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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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Random Thoughts 2008 - Updated

 Random Thoughts


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Out with the old and in with the....nothing. (At least for a while!)


I have no idea why, but nothing is as metaphorically cleansing to me as taking down the Christmas decorations. I am here today to say that I am cleansed of Christmas.


Contrary to what I may have led you to believe, I do indeed love Christmas. It’s true that I have issues with when it begins and ends, but I like it.


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NFL Craziness and the Playoff Schedule

NFL, Policy, TV

The NFL has sent a letter to the Rosebud theater stating it can not show the Packers games on its big screen anymore.  WHAT??

According to the NFL, the Rosebud is violating the NFL copyright laws by having mass - out - of home viewing. It states that the NFL only licenses games to be shown in homes so that the stations can gather viewer hip numbers and the stations can charge for advertising based on those numbers.  By showing games in mass - out - of home viewings it skews the numbers and the stations could lose out on advertising dollars. I understand thats how they make their money.  Sounds like to me the NFL should decide on how to capture these viewer numbers instead of coming off as greedy. Its the fans that have made the league what it is today. REALLY!!

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Fallen Soldier’s Words Add Tears to Morning Coffee


Like many people, it takes me a while to wake up in the morning. I usually sit here in my house, bleary-eyed, at least until I’ve worked my way through a cup and a half of java and several sections of the morning Journal Sentinel. This Monday, something made me wake up much earlier than usual and I had hardly made it past the front page. Suffice it to say, it moved me to tears.


I’m talking about Mike Nichols’ column about Army Major Andy Olmsted, whose parents live in Cedarburg. Apparently, Andy wrote a letter that a friend was supposed to post on a website in the event of his death. Unfortunately, his letter was posted, which means that Andy was killed in Iraq.


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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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Playoff Fever Inspires Song


Like many people throughout Wisconsin, we’ve definitely got Packer playoff fever in our house. It’s been a few years since we’ve even wanted to think about NFL football in January. (On a side note, thankfully, the NFL hasn’t yet ruled that thinking about football requires a license, although, in his defense, Roger Goodell is just getting started at his commissioner job. Give him time to figure that out.)


In any case, Saturday is the big playoff game between the Packers and the Seahawks and in anticipation of that, a friend of ours from Green Bay, Randy Stary, has written a song called “Rock to the Big Game.” (We’re not going to say the “SB” words here!) You can listen to the song here.


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Our Unexpected Angel

Packers, Personal

Saturday night, as I stood there at Lambeau Field and watched a magical, mythical snowstorm swirl while an unlikely Packer team came from behind to destroy their opponent, I had one thought: “Thank you, Andrew. This was so much fun.”


Allow me to share a story with you.


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NFL Playoffs

Brett Favre, NFL, Rosebud

Green Bay could not have had a better game yesterday.  After they went down 14-0 in the first 4 mins of the game on 2 fumbles by Ryan Grant, I thought the Packers were done but WOW what a comeback.  Scoring 42 points and only allowing Seattle 2 field goals in the next 56 minutes of the game. Grant comes back with 3 touchdowns with 201 yards rushing on 27 carries. Thats 7.4 yards a carry in a playoff game in the snow.  How about that pass to Donald Lee from Brett Favre for a first down towards the end of the 1st half.  Vintage Favre, throwing as he is stumbling down and under hand.  Great game!!

Patriots beat the Jaguars and the Chargers beat the Colts, so the AFC championship game will be the Chargers at the Patriots. Giants beat the Cowboys, so the Giants are going to play in Green Bay. Another playoff game in Lambeau Field.

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The slumming of Wauwatosa


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


 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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Shot Through the Heart - Musings of a Dejected Fan

Packers, Weather

I was one of the 72,000+ who stood outside Sunday night and had their heart broken.


Yes, it was very cold, but no it wasn’t horrible. (The weather, not the game.) Being a mom forces me to hyper-prepare. The extra coats, long underwear, hats, hand-warmers and tights that seemed like overkill pre-game, were blessedly welcome mid-game.


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You too can drive the roundabout


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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Mother Nature's Big Tease


This is it. The weather that makes or breaks Wisconsinites. It’s not just the temperature. Sure, it’s 4 below zero with negative double digit wind chill. It’s the whole kit and caboodle.


It’s not the beautiful, fluffy snowflakes that start in late November and make us think Christmasy thoughts.


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When I dip, you dip, we dip



Image from Ratterrell, Flickr CC

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