Thursday, July 16, 2015

"Journal Times editorial: Racine, let the tire planter stay"


From The Journal

"There are some properties with tires in heaps. There are some tires thrown into abandoned fields and alleyways.

"Then, on State Street in Racine, there is one large tire painted pink and purple, lined with flowers inside of it and a tall planter in the middle.

"That one painted tire is now at the center of a debate about what area residents are allowed to do with abandoned tires. The city is telling the property owner to get rid of the tire planter.

"She appealed to the City Plan Commission but was denied."

Read more:

The pettiness of the City of Racine can't be overestimated.

We're stalking Pluto now

Animal Instincts Pet Condoms

Looking For A Place For Your Loved One: Looking For A Place For Your Loved One

Looking For A Place For Your Loved One: Looking For A Place For Your Loved One: Looking For A Place For Your Loved One        Hi   I sent this article I wrote to the Racine Journal Times.    I don’t work there.  Mo...

"Crow Tests Positive For West Nile Virus In Racine County"

From Racine County Eye:

By Denise Lockwood in Business, Community, Government · July 14, 2015  

"Break out the insect repellent, the West Nile virus has been found in Racine County.

"Health officials found a dead crow in Racine County that has tested positive for West Nile virus, according to a press release by the Central Racine County Health Department.

"This is the first bird that has tested positive for the virus in Racine County since the Central Racine County Health Department started testing in May.

"'The positive bird means that residents of Racine County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,' said Margaret Gesner, health officer with the Central Racine County Health Department.

"Mosquitoes that feed on infected birds, including crows, can transmit West Nile virus to humans.

"Most people — 80 percent — who do contract West Nile do not get sick, but those who do experience fever, headache, muscle ache, rash and fatigue. Still, less than 1 percent of those who are infected get seriously ill. They will have a high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma. People with compromised immune systems and older adults have a higher risk of developing central nervous illness, which can be fatal, according to the press release.

"'Racine County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites,' Gesner said. 'The West Nile virus seems to be here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.'

"To avoid contracting the disease, the health department recommends:
  • Spending less time outside at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.
  • If you are going to be outside, use insect repellent on skin and clothing.
  • Make sure windows and door screens are in good repair.
  • Dispose items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots and discarded tires.
  • Clean roof gunners and downspouts for proper drainage.
  • Turnover wheelbarrows,wading pools, boats and canoes when not in use.
  • Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
  • Drain water from pool covers.
  • Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
  • Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.
"The state has monitored West Nile virus since 2001. In 2002, 52 cases of people having West Nile virus infections were documented. In 2014, the state had six cases.

"To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, please call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

"For more information on West Nile virus, click on the link for the state Department of Health and Family Services website."

Read more:

The first people I thought of were drew and THB, out in the tall grasses and meadows that mosquitoes live in. I never had much problem with mosquitoes when I was in landscape, but bees (in the ground, or a corner of the garage, etc.,) were fairly common.  I hated the fuckers in the ground.  They'd come up and stick you 3 or 4 times before you figure out what's happenung. 

Touching Monument

Top 10 Media Thursdays

Weekday Funny

"Remember these?"

From Knuckledraggin My Life Away:

"Man, those were fun – load it up with 2 caps, then sneak up on my uncle and fire it at the back of his head as hard as I could and then run like hell to delay the ass-whipping that was sure to come.

"Good times, man. Good times." 

I used to take a roll of caps and hit it with a brick on the concrete sidewalk.  BOOM!  But then all my caps were gone.  :(

"City of Racine attempts to shut down Kenny’s tavern on Main Street."

From Racine Community Media

Open Blog - Thursday

Try, just try, to put glasses on my cat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my family!  How are you?  We’ve had heat, rain, and breezes.  That’s summer weather.  “They” are saying it will heat up on Friday, but nothing extraordinary.  Enjoy the weather.  Get out and do something.  Be careful of sunburn.  Use sun block if you’re going to be outside for a long period of time.  When I grew up, Mr. Sun was our friend.  Now Mr. Sun’s UV rays can burn a hole into your brain.  The weather also seems more changeable than it used to be.  If you go out in shorts, don’t forget to keep winter clothing in your car.  Sometimes it changes 20 degrees in just one day.

I am saddened by Mr. OrbsCorbs’ blog below about potholes.  Mr. Mayor is always telling us one thing while doing another.  The city is hurting in many, many ways, but all Mr. Mayor can think about is how to empower and reward his friends with our money.  In case you didn’t know, four more lawsuits were filed against the city the other day.  Mr. Mayor lies and lies and the lawsuits just keep coming.  My God, why are we giving our precious tax dollars to criminals?  There will never be enough money or power for them.  They are the hollow men who are nothing without their clique.

