FREE WHITEWATER

Daily Bread for 5.29.24: Once More, With Feeling

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 68. Sunrise is 5:19 and sunset 8:25 for 15h 05m 25s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 63 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Lakes Advisory Committee meets at 4 PM.

On this day in 1848, Wisconsin becomes the 30th state to enter the Union with an area of 56,154 square miles, comprising 1/56 of the United States at the time.

On this day in 1953,  Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay’s (adopted) 39th birthday.


Ah, persistence. Henry Redman reports Right-wing activists try for second time to recall Assembly Speaker Vos:


A group of right-wing activists enraged by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ failure to appease their calls for a more aggressive response to claims of election fraud and their demand that he fire the chief state election official, has for the second time filed signatures to force a recall election against Vos. 

The group tried to recall Vos earlier this year, submitting more than 10,000 signatures in support of the effort in March. However the effort failed because those 10,000 signatures did not all come from the proper district.

Which district the signatures should come from has caused some confusion among the recall petitioners and officials at the Wisconsin Elections Commission because the map under which Vos was elected have been declared unconstitutional, while the new map won’t go into effect until this fall’s elections. The recall group gathered signatures from the district Vos currently represents and the new district created under the new maps. 

The group also gathered signatures from various other parts of the state, which were immediately declared invalid. 

On Tuesday, the group announced it had gathered about 9,000 signatures. There must be 6,850 valid signatures submitted to force a recall election in the district. 

“We are highly confident we have the sufficient number,” former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman said outside the WEC offices Tuesday afternoon. 

Vos is the longest serving Assembly Speaker in state history. He’s served in the Legislature, representing a district outside of Racine, since 2005 and as the Speaker since 2013, presiding over the state Republican party’s decade-long stranglehold on legislative power. 

However right-wing activists have turned against Vos in recent years, claiming that he has not sufficiently responded to their allegations that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. 

Vos brought this on himself. He schemed with schemers who were as persistent but twice as nutty, only to have them turn on him. Dante could not have devised a poetic punishment more haunting than Vos’s fate: to be stalked forever by Michael Gableman.

See also What Vos Wrought and If At First You Don’t Succeed…


Airplane turbulence: Has it gotten worse?:

Daily Bread for 5.28.24: Wisconsin’s Act 10 Collective Bargaining Restrictions Back in Court

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 68. Sunrise is 5:20 and sunset 8:24 for 15h 04m 02s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 73.53 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater School Board goes into closed session shortly after 5 PM and returns to open session at 7 PM. Whitewater’s Finance Committee meets at 5 PM and the Whitewater Common Council at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1837, the first steamer to visit Milwaukee, the James Madison, arrives.

On this day in 1987, an 18-year-old West German pilot, Mathias Rust, evades Soviet air defenses and lands a private plane in Red Square in Moscow.


Scott Bauer reports Wisconsin judge to hear union lawsuit against collective bargaining restrictions (‘A Wisconsin judge is expected to weigh a union lawsuit against collective bargaining restrictions’):

A law that drew massive protests and made Wisconsin the center of a national fight over union rights is back in court on Tuesday, facing a new challenge from teachers and public workers brought after the state’s Supreme Court flipped to liberal control.

The 2011 law, known as Act 10, imposed a near-total ban on collective bargaining for most public employees. It has withstood numerous legal challenges and was the signature legislative achievement of former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who used it to mount a presidential run.

The law catapulted Walker onto the national stage, sparked an unsuccessful recall campaign, and laid the groundwork for his failed 2016 presidential bid. It also led to a dramatic decrease in union membership across the state.

If the latest lawsuit succeeds, all public sector workers who lost their collective bargaining power would have it restored. They would be treated the same as the police, firefighter and other public safety unions who remain exempt.

No one should be surprised. From conservatives nationally in federal courts and the center-left statewide in Wisconsin courts, re-litigation has become the order of the day.


X2.9 flare. Sunspot AR3664 returns with major eruption, spits fire:

Daily Bread for 5.27.24: Memorial Day

Good morning.

Memorial Day in Whitewater will see scattered showers with a high of 70. Sunrise is 5:20 and sunset 8:23 for 15h 02m 35s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 83 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Memorial Day Parade, weather permitting, will take place at 10:30 AM, beginning at the Hearthstone Parking Lot and proceeding along North Street to the Old Armory. Regardless of the weather, a ceremony will take place inside the Armory at 11 AM.

