Saturday, February 22, 2014

$8.75 an Hour, Verbal and Physical Abuse Included

Youths injure Albany library guard. (Albany Times-Union, 2/19/2014)

5 middle-school students beat up on Ralph Kowalski, library security guard, and call his mother names.

Not the first time, sez Ralph, but never from such young library patrons.

Which is pretty amazing, when you think about it.  No matter what the generation, we were all assholes, to one degree or another, in junior high school.  Or middle school, as it is more commonly referred to nowadays.

Flush Your Urinary Tract Problems Away

Product information

Library Board Members Gone Wild

Trustees stir controversy at Gurnee’s Warren-Newport library in attempt to obtain documents. (Daily Herald, 2/20/2014)

Two board members are eager to get their hands on certain personnel and financial documents, and, as far as they are concerned, policy be damned!

One of the board members has been a bad boy in the recent past. Last year, [board vice-president Ron] Friedman received a public scolding, or censure, by a majority of board members who claimed his conduct was unbecoming as an elected official. Friedman responded that the move was a “grown-up version of being bullied by a group of kids on the playground.”

Friedman, apparently, matriculated at the Randy Hopp School of Public Library Board Member Development.

Wayne Mahaffy (1920-2014) Warren High School Class of 1938

Warren Times Observer obituary

Warren High School Dragon yearbook 1938

"Wayne" experienced his best years from 1934 to 1958, a stretch of 25 years in the top 50.  Best year:  #29 in 1946.

A number one song as graduation day 1938 approached.

People like us, sez Charles and David Koch

American Thinker, 1/14/2014

Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute. (The New York Times, 2/21/2011)

Koch Brothers’ Dark Money Flowed into Wisconsin Recall Fight.  (Express Milwaukee, 11/13/2013)

Koch brothers' foundation backed rosy May report on Wisconsin economy.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/18/2013)

Walker’s "State of the State" Will Make the Koch Brothers Smile.  (The Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch, 1/22/2014)

The Scott Walker Interview That Will Keep on Giving

Scott Walker is interviewed by American Thinker, a conservative online magazine.

A Conversation with Scott Walker, 1/14/2014.  (Emphasis in the following slide is added.)

Related post:
John Doe shocker: Scott Walker lied to us.  (2/20/2014)
Getting to know Scott Walker by the company he keeps. (2/20/2014)

Penny, Estelle, Marion, and Betty on the Steps of Springfield Technical High School in October 1937

The Technical High School on Facebook

Springfield High School of Science and Technology

Springfield's Technical High School.  (Exploring Western Massachusetts, 1/14/2010)

The Bloomfield Public Library Records Request Brouhaha

Bloomfield library director resigning.  (Bloomfield Life, 4/10/2013)

Not that this news is related to what follows, but personally, I'm not satisfied with her explanation.    "I have enjoyed the almost three years that I have been here and appreciate your guidance and support, but there has been a change in my personal life that necessitates me pursuing other opportunities," she continues. "This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, and I wish circumstances were such that I could stay."  (2 years and 4 months, to be exact.)

Judge:  Bloomfield library violated records law.  (Bloomfield Life, 1/30/2014)

The background.  In July 2013, Bloomfield Life requested documents specifically regarding the library board’s 11 trustees at the time. They included Board President Sharon McIver, Jeremiah Larkin Jr., Louis Acocella, Mary Todaro, Susan Carter, Kathleen Hughes, Rosemary Vetrano, Patricia Pelikan, Raymond McCarthy, Ted Ehrenburg and Nicholas Dotoli. Pelikan, McCarthy and Dotoli are no longer on the board. 

"The disclosure of such information would clearly be in the public interest since it could disclose any misuse by the trustee of library materials or any accommodations made by the library to its trustees when fines were incurred," Payne writes in her opinion.

Bloomfield library doesn't disclose name of fined trustee.  (Bloomfield Life, 2/3/2014)

OK, folks, what's the real story behind this silliness?  Payback? Petty animosities?  The document indicated $66.50 in fines levied against one of the 11 members. The fines break down into $60 for "replacement cost" and $6.50 for two overdue items. It is unclear if the fines have been paid.

Letter to the editor from Library Director Adele Puccio.  (Bloomfield Life, 2/20/2014)

What's been done during her first 4 months on the job.   I have been director since the beginning of October. Since that time, I’ve worked with the staff to collect older, overdue items; we’ve consolidated parts of the database that contained duplicate fines and cards; we’ve replaced items that were lost or damaged, many through donations. We’re working on improving the physical space and our services to the public. We’ve called many people who have not returned large numbers of items and advised them to return them before we take more action. We’re doing all of this on a budget that’s been cut yearly for the past seven years. No one is exempt from library fines and return policies, no matter who they are.

