Saturday, July 7, 2012

Woonsocket Harris Public Library Director Finishes in 2nd Place on Jeopardy




Circ Check: 793.8 Card Tricks



As found at 4 Nearly Self-Working Card Tricks.  Four strong card effects with little or no sleight of hand that practically work themselves. These are not the self working effects you learn from books from a public library; these are all strong, workable, crowd-pleasers!

"Ma'am, you are going to miss your bus."

Lesson Two In Privatization: Community Probation Services



Example of "improved level of services to the offenders the court serves":     Here in Childersburg, where there is no public transportation, Ms. Ray has plenty of company in her plight. Richard Garrett has spent a total of 24 months in jail and owes $10,000, all for traffic and license violations that began a decade ago. A onetime employee of United States Steel, Mr. Garrett is suffering from health difficulties and is without work. William M. Dawson, a Birmingham lawyer and Democratic Party activist, has filed a lawsuit for Mr. Garrett and others against the local authorities and the probation company, Judicial Correction Services, which is based in Georgia.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that it is unconstitutional to jail people just because they can’t pay a fine,” Mr. Dawson said in an interview.



And here's another example from the Times article about how these local hires do their jobs.

For that driving offense, Ms. Ray has been locked up three times for a total of 40 days and owes $3,170, much of it to the probation company.

Let's call this thing exactly what it is.

Related post:
A lesson in privatization:  Welcome to Hallandale Beach Florida and the world of aquatic risk management.   (7/5/2012)

Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 37th Assembly District



From a statewide perspective......

Public libraries in the 37th Assembly District

Background:  Presto-chango redrawn boudaries, current representative left behind.

Excerpt:    But critics of the new maps say Republicans are ignoring some historic “communities of interest” in an effort to secure their power base. The state constitution stipulates that district lines be drawn to preserve such communities and keep districts as contiguous and compact as possible.

“There is absolutely no reason to split such small communities like DeForest and Windsor,” said Mike McCabe, director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a government watchdog group that recently released an alternative redistricting plan. “These kinds of changes are clearly politically motivated.”

Guest Column: Redistricting: DeForest/Windsor marginalized. (DeForest Times-Tribune, 7/29/2011)

Excerpt: The political faction in power controls the redistricting process, and they inevitably craft new districts to be more "friendly" for their candidates but harder for their opponents to win. At the state level, the majority Republicans are redrawing the state senate and assembly districts, and the Democrats are indignant. The opposite dynamics are taking place at the Dane County level, with the majority liberals backing a redistricting plan that will make future county board elections tough for conservatives. All of this is now aided by computer models analyzing past election patterns for every area.

Incumbents to battle in redesigned 43rd District. (Janesville Gazette, 1/26/2012)

Excerpt:    Incumbent Assembly Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Fort Atkinson, will seek re-election in a new district that has been redesigned as part of decennial redistricting.

Jorgensen will move from his current district, the 37th, if he is successful in his re-election bid. If he survives a September primary challenge, Jorgensen will take on another incumbent in the November general election.

Waiting in the wings is Rep. Evan Wynn, R-Whitewater, who saw his 43rd Assembly district take on a more Democratic bent after reapportionment. The new district will include parts of Dane County including the village of Oregon. Wynn faces no primary opposition.


The Republican Candidates



ILL Librarian at the L. D. Fargo Public Library in Lake Mills.


AboutJohn and his wife Heidi have raised their three children in Watertown for over two decades. John was a familiar voice to thousands of people who woke up to him each day on Newsradio 620 WTMJ for over 15 years. Now, John wants to be your voice in Madison.

For the past two years, John has served as Communications Director for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. He helped guide one of the most important and remarkable legislative sessions in history. John was on the frontlines in the battle to move our state forward. He is committed to improving the economy, lowering taxes and listening to the people of the new 37th Assembly District.

