Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 107, Winfield Public Library)

Loser Alert: Drinking in Library

8 minutes and 33 seconds of infantile behavior.

An Appreciation of the Door County Library

Unique in the State: The Door County Library System. (Peninsula Pulse, 9/2/2011)

: The Door County Library System issues cards both to residents and visitors at no charge and without age or residency restrictions. Director Becca Berger attributes this unique policy to the original director Jane Livingston who was, she said, a visionary. And it all began in Wisconsin in 1948.

That year the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC) published a booklet, The Wisconsin-Wide Library Idea, proposing that library services be taken to the people, especially those living in remote areas. The concept included broadening the base of users, cooperation among libraries to reduce the disparity in service offered between wealthy and poor districts, and the introduction of a bookmobile that would literally carry the library to the people.

In 1949 the WFLC convinced the Wisconsin Legislature to fund the establishment of a demonstration district in a predominantly rural area. They did, overriding Republican Governor Oscar Rennebohn’s veto, and at the recommendation of the WFLC, chose the Door-Kewaunee district as the model

"this is my morning commute to the Waukesha Public Library"

You might want to wait for the highlight reel.

The New York Public Library @ 100 Miles Per Hour (with Cowbell)

Inundated by Irene, Vermont's West Hartford Public Library Needs Your Help

Wells Memorial Library Sustains Heavy Damage from Irene

Historic library devastated by Irene. (Los Angeles Examiner, 9/2/2011)

Excerpt: The town of Upper Jay, New York sits 837 feet above sea level, at the foot of the Adirondack mountains, and six hours’ drive from the coast. They were not expecting Irene. Late Sunday night, torrential rain cascaded down the mountains, swelling the Ausable river, which floods at seven feet, to an astonishing 18-foot level, and overflowing into the town. Marc Gavin, owner of The Bookstore Plus in nearby Lake Placid, said, “We have friends who live in Upper Jay. Some people were given only three minutes’ warning to evacuate.”

Wells Memorial Library, an important part of the community’s soul, flooded and sustained heavy damage. Marie-Anne Azar Ward, Wells Memorial Library Board of Trustees President, said, “At the peak, the water reached the numbers on the speed limit sign in front of the library. Now we’ve got a lot of mud and ruined paper to clear out; it’s almost like cement. We’re still assessing the damage, but the children’s books are almost all gone. Young Adult and Middle School, too – though some of those were spared. I personally had to throw out Harry Potter, Eragon and Rick Riordan's Olympians, plus the Twilight saga. We’ve lost a lot of archive documents. Luckily, we’d digitized many of them.

Ebooks, Netflix, and Library Building Projects (Part 106, Greenwood Branch, Corpus Christi Public Libraries)

Greenwood Library to Temporarily Close for Renovation. (KRIS-TV, Corpus Christi, 9/1/2011)

Excerpt: During that time, the library will be renovated to include a variety of interior and exterior renovations along with an enhanced children's area with a science and space theme. The total project cost is $1.385 million with supplemental funding of $138,000 from the Corpus Christi Public Library Foundation, Ed Rachal Foundation and an anonymous donor. The supplemental funding provided for additional enhancements to the children's area not originally budgeted.

While the renovation is taking place, the library will be closed, but arrangements have been made to temporarily relocate the computer lab to the Greenwood Senior Center next door and to have some books for neighborhood usage at the Boys and Girls Club.

AT&T Has Its Usual Game Plan in Place

AT&T Plans to Woo U.S. and Fight It. (The New York Times, 9/3/2011)

Excerpt: It will be a delicate balancing act for AT&T to both fight the Justice Department in court, as it has vowed to do, and to try to cozy up to the antitrust officials and regulators by promising to shed assets and to agree to monitoring and regulation that the antitrust division would be likely to require for the merger to proceed.

Continuing to game the system, in other words.

The Slow Decline of the Mass-Market Paperback

Surprised the AAP doesn't include an entry for trade paperback, but based on a sampling of my personal collection, the measurements for this format are all over the place, though smallest I found is 5 1/4" x 8".

