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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 28, 2009

West Bend School Board told "NO" loudly by district taxpayers PART IV

And here's the taxpayer's "non-binding" vote:

HERE is a GREAT synopsis of the evening.

West Bend School Board told "NO" loudly by district taxpayers PART III

This man gives a number of points, mainly that he was pretty angry, as were many other taxpayers, that the subject material of this budget meeting was not properly communicated to school district residents, nor was the information that they could give an advisory vote. He was upset that the only ones who notified the public were Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling. (LOLOLOL! Thanks, Guys!) - 

(Another resident made his comments about the teacher's union getting their pay increase from Doyle that made Channel 4 news tonight. (Sorry, didn't get it on video.) The budget proposal has a 2.5 million dollar pay increase for teachers. The commenter made reference to the teacher's union getting Doyle into office, then said if the teacher's want their 2.5 million, they should get it from "that rat they elected". The crowd went wild!!!)

West Bend School Board told "NO" loudly by district taxpayers PART II

This gentleman lent his insight concerning the position of seniors and retirees on fixed incomes, i.e., Social Security.

West Bend School Board told "NO" loudly by district taxpayers PART I

Whipping up these video snippets for those of you who weren't able to attend the meeting.

First, here is a short clip of Carlson working with hypnotic-like effect alongside Stepanski, making sure that the "air is cleared" before the meeting starts.

West Bend School Board - Tax Levy - SHOW UP AND VOTE






Hold school board president, Joe Carlson, accountable for keeping information from the public through closed sessions.  Mistrust has been built with the citizens of West Bend.  We need a new board president who believes in transparency.
 The local news (newspaper/radio) was not given any press releases from the school district concerning this issue.

THESE are the main pointsi:

Administration was aware of the possible budget issues early.

The 09-10 budget has an increase in spending of 3.71% compared to 08-09.

Eau Claire, Oshksosh, Wausau, Kaukauna, West Allis, West Milwaukee, Appleton – have made cuts to meet budget restraints……West Bend made none.

Last year, they increased our levy by 11 cents (no one was told of this) – this year an additional 12 %.

Take a look at district employees eating out on taxpayer dollars.

"Here we are two days away and we are still trying to sort out the numbers and justifications through leaks and snippets.  It would have been nice for the district to have released the entire proposed budget with the rationale and explanations prior to the meeting so that voters had time to digest it and make an informed decision. " ~Owen Robinson,  (09/25/09)

FACT:  The figures were not even given to the school board members until this weekend (Thursday, for review over the weekend), despite board member Tim Stepanski's plea in a prior board session to receive them in time to make an informed decision and bounce them off the citizens and taxpayers of West Bend.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

West Bend School Board "FEASTS" on Taxpayer $$$$$$

Received this from one of the 100+ West Bend "leaders" who got this memo from Supt. Pat Herdrich.  This is her damage control and message pleading for help from district leadership.

These are Pat's talking points:

Topic regarding the arborist:

You asked Dave Ross why a local arborist was not selected. Dave went back to his records after his conversation with you to check previous email regarding the topic. Below is the response.

Dave located this in an email to the construction team. He did not remember the rationale for selection at the time he was on the phone with you. Here is the answer though.

Badger Woods Tree Identification and Evaluation
a. At the request of Bob Vajgrt, I am in the process of obtaining a proposal for the necessary services to evaluate the group of mature trees identified as the “Badger Woods” located at the northwest corner of the school property. I contacted the City of West Bend Forestry Department and they do not provide this type of service for trees on the private property so they recommended that we use Wachtel Tree Science & Service. They used this consultant to evaluate and document all the street trees in the entire City. I should have a proposal detailing the services in my possession by the end of next week.

Let's see.  I believe I remember something being said that we were going to keep the tax dollars within the district by hiring out local.  We don't have a local arborist who can identify trees?  Ya hear that local business owners?  You obviously are not viewed as qualified in your profession. Oh, that's right.  The Forestry Dept. made you do it.  Quit shelling our money outside of the district.

