Friday, August 28, 2009

Oshkosh Police remind drivers of motor vehicle laws in school zones

[We have been provided this by the Oshkosh Police Department and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

September 1st is the first official day of school in Oshkosh. I would like to remind everybody that with the start of school there will be numerous children out using the sidewalks as well as crossing streets at the school zones in the early morning and mid afternoon. Please take the time to slow down in school zones and watch out for children on their way to school.

Below are a list of State Statutes that apply to school zones and a brief description of each statute. The fine for speeding in a school zone starts at $223.00 and is a 3 point violation on your license for 10 miles an hour over the 15mph school zone speed limit. The fine increases as does the points accessed against your license the faster you go. I hope everyone with children going back to school has a safe and enjoyable school year.

What Every Driver Should Know About School Crossings:
According to the following State Statutes:
346.57 (4) (a) Fifteen miles per hour when passing a schoolhouse at those times when children are going to or from school or are playing within the sidewalk area at or about the school.
346.57 (4) (b) Fifteen miles per hour when passing an intersection or other location properly marked with a "school crossing" sign of a type approved by the department when any of the following conditions exist:
346.57 (4) (b) (1)
1. Any child is present.
346.57 (4) (b) (2)
2. A school crossing guard is within a crosswalk at the intersection or the other location or, if no crosswalk exists, is in the roadway at the intersection or the other location.
346.57 (4) (b) (3)
3. A school crossing guard is placing in or removing from the roadway at or near the intersection or the other location a temporary sign or device that guides, warns, or regulates traffic.

2007 Assembly Bill 26 states:
Current Law
Current law requires the operator of a motor vehicle approaching a school crossing which is controlled by a duly appointed adult school crossing guard to follow the directions of the crossing guard, including stopping when directed to do so. Current law also provides that if an adult crossing guard observes such a violation, the crossing guard may prepare a written report identifying the vehicle and, within 24 hours, deliver the report to a traffic officer of the county or municipality in which the violation occurred. Within 48 hours, the traffic officer may prepare a traffic citation and serve it on the owner of the vehicle.

A warning from the Oshkosh Police Department

[We received this from the Oshkosh Police Department and are happy to pass it along on their behalf.]

This email was sent to me by a person on our list. She asked I share the information with others.
Sgt Kaiser


Sgt. Kaiser,

This may be of interest to the community. I'm thinking you can help spread the word. I was online yeserday when interrupted by a security alert. There have been numerous incoming attempts from an IP location The server is attempting to spread a Trojan listed as Ring Zero by running UDP proxy scans. There are also a number of unsolicited attempts to run port scans listed as "non-routable." which are described as being used to invade computers using Spyware and Adware.

I filed a complaint using IC3 in hopes it can be stopped.

Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Bill Formally Introduced with Strong Legislative Support

Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Bill Formally Introduced with Strong Legislative Support

AB 392 introduced with 58 legislator co-sponsors

OSHKOSH–Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) introduced the Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act with strong bi-partisan legislative support. Assembly Bill 392 will protect against predatory lending by enacting a 36% interest rate cap for payday lending stores. The bill was introduced with 43 co-sponsors in the State Assembly and 15 in the State Senate.

“This unprecedented level of support demonstrates that predatory payday lending reform is a high priority for the legislature” said Hintz. “Passing AB 392 into law is necessary and long overdue. Taking advantage of people in desperate times with no consideration of income and unaffordable repayment terms erodes worker earnings and for many imposes a high-cost debt burden that can be devastating. Unregulated payday lending is neither a necessary service nor sustainable model for the long-term economic prosperity of our state.”

Currently, Wisconsin payday lenders can charge triple-digit interest rates. A study by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions reported the average APR for a payday loan is 542.2%, while the average annual net income of payday borrowers is less than $19,000 and that over half of the loans analyzed were refinanced. In 2005, Wisconsin consumers paid an estimated $124 million in fees. Bankruptcy, evictions and taxpayer assistance are not uncommon results. This crushing debt exacerbates income inequality and undermines long-term economic prosperity.