Are those slightly taller paperbacks still being published?   As we discovered at the Middleton Public Library, this format doesn't fit into the 6-tier paperback island display units.  Most annoying.

The Dog-Eared Paperback, Newly Endangered in an E-Book Age. (The New York Times, 9/3/2011)

Excerpt: Recession-minded readers who might have picked up a quick novel in the supermarket or drugstore are lately resisting the impulse purchase. Shelf space in bookstores and retail chains has been turned over to more expensive editions, like hardcovers and trade paperbacks, the sleeker, more glamorous cousin to the mass-market paperback. And while mass-market paperbacks have always been prized for their cheapness and disposability, something even more convenient has come along: the e-book.

A comprehensive survey released last month by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group revealed that while the publishing industry had expanded over all, publishers’ mass-market paperback sales had fallen 14 percent since 2008


For decades, the mass-market paperback has stubbornly held on, despite the predictions of its death since the 1980s, when retail chains that edged out independent bookstores successfully introduced discounts on hardcover versions of the same books. The prices of print formats are typically separated by at least a few dollars. Michael Connelly, the best-selling mystery writer best known for “The Lincoln Lawyer,” said he worried that book buyers would not be able to discover new authors very easily if mass-market paperbacks continued to be phased out.

Wisconsin Budget Project On National Jobs Numbers and State Revenue Collections

New National Jobs Numbers Have Worrisome Implications for State Economy and State Budget. (Wisconsin Budget Project, 9/2/2011)

Excerpt: The downward revisions in the latest national economic forecasts will no doubt affect the next state forecast, and that could eventually lead to a reestimate of state tax revenue. Coming on top of the slightly negative tax collection figures released by DOR (screenshot at top) today, more pessimistic assumptions about economic growth nationally and in Wisconsin could have significant fiscal implications.

The May 2011 Economic Outlook was used by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau in estimating taxes and spending in the 2011-13 budget bill. It assumed a Wisconsin unemployment rate falling steadily from 7.2% this year to 5.5% in 2014, as the U.S. rate fell to 8.2% next year and 7.1% in 2014. It assumed national GDP growth averaging 4.5% over a 3-year period (2011 through 2013), or 2.8% in “real” terms (after adjusting for inflation) and personal income growth averaging 4.5% per year over that same period

Sen. Tim Cullen's Proposed Bill for 21-Day Waiting Period for Legislation Introduction and Approval

At issue: Should future legislation have a waiting period before passage?  (Wisconsin State Journal, 9/2/2011)

In a nutshell

A proposed bill being circulated by Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, would require a 21-day waiting period between legislation being introduced and approved by either the state Senate or the Assembly. The waiting period requirement could be suspended for individual bills by a two-thirds majority vote of either body.

The case for it

Cullen said the highly contentious budget repair bill, introduced in February by Gov. Scott Walker with passage originally expected within a week, pointed out the need for a waiting period. It caused Cullen and his 13 Senate colleagues to leave the state and hole up in Illinois to stall passage of the bill

Under "the case against it" subheading, you can just imagine the reaction of the Republican Senate majority leader.

The question I have:  What percentage of bills are introduced and approved by either house of the state legislature within 21 days?

Controversy Over "New Hires" @ the Manitowoc Public Library

Union rep blasts library director for 'boast'. Employees rehired at lower wage. (Herald-Times-Reporter, 9/2/2011)

Excerpt: A union representative for Manitowoc Public Library workers said Friday its director, Cherilyn Stewart, "should be ashamed to boast about returning long- term employees to work by gutting their wages and benefits."

On Thursday, a news release stated Therese Horstketter and Vera Vogel had been rehired after a several-month layoff.

"Both employees had worked 35 hours per week and received benefits including vacation, sick leave, personal time and health insurance," Mark De Lorme, staff representative for AFSCME Council 40, wrote in an email to the Herald Times Reporter.

"Their current positions are 15 hours per week and do not include any of these benefits," De Lorme said . "They are also paid less per hour than they were before for doing the exact same work."

Rachel Muchin Young, the library's outreach and development director, said Vogel and Horstketter are again serving as circulation assistants in their part-time positions.

