Tuesday, December 30, 2008


[We have received the following press release from EAA and are pleased to publish it here.]

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (Dec. 30, 2008) - Many of the world's top air show performers have already given early confirmations to participate at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration," on July 27-August 2 at Wittman Regional Airport.

Among the early confirmations are more than a dozen women who will participate in special "Women Fly" air show activities on Friday, July 31, and Sunday, August 2. Other invited performers include those with Canadian ties or aircraft to honor 100 years of aviation in Canada.

In addition, second-generation air show standouts Matt Younkin and Kyle Franklin will be appearing at AirVenture, as well as the Red Bull aerobatic helicopter, which made a spectacular debut at Oshkosh in 2008. Yearly favorites such as Sean D. Tucker, Mike Goulian, the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, and the Warbird Spectaculars will be part of the schedule as well.

"Each of these performers work as a headline act at air shows throughout the country, but they come together at EAA AirVenture to make an all-star roster of the 'best of the best,'" said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman, who flew as a member of the renowned Eagles Aerobatic Team. "Air show performers are eager to fly at Oshkosh because it represents a major achievement in their careers, flying in front of the most knowledgeable and appreciative audiences on the air show circuit. Look for even more top performers to be added to the list in early 2009."

The afternoon air show is an anticipated spectacle each day at EAA AirVenture, providing an exciting way to round out to a full day on the Oshkosh flight line. In 2009, the best elements of the daily air show and the "showcase" flying from previous years will be combined to provide several hours of exciting and entertaining aerial entertainment.

Exact daily performance schedules will be finalized in the weeks prior to EAA AirVenture and will be announced through the event's extensive website at www.airventure.org.

"Each afternoon's showcase and air show create a daily attraction that simply cannot be seen anywhere else but EAA AirVenture," Poberezny said. "Oshkosh is the place where the airplanes, people and innovations come together each year in aviation's family reunion."

EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org.

(as of 12/30/2008 - more will be added and the list is subject to change without notice)

Chuck Aaron Red Bull Helicopter
AeroShell Team T-6s
Melissa Andrzejewski Edge
Herb Baker T-28
Bob Carlton Jet Sailplane
Matt Chapman CAP 231
Chandy Clanton Edge 540
Julie Clark T-34
Collaborators Modified Pitts, Edge 540, Extras
Susan Dacy Stearman
Dave Dacy/Tony Kazian Stearman Wingwalking
Kyle Franklin Waco, Wingwalking act
Debbie Gary Marchetti
Mike Goulian Extra
Bud & Ross Granley Yaks
Ed Hamill Pitts
John Klatt Stauduacher
Greg Koontz Decathlon
Liberty Parachute Team Skydiving
Jill Long Pitts
Misty Blues Skydiving
Steve Oliver Chipmunk
Steve/Susan Oliver Skywriting
Jim Peitz Bonanza
Greg Poe MX-2
Debbie Rihn-Harvey CAP, Pitts
Gene Soucy Showcat
Soucy/Teresa Stokes Wingwalking
Bill Stein Edge
Sean Tucker Modified Pitts
Patty Wagstaff Extra
Warbirds of America Warbirds
Matt Younkin Twin Beech

Oshkosh Area School District Now Accepting Names for Enrollment Interest in the 2009-2010 Ready 4 Learning Prekindergarten Program

[We have received the following press release from the Oshkosh Area School District and are pleased to publish it here.]

The Oshkosh Area School District is now accepting names of students interested in enrolling in the Ready 4 Learning Prekindergarten Program for the 2009-2010 school year. The Ready 4 Learning Prekindergarten Program is open to students who will be at least 4 by September 1, 2009. The OASD prekindergarten program provides enhanced early learning opportunities at numerous sites throughout the community. Using common childhood themes to organize instruction and learning centers, this half-day experience provides a play-based environment to help each child learn and grow!

Parents wishing to place their child on the Prekindergarten enrollment interest list should visit the following website link http://www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/parents/enrollment_interest.cfm or contact Ellen Binder at (920) 424-0395. More information will be sent to those on the interest list in April.

OASD, Lang reach agreement on contract extension

[We have received the following press release from the Oshkosh Area School District and are pleased to publish it here.]


