Stopped by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission hearing Tuesday night at the Verona Senior Center to testify against the so-called Dane County Waterbody Classification Project.
Good luck with that! The place was jam-packed! Cars were lined all up and down Paoli Street. With no hope of getting my turn while still young and handsome, I filled out my registration slip and left. The crowd was already agitated. I'm going to estimate 350 people showed up.
I placed a call into Sue Jones of the Commission first thing Wednesday morning to get a reading on who was in favor and who opposed. No return call as of 1:30 this afternoon. Don't piss me off, Sue.
I confess to having regulation fatigue. We are somewhere in the middle of the great national health care boondoggle. What's in? What's out? Abortion? Penalties for non-compliance? Public option? Cuts to Medicare? Death panels?
The tax code gets ever more complex. Alternative minimums, anyone? Campaign finance reform is making criminals of us all because no one knows what they can do anymore. Now these damn shoreland regulations. The government classes are working overtime. But that is what they do, n'est ce pas? They write regs. Like rust, they never sleep.
TV-27 has a decent report
The shoreland development standards call for three classes of standards -- for water quality, habitat and scenic standards -- for three types of waterways -- rural, urban and developing.
County planner Brian Standing contends that the shoreland development standards, which would go to the County Board next year, contends that only a total 691 parcels in incorporated areas would have to meet all three standards - that those standards already are in effect for rural areas.
The report contends that a land owner's compliance costs in a developing area would range from $135 to $5,873.
Here is a flavor of a compliance strategy for those wishing to disturb the soil - let's say, for a new driveway - within 1,000 feet of a navigable waterway, which can include a retention pond:
A "passive buffer" must meet the following standards:
- Meet or exceed standards for a Streambank and Shore Cover (NRCS 580) or Vegetative Buffer Strip (Dane County Stormwater and Erosion Control Manual);
- Be managed in an unmowed state with at least 30% of species achieving a summer peak height of 14" or more, and;
- Cannot include any invasive, noxious or exotic species from a list approved by the Dane County Land Conservation Division.
Proposed natural scenic beauty protection standards give preference to restoration of a primary vegetative buffer of native species near the shore. For properties where full restoration is not possible, other options include techniques to limit visual impact based on limiting building height and bulk, using natural colors and landscaping.
The report claims the new standards can keep 3,300 tons of sediment out of developing and rural waters over 20 years and protect or restore 20 acres and 1.81 linear miles of riparian habitat a year.
Cheney is locked and loaded
While Sarah Palin is getting all the attention, and the Newsweek glam covers, my main man Dick Cheney is laying the groundwork for a run at the top job. Here are three possible Cheney for 2012 slogans:
- "Yeah, I'm a compassionate conservative. I let you live, didn't I?"
- "Want to see world leaders bowing? Oh, they'll bow alright."
- "I shot a guy in the face and he apologized to me." [The Exurban League comes up with the Top 10 Cheney-isms]
Another bishop to admire
We welcome new Milwaukee archbishop Jerome Listecki, currently bishop of La Crosse, and hope he will provide Gov. Jim E. Doyle with a Come to Jesus opportunity, given that the Current Occupant has mandated that insurance cover birth control.
Bishop Listecki has already been compared to Thomas Tobin, bishop of Providence, R.I. who took to task one of his errant communicants, one Patrick Kennedy, member of Congress.
Bishop Tobin made public this November 12 letter directed at the pro-abortion Democrat:
Dear Congressman Kennedy:
... I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.
For the moment I'd like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, "The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic."
... Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. Although I wouldn't choose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. ...
After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?
Well, in simple terms ... being a Catholic means that you're part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals ... if you don't fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic?
Our Madison municipal government at work
Can anyone tell me what "land banking" is? Madison set aside $5 million for it in the budget enacted earlier this month.
On November 11, the Madison Common Council took the historic step of setting aside $5 million to establish a city land-banking fund, the city announces.
The same announcement asks:
But how exactly will land banking work here in Madison? The details are still being worked out, but there is one thing that we know for sure: we increase the likelihood that our land banking efforts will be successful if we do a good job of learning lessons from successful land banking programs in other cities.
In other words, nobody knows for sure! Two meetings are scheduled to find out why the Common Council did what it did:
- Monday, November 30th, 6:30-8:30 PM, at the Urban League Center for Economic Development & Workforce Training, 2222 S. Park St.
- Tuesday, December 1st, 9:0011:00 AM, at the Madison Municipal Building, Room 260, 215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
A tale of two budgets
In Milwaukee County:
County Executive Scott Walker vetoed $10 million in spending from the Milwaukee County budget to hold the tax levy at the same amount as last year. In desperation, John Nichols asserts that privatization is "old fashioned." As proof, John cites Frank Ziedler, socialist mayor of Milwaukee, who served from 1948 to 1960. Umm, John, who is "old fashioned?"
Meanwhile, back in 2009, Milwaukee County supervisors are reporting they are being flooded with phone calls this week, most of them urging them to sustain Walker's vetoes. [Milwaukee J-S: County Board may lose privatization battle]
In Dane County:
The Kathleen increased the tax levy by $10 million (for a 7.9 percent increase) and it poured through her Democrat-Progressive Dane controlled board like goose grease. In fact, not one liberal proposed one cut. Instead, the Dem-Progs beat back a raft of budget amendments from the conservative caucus.
Bully for the Wisconsin State Journal [A disappointing county budget]:
Dane County families deserved more respect than such a giant tax hike. ... it deserves to be one of the top issue in the spring County Board elections.
Why, oh why cannot our newspaper of record include the Roll Call:
Heroes - 13 voted NO: Downing (liberal holding a conservative seat), Ferrell, Gau, Hampton, Jensen, Miles, O'Loughlin, Richmond, Ripp, Salov, Schlicht, Willett, Bruskewitz.
Cowards - 22 voted YES: DeSmidt, Durancyzk, Erickson, Hendrick, Hesselbein, Hulsey, Kostelic, Levin, Manning, Matano, Opitz, Rusk, Schmidt, Solberg (!?!?), Stoebig, Stubbs, Vedder, Veldran, Wheeler, Bayrd, deFelice, McDonell.
ABSENT 2: Martz, Wiganowski.
Obama's TelePrompTer breaks down at family dinner
The Onion is reporting: