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Thursday, July 31, 2008

West Bend Historical Buildings Found Worthy of Restoration

AMITY LEATHER COMPANY: From Billfold Empire to Affordable Palace
Amity Leather Products Factory, West Bend, Wisconsin

http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/hp/buildings/restorations/amity_west_bend.asp

WEST BEND COMPANY: The former West Bend Co. industrial site, which covers more than 40 acres, represents the third redevelopment district. With a multiphase plan to convert the vacant factory into apartments, condominiums and retail space...

http://www.wibuilder.com/job-satisfaction-04/city.html

OLD JAILHOUSE/COURTHOUSE: Both structures were built during the mid-to-late 1800s and restored in the 1990s, and together they offer a comprehensive look at West Bend history.

http://www.downtownwestbend.com/mediakits/WB%20Old%20Jailhouse%20&%20Courthouse%20Story.doc

BADGER MIDDLE SCHOOL: Many people now living in Jackson can also recall commuting by train to high school classes in West Bend.

http://www.villageofjackson.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B4D678324-2725-4BEA-B5B2-298AD59609CA%7D&DE=%7B9E3188EA-89D3-4861-8A5D-986B83B877BD%7D

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WB Referendum Promo Video - Informational? or an Advocacy?

I videotaped this at Monday night's West Bend School Board work session (07/28).

This is a promo video that was put together as a tool to use to push the school referendum of $130M. The School Board had the district's attorney lend their approval, assuring us that the video is a portrayal of information and not an "advocacy" for the referendum.

I object.

But don't take MY word for it.

West Bend School Promo Video: Starring Supt. Pat Herdrich, Jackson Village Board President Scott Mittelstaedt, John Torinus, Bink Steinbach, Mayor Deiss, Jackson PTO representative, and more convincing citizens....

video

Library hosts "Life in Japan" for kids....

West Bend Community Memorial Library
Summer Reading Fun!

A Peek at Life in Japan - Try your hand at Origami. Japanese Snacks will be provided. Stories and Costumes abound! Come join us for a peek at a different culture on the other side of the world!

August 21st from 2pm-3pm for kids going into grades 1-8.
More info here..

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Citizen's Referendum Plan Ignored

At last night's West Bend School District work session, a patient Bart Williams waited by the sidelines as discussion ensued concerning the options in front of the School Board regarding the referendum. As the round table went on throughout the 3.5-hour session, Mr. Williams' revised and reduced referendum plan that was proposed formally last week was never discussed. Mr. Williams was never invited to share the information that he tweaked according to their requests.

Though the School Board states they "want" to hear from district residents, it is obvious by the issues concerning both the harassment policy and the referendum/survey that they do NOT.

Instead, the School Board listed one of their collective weaknesses as "Outside forces not understanding the demands of a school system or believing the needs."

Looks like WE are the "OUTSIDE FORCES".

I can agree with School Board President, Joe Carlson, on his statement from last night..."We have 7100 students who can't speak for themselves, but WE CAN."

I agree, Joe.
WE can.
And WE ARE.

WB Referendum surveys cost $4.31 per result

Cost of survey - $10,000
2321 surveys = $4.31 per survey result.

Survey result (per consultant): 50/50 chance the referendum will pass. Her words "flip a coin".

Tax dollars that could have been spent on renovation.

Sigh.

On-Line Referendum Surveys Don't Count

At last night's West Bend School Board work session, the survey consultant went over the conclusive results of the inappropriate, weighted, and biased district "survey"...

The consultant stated she "saw no evidence of anyone cheating", that "none appeared to be duplicates", and that she is "confident that nobody cheated". (Wow! She's really good!)

1675 surveys were received by mail (She felt this was due to the "solid older generation of citizens responding, who are a reliable source of information)
646 were returned via internet

When addressing the inappropriate personal information on the survey, the consultant stated "could not really say what that meant" when specifically speaking of the "male/female" question. Later on when it was noted that more women responded on the survey, the only comment made by the consultant was that they normally see this due to the fact that more women are in the home and not in the work place. (And this was pertinent to the referendum?)

As to why the talk radio stations were listed, the consultant simply said "opinions are discussed there".

School Board President, Joe Carlson, tried to lend validity to the consultants ability to effectively read into internet surveys by pointing out the fact that she has done 1-2 million surveys during her tenure as a survey consultant.

The consultant further stated that the internet survey was simply added as a "tool kit". (Hmmm..makes those 646 people feel important, doesn't it?)

Statistics were taken from the mailed-in surveys to form conclusions and internet surveys were not discussed further.

The final analysis from the consultant was this:
A very scientific 50/50 chance of the referendum passing.

(Thanks for spending my tax dollars wisely.)


The following questions filed in formal complaints to the School Board were never addressed:

a. Lack of control over survey respondents, making the survey unscientific and unreliable.
b. Lack of promised (in cover letter from Ms. Herdrich) option details posted on the District website. (Only 1 referendum option was offered.)

These requests on the complaints were ignored and never discussed, as promised by School Board members (see email conversations at www.wbcommunityinfo.blogspot.com) :

Requested that:
a. An investigation is launched into learning how this inappropriate survey came about and hold the appropriate people accountable.
b. The survey be invalidated and the district residents and media be made aware of the situation.
c. The district put forth a new survey, ensuring that all information is posted appropriately on the District website prior to the initiation of the survey.

Guess the School Board doesn't feel like they have any 'splainin' to do.

Monday, July 28, 2008

PARENTS SHUT OUT IN WB SCHOOLS

NO provision for parents in new harassment policy

When the question was posed to Kathy Zarling whether or not she had included a provision in the new complaint procedure she is rewriting for the harassment policy, she stated, "No-at this point in time there isn't anything here about informing parents".

CONCERNED YET?

TAKE ACTION.

Sign the petition to RESPECT PARENT'S RIGHTS at www.wbcommunityinfo.blogspot.com

REVISED Referendum Plan Unveiled Tonight


UPDATED REFERENDUM PLAN UNVEILED TONIGHT

Per Mr. William's email to the WB School Board below, he will be presenting a revised referendum proposal using the fine-tuned criteria given to him since last week's meeting. Come to the meeting tonight and support this very important effort to save the taxpayer's $$$$$.

Good morning, School Board - West Bend Joint School District No. 1:

As promised, attached is a complete revision to our proposed $34.47 proposed, comprehensive long-term facilities plan. This is based on last Monday (7/21) evening's feedback, Ms. Herdrich's 7/22/08 e-mail, Mr. Pennoyer's 7/25/08 afternoon e-mail, and additional research we've done.The plan remains very comprehensive in that it addresses the community's top three priorities and fully accommodates district enrollment growth at all grade levels for many years. It also costs a fraction of what the administration is proposing public tax money be spent on........

Read more here: www.wbcommunityinfo.blogspot.com

See meeting details in blog below...

REMINDER - WB School Board Work Session

The School Board will be discussing the recent referendum survey, as well as a number of formal complaints that have been filed concerning same. This should prove to be an interesting and informational session. Try to get there early as the referendum survey issue is at the top of the list. Stay and bring dinner with you!
Education Service Center –
Board Room
West Bend WI 53095
July 28, 2008
5:30 - 9:00 p.m.

AGENDA

1. Call to order
2. Report on the June 2008 Community Facilities Survey Findings
3. Summary results of Facility/Maintenance Audit
4. Background on Strategic Planning Since 2005
5. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis
6. Update on Enrollment / Growth
7. Facilities Recommendations
8. Current Goals
9. Leverage Points
10. Next Steps
11. Adjourn

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Religious tyranny at Regner Park?

Publication:APD - West Bend Daily News;
Date:Jul 26, 2008;
Section:Opinion;
Page Number:A6

Religious tyranny at Regner Park

Again this summer, a West Bend group called Lighthouse Ministries has been authorized to organize a Christian concert in Regner Park, a public park, in August. This is part of a disturbing syndrome. I was distressed to read that on the day considered by some the national day of prayer, West Bend’s newly appointed mayor, Kristine Deiss, came away from her busy schedule to pray on the side of City Hall, which certainly does not behoove a city mayor. Sadly, part or most of West Bends various leaders seem to be people who believe in the supremacy of Christianity over other religions or none. This is a diverse nation, as Sen. Obama correctly stated, also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. The Constitution needs a rewrite, but even as it stands, to ask the citizens to give up their park in order to allow for a religious event that should take place inside a religious facility is unconstitutional and worthy only of the tyrannies the Founding Fathers meant to escape.

John Jost
West Bend

Well, John,

Just FYI, Obama prayed at the Wailing Wall yesterday.
http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/07/25/israeli-newspaper-draws-criticism-after-publishing-obamas-western-wall-prayer/

Friday, July 25, 2008

Have a "fair" weekend!

Here is the starting lineup for the weekend at the Washington County Fair. Take the family and enjoy some down time!

SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2008 – Sponsored by Bob Fish GMC
JUDGING
8:00 a.m. Dairy Goat Judging, Dairy Goat Tent
8:00 a.m. Llama Judging, Farm Progress Arena
9:00 a.m. Pleasure Horse Judging, Equestrian Arena
10:00 a.m. Draft Horse Jr. Showmanship and Decorating Judging, & Equestrian Warm-Up Ring
4:00 p.m. Draft Horse Hitch Classes, Equestrian Arena
PAVILION BUILDING STAGE ACTIVITIES
11:00 a.m. Showcase Singers
12:00 noon 4-H Dog Demonstrations
1:00 p.m. Showcase Singers
2:00 p.m. KM Square Dancers
3:00 p.m. Showcase Singers
4:00 p.m. Dukatz’s Academy of Martial Arts
4:30 p.m. Showcase Singers
5:30 p.m. 4-H Archery Demonstration
7:30 p.m. 4-H Drama Performance
DEVENPORT FAMILY STAGE
12:00 noon TBA
1:00 p.m. TBA
2:00 p.m. TBA
3:00 p.m. Zoja Performance Dance Group
4:00 p.m. Mirror Image Competition Groups
5:00 p.m. Mirror Image Performing Companies
6:00 p.m. WB Dance/Tumbling Troupe
7:00 p.m. Energizers Dance Team

MORE HERE..... http://www.wcfairpark.com/files/728-Microsoft-Word---2008-SCHEDULE-OF-EVENTS.pdf

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Petition to Respect Parent's Rights

The petition below can be found and signed at:

www.wbcommunityinfo.blogspot.com


Petition to Respect Parents' Rights
Protect West Bend's Students From Far-Reaching Harassment Policy

We, the undersigned students, taxpayers, parents, leaders, residents, and business owners of the West Bend School District, petition members of the West Bend Board of Education to revise the overreaching proposed school harassment policy to include the following commonsense principles:

1. Develop a policy that respects the Free Speech Rights of area students as guaranteed under the First Amendment; and

2. Develop an even-handed policy that applies to all students and does not provide preferential treatment to certain groups of students; and

3. Develop a policy that respects the rights of parents by requiring Parental Notification when a student is involved in a harassment disciplinary action which is not the current practice. Many parents are offended by the notion that disciplinary proceedings may take place without their knowledge; and

4. Develop steps for disciplinary action that respect the rights of both parties to a harassment case.

As currently drafted, the proposed policy allows alleged "victims" to self-define what they view as "harassing" or "offensive" conduct. Without having reasonable standards put in place, the proposed policy makes the West Bend School District and its taxpayers vulnerable to legal challenges and uncapped compensatory settlements.

By signing this petition, we affirm that we live in the West Bend School District and are not in agreement with the proposed harassment policy as written, and we strongly advise the Board of Education to permanently table any action on this matter until the above principles are incorporated into the final policy to be adopted by the District.

WB School Board Work Session


Board Work Session
Education Service Center – Board Room
West Bend WI 53095
July 28, 2008
5:30 - 9:00 p.m.
AGENDA

1. Call to order

2. Report on the June 2008 Community Facilities Survey Findings

3. Summary results of Facility/Maintenance Audit

4. Background on Strategic Planning Since 2005

5. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis

6. Update on Enrollment / Growth

7. Facilities Recommendations

8. Current Goals

9. Leverage Points

10. Next Steps

11. Adjourn

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cheaper gas

Here's a little help..

http://www.motortrend.com/

Find out where the best deals are in town...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

WB Daily News Lopsided

After reading this morning's West Bend Daily News, I couldn't help but feel like my computer chair was slowly leaning to the left... I found it "curious" to see that the exact same article was posted twice in the paper. Hmmm....


Publication:APD - West Bend Daily News;

Panel mulls referendum options
Alternative plan’s author says he can tweak his plan and work with district
By MITCH MAERSCH Daily News Staff

A community member’s alternative facility plan was heavily debated at Monday night’s Facilities Committee meeting, and Bart Williams said he is willing to tweak it to reach a draft on which the district, School Board and community can agree.

...I was there. This is a bit theatrical. It was not "heavily debated". To the contrary. The general audience, with the exception of two outspoken Jackson gentlemen (for obvious reasons) spoke in thanks and agreement to the plan presented by Williams. The only oppositional conversation came from the School Board members, who were picking apart William's hard-worked, intelligent plan. (The picking was supported by the fact that the Board did not give Williams' all the information he needed to give a complete referendum package. Shame on them...)

Williams and his wife, Jodi, on their own developed a $34 million alternative to the West Bend School District’s $68 million plan under consideration for a fall referendum. ----

He reminded the district to tell the truth about the second referendum. “Let’s be honest. We’re going to have another referendum,” he said. Superintendent Patricia Herdrich said solutions may change as time goes on, and board member Kathy Van Eerden said she took offense to the idea that the board is being dishonest.

... No offense needs to be taken if no offense is deserved. Mr. Williams is correct in asking the School Board to disclose the plan to hit us with a second referendum in two years, which will lead to an ultimate total cost package of over $130M.

Several (Let's be honest here, Mitch. MANY community members thanked Williams.) community members in attendance thanked Williams for his work and said the district and School Board seemed to be tearing apart Williams’ plan. Williams and the district have a recent, contentious past as Williams this month e-mailed a written complaint about Herdrich over whether or not 30 referendum options were available on the district Web site during the recent community survey period. A district legal opinion found no “intentional misleading or unresponsive communication” from Herdrich. Williams filed another written complaint over comments toward him made by School Board President Joe Carlson. A legal opinion on that has not been developed. Williams said he disagrees with the legal opinion and still claims he is right, but said after the meeting he is past it and wants to work with the district to develop a referendum.

...I obtained a packet of information from Mr. Williams following the meeting that includes every piece of information leading up to last night's presentation. If one reads through his information, it is readily noticed that the Ms. Herdrich withheld information and did not follow through with promises. I have learned, personally, that the district legal opinion does not work WITH the community.


“This was tremendous discussion,” he said of the meeting. “There is a middle ground there and we just have to find it.” The main difference between Williams’ and the district’s proposed plans is what to do with Badger Middle School. The district’s plan has a new school built on the same site. Williams calls for adding an elevator on the north end of the school, and a safe and secure entrance. He took a tour of the school with district officials just before the meeting. “You’ve got to start somewhere. That’s how I would address the Badger issue — over time,” Williams said.

...Absolutely right, Mr. Williams. Don't "sock it to us" all at once just because the former board mishandled funds and did not do the appropriate facilities care over the last ten years. The taxpayers should not suffer that type of fiscal punishment. Let's do what is "affordable" and "necessary".

At least three board members in attendance said they would not support a referendum that does not replace Badger.

...Let's see who votes for them next term.

Williams deemed Jackson Elementary to be the worst school, not Badger. At $17 million, Badger is the largest item on the district’s $80 million deferred maintenance plan. Superintendent Patricia Herdrich said Badger last spring was cited by the Office of Civil Rights for not being in compliance for handicapped access. That puts the district in danger of a lawsuit.

...And what has Ms. Herdrich done to bring this to light in the community? And why are we not pressing that as an immediate need in the referendum? Here was the answer we received last night "Because the school is not worth putting the money into. We need to address it by knocking down the school entirely and rebuilding a new facility."

Jackson Village Administrator Del Beaver said the public needs to understand the danger. Beaver said it took the village $600,000 and two years of legal fees to defend itself against a lawsuit claiming the village was in noncompliance, and he said that case was a “slam dunk.” “If you’re not scared of that, you ought to be,” Beaver said.

...Beaver has an obvious stake in this referendum. He was one of the two very vocal men (both of Jackson) who was driving home a lawsuit threat as a scare tactic to the audience.

Adding an elevator at Badger without updating the rest of the building to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is allowed, but it must be done with a plan in place to address the rest of the ADA issues. Herdrich said the elevator would cover only seven of Badger’s 12 levels, and handicapped people using the school’s main entrance couldn’t access it because it’s on a different level. Another difference is Williams’ land costs in Jackson. He calls for a new Jackson Elementary School on a new site and built in a cost of $15,000 per acre. Board and Facilities Committee member Todd Miller said it’s closer to $90,000 per acre.

....Mitch fails to discuss how Williams' brought about his figures. Williams has previous experience in building new schools and has found that there are, many times, people who are willing to support a community project in a philanthropic way by either reducing the cost of the land sale or, even better, donating it to the community. Williams had various land estimates from lots currently for sale to back up his figures.


Class sizes were another issue. Williams’ projections use class sizes of "X" number of students in a class times "X" number of classes in a school, using district documents as a guide. Herdrich said those aren’t all the documents used to determine school capacities.

...This is because Williams (he stated) could not obtain them from Ms. Herdrich.

At Badger, for instance, the hallways are too narrow to allow "X" number of students in certain classrooms to remain within fire code. Williams took notes on all the comments and said he will do more work on his plan.

...I hope taxpayers are taking notice of how much work this man is putting into saving all of us some money with a more realistic referendum.

Miller said he is willing to use a portion of Williams’ plan in the referendum, but cited its holes. “I have a feeling when he plugs all those holes he’ll be up where we are (for cost),” he said.

...Williams admitted he would not have had the holes if he would have had cooperation from Ms. Herdrich in obtaining the appropriate information/records needed.

Regardless, some of the public suggested paring down Williams’ $34 million plan. “I predict the referendum’s going to fail. I don’t think the taxpayers can afford it this year,” said Dave Miller, 62.

...This goes without saying.

“You should seriously look at Mr. Williams’ plan and maybe tone it down.” The committee did not review community survey results addressing the proposed referendum as results were not yet available.

...The West Bend School District has a formal complaint filed against it from the Williams' citing the survey is "tainted" and "cannot be relied upon". Fully agree.

The School Board will see the results at Monday’s work session. Williams has a master’s in accounting and undergraduate degrees in finance, economics, and political science. He served one elected term on the New Berlin School Board. Jodi Williams has a bachelor’s degree in education. They are the parents of three children in the West Bend School District.

...Perhaps Mitch should have spent time interviewing some of the audience members to assure their readers that the general public feels as they do. Let's start hearing how the taxpayers REALLY feel instead of dumping the WB School Board/Jackson Village agenda into the newspaper menu and spoonfeeding it to us. We aren't swallowing it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

WB Referendum Notes

The WB School referendum meeting yielded a good chunk of information. Bart Williams, an area resident, gave a power point presentation that got to the heart of the renovations that were necessary and reduced the expenditure to $34M. This guy was amazing. He took a humble approach, yet was educated and confident, listening to questions, answering with valid, fact-filled answers, and had done his homework - extensively.

Here are Mr. Williams' 10 KEY IDEAS:

1. To date, there has not been presented to the public any comprehensive and conclusive study showing a direct link between age of buildings and academic achievement.
2. Just six months ago (Nov. 2007), residents of this district voted down by almost a 2-to-1 margin a $119.3 million facilities referendum.
3. Innovative ideas designed to help U.S. public education remain competitive with the rest of the world should be seriously considered as part of any long-term facilities plan.
4. A solid majority of adult District residents do not have children under 18 and, therefore, do not have students in our public school; however, the public money you are considering spending is every bit as much theirs as it is those who have children in our District's schools.
5. Even despite this parents-of-school-age-children bias, that same survey shows that additional facilities space did not even make the top five out of 10 priorities lists as "most important" to all survey respondents on the topic of facility factors at all sites.
6. It is critically important to distinguish between true facilities needs vs. "wants" or "nice to haves."
7. These are tough economic times, and the relatively low-population (i.e., 30,000 people in West Bend, and less than that in each of our other municipalities and towns), conservative community that is our District is now even less likely to support the largest referendum in Wisconsin history.
8. People care about their TOTAL property bill, not simply the West Bend Joint School District #1 component of it.
9. Ill-advised, overpriced referenda needlessly divide the community and delay progress on fixing our schools.
10. The Board should provide full and timely disclosure of the total, fully-loaded costs (i.e., with all 20 years of the bond interest expense added up, in addition to paying off the bonds' principal) of all referendum options. This would also include the interest rate used in calculating that fully-loaded cost figure.

Williams further explained the top three goals that should be considered with this referendum:
1. Safe and secure schools.
2. Securing front entrances at all schools.
3. Fiscally rresponsible operations of the buildings

Williams' proposed referendum revision saves the taxpayers approximately $100M and efficiently addresses the top three priorities on the school board's agenda for the schools in our district.

After Williams' presentation, the board did some picking apart, but Williams held his own, appearing fully prepared. He made note of the costly and inappropriate survey sent out by the school board (kudos!), and also made it known that the school board did not fully cooperate in giving him the information he required to solidify his revised referendum proposal.

There was a solid turnout of citizens, most of whom applauded Williams at the end of his presentation to the school board. It appeared that the only people in opposition to the lower price tag on the referendum was a gentleman from the Jackson Village Board and another man I did not recognize. There was plenty of noise from the audience concerning the expense of the current referendum, and nearly everyone who spoke showed appreciation to Mr. Williams for his efforts.

Our most gracious thanks to this gentleman and his wife for all of their hard work on behalf of the taxpayers in the West Bend School District!

Taxpayers who may be reading this post should consider attending the next committee meeting to hear Mr. Williams' next revised presentation, which he has stated he will do to include some of the issues brought up by the school board tonight. He is candid, easy to understand and is very organized. When thanked for his presentation after the meeting, he told me that it is all worth it if the taxpayers genuinely respond to his time-consuming efforts. He feels the referendum should be something the West Bend taxpayers WANT to support.

Additionally - more opting OUT than IN

"On the September 21, 2007 3rd Friday count we reported 139 non-resident Open Enrolled students attending West Bend Schools and 156 resident Open Enrolled students attending school in other districts." (from West Bend Superintendent)

More information about the unsubstantiated claim to projections that call for a large influx of students in our community. Though the numbers here are not hugely significant, they are TRUE and do not back up the projections by the School Board facilities committee.

West Bend School District Referendum Issues

I am not set against a referendum that lends appropriate facts to the situation it presents. I believe in the practical use of taxpayer money to update facilities and increase technological capabilities in order to enhance the school district learning environment. The term "good stewardship" comes to my mind when addressing any referenda calling for increased taxation, especially in an area that pays plenty of taxes already.

One fact that I cannot seem to get around is posted directly on the West Bend School District Website. While the School Board is stating they expect a huge influx of students in the years to come, the past statistical graph (on their website) shows differently. Our school attendance began to drop in 1995 and has NEVER RECOVERED.

Expenditure on those things that are "practical" makes sense. The referendum being presented goes beyond practical. And it is not backed up with "facts" that coincide with the stated projections.

If you don't do your homework concerning this referendum, expect to open your pocketbook nice and wide. And don't blame the school board/facilities committee if it passes.

WB SCHOOL DISTRICT FACILITIES MEETING REMINDER - TONIGHT

Voice your concerns on the WB School district referendum MONDAY
WEST BEND SCHOOL DISTRICT
FACILITIES MEETING
MONDAY, JULY 21
6 P.M.
EDUCATION SERVICE CENTER
735 S. MAIN STREET
WEST BEND

THE PUBLIC IS WELCOME TO ATTEND THIS MEETING.
THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE COMMITTEE.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vacation Factoid #2: Charles Pinckney


Charles Pinckney (October 26, 1757October 29, 1824) was an American politician who was a signer of the United States Constitution, Governor of South Carolina, a Senator and a member of the House of Representatives.
Unlike some of his prominent colleagues, Pinckney saw little to fear in a powerful government. He agreed with the Federalists that the rights of the citizen would be protected under the Constitution since it recognized that the government's power came from the people and that the government remained in all things accountable to the people.

Vacation Factoid: Circular Graveyard, Charleston, SC


Richard Hutson (July 9, 1748April 12, 1795) was an American lawyer, judge, and politician from Charleston, South Carolina. He represented South Carolina as a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he signed the Articles of Confederation. When the British captured Charleston, he was a held as a prisoner at St. Augustine, Florida for a time. After he returned home, he served as Lt. Governor of South Carolina in 1782 and 1783.
Born in Beaufort County to Rev. William Hutson and Mary (Woodward) Hutson, he moved to Charleston with his family in 1756. The Pennsylvania Gazette of October 10, 1765 lists him as a member of the graduating class of 1765 at Princeton University (then known as The College of New Jersey). He is buried in a vault at the Independent Congregational (Circular) Churchyard in Charleston.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Free speech’s price is too high to compromise

"At Monday night’s meeting, I couldn’t help but get the impression that those who opposed the proposed harassment policy were simply costing the taxpayers extra money. The School Board spent almost $10,000 on recent questionnaires that were also met with mixed reviews. Yet that amount wasn’t brought to light. How much more important is our right to free speech than sending out a survey to find out what radio talk show we listen to the most?"

Read the entire article here:

http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=V0JETi8yMDA4LzA3LzE5I0FyMDA2MDE=&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

____________________________

Brian hit this nail right on the head. I say this over and over again. Harassment is NOT okay for ANYONE. We do not need to specify groups of ANY kind. We do not need to make sure that groups of people have the right to cry harassment over any issue just to shut down the opposition. We all have a right to opinion. Being offended by someone else's opinion on a subject is simply a part of life. Learning how to deal with that appropriately does not include telling others they simply cannot speak. The harassment policy shuts down free speech. Students will be afraid to say ANYTHING for fear of the "harassment cry." Is this what we want for our children in West Bend???

Very importantly, there continues to be NO PROVISION for parental notification or inclusion in disciplinary hearings concerning their children. PARENTS - I hope you are appropriately MORE THAN CONCERNED. Would you want to find out later on the down the road that your child was forced to sit in on a disciplinary hearing "alone", with a principal/vice principal, teacher and/or student - all without your knowledge? Guess what? That is ALREADY HAPPENING. It is up to YOU to vocalize your opposition to this harassment policy and ask for CHANGE.

Voice your concerns on the WB School district referendum MONDAY

WEST BEND SCHOOL DISTRICT
FACILITIES MEETING
MONDAY, JULY 21
6 P.M.
EDUCATION SERVICE CENTER
735 S. MAIN STREET
WEST BEND
Do you feel like the survey was a poorly-written, one-sided effort?
Does the fact that it cost the taxpayers of West Bend $10,500 bother you?
Perhaps the fact that it had controlled answers spoke volumes to the agenda?
Feel like the referendum is being coerced?
THE PUBLIC IS WELCOME TO ATTEND THIS MEETING.
THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE COMMITTEE.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Absolutely true....

Opinion section, West Bend Daily News, July 18:

"I support the actions of the School Board and those members of the public who supported their actions regarding the hazing policy. Those individuals who disagreed with the policy were heard – and their arguments were respectfully rejected. My friend’s father has a sign on his refrigerator. It reads: “Beware the man who knows what God thinks.” Hazing – for any reason – is wrong. Congratulations to the board for affirming that fact. Mark Maley West Bend"

Way to go, Mark! You are 100% correct! Harassment, FOR ANY REASON, is wrong! Exactly our point! Thanks for confirming and standing with us on this important issue!

West Bend School Board Insists They Tried

Submitted by Joe Carlson, WB School Board President, to the West Bend Daily News on July 18:

"We have sought input from the community and researched the best options balanced between cost and a high quality education for all students. Through the variety of ways we have sought your input, you are helping shape our solutions to the facilities problem. Any solution that the board considers will have parts of it that you or this board may not like or will not fully address our immediate needs. Our final solution will be the one that takes the best of everything we have heard from every one of you."

The community cannot help "shape solutions" with one-sided, controlling surveys. So who decides what is the "best of everything we have heard"???? And what exactly is "best" anyway?

Entire article can be read here:
http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=V0JETi8yMDA4LzA3LzE4I0FyMDA4MDc=&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

Policy-Writing Committee Gives Misleading Information

Submitted to the West Bend Daily News, July 17 by Kathy Zarling (my notes in red):

"The policy is created to follow federal and state laws.

NOTE: Not true. This policy is created because of a state administrative code only.

Every organization that receives federal financial assistance must not discriminate as outlined in several federal laws.

Wisconsin Statute 118.13(1) states that “no person may be denied participation in, be denied benefits of or be discriminated against in any curricular, extracurricular, pupil service, recreational or other program or activity because of the person’s sex, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, martial or parental status, sexual orientation or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability.”

NOTE: Misleading. This statute pertains to school participation, not harassment.

According to Wisconsin Statute 118.13(2)(a), each school board shall develop written policies and procedures related to discrimination.

NOTE: True, kind of. This statute, as stated above, pertains to school participation, not harassment. Discrimination and harassment are separate issues. Just to be clear, the chosen wording in the newly-drafted, however, is NOT required. The school board has taken it upon themselves to expand this policy inappropriately and unnecessarily.

Full article can be viewed here:

http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=V0JETi8yMDA4LzA3LzE3I0FyMDA4MDU=&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

West Bend School Board Complains About Taxpayers

In both the policy-writing session and the school board meeting last night in West Bend, there were loud complaints of how the taxpayers have cost the school district $8,000. All because of their inquisition regarding the harassment policy.

The School Board also resented the "38 emails" sent by at least one taxpayer over the period of the last month. I happen to know that, when divided, those emails were sent to the "appropriate" sources, then turned over to someone else to handle, causing the email volume to double and triple. I also happen to know that many of those emails were simply one sentence, such as "Could you please clarify that as I don't understand?" Many emails had to be reworded time and again to refine a search process a the School Board was bucking Open Records requests. You see, when taxpayers ask questions, it is not appreciated and it is made known publicly, such as in last night's instance.

I guess I would rather see our district spend $8,000 now than HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars later in a law suit.

Taxpayers, parents, citizens - KEEP ASKING

Contact information for the West Bend School Board:Superintendent:
Patricia Herdrich = 262-334-5820 or pherdrich@west-bend.k12.wi.us
President: Joe Carlson = 262-334-1042 or jkcarlson@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Vice President: Kathy Van Eerden kvaneerden@west-bend.k12.wi.us
John Duwell: 262-338-2024 or jduwell@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Kris Beaver: 262-677-3412 or kbeaver@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Mike Weston: 262-338-2251 or mweston@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Bruce Koenig: 262-335-2408 or bkoenig@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Todd Miller: tmiller@west-bend.k12.wi.us

Monday, July 14, 2008

Local Priest Posts Truth About Moral Guidance

West Bend Daily News, July 14, 2008
"Your Views" section

Preferential Treatment Irresponsible

The time has come for me, a priest, to make arguments against high school policy that is inconsistent in its moral directives. Whether or not a child struggles with a samesex attraction, sexual expression is inappropriate at school. Promoting homosexual behavior as acceptable to those who are morally opposed is offensive. Giving preferential treatment to self-identified homosexual students is irresponsible. Here’s why. From secular law, our state defines marriage as between a man and a woman. To agree with that definition is not discriminatory, nor harassing. From natural law, attraction to the opposite gender is natural and normative. Heterosexuality is ordered to the procreation of children as well as the good of the spouses. Same-sex attraction is not natural because any sexual activity between like genders cannot accomplish its natural end, and there deviates from the norm which by definition is abnormal. From God's law, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind. It is abomination” (Leviticus 19:22). Homosexuality is forbidden by God in the Old Testament.

These Scriptures, which are sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, judge homosexual acts as gravely immoral. The New Testament has additional admonitions (Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10). The Catechism of the Catholic Church distinguishes between the inclination toward homosexuality and acts of homosexuality. The inclination is “objectively disordered,” a temptation, but not sinful. “Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” and always sinful. Those who experience the inclination “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” 9CCC 2357 and 2358).

