The 21st Senate District is a rarity among legislative districts in southeastern Wisconsin in the 2014 election: Voters there have a choice.
There are numerous referendums on the ballot Tuesday. The number varies from place to place (See story, page A5), but there is one binding statewide referendum. If voters approve, the state constitution will be amended.
The question on the ballot is, “Shall section 9 (2) of article IV and section 11 of article VIII of the constitution be created to require that revenues generated by use of the state transportation system be deposited into a transportation fund administered by a department of transportation for the exclusive purpose of funding Wisconsin’s transportation systems and to prohibit any transfers or lapses from this fund?”
Generally there is more talk about planning than actual planning, but the University of Wisconsin-Parkside may be the exception. The university actually has a master plan.
Parkside Chancellor Deborah Ford unveiled the latest update to that plan Monday, saying the university needs to make changes on and off the campus to adjust to education in the digital age.
Remember the casino?
“Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe”
— actual 2011 quote from a political-boss redistricting training
In the beginning the night was as big as God. It was filled with magic and mystery; a time to ponder the greater cosmos, a time that played by its own rules with its own special creatures and rhythms. Night was a time to dream, a time to breathe the good night air in stillness that made it all seem unreal.
Scientists and blowhards who pretend to know science continue to shrink our divine mysteries. Light pollution diminishes the magnificence of the night, each new luminous particle dogging it like a gadfly. Noise pollution defiles the holy night as if mocking the grave.
In an older, gentrifying, suburban Virginia neighborhood — the kind with porch flags and pumpkins on the front steps — I am welcomed at an indistinguishable door to an exceptional little community called L’Arche. Here, intellectually disabled “core members” are paired with often young and intensely idealistic “assistants” who share their lives, normally for a year or two. (L’Arche has more than 140 such group homes in 35 countries.)
Hazel, who uses a wheelchair and communicates mainly with a shy smile, has helped prepare dinner. Before the meal, she shows me photographs she has taken during a recent riverside vacation. (Her more typical photographic subjects, I’m told, are babies at church.) Fritz, a middle-aged man with Down syndrome, watches videos of the rock group Queen on a computer in the living room. Before we eat, he offers an extended, emotionally intense prayer, only occasionally intelligible to listeners in the room but certainly (if there is any justice) intelligible to God.
It was the summer of 1969 the first time I came here, two months shy of my 12th birthday.
Mom had brought us to visit my father’s family, most of whom I knew only as characters in the old man’s stories or voices on a long-distance call. Presented with their California nieces and nephews for the first time, my aunts and uncles did the obligatory cooing over us, made the obligatory inquiries as to progress in school. A cheek or two may even have been pinched.
Is this election really about nothing? Democrats might like to think so, but it’s not.
First, like all U.S. elections, it’s about the economy. The effect of the weakest recovery in two generations is reflected in President Obama’s 13-point underwater ratings for his handling of the economy.