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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

My final thoughts on the Franklin School Board race

A reader contacted me to suggest that since Fred Keller and I pursued tax pledges from Franklin mayoral candidates and from our aldermanic candidates in District 3, we really, in all fairness, should propose the same pledge to candidates running for the Franklin School Board.

After all, the School Board is the body that has recklessly gone hog wild spending our tax dollars.

Granted, I wish we had stuck these pledges in the laps of candidates much earlier. But the campaign is still on.

Last night, I e-mailed all four School Board candidates, asking them if they would sign a pledge to refuse to vote for school property tax levies that exceed the rate of inflation.

David Works responded almost immediately:


The short answer is yes. But it is usually against my better judgment to make a call like this on the 11th hour without performing the due diligence that I would normally do before addressing any important issue. In my opinion, this was one of the critical failures of the past board ; not completely researching before voting on an issue. 

Everything that I have said at open forums and interviews would support maintaining this limit. In addition, I have brought to the table evaluating all Administrative job descriptions before any additional hiring, and the use of more outside grants for the district, as I have obtained for Ben Franklin the past 5 years.

As I stated before, improving academic achievement is my first priority. But I firmly believe that this can be performed while controlling costs in a more business like manner, as in the private sector. 

Best Regards,

David A. Works”

Dennis Butler responded this morning:

“I am ok with attempting to hold budget increases the rate inflation.  Below is a portion of my interview with Janet Evans regarding taxes:
On taxes, Dennis believes, like most educational institutions, Franklin’s annual budget is committed to compensation and debt payments.  As such, there is limited flexibility in the budgeting process.  Yet, the School Board should attempt to limit the tax impact on our citizens.  Guidelines such as capping tax increases at the rate of inflation, or prohibiting the addition of new debt until previously issued debt is repaid, should be considered.  If the School Board adopted some specific financial goals such as these, it would exhibit to taxpayers how the school district is attempting to be good stewards of their tax dollars.”

I wrote back to Dennis Butler, saying that’s not what I asked. I asked directly if he would sign a pledge, not if he was OK with ATTEMPTING to hold the line on budget increases.

No response.

Last week Ed Holpfer sent me a lengthy e-mail asking me if I had any questions.

Well, I finally came up with a question, didn’t I?

No response from Holpfer.

And no response from Linda Witkowski.

On the issue of school taxes, here is what Janet Evans wrote about her interview with Holpfer:

“On taxes, while he does not agree with the Board on all budgetary issues, Ed believes the Franklin Public Schools have generally been fiscally responsible.  He has first-hand knowledge as to the complexities and limitations of the budgeting process.  He said there was a time when he was very vocal in his opposition to the way this district spent its money, but over the years, the district has done a much better job in how it has handles the budget.  While there are some current concerns over how things were done in the last budget, publicly calling the board fiscally irresponsible would, in his opinion, be a misstatement.

I asked Ed if he saw any areas where cuts in spending might be made.  He said, when you look at the large percentage of the budget that goes to cover mandated programs and costs, the percentage of discretionary spending is pretty small by comparison.  He is not prepared, at this time, to name areas that he thinks could be cut without performing some due diligence and looking at a cost/benefit analysis. 

When asked, if necessary, how he would convince others that cuts in spending needed to be made, Ed responded that to sit on a Board and just vote no to spending issues (especially if you’re the lone no vote) really won’t accomplish anything.”

The Franklin Public Schools have generally been fiscally responsible? Excuse me???

Not reassuring.

Janet Evans wrote this about her interview on this topic with candidate Linda Witkowski:

“When asked about taxes, Linda said it is easy to say taxes are too high and spending must be reduced but the challenge is deciding what that means.  Her expertise as a budget analyst with Waukesha County has given her good insights on the difficulties and opportunities of tight budgets. Linda believes budgets are about choices and managing the partnership.  The partnership is with the State of Wisconsin and the City.  The State controls 2/3 funding and the City controls growth, affecting property values and student population.  This partnership needs to be better understood.”

I do know this. I understand completely what it “means.” All I have to do is look at my tax bill and it takes 0.00000007654 seconds to figure it out.  And I also know that bureaucrats are often the least likely to want to cut taxes and spending.

In short, I am underwhelmed by the crop of School Board candidates. They’ve made little, if any effort to contact me, and I’m pretty easy to find.

For me, the two big issues are fiscal responsibility and ethics and credibility. When the Board fixes the fiscal mess, that should go a long way towards taking care of the trust and faith the members have lost in the community.

I think David Works is the real deal. After that, I’m not sure or confident at all. On a scale of 1-10 on how sure I am that new members will play a significant role in improving the Franklin School Board, I’m at a 3.

I certainly hope I’m wrong. But then, that’s not up to me now, is it.

The latest Obama-ism: Babies are punishment

HT: Dad29, who says, “Easily the most grotesque remark made by this character yet,” referring to Barack Hussein Obama’s comments (sans notes and cue cards) that babies are punishment.

Watch and listen:

Read more

Shall we tango, Mrs. Presley?

Speaking of elections, the 6th edition of Dancing with the Stars is in its 3rd week. I’ve become quite interested in this popular show, primarily because this batch of contestants features Priscilla Presley.

Last night, Presley danced a traditional tango.

MSNBC Contributor Ree Hines wrote:

The sexiest and most passionate tango of the night came from Priscilla Presley and her pro partner Louis van Amstel. In rehearsals, Louis predicted Priscilla’s tendency toward perfection would make the tango the ideal dance for her, and when she took the floor for the most traditional tango offering of the night, his prediction proved right. Carrie Ann called the tango the actor’s dance due to its intensity and drama, and told Priscilla, “I believed it.” Then again, it’s a wonder why Carrie Ann gave the couple an eight, depriving them of a well-earned set of matching nines.

Judge for yourself:

Read more

Tom Crean leaving Marquette


Oh, I'll bet the enviros aren't going to like this....

We've got a huge illegal immigrant problem in this country, right?


Something's got to be done, right?


One of the solutions is to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, right?


It's got to built, and built soon, right?


But in order to get it built as quickly as possible, the U.S. is going to forego all kinds of green regulations.

Oh, my goodness. Can you hear it, ladies and gentleman. The shrieks. The cries of anguish and pain.



Let the illegals in!!

Green! it's the ultimate scene!!

How dare we not follow every stinkin' crazy regulation in the book!

The LA Times has the story:

Border fence

A zigzagging second fence runs along side the original border fence, far right, along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego.

Homeland Security announces that it will waive regulations in order to complete the fence along the southern U.S. border by the end of this year.
By Nicole Gaouette, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
10:34 AM PDT, April 1, 2008

WASHINGTON -- In an aggressive move to finish building 670 miles of border fence by the end of this year, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that it will waive federal environmental laws to meet that goal.

The two waivers, which will allow the department to slash through a thicket of environmental and cultural laws, would be the most expansive to date, encompassing land in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas that stretches about 470 miles.

The waivers are highly controversial with environmentalists and border communities, which see them as a federal imposition that could damage the land and disrupts wildlife.

But they are praised by conservatives who championed the 2006 Secure Fence Act, despite the reluctance of President Bush, who has said a broader approach is needed to deal with illegal immigration.

Republicans greeted the news with satisfaction.

"It's great. This is the priority area where most of the illegal activity is going on and where most of the deaths are occurring," said Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Solana Beach), chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus. "The quicker we can get the physical fence up, the sooner we'll avoid situations like the deaths of agents. And it's still a national security issue. You just have to stop this kind of open traffic along the border."

Wildlife groups reacted with dismay.

Brian Segee, an attorney with Defenders of Wildlife, said, "It's dangerous, it's arrogant, it's going to have pronounced environmental impacts and it won't do a thing to address the problems of undocumented immigrants or address border security problems. It's an incredibly simplistic and ineffective approach to complex problems."

The waivers are intended to clear the way for fencing to block pedestrians and cars, as well as extra camera, towers and roads near the border. A special waiver was issued for a project in Hidalgo County, Texas, that would combine levees and a barrier.

Congress gave Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff the power to waive federal law in order to build the fence quickly. Since construction began, the department has faced fierce opposition from local communities and has had to go to court against more than 50 property owners simply to survey land to determine whether it is suitable for a fence.

The department has so far built 309 miles of fence.

Some of the resistance comes from landowners who protest that the path of the fence might block their access to the Rio Grande; other opponents are concerned that it could increase the danger of extinction for endangered animals, such as the ocelot, a wild cat whose mating habits may be affected.

Chertoff has called the waivers a last resort, and department officials say the agency is committed to minimizing the impacts to the environment and wildlife.

Homeland Security officials said many of the 470 miles have already undergone environmental review and that the agency is committed to environmental responsibility.

"If that was true, the waivers wouldn't be necessary," Segee countered.

Homeland Security has previously issued three waivers.

One, on September 2005, was to complete roughly 14 miles near San Diego; another in January 2007 was used to build infrastructure near the Barry M. Goldwater military range in southern Arizona. A third waiver was issued in October 2007 near the San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area, also in southern Arizona.

Bail set for ignorant protesters who disrupted Easter Mass in Chicago

I blogged recently about the hooligan morons who disrupted an Easter Mass in Chicago and squirted fake blood.

Here’s an update from the Chicago Tribune on the arrests that were made:

Bond set for 6 who disrupted Easter mass at Holy Name

By Azam Ahmed

Tribune reporter

March 25, 2008

Iraq War protesters who were arrested on felony charges for disrupting Easter services at Holy Name parish had minimum $25,000 bails set Monday by a Cook County judge.

The six disrupted the beginning of
Cardinal Francis George's homily Sunday to shout their opposition to the Iraq War.

They began squirting packets of fake blood over themselves and nearby parishioners, drawing the ire of congregants and the attention of the media stationed in the auditorium to cover the services.

The protesters, three men and three women, were present via telecast for Monday's Criminal Court hearing after spending the night in jail.

One still had the fake blood covering his shirt and loudly corrected Circuit Judge Donald Panarese when he mispronounced his name.

All six are charged with felony criminal defacement of property and two counts of simple battery for defacing church property and the worshipers' clothes with the fake blood.

Prosecutors said the six were charged with felony charges because the damaged property belonged to a religious entity and the church will have to spend about $3,000 to replace chairs and carpeting.

A $400 cleaning failed to remove stains left by the fake blood, they said.

Prosecutors identified the six arrested as Donte D. Smith, 18; Ephran Ramirez Jr., 22; Ryne Ziemba, 25; and Regan Maher, 25, all of Chicago; Angela Haban, 20, of Prospect Heights; and Mercedes Phinaih, 18, of Downstate Bloomington.

The protesters, part of a group called Catholic School Girls Against the War despite their male and female membership, could each face up to 5 years in prison if convicted.

Panarese set bail for each at $25,000 except for Smith, who prosecutors said spent time in federal prison for illegal entry onto a military installation. He received $35,000 bail.

Attorney Robert Luddeman, who represented all six at the hearing, said he felt the bails were high.

Contrary to the publicity coup pulled off by the six on Sunday, supporters who attended Monday's hearing rushed from the Criminal Courts Building without comment and were followed outside by half a dozen reporters and cameramen.

The supporters, several with bright red highlights in their hair, told the media to back off and then asked them to wait for five minutes.

But after a several minute impasse–with both sides firing angry glances at one another–a handful of people arrived bearing peace banners.. Others in the group of 20 or more held aloft pictures of Iraqi children.

And then everyone continued standing and staring at one another.

No one gave a comment, no one gave their name and no one associated themselves with any affiliation or cause.

Finally, Kathy Kelly, a member of the anti-war organization, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, spoke.

Though not a member of Catholic School Girls Against the War, Kelly said she was impressed with the impact of the protests and stressed the tragedy of lost lives in war.

"It's so easy for people to become numb to the consequences of this war," said Kelly, 54. "By protesting they were able to occasion a great deal of attentiveness."

Watch what happened:

Read more

Not even close

Congratulations Mayor Taylor!

Now remember your pledge on the property tax levy.


You can count on it.

Aldermanic District 3.

Aldermanic District 4.

Franklin School Board results

Too many candidates, or no candidate truly capturing the hearts of voters?

My guess is the latter.

Reminder: I'm on WISN today

I fill in for Mark Belling from 3-6.

Think I'll have anything to talk about?

Franklin voting breakdown

Here are preliminary results of how Franklin voters cast their ballots in key races Tuesday:

Supreme Court

Gableman:   4,469 (57.71%)

Butler:  3,243 (41.88%)

Circuit Court Judge, Branch 40

Dallet: 4,535 (70.35%)

Norman:  1,898 (29.44%)

County Executive

Walker: 6,448 (79.12%)

Taylor:  1,696 (20.81%)

Partial Veto Referendum

Yes: 5,537 (73.71%)

No:  1,975 (26.29%)

Elvis vs. Mariah


Mariah Carey made news today when she vaulted into a tie with Elvis Presley for second place on the list of artists with the most #1 singles.

Mariah Carey’s latest release, “Touch My Body,” will vault to #1 giving Carey 18 #1 singles, the same number as Elvis.

The Beatles have 20 #1 hits.

This is a major pop culture development. I never would have thought The Beatles and Elvis would ever be threatened on this list by anybody.

Is this Elvis fan saddened by the news?

Not at all.

Let’s keep this in perspective.


Record Sales

It is estimated that Elvis Presley has sold over one billion record units worldwide, more than anyone in record industry history. In America alone, Elvis has had 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with more certifications expected as research into his past record sales continues and as current sales go on. Research is also underway to document his record sales achievements in other countries. It is estimated that 40% of Elvis' total record sales have been outside the United States.

Record Chart Statistics

Elvis has had no less than 149 songs to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart in America. Of these, 114 were in the top forty, 40 were in the top ten, and 18 went to number one. His number one singles spent a total of 80 weeks at number one. He has also had over 90 charted albums with ten of them reaching number one. These figures are only for the pop charts, and only in America. He was also a leading artist in the American country, R&B, and gospel fields, and his chart success in other countries was substantial.


Can you name three Mariah Carey #1 hits?

Here are the 17 #1’s Carey had before “Touch My Body”:

  Song Title Artist
  1. Sweetheart (Album Version) Mariah Carey
  2. When You Believe (from The Prince Of Egypt ) (Album Version) Mariah Carey;Whitney Houston
  3. Whenever You Call (Album Version) Mariah Carey;Brian McKnight
  4. My All (Album Version) Mariah Carey
  5. Honey (Album Version) Mariah Carey
  6. Always Be My Baby Mariah Carey
  7. One Sweet Day (Album Version) Mariah Carey Boyz II Men Mariah Carey feat. Boyz II Men
  8. Fantasy (Feat. O.D.B.) Mariah Carey
  9. Hero (Album Version) Mariah Carey
10. Dreamlover (Album Version) Mariah Carey
11. I'll Be There (Album Version) Mariah Carey
12. Emotions (Album Version) Mariah Carey
13. I Don't Wanna Cry (Album Version) Mariah Carey
14. Someday (Album Version) Mariah Carey
15. Love Takes Time (Album Version) Mariah Carey
16. Vision Of Love (Album Version) Mariah Carey
17. I Still Believe (Album Version) Mariah Carey

Now, according to, here are Elvis’ #1 singles.

Heartbreak Hotel 1 1956
I Want You, I Need You, I Love You 1 1956
Don't Be Cruel 1 1956
Hound Dog 1 1956
Love Me Tender 1 1956
Too Much 1 1957
All Shook Up 1 1957
(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear 1 1957
Jailhouse Rock 1 1957
Don't 1 1957
Hard Headed Woman 1 1958
A Big Hunk O' Love 1 1959
Stuck On You 1 1960
It's Now or Never 1 1960
Are You Lonesome Tonight? 1 1960
Surrender 1 1961
Good Luck Charm 1 1962
Suspicious Minds 1 1969

Case closed.

I do commend Carey for humbly saying the following:

"I really can never put myself in the category of people who have not only revolutionized music but also changed the world."

Obama's abortion views extreme

Earlier this week, I wrote that Barack Obama is an extremist on abortion.

Michael Gerson of the Washington Post offers the same opinion:

“Obama's record on abortion is extreme. He opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion -- a practice a fellow Democrat, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once called "too close to infanticide." Obama strongly criticized the Supreme Court decision upholding the partial-birth ban. In the Illinois state Senate, he opposed a bill similar to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion. And now Obama has oddly claimed he would not want his daughters to be "punished with a baby" because of a crisis pregnancy -- hardly a welcoming attitude toward new life.”

Here’s Gerson’s entire piece.

Third graders who plot to kill

Topics talked about on WISN

The teacher scolded the young girl, telling her to get down off a chair.

The girl didn’t like being told to take a “time out,” and neither did some of her friends.

They went home and concocted a plot to kill the teacher. They are third graders.

As part of their scheme, they collected a crystal paperweight, duct tape and handcuffs, and a broken steak knife.

The plan was to hit the teacher over the head with the paperweight, secure her with the tape and handcuffs, then stab her with the knife. Some kids were instructed to cover school windows so no one could see inside. Others would clean up afterwards.

On WISN today, I asked the audience what I termed to be one of the toughest questions I’ve ever posed on talk radio: What do you do with kids ages 8 and 9 in a case like this. They’re too young to be tried as adults and to be placed in a juvenile detention center.

The solution isn’t simple, though most callers said the parents need to be punished. I submit and some callers agreed that these kids need to be removed from school, away from the majority of youngsters who are good and want to learn.

Unfortunately, the hand wringers are out in full force, suggesting the kids didn’t mean it, probably were incapable of going through with their devious plot, and it’s probably the fault of TV, movies and video games.

Here are more details.

Brett Favre coming back?

Remember, Brett Favre has not officially retired.

So is this plausible?

I think so.

Brett Favre retired? Maybe not
League sources say his representative has put out feelers that the former Green Bay Packers superstar, who has not yet turned his retirement papers into the league, may want to keep playing.
By Sam Farmer
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
10:22 AM PDT, April 3, 2008

Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who announced his retirement last month after 17 seasons, could be weighing a comeback with another team.

According to NFL sources, Favre's agent has quietly inquired with teams about their interest in trading for the three-time NFL most valuable player.

Favre, 38, has yet to give written notice of his retirement to the league or the players' union, although that's neither required nor irrevocable. It's also not uncommon for players to delay in doing so, particularly if they are not in immediate need of their pension money.

Reached today, agent James "Bus" Cook said he was not aware of Favre's interest in resuming his career.

"That's news to me," Cook said. "I don't think that has anything to do with anything. He's retired, period, point blank."

Favre's rights still belong to the Packers, who could trade him to another team.

The league sources said Favre's decision to retire was partially influenced by his frustration that the Packers didn't make a more aggressive attempt to sign Randy Moss. The team twice had a chance to do so, first in spring 2007 -- before New England acquired the All-Pro receiver from Oakland -- and again this off-season.

Favre retired a day after the Patriots re-signed Moss to a three-year, $27-million deal. Cook, who, along with agent Tim Dipiero, handles contracts for Moss, denied any link between the receiver and Favre's decision to retire.

"As far as Randy's deal with New England, there were never any negotiations with Green Bay," he said. "As far as I know, Brett retired because he was tired and burned out."

New restaurant coming to Franklin

Coming soon to Rawson Avenue, just west of S. 27th Street....

Wow. And a Dairy Queen just up the road.

We are really moving up in the world.

When disaster strikes, call Wal-Mart

A new study suggests Wal-Mart was a hero during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The study says when a calamity occurs, you're better off seeking assistance from big box stores than the government.

InterCHANGE is back Friday night

InterCHANGE is back following an Easter hiatus, Friday night at 6:30 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, repeated Sunday morning at11:00.  Here are the topics up for discussion:

1 – Elections.

Gableman beats Butler.  Walker beats Taylor.  Coggs beats McGee.Any surprises?  In the Supreme Court race, does it say that voters don’t want a liberal activist judge?  Did race have anything to do with the race?  Would there be a call for election reform if Butler would have won?  Does the fact that Scott Walker won big yet again, say loud and clear that people love his effort to keep taxes down?  Should Doyle be worried that Walker is breathing down his neck?  Does the fact that Coggs was able to beat McGee give you some hope for the district?

2 – Diabetes Death.

Should the parents of the young girl who died from complications of diabetes be charged with any sort of crime because they prayed for her recovery instead of seeking medical care?

3 – MU / Tom Crean.

After nine years and a lot of money, Coach Tom Crean leaves Marquette for Indiana and more money?  Is this a big blow to Marquette?  Will Marquette hire a big name, or an up and comer?  Basketball is everything to Marquette sports, so can they afford to make a mistake with the next hire?  Did Crean owe them a few more years?

How soon we forget

Please follow along…

Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel,  April 4, 2007

Elmbrook School District voters Tuesday handily rejected requests to spend a potentially record-setting $108.8 million to revamp the district's two high schools. 

 MJS, April 2, 2008

Voters on Tuesday passed a $62.2 million plan to renovate Brookfield Central and Brookfield East high schools, a year after a more expensive plan failed.

Article by John Neville, FranklinNOW, April 6, 2007

The controversial $78.17 million two-question Franklin School District referendum sank at the polls April 3.

The referendum was set up so that to pass both questions required a majority of school district voters to say "yes." By a wide margin, voters said "no" to both questions.

Question 1:





Question 2:





Former Franklin School Board President Scott Bauer in an open letter to Franklin citizens on Janet Evans’ blog on, December 16, 2007

I was a member of the Citizen’s Long Range Planning (CLRP) committee. This group started meeting late in 2005, put in a lot of time and effort researching the different options for our school district and, as a group, made a decision on what we felt would be the best option for the district. In the Spring of 2006, we made our recommendation to the board – renovate the high school, remodel Forest Park and build a second middle school. The cost would be $51 million, but would not require an increase in taxes for the construction and remodeling. At the end of the meeting, two separate board members said they appreciated the input; however, in order for the referendum to pass, we all agreed that we had to listen to the community and put out the referendum they say they will support, even if it didn’t match the CLRP recommendation or our own belief’s. Everyone agreed with this sentiment.       

