Friday, November 22, 2019

Two big storms could snarl Thanksgiving travel next week

(CNN)According to AAA, 50 million people are expected to take to the roads, rails and skies during Thanksgiving week. However, two big storms could slow your roll to grandma's house. Do keep in mind that Thanksgiving is a week away, and the forecast can change. But as of now -- here's an early look at what you can expect.

Storm to batter the Midwest

Low pressure pushes east of the Rockies during the day on Tuesday, bringing a quick round of snow to the Plains before quickly strengthening and taking aim at the Midwest.
    • Chicago will start out with rain on Tuesday afternoon, then turn to snow late Tuesday. The snow should be out of Chicago by Wednesday morning.
    • Parts of Wisconsin and Michigan will get a round of heavy snow on Tuesday and early Wednesday before clearing out.
    • Behind the system, temperatures will drop 5-15 degrees. Much of the Midwest will have highs in the upper 30s to low 40s for Thanksgiving day, with dry conditions.
    Read more:

    What is it with the press always sensationalizing the weather?  Nobody knows what the weather will be like a week from now.  Stop trying to scare us.

    Design of a Ballistically-Launched Foldable Multirotor

    Four for Fridays!

    Good morning everyone I am so sorry this is being posted late. Drew had to be into work at 4am this morning and I had to take him to work so I could run some errands this morning. When I came home from taking him to work I decided to take a nap and woke up later than expected. Here are your questions.

    1) Do you have any plans for Thanksgiving?

    2) If you do have plans for Thanksgiving are you seeing friends or family?

    3) Do you have to travel for to go and see the people?

    4) Do you put up decorations for Thanksgiving?

    If you are traveling please be safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving. We are traveling up north and we will be very safe both ways.

    Open Blog - Friday

    How I wish.

    Thursday, November 21, 2019

    Prince under pressure: Is this the end for Andrew?

    Evers signs bill closing roof on Miller Park sales tax, Wanggaard says 'even Cubs fans' will be happy

    From The Journal

    MADISON — The Miller Park tax is officially going to end.
    The 0.1% sales tax, which started in 1996, helped fund construction of the Milwaukee Brewers’ stadium that replaced the beloved-but-aging County Stadium. The tax affected Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha and Racine counties.
    The tax ended up collecting nearly $600 million over its nearly 24-year life so far. In 2018, Racine County’s portion of the tax accounted for $2.9 million.
    The stadium cost $400 million to build almost 20 years ago; adjusted for inflation, the cost is closer to $570 million.
    But, starting on Sept. 1, 2020, the tax will go away.

    Nov. 20, 2019 - Miller Park Tax bill signing with Robert Wittke and Tony Evers
    On Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers, at front, signed a bill that ensured the Miller Park tax would close on Aug. 31, 2020. It was the first bill signed into law authored by Rep. Robert Wittke, R-Wind Point, at left. Next to Wittke are his legislative assistant, Terri Griffiths, and Sen. Timothy Carpenter, D-Milwaukee.
    On Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers signed a bill that scheduled the tax’s dissolution. It was the first bill authored by state Rep. Robert Wittke, R-Wind Point, to be passed since he was elected to the state Assembly last November.
    Two weeks ago, officials from the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District (informally known as the Miller Park District) said that the bill does not affect the district’s plan to certify the end of the tax at its meeting in March 2020. Thereafter, any money collected through the Miller Park Tax would then be redistributed back into the communities it was collected from.

    ‘Even Cubs fans’

    The bill was authored by two Republicans representing Racine County: Wittke and Sen. Van Wanggaard.
    “Hallelujah! The tax is dead!” Wanggaard wrote in a statement. “This is a great day for taxpayers in southeastern Wisconsin and especially Racine County ... I am hopeful that with this chapter behind us everyone, including those that vehemently opposed the tax and even Cubs fans, can enjoy the Brewers product on the field, rather than focusing on who is paying for the field.”
    “Today we closed the roof on the Miller Park Stadium tax,” Wittke said in a statement.
    That product the Brewers have produced on the field has held steady since Miller Park (soon to be renamed by American Family Insurance) opened in 2001, although the team has found more playoff success.
    In the last 19 years at County Stadium, the Brewers’ winning percentage was .488. Since Miller Park was built, their winning percentage has been .484.
    However, the Brewers have played in the playoffs four times since 2001. In the last 20 years at County Stadium, the team only played in the playoffs twice: in 1981 for the American League Division Series, and in 1982 when the Brewers made it to the World Series for the only time in their 50-season history.

