Thursday, June 30, 2011

Six Ways to Keep Your July Celebration Injury-Free

I received this from our local police department and thought it might be nice to pass along...

1. Prepare for Sun and Heat
Here's hoping the sun shines on your festivities. But if it does get hot, be prepared.
  • Demonstrate and encourage sun safety. Remind guests to cover up to prevent sunburn and to bring sunscreen. Have extra sunscreen on hand to share with your guests.
  • Have lots of water available to help prevent dehydration, which can lead to heat illness.
  • Watch guests for signs of heat illness, including cramps, exhaustion, nausea, dizziness, pale and clammy skin, quick pulse and low blood pressure.
Mild cases of heat illness can be treated by moving the person to a cool area and supplying water to drink. However, heat stroke - when perspiration stops and the body temperature rises - is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical help.
2. Plan for Biters and Stingers
Mosquitoes, wasps and hornets are regular party crashers. Of course, the best way to prevent a sting or a bite is to avoid the insects. For example:
  • Wear insect repellent and re-apply frequently when sweating.
  • Avoid bright, flowery print clothing. Instead, wear light-colored fabrics.
  • Don't use scented toiletries- they attract bugs.
  • Keep food covered, especially fruit and soft drinks.
  • Don't swat at stinging insects or wave your arms about. Let the insects fly away on their own.
If someone does get stung, to remove a visible stinger, scrape it off sideways with a credit card or fingernail. Never try to pinch it out; this can inject more venom.
For mild reactions, apply ice or baking soda to the sting and take an antihistamine. If hives spread quickly or if there's difficulty breathing, get to an emergency room immediately. Most deaths from severe reactions occur within 30 minutes.
3. Designate Safe Drivers
When you organize a party, you need to consider how everyone will get home safely. Here are some ideas:
  • Arrange designated drivers before the party starts.
  • Serve other beverages besides alcohol.
  • Serve high protein food such as cheese snacks.
  • Plan party activities that do not center around drinking.
  • Close the bar an hour before the party ends and serve non-alcoholic beverages and snacks.
  • Prevent intoxicated guests from driving.
4. Keep Foodborne Illnesses Off the Menu
Food safety is serious business. To prevent foodborne illness:
  • Food, utensils and surfaces must be kept clean and protected from contact with disease-carrying insects such as flies.
  • Serve hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Keep meat hot on the barbecue until it is served, and cold items such as salads refrigerated. Use convenient freezer packs to transport perishable foods in coolers to picnic spots.
  • Cook meat thoroughly and use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature. (Hamburger can look brown inside before it's been safely cooked.) It's unsafe to serve chicken pieces that haven't reached at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius). Burgers and pork must be heated to at least 160 degrees F (71 C) and steaks, roasts and chops should reach a minimum of 145 degrees F (63 C). Partially pre-cooking meat in your microwave is fine, as long as you don't let it sit around before it's barbecued.
5. Be Water Wise
Children, summer and water are a trio made to be together. But this trio can also be a deadly combination. If there's a body of water (pool, lake, ocean, river, etc.) near your celebrations that children will be playing in, then you must:
  • Establish and enforce water safety rules.
  • Make sure a responsible adult is present when children are in or near the water.
  • Have reaching and throwing water safety aids handy.
  • Have a first aid kit handy.
6. Handle Fireworks Safely
Fireworks are safer than they used to be, but every year serious injuries do still occur. If fireworks are part of your celebration plans, follow these guidelines:
  • Read and follow directions carefully.
  • Only ignite fireworks outdoors in a well-cleared area.
  • Have a responsible adult supervising all fireworks activity.
  • Light fireworks one item at a time.
  • Have a bucket of water available to douse used fireworks.
Does this all sound like a lot of work? It isn't. As a good host, you put a lot of thought and planning into creating a festive setting for your family and friends. It's just a few more steps to create a safe environment, too.

Source: Catherine Jones,


Come celebrate the 1-Year Anniversary of Wisconsin’s Smoke-Free Air Law

CELEBRATION EVENT 1-Year Anniversary of Wisconsin’s Smoke-Free Air Law
Local Coalition and Supporters Celebrate with Free Family-Friendly Event

WHEN: Tuesday, July 5, 2011
WHERE: Kunkel’s Korner, 310 Ellis St., Kewaunee
Hours of Operation are 6am-7pm
AND Sabre Lanes, 1330 Midway Rd., Menasha
Event is from 4pm-7pm
Kunkel’s Korner is serving free coffee and soda all day to customers. Door prize drawings will take place throughout the day. Employees will be wearing t-shirts and customers will receive celebration buttons.
Sabre Lanes is offering free soda and shoe rentals with $1/game bowling. Free appetizers and pizza will also be available. Door prize drawings will take place near the end of the event.
re:TH!NK is hosting two smoke-free air 1-year anniversary events on July 5 to show support and appreciation for smoke-free businesses and celebrate one year of workers not having to suffer the health effects of secondhand smoke.

WHO: Short presentations by re:TH!NK coalition coordinators, Jason Laurin and Emily Dieringer, will take place at each event. Members of the coalition and business owners will also be available for comment.
VISUALS: People eating and bowling in a smoke-free atmosphere. Kids and families are invited.
CONTACT: Emily Dieringer, re:TH!NK, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network (920) 420-4972

The m ission of re:TH!NK, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network, is to improve the health of our residents by reducing tobacco use and exposure through prevention strategies which include community outreach and involvement to move policy forward collaboratively, across our multi-jurisdictional area of Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Winnebago counties with assistance from the Winnebago County Health Department and the Northeast WI Area Health Education Center.

