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Before the Sparks Fly

A friendly reminder to the citizens of Greenfield and guests; fireworks are not allowed in the city.  This means possessing or igniting such items.  Fireworks means anything that pops, sparkles or smokes.  While these items may be fun for some, they are also dangerous and a nusiance to others.  The Greenfield Police will be vigilant in enforcing municipal code 10.03 which defines the fireworks regulations.  Our goal is to help ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all the citizens. 

I-94 NORTH-SOUTH update: July 3 - July 12

News you can use

Here is an update from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) for the I-94 NORTH-SOUTH freeway project:

Construction update July 3 –July 12:
I-94 North-South Freeway Project update for Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties


Read more

UPDATE: State Fair Park Audit


In my blog about the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) review of State Fair Park
I wrote:

“One of the key areas of financial concern is State Fair Park’s racetrack, the Milwaukee Mile.

During February 2009, State Fair Park ended its license agreement with Milwaukee Mile Holdings that it had since January 2006. A new agreement was entered into with Wisconsin Motorsports. The state Department of Justice intends to file a lawsuit on behalf of State Fair Park to recover at least $2.7 million in license fees, as required by the terms of the license agreement with Milwaukee Mile Holdings. 

State Fair Park entered into a new agreement with Wisconsin Motorsports in order to continue racing during 2009. The agreement stipulates a fixed license fee of $15,000 per month, or $180,000 per year. The fee is far less than the annual license fee of $1.0 million that was required under the most recent agreement with Milwaukee Mile Holdings.

The LAB writes, ‘State Fair Park will continue to incur significant costs. We estimate State Fair Park will be responsible for $1.8 million in Milwaukee Mile costs in 2009, less license fees it collects from the new promoter. Past promoters have had difficulty in operating the racetrack profitably. State Fair Park anticipates the new promoter will incur an operating loss in 2009, raising questions about the viability of racing at the Milwaukee Mile racetrack’

There are rumblings that one race is already in jeopardy for 2010. The Indianapolis Star is reporting the Indy Racing League (IRL) is still attempting to recoup money from its races held at State Fair Park May 30 and May 31, 2009. The promoter of the IRL races also owes money to NASCAR for races held June 20, 2009
at the Milwaukee Mile.

The newspaper reports there is a possibility Milwaukee will be taken off the IRL schedule next year.

Here is the story.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an update.

The latest abortion news: Good and bad

First, the good news.

For the fifth straight year, Wisconsin’s abortion numbers declined during 2008. Our state is a national leader in women having their babies.

Now, the grim news. National Political Reporter Jillian Bandes reports that after the Independence Day break, Congress will consider legislation that would allow would government-funded abortions in the District of Columbia as long as the abortions were funded by local taxes and not federal dollars.

Congress would make this change by altering the “Dornan Amendment” as recommended by President Obama. The amendment
prohibits both federal and local funds from being used for abortions in the District of Columbia. First approved by Congress during 1988, the amendment was removed during 1993 and restored during 1996.It was authored by former Republican California Congressman Robert Dornan.

As Bandes reports, Congress will now consider removing the word, “federal” from the amendment that would pave the way for local taxes to fund District of Columbia abortions. The result will be an increase in abortions.

Read Bandes’ report here.

Are you better off with government health care?

Government health care

Most Americans say no.

Here are the results of a new
CNN poll.

UPDATE-Canadian health care: Wait and wait and wait and wait

Government health care

My blog, “Canadian health care: Wait and wait and wait and wait” examined the serious problems with waiting times for patients in the Canadian government health care program.

Award-winning ABC News Correspondent and author John Stossel has more, questioning claims that a government-run health care system would be “better.”

Stossel’s latest column quotes Canadian physician David Gratzer:

"People line up for care, some of them die. That's what happens."

Stossel writes, “Polls show most Canadians like their free health care, but most people aren't sick when the poll-taker calls. Canadian doctors told us the system is cracking. One complained that he can't get heart-attack victims into the ICU. In America, people wait in emergency rooms, too, but it's much worse in Canada. If you're sick enough to be admitted, the
average wait is 23 hours.”

Read Stossel’s column

Wisconsin getting the short end of stimulus money


A Wall Street Journal analysis finds great inequities in the distribution of federal stimulus money. Some states with high unemployment rates have received less stimulus dollars per capita. The newspaper reports:

Nevada, where unemployment stood at about 10% when the plan was passed, is getting $541 for each resident from the stimulus money allocated so far, a Wall Street Journal analysis found. Wyoming, where the 3.9% jobless rate was the lowest in the country in February, is getting $1,074 per person.”

Wisconsin has received $561 per resident. Only five states have received less:
Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, Florida, and Georgia.

Here is the Wall Street Journal story and a chart comparing the states’ stimulus spending by resident with unemployment rates during February and May 2009.

Judge Lazich

I am pleased to once again be a judge in the pie eating contest in the annual New Berlin Fourth of July Activities.