They had been making about $17 per hour before being laid off, but Horstketter said Friday they are considered new hires, with beginning level pay of $13.95 an hour, following termination earlier this year

Related article:
Manitowoc Public Library reorganization: Letter writer puts in a plug for 'Trustee Essentials'. (2/4/2011)
System public library directors back Manitowoc Public Library reorganization plan. (2/2/2011)
Trustee addresses staff reorganization plan.  (1/25/2011)
Library Director on the changing nature of libraries.  (1/21/2011)
Library reorganization plan affects staff morale. (1/21/2011)
Staffing Changes in the Works at the Manitowoc Public Library. (12/24/2010)

Children's 100 Picture Book Challenge @ the Appleton Public Library

What a great reading incentive. And not just for children!

The picture books that everyone should know.  List complied by the Appleton Public Library Children's Services staff.

I was mildly disappointed to discover the absence of Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham, a book that I read to my older son Andy dozens of time, and grew to love as much as he did.  Andy particularly loved the author's use of the word "squabble", which, of course, I had to define for him.

I wonder how many parents avoid this picture for its title.  According to Merriam-Webster, the original sense of the word "outing", the one used here, is "a brief usually outdoor pleasure trip".  The most recent sense of the word, and one used frequently in the media is "the public disclosure of the covert homosexuality of a prominent person especially by homosexual activists".   The cover illustration makes it clear what sense of the word we're talkin' about here.  (Other dangers lurk inside the cover of this book.  Check out Allison's comment here.)

School Library Journal Best of the Best
Winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year
An ALA Notable Book
Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Brief History of AT&T That's Very Much Worth Your Time

How AT&T conquered the 20th century, by Matthew Lasar (and here). (Ars Technica, 9/1/2011)

Excerpt: As the reconstituted AT&T makes its bid to buy T-Mobile, another interesting question presents itself. Why did the United States of America, supposedly the land of free market competition, accept the near total dominance of AT&T over telephone service for about 60 years? Historians have been debating this question for almost as long. They often disagree on the answers.

But if you accept their observations and arguments as mostly compatible pieces of a larger story, what stands out is a corporation that, at crucial moments, did just about everything right. In the early 20th century, the Bell system got there before its competitors. It learned how to fight or game the emergent regulatory system better than its rivals. AT&T publicly framed its purposes better than its critics. It used advertising not just to promote itself, but to sanctify its mission. And the corporation mastered the art of backing away from its darker ambitions at strategic public moments

Time to Revise Those Library Page Job Descriptions?

Household robots move from science fiction to reality. (San Jose Mercury News, 8/31/2011)

ExcerptRosie the Robot could finally be coming to your home.

Willow Garage, a unique startup in Menlo Park, has designed a robot called the PR2 that calls to mind the Jetsons' beloved robotic housekeeper. It's still under development, but already the PR2 can fold clothes, fetch a drink from the fridge, set the table and even bake cookies

And she even has a job at the local public library shelving books 10 hours a week.

If that's the case, Michele, what's God's message to Texas Governor Rick Perry?

Tattoo Removal: An Area for Library Collection Development?

Book covers provided for illustrative purposes only.  Not intended as recommendations.

Getting tattoo is easy. Undoing it is no pretty picture. (Boston Globe, 9/2/2011)

Excerpt: It has been over a decade since tattoos went mainstream and a Superior Court judge overturned a 38-year ban on tattoo studios in Massachusetts. But now, with 32 percent of Generation Xers and 38 percent of Millennials inked, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center study, and with an estimated 45 million Americans sporting at least one tattoo, a secondary trend has emerged: tattoo removal.

A Harris Interactive poll put the remorse rate at 16 percent in 2008, and in 2009, members of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery performed an estimated 61,535 tattoo removal procedures. The group does not have comparative statistics, but a local dermatologist and society spokeswoman reports a “huge uptick’’ in patients.

“A lot of folks are turning 30 or 40 and maybe it doesn’t match their lives anymore,’’ said Dr. Ranella Hirsch of Skincare Doctors in Cambridge. “You see someone wearing a Chanel suit and you wouldn’t expect them to have tattoo, but there you go.’’

