The GOP in Whitewater, Presidential Primary of 4.5.16

I posted yesterday about political yardsigns in the city (the city proper). I’m curious, among other things, how Trump (a non-traditional GOP) candidate will fare here in November. Democrats have a traditional ideological nominee in Hillary Clinton, but Trump is markedly different from other Republicans before him, and from other Republican challengers this year.

(Disclosure: I’m a libertarian third-party voter supporting Johnson-Weld 2016.)

The only results available to us now are from the 4.5.16 presidential primary (using, below, election night results). 

They’re telling: among GOP voters in the city, 469 voted Trump, and 1,370 voted non-Trump.  (The Walworth County part of the city went 374 Trump, 1092 non-Trump; the Jefferson County part went 95 Trump, 278 non-Trump. Most of the non-Trump votes went to either Cruz or Kasich.) 

Obviously many non-Trump GOP voters in town will vote Trump in the fall. How many is unclear.

For now, it’s telling to see that Whitewater in April was not Trump country within the GOP, as other areas (and notably parts of northern Wisconsin) were.

Daily Bread for 7.28.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Thursday in town will be cloudy, with a likelihood of thunderstorms, and a high of seventy-eight. Sunrise is 5:43 AM and 8:19 PM, for 14h 35m 25s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 33.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Near the end of the Second World War, on 7.28.1945, a weather-related accident kills fourteen in New York:

On Saturday, July 28, 1945, William Franklin Smith, Jr., was piloting a B-25 Mitchell bomber on a routine personnel transport mission from Bedford Army Air Field to Newark Airport.[3][4][5] Smith asked for clearance to land, but was advised of zero visibility.[6] Proceeding anyway, he became disoriented by the fog, and started turning right instead of left after passing the Chrysler Building.[7]

At 9:40 a.m., the aircraft crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, between the 78th and 80th floors, carving an 18-by-20-foot (5.5 m × 6.1 m) hole in the building[8] where the offices of the National Catholic Welfare Council were located. One engine shot through the South side opposite the impact and flew as far as the next block, dropping 900 feet and landing on the roof of a nearby building and starting a fire that destroyed a penthouse art studio. The other engine and part of the landing gear plummeted down an elevator shaft. The resulting fire was extinguished in 40 minutes. It is still the only fire at such a height to be brought under control.[8]

Fourteen people were killed: Smith, the two others aboard the bomber (Staff Sergeant Christopher Domitrovich and Albert Perna, a Navy aviation machinist’s friend hitching a ride), and eleven others in the building.[2] Smith was not found until two days later after search crews found that his body had gone through an elevator shaft and fallen to the bottom.[9] Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver was injured. Rescuers decided to transport her on an elevator that they did not know had weakened cables. The cables snapped and the elevator fell 75 stories, ending up in the basements. She managed to survive the fall, which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall, and was later found by rescue workers among the rubble.[7]

Despite the damage and loss of life, the building was open for business on many floors on the following Monday. The crash spurred the passage of the long-pending Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, as well as the insertion of retroactive provisions into the law, allowing people to sue the government for the accident.[10]

On 7.28.1934, a riot in Kohler leads to National Guard intervention:

1934 – Two killed, 40 hurt in Kohler riot; National Guard occupies town

On this day, the “model industrial village” of Kohler became an armed camp of National Guard cavalrymen after deadly strike-related rioting. The July 27th violence, which killed two Sheboygan men and injured 40 others, prompted the summoning of 250 Guardsmen to join the 200 special deputy village marshals already present. After striking workers became agitated and began to destroy company property, deputies turned to tear gas, rifles, and shotguns to quell the stone-throwing crowd, resulting in the deaths and injuries.

Owner Walter Kohler blamed Communists and outside agitators for the violence, while union leaders blamed Kohler exclusively. Workers at the Kohler plant were demanding better hours, higher wages, and recognition of the American Federation of Labor as their collective bargaining agent. Not settled until 1941, the strike marked the beginning of what was to become a prolonged struggle between the Kohler Company and organized labor in Wisconsin; a second Kohler strike lasted from 1954 to 1965. [Source: Capital Times 7/28/1934, p.1]

Here’s the JigZone puzzle for Thursday:

Few Political Signs, So Far, in Whitewater 

As I’ve been riding though the city in the evening, I’ve been recently on the lookout for political signs.  There have been a scattering of yardsigns for local or state candidates, but almost nothing for national politicians (and what I’ve seen has mostly been for Sanders). 

November’s not that far off, although perhaps there will be more yardsigns and bumper stickers after Labor Day. 

The two national parties are not, however, in the same position: Clinton represents fundamentally a continuation of existing Democratic policies; Trump embodies a significant change in the direction of the GOP.

I’m curious about how local Democrats & Republicans will react, and demonstrate their reactions, to their parties’ respective nominees.  

There’s both a political and a cultural aspect to supporting a candidate, and in this election we are likely to learn from residents’ preferences something about the direction Whitewater’s heading.

National elections are about more than small towns, to be sure.  Our small town, however, may offer information about itself from a contest between two faraway politicians who’ve never visited, and may never visit, these nine square miles. 

Daily Bread for 7.27.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Midweek in town will be sunny, bringing later a chance of afternoon thunderstorms, with a high of eighty-nine. Sunrise is 5:24 AM and sunset 8:20 PM, for 14h 37m 31s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 43.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Urban Forestry Commission is scheduled to meet today at 4:30 PM.


Merrie Melodies – A Wild Hare (1940) by Cartoonzof2006

On this day in 1940, Bugs Bunny makes his (generally-regarded) first appearance the Warner Bros. cartoon, A Wild Hare:

A Wild Hare (re-released as The Wild Hare) is a 1940 Warner Bros.Merrie Melodiesanimatedshort film. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions, directed by Tex Avery, and written by Rich Hogan. It was originally released on July 27, 1940. A Wild Hare is considered by most film historians to be the first “official” Bugs Bunny cartoon.[1][2] The title is a play on “wild hair”, the first of many puns between “hare” and “hair” that would appear in Bugs Bunny titles. The pun is carried further by a bar of I’m Just Wild About Harry playing in the underscore of the opening credits. Various directors at the Warner Bros. cartoon studio had been experimenting with cartoons focused on a hunter pursuing a rabbit since 1938, with varied approaches to the characters of both rabbit and hunter.[3]

A Wild Hare is noteworthy as the first true Bugs Bunny cartoon, as well as for settling on the classic voice and appearance of the hunter, Elmer Fudd.[2] Although the animators continued to experiment with Elmer’s design for a few more years, his look here proved the basis for his finalized design.[4] The design and character of Bugs Bunny would continue to be refined over the subsequent years, but the general appearance, voice, and personality of the character were established in this cartoon. The animator of this cartoon, Virgil Ross, gave his first-person account of the creation of the character’s name and personality in an interview published in Animato! Magazine, #19, copyright 1989 Pixar.[5]

Bugs is unnamed in this film, but would be named for the first time in his next short, Elmer’s Pet Rabbit, directed by Chuck Jones. The opening lines of both characters—”Be vewy, vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits” for Elmer, and “Eh, what’s up Doc?” for Bugs Bunny—would become catchphrases throughout their subsequent films.

This cartoon was first theatrically released with the Warner Bros. film Ladies Must Live.

On this day in 1894, fire forces thousands of Wisconsinites to flee:

1894 – Forest Fire Destroys Phillips

On the afternoon of this day, a forest fire swept over the Price Co. town of Phillips from the west, destroying nearly all the buildings and forcing 2,000 people to flee for their lives. When the sun came up the next morning, 13 people had been killed, the entire downtown was in ashes, and exhausted survivors were wandering through the ruins in a daze. The fire ultimately consumed more than 100,000 acres in Price County. Much of the town was rebuilt within a year.

Here is the Wednesday puzzle from JigZone:

Film: Make Inishturk Great Again

Inishturk, Ireland, has a population of 58 and its people—according to a widely circulated Internet rumor—have offered refuge to any Americans who want to flee from a Donald Trump presidency. This charming documentary by MEL Films, Make Inishturk Great Again, takes us to the sparsely inhabited island to get the locals’ perspectives on America, the presidential election, and what Trump has said about Ireland. The film has an obvious perspective on Trump that is far from impartial, but it’s entertaining and adventurous nonetheless. To see more films from MEL, visit their website and Vimeo page.

Via The Atlantic.

Daily Bread for 7.26.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Tuesday in town will be partly cloudy with a high of eighty-seven. Sunrise is 5:41 AM and sunset 8:21 PM, for 14h 39m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 55.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1775, America establishes a postal service:

On this day in 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system.

During early colonial times in the 1600s, few American colonists needed to send mail to each other; it was more likely that their correspondence was with letter writers in Britain. Mail deliveries from across the Atlantic were sporadic and could take many months to arrive. There were no post offices in the colonies, so mail was typically left at inns and taverns.

In 1753, Benjamin Franklin, who had been postmaster of Philadelphia, became one of two joint postmasters general for the colonies. He made numerous improvements to the mail system, including setting up new, more efficient colonial routes and cutting delivery time in half between Philadelphia and New York by having the weekly mail wagon travel both day and night via relay teams. Franklin also debuted the first rate chart, which standardized delivery costs based on distance and weight.

In 1774, the British fired Franklin from his postmaster job because of his revolutionary activities. However, the following year, he was appointed postmaster general of the United Colonies by the Continental Congress. Franklin held the job until late in 1776, when he was sent to France as a diplomat. He left a vastly improved mail system, with routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the colonies and Britain.

