Friday, October 30, 2009

NEW – Classic Tales of Horror on WOCT 101.9 FM

WOCT gets in the Halloween spirit this week with two days of Classic Tales of Horror. On October 30th and 31st Old Time Radio Dramas of the 1930's, 40's and 50's take over to the airwaves in Classic Tales of Horror featuring shows such as Nightfall, Mystery In The Air, The Weird Circle, Suspense!, Lights Out, and more. The special programs run from 6:00 p.m. to midnight on both nights on WOCT 101.9 FM and are sponsored by the Friends of OCMS.

Wisconsin Companies Receive $420 million in Federal New Markets TaxCredits

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that eight Wisconsin-based companies are the recipients of $420 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The $420 million is part of $5 billion in the federal tax credits which were announced this morning by US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. New Markets Tax Credits help promote investment in distressed areas, including historic preservation, affordable housing, Brownfields and commercial development.

"This $420 million investment is great news for the people of Wisconsin," Governor Doyle said. "Wisconsin is home to the best businesses and the best workers and this federal investment will bring new energy to communities, strengthen local economies and create more jobs for our citizens. Federal tax credits have already had a significant impact on rural and urban communities, and today’s announcement will build on our efforts to retain and grow jobs.”

The eight Wisconsin organizations sharing $420 million in New Market Tax Credits Allocations are: First Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise ($70 million), Johnson Community Development Company ($50 million), M&I New Markets Fund ($40 million), Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation ($25 million), Urban Revitalization and Brownfield Redevelopment Fund ($15 million), Waveland Community Development, LLC ($100 million), Wisconsin Business Growth Fund, Inc ($35 million), and the Wisconsin Community Development Legacy Fund ($85 million).

The Wisconsin Community Development Legacy Fund (WCDLF), a nonprofit organization comprised of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), Legacy Bancorp and Impact Seven, received an $85 million allocation, its fourth since 2004. It is anticipated that deals from the 2009 allocation will be divided among both rural and urban communities.

Earlier this year, WCDLF approved deals to retain over 500 permanent jobs in the state’s manufacturing industry. WCDLF is a Community Development Entity responsible for overseeing statewide distribution of federal New Markets Tax Credits. To date, WCDLF has allocated $175 million in credits to 21 companies across Wisconsin, creating and retaining 5,299 jobs. WHEDA and Legacy Bancorp formed WCDLF in 2004 to successfully obtain the federal tax credits.

The New Markets Tax Credit Program was originated by Congress in 2000 as a way to promote economic development in low-income urban and rural communities. The program provides tax incentives to investors who make equity investments in rural and urban low-income communities.

To view all New Market Tax Credit Allocations from the CDFI Fund visit:

Governor Doyle Announces Grants for Wisconsin Covenant Scholars

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle today announced that each student who has signed the Wisconsin Covenant pledge and fulfills the pledge, enrolls at least half-time in a Wisconsin college or university, and demonstrates significant financial need will receive a $1,500 Wisconsin Covenant Foundation grant to be used for postsecondary education expenses. Governor Doyle and First Lady Jessica Doyle were joined by students who have signed the pledge and Richard D. George, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, at the announcement.

“Over the past three years, over 50,000 students have signed the Wisconsin Covenant and told us that they want to go to college,” Governor Doyle said. “Today, I am pleased to announce a $1,500 Wisconsin Covenant Foundation grant for qualified students to help pay for college. I know that there are thousand of students working hard out there every day to fulfill their half of the Covenant pledge and with the help of the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation and others, we are going to help make college a reality.”

“These grants are designed to help hard-working students realize that college is possible regardless of their family’s economic situation,” said Richard D. George. “We hope that by announcing these grants now, high school juniors from families who lack the resources to help pay for college will have extra motivation to complete the pledge and go on to college.”

Under the Wisconsin Covenant, students agree to graduate from a Wisconsin high school, take college preparatory classes, maintain at least a B average, and be a good citizen. Any student who fulfills the pledge will be recognized as a Wisconsin Covenant Scholar, receive a financial aid package based on the family’s federally-defined financial need and be guaranteed a place at a University of Wisconsin campus, a Wisconsin Technical College or a private institution affiliated with the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

More than 50,000 students have signed the pledge over the past three years. The first class of Wisconsin Covenant Scholars who will be eligible for the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation grants will graduate from high school in 2011.

This year Governor Doyle signed into law a $25 million per year allocation for the Wisconsin Covenant Scholar Grant, a permanent appropriation that will augment standard financial aid and private funding to ensure that additional resources are available to help make college more affordable for Covenant Scholars. The Governor is currently working with the legislature to implement the grant program and establish eligibility criteria and expects to complete the process by the end of the school year.

In November 2007, Governor Doyle established the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, a private, non-profit, tax-exempt charity, with an initial endowment of $40 million from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. The Foundation’s purpose is to support post-secondary education access for Wisconsin students who participate in the Wisconsin Covenant program and distribute the money to students who have fulfilled the Wisconsin Covenant pledge and have demonstrated financial need. The Foundation operates at the direction of its board of directors led by Richard D. George, CEO of Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.

Governor Doyle has been committed to ensuring affordable access to higher education. Since he took office, he has tripled the amount of financial aid available to students. In his 2007-2009 biennial budget, he increased financial aid by $44 million. In the 2009-2011 biennial budget, in the face of tough economic times, he remained committed to his priorities and increased financial aid by an additional $25 million. The Governor has also expanded the college tuition tax deduction and signed legislation to increase the maximum Wisconsin Higher Education Grant for UW System schools from $2,500 to $3,000.

For more information about eligibility for the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation grant call Shannon Loredo at 608-240-1251.

For more information on the Wisconsin Covenant go to:

Governor Doyle Announces Rule Expanding Health Care Coverage to Young Adults

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

MADISON – On Oct. 29, 2009 Governor Jim Doyle announced an emergency rule from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) implementing a new state law expanding health insurance coverage for young adults under 27. Young adults will now be able to receive coverage through their parents’ health care plan.

“This emergency rule ensures that young adults, a group that traditionally has high levels of uninsurance, will have access to affordable health insurance coverage through their parents,” Governor Doyle said. “Questions were raised regarding provisions of the new law. The rule provides needed clarity to ensure eligible young adults have quick access to heath care coverage."

The emergency rule clarifies a new law, passed in June 2009, requiring health insurance policies to cover eligible young adults up to age 27. The law applies to individual health and group health benefit plans and a self-insured plan of the state, or a county, city, village, town or school district, including limited scope plans, such as vision and dental plans.

The rule clarifies:

· The calculation for eligibility based on premium costs
· Eligibility for military personnel
· Eligibility for students
· Eligibility for non-resident young adults with resident parents
· Eligibility for young adults previously dropped from coverage because of their age

To be eligible for this coverage young adults must be over 17 but less than 27 years of age; not married; and either not eligible for health coverage through the young adult's employer or whose premium contribution for employer coverage is greater than the additional premium amount the parent is required to pay to add the young adult to the parent’s health plan. Additional eligibility rules apply to young adults who are called to federal active duty in the National Guard or reserves while a full-time student. The statute goes into effect for health insurance policies issued or renewed beginning on January 1, 2010.

