Area Population, Properly Understood

There’s an unfortunately misleading story from the Lake Geneva Regional News, picked up uncritically at the Banner, on a population increase for Walworth County and part of Whitewater. See “Walworth County population is up — here and there.” The story (1) cites a tiny population increase, (2) ignores relative trends entirely, and (3) leaves readers (and […]

The Enduring Sadness of Walworth County

“ELKHORN—A woman who son was shot and killed by a Walworth County sheriff’s deputy in 2012 has settled her lawsuit against the county and deputy for $1.1 million. Nancy Brown, mother of 22-year-old John Brown, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee in May 2013 alleging Deputy Wayne Blanchard used excessive force when he […]

Inequality in the ‘Whitewater-Elkhorn’ Area

Over at the Economic Policy Institute, there’s a newly-published study of income inequality in America, and it ranks Walworth County as one of the most income-unequal places in the nation.  The study refers to the ‘Whitewater-Elkhorn’ metropolitan area, but with a population of 102,000, it’s clear that the reference is to Walworth County, using the […]

Local Election Recap

Local elections affecting Whitewater went about as one might have expected.  I’d guess there were, in the end, no surprises. There were three uncontested races for Common Council (Allen, Binnie, Langness), and two for the Whitewater Unified School District (Brunner, Stewart). That leaves two contested races in the immediate area: a Common Council race between […]

The Walworth County Circuit Court Race (Final Thoughts)

I posted in February on the Walworth County Circuit court race between Family Court Commissioner Dan Johnson and District Attorney Dan Necci. A month and a half later, there’s no change in the dynamic of the race: Johnson has widespread support from officials in the county, across party lines, and Necci is relying significantly on prominent […]

On Wisconsin’s 2.16.16 Primary

Results are in from yesterday’s February primary, and there are a few clues about the April 5th election, with one big uncertainty. First, the obvious uncertainty.  The Republican and Democratic presidential races have offered surprises, and will likely offer more.  One or both major-party contests may still be raging by 4.5.16.  Ongoing interest in either, or […]

The Walworth County Circuit Court Race (Preliminaries)

One may say two things, preliminarily, about the Walworth County Circuit Court race: It’s a race between generally conservative candidates; there are no left-right differences of significance. Incumbent District Attorney Dan Necci, after only briefly serving in that role, is running with almost no local, official support for his candidacy from among those with whom […]

What the Victim’s Mother Told Walworth County Judge Carlson

It’s both a pity and a disgrace that a fourteen-year-old victim’s mother had to plead with the Hon. James Carlson to sentence to jail the men who assaulted her daughter: ELKHORN—The mother of a 14-year-old girl sexually assaulted by three men in an Elkhorn basement in 2013 pleaded with judges Tuesday to send two of […]

The 2014 Wisconsin Spring Primary

Results from the Wisconsin Spring Primary are, mostly, now in.   In Whitewater.  I’ve commented on this race in email and online. The unofficial results (Binnie 152, Yvarra 30, Meyer 26) in the top-two primary show a marked gap between the incumbent and his challengers. In a primary that awarded the race to a candidate […]

The Long, Hard Roads

Over at the Gazette, there’s a story entitled, Walworth County officials hope drug court for heroin addicts will start in June (subscription required).  The story, from reporter Andrea Anderson, is about a hoped-for program of rehabilitation for heroin addicts.   The program would apply to Walworth County residents, addicted to, and charged with possession of, heroin. If […]

The End of the Beginning

After a British victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein, Churchill famously observed of the war in November 1942 that  ….Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning…. So it is, even locally, with the War on Drugs. […]

The Nature Conservancy

If a man wanted to leave a legacy of land to remain forever in its natural state, then he could donate it to the Nature Conservancy (, a charity that preserves donated nature land in exactly that way. I’m indebted to a sharp reader who offered this suggestion for proposed parkland for Walworth County. I’ve […]