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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

"Oil is Power"

 New York Times, Sept 14, 1919 Oil is Power


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The burning question pops up again

City may take up leaf-burning rules again

Alderman's proposal would lead to eventual ban


Since the election of 2006


Hi Kyle, kind of an interesting email I got from a friend. Your a statistaclly oriented person so I thought I might forward it to you for your enjoyment. Also kind of interesting how all the heating and ventilation (new word for air conditioning) need to be replaced at the other facilities. I hope all the yes people can enjoy that. Now if the Democrats get into office and repeal the Bush tax cut's they too won't be able to afford their house any more either. It all adds up in the end. Just a tax Hell. Larry KnetzgerPart 1

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All girls, all boys?


Trying new school of thought

Public districts experiment with separating students by gender

Posted: April 29, 2008

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Badger Care, for low income?

BadgerCare Plus off to a healthy start

State program provides coverage for low-income families

Posted: April 29, 2008

More than 71,000 children and parents in Wisconsin have gotten health insurance in the first six weeks after the state consolidated and simplified the health programs that provide coverage for low-income families.

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You want to do what? More sulfur emissions?


Global warming 'rescue' plan may backfire

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Price Stability Act, another good bill from Wisconsin Blame Congress for Inflation, Paul Ryan, May 1 2008 Wall Street Journal

Ryan Speaks Out Against Inflation; Introduces Price Stability Act of 2008
5/1/08 - On the heels of yet another interest rate cut, Congressman Paul Ryan announced plans to introduced the Price Stability Act of 2008. Ryan also called for an end to the continued rate cuts from the Federal Reserve, which have fueled price increases across the board.

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Fire stations preparing for what they said they could avoid

City of Brookfield, City: Fire stations

Today's Journal article, Larger fire stations considered, brings us nearly full circle in the continuing EMS/fire station relocation saga. (My emphasis throughout.)

"The city should build extra space into its new fire stations in case future demands require additional staff and vehicles, fire and city officials say."

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Hey, things are looking up!


Anybody notice that the market was up on Friday? And the stimulus checks have not hit most mail boxes yet!

I have been checking my few mutual funds off and on and slowly they are creeping upward.

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Weed Out and Nat. Day of Prayer Report

Gardening, Special events

Last Thursday was the National Day of Prayer. The day was brisk, but at least the sun was out!

I headed over to City Hall and found the same faithful woman I met last year sitting on the ledge by the flag poles. We were soon joined by 2 other women--both of which I knew this time :). One of them told me she was at Pilgrim Park Middle School earlier that day with a group called Praying Parents. They evidentially meet a few times during the school year to pray over the schools.

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Will gas prices affect your summer vacation?


Like most people, I am watching the gasoline prices rise and wondering how high they will go by summer travel time.

A temporary moratorium on the federal gas tax is now a topic of the presidential campaign. Obama is against, Clinton is for--if the oil companies pay for it via a wind fall profits tax (that just means they will pass it onto us), and I believe McCain is just for the moratorium with no charge to the oil companies.

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You Can Make 2009 National Park Reservations Now

National Parks, TRAVEL

As I mentioned yesterday, I made my 2008 Yellowstone reservations too late in the season. (I never dreamed mid September 2007 was too late!)

I should have known better. We have gone several times in recent years. The first time we went with our son in 2001, I trusted the information from the Travel section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and made late August/early September 2001 reservations in Dec. 2000. I could get all of our dates except one. I made the reservation anyway and booked a cabin across the park for the one problem date. Despite checking at the desk every day for a early cancellation (once we were there), I never caught it. We had to move for one night and then come back, which ate up at least an entire day. Argh.

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5K parents still have a half-day choice

5K, Education, Elmbrook

Thank you Elmbrook board for accommodating the few parents who still want a half-day kindergarten experience for their children.

Although I still am not convinced that all day 5K academically has any long term benefit, at least parents, who believe a full day for a 5 year old is too much, can opt for just the half-day offering.

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Free pass to movie preview of "The Enemy God" Sat. 3PM

Religion, Truth

This Saturday, May 10th, the feature length film, The Enemy God will be shown at 3-5 PM, at Elmbrook Church.

Yanomamo Yanomami woman eyes

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Let them eat (and drink) ethanol ala Marie Antoinette

Energy, Environment, Ethanol, Going Green, Legislation, Truth, Unintended consequences

Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake" is quoted a lot these days in regard to ethanol and rising food prices. There are many interpretations as to what she meant by it--some debate whether she said it at all.