Steve Kauffled


I am, he says,
  • Army brat
  • Register professional engineer
  • Army veteran of the Korean era

Chris Ruetten

The Democratic Candidates

 Mary Arnold

 Mary Arnold is Vice-President of the Columbus School District Board of Education


Cotting represents the 3rd Ward on the Waterloo City Council.

Candidate profile.  (Waterloo Courier, 4/11/2012)



The Independent CandidateJames Kilian

Kilian joins race for vacant 37th Assembly seat.  (Waterloo Courier, 5/2/2012)

Excerpt:    Kilian, president of the Waterloo Alumni Association and the Island Church Foundation, identifies himself as an Independent, stating current members of the two political parties are too restrictive with their views.

Related posts:
Assembly District 1.
Assembly District 2.
Assembly District 3.
Assembly District 4.
Assembly District 5.
Assembly District 6.
Assembly District 7.
Assembly District 8.
Assembly District 9.
Assembly District 10.
Assembly District 11.
Assembly District 12.
Assembly District 13.
Assembly District 14.
Assembly District 15.
Assembly District 16.
Assembly District 17.
Assembly District 18.
Assembly District 19.
Assembly District 20.
Assembly District 21.
Assembly District 22.
Assembly District 23.
Assembly District 24.
Assembly District 25.
Assembly District 26.
Assembly District 27.
Assembly District 28.
Assembly District 29.
Assembly District 30.
Assembly District 31.
Assembly District 32.
Assembly District 33.
Assembly District 34.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Painted Window @ Sturm Memorial Library Promotes Manawa Mid-Western Rodeo AND the Summer Reading Program


As noted by Ellen Connor, Director, Sturm Memorial Library in Manawa, WI.

Every year the business district paints their windows to promote the annual Manawa Mid-Western Rodeo. The Library always gets high school artists to paint one of the windows near the entrance. We always try to tie it in with the summer reading program theme. I love this year's window. 



The Sturm Memorial Library is a member of the Outagamie-Waupaca Library System.

Read about the library's history.



Hat tip to Ellen.

Middleton Public Library 1999: We're Having a Heat Wave, and There's No Air Conditioning


Call us crazy, or call it public service beyond the call of duty, but there was no way we wanted to keep the library closed for a month.

It's duly noted here that I had the pleasure of working with a dedicated, hard-working, customer-focused staff throughout my 22 years at Middleton.

The crisis as described in letters to Mom.

Friday, June 4, 1999.  A Hint of Things to Come.
June is off to a cool start, the daytime high temperatures barely registering 70 degrees. This unseasonable weather has been lucky for those of us who work at the library, where the air-conditioning was not working for 2½ days this week. The inside of the building started to get a little stuffy on Tuesday. Usually when this happens, we can flip the switch of the main condensing unit in the basement mechanical room, and the system reboots itself, or whatever. Despite my repeated efforts, that contingency didn’t work. Time to call American Heating & Air Conditioning. Of course, it would take a day for someone to respond to our call.

On Wednesday, the service technician discovered a Freon leak, and it took him the rest of the day and all day yesterday to make the necessary repairs. (That invoice will put a big dent in the building maintenance subaccount of the library’s budget!) Today the library was almost too cold, even after we made the necessary adjustments to the air-flow controls on some of the ceiling vents.


Monday, July 25.  Worst Possible News.
I’m not going to be able to make it to the state baseball tournament in Menomonie.

Today I received the worst possible news from a couple of technicians from a local heating and air-conditioning service. Our a-c system died, probably from a power surge or a lightning strike, although none of us at the library could remember a time when lightning struck anywhere near the building. Now I need to attend to the details of writing up an insurance report, arranging for a replacement system to be installed, and securing contingency funding in the neighborhood of $30,000 from the city. (Fortunately, the council meets next week.)

This crisis couldn’t have occurred at a worse time. We experienced the muggiest weekend of the summer so far, and the long-range forecast for the week is a bleak: chance of thunderstorms and temperatures approaching 90 degrees every single day.

