Public Credits Trump for Good Economy

This, if anything, will blunt the Blue Wave.

More than two-thirds of Americans credit President Donald Trump for the country’s healthy economy, a new poll has revealed.

The CBS News poll, which was released on Sunday, shows a sharp partisan divide, with Republicans more likely to give the president positive reviews while Democrats and Independents are not as complimentary.

According to the survey, 35 per cent of Americans say Trump’s policies are ‘a great deal’ responsible for the economy.

Around the same number – 33 per cent – say the president’s policies are ‘somewhat’ responsible.

Ex Madison Football Player to Sue Over Brain Injury

Oh, c’mon.

At 6 feet tall and 195 pounds, Tony Megna was considered too small to be a college football linebacker. Megna was determined, though, to play for the University of Wisconsin-Madison squad.

As a walk-on in 2007, Megna said, he was expected to work harder than his peers on the field and at practice. His attitude was, “You’re playing NCAA football. You’re a warrior.”

Megna said he knew he was putting his body on the line for the game but, “I wasn’t aware of brain injury.”

Disturbed by what he has learned since his football career ended, Megna is now planning legal action. He intends to join a group of former college football players who have filed 111 lawsuits to date seeking to create a class action against the NCAA and its athletic conferences.

His attorney, Jeff Raizner of Houston, said there is a “high likelihood” Megna will be a plaintiff in the case, which is months, if not years, away from trial. If filed, Megna’s claim could become the first to pull UW-Madison into the litigation.

At what point do the players have some responsibility for the risks they take? The risk of physical and mental injury has always been a risk. And the risk of long-term mental injury has been known for several years now. Who has ever thought that you could whack your head repeatedly for years and not have some negative impact? But players do it every day because they love the sport and some of them want the chance at a fame and fortune. Responsibility is a two-way street.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Sale price listed for Morrie’s Honda purchase

The sale price has come in for the 39.575-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive in West Bend. The property belonged to the Devenport family. It was annexed into the city in February and recently sold to Morries West Bend H RE, LLC.

According to records in the City Assessor’s office the parcel sold for $3,396,300.

The property is currently owned by Devenport Family Limited Partnership #1.

According to Washington County the parcel was purchased in 1988 by Douglas Devenport.

In 1996 it was transferred to Craig Devenport and the Devenport Family Limited Partnership #1.

The 2017 assessment is for two parcels. One is 37.2 acres and its assessed value is $217,700. The second, much smaller parcel closer to the Highway is about a 3-acre strip valued at $7,700.

Coming up this summer construction will get underway for a new Morrie’s West Bend Honda dealership.

The project will consist of a new two-story structure approximately 35,000 square foot footprint that will contain office, retail showroom, architectural display elements, and service facilities.

Morrie’s new Honda facility will create approximately 60 new jobs in the community.

Former Washington Co. Board Supervisor has died

Thomas J. Sackett “Tom,” 79, of Hartford, Wisconsin was called home to heaven on May 17, 2018. Sackett was very involved in his community where he served as an alderman in his younger years and in his retirement as the Chairman of the Board of Washington County. Mass of Resurrection for Tom will be celebrated Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. at St. Kilian Catholic Church (264 W. State Street Hartford, WI 53027) with Fr. David LaPlante officiating. Family will greet relatives and friends at church on Thursday from 1:00-3:30p.m. Tom’s wish was to be cremated.

Opening day announcements for area restaurants

There are six new restaurants opening in the West Bend area and one establishment that reopened after it was closed for a licensing issue. We’re following up on how development is going and give you an opening date for the new eateries in the community.

Pizza Ranch will officially open Monday, May 21. There is a ribbon cutting Wednesday, May 16 at 10:30 a.m.  The public is invited to attend and Rev. Nate Reesman will offer a blessing.

Across town Eaton’s Pizza, 830 E. Paradise Drive, in West Bend will officially open June 25. It was this past February when WashingtonCountyInsider.com announced Eaton’s Fresh Pizza was returning to West Bend.