The emergency rule can be viewed at OCI’s Web site at

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Appleton multi-lane roundabout becoming fully operational

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Even though this roundabout is located in Appleton/Outagamie County, the facts about roundabouts and instructions on how to navigate them are universal throughout the state, other than those specific references to streets in Appleton. We will eventually be getting roundabouts in Oshkosh and Winnebago County, so it's never to early to begin familiarizing oneself with the process.]

October 28, 2009

For more information, contact:
Kim Rudat, Regional Communications Manager, (920) 492-5743

Appleton multi-lane roundabout becoming fully operational
Walter/John roundabout opening with College Ave. Bridge

(Green Bay) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Regional Office at Green Bay and the city of Appleton are advising Appleton motorists that when the College Ave. Bridge opens, tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, October 30, the multi-lane roundabout east of the bridge will become fully operational.

Roundabouts provide safer and more efficient traffic flow than standard intersections by slowing traffic down and keeping it moving one way in a counterclockwise direction. There are fewer conflict points and crash statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that roundabouts reduce fatal crashes about 90%, injury crashes about 75%, and overall crashes about 35%.

WisDOT and the city of Appleton are providing these reminders for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians:

• Follow the signs and pavement markings to position your vehicle in the appropriate lane as you approach the roundabout.
• Position your vehicle before you enter the roundabout and once in the roundabout, do not change lanes.
• The right lane is for turning at the next street. For example, if you enter from College Ave. heading west and wish to turn north onto South Walter Street, you would choose the right lane.
• Use either lane for going straight. For example, if you enter from College Ave. heading west and you wish to continue west on College Ave., you can choose either lane.
• The left lane is for turning “left” or u turns. For example, if you enter from College Ave. heading west and you wish to turn onto East John Street or return east on College Ave., you would choose the left lane.
• Yield to both circulating lanes of traffic prior to entering the roundabout.
• Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic.
• Go slow. Do not change lanes. Traffic circulates counterclockwise at about 15 mph.
• Yield to pedestrians prior to entering and exiting a roundabout.
• If you encounter an emergency vehicle – exit the roundabout first and then move to the side of the road to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. Do not stop in the roundabout.
• Pedestrians should use the crosswalks at the approaches to the roundabout. They should not enter the center of the roundabout itself.
• Using the crosswalk, pedestrians should first look to their left to watch for a gap in traffic or to wait for vehicles to stop to allow them to cross. They should then cross to the safety/splitter island.
• The safety/splitter island is where pedestrians can stop and check traffic coming from the right, where they can again watch for a gap in traffic or wait for vehicles to stop to allow them to cross.
• If you are riding on the shoulder or bike lane, merge into the traffic lane before the shoulder ends.
• Signal your intent to move into traffic.
• Once inside the roundabout, don't hug the curb; ride close to the middle of the lane to prevent vehicles from passing and cutting you off.
• Watch for vehicles waiting to enter the roundabout, as they may not see you.
• If you do not want to ride your bike in the roundabout, use the sidewalk and crosswalks.
Large trucks
• Large trucks, because of their size, need more space when driving in a roundabout and will likely encroach into other lanes when making turns.
• All drivers should avoid driving next to or passing large trucks when approaching and maneuvering through a roundabout so the truck can safely make its turn.
• There is a “truck apron” on the edge of the center island in a roundabout that a semi trailer or other large vehicle’s wheels may use. The truck apron helps longer vehicles navigate the roundabout.

Oshkosh Public Library invites children to reader’s theater

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of the Oshkosh Public Library.]

Oct. 28, 2009 – Experience reading with a theatrical twist when popular presenter Karen Kersting returns to the Oshkosh Public Library on Nov. 14, at 2 p.m., with her Reader’s Theater program. Children who participated in the library’s summer reading program worked with Kersting to perform impromptu skits that give them a taste of performing without all the preparation needed to put on a more traditional play.

Reader’s Theater is a dramatic presentation of a written work in which children read from a script rather than memorize their parts. Because they don’t need to memorize their parts, the children can focus on reading the text with expressive voices and gestures. The method introduces children to dramatic reading and helps to enhance their reading skills in a fun and creative way.

The program is open to children ages 7 to 11, with plenty of opportunities for all to actively participate. Children do not need to have previous experience in theater to attend.

Register at the Children’s Desk, by calling 236-5208, or online at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wisconsin Assembly unanimously passes 'puppy mill' measure

The Wisconsin State Assembly voted, 96-0, to approve legislation on Tuesday that would regulate large-scale canine breeding facilities known as "puppy mills."

Wisconsin is one of the few states with virtually no regulation or an inspection program for the humane care of dogs or their offspring, according to backers of the legislation. The state also lacks regulatory authority in many cases to shut down puppy mills, they say.

The legislation would provide regulations, set standards and require licensing for breeders who sell 25 or more dogs during a year. The measure now goes on to the State Senate.

You can read the entire story by going here .

Chicago Area Pet Stores Take ‘Puppy Friendly’ Pledge

[We have received the following press release about what many are doing in the greater Chicagoland area to take a stand against puppy mills and are pleased to publish it here.]

Chicago Area Pet Stores Take ‘Puppy Friendly’ Pledge

(Oct. 23, 2009) — Thanks to the efforts of local animal advocates, nearly fifty Chicago area pet stores have signed The Humane Society of the United States’ puppy friendly pet store pledge — committing not to sell puppies, but instead support local animal adoption programs or provide literature that helps customers learn how to locate a reputable breeder. The HSUS applauds these independent retailers because their actions prove it is not necessary to support the cruel puppy mill trade to operate a successful pet-related business.

"These stores have set a positive example of corporate responsibility for other businesses to follow," said Stephanie Shain, senior director of The HSUS' puppy mills campaign. "Pet stores that profit from the cruel puppy mill industry need to step up and do the right thing by stopping their puppy sales. Shelters and rescues are brimming with all types of dogs in need of homes."

Store owners and managers who sign The HSUS' pledge receive a placard proclaiming, "We love puppies; that's why we don't sell them," to display in the store, as well as materials about adopting a dog or finding a responsible breeder. The HSUS encourages shoppers to purchase pet supplies at stores displaying the puppy-friendly sign.

