the bay were discovered in June.  Mike Seider, a DNR fisheries biologist from Bayfield, said Wednesday the cause of the dead carp remains a mystery."
July was second coolest on record
"That month also set another weather record: It was the coolest July in Ironwood in the past 100 years. While July 2009 brought similar unseasonably chilly weather, it wasn't quite as cool as 1992."

 

  • Most speakers support public option at Feingold listening session
    "Senator Russ Feingold said Thursday support for the federal health care reform package's "public option" expressed by area residents at a town hall-style listening session at the Marengo fire hall Thursday was "a little surprising."  Given the strong negative responses at other sessions he has held around the state aimed against the proposal to have the government take a direct role in providing health care coverage for citizens, Feingold indicated that he anticipated more of the same in Marengo."
  • Government option supported in Feingold listening session
    "Although some speakers questioned both the costs of the program and it's potential impact on those with existing insurance, many of those making comments at the session urged the inclusion of the option in legislation that congress will take up following the conclusion of the August recess."
Health care hot topic at Senior Expo
"But the issue was especially at the fore of this year's event, which took place Wednesday at Lake Superior Elementary School. As U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., sauntered through the crowd, he met with a continuous stream of citizens who are concerned about health care reform."
Kagen Hosts Health Care Town Hall Meeting
"This crowd made it clear when they disagreed with the Congressman, but some of the nay sayers acknowledge he made some good points... Congressman Kagen said Wednesday that he doesn't currently have any health insurance because he doesn't think he should be covered if everyone he represents can't be."
Bill Targets Wisconsin Law Allowing Minors to Drink
"Under current law, anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 can drink in a bar as long as they are with their parents, guardians or spouse.  The bill heard by a Senate committee on Wednesday would ban that for anyone under age 18."
Feingold in Mercer, Kagen in Minocqua tomorrow morning
"These listening sessions are an excellent opportunity for me to hear directly from constituents about any issues or concerns they may have, and I appreciate the effort people make to attend these meetings and let their voice be heard. Their ideas and advice continue to enable me to serve the people of Wisconsin to the best of my ability."
Wis. bill increases penalty for hurting police
"Under current law, a person who purposefully strikes an officer can be charged with a felony. But if the injuries caused to an officer while a person is evading arrest are unintentional, the crime is a misdemeanor.  The proposal would increase that penalty to a felony."
New jobless claims exceed 2008 total
"According to data from the state Department of Workforce Development, from the first week of January through Aug. 15, the state received more than 753,000 new benefits applications. That exceeds the 738,352 total reported last year. And 2008 had 15% more jobless claims than 2007."
Exemption to county smoking ban proposed for hookah bar
"Dane County Board Sup. Melanie Hampton, of Madison, is proposing an exemption for specialty tobacco businesses such as cigar and hookah bars.  The exemption would be similar to the cigar bar exemption Madison adopted in 2006, a year after the city’s smoking ban took effect. At the time, the exemption only applied to one establishment, Maduro, a Downtown cigar bar."
Study to look at wind power transmission needs
"Some of the same utilities backing the Strategic Midwest Area Renewable Transmission Study also have endorsed a plan by Novi, Mich.-based ITC Holdings Corp. to develop a high-voltage power line to move wind energy from the Midwest to homes in Chicago and other cities."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, some poor mope who thinks that it was right and just for recently released Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme to serve more than three decades for "assaulting" Republican President Gerald Ford with an unloaded gun, will consider taking a loaded gun to an Obama event thinking "and I said, 'I gotta go and talk to him,' and then I thought, 'That's foolish. He's not going to stop and talk to you.' People have already shown you can lay blood in front of them and they're not, you know, they don't think anything of it. I said, 'Maybe I'll take the gun,' and I thought, 'I have to do this. This is the time.'"
DART suspends driver after she refuses to use bus bearing atheist ad - Des Moines Register
"On Monday, the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority suspended bus operator Angela Shiel after she refused to drive a bus with an Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers ad on its side. Shiel, 41, said the ad's message, "Don't believe in God? You are not alone," went against her Christian faith.  Earlier this month, DART removed the ads from the buses following complaints from riders. DART returned the ads to the buses after receiving new complaints, including from the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa."
Worker Furloughs in Maryland's Prince George's County Ruled Unconstitutional - Workers Independent News
"Williams added that the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from passing laws that impair “the obligation of contracts.” Furloughs impact the wages agreed to in worker contracts."
The Hidden HEalth Tax - Rep John Dingle [Scroll down to picture of check - Bob]
"This year, every insured American family will pay $1,017 -- and insured singles will pay $368 per year -- in insurance premiums just to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. That's $42.7 billion this year - or $1,354 per second. This "Hidden Health Care Tax" is the undisclosed insurance premium surcharge, paid by America's businesses and insured Americans, that subsidizes the uncompensated health care costs of the uninsured."
A Deeper Look at the Birthers - Public Policy Polling
"That leaves 20%, which includes at least some people who correctly believe that Obama was born in Hawaii, but who don't consider Hawaii to be part of the United States. You read that right- 6% of poll respondents think that Hawaii is not part of the country and 4% are unsure."
 

19 Aug

 
Project closes Norrie-Poplar to nearly all
"Construction of the $739,568 Poplar Street bridge over the Montreal River from Ironwood to Hurley began Wednesday morning.  Officials from Iron County, Ironwood and Hurley learned in June that what was to have been a local 20 percent match would be financed through federal stimulus funds."
Circus to perform at Saxon fairgrounds
"Family Big Top Circus will present two performances at the Iron County Fairgrounds in Saxon on Thursday at 5 and 7:30 p.m.  Two children up to 14 years old will be admitted for free per paid adult, according to information on the tickets."
Wisconsin ACT Scores
"Wisconsin students' average ACT scores are steady for a third straight year.  The average composite score for state students who graduated this spring was 22.3 out of 36- the same mark as the last two years."
2009 Cranberry Crop
"In Wisconsin, the country's largest cranberry producer, an 11 percent drop to four million barrels was projected.  The state with the largest decrease was Massachusetts, where the crop was expected to fall 20 percent."
Civility reins at Kind's town hall meeting
""This is what we've been encountering in most of my public forums," said Kind, a La Crosse Democrat. "I don't know if it's homegrown Wisconsin civility. Obviously, passions run deep on both sides of the health care discussions. There was enough respect and courtesy where you can conduct a forum of this nature without degenerating into mob rule.""
Lawton’s a definite; Kind ponders run
"Democratic Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton said Tuesday she plans to run for governor in 2010, while Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of La Crosse said in the coming days he will give a "serious look" at entering the race... State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) also has said he's considering joining the race, while Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk has left open the possibility of running in what could be a crowded Democratic primary."
State representative cited in car-bike crash in Madison
"State Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) ran a red light and collided with a bicyclist while driving in Madison on Tuesday, according to his office and Madison police.  The 56-year-old man riding the bicycle was admitted to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Madison police said."
US church leaders urge Obama to end Cuba embargo - Associated Press
"Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando, Florida, said the U.S. church welcomed a recent move by Washington to relax travel restrictions on Cuban Americans with family in Cuba as well on the remittances they can send to those families. But he said there is much more to be done.  Wenski said at a news conference that the U.S. church hopes "both sides listen to their better angels" and move to normalize ties."
Unemployed Workers Taking Advantage of COBRA Subsidy - Workers Independent News
"Known as COBRA, the plan helps laid-off workers continue employer health coverage for up to 18 months after leaving a job. A portion of the economic stimulus plan has made COBRA more affordable by subsidizing 65 percent of premiums for individuals laid off between September 2008 and the end of this year."
Our view on health care: Dispute over ‘public option’ veers into fantasyland - USA Today
"The dirty secret of our health care system is that it already is dependent on government or, more precisely, government waste. More than 46% of all medical service in the USA, about $1 trillion annually, is paid for directly by taxpayers. Private insurers cover 42%, and the remainder is paid out of pocket. In addition to what government pays directly, it pumps in more than $200 billion a year in tax subsidies."
Mythbusting Canadian Health Care - Campaign for America's Future
"If we're going to have this conversation, it would be great if we could start out (for once) with actual facts, instead of ideological posturing, wishful thinking, hearsay, and random guessing about how things get done up here.  To that end, here's the first of a two-part series aimed at busting the common myths Americans routinely tell each other about Canadian health care."
 

