September 18, 2008

Top 5 video games of all time

What are the top 5 video games of all time? Tazz and Keg will discuss that question and more on their online radio show tonight from 9-11 p.m. The duo from Racine broadcast their show here.

Here's a preview from Tazz:

Tonight we will be talking our top 5 arcade games of all time as our top 5 list of the week. Our "hot topic" of the week is % of teens playing video games and will also touch on a local story about the kids that killed their neighbor for an Xbox 360. New segment starts this week "dumb ass of the week"

(No worries the show is PG rating :P) can view the dumb ass of the week video.

And here's RacinePost's top 5 video games of all time:

1. Metal Gear Solid - PS2
Don't know why, just love this game.

2. Call of Duty 4 - PS3
Best multi-player game ever - though haven't played much Halo.

3. Katamari Damacy - PS2
Just fun.

4. NHL Hockey '95 - Genesis
So addictive ... loved playing with the Penguins.

5. James Bond - N64
Great multi-player game. Never understood why it took so long to make a similar game.

Honorable mention: Bionic Commando, Guitar Hero, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Madden football, 

Feds give Janesville $450,000 to help GM workers

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, and the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Agency (EDA) today announced a $450,000 grant to Rock County and Forward Janesville, Inc. to assist in the transition and retraining of regionally displaced workers from the GM plant closure, as well as to assist redevelopment initiatives proposed by local leaders.

“The local leaders in Janesville and Rock County have put together a forward-looking economic development plan for the region, and this grant will go a long way in supporting these efforts,” said Ryan, a fifth-generation Janesville resident. “This has been a gut-wrenching summer for southern Wisconsin, and today’s announcement provides our community with much-needed support. I remain firmly optimistic that Janesville’s best days are ahead.”

Wisconsin's congressional delegation, and Gov. Jim Doyle have met with GM, and offered incentives to keep the plant open.

SC Johnson chairman gives $2,300 to McCain and Obama

I took a quick look through the local contributions to the presidential candidates' campaigns this morning. Here's some findings:

* Fisk Johnson, head of SC Johnson, is playing both sides. He gave $2,300 to both McCain and Obama. Fisk's sister, Helen Johnson-Leipold, gave $2,500 to McCain. Her husband, Craig Leipold, also gave $2,500 to McCain.

* Jeff Neubauer gave $2,300 to Obama, and Dorri McWhorter gave $2,000 to the Democratic nominee. Here's the FEC's full list of local Obama donations.

* Victoria Brocksopp gave $1,500 to McCain, and Dorothy Metz gave $1,000. Here's the full list of local McCain donors.

* Obama has outraised McCain $39,449 to $15,231 in the Racine area.

September 17, 2008

Mayor Becker to address concerns about racial profiling

The Racine Interfaith Coalition is planning a meeting Sunday between Mayor Gary Becker and hundreds of members of the city's Latino community.

The meeting is scheduled for St. Patrick's Catholic Church immediately following the 1 pm Spanish Mass. RIC is hoping 500 people will attend, said Raquel Freeman, who is organizing the event for RIC.

Freeman said people at the meeting will tell stories about racial profiling in city neighborhoods by the Racine Police Department.

"Police pull Latinos over for no good reason," she said. Officers "ask them (Latinos) for Social Security cards and information not pertinent to their arrest. It's illegal."

Others at the meeting will address families split apart by deportation, unemployment among Latinos community and other issues affecting the community, Freeman said.

"We're working to create a better place for Latinos to live and work," she said. "There are not a lot of civil rights for people who are illegal anyway, so we're advocating for human rights in Racine."

Here's the press release from RIC:
Mayor Becker will meet with several hundred members of RIC’s Spanish-speaking membership on Sunday, September 21 at St. Patrick’s parish hall immediately after the Spanish Mass (1:00p.m.).

RIC (Racine Interfaith Coalition) is a faith-based community organization composed of religious congregations in Racine County. Their mission is to address the root causes of social problems and lead to new ways of thinking and acting.

RIC members are concerned about instances of discrimination and racial profiling in their neighborhoods. They seek assurance from Mayor Becker that immigrants – and all residents of the county – will be treated with dignity and respect.

RIC is one of nine congregation-based justice ministries in Wisconsin affiliated with WISDOM as well as the national Gamaliel Foundation.

