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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.

Stop Tom Barrett's Folly Trolley at Streetcar Named Disaster rally: Sept. 18, 2012

2012, Conservatives, Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, Transportation, Special events, WISCONSIN

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donavan, along with the MacIver Institute and Americans for Prosperity are holding a rally against Milwaukee's latest huge waste of money project, the Milwaukee Streetcar. I often refer to it as Barrett's Folly Trolley. Most know it as A Streetcar Named Disaster. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a very expensive, unnecessary project.

The purpose of the rally is to pressure the Milwaukee to put the 2 mile long downtown streetcar project on a binding referendum, so voters can have a say as to whether or not we want to pay for this.

There is also an online petition for you to sign. Because all of us in the southeast Wisconsin will be paying higher WE Energies bills to cover the $55+ million to relocate the utility lines, you DO NOT need to be a Milwaukee County resident to sign. AT&T customers will be paying more too. Sign here.

Attend the rally if you can. A strong showing is needed to send Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Common Council an unmistakable message: WE DON"T WANT THIS BOONDOGGLE.

The rally will be held at Serb Hall from 5pm to 7pm, though Alderman Bob Donovan* said the doors would be open at 4pm and probably go past 7pm. Alderman Donovan will be addressing other issues besides the streetcar, but stopping the streetcar is the main focus.

Estimates are that the very short streetcar line will cost $64 million plus the utility relocation costs of at least $55 million. I have heard a figure of about $120 million in all. $3 million of that is just to operate the thing for one year. And remember all this money is just to build a 2 mile line!

Some of this money is Federal Money, some is local. Regardless of where it comes from, we cannot afford this. And to top it all off, I think we can be sure if this 2 mile leg is built, more will follow, just like the Milwaukee to Madison train project that Gov. Walker stopped was just the 1st installment. So speak up!

Serb Hall is located at 5101 West Oklahoma Avenue  Milwaukee, WI 53219

*I believe I heard him on Vicki McKenna's radio show last week.

More Reading: The Streetcar Scam: A report by the MacIver Institute
Giving back the high-speed rail "free pony" anchor baby
Stop the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train .

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Last chance! Your 2-cents against Hoan bike path & Trolley could save millions

TAXES, Transportation, United States, WISCONSIN

Most of you have heard about these 2 transportation projects, the addition of pedestrian / bike lanes to the I-794 Hoan Bridge reconstruction project and the Milwaukee Streetcar project, sometimes called the Milwaukee Trolley. (I often refer to it as Tom Barrett's Folly Trolley.)

The 2 projects have little in common except that they are both located in Milwaukee, both serve a very tiny percentage of the population, both add to traffic congestion, and both carry a whopping price-tag! The public hearings on both projects have passed, but you may still submit your comments via email until Wednesday, November 30th for the I-794 Hoan Bridge Bike Path and until Friday, December 2nd, 5pm for the Milwaukee Streetcar project.

Since both of these projects are primarily Federally funded, you DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE IN MILWAUKEE to submit your comments!

 

A Whole Lotta Diggin' Goin' On in SE Brookfield

Brookfield, Development, Transportation, WISCONSIN, TAXES

If you haven't had occasion to travel on Bluemound Road on Brookfield's southeast side lately, you might not know that there's A Whole Lotta Diggin' Goin' On down here!

If traveling from east to west, the former Quebecor site is getting its clean up in preparation for Underwood Crossing, where the Target store slated for opening in fall of 2012. (The dirt heap has grown considerably since I snapped this pic in July.)

If you recall, there was a mixed use plan for the site proposed back in 2007 that fell through. This included apartments and lots of small shops.  

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Giving back the high-speed rail "free pony" anchor baby

Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN, United States

Most people know there is no such thing as a free lunch or a free puppy. Someone always has to pay for the free lunch (which often has some strings attached for the diner), and the free puppy has all sorts of long term costs. But these two freebies pale in comparison to the entanglements involved in getting a free pony.

When my other half was a teen, he loved horses. (We both still do.) He rode any chance he got and helped at an area stable for riding privileges. Seeing this interest, his great uncle offered to buy him a horse of his own. Wow, that was quite a gift: a free horse!

But like the free lunch and free puppy, there isn't such a thing as a free horse either. Yes, the free horse would have been fun. It would have been nice to have. The son really wanted it. Yet his parents had to be the grownups and tell the generous uncle, no.

