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To Gift or Re-Gift, That is the Question

Family, Holidays

On a recent talkshow, Trisha Yearwood, the country singer, stated that a southern lady could say anything at all about another lady so long as she prefaced her comments by saying, "Bless her heart."  I am now going to talk about a female relative of mine.  Bless her heart.

"Aunt Betty" is a very generous woman.  She loves to give gifts, and her family and friends are the recipients of her generosity.

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New Year, clean slate

Family, Healthy living, Holidays

One week down, 51 more to go in 2008. Already I am thinking, where did the first week go? (I started the new year out a little under the weather, so that may account for feeling I missed out on something.)

The end of the past year and start of the new naturally lends itself to being a time of reassessment. Being one of those Christmas letter people helps me sum up our highs and lows of the year. 

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Mayor Speaker, wasn't that our money?

City of Brookfield, Mayor Speaker, TAXES

Did you read that Mayor Speaker wrote a check to fulfill his 2006 campaign promise regarding the return of his pay raise to the city? "'I kept my word,' he said." Unfortunately, he gave it to the wrong city!

The Journal/Sentinel reported that "Mayor Jeff Speaker returned his 2007 salary increase - and a little more - to city coffers Monday, making good on a re-election campaign promise."

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Pay raise for aldermen? Can we make it a merit pay raise?


New Yorkers Give Wisconsin's Cigarette Tax The Bronx Cheer

Cigarettes have been in our news a lot since the New Year.  Last week Wisconsin's new cigarette tax was implemented, and smokers are now sending one dollar per pack in additional tax to Madison.  Now there is talk of a legislative ban on smoking in all public places.   

Mick Jagger was once a student at the London School of Economics, and is renowned in the music industry for his business acumen.  In 1971 he made tax "exiles" of the Rolling Stones by moving the band permanently out of England.  They settled in New York City, and in 1978, released the album Some Girls, which, fueled by hit after smash hit, went multi-platinum.  One of those hits, When the Whip Comes Down, is a tough and gritty anthem about some of the darker sides of the city's sub-culture.  I saw a bit of that sub-culture on a trip there last September.

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School Parents Make the Difference

High Interest Day is scheduled for Friday, February 22, 2008  and where else can you find so many parents offering their talents to teach our children, other than St. John Vianney? This day, entirely set aside for our students to learn about different hobbies, is one of SJV's most popular.  It's very encouraging to see the participation and dedication of so many of our school parents, offering their talents to teach and inspire our children.  Here are some ot the new classes our parents have to offer:

Drawn to AnimalsJohn Kebesik will offer simple step-by-step illustrated instructions, guiding the students through the basic process of combining various lines and shapes to create a cartoon or an animal.  Your children will amaze you with their creations!

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If You Build It...

Editorials, News

They will come... and put in a dentist's office. 

Is it just me, or does it seem like all the new buildings in Brookfield seem to house

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The United States Congress

Let's see now...............

An organziation that exempts itself from the very Social Security System that it has bankrupted, and cannot even protect the college age youth in its employ from the improper sexual advances of its own members, is now turning its all-correcting eye to the task of cleaning up Major League Baseball.

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UW - Madison Scholar to Speak in Brookfield - “How German is American”

Elmbrook Historical Society

"How German is American" will be the topic of the Elmbrook Historical Society's next meeting that will be held on Monday, January 21, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the Brookfield Park and Recreation Community Center, 2000 N. Calhoun Road.

 Presented by Antje Petty, Assistant Director of the Max Kade Institute for German American Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, this lecture will explore the many ways German speaking Europe has influenced the American cultural landscape. Using historic and modern images, Ms Petty will demonstrate how theses influences have affected various American groups through cultural interaction and assimilation. She will also address themes that are relevant today and apply to other cultural groups, not just German – Americans. 

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"Prada" Bing, "Prada" Boom

Pop Culture

I have a new guilty pleasure: the television show Cashmere Mafia

For all you Carrie Bradshaw fans who need a fix, Cashmere Mafia is kind of like Sex and the City but toned-down for network TV. It airs on Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m on ABC.

