Friday, April 22, 2016

"Alderman asks D.A. to look into City Council president vote"

From The Journal


"RACINE — Alderman Sandy Weidner has asked the Racine County District Attorney’s Office to look into a City Council vote taken this week that resulted in Alderman Dennis Wiser being re-elected to a second consecutive term as city council president. 
Sandy Weidner

"The secret ballot vote took place Tuesday at the City Council’s annual organizational meeting, at City Hall, 730 Washington Ave.

"'I don’t know that any laws were broken,' writes Weidner in her inquiry, 'but it is my hope that the District Attorney’s Office could provide some guidance for the aldermen if this "balloting" is legitimate.'

"Third District Alderman Mike Shields, who has served on the City Council for nearly 25 years, and Wiser, who was first elected to the City Council in 2010, were both nominated to run for the post — Shields by Weidner, and Wiser by 13th District Alderman Jim Morgenroth.

"Aldermen turned in their ballots to the clerk; those ballots were counted by a clerk and Racine City Attorney Scott Letteney. Mayor John Dickert then announced that the winner was Wiser.

"Both Shields and Weidner then asked for the vote tally, but Dickert told them it was a secret ballot and moved the proceedings along to his State of the City Address, which was the last item on the agenda.

"It wasn’t until after the meeting had adjourned that Letteney disclosed the final tally, which he said was a 7-7 vote, with Dickert casting the tie-breaking ballot for Wiser.

"In her inquiry emailed Wednesday to Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete, Weidner states that her concern centers on the way the secret ballot was taken; alleging that Dickert had not cast a ballot at the time he announced that Wiser had won the election. She claims that the tie-breaking ballot was not cast until sometime near the end of the meeting, when Letteney allegedly asked a clerk for a blank ballot, and then allegedly filled it out himself.

"A call and email to Chiapete to confirm that he had received Weidner’s inquiry were not immediately returned Thursday, but Weidner provided a copy of Chiapete’s response to her email in which Chiapete writes that he has forwarded the inquiry on to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office for follow up.

"Letteney said Thursday that he could provide no comment because he had not seen the actual inquiry."

Read more:

Chicago politics at their best.  Actually, although the politics in Chicago may be less than on the up-and-up. the citizens' needs are met.  That's why it's called "The City That Works."  Dickert could run things as smoothly as either Mayor Daley, but his big mouth and greed trip him up every time. 

Four for Fridays!

I don't know how anyone else feels if the week went by fast or slow but I think it went by fast or it was just that Drew was on vacation. He went back to work today for one day then has the weekend off. I hope everyone has a had a good week. Here are your questions.

1) Has anyone ever listened to any of Prince's music?

2) Is there any Icon that has passed away that you do miss?

3) Do you have friends that are more like family to you?

4) Do you have days that you just want to turn your telephone off because it just seems like it will not stop ringing?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


"Wisconsin state workers leaving in higher numbers as economy improves"

From JSOnline:

By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel

"Madison— The stream of workers leaving state agencies last year gushed at the highest level seen in at least a decade, driven by an improving economy that is making private employers more attractive in relation to their counterparts in government.

"Nearly one in eight employees left their state jobs last year for retirement, another job or other reasons, with one in five workers in some health care fields departing. In all, 3,600 workers outside of the University of Wisconsin System moved on from their state jobs in 2015, which was 23% more than 2014 and nearly twice as many as in 2010.

"The numbers, released to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel through an open records request, don't explain on their own why more workers are leaving or show that Wisconsin government is any worse than state governments around the country.

"It's clear that a big part of the trend can be explained by an improving economy that's giving workers more job opportunities than several years ago, when state employees hunkered down and generally didn't leave their jobs for reasons other than retirement.

"'We're seeing a definite trend in that it's difficult to recruit and retain state workers (nationally). It's due in significant part to compensation. In some parts of the country, it's not competing with market rates in the private sector,' said Leslie Scott, executive director of the National Association of State Personnel Executives.

