Saturday, May 8, 2010

100th Anniversary of Miamisburg Ohio Carnegie Library


Link to May 7 Dayton Daily News article, "Carnegie library building to celebrate centennial".

Excerpt: Before 1910, Miamisburg’s only library was in the school system. Seeing a need for a public library, the teachers approached the superintendent. “He was familiar with Carnegie’s work,” Sweny said.

The Carnegie Foundation donated $12,500 with two conditions: the city would have to find a site for the library and provide future funds for its maintenance.


[snip]

The Miamisburg Library became affiliated with the Dayton Public Library in 1966. It moved into the new building in 1981.

The Carnegie Center is now owned by the City of Miamisburg and is used for meetings, weddings and recreational programs
.

Where in the world is Retiring Guy?



























Milwaukee Public Library Installs Green Roof

Link to May 8 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article.

Excerpt: The roof of Milwaukee's Central Library sprang to life, and went to work, in Friday's steady rain.

Thousands of sedum, a ground-covering plant, and clumps of chive and ornamental grasses - all perennials - were planted Friday in a six-inch layer of small gravel and soil spread across 30,000 square feet - nearly seven-tenths of an acre - to create a green roof atop the historic building, said Taj Schoening, business operations manager for the Milwaukee Public Library.

Its job is to mimic nature. The living roof will collect and store thousands of gallons of rainwater during a downpour, rather than allowing the clean water to drain immediately to a street sewer, Schoening said
.

Building a Common Agenda note. Sent link to Rep. Spencer Black. (Generally considered to be the Legislature's leading environmental advocate.)

Wisconsin Enter a New Washington Era

Link to May 8 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Obey's departure means Wisconsin has much less influence in Washington".

Excerpt:   If money is power, David Obey has held the keys to Washington influence as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which controls roughly 40% of the nation's $3.8 trillion annual budget.

The Wausau Democrat will be handing in those keys at the end of the year when he steps down from a 41-year congressional career. Politics aside, Obey's departure from the national stage means one thing for Wisconsin: the state's clout in the nation's capital is sure to fade.

"It's a tremendous blow to the state's prestige and its influence," said Ted Bornstein, a well-connected lobbyist and former chief of staff to two Wisconsin lawmakers.

Few people in Washington are as powerful as Obey. And his political power has translated into tons of money, untold sway and high-ranking allies for his home state of Wisconsin
.

Related articles:  
Congressional seniority has its perks.  (5/8/2010)

Council Vote on Madison Central Library Goes Under the Radar

Link to May 5 Isthmus The Daily Page post, "Library vote a victory for Mayor Dave".

Excerpt:     Frankly, I expected a little more controversy on the library. Despite all the protests against the mayor for giving up on a brand new library, the Council swallowed its pride and approved the reconstruction that was on the table. It was apparently so uncontroversial that neither the State Journal or the Cap Times covered it.

Retiring Guy found this odd, considering the regular coverage the issue of a new library has received since late 2008.

Related articles:
And the beat goes on.  (4/14/2010)
Mayor Responds to Critics on Library Issue.  (4/13/2010)
Board Endorses Renovation Plan.  (4/6/2010)
Some Council Members Not Ready to Move Forward on Mayor's Renovation Plan.  (3/30/2010)
Council President Pro Tem to Introduce Resolution Approving Madison Central Library Renovation Project.  (3/28/2010)
'Dissatisfaction' with Collapsed Madison Central Library Project. (3/25/2010)
Fiore Departure Seen as Beneficial to Madison Central Project.  (3/23/2010)
Matter of Principle" Dooms New Central Madison Library.  (3/20/2010)
Madison Central: The Dream Dies, It's Now Time to Renovate. (3/19/2010)
Dispute over Construction Costs Threatens to Derail New Central Madison Library. (3/17/2010)
Madison Public Library Project Faces Delay in 2011. (3/9/2010)
Construction, Cost Concerns May Delay Madison Central Library Project. (1/25/2010)
New Madison Central Library Wins Council Approval. (11/11/2009)Capital Times Endorses New Madison Central Library. (11/10/2009)
Madison Council Begins Review of Mayor's Budget on Tuesday. (11/6/2009)
More Questions About Madison Central Library Project. (11/1/2009)
New Madison Public Library's First Change Order: Rooftop Garden.
(10/28/2009)

