10 Key Articles About Foxconn

➤ Foxconned (“How much is Wisconsin paying for a Taiwanese manufacturer’s jobs?”): Already, it is hazy just how much of a boost to the local economy Foxconn is expected to make. The company said it planned to hire 3,000 workers over four years, whereas the state said the new facility would create 13,000 jobs with an average […]

Dane, Not the WOW Counties

For many years, Republicans have railed against Madison, and against Dane County, as bastions of dysfunctional liberalism. Indeed, this impulse has been strong even after the GOP gained control of both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office. Funny, though, that it’s Dane County – not the WOW counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee, or Washington – that’s […]

Care at the Point of Injury

A post from early December – ‘Don’t worry about them – the rest of us feel great!’ – outlined the problem of boosterism & babbittry: it urges people to look away from real injuries and to gaze instead on delightful distractions. First the problem summarized, then the better, ethical response – The problem: A doctor […]

Hotel Preliminaries

Whitewater’s full-service grocery closed in 2015, and then the UW-Whitewater Foundation bought the property. (Premier Bank, successor to Commercial Bank, has a 5% interest in the property.) A developer from Minnesota, having been unsuccessful in a project near the center of town, now proposes purchasing the former grocery building & lot, and constructing a Fairfield […]

Waste Hauling Into Whitewater

Post 75 in a series. When Green Turns Brown is an examination of a small town’s digester-energy project, in which Whitewater, Wisconsin would import other cities’ waste, claiming that the result would be both profitable and green. A few years (and seventy-five posts) ago, I began consideration of a local proposal to haul waste into Whitewater. […]

The Parts of A Multi-Part Project

  There’s been talk in Whitewater about an out-of-town developer’s plan for a hotel, library, and a local clinic. The easiest way to consider the project is to ask a simple question: Is there any part of the project without which the entire effort would not go forward? Identifying an indispensable part, if any, reveals […]

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, […]

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 […]

Saturday Film: The Super Salmon

The Super Salmon from Ryan Peterson on Vimeo. A salmon in Alaska makes an unlikely journey on “the Mount Everest of rivers” – the Susitna – as residents consider the costs/benefits of a government-proposed mega-dam.

The Local Economic Context of It All

Over a generation, Whitewater’s big-ticket public spending (where big ticket means a million or more per project in a city of about fifteen-thousand) has come with two, often-contradictory justifications: (1) that residents needed to spend so much because Whitewater was the very center of things, or (2) that residents needed to spend so much to assure that […]