18 Aug

 

Thank you to Paavo Marathon Volunteers - Jessica Bolich, Director of Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce
"The Paavo Nurmi Marathon was a huge success with 765 registered runners. The Hurley Chamber of Commerce & The Hurley Lioness would not have been able to keep the marathon going for 41 years without the many generous volunteers. These volunteers who have devoted their day to the Runners of the Paavo throughout the course at our many Aid Stations, Relay Splits, and Finish Line. A Special Thank You to the City of Hurley, All of the Sponsors and Co-Sponsors, Silver Street Businesses, and especially to all of the Volunteers who put in the sweat and hard work to make this year’s Paavo Nurmi Marathon such a grand success."
Wisconsin Drug Program for Senior Citizens is Extended
"President Barack Obama's administration has agreed to extend Wisconsin's popular prescription drug program for seniors for three more years.  Gov. Jim Doyle and the state's congressional delegation announced Tuesday that SeniorCare would be extended through 2012. It had been set to expire at the end of this year."
Doyle Has Full Agenda for Rest of Term
"His goals include bringing high-speed passenger rail to the state, overhauling Milwaukee's troubled public schools, approving measures to fight global warming and helping turn the state's tanking economy around."
List of Possible Candidates for Governor Grows
"An aide says Democratic Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton is planning to run for governor next year.  Lawton aide Ben Nuckels says the two-term Lieutenant Governor intends to run for the state's top job and ``will have more to say about that in the near future.''  Lawton had said in the past she would run if Gov. Jim Doyle did not seek re-election. Doyle announced Monday he would not run for a third term in office."
Strong cranberry harvest estimated, though down from last year
""Wisconsin growers are pleased with the outlook for this year's harvest," Tom Lochner, executive director of the state Cranberry Growers Association, said in a statement. "This is good news for a leading Wisconsin industry that continues to grow.""
Kraft recalls 8,000 pounds of pizza
"The company said the pizzas may contain an allergen, soy protein concentrate, which was left off the label.  Kraft, Jack’s and Tombstone brands all may be included in the recall. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the company has received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the product."
Health care reforms will be minor, Kohl predicts
"Aside from the public option, Kohl said, he doubts other reforms he supports, including government-negotiated prices for medication and living will conferences, will be in the legislation that's eventually passed. Congress will pass some smaller reforms this year, he said, but nothing sweeping."
State officials warn of West Nile virus 
"Health officials say infected birds act as an early warning that the virus is present in an area and people should be careful about protecting themselves.  Mosquitoes pick up the virus by feeding on infected birds, then transmit it by biting people or animals.  While most infected people don't show symptoms, the virus can be dangerous for children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, a Republican who thinks the sky will fall if Medicare is allowed to negotiate lower prices on pharmaceuticals (like the VA's 40% discount) will show up at a WallMart to buy a new faucet ... for which he will pay full asking price because his local hardware was put out of business. WallMart's profit will be large because their nationwide dominance in retail sales gives them gigantic power to lower prices when negotiating with Chinese suppliers.
Health care reform enters faith arena - Rapid City Journal, South Dakota
"“I believe that all people of faith have to recognize how poorly we are meeting the needs of U.S. citizens at incredible costs and that we do have a moral responsibility to provide health care to all citizens,” Gerenz said.  The retired schoolteacher is a member of the Black Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She supports health care reform, and the campaign announced last week by the leaders of more than 25 religious denominations and groups, including evangelical Christian spokesman Jim Wallis of Sojourners."
GM boosts output, bringing 1,350 workers back - Dretroit Free Press
"To meet the demand, GM said it is adding a shift at the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant where the Chevrolet Cobalt compact car is built.  GM is also adding a shift at its CAMI facility in Ontario, Canada, where the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover are assembled.  In addition, GM said it expects to increase production at plants building the Chevrolet Camaro (built in Canada), Cadillac SRX (built in Mexico) and CTS Wagon (built at Lansing Grand River) and Buick LaCrosse (built in Fairfax, Kansas)."
Billionaires for Wealthcare - Humanleague002
"If God loved the poor people he wouldn't let them get sick."

[If you watch closely, you can see one of the protesters with a side arm strapped on his side, but this video really dispels the impression of the main stream media of angry, humorless tools of corporate America chanting about the evils of Medicare, Medicade, the VA, military health care and other government run programs. - Bob]

 

17 Aug

 
STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR DOYLE
“Governor Doyle has been a public interest governor. Anybody can govern during good times; it takes skill, balance and guts to govern in tough times and Jim Doyle has shown all of those attributes.”
FOG closes fish crib project
"According to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports, this summer's addition brings the total number of fish cribs installed in the Gile Flowage to more than 90."
Mercer hires new principal
"Superintendent Larry Kapugia said Friday that Klemm accepted the job and would start work Wednesday.  Klemm has been teaching chemistry, physics and biology for the past six years at a school that has 1,200 students in grades nine through 12."
Pure stock special delayed
"The Pure Excitment 25 pure stock special has been rescheduled for Saturday with all heat and feature action from Aug. 15 will be run. Fans and drivers who present  wristbands from Aug. 15 will be allowed admittance for either Saturday or Aug. 29."
Governor Doyle Announces Northern Tour
"During his tour, Governor Doyle will meet with local officials, community and business leaders, tribal leaders, tourism officials, public health officials, and members of the public.  Communities the Governor and Cabinet members will visit include: Ashland, Bayfield, Washburn, Lac du Flambeau, Butternut, Clam Lake, Minocqua, Rhinelander, and Eagle River."
Vets Getting Paid Time Off On Veterans Day Hearing This Tuesday
"A proposal that would require veterans in Wisconsin to be granted paid leave on Veterans Day is up for a public hearing Tuesday.  The requirement would extend to all public and private employersin Wisconsin. "
State Web site guilts delinquent taxpayers into paying up
"The Delinquent Tax Internet Posting, which aims to prompt taxpayers into settling up, collected $20,280,751 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Department of Revenue.  That brings the total haul for the site to more than $72 million since its launch in 2006. View the list here."
Doyle decision sets off scramble for governor's seat
"With his decision - 15 months before the 2010 general election and lacking an heir apparent - Doyle has left potential successors on both sides enough time to run a competitive race and an open field for Democratic candidates."
As Doyle prepares for final year, scramble is on to find his successor
"Gov. Jim Doyle is expected to announce shortly today that he will not seek a third term, likely setting up the first wide-open governor’s race in the state since 1982.  The decision puts Wisconsin among the handful of states with the most competitive elections for governor next year as Republicans seek to recover from setbacks in the previous two elections."
More than half in state designate selves as organ donors 
"Fifty-three percent of Wisconsin drivers and ID holders are designated as organ donors.  Last year there were 228 organ donors in Wisconsin, and 578 people in the state received an organ transplant.  Nationwide, almost 103,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, an aging hippie that participated in a draft office sit-in during the 60's will complain about the rude behavior of protestors at a Democratic congress critter's town hall meeting.  He/she will not use Spiro Agnew's phrase, "cacophony of irrational radical rhetoric."  At the same time, a former Chicago policeman who cracked heads during the Democratic Convention will tell a Democratic congress critter to "keep your hands off my Medicare."
The Hidden Reality of Abortion -- Empowering Men - AlbertMohler.com
"The Culture of Death often presents itself in terms of liberation. Yet, at every turn, this liberation is actually an enslavement. The availability of legalized abortion has led to the deaths of over 40 million unborn children in the United States alone. Beyond this, it has produced a social catastrophe evident in patterns of female poverty and the abandonment of both women and children by irresponsible males. Furthermore, it has severely weakened the moral protections and obligations that bound men to women and children, effectively allowing men to demand abortion as a means of escaping their responsibility to marry and to take responsibility for their children."
Economic Report: Income inequality has reached all time high - Workers Independent News
"Income inequality has reached an all-time high. According to the study by University of California, Professor Emmanuel Saez the top one percent of wage earners in America took home 49.7 percent of all wages in the country in 2007. Between 2002 and 2007 the top one percent captured two-thirds of income growth while incomes for the bottom 99 percent only grew by 1.3 percent."
Brutal truth about US healthcare - Belfast Telegraph
"In the week that Britain's National Health Service was held aloft by Republicans as an "evil and Orwellian" example of everything that is wrong with free healthcare, these extraordinary scenes in Inglewood, California yesterday provided a sobering reminder of exactly why President Barack Obama is trying to reform the US system."
DEVELOPMENT: Should Water Be Legislated as a Human Right? - Inter Press Service
"Barlow said a recent example was the sale of privately traded water rights in Australia (which were introduced as a way to move water use toward sustainability) to a big American investment fund. This means that not only is this water not in public control, it is not even in the hands of Australians any more, she added.  Asked how investors can help solve the world’s water problems, Jones told IPS that investors can ensure that the water services investments they make would bring about the human right to water."
 