Local nonprofit seeks metal detector to borrow

Jim Huycke over at SAFE Haven/SAFE Passage is looking for a metal detector to borrow. It'll help save his nonprofit a few bucks. Anyone have one? Here's Jim's message and contact info:
We Need to Borrow a Metal Detector

The SAFE Passage facility of SAFE Haven needs to borrow a metal detector to locate some stakes.

No, the problem is not with vampires, but saving some money on a plot survey.

If you know of someone who would be kind enough to let us briefly borrow a unit, we’d be very grateful.

Please contact Melissa Robinson, SAFE Passage Program Coordinator at (262) 635-2600 or

Thank you! seeks local, positive writing

Hi all, is coming up on its one-year anniversary, and I wanted to give an early thanks to everyone for making this site a success. I also wanted to share an idea for adding more content to RacinePost and, hopefully, bringing attention to local people and organizations doing exceptional work.

Here's the idea: Many organizations in the area have a newsletter filled with stories, events, highlights and wealth of other information. We'd like to reprint these stories on RacinePost. We can't pay (At least not yet) but we would give full attribution and link to wherever the authors would like.

To be sure, we get something out of this. It's a chance to include more local voices on our site talking about positive, exciting activities going on in the Racine area. Hopefully, that will bring more readers to the website.

But in the coming months we'd like to aggressively court the good in Racine. It's easy to report crime and negatives, because that information is readily available to the media. It's more difficult to find the good, because the people often doing the work are too busy or disinterested in self promotion to get the word out about their deeds. While that's tough to change, I think a lot of good stories are already out there. We're hoping to collect them in one place so more people can read them, and in turn, hopefully write more good stories. Before we know it, we may even be able to present the positive view of our city that so many of us already have.

If you're interested, please contact me at: Also, please pass this along to anyone who writes or edits local newsletters. We really want to get the word out on this.

Thanks much! Dustin

September 16, 2008

JT's anti-union editorial

Local conservative bloggers are hailing the JT for an anti-union editorial it ran in Sunday's paper. 
What the JT didn't mention in the editorial is that its corporate owner is stridently anti-union, and makes that fact well known to all of its employees. 

September 15, 2008

Brewers fire Ned Yost

Tom Haudricourt of the J-S is reporting that the Brewers fired Ned Yost. There's not much more info available at the moment. Here's the J-S report.

Dale Sveum is the acting manager and Bench Coach Ted Simmons was reassigned to an advisory role.

Here's the official announcement.

Apparently, WTMJ radio broke the news first, followed by WSSP, ESPN and the J-S.

Check out a fan discussion here.

Write a haiku about the Brewers season here.

September 14, 2008

Wisconsin Greens oppose AG's election ID efforts

Wisconsin's Green Party has added its opposition to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's efforts to require more checks of voter identification against driver's license records, a move the Greens say will disenfranchise voters in November.

Van Hollen, a Republican, and the chair of the statewide McCain presidential campaign is suing for an emergency "no match, no vote" provision in state regulations in time for the November election.

The Greens say:

Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have rejected making matching a precondition to registration and voting. Only four states -- Florida, Iowa, Louisiana and South Dakota -- prevent unmatched voters from casting a ballot, and Florida's law has been in litigation for over a year. Washington agreed to abandon a similar law after it was struck down in federal court.

If the "no match, no vote" provision were adopted, those voters whose names or addresses in the statewide voter registration database required by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) do not exactly match with those in the Department of Transportation database would become unregistered, and would need to reregister at the polls, or cast provisional ballots. To reregister, voters would need to have proof of identity and residence on Election Day - something Wisconsin voters are not used to doing. If non-matched voters don't have such validation with them on Election Day, they can cast a provisional ballot, and then return to the poll that day, or to their clerk's office by 4 PM the next day in order to have their vote counted.

More than 1 out of 5 new registrations that have been cross-checked by Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (GAB) since Aug. 6 are showing problems; in fact, four of the 6 GAB members, who are judges, did not pass the database check.

If Van Hollen succeeds, thousands of voters will be at risk of becoming unregistered because of bureaucratic typos such as missed spellings, hyphens, and differences in spacing.

In California, which had a similar rule but has since dropped it, the LA Times reported that 43 percent of people who registered to vote in Los Angeles County during the first quarter of 2006 were deemed ineligible by the state's new database system.

Wisconsin is matching databases as the HAVA requires. But HAVA does not require that people with non-matching data be disqualified from casting a regular ballot on election day.

