All the wriggling and squirming in city hall about who is responsible for the horns blaring from the railroad crossings is almost laughable, but only because I live on the northwest side of the city, far from the railroads. However, when I have the windows open at night, I hear the horns blowing too, so I greatly sympathize with the residents near the affected sections of town. I know that to them, this is far from a laughing matter. Enough with excuses from city hall.
It is clear that the residents in the area are furious. Many calls for the person responsible to be identified and fired have been made. City administrator Lori Luther claims that even if the paperwork would have been done properly, the horns would be blaring. That, would require a temporary suspension of disbelief, I believe is the quote. Democrats make a big thing about accountability and it would seem clear that this current administration has made what is supposed to be a non-partisan government very much an arm of the Democrat party. So it only seems right that someone be held accountable and submit their resignation.
Since my daughter-in-law and granddaughters were killed by a convicted drunk driver, the flurry of action has diminished. Where I used to pass over news about another death from a drunk driver, I now carefully read it and empathize with the innocent person's survivors. My family's life has changed.
A committee meeting in Madison regarding stiffer penalties for drunk driving was canceled. There were not enough members to form a quorum. The excuse was they had things to do because of the flood. Really? Or was it an excuse to procrastinate and hope that the outrage would subside and they wouldn't have to deal with the matter?
There's already at least one discussion on the topic of a stadium in Frame Park for a Northwoods League team, so I won't start one here. But because it's outcome could affect most everyone who goes Downtown, it's important that those who would have an opinion after it's built speak up now, before it's approved.
My opinion is it should be built in Frame Park as presented. I'm aware of much of the discussion and saw many valid questions raised during the Committee of the Whole. There are probably as many opinions as there are people opposed to it, and by my not living very close to it my opinion shouldn't really matter, but...
To all the people who've lended me a hand, been nice to me when I was crabby, made room, seemed interested, had patience... To friends I've known for years and those I've lost touch with. To friendly neighbors, store clerks, teachers, students, clergy... To fellow ballooning crew, Vincentians, my family here and at St. William... I'm thinking of you today.
On a lighter note than I've been blogging about lately, read on if you have a dog. If you are not already aware, and a surprising amount of people are not, Waukesha kicked in some money to create a dog park within Minooka County Park about a year ago. Read more information here. Somebody has placed a number of official park comment cards by the exit gate of the dog park, with an example of one suggesting that the "seasonal pond" be filled in. If you are the person that put these cards there, please send me an email. We have a common interest!
I noticed that another doggie bag dispenser was put at the garbage container at the far end of the old campground. It's one less excuse for not picking up after Fido.
There is a new addition coming to downtown- an addition that has been long overdue.
Over the past few months, added pressure has been fueling the deadline fire here in downtown Waukesha.
I am talking about the pressure many new business developments are feeling to get their businesses up and running before the Harley Festival.
This weekend could be an instant replay of the same weekend a year ago: Balloon rally in Hartford, Arab World Fest in Milwaukee, last weekend for State Fair in West Allis, car show in Waukesha, Bluesfest in Delafield. Heck, it even rained on Saturday afternoon, same as last year! Guess you have to stick with what works.
A little nervous when I heard that the only change to Bluesfest, beside performers, would be the ticket prices. Not enough people showed for the first one and, though we enjoyed it, thought it would take something major to bring it back again this year. It was $37.00 for a one day ticket last year compared to $15.00 each for advance tickets this time.
While perusing through some old files, I came across photos of a trip we took last year to California.
Waukesha is a community of caring and giving. One would be hard-pressed to find a community equal to ours where the outpouring of generosity and volunteerism is omnipresent. Often, the same individuals and companies give...and give...and give.
My work on and with several area boards allows me to interact with many concerned, involved citizens. Many of these people serve on more than 1 board at a time. While some might be motivated by networking, most donate their time, ideas, and energies as a means of giving-back. Most never look for thanks or recognition.
Parking a bike in Downtown Milwaukee allows me to explore as the mood strikes. The mood struck this morning after I noticed an interesting sailboat on last night's news and then again in today's paper. Grabbed the camera and rode to Discovery World where something is always going on. I didn't see the boat I was looking for but a cruise ship was docking so I talked to the welcome crew from the Visitor's Bureau.