Fudge Sales and Embezzlement of Library Funds

Fraud case is latest twist in library revival story.   (Boston Globe, 2/23/2014)

Working overtime.  Without supervision.  In December, federal prosecutors charged Linda E. Duffy, 65, a former library worker, with stealing more than $800,000 in library funds over a seven-year period, from 2004 to 2011. At the time, the library was so broke it relied on fudge sales to buy new books, and on volunteers to clean bathrooms. 

Prosecutors allege that Duffy withdrew charitable donations, along with fees from overdue books and videos, from a library account at Eastern Bank, deposited the funds into her personal account at the bank, and then used the money to pay the mortgage on her Saugus home, dental bills, hotel stays, and other personal expenses.

Related post:
Former administrative assistant alleged to have stolen $800,000 from Saugus library.  (12/21/2011)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Another John Doe Shocker: Scott Walker Doesn't Blame Jim Doyle

Scott Walker won't say whether he knew of or used secret email system. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/21/2014)

He cannot tell a lie.

But he can certainly obfuscate.

Related post:
John Doe Shocker: Scott Walker lied to us.   (2/20/2014)

The Myth of the Pay-As-You-Go Americans

An Ambiguous Omen, U.S. Consumer Debt Begins to Rise Again.  (The New York Times, 2/18/2014)


State Library Agency Revenue and Expenditures, 2001-2010

From "State Library Agency Survey Fiscal Year 2010", Institute of Museum and Library Services, January 2012.  (Latest statistics available.)

Since 2001, federal revenue has remained relatively constant, although its share has increased from 16% to 26%.  State revenue has declined by 26.4%, or $346,500,000.

Since 2001, operating expenditures have remained flat, but direct aid to libraries has declined.

Small and Rural Public Libraries Defined

From "The State of Small and Rural Libraries in the United States", Institute of Museum and Library Services, September 2013.

Small library defined.  In this analysis, we have defined small library based on the population of the library's legal service area.  Libraries with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less were categorized as small libraries.  After identifying all libraries below this threshold, these small libraries were further subdivided into the following categories:

Rural library defined:  This analysis makes use of the urban-centric locale system of the Public Libraries Survey (PLS), which separates rural libraries into three categories.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Philip Stewart (1936-2014) Warren High School Class of 1954

Warren Times Observer obituary

Warren High School Dragon yearbook 1954

Never a flash-in-the-pan kind of guy, "Philip" spent more than 100 years holding his own between #52 (in 1942) to #104.  It's only been within the last quarter-century that he's started to lose favor.

The #1 song when the class of '54 graduated.

Here It Is 2014 and Some Folks Are Acting Like It's 1862

WJTV News Channel 12

Nobody's At Home in Northwood Iowa This Afternoon

Small Iowa city evacuated due to chemical fire.  (MSN  News, 2/20/2014)

An Iowa State Patrol spokesperson reports"We're in the process of evacuating the town. We're trying to get everybody out of the town and moving them to the Kensett Community Center about six miles south of Northwood."

City of Northwood website.

No library service today.

John Doe Shocker: Scott Walker Lied to Us

Scott Walker, eyeing 2016, faces fallout from probes as ex-aide’s e-mails are released. (Washington Post, 2/18/2014)


Related post:
Getting to know Scott Walker by the company he keeps. (2/20/2014

Bang-shang-a-lang! Something New from Archie on the YA Shelves!

Archie Comics Adapted to YA Novels.  (GalleyCat, 2/20/2014)

Coming soon to your local library.  Archie and Betty from Archie Comics are getting their own YA book. Archie: A Rock & Roll Romance, due out next week, and Diary of a Girl Next Door: Betty, due out July 16 from Archie Comics, are part of Archie Comics’ new series of young adult novels.

Actually, the Archie title is already on order at the Sequoya Branch, and there's 1 hold on it.

The Vision of Trempealeau County as One Big Mining Operation -- Nipped in the Bud

Challengers knock off pro-mining Trempealeau County incumbent. (La Crosse Tribune, 2/20/2014)

Unbalanced.  As the former chairman of the Environment and Land Use Committee, Bice supported more than 25 mines because of his belief in private property rights, he said.

Using 25, Bice's minimum, as a factor.