We then shared the CLRP findings with the community, and hired a professional to perform a survey of the community. This person, Dr. Peltier, is an internationally recognized research professional who has a long list of awards and accolades. For his survey, he contacted over 1,000 households in Franklin, was able to collect over 600 legitimate samples, and offered his findings with a 4% margin of error. These findings showed that a high school renovation was the option the community was most likely to support. Some board members challenged the number of samples taken as being too small. This made absolutely no sense based on the fact that a statewide survey regarding the gubernatorial race only collected 400 samples and was assigned a 5% margin of error (and made the right prediction). I can’t see how 400 samples for an entire state can be adequate while over 600 samples for a small city can be disregarded. It was also suggested that one question was too complicated. However, the heart of the question asked if citizens would support a $76 million or a $51 million referendum. No matter how the question is worded, anyone of voting age should be able to do the math. Ultimately, 5 board members wiped their feet on $11,000 worth of research and completely disregarded that community input; the community was not heard. 

Article by John Neville,  FranklinNOW, March 26, 2008

(Then-School Board candidate Linda) Witkowski agreed the School Board, criticized for failing to provide enough details about plans for a new high school in the referendum, should improve its auditory skills.

"We've got to listen more rather than just talking out," said Witkowski 

Blogger Bryan Maersch, commenting on my blog April 2, 2008

She (Linda Witkowski) has already indicated that she is for building the new High School and not paying attention to the study the School Board paid $11,000 and ignored……her blanket statement at the last Candidates Forum where she said there had to be a NEW HIGH SCHOOL (not the expanded High School under the $50 mil referendum that never got before the voting public) and turn the High School into a middle school is unacceptable to me and many other tax payers.
You remember, this is where she turned 3 shades of red because Ed Holpfer disagreed and said we should listen to the study we had done.

Connect the dots.

Voters in the Elmbrook school district in one year developed amnesia, got really stupid, or both.

Franklin observers, chomping at the bit to shove another referendum down our throats were no doubt overjoyed at the Elmbrook results.

Could the same disease that infiltrated the Elmbrook district strike in Franklin? You bet it could.

Tired of all the talk about how we need to listen? I am.

Franklin rejected a citizen panel’s recommendation and tried to ram through a Taj Mahal set of referenda. They failed miserably. I swear some people are still very much in denial.

Linda Witkowksi says the Board needs to listen more. I guess the exception is when she’s clamoring for a brand new high school…, plans and cost all unknown.

Yes, how soon we forget.

That’s why I’m here along with some other very conscientious bloggers……, to help people remember.

Congratulations Tom and Fred!

John Neville quotes Mayor Tom Taylor in his front-page article in FranklinNOW today:

He acknowledged the need to keep control on property taxes.

"I heard it loud and clear from the people of Franklin that they are concerned about taxes. I have made a pledge not to recommend a budget that exceeds a 3 percent tax levy (increase)," Taylor said.

The pledge is thanks to the diligent work of fine citizen, Fred Keller.

Good work, Tom and Fred!

Half of referenda failed

There were 61 referenda on Tuesday’s ballot.

30 passed, 31 failed.

Here’s the complete rundown.

Shame on Pizza Hut

This is a story that was on my agenda to discuss on WISN Wednesday, but I ran out of time.

One of the most dangerous jobs today has to be that of pizza delivery person. You’re literally a sitting duck, venturing into high risk, dangerous neighborhoods.

A couple plotted to rob a Pizza Hut delivery man in Des Moines.

He surprised a gunman with a weapon of his own.

The would-be robber suffered gunshot wounds and survived.

For his efforts to defend himself, the delivery person was fired by Pizza Hut.

It makes no sense, and supporters of the delivery man are rightfully outraged by this injustice.

Pizza joints should certainly be allowed to refuse to deliver in seedy, high risk areas and should not put their employees in jeopardy.

Shame on Pizza Hut.

Just keep fightin' guys, keep fightin'

It just gets better and better.

Liberals continue to spiral out of control.

This time, the Democrat Civil War has been incited by a liberal radio talk show host who used a litany of profanities during an appearance to blast Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton.

Let’s see how the dysfunctional left handles this one.

Meanwhile, the crystal ball is starting to come into greater focus.

I see man with white hair.

Yes, his image is coming into view.

I hear him speaking.

“I, John McCain, do solemnly swear, that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States…….”

Was it a cougar?

Check out the latest comment left on one of my blogs earlier this morning....


First Community Information Meeting on Franklin Cultural Arts Center

It's Saturday (tomorrow).

Here are the details.

Former Franklin Supt. sues school district

The embarrassment that is the franklin School District administration continues.

Fred Keller has the details.

Why is this man.....

Judge of my Villains of the Week?

The answer tomorrow in Week-ends on This Just In....

Democrats bent out of shape over

Another of the many, many astute readers of This Just In e-mails me saying it’s interesting how the Democrats react when they think THEIR process is being tampered with. They’re going to try to go after Republicans who engage in crossover voting.

The reader says, “Imagine how they would react to vote fraud if they thought it was working against them. Pretty revealing I guess.”


Thanks to that reader and here’s the story.

This is no way to save money

Senator Lazich has blogged about it.

I’ve talked about it on WISN.
 There is a heavy price to pay for crime.

Release more prisoners, crime will go up, and the costs associated with crime will increase.

And yet, this is the budget solution many states are now considering. It’s a short-sighted and very dangerous idea.

Another argument for conceal-carry in Wisconsin


Students in Madison are in fear.

Governor Doyle, who regularly travels with armed guards at taxpayer expense, refuses to allow law-abiding, trained citizens the right to defend themselves.

In case you missed it….

Meanwhile, from the Badger Herald:

Madison City Council President Mike Verveer, District 4, is organizing a community meeting Saturday afternoon for police to update residents on the case.

The meeting will be held 2 p.m. at the Capitol Lakes Retirement Community, formerly known as Meriter Retirement. The auditorium entrance is at 333 W. Main St.

Both UW and Madison police officers will be present at the meeting.

Verveer, who lives on Doty Street as well, said the neighborhood is still shaken up over Wednesday’s events.

“There’s still an overwhelming sense of shock and fear among us,” Verveer said. “It’s going to take a while to get over.”

With evidence coming in that Zimmerman’s killing was likely random, Verveer said the incident is particularly scary.

“I’m not trying to whip up fear and scare people into skipping class and locking themselves in their homes or leaving town, but it is critical that downtown residents need to remain extra vigilant,” Verveer said.

University officials also announced plans for a memorial vigil to remember Zimmermann.

The vigil will be Sunday night at 7:30 on Library Mall. There, music will be played, and students will have the opportunity to send messages to Zimmermann’s family.


Favre: I'm not coming back

Brett Favre says he has no idea where the LA Times story came from that he may try to come back with another team.

Favre spoke with


I'm thinkin' today just might be a good day for....




A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Conservative voters.  They elected Michael Gableman to the state Supreme Court, re-elected Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Thanks to Republican-led efforts in the Legislature, voters got the chance to decide on the Frankenstein veto, and rejected it overwhelmingly.

City of Milwaukee voters who voted Alderman Michael McGee, Jr out of office.

Michael Monsoor

Damion Maynard


Kenton Stufflebeam

Franklin High School senior Josh Hintz. Hintz is painting a stairwell mural at Franklin High depicting all the school’s sports teams. You can see Hintz and the mural on the front page of the Metro section in Friday’s Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel. That picture is not available on-line.

Katie Derksen of Community Newspapers took this photo of Hintz and his work:

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Do you believe in miracles?

You should.

Franklin bloggers played a key role

There’s no question Franklin blogger John Michlig is correct in his analysis that area bloggers had a significant impact in the spring elections.

Elvis' team in Final Four


I consider the NCAA Final Four to be the most exciting sporting event of the year.

I’ll be cheering for Elvis’ team, the Memphis Tigers as they take on UCLA today.
(Non-sports fans, there are some articles in the above link you may find interesting, including one player's love and devotion to his 97-year old grandmother, and another on all those tattoos).

Graceland continues to celebrate the success of an extremely talented Memphis team.

And there’s no doubt whatsoever that Elvis is a Tiger fan.

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My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Franklin School Board results

2) Breaking News: Franklin Mayor Taylor signs pledge to hold the line on taxes

3) What the “experts” are saying about the Brew Crew

4) Franklin voters, need info?

5) Recounts?

I'm on WISN Monday

I fill in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN Monday afternoon from 3-6 p.m.

How did THIS get past those creative devils at Fountains of Franklin?

I'm a bit stunned FOF missed the boat on this opportunity...

Culinary no-no #49

Culinary no-no's

Last night, Jennifer and I dined at one of the best restaurants in town, Dream Dance.

Featured on the menu was an 8 ounce Kobe beef ribeye steak.

The price?


After all, we’re talking Kobe beef.

Hell, I thought.

I can get Kobe beef for a heckuva lot cheaper than $14/oz.

The Big Apple is buzzing this week about the debut last Tuesday of a new luxury item on the menu at the legendary Old Homestead Steakhouse in New York City where they say they specialize in the four food groups: Beef, beef, beef, and beef.


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RIP Charleton Heston

Not only was he, among many other great roles, Moses……

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And the problem is....


Worthy Franklin tax pledges nothing to be concerned about

FranklinNOW blogger and non-taxpayer Greg Kowalski’s latest blog on his concerns about tax pledges is so full of off the wall statements that it begs a response.

He opens by commending bloggers for seeking tax pledges from local officials. Then he quickly does an about face, finding all kinds of problems with the concept of keeping taxes and spending within the city’s means. It’s unclear what side he’s on because later in the blog he admits a desire to “appease everyone.”

That, of course, doesn’t happen often in politics.

Greg says bloggers like Fred Keller who request elected officials sign a tax pledge to hold the line on taxes within a reasonable 3% are, as Greg puts it, “forcing an agenda down their throats.”

No one’s forcing anything.

Greg apparently forgets or doesn’t realize (my guess is it’s the latter) that these officials work for people like us. Fred Keller and any other citizen who asks his elected representatives to exercise fiscal responsibility are merely engaging in the democratic process with a perfectly legitimate proposal.

Greg writes, “To mandate the Council, Mayor, and School Board to only 3% is a bit too far.”

Remember, Greg pays no property taxes. If 3% is going too far, does that mean he’d accept 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12% property tax levy increases? I think he would because it’s easy to spend someone else’s money.

Greg worries. “When I spoke to some friends after Thursday's Plan Commission meeting, there was a hint that a new renovated fire station that's desperately needed by FHS might not happen due to this 3% mandate.”

That’s an old political trick of taxers and spenders, sending out shock waves that some worthwhile project will be shelved. If it’s a priority, the people in charge will have to make tough decisions to make sure the project happens.

Then there’s this irrelevant quote from Greg:

“I also feel it's going too far because, in all honesty, how many Franklin residents read the blogs? How many Franklin residents who know the blogs exist even read them? How many people even know Fred Keller exists?”

Greg, it’s not about the blogs or how many people read them. It’s about Fred Keller taking an action on behalf of all taxpayers who will benefit whether they read the blogs or not.

Greg concludes with this gem:

“If the general public, including those who don't read our material, don't support their city government's stance on taxes, they will do what they did to two Alderman last Tuesday - vote them out of office.”

Sorry, Greg. I’m not going to sit back for the next three years while budgets and tax levies are being formulated, keep my mouth shut, and not voice my displeasure until the next election. I want my representatives to know how I feel right now and what I expect of them, right now.

In his own way, Greg may care about the community, but once again, his latest blog clearly demonstrates he still has a lot to learn.

Hey kids, crossdressing is wacky!

Topics talked about on WISN


A story I discussed on WISN today filling in for Mark Belling is getting national attention.

Public school officials in Reedsburg thought it was a wonderful idea to let elementary school students to come to school dressed as the opposite sex as part of Wacky Week.

I am not a fuddy-duddy.

I am not a prude.

This doesn’t belong in taxpayer-funded schools, and supposedly educated leaders with degrees coming out of their armpits should, when students suggest this nonsense, put their foot down and say it’s not acceptable. Sorry, kids. Inmates are not running the asylum.

Of course, I was hit with callers from today’s parents who aren’t parents at all. They want to be their child’s pal or best friend, and God forbid they should ever disappoint their child by saying no.

Loosen up, they told.


Kids need to have fun.

They need to let off steam.

They’re too stressed.


Instead of Wacky Week, how about American history week, math week, geography week.

As for fun in school, I’m all for it.

That’s why God invented recess.

Here’s the story.

Anti-smoking nutjobs have finally gone too far

Topics talked about on WISN

I’ve said on WISN and on my blogs that the anti-smoking zealots won’t rest until you can’t smoke in the confines of your own private residence.

I was right.

It's not a boy? Get an abortion

Topics talked about on WISN

It works like this.

A pregnant woman and her husband find out the unborn bay is going to be a girl.

They don't want a girl. They want a boy.

To an abortionist they go.

It's called a selective sex abortion, quite common in India and China, but now growing in frequency in America,

Most Americans think it should be illegal, but the practice is not.

How any feminist can remain silent about this is unconscionable. Same for pro-choicers

Jeff Jacoby wrote a great column on this outrage in the Boston Globe that I read on the air today on WISN:

Choosing to eliminate unwanted daughters
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist
April 6, 2008

THE UNFETTERED "right to choose" is a progressive value, we are instructed by the abortion lobby - one indispensable to the empowerment of women. But a new study in PNAS (the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) prompts an awkward question: How exactly are American women empowered when abortion is deployed to prevent the existence of American girls?

Population experts have documented for years the use of abortion for sex selection in regions of the world where sons are more highly prized than daughters.

The problem is particularly acute in Asia, and especially in China and India, the world's two largest countries.

The natural sex ratio at birth is slightly male-biased at roughly 1.05-to-1, meaning that about 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. But in China the current ratio at birth is about 120 boys per 100 girls - and in more prosperous parts of the country, such as Guangdong and Hainan, the imbalance has reached an even more lopsided 135-to-100.

In India, census data from 2001 show that among children younger than 6, there are just 927 girls per 1,000 boys. There too, the greater the prosperity, the greater the discrepancy: In the high-income state of Punjab, notes Joseph D'Agostino of the Population Research Institute, there are only 793 girls for every 1,000 boys. He cites a report by UNICEF, which calculates that "7,000 fewer girls are now born in India each day than nature would dictate, and 10 million have been killed during pregnancy or just after in the past 20 years."

There is nothing new about the high cultural premium placed on sons in developing countries. What is relatively new is easy access to cheap ultrasound scans for determining the sex of an unborn child, and the availability of inexpensive abortions for parents who don't want a baby of the "wrong" sex.

Consider Vietnam, where a decade ago the sex ratio of newborns was a normal 1.04-to-1. Today, with the rise of ultrasound and abortion clinics, the number of newborn males has surged ahead of females.

"Vietnamese women who find they are carrying an unwanted female baby often head immediately to an abortion clinic," the Straits Times of Singapore reported last fall. "A walk-in abortion at a state hospital can be performed for $10, and at private clinics for about $20."

Most Americans rightly regard sex-selective abortions as odious; in a 2006 Zogby poll, an overwhelming 86 percent of Americans agreed that such abortions should be illegal. But they're not illegal - and as economists Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund indicate in the latest issue of PNAS, they are now occurring in the United States, too.

Almond and Edlund examined the ratio of boys to girls among US children born to Chinese, Korean, and Indian parents. For the first children of these Asian-American families, the sex ratio was the normal 1.05-to-1. But when the first baby is a girl, the odds of the second being a boy rose to 1.17-to-1. After two sisters, the likelihood of the third being a son leaped to 1.51-to-1. This is clear "evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage," the authors write. Prenatal sex tests for pregnant women are now available earlier, more cheaply, and more conveniently than ever, "raising the prospect of sex selection becoming more widely practiced in the near future."

The destruction of unwanted daughters is appalling everywhere, but at least in places like India and China parents may have rational reasons for preferring a son. In China, for example, daughters routinely join their husbands' families and parents rely on sons to take care of them as they age. Facing intense government pressure to have no more than one or two children, many parents resort to sex-selective abortion.

But nothing can excuse such abortions in the United States - nothing except the theology of "choice," which elevates the right to an abortion above all other considerations. You don't have to be a feminist to know that being a girl is not a birth defect, or to be horrified by a practice that lethally reinforces the most benighted forms of sexual discrimination. For what kind of feminist would it be who could contemplate the use of abortion to eliminate ever-greater numbers of girls, and not cry out in horror?

Jeff Jacoby can be reached at 

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Kansas 75, Memphis 68 (OT)

Everybody knows Memphis should have won the national championship tonight, but I will make that case in more detail later.

As for now.......

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Memphis head coach reacts after a foul called against the ...

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When does the Fat Lady sing?

"I thought we were national champs.”

That’s what Memphis coach John Calipari said after his team’s disappointing loss to Kansas in the NCAA basketball championship game.

Honestly, when Memphis built their lead to 60-51 with 2:12 left in the game, it sure seemed like Memphis would emerge victorious.

Obviously, the lead didn’t stand.

Should it have?

No one knows more about sports numbers than statistics wizard Bill James.

James has come up with the following formula to determine if a lead in a college basketball game is safe. Let’s use the Memphis 9-point lead with 2:12 to go:

·                        Take the number of points one team is ahead.  (9)

·                        Subtract three. (6)

·                        Add a half-point if the team that is ahead has the ball, and subtract a half-point if the other team has the ball. (Numbers less than zero become zero.)  (5.5)

·                        Square that. (30.25)

·                        If the result is greater than the number of seconds left in the game, the lead is safe. (132)

Not even close.

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Priscilla waltzes

I've gotten into Dancing with the Stars, what with Priscilla Presley competing in the latest round of celebrities.

It's week 4, but because I was wrapped up in college basketball last night, I missed 'Cilla doing the Viennese waltz.

But through the magic of You Tube....

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Love that Thomas Sowell

Conservative columnist Thomas Sowell occasionally jots down his random thoughts.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Some people actually think that televising Congress gives us information. What it really does is give politicians millions of dollars worth of free advertising, while they play charades on camera to fool the rest of us.

Alfred E. Neuman of Mad magazine said: "What, me worry?" During election years, Democrats running for office say: "What, me liberal?"

Senator John McCain could never convince me to vote for him. Only Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama can cause me to vote for McCain.

One way to reduce illegal immigration might be to translate some of our far left publications into Spanish and give everyone in Mexico subscriptions. After they read how terrible this country is, many may want to stay away.

Read the entire list.

Strip searching for ibuprofen

More madness in our public schools and in our courts.

Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine writes about school officials in Arizona who went too far:

There are two kinds of people in the world: the kind who think it's perfectly reasonable to strip-search a 13-year-old girl suspected of bringing ibuprofen to school, and the kind who think those people should be kept as far away from children as possible. The first group includes officials at Safford Middle School in Safford, Arizona, who in 2003 forced eighth-grader Savana Redding to prove she was not concealing Advil in her crotch or cleavage.”

Complete idiots.

Read Sullum’s entire column.


Watch "Animals at Play."

And these people are teaching our kids


Rapists in the military spark debate

California Congressman Jane Harman (D-Irvine), who chairs the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence, recently wrote an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times on rapists in the military. In part, Harman writes:

“Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.

The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.

Numbers reported by the Department of Defense show a sickening pattern. In 2006, 2,947 sexual assaults were reported -- 73% more than in 2004. The DOD's newest report, released this month, indicates that 2,688 reports were made in 2007, but a recent shift from calendar-year reporting to fiscal-year reporting makes comparisons with data from previous years much more difficult.”

Harman claims not enough is being done to address the problem.

Here is Harman’s op-ed piece.

The column has sparked a debate where some argue this is clear evidence women don’t belong in the military and should be tossed out. printed the piece and took comments, including this one:

As an Infantryman in the Army, my view is that the simple fact of the matter is that the large majority of women in the military are not soldiers. They may wear a uniform...even passed basic training..but they are not soldiers. They are chicks who like to dress like soldiers. They expect special treatment for being female (and often get it), have lower standards, have almost no respect for military courtesy and discipline, pays lip service to equality and then cry foul when they get treated the same as their male co-workers, and all to often, their advance in paygrade is tied not to their job performance, but who they are sleeping with. Men don't take them seriously because they don't take the job, the standards of military culture, thier fellow service people, or themselves seriously. I have no doubts that there are legitimate cases of rape and assault within the military, but since the military became coed, fraternization has gone rampant and it is very hard...very be able to distinguish the legitimate cases from the ones where a female is screaming sour grapes because she tried to trade sex for rank and lost out on the deal...particularly if the "victim" already has a reputation of sleeping around to get things she wants. That is why so many cases get dropped because of lack of evidence. I'm not saying that women shouldn't be in the military or that all of them are bad soldiers. On the contrary, I've met some that are excellent soldiers. I served with one in NCO Academy that beat me by one point for class distinguished honor graduate. I have nothing but the highest respect for her as a person, as a soldier, and as a Non-Commissioned Officer. She took the job seriously, was good at it, expected to be held to the same standards of conduct and performance as her male colleagues, and had enough self respect to not sleep with her colleagues (had even more contempt for her fellow female co-workers who slept-around than the men in her unit did). I couldn't have been beat by a better soldier for that honor..we all felt that way. Her career was built entirely on merit, as it should be. It's too bad that women like that in the military are too few and far between.

My take:

Are there women in the military who expect special treatment? Probably.

Are there women in the military who don’t belong there? Probably.

Are there men in the military who don’t take the women seriously? You bet.

Are women being raped in the military? Yes.

If so, in legitimate cases of military men raping military women, blame must be squarely placed upon the men who are committing these crimes and the men must be held accountable. Punish them. Weed them out.

Women are not the villains merely because they’re women and because they happen to be there. That would be absurd.

HT: Dad29

Dying professor keeps motivating

Last September, I named Randy Pausch as one of my HEROES OF THE WEEK on my weekly feature, Week-ends.

Pausch was one of the most inspirational stories of 2007 and people have been buzzing about him ever since his “Last Lecture.”

Tonight, he talks with ABC’s Diane Sawyer.

OK, Brett, we need you

Come back.

Ask and you shall receive

Elmbrook school district residents, you wanted a tax're getting one.

Here comes more of that God-awful global warming

Oh, I'm sorry.

The lefties don't call it that anymore.

Let me re-phrase.

(Feigned alarm and concern)

Oh, no!

Here comes more of that.................

God-awful climate change (i.e. global warming)!

UPDATE 4/12/08 @ 8:35 A.M.

This week on InterCHANGE...

Here are the topics the panel discusses on InterCHANGE Friday night on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 at 6:30 p.m. with a repeat on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m.:

1 – Great Lakes.

Should the general public be as interested in the Great Lakes Compact, as the media and lawmakers seem to be?  Is this freshwater supply really “the gold” of the Midwest?  If the rest of the country needs freshwater, should the Great Lakes states be able to deny them that water?  Should it ever turn into a really big fight, couldn’t congress just step in and divert the water to any region it so desires?