The most interesting explanation I ever heard came from a UWM theater department teacher. She said that "cake" was the term for a gasket made from dough strips used to seal oven doors. When the baking was finished, the very over-baked, virtually inedible dough gaskets were scraped off and discarded. The poor would dig these out of the garbage and attempt to eat them. In other words, the bakers used food for a purpose other than human or animal consumption, and the insensitive Marie said the starving could always eat the gaskets.

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Oil Wells Closer Than You Think

Record oil prices bring fresh interest in L.A.'s wells

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McCain Urges EPA To Eliminate Biofuel Mandates, How About Wisconsin Too?

Energy, Ethanol, Going Green, Legislation, McCain 2008

Wednesday, I caught a few minutes from Mark Belling's last half hour on the radio. He read this Wall Street Journal piece, The Biofuels Backlash. It is yet another condemnation of the whole biofuel fiasco--the food crisis, pollution, excessive water use, price supports, etc. You know, the usual complaints... (Let them eat and drink ethanol).

The WSJ piece opened stating that for the past "30 years we...opposed ethanol subsidies. So imagine our great, pleasant surprise to see that the world is suddenly awakening to the folly of subsidized biofuels."

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Thanks Mom

Family, Holidays, Living well on less $

My mom was an amazing woman. Her priorities were God, Dad, us, others, then herself. She was kind, generous, and a whiz at managing money. Since the economy is in the news so much these days, I will focus on her money management talents.

To use an expression I once heard, she could pinch a nickel so hard the Indian was riding the buffalo! That is no longer politically correct, but thankfully the nickels have changed now too. The updated version would be she pinched a nickel so hard Jefferson was riding the buffalo! I am sure if she had been sent to Washington, she could have balanced the budget.

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Postage goes up 1 cent today

Government / Bureaucracy

Just a reminder that U.S. Postage for 1st class mail went up 1 cent today from 41 cents to 42 cents for 1 ounce. You you must add an extra 1 cent stamp to your existing 41 cent stamped mail.

If you have those Forever stamps with the Liberty Bell, those are still good without adding any additional postage. That is why they are called Forever! 

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Bike to Work Week

Going Green, Just for fun!

I heard this morning that one gas station in the Milwaukee area hit $4.00/gallon for gasoline this morning. What better time for the 2008 Bike to Work Week?

There are different special events this week including a bike tail gate and bike drive in movie (about bikes!)

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Yippee! 2 peach blossoms so far

Birds, Gardening, Just for fun!

On a  glorious day like today, there are few things I like better than an afternoon out in the yard. I just finished my Dr. Death duties (Weed B Gone and Round-Up*) and now I am ready for a little digging time in the flower bed.

I have been watching my 2 peach trees with growing interest. If they are going to bloom, it is usually on Mother's Day. Despite our late spring, they did not let me down. I spotted 2 blossoms in full bloom--1 on each tree. I am of course hoping for more, because there is nothing like a home-grown peach.

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Ugh, McCain and Huckabee? Say it aint so

Conservatives, Elections, McCain 2008, Religion

Just when I finally think I can stomach a McCain presidency, John goes and does something else that makes me shake my head in disgust.

McCain just joined 23 other senators in asking the EPA to reconsider some pollution standards. Good, I thought. Then right on the heels of that positive action, McCain still is talking Cap and Trade.

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"Green" Revolt Hits Briton, How About Here?

According to a May 2nd article in The Independent: (My emphasis)

More than seven in 10 voters insist that they would not be willing to pay higher taxes in order to fund projects to combat climate change, according to a new poll.

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Borrowing from U.S. to pay $527 million shortfall, contact representatives

Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

I heard the state is close to "balancing" our state $527 million budget deficit. Problem is, there are no real budget cuts, just plenty of bookkeeping tricks. Only 1/5th of 1% of the total budget is considered a cut.

One of the areas of bookkeeping magic that really makes me see red is the hijacking of $22 million from Federal Real ID into state budget coffers. Congressman Sensenbrenner doesn't like it either. "The law authored by Sensenbrenner is designed to create a more secure identification card in all 50 states. A $10 fee was placed on Wisconsin driver's licenses starting this year to start paying for it." The state is raiding this fund.

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Native Europeans becoming second-rate citizens in own countries

I stumbled on this article while looking for info on EU revolting against going green. This is far more serious.

The Brussels Journal, "The Voice of Conservatism in Europe" (I did not know there was a conservative voice in Europe!) reported last year in Native Revolt: A European Declaration of Independence:

Come to HG&D Work Session Tuesday, May 13, 6-7 PM

Education, Elmbrook, Family

(Be sure to contact our state legislators today about budget!)


