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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.

STUNNING: Pt 2, Double, Double Toil and Trouble; $13mil to make boilers chill & bubble?

Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools

I could have titled this STUNNING: Pt 2, Putting $26 mil for HVAC/mechanicals into perspective, but that would not have been as much fun. You may wish to read part 1 first.

I only recently realized that the dollar amount devoted to HVAC/mechanical upgrades for Elmbrook's $62.2 million referendum is an even greater percentage than the 25% ($15.8 mil) for the new athletic facilities. HVAC/mech. amounts to 41% of total dollars.

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Shame on you, Schellinger: illegally placed signs

City of Brookfield, Elections, Truth


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Sutton, Owen, Balzer, Lowerr +YES to $62.2mil

City of Brookfield, Elections, Elmbrook

I am very pleased that Dan Sutton and Ron Balzer will be returning to the council, but extremely sorry that Terry Halmstad will not be joining them. Thank you, Terry for making the effort to make a difference.

Renee' Lowerr will join Brookfield's Common Council though, and that is a good thing too. She won by 105 votes:  Lowerr, 797  Schellinger, 692. That one was closer than I thought.

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Reflecting on the referendum She and others said Elmbrook failed to properly maintain the schools - a point Gibson said he has taken to heart for the future.

ironic for a shrinking school population that we needed a referendum of this magnitude.

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Area Boy Scout's Food Drive Sat. April 5, 9am

Charity, Special events

Last weekend an area Boy Scout leader I know stopped on my street with some of his troop. They were passing out food drive plastic bags. I was outside putting my homemade "Academics, not Athletics" sign on my front lawn, when he stopped to chat. I told him I would plug his food drive on the blog after Tuesday. So, here it is.


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What role did the HSST play


"Community trust in the Board and the district administration."

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Where were the other 4,135 NO votes?

Elections, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools

Don't worry, I am not going to drag on about the referendum too much, but I think some things need analyzing before I move on to other areas of interest. It is important to understand why it passed and how the process works...for next time.

Some of us asked ourselves, how did the referendum pass in a climate of rising food prices, increasing taxes and the prospect of gasoline hitting $4/gal by summer? Pretty remarkable considering the dollar amount, $62.2 million, was sizable for a declining enrollment.

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2% of voters left referendum question BLANK!

Elections, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum

Can you imagine going to the polls and not having an opinion on a $62.2 million dollar referendum? Well, at least 294 voters did just that on Tuesday.


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 next week

Renee' Lowerr District 7 meeting

Wed. April 9 7-9pm City Hall 

Reflecting on the 60s and Martin Luther King Jr.

History, Truth

Today is one of those days that reminds me of how far we have come as a nation. April 4, 1968 of course was the day Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down. His I Have a Dream speech is still very powerful and reflects a very biblical view of what the brotherhood of mankind should be.

Some people are comparing Obama and King, but for me there is no comparison. Their approach and message is so very different.

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Time to make a Clean Sweep

 Tom Reynolds

Park land for fire station?

City of Brookfield, City: Fire stations, Development

Update:  I heard the Plan Commission meeting was well attended. If I hear anything more, I will post the info.

Don't forget, tomorrow the Plan Commission and Park and Rec. hold a joint meeting to discuss turning Fairview North Park on the northwest corner of Capitol and Calhoun into Brookfield's #2 fire station.  "No action will be taken at Monday's meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 2000 N. Calhoun Road. The regular Plan Commission meeting will follow the joint meeting."

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HG&D (Sex Ed.) "Outcomes" on School Board agenda Tuesday, 8pm, BE THERE!

Education, Elmbrook, Ethics

Hard to believe there could be an issue I am as equally passionate about as preventing wasting taxpayers' dollars in our schools, but Human Growth and Development (Sex Ed.) definitely qualifies.

This Tuesday, April 8, 2008, from 7 - 10:15pm at the Central Administration offices, the school board will meet to discuss several important items. The usual agenda items start at 7pm, newly elected officers take their oath at about 7:35, the High Schools Facilities - Next Steps report is scheduled for 7:40. (This is important, but the cows are out of the barn here.)