Toward the end of May 1673, the Marquette & Joliet reach the site of modern Green Bay.

On this day in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.


This Memorial Day, the National Guard Bureau honors and remembers those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their nation:

Thousands of families are visiting Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, for the parade, history lessons, and tributes in the town known as the birthplace of Memorial Day:


Daily Bread for 5.26.24: Winged Tiger

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 68. Sunrise is 5:21 and sunset 8:22 for 15h 01m 06s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 90.4 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1998,  the Supreme Court rules in New Jersey v. New York that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.


Winged Tiger:

Winged Tiger from Tim Kellner on Vimeo.


Learning how to ‘cat’:

Post by @psycohousecat
View on Threads

Daily Bread for 5.25.24: Wisconsin’s Top Nature Destinations

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 73. Sunrise is 5:22 and sunset 8:21 for 14h 59m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 95.8 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1787, after a delay of 11 days, the Constitutional Convention formally convenes in Philadelphia after a quorum of seven states is secured.


Nature Nomads lists the top ten nature destinations in Wisconsin:

1. Devil’s Lake State Park – A hiker’s paradise with stunning bluffs.
2. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Kayak through mesmerizing sea caves.
3. Door County – Scenic lighthouses and charming coastal towns.
4. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest – Endless trails amidst lush landscapes.
5. Horicon Marsh – A birdwatcher’s dream and a marshland of wonder.
6. Pattison State Park – Witness the power of Wisconsin’s highest waterfall.
7. Ice Age National Scenic Trail – Trace the path of glaciers over rolling hills.
8. Wisconsin Dells – Natural sandstone formations meet thrilling waterparks.
9. Rib Mountain State Park – Year-round fun with awe-inspiring views.
10. Perrot State Park – Canoe and hike where rivers and bluffs converge.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism draws a list of seven: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore,  Big Manitou Falls, Cave of the Mounds, Devil’s Lake State Park, Eagle River Chain of Lakes,  High Cliff State Park, and Horicon Marsh.


Meanwhile, among human designs, an SUV spontaneously combusts in a driveway:

Daily Bread for 5.24.24: A New Train Line

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with afternoon rain and a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:22 and sunset 8:20 for 14h 57m 58s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 98.9 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1844,  Samuel Morse sends the message “What hath God wrought” (a Biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from a committee room in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate a commercial telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington D.C.


There’s more information at a WPR interview between Lisa Stern, Chief of Railroads and Harbors at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and WPR host Rob Ferrett:

Rob Ferrett: Take us on a tour. What are the basics of the Borealis route?

Lisa Stern: The Borealis route will complement the existing Empire Builder. It’s going to leave from both Chicago and the Twin Cities — St. Paul, actually — around 11 to 11:30 in the morning, and then arrive at their destinations between 6:30 and 7. So it’s a very convenient time frame. 

It’ll be running through Wisconsin through the middle of the day. It will also provide a much more reliable schedule eastbound. I think a lot of people have been using the Empire Builder. And if you have, you know that sometimes that trip from Seattle back to Chicago has significant delays. But with this route, it will be just between the Twin Cities and Chicago and it will be a much more reliable schedule.

RF: What do you know about demand for this new route? You’ve built it, will the passengers come and ride the rails?

LS: The passengers are already coming. This started on Tuesday, and we have very high levels of train tickets being sold already. For this weekend, we were looking at 70 percent of the train already being sold out (as of) earlier this week. So there is a demand there. 

When we were looking at the service to start with, and evaluating the Empire Builder, 60 percent of the people who got on in Wisconsin got off within this route. So there was already a demand. 

Given the choice between driving to Minnesota and riding a train, I’d take a train most of the time. These stations on the route are not close to Whitewater, but driving to one would still offer advantages over a longer drive to the Twin Cities.