2 – Journal Sentinel Pulitzer.

Is the Journal Sentinel winning a Pulitzer as big of a deal as the Journal Sentinel makes it out to be?  Does it tell you that the newspaper is committed to excellence and in depth reporting?  Did the Journal Sentinel just hop on to a story that was the result of the work of Bruce Murphy and Milwaukee Magazine? Are the glory days back for our hometown newspaper?

3 – Bush / Olympics.

Should President Bush boycott the upcoming Beijing Olympics?  Does he need to make an international statement in opposition to the human rights abuses China is engaged in, or should we keep politics out of the Olympics?

And don’t forget to watch Senator Mary Lazich who also appears on Channel 10 this weekend.

Uhhh, Franklin, take your signs down

No matter who you voted for, the winner or the loser, the incumbent or the challenger, or if you supported both candidates in a race, please take your yard signs down.

Terri Schiavo's sister brings an important message to Wisconsin

What this country did to Terri Schiavo and how it felt about what it did is reprehensible.

Suzanne Schindler Vitadamo, sister of Terri Schindler Schiavo, is one of the featured speakers at the annual Wisconsin Right to Life convention this Saturday in Wisconsin Dells.

According to the North Country Gazette:

“Suzanne works with her mother, father and brother with the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation which advocates for persons in danger of being billed because they have been deemed unworthy of life. She will speak about her family’s struggle to care for her disabled sister, Terri, and the growing threat of euthanasia.

Terri Schindler Schiavo, incapacitated by a brain injury in February, 1990, died by way of court-ordered dehydration and starvation at a Pinellas County hospice on March 31, 2005. Suzanne and her family continue to wage a battle to save other people with disabilities through the Foundation, established by the Schindler family in 2000 in St. Petersburg, Fla. She and her brother, Bobby are co-hosts of a weekly radio show, America’s Lifeline, on Talk Radio 860WGUL in Tampa which airs Saturday afternoons at 3 p.m. and is streamed worldwide via the Internet at

The Foundation seeks to establish a network of attorneys, doctors and other professionals to try to assist medically dependent families in crisis and ensure that they have a fighting chance at life.

“How are we better off as a society by killing Terri or anyone with a brain injury?” Vitadamo asks. “There are a lot of Terri’s out there.” 

Vitadamo’s brother, Bobby Schindler recently wrote a column blasting some of the Presidential candidates for their comments about his sister, Terri, and wrote this strong statement that I couldn’t agree with more.

There is a lethal bigotry against the disabled in our country and it’s getting worse, in particular against the cognitively disabled—human beings who are being killed every day in our nation. If left unchecked it will likely threaten the lives of everyone who is not able-bodied. This is especially problematic when you have potential leaders who have made it abundantly clear that they are going to do nothing to protect the value and dignity of people like my sister.”

Here is the entire column.

Schindler sees what I see….a nation blithely dismissing the life of an individual because she is ill, sick, disabled, and unable to interact or behave like much healthier humans.

The utter disregard and dismissal of life disgusts me.

That’s why I took what turned out to be a controversial stand against some, not all, health practitioners on the issue of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders during a guest host stint on WISN last December. I stuck to my guns, defending the lives of young children who, through no fault of their own, faced death as health care professionals stood by and did nothing.

I was stunned and shocked by the hate mail I got from people who claimed to be compassionate.

In the battle pitting the culture of life against the culture of death, sadly, the culture of death is winning.

I make no apologies for standing on the side of life.

Aicardi fundraiser this Saturday

I join Franklin bloggers Janet Evans and Fred Keller in encouraging you to attend a very worthwhile fundraiser this Saturday.

Please consider and be generous, and thank you very, very much.

One of the most important blogs I'll post all year

An important court case involving Franklin that reverberates all across the state of Wisconsin continues this Monday, April 14th.

At stake is the safety of every child in the state of Wisconsin.

At 10:00 a.m. on Monday, the case of Steve Hanke vs. the City of Franklin will be heard again at the Milwaukee County Courthouse in the courtroom of Justice John Franke.

Franke is a liberal judge who cannot be trusted to rule on behalf on the welfare and safety of families and children vs. sex predators.

In summary, Hanke, a convicted sex offender, moved into Franklin in violation of the city’s tough, restrictive sex offender ordinance. (It’s important to note numerous communities around the state have enacted similar ordinances and many others are considering taking the same action to restrict where sex offenders can live). The city wants Hanke out and has taken the case to court.

Franklin Alderman Steve Olson, like many of us in Franklin, has been following the case closely and believes one of the following three rulings will be made by Judge Franke:

  • Dismiss the case (Hanke wins)
  • Summary Judgment (Franklin wins)
  • Case goes to trial (this is unlikely because there is no dispute of fact in the case)


When a hearing has been held in the past in this matter, many Franklin residents have taken the time to attend in person. Supporters of Franklin’s milestone ordinance plead that if you are able, your presence in the courtroom this Monday is needed. 

Not only is it important for Judge Franke to see that Franklin is a unified community that wants to see its ordinance upheld, but it is also important for our neighbors in the area of 76th and Forest Hill Avenue where Hanke has taken up residence to see that the entire community stands with them.

If you still have your yard signs in support of Ordinance 167, please put them out. If your schedule permits, please attend the hearing in the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Monday, April 14th at 10:00 a.m in room 502.

From a blog I wrote on November 1, 2007,  the message from a few months ago applies today:


In June, convicted, but now released sex offender Steven Hanke purchased a home in the 8200 block of South 77th Street in Franklin. Hanke was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1996 for second-degree sexual assault.

Problem: Hanke moved into his Franklin several months after the city had passed a milestone ordinance severely restricting where sex offenders can live. Hanke lives not far from Forest Park Middle School in complete defiance of the Franklin ordinance, and now refuses to move.

The city of Franklin has filed a lawsuit against Hanke in an effort to force him out.

At stake is not only Franklin’s ordinance, but numerous other laws just like it that were patterned after Franklin’s and are now either in place or being considered in numerous communities around the state.

A large crowd is needed before Judge Franke next Monday to show support for these ordinances.

If Franke rules in favor of Hanke, his decision will literally take the teeth out of restrictive laws and be a huge victory for sex offenders.

To truly understand the magnitude of this issue, some background is in order.


From an earlier blog of mine on Franklin’s top issues:

Franklin has been Wisconsin’s leader in the fight against sex offenders. It has had to be.

Not too long ago, busloads of Franklin residents stormed a public hearing at State Fair Park to protest a special state committee’s thought of building a facility in Franklin to house numerous sexually violent persons. Franklin was considered an ideal location, having the most open space in Milwaukee County.

The loud and strong stand by Franklin residents couldn’t be ignored. The special panel wrapped up its business without recommending any site in Milwaukee County for a sex predator house.

A flurry of activity ensued at the state Capitol. A key piece of legislation was approved and signed into law that killed funding for the facility for sexually violent persons and also disbanded the special committee assigned to find a location for the facility. Another bill signed into law makes first degree sexual assault of a child punishable by life in prison. Both bills were authored by Senator Mary Lazich.

After sailing through the state Senate, a bill requiring that the worst sex offenders in the state be monitored by Global Positioning System or GPS was finally approved after much wrangling in the Assembly and signed into law.

Still, Franklin officials worried that released sex offenders would be dumped in Franklin. Sparking that fear was the state allowing notorious offender Billy Lee Morford to travel back and forth between his northwest side Milwaukee home and Franklin for 18 months without properly notifying Franklin.

After several public hearings and a thorough legal review, the Franklin Common Council late last year approved an ordinance with tight restrictions on where sex offenders could go and live within the city limits of Franklin.

Other communities quickly took notice, with several surrounding municipalities and some out-state either approving or considering Franklin-like ordinances of their own.

The Franklin Police Department has already used the new city ordinance on restrictions to force offenders out of areas they’re not welcome. Several local web sites now feature links to the sex offender registry and the family Watchdog offender map.

So far, no one has challenged the constitutionality of Franklin’s ordinance, or any other Franklin-like ordinance around the state. If they do, they’re in for a battle.

Jim McCarthy, a member of the City Council in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania wrote the following in a letter to the editor in American City and County Magazine. McCarthy was responding to an article that predator protection laws around the country are coming under fire. McCarthy writes:

“As one who has been trying for eight months to pass a law restricting where convicted sexual predators may reside or work in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., my research shows the majority of such laws have already passed court muster. Currently, 30 plus states, and hundreds of local communities, have passed such laws, most of them based on the “original” proposal passed by Iowa, which was upheld by the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court (see Doe vs. Miller), and Ohio's “Distance Marker” legislation, which was similarly upheld as constitutional by federal courts.

In challenges to the Iowa and Ohio laws, the courts have ruled that these laws do not infringe upon a person's rights in that they are a form of civil regulation and not a form of punishment, they are intended to protect children and are rationally related to that end, and they represent a rational argument that prohibiting sex offenders from places children congregate will advance a community's interest in protecting children. Two federal courts have upheld city actions to ban individual sex offenders from parks and recreation areas where children congregate.

There have been some isolated cases where a poorly written law was struck down by courts, but that was because the authors failed to do the research required to make their law iron-clad. It is up to us, the legislators, to make sure “they” do not have access to our little children, whose rights far outweigh the rights of someone who preys on the weakest of our society.”
From my blog on August 16, 2007.

The city of Franklin is to be credited with aggressively going after Steven Hanke in court. Monday’s court hearing is before Judge Franke. Franke is a very liberal judge with a history.

In June of 2003, Franke released one of Wisconsin’s most notorious predators, four-time-convicted child molester Billy Lee Morford, to a home reportedly less than a mile from two schools and a park. Morford was the first sexual predator given supervised release in the city of Milwaukee.

In 1997, Franke granted predator Shawn Schulpius supervised release, contingent on the creation of a plan for housing and monitoring him in Milwaukee. But for more than two years, officials could not find supervised housing for Schulpius in the city. In 2000, Franke reversed himself, saying Schulpius didn't deserve release after all.

This is why a strong showing of support from not just Franklin residents, but citizens from all parts of Wisconsin concerned about the safety and welfare of families and their innocent children is critical at Monday’s hearing.

As I mentioned on WISN last Thursday when I filled in for Mark Belling, according to an article in last week’s Green Bay Press Gazette, “At least 11 Wisconsin municipalities have passed some restrictions on sex offenders, whether residency limitations or restrictive zones where certain types of offenders are not allowed. Twenty-five more are considering similar restrictions, said Tom Smith, a registration specialist with the Department of Corrections.”

All of these ordinances protecting innocent children could be all but rendered meaningless by Judge Franke’s ruling. A caller to my show on WISN said the decision could always be reversed on appeal. Appeals take time, are not guaranteed, and in the meantime, sex offenders could ignore ordinances and move into areas around schools, day care centers, etc.

Will you take a stand for children and against sex offenders?

Will you take a stand for common sense laws designed to protect our most precious citizens?

The safety of every child in Wisconsin is on the line.

Yes, it’s that important.

Finally, the information about Monday’s hearing has been distributed to all Franklin bloggers. 

So far, Bryan Maersch and I are the only Franklin bloggers to address this matter that is nonpartisan.

I challenge and encourage other Franklin bloggers to write about this issue and urge readers to turn out Monday in support of our most precious commodity: our children.


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New Miss USA crowned tonight

The Miss USA pageant is tonight.

The winner replaces Rachel Smith of Tennessee.

Yes, she's an Elvis fan.

Miss USA, Rachel Smith, Elvis outfit

Smith was quite the story in 2007.

UPDATE 4/12/08 @ 8:00 A.M.

Miss Texas wins pageant

Maybe W.C. Fields was right

“Go away kid, ya bother me”
W.C. Fields in the movie, My Little Chickadee

On Thursday, the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel reported the following on its website:

THURSDAY, April 10, 2008, 2:36 p.m.
By Erica Perez
UW students list top budget priorities.

Madison-- As administrators and students brace for possible budget cuts as a result of a projected state budget shortfall, student senates from six University of Wisconsin institutions presented a list of their top budgetary priorities to the UW System Board of Regents today.

Student senates from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Fond du Lac, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stout and UW-Superior presented the following priorities:

-- Increase pay and improve retention for UW faculty and staff using strictly state funds.

-- Increase funding for the Wisconsin Higher Education Grant, the Advanced Opportunity Program and the Lawton Undergraduate Retention Grant program. 

-- Support a veterans' tuition remission program funded completely through state funds.

-- Cap tuition increases so they don't exceed the rate of inflation.

-- Provide funding for domestic partner benefits for all UW employees. 

-- Provide funding for mental health counseling at all UW institutions.

-- Make sure state law ensures that the average tuition increase is matched dollar-for-dollar with the average Wisconsin Higher Education Grant award.

"Students like me are graduating with more than $20,000 in debt," said Ray French, president of the UW-Eau Claire student government association.

"This is getting to be very standard. These (ideas) are very important to students and to the future of keeping UW students in the system."

The same day, I received this e-mail from a reader:

How interesting that the Number #1 top priority for the students of the UW System just happens to be what the teachers unions want...increased pay for UW professors....and that just down the list a top priority for students is also domestic partner benefits for UW employees.  Give me a break, what a bunch of BS.  Do you truly think that the top priority for nine out of ten students on every campus isn't to control the costs of tuition, room & board, and books?

Great point.

Jim Wigderson posted this blog about the same article entitled, "Why children should be seen and not heard."

Wigderson writes, “I'm surprised they didn't ask for free massages and pedicures every Friday. Sadly, if this shows anything it's that students should be required to take more economics courses. They might learn money doesn't grow on trees.”

Yes, indeed.

W.C. Fields was right.

So much for that idea

Illegal immigration

The Associated Press is reporting:

“Illegal immigrants armed with torches, hacksaws, ladders and even bungee cords are making it around a section of the border fence hailed as the most efficient way to stop them.”


Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Victor Guzman points to an apparent cut mark on the border fence west of Columbus, New Mexico, port of entry.

A widening gap between posts, each set a few inches apart, as the ground settles, is seen in the border fence near Columbus, New Mexico.

Barack Hussein Obama steps in it again

This time, he insults rural folks in Pennsylvania facing tough times.


Here's what Obama said to contributors in California last weekend that is now getting some attention:

"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, has issued a statement saying that "I saw in the media it's being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter. Well, that's not my experience. As I travel around Pennsylvania, I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves. They are working hard everyday for a better future, for themselves and their children."

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is responding with a
statement from spokesman Steve Schmidt to The Politico. Obama's comments, Schmidt says, show "an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking. It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."

At  ABC News, conservative Grover Norquist says Obama "just announced to rural America 'I don't like you.' "

Read the entire USA TODAY website entry.

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A "new day" in Franklin...what does that mean?

FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski in his latest blog talks about a “new day” in Franklin following the latest elections.

As an observer of Franklin politics, I come away with many questions and observations after reading Greg's blog. Let’s explore more specifically, shall we. Kowalski’s comments are underlined followed by my reaction.

It was truly a pleasure to see Franklin Aldermanic candidates vie for a position without resorting to dirty tactics.  This statement suggests that there were dirty tricks in the past. Would Greg be willing in a future blog to outline specifically what he’s talking about? I’d be very interested, wouldn’t you?

a new day looming for Franklin.    Greg sees changes coming. But remember, Greg is grammatically challenged. He uses the word “looming.” By definition, that implies that bad things are on the horizon. Is that because two incumbent aldermen were defeated?  Explain, Greg.

I would like to believe that the people of this fine community stood up and said enough's enough relating to many issues. People aren't huge fans of backroom negotiations and discussions relating to properties near their homes or in key corridors or districts.    Again, I’m dying to know what secret, inside information Greg is aware of. Would he please share? What backroom deals is he talking about?

Many individuals would like to become more involved in the governmental process by being in the know of issues that they're curious about. I hope that’s true. That means more Franklin residents, if Greg is accurate, will turn out at all kinds of city meetings. Don’t hold your breath.

As I've noted in the past, the city needs to be more open on bringing in the community when it comes to issues such as future planning goals and our civic center.  The goal is commendable. But again, what specifically is he talking about? Every meeting is open to the public. If people want to be involved in the process, they need to show up at meetings or contact their elected representatives.

People begin to wise up a bit when they're promised reduced taxes 3 years ago if they support an extremely pro-development Council, but yet see their levies jump higher and higher afterwards.   Now I’m really curious. OK, Greg. Who specifically promised lower taxes three years ago and what did they say? If you can provide specific info, the people who made such promises need to be held accountable. What does “extremely pro-development” mean?

Development needs to be done right and not in the current haphazard method.   Greg, please define “right” and “haphazard.”

Seriously, I hope Greg will give his statements thoughtful consideration and think about preparing a future blog that provides curious readers with full information about how and why he makes the assertions that he does.  

The ACLU is told the death penalty is no laughing matter

Officials with the ACLU say a lot of dumb things.

Here’s another prime example.

It happened in Ohio when an attorney representing the ACLU tried to make a joke during a court hearing concerning the constitutionality of Ohio’s lethal injections.

The lawyer was quickly scolded by the judge.

Here are the details.

For those who just love high taxes...

In all my years involved in covering politics and now working in politics, I have yet to meet or hear from an individual who claims his/her taxes are too low and should be raised.

(I know they’re out there. One of them writes a blog on this site).

A California Congressman has the perfect plan for this bunch that hasn’t met a tax increase they don’t love. The Congressman is literally telling folks who think the government should take even more of our hard-earned money to put their money where their mouth is.



A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Terry and Mary Briscoe

Melissa Stockwell………..swimmer.

John Reese

Kevin Nguyen

Jin Jing

Hairless hounds

Marquette women


Ezequiel Lopez-Quintero

Nelly Vasquez-Salazar

Daniel Markofski

Sean Owen

Al Reyes

Randolph College in Virginia

Roman Catholic museum in Vienna


“Liberals do well in midterm elections: Repudiation of conservatism by the voters.
Conservatives do well in spring elections: Bamboozled voters

Louis Butler runs ads about holding offenders accountable "97%" of the time: Fair game
Conservatives run ads about scary sex offenders and killers: Despicable fear-mongering racists

Democrat wins governor's race after ads criticizing opponent: Victory
Conservative wins supreme court race after ads criticizing opponent: Nastiest race in history

Louis Butler claims he's held offenders accountable: Positive and issue-oriented
Michael Gableman runs ads claiming Louis Butler hasn't held offenders accountable: The Supreme Court has nothing to do with crime!”
Blogger Jessica McBride

"I have a great suggestion. Have the police in Lake Geneva wake up the manager and the assistant manager of the Target store EVERY time they have a teenager killed in a traffic accident" that is alcohol-related around there. "The police should take them to the scene of the accident and let them assist in the removal of the body . . . Maybe if they view enough bodies, they might appreciate what Mr. Babcock did . . . "
An e-mail to the Journal/Sentinel’s Mike Nichols from a reader in South Carolina, reacting to Target’s firing of Dean Babcock, the ex-cop who was let go from his security guard job after stopping a 16-year-old from stealing a bottle of tequila from the Target in Lake Geneva.

"This was grassroots democracy at its finest; a blow to powerful special interests; and, most important, a win for Wisconsin's children."
Rose Fernandez, president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families, after the governor signed a bill into law to keep virtual schools open in Wisconsin.

"The surest way to depress morale and weaken the force would be to lose in Iraq."
President Bush saying he realizes the stress on U.S. forces is "real," but said top military brass had assured him that the all-volunteer force was strong and resilient enough to win the war on terror.

"Hillary called me and said, 'You don't remember this. You weren't there, let me handle it.' I said, 'Yes ma'am.’ She said, 'Look, just let me handle this cause you don't remember it, either.'''
Former President Bill Clinton telling reporters in Terre Haute, Indiana that his wife called him and told him to stop defending her false story about landing in Bosnia in 1996 amid sniper fire.

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years. ... And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Barack Obama

"Well, that's not my experience. Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them. They need a president who stands up for them."
Hillary Clinton

"One of the central challenges of Hillary Clinton's campaign: How to take credit for the accomplishments of her husband's presidency and profit from his popularity while distancing herself from his past and present positions on which they disagree."
The Boston Globe's Foon Rhee

"Here is the choice you have in North Carolina. Senator Clinton voted for those tax breaks -- $10 billion worth. Senator Obama wants to end those tax breaks and use that money to support renewable energy.
Governor Doyle in North Carolina, speaking on behalf of Barack Obama.

"The problem with a boycott is you end up taking 1.3 billion Chinese — who have different views of democracy, of the U.S., of human rights, but all want the Olympics to be successful — and you turn them all against the U.S. It's a crude and blunt instrument to just boycott."
Michael Green, President Bush's former Asia adviser, says the president probably will attend the opening ceremonies.


Smear campaign
against State Senator Alberta Darling by Democrats


MPS could and should end busing.


All the talk about boycotting all or part of the summer Olympic Games in China. Beijing was chosen way back in 2001. China was just as bad, just as evil, just as rotten seven years ago. But protests haven't exploded until now. Besides, the dopy protesters are primarily kids trying to skip out of class.


Why is the Vice President smiling?

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

You like dog stories? You'll love this one

Kevin's favorites

“You don’t blog enough about dogs!”
Who said that?
My wife, Jennifer.
When did she say it?
What time is it?

Sam, you’re incredible.

Be very proud of the ladies of Marquette

Earlier today in my weekly installment of Week-ends, I listed the Marquette women’s basketball team under HEROES OF THE WEEK.

My wife, Jennifer informed me that the team is to be recognized for more than its prowess on the basketball court.


Coming Sunday to This Just In: I can't believe we're up to #50

Last year around Father’s Day, I blogged about the great debate surrounding the proper way to grill brats.

I called my blog, “Culinary no-no.”

After that post, I thought it might be fun, especially on the weekend, to briefly get away from the more controversial, heavy topics and write about something I think most people love and appreciate: eating.

So, I thought, I’ll carry on with this through the summer and then pull the plug.

I can just imagine what some were thinking.
 What in the world is that fool doing?

This is Kevin Fischer.

Star of TV.

Star of radio.

Star of the blogs.

Lefty bloggers hate me and my conservative messages.

Jealous bloggers get all steamed when I get press time and time again.

They can’t stand that I get tremendous response whenever I fill in on WISN.

They hate the fact my blog is so popular.
 Why don’t more people pick on him, they moan and cry.

They smear, and launch one witch-hunt after another.

