September 11, 2010

Spirited bidding winds up downtown's summer clocks project

Time ran out on Racine's summer art project Saturday, as the large artist-decorated clocks were auctioned off on Monument Square.

Despite the rain -- which let up just an hour or so before the scheduled start of the outdoor auction -- bidders filled the seats and gave each other a couple of spirited bidding wars. While some clocks sold for just a little above the $350 minumum, six brought $800 or more. The top price went for Sherri Shaver's Poppies in a Poppy, which sold to its sponsor, Ron Jones, for $1,600.

The second-highest price went for Bill Reid's Loonatick, which was snapped up by Gene Johnson -- yes, that Gene Johnson -- for $1,300.

Eighteen clocks were sold at voice auction by auctioneer Bob Hagemann. Another 42 were offered via a silent auction. More on the three prize-winners here.  Pictures of all the clocks are here.

This year marked the ninth season of a Racine summer public art project, the longest run and most successful in the country, according to Devin Sutherland, executive director of the Downtown Racine Corporation, which stages the event. This year is also DRC's 30th anniversary, and to celebrate that milestone jeweler Chris Sklba of Art Metals Studio downtown created a Tahitian pearl necklace worth $1,000  (pearl being the traditional 30th wedding anniversary gift), that DRC gave away in a drawing Saturday. Winner was Kenneth Wesley Kozack of Kenosha. (UPDATE, Sept. 23: DRC said today that Kozack's winning entry was invalid -- the application form "wasn't completely filled out" -- and a new winner was named: Robert Philopulous of Racine.

No word yet on what next year's summer art project will be (we've already had cats, dogs, otters, lighthouses, fish, etc.) -- but everyone at DRC is determined to make the 10th year of the project special.

The first and second place award winners: Fish In Time,
by Robert Andersen, left, and Bill Reid's Loonatick, on stage.
Anderson's sold for $975, and Reid's for $1,300.

Gene Johnson (bidder No. 152) sponsored Loonatick, and determinedly won it.

Sherri Shaver's Poppies In A Poppy brought the highest amount: $1,600.

Chris Sklba with DRC's 30th anniversary pearl pendant necklace

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'Freedom' rings through Racine Tea Party gathering

 Congressman Paul Ryan was definitely a Tea Party favorite

Towards the end of the Racine Tea Party's rally Saturday at Pershing Park, a woman on stage announced to the crowd that Community for Change was collecting food and money for the Racine County Food Bank. There was a brief pause, perfect for a chorus of boos in response to mention of the organization formed by the volunteers who helped get President Barack Obama elected.

The boos didn't come. Actually, there was a smattering of applause and many people at the rally donated money and canned goods to the food drive. One person walking to the rally gave $20. Another person pulled a quarter out of his pocket saying he was unemployed and it was all he could give.

While it was a day of pointed, even heated, political rhetoric, the Tea Party's gathering was civil, friendly, peaceful. No one called Obama a Muslim. No one ripped Islam. Democrats didn't even take much of a beating. But the message was clear. The government is taking away people's freedom, speaker after speaker said, and it's time for people take their freedom back.

Rep. Paul Ryan was the star of the afternoon. His clear, concise attack on government deficits drew stirring cheers from the crowd of more than 1,000 people standing and sitting on the soccer field in Pershing Park. Ryan noted that you can't love jobs, but hate the people who create jobs. Government needs to get out of the way and allow free markets to work, he said. When he was finished, emcee Vicki McKenna said five people asked her to tell Ryan to run for president in 2012.

Ryan was followed by columnist and TV commentator Jonah Goldberg, who made the same point by comparing taxes and government programs to slavery. Goldberg said only markets create wealth, and that government needs to support markets by reducing debt and entitlement spending.

Author of the NY Times best-seller "Liberal Fascism," Goldberg mixed comedic one-liners in with his conservative libertarian message. He compared the Tea Party movement to white blood cells healing a wound.