Howler monkeys are dropping dead from trees in Mexico’s intense heat:

It’s so hot in Mexico that howler monkeys are dropping dead from trees. At least 83 of the midsized primates, who are known for their roaring vocal calls, were found dead in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. Others were rescued by residents, including five that were rushed to a local veterinarian who fought to save them. (AP/Luis Sánchez) Read more here: http://apne.ws/bAQVkXg

Film: Tuesday, May 28th, 1:00 PM @ Seniors in the Park, The Taste of Things

Tuesday, May 28th at 1:00 PM, there will be a showing of The Taste of Things @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin Community Building:

Romance/Period Drama/Culinary Arts

Rated PG-13

2 hours, 15 minutes (2023)

The story of an esteemed cook and the fine gourmet she has been working for over the last 20 years. Food is a gift of love here, and romance courses through this delightful film. AARP Movies for Grownups nominations for Best Actress (Juliette Binoche) and Best Foreign Film. Language: French; shown with English subtitles.

One can find more information about The Taste of Things at the Internet Movie Database.

Daily Bread for 5.23.24: Cicadas Begin to Emerge Nearby

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 76. Sunrise is 5:23 and sunset 8:19 for 14h 56m 20s of daytime. The moon is full with 100 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Board of Zoning Appeals meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1854, the Milwaukee and Mississippi railroad reached Madison, connecting the city with Milwaukee. When the cars pulled into the depot, thousands of people gathered to witness the ceremonial arrival of the first train, and an enormous picnic was held on the Capitol grounds for all the passengers who’d made the seven-hour trip from Milwaukee to inaugurate the line.

On this day in 1949,  after approval from the Western occupying powers, the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany takes effect.


This long weekend may give Wisconsinites their first cicada-viewing opportunities. Claire Reid reports 17-year cicadas are emerging now in Wisconsin. Here’s where you can find them:

“With the temperatures this week and rain showers today and tomorrow, that’s really going to help things,” [Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Insect Diagnostics Lab PJ] Liesch said. “Once the emergence gets going in full swing, we’re probably going to be seeing tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of these emerging in relatively small areas in Lake Geneva and other spots in the state.”

Here’s where else the cicadas are expected to emerge in the coming weeks.

This map, created by director of UW-Madison's Insect Diagnostics Lab PJ Liesch, shows where 17-year Brood XIII cicadas have emerged in Wisconsin in the past.
Where will 17-year cicadas emerge in Wisconsin?

The Lake Geneva area will be the best place in Wisconsin to see the 17-year cicadas due to their well-established record there, especially along the northern side of the lake, Liesch wrote in his blog.

Other cicada hotspots include areas of Green County and Rock County, including Janesville and Beloit. Additionally, the insects are expected to be prevalent in southwestern Wisconsin’s Driftless Area counties: Iowa, Sauk, Richland, Crawford and Grant.

See also Return of the Cicadas.

I hope we’ll see cicadas in Whitewater; if not, we’ve other viewing spots nearby.


How the cicada phenomenon is capturing our collective attention:

Daily Bread for 5.22.24: Jane Jacobs on Cycling

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater be windy with a high of 71. Sunrise is 5:24 and sunset 8:18 for 14h 54m 38s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.9 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Community Involvement and Cable TV Commission meets at 3:30 PM.

On this day in 1968, “Milwaukee Bucks” is selected as the franchise name after 14,000 fans participated in a team-naming contest. 45 people suggested the name, one of whom, R.D. Trebilcox, won a car for his efforts. 

On this day in 1849, Abraham Lincoln is issued a patent for an invention to lift boats, making him the only U.S. president to ever hold a patent. On this day in 1906, the Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine.”


I’ve posted before about Jane Jacobs, the late journalist & activist on urban planning. (Jacobs had a libertarian period in her writing but later drifted away from that outlook.) While most of her work was about urban life, many of her observations have broader applicability.

A recent link from Jeff Wood @ Urban Milwaukee (‘Jane Jacobs, The City Cyclist‘) leads to Peter L. Laurence’s Jane Jacobs, Cyclist @ Common Edge.

Laurence writes of Jacobs’s grasp of cycling’s positive role within a community:

In 1956, when car ownership and the suburban development that this enabled were just being embraced as American cultural ideals, pioneering urbanist Jane Jacobs wrote that the U.S. was becoming “an unprecedented nation of centaurs. … Our automobile population is rising about as fast as our human population and promises to continue for another generation.” She continued, “the car is not only a monstrous land-eater itself: it abets that other insatiable land-eater—endless, strung-out suburbanization.

