Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cedar Rapids Public Library Grand Opening

Gallery: Cedar Rapids Library Grand Opening Gallery. (Cedar Rapids Gazette, 8/24/2013)

Here's what the former library looked like in June 2008.

Other CRPL posts:
Grand opening is August 24.  (8/13/2013)
High hopes for new Cedar Rapids Library, not so much for operating funds, (2/11/2013)
And that's where we are.  (8/5/2012)
Construction time lapse. (8/3/2012)
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)

A Suburban New York City Bibliography: Long Island, Westchester County, Stamford Connecticut

Still more clippings and photocopies of articles from the New York Times, 1981-1993.  In this series of blogposts, I've discovered that the Times frequently uses different online headlines for even its older articles.   I have since added links to the first 2 bibliographies. (Yeah, I know, feel the tingle.)

"Banks Jostle for L.I. Business".  (January 31, 1986)

"For L. I. Baymen, an Empty Future".  (October 13, 1986)

"L. I. Fights to Emerge from New York's Shadow".  (October 15, 1986)"

A Tale of 2 Suburbs (Franklin Square and Elmont):  Racism and Realtors on L.I."  (February 20, 1987)

"Industrial Corridor is Becoming the Latest Locus of Prime Space".  (May 10, 1987)

"Time and Tide Threaten to Destroy a Highway and Beaches on Long Island".  (December 12, 1987)

"Zoning is Only One Bar to Cheaper Suburban Housing".  (November 13, 1988)"

"As the Suburbs Speak More Spanish, English Becomes a Cause".  (February 26, 1989)

"A Slowdown in Growth is Forcing Long Island to Regroup its Economy".  (August 24, 1989)

"On Long Island, Many Governments Overlap to Form a Jurisdiction Jumble".  (November 13, 1989)

"Fed Up, Long Islnd's Young are Turning to Florida as Land of Opportunity".  (June 20, 1990)

"Long Island Sound Faces Major Damage from Wide Pollution".  (July 6, 1990)

"Exposing Oceanfront Property and Human Folly".  (January 24, 1993)

"Quiet Towns in Westchester Brace for Construction Boom".  (March 10, 1986)

Yonkers.  "A Neighborhood Goes to the Benches".  (September 22, 1986)

Westchester.  "A New Look, Use and Address Keep an Old Building Current".  (May 10, 1987)

"Yonkers Anguish:  Black and White in 2 Worlds".  (December 22, 1987)

Elmsford, N.Y.  "Quirk of Geography Turns Town to Homeless Capital".  (January  17, 1989)

"Westchester's Far-Flung Homeless".   (July 11, 1989)

Westchester.  "A Growing Population of Corporate Executives Prompts Building of Grand Houses on Speculation".

"It's Stylish, but is it Art -- or Spinach?"  (January 25, 1981)

"Connecticut Area Loses Corporate Midas Touch".  (February 21, 1985)

"Stamford's New Look:  Sunbelt in Connecticut".  (March 11, 1985)

"Stamford is Confronted with Big-City Problems and Small-Town Answers".  (March 12, 1985)

"Many Cannot Afford to Live in Connecticut Towns They Serve".  (May 6, 1985)

"Singles Life in Fairfield:  Lively Jobs, Dull Nights".  (October 30, 1985)

"Westport Striving to Restrain the Hands of Time".  (December 5, 1985)

"Stamford Uneasily Balances Wealth and Poverty".  (October 13, 1986)

"Stamford Acts to Humanize Downtown Renewal".  (December 14, 1986)

"A County's Success Brings Woes".  (July 12, 1987)

Related posts:
A New York City (primarily Manhattan) bibliography.  (8/15/2013)
A New York City Bibliography: The Outer Boroughs.  (8/22/2013)

Once Upon a Time, Elm Street Was More Than Just a Name

Perhaps the last standing elm tree in Middleton.  On Mayflower Drive south of University Avenue.  (Photo by Retiring Guy.)

The shape of this tree is different than the three taller, more stately ones that provided shade at 4 East Third Avenue in Warren, Pennsylvania.  The trees, along with most other elms in town, had to be cut down in 1966, victims of Dutch Elm Disease.

Massachusetts state tree.

Looking for Healthy American Elm Trees.  (Bugwood Blog, 3/15/2011)

No Professional Staffing in Harrisburg Public School Libraries: Hey, guys, everyone's doin' it!

The path to success in school comes through the library door: As I See It. (Harrisburg Patriot-News, 8/23/2013)

All the more reason to do it.

Yup, let's be myopic and reap those short-term gains, and to hell with student learning and achievement.