112 Otter Ave
www. | rethink@co.winnebago.wi .us
| PO Box 2808 | Oshkosh, WI 54903-2808 | 920.232.3000

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No OTS Bus Service on July 4th

(Oshkosh, WI.) The Oshkosh Transit System’s bus service will not be operating on Monday, July 4, 2011 because of the city’s observance of the Independence Day holiday. Oshkosh Transit’s office at 926 Dempsey Trail will also be closed on July 4th.

Regular operations will resume on July 5th.
For more information on the Oshkosh Transit System please visit, or call (920) 232-5340.


No Garbage or Recycling Collection on July 4th

(Oshkosh, WI.) The city of Oshkosh Sanitation Division would like to remind residents that because of the city’s observance of the Independence Day holiday there will be no garbage or recycling collection on Monday, July 4, 2011.

Collections for the remainder of the week will be one day late. Garbage and recycling collection scheduled for Friday, July 8th moves to Saturday, July 9th.

Additionally, the city’s yard waste drop-off center located on Idaho Street (off Witzel Avenue) will be closed on Monday, July 4th. The July brush collection week will start on July 11th, 2011 because of the holiday.

If you would like more information please contact the Sanitation Division at (920) 232-5383.


Monday, June 27, 2011

As Walker signs Hopper’s radical, job-killing budget local residents protest to say “Enough!”

As Walker signs Hopper’s radical, job-killing budget local residents protest to say “Enough!”
Local 18th Senate District community members stand united against Hopper’s extreme state budget

OSHKOSH – With the stroke of his pen, Gov. Scott Walker yesterday signed into law an extreme, job-killing budget that was co-authored by Joint Finance Committee member Sen. Randy Hopper. Today, the community of the 18th Senate District stood together to protest the terrible decisions and attacks on working families that are in their budget.

“Randy Hopper was able to heavily influence the final budget that Walker signed yesterday. In the end, he turned his back on the families of his district,” said Mike McDowell of Fond du Lac. “He helped Scott Walker write a budget that is out of touch with Wisconsin values. It cripples public education, raises taxes on hard-working families while cutting taxes for wealthy investors like Randy Hopper and out-of-state corporate interests.”

Despite thousands of phone calls, emails and letters calling for a more humane and fair budget, Walker and Hopper ultimately decided to ignore their constituents and instead move forward on a budget that makes historic cuts to all levels of public education, limits access to affordable healthcare and raises taxes nearly $70 million on seniors and working families. At the same time, the budget includes hundreds of millions in giveaways to the super-rich and out-of-state corporations.

“Unemployment is rising in Wisconsin and the bad choices Walker and Hopper made in this budget are only going to make it worse, despite Hopper’s empty cheerleading and outright lies about taxes,” said Steve Lord, a resident of Oshkosh. “Instead of job-creating policies that put people back to work, Hopper pushed an agenda that gives tax breaks to wealthy investors like himself and attacks the middle class working families he should be defending.” 

With unemployment rising across Wisconsin last month, rising to 7.1 in Fond du Lac and 6.7 in Oshkosh, the economy will likely continue to get worse now that the job-killing policies in the budget have become law and go into effect. Cuts to public education, especially to technical colleges, tax hikes on working families and the dramatic rollback of healthcare access for low income families will only continue to hurt the economy, hurting therecovery for middle-class families across the state for years.

Basic services such as public safety, recycling and road maintenance that families expect and count on will be facing cuts due to this budget. For example, the City of Oshkosh alone is forced to fill a $803,949 deficit because of Randy Hopper’s budget. With the last two years of cuts the city has already made, these latest rounds of cuts will likely require cuts to direct services.

Lowlights from Randy Hopper’s radical budget for Wisconsin

Raises taxes on the working poor while giving millions away to the super-rich;
  • Changes the state’s combined reporting law, which will allow corporations to write off losses before 2009, a tax break of $46.4 million
  • Gives a break in capital gains taxes for businesses, giving away $36.3 million
  • Changes the Earned Income Tax Credit, resulting in a tax increase on working families of $43.5 million
  • Changes the Homestead Tax Credit, costing low-income Wisconsin families $13 million

Slashes funding for public education programs by more than $1 billion;
  • Slashes funding for public education by $800 million, while increasing funds for private schools by $35 million
  • Strips school districts of $1.6 billion in revenue, forcing layoffs and major reductions in class offerings
  • Reduces state aid to the UW system by $250 million, freezing and eliminating scholarship programs; cuts state funding for Wisconsin technical colleges by 30%, harming Wisconsinites seeking job training

Cuts more than $500 million in critical healthcare programs, depriving thousands of care;
  • Cuts $500 million from Medicaid programs, depriving up to 70,000 people of needed coverage, while removing policy changes from any democratic oversight
  • Caps enrollment in Family Care, harming those most in need, making it harder for seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their homes
  • Strips $1 million/year in state funding for women’s healthcare centers statewide, slashing preventative care
# # #
Paid for by We Are Wisconsin PAC, Phil Neuenfeldt, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s agent or committee.

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Repair Work on Jackson-Murdock Roundabout Moved to June 28th

(Oshkosh, WI.) The scheduled curb repair work on the Jackson Street/Murdock Avenue roundabout scheduled for Monday, June 27, 2011 has been moved to Tuesday, June 28, 2011 due to the threat of thunderstorms today. The repair work will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Access to the Jackson/Murdock roundabout will be limited to one lane on all four approaches and within the roundabout while workers perform the scheduled repairs. Drivers are advised to use caution when traveling in the area.

If you would like more information, please contact the Streets Division of the Department of Public Works at (920) 232-5382.