Anticipating more than a half-century of suburban sprawl, Jacobs was an early critic of car-dependency and its impacts on the built environment and land use in general. But more than that, Jacobs’s analogy of drivers as centaurs has become all but real today. In Greek mythology, as iconically depicted on the friezes of the Parthenon, centaurs were vicious half-men, half-animals at war with mankind. As Jacobs observed, the car could turn a man half-vehicle and less than fully human in his relationship with others. “Road rage” is perhaps the most familiar of car-induced pathologies.

….

Although Jane generally wasn’t comfortable in front of a camera, some of the most relaxed photos show her with her Raleigh bicycle. She clearly enjoyed the freedoms and joys of the bike. No surprise, bicycling was part of her childhood in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but unlike the typical American who gave up the bike at age 16 when they acquired a driver’s license, Jane didn’t. She never learned to drive. Although her father, a physician, was an early adopter of the automobile and purchased his first one in 1910, when Jane married Robert Jacobs at her Scranton family home in 1944, the couple rode off on their bicycles for a cycling honeymoon in upstate New York. According to their eldest son, Jim, born four years later, both Jane and Bob were “avid” cyclists. One of the many things they had in common was the bike. Before meeting Jane, Bob had done a number of bike tours in the 1930s, traveling between youth hostels; he made one cycling trip to Mexico while he was an art student to see the murals of Diego Rivera and another in 1936, to Holland, Belgium, and Germany, to see the Bauhaus, while he was an architecture student, a trip on which he acquired a German NSU (NeckarSulm) bike that he brought home. 

This libertarian blogger isn’t opposed to cars (not at all). There is, however, a useful reminder for us (residents of a small town) in her observations: there is more than one way to get around (and bike travel is inexpensive). How one gets around may begin with individual choice but affects development as much as development affects individual choice. One might design a city to encourage or discourage cycling, but it’s just as possible that, over time, a choice for cycling will compel changes in design.


Tucker the hippo celebrates his 21st birthday:

Daily Bread for 5.21.24: On Arguments from Yesteryear’s Community Development Authority

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will see afternoon clouds and evening thunderstorms with a high of 85. Sunrise is 5:25 and sunset 8:17 for 14h 52m 53s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 95.5 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Lakes Advisory Special Committee meets at 9 AM and the Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.

On or about May 21, 1673, Fr. Jacques Marquette, fur-trader Louis Joliet, and five French voyageurs pulled into a Menominee community near modern Marinette, Mich.

On this day in 1792, a lava dome collapses on Mount Unzen, near the city of Shimbara on the Japanese island of Kyushu, creating a deadly tsunami that kills nearly 15,000 people.


Witness conflicts of interest and hear self-serving claims long enough, and one risks becoming accustomed to them. The claims offered may be no better than a child’s connivances, yet repetition will cause hesitation even among reasonable and independent-minded people. FREE WHITEWATER published a few words on Monday about Whitewater’s new Common Council and Community Development Authority majorities. See On a New Common Council & New Community Development Authority. Today, a few remarks will follow about specific contentions from holdovers of yesteryear’s CDA.

The video of the Whitewater CDA meeting from 5.16.24 is embedded above. In remarks below, I will refer to specific claims from that meeting, and from earlier public meetings.

A few points worth remembering:

1. Whitewater lacks adequate housing. This condition should be evident to everyone and anyone. See Video, CDA Meeting of 5.16.24 @ 33:02.

2. Whitewater’s new CDA majority has proposed a residential development on South Moraine View Drive. See Video, CDA Meeting of 5.16.24 @ 31:47 and professional reporting from WhitewaterWise, CDA recommends approval of 128-unit multifamily development on Moraine View Parkway. This proposal is well-located and would provide a needed boost to our housing supply.

3. Rents in Whitewater are high for many residents.

4. A former CDA chairman, a second-generation landlord, when arguing against these new opportunities for others, concedes his belief that the proposed developments will affect his financial condition:

He [a consultant] mentioned that it would have no effect on student housing. And he’s absolutely wrong.

See Video, CDA Meeting of 5.16.24 @ 36:14.

It’s a candid admission: an acknowledgment that his view is particular, specific, and biased, impacting his interests.

These are not the views of an independent, unbiased analyst. It’s as though someone asked a Volkswagen salesman on commission which car to buy. (Be careful: someone may try to slip in some TruCoat.)

