Over the past few years, the Village of Bayside has connected as a community in a variety of forms. From the weather events that defined each season, to the community gatherings that take place throughout the year, each resident has had an opportunity to enrich their experience in Bayside.
Several events help promote the community spirit, connectedness and neighborhood pride. Over the past year, the Village’s only park, Ellsworth, became a main focal point for events. The annual Village Picnic, Music in the Park, and Fright Night events are now all held there. The park provides a mutual meeting place that offers amenities to residents of all ages.
First, I'd like to welcome the hundreds of new readers to this blog. Blog traffic has been 10 times normal this week, and I hope I've provided a service to the public with this election series. Stick around.
When I first started writing about Whitefish Bay's election, I attempted to be an objective observer for the public. I admitted I would make endorsements at the end of the race. After interviewing all the candidates, it was easy to select who I wanted to vote for .. it was excruciating writing about it. It's tough to pick one person over another and let the world know about it.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought strongly for civil rights. He became the non-violent voice of people of color,and he pricked the conscious [finally!] of White America. He forced America and Americans to deal with questions of racial discrimination, Jim Crow laws, school segregation, housing restrictions, etc. He remained alive doing this.
When Dr. King moved his crusade to labor, corporations, and greed of the few, he was killed. James Earl Ray was later convicted of King's murder. But James Earl Ray was a petty criminal who barely squeezed out a living. How did he end up being found in England? Who supported him? What strings were pulled and where did his new-found money come from? Certainly not from bigots who were opposed to King's civil rights activities. The civil rights battle offered many easy opportunities to kill King. But when it came to the economics of capitalistic/fascistic America, he had to go.
Just a few quick items that may have slipped under the rug during the election frenzy.
The Plan Commission will have an interesting April 29th meeting. Two items:
Sal's Pizza (of Cedarburg) is interested in opening up in the old Ciao Café spot. This is good news, it's always good to have a pizza joint on the block. Dine in/Take Out/Delivery.
Aurora Health Care is renewing its application to start a medical clinic in the old Talbot's / Famous Footwear location. Here's where the fun starts. As I've written a number of times Silver Spring needs a home run on that property, and Aurora isn't it. One would hope the Plan Commission will squint at the zoning regs and come up with a reason to send AHC somewhere else.
Let's hope they read "That the establishment of the conditional use will not impede the normal and orderly development and improvement of the surrounding property for uses permitted in the district." and apply it with some imagination of what could be there.
A few more items about the Aurora clinic today..
A loyal reader reported back from Aurora's meet & greet at the high school. He stayed an hour, and estimated 7 other people drifted in. He said they displayed a number of posters of the project which included pictures of the vacant buildings on Silver Spring .. a not-so-subtle way of Aurora saying "See? Love us. You have no other choice."
Between the remaining primaries we are getting reports on how much the candidates have raised for their respective campaigns. It will cost about $100 million to get some of the elected that will make $400,000 annually. If we ever thought about the other uses for the money? At least one of the candidates talks about the opportunity cost of a portion of the federal budget. More specifically, they will address the amount of money spent on the war in Iraq, and if we had used and money and spent it on domestic programs, we could have replaced bridges, schools, highways, and many other things. However, if we want to reduce the federal budget deficit, that amount of money would have had to have gone unspent. And of course, not a dime of it would have been wasted had it been better spent.
But what about the candidates money? All three of the major candidates are touring the country, or will tour this summer. And all three will have their hand out. They will be asking citizens about the country to donate to their cause and campaigns. Of course the true believers will donate-as they should. As noble and just we think that public financing is, I think it is among the worst uses of tax money. In fact, it should be the other way around. We should be using the campaign money to fund the programs that the candidates are talking about. Why waste all kinds of money on TV commercials that are run so often we become sick of them after one hour? That money could be spent on the first six days of a socialized healthcare program. That would give the average citizen, five days more of keeping their own money, instead of having to fork over to the government in the form of higher taxes.
Lots of misplaced faith goes into our judgments about "other' religions. Wars have often been fought over trivial matters that seemed important at the time, but in retrospect seem tragically silly. Religious people are quick to judge others who do not fit their narrow path.
How damned am I, for example, for thinking that...
