Saturday, December 21, 2013

Seattle's Boring Bertha

Under Seattle, a Big Object Blocks Bertha. What Is It? (The New York Times, 12/19/2013)

Seattle's Underground Mystery.  Something unknown, engineers say — and all the more intriguing to many residents for being unknown — has blocked the progress of the biggest-diameter tunnel-boring machine in use on the planet, a high-tech, largely automated wonder called Bertha. At five stories high with a crew of 20, the cigar-shaped behemoth was grinding away underground on a two-mile-long, $3.1 billion highway tunnel under the city’s waterfront on Dec. 6 when it encountered something in its path that managers still simply refer to as “the object.”

"This is going to happen!"

Harold Camping, Dogged Forecaster of the End of the World, Dies at 92. (The New York Times, 12/17/2013)

Dogged indeed.    Starting in the 1970s, he predicted the world’s demise many times, drawing scant attention. His first widely noted doomsday was on May 21, 1988. He later published “1994?” — a 500-page book setting a range of dates that September. Despite the derision of mainstream Christian groups and scathing secular critics, Mr. Camping, having conceded errors in his earlier calculations, decided to try again in late 2008.

Audrey Totter (1917-2013)

Audrey Totter, Femme Fatale of ’40s Film Noir, Dies at 95. (The New York Times, 12/17/2013)

I am a camera.   A year later she had a more prominent role in “Lady in the Lake,”  [LINKcat availabilitya murder mystery based on a Raymond Chandler novel. For most of the film the camera serves as the eyes of the main character, the private detective Philip Marlowe (played by Robert Montgomery, who also directed). Ms. Totter’s character, a conspiring publishing executive who hires Marlowe, often looks directly into the camera, sparring with the detective and by extension the viewer.

And, of course, she made an obligatory appearance on "Murder She Wrote".

Janet Dailey, 300 Million Copies and Counting

Janet Dailey, 69, Dies; Romance Author Who Sold in Hundreds of Millions.   (The New York Times, 12/17/2013)

The Dailey oeuvre.    While adhering to the conventions of romance fiction — one man, one woman, happy ending — Ms. Dailey’s novels were considered unusual for featuring working women and for being set in American landscapes rather than in the gauzy European environs of traditional romances.

Janet Daily, the official website.

Janet Dailey:  the first 10 years (based on LINKcat availability)

LINKcat includes 227 Janet Dailey bibliographic records, including this one with a mismatched cover.

Dorothy Kavinski Wykoff (1928-2013) Warren High School Class of 1945

Warren Times Mirror obituary

Warren High School 1945 Dragon yearbook

Dorothy spent 36 years in the top 10 (1904-1939) -- 8 years at #2 (1920-1927) -- on the Social Security Administration's annual list of popular baby names for girls.  It was the 3rd most popular girl's name when Dorothy Kavinski was born.

Other Dorothys in the WHS class of '45.
  • Dorothy "Dot" Fitzgerald
  • Dorothy "Dot"  Johnson
  • Dorothy "Dot"  Mead
  • Dorothy "Starbrick" Smith

"Caledonia" was recorded by Louis Jordan in January 1945 and reached #6 on the Billboard chart in May.  This "soundie" played in movie theaters at the time.

Pew Research: Celebrating Christmas and the Holidays, Then and Now

From the survey report.  There are significant generational differences in the way Americans plan to celebrate Christmas this year, with younger adults less likely than older adults to incorporate religious elements into their holiday celebrations.

The Los Angeles Public Library's Health Matters Partnership

How Librarians Are Helping People Navigate the New Healthcare System. (Gizmodo, 12/20/2013)

Health Matters.  A new initiative by the Los Angeles Public Library is using that sense of confianza to help Angelenos learn about and and sign up for the new healthcare system. Health Matters is a partnership with the California Endowment that trains librarians in all 73 branches to provide enrollment assistance for Covered California, the state's insurance provider under the Affordable Care Act. In addition, the libraries are offering workshops and programs on health issues and preventive care.

Related post:
Wisconsin public libraries provide online access to Affordable Care Act information  (10/2/2013)

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Favorite O'Toole

Peter O’Toole, Actor Whose Acclaim Began With ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ Dies at 81. (The New York Times, 12/15/2013)

Guess which one?  The flamboyant charm of the autocratic movie director he played in the film “The Stunt Man” brought him a sixth Oscar nomination in 1981, and his Alan Swann, the swashbuckling, Errol Flynn-like thespian of “My Favorite Year,” won a seventh in 1983.

Republicans Love the Blame Game

That was then -- not so long ago, actually.

This is now.  (The tables have turned.)

A headline which comes as no surprise to most readers of this blog.

BadgerLink's New Look


BadgerLink statistics (general overview)

BadgerLink statistics by resource (through June 2012)

Robin Vos's Calendar and Agenda for the Spring 2014 Legislative Session

Vos plans to end spring session by March. (WEAU, 12/19/2013)

Orange highlights = floorperiods that remain on Vos's schedule
Red highlights = eliminated floorperiods
Red arrow = my question if the date to send bills to the Governor is moved up.
Green arrow = Legislative Council Study committees start and end dates.

Perhaps it should be pointed out here that members of the Wisconsin State Legislature earn $49,943 per year, plus benefits.  (On the other hand, there's could be some savings on per diem and mileage costs, and a reduced floorperiod schedule means the majority party has less time to do damage.)

Booksellers Hope Print is on Shoppers' Gift Lists

A lot of shoppers browsing and waiting in line to make purchases at Barnes & Noble the other evening.
Photo credit:  Retiring Guy

Booksellers Wary About Holiday Sales.  (The New York Times, 12/15/2013)

Sales seem to indicate that it is so.  All across the country, booksellers have a Christmas wish: that the e-book thrill is gone. 

There is reason to believe it will come true. E-book sales have flattened in 2013, giving publishers and bookstores hope that consumers’ appetite for print books will be renewed during the most crucial sales period of the year.

A "maturing" market for ebooks. The Association of American Publishers, which collects monthly data from about 1,200 publishers, said last month that e-book sales had been flat or in decline for most of 2013. In August, e-book sales were approximately $128 million, a 3 percent decline from August 2012.