A few of his funnier lines:

He said he was proud Barbara Streisand cancelled her subscription to the Los Angeles Times when his column started running in the paper, and that Keith Olbermann has named him "Worst Person in the World" four times. (One of those times was for Goldberg's prediction that the Iraq would have a stable government with no civil war by 2007, a prediction he later admitted was wrong.)

"The definition of 'fascist' is a conservative who is winning an argument."

"I didn't come here today to burn a Koran. You wouldn't want a radical Islamist to get mad at a guy named Goldberg."

He said liberals believe "there's nothing wrong with America that becoming Europe can't fix."

"Canada is Puerto Rico with EU (European Union) sensibilities."

He said the crowd should be "happy warriors" who are justified in their anger because they're on the side of prosperity.

Goldbeg and Ryan were joined by speaker Niger Innis, who is a political consultant and pundit, and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. Local Republican Lou D'Abrraccio got the crowd fired up about winning in November, along with Lora Halberstadt, Wisconsin Tea Party organizer.

The gathering was perhaps a little smaller than initially anticipated, due in part to a rainy morning, and part to the loss of John Stossel, and then Michelle Malkin, as the keynote speaker. Nonetheless, the turnout was impressive for a local political rally and it's clear the Racine Tea Party is a well-organized group capable of mobilizing large numbers of voters. That bodes well for conservatives in the November election - and maybe beyond.

Then again, things turn quickly. It was just two years ago that Obama and Community for Change looked formidable, and conservatives were on the outside looking in.

Update: Kelly Gallaher of Community for Change writes to say between the clock auction, Home Expo and Tea Party rally that the group raised $707 and a nice amount of food. Wilson's will accept food and cash donations through the weekend as will the Home Expo through closing tomorrow.

Update 2: The JT is reporting 3,200 people were at Saturday's rally. There's no way that many people were there. We actually counted a large portion of the crowd and came up with about 1,000 people. But that's just a point in time and you have to figure in people who came and went from the event, which is probably another 500-1,000 people, bringing total attendance to somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 people.

Wisconsin Atty Gen. JB Van Hollen

Lou D'Abrraccio and radio host Vicki McKenna, who served as MC

Humorist/speaker Jonah Goldberg with Tea Party organizer Lora Halberstadt

Singer Krista Branch, a former American Idol contestant, entertained

Tee shirts gave a good picture of participants' feelings 
There was no exact count, but we estimate between 1,500 and 2,000 attended

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Odor closes Library on Saturday

The Racine Public Library will be closed today to clear the building of a strong chemical odor resulting from the second floor renovations.  The library is expected to reopen on Monday, Sept. 13, at 9 a.m.

Materials due on Saturday, Sept. 11, will be automatically renewed. The Mobile Library will make its scheduled stops.  Call 262.939.2264 for information about locations and times.

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September 10, 2010

Funky Hannah’s bead shop hosts 24+ hour Bead Camp at DeKoven

Spend the night at the historic DeKoven Center and create to your hearts content. It’s 24+ hours of beadin’ time! Laugh, share & create with fellow beaders! Bring your projects or stop in the shop for some inspiration and join us for this Saturday to Sunday bead time. We’ve got beautiful space for beading, several classes to pick from if you’d like to learn something new and a few fun activities up our sleeve!

The camp runs from Saturday, October 30th to Sunday, October 31st. It will be held at The DeKoven Center, just minutes from Funky Hannah’s on the shore of Lake Michigan, 600 21st Street in Racine.
Registration options include (download registration form):

Overnight Package
• $100 per person. Double occupancy, dormitory-style
rooms with shared bathrooms. All meals provided.
($10 additional for single occupancy room.)

Commuter Package
• $50 per person. Bead all day but go home to
the kiddies at night. Lunch & dinner included.
• Bring your own beverages & something sweet or salty for the snack bar. Refrigerator, ice & full kitchen available.

There will also be special Saturday afternoon classes with three amazing bead designers. Add an extra $25 for these classes.