AB 392 establishes a uniform protection through a rate cap that will:

· Protect against expensive loans that carry excessive and abusive fees and charges

· Protect against unaffordable repayment terms

· Eliminate the lack of consideration of a borrower’s outstanding debt payments or ability to pay

· Reduce the never-ending debt cycle of high-cost debt

· Protect worker earnings and benefits

· Save citizens millions of dollars annually

· Provide to our citizens the same protections we provide active military members and their families

“The $40 billion payday industry will fight any meaningful reform efforts to preserve their profits made off of the vulnerable who can least afford to pay it. That is why the strong support in the Assembly and Senate is so encouraging. We have the opportunity to do what is right for our citizens and our state.”

Payday lending is a relatively new phenomenon rising after Wisconsin eliminated its usury law in 1995 that capped interest at 18% to enable creditors to compete nationally. The unintended consequence was the rise of predatory payday lending. In 1995, Wisconsin had 17 payday lenders; today there are more than 542. Rates charged today were illegal for most of Wisconsin ’s history.

Payday lenders have become such a problem that some communities in Wisconsin have taken matters into their own hands and passed local ordinances. The list of communities that have addressed this include Milwaukee , Racine , Pleasant Prairie, West Allis , Green Bay , and Superior . But what Wisconsin really needs are statewide protections to prevent lenders from just relocating over boundary lines.

The Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act establishes the same 36% interest rate cap that Congress enacted in 2007 after determining it was necessary to protect military personnel and their families from the debt trap. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have either prohibited payday lending outright or established a two-digit interest rate limit.

“It is no longer acceptable for the Legislature to look the other way and ignore this problem. Wisconsin fails to have any law or meaningful regulation on the books. We will always have a challenge providing credit to people outside the financial mainstream. But ending the most abusive (and profitable) lending practices and encouraging reasonable credit services will enable people needing these services to keep more of their income. Passing AB 392 is the first step. It is time to pass the Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act to curb abusive payday lending in Wisconsin .”

AB 392 has a strong constituent support. Wisconsinites for Responsible Lending (WRL), a grassroots constituent based organization formed in support of AB 392 represents a diverse coalition of organizations including Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, AARP, Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, and La Casa de Esperanza, Inc. (Additional information about WRL and its members can be viewed online at

The bill also has the support of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference and the proposal was a part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Plan to Strengthen Working Families.

· You can follow the progress of AB 392 online at

· Rep. Hintz will continue to post updates about AB 392 at

· A copy of the bill and its co-sponsors can be viewed at:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Governor Doyle, Superintendent Evers Announce ARRA Funds Available for Wisconsin Schools

Governor Doyle, Superintendent Evers Announce ARRA Funds Available for Wisconsin Schools

$183 Million in Funds Released Early For Two Recovery Act Programs

MADISON — Governor Jim Doyle and State Superintendent Tony Evers announced today that Wisconsin schools now have access to all of the funding provided through two elements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The funds support educational services and parent outreach in schools with high poverty rates, special education, and early interventions to keep students on track in academics and behavior.

“The education we provide now will be a foundation of our state for decades to come,” Governor Doyle said. “Schools across the state and the nation have had to stretch very tight budgets and this immediate investment will benefit students and teachers in classrooms this fall.”

“There is no shortage of need for these services,” Superintendent Evers said. “The funds will support student achievement, through early interventions, trainings for parents and teachers, and many other strategies. This is money that will make a difference.”

Earlier this year, Governor Doyle and the Department of Public Instruction announced $366 million in ARRA funds for Wisconsin school districts, flowing through two existing federal programs: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The state was given immediate access to half of that funding, or $183 million. The remaining $183 million was slated for release by the U.S. Department of Education on September 30, but has been made available early to maximize the impact of ARRA.

Wisconsin’s total ARRA allocation through IDEA, Part B, is $218 million. Title I allotments in the state total $148 million. School districts have until Sept. 30, 2011, to spend the funds.

The ARRA also provides competitive grants for teacher incentive funding, teacher quality enhancement, state-wide longitudinal data system development, school lunch equipment purchases, innovative approaches to education, and enhancing education through technology grants.

Local funding allocations for IDEA, Part B, and Title I, Part A, are viewable at:

More information about the impact of the ARRA on Wisconsin schools and libraries can be found at:

Governor Doyle Statement on Senator Kennedy

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today issued the following statement regarding the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy:

“I am appreciative of Senator Kennedy’s personal friendship and his work for the entire country. The people of Wisconsin are better off because of his tireless devotion to helping people young and old, of all races and fighting for the poor and expanding access to health care.”

Grand renovations approved by council

As we saw during last night's meeting of the Oshkosh Common Council and read in this morning's Oshkosh Northwestern, the Oshkosh Common Council has voted unanimously to approve almost $2 million in funding for renovations to the Grand Opera House. It was encouraging to see the council come together on this vote, especially given the historical importance The Grand has for the city and its people. Kudos to the council for its vote and to Joe Ferlo, his staff, the Opera House board and all those who have supported The Grand in one way or another, not just during this struggle for renovation, but anytime during its history. The appreciation and love for this venue demonstrated and articulated in so many different ways by so many people are yet two more reasons why The Grand is so grand.

Labor Day picnic invite extended to to general public

You are cordially invited to attend the 51st Annual Winnebago County Labor Council Labor Day Picnic and Car Show on Monday September 7, 2009. The picnic is located in beautiful South Park in Oshkosh Wisconsin . Food and refreshments will to served from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and there will be Live Music from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. There will be time sent aside for you to speak if you wish. So come out and enjoy the day with friends and speak residents from Oshkosh and Winnebago County .

Larry Lautenschlager
WCLC President
2211 Oregon Street Suite A3
Oshkosh WI 54901

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Governor Doyle Appoints Outside Counsel to Represent State in Domestic Partnership Registry Lawsuit

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Contact: Carla Vigue, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Governor Doyle Appoints Outside Counsel to Represent State in Domestic Partnership Registry Lawsuit

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today appointed attorney Lester Pines of Cullen Weston Pines & Bach LLP to defend the state against the challenge to the domestic partner registry.

“I appreciate all of the attorneys who expressed interest in defending the state in this suit,” Governor Doyle said. “I selected Lester Pines because he is uniquely qualified as he is already involved in a pro bono challenge to the Marriage Amendment that its presentation to the voters of Wisconsin violated the Wisconsin Constitution.”

Pines has extensive experience as an appellate lawyer having argued many cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court during his 34 years of practice. Few, if any lawyers, have participated in as many original actions before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

In light of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s decision against defending the state, it was necessary to appoint outside counsel at additional costs to taxpayers.

Red Cross encourages back-to-school safety

Dear Community Partners:

As you know, students across the country are readying themselves for a new school year as summer vacations draw to a close. Before your audience and your family settles back into their school-year routine, take a minute to review the following safety tips to prepare kids and college-bound students for the year ahead. Tremendous tips we should all follow are attached for those heading off to college for the first time, riding the bus, driving/walking to school and more.

Thank you for helping us share vital safety and preparedness information. The Back to School Safety tips are also available on our the Northeast Wisconsin Regional web-site

Barbara Behling
American Red Cross - Northeast WI Region
Regional Community Development Officer
515 S. Washburn Street, Suite 201
Oshkosh, WI 54904

Direct: 920-642-0404
General: 920-231-3590 ext. 20

Speaker shares insights on influential photographer Lewis Hine

For information:
Lisa Voss
(920) 236-5211

Speaker shares insights on influential photographer Lewis Hine

Aug. 25, 2009 – His compelling photos of America’s children at work helped to shed light on child labor conditions in this country and now a program at the Oshkosh Public Library provides a glimpse of the man behind the camera.

Dr. Susan Nuernberg presents Lewis Hine: Oshkosh’s Great American Photographer, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m., at the Oshkosh Public Library. Nuernberg, a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh, chronicles the life of Oshkosh native and renowned social documentary photographer Lewis Hine. Hine's work is currently included in the Paine Art Center exhibit, Seeing Ourselves: Masterpieces of American Photography from George Eastman House Collections. The exhibit runs through Oct. 11.