Call for Referendum on New Madison Central Library Not Attracting Support. (10/21/2009)
Madison Board of Estimates Rejects Library Referendum. (10/13/2009)
Some Madison City Council Members Want Referendum on New Central Library. (10/9/2009)
Wisconsin State Journal Editorial on New Madison Central Library. (9/13/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Let the Positioning Begin. (9/1/2009)
New Madison Central Library on Mayor Dave's Front Burner. (8/30/2009)
New Madison Central Library: Build or Renovate? (7/7/2009)
Motley Brown Not Reason Enough. (6/11/2009)
Fiore Plan Receives Unanimous Support. (6/5/2009)
Fiore Plan Gets Nod from Committee. (5/15/2009)
Public Forum Focuses on Central Library Options. (4/24/2009)
Developer Sweetens the Deal. (4/21/2009)
Visualizing a Remodeled Madison Central Library. (4/4/2009)
Renovation Plan Put on Table for Madison Central Library. (3/26/2009)
Residents Critique Proposals to Rebuild Downtown Library. (1/9/2009)
Competing Developers Defend Their Central Library Plans. (1/8/2009)
Comparison of Downtown Madison Library Proposals. (12/17/2008)
Two Proposals for New Madison Central Library. (12/3/2008)
Best Headline of the Week. (9/6/2008)

Wisconsin's Library Advocates Need to Have Face Time with Candidates for Office

Effective library advocates are involved
well before Election Day

We need face time with Republicans and Democrats.

We need face time with the candidates (incumbents and first-timers), their campaign staffs, and their supporters.

We need to create more face-to-face opportunities to deliver the message that libraries are at the hearts of our communities.

We need to share with this key audience, face to face, why we love and value libraries, and why they should, too.  (At a minimum, we need to get them to pay attention to the essential services we provide to our communities -- i.e., to the legislators' constituents.)


Tony Driessen, Wisconsin Library Association Lobbyist, Quarles & Brady, LLC, reminds us that an excellent way to build a positive relationship with the legislators from your area is to be active politically. The types of activities you can do include:

Ten Easy To Do
Political Campaign Activities
-          Write a short letter to your local newspaper, praising the candidate for his/her excellent work on an issue or subject of interest or concern to you.  It doesn’t really matter what the issue is, as long as your comments are positive.  You can even share a copy of your letter, after you have sent it but before it is printed, with your legislator/candidate. That way they know you are active on his/her behalf, even if your letter is not published.
-          Attend a candidate forum in your area.  Introduce yourself (again) to the candidates and provide them with your business card.  If you are so inclined, pose a relevant question at the forum to which they can respond.
-          If you are a member of a community organization, invite the candidate to be your guest for the next meeting.  Then introduce them to others in attendance. 
-          If your neighborhood has a social gathering or block party, invite your preferred candidate to attend.  Then be attentive and introduce the candidate to your friends and neighbors at the get-together for a stated period of time.
-          Call the candidate and ask if you can cook hotdogs, brats or burgers at a campaign event.  Alternatively, see if they would like you to bake brownies, cupcakes or another treat for either a campaign event or for volunteers to eat during an active day.
-          Contact your candidate and offer to be a driver or campaign “go-fer” for an evening or a Saturday morning or afternoon.  You may be delivering campaign signs to homes, be picking up printing materials, going to the post-office or even driving the candidate to a speaking event.  This can provide you with valuable time to interact with the candidate!
-          Offer to stuff envelopes for mailings to voters.  You can either do this at the candidate’s campaign headquarters (often, that is his/her home) for a couple of hours, or you can pick up several boxes and do them at your home, in front of the TV.  Either way, you are being very helpful and are making important connections with your candidate.
-          Offer to do a “lit-drop” in your neighborhood for your candidate.  It involves distributing campaign literature, usually at your convenience.  Typically it takes less than an hour to do in your subdivision or neighborhood, and it is much appreciated.  You then get to meet with your candidate when you pick up the literature, and you can call them later to tell them you successfully completed the task.
-          Beginning on June 1st, have your family members, friends, relatives, business colleagues and neighbors sign the nomination papers that candidates need.  Typically only 20 signatures on each nomination paper is needed.  Plus you get to connect with your candidate when you call to request a set of the nomination papers, and again when you personally drop the papers off.
-          Offer to display a lawn sign at your home.  Candidates for the State Assembly and State Senate are delighted by requests for lawn signs.  You can then meet with your candidates again when you pick up the sign, or when he/she drops it off to your home.
One can be politically active without committing a lot of time (or money) to the effort.  Rather, a little bit of activity every-so-often is recognized and appreciated by candidates.  Make a commitment to yourself to do your small part to make participatory democracy serve the public interest!