Here’s the schedule:

Saturday, October 30th
10am – check in & bead! Open beading time all day & night!
Noon – Lunch & show-n-tell.
1-4pm Classes (optional) with Three Amazing Designers! (Classes cost $25)
Featured designers are:
Anna Draeger: Moons Of Jupiter – A new creation from Anna! Does she ever stop?! This bracelet is out of this world! Stitched with seeds, crystals, delicas & pearls.
Gail Wing: Variation on the Russian Spiral Bracelet – A gorgeous bracelet created with
a variation on the Russian Spiral using size 15 seed beads, crystals or triangle beads.
Leayn Tabili: Flower Ring – Netted with seed beads, this rivoli is framed with leaves and
attached to a metal ring form.
6pm Dinner & White Elephant Bead Swap. –
Bring a sandwich size baggie of stu_ to swap & let the fun begin.
10pm Pajama Run to Funky’s! – If we need to – we’ve got the keys to the place & drivers standing by!

Sunday, October 31st
9am – Open Bead & Breakfast
11am – Make & Take Halloween project with inspiration for upcoming holiday gifts!
Noon – lunch on your own…depart at your leisure.

*Take part in as much or little as you want. Plans subject to change! Space is Limited.

To register call the DeKoven Center at 262-633-6401, email or download registration form here.

For questions about this event, contact the gals at Funky Hannah’s: 262.634.6088 or

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Three RUSD Schools Named Wisconsin Schools of Recognition

Three Racine Unified School District elementary schools were recently named Wisconsin Schools of Recognition by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Jerstad-Agerholm, North Park and West Ridge Elementary Schools were recipients of this impressive award.

To receive this recognition, schools must be either a Title I school or Title I-eligible, be in the top quartile of the state poverty rates, have above-average student academic performance scores on the 2009-10 WKCE exams in reading and math and have met adequate yearly progress indicators for the last two consecutive years.

The 2010-11Wisconsin Schools of Recognition will be invited to attend a recognition ceremony at the State Capitol at noon on Monday, Oct. 18 in which State Superintendent Tony Evers will congratulate the winners. In addition, each School of Recognitionwill receive $2,000 to be used for school-related purposes and will be eligible to compete for a $250,000 Wisconsin Schools of Recognition grant. Teachers at these schools are also eligible to compete for the Wisconsin Schools of Recognition Teacher Fellowship Program.

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Four local communities create 'Central Racine County Health Department'

Village officials of Caledonia, Mt. Pleasant, Sturtevant and North Bay announce the signing of a new intermunicipal agreement creating a joint local board of health and health department to provide public health services to the four communities.  

Approved by the four villages this summer and effective January 1, 2011, this agreement allows the four villages to: 1) provide quality public health services at a low cost to their respective communities; 2) provide representation of all four villages on a joint board of health; 3) create a stable health department structure for the mutual benefit of all four partners; and, 4) reflect this new partnership for the provision of public health services by changing the health department name to the Central Racine County Health Department. 

The Central Racine County Health Department will continue to provide population-based services to the communities.  Public health nursing services include communicable disease surveillance and investigation, low-cost immunizations for children and adults, TB skin tests, blood pressure checks, case management for pregnant and parenting families, car seat checks, health education, and lead case management.  Environmental health services include a radon program, a medication collection program, well test kit distribution, and human health hazard, rabies and lead hazard investigations.  In addition, environmental health staff license and inspect restaurants, retail food establishments, temporary food establishments, hotels/motels, campgrounds, swimming pools and body art establishments.  The health department also works on emergency preparedness, regularly partnering with other agencies to practice and implement response to natural and man-made public health emergencies.

For information on the Central Racine County Health Department, go to our website at, call 262-898-4460, fax 262-898-4490 or come to our offices at 10005 Northwestern Avenue, Franksville (2nd floor of the US Bank building).

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Gateway to teacher RAMAC training classes

Gateway Technical College has entered into an agreement to partner on future training offerings for RAMAC’s membership.

Gateway will provide its expertise and teach RAMAC’s catalog of training offerings. Classes offered this fall range from supervision training to human resource and effective planning.

