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Scuba

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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 40,721

Journal Archives

Wisconsin county shuts down frac-sand operation 'running wild'

When the feds and the states adbicate their responsibilities, locals step in ...


http://www.startribune.com/local/278463561.html


Wisconsin’s Trempealeau County regulators say the operation has been dumping polluted wastewater into an unlined pond.

A Wisconsin frac-sand mine that was “running wild” and dumping polluted wastewater into an unlined pond against regulations has been shut down by Trempealeau County.

The Guza Pit, four miles south of Independence, Wis., had been operating without a permit and was shut down Monday with a “stop-work” order from county regulators. It could face fines when the situation is sorted out, said Kevin Lien, who heads the county’s zoning office.

The episode illustrates the challenges local regulators have faced as large and small mining operations, often run by absentee owners, have cropped up in rural jurisdictions across Wisconsin and Minnesota due to the Upper Midwest’s frac-sand boom. The crush-resistant silica sand found in parts of the two states is an essential ingredient for the technique known as “fracking” that has set off a drilling resurgence in North Dakota and other parts of the U.S. and Canada.

Neighbors alerted the county and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to activity at the Guza site because they believed it hadn’t received permission to operate after being annexed by the city of Independence early last month. “They are just running wild, with no permit at all,” Lien said.

Wisconsin: Walker's $3 billion budget crisis worsens as Republicans abruptly cancel finance meeting

Link

LA CROSSE – As Wisconsin’s budget situation continues to deteriorate, legislators and state residents have struggled to get straight answers from Gov. Walker’s administration and Republican leaders. Public anxiety and suspicions regarding the state’s $3 billion budget deficit have intensified after the only scheduled meeting of the Joint Finance Committee was hastily cancelled late last week.

Democrats have asked Republican leaders to explain how the committee planned to move forward and address the immediate budget deficit crisis. Some Republican lawmakers have indicated a budget repair bill will be needed. Others have said they intend on making millions in unspecified cuts over the next several months. Others have said nothing at all. “With every day that goes by, our state’s budget situation worsens,” said Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “The confusion among legislative leaders and their unwillingness to have open and honest discussions about our state’s dire financial situation is troubling.”

The fact that Republicans continue to debate the staggering deficit numbers from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has only made the situation worse. By kicking the can down the road and failing to correct the massive budget shortfall, much deeper cuts may be needed in the future to balance the budget. Republican leaders have failed to say whether they will look to cut school funding again, ration health care services, delay transportation projects or scale back worker training programs.

"Democrats stand ready to resolve Wisconsin’s budget and economic crisis,” added Shilling. “We believe it’s time to provide relief to working families by addressing the student debt loan crisis, increasing the minimum wage to boost family incomes and strengthening Badger Care to save state taxpayer dollars. The public deserves straight answers and a clear vision for the future. Further delays will only compound our problems and result in deeper cuts down the road.”

Milwaukee woman broke ground on gay marriage — in 1971

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/milwaukee-woman-broke-ground-on-gay-marriage--in-1971-b99366742z1-278458321.html



Donna Burkett made national news when she and the woman she loved applied for a marriage license in Milwaukee. Their trip to the courthouse was not this week, when the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Wisconsin and four other states that tried clinging to their bans.

It was back in 1971 and, as you might guess, it didn't go well. The two African-American women were trying to push open a door that would stay closed to gay and lesbian couples for decades more.

"I really didn't care what the law was. We knew what we wanted to do," Burkett said during an interview Monday at her downtown apartment. Burkett, then 25, and her partner at the time, Manonia Evans, 21, were turned away at the county clerk's office. They filed suit in federal court, seeking an order allowing them to marry. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in 1972, citing a lawyer's failure to file written legal arguments.

They shouldn't even need to go to court, Burkett told a WTMJ television reporter at the time, adding, "It is already a given right through the Constitution." On Saturday, Burkett, 68, will receive an "everyday courage" award from the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center at its Big Night Out Cabaret at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to mark National Coming Out Day.