Another Wisconsin Assembly Retirement


Link to May 8 Green Bay Post Gazette article, "Rep. Phil Montgomery to retire from state Assembly".

Excerpt:   Montgomery, R-Ashwaubenon, has represented the 4th Assembly District since 1998. He would have been up for re-election this fall.

Montgomery, 52, did not rule out running for another office or taking on some other political involvement, but said he has no immediate plans.

Meanwhile, Sam Dunlop, a former De Pere alderman who ran against Montgomery in 2008, expressed interest in the post.

"I respect Phil for his long years of service, and I look forward to going out and talking to people in the district to discuss challenges and how we could work together to meet them," Dunlop said Friday.

The district traditionally has been Republican, said Vern Krawczyk, chairman of the Brown County Republican Party, and he expects potential candidates to start coming forward
.


Thanks to WLA Lobbyist Tony Driessen for providing the following summary.  (There will be a lot of new faces in the 2011-13 Legislature.  Opportunities abound.)

Who isn't seeking re-election to the Wisconsin State Legislature in 2010.

SUMMARY:
16 members of the Assembly – 10 Republicans, 5 Democrats, and 1 Independent.
3 members of the Senate -- 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat.

ASSEMBLY:
Rep. Chuck Benedict (D-Beloit) announced his retirement on April 14, 2010.
Rep. Brett Davis (R-Oregon) announced on February 22, 2010, that he is running for Lt. Governor.
Rep. Don Friske (R-Merrill) announced his retirement on March 5, 2010.
Rep. Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin) will take office as a Circuit Court Judge for Waukesha County on August 1, 2010.
Rep. Steve Hilgenberg (D-Dodgeville) announced his retirement on April 23, 2010.
Rep. Mary Hubler (D-Rice Lake) announced her retirement on May 3, 2010.
Rep. Tom Lothian (R-Williams Bay) announced his retirement on March 4, 2010.
Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon) announced his retirements on May 7, 2010.
Rep. Thomas Nelson (D-Kaukauna) filed to run for Lt. Governor on April 27, 2010.
Rep. Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson) announced her retirement on March 17, 2010.
Rep. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) announced on December 1, 2009, that he will run against US Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wisconsin).
Rep. Gary Sherman (D-Port Wing) resigned from the Assembly on April 30, 2010, after being appointed by Governor Doyle to fill a vacancy on the Court of Appeals for the 4th District, which is based in Madison. It is unlikely that a Special Election will be held to pick his successor, so the office will be filled instead at the November election.
Rep. John Townsend (R-Fond du Lac) has announced that he will retire.
Rep. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) is running against Sen. Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa).
Rep. Jeff Wood (I-Chippewa Falls) has announced that he will retire.
Rep. Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) is running for the 33rd Senate District seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield).

SENATE:
Sen. Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) announced his retirement on January 25, 2010.
Sen. Alan Lasee (R-De Pere) announced his retirement on January 11, 2010.
Sen. Judy Robson (D-Beloit) announced her retirement on January 27, 2010

David Obey: Congressional Seniority Has Its Perks


Take a look at the record.  (From the biography on his website.)

Dave is the only Democratic Member of the House to have served on the three major economic committees in the Congress:

The Budget Committee, on which his six-year service included chairing the Task Force on Worker Productivity.