The independent retailers in the Chicago area that have most recently signed the puppy friendly pledge to not sell puppies are:

• Animal Feeds & Needs (Arlington Heights)
• Bark Bark Club (Chicago)
• Barker and Moewsky (Chicago)
• Bentley's Corner Barkery (Arlington Heights)
• Birds and Beasts Pet Shop (Crystal Lake)
• Cody and Carl's Blvd (Barrington)
• Dog-A-Holics (2 locations Chicago)
• Doggy Style Pet Shop (Chicago)
• Earth Pups (Chicago)
• Famous Fido (Chicago)
• Fetch! Dog Boutique & Spa (Chicago)
• Follow Your Nose (Evanston)
• Four Legs Pets (Algonquin)
• Groomingayle's Pet Salon (Glenview)
• Kriser's Feeding Pets for Life (3 in Chicago, Park Ridge and South Barrington)
• Liz's Pet Shop (Chicago)
• Orland Pk Boarding Kennel & Natural Pet Food Center (Orland Pk)
• Pans Pet Place (Morton Grove)
• Parker's Pets (Chicago)
• Paw Lickin' Good Treats (DeKalb)
• Pawprints of Richmond, Ltd (Richmond)
• Pet Central Inc. (McHenry)
• Pets Etc (Naperville)
• Reeses Barkery & Pawtique (McHenry)
• Ruff Haus Pets (Chicago)
• Suburban Pet City (Oak Park)
• Tails in the City (Chicago)
• The Animal Store (Lincolnwood)
• The Barking Lot (Chicago and Deerfield)
• The Dog House of L.G. Ltd. (Long Grove)
• The Houndry (Chicago)
• Thomas Tails (Crystal Lake)
• Three Dog Bakery (Chicago)
• VIP Pet Salon (McHenry)
• Wet Nose (Geneva and Oak Brook)
• Wicker Pet (Chicago)
• Wigglyville (Chicago)

Policy Helps Dogs Across the United States
The majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from puppy mills, which are mass production facilities that churn out large numbers of puppies under inhumane conditions. The breeding dogs at puppy mills spend their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder's home firsthand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel puppy mill industry.

• Approximately one-third of the nation's 9,000 independent pet stores sell puppies.
• The HSUS estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States.
• Documented puppy mill conditions include over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor food and shelter, crowded cages and lack of socialization.
• Dogs kept for breeding in puppy mills suffer for years in continual confinement. They are bred as often as possible and then destroyed or discarded once they can no longer produce puppies.
• Pet stores and online sellers often use attractive Web sites to hide the truth and to dupe consumers into thinking that they are dealing with a small, reputable breeder.
• Reputable breeders never sell puppies over the Internet or through a pet store and will insist on meeting the family who will be purchasing the dog.
• Puppy mills contribute to the pet overpopulation problem, which results in millions of unwanted dogs euthanized at shelters every year.

To learn more about puppy mills, visit You can also learn more about efforts to take a stand against puppy mills closer to home here in Wisconsin by visiting the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project web site.

* Follow The Humane Society of the United States on Twitter.

Multi-Millionaire Wall Blames Great Depression on FDR

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of One Wisconsin Now.]

Madison -- Republican multi-millionaire Terrence Wall claims in this month's In Business magazine that Franklin D. Roosevelt was responsible for the Great Depression, despite Roosevelt taking office over three years after the Depression began and enacting policies which lowered the unemployment rate from 25 percent in 1933 to 10 percent by 1937, saving the U.S. from economic collapse.

In his "Up Against the Wall" column in the October 2009 In Business, Wall wrote, "The Great Depression wasn't an accident; what would have been a bad recession was turned into the Great Depression by massive federal taxation and regulation, increased trade barriers and huge reductions in economic liberty, thereby scaring off investor capital and risk taking." [Source: In Business, 10/1/09,]

"Terrence Wall is showing all the money in the world can't buy you common sense," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "Is Terrence Wall most opposed to the creation of Social Security, or the Fair Labor Standards Act that established the minimum wage and ended child labor. Or was it establishment of the Security and Exchange Commission to protect Americans against the greed of Wall Street?"

Wall described himself in a recent press release as a "self-made entrepreneur who started from nothing and built a number of successful businesses," failing to note he is part of the Wall Family Enterprise, a century-old conglomerate which now includes 10 companies in the United States and around the globe, including England and France. [Sources: Wall Campaign Release, 10/24/09; Wall Family Enterprise,]

One Wisconsin Now discovered Wall companies established a Delaware post "office" to possibly avoid Wisconsin taxes, despite no evidence it does any business there, as well as reclassification of $2 million in prime Dane County commercial real estate into "agriculture" property, which could allow the company to eliminate $34,000 in local property taxes. [Sources: NY Times, 5/29/09; WI Dept. of Financial Institutions, 9/23/09; Access Dane Website, 10/15/09]

"Terrence Wall knows a whole lot more about avoiding taxes than he does about history or economics," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "Unless by economics you're talking about creating out-of-state tax shelters and exploiting tax credits that are supposed to help farmers."

# # #

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

March of Dimes Now Accepting 2010 Grant Applications

The March of Dimes is accepting grant applications statewide that will address unmet maternal and child health needs. The 2010 applications are due on November 15th, 2009 at 4:00PM. Submission includes one signed copy and one emailed copy to Pamela Pfeffer, State Director of Program Services.

“These grants address significant maternal and child health issues such as; smoking cessation, health education for mothers using alcohol or other drugs, and preterm birth reoccurrence, which are of concern in our community,” said Pfeffer.

These grants are one way the March of Dimes supports its mission of preventing birth defects and infant mortality. As part of this effort, the community grants program is designed to invest in priority projects that further the March of Dimes mission, support national campaign objectives, and further our strategic goal of reducing disparities in birth outcomes. Proposals will be accepted from organizations with the capacity, competence and experience to accomplish project goals and objectives.

“Here in Milwaukee we found that we could help mothers and babies through supporting our community partners,” Pfeffer said. “We are grateful that our successful fundraising efforts, such as March for Babies, make it possible for us to support new efforts to help more babies to be born healthy,” she said.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For information about research grants funded by the March of Dimes national office, please refer to the March of Dimes Web site at or or e-mail the Office of Research and Grants Administration at

Governor Doyle Announces $97 Million for Low-Income Heating Assistance

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of Gov. Doyle's office.]

MADISON—Governor Jim Doyle today announced the release to Wisconsin of over $97 million in federal funds for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The funding released today is three quarters of the estimated $130 million in LIHEAP funding Wisconsin is expected to receive this year.

“No family should have to choose between buying groceries and paying their heating bill,” said Governor Doyle. “With the release of this funding Wisconsin can now begin to allocate assistance to hard working low-income families across this state.”

The funds released today will be used for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), which provides financial assistance to low-income residents who may struggle to pay utility bills this winter. WHEAP is part of the state’s comprehensive Home Energy Plus program which provides assistance with emergency energy needs, emergency furnace repairs, conservation service and assistance weatherizing low-income households.

Due to recent changes in program eligibility, many more households across the state may be eligible for heating assistance this winter. Effective with the beginning of the 2009-2010 heating season, the income eligibility limit for WHEAP and Weatherization has increased from 150% of the federal poverty level to 60% of the State’s Median Income. Current projections are for a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of households receiving energy assistance. The state anticipates nearly 256,000 Wisconsin families will receive energy assistance to pay a portion of their fuel costs this heating season.

