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Forest Exploration Center - A Seedling Emerges

County Grounds, Forest Exploration Center, Leave No Child Indoors, STEM Education

I'd like to think of this project like the propagation of a tree.  

Sometimes a seed or a nut falls to the ground.  Or is passed from the digestive tract of a bird.  Maybe a squirrel buries and forgets it.  The seed germinates and sends a shoot upwards towards the light filtering through the forest canopy.  If it is lucky, that sprout will survive predation by a hungry rodent.  As it reaches further for the sun it might survive a browsing whitetail deer.  Recent decades might find it engaged in a battle-to-the-death with competition from invasive species crowding it out for sunlight, water and nutrients.  With more luck, and within a few years, that seedling will grow to a sapling.  Against enormous odds and over many years it might just survive to become a dominant tree in the forest - and be threatened now by an invasive insect from Asia.  Should it survive all of this it will release its progeny to repeat the process all over again.

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Making a List and Checking it Twice

Governor Walker, Politics, Public Information, Recall Petition, Retaliation

By now most of you are aware that lists of those who have signed the petition to recall Governor Scott Walker can be easily accessed on the web. As clunky as they are you can at least sort by ZIP code. Being the naturally curious guy that I am I downloaded several ZIP codes into an excel file for ease of sorting and scrutiny. And I saved them - so I can check them twice. The 53213 file has 4188 lines of data representing neighbors of mine that have signed the petition. A good number of them I am personally acquainted with.

If you were to peruse the list you won't find my name. That's because I have any number of personal reasons not to sign a recall petition. I also know of individuals residing in ZIP code 53213 who in-fact signed a petition yet do not appear on the list. Such is the result of sloppy data entry. The list is flawed.

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Paying attention

Inattentional blindness, distracted pedestrians, human factors, distracting personal devices

Some things you can’t get out of your mind. For me, it’s the tragic death of a young man in our town while crossing railroad tracks. Likely he was unaware of the train bearing down on him because he was absorbed in the world of music in his head.

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Tuition goes 'on sale' at Catholic Wauwatosa school

Mercy Academy, a Catholic K-8 school in Wauwatosa, is trying to attract new families this year by offering 50% off elementary school tuition.

The offer is good for only three families and has been made possible through an agreement with Relevant Radio, which has a tuition assistance program, according to a news release.

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Plans for Wauwatosa retail development moving forward

Wauwatosa, Retail

A proposal to provide city financing help for The Mayfair Collection, a retail development planned for Wauwatosa's Burleigh Triangle area, is progressing.

The Common Council's Budget & Finance Committee recently met in closed session to discuss negotiations over the financing proposal with Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate Inc., which would develop The Mayfair Collection.

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Friday Morning Music

Echo and the Bunneymen, Friday Morning Music, Seven Seas

Crank-up the volume on your office workstation, light yourself a cigarette and bring on the weekend.

Echo and the Bunnymen.... 

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Some tourney thoughts on a busy day

Prep basketball, Tosa East boys and girls, Tosa West girls, Dominican boys, New Berlin West girls

I've been running around watching boys and girls postseason basketball and it's been a busy week.

Most disappointing game was the first one, watching an improved Tosa East girls team fail to show up against a not-so-good (I'm being polite here) Milwaukee Lutheran team (2-20) on Tuesday and losing a 65-58 decision. To give up 65 points to this team was terrible. But it was a nice gift for Red Knights coach Randy Clinard, who is hanging it up.

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Divided We Stand

Bad Legislation, Misguided Priorities, Parenting, Politics, Public Policy, Senator Grothman

I had a chat with my state senator recently and among other things she asked me to share my opinion about the mining bill.  I offered that mining has been part of the economy and culture of the iron range for as long as it’s been settled.  If a mining bill could be passed that adequately addressed environmental and tribal concerns I had no problem with it.  We could use the jobs.

In the intervening month the mining bill appears to have died.  A victim of legislative intransigence.  Will there be a demonstration of executive leadership to resuscitate the bill?  That’s anybody’s guess.

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And then there were three (blog 1 of 2)

Tosa West girls basketball

I have three prep teams left and they are all in the same sectional, so I like my chances of having a D2 team playing next week.

