Friday, July 13, 2012

Elimination of California's Reimbursement Payments Opens Door to Non-Resident Fees for Library Cards

Check it out: Library fee is a good decision. (San Jose Mercury News, 7/12/2012)


Excerpt: For decades libraries had reciprocal agreements that allowed California residents to borrow books and materials from any library in the state, said Howe. The state would then reimburse the libraries for any losses they incurred in an effort to make the library experience a seamless one for residents. 

"It was a really marvelous program--the envy of many states," Howe said. 

However, the state's reimbursement rate dropped every year as a result of budget cutbacks until it came to a complete halt last year. The elimination of the reciprocal borrowing fund was the primary trigger for implementing the $80 fee, said Howe. 

The Joint Powers Authority, the library's governing board that was created in the mid-'90s to preserve library service amid state cutbacks, elected to set the $80 fee in July 2011.

Santa Clara County Library System
2011-2012 Total and Non-Resident Circ (Est.)

Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 51st Assembly District


Public libraries in the 51st Assembly District
Turgeson Memorial Library, Belmont



Biography.  Born Madison, October 3, 1954; married.

Graduate River Valley H.S. (Spring Green) 1972; B.A. UW-Whitewater 1976.

Certified public accountant.

Member: St. John’s Catholic Church, Spring Green (fin. com. mbr.); Taliesin Preservation Inc. Bd. of Trustees (treas.); Wis. Academy of Science Arts and Letters (treas.); Wis. Academy Foundation Bd. of Dir. (treas.).

Elected to Assembly 2010.  (With 52% of the vote.)

From his 2010 campaign.



The Republican Challengers

Pat Bomhack

About






Wisconsin Eye interview.


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.
Assembly District 37.
Assembly District 39.
Assembly District 44.
Assembly District 45.
Assembly District 47.
Assembly District 49.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Retailers Work to Increase "Online" Foot Traffic in Their Stores


Luring Online Shoppers Offline. (The New York Times, 7/5/2012)

Excerpt:   As online shopping has surged, traditional retailers have lost millions in sales to so-called showrooming — when shoppers check out products in stores that they then buy from Web sites like Amazon. It has gotten so bad that Best Buy even replaces standard bar codes with special Best Buy-only codes on big ticket items so they cannot be scanned and compared online.

Now some big retailers are taking a new approach to the dreaded showrooming by transforming their stores into extensions of their own online operations. Walmart, Macy’s, Best Buy, Sears, the Container Store and other retailers are stepping up efforts to add 
"
  • Web return centers, 
  • pickup locations, 
  • free shipping outlets, 
  • payment booths and even 
  • drive-through customer service centers 
for online sales to their brick-and-mortar buildings.

For Tech Companies, Telephone Customer Service Goes the Way of the Landline



Tech Companies Leave Phone Calls Behind. (The New York Times, 7/7/2012)

Excerpt:  Voice calls have been falling out of fashion with teenagers and people in their 20s for some time (text only, please). But what is a matter of preference for the young is becoming a matter of policy for technology companies; phones cost money, phones do not scale. Besides, why call when you can use Google, or send a Twitter message? 

On the other end of the line, however, some people may not know how to Google, or do not want to use Twitter. These users may be older, or less technically adept, and they are finding the method of communication they have relied on for a lifetime shifting under their feet.

Physicians Do Financial Harm to the U.S. Health Care System

 BIG mark-up

According to a front-page story in today's New York Times, this is what happens when doctors dispense drugs on their own:

Insurers Pay Big Markups as Doctors Dispense Drugs. (The New York Times, 7/12/2012)

Excerpt:    Most common among physicians who treat injured workers, it is a twist on a typical doctor’s visit. Instead of sending patients to drugstores to get prescriptions filled, doctors dispense the drugs in their offices to patients, with the bills going to insurers. Doctors can make tens of thousands of dollars a year operating their own in-office pharmacies. The practice has become so profitable that private equity firms are buying stakes in the businesses, and political lobbying over the issue is fierce.

Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 49th Assembly District


Public libraries in the 49th Assembly District
Allen-Dietzman Public Library, Lancaster
Benton Public Library
Bloomington Public Library
Boscobel Public Library
Brickl Memorial Library, Dickeyville
Cuba City Public Library
Dwight T. Parker Public Library, Fennimore
Eckstein Memorial Library, Cassville
Hazel Green Public Library
Montfort Public Library
Muscoda Public Library
Platteville Public Library
Schreiner Memorial Library, Lancaster

Academic libraries
Elton S. Karrmann Library, UW-Platteville
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Library, Fennimore

The Republican Incumbent

Campaign website.