Other ebook/reading-related posts:
Survey sez: News of the death of print is greatly exaggerated.  (12/9/2013)
Not a Good Year on the Ebook Front for Barnes & Noble.  (11/29/2013)
Tell me again about ebooks ruling the publishing world.  (11/27/2013)
Other ebook market trendspotting confirms latest BISG report .  (11/1/2013)
Book Industry Study Group: "Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading" (Volume 4, 2013).  (11/1/2013)
Word of the day:  accretive.  (10/21/2013)
Survey sez: 72% of U.S. adults have read at least 1 book during the past 12 months.  (10/8/2013)
For years, many people asked the wrong question about ebooks and print books.  (10/6/2013) 
Ebook Flash Sales Grab Consumers' Attention.  (5/27/2013) 
BookStats 2013: It's not all about ebooks.  (5/15/2013)
Staying ahead of the learning curve.  (4/9/2013)
"Books are dead yet," sez Salon.  (3/21/2013)
Ebooks and the hype of emerging technology.  (1/8/2013)
Based on this column graph, print books are not likely to go away anytime soon.  (1/2/2013)
Printed books still lead ebooks by a significant margin.  (12/28/2012)
Ebook market pauses to take a breath.  (12/25/2012)
Year-to-date book revenues:  Jan-Jul 2011 and Jan-Jul 2012.  (11/1/2012)
Libraries get screwed when it comes to price of and access to ebooks.  (9/10/2012)
Millennials lead the fewer bookstores?  (8/22/2012)
Ebooks sliding down the peak of inflated expectations.  (8/18/2012)
Adult hardcover book sales hold their own, paperbacks sales drop in 1st quarter of 2012.  (6/17/2012)
Library ebook circulation skyrockets @ the Greendale Public Library and throughout Wisconsin.  (5/29/2012)
In so many words:  Libraries will have a place at the table. (4/30/2012)
3M Cloud Library ebook lending service goes beta at select libraries.  (4/28/2012)
Pew Research:  The rise of e-reading, summarized. (4/5/2012)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution attempts to get a handle on the ebook era.  (4/2/2012)
And I quote from "Bringing Up an E-Reader".  (3/29/2012)
The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board weighs in on ebooks and libraries. (3/19/2012)
Carl Zimmer responds to Franzen.  (1/31/2012)
It's only Monday but this is still the best ebook headline of the week.  (1/20/2012)
Jonathan Franzen has something to say about ebooks.  (1/30/2012)
As they have been doing all along, libraries adapt to technology.  (1/29/2012)
Floating an Idea: The Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory's Library License.  (1/17/2012) 
Getting in line @ your library for ebooks.  (1/15/2012)
The Post-Christmas ebook sales surge. (1/10/2012)
Honey, we've been 'trying' it.  For years.  (12/25/2011)
Chris Bohjalian on our totemic connection to books.  (12/20/2011)
Hold that bricks-and-mortar bookstore obituary.  (12/13/2011)
Your local public library: The greenest option of all in the ebooks vs. print books debate.  (12/11/2011)
Go directly to Amazon, do not pass library.  (11/3/2011)
Ebooks in U.S. public libraries.  (10/22/2011)
How ebook buyers discover books.  (9/27/2011)
Cookbooks make the transition to digital publishing.  (9/27/2011)
Redefining what an ebook is and who gets to publish it. (9/19/2011)
The L.A.Times on ebooks: An Amazon tablet, push into interactivity. (9/16/2011)
The Economist:  "Great digital expectations".  (9/16/2011)
Lev Grossman presents a short history of the reading device..  (9/6/2011)
Speaking of gadgets, here's the latest iteration of ebooks.  (8/25/2011)
Sounds like another digital divide in the making.  (7/30/2011)
Libraries and ebooks:  Any book, not any time soon.  (6/1/2011)
On the distinction between the book reader and the book owner.  (5/10/2011)
Demand for ebooks grows exponentially in Wisconsin.  (5/2/2011)
Struggling to find an ebook common agenda between libraries and publishers.  (4/5/2011)
Ebooks and libraries:  "The challenges just keep piling up".  (3/28/2011)
Publishers Weekly tracks ebook sales.  (3/18/2011)
Word is getting out:  Ebooks @ your library.  (3/18/2011)
Ebooks continue to gain market share.  (3/17/2011)
Publishers look to bottom line in formulating ebook policies for libraries. (3/15/2011)
News stories on HarperCollins ebook decision go mainstream.  (3/5/2011)
9 years of book sales:  trade and ebook.  (2/17/2011)
Will ebook readers be wooed by Barbara Cartland?  (2/12/2011)
The impact of ebooks on libraries.  (2/11/2011)
OverDrive news release: Library eBook circs up 200% in '10. (1/10/2011)
Mashable: 5 ebook trends that will change the future of publishing. (12/29/2010)
Christmas 2010 the tipping point for ebooks?  (12/24/2010)
Ereader as brown paper bag.  (12/9/2010)
The ebook reader compatibility surprise.  (12/3/2010)
Ereader ownership:  Survey says....  (11/30/2010)
David Carnoy asks, "Does the Kindle pay for itself?" (11/29/2010)
Need to repair that ebook reader?  (11/19/2010)
Who uses an ereader:  Survey says....  (9/22/2010)
Book industry wrestles with print vs. pixels.  (9/2/2010)
Coming soon to a screen near you:  Ads in ebooks.  (8/20/2010)
Ebooks now comprise 8.5% of book sales. (8/12/2010)
Genre paperback publishers drops print.  (8/6/2010)
Ebooks and libraries.  (5/4/2010)
Ebooks eliminate a free form of adversiting:  the book jacket.  (3/31/2010)
Ebooks: another round of false promises?  (3/19/2010)
The skinny on ebooks.  (3/8/2010)
Hardcover vs. ebook:  Breaking down the costs.  (3/1/2010)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

1930s Madison, Column-Graphed (Part 6, Building Permits)

Source:  Madison (WI) City Directory 1941

Some notable buildings constructed in the 1930s.  (The Historic Resources of Downtown Madison)

Construction on the middle section of the state office building at 1 West Wilson started in 1931.

Related posts:  
Column graph 1:  Postal receipts.  (12/11/2013)
Column graph 2:  Gas meters.  (12/12/2013)
Column graph 3:  Telephones.  (12/14/2013)
Column graph 4:  Births.  (12/17/2013)
Column graph 5:  New dwelling units.  (12/18/2013)

Christmas Greetings from the Family Scrapbooks: The Hedbergs

Raymond Hedberg, who died last month at the age of 98, was a classmate of my dad's at Augustana Theological Seminary.  He is at least the 4th member of the class of 1943 who moved to Washington state after graduation.

Raymond's son John, the boy who is sitting on his dad's lap.

Raymond' son-in-law.  It sounds as though the world lost a very special person.

Raymond's younger daughter, Janet,  not pictured in the Christmas photo card.