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Protecting conscientious objectors, cooercing pro life to be pro choice

Wis Stats 253.09(3)
(3) No hospital, school or employer may discriminate against any person with regard to admission, hiring or firing, tenure, term, condition or privilege of employment, student status or staff status on the ground that the person refuses to recommend, aid or perform procedures for sterilization or the removal of a human embryo or fetus, if the refusal is based on religious or moral precepts.

 conscientious objectors

National Day of Prayer, May 1, Meet me at the flag pole

May 1st 

UPDATED: So what happened with HG&D and school board?

Education, Elmbrook

There were about 40 residents attending last Tuesday's School Board meeting--most of them because of the HG&D topic.

Early in the meeting, one man from the Christian Civil Liberties Union threatened to picket Elmbrook's building project if the school adopted the controversial oral sex warning policy in the 6th and 8th grade.

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Fastest growing new religion gains one more convert

Ethanol, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Truth, U.S. Sovereignty, Unintended consequences

You may have thought this post was going to be about the rapidly spreading religion of Islam, but it is not.

This fastest growing religion I am referring to is the religion of Global Warming, and its most recent, prominent convert is the President of the United States.

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Cougar shot in Chicago area!

City of Brookfield, Just for fun!, National Parks

Last spring, at the Mary Knoll Weed Out, I was talking with Gary Majeskie (Brookfield Park & Rec.-Forestry) about reports of an alleged cougar siting along I-94. We both thought it pretty unlikely, yet a cougar is a rather unique looking animal. Some people easily confuse a wolf with a German Shepherd or coyote, but a cougar is too large to confuse with a domestic cat and does not resemble a canine.

There were other reports of cougar sitings around this same time. One came from Franklin. This report was dismissed as a mistaken coyote siting. As time went on, people pretty much forgot about the whole thing.

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Sendik's Anniversary Party: Lots of samples and prizes

Good food / recipes, Just for fun!, Living well on less $

I just got back from a trip to the Elm Grove Sendik's. Wow, lots of tasty samples, good deals, and drawings for prizes.

Reason? It is Sendik's 82nd anniversary celebration. Food and drink samples will be served all weekend, I believe, at all Balistreri Sendik's stores. So if you are out and about, stop in--especially if you have children. (Kids always like samples.)

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Elmbrook, Practice what you teach

Global warming and air conditioning 

Happy Earth Day?

Going Green, Holidays, Just for fun!

Today is Earth Day, a day our family holds in special regard--in a tongue in cheek way.

You see, today is the only day of the year that Jiminy Cricket appears at Walt Disney World* in costume. We discovered that by accident on a family vacation about ten years ago. It has become a novel attraction if we happen to be there on this day ever since.

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A new high: $4.05 per gallon!

Ethanol, Going Green, Truth, Unintended consequences

Oh, did you think I was talking about gasoline?

Maybe this is not the all time high for milk, but I do not purchase it very often. The $4.00+ price tag surprised me.

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Half day kindergarten extinct? Show me the benefit

Education, Elmbrook

Elmbrook just ended half-day kindergarten for 5 year olds. Why? Because there was lack of interest in half day kindergarten. The public only wanted full day.

But is that the way we make academic decisions these days? We do this or that just because parents want it?

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Jimmy, stick to Habitat not Hamas

Ethics, Legislation

Former Presidents of the United States are expected to be just that, Former Presidents. Their days of power are to be over once they leave the White House. Sometimes they are called upon to be good will ambassadors, but they are not to give their 2 cents on important issues. Certainly, they are not to meddle in foreign affairs unless asked by the current administration!

Someone must have forgotten to give former President Carter that memo however.

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Rationing (limiting) food?

Going Green, Unintended consequences

Now we are rationing limiting food?

I just heard on a news blip that Sam's Club was limiting the amount of bulk rice you could buy at a time. (The news man first referred to the limit as rationing.) Reason? Because of growing shortages of rice on the world market.

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See Spot. See Spot On Sun? Oh No, Only One!

Environment, Going Green

Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh, and right on the heels of Earth Day! Seems there might be another nail in the coffin of Global Warming. This one comes from the lack of sunspots.