In case you want to see some unique wildlife in Whitefish Bay .. there is a family of owls living in a pine tree on the 5500 block of Shoreland.
The pine tree is on the East side, and you really can't miss it. A little more than half way up the tree, you'll see some bare branches. I was told there are three owls, an adult and two teenaged owls.
If you've been outside lately, have you noticed anything changing? Does it feel like the universe is getting warmer? Perhaps it's the earth, getting warmer. Maybe it's climate change caused by man. Maybe spring has finally arrived.
One piece of news that you are not going to see on TV is scientifically based on what has actually been happening with the surface temperature of the earth. You may see it in a newspaper or of course it will be buried. This is the fact that they temperature of the earth has actually gone down 1° from last year. This is that I only watched temperature that the left-wing media has been convincing us that is climbing higher at an alarming rate. It is the subject, that Al Gore is now dedicating his life to. It may even be a topic for the presidential contenders later this year.
I gotta have that! Oh, those shoes are so me! Last year's computer is so passe! Oh, a Hummer! Have you tried Kobe beef? I finally could afford a $300 bottle of wine!
are we doing to ourselves? And when another nation doesn't bend
to our self-spoiled demands or needs, invade, boycott, or shock and
awe! I want that! And the U.S. economy is totally dependent
now on our perpetual spending spree. What a group of
unenlightened, bourgeois boors we have become! How we kneel
to corporate advertising!
So here's the deal. I love Hillary. That's a polarizing statement, I know. I also know that Hillary can be a polarizing figure. Though I feel that she is routinely maligned in the media and by politicos, and commonly the butt of sexist attitudes (overt or institutional), I can understand why some people dislike her. The sad fact is that most of the complaints against her are complaints that could easily be levied against any other--dare I say it--male candidate. She's bossy? She's self-righteous? Claims credit or exaggerates her role in world/political affairs? Gets her facts wrong? I don't know why it is that we've treated her differently than every other male candidate that's running for office. George W. Bush is notoriously stubborn in staying on point and sticking to his agenda. The role of the politician in society is to claim credit for his / her accomplishments. Misspoke? Misstates? Happens to the best--and the worst--of them. Nary a pundit blinked when John McCain needed Joe Lieberman to correct him that Iran was not supplying aid to Al Qaeda in Iraq, a mistake he repeated a few days later.
Further, I have to say this: there is no reason why America cannot or should not accept a woman president. Many democracies have had women leaders. And my favorite example is Israel. Regardless of your opinions of the middle east conflict, if Israel, a nation under constant threat, war, and terrorist attacks on home turf, can have a woman in charge, then why not America? Why not us?
Whitefish Bay's own Milwaukee County Supervisor Joe Rice put out an e-newsletter today. I gotta admit, I love this kind of stuff.
How often do your elected officials communicate with you? Not very often. Besides the occasional news McNugget in the paper, you know very little of what your officials are doing on your dime.
I swear there has not been a golf story involving a tournament in the past 10 years, where it also had to include the status of Tiger Woods. There is also on another interesting parallel to this type of reporting, including the Catholic Church. Or for that matter, any religion story involving controversy. All references to Catholics have to include a tagline about priests molestation.
There was a time when the pope would come to the United States, and there would be pomp and circumstance. Now there's just circumstance. Of course, there's only been three popes who've come to the United States, however it's ruined for them already. Here's some examples: It doesn't matter if there is news coverage of a bizarre cult- at least they're not as bizarre as the priests. How about that compound of fundamentalist Mormons with bigamy? All those children are still not as bad off as the altar boys. And the Branch Davidians? The priests attacked the boy is there too. And what if Reverend Wright is wrong? Well, he's still not as wrong as the priests. Attacks like these are commonplace on the Catholics. Unfortunately, there's no one sticking up for the Catholics. It's become acceptable and politically correct. Yet it's plain wrong.Not all of the Catholics have been molested. This may come as a shock to many. If the same attacks were done to Muslims, have the world would be up in arms. Even though they are at much smaller percentage of Americans. The same can be said of the Jewish people. I'm not condoning or excusing the behavior of the priests who did do people wrong, but can we try to cut down the numbers from every mention? It's time to move on. I am getting compassion fatigue from the constant victim mentality.
