Watching the Gulf of Mexico being damaged is a reminder that all our waterways need attention.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Maybe 343 people is a statistically-sound sample, but if 61% are age 55 and over, is that sound polling?
Posted by James Rowen at 1:49 PM
And increases its own, as the post-election battle with new Mayor Jeff Scrima roils, or rolls on.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:49 PM
But as this article says, the damage was done.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:58 AM
Posted by James Rowen at 9:31 AM
This description of another great revival in the offing in Milwaukee is hugely exciting.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:49 AM
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Public Policy Forum Poll Shows Milwaukee County Support For Streetcars; Wider Approval For Some Transportation Tax Increases
That good news in "The People Speak" poll supports the downtown rail system moving forward under Mayor Tom Barrett, and might give pause to County Exec Scott Walker, the leader, along with talk radio hosts, of the opposition to city rail.
"...support for using the sales tax to fund improvements in the Milwaukee County bus system is much stronger (Chart 11). A majority of all respondents and all subgroups agreed with the statement, “A half-cent sales tax in Milwaukee County is the best option for funding the Milwaukee County bus system.”
"The People Speak is a tracking poll and is conducted at regular intervals throughout the year. The People Speak is designed and analyzed by the Public Policy Forum in partnership with CUIR [Center for Urban Initiatives and Research at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee] and The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee and is funded by The Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation and the Argosy Foundation.
"For the complete results of the June poll, as well as previous polls, please visit the poll's homepage at:
Posted by James Rowen at 8:02 PM
Treat first offenses as a serious breach of public safety.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:38 PM
To subscribe to air quality notices by county, multiple counties or statewide use the links at the top of the Wisconsin Statewide Air Quality Notices page of the DNR website. The subscription page for the county option also includes air quality web pages tailored to each county. Current subscribers who want to continue receiving notices for all counties do not need to take any action. Manage Your DNR Subscriptions: If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact . •
You can now, reports the DNR, receive notices by e-mail, RSS feed or text messages whenever your county has an air quality watch or advisory. The Department of Natural Resources has improved its Air Quality Notification system to include this feature. Previously, subscribers could only sign up to get a message for all air quality watches and advisories, no matter where they occurred in the state.
Add new subscriptions, delete subscriptions, and manage your profile.
Other inquiries can be directed to the DNR.
To subscribe to air quality notices by county, multiple counties or statewide use the links at the top of the Wisconsin Statewide Air Quality Notices page of the DNR website. The subscription page for the county option also includes air quality web pages tailored to each county. Current subscribers who want to continue receiving notices for all counties do not need to take any action.
Manage Your DNR Subscriptions:
If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact .
Posted by James Rowen at 3:04 PM
And I don't mean with regard to hydrology, or the movement of water pushed by big pumps across the Great Lakes boundary from Milwaukee to Waukesha.
Our first order of business is to help secure a sustainable source of water for the City of Waukesha. We believe our own “backyard” challenges, such as the City of Waukesha’s need to attain court-ordered radium compliance, must be solved with broad community support for this region to become a true “water hub.” As you are aware, the City of Waukesha recently released its application under the Great Lakes Compact for the right to receive and return Lake Michigan water."
Dave Dempsey, a recognized Great Lakes expert who served as environmental adviser to the Governor of Michigan - - the state most likely to ask the toughest questions of any diversion application - - has already strongly critiqued both the application and its support in the business community as out of sync with the Compact.
Makes you wonder if anybody out Waukesha way is listening?
Posted by James Rowen at 12:01 PM
NewsBuzz notes Milwaukee's national reputation for green roof construction.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:29 AM
Monday, June 28, 2010
In a posting earlier Monday, I noted that a business group had mischaracterized what actions the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission has taken in a study to determine if it's a good idea to divert Lake Michigan water to Waukesha.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:48 PM
The power politics playing out over Waukesha's application for a Lake Michigan diversion - - referenced frequently on this blog whether it's the emergence of a big business diversion support group, or the intense in-fighting within Waukesha city government after pro-diversion, former Mayor Larry Nelson was upset in the April election - - roll on.
June 28, 2010—(Delafield, WI ) Per an inquiry by the Sustainable Water Supply Coalition (SH2OSC), The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) has reaffirmed its late 2009 recommendation that Great Lakes water is the recommended option for the City of Waukesha’s future water supply needs."
