Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Do City of Racine Real Estate Sale Prices Accurately Track Assessed Value?"

From News the JT Can't Use:



"Is it your home and private property, or is it the private ATM of the taxing authorities in The City of Racine? The taxing authorities include The City of Racine, Racine Unified School District, Gateway, County of Racine, and State of Wisconsin.

"According to City of Racine Assessor Bill Bowers:

"Property assessment administration is a complex and technical profession vital to the financial health of local government. Assessors are responsible for administering the ad valorem tax system, and their chief task is to identify and appraise all general property in their jurisdictions.

Bill Bowers
"An ad valorem tax is based on the principle that the amount of tax paid should depend on the value of property owned. The Assessor’s Department is entrusted with the responsibility to see that assessed values used for tax purposes are accurate so that the tax burden will be distributed fairly. Only if assessed values are correct will tax limits, and the distribution of state aid to localities be as the legislature intended.

"This trust involves the annual evaluation of approximately 27,000 parcels of land, over 25,000 buildings, and over 2,000 plus personal property accounts, the preparation of the assessment rolls, and processing of every real estate transaction. Maintaining for each parcel as regards legal descriptions, ownership, mapping, property data, and sales data, and the assimilation of new parcels into the assessing process, are all major functions vital to performance and service.

"The basic motivation for revaluation is equity. When a property is over-appraised, its owners will be paying more than their fair share of taxes. Under-appraisals contribute to a lower tax base, causing the community to set higher tax rates. Our goal is to improve appraisal accuracy by providing a reappraisal, an updating of values for all properties in our city annually."

Read more: https://newsthejtcantuse.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/do-city-of-racine-real-estate-sale-prices-accurately-track-assessed-value/

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

"The Origins of Hip Hop: Annual event celebrates Racine's cultural diversity"

From The Journal Times.com:

LEE B. ROBERTS lee.roberts@journaltimes.com

Graphic Illustration by Dan Talsky, daniel.talsky@journalttimes.com, using artwork by Dee Hutch.

"The Origins of Hip Hop event will return to Racine’s lakefront on Saturday, Aug. 20, and everyone is welcome to come share this exploration of the culture of hip-hop, from 4 to 10 p.m. at Smoke’d on the Water, 3 Fifth St.

"In its fifth year, Origins of Hip Hop aims to highlight the five primary elements of hip-hop culture: DJ-ing, emceeing, graffiti art, breakdancing/all-styles hip-hop dancing and knowledge, according to Nick Ramsey, one of the event organizers. It will do so through a series of performances, workshops and competitions, or 'battles,' which together will not only celebrate the rich culture of this music genre, but raise awareness about it.

"By learning more about hip-hop culture, people will be better able to understand it, said Ramsey, a local emcee, poet and self-described 'addict of hip-hop culture.'

"Presenters will include local performers and artists, as well as those from as far away as Milwaukee and Louisville, Kentucky. And representatives of each element will present mini workshops designed to showcase that aspect, Ramsey said. His own presentation about the art of emceeing, for example, will include information about its historical roots in ancient storytelling, as well as practical tips about everything from meter and line to mic-holding skills, he said.

"Attendees will also have opportunities to get involved in the action. Anyone interested in trying their hand at graffiti art can do so on special panels provided at the event. And area hip-hop DJs, emcees, dancers and more are invited to enter competitions in their categories, with a chance to win cash prizes. Registration for competitions is available at the event, but must be done prior to the start of each competition (See event schedule below for details).

Cultural diversity


"'This event is really about everybody — young, old, all races — getting together and celebrating cultural diversity,” said Ramsey. “The thing I am most proud of is the way the Origins of Hip Hop really represents this city.'
"Since its inception, Origins of Hip Hop has expanded its reach throughout the community to include a variety of partnerships with businesses, organizations and individuals including Black Hand Tattoo, Christi Beerntsen, the College of Art & Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Downtown Racine Corp., Family Power Music, the Racine Public Library, Sweatshop Movement, Willy’s Sole Kitchen and Smoke’d on the Water. In years past the event has drawn as many as 300 people, and Ramsey said organizers are expecting between 400 and 500 this time around.

"Caleb Robinson — owner of Smoke’d on the Water, who has been involved with the event since its start — said he, too, appreciates the diversity of Origins of Hip Hop.

