Saturday, October 29, 2011

Maybe some people have no other choices

And not just for discretionary spending.

Savings Rate Is Dropping, and Experts Are Puzzled.  (The New York Times, 10/29/2011)

Excerpt:  The latest decline raises the question of whether consumers are returning to their old spendthrift habits or were temporarily relaxing budget restrictions to make long-awaited purchases.    

They get it elsewhere.

University of Wisconsin-Extension Video: Broadband and Education in Superior, Wisconsin

UW Extension.

Distance Learning Video from Northern Wisconsin. (Community Broadband Networks, 10/29/2011)

Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library in Michigan Provides Bigtime Support

Friends give library $105,000. (Rocheswter Media, 10/27/2011)

ExcerptThe Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library recently gave the library $105,000 which was raised throughout 2010. The library will use the money to fund free public programs for adults and children throughout 2012 and to purchase 70 new public computers.

The Friends of the Library is a non-profit, volunteer organization that supports the library. The Friends raise money by conducting book sales, through sales in their Library Store and through special fund-raisers such as Holiday Home Tour on November 13th. Hundreds of local residents work to raise the money that helps expand and improve the library

Beth Elder Resigns as Director of the Salt Lake City Library

Salt Lake library director resigns amid controversy. (Deseret News, 10/28/2011)

Excerpt:    The Salt Lake City Library Board of Directors on Friday unanimously accepted Elder's resignation after receiving multiple complaints on her management style and policy changes. Elder said stepping aside would help the library move forward.

"Being a lightning rod of controversy has detracted from the library's numerous accomplishments during the three-and-a-half years I have headed it," she said. "As a result, I can no longer effectively do my job of promoting and administering the Salt Lake City Public Library System."

Elder restructured library management and staffing roles, saying she had to make tough, but much-needed changes over the years.

However, most recently, one of the library's loyal fund-raising groups, Friends of the Library, threatened to withdraw future support unless changes were made. The group was pleased with the board's action on Friday.

Board members, however, praised Elder for the accomplishments made during her tenure.

Related posts:
Employment opportunity @ the Salt Lake City Public Library.  (10/28/2011)
Now in progress:  Meeting of the Salt Lake City library board.   (10/28/2011)
SLCPL continuing mess.  (10/23/2011)
Friends of the Salt Lake City Public Library to Administration: "Our faith and trust are shattered". (10/2/2011)
Hush money (alleged).  (10/19/2011)
"Employee Engagement" poll @ the Salt Lake City Public Library.  (10/19/2011)
Email, social media ukase @ the Salt Lake City Public Library. (10/19/2011)
Continued turmoil at library.  (4/30/2011)
Unhappy employees air grievances.  (3/15/2011)
'Boomeranging twist' at Salt Lake City Public Library.  (1/18/2011)
Management shake-up at library.  (1/3/2011)

An "Oscar" for the Madison Children's Museum

Madison Children's Museum earns high honor. (Wisconsin State Journal, 10/25/2011)

Excerpt: Madison Children's Museum has received what some call the "Oscar" for museums.

The museum announced Tuesday that it was awarded the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

The award, given by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is the first such award given to any Wisconsin museum. The institute chooses five U.S. museums and five U.S. libraries each year.

"We have received a lot of awards at Madison Children's Museum and all of them are important, but this one is especially meaningful because it speaks to the heart of our mission, which is service," said Ruth Shelly, the museum's executive director

Columbus Metropolitan Library Wins National Medal

Columbus library earns national honor.  (Columbus Dispatch, 10/29/2011)

Excerpt:   The Columbus Metropolitan Library will receive a shiny medal for its outreach and services to the people of central Ohio.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has selected CML as one of only 10 libraries and museums to receive the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.  [Link to news release.]

The accolade was a result of the library's Ready to Read Corps, homework-help centers and job-help centers, said Patrick Losinski, executive director of the local system, which is composed of the main library downtown and 20 branches.

The national medal is the second significant honor CML has received in the past two years. The library system was named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal and Gale, part of Cengage Learning.

“I think our past achievements have put us on the radar nationally for what we're doing,” he said. “It's just such a wonderful situation we have, a very supportive community. And they're supportive because they use the library and see great value in what we offer.”

Losinski said an anonymous person and former Columbus resident nominated the library. Officials from IMLS then sent the application form to Losinski's office.