Excerpt:    Without a librarian to manage things, Pennsylvania's POWER Library databases and e-books, to which every school has access via licenses to digital resources provided by the state, will go unused. 

Without a librarian to manage things, and keep the technology and collection up to date, books start disappearing. Classroom teachers stop using the library. After a while, the library door is permanently locked. Renovating and reopening a closed school library actually can be more expensive than the money saved through initial cuts.

Not to mention the research.

Related posts:
Dipping into American Libraries' "The State of America's Libraries 2013".   (4/16/2013)
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean Champions "Limitless Library" Program.  (2/20/2013)
Follow-up Article, Please: Impact of Brown Deer School District IMCs on Student Performance.  (4/23/2012)
School Libraries: "Technology has changed the lay of the land".  (4/4/2012)
School Library Research Summarized: "Quality school library programs impact student achievement".  (5/10/2011)
Rockford Public School Libraries: "You're really looking at a warehouse right now".  (5/8/2011)
Alabama School Library Become Prom Boutique.  (5/7/2011)
School Library Uses Books Trailers to Boost Interest in Reading.  (3/27/2011)
New and Larger School Library Sparks Students' Interest in Reading.  (12/26/2010)
The 'Book Doctor' Is In @ the Clayton Elementary School Library.  (10/30/2010)
Teachers union chief pushes for libraries in Philadelphia schools.  (11/24/2010)
The Strong Relationship Between Academic Achievement and Good School Libraries.  (11/13/2010)
Shonda Brisco: A Nation Without School Libraries.  (4/16/2010)
New York Times "Room for Debate": Do School Libraries Need Books?.  (2/12/2010)
"The Unquiet Librarian" Responds (Eloquently) to President Obama's FY2011 Education Budget.  (2/2/2010)
President Obama Proposes Eliminating Federal School Library Funds.  (2/1/2010)
Emergency drive seeks books for Cleveland school libraries.  (1/17/2010)
Take Your Pick: Jailing Teachers or Supporting School Libraries.  (1/7/2010)
Speaking Out in Support of School Librarians.  (3/11/2009)
The Value of School Librarians.  (2/16/2009)

Friday, August 23, 2013

In the News: Algoma, Wisconsin

Anti-Semitic signs in northeast Wisconsin prompt outcry. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/14/2013)

Excerpt: Elana Kahn-Oren of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation said some of the signs said something to the effect of, "Jews get out, Jew go back to where you came from." Others had language such as, "Kill the Jews, keep Algoma clean."

Faith leaders express dismay about anti-Semitism in Algoma. 

Clean (Merriam-Webster thesaurus.

Talky Tina and ESPN's Path to a NFL Wild-Card Playoff Game

Here's the background, as I see it.

ESPN Extends Deal With N.F.L. for $15 Billion. (The New York Times, 9/8/2011)

Previous deal, which expires this year, includes....
  • rights to broadcast 17 regular season games.
  • no playoff games
  • no Super Bowl

Excerpt:   The new deal provides a path to adding a wild-card playoff game on the network by providing the league with an option to give one to ESPN — which would appear to mean taking one away from another network.

How that develops will probably be a part of continuing negotiations with CBS, Fox and NBC, which will be under pressure to retain their N.F.L. rights, at possibly steep fee increases, in a sluggish economy.

OK, let's make the transition to today's news.

ESPN Quits Film Project on Concussions in N.F.L.  (The New York Times, 8/22/2013)

The project is not supported by the NFL.

Excerpt:   [Chris] LaPlaca [ESPN spokesman] said ESPN’s decision was not based on any concerns about hurting its contractual relationship with the N.F.L.  [Frontline.  "League of Denial:  The NFL's Concussion Crisis".]

Yeah, well, I have this beautiful bridge to sell you, Chris.

Hardworking Families and their Hard-Earned Money: The Frank Lasee Edition of Tiresome Political Buzzwords

(highlights added)

Households and Families: 2010 Census Brief 
Table 4.Households and Families for the United States, Regions, States, and for Puerto Rico: 2000 and 2010.

2.43 - average household size in Wisconsin
2.99 - average family size in Wisconsin

Not what it used to be.
See Mom, Jane (face partially obscured), Sally, Dick, and Dad!
(from page 73 of Fun Wherever We Are of The New Basic Readers series)

Related post: 
 "Hardworking Wisconsin families" really get around. (6/12/2013)

In the News: Doping -- and Dick Pound Sums It Up for Us

Study Revealing Doping in Track Strikes Hurdle. (The New York Times, 8/22/2013)

World Anti-Doping Agency

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Move Over Lunchables, Make Room for Revolution Foods Meal Kits

Them's fightin' words in Wisconsin, I s'pose.