Hine is best known for his photos of child laborers in the early 1900s, taken for the National Child Labor Committee. Nuernberg describes him as an artist and a humanist who had great compassion for the people he photographed. Hine engaged his subjects, asking questions and developing a rapport with them. “As a result, his photos do not document degradation and despair, but are compelling images of the aspiration and dreams of individual human beings in the midst of stark poverty,” she explains.

The subject matter that Hine chose for his work also makes it noteworthy. “Not the rich and famous, but the ordinary, hard-working people who came to America in the early 1900s, looking for a better life,” Nuernberg explains. “These are the ancestors of many Wisconsin residents.”

Most historic accounts focus on Hine’s photography, with little information about his first 26 years living in Oshkosh – the years before he ever picked up a camera in New York City. But Nuernberg’s presentation points out some of the early influences that shaped Hine’s work. “The Oshkosh years are important because it was here in Oshkosh that he developed his social conscience and that is what distinguishes him from other social documentary photographers of the time,” she says.

In addition to his photos of children at work, Hine documented piece work in the New York tenements, the building of the Empire State Building, the work of the American Red Cross in Eastern Europe during World War I and the arrival of immigrants at Ellis Island.

The program is presented in partnership with the Winnebago County Historical and Archaeological Society.

For more information about this free program, visit or
call 236-5205.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Patrons invited to "Stand With the Grand" at a meeting Tuesday in support of Grand Opera House repairs

[We have received the following announcement and are pleased to publish it on behalf of the sender.]

Friends of the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh are encouraging other Fox Valley residents to "Stand With the Grand" in support of preserving and upgrading the performance venue.

Oshkosh Common Council members plan to vote Tuesday on repairs to the Grand Opera House.

Everyone is welcome to gather in the Oshkosh City Hall parking lot at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and greet the council members before the council's 5:15 p.m. workshop and 6 p.m. meeting.

Oshkosh City Hall is located at 215 Church Ave., Oshkosh.

People also are asked to stay during the council meeting, if possible, to talk about the value of the Grand Opera House. There will be time to share a favorite memory about the Grand, such as attending a performance or performing in a show there.

For more information go online at The Grand Opera House is online at

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, August 28th 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Oshkosh Area Senior Center - 200 North Campbell Road

Friday, August 21, 2009


Contact: Christine Callsen, 608-441-0143 ext. 301


Today, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a statement saying he will not represent the State of Wisconsin in defending domestic partnerships against a recent legal challenge filed with the State Supreme Court.

“Fair Wisconsin is disappointed at the Attorney General’s decision,” says Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin. “The Attorney General was elected to defend the State of Wisconsin from exactly this type of legal challenge, and we regret that he has chosen not to do so.”

Domestic partnerships grant limited, but important legal protections to same-sex couples in caring, committed relationships, including hospital visitation and the ability to take Family Medical Leave to care for a sick or injured partner. Earlier this month, lawyers representing three board members of Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit arguing that the domestic partnership registry violated a 2006 amendment to the Constitution that limits marriage in Wisconsin to one man and one woman.

“Fair Wisconsin is prepared to defend domestic partnerships because same-sex couples need the basic protections they provide,” continues Belanger. “Because of the importance of this legislation, Fair Wisconsin will seek to take an active role in this case and has retained Lambda Legal as counsel. We are confident that the State Supreme Court will arrive at a fair and just decision that upholds these basic protections for same-sex couples.”

”The domestic partnership registry and the constitutional amendment barring same-sex couples from marriage are not in conflict with each other,” stated Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney with Lambda Legal. “In the absence of such a conflict, we are perplexed and disappointed by the Attorney General’s decision and we encourage the Governor to vigorously defend the important legal protections that the legislature validly enacted to protect Wisconsin citizens.”

The nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Council issued an opinion on May 6th, 2009, supporting the legality of domestic partnerships under the constitutional amendment, stating “it is reasonable to conclude that the domestic partnerships proposed…do not confer a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals in violation of art. XIII, s.13.”