Other Christmas greetings posts:
The Sandgrens.  (12/17/2013)
The Mystery of Gen.  (12/15/2013)
The Hendricksons.  (12/14/2013)

What's This "Blue Skies Initiative" That's Getting Some Folks' Undies in a Bundle?

First of all, the "Blue Skies Initiative" doesn't exist.  Someone must have had Willie Nelson on his mind.  (The so-called proof is not a budget document.)

However, the Capital Region Advocacy Network for Environmental Sustainability (CRANES) has developed a "Dane Healthy Skies" report, a work in progress as the memo below indicates.

At the encouragement of CRANES, the Dane County Board approved a budget amendment to provide $35,000 for an Air Pollution Inventory and Strategic Plan.

Hmm, the only "dictating", as in "requiring" or "making necessary", I see going on here is providing funding for a couple of inventories and a strategic plan.  

Related post:
Makin' stuff up as she goes along.  (12/18/2013)

And if they do, they're probably just hungry for Chinese

Library adjusts fines, fees for overdue books. (Decatur Herald-Review, 12/17/2013)

Among the changes.  Fines for children's materials reduced to 15 cents per day (from 25 cents).

As quoted

Related articles:
Library is bright spot in Decatur city manager's 2014 budget.  (11/17/2013)
The Decatur Public Library tightens it belt.  (10/4/2013)
Decatur Illinois & the double whammy of falling home values and reduced tax revenue.  (6/4/2013)
The Atlanta housing meltdown continues. (2/2/2012)
Housing Prices Continue to Fall in Major U.S. Cities. (1/25/2011)
On the basis of this trend, urban libraries will certainly be tightening their belts again next year.  (12/28/2010)
The property tax domino effect (Atlanta metro area). (12/27/2010)
National League of Cities research brief on America's cities.  (10/7/2010)

Erica Jong's "Fear of Flying" Turns 40

A Woman's Fantasy in a Modern Reality.  (The New York Times, 12/18/2013)

And those who are asked to weigh in:

Well, this might partially answer the first part of question 3 in the above slide.

It Doesn't Quite Add Up

Eliminating the state income tax could mean paying higher sales tax.  (WFRV, 12/18/2013)

Wisconsin wouldn’t be the only state to do this— nine states don’t have a state income tax but they make up the difference elsewhere.

Those states include
  1. Alaska
  2. Florida
  3. Nevada
  4. New Hampshire
  5. South Dakota
  6. Texas
  7. Washington
  8. Wyoming
The 9th state is Tennessee, although both it and New Hampshire deserve asterisks because they tax their residents' dividend and interest income.  

But if you want to get in on the discussion, you have to be invited.

Which is why I made this update on the Lt. Gov's homepage.

Related post:

Where is Wisconsin's North Slope?

Today's top headline in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Scott Walker: Eliminating income tax, raising sales tax on the table

A proposal which eliminates a big chunk of the state's revenue.

Individual and corporate income taxes comprise 59% of the sources of Wisconsin's general purpose revenue.

How big of a sales tax increase are we looking at?

Will it work?

Bloomberg Opinion, 4/9/2013)

Barro also notes that [a]dvocating the replacement of state income taxes with sales taxes remains a cottage industry for conservative think tanks around the country.

So it's no surprise that I was able to quickly locate this document online.

States Look to Eliminate Personal Income Taxes.  (American Legislator, a forum for legislative debate by the American Legislative Exchange Council, dated 2/17/2012) 

In addition, New Hampshire and Tennessee do not tax their residents' wage income, but they do tax dividend and interest income. 

States with no income tax.  (Bankrate)
State of Alaska Department of Revenue.  Revenue Sources Book Fall 2013.  (see page 7)
Florida Department of Revenue.  Florida's Sales and Use Tax.
Nevada.  Revenue History.
South Dakota.  Business Tax Division.
Texas Taxes.  Sales and Use Tax.
State of Washington Office of Financial Management.  State & Local Government Revenue Sources
State of Wyoming Department of Revenue.  2013 Annual Report.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

1930s Madison, Column-Graphed (Part 5, New Dwelling Units)

Source:  Madison (WI) City Directory, 1941

Historical Development of the Nakoma Neighborhood.   By the mid-1920s, new houses were appearing on every street of the original plat. Replats of several blocks by the Madison Realty Co. in 1922 and 1926 added to the number of available lots. 