And in perhaps an equally telling indicator, tattoo removal has spawned its own unhappy trend: botched removal jobs. “We get a lot of folks who need expert care after bad experiences with attempted removal,’’ Hirsch said.

But even good experiences can be challenging. Stubborn tattoos can take up to 15 or more sessions to remove, and it can cost thousands

Or there's the option of throwing money down a rathole.

Site Plan for New Viroqua Library as Part of Complex of 4 Buildings

Library unveils initial site plans.  (Vernon County Broadcaster, 8/31/2011)

Excerpt: The McIntosh Memorial Library Task Force released site plans for a new complex that includes a library, senior center, business and civic center and Western Technical College at a public input meeting, Friday.

Approximately 80 people attended the meeting at 1:30 p.m., and an additional 30 made it to the 5:30 p.m. meeting.

The plan includes four buildings connected by a corridor of common space on the block where Western currently sits. Terry Martin of PSA Dewberry, the lead architect for the project, said the site was chosen because the library and Western could share programs and facilities, minimizing the cost of construction. Western also offered to participate in some cost sharing for the project, but that meant the library and college had to be physically connected.

The total project is estimated to cost $8 million. The library portion will be approximately $4.5 million. Each entity will fund its own portion

Related posts:
Library applies for $750,000 Community Development block grant.  (8/25/2011)
Fingers crossed for grant for new library.  (6/26/2011)
Library project gets aid from city.  (6/7/2010)
New library moves into conceptual design phase.  (5/28/2001)
New library cost estimate:  $5.7 million.   (5/20/2010)
Library building project update.  (3/15/2010)
Viroqua's McIntosh Memorial Library Space Needs Study Update.  (1/16/2010) 
Viroqua's McIntosh Memorial Library Space Needs Task Force.  (12/28/2009)
Viroqua's long look at a new library facility.  (11/6/2009)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Supportive Editorial for Rockford Public Library Needs a Fact Checker

Our View: Rockford Public Library adapts, deserves support. (Rockford Register-Star, 8/28/2011)

Excerpt:     More than half of the material the Rockford Public Library circulates is digital — 58 percent for digital, 42 percent for print. The library is checking out seven times as many e-books as in January 2007.

OK, wait a minute.

Here's what the Register-Star reported on July 8th of this year.

Electronic material circulation has surged since the library began offering e-books four years ago, going from 759 in 2007 to 7,544 through June this year.

So you're telling me that the Rockford Public Library circulated 5,462 print items through the end of June?  Out of a collection of 494,261 volumes? Something is seriously wrong in "The Forest City"..

Madison Public Library Board to Consider Plan B Financing for New Central Library

Excerpt:    Philanthropist Jerry Frautschi's $500,000 pledge is good news indeed for the Central Library's reconstruction project, especially because it turns out the fundraising campaign got some bad news this summer, too: around $4 million in federal New Market tax credits it was counting on are not going to come through this year, and maybe not at all, according to several officials involved in the $29.5 million project.

Now city and library supporters, including Mayor Paul Soglin, are scrambling to try to make up the difference, and Frautschi's gift won't do it alone.

At today's 4:30 meeting the Madison Public Library Board will consider what it calls Plan B: a financing scheme that will make up for the $4 million hole.

Plan B calls on the library fundraising campaign to raise another half a million dollars on top of the $8 million goal it already is racing to meet, while the city will need to borrow another $3.5 million on top of the $17 million it has already committed to the project

And the beat goes on.  (4/14/2010)

Michele Bachmann's Wardrobe Malfunction

As long as we're havin' fun....

You Get Paid for That?!

Today's headline news:

Then again....

Excerpt:  When deciding how much credence should be given to the current recession view of the economics profession, investors should consider how accurately they predicted the Great Recession - the worst one since the 1930s. The recession began in December 2007. That same month a survey of 54 mainstream economist was published by Business Week under the title, "A Slower But Steady Economy" (AP could have used the same title for its current survey). How many of these highly-paid top economists realized that the U.S. was in recession? None, zero, nada, zilch. How many thought that the U.S. was about to experience the worst recession in almost 80 years? None, zero, nada, zilch.  [Emphasis added.]