Other frac sand mining posts:
Glenwood City Council members defeat their recall challengers by a hair.  (12/18/2013)
Wyoming's Republican Governor has a message for Wisconsin mining industry'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)

Sugar-Pie, Honey-Bunch, They Can't Help Themselves

Co-chairs of Joint Finance send out a "big lie" new release on the same day that the John Doe investigation documents are made public.

How our economy is growing.

Wisconsin State Journal, 12/18/2013

What's been happening during the last 3+ years in Wisconsin reminds me of a Hans Christian Anderson tale.

Getting to Know Scott Walker by the Company He Keeps

Emails offer raw, unvarnished view of politics, policy.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 2/19/2014)

Kelly was convicted of misconduct in public office.

Kelly works for the "GOP go-to" law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich.

Nardelli was sentence to 2 years in prison for embezzlement.

This stuff, however, is just a sideshow, starring bratty kids in grown-up's clothes, compared to what we should learn about illegal campaign coordination in a second John Doe investigation.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Friends and Blood Brothers Greg Abbott and Ted Nugent

Candidate for Texas Governor Stands by Outspoken Musician.  (The New York Times, 2/18/2014)

Some choice quotes from the defender of the Constitution.

Washington Times, 2/17/2014

Huffington Post, 2/13/2013

Is the Southwest Chief Riding into the Sunset?

Small Towns in Southwest Fear Loss of Cherished Train Line. (The New York Times, 2/17/2014)

"All Aboard" doesn't resonate hereAmtrak, which has operated the Southwest Chief since 1971, has asked Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico to each pitch in $40 million over 20 years to help pay for track upgrades and maintenance it says are needed to keep the route viable. But some state officials are balking, saying that Amtrak, which draws financial support from the federal government, should cover the costs itself.

NoRoJo 2016 (Chapter 15): Ron Johnson, in Full Sound-Bite Mode, Blames Obama for American TV's Demise

Photo credit:  U.S. Congress

Johnson conveniently overlooks the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Employment in electronics and appliance stories took a nosedive in 2008.   Let's see....who was our President then?  And the numbers increased during most of 2013.

Related NoRoJo 2016 posts:
Chapter 1.  (1/2/2013)
Chapter 2.  (1/10/2013)
Chapter 3.  (2/12/2013)
Chapter 4.  (2/13/2013)
Chapter 5   (3/11/2013)
Chapter 6.  (3/25/2013)
Chapter 7.  (4/8/2013)
Chapter 8.  (4/9/2013)
Chapter 9.  (4/12/2013)
Chapter 10. (4/14/2013)
Chapter 11.  (5/2/2013)
Chapter 12.  (8/15/2013)
Chapter 13: One-trick pony?  (10/17/2013)
Chapter 14.  (10/24/2013)

Sales of Certain Kinds of Semen Are Tax-Exempt in Wisconsin

But you'll need a certificate.

Sales tax exemption on aircraft parts passes Senate.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/19/2014)

Adding to an already extensive list.

Items that do not require an exemption certificate
  1. Insurance
  2. Caskets and burial vaults
  3. Food and food ingredients  (not exempt:  candy, soft drinks, dietary supplements, prepared food)
  4. Fuel and electricity, including
    • fuel oil
    • propane
    • coal
    • steam 
    • peat
    • fuel cubes 
    • wood 
    • biomass
  5. Home exchange service sales
  6. Drugs
  7. Durable medical equipment, mobility-enhancing equipment, and prosthetic devices
  8. Motor vehicle and alternative fuels
  9. Printed publications
    • Newspapers
    • Periodicals
    • Shoppers guides
  10. Occasional sales (e.g., to family members)
  11. Water delivered through mains
  12. Manufactured homes
  13. Modular homes
  14. Diaper services
  15. Copies of certain records
  16. Animal identification tags
  17. Standard samples
  18. Public benefit fees (low-income assistance fees)
  19. United States and Wisconsin flags
  20. Sales by the U.S. government