US 41 Project lane closures for June 26 – July 1

For more information contact:

Kris Schuller, US 41 Project communication manager (920) 492-4109

US 41 Project lane closures for June 26 – July 1

Traffic restrictions in Brown and Winnebago counties

(Green Bay) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region in Green Bay is announcing US 41 lane restrictions for June 26 through July 1 in Brown and Winnebago counties. Traffic impacts in Brown County involve lane closures near Scheuring Road, WIS 172, Lombardi Avenue and WIS 29. Drivers in Winnebago County are reminded of 11-foot wide lanes and reduced speed limits on US 41 between WIS 26 and Breezewood Lane.

Winnebago County

WIS 26 – WIS 21

Monday, June 27:

Right lane of southbound WIS 26, between the north and southbound US 41 on-and off-ramps, closed starting Monday through July 22

Sunday, June, 26 – Thursday June 30:

Left lane of southbound US 41, between WIS 26 and County Z, closed Sunday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., for work on the temporary concrete barrier wall.

Various lanes of northbound US 41, between County Z and WIS 21, closed Sunday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., to switch northbound US 41 traffic to the newly constructed northbound lanes and to set temporary concrete barrier.

US 45 – Breezewood Lane

Tuesday, June 28 and Wednesday, June 29:

Left-turn lane of southbound WIS 76, between the north and southbound US 41 ramps, closed Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. , for work on the US 41 bridges over WIS 76.

Tuesday, June 28 – Thursday, June 30:

Various lanes of southbound US 41 off-ramp at WIS 76 and various lanes of southbound WIS 76,
from Indian Point Road to Green Valley Road, closed Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to allow work on the US 41 bridges over WIS 76

Brown County

Scheuring Road

Monday, June 27 – Thursday, June 30:

Various lanes of north and southbound US 41 at Scheuring Road closed Monday through Thursday, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., for construction of the new Scheuring Road interchange.

Various lanes of north and southbound US 41, from one mile south of Scheuring Road to Scheuring Road, closed Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., for construction of temporary shoulders.

WIS 172

Monday, June 27 – Thursday, June 30:

Left lane of westbound WIS 172 , from US 41 to Babcock Road, closed Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., for access to the median.

Left lane of eastbound WIS 172, from Babcock Road to US 41, closed continuously Monday through Thursday for access to the median.

Lombardi Avenue

Monday, June 27 – Thursday, June 30:

Various lanes of north and southbound US 41, between Lombardi Avenue and Mason Street, closed Monday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., for construction of temporary shoulders.

WIS 29

Monday, June 27 – Thursday, June 30:

Various lane closures on east and westbound WIS 29, between Packerland Drive and County FF, to allow work in the median. The restrictions are in place Monday through Thursday, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Wednesday, June 29:

Various lanes of eastbound WIS 29, between Packerland Drive and Taylor Street, closed Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., to allow work in the median.

Various lanes of the north and southbound US 41 off-ramps at WIS 29 closed Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

All lane restrictions are weather dependent and subject to change.

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Budget Amendment Puts Small School Districts at Great Risk

Budget Amendment Puts Small School Districts at Great Risk

By Kathryne McGowan

In politics, lawmakers are often warned to heed the “law of unintended consequences.” Laws adopted without sufficient deliberation and public input often create unforeseen problems, wreak economic havoc, cause political turmoil, and even hurt people that they are meant to protect.

A little-known amendment inserted into the budget bill now on Governor Scott Walker’s desk does exactly that. This amendment, which its supporters cynically call the “WEA Trust Amendment,” was rushed into the budget bill on the last night of deliberations and targets our private, not-for-profit company, the WEA Trust.

The amendment undermines a successful business model while taking yet another slap at Wisconsin’s smaller school districts. As if they didn’t have enough to deal with already.

The WEA Trust was created by public school employees specifically to provide health insurance for school districts. Alone, many of these districts were too small to negotiate effectively with large, national carriers for quality insurance at affordable rates—precisely the problem small businesses and farmers face today.

To stabilize rates and manage volatile risk for small districts, the WEA Trust “pools” more than 200 school districts together and insures them as a group—thus giving them enough healthy members to cover those who get sick or hurt. Schools can choose to be part of the pool or be individually rated. But this pool won’t work if each school can look at their claims experience and then decide whether to stay or leave. That is because employers with better than average experience will leave the pool and the rates for everyone else will have to rise to the new higher average. This is known as the death spiral. Each successive round of adjusting rates simply encourages the best of the remaining risk to exit. Voluntary pools like this simply don’t work—in Wisconsin or anywhere.

The budget bill on Governor Walker’s desk essentially ends the practice of “pooling.” The WEA Trust will be forced to adapt to survive. There will be winners and losers.

What happens when a school district with 100 employees suddenly sees two of them fall chronically ill? We’ve run some numbers to show their rates could as much as double in one year—regardless of who insures them.

We urge Governor Walker to veto the amendment. But it’s not just an appeal on behalf of our Wisconsin-based company. It’s an appeal to preserve a market-based insurance solution—a solution that has successfully served small school districts and their employees for 40 years.

Participation in our pool is voluntary. This law effectively takes this option off the table. The model might even serve Republicans looking for a market-based model for other small, private sector groups.

The question, of course, is why is this amendment that has no public debate or scrutiny necessary? School districts and their employees have already contributed additionally to their insurance and retirement. And now, at no fault of their own, they may potentially see yet another hit in their already strapped budgets.

There will be more school districts that suffer from this amendment than the politicians expect. The consequences of this amendment are real. This is bad business. And it should be vetoed.

Kathryne McGowan is the Vice President for Marketing and Product Development for the WEA Trust.