Judge Dismisses Case Against Indian Trails Public Library

Judge again dismisses Sherman suit against library. (Daily Herald, 8/31/2011)

Excerpt: A Cook County judge last week dismissed Buffalo Grove resident Rob Sherman’s motion to reconsider a lawsuit against Indian Trails Public Library that sought to nullify a property tax increase narrowly approved by v.oters in April.

Sherman and four other Buffalo Grove residents filed the complaint against the Wheeling library, claiming officials improperly used public funds to electioneer in favor of the tax rate increase

Then there's Rob's version.

So, what would it be like to have Rob and this guy in the same room.

Related post:
Library board sued over referendum campaign.  (5/20/2011)

This Jackson Guy Takes Cleaning and Dusting to Extremes

Photo credit:  Retiring Guy
Lisle cops: Thief was really cleaning out library. (Daily Herald, 8/31/2011)

Excerpt: A Glen Ellyn man charged with stealing thousands of books, DVDs and other materials apparently was cleaning out the Lisle Public Library in more ways than one, authorities said Wednesday.

Lisle Watch Cmdr. Ron Wilke said the man, James F. Jackson, was part of an outside company’s custodial crew hired to clean the library after hours. Police believe Jackson stole many of the items when the facility was closed, allowing him to avoid security scanners

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

GOP in Giffords’ district holds raffle for Glock.  (The Raw Story, 9/1/2011)

The Pima County GOP is raffling a Glock 23 - 125 tickets for $10 a pop.   Jared Loughner used a Glock 19.

Is this what we learned from the near-assassination of Gabrielle Giffords?

That Was Then (Record-Playing Confusion), This Is Now (AV Format Choices in Libraries)

Then.   (Advertisement from 1950 issue of National Geographic.  And here you thought they were good for nothing!)



Unabridged CD

Abridged CD.


For this example, I had to jump to another record.  (And I know for a fact that many people didn't carefully read the bib record before placing a hold.)

Foreign language.

Sure, there's an element of confusion with multiple formats -- and I won't go into the challenges of AV collection development here -- but except for foreign language, I've used all of the above formats at one time or another.  I'm currently listening to a Digging to America by Anne Tyler on Playaway and just finished The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates on CD.

A Life After Hate

1 copy in LINKcat

Former white supremacist found personal reasons to change. Eugene Kane, In My Opinion. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 8/31/2011)

Excerpt: Michaels said his initial attraction to the skinhead movement as a young man was "just to piss people off. Whenever I wore a 'White Power' T-shirt, I knew people didn't like it. That was my motivation."

Eventually, the lifestyle of heavy drinking and fighting other skinheads became more disruptive.

But the bottom line was watching his young daughter play with classmates of other races and realizing the kind of world she deserved.

"I knew I wanted something better for her."

These days, Michaels is a social activist who works to promote understanding between races with a personal memoir - "My Life After Hate" - and an online magazine called where he publishes articles about racial harmony with like-minded partners.

Breaking away from the white supremacist movement was difficult but necessary for him to escape the pervasive mentality that demanded he hate other groups.

"I just realized how much better it felt leaving all that behind," he said.

With the neo-Nazi rally planned for Saturday afternoon in West Allis, Michaels has been involved with various groups planning a counter-demonstration. He warned that some neo-Nazis were probably hoping scuffles would break out with counter-demonstrators.

"When you're in the neo-Nazi movement, any publicity is good publicity," he said.

This may certainly be construed as offensive to the public

Excerpt: A 44-year-old Appleton man was taken into custody Wednesday for posting in a New York radio station's Internet chat room that he was planning a shooting spree.

Appleton police Sgt. Pat DeWall said detectives found the man at a computer at the Appleton Public Library, the same place where he posted his online threat a day earlier.

The man visited Hard Rock Radio Live's chat room about 11 a.m. Tuesday. He wrote that listeners should watch national news on Wednesday because he planned to "go on a shooting spree in Appleton, WI."

