68 results for author: Joyce Luedke


MORNING MUSINGS

Here are my morning musings from the front porch on a cloudy autumn day.A hummer is humming, its wings whirring as it flits from flower to flower seeking nourishment for the day. Soon they will be making their arduous journey to a warmer climate.Bees aren’t buzzing, but they dive into the bright yellow zinnias gathering nectar to store for the winter.Mourning doves perch on the fence, swoop to the ground scratching for morsels—their soft murmurs are comforting.The finches quietly cheep as if they are saying a long goodbye before heading south. Their bright yellow blends with the stark black. The females’ dull browns blend with ...

CONCERNED WISCONSINITES PACKED THE UNION

Concerned Wisconsinites packed the Union on the UW-Green Bay campus to attend and speak at the Joint Finance Committee listening session Wednesday, April 24, 2019.Over 200 of our brothers and sisters waited their turn to address the 16 member JFC. Testimony began at 10:00am and a resident from Wausau spoke at 7:35pm.Each speaker was allowed two minutes to express their concerns, often pleading with JFC members to listen to their concerns and accept Governor Evers provisions in the 2019-2021 budget.Speakers and the attenders, estimated at about 350-400 people, were from all walks of life: Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, high school ...

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PART II

III. Strategies for Community Schools A. “A strong and proven curriculum, engaging students with culturally relevant and challenging material, and offering a robust selection of classes, AP and honors courses, as well as after-school programs in the arts, languages, and ethnic studies, ELL, Special Ed, GED preparation, and job training.”The curriculum in Community Schools emphasizes real-world learning and community problem-solving skills. These opportunities would be provided by partners in the community--environmental groups, businesses, community gardens, internships, etc. Removing barriers is a key component of Community Schools. B. ...

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS – PART I

Senator Chris Larson and Representative Mandela Barnes both from Milwaukee unveiled the Community Schools Act on April, 15, 2015.“The aim of the legislation is to provide start-up funding for community schools, which are defined by their focus on improving student learning, strengthening families, and developing healthier communities. To accomplish these goals, the community school model synthesizes academic, health, and social services with community partner collaboration to provide additional services to the greater surrounding communities.”Senator Chris Larson stated, “We, as a state, need to come up with innovative ways to ensure every ...

WISCONSIN TAXPAYERS CONTINUE TO SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 286 public school referendums have been passed (out of 421 districts that went to referendum) since January 1, 2010. This means people in these districts have voted to raise their property taxes because of the cuts to education under the Walker Administration. (I spoke to Tom McCarthy at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on 9/24/2018.)On April 3, 2018, voters in the D.C. Everest School District overwhelmingly passed a referendum to update the buildings along with other necessary improvements throughout the district. Property taxes will be raised by $24 for every $100,000 of ...

THRIVING OR BARELY SURVIVING IN WISCONSIN?

Here are some sobering facts from several reports. The ALICE Report is an acronym which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed Wisconsinites. The ALICE report reveals the struggles our families, neighbors, and co-workers experience on a daily basis who work hard, earn above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget. Over a third of ALICE households, 670,992, do not earn enough to cover the basic needs of housing, childcare, food, healthcare, transportation.A. In 2017, another 661,565 households lived below the official poverty rate. The poverty rate in 2016 had increased and is at its highest ...

VOICES FROM THE MARCH FOR OUR LIVES IN WAUSAU, PART 2

Kristin Conway, the organizer for Moms Demand Action (MDA) in the Wausau area, reflected on the mass killings in recent years. A few months ago, MDA began with two people. Thirty-five people attended the meeting after the Parkland shooting.Moms Demand Action provided a table inside the Wausau Mall with literature, voting information, and postcards. Participants wrote messages on the cards that were then sent to Congressman Duffy’s office.Marchers solemnly marched to Congressman Duffy’s empty office.“Now we ask for some silence and mindful thoughts or prayers, as we read the names of students and teachers that died because Congress ...

COMMON THEMES

Common themes intertwined from the Marchers who came to support the students during the March for Our Lives in Wausau. About 200 people joined student organizers on the 400 Block in Downtown Wausau to remember the 17 students who died February 14th at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.Anna Klieber, one of the organizers from Wausau West, spoke about growing up with social media and technology. It is a way to stay connected. She also sees the harm that social media can do. Anna spoke about Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the shooting, and reiterated one of the themes: “Enough is Enough! Never again.”Anna ...

SPOTLIGHT ON HOMELESSNESS, Part 2

Pam Anderson, co-chair of the Marathon County Housing and Homelessness Coalition, spoke about a husband and wife who became homeless after a car accident. The husband lost his job due to his injuries and had to be retrained for a different job. They slept on the floor in the attic of the wife’s father’s home. It was four years before they got back on their feet.In Marathon County, 41% of families are living from paycheck to paycheck. Ten percent of ALICE families are below the poverty level. (2017 United Way Quality of LIFE report for Wausau and Marathon County)There is a total of 1,083 adequate affordable housing units in Marathon County. ...

HOMELESSNESS, part 1

In his opening statements to Mayor Robert Mielke and Wausau City Council members regarding homelessness, Joseph Volk stated: Marathon County and Wausau have a problem.Joseph Volk, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness, was one of the speakers at the Presentation: Spotlight on Homelessness in Marathon County, Thursday, February 15th. Mr. Volk highlighted many statistics regarding homelessness. (Additional information has been added by the author of this report.)*Homeless children in the school districts of Wausau and D.C. Everest has increased 110% in five years. For the 2012-2013 school year, 99 students in the ...