Two questions, and this is more than splitting hairs:
You know what's missing in that title and first sentence?
A word like "draft" or "committee" or "preliminary."
And whose recommendation is being cited?
Well, not exactly.
For the record (SEWRPC's response letter is at the end of this file) SEWRPC - - the agency, through its 21-member board - - has recommended nothing.
A SEWRPC advisory committee has made such a recommendation, but as SEWRPC itself makes clear, the committee's work is advisory, and thus preliminary, and the full study is not done yet.
If a Common Council citizen advisory committee recommends a policy, do we say "the city has recommended?"
We do not.
Because it hasn't.
And let me say that this is not the first time there has been this confusion over substance and procedures in written materials about SEWRPC's ongoing water study.
An early draft of the Waukesha application had also inaccurately said that SEWRPC's water supply study had recommended the Lake Michigan alternative for Waukesha, but after it was pointed out at a public hearing in Waukesha's city hall, the drafters of the application acknowledged that the reference was not accurate and clarified it in subsequent application drafts.
Let me continue:
It is crucial to understand that the ongoing and unfolding SEWRPC water study involves the SEWRPC's Environmental Justice Task Force, and the EJTF, another SEWRPC-created Citizen advisory body, has yet to finish its work on a related study.
And it is not clear if or how the EJTF report can be integrated into the rest of the draft water study - - a project that has been on hold since 2009.
This is a link to the EJTF and its work that is taken off the SEWRPC's water supply webpage.
And the SEWRPC home page - - www.SEWRPC.org - - says this about its water supply study:
"Regional Water Supply Study
The final stages of preparing a regional water supply plan are underway. This planning effort will lead to the preparation and adoption of a regional water supply plan. more "
How many ways do I have to say it: the water study is not finished.
That is why, despite the business group's hype, the SEWRPC's response letter states that the water study is a "preliminary recommended plan," and that the Waukesha application is in line with that preliminary recommendation and the ongoing study "as it stands now" - - with final consideration coming later this year.
(The EJFT piece was to be done two-to-three months ago, so these matters do not move quickly, and it is not clear yet whether a final report with the EJTF component will undergo major redrafting. Or will need additional public meetings or hearings.)
You see - - this is not as simple as "SEWRPC Reaffirms Recommendation of Great Lakes Water as Future Waukesha Water Supply."
And the business group repeats in this online petition its overstatement of what SEWRPC has done.
My point is that it is one thing to say an advisory committee has reached a conclusion - - and yes, the business group's release gets it right after the headline and lede sentence - - where that emphasis could and should have been..
Here is the full text of the business group's release (with one typo note as [sic], as SEWRPC is SEWRPC, not "SEWRPAC'):
For Immediate Release: Contact: Brian J. Nemoir, Executive Director June 28, 2010 262.646.2342
SEWRPC Reaffirms Recommendation of Great Lakes Water as Future Waukesha Water Supply
June 28, 2010—(Delafield, WI ) Per an inquiry by the Sustainable Water Supply Coalition (SH2OSC), The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) has reaffirmed its late 2009 recommendation that Great Lakes water is the recommended option for the City of Waukesha’s future water supply needs.
Per a letter dated June 18th (see attached) the SH2OSC Board of Directors asked SEWRPAC [sic] to confirm, “That an application by the City of Waukesha for a sustainable water source from Lake Michigan is consistent with the recommended water supply alternative unanimously endorsed by the Regional Water Supply Planning Advisory Committee.”
In response (see attached), SEWRPC outlined the four year review process conducted by the advisory committee comprised over 30 members. Membership included: knowledgeable planners, engineers, scientists, water utility managers and representatives of concerned Federal and State agencies as well as representatives of the academic, agricultural, industrial and environmental communities within the region (list included). In considering regional water supply, and recommending Lake Michigan as a source of supply for the City of Waukesha, there were six primary reasons cited:
• Reduction in chloride discharge to the environment due to the reduced water softening requirement;
• Favorable environmental impacts on recovery of deep aquifer. This issue is important in addressing the objectives of 2003 Wisconsin Act 310 and the recommendations of the State Groundwater Advisory Committee created by that law;
• Favorable environmental impacts on stream baseflows, lake levels, and wetlands; • Ability to preserve groundwater for other uses, such as agriculture;
• Opportunity to use excess water production capacity at the existing supplier utilities;
• Cost advantages to both supplier and purchasing utilities.