Why? Because they couldn't afford to board the free horse. The maintenance cost of a free horse for boarding and vet bills was just more than a family of seven's budget could support. Before you are too hard on the parents, in today's dollars, could your family afford a $500-$600 per month boarding fee? And what about the vet bills?

Sure, the boy could have worked off some of those costs by working at the stable, but that still has a cost associated with that work, since he wouldn't have the time to do chores at home or work for his spending money. The only fiscally responsible decision the parents could make was to give the free horse back.

And that was the only rational decision Wisconsin could make. Like the free horse, free high speed rail was not needed, it would benefit only a small percentage of the people, and it cost too much to maintain. Governor Elect Scott Walker had to be the grownup and say, no, to the uncle. However, unlike my husband's uncle, our Uncle Sam can't afford it.

Wisconsin isn't the only state with a grownup governor, Ohio's Governor Elect John Kasich also opposed high speed rail. So between Wisconsin and Ohio, $1.2 billion of free money was taken back by the Obama administration. The money should go back to pay down the US debt; instead it is going to 12 other states for their rail projects. And maybe that is why this take back occurred now, before legislation requiring the monies go back to the Federal Treasury could be passed next session.

"In a joint statement, U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Paul Ryan wrote: 'We support Governor-elect Walker's effort to put the brakes on the high-speed rail budget boondoggle, which is why we introduced legislation, today, that would give states the ability to return federal funds obligated to high-speed rail projects, and instead use this money to reduce our nation's $1.6 trillion deficit and $13.8 trillion debt. This high-speed rail project is a bad investment for taxpayers and our state simply cannot afford it.' "

And how is the Milwaukee to Madison rail line in effect an anchor baby? Because it was the foot in the door. Like illegal alien anchor babies, the short Milwaukee/Madison run would do the same. (Babies born in the US to illegal aliens often are rationale to bring in the whole family.) Take a look.
We dodged a big budget deficit bullet here in Wisconsin by giving back the free pony (anchor baby) high-speed rail. The short Milwaukee to Madison line was just the beginning when you consider the size and scope of the whole proposed rail projects in the works for Wisconsin. (Map from Vicki McKenna 11-30-2010 post.)

See how additional rail lines to Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire/Minneapolis are outlined on the map?

If we are in doubt as to how we could afford the short 70 mile Milw./Madison run, how would we ever afford these?

We aren't out of the woods yet, the pro-trainers are not going to give up easily. Plus, Wisconsin's commuter line between Milwaukee and Chicago is still to get $2 million, but for now, at least we have one less thing to worry about.

More reading: Wis., Ohio high-speed rail money goes elsewhere
Use rail funds for deficit?

Past Posts: Email Aldermen & Mayor re: Brookfield train station, Walker rally in 3rd Ward
STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train.

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Brookfield's proposed Target Store PUBLIC HEARING: Dec. 7, 7:45pm, UPDATE & maps

City of Brookfield, Development, Transportation

Would you want to help non-resident drivers cut through your neighborhood, just so they could get to a new proposed shopping center without using your closest busy main streets? Of course not.

Yet the Plan Commission and our City is doing just that with the new Target store proposal for the former Quebecor site on Bluemound, at the Brookfield/Wauwatosa border.
Take a look.

The planners are promoting an additional, unnecessary, new street access point, running east/west from Columbia Blvd, (a purely residential street) to (and through) the new shopping center, when there is already adequate access from Bluemound Road!

And why are they pushing this? One reason is for people who might be playing baseball at Krueger Park, who MIGHT want to go to the new Target store after a game. They argue they need an easy way to get there from the park. (Rendering is from Ryan Co., the developer.)

So our planners, and some of the Aldermen on the Common Council, are willing to subject a quiet, single family, residential neighborhood to cut through traffic from the south, for all those who want to avoid the Bluemound and Elm Grove Road intersection. This would include Target Store bound traffic from Greenfield Ave to the south.

Who doesn't want this? Obviously, the neighborhood! But also the developer, Ryan Company.

It is my understanding that Ryan wants something that more closely resembles my cut-and-past efforts pictured here. Yellow indicates existing streets, orange would be new access with arterial lights on Bluemound. (Thanks to MapQuest satellite view and Ryan's rendering.)

Note that Columbia Blvd. does connect to Krueger Park. It would be very simple for those baseball players (who might want to shop after a game) to drive north on Columbia, turn right on Bluemound, travel 300 feet
east to the new Target entrance, turn right, drive in and park.

As for the neighborhood itself, there are Greenway Trail connections for walking and biking there and from my neighborhood south of I-94. This system would also connect to the Trails in Wauwatosa. So there is pedestrian and bike access without using Bluemound Road.

