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Daily Bread for 6.14.22: When (Local) Government Treats Abnormal as Normal

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 97. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:34 PM for 15h 19m 13s of daytime.  The moon is full with 100% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Public Works Committee meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1775,  the Continental Army is established by the Continental Congress, marking the birth of the United States Armed Forces.


Many of Whitewater’s current challenges have no partisan or ideological cause. It’s not a matter of Republicans, Democrats, independents, etc. These problems are not a matter of left, center, or right. They are, instead, a matter of becoming inured to poor performance and poor results. Government delivers less, while either pretending that it is delivering more, or blaming residents for mistakes and controversies, for which those residents are not responsible.

Troubled communities remain troubled when they give up discussing, debating, and demanding better. These unfortunate places — victims of their own sloth and malaise — descend still lower. They become inured to failure and disappointment.

A story about Whitewater’s police department is about more than one set of allegations, or different sets of allegations. It’s not normal for a small town to go so long without a permanent police chief. It’s not normal for the public to know nothing about a supposed public investigation that’s carried on for seven months. That’s treating abnormal as normal, and expecting residents to accept that sad situation. (Key point: I don’t ‘dislike’ policing. Defunding the police, for example, has always seemed a clumsy idea to me. Rather, the city government needs a well-ordered department within a community that’s well-informed about news both good and bad. When a community hears both good and bad, residents will not overreact to either.)

It’s not normal for a school district to come through the controversies of a once-in-a-century pandemic only to have worse commotions after the pandemic. These aren’t complaints about national ideological topics, they are chronic local complaints, month after month, about a local administration. It was not normal to respond to those complaints with a seven-minute, prepared board statement before public comment even began. There is both arrogance and ignorance in thinking that approach would work. (It did not: the 5.24.22 board statement only brought more concerns at the 6.7.22 board meeting.)

It’s not normal to have a small city government that underestimates the cost of a dredging project by millions, the cost of a lift station by a million, while remaining silent on the status of its police department, and explaining little about its plans for its fire department.

It’s not normal for a small public university to have so many complaints over so many years about sexual harassment and assault (indeed, to be named as one of only 100 universities like this in the nation).

These are local problems of local administration. Whitewater’s residents are not less capable than the residents of other places. They deserve public institutions and officials that do not treat abnormal as normal.


Yellowstone National Park closes after ‘unprecedented’ rain, flooding:

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Daily Bread for 6.13.22: Wisconsin Examiner Reports ‘Complaints mount over conduct of Whitewater PD’

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will see afternoon thundershowers with a high of 87. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:34 PM for 15h 18m 47s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Planning Commission meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1777,  Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette lands near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army.


This morning, the Wisconsin Examiner has a story entitled Complaints mount over conduct of Whitewater PD (‘Reports of racial profiling and excessive force under suspended chief’). Isiah Holmes’s story has three main topics: (1) the experiences of D’Angelo Lux, a former UW-Whitewater student who has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department and some of its officers, (2) the department’s record on managing complaints generally, and (3) Chief Aaron Raap’s career record in Milwaukee before he became Whitewater’s chief. (The story includes an embedded copy of Raap’s complaint case file while he was an employee of the Milwaukee Police Department.)

Update, Monday afternoon: I’ve received emails asking what I think of the details in the Examiner story. A quick reply, before a more detailed one tomorrow: it’s not typical for a town to go this long with a police chief on leave. Litigation is important both to a litigant, defendants, and the community, but there’s more than that at issue here. (That’s why, after all, I wrote the paragraph immediately following this one.) Whitewater’s local government has a closed and broken process in more places than one. The excerpts from the story were chosen with care, along with a recommendation to read the whole story.

While the story is about policing, it also implicates subjects of local government’s transparency and competency, and the lack of serious news reporting on myriad topics in Whitewater. Readers would do best to read the story in full; excerpts appear immediately below:

Since December, the department’s police chief Aaron Raap, has been on administrative leave pending an ongoing internal investigation. Raap, who was hired as chief in 2018, was taken into custody following an alleged Thanksgiving fight with a family member. Though the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office declined to issue charges, other controversies have also emerged during Raap’s time in Whitewater.

No one on the city’s common council offered comment either, even after a council meeting was held regarding Raap’s continued employment by the city on May 3. Deputy Chief of Police Daniel Meyer, who has served as acting chief since Raap was placed on paid administrative leave, said no action was taken by the council that day. Meyer also provided data and reports on citizen complaints against officers since 2018, when Raap arrived at the department.