Like the Tasmanian Devil, they screw themselves into the ground desperately searching for something, anything that would prevent them from having their secret decoder ring taken away.

Maybe he jaywalked.

Maybe he was late for church.

Maybe he wore white after Labor Day.

First they hollered and screamed that I did too much on state time.

Finding nothing, now they say that even though I’ve worked for the state a gazillion years, that I do too much on my own time.

C’mon guys, you’re making fools of yourselves. (My favorite is that they can’t even figure out when I’m really on WISN, even when I tell them on my very own blog. I promote that I’m filling in for Jay Weber and they write that I was filling in for Mark Belling. Sherlock Holmes, they ain’t).

One of these genius bloggers actually wrote months ago, with no facts or substantiation but only HER vindictive hate that WISN was dumping me.

Gee, so much  for HER credibility.

But back to yours truly.

This Mark Belling fill-in, this right-wing nasty no-good scoundrel is blogging about…………….. FOOD???

And people still read his stuff?

They still like him?

They listen to him on the radio and watch him on TV?

He's piling up hit after hit after hit?

And he writes about......................................................................................................FOOD????

As I explained in Culinary no-no #43 several weeks ago:

NOTE: For the benefit of new readers, Culinary no-no began on my blog last summer when I wrote about my wife’s preference for ketchup on a brat. I consider such a selection to be taboo. I started discussing improper (in my view) food issues, a departure from most foodie articles that focus on what’s good to eat and drink. I thought I’d write until the summer grilling season was over, but over 40 consecutive weekly blogs later, I’m still writing about culinary no-no’s.  A complete surprise to me, the feature has become one of the most popular items I write about.

It’s true. I have received phenomenal response from the culinary no-no’s. That’s understandable. I treat my blog like I treat my talk show appearances. I write about what interests me, and it’s not always down and dirty politics.I'm happy readers have responded so positively.

Sunday, I will post my 50th culinary no-no. Some have been fun. Some have been quite serious, deadly serious.

I thank you for your interest in what I thought would be two, three, four blogs at the most.

Bon Appétit.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) How did THIS get that those creative devils at Fountains of Franklin?

2) And the problem is….

3) Culinary no-no #49

4) RIP Charleton Heston

5) Elvis’ team in the Final Four

And just missing the top five:

Franklin bloggers played a key role

They're great with video games, but don't ask kids a history question

The overwhelming majority of our young people are good, decent, productive individuals.

Even so, I do worry about them and where our country is headed.

What worries me is they don’t want to vote. Those that aren’t apathetic don’t know the first thing about voting (how, when, where, why).

And far too many of our young people know very little about the history of their own country.

Last year, I blogged about the lack of knowledge among our own kids about history.

Today’s USA WEEKEND reports that one year later, the news isn’t much better saying,  “Is our nation just history-challenged? The test scores seem to say so, but Americans love history. Just as long as it's on a big screen and popcorn is involved.”

Read more.

Let's rhumba


I never watch American Idol. But I have been watching Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) that has a similar format to Idol: amateurs perform in front of judges, viewing public also gets to vote, and one by one the competitors are eliminated until there’s a winner.

I am not alone. DWTS is one of the highest rated shows in America. Millions have watched the show all season.

What drew this Elvis fan to DWTS this season was the list of celebrity ballroom dancers that includes Priscilla Presley.

I am fully aware that as impressive as Presley has been, she’s not going to win. It’s clear to me that the judges are in love with former Olympic skater
Kristi Yamaguchi and Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins. Yamaguchi could fall and break her ankle and the three judges would all give her 10’s.

I’m no Arthur Murray, but it appears to me that the judges have been too kind to some while too brutal to other competitors.

Presley was a guest on the Elvis Channel on Sirius Satellite radio last week and said she felt the judges have been too picky. During her dance last Monday, she was docked points because at one point, both of her feet left the dance floor, a serious taboo in ballroom competition. There were some boos from the studio audience when the judges gave their remarks and when her scores were announced.

All the more reason synchronized swimming should not be an Olympic sport.

On Monday night, Presley will dance the rhumba to a rendition of Roberta Flack’s, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”  I’m sure it won’t look or sound like an Elvis rhumba.

Imagine the lovely Elsa Cardenas in a very tiny convertible with Elvis, as he sings the following in the 1963 film,  “Fun in Acapulco”…..

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Culinary no-no #50

Culinary no-no's

A week ago yesterday, my wife and I dined at Dream Dance, the phenomenal restaurant at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino.

My wife wore a sequined skirt, a silk blouse, and heels. I had on a suit and tie. No other gentleman had a tie. Most of the men had shirts with jeans.

I usually witness the same casual style of dress at Bacchus: women dressed to the nines escorted by guys with jeans and sneakers.

Go into any so-called “fancy” restaurant anywhere in Wisconsin and it looks like a Mr. Green Jeans convention just hit town.

Far from an elitist snob, I submit no one dresses up anymore to go out to multi-star establishments, and that’s wrong.

The men are far worse than the women.

Guys, it’s not difficult knowing you’re going to one of the best restaurants to take the time to put on a nice shirt, a decent pair of slacks and some nice shoes. If you’re going to make the effort to wear a sports jacket, go the extra one-eighth of a mile and throw on a tie.

It’s amazing more guys don’t feel utterly embarrassed to walk into a Bartolotta restaurant looking like a homeless bum, especially if their significant others or dates have taken the time to dress to the nines.

One could argue that it doesn’t matter how one is dressed, that the guy’s money who’s outfitted in Wrangler’s is just as good as the guy with the Gucci suit and Rolex watch. To that end, restaurants facing stiff competition will seat just about anyone these days. I recall the old Columns restaurant on Milwaukee’s south side. A sign on the receptionist’s podium clearly read, “Dress code enforced.” The only place you’d find a sign like that today is in the Smithsonian.

I believe you should dress up a bit more for nicer places out of respect for yourself, your dining partner, those around you, and the restaurant itself. But if people won’t even do that for weddings or funerals, why would they do it for places that have extra silverware on the table?

Certainly the cost of dressing up isn’t an issue. The guys that come in grubby jeans to some of Milwaukee’s top shelf restaurants are actually paying more for that denim than they would for a decent pair of dress slacks.

And it’s not just restaurants. As I mentioned, it's weddings and funerals and let’s not forget the Symphony, the Ballet, Broadway shows, the theater, concerts. Wisconsin has turned into a bunch of bums.

As for women, they usually outshine their male counterparts, but Wisconsin females overwhelmingly dress Goth-style. Must they always wear basic black? Can’t they toss on something with a little splash of color once in awhile?

One more thing guys……….whether it’s Sanford’s or Solly’s, once inside, lose the hat.

Didn’t your mothers teach you anything?


1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.

12) Some regional flavored ice cream… black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server
19) Eating out on a Monday night
20) Pumpkin beer
21) Mail-order turkey
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance.
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October.
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays.
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked.
33) Putting hot spices and other weird stuff in chocolate bars and hot cocoa.
34) Don’t disregard fruitcake.
35) Sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve ain’t champagne.
36) Ordering a Coors Light or any facsimile when at an outdoor open-air bar on a tropical beach.
37) Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in Wisconsin.
38) Goat burgers and healthy items at tailgate parties.

39) The restaurant of the future, with all kinds of cameras trained on you for....research.

40) The Budweiser Chelada
41) Replating
42) Sour cream on potato pancakes, as opposed to applesauce
43) Meatless Monday's
44) Digital dining
45) Tips on what not to do to your waiter
46) If you want a traditional St. Patty’s dinner, as good as it is, corned beef and cabbage ain’t it
47) Doing everything to PEEPS except eating them
48) Foodie bloggers and writers eating dangerously
49) The $81 Kobe beef burger

Mario tells it like it is about Mariah


 Image: Mariah Carey is revolutionary, but Elvis is still King

Mario Tarradell of the Dallas Morning News puts the news bulletin that Mariah Carey now has more #1 singles than Elvis in the proper perspective.

Let the Catholic-bashing begin

As I predicted on WISN last week, the visit by the Pope to the United States will send the news media scurrying for Catholic-bashing stories. If they involve aggrieved, disgruntled Catholics, even better.

Well, they found them, as protesters begin to lash out.


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Arguments today in City of Franklin vs. Steve Hanke

Arguments were made today before Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke in the city of Franklin’s lawsuit against convicted sex offender Steve Hanke.  Hanke moved into Franklin several months after Franklin adopted a strict ordinance on where released sex offenders can live.

I was not in the courtroom but concerned sources who were inform me of what transpired.

Franke acknowledged there is no dispute that Franklin’s ordinance has been violated. However, he identified three constitutional issues he’s considering.

1) Ex Post Facto

An ex post facto law is one that changes the legal circumstances of acts made or the legal status of facts and relationships that were in existence before the enactment of the law. It can, among other things, criminalize actions that were legal before committed, or add new penalties or terms.

2) Validation of due process – does the strict scrutiny test apply.

The strict scrutiny application comes up in two situations: when a fundamental constitutional right is infringed, or when a government action uses a suspect classification such as race or national origin.

3) Unconstitutional taking of property

Franklin City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski argued Franklin’s ordinance compliments state policy with regard to sex offender monitoring and management.  Hanke’s attorney Andrew Arena said the ordinance is fear-based, unreasonable, and emotionally charged and therefore Franke could strike it down.

A bill has been proposed in the state Legislature to define high-risk sex offenders and child safety zones. Another bill would prohibit local municipalities from enacting ordinances like Franklin’s.

Franke submitted it might make more sense for the state to address the issues in a uniform manner.

Arena argued Franklin’s ordinance amounts to banishment, pointing to signs posted throughout the community and the negative treatment Hanke gets from his neighbors.

Franke responded that sex offenders can still work, visit, and travel in and through Franklin.  In his view, banishment would mean that no offenders would be allowed in Franklin at anytime.

Franke then challenged Wesolowski about what the threshold is for prohibiting sex offenders. If all sex offenders were prohibited from living in Franklin, would that be constitutional?  If Franklin allows them to live in only 30% of the city, is that constitutional?

The argument of residency vs. occupancy came up.  What is the definition of residency?  How does that differ from occupancy?  Technically, Hanke can still own the property but not “reside” there.  He could visit there.  Could that, in essence, blow holes in the argument of unconstitutional taking of property?

Wesolowski also argued that Hanke’s presence in the neighborhood may result in decreased property values for the other residents and that represents a public nuisance. He added that zoning laws are in place to ensure the protection of property and that presents a reasonable basis for the ordinance.

Franke raised the question as to the notion of actual public safety vs. the public “feeling” safe.  Is it the responsibility of the government to make the public “feel” safe?

Wesolowski contended that yes, under the constitutional provision of home rule, local municipalities can decide what constitutes “comfortable enjoyment” and “freedom of fear” in determining a public nuisance so long as it is reasonable.

Franke will submit a written ruling within 3 weeks from today.

My thoughts:

1) Franke has conceded the ordinance has been violated. That would seem to suggest Hanke has to move.

2) I’m not surprised Franke then raised several constitutional questions. The judge has a history of ruling in favor of offenders. His concern for Hanke is reason to worry.

3) Franke suggests it makes more sense for the Legislature to decide uniform sex offender laws. If that’s the case, Franke should not legislate from the bench. Wisconsin voters in the recent election sent a message they oppose judicial activism.

4) Kudos to Wesolowski for raising issues about the safety of children and the rights of homeowners who don’t want to see their property values plummet.

5) Remember, courts around the country have found these restrictive ordinances to be constitutional.

6) Hanke’s attorney says Hanke is getting negative treatment from neighbors and feels banished because concerned families have posted yard signs. Quite honestly, I could care less if Hanke feels bothered. He’s a convicted sex offender. I care about his next potential victim.

7) Franke says he’ll issue a written ruling. I’d rather have him issue the ruling in open court, in front of concerned families and the media.

Do Not Knock

Beginning today, another city in Ohio is enforcing a Do Not Knock law.

I like it.

MMSD has got to be kidding

This Saturday, the ever-so environmentally conscious folks at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District (MMSD) are sponsoring a MEDICINE COLLECTION DAY in four area counties.

Please understand the MMSD says you should NEVER FLUSH OR POUR unused medicine down the drain. Why, that would be bad for Lake Michigan.

So you’re being encouraged to bring prescription medication and over the counter medication to Miller Park on Saturday if you live in Milwaukee County as part of MEDICINE COLLECTION DAY.

Now if only the hypocritical MMSD would care about the billions of gallons of raw sewage they dump into the lake. Then I might be able to take this effort a bit more seriously.


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Priscilla does the splits




Monday night on Dancing with the Stars, contestant Priscilla Presley did the splits.

She is 62-years old.

I was impressed, and I bet many in the TV audience of over 20-million were as well.

But the judges, who have been tough and quite picky on Presley as of late gave her low scores.

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Is there a priest scandal or not?

Topics talked about on WISN

 “It is a great suffering for the church in the United States and for the church in general and for me personally that this could happen. It is difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betray in this way their mission ... to these children. I am deeply ashamed and we will do what is possible so this cannot happen again in the future. We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry. It is more important to have good priests than many priests. We will do everything possible to heal this wound."
Traveling from Rome to Washington on his first papal journey to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI, April 15, 2008.

On April 7, while filling in for Mark Belling on WISN, I asked listeners if they thought there was a serious sex scandal today in the Catholic Church and to rate the seriousness on a scale of 0-10.

Some callers thought a problem remains, but more thought the problem is being addressed by the Church as it attempts to settle with victims. Many felt the crisis isn’t as rampant as it was in the past.

I then quoted a March 31 news release by Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League. Donohue correctly predicted that with the Pope set to visit the United States, “Some will try to slam the pope for the sex abuse scandal, as if he somehow approved it (he actually used some of the most condemnatory language of anyone when he called molesting priests ‘filth’).”

Donohue then fired this shot:

“What will not be reported is the fact that for the year 2007, .01 percent of the more than 40,000 priests in the U.S. had an allegation made against them for violating someone under the age of 18 (want to compare that with public school teachers anyone?).”

I decided to take Donohue up on his invitation to compare. I found this, from

“An estimated 5 million students in United States schools have been assaulted sexually by teachers, according to a congressional report. But no one is calling for investigations or law enforcement crackdowns, there have been no campaigns to ban the offenders from schools, and in many states there aren't even any requirements such predator attacks be reported to education licensing agencies.

Terri Miller, who runs probably the only organization in the nation that focuses specifically on assaults by educators on students, (said) ‘This is an epidemic.’

She said the problem easily could be many times larger than the scandals involving Catholic Church priests molesting children, and the hundreds of millions of dollars in civil liabilities already determined in those cases.”

Here’s more.

All practicing Catholics decry the sins of priests who’ve assaulted, However, the overwhelming majority of Catholic priests are good, decent men who should not be unfairly judged or painted  with a wide brush just because the Pope has landed.

Coming soon, another very nice restaurant...

But not to Franklin.

Opening at Brookfield Square, next to Bravo! Cucina Italiana on June 2nd will be this restaurant.

Not to worry, Franklin.


After all, we’re getting…..


Hope they offer jimmies and sprinkles.

A border fence that "wouldn't stop a flea"

Illegal immigration

Last week, I blogged about the serious problems with stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border fence designed to keep illegal immigrants out.

The Christian Science Monitor offers more reasons to be concerned:

After driving 10 miles along the expanded US-Mexican border fence near her farm, Dawn Garner offers her dour assessment. ‘Anyone can plainly see this wouldn't stop a flea, let alone a migrant or terrorist. This [fence] is just too easy to cut into, climb over, or go under or around,’ says Ms. Garner. Twenty to 40 illegal migrant workers cut across her five-acre farm daily, she says.”

Pretty sad.

We can put a man on the moon, but can we build a fence that really works?

Actually, the answer is, yes, we can.

But it better be tall. Otherwise, why bother.

Make sure you also check out this photo gallery.

Has the Franklin cougar finally been caught?

The animal was spotted a few times in southern Wisconsin, including Franklin.

Monday, a Chicago police officer shot and killed a cougar.


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It's easy to pick on Kenny G...

But I won’t.

Turns out the biggest-selling jazz artist in the world is also a mean golfer. In fact Golf Digest considers Kenny G the best musician golfer in the world. (The G, by the way, does not stand for golf).

So how good is
Kenneth Gorelick?

He has a handicap of +0.6.

If you’re not a golf aficionado, that means his average score is better than par on a 72-hole course. Amazing!

But back to the sax.

I prefer Kenny when he’s playing tenor as opposed to alto sax, as in this remake of the 1962 Charlie Byrd-Stan Getz bossa nova classic, Desafinado, that I'm sure my late father would have thoroughly enjoyed. (I also love keyboardist Jeff Stoll’s rendition at the Packing House, usually paired with Summer Samba).

Translated, it means “Slightly out of tune”…….Desafinado

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Important death penalty ruling by U.S. Supreme Court

Topics talked about on WISN

Today the Supreme Court has ruled that lethal injections, if properly carried out, are a "humane" means of ending a condemned individual's life.

It is the correct and appropriate ruling.

Two convicted murderers, Ralph Baze and Thomas C. Bowling, were able to get their case heard by the high court, claiming death by lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Since the case went to the Supreme Court last September, no executions have been carried out in the U.S.

Dennis Briscoe said it best. He was just 14 when Baze used an assault weapon to kill Briscoe’s father an uncle who were law enforcement officers in Kentucky.

Briscoe said, “What they should really consider is the pain my father and uncle went through when that happened. We should all be so lucky as to just fall asleep when we die."

Here are details from ABC and the Los Angeles Times.

In January, I discussed on WISN and also blogged about the absurdity of brutal, cold-blooded murderers claming a lethal injection was cruel and inhumane punishment

This is why Scott Walker got 79% of the vote in Franklin

From the 2008 Inaugural Address of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker:

“As we head into future budgets for the county, we should explore every possible option - so that we might provide the core services expected of us while keeping our costs under control. This is important so that our residents and our workforce can afford to stay in this great county.

When meeting with new Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo, he mentioned seeing a neighbor of his at the grocery store and that the neighbor told him that he was moving out of the county. When Joe asked why, he said that he was retiring soon and didn’t think he could afford to pay the taxes on his home.

That reminded me of just how important our work is to real people. In my mind, not one of the individuals who helped build this great county should ever be forced to move out because they can’t afford to pay taxes when they retire.

And it’s a big concern for those who provide jobs too. With places like Miller Brewing making key decisions based on the cost of doing business, we need to give them every reason to stay and grow in Milwaukee County.”

Walker clearly understands the critical issues of taxes, job creation, job retention, a healthy business climate, and fiscal responsibility.

The voters clearly understand, too.

Hey, isn't that Brett Favre with Benedict?

Just could be.

Badger Blogger reports the Favres were invited to be on hand when the Pope says Mass Thursday in Washington. Brett will give a welcoming message to the Pope on a huge video screen at the Mass.

You can see the Pope offer Mass at the new Nationals Park in Washington D.C. on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Milwaukee time on  the EWTN cable network with repeat broadcasts on Thursday at noon and 11:00 p.m.

Child dies playing "tag," the game is banned........overreaction?

I think so.

More details.

Guns on campus

Now here is a group of young people in America that I admire and respect.

They’re not defacing and vandalizing Army recruit centers.

They’re not bullying Olympic torch-bearers.

This group is working to protect the lives of their fellow citizens.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus has thousands of members across the country, crusading to allow holders of concealed weapons licenses to bring their guns onto college campuses to defend themselves in the kind of attack that happened at Virginia Tech one year ago today.

Their efforts are paying off as legislators in 15 sates are now considering conceal carry laws on campus.

Who knows? The massacre at Virginia Tech may not have happened if some individuals on campus had been carrying.

Read more about this group along with Answers to the Most Common Arguments Against Concealed Carry on College Campuses.



MyCommunityNOW has issued a Blog Blizzard warning for FranklinNOW.

A flurry of blog activity on Kevin Fischer’s This Just In is expected to hit within the hour. Numerous blogs on various subjects will be posted in rapid succession.

You are encouraged to stay indoors close to your computer with snacks and a favorite chilled beverage until the blog blizzard moves through later this evening.

InterCHANGE Friday night

Here are the topics my colleagues and I discuss on InterCHANGE Friday night on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 at 6:30. The show repeats Sunday morning on Channel 10 at 11:00.

1 – POPE.

Sixty million Catholic Americans are watching with interest the first visit to the United States in years by a pope.  Have you been impressed with anything said so far by Pope Benedict?  Has he inspired anybody?  Has he adequately addressed the problem of pedophile priests, or as one critic said has it been “all talk and no action.”  Is the Catholic Church in America still as strong as it used to be?  Will a church that continues to prohibit married men and women from ordination be doomed in this day and age?


Decades ago, when the courts forced Milwaukee and it’s suburbs to integrate public schools, the argument was that African-American kids were stranded in central city schools and that white kids in the outer city and suburbs were getting a better education.  So forced bussing was put into place, which drove white families out of the city, ruined neighborhood schools, and helped create what is now a nearly all black Milwaukee Public School system.  Now, some are saying Milwaukee should do away with busing, which next year is expected to cost the district nearly sixty-million dollars, and instead use that money to improve conditions in the classroom and bring back more neighborhood schools.  Does that seem like a good idea?  Would it improve schools?  An MPS school board committee will discuss the matter next week.


With gas moving towards four dollars a gallon, are you starting to worry about how much you drive, and how high the price will eventually go?  Yesterday, Midwest airlines announced it will be cutting flights and laying people off.  Today, Harley-Davidson announced it would be laying off both hourly and salaried workers.

The mortgage crisis is leading to a record numbe4r of foreclosures and bankruptcies.  Are you worried about how economic conditions will affect you and your family yet?  Are you worried about how it will affect Milwaukee?  Is this just another blip on the economic screen, or are things getting much worse than many expected?

The latest issue of Milwaukee Magazine reminds me...

The magazine’s May issue contains its annual best dining section.

That made me recall that last year, I took reader surveys on the Best Dining in the Franklin area. Next month, I‘ll post a similar survey so put your thinking caps on.

Also, coming this Saturday to This Just In:

I will launch a new weekly blog on a very popular topic. I have enlisted the help of an expert who will assist me with research and guest commentary. Tune in Saturday for the first installment of ?????????????

Who besides Kenny G can really golf?

Yesterday, I blogged, much to my surprise that saxman Kenny G is a scratch golfer.

He’s so good, he’s been rated the best musician golfer in the world by Golf Digest.

Here’s the entire list if you’re curious.