It is an implicit concession that rents will decline in conditions of steady demand and increased supply. With holdings in incumbent properties, this gentleman has a financial interest in preventing an increase in supply that might affect his bottom line.

5. He follows with a disingenuous assertion that he knows of no instance in which the city has provided financial assistance to a project like this. See Video, CDA Meeting of 5.16.24 @ 36:37.

The closer you look at his claim, the less you see.

The claim that there hasn’t been an effort to subsidize is disingenuous because policymakers (and self-interested men) can influence policy not merely through spending but through zoning. They can pay to make something happen, or they can argue against zoning regulations to limit competitors.

These gentlemen once backed zoning liberalization in the mid-Aughts when they wanted more opportunities for rental properties. See from March 2014 Last Night’s Zoning Rewrite Meeting (Residential Sections).

Later, when, as incumbents, they decided that they’d rather not have competition, they began to argue against others’ new properties. From 2014 see Daily Union, Whitewater council eyes zoning for Campus Edge development, where the CDA chairman produced a parade of horribles against more development.

See also FREE WHITEWATER @ Boo! Scariest Things in Whitewater, 2014 (“So a new apartment building at Main & Prince is ‘too extreme’ in design for Whitewater? Well, I would guess that existing landlords must think so. [Update: For consumers, it’s a good thing, and a bad joke that anyone from the CDA would shill against it.]”)

Years later (they’re tenacious!) they similarly fought in 2018 against a project on Tratt Street. See Daily Union, Common council rezones annexed land.

That project has been quite helpful and attractive.

As with the 2014 effort, they argued up and down against more supply to meet demand.

6. Perhaps, as someone now contends, he’s simply an advocate of affordable single-family homes. No, he’s not. These gentlemen have argued against affordable homes in Whitewater. In 2022, they argued against smaller homes, insisting on larger ones instead.

See from 2022 Housing Opportunity and Opportunity’s Adversaries, where these men argued against smaller lots for more modest, affordable homes. Fortunately, at least some lots were approved.

Whitewater’s Common Council, by a vote of 5-2 at its 9.20.22 session, sensibly approved on first reading the creation of an R1-S zoning district for detachedsingle-family homes on smaller lots. A zoning change that offers some builders and buyers, even in limited areas, more options is, prima facie, the right decision.

So what a this lights on for us, lights off for you public policy? It’s this:

A tiny clique of landlords has for years addressed this issue opportunistically. These few wanted to liberalize Whitewater’s ordinances to permit more student housing. And so, and so, there were more student apartments in the center of town. Ah, but when competitors sought approval to build on Prince or Tratt Streets, an incumbent landlord (and sometime public official) used one claim after another under the city’s ordinances to prevent or restrict those competitive projects.

These are proud, private businessmen right up until the time they hold public offices and entreat public bodies to bend to their special-interest desires. 

The larger homes these men advocated would have been out of reach for many residents.

It’s as though you told a struggling person that he should hold off buying tuna until he could afford caviar. A person taking that advice would go hungry waiting.

They opportunistically shift from one position to another while leaving residents without genuine, real options. Wait a bit is easier for men who already have than men and women who would like something affordable.

These gentlemen want the law liberalized when it liberalization suits their bottom line, but want the law restricted when restriction suits their bottom line. They could not be more obvious if they tried. (In my own case, the best policy would be fewer restrictions all the way down, but that’s not the point here. The point is that their views have shifted with their interests rather than the common good, and their interests are not the same as the city’s interests


7. Tax incremental funding comes up as an objection to this project. One should remember that the new CDA’s program here is to meet an existing need for affordable housing. A reminder: food, clothing, shelter. Any tax incremental fiancing now would meet a fundamental need. (I write this, by the way, as a long-standing critic of tax incremental financing; yet, this critic can see that some cases are more important than others, are more understandable than others.)

For years, these older men were involved in tax increment financing for Whitewater. They weren’t critics then; they’re raising doubts now they see competition. (These are not free-market men; they’re a few self-helping businessmen.) 

See from the 2013 Whitewater Register, TIF districts reviewed by city’s CDA:

Expressing optimism with perceived economic improvements, members of the Whitewater CDA recently discussed a number of the areas of the city designated as tax incremental financing (TIF) districts.

