Saturday, December 8, 2012

5th Anniversary of a Transformed Indianapolis Central Library

Eric Cantor Deservedly in the Running for Stupidest Right-Wing Tweet

 The History of Labor Day/Labor Day History:  11 Facts You Need to Know
  • The origins of the holiday are clearly traced to the organized labor movement
  • Dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers
  • 1st Labor Day, September 5, 1882.  Organized by Central Labor Union.  10,000 workers assembly in New York City for a parade, followed by a picnic, concert, and speeches.
  • Initially observed as a state holiday
  • First declared a national observance on the 1st Monday in September by President Grover Cleveland

Friday, December 7, 2012

Expect a Frigid Reception from Wisconsin Republicans to This Redistricting Bill

On Politics: Hansen pushes redistricting bill. (Wisconsin State Journal, 12/6/2012)

Related posts
Close, but no cigar, in this Republican redistricting effort to steal an Assembly seat.  (11/20/2012)
Redistricting in Wisconsin:  The plumber controls the spigot.  (11/15/2012)
Eric Litke can't see the forest for the trees.  (11/12/2012)
Robin Vos and religious imagery.  (10/15/2012)
The faces of gerrymandering.  (10/9/2012)
What it's all about in Wisconsin.  (8/1/2012)
Who's running for state office in Wisconsin:  31st Assembly District.  (7/4/2012)
Not anymore!  (2/7/2012)
Redistricting in Wisconsin:  the Basics.  (12/6/2011)
Define "judicial activism".  (12/3/2011)
More headaches but this time Sen. Lazich has the cure.  (10/27/2011)
Legislative redistricting in Wisconsin, part 2.  (10/24/2011)
Legislative redistricting in Wisconsin,  part 1.  (10/18/2011)
Legislative Reference Bureau legislative brief:  Local redistricting readjustment.  (9/6/2011)
Let's call this bill exactly what it is:  an unfunded mandate.  (7/21/2011)
Wisconsin redistricting plan popeils DeForest, Windsor.  (7/21/2011)
Fred Clark gets redrawn out of  his district?  Just a coincidence, of course.  (7/21/2011)
Oshkosh Northwestern editorial board tells it like it is.  (7/29/2011)
Wisconsin legislative redistricting:  Abandoned principles, interactive maps, bill text, and more. (7/13/2011)
Congressional redistricting in Wisconsin.  (6/19/2011)

Millington to LSSI: Take These Chains and Set Us Free

Photo source:  Library Technology

Millington library wants to end contract with private operator. (Memphis Commercial-Appeal, 12/3/2012)

Summary:  Millington contracted with LSSI in 2005 when the City of Millington took over control of the library from Shelby County, which "boasts" but doesn't, apparently, fund libraries.

The Milington Public Library is now chafing at LSSI's restrictions -- what the chair of the library board calls the company's "cookie-cutter" approach to managing libraries.

Library staff, for example, can't purchase certain books because they are not on LSSI's "approved list".  What kind of nonsense is that?

Staff are also required to buy equipment from LSSI-specific company, even if a better price is available elsewhere.   A little back-scratchin' goin' on.

Related posts:
LSSI walks back its UK target.  (11/28/2011)
For-profit, privately run public libraries: anecdotal vs. actual evidence. (7/27/2011)
Santa Clarita Mayor eventually trumpets the library's LSSI connection.  (7/4/2011)
Bill passed by California Assembly sets up roadblocks to public library privatization. (6/4/2011)
LSSI's fairly pathetic track record.  (3/4/2011)
Camarillo sez goodbye to Ventura County, hello to Library Systems.  (10/26/2010)
Privatizing @ your library.  (9/27/2010)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

In the News: Compensation of Wisconsin Legislators

Source:  Retiring Guy's postcard collection

Compensation of Wisconsin Legislators.  ("Wisconsin Brief" from the Legislative Reference Bureau, February 2009.)