“Since Chief Raap has been employed by the WPD,” Meyer emailed Wisconsin Examiner, “two officers have been disciplined pursuant to internal investigations regarding use of force, however, neither investigation was complaint-driven.” A complaint of excessive force against a WPD officer was made on Feb. 5, 2022. There were 10 complaints in 2019. The number dropped to just three in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic set in. The following year in 2021, however, the number rose to 8 complaints against WPD personnel.

….

Every complaint filed in 2018 was classified as “exonerated,” meaning an investigation confirmed that an incident occurred but that it was justified. The 10 complaints the following year followed a similar pattern, from accusations of unreasonable searches with dogs to reports of excessive force and harassment.

In 2021 the trend continued. A complaint by a driver that an officer allowed another car to leave the scene of a hit and run was ultimately sustained by the department, and the driver who was at fault was later cited. Another complaint came from a person who reported having “almost died in custody, was transported with no seat belt, had an asthma attack, was fearful for their life, and that an officer had a vendetta against them,” police records state. The investigation found the complaint was without merit and unfounded. Other complaints involved officers who rang a citizen’s doorbell multiple times and refused to leave when asked. There were also reports of officers not fully investigating incidents, including one of an officer allegedly not taking a child’s complaint of abuse seriously enough. Unwarranted traffic stops also made a reappearance. Even during the 2020 slowdown, reports of race-based harassment continued.

….

Decades ago, Raap served as a police officer for the city of Milwaukee, where he was hired in 1990 and left the department at the rank of captain. While serving in the Milwaukee Police Department, Raap accumulated a lengthy disciplinary record. According to Milwaukee PD records obtained through open records requests, 22 internal investigations involving Raap were initiated  from August 1995-December 2003. The accusations included battery of citizens, refusing to give his name and badge number, improper searches and seizures, entering the homes of residents without just cause, and issues with the filing of reports. Some of the complaints involved incidents where several officers responded, including Raap. In these complaints, Raap defended the actions of fellow officers.

Just one of those complaints, related to the filing of reports, was sustained by internal affairs in 1996. The last 2003 complaint involving misconduct in public office is listed as “warrant refused.” In such cases, a criminal allegation is presented to the district attorney’s office but no charges are issued.

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Daily Bread for 6.12.22: What Depp v. Heard May Mean for #MeToo

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 74. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:34 PM for 15h 18m 18s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 94.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1899, the New Richmond Tornado devastates that small Wisconsin community:

On this date the worst tornado disaster in Wisconsin history occured. The storm virtually leveled New Richmond on the day the Gollmar Brothers Circus came to town. At the time, New Richmond was a prosperous town of 2500 people and one of the most scenic places in Wisconsin. On the day of the storm, the streets were filled with residents and tourists waiting for the afternoon circus parade. Shortly after the circus ended, the tornado passed through the very center of town, completely leveling buildings. Over 300 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Massive amounts of flying debris resulted in multiple deaths in at least 26 different families. In all, the storm claimed 117 lives and caused 150 injuries.


The Daily considers the impact of the Depp v. Heard defamation case:

This episode contains strong language and details of a sexual assault accusation.

Since a jury ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard, there has been impassioned debate about what exactly the outcome means for the #MeToo movement.

It raises the question: If people being accused of sexual assault can potentially win defamation cases in court, what does that mean for the accused — and the accusers — moving forward?

Guest: Julia Jacobs, a culture reporter for The New York Times.


Online posts falsely claim Trump gold card provides free food and gas:

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Daily Bread for 6.11.22: Special Counsel Michael Gableman’s Courtroom Antics

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will see patchy fog this morning; otherwise, the day will be mostly cloudy with a thunderstorm this afternoon and a high of 73. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:33 PM for 15h 17m 44s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 87.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1935, Inventor Edwin Armstrong gives the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the United States at Alpine, New Jersey.


Michael Gableman is a special counsel (a genuine if unnecessary position under law) charged to investigate the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin.

Perhaps the world has forgotten, but he used to be a judge, and served, in fact, as a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. (It’s true. Really.)

As Mitchell Schmidt reports in Michael Gableman’s office held in contempt over records case, former justice refuses to testify in court, the former justice looks like he’s auditioning to be a future rodeo clown:

Remington reminded Gableman that he was under oath to answer questions from American Oversight attorney Christa Westerberg, and not to make a speech, but Gableman refused.

