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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.

Penzeys spice & herb shop now in Brookfield Fashion Center

Interesting places, Just for fun!, Living well on less $


Palin campaigns for chamblis in runoff

2012, Elections, Politics Palin Rallies Georgia's Base, Early Black Turn out Low

“We all have Georgia on our mind,” declared governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as she kicked off an early morning Dec. 1 rally in Augusta, Georgia, on behalf of first-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

It was the first of four rallies yesterday, each featuring thousands of cheering crowds brandishing “Palin 2012” shirts and buttons -- along with, of course, Chambliss signs. (My favorite anti-Barack Obama sign read: “Keep the change.”)

The Alaska governor was firing up the faithful to hold a critical GOP seat since Georgia is the only state that mandates an election runoff if a Senate candidate doesn’t receive 50 percent-plus-one of the popular vote. Palin was also countering earlier appearances on behalf of Democratic candidate Jim Martin by several liberal “big guns” led by former President Bill Clinton and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

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Sanitizing US Capitol of America's religious roots

Constitution, Religion, Truth, United States


Religious Hostility on Display at U.S. Capitol

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Holiday hate speech

Conservatives, Holidays, Religion, Truth, WISCONSIN


"At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail.  There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.  There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

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Georgia & Minnesota on my filibuster proof Senate majority

2012, Conservatives, Elections, Politics

Phew! If you have been watching these state's Senate races, you know that the Senate's filibuster proof Democratic majority  hung in the balance. But Senator Saxby Chamblis easily won reelection yesterday in that Georgia runoff, 57% to 43%. So the Democrats won't get their 60 seat majority.

The Minnesota Senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken "now remains the only unresolved Senate contest in the country."

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Madison's "Censored" Tree

Common sense, Government / Bureaucracy, Holidays, Religion, Truth, WISCONSIN

Last year, the State Assembly had to fight to get the Capitol Christmas tree called just that, a CHRISTMAS tree. In our culture, if it were not for Christmas, whether you celebrate it as religious holiday or secular, why else would you cut down a tree and bring it indoors?

This year? We are again calling that indoor tree something other than what it is. This year, it is The CAPITOL tree:

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New segment of Greenway Corridor at Mary Knoll Park

City of Brookfield, Just for fun!, TAXES

If you use Sunnyslope Road, you may have noticed some construction going on in the woods south of Mary Knoll Park at Kinsey Park Drive.

This is the latest section of the Greenway Corridor Recreational Trail. According to Bill Kolstad, Brookfield's Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, the 8 foot wide paved trail segment measures about 3,350 feet in length. There is also 480 feet of 6' wide pavement.

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Holiday hate speech at State Capitol

Constitution, Culture, Ethics, Government / Bureaucracy, Holidays, Religion, Slipping fast!, Truth, WISCONSIN

Our state capitol in Madison has a Christmas tree (I am using last year's term), a menorah for Hanukkah, and I think something for Kwanza too. I am fine with that. They are holidays celebrated in December by people of various religions and cultures in our state.

Last year I heard they also included a Winter Solstice plaque. They have it this year too.

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Global warming -"Is the cure worse than the disease?"

Conservatives, Environment, Going Green, Unintended consequences 

A new documentary aimed at exposing the true cost behind the "global warming" hysteria is coming to theaters in 2009.

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Making a list, checking it twice...City Clerk checks voter registrations

City of Brookfield, Elections, Voter fraud


Tom Wacker rings Red Kettle Salvation Army bell again at Pick 'n Save

Charity, Helping others, Holidays

Tis the season! The  Salvation Army Red Kettles are out and about in shopping malls and in front of local businesses.

This year, the Bluemound Pick 'n Save in the Brownstones shopping mall is again allowing the Salvation Army bell ringers to collect donations in front of their store. Thank you, Pick 'n Save! (The Red Kettle is located outside at the east entrance.)

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Town of Brookfield Aldi now open!

