Saturday, August 9, 2008

New and Improved... : D

We have been busy and playing around with the site. There are several new features you may want to peek in on.


1.) The new logo:

Located in the left column above the welcome banner. Does nothing... but "classes up the joint," as logjam stated. lol


2.) Google Talk:

See orbs' blog, dated 8-08-2008. You can set up a chat window that includes your favorite bloggers (on invitation) This allows you to see who is online. It gives you the opportunity to have private conversations offscreen with those bloggers if you choose to make yourself available. Does not work for leaving messages when they are not online. You still will need to share email addresses for that.

3.) Event Calendar:
Located at the bottom of our page. A new feature which allows each of you to add "happenings" that are of interest. I set up a few to get you started. Click on the day of the activity that you wish to add. A popup window appears that is pretty self-explanatory. This will remain open to all JTI visitors to edit unless it becomes a problem. We can add emails to access the edit feature if necessary.

4.) Local Blogs Section:

Located in the left hand column. This allows you to link to other local blogs that may be of interest. Let the sheriff know if there is a blog you would like added to the list.

So, what are we missing? Your input counts. Party on, Irregulars!!!

Kenosha to become SMOKE FREE?



Kenosha's brilliant City Council is once again going to great lengths to show the world how backwards they are. Nine Aldermen have joined forces to quickly and quietly bring forth an ordinance to the council, which is set to go to vote in 3 short weeks, prohibiting smoking in nearly all public places in the city of Kenosha. (see Daily Kenoshan article http://dailykenoshan.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6406&Itemid=102)

Its bad enough that we are recognized for being the worst in black infant mortality, and have the worst beaches in the nation.

Now, a simple right, such as smoking, will be taken away because THEY think its in OUR best interest?

I understand that many non-smokers don't want to dine near smoke. I respect that. But, why on earth do they see the need to change an all ready "working" ordinance?

Have there been complaints? What is this really all about?

Smoker or not, I hope people can recognize this for what it is, another Nazi-like move, restricting the actions of adults. This is ridiculous, and just plain wrong.

Please note, the final vote for this ordinance is in 3 short weeks. If you are not in favor of this ordinance, it is your duty to tell your councilman your thoughts. If possible, gp to Monday nights session and tell them publicly.

These people ought to know that they can easily be voted out of office. For NINE people to come up with an idea affecting so many, and quickly and quietly pass it through to become law is just plain wrong.

Something like this should be left to the people to decide, not nine men.

Monday Aug. 11 at 5 p.m. at 625 52nd St.

"A new hazard: texting while walking"

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=781396

ROFLMAO!!!

Sorry, don't want to laugh at the misfortune of others, but this is hilarious. People are so engrossed in texting that they're walking into things (including traffic) while doing so.

After I parked in a spot at a hospital recently, I was gathering up things from my truck when I noticed someone having the dickens of a time trying to park next to me. I looked up and she was talking on a cell phone, applying lipstick, and trying to drive at the same time.

Duh! Ha ha. I really don't care if these fools hurt only themselves with their stupidity, but when Mr. or Mrs. Knobshine pulls out into traffic while yammering on the phone, adjusting the stereo, and yelling at the kids all at the same time, something has to be done.

I know they can issue citations for inattentive driving, but what about inattentive walking?

Ever Get that Guilty Feeling?


You’re sitting in front of your computer. The milk in the reefer is chunky, the bread on the counter is so fuzzy it’s waving at you and you just finished your last can of spam, you know you should be grocery shopping.

Here’s a list which can help you out....

”Shopping List”

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bonus: Friday Night's Hair Band Video

Ratt was a band ahead of it's time. Round and Round is their signature song, but this is my favorite. It goes past the glam and is straight up balls to the wall rock. For your viewing pleasure is Ratt's "You're In Love"

Friday's Lost video

The year was 1986, and I was a senior in high school, in Washington DC for a school competition and board. A few of us hit the mall, and I, of course hit the record store. This song was playing, and I heard 30 seconds of it, and bought the cassette. The group is Big Audio Dynamite. This group was formed by Mick Jones of the Clash as something a little different. This whole album kicks ass. This song was the first video released and is is called E=MC2. Enjoy!