Biography.  Born Dubuque, IA, September 12, 1985; married; 2 children.

Graduate Wahlert Catholic H.S. (Dubuque, IA) 2004; B.A. Loras College (Dubuque, IA) 2007.

Dairy farmer, small business owner.

Member: St. Joseph Sinsinawa Parish Council (pres.); Wis. Farm Bureau; Knights of Columbus; National Rifle Association; Ducks Unlimited; Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce; Southwest Wis. Young Professionals; Grant Co. Republican Party.

Elected to Assembly 2010


I'm sorry, but Dave must have a painting hidden in his attic.

From a 6/20/2012 WisPolitics news release:    “I am a Republican running for office because Travis Tranel voted against the Budget Repair Bill - the cornerstone of Wisconsin's reforms that made it possible to balance the $3.6 billion deficit, pay off hundreds of millions of overdue bills from the Doyle administration, and save our schools $1 billion”


The Democratic Challenger: 

Carl Beals, according to The Wheeler Report list.  I found no campaign or biographical info.  Obviously a typo.

Carol Beals [link to Ballotpedia] ran against Dale Schultz for the 17th Senate District seat in 2010.  .  Beals serves on the Grant County Board of Supervisors.  

A member of the class of 2010 Emerge Wisconsin.    Carol is a current member and volunteer for Wisconsin Badger Camp. She got her associate’s degree from Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. Carol is the Dean’s assistant at the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science at UW-Platteville. She has a husband named Jim and two daughters.

Perhaps she's waiting to campaign after the August 14th primary?

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.
Assembly District 37.
Assembly District 39.
Assembly District 44.
Assembly District 45.
Assembly District 47.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Visit to Barnes & Noble

Nook at its core.

Wouldn't you rather read a Nook?

New cookbooks are prominently, attractively displayed.

Toys and games are given more floor space

Thematic display

Used book wasteland

Children's area looks much the same.


OK, so where did all the upholstered chairs go?

Need more evidence that people aren't buying CDs?
The incredibly shrinking Rock/Pop section

Still a lot of floor space given over to DVDs.

I've never understood why people buy audiobooks.

Surprisingly, the busiest section of the store.
Had trouble finding an unobstructed view,
i..e, no people in the picture.  
I'm sure some people were thinking, 
Why does this guy with a camera keep wandering around?

Time to leave.
Without making a purchase.



Newport Beach Council Weighs In On Library's (Appropriate) Use Policy




Lounging, poor hygiene grounds for removal from Newport libraries, (Orange County Register, 7/11/2012)

Excerpt: A new policy, approved Tuesday night by a unanimous City Council with Leslie Daigle absent, also has rules against bikes being parked or locked anywhere other than bike racks. 

The regulations were prompted by concerns about library users who continually misuse the library facilities, argue with staff when confronted about sleeping or lounging on the furniture or park bikes and shopping carts in front of entrances. 

There was no council discussion of the new regulations. 

Metal Thieves Leave Robbins Public Library Without Air-Conditioning


'Outrage' at theft of library air conditioner in Robbins. (Chicago Tribune, 7/11/2012)

Excerpt: The library has been scraping by on a bare-bones budget for years, the victim of dwindling tax revenues in a village with a poor economy and a significant number of residents living below the poverty line, Coatney said. The building was open for only 24 hours a week a few years ago, although it is now open 36 hours a week, Coatney said. 

In 2009, the library was in danger of closing until NBA star and Robbins native Dwyane Wade delivered a $25,000 check to keep it afloat.



Who's Running for Office in Wisconsin 2012: 47th Assembly District


The District does an Olympics-worthy flip over Lakes Mendota and Monona.  

Public libraries in the new 47th Assembly District
E. D. Locke Public Library, McFarland
Fitchburg Public Library
Madison Public Library (service area)
Monona Public Library

Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) is the current representative in the 47th.  He is running for re-election in the 42nd, a seat  now held by Fred Clark (D-Baraboo), who is running in the 81st.

An open seat, in other words.