Payments under these programs depend upon household size, income level, and home energy costs. A family of four, with an annual income of $45,067 or less may be eligible for energy assistance.

To receive more information about how to apply for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program, call the Home Energy Plus hotline at 866-432-8947, or visit

60 Percent of State Median Income Guidelines

Size of family: 1
One Month's Income: $ 1,953
Three Month's Income: $ 5,859
Annual Income: $ 23,435

Size of family: 2
One Month's Income: $ 2,554
Three Month's Income: $ 7,661
Annual Income $ 30,645

Size of Family: 3
One Month's Income: $ 3,155
Three Month's Income: $ 9,464
Annual Income: $ 37,856

Size of Family: 4
One Month's Income: $ 3,756
Three Month's Income: $ 11,267
Annual Income: $ 45,067

Size of Family: 5
One Month's Income: $ 4,356
Three Month's Income: $ 13,069
Annual Income: $ 52,277

Size of Family: 6
One Month's Income: $ 4,957
Three Month's Income: $ 14,872
Annual Income: $ 59,488

Size of Family: 7
One Month's Income: $ 5,070
Three Month's Income: $ 15,210
Annual Income: $ 60,840

Size of Family: 8
One Month's Income: $ 5,183
Three Month's Income: $ 15,548
Annual Income: $ 62,192

Governor Doyle Announces Winners of the Governor’s Worksite Wellness Award

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of Gov. Doyle's office.]

MADISON – Governor Doyle announced the winners of the Governor’s Worksite Wellness Award. The award, designed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health, recognizes employers that promote a work environment that encourages and enables their employees to improve their health and well-being.

“Across the state, health care costs are straining family budgets and hurting businesses both small and large,” Governor Doyle said. “I congratulate these employers that work with their employees to lower costs and improve their overall health and well-being.”

In addition to the benefits to employees that improved health and well-being provides, a healthier worksite results in numerous benefits to the employer as well. Studies show that worksites that employ an evidence based wellness program experience decreased health care costs, increased employee productivity and increased morale.

Applications are evaluated on criteria that include:

· Program infrastructure
· Health education
· Health screening and disease prevention & management
· Physical activity and nutrition components
· Tobacco use policies
· Alcohol and other drug policies

Please visit the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Heath website at for more information and to apply.

For more information on worksite wellness please visit:

A listing of award winners follows:

Appleton Ideas, Appleton

City of Appleton, Appleton
Waukesha County Technical College, Pewaukee
Divine Savior Healthcare, Portage
City of La Crosse, La Crosse
City of Green Bay, Green Bay

Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Madison

Governor Doyle Announces $247,000 in Clean Energy Training Grants for State Carpenters

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of Gov. Doyle's office.]

KAUKAUNA – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that thanks to the Legislative leadership on Act 2, the North Central Regional Council of Carpenters will receive two grants totaling $247,000 to train its members on sustainable green building practices and windmill and alternative energy systems installation. The funds are part of $2,630,000 in state grants from the Department of Commerce for use by specific organizations in the building trades to provide job training and retraining programs, including training in green building and the installation of alternative energy systems.

“Through the bold leadership of the State Legislature to become a clean energy leader and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Wisconsin has a tremendous opportunity to invest in our clean energy workforce,” Governor Doyle said. “I am pleased we are partnering with the Council of Carpenters to invest in the carpenters of the future that will lead our state in the installation of clean energy technologies that keep energy dollars in our communities, create jobs and clean our air and water.”

The state’s workforce investment also prepares Wisconsin to work on major clean energy projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Governor Doyle thanked the Obama Administration for its leadership in renewable energy and the creation of clean energy jobs.

The $175,000 grant will be used for equipment to train 300 carpenters on the installation of windmills and other alternative energy system. The total project cost for that effort is $221,726.

The $72,000 grant will be used to purchase equipment, cover overhead, and provide working capital to pay instructors. Areas covered will include wall layout, metal stud framing, sheathing, welding, sealing and taping, interior spraying with polyurethane foam, OSHA standards, and use of scaffolds, forklifts, and aerial lifts. The total project cost is $127,830.

The training is anticipated to be covered in two four-day classes offered 15 times over a three-year period, with an average class size of seven carpenters.

The Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters-North Central Regional Council of Carpenters represents more than 5,000 carpenters, millwrights, lathers and pile drivers in Wisconsin.

Statement of Governor Doyle Regarding Smart Grid Technology Funding

[We have received the following press release and are pleased to publish it on behalf of Gov. Doyle's office.]

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today made the following statement regarding $21.5 million awarded to Wisconsin utilities for Smart Grid technology under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

"Investing in a smarter electric grid means that we will have a stronger, more reliable system. The improvements made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will give consumers more ways to save money and will support the growth of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The $21.5 million in Smart Grid technology funds will be matched by at least that much private funding from utilities to support plug-in hybrid cars, install better home meters, and make our statewide distribution system more efficient and secure for all."

Saturday, October 24, 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, October 30th 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Oshkosh Area Senior Center - 200 North Campbell Road

Friday, October 23, 2009

Governor Doyle Signs Electronic Recycling Bill Into Law

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today signed into law Senate Bill 107 at the State Capitol in Madison .

“This bill represents significant progress on the collection, recycling and disposal of electronic devices,” Governor Doyle said. “I want to thank legislators for moving forward this important legislation, which was a key recommendation by the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming.”

Senate Bill 107 requires manufacturers to register certain electronic devices with the Department of Natural Resources and arrange for responsible recycling and disposal of consumer electronics including video displays, computers and printers.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Miller and Jauch, and Representatives Bernard Schaber and Black for their work on the bill.

In September, Governor Doyle signed into law Senate Bill 185, which creates statewide standards for wind projects that ensure that the environment is protected while also sending a clear message that Wisconsin is open for business when it comes to clean and renewable energy. The legislation accomplishes an integral recommendation of the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming.

Additionally, comprehensive climate change legislation based on the task force’s recommendations is expected to be ready for introduction in November, 2009.

Becket's announces next Brews and Views: Downtown Summit

While the first two were about local race relations in May and then agriculture and local food in August, this Views & Brews will be a Downtown Summit: Marketplace and Community Conversation about issues related to the vitality and development in downtown Oshkosh and the nearby riverfront.

Downtown stakeholders (downtown businesses and organizations, and developers with plans for the downtown/riverfront area) are invited to reserve a table for the Marketplace, which will be held from 5:00 to 6:30. Tables can be reserved for $10 for retailers looking to sell products, and for free for other groups looking to promote what they do and have conversations with local people. Contact Courtney at to reserve a table or with questions. From 6:30 to 9:00, there will be a facilitated community conversation about various issues related to the topic, with a mix of panel discussion and informal conversation at tables, with participants invited to stick around after the formal discussion to socialize and continue the conversation.

Views & Brews will once again be facilitated by Square One and hosted by Becket’s (which will be selling food and drink), with new sponsorship from the American Democracy Project at UWO.