The pharmaceutical companies clearly have to be behind this one. After an abundance of available vaccinations, we got reports that this was the worst year for flu in more than four years. This of course comes after last year when we had a so-called shortage of vaccinations. Of course there was no shortage, there was just the fear put in by the pharmaceutical companies that enough people would not get their shots so that more people would be consulting their doctors in order to get the flu shot. And of course who pays for these flu shots? Either the government or private insurance companies.
So why does an abundance of available vaccinations result in a larger number of cases? Well the easy answer and the most probable answer is that the vaccinations were not effective. We now know that there is a type A flu and a type B flu. The vaccinations only cover type A.
The deadline for filing taxes has just passed. So how did you do? Did you pay enough? Did you pay too little?
I believe one of the benefits of our current tax system (yes there are a couple of good things in here) is itemization. I believe the way the system is right now will encourage homeownership, higher education, and charitable giving. Advocates for a flat tax or the fair tax will disagree. We should be able to choose some of the not-for-profit organizations that we wish to support and have tax favorability for it. We can donate to either the church of our choice or a cause for which we believe in what the national head injury foundation or the American Cancer Society just to name a couple.
How many square feet would the home of Jesus have?
How many taxes for the poor, sick, homeless, disabled, children, would Jesus complain about?
Although it may seem hard to believe, we are about to enter the home stretch for the presidential race. Under the two-year process, we are finally getting into the last six months of this race. Hopefully, by this point, you have had a chance to make up your mind on who you want to be the next president. Looking back over the whole process let's ask, are we really going in the right direction?
A large number of people polled said that the United States is not heading in the right direction. Although I won't disagree with that statement, I'm still not convinced that we will be choosing the right person to head as in the right direction in many of the areas that we are now faltering. Over the past nearly year and a half, I have expressed dissatisfaction with the pool of politicians we were offered to select the next commander in chief. On one hand that may seem unfortunate, because we have very good people running yet on the other hand, I still think we could have done better. After all, this is the most open race that we have had for a presidential election in over 50 years. Is this the best we can do? Maybe it's not just the candidates, but the way we select the president. This includes the process in which we grill every move they make and every word they say. The proliferation of the Internet, cable news channels, and gossip tabloids have not made the process better.
In a move that makes almost no sense, the DMV has moved to exempt older cars from required emissions tests. Now I do not believe that more government regulation is needed in my life, but doesn't this moves seem a little backwards? Isn't it the older, less maintained cars that cause more pollution? Aren't the newer car supposed to be the ones that are more fuel efficient? How did this get out of Madison?
Madison, being one of the most liberal cities and the country, I would expect that the last thing that they would to is exempt older cars from being tested. Isn't this contrary to the global warming theory? More pollution is going to cause more greenhouse gases that will in turn, keep the planet and boil us all. And now Madison is letting this happen. And they go further to say that the reformulated gas and more ethanol will cut down on the pollutants that are coming out of cars made pre-1996. Yet I still have to ask, whose brainchild is this? Who thought it would be a good idea to inconvenience the people who are driving the war, well maintained cars and to give a complete pass to the old more polluting cars? It's got to be the Doyle administration in action.
Sigh. I thought things were going to change for the better, one way or another. Hillary won in Pennsylvania. For the first time in years, I made a political donation and became one of contributors to her $10 million post Pennsylvania cash influx. Days after posting an article about how I was coming to terms with Obama, I was ready for my second wind. Or third. Or whatever. And actually, briefly, I felt the race might become reinvigorated.
Then the media had to go and screw it all up. Damn media. They had to cover Reverend Wright's speech at the NAACP event. Now, of course Wright had to be there, which didn't really help. But the media, for some reason, thought his speech was newsworthy. Perhaps it was noteworthy, in that it would give the man some well-deserved voice, and an opportunity to clear things up. But that's not how it worked out. See, I have a theory about Wright. I call him an active-passive-aggressive. Passive aggressive because he acts in a manner that suggests he's not within the fray, but causes spiked reactions. Active passive aggressive because he relished the opportunity to take the center stage. I agree with Obama that the Reverend's comments and actions have helped create a distraction; and that he is attention-seeking. This is unfortunate because the venerable NAACP gave Wright an opportunity to be square with Obama. And Jesus. And, to a large extent, Wright blew it.