Category Archives: Culture

Man Tries to Pull Gun on Police. Gets Shot.

Yet again, people react to a police shooting with outrage and, upon review, we see that the police were reacting to a very real threat. One might begin to think that the people reacting to police shootings aren’t entirely sincere or informed.

Saturday’s fatal police involved shooting that sparked violent protests in Chicago was captured on police body camera which shows the man who was killed was armed with a handgun.

Harith Augustus, 37, was identified as the man who was shot by police by the Medical Examiner’s office, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The video, released much earlier than expected by the Chicago Police Department, shows Augustus clearly had a gun holstered, as well as an additional magazine.

In the video, he appears to be reaching for his weapon during the confrontation with the police.

The father to a five-year-old, Augustus, also known as Snoop the Barber, worked in a barbershop nearby where he was shot.

Last Sears in Chicago to Close

Speaking of disruption

The Six Corners store, on the edge of Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood, will shut its doors for the last time Sunday, two months shy of its 80th anniversary. The closure is part of Sears effort to turn around its business after years of losses and declining sales, but when the store rings up its final sale, the city will lose one more link to a hometown company that used to be the world’s largest retailer.

Down to One Blockbuster

As a former employee of Blockbuster, this makes me sad. Blockbuster is the perfect example of the technological disruption of an industry and a company that was too slow to adapt. There was a small window of opportunity where Blockbuster could have leveraged its brand to dominate the fledgling streaming media business, but they were too fat, happy, and slow to do it. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. This disruption continues unabated. I’ve seen projections that as much as half of the Fortune 500 won’t be on the list in 10 years. I believe it.

This week, there are three stores remaining, but by next week there will only be one store open for business — in Bend, Oregon.
Alaska’s last two Blockbuster stores — one in Anchorage and another in Fairbanks — announced they would officially close on Sunday.
Sandi Harding, the Bend store’s general manager, told CNN she was surprised her store was the last one open.
“It’s pretty exciting that we are the last holdout,” she said.

A bit of nostalgia

Bend’s Blockbuster looks just like stores from years ago — yellow on the inside and employees sporting blue shirts. They even have floppy disks and old computer systems, Harding told CNN.
After Sunday, this video store in Bend, Oregon, will be the last remaining Blockbuster in the US.

“It’s very nostalgic,” she said. “We have a bunch of 19-year-olds working here — it’s fun explaining to them what a floppy disk is.”

Meeting the Queen

Heh.

(CNN)President Donald Trump will meet Queen Elizabeth for tea Friday. Nothing to worry about there.

The not-always-delicate Trump will likely be closely watched to see if he can navigate the numerous protocols surrounding the royal family without committing a faux pas.
Thinking not specifically about Trump, but as an American… I hate how the media obsesses over royal etiquette. While in another country, our Presidents should be polite and respectful of their traditions, but our Presidents are world leaders in their own right who are not required to scrape and bow according to every nuance of English etiquette. Screw that.

Rogue School Board Foments Turmoil

This story is amazing, but not surprising.

DPI issued a finding late last month that the Mercer School District inappropriately spent about $175,000 from its community programs and services account — otherwise known as “Fund 80” — over the 2015-’16 and 2016-’17 school years. Most of that was used to boost wages and benefits for a small group of employees, including Torkelson, without adequate documentation, according to the letter.

DPI also admonished board members for voting on bonuses for administrators, including $11,000 for Torkelson, in closed session.

[…]

The DPI probe focused on how the tiny school district spent its Fund 80 dollars for recreation including pickleball and community programming over the two years. Torkelson said in a January interview that the district offers a broad array of programming — child care, senior meals, yoga, art and music classes — that have “transformed the culture of our district.”

Critics dismiss it as a handful of sparsely attended classes and a “walking track” through the halls of the school.

[…]

Of keen interest has been Torkelson’s compensation. Torkelson was paid about $136,000 last year, though his contract was for about $98,000, according to his critics. He said he effectively buys back some of his benefits, including insurance and unused vacation days, but Reinert and others say that should total no more than $114,000.

[…]

And things could get heated. In 2014, a local blogger, Richard Thiede, sued the district for suggesting he was tied to a supposed hacking of the district’s email system. Reinert was slapped with a restraining order over the “Fifty Shades” fracas. Late last year, the board voted to consider legal action against anyone, including Reinert, who forwarded an email letter critical of the district.

[…]

Reinert and Duley, as well as one of the deputies, tried to obtain the district’s video of the meeting, but were not successful.

Months later, then-President Deanna Pierpont told the Journal Sentinel that she had erased it, and that Mercer no longer records its meetings.

“I didn’t like what I saw. … People in the audience were yelling. Students were there. … I just felt that I didn’t want that out on the website.”