Today the interior of the library was stifling, although by the evening the numerous fans we had placed at the entrance and near the various service desks provided a little bit of relief. If the heat doesn’t break by the end of the week, I wonder if we’ll have to close for awhile. A new system isn’t likely to be installed and operating for at least a couple weeks.

The carpeting between the circulation and reference desk is starting to buckle, and the intense humidity trapped inside the building is only going to make that condition worse. I just try to keep my eyes focused on the big picture and tell myself, “This, too, will pass.”


Sunday, July 25.  Update.
First of all, I’ll give you an update on the library air-conditioning crisis.

The city requires bids for any projects over $10,000, no matter what the emergency, so that hurdle kept us from progressing as quickly as I hoped we would. It wasn’t until late Friday afternoon that the finance director, city custodian, and I decided on which replacement system to order. The cost of this project will be very close to the ballpark estimate we were given last Monday, when the service technicians gave our nonoperating system its final rites: $31,000. The new system won’t be available for shipment until August 5th, and delivery takes 7 to 10 days, which means the library will continue to be without a cooling system until mid-August.

Last Thursday, the city administrator told me that the mayor was starting to take an interest in this problem, perhaps postponing a decision to the next council meeting, scheduled for the 27th. But on Friday, as we sat down to our meeting to review the bids, the finance director said, “We’re going to order something today.” The mayor may not be pleased with his being kept out of the loop as a final decision was made, but I was not about to let anything delay this project any further.

Because of the delay in gathering bids, we were unable to hold onto a replacement system our service technicians had located in Nashville, Tennessee. We had to commit to it by Wednesday afternoon, which didn’t fit our suddenly expanded schedule. Replacing the library air-conditioning system is not like walking into a local warehouse and picking something off the shelf. Some of the other vendors who provided bids weren’t able to deliver a unit until late August.

We survived the hottest, most humid week of the month, although by Friday afternoon, the interior of the library was starting to feel like a sauna. I decided we’d only be open four hours on Saturday, from 9:00 to 1:00, instead of our usual eight hours.

The heat has intensified this weekend, with the high temperatures in the low 90s yesterday, the mid 90s today.  I plan to visit the library later today to check on how intolerable the conditions have become. I also want to see if there has been any further residual damage. The carpet is buckling all over the place. We had to put up signs telling people to “Watch Your Step”. We lost a computer terminal at the reference desk. We have to keep one of the photocopiers off since the humidity-drenched paper keeps jamming. Who knows what else will pop up during the next three weeks?


Thursday, August 19.  New System Up and Running
Our new air-conditioning system has been up and running since Monday afternoon. The unit was in place on the Thursday I returned to work, but it took until Monday for the final installation procedures and a check of the electrical wiring to be completed. Naturally, we’re all pleased to have our comfortable work environment back again. Just as I predicted, the weather immediately turned unseasonably cool. No record-breaking low temperatures, though.

Painting the Windows Red, White & Blue @ the Manitowoc Public Library

If you've never seen the results of this annual event, it's definitely worth a look.

Manitowoc Public Library's 4th of July Reflections. (From Retiring Guy's Digest, 7/4/2010)

A photo series I shot two years ago.




Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 34th Assembly District


Public libraries in the 34th Assembly District

Academic library
Richard J. Brown Library, Nicolet College, Rhinelander

The 34th District is an open seat.

Rep. Dan Meyer will not seek re-election to another term.  (Lakeland Times, 2/3/2012)

Excerpt: In a press released issued early Friday evening, Meyer said his 12 years of service have been "very rewarding and humbling, but that it's time to move on, I never wanted to be a career politician," Meyer added, "12 years seems like a good term limit to impose on myself.

