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Assorted Items on a Big Day

A few assorted items on a big day:  Elections. I’ve no firm idea how any of the major contests nationally, statewide, or locally will go. It does seem clear that many contests have, in fact, been nationalized. How this will affect the final vote in our area (both in the city and townships immediately nearby)…

Print’s Continuing Decline (and the Message for Digital)

One can be a critic of newspapers (for their low quality and high boosterism), and yet feel a sadness at their decline. There’s a notice in the Janesville Gazette about downsizing of the daily print edition. See Objective: Preserve local journalism in the face of rising costs. Editor Sid Schwartz tells readers that the Gazette…

Policies & Actions

Yesterday’s post, The Winnowing Transition, offers thoughts on the last several years in Whitewater, and a look ahead to the next several. The key point is that we’re in a transitional time, where many who were politically prominent a decade ago no longer are, and few who are prominent now will come through the next…

Quick Note on Comments

Someone wrote me today and asked why comments were off on a post from last week. She asked if I had turned comments off to avoid criticism on the subject (the post was about Mitt Romney). The way FW is set up, comments turn off after automatically after five days, for all posts. Some blogs…

Daily Bread for 4.18.17

Good morning. Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of seventy-two. Sunrise is 6:06 AM and sunset 7:41 PM, for 13h 35m 08s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 59% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred sixty-first day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the…

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…

Revisiting Kozloff’s ‘Dark, Futile Dream’

About a year ago, I wrote a post on an off-campus meeting at which local notables and a search consultant (Jessica Kozloff) discussed a replacement for Richard Telfer. A story on that meeting, published in the Daily Union, is one of the best accounts of insiders’  thinking.  See, from that newspaper, UW-Whitewater chancellor session held, http://www.dailyunion.com/news/article_f042575e-a63a-11e4-bcd8-939679ffcc09.html.…

4 Points About Public Records Requests

So a local paper complains that a local school superintendent won’t comply with a public records request, won’t put the paper on a media contact list, and simply ‘must’ improve communications.   A few points — 1.  Compliance with a public records request isn’t a ‘communications’ issue; it’s a legal issue, of rights of residents…

If Market-Based Solutions Are Superior to Cronyism, Why Are There So Many Cronies?

Here’s a question, concerning even small towns like Whitewater, for which the Financial Times publishes an answer: If market-based solutions are superior to cronyism, why are there so many cronies? First, there aren’t that many cronies (or insistent insiders) in Whitewater or elsewhere, but the few there are manipulate or intimidate weak reporters at local papers into representing their numbers as…

Methods, Standards, Goals

Whitewater doesn’t have, and hasn’t had, a legitimate press that would serve as a check on political or corporate power.  On the contrary, what’s passed for reporting in our area is merely written sycophancy.  In this way, Whitewater has been ahead of a national trend toward a weaker press, or no press at all. Yet, before plentiful…