Daily Bread for 1.21.24: Water Quality on Mississippi River Improving

 Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 17. Sunrise is 7:18 and sunset 4:53 for 9h 35m 18s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 84.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1960, Little Joe 1B, a Mercury spacecraft, lifts off from Wallops Island, Virginia with Miss Sam, a female rhesus monkey on board.

Some good news about — literally on and in — the Upper Mississippi: Hope Kirwan reports Water quality on Mississippi River ‘improving, with a ways to go’ (Report looks at contamination levels, other water quality measures over last three decades’).  Kirwan writes 

Water quality on the upper Mississippi River has largely improved over the last 30 years, but action is needed to address different contaminants than those seen in previous decades.

That’s the takeaway from a new water quality report by the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, or UMRBA, which represents Wisconsin and four other states.

The same report was first completed in 1989, when the river was largely polluted around urban areas, according to UMRBA’s executive director Kirsten Wallace.

She said this year’s version highlights the impact from years of work to reduce contamination from wastewater treatment plants, agricultural land and other sources throughout the river basin.

“We’re seeing declining trends in total (sediment and algae), metals and particles that attach to the sediment like phosphorus,” Wallace said. “So that all has been good.”

But Wallace said the monitoring data, collected from sites along the river between 1989 and 2018, shows there are some pollutants that have increased in the last three decades.

Levels of nitrogen, a nutrient that often comes from runoff of farm fields and other lands, have increased in the section of the river along Wisconsin.

Emphasis added. 

See also Upper Mississippi River Basin Association’s 2023 How Clean is the River? Report and 2023 How Clean is the River? Executive Summary.

A community that expects beneficial development keeps harmful waste to a minimum, exports its waste to places where it cannot harm other humans or animals, and does not import others’ harmful waste into its borders.  Three times since FREE WHITEWATER began publishing officials in this city’s government have recklessly considered plans to bring others’ waste into this city. Each plan was, at last, sensibly abandoned when repeated studies showed the impracticality of the plan (while not addressing all of the obvious environmental risks to Whitewater’s residents). 

If there should one day be a fourth effort, then it will fare no better than the last three. 

Penguin selfie offers bird’s eye view:

Daily Bread for 12.11.23: A Recovery School in Wisconsin

 Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 33. Sunrise is 7:15 and sunset 4:20 for 9h 05m 04s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 2.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Planning Board meets at 6 PM

 On this day in 1941, Germany and Italy declare war on the United States, following America’s declaration of war on the Empire of Japan in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States, in turn, declares war on them.

Margaret Faust reports Teens say Wisconsin’s only recovery school saved their lives. Funding for more schools is on the way (‘There’s a wait list for Horizon in Madison as mental health struggles and substance abuse persist’): 

There are 14 students at Horizon, an alcohol- and drug-free high school designed specifically for students recovering from substance use disorders and mental health disorders. It’s Wisconsin’s only recovery high school. But after a push by advocates resulted in new state funding, that could change in coming years.

The private, nonprofit school contracts with schools in the surrounding area. It has small staff-to-student ratios, random weekly drug testing of all students, twice-weekly group therapy sessions and immediate attention to mental health crises.

School leaders say they aim to provide personalized academic and emotional support as students work toward establishing and maintaining sobriety. 


Traci Goll, Horizon’s director, said there is clearly a need. Horizon serves the Madison area and has a waiting list. It can’t accommodate every student who would like to go there. Meanwhile, survey data shows that mental health struggles and substance use persist on high school campuses. 

Goll said the pandemic made everything worse. 

“We’ve always had kids who have been struggling with substance abuse and mental health, but I think it’s just gotten so blown out of proportion,” Goll said. 

New state funding is meant to help. The 2023-25 state budget includes $500,000 in grants that may help to fund Horizon and potentially allow others to establish new recovery schools elsewhere in the state. 

McDonald’s security guard soaks homeless man’s sleeping bag in London:

Daily Bread for 11.10.23: Edgerton Hospital Brings a New Clinic to Whitewater

 Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 43. Sunrise is 6:41 and sunset 4:36 for 9h 54m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 7.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

  On this day in 1871, Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, famously greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

Each day, all around us, thousands work in ways that sustain or advance this community. Some efforts are small, some large, yet each and all are useful to this city. 

A new clinic, on the east side of town, offering family practice, psychiatry and behavioral health, and laboratory services for Whitewater, will meet a vital need. 

Embedded above are photos from the Wednesday, 11.8.23 ribbon-cutting ceremony.  

Welcome to Whitewater, and best wishes for a thriving practice. 

How did Saturn’s rings form? Icy moons collide in supercomputer simulations:

Daily Bread for 7.5.23: Bad River Tribe Provides Free Opioid Reversal Drugs Through Mail

Good morning. Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy, with scattered afternoon thundershowers, and a high of 88. Sunrise is 5:23 AM and sunset 8:36 PM for 15h 13m 06s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 94.2% of its visible disk illuminated. On this day in 1832, General Atkinson and his troops…

Daily Bread for 12.15.22: Prudent UW System Campuses Are Installing Opioid Overdose Kits

Good morning. Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 33. Sunrise is 7:19 AM and sunset 4:21 PM for 9h 02m 44s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 58.1% of its visible disk illuminated. Whitewater’s Community Development Authority meets at 5:30 PM.   On this day in 1791, the United States…

Daily Bread for 12.6.22: Disparities in Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes Plague Walworth and Rock Counties

Good morning. Tuesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 39. Sunrise is 7:11 AM and sunset 4:20 PM for 9h 09m 11s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 97.8% of its visible disk illuminated. The Whitewater Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.   On this day in 1917, Finland declares independence…

Friday Catblogging: Cats Are Jammed Packed with Healthful Bacteria

David Nield writes Your Cat Could Carry ‘Good’ Bacteria That Fight Resistant Staph Infections: Bacteria from healthy cats have been shown to produce antibodies with some impressive skin healing properties… in mice. A new study on these properties indicates we could one day harness such antibodies to potentially treat infections on humans as well as…

Daily Bread for 9.20.21: Horse Owners Face an Ivermectin Shortage

Good morning. Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with scattered afternoon thundershowers and a high of 81.  Sunrise is 6:41 AM and sunset 6:54 PM for 12h 13m 07s of daytime.  The moon is full with 99.8% of its visible disk illuminated.  Whitewater’s Equal Opportunities Commission meets at 5 PM, and her Library Board at 6:30…

A Private Insurance Response to Vaccine Refusal (Updated)

Elisabeth Rosenthal and Glenn Kramon write, in Don’t Want a Vaccine? Be Prepared to Pay More for Insurance, about insurance companies rejecting waivers for anti-vax insureds who expect coverage for expensive COVID-19 treatment. Insurance companies should go farther, as Rosenthal and Kramon advocate: Get a Covid-19 shot to protect your wallet. Getting hospitalized with Covid-19…

Trump: 2016 to 2020

Trump in 2016: “I alone can fix it.” Trump in 2020: “I don’t take responsibility at all.” Here's the clip. On the lack of testing #Covid_19 and the "failure" of the response, @realDonaldTrump: "No, I don't take responsibility at all." #COVID — Kyle Morse (@Kyle_A_Morse) March 13, 2020