For more information contact:

Amy Weinsheim

President, Board of Education

Oshkosh Area School District

(920) 426-3278

The Oshkosh Area School District Board of Education is delighted to announce that the Board and Dr. Lang have agreed to an extension of the interim superintendent contract for the 2009/2010 school year pending contract negotiations. The Board met twice in December with search firm consultants, Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, and after candid discussions regarding the state of the economy, the current referendum planning for April, the performance of the interim superintendent, and the other competing districts also searching for a superintendent, the Board determined that the best interests of the School District would be served with the exceptional talents and skills of Dr. Lang intact for another year. The performance of Dr. Lang has far exceeded the expectations of the Board and she has clearly made solid connections with our administrative staff. Dr. Lang also has significant experience in referendum planning and her presence in the district at this time offers great stability and a solid track record. Dr. Lang has provided direct, practical leadership to the district this fall and has helped us move forward. The Board of Education is extremely pleased that Dr. Lang is willing to extend her time in Oshkosh and engage in contract negotiations for the 2009/2010 school year.

“The Board of Education wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the staff, teachers, administrators, and the Central Office team for their continued support and their unwavering drive for success for all students and the district. We appreciate everyone's willingness to go the extra mile during this transition year and we are looking forward to a very exciting and productive 2009." – Amy Weinsheim

For more information contact:

Amy Weinsheim

President, Board of Education

Oshkosh Area School District

(920) 426-3278

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New 511 Traveler Information System now available in Wisconsin

As many of will either ourselves or have family or friends who travel during this holiday season and beyond, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has developed a new way for people to get road condition information. Following is a press release from them explaining the system and how it works. Happy Holidays to All, and be safe!!

Just in time for a major winter storm in the southern half of Wisconsin, there’s a new way to get information about road conditions in Wisconsin: Just dial 511. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has initiated the launch of a new 511 Traveler Information System, a one-stop source for timely and easily accessible traffic and road condition information on Wisconsin’s main highways, including the Interstate system.

While the new system is being made available to provide basic information, including winter road conditions and incident information, additional features will be available as it evolves.

511 replaces the state’s toll free 1-800 ROAD WIS number with a system that not only provides considerably more information, it provides more than five times the number of lines (increasing from 48 to 267), reducing the possibility that a caller will get a busy signal when seeking important traveler information. As the system expands, more than 1000 lines will be made available, virtually eliminating the possibility of getting a busy signal.

“The 511 Traveler Information System is an enhancement that benefits travelers by providing them with more information than they’ve ever had, not only on Wisconsin’s highway system, but other travel modes, as well,” Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi said. “By dialing 511, motorists will know what road conditions are like, if there are any incidents or crashes that may slow their travels, and if there are any lane closures due to road construction.”

The 511 Traveler Information System uses voice recognition software to prompt callers through a list of options that provide information on traffic incidents and road conditions; transit services, including bus, rail, ferry, and taxi providers; roadside services, including rest areas; as well as links to the Division of Motor Vehicles, the State Patrol, sheriff’s departments, and commercial airports. In addition to using voice recognition software, callers can use the keypad on their phones to input information.

511 also provides a feature that allows all users, or only users in a targeted area, to hear a message about special conditions that may affect their travel or to receive an AMBER Alert. Users can also be linked to traveler information services in Iowa and Minnesota, which also provide 511 services. Michigan and Illinois do not yet offer 511 services.

While 511 service is free, normal cell phone airtime charges apply. Users of the new 511 system are urged not to use it while driving. Call before departing or have someone else in the vehicle make the call. When behind the wheel, the focus should be on DRIVING.

Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing will be able to access and use the entire system through the Wisconsin Relay Service (available by dialing 711 – and asking the operator to dial the alternate toll-free number: 866/511-WISC [9472]). That number is also available to users whose cell phone provider doesn’t offer direct access to 511.

The system will also allow users to report any discrepancies they notice and provide feedback on the system. During the early stages of the launch, the system may take a little longer to provide information as the computer software pulls together the relevant information, so the DOT is asking for the public’s patience as the system is fine-tuned.