Golf Digest also rates the best Hollywood golfers, and the best athlete golfers.

In the latter category, take a look at all those former Green Bay Packers.

After paying all those taxes, you could stand a chuckle or two


Did this week’s tax deadline have you muttering, maybe even yelling some unquotable quotes?

Nationally syndicated humor columnist Thomas Purcell says several printable quotes do come to mind every April 15 including:

The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."

— Will Rogers

"Of life's two certainties, at least you can get an extension for taxes."

— Unknown

Many of us could use a good laugh around tax time. Read Purcell’s entire piece.

Want more?

Barack Obama's pants are really, really on fire

At least Obama didn’t claim he invented the Internet.

And this guy’s a uniter?

He makes Nixon look like George Washington and the cherry tree.


HT: No Runny Eggs

Guns on campus: A follow-up

Just about anywhere in America (except Wisconsin because our governor is Jim Doyle who has taxpayer-funded armed guards to protect him wherever he goes but he won’t let law-abiding, trained, licensed citizens carry their own guns for protection),  it is legal to carry a concealed weapon.

Of course, depending where you live, there might be some exceptions:

Target stores that have really nice facades and were built only after three dozen Planning Commission meetings

Inside any IRS office

If you've been divorced more than once

If you’re chewing gum and walking across a street while talking into a cellphone

Whenever there’s an “R” in the month

During weather conditions requiring that you turn your windshield wipers on

While watching Simon Cowell on American Idol

During Happy Hour at any Anger & Stress Management Providers. Inc. convention

You get the picture.

One restriction that I consider absurd is the distinction often placed on schools and college campuses: the so-called “Gun-free zone.”

During this week when the nation commemorates the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Virginia Tech, there’s the usual howling and screaming that there are just too damn many guns.

That’s ridiculous.

There should be more guns in the hands of those law-abiding citizens that I mentioned earlier, and less guns in the hands of criminals because we’ve locked them up for a long time.

Let’s put guns in the hands of people who work at or attend colleges and take down those stupid “Gun-free zone” signs.

Designate a school as being “gun-free,’ and you might as well take the bloody principal, put him up on the roof of the school building with a bullhorn yelling:










In January, I posted two great columns on the folly of gun-free zones.

They’re worth another look.

From the "Who does he think he's kidding" file...

The quote from this morning’s paper almost takes your breath away:

“In a $9 million civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday, the former Cedarburg teacher fired for viewing pornography on his school computer said he did a search that turned up the adult images only because he wanted to see if the school district had installed software to block such images.”

The teacher is Robert Zellner.

There were 1500 “adult” images found on his computer.

The guy’s as guilty as sin.

And yet, there are those in the public school machine that are willing to defend him.

Now he has the nerve to file a multi-million lawsuit because he was only trying to find out if porn would show up on his school computer?

This genius was a school teacher instructing kids in classrooms.

I’m amazed he hadn’t moved up to superintendent.

And exactly which civil rights were denied?

It's a good thing the Supreme Court race got nasty

So claims this letter writer to the Stevens Point Journal.

A different perspective from all that whining that continues to pour out from the sore losers.

Interesting, and right on

Take a look at this picture


 I'm sure you recognize former President Jimmy Carter.

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Great cartoon

By Michael Ramirez of Investor's Business Daily

"The crowd is only here because they're bitter and the gun shops are closed."


Has been cancelled.

Both of these events will take place on May 1

Which will get more media attention?

Will it be this one?

Or this one, often referred to in the past as "A Day without Latinos?"

No brainer, isn't it.

The "New" Franklin Common Council begins its work

It was a newsworthy week at Franklin City Hall.

Just how newsworthy is up for debate.

Two new aldermen who knocked off incumbents, then survived recounts were sworn in.

The Common Council then elected a new Council President and it happens to be one of the newly-elected aldermen.

Every Franklin blogger is observing that “it’s a new day,” or that there’s going to be change, or that new faces will have an impact.

Every Franklin blogger is making such commentary except me.

Quite frankly, I don’t see it, and if someone would like to share specifics as to what in the world they mean instead of generalities and platitudes, I’d love to hear it.

Please don’t misunderstand. I wish Kristen Wilhelm and Steve Taylor all the best. I know they will give it their all and work hard.

But this talk of the election results bringing “a new day” implies all sunshine and roses ahead.  It also dismisses the work of the previous Council that deserves much credit for restoring honor, civility, and decorum to City Hall politics.

We have two new aldermen and the “experts” pontificate that suddenly it’s all peaches and cream in Franklin. We also have two new School Board members. Yet no one is equating those election results to “a new day,” are they?

Earlier this week, Steve Taylor was elected Common Council President shortly after being sworn in as alderman.

I believe this was a mistake.

Before I am misquoted and misinterpreted, I reiterate that I think Alderman Taylor will work hard and represent his district well.

However, the guy was only in office for what, 15, 20 minutes? And he’s made Council President? That rarely happens in local politics. Seems to me he should have earned his stripes and developed some experience on this particular Council.

Make no mistake about it. Some have pooh-poohed the notion of being Council President. If something should happen (God forbid) to Mayor Taylor, Alderman Taylor steps right in.

Alderman Taylor replaces Lyle Sohns as President. Sohns was characterized in another blogger’s post as somewhat of a sore loser. Sohns tells me he’s disappointed, of course, but is proud of his tenure as President and is confident Taylor will do a great job. That doesn’t sound like sour grapes to me.

Something else happened the other night at the Common Council meeting that I find very interesting.

Outgoing alderman Pete Kosovich gave a rather heartfelt final speech before turning over the reins to Steve Taylor. Other bloggers focused on his Terminator-like line, “I’ll be back.” But there was more to his brief speech that, I am told, got a tremendous response at the meeting as people stood and cheered.

For the record, some observers are trying to re-write local history and Kosovich’s role in that history. Kosovich made it a point during his campaign that he came into office because of his district’s disdain for former alderman Basil Ryan. You can argue how effective that ploy was as a campaign tactic, but Kosovich is absolutely right.
 There is a foolish mindset on the part of some that the group, Franklin Citizens for Responsible Leadership (FCRL) was formulated to take over local government. That is simply not true.

The group wanted to restore decorum and credibility to the Common Council. It felt it could do so by removing one alderman deemed to be causing all the trouble and then get on with the business of building the city while controlling taxing and spending.

A few minority voices, who normally clamor for more participation in government, are now popping champagne corks that this group has been disbanded. But before it was, its involvement changed local politics for the better.

Pete Kosovich has supplied me with the entire text of the speech he delivered at the Common Council meeting this week:

Concession Speech by Pete Kosovich

Each time we begin a meeting, we say the Pledge of Allegiance, & I think how proud I am to be an American. I think of how America is a land of opportunity where people can make a better life for themselves through hard, honest work. I think of how God has blessed this country with its freedoms,  and how God has blessed me personally.

I am a strong believer in God. I believe he has a plan for all of us. I can look back on my life’s experiences, and make sense of it. In 2002 I became involved in a local business’s effort to expand his business. Things didn’t work out for him, but he told me of a group that was organizing a recall effort, and that I should be Alderman.

I walked into a room full of strangers and said Mohie sent me, he said I should be Alderman. Nobody laughed out loud, but I can only imagine what some were thinking. Who’s this guy? Is he going to take on Basil Ryan? I didn’t know where it would lead, but I was able to gain the confidence of the leaders, and the rest is history. Later, I was able to say God put me in that place at that time, with that group, to accomplish that task.

 have had the privilege of serving my community for 4 ½ years.  I have learned a lot, and made a lot of friends. I have earned a place in Franklin’s history during turbulent times, and helped to restore order, honor, and a sense of community pride. I have grown to love this community more & more, and to appreciate the citizens and their caring & involvement in their community.

Last summer, Mayor Taylor had asked me if I had met or heard about Steve Taylor, I hadn’t. In December, Steve filed papers to run for Alderman in the 4th District. That weekend I collected signatures for my nomination papers to run for re-election. After I had collected enough signatures, I went to Steve’s house and met him. We talked for an hour and a half, I liked him, even to the point that I said to him that if he won, I would feel comfortable with him as my Alderman.

We both ran clean campaigns, and worked hard to get out the vote. We had a great turnout. With 1472 votes cast, Steve won by 10 votes. I feel we have become good friends over the last 4 months. We spent most of election day together in front of the sports complex welcoming voters like Wal-mart greeters. We even went to lunch together, to discuss the future of Franklin.

Tuesday evening, when the counts came in after 11PM, I was shocked & depressed as were others. On Wednesday I was wondering what went wrong. Thursday, I was pumped up and ready for the next round. As close as it was I did request a recount, I had to know for sure. The recount process was very interesting. Sandi Wesolowski & staff handled it professionally and efficiently. After the final results were in, I resigned myself to the belief that it was God’s plan. It was Steve’s turn to serve.

I am strongly endorsing Steve Taylor and ask my friends and staff to co-operate with him as they did with me. I will help him where I can to make this transition as smooth as possible.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues, the city staff and the residents of Franklin. I will not abandon the city I love. I am proud to call Franklin my home. I have already submitted an application to serve the citizens as a volunteer to some committees. I stated earlier that I believe God has a plan for me. In the words of the Arnold Schwarzenegger… “I’ll be back.”

One of the reasons I decided to post this speech in its entirety is that I believe Pete Kosovich took some undeserved shots publicly from local bloggers who made unfounded accusations about his campaign tactics and motives. It's clear to me Pete Kosovich is an individual worthy of our respect who left office with class and dignity.

As for the "new" Common Council, I will be fair in that they just got started. But fairness would indicate that it's far too premature to be pinning medals on anybody. They haven't done anything yet.

That's why I don't see any evidence of this being " a new day" in Franklin. If you don't mind, I'd rather wait for concrete evidence and results.

I could, I suppose, look to my idol, that great philosopher to help me grasp what some of my starry-eyed colleagues see that I don't......

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Say it ain't so, Chief Oliva

I'm a big fan of Franklin Police Chief Oliva.

He knows that.

But when you're wrong, you're wrong.

Don't make your officer take the flag off his locker.


On This Just In, we are just hours away....

.......from a new feature that very few bloggers write about.

My blog has regular segments that readers check in for, like Week-ends, Culinary no-no, My favorite blogs, in addition to all the conservative commentary that individuals of all political persuasions can't keep themselves away from.

Saturday morning, This Just In launches a blog about an extremely popular subject. Yours truly will get assistance from a very special guest blogger in presenting this new addition to This Just In.


You know it.

You want to check back here Saturday morning to see what it is.

I'll be here.

Will you?

Still to come....

The new addition to This Just In.


A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Eric Nelson

Forrest Fink, Boy Scout

John McCain

Nash McCabe

Swiss Guards

Granny fights back

Johnny Depp


David Yates

Helen Golay and Olga Ritterschmidt

Alfredo Ferrer

Melvin Blevins

Susan Crane

State troopers in Ohio

Phoenix mayor


South MIlwaukee High School student


"Some of you see that debate the other night? Well, I know that some of my opponents' supporters and my opponent have been complaining about hard questions. Well, having been in the White House for eight years and seeing what happens in terms of the pressures and the stresses on the president, that was nothing. I'm with Harry Truman on this: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I am very comfortable in the kitchen."
Hillary Clinton, to a crowd in Pennsylvania.

"That's her right to kind of twist the knife a little bit. That's what you got to do. That is also precisely why I'm running for president to change that kind of politics."
Barack Obama

"Considering the fact that Senator Clinton sat on stage at the last debate and complained to all of America that she always gets the first question, her blatant hypocrisy here is stunning. But if she'd rather spend her time talking about the same distractions and divisions that Washington is obsessed with, that's her business."
Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton

"What I believe Geraldine Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called `Jerry Smith' and he says I'm going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote? And the answer is, probably not... .Geraldine Ferraro said it right. The problem is, Geraldine Ferraro is white. This campaign has such a hair-trigger on anything racial ... it is almost impossible for anybody to say anything."
Founder of the BET, the Black Entertainment Network and billionaire businessman Bob Johnson saying that Barack Obama would not be his party's leading candidate if he were white. Johnson's comments to the Charlotte Observer echoed those of former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. She stepped down as an adviser to Hillary Clinton last month after saying Obama wouldn't be where he is if he were white.

“When the cameras are off Obama has shun taken pictures with people and has refused to answers questions, he is not the man who he portrays to be. Once he gets past his standard campaign rhetoric of “Hope and Change” and he has to speak from experience with knowledge he begins to stumble and his polished oratory skills diminish.”
From the blog, The Absurd Report

"To be frank, Hillary Clinton's stories about her adventures with guns don't exactly pass the smell test. If she really wants to show that she knows how to handle a rifle, there's an easy way to do that: meet me in the woods.”
One day after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton professed an abiding affection for guns and hunting, her love of firearms came under attack from another sometime hunter in Washington. Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Vice President Dick Cheney said that a hunting contest between him and the New York senator was "the only way" to determine whether Sen. Clinton's tales of her gun prowess were for real.

“Dick Cheney and Hillary in the woods with guns? Boy, I like the sound of that."
Bill Clinton

“I was wondering if you think that she's finally resorted to hitting the sauce just because of some unfavorable polling. And I was also wondering if you would care to join me for a shot after this?"
A Villanova student posing a question to John McCain, referring to Hillary Clinton's weekend visit to an Indiana bar, where she knocked back a shot of whiskey.

"I don't want to give an absolute deadline, but you're talking about the next week or 10 days that they have to get this done or there are a lot of serious things that start happening.”
Governor Doyle says lawmakers have about two weeks to come up with a plan to fill the state's projected $527 million budget deficit before there could be serious consequences.

you continue to negotiate behind closed doors with the Governor and Senator Russ Decker, the people of Wisconsin continue to suffer from a declining national economy and $763 million in new state taxes and fees enacted in October 2007. The people of Wisconsin can’t afford to bailout state government one more time. The fiscally substandard budgeting practices of Governor Doyle and the Legislature are now compounded by the seriously weakening national economy. The resulting impact on the Wisconsin economy has been extremely negative and has heightened the financial pain felt by families and businesses.I implore you to reject any offer from Governor Doyle and Senator Decker that would include tax and fee increases, accounting gimmicks or raids on separate state funds."
State Representative Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) in a letter to Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch.

“Yes, I absolutely would run for governor.”
Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, responding to the question, “If Doyle doesn't run, would you run for governor?”

"If there's people who happen to be smokers and they know Reedsburg is smoke-free, you can sure bet they're not going to stop here. We have surrounding communities … that all allow it. They're only 10 to 12 miles from us. My passion is to stay in business. A smoking ban puts more issues up for staying in business."
Pete Peterson, owner of the Corner Pub in Reedsburg. The Reedsburg Ordinance Committee decided to drop a proposed smoking ban this week at Monday's meeting after bar and restaurant owners spoke out against the idea. Owners said a municipal ban would hurt business by forcing smokers to patronize businesses in outlying communities.

"A first-class transportation system does nothing for us if we provide a second-class education. What happens at the end of that line is what's important."
Retired MPS deputy superintendent Willie Jude, saying that MPS has an excellent busing system, but too little quality in the schools that children are being driven to.

"Is $60 million to send kids across town to get a bad product worth it? I'd say no.”
Michael Bonds, a Milwaukee School Board member who is the main advocate of busing cuts. He said racial integration, the original goal of large-scale busing, is impossible in MPS now, and it is time to put money into reopening several closed north side schools and improving all schools.

"A $20,000 motorcycle is something people are going to think twice about. . . . Harley's traditional customers are a little more affluent than the average American, but it's still a large discretionary purchase, even if you are a die-hard Harley rider.”
Robin Diedrich, senior consumer analyst with Edward Jones Inc, after the news that Harley would be cutting 730 jobs.

"There are more public libraries than McDonald's restaurants, and two-thirds of Americans use public libraries every year.”
Manitowoc native Wayne Wiegand, now a Florida State University professor. He will take a year off from lecturing and write "A People's History of the American Public Library, 1850-2000."

“(Scott) Walker was sworn in to a new four-year term Monday night at the county War Memorial Center.”
The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel. The quote must drive lefties crazy. Four more years, four more years…


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The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot


“You don’t blog enough about dogs!”
Who said that?
My wife, Jennifer.
When did she say it?
What time is it?

Whenever I venture out of the house amongst the general public, I usually get hit with one of the following:

1) Hey, aren’t you…….

2) So, do you and Joel McNally actually get along?

3) How can you stand that Joel McNally?

4) Kathleen Dunn seems pretty nice

5) What’s Mark Belling like?

6) I tried to call your show but the lines were busy

I can now add a new line people toss my way with greater frequency these days:

“Did you get your wife a dog yet?”

People I’ve never met have, when talking to Jennifer, jokingly referred to me as her “dog-hating husband.”
 I happen to like dogs. Who doesn’t?

There are 72 million pet dogs in the United States, one for every four Americans.

Recognizing the tremendous popularity of the animal, and the fact that we talk about dogs more than any other topic in the Fischer household, today I launch a new weekly blog feature called, “The Barking Lot,” a title Jennifer came up with. Quite simply, each week The Barking Lot will be dedicated to anything and everything about dogs.

Assisting me in everything from all the fun research to actually writing this dog-blog will be my lovely wife. So let’s get to it.

By Jennifer Fischer

Kevin has written many blogs that almost make me sound OBSESSED with dogs.  He’s not far from the truth.

Growing up, I always had a dog in my life.  Actually, two dogs:  Sugar and Skippy.  Sugar was my Basenji Hound / Cocker Spaniel I got when I was two years old.  She was my friend, my companion, my play mate, and my dress-up partner.  Skippy (part English Springer Spaniel, part Who Knows What) came in to my life when I was in fourth grade.  She was adopted for my ill grandpa, in the hopes it could occupy his days and fill him with joy.  He was a true animal lover and she did, in fact, bring him smiles and laughter for a few short months before he passed away.  Skippy was adopted from the Wisconsin Human Society, a little butter ball of black and white fur with a belly so round the vet initially thought she had worms.  Turned out she just had a little extra puppy fat.  Skippy was smarter than some people I know, and she could be a handful.

Like most children, I didn’t realize just how fortunate I was at the time.  I had two wonderful, loyal pets that loved me for no other reason than I was there every day to feed them and pet them.  They were loyal, loving, wonderful dogs who brought me more joy than I appreciated in my youth.  Sure, I loved them.  But I was busy being a kid:  playing with friends, going to school, taking piano lessons, watching TV, etc.  So yes, I played with them, took them for walks, and shared nibbles from the dinner table with them.  But I didn’t realize just how much I would miss them until my adult years, in my own apartment that did not allow dogs.

Kevin has known many dogs in his life but has never realized the joy of actually owning a dog.  So he does not quite share my at times overzealous love of all things canine.  He looks at me a little strangely when I tell him my goal is to be able to name and recognize every breed in the American Kennel Club.

I have been after him for several months to write a regular feature about dogs.  Until I get one of my own, living vicariously through stories of other owners is about the best I can do.  Knowing the subject is so near and dear to my heart, and knowing that I too, love to write, the answer seemed obvious.

My contribution will follow some of the same themes you read consistently in Kevin’s blog…  To offer one or more of the following:  Humor, information, nostalgia, food for thought, or just plain fun.  (There is little that is controversial about dog ownership, save for those who favor Pit Bulls.)  My goal is to entertain, enlighten, and share positive stories about Man’s (and of COURSE woman’s!) Best Friend.

To alter a line from the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, “You had me at woof.”

While watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this past February, I learned about Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier who served her country during WWII.  Her touching story of dedication and survival shows how dogs not only touch our hearts but impact our history.
---Jennifer Fischer (

Image:Smoky in Blanket.jpg
Smoky in a blanket made for her by Red Cross volunteers in Brisbane, Australia

ennifer is right that dogs are far more than friendly companions.

We sure hope you’ve enjoyed the debut of our new feature. Make sure to return next Saturday for another edition of The Barking Lot.

Congratulations Greg Kowalski!

FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski has become the very first employee of the Milwaukee Area Land Conservancy (MALC).

From the MALC newsletter:

Greg is an AmeriCorps member who has been hired to help establish the Friends of Franklin Park organization. This group will assist in preserving and managing the Franklin Savanna State Natural Area. So far he has proven to be a valuable asset and we look forward to accomplishing great things with him on board. (See Page 3 of this newsletter for more about Greg).”

I write about this in the interest of full disclosure. Greg hasn’t mentioned it on his blog and doesn’t include this information in his blog bio. He also fails to mention in his bio that he is a member of Franklin’s Environmental Commission, but that fact has been written about many times on various blogs.

Note to Mayor Taylor, members of the Franklin Common Council, and members of the Franklin Environmental Commission:

If a measure pertaining to the MALC should come before the Environmental Commission, Greg Kowalski should and must recuse himself from discussion or any involvement whatsoever on that issue before the Environmental Commission.

If a measure pertaining to the MALC should come before any committee of the Common Council or the entire Council, it should be pointed out at that time that Greg Kowalski is a mayoral appointee of the Environmental Commission and a paid employee of the MALC and that scenario poses a huge conflict of interest.

For now, Franklin Alderman Kristen Wilhelm is a member of the Environmental Commission and the Vice President of the MALC.

I just thought I’d pass this information along because it’s on my list of…..”Today’s Concerns.”

Good luck in your new job, Greg!

Oh, and Greg, when you get that next paycheck, make it a point to take a look at all those deductions on your check stub, ok?

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Culinary no-no #50

2) Week-ends, April 12

3) You like dog stories? You’ll love this one

4) My most popular blogs, April 13

5) They’re great with video games, but don’t ask kids a history question

And just missing the top five:
  Let’s rhumba

Exercising a little common sense, I guess, is just too darn difficult

The Franklin Police Department policy that forbids a returning war veteran from placing a decal of an American flag on his police locker is a classic example of how ridiculous the, “RULES ARE RULES” argument is.

If there is a rule that lacks common sense, then intelligent individuals should change the rule.

That apparently is too difficult for some Franklin bloggers to understand. (In one instance, that’s not very surprising).

But the officer involved is ok with the rule, they claim.

That doesn’t change the fact the rule is silly, and could and should be changed.

This blogger gets it.

Jennifer up and did it

Last month, you may recall, I told Jennifer she was not getting a particular item she had her eye on.

So, she did what most other wives would do.

She went out and bought one herself.

Of course, for the past few weeks, somehow Jennifer has always managed to have warm towels.

But when it comes to the better half, an excuse seems to pop up.