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Work starting Monday on US 45 in Winnebago County

For more information, contact:

Kim Rudat, Regional Communications Manager, (920) 492-5743

Work starting Monday on US 45 in Winnebago County
Final stretch of road being converted to freeway

(Green Bay) As part of his efforts to create jobs and make sure Wisconsin is open for business, Governor Scott Walker recently signed a $15.5 million contract converting 4.6 miles of US 45 from County G to County II in Winnebago County to a freeway. Work is starting Monday, June 27 and expected to be finished in fall 2012.

The general contractor for the project is Hoffman Construction Company, Black River Falls.

WisDOT northeast region director Will Dorsey said, “This project is the last stage converting US 45 to a full freeway between US 41 and US 10. It provides a safer environment for motorists while improving mobility along the entire US 45 corridor.”

The project includes constructing frontage roads along the highway. Three at-grade intersections are also being removed and replaced with bridges crossing over US 45 and connecting local roads.

The three intersections are Breezewood Road/Woodland Road, Lakeview Road/Oakridge Road, and Grandview Road. Breezewood/Woodland and Grandview will be closed in early July of this year while Lakeview/Oakridge will be closed in early 2012.

US 45 will remain open during the project, though there are some traffic impacts.

· Single lane closures will be allowed on weekdays between the hours of 6 a.m. Monday and noon Friday
· Full lane closures for up to 20 minutes due to rock blasting or the setting of bridge girders will be allowed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 9 a.m. and noon on Fridays
· Please note all lanes will be open weekends from noon Fridays to 6 a.m. Mondays and during holidays.

Motorists are reminded to use caution and stay alert when driving through this or any work zone.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Help needed with Oshkosh’s Day by Day Warming Shelter

In Oshkosh, there is a definite population in with no sheltering options – nowhere to go. Day by Day, a new nonprofit, has been established to create a warming shelter which will serve this vulnerable population at night during the winter. Donations have been received so far from several faith communities and from J. J. Keller. But in order to have enough funds to start-up and operate every night for 26 winter weeks, broad community support will be necessary. Appleton, Green Bay and Fond du Lac all have successful warming shelters to keep those in need safe and warm in the winter. Please help us to create one in Oshkosh. Please consider a donation of $10, $20 or the $36 needed to provide one night of shelter for one individual. Your donation will make a very big difference. Visit for more information and to donate. Thank you for your consideration.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roundabouts still confusing you? Questions answered June 29 in Oshkosh

Roundabouts still confusing you? Questions answered June 29 in Oshkosh

Traffic experts ready to make you a roundabout expert

(Green Bay) A meeting to provide motorists with all the information they need to navigate roundabouts is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Oshkosh North High School Auditorium and Commons. Anyone is welcome to attend the free event.

The seminar is all about roundabouts: what they are, why they are being built as part of the US 41 expansion project and what motorists need to know about driving through them. It will be an “Open House” style meeting, so anyone can drop in at any time. Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) staff will give multiple 15-minute presentations during the evening and be available to answer questions.

Oshkosh North High School is located at 1100 W. Smith Street, Oshkosh. Please use the front entrance to the school.

A number of roundabouts have already opened in Winnebago County as part of the US 41 Project. In July, four roundabouts will open to traffic at the 9th Avenue interchange in Oshkosh. While they are easy to navigate, there is a learning curve for motorists who are new to them. This meeting is part of an overall outreach campaign by WisDOT to educate motorists about roundabouts.

For more information about the US 41 Project and the roundabouts that will be part of it go to and click on “Overview” then “Special Project Features.”

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Randy Hopper's budget spin lies about tax increases on Wisconsin working families


Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Viet Shelton (920) 204-6746

Hopper issues public statement on budget claiming it has "no tax increases" despite the nearly $70 million in hikes for seniors and working families

OSHKOSH ­ - With only the formality of Gov. Scott Walker's pen signing the extreme, job-killing state budget into law remaining, Sen. Randy Hopper is busy misleading voters about the true cost of his budget¹s attacks on Wisconsin's working families ­ including tax increases for seniors and the working poor.

Since the Senate rammed thru the radical Republican budget, Sen. Hopper continues to openly boast that his budget had "no tax increases."

Hopper's claim is blatantly false. The budget Hopper helped author as a member of the Joint Finance Committee raises taxes by nearly $70 million on seniors and working families, while offering massive tax giveaways to corporations and super rich like himself. By slashing the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Homestead Credit, which many Wisconsin seniors rely, Hopper's budget raises taxes on these individuals and families.

These tax hikes are confirmed by both the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau and independent fact-checking body PolitiFact.

This is despite Hopper's blatantly false claims to the contrary. Randy Hopper's state budget contains multi-million dollar tax increases on seniors and working families. It is fact.

"By every objective measure, Randy Hopper's budget raises taxes on seniors and working families by nearly $70 million, while offering massive tax giveaways to out-of-state corporations and wealthy investors like himself," said Mike McDowell, a teacher from Fond du Lac. "No matter how many times Randy Hopper repeats his blatant falsehoods on the budget, no amount of rhetoric can erase the terrible choices he made to gut public education while raising taxes on seniors and working families in his district."

Paid for by We Are Wisconsin PAC, Phil Neuenfeldt, Treasurer. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's agent or committee.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Washburn/9th Avenue Intersection Closure Thursday Night, 6/23

Hello All:

It is the first day of summer already, which is hard to believe. We are getting closer to completing the work at 9th Avenue, which I am sure everyone is anxiously awaiting.