14 Aug

 
Artists dip into landscapes
"Members of the Range Art Association meet regularly to experiment, learn and help one another become better artists. On Thursday, six members gathered at Gail Kniska's Kimball residence to work on the group's current project: painting different landscapes."
Conversion from coal to biomass not open and shut for Xcel
"Converting a coal-fired boiler at Ashland's Bay Front Power Plant to one that runs exclusively on woody biomass would appear to be a no-brainer, but more than 15 hours of testimony over two days has revealed hesitation about the proposed project's impact on Wisconsin's forest products industry, and on the state's natural resources as a whole."
WI Property Values Decreased in 2008
"Residential property values dropped by just over 1 percent. Revenue Department Secretary Roger Ervin says the report shows that Wisconsin's real estate market continues to avoid the dramatic fluctuations seen in other parts of the country. "
Broadband Internet Grant Application Update
"The group has put in more than 600 hours of work to finish the 150-page application.  Brad Kowieski of One Prospect in Rhinelander says the application will serve more than 120,000 people in six counties.  Kowieski says 91% of the population in this area is currently underserved with slow internet Internet connections or no Internet at all."
State property values dip for just second time in 50 years
"Wisconsin property values statewide dipped by 0.5% last year - only the second time in 50 years that overall property values have declined, according to a report Friday from the state Department of Revenue.  The last time was in 1986, when property values declined nearly 2%."
Emergency-operations plans pushed for Wisconsin Legislature
"The proposals would also compel every legislator, at the start of every two-year session, to list three to seven qualified residents of the district who could replace him or her until special elections could be held. The secret successors would be tapped if a terrorist attack, health pandemic or natural disaster prevented one-fourth of the Legislature from serving."
Tributes for guitar legend Les Paul; dead at 94
""He actually taught himself to play guitar in order to demonstrate his electronic theories," said Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. "All of us owe an unimaginable debt to his work and his talent.""
[PBS showed video of Paul and Richards playing.  Compared to Richards, Paul looked vibrant and healthy. - bob]
Trooper mileage cut to save gas money 
"Capt. Charles Teasdale, who commands the patrol’s southwest region, said troopers will no longer be sent to aid motorists in non-emergency situations, such as when their vehicles break down or they need a tire changed. Instead, dispatchers will send tow trucks without having troopers verify the vehicles’ locations first.  The patrol will continue to respond to all emergencies such as crashes and reports of drunken drivers, Teasdale said."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, a teabagger/birther/town-heller/flat-earther will appear at a town hall wearing a "Kill Obama ... Kill Michelle and her two dumb kids" TShirt. He/she will be applauded. A moderate Republican will show the courage to admit that there are some patient protection provisions in the various bills that should be made law... he/she will be booed.
The Attack on ObamaCare: Gay  - The New Republic
"
Reader JP just alerted me to an email blast from a group called "The Pray In Jesus Name Project." It suggests that ObamaCare will not only pull the plug on grandma, but also result in a gay and transgendered takeover of the entire health care system. Among the bogus claims in the group's petition:  .."
Send a letter to Walmart executives denouncing their financial support of hate speech
"Barack Obama "has exposed himself as a guy... who has a deep seated hatred for white people or the white culture." "This guy, I believe, is a racist."  This is the kind of drivel Glenn Beck has been spewing lately. We know. We know. Not much that comes out of the Fox News host's mouth surprises you anymore, but guess what: Glenn Beck's hate speech is being sponsored by, you got it, Walmart."
Real Story Behind Ejection At McCaskill Town Hall - Racist Destroyed Woman's Picture Of Rosa Parks - Crooks and Liars
" The news only showed the woman being escorted away by the police. What happened was the women walked in with signs, the crowd booed and yelled at the women. The women rolled up their posters and put them down... The poster was not of Obama, it was not pro health care, the poster that was taken from the woman and wrinkled up into a ball was of Rosa Parks.
 

13 Aug

 
Montreal to consider employee compensation
"Following Tuesday regular meeting, the council moved into closed session to "consider employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data" of the city's three full-time and one part-time employee, according to Tuesday's agenda."
  • Midgets want to be better than last year
    ""We want to be a better 7-2," Erickson said of the regular season. "We lost too many games in the first round of the playoffs. If you don't win the Great Western Conference, you are going to play a tough team in the first round.""
  • Midgettes' volleyball starts Monday
    "Hurley volleyball practice begins for girls in grades nine through 12 on Monday at 8 a.m."
DNR Board tables deer disease plan
"The board voted 7-0 Thursday to appoint a special committee to review the five-year plan to make sure it minimizes the area where the always-fatal disease occurs. The committee is to report back to the board at its December meeting."
Drought emergency declared
"Gov. Jim Doyle has declared a state of emergency due to drought conditions in 41 counties.  The declaration issued Wednesday will allow the Department of Natural Resources to expedite farmers’ request for temporary irrigation permits to divert stream or lake water to irrigate their crops."
Senator Herb Kohl Visits The Northwoods
"Democratic Senator Herb Kohl is sponsoring legislation called "Fast Track To College," which gives people across the country money to pursue an education beyond high school.  Wednesday, he made clear why he feels so strongly about students going to some form of school after the 12th grade"
Doyle declares drought emergency
"Agriculture is the backbone of Wisconsin's economy, generating $59 billion a year and accounting for nearly 354,000 jobs," Doyle said in a statement. "While parts of the state recently received some much-needed rain, some farmers still need more and we don't want to take a chance. We will do whatever we can to support our farmers and give them another option to help save their crops."
Baby dies in horse-drawn buggy crash
"Page says the crash involving an Amish family from Chili happened Wednesday afternoon on a busy two-lane street near Marshfield Clinic.  Page says the baby was ejected from the buggy in the collision with the minivan. Three other people in the buggy - the baby's parents and a nine-year-old sibling - were not injured."
State corn harvest projected down slightly  
"Crops statistician Steve Stockdale says the crop is expected to yield about 135 bushels per acre, compared with the five-year average of nearly 140 bushels per acre.  Stockdale says the projected drop in yield is due mostly to a cooler than normal growing season so far. He says it has slowed maturity and an early frost could damage the crop."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, a temp worker for an astroturf organization like Americans for Progress will ask himself, "Why does this organization that is working so hard to protect private health insurance, not have a policy that covers me?"
Blessed Insurance - Christianity Today
"The term "adverse selection" refers to potential program beneficiaries — often young, healthy pastors — who choose to find less expensive health insurance on their own. When they opt out of a denomination's plan, the denomination is left with a pool of pastors who are older or ill. This causes rates to rise, which in turn prompts more pastors to seek cheaper rates elsewhere.
Faith-based Mutual Insurers Worry about Health Care Reform - Christianity Today
" Generally speaking, members of health-sharing groups—all of whom are professing Christians—pay a monthly fee that can range from $285 to $450 a month for a two-parent family. That fee is either sent to the ministry, which in turn passes it on to other members with certain medical bills, or sent directly to members in need.  It's an unorthodox way to pay medical expenses—and insurance regulators remain leery—but members say it's simply the latest incarnation of a 2,000-year tradition of believers carrying the burdens of other believers."
Focus on the Family selling its money-losing gay workshops
"The Love Won Out conferences on "leaving homosexuality" will be handed over in November to a longtime ministry partner, Orlando, Fla.-based Exodus International.  "The economic challenges led us to this strategic decision," Focus vice president Gary Schneeberger said Wednesday. "Love Won Out is not an inexpensive event to stage, and rarely, in over 50 cities where it's been held, have we ever made back our investment, despite good attendance." "
Kaiser Permanente Slashes Jobs In Response to a Loss of 36,000 Subscribers - Workers Independent News
"Kaiser Permanente will be slashing 1,850 jobs in California. Income for day-to-day operations shrank by 18 percent during the second quarter and 36,000 subscribers have left the company over the first half of the year. The major reason for the health care giants subscriber shrinkage is being attributed to laid off employees losing employer-provided health care."