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No Big Surprise, Senate Passes Budget, Assembly Votes Today

Legislation, TAXES, Truth, WISCONSIN

Is it any wonder we are in the financial mess we are in with the state budget? The Senate passed the budget fix yesterday, the Assembly may vote on it today. Contact your State Assembly Representative and let them know your opinion anyway. They could use your support. (Contacts are at end of post.)

My State Representative Leah Vukmir was on Vicki McKenna yesterday explaining the budget fiasco. Leah commented, something is wrong when the budget fix proposed was less conservative than what Doyle would do! She said Doyle criticized them for not making budget cuts. It is pretty bad when your only hope for a better budget is that you liberal governor might make some vetoes!

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McDonald's, I'm NOT lovin it! End Support of Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Culture, Family, Homosexual agenda, Truth

McDonald's has been showing it's true rainbow colors as of late, and I'm not lovin it. What next? Ronald McDonald coming out of the closet? (Ooh, not ready for that!)

On April 2, 2008, I received an Action Alert from American Family Association, a conservative Christian group. It informed that "McDonald's has signed on to a nationwide effort to promote 'gay' and 'lesbian' business ventures."  

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State Budget Passes Assembly: Now Veto Pen Only Hope?

Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

The Assembly narrowly approved the state budget bill fix, 51 - 46. So now what?

Representative Leah "Vukmir said she hoped Doyle would veto the entire bill."

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HG&D Work Session Report: Keep Parent & Board Approval

Culture, Education, Elmbrook

I attended the Human Growth and Development (Sex Ed.) work session Tuesday night. Several of the HG&D parent committee members were in the audience along with some interested parents. 

It was great to see many of our board members boldly standing up for the rights of the parent members of the HG&D committee as well as their own right to review and approve of specific lesson plans and materials used for Elmbrook's Sex Education program.

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Heirloom Tomatoes, Everything Old Is New Again?

Gardening, Just for fun!, Living well on less $

I actually got my tomato plants into the soil yesterday! That is a record for me--usually I don't get them it until the first week in June. I am pleased with my accomplishment. :)

For the past few years I have planted Lemon Boy. They have a wonderful fruity flavor and are a pretty yellow color. They are not heirlooms, but I purchased 2 at a recent visit to Steins since they are a favorite. I also picked up a Sweet Cluster--a small 2" red type.

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What would life be like with only legal residents? (Better!)

You've probably heard the news reports: Illegals cost the average American $6,000 to $9,000 a year in added social serivces costs. The dollar amount depends on who is reporting and which specific government service is being addressed. We know that illegals do cost us in health care area. Many about to deliver illegal women swim the Rio Grande to get to U.S. soil and then enter the emergency rooms still soaking wet. All to have the chance of giving birth to a legal anchor baby.

Or how about the extra costs incurred in police and corrections? What about in our school systems? The list of illegal immigrant generated costs goes on and on.

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Taxpayers Need a Referendum Reprieve

2007 Referendum, Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

I admit it. I was surprised when Elmbrook's $62 million dollar referendum passed last April 1st. Usually, it takes 3 referendum tries before one will pass.

In my opinion, Elmbrook's referendum broke ranks and passed on the second try because of 3 reasons. One, it was held during a spring election (lower voter turnout) rather than a November presidential election (higher voter turnout), and two, there was virtually no get out the vote campaign from those opposed. (The third reason I call the secret weapon*, the HSST.  Voters really trusted that HSST committee theoretically made up of both "No and Yes" voters. But this third reason does not apply to this posting.)

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Thankfully, Elmbrook is Wary of Risky Investment Business

Investment strategy falters

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Tuesday is Coffee Bargain Day at Alterra

Free, Just for fun!, Living well on less $

Today is Tuesday, and I must make my monthly pilgrimage to Alterra coffee at Mayfair Mall. (It is usually the only reason I venture over to Mayfair!)

In case you did not know, Tuesdays are double punch days at Alterrra Coffee. That means they give you 2 punches for every pound of coffee you purchase at Alterra Cafes. They also have a drink card if you purchase brewed coffee to drink there.

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Music Concert To Benefit Chinese Quake Victims, Sat. May 31st

Charity, Special events

One thing that always impresses me about Americans is their generosity toward those in need.

Recently we saw this type of outpouring toward Hurricane Katrina victims in our country and Tsunami victims in Indonesia.

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Congress Wants OPEC Sued, What About Counter Suit?