Winter road condition information remains available at the Wisconsin DOT’s Web site.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

City of Oshkosh asks residents for help during snow removal: December 23-25, 2008

Following is a press release from the City of Oshkosh, issued earlier this morning:

In anticipation of the heavy snowfall expected in the Oshkosh area for the next several days, the City of Oshkosh is again asking residents for help. City Manager Mark Rohloff is asking residents to voluntarily remove their vehicles from city streets from Tuesday, December 23rd through 7 a.m. Thursday, December 25th. This voluntary removal will enable city snowplows to more efficiently and easily clean city streets.

“Once again, due to the anticipation of more snow we would appreciate it if vehicles could be moved from city streets”, said City Manager Mark Rohloff. “Less vehicles on the streets will allow our crews to better facilitate snow removal and help provide easier access for public safety vehicles during emergencies.”

Residents and businesses are also reminded that no one may move any snow into city streets and the right-of-way. For more information or questions, please contact the City Manager's Office at 236-5000.


EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (Dec. 23, 2008) - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the world's largest annual fly-in gathering and one of Wisconsin's largest annual public events, brings an estimated $110 million economic impact to Oshkosh-area counties each year, according to a new University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh study of the event.

The UW-Oshkosh Center for Community Partnerships conducted the independent study during EAA AirVenture 2008, which took place July 28-August 3. Visitors surveyed included attendees from every U.S. state and 15 other nations. They were asked about their length of stay, daily spending, overall impressions of the event and other demographic information.

The study also indicated that the direct economic impact was $84 million, with $26 million in multiplier or "ripple" effects in secondary spending and job creation. More than 1,700 jobs were supported by the annual EAA fly-in, which in 2008 drew an estimated attendance of 540,000 and welcomed more than 10,000 aircraft to the region. AirVenture also generated nearly $39 million in labor income in the region, which included Winnebago, Outagamie and Fond du Lac counties.

"EAA AirVenture is certainly 'The World's Aviation Celebration' for the flying community, but this study also confirms the economic powerhouse this event is for the Oshkosh area and the state of Wisconsin," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. "When the world comes to Oshkosh each year, the entire region wins - not only through unmatched visibility, but through revenue and jobs that directly help families and businesses throughout the region."

The UW-Oshkosh study also indicated that 73 percent of EAA AirVenture visitors come from outside Wisconsin. That means the economic impact is overwhelmingly "new money" coming into the state, rather than dollars simply being moved within the state.

"This report reinforces the fact that tourism in Oshkosh is a vital part of our community," said Wendy Hielsberg, executive director of the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The economic scope of EAA AirVenture is so large that it not only benefits Oshkosh, but the surrounding area as well. EAA AirVenture earns Oshkosh a reputation as a destination."

Among the other findings:
o 77 percent of AirVenture attendees are repeat visitors;
o Of the 721 listed exhibitors who attend EAA AirVenture that were used in the survey, more than 70 percent of them do business on an international scale. Nine out of 10 were returning exhibitors;
o More than one-third of the visitors had planned their trip to Oshkosh more than six months in advance;
o A significant number of AirVenture attendees also include shopping, sightseeing and other Wisconsin tourism activities as part of their trip;
o More than 90 percent of attendees rated their AirVenture experience as "excellent" or "good."

"Wisconsin is known worldwide as a place that celebrates originality, and this event is an incredibly fine example of that," said Kelli A. Trumble, Wisconsin's secretary of tourism. "EAA AirVenture Oshkosh has become what it is today because visionary organizers decided no idea was too big for Wisconsin and, thanks to that kind of thinking, we're all reaping great rewards."

Planning is already underway for EAA AirVenture 2009, which takes place July 27-August 2 at Wittman Regional Airport. This year's event will feature several major site upgrades for attendees and exhibitors that will improve the AirVenture experience.

"EAA AirVenture has been called one of the 'crown jewels' of Wisconsin tourism, and its impact directly benefits local and state governments and citizens," Poberezny said. "EAA is continuing its long-term commitment to the Oshkosh region, and looks forward to working with the citizens of the area to preserve and enhance this unique event known around the world."

EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oshkosh Area Humane Society’s Official Position on Proposed Pit Bull Ordinances

With dog breed specific legislation being proposed by local officials in the City of Oshkosh, there has been an outpouring of controversy and discussion within the community and beyond. Some of it has been unfairly targeted at the Oshkosh Area Humane Society, perhaps in part because some have misconceptions about the shelter's position on such proposed legislation; another part of it could be related to comments from shelter personnel that were either misstated, misrepresented or taken out of context by the Oshkosh Northwestern reporter covering this story.

In any event, the OAHS has released a position statement to clarify its position on the proposed legislation. That statement is below in its entirety. Eye on Oshkosh has also extended an invitation to OAHS to come on the show and discuss all aspects of this issue - good, bad and indifferent - and are happy to report that our invitation has been graciously and gratefully accepted. That show will be taped right after the first of the year. We have also contacted City of Oshkosh health department director Paul Spiegel about appearing on a future show as well, and are awaiting a return phone call from him. We will let viewers know what happens with that invitation.

I had considered putting together on online poll to solicit people's feelings on the issue, but because there are too many variables to consider, think it would almost be a futile effort. Instead, the issue and people's feelings would be best served by just allowing people the opportunity to comment if they choose - whether here or on the Oshkosh Northwestern's web site, as they've already been doing since this story first broke.

And now, here is the position statement from the Oshkosh Area Humane Society:

"The Oshkosh Area Humane has never advocated or supported breed banning or breed specific legislation (BSL). The OAHS was invited to attend meetings with the Oshkosh Health Department over a year ago to give their view on all the proposed animal ordinance changes, all twenty eight pages. From the very beginning OAHS made it very clear that they never did and never will support breed banning or BSL. When asked by the city for an opinion on BSL, OAHS point-blank said “don’t do it; it doesn’t work.” OAHS even provided committee members with websites and articles addressing why BSL doesn’t work and alternatives to it.

"However OAHS did and does acknowledge that the city of Oshkosh has seen an increase in dog-to-dog aggression and the number of irresponsible dog owners that do not spay and neuter, or socialize their dogs and even encourage un-socialized behavior with aggression being the result of that behavior. Once OAHS realized the city planned to go ahead with the proposed ordinance OAHS encouraged those recommending the changes to provide a way for responsible bully breed owners to be exempt from the possible breed specific ordinance. (i.e.Canine Good Citizen)

"OAHS has always been an advocate for all breeds of dogs, especially the underdog. Twenty years ago shelters were full of black labs and black lab mixes and now shelters are full of pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Pit bulls are the number one exploited breed in United States because of their physical strength, energy and predisposition to confidant behavior. There are many wonderful pit bulls with responsible owners but because of the fore mentioned characteristics, pit bulls are also the breed chosen most often by people with malicious intent.

"While this issue has stirred up compassionate controversy, OAHS sees this as a positive because people are now becoming involved and looking for solutions to the problem of aggressive dogs in Oshkosh.

"The position of Oshkosh Area Humane Society and its staff regarding the proposed ordinance changes has been misconstrued. The Oshkosh Area Humane Society has not and never will advocate or support breed banning or breed specific legislation of any kind."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good Use for your Car Keys

[Editor's Note: I received this in an email from a sergeant at the Oshkosh Police Department, who had received it from someone else. It may be one of those items that gets passed along as part of an email chain, but it contains good information, nonetheless.]


Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your doctor's office, the check out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this:
It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break in your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around... after a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that!

And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or prevent a sexual assault.

My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem.

P.S. I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. It would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone.

Governor Doyle Announces Creation of Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle this week announced the creation of the Governor’s State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care. The Council will strive to ensure that all families have access to quality early childhood programs and services.

“I want this state to be a place where our kids can grow up knowing that their highest ambitions are never out of reach,” Governor Doyle said. “As I’ve said many times, the single most important thing we can do today to ensure a strong, successful future for Wisconsin is to invest in our kids early – because what we do now will determine exactly what kind of state Wisconsin will be 10, 20, even 50 years from now.”

The Head Start Reauthorization Act of 2007 requires the creation of a State Early Childhood Advisory Council. The Council will be chaired by Department of Children and Families Secretary Reggie Bicha and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Libby Burmaster. The council will build on the work of the Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners (WECCP), the Children’s Trust Fund Board, the Partners for Wisconsin’s Economic Success, and the Governor’s Birth to Three Interagency Coordinating Council.