Lunchables, the Lunchbox King, Faces a Rival Vowing Higher-Quality Fare. (The New York Times, 8/21/2013)

Excerpt;  The new products will show up this month in Safeway stores in Northern California, H-E-B and Central Market stores in Texas and King Soopers in Colorado. Introduction of the four products — Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cheese Pizza, Turkey and Cheddar and Ham and Cheese — will continue in September in Whole Foods in the Bay Area and the following month in Target stores in the Northeast and Southwest.

No words as to when the products will reach Wisconsin.   Cheeseheads will just have to wait for a Midwest roll-out.

A New York City Bibliography: The Outer Boroughs

More clippings and photocopies of articles from the New York Times, 1982-1993.  Continuing to weed the paper files.  About time, eh?

"The Talk of Bedford-Stuyvesant.  In a Bleak Brooklyn Neighborhood, Glimmers of Resurgence are Visible".

"Scavengers Hastened Demise of Apartment House in Bronx".  (February 22, 1982)

"About New York.  A Bit of History Lives Again on the Grand Concourse" by Anna Quindlen.  (October 6, 1982)

"Co-op, at 25, a Stable Sign in New York".  (October 16, 1982)

"Signs of Recovery Shown by Bushwick in Brooklyn".  (July 17, 1984)

"For Brighton Beach, a Time of Change".  (July 23, 1986)

"For Belmont, New Days, New Fears".  (August 6, 1986)

"Under Boardwalk, Homeless Eke Out a Survival".  (October 7, 1986)

"At a Men's Shelter in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a Room for 532".  (November 19, 1986)

"A New Mall for the South Bronx".  (February 1, 1987)

"Gentrification:  The Case of Clinton Hill".  (February 8, 1987)

"Manufacturing Housing for New York".  (June 7, 1987)

"From the Ashes of Devastation,k Bronx Reaches for Economic Recovery".  (June 14, 1987)

"After Scandals, Bronx Politics is a Testing Ground for New York's Future."  (June 15, 1987)

"A New Era Is Dawning for the Grand Concourse".  (January 24, 1988)

"Bronx to Get a Big Town-House Complex".  (June 12, 1988)

"The Talk of Coney Island:  In Shadow of a Faded Funland, Fears and Hopes".  (July 18, 1988)

"Planning a Bronx Revival: Plenty of Room to Move."  (December 18, 1988)

"The Residents of Laurelton Mobilize to Nurture Their Queens Community".  (July 15, 1989)

"Kennedy Airport is No. 1 bug Fading".  (January 19, 1990)

"For New York's Colombians, Bitter Pain".  (January 31, 1990)

"It's Not 'Miami Vice':  Commuinty Officers Hack Away at the Roots of Crime".  (February 15, 1991)

"First Blacks on a Brooklyn Block:  From Ashes to Peace, and an Open House".  (February 17, 1991)

"Long-Held Racial Anxieties Surface Again in Brooklyn".  (August 4, 1991)

"Life at the Bottom:  A Neighborhood Struggle with Despair".  (November 6, 1991)

"Life at the Bottom:  Longtime Poor Resent Homeless as Interlopers".   (November 6, 1991)

"Residents of the Bronx are Polishing an Image Tarnished by Years of Disrepect".  (February 20, 1992)

"Gunfight Robs Bronx Block of Hopes".  (August 28, 1992)

"The Well:  The World of a Drug Bazaar, Where Hope Has Burned Out".  (October 1, 1992)

"The Well.  Neighborhood Ruled by a Drug Culture in a Symbol of Government Failure".  (October 2, 1992)

"Seeking Security, Many Retreat Behind Bars and Razor Wire."  (January 17, 1993)

Related post:
A New York City (primarily Manhattan) bibliography.  (8/15/2013)

For Those of You Checking the Calendar, "Be My Baby" is 50 Years Old

The song debuted at #90 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending August 31, 1963. It spent 3 weeks at #2 during the month of October.  (Never reached the top spot.  Kept at bay by "Sugar Shack", a song that always had me reaching for the radio tuner knob. Still does, actually.)

Still Tingling Spines, 50 Years Later.  ‘Be My Baby,’ a Hit Single With Staying Power. (The New York Times, 8/16/2013)

as quoted in the Times article

I'm with you, Brian, but I suspect this guy will beg to differ.  (From a 1973 review of Mean Streets.")

I assume that's sense 2b.

Here's the rest of the jukebox flotsam.

The "real" Addition DeWitt.


Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound'.  (NPR, 3/19/2007)

In the News: New York City's Bike-Sharing Program

Riding Away From a Bar Crawl With Citi Bikes. (The New York Times, 8/21/2013)

Excerpt:   Citi Bike, the city’s newest form of public transportation, is colliding with one of the city’s favorite pastimes: bar hopping. While ridership peaks during the day (for commuting to work, running errands and sightseeing), some New Yorkers are beginning to see it as a convenient way to explore the city’s night life, despite the obvious pitfalls of getting behind those handlebars after a drink or two.

Or three.  Or four.  Or more.

Sussex-Lisbon Library Agreement Still Appears to be More "If" Than "When"

Pauline Haass Public Library

Lisbon supervisors slated to review library plan. (Sussex Sun, 8/13/2013)

Excerpt: For the past three years, Gehrke has insisted that Sussex's share of the contribution to the library must increase under any new funding formula because Sussex residents use the library more than town residents. The two communities contribute a combined approximately $900,000 of the library's $1.2 million budget. The size of a communities contribution is based on the size of its real estate tax base, according to the existing formula. 

Library officials have said a new funding agreement after 2014 is necessary to facilitate long range operational and capital planning for the library. The existing agreement expires in 2014 and reverts to a year-to-year contract between the communities. 

However, town sources have indicated that if a new funding agreement is reached between Lisbon and Sussex, the Library Board will have to agree to drop a lawsuit against the Town seeking control of land Pauline Haass donated to the town for library purposes.

Related articles: 
Still following the Sussex-Lisbon library talks -- since 2010.  (8/6/2013) 
Following a brouhaha over a "most objectionable 3-page letter," library talks to resume between Sussex and Lisbon.  (5/27/2013)
A most objectionable 3-page letter.  (5/10/2013)
Dear Greg; Love, Lisbon Town Board.  (4/27/2013)
Perhaps Pauline Haass is spinning in her grave.  (3/18/2013)
What a long strange trip it's been.  (2/13/2012)
Dueling news releases.  (10/7/2012)
Town of Lisbon wants deep discount in payment for library services.  (9/30/2012)
As the world of joint library agreements turns.  (8/22/2012)
The beat goes on.  (7/2/2012)
Joint library negotiations continue.  (5/13/2012)
Jane Stadler on Paying Taxes: " is something that you do because you're part of the community.  (11/26/2011)
Lisbon town chair not likely to get his way on Pauline Haass Library funding. (11/22/2011)
Lisbon Town chair advocates paying for library services on the cheap.  (11/22/2011)
The challenges of shared governance and funding.  (9/28/2011)
Consensus building for new joint library agreement.  (7/22/2011)
Sussex, Lisbon:  Local politics and library negotiations.  (5/28/2011)
Negotiation to continue after information-gathering process.  (10/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (10/4/2010)
Differences of opinion of library funding continue.  (9/18/2010)
Leaders of Village of Sussex, Town of Lisbon clash over funding for library. (8/26/2010)
Will annexation resolution interfere with negotiations over joint library agreement?  (8/4/2010)
Proposal to change library funding formula gets cool reception.  (6/7/2010)
Town of Lisbon Chairman proposes new funding formula for library.  (5/31/2010)

City of Oshkosh Faces an Estimated $2.8 Million Budget Gap in 2014

Total budget:  $65,800,000

City projects $2.8m budget gap for 2014   Wages, benefits expected to increase while revenues hold steady.  (Oshkosh Northwestern, 8/20/2013)

Excerpt:     Oshkosh City Manager Mark Rohloff and Finance Director Peggy Steeno told the Oshkosh Common Council during a workshop last week that minute increases in revenue sources such as building permits will not come close to covering rising wage, health insurance, utility and debt service costs. 

“That’s our starting point. It’s a big number,” Rohloff said. “It’s not that it can’t be done, it’s just that we really need to look at all parts of our operation.” 

Wages and health insurance alone account for 73.4 percent, or $2.1 million, of the projected increase. Health insurance premiums make up $1.2 million of the increase, or 43.4 percent. 

Rohloff has asked department heads to cut 5 percent from their budgets this year.

Related posts:
Madison: "Studious readers of city meeting agendas" make shocking discovery.  (8/1/2013)
City of Madison.  (7/9/2013)

How Much Klout Do You Have?