Traffic is scheduled to be switched at the Washburn/9th Avenue intersection early tomorrow morning to stage 5. The traffic pattern at this time will begin to look like roundabout traffic. A similar switch will occur next week at the Koeller/9th Avenue intersection. I am sure that many of you have driven the roundabouts on Witzel; the setup will be similar when construction is complete here at 9th Avenue. If you would like to know more about roundabouts in general, there is a public informational meeting that will allow you to learn more about roundabouts and the growing utilization of them in this area on Wednesday, June 29th.
As some of you may have seen, there have been message boards out since last Friday indicating that there will be an intersection closure at Washburn and 9th on Thursday night, from 8pm until 6am Friday morning. This closure at night will allow some critical pieces of concrete to be placed so that the intersection can be open during the day, and so work may resume on Friday. Local traffic will be allowed to access the businesses during this time, however through traffic will not be allowed.

Sorry for the inconvenience of the intersection closure; however, please bear in mind that this night time closure is helping to expedite construction at this location. There will likely be a similar night time closure at the Koeller/9th Avenue intersection next week; watch for message boards to indicate exactly when that is going to occur, and I will send another email update when that time frame is determined.

In the mean time, keep your fingers crossed for good weather, keep watering the new grass seed, (if required), and drive safe!


Heath Hagner, P.E.
Construction Services Manager NE/NC Regions
Project Leader USH 41 Corridor Projects 1120-10-72/73/79
DAAR Engineering, Inc.
2905 Universal Street, Room 38
Oshkosh, WI 54904
Winnebago Field Office: 920-303-5485
Cell: 262-224-0365
Fax: 608-566-1371

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hopper supports radical, job-killing budget in Madison


Contact: Viet Shelton (920) 204-6746

Randy Hopper supports radical, job-killing budget in Madison

Hopper and his allies ram through a budget that decimates public education in Wisconsin, attacks middle class families

OSHKOSH ­ Despite thousands of letters, emails, phone calls and protests throughout the 18th district by working families demanding a moral and responsible budget that moves Wisconsin forward, Randy Hopper left the district for Madison and ignored them all. Late last night, Hopper cast his lot with powerful corporate special interests when he helped pass an extreme, job-killing budget that will devastate Wisconsin's economy and our working families.

In a rushed ³extraordinary session² of the legislature, Hopper and the Republicans rammed through their budget, which includes hundreds of millions in giveaways to out-of-state corporate interests while making debilitating cuts of more than $1 billion to public education, $500 million in cuts to healthcare programs and raises taxes on seniors and working families by $70 million.

Randy Hopper went down to Madison and hung the middle class working families of this district out to dry,² said Dan O'Donnell, a carpenter from Oshkosh. "By authoring and passing an extreme budget that decimates public education, healthcare, and funding for police and firefighters ­while raising taxes on seniors and cutting taxes for himself ­ Randy Hopper has proven he's no longer fit to represent this district and our interests."

As a member of the powerful Joint Finance Committee, Hopper was instrumental in crafting the budget that was passed last night. Whether it was raising taxes on seniors and the working poor, slashing public education funding, or raising tuition in the UW system while decreasing financial aid, make no mistake ­ Randy Hopper was a major player in every aspect of this despicable budget.

"Wisconsin needs to create more jobs and invest in the educational infrastructure to allow our citizens to compete in the 21st century economy," said Hedy Eischeid, a teacher from Fond du Lac. "By gutting public education ­ from K-thru-12 to technical colleges and universities ­ Randy Hopper has demonstrated his loyalties lie with out-of-state corporations and wealthy investors like himself and against the values of the citizens of his district."

Lowlights from Randy Hopper's radical budget for Wisconsin Raises taxes on the working poor while giving millions away to the super-rich;

· Changes the state¹s combined reporting law, which will allow corporations to write off losses before 2009, a tax break of $46.4 million;
· Gives a break in capital gains taxes for businesses, giving away $36.3 million;
· Changes the Earned Income Tax Credit, resulting in a tax increase on working families of $43.5 million;
· Changes the Homestead Tax Credit, costing low-income Wisconsin families $13 million
· Slashes funding for public education programs by more than $1 billion;
· Slashes funding for public education by $800 million, while increasing funds for private schools by $35 million;
· Strips school districts of $1.6 billion in revenue, forcing layoffs and major reductions in class offerings
· Reduces state aid to the UW system by $250 million, freezing and eliminating scholarship programs; cuts state funding for Wisconsin technical colleges by 30%, harming Wisconsinites seeking job training;
· Cuts more than $500 million in critical healthcare programs, depriving thousands of care;
· Cuts $500 million from Medicaid programs, depriving up to 70,000 people of needed coverage, while removing policy changes from any democratic oversight;
· Caps enrollment in Family Care, harming those most in need, making it harder for seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their homes;
· Strips $1 million/year in state funding for women's healthcare centers statewide, slashing preventative care.

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Paid for by We Are Wisconsin PAC, Phil Neuenfeldt, Treasurer. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's agent or committee.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer reading fun for children, teens, adults at Oshkosh Public Library

Visit a place this summer where tales of all kinds pave the road to treasure. Where brave warriors engage in epic battles for Guitar Hero supremacy. Where young artists can experiment with metal tooling or the ancient tradition of henna art and where even the dogs appreciate a good story.

Explore, experience and enjoy the world through books, activities and special events during the Oshkosh Public Library’s 2011 summer reading program. Children, teens and adults can sign up for summer reading starting Monday, June 6. The program runs through Aug. 12.