"'What I love most about this event, is that it has such a positive feel,' Robinson said. 'It’s really about bringing people together and I wish everyone would stop down and see what it is about. Everyone is welcome.'

"Admission to the Origins of Hip Hop event is free (donations will be accepted), including all performances, presentations and competitions. Food and beverages will be available for sale at Smoke’d on the Water during the event.

"Robinson said the venue’s usual menu will be available, featuring specialities including pulled pork sandwiches and chicken wings. Origins of Hip Hop 5 T-shirts will also be available for sale, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Origins of Hip Hop 5 events

"(Schedule is subject to change)
  • 4-5 p.m. — DJ spinning old-school Hip-Hop and graffiti artists beginning their pieces
  • 5-5:15 p.m. — DJ workshop
  • 5:15-5:45 p.m. — DJ battle (DJs must register by 4:30)
  • 5:45-6 p.m. — Performance by ESCH, of Racine
  • 6-6:15 p.m. — Graffiti workshop: Pre-made backdrops will be available for people to create their own graffiti art
  • 6:15-6:30 p.m. — Performance by Sypher Lady X of Milwaukee
  • 6:30-6:45 p.m. — Breakdance workshop
  • 6:45-7 p.m. — Dancer warm-up and opportunity for attendees to try out their new knowledge
  • 7-8 p.m. — Breakdance and All-Styles dance battles (dancers must register by 6 p.m.)
  • 8-8:15 p.m. — Performance (performer TBA)
  • 8:15 — 8:45 p.m. — Freestyle Emcee Competition (emcees must register by 7 p.m.)
  • 8:45-10 p.m. — Performance by RMLLW2LLZ , of Louisville, Kentucky

"Dick Van Dyke sings 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' at Denny's"

From The Journal Times.com:

"SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Dick Van Dyke has treated diners at a Denny's restaurant in California to a rendition of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.'

"A post accompanying a YouTube video of the performance says the 90-year-old Van Dyke and the other three members of his quartet, The Vantastix, had just finished an appearance on a local television show before going out for breakfast. The video shows the quartet seated with pancakes at the table and singing the theme song to the 1968 British musical, which starred Van Dyke.

"Van Dyke said on Twitter that it was the grits that convinced him to break into song.

Four for Fridays!

Good Morning everyone I hope all of you had a good week. I just can't believe how fast the week has gone by again. Here are your questions.

1) Are you ready for the Fall?

2) Have you been watching the Pre-Season Football?

3) Have you noticed the trees changing colors?

4) Have you been keeping up with the Olympics?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Open Blog - Friday


If Friday suddenly had a face, I'd freak out.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel Asks For Halted John Doe Probe Into Alleged Antecedent Illegal Activity by Wisconsin Republicans be Estopped Because Republican Lawmakers Have Since Changed the Law to Retroactively Render the Former Legal Activity Illegal"

From News The JT Can't Use:




"How low can Wisconsin Republicans go? The graft, corruption and lawlessness which started in earnest under the leadership of former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson was surprassed by former Democrat Governor Diamond Jim Doyle.  When the voters had enough of the graft, corruption and lawlessness of the Democrat variety, they swung back to the Republicans, who promised to clean up Wisconsin. It’s become abundantely clear that not only did the Republicans lie, but the graft, corruption and lawlessness under Republican Scott Walker has exceeded that of Diamond Jim Doyle. While the Wisconsin State Journal headline read as follows:

"Wisconsin attorney general asks US Supreme Court not to hear John Doe appeal"

"The headline should have read:
Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel Asks For Halted John Doe Probe Into Alleged Antecedent Illegal Activity by Wisconsin Republicans be Estopped  Because Republican Lawmakers Have Since Changed the Law to Retroactively Render the Former Legal Activity Illegal

"From Wisconsin State Journal:

"Attorney General Brad Schimel asked the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to reject a review of a halted criminal investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign, marking the first time his office has argued the merits of the case after his predecessor declined to lead the investigation more than three years ago.

"Schimel’s filing argues the court should reject the appeal because Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature have since changed the law making the alleged activity legal and prohibiting the use of secret 'John Doe' proceedings in investigating campaign finance violations.