Event: Brews and Views: Downtown Summit
What: Lecture
When: Thursday, November 5 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Where: Downtown Summit: Marketplace and Community, Becket's Restaurant

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

Leaf collection schedule set

It's that time of year when the leaves are falling and autumn is definitely in the air. That means it's time to rake those leaves and get them ready for collection. PLEASE DO NOT RAKE YOUR LEAVES INTO THE CITY STREETS AS THEY CAUSE ALL KINDS OF PROBLEMS WITH DRAINAGE PROBLEMS, ETC. LEAVES THAT GET INTO THE CITY'S SEWER SYSTEM CAN ALSO CAUSE WATER QUALITY ISSUES.

Yesterday, the City of Oshkosh released an updated leaf collection schedule through Nov. 20, 2009. Please note that residents’ primary day for loose leaf collection by the city is the day AFTER regular garbage collection. If leaves are not picked up during a scheduled collection date due to heavy volume or other issues, the collection may be rescheduled or leaves will be collected the following week.

The new schedule begins on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009.

Loose leaf collection will end Friday, Nov. 20th. After that date, leaves will only be collected if they are placed in paper biodegradable bags.

The updated schedule is as follows:
Friday garbage day = Monday leaf collection (10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16)
Monday garbage day = Tuesday leaf collection (10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17)
Tuesday garbage day = Wednesday leaf collection (10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18)
Wednesday garbage day = Thursday leaf collection (10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19)
Thursday garbage day = Friday leaf collection (10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20)

If you have any questions about leaf collection or this schedule, please contact City Hall at 920.236.5000.

Inaugural Global Equality Leadership Award Honors Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

[We have received the following and are pleased to publish it on behalf of the senders. Eye on Oshkosh congratulates Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin on her award as noted herein.]

Washington, DC – The Council for Global Equality joined Fair Wisconsin and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights in awarding Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin the first-ever Global Equality Leadership Award. The Council’s first award was presented jointly by all three organizations on October 20, 20009 in recognition of the Congresswoman’s work to promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities at the local, national and international levels.

Mark Bromley, the Council’s Chair, noted that “Through this award, we seek to recognize the human rights contributions of public officials who are standing with us to promote a strong U.S. foreign policy that is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin, emphasized that “Congresswoman Baldwin’s leadership has inspired us in Wisconsin. We are proud to have her represent the Badger State in Congress. Her vision for tolerance and dignity, and her support for international human rights has truly advanced our shared vision of tolerance and dignity, both for the citizens of Wisconsin and for the larger world.”

Sid Mohn, President of Heartland Alliance, a Midwest based human rights organization, noted that “Congresswoman Baldwin’s decision to create an LGBT Equality Caucus in Congress has provided an essential venue to help educate Congressional staff in other offices about the human rights abuses that continue to deny basic rights and freedoms to so many LGBT individuals abroad.”

In accepting the award, the Congresswoman noted that “In this year’s annual human rights report, the State Department once again identified serious human rights concerns impacting LGBT people worldwide. With your help, and with the support of the LGBT Equality Caucus, we are beginning to ensure that the State Department has the tools, the personnel and the funding it needs to respond to this global human rights crisis. And we are accomplishing this while still fighting to secure full rights for LGBT Americans here at home.”

The three organizations presenting the award share a commitment to basic rights for all LGBT individuals. The Council is a new coalition of fourteen leading advocacy organizations that are working together to promote human rights for LGBT communities in the United States and abroad. Fair Wisconsin fights for LGBT equality in Baldwin’s home state of Wisconsin. And Heartland Alliance is a human rights service provider that offers direct service to vulnerable LGBT populations within the US and in more than 12 countries of danger around the world.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Governor Doyle Announces Relocation of Eight Biotech Companies to Wisconsin

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today welcomed eight biotechnology companies to Wisconsin from other states, including five in Madison : Aldevron, Flex Biomedical, Inc., Inviragen, Inc., Exact Sciences Corporation, and NanoMedex.

“Hard work and innovation is why we are here today, and why Wisconsin is competing around the globe to bring biotechnology to our state,” Governor Doyle said. "I am working hard as Governor to build on Wisconsin 's strengths in biotechnology, providing the resources and the infrastructure necessary for this industry to grow and prosper.”

Biotechnology in Wisconsin is an $8.7-billion industry with 400 companies and 34,000 employees. Biotechnology is the fastest growing segment of the Wisconsin economy, with an annualized growth rate of nearly 7 percent.

Governor Doyle has worked hard to spur creation of risk capital in Wisconsin , including investor tax credits, the formation of the Wisconsin Angel Network and the Wisconsin Venture Fund to help facilitate deal flow, investor exchanges and network creation. In February, Governor Doyle expanded the investor tax credit law as part of an early economic recovery bill. Enhancements include: raising the cap on tax credits for angel investments from $1 million to $4 million; tripling the annual pool of credits available for angel credits, from $5.5 million to $18.25 million per year, and venture credits, $6 million to $18.75 million; and allowing angel investors to claim the entire 25 percent credit on their investment in the first taxable year.

These initiatives add to the world class biotechnology environment in Wisconsin that Governor Doyle has worked hard to develop including a university system that includes one of the world’s leading research institutions, first class resources for scientists, a supportive entrepreneurial environment, access to capital, and a quality of life in a state that is second to none.

Governor Doyle welcomed the following eight companies to Wisconsin :

· RJA Dispersions, LLC, a custom manufacturer of nano-particle and pigment dispersions for major OEM accounts worldwide, will relocate its operations to Hudson , Wisconsin from Maplewood , Minnesota effective November 1, 2009. The company’s primary market is digital imaging and the rapidly growing industry requirements for ultra violet (UV) curable ink jet inks.

· VitalMedix is a developing a drug for treating hemorrhagic shock, which occurs when blood loss exceeds the body’s ability to compensate, as from gunshot or auto accident. Commerce certified the company as a qualified new business venture eligible for up to $1 million in angel or early stage investment. The company is moving to Hudson because it could not find financing in Minnesota .

· Rapid Diagnostek, is developing a portable device to quickly diagnose disease by analyzing bodily fluids. It decided to move to Hudson from St. Paul because Wisconsin ’s Qualified New Business Venture program would help it raise more investment capital.

· Aldevron from Fargo , ND , is the leading provider of plasmid DNA for use in research, diagnostic and clinical applications. It will expand into Madison with a new operation located in the University Research Park . The new division will develop and sell contract research and manufacturing services marketed under the Aldevron brand.

· Flex Biomedical, Inc. was founded in Boston in October 2007. The company develops innovative products for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and diseases. It received a $150,000 Commerce loan for further research and development and for relocation costs to Madison .

· Inviragen, Inc. was founded in 2003 in Fort Collins , Colorado , to develop vaccines for emerging infectious diseases. The company will use a $250,000 Commerce loan to lease a 4,000-square-foot laboratory and office space in Madison .