Contents of report
  • Current procedure for setting salaries
    • Established with passage of 1983 Wisconsin Act 27
    • Removed requirement that proposal be presented to legislature in the form of a bill
    • Dropped statutory connection between legislative salaries and executive salary group system.
  • Speaker's stipend
    • Established in 1853
    • Currently $25 per day
  • Travel allowance
    • For one round trip to and from the state capitol each week during legislative sessions
    • Rate is determined by Joint Committee on Employment Relations
    • Current rate:  48.5 cents per mile.
    • Reimbursement provision for actual and necessary expenses incurred while traveling on official business outside Madison.
  • Per diem allowance
  • Office allotments (2009-2010 legislative session)
    • Senators:  $55,955
    • Senate majority and minority leaders:  $12,000 each "leadership account"
    • Assembly representatives:  $12,000
    • Allowable expenses
      • Printing
      • Postage 
      • Photocopying
      • "Some" telephone services
      • Newspapers and books
      • "Miscellaneous" office expenses. 
    • Not included:  Staff salaries, which, along with staffing levels, are set by respective houses.
  •  In-district travel allowances,
    • In addition to travel allowance
    • Part of office allotment for Senators
    • Separate allowance for Assembly representatives (in 2009, ranged from $3,000 to $10,000, depending upon size of district)
  • Interim expense allowance
    • Authorized by 1995 Wisconsin Act 27
    • Intended to pay for postage and clerical assistance expenses
    • $75 for senators, $25 for representatives
    • Must be approved by Senator Majority Leader of Assembly Speaker 
    • As of 2009, this stipend has never been paid since passage of Act 27, according to LRB brief.
  • Retirement 
    • Participation made voluntary in 1957, compulsory in 1973.
    • May received full benefits at age 62, actuarially reduced benefits at 55.
    • Cannot hold any elective or appointed position covered by Wisconsin Retirement System
  • Other benefits
    • Same as those available to other state employees
      • Health insurance
      • Sick leave
    • Also available
      • Life insurance
      • Income continuation
In the news:
Assembly GOP considers increased expense funding.  (Badger Herald, 12/6/2012)
Do Wisconsin legislators need to be paid more?  (Capital Times, 12/6/2012)
GOP lawmakers consider raising rates paid for expenses.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/5/2012)

Walker Weighs in on Government Accountability Board Brouhaha

And if you believe the statement -- "It hasn't been something we've talked about" -- I have a great offer for you.

To position himself for re-election in 2014, Walker has to appear more moderate to the voters while appeasing his Tea Party base.  So perhaps this "spat" is nothing more than a political Punch-and-July show.

Related posts:
In the news:  Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.  (12/4/2012)
The rules for election overseers in Wisconsin.  (11/5/2012)
GAB provides official Wisconsin recall vote tally.  (6/28/2012)

Bed Bugs Bite Libraries

Bedbugs Hitch a Ride on Library Books.  (At least that's the title in this morning's New York Times email "My Alert".)

Giving up on the library.   But others have stopped borrowing books altogether. Each month, Angelica McAdoo, a jewelry designer, and her children used to bring home a stack of books from the Los Angeles Central Library — until Mrs. McAdoo heard that the library had had a bedbug scare in September. She had already battled bedbugs in her two-bedroom apartment in East Hollywood and hired an exterminator, who sprayed the perimeter of her bookshelves with pesticide, among other precautions. 

 For now, she is buying books at Target and is ambivalent about borrowing library books again. “I will not step foot in a library ever again — right now,” she said

Public relations disaster (August 1, 2012)

Related posts:
Bedbugs @ the Taylor Community Library.  (10/25/2011)
Long Island library closed for bedbug treatment.  (11/14/2010)
Top ten list:  Where the bedbugs are most likely to bite.  (8/25/2010)
Bed bugs in libraries:  Do you want to run that figure by me one more time?  (8/23/2010)
Bedbugs infest the classics at the Denver Public Library.  (10/2/2009)

And if you google bedbugs libraries (no quotation marks needed) you'll find lots more aritcles

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wisconsin's Cooperative Children's Book Center Provides Background for New York Times Article on Young Latino Readers

For Young Latino Readers, an Image is Missing.  (The New York Times, 12/4/2012)

Excerpt:  The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, which compiles statistics about the race of authors and characters in children’s books published each year, found that in 2011, just over 3 percent of the 3,400 books reviewed were written by or about Latinos, a proportion that has not changed much in a decade.

Volume 2.  A selective bibliography includes more than 350 books by and about people of color published in the United States between 1991 and 1996 are recommended for children from birth to age 14,  By.Kathleen T. Horning, Ginny Moore Kruse and Megan Schliesman.  (Volume 1 covers the years 1980 to 1990.)