Don Ramon is moving into the former Dairy Queen/ Mother’s Day location, 501 Wildwood Road, in West Bend. It was April 24 when the story broke on WashingtonCountyInsider.com that the Mexican restaurant was opening its second location in West Bend.  Owner Felix Sanchez said the restaurant will open in July.

In October 2017 the story was first announced on WashingtonCountyInsider.com that a new Firehouse Subs was coming to West Bend. The build out at 1733 S. Main Street is nearly complete and the new restaurant owned by Sharon and Bob Erickson will open May 30.

In downtown West Bend progress is being made inside the former Sears building, 102 S. Main Street, as Bababebay Luu is working on the new Pearl of Canton Restaurant.  It was January 2017 when WashingtonCountyInsider.com first broke the story about the new Asian/American restaurant. Last week Luu said there was a lot more work to be done to bring the building, electrical and plumbing up to code. She is hoping to open in July … but that’s not definite at this point.

Moonlighting, 326 Commerce Street, in Barton has reopened. The bar/restaurant went through a licensing issue and the state temporarily shut them down April 17. That issue was resolved when the West Bend Common Council approved a new license at its May 7 meeting. Owner Chad Goeman used the downtime to remodel a bit. Step inside and you’ll see a new floor, lighting and most impressive is the 20 tappers for a large beer selection.

In Allenton, Aiden O’Reilly’s is changing hands. Mark Merten and his wife have purchased the establishment at 402 Main Street. Merten is planning on changing the name and making some improvements.

In other restaurant news, the McDonald’s on W. Washington Street in West Bend opened over the weekend. The inside was totally remodeled and updated.  The video above takes you for a walk through.  The McD’s on S. Main Street is also going to be remodeled and the galaxy theme is being replaced.

Huge award for Museum Of Wisconsin Art in West Bend

Some well-deserved recognition for the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend as it has been named ‘Best Gallery Or Museum In Wisconsin’ by American Art Awards.

“This 32,000-square-foot museum houses five permanent collection galleries, three temporary exhibition spaces, classrooms, a large atrium and more. Over 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art by more than 350 artists,” is how American Art Awards describes MOWA.

An article in medium.com by reporter Thom Bierdz read, “The Museum of Wisconsin Art won the distinction of Best Gallery Or Museum In Wisconsin, 2018, and one of American Art Awards 25 Best American Galleries / Museums, 2018.”

Jessica Wildes is director of communications and marketing at MOWA. “We are truly honored to be named one of the top 25 museums in America and the top museum in Wisconsin by the American Art Awards,” said Wildes.  “Our selection was based on our innovative philosophy where everyone’s a member.”

One of the other keys to success, according to Wildes, is MOWA’s ability to wrap its arms around all its guests.

“Instead of repeat admission fees, every visitor becomes a member to the museum for a full year upon their first visit to MOWA,” she said. “Membership includes unlimited gallery viewing, 175+ free-for-member programs, and access to special events and classes for a full year.”

Three Catholic Schools receive Exemplary Recognition from the Archdiocese      By Kristin Bayer

Three area schools in Washington County were recently honored by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee with Exemplary Recognition. Holy Trinity in Kewaskum, Holy Angels in West Bend, and Saint Frances Cabrini in West Bend were among 11 schools from throughout the Archdiocese given this recognition. The Archdiocese covers 10 counties in southeastern Wisconsin.

The three schools were recognized in the area of Catholic Identity and Mission.

Exemplary Recognition is how the Archdiocese recognizes and commends schools that go well beyond normal standards and requirements. Every seven years, Catholic schools go through a re-accreditation process. Schools must meet a wide set of standards, educational and religious, to be accredited. For Exemplary Recognition, schools have an additional application process. They gather evidence, and submit preliminary and final reports. Then a team, including the School Superintendent for the Archdiocesan schools, visits the school, touring the facility, spending time in the classrooms, and meeting and interviewing a broad cross section of stakeholders in the school, including parents, teachers, the principal and staff, the school advisory board, parish priests, and the students themselves.