"I didn't really make too much of it (at first) because sometimes kids are kids and they are doing stuff," said Trevor Fenton, radio station co-owner and disc jockey, who called Appleton police from Windsor, Ontario, where he's based, after the man followed up by requesting Megadeth's "Killing is My Business … And Business is Good

Wisconsin State Bar's Civil Rights Section Requests AG Holder to Monitor Voter ID Bill

State Bar asks AG to monitor voter ID law. (Wisconsin Law Journal, 8/31/2011)

Excerpt: The Wisconsin State Bar civil rights section’s chairwoman wants the U.S. Department of Justice to review the state’s new voter photo identification law and monitor its implementation.

In an Aug. 26 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder released Wednesday, Sally Stix said the law could potentially suppress the vote of thousands of Wisconsin residents without solving any voter fraud problems.

She wants the Justice Department to review the Legislature’s process as it adopted the law to determine whether lawmakers had any unlawful intent. She also wants the agency to ensure the law doesn’t violate any federal civil rights or voting rights statutes.

The letter includes a disclaimer saying the bar’s board of governors hasn’t approved the views expressed in the letter

Related posts:
League of Women Voters challenges voter ID law as unconstitutional.  (8/22/2011)
Wisconsin Legislative Council information memorandum:  Voter ID requirements.  (7/15/2011)

Better to Tally the Costs of Voter Apathy

 LINK to Oshkosh Northwestern article.

55,125 voters felt it was an important enough expenditure.

And WiscNet!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just saw this brief, weird commercial for a James Patterson book on TV

Wonder what the Venn diagram of Brewers fans and readers of Patterson's books looks like.

La Crosse Storytelling Festival

Marge sez "Come on down!"

I Want To Be Alone!

Sony shows wearable 3-D personal theater. (San Jose Mercury News, 8/31/2011)

Excerpt:   Sony says it will start selling a head-mounted display that provides a 3-D theater of music videos, movies and games, targeting people who prefer solitary entertainment rather than sitting in front of a TV with family or friends.

What You Are Is Where You Were When: The Retiring Guy Superman and Batman Edition

Those of you of a certain age will remember attending workshops -- probably more than one -- where this guy's video was the feature attraction.

In order to best understand me, you need to know that hearing the word "Superman" instantly brings these opening credits to mind.

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! ("Look! Up in the sky!" "It's a bird!" "It's a plane!" "It's Superman!")... Yes, it's Superman ... strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman ... who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way! And now, another exciting episode, in The Adventures of Superman!

A new era for Superman and Batman. (San Jose Mercury News, 8/31/2011)

Excerpt: It's Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as you've never known them before.

DC Comics
-- the company publishing the adventures of legions of superheroes for more than 75 years -- began an unprecedented relaunch of its entire line of comic books Wednesday with new "No. 1" issues. And for the first time, you can download 'em for your iPad the same day the books hit comic book stores around the country.

Longtime fans are used to change. New characters with old names were launched in the 1950s and '60s. Big heroes die and come back. Series are launched with repeated new first issues in just a few years.

DC is rolling back the odometer on its flagship series -- including Action Comics, which had reached issue 904 in a run that stretched back to 1938. That got comic fandom buzzing on the Internet when the news broke in May. Debates sprouted over new looks for many characters -- Superman has lost his red trunks in one series and a younger version in another sports a T-shirt and jeans -- and much angst was expressed over changes that promised to alter, de-age or eliminate altogether some characters

And here's the "Batman" Where-I-Was-When.

Da-da, da-da
Da-da, da-da
Da-da, da-da
Da-da, da-da

Guess there's something to be said for TV's assault on our ability to articulate (1a)..

It's Lonely at the Top

TDS to the Town of Berry: Drop Dead!

In so many words.

Wisconsin Internet speeds vary widely. Even some urban areas underserved. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 8/29/2011)

Excerpt:   The Town of Berry, about 20 miles from the state Capitol, is considering a wireless broadband network after it could not convince Madison-based TDS Telecommunications to provide high-speed Internet service.