“You have a right to conduct and control your courtroom, judge, but you don‘t have a right to act as an advocate for one party over the other,” Gableman said. “I want a personal counsel if you are putting jail on the table. I want an attorney to represent me personally. I will not answer any more questions. I see you have a jail officer here. You want to put me in jail, Judge Remington … I’m not going to be railroaded.”

Gableman’s heated comments came two days after Remington ordered the former justice to answer questions under oath about how his office handled requested documents related to the ongoing probe. Near the close of that Wednesday hearing, Remington cautioned Gableman and his staffer Zakory Niemierowicz to consider seeking independent legal counsel, noting that remedial sanctions for contempt could include jail time.

….

“At no time did I suggest that that was a sanction that I intended to impose,” Remington said Friday. “Indeed, it was a question that was left for today’s proceeding to be determined based on the evidence and the request from American Oversight.”

The question of sanctions was left unanswered Friday. After finding Gableman’s office in contempt for not fully and completely complying with the court’s previous order to not delete requested records, Remington said he would issue a written order and sanctions at a later date.

Gableman’s made himself, through his grandstanding, more of the story than the supposed subject of his banana-republic-quality investigation.


As it turns out, real rodeo clowns require impressive agility. Gableman might want to re-think the prospect. A day in the life of a rodeo clown:

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Daily Bread for 6.10.22: The Uncertain Course of Whitewater’s Local Turmoil

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will see scattered thundershowers with a high of 73. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:33 PM for 15h 17m 06s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 79.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1837, State Capitol Workers Arrive in Madison: “On this date, workmen arrived in Madison to begin construction of the first state capitol building. A ceremony to lay the building’s cornerstone was to be held three weeks later, on July 4, 1837.” See Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.


The last months, notably the last eight to ten months, have seen both local malaise (the city) and local turmoil (the school district) in Whitewater. A few observations, at week’s end:

  1. These regrettable tensions in Whitewater have not been the result of national trends. The pandemic has slipped into an endemic, and the most intense arguments over it have faded. National debates over COVID-19, policing, the economy, school curriculums, etc. are not the cause of residents’ complaints about Whitewater’s city government or school district.
  2. These are local problems, involving local actions and reactions.
  3. If these were, in fact, national problems having arrived also in Whitewater, it would be easier to predict their course through this community. As it is, one cannot easily find other communities with these kinds of complaints from which to draw quick lessons. They are homegrown.
  4. Whitewater’s controversies are not dispassionate policy debates; they are rather questions of policy and culture, and that sort of turmoil, once begun, is more difficult to address.
  5. As I have emphasized, these are not simply complaints from or about employees of the city or school district. They have become residents’ complaints — residents’ complaints are an order of magnitude more serious. They will lead to permanent resentments and community fissures.
  6. The school board’s 5.24.22 prepared statement only made matters worse. It was perceived in this community as shifting blame onto residents. It should have been easy to see that it would be perceived that way. I’ll not bother to go through that statement line-by-line. On its own, however, it was the most counter-productive approach this board could have taken in the face of community concerns. No one on the board, not even all of the board members together, has the clout to quell these concerns through the board’s 5.24 approach. The district is now somewhat worse off than it was in May.
  7. As these complaints stem from unique local actions and reactions, some known, some inscrutable, it’s hard to tell where this community is heading. As a baseline assumption, one could begin with the view that past is prologue, and that the community is in for more of the same. Beyond that, I’ll not offer a prediction.

Putin compares himself to Peter the Great in Russian territorial push:

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Film: Tuesday, June 14th, 1 PM @ Seniors in the Park, The Batman

Tuesday, June 14th at 1 PM, there will be a showing of The Batman @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin Community Building:

Action/Crime/Mystery/Drama

Rated PG-13, 2 hours, 56 minutes (2022)

When a sadistic serial killer begins murdering key political figures in a grim, dystopian Gotham City, The Batman steps out of the dark shadows to investigate the city’s underlying corruption and question his own family’s Wayne Foundation involvement. Starring Robert Pattinson (The Batman), Zoe Kravitz (Catwoman), Paul Dano (The Riddler), and Colin Farrell (The Penguin).

One can find more information about The Batman at the Internet Movie Database.

Enjoy.

Daily Bread for 6.9.22: Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Public Records Access

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 76. Sunrise is 5:16 AM and sunset 8:32 PM for 15h 16m 24s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 69.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1973, legendary horse Secretariat wins the Triple Crown.