Fair Wisconsin, one of the state’s most respected advocacy groups, has a proud history in education, grassroots organizing, outreach, and political action in the cause of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. With a statewide board of directors and a full-time staff, Fair Wisconsin is the only organization to represent the Badger state in the Equality Federation, the national alliance of state-based LGBT advocacy organizations. Fair Wisconsin, along with our national and regional allies, recently helped enact important domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples, making us the first state with an existing constitutional amendment banning both marriage equality and civil unions to enact domestic partnerships. To learn more, visit

Van Hollen Plays Politics with Flip-Flop on Domestic Partner Protections

For Immediate Release
August 21, 2009
Contact: Robert Doeckel
Phone: 608-217-0194

Van Hollen Plays Politics with Flip-Flop on Domestic Partner Protections
'Complete Opposite' of Van Hollen Statements During 2006 Campaign
"The Legislature or the governing body of a political subdivision or local governmental unit is not precluded from authorizing or requiring that a right or benefit traditionally associated with marriage be extended to two or more unmarried individuals; for example, family health insurance benefits, certain probate rights, or the ability to file joint tax returns." -- JB Van Hollen, 11/29/05

"But it's also clear that if elected [my opponent] intends to interpret the laws as she sees fit instead of executing the role of attorney general." -- JB Van Hollen, 11/29/05

Madison -- One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross issued the following statements following Attorney General JB Van Hollen's flip-flop on the right of the legislature to authorize basic legal protections, such as hospital visitation rights, for domestic partners.

"Attorney General JB Van Hollen is a right-wing legal activist who uses his taxpayer-financed office to serve his partisan political agenda. This abrupt flip flop on domestic partner benefits that he insisted during his campaign for Attorney General were legal, is the latest abuse of his office which includes his partisan lawsuit filed for the Republican Party of Wisconsin to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters in 2008. Candidate Van Hollen promised that domestic partner protections were legal. Candidate Van Hollen promised he'd defend the state of Wisconsin. Attorney General Van Hollen has broken both of those promises."

A copy of the press release in which Van Hollen made the above statements is included below.

Van Hollen Campaign: Falk's Pro-Gay Marriage Letter Inaccurate and Contradictory


(MADISON) -- Attorney General candidate and former U.S. Attorney JB Van Hollen today said a letter from Kathleen Falk, on official Dane County letterhead, to legislative leaders opposing the sanctity of marriage constitutional amendment is both inaccurate and contradictory.

Falk, a recently announced candidate for attorney general, today sent a letter to legislative committee chairs Representative Mark Gundrum and Senator Dave Zien opposing AJR 67/SJR 53 stating the proposed amendment "threatens domestic partner benefits which have been bargained by our unions and Dane County for years."

A Jan. 29, 2004 memorandum from the Wisconsin Legislative Council to Representative Gundrum regarding language that recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman contradicts her letter.

"Is this the kind of insightful analysis Kathleen Falk says she'll bring to the office of attorney general; flawed analysis and pandering to the far left?" Van Hollen said. "It's clear that Falk favors same sex marriage. But it's also clear that if elected she intends to interpret the laws as she sees fit instead of executing the role of attorney general."

Page two of the Jan. 29, 2004, Wisconsin Legislative Council memo addresses the issue Falk raises:

Regarding conferring a right or benefit of marriage, it appears reasonable to interpret the proposed language as follows:

1. The Legislature or the governing body of a political subdivision or local governmental unit is not precluded from authorizing or requiring that a right or benefit traditionally associated with marriage be extended to two or more unmarried individuals; for example, family health insurance benefits, certain probate rights, or the ability to file joint tax returns.

Van Hollen said the Falk letter also contradicts itself by claiming the amendment is "unnecessary" because Wisconsin statutes are clear on this issue of same sex marriage, but her letter goes on to state if the law is clarified as a constitutional amendment it will "threaten" local governments' ability offer domestic partner benefits.