New Logo?

I don't think I've seen the logo before. Looks nice!

Google Talk


Thanks to a suggestion by DogAddicts (http://jtirregulars.blogspot.com/2008/08/you-know-what-would-be-nice.html), I finally got serious about checking out Google Talk, an instant messaging program from the same people who gave us this blogging site and format.

You can download it here: http://www.google.com/talk/

It appears to be a relatively easy to use instant messaging program. I used the same login info as I do here. It allows you to instant message (IM) other users who are online when you are (and aren't cloaked - sometimes all of us need a little anonymity), and to leave private messages (PM) for those who aren't online, like I did for kkdither in the picture above. You type in your message at the bottom of the box on the right and hit enter. Apparently, you can also leave voice messages if you have a microphone hooked up. Uh-oh, that opens up a whole world of devious possibilities in my brain . . .

The program is set by default to start when Windows does, but that's easily disabled in the settings. It also adds yet another obnoxious icon to the plethora cluttering your system tray.

In a way, this allows you to see who's online (per DogAddict's original suggestion), but only those who are logged onto Google Talk and want to be seen. It does allow us to leave private messages for each other, though, and even to instant message. For now, I'm going to let it load when the computer starts because otherwise I'll forget to start it when I come here. If you decide to install the program, add me to your friends requests and I'll accept. Btw, if someone obnoxious starts pestering you, you can block them.

If this catches on, fine. If not, c'est la vie.

EDIT: 9:00 PM - Sorry folks, but after further review, it appears that this program does NOT allow for private messaging, i.e., leaving messages for others. It works for instant messages fine, if you're into that.

Bush convinience?

One of our strong Iraq allies gets bombed by Russia. Is it odd that Bush made sure to be out of town? Sort of like going on vacation and letting Cheney handle the problems after 9/11. It seems to me, a responsible leader would get his ass home and help the allies that helped him, but I have my doubts.

a " YEAH!!!!!!!! IT'S FRIDAY " BLOG!!!!!!!!!

The weekend is almost here,.
Has everybody survived what felt to me like
one of the longest weeks ever????


Thursday, August 7, 2008

You know what would be nice?

Just a thought.. A 'who is online' .
Don't know if that is possible with a blog like this, but I find it useful on my forum.


Books you read as a kid

Okay, I read the Black Beauty, all the Nancy Drew Mysteries, Little Prince, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Mrs. Mike, Little Women, Silas Marner, Withering Heights, etc. Which were your favorite reads as a child?

One of my favorite recollections as a small child was my Mom taking us to the library. It was a reward if we behaved ourselves when we went to get our shots for school...yep, they even did that way back then!

"I think I will always be a Packer..."

Did you see Bret Farve's news conference this evening? For just being named the Jets new quarterback, he sure didn't have that radiant smile holding up his new jersey that other players have had in the same situation. He also seemed to dwell a lot on his former team almost as much as he did for his new team. It appeared to me he wanted to play football, and was glad to be going to a team, but a big chunk of him was still in Green Bay. He was like a kid opening up a Christmas present and being reserved in disappointed that he didn't get what he really wanted.

Smart Car vs Lamborghini



LOL

Why should he live?

I know, I've heard and read all of the arguments against the death penalty, but really, why should this callous inhuman piece of crap be kept alive?

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=780725

The Stats Keep Pouring In...

I was going to wait awhile....until we hit 10,000 page hits before posting again. However, things have been moving so fast, we may just hit that target today! We began this site in June, but didn't start collecting data until mid July, so technically, we must have already surpassed the 10,000 mark.



Page Loads Unique Visitors First Time Visitors Returning Visitors
Total 9,423 5,259 3,769 1,490





Yesterday, we experienced our all time high page load count. Our "connection" to the Daily Kenoshan may be what boosted our page loads, not sure. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues or was just a blip on the radar.

I haven't shown you this yet; it should be interesting to follow. It is a graph that shows how many one time visitors we get in comparison to returning visitors. Here is the current data, which includes yesterday.