To make the distinction between accepting a person but not their behavior is not prejudice, discrimination or harassment, it is called right judgment.

To teach reading, writing and arithmetic is the responsibility of our educators. Moral guidance is the responsibility of God’s Church.

Father Rick Wendell, Holy Angels Parish, West Bend
_______________________________________________________

Ok, so I don't even know this man, but his words gave me goosebumps and tears... The first word that came to my mind when reading this was "courageous." Why? It takes courage to speak up in a small community where many people may know you, especially when you are one of the very first clergy to do so in a public platform. I applaud this man's obedience to speak what is right.

West Bend School Board Meeting TONIGHT (Reminder)

POLICY-WRITING COMMITTEE & SCHOOL BOARD MEETING SET
POLICY-WRITING COMMITTEE MEETING
JULY 14, MONDAY
4:30 P.M.
735 South Main StreetWest Bend, WI 53095
(Old Amity building/South Side entrance)

WEST BEND SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
SAME LOCATION AS ABOVE
7 P.M.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

First Amendment Quiz

First Amendment Quiz(Answers below.)

1. Which of the following is NOT a RIGHT protected by the First Amendment?
Assembly, Religion, Petition, Press, Privacy, Speech

2. Do the Federal Courts have the RIGHT to send reporters to jail for refusing to reveal a news source? Yes or No

3. Are there some student extracurricular groups the school may exclude? Yes or No

4. Is it constitutional to teach about RELIGION in a public school? Yes or No

5. Do public school students have to salute the FLAG during recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance? Yes or No

6. Is it the Supreme Court, not Congress, that ultimately determines what rights are protected by the First Amendment? Yes or No

7. In America, does the media need to get permission from the government before it publishes critical articles? Yes or No

8. Do Americans have the RIGHT to burn the American Flag as a means of political protest? Yes or No

9. Does the government have the RIGHT to restrict indecent material on the Internet? Yes or No

10. Does someone have the legal RIGHT to shout "FIRE" in a croweded arena as a prank? Yes or No

Answer Key: 1) Privacy2) Yes3) Yes4) Yes5) No6) Yes7) No8) Yes9) No10) No

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Homosexuality defined as choice...

At the University of Toledo, Crystal Dixon, the associate vice president of human resources, wrote in a column of the Toledo Free Press.

Dixon asserted that gay people can change their sexual orientation and questioned how gay people could ever be considered “civil rights victims.”

Wrote Dixon: “As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo’s Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims.’ Here’s why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle....”

But wait, there's more:
Dixon also cited as evidence for her position “irrefutable” data showing higher than average salaries of gay people, and she cited religious teachings. “There is a divine order. God created human kind male and female (Genesis 1:27). God created humans with an inalienable right to choose. There are consequences for each of our choices, including those who violate God’s divine order. It is base human nature to revolt and become indignant when the world or even God Himself, disagrees with our choice that violates His divine order,” she wrote. “Jesus Christ loves the sinner but hates the sin (John 8:1-11.) Daily, Jesus Christ is radically transforming the lives of both straight and gay folks and bringing them into a life of wholeness: spiritually, psychologically, physically and even economically. That is the ultimate right.”

So there you have it. My thoughts exactly. Sexual orientation does not belong in a "protected class."

WEST BEND SCHOOL DISTRICT CONTACT INFORMATION

Harassment Policy-Writing Committee:

BRUCE KOENIG 335-2408 bkoenig@west-bend.k12.wi.us
KATHY VAN EERDEN Email: kvaneerden@west-bend.k12.wi.us
MIKE WESTON 335-2408 tmiller@west-bend.k12.wi.us
JEFF NENNIG jnennig@west-bend.k12.wi.us,




POLICY-WRITING COMMITTEE MEETING
JULY 14, MONDAY
4:30 P.M.
Education Service Center
735 South Main Street
West Bend, WI 53095
WEST BEND SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
SAME LOCATION AS ABOVE
7 P.M.

Contact information for the West Bend School Board:

Superintendent: Patricia Herdrich = 262-334-5820 or pherdrich@west-bend.k12.wi.us
President: Joe Carlson = 262-334-1042 or jkcarlson@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Vice President: Kathy Van Eerden kvaneerden@west-bend.k12.wi.us
John Duwell: 262-338-2024 or jduwell@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Kris Beaver: 262-677-3412 or kbeaver@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Mike Weston: 262-338-2251 or mweston@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Bruce Koenig: 262-335-2408 or bkoenig@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Todd Miller: tmiller@west-bend.k12.wi.us

WVCY AIRS WEST BEND SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICY ISSUES

West Bend School District Policy Issues Revealed
Get the info tomorrow:
WVCY
107.7 FM
10:30 a.m.
Cross-Reference with Jim Schneider

Revealing the agenda behind the harassment policy in West Bend Schools...

Just so you don't think I am making this up, here are the actual "talk points" and suggestions for "students" from NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights) taken from GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network:



GETTING YOUR SCHOOL BOARD ON BOARD:
PRO TALKING POINTS

Why is it important for non-discrimination/anti-harassment policies to list
specific forms of prohibited discrimination and harassment?

Harassment of any kind is unacceptable and should be dealt with quickly and firmly and with
appropriate consequences and remedies. Historically, however, certain groups of people have
suffered systematic institutional prejudice, discrimination, and have been at disproportionate riskof harassment and violence. As demonstrated by the statistics above and the facts of cases likeNabozny, schools have often been complicit in the perpetuation of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

READ THE REST HERE:

http://www.nclrights.org/site/DocServer/pubs_harass-talkingpoints.pdf?docID=1683

If the West Bend School District adopts the harassment policy currently redrafted, NO CHILD will be able to exercise his/her free speech right for fear of the above. What a long list the "compliance officer" will have if this goes into place! Think about the legal costs......

West Bend Taxpayers - show up at the school board meeting. SPEAK UP.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

West Bend School Board Puppet Theater

This is a response from Mike Weston, school board member, who is also on the West Bend School District's policy-writing committee. I asked him if he was aware of Wis. Stat. 120.13 that discusses how policy-writing committee's are formed. (I asked EACH of the p.w. members, actually). Here is his comment:

"Ginny,

I have read your emails and am responding only to say that due to the volume of open record requests we have been receiving I asked Dr. Herdrich some time ago to respond on behalf of the Policy Committee. We as School Board members have our other careers and obligations to contend with an addition to our work on the Board. I hate to say it but Dr. Herdrich is more versed than we are with the Policy’s and State Statutes because she does this full time, and she has the staff to assist her. We are legally obligated to have a harassment policy in place and we as a Policy Committee will abide by the Wisconsin State Statutes to protect all children of the School District. The policy is currently being re-drafted by our attorney and will be available for your perusal as soon as we receive it back.

