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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.

The great debate at UWM: 'Intelligent Design vs. Darwinism: Can Science Point to God?' Tues. March 6, 2012

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Special events, Religion

Can Science point to God?

Find out on Tuesday evening, March 6, 2012 when the Lutheran Student Fellowship of UWMhosts a debate between 2 college professors on opposing ends of the origins spectrum: Intelligent Design vs. Darwinism.

This is truly a rare opportunity, because it is very difficult to find a professor (science or other) willing to defend evolution / Darwinism in a debate format.*
But Dr. William Bristow, Professor of Philosophy at UWM, is willing. He will debate Dr. Angus Mengue, Professor of Philosophy, from Concordia University

The debate will take place at 6:30pm at UWM's Student Union (just east of Maryland Ave. on E. Kenwood Blvd.) in the Wisconsin Room -2nd floor. The event is free and will have a Q&A afterwards. Don't miss it!

This debate is sponsored by Luther Memorial Chapel & University Student Center in Shorewood.

*The Creation Science Society of Milwaukee, the group I am affiliated with, has been trying to line up a debate between one of their speakers such as Dr. Jerry Bergman and an evolutionist for months now. Like other creation groups, we have not been able to find a science professor willing to do it.

Creation Science Links: Creation Science Society of Milwaukee
Answers In Genesis
Institute for Creation Research
Creation Minute
4th Day Alliance


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Senate mining bill on life support, call Senators to save!

THE ECONOMY, WISCONSIN, Legislation

Sixteen Democrats and one Republican in Wisconsin's State Senate put a stake in the heart of the mining industry in our state on Tuesday, when the Senate version compromise bill was narrowly defeated by 1 vote. If Republican Dale Shultz or even just one Democrat would have voted in favor of this bill, Gogebic Taconite, G-Tac, wouldn't be leaving for more mining friendly, and also iron rich, Minnesota and Michigan.

It seemed any hope of streamlining the mining approval process with a mining reform bill was dead, because the Senate session ends on March 15th. But yesterday and today it seems there just might be a glimmer of hope to revive this job-rich bill.

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp spoke on both the Mark Belling Show yesterday and Vicki McKenna's radio program today. She emphasized how the Senate Mining Bill did not circumvent DNR rules as opponents said; it just set a timeline, a shorter deadline, for a mine's approval process. Each specific mine proposal would still have to meet DNR, Army Corps of Engineers, etc. requirements.

So what wasn't to like? The failed Senate mining bill added improved wet land creation in its language over present legislation, it was backed by 9 private sector unions, and G-Tac assured 95% of the jobs created would be union jobs.

Vicki also emphasized today that iron mining is NOT strip mining, but pit mining. We are familiar with pit mining in almost every area of Wisconsin because it is the same type of mining that rock quarries use. The G-Tac mine pit would be 15 acres in size, about the size of the square block I live on. Once all the iron ore was extracted, it would be restored. In fact, beautiful Lake Wazee, the deepest inland lake in Wisconsin, is a good example of the aftermath of a former taconite quarry or pit mine.

If Democrat Senators like Tim Carpenter (608) 266-8535 or Chris Larson (608) 266-7505 will rethink their votes, since their districts could benefit from the increase in jobs at mine equipment builders Caterpillar or Joy Global in Milwaukee, the mining bill and the mining industry in Wisconsin could be saved. If not, we have just secured our place in the race to the bottom for the most unfriendly mine locations in the world.

So it is up to the residents of this state to make one last plea to their Senator to change their mind on voting for mining in Wisconsin. Hopefully, they will reconsider. If just one Senator does, the mining bill could make a miraculous recovery and all of Wisconsin will benefit.

Find your State Senator here. Be polite; you are making an appeal.

More Reading:
Gogebic drops plans for iron ore mine
And now we know
Hurley residents decry 'devastating' collapse of Wisconsin mining bill
Wisconsin Tea Party Reaction to Mining Debacle

Past Post: Wisconsin Senate mining bill took wrong turn, now better
.

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Elmbrook Candidate Forum & District 7 Info meeting: Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012, 4-K, Brookfield, City of Brookfield, Elections, Elmbrook, Special events

There are 2 important meetings in Brookfield this week, unfortunately, both are on the same day: Thursday, March 22nd at 7pm.

The Elmbrook Board of Education Candidate Forum takes place at 7pm at the Elmbrook Administrative Offices at 13780 Hope Street in Brookfield. (From Capitol Drive, take Lilly north a few blocks to Hope Street. The Administration building is just east of the intersection.)