They told me that about six cruise ships a year dock there for the day. This ship, the Grande Mariner, was out for a six day, six stop tour around Lake Michigan. The boat holds 50 cabins and costs $2000.00 or so per person for the week.
My favorite place to buy milk is Kwik Trip because it's close and on the way home, usually the least expensive, and they have punch cards for a dollar off when card is complete. Kwik Trip also has the least expensive bananas around so I often grab a bunch to go with the milk. It also helps that many of the employees know me and there's usually minimal waiting.
This week we wanted to pick up milk after a visit to Mom-in-law and stopped at Speedway on Summit for the convenience. Grabbed one gallon and wondered what the price would be. The shelf read "two gallons for $6.50" and in fine print "one gallon at regular price" with no indication what regular price was. After waiting in a five minute line I finally learned that "regular price" is $4.00 so I left. We didn't need milk that's as expensive as gas. Besides, there were other opportunities for milk before reaching home.
It's the Olympics of TV watching and I've seen so much I'm starting to cramp up. After sprinting up the dial from 4 to 27 to 34 and 46, I do a triple-back salto to 27 then nearly dislocate my thumb trying to avoid a commercial. When the final results are in, I learn I could've placed if only I'd vaulted over to channel 73.
I'm watching the best Olympics ever. I have four or five channels to choose from - but only on weekends. Primetime coverage during the week is limited to Channel 4 so we have to watch commercials and all the events NBC thinks we want to see. Fortunately, some of the commercials aren't half bad (though repetition doesn't do anything for them,) and the events shown have been exciting and probably what I'd be watching if given the choice.
The first time I took my youngest to his friend's in the City of Pewaukee, we had to call for directions. My son's written directions omitted a crucial turn and we ended up in Brookfield. She talked us through each of 8 or so turns and we finally found her house, though it did make me a little late for my next ballooning adventure.
Because the route I was given to find my way out of the maze was so much simpler, we've been using it ever since. It will take a few more trips before we leave the cell home, but at least we don't have to pack a light snack and top off the tank before visiting any more.
Quite the local news day. Happy Days cast was in Milwaukee for an unveiling, parade and ball game. Governor Doyle in Milwaukee for a ribbon cutting for the opening of the Marquette interchange. Hours of Common Council discussion on the Northwoods League plans. It's after midnight now with no end to the discussion in sight. The public comment before the council meeting alone went to 9:45.
The 2008 Olympic flame has run out of gas. The games have been like a broken record ... world and olympic records broken over and over. There was much to see and enjoy these last 16 days, but I could fill this spot with all I would've liked to see but didn't. Didn't because of my own schedule, but also because coverage of the less popular sports was, again, often hard to find. Five channels with at least some Olympic coverage and often there was either nothing or some lengthy event like a two hour marathon or nine inning baseball game. My attention span isn't that long.
Even so, I enjoyed these games more than others. I enjoyed the selection NBC chose for me to watch and the Chinese did a fantastic job in hosting the Olympics. It's been said that possibly close to a million volunteers helped with the games and I believe it. Everywhere I looked I saw volunteers doing something or guarding something.
I've known Tom for 20+ years. He was in our wedding party 18 years ago and hosted a bachelor party at his house. He's one of the few mechanics who didn't loose their job during last year's restructuring. Because so few mechanics are left, he's been busier than ever, but never too busy for me. He offered to come to Waukesha in April to help me pry my canoe off the bridge support in the Fox River. Recently, he saved me a couple hundred dollars replacing a bearing assembly on our Lumina. He's always been quick with free advice for my many needs. We get along and I consider him a good friend.
I envy Tom. He can build a trailer from the ground up. He has a couple horses and cars that run. He recently purchased a Harley Fatboy Softail motorcycle and took classes for a week to get his license before the 105th.
There's a Harley front heading toward us at 65 miles an hour. It's nothing to fear. They will storm our streets and, if we're lucky, will flood our shops and restaurants. Riders from around the world converge to celebrate 105 years of an American institution. (For once we won't have leave town to enjoy their company.) Make them feel welcome and they may return again some day.
The Cutler Park stage is really great. The bands are drawing huge crowds yet there's still room to move without feeling crowded. It's unreal how dark the park gets on moonless nights - and it doesn't help that everyone is wearing black.
I don't recall the last time downtown streets were closed for a flood of people instead of a flood of river. It's Friday Night Live all weekend long, free music and lots of people strolling. Stores open late and doing good business.