Green: First time visitors
Blue: 1-5 returning visits
Peach: 5-10 returning visits
Orange: 10+returning visits



In the past, our section of returning visitors was much higher. With the link from the DK, It it showing that we have many more first visit viewers. We should be able to watch and see if they like what they see and return, or if it proves to be a one click deal:

We also have access to charts that show how long each visitor sticks around. Our data shows that at this very moment, 55.4% of viewers stick around to read. (That figure includes the google searches that dump people here who have no interest in the area.)


Green: Less than 5 seconds
Peach: 30 seconds to 5 minutes
Orange: 5 minutes to 20 minutes
Red: 20 minutes to an hour
Yellow: more than an hour

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider Rap

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be the world's most powerful particle accelerator when it goes online this fall and, with a circumference of 27km, the largest science instrument every built.

Rather than go into gory detail here, I am simply going to post the LHC rap.



I will blog the gory detail when they fire the thing up.

Schoolteacher Discovers "Voorwerp"

"What is a Voorwerp" you ask? Great name for a strange something near another galaxy.

Okay, let's start with the discovery. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is a massive project to map about 1/4 of the night sky and has been taking data since 1999 and just finished (last month!) In the interest of disclosure, I spent a year working on it as part of a fellowship at Fermilab.

The SDSS saw lots of galaxies, hundreds of millions. Computers are pretty lousy at figuring out if the galaxy is a spiral, elliptical, irregular, etc. so they set up a website called Galaxy Zoo (and in the interest of more disclosure, I know most of the Galaxy Zoo team and give workshops to teachers at meetings such as the National Science Teachers Association on how to use Galaxy Zoo with students). The idea of galaxy zoo is to train a lot of amateur astronomers and let them classify galaxies. It has been a rousing success as tens of thousands of people have classified each of the initial batch of 800,000 galaxies...just to check and be sure they get it right, each galaxy has been looked at by an average of 40 different people (for a whopping 32 million individual data points!)

Dutch school teacher Hanny van Arkel noticed a curious blue cloud next to one of the galaxies shown below which is now known as Hanny's Voorwerp (voorwerp is Dutch for "object").
Now a word about the image...this image was made by combining pictures taken through three different filters: a green, a red and an infrared. So green is used for the blue channel, red is used for the green channel, and infrared is used for the red channel. The practical upshot of this is that something that appears almost entirely blue in this image is, in reality green (the SDSS does not use a blue filter but does use a near ultraviolet filter so you could make a picture with ultraviolet, green and red where this cloud would look green...they did that in the AOL story on the topic).

So what is this? Is it in our galaxy and just happens to lie in the same part of the sky or is it physically associated with the galaxy? Well, the took a spectrum of it and found that it lies at the same distance, so it is associated with the galaxy. The spectrum is shown below.
See that REALLY tall peak slightly to the right of 5000 Angstroms (an Angstrom is a billionth of a meter). That line tells us there is doubly ionized oxygen present and guess what color that is? You got it, green! (I know it says OIII, but OI is neutral oxygen and OII is singly ionized oxygen so OIII is doubly ionized oxygen.)

So, here's what we think is going on. The galaxy appears normal right now. However, it has a massive black hole at its center. When a massive black hole eats a lot of matter, it gives off a lot of energy. As gas spirals toward the black hole, it heats up to millions of degrees and becomes blindingly bright. We think this galaxy's black hole was eating up until about 100,000 years ago and then finished its meal so the galaxy looks normal now.

However, the galaxy used to be much brighter. We are now seeing that energy emitted when the black hole was eating interacting with that gas and causing it to glow...we are seeing a light echo! Since the black hole is no longer eating, we can watch that light echo fade over the next 100,000 years or so and that gas cloud will fade from view!

We have never really seen an interaction like this before and astronomers are very interested in it. So interested that it is being observed by lots of major observatories and satellites including Hubble.