Topic regarding salaries:
Attached are the administrative salaries. As was already reported by the West Bend Daily News, we are not making any salary adjustments at this time. We are waiting to see where the full enrollment count comes in before we complete that portion of the planning. I am sure you understand with the legislative changes in requiring arbitration that benchmarking for salaries will be key. We remain below benchmarks already. That is where the story rests. We by the arbitrators will be viewed as the 4th most affluent county in the state of Wisconsin, large district, low spending. We will not fair well in arbitration.

It would take some really serious testosterone to ask for pay raises while the economy is down and families are hurting.  THINK ABOUT IT.

Topic regarding the cost of the Board/Leaderhship Dinner at Timmers:

One time a year we pull the board and leadership team together for a dinner.

In 2008 it was held at the Clairemont cost per head was $26.00 a person for a total of $1066

In 2009 it was held at Timmer’s cost per head was $21.00 a person for a total of $743.00

We focus on supporting our local restaurants with the limited number of gatherings we include within our board/leadership team meetings and celebrations.


Keep it lean, low on fat, and within the budget.

ALERT!  Not only do 40% of the school children get free lunch, so does the school board!  Wow!  Our tax dollars stretch further than we could have ever imagined!!!

Topic regarding the cost of the staff recognition:

The cost of the staff recognition is $5,515.37.

We charge a portion of that in tickets to every one this offsets $2,025.

The association picks up $1745.19.

The district pays $1745.19 for the last year’s recognition dinner.

This is the one event per year where we recognize years of service, Rolfs Award winners, Employee of the Year, those retiring, and retirees are invited to join us. We are fortunate to have over 200 people attend each year.

Pats on the back don't cost anything.  Thank you cards can be purchased at the Dollar Store.  A kind word is free.  Letters to the Editor go a long way.  Savings to the taxpayers....PRICELESS.

Topic of Staff Inservice:

Each year we host the opening inservice for all staff. This is certified and non certified and represents about a 900 people who attend. We have also invited the EDC members, Chamber Board, our legislators, city leaders etc… to participate in the opening meeting. The luncheon is held in the cafeteria and our food service staff prepares this for us.

The cost last year was $1987.93
The association typically donates $300 to this event.

POT LUCK, I TELL YA.  What's up with the catered events?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wisconsin Blue Book - Get one. You're paying for it anyway.


Typically, each volume includes extensive description and statistics on virtually all aspects of life in Wisconsin, including major sections on the state’s population, geography, history, election data, educational resources, social services, finance, agriculture, industry, transportation system, etc. Various useful lists are also provided, such as of statewide associations, news media, local governmental units, post offices, political parties, etc.

Call 1-800-662-1227 for your FREE COPY!

Eagle Forum / Kitty Werthmann / Nationalized Health Care / KEEP YOUR GUNS

Kitty Werthmann is an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor who is smart as a whip. She lent personal insight into the horrors of life under nationalized healthcare/education/religion, and how they got their through trickery by the government.  She warned that the CHURCHES are currently behind the movement to support socialized healthcare and are leading the way to our demise.  (Just Google Common Grounds and Saul Alinsky).

She said that people handed over the guns to the government and, had they known what was coming, they would have "fought the battle to the bloody end."  Her advice to America?

"Keep your guns, and buy MORE guns."

She warned that the "green" is the new "red", referring to environmentalist distraction tactics.

Lastly, she left us with this quote:

"When the people are scared of the government, that is tyranny.  When the government is scared of the people, that is liberty."

Amen, Kitty.

Kitty Werthmann, Holocaust Survivor

Eagle Forum / Janet Porter / Give Obama the PINK SLIP

Listened to dynamic Janet Porter, organizer for Eagle Forum's national group speak over lunch period. 

Give Obama the PINK SLIP.

Click on http://www.sendcongressapinkslip.com/ to SEND 535 PINK SLIPS TO EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS!  (Both the Senate and the House of Representatives).

Your $29.95 will send 535 pink slips that read:

You work for us & we do NOT want:

It has tax-funded abortion, rationing, and euthanasia; it doesn't work and we can't afford it.

Government control of energy-taxing us for heating our homes and driving to work!

It protects pedophiles and sends pastors to prison for Biblical positons and speech!

Congress has already bankrupted our country!

If you vote for ANY of these,

Signed, Your Employer:
Firstname, Lastname
City, State Zip

Please write and inform me of what you intend to do.

