Saturday, June 11, 2011

So....what is this thing called an "Extraordinary Session"?




Page 7.
If the extraordinary session takes place before the conclusion of the final general floorperiod, the legislature is free to introduce new bills or consider previously introduced bills.

Retiring Guy smells some mischief in the making.

Extraordinary sessions 1977-1998.  (The list reproduced below is not current, but a reliable source tells me that this rule has rarely, if ever, been used to consider the budget.)

LATE BREAKING BULLETIN: Sean Duffy Switches Parties

As noted in the Duluth News Tribune.

Having some fun at a typo's expense.

For the Wisconsin GOP, It's All About Exclusivity



Genealogy Center @ the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana


Fill in the gaps of your family history in Fort Wayne. (Chicago Tribune, 6/10/2011)

Excerpt:
  Family historian Barbara Moorhouse's most thrilling moment was opening an oversize book of old maps at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Like many modern, tech-savvy amateur genealogists, Moorhouse has been able to do most of her research online. But finding and "actually holding" a book of old county plats, one marked with a family name, was special in a way that cannot be duplicated by computer, she says.

"I have yet to visit a county courthouse," the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., resident admits of a once-necessary stop.

The book is part of the library's Genealogy Center, the nation's largest public genealogy collection.

One of the nation's most complete and important family history research sites, the facility draws visitors from across the country. It is open seven days a week from September through May, closed Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Its location makes it easy for Midwesterners to fill in a branch on the family tree as part of an affordable getaway weekend.

The collection has 1 million textual items and access to millions more, all free to visitors. It includes census records, military records dating to the 1700s, National Archives passenger lists and indexes covering 163 ports of entry on microfilm. It has one of the largest collections of city directories in the country and the largest English-language genealogy and local history periodical collection in the world, with more than 10,000 titles. In addition, the center has access to important national and international genealogy databases
.

200th Anniversary of the Birthday of Harriet Beecher Stowe


Happy 200th To Harriet Beecher Stowe. (Hartford Courant, 6/9/2011)

I've haven't read Uncle Tom's Cabin -- never had the inclination to do so -- but now I'm curious to experience the book first-hand, via audio.  Or, at least, give it a shot.  Years ago, once I started a book, I remained determined to finish it.  Which is why I rarely made rash decisions about what to read.  I'm still a very thorough browser, in an older sense of the word.

Teachers "Give Back" to Waupaca Library


Teachers, district present gift to library. (Waupaca County Post, 6/8/2011)

Excerpt:   The children's department at the Waupaca Area Public Library will soon have a new piece of equipment.

Thanks to a $1,347 donation, the department is purchasing an Elmo Visual Presenter.

Children's librarian Sue Abrahamson hopes to have it by the end of summer.

"It works like an overhead projector. You put a book or a picture you want projected on the wall. It captures that. It's very portable," she said.

The monetary donation came from the Waupaca School District and from staff members at Waupaca Learning Center (WLC).

Each year, the district gives plaques to the teachers who are retiring.

This year, many of the teachers retiring from WLC felt they did not need a plaque. Instead, they wanted the money that would have been spent on plaques to be donated to the community's public library, specifically for the children's department.

"I guess I thought about the library because I wanted to give back," said Joan Taylor
.

Surveys Say: Wisconsin Residents Opposed to Concealed Carry



Possible caveat:  Third Eye Strategies provides strategic guidance to elect Democratic candidates and to help nonprofit organizations advance progressive policies through Congress, state legislatures, and ballot initiative campaigns.


On the other hand, a survey sponsored by the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families (WCCF) produced similar results.  WCCF is a private, non-profit organization that focuses on research, policy development and advocacy on multiple issues affecting children, youth and families in Wisconsi

As does this poll from the University of Wisconsin Survey Center.