Readers of all ages can earn prizes for reading – restaurant coupons, books and Timber Rattler prizes for children; music CDs, DVDs and gift cards for teens; books and other reading-related treasures for adults. Each program has its own theme and activities:

One World, Many Stories (Pre-K to age 12)

The library presents Walk-In and Read, a special summer reading kick-off event for children on June 13. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., children can sign up for the summer reading program and read their first 20 minutes at the library to receive a free pass for Pollock Community Water Park (while supplies last).

The library offers opportunities throughout the summer to explore the world, through hands-on activities and weekly family programs featuring music, magic, storytelling and puppets. Children can boost their reading skills through the Read to a Dog program. Summer readers also are rewarded with a juggling show at the Grand Opera House and a special concert at the Paine Art Center and Gardens. Details and registration information is available at the Children’s Desk or at

Families are the focus of a special new activity at the library this summer – the One World, Our Story community collage project. Participants can pick up a kit at the Children’s Desk and create a collage that tells their family’s story. Collages will be displayed in the library’s lower level throughout the summer.

You Are Here (grades 6-12)

This program gets high marks for teen appeal. Join the Teen Book Club - the first ten members at the meetings get a free copy of the following month’s book. Special Saturday events are all about games – from Xbox to board games and water games. Teen Tuesday nights feature Henna art and Wii games and Movie Madness celebrates super heroes and fairy tales, with teens voting for the movie they want to watch.

Novel Destinations (adults)

Read best sellers, the classics, graphic novels, histories, travel guides – even magazines and newspapers count. Summer is a great time to check out the library’s collection of downloadable e-books and audio books at Write a quick book review for additional chances to win summer reading prizes.

OPL is again working with Oshkosh Transit System to offer free city bus rides for kids to the library when they show their library card. Visit the customer service desk on first floor or the lower level to pick up a ticket for a free ride home. Buses leave downtown from 6:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. For more information call the Oshkosh Transit System at 232-5340 or visit

Having trouble keeping track of all of the programs, events and activities happening at the library this summer? Join OPL on Facebook and follow the library on Twitter.

The library will be closed from Saturday, Aug. 13 to Sunday, Aug. 21 for a carpeting project. During that time, the public can continue to return materials to the drive-up drop boxes on Mount Vernon Street. No materials will be due during the week of the closure.

For more information about library programs and services visit or call the 236-5200.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling Affront to Democracy, Sets Dangerous Precedent

CONTACT: Karen Hickey, 414-573-7579

Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling Affront to Democracy, Sets Dangerous Precedent

Earlier today the Wisconsin State Supreme Court overturned a permanent injunction issued by Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi earlier this month, effectively stripping workers of their collective bargaining rights. In the wake of the ruling, Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO issued the following statement:

"The inability of the Wisconsin Supreme Court to separate partisan politics from the well-being of Wisconsinites is the latest indication that citizens do not have a voice in this state. And the only way for Wisconsinites to repair that voice is to take back the Senate this summer, stop Walker's unbridled assault on working people and take back the statehouse in 2012.

"Let's be clear: This ruling will not silence the voices of millions of Wisconsinites who are appalled by Walker's extreme choices, his addiction to corporate interests and his insistence on putting the wealthy ahead of the working. In their attempt to steamroll education, healthcare, and funding for seniors programs, Republicans have alienated countless Wisconsin families. Now, more than ever, Wisconsinites across the state are committed to holding Republicans accountable for their bad choices.

"This ruling is an affront to our democracy. Green-lighting the sort of shady, backroom tactics that Governor Walker used to ram his extreme budget through the legislature sets a dangerous precedent for the future of our state. Democracy is the system by which all people, not just corporation and the wealthy, have a seat at the table - but this ruling is just one more indication that Wisconsin Republicans do not believe in a functioning, sound democracy inclusive of checks and balances."


The general election in the recall races will be Aug. 9

[the following is from the Winnebago County Labor Council...]

State Sens. Randy Hopper and four other Senate Republicans will have an extra month to prepare to defend their seats against recall challenges.

Rather than facing the recall election on July 12, Democrats hoping to unseat the Republicans because of their support of a controversial law limiting collective bargaining by government employees will all face primary election challenges on that day.

The general election in the recall races will be Aug. 9.

Three people registered by Tuesday's filing deadline to run as Democrats in the recall election of Hopper, R-Fond du Lac, forcing a July 12 primary election. Hopper represents the 18th Senate District, which includes Oshkosh, portions of rural Winnebago County, and most of Fond du Lac County.

The candidates are Jessica King of Oshkosh, who is endorsed by the Democratic Party; John Buckstaff of the Town of Vinland, who was recruited by the state Republican Party to run as a Democrat; and John Michael Curry of Waupun, who withdrew from the race, according to his website. King narrowly lost to Hopper in the 2008 election.

Candidates needed to turn in 400 signatures to earn a place on the ballot. The state Government Accountability Board had not validated the signatures on the papers of all of the candidates late Tuesday.

The Wisconsin Republican Party actively encouraged Republicans to run as Democrats to force Democrats into primary elections.

Democrats are decrying the move as a dishonest manipulation of the election system. But Republican backers say this is a way for them to give the incumbents more time to prepare for the election.

The Democratic Party says it doesn't want to let Republicans decide whether there is a primary or not, so they are going to have multiple Democratic candidates to ensure there is a primary in each race.

A Republican "protest candidate" also filed to run as a Democrat in the 14th Senate District, where Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, is being challenged by Rep. Fred Clark, a Democrat from Baraboo. Rol Church of Wautoma, who was recruited by the Republican Party, has filed papers to run against Clark as a Democrat. A third candidate, Robert Forseth of Waupaca also filed papers to run as a Democrat.

