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To Spend All of the Referendum's $62.2 million or Not? That Is The Question

Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES District urged to contain referendum costs may 28


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We Were Told Minute Man Missles Saved the Day

Obama and high tech 

Cap-and-Trade? Maybe It Should Be Called Cap-and-Raid!

Energy, Environment, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

Last night I heard Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) on the Mark Levin Show.  They were discussing S. 2191, the Senate "Lieberman/Warner Global Warming Bill and the disastrous effect this would have not on just the country as a whole, but the individual." (My emphasis throughout post.)

Wall Street Journal referred to Cap-and-Trade as Cap and Spend

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Kohl, Feingold, and Doyle 's reaction to GM Closing Janesville Plant

THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

The big news today is that GM will be closing the Janesville plant that makes SUVs.  This is not a huge surprise considering gas prices as they are. It does seem drastic considering some SUVs get fairly good gas mileage. Plus some businesses and individuals need a truck or SUV for towing or hauling purposes.

What is surprising to me is Senators Kohl and Feingold and Governor Doyle acting like they bear absolutely no responsibility in creating an economic climate unfavorable to manufacturing and large vehicles.

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In praise of Aldi's AND Trader Joe's: Wish We Had Both!

Development, Entrepreneurship, Living well on less $

Poor Aldi's*.  The Town of Brookfield Plan Commission squelched their plans for a new store. One of the reasons cited in the Community Watch post was that, "Some members of the Plan Commission said they were wary of the discount grocer's reputation and the type of customers and tenants the store would attract to Bluemound Plaza..." (near Best Buy)

Was that criticism warranted?  Just who is an Aldi's customer?

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Don't forget Wristband Saturday

I mentioned this last year, wanted to mention it again, the best deal in town is this Saturday, June 7th, at the SJV Festival.  For $18.00, your children enjoy select unlimited Carnival rides from 1:00 pm till 5:00 pm.  With four children, I find this deal hard to resist, so I encourage everybody to take advantage of this special.  Here are the rest of the details regarding the festival:

SJV PARISH FESTIVAL - June 6th, 7th,& 8!!!

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Celebrate the Past and Present of Brookfield Community

city, Dousman Stagecoach Inn, Elmbrook Historical Society, Town

The Dousman Stagecoach Inn and the Elmbrook Historical Society will host the unveiling of a painting by area artist Scott Hefti, who works with Brookfield-based North Shore Bank to create one-of-a-kind watercolors depicting the communities in which it operates.

Hefti's colorful Brookfield painting features the historic inn along with its neighbor, North Shore Bank's corporate headquarters. The bank is donating the artwork to the Historical Society to celebrate the bank's 85th birthday and a unique bit of shared history.  For 138 years, the inn stood at what is now the intersection of Bluemound and Moorland roads.

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Coach Tom

In these uncertain economic times I thought you might want the name of a phenomenally successful investor.

Warren Buffett?  Donald Trump?

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Ford Has A Better Idea: Export Manufacturing to Non-Green Countries

Energy, Environment, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

Sunday we returned from a few days in Dearborn Michigan touring the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and The Rouge Ford Factory. The Rouge Factory Tour was new to us. There was Bill Ford, the great grandson of Henry, up on the BIG screen telling us how Ford created this new Rouge factory to be friendly to the environment.

Much like our proposed Fountain Brook Crossing, The Rouge Ford Factory* has Gone Green. The roof is a garden roof, planted with sedum plants to absorb the rain water. They are increasing plantings wherever possible on the grounds; nets are strung up on the factory exterior for climbing vines.

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VK Development's "Farm Neighborhood": Residential, Commercial, & High School

City of Brookfield, Development

VK: He's here (Ruby Farms), he's there (Florida), he is everywhere! (Pleasant Prairie)

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Min Kanavas

city, Elm Grove, Elmbrook Historical Society, Town

Min Kanavas was known to many in the Brookfield and Elm Grove areas.  Min and her husband made Brookfield their home in the 1950s – about the time it became a city.  Her four boys grew up there.  One became (and is) a state Senator.


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Just What Can You Find At ALDI's? Low Prices For One!

Development, Living well on less $

I have shopped ALDI's for years now. It all started with "Big Tom" ketchup. We were a very brand loyal "Heinz" ketchup family and would not ever consider anything else on a burger. But a bargain hunting uncle of mine loved to shop at Aldi's and he would share the wealth with family. He gave us several "Big Tom" ketchups from Aldi's. Oh well, I can use them in meat loaf or something, I thought.

When we tasted the "Big Tom", it was GREAT! We liked it just as well as the Heinz. Since it was half the price, we converted. That made the 2004 presidential Heinz ketchup boycott much easier to stomach! (Big Tom is now called "Kyder".)

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Chuck E. Cheese and the Notion of Root Cause

In what seems to have been a proactive acceptance of the inevitable, the managers of CEC Entertainment have decided not to pursue a renewal of their liquor license for the Chuck E. Cheese pizzeria on Bluemound Road.

Those who have followed this story are familiar with the sad saga of unruly parents, confrontations in parking lots, irresponsible use of alcohol, and signs of drug use.  The Town of Brookfield Police Department has logged an incredible eighty-one calls to the venue in 2007 and early 2008; a rate of one every five days.

