Friday, February 29, 2008

Governor Doyle Announces Universal Pictures' Film "Public Enemies" to be Shot in Wisconsin

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle announced (earlier this week) that Universal Pictures has committed to shoot portions of its upcoming film “Public Enemies,” directed and produced by UW alumnus Michael Mann and starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, in Wisconsin. The company reached agreement (Tuesday) with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce on tax credits from the new Film Production Services Tax Credit Program.

“Welcoming the film industry to Wisconsin gives us an opportunity to showcase the rich diversity of our great state – its landscapes, its people, and its culture,” Governor Doyle said. “Movies create a sense of place that stays in the minds and hearts of moviegoers long after the credits roll. And as the proud Governor of this wonderful state, I can’t wait for the rest of the world to see on the big screen what we enjoy every day – the great state of Wisconsin.”

“Public Enemies,” the story of America’s criminal folk hero John Dillinger (Depp), whose wave of bank robberies and the subsequent FBI manhunt – commanded by J. Edgar Hoover and run by Special Agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) – fascinated the nation in the 1930s.

This film will be the first major production to come to Wisconsin after new tax incentives for the film industry took effect on January 1, 2008. By producing in Wisconsin, the company could earn approximately $3.9 million in tax credits. The company expects to spend nearly $20 million in the state by conducting a portion of the filming in Wisconsin. Individual community locations have not yet been determined. In choosing Wisconsin, Michael Mann cited the high quality historic building stock in many Wisconsin communities that will lend authenticity to the action-thriller.

It is estimated that about 50 percent of money spent on a film production stays in the local community where filming takes place. Other states that have enacted credits, such as New Mexico and New York, have seen revenues jump anywhere from $125 to $600 million in their first year, due to incentives.

”It is a coup to have Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Michael Mann headline the first film, but these incentives have just begun to work,” Lieutenant Governor Lawton said. “They will continue to attract both blockbuster and smaller budget films to Wisconsin as more producers hear what a great place Wisconsin is to do business. Wisconsin is now a major player in attracting creative industries.”

There are two film industry tax credits that went into effect on January 1, 2008:

· Film Production Services Tax Credit - The credit is for an accredited film, video, electronic game, broadcast ad, or TV production. A production that is less than 30 minutes has to cost at least $50,000, and a production that is 30 minutes or longer has to cost more than $100,000. To claim the credit, the claimant has to either own the copyright for the production or have a contract with the copyright owner as well as a viable distribution plan. The credit can be claimed in three different ways:

o 25% of the salaries or wages paid to Wisconsin residents for services for the production that are rendered in the state, up to a maximum credit of $25,000 per employee.

o 25% of the production expenses paid by the eligible claimant to produce the production. Expenses for music, air travel, and insurance can be claimed as long the service provider is headquartered in the state.

o 100% of the amounts paid for sales taxes paid on the purchase of personal property and taxable services for the production.

· Film Production Company Investment Tax Credit - A claimant can claim the following for the first three years that it is doing business in the state as a film production company:

o 15% of the purchase price of depreciable, tangible personal property, such as business equipment and vehicles. At least 50% of the property’s use has to be for the film production company.

o 15% of the amount spent to acquire, construct, rehabilitate, remodel, or repair real property. The property can’t be previously owned by the claimant.

Applicants for the credits submit an application to the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, which will determine eligibility, accredit the production, and estimate the amount of credits a project is eligible to claim following its completion of the project.

For more information on Commerce programs and services, contact the Commerce area development manager at New:

Friday, February 22, 2008

State of the City address set for Thursday, Feb. 28

The second annual State of the City address is scheduled for next week; but clearly, this year's address will be markedly different from last year's.

First of all, this year's address will be delivered by Acting City Manager John Fitzpatrick, as the city council continues the process of searching for a new city manager to replace Richard Wollangk who "retired" from his position last Oct. 13. In addition to the highlights and accomplishments of 2007, there will be a look ahead into the strategies and challenges facing the city in 2008.

Second, both Fitzpatrick and Mayor Frank Tower will participate in the event.

Third, the event will be held at the Oshkosh Seniors Center as opposed to City Hall like last year.

Fourth, the first-ever Board & Commission Service Awards will be given out. According to a letter from Fitzpatrick, these awards will be given to citizens who
"have achieved individual five-year service milestones in 2007 while serving as volunteers on City of Oshkosh boards or commissions. Awards will be presented for service milestones reached in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 & 30 year timeframes." This is a nice honor for those, like me, who have served on the city's various boards and commissions.

Finally, and probably most significantly, is the fact that the evening will feature an Open House component to it, where department and division heads will be on hand to answer citizen questions or listen to community input from residents. A number of booths will be set up where people attending can get information on a variety of projects, including planned renovations at the Oshkosh Convention Center, the Oshkosh Public Library strategic plan and single-stream recycling. Refreshments will also be available during this portion of the evening.

I'm not sure who came up with the idea to make the event as interactive and citizen-friendly as is being planned, but hats off to them. One way to make government more transparent and user-friendly is to invite and encourage citizens to participate in it. The way this event is being planned is a nice start in helping accomplish that.

The address and open house will take place on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Oshkosh Seniors Center, 234 N. Campbell Rd. Those wanting more information on the event can call the city manager's office at (920) 236-5000.