This Public Hearing is primarily to change the LAND USE from Mixed to Retail. Remember the original plan was for high density housing? Translate: apartments. Believe me, Brookfield and the neighborhood is far better off with this being purely retail / business such as the Target, a restaurant and a bank. Brookfield doesn't need more apartments or condos that do not contribute enough in tax revenue to support the schools or services they use.

I might remind our new Mayor Ponto that he told me he had a strong desire to protect the single family home's property values. I would like to see Mayor Ponto take a leadership role in this and protect this neighborhood from this unwanted and unnecessary intrusion.

Please help your fellow Brookfield residents preserve their neighborhood from unwanted non-neighborhood related traffic by commenting tonight at the Common Council Public Hearing or emailing your comments to Lisa@betterbrookfield.com (She will forward them.) The Council will vote on this December 21st.

My Aldermen Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr sent the following information in an email: 

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Important: Call Gov. Elect Walker: No High Speed Rail! UPDATE

Alert, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN

Weigh in, become part of the public record against High Speed Rail. Call Governor Elect Scott Walker's Transition Office and register your sentiments on the train. This is important because it could help with diverting the $810 million train money to go toward Wisconsin road projects instead.

The phone number is: 608-261-9200. Call until you reach a live person.

This may take some effort as they have very few phone lines going to this government office, but make the call. The issue is too important to leave any doubt as to where you stand.

Lobbyist groups are staging pro train rallies this weekend.

Siemans would be one such participant. They have a lot at stake here since they make trains. (The photo left was taken at the Orlando airport.)

Wisconsin cannot afford high speed rail now and it certainly cannot afford to replace it all in 15 years according to Federal safety mandates, so make that call!

H/T Vicki McKenna today, end of 1st hour.

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So thankful Brookfield train station question has been delayed

City of Brookfield, Elections, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN

Before too much time goes by, I wanted to say, thank you Mayor Ponto, for delaying the decision on the Brookfield train station until AFTER the November election. Mayor Ponto informed the Aldermen of this delay Friday, Sept. 24th. He wrote, "I do not intend to place this matter on the Common Council agenda prior to the November 2nd election."

The Journal Sentinel article last Monday reported "Ponto said it makes no sense for the council to consider whether to endorse the station project without knowing its costs and without knowing who will be governor next year."

Mayor Ponto and I have emailed back and forth on this issue a few times. He wrote: "I must tell you that I would not recommend moving forward with a rail station in Brookfield on the information I have seen thus far." and "When we have a final proposal, I will tell the Council what I think and do so substantially in advance of the relevant meeting."

Right now we are debating if Wisconsin can afford this "free" short little rail line from Milwaukee to Madison, that will cost American taxpayers nearly $1 Billion dollars and Wisconsin taxpayers somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 Million a year to operate. (Let's see, that works out to how much per mile?)

That $10 Million a year that comes right out of Wisconsin's Transportation Fund to operate just 70 miles of track that only serves the Milwaukee/Madison area. How will our state, or country for that matter, afford the additional runs to Minneapolis, LaCrosse, KRM, and Green Bay, not to mention the other proposed rail lines in our nation? (The Wisconsin Transportation Fund was to pay for needed infrastructure like bridges, the Interstate, and Wisconsin highways that most Wisconsinites utilize, not a rail line that only a small minority will use.)

We must stop this train. It isn't a matter of wouldn't it be nice to have a train?; we simply cannot afford it! (It would be nice to have a solarium on my house too, but it costs too much.) Our state of Wisconsin is projected to be $386 Million in the hole by December 2010. We cannot afford what we now have, much less a whole new train system.

So how do we stop the train? Elect Scott Walker.

Last Tuesday, Gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker again stated his opposition to the Milwaukee to Madison train project at a press conference near the proposed Brookfield train station site. Walker affirmed he would STOP the train, should he be elected as Wisconsin's next governor. He has cited the Blue Shirt sculpture as an example of how it is possible to stop already contracted work.

We must knock "high" speed train off its rails before Wisconsin is railroaded into a new massive, wasteful spending project that we cannot afford.

In the meantime, thanks again Mayor Ponto for delaying the Brookfield train station decision. It was a step in the right direction.

If you have not contacted Mayor Ponto and your Aldermen, please do so.