Hoping that other state newspapers have similar local news to share

Happy Birthday to Me!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Redbox: A dollar doesn't go as far as it used to

A buck. A buck twenty. Either way, you save money with this.

Employment Opportunity @ the Salt Lake City Public Library

Salt Lake City's library's embattled director resigns.  (Salt Lake Tribune, 10/28/2011)

Excerpt: After an often-rocky 3½-year tenure, Beth Elder resigned Friday as director of Salt Lake City’s award-winning library system.

Her resignation was accepted by the Library Board, which had called a special meeting to discuss the director.

The embattled Elder has been under fire from library employees, former library executives and the volunteer fundraising group Friends of the Library

Related posts:
Now in progress:  Meeting of the Salt Lake City library board.   (10/28/2011)
SLCPL continuing mess.  (10/23/2011)
Friends of the Salt Lake City Public Library to Administration: "Our faith and trust are shattered". (10/2/2011)
Hush money (alleged).  (10/19/2011)
"Employee Engagement" poll @ the Salt Lake City Public Library.  (10/19/2011)
Email, social media ukase @ the Salt Lake City Public Library. (10/19/2011)
Continued turmoil at library.  (4/30/2011)
Unhappy employees air grievances.  (3/15/2011)
'Boomeranging twist' at Salt Lake City Public Library.  (1/18/2011)
Management shake-up at library.  (1/3/2011)

Now In Progress: Meeting of Salt Lake City Public Library Board

Salt Lake City library director may face big vote Friday. (Salt Lake Tribune, 10/27/2011)

Excerpt: Besieged Salt Lake City Library Director Beth Elder may learn her fate Friday.

The Library Board has scheduled a special 1:30 p.m. meeting to "discuss options and possible actions regarding [the] library director," the brief agenda reads.

Nobody from the board or library administration would say whether Elder would be dismissed, reprimanded or retained.

"I invite you to stay tuned," Board President Kevin Werner said Thursday.


Asked on KCPW this week if the board has full confidence in Elder, board member Elizabeth Gupta replied, "As a board, we don’t represent a single employee, we represent the library as a group."

Related posts:
SLCPL continuing mess.  (10/23/2011)
Friends of the Salt Lake City Public Library to Administration: "Our faith and trust are shattered". (10/2/2011)
Hush money (alleged).  (10/19/2011)
"Employee Engagement" poll @ the Salt Lake City Public Library.  (10/19/2011)
Email, social media ukase @ the Salt Lake City Public Library. (10/19/2011)
Continued turmoil at library.  (4/30/2011)
Unhappy employees air grievances.  (3/15/2011)
'Boomeranging twist' at Salt Lake City Public Library.  (1/18/2011)
Management shake-up at library.  (1/3/2011)

A Friday Diversion: Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Drifting Along, Tumbleweeds Are Piling Up Across Plains. (The New York Times, 10/28/2011)

“It’s kind of like snow,” said Wiley McFarland, 83, a longtime rancher and community leader who wearily recalls pitchforking thousands of the plants out of his irrigation ditches and cattle corrals during particularly bad years. “But tumbleweeds don’t melt and go away. They sit till you get rid of them.”

Anonymous sez things are peachy keen in Wood County

In so many words, in a response to Scott Krug's Cure-All for the Joblessness Blues.

Yeah, just peachy.  (Highlight added.)

Work on Prairie du Sac's Ruth Culver Community Library is Officially Underway

Work officially begins on Ruth Culver library. (Sauk Prairie Eagle, 10/25/2011)

Excerpt: Every person who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ruth Culver Community Library mentioned what a long time coming this occasion had been.

Helen Campbell, president of the library board, said the board knew in 1997 the library would need more space and hired Val Schute as the architect for the new library building in 2004.

Seven years later work finally is beginning on the library's new space.

"I want you all to know what a thrilling day this is for us," Campbell said.

Jennifer Endres Way, the library's director, ticked off some of the new library's attributes: a quiet reading room, improved technology and beautiful river views.

Endres Way said the $2.3 million new library represented a community effort with more than half its funds being donated

Related articles:
Interior work begins at Prairie du Sac's Ruth Culver Library. (106/2011)
Help the library receive $50,000.  (9/11/2011)
Bids come in over budget.  (8/3/2011)
Site work boosts costs of new library.  (6/22/2011)
Library project to get underway this year.  (1/19/2011)
$500,000 gift boosts Prairie du Sac's Library fundraising effort.  (10/26/2010)
Building committee votes to extend fundraising effort for new Prairie du Sac library.  (8/23/2010)
The Ruth Culver Memorial Library.  (6/4/2009)
Culver's donates facility for new Prairie du Sac Library.  (5/22/2009)

Council Member on Portage Public Library Expansion Project Funding: "We may just not want to it"

Not sure if Reckling is thinking short-term or long-term.