Energy, Legislation, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

Question: Who is the number 1 oil producer? Number 2? Number 3?

Do we have the right to sue any of the top 3 for not producing more or setting prices? 

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Is the Oil Tide Changing?

 Belling 4:30 - 5pm hour 

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Is This Your Husband's Card? Could I See Some I.D.?

Elections, Legislation

Yesterday, I caught a bit of Mark Belling's show. He was talking about needing a photo ID to make a bank transaction. That got me thinking about how many times I need to show my drivers license more than the average person.

Because of my name, when I use my credit card I frequently am asked,

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Memorial Day Traditions

Good movies, History, Holidays, Special events, Veterans

Do you have Memorial Day traditions? Actually, we don't. July 4th seems to have its usual rhythm: Brookfield parade or auto show at Holz in the morning and fireworks at Elm Grove Park in the evening. But somehow with Memorial Day nothing has clicked.

Maybe this year we will catch the 10:30 AM parade in Elm Grove since we live close by. There is also that wreath ceremony at a Civil War Soldier's grave at Oak Hill Cemetery.  I noticed at the Elm Grove Library a flier for a pre-parade pancake breakfast at the Elm Grove Women's Club. These are at least some Memorial Day options. What I don't like to see are holidays that become just an excuse for retailers to hold special sales.

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Happy Birthday Brother Andrew, God's Smuggler is 80


Anyone ever try Garlic Mustard pesto?

A reader (mikeyd) left a comment a few weeks ago on Garlic Mustard. He/she? included this link and said they were going to make some. Has anyone else ever tried this? 

Invasion of the Garden Snatchers!

Yikes, Garlic Mustard can really take over a sector of a yard in no time flat.

I noticed a plant or two over the fence in my neighbor's yard. I thought the plants were from my surprise interlopers from last year so I thought the decent thing to do was offer to pull them.

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Randy Melchert To Run For 24th Assembly District

Conservatives, Elections, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Here is a little news for residents to our north, Randy Melchert* is running for State Assembly, 24th District. That area starts just north of Lisbon Road on up to Pioneer Road and from 124th St. west to Hillside Road and includes Butler, Menomonee Falls (most), Germantown, Hubertus and Colgate.

Suzanne Jeskewitz, the current area's representative, announced earlier this month that she would not be running again.

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Population control and the Bedroom Police china one child policy

Bedroom police 

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You Can't Wash Your Car But The Car Wash Can?

City of Brookfield, Development, Environment, Legislation, Water

It is watering restriction season for Waukesha County, but in Brookfield, lawn watering, pool filling, and car washing* is restricted whether you are on a private well or municipal water every day of the year.

Somehow I was under the assumption that if one had a private well they were exempt from the watering restrictions. Many people on municipal water kept their private wells for watering and car washing purposes. I also thought there was a season to water restrictions. Not so. All Brookfield residents are under the restrictions all of the time: (My emphasis)

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Ryan's "Roadmap For America" Ensures Easy Travel For ALL Generations

Conservatives, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

If you've ever planned a road trip, mapping your route ahead of time makes a big difference: which way will allow you to travel with the least amount of traffic, major city rush hours, or road construction? Often a little planning ahead can save hours being stuck in a traffic jam. Certainly there is no sense to chart a course leading to a bridge closed for repairs. No reasonable person would say, the only bridge ahead is closed, but we'll make such good time before the bridge, we'll pick that route anyway.

Yet this is what our government is doing by ignoring the coming Social Security/Medicare crisis. Politicians don't want to deal with that reality. They know it is going bankrupt, but their attitude is, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. "There is a growing, bipartisan consensus about the greatest threat to our nation's long-term economic prosperity: the explosion of entitlement spending." (Ryan)

Last week, Congressman Paul Ryan proposed his "Roadmap for America"--a very practical and pretty painless way to shore up Social Security, Medicare, and the tax code. Ryan is planning the future path for America that allows us to make good time and still cross that bridge in the future, and he does it without massive tax increases. He said in an interview:

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Have Mayapples, Will Travel

Free, Gardening, Just for fun!

One of the great things about gardening is that there are usually plants to share with others. If a specimen is doing well, invariably there will come a time when it needs dividing or thinning. Sometimes a particular plant does a little too well and spreads itself to places you don't want it. That is when your garden clean up can be another gardener's boon.

Last year a friend in my neighborhood mentioned she wanted to start some Mayapples. Since I really hate to see someone spend their money on plants that are so prolific*, I mentioned I had some and would share some when I had a chance. This spring I dug a few out for her so she could get a patch started. 

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