77 results for author: Virginia Kirsch


WIND POWER: HOW SAFE IS IT FOR BIRDS?

Wind power is one of the sources of energy for our future. But how safe is it for birds and bats? Before I talk about the birds and bats, here are some other foes of birds. Pesticides kill 67 million birds a year. Autos kill 200 million birds a year. Outdoor cats kill 2.4 billion birds a year. The biggest long-term threat to birds and other wildlife is climate change. All of these foes are part of our current fossil-fuel society which is in the process of changing. Wind now supplies 6 per cent of our nation’s electricity which is enough to power 26 million homes. There are 59,000 turbines in 43 states plus ...

GOOD AND BAD FORMS OF POPULISM

You hear of populist leaders all over the world. Some work for the common good. Some work for private agendas. How can they all be populists?According to Luke Bretherton’s, book Christ and the Common Life: Political Theology and the Case for Democracy, there are good and bad forms of populism. He uses two terms: democratic populist and the antipolitical populist.The democratic populist works for the common good while the antipolitical populist rules by his own authority. The antipolitical populist throws out checks and balances in the government and pursues private self-interests.There are common traits for the antipolitical and ...

WHO WRITES WISCONSIN LAWS?

I always thought that laws came from suggestions from the citizens and then written by legislators for public hearings and committee review. The bills were then presented to the Wisconsin Assembly and State Senate for voting.However, not all Wisconsin laws are created this way. Four dozen Wisconsin laws since 2009 came from “model” bills. These bills were often from outside of Wisconsin and frequently backed by powerful business and ideological interests, according to a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review.Last month, USA Today reported the use of model bills in all 50 states. That is why several states may pass the same law, using almost ...

HOW DEMOCRATS CAN WIN RURAL AMERICA

Many Democratic presidential candidates are busy wooing Iowa voters. The famous Iowa caucus allows the candidates to groom their message for rural America. Robert Leonard and Matt Russell have given strong ways to rebuild and reclaim rural America for the people.Mr. Leonard is the news director for the Iowa radio stations KNIA and KRLS. Mr. Russell is the owner of Coyote Run Farm and the executive director of Iowa Interfaith Power and Light.There are four strong themes throughout Iowa and throughout the Midwest: Demography Infrastructure Farm sustainability Environmental practices to deal with climate change.Many farmers depend on jobs ...

HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE EARTH DAY?

The first way I will celebrate Earth Day is by using these canvas bags. They were purchased 30 years ago and have served me well. They were used for buying groceries, going camping, going shopping, and going to the library. They were made to last.Many people compliment me on using them. People tell me they have similar bags and really should use them. But that is as far as that goes. How did using these bags become a habit?Earth Day is on my mind each day. I hang the bags on the door knob leading to the garage.The bags are put in the car and ready for their next venture.The bags are handy and have earned their keep, time after time. But the ...

Vote Tuesday, April 2

April 2 is Spring Election Day in Wisconsin. Important races are being held in state, county, municipal, School Board and other areas.Voter turnout for this type of election is often very low. Please remember to add your voice by voting.An extremely important statewide race on April 2 is the seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Voters will elect the next Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, replacing retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson.Why is this race so important? There are many lawsuits that may ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, including: The Legislature’s Lame Duck Power Grab designed to limit the power of the Governor and ...

VOTE TUESDAY APRIL 2

April 2 is Spring Election Day in Wisconsin. Important races are being held in state, county, municipal, School Board and other areas.Voter turnout for this type of election is often very low. Please remember to add your voice by voting.An extremely important statewide race on April 2 is the seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Voters will elect the next Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, replacing retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson.Why is this race so important? There are many lawsuits that may ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, including: The Legislature’s Lame Duck Power Grab designed to limit the power of the Governor and ...

A HISTORY OF THE WALL

The first wall between Mexico and United States was not built to keep out people. It was built to keep out cattle.The first federally funded border fence between Mexico and United States went up in 1911. It was mean to keep out the ticks that came with the cattle from Mexico.Mexican cattle wandered over the southern border with “Texas fever” caused by ticks. This destroyed many cattle on both sides of the border. This increased the price of beef.A barbed-wire fence was put up but did not help very much. There have been repeated outbreaks of Texas fever, some as recently as 2017. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has “tick riders” on horseb...

A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR WISCONSIN RETIREMENT SYSTEM

I have just checked WREA.net (Wisconsin Retired Educators Association) website and learned some interesting things about the history of our Wisconsin Retirement System.Did you know? In 1950 there were more than 85 public pension funds in Wisconsin and most of them were poorly funded? In the early 1950s, the average monthly annuity for a retired teacher was $35? In 1966, Wisconsin and Tennessee had the two worst public pension funds in the nation? Wisconsin now has one of the best retirement systems in the country? The Wisconsin Retirement System is well-funded at roughly 99.9%? That we have an automatic dividend process tied to invest...

WISCONSIN AND NICARAGUA ARE PARTNERS

Wisconsin and Nicaragua are partners. For fifty years, programs have provided assistance to people in Nicaragua of all ages. Programs help with natural resources and cultural diversity, with health and education.For fifty years, the Wisconsin/ Nicaragua partnership has shown that working together brings good results.Wisconsin and Nicaragua have commonalities:++Each approximately 57,000 square miles++Extensive stretches of coastline++Large inland lake++Valuable forest areas++Agricultural productionThe headquarters are in Nelson Hall of UWSP campus, Stevens Point. There is also a warehouse in Stevens Point that collects materials for ...