SPLC Report: Militia Movement Resurgent, Infused with Racism - Southern Poverty Law Center
"A key difference between today and the 1990s is that the federal government is now headed by a black man. That fact, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration, has helped infuse the militia movement with a strong element of racial animus, which was not the primary motivation in the past.  Another factor in the rise is the proliferation of cable TV hosts who are willing to use their platforms to spread and legitimize antigovernment propaganda, such as the conspiracy theory about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps and the unsubstantiated claim that Obama's presidency is illegitimate because he was born in Kenya."

 

12 aug

 
School board learns to use new laptops
"Hurley School Board members spent the first part of their Tuesday meeting learning about the technology on their new Mac laptops.  The laptops, which were bought with stimulus money and money from a settlement with Microsoft, are being given to Hurley school staff this year and to students in grades nine through 12 next year."
Eagle Bluff ladies hold invitational
"The Eagle Bluff Ladies League held its invitational tournament on Thursday.  The format was a four-woman scramble, with teams set up on a blind draw by handicap. Players from Mellen Country Club, Gogebic Country Club and Eagle Bluff Golf Club participated."
Austrian woman reports otter attack in Wisconsin"An Austrian woman on vacation in Wisconsin is getting rabies shots after she said she was bitten several times by at least two otters while swimming in a lake.  Brigitte France, 51, told the Duluth News Tribune that she was swimming on Lake Owen near Drummond, Wis., last Wednesday when she heard something hissing behind her."
Controlling Wild Pigs
"State lawmakers passed a bill last year that requires the Department of Natural Resources to draft rules that designate the pigs as harmful wild animals.  The agency plans to begin a series of public hearings on the rules across the state beginning Thursday in West Bend."
Financial Aid Cuts
"The Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board projects that more than 20,000 low-income students will not receive grants because of a lack of money and a sharp increase in applicants."
[It's a double whammy ... less tax revenue causing fewer grants and fewer jobs making it harder to work your way thru. Can they wait for better times? - Bob]
Sign up by Aug. 31 for No Call list
"Don’t want telemarketers to interrupt your dinner? You have until the end of August to sign up for Wisconsin’s No Call phone list.  The service is offered for free through the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  Residents must sign up for the list every two years to avoid being dropped from the service. Cell phone numbers can also be added to the list."
[It's very easy to sign up at https://nocall.wisconsin.gov/web/registration.asp. - Bob]
Home sales in Wisconsin fall in 2nd quarter
"The Wisconsin Realtors Association report released Wednesday shows that home sales were down 10.5 percent and the price of a median-valued home was down 9.9 percent.  However, the drop in sales was more moderate than in the first quarter of the year when it was off 22.6 percent. And in 2008, sales for the year were 19.2 percent less than in 2007."
Foreclosures set record high 
"Statewide foreclosure filings also reached a new high in July. The 2,757 new filings were up 54 percent from 1,786 filings in July 2008. The state’s previous high was in October 2008, when there were 2,701 filings."
State board to consider 16-day deer hunt 
"The committee's recommendations include two proposals -- one starts the longer season a week earlier than normal and the other starts it on its traditional opener, the Saturday before Thanksgiving."
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America this evening, a nice, well meaning lady will tell a Congress Critter that she doesn't want health care reform because she doesn't want he tax money spent on abortions. Tomorrow morning one of her co-workers will receive an abortion funded by the same health insurance policy that covers her ... paid for partially by her redirected real wages and required contribution.
Board rejects policy on religion in school - Rutland Herald, Vt
"Despite rejecting the proposal, School Board Chairman Eric Hults said the school would need some sort of policy in place, and could suffer for lack of one.  "We've crossed the bridge," he said, prior to the vote. "We can no longer plead ignorance on something going on in school that should not be going on in school."  The controversy started in December after the Benson Village School's principal removed holiday-themed artwork created by students from the walls. Amid questions over what, exactly, was allowed and prohibited, the board created a task force to draft a policy."
Mercury Marine, union discuss ways to keep plant open  - Journal Sentinel
"The union and company met for about seven hours and resolved some agenda items, according to the company, which said that more talks were scheduled for Wednesday and possibly Thursday and Friday.  Mercury is considering moving its Fond du Lac operations, employing about 2,000 people, to Stillwater unless the company finds ways to reduce its costs here."
Bachmann's Son Joins Government Re-Education Camp - TPM
"And the real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go and work in some of these politically correct forums."
Who cares if Professor Stephen Hawking lives or dies. Actually, we all do - Guardian
"We say his life is far from worthless, as they do at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge, where Professor Hawking, who has motor neurone disease, was treated for chest problems in April. As indeed does he. "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS," he told us. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived." Something here is worthless. And it's not him."
Ernestine for CaliforniaOneCare.org - You Tube
"California OneCare found Ernestine! She's a perfect symbol of what's wrong with our health care system. Find out how we can fix it at CaliforniaOneCare.org. "
 

11 Aug

 
2009 Paavo Nurmi

 