Also from the CCBC:

Attention, publishers!
Paragraph 3 of this article points out that.....

  • Hispanic students now comprise nearly one-quarter of the nation’s public school enrollment.   (Pew Hispanic Center, bar graph from page 2)

  • Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the school population.  (Pew Hispanic Center, table from page 5.)

Books to Match Diverse Young Readers.  (The New York Times, 12/4/2012)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And he's running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction because.......?

Don Pridemore, refusenik.

The link is to Facebook, a December 3rd event for an Announcement Tour.

Not off to a good start.

Gretchen, Have I Got an Eye-Opener or Two for You!

Read about these takers, Gretchen.

United States of Subsidies.  (A New York Times investigative report.)
  • As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price.  (12/2/2012)
    • Excerpt:  A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.
  • Lines Blur as Texas Gives Industries a Bonanza.  (12/3/2012)
    • Excerpt:   Along with the huge job growth, the state has the third-highest proportion of hourly jobs paying at or below minimum wage. And despite its low level of unemployment, Texas has the 11th-highest poverty rate among states.
  • Michigan Town Woos Hollywood, but Ends Up With a Bit Part.  (12/4/2012)
    • Excerpt:   And when temporary construction workers were excluded from the tally, Pontiac’s records show, the studio reported only two employees in 2010 and 12 the next year.  (versus the 3600 promised.)

Robin Vos Appends His Legislative To-Do List


Rep. Robin Vos wants to revisit the voter ID law; opponents wonder 'what now?'  (Capital Times, 12/4/2012)

Incoming Senate leader favors political appointees over judges on GAB. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/3/2012)

Excerpt:  Incoming Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said in a statement that he was willing to consider changes to the accountability board, though he did not respond directly to Fitzgerald's proposal. 

"Many people have expressed their concerns to me about how the GAB operates," Vos said in his statement. "I'm open to suggestions about ways to improve the process."

Vos's recent history with GAB

In the News: Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board at a Glance

What follows is an outline of the Wisconsin Legislative Council Act Memo on the Government Accountability Board (GAB).

  • 2007 Wisconsin Act 1.
    • Passed by the Assembly 97-2.
    • Passed by the Senate 33-0.
  • Replaces Ethics Board and Elections Board, both created in 1974
  • Responsible for administering the state's  election, campaign financing, ethics, and lobbying laws.

  • Six members who have served as an elected judge of a court of record in Wisconsin.
  • 6-year terms of service.  (Initial appointees served staggered terms)  
  • Action by the GAB requires the affirmative vote of at least four members.

What GAB members may not do
  • Hold another state or local public office
  • Engage in specified partisan political activities
  • Become a candidate for state or local elective office
  • Make political contributions
  • Be a lobbyist or an employee of a person who employs a lobbyist.

Nomination process

GAB Divisions/Duties

GAB in the news

School Administrators Alliance Endorses Tony Evers for State Superintendent

The School Administrators Alliance (SAA) is a statewide organization established to provide four associations of public school administrators with government relations services and a unified political voice.

The SAA is an alliance of:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Matching Up Governor Walker's and Rep. Vos's Legislative Agendas for the 101st Session

Commentary by state Rep. Robin Vos: The agenda we'll be tackling in the Assembly. (Racine Journal Times, 12/1/2012)

The 101st Wisconsin Legislature.  (Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau Spotlight for the week of December 3, 2012)

If you see the name of your elected official listed as a caucus officer, send a handwritten note of congratulations and mention that you look forward to meeting with them on WLA's Library Legislative Day on Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

Related post:
Governor Walker Announces "Five Main Priorities" for 2013-15 State Budget.  (10/13/2012)

The Wisconsin Reporter (!) Looks Into Governor Walker's Personal Days

SPECIAL REPORT: Walker took 54 ‘personal’ days from Jan.-Oct. (Wisconsin Reporter, 11/30/2012)

Sunshine Review:  Wisconsin state government salary

Yeah, just about all summer long for most workers..