President George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood, a former Massachusetts congressman, as the first postmaster general of the American nation under the new U.S. constitution in 1789. At the time, there were approximately 75 post offices in the country.

Tuesday’s JigZone puzzle is a chain link:

Grocery Preliminaries (Part 3)

I’ve written a bit about the search for a grocery in Whitewater, but admittedly it has not been a principal topic for me.

That’s not because I don’t think a grocery or co-op would be nice to have; it’s because I know it’s hard to sustain one. Retail grocers (independent ones most notably) operate under demanding, difficult market conditions. 

It doesn’t matter how much some residents now want a grocery – it’s not easy to attract one. Sentry’s owners, after all, tried for years to find a buyer. What matters is whether sufficient numbers of residents can be expected to patronize regularly a grocery. Not enough did so previously.

I’m surely no booster of local government, and I’d surely rather not see public money for a grocery, but it’s wildly mistaken for some to contend that this should have happened by now, as though with a snap of one’s fingers.  The expectation & implication that this should have been wrapped up already is, to put it mildly, misguided

It’s significantly harder to attract or run a grocery than it is to fill one’s cart while walking down the aisles.

Daily Bread for 7.25.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Monday in town will be mostly sunny with a high of eighty-five. Sunrise is 5:40 AM and sunset 8:22 PM, for 14h 41m 35s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 66.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s School Board meets tonight at 7:00 PM.

On this day in 1832, passengers experience the first recorded American railroad accident:

The first recorded railroad accident in U.S. history occurs when four people are thrown off a vacant car on the Granite Railway near Quincy, Massachusetts. The victims had been invited to view the process of transporting large and weighty loads of stone when a cable on a vacant car snapped on the return trip, throwing them off the train and over a 34-foot cliff. One man was killed and the others were seriously injured.

The steam locomotive was first pioneered in England at the beginning of the 19th century by Richard Trevithick and George Stephenson. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad began operation in 1828 with horse-drawn cars, but after the successful run of the Tom Thumb, a steam train that nearly outraced a horse in a public demonstration in 1830, steam power was added. By 1831, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad had completed a line from Baltimore to Frederick, Maryland.

The acceptance of railroads came quickly in the 1830s, and by 1840 the nation had almost 3,000 miles of railway, greater than the combined European total of only 1,800 miles. The railroad network expanded quickly in the years before the Civil War, and by 1860 the American railroad system had become a national network of some 30,000 miles. Nine years later, transcontinental railroad service became possible for the first time.

July 25th, 1999 sees a first for the Brewers:

1999 – First Brewer Inducted into Hall of Fame

On this date Robin Yount became the first player inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in a Brewer’s jersey. Yount entered the major leagues at the age of 18 and spent his entire career with the Milwaukee Brewers as number 19 at short stop and center field. His awards are numerous, including being selected as an all-star three times as well as American league MVP twice. [Source: Milwaukee Brewers]

JigZone‘s daily puzzle is a 67-piece cut of Fischer’s lovebirds:

Daily Bread for 7.24.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Sunday in town will be partly cloudy, with a high of eighty-nine, and an even chance of afternoon thunderstorms.  Sunrise is 5:39 AM and sunset 20:23 PM, for 14h 43m 34s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 76.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Friday’s FW poll asked whether readers thought that unofficial national holidays (for foods, causes, etc.) were inspiring or irritating.  The results were about evenly split, at least compared to most FW polls that wind up leaning strongly one way or another.

 

By Martin St-Amant (S23678) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8450312
Photo by Martin St-Amant (S23678) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8450312

On this day in 1911, historian Hiram Bingham makes an extraordinary discovery:

Machu Picchu (in hispanicized spelling, Spanish pronunciation … or Machu Pikchu (Quechua machu old, old person, pikchu peak; mountain or prominence with a broad base that ends in sharp peaks,[1] “old peak”, pronunciation.. is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres (7,970 ft)above sea level.[2][3] It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru,[4] above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows.

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” (a title more accurately applied to Vilcabamba), it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared.[5] By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored[5] and restoration continues.[6]

Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.[3] In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

On this day in 1892, Iron River experiences disaster:

1892 – Fire Destroys Iron River

On this date a major fire destroyed most of Iron River, Wisconsin. After the fire was extinguished, the town resembled a “tent city” during the rebuilding. [Source: “B” Book I, Beer Bottles, Brawls, Boards, Brothels, Bibles, Battles & Brownstone by Tony Woiak, p.18]

Daily Bread for 7.23.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Saturday in town will be partly sunny with a high of eighty-nine, and a one-in-five chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. Sunrise is 5:38 AM and sunset 8:24 PM, for 14h 45m 31s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 85.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Viviana Guzman, the “Flute Queen” contends that the humpback whales of Half Moon Bay like her flute playing. Perhaps they do – one came close recently, as recorded below:

It’s Raymond Chandler’s birthday:

Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was a British-American novelist and screenwriter. In 1932, at the age of forty-four, Chandler became a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Great Depression. His first short story, “Blackmailers Don’t Shoot“, was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published seven novels during his lifetime (an eighth, in progress at the time of his death, was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been made into motion pictures, some more than once. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California.[1]

Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature. He is considered to be a founder of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers. The protagonist of his novels, Philip Marlowe, like Hammett’s Sam Spade, is considered by some to be synonymous with “private detective.” Both were played in films by Humphrey Bogart, whom many consider to be the quintessential Marlowe.