Development, Living well on less $, Town of Brookfield

Well, today is the day. After months of discussion and remodeling, the new Aldi store opens its doors today at 19555 W. Bluemound Road.

The entire shopping center underwent a face lift with new brick facade and architectural accents.

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UN Data shows 'Warming has Stopped'

Going Green, Truth

 Posted on Senate EPW Website
Part one:
Part Two:
UN Data shows "Warming has Stopped!" - Climate Fears Called
"Hogwash" - "Global Carbon Tax" Urged
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Posted By Marc Morano – 4:34 PM – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov
UN Data shows ‘Warming has Stopped!’ – Climate
Fears Called ‘Hogwash’ – ‘Global Carbon Tax’ Urged
Aussie Scientist Says ‘No relationship between CO2 and temperature’
Weblink To This Report:
Read Part Two of this Report here:
Washington DC - The bad news for global warming alarmists just keeps rolling in. Below is a very
small sampling of very inconvenient developments for Gore, the United Nations, and the mainstream
media. Peer-reviewed studies, analyses, and prominent scientists continue to speak out to refute
climate fears. The majority of data presented below is from just the past week. Also see: U.S. Senate
Minority Report: “Over 400 Prominent Scientists (and rapidly growing) Disputed Man-Made Global
Warming Claims in 2007” & ‘Consensus’ On Man-Made Global Warming Collapses in 2008 - July
18, 2008 & An August 2007 report detailed how proponents of man-made global warming fears enjoy
a monumental funding advantage over skeptical scientists. LINK
UN Conference Greeted with UN Data Showing ‘Warming has Stopped!’ - - December 2, 2008
Excerpt: 10,000 people from 86 countries have descended upon Poznan, Poland for yetanother
United Nations meeting on climate change. This time, it’s the annual confab of
the nations that signed the original U.N. climate treaty in Rio in 1992. That instrument
gave rise to the infamous 1996 Kyoto Protocol on global warming, easily the greatest
failure in the history of environmental diplomacy. Kyoto was supposed to reduce global
emissions of carbon dioxide below 1990 levels during the period 2008-2012. But since it
was signed, the atmospheric concentration of this putative pollutant continued to rise,
pretty much at the same rate it did before Kyoto. […] Since Kyoto, a very funny thing
has happened to global temperatures: IPCC data clearly show that warming has
stopped—even though its computer models said such a thing could not happen.
According to the IPCC, the world reached its high-temperature mark in 1998, thanks to a
big “El Niño,” which is a temporary warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that occurs
once or twice a decade. […] Even if the earth resumes warming at the pre-1998 rate, we
will have nearly a quarter-century without a significant warming trend.


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Slumping economy causing illegals to leave?

Illegal immigration, THE ECONOMY

CARAFANO: Where did the illegals go and why? Dec 7     Great comic too

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Penzeys: Herbs & Spice and everything nice

City of Brookfield, Good food / recipes, Interesting places, Just for fun!

If you love to cook or know someone who does, stop in at Penzeys herb and spice shop. They recently relocated from the Town of Brookfield to the east side of the Brookfield Fashion Center on Bluemound Road.

I have shopped at Penzeys for years; they are my source for Pasta Sprinkles, Ceylon Cinnamon, and vanilla beans, to name a few. When I cook or bake, I try to use the best quality I can afford. Their quality is fabulous--very fresh.

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Global Warming tough sell, but Obama still buys what Gore is selling

Conservatives, Energy, Environment, Follow the money, Going Green, Obama 2008, TAXES, Truth, Unintended consequences, Weather

There is a lot at stake for former Vice President Al Gore with the Global Warming* issue. Without the threat of Global Warming, he is rather out of a job. Who would hire Al Gore to come speak about the threat of normal weather? Without Global Warming, who would ever buy a carbon credit from the corporation he is affiliated with? Without Global Warming, Al Gore just becomes another washed up Vice President who did not make it to the ultimate status prize of the presidency.