The judging takes place tonight at 6:00 in the Schoeneck Containers Family Tent at Malone Park, 3953 S. Caspar Drive in New Berlin.

Here’s a schedule of all the activities.

Happy 50th anniversary, New Berlin!

I love a parade


I’ll be reading the Declaration of Independence at Greendale Village Hall at 9:15 a.m. on the 4th of July.

Then watch for me in the following parades:

10:30 a.m. - Greendale 

11 a.m. - Franklin 

12 p.m. - Greenfield 

1 p.m. - New Berlin

4 p.m.- Hales Corners 

On July 5, I will be in the East Troy parade at 1 p.m.

I hope to see you. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

America is uniquely blessed

Caspian Makan begged his friend, Neda Agha-Soltan not to go to a demonstration in Tehran fearing she would be arrested or hurt.

"I tried to dissuade her from going out in the streets because I'd seen in my work as a journalist that, unfortunately, there are a lot of merciless behaviors.”

Agha-Soltan’s aunt who lives in the United States also pleaded with her in a telephone call, “
Don't go out into the streets. They're killing people."

The 26-year old was unconvinced, telling a friend, “Don't worry. It's just one bullet and its over."

Agha-Soltan was shot to death the night of June 2009 near the spot of skirmishes between pro-government militias and demonstrators who believe rampant vote fraud took place in the reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  A physician on the scene said she died from a gunshot to the chest in less than two minutes.

A screengrab from the YouTube video of Iranian girl Neda, 16, who was killed from a gunshot wound to the chest in Tehran.
Photo: Sky News

The shaky cellphone pictures of “Neda” as she became known worldwide, bleeding on the street immediately transformed her into an international hero.

People of Iranian origin hold images purporting to show Neda Agha Soltan, allegedly killed during a protest in Tehran, as they protest against the regime in Iran, during a demonstration in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 24, 2009. The death of the woman identified as Neda Agha Soltan was captured on amateur videos and spread around the world in less than 48 hours on YouTube, Facebook, blogs and Twitter.
People of Iranian origin hold images purporting to show Neda Agha Soltan, allegedly killed during a protest in Tehran, as they protest against the regime in Iran, during a demonstration in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 24, 2009. The death of the woman identified as Neda Agha Soltan was captured on amateur videos and spread around the world in less than 48 hours on YouTube, Facebook, blogs and Twitter. Photo: Associated Press

“Neda” is a modern day Jane McCrea who played a significant role in the growth of a new nation.

McCrea, born in 1752, lived with her family in New Jersey. One of ten children, McCrea moved to New York to live with her brother after her father died. McCrea’s brother was a Colonel in the American Army. Another brother served as a surgeon for American forces. However, the family was divided with two other brothers serving with the British.

Jane McCrea fell in love with and became engaged to a British officer, a loyalist in General John Burgoyne’s army. Jane was living with her brother John on his farm at Fort Edward in New York at the time. During 1777, General Burgoyne’s soldiers were bearing down on Fort Edward and Fort Ticonderoga. While many colonists left, Jane stayed behind, feeling secure because her fiancée was fighting for the British.

On July 27, 1777, McCrea went to visit a friend in Fort Edward. Indian scouts paid by General Burgoyne broke into the friend’s home around noon and kidnapped the women. Half the Indians took McCrea, the other half, her friend. McCrea’s friend survived, but the Indians murdered McCrea.

News of McCrea’s cold, brutal murder at the hands of Burgoyne’s Indians spread like wildfire and ignited uncommitted men to finally take a side, flocking to enlist. The infusion of new fighters was the impetus Americans needed. Inspired by McCrea, they defeated Burgoyne at Saratoga three months later and the Revolutionary War swung heavily in America’s favor,

With the injection of new fighting soldiers on the American side, General Burgoyne and his troops were defeated in Saratoga just three months later. This defeat was a significant turning point in the Revolutionary War.

Jane McCrea was 26 years old. Neda Agha-Soltan was also 26.

Agha-Soltan’s perseverance and senseless killing illustrate how desperately people around the globe want what we have and enjoy every day. A Freedom House report shows  43 countries or 36 percent of the world population were judged “not free” and 60 countries or 18 percent of the global population “partly free” during 2007. That amounts to over 100 countries and 54 percent of the worldwide population that do not know what it feels to be an American.

Sadly, too many Americans take their liberties for granted. However, many more fully understand how fortunate it is to be an American. 

A poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc. for the PBS news program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and the United Nations Foundation during October 2008 found that 61 percent believe America is a nation uniquely  blessed by God, and 59 percent believe the United States should be a model Christian nation to the world.

Many courageous, valiant individuals throughout our storied history fought and sacrificed that we may benefit from that special status today.

This July 4, 2009, I have the distinct honor of reading the Declaration of Independence at the Greendale Village Hall at 9:15 a.m. It reads, in part:

...governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.....But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Rush Limbaugh Jr, father of national talk show host Rush Limbaugh wrote an essay about our forefathers. An excerpt reads:

"Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his thirteen children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned."