"In June, the lawyers representing the various respondents in the case waived their right to file a response to the request for review filed earlier this year by three Democratic district attorneys. But on July 14, the U.S. Supreme Court directed its clerk to request that responses be filed, according to a letter provided by Schimel’s office.

"Schimel filed the brief because of that request, Schimel spokeswoman Rebecca Ballweg said.

"Lisa Graves, executive director of the liberal Center for Media and Democracy, which has filed a brief supporting the prosecutors, said the court 'has ample grounds for taking the case and reversing the state court’s judgment.'

"'The Wisconsin Supreme Court based its self-serving decision on an erroneous misreading of the First Amendment, and its ruling flies in the face of several U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding corruption,' Graves said.

"Scot Ross, executive director of liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, noted the political arm of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, one of the conservative groups linked to the investigation, spent $1.5 million in 2014 to help Schimel win election.

"Before he was Attorney General, Brad Schimel said elected officials should be able to help their campaign donors, and this latest action shows he wasn’t kidding,” Ross said.

"Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm began the John Doe II investigation based on evidence collected in a prior John Doe investigation into Walker’s Milwaukee County office that resulted in six convictions of Walker aides and associates.

"It’s beyond disgusting.

"It’s criminal.

"It needs to be investigated and lead to more criminal prosecutions.

"And AG Brad Schimel is just  carrying on the tradition of former AG JB Van Hollen; acting as Scott Walker’s personal defense attorney, while continuing to ignore the all too numerous crimes being commited by Wisconsin’s Elected Officials and Public Employees."

Top 10 Media Thursdays

Open Blog - Thursday


I hope so.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"MACHINERY ROW IS OFFICIALLY DEAD!"

From Racine Community Media:

"MACHINERY ROW IS OFFICIALLY DEAD! MORE THAN $20 MILLION DOLLARS IN TAXPAYER LOANS AND GRANTS GO MISSING AS THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT FAILS BEFORE EVER STARTING, ALL AT RACINE TAXPAYERS EXPENSE."

"RACINE- As the failure of Machinery Row will soon be officially announced, a few select aldermen and city officials are already aware and discussing the next move in the failed development, while most elected officials have no idea what’s going on or how much has been spent to date. It’s being reported that the mayor is discussing utilizing a federal DNR grant to pay for the back taxes on the buildings purchased by the City Of Racine for the troubled millionaire developer Rodney Blackwell. Blackwell has failed to repay on his original loan of $4.5 million dollars given to him by The City Of Racine, while Racine taxpayers continue to repay his principal loan payments and interest payments for the second straight year!

"It now appears the Mayor and city officials will put the residents at continued risk by approving even more loan extensions and freebies to the millionaire developer, and It also means the scope of the $65 million dollar taxpayer funded project will now be changing to a possible indoor fishery and trout farm. 


"Stay tuned for more updates as soon as elected officials feel the community should be privileged enough to know where and how their taxpayer dollars are being spent."


http://journaltimes.com/business/local/no-action-on-machinery-row/article_bfaacc4e-3fe7-5dbc-8bfc-bb987ff9130a.html

https://newsthejtcantuse.wordpress.com

Read more: http://racinecommunitymedia.tumblr.com/search/MACHINERY+ROW+IS+OFFICIALLY+DEAD

"'Creep' - Vintage Postmodern Jukebox Radiohead Cover ft. Haley Reinhart"

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my overheated men and women!  How have you survived the last couple of weeks of warmth?  I've just gone from air conditioned home to air conditioned car to air conditioned office, and back.  Usually, when walking from or to car, I'd notice the oppressive heat!  Sometimes, though, it was cooler outside than in the car.  I try to deal with the weather one day at a time, without getting too invovled in the loop-the-loop that our weather has become.  Ride 'em, cowboy!

Junior continues to show the same proficiency in driving that his father had: none.  Señor Zanza should be condidered for sainthood for sticking with it this long.  Junior has had two extensions on his probationary license,  One more screw-up and back he goes to taking the written exam all over again.  I wonder if Señor Zanza has some sort of angle on this.  There haven't been any accidents involving other vehicles, but my car is getting pretty banged up.  I don't want to mention the cost of this to Junior until he gets his license and can get a job to pay me off.  I don't look forward to the day he can drive.  I'll bet my insurance premiums will triple within a year.  Again, Junior better reimburse me.  I'm not helping him get a car, but if he does, all expenses are his.  The cost of a vehicle plus insurance costs and gasoline costs and repair/maintenance items are all his.  If he somehow miraculously gets his license and a car, I won't be able to sleep until he gets home.  Mothers are forever.  So don't forget to let them in on whatever you're doing.