On Tuesday, a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce v. Evers, 2022 WI 38 was a welcome win for advocates of government transparency. Although the particular circumstances involved COVID-19 data the state had collected, the ruling’s reach extends beyond any particular set of data.

In this case, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (and two other trade associations) sought to prevent the State of Wisconsin from releasing to the public a list of all Wisconsin businesses with over twenty-five employees that had at least two employees test positive for COVID-19 (or had two close-case contacts). The Wisconsin Department of Health Services had collected this information, but the private trade groups sought a court ruling barring release of those public records.

The case began when the Journal Sentinel requested from DHS public records about COVID-19 under Wisconsin’s Public Records Law, Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31–19.39, and Manufacturers & Commerce in response sought a court order to prevent the release of those records.

A lower court granted a temporary injunction against release, but a court of appeals ruling reversed that lower court decision. The trade associations then appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to prevent the release of the records on COVID-19 cases or exposures. The Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals decision, ruling that Wis. Stat. § 19.356(1) of the Public Records Law limited judicial review prior to an agency’s release of records:

Moreover, concluding that the Declaratory Judgments Act “otherwise provide[s]” for pre-release judicial review of a public records response would effectively repeal §19.356(1). As discussed previously, the legislature enacted §19.356 to limit the rights to pre-release notice and judicial review that this court created in Woznickiand Milwaukee Teachers.11 See Moustakis, 368 Wis.2d677, ¶27. Although those rights may have been enforceable via a declaratory judgment action while they existed, the legislature abrogated them when it adopted §19.356.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce v. Evers, 2022 WI 38 ¶ 19.

The decision and dissent appear below —


Centuries-Old Shipwrecks & Golden Treasure Discovered in Colombian Waters:

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Daily Bread for 6.8.22: Residents’ Ongoing Concerns Over the Whitewater Unified School District

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will see showers and thunderstorms with a high of 65. Sunrise is 5:16 AM and sunset 8:31 PM for 15h 15m 39s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 58.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1950, the iconic Volkswagen Type 2 “Bus” begins production.


The Whitewater Unified School District’s board met last night. One finds — month over month — that in the community there is increasing concern about the district’s course and the responsiveness of the board to that concern.

A few words about residents’ remarks, including their comments on retaliation, in practice and principle.

In practice. At a meeting of the Whitewater Unified School District’s board on 5.24.22, there was expressed both concern (and reassurance in reply) over the possibility of retaliation for speaking against district plans. On the night of that session and twice afterward, I’ve watched that meeting in full. The May session saw forceful, prepared remarks from the board before residents’ public comments.

(One resident mentioned during Tuesday’s 6.7.22 board meeting that the board’s May statement before public comment felt ‘invalidating.’ In the two weeks since that meeting, I’d guess that others in the community share that view. Credit where credit is due: one cannot say that the board did not make its sentiments known to the community through those prepared remarks. If the board’s statement was meant to quell public upset, however, then one can say that the May statement was unsuccessful.)

Any public institution should offer genuine reassurance against retaliation for speech against government; a well-ordered public institution should not need to offer many of these assurances.

Here, however, is the practical problem that confronts the district: there are too many people, too concerned, for this district’s board alone to settle these concerns. School boards and common councils have nowhere near the community clout they did twenty years ago. The decline in public boards’ strength within Whitewater, in particular, has not come because people have become more skeptical of government. It has come because the socio-economic changes since the Great Recession have made the community both more outspoken and more divided on dozens of issues. (I’d be happy to say that increased support for limited government has come as a matter of libertarian principle, but it of course hasn’t. It has come from cultural shifts beyond politics.)

Whitewater’s a beautiful place, well worthy of one’s love, but it’s not an easy place. (A candid confession: I don’t love this small city in spite of her sometimes irascible nature — I love her with that nature. Never have I loved a place more; the happiest moment of an enjoyable trip elsewhere is always when I return to this city again.)

Regardless of why Whitewater is as she is, as a matter of practical conditions, her school board cannot (for long) shield a superintendent from community debate (and in the same way, Whitewater’s common council cannot shield its city manager). It’s possible to do so for a meeting or two, but that’s not a long-term strategy.

This is especially true when significant numbers of residents, rather than city or district employees, are among those expressing concern. These concerns, especially for the district, now reflect residents‘ policy and cultural objections. The school board (or common council) can push these objections back for a while, but neither public body is influential enough to resolve them on behalf of appointed leaders.