Wisconsin: Rightwing Groups Try to Stamp Out Local Union Contracts

http://www.progressive.org/news/2014/10/187874/rightwing-groups-try-stamp-out-local-union-contracts

A rightwing legal group is suing the school district, school board, and teacher’s union in Madison, Wisconsin, for honoring a labor contract negotiated before the state supreme court upheld Governor Scott Walker’s divisive Act 10 law, ending most collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

The plaintiff in the suit is blogger David Baska, who asserts that he is personally harmed, as a taxpayer, by a union contract that protects teachers’ wages, benefits, and working conditions. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), the legal arm of the rightwing Bradley Foundation, filed the suit, after successfully suing the school district of Kenosha, Wisconsin, on similar grounds.

Around the same time the suit was filed, Governor Scott Walker blasted his opponent, Mary Burke, for supporting the teachers' contract as a member of the Madison school board, instead of using Act 10 to hold down costs.

The lawsuits in Madison and Kenosha show how aggressive the coordinated rightwing assault on labor rights in Wisconsin has been.



More at the link. The Bradley Foundation makes the Koch brothers look like liberal crusaders.

Wisconsin: Walker and Burke to meet for debate in Eau Claire Oct. 10

http://www.wxow.com/story/26639319/2014/09/26/walker-and-burke-to-meet-for-debate-in-eau-claire-next-month

The 2014 gubernatorial debates between Governor Scott Walker and challenger Mary Burke will be held on October 10 at 7 p.m. in Eau Claire and on October 17 in Milwaukee, sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation.

...

"Political debates provide excellent opportunities for voters to hear directly from the candidates, and I am looking forward to holding spirited and thoughtful discussions regarding the future of Wisconsin," said Governor Walker.

"Thank you to WBAF for hosting these important debates about the future of our state. I look forward to a robust discussion about the challenges we face, and how Wisconsin can do better," said Mary Burke.

The moderators and panelists were agreed to by the WBA members in each of the two media markets. In Eau Claire, the debate will be held on October 10 at 7 p.m. in the Mayo Auditorium. The moderator will be Jill Geisler. The panelists include Eau Claire's Own Keith Edwards, along with Judy Clark from WEAU, Mike Thompson from WKBT and Shawn Johnson from Wisconsin Public Radio. WBAF President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind will provide the opening and closing remarks. The debate will be an hour in length.

**WXOW will be live streaming the debate on wxow.com

Wisconsin: Cast your vote for Democrats on Tuesday, November 4!

from my email ...

Please share the following information with your friends, family and neighbors.

Vote for our local and state Democratic candidates and help save Wisconsin from another disastrous Walker term!

Check out the websites of our outstanding line-up of candidates:
• Mary Burke for Governor
• Susan Happ for Attorney General
• Dean DeBroux for State Senate
• Joe Majeski for Assembly
• Tammy Sternard for Sheriff

Do you have questions on our new Voter ID Law or how to register to vote in Wisconsin?

Click here for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board's video guide to voting in Wisconsin.
Click here for the non-video version

Do you need a ride to the polls on election day? Call Garrett Cohn at 920-559-2557

How bad have the policies of Scott Walker been for the state of Wisconsin?

Scott Walker and his Republican legislature are obsessed with making women's healthcare decisions for them. (This includes everything from deciding who gets birth control to who gets cancer screenings). Yet Walker and his cohorts show no desire to regulate mens' healthcare decisions in the same way. Welcome to Scott Walker's version of the Republican War on Women!

WALKER REPUBLICANS: Are impeding women’s ability to make choices about their own general and reproductive health care

FACT: Scott Walker took office in 2011. Since then, at least 11 policy changes through 8 laws have been passed that limit women’s access to sex education, birth control, cancer screening, and abortion services.

FACT: The mandate of a medically unnecessary ultrasound in the first trimester requires an invasive transvaginal ultrasound to produce adequate images. (Senate Bill 206)

FACT: Walker Republican legislation reduces access to safe and legal abortion by forcing the closure of 50% of Wisconsin’s 4 abortion facilities, and criminalizing doctors who rely on best practice to care for their patients but do not have hospital admitting privileges.

FACT: Wisconsin is now ranked among the nine worst states for reproductive rights. Wisconsin shares the dubious distinction with Texas, North Dakota, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Arkansas, Indiana and Kansas.

FACT: Restricting access to abortion makes abortion more dangerous and puts women’s health and lives at risk. Read more...