The Joint Economic Committee, which conducts long-term analysis of trends in the economy.  Dave served two terms as Chair of the Committee.  During that time, he and Senator Paul Sarbanes co-edited a book, The Changing American Economy, which was a result of a Committee-sponsored symposium on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Full Employment Act of 1946.

The Committee on Appropriations, which makes funding decisions on every discretionary program in the federal budget.  Dave is the Chairman of the Committee.  In that capacity, he serves as a member of all twelve Appropriations Subcommittees, listed below:

  • Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Admin. and Related Agencies
  • Defense 
  • Energy and Water Development
  • Financial Services and General Government
  • Homeland Security
  • Interior, Environment and Related Agencies 
  • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
  • Legislative Branch
  • Military Construction, Veterans Administration, and Related Agencies
  • Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies 
  • State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies 
  • Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

Link to May 8 Stevens Point Journal article,"Obey's influence on Central Wisconsin incalculable".

Excerpt:    Hundreds of millions. Maybe billions.

No one, not even Dave Obey himself, has calculated how much federal money the congressman has brought home to the 7th District.

One thing is certain: One cannot live in or drive through any of the major cities in this sprawling district without being affected in some way by an Obey-funded project.

As a senior member of the House and chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Obey had enormous influence on how and where federal money was spent. The cash went for everything from building rural dental clinics to expanding Interstate 39 to paying for school and college programs.

White Pages: The Slow March to Extinction Continues

Link to May 8 New York Times article, "White Pages May Go the Way of the Rotary-Dialed Phone".

Excerpt: Verizon hopes that regulators will waive the requirement that it deliver White Pages to all New Yorkers before the end of the year, said John Bonomo, a company spokesman. He said he did not know how many copies of the White Pages were distributed annually, but said the total was in the millions in New York City alone.

James Denn, a spokesman for the state’s Public Service Commission, said that it had not received a similar petition from any other phone service provider.

Verizon has a similar request before regulators in New Jersey, Mr. Bonomo said. In some states, including Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma and Georgia, AT&T has already received approval to stop delivering White Pages to all residents.

But Mr. Cassel, whose group’s causes include reducing the production of unwanted telephone directories, said AT&T had withdrawn a proposal to end annual distribution in North Carolina after advocates for the elderly complained that some people might lose contact with friends and neighbors if they did not receive updated directories
.

But we'll still be able to let our fingers do the walking through the yellow pages.


Related article.
White pages disappearing from Racine area phone book.  (1/28/2010)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Library Budget Cutting Fever Crosses the East River

Just announced: Mayor's Budget Proposes $36,000,000 Cut to New York Public Library.





Brooklyn library faces cutbacks.  (WABC-TV)

Storytimes: Soon a Thing of the Past?

Wonders the Library Enquirer.


Women blame BlackBerrys and iPhones for poor sex life.

10% of Under 25s Think It’s OK to Text During Sex.

Mayor's Budget Proposes $36,000,000 Cut to New York Public Library


Link to 2009 NYPL annual report.

New Jersey Rally Protests State Cuts to Library Funding


Link to May 6 nj.com article, "Hundreds of N.J. librarians protest $10.4M proposed budget cuts".

Excerpt Hundreds of librarians protested a $10.4 million proposed budget cut at the Statehouse Annex today, being far from quiet as they told story after story about the value of book sharing.

"There’s no shushing," said Pat Massey of Edison, president of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians and a South Plainfield school librarian who took a personal day to attend the rally.

Under Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed $29.3 billion budget for fiscal 2011, the state’s libraries would lose 74 percent of their funding with a cut from $14 million to $3.6 million. The loss of state funds also would cost at least $4.5 million in federal matching funds.

Related articles:  
Today is rally day.  (5/6/2010)

Speculation on Democratic Candidates for Obey's Seat

Link to May 7 Wausau Daily Herald, "Decker could try for Obey's seat".

Excerpt: A Democratic leader in the 7th Congressional District pegs state Sen. Russ Decker of Weston as one of the party's top three candidates to seek the U.S. House seat that Dave Obey is leaving after 41 years.