If chronic concerns are to be resolved, then the resolution will require the appointed leaders of the district and the city to do so on their own, in extended public conversations with residents. There’s no other effective way; both public institutions will otherwise be engaged in repeated and debilitating community skirmishes.

Who can improve the position of the superintendent in this community? Only the superintendent in conversation in public meetings with residents. Who can improve the position of the city manager in this community? Only the city manager in conversation in public meetings with residents.

How can that condition be improved? In public discussions, on the record, with residents, through question and reply, month after month until conditions improve or until it becomes obvious no resolution is possible.

A private ‘call tomorrow’ (as offered during the 6.7.22 school board meeting) isn’t helpful. District success (if any) depends on comprehensive discussions in public meetings.

It doesn’t help the superintendent — in fact, it undermines her — when board members or subordinate administrators intervene on her behalf to represent district views. Honest to goodness, I’m not sure why this isn’t obvious, but it should be. Others’ intervention, even if well-meaning, is counter-productive to her situation.

A few words about communication: the first place to look for failures of communication is with the communicator. If the government is misunderstood, the first place to look for the source of that misunderstanding is with the government, not with residents. If a lawyer is misunderstood, the first place to look for the source of that misunderstanding is with the lawyer, rather than with paralegals, secretaries, or clients. If a blogger is misunderstood, the first place to look is toward the blogger, rather than toward readers.

As for speaking by the government, there is an obligation for leaders to speak plainly and at length about their plans for this community. There has been too little of that over the last year in the district and in city government, both. more >>

Daily Bread for 6.7.22: Big Changes Require Big Explanations

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 74. Sunrise is 5:16 AM and sunset 8:31 PM for 15h 14m 50s of daytime.  The moon is in its first quarter with 49.4%% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater Unified District School Board meets in closed session at 6 PM and open session at 7 PM, while Whitewater’s Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1942,  the Battle of Midway ends in American victory: “Military historian John Keegan called it ‘the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare,’ while naval historian Craig Symonds called it ‘one of the most consequential naval engagements in world history, ranking alongside SalamisTrafalgar, and Tsushima Strait, as both tactically decisive and strategically influential.’ “


There have been in this small city, over these last two years, significant policy actions from both the local municipal government and the public school district that, being big, require big justifications.

Strange, but perhaps not so strange: Whitewater’s city government and school district came through a pandemic only to become enmired in greater controversies on the other side of COVID-19. It’s not so strange because, in fact, the pandemic has only exacerbated existing cultural divisions in the city. They were present before, and are stronger now. Those divisions require caution that policymakers have not exercised. It’s a minefield now; racing about only leads to unnecessary injury.

As was true with Old Whitewater’s failure to understand the shifting local terrain of the years since the Great Recession, so officials in city hall and the district’s central office do not understand the ground on which they walk. Old Whitewater was, of course, sure that it was right although local conditions proved them wrong. See Old Whitewater’s 3 Big Mistakes. (Even now, some from what’s left of that kind will not admit they botched the last fifteen years. Doesn’t matter; they did.)

Now, after all that has happened, it should be obvious that there are limits to local government action. The power for positive change from government is limited; Whitewater is in need of private economic and cultural rejuvenation that local government lacks the money and skill to effect. Whitewater’s socio-economic maladies exceed the ability of local policymakers to cure through their own efforts. See The Limits of Local Politics and 6 Asides Before the Local Spring Elections in Whitewater (‘local government in Whitewater has less influence each year to address constructively the significant problems in this community’).

When government does act, it always owes an explanation. When it acts in big ways, it owes big explanations.

From city hall, there’s a need for detailed explanations of the lakes restoration program, the planned takeover of the local fire department, the absence of a permanent police chief, and continuing failures to fulfill the clear requirements of Whitewater’s own transparency ordinance.

From the school district, there’s a need for detailed explanations of what the district expects from an operational referendum, of significant policy changes that affect students and families, and why this district has an unusually high amount of staff turnover.

These explanations should, and as a practical matter must, come from those hired as full-time leaders of the city government and school district. Whitewater’s city manager has been in office for ten years, and the school district’s superintendent for two years. That’s more than enough tenure to address the community directly and respond to questions on key issues.

It’s not through a common council or a school board that these appointed officials should be speaking. They were hired and are obligated to address concerns directly, in their own voices, and to respond thoroughly and patiently to community concerns.