Why is that a problem? According to the editorial by Geophysicist Phil Chapman from the Australian:

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Elmbrook parents, Fri., April 25 is East & Central's homosexual "Day of Silence"

Elmbrook, Ethics, Truth

If you are a parent of an Elmbrook High School student, are you going to be silent about East and Central High School's Day of Silence?

Some parents opt to keep their teens home on this day, others may just inform their children that this is happening on Friday.

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National Day of Prayer: Meet at City Hall Thursday,12:20pm

History, Holidays, Special events

Thursday, May 1st, is the National Day of Prayer , a day set aside to pray for our country.

When I look at the problems in our world, nation, state, community, and our schools, it becomes very clear to me that our intellect and financial resources alone cannot solve these problems. Our founding fathers realized this early in our country’s history too.

According to the National Day of Prayer website, “The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln's proclamation of a day of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer.”

In recent years, there has also been an open invitation for people of faith to meet on this day at their local city hall from 12:20 pm – 12:40 pm for 20 minutes of prayer.

Last year was the first time I made it to City Hall for this special time. This is what happened in 2007.

I arrived at city hall a few minutes late and was rather expecting to see a small group at the 3 flag poles on the plaza but didn't. There just was a maintenance worker eating lunch at a picnic table and 2 people seated on the ledge by the POW memorial plaque. 
Although I did not really expect anything inside City Hall due to today's mistaken separation of church /state stance, I checked there anyway. Nothing there. Back outside, I thought I would walk past the man and woman seated by the plaque. I realized as I got closer the man was Cater Doering--the veteran who petitioned city hall for the city to fly the POW flag.
Carter recognized me and as I approached, I saw the woman was holding up a Declaration of Independence. They were reading it together and commenting about how many references there were about our Creator, etc. I asked if I could join them. Soon after, 2 separate vehicles pulled up and parked. A woman got out of each and asked if they could join us.
We then stood in a circle, joined hands and prayed. Each of us prayed at least once for our nation, city, soldiers, POW/MIAs, our country's youth, the president, etc. There was also thanksgiving for the foiled terrorist plots and the protection our nation has been blessed with since 9/11. It was a great experience.
Here I did not know the 3 women at all, but it did not matter because we were there for a common purpose. We must have prayed there about 15 minutes or so, then the 2 women had to get back to work.
If you do not feel comfortable praying corporately, please do not let that stop you from participating. If you are a person of faith, I think you will be uplifted whether you pray aloud or silently for our nation and leaders. This is not a denominational event, just a meeting of people of faith who care about our country.
2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 
I am hoping that I will see Carter and the ladies again, and maybe you too?

Expelled is excellent! A+++

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Ethics, Truth

After weeks of anticipation, I went to see the movie Expelled today. It is a documentary by Ben Stein on how the scientific community routinely suppresses legitimate scientists and doctors from expressing any point of view other than that of evolution.


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Seeing red over vaccinations and measles outbreak?

Vaccine-Autism Question Divides Parents, Scientists

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Abstinance makes the heart grow fonder

From Family Research Council 

Waxing Negative on Abstinence

Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held an extremely one-sided hearing to assess the effectiveness of authentic abstinence education. It took just one look at the witness list to see how Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) had stacked the deck against abstinence proponents. When asked by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) if they would support abstinence education, three of the four "health experts" who testified against it said they would oppose abstinence even if scientific evaluation showed it to be as or more effective than so-called comprehensive sex ed. Dr. Harvey Fineberg of the Institute of Medicine was the only one in this anti-abstinence group to maintain a sense of scientific integrity by quietly answering yes. On the positive side, Dr. Stan Weed, the lone pro-abstinence health expert at the hearing, testified solidly on behalf of the positive impact of abstinence-centered education. He presented research that demonstrates the effectiveness of abstinence programs across the country, including two of his own studies that showed decreases in rates of sexual initiation by 45 and 50 percent in youth when compared to non-program groups. Missing from the discussion was the fact that the Chairman's own state has never accepted federally allocated Title V money for abstinence education--and its teens are suffering greatly for it. California is a tragic example of what can happen in today's culture in the absence of strong abstinence-centered education. Since rejecting the abstinence funds in the first year they were offered to states, the rates of STIs in California youth exploded at an estimated 1.1 million new cases per year in 2005. Congressman Waxman should recognize the dire need of young people in his own state and stop protecting entities that promote high-risk behavior to youth.