Scott Walker and his Republican legislature have cut funding to our local schools and have given our tax dollars to private, unaccountable, corporate-run schools.

FACT: Only 17% of voucher school students outperformed public schools, 37 % did significantly worse, and the remaining 46% were no better. Milwaukee voucher students perform WORSE in state tests than their public school peers. (Stanford University study) Read more...

Scott Walker and his Republican legislature voted to remove 87,000 Wisconsin families from BadgerCare. At the same time, they DID NOT vote to remove themselves from taxpayer funded healthcare (WHICH INCLUDES DENTAL & VISION CARE).

WALKER REPUBLICANS: Refusal to participate in the federal health care exchanges has driven up the cost of health care plans for individuals.

FACT: In Minnesota, where the state government created a state exchange, the premiums are as low as half as they are in Wisconsin. Read more...

Scott Walker and his Republican legislature gave out-of-state corporations REGULATORY POWER over Wisconsin towns and villages.

WALKER REPUBLICANS WANT: To bar local government control and decisions protecting air and water quality

FACT: Wisconsin is the nation’s No. 1 producer of sand used in fracking. There are currently at least 115 permitted or operational frac sand mines and processing plants in Wisconsin. A proposed Republican bill restricts local governments’ authority over roads and traffic and the use of explosives, as well as their ability to regulate air or water quality related to nonmetallic mines. The bill would also prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from establishing nonmetallic mining reclamation standards relating to water quality or air quality that are more restrictive than existing state laws. Read more...

Walker Republicans voted to give Scott Walker authority to sell any state asset, at any price, to any corporate entity or individual - WITHOUT BIDS! This includes the state capital.

WALKER REPUBLICANS: Want to sell publicly owned buildings and assets (like the Capitol building and University power plants) to private corporations and individuals

FACT: Walker Republicans authorized the sale or lease of any state owned heating, cooling or power plant, with or without the solicitation of competitive bids.

FACT: Selling heating plants to private interests could stick the state with higher costs when it buys back output from the plants. The sale of these facilities would saddle the state with higher day-to-day costs because the state would have to contract with the buyers of the plants to heat and cool University of Wisconsin campuses, prisons and health institutions. Read more...

Democratic challenger Mary Burke hits Scott Walker on his failed promise of job creation in Wisconsin

More examples of Gov. Walker's "trail of tears" for the people of Wisconsin and morw failures on job creation

Please spread the word and help the Democratic Party of Door County elect Wisconsin Democrats on November 4th.

Ready to volunteer to spread the word? Contact us today.
Call Garrett Cohn at 920-559-2557 or via email: gucohn@gmail.com

Thanks for your help!

Total lunar eclipse here right now. Too cool for school!

Been watching for the past 90 minutes. Best I've seen in my 66 years. Not a cloud in the sky.

The second in a rare set of four lunar eclipses will be visible across most of North America.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141006-blood-moon-lunar-eclipse-october-science/

Viewing Guide: Watch Blood Moon During Total Lunar Eclipse on Wednesday
The second in a rare set of four lunar eclipses will be visible across most of North America.




There's a "blood moon" on the rise. This week the moon will disappear for the second time in 2014, in a total eclipse early Wednesday morning. Lunar eclipses happen when the sun, moon, and Earth are aligned just right for Earth's shadow to cover the moon—and turn it a ruddy hue.

"It's rare and an awesome spectacle to look at," says Ben Burress, an astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California. "Cultures in the past often feared eclipses, thinking that something bad was happening," he says. "But now with those fears removed by scientific understanding of what's going on, that leaves only enjoyment."


...

The eclipse begins with the partial phase, when the moon enters Earth's dark shadow (also called the umbra shadow). That begins at 2:15 a.m. PDT (5:15 a.m. EDT). Then the umbral shadow will spread across the moon's disk, moving from left to right.

At 3:25 a.m. PDT (6:25 a.m. EDT) totality begins, when the moon is fully engulfed in the umbral shadow and turns a shade of orange red. The deepest or midpoint of the eclipse will be at 3:55 a.m. PDT, and totality continues until 4:24 a.m. PDT. The last phase of the partial eclipse ends at 5:34 a.m. PDT.

Can we stop pretending?

Wisconsin: Have Republicans limited early voting too?

Yep.

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