· Exact Sciences Corporation from Marlboro, Massachusetts , received a $1-million Commerce loan to relocate its headquarters and operations to Madison . It is a molecular diagnostics company focused on colorectal cancer. The company expects to make a significant investment in its relocated operations.

· NanoMedex, a Florida-based firm, has developed a nanotechnology formulation for generic drugs that are poorly soluble in water. This formulation promotes solubility so that drugs that are not currently injectible can be injected when necessary for treatment. Commerce provided a $275,000 grant to help the company relocate to Fitchburg .

For more information about Commerce services for technology companies, visit

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Governor Doyle Announces Over 100 Communities Support “25x25” Clean Energy Goal

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle today announced over 100 communities have joined the Wisconsin Energy Independent Community Partnership. The communities, which come from every region of Wisconsin , have pledged to work toward Governor Doyle’s “25x25” goal of generating 25 percent of the state’s electricity and transportation fuels from renewable resources by the year 2025.

“I’m pleased that communities across Wisconsin have accepted my clean energy challenges head on,” Governor Doyle said. “Together we are making great strides toward energy policies that create jobs, clean our air and water, and save us money. I look forward to working with Energy Independent Communities as we continue Wisconsin ’s clean energy leadership.”

The Wisconsin Energy Independent (EI) Community Partnership is the first of its kind in the nation and is an integral part of Clean Energy Wisconsin, Governor Doyle’s plan to move Wisconsin toward energy independence. The plan details strategies to move Wisconsin forward to promote renewable energy, create new jobs, increase energy security, and improve the environment.

The community partnership, which is led by the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence, helps individual communities take advantage of their unique resources and develop new strategies to foster innovative clean energy solutions.

New members of the Energy Independent Community Partnership include: City of Two Rivers in Manitowoc County , City of West Allis in Milwaukee County , City of New London in Outagamie County , Village of Stratford in Marathon County , City of Whitewater in Walworth County , City of Jefferson in Jefferson County , Village of Oxford in Marquette County and Iowa County .

To view a full list of EI communities visit:

For more information about the Wisconsin Energy Independent Communities Partnership visit: and click on “EI Communities” or contact Brian Driscoll at the Office of Energy Independence, or 608-261-8146.

GAB Coddles All Children Matter with 'Pathetic' Wrist Slap

Group Fined $5.2 Million for Money Laundering Violation in Ohio,
Gets '$500 Forfeiture' for Behavior Here

Madison -- The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board could be opening Wisconsin's doors to an avalanche of future illegal campaign activity after settling for a miniscule fine of $500 from All Children Matter, ignoring evidence the group possibly funneled Wisconsin corporate contributions through a Virginia political action committee in violation of Wisconsin campaign finance law.

"The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board has utterly failed the people of Wisconsin in its duty to fully investigate campaign wrong-doing," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "The Government Accountability Board has sent a message to the moneyed interests that the penalties for breaking campaign laws in Wisconsin are chump change."

GAB's precursor, the State Elections Board, had unanimously determined in 2006 that the group had violated its campaign finance rules on registering and reporting independent expenditures (express advocacy) in a district-wide mailer sent out against then-Rep. John Lehman (D-Racine) during his successful 2006 campaign for State Senate. With just a few months left before the GAB would come into existence, the Elections Board determined an investigation into the money laundering charges should be left to GAB.

After the October 13, 2006 complaint against All Children Matter was filed, All Children Matter scrambled to identify an organization registered in Wisconsin. Campaign finance reports filed in both states showed that the independent expenditures were financed with money from All Children Matter's Virginia-based PAC. The Virginia PAC had received $90,000 from the Milwaukee-based Alliances for Choices in Education -- a corporation prohibited under Wisconsin law from making contributions or sponsoring independent expenditures. The Virginia PAC also transferred $35,000 to the Wisconsin organization and the Wisconsin organizations then spent $33,632 attacking three Wisconsin candidates, including Lehman.

Wisconsin law prohibits corporate contributions. After the complaint was filed with the Elections Board about the Lehman mailing and its status as an unregistered independent expenditure, many questions were raised about the possibility of corporate funds being used to finance the Lehman mailings. Instead of comprehensive pursuit of this serious allegation of wrong-doing, the GAB issued a $500 forfeiture from All Children Matter for "fail[ing] to register with the Board in a timely manner."

In April 2008, All Children Matter was leveled with a $5.2 million fine by the state of Ohio for illegally laundering $870,000 into the state. The GAB "fine" amounts to one-hundredth of one percent of the fine All Children Matter received in Ohio, despite allegations of similar wrong-doing in Wisconsin and the need for further investigation.

"The Government Accountability Board must do more to educate the people of Wisconsin on the extent of any investigation it conducts or decides not to pursue. In this case, we need to know at what stage of the investigation and for what reasons did the GAB decide not to pursue any further the allegations of corporate money laundering," said Ross. "The Government Accountability Board owes the people of Wisconsin an explanation for its apparent toothlessness."

The Government Accountability Board's action on the All Children Matter case was revealed in a memo distributed to the GAB from its legal counsel in advance of the GAB's recent October 5 meeting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oshkosh Common Council: Despite efforts of transparency, council couldn't see the forest for the trees

At its most recent meeting, four of the seven Oshkosh Common Council members voted to send back to the Plan Commission, a townhouse development project that had been rejected by the Plan Commission at its own meeting, but revised by the developer before the council meeting to address the objections of commission members and neighbors alike.

The majority of the council said because the plans had changed substantially it should go back to the Plan Commission for consideration, the main thought being to give neighbors time to comment on the revised plans. Within a week of the council remanding the project back to the Plan Commission, the developer - Kurt Koeppler - said he was pulling the plug on the project because, given the time of year, even a two-week delay would apparently not be conducive to a construction timetable. He also referenced a volatile economy in his explanation for the project being canceled.

Some, including mayor Paul Esslinger, have taken exception to Koeppler's reason, saying they can't imagine that two weeks would make that much of a difference. Evidently they think they know more about the development business than a well-respected, long-time developer himself. But whether two weeks would break the project or not is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Mr. Koeppler spent the days in between the Plan Commission meeting and the Common Council meeting revising his plans to address everyone's concerns. To say the neighbors needed still more time to review the revisions is taking transparency a little to the extreme. Here's why I believe that:

(1) Any concerned neighbor no doubt knew the plans had been revised as it was written about in the Oshkosh Northwestern. Granted, the article appeared in the paper the day of the council meeting, however, the neighbors also knew that if they were truly concerned about this project being approved they should be at the council meeting that evening, because the Plan Commission is advisory only and the Council always has the authority to approve something despite the commission's position.

(2) Mr. Koeppler made revisions to accommodate concerns by the neighbors and/or city. And according to the Oshkosh Northwestern, "Grove Street resident Tom Guenther Sr., who opposed the original plans, said Koeppler shared the revised plan with him and other neighbors. He said residents he's talked to are glad to see the changes and glad to hear something could happen on what now is a field of mud." So the neighbors apparently had already seen the revisions before the article appeared in the paper.