Gary Hawley of Stevens Point, the district's representative and co-chairman of the Portage County Democratic Party, said Thursday that Decker and fellow state Sen. Pat Kreitlow of Chippewa Falls, as well as former Sen. Kevin Shibilski of Stevens Point, were top hopefuls in his view
.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cedar Rapids Public Library Staff Looking at the Best for Design Ideas

Link to May 6 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "Library staff visit libraries across the country for ideas".

Excerpt: Staff from the Cedar Rapids Public Library have been visiting libraries across the country to get ideas for the new library.

What they’re finding is in line with the kind of library we described in The Gazette in a February story about the future library.

Library staff have visited the Darien, Conn., library, and a series of libraries around Denver. Next week they go to Springfield, Mo. The trips are paid for by The Library Foundation.

“We made a proposal that we wanted to look at the best libraries in the country for ideas,” Library Director Bob Pasicznyuk said. “They granted us the money for the trip.


Related articles:
For sale, old library, needs work.  (4/9/2010)
Site Selection Raises Ethics Concerns.  (2/9/2010)
Cedar Rapids Library Board to Recommend Site for New Library. (01/26/2010)
FEMA Reconsiders, Decides Library Provides an Essential Service. (12/24/2009)
Hide and Seek: Downtown Cedar Rapids Satellite Branch Library. (11/30/2009)
Early Days of Cedar Rapids Public Library. (11/20/2009)

Flathead Beacon Profiles Karl Gharst, Nazi Film Festival Promoter


Link to May 5 Flathead Beacon article, "Nazi Films Inflame Tensions in Kalispell".

Excerpt: Gharst is a former resident of Hayden, Idaho, and was involved in the neo-Nazi group, Aryan Nations. In 2003 he unsuccessfully ran for city council there with two other Aryan Nations candidates.

In 2004, Gharst was convicted in Flathead County District Court and served five months for threatening a social worker with the Department of Public Health and Human Services. According to the criminal complaint, Gharst called the woman a “wild savage from the Flathead Indian Reservation.” He also told a DPHHS worker he was forming a group in Kalispell to “gather up all the lesbians and mongrels and evil people.”

“All white people are kings and you are still a greasy turd colored mongrel, a corruption, a racial hybrid, something God didn’t create and he is about to take care of business,” Gharst is alleged to have said to the social worker.

As for the demonstrators, Gharst said they would not dissuade him from showing more films and that he planned to screen a movie May 29 titled, “The Truth Behind the Gates of Auschwitz.
”  (Available for viewing at Google videos.  The first 3 1/2 minutes is a narrative crawl, literally and figuratively.  It's at 1:21 where "the consensus ends" and the rewriting of history begins.)

Related article:
Beautiful Kalispell site of ugly protest.  (5/2/2010)

College in a Nutskull: Good for a Few Laughs

And as the author points out in the interview, not all of these malapropisms are new.  Some are culled from papers and exams dating back to the 1970s.  So, my fellow baby boomers, we better not get too smug here.
April 20 (Lehighton, PA)Times News book review.
May 1 Bermudaonion's Weblog post.
May 2 5 Minutes for Books blogpost.

Addressing the Use of Electronic Devices by Elected Officials During Meetings

Link to May 6 San Jose Mercury News article, "Tweet sparks debate over electronic device policy in San Carlos".

Excerpt:   With the rapid proliferation of technology like the iPhone, BlackBerry and laptops, governments are grappling with how technology and policy making can coexist.

The San Jose City Council passed a policy in March requiring council members to disclose e-mails and text messages received by lobbyists during meetings. And in Sacramento, state Assembly Speaker John Perez is trying to ban texting from lobbyists to lawmakers during meetings.

Ahmad said he doesn't oppose a policy on electronic devices or messaging during meetings, unless it outlaws his laptop. He brings the computer to meetings to take notes, access city staff reports, look up maps or definitions online, and plug budget numbers into spreadsheets
.

Smart Politics on David Obey's 41 Years in Congress


Link to May 6 Smart Politics blogpost, "David Obey's Exit and the Badger State Congressmen Who Left Before Him".