I can understand why Al Gore keeps insisting that Global Warming is a serious threat to the planet.  All of Al Gore's current prestige and status and livelihood are tied to this fabricated crisis.

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Poland global warming conference and crazy solutions

Going Green, Weather


Thousands Negotiate New Climate Treaty

By Arthur Max, The Associated Press

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Thank you Senators for standing up against auto bailout

Conservatives, Politics, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Wish we had more like these 6 Republican Senators. I really don't care what party they are from, just that they have common sense. 

Tom Colburn of Oklahoma made a great point about GM as compared to Toyota

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Don't do it! Don't drive that ATV on Greenway Trails or in Brookfield parks

City of Brookfield, Common sense

Last week I wrote about our neighborhood's newest segment of the Greenway Corridor Recreational Trail at Mary Knoll Park.

Poochie and I took a walk on the main trail to check out the new pathway.

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China lowers corp. taxes

Going Green, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Weather


I'm going into the wheelbarrow biz, or The "Peso-fication of the US$

Bigger picture, Obama 2008, Politics, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

All actions have consequences. Consumers living beyond their means, taking out loans for homes they couldn't possibly afford, resulted in the sub-prime crisis, Fanny and Freddie mess, and meltdown of the US economy.

The TARP bailout for $700-some billion has opened the door to every Tom, Dick and Harry industry standing in line for a bailout handout: the auto industry, rental car companies, ethanol industry, and credit card companies to name a few. States such as California and even Wisconsin might put their hands out as well. President elect Obama is talking about another bigger and better stimulus package too, asap.  

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WARNING: Is a Constitutional Convention on horizon?

Conservatives, Constitution, Unintended consequences, United States, WARNING

Don'f forget my US history teacher's warning about the convention 

World Net Daily,

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12 cents or $16.00? Is it worth it to you?

City of Brookfield, TAXES


Snow is a novelty for some in Houston, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama & here

Just for fun!, Weather

On Wednesday, Surprise flurries warm Houston hearts Fluffy flakes bring delight to some, consternation to others--and tie a 64-year-old record:

Since 1895, records indicate, snow has fallen this early just once — on Dec. 10, 1944.

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Spread Christmas cheer: help Heart-Fire Ministries

Charity, Helping others, Holidays

Heart-Fire Ministries is one local charity that is sure to warm your heart this Christmas.  This is their 13th year of operating a Christmas Store that is rather unique, but they need YOUR help. The Christmas Store opens this week Tuesday, December 16th. Here is how it works:

'The Christmas Store' is scheduled for December 16 - 18, 2008. The Store is open to needy families with children who are hand picked by the organizations and churches we partner with. The Store allows families to purchase new gifts at 90% [off] of the retail price. The best part is when the children open these presents at Christmas, the parents can say with pride, "We bought these nice gifts for you!", not just receiving another hand-out. 

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Washington State Holiday Hate Speech

Holidays, Religion

Atheists Post Hateful Christmas Sign Dec 13 2008 

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Expanded Elmbrook Human Growth & Development review hours