(3) Councilor Dennis McHugh, who sits on the Plan Commission and had been one of the commissioners who voted against the original plans, said he was now in favor of them, further adding that because people's concerns were addressed, he couldn't imagine the Plan Commission rejecting it a second time. He, along with councilors Burk Tower and Jessica King, voted against sending the plans back to the Plan Commission, but instead wanted them voted on at the council's Oct. 13 meeting.

Transparency is a good thing and had the developer not met with neighbors to show the revisions I might feel sending it back to the Plan Commission was the right way to go. But facts and circumstances being what they were, I believe the council's decision to have this reviewed again by the Plan Commission was micromanagement and overkill, especially since the commission doesn't have the final word on anything.

So what do we have now as a result of their action (or inaction, as the case may be)? We have a dirt-filled empty lot that neighbors don't like either, and $1 million less on the tax rolls. Nice job of watching out for the taxpayers, council. And you thought Jackson Kinney was the problem. Have we replaced one "problem" with another? It sure looks like it after this vote. Let's see what future ones bring.

Fox Cities P.A.C. Teams Up with Local Libraries to Give the Gift of Reading

APPLETON, WI (October 19, 2009) - The "Season's Reading: Give-a-Kid-a-Book" campaign is a longtime tradition in the Fox Cities. This year, participating organizations are collaborating to reach a wider audience to collect new children's books and donate them for holiday giving.

Donors will help to place the gift of a book in the homes of more than 1,000 Fox Cities families in need by giving a new, unwrapped book suitable for children through age twelve at the Appleton Public Library, the Neenah Public Library, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center during Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol on Tuesday, December 15 or at the Holiday Pops concert of the Fox Valley Symphony on Saturday, December 12. From the collection sites, the books will be given to The Salvation Army of the Fox Cities and the Boys & Girls Brigade of the Fox Valley and Boys & Girls Club Fox Valley for distribution through their Christmas Giving programs.

The goals of the initiative are to provide a gift that families can enjoy and appreciate together, to demonstrate the community's commitment to reading and to help children gain an appreciation of books and reading.

The Appleton Public Library kicks off its Give-a-Kid-a-Book collection on Monday, November 2. From then through December 12, people can bring new, donated books to the library or make a cash donation (made out to the Friends of Appleton Library – Give a Kid a Book). Spokesperson Michael Kenney says, "We are thrilled to extend our ability to get books in the hands of children in need through the additional collaboration with Neenah's wonderful library and especially making new connections with an even broader audience by virtue of book donations at holiday performances of the Fox Valley Symphony and Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Many kids will have a brighter holiday because of this expanded outreach effort!"

The Neenah Public Library's book campaign also runs from Monday, November 2 through Saturday, December 12. School groups, community organizations, individuals and families are invited to bring their new, unwrapped books to the library's youth department. Some school groups make an event of their participation, with students collecting money, going on a buying trip to a bookstore to select books they think other children will like, then bringing the books to the library and celebrating with a pizza lunch. "This has been a long tradition at the Neenah Library," says youth manager Patricia Hewitt-McNichols, "and we're so pleased to connect with the other groups to raise awareness about this fabulous program. It makes so much sense for us all to work together."

Patrons and school children attending the Fox Valley Symphony's Holiday Pops concert on Saturday, December 12 at Pickard Auditorium in Neenah will be encouraged to bring their new book donations to the event. Holiday story-telling, a time-honored tradition, sets the stage for the Symphony's musical presentation of award-winning Uncle Mugsy and the Terrible Twins of Christmas, the Nutcracker, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and other holiday stories. Dancers and solo voices from Neenah's Valley Academy of the Arts and Badger State Girl Choir will be featured in this theatrical concert that also includes actors and pages from storybooks projected over the stage. "As a performing arts organization we naturally reach thousands of people with our concert advertising. The opportunity to promote the book drive as part of our Holiday Pops concert means that awareness in the entire community will be raised and everyone benefits," said Marta Weldon, Executive Director of the Fox Valley Symphony. Tickets for the Holiday Pops concert are available by phone (920) 968-0300, ext. 23 or online at

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will collect books for Give-a-Kid-a-Book during its presentation of Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol on Tuesday, December 15. A holiday tradition in its own right, Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol captures the spirit of the season onstage. A drop box will be located inside the Center's ticket office beginning at 10:00 a.m. and inside the lobby prior to the performance. Doors open for the performance at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are available in person at the Center's ticket office, by phone at (920) 730-3760 or online at Maria Van Laanen, Vice President of Communications and External Relations at the Fox Cities P.A.C., notes, "This is the first time we've been involved in this holiday giving campaign, but it's consistent with the ways we want to reach out to be part of the community. I think many who attend Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol will be eager to share in the holiday spirit by donating to Give-a-Kid-a-Book."

# # #

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, located in downtown Appleton, provides a premier venue for live performing arts. The Center proudly serves as a gathering place for the community to engage in educational opportunities while enhancing a greater understanding and appreciation of the live performing arts. For more information on upcoming events, education programs and community involvement go to The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center – Where the Arts Come Alive!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Governor Doyle Pushes Reforms to Help Wisconsin Students Achieve Success

MADISON, MILWUAKEE, WAUSAU - Governor Jim Doyle today announced major improvements to reform Wisconsin ’s education system.

“ Wisconsin has much to be proud of in our public schools,” Governor Doyle said. “We have outstanding teachers and principals, good facilities, solid community and parental involvement, and most of all – great students. We have high levels of proficiency on our own test, and recently released results of the NAEP test show our students do well compared to those across the country. We now have the chance to make Wisconsin the state where every student, regardless of circumstance, is learning from an effective teacher and supported by effective leaders. This fall, we are going to take education in Wisconsin to a new level. We are going to take real action to help students achieve and make Wisconsin ’s approach the best there is.”

The Governor said that Wisconsin must seize this moment of opportunity to improve its already great school system and support teachers and students across the state.

Under Governor Doyle’s leadership, the state will move forward to:

· Change the testing system to move Wisconsin toward consistent, tough, internationally recognized standards comparing student successes to other students across the country and around the world and continue working on smart set of standards with other states.

· Develop new data systems to track student and teacher performance that:

o Create better way of getting data to teachers on effective programs to improve student’s ability to learn; and

o Develop and test teacher evaluations that rely on a well-rounded picture including student engagement, the ability to collaborate with other teachers and parents’ views of the classroom.

· Create a mayor-appointed superintendent in the Milwaukee Public School District to set a clear line of accountability.

· Allow districts to increase their spending if they meet specific guidelines to improve education.

· Raise standards by making a third year of math and a third year of science mandatory for high school graduation.

· Create Milwaukee Children Zones to coordinate a comprehensive set of services to support children and learning in Milwaukee .

· Provide financial incentives to teachers and principals that improve student learning within their school.

· Create efficient paths to teacher licensure for mid-career professionals, while ensuring individuals are prepared for the classroom.

· Extend the time of instruction through longer days and school years.