Items that require an exemption certificate:
  1. Advertising and promotional direct mail (effective 7/1/2013)
  2. Certain sales by affiliated businesses (effective 9/1/2005)
  3. Carriers of property or passengers
  4. Catalogs and their mailing envelopes (effective 4/1/2009)
  5. Clay pigeons and live game birds
  6. Farmers (some exceptions)
  7. Fuel and electricity consumed in manufacturing tangible personal property
  8. Fuel sold for use by charter fishing boats (effective 7/1/2009)
  9. Fire fighting equipment
  10. Heavy logging equipment
  11. Diabetes supplies
  12. Manufacturing machinery, equipment, and materials
  13. Maple syrup equipment
  14. Motion pictures
  15. Packaging and shipping materials
  16. Printed advertising materials
  17. Raw materials for printed materials
  18. Purchases for resale (includes numerous examples)
  19. Semen (artificial insemination of livestock)
  20. Snowmaking and snow-grooming machines and equipment (effective 7/1/2013)
  21. Snowmobile trail groomers
  22. Utilities' fuel
  23. Vegetable oil or animal fat converted to motor vehicle fuel (effective 9/1/2011)
  24. Waste treatment facilities
  25. Waste reduction or recycling
  26. Wind, solar, and gas from anaerobic digestion of agricultural waste (effective 7/1/2011)
  27. Wood residue
  28. Manufacturing and biotechnology (effective 1/1/2012)
  29. Digital goods when tangible forms exempt

Clearly, the future of the sales tax in Wisconsin means more exemptions, i.e., fewer sources of revenue.  It's a trough that legislators enjoy offering to certain constituents.  And I suspect the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Follow the Money database would help to explain some of them.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Meet Chris Kapenga, ALEC's Waterboy

Wisconsin Moving to Advance ALEC Constitutional Convention Scheme. (The Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch, 2/10/2014)

AJR81.  Note who's first in line!

Les Paul is from Waukesha County, too.

Other ALEC posts:
Sen. Paul Farrow throws a hissy fit (which is transcribed in this news release).  (2/7/2014)
Also known Aas the American Legislative Exchange Council's Super-Majority Act.  (12/24/2013)
Robin Vos believes in selective transparency of the kind advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council.  (12/24/2013)
Background on the National Conference of State Legislatures for Leah.  (12/12/2013)
ALEC transparency?  Up to a point.  (12/12/2013)
From ALEC to Andre to us: Rep. Jacque (R-DePere) whittles model bill down to the basics.  (9/1/2013)
NRA/ALEC "Docs and Glocks" law finally makes its way to Wisconsin.  (6/18/2013)
Robin Vos, "an ALEC Wisconsin Foot Soldier" (SourceWatch).  (6/13/2013) Pat McCrory Cain't Say "No" to ALEC.. (6/10/2013)
ALEC'd to Death: Wisconsin Republicans Continues to Depend on the Koch Brothers' Playbook. (6/7/2013)
ALEC's State Budget Reform Toolkit: "Asset Sale and Lease Opportunities".  (6/6/2013)
Selling State Properties? It's in the ALEC Playbook.  (5/22/2013)More cookie-cutter legislation from ALEC.  (4/7/2013)
The New York Times Provides an overview of school choice without mentioning ALEC's orchestration.  (3/28/2013)
Selling state properties:  It's in the ALEC toolkit.  (2/17/2013)
Performance funding: They love this stuff at the Lumina Foundation and ALEC. (11/19/2012)
Splashy full-page ad for a movie few want to see.  (9/30/2012)
AT&;T, ALEC have their way with South Carolina legislature.  (7/2/2012)
What the Koch Brothers left under Scott Walker's 2010 Christmas tree.  (6/19/2012)“
….really, what ALEC is, is a bipartisan association of state legislators….” (Wisconsin State Senate version, 4/10/2012)“

Scott Walker's "Unintimidated": It Was 3 Increasingly Bouncy Months Ago Today

Been wondering how Walker's "biography" has been selling lately?

Well, that's OK, I'll still provide you with a graphical summary.

Peak position:  #181 two days after its official publication date.

