Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Fence in Keeping with Clearwater's Crown Jewel of Public Buildings: The Library


Clearwater to put gated fence around entrance to downtown library.   (Tampa Bay Times, 8/4/2012)

Excerpt:    The Clearwater Main Library is the unquestioned crown jewel of this city's public buildings. It's the newest and best, an attractive four-story structure with majestic water views.

But after eight years, the downtown library's front entrance and the outdoor terrace on the building's west side are starting to show wear and tear. Officials say that's partly because there's a problem with homeless people sleeping around the building at night.

So the City Council voted Thursday night to put a teal-colored, 8-foot metal fence around the front entrance, with a curving arch on top that mirrors the library's wavelike roof. A similar fence will surround the west terrace. The whole thing will cost $119,400.


And in other library news (from last year)....

Security Service Brings Relief to Library Staff


First Alarm guards patrolling library, City Hall areas. (San Jose Mercury News, 8/4/2012)

ExcerptHomeless people and others have long hung out at the library, a safe place to go inside, sit down and use the computer or read or rest a while. It also has one of the few unlocked and free rest rooms in the downtown area. City Hall has also been a popular place for people to hang out.

Janis O'Driscoll, a division manager for Santa Cruz Public Libraries, said a guard has been a need at least since the recession began a few years ago. But a tight budget made it impossible for the libraries to hire their own guards, she said.

Friday, August 3, 2012

.0022% of Wisconsin State Employees and Citizens Offer Comments about Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in State Government


You'd think abuse alone would put the response rate in double digits.

And, c'mon, aren't most Wisconsin state employees Wisconsin citizens, too?  (Sez Walker, During my 2012 State of the State Address, I urged citizens and state employees to submit suggestions to make government operations more efficient.)




Most of the task force members are state government appointees, i.e., part of the Walker Team.  Sorry, folks, can't help but be a little skeptical here.  (Check out Nate's Twitter page, for example.)
Not 100% sure about the names not highlighted.

Cedar Rapids Public Library Construction Time Lapse



Related posts:
Groundbreaking celebration.  (5/2/2012)
Construction update.  (12/1/2012)
Construction of new library starts December 5.  (10/14/2011)
Cedar Rapids PTA Council supports new library with penny drive. (9/19/2011)
Contracts sent out for bid.  (8/30/2011)
A "progressive and forward-looking design".  (1/11/2011)
FEMA sez it can't support site for new Cedar Rapids library. (9/16/2010)
New library construction will include old bricks.  (8/18/2010)
Library circulation plummets at temporary location.  (8/6/2010)
Library staff looking at the best design ideas. (5/6/2010)
For sale, old library, needs work.  (4/9/2010)
Site Selection Raises Ethics Concerns.  (2/9/2010)
Cedar Rapids Library Board to Recommend Site for New Library. (01/26/2010)
FEMA Reconsiders, Decides Library Provides an Essential Service. (12/24/2009)
Hide and Seek: Downtown Cedar Rapids Satellite Branch Library. (11/30/2009)
Early Days of Cedar Rapids Public Library. (11/20/2009)


Improvements in Store @ the Iowa City Public Library





"The Talking Library": Hit or Miss?



Essex Public Library's Channel.  Link to other videos.

Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 94th Assembly District


Public libraries in the 94th
La Crosse County Library

The Democratic Incumbent

Biography: Born La Crosse, May 21, 1958; married; 2 children. 

Graduate Aquinas H.S. 1976; B.A. UW-La Crosse 1980; J.D. U. of Wisconsin Law School 1986. 

Attorney. Former instructor, UW-La Crosse. Former member: Family Resource Center (bd. mbr.); Family and Childrens Center (bd. mbr.); Coulee Region Humane Society (bd. mbr., pres.). La Crosse Co. Bd. 1986-present (chairperson 2002-11). 

Elected to Assembly in May 2011 special election.  (Steve Doyle, 8658; John Lautz, 7474)

Wisconsin Eye interview from 2011.


The Republican Challengers

Bruce Evers

About:  [with bold added]  Bruce brings 42 years of financial and business experience at the local, state and national level. That experience includes Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Senior Health Care issues and Family Financial Wellness education. He was President and CEO of two Wisconsin Banks and with that experience brings a comprehensive view of the banking industry. 

Bruce and his wife (Lynda) also own a small farming operation which give him personal knowledge about issues and concerns facing the agriculture industry

Wisconsin Eye interview.

In September 2010, Evers, a Rhinelander native, lost to Dan Kapanke in the 3rd congressional district Republican Primary election.   Kapanke received 78% of the votes.