Rep. Molepske's Statement on WiscNet



Related WiscNet posts:

Wisconsin Grocers Association Have Friends on Joint Finance

Hard at work

GOP set to roll back child labor laws. (Capital Times, 6/11/2011)

Excerpt:   Just in time for the long summer break, the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to vote this week on a proposal that would roll back the state’s child labor laws. The move would expand the number of hours 16- and 17-year-olds could work in any given week and on any given day, essentially treating them no differently than adults in the eyes of the law.

The proposed changes — pushed by the Wisconsin Grocers Association — were included in a lengthy motion authored by Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and approved along party lines June 3 by the panel. They never received a public hearing and are now part of the proposed biennial state budget
.

Friday, June 10, 2011

If you build it, they will come (and maybe find it closed)


Troubling economic readings won't deter Fulton library construction. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/10/2011)

Excerpt: Three years ago, before the depths of the current economic downturn could be fully envisioned, Fulton County voters approved the most expensive library construction program in state history.

Now, as it’s preparing to launch that $275 million construction program -- which will build eight new libraries, fund at least half the cost of a new Central Library and touch every existing branch through consolidations, expansions and renovations -- the county has no plan for raising the estimated $8 million a year needed to keep the lights on and the checkout counters staffed once the new branches are built.

NRA Political Victory Fund Campaign Contributions in 2010 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election

Concealed carry? It's a done deal.  (Just in case you're wondering if money still talks.)


Scott Walker:  $147,992.35
Tom Barrett:  $767.81

COLAND Letter to Sen Scott Fitzgerald



Related WiscNet posts:
Rhonda Puntney's op-ed piece.  (6/10/2011)
Nass letter to Fitzgerald and Vos.  (6/9/2011)
CINC response.  (6/9/2011)
UW response.  (6/9/2011)
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

Governor Walker Must Think We're Not Paying Attention

Walker says agencies must work together to solve skilled labor shortage. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 6/9/2011)

Excerpt: The governor said K-12 education and technical colleges must provide training that aligns with the needs of regional employers, not specific employers. The mind set of parents and young people also needs to change so they realize "there are many ways to earn a living," including well-paying manufacturing jobs, he said.

"We want those kids here; those opportunities and jobs here.
"



Wisconsin Senate Bill 93 (Concealed Carry)


New gun bill requires permits, training.. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 6/9/2011)

Excerpt: People could carry concealed guns if they get training and permits under a bill a key committee approved Thursday, after Republicans stepped away from a proposal allowing guns without permits that earlier stirred controversy.  [Link to bill's history.]

The Joint Finance Committee passed the new version of the bill 12-4, with all Republicans voting for it and all Democrats voting against it. The Senate will take it up Tuesday.

The state Department of Justice would have to issue permits to state residents 21 or over who get training and clear background checks that showed they were not felons or otherwise prohibited from carrying guns.

The committee's vote is a sign lawmakers will change the state's concealed weapons law soon, but it is also a setback for those who sought a more dramatic rollback of the state's gun laws. They had pushed for allowing Wisconsin to join the ranks of four states that allow "constitutional carry" - giving people the ability to carry hidden guns without having to get permits or training.

Wisconsin and Illinois are the only two states with outright bans on carrying concealed weapons, and gun rights advocates have long tried to overturn Wisconsin's ban.

Republicans said the measure was essential to allow people to protect themselves. Democrats said Thursday's changes improved the bill but did not go far enough.

United Nations Declares Internet Access a Human Right

Thanks to Paula Kiely for sharing this post -- and for introducing me to what looks to be a "must-read" website.  Just added it to my Reader feed.


UN Declares Internet Access a Human Right. What Does This Really Mean? (Good, 6/10/2011)

Excerpt: So what does this declaration from the UN actually mean? The report concentrates on instituting policies protecting the right to assert oneself freely online, but is the UN pushing nations to provide more public WiFi access, as New York did this week? Or better facilities in libraries? It should. It's not enough for governments to refrain from actively denying people use of the Internet. They also have to help democratize its usage. The good news is that the 2010 Census data on Broadband usage (or lack thereof) is pushing the federal government to initiate more programs expanding access to rural areas.  ]Emphasis added.]