More Reading
: Brookfield Mayor delays decision on train station until after election
Mayor Ponto's September 24th memo to Aldermen
NoTrain.com

Past Posts: STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train
Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention

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Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention

Conservatives, Elections, President Obama, TAXES, TAXES, Transportation

At a rally held in the shadow of the Hoan Bridge on Monday, Scott Walker drove home his point: "Yes we can" stop the train!

Wisconsin cannot afford this $810 million dollar train, that virtually no one will ride, and we certainly cannot afford the $10 million per year siphoned off from the Wisconsin Transportation Fund to pay for its operating costs! Or in other words, we must spend our precious tax dollars wisely on Roads not Rails. (My phrase.)

The weather was indeed perfect for that rally on Monday, but the sun didn't just literally shine on Walker and the attendees in Milwaukee, Walker also captured national attention with his "Yes We Can" stop the train ad.

Here is just a sampling: "The Wall Street Journal: 'Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for governor, has been running a campaign advertisement attacking another stimulus program Democrats had hoped would prove popular: a high-speed rail link between Milwaukee and Madison', Time: 'Essential viewing,' Fox News : '...Walker, by the way, is running an ad that ties Barrett to the Obama stimulus package by way of a controversial rail project,' Politico: “Today, when Obama is in Wisconsin, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker will capitalize on all the attention to the presidential visit by holding a rally to protest the construction of a stimulus-funded high-speed train...' PBS : 'Walker hammers away at what he calls an $810 million boondoggle to build a high-speed rail line from Madison to Milwaukee,'" and more.

Walker calls our $810 million dollar "high" speed train stimulus grant a "perfect example of the out of control taxing and spending in Washington and Madison." I couldn't agree more.

If you are against the waste-of-money train, go to Scott Walker's NoTrain.com to register your opposition.

More reading: WSJ: Wisconsin GOP Candidate Jabs Obama
What They're Saying ...Scott Walker Ad Receives National Attention

Past Posts: STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train
 

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STOP the Obama & Doyle Waste-of-Money Train, Speak up Aug. 3

City of Brookfield, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, TAXES, Elections, Transportation, WISCONSIN

Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Gov. Jim Doyle visited Watertown, WI. They gleefully signed the papers in order to release $46.7 million out of the total $810 million dollar budget. That's Obama appointed stimulus money to build the rail line from Milwaukee to Madison.

For now, I will bypass the ridiculousness of spending that much money on a train that the majority of Wisconsinites don't want or need. What struck me was that LaHood sounded so giddy about making us create that rail line. LaHood said,"High-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin. There is no stopping it."

The Journal Sentinel's opening line of LaHood, Doyle say there's no derailing high-speed rail line ended by stating the duo "portrayed" the "...rail line as an unstoppable train that Republican gubernatorial candidates can't derail."

Candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann disagree. Both said that they would shut down construction if elected. That is a relief.

I caught a bit of Scott Walker on Jay Weber this morning. He reminded listeners of the supposedly unstoppable "Blue Shirt" at the airport! People said we couldn't stop that too, he said. Estimated operation costs are $10 million a year that Wisconsin taxpayers will have to fund. Walker said something to this effect, Bottom line, the Federal government cannot obligate Wisconsin to spend $10 million a year to support / run the train.

Mayor Tom Barrett supports the train. After all, he also wants his Folly Trolley in Milwaukee --another expensive form of transportation that no one will use. Walker also brought up the fact that This isn't just Jim Doyle's train, it's Tom Barrett's train too. He was there since the beginning.

So one thing Wisconsinites can do to STOP the Drain on the Taxpayer Obama & Doyle Express is VOTE REPUBLICAN!

But you don't need to wait until November. You can also speak up on Aug. 3rd.

My Alderman Lisa Mellone sent a notice that the City of Brookfield is holding "A city-wide public workshop regarding this proposal is scheduled on August 3rd from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Brookfield Elementary School, 2530 N. Brookfield Rd. We encourage you to attend and express your opinion on this issue.The Council will deliberate the placement of a train stop in Brookfield on August 17th."

She adds, "If you can’t attend the workshop, please give your alderman your questions and stance on the issue of High Speed Rail stopping in Brookfield before the 8/17 meeting.
"

All Wisconsinites should voice their opposition to their Aldermen, Mayors, State Representatives and State Senators. The operational funds come out of the transportation fund for the whole state, even though the train operates just from Milwaukee to Madison.

So, Taxpayers in Distress, speak up!



Listen to Vicki McKenna's Friday Show Hour 1 Part 1 She details the cost to ride, subsidies, and other horrors.