Officials briefly went over TIF districts 5 to 8 during a meeting Oct. 23. TIFS 5 and 7 are designated for mixed-use, a term denoting a blend of commercial and residential uses. TIFs 6 and 8, meanwhile, are earmarked for industrial use.

“We’re kind of getting out of the doldrums of this economy,” said CDA Chair Jeff Knight, expressing optimism of future development within the city.

Our current housing needs are, by far, greater than those of any tax incremental plan or other plan that a former CDA has ever advocated in this city.

If these few holdovers from another time would like to lecture others about tax incremental financing, they should first look to their past roles in tax incremental financing in this community.

Most important of all: it’s a city of 15,000 equal people, many of whom have good ideas for our future. A few older men who keep insisting ‘we’ve never done it that way’ or ‘that’s not our history’ only bolster the case for encouraging new officials, new voices, to advance a different way. We’ve not benefited from the public policy advice of the last generation. See A Candid Admission from the Whitewater CDA and Whitewater’s Still Waiting for That Boom.

It’s time — well past time — to blaze a new trail.


Daily Bread for 5.20.24: On a New Common Council & New Community Development Authority

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with rain and a high of 75. Sunrise is 5:25 and sunset 8:17 for 14h 51m 06s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 91.2 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Library Board meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1609,  Shakespeare’s sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe.

On this day in 1863, after the unsuccessful assault on Vicksburg the previous day, Union forces regroup in front of the city. The 1st Wisconsin Light Artillery and the 8th, 11th, 18th, and 23rd Wisconsin Infantry regiments joined the 14th and 17th Infantries to prepare for the next attack. While these arrangements took place at Vicksburg, the 4th Wisconsin Infantry fought in a skirmish in Cheneyville, Louisiana.


Whitewater now has a new Common Council majority and a new Community Development Authority majority. A few remarks today about these new majorities; remarks will follow tomorrow about specific contentions from a few holdovers from yesteryear’s CDA.

First, the obvious: this libertarian blogger is not, and has never claimed to be, a development man. And yet, and yet, a person need not be a development man to see the difference in quality between the self-serving claims of a conniving clique and the genuine accomplishments of residents and development employees. (One doesn’t have to be a watchmaker to see the difference between a fine timepiece and a cheap knockoff that’s scarcely right twice a day.)

Whitewater is a town of many talented people, of many sharp people, of many capable people. Thousands upon thousands, truly. This isn’t true because I believe it; I believe it because it’s true. Our advanced American civilization is far more than the product of a few — we are the work of millions across centuries. Whitewater, in the same way, is far more than the product of a few — we are the work of thousands across generations.

Whitewater, after all, has a Common Council (lit., ‘belonging to, open to, or affecting the whole of a community’) and Community Development Authority (lit., ‘the people of a district or country considered collectively; society’).

Whitewater does not have a Special Interests’ Council, or a Few Businessmen’s Development Authority. These are public bodies of — and for — the whole community, not simply platitudinous men, self-dealers, self-promoters, and their operatives, catspaws, scoundrels, or sycophants.

Whitewater now has sincere, independent majorities on her Common Council and Community Development Authority. They and I will not always agree, but I and others owe these officials the acknowledgment that whatever disagreements we may have, they are disagreements with capable and independent men and women.

Left, center, right, whatever: first, one must have men and women who exercise their independent judgment on behalf of not fifteen, but all fifteen thousand in this beautiful city.

For tomorrow, particular remarks on the CDA meetings of 4.18.24 and 5.16.24.

For today and always, best wishes and support to those sincere and principled officials acting on behalf of all of our city.


Bison herd charges Yellowstone tourists:

Daily Bread for 5.19.24: Northern Lights Both Natural and Vocational

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 81. Sunrise is 5:26 and sunset 8:16 for 14h 49m 16s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 84.6 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1675,  Fr. Jacques Marquette (1636-1675) dies near Ludington, Michigan, at the age of 39. After the famous voyage down the Mississippi that he made in 1673 with Louis Joliet, Marquette vowed to return to the Indians he’d met in Illinois. He became ill during that visit in the spring of 1675 and was en route to Canada when he passed away. His diary of the trip is online in the Wisconsin Historical Society’s American Journeys collection.

On this day in 1963,  the New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.


The Mesmerizing Northern Lights Over Wisconsin:

This Man Chases the Northern Lights for a Living: