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.
http://www.brookfieldnow.com/watch/?watch=14&date=5/28/2008&id=40282 District urged to contain referendum costs may 28
Obama and high tech
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
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.
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?
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.
It has been a while since we had a rain like this morning's. Guess I won't be gardening today. But that is OK, we needed the rain.
If you have ever been on a private well, rainy days don't always get you down. Remember the drought of 1988? (I remember the year because I was pregnant.) It did not rain all summer it seemed. Because we were worried about our well going dry, no one had to tell us to conserve water. We did not go on our usual summer camping trip but delayed until Sept. Often we joke we were the drought busters that summer because while camping, it rained so hard it collapsed our tent! (Oh, that was fun.) But the drought was over and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
The big election buzz this week was Obama became the nominee.
I could not listen to his entire speech, but this part caught my attention:
MTB caused ground water pollution. so we switched to ethanol to lessen pollution in certain areas. Now ethanol has been shown to not lessen pollution, in fact, it increases it. So why do we still have it?
Want to shop at Aldi's? Here is a primer. B, Q, and C stand for Bags, Quarter, and Cash. Better bring your own.
BAGS: Aldi's does not supply free bags. You can either use the cardboard cartons they have laying around the store, purchase their bags, or bring you own. Or, you can take your cart out to your car and pile the lose things in without any bag or box. It is up to you.
What's in a name? Plenty.
In case you missed this, the Friday edition of the Detroit News printed this headline, "Clinton, Osama meet to discuss unity"
We're not out of the woods yet with the storms and flooding. As I am writing this at 2pm, it feels and looks like it could let lose again. Some areas in Brookfield experienced serious flooding yesterday. I noticed today the creek next to Pilgrim Road across from Wirth Park had roaring white caps! Some places were still under water today too: Pilgrim Road was closed by Pilgrim Park Middle School. If it rains heavily again today, there will be more. (Monday road closure update)
I saw this back-ho at Kinsey Park Pond just before 2pm today. Yesterday at around 7:30pm the pond was up over the banks and completely flooding Elm Grove Road. I think this was due to the debris washed down from the woods creek and possibly blocking the pond outlet drain?
Please be aware that the road conditions and area flooding do cause problems besides wet basements.
I hate to admit it, but it took me a while to figure out why VK Development would name the Ruby Farm/WTMJ project Percheron Square. The light bulb finally lit. (Somehow I thought the Ruby Farm horse barns housed Belgians instead of Percherons.)
Alderman Jerry Mellone, 6th District Alderman, sent out this email reminder today:
The question of connectivity came up because Patrick Blvd. probably will not be able to connect to Percheron Square. It would need to traverse the neighbor's wetlands and DNR approval is doubtful. Sara Lane is probably out too. That would need to cross the neighbor's parking lot. Ruby Lane is a no. The school district was not in favor of a land swap. (Phew!)
This may surprise you a bit, but I am truly sorry to see Andy Smith go. Although he sometimes put the "ick" in public relations*, I was glad he was the Director of Communications for Elmbrook.
Think about it. Why would I want a champion schmooze-master in that role? You know, someone who could smooth the waters or remove all ire or fear from an agitated parent or taxpayer when maybe those emotions were warranted?
Jonah Goldberg's Ugh, Wilderness The horror of "ANWR." the American elite's favorite hellhole.
Just in case you missed this from the weekend news, the Sunday Journal reported in its Congress Following the Vote column,
GLOBAL WARMING FILIBUSTER Voting 48-36, the Senate on Friday failed to reach 60 votes needed to end a Republican filibuster against an updated version of global warming bill. Democratic leaders then pulled the bill from the floor, perhaps for the remainder of the year. A yes vote was to advance the bill. McCain and Obama did not vote.
The Elmbrook School Board may vote tonight on a new district policy
that would limit most homework to no more than 10% of a student's
overall grade, while allowing greater grade weight for larger take-home
A 50-member district grading and reporting task force had recommended in May 2006 that most homework not be graded at all - a change that drew criticism and ridicule from some talk radio hosts and bloggers.
Meting out poor grades for early homework assignments while students are learning and practicing new concepts can cause students to give up, believing they can't make up for the low grades with latter work, task force research says.
Once students have time to practice concepts, they should be graded on whether they have mastered those concepts, said Eileen Depka, assistant superintendent for educational services.
Teachers also can make major homework projects more than 10% of a student's overall grades, such as science projects or term papers, under the proposed new policy.
Extra credit can only be awarded for work that is directly tied to the curriculum and not for other class activities such as collecting goods to donate to needy children.
Depka said teachers and administrators have supported the homework changes.
Other task force recommendations, such as moving to a 10-point grading scale (90 to 100 represents an A) from the existing 7-point scale (93 to 100 is an A), and adding extra grade weight to trancripted credit courses offered at technical colleges, have not been implemented.
Heritage Christian School
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama staked out starkly opposing stances on taxes on Tuesday, with McCain promising corporate tax breaks and Obama pledging tax increases for many.
Barack Obama would prefer that most people think he is John Kennedy the 2nd. But where Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country", Obama seems to have an opposite campaign theme: Don't do anything for yourself that the government could do for you.
The Windfall Profits Tax Bill was blocked by the Republicans Tuesday:
GOP senators shoved aside the Democratic proposal, arguing that punishing Big Oil won't do a thing to lower the $4-a-gallon-price of gasoline that is sending economic waves across the country. High prices at the pump are threatening everything from summer vacations todeliveries to the elderly. ...
As you probably heard by now, Percheron Square's plans are in flux for Brookfield's Ruby Farms , and here, I was thinking they really didn't need a PDD.
After last week's plan commission approval for the former Percheron Square PDD, I spoke briefly with VK himself and Ajay Kuttemperoor out in the hallway. A few of us who attended the meeting were asking Ajay, why all the retail? Don't you think we haveAccording to plans and Ajay,
The Commission OKs plans for Ruby Farms site. What I find so frustrating with our Plan Commission is that they grant PDDs and project proposals so easily. Oh, they raise all sorts of questions and concerns, but then vote as if with one "Aye."
Tuesday's meeting was interesting. There were a lot of points the mayor, AVS Development (VK), and commissioners were careful to make. These are not direct quotes, just my impression of the statements. Watch cable broadcast for exact words:
Drill! Drill! Drill! Wonder Land http://online.wsj.com/article/wonder_land.html
Obama Announces More Taxes On Your Gasoline http://mail.google.com/mail/#all/11a963baad750f61
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".)
Last week, I watched The Journey of Natty Gann while making some muffins and cleaning up the kitchen. If you have never seen the movie, it is a period piece, set in the early 1930s, during the depression. An out of work widower must choose between staying with his daughter in Chicago, or going out to Washington state for a rare chance to work. He has little choice but to leave the daughter in the care of a floozy of a landlady. Natty, the daughter (14 years old?), runs away from the bad landlady and rides the rails all the way out to Washington. (Many adventures along the way. It ends happily.)
What struck me about the movie was the utter poverty and hopelessness of the great depression and the terrible choices people had to make back then.
Remember the billboards that said IT was coming in 2001? The IT was the Segway, a "two-wheeled self-balancing vehicle that runs on a rechargeable battery." Although Steve Jobs and others "predicted it would change the way people lived," the IT came and at the time, it wowed the public about as much as the Edsel.
But times have changed since 2001. Gasoline prices are now higher--a fill up for our minivan then cost $35, today it can cost $80. People are looking for alternatives.
Please continue to pray for our co-workers, the Williamsons and the
Mankins. Williamsons have had their first language and culture
evaluation and they are progressing very well. Pray that the language
continues to come quickly for them. You can read their updates at www.handsandfeet.net.
Also, Chad and Janeene Mankins (and kiddos) should have arrived in
Madang. Pray for them as they re-adjust to PNG life and prepare to
return to the tribe. Read their updates at www.reachestotheskies.com. A
http://www.energyandcapital.com/aqx_p/5472?gclid=CIi4sOi1-ZMCFRIkxwodS2L4WA Bakken oil
Before we breezed out of town last weekend, I purchased some Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream in what formerly was the half gallon size and tossed it in the basement freezer. (I know ice cream has not been 1/2 gallon for years. It is actually 7 cups.)
While away, my husband spotted a USA Today article he thought was blog worthy: Shoppers beware: Products shrink but prices stay the same It was all about how manufacturers are making the packages smaller but charging the same price as the former full size:
Buy less, pay more. It seems to be a trend.
It first started with the small sized Coke and soda cans in the one serving size. Trouble is, it costs more than the large size. You could just purchase the regular size and throw the rest away.
June 19th UPDATE: Tomatoes are still causing a problem. The ill total has climbed to 383. Here is the latest info from the FDA. This link includes a list of states and Florida counties that sell tomatoes NOT associated with the salmonella outbreak. Of course using them would depend on being able to verify where the tomato was grown and trusting that the label was correct. I have enough trouble just finding out if the tomato was grown in the US. (I don't use produce from Mexico or Chile for example.) Many produce managers are unable to tell you where the produce came from. To me, it is a lot simpler and safer just to stick with the tomatoes on the vine and cherry/grape varieties.
Thankfully, tomatoes are back and nobody was seriously hurt--277 people did get sick though. While not an "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes", salmonella is nothing to treat lightly. It doesn't seem that there are any real answers as to why this outbreak occurred, but I always wonder if it had anything to do with improper handling.
Oil companies have made a lot of money and some in Washington think they should get a bigger cut. The Senate recently tried to snatch some of those profits with their attempt to resurrect the Windfall Profits Tax bill. Thankfully, the Senate Republicans stopped that piece of legislation ...for now.
I am sure we will see that tax tried again. After all, Obama is campaigning, "I'll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we'll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills," the Illinois senator said.
Today is your last chance to weigh in on the Governor's Global Warming Task Force.
If you want to give the task force your 2 cents on ethanol, global warming, lifting alternative energy mandates or any other environmental issue the State of Wisconsin will be spending your money on and impacting your freedom to choose, email them now! (You can bet that all the corn farmers, ethanol manufacturers and those who lean Green will be flooding the task force with their point of view.)
Cindy blogged this.
Elmbrook's annual meeting is next Monday, June 23, 7pm, at Brookfield Elementary School's cafeteria, 2530 N. Brookfield Road. Be sure to bring your Wisconsin Driver's license as a valid proof of residency if you plan on voting. You won't need it for the Presidential election, but you sure will need it to vote at the annual meeting. (Sorry, I just had to say that.)
President Bush urge[d] Congress to end ban on offshore oil drilling today: (My emphasis)
"Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal, and now Americans are paying the price at the pump for this obstruction," Bush said.
The city of Brookfield's Finance Committee yesterday directed the mayor
to consider preparing two budgets this fall, one following a list of
recommendations from the Finance Department and another that calls for
a smaller increase in departments' operating budgets.
The first budget, which would keep city services at the same level as this year, calls for a $35 million tax levy in 2009 - an increase of $1.9 million over 2008 - and recommends that operating budgets for each department be increased by 3.8 percent.
The idea for the second budget came from Fourth District Alderman and Common Council President Mark Nelson, who suggested the committee ask the department heads to present a budget with a 2.8 percent increase in operating expenses.
Fifth District Alderman Scott Berg, chair of the Finance Committee, suggested Finance Director Robert Scott report to the committee at an upcoming meeting to discuss the feasibility of preparing a second budget.
Ah, the joys of rental property. Most people's perception is that you just sit back and collect the rent. Maybe that is what our Mayor Jeff Speaker thought when he ventured into the landlord business? I don't think he is thinking that now. From the article:
Asked why he bought the Milwaukee apartment building instead of one in Brookfield, Speaker said he couldn’t afford one in Brookfield.
I just heard on the news today (radio) that John McCain said, "Under my administration, Osama Bin Laden will either be killed on the battlefield or executed."
I like a little decisiveness as opposed to being wishy-washy, especially when it comes to Osama.
Someone I know in banking sent me this warning about email appearing to be from Classmates.com*. "If you have received an e-mail appearing to be from Classmates.com - do not open it."
It seems some nasty person has been sending out email that looks like it is from Classmates.com. The fraudulent emails hit in boxes yesterday. The subject line might say, "You Have 1 New Message - Classmates".
email and photos from creation museum
Meet our kitchen dynamic duo: Silvia, on the left, and Rocky, on the right. They both make our day begin! (They were named by their manufacturer, Rancilio, not us. We do refer to them by name though.)
I have introduced them to many of my coffee drinking friends, and my duo have always left a very good impression.
Because of the action of AFA supporters, our e-mails to Congress are nearing the 600,000 mark and growing!
George Carlin died Sunday of heart failure. After my initial, Oh (sad surprise), I immediately thought about his infamous Summerfest 1972 performance of the 7 words you cannot say on television. That routine resulted in his arrest for disturbing the peace. I was at that performance with my girlfriends. We were all a little stunned because those words were not part of radio, TV or most movies of the time.
That comedy piece eventually led to a Supreme Court decision "giving the FCC broad leeway to determine what constituted indecency on the airwaves."
Elmbrook may tap reserves for projects tonight after the Annual Meeting at 7pm*, at Brookfield El. What are the projects? The HVAC replacement, including air conditioning, at Pilgrim Park Middle School and some SmartBoards for some elementary schools. (*Actually, the budget hearing is at 7pm, the Annual Meeting is at 8pm.)
In an era of rising energy prices, I just cannot justify the cost to convert to and operate air conditioning our schools. I know the majority of Elmbrook voters disagreed with me on that since they just approved the $62+ million dollar referendum for the high schools--a significant portion going toward the air conditioning conversion and air conditioning gym areas. It still seems like a waste of tax dollars to me.
ANSWER: ONE, IF IT IS A BARKER OR MENACE.
(Sorry about yesterday's mispost. Don't know how that happened--I wasn't home at the time it was posted!)
I was doing yard work and had the radio on, but there was no mention of any bad accident on I-94 (just a block north). What could it be?
Keep swinging, you're bound to hit it
I started boycotting Heinz ketchup* during the Kerry campaign. I never went back. I did not want to support a company that was tied to an agenda contrary to my beliefs if I could help it. But now THIS!
Are you ready for TV commercials that push homosexual families as being normal? Heinz is currently running this ad in England. Watch the ad. I know there are homosexual families out there, but please don't try to push that this is normal.
Gravel piles, backhoes, trucks, sewer suckers, barricades, sewer pipes and huge concrete junction pipes again are familiar sights for those living on Robinwood Street. Seems like the city just did sewer work over there.
Actually, it has been 7 years since the last sewer project. But what is going on now?
Things are looking a little more hopeful for those of us who believe America is for Americans and those legally here. The Supreme Court Denies Fence Lawsuit and a pro amnesty 7 term Republican Congressman lost his primary bid 60 40 to Jason Chaffetz.
The Supreme Court ended their term on a high note today. They just ruled, 5-4, that individuals have the right to bear arms. The D.C. gun ban has been struck down. (Ginsberg, Breyer, Stevens, Souter dissenting)
The 32 year D.C. gun ban was ruled as being incompatible with the 2nd amendment. It in essence leaves all gun rights intact. (H/T Jay Weber announcement)
1. Last night, Michelle Malkin and Melanie Morgan teamed up to raise money for The Largest Care Package Shipment EVER from MOVEAMERICAFORWARD.ORG They hosted a Jerry Lewis style live broadcast to raise money for sending gift boxes to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I had this post all written yesterday morning and hit "save" but the screen went blank! Argh. I lost the post and the internet and the phone. (We were getting a Cable TV packaged installed on a super deal--less than what we are paying now for phone and internet.) At 11pm internet was restored (thanks to offspring) and I caught the last minute of the fund raiser. They raised $1,055, 719!!!
For those of you who were wondering about Shan Lu's Music From the Heart Concert benefit for Chinese quake victims held at City Hall Plaza on May 21, they raised a total of $1,550! Shan wrote:
The concert went very well, we raised $1442.00 on May 31. We had 23 programs in all, 21 people (one adult and 20 kids) performed, 15 out of the 20 kids were from Swanson Elementary School. Over a hundred people came and participated the event. We had a reception for the kids and our silent auction and raffle also went well. With the few checks we received after the concert and the total amount came to $1550.00.
Since many of you might be needing an easy salad recipe for your July 4th festivities, I thought I better honor my promise from the Aldi's comments to share my 3 Bean Salad recipe. (I will try to post my German Potato Salad and Baked Beans recipes too before the 4th.)
I adapted this recipe from the Victory Garden cookbook years ago. You can make it with just 3 different kinds of beans or add however many you wish. Martha Stewart once had a 10 bean salad, so let your imagination run wild!
There is still a lot of talk out there about people scrapping their summer vacation plans
Good German potato salad is a difficult thing to find. To my husband, there really is no other kind of potato salad, except German. The deli varieties and even restaurant offerings are always a disappointment, but my Auntie Lu's German potato salad, ah, now you are talking delicious!
Auntie Lu has been the potato salad guru in my family for years, but a recipe was illusive. She just made it without a written recipe. Her daughters-in-law, wanting to duplicate her delicacy, finally watched her make it. They measured each ingredient as she put it in, observed the order and timing of preparation, and wrote it down. Thanks to their efforts, even I can make it now. So can you!