WLA President Rhonda Puntney's Op-Ed Piece in Capital Times


Rhonda Puntney: Crippling WiscNet would hurt libraries and schools. (Capital Times, 6/10/2011)

Excerpt: The proposed changes to WiscNet could result in schools, libraries and institutions of higher education paying two to three times more for Internet access from for-profit providers. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that taxpayers would foot the increased bill, or library patrons and students would no longer have the access they need and want. The policy changes would also disrupt the ability of the UW to pursue its research and education mission.

It seems helpful first to define WiscNet and BadgerNet, since confusion exists about the difference between the two and how they would be affected by these policy changes. In simplest terms, BadgerNet is a public-private partnership that provides the wide area network, Internet transport, video applications and network services throughout the state. It is the pipeline.
[Emphasis added.]

WiscNet is one of the Internet service providers (ISPs) from which BadgerNet customers can choose. It provides what flows through the pipeline. WiscNet was created in 1990 by the UW, long before most telephone companies could even be called ISPs. In fact, one could say that WiscNet brought the Internet to Wisconsin. WiscNet has become the ISP of choice for 450 educational and community institutions: All public institutions of higher education, 95 percent of public libraries and 80 percent of schools currently use WiscNet.

Related WiscNet posts:
Nass letter to Fitzgerald and Vos.  (6/9/2011)
CINC response.  (6/9/2011)
UW response.  (6/9/2011)
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

"Last-Minute" an Apt Description of Wisconsin's 2011-13 Budget


Chalkboard: Green Bay superintendent blasts 11th hour deal on vouchers. (Capital Times, 6/10/2011)

Excerpt:  According to Maass, there has been no significant pressure from the community to offer a voucher program in his school district. He cites Green Bay's rising test scores, rising graduation rates and school reform efforts that include strong public/private collaborations and innovative new programs as evidence that the public schools are working hard, and well, to meet the needs of students and their families.

"In three years as superintendent I have not had a single conversation with anyone, including principals at the private and parochial schools, who has indicated there is any organized interest in developing a voucher program for our district," Maas says.

Maass, who is leaving Green Bay to take a position in Massachusetts at the end of the month, says he was surprised when he heard Gov. Scott Walker say in a May 9 speech in Washington, D.C. that vouchers should be extended to parents in Green Bay. In his speech, Walker also talked about expanding the long-established voucher program in Milwaukee that was developed to give low-income families educational options. Walker also suggested that the voucher program should be expanded to Racine and Beloi
t.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kelda Helen Roys Smells Bacon


Curiouser and Curiouser: Rep. Nass' Letter to Reps. Fitzgerald and Voss



June 9, 2011


Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald
Room 211 West
State Capitol

Representative Robin Vos
Co-Chair, Joint Finance Committee
Room 309 East
State Capitol

Dear Speaker Fitzgerald and Representative Vos:

I am writing to ask your support in altering the telecommunication provisions of the omnibus motion on the UW System (Joint Finance Motion 489).  
Specifically, items 23 through 26 are provisions that will have unintended consequences of both a policy and fiscal nature.
The Legislature needs more time and information to make an informed decision on this complex telecommunications issue.  
I am recommending the following:
1.) Remove the provisions incorporated in items 23 through 26 of Joint Finance Motion 489.

2.) Amend the budget to include a 180 day prohibition on the UW System expending any revenues associated with the Building Community Capacity through Broadband (BCCB) Grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

3.) Request an official opinion from the Wisconsin Attorney General on whether state statute 36.11 (49) prohibits the activities of the UW System in regards to “WiscNet” and the BCCB Grant expenditures.

I believe this alternative will allow us to gain a better understanding of all the issues involved, especially the legal concerns raised by the telecommunications industry.  
Additionally, the 180 day period would provide an opportunity for serious dialogue between representatives of the UW System and the private sector telecommunications industry.
I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,



Steve NassState Representative
Chair, Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee 


[RG comment:  Looks like we'll need to educate Van Hollen, not exactly Mr. Fair N. Impartial, if Fitzgerald and Vos decide to address Nass' concerns.]


Related WiscNet posts:
CINC response.  (6/9/2011)
UW response.  (6/9/2011)
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

The Chippewa Valley Inter-Networking Consortium on the Value of WiscNet


Related WiscNet posts:
UW response.  (6/9/2011)
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

Kids and Digital Media, by Age of Child


Young Children Consuming More Digital Media.  (eMarketer, 6/9/2011)

Opener:  While children under age 10 still spend most of their media time watching television, they are increasingly being exposed to and growing more savvy at using a variety of digital channels.

Related article:
Where are the children? (7/7/2009)

UW Response: WiscNet Doesn't Duplicate BadgerNet, It Complements BadgerNet


Related WiscNet posts:
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

Library Director Position Available @ the Amery Area Public Library


LIBRARY DIRECTOR
AMERY, WISCONSIN

The Amery Area Public Library seeks an experienced and energetic leader to direct the operations of their library. Having recently moved into a new multipurpose facility the library wants to enhance its programming and services to the community. The library will be joining the MORE system in 2011 and is part of the Indianhead Federated Library System.

The library serves a community of 2,900 in northwestern Wisconsin. The city is situated on 3 lakes and the Apple River and the surrounding area is home to excellent year-round recreational opportunities, from swimming and fishing to snowmobiling, ATV riding, hiking, cross country skiing and much more. We are proud of our excellent school system and state-of-the-art medical center. Amery is home to the Northern Lakes Center for the Arts, a community theatre group and a variety of art studios. We are located just an hour from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Responsibilities: The Library Director reports to a 7-member Board of Trustees and is responsible for the overall management of the library. Essential duties include building and maintaining our collection, managing the library budget, supervising the library staff, and promoting the library within the City of Amery and the surrounding area.

Qualifications: Candidates must be eligible for Wisconsin Grade II certification. Three years of library experience is required. Library administration experience and a Library Master’s Degree are preferred. The ideal candidate shall also possess excellent interpersonal skills; the ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with their staff, the Board, the City of Amery and community organizations. Knowledge of current library practices, technology and trends is required.

Compensation: Starting salary range is $34,000-$40,000 with excellent benefits.

Please email your resume and cover letter by June 30, 2011 to Library Search Committee at directorsearch@amerylibrary.org

Oh My Surprise: WMC In Sync with Walker Administration

Link to news release.


But let's take a look at question #18:  Are you having trouble hiring employees?

In 2010, 18% of WMC members who responded to the survey said "yes".
In 2011, 39% of WMC members who responded to the survey said "yes".

Most frequently cited reason:  Lack of qualified applicants.

OK, let's see now.  




This is how we keep Wisconsin "open for business"?


Ernie Harwell Memoribilia @ the Detroit Public Library, Locked Away and Inaccessible



Harwell's memorabilia put at risk by Detroit library. (Detroit News, 6/9/2011)

Excerpt:  The doors are locked and the lights are usually off where the Detroit Public Library houses Ernie Harwell's life passion.

The beloved broadcaster built a collection of baseball memorabilia over his 68-year career worth $4 million and believed to be the second largest to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

He entrusted it to the library and dreamed that one day his legacy would become a destination. But 10 months after he died at 92 last year, library executives have laid off the primary caretaker of his collection, further limiting access to the appointment-only exhibit that saw only 500 visitors last year.



Now, historians and Harwell confidantes worry his collection may be at risk in a system plagued with accusations of mismanagement and overspending.

"It's a disaster," said John King, the owner of John K. King Used & Rare Books. "I am worried they are just continuing the destruction of the library because they aren't taking care of the collections. We are going to lose this history


.