The reasons for this special recognition are as unique as the schools themselves. Holy Trinity’s mission is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, to provide a high quality education, and to guide children in living the Catholic faith. Principal Jodi Casetta says that the school truly lives out this mission. “It’s strong, clear, and concise, and it guides us in all our decision making.” She points out the school’s approach to marketing as an example. “We try not to market at people, but instead to invite them and welcome them. It’s not like business marketing. We’re here. We’re welcoming, and when God calls people here, they come.”

At Holy Angels School, each week begins with a Monday morning assembly that centers a discussion of scripture readings from Sunday and how the students can live out the good news in their lives during the coming week. Principal Mike Sternig said during re-accreditation, the evaluating team noticed the strong faith community and family feeling that permeated the school. “It’s part of everything we do here.” The team recommended the school apply for Exemplary Recognition. This is the third time the school has received Exemplary Recognition from the Archdiocese.

At Saint Frances Cabrini School, Catholic identity begins in the classroom, according to principal Aaron Hilts. “Our priests regularly come to our classrooms to teach about the faith, and to answer questions when students want to dive a little deeper,” he said. Hilts is also proud of the community service projects that are built into classroom curriculum, and of the school-wide service. For example, the school recently honored patron saint Mother Cabrini with a Month of Charity, during which students gathered 200 bags of donations for the Albrecht Free Clinic.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has a commitment to excellence and continued school improvement that ensures the best learning possible for its students. The Exemplary Recognition Program, based on the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, honors schools that have demonstrated innovation and outstanding results. It is unusual that all the Catholic schools in a local area would apply for or be recognized in the same year. “We are delighted to receive this recognition, and delighted share the honor with our neighbor schools,” said Hilts.

Kettle Moraine YMCA receives bike racks

The Kettle Moraine YMCA in West Bend is the proud owner of a new bicycle rack made by students at Moraine Park Technical College.  There will be five MPTC designed-and-fabricated bike racks installed at the YMCA and about a dozen similar bicycle racks going up around the community. Bike Friendly West Bend help initiate the project with MPTC.

Energizers Dance Team from Hartford earn 3 more championship titles | By Jennifer Jackson Soto

Just one week after earning a champion title at Dance Worlds, the Energizers Dance Team from Hartford earned three more championship titles at the Dance Summit in Orlando.

The Summit, produced by Varsity All Star, is a very prestigious and competitive event for younger dance and cheer teams and non-Worlds dance genres. This was the first time the Energizers competed here and the team was thrilled and honored to earn paid bids for SEVEN routines – Mini Pom, Mini Jazz, Youth Variety, Youth Pom, Youth Jazz, Senior Kick and Senior Variety.

At this year’s Dance Summit, held May 5-6 at the Coronado Springs Resort, over 1,500 athletes, 234 teams, from 10 countries vied for the coveted first place and championship ring that each athlete and coach receives.

This is a two-day event where only the top 50% (or top five) teams advance to Day 2.

After advancing all seven routines on Day 1, the Energizers poured their heart and soul onto the floor again with their high energy, crowd-pleasing performances.

The EDT is extremely proud of their final placements, which were earned against intense competition from teams as far away as Japan:

Senior Kick – ages 12-19 – “Sweet Caroline” – First place

Senior Variety – ages 12-19 – “EDT Family” – First place

Youth Variety – ages 9-12- “Love & Peace” – First place

Youth Pom – ages 9-12 – “Moment” – First place

Youth Jazz – ages 9-12 – “Waka Waka” – Third place

Mini Pom – ages 6-9 – “Janet Jackson” Second place

Mini Jazz – ages 6-9 – “Ridiculous” – Second place

A total of 42 dancers ages 6 – 18 from the Energizers performed at Summit:

Cierra Trost, Mackenzy Lehmann, Tannor Allar, Skylar Allar, Tylie Allar, Emma Konjura, Maddie Pinter, Isabelle Anderson, Peyton Kriehn, Ava Olson, Sydney Martin, Avery Krenz, Carmen Roemke, Alex Soto, Marisa Strankowski, Brooke Becker, Mya Pinter, Brynn Morley, Alexis Landon, Summer Schroeder, Summer Stamm, Chloe Dulski, Hope Dulski, Erica Kohls, Ava Rogers, Lindsey Curtis, Peyton Lemke, Ella Johnson, Kelsey Monfre, Annika Engebretsen, Tatum Boylen, Bailey Hubing, Mallory Hawkins, Allison Hoeft, Delaney Hron, Paige Kaiser, Ella Kuhn, Haylee Landon, Kate Morley, Savannah Resch, Brooklynn Scioli, and Amaiyah Shepard. Congratulations once again to the Energizers Dance Team and coaches Sheila Trost, Jim Trost, Alexis Trost and Kayla Henderson.