Excerpt:   He entered Congress the youngest member of the U.S. House and he will exit Congress as the longest-serving member of Congress in Wisconsin history.

David Obey, the third longest serving member in the U.S. House, announced on Wednesday that he would not seek a 22nd term serving Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.

The decision puts yet another Democratic seat in jeopardy and opens up a prestigious chairmanship (the Appropriations Committee) regardless of which party wins control of the U.S. House this November.

Obey first came to D.C. via a special election on April 1, 1969 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Republican Melvin Laird to become U.S. Secretary of Defense
.

Link to "Obey Timeline" in May 6 Wausau Daily Herald.

Today is Rally Day for New Jersey Library Advocates

Link to Save My NJ Library rally announcement

Related articles:  

Pew Research Examines the Demographics of American Motherhood

Photo source:  Multnomah County Library
Storytime Photo Album

Link to May 6 Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends report, "The New Demography of American Motherhood".

Excerpt: Among the key findings of this report:
  • Age: Mothers of newborns are older now than their counterparts were two decades ago. In 1990, teens had a higher share of all births (13%) than did women ages 35 and older (9%). In 2008, the reverse was true -- 10% of births were to teens, compared with 14% to women ages 35 and older. Each race and ethnic group had a higher share of mothers of newborns in 2008 who are ages 35 and older, and a lower share who are teens, than in 1990.
  • Marital Status: A record four-in-ten births (41%) were to unmarried women in 2008, including most births to women in their early 20s. In 1990, 28% of births were to unmarried women. The unmarried-mother share of births has increased most sharply for whites and Hispanics, although the highest share is for black women.
  • Race and Ethnicity: White women made up 53% of mothers of newborns in 2008, down from 65% in 1990. The share of births to Hispanic women has grown dramatically, to one-in-four.
  • Education: Most mothers of newborns (54%) had at least some college education in 2006, an increase from 41% in 1990. Among mothers of newborns who were ages 35 and older, 71% had at least some college education.
  • Explaining the Trends: All the trends cited above reflect a complex mix of demographic and behavioral factors. For example, the higher share of college-educated mothers stems both from their rising birth rates and from women's increasing educational attainment. The rise in births to unmarried women reflects both their rising birth rates and the shrinking share of adults who are married.
  • Attitudes about Parenthood: When asked why they decided to have their first (or only) child, the overwhelming majority of parents (87%) answer, "The joy of having children." But nearly half (47%) also say, "There wasn't a reason; it just happened."

Newsweeklies Struggle to Adjust to Changing Media Environment

44 years ago

Link to May 6 New York Times article, "As Newsweek Goes on Block, An Era Fades".

Excerpt:   The circulations of Time and Newsweek now stand about where they were in 1966, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

“Those magazines had much more stature in those days,” said Edward Kosner, who began at Newsweek in 1963 and was its editor in the late 1970s. “It was really important what was on the cover of Newsweek and what was on the cover of Time because it was what passed for the national press. They helped set the agenda; they helped make reputations.”

“The era of mass is over, in some respect,” said Charles Whitaker, research chairman in magazine journalism at the Northwestern University school of journalism. “The newsweeklies, for so long, have tried to be all things to all people, and that’s just not going to cut it in this highly niche, politically polarized, media-stratified environment that we live in today.


Not going to cut it?  Statement confirmed.

Laconia High School Students to Get Netbooks


Link to May 6 Fond du Lac Reporter article.

Excerpt:   Beginning this fall, all students at Laconia High School will have access to their own personal laptops.

The Rosendale-Brandon Board of Education recently approved implementation of a 1 to 1 computing program called Netbooks@Laconia.

The leasing program will equip each student with their own Netbook, which is a smaller version of a laptop, said John Saecker, the district's technology director.

Teens will take their Netbooks home with them at night and during the summer.

The program is meant to address the "digital divide" in which not all students have a computer connected to broadband Internet access, Saecker said.

"The mission of the school district 'small school values, large school opportunities' was reflected in the School Board's decision," Saecker said.

The district will purchase about 320 Netbooks for students using technology funds and available federal stimulus money earmarked for technology enhancement in schools
.