Kevin Hintz
Not even a Republican in name.
The word doesn't appear on his campaign website.

About:  [with bold added]   I am an electronic technician and have been working in the security industry for nearly the past eleven years for the same company. During those years I enrolled in night classes at Western Technical College. I graduated from Western with a degree in Supervisory Management. After graduation I continued my education at Viterbo to earn a Bachelors of Science degree in Management and Information Technology. . 

My wife Christie and I have five children ranging in ages from 1 to 10 years old. [Go to his website for rambling comments on nullification.]

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.
Assembly District 51.
Assembly District 53.
Assembly District 55.
Assembly District 56.
Assembly District 62.
Assembly District 65.
Assembly District 69.
Assembly District 70.
Assembly District 71.
Assembly District 78.
Assembly District 79.
Assembly District 80.
Assembly District 85.
Assembly District 86.
Assembly District 90.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Correction: "The U.S Chamber is Irresponsible for the Content of This Advertising"



What is a super pac?

What's a Super Pac?

Hmmm, let me think.



Little Public Awareness of Outside Campaign Spending Boom. (Pew Research, 8/2/2012)





Quite the Quick Turnaround Time @ the Carol Stream Public Library


Carol Stream library considering firms for director search. (Daily Herald, 8/2/2012)

In our previous installment, Board President Mike Wade said the board is going to rely on the staff to do much of the preliminary work, such as looking at resumes and qualifications.

He also said that the library may use of a professional search firm and that the next steps would be discussed at the August 15th board meeting.

All of the above was reported in the July 27th Daily Herald.

Now, according to today's Daily Herald ("Carol Stream considering firms for director search"), Wade has already consulted with two search firms and has their proposals in hand.

As reported by Christopher Placek, Board President Mike Wade already has talked with officials from the two firms, who submitted written proposals to him.

Let's see now, the Board fired Ann Kennedy -- for a second time (didn't get it right the first time) -- on Wednesday, July 25th.  And yesterday, August 1, the Board decided to table a decision on which of two search firms to hire.  That's quite the quick turnaround time.

Which, for me, brings up a slew of questions.

When did these talks take place?  More importantly, when did Wade first contact the search firms?

Was there a written request for proposal?

Did the library board authorize Wade to take this step?  If so, when?  There's no evidence of this on any recent agendas.

Sidebar:  For Tate's take on "checks and balances", read section III of the minutes of the July 10, 2012, special meeting of the Board.

Anyway, here are screenshots of the two contenders.



Curious that Wade, who ran for the board in 2009 because he was opposed to "high library taxes and improper spending by Kennedy", seems so eager to spend up to $18,000 to hire a professional search firm.

Related posts:
Good luck with that!  (8/1/2012)
Library Director has no doubts her firing was personal. (7/25/2012)
Do-over:  Library board votes again to fire library director officially, legally.  (7/26/2012)
Philosophical realignment of the Carol Stream Public Library Board of Trustees.  (7/19/2012)

2013 Municipal Budget Preview: Sheboygan Budget Showdown on Tap



City of Sheboygan budget showdown looms. Mayor reiterates vow to veto garbage fee. (Sheboygan Press, 8/1/2012)

City Council members voted 12-4 against a proposal to repeal the $5 monthly garbage fee, which is projected to bring in $869,000 in revenue in 2013.  The margin is considered "veto-proof."  The Council also voted 12-4 to recommend the budget as proposed by Chief Administrative Officer Jim Amodeo.   (Van Akkeran isn't the only official with whom Amodeo has disagreed.)

Other 2013 Wisconsin county and municipal budget news.
Madison. (7/10/2012)

Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 90th Assembly District


Public libraries in the 90th.
Brown County Public Library

After serving for 5 terms, Karl Van Roy (R-Green Bay) is retiring from the Assembly.

An open seat.

The Republican Candidates

Joel Diny


More about David.

Wisconsin Senate recall candidate David VanderLeest dismisses legal problems.  (Green Bay Press-Gazette, 6/8/2011)

Excerpt:    The Republican recall candidate hoping to oust state Sen. Dave Hansen from office has a history of legal and financial troubles, including nearly $25,000 in unpaid property taxes and arrests for domestic abuse.


Wonder how many of the 11,054 held their noses while voting.

Wisconsin Eye interview.

The Democratic Candidate

About:   [with bold added]   Eric Genrich knows how unique Green Bay is because he was born and raised here. Eric grew up playing Little League baseball at the end of Lawe St. and tackle football for St. Thomas More at Farlin Park. It was on Emilie Street where he had his first job as the neighborhood paperboy. In high school Eric ran cross country, worked at Martin Hardware and met his future wife, Emily Kelley.