Forgot to put yours in.

I didn’t know you were in the shower.

No big deal, not the end of the world.

Rather than hot towels, I’d prefer something way cooler.

Like this.


I see a dog vs. TV debate in the near future.

Turn off my TV? NO WAY!

Odds are you’ve never heard of the “Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness.”

Their website claims this do-gooder advocacy group “provides information so people can live healthier lives in functional families in vibrant communities by taking control of the electronic media in their lives, not allowing it to control them.”

The group has declared this week, April 20-27 as National Turn Off Your TV Week.

Oh my God! Our television sets are controlling us!

You morons, don’t you understand you could be doing so many wonderful activities yourselves or with your children like volunteering, going to a concert, putting a puzzle together, visiting the library or zoo, painting a room, cleaning out the garage, bird watching, hiking, writing a letter, planting flowers, baking, swimming, camping, dancing, or reading this fascinating blog more often, if only you’d shut off your blasted television set!

Juvenile crime is out of control, most teenagers don’t know squat about history, far too many of our youth are obese, and it’s all television’s fault.

That’s what this goofy Center for Misinterpreting and Twisting Data Instead of Blaming Bad Parents for Bad Parenting would have us believe.

Again, from their website, promoting one of their stupid campaigns:

When you go to the airport do you find it stressful?  After going through security you arrive at the gate, only to find that the flight is delayed.  You finally find a seat and what do you find?  You find CNN overhead, telling you all the things you don't want to hear before getting on a plane, and providing information your children should not be exposed to.  PLEASE go to our Programs section above and click on Screens A-Z for sample letters asking airports and CNN parent company, Time Warner, to be a bit more understanding.  Let us know when you send your letters so we can help let our legislators know.”

If you want your kids to spend less time watching TV or if you’d like to engage in more non-TV activities, do you really need some international non-profit goodie-two shoes organization feeding you instructions?

Besides, turning off television can also deprive families of programming that is entertaining, informative, and positive. Not everything on the boob tube is junk.

Tonight, PBS’  “Masterpiece” features the story of how Rudyard Kipling uses his influence to get his son into a military unit during World I. His son had been rejected because of poor eyesight. Once in the military, Jack Kipling goes missing in action.

Also tonight, CBS presents, “Sweet Nothing in My Ear,” a story about a married couple dealing with separate realities when their only child loses his ability to hear. It stars Marlee Matlin.

This week, PBS presents a documentary about the life of legendary baseball star Roberto Clemente.

I’m sure the kids will love this.

These are just a few of the many examples of GOOD television I could cite from this week’s schedule.

TV is much too simple to use as a scapegoat. If TV is ruining your family and controlling your life, do what you have to do, but don’t do it because some nannies in Washington D.C. said so.

Culinary no-no #51

Culinary no-no's

The other day when it was 75 degrees, I grilled outside.

Nothing fancy, but those half-pound burgers were delicious.

The next day, Jennifer took one to work for lunch, topped with a slab of cheese, on a plate, wrapped in cellophane.

Jennifer’s office shares a large refrigerator, and the half-pounder was clearly visible to her co-workers, one of whom joked about the possibility someone other than its owner would snarf it long before lunchtime.

My wife’s half-pound patty was not pilfered, but workplace lunchtime purloining just might be an epidemic in America.

Susie Findell told the Orlando Sentinel that when she worked at a local health care organization, someone would open up the lunches, take out the sandwiches, fold each sandwich over and then take a bite out of the center. The culprit would then re-wrap the sandwiches and put them back in their containers. The thief was never apprehended.

Why do people steal other people’s lunches?

Here’s what workplace experts say.

The thieves are not office team players.

They don’t like their co-workers.

They are angry in a passive-aggressive way. They display their anger by targeting the personal belongings of others.

Some do it because they think it’s funny. Others simply have no scruples. They believe there’s no name on the lunch or the owner needs to lose weight anyway, so what the heck?

Who is most likely to take someone else’s lunch?

John Buffini of Buffini Communications Systems in San Diego does personality testing for corporations.

Buffini says beware of the accounting department.  Accountants fall into that category I mentioned as angry in a passive-aggressive way.

Customer-service workers are also usual suspects because they are in constant stress, dealing with unsatisfied patrons.

Those above suspicion are managers. They’re always being watched. So-called “hero” departments, like the information technology folks are also less likely to steal because they help you when you’re in need. Marketing employees get so many food freebies that they’re really not interested in your soggy sandwich.

Why is this a big deal?

The victim has to buy another lunch to replace the one that was stolen or tampered with.

Some contend an incident of lunch stealing can result in two hours of lost productivity.

Morale declines.

Nan DeMars, author of, “You Want Me to Do What?” says, "A major problem that really affects the workplace is trust issues. It will always affect the morale of a company. Plus, stealing people's lunches is a crime. There's a ripple effect. If lunches are being pilfered, what else is being taken?"

How do you stop it?

Place a written note or even a photo on your lunch identifying yourself. The would-be thief might be less inclined to steal if he/she knows who the lunch belongs to.

One employee brought in Perrier instead of popular soft drinks. Another worker never had her frozen Lean Cuisine dinners taken……never.

Packaging: the less fancy the better. Do not place your lunch prominently on the front shelf.

Hide your food under your desk, inside a small cooler if you must.

Have a staff meeting to discuss the issue.

Confront the thieves.

There is also the radical remedy of revenge.

From the Houston Chronicle:

When Dennis Hoard was an electrician apprentice, he'd bring a meatloaf sandwich every Thursday.

ut every week the sandwich would disappear by lunchtime. Hoard suspected the foreman, a big guy who liked home cooking. So Hoard poured a laxative oil on his tasty sandwich one day.

"I thought I'd teach him a lesson," said Hoard, who is now a retired contractor in Willis. "He spent the rest of the day in one of the port-a-cans."

The foreman had some harsh words when he emerged from the toilet, but the two later became good buddies, Hoard recalled. And it established Hoard's reputation as someone not to be messed with.

Sometimes the subtle approach can be just as effective.

Brian Hill recalled the time when he worked at a local radio station and someone would regularly raid the weekend provisions of one of the anchors.

So the next time the weekend anchor made her popular tuna fish sandwiches, she changed the recipe a little, said Hill, who was an editor at the station.

"There was no tuna," said Hill, who is now director of public affairs for the Houston Zoo. "It was all Little Friskies."

And like usual, the nicely wrapped cat food salad sandwiches disappeared, so the anchor wrote up the popular recipe — including her secret ingredient — and posted it on the station's bulletin board for all to see.

"I always thought that was the most beautiful thing," said Hill, who said that from that point on, food was safe in the linoleum lounge.

The most serious solution is one I advocate: the pink slip.

After all, we’re talking about stealing. That’s a crime. And if they’d steal your cold pizza, what else might they take?

To read previous Culinary no-no’s, please click CULINARY NO-NO under my TAGS section.

Tonight's TV Listings-Monday

To celebrate this week, National Turn Off Your TV Week, I am encouraging everyone to keep their televisions ON. Every day this week, I’ll give good reasons to ignore this foolish idea that we need some non-profit organization in D.C. to tell us that if we just turn our TV’s off, kids won’t be fat anymore and there will be no more broken homes.

Here are some recommended viewing options tonight, Monday:

On PBS, a documentary on baseball legend Roberto Clemente and Great Performances: Dance in America.

No more Priscilla Presley, but plenty of competitors left on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

The day before the Pennsylvania primary, Larry King's guest tonight on CNN is Hillary Clinton.

Over at Fox on Hannity and Combs: Pennsylvania Preview - Dick Morris, Clinton supporter and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Karl Rove and Frank Luntz look ahead to the Democrats' big day.

On the History Channel, Modern Marvels and  Cities of the Underwworld.

The 1973 movie, Tom Sawyer on Turner Classic Movies:

Read more

A truly blessed blog

Kevin's favorites

I have blogged and also mentioned several times on WISN about my lifelong parish, St. Anthony’s on 9th and Mitchell, calling it, in my opinion, the most beautiful church in Milwaukee.

Those were mere words.

One of my fellow parishioners and bloggers, Diana at St. Fiacre’s Garden has posted some phenomenal pictures of this wonderful church.

Diana, thank you for so much for the time and effort you took to lovingly share this marvelous place of worship with others.

It's time to once again play Final Jeopardy!

It’s been a few months, so it’s time for another This Just In edition of:


Are you ready?

Well then, let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


Now, you know how this works.

In a moment, I’ll give you the Final Jeopardy clue.

You will have 30 seconds (if you play fair, that will be when the music runs out) to come up with an answer and remember, players……… your answer must be in the form of a question.


Here’s your clue.


Good luck! (please click)


OK, time’s up.  Today’s Final Jeopardy category is CRIME.


The correct Final Jeopardy answer is:



What is a day care facility for children.

It’s happening in California where an audit discovered sex offenders living in facilities that provide day care services for kids. Legislative action might be required to resolve the matter, and that could take some time.

What a mess.

The bellhop's tears keep flowin', the desk clerk's dressed in black...


A special thank you to one of my 48 readers who knows I’m an Elvis fan and reminded me of this special day, not just in Elvis history, but in the history of pop culture.

Fifty-two years ago today, Elvis achieved his first #1 hit, one of the most influential songs ever recorded.

Here’s more about the song and the songwriter.

And, from the famous ’68 Comeback Special, Elvis opens a kick-butt medley with his very first chart-topper:

Read more

Earth Day has made fools of Americans

That's the view of successful American businesswoman and author Tama Starr.

Starr says Earth Day has made "suckers of the whole population."

She explains in this piece from the May 1999 edition of Reason Magazine.

(Earth Day 2008 is Tuesday, April 22)

Thank goodness we have Scott Walker

Brian Fraley has the details on the dysfunctional Milwaukee County Board.

Today they elected their Board Chairman, and couldn’t even get that right.

It took 45 ballots!

The Board kept ethics-challenged Lee Holloway as their Chairman.

Yes, thank God Scott Walker is around to provide true leadership

Scrappy Skiles needs to light a spark under the Bucks

Scott Skiles was a very scrappy, hard-nosed player. He now brings the same style in his coaching to the pathetic Milwaukee Bucks.

He says he doesn’t apologize for demanding the best from his players.

“Anybody that is going to come to work with enthusiasm, concentrate and play hard will never have a problem with me. I don't care if they throw the ball in the seats 25 times a game. They'll be pulled out of the game before they get to 25, of course, but they will never have a problem with me,” said Skiles.

Skiles will have his hands full. The dreadful Bucks were 26-56 last year.

It's not going to be easy. I don't have any magic dust to sprinkle on people. We're going to have to do it by working harder and playing better (defense), and the first step will be getting competitive every single night. The team has not been competitive every night and if we do that, good things will happen,” said Skiles.

Skiles needs to light a fire under the Bucks.

It would also be nice to get some decent personnel on the court. And meddling owner Herb Kohl, who has decimated this team, should stop interfering.

Do people really, really, really care about the environment?

Of course they do. Everybody does.

The important consideration is placing the issue of the environment in the proper perspective. Where does the environment rank on the list of concerns that are top of mind, and just how serious are we about the entire matter?

From the USA TODAY:

Today, more people are concerned about the environment but Gallup's annual environment poll finds just 28 percent of Americans surveyed say they have made "major changes" in their lifestyles to protect the environment. Fifty-five percent have made "minor changes."

The environment ranks in the middle of a list of "problems facing the country" that Americans worry about. Forty percent told pollsters they worry "a great deal" about "the quality of the environment," ranking far below the 60 percent who worry about the economy and the 58 percent who worry about the availability and affordability of healthcare.

Nancy Pelosi gets the Earth Day Hyperbole award for this doozy of a quote:

"On this Earth Day, the greatest challenge facing the United States, and indeed our world, is climate change. Its effects already can be seen in severe weather, coastal flooding, deadly heat waves, and spreading infectious diseases.”

Not if you poll the American people, Speaker Pelosi. They're more worried about their pocketbooks and their doctor bills.

A major problem with Earth Day is that it simply is over-hyped, having become far too commercialized, so much so that its perceived importance has diminished.

The candidates lay the smack down

On the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, the three major Presidential candidates made special taped video appearances on the immensely popular pro wrestling cable TV show, Monday Night Raw.

Read more

Tonight's TV Listings-Tuesday

To celebrate this week, National Turn Off Your TV Week, I am encouraging everyone to keep their televisions ON. Every day this week, I’ll give good reasons to ignore this foolish idea that we need some non-profit organization in D.C. to tell us that if we just turn our TV’s off, no child will ever need braces and juvenile crime will disappear.

Here are some recommended viewing options tonight, Monday:

The cable news networks will have Pennsylvania primary results and analysis.

Brewer baseball as the crew takes on the Cards. It's a replay of the game played this afternoon at Miller Park.

NBA Playoff action.

Dancing with the Stars continues to narrow the field down. Meanwhile, American Idol heats up.

On PBS, “Nova” looks at the car of the future. That’s on Channel 10. Over on Channel 36, it’s a repeat of American Masters: Walter Cronkite.

On ESPN2, the documentary, “Hellfighters.”
Directed by Jon Frankel
Harlem's only high school football team, the Hellfighters, are a long way from Friday Night Lights. The bleachers are empty, practice space scarce, and the Board of Education bureaucracy ruthless, but under the perseverance of coach Duke Fergerson, the Hellfighters are fighting to overcome it all, one touchdown at a time. The film features a new, 30-minute addendum to show viewers where the players and coaches are now.

GAC presents Grand Ole Opry Live. It’s been a weekly stage show since 1925.

The Hallmark Channel has a two-hour Little House on the Prairie movie, the Last Farewell.

This is incredibly sad

No Memorial Day Parade this year in Sheboygan.

Here’s why.

Very, very sad.

Milwaukee will have a parade on Memorial are details.

Does Franklin need an overhaul of its warning sirens?


Governor Doyle has proclaimed this week to be Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. The idea, of course, is to make people aware of the dangers involved with tornadoes, thunderstorms, flooding and hail.

On March 25, FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski wrote a blog entitled, “Current Aldermen talk safety, but have they acted?” The implication is clear that the aldermen, in Greg’s mind, have failed to act and/or don’t care as he proceeds to quote from a Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel article earlier this year:

“More than 10,000 residents in southwest Milwaukee County would not hear an outdoor warning siren if a tornado swept through the region. The 51 tornado sirens in place do not fully cover all of the county's residents, a Journal Sentinel mapping analysis found. These sirens are sometimes the only warning that a deadly funnel cloud is fast approaching.
Residents who cannot hear any sirens live mostly in southern Franklin, where there are no sirens.

Franklin Fire Chief Jim Martins said Wisconsin Emergency Management denied a hazard mitigation grant in 2004 that would have provided the city money for tornado sirens.After the denial, Martins, along with the city engineer and police chief, proposed buying 10 sirens for $157,000. The idea stalled at the city's Common Council.”

Sources at Franklin City Hall tell me the cost for just the installation of a siren system would be $200-thousand. That assumes ideal siting with sirens that can be heard by individuals inside well insulated homes with quality windows.

My sources say the cost of such a system would be 1% of last year’s tax levy.

That’s too expensive.

But what about public safety?

If you oppose such an expenditure, don’t you care about the well-being of the city’s residents?

Well, I do care.

But the issue can be addressed in far less the cost.

The solution is a First Alert WX-17 Weather Radio with AM/FM Radio.

Read more

I thought Tuesday was supposed to be Earth Day

I put out the garbage as I do every Tuesday morning.

It was also recycle day, so that stuff went out to the curb as well.
 Everything was in place, the way it always is on Tuesday’s.

I came home to find garbage gone, recyclables still there.

And on Earth Day.

Thanks, guys.

Tonight's TV Listings: Wednesday

To celebrate this week, National Turn Off Your TV Week, I am encouraging everyone to keep their televisions ON. Every day this week, I’ll give good reasons to ignore this foolish idea that we need some non-profit organization in D.C. to tell us that if we just turn our TV’s off, kids will eat all their veggies and beg for more.

Here are some recommended viewing options tonight, Wednesday:

The Brewers take on the Philadelphia Phillies.

The NBA playoffs resume.

Larry King’s guests on CNN:
Laura and Jenna Bush The first lady and her daughter are planning a wedding.  They let you in on details of the big day. You're watch. Plus,Larry's political panel with reaction to the Pennsylvania primary.

Animal Planet:
Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
Cheetahs: Blood Brothers
A formidable coalition of three cheetah brothers has reigned over a territory on Botswana's Linyanti Plains for five years, until tragedy strikes. Against all odds, these cheetahs band together in this incredible tale of courage and resilience.

UFO Hunters on the History Channel.

Ghost Hunters on the Sci-Fi Channel

Good Eats on the Food Network: Aloha!

Over on Milwaukee Public Television, my very good friend and former colleague at WTMJ and Channel 10, Mark Siegrist displays his talent for putting  together marvelous documentaries on religious topics with not one, but two special productions:

Milwaukee's Muslim Faithful

An estimated 15,000 Muslims live in Milwaukee, representing all walks of life, regions of the world, and hometown roots. Islam is emerging as a full partner in greater Milwaukee's religious traditions, but its often confusing to outsiders, misunderstood--even feared in the post 9/11 era. Broadcast journalist, Mark Siegrist, takes an in-depth look at how Islam is embraced and practiced locally, by featuring the daily life of the Muslims at work, school, and prayer. He focuses on the ethnic diversity, spirituality, and social impact of Islam in Milwaukee, and highlights the efforts of those working to overcome negative perceptions and stereotypes regarding their beliefs.

2) Milwaukee's Vowed Women of Faith

The Second Vatican Council of the 1960's encouraged nuns to lead a less cloistered life and integrate their vocations with society as a whole. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is home to a diverse community of nuns, from hermits to social activists. With exclusive access, Host Mark Siegrist explores the diversity of religious lifestyles, work, and contributions to the local community made by Milwaukee's nuns.

The Disney Channel has The Country Bears….

Read more

Greg Kowalski calls it a jaw dropper


FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski was floored, flabbergasted, bewitched, bothered and bewildered to find out that the Franklin and Oak Creek Common Council’s, at the  suggestion of a local PR firm, had decided to call the 27th Street Corridor…


Greg wrote the following in, “A jaw dropper,” a blog he posted earlier today:

“What the heck? I definitely expect a few laughs from people over that name in the near future. My apologies to the Joint 27th Street Steering Committee, but that name is just...well...odd. Personally, I don't think the name fits in well with the modern ideas Franklin and Oak Creek have for the corridor. This name was decided upon by the prior Common Councils of Oak Creek and Franklin.”

What the heck, Greg says, using restraint.

He says the slogan is “odd.”

He also says the slogan doesn’t fit in with the modern approach and vision the corridor will be taking.

And Greg expects the announcement will generate some belly laughs once people hear the news.


By George...

Greg is absolutely right on all counts!


I hear BOOMGAARD and I envision a beer hall in Munich with lederhosen and tubas.
 Uh one and a two and uh……..

Ooom pah pah, ooom pah pah…. Ooom pah pah, ooom pah pah.

Why must everything we do when it comes to portraying ourselves and/or our image have to contain a funny costume, a cow, a beer gut, a bowling ball, or anything that’s really old?

Why don’t we just close off 27th Street to automobiles and trucks and only allow horse and buggies?

Now, I completely understand the affection for and nod to local history. BOOMGAARD is actually Dutch for “orchard” and orchards played a key role in the area’s past.

The problem is that as a signature slogan, BOOMGAARD (ooom pah pah) fails because very close to 100% of the people who hear the doggone word won’t know what the……….AHEM…….heck it means or its historical significance.

I guess it could have been worse. Instead of going with the Dutch word for “orchard,” the public relations specialists on the Franklin and Oak Creek Common Council’s could have chosen words from other languages for “orchard.” For example:

German: der Obstgarten

Makes you want to break out in Ein Prosit, doesn’t it…

French: verger


Italian: Frutteto

Sounds a tad wimpy.

Lithuanian: Sodas

Is that classic or new, Coke or Pepsi?

And we can’t forget the Polish.

The Polish word for “orchard” is……

And I kid you not…………………….



To be fair, read the press release about the announcement with all the positive hype and spin.

I honestly believe that if the members of the Franklin and Oak Creek Common Council’s would have just asked me and Greg Kowalski, the two of us could have sat down in a room and in less than 15 minutes, FREE OF CHARGE, come up with a slogan a ………AHEM……heck of a lot better than:


Uh wunnerful, uh wunnerful, tank you boys!

Governor wants to make $500-million in cuts

$500-million in cuts.

The reductions will come by cutting about 3,000 jobs, eliminating two state agencies including the agriculture department, and from other cuts in all state departments.

It’s a bold move considering massive cuts are usually not the solution embraced by most politicians.

The preferred remedies normally involve tax cuts or putting government on the credit card by borrowing.

Conservative TV talk show host Glenn Beck has noticed, and he’s impressed.

Beck praised the Democrat governor, saying, “You have received so much heat, I really do admire you … for taking the tough road here.”

The governor said, “"As a Democrat it made me worry that we might be losing the general consensus to support the role of government in a lot of things that I believe we should be working to provide … taking care of the uninsured, educating our kids."

Wait a minute.

Hold on.

Did you think, by any chance that I was referring to Jim Doyle?

Jim Doyle?

Make cuts, significant cuts, cuts in government spending?

That’s pretty hilarious.

Wisconsin has a $652- million revenue shortfall.

Doyle is so worried about it that he’s leaving the country.

No, I’m talking about New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.

He’s making tough choices that won’t be popular.

That has to be done when your state is billions of dollars in the hole.

Jim Doyle needs to read this.

Tonight's TV Listings-Thursday

To celebrate this week, National Turn Off Your TV Week, I am encouraging everyone to keep their televisions ON. Every day this week, I’ll give good reasons to ignore this foolish idea that we need some non-profit organization in D.C. to tell us that if we just turn our TV’s off, children will never disobey their parents, and over half of kids will have read every work by Shakespeare by the time they’re 12.

Here are some recommended viewing options tonight, Thursday:

This is a great night for family viewing with lots of stuff the youngsters might like.

Fox has the popular game show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Animal Planet shows Stuart Little 3.

A Goofy Movie
can be seen, where else? On the Disney Channel….


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I Believe

Take a good look at the following picture. It’s a proposed vanity license plate for the state of Florida.

Go ahead.

o you see anything that’s offensive or disgusting?


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Are you interested in the NFL draft?

I’m not.

Not that much.