"There should be no ambiguity in the law. A constitutional amendment is needed to ensure the Massachusetts ruling is not replicated in Wisconsin," Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen won a straw poll of Republican voters conducted at the 2005 Republican Party of Wisconsin Convention where he received nearly 84 percent of the vote over his primary opponent, Paul Bucher, who received just 16 percent.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Office: 152 W. Johnson St., Suite 214 Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608-204-0677
Fax: 608-204-0689

Statement of Governor Doyle Regarding the Domestic Partnership Registry

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today made the following statement regarding Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s decision not to represent the state’s domestic partnership rights in Wisconsin:

"The Attorney General's job is to represent the state and defend state law when there is a good faith defense to be made. His representation should not be based on whether he likes the state law. Clearly this is defensible. Constitutional law experts have examined the domestic partnership registry and believe it is sound and not in conflict with the state constitution. Attorney General Van Hollen's decision not to defend the domestic partner registry will force the costs of outside counsel onto taxpayers when the Attorney General should simply do his job."

A memo from UW Law Professor David Schwartz outlining why the domestic partnership registry is constitutional is available here:

Congrats to Oshkosh Parks department on success with Leach

The kids may soon be heading back to school, a sure sign that summer is coming to an end. But that doesn't mean the party at the Leach Amphitheater is coming to an end. There are still plenty of activities going on there. For a full list of events, visit the Leach's web site at Leach

But as the summer winds down and so much of the first season of the Leach being operated and managed by our city parks department, it is an appropriate time to congratulate and give kudos to parks director Tom Stephany and his administrative assistant, Trish Wendorf. The first season under their direction and guidance has been amazing - a difference of night and day from what PMI did for the first few years managing the venue. We don't know yet what the actual numbers and dollars and cents will look like when the first season officially comes to a close, but I can say this: The venue's web site is vibrant, exciting, informational, current and easy to navigate; there have been marquee-type stands strategically placed in high traffic areas around the city promoting upcoming events at the Leach; and people I've talked with have expressed real pleasure with the job these hard-working folks have done. I know some citizens had doubts at first about whether our parks department could actually do something different (i.e., better) than what a professional promotions and management company could do. They have not only pulled it off, but in my and many other people's opinion, succeeded in their efforts.

Congrats and a big high five to Tom, Trish and the rest of the parks department staff involved in the Leach promotion and management. Thanks for all you've done to turn this around and get lots more positive talk from residents and taxpayers.

Big event at the Leach this Sunday!

[We have received this from the Oshkosh Parks Department and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

The “Kids from Wisconsin” are coming to the Leach Amphitheater this Sunday, August 23, 2009 (sponsored by Festival Foods & Pepsi Americas). While the “Kids” take the stage at 3 PM, there will be other entertainment starting at 1 PM. We have Margaret “Grace” Froehlich playing piano and singing various songs (show tunes as well as music from the 60’s through the 90’s), and Chuck Lakefield from WROE appearing with a live remote. Concessions will be sold.

And this, from the Leach Amphitheater's web site, provides a little more information about this event...

The Kids From Wisconsin are a very exciting, summer touring group. In concert, the group will provide very "energetic dancing, powerful singing and, one wailing band". The 2009 show at the Leach will feature music of "legendary artists, wonderful songwriters, the Broadway stage, television, and much more". The Buttermilk Amphitheater in Fond du Lac, which allows a free "Kids" show, draws in 5,000 visitors annually. Because the show at the Leach will also be free (with the show being offered by Festival Foods), there is a strong hope that 5,000 visitors will visit the Leach Amphitheater - there will be plenty of seats available for those 5,000 that decide to attend. This "Kids" show should not be missed!

Menominee Park Beach testing information review

[We have received this report from Justin Mitchell and are pleased to publish it here on his behalf. It has been sent to the city for its review.]


Re: Menominee Park Beach Testing Results

Dear City Staff:

On 8/2/2009, I completed an assessment of the availability of on-line information regarding the beach water monitoring that is taking place this year at Menominee Park Beach. This assessment, as well as on-going monitoring of this issue, was requested as part of the Sustainability Advisory Board’s Water Working Group initiatives. The results are listed below, with recommendations listed where improvements should be made. This project has been an ideal partnership between the city of Oshkosh, the University, and the Sustainability Advisory Board. This assessment and recommendations are intended to improve the process based on what we learned this year and ensure that next year we can continue to improve this community service.

