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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cyclist Supports Local Pro-Life Cause

This. Is. Awesome.

Click HERE to donate.

Read entire article HERE.

HARTFORD — The first thing Bill Savage is hoping for when he takes a fundraising bike ride from the steps of the state Capitol in Madison to the Hartford Pregnancy Help Center on July 13 is to raise a lot of money.


Laura Denk, executive director of the Hartford Pregnancy Help Center which will receive the proceeds from Savage’s ride this year, said she waited out Schimp and Savage even after sending volunteers home.


Together the two bike riders raised about $1,200 for the center, which was started by Don and Lois Ehley in 1993. Denk started with the organization about 11 years ago. The center runs on an annual budget of about $50,000 and has 22 volunteers.

HATA has unofficially adopted the pregnancy center as an organization it supports because it fits in well with the spirit of HATA, Savage said.

“They don’t use government money, taxpayer money,” Savage said. “They rely on donations and private sources.”

The center serves about 70 to 80 clients per month (78 last month) and offers counseling and classes for everything from miscarriage, newborn death, pregnancy, abortion recovery counseling for women and men, parenting classes to sexual integrity classes (purity and abstinence).

One thing the clinic doesn’t offer is abortion services.

“In the 11 years I’ve done it, I’ve seen so many women harmed by abortion,” Denk said. “We also counsel the men. It has always been our position that it is very harmful to the baby, but also to the mother and father.”

That mission appeals to Savage and other members of the conservative watchdog group.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Truth about Filtering Porn in Your Local Library

When all else fails, common sense prevails.

Listen to short podcast from this New York radio station, beginning at 56:09. Spot on.

(First caller is Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries.)

A View for the Fourth Fireworks in West Bend

I was glad this story appeared in the WBDN today. We have been sitting on this hill for the last 3-4 years and it is so much less congested than Riverside. The view is spectacular and you can see some of the ground fireworks, but honestly, it's the best place to be. I'm usually responsible for a giant batch of home-made popcorn (buttered, of course), plus napkins! My son and his wife/family arrive early and save us a place, though truthfully, there is so much room on this hill that everyone wins.

A good view of the rockets red, white and blue glare is free Monday night at the Fourth of July Celebration on the Hill behind the Senior Center in West Bend.

The Senior Center, 401 E. Washington St., is on the Washington County campus and while it’s a block north of the city’s Riverside Park, which hosts West Bend’s annual fireworks display, it’s higher elevation offers a good view of the aerial extravaganza.

“It’s directly behind our building,” said Karen Lewis, volunteer coordinator for the Senior Citizens Activities Inc., which operates the Senior Center in West Bend. “People can come here and sit on the hill and watch the fireworks. This is probably the fifth year we’ve done this.”

And it’s a viewing area where you won’t have to fight the crowd for a place to sit.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

School Board Members Sets the Record STRAIGHT

'nuff said.


Serious inaccuracies by Mark Peterson (June 17) and others regarding my June 13 School Board vote not to recognize the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) as a student group compel me to set the record straight. The acoustics in Badger Middle School’s cafeteria were a challenge for that meeting, but newspaper and TV reporters correctly relayed what I said.

This issue existed for several years and predates my board service, which just began in April. I was out of town and could not vote when the issue was first considered on May 9, resulting in a 3-3 tie, status quo and the GSA not recognized. Three days later, the GSA filed a lawsuit.

I have numerous reasons why I opposed recognition of the GSA.

1. It’s unnecessary. In a May 13 email to the board and three administrators, Shana Schloemer (signed it as “unofficial Co-advisor of GSA”) stated, “We would not need a GSA at all if there weren’t people who discriminated against or harassed people whose sexual attraction or identity is different than ‘mainstream’.” Our district already has anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies in place. The administration is doing its best to enforce them.

2. The GSA isn’t as tolerant as it claims. I received numerous emails from people who identified themselves as GSA members or supporters. Many of these emails were disrespectful and harassing, calling me terrible names/labels. Because I hadn’t voted on May 9 or responded to any of these emails, these people didn’t know how I would’ve voted, yet they pre-judged me based on something other than facts – the very essence of prejudice. Names, labels and personal opinions appear throughout Ms. Schloemer’s e-mail, although she’s supposed to be setting a good example for GSA students.

3. Many activities advocated by the GSA do/would constitute a distraction from what our District’s true goal should be – to provide the very best possible education, given what our community can afford/support, for all our students to most effectively compete in the 21st century global economy.

The GSA wants to organize and/or participate in 16 days of in-school activities annually. If all 33 student groups do that, 528 days are needed, almost triple our 180 school days.

For “Day of Silence,” the GSA wants students to duct tape their mouths during school. Exercising vigorously in gym, playing a brass or woodwind instrument or giving a comprehensive response to a complex math, English, social studies or science question, etc., with duct tape over your mouth is difficult if not dangerous. Education is supposed to be interactive, but the more duct-taped-mouth students don’t participate, the larger the burden on other students.

4. Such distractions hurt education and are a disservice to our students because U.S. education as a whole is losing ground. We’re ranked in the 20s globally in math and science; we used to be No. 1. Other countries’ students attend more school days per year (Japan 243, South Korea 220, U.S. 180) with longer school days (e.g., South Korea – 8 hours; ours – 6.5-7 hours).