The City Administrator’s raise is another imbroglio and embarrassment that should never have happened.  It’s getting to the point that I’m ashamed to tell people where I live.  I usually say, “Southeast Wisconsin.”  When pressed, I tell the truth.  I can see the disappointment in others’ eyes.  I believe the first thing they think of Racine is pedophiles and corruption.  The vast majority of people in Racine are decent and hard-working.  It’s pathetic that such fine people are led by a criminal cabal.  They take money from the police and firefighters and give it to each other.  If I was Mr. Police Chief, I would’ve been all over Mr. Mayor about the City Administrator’s raise.  Can we really afford to alienate our police and firefighters?  I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future Racine disbands the police and firefighters entirely.  Get a fire extinguisher and a .45, and try to protect yourself.

I’ve not been feeling “up to snuff” lately and I think writing the previous paragraphs have told me why.  The dishonesty at the federal, state, and local levels is literally sickening.  Some people consider human beings to be a parasite on this planet.  I’m beginning to wonder…

Sorry for the tone, dear friends.  Sometimes I can ignore the crimes committed by City Hall, and sometimes I feel within inches of taking out the people responsible.  We are sick and tired of criminals playing games with our lives.

Here, let’s shift gears to something positive:

Things like that really touch my heart and make me glad.  I don’t want to go off on another diatribe, but “Christians” are the only people I know who actively ignore the teachings of Christ while proclaiming their allegiance.  Do you think Christ would rather see a church full of sleepy worshippers, or His people going out and getting involved with others?  Somewhere along the line, actively working to help people was lost in the dust.  I know few true “Christians” and admire the ones I do know.  One opens his house to those in need of refuge and rest, no charge.  They’re out there.  Now we just have to convince them to run for office throughout the nation.

Thanks for reading my “political” blog today.  I am overjoyed that others read this.  I’m overjoyed if I helped.  I love all my readers, Irregular and otherwise.

Report your pothole:

Take care of yourselves, my dears. Racine is party city for those who can afford it.  Too bad they cancelled the Ride the City Waterslide.  Junior was so looking forward to it.  Be safe, my friends and keep the faith.

Because it's beautiful.

Open Blog - Wednesday

What did we win?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Racine- First Baptist Church Pastor Holly Anderle sends out a plea for help

From Racine Community Media:


"In A City With The State’s Highest Unemployment Rate, We Have A LOT Of Hungry People. 

We Have Fed Them For Over 25 years! 

- Pastor Holly Anderle"

"Racine- First Baptist Church Pastor Holly Anderle sends out a plea for help.

"Last year we chose to partner with the Hospitality Center of Racine to bring the Monday Night Hot Meal Program back to our downtown roots.

"This partnership has allowed the Hot Meal mission to reach many more people and has opened the door for our members to get even more closely involved with those in need. Recently, however, 2-3 downtown business owners have complained about the Hospitality Center being downtown, believing that the Center attracts homeless and poor people who are 'having a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood.'

"These 2-3 complaints caused the City of Racine to contact the Hospitality Center about supposed violations of the current Conditional Use Permit. Most of those violations either were never a problem, an exaggeration of a one-time occurrence, or have been corrected long ago.

"The Hospitality Center has met with city officials following these complaints and submitted an application to amend the Conditional Use Permit. The original permit allowed snacks to be served three days each week. Since that time, because of a growing need, they have become Racine’s Largest Meal Program serving over 1000 meals each week – noon meals four days each week, the weekly Monday Night Meal Program, and on the last Thursday of each month.

"In a city with the state’s largest unemployment rate, we have a lot of hungry people. We have met a need of feeding the hungry, responding to what we believe by God we are called to do.

"In a city with the state’s highest unemployment rate, we have a LOT of hungry people. We have fed them for over 25 years, responding to what we believe God has called us to do. And we want to continue to feed the hungry. The Conditional Use Permit HAS to be approved if our sisters and brothers are to be fed. Denying our ability to serve a hot meal to the poor at the Hospitality Center sets a frightening precedent that could affect ALL of the hot meals/community meals in the city of Racine.

"In order for the Planning and Development Commission to understand how important the Hospitality Center and the Monday Night Hot Meal Program is to the community they must hear from all of us.


"Call and write the members of the City of Racine Planning and Development Commission and tell them how important it is for us to feed and care for the hungry in Racine. Tell them to approve the new Conditional Use permit. (If you know any of the members personally, speak to them about the importance of the programs!)

"Come to the Planning and Development Commission hearing on JULY 29 at 4:15 PM at the Racine City Hall.

"Join us for our weekly prayer vigil every Monday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church sanctuary (corner of 7th and Main Sts); individual prayer and reflection from 4:00 to 6:30 PM, and clergy led group prayer at 6:30.

"Pray throughout each day as you feel led!!

"THANK YOU for your support!

"Rev. Holly Anderle
Coordinator of the Monday Night Hot Meal Program"


John Dickert – Mayor (262) 636-9111
Rev. Melvin Hargrove; 262-681-1691
Molly Hall 115 Illinois St.; 262-635-0520
Tony Veranth; 262-637-0115
Tom Durkin; 262-633-7530
Dennis Wiser; 262-554-6918
Vincent Esqueda; 262-344-1965


From Racine Community Media:

"City Says, 'NO' to fixing Northwestern/State Street, And 'NO' To Residents Flowers. Instead, Reduces Speed Limit To 20MPH."