Oh, I’m a huge Packer fan.

Because I am, and because of my natural curiosity, I’ll be interested in who the Packers pick in the first round on Saturday.

But I’d be a lot more engaged if the Packers weren’t selecting so low, at number 30.

All the impact stud players will be long gone by then.

Besides, don’t the Packers usually do a poor job of picking?

Not if you ask Alex Marvez of

He ranked all the teams in the NFL on how they drafted the past five years and ranked the Packers sixth:

6. Green Bay Packers

Current roster:
25 of 49 (12 starters). Twenty-three of those remaining players were chosen after former head coach Mike Sherman was stripped of personnel power and Ted Thompson hired as general manager in 2005.

Best pick: The Packers haven't had a Pro Bowl selection in any of their past five draft choices. But with 78 career starts, middle linebacker Nick Barnett (2003/first) has given the team excellent production.

Biggest mistake: Cornerback Ahmad Carroll (2004/first) started 28 games before the Packers grew so tired of his penalties and coverage busts that he was released. Green Bay also whiffed on two third-round picks — defensive tackle Donnell Washington and punter B.J. Sander — in the same draft.

Front office: Call him "Trader Ted." Since hired in 2005, Thompson has parlayed 11 picks into a total of 17 selections by trading down on every transaction. Five of those players could be starting this season, including budding wide receiver Greg Jennings.

Comment: Unlike in 2007, Thompson shouldn't get booed at this year's Packers draft-day party. Thompson was voted the Sporting News' Executive of the Year after Green Bay reached last year's NFC Championship game.

Here is Marvez’s entire column.

I’d like to remind Packer fans about last year’s draft and the reaction General Manager Ted Thompson got.

Here’s why many thought Thompson should be sent out of town on a rail.

What about the great season the Packers had last year?

I give all the credit to the players and coaches.

Any general manager who thinks Aaron Rodgers is the answer with ancient Dante Culpepper as his potential backup is out of his mind.

#4 on the Late Show

Brett Favre is one of David Letterman's guests tonight.

Here's a sneak preview.

HT: Bratbill, one of my readers.

If you missed it, here's the entire transcript of the interview.

Tonight's TV Listings-Friday

To celebrate this week, National Turn Off Your TV Week, I am encouraging everyone to keep their televisions ON. Every day this week, I’ll give good reasons to ignore this foolish idea that we need some non-profit organization in D.C. to tell us that if we just turn our TV’s off, every town in America will instantly be transformed into Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

Here are some recommended viewing options tonight, Friday.

Lots of good stuff, but Friday is one of the least-watched television nights of the week.

On Channel 10, no InterCHANGE because it’s time for the annual Great TV Auction. Programmers hope for gloomy, cool, rainy days for the Auction….fewer people outside, more people inside bidding on items. Tonight:
Attractive and unique items are up for bid, with proceeds benefiting Milwaukee Public Television. This annual auction, now in its 40th year, generates funds to help MPTV purchase programming and maintain equipment. Tune in and bid to support MPTV 2008 Auction, celebrating 40 Years of Magic.

On National Geographic Channel, Dog Whisperer.

The Discovery Channel: Surviving Alaska-Les Stroud, Discovery's Survivorman journeys to Alaska and puts his survival skills to the test in one of the most extreme and unforgiving places on the planet.

ABC's 20/20: If you saw a lost child, what would you do?

Travel Channel: Disney on a Dime.

Sci-Fi Channel: Battlestar Galactica.

Family Channel presents, Father of the Bride II...

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WTMJ-TV: No warning signs in Franklin

Earlier this week, I blogged about the high cost of installing warning sirens in Franklin.

Channel 4 Thursday night also covered the issue.

Watch Mick Trevey's report and listen to what he says at the very end.

Trevey says, "Franklin is one of the few places in Milwaukee County where you can't hear the sirens, but for the people that live in Franklin, that's small consolation."

Mick, how in the world did you ever come up with that conclusion after talking to less than a handful of people?

The Boomgaard: Part XXXVII


Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor walked out of an emergency meeting of the Franklin Common Council. Outside City Hall, Taylor saw a large group of protesters had spilled out onto the street.

Members of the Shamrock Club, the German American Society of Milwaukee, and The Giuseppe Garibaldi Society stood shoulder to shoulder and chanted in unison:

“Boomgaard, Schmoomgaard, what about us!”

Reporters from Channels 4, 6, 12, and 58 immediately shoved microphones in Taylor’s face.

“Boomgaard, Schmoomgaard, what about us!” the chants continued.

Taylor tried to speak to reporters over the shouts and screams.

“Guys, I don’t know what to tell you,” said Taylor. “You’d think after 7 hours and 45 votes the Common Council would have been able to come up with a decision about what to do with this naming controversy. But I don’t think the aldermen were very focused. I mean you had Kristen Wilhelm yelling over and over again, ‘we never do anything,’ Lyle Sohns had that breakdown….’I coulda been president,’ Steve Taylor was off in a corner sharing recipes with Pete Kosovich, and I’m not really sure, but I think Steve Olson was absent. Now, could you repeat the question because whatever it was, it’s not easy to answer……………you know what? I gotta go.”

And then he ran to his car.

The famous Klement’s Racing Sausages were also on hand, with the Chorizo acting as spokesman.

“Ay, caramba. Look at us, what do you see? Do you see a Dutch sausage? No, you don’t see no Dutch sausage! You want cool street? You name it after the best! Boomgaard? Que loco!"

Franklin residents submitted numerous signatures on petitions that had been circulated online by a Franklin blogger. The residents objected to renderings of street signs to be placed along the South 27th Street corridor. The petitions read:

“We, the undersigned, suspicious of anything new and exciting, especially developments that will lead to growth and job creation, oppose the planned Boomgaard traffic signs because to tell you the truth, in plain English, not Dutch,  they’re really ugly."

"You're in deep trouble now," said one of the petition drive leaders who was also involved in last year's Target petitions. "We got lots and lots of signatures on these sheets, almost all of them from different people."

"They never asked the people, they never talked to us,” said one angry Franklin resident. “They just shoved it down our throats and when I tried to e-mail City Hall to tell them how upset I was, you know what happened, huh, huh? I’ll tell you what happened. Those aldermen, they did somethin’ and they went down there and they messed with it, they shut down the website, for cryin’ out loud.”

“It’s a conspiracy, a downright dirty conspiracy,” claimed a woman clutching a copy of, “Black Helicopters over America.”

"They’re trying to force us to accept this craziness,” complained another Franklin citizen. “You go to Omega on 27th……. the flavor of the day, Dutch Apple, 31 straight days in May. That was the last straw for me.”

During an emotional meeting inside City Hall, Mayor Taylor tried to reassure the crowd that the move to name the 27th Street corridor, “The Boomgaard District” was not a hasty decision.

“We certainly took our time,” said Taylor as several aldermen nodded in approval. “We were so diligent and thorough that we actually didn’t come up with Boomgaard until after Tuesday, April 1."

Another Franklin blogger, Fred Keller tried to reason with the perturbed standing room only audience.

“I know folks are juuuuuuuust a tad touchy about this whole Boomgaard deal, but where were you when the School Board was raising the school tax levy by close to 12% when they promised us it would  only be 5.6%?”

Keller was booed unmercifully.

“Are you nuts, Keller???!!!!”

“We love high taxes, Keller. Sit down and shut up!" Sue Huhn cried out.

“School Board meetings are for nerds. You’ll never catch us there, Fred!”

Another Franklin blogger threatened action.

“I know for a fact you guys came up with Boomgaard on a cocktail napkin at Ka,” said Greg Kowalski. “Well, I’m pretty sure you did. Or at least, I kinda think you did. Well, I’m sayin’ you did and I’m gonna file an open records request to find out. How do ya like dem apples?!”

Franklin blogger John Michlig leaped out of his seat, tears streaming down his face, clapping his hands with pride.

“That’s my boy! That’s my boy!” Michlig proclaimed.

Kowalski turned to his friend and said, “John, please. Control yourself. Especially with that ‘boy’ stuff. After all…..I am 21, 5 months and 12 days old now.”

Meanwhile, FranklinNOW reporter John Neville, sitting in one of the front rows nervously kept looking at his watch.

“Hey guys,” Neville said. “Could we move this meeting along? I’ve got a craft fair to cover.”

“Will someone listen to me?” a voice hollered from the back of the room.

It was defeated mayoral candidate Basil Ryan.

“Don’t every two out of three people in Franklin get it? If this Boomgaard deal goes through, there will be a 26% drop in police coverage in the city of Franklin and taxes will go up 48.6%”

As moans filled the room, FranklinNOW blogger Bryan Maersch inquired, “What is that?  (Sniff, sniff) Is someone smokin’ in here?”

At this point, the meeting had, for all intents and purposes gotten out of control and was abruptly adjourned.

No one seemed to hear sweet Shari Hanneman as she stood to remind the crowd, “There will be a Planning Commission meeting tomorrow night as we discuss for the 11th time what kind of door handles to put on the new Dairy Queen.”

Outside, Mayor Taylor dodged reporters and racing sausages as he attempted to get to his car.

The crowd chanted, “2-4-6-8…how much did that Zizzo make?”

Reporters then scrambled as live TV trucks squealed onto Loomis Road, headed for the airport to cover a related story.

Oliver Stone was flying into Milwaukee with a film crew.

Tonight's TV Listings-Saturday

To celebrate this week, National Turn Off Your TV Week, I am encouraging everyone to keep their televisions ON. Every day this week, I’ve been giving  good reasons to ignore this foolish idea that we need some non-profit organization in D.C. to tell us that if we just turn our TV’s off, every social problem in our country will vanish.

This is the final installment of my week-long series. I’d sure like to know how many households actually turned their TV’s off for the entire week.

Here are some recommended viewing options tonight, Saturday that is ,again, one of the least-watched television nights of the week.

There’s Brewer Baseball. The surprising Florida Marlins are in town.

The NBA Playoffs continue.

It’s Me or the Dog, on Animal Planet. Two episodes back to back.

Jodi and Carl have been best friends for ten years, and sharing a house together seemed like a great idea, but black Lab pup Teo has turned their home into a doggie disaster zone. Can dog-training expert Victoria Stilwell sort out this poor pooch?

Peanut  Peanut the Jack Russell terrier is a pint-sized pooch who's treating owner Lorraine's house like a toilet and is ruining her chances of romance. Can Victoria tame the tiny terror and give Lorraine a chance at happiness with a two-legged partner?  

Great Ameican Country has, as it does every Saturday, “Grand Ole Opry Live.” This week: Ashton Shepherd, Crystal Gayle, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Trace Adkins

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This is incredibly sad: UPDATE

Earlier this week I referred to a story out of Sheboygan as being incredibly sad.

There's a new development and the story now has a happy ending.

WRTL endorses McCain

I’m a bit tardy on this, but I received notice of this a few days ago,

Mind you, I’m not crazy about John McCain, but he’s head and shoulders above the Democrat candidates.

Wisconsin Right to Life has endorsed McCain for President, despite McCain’s attempts to stifle free speech in the McCain-Feingold bill that Wisconsin Right to Life took all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here’s the press release from Wisconsin Right to Life:

The Wisconsin Right to Life Political Action Committee today announced its endorsement of Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential race.

Senator McCain has a stellar 100% voting record on protecting unborn children from abortion.  He opposes the 1973
Roe v. Wade
decision that legalized abortion on demand in the United States and he voted to ban the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure. He opposes taxpayer funding of abortion and supports legislation that would require parental notification prior to a minor's abortion.

Senator McCain opposes human cloning and the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes.  He has stated that he would nominate U.S. Supreme Court justices in the mold of Justices Roberts and Scalia.

Both Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama have 0% right-to-life voting records.

Senator Clinton supports the 1973
Roe v. Wade decision and is a co-sponsor of the so-called Freedom of Choice Act that would codify Roe v. Wade
and invalidate most federal and state right-to-life laws.  She supports the partial-birth abortion procedure and supports taxpayer funding of abortion.  Sen. Clinton opposes legislation to require parental notification prior to a minor's abortion.  She supports the cloning of human embryos for research purposes.

Senator Obama, like Sen. Clinton, is a co-sponsor of the so-called
Freedom of Choice Act
and supports taxpayer funding of abortion.  He was not yet a U.S. Senator when the partial-birth abortion ban was voted on.  Sen. Obama opposes laws requiring parental notification prior to a minor's abortion and supports the cloning of human embryos for research purposes.

"For those of us who believe the sanctity of human life is the bottom line issue in making our voting decisions, the choice could not be clearer" said Susan Armacost, WRTL/PAC Director. 

There’s a larger issue at play here. While the Democrats continue to claw at each other, McCain continues to campaign without a mention of the lightweights on the Democrat side.

Why not ban these?

This one's for the crowd that wants to ban smoking just about everywhere.

It comes from a letter to the editor to the Wausau Daily Herald and it seems to make sense to me.

After all, if you're concerned about all that smoke.....



A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Lisa Harrell

Alan Kieta

Disney housekeepers

Ed Antkowiak

Patti Boehlke

Jason Sadler

Suchita Shah

Volunteers, especially worth the mention given today's crummy weather.

Johnny Depp leaves 57% tip    


Brazen thief. The story has a nice twist to it.

Rick Allen Brown

Joe Laux


"Folks, we're at the point where we've got to do these things. My biggest fear is that we'll go through this exercise and nothing will get done.If we renege on our intent to take dollars out of busing and put them into schools, then we will disappoint many of those people who have been disappointed because we never put the resources necessary in the schools in their neighborhood."
Milwaukee School Board member Jeff Spence, as the MPS Board voted to slash busing.

"After discussing their statement with other members of the Bradley Center board, we have decided to end any efforts to seek naming rights for the building as a way to help strengthen the long-term health of the Bradley Center. As we have stated previously, it was always our intention to approach this issue in a respectful manner and with the family's involvement. With their statement today, we are ending any effort to seek a naming-rights partner for the Bradley Center.”
Ulice Payne Jr., chairman of the Bradley Center board of directors, after the release of a three-paragraph letter from Lynde Bradley Uihlein and David V. Uihlein Jr., the daughter and son of the late philanthropist Jane Bradley Pettit. The Uihlein’s said the connection of the Bradley name to the arena was a source of great pride to the descendants of Harry and Peg Bradley and Jane Bradley Pettit. Jane Bradley Pettit donated the $90 million to build the Bradley Center, first opened in October 1988, as a way of honoring her father, Harry Lynde Bradley.  

"Gun crime is expensive, and fighting crime is expensive."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is asking the governor and the Legislature to give municipalities control over the 911 telephone surcharge that is supposed to expire Nov. 30. They're hoping to add that provision to the budget-repair bill now under consideration, and use the money to fight crime.

Barrett "wants to raise taxes, but he doesn't want to call it a tax increase. I'm not going to have any part of that." 
Representative Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon) vowed "to do everything in my legislative powers to ensure that does not happen in this budget-repair bill."  

"No one is questioning the value of the program. But how many other programs are there out there that state agencies, or state officials, started on their own?"
Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson), co-chair of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee. She says the State Patrol should have sought legislative approval before it decided to create a K-9 unit in which dogs have been sniffing out illegal drugs in trucks and other vehicles for more than a year, and wants State Patrol Superintendent Dave Collins, or another state Department of Transportation official, to explain how the K-9 unit got started without legislative oversight in 2006, how it has been paid for so far and what it will cost in the future. 

“We all understand that if (Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch) says this isn't going to happen, until we have a change in the Assembly, it isn't going to happen.”
Governor Doyle on the diminishing prospects of the hospital tax assessment as part of a budget repair bill. 

“I think the governor is underpaid. But that's something for the Legislature to take up.”
Milwaukee comptroller W. Martin "Wally" Morics, a certified public accountant who was paid $141,814 last year. At least 119 state employees and many municipal workers, including Morics, make more than Doyle’s annual $136,263. Seven of the top 10 highest paid state workers were directors or portfolio managers with the State of Wisconsin Investment Board

“It doesn't bother me. I know that there are certain jobs -- medical jobs and others -- that we're competing [with], and we have to be able to pay a salary that's somewhat competitive in order to get people to come and do very important jobs. So, I'm not insisting that I be number one on the list.”
Governor Doyle about the fact many state employees make more than he does.

“While the (Tommy)Thompson era was the Wisconsin Republican equivalent of the Lombardi glory years, (Scott) Walker represents the party’s future, not its past. Walker’s anti-tax message is a political winner for a Republican Party that has lost its way and sometimes its will. Walker is young, attractive, smart and ready.”
WISN talk show host Mark Belling in his weekly column  

“Gableman should not appear if the sheriff's department sponsorship is not ended very, very publicly.”
Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor on Supreme Court Justice-elect Michael Gableman’s scheduled appearance at a Burnett County prayer breakfast.  

“I'm not only going to go forward with the event, I will wear my full uniform that says Burnett County Sheriff on it. I find this absolutely atrocious, but I guess they have a right to their opinion and I have a right to mine. This is my freedom of religion. This is my right.”
Burnett Co. Sheriff Dean Roland on the prayer breakfast, scheduled for May 1 in Siren. 

(It is) “time to let Ronald Reagan go. Nostalgia is fine and Reagan’s economic plan was good. But we need to look towards the future rather than staying in the past.”
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, delivering  remarks to a room full of fellow red-staters at the Fund for American Studies’ annual conference and donor retreat at the Newseum. The crowd gasped.

"I would like to have the opportunity to state at the microphone why I don't think we need 5,000 more illiterate peasants in Colorado.”
Colorado Republican Representative Douglas Bruce, speaking on the floor of the Colorado House. The remark drew gasps. It came during debate on legislation to help immigrants get temporary federal visas to ease Colorado's shortage of farmworkers.

"How dare you!"
Colorado Democratic Representative Kathleen Curry, reacting to Douglas Bruce’s comment above. As debate chairwoman, Curry ended Bruce's privilege to speak.

"I looked up 'illiterate' in the dictionary and it means somebody who is lacking in formal education or is unable to read and write. I don't think these people who are planning to come over here and pick potatoes or peaches are likely to have much of a formal education. I looked up the word 'peasant.' The word 'peasant' means a person who works in agricultural fields. These people, most of them, don't speak English. Most of them haven't had any formal education, that's why they're coming over here. I don't blame them for trying, but I don't think we should pave the way for more aliens to come here."
Douglas Bruce, defending his “illiterate peasants” comment after the meeting.

Dave: “And as each day – we’re getting close to mini-camps. Do you start feeling a little something?”

Brett: “You know what, not with mini-camps.”

Dave: “All right, okay, forget mini-camps.” (audience laughs) “Did I say mini-camps? No, forget mini-camps.” (audience laughs)

Brett: “I wasn’t excited about it last year. I think when training camp gets close, I will – something’s bound to happen.”

Dave: “Yeah, now what does that mean, ‘something’s bound to happen.’” (audience, Brett laugh) “As you get close to training camp – now, wait a minute, something’s bound to happen. What does that mean?”

Brett: “I don’t know.” (Dave, audience laugh) “Did I just say that?”

Dave: “You just said, ‘Something’s bound to happen,’ so this makes me think you’re not retired.”

Brett: “Butterflies, or – I don’t know, something’s bound to happen.” (audience laughs)

Dave: “Let me ask you – let me put it to you this way, and I don’t want to be silly about this, but I guess it’s too late for that.” (audience laughs) If there could be adjustments made for your training summer schedule regimen, would that be of interest to you?

Brett: “Can you get that worked?”

Dave: “Yes, yes, I can, I can take care of that.” (audience laughs, applauds)
Dave Letterman interviewing Brett Favre on Letterman’s Late Show Thursday night.


If you ask people in Franklin, many would say the decison to name the 27th Street Corridor the "Boomgaard" District. There are a few  different camps on this story.

1) Those who feel the name is silly and just won't fly because no one knows what the heck it means and that the Franklin and Oak Creek Common Council's, influenced by the brainiacs at the Zizzo Group, made a stupid mistake and would like more details about what happened (I would fall into this camp).

2) Those who think it was a good idea (This group does exist but is being veeeeeerrrrryy quiet about the whole affair).

3) And those who think this is the biggest scandal since Watergate and want to call in the FBI (Want to know who's in this camp? Here's a clue: The Boomgaard-Part 807. I just saw Steve Olson buying a bag of apples at Sendik's. I'm not sure what it means, but anywho, I'm going to find out).

However, Boomgaard is NOT my outrage of the week.

We continue to jam corn down our gas tanks while food prices rise and the world goes hungry.


A couple this week...

Democrats, commentators and editorial writers continue to moan about Louis Butler's loss in the state Supreme Court election 25 days ago. All that negative campaigning, my goodness! You'd think nastiness in politics had just been invented solely for this campaign.

Actually, it's been around for some time.

And for the pills and condoms crowd, abstinence works.


arth Day

And watch for this story to get LOTS of attention in the days ahead.


If the walls are a’rockin, don’t come a’knockin.

EMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

Last week's Barking Lot debut was extremely popular. Jennifer (the main contributor to this particular feature) and I want to thank everyone for checking in. We greatly appreciate your interest.

Lots of interesting topics this week, so herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre's Jennifer.

What’s In a Name?
By Jennifer Fischer

Last week I mentioned in my comments section that if you can practice yelling your future dog’s name across the neighborhood and it sounds OK, you’ve picked the right name.

So then…  Imagine this…  Your pedigree beagle, whom you love with all your heart, is playing in the back yard, doing all the adorable things beagles do.  You are getting ready to leave the house, so you need to call him inside.

In your best Beagle Parent voice, you call to him, “CH K-Run’s Park Me In First, time to come in!  C’mon boy…  c’mon CH K-Run’s Park Me In First!”

Or would you rather call, “UNO, time to come in!  C’mon UNO!”

The 2008 Best In Show winner of the Westminster Kennel Club could, by all rights, answer to either of those names.  The (15-inch) Beagle was the first ever BIS winner for the breed, and literally howled with excitement when he was awarded the trophy and ribbon.

Over the years I have watched many dog shows.  I have rooted for my favorites by yelling and clapping.  I have questioned out loud how anyone on EARTH could find a particular breed so appealing (Yes, I have my own personal breed biases).  I probably sound like my husband does when a Notre Dame football game is on TV but I can’t help it…  I’m passionate about those shows.

I have often wondered where the dogs get their amazingly long, difficult to remember names and also how they get shortened or changed to the dog’s “every day” or “street” name.  The dog show emcees rattle off those crazy names and I just shake my head.