Sincerely,
Mike Weston"

I guess when one is elected to the school board they turn over complete trust to the superintendent who "is more versed in policies and statutes". I guess the fact that I had a part in electing them means I should turn my "trust" over to them. (NOT) Everyone needs to do their own homework.

Each Board member is directly accountable to the taxpayers....not the staff who are acting like puppet masters and pulling all the strings behind the scenes.

You can speak..

These are the three people who are on the policy-writing committee for the West Bend School District.

Please consider calling or emailing them about the proposed harassment policy before Monday's School Board Meeting and:

Telling them that you would appreciate it if they would consider reviewing the draft that I sent to them on behalf of the district parents and children. (Let me know if you need a copy to read. I'd be glad to send it on to you.)

OR

Tell them you want something in the harassment policy that requires parental notification and parental inclusion in disciplinary hearings.

OR

Tell them you don't like the way it is written because it appears that the kids will be afraid to speak what they believe, which appears to be a first amendment violation. The First Amendment applies to ALL people.OR All of the above.

BRUCE KOENIG 335-2408 bkoenig@west-bend.k12.wi.us

KATHY VAN EERDEN Email: kvaneerden@west-bend.k12.wi.us

MIKE WESTON 335-2408 tmiller@west-bend.k12.wi.us

JEFF NENNIG jnennig@west-bend.k12.wi.us,

Coming soon to a bathroom near you...

May 30, 2008 - Friday

Coming Soon to a Bathroom Near You...

Congress may be adjourned for the Memorial Day recess, but a series of misguided state bills aren't providing any relief for pro-family groups. Just ask the residents of Colorado, where locals are bracing themselves for an "anti-bias" law that is actually changing where people use the restroom. Yesterday, over the protests of thousands of families, Gov. Bill Ritter (D) signed SB 200 into law. The legislation blurs the sexual lines by making all public accommodations, including locker rooms and restrooms, "gender-free." In other words, anyone--regardless of their biological identity--will be welcome in the men's or ladies' room, including cross-dressers, men who self-identify as women, women who self-identify as men, and people who haven't made up their minds. To make matters worse, Colorado defines "public accommodations" as everything from malls, restaurants, and schools to small and even home businesses. The other side says this is about discrimination. But the chance of offending a few people hardly justifies putting everyone else at risk, which is exactly what SB 200 does. For every transvestite who takes advantage of this law, there are a dozen sexual predators who will see this as a chance to put women and children into a vulnerable situation. Focus on the Family launched a statewide awareness campaign, but in the end, even Colorado's largest Christian ministry couldn't compete with Ritter's desire to pay off liberal financier Tim Gill, who sank serious dollars into the governor's election campaign in 2006. From here all eyes will turn to Montgomery County, where a November ballot initiative will determine the fate of its bathroom bill. Meanwhile, leaders in the California Assembly dealt another blow to values voters on Wednesday by passing an assisted suicide bill by one vote. Under AB 2747, doctors and nurses could suggest "death by unconscious dehydration" for terminal patients as well as those who are "depressed and confused." Although some say the sedation-starvation method is more painful than lethal injection, California leaders insist on pursuing a bill that treats humans with less dignity and sensitivity than animals. Interestingly, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) position is that voters should decide. Under his system of selective democracy, Schwarzenegger is fighting to silence voters' opinion on marriage but welcoming their views on euthanasia. In 2006 he said that assisted suicide "probably should go to the people, like the death penalty... I don't think that we, 120 legislators and I, should make that decision."

http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WU08E15

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Parents/Kids Not Hostages

I asked for last year's Open Enrollment information for the West Bend School District(Open Enrollment is the policy that provides for students to opt out of public schooling and be schooled outside of the district, or homeschooled, or opt "into" our district). The statistics are these:

"On the September 21, 2007 3rd Friday count we reported 139 non-resident Open Enrolled students attending West Bend Schools and 156 resident Open Enrolled students attending school in other districts."

MORE have OPTED OUT than IN! That's an approximate loss of $1/4 million!!

Chasing kids out of a district is not a real wise strategy, especially when we have multi-million dollar building projects in mind.

I think FEW parents realize they have the Open Enrollment option. We could get some MAJOR leverage from this if we started making this information, as well as homeschooling info, available to the public. None of the board members want to be responsible for a mass exodus out of their district and a loss of A LOT of $.

Parents have many educational options between Open Enrollment, homeschooling, virtual schools, and now some private church schools that are providing free tuition. Education is VERY competitive. No parent should feel as though they are being held hostage.

U.S. CITIZENS NEEDED - IMPORTANT MEETING!

SEE DATES AND TIMES BELOW IN PREVIOUS POST!

Dear Friends,

URGENT!!!

have been working on behalf of everyone (citizens, parents, students) to ensure the Freedom of Speech issue within our school district's latest attempt at rewriting the harassment policy. The policy does three things:

1. It intimidates all schoolchildren and will make them afraid to speak about anything whatsoever for fear of disciplinary action (denial of Freedom of Speech).

2. It adds "sexual orientation" as a "protected class," and assumes that this falls in the realm of something one is born with, i.e., race, color, male/female, etc.

3. It denies parents the right to be present in cases of disciplinary action involving their child.

THREE BIG ISSUES.

HERE IS THE REQUEST:

Remember how the School Board sat up and took notice when we took a stand for what we believe is justifiably and constitutionally RIGHT?

WE NEED TO DO THIS AGAIN. And BRING MORE PEOPLE WITH US. If you did not attend last time, PLEASE, PLEASE COME NOW!

Now that the Harassment Policy has been rewritten, it will be presented for approval THREE TIMES to our local School Board. The THIRD TIME it is presented, it will either be done appropriately and with reasonable changes to it, or it will NOT. We need to COLLECTIVELY do what we did last month and SHOW UP AT THE MEETINGS AGAIN. I cannot do this alone. The School Board MUST SEE that this is a CITIZEN CONCERN, not a "me" concern. We have to STICK WITH IT. Please strongly consider making the next three meetings. I am happy to notify you of when and where they are.

The next meeting is THIS MONDAY, JULY 14TH (see post below).

I will have somebody reading my statement on my behalf, as I am scheduled to be out of town. Don't let that stop you from attending! Call, email or write me if you need to. I am willing to help in any way I can.