Keep FEDEX busy!

12% tax hike coming to West Bend - Show up Monday night and VOTE NO

Here is what is not being said.  YOU CAN VOTE on this issue.  Monday night, school board meeting, BADGER MIDDLE SCHOOL GYM AT 6:30 (note - the meeting was moved).

Waning state aid and the increased cost of doing business have been cited as reasons why the West Bend School District will present a 12.1 percent increase to its 2009-2010 tax levy during its annual meeting Monday.
The district’s overall proposed budget is up 3.7 percent, from $64.2 million in 2008-09 to $66.6 million. That increase will bring the equalized mill rate up 8.7 percent to $7.36, adding 59 cents per $1,000 of equalized valuation to last year’s property tax bills.

“After a 4.8 percent levy increase last year and a $27.4 million referendum passed earlier this year, the people of the district should aggressively scrutinize any spending and tax increases, especially with unemployment over 13 percent in West Bend,” said West Bend resident Owen Robinson, a blogger who publishes at www.bootsandsabers.com and writes a column for the Daily News.

West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries received Eagle Award from Schlafly for West Bend Library Battle

Here I am receiving the Eagle Award from Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum at the How To Take Back America conference in honor of the work we did on behalf of the parents in West Bend regarding the sexually explicit books in the West Bend Library.

Blogging from Eagle Forum, St. Louis, "Take Back America"/ Price breaks out HR3400

Spending the weekend in balmy St. Louis at the Eagle Forum "How To Take Back America" conference.

Congressman Tom Price spoke tonight.  He stated that more government is the wrong answer.  Formed Republican Study Committee.  Pointed people in direction of HR3400.

Said he actually read the health care bills before congress, and he has a medical treatment (Price is also an M.D.) for it:  "It qualifies for medical malpractice."

Price said, "It's not about health care; it's about power and freedom."

Price further went over the principles in health care stating"none are improved by the further intervention of the Federal goverernment:

Affordability, accessibility, quality, responsiveness, innovation and choices (the last three being his personal additions.)

From RSC:

Less Government - Does the bill tend to reduce government regulations, size of government, or eliminate entitlements or unnecessary programs?
Lower Taxes - Does the bill promote individual responsibility in spending, or reduce taxes or fees?

Personal Responsibility - Does the bill encourage responsible behavior by individuals and families and encourage them to provide for their own health, safety, education, moral fortitude, or general welfare?

Individual Freedom - Does the bill increase opportunities for individuals or families to decide, without hindrance or coercion from government, how to conduct their own lives and make personal choices?

Stronger Families - Does the bill enhance the traditional American family and its power to rear children without excessive interference from the government?

Domestic Tranquility, National Defense - Does the bill enhance American security without unduly burdening civil liberty?

SOLUTIONS = HR3400 - because:
1.  It's financially feasible.
2.  It will solve the insurance challenges, i.e., people will own their insurance policy regardless of who pays for it.
3.  It will be written into law that patients, their families and doctors will make medical decisions, NOT government.
4.  It will solve lawsuit abuse challenges.
5.  There will be no use of federal funds for provision of abortion.
6.  There will be no tax raise.

More later.

Friday, September 25, 2009

West Bend School Board meeting MOVED - Carlson admits no press release was issued

The regular meeting of the West Bend Schoool Board has been moved from the district offices to

6:30 P.M.


School Board President, Joe Carlson admits this fiscally huge decision did not go to the press for public information.  All citizens who attend will be able to VOTE on this issue.  This will be a VERBAL vote.  Vote NO, loud and clear, or you'll be looking at a nice-sized tax increase.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Few West Bend School Board Facts

Your West Bend School Board:

...is not only running with the $27K referendum, but trying to pull off a HUGE tax increase right along with it.  (Guess your "yes" vote wasn't enough.)

..West Bend was paid $29,084,419 in the 2008-2009 school year.  For this budget, they are projecting $31,291,816 for the same things in the 2009-2010 school year.  In other words, state aid is actually going UP in real dollars.  It appears that the district is playing the favorite game of politicians in claiming that aid that falls short of their expectations are a “cut.”  (Owen did the math.)