Three finalists named for West Bend School superintendent

The School Board in West Bend Joint School District #1 selected three finalists for the position of superintendent for the district. The finalists include Donald Kirkegaard, secretary of education, State of South Dakota, Pierre, South Dakota; Christopher Peterson, superintendent, Howards Grove School District, Howards Grove, Wisconsin; and Thomas Hoh, executive director of secondary education, Green Bay Area Public School District, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“I am impressed with the overwhelming quality of the 43 candidates who were recruited and applied for our superintendent position,” said School Board President Joel Ongert. “The search firm we hired did a great job, which led to an outstanding group of finalists.”

Donald A. Kirkegaard — Prior to being appointed by the governor of South Dakota as secretary of education for the state in 2017, Kirkegaard was superintendent of the Meade School District and Britton-Hecla School District for nearly 23 years. He was also a principal in the Britton-Hecla School District for six years. Kirkegaard earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from South Dakota State University, a master’s degree in school administration from Northern State University, and an educational specialist degree in school district administration from the University of South Dakota.

Christopher D. Peterson — Christopher Peterson has 23 years of experience in public education, including nine as superintendent of Howards Grove School District. His experience includes serving as principal in the Manitowoc Public School District, Kimberly Area School District, and the School District of Wausaukee, and teaching in the Little Chute Area School District. Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a master’s degree in educational administration from Marian University, superintendent certification from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is working on a doctorate at Marian University.

Thomas J. Hoh, Ph.D. — Thomas Hoh has 20 years of experience in public education and currently serves as the executive director of secondary education for the Green Bay Area Public School District. Prior to joining the Green Bay Area Public School District, Hoh was a principal in the Ripon Area School District and also worked in the Kaukauna Area School District and Neenah Joint School District. Hoh earned his bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned a doctorate in education leadership from Marian University.

The board and district employees will interview each of the finalists a second time next week when they spend a day visiting the West Bend School District. Parents and residents have the opportunity to meet each candidate for informal conversations at the Silverbrook Intermediate School library, 120 N. Silverbrook Drive, West Bend, at 4 p.m. on May 22, 23, and 24.

The board intends to vote on its selection of the next superintendent on May 24, 2018, although contract details and agreements are anticipated to take several days. It is expected the successful candidate will officially join the district on July 1, 2018.

Updates & tidbits

-The Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County announces the appointment of Jaymee Harvey Willms as Executive Director effective Monday, May 21, 2018.

– A doctor is on trial in Mobile, Alabama accused in the 2016 death of singer Matthew Roberts. The 38-year-old former band member with Three Doors Down was found dead at the Hampton Inn in West Bend. Following a federal investigation Dr. Richard Snellgrove was indicted in November 2016 for Illegal Drug Distribution in relation to the death of Roberts. Snellgrove is accused of unlawful distribution of drugs and health care fraud in a case tied to the death of Matthew Roberts. Snellgrove is currently on trial. If convicted he faces up to 240 years in prison.

-Katie Kuhn, Birth Center RN and Hannah Streese, Outpatient Care Center wound care technician (right), both of West Bend, have been named recipients of the 2018 Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital Excellence in Nursing Award and Excellence in Nursing Support Personnel Award

-The Bürgermeister of Germantown invites you to Mai Fest at Friedenfeld Park on May 19, and 20. There will be fantastic beers, fabulous music and dancing and good old-fashioned fun.

-Pizza Ranch, 2020 W. Washington Street, opens Monday, May 21 in West Bend.