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Week One: DOT & Bluemound Road

Bluemound, Calhoun, city, traffic

The Department of Transportation began its improvements to traffic flow on Bluemound Road in early June.  The work will be done in three one-mile segments and each segment will take about a month to complete.

The first phase is between Moorland and Calhoun Roads.  Over the summer, work will progress westward (in one-mile increments) to Barker Road.

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How Much Is Too Much?

blog stuff, Marriage

Hello, I'm back!  And now that I'm back, unfortunately, I've got nothin'... and it is all The Spouse's fault. 

I've been writing this blog for two years, and in all that time, The Spouse has never asked that I refrain from writing about a particular topic.  Until two days ago.

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The Latest Rant About Oil Prices

There are some things in life you can just count on. One of them is an endless stream of molten political rhetoric every time Exxon and its corporate siblings do what they exist to do - earn high profits.

No sooner does Wall Street announce the latest earnings than, like lemmings to the sea, politicians like Barack Obama trot out to the nearest bank of microphones, breathless in their self-righteous compulsion to pour out condemnation upon the evil, pillaging robber-barons of the oil business.

Now let’s first recognize some facts before I address the political issues, which are admittedly more subjective.

When oil companies make a lot of money three things happen:

First, their shareholders are enriched through the appreciation of their investment and the receipt of greater dividends. That means every senior citizen, single-mom or dad, middle-aged parent, enterprising college student; EVERYONE who owns stock in those companies experiences an increase to their personal wealth. Let’s stop just long enough to say, “that’s a good thing”.

Secondly – the government is enriched through its three-tiered taxation of this bounty. The corporation pays taxes on its profits; the shareholders pay taxes on the dividends their stock pays to them, and lastly; those same shareholders pay taxes on the capital gains of their stock. The US Government taxes the same dollar THREE TIMES – a racket even Tony Saprano hasn't figured out. So every time Exxon makes more money, the revenues of the Federal Government increase. And I am sure Mr. Obama would say “that is a good thing”.

Lastly, Exxon is now better positioned to take more risks and invest more capital into the task of finding additional sources of oil  - if they are allowed to.  And isn’t that a good thing too?

Think of it - a greedy, evil, pilfering, environment-raping, poor-exploiting energy company making money - and it’s a good thing?!  One imagines that if the good Senator ever grasped this simple reality, the exothermic force of his cognitive dissonance would launch him from the banks of the Potomac all the way back to his home State of Illinois.

Oil is a commodity, the price of which is affected by supply and demand and the geo-political situation. No posturing politician can change that reality; not now – not ever. The emergence of China as a major industrial power has forever changed the dynamic of oil prices, and as the wealth of her people increases, their ability to purchase cars, machines, and all manner of oil consuming products and services will increase. The DEMAND curve for oil has dramatically changed, and it is legislators like Mr. Obama who have artifically prevented the supply curve from responding.  The dynamic of greater demand and flat supply can only mean one thing - higher prices.  It's true whether we are talking about crude oil or golf balls.

Now in fairness to Obama he is only the latest in a long line to do this, and certainly members of BOTH parties have shamelessly gone to this well. The Republicans are no better than the Democrats on this score, and I don’t remember any of them crying for the oil industry when it dealt with years of $20 a barrel oil prices and was barely staying afloat.

I don’t like paying more for gasoline than you do, and I never will.  But let’s not make it worse by listening to a lot of disingenuous claptrap from people who know a lot about politicial pandering, but nothing about economics or markets.  There are solutions to this mess and it's time to hear about them.

So the next time you hear a politician dispensing drivel about “obscene profits”, take a minute to recognize that it has nothing to do with governance and everything to do with politics.

And then ask yourself a question: “When is the last time you heard anyone describing their own profits as “obscene”, like say perhaps, a Hollywood movie star or Oprah Winfrey"?

One thing we know for sure about “obscene profits”.  Whenever anyone uses the term, they are referring to someone else’s.

Technology - Activity - and Our Kids

More and more evidence is pouring in from the realm of childhood psychology that our kids are over connected to technology and over scheduled in terms of activiites.  


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I Zumba-ed and Lived to Tell About It

Health and Well-Being, Pop Culture

I did a very brave thing last night.  I went to a Zumba exercise class. 

It was a brave act on many fronts.  First, I probably haven't done any real cardio exercise since Ms. Kemp's aerobics class at Burleigh Junior High.  Second, I attended the class with my sister-in-law who is a decade younger than I am.  Third, the class was open to anyone 16 or older, so there was the nagging fear that I would be Zumba-ing amidst people more than two decades younger.  Fourth, have I ever mentioned that I have an artificial hip joint? 

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If You Love Gardens...

You have a chance to visit some beautiful ones on Thursday, July 17.  The full-day tours are being sponsored by Master Gardeners of Southeast Wisconsin.  You can choose from one of six tours of gardens rarely accessible to the public.  

Choose from one:

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Emergency Services 24 / 7


Andrew Smerz, fire chief, recently discussed the Town of Brookfield's fire department.  It provides emergency services for town residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Five people are on duty at all times.  Three people serve on the fire engine and two firefighter paramedics provide emergency medical services.

The vast majority of calls (85%) are for Emergency Medical Services which range in scope from car accidents to cardiac or respiratory events.  Although the town's population is only slightly older than the city's, many calls are from the town's senior apartments, assisted living and long-term care facilities.

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