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April Showers Could Bring May Mochaccinos.


If you don’t know it by now, downtown Waukesha is going to host what is rumored to be the biggest event of its history this summer- the “Weekend in Waukesha” (which is really nothing more than an upmarket name for Harley Fest).

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Say No To Tax Refund Intercepts


The city wants to join the county in the ability to have the state transfer tax refunds to the city from people who allegedly owe money to the city.  I say allegedly because such process denies the person in question due process. It's a legal way of the city to zip in between the citizen and the bank teller and taking the money off the counter.

This manner of bullying money from citizens should be challenged in court, where the validity of the debt should have been argued before a judge in the first place.  Tell your alderman to vote against tax refund intercepts! While you are at it, tell your county supervisor that you don't like the county doing it either.  Let the citizens have their day in court!

water over the dam

The snowmelt-engorged Fox appears to be receding. The high water marks on the flower petals tell me the dragonfly was never in danger, though the lilly pad still is under.0dam dragonfly

Second nice Saturday in a row, and several brave kayakers were putting in just below the dam with plans to paddle to Hwy. H, near Fox River Park today.

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I know, it doesn't make sense. Same could be said for many of my posts. (But you didn't hear it from me!)

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embarrassment warning: Mom, don't read this one.

I'm uncomfortable admitting this, especially to Mom. So Mom, if you're reading just skip this one, OK? 

Saturday I wrote a little about kayakers seen by the dam that morning. Well, Sunday was a nice day for a boat ride too. Have to get in shape for the Waukesha County Parks canoe outing on the 20th and all.

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Happy April Fools Day.

Pulling one over one you guys is not an easy task…although I did receive a share of phone calls, emails, and comments on the street from folks who were excited (and concerned) about the last blog.

But in truth, if you don’t know it by now, the fabled coffee empire I said was coming to our fair downtown was nothing more than a lot of hot air (for now).

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dragonfly takes a dip in the Fox

2) raindrops on roses


When there's not a lot of difference between the water levels above and below the dam... When there's barely two feet of clearance under the bridges... When the dragonfly takes a drink from the Fox you know it's at flood stage. Amazing what one week and a couple inches of rain can do.

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leave me out of it

Now that the snow is gone, (it is gone now isn't it?) all that remains is the soggy, rotting leaves by the curb and in the street. I see many people have been moving the decomposing mess from the terrace into the street to keep the grass from dying.

You'd think there'd come a time when the city would no longer be responsible for cleaning up the leaf mess from the fall. At some point you'd think homeowners would want to clean it up themselves instead of creating another flood hazard by shoving it into the street. 

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High Water

With the recent wet weather, a lot of people have been asking about the state of the Fox River.

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Mayor Larry Nelson - Worthy of scorn or support?

Community Happenings, Observations

Today I read about Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson delivering his version of a "State of the Union" address to the Common Council. Basically a recap of his first two years serving as Mayor, his presentation covered many of the positive developments which occurred during this time frame.

This occasion pushes the question: Should "Mayor Larry" be judged by his own assessment, or should public and media comments singlehandedly frame our opinions? 

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it was Majestic

in honor of the first national Poem in Your Pocket Day:

The last snow of the season was blowing,

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Crocs stock flops

It wasn't a good week for mayoral footwear. On Monday, Crocs Inc. lowered it's first-quarter forecast based on lower sales of the odd clogs and expenses related to a plant closure. By Tuesday the price of shares had dropped 43%, for a combined drop of 73% so far this year. Shares are now somewhere around the $10.00 mark.

Also this week, Japan instructed Crocs to change the design of the rubber sandals. Their Trade Ministry has issued a warning based on multiple complaints of the footwear becoming stuck in escalators.

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a bad day crane counting. . .

2) raindrops on roses, 8) my favorite things, counting cranes, helping, J-S, Retzer

I have to compare yesterday's crane count to fishing. Sometimes you don't see any, but the day is never wasted. Plus, a bad day of crane counting is still better than a good day at work.

The weather wasn't too cold for the start of Earth Week and the 5:30 a.m. start of the Annual Midwest Crane Count, though a few raindrops fell. My son accompanied me and we saw lots of deer, some turkeys and even a bluebird. We hiked around in the woods and saw the sunrise together. Even though we didn't see any cranes, hanging out in nature is not something we do enough of and the day wasn't wasted. Today, the same son would have gone canoeing with me down the Fox if I hadn't totalled the canoe earlier and if the Wauk. Parks canoe trip hadn't been cancelled due to the danger of high water.