-The Survivor Celebration Lunch for Relay for Life in West Bend is Saturday, May 19 from noon – 2 p.m. at Holy Angels. On behalf of the American Cancer Society and the Relay for Life of West Bend, you and your caregiver are invited to join us to spend time with fellow survivors, see your Relay For Life friends, and enjoy a wonderful {free} meal just for you.

-The FREE Adult Swim Lesson week is coming up at the Kettle Moraine YMCA. Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or just starting out, there is a class for everyone. If you haven’t had a chance to register for any classes yet, there is still time.

West Bend School Board Announces 3 Finalists for Superintendent

From the email.

Donald A. Kirkegaard — Prior to being appointed by the governor of South Dakota as secretary of education for the state in 2017, Kirkegaard was superintendent of the Meade School District and Britton-Hecla School District for nearly 23 years. He was also a principal in the Britton-Hecla School District for six years. Kirkegaard earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from South Dakota State University, a master’s degree in school administration from Northern State University, and an educational specialist degree in school district administration from the University of South Dakota.

Christopher D. Peterson — Christopher Peterson has 23 years of experience in public education, including nine as superintendent of Howards Grove School District. His experience includes serving as principal in the Manitowoc Public School District, Kimberly Area School District, and the School District of Wausaukee, and teaching in the Little Chute Area School District. Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a master’s degree in educational administration from Marian University, superintendent certification from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is working on a doctorate at Marian University.

Thomas J. Hoh, Ph.D. — Thomas Hoh has 20 years of experience in public education and currently serves as the executive director of secondary education for the Green Bay Area Public School District. Prior to joining the Green Bay Area Public School District, Hoh was a principal in the Ripon Area School District and also worked in the Kaukauna Area School District and Neenah Joint School District. Hoh earned his bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned a doctorate in education leadership from Marian University.

Haspel Confirmed as CIA Director

Excellent.

The Senate voted 54-45 Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency — once sworn in, she would become the first woman to hold the post.

Haspel succeeds Mike Pompeo, who was confirmed as Trump’s secretary of state last month.

Six Democrats helped Republicans in confirming Haspel: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia – most of whom are up for re-election this November in states Trump won handily in 2016.

Graduate Protests Suppression of 2nd Amendment Rights on Campus

Good for her.

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Kaitlin Bennett graduated from Kent State University in Ohio with a degree in biology.

The following day, the 22-year-old returned to the campus with an AR-10 semi-automatic rifle strapped to her back and posed for photographs while holding a graduation cap emblazoned with the words “come and take it”.

Bennett, who later posted the photographs on Twitter, says she was protesting against a university policy that prohibited students, professors and employees from carrying “lethal weapons” on campus – but allows “guests” to possess them on school grounds (but not in buildings).

She noted that Kent State was the location where “four unarmed students were shot and killed by the government” – a reference to the 1970 incident where soldiers clashed with Vietnam War protesters, firing shots that hit 13 protesters and bystanders.

Mom Changes Son’s Name to Match Tattoo

smh

A mum from Sweden has taken drastic steps when a tattoo of her son Kevin’s name was spelled wrongly.

To make sure her new ink was accurate, the mum (who wants to be known only as Johanna) decided to officially change five-year-old Kevin’s name to Kelvin.

The mistake was made when she went to get the names Kevin and Nova (her daughter) tattooed on her arm.

Johanna only noticed the typo in the tattoo when she was on her way home in the car with her cousin.

“The spelling did not look wrong to me at first,” she told Newsbeat.

“For me, the text is upside-down so it’s in the right direction when I’m standing.

“When we’re sitting in the car home, my cousin takes a picture of it. That’s when I see what it says.

“It says Kelvin instead of Kevin. I didn’t think it was true.

Coward Deputy Begins Receiving $104k/year Pension

Wow. Just. Wow.

Scot Peterson, the former Broward County deputy sheriff who remained outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, while Nikolas Cruzallegedly gunned down 17 people, has begun receiving pension payments that will surpass $100,000 per year.

The state began paying Peterson $8,702.35 per month in April, and he’s eligible to continue receiving pension payments for the rest of his life, the Florida Department of Management Services told the Sun-Sentinel on Tuesday. According to Florida’s state pension handbook, the amount a state employee receives is based on the number of years served and his or her average salary during their highest-earning years. Peterson was a deputy for 32 years.