A. The most up-to-date records accessible on the city of Oshkosh website were from 7/8/09 testing, or 28 days old (note that a brief check on 8/19/09 showed that the most current results posted on the city website were still from 7/8/09). Contrast this delayed posting with Winnebago County where results were current through 7/29/09.

B. The posting was not available from any location on the parks department web pages. As Menominee Park and the Menominee Park Beach have a clear relationship to the parks department, it is likely that anyone interested in the beach or the water monitoring program would search for such information in the parks department web pages.

C. The posting was not available on the health department’s web page for “recreational facilities”. Similar to as stated in point B above, it is likely that someone interested in the health of our recreational facilities would search for such information in the parks department web pages.

D. The information provided is a scientific fact sheet that states the testing date and location, method used (colilert), and provides numbers. This handout (attached) is not in a format that is accessible or helpful to most Oshkosh residents and beach users. The handout does not provide the following information: What the numbers mean; What safe levels are (example: EPA standards for safe recreational water); Who in the city could be contacted for additional information; A description of what is tested and why; What health information is relevant; regarding the health effects of contaminated water; or Testing history – information is not available regarding past tests.

Therefore, based upon the above analysis, I am recommending the city implement the following changes:

1. Allow Winnebago County to provide the testing results on their website (

The site provides excellent maps of the county and of testing sites, provides details of what healthy water levels are and provides a history of testing results. All tested sites throughout the county are listed except for Menominee Park Beach.

UW Oshkosh Biology lab is involved in the testing and lab work of both the Winnebago County testing program and the city of Oshkosh testing program, so this is just a matter of permitting information to be shared.

If this option is chosen, the city can either continue to provide updated information of their testing or simply link to the existing county site. The link to the county site should be included in the following locations: city parks page, health recreational facilities page, Sustainable Oshkosh page, and others as determined appropriate by IT.

2. If the city determines it wants to provide its own testing information site, IT staff should develop a Menominee Park Beach Testing page that provides:
i. Current, up-to-date testing results - Posting of results should occur as the results are received.
ii. A history of testing results
iii. A description of what the results mean / what are safe levels
iv. A statement regarding what the city will do in the event that the beach is closed
v. A description of what is tested and why
vi. Health information relevant to what is being tested, health concerns with contaminated water
vii. A city contact for additional information
viii. Linking of the page from city parks page, health recreational facilities page, Sustainable Oshkosh page, and others as determined appropriate by IT

Thank you,
Justin Mitchell
652 Monroe St, Oshkosh

Environmental Microbiology Laboratory

Surface Water Test - Bacteriological
E. coli - Most Probable Number (MPN)/100ml
Coliform - Most Probable Number (MPN)/100mL
Client: Winnebago County Land and Water
Project: Surface Test - Coliform/E.coli
Sample ID: Multiple
Sample Type: Surface Water
Laboratory ID: Multiple
Date Sampled: Multiple
Date Received: Multiple
Date Analyzed: Multiple

Beach Name Sample Date Method Used LOD Coliform E. coli
MPN/100mL Result Result
Menominee Park 7/6/09 Colilert 1.0 >2419.6 1.0

Menominee Park 7/8/09 Colilert 1.0 >2419.6 21.6

US EPA Lab Identification Number - WI01087
Wisconsin Lab Certification Number - 105-445
•IDEXX Manufacturer Instructions
•Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 18th Ed., American Public Health Association (APHA)

Environmental Microbiology Laboratory
Department of Biology & Microbiology
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
800 Algoma Boulevard
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Phone - (920) 424-3148
Fax - (920) 424-1101
E-mail -

Friday, August 14, 2009

What to do about The Grand?

On Tuesday, some members of the Oshkosh Common Council stressed they want to see more private financial support for the renovations and repair at The Grand Opera House before they will agree to kick in any more money toward the approximately $1.5 million project. You can read more about it here. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Should the city take care of its responsibilities on a building it owns? Should there be more community and private service group funds used for the project? Is it time to sell the Grand and let a private organization operate it and, if so, what should be done with the building until such time as it is sold? Take our poll and tell us what you think.

What Do We Do Now?

What Do We Do Now?