The SEWRPC response also notes that during final consideration of the recommended plan, “there were no comments made objecting to the provision of Lake Michigan supply for the Waukesha Water Utility.”“As the City of Waukesha works to advance its application for Great Lakes water, notably approved by the Common Council 14‐1, it should do so knowing that extensive efforts were made reviewing the various options at both the local and regional level,” stated Ed Olson, Co‐ Chair of the SH2OSC and President of Waukesha Memorial Hospital.
“Waukesha’s challenge in securing a sustainable water source has a solution, Lake Michigan water, and the time has come for the City to advance a unified effort to address this critical need.”
The Sustainable Water Supply Coalition (SH2OSC) is a growing alliance of regional businesses and organizations focused on advancing our region as a global water hub through the review and support of sound sustainable water use initiatives. SH2OSC is a 501c4, for more information:
Posted by James Rowen at 3:42 PM
The good folks at the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce helped trash Louis Butler in the 2008 Supreme Court race with horrible TV ads, yet the state business group's outgoing leader bemoans the lack of civility in politics.
Posted by James Rowen at 2:27 PM
Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling...maybe we can turn our collective political and legal attention effort ensuring that everyone has a good job, health care, schooling and a roof over their heads.
Posted by James Rowen at 1:13 PM
Sandra McLellan, a professor at the UWM Great Lakes WATER Institute, is part of the team of scientists studying the effects on the food chain of the Gulf oil spill.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:59 AM
Gotta get this book.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:25 AM
The State Supreme Court points the DNR to the Wisconsin Constitution's directive about protecting the state's waters under the Public Trust Doctrine, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Posted by James Rowen at 6:29 AM
This insider says the Gulf blowout is a sign that the days of easy oil are over and wind is where it's at.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:07 AM
Sunday, June 27, 2010
From Dave Obey, a potential goofy step down.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:50 PM
From The NY Times and definitely worth the read.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:36 PM
Scott Walker and Mark Neumann endorse discrimination, specifically singling out gay citizen/taxpayers for reduced rights under the law.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:30 PM
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I'll be they thought it was a UWM/Private Sector plan.
The land is largely unimproved lacking infrastructure such as access road, utility connections and storm water facilities that are needed to make it useful development, UWM officials have said. There also will be costs associated with renovating the historic Eschweiler building, a stipulation of the land sale agreement. Developers estimate the site's potential value at $75 million. A business accelerator and private research facilities are expected to create local jobs. A Joint review board representing the various taxing entities, including the city and Milw Co will meet within the next two weeks to decide whether to allow a TIF. If approved, some of the TIF dollars would be used to cover the local contribution required to get a federal $ 4.2 million grant to construct the accelerator.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:01 PM
All the Great Lakes states need far tougher bans on oil, gas and minerals exploration and removal from beneath, through or near these precious bodies of water.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:54 PM
Amazing what ingenuity and philanthropy can do.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:34 PM
The City of Madison had some problems with some of its wells, but now that's in the past and the city is more aggressively pushing tap water as an alternative to expensive bottled water and its wasteful plastic containers.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:23 PM
Posted by James Rowen at 11:31 AM
Another example of the way the Internet has changed newspapering: a story about a budding recall effort in Waukesha lets potential allies swap contact information.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:25 AM
Friday, June 25, 2010
I remember from my Milwaukee Journal days looking into aviation accidents that early suppositions often gave way to hidden facts leading to surprising or layered conclusions.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:19 PM
The upset defeat of Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson, a proponent of diverting Lake Michigan water, continues to create a political overflow in Waukesha politics.
Posted by James Rowen at 2:21 PM
I posted one YouTube video a few days ago. At that time, the video had had 304 view. Today, 4,400.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:29 PM
Grim portrait in the NY Times of tuna's future.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:05 AM
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Whether its the Gulf oil disaster, or a tornado in Eagle, the people still need that big Federal government.
Posted by James Rowen at 7:37 PM
The Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce is trying through an email to members to drum up support for the city's Lake Michigan diversion plan, and takes the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to task for suspending its review of the application.
THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2010
Posted by James Rowen at 4:30 PM