The really neat thing is that this was discovered by an amateur. The SDSS makes all of its data available to the public on the Skyserver web site. You can peruse images of hundreds of millions of galaxies and stars. And sign up for Galaxy Zoo...they are about to star the second phase with fresh objects and new tools to help amateurs make more such discoveries. Who knows, we could end up with kk's Conudrum, Huck's Hullabaloo, Stus Stuff, or AA's Abomination!

Best Movie Lines

Either he's dead or my watch has stopped. (Groucho Marx, "The Cocoanuts", 1929)

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. (Humphrey Bogart, "Casablanca", 1942)

Now I know why Tigers eat their young. (Rodney Dangerfield, "Caddyshack", 1980)

Time to face the music, Packer Fans

Face it Packer Fans, Brett doesn’t want YOU anymore. You chanted, cried, and pleaded. You cursed Ted Thompson. You yelled at Mike McCarthy. You hate Aaron Rodgers. For some of you, Brett has been the only QB you have ever known for the Packers. And now Brett says he wants to play, just not for YOU, the Green and Gold faithful.

Brett has a huge heart, and a caring soul, but also an ego the size of his estate in Hattiesburg. He waffles better than Barack Obama. And right now, Brett doesn’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.

Brett sure knows how to cash in, however. I got this email today from Brett’s official website:

Brett Favre had an unforgettable career with the Green Bay Packers for the last 16 years! We will remember him as a Green Bay Packer and what he has done with the Legendary and Historic franchise of the Green Bay Packers. He has set many major NFL Records including the most career passing yards, most career touchdowns, and most career wins by any quarterback in the history of the NFL. Don't miss out on this chance to own a piece of NFL history. Brett Favre will no longer be playing for the Green Bay Packers and this will be your last chance to get your Brett Favre autographed Green Bay Packers merchandise.
AS BRETT FAVRE MOVES FORWARD WITH HIS CAREER, WE WISH HIM THE BEST, AND HOPE TO ENJOY MANY MORE FOOTBALL GAMES WATCHING HIM PLAY THE GAME WE ALL LOVE SO VERY MUCH!


So Brett says to all of you “Hey, I don’t want to play for you, but here, buy some of my stuff, and by the way, im going to play for someone else.” Don’t get me wrong… if you cut me I bleed Green and Gold, and loved wearing my Favre jersey on Sundays for the last 16 years. But the Franchise got through Lombardi leaving, Bart Starr retiring, and Reggie White playing for someone else. Yes, to me Brett will always be a Packer, but will I watch him play for someone else…….No. You see, the team is not Brett Favre. The team is more than one person. The team is the larger than life institution in our state. A place where the Packers as a team are often referred to as “we” by the Packer Nation. Brett thinks the Packers should be referred to as “I”. I’m tired of he said/he said BS. I’m tired of Chris Mortensen and ESPN. I’m tired of hearing Brett’s Mom, Brother, friend, agent, and lawnmower man on the TV and Radio.

I truly think the Packers are trying to what they think is best for the Team. And I think Brett is trying to do what is best for Brett.

It is time for all of Brett’s “I want to play, I don’t want to play, I’m retired, I’m not retired, I want to play for GB, I don’t want to play for GB” stuff to end. Don’t make the mistake other famous players made by ending their career on another team, losing, getting injured, or just being foolish. Ride off into the sunset, Brett. Come back for the retirement ceremony, and we’ll see you in Canton in five years. Play for someone else, and you will be leaving a bad taste in some fans mouths that will hurt for a while, but we will forgive you……… eventually.

IRREGULARITY






Is it a vow we have taken?


Is it a condition or symptom of a bigger problem?

Can it be cured with an OTC?


Do we even want to find a cure?

How do you deal with your irregularity?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

DK's First Pick: JT Irregulars


jti.pngIt's been only a few days since we ran across a relatively new blogger style website called JT IRREGULARS. It was only founded in June of this year and you wouldn't believe the quality of content they have amassed as well as their large following of contributors and visitors. We have established a relationship with JTIRREGULARS in order to network in this seemingly endless blog world in order to bring at least our little corners of the world a little closer.

Their banner states "What is happening in Racine, Wisconsin and around the world Make new friends, share thoughts and ideas, learn something new or just leisurely browse and share a laugh."