...School Board Chairman, Joe Carlson, doesn't believe the public should know about the tax levy.  This is evidenced by his numerous claims of  "disappointment" when challenged by board member, Tim Stepanski to take his opposition behind closed doors.  See here, here and here.

...On the flip side, fiscal conservatives have advocates in Stepanski and Koenig, who appear to be unafraid to represent the constituents who elected them, giving solid representation in a forthcoming and transparent manner.

...Seems Carlson, et. al, are a tad bit disingenuous about the state aid.  (Ya think?) This is being used as the driving force behind justifying district spending, which is scheduled to go down for a vote on Monday night, the 28th at 7 pm at the District Offices.

...Seems some "back door" games are being played to squeeze more $$$$ out of taxpayers. 

Let's flashback to the questionnaire from the last school board election.  




STEPANSKI:  District resources belong to the taxpayer. It is important that the citizen is made aware of the situation. It is also important that after a complete investigation, the person responsible would be disciplined up to and including termination and possible prosecution.


STEPANSKI:  A budget is to be balanced no matter what the situation - good or bad. We are accountable to the taxpayer and it is imperative that we can prove we will operate within our means.

Seems Stepanski is showing he's made of the stuff he promised his constituents.  A very good representation, indeed.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

West Bend School Board takes beating from Belling

Curtsy to Boots and Sabers

Mark Belling spent 20 minutes on his show today covering the reason we have open meetings in America, why they are important, and why West Bend School Board Chairman Joe Carlson’s comments are so out of line. 
Here’s the podcast.  He starts talking about West Bend at about 12 minutes.  He mentions B&S at about 20:50. 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sensenbrenner Town Hall Meeting in West Bend TODAY

4:00pm            West Bend City Hall
                        Council Chambers (2nd floor)
                        1115 S Main StWest Bend
                        ***Please use entrance in rear of building. 
                         There is an elevator to the 2nd floor

Eagle Forum's Education Reporter now available online

The Eagle Forum's newspaper "The Education Reporter" has now been made available online.

Some interesting reads this issue:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

But when we get behind closed doors - West Bend School Board - Part 2

Carlson continues on with a 2-minute dissertation on why Stepanski shouldn't be disagreeable on camera stating "I am very disappointed" and that he "needs warning" to discuss any opposition to the issues so the board can "come up with a compromise."

Stepanski's question "What kind of compromise?" to Carlson went unanswered.  Maybe we already know the answer to that one.

Carlson goes on to imply that Stepanski's actions make them appear to be a dysfunctional board.  Oh, and he said "I don't like surprises in my business, and I don't like surprises in situations like this."  So I guess it's about him then.

Sorry, Tim.  Took guts to do what you did, and thanks for trying!  

West Bend School Board should be discussing differences of opinion BEHIND closed doors...and so it goes. PART 1

Sorry for the lag.  You get the idea. 

Stepanski's strategy to bring forth his opinion in healthy debate was not welcomed by School Board President Joe Carlson.  From "his perspective" it should be discussed in "closed session" where the public doesn't hear.

Carlson calls Stepanski's honesty "disappointing."  But wait, there's more.  See Part 2 in next post.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

West Bend Library Director Tyree slanders City Councilman Vrana at ACLU fundraiser

Overheard at the ACLU fundraiser in Madison tonight ~

Special guest speaker West Bend Library Director, Michael Tyree, was noting how the Common Council refused the reappointment of four library board members.  He then went on to discuss the fact the many of the City Council members did not own library cards.

Bringing up Alderman Terry Vrana, this is how Tyree characterized him:

 “he may be familiar with porn shops, but he's not familiar with the library” 

West Bend needs to think twice about the character and integrity of a city employee who goes outside of the city in order to slander it's council members and verbally rape it's citizens.

Also in attendance, Mary Reilly-Kliss, Bob Deters and Maria Hanrahan.

A total of 21 were in attendance at the shindig.  

Journal Sentinel reports seniors are "confused"

This headline alone should tick off anyone who falls into the "senior" category.  It's belittling, and it makes older adults sound like Alzheimer's patients.  Nice stereotyping.

Boulton and Umhoefer clearly miss the mark in this article with their biased and laughable take on how seniors really feel about Obamacare.