Reinert was stunned when she heard, but not entirely surprised.

“Unbelievable. I was afraid they were going to do that,” Reinert said. “It’s illegal. You can’t just get rid of documentation of a public meeting.”

We are seeing shadows of this from local governments (school boards, in particular) all over Wisconsin. Threatening detractors, stonewalling requests for information, conducting the people’s business outside of public view, destroying public records, violating board contracts and policies, an on and on. And when wrongdoing is identified, District Attorneys and the Attorney General are always reluctant to prosecute anyone in local government.

Unfortunately, our form of self-government relies on honorable people conducting the people’s business. Many times, the only real enforcement mechanism for school boards is for the public to vote them out of office. But that takes a long time and relies on the public being able to learn about their malfeasance. This is further aggravated by the collapse of local news outlets’ ability or willingness to ferret out the information. Often times, the local school district is one of the largest advertisers for the local newspaper that is supposed to be covering them. This leaves the hard task of digging out local government dirt to amateurs and angry citizens, who are often marginalized and stonewalled. They simply do not have the time or resources to aggressively investigate suspected bad behavior by local governments.

I don’t really have a good answer. Good government requires that citizens be vigilant about electing good people to office and that they remain engaged to hold their elected officials accountable. But few citizens have the time to really keep tabs on their local municipality, county, school board, and other various governments. Also, information is increasingly difficult to uncover in an era where we, as a people, are not willing to financially support the local media outlets that we need to dig out relevant and actionable information.

The inevitable result is what we are seeing… more and more local governments being run by ne’er-do-wells and buffoons with little regard or capacity for honorable stewardship of the public business.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules for Academic Liberty

It is almost ironic that Conservatives are the ones who have to fight in court for academic freedom. That used to be a cause that liberals supported.

July 6, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI — Today the Supreme Court of Wisconsin delivered a clear, decisive victory for our client, Dr. John McAdams, a conservative political science professor who was indefinitely suspended by Marquette University for blogging on a controversial topic. The victory ends a nearly four year fight between the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and Marquette University to have McAdams reinstated.

As we have argued since the beginning, the only thing Professor McAdams wants to do is to teach students with the academic freedom protections promised by Marquette University. And, because of today’s ruling, McAdams will be back in the classroom very soon.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a decision written by Justice Dan Kelly, found that Professor McAdams’ blog post in defense of an undergraduate student – and criticizing a graduate student instructor – could not possibly have shown him to be unfit as a member of Marquette’s faculty, and Marquette’s decision to fire him violated its contractual promise to protect his academic freedom.

In addition, according to the Court, a faculty member’s expression of opinion as a citizen cannot constitute grounds for dismissal unless it clearly demonstrates the faculty member’s unfitness for his or her position. The Court rejected the notion that disciplinary decisions regarding free speech by faculty members should be made by administration or faculty. The concept of academic freedom is worthless unless it protects expression which is opposed by the institution and is unpopular with most of the faculty.

Furthermore, today’s decision from the Wisconsin Supreme Court relies on one of the simplest rules of fairness – you cannot punish somebody for violating a rule that did not exist when it was supposedly “broken.” Universities are free to create rules – even strict rules – about what their tenured professors can and cannot say publicly. What they cannot do is make up rules after the fact to punish a professor they want to get rid of.

The Declaration of Independence

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

 

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

 

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

 

Massachusetts

John Hancock

Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

 

Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

 

Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

 

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

 

New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

 

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple

 

Massachusetts

Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

 

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery

 

Connecticut

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

 

New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

Owl Thefts on the Rise

This is an interesting look at the downstream impact of the technology-enabled cultural shift away from hard currency.

The break-in at MacLeod’s aviary is unusual for a number of reasons. Their bed and breakfast sits on a picturesque, but remote part of the wind-buffeted Lewis coastline – hardly a crime hotspot. Thefts of birds of prey, and particularly owls are also uncommon.

But it is a crime that is being seen more and more frequently, according to those within the falconry community. And there is a growing suspicion that they are being targeted for a reason – as a replacement for cash.

Globally, the number of non-cash payments are expected to reach almost 726 billion transactions by the end of the decade, an increase of 10.9% since 2015. Some countries, however, are rushing ahead in the move to electronic payments. In the UK, for example, the number of cash transactions in 2017 fell by 15% to 13.1 billion compared to the previous year, while payments using cards increased. In Japan, cash payments decreased by 8.5% in 2017 and in China mobile payments grew by a fifth in just one quarter of 2016

But as contactless credit cards, mobile phone payments and online transactions grow, the amount of cash being carried by people and kept by retailers is decreasing. For criminals, this creates a problem. Cash is the thieves’ best friend – it has instant value, can be carried easily, is relatively untraceable and can be quickly disposed of.