They invite all to join their group, and contribute to the posting of pretty much anything and everything. I've read news and politics, a post about the the nuisance of mosquitoes, and complaining about all sorts of things. From straight up serious talk, to all fun and games (even one blogger complaining about their kid's use of toilet paper), this blog is doing it all in short order. (just 2 months!?) JT Irregular regulars have amassed 253 postings with what appears to be about 25 regular contributors.

From their very first blog, is the statement, "All aspects of this site are up for discussion, including the name, template, etc., and especially whether it continues to exist. No private messaging here. Your account, though, allows you to create your own blog separate from this one if you wish, and it will link to your posts here. Your account also works for commenting at the Racine Post. Only 100 "authors" are allowed to create blogs per site. Do we screen people?

Who has the say so? Let's hear ideas. Current settings allow anyone to read and post comments, even anonymously."


From what I can gather from the website, the bloggers here appear to have been cast off, or jumped ship from another, bigger blog. (am I right on this one?) And, whats really unique is that the admin (administrator) calls HERSELF the "Sheriff". How cool is that?

Anyways, my words cannot do this awesome site justice, so check it out for yourself.

JT IRREGULARS

Lisa Loring (Editor) & John Nordquist (Publisher)
The Daily Kenoshan


Article viewable at http://dailykenoshan.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6370&Itemid=1

I'd like to share something

A site/blog that a member of my forum has. She has asked that it gets passed around to as many people as possible to make people aware of the dangers of smoking.
Her husband passed away after a long struggle with oral cancer.
Please take a look, if you know someone who could benefit from a warning, or even just to pass it on.
It was his wish for her to do this. They kept this blog of his last months. It's eye-opening and heart breaking.

Be careful, the pictures she added are VERY graphic. Don't look further than her warning if you don't have a strong stomach.

Please, pass it on.

http://richsplea.synthasite.com/

Thanks.

A Sure Sign of the End Times

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Rarely have I been left so utterly without any coherent comment.

NEW


We now have a calendar that you can add to. Give it a whirl; hope you find it easy to use. It is located at the bottom of this page.

Please feel free to post happenings that other bloggers might like to know about.

Thanks to SER for suggesting this addition to our page!

Party on....

If memory serves me

Ok, I know we discussed a lot of things on Saturday, but does anyone remember this:

http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/08/05/local_news/doc489893f233e48435566872.txt

If my memory serves me, neither the Mayor nor the two Aldermen made any mention of this referendum.

Daily Kenoshan is calling all bloggers!

The Daily Kenoshan has been long been a staple for all things Kenosha. Established in 2001 as a community blog, our growth has surprised many, including those of us who have worked so hard to see its success. We are a unique experience, and draw Kenoshan's from all walks of life. We encourage free speech and exchange of ideas. Our community members are encouraged to participate in the submission of news, events, or simply discuss the many topics in our active forums. Our vision is broad, and never restrictive. We have begun to incorporate Business Advertising, and expect this to progress. Our visitor hits remain at a steady rate of upwards of a million plus "hits" monthly, and our regular user base is consistent. More every day citizens are contributing content to our site than ever, and have included web commentary, events promotion, political debates, and stories of interest. We have also recently been featuring sports news and commentary. We are hoping to increase the amount of active participation by inviting Local Bloggers of any type, regardless of group affiliation to join us, and submit stories, articles, or commentary to be published on our site. Our stories are seen hundreds of times daily, and encourage discussion. We would like to publish at least one article per week, from a variety of Blog Sources. We invite you to visit the Daily Kenoshan, and use your opinions and journalistic expertise to educate and enliven our community. The Daily Kenoshan is EVERYONE'S website, and we are hopeful that many of you will take advantage of this opportunity for mutual growth. Please feel free to contact our Staff, Publisher, or Editor with any questions, comments, or suggestions on this project. Thank you for your support.

Lisa Loring
News Editor www.dailykenoshan.com
lisa@dailykenoshan.com


The Daily Kenoshan is a great site! check them out. Here's their blog: http://dailykenoshan.blogspot.com/

Welcome, You've Got Mail...