Wisconsin politicians jump on social media bandwagon. (Fond du Lac Reporter, 8/21/2013)

Excerpt:    To be sure, they have a ways to go. Their average Klout score — a measurement of social media influence — is 59 on a scale of 1 to 100. (President Barack Obama rates 99.) That’s about average for the U.S. House. The Senate average is 71, according to, which tracks social media usage by Congress. (Sen. Ron Johnson scores 80 on Klout, while Sen. Tammy Baldwin rates 63.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Breaking the First Rule of Parity in Advertising Claims?

Time Warner Cable uses two words in its tagline:  "enjoy" and "better".

U.S. Cellular uses two words in its tagline:  "hello" and "better".

The Language of Advertising Claims by Jeffrey Schrank.  (University of Mississippi website)

Excerpt:  The first rule of parity involves the Alice in Wonderlandish use of the words "better" and "best." In parity claims, "better" means "best" and "best" means "equal to." If all the brands are identical, they must all be equally good, the legal minds have decided. So "best" means that the product is as good as the other superior products in its category. When Bing Crosby declares Minute Maid Orange Juice "the best there is" he means it is as good as the other orange juices you can buy. 

The word "better" has been legally interpreted to be a comparative and therefore becomes a clear claim of superiority. Bing could not have said that Minute Maid is "better than any other orange juice." "Better" is a claim of superiority. The only time "better" can be used is when a product does indeed have superiority over other products in its category or when the better is used to compare the product with something other than competing brands. An orange juice could therefore claim to be "better than a vitamin pill," or even "the better breakfast drink."

Retiring Guy thinks his head hurts.  Are Time Warner Cable and U.S. Cellular sneakily trying to break the first rule of parity?

Romancing the Governor of Iowa

Not on the calendar yet.

Gov. Scott Walker will take part in Iowa governor’s fundraiser.  (Fox6Now, 8/20/2013)

Excerpt:    Republican Terry Branstad [not yet on the Gov's calendar yet either]  is hosting a fundraiser on Sept. 24 at a Washington, D.C., GOP hot spot, the Capitol Hill Club, according to an invitation obtained by CNN. A slate of heavy hitters is expected to attend, including Sens. 
  • Ted Cruz of Texas, 
  • Rand Paul of Kentucky and 
  • Marco Rubio of Florida, and 
  • Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. 
Also listed on the invitation are other potential GOP presidential hopefuls including 
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and 
  • Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. 
But all three are unable to attend.  (Hmm, where's the love here?)

I guess they have to catch up with him first.

Not Scott Walker's 1st Visit to Franklin, Tennessee

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker coming to Franklin for fund-raiser. (Nashville Tennessean, 8/20/2013)

Excerpt: Willis and Reba Johnson hosted a fund-raiser for Texas Gov. Rick Perry in November 2011, though Perry skipped the event after his infamous “oops” moment in the previous night’s Republican presidential debate. Perry, in damage-control mode, opted to tape The Late Show with David Letterman instead.

More about Willis Johnson.

November 10, 2011:  The full top 10 list

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In Baltimore They Love Their Budweiser, Perhaps a Little Bit Too Much

Spent 3 of its 4 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 at #67.  It deserved better, but I understand its underperformance.  Too much incense and peppermints.

Beers Implicated in Emergency Room Visits. (The New York Times, 8/19/2013)

Print edition headline:  Five Beer Brands Linked to E.R.

Excerpt: The study, carried out over the course of a year at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, found that five beer brands were consumed most often by people who ended up in the emergency room. They were 

Meet Daniel D'Addario, a John Simon for the 21st Century

Who definitely needs to chill out.

Beloit College is trolling us all. (Salon, 8/20/2013)

Excerpt:    I was born in 1988 and have heard of the Iran hostage crisis and “Pong,” though I tend to think that people who dwell on cultural signifiers like the latter are pedantically dwelling on specifics that mean, in the broad sweep of history, very little.  (The Mindset List.)

Actually, Daniel, it's a variation What You Are Is Where You Were When.


OK, so you're probably wondering where the John Simon reference comes from. An upcoming blogpost will help to explain. In the meantime, here are two thumbnail reviews of John Simon's Reverse Angle.

But don't worry, Daniel, neither of them have been vetted. (That would be sense 2a of the verb.)  And to tell you the truth, I probably would have been grievously offended if there had been a mindset list 45 years ago.

The Risks of Getting Your Glow On

Indoor Tanning Remains Popular, Despite Risks. (The New York Times, 8/19/2013)

Excerpt: Tanning beds are widely believed to have played a large role in the increasing rates of skin cancer in recent decades. The most serious type, melanoma, has risen sharply among young white women in particular.

Lipstick Traces (of Metals)

A great album, by the way.  From 1974.

Is There Danger Lurking in Your Lipstick?  (The New York Times, 8/16/2013)

The print edition headline:  Color and a Little Something Else.

