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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Tosa joins international Aldi controversy

Three cheers for Linda Carlson, who has entered Wauwatosa in the cross-continental debate about this modest grocery-'n-stuff store.

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"Cost cutting measures . . . pay off," but at what price to patients?

An article in today's (1-5-8) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel proclaims that ". . . hospitals are making progress" and "putting on the brakes harder" to cut costs that are higher here than in most places. The report is based on a study by actuarial and accounting company Milliman Inc. for the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health.

While I have no quarrel with corralling soaring health care costs, I'm worried about what bean-counter measures mean for people receiving care--and for those who give it.

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Do you vote smart—or from the heart? Now you can do both

Politics, Project Vote Smart

I’m probably not the only person who thinks she votes from reason but really votes, at least sometimes, from a deeper, maybe more primitive place.

That’s why I can’t get behind Hillary Clinton, who is much “better” on most issues I care about, but am ready to join the Barack Obama snowball.

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Enough to make you weep

Hillary Clinton, Politics

Having raised at least one reader’s ire by pointing out that the Republican candidates at the last debate looked old – really old, and tired, and, had I been even more honest, waspish, and, well, not very healthy—I’m in a mood to re-offend.

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The slumming of Wauwatosa

Development

For years I've driven past the many solid red brick apartments lining North Avenue in the 80- and 90-numbered blocks, thinking they looked like good places to live. I've even had a landlord fantasy or two as I try to find ways to bring co-housing to Wauwatosa.  A couple of three building units look ideally suited to the concept.

But yesterday, I saw the same buildings through new eyes. As I dropped an acquaintance off at one, she began to tell about her building's rapid disintegration since a new landlord bought the building and, apparently, some others near by.

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Fox 6 discovers Wauwatosa

Fluff

 I'll admit to not watching Fox news. But tonight was American Idol, so I just hung around long enough to discover that tonight's breaking news was all about Wauwatosa.

The lead story: we're running out of road salt, and when the next storm comes, Tosa crews will only salt the intersections.

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Not as bad as the worst

Aging, It's not easy

As I leave the house to make my now weekly pilgrimage to Oshkosh, I spot one of the kids’ iPods on the kitchen floor. It looks a little odd, and then I see that all that high technology is now held together with electric tape.

The surface appeal is gone, but still it manages to work somehow.

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You too can drive the roundabout

Yield!

Driving roundabouts is fun--if you don't get killed by some besotted soul driving the wrong way, as I nearly did tonight. Or one who gets confused and slams on the brakes for no particular reason, as seems to be happening with more, not less, frequency.

So I will help you prepare for your trip on Canal Street to the new Harley Davidson Museum (and La Fuente) this spring. 

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Dean Redman's brave enough to listen to the voters

Fire station, Politics

Needing a new fire station and wanting a new fire station may be two very separate things. That we need a new fire station is pretty clear to me, based on the data that have been presented, checked, and presented again. The endless squabbles that have gotten in the way pretty much boil down to:

  • Where will it be?
  • How stripped down a place can we get away with?

But now the when and if are creeping back into the discussion. Blogger Tom Gaertner, for one, is fed up with the Council dragging their feet, this time by putting off placing the question before the voters as a binding referendum. He's too polite to tell you, but I'm not: voting against were Alders Birschel, Didier, Donegan, Ewerdt, and Hanson: Minnear, Herzog, and Krill were not present. The rest voted aye.

I asked Tom whether a referendum was required. If not, solid leadership and personal bravery would let the Council do the right thing right away. That would be to build a new fire house good enough and big enough to last for at least 50 years. I don't want to think what a "do-over" in 20 years will cost if we don't do it right this time.

While I still don't know the answer to whether this question must go to referendum, Fire Chief Dean Redman sent me a note with his perspective that it should:

"I would welcome updated comments since the public input has been limited.  It is hard to know what that means.  Does the public not support the need and are just waiting to vote it down, or do they accept the need and are waiting to support it?  The real way to find out is to have it on the ballot."

This is a brave and solid bit of leadership. Whether the answer is the one Redman wants or not, he honors the public by supporting our right to speak on the issue.

Shouldn't the Council do as much?

And shouldn't we respond by doing our homework and thinking about the next generation of Tosans as well as ourselves?

Your thoughtful comments are welcome here.

Some good news about aging societies

Aging, Politics

Seniors have a reputation for being, well, peaceful. Maybe not Uncle Buster, but most. That's one reason aging communities like Wauwatosa are eager to develop housing for seniors—especially the kind of seniors who not only don’t have axes to grind but have lots of home equity to reinvest.

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When I dip, you dip, we dip

Fluff




 

Image from Ratterrell, Flickr CC

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