The Republican Candidate

Sandy Bakk

Sandy Bakk Announces Candidacy for Wisconsin Assembly 47th District.  (Monona Herald-Independent, 6/29/2012)

Bakk ran and lost for the Dane County Supervisor  District 34 seat.




The Democratic Candidates

Amanda Hall



Robb Kahl

Robb Kahl's Assembly Bid.  (The Monona Rag, 4/25/2012)

Excerpt:     Robb Kahl is making a bid for the Wisconsin assembly in the newly restructured 47th district. The move isn’t a shocker, but many were surprised that Kahl is running as a democrat. In Kahl’s time as Monona’s mayor, he worked to avoid saying what ‘party’ he was part of. But many saw him as a moderate conservative. There were rumors he was trying to land a job with the Walker administration. He donated money to republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. But a few rumors and contributions don’t necessarily paint a full picture. Thus, Kahl is running as a democrat and pulling in lots of endorsements from local party leaders (Monona Mayor Bob Miller, former Madison Mayor Dave Cieselwicz, and Senator John Erpenbach – to name a few).

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.
Assembly District 37.
Assembly District 39.
Assembly District 44.
Assembly District 45.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

OK, Who is Dr. Homer Rea?

Is he, by any chance, related to Tony Randall?

National Geographic, November 1975


2013 Municipal Budget Preview: Madison, Wisconsin

No, not in a metaphorical mood.
Progress pic taken Monday, July 9.

Soglin asks city managers for 5 percent cuts in budget. (Wisconsin State Journal, 7/10/2012)

What's needed in 2013?

$271,500,000.

An increase of $18,700,000 over the 2012 budget in order to cover.....
  • Continuing costs
  • One-time commitments
  • Rising debt costs

Excerpt: The city can raise property taxes up to $8.7 million under the state's new levy cap, which would mean a maximum 3.47 percent boost in taxes on the average $232,024 home. 

That would leave a $10 million budget gap, and to cover it, Soglin wants agencies — including the police and fire departments — to draft budgets with 5 percent cuts, which if applied across the board could save perhaps $10 million or more.

Departmental budget requests are due August 6.

Starring the Madison Public Library.

Hey, let me know if the Madison Public Library is not the upper-left, star performer -- just like in the movies -- when you read this post.

Your Computer is Ready


From Lisle to Libertyville, libraries are striving to make the best possible use of technology. (The Daily Herald, 7/9/2012)

Excerpt:   Just as you’re starting to get frustrated, the buzzer in your hand lights up and vibrates, alerting you that a space has finally opened. 

No, you’re not at a restaurant during the dinner rush — you’re at Lisle Public Library. 

Restaurant-style buzzers, introduced at the beginning of June, are just the latest addition to the library as it strives — along with other libraries throughout the area — to take greater advantage of technology.


The Lisle Library District's service population is 28,504, and it has 12 public access Internet computers.  Applying Wisconsin standards for Public Use Internet Computers per 1,000 Population, here's how Lisle fares,


With all due respect to the Lisle Library District, space needs might have much to do with the number of public access computers available, particularly in light of this statement from the library's history page.

Our original store front had 1,250 square feet of space.  In 1981, a 12,500 square foot building was constructed, and a 13,500 square foot addition was dedicated in 1989.

No additional space since 1989.   When did your library provide its first public access Internet computers?

Most likely, between 1994 and 1998.

Library Card/Voter ID Fray in Memphis


City Says Library Photo Cards Should Stand For Election ID. (Memphis Daily News, 7/9/2012) 

Excerpt:   New Memphis library cards that include a photo have become a challenge to the new state law requiring certain state-issued photo identification in order to vote. 

The Memphis library system unveiled the move to the photo library cards last week with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. saying the new library cards could be used to vote starting with the upcoming Aug. 2 elections. Early voting begins Friday, July 13. 

Less than 24 hours later, Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins contradicted that, saying the new library cards are not valid for voter identification.



Editorial: Keep options open on photo ID. (Memphis Commercial Appeal, 7/10/2012)

Excerpt:   The rejection of the city's effort justifies another try to get the law amended. 

The library system does due diligence in making sure the individuals to whom it issues library cards are who they say they are. After all, the library has a financial stake in ensuring the items they lend out are returned. The new photo cards contain the borrower's name, photo and address.

Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 45th Assembly District


Imagine a Venn diagram where most of Beloit is the area where the two circles overlap.


Public libraries in the 45th Assembly District

Academic library

Beloit split by redistricting.  (Beloit Daily News, 7/16/2011)

Excerpt:     Beloit would be split in half, with the eastern part of the city in the 31st District and the West Side of Beloit in the 45th District, which would be represented by Janis Ringhand, a Democrat from Evansville. Currently, Ringhand is the Assembly representative for the 80th district, which currently includes Monroe near its southern edge, Evansville at its eastern edge and Oregon at its northern edge. <

Democrats have objected to the redistricting plan, which was presented to the Democrats and the public on July 8. 

“It splits Beloit in half. It will dilute Beloit’s influence,” said Rep. Peter Barca, Democratic Minority Leader in the Assembly. “Beloit should be able to go to one representative in the Assembly.” 

“They made a much safer Assembly District for Rep. Loudenbeck,” said Sen. Tim Cullen, the Democratic Senator for the 15th District.

Comment:  It's not a 50/50 split, population-wise.  A close inspection of the new map reveals that the portion of Beloit in the 31st District is primarily manufacturing, office, and retail.  And other.  My Aunt Lila, Uncle Min, and Cousin Genevieve are buried in East Lawn Cemetery, though, of course, they can't vote for any of the following four candidates.  (Most likely, they would made their choice between the first two.)

The Republican Candidates  (Both of whom currently serve on the Orfordville Village Board)

Russell Rucker

About:    He is 50 years old; married to Elena for12 years. They have 2 children, Alexander and Nicholas. 

He has lived in the 45th district for 17 years, first in Evansville and then Orfordville where he currently serves on the Village Board as a Trustee. 

He is in his second term as Trustee having been reelected this past spring. He is a painter by trade and has been in the construction field for over 30 years.  He learned his trade from his dad who was a building contractor. 

He has been politically active for many years. First in Dane County and then in Rock County. He has served on the Rock County Republican Party Executive Committee several different times; at one time being the Vice-Chairman. He has been instrumental in aiding a number of candidates in their election bids.

Interview with Rucker.  (Local Vision TV)


Beth Schmidt  (website does not lend itself to screenshots)

About.   Beth Schmidt has deep ties to the 45th Assembly District. She spent the first 13 years of her life in Beloit, before her family moved to Janesville. Beth's mother worked for the Beloit College Art Gallery and her family owned several small business in Beloit in the service and manufacturing industry. In fact, many of Beth's cousins owned farms in Jefferson Township in Green County. 

Beth and her husband Karl have been married for 32 years and they raised three children. Their son Josh is an Iraq veteran and is currently serving in Afghanistan, daughter Karlie is a dietitian in Beloit married to Tim Wellnitz, and daughter Kerrie is a recent graduate establishing herself in Rockford. The Schmidts have one granddaughter and are expecting a second grandchild very soon. 

Beth is a familiar voice in the community. She is serving as an Orfordville Village Board Trustee and is an active member on various boards in the area. 

 Beth now wants to be your representation at the capitol in Madison. She knows what it is going to take to move Wisconsin forward and the struggles of the middle class worker. She will use her dedication to volunteering and her common sense to represent our values. This means real solutions to job creation and economic development.

Interview with Schmidt. (Local Vision TV)


The Democratic Candidates

Sheila De Forest

Interview with De Forest. (Local Vision TV)

Janis Ringhand, the de facto incumbent

Biography.   Born Madison, February 13, 1950; married; 2 children. Graduate Evansville H.S. 1968; attended Madison Area Tech. Coll. 1983-85.

Full-time legislator. Former accountant for small businesses, executive director of nonprofit.

Member: Stoughton Hospital Bd. (vice chp.); Rock Co. Literacy Connection (vice pres.); Evansville Chamber of Commerce; VFW Auxiliary Post 6905 (secy.); Evansville Energy Independence Team. Former member: Creekside Place, Inc. (bd. of dir.); Evansville Community Partnership (secy.).

Evansville City Council 1998-2002, 2008-10. Mayor of Evansville 2002-06.

Elected to Assembly 2010.  Unopposed in primary.  Won general election with nearly 53% of the vote.

Interview with Ringhand. (Local Vision TV)

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.
Assembly District 37.
Assembly District 39.
Assembly District 44.