Hate the idea of a high-speed rail station in Brookfield? Blogger Cindy Kilkenny found a this nugget in the Brookfield Common Council packet: "1993 - Governor Thompson commits $50 million to build passenger rail between Milwaukee and Madison."

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Sat. June 12: 'Volksfest' celebrates all things Volkswagen at Concours Motors

Just for fun!, Family, Free, Special events, Transportation, WISCONSIN

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Happy Earth Day - Go Diesel!

Going Green, Environment, Energy, Special events, Transportation

Today is Earth Day. It is also Vladimir Lenin's birthday.

What would be my perfect gift for Earth Day? To learn that Wisconsin's Assembly and Senate failed in passing Gov. Doyle's Global Warming Bill! It looks like I just may get my wish, but it isn't over until the fat lady sings, as they say.

Many of the measures environmentalists push to save the earth are in fact harmful. Ethanol and CFLs come to mind. Hybrid cars have a huge carbon footprint, if you factor in the manufacturing and battery disposal.

So here is my Earth Day tip: Go diesel for your car. Seriously. I am not being flip. Clean diesel is not only is very clean but it will save you money if you drive a lot.

We took the plunge last fall and purchased a VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (diesel) car. It is so clean, it qualified for an Advanced lean burn technology vehicle credit, the same type of tax credit that hybrids did. Unlike a hybrid, diesels last a l-o-n-g time. They like to be driven.

Did we purchase the car just to get the credit? Of course not. It was a nice bonus though. We bought the car because we like road trips and my former PT Cruiser got an abysmal 21mpg if going downhill, with a tail wind, on the highway. (It's about 18mpg at home.)

The Jetta was touted at 42mpg Hwy, 30 city. (Some drivers report 55-60mpg hwy.) Mine isn't broken in yet, but since the weather warmed up, I have been getting 38-40 at home and 45.6mpg out to say, Thiensville (some freeway, some streets).

Is it smelly? Noisy? No. I don't think you would even know it was diesel until you stepped on the accelerator. (They really go!)

Europeans have been driving diesel for a long time. Their fuel costs are so much higher than ours that they must get the best bang for their buck. Maybe now that Volkswagen is building a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, they will have more of a presence here in the states. Maybe diesel will catch on here too.

Don't expect to do any great negotiating on price though. These cars fly off the showroom floor. We spotted one being unloaded at Concours Motors in Glendale, but it was sold out from under us. In some areas of the country, there is a $3,000 add to the sticker price.

So you see, by choosing clean diesel, I am greener than some of you think. My idea of green though is saving money! ;-)
 

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Wisconsin Assembly Update: Working night & day-RTA, Global Warming, Voter Act on hold, Wood stays

Legislation, WISCONSIN, Voter fraud, Transportation, TAXES, Global Warming/Climate Change

It was a l-o-n-g day, or should I say night, for Wisconsin's Assembly. They worked through the night and still were at it this morning, I heard on Jay Weber this morning. Remarkably, the bottom line is the 3 worst bills, Voter Protection, Global Warming, and Creation of RTA, weren't voted on. (Keep those calls coming--see below.)

The Voter (Fraud) Protection Act, AB 895 / SB 640 did not come up for a vote as expected, nor did the Global Warming Bill, AB 649 / SB 450. It seems the Democrats were too busy duking it out all night to bring them to the floor. (Thank heavens!)

The creation of a RTA was dealt a severe blow by my Representative, Leah Vukmir, who I am dubbing, Vukmir the Valiant. Vukmir pretty much killed the bill with an amendment that would require a binding referendum for Milwaukee County voters to approve raising the sales tax by .05% before a RTA could be created. She was joined by Democrats David Cullen (Wauwatosa, West Milw.) and Tony Staskunas (West Allis) in that amendment. It passed 52/46. That was encouraging.

This also puts Senator Jim Sullivan, who represents pretty much the same area, in an opposite position of his Assembly counterparts.*

Speaking of the Senate, it seems the Senate Democrats don't think they have the votes to pass Global Warming and Voter Protection. Since Leader Russ Decker wants to spare his Senate Democrats from voting on something they can't pass, these might not come to the floor either. (Oh, I hope, I hope.) At least that is what Jay Weber and J.R. Ross indicated on Jay's radio program this morning.

If you remember, I wondered yesterday if that was the reason Jim Sullivan was now against the Voter Protection act.

The other hot topic was what to do with Jeff Wood, the Democrat with 3 DUIs. The Assembly voted to censure him, not expel. (It's all about protecting the majority--they might need him to vote on Thursday.) "Disgusting"

The Assembly worked almost 24 hours straight, thankfully, they have to call it quits for the day. Voter Protection, Global Warming (being pushed hard by the Potawatomis) and RTA, among others, could all come back on Thursday.

The Senate isn't in session today but is meeting later this afternoon at 3pm to set the schedule for Thursday, their last day? Of course, the Senate could go into extra innings, so to speak. But at least for now, it is not as dire as I had thought.

But don't count these bills dead yet. Both houses could pull it together and pass it all.

Keep calling! The only reason these things haven't passed so far is the pressure from the public! Senator Jim Sullivan - District 5, (866) 817-6061 or (608) 266-2512.

If you don't live in Brookfield, find your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO, especially if your Senator is Jeff Plale-District 7, (608) 266-7505, John Lehman-District 21, (608) 266-1832, or Tim Carpenter-District 3, (608) 266-8535.

*Thanks Jay Weber and J.R. Ross! Listen to the first few minutes of each part of the 2nd hour for more details. Hour 2: Part 1 and Part 2.

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No more Midwest & AirTran ranked No. 2

WISCONSIN, Transportation, TRAVEL, THE ECONOMY

Yesterday came the no surprise announcement, Republic will rename Midwest, Frontier. I was privileged to fly Midwest 3 times in their grander days. Those wonderful Midwest meals and comfy wide seats vanished during the belt-tightening and take-over eras but still remain legendary. Who would have thought that in today's tightwad era, airlines would propose charging for a carry on or using the restroom!

Sadly, it was logical that the Midwest name be scrapped too, since the ammenities that branded them as something special had long since vanished. The only vestige to remain of their heyday is the chocolate chip cookie.

Also this week came the news that AirTran airlines was ranked as Number 2 in airline quality (For comparison, Frontier was ranked 7th).

This is good news because AirTran flies out of Milwaukee. In fact, AirTran announced last December that they were making Miwaukee a second hub. "AirTran Airways...announced that the airline will open both a pilot and flight attendant base in Milwaukee to support its increased operations. ... The flight bases will be opened in April 2010 and will consist initially of 50 pilots ... and a minimum of 50 flight attendants..." (My emphasis throughout)

The new AirTran Hub would add 100 jobs to start. AirTran's Marketing Senior Vice President said, "As we continue to grow our Milwaukee operation, we have reached a point where we need to add flight crew bases in Milwaukee to make our airline more efficient... These new Milwaukee jobs further demonstrate our commitment to Southeast Wisconsin."

I don't fly often - maybe once every 1 or 2 years? But I like AirTran because they offer inexpensive, nonstop flights to Orlando. They have been on time and my limited experience has always been good. Also, for people like me, who don't travel for business, they have a rewards plan to save up for a free flight. (My family flew free a few years back to Disney via their A+ Rewards program.) They also offer a credit card that offers points toward free flights. As I often say, AirTran: Great airline - Stupid radio ads!

A few years back, when Midwest spurned AirTran's take over overtures, I owned a bit of Midwest stock when there was that push for Milwaukeeans to buy stock to help the company. (It still remains my most fun venture in the stock market--ever. I am don't gamble Vegas or lottery style, but I invested a few hundred dollars when the stock was a dollar-something, held the stock for a while, and then sold it when it topped 2 digits.) At the time, I thought AirTran would be a good candidate for obtaining Midwest. They seemed committed to staying in Milwaukee.

I wonder if the former Midwest employees would agree?

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Doyle's railroad to nowhere, or is it?

Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN

$3/4 of a billion. High Speed (more like Amtrak) rail Milwaukee to Madison air port  Talk about the train to nowhere! Jay Weber 8:15 Wed.The airport is out in the countryside on the northeast side of the city! The DOT says that if it went to Madison it would add 45 minutes to an hour to the commute time. (How long does it take to get to Madison in the first place by car?) They have already done the environmental impact study for the area. (ME Hmmm, more like this is a 1st step to the Milw to Minneapolis line?) It is not high speed. ARTICLE

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8 lanes to Illinois border, so why do we need a train?

TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN

 and why do we need a train to Madison? We have the Badger Bus.

Not miles per gallon, miles per tax dollar

Energy, TAXES, Transportation

 for now, the taxation on miles driven is taking a back seat. But like all taxing ideas, it will rear its ugly head again.

Am I missing something with trains?

Socialism / Marxism, Transportation, WISCONSIN

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9753

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Railroaded on commuter rail

Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Transportation

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/36210564.html

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