Some of Chandler’s novels are considered important literary works, and three have been considered masterpieces:Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye was praised in an anthology of American crime stories as “arguably the first book since Hammett’s The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery”.[2]

Lyrics from Hamilton

If you’ve not heard the cast recording from Hamilton, you’re missing out – it’s memorable from first to last. 

Although I’m not big on standalone quotes, here’s one, from that musical’s Washington on Your Side, that’s both memorable and, I think, often figuratively true:

If there’s a fire you’re trying to douse,

You can’t put it out from inside the house

(It’s not a direct historical quote from anyone, to my knowledge, but rather clever lyrics. Jefferson and Madison sing these words in the musical.)

There’s much to be said for an independent position, for a policy of distance, detachment, and (in all cases) diligence.

An Ideological Conservative on the GOP

Over at the Journal Sentinel, while lamenting his party’s current politics, conservative Christian Schneider quotes from a Courtney Barnett song:

“I must confess I’ve made a mess of what should be a small success.”

Now I’m a libertarian, but well aware of how many ideological conservatives feel out of place in Trump’s GOP.  Schneider is such a conservative.  I’ve a genuine sympathy for those who feel they’ve lost an ideological home, even if it’s not a feeling I share. (I’ve been home for forever in libertarianism, so to speak.)

Libertarians are outside the two-party dynamic, but outside still offers a view. From this outsider’s view, the GOP looks unrecognizable even from a decade ago. 

The clever lyrics Schneider applies to his party are as much understatement as anything, considering how very different this year looks. 

They are, however, lyrics worth remembering in the months ahead, as America is likely to have more need of confessing that we’ve ‘made a mess of what should be a small success.’

City Press Release on Grocery Store Recruitment, 7.21.16

Update: the press release was changed during the day from its original wording, as indicated below.

Posted immediately below is the full and unaltered text of a City of Whitewater press release on recruitment of a grocery store. Needless to say, I don’t represent the city, but it’s fair to pass along the complete municipal press release —

Press Release
Grocery Store Recruitment Update
July 21, 2016

Daniels’ Sentry Foods closed its doors for the last time in December 2015. Since that time, the Whitewater Common Council and Community Development Authority (CDA) have been rigorously engaged in efforts to recruit another grocery store in Whitewater.

As part of the City’s efforts, the CDA commissioned Chuck Perkins, a respected marketing consultant in the grocery sector, to conduct a grocery market analysis in order to identify various locations for a new store, as well as clarify a store size the Whitewater community could support. Based upon his market analysis, Mr. Perkins indicated that a smaller store located at the site of the now vacant Daniels’ Sentry Foods building has the greatest opportunity for long-term success. Shortly after the completion and release of the market analysis report, the City of Whitewater was contacted by an independent grocer interested in potentially locating a store in the community.

Since the first contact with the interested grocer, city officials and staff have been working closely with the potential grocer to develop a plan which would allow for the establishment of a new grocery store in Whitewater. As of Tuesday, July 19, both parties have verbally agreed to a tentative framework that provides for a grocery operation to be located at the site of the former Daniels’ Sentry Foods.

Earlier this year, the UW-Whitewater Foundation, in an effort to address UW-Whitewater space needs on campus, submitted a formal offer to purchase the Daniels Sentry property. Their offer has been accepted and a lease agreement for use of the space awaits confirmation by the UW System Board of Regents.

Due to the University’s need for additional space to allow for campus growth and the public’s need for a grocery store to bolster the Whitewater economy, the City is actively seeking to create a mutually beneficial solution that would allow for a grocery store to locate in the former Daniels’ Sentry building while still addressing the long-term space needs of the University.

Residents interested in expressing their sentiment on this issue can contact the Common Council directly at commoncouncil@whitewater-wi.gov. or contact the UW-Whitewater Chancellor at kopperb@uww.edu Substituted text: Comments submitted will also be shared with UW-Whitewater Foundation and UW-Whitewater officials.

Questions or concerns regarding grocery recruitment efforts can be directed to Patrick Cannon, CDA Director, pcannon@whitewater-wi.gov, 262-473-0148 or to Cameron Clapper, City Manager, cclapper@whitewater-wi.gov, 262-473-0100.