Katharine Hammond, as quoted in the Times article.

Sounds like it's time for a UFO encore.

In the News: A Graying Prison Population

Council of State Governments
November/December 2006

Graying Prisoners.  (The New York Times, 8/18/2013)

Excerpt:    Owing largely to decades of tough-on-crime policies — mandatory minimum sentences, “three strikes” laws and the elimination of federal parole — these numbers are likely to increase as more and more prisoners remain incarcerated into their 70s and 80s, many until they die.

Number of Older Inmates Grows, Stressing Prisons. (The New York Times, 1/26/2012)

Excerpt: While most elderly inmates have been in prison for years, the number of older people just entering has also been increasing — along with the cost of their care. 

In Michigan, the annual cost of health care for the average inmate was $5,800, according to the study, a figure that increased to $11,000 for prisoners aged 55 to 59. The cost spiraled to $40,000 a year for inmates 80 years and older.

Why Are We Spending So Much To Lock Up Elderly Prisoners Who Pose Little Threat?   (ACLU, 6/13/2012)
Excerpt:    Between 1980 and 2010, the total number of people incarcerated in this country grew by 400 percent. In that same time span, the population of prisoners age 55 and older grew by nearly 1,400 percent. At the current rate of growth, the number of prisoners age 55 and older will have increased 4,400 percent from 1981 to 2030 and will make up fully a third of the nation’s prison population.

Here's the (Usinger's) Pitch, Dropping In for a Strike

Here’s the Pitch. But First, One From Our Sponsor. (The New York Times, 8/18/2013)

Excerpt:   “Phelps painted the corner,” the Yankees radio announcer said, describing a strikeout pitch. “Painting at the corners is sponsored by CertaPro Painters. Because painting is personal.” 

That, baseball fans, is called a drop-in in advertising parlance. Drop-ins have proliferated in recent years as radio stations have tried to offset the rising costs of broadcast rights.

Proliferating to the point of parody.  (That would be sense 2.)

(or a new usage of an existing word)

I suspect "drop-in" has already been read and marked by Merriam staff members, though the sense does not yet appear in the online dictionary.

Some video to go with your audio.

In the News: "New Ruralism"

Large subdivision eyed next to Middleton's Pleasant View golf course.  (Capital Times, 8/19/2013)

Excerpt:     Plans call for an assortment of residential neighborhoods situated around a working farm. Developers hope to break ground in 2014 with homes built over the next half-dozen years. 

"We're still in the early stages on a lot of this," says Jane Grabowski-Miller of Erdman Real Estate Holdings. 

Billed as "new ruralism" — a twist on the planning concept of "new urbanism" — the Erdman project would encompass undeveloped land between U.S. Highway 14 and the golf course, which the city purchased in 1995.

Related readings
A Call for New Ruralism.  (Farmland Information Center)
A Call for New Ruralism: Reinvestment in Metro-Region Agriculture Is Integral to Metro-Region Sustainability. (Smart Growth Network, February 2013)
The New Ruralism, by Rick Wartzman.  (New American Foundation)
New Ruralism – Regional Food & Ag Systems.  (SAGE)

Outagamie County Residents Will Be Better Served With a More Proactive Approach

As of now, there appears to be nothing on the docket.

Outagamie Co. emergency management director says she couldn't have sounded sirens. (Green Bay Press Gazette, 8/19/2013)

Excerpt:   [County Executive Tom] Nelson, meanwhile, said today at a news conference he will convene an independent panel to review the county’s reaction to the storms.

County Executive Parisi Creates New Dane County Climate Change Action Council.  (Dane County news release, 3/13/2013)

Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming. (The New York Times, 8/19/2013)

Excerpt: The report emphasizes that the basic facts about future climate change are more established than ever, justifying the rise in global concern. It also reiterates that the consequences of escalating emissions are likely to be profound.

Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Authors and Review Editors


State Legislatures Fall Well Below the Mendoza Line of Incompetent Legislating

New Abortion Restrictions in States Are 0 for 8 in Courts.  (Bloomberg, 8/19/2013)

Excerpt:   State legislatures trying to curtail abortions have suffered a 0-for-8 losing streak after court challenges to their new laws this year. 

The laws, all but one signed by Republican governors, drew on ideas from a playbook created by an anti-abortion group. Democrats plan to use the attempted curbs to boost 2014 congressional fundraising and increase voter support, calling the laws part of a “War on Women.”

Among the states whose laws are being challenged:
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • Wisconsin

Shoes and Handbags Not Flying Off the Shelves at Saks

It's, like, how many shoes and handbags do I need?"  (Not an actual quote.)