Primary elections will also be held prior to the recall elections of Sens. Robert Cowles of Allouez, Alberta Darling of River Hills, Sheila Hardsdorf of River Falls and Dan Kapanke of La Crosse.

Three Democrats, Sens. Jim Holperin of Conover, Robert Wirch of Pleasant Prairie and Dave Hansen of Green Bay, face recall elections on July 19. Recall petitions were circulated against those senators after they joined their colleagues in leaving the state to delay a vote on the collective bargaining measure.


Declaration of Independence to be read on courthouse steps

In keeping with a tradition started last year, the Winnebago County Sheriff, John Matz, will be reading the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the Winnebago County Courthouse this Fourth of July, Independence Day. I wish to thank my co-host Dan Rylance for not only working diligently to get the tradition started, but to keep it going. We also want to thank County Board Supervisor Bill Wingren for his sponsoring the resolution (see attached) to make this reading possible, and our new sheriff, John Matz, for agreeing to do the honors.

If you have a chance on the morning of July 4, why not stop by the courthouse and listen to this important document being read aloud. It may give you a new perspective on what it means, and what it affords for us as citizens.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

For Immediate Release
June 15, 2011
Contact: Cody Oliphant
Phone: 608-204-0677
Oshkosh Tax Avoider Hosts Fundraiser for Tax Avoider Randy Hopper

Hopper Paid State Income Tax Once in 10 Years

Madison -- State Sen. Randy Hopper, who paid state net income tax but once over a 10-year period, is having a big money fundraiser this evening hosted by a developer who was sued by the City of Oshkosh for non-payment of $328,000 in property taxes owed. Hopper is being feted by Oshkosh developer Ben Ganther, who in 2007 settled with the city for half of the tax bill he owed after refusing to pay property taxes for a development project that included $2.2 million in taxpayer-funded public dollars.

“Birds of a feather really do avoid taxes together,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Randy Hopper doesn’t think corporations and rich people like himself should have to play by the same rules as middle class taxpayers and it’s going to cost us $2.3 billion over the next 10 years.”

Hopper was a chief architect of the state budget, currently before the legislature, that guts public education by $1.6 billion, slashes the University of Wisconsin System by $250 million, cuts $71 million from the Technical College System and raises taxes on the working poor by $60 million. Hopper has supported plans for tax breaks for corporations and the rich that according to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, will cost taxpayers $2.3 billion in the next decade [Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 6/11/11]

In addition to these plans, Hopper has introduced legislation to repeal recent changes to the state's generous capital gains loophole and end capital gains taxes all together in three years at an annual cost of $250 million a year. Hopper has also authored a discredited scheme to hand out as much as $400 million in unaccountable financial sector tax breaks. [Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Act 28, 8/09; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/29/11]

Hopper’s near-decade of tax avoidance was first uncovered by One Wisconsin Now in 2008. An article at the time noted that Hopper not only paid state income tax just once in ten years, but also had three businesses, which also paid no net state income tax. According to the article, "In 2006 he paid $22,752 in state tax due, he said, to capital gains from the sale of one of the two radio stations he owns in Sheboygan." [Fond du Lac Reporter, 10/24/08]

A 2011 analysis by the Institute for One Wisconsin, entitled “We’re Not Broke” showed through current loopholes and shelters, that two-thirds of Wisconsin corporations pay no state income taxes.

“All of these issues raise the question, how much less than nothing does Randy Hopper thing big corporations should pay?” asked Ross. “Randy Hopper’s idea of ‘shared sacrifice’ is that the middle class and our kids sacrifice and big corporation share our tax dollars.”

# # #

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

Free Identity Theft Prevention Program and Shredding Thursday, June 16

The Oshkosh Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) and Oshkosh Public Library is holding a free program regarding Identify Theft this Thursday at 1:30pm at the Oshkosh Public Library.

Susan Schilz, Senior Regulatory Specialist, Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, will be provide the program.

In conjunction with this program, citizens are invited to bring up to four grocery (brown paper bag size) bags of personal documents that they would like shredded for no charge. A secure shredding company truck will be parking in the library parking lot 11:30am-3:30pm.

Please share this information with others. For more information contact Deb Tauer, ADVOCAP 426-0150. Thank you.

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald: Hopper lying about fake Democrat (who he happens to be friends with on Facebook)

Wednesday June 8, 2011

Contact: Viet Shelton (920) 204-6746

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald: Hopper lying about fake Democrat (who he happens to be friends with on Facebook)

Majority Leader reveals all GOP senators facing recall knew about the plan to deceive voters and delay recall elections

OSHKOSH – State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, perhaps unwittingly, revealed that all GOP Senators facing recall elections had knowledge of the conspiracy to recruit sham Democratic candidates to rig primary election dates for August, including efforts to run John Buckstaff in the 18th senate district. Fitzgerald’s statements directly contradict claims Randy Hopper and his campaign have made that they had no part in this conspiracy.

Yesterday, Majority Leader Fitzgerald confirmed to the LaCrosse Tribune that the targeted Republicans knew about the strategy, saying, “Certainly all of them were aware of the idea that this was … taking place.” Fitzgerald also said that Republican senators have known about the plan for weeks.

This contradicts statements made from Hopper himself and his official campaign denying any involvement in the concerted effort and when they knew about the plan.

Hopper has repeatedly denied any role in the spoiler plan over the last few days. When asked by reporters about organizing spoiler candidates, Hopper said, “I have absolutely zero to do with it.”

In a separate comment that contradicts Fitzgerald, Hopper campaign manager Jeff Harvey also denied any involvement and said that “Hopper first became aware of the movement to seek spoiler candidates for a Democratic primary during the weekend (June 4-5)” when the nomination papers for the spoiler candidate were released publicly.