Culture, Education, Elmbrook

Subject: expanded HGD review hours

A recent change in school board policy, combined with the dedicated efforts of several active members of the Human Growth and Development Parent Advisory Committee provides a unique opportunity : 
Parents and community members are welcome to preview all Human Growth and Development videos, DVDs, books, materials, lessons, handouts, worksheets - everything - under consideration for presentation to our children, before it is approved by the board and implemented.  Your input is welcome on every aspect. This is the time to act - while the lessons are in the formative stage.
Because more time is needed to thoroughly review the HGD materials K-12 than the three, 2-hour sessions originally scheduled, I understand the district was flexible in creating open review this week (Mon Dec15 - Fri Dec19, during regular CAO hours). Unfortunately this open review is unadvertised. Please spread the word. People may call Dr. Stewart (262-781-3030 ext  1112) or Dr. Stewart's secretary Mary Tagliavia  (262-781-3030 ext  1117) for details.
Due to being in the midst of the busy Christmas and holiday season, several have requested open review of the HGD materials to be extended throughout January.  We will keep you posted.  If you would like to have evening hours or a Saturday scheduled for open review, please feel free to contact Dr. Stewart or Mary Tagliavia with that request. 
Why review HGD lessons and materials? 
  • Quite simply, the district does not have the personnel. A thorough in-depth review requires many eyes and viewpoints. 
  • Providing valuable input to the district at this stage is an important opportunity to partner with the district, while lessons & materials selection is in progress.
  • It is important for parents to understand what their children are being taught, and evaluate whether these lessons are what is desired for their children's education in this area.
  • Even if your child(ren) is/are "opted out" of the district's HGD program:
    • Other students may share the info with your student(s) over lunch, at extracurricular events, parties, sleepovers, etc.
    • There are portions of the program which are considered "mandatory" and from which your requested exemption will not apply.  We are working with the district to have these lessons & materials plainly identified, for transparency.
  • Once approved, lessons/materials are in play for three years before an HGD advisory committee is reconvened.  The work of the committee can take 2 years.  Lessons/materials approved from this session may be used for 5 years.  Even if your child is in First Grade, s/he may be in middle school before lessons & materials are reviewed in their entirety again.  If your child is in 4th grade, s/he may be in high school before lessons & materials are reviewed in their entirety again. 
Some examples of things you may notice and think about when reviewing lessons & materials include:
  • Would you want your child asked, or have them watch a video in which male students are asked, whether they have had erections?  wet dreams?  Does this set a positive precedent or work against empowering students to maintain their modesty and not discuss sexual matters with others who may inquire about them?
  • Would your child named Chad or Jenny feel comfortable watching a video with their classmates depicting drawings of male genitals on a rendering named "Chad"?  on a female rendering named "Jenny"? 
  • Would you want your child to have the understanding that penis and breast size do not matter in being able to give and receive sexual satisfaction?  (Should sexual satisfaction be discussed with children?) 
  • IF we are educating children regarding the penis, should they learn the correct vocabulary (flaccid) as opposed to common terms ("in a relaxed state", "just handing there")?
  • IF we are education children regarding the vagina, should they learn there is a hymen, not just a "vaginal opening"?
  • The above examples are from one grade level and resource.  
  • If we are teaching our children about what the materials refer to as the sex act, do we want them to know that condoms do not cover the entire area and prevent safe contact, but may still pass STI's?  That viruses and bacteria producing STI's may wreak havoc internally but not produce obvious outward symptoms until it is too late?  That many STI's are "treatable" but not "curable"... students will have them for life?  That virus/bacteria are many times smaller than a sperm cell and can easily pass through a condom?  That oral sex can lead to oral cancer?  That kissing a person who has participated in oral sex can transmit the virus for oral cancer?  That there are negative emotional consequences to premature sexual behavior?  
We are working diligently to create a transparent process and provide HGD content which serves the best interests of our kids.  We encourage reviewers to list specific strengths and deficits they may find so that the committee, the board, and any future lesson developers / package screeners will have these observations as tools to work with.  (A general thumbs up or thumbs down statement doesn't provide these tools.)


Are they kidding? Dumping Electoral College makes it worse!

Elections, Politics, Slipping fast!, Unintended consequences, United States

It's Time to Junk the Electoral College 

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Oh brother! A bovine "gas" tax?

Environment, Going Green, Slipping fast!, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Is the Environmental Protection Agency preparing to slap a "cow tax" on bovines for their contribution to global warming?

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QEO repeal



If The QEO Is Repealed, Where Will The Money Come From? Unfortunately, That's Easy

By Mary Lazich
Friday, Dec 12 2008, 08:24 AM
One of the top priorities of Governor Doyle and legislative Democrats in the next session in Madison will be the repeal of the QEO, a guaranteed property tax increase.