After graduation, Eric attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in 2002. More importantly, it was during his college years that Eric and Emily started dating. Eric went to work for State Senator Dave Hansen where his Green Bay roots came in handy in his role providing constituent services and policy research. While working for Senator Hansen, Eric and Emily married and Eric began to study for a Masters Degree in Library and Information Sciences. He earned his Master’s from UW-Milwaukee in 2010.

He went to work as a field representative for Congressman Steve Kagen in 2010 where he performed constituent outreach and constituent services for people in Northeastern Wisconsin.

Today, Eric and Emily have two young children, Henry and Amelia, and they reside on Division St. He works as an Information Technology Librarian at the Brown County Library. Eric also serves on the Executive Committee for NeighborWorks Green Bay, a local housing nonprofit, and is a member of his neighborhood association.

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.
Assembly District 51.
Assembly District 53.
Assembly District 55.
Assembly District 56.
Assembly District 62.
Assembly District 65.
Assembly District 69.
Assembly District 70.
Assembly District 71.
Assembly District 78.
Assembly District 79.
Assembly District 80.
Assembly District 85.
Assembly District 86.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Perhaps He Feels He Can Afford to be Stupid


Tennessee lawmaker warns of fake Obama assassination plot to stop 2012 elections. (The Raw Story, 8/1/2012)

Winning 56.5% of the vote in 2010.

In the Event of a Terrorist Attack Affecting the Election, Who Decides Whether to Delay?What the Constitution and Federal Statutes Say.  (FindLaw, 7/21/2004)

As Michael C. Dorf points out, it's not the Presdent's call.

But tinkering with the laws of each state -- or with federal law governing state procedures - may not prove sufficient. The decision whether to postpone a federal election in one state affects the nation as a whole.

Good Luck with That!


Carol Stream begins search for new library director. (Daily Herald, 7/27/2012)

Excerpt: Board President Mike Wade said he hasn’t yet talked with interim Director Mary Clemens about finding a permanent replacement, but the library may use a search firm to evaluate resumes and interview applicants. 

The board plans to discuss the next steps at its Aug. 15 meeting, Wade said. 

He said the board is going to rely on the staff to do much of the preliminary work, such as looking at resumes and qualifications.


50 applicants?

Related posts:
Library Director has no doubts her firing was personal. (7/25/2012)
Do-over:  Library board votes again to fire library director officially, legally.  (7/26/2012)
Philosophical realignment of the Carol Stream Public Library Board of Trustees.  (7/19/2012)

Redistricting: What It's All About in Wisconsin

Documents cast new light on redistricting process; reveal partisan motivations.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 7/31/2012, with bold added.)


Let's take a look at some of these compact districts.

We'll start with the district in which I now reside.


forcing Sondy Pope-Roberts (D- Town of Middleton) to reconsider her options. 

Here's my favorite.

More than half of Jefferson County,
3 townships in Dane County

which left Andy Jorgenson (D-Fort Atkinson) out in the cold.
57 miles from east to west.

Here's a view of the district from a statewide perspective......


Did Leah Vukmir get her wish?

Let's use the 15th Assembly District, part of her 5th Senate District, as the prime example.


Hello, Waukesha County!  (Lots more GOP.)  Goodbye, City of Milwaukee.
And, as a result, Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis) decides to retire after serving 16 years in the State Assembly.

West Allis gets split four ways in redistricting. Legislative decision rankles various city and state officials. (West Allis Now, 8/10/2011)

And in two districts, federal judges took issue with the alleged goal of "maximum minority representation".

Voces applauds redistricting ruling. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/22/2012)

Related article:
Federal judges slam GOP lawmakers over redistricting secrecy.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/16/2012)

What's the Scoop in the Borough of Middletown, Pennsylvania?



Facing a $3,000,000 shortfall, the Middletown (PA) Borough Council decides not to fund the library, which translates into a revenue loss of $350,000 in 2013 for the Middletown Public Library.

Some other numbers being thrown around.

$380,000.  The library's endowment fund.  NOT for day-to-day operations.  Some donations have been earmarked for specific uses, such as summer reading program activities or equipment repair.  In most cases, only the interest income can be used.

$160,000.  The state money that borough officials say the library has in reserve.  They pulled this one out of their hats -- or some other storage place. According to Rich Bowra, Executive Director of the Dauphin County Library System, which Middletown opted out of 27 years ago, the Middletown Public Library regularly spends its annual $30,000 stipend.