Peterson resigned and retired in February after admitting that he had heard gunshots, but saying he hadn’t believed they were coming from inside the school. The investigation into his conduct is ongoing.

OK, maybe not just wow… of course, the obvious outrage is that Peterson is a disgrace and shouldn’t be receiving a pension at all. But also consider that Peterson was just an average deputy sheriff in one county in Florida. He’s only 54 years old. He will be receiving over $100k a year for the rest of his life. That could be millions of dollars.

And he is one retired government employee.

This is why government is always “broke.”

Hawaii Erupts

Wow.

An explosive eruption at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has sent ash thousands of metres into the sky.

The US Geological Survey said the eruption took place at 05:00 local time (15:00 GMT).

Staff at the volcano observatory and the national park had been previously evacuated.

Since a new zone of Mount Kilauea began erupting almost two weeks ago, lava has wrecked dozens of homes and forced hundreds of people to be evacuated.

A red aviation code had already been issued – warning pilots to avoid the potentially damaging ash cloud.

Walker Pushes for Dem Convention in Milwaukee

While a convention of this scale would be good for the city and state, they need to make sure the contracts are firm. These conventions can be expensive for local taxpayers.

The meeting Monday afternoon at the Wisconsin Center focused on the growth Milwaukee’s tourism economy continues to show, and leaders who attended agree that landing the 2020 Democratic National Convention would only further that growth.

Following Visit Milwaukee’s annual meeting, the president/CEO and board chairman of Visit Milwaukee, Paul Upchurch and Omar Shaikh, respectively, and their counterparts at the Wisconsin Center, president and CEO Marty Brooks and board chair Ellen Nowak, expressed enthusiasm about not only the potential impact of hosting the 2020 convention in Milwaukee, but the city’s chances of securing the quadrennial event. Late last week, Milwaukee was named one of eight finalists to host the DNC in two years, along with cities like New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Houston, according to reports from CNN and NBC News.

Even Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who sought the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in the 2016 election, said he hoped Milwaukee would win the right to host his rival party’s convention when asked following his introductory remarks at Monday’s meeting.

“I think it would be huge,” Walker said. “I think any convention here of that magnitude is a big deal.”

Andre Jacque Wins Primary

Excellent!

State Rep. André Jacque attributed his win against Alex Renard for the GOP Republican nomination in the 1st SD Tuesday to his “positive campaign” and independent record in the Legislature.

Meanwhile, in the 42nd AD, Jon Plumer, who owns a Lodi karate school, won a four-way GOP primary

Jacque said in a phone interview he’d bring the same strategy he used in the primary to the June 12 general election where he’ll face Dem Caleb Frostman, the former executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corp.

“I expect we’ll certainly see more negativity out there, but we’re going to continue to talk about the things we’ve been able to do,” he said. “I think we have a really strong record of results we’d like to communicate.”

State of Illinois Takes Over Chicago Public Schools Special Education

Of course, it’s not like the State of Illinois has a solid record of competent management.

The Illinois State Board of Education took on sweeping authority to supervise special education at Chicago Public Schools on Wednesday, voting to appoint an outside monitor who for at least three years will have to approve any changes to the district’s special ed policies and procedures.

ISBE will now meet with CPS to map out what state schools Superintendent Tony Smith described as “the road to transformation” after officials concluded that the district’s 2016 overhaul of special ed violated a swath of federal law and regulations.

“The corrective action and recommendations we offered today are the right first step to helping CPS fully serve all children and families,” Smith said in a statement. “The common good requires uncommonly good public schools.”

ISBE also recommended that the district change the way it creates legally mandated education programs for special ed students, and identify students who may have had their services delayed or denied because of the CPS policy overhaul so parents have an opportunity to pursue needed changes.

North Korea Rattles Saber

This looks like Kim rattling his saber to enhance his perceived bargaining position before the summit. But it could also be the whole thing falling apart.

North Korea has said it may pull out of a summit with US President Donald Trump if the US insists it gives up its nuclear weapons.