Gile residents weighing mail options
"It's either "business as usual" for Gile, Wis., residents who currently pick up their mail in the post office boxes in the lobby of the Gile Post Office, or the U.S. Postal Service will put locked boxes outdoors in the Gile area."
Hurley racer Kallas takes feature wins lead at ABC
"As a result, Jeff Spacek took home $1,100 as the winner of the AmsOil Dirt Track Series program's WISSOTA modified feature, while Kevin Eder, Curt Myers, John Kallas, Dale Coddington and Chad Carlson, among several others, also benefitted from the generosity."
Interior secretary visits Apostle Islands
"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Saturday walked the tawny sand beach stretching across Stockton Island's Julian Bay, climbed the tower of the newly renovated Raspberry Island Lighthouse, and dipped his fingers in Lake Superior, playfully splashing handfuls of cold water on his friend and Chief of Staff Tom Strickland."
$5 million budgeted for lighthouse restoration
"At an impromptu press conference at the foot of the Stockton Island dock, attended by three journalists and a small cadre of curious tourists Saturday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Bob Krumenaker announced Obey has secured $5 million in the 2009 budget for lighthouse restoration."
Car Crashes Into Smokey's Restaurant 
"An early morning accident leaves one person behind bars, and a Northwoods Supper Club picking up the pieces.  It crashed through Smokey's Restaurant in Manitowish Waters just after 2:00 Monday morning."
Men charged with shooting 26-point buck after season
"The son told a game warden that he had shot the buck with a bow and arrow on New Years Day, which would have been legal, but tests later found traces of lead in the deer, according to the paper. Neighbors also reported hearing gunshots from the property on the 31st."
Assisted Living earnings fall 8.6%
"Revenue fell primarily due to the planned reduction in the number of units occupied by Medicaid residents and a reduction in the number of units occupied by private pay residents, the company said. That was largely offset by higher average daily revenue as a result of rate increases."
State retirement fund shows signs of recovery
"Retirement funds managed by the state grew 2 percent in the first six months of 2009.  The funds managed by the state Investment Board were 13 percent higher as of June 30 compared to March 31, shortly after the U.S. stock market hit its lowest point."
Grad suing college because she can't find job gets little sympathy here
"Thompson is seeking the $70,000 she spent on tuition, plus $2,000 for the emotional stress associated with an unsuccessful job search over the past three months. She says she has been unable to find gainful employment since earning her bachelor of business administration degree in information technology in April and claims the school's Office of Career Advancement hasn't provided her with the leads and career advice it promised."
ACLU Says It's Not Kosher to Define Kosher - The National Law Journal
"The 1980 law mandates that any food sold as kosher in the state of Georgia must meet the "Orthodox Hebrew religious rules and requirements." ... But not all Jewish people in Georgia are Orthodox and not all Jewish sects have the same kosher standards, the ACLU argues, so what's kosher to one group may not be to another. The state infringes on religious liberty, says the ACLU, when it decides which rabbis are legitimate enough to decide kosher standards."
New Hampshire Gives Workers Extra Protection from Mass Layoffs and Plant Closures - Workers Independent News
"Plant workers in New Hampshire now have extra protections if a company plans to enact mass layoffs or shutter a plant. Under the New Hampshire Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, large companies must offer 60 day notice before taking such action. New Hampshire is the 17th state to enact such a law."
Fight back against health insurance lies - Brave New Films
"What does UnitedHealthcare CEO Stephen Hemsley have to lose if Congress passes real healthcare reform this year? Well, for starters, his nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in unexercised stock options might lose a few pennies on the dollar.  What does Isabella, a four year-old girl in Winsconsin who is physically incapable of eating and has had to be tube fed her entire life, have to gain from healthcare reform? The treatment she needs to live a normal life."
Averting the Worst  - Paul Krugman, New York Times
"Once you take into account the need to find employment for a growing working-age population, we’re probably around nine million jobs short of where we should be... We haven’t yet reached the point at which things are actually improving; for now, all we have to celebrate are indications that things are getting worse more slowly.  For all that, however, the latest flurry of economic reports suggests that the economy has backed up several paces from the edge of the abyss."
 

10 Aug

 
  • Schneider wins fourth straight Paavo
    ""I guess I took one up on Jordan here," Schneider, 25, said with a laugh. "Maybe if he hadn't played baseball for a year, maybe it'd be eight in a row. So maybe I'll aim for that.""
  • Heaslett's streak ends
    "Jokela ran her first Paavo Saturday and finished in 3:08:06 to end Heaslett's streak that will stay in the record books for quite some time.  Heaslett, 45, didn't seem too broken up about it after her second-place finish."
Madden hits the road for Scouts
"Iron County Judge Patrick Madden, also the International Scouting representative for the United States, recently returned from what he calls "a scouting expedition" in Austria."
Food the attraction at Paisano picnic
""Mangiare, mangiare" -- eat, eat -- was the phrase of the day at the Paisano Picnic in Kimball Park Sunday. People stopped by chat with friends and  eat polenta, salad and Tom Decarlo's homemade deer salami."
Are the state's shoreland zoning statutes unconstitutional?
"What many people do not know is that the shoreland zoning rule, both in its current and proposed incarnations - the new revision would impose strict impervious surface limits on all properties within 1,000 feet of a lake and 300 feet of a river or flood plain - applies by statute only to unincorporated areas of the state.  So while shoreland property owners in unincorporated towns must abide by those impervious surface standards, as well as a 75-foot setback and other regulations, those owners of properties in incorporated villages and cities are exempt from the state's minimum parameters."
Northland International University Appeals State Decision
"Northland International University in Dunbar wants the Higher Educational Aids Board to allow its 600 undergraduate students from Wisconsin to qualify for the Wisconsin Tuition Grant and other aid.  Agency staff denied the school's request because it is accredited by an association of Christian colleges and not the association used by most schools in the region. "
Bill would put cap on payday loan rates
"It's the size of the fees -- an average of $20 for a $100 loan -- that makes it a bad deal for consumers, critics say, and has resulted in thousands of Wisconsin residents being caught in a cycle of debt. Although the loans are designed to be paid back within two weeks, consumer protection advocates say most borrowers typically roll over the loans because the fees end up eating too much of their income."
440 same-sex couples signed up for registry last week
"She says applicants still need to sign a document in front of a notary and file it with the register of deeds to become official.  The registry gives same-sex couples dozens of the same benefits as married couples, such as hospital visitation, medical leave and inheritance rights."
Lawmaker opposed to ethics disclosure bill
"State Rep. Samantha Kerkman is raising concerns about a bill that would require lawmakers to post their financial disclosure forms on the Internet.  The Genoa City Republican said Monday that posting the information online would give too much information to critics who could find ways to harass lawmakers and steal their identities."
Prayer death trials cost taxpayers at least $84,000
"It cost Marathon County taxpayers at least $84,000 to try the central Wisconsin parents convicted of reckless homicide for praying instead of taking their dying daughter to a hospital.  Clerk of Courts Diane Sennholz says the tab includes expenses for the parents' court-appointed attorneys and jury costs for food, lodging and travel. It does not include the salaries of prosecutors."
Duluth
News Tribune

 

Local names & news:  ENDURANCE SPORTS
"Ben Schneider of Rockford, Ill., won Saturday’s 41st Paavo Nurmi Marathon from Upson to Hurley, Wis., for his second straight victory in the event. Schneider, 23, was first in a field of 229 runners in 2 hours, 40 minutes, 21 seconds, compared to his 2008 time of 2:35:27. Shawn Callahan, 37, of Biwabik was second in 2:57:13.  Anja Jokela, 25, of Minneapolis led the women’s division in 3:08:06.
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America this evening a Town Hall Meeting Disruptor will claim that a disturbance is the Democratic Congress Critter's fault because it is his/her policies that made the protestors so angry.  Similarly, a man arrested by the police for beating his wife will claim it was her fault because she didn't cook what he wanted for dinner.
Has APA given nod to gay change therapy? -  Baptist Press
"For those who say homosexuality is an unchangeable characteristic, the report said, "[T]he results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts]." It also affirmed APA's position that homosexual attractions are "normal and positive variants" of human sexuality.  For those who believe homosexuality can be changed, the report concluded, "The appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for those who seek [sexual orientation change efforts] involves therapist acceptance, support, and understanding of clients ... without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome.""
Is there trouble in the House of Mouse? - Workers Independent News
"There could be trouble in the House of Mouse. A dispute over health care has led to employees at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California to reject a most recent contract offer. The more than two thousand workers at the three hotels have been working without a contract for 18 months."
Don't Need To Be a Rocket Scientist - TPM
"Once you thoroughly unfasten yourself from reality, truly all things are possible.  AJC columnist Jay Bookman noticed that in the latest Investors Business Daily editorial about how the 'death panel' will condemn all handicapped or disabled people to death on some horrid wind-swept mountain, it notes that ..."
   
07 Aug  

HURLEY CITY COUNCIL - Tuesday, August 11, 2009

  • Board of Public Works – 5:30 P.M.

  •  Police, Fire & License Committee

  • Finance Committee

  • City Council Meeting - 6:30 P.M.

Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America this evening a gun-toting white supremacist who thinks all non-whites are mud people and should be sent back where they came from, will attend a Democratic town hall meeting. Standing next to him will be a partisan Republican, a kindly and caring church elder who gives extra for the church's mission in Africa. From a distance or in the crude video which will be given to the Party for later use in campaign hit pieces, it will be very difficult to tell them apart. - Bob
Mama's Boys hit the road
"Joseph Pinardi's running T-shirt says "Mayor;" the other team members wear shirts that read "Mayor's Son" or "Mayor's Son-in-Law." On the back of the running T-shirt is a picture of a logging truck and "Mama's Boys." Joe Pinardi's trucking company is sponsoring the team."
Mercer recall moves ahead
"Petitions to recall Mercer School Board member Shannon Hiller have been submitted to board clerk Tracy Benzel.  Benzel said Thursday that he had received the recall petitions Tuesday night from Richard Boes.  Benzel said they contain 230 signatures; 205 is the minimum required for a recall election in this case."
Technology conference highlights future promise for region
"The future of northwestern Wisconsin lies in the innovative skills of the people who can use its unique resources in sustainable ways to provide goods and services that people need and will be willing to pay for.  That is the message from speakers at the fourth annual Lake Superior Technology Conference held Wednesday and Thursday in Ashland."
BadgerCare Plus Core Program proves popular in bay area
"The BadgerCare Plus Core Plan to provide basic health care services for childless adults without insurance has proven to be a popular program in the Bay Area, with over 200 people signing up in Ashland and Bayfield counties at The Lakes Community Health Center's (TLC) Iron River and Ashland offices."
Wisconsin Wildland Firefighters Going to Alaska
"Firefighters from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest are on their way to Alaska to help with firefighting efforts there.  Wildland firefighters left this morning for Duluth. From there they will join crews from Minnesota and Michigan for a charter flight to Alaska."
Doyle's adviser not licensed in state
"Doyle's office says that despite her position, Chandra Miller Fienen, formerly a lawyer in California, does not need a Wisconsin license because she does not practice law, only advises on education and other issues.  One veteran Milwaukee attorney of the same party as the governor disagrees."
Carp detected near barrier
"For several years, the northern migration of the silver carp, which can grow to 50 pounds, had stalled in a pool just above the Dresden Island Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River southwest of Joliet, Ill. - about 20 miles downstream from the barrier.  Now it looks like they have cleared the upstream Brandon Road Lock and Dam, leaving only about 10 river miles and one navigational lock between the fish and the barrier - the last line of defense for the Great Lakes."
State hotels seek exemption to smoking ban 
"State Rep. Gary Sherman agrees. The Port Wing Democrat says without an exemption, tourists could take their business across state borders.  Several lawmakers favored such an exemption when the ban was being debated. But they reversed their votes in a compromise to ensure the overall ban passed."

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 6 Aug 09

  • CLIMATE: LETTERS TO CONGRESS ARE EXPOSED AS "ASTROTURF".

  • WEATHER:  BUT WHAT IF IT’S NOT SOME LOW-PAID TEMP?

  • KEPLER: EXOPLANET-HUNTING SATELLITE SNARES ITS FIRST.

  • FERTILITY: RICH NATIONS ARE BREAKING THE RULES.

The Religious Right Gets In On the Town Hall Fun - Right Wing Watch
"Focus on the Family Action has been sending e-mail alerts to subscribers that encourage them to attend town-hall meetings and demand that abortion funding be explicitly excluded from any reform bill, according to Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for the Colorado Springs-based group."
[I remember when Jesus (Matthew 14:15-21) was shouted down by thugs organized by a multinational fishing corporation ... - Bob]
AFL-CIO Waging Intensive Grassroots Health Care Reform Campaign
"The AFL-CIO says it’s organizing a 30-day intensive grassroots campaign calling on Congress to side with working families and not with insurance companies on health care reform. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says the choice before Congress is clear – side with health insurers and vote for legislation that continues their control over health care or vote for reform that puts people in charge of their health care."
CNN Won't Run This Ad...
"... And CNN wonders why they're having a hard time holding off the surging MSNBC?  First, they allow Lou Dobbs to froth at the mouth... now they're refusing to run an ad critical of the health insurance industry... What the hell?  MSNBC will be running the ad, and you can see it here anytime... "
Three advertisers drop Glenn Beck - Democratic Underground
"LexisNexis has pulled its advertising from Beck and says it has no plans to advertise on the program in the future. Both Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance called the Beck advertising placements an error that they would correct."
 

06 Aug

Happy Hiroshima Day!
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America today, a doctor will spend more time arguing with a health insurance company bureaucrat for pre-approval of a medically necessary procedure than he spent with the patient diagnosing the condition.  The bureaucrat will then call his congress critter to say that he doesn't want the government between HIM and HIS DOCTOR. - Bob
 
Court reinstates road ban in national forests
"A federal appeals court Wednesday blocked road construction in about 50 million acres of pristine national forests.  The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates most of a 2001 rule put in place by President Bill Clinton just before he left office that prohibited commercial logging, mining and other development on about 58 million acres of national forest in 38 states and Puerto Rico. A subsequent Bush administration rule had cleared the way for more commercial activity there."
New bill would allow smoking in some motel rooms
"Wisconsin will become the only state in the country to totally ban smoking in motel rooms next July to the detriment of motel owners and non-smokers, State Rep. Gary Sherman told an Assembly Committee on Wednesday.  Twenty years after recovering from a lung disease, Sherman, D-Port Wing, remains sensitive to smoke in enclosed places and without providing for smoking in some motel rooms, Sherman said he can't be assured that there will be smoke-free rooms."
Calling all loons
"The biggest day of the year for Wisconsin's self-designated Loon Capital met its job requirements, drawing thousands to Mercer's downtown. Locals, their from-out-of-town relatives and art vendors from around the Midwest flocked to peruse more than 250 art booths, mingle outside Mercer restaurants and hear the annual loon calling contest."
No rush to register in Iron County
"No couples have as yet signed up as domestic partners in Iron County.  "Not even a phone call," county clerk Mike Saari said on Wednesday.  Effective Monday, same sex couples in Wisconsin could apply for a declaration of domestic partnership in their home counties."
Consultant to be extradited
"Williams was arrested in downtown Hurley over the weekend on a disorderly conduct charge, according to Iron County District Attorney Marty Lipske. A record check revealed Williams has been a fugitive since Oct. 9, 2007, when the probation violation was entered."
Wisconsin Considers New Chronic Wasting Disease Plan
"The plan calls for working with agriculture officials to monitor captive cervid populations, prohibiting movement of cervid carcasses out of CWD zones, keeping deer populations near goals and a statewide ban on baiting and feeding. "
Residents deposit piles of pills in police department drop box
"The pills will be sent to the Portage County Solid Waste Department for disposal. The solid waste department will dispose of the uncontrolled medications, but the controlled substances must be sent to Iowa or Illinois to be incinerated at a cost of about $3 a pound.  Properly disposing of the pills will keep the medications from being thrown in the garbage and flushed down the toilet, polluting rivers and streams"
Menomonee Falls closes bridge after structural problems found
"Officials say the workers found that part of the concrete deck of the 70-year-old bridge, which is supposed to be 7-1/2 inches thick, was only 2-1/2 inches thick.  The bridge could be closed for up to a year."
USDA: Value of farm real estate in state dips 
"The value of farm real estate in Wisconsin dipped 3 percent since last year, but it remains well above the national average.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says an acre of agricultural property averages $3,750 in Wisconsin. That ties with Michigan for 18th highest in the nation. Minnesota's value was about $2,900."
UW Hospital may have passed on rare disease to patients
"According to Lisa Brunette, spokesperson for UW Hospital, the procedures they use will not be changed from previous methods. In cases where the patient is known to have CJD, they would use disposable instruments during brain surgery and then throw them away, but continue to use normal instruments and normal sterilization on brain surgery patients without known CJD."
Washburn
County Register
No incidents reported during Hells Angels ride
"Dryden thanked the following for their involvement with the event: the Washburn, Douglas, Polk, Burnett, Barron, Marathon, Pierce, Jackson, Clark, Dunn, St. Croix, Price, Bayfield, Sauk, Sawyer, Iron, Ashland and La Crosse counties sheriffs’ departments; the Wisconsin State Patrol and Department of Natural Resources; the Spooner, Turtle Lake, Ashland, Hurley and Hayward police departments; the state Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigations and its analysts; the state’s Emergency Management and Police Services; ATF; and other various agencies and assets."
Programs to change gays to straights don't work, report says - CNN Health
"At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex."
Labor Joins Illinois Government, Employers In Helmets To Hardhats Agreement With Army Reserve And National Guard - Workers Independent News
"The state of Illinois, City of Chicago, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Teamsters, and dozens of Chicago and state employers signed an historic Helmets To Hardhats agreement with the Army Reserve and National Guard Wednesday at Teamster City in Chicago. The program helps military veterans get into solid construction trade careers. John Coli is President of Teamsters Joint Council 25."
We're All Kenyans Now - TPM
"Like you, I've always wanted my own Kenyan birth certificate. And now there's KenyanBirthcertificategenerator.com where you can have one made up for yourself in just a few minutes.  Here's one TPMer Eric Kleefeld just used it to whip up."
Strange Bedfellows - Seatle Post Intelligencer
"The poll, by Angus Reid Strategies, found that 65 percent of Canadians have a "very positive" or "moderately positive" impression of single-payer health care in their country. A whopping 79 percent of Canadians have a negative opinion of health care in "the States."  By contrast, only 43 percent of Americans give thumbs-up to this country's health care system. "
 