This is a great opportunity to learn about the 4 candidates running for the 2 board positions on the ballot. Incumbents Jean Lambert and Meg Wartman will face opponents Paul Byrne and Lynne Thomas, respectively, on April 3rd.

Though I am a supporter of both Jean Lambert and Meg Wartman, I do plan on attending the Candidate Forum to get a better sense of each candidate's position on important issues such as 4K, school closings, and open enrollment.

Remember, all voters in the Elmbrook School District vote for both the At-Large and Area IV seat candidates, regardless of where you live in the district. Look for a future posting on my findings.

Elmbrook incumbents face challenges

Also on Thursday is a Brookfield District 7 Info Meeting at City Hall, from 7-8pm. (Now this is the meeting I would much rather attend!)

This meeting is hosted by District 7 Aldermen Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr. I call these two Aldermen my Dynamic Duo. They really do a great job of informing their constituents here in the southeast corner of Brookfield through info meetings such as this one and by working closely with neighborhoods and developers to ensure a better outcome. Underwood Crossing--Target & Trader Joe's, would be a good example of this process. No doubt, they will give an update on Trader Joes that just made its way through the Plan Commission on Monday.

At this particular meeting, Fire Chief Meyers will give a short presentation and answer your questions on the Automatic Aid Agreement with the City of New Berlin that would improve response times for our area. (Response time to our area decreased significantly when the fire station on Moorland was moved to Calhoun Road.)

Aldermen Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr invite you to attend or contact them with your questions, comments, or concerns:
Lisa Mellone (262)-780-0805 or email lisa@betterbrookfield.com

Renee Lowerr (262)-853-9657 or email renee@district7brookfield.com


Be aware that both Lisa Mellone and Renee Lowerr are on the April 3rd ballot. This is very unusual but occurred because Lisa Mellone was required to resign from her Aldermanic post in order to apply for the job of City Clerk. She was then appointed to fill the vacancy. So she must run (unopposed) for the remainder of her term.

Another possible point of confusion on our ballot is that our area's Waukesha County Supervisor--County District 20, Tom Schellinger, is also running for Brookfield District 7 Alderman against Renee Lowerr! So his name appears 2 times on our Brookfield District 7 ballots.

For those of you new to our area, Tom Schellinger was our former Alderman but was defeated in 2006 by Lisa Mellone and defeated again in 2008 by Renee Lowerr. (Schellinger also applied to fill Mellone's vacancy in the fall of 2011 but they selected Mellone.) He is now trying again in 2012 to defeat Lowerr.

So this Info Meeting would also be a good opportunity to learn more about Alderman candidate Renee Lowerr as well as District 7 news.

More on the Lowerr / Schellinger race later.

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Dr. Bruce Holman on Entropy and Origin of Life, Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Special events

Entropy and the Origin of Life is the subject of Tuesday's Creation Science Society of Milwaukee meeting at 7:30pm at Wisconsin Lutheran High School Auditorium.

At this meeting, Dr. Bruce Holman will explore just how entropy enters into the discussion of the origins of life. "In this presentation the concepts of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics will be described, and used to show that the availability of more time and space actually makes a spontaneous generation of life less likely."

To refresh your memory, because entropy and laws of thermodynamics aren't exactly household words, entropy is the subject of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The 1st Law states "that matter/energy cannot be created nor destroyed " and the 2nd Law says "the quality of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time." Neither of these Laws support the theory of evolution.

Who is Dr. Bruce Holman? He "received his PhD. from Northwestern University in Organic Chemistry, and has pursued an active research career on a wide range of physical and organic chemical problems resulting in several publications in peer reviewed journals and 3 granted patents. He was asked to establish the chemistry department at Wisconsin Lutheran College in 1985 and taught all undergraduate chemistry courses as well as many math and physics courses during his 8 years as professor at WLC."

Dr. Holman also taught Organic and Biochemistry at Carroll University and Concordia University and recently conducted research as an associate at Marquette University in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance technology. Currently, he is executive director of the Lutheran Science Institute.

I am looking forward to hearing his presentation on Tuesday. The meeting is free and open to the general public.

Wisconsin Lutheran High School is located at 330 N. Glenview Avenue in Milwaukee, which is just south of the intersection of Glenview Ave (84th St.) and Bluemound Road, on the east side of the street. If entering from the parking lot, use the south-east entrance; if you park on the street, use the front entrance to the High School. The meeting begins at 7:30pm in the cafeteria auditorium. (Location was changed.)


Next month, Jerry Frye presents Origins, Beauty, and Wrath: Why What We Believe Matters Today on Tuesday, April 24th 2012 at 7:15pm at Brookside Baptist Church in Brookfield.

Creation Science Links: Creation Science Society of Milwaukee
Answers In Genesis
Institute for Creation Research
Creation Minute
4th Day Alliance
 

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Register to hear Romney, Santorum & Newt in Waukesha - March 31, 2012

2012, Elections, Conservatives, Special events, WISCONSIN

I received a robo-call last night inviting me to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha this Saturday, March 31, 2012, from 10am to Noon.

The event is free, but you must register in advance on their webpage.

Country Springs Hotel is located at 2810 Golf Road, Waukesha. Take I-94 westbound to exit 291, turn right, then take Golf, the frontage road to the hotel. (You will see the hotel from the Interstate.)

Though the primary process pretty much a foregone conclusion, this is still a unique opportunity to see these 3 candidates together.

They are expecting I received a robo-call last night inviting me to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha this Saturday, March 31, 2012, from 10am to Noon.

The event is free, but you must register in advance on their webpage.

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Conflict of interest? Schellinger for County Supervisor & Brookfield Alderman with left-over Schellinger for Assembly signs

2012, Brookfield, Elections

We should be used to it by now: It's spring election time and Brookfield's perennial candidate Tom Schellinger's, generic campaign signs are popping up on the main drags in southeast Brookfield--District 7. This go around, Tom is running for 2 offices at once!

Which ones? After all, you can't tell by just looking at his signs, for they just simply state, Vote Schellinger. He is running for Waukesha County Supervisor and trying again to regain his Brookfield District 7 Aldermanic seat.

Holding both offices is not against the rules; it is allowed. But I did question that arrangement causing a conflict of interest for an Alderman/Supervisor when representing their constituents. In a recent conversation with Waukesha D.A. Brad Schimel, he mentioned the dual role does present a possible conflict of interest, as Kathleen Cummings is finding out.

In fact, when I met Waukesha County Supervisor and Waukesha Alderman Kathleen Cummings at the Folk Fair last fall, I did wonder how that arrangement would work, should City issues conflict with County. (We were seated across from each other at the common seating in the food area and started chatting. She mentioned she was both a Supervisor and Alderman.) As I sat there listening, I wondered which group one would side with if the interest of the City differed from that of the County?

Though she thought it was a great opportunity at the time, she is now in a difficult spot because the City of Waukesha Police Chief is opposed to joining in with the County's Dispatch Communications Center. Cummings stated last month she "had been against joint dispatch but is willing to consider because of the county's new software..." This month she says she "is reviewing the information" though the Waukesha Police Chief still doesn't want the consolidation.

I do not bring this up to pick on Ms. Cummings (she seemed nice enough) but rather to illustrate how someone serving 2 masters--the City and the County--could be conflicted as to which group they are representing. I am trying to avoid that happening in my district.

Schellinger will be elected on April 3rd as District 20 County Supervisor, because he is running unopposed in that race. And thankfully, the likelihood of him also prevailing in his attempt to win back his job as District 7 Brookfield Alderman, against incumbent Renee Lowerr, is very remote. Still, I don't take anything for granted. If he would prevail, I believe it could create a conflict of interest, because his newly outlined Waukesha County District 20 area includes all of Brookfield District 7.

As I mentioned in the title, Schellinger is using some old Schellinger for Assembly signs in this campaign. Now that was one effort I didn't remember. I do remember most of his other attempts though. However, his race for 2 offices this go round can't top his 3 at once try in 2006: Waukesha County Supervisor, Brookfield Alderman, and Mayor of Brookfield.

But 6 years ago, at least he was opposed in each race. Even back then, Journal Sentinel columnist Laurel Walker poked fun at his efforts in a piece titled, If at first you don't succeed, run again from Dec. 3, 2005.

Laurel opened that column, "In one of my columns last week, I tried to encouraged civic-minded individuals to think about running for public office in local government... ...But I wasn't exactly advocating that anyone take on two at once. And certainly not three." Then she added, "It's not like he needs practice. Schellinger is fast becoming Waukesha County's own Harold Stassen."

She gave a tabulation of his past attempts, many I was unaware of, since I really didn't follow area politics until 2003. "He lost races for Brookfield mayor in 1998 and 2002, State Senate in 2001, State Assembly in 2002 and Waukesha County Supervisor in 2004. He also was passed over for appointment to a vacant County Board seat this year." (He finally won Supervisor in 2006 over appointee Barb Roncke, the same year he lost to Alderman Lisa Mellone and Mayor Jeff Speaker. He lost again in 2008 to Alderman Renee Lowerr.)

I think the signs Schellinger is still using date back to that 2002 Assembly try mentioned above or earlier, rather than his 2010 attempt against Paul Farrow for the 98th? (It is difficult to say with all the stickers and differing races noted in the disclaimer area.)

Still not satisfied, though already our County Supervisor, in fall of 2011 he also applied for Alderman Lisa Mellone's job when she was required to resign her seat in order to apply for the job of City Clerk. Thankfully, the city reappointed Lisa. (She is also on the April 3rd ballot, unopposed, for the remainder of her term.)

As for this election cycle, isn't holding one office enough, Tom? I sure hope so.

Come back, Lisa Mellone, District 7 needs you!

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2012 Elmbrook School District election picks: Meg Wartman & Jean Lambert

2012, 4-K, Brookfield, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

Everyone in the Elmbrook School District votes for both school board races, regardless of where you live in the district. The School Board races are on the back side of your ballot!

On March 23rd, I attended the Elmbrook School District candidate forum Q&A. It was a great opportunity to compare the views and style of incumbents Meg Wartman (At-large) and Jean Lambert (Area IV) with their opponents Lynn Thomas and Paul Byrne. The following posting is my account of a few highlights from the forum.

This is written from my point of view and answers are taken primarily from the notes I took at the meeting. Italicized comments are pretty close to what was said, though not necessarily a direct quote. Comments in parenthesis are my filling in the blanks.

If you have cable TV, I encourage you to watch the forum for yourself on Time Warner 13 & 96 at 7am, 5pm and 11pm every day.

Bottom line? Meg Wartman and Jean Lambert are against adding 4K; Thomas and Byrne are in favor of adding this costly program. Wartman and Lambert are against adding more Open Enrollment / 220 students; Thomas and Byrne seemed more open to Open Enrollment. Closing Tonawanda is not an issue. (More on this below.)

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Voter guide to conservatives on southeast Wisconsin ballots

2012, Brookfield, Elmbrook, WISCONSIN, Conservatives

Election day is just a few days away now. Hopefully, you have been following the candidates running in your area, but sometimes, it is difficult to garner the information you need to make an informed decision when voting. Since these are non-partisan races, how do you know who is the more conservative choice?

If you live in the southeast corner of Wisconsin, you can take a look at the Wisconsin Conservatives - Vote April 3rd! Voter Guide*. It covers School Board Candidates, County Races, and Municipal Races, where identified Conservatives are running, from Appleton to Kenosha. There is even a spot to leave a comment on each of these web pages.

I live in Brookfield. So on this voter guide, my Elmbrook School Board incumbents Wartman and Lambert are named as the conservative choices. I heartily concur. In the County Races section, the only contested Waukesha County Supervisor race for us is for District 7 in northeastern Brookfield (also includes southeast Menomoneee Falls, Butler). The Voter Guide picks Jennifer Grant. She is endorsed by my State Assembly Representative Dale Kooyenga and the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association. She would get my vote too, but I live south of her district. Our Municipal Aldermen are not on the guide, but in the 3 contested races, I would pick Dan Sutton in District 1 and Renee Lowerr in my District 7. I know Lowerr to be Conservative.

For those living in Milwaukee County, the important Milwaukee County Conservative Candidates are listed:
 

  • Milwaukee Comptroller: Bunting
  • Milwaukee Judge 17: Nelson Phillips - JudgeNelsonPhillips.com
     
  • Milwaukee 1: Cegielski
  • Milwaukee 9: Taylor
  • Milwaukee 11: Borkowski
  • Milwaukee 17: Sanfelippo
  • Milwaukee 18: Alexander

So keep doing your homework and then go vote on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm.

It is unlikely Voter ID will be in place, but one part of the law stands: You must sign the Poll List before you vote.


*
My thanks to Conservative Blogger Randy Melchert for his part in compiling this extensive voters guide!

More Reading:

2012 Elmbrook School District election picks: Meg Wartman & Jean Lambert
Jennifer Grant 4 Supervisor
Jennifer Grant for Waukesha County Supervisor
Hope Judge Nelson Phillips prevails on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 Primary Election Milwaukee County
Judge Nelson Phillips Endorsements.

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Schellinger sinks to new low with misleading campaign literature, Vote Renee Lowerr!

2012, Brookfield, Elections, Truth

Click if photos don't show

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