Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rep. Hintz to hold Office Hours

OSHKOSH– Representative Gordon Hintz will be holding office hours at the Oshkosh Senior Center to discuss issues important to Oshkosh residents. The event is open to the public and those with questions regarding state issues are encouraged to attend.

Anyone with questions or comments is encouraged to contact the office of Representative Hintz toll-free at 888-534-0054 or via e-mail at

Who: Representative Gordon Hintz
What: Senior Center-Office Hours
When: Friday, July 31st 10:00am-12:00pm
Where: Oshkosh Area Senior Center - 200 North Campbell Road

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Health Care Reform: Who Needs It?

Talk of change in the health care system is everywhere this summer. Yet it’s difficult to know what to believe and how it affects our community. What are the current gaps in health care delivery here in Oshkosh?

Get information straight from local professionals, ask questions and become informed.

Forum is free and open to the public!

What: Forum on health care gaps in the Oshkosh Community
Who: Representatives from the Living Health Clinic, Winnebago County Health Dept., the Christine Ann Center, Wisconsin Well Woman Program, Tri-County Dental Clinic, and others
Where: Trinity Episcopal Church, corner of Algoma at Division
When: Thursday, July 30th, 6:30 pm

Contact: Tina Haffeman, 920.235.5918

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Heat Can Be Deadly to Your Pets! Do's and Don'ts for Avoiding Heat-Related Injuries

Do you realize that during these "dog days of summer" your pet is wearing a fur coat?!? These coats trap heat next to the skin. Dogs, cats, and other small mammals are unable to perspire. They depend upon panting and dilation of their skin blood vessels to rid their bodies of excess heat. Brachycephalic breeds of dogs (eg. Pugs, Pekinese, bull dogs) can easily succumb to the heat due to their short noses and narrow airways. But ANY dog is at risk given the wrong conditions.

Heat exhaustion occurs when your pet is effected by the heat and significant dehydration occurs, leading to lethargy and weakness. Heat stroke is when the heat and dehydration are severe enough to cause organ damage. Dogs and cats can die from heat-related episodes.

The following is a list of Do's and Don'ts to observe during these hot days of summer.

Ø Provide good ventilation, plenty of shade and fresh, cool water. An air-conditioned environment is ideal. If it is too hot for you at home, it is too hot for your furry pet!

Ø Remember that hot air rises. Your basement may be the coolest place for your pet if you do not have air conditioning.

Ø Dogs and cats may go under sofas and chairs where cool air is trapped by the fabric. Make sure that you keep an eye on your pet and provide plenty of water.

Ø A child's shallow swimming pool filled with cool water and placed in a shady spot gives a pet a place to cool off when housed outside.

Ø A summer haircut can help cool your long-haired pets.

Ø White hair coats or non-haired areas of your pet's body can be sunburned. Shade must be provided and apply 45 SPF or greater sun block to non-haired areas exposed to the sun.

Ø A plant sprayer may provide a cool mist and source of water for your pet on walks.

Ø Never keep your pet restricted to a poorly ventilated or enclosed area in extreme heat, to include: enclosed cars; garages; kennels; homes with poor ventilation.

Ø Do not walk your pet on hot asphalt.

Ø Do not jog with your pet in the heat.

Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, red gums and tongue, loud noises when breathing, skin warm to the touch, difficulty breathing and distressed attitude or loss of consciousness. Heat stroke can also cause shock, bleeding, seizures, coma and even death. If you think your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, rinse the pet with cool (not ice cold) water. If you are going to use a garden hose to cool your pet, make sure that you run the hose until cool water is available. Then transport your pet to a veterinarian immediately. It is critical that a veterinarian examines your pet as soon as possible because damage to internal organs is a common complication and may not be apparent by looking at your pet.

- Source: Animal Emergency Center

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Identity Theft – Phishing Scam

The Oshkosh Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice are urging folks to be on guard against a recent phishing scam that has recently appeared in Wisconsin. Recently, the Department of Justice received reports of people calling homes and cell phones in an attempt to gain personal information.

Wisconsin residents have been contacted by a man identifying himself as “Officer Smith with the United Law Enforcement and Investigation Department.” The caller provided a phone number (814) 273-1518 and attempted to gain the persons’ Social Security Number and other information.

The Oshkosh Police Department wants to remind people to never give your personal identifying information out without fully confirming the source and circumstances.

Legitimate businesses or legal representatives will not ask for personal identifying information on the phone or through an unsecured e-mail. If you should receive a call trying to solicit this information or any type of personal identifying data, do not give it out.

“Phishing Scams” are attempts made by individuals to fraudulently gain access to protected or personal information that could compromise a person’s identity. Typically these attempts are made over the internet or through e-mails and will have the appearance of an “official” correspondence seeking a reply.

Nearly 31 million US TV viewers tune in for Jackson memorial

TV Newser is reporting in that nearly 31 million U.S. TV viewers watched the Michael Jackson memorial service Tuesday across 19 networks. Meanwhile 8.9 million watched on the four cable news channels, and another 14.32M watched on the broadcast networks. Here is the breakdown of who watched, when and where.

ABC - 5.31M Total Viewers (1-4pmET)
NBC - 5.12M Total Viewers (1-4pmET)
CBS - 3.89M Total Viewers (1-3:47pmET)

And this is just on television in the U.S alone. The numbers do not count for worldwide viewership, nor that of online streaming video, nor those watching the memorial on any other electronic devices.