So with societies around the world becoming increasingly cashless, thieves are having to find alternatives to help them make a quick, illegal profit. Here we look at some of the more unusual things that criminals have had their eye on.

Birds of prey

In Sweden, where just 2% of all transactions were made using cash last year and a fifth of people say they never withdraw money from an cash machine, there are perhaps the strongest signs that something is changing in the country’s criminal fraternity.

Four years ago there were 30 bank robberies in Sweden while in the 1990s there were around 100 a year. In 2017 there were just 11. There have been similar declines in the number of armoured-car robberies.

Meanwhile, crimes against protected species in Sweden have been steadily increasing, reaching 156 in 2016 – their highest level in nearly a decade – before a slight dip again last year.Law enforcement officials in the country say the theft of rare owl eggs and orchids are among the most common crimes against protected species.

These are then sold on the black market and smuggled around the world to countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, where owning a bird of prey is seen as a status symbol. According to Filippo Bassini, head of the police unit for species protection offences in Sweden, an adult great grey owl can fetch more than $112,000 and are often sold on through the dark net.

Women Begin Driving in Saudi

As a child, I lived in Riyadh for 9 years and watched as a driver had to take my mom, and every other expat woman who was perfectly capable of driving, everywhere she needed to go. It’s a new era.

Saudi Arabia has today finally lifted its ban on women drivers. I was up until after midnight scrolling through social media for photos and videos of women hitting the roads in the moments after the ban was lifted.

Day one is a quiet one on the roads – a school summer holiday. Not a bad thing for anxious first-time drivers. Accompanied by my dad, for a few tips and some moral support, I set out for work.

On the way I pass the police, but I’m not scared of being pulled over. I have a licence and I’m driving legally in Saudi Arabia. I stop to get coffee from a drive-through, and I’m the first female driver the barista has ever served.

Vaping Included in Milwaukee Smoking Ban

Heh.

E-cigarettes are now banned in the same locations where smoking is prohibited in the city of Milwaukee, after the common council unanimously passed a measure to do so on Wednesday.

The measure bans the use of e-cigs on city property and in places where state law currently bans smoking, such as bars and restaurants.

“Next month we celebrate the 8th anniversary of Wisconsin’s smoke free law in public places,” said Alderman Cavalier Johnson in a statement, who co-sponsored the proposal. “As new products have since emerged we can better address them through this resolution and align our policy with state law.”

The resolution was part of a three-part effort aimed at public health and tobacco use. It also included a measure to increase fines for those who sell tobacco to minors and another item to prohibit the sale of e-cigs to minors.

Chris Pratt Gives Advice

He is right on every point.

Madison Scouts Admits First Woman

Time’s a changin’

When Megan Hutera was invited to audition for the highly competitive Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps, she was cautioned she could be making history.

“I did some pre-audition stuff, but when I got to my live audition I remember somebody saying, ‘You know you will be a celebrity, right?’ ” the Wisconsin college student said.

“I don’t really see myself in that light. It is without a doubt that I am doing something with this organization that has not been done before, and I do acknowledge that,” she said.

“But either way, I’m here to perform with my brothers and put on the best show that we can.”

Hutera, a 19-year-old trumpet player from Rice Lake, is the first female musician to perform with the Madison Scouts. Now in its 80th year, with a reputation for top-notch musicianship, marching precision and members who come from around the world, the group is still officially all-male.

Google’s Diversity

Frankly, I’d be more interested if they focused more on their ideological and religious diversity instead of assuming that race is the only difference between people.

A new report from Google has revealed that little has changed despite a commitment to increasing diversity among staff employed by the tech giant.

Overall nearly 70% of Google staff were men, as has been the case since 2014.

In the US almost 90% were white or Asian, 2.5% were black and 3.6% Latin American.

The figures also showed that black and Latin American employees had the highest attrition rate in 2017 – those choosing to leave.

“….despite significant effort, and some pockets of success, we need to do more to achieve our desired diversity and inclusion outcomes,” wrote Danielle Brown, diversity vice-president, in the report.

Babby Daddy Card Pulled

This is the culture we live in.

American Greetings is apologizing for a Father’s Day card that depicts a black couple overlaid with the phrase “Baby Daddy.”

Customers took to social media to complain about the card, terming it racially insensitive.

[…]

The greeting card company said it would stop selling the card at all retailers. Target, the giant discount-store chain, proactively pulled the card from its shelves.

The card showed the couple overlaid and the words “Baby Daddy” on the cover, and  “You’re a wonderful husband and father — and I’m so grateful to have you as my partner, my friend, and my baby daddy! Happy Father’s Day” on the inside.

