Here’s the thirteenth annual FREE WHITEWATER list of the scariest things in Whitewater. (The 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 editions are available for comparison.)
The list runs in reverse order, from mildly scary to truly frightening.
10. Meeting Videos. There must be something intimidating about meeting videos, because it takes local government days to publish them online, as though someone has to work up the courage to upload a document to Vimeo. Be strong, publicly-paid officials, be strong.
9. Details. A nearby local newspaper can’t seem to find a reporter who can keep up with simple details of a meeting. Keep looking, editor Sid Schwartz – there simply has to be someone in a bus station, flop house, or parole-board hearing who’s looking for work.
8. Innovation Centers. Like poltergeists, Foxconn’s ‘innovation centers’ are eerily invisible.
7. Potholes. We have new paving going in on Milwaukee Street, but for months a popular thoroughfare like Walworth Avenue was so pothole-riddled it looked like a U.S. Air Force bombing range.
6. Good Writing. Does Anyone at the Janesville Gazette Have a Dictionary?
5. Confidence. Officials with good plans should confidently share them in every agenda packet and online. Fear not!
4. Witches. So you thought stories about witches in Whitewater were disturbing? These recent years we’ve had something far worse walking around this city.
3. Means to Ends. UW-Whitewater’s last two administrations (Telfer, Kopper) both ended badly – meeting with justified local, statewide, and even national criticism. UW-Whitewater’s Media Relations team defended both these leaders right up to the point when their defenses weren’t worth a damn. Media talking points won’t help this new chancellor by falsely insisting systemic problems are situational ones, or by debasing academic standards by flacking junk studies as serious work. No one worthily serves the noble end of diversity and outreach by the ignoble means of lying and condescending to the communities one hopes to attract.
2. Cravath. I warned last year about what might lie under the waters of Cravath. Draining that lake is ecologically necessary, but risky. FREE WHITEWATER has obtained exclusive underwater photographs of the aquatic creatures that have dwelled these recent years beneath Cravath’s murky surface. Our city government may be too skittish to publish these photos, but I’ve not that same timid disposition. Now, for the first time, look – if you dare – on a gallery of the hideous things that lurk below:
1. Bad Goes to Worse. Gerrymandered, septuagenarian multimillionaire F. James Sensenbrenner is retiring. State senator Scott Fitzgerald wants to replace Sensenbrenner as the representative of the Fifth Congressional Distinct, in which Whitewater is absurdly located. It’s true that, as a member of Congress, Fitzgerald is likely to be in the minority, and safely far from Wisconsin. And yet, if he should return now and again, we’ll likely have to endure another round of his singing —
As always, best wishes for a Happy Halloween.