    10 Tiny Things That Can Influence Your Brain

    Open Blog - Thursday

    I find it so hard to do, "Be Positive and Keep Smiling."  I invariably run into an idiot who ruins the mood.

    Wednesday, November 20, 2019

    Dear Madame Zoltar

    Lord Zoltar showed up on Madame Zoltar's front steps and now she is in hiding.

    Click image to enlarge.

    Demand Justice for Kelly and A Better Mount Pleasant!

    From Racine WI - Sin City:

    Kelly Gallaher has been a political force to reckon with along with a tireless worker for Truth, Justice and Equality in Mount Pleasant, Racine. She has faced tremendous opposition in her quest for Truth, Justice and Equality  from some of Mount Pleasants highest ranking Officials, along with numerous instances of slander and threats – to even include Village President David DeGroot threatening physical violence against her and saying he will ban her from attending future Village Board Meetings because she dissents and presents an opposing view.


    Open Blog - Wednesday

    The weekend laughs at this image.

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    Hearing for Kelly

    After more than six months, the PFC will finally review the
    investigation into a formal complaint of defamation, intimidation and
    sexual harassment which was filed against South Shore Fire Chief
    Robert Stedman for his "alleged" role as the owner and creator of a
    public website which cyber-stalked and abused residents and trustees.

    The PFC will convene into closed session to review the information,
    however your presence will support the people who have been fighting
    for more than two and half years to uncover this inappropriate and
    malicious behavior., November 26, 2019 at 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM CST8811 Campus Dr, Racine, WI 53406-7014, United States

    Open Blog - Tuesday

    Some of us don't have sex on any day.

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    Preview of the American Family Insurance Amphitheater redesign shown at Summerfest

    The Codevilla Tapes

    We’ve come to accept that certain classes of people are in fact above the law.

    We have come to accept that.

    The election of 2016 was precisely about whether anyone in America is
    above the law. The reason why so many people did not vote for Hillary
    Clinton is the feeling that she and her ilk were above the law, were
    acting as if they were above the law, which happened to be entirely
    true. Now the fact that the Trump administration is acting according
    to the same premise, i.e., that some people are above the law, is
    evidence that the revolution that the voters wanted in 2016 has only
    just begun.