Fitzgerald has clearly said that all the GOP senators knew of the plan for weeks, and were even asking questions about the “angles on it.” The Hopper campaign says Hopper didn’t know about it until 3 days ago. The Majority Leader says Hopper has known for weeks.

Just like the other scandals swirling around Randy Hopper – somebody’s lying.

Joint Finance Committee Improved the Budget, But More Needs to be Done to Maintain Oshkosh Services

Oshkosh, WI.) In March at the annual State of the City Address City Manager Mark Rohloff outlined that the proposed savings from the tools provided by Act 10 only covered 61% of the cuts to municipal funding programs in Governor Walker’s proposed state budget.

In April City Manager Rohloff supported the Urban Alliance and their urging of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) to close the gap between Act 10’s cost cutting tools and the funding cuts in the state budget by:

1) reversing the raid on the recycling grant program;
2) fully funding or at least reducing the cuts to general transportation aids for municipalities; and
3) requiring police and fire employees to participate in the same shared sacrifices that Act 10 imposes on general municipal employees.

Over the past few weeks the Joint Finance Committee made several changes to the budget bill to the benefit of the city of Oshkosh, including:
• Reducing the cuts in shared revenue
• Reducing the cuts in general transportation aids
• Restoring the recycling grant program to 60% of current funding
• Requiring newly hired police and fire employees to contribute to their pension
• Making it unnecessary to bargain with police and fire unions on the choice and design of health insurance plans
• Repealing minimum spending requirements on police and fire budgets
• Increasing the Wisconsin Retirement System eligibility threshold from 600 to 1,200 hours in a year

These changes reduce the impact of the cuts to municipal funded programs and restore some management rights. The city of Oshkosh projected 2012 shortfall went from $1,061,721 to $702,000, due to the changes. This shortfall does not include any increases in operating costs such as fuel, materials, and utilities.

Even with the proposed changes City Manager Rohloff still has major concerns about the current status of the state budget. Most notably that the JFC did not apply Act 10 to all municipal employees. Instead, the JFC chose to expand the police and fire exemption from the pension and health care contribution requirements in Act 10 to include police and fire chiefs and their supervisory staff. This move will cost the city of Oshkosh $143,000. There is also another proposal to exempt transit employees from Act 10 provisions. This move would cost the city an additional $100,000. “Regardless of the changes made, any changes involving employees should apply to all employees,” Rohloff said. “It is a simple fairness issue. There are too many inconsistencies with the way this is written.”

City Manager Rohloff believes that the legislature should consider additional changes to the state budget in order for the city of Oshkosh to effectively maintain services for the citizens.

For more information on the impact of the proposed state budget on the city, please contact Finance Director Peggy Steeno at (920) 236-5005.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Oshkosh Community Protests Hopper's Devastating Budget

Monday June 6, 2011

Contact: Viet Shelton (920) 204-6746

Oshkosh Community Protests Hopper's Devastating Budget
Local community members sharply criticize Hopper¹s key role in crafting
state budget proposal dramatically out of step with Wisconsin values

OSHKOSH ­ Dozens of community members gathered today to protest Sen. Randy
Hopper's role in writing and passing a job-killing state budget proposal
that punishes Wisconsin's middle class working families, while rewarding the super-rich and out-of-state corporations.

"A budget is a moral document. Sen. Hopper has decided it is moral to
balance the budget at the expense of the vulnerable, students, city and
county services and all public and private workers who go to work every day
hoping their sweat, time and talent will create a better future for their
families and communities," said Jef Hall, Oshkosh Common Council member. "As a member of the Joint Finance Committee, Sen. Hopper was leading the way on these family and job destroying policies."

The protest was organized after the Joint Finance Committee passed a
jobs-killing state budget late last Friday night going into Saturday
morning. As a member of the committee, Sen. Hopper is one of the key
architects of the budget. The proposal passed by Sen. Hopper kept most of
the high-profile parts of Gov. Walker's original proposed budget, including
drastic cuts to schools, healthcare, local government and Wisconsin¹s higher education system.

"Our children deserve a world class education, especially if we want them to be ready to compete for the jobs of tomorrow," said Hedy Eischied, an
educator in the Fond du Lac school district. "The budget that Sen. Hopper
wrote threatens to give our kids a third world education. Rather than help
our schools, Sen. Hopper chose to help corporate special interests with
multimillion dollar tax breaks."

In another effort to balance the state budget on the backs of everyday
Wisconsinites, Sen. Hopper and the Joint Finance Committee voted to raise
taxes by repealing the indexing of the Homestead tax credit, which
significantly benefits seniors on a fixed income. Hopper also approved cuts
to programs funding long-term care for elderly or disabled adults.

"In the 18th district, tens of thousands of seniors depend on services such
as home care that helps them maintain a level of independence and a quality
of life they would not be able to afford otherwise," said Donna Lohry, an
Oshkosh retiree. "In writing this budget, Sen. Hopper has turned his back on Oshkosh's seniors."

The budget passed by Sen. Hopper and the Joint Finance committee would cut 11 percent from Wisconsin's higher education system totalling $250 million .

"By cutting funding to our higher education system and raising tuition
rates, we are turning away a generation of young Wisconsinites from the
opportunity to get the skills they need to get jobs of the new economy,"
said Jen Gingras, a student at UW Oshkosh. "Sen. Hopper's extreme budget
decimates access to our higher education system when we should be looking
for ways to enroll more students."


Paid for by We Are Wisconsin PAC, Phil Neuenfeldt, Treasurer. Not
authorized by any candidate or candidate¹s agent or committee.