Seniors increasingly wary, confused about health reform

Monday, September 14, 2009

City of West Bend Librarian Salaries

I believe in sharing.

2009 Department Detail Information

LIBRARY ~ Expenditures


Tyree        $70,845
Chase       $47,610
Koeller     $38,887
Lade         $45,688
Becker      $ 9,048
Clausing    $16,146
Driscoll     $10,296
Donley      $ 5,694
Hoeser      $13,276
Petty         $ 9,048
Schiller      $33,299
Davister    $20,700
Wayne      $ 7,956
TOTAL    $328,493

Bauer             $47,609
Herdeman      $35,652
Matko            $41,771
Robbins          $47,026
Maher            $18,460
Yttri                $17,316
Griepentrog   $15,678
Gelhaar          $ 9,830
Jablonski        $ 4,525
Recht              $ 4,525
Klemm            $ 9,465
Ruetz              $ 4,525
Gundrum        $ 8,736
Schiller           $13,338
Davister         $20,700
Pages              $28,000
Cantrell          $29,502
Larson            $22,473
Woepse          $16,770
Other Bldg. Main  $11,223
TOTAL          $407,124

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why Philosophy is Stupid

At first, I thought this blog post was from a 4.0 student at our local UWWC.  They claim to be from Texas.  YOU decide.

Curtsy to "The Vented Truth."

So a long time ago in Ancient times a bunch of slackers decided that the only thing they could do that was worth their time was to look around and make everyone second guess their own lifestyles and beliefs. Socrates figured out the most ingenius way to fake intelligence was to run around town asking everyone "Why?" five hundred times like a 5 year old little girl making everyone think they were coming to their own conclusions on life. What's even funnier than that to me is that he never really came up with any real answers to anything. He would run around town asking people questions but would secretly be getting off to the fact that he really didn't know anything and people thought he was brilliant. The man never answered a single (darn) question. Even when the man was on trial for corrupting the youth of the day and becoming a Godless man, the best defense he could come up with was "I know you are, but what am I?" 

Now a days, I'm stuck in a classroom with a closed-minded schmuck of a professor staring at old translations of this guy's life. It begins with a single word like anything I've read, but I've never had to focus on that single word for an hour and fifteen minutes before like I have in this class. My teacher literally stops after every word spoken to discuss what it might mean. Then he gets a stupid grin on his face after the discussion and tells us "Well there is no definitive answer, so you have to figure out what it means for yourself." This wouldn't bother me as much if the man didn't tell some of the students they were flat wrong when they offered a possible answer. This basically confirming my suspicions that my professor has the intelligence of a flaming bag of dog poo. We think way too long and way too hard about these philosophers of the past and their half (witted) ideas with no conclusions. It's a different day, a different age and I say we focus on the personal truth of our own lives, instead of the universal truth human kind. I've got enough to think about in my own life before I can think about the problems of all mankind. My philosophy on philosophy: Philosophy Blows. If you're going to think that hard about something, make yourself useful and go cure something. By the way, I think Socrates was gay. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

West Bend Library Director Tyree guest speaker for fundraiser for .......ACLU????


City of West Bend
Code of Ethics

1.65 DECLARATION OF POLICY. The proper operation of democratic

government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and

responsible to the people; that government decisions and policy be made in proper channels

of the government structure; that public office not be used for personal gain; and that the

public have confidence in the integrity of its government. In recognition of these goals,

there is hereby established a Code of Ethics for all City officials and employees, whether

elected or appointed, paid or unpaid, including members of boards, committees and

commissions of the City. The purpose of this code is to establish guidelines for ethical

standards of conduct for all such employees and officials by setting forth those acts or

actions that are incompatible with the best interests of the City and by directing disclosure

by such officials and employees of private financial or other interests in matters affecting the


1.66 RESPONSIBILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICE. Public officials and employees are

agents of public purpose and hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to

uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and carry out

impartially the laws of the nation, State and the City and to observe in their official acts the

highest standards of morality and to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless

of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their prime concern.

Their conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach so as to

foster respect for all government.