    No one runs America. That’s the terror and the beauty of American life in a nutshell, the answer to the secret of how 300 million people from many different places can live together between two oceans, sharing a future-oriented outlook that methodically obliterates any ties to the past. All prior lived experience is transformed into science fiction, or else into self-serving evidence of the present-day moral, intellectual, and technological superiority of the brave imagineers who are fortunate enough to live here, in the Now, while all who came before them are cursed. No one can or does control such fantasy-driven machinery, which seems incapable of operating in any other way than it does, i.e., in a space with no beginning and no end, but tending always toward perfection. Learning to accept imperfection and failure may be an emotionally healthy way for adults to negotiate the terrors and absurdities of human existence, but it is not the highway to the perfectibility of man or woman-kind.
    Because the large-scale explanations that Americans offer each other about how their country works, or doesn’t work, arise from working backwards from the expectation of some future storybook perfection, they tend to be either childishly conspiratorial or cartoonishly stupid—because those are the types of explanation that tend to win out once you stipulate an ever-more-perfect-and-glorious future as the inevitable outcome of whatever snake oil it is that you are pitching to the suckers. In today’s America, these explanations come in the form of shallow and sweeping identitarian polemics (“white people” or “globalists” run “everything”), indecipherable academese backed by graphed coefficients (people are motivated by “rational self-interest,” as calculated by academics), or as appeals to a glorified and abstracted historical past (“the Founding Fathers,” “the melting pot”) whose promises of future perfection may have seemed real enough to past generations, but must now grow ever more distant with every new iteration of Moore’s law.
    Which is not to say that America isn’t governed by an elite class, just like China, or Japan, or France is—only that the ability of that class to actually rule anything is even more constrained by the native culture. The idea that an advanced technologically driven capitalist or socialist society of several hundred million people can be run by something other than an elite is silly or scary—the most obvious present-day alternative being a society run by ever-advancing forms of AI, which will no doubt have only the best interests of their flesh-and-blood creators at heart.
    Yet it is possible to accept all of this, and to posit that the reason that the American ruling class seems so indisputably impotent and unmoored in the present is that there is no such thing as America anymore. In place of the America that is described in history books, where Henry Clay forged his compromises, and Walt Whitman wrote poetry, and Herman Melville contemplated the whale, and Ida Tarbell did her muckraking, and Thomas Alva Edison invented movies and the light bulb, and so forth, has arisen something new and vast and yet distinctly un-American that for lack of a better term is often called the American Empire, which in turn calls to mind the division of Roman history (and the Roman character) into two parts: the Republican, and the Imperial.
    While containing the ghosts of the American past, the American Empire is clearly a very different kind of entity than the American Republic was—starting with the fact that the vast majority of its inhabitants aren’t Americans. Ancient American ideas about individual rights and liberties, the pursuit of happiness, and so forth, may still be inspiring to mainland American citizens or not, but they are foreign to the peoples that Americans conquered. To those people, America is an empire, or the shadow of an empire, under which seemingly endless wars are fought, a symbol of their own continuing powerlessness and cultural failure. Meanwhile, at home, the American ruling elites prattle on endlessly about their deeply held ideals of whatever that must be applied to Hondurans today, and Kurds tomorrow, in fits of frantic-seeming generosity in between courses of farm-to-table fare. Once the class bond has been firmly established, everyone can relax and exchange notes about their kids, who are off being credentialed at the same “meritocratic” but now hugely more expensive private schools that their parents attended, whose social purpose is no longer to teach basic math or a common history but to indoctrinate teenagers in the cultish mumbo-jumbo that serves as a kind of in-group glue that binds ruling class initiates (she/he/they/ze) together and usefully distinguishes them from townies during summer vacations by the seashore.
    Read more:

    A night of drinking, a closed strip joint, and a White Castle shooting brought suspensions for 3 judges

    INDIANAPOLIS — Hours before they were to attend an educational conference in Indianapolis, three judges went out drinking for a few hours and decided to walk to a strip joint.
    Finding that closed, they then stopped at a White Castle, where two men in an SUV shouted at the judicial trio, prompting one judge to hold up her middle finger at the two men, according to an Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary ruling.
    A drunken brawl then erupted between the men and two of the jurists, who were shot and seriously wounded in an unseemly spectacle that resulted in the Indiana Supreme Court temporarily suspending them without pay for their less-than-honorable actions early in the morning of May 1.
    “Respondents’ actions were not merely embarrassing on a personal level; they discredited the entire Indiana judiciary,” the state Supreme Court said its Tuesday, Nov. 5 ruling.
    The ruling said the judges — Andrew Adams of the Clark Circuit Court 1, Bradley Jacobs of the Clark Circuit Court 2, and Sabrina Bell of the Crawford Circuit Court — engaged in judicial misconduct and behaved in “an injudicious manner” during the boozy fisticuffs in the restaurant’s parking lot in downtown Indianapolis.
    “I wholeheartedly apologize for my behavior that evening that has embarrassed the Indiana Supreme Court, my fellow judges, and all the members of my chosen profession. I cannot offer any excuses for the events of that evening, nor do I attempt to offer any excuses for those choices,” Jacobs said in a statement read by his attorney to reporters.
    An attorney for Adams declined to comment to CNN on the case. In a statement to local media, Adams apologized to his family and community, acknowledging he had “failed to behave in a manner that my position requires,” the Indianapolis Star reported.
    “I am fully aware of the embarrassment I have brought to the Indiana Judiciary, my family, and specifically, my community. There is not a minute in the day that I don’t think about the significant repercussions my actions have caused. I take full responsibility for my actions as they neither met my expectations or the expectations placed upon me as a judicial office,” Adams said in the statement, according to the Star.
    CNN reached out to Bell for comment.
    Adams, Bell, and Jacobs arrived in Indianapolis for the Spring Judicial College on April 30 and began socializing and drinking with other judicial officers that evening, the ruling said.
    At around 3 a.m. the next morning, the judges walked together to a strip club, the document said, but the club was closed and they walked to a nearby White Castle restaurant.
    While they were standing outside in the White Castle parking lot, two men drove by and shouted something at the three judges out of the window of their vehicle. Bell flipped off the men, the document said, and they pulled into the lot and the five began to argue.
    The ruling said Bell was intoxicated at the time and had no memory of the incident or what was said to incite it.
    But it noted that she told detectives at the scene, “I feel like this is all my fault.”
    Bell said the three were good friends and the other judges were protective of her, the ruling said.
    “I’m afraid that I said something to those two strange men at first, and then they said something back to me, and then I said something, and then [Adams and Jacobs] went to defend me,” Bell said, according to the ruling.
    She added, “I’m not denying that I said something or egged it on … because I drink … I mean, I fully acknowledge that I drink and get mouthy, and I’m fiery, and I’m feisty, but if I would have ever thought for a second that they were gonna fight, or that that guy had a gun on him, I would never, never.”
    The verbal argument turned physical, with Jacobs bringing one of the men to the ground and Adams kicking him in the back.
    The fight ended when the man pulled out a gun, shooting Adams once and Jacobs twice, the document said. The men were taken to hospitals and had emergency surgeries.
    On Sept. 9, Adams pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of battery resulting in bodily injury. He was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with 363 days suspended.
    He also was suspended without pay for 60 days, while Jacobs and Bell were suspended without pay for 30 days.
    The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that by engaging in the conflict, the judges fell short of their directive to “aspire at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence.”
    The man accused of shooting the judges is scheduled to go on trial in January on a number of charges, including felony aggravated battery.