If they are unwilling or unable to do so then they are unsuited to their roles. Both Whitewater’s city manager and superintendent are graduated from accredited institutions of higher learning. Those with advanced degrees should produce advanced work. They have an obligation to the schools they attended and the community that employs them to meet a high scholastic standard.

Our small and beautiful city should accept no less.

Intolerance for dissent, in particular, is unworthy of both academic standards and the American constitutional tradition. Any public official who came to Whitewater with the expectation that residents should stop talking and fall in line came to the wrong city.

As for patience, no one can say that this libertarian blogger hasn’t been patient in addressing city and school district policies over the last two years. It was fair to give policymakers time to adjust to the return of ordinary conditions as the pandemic eased into an endemic in Whitewater.

There’s no virtue in excess, however; patience like other virtues has a proper limit.


‘Star Wars’ Fan Builds X-Wing Replica to Raise Money for Ukraine:

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Daily Bread for 6.6.22: D-Day, Seventy-Eight Years On

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 70. Sunrise is 5:16 AM and sunset 8:30 PM for 15h 13m 57s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 38.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1944,  Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, begins with the execution of Operation Neptune—commonly referred to as D-Day—the largest seaborne invasion in history. Nearly 160,000 Allied troops cross the English Channel with about 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. By the end of the day, the Allies have landed on five invasion beaches and are pushing inland.

On that day, Gen. Eisenhower issued a D-day statement to the soldiers, sailors, and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force, 6/44:


Chief Photographer’s Mate Robert F. Sargent’s Into the Jaws of Death depicts the peril Americans faced, and overcame, to liberate Europe.

LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of Company A, 16th Infantry1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One) wading onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach (Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France) on the morning of June 6, 1944. American soldiers encountered the newly formed German 352nd Division when landing. During the initial landing two-thirds of Company E became casualties.

A robotic Petri dish: How to grow human cells in a robot shoulder:

Human cells grown in the lab could one day be used for a variety of tissue grafts, but these cells need the right kind of environment and stimulation. New research suggests that robot bodies could provide tendon cells with the same kind of stretching and twisting as they would experience in a real human body. It remains to be seen whether using robots to exercise human cells results in a better tissue for transplantation into patients.
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Daily Bread for 6.5.22: UW System Spring Enrollment Down for Whitewater, Other Campuses

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will see scattered late afternoon showers with a high of 75. Sunrise is 5:17 AM and sunset 8:30 PM for 15h 13m 00s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 29.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1947, in a speech at Harvard, the United States Secretary of State George Marshall calls for economic aid to war-torn Europe in a program now known as the Marshall Plan. (Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for the plan.)


Rich Kremer reports Spring enrollment down at most UW campuses compared with [Spring] 2021:

Spring enrollment data from the University of Wisconsin System show continued declines at many two-year campuses and some four-year universities.

Enrollment across all state public colleges and universities showed little change, with an average 1.6 percent decline this spring, according to final UW System data. The average among all four-year universities was down 1.4 percent while the decline across the state’s 13 two-year campuses dropped by 8.6 percent. 

….

Of the UW System’s four-year universities, UW-Superior saw a 5.8 percent increase in enrollment this spring, with 136 more students than spring 2021. The only other university to post spring enrollment gains was UW-Madison with an increase of 3 percent. 

Jeremy Nere, UW-Superior senior enrollment officer, said part of that growth was due to recruitment of more international students from places like Ethiopia and Nepal. 

UW-Whitewater saw an overall decline in spring enrollment from 2021 to 2022 of 2.7%, with declines of 2.2% on the main campus in Whitewater and 12.5% at the Rock County campus.

Of enrolled students, an appreciable number do not live in Whitewater, so the total enrollment figures for the Whitewater campus (9,874) overstate the local economic impact of actual student residents. For UW-Whitewater, these figures suggest a decline but not collapse. (There has never been a moment when, despite occasional worries on campus, collapse has been a prospect for UW-Whitewater. Changing enrollment and leadership may create that impression, but that view is overwrought.)

Whitewater and other communities will have to adjust, however, to a smaller number of resident students. Growth of the campus population in the last decade (growth that peaked around 2016) has proved temporary.

The administrative attaboys one heard at that time were too soon and too many.

See also Ongoing Enrollment Declines at UW-Whitewater, Elsewhere.


Rare albino Galapagos giant tortoise faces the world:

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