Like The Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay Needs Attention, Cleanup Funding
Watching the Gulf of Mexico being damaged is a reminder that all our waterways need attention.
A forum, news site and archive begun in February, 2007 about politics and the environment in Wisconsin. And elsewhere.
Watching the Gulf of Mexico being damaged is a reminder that all our waterways need attention.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:28 PM 0 comments
And for the liberation of music from smoky venues, as the statewide workplace smoking law takes effect.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:04 PM 3 comments
Good friend and nature photographer Patrick Dean is showing there.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:53 PM 0 comments
From the good folks at smartgrowth.org:
Posted by James Rowen at 2:00 PM 3 comments
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 2 comments
Glad to see this kind of story in the Dairy State.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:57 PM 1 comments
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 0 comments
But as this article says, the damage was done.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:58 AM 0 comments
Walgreens wants to sell alcohol at its stores.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:21 AM 0 comments
Read the plan here.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:54 AM 0 comments
The 1930's analogies are scary.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:42 AM 1 comments
Posted by James Rowen at 9:31 AM 0 comments
BP's US arm let a torrent of cash flow into the political system, The Washington Post reports.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:02 AM 0 comments
One banking expert says it could happen and be a "horror" for the US government, meaning all of us.
Posted by James Rowen at 3:31 AM 1 comments
This description of another great revival in the offing in Milwaukee is hugely exciting.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:49 AM 0 comments
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.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:02 PM 6 comments
Treat first offenses as a serious breach of public safety.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:38 PM 0 comments
Another blogger gives the agency its props.
Posted by James Rowen at 4:41 PM 0 comments
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. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Anne Bogar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608)266-3725 Manage Your DNR Subscriptions: If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact email@example.com. 101 S. Webster Street • PO Box 7921 • Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7921 • 608-266-2621
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Anne Bogar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608)266-3725
Manage Your DNR Subscriptions:
If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact email@example.com.
101 S. Webster Street • PO Box 7921 • Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7921 • 608-266-2621
Posted by James Rowen at 3:04 PM 0 comments
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 0 comments
Posted by James Rowen at 11:42 AM 0 comments
Krugman says it's underway, thanks to spending nervous-nellies.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:38 AM 1 comments
NewsBuzz notes Milwaukee's national reputation for green roof construction.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:29 AM 0 comments
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 0 comments
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:
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 4 comments
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 0 comments
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 3 comments
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 0 comments
Gotta get this book.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:25 AM 1 comments
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 0 comments
Excellent report on how Charlotte got its light rail running, and got it right.
Posted by James Rowen at 6:18 AM 2 comments
Sad news passed along from a long-time poli sci department friend: Prof. Stuart Scheingold has died at 78.
Posted by James Rowen at 6:16 AM 0 comments
Glad to see this.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:13 AM 0 comments
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 0 comments
From Dave Obey, a potential goofy step down.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:50 PM 1 comments
From The NY Times and definitely worth the read.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:36 PM 0 comments
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 1 comments
Not surprising that the commentator finds the real casualty in the tragedy is not the Gulf of Mexico or its residents' way of life - - it's America's status as a good business partner.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:35 AM 0 comments
I'll be they thought it was a UWM/Private Sector plan.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:01 PM 3 comments
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 0 comments
Amazing what ingenuity and philanthropy can do.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:34 PM 0 comments
Here comes the Right's flood of campaign funding, with Karl Rove front-and-center.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:48 PM 0 comments
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 0 comments
Another negative for sprawl, but a plus for cities with heat-reducing density.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:18 PM 0 comments
Posted by James Rowen at 11:31 AM 0 comments
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 0 comments
Joe Wilson ("you lie") and Joe Barton ( the BP Suck-Up Apologist)...meet John Kyl.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:53 PM 0 comments
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 4 comments
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 0 comments
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 1 comments
Grim portrait in the NY Times of tuna's future.
Posted by James Rowen at 5:05 AM 0 comments
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 3 comments
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.
In the DNR's words, and what it asks for from Waukesha, at a minimum:
June 8, 2010
Jeff Scrima, Mayor City Hall – Room 208 201 Delafield Street Waukesha, WI 53188
Dear Mayor Scrima:
Jim Doyle, Governor Matthew J. Frank, Secretary
101 S. Webster St. Box 7921 Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7921 Telephone 608-266-2621 FAX 608-267-3579 TTY Access via relay - 711
The Department received Waukesha’s application for a diversion of Great Lakes water on May 20, 2010.
After receiving the Waukesha application we conducted an initial completeness review.
That review identified some deficiencies in the application.
Through preliminary discussions with representatives for the City it was suggested to us that Great Lakes water was the only viable option for a sustainable water supply, however, subsequent to the submittal of the application, it has been publically discussed that the City is continuing to examine alternatives to Great Lakes water and is actively considering other sources of Great Lakes water.
We understand these additional considerations may be important to Waukesha’s ultimate decision to seek Great Lakes water. One of the key requirements of the Compact for approving an application for a diversion is demonstrating that there is no reasonable water supply alternative.
Through Discussions with representatives with the city we were told that Great Lakes water was the only viable option for a sustainable water supply. Due to the fact that it has been publically discussed that the City is examining alternatives to Great Lakes water and is actively considering other sources the Department cannot move forward on reviewing the application and the City must confirm that Great Lakes water is in fact the only long term sustainable water option.
The Great Lakes Compact requires the return flow to be as close as possible to the withdrawal source.
The submitted proposal identifies three possible withdrawal source options to obtain Great Lakes water. However, without providing a corresponding return flow option for each withdrawal source it is not possible to determine whether the proposal will comply with this requirement. The City must provide to the Department both the point of withdrawal and with the proposed return flow location.
In addition, the application lacks sufficient detail, as required by the Compact, regarding the costs for the diversion. We would expect the cost analysis for each of the requested options to be based upon information received from the potential withdrawal sources indicating what they would be charging for providing Great Lakes water. The City must provide to the Department detailed cost estimates for each of the withdrawal and corresponding return flow options.
There have been press reports where you have questioned whether this application had gone through the appropriate local approvals. Additionally, the City failed to pay the statutorily (s.281.346 (12)(d), Wis. Stats.) required review fee of $5,000. Before moving forward with the application the City will be required to pay this fee and attest that the application has received all the appropriate city approvals necessary for submittal under the Compact.
At a minimum, resolution of the outlined items above is necessary before the Department can move forward with the acceptance and review of your application. If you have specific questions, please contact Bruce Baker at (608) 266-1902.
Posted by James Rowen at 4:30 PM 0 comments