"But the figures also add fire to an ongoing debate about whether stagnant wages and changes to union rules have made state government a less attractive employer to its workforce. Though controlling labor costs can be good for taxpayers, higher turnover, vacant jobs and the learning curve for new workers can also drive up overtime and training costs and affect public services.

"With the baby boom generation also hitting retirement age, the loss of experienced workers is likely to remain an issue for the state for some time to come. Citing that problem and the need for more efficient hiring practices, Gov. Scott Walker in February signed a broad overhaul of the state's century-old system of merit hiring and firing.

"'These reforms will allow us to better compete with the private sector and recruit the best and the brightest state employees to ensure we are providing high quality state services to citizens. These reforms also give agencies more tools to retain employees while allowing the state to hire more quickly and efficiently, which will help mitigate' departures, Walker administration spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said.

"During the Great Recession, new opportunities for workers and turnover in state government both plummeted, dropping in 2010 to 1,821 civil servants, or 6% of the state workforce, who left their non-university jobs for a variety of reasons, from retirements and resignations to terminations, layoffs and death. The figures don't include workers who took a different state job, and the numbers don't differentiate between resignations and firings.

"In 2011, Walker signed the law known as Act 10, repealing most union bargaining for most public workers and increasing state workers' benefit contributions by an amount equal to about 8.5% of take-home pay. That year, retirements jumped as employees sought to avoid fundamental changes to their retirement benefits, which didn't end up materializing. But with the recession still deep, relatively few employees resigned to take other jobs.

"The state offered across-the-board raises of 1% in 2014 and 2015, along with some merit increases for select employees, but no increases in the current two-year budget."

Read more: 

This is why state government now moves slow as molasses.

This apartment has always afforded good views of the moon

That's you-know-who in the lower left corner of the photo. He's sacked out on his old window perch which I hung in a ladder here because we have no window sills. Damn "modern" apartments. I love the old ones with lots of exposed wood.

"Music icon Prince dead at 57"

Updated 4:50 PM ET, Thu April 21, 2016

"(CNN)Prince Rogers Nelson, the eclectic virtuoso who penned such gems as 'Kiss,' and 'Let's Go Crazy' and who took on the music industry in his fight for creative freedom, died Thursday at age 57.

"'It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning,' publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said.

"Earlier Thursday, police said they were investigating a death at the Paisley Park studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. They responded to a medical call and found the singer unresponsive in an elevator, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said.

"A massive outpouring of grief followed on social media. Some are saying the icon's death 'is what it sounds like when doves cry,' a reference to his monster hit from 1984. Fans rushed to record stores to pick up vinyl and other Prince memorabilia."

Read more:

They're dropping like flies.


Open Blog - Friday

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Since Drew is on vacation he has been going all over he has been birding in Milwaukee County, Racine County and Kenosha County. He has been getting up early and leaving to find the morning birds. This time I am going to share some owl pictures that he has taken.

This is a Great Horned Owl with an Owlet the picture was taken at Whitnall Park in Franklin Wi.. There is two Owlets but you can only see one in the picture.

               This is a Eastern Screech Owl the picture was taken at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wi..

                       This is a Barred Owl the picture was taken at Whitnall Park in Franklin Wi.

I hope everyone enjoys the pictures and I hope everyone has a great day.


Open Blog - Tuesday

An attitude of gratitude changes everything.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring Splash at Whitewater University!

Yesterday Drew and I went out to Whitewater University in Whitewater Wi. to bring my daughter some food. She forgot to tell me that it was Spring Splash weekend which is all the kids walk from house to house drinking. My daughter had to work so she was not out walking and drinking. It was so crazy driving down the streets and the kids just walk out in front of your car so you have to be very careful. The kids are walking down the streets with coolers and cases of beer. There was this one party in the woods and it was huge. The city police are driving up and down the streets. When we were leaving her dorm there was a police SUV by the stop sign watching one huge house party and I stopped and said I hope you have fun watching the kid they said we will. I told them I just wanted to get out of here and said we are from Racine and then we left. Here are some pictures of the kids walking down the streets and at home parties.