The Council’s responsibilities include:

• Conduct a periodic statewide needs assessment concerning the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs;
• Identify opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among Federally-funded and State-funded child development, child care, and early childhood education programs and services;
• Develop recommendations for increasing the overall participation of children in existing Federal, State, and local child care and early childhood education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations; and
• Develop recommendations regarding statewide professional development and career advancement plans for early childhood educators in the state.

Council members include:

• Therese Ahlers, Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health
• John Ashley, Wisconsin Association of School Boards
• Mary Bell, WEAC
• Mike Burke, Buffett Early Childhood Foundation
• Dan Burkhalter, WEAC
• Daniel Clancy, Wisconsin Technical College System
• Shelley Cousin, Head Start Agencies
• Linda Davis, Milwaukee School Readiness Philanthropy Group
• Dave Edie, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families
• Delores Gokee-Rindal, Red Cliff Head Start
• Rick Grobschmidt, Department of Public Instruction
• Dan Harris, Department of Children and Families
• Peter Kelly, United Way of Wisconsin
• Laura Klingelhoets, Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Assoc.
• Viluck Kue, Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Associations
• Kia La Bracke, American Academy of Pediatrics
• Linda Leonhart, Head Start State Collaboration Office
• Genniene Lovelace-Michel, Wisconsin Child Care Providers Together/AFSCME
• Lupe Martinez UMOS
• Rick Raemisch, Department of Corrections Secretary
• Kevin Reilly, UW System
• Brooke Roettger, Comprehensive Family Services, Inc.
• Richard Schlimm, Wisconsin Community Action Program Assoc.
• Ruth Schmidt, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA)
• Mary Ann Snyder, Children’s Trust Fund
• Carolyn Standford Taylor, Department of Public Instruction
• Jon Stellmacher, Thrivent Financial
• Ann Terrell, Milwaukee Public Schools
• KarenTimberlake, Department of Health Services Secretary
• Phong Vang, Hmong American Association of Portage County
• Judge Wall, Juvenile Justice- Milwaukee

Governor Doyle Announces Smallest Property Tax Bill Increase in Nine Years

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle announced this week that typical homeowners in Wisconsin will see the smallest increase in property taxes since 1999, according to the State Budget Office. For the average homeowner, the increase on their property bill will be next to nothing.

“Our efforts to hold the line on property taxes are critical as families are trying to make their budgets stretch to meet increasing costs and the impacts of a slowing national economy,” Governor Jim Doyle said. “Over the past few years we have been able to provide needed property tax relief while still protecting education in Wisconsin, most recently through the First Dollar Credit.”

The First Dollar Credit will appear for the first time on 2008 property tax bills, providing $75 million in property tax relief. The new First Dollar Credit was enacted as part of the state budget bill signed into law by Governor Doyle last year to exempt the first $4,135 of assessed value from the property tax bill for schools. The average homeowner will receive a credit of $35. According to the State Budget Office, property tax increases would have been much larger without the First Dollar Credit Program.

The analysis also shows that the 2008 net tax rate for Wisconsin homeowners – which is the amount taxed, after credits, per $1,000 of property value – is the lowest in over 60 years. Expressed as a percentage of personal income, property taxes remain constant and near historical lows.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Citizens asked to help City of Oshkosh during snow removal

In anticipation of the heavy snowfall expected from late Monday, December 8th through Tuesday, December 9th, the City of Oshkosh is asking residents for help. City Manager Mark Rohloff is asking residents to voluntarily remove their vehicles from city streets from Monday evening, December 8th, through Wednesday, December 10th. This voluntary removal will enable city snowplows to more efficiently and easily clean city streets.

"Until we know the extent of this snow event, we would appreciate it if vehicles could be moved from city streets", said City Manager Mark Rohloff. "This cooperation will facilitate snow removal, and allow public safety vehicles easier access in emergencies."

Residents and businesses are also reminded that no one may move any snow into city streets and the right-of-way. "Aside from the fact that pushing snow onto the street is against city code, it also makes it more dfficult for our snowplow drivers to remove snow and ice from city streets", said Rohloff.

