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Poverty

Daily Bread for 10.1.21: The Truth About ‘Dollar’ Stores

Good morning. Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 88.  Sunrise is 6:53 AM and sunset 6:34 PM for 11h 41m 25s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 27.2% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1941, Walt Disney World opens near Orlando, Florida. Whitewater may one…

Daily Bread for 8.16.21: Broadband Gaps, Right Here in Whippet City

Good morning. Monday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 84. Sunrise is 6:03 AM and sunset 7:54 PM, for 13h 50m 37s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 59.7% of its visible disk illuminated. Whitewater’s Equal Opportunities Commission meets at 5 PM, the Community Development Authority at 5:30 PM,…

‘Communicate, Communicate, Communicate’ Isn’t So Easy in a Fractured Town

Some years ago, an administrator (no longer with the school district) told others that a good practice for leaders was to ‘communicate, communicate, communicate’ with the community. The concept makes sense: craft a message and then make sure it’s heard by repeating it. In a small town, how hard could that be? As it turns…

Unemployment Imagined and Real

National unemployment figures have been undercounting the true number of those unemployed. Rachel Siegel reports Fed chair: Unemployment rate was closer to 10 percent, not 6.3 percent, in January: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said Wednesday that the unemployment rate in January was “close to 10 percent,” significantly higher than the 6.3 percent rate…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 1.19.21: 6 Points

The Whitewater Common Council met last night, 1.19.21. The agenda for the meeting is available. A few remarks, on selected items of the agenda —  1. Public Works Buildings. Whitewater plans to update its public works buildings, now scattered over a multi-acre plot near Starin Road. The total estimated price is high for a small town (about…

Markets and Markets

One reads that Whitewater now has an option, for most of the city, of grocery delivery from nearby cities. As it is, Whitewater has a Walmart, but no stand-alone, full-service grocery. Private delivery service is a benefit to the community. It’s better to have more grocery options than fewer. These are private enterprises providing private delivery…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 10.20.20: Basics and Buildings

The Whitewater Common Council met briefly last night, 10.20.20. The agenda for the meeting is available, and a recording of the session appears above. Two different topics are worth noting (for different reasons): autumn leaf collection and a building rehabilitation project. A few remarks —  1. Leaf collection. The city has many homes & apartments, the homes…

That’s Not a Recovery: Millions Slip into Poverty & Unemployment Claims Rise

That a rush to re-open would lead to an economic rebound was always doubtful (no economic fix without a pandemic fix), but the data are clear that America is experiencing no national ‘recovery.’ Jason DeParle reports 8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up: After an ambitious expansion of…

Waiting for Whitewater’s Dorothy Day

Whitewater has many needs, but fulfilling them requires setting aside the city’s longstanding addiction to press releases, public relations, ‘messaging,’ etc. That approach is both ineffectual and proud (where pride is a sin). Worse still is the irreparably conflicted role of politician and reporter, a government intrusion into civil society, a bad habit of Old…

Whitewater & Walworth County’s Working Poor, 2020 ALICE® Report

The 2020 ALICE® report, on those who are “asset limited, income constrained [yet] employed” is now available.  These latest data were collected before the recent recession – one can be sadly confident that hardship reaches farther now. For Wisconsin, 11% of households were below the poverty level, and 34% (including those below the poverty level) were…

A Key Difference Between Bristol, New Hampshire and Whitewater, Wisconsin

A sad story from April about Bristol, N.H. (population 3,300) reveals key differences between that town and Whitewater. While this new recession affects both communities, the economic hardship will be different.  See David Gelles, ‘This Is Going to Kill Small-Town America.’ Bristol depends on one major, private manufacturer: By the end of March, with just…

Boosterism, ’30s Style

Although the Roosevelt Administration was (whatever its other mistakes) candid about the economic conditions it faced, there was in the ’30s, as there has been over the 2010s in Wisconsin, a delusional impulse to happy talk – regardless of economic conditions – among some politicians and some business groups. Margaret Bourke-White‘s Kentucky Flood depicts the…