5. Money is available for the lawsuit. I found $655,000 of administrative reductions (i.e., no teacher cuts). Since this wasn’t in the preliminary budget the prior Board passed, much of it’s still available.

I’m skeptical of those supporting tax-to-max budgets, tax-increase referenda, etc., yet say we have no money for the lawsuit. Many parents contacted me threatening to pull their kids out of our district if we keep letting distractions diminish quality education, potentially losing us hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in revenue. Few factor this into the decision’s total cost.

It’s unfortunate that instead of advancing public understanding and dialogue on this key issue with a well-reasoned, rigorous argument, Mr. Mark Peterson resorts to name-calling (e.g., “zealots,” “vanity,” comparing me to a cartoon character, etc.) and serious departures from the facts. Let’s hope he doesn’t do that in class, where students pay good money for instruction and deserve better.

(Bart Williams of West Bend was elected to the School Board April 5.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

West Bend School District Formal Apology to Rep. Strachota and Sen. Grothmann

It's about time. Notice which school board members refuse to apologize - Kris Beaver and Todd Miller.

(Click on letter to enlarge.)


Cedarburg's Strawberry Festival is Sweet

Spent Saturday strolling Strawberry Festival in Cedarburg. It certainly cannot be complained that attendance was anything less than impressive. The streets were overflowing with young and old, walkers and strollers, wheelchairs and wagons. The weather was more than cooperative at a warm mid-80-degree range. If you aren't in a hurry, the crowds won't be too intimidating. What I like about this festival is that the booths are juried, and whoever does the selecting finds the most unique and intriguing vendors. The jewelry artisans displayed enticing pieces that had women packing out the booth. I noted that feather-weaving in the hair was a popular (if not up and coming) fashion. Every few seconds there were wafts of brats, burgers, gyros, kettle corn (which we were informed can now be purchased at Sendik's) to entice the palate.

We settled on sharing a strawberry brat, only to be disappointed by the lack of flavor and mushy texture - our only disappointment of the event. We made up for it with a bag of kettle corn, my husband's favorite. :-)

There were some interesting bird feeders that were coconuts fashioned into fish. Artists showed impressive talents and it was eye candy just to stop and gaze at the different media offered throughout the festival streets.

I took a few pics just for fun.

Yes., please.

Self-explanatory. :-D

Everyone came out to enjoy this marvelous fest
on a delicious sunny summer day.

No Wisconsin festival would be complete without these...

The Greek food booth had the most amazing treats...
and lines of people ready to purchase.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bullied, and Misled - West Bend Families Were Duped

The citizens of West Bend and the school district board members have been misled.

Recommendations from two law firms regarding the legal battle against school sponsorship of a Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) were biased and heavily weighted in favor of the GSA. The District may as well have hired local drum-beater Waring Fincke. Have we forgotten that 1.26 million people in the state of Wisconsin cast their vote to secure one man/one woman marriage? The message across the state is clear - the majority of our state supports this decision, the majority of Washington County supports it as well, and the majority of our school district should be represented accordingly. A mere 30 students who are being led by a local sex therapist and an openly gay high school teacher do not trump the wishes of the majority. The GSA's rabid attorney who uses his credentials to bully those whom he disagrees with appears to hold himself in high esteem in our city. He can be seen organizing anti-Grothman events, leading high school and college kids along our streets like the pied piper, bullhorn in hand, instigating, intimidating, and, in the opinion of many, verbally abusing citizens through word and deed.

Most recently, the West Bend School District board members rescinded a vote taken that maintained the GSA as an after-school club. The rescind of this vote was brought forward due to the scare tactics of Fincke and his GLSEN attorney friend. The revote came on the heels of a so-called recommendation from two law firms that clearly sided with Fincke; both were chosen by Supt. Ted Neitzke, and both were approved by board president, Randy Marquardt.

On the outside, the law firms appear harmless. The first opinion was obtained from Mary Hubacher who is already on staff with the District as our paid legal defense. Hubacher has given the appearance of bias in past issues regarding traditional family and liberal sexual issues. The second recommendation came from Milwaukee law firm Quarles and Brady, who openly state their support and advocacy for homosexual issues on their website.

How then, one might ask, could our school board have obtained the necessary supportive information from an attorney who would represent the majority of the board, and the taxpayers of West Bend? Indeed. In obtaining legal advice from Quarles and Brady, Neitzke showed his heavy hand towards solidifying the inclusion of the GSA in our school-sponsored clubs. Without digging into the background of this firm that strongly advocates homosexuality, one would most likely never know this was the case. It seems our District was not given the opportunity to receive legal advice from a law firm that supported their initial decision. They were simply handed the statements from two apparent pro-homosexual, anti-family entities and expected to gulp it down.

A rescind of this vote should be called for. A revote should be insisted upon. Our school district should insist on equal representation and supportive legal advice for the taxpayers and parents of our West Bend School District. Though the cost factor can also lead to a fiscal intimidation factor, let's remember that once we allow the bully in, more will follow.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jarts...or Darts?

Saw this unique display at a quaint toy shop in downtown Galena, IL. :-D