The highly anticipated meeting between Mr Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is due to take place on 12 June.

But in an angry statement, North Korea’s vice-foreign minister accused the US of making reckless statements and of harbouring sinister intentions.

Washington County Votes to Keep State Tax Limits

Good to see!

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Museum of Wisconsin Art Expands

What a gem in the West Bend community and the state.

Construction has started on the Museum of Wisconsin Art’s Cultural Campus, which hopes to open in late summer or early fall.

Located south of the main building at 205 Veterans Ave., West Bend, the 2-acre campus aims to offer an outdoor experience for local artists and its fans, as well as expand MOWA’s program offerings.

But the campus also symbolizes an importantcornerstone in MOWA’s history.

In April, MOWA celebrated five years at its location east of the Milwaukee River in a plot of land once home to Field’s Furniture building and outlet mall that was demolished in 2007. MOWA moved to the location after a run in a small building on South Sixth Avenue in West Bend that started in the 1960s.

The campus also puts a cap of the first five years of the museum in its state-ofthe- art facility and a starting point for the next five years and beyond.

“It’s pretty big,” said Laurie Winters, MOWA’s executive director about the milestone.

Wisconsinites Will Continue to Leave State for Legal Sports Betting

This isn’t a surprise.

MADISON, Wis – On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that prohibited all states except Nevada from allowing sports betting.

New Jersey led the lawsuit, with the support of 18 other states that want to use sports gambling for college and professional teams to bring in more tourism and tax revenue.

A representative with the Wisconsin Department of Administration said “sports gaming is prohibited by the Wisconsin Constitution, state law, and is not allowed under the state tribal compacts.”

“Between the constitution and the compacts that are in place already in the state of Wisconsin, it really won’t have a bearing one way or the other,” said Gov. Scott Walker.

First, Walker is morally opposed to the expansion of gambling, so he’s not going to try to move mountains to get it in Wisconsin. Second, the state compact with the Tribes that protect their gambling monopolies can’t be reopened without the Tribes agreeing. There isn’t much incentive for them to do so with a Republican administration.

Liberal West Bend School Board targets November for $80 million referendum

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

As the West Bend School Board continues to search for a new superintendent after the unfortunate departure of the previous one, it is also aggressively following the liberal playbook to bamboozle the taxpayers into approving a new, massive, $80 million (plus interest) spending referendum. While every one of the school board members ran for office on a platform of conservatism and transparency, their governing is indistinguishable from the arrogant liberal school boards in Milwaukee or Madison.

Since Act 10, the liberals in Wisconsin have fought for more spending and stumbled upon a process to get school spending referendums passed that plays on the fears and best intentions of goodhearted people. The West Bend School Board is following that process and looking to take advantage of the projected “Blue Wave” in November to get more money from district taxpayers.

First, the School Board created the Citizens Facility Advisory Committee last year with a strong majority of members who were already convinced of the need to spend more money. The only questions were “on what” and “how much?” The board hired a company based in Milwaukee called Bray Architects to run the CFAC meetings. Bray brags on its website about the expensive building projects funded by referendums it helped get passed.

Bray did its job for the board and ran a rigid CFAC process that would only lead to the outcome that the board had predetermined. In one unguarded moment, the Bray facilitator admitted that “the decision to build a new Jackson school was made in the prior efforts.” The taxpayers of West Bend would be surprised to know the decision to build a new school was already made. When the facilitator was asked by a CFAC member about why they were even bothering with the committee, he answered, “because we need to help the community understand why a new Jackson is being considered.” In other words, CFAC was a sham propaganda tool from the beginning — not an actual advisory committee. Recent events confirm that conclusion.

After the bogus CFAC process, the School Board is taking the next step of spending $35,000 of our money to conduct a sham survey. The board pretends that the survey is going to be used to gauge public support for areferendum. The survey is a propaganda tool used to build support and, like CFAC, has a predetermined outcome.

The West Bend School Board has hired SchoolPerceptions to conduct the survey. A recent column

by Mark Belling exposed School Perceptions for the propaganda machine it is. Instead of conducting an objective survey that is honestly seeking answers, “the whole point of School Perceptions is to influence opinion through framing questions,” Belling writes.