I'm talking to a friend on the phone last night and trying to pull up an email he forwarded to me. My system is running slow and I'm getting peeved when I look down to the task bar and see the familiar shield, telling me Windows is updating itself again. You do recall all the fun that that scenario brought to my life the last time????

This time, good old Windows Update starts downloading...the complete 313MB Service Pack 3 for all English versions of Windows XP. Auto updates are excellent, but they should warn you before undertaking a 313 MB download. My head starts reeling.... shit, shit, shit... not again!


So, before I install these updates, I say a quick prayer and set a system restore point to return to... in case disaster should strike again. The last time, if you didn't see my blogs, my firewall and anti-virus program, AVG and Zone Alarm (both now history, thanks a lot Microsoft) didn't play nice with their update.

It knocked me, and hundreds of thousands of people, off the Internet... many of them (non geeks) for days. Many people incurred costs to bring geeks into the picture to remedy their problem.

Well, all my flinching and "please-oh-please-oh-please" chants payed off. No problems this time. We are at their mercy. It is just like the coke dealer. When the "juice" is not available, we go into withdrawal.... we've become too attached and utterly addicted.

I'm an insomniac



I CAN"T FUCKING SLEEP!!!!!!

I think I need a little more of this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzRQyt0aTHA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhiTsLr29XA

Anyone else like Jimmy Buffett?
Went to a couple concerts at Alpine Valley.. one in June that I had to wear my winter coat!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNmULx6sMo4 <>
(not the best version)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs1vafGhlSk < v="9wFpvRMIIEM">

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'll Come in to Work When Homeland Security Returns My Laptop

Ah, you just got back from a nice vacation, say in France. Or it could be something less fun like a sales trip to Canada (in January). You stroll across the U.S. border and, halt right there! We want to take your laptop, cell phone, iPod, etc. We are going to take them away for a "reasonable period" of time and search them for, well, we don't quite know. We don't need a reasonable suspicion or anything...we just want to. Oh, and it applies to ALL people, including U.S. citizens.

That pretty much sums up our new Homeland Security policy as outlined by an article in the Washington Post (for those who complain about the liberal media, click on the Homeland Security link and you can read their policy for yourself.)

So most people traveling have a cell phone that could be confiscated...do you really want to try and prove right there that all the songs on your iPod were legally downloaded? How about all your companies sales data being taken away and analyzed? Or those "special pictures" of you and your loved one (damn! I thought those were on the other computer!)

With as much digital information as we carry around with us, I can't imagine a more intimate search that does not involve rubber gloves.

Reports are already emerging of companies that have policies on what can be taken on international trips. Probably a good idea for you too. I know that my computer is password protected with an encrypted hard drive...least I can do is make it a pain in the a** for them to do anything!

As usual, it is only the Senators like Russ Feingold who even seem to care. I can't wait until an elected official comes back from a trip and the DHS seizes their comptuer and finds all kinds of evidence of crimes...bet it suddenly becomes quite the matter of privacy then!

These give me the "willies", I can't deal with heights

LUNCH ON THE SKYSCRAPER

ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA’ CIRCA 1930

The photos in this presentation are real. Some of them are historical photographs and were made by Charles Ebbets in the early 1930’s.Most of them depict daily scenes of the workers who participated in the construction of the skyscrapers between 1920 and 1935. As you will see, the safety measures were somewhat peculiar and the photos were done trying to play down that situation.

The photographs were taken in New York, on September 29th 1932, and published in the New York Herald Tribune in the Sunday supplement of the Oct. 2nd of that year. It was taken on the 69 floor of the 70 that is the GE building in the Rockefeller Center

Many of these images comprise the Bettmann file, founded by Otto Bettmann in 1936. It contains a collection of 11 million photographs and includes some of the best historical images of the United States. At the present time the file belongs to the Corbis company, property of Bill Gates.











Welcome to the 1st Monday open blog!!

If my memory holds up, I will try my best to
post one of these every week.

What's on your mind today?

How are you surviving Monday??