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Insult to injury: New contract for car emission testing to cost $1.8 billion!

Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Call this another soft tyranny!

State rebidding contract for vehicle emissions tests

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Man's solutions now BIG problems for environment

Energy, Environment, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Unintended consequences



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Cookie marathon nearly finished, 2 hurdles to go

Helping others, Holidays, Just for fun!, Living well on less $

For as long as I can remember, baking cookies has always been a part of celebrating Christmas. My mom would let my sister and I help, even though that meant the task would take longer and the kitchen be messier. It is a cherished memory. 

I kept up the tradition of Christmas cookie baking when I got married, but dialed it up a notch or 2. Mom would make maybe 6 kinds of cookies; I made 16 varieties this year.

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Railroaded on commuter rail

Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Transportation


New study questions commuter rail line

But author was positive on KRM project in June, business leader says

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Scientists Denounce AP for Hysterical Global warming article Dec 15

Going Green, Weather


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STATistics AP: Global Warming is Accelerating Time is Close to running out Dec 14

Going Green, Weather

Despite the nation experiencing its tenth straight year of temperatures cooler than 1998's peak, and much of New England experiencing its worst ice storm in decades (video embedded right), the Associated Press on Sunday published one of the most hysterical articles concerning global warming I've ever seen.

In writer Seth Borenstein's view, climate change is "a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid." 

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Little bit of "Christmas" in ads

Boycotts, Culture, Holidays, Religion

I've noticed, have you? Kohl's Department Stores are using CHRISTMAS in their advertising!  Naughty or Nice?

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Nomination papers for WI Supreme Court and Superintendent of Public Instruction

Conservatives, Elections


Two nominations papers are worth circulating:

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This is funny!

Just for fun!, Movies & Books

I don't watch network TV shows anymore, but I love to watch movies. They make mundane, household tasks like folding laundry, ironing, changing the bed, etc. more enjoyable. The TV and VCR in my kitchen get a real workout during my cookie marathons too.

Some movie favorites I watch every year or so. One of those is Houseboat, starring Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. It is utterly delightful. Not only is Sophia Loren a real dish, as they used to say, she is also a good actress.

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Jews and Christmas ala Ben Stein and Mark Levin

Holidays, Truth

Mark Levin plays Christmas music on his radio show. Charlie Brown's Christmas Time is Here puts him in a good mood.

My dear Jewish girlfriend since the 1st grade puts up a Haunnaka Bush, and Christmas tree. (She is married to a Christian.) In fact, she just sent me a beautiful box of holly to help me celebrate my holiday. 

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RNC chairmanship: Who do you want?

2012, Conservatives, Elections, Politics

Michael Steele Newt Gingrich? Newt seems to have lost his nerve. Sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi must have that affect?

Michael Steele, Sarah Palin 2012 anyone?

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Senator Herb Kohl on auto bailout

Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

  Dear Mrs. Prast:

     I've heard from many people with different viewpoints
about the proposed auto industry rescue plan, but we can all agree
that the American economy is struggling.  I supported the rescue
plan because of the 46,000 jobs in Wisconsin tied to the auto
industry.  In the current economic climate, we cannot afford to put
more Americans out of work.  The House of Representatives
passed their version of the auto rescue plan, H.R. 7321, on
December 10, 2008.  Unfortunately, a motion to proceed to
consideration of the bill failed to garner the necessary 60 votes,
stalling the bill in the Senate.

     The Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act
included $15 billion in short-term loans for GM, Ford, and
Chrysler, to be paid back with interest.  To avoid bankruptcy and
emerge as stronger businesses, the Big Three would have been
required to submit long-term restructuring plans no later than
March 31, 2009, or have their loans revoked.  Additionally, a
government appointed "car czar" would have overseen the
automaker's loan disbursement and restructuring.