So far, I have zero mosquito bites this season, but I don't go outside too much.  I've asked eveeryone I know if they are aware of any bites.  There are a few, but not any sort of epidemic.  The wethermen and the M.D.'s conspired to work us up again, this time over the Zika virus and the mosquito that carries it.  I'm sorry, but "ef" them.  Always trying to work the public up over something or the other.  I think the Centers for Disease Control  is always looking for attention.  Maybe they have to battle for money.  Whatever, please give us your best guess for the next 48 hours.  Actually, you're not even good enough for 2 days.  National Weather Service is only reliable for 24 hours, and even then they screw up.

"Blue Cut Fire in Cajon Pass Explodes to 18,000 Acres, 0 Percent Contained; State of Emergency Declared" - http://ktla.com/2016/08/16/evacuations-issued-in-fast-moving-wild-fire-burning-in-devore/  You know, some people consider and consider, and they still end up picking out the wrong spot for a home.  Fires are natural in forests.  They help to renew the lanscape with new growth.  If you live in a fire threatened area, don't be surprised if everything burns up.  I know it's a terrible thing to lose everything.  Pick your new house location more carefully.  If you build on a fault line, don't be surprised if it's ripped in two by an earthquake.

Earthquakes are powerful, but none is more powerful than my love for you, my readers.  Thank you so much for reading my blog.  Thank you for taking the time.  Thank you for being you.

Want the real skinny on any event, anywherre in the world?  Ask madamezoltar@jtirregulars.com

Enjoy the weather.  We're already halfway through August.  Another summer almost over.  We still have plenty of time with fall, but we all know what is ultimately coming: the s-word!

Open Blog - Wednesday


Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

"EDITORIAL: Ascension Needs To Inform Community Of Mental Health Changes"

From Racine County Eye:

By Denise Lockwood in Breaking · August 14, 2016 · No comments

"Ascension–All Saints, formerly Wheaton Franciscan–All Saints, has cut staff, restricted admission for its mental health unit, closed the Psychiatric Intensive Care unit and kids partial hospital, and slashed its inpatient bed counts in an effort to 'reset' the unit.

"But they failed to communicate those changes to the community at a time when those services are desperately needed.

"Last week I wrote two stories about Ascension-All Saints Behavioral Health Unit: one about the cutbacks Ascension has made and one about the violations they received before Ascension took over Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. It took me six weeks to write that story, mostly because I was waiting for Ascension to confirm what I had learned from the state, an internal document, and numerous internal sources. I wanted to give them a chance to respond with more than a two or three sentence response, but that never happened. I also requested an interview with Paul Mason, but was told the company would not elaborate on the cuts any further."

Read more:  http://racinecountyeye.com/editorial-ascension-needs-to-inform-community-of-mental-health-changes/

"The Curious Case of Former State Sen. George Petak, R-Racine"

From News the JT Can't Use:




"Everybody in Racine is familiar with former state Sen. George Petak , R-Racine, from Ballotpedia:

"George Petak, a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Senate, was recalled from office in 1996. He had served since January 1991.

"Petak’s recall resulted in the Wisconsin State Senate switching from a chamber with a majority of Republicans to a chamber with a majority of Democrats.

"Those who sought Petak’s recall were angry because he switched his vote from 'no' to 'yes' on a tax plan to build a new stadium for the Milwaukee Brewers that levied a 1/10th of one cent sales tax. In June 1996, nine months after the vote, he was recalled from office.

"Elizabeth Erven led the effort to collect the 11,577 signatures necessary to schedule the election. She stated, 'He probably could have gone on to be a lieutenant governor, but the mistake was egregious. And you know, we may not be rich down here, we may not have a lot of great opportunities to excel at a lot of things, but the people who live here believe there are certain lines you just don’t cross. And that was one of them.'

"Petak opened a consulting firm in the Madison, Wisconsin area in 2009."

Read more: https://newsthejtcantuse.wordpress.com/tag/george-petak/