Saks Losses Rise as Sales Fall Short of Forecasts.  (The New York Times, 8/19/2013)

Excerpt:     Saks reported a larger-than-expected second-quarter loss on Monday after disappointing sales of shoes and handbags forced it to reduce prices.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Brown County Public Library East Branch's Days Numbered?

Brown Co. Library considers moving east-side branch to Bellevue. (Green Bay Press-Gazette, 8/17/2013)

Excerpt:  The East Branch facility, which has been at 2255 Main St. for 31 years, would relocate to the growing suburb under an idea being discussed by the Brown County Library Board. Members said they are concerned about conditions in and around East Branch, which occupies leased space near the East Town Mall.

“I can’t see us staying in that location, with that building,” board member Terry Watermolen said. About three years remain on the lease.

Issues with the building over the past year include a leaking roof, a problem with lights and parking lot maintenance, Library Director Lynn Stainbrook said. Meanwhile, calls are growing for a library branch in the Bellevue-Ledgeview area, which has seen significant residential and commercial growth in recent years.

Haji (1946-2013) Gets a 432-Word Obituary in the New York Times

Haji, an Actress Featured in Cult Films by Russ Meyer, Dies at 67. (The New York Times, 8/16/2013)

Excerpt: Haji, a brunette of Filipino and British descent, met [Russ] Meyer, the celebrated B-movie director, in the mid-1960s while she worked in a strip club in California. He cast her as the lead in his biker movie “Motorpsycho” (1965) even though she had no acting experience. 

Later that year Haji appeared in “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!,” the tale of three dancers who beat a young man to death, kidnap his girlfriend and flee into the desert. She played the lesbian paramour of the lead character, Varla, played by Tura Satana.  [Length of NYT obit:  352 words.]  The film has acquired a devoted following and has been embraced by the filmmakers John Waters and Quentin Tarantino and even some feminists, including the film critic B. Ruby Rich, [and herewho praised it in The Village Voice as a “female fantasy.”

Haji's IMDb filmography includes 15 titles.

Russ Meyer's Ultravixens:  Haji.

Her final film.  (Which you won't find at Box Office Mojo.)

Scott Walker Looking Out for the Interests of Milwaukee? Well, Look How That Turned Out

Lakeland Times endorses Scott Walker for Governor.  (Lakeland Times, 10/29/2010)

What happened to the "candidate of regional inclusion"?
Scott Walker’s politics of blacklists and malice. (Capital Times, 6/19/2013)
Attacks on Milwaukee are needlessly divisive.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/1/2012)
How Did Wisconsin Become the Most Politically Divisive Place in America?  (The New York Times Magazine, 5/24/2012)
Scott Walker's "divide and conquer".  (The Progressive, 5/12/2012)
Scott Walker and the GOP Reveal Depth of Their Voter-Exclusion Plan.  (AlterNet, 9/15/2011)

Hat tip to James Rowen for the inspiration.

In the News: State Speed Limits

Vos supports raising Wis. speed limits to 70 mph. (Racine Journal Times, 8/17/2013)

Excerpt:  Vos said the speed-limit bill is the idea of state Rep. Paul Tittl, a Manitowoc Republican. Vos said he supported the move because it would bring Wisconsin in line with its neighboring Midwestern states. 

Laugh line: Illinois doesn't have a 70 mph speed limit, but it's close

What?  The state or the speed limit?

Meanwhile, south of the border.

Illinois latest state to consider 70 mph speed limit; critics warn measures sacrifice safety. (Washington Post, 8/16/2013)

Excerpt: A mix of populist politics and a culture that demands people be in multiple places at once are factors in pushing state lawmakers to support higher limits, as are advancements in automobile and highway engineering that have given people a false sense of security, some experts say.

Retiring Guy's experience indicates that if you drive 65 miles per hour on any Wisconsin or Illinois Interstate highway, you'll feel as though you are standing still as a result of the speed and frequency which other vehicles pass you by.

Common Cause Wisconsin Calling Out Sen. Lazich and Rep. August

Massive Statewide "Calling Out" of Sen. Lazich and Rep. August for Public Hearings on Non-Partisan Redistricting Reform Legislation. (Common Cause, 8/19/2013)

2013 Assembly Bill 185

Sen. Mary Lazich.  Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs.

Rep. Tyler August.  Committee on Government Operations and State Licensing.

Excerpt from Common Cause blogpost with "correction".

If you haven't figured out by now, folks, Robin Vos is the straw that stirs the drink in the Wisconsin state legislature.