Other Unintimidated posts:
Scott Walker "Unintimidated" to fall off a cliff.  (1/4/2014)
Some reviewers fawning all over themselves.  (12/31/2013)
What's your favorite version of "Going Down" on this snowy Wisconsin New Year's Eve? (12/31/2013)
Christmas was not kind to Scott Walker on Amazon. (12/26/2013)
Climbing into 2014 conversation.  (12/24/2013)
Some Republicans ordering last-minute gifts via Amazon (Drones not ready yet).  (12/24/2013)
Scott Walker's "Unintimidated": 4 weeks of tepid rankings and opposing viewpoints on Amazon.  (12/172013) It's been a roller-coaster sales ride since Scott Walker's "Unintimidated" peaked on its 3rd day of publication.  (12/10/2013) 
Dear V S, Thanks for your fake review of Scott Walker's "Unintimidated".  (12/6/2013)
Scott Walker's "Unintimidated" book review parties seem to be over.  (12/6/2013)
"Unintimidated" book reviewers running out of steam?  (12/5/2013)
A variation on a theme: Like little Mighty Mice coming to their hero's rescue.  (12/4/2013)
In one day: Fans of Scott Walker "Unintimidated" to post 115 five-star reviews on Amazon.  (12/3/2013)
Scott Walker's Fans Accuse "Union Thugs" of Writing Fake Reviews of "Unintimidated", Then Do Likewise.  (12/2/2013)
Scott Walker "Unintimidated" by roller coaster ride on Amazon.  (11/28/2013)
Scott Walker "Unintimidated" to peak early on Amazon during first week of book's publication.  (11/26)
On day 6, Scott Walker's "Unintimidated" reverses course, but the bad reviews keep rolling in.  (11/24/2013)
Day 5: Scott Walker's "Unintimidated" experiences that overnight sinking feeling. (11/24/2013) 
Day 4: Scott Walker Unintimidated As his book slowly slip slides away.  (11/23/2013)
On day 3, Scott Walker Unintimidated to tread water.  (11/22/2013)
On day 2, "Unintimidated" Shows Sales Momentum, but Reviews Still Split.  (11/21/2013)
Day one:  Amazon's best-selling books "Unintimidated" by Scott Walker.  (11/19/2013)
Once again, Scott Walker is unintimidated by the facts.  (11/2/2013)
Unintimidated by the facts.  (10/28/2013)

Be Careful How You Design That New Library, Mary

Nation's first bookless library opens in San Antonio.  (Dallas News, 1/3/2014)

The bookless library is operated by Bexar County.

The City of San Antonio, which is located in Bexar County, operates a central library and 25 branches, all of which offer a variety of materials and services.

10 facts about Americans and public libraries.  (Pew Research, 1/24/2014)

Related posts:
Kommst du mit in die Bibliothek? Gehst du jetzt dorthin?  (9/17/2013)
GeoBeats News Takes a Look at Bexar County's Bookless Library.  (5/6/2013)
Update.  (4/29/2013)
Public library locations in Bexar County.  (1/13/2013)
Bexar County's incomplete public library. (1/12/2013)

From the 1954 Wausau Public Library Annual Report

Dateline Wausau: 'Many diversions' don't distract library patrons in 1954. (Wausau Daily Herald, 2/13/2014)

One such diversion.  TV's #1 show, with a 58.5 rating share.

New technology had expanded the library’s offerings. “Motion picture films,” added in late 1952, were “very popular,” with a total audience of more than 26,000. “The Wisconsin River Story” was the most popular film. And “talking books” now could be secured for people who blind or visually handicapped, through the cooperation of the Chicago Public Library.

TV Lenny Leaves the Multiplication to Us

The Buzz: American TV to close all stores. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 2/18/2014)

Local Chain Stores.  (TIME, 9/5/1927)

Sorry, TIME, welcome to Anywhere USA.   A local Iowa chain of 35 grocery stores (Red Ball Corp., headquarters at Des Moines) last week bought 15 stores at Des Moines and Valley Junction, Iowa, from a National chain of grocery stores (Piggly Wiggly, Delaware corporation, headquarters at Memphis, Tenn.) 

The incident had this significance: a local chain can be so effective that it can resist hysterical battering of the independent retailer and the methodical ramming of the national chain. National chain stores have often absorbed local chains; it is possible that national chains may break down into local "lengths" such as the Red Ball Corp.

The Minimum Wage: It's Not the Same All Over

MMAC's Steve Baas: Consider the ripple effect of raising the minimum wage.  (Milwaukee Business Journal, 2/17/2014)

Steve, you're paid to be a mouthpiece, remember?!   Anyone who supports raising the minimum wage must also consider its economic ripple effects, according to Steve Baas, chief lobbyist for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce

"At the MMAC, we’ve always taken a position of proceeding with extreme caution when it comes to government mandating costs within the marketplace because there are always consequences, and often unintended consequences that actually are at odds with the best intentions of bills like these," Baas said.

And what are those unintended consequences?  Might it have anything to do with having to pay employees a living wage?

Related posts: 
A border debate on the minimum wage.  (2/16/2014)
The MacIver Institute's Pavlovian response to an increase in the minimum wage. (1/10/2014)
 The view from the other side of the counter.  (11/29/2013)
The minimum wage and the poverty guideline.  (11/20/2013)
Most of us don't buy into U.S. Chamber of Commerce handwringing over minimum wage.  (11/12/2013)
A look at the minimum wage.  (9/28/2013)