The upcoming survey in West Bend will not be any different. It is telling that while asking respondents about a list of projects, there will not be an option to just say “no.” The West Bend School Board has decided to intentionally spend taxpayer money to conduct a propaganda effort under the guise of a survey with the intent to sell a spending referendum. It is a shameless act of liberal activism at taxpayers’ expense.

It is worth noting that while the West Bend School Board members are intent on jacking up spending and taxes, the transparency that constituents have enjoyed with previous boards has muddied. Many meetings are no longer recorded, meeting minutes are missing from the district’s website, the use of special and closed sessions has become the norm and many agenda items appeared to have been already discussed and decided before the public meetings. This School Board has made a practice of obscuring their actions from public view.

Furthermore, when I have repeatedly asked the elected school board members to comment on issues for more than a year, the only member of the School Board who has ever responded was Ken Schmidt. Every other Board member has refused to respond — including the two who were just elected. This is a sharp departure from previous years where even the most liberal School Board members were willing to chat with me over a cup of coffee. Elected officials have a duty to speak with their constituents. It is part of the job. Sadly, most of the members of the West Bend School Board lack the sense of duty or humility that good public service requires.

West Bend is proud of our conservatism and proud of our public schools. The School Board is failing our public schools by failing to govern as the conservatives they professed to be. Before they come hat in hand for another $80 million to spend, they need to get their house in order and rebuild the public trust that they have squandered.

 

Madison School Board Denies President

Only in Madison

Madison School Board members quashed a proposal Monday that could have allowed the board president to block other members from requesting information about the school district they are elected to govern.

During an Operations Work Group meeting, board members agreed not to pursue a proposed change to board policy that would have given the board president the ability to deny or alter requests for district information made by other board members.

District spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson said the policy change is part of a routine update of policies and is meant to “codify the board’s current ways of working.”

“We work very hard to fulfill all requests in a timely way,” she said. “In the very rare instance that a request is very difficult to fulfill, we run that request past the board president so they can decide the best way to move forward.”

Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said the intent of having the president deny a request would be to make it clear that a district employee does not have to tell a board member a request is too difficult to fulfill.

SCOTUS Strikes Down Ban on Sports Betting

I agree with the ruling on constitutional grounds. It will be interesting to watch what states do with it.

The Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting, striking down a 1992 federal law that limited such gambling and likely touching off a nationwide battle to dominate what is sure to be a multi-billion-dollar industry.

The justices ruled in favor of New Jersey, which had long argued that the federal law unconstitutionally intruded on state affairs, telling state legislators what they can and — more importantly — can’t do with their time.

“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority. “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.”

The ruling will open the floodgates to an industry long the domain of barroom bookies and Las Vegas gambling parlors. In New Jersey and Delaware, the first bets could be placed within days or weeks, and Mississippi could follow within a month or two. In total, about 20 states have either enacted laws or introduced bill to legalize sports betting, all an anticipation of this moment.

Islamist Uprising in Israel as US Moves Embassy

Remember that Hamas is still a terrorist organization. They appear to be leveraging their normal process of violence to stoke international outrage against Israel.

At least 52 Palestinians have been killed and 2,400 wounded by Israeli troops, Palestinian officials say, on the deadliest day of violence since the 2014 Gaza war.

Palestinians have been protesting for weeks but deaths soared on the day the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

Palestinians see this as clear US backing for Israeli rule over the whole city, whose eastern part they claim.

[…]

There have been six weeks of protests at the Gaza border, dubbed the “Great March of Return” and led by Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.

Hamas had always said it would step up the protests before Tuesday, when Palestinians hold their annual commemoration of what they call the Nakba or Catastrophe. Hundreds of thousands fled their homes or were displaced following the foundation of the Israeli state on 14 May 1948.

On Monday, the Israeli military said 40,000 Palestinians had taken part in “violent riots” at 13 locations along the Gaza Strip security fence.

Palestinians hurled stones and incendiary devices while the Israeli military used snipers, as black smoke poured from burning tyres.

The health ministry, run by Hamas, said children were among those killed.