City support for library project seems unlikely. (Portage Daily Register, 10/27/2011)

Excerpt: The prospect of the city contributing to the proposed $1.5 million Portage Public Library expansion project next year is looking more and more unlikely.

One Common Council member on Thursday said he would like the city to put the issue to referendum, but another suggested a referendum might be unnecessary if there is no support among city leaders.

"It may not be necessary to go to referendum - we may just not want to do it," said Common Council member Fred Reckling, a member for the city's finance committee.

Earlier this month, the library's governing board asked the city to contribute $400,000 to the proposed project, which would update facilities, expand the building size and add space for children's programming. Other money would come from grants and fundraising.

Reckling said the issue might be "clearer" next week when the city's main budget-writing committee meets twice to finalize a draft of the 2012 city budget. In order to contribute to the project, the city would have to borrow money

Related posts:
Board president makes pitch to council for library expansion funding.  (10/15/2011)
Board to make case for building expansion to council.  (10/13/2011)
Library board to make case to council for building expansion.  (9/15/2011)
Library moves forward with building expansion.  (8/12/2011)
Board approves feasibility study for library expansion.  (7/1/2011)
Board reviews estimates for expansion project.  (6/22/2011)
Library expansion plans continue to develop.  (2/9/2011)
Library expansion to focus on youth services.  (10/15/2010)
Putting together the financial pieces for building expansion.  (5/12/2010)
Library seeks community input for expansion.  (1/13/2010)
Board discussion rental property options.  (11/11/2009)

Radiant Heat Reviewer Touts Hartford's Jack Russell Memorial Library

Home Town Rome Players Raise $6,000 for Library Building Expansion Fund

Players donate to library. (Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, 10/27/2011)

Excerpt: The Home Town Rome Players with supplemented funds from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans donate $6,000 to the Lester Public Library of Rome Building Expansion Fund.

Money was raised from the "Rome 'N Fest," Labor Day Dinner Show and Mystery Dinner, and they were donated to the Friends of the Library

Edible Book Challenge @ the Oshkosh Public Library

Sticker Shock for County Road Projects

Never seen it done this way before.

It's a Florida outfit.

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson says new Wisconsin rules will cost counties big. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 10/27/2011)

According to Nelson, a reciprocal agreeement with a neighboring county would allow a paint-striping project on a stretch of County Highway P to be done at a cost between $500-700.  When the county submitted bids for the project, only one was received -- for $3,935.

Another car wreck thanks to the ascendance of rigid ideology.

Supporters of the measure [including, incredibly, the Wisconsin Counties Association] say the plan stops counties from unfairly competing with private businesses, and limits the size of county roads departments they consider bloated. Critics say the old practice created healthy cooperation, kept costs down and saved taxpayers money by driving down private bids.


The Governor has a special fondness for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs?

Or perhaps he just transposed the words?

Link to news release.

Interesting that Commentary, a leading voice of neoconservatism (not too full of themselves, eh?), uses this term disparagingly in the article, Roadblocks for Obama’s Pro-Jobs Bus Tour.

It's certainly not how the White House describes it.

Well, back to work, Wisconsin!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Now Available: Public Libraries Survey Fiscal Year 2009

LINK (report available online only)

To Save Van Wanggaard's and Moulton's Butts

Why Republicans want to use the new legislative maps in 2012 recall fight. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 10/27/2011)

Little Libraries Pop Up in Waunakee

Little libraries foster literacy, neighborhoods. (Waunakee Tribune, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt: While many read books, magazines and periodicals on their digital devices, others are celebrating printed, bound copies and sharing them with their neighbors.

Little Free Libraries are popping up in Waunakee, with two so far in the downtown historic district and a possible third planned in Southbridge.

Similar to large birdhouses, the wooden shelters outside of two homes harbor titles for children and adults to borrow or take for their own. Neighbors are also welcome to drop off books they'd like to share with fellow residents

Related post:
"Take a book leave a book" at the little library. (8/13/2011)

Town of Dunn Pressures Providers to Offer High-Speed Internet Access

In Dane County, for crying out loud.  Town of Dunn population: 4,931.