Related articles:
Library commission aism high.  (5/25/2011)
Library u-turn:  no branch closures, no layoffs.  (5/21/2011)
The next thing you know..... (5/20/2011)
My boss has a 2010 Buick LaCrosse....   (5/19/2011)
Detroit Public Library revised its math.  (5/17/2011)
Detroit Public Library does the math....incorrectly.  (5/14/2011)
Residents speak up against branch closings.  (5/8/2011)
The library takes a page from the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.  (5/7/2011)
The news just keeps getting worse. (5/6/2011)
The Detroit Public Library needs some good news (and this isn't it).  (5/5/2011)
Rainy day fund keeps fewer branches from closing.  (4/29/2011)
Proposal to close 18 of 23 Detroit branches sparks anger. (4/22/2011)
Few expenses spared in South Wing remodeling of library.  (4/22/2011)
Downward spiral.  (4/16/2011)
Library reduces staff by 20%. (3/4/2011)
Budget woes. (2/5/2011)

Twin Lakes Gets Its Opinion It Won't Be Bound By



State DPI recommends against separate Twin Lakes library. (West of the I, 6/6/2011)

Excerpt:   The opinion, rendered by Mike Cross, DPI director of Public Library Development, was a required part of Twin Lakes investigating a separation from the five municipality Community Library system. Village officials have been dissatisfied with programing and financial issues regarding the joint library and have been seriously considering a separation since last year.

In his opinion, Cross says the library operational plan submitted to the DPI by the village showed the new library would be deficient compared to other libraries in the state serving similar population sizes. The village received the written opinion last week. The opinion said Twin Lakes’ proposed staffing, hours of operation per week and materials expenditures were below the established basic level for library services
.

Community Library in the news:
Mike Faber on Silver Lake Branch Library:  Use it or lose it.  (5/10/2011)
Twin Lakes committee asks for opinion it won't be bound by.  (4/15/2011)
Twin Lakes village board should also consider a review of 43.52 (1m).  (3/20/2011)
Municipalities discuss contract changes.  (1/20/2011)
Twin Lakes to stay in Community Library.  (11/23/2010)
More library disagreements.  (11/13/2010)
Stakeholders agree to postpone to disagree.  (10/22/2010)
DWD Equal Rights Division:  No discrimination on Community Library case.  (10/18/2010)
Need for more space at Twin Lakes/Randall Branch of Community Library.  (8/23/2010)
More disagreements at Community Library.  (5/25/2010)
Maggie Rivals Dewey for Attention.  (5/24/2010)
Board Member Raises Objections to Library Cat.  (5/9/2010)
New Director Hired.  (4/20/2010)
A Library Board Appointment Not According to Hoyle.  (4/13/2010)
Former Library Director Sues for Wages after Firing.  (3/16/2010)
Position Announcement:  Library Executive Director, Community Library, Salem, Wisconsin.  (2/5/2010)
Former Director of Community Library: From Demotion to Dismissal. (1/29/2010)
 Community Library Board Member Wields Machete to Address $1,000 Deficit. (12/06/2009)
New Community Library Representative to Wilmot School Board
. (11/11/2009)
Demoted director to fight for job
. (10/30/2009)
Library Board confirms interim director. (10/27/2009)
Community Library Soap Opera Continues
. (10/23/2009)
Community Library Update: "What we have here is...failure to communicate. (10/09/2009)
Community Library Board of Trustees: Riding Roughshod? (10/01/2009)
Library Board's "Positive Direction" Takes an Immediate Detour. (9/30/2009)
West county library group under fire. (1/29/2009)

Beloit and Janesville Target "Little Kingdoms and Fiefdoms"



Beloit, Janesville councils meet, discuss collaboration. (Janesville Gazette, 6/8/2011)

Excerpt;  Beloit and Janesville city council members said Rock County’s two largest cities must work together to save money, and that means getting rid of the “little kingdoms and fiefdoms.”

Council members gathered Tuesday for a meeting that Beloit President Kevin Leavy said was “a long time coming.”

The cities face the same struggles and challenges, and it is time to sit down at a table and have a discussion on how best to help one another, Leavy said.