But it is a mystery no more.  From

“Serious breeders have kennel names that appear in their dogs' names. In most breeds, you'll see names like “CH. Foxpacks Here's Lookin at You” or “Fallen Tree Cinderella CD, CGC,” where Foxpack and Fallen Tree denote the respective kennels. You shouldn't see names like “Suzi Q. Jones” or “Big Tuff Guy.” There are some exceptions, particularly in breeds that have only recently moved from strictly working status into the realm of show breeders. But overall, expect to see “fancy” registered names, and usually more than one dog with the same kennel name—maybe Foxpack's Here's Lookin at You is a son of Foxpack's Look the Other Way.

Next, look for initials before and after the dogs' names. These are abbreviations for titles earned in competition. For example, in “CH. Foxpack's Here's Lookin at You,” the CH. denotes “conformation champion.” If you don't know what the initials mean, ask the breeder. (If she doesn't know, walk away!) At least half the dogs in the first two generations (the puppies' parents and grandparents) should have titles or be on their way to titles. Most serious breeders are active in competition. In some breeds, it is very difficult to finish a championship. Still, some of the dogs in the pedigree should have performance titles and points toward the champion title.”

Want the more official and scientific answer?  The American Kennel Club offers this:

From the rule book, “AKC Procedures for Registration Matters.”

“This insert is issued as a supplement to the AKC Procedures for Registration Matters,
pamphlet printed June 2007.  Effective March 12, 2008 Section II. Naming of Dogs – where Chapter 3 Section 7 is referenced.

According to Chapter 3, Section 7 of Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline:

The name of a dog registered with The American Kennel Club will be allowed to be changed provided the dog was whelped in the United States and in cases where the breeder(s) first individually registered the dog, their written consent would be required.

A dog name containing a Registered Kennel Name cannot be changed without the written consent of the owner(s) of that Registered Kennel Name.  However, no change in the name will be recorded by The American Kennel Club after the dog has produced or sired an AKC registered litter or received an award at an AKC licensed or member event. Any name change must comply with all AKC requirements.

Pink Insert
Issued March 2008
RREGS2 (6/07)


The person who owns the dog at the time the application for registration is submitted to the AKC has the right to name it, in the absence of a written agreement.  There are guidelines that determine the acceptability of a name. Some of these are as follows:

1. Name choices are limited to thirty (30) letters.  Spaces between words, apostrophes and hyphens are counted.

2. All letters in a dog’s name are limited to the standard English alphabet. When registration certificates are printed, all letters are capitalized.  Diacritical markings (accent grave, accent acute, umlaut, etc.) are not printed on registration certificates in a dog’s name.

3. Registered Kennel Names cannot be included in a dog’s name unless their use is authorized by the owner of the name.

4. Roman numerals must not be included at the end of the dog’s name. The AKC reserves the right to assign roman numerals for identification purposes.  The AKC permits thirty-seven (37) dogs of each breed to be assigned the same name.

5. There are no restrictions on arabic (1,2,3), cardinal (one, two, three), or ordinal (first, second, third) numbers.

6. Words and phrases that may not be included in a dog’s name:

A. Champion, champ, sieger and any AKC title or show term, either spelled out or abbreviated.

B. Obscenities and words derogatory to any race, creed or nationality or transliterations of such words.

C. Kennel(s), male, stud, sire, ***, dam and female.

D. Breed names alone.

7. An imported dog must be registered with the same name under which it was registered in its country of birth, except for the addition of a Registered Kennel Name.

All dog names are subject to AKC approval.

According to Chapter 3, Section 7 of Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline: No change in the name of a dog registered with the American Kennel Club will be allowed to be made except for a one time change for a dog whelped in the United States which the breeder (s) has registered with the American Kennel Club.  However, no change in the name will be recorded by The American Kennel Club after the dog has produced or sired an AKC registered litter or received an award at an AKC licensed or member event.  Additionally no change may be made to the dog’s registered name unless the breeder(s) of record has consented in writing to the AKC approving the change.  Any name change must comply with all AKC requirements.”

And now, a BLBBF (Barkling Lot Blog Bonus Feature):

I don’t know how Echo got her name.  But I do know that every time I would see this commercial, I would cry.  Sometimes I even needed to change the channel.  She is the dog I mentioned in my comments that I would talk about today.  Searching for the commercial...

Read more

My most popular blogs

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) The Barking Lot (4/19/08)

2) Congratulations Greg Kowalski

3) Culinary no-no #51

4) Does Franklin need an overhaul of its warning sirens?

5) The candidates lay the smack down

Time to feel old

The year is 1974.

The TV clip is from the Mike Douglas Show.

Mike brings out a new rock star to interview who sits next to the late comedienne Totie Fields.


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Kelly Ripa would never cut it on InterCHANGE

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Remember Kyle Coenen?

I’ve blogged about him not once, but twice.

This time he gets attention for being very honest.

On Monday, Kyle is sure to be the hot topic of conversation at Franklin High School.

What's happening at Fountains of Franklin?

Fountains of Franklin has updated its website.

Still no place to shop besides Sendik’s.

No fine dining.

The Franklin Citizen reports the Planning Commission made some approvals last week.


I don't know about you.

But this picture makes me cringe.

Photo of the Day

From Oak CreekNOW:

Oak Creek High School teacher Greg Pickett keeps his eyes on the hoop after being fouled by senior Casey Wey during a basketball game between faculty and senior letter winners April 18. Following the game, the prom court was announced.
NOW Photo by Charles Auer

$6 a gallon????

When it comes to what's important about your vehicle, do you care more about how much it costs to fill it?

Or do you care more about this?

More on that in just a bit. has posted a ridiculous article that says higher gas prices make economic sense, even as high as $6 per gallon. The piece pans John McCain’s meritorious call for a federal gas tax holiday.

But there are some fascinating points to ponder in the article written by Keith Naughton.

Are you angry about current gas prices?

You probably are, but in reality, if you’re like most Americans, you’re not that angry.

Naughton writes:

“The fact is, as much as we gripe about gas prices, we're pumping just as much of the precious liquid into our tanks as ever. Every day in America we burn through 391 million gallons of motor fuel. That burn rate is the same as last year, when gas prices were 70 cents per gallon lower. And gas consumption is up 18 percent from a decade ago. The federal Energy Information Administration just predicted we would finally begin to curb our consumption this year for the first time since 1991—by an underwhelming 0.3 percent.”

Are gas prices killing us?

Not when you consider this stat in

“Back in 1980 gas and oil expenditures accounted for 5 percent of our personal income. Today, even at these prices, gas accounts for just 3.5 percent of our personal income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.”

Price of gas and miles per gallon a car gets?

Pshaw, Americans proclaim.


“Last year car buyers ranked fuel economy 17th on their list of priorities,
just below cup holders and the car's stereo system, according to a survey by CNW Research, a respected automotive market analysis firm.”

Here are more details.

Warm buns and a place to plop your coffee.

That’s what America wants in a vehicle.

The federal government has mandated that cars of the future be more fuel efficient. writes, and I concur that, “others wonder if Americans will actually buy these more fuel-efficient models, which the government predicts will cost as much as $979 more than today's cars.”

What will get Americans really, really, really mad?

Mike Jackson, CEO of the AutoNation car dealer chain says gas at $6/gallon is the answer. He wants Uncle Sam to boost gas taxes sky high.

That would be a horrible idea. Tom Kloza has some wacky suggestions, too. Kloza is an energy analyst with the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, N.J. You’ll able to read his goofy proposals in the article, an article that concludes that the high cost of gasoline is not a problem.


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Culinary no-no #52

Culinary no-no's

Eating Dirt

 Eating Dirt

A woman dries mud cookies in the sun on the the roof of Fort Dimanche, once a prison, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Nov. 29, 2007.

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Are you better off eating in the suburbs?

That was quite an article the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel ran Sunday about restaurant violations in the city of Milwaukee restaurants.

More than one out of three restaurants was cited for violations by the City of Milwaukee Health Department since 2007,

McDonald’s (granted, there are a lot of them) had 250 violations.

KFC had 195 violations.

Burger King had 83.

George Webb had 85.

Taco Bell had 68.

Arby’s had 23.

Cousin’s had 25.

Leon’s Frozen Custard had 18.

How about some of the best restaurants in the city of Milwaukee?

Bacchus had 7 violations.

anford had 9.

Dream Dance (it was lumped in with all the Potawatomi Casino restaurants) and all the casino restaurants had 11.

Karl Ratzsch’s had 21. 

Mader’s had 14.

Yanni’s had 9.

One could argue that you're better off dining out in the suburbs.

Will these reports stop me from going to any of the city of Milwaukee restaurants mentioned above?

Not in your life.

Ned Yost goes against conventional wisdom

From the Wall Street Journal:

In defiance of longstanding National League tradition to hit pitchers ninth and last, the Brewers this season began to hit their pitchers eighth, in front of catcher Jason Kendall on the days he plays. The decision was based on mathematics. The team -- whose principal owner, Mark Attanasio, is an investment banker who bought the club before the 2005 season -- computed that the move could bring an additional 30 runs scored over the course of the season, says Mr. Melvin, the Milwaukee general manager. Management figured Mr. Kendall's skill at getting on base would give the hitters at the top of the order more baserunners to drive in. Tony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, has been doing this as well.

No matter what the math says, though, whenever their weak-hitting pitchers come to the plate in a key, run-scoring situation, the Brewers invite dissent with their unconventional move. "I must say: I've got a wary eye toward the pitcher batting eighth," says Jim Powell, a Brewers announcer. "What the statistics can't show you is it undermines your No. 7 batter." The reason, he says, is opposing teams will pitch around the No. 7 batter, knowing the punchless pitcher is next.

But if Mr. Melvin had his way, the Brewers organization might be even more progressive. He has another counterintuitive idea: using relievers to start the game, and delaying the "starting" pitcher's entrance until the third inning or so. The thinking is that starters are typically among a team's best pitchers, yet nowadays they often pitch only through the fifth or sixth inning, well before many games are decided. By having them pitch later, they'd be around for the higher-leverage innings.

The idea would need to be tested first in the minor leagues, Mr. Melvin says. The only problem, it appears, is that it's too unconventional. "I can't get anybody to do it," he says.

Heres' the entire WSJ article.

With this type of managerial strategy, Ned Yost will do what he did last year: blunder his way into managing the club into enough losses that will cost the team a playoff shot.

Hollywood hopes riding on comic book heroes

Hollywood didn’t fare well this past winter.

But summer is coming, when lots of people go to the movies.

The industry is banking on heroes in the comic books to come through on the silver screen.

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Ethics, schmethics...

Follow along.

March 1, 2008: American City and County Magazine reports, “
A major ethics scandal may soon unfold in the public sector unless government agencies, particularly local and state governments, institute strong ethics programs, according to a report from the Arlington, Va.-based Ethics Resource Center (ERC). Those programs, according to ERC, must create an “ethical environment” in government workspaces.”

April 1, 2008: Local elections are held for the Milwaukee County Board.

April 8, 2008: Safely re-elected for another four years, Milwaukee County Board members blast a proposed ethics code update.

April 21, 2008: Milwaukee County Board members, some of whom asked Board Chairman Lee Holloway to step down in 2006 for alleged ethics violations, re-elect Holloway as chairman after 7 hours and 45 ballots.

So let me get this straight about photo ID...

Jim Doyle was right about photo ID, but the overwhelming majority of the American people and the U.S. Supreme Court are all wrong?

I would add the out-of-touch Journal/Sentinel Editorial Board to the Doyle camp.

Marathon County DA makes the right call

For parents to sit back and watch their child die without intervening is unconscionable and unforgivable.

Anonymous posters will sink to any level

I have blogged about the dangers and the problems with reckless anonymous bloggers and Internet posters here and here.

Some have cowardly spread their hate (and blatant mistruths) on FranklinNOW and other blogs.

Here’s more evidence that anonymous posters (some, not all) are all too often gutless and evil.


On Halloween last year, 18-year-old Nicole Catsouras had the urge to go out. She had just started college but her father had confiscated her car keys earlier that day, after a spat. So she sneaked out of the house, grabbed the keys to her dad's Porsche 911 convertible and sped off. Fifteen minutes later Nikki lost control of the car and crashed into a freeway tollbooth at what witnesses said was 100 miles per hour.

She died instantly. The pain of her parents and her three younger sisters continues, deepened by a malicious, masked mob on the Internet. Gruesome police photos of the carnage, her mangled remains still in the driver's seat, showed up online at Google, Yahoo, News Corp.'s Photobucket and at more than 1,500 other outposts. In chat rooms and on fetishistic car-crash forums, anonymous assailants called Nikki a "spoiled rich girl" who "deserved it."

One post urged cohorts to harass her family, providing the Catsourases' home address in Ladera Ranch, Calif. On MySpace, one member calling himself "Hell Fire" posted the morbid photos laced with his own jeering commentary. Another put up a new Nikki profile with a ghastly closeup: "What's left of my brain here: As you can see, there wasn't much." When a high school friend uploaded a touching memorial on YouTube, ghouls flooded the page with images of the accident scene.

Read the entire article here.

"The truth about Obama is that he is not a good man"

Everyone’s talking, writing, and blogging about Barack Obama’s pastor and his latest bout of foot-in-mouth disease.

Hillary Clinton’s best weapon apparently has finally gotten to the great uniter. Obama now says he doesn’t approve of his racist pastor's latest rants. No, really. He doesn’t.

And what about those 20 years Obama was going to Jeremiah Wright’s church? Obama had noooooooooooooooo idea Wright held those bombastic, racist, anti-American views.

What a joke and a phony Obama is.

But it’s worse than that according to columnist Selwyn Duke.

Duke writes:

“The truth about Obama is that he is not a good man. He is a bad man.

Good men don't turn a blind eye to unrepentant ex-terrorists; support vile, anti-American bigots; lie about their core beliefs; and look down on traditional Americans. Most significantly, good men don't allow beautiful babies — the least among us — to be discarded like refuse and die miserable, lonely deaths in dark utility rooms. In fact, if we cannot call Obama a bad man, there is no such thing as a bad man. And calling him a good man doesn't just strain credulity, it puts it in the hospital in traction.”

Read the entire column.

What's a pair of Brewer tickets worth to you? Your life, maybe???

Wish I had seen this so I could have posted it earlier.

For six hours today at Miller Park, tickets were being given away to future Brewer games.

To get them, all you had to do was take a prostate exam.

I am told that people were lined up in frigid, windy weather at 6:00 this morning, shortly after the sun came up.

Certainly, some obvious snickers come to mind.

But prostate cancer is no joke.

Seems to me getting checked out for a chance to see the Brew Crew is definitely worth it.

Don't cut the emissions program, get rid of it

A major change will take place this summer in Wisconsin’s emission testing program in southeastern Wisconsin.

Beginning July 1, cars and trucks built before 1996 will be exempt from having to go through that silly test. The emissions program costs the state over $13 million each year.

One year ago this time, I called for a stop to the entire program.

Dad29 and No Runny Eggs share my opinion.

Public school teachers are sitting ducks

I happen to know many current and former Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) teachers.

Because I’m very involved with MPS Athletics and have been for over 30 years, I’ve been a guest inside MPS schools, have made guest appearances and speeches and have known many MPS personnel.

Those in the rank and file, those on the front lines, the day-to-day teachers, while certainly open to criticism for being whiny, definitely have a thankless, challenging, and let’s face it, dangerous job.

The number of assaults made on teachers by students at MPS every year numbers in the hundreds. Teachers have literally no defense against often larger, tougher, evil, violent students if they choose to attack.

War zone is a phrase I’ve heard used by some MPS teachers used to describe their work environment.


I don’t think so.

In May of 2007, the Journal/Sentinel did an investigation on the climate inside MPS buildings. Care to trade in your desk job anyone. Here’s what the paper found:

• Dozens of teachers, administrators and staff are getting attacked. In the first semester of this school year alone, at least 127 MPS employees reported being physically assaulted by students or outsiders coming to campus.

• Elementary school teachers are falling victim to physical or verbal assaults nearly as much as those in high schools. Close to half the teachers assaulted this year work at elementary or K-8 schools.

• Far more Milwaukee students were expelled for bringing firearms to school last year than in all of the Chicago Public Schools, a district more than four times the size of MPS. In Chicago, unlike Milwaukee, high school students walk through weapons scanners every day, and handguns have virtually disappeared from the schools.

• The number of students expelled and suspended for drugs, violence and weapons has nearly doubled in the past five years, and many are simply transferred to other schools. Total MPS expulsions have tripled in the past 15 years.

• Police are called routinely to break up fights or deal with other disturbances. Staff at each of the district's 11 large high schools called police about twice a school day on average in the past six months.

The violence is worst at a handful of schools, and is caused by a small percentage of the district's 90,000 students. But their actions are taking a toll on staff, teachers, taxpayers and students who want to learn.

Safety costs have increased at a time when some schools are forced to cut their last music teachers or librarians. The district is spending $10 million on security this year, up about $1 million from last school year.

Dozens of injured teachers are filing worker's compensation claims, adding to the overall cost of school violence.

---Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, May 5, 2007

It’s happening all across the country.

Recently while filling in on WISN, my phone lines were jammed with outraged callers when I talked about third graders in Georgia plotting to kill their teacher.

Why so much violence in the schools?

Why are kids out of control?

You want the liberal excuses?

Here they are:

1) It’s not the kid’s fault. How can it be if his father and mother were no good.

2) His self-esteem is shot.

3) It’s society’s fault. Guilty white liberals, you think that's the truth, admit it.

4) There aren’t enough jobs. That one has always been a mystery. Gee, I’m unemployed. Should I look at the want ads or blow somebody’s fool head off? Hmmm…..where’s my gun?

5) Government doesn’t spend enough money on all those wonderful programs that work so well.

Naturally, like what’s inside the head of many liberals, this is all garbage.

Why do kids attack their teachers so often?


One of my favorite columnists, Doug Giles writes on this very topic as to why this has escalated into an epidemic:

Here’s your answer: Pathetic parents + kids who’ve never had their butt whipped + psychobabble BS + a whopping entitlement mentality + Johnny can do no wrong attitude from the parental unit + too much self-esteem + blowing off God for secularism + violent movies, music, and video games + educators getting their hands tied behind their backs (both figuratively and now, nearly literally) = demonic third graders who’ll plan to duct tape a teacher and slit her throat if she happens to righteously rebuke them.”

Read Giles’ entire piece.

I feel bad for teachers at MPS or anywhere else for that matter that, like police officers, have no idea when they head to work everyday what kind of punk, hood, or thug they’ll have to deal with.

It is why I have commented that I do not dismiss outright the suggestion that trained, licensed school officials be allowed to bring guns to work for protection.

When teachers moan about 6-hour workdays, 9-month work years, having to buy crayons or other supplies, being forced to work assignments at extra-curricular activities like sports, they don’t get my attention.

Having to work in a minefield day after day…… thank you.

Get ready, Milwaukee... It's time again for, "A Day Without Latinos"

Illegal immigration

Thursday, May 1 has been designated as, “A Day Without Latinos.”

This is the day when people who are here illegally, know they are here illegally, and nothing is done about it swarm the streets to complain about how bad they have it here in America.

The militant group, Voces de la Frontera that instructs illegals on how to act when confronted by authorities is an active organizer and sponsor of this rally.

If you don’t know remember Voces de la Frontera, this is the bunch of goons that harassed former state Senator Cathy Stepp at her home a few years ago.

A day without Latinos?

I prefer to envision, “A Day Without Illegal Immigrants.”

One year ago, I blogged the following. It remains valid today.

Thursday, the local news media will be tripping over itself to cover a group advocating for criminals.

There’s rain in the forecast Thursday. Maybe the whole deal will be a bust.

I do know something else is going on Thursday, May 1, but I doubt it will get much media attention. Too wholesome and positive.

Fred's can't make this stuff up

Back in the 90’s when I worked at WTMJ, there was a husband and wife team that had an afternoon talk show. They went by their real first names, Jim and Andee and were very nice people.

They had a standing gag on some topics where, if they were trying to assess blame for a certain problem, one would humorously say, “I think it’s Reagan,” and the other would quickly reply, “El Nino!”

Wherever they are today, if Jim and Andee are still a tandem talk show, they would have to add “global warming” to their bit.

Franklin’s Fred Keller has an amusing post on some of the weird things people actually believe are being caused by global warming………..uhhhhhh, for you hyper-enviro tree huggers, that would be climate change (but everybody knows you mean global warming).

Did Mariah pass Elvis or didn't she?

Earlier this month, there was that big announcement that Mariah Carey had eclipsed Elvis on the list of the most #1 singles. Carey, the stories proclaimed, had 18 #1’s to the King’s 17.

But if you go to, count ‘em up, Elvis has 18 hits that topped the Billboard charts.

Sounds like a tie to me.

What gives?

The ultimate gesture of sportsmanship

Kevin's favorites

 Take a look at this picture. 

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The best investment Franklin could ever make, and it only costs $24.95

Someday, Franklin may want to select a slogan to identify itself.


For now, the major project isn’t to name and market an entire city,  but a proposed business district on a street that hugs both Franklin and Oak Creek.

The name’s already been chosen for that area of S. 27th Street......…The Boomgaard District.

I have a suggestion for anyone associated with the project along with city leaders and planners.

Invest $24.95 and buy this book:

Destination Branding for Small Cities by Bill Baker


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A very sick joke

At an MPS athletic event tonight, an MPS security aide mentioned this.

It seems some students at the MPS high school he works at daily who claim to have the HIV virus are now bragging that they are taking syringes filled with their own blood and are placing them on seats in movie theaters and on gasoline pumps.

The intent is that some poor, innocent, unsuspecting person will jab and infect themselves with the deadly virus.

The security aide said the brazen students speak openly about their sabotage, saying that if they must have the virus, others should suffer, too.

The kids are lying about the movie seats and the gas pumps.

It’s all a hoax, one that's been going on for a long time.

It’s also very sick and twisted.

The days of ringing someone’s doorbell and running away are long gone.

Ethanol and food prices are linked

My Culinary no-no this past Sunday (# 52) was one of the most serious I’ve done, focusing on the role ethanol has played in the world food crisis.

The food dilemma is dominating the news media this week.

People demand bread northeast of Cairo on March 29, before the government boosted bread subsidies and deployed troops to help distribute loaves.

Pakistani women struggle as they try to order food outside of a subsidized food store on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Pakistani women struggle as they try to order food outside of a subsidized food store on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Many depend on government subsidies to simply get by.

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