For more information or questions, please contact the City Manager's Office at 236-5000.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Councilor Bain not seeking re-election

As is being reported by the Oshkosh Northwestern Oshkosh Common Councilor Bryan Bain has decided he will not seek re-election to a third term this April. Dan and I actually learned of this decision a couple weeks ago, but were asked to keep it quiet until Bain formally made an announcement. Though his reasons for not seeking a third term are personal in nature, he is also planning to explore other options for his future. So who knows, we may see him back at some point in the future in some other public service capacity. But whether we do or not, I would like to thank Bryan for his four years of service to the city and its residents. While I did not agree with every one of his votes, I was always grateful for the heartfelt explanations as to why he voted as he did. And he was certainly a hard-working councilor, to be sure, including maintaining his commitment to holding public forums every fifth Tuesday and diligently following those meetings up with "minutes" that provided answers to the various issues raised by citizens at them and getting that information distributed to people in the community.

Again, Bryan, thank you for giving tirelessly of yourself for the last four years. I wish you well in whatever future endeavors you pursue - personally, professionally, or politically.

Why you should often take breaking news facts with a grain of salt

We often hear and read complaints from people about how the media has gotten it wrong, especially in the case of breaking news. Usually there is a good explanation as to why there may be mistakes in the reporting. In this editorial from yesterday's version of Slate, columnist Jack Shafer examines why breaking news is "usually served broken" and offers his take on why that is.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Governor Doyle Announces State’s Record Agricultural Export Growth in 2008

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that Wisconsin’s agricultural exports increased by 7 percent to a record $1.5 billion during the first nine months of 2008.

“I’m really pleased that people around the world are learning the best food and livestock are produced here in Wisconsin,” Governor Doyle said. “Agriculture is one of the cornerstones of our economy and Wisconsin is aggressively positioning ourselves to take advantage of this growing demand through technological upgrades and new products.”

Other export highlights include:
• Dairy exports grew by 39 percent, up from $126 million in the first nine months of 2007 to $176 million in the first nine months of 2008. Exports were driven by a healthy demand for cheese and butter. Cheese exports set a record value of $75 million for the first nine months of 2008, a robust 47 percent increase.

• The state’s world-class dairy genetic exports 28 percent, to $46 million in the first nine months of 2008, driven by demand from Mexico, United Kingdom and Brazil.

• Dried distillers grains and solubles (DDGS) continue to experience wide international acceptance as a livestock feed. DDGS exports grew 93 percent compared to the first nine months of 2007. Export sales totaled $25 million for the first nine months of the year.

The state’s agricultural exports were driven by growing consumer demand in Canada, Mexico, Japan, China and Korea for dairy products, baking and brewing ingredients, foods and food preparations, beverages and hides. Mexico was the key market for the export of dairy genetics and live dairy cattle. Wisconsin ranks first for the export of dairy cattle, semen and embryos.

Agricultural exports help the state and nation’s trade balance, enable Wisconsin farmers and food and agriculture businesses to grow, and create jobs for Wisconsin citizens. Wisconsin agricultural exports account for about 20 percent of Wisconsin farm income. Agriculture generates $51 billion for the state annually and close to half a million jobs.

Oshkosh Police Department Re-Accreditation

The Oshkosh Police Department is scheduled for a re-accreditation on-site assessment from December 13th through the 17th, 2008. This assessment is conducted by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). As part of this ongoing process of improvement, CALEA will verify that the Oshkosh Police Department meets specific professional standards and uses the best police practices in law enforcement today.

The Oshkosh Police Department is one of only four law enforcement agencies in the State of Wisconsin currently accredited by CALEA. The CALEA accreditation program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in areas such as Policy and Procedure, Administration, Operations and Support Services.

As part of the on-site assessment, members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session on Monday December 15, 2008 at 7:00pm. The session will be conducted in Room 404 of the Oshkosh City Hall at 215 Church Ave., Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

If you cannot attend the public meeting, you are also invited to offer comments by calling the accreditation assessment team at (920) 236-5753 on Monday December 15, 2008 between the hours of 1pm and 5pm.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the Oshkosh Police Department’s ability to comply with the standards for re-accreditation may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. (CALEA), 10302 Eaton Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, Virginia, 22030-2215