High-speed Internet comes to Dunn. (McFarland Thistle, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt: Dunn was feeling a bit behind the times. Board chairman Ed Minihan said he saw areas in other states, not near a larger city like Madison, with access to high-speed Internet.

“There are places in northern Michigan that have had it for years,” he said. “But it just never seemed to happen here. It’s been difficult.”

Township employee Ben Kollenbroich, administered a group of residents to help close the technology gap between Dunn and other like-sized communities with high-speed Internet. Beginning in January, Kollenbroich and others began contacting Internet service providers and telephone companies.

“We made several calls and were able to pressure some of the companies into providing service,” Minihan said.

Last week, Kollenbroich was contacted by Internet service provider Frontier, which reported it began providing service for some Dunn residents. Frontier, which uses Verizon telephone lines, continues its efforts to expand the service area

Advantages? Guess we'll have to see how things shake out over the next few years

Reasons for optimism, but growth slow in village economy. (McFarland Thistle, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt: One of McFarland’s advantages is a great regional education system stretching from the local level up through the technical college systems and the University of Wisconsin, [McFarland Community Development Director Pauline] Boness said. But maybe most importantly is geography. The village’s location along Hwy. 51 and its easy access to the Beltline and the interstate make it an attractive place for many businesses.

LINK (local level)

LINK (technical college system)

LINK (University of Wisconsin)

Congressional Budget Office Report Confirms the 1%'s Outsized Growth in Income

Through 2007.  Imagine the updated version in a few years.

Between the Lines, DeForest Times-Tribune Decries Loss of Revenue

11/50 a.m. Update:  The headline should probably read, 'Hometown News Group Decries Loss of Revenue".  The same editorial appears in the Monona Herald-"Independent".  (OK, I confess; I added the quotation marks.  Does this mean I need to critique the Monona Grove School District website?  Maybe later.)

Editorial: Keep board proceedings in print. (DeForest Times-Tribune, 10/21/2011)

Excerpt: A bill is circulating in the Wisconsin Assembly that would no longer require school boards to publish their proceedings in the local newspaper, allowing them to be posted instead online. Speaking solely as advocates for open government, we believe this bill is bad public policy.

In a memorandum seeking co-sponsors, Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) said the bill is being circulated at the request of a school superintendent within his district. School districts statewide are looking to minimize operating costs in an era of shrinking budgets and strained resources and we can understand the motive behind this bill.

But in these times where school districts are under the microscope more than ever before, it doesn't make sense to eliminate one of the primary means taxpayers have to keep an eye on their local school board. Eliminating the proceedings of school board activities would put the onus on citizens to track down the actions of their elected officials

Let's put this hyperbole on pause. It's not as though the school district mails copies of minutes to all residents. Putting the minutes online actually improves access. And for those who don't have Internet access at home, they can visit the DeForest Area Public Library, one of the busiest library facilities in Dane County.  The library's homepage even provides a direct link to the school district's website.

But I do have a suggestion or two.

Make clear that the "About" link is where the school board proceedings are found.

Give prominent display to items in box.

A Century of Storytimes @ the Appleton Public Library

Appleton Public Library celebrates 100 years of children's story time. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 10/19/2011)

Excerpt: Misselt said she and her staff discovered the history of story time as they were digging through archives earlier this year.

“We went through all of our archives and a lot of articles from (The Appleton Evening Crescent) and some from the Milwaukee Sentinel, and we sort of uncovered a history of the development of our department, (which) didn't start until 1924,” Misselt explained. “(But we learned) November of 1911 was the very first story time they ever had at the Appleton Public Library. This story time predates the actual development of the children’s department.

“It’s significant for the history of the city of Appleton — and certainly for the Appleton Public Library — because it’s the genesis of the children’s department. We’re part of something that’s really been cool and great for children and great for the community. We’re going to celebrate this.

History of the Appleton Public Library, 1897-1997.
History of APL:  "I Remember" Scrapbook.

Dimming the Streetlights in Clintonville Helps to Close Budget Gap

A 10% reduction -- all mid-block streetlights 

But when JoAnna and I moved to Middleton, we had no streetlight on our block of Mayflower Drive, and it was spookily dark at night   A neighbor lobbied City Hall until one was finally installed.

Budget cuts dim Clintonville's lights. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt:   In an effort to close a $357,000 budget gap for 2012, the city of Clintonville has shut down 10 percent of its streetlights.