I think the sheer numbers of this event alone, not to mention the ongoing interest in media coverage, a huge increase in sales of his music, increased airplay on commercial radio stations and the appetite millions have for anything that is Michael Jackson these days, goes to show that no matter what Jackson was ever accused (and subsequently acquitted) of, the only thing proven, is that he was and is considered by millions to be a tremendous talent who gave his gifts to the world. Rest in peace, Michael, and thank you for your various humanitarian efforts and so many hours of enjoyment.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The breakfast that was, then wasn’t, then was…or is it?

Earlier this summer Paul Esslinger announced the annual Mayor’s Breakfast, for years a highlight of the annual AirVenture convention and air show, would take a hiatus this year after several volunteers had backed out because of other commitments and busy schedules. As a result, the new convention center was booked for a Community Breakfast in 2010, but Frank Tower and other organizers felt it just couldn’t successfully be put together and held this year yet.

Then, in this morning’s Oshkosh Northwestern there was an article in which Esslinger said the owner of Kodiak Jack’s had stepped forward with “the intention of funding food” for the breakfast. The article included a date, time and place for the event to be held, but then went on to say that owner Lee Engleman was only 90 percent committed to funding the event and would let Esslinger know for sure tomorrow. What? So what’s the reason behind making an announcement when you don’t have anything definitive to announce?

Interestingly, the article also contained information on how to volunteer for the event and even contact information if someone wanted to help fund the breakfast!

Plenty of people are talking about this which, I suspect, is what Esslinger wanted. Kudos to Engleman for stepping up, but it would have looked less weird if nothing was announced until they knew for sure it would be held. People are also questioning the mechanics of funding this event. One Northwestern reader blogged that “if you are funding the event you are basically donating the food with know (sic) expectation of being reimbuirsed (sic). If this is the case then Mr. Esslinger should almost put out a Request for Proposal so any restaurant in Oshkosh can have the opportunity to "cater" or "fund" this event.” Another person wrote, “It is not clear how this funding is going to work. Does Mr. Engleman get all of the proceeds from the ticket sales for the breakfast and pay all the expenses? If there is anything left over, he keeps it (his "profit"), or if the sales do not cover the expenses, he makes up the difference (his "loss")? Is that the plan? What is the cost of the proposed ticket?”

Lots of questions; too few answers. One man told me this is “typical Esslinger.” Some have suggested privately that this “news item” was put out by Esslinger as a way of testing the response meter; in other words, seeing if they could generate enough interest from potential volunteers in a day or two. Still others have said they doubt this is going to actually come off. I don’t know if it will or not, but personally I hope they can pull it off because many were disappointed when it was first announced it was not happening and I’m sure plenty of convention guests would be disappointed, as well. But people will be doubly disappointed if it doesn’t happen now that Esslinger has prematurely announced it is happening.

So really, what was the real reason for making an announcement about this when Engleman wasn’t 100 percent committed? How much are the tickets going to be? Exactly how will this breakfast be funded and where are the proceeds going? What kind of accounting measures are being put in place to ensure all funds and/or in-kind donations are properly accounted for? How much is rent at the Leach Amphitheater going to cost for this event or is the city providing it at no charge? And the questions go on and on.

I’m sure many of these answers are coming soon. After all, besides saying that volunteers and donations are still needed for the event, the article said that Esslinger promised more information about it in coming weeks. Well, with the event scheduled to take place in just over three weeks, one would expect so.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Declaration of Independence – Happy Independence Day, America!

Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the "land of the free and the home of the brave" so they can begin their American Dream. But for millions of us, we have been living that dream and experiencing that freedom all our lives. Of course, many freedoms came through the bloodshed and hard-fought efforts of our veterans in the various wars the United States has been involved in through the years, but we first claimed our independence and freedom from Britain and Democracy was born some 233 years ago, on July 4, 1776.

Today’s editorial in the Oshkosh Northwestern focused on the fact that the very words and ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence remain powerful even today, though there have been many court decisions in the last 233 years that have sought to interpret what our forefathers meant when they wrote the documents and principles our country was founded on. Yes, times change but those principles in their most pure form should still hold true no matter how different times may be in 2009 than they were in 1776.

Part of next week’s show examines the Declaration of Independence and why it is important to remember it, not only on Independence Day, but all year long. Co-host Dan Rylance was instrumental last year in getting then-Mayor Frank Tower to read the Declaration of Independence on the steps of Winnebago County Courthouse. While circumstances kept him from having it read this year, Dan would like to see the county make it an annual occurrence to have it read every Independence Day. He also suggested during the show that in future years, the Oshkosh Northwestern might publish the Declaration of Independence in the paper on the 4th of July, and/or that the Oshkosh Public Library (or others for that matter, too) could display it as part of their activities leading up to the holiday. As with most holidays, we seem to get caught up in the modern-day celebratory activities, but often forget the real reason we are celebrating.

So tomorrow, as we attend picnics, watch parades, lights fireworks or watch fireworks displays, and enjoy a day of rest from work (most people anyway), let’s take a few moments to remember what the day is really all about. To help with that, here is the complete text of the Declaration of Independence. Original spelling and capitalization have been retained.

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America
(adopted by Congress July 4, 1776)

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

[Signed by] JOHN HANCOCK [President]
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

(Incidentally, if any of you has ever wondered what happened to the 56 men whose names appear above and on the Declaration of Independence, here are some little known facts I received by email…)

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;
another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists; eleven were merchants; nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson
home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

(You can read more about the Declaration of Independence by visiting this site or by doing a Google search of the Declaration of Independence. Meanwhile, thanks to Dan for making next week’s show so special and for his patriotic efforts. And again, Happy Independence Day tomorrow! Enjoy the day, but remember it, as well.)