The Republican Candidates

Rob Swearingen

Swearingen to run for State Assembly.  (Lakeland Times, 4/17/2012)

Excerpt:  Swearingen, along with his wife Amy, are the longtime owner/operators of The Al-Gen Dinner Club  [the interior of which very much resembles the White Stag, which apparently is not the place it used to be]. With nearly two decades of experience running a small business, Swearingen knows what it takes to balance a budget, how to create jobs and what needs to be done to further economic development in the region. 

"Northern Wisconsin is not only a good place to live and work, but it is also a premiere vacation destination," explained Swearingen. "Because the lifeblood of the economy in the North woods is tied to tourism, the State needs to do all it can to promote this vital industry."

Wisconsin Eye interview.


Alex Young

Young to run for 34th Assembly District.  (Lakeland Times, 2/10/2012)

Excerpt:  Nearly eight years ago, it took only 10 write-in votes for Alex Young to be elected to the vacant sixth district seat on the Rhinelander City Council.

Now the current city council president is entering a much larger political ring. A few days after Rep. Dan Meyer announced he would not be seeking re-election in the fall for a seventh straight term representing the state's 34th Assembly District, Young officially announced his candidacy for the position.

Alex Young on Facebook.


The Democratic Candidates

Roberta Retrum

Roberta Retrum announces candidacy for 34th District.  (PolitiScoop, 2/17/2012)

Excerpt: Roberta, a native of Wisconsin, retired to the Eagle River area four years ago. She holds an Associate Degree in Accounting and will bring this skill and knowledge to the 34th District in drafting and approving the State Budget. 

Roberta is new to the political scene. She said the actions of Governor Walker, last February, shocked her into realizing what can go wrong in the State for the average citizen if dedicated people like herself didn't act as watchdogs to safeguard an open and transparent government.

Roberta Retrum on Facebook.

Wisconsin Eye interview.

Netroots Nations Scholarship Application.


Merlin Van Buren

Van Buren enters 34th State Assembly District race.  (Lakeland Times, 3/27/2012)

Excerpt:    Van Buren has served on the School District of Rhinelander's board for the last year, and said education will be an important issue in his campaign. 

Lost -- decisively is the adjective of choice -- to Dan Meyer in 2010.


The Independent Candidates

Todd Albano

Todd Albano on Facebook.http://www.facebook.com/AlbanoForAssembly


Kevin FitzPatrick

FitzPatrick announces candidacy for 34th Assembly District.  (Lakeland Times, 4/17/2012)

Minocqua resident and teacher/coach at Lakeland Union High School.


Hat tip to Kris Adams Wendt.











Related posts:
Assembly District 1.
Assembly District 2.
Assembly District 3.
Assembly District 4.
Assembly District 5.
Assembly District 6.
Assembly District 7.
Assembly District 8.
Assembly District 9.
Assembly District 10.
Assembly District 11.
Assembly District 12.
Assembly District 13.
Assembly District 14.
Assembly District 15.
Assembly District 16.
Assembly District 17.
Assembly District 18.
Assembly District 19.
Assembly District 20.
Assembly District 21.
Assembly District 22.
Assembly District 23.
Assembly District 24.
Assembly District 25.
Assembly District 26.
Assembly District 27.
Assembly District 28.
Assembly District 29.
Assembly District 30.
Assembly District 31.
Assembly District 32.
Assembly District 33.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Peat Tray: Germinating Stupidty (Chapter 3)



The Pirate Party of Wisconsin Wants You




Hat tip to Kris Adams Wendt











Complete with stirring music.

A Lesson in Privatization: Welcome to Hallandale Beach Florida and the World of Aquatic Risk Management


Hallandale Beach lifeguard fired after participating in beach rescue. (Sun-Sentinel, 7/3/2012)

Excerpt:   As lifeguards are paid and trained to do, Tomas Lopez rushed down the beach to rescue a drowning man — and then got fired for it. 

The problem: Lopez stepped out of the beach zone his company is paid to patrol, a supervisor said Tuesday. 