The move is expected to save the city about $7,000 next year.

The city was able to fill about 60 percent of the budget hole with employee contributions to pension plans and changes to health coverage, as mandated in the state's collective bargaining law.

To meet the remaining 40 percent, staff explored various ways to cut expenses and increase revenues without raising taxes

No mention of how the library budget fared.

Other Wisconsin county and municipal budget news.
Two Rivers' Lester Public Library looking at a 7% cut in 2012.  (10/26/2011)
Boost in taxes for Neenah residents.  (10/25/2011)
Apparently, Sheboygan alderman David Van Akkeren doesn't love and value libraries. (10/25/2011)
Crabby Appleton trumps League of Women Voters president in coverage of Outagamie County budget hearing.  (10/25/2011)
Black River Falls looks to cut $62,000 from 2012 budget.  (10/24/2011)
Shawano does the garbage fee math.  (10/19/2011)
Wisconsin Rapids:  Proposed McMillan Library 2012 budget cut $63,221.  (10/19/2011)
Racine mayor uses Packers analogy in budget address.  (10/19/2011)
Manitowoc mayor cuts budget 10%.  (10/18/2011)
Mayor proposes 5.1% cut to Fond du Lac Public Library funding.  (10/17/2011)
Racine County executive explains the various tax levies.  (10/16/2011)
Lake Geneva's 2012 budget dilemma.  (10/15/2011)
Rhinelander has a bigger hold to fill due to budget error.  (10/15/2011)
City of Ripon 2012 budget update.  (10/15/2011)
Shawano city administrator:  "Bleeding has stopped for the most part".  (10/14/2011)
Retirements?  Not worry, sez Sheboygan officials.  (10/14/2011)
FEE-fi-fo-fum in Ashland.  (10/14/2011)
Waupaca proposes no retiree access to city's health plan.  (10/13/2011)
Mayville retains wheel tax.  (10/13/2011)
Wheel tax proposed in Janesville.  (10/12/2011)
City of Marshfield 2012 budget update.  (10/12/2011)
City of Oshkosh 2012 budget update.  (10/12/2011)
City of Fond du Lac to eliminate assessor's office.  (10/12/2011)
Sheboygan officials no longer have the "headache" of maintenance of effort.  (10/11/2011)
City of Waukesha considers annual garbage fee.  (10/9/2011)
Brown County proposes cuts to employee benefits.  (10/9/2011)
Library salaries focus of debate at Sussex-Lisbon budget discussion.  (10/8/2011)
City of  Delavan administrator requests all department reduce operating budgets by 8%.  (10/8/2011)
Village of Waterford looks at across-the-board cuts.  (10/8/2011)
Ripon city administrator on 2012 municipal budget.  (10/8/2011)
4% cut to library funding in Appleton mayor's 2012 proposed budget.  (10/8/2011)
McMillan library staff reorganization saves Wisconsin Rapids $45,075. (10/5/2011)
Budget reduction forces cuts in hours, positions @ the La Crosse Public Library. (10/3/2011)
Marathon County cuts employee benefits to balance 2012 budget.  (10/3/2011)
City of Sheboygan 2012 proposed budget.  (10/3/2011)
2012 Brown County Public Library proposed budget.  (10/1/2011)
1.2% of Janesville residents get to wag the dog.  (9/30/2011)
Beloit Public Library proposed 2012 budget.  (9/30/2011)
Shawano City-County Library receives $13,000 cut (3%) in county funding.  (9/28/2011)
City of Rhinelander looking at a $200,000 decrease in revenue for 2012.  (9/27/2011)
Mayor Barrett's proposed 2012 budget increases hours, expands 3 educational initiatives @ the Milwaukee Public Library.  (9/26/2011)
Janesville:  Slight decrease in 2012 Hedberg Public Library budget.  (9/25/2011)
Fond du Lac faces $1.7 million deficit.  (9/23/2011)
McFarland wrestles with 2012 budget..  (9/22/2011)
Beloit to make deep cuts to police, fire departments.  (9/22/2011)
Wisconsin Rapids 2012 budget process underway.  (9/22/2011)
Oshkosh 2012 budget deficit projected to balloon to as much as $2.3 million.  (9/20/2011)
Facing $2.5 million shortfall, La Crosse considers a variety of fees.  (9/14/2011)
100 show up at Dodgeville budget hearing.  (9/12/2011)
Zero percent increase for Prairie du Sac department budgets.  (9/7/2011)
City of Ashland looks at projected shortfall of $329,000 in 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Dodgeville city council to hold listening session on 2012 budget.  (8/26/2011)
Shawano budget deficit at $504,800.  (8/25/2011)
City of Ripon facing $110,000 budget deficit for 2012.  (8/25/2011)
Long list of cuts on table for Racine city services.  (8/25/2011)
Dodge County Administrator:  "Governor Walker does not speak for Dodge County".  (8/25/2011)
Longevity bonuses in Portage might become a thing of the past.  (8/24/2011)
Declining property values pose a challenge to Columbus budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Whitewater council looks at 0% tax levy increase.  (8/24/2011)
Janesville residents asked to make tough choices in online budget scorecard.  (8/24/2011)
Village of Darien officials ask for input on 2012 budget.  (8/24/2011)
City of Marshfield has some wiggle room in its 2012 budget development.  (8/24/2011)
Soglin on 2012 Madison budget:  "Every service we rely on is vulnerable".  (8/23/2011)
With a ballooning budget deficit, Marathon County considers a tax increase.  (8/23/2011)
Sheboygan's Strategic Fiscal Planning Committee to determine what city will look like.  (8/19/2011)
Brown County Exec looks at same tax levy, impact on services to be determined.  (8/18/2011)
City of Shawano wrestles with $128,000 deficit.  (8/16/2011)
Possible double whammy for Shawano City-County Library.  (8/15/2011)
Portage County Executive looks to "create a bridge to a new design, a way of functioning on less".. (8/15/2011)
Antigo cuts fire, police positions.  (8/15/2011)
Adding up the budget numbers in the Fox Valley.  (8/14/2011)
Sauk County officials ask for input.  (8/12/2011
Marathon County ranks services to address $500,000 budget shortfall.  (8/12/2011)
City of Beloit faces a challenging budget process.  (8/8/2011)
Fond du Lac city manager sez Governor's tools not enough to offset cuts.  (8/2/2011)
Manitowoc mayor asks department heads for 10% budget cuts.  (8/2/2011)