Bar Graphing the Results of the 2012 Presidential and U.S. Senate Elections in Appleton, Kaukauna, Kimberly, Little Chute, Grand Chute, and the rest of Outagamie County Wisconsin

Vote totals
Romney/Ryan:  47,372
Obama/Biden:   45,659

Vote totals
Tommy Thompson:  46,212
Tammy Baldwin:       43,297

The Red and the Blue of Outagamie County

Related posts:
Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, and the rest of Winnebago County.  (12/1/2012)
Anointed 2016 GOP Frontrunner Has a Challenge on the Home Front -- Revised.  (11/18/2012)
The reddest part of Oklahoma is the Panhandle.  (11/18/2012)
City of Wausau, surrounding communities, and the rest of Marathon County.  (11/18/2012)
City of Green Bay and Brown County Presidential & U.S. Senate election results.  (11/17/2012)
City and County of Racine Presidential & U.S. Senate election results.  (11/17/2012)
2012 Presidential election mapped.  (11/16/2012)
Redistricting in Wisconsin:  the plumber control the spigot.  (11/15/2012)
Romney sez it's Christmas in November. (11/14/2012)
How young people (18-29) voted for President in 2012.  (11/14/2012)
Meet the Optimizer, Larry Grisolano.  (11/13/2012)
The really BIG money.  (11/12/2012)
Money can't buy you happiness.  (11/12/2012)
Eric Litke can't see the forest for the trees.  (11/12/2012)
Yes, Frank, a methodology that puts Gallup solidly in last place for accuracy.  (11/11/2012)
City of Middleton vs. Town of Middleton.  (11/10/2012)
U.S. Rep. John Fleming sends a warning to Speaker Boehner.  (11/10/2012)
How they voted in the Southwest Wisconsin Library System.  (11/9/2012)
Romney's 1st slogan choice was "Let's get small".  (11/9/2012)
How Brown, Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties pushed Tammy Baldwin to victory.  (11/9/2012)
Comparing the results of the 2010 and 2012 elections in Wisconsin's 44th Assembly district.  (11/8/2012)
From recall to Presidential elections:  What a difference 5 months make. (11/8/2012)
States with the largest and smallest percentages of votes for Obama.  (11/8/2012)
Hurricane Sandy and the New York/New Jersey voter turnout.  (11/8/2012)
The GOP problem expressed in two quotes.  (11/7/2012)
Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight Forecast and the election results.  (11/7/2012)
Anointed front runner has a problem on the home front.  (11/7/2012)
Thank you to the women of the U.S.A.  (11/7/2012)
Nebraska and Indiana:  the shame-faced members of the Big Ten.  (11/7/2012)
The lonely blue:  Nebraska's Thurston County.  (11/7/2012)
Dear Republicans, meet your future.  (11/7/2012)
You got that wrong!  (11/6/2012)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Goodbye Hostess, Hello Little Debbie

Photo by Retiring Guy

Congratulations, Little Debbie: Hostess Is Going Out of Business. (Jezebel, 11/16/2012)

Let's make that past tense. "Here's how it all happened...."  (The making of Hostess Sno Balls.)

Hostess Or Little Debbie? The Big Question And More From The Erwin Pawn Tradio Show.  (New Talk 940 KIXZ AM The Voice of Amarillo, 1/16/2012.)  Little Debbie 28, Hostess 8.

Did Little Debbie Kill Twinkie?  (ickenittle, 1/12/2012)

McKee ramps up amid Hostess' fall. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, 11/17/2012)

2 copies available in LINKcat.

Wisconsin's School Voucher Program Provides $6,400 in Public Money Per Private School Student

The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy is a Wisconsin-based think tank that promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government.

Scores show voucher schools need accountability.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/1/2012)

Ceria M. Travis Academy (will receive $4,500,000 from the state this year)
  • under 2% in reading rated proficient
  • just over 2% in math rated proficient
Atlas Preparatory (will receive $6,300,000 from the state this year)
  • 4.2% in reading rated proficient
  • 5.5% in math rated proficient

Milwaukee parental choice program.

The Spiral Staircase Will Not Be Showing at the Wisconsin State Capitol

Incoming GOP Assembly leaders shuffling offices. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/1/2012)

Excerpt: As Vos (R-Rochester), Suder (R-Abbotsford) and others considered how to reallocate office space, they also contemplated installing a spiral staircase in the speaker's office so lawmakers could more easily reach other offices one floor below. At one stage, Assembly staff contacted the architectural division of the state Department of Administration about building the staircase and a passageway between two offices, according to a spokeswoman for the department.

The suggestion was dropped, but Vos doesn't say how long it took for the bureau chief to stop laughing.