Additional Resources
House Committee Hears Biased Report on Abstinence Education

Can genetic engineered food solve food shortages?

A Green Revolution

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, April 25, 2008 4:20 PM PT

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Congressman Sensenbrenner's Town Hall Meeting

Environment, Ethanol, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences, WISCONSIN

I attended Congressman Sensenbrenner's Town Hall Meeting Sunday. Attendance was light--maybe 2 dozen people (mostly men). Perhaps the early start time kept people away?

Wisconsin's Representative Rich Zipperer was also there to answer questions.

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A Really Inconvenient Truth

 Christian perspective on global warming

America's Climate Security Act "Catastrophic For Wisconsin"

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

Congressman Sensenbrenner brought up Senate bill S. 2191, the Lieberman/Warner "America's Climate Security Act of 2007" at his Town Hall meeting Sunday. He described it as a "disaster for Wisconsin."

Information on S. 2191 from Congressman Sensenbrenner's website:

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She's only 15 for heavens sake!

Ethics, Family, Unintended consequences

UPDATE: Two world-wise, twenty-something young women today and I were talking about the Miley picture. Their reaction surprised me because they did not seem all that conservative. They both thought the picture was in inappropriate. Good, I thought, there is hope for today's youth. They then went on to tell me of another picture from that shoot that they both deemed "creepy". It was of Billy Ray with Miley draped over his leg--hardly a father daughter pose. This photo will be harder for Billy Ray to claim, I would not have allowed that pose had I been there. Obviously, he was!

I had not seen the picture of Miley Cyrus until this morning, but I did hear plenty about it on the radio yesterday. The photo looks pretty much as I expected it to look. It was not the amount of skin--she could have been wearing a halter swim suit at the beach--it was the context.

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Fast Approaching The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Island of Dr. Moreau   and Atlantis both featured man being turned into animals by evil scientists

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What would drilling mean to U.S.?

Links: Upcoming events in Brookfield

4th Annual Weed Out, May 3rd, Mary Knoll Park

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Can we just start drilling now?

Energy, Environment, Government / Bureaucracy, Unintended consequences

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to listen to part of the President's Press Conference on Rush Limbaugh. (I had a lot of ironing to do!) He began by stating it was "a tough time for our economy." Then he listed a few areas that affect our wallets, "from gas and food prices to mortgage and tuition bills." Those concerns mentioned don't affect every American, but the first two do--and they are related. I am going to focus on gas prices today.

The best news to come out of that conference was President Bush urging drilling in ANWR. Finally. At last. What took so long?

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Go, Jim and Jeff, Go! Repeal those ethanol mandates

Energy, Ethanol, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation

Just heard this on Mark Belling, Sensenbrenner co-sponsored a bill to end ethanol mandates

"Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Menomonee Falls) is a cosponsor of HR 5911, the Remove Incentives to Produce Ethanol Act of 2008 (RIPE Act), introduced this week by Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona.  This bill will repeal the legislative provisions responsible for the artificial demand for ethanol by:

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The high cost of divorce and unwed mothers

Let's face it, marriage is not for cowards. One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard about marriage was from a boss of mine. She and her husband were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary and her husband did an incredibly romantic thing. He dropped off a stack of beautifully wrapped gifts at the end of the work day. She opened them to find a complete outfit, down to the lingerie and stockings. There were instructions for her to meet him out front. He whisked her away for a weekend at the Pfister.

On Monday we wanted the buzz on her weekend. I had not known her a long time and so I assumed her marriage had always been like that. She then gave me the secret to a long marriage. The reason we just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this past weekend was because when we were first married, we did not know we could get divorced! 

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From the far left field: Large families are killing the planet?

Population bomb all over again

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God, Gumption, and Guns

Not necessarily in that order, served us pretty well, Jamestown and Plymouth

Whoops, missed a holiday-Tax Freedom Day

 Whoops, missed a holiday-Tax Freedom Day

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