Town officials filed a complaint with the Public Service Commission over the issue, saying state regulations obligated TDS to provide "reasonably adequate service and facilities," including broadband.

But a change in state law earlier this year dropped many regulations that applied to telephone companies.  
[Emphasis added.]

"Now it's like we don't even exist," said Town Chairman Anthony Varda.

TDS is the telephone service provider in Berry, a community of about 1,125 residents.

Dane County
Town of Berry is square R07E/T08N

The bill that Varda mentions was sponsored by Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee)

Vermont Historical Society's Statewide Cultural Heritage Damage Assessment

Rescuing the Schulz Graphic Novel Library from Floodwaters in White River Junction, Vermont

How to Save a Graphic Novel Library. (The Beat: the News Blog of Comics Culture, 8/30/2011)

Excerpt: Sunday night, a heroic group of cartoonists clamored their way over rocks, train tracks and rushing waters to evacuate the Schulz Graphic Novel Library.

Snow Branch of Dearborn Public Library Is Closing

Screenshot from the Dearborn Public Library homepage, 8/31/2011.

Apparently, the worst isn't over.

City facing deficit reductions.  (Dearborn Press & Guide, 8/31/2011)

Excerpt:    Mayor Dan Paletko on Monday said the city would soon be insolvent if drastic deficit reduction steps aren’t taken immediately.

Every city employee received the dire prediction as part of a three-page memo that also laid out the steps Paletko plans to take to try to keep an emergency financial manager from taking control of city government.

According to the memo, which formalizes proposals Paletko began publicly discussing earlier this month, starting in the second week of September:

• All department heads and deputy department heads will have their pay cut 10 percent.

• All elected officials will be asked to take a 10 percent pay cut.

• All city buildings, except for police and fire stations, will be closed on Fridays.

• Employees working in the closed buildings will be furloughed and have their pay cut 10 percent.

• Cell phone stipends for all city employees will be eliminated.

The downsizing measures come in response to a gaping budget deficit for the city, which like all southeastern Michigan communities, has been pummeled by tumbling property tax revenues and increasing structural costs. Out of a $36.4 million budget, the administration projects about a $5.1 million shortfall for the current fiscal year
.  [Emphasis added.]

SPS Alert

Brilliant Deduction in Janesville: "More single-family homes might be on the rental market because of owners' economic circumstances"

Ya think?

Employment at the GM plant was 2,800 in early 2008.

Janesville's rental vacancy rate a worry. (Janesville Gazette, 8/29/2011)

Excerpt: Janesville's 12 percent rental vacancy rate shows the city has more rental units than it needs, a city official said.

"I think certainly anytime we exceed 10 percent, we're getting into an area where the supply is exceeding the local demand," said Duane Cherek, manager of city planning services.

The rental vacancy rate is up from 7.4 percent in 2000, according to census data.

Among all the city's nearly 28,000 housing units—rental and owner-occupied—2,168, or 7.7 percent, were vacant in 2010, up from 4.7 percent a decade ago, according to census data.

Local experts agree that the increase in rental vacancy is a matter of economics, and they offered theories that can't easily be quantified.

More single-family homes might be on the rental market because of the owners' economic circumstances, Cherek said

Of which this is a factor.

Wisconsin's School and District Accountability Design Team

Walker wants school task force to develop program for successful schools. (Wisconsin State Journal, 8/30/2011)

Excerpt: Gov. Scott Walker urged a new school accountability reform task force Tuesday to develop a system for Wisconsin that focuses on identifying the best schools and replicating their success across the state.

Walker said the primary goal is not simply to replace the 2002 federal No Child Left Behind law, which highlights failing schools and uses punitive measures to drive improvement.

"What we should begin with is what is right about education in Wisconsin and how do we replicate that," Walker said.

State Superintendent Tony Evers also noted that while the new school accountability system could be part of a state waiver application from No Child Left Behind, it "is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a conversation about what we value in public education in the state of Wisconsin and implement a system that reflects those values."

The process is being coordinated by staff from the American Institutes for Research, a Washington-based behavioral and social science research organization


I could go on.

Related post.
Crib sheet. (8/30/2011)