Reading and Reviewing

There are two books I’m eager to review here at FW: Katherine Cramer’s Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (2016) and Amy Goldstein’s Janesville: An American Story (4.18.17).  Like many others, I’ve been awaiting Goldstein’s book for some time, knowing that significant works take time. For both books, […]

More on the Right Social Conditions in a Small Town

I posted yesterday that Gentrification Requires the Right Social Conditions, contending in part that a small city like Whitewater remains divided (and by consequence limits its own attractiveness to newcomers) because it remains divided by town and gown (and divided within the town, itself, too). Whitewater’s problem is not that different factions do not have a […]

Gentrification Requires the Right Social Conditions

I’ve written that Whitewater faces a choice between decisive action now (to lessen government’s role) or years of stagnation and relative decline before eventual gentrification (at which point longtime residents will have almost no say in redevelopment). See, How Big Averts Bad. As I doubt Whitewater’s local political class has the will for near-term changes, the best […]

An Oasis Strategy

There’s a wide difference between believing that we’ve difficult national or local times ahead and losing confidence. I’m as confident today as ever that Whitewater has a bright long-term future. There’s simply hard work ahead between now and then, and more hard work now than we might have hoped (national trends being what they are). What to do? […]

About Standards

I’ve long argued that the application of continent-wide standards to local challenges offers better solutions for our small town than a hyper-localism that ignores best practices from across our country. See, What Standards for Whitewater? We will achieve little, and leave less for the next generation, if we do less – if we reach lower – […]

Sunday Animation: We Need to Talk About Alice

GOOD BOOKS: “We Need To Talk About Alice” from Plenty on Vimeo. (See all the process, character design, style frames, at ) “We need to talk about Alice” was commissioned by New Zealand based agency String Theory and created to be part of Good Books’ “Great Writers Series,” a collection of short films made […]

Friday Poll: The Wurst Challenge

The Wurst Challenge: Charity or Gluttony? In Ypsilanti, Michigan, a children’s art center was the beneficiary of the Wurst Challenge, in which contestants tried to eat twenty-foot-long sausages to raise money for the FLY Children’s Art Center. Participants raised more than they had hoped, for a total of about $6,000 dollars. What do you think: […]

Whitewater’s Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast

My youngest and I went to Sunday’s Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at the high school.  We had a great time.  Light, perfectly-prepared pancakes, the very size of a pan, with link sausages, syrup, butter, and one’s choice of coffee, juice, or water.  For a small price, one could order extra sausage, too, as we did.  Once […]

The Nature Conservancy

If a man wanted to leave a legacy of land to remain forever in its natural state, then he could donate it to the Nature Conservancy (, a charity that preserves donated nature land in exactly that way. I’m indebted to a sharp reader who offered this suggestion for proposed parkland for Walworth County. I’ve […]