    Open Blog -Monday

    Prove it.

    Sunday, November 17, 2019

    Second Downtown business group formed

    From The Journal

    RACINE — Is Downtown Racine big enough for two separate business associations?
    For decades, Downtown Racine Corp. has been the primary representative association for Downtown Racine businesses.
    Now, there is a second group, the newly announced Downtown Racine Merchants Association.
    The stated purposes of both organizations overlap in several ways. DRMA says in its opening news release that it was formed “for the purpose of unifying Downtown Racine’s merchants and businesses for collaborative marketing, advocacy, and event planning …”
    DRC’s website states that the organization’s mission “is to foster economic, social, and cultural diversity by stimulating business development, programming events, and marketing downtown to the community, developers, and tourists.”
    DRMA Chairman Scott Obernberger, owner of Twice Baked Pottery, 320 Main St., stated, “We are launching more creative ways for merchants to work together, showcasing all that Downtown Racine has to offer for locals while expanding our audience to better reach residents of the Chicago and Milwaukee areas who are looking for that perfect day trip.”
    He said the group so far has about 22 paid members at $75 for a year and has been meeting monthly at various Downtown shops since about May or June, averaging about 10 to 12 merchants attending per meeting.
    “We decided there was a definite need for merchants and all of us to be working together,” Obernberger said about the start of DRMA. “There was not enough happening.
    “We needed to focus the marketing on not just nightlife,” he added.
    The new organization will promote “day trip tourism” and has distributed a “Best of Racine” guide. In addition, DRMA is now focusing its attention on developing a social media presence and planning events such as Meet the Makers on Feb. 8 and Customer Appreciation Days on March 20 and 21.
    Obernberger said DRMA is not in competition with DRC. “I hope that we can work together … whether it’s businesses or organizations, to move Downtown forward,” he said.
    Asked about the formation of the new Downtown association, DRC Executive Director Kelly Kruse responded, “We are excited to see the enthusiasm the merchants have to independently tackle new retail-specific initiatives in Downtown. We look forward to collaborating and supporting the merchant association. We will continue to aggressively pursue our mission of fostering business development, programming events, and marketing downtown to the community and tourists.”