Middletown Public Library according to the numbers (2010 Pennsylvania public library statistics)
  • Service area population:  9,242
  • Hours open weekly:  50
  • FTE staff:  4.6
  • Catalogued items:  27,706
  • Circulation:  66,958
  • Public access internet computers:  7
  • Total revenue:  $297,263 -- of which $220,660 is reported as local government revenue.
Did the Borough of Middletown increase its appropriation to the library by nearly 60% in 2 years?  I can't imagine that's the case.

Guess we'll have to wait for the next chapter of this story.

In the meantime, you're probably wondering, "What the heck's a borough, for crying out loud?"


Coming Soon: The Lawrence Public Library's Creation Zone


Director sees library’s role as creation hub. More than just books will play big part in the future, Allen says. (Lawrence Journal World, 8/1/2012)

Excerpt: So Allen believes it can be with a library basement as well. Current plans for the library expansion include what Allen is calling “creation zones” that will be set up in the basement of the library. There will be sound equipment, there will be video equipment, there will be computer tools to help people create everything from logos to funky photos.


Judge Finds At Least One Aspect of Tennessee Voter ID Law "Nonsensical"


Nashville judge criticizes voter ID law, says no to library cards.  U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger urges legislature to clarify law while ruling Memphis voters can't use library cards as photo ID at polls. (The Nashville Tennessean, 8/1/2012)

Excerpt: U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger said Tuesday that she was not convinced the state legislature meant for election officials to accept cards issued by local governments when they passed a law last year requiring voters to show picture IDs.

Related posts:
Judge to weigh in on voter ID skirmish. (7/30/2012)
Library card/voter ID fray in Memphis.  (7/10/2012)

Who's Running for State Office in Wisconsin 2012: 86th Assembly District



This just in. Documents cast new light on redistricting process; reveal partisan motivations*.   (Wisconsin State Journal, 7/31/2012)

*Of which the boundaries of the new 86th appear to be emblematic.

Public libraries in the 86th.
Marathon County Public Library

The seat is now vacant, as Jerry Petrowski won the 29th State Senate District recall election.

An open seat.

The Republican Candidates

John Spiros

About. [with bold added]  I have been a member of the Marshfield City Council for 7 years. I proudly served as President of the Council in 2009 and Chairman of Finance and Budget Committee, for the last 4 out of 5 years. I am a member of the Central Wisconsin State Fair Board of Directors and have been elected to the Industrial Park Commission since 2005. 

Currently, I am the Vice President of Safety and Claims Management for Roehl Transport, in Marshfield, WI. I am also a Veteran of the United States Air Force, serving proudly for 6 years. As a member of an "elite" security squad at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, we were tasked with protecting the 26 generals and the command center for the Strategic Air Command. 

I have also served the public as a police officer

I am married to Rebecca, who is a nurse at the Marshfield Clinic, and together we have 5 adult children. 

Wisconsin Eye interview.

Wayne Thorson

Bio.  [with bold added]  Over 25 years ago, Wayne pursued his dream of entrepreneurship when he started a commercial contracting and design business.

In the last decade, Wayne pursued a college degree through the Northcentral Technical College in Wausau where he earned an Associates Degree in Residential Design; a degree which allowed him to further expand his business. As a strong advocate for personal growth and achievement, Wayne values the importance of education and wants to ensure that it continues to help Wisconsin students, especially those in the 86th Assembly District, pursue their dreams and reach greater heights of success by making quality education more accessible through lower tuition rates and increased partnership programs between institutions such as UW-Marathon County and the Northcentral Technical College.

Above all else, Wayne believes that family and faith come first.

The Democratic Candidate

About.   Dennis Halkoski was born and raised in the 86th Assembly District. He graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1971.

Dennis attended UW Stevens Point and Northcentral Technical College in Wausau in the Police Science program.

He worked in manufacturing while pursuing his education in law enforcement and a part time job with the Athens Police Department. In 1986, Dennis began working with the Everest Metro Police Department and retired from there in 2011 as a Detective Sergeant after 25 years of service.

Dennis and his wife Paula reside in Weston. He has 3 children and 1 grandson.

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.
Assembly District 51.
Assembly District 53.
Assembly District 55.
Assembly District 56.
Assembly District 62.
Assembly District 65.
Assembly District 69.
Assembly District 70.
Assembly District 71.
Assembly District 78.
Assembly District 79.
Assembly District 80.
Assembly District 85.