Input on city manager hiring criteria sought from Oshkosh citizens

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Mayor Frank Tower and the Oshkosh Common Council will hold Community Input Sessions on:

Monday, March 3, 2008 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Avenue, Lower Level Meeting Room


Tuesday, March 4, 2008 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Oshkosh Seniors Center, 200 N. Campbell, Annex (North Building) for the following purpose:


The Oshkosh Common Council may observe and/or participate in these sessions.

These sessions will be videotaped and replayed on OCMS CitiCable 10.

City of Oshkosh

Pamela R. Ubrig
City Clerk

Governor Doyle Announces Tobacco Sales to Wisconsin Minors at All-Time Low

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that Wisconsin continues to reduce illegal sales of tobacco products to minors throughout the state, with tobacco sales reaching an all-time low. The state’s 2007 Synar sales compliance survey, which determines the number of retail outlets that are selling tobacco illegally to minors, shows a noncompliance rate of 4.5 percent – the lowest rate ever recorded for Wisconsin.

“As Attorney General, I fought the big tobacco companies to help protect children from the health hazards of tobacco use, and as Governor, I am very pleased we have made amazing progress in preventing the sale of tobacco to minors in Wisconsin,” Governor Doyle said. “I thank our retailers for their support of this program. Working together, we can continue to keep these numbers low.”

The new results surpassed the previous record of 5.5 percent set by the 2006 survey results, and demonstrate significant improvement compared with rates from previous years. In 2003, a sample of randomly selected retailers sold to underage youth at a rate of 18.5 percent statewide. The 2002 rate was 20.4 percent, and the rate in 2001 was 33.7 percent.

The annual Synar survey randomly selects retail outlets from across the state to determine a reliable estimate of the rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors. Named after the Congressman who sponsored the federal legislation, the Synar legislation requires all states to monitor and reduce the rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors at retail establishments.

Wisconsin’s federally established target rate for retail tobacco sales to minors is 20 percent, and failure to meet this rate can result in a 40 percent cut in a state’s federal block grant funds for substance abuse prevention and treatment. In Wisconsin, this would amount to approximately $10 million in lost funds.

The state’s Wisconsin Wins program provides the framework for reducing tobacco sales to youth. The program is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS), which works with local partners, including health departments and other human service agencies, to conduct investigations to determine retailer compliance. Wisconsin Wins also provides retailer training, media and community outreach, and education.

"The Wisconsin Wins program is crucial to ensuring Wisconsin youth are tobacco-free,” said DHFS Secretary Kevin Hayden. “Since tobacco addiction has been shown to be stronger when the user begins as a minor, it’s critical that we make restricting youth access to tobacco products a statewide priority.”

For more information about the Synar report and tobacco control efforts in Wisconsin, please visit

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mom of local Navy aviator supports National Guard Close Air Support training

[the following letter to the editor of the Oshkosh Northwestern was also submitted to us by its author and we are pleased to publish it here...]

18 February 2008

To The Editor:

Another opinion on the Air National Guard, F-16 maneuvers…seemingly a controversy that smacks of contradiction:

Oshkosh is the host city to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) convention. It not only commemorates war history and its flights, but it is a convention that hosts thousands of sport aviation pilots and other enthusiasts. A convention that also crowds the airspace of northeast Wisconsin and especially the Oshkosh heavens including one year’s crash into a south-side, residential neighborhood.

America’s military aviators are the best trained and most highly skilled pilots in the world. Their “wings of gold” are on pilots who have successfully completed years of a post-baccalaureate syllabus: a curriculum to prepare for inestimable stress. Flight that is an integral piece of our national defense.

Like any profession, military aviation requires the continuous honing of one’s knowledge and experience(s). Those aviators deserve the unanimous support of our community, just as deployed personnel.

Many communities are home to various levels of military installations 365/year actively training for artillery, infantry and prestigious military academies shaping young minds to a future of military protocol and armament. What would they say about our “not in my neighborhood” attitude?

Ask yourself who brazenly guarded the east coast airspace, post 9-11. It is a demanding expertise that cannot be maintained by ware-housing flight equipment.

In strictly my opinion, the most dangerous piece of the United States military is its inept commander-in-chief who has duped us into a heinous war. The cloistered world of Bush has ruptured our international presence and taken the lives of thousands of dedicated military personnel and civilians. Far more than flight-training maneuvers.

I remain, the proud mom of a Naval aviator and officer, United States Marine Corps.

Candice Marsh Luebke
Via: E-Mail

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Public Forum in Oshkosh on Campaign Finance Reform

How does money corrupt our elections, public policy, and the state budget process?

What is campaign finance reform — and why is it needed?

How would reform measures clean up corruption and return power to the citizens of Wisconsin?

What Ever Happened to Good Government in Wisconsin?

How Can We FIX it?

Monday, February 11, 2008 6:30–8:00PM
Room 227C – Reeve Memorial Union – UW Oshkosh 1748 Algoma Blvd - Oshkosh, WI

State Senator Carol Roessler – (R-Oshkosh)
State Representative Gordon Hintz – (D-Oshkosh)
Professor James Simmons – UW Oshkosh Political Science Department Professor
Tony Palmeri – UW Oshkosh Communications Department
Kathy Propp – League of Women Voters
Jay Heck – Executive Director of Common Cause in Wisconsin

Moderator: Alex Hummel – Editorial Page Editor of The Oshkosh Northwestern


For more information: or call Scott Colson (608) 256-2686