"I ran out to do the job I was trained to do," said Lopez, 21, of Davie. "I didn't think about it at all."  

At least two other lifeguards have quit in protest. 

"What was he supposed to do? Watch a man drown?" asked one, Szilard Janko. 

Lifeguards in Hallandale Beach work for Orlando-based company Jeff Ellis and Associates [where you'll find information on Aquatic Risk Management and other services], which has been providing lifeguard services for the city's beaches and pools since 2003.

Company officials on Tuesday said Lopez broke a rule that could've put beachgoers in his designated area in jeopardy. The firm could ultimately have been sued, officials said. 

Head-scratching comment: I'm having trouble getting my head around this excuse. What specific rule was broken? How would 'beachgoers' be put in jeopardy?

Apparently, in aquatic risk management-speak, being in the zone trumps being a Good Samaritan.

You Can Run but You Can't Hide: The Library Reciprocal Borrowing Version


Are you a library scofflaw?   (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 7/4/2012)

Excerpt:   Washington and Dakota county libraries are pursuing a $47,000 federal grant to try out a library card verification system that would tell them instantly if someone from the neighboring county is a good bet as a book borrower. 


People increasingly use libraries where they work or visit, not just where they live, and a computer link between library patron accounts would stop people from ducking fines for overdue materials at their home libraries and skipping to another county to get books.

Twin Cities' metro counties

The grant request has been filed through the Minnesota Department of Education State Library Agency. A decision is expected the week of July 29. If approved and the system is installed, Schneider anticipates it could be in place by October.


Multi-county shared automation system, such as LINK, help to address this problem.


Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 33rd Assembly District


Public libraries in the 33rd Assembly District
Alice Baker Library, Eagle
Dwight Foster Public Library, Fort Atkinson
Jefferson Public Library
Mukwanago Community Library
Powers Memorial Library, Palmyra

The de facto Republican Incumbent
First-termer Chris Kapenga currently represents the 33rd Assembly District.  As a result of redistricting, he is running in the 99th.


Biography.   Born Whitewater, October 7, 1952; single.

Graduate Whitewater H.S.; B.S. UW-Whitewater 1978; M.S. Ed. in school business management UW-Whitewater 1990.

Former payroll benefits analyst and information analyst/negotiator.

Member of Wis. Air National Guard (retired, 33 years of service), served in Middle East in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Member: American Legion; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Wis. State Assn. of Parliamentarians; Kiwanis. Whitewater City Council 1977-81; UW-Whitewater Bd. of Visitors 1979-89.

Elected to Assembly since 1990.  Token opposition in 2010 primary and general election.

The Democratic Challenger

The Libertarian Challenger.  Terry Virgil.
Virgil ran in the 2012 Scott Fitzgerald recall as a Libertarian and garnered 760 votes, or 0.9% of the total.   He was also the Libertarian candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2010.

Related posts:
Assembly District 1.
Assembly District 2.
Assembly District 3.
Assembly District 4.
Assembly District 5.
Assembly District 6.
Assembly District 7.
Assembly District 8.
Assembly District 9.
Assembly District 10.
Assembly District 11.
Assembly District 12.
Assembly District 13.
Assembly District 14.
Assembly District 15.
Assembly District 16.
Assembly District 17.
Assembly District 18.
Assembly District 19.
Assembly District 20.
Assembly District 21.
Assembly District 22.
Assembly District 23.
Assembly District 24.
Assembly District 25.
Assembly District 26.
Assembly District 27.
Assembly District 28.
Assembly District 29.
Assembly District 30.
Assembly District 31.
Assembly District 32.

Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 32nd Assembly District

The old 32.

The new 32.

Public libraries in the new 32nd Assembly District
Aram Public Library, Delavan
East Troy Lions Public Library
Genoa City Public Library
Lake Geneva Public Library

The Republican Incumbent
August's Facebook page.

Biography. Born Wisconsin, January 26, 1983; single.