    Illegal pot farms on public land create environmental hazard

    From The Journal

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A month after two men were arrested at an illicit marijuana farm on public land deep in the Northern California wilderness, authorities are assessing the environmental impact and cleanup costs at the site where trees were clear-cut, waterways were diverted, and the ground was littered with open containers of fertilizer and rodenticide.
    A group including U.S. Forest Service rangers, local law enforcement, scientists and conservationists hiked into the so-called trespass grow where nearly 9,000 cannabis plants were illegally cultivated on national forest land in the region known as the Emerald Triangle, for the marijuana that has been produced there for decades.
    Authorities allege members of an international drug trafficking ring set up camp at the site as far back as 2015.
    When deputies raided the remote clearing in the woods Sept. 9, they found hundreds of pounds of harvested marijuana, thousands of pounds of trash and more than 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of plastic irrigation piping, according to the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office. They also discovered bottles of carbofuran, a banned neurotoxicant used to kill rodents that also has been linked to the deaths of spotted owls, fish and mountain lions. A quarter-teaspoon can kill a 300-pound (136-kilogram) bear.
    The case highlights some of the growing pains California has faced since kicking off broad legal sales in 2018. Its legal marijuana market has grown to more than $3 billion but remains dwarfed by a thriving illegal market, which rakes in nearly $9 billion annually. Limited resources mean officials can’t keep up with all the illegal sites that are remnants of the outlaw era, when much of the pot for the U.S. black market came from the Emerald Triangle.
    Experts say illegal sites like the one found in the Shasta Trinity National Forest, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the Oregon line, siphon valuable water, pollute legal downstream grows and funnel potentially tainted cannabis onto the streets.
    “These places are toxic garbage dumps. Food containers attract wildlife, and the chemicals kill the animals long after the sites are abandoned,” said Rich McIntyre, director of the Cannabis Removal on Public Lands (CROP) Project, which is dedicated to restoring criminal grow sites on state and federal property in California. “We think there’s a public health time bomb ticking.”
    CROP is a coalition of conservation organizations, tribes, elected officials, law enforcement agencies and federal land managers. Also lending its support is the legal cannabis industry, which says it’s being undercut by the criminal market. Officials estimate that up to 70% of California’s illicit pot comes from trespass grows mostly on public land.
    “We see illegal grows as undermining the legal cultivators and manufacturers” by reducing tax revenue, said Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, a trade group. “We’re seeing untested and unregulated cannabis flooding the market.”
    Black market marijuana is potentially dangerous because traces of the toxic chemicals used at grow sites are often found in the plants, she said.
    “If you have an illicit grow upstream from you, and you’re legal, that could end up tainting your product and prevent it from entering the market,” Robinson said.

    Smell, crime from possible hemp field a concern in Somers

    From The Journal

    SOMERS — Several Somers residents, concerned about the smell and potential crime that could be associated with hemp fields, asked village officials this week to look into regulating where hemp can be grown.
    Guy Santelli and other residents in the Covelli Heights subdivision, which is located in the 800 block of 22nd Avenue (Highway Y) said they recently learned the farm located southeast of the subdivision has applied for a license to grow hemp.
    “It is a plant that very much smells like marijuana when it is being grown,” Santelli said. “It grows 6 to 12 feet tall, and it is quite different than the crops of cabbage, soybeans or corn that we are used to.”
    Santelli said other states where hemp is grown have put ordinances in place that limit the proximity of the fields to subdivisions, parks, schools and municipal buildings.
    MaryAnn Cardinali, vice president of the Covelli Heights homeowners association, said there are reports of children becoming nauseated and getting headaches from the smell of hemp.
    Cardinali and resident Colleen Dosemagen also voiced concerns about safety and crime.
    Farmers in Wisconsin began growing hemp last year as an alternative crop. It is harvested for production of CBD oil and other industrial uses.
    The plants look and smell like marijuana, but have much smaller amounts of the chemical THC. People can’t get high off hemp.
    There are more than 1,400 growers statewide, according to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
    In Kenosha County, there are 39 farmers growing hemp on 239 acres this year.
    Some criminal activity has taken place. In the town of Randall, six people who thought the hemp was marijuana attempted to raid a field. All six were charged with felony theft. Thefts have also been reported from another farm in Bristol.
    Somers village president George Stoner asked administration to explore what, if any, options exist and for the issue to be added to the agenda for the Village Board work session in January.