Family Fun Fest Saturday - WEST BEND - Regner Park

Classic Country WBKV welcomes you to their 
3rd Annual Family Fun Fest, 
presented by Vanden Heuvel & Dineen.
September 12, 2009
10am - 4pm
Regner Park in West Bend, WI
11:00 am  Westbury Bank Diaper Derby
12:30 pm  The Charter Bundle Baby Crawl Race
1:00 pm    Cousin's Subs Kids Tractor Pull
1:30 pm    Parent & Child "Look-A-Like" Contest
2:00 pm    Family Fun Land Kids Karaoke Contest
10am - 4pm
Zuern Building Products Build-A-Birdhouse
Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. Kids I.D.
"Shoot-the-hoop" Basketball Shootout
Bank Mutual Family & Senior Bingo
West Bend Clinic First Aid
US Marine Recruiters Pull-Ups
Eight Inflatable Bounce Houses
JK Lee Black Belt Academy Demonstration
Lawn Bowling by Cedar Community
On Display...
The West Bend Fire Department
Fire Truck & Ambulance
832nd Army National Guard
Blackhawk Helicopter Display
West Bend Police Car
Vendors with Kids Activities

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sensenbrenner Town Hall Meeting coming to West Bend on September 20

Official: Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner
Topic: Town Hall
When: 09/20/2009
Starts: 04:00 PM
Where: West Bend City Hall, Council Chambers

1115 S. Main Street, West Bend, WI

Library Director special guest of ACLU - taking his "victory" over the parents and patrons of West Bend to the streets

We would not expect any less.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation will be recognizing Banned Books Week through several events across the state. Nationally, Banned Books Week is an awareness campaign sponsored by the American Library Association which celebrates the freedom to read and the right to open, accessible libraries.


The ACLU of Wisconsin was also involved in supporting the librarians at the public library in West Bend, WI after books with gay and lesbian characters were challenged by local residents.


ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation Banned Books Week Kick-off and Fundraiser
Tuesday, September 15, 7:00—8:30 p.m.
Goodman Community Center149 Waubesa Street Madison, WI 53704

Featuring special guests Michael Tyree, Director, West Bend Community Memorial Library and Maria Hanrahan, West Bend community organizer. These brave book defenders will share their story of a book challenge this year in West Bend, WI. The professionalism of the library staff and the efforts of community activists were crucial in defending a diverse library collection that is free and accessible to all community patrons. A $25, tax-deductible donation is encouraged.


But wait!  Maria Hanrahan?  Isn't she the one who talks about parents and taxpayers in the West Bend community saying things like......

The acronym for West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries should be renamed to "West Bend Citizens Removing All Personal Priveleges from You (WB-CRAPPY)"
That she cannot find anything sexually explicit at all in the book "Deal With It."  -see June 3 comment (::::rolling eyes:::)
...there is nothing "reasonable" about the requests made by the parents/patrons of WBCFSL.

Yep.  One and the same.  
And she's representing YOU, West Bend!  

West Bend is on Madison's radar to be mocked and ridiculed while raising funds for a community center, all at the proud request of the ACLU.  Sounds like Comedy Central.  It certainly isn't the first time......  Guess Madison's liberal utopia doesn't have enough lefties on their team.

The good 'ole ACLU........reminds me of a prophetic message I saw on youtube...

Classic Car Show SATURDAY - Lighthouse Antique & Gift Barn

Lighthouse Antique & Gift Barn 
Classic Car Show 
488 Newark Drive East
Fredonia, WI

Saturday, Sept.12th from 10 AM - 4 PM. 
Raffles, fun & refreshments. 
Proceeds to benefit Esperanza Viva, 
Living Hope Orphanage

Located on the grounds at Lighthouse Barn 
on Hwy M in Farmington. 
Need more information, call 920-229-2299. 
Looking for more classic car owners to show their cars.

Directions: From West Bend -
Hwy. 33 East to Hwy M.  Left on M.  Right to STAY on M, left to STAY on M. Right onto Newark Dr. E.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

West Bend Library Board refuses to filter computers - responds to complaint via media

In typical West Bend Library Board fashion, the refusal to apply for free funding for porn filters on the public computers was denied, and the complainants informed via the local newspaper. Though Tyree states they "seldom" have issues with patrons using the computers for porn, I can tell you that is not what he said to us when we met with him. In fact, he said that he had more issues with people viewing porn and having to deal with asking them to leave, than he did about any complaints about books. Yes, he did.