Related posts:
Undoubtedly, Tyler August is just following orders.  (8/12/2013)
Will Republican Leadership in Wisconsin Fail to Support Redistricting Reform? (7/22/2013)
The Redistricting Weasels Sing a Chorus of "Because I said so!!"  (5/16/2013)
Common Cause in Wisconsin asks, "Do your state legislators support non-partisan redistricting reform?"  (5/14/2013)
A trio of non-responses in this redistricting story.  (4/22/2013) 
Actually, Robin, Your Riposte is Patently Absurd.  (12/30/2012)  Expect a Frigid Reception from Wisconsin Republicans to This Redistricting Bill.  (12/7/2012)
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)

Flavored Cigars: All We Need Now is Julie London

From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website:

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, more commonly referred to as the Tobacco Control Act, restricts cigarettes and smokeless tobacco retail sales to youth by directing FDA to issue regulations which, among other things: 
  • Require proof of age to purchase these tobacco products – the federal minimum age to purchase is 18 – Sec. 102 
  • Require face-to-face sales, with certain exemptions for vending machines and self-service displays in adult-only facilities – Sec. 102 
  • Ban the sale of packages of fewer than 20 cigarettes – Sec. 102 
  • Allow certain exemptions in adult-only facilities – Sec. 102

Well, guess what folks?

The law doesn't address cigars.

In All Flavors, Cigars Draw In Young Smokers. (The New York Times, 8/17/2013)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Listen Up? Advice Well Taken

Listen Up | Teenage Folk-Singing Sisters Hit the Big Time. (The New York Times, 8/12/2013)

Their self-titled debut album is due out on my 64th birthday.

Popular baby names.

Lily.  Not on the list of the top 1000 popular baby names for girls as recently as 1978.

Madeleine.  Prior to 1984, its highest ranking on the list of popular baby names for girls was 391 in 1895.

August 23!!! The Paramount Theater!!! Aurora, Illinois!!!

The Happy Together Tour!!!

I was in high school and college when these guys were in heavy rotation on AM radio during the mid-to-late 60s.   I never saw any of them in concert, but I did see Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman, 66, and Howard Kaylan, 66, of Turtles fame) at Clark Gym on the University of Buffalo campus in the fall of 1972,  They put on a great show.

36 Hours in Monaco: The Armchair Edition

36 Hours in Monaco.  (The New York Times, 8/15/2013)

4 p.m.

Princess Grace Irish Library

6:30 p,m.  La Chaumiere

10:30 p.m..  Not for gamblers only.

10 a.m.  Sea and garden.
Musee Oceanographique

Jardin Exotique

12:30 p.m.  Classy fast food.
Marche de la Condamine

2 p.m.  Secondhand luxury
Le Dressing

3:30 p.m.  Art comes first.
Le Musée de la Chapelle de la Visitation

5 p.m.  Upscale souvenirs.
Les Feuillets.

6 p.m.  A quiet walk.  (At 1:00.)

8:30 p.m.  Dinner by the sea.  (A'Trego)

7:30 a.m.  If I were a rich man

10 a.m.  Nouveau Musee National de Monaco

Noon.  Not on any map.
Club Bouliste du Rocher  (Not sure if website and video are directly connected.)

Other 36 Hours posts:
Leece, Italy. (8/11/2013)
Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  (8/4/2013)

In Light of Other Reports, Should We Take This Poll with a Grain of Salt?

Poll: Parents back high-stakes testing. (Daily Herald, 8/17/2013)

Excerpt:   Most parents also say their own children are given about the right number of standardized tests, according to the AP-NORC poll.

Retiring Guy hits the 'pause' button.  This statement begs the question:  How many parents know the exact number of standardized tests their children took during the 2012-13 school year?

I suspect that a statistically significant percentage of the parents surveyed by AP-NORC replied without being fully informed.  (And how does that differ from any other poll?)

Related articles:
For some Minnesota parents, standardized testing has reached its limits.  (Pioneer Press, 6/28/2013)
Pennsylvania parents take stand against standardized tests.  (TribLive, 4/6/2013)
Parents have questions of their own about tests.  (Albany Times Union, 3/30/2013)
Parents protest surge in standardized testing. (Reuters, 6/12/2012)

Facebook.  Parents and Kids Against Standardized Testing.

Just the tip of the iceberg, or so it seems.

Really, Martha? Just 61 Ways?

That's really going to simplify things, eh?

Although this issue does include a recipe for zucchini stuffed with Italian sausage.    (One of my bathroom reading experiences from this weekend.)  But, dang it, I can't seem to find Martha's recipe online.)