The councils decided to:
-- Inventory what each city does.
-- Inventory major equipment to see if any can be purchased and used jointly.
-- Bring division heads together to discuss ways to share.
-- Consider collaborating on purchasing, although Beloit Manager Larry Arft said Beloit already probably gets the best prices by bidding through the state.

Beloit and Janesville collaborate on programs such as the county’s emergency call center and neighborhood and housing initiatives, saving on administrative costs.

Challenges of Joint Library Funding and Governance


Library hires consultant to address issues. (Hudson Star-Observer, 5/18/2011)

Excerpt:  Among the items on the table are a capital campaign for ultimately purchasing the building in which the library is located. The structure is currently owned by the city of Hudson. In addition, however, the library must find a path for raising more funds for operations and getting a “fairer” share of tax revenue.

“Right now we (the volunteer Library Board) are flying the airplane and we’re running low on fuel,” Howard said about the library’s financial situation.

The funding issue, however, is very complex. First, the library involves four municipalities (city of Hudson, village of North Hudson and the towns of Hudson and St. Joseph). That makes any decision much more difficult and efforts to increase tax funding very difficult; all four municipalities become involved in basic decisions. Secondly, regardless of where funding comes from, the library is operating far below basic funding levels.

“The Hudson Library is in the bottom 10 percent per capita of funding in the state of Wisconsin,” said Hudson Library Board Trustee Dave Smith. “I don’t believe we are a ‘bottom 10 percent’ community. Part of what the consultant will do is hopefully raise the community’s awareness level. The public has to see the situation.


Letter:  Support library.  (6/3/2011)
Letter:  Corrects writer.  (6/3/2011)
Letter:  Unhappy with library.  (5/27/2011)

Related articles:
Library begins strategic planning process.  (1/17/2011)  
Joint library budget dance.  (10/18/2010)
Library president envisions new library as community center, first-class facility. (8/9/2010)
New library should open in June.  (3/29/2010)
Library, police remodeling plans approved.  (2/18/2010)
Rep. Kind News Release: Hudson Library Receives Grant. (1/29/2010)
Hudson City Council has concerns about library floor plan. (1/28/2010)
Hudson Board Approves Plan for New Library. (1/14/2010)
Hudson Area Joint Library Board Approves Lease Agreement. (12/16/2009)
Hudson City Council Purchases Building for Shared Library/Police Facility. (12/10/2009)
Interview with Hudson Mayor Dean Knudson. (11/12/2009)
Hudson City Council Plans to Buy Building for Possible Police/Library Facility. (10/22/2009)
Bursting at the Seams. (3/31/2009)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Pentagon Papers 40 Years Later


After 40 Years, the Complete Pentagon Papers. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 6/8/2011)

Excerpt:   When Mr. Ellsberg first leaked the study, he had to take it volume by volume out of a safe in his office and ferry it to a small advertising company owned by the girlfriend of a colleague who had Xerox machine. Page by page, they copied it in all-night sessions. Now the National Archives and Records Administration will scan it and — behold — it will be online quickly.

Leslie H. Gelb, the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, who was the director of the task force that wrote the report, said he was surprised it had remained officially classified all these years, after so much of it had been made public. “It should have been declassified a long, long time ago,” he said.

But the secrecy has persisted. Timothy Naftali, the director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, said that when he recently put together an exhibit on Watergate, he wanted to display just the blue cover of the Pentagon Papers report. “I was told that the cover was classified,” he said, adding that he was astounded.

In case you need a reminder as to why the Republicans are going after Labor


Man Survives Second-Story Fall @ the Bangor Public Library


Police: Man who fell from Bangor Public Library window was hallucinating. Bangor Daily News, 6/8/2011.

Excerpt:  A man who fell or jumped from a second story window at Bangor Public Library on Tuesday afternoon was not severely injured in the fall, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Bangor man has a history of mental illness and reportedly was hallucinating, “perhaps brought on by some sort of drug intake,” he said. “No one saw him jump. No one saw him fall. There were no broken bones.”