Demographics, Not Improving Economic Conditions, Responsible for City of Racine's Lower Unemployment Rate

City jobless rate declines, so does the number of jobs. (Racine Journal-Times, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt: The city of Racine's jobless rate dropped to a deceptively lower 12.0 percent last month, while other measures showed a darkening employment Racine County picture over the past year.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Wednesday released its jobless rates and job estimates for September. From that month in 2010 to this September, the county lost an estimated 1,100 jobs while the unemployment rate remained steady at 8.6 percent.

The city of Racine's rate dropped from 13.1 percent to 12.0 percent in that time. That was the lowest it had been since January 2009, when the rate surged 3 percent in one month, to 13.7 percent.

However, a reduction in the city labor force was the biggest factor bringing down the jobless rate, explained Jeff Sachse, labor economist for eastern Wisconsin.

"It's not necessarily an indicator of an improving economic situation," he said about the declining unemployment rate. "It's probably more demographic than anything else."

In fact, 201 fewer city residents were working in September than 12 months earlier, the numbers show

More Headaches but This Time Sen. Lazich Has the Cure

State GOP may move up voting-district changes before recalls. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt:    A key Republican senator said Wednesday she favors using new legislative maps for the next round of recall elections - a change that she said would prevent logistical headaches in conducting elections.  [Emphasis added.  Unlikely, sez Director of State's Government Accountability Board.]

The change would also give Republicans a better chance at protecting their majority in the Legislature in the next batch of recall elections.

"I don't see a clear path to getting out of this mess other than clarifying these districts," said Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), chairwoman of the Senate Transportation and Elections Committee.

Republicans drew new legislative maps this year, and because of that action they now represent a new set of voters. But any recall elections between now and November 2012 will be conducted in their old districts because of the way they wrote the law adopting those new maps, according to the state's top election official.

Maybe this is where the "Dale Schultz effect" is felt.  Lazich said she was not sure if she would introduce a bill, and it is unclear if it could pass the Senate if she did. All Republicans would have to support the measure because they control the chamber by one vote.