"This provision would affect those that divorce during the year, college students, and domestic abuse victims, to name just a few," said Robin Lutz, co- treasurer of the Wisconsin Green Party. "Last year my name changed and I got a new drivers license. Several months later, I moved a few houses down the street. I got a new drivers' license when my name changed, but not when I moved. How many people are like me? This is a terrible shift for Wisconsin that will disastrously disenfranchise thousands of voters."

Voting rights are one of the key issues for Cynthia McKinney, the Green presidential candidate. "I have long been a supporter of publicly financed elections. I have advocated same-day voter registration. I voted in opposition to requiring photo ID for voting in federal elections."

"Republican efforts to establish a voter ID requirement, purportedly enacted to address voter fraud, are an attempt to disenfranchise voters as well," said Pete Karas, former Racine Councilman who is chair of the Racine Green Party. "But voter fraud has been shown to be virtually non-existent in our state. Governor Doyle vetoed such an effort in Wisconsin."

"Republicans are again trying to take the election unfairly by disenfranchising voters in swing states like Wisconsin," said Karas. "They have succeeded in stealing the last two presidential elections -- and they are trying it again."

Sneak peek: Songwriter David Tomaloff's new album

Racine singer/songwriter David Tomaloff offers music lovers a sneak peek at his brand new album, "Birds on Wires," which is slated for release in mid-October.

In fact, I'm listening to it right now, as I type this, the link to the album's streaming audio having landed in my inbox with a "ding" just moments ago.

I'm of a different generation -- vinyl, doncha know, tape decks, cassettes, eight-track -- but I know a good thing when I hear it. Tomaloff (it says here, in the email that accompanied the URL, "has been best known for his work with the independent rock and roll outfit, The Dammitheads, whose two self-released albums garnered a fair share of critical praise and song placements on such shows as Invasion and MTV’s Real World: Road Rules." Whatever, Dude: Even to my ears the album is good!

The email, from Jennifer L. Bahling, continues:

His most recent musical incarnation finds Tomaloff decidedly many miles from the Dammitheads’ sound, immersed in a unique and ardent blend of Americana, Roots, and Folk Rock, all distilled and delivered in the form of his most accomplished and compelling work yet; a ten-song album titled, Birds on Wires.

Birds on Wires comes across as a more straight ahead and lyrically centered work than anything Tomaloff has done to date and, while his lyrics are most often delivered in the first person, they are never obviously “personal,” preferring instead to leave the cast of characters free to roam about and gel with the listener.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Birds on Wires is the record’s somewhat unusual recording process, wherein Tomaloff enlisted the help of friend, drummer-engineer, and NC native, Chris Garges, for what would become a very fruitful long-distance recording relationship.

For this process, Tomaloff sent Chris demo versions of the songs to record drums and percussion over as he saw fit. Garges then sent the tracks back to Tomaloff to finish. As the songs progressed, many of them were sent back to Garges for further recording, adding the heart wrenching pedal steel of Bob Barone.

Birds on Wires, to be self-released in mid-October, was recorded by David Tomaloff at his own Hey!Low Sound System studio and by Chris Garges at Old House Studio in Gastonia, NC. The album was mixed by Chris Garges at Old House Studio and mastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen in Carrboro, NC.

"Tomaloff has just returned from some state that I've never been to and recorded some darn good tunes. They take me back to a place that I've never been, but always wanted to go -- with the likes of Bob Dylan and Mark Twain and other essential notables as your tour guides." – The Boy (Matt Geary)

"The new stuff is brilliant! It's like you channeled Alyson Krause, Jeff Tweedy, Patterson Hood, Hayward Williams, and Ray Lamontange, then took all the best of each to make the perfect music." – Steven Pfaff

Tomaloff reveals more of himself on his website. Here are a few tidbits that caught my eye (along with the self-portrait, left):

-- "I was born David Wayne Tomaloff in the winter of 1972... and all requests to legally change my first name to 'Senator' have been flatly denied."

-- "I love music; but then, who doesn’t? I am currently kept by two odd cats with very differing personalities; though, neither seems to be put off by the differences."

-- "I am obsessed with hats... I think iPods are evil and almost never leave home without one. I believe in tea and sometimes, on a good day, I even believe in myself."

-- "These songs are really just blurry snapshots; glimpses into the minds of the characters that walk through them. They are passing moments in lives forgotten but strangely familiar in a way that lives in nearly all of us; and if I’ve done my job well, I suspect they will reveal themselves to you in a way that is savagely fragile, tough talking and, all at once, criminally insecure."