The fight for freedom never was and never will be easy. Remember to pause and reflect on our great history as you celebrate Independence Day.

Happy Birthday, America. I hope you have a safe and joyous 4th of July!

State budget process an open government failure

State budget

During an interview with reporters on June 22, 2009, Governor Doyle said this about the state budget process:

"Everything is totally transparent. Everybody knows what the bills were that were passed by the two houses and they know what the issues of debate are, the differences between the two houses. So there aren't any secrets here."

Read more

Texas Road House, New Berlin, Today, 10% off

You must present coupon available at
this link.

State Budget Watch: The deficits continue

State budget

Work has yet to begin on the next biennial state budget, however the budget signed into law last week by Governor Doyle creates a deficit of $2.049 billion in the 2011-2013 state budget. The grim projection comes from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB).

Here is a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article and an
LFB memo.

State Budget Watch: Your property taxes

State budget

Unfortunately, they’re going up.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) reports that under the 2009-2011 state budget signed into law by Governor Doyle, property taxes on a median-valued Wisconsin home will increase $93 this year and an additional $123 next year.

Here is an LFB memo

"We should not, we must not and I will not raise taxes."
Governor Doyle’s 2003 State of the State address

Audit Committee members request hearings on state travel


As a member of the Legislature’s Joint Audit Committee, I have joined colleagues asking the committee chairs to conduct hearings into the travel policies for elected officials and state employees. Our request follows a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report  that Governor Doyle and his staff “failed to properly account for 145 travel expenses over two years.”

In a letter to the co-chairs, we write:

“We want to believe that 145 failures to abide by travel policies over the course of two years is neither a pattern nor a cause for concern.

It is our hope that we can gain a fuller understanding of the frequency of travel, the procurement of travel-related services, and the ultimate documentation and justification of said travel.”

You can read our letter here. 

Meanwhile, Governor Doyle, whose expenses according to the Journal Sentinel included “a $5,200 business-class flight to Ireland and a $654-a-night stay in a London hotel” told the Appleton Post-Crescent editorial board, “
You better pack a lunch when you travel with me.”

The Journal Sentinel defended its reporting about the governor’s travel deficiencies. Read more in the
Appleton Post-Crescent.

Plenty of Tickets Still Available For Green Bay Trip

P&R Office

The Greenfield Parks & Recreation Department still has plenty of tickets available to the Green Bay Packers Family Night on August 8th.  Our group will be sitting in Section 128, which is the southwest corner end zone with a clear view of the player tunnel.  Register your family today.....cost is $10 per person (value of ticket) for the tickets only option.  You will need to provide your own transportation to Lambeau Field.  We also provide a tickets and transportation option for $36 per person, which includes transportation to and from Green Bay via a motorcoach bus.

To register, stop in the Greenfield Parks & Recreation Department office in Greenfield City Hall during normal hours, Monday-Friday from 9:00am-6:00pm.

First Concert In The Park: Crossfire

Community Events, Konkel Park

The Greenfield Parks & Recreation Department is opening its 3rd season of its Concerts at Konkel series this Tuesday, July 14th.  The band Crossfire will play beginning at 6:30pm under the gazebo at Konkel Park...51st & Layton.  The concert is FREE with open seating.  Bring a blanket or lawn chair, a picnic basket filled with munchies and enjoy a great night of musical entertainment.  Concessions will be available for purchase.

Crossfire is not your average garage band.  They play a great mix of cover tunes, from Johnny Cash to CCR to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Read more

Join the Fun

The Greenfield Police Department will again be celebrating the National Night Out at Konkel Park on August 4th from 5:30pm - 8:00pm.  This is a great opportunity for the Greenfield community to gather for fun, food, and crime prevention information.   Through our dedicated sponsors, we will be providing brats, hotdogs, chips, and soft drinks.  The fun will include a dunk tank, inflatable rides, the klements racing sausages, a rock climbing wall, and a K9 demonstration.  Gather up the kids, grandma, grampa, aunts and uncles and join us!

Upcoming Movie & Concert In Konkel Park

Stop out at Konkel Park this Saturday night at dusk, where our 2nd Movie In The Park will be shown by the gazebo.  This weekend's movie will be The Journey To The Center of the Earth, shown in 3-D!  Thanks to our sponsor, PyraMax Bank, for providing free popcorn while supplies last.  Moola Moose will also make a visit.  Please bring a chair or blanket to sit on and don't forget the bug spray.  Concessions will also be available.  Admission is FREE.

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2009 "Fill-the-Boot" Drive to Benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association

For the past eleven years the Greenfield Firefighters have joined the Muscular Dystrophy Association to collect money on Labor Day during the Labor Day, Jerry Lewis Telethon.  To date, we have collected $93,956.16.

In fact Firefighters nationwide have had a relationship with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Firefighters are in the business of saving lives, the Firefighters 55 years ago expanded that commitment to include children and adults living with 43 different neuromuscular diseases.  To date, members of the International Association of Firefighters across the country have raised over $300 million dollars, $21 million was raised in 2008.

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