Police and an ambulance were called to the library at 1 p.m. and the man was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center.

“The rumor was he was running from the cops and ran through the library and jumped out the window — that is not true,” Edwards said
.



Which brings us to.....

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 56, Santa Clarita Public Library)


FYI: Climate Change in the American Mind


Manna from Heaven: Access Wisconsin Point/Countertpoint


Access Wisconsin statement:  The UW created WiscNet despite a statutory prohibition and staffs it with $1.4 million per year in UW-Madison employees. 
Counterpoint:  WiscNet was created by the UW in 1990.  Any possible statutory prohibitions did not pass the legislature until fifteen years later (July 2005).  The $1.4 million is funding that WiscNet pays to the UW for technical support.  It is NOT a UW subsidy to WiscNet.  (Sidebar:  WiscNet has been providing Internet access and related services long before most telephone companies even heard of the Internet.)   

Access Wisconsin statement:  Nothing in the Jt. Finance action prevents the UW from meeting its own telecommunication needs.
Counterpoint:  Point #25 in the Jt. Finance Committee action clearly prevents the UW from being a member or partner with any other entity that provides telecommunications services or information services.  Taken at face value, this prevents the UW from even having basic Internet access or  access to advanced research networks, like Internet2.   

Access Wisconsin statement:   Taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize a government agency such as UW-Extension to duplicate and compete with our services.
Counterpoint:  Access Wisconsin members and other telecommunication carriers in the state already get a subsidy of over $90 million annually in taxpayer money from the federal Universal Service program. Evidently a taxpayer subsidy to the private sector is OK, but a subsidy to the public sector is not OK? 

Access Wisconsin statement:  On the UW grant, to add insult to injury, the UW planned to hire an out-of-state firm to lay the fiber optic cables.
Counterpoint:  The UW reached out to numerous Wisconsin phone companies, including Access Wisconsin members, seeking their partnership on the grant.  None agreed to participate.  

Access Wisconsin statement:  The UW grant would harm the BadgerNet network, which already offers reliable, affordable broadband services.
Counterpoint:  While being very reliable, BadgerNet is NOT affordable to many community institutions.  For example, a 100Mbps service is $6,000 a month and a 1,000Mbps service is $49,500 a month.  These costs will likely drop with renewal of the BadgerNet contract but this has not happened yet and even when it does, the costs will likely still be too high.  The UW grant clearly shows a return on investment of 3.5 – 4.5 years.  After that an institution will be able to get 1,000Mbps service for about $10,000 annually vs. $594,000 annually, the current BadgerNet rate.

We want to make clear that BadgerNet is a beneficial network for many of our schools and libraries but it is only “affordable” because it is heavily subsidized ($16.8 million annually) by state funds (which is also an indirect subsidy to the telecommunication carriers.)  This subsidy is limited and as schools and libraries need more affordable bandwidth not supported by the subsidy, they must look for other options besides BadgerNet.  Also, this subsidy is not available to municipal governments, hospitals, etc.

Access Wisconsin statement:  UW’s grant claims to serve rural areas but it will also serve more urban areas like Wausau. 
Counterpoint:   As stated above, BadgerNet is NOT affordable to many community institutions, be they in rural areas or urban areas.

Access Wisconsin statement:  At a time of limited pubic resources, these types of wasteful spending (i.e., UW grant) are unacceptable.
Counterpoint:  What is wasteful is requiring public institutions to spend huge amounts of public tax dollars on high-cost BadgerNet circuits.  

Access Wisconsin statement:  We understand the need for affordable broadband service and are investing every day to ensure this.
Counterpoint:  The carriers have been making this “investment” statement for years but they fully supported a decision in February by the current administration to return $23 million in federal funding to invest in the  buildout their networks as part of BadgerNet.  Our community institutions need affordable broadband NOW.  How many more years are we supposed to wait? 
 [Not attributed]