IF WE DO NOT STAND TOGETHER, then all this work is for nothing. We will throw away what we were standing for the first time and they will not take us seriously. We need to approach this issue and the School Board with sincerity. If we don't "come back" to the meetings, we will most certainly look ridiculous and insincere.

Thanks for helping me along as I stand in the gap for students, citizens, taxpayers and parents. As long as you stand with me, I can continue pressing on. And most of all, PRAY.

I encourage you to forward this information on to anyone you feel will help with keeping First Amendment rights for ALL people.

POLICY-WRITING COMMITTEE & SCHOOL BOARD MEETING SET

POLICY-WRITING COMMITTEE MEETING
JULY 14, MONDAY
4:30 P.M.

Education Service Center
735 South Main Street
West Bend, WI 53095

WEST BEND SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
SAME LOCATION AS ABOVE
7 P.M.

Contact information for the West Bend School Board:
Superintendent: Patricia Herdrich = 262-334-5820 or pherdrich@west-bend.k12.wi.us
President: Joe Carlson = 262-334-1042 or jkcarlson@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Vice President: Kathy Van Eerden kvaneerden@west-bend.k12.wi.us
John Duwell: 262-338-2024 or jduwell@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Kris Beaver: 262-677-3412 or kbeaver@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Mike Weston: 262-338-2251 or mweston@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Bruce Koenig: 262-335-2408 or bkoenig@west-bend.k12.wi.us
Todd Miller: tmiller@west-bend.k12.wi.us

Cactus Cuties

http://

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nicely said...

West Bend Daily News, Opinion Page:

I am responding to the article on the harassment policy and speaking up as a concerned parent in the WB school district. I have children currently in elementary school. I realize that bullying and harassment are serious issues. However, I personally feel that this policy is not protecting their rights, but taking them away. I will explain. First, I believe that children need opportunities to think freely and speak their minds. The wording of the current harassment policy could limit them from simply disagreeing or debating thoughts or ideas with other students. It is the young minds who often dream bigger and challenge their culture and world to think outside the box. We should not discourage them from disagreements, that might possibly offend someone. Second, school is also a place where children need to learn to function in the real world. Dealing with offense, and even "harassment" could very plausibly happen in their adult lives. We should not be making everything a legal matter. If we are offended, we need to confront individuals before contacting lawyers. Bullying and harassment are wrong, but we must admit that there is a better way to deal with it than severe discipline from school officials and possible expulsion. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.

ROBBIE SEAY BENEFIT CONCERT - ZOE MEANS LIFE - THIS TUESDAY

WWW.ZOEMEANSLIFEFOR.US

BENEFIT CONCERT for Zoe Batiansila, who was born with Trisomy 18. You can read more about Zoe at her family's blog www.batiansila.blogspot.com . Great family night! Come on out!

WHO? ROBBIE SAEY BAND
WHERE? Brookfield Lutheran Church
WHEN? Tuesday (THIS Tuesday, TOMORROW!), July 8
TIME? 7 p.m.
COST: $20 per ticket, with ALL proceeds going to benefit Zoe's health care

Awesome concert donated by ROBBIE SEAY BAND! See clip below!
http://

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kewaskum Fireworks

video

As former Kewaskum residents, we can't help but revisit our stomping grounds each year for the most superior, quality fireworks display in the area! (Saw West Bend's last night, too, which were quite nice, as well!)

West Bend Referendum Survey - A Waste

(West Bend Daily News, July 5, Opinions)

West Bend Taxpayers watch out!!

The West Bend School Board sent out a Referendum Survey to all citizens in District No. 1 this week. This survey was to gather statistics to help them decide how to propose the referendum that considers the School District's facility needs. (The previous referendum failed, most likely due to the current feeling we all pay plenty of taxes already.)

I am sure you are most probably aware of this.Here is the flaw. Nobody is required to register to take this survey. Anyone can simply log on to http://west-bend.k12.wi.us and take the survey. Anyone. It doesn't matter who you are or where you live. The survey is fair game to all. So I am wondering, where is the system of checks and balances? How will we know if the survey information is truly coming from the local community, or beyond? How can we rely on a referendum question that is leaning on the input of people, but not really knowing if these people they are gathering information from truly reside in the district?

As far as I am concerned, this survey is null and void. The information gathered will be useless. Online statistics need to be thrown out and the survey removed from the district website.

West Bend Citizens, save yourself the time. Toss out the survey and tell the School Board you want them to revise the survey with referendum-pertinent questions and to add a registration code for the on-line version.

As a side note, why in the world do they need to know what Talk Radio show we listen to in order to gather information concerning facility needs? Where is the significance in the question? Strange! Perhaps if you read this on-line editorial http://www.gmtoday.com/milwaukeetoday/editorials/belling.asp, you'll be enlighted!

(PS - The above link is to a column that changes from week to week. Please see my previous post for Mark Belling's comment on the issue of Talk Radio.)

Love letter...

Posted by Wendy at http://www.bootsandsabers.com/

(Thanks for an amazing and touching read...)

What kind of world will we bequeath to our grandchildren? It may be that long before we know. But our actions today will have an incalculable effect on that far-off tomorrow. And if our policy is not firmly grounded in the spread of those long-ago words:

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...

...then I wonder if we shall not be the first Americans who fail to pass the blessings of liberty on to the next generation?

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph. is for good men to do nothing.” - Edmund Burke.

Happy Birthday, America. May you always be great. May you remain a nation of thinkers, of dreamers, of believers, of doers; striving always towards our ideals without despising the imperfect means we use to achieve them.

But most importantly, may you never give in to cynicism and despair. In life as in sports, ninety nine percent of success lies in simply showing up.

READ THE FULL VERSION HERE:

http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/archives/2008/07/why_i_am_patrio.html

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Freedom Isn't Free

I Watched A Flag Pass By

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease..

http://www.rightyblogs.com/national/feed.php?channel=154&iid=117111&y=2008&m=05&d=25

Redneck Fireworks

Take the Fam...

VERY COOL...

Dairy Queen/Advance Auto Cruise Night - West Bend, WI
From Tuesday, May 06 2008
To Tuesday, September 02 2008
5:00pm - 9:00pm Each Tuesday week

Parking at Dairy Queen and Advance Auto

Advance will be handing out $5.00 discount coupons for purchases over $25.00 -- coupons good for Tuesday night.

Location: Dairy Queen 1228 South Main St, West Bend, WI 53095
Contact: Phone: 262-306-9910

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

West Bend Taxpayers.. you just spent $10,500

Yep, You did.

The West Bend District #1 Referendum Survey that was mailed out to all of you this week, filled with flaws (see my previous post from June 29th), cost us nearly ELEVEN GRAND.