05 Aug

 
Prediction:
I predict that somewhere in America this evening a prisoner served a well balanced, nutriciaous supper will fall asleep assured that if he is injured the next day playing basketball, he will receive appropriate medical care at the taxpayers' expense.  Also this evening, a single mom having served her children breakfast cereal for supper will lie awake worrying about paying for drugs she needs to take to stay healthy enough to go to work the next day. - Bob
Paavo registrations keep pace
"As of Monday, 544 runners had registered for the 41st annual Paavo Nurmi Marathon, which will be run Saturday. That's 208 runners fewer than last year's total of 752.  Jessica Bolich, director of the Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce, said registrations were "very close to last year's numbers.""
ATV law falls short of new model widths
"A northern Wisconsin lawmaker is criticizing what he calls an outdated state law that means some 2009 all-terrain vehicle models can't be registered in the state.  Sen. Jim Holperin, D-Eagle River, says current law specifies that an ATV can be no more than 48 inches wide but many new models are 50 inches wide, making them illegal in the state."
Repairs set for boat landings
"Round Lake, closed Aug. 27 through Sept. 18; Big Sand Lake, closed Sept. 14 through Oct. 23; Lac Vieux Desert, closed Sept. 14 through Oct. 16; Big Lake (off Highway K), closed Aug. 10 through Sept. 4; Boulder Lake, closed Aug. 18 through Sept. 11."
Ashland window firm selected for area "Extreme Makeover"
"The production crew at Ashland's H Windows knew something was up when they were instructed to custom-construct a big order of their ultra energy-efficient triple-pane windows for a rush-rush, hush-hush project."
Chronic Wasting Disease On The Rise
"The Department of Natural Resources says the disease prevalence for bucks at least 2 and a-half years old in an area of western Dane County and eastern Iowa County was 15.5 percent in 2008,
compared with 10 percent in 2007."
Obey To Speak At Nicolet College
"Obey is speaking at Nicolet College this morning at 10 in Rhinelander.  He is expected to talk about the road to our economy's recovery, and health care."
Stimulus to fund $299 million for hybrid battery development
""We have assembled a world-class team of suppliers and automotive manufacturers, and we believe this comprehensive approach will enable the United States to establish a domestic industry that is competitive, economically viable and sustainable.”"
53 school districts get $125.5M in no-interest bonds
""These bonds will help money flow through our economy, supporting jobs, while helping Wisconsin schools repair, improve and build new facilities where needed," Gov. Jim Doyle said in a news release announcing the awards."
National Guard data breach threatens soldiers' identities
"The laptop had personal information on soldiers, including some from Wisconsin, who were enrolled in the Army National Guard Bonus and Incentives Program. The information included soldiers' names, Social Security numbers, payment amounts and payment dates.  Every Guard member determined to be on the list of potential victims will be mailed a notification letter."
[Why are these breaches always blamed on the government when like this, it is usually a private contractor that screws up? - Bob]
Group wants more Midwest Latinos to answer Census
"The campaign by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Chicago - including Spanish and English fliers and door-to-door visits - is one among several advocacy groups nationwide working to ensure minorities are accurately counted."
Wisconsin is one of few states with no ceiling on payday loan interest
"Payday lenders made 1.68 million loans in Wisconsin in 2008, lending $723.2 million at interest rates that routinely top 500 percent. Borrowers say they have no other choice. Bad choices, bad luck and bad credit led them to the payday loan store, conveniently located to make easy loans in minutes."
Bangladesh Police Torture Pastor and Two Others - Compass Direct News
"At the urging of local Muslim leaders, police in western Bangladesh have tortured a pastor and two other Christians for legally proclaiming Christ.  Habibur Rahman, 45, pastor of Boalia Spiritual Church (Boalia Ruhani Jamat) in Boalia in Cuadanga district, 220 kilometers (136 miles) west of Dhaka, said he was about to meet with 11 others for a monthly meeting on evangelism at 8 p.m. on June 8 when local police stormed in and seized him and Zahid Hassan, 25, and a 40-year-old Christian identified only as Fazlur."
Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin Helps Advance Reform, Will Bring Up Single Payer Health Amendment - Workers Independent News
"Wisconsin’s Second District Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was credited on Friday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman for helping bridge a divide and moving health care reform legislation forward. Baldwin’s amendment allows progressive Democrats to keep subsidies for middle-income Americans while creating new cost saving provisions for conservative Democrats."
Congress' own healthcare benefits: Membership has its privileges - Los Angeles Times
"Lawmakers can choose among several plans and get special treatment at federal medical facilities. In 2008, taxpayers spent about $15 billion to insure 8.5 million federal workers and their dependents."
[Whoooaaaaa!!! You mean the government employees who run Medicare and Medicaid have private insurance.  Isn't that kinda like GM executives driving Hondas?  What's next ... the generals not covered by the VA? - Bob]
 

04 Aug

 
Predictions:
I predict that somewhere in America this evening a church group will have a spaghetti dinner to raise money for some little kid that needs a kidney transplant.  They will fall short ... the kid will die.  This evening numerous health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists will attend $200 per plate fund raisers for politicians who will promise to vote against provisions that would have funded that operation. - Bob
Horses take center stage
"The horses kicked up dust and strained at their harnesses as they pulled weights ranging from 3,000 pounds to 8,500 pounds.  Mostly Belgians, with some Percherons, competed to pull increasing amounts of weight 27 1/2 feet on a stretch of dirt at the Iron County Fairgrounds Sunday."
Midgets to report
"Hurley football practice begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 10. Athletes are asked to report to the high school gym. They should bring T-shirts, shorts and gym shoes."
NOAA on the air
"Gogebic County was the lone county in the state of Michigan not on the NOAA weather radio system, according to Gogebic County Emergency Management Coordinator James Loeper."
Holperin Criticizing ATV Law
"He says current law specifies that an ATV can be no more than 48 inches wide but many new models are 50 inches wide, making them illegal in the state.  In addition, the law limits the diameter of the rim for tires on ATVs to 12 inches. Holperin says that is also outdated."
Deer Ticks Expand Territory
"The number of Lyme disease cases has been growing with the expansion.  No one is sure why the range is growing, but there's growing suspicion that subtle changes in the climate are tipping the ticks' complicated ecosystems toward expansion."
Journal Sentinel reduces staff
"While these changes are difficult, we must be diligent about reducing our expense platform in order to preserve the overall strength of the Journal Sentinel through and beyond this challenging time. Today we also need to say thank you to a number of Journal Sentinel colleagues for many years of exceptional service."
Emergency repairs close two lanes of Interstate 39/90/94 at Wisconsin River bridge
"The left and center lanes are shut down and the right lane remains open, but traffic is backing up, Todd Matheson of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, said in a phone interview.  The metal plates are finger joints, which interlock on the bridge to allow for expansion and contraction of the concrete."
Perry: Laws, religion do mix - San Antonio Express-News
"Perry told the church that this is a time “of great spiritual battle as we engage in a struggle for the future of our state, for the future of our country. People of faith need to be actively engaged in the debate that is raging in the public arena.”  Vaughn, appointed by Perry to promote volunteerism on the board of the OneStar Foundation, said he appreciated the governor's comments about people of faith getting involved in public discourse."
"Astroturf" Groups Disrupt National Dialog on Health Care Reform
"In Texas this weekend a town hall with Rep. Lloyd Doggett devolved into chanting of “Just Say No” prohibiting concerned constituents from asking follow-up questions about the potential health reform legislation. According to a recent article published by Reuters of the 46 million Americans currently living without health insurance 6 million of them are in Doggett’s state. That gives Texas an uninsured rate of 25 percent – the highest in the country."
The Most Important Number in Politics Today - Washington Post
"There are currently 29 states in which Democrats enjoy a 10-percentage point (or more) edge on party identification. Compare that to just four states where the Republican edge is ten points or higher (Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Alaska) and one (Alabama) that leans toward the GOP.  Add up the 29 states that are in the solidly Democratic category, according to Gallup, and you get 350 electoral votes; add up the four states in the solidly Republican category and you get 15 electoral votes."
Cops Tase Pregnant Mother & Grandpa At Kids Baptism Party In Virginia! - You Tube
"Prince William County Police responded to a noise complaint at a child's baptism party. By the time they left, a grandfather and a pregnant woman had been Tasered. On Tuesday night, a Manassas family said cops went too far. The 55-year-old homeowner is a church family counselor and a bible study teacher. He says he was hosting a party for his new godchild. However, he and the pregnant mother of the baptized boys face serious charges. Relatives are charging police used excessive force just to quiet down the backyard party."
 