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Have A Ball With The Elmbrook Education Foundation

The Elmbrook Education Foundation is sponsoring its annual fund raising "Have a Ball" party on Saturday February 23, from 7 PM to Midnight at the Elite Fitness and Racquet Center, 13825 West Burleigh Road in Brookfield. 

The Foundation is a private group of citizens which dates back to the 1950's, and its purpose is to support the students and programs of the Elmbrook District Schools.  It does so by raising money via private donations, business contributions, and fund raising events such as the Have A Ball party.  Funds raised by the Foundation are invested directly back into the school community in the form of grants to the District's eleven schools and scholarships for students.  Beginning in 2001, the grants have enabled the purchase of nearly $150,000 of materials and equipment for the schools.  The scholarships are awarded directly to deserving students who exhibit outstanding performance in the areas of academics, leadership, and service to both their schools and our community.  Since its inception, the E.E.F. has given out over $800,000 in scholarships to nearly nine-hundred deserving students.  Last year, twenty-eight High School seniors received scholarships of $1,500.00, and the Foundation plans some major announcements of additional grants later this month. 

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Go Packers!


The Spouse has not been watching the Packers' games lately because The Spouse has convinced himself that he is a jinx.  So, we didn't watch the Seahawks game (yes, The Spouse was that serious!), and I've been kicking myself ever since.

I'm not athletic.  I don't watch sports.  I don't play sports.  But I am a Packer fan.

I've been lucky enough to attend two games at Lambeau.   Both of them were in December. Each time I wore long underwear, sweats, a parka, a hat with earmuffs over the hat, three pairs of gloves, three pairs of socks, and two of those heat pads in each of my boots and I still froze my "assets" off.  I loved every minute of it.

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How Cold Is It? It's so cold that...

Spartan Memories, Weather

1.  Some of the doors on my minivan are frozen shut.

2.  The Spouse actually complained about going to the Golf Dome (although I note that it did not actually keep him from going).

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Something of Value

An African Basuto proverb says the following:

"If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them".

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Would You Stick This Up Your Nose?

Fluff, Health and Well-Being

Ok, so not one of my more profound titles, but it certainly catches your attention, right?

With the heat running practically 24/7 in our house, my sinuses have been killing me, which reminded me of an interesting on-line article about "neti pots" that I recently read. 

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2008: Under Construction

Bluemound, Calhoun, city, sidewalks

The City has announced its 2008 community improvements.  Beware the barrels.

We will be experiencing inconveniences soon as the state begins reconfiguring Bluemound Road between Moorland and Barker Road.  The goal: a safer highway.  This will be accomplished by closing medians to limit left turns.  Construction will start at Moorland; work will be done in sections.  About the time this road work moves to Calhoun Road, construction will begin on Calhoun Road south of Bluemound.

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The Secret to a Good Marriage

For Laughs, Marriage

The magazine, Real Simple, asked its readers, "What is the secret to a good marriage?"

Here is the response that I liked the most.

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Grandparents and Gadgets

Or rather, grandparents and the gift of technology.  This coming week is Catholic Schools Weeks and, as part of the E-Light the Way, St. John Vianney is offering these courses to the grandparents of our students:

SMART Board demonstration:  In this 30 minute sessin, you will observe how students use the classroom computer system to learn concepts. 

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Used Books Wanted

Many NOW readers have probably resolved to "get more organized" in 2008.  As you begin to declutter, recycle your used books and audio-visual materials.

The Friends of Elm Grove Library, Inc. will gladly accept your donations of used books, CDs, DVDs, Videos, etc. for its used book sale.  (No textbooks please.) Just drop off your donations before March 1 at the:

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Out of Balance - Sports and Forensics in Brookfield

I have the day off and spent the morning enjoying small things, like taking our daughter to school, saying hello to her Principal and teachers, and an unhurried cup of coffee while reading the printed version of Brookfield Now.  Later, I have a lunch date with our third-grade son.  I will cherish this, as it could well be the last year he views Dad coming to school as something cool. 

Now before I get into the subject matter of this article, I have some disclaimers. 

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