Our fave reporter, Dave Rank, of the WB News, reports here (note: We were not asked for our thoughts concerning the decision. Nice touch, Dave. No bias THERE! LOL! Hope you don't mind my interjections despite your obvious omission...)

My notes in red (of course!):

The West Bend Community Memorial Library will not apply for funding through the federal Child Internet Protection Act so that Internet filtering software would be installed on its 10 Internet access computers.

FREE money. Shucks. Guess we don't need it. That's right. We use taxpayer money to pay for $40-worth of phone calls from hotels (that we also pay for) when our library director goes to local conferences. We are buff with money for the West Bend Library, funded by people like Alyce and Elmore Kraemer who have no idea what their cash is being used for. A shame. A real shame.

Tuesday night, the Library Board voted unanimously not to act on a written request that it ask for CIPA funds. The request came from West Bend Citizens For Safe Libraries, the citizen group founded earlier this year by Ginny and Jim Maziarka from the town of West Bend, and was signed by the Maziarkas.

The Maziarkas have led a campaign to have certain books in the young adult section of the library moved and labeled because of homosexual themes or sexual passages.

WRONG AGAIN, Dave. Again and again and again. We have told you over and over, but you just don't get it. Sigh. Some old dogs just can't learn new tricks.

A library using CIPA funding would be required to install such filtering software, which would limit a user’s ability to surf for pornographic material with that computer. “

Actually, if you talk to any KNOWLEDGEABLE "I.T." guy/gal, they would tell you that is not exactly true. Filtering today is quite sophisticated and has come a long way, and is very effective without affecting the normal usage of library patrons.

The specific request is we apply for funds so we would be eligible for (the filters),” said John Aynesworth, the Library Board’s vice chairman.

CIPA funds would be used to pay for discounted Internet access (called e-rate) or for internal connection costs, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. “We don’t need to do that because we get our Internet connection through our (Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library) System, which gets it from the state,” said Michael Tyree, library director. “We do get an e-rate discount.”

'course, we don't, Mike. We have a nice, cheap rate, so we are happy with that and don't care about the porn issue.

As for people surfing the Web for porn on a library computer, it is not a common problem, Tyree said. In his 10 years as library director, he said, perhaps 12 incidents have occurred, “if that.” Each time, the offender is asked to leave the library — police are called if necessary — and that person’s library Internet access is curtailed, six months for a first offense, a year for a second. A letter is sent to the individual with a copy sent to the police, Tyree said.

Uh huh. So who are you telling the truth to, Mike? Us? Or the paper? IF there was anything we got out of our meeting with Tyree, it was that he had bigger fish to fry with people viewing porn on the internet. Hmmmm....

To use the library’s Internet access computers, someone must have a library card with an Internet use sticker on it, Tyree said. The last time someone was asked to leave the library because of inappropriate Web surfing occurred two months ago, Tyree said.

OUCH, and ICK.

“All of the computers can be seen from the reference desk,” he said, and library staff does keep an eye on computer use.

WHOA! They CAN? Do librarians have some mystical, magical, out-of-body vision ability? The library computers are placed in a row, back to back, with the back row obscured by the front row and facing AWAY from the librarian's desk. How the heck does she DO that? Inquiring minds want to know!

In the 27-library Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System only two have such “porn” filters on some of their computers, Tyree said, computers located in those libraries’ children's sections. “We don’t have computers in our children’s section.”

So it CAN be done, right? That's right. It can.

A filter also has to be turned off if someone requests that to research a legitimate subject that could be limited because of the filter, Tyree explained. The filters only affect the computers in which they are installed, and not personal laptops brought in to the library to use the building’s WIFI access, said Sue Cantrell, assistant library director.

This sends a huge message to the citizens, taxpayers, patrons and PARENTS of West Bend.

The West Bend Library Board does not care what you want, nor do they care about your community standards. PORN IS HERE TO STAY.

Thanks to the ALA, who even has a fund set up to fight legal challenges for CIPA funding. Nice.