See also:   Election chief says recalls will be based on old boundaries, for now.  (Chippewa Herald, 10/26/2011)

Related posts:
Legislative redistricting in Wisconsin, part 2:  Intrroduction (repeated from part 1) and the 132 state districts, 10/24/2011)
Legislative redistricting in Wisconsin, part 1: Introduction and the 8 Congressional districts. (10/16/2011)
Legislative Reference Bureau legislative brief: Local redistricting readjustment. (9/6/2011)
Wisconsin GOP redistricting plan popeils DeForest, Windsor.  (7/21/2011)
Let's call this bill exactly what it is: An unfunded mandate. (7/21/2011)
Once again, the Oshkosh Northwestern editorial board -- yes, the Northwestern -- tells it like it is. (7/19/2011)
Wisconsin legislative redistricting: Abandoned principles, interactive maps, bill text, and more. (7/13/2011)
Congressional redistricting in Wisconsin.  (6/19/2011)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gila Bend Branch Library Rates Mention in Opening Paragraph of Article About Prince Harry

Military Drills Paired With Shrimp?  For a Prince, It's Possible.  (The New York Times, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt: Among the books mentioning princes in the Gila Bend Branch Library is “The Prince and the Potty,” about a young prince learning to outgrow his diaper, and “The Frog Prince Continued,” about a frog who was turned into a prince but kept hopping on furniture and flicking his tongue at flies.

But it is the story of a real-life prince that has captivated the people of Gila Bend, from youngsters to old-timers. If it were a book, it might be called “The Prince and the Shrimp Eating Contest.

Come on down, Harry!

The Koch Brothers Want You to Believe "It's Working!" in Wisconsin

"It's working" website touts budget reforms.  (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt:    The [David Koch-funded] Americans for Prosperity Foundation ["committed to educating citizens about the value of limited government and a free market economy"] and the MacIver Institute for Public Policy ["promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government"] have teamed up to launch a website called, that makes a case for Gov. Scott Walker's budget efforts.

The website, which started up on Wednesday, includes an instructional video that explains and touts Wisconsin Act 10, the law that curtailed collective bargaining for most public-sector workers.

"The left has attempted to win the debate over the future direction of the state by yelling the loudest and the longest," said Matt Seaholm, the head of the foundation in Wisconsin. "The It's Working project cuts through the noise to present the facts to the people of Wisconsin who deserve to know the truth."

Both groups support and advocate for smaller government

Director Keeps Library Open During Occupy Oakland Protest

Live Blog: Library Director refused to close Oakland library during protest. (Oakland Tribune, 10/26/2011)

Excerpt: During the Tuesday afternoon rally, as about 500 people gathered outside the city's main library at 14th and Madison streets, organizers announced that police "called the library in anticipation of our gathering and asked them to shut it down. They said, 'No,' because they know what side they are on."

The crowd exploded into cheers. On Wednesday morning, library Director Carmen Martinez said the
City had supported her decision to keep the library open.

In the early afternoon Tuesday, hours before the protest arrived at the library steps, City Administrator Deanna Santana called Martinez and asked how she wanted to handle the situation, Martinez said.

"I said that we are a symbol of civil society for a lot of groups, including this one, and the folks who protested against the libraries budget cuts, and we will remain open as along as service can be continued without disruption," Martinez said. "Deanna said she understood and respected that."

Police also called to ask if the library needed any help or backup, Martinez said, but she declined.

At about 5 p.m., however, with the crowd already shutting down an entire block of 14th Street, Santana called back with information that a second group was on its way and could make it impossible for library staff to leave, Martinez said, so the library ended up closing a half-hour early.

Nonetheless, Martinez said, the library remains "a symbol of gathering for 1st Amendment issues. We welcome everyone unconditionally.

Erie Library a Catalyst for Waterfront Development

Blasco Library at 15: successful 'catalyst' on Erie's waterfront. (Erie Times-News, 9/30/2011)

Excerpt: The idea was spawned nearly two decades ago -- a sprawling, ultramodern, multimillion-dollar main library on the city's east bayfront.

Erie County Councilman Fiore Leone was among those who scoffed at the suggestion.

Fifteen years and more than 5.5 million visitors later, Leone has no problem admitting that he was dead wrong about whether the Raymond M. Blasco, M.D., Memorial Library could thrive on Erie's waterfront.

The Erie Maritime Museum, the Brig Niagara, and the Blasco Library.

"There wasn't anything else down there (on the bayfront). I felt it would be tough going for the library going down there," Leone said.

"But when you come down to it, I think that it was the best thing they could have done," Leone said. "To me, it stimulated growth and was a catalyst for everything that came down to the bayfront later.