     As a businessman, I questioned whether a government
bureaucrat would do a better job than the automakers have done.
However, the automakers were willing to submit to intrusive
government oversight, surrender their executive perks, and give the
American taxpayer a stake in any future profits, so I was willing to
support a rescue plan and give the automakers an opportunity to

     I am hopeful that a bipartisan solution can be reached, or
that the Treasury will act, before it is too late for the auto industry.
Again, thank you for contacting me.


                                       Herb Kohl
                                       U.S. Senator

Please do not reply to this message; to make further comments or to find additional information, please
visit my web site at's priorities are not mine

Obama 2008, Politics

If you had to pick the 3 most important priorities of the Obama administration from the following list, what would they be?

Universal health care, Economic recovery & job creation, Build a green economy/Stop climate change, End the war in Iraq, Improve public schools, Reform campaigns & elections, Hold the Bush Administration accountable, Gay rights/LGBT equality, Increase access to higher education, Restore civil liberties. 

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Going Green, Weather

It's nice to see a little bit of Christmas in advertising

Conservatives, Holidays, Religion

Have you noticed? Some stores are actually using the word, CHRISTMAS, in their advertising this year. It is nice to see. After all, Christmas is the reason people go out in the cold, spend money they don't have, and brave the crowds!

Our family pretty much gave up exchanging gifts some years ago. Outside of gifts for my son (we're not total Grinches), it is pretty much "teensies" for the rest of the family. I realized I am still short a few teensies, so out to the stores I must go today.

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Budget cuts: Elmbrook giveth and taketh away

Elmbrook, TAXES

Santa's elf comment about 4.1% raise Projections call for millions in cuts

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Do we add Resurface to the 3R's of conservation?

City of Brookfield, Common sense

Recycle, Reuse, Reduce? District 1 area Northeast Brookfield roads to be resurfaced, not rebuilt Aldermen conclude that rebuilding won't bring redevelopment  Dec. 17, 2008

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Are you naughty, nice? Stingy, generous?

Charity, Conservatives, Helping others, Religion

Christmas is the season of giving. Many charities make their year end pitch during the Christmas season. Whether you respond to their pleas or not, may depend more on your politics and religious beliefs than your wallet.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote an interesting piece on this subject last Sunday, Bleeding Heart Tightwads: (Emphasis mine)

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Wish list for 2009

Just for fun!

If you could have anything you wanted for next year, what would it be? (Besides world peace, etc.)

Right now, warmer temperatures and less snow! 

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Nomination papers for judge and superintendent

Conservatives, Education, Elections 

That first Christmas Eve

Holidays, Religion

From Luke 2: 8-18 (NIV):

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good new of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

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The Blessing Box



Pressed for parking at Brookfield Square

City of Brookfield, Common sense, Development, TAXES, THE ECONOMY


Please, comment content should relate to the subject of the post. Although I try to respond to many, do not interpret my lack of a response as agreement.

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Still time to review Elmbrook's HG&D (sex -ed) materials: Jan. 5th-9th, 12th & 14th

Education, Elmbrook, HG&D (sex-ed)

Between preparing for Christmas and the snowy weather, I did not make it over to Elmbrook School's Administrative Offices to look at the newest version of the Human Growth and Development curriculum materials. I wasn't alone though. Because of "additional interest", Elmbrook extends sex-ed review sessions.

So, there is still opportunity to look at what our school district plans on teaching our students about this sensitive subject. Materials may be reviewed every day next week, January 5th - 9th, as well as the following Monday, Jan. 12th and Wednesday, Jan. 14th. The hours are the same each day: 8:30am to 4pm. All materials are located in the board room.

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Top 15 posts of 2008

Bigger picture, Blogging

At year's end, we tend to reflect on the past year and note what was significant. I looked through my postings to see what blog posts captured the most attention. Here is my top 15 list, ending with the most popular* #1 post:

15. You can't wash your car but the car was can?

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