In 1928, more replats and the first addition to the original plat were recorded. This was the Randall Addition, which expanded the original plat in a southwest direction along Nakoma Road and Cherokee Drive. 

New construction continued unabated until the deepening of the Great Depression in 1931 and 1932 brought real estate activity in Madison and in Nakoma to a halt. Even the annexation of Nakoma into the City of Madison in 1931 failed to spur construction, which did not resume on any scale until 1934

By 1936, however, construction had resumed at a pace that was even greater than in the 1920s. Several more new additions were added to the original plat in 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1939. By 1945, nearly all of the lots in the pre-World War II portions of Nakoma were occupied.

Built in 1938

Nakoma Historic District

Related posts:  
Column graph 1:  Postal receipts.  (12/11/2013)
Column graph 2:  Gas meters.  (12/12/2013)
Column graph 3:  Telephones.  (12/14/2013)
Column graph 4:  Births.  (12/17/2013)

Makin' Stuff Up As She Goes Along

The word "blue" does not appear in the 2014 Dane County Budget.

The word "skies" does not appear in the 2014 Dane County Budget.

The word "initiative" appears 24 times in the 2014 Dane County Budget :

  1. Page 47:  Groundwater Initiative Revenue (General Government)
  2. Page 76:  Safe Harbor Initiative (Public Safety & Criminal Justice)
  3. Page 95:  Cold Case Initiative Revenue (Public Safety & Criminal Justice)
  4. Page 108:  Groundwater Initiative Revenue (Public Safety & Criminal Justice)
  5. Page 128:  Early Childhood Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  6. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  7. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  8. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  9. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  10. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  11. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  12. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  13. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  14. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  15. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  16. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  17. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  18. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  19. Page 132:  JFF (Joining Forces for Families) Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  20. Page 134:  Early Childhood Initiative Revenue (Health & Human Services)
  21. Page 135:  Dual Diagnosis Initiative TBD (Health & Human Services)
  22. Page 152:  Wait List Initiative (Health & Human Services)
  23. Page 189:  Groundwater Initiative Revenue (Conservation & Economic Development)
  24. Page 277:  Ground Water Initiatives (Conservation & Economic Development)

Republicans Hold Onto 82nd Assembly District Seat in Special Election

Public libraries in 82nd Assembly District
Franklin Public Library
Greendale Public Library

Ken Skowronski wins special Assembly election to replace Jeff Stone. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/17/2013)

No contest.

Related post:
Primary results.  (11/20/2013)
Another special election: Who's going to be running in the 82nd Assembly District?  (10/3/2013)

Glenwood City Council Members Defeat Their Recall Challengers by a Hair

Glenwood City frac sand mining recall fails. (Eau Claire Leader Telegram, 12/18/2013)

How it all began.   The recall effort started when a citizens group, Glenwood City Citizens for Legal and Ethical Representation, expressed concern over a proposed frac sand mine about a half-mile from the school district’s building. The proposed mine site is not part of Glenwood City, but could be annexed to the city. 

Mine opponents have voiced health, safety and quality of life concerns related to a mine. Proponents, including the three incumbents, argued the mine will generate jobs, improve the economy and create tax revenue.

Other frac sand mining posts:
Wyoming's Republican Governor has a message for Wisconsin mining ikndustry's "Tom Terrific".  (11/24/2013)
The mining industry's "Tom Terrific" gets pushback from his Republican colleagues.  (11/18/2013)
In so many words: Dear Sen. Tiffany, Your bill sucks, Sincerely, Pepin County Board.  (11/13/2013)
Follow the Gogebic money.  (11/7/2013)
Sand mine industry leaders put our minds at ease.  (11/5/2013) 
Scott Walker donor promises jobs, permanence for Independence and Whitehall residents.  (10/29/2013) 
Sen. Tom Tiffany's sand mine bill a hot potato.  (10/28/2013) 
Another Walker campaign donor for SB349.  (10/25/2013)
Expensive to the Tune of $430,505.49 (as of June 30, 2013).  (10/25/2013) 
The Nipper Chronicles: The frac sand mining masters speak.  (10/18/2013)
Things aren't so tranquil in Glenwood City Wisconsin lately  (10/10/2013)

Frieda Dahler Mansfield (1922-2013) Warren High School Class of 1941

Warren Times Observer obituary

Warren High School Dragon yearbook (1941)

Best year:  1896 at #141.
Ranking the year Frieda Dahler was born:  #274.

A big hit when the class of '41 graduated.