“This particular card was created for, and addressed to, a loving husband — which the inside copy makes clear,” American Greetings said in a statement. “However, we now see that the front page, taken out of context, can communicate an unintentional meaning that we are strongly against perpetuating and is not consistent with our company purpose and values.”

It went on to say it will do “better in the future,” that it has pulled the card and that it want s to “apologize for any offense we’ve caused.”

I don’t think that the term “baby daddy” has an particular racial overtones. I hear that term a lot to generically describe a father who is not, nor has ever been, in a long-term relationship of any form with the mother.

Apple to Lock Down iPhones

I’m good with this. It is not Apple’s obligation to make it easier for government to break into people’s stuff.

Apple says it is to change the default settings of its iPhone to stop hackers and others unlocking devices without proper legal authorisation.

The move will also make it more difficult for police to unlock handsets without authorisation.

However, Apple denied the changes were designed to thwart US law enforcement.

The company has been a prominent opponent of US legislation to force technology companies to maintain access to users’ communications.

The loophole also applies to countries outside the US, including the UK.

Police forces say that being able to unlock iPhones and iPads is crucial to their work.

Breaking News: “Breaking News” is Overused

Point.

alarmist

Almost by definition, news that covers a study of something that’s allegedly been happening for 26 years is not “breaking.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — The melting of Antarctica is accelerating at an alarming rate, with about 3 trillion tons of ice disappearing since 1992, an international team of ice experts said in a new study.

Trans Teens Dominate Track Meet

More of this to come.

A Connecticut high school sophomore dominated in last week’s track and field competition – but the transgender teen’s big win has some people outraged and wondering if it’s fair she was allowed to compete.

Terry Miller, who was born a male but identifies as a female, came in first place twice during the June 4 CIAC State Open track and field competition.  During the 100-meter dash, Miller smoked her competition finishing the race in just 11.72 seconds. She also killed it in the 200-meter dash finishing in 24.17 seconds.

The Bulkeley High School teen, who competed on the boys’ team during the winter indoor track season, set new state records last Monday in both races, the CT Post reports.

Fellow transgender sprinter, Andraya Yearwood, also dominated at the competition finishing in second place in the 100-meter dash.

MAGA, Rodman

I’m just going to leave this here

rodman

The Crispy Chicken Controversy

Ahhhhh… it is the luxury of an advanced society to be able to muster outrage over utterly trivial things.

The trendy lightbox sign at Singapore’s indie cinema The Projector read ‘Justice for chicken rendang’ in April this year, echoing the hashtags that were blowing up social media at the time. #CrispyRendang and #Rendangate were uniting Malaysians and Indonesians, who were utterly outraged at a diplomatic controversy.

In case you missed the furore, here is what happened: Malaysian contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin cooked chicken rendang on the British version of MasterChef, which judge Gregg Wallace declared wasn’t ‘crispy’ enough and couldn’t possibly be eaten.

‘Crispy?’ came the rallying cry from South-East Asia. An unctuous, slow-cooked dish of meat with coconut and spices, rendang can be described as many things – rich, spicy, melt-in-the-mouth – but everyone from the former and current Malaysian prime ministers to foreign diplomats and professional Indonesian and Malaysian chefs agree that it is definitely not crispy.

Madisonians Fail to Register Bikes

And they think a gun registry will work?

In a city with a biking culture so vibrant it’s one of only five American communities to have achieved, in 2015, “platinum” status for bike-friendliness from the League of American Bicyclists, not even the people who control and influence city policies on bicycling bother to register their bikes.

Current, former mayors missing

Absent from the list of about 9,700 people who own one or more of the 13,982 currently registered bicycles in Madison are 19 members of the 20-member City Council, Mayor Paul Soglin and both “bicycle advocate” appointees to the city’s Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission, Grant Foster and Aaron Crandall.

Also missing: Dave Cieslewicz, the former Madison mayor who pushed for Madison to achieve platinum status and started the Ride the Drive event, in which a couple of major arteries are closed to vehicle traffic and opened to bicyclists. After leaving the mayor’s office, Cieslewicz served as executive director of the Wisconsin Bike Fed for four years.

He did not respond to requests for comment.

Foster, who also did not respond to requests for comment, is president of the local bicycling advocacy group Madison Bikes. Of the 17 current and former board members listed on the group’s website, only four showed up on the registry.

Although I think this was my favorite “duh” comment in the article.

Madison police officer Howard Payne acknowledged that recovering stolen bikes is not as high a priority as, say, investigating violent crime, and that bicycles stolen as part of larger burglaries will probably get more attention than bicycles stolen by themselves.