I’m worried about my dad living alone…
I have become the caregiver of my wife who has Alzheimer’s disease…
My parents need some assistance but do not want to leave their home…
How do I find out if I qualify for Family Care?

Find the answers to these and many more important questions when you attend the Informational forum on the future of long term care for the elderly and disabled in Winnebago County.

Monday, August 24th, 6:30 pm
Trinity Episcopal Church – Algoma and Division

Mark Harris, Winnebago County Executive will share information about the soon to be implemented Lakeland Care District which will provide Family Care for eligible citizens in a region which includes Winnebago County.

Nancy Leipzig, Consortium Director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) will talk about ADRC coming to Winnebago County in Feb. 2010.The center will provide a no-cost, single point of contact for information and assistance on long term care and related services

Lea Kitz, Executive Director, ARC- Winnebago County Disability Association will speak on the advocacy provided by ARC for people with disabilities and their families.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Over $172,000 in Walker Contributions Violate Campaign Finance Reporting Laws

Over $172,000 in Walker Contributions Violate Campaign Finance Reporting Laws; Could Face $500 Civil Forfeiture for Each Illegal Contribution -- In Excess of $150,000 in Walker's Case

Madison -- Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign failed to report the required employer information of top donors who gave him over $172,000 -- a violation affecting one of every six dollars he took in his first finance period. Under chapter 11.60(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes, each violation can result in a $500 civil forfeiture, which could top well over $150,000 in Walker's case.

"It appears Scott Walker might have committed the largest reporting violation in the history of Wisconsin," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "So many violations, so soon, from such an experienced campaigner like Scott Walker can only lead one to conclude this is intentional and deliberate."

According to Walker's finance report for the January to June 30 filing period, Walker reported $1.4 million in contributions. Over $172,000 in contributions over $100 fails to include the lawfully required employer information for the donors.

Walkers widespread reporting negligence includes:
Two contributions of $10,000, the maximum contribution allowed under the law;
30 contributions between $2,500 and $1,000 totaling more than $38,000;
235 contributions between $750 and $200 totaling more than $71,000.
A review of the most recent report filed by Gov. Jim Doyle reveals no missing employer information for contributors over $100. A similar look at Appleton resident Mark Todd's campaign report shows $5,700 in contributions over $100 do not have the required employer information. Todd raised $6,250 total.

"Scott Walker is running his campaign as poorly as he runs Milwaukee County," said Ross. "Looks like Scott Walker treats campaign finance laws the same way he treats Milwaukee's seniors, working people and people with disabilities -- with no respect."

One Wisconsin Now said it is considering filing a formal complaint with the state's Government Accountability Board.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

BREWS AND VIEWS, Thursday August 6, 6:00, Becket’s Atrium, Free

What: Views and Brews - Fox Valley Agriculture Now and in the Future Community conversation and evening farmer’s market(no charge to attend)
Where: Becket's/the atrium of the City Center mall in downtown Oshkosh
When: Thursday, Aug. 6 - doors and cash bar open at 6:00 p.m., facilitated conversation at 7:00, evening farmer’s market before and after.
Why: To get all kinds of people from the Oshkosh community together to discuss important issues in a comfortable, laid-back setting
Who: Everyone is invited, sponsored by a new grassroots organization called Square One and Becket's restaurant

Views and Brews has been developed by a new, grassroots, community-based organization in Oshkosh called Square One, whose purpose is to develop programs that take concrete steps towards cultural integration, appreciation of diversity, and enhanced community vitality in this area. Along with Views and Brews, we’re planning to start an “Oshkosh Home-away from-Home” program that pairs UWO students that might feel like fish out of water and be at risk for not staying here (e.g. minorities, international students, kids from very rural areas or in general far from home) with local folks who would be willing to have the students over for dinner on a regular basis, come to their events, etc. And it would also help build additional bridges between UWO and the rest of our community. Square One is hoping that the initial Views and Brews will bring out a diverse mix of local residents and be a nice opportunity to promote the Oshkosh Home-away from-Home program. Program organizers will be seeking feedback from attendees about future topics of discussion.

For more information or questions please contact: Kris Larson 920.230.3333