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watch for it


I used to hear from people who saw my blog in Waukesha Marketplace. Many people from church would compliment me on my writing. But because Marketplace is no longer carrying the blogs all I hear now is they haven't seen anything from me lately. Hey, get a computer!

I was OK with giving away my quality writing for free, but what I didn't like was not getting the Marketplace just because I was a Journal Sentinel subscriber. That's why I was so looking forward to the introduction of the paper version of WaukeshaNOW just two Thursday's ago. WaukeshaNOW the publication, included inside the Thursday Journal Sentinel, promises to be more substantial and newsy than the Marketplace "shopper." I regularly see the WestAllisNOW paper so I knew what to expect.

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Happy Belated Earthday

1) sound of music

It's probably no coincidence that International TV Turn-Off Week coincides with Earthweek. Even so, I wasn't going to let a little thing like that stop me from watching one of my favorite shows, American Idol. Besides live performances by the final six talented singers, Tuesday was also the 38th anniversary of the founding of Earth Day.

It turns out that the two best performers Tuesday were in the bottom two Wednesday. I didn't want to see either Syesha or Carly leave and was hoping for a recount. It's clear it's a popularity contest, but it's also clear that at this point they're all very talented.

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if a tree falls in the forest...

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, Retzer

I was enjoying a quiet walk in the woods at Retzer Nature Center today. It felt good to slow down and notice things that were buried under snow not that long ago. So many shades of green... It would have been a lot quieter had it not been for the howling wind and squeeks of bending trees rubbing against one another. I had stopped to listen to all the sounds and moments later heard something unexpected. A dead pine tree came crashing down in the area I had just come from.

It was the Earth Day Extravaganza at Retzer, one of my very favorite times to be there. The weather had been nicer other years and it kept the crowd down, but plenty of people still enjoyed the day's free activities.

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Rep. Scott Newcomer and a lesson in the "Red Herring" marketing technique...

Community Happenings, County News, Observations, Schools

Recently State Rep. Scott Newcomer wrote a guest opinion in another publication which was titled:  "Wisconsin’s school systems should teach money management."  Scott used April, which is recognized as Financial Literacy Awareness Month, as the springboard highlighting the need to raise financial understanding through the school systems.

Well written, his column acknowledges the need for (and lack of)  parental advice in these matters. It goes on to state "less than half of college students polled said their parents made a conscientious effort to teach them.I find it inconceivable that such a vital topic is left out of the school system and placed solely in the hands of the public. As parents, many of us often times find ourselves puzzled by the task of assisting in our children’s math or science homework. Despite this truth, the majority of college students cite parents as their primary source of information on money management, yet less than a quarter of them feel prepared for the financial challenges awaiting them. This illustrates the fact that additional education from schools is needed in order to improve the quality of the information flowing in the public sphere."   "...I feel that each individual school district, if it is not already doing so, should strive to implement financial education requirements."

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ditch fish

Couple weeks ago my kids told me about some large fish they'd seen in a small pool of water on their way home from school. The fish were supposedly living in a little puddle at the outlet of a culvert. A million questions ran through my head. What kind were they? How did they get there? Where were they through winter? What did they live on? How long were they there? Are they anywhere as large as I was told?

But when I went to see for myself the water was too cloudy, though my son saw one. I imagined there was an undercut to the bank and the fish had a secret spot that didn't freeze over in winter.

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spring rummage sale this week

St. William

Plenty of bargains at the St. William rummage sale, 440 N Moreland Blvd.. The sale will run 8:00 till 6:00 this Thursday, May 1st, through Saturday, May 3rd. I've already previewed some of the items and it looks like it will be a good one. For best selection get there early. For best price show up Saturday.

Also, it's not too early to reserve a time for a blood donation. St. William's is hosting a Monday, May 12th BloodCenter of Wisconsin blood dirive at the parish between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. They're accepting platelets or whole blood. Call 547-2763 x203 to make an appt.. 

The Wizard of Milwaukee?

1) sound of music, Les is more

Finally, after talking for at least ten years about it, a Les Paul museum exhibit will open this June 21st. The 3000 sq. foot exhibit will be a hands-on aural monument to his unbelievable, talented life. I'm so glad the 92 year old Les Paul will be able to participate in the grand opening.

This museum "seemed to make a lot of sense," Paul's business manager said. "Les is intimately involved with this. He has the connection: This is his home." 

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