Graduate Big Foot H.S. 2001; attended UW-Eau Claire and UW-Madison.

Full-time legislator. Former chief of staff to Rep. Thomas Lothian.

Member: Republican Party of Wis. (fmr. bd. mbr.); Republican Party of 1st Congressional Dist. (fmr. chm.); Republican Party of Walworth Co. (fmr. chm, vice-chm.); National Rifle Association. [No life, apparently.]

Elected to Assembly 2010.  Won the 2010 Republican primary by 3 votes.

The Democratic Challenger:  Kim Peterson


Kim Peterson on Facebook.   Kim M. Peterson is a Registered Nurse employed by Racine County at the Ridgewood Health Care Center. As a healthcare professional, Kim is committed to developing high standards of clinical practice and patient care. With respect and compassion, she provides quality service and treatment of the highest level to the community’s most frail, disabled, ill residents. 

As a leader in the community, Kim represents Registered Nurses on the Racine County Budget Committee. She works cooperatively with the County Executive and other leaders in the County to address fiscal issues while striving to improve the delivery of healthcare. 

Born May 22, 1970, Kim is a graduate of Burlington High School. She has lived in the Town of Spring Prairie for most of her life. Raised in rural Walworth County, she discovered the great outdoors through fishing, snowmobiling, and exploring the woods of Paradise Valley. 

Kim is the single parent of one child, Cole, who attends middle school in the Burlington Area School District. Her son is a repeat recipient of the Presidential Academic Achievement Award. She understands the hard work, dedication, and commitment teachers have for students. She knows that together as a team, teachers, parents, and community educate and create opportunities for children. 

Kim is a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lyons and an alternate to the Parish Council. She has been a Catechist for the Religious Education Program since 2008 teaching children how to engage in lifelong spiritual growth. She volunteers regularly at Love Inc. Community Center in Burlington serving meals to local families coping with economic and emotional hardships. 

Raised by strong, hardworking parents, Kim was taught to fight for what you believe in and reach out to those in need. Kim will stand for working families and job creation. She will promote healthcare and women’s rights. She will fight for public education and students. She will stand for children and seniors. As Assembly Representative, Kim will be out in the community listening to the concerns in District 32, advocating for the best interests of our economy, and fighting for fairness and equality. Western Racine County, Western Kenosha County, and Walworth County will illuminate with pride as Kim leads the 32nd Assembly District in Wisconsin.


The Independent Challenger:  David Stolow


About:   My political views are inseparable from my private life. I grew up with the support of two loving parents who taught me that achievement requires hard work, dedication, taking responsibility and being accountable. These are lessons I take with me in all walks of life. 

I have been very fortunate in my life and career. My opportunities in the private sector allowed me to develop skills in leadership, team building, mentoring, manufacturing operations, project managment and leading cross functional program teams. I believe these are the experiences a person needs to be effective in public service as well. My private sector skills, coupled with my independent spirit to work for the citizens of district 32 will allow me to represent district with the same passion and enthusiasm I brought to my work in the private sector. 

I have been married to my wonderful wife Melissa for 19 years and have a smart, talented and beautiful 13 year old daughter. I am also an avid sports fan, love music and have a passion for motorcycles.

Related posts:
Assembly District 1.
Assembly District 2.
Assembly District 3.
Assembly District 4.
Assembly District 5.
Assembly District 6.
Assembly District 7.
Assembly District 8.
Assembly District 9.
Assembly District 10.
Assembly District 11.
Assembly District 12.
Assembly District 13.
Assembly District 14.
Assembly District 15.
Assembly District 16.
Assembly District 17.
Assembly District 18.
Assembly District 19.
Assembly District 20.
Assembly District 21.
Assembly District 22.
Assembly District 23.
Assembly District 24.
Assembly District 25.
Assembly District 26.
Assembly District 27.
Assembly District 28.
Assembly District 29.
Assembly District 30.
Assembly District 31.