The steps outlined by Governor Doyle will also put Wisconsin in a stronger position to compete for federal Race to the Top Funding. The program will provide $5 billion to selected states that act to improve student performance, especially in the schools that need it most. Race to the Top will allow Wisconsin and other states that are competing for the funding to focus on one fundamental relationship that’s behind every success story in education: Getting an effective teacher in front of a student who is ready to learn.

Interagency Cooperation Leads to Recycling on State of Wisconsin Projects

MADISON – Wisconsin should see less construction and demolition (C&D) debris in its landfills come the first of the year. A unique partnership among two state agencies and a nonprofit organization has shown that construction and demolition projects throughout Wisconsin can successfully recycle. Based on these results, the Division of State Facilities will be requiring C&D waste to be recycled rather than put in landfills. This will apply to State of Wisconsin construction projects over $5 million and demolition projects advertised for bid after January 1, 2010. The efforts will reduce waste disposal costs, conserve landfill space and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The encouraging results come from a pilot project in which the nonprofit WasteCap Resource Solutions (formerly WasteCap Wisconsin ) worked with the Department of Administration Division of State Facilities (DSF) under a contract with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The goal of the project, which began in 2007, was to develop methods, standards and trained staff to result in successful, measured C&D debris recycling on state projects.

Nationally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates more than 170 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris are generated each year. In Wisconsin , C&D debris—much of which is recyclable—represents a huge proportion of the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream. A 2002 DNR study found that C&D debris made up nearly 30 percent of the MSW stream, with five of the top 10 largest single components of the MSW being materials found in C&D, including untreated wood and shingles as the first and third largest components, respectively.

In recent years, the state of Wisconsin annually approved about $400 million to $500 million for construction, which could lead to an estimated 30 million pounds of C&D debris generated each year from state projects alone.

“We recognized this was a significant effort, not only because of the potential to reuse and recycle C&D debris from state projects, but we knew if we could give contractors experience with C&D reuse and recycling and make it a part of the way they do business with the state, it would have the potential to allow them to implement successful C&D recycling on projects throughout Wisconsin and beyond, a result we’re already seeing realized,” said Jenna Kunde, executive director of WasteCap.

The inspiration for the project came from Gov. Jim Doyle’s 2005 Conserve Wisconsin Agenda in which he committed to following green building standards for state buildings, including setting a 50 percent recycling goal for all state projects. In response, the DSF developed a Sustainable Facilities Policy and Guidelines, including construction and demolition debris management guidelines. Every pilot project exceeded the state 50% recycling goal.

At the same time, the DNR contracted with WasteCap, a nonprofit organization that provides waste reduction and recycling assistance for the benefit of business and the environment, to work with the DSF on the implementation of C&D debris recycling on state projects.

“By any measure, this effort has been a success,” said Dave Haley, State Chief Architect and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Architecture and Engineering for the Department of Administration. “Every pilot project exceeded the 50% goal and many of the contractors that recycled on these projects are now recycling on other projects where they are not required to recycle. These projects have an average 84.8 percent recycling rate and have diverted 41,771 tons of material to date—the equivalent of removing 1,500 cars from the road for one year.”

Here are the results:

UW Madison Biochemistry Phase II (Demolition and Construction)
Division of State Facilities Project Manager: Russ VanGilder
Lead Contractor: JH Findorff & Son, Inc.
Recycling rate: 99.12%
Tons diverted to date: 25,592

UW Parkside New Residence Hall Construction
Division of State Facilities Project Manager: Bob Kilgust
Lead Contractor: JP Cullen
Recycling rate: 60%
Tons diverted: 334

UW Stevens Point – Balwin Hall Renovation
Division of State Facilities Project Manager: Larry Earll
Lead Contractor: Ellis Stone
Recycling rate: 90.65%
Tons diverted: 231

UW Superior-Rothwell Student Center Replacement (Demolition and Construction)
Division of State Facilities Project Manager: Angela Zar
Lead Contractor: Immel Construction
Recycling rate: 95.75%
Tons diverted to date: 1,339

UW Whitewater Hyland Hall, Demolition Phase
Division of State Facilities Project Manager: Rex Loker
Lead Contractor: Miron Construction
Demolition Contractor: Zenith Industrial Services
Recycling rate: 97.65%
Tons diverted: 13,694

UW Whitewater Hyland Hall, Construction Phase
Division of State Facilities Project Manager: Rex Loker
Lead Contractor: Miron Construction
Recycling rate: 65.65%
Tons diverted: 581

“I’ve led recycling efforts on a few of my sites now. The specifications and internal practices that we developed in this program were very important to making the recycling work well,” said DSF Project Manager Rex Loker. “I’m glad the state is leading the way in recycling.”

Tim Andrews of Miron Construction, one of the contractors involved in the pilot projects, said the experience has changed the way his company operates. “Miron is now recycling on its job sites. It’s just the right thing to do,” he said. ”It doesn’t seem to cost us more, and it’s not hard after you get used to it. We’ll have no problem complying with the state’s requirements.”

DSF staff and architects from around the state, informed by this on-the-ground experience, developed construction waste management specifications. The Division 1 Construction Waste Management Specification is now online for optional use on state of Wisconsin projects. As of January 1, 2010, DSF will require all projects exceeding $5 million, and all demolition projects, to use the specifications.

Other highlights of the project include:

· DSF staff around the state received both on-the-ground and in-office training on approved construction and demolition recycling methods, allowing them to work with architects and contractors in the future to ensure best management practices.

· A new online system under development, WasteCapTRACE, will simplify recycling reporting for contractors and allow DSF staff to easily view and report individual project diversion rates, and to aggregate those results for all state projects. This system will be used on those projects that are required to recycle and will be available for any other State of Wisconsin project that chooses to use it for ease of reporting.

“We are very pleased with the example this project has set,” said Suzanne Bangert, the DNR Air and Waste Division’s deputy administrator. “The work the DSF and WasteCap have done, with input from DNR staff, has laid the groundwork for the development of robust C&D recycling markets in Wisconsin and trained some of the state’s biggest contractors in recycling best management practices. This project has helped make Wisconsin a national leader in C&D recycling.”

“I’m proud to have been a part of this effort of inter-agency cooperation and leadership,” said Kunde. “The governor provided the vision. The DNR provided the funding and their support. The DOA DSF provided the commitment and the time to make these efforts happen. They all provided leadership – producing a change in how construction and demolition debris will be handled in Wisconsin . It’s significant, and I’m so pleased for both what is being done and the way it was done.”


Division 1 Construction Waste Management specifications:

Support D.A.R.E.

Hello all,

On November 3rd the Oshkosh Police Department and Winnebago County Sheriffs Department D.A.R.E officers will be at Culver’s. Culver’s will be donating 10% of the profits that night to the D.A.R.E. programs. This would be a great opportunity for you and your children to meet the local D.A.R.E. officers.

Brent Buehler
Sergeant of Patrol
Oshkosh Police Dept.
Office 236-5700 Cell 379-3557