The Thomas Street Plan: Four-Lane Road Into Two-Lane Bridge Based On Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Funding, Not Necessary Road or Traffic Improvement

Thomas Street North Side
Lost federal funding from breaking federal guidelines drives a costly Thomas Street plan that will impact the Wausau School District, Northcentral Technical College, and Marathon CountyA careful review of information on the Thomas Street project, including local news coverage, reveals the answer to a question that has been frequently brought up by Wausau residents:  why would the city build a four-lane road on Thomas Street into a two-lane bridge? The City’s own research indicates a four-lane stretch of road on Thomas Street is both unnecessary and costly.The ...

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What the U.S. Navy Can Teach Us About Fighting Climate Change

Navy Ship
(This article was previously published in the Stevens Point Journal & Wausau Daily Herald)The U.S. military has its problems. It’s overfunded, wasteful and unnecessarily deployed in many cases. But I’m surprised, even shocked, with its contributions for solving climate change.You won’t find many climate change deniers in the military, especially in the U.S. Navy. They know climate change is occurring and they know what causes it — humans burning fossil fuels.Remember, the military developed steel, radar, GPS and microchips last century and these ...

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Why You Can’t Do Social Justice Alone

Social Justice Network
Last summer’s California drought caused severe water shortages. That resulted in higher prices of grain which increased the price of beef. Therefore fast food places cut workers’ wages and the worker sent less money to his family in Mexico. In Mexico, people were dealing with that same drought, which caused immigration in the first place. Kristin Moe raises this issue in her article “Get Intersectional!” in Yes Magazine, April 2014.Who or what is to blame?  - - - Climate change? Labor policies? NAFTA flooding Mexico with cheap US corn? - - -  Probably ...

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Stories of America

American Story
There once was a story of America. It told of the aspiration of centuries of heartbreaking human struggle, of the shining proof that people from every nation on Earth, every walk of life, and every religious belief, could come together in a spirit of community. It told how a magnificent government was formed, how universal needs such as water and roads, breathtaking national parks, law enforcement, and the education of our children, were understood to be the property, and the responsibility, of all. It spoke to the longings of humanity. It spoke to the human heart.Nati...

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PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND WISCONSIN HUNTING & FISHING

An excellent panel discussion on how climate change impacts Wisconsin fish and wildlife was held on April 1st.  The free event was attended by 114 people who came to Ben Franklin Junior High in Stevens Point to listen and participate in the discussion.Panelists included George Meyer, former Secretary of the WDNR and Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Wisconsin’s largest sporting organization; Dr. Mike Notaro, Associate Director of the Center for Climatic Research at the UW-Madison; Dr. Matt Mitro, a cold-water fisheries scientist with the WDNR; ...

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Thoughts on Taxes

Taxes
April 15th is coming up. For many of us, the problem with taxes is not how much we pay, rather it is what we get for our tax dollar. Taxes are the dues we pay to belong to a civilized society. Are we getting what we need? Are we getting our money's worth? Are we building a prosperous, healthy, sustainable, and truly civilized society?There is too much sound bite and too little information on this topic in the media. Perhaps the facts below and some perspective will help ease the pain this tax day.How much do we pay?In 2011 Americans paid, as a percentage of ...

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Wisconsin’s Outstanding Women

Outstanding WI Women
Please enjoy this presentation:The Wisconsin Outstanding Women PDF

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Our Wisconsin Retirement System is #1 in the nation

Jack Norman of WCRS
The Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security (WCRS), a non-partisan coalition of labor and community groups, is standing up for our Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and the retirement security for all Wisconsin workers.Our WRS “defined benefit” system. The benefit for retirees is known and defined in advance. Both employers and employees pay into the pension fund. The funds are well-managed by public employees, who work for public salaries. They do not receive commissions for managing our retirement funds. There is no gender discrimination in the WRS. Women ...

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Let Us Have a Blueprint for Posterity

Blueprint for Posterity
On Monday, 3/24/13, the Governor signed a tax relief bill dubbed the "Blueprint for Prosperity."According to our State government at prosperity.wi.gov, the legislation will reduce property, income and state income withholding taxes. The typical homeowner will see a reduction of $101 on her next property tax bill. The typical family of four, earning $40,000, will save about $58 in income taxes. Because of the change to income withholding taxes, that family will see about $58 more in their paychecks each month.By the end of 2014, that typical family of four could ...

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Wisconsin Rapids Citizens for a Clean Green & Welcoming Community

Wisconsin Rapids Environment
Citizens for a Clean, Green & Welcoming Community (aka the Clean-Green group) is beginning its 7th year of working on projects that focus on sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment.  2013 was a very successful year, and we will continue our efforts in 2014 with some on-going and some new projects.Among our success stories in 2013 was earning the Bird City designation for Wisconsin Rapids with this award being presented to the city at the Grand Affair on September 8.  We also adopted a stretch of highway for clean-up so our group can walk the ...

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