Most Amazing Invention




Do you really believe we will EVER see this in our lifetime? There are already so many alternative fuel sources that have been discovered. I am totally convinced that our so called energy "predicament" is politically and financially motivated. If there would have been a mandate that cars get a minimum of 50 mpg by the year 2008, we would all be getting 50mpg at this moment. How long will the public continue to buy into this B.S.?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Meeting the Mayor

I arrived a little early and was treated to a parking space right in front of Java Vino (ah, life’s little pleasures). I strolled in, got my coffee, and settled in my seat. The Mayor was already engaged in a conversation, but soon said hello to myself and others.

I thought it was really great the way all of us (about 20) jumped right into the issues. The Mayor expressed some frustration with the comments posted regarding his visit to the King center. Bloggers and residents expressed frustration with the escalating crime, especially the drug trade and shootings.

Here is a flavor of some of the more notable quotes from residents and bloggers, strictly as I remember them:

“Punitive action doesn’t work. We need to reach out to these young people”

“If the cops come up on 3 black kids and one white one, the black kids are going to jail”

“Cops show up on a complaint wind up putting the complainant in jail”

“People are standing on the corners dealing drugs. If it is obvious to me, it has to be obvious to the professionals patrolling the streets”

[In response to the Mayor’s ‘Broken Window’ policy] “Every drug dealer standing on the corner is a broken window and a boarded up house”

So, how did it go? Residents and bloggers told their stories, from the “I see drug dealers”, to “Poor police response” to “it is economics”, to “it is education”. I soon got the feeling that people wanted a magic bullet, but, we soon agreed, there is none to be found.

One man (I believe I know who) gave an impassioned plea to the Mayor regarding crime and police response. A woman on the other side of the room had a similar tale. It was unfortunate that the man got worked up, got into a dispute with a woman sitting at his table, got upset and stormed out. I say unfortunate because he had some valid points, but was easily dismissed as a kook.

We continued for quite some time. For each issue brought up, the Mayor outlined an initiative to cover that particular point. When the Mayor finally ran out of time, the meeting ended amiably.

When I went outside, I soon realized that I had lost track of time. Why? I had a parking ticket on my windshield.

I came home, and something nagged at me all day. I couldn’t put my finger on it. People expressed their views, brought up a variety of issues, the Mayor and Aldermen responded in kind, so what was my problem? I couldn’t shake it all day and all night. It finally hit me.

I believe the Mayor and Aldermen are sincere. They truly want what’s best for Racine. They have initiatives in place, and have future initiatives lined up. They are taking some action, but: IT’S NOT WORKING. That simple fact is what’s been bothering me. The broken window initiative, buying up apartment complexes, outreach programs, visits to the King center, etc, etc, etc is having little impact.

What is missing is an assault on the criminals. There were some that dismissed this idea, but one man with a camera around his neck, made, in retrospect, a very eloquent point. He stated that he lived in New York City when Rudy Giuliani [whom he considered a fascist] became Mayor. He expressed admiration that Giuliani first cleaned up the streets, used ordinances to get rid of unsavory businesses, and then brought in economic development. Giuliani changed the face of New York forever.

The Mayor stated that, even if they had more cops on the street, it wouldn't have stopped the last two shootings. That may be true, but because of the current environment, these shooters feel that they can act with impunity.

Maybe that’s the problem here in Racine. First and foremost, we need to rid ourselves of the criminal element. Once they have been tamped down, bulldoze (literally and figuratively) blighted areas, attract businesses [more jobs], then revitalize [Uptown Art District]. The Mayor himself noted that the old library building, currently selling for $180K, would be worth $500K if the neighborhood around it was better.

One attendee also had it right when he stated that fear needs to be removed from the city. That is the real bottom line. As long as there is fear, residents will not cooperate, businesses will not be attracted, tourists will not come, and people will not stay. All the initiatives in the world will fail if there is continued fear. I sincerely hope that our Mayor and Aldermen make every effort to remove that fear.

Two Coffees: $3.75
One Parking Ticket: $11
Getting to sound off to the Mayor: Priceless

I hope to do it again soon, only next time, without the parking ticket.