03 Aug

 
Obey Statement On Increased Funding for Cash-for-Clunkers
"Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, today introduced, and pushed through the House, H.R. 3435; a bill to provide stop-gap funding for the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program, popularly known as Cash-for-Clunkers. It was passed by the House by a vote of 316 to 109.  It is expected that the Senate will take the measure up next week."
Obey STATEMENT ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF ENERGY BILL
"Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) released the following statement today on passage by the House of Representatives of the American Clean Energy and Security Act:"
USDA Action to boost prices to dairy farmers
"Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) today said that he welcomed the announcement from Secretary Vilsack that he was boosting the amount that the government will pay for surplus cheese and non-fat dry milk."
Loon Day returns Wednesday
"On the first Wednesday in August, Mercer celebrates Loon Day, an arts festival that fills several blocks with more than 250 vendors and as many as 10,000 visitors.  This year's 29th annual Loon Day promises to be everything that visitors have come to relish."
Fair season in full swing in Saxon
"Ah, county fair season. Now if only the weather will hold out.  There's nothing like a midway lit up at night with children laughing while riding the tilt-a-whirl or merry-go-round. No food compares to fair food -- the cheese curds, the pretzels, the burgers."
Sailing lessons Thursday
"The North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters is holding a sailing class from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday.  Adults and children ages 8 and older are invited to bring their own boat, or use one of the center's sunfish boats to learn the basics of sailing from experienced instructors. Cost is $20 per person."
Saari fires ace at Bluff
"Denny Saari of Hurley fired a hole-in-one Wednesday on the 10th hole at Eagle Bluff. He used a 4-iron to record the ace on the par 3, 200-yard hole while playing in the Hurley area men's league."
Wolves attacking hunting dogs
"The Department of Natural Resources says over the last two weeks wolves have killed four dogs and injured another as bear hunters trained them in Bayfield, Burnett, Clark and Oneida counties.  DNR officials say the wolves may have been protecting pups."
Forest to receive $3.18 million
"Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) Forest Supervisor, Jeanne Higgins, announced that numerous projects on the CNNF will be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for forest facilities and trails which were announced by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earlier this week. A total of 191 projects, funded at more than $274 million, are located on public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service in 32 states."
All DMV Offices Closed Friday
"All D-M-V staff must take one of eight unpaid days required for the next two years on Friday.  Employee furloughs for all university and state employees are part of the 2009 – 2011 state budget recently signed into law."
Wind Energy Systems
"A bill that would set standards for wind-energy systems in Wisconsin is up for a vote in a state Senate committee on Tuesday... It has the backing of business, labor,
environmental and farm groups."
Couples line up to register as domestic partners
"In all, about six couples were in line at 8 a.m. when the County Clerk's office opened to register same sex partnerships for the first time. Katie Belanger, executive director of Fair Wisconsin, a gay rights advocacy organization, said about 20 couples lined up at the courthouse in Dane County to fill out the necessary forms to declare their partnership."
Ashland's oredock may vanish, but its memory will remain
"The oredock has not been used in more than 40 years, not since the trains stopped hauling iron ore to Ashland from the Gogebic Iron Range towns. The bigger iron ore mines in places like Hurley closed in the 1960s, when deep-shaft mining gave way to other methods; and the oredock isn't even connected to the railroad any longer. Part of the dock is covered in lead paint. There is asbestos in the gear boxes that opened and closed the ore chutes. It is a hazard."
Doyle going after student performance, federal money
"The changes include better tracking of student performance, using test data to help evaluate teachers and raising high school graduation requirements.  “We’re going to be working very hard in my administration with the Legislature, with educators in the state, to put together really, I think, a transformational application that will help Wisconsin education for years to come,” Doyle said in a recent interview."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 31 Jul 09 Washington, DC
  • CERN: IT ALL DEPENDS ON HAVING THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS.
  • FERMILAB: PARADE MAGAZINE COVERS THE RACE FOR THE HIGGS.
  • NIH: FRANCIS COLLINS REJECTS DARWINIAN EVOLUTION!
  • NASA: DEEP SPACE AND SHALLOW GRAVITY WELLS.
  • FISH: WHEN OVERFISHING IS STOPPED, THE FISH COME BACK.
PASTORS FOR PEACE CARAVAN RETURNS FROM CUBA - PRESENTS OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA - IfcomNews.com
"We saw Cuba's universal health care system in action. We visited the Latin American School of Medicine, where full scholarships are given to young people from 29 nations; and we were present at the school's graduation ceremony — which included 17 students from low-income communities in the US.  We saw the beauty and dignity, the creativity and the giving spirit of the Cuban people. And we saw the cruel effects and the enormous costs of the US economic sanctions."
Two Wal-Mart Opposition Groups Merge - Workers Independent News
"Two Wal-Mart opposition groups are joining forces. The Service Employee International union backed Wal-Mart Watch and the United Food and Commercial Workers backed WakeUpWalMart will merge. They plan to continue operations under the Wake Up Wal-Mart moniker."
Jonathan Alter: What’s Not to Like? - NewsWeek
"I'm with that woman who wrote the president complaining about "socialized medicine" and added: "Now keep your hands off my Medicare." That's the spirit!  Why should I be entitled to the same insurance that members of Congress get? Blue Dogs need a lot of medical attention to treat their blueness. I'm just a regular guy and definitely deserve less."
Obama isn't just Kenyan, he's also the Antichrist? - Salon
"And while it may be easy to mock the video -- for its spooky music, its insane conclusions and, oh, yes, also the fact that it misspells "heights" as "heigths" -- there's no doubt some people on the right's lunatic fringe will take it as, well, gospel. After all, it's been more than a year since Obama's campaign posted a copy of his Hawaii birth certificate. By this time next year, will Lou Dobbs be asking why Obama hasn't put the Antichrist rumors behind him yet?"
'Birther' Movement Reeks With the Rotten Stench of Racism - the Skeeter Bites Report
"The lower-left-hand corner of the alleged documents [Kenyan birth certificate] refers to the "Republic of Kenya." But Kenya did not gain its independence from Britain until 1963 -- when the young Barack was two years old.  Most importantly, Dunham never set foot on Kenyan soil -- In fact, the president's mother did not leave the United States until 1967, when she moved to Indonesia to live with her second husband,..."