DART — To Gov. Scott Walker for asking the Bureau of Indian Affairs for a six-month extension on the Menominee Nation’s proposal to build a Hard Rock casino in Kenosha. The BIA approved the Menominee’s application in August 2013 and since then the tribe has announced a partnership with Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole tribe and would help build an $800 million facility in Kenosha. The governor ran for office promising jobs and this project does it.
The U.S. Department of Labor has been advocating a federal minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, and Sen. Bob. Wirch, D-Somers, is sponsoring legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $7.60 and index the rate to inflation.
Unfortunately there aren’t many indications that either proposal is going very far anytime soon. Both the federal minimum wage and the Wisconsin minimum wage are $7.25, and that’s probably where they are going to stay for a while. That’s much too low.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week gave a preview of the defense spending plan that will be part of President Barack Obama’s 2015 federal budget
He proposed shrinking the Army from 520,000 troops to 440,000, a significantly deeper cut than had previously been planned. That would be the smallest the Army has been since before World War II.
Now that the passions have cooled and the Kenosha Common Council has acted, let’s take a deep breath and think about Bear Development’s proposed apartment building on the former Frank L. Wells Co. manufacturing site, 5821 Fifth Ave.
I live in Harbor Park, and I attended one of the first informational sessions that the city of Kenosha sponsored about this housing project. I remember hearing some of the same claims of how rental housing would lessen neighboring housing values and would destroy the fabric of downtown Kenosha. That was circa 1999, and property values have indeed plummeted in downtown. But not for the reasons those critics raised. Many of the condominiums in Harbor Park were purchased by people who saw a pot of gold at the end of the housing bubble. You know what? Had that bubble lasted another year, a lot of people would have made a lot of money flipping Harbor Park condos. But that didn’t happen, and we now have a percentage of renters occupying these condos. In a few cases, those rentals have probably prevented foreclosure.
Be passionate about your causes. Don’t be afraid to let people know where you stand on issues. Write letters to the newspaper. Voice your opinions at public meetings. Use social media like Facebook and Twitter to get your views across. But please, pretty please, try to be civil.
There’s already far too much rancor out there. Reasonable discourse is frequently lacking at school board and city council meetings and at sessions of the Legislature and Congress.
Gov. Scott Walker seems to be making the decision about a Kenosha casino as complicated as possible.
When the going gets tough, well, why not just make the going easier?
This seems to be the conclusion of the College Board, which administers the dreaded SAT college entrance exam. Recently announced “improvements” to the test are designed, say board officials, to better gauge what students actually study and learn in high school. Shouldn’t take too long.
I wanted to wait a few days before writing about the best picture Oscar for “12 Years a Slave” to see if it still felt like an important milestone. It does.
Academy Award recognition for one well-made movie obviously does not make up for a century of pretending that slavery never happened. But perhaps the movie industry’s top prize can give impetus to the efforts of artists and scholars who are beginning to honestly confront this nation’s Original Sin.
He takes Crimea, and President Obama says it’s not in Russia’s interest, not even strategically clever. Indeed, it’s a sign of weakness.
Really? Crimea belonged to Moscow for 200 years. Russia conquered it 20 years before the U.S. acquired Louisiana. Lost it in the humiliation of the 1990s. Putin got it back in about three days without firing a shot.