"Residents frustrated with street conditions and basic lack of street maintenence on behalf of city officials, have taken to fixing potholes themselves, some safe, some not so much.

"Northwestern/State Street in Racine is in such bad shape that the city has just lowered the speed limit to 20 mph on the stretch between Spring Street & West High Street.

"City Superintendent Bill Folstrom said this about Northwestern Avenue to the Racine Public Works Committee,

"'The road is shot, we all know that, and we can’t keep up with the potholes. We just don’t have the people to do that. This is not an active construction site, but it might as well be!'

"The city has also ordered Alicia Villa 1935 State Street (located on the road the city say’s is unfixable and shot) to remove the flower decoration in a painted tire from her property.

"It comes down to waste and reuse to Villa and the city should observe the differences. Villa has made what most consider a beautiful work of art that adds a bright spot to an already destroyed city street.

"Alica Villa plans to attend the next City Council meeting on July 23rd at 7pm in City Hall to address her concerns and encourages all to attend and speak up.


Read more:

No money for potholes or streetlights, but plenty to give to lying John's friends.

"My car’s on fire! Time for a selfie"

From Knuckledraggin My Life Away:

Maybe it's not his car?

Open Blog - Tuesday

Have a good day. ☺

Monday, July 13, 2015

Waiting For Pluto...

I am sure many of you have been watching New Horizons approach Pluto recently. It is one of the those things that has been a long time in the works and will finally be here tomorrow (although it will take a little while for the flyby images to get beamed back and 18 months for all the data to be transferred back).

I have been into astronomy since was very young. I grew up watching the Voyagers send back striking images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The elusive Pluto remained unexplored (Voyager 2 could have explored Pluto but they had to make a choice: a flyby of Neptune's large Moon Triton or Pluto...didn't have the fuel for both...Triton won that battle).

Even with the Hubble Space Telescope, Pluto was only a few pixels revealing a couple of light and dark areas. Several proposals were made to send a probe to Pluto...NASA rejected several of them before finally funding New Horizons.

New Horizons launched in 2006 and got a gravity assist from Jupiter to speed the journey. Even a very small satellite put atop a very powerful rocket has taken almost nine and a half years to reach this remote world...and it's not staying long.

New Horizons is traveling over 30,000 miles per hour and will come within about 7,700 miles of Pluto's surface. Since the resolution of its imagers depend on how far the satellite is from Pluto, it has very little prime imaging time. If you are twice as far from Pluto, you pics have half the resolution. Even just one hour after closest approach, the distance to Pluto will go from about 7,700 miles to about 37,000 miles so the pics will have less than 1/4 the resolution so you can see why you want to get as much data at that time as you can!

So why not slow down or better yet, go into orbit? Remember that 9.5 year journey there? If you want to go into orbit, you to to slow down to match Pluto's speed. That would require a LOT of fuel. We just can't loft a satellite up there with that much fuel on board. The other option of course is to launch a slower moving satellite that wouldn't need as much fuel to slow down but then it would take a LOT longer to get there. Hence a flyby (New Horizons like to brag that it took them 9 hours to pass the Moon's orbit but the Apollo astronauts took three days...we could have gotten the astronauts to the Moon quicker, but they wanted to stop, land, explore a bit, turn around and come back).

And I don't care if Pluto is a dwarf planet. I hate that the media says Pluto was "demoted. It's not a competition people! It was reclassified to better reflect how different it is from all the other solar system bodies. A dwarf planet is NOT an insult, does not imply less important or less interesting. That Pluto is the first Kuiper belt object to be explored makes it MORE special and if you are pouting about it being called a dwarf planet, you are missing an important point.

I have been waiting most of my life. The pics that have come back so far have been thrilling to see, Christmas every day for the last week or so. No pics will be sent back I said, no time for that when you only have a few hours...cameras will be clicking away...quick look data will start coming in Wednesday and I will be glued to the computer watching for it.

As exciting as this is, I already fear that it is the only time Pluto will be visited in my lifetime. It takes a long time to design, build and launch a probe to Pluto and a long time to get there. An orbital mission would take longer than 10 years travel time after launch and I am not award of anything coming down the pipe that will reduce any of those time frames. Heck, we are only going to get really good pics of one side of Pluto...and there are (at least) five Moons out there too that need exploring!

One consolation is that New Horizons should go on to explore at least one other Kuiper Belt object...they will select which one and fire up the thrusters to set a course later this year (there are a couple of candidates they could reach with the available fuel) so hopefully there will be another exciting flyby a few years down the road.

After a lifetime of waiting, that little dot I saw in pictures in my astronomy books as a child is about to be revealed in all its glory and I am thrilled to be able to watch it happen.

Looking For A Place For Your Loved One: Looking For A Place For Your Loved One

Looking For A Place For Your Loved One: Looking For A Place For Your Loved One: Looking For A Place For Your Loved One        Hi   I sent this article I wrote to the Racine Journal Times.    I don’t work there.  Mo...

Open Blog - Monday

If Monday is magic, it should make itself disappear.