Here's a look at one of my teams in the top half of Thursday's bracket.

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Friday Morning St. Paddy's Day

Saint Patrick, Shamrocks, Guinness, The Chieftains, Van Morrison

Did you know that in recent years Ireland has been stricken with a shortage of shamrocks?

That's right.  Experts blame a number of exceedingly harsh and consecutive winters along with a decline in the traditional hay meadows for a scarcity of Trifolium dubium, the wild-growing, three-leaf clover that botanists consider the official shamrock.

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Spring Has Sprung

Cavity Nesting Songbirds, Conservation, Critters, Girlfriend, Nest Boxes

It is the Spring Equinox today. 

I’ve been hanging at the farm for a spell.  And reveling in the return of the migratory song birds, the spring peeper chorus and thoughts of gardening.  When I take the dogs out at night there is the peenting of the woodcock as they perform their sky dance mating ritual in the night heavens.

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Friday Morning Little Sister

Elvis, Friday Morning Music, Little Sister, Big Sideburns

A few of you have inquired about about my other dog - Sister.  AKA the Chick Magnet or Blonde Ambition.  Almost three months ago she underwent a serious surgery to correct a deformity in her right forearm.

She has been sporting an external fixator ever since.  Four steel rings and sixteen pins to keep the bones in alignment as they knit.  the Million Dollar Dog has been a real champ through all of this.  I know if I had to wear a medical appliance that looked like a medieval torture device I would be grumpy.  Not her.  She's her good-natured self. 

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Guess the Critter

Guess The Critter

Only a month ago I took these photos of bird tracks in the snow.

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Joe Bartolotta & the Spaghetti Dinner are Back!

Joe Bartolotta, Wauwatosa Catholic School, Skate Night, Family Skate Night, Spaghetti Dinner

The spaghetti dinner featuring Chef Joe Bartolotta is back!  The proceeds will benefit Wauwatosa Catholic School sponsored by St. Pius X and St. Bernard Parishes. 


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A Gallon Of Gas In Every Pot

Governor Walker, Misguided Priorities, Mitt Romney, The Big Fat Middle, Voodoo Economics

Don't you just love the smell of elections in the spring air?

Oddly-enough Governor Walker and I have something in common.

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The lady or the accountant? Two questions for the next mayor

Wauwatosa, mayoral candidates, Kathy Ehley, Peter Donegan

(First an edit: Pete Donegan is not an accountant--not that there's anything wrong with being an accountant! I misheard that, although I'm sure he would not mind the implication that he pays careful attention to the numbers. But we'll let the title stand because it's a good enough description.)

If you wanted a model campaign for decency, honesty, and competence, the Wauwatosa mayoral campaign would be one to choose. While the previous election became an experiment in the successful use of divisive and partisan politics, candidates Pete Donegan and Kathy Ehley have returned to the nonpartisan place that serves a community best.

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Prescription and Over The Counter Medication Disposal

The Wauwatosa Police Department recognizes the societal abuse of prescription medications and the need for Wauwatosa residents to dispose of the medications in a safe and proper manner. The Wauwatosa Police Department also recognizes that improper disposal of medications is a threat to the environment. It is the goal of the Wauwatosa Police Department to provide a safe and secure manner of disposing medications.

The following guidelines must be met in order to accept medications. Please note that we only accept medications from residents of the City of Wauwatosa.

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The candidates answer: Pete Donegan

Wauwatosa mayoral candidates, Peter Donegan

Thanks to both Pete Donegan and Kathy Ehley for responding to the questions posed in my last blog.

First up, Alder Donegan. Ehley's will follow in a day or two.

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Friday Morning Music

Brown Eyed Girl, Friday Morning Music, Girlfriend, Jill, Sister, Van Morrison

All of the women in my life have brown eyes.


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Kathy Ehley: the candidates answer

Kathy Ehley, Wauwatosa mayoral candidates

Both mayoral candidates were kind enough to answer two questions I posed following the candidate's forum March 26. Kathy Ehley's reply follows.You can find Pete Donegan's answers in the previous post.

  1. What place is there in Wauwatosa for children and younger people? What do you see as the city’s role in supporting and encouraging those populations?

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