“Our new relationship with Gateway allows RAMAC to better meet the training needs of our membership now and in the future,” said RAMAC board President Daniel Risch. “I am excited by the possibilities that this partnership will provide to the association in expanding the breadth of training to which members

Gateway Technical College President Bryan Albrecht said he is looking forward to the partnership forged with RAMAC for the training offerings.

“Gateway is proud to partner with RAMAC to enhance and support the training needs of our local community,” said Albrecht. “This new partnership will increase the service capacity for RAMAC members and strengthen Gateway's commitment to workforce education.”

The move provides RAMAC with the opportunity to tailor course offerings and class sizes to meet the specific needs of its members and the business.

“RAMAC now has the resources to offer nearly any training program that is needed by our members, and has the flexibility to scale our programs accordingly,” added RAMAC President and CEO Michael Kobylka. “Workforce development and having a trained populace is vital to the needs of our business community. RAMAC will continue to work to ensure that our companies maintain the highly trained workforce that is required in today’s global environment.”

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Community groups to hold forum on Transit in Racine

Saying "transportation is at a cross roads in Racine County," the Racine Interfaith Coalition and other community groups will hold a forum to discuss transportation issues on Thursday, Sept. 30 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 322 Ohio St., Racine. 

The theme of the evening will be: “When people use public transportation, Does the whole community benefit?”

Public officials, religious leaders, business leaders and union leaders are among those who have confirmed their participation. The highlights of the evening will be first-person testimonials from people across the spectrum of the Racine County community who depend on the bus for work, school, to keep their businesses running, and other needs. Personal stories will be shared in person and by video.

The forum will also provide solid facts and a frank discussion on Racine’s transportation, which has recently suffered from a great deal of mis-information. Some of the topics to be discussed will include a snapshot of the dilemma faced by the bus system, the coming transit referendum, what is happening with the KRM commuter rail, and the Regional Transit Authority (RTA).

The evening will also feature a speaker from the national Transportation Equity Network, who will share stories of successes and challenges in other communities, and the link between transit and jobs, as well as the outlook on the national level for investments in Transit. Local experts and community leaders will provide their insights on transit’s role in strengthening the Racine County economy and community.

The public and elected officials from across the county are encouraged to attend this important discussion about jobs, community, and transportation. A reception will follow the program.

The forum is free and open to the public. For more information, please call Nancy Holmlund at (262) 886-3602.

The forum is sponsored by Racine Interfaith Coalition (RIC), and is co-sponsored by: Downtown Racine Corporation, Hispanic Business and Professionals Association, IBEW Local 430, Racine Peace and Justice Coalition, Racine Transit Task Force, Transit Now, Sierra Club-Gateway Group and John Muir Chapter, UW Parkside Student Government.

September 9, 2010

Molnar hopes to bring outsider's perspective to Sheriff's Department

Ron Molnar
Ron Molnar speaks frankly when it comes to the Racine County Sheriff’s Department.

“There’s a lack of leadership and a lack of managing resources,” he said.

As the only Republican candidate who doesn’t work for the department, he doesn’t have to worry about hurting his co-workers’ feelings or returning to a job where he challenged superiors. He’s using that freedom on the campaign trail to raise pointed concerns about Sheriff Bob Carlson and the direction the Sheriff’s Department has gone in the past four years.

“I’ve met with police chiefs throughout the county,” Molnar said. “There’s an obvious need for improved relations.”

Improving relationships starts with dialogue, he said.  

“Every relationship starts with dialogue and that leads to relationships and relationships lead to trust,” Molnar said. “That’s what’s missing. Trust.”

Specifically, Molnar criticized the Sheriff for losing $710,000 when the state Department of Corrections cancelled its contract with Racine County. County Board members, including Molnar, have tried to investigate what happened for six months, but have made little progress.

“Information about why and what’s being done is sketchy, at best,” Molnar said.
“Citizens I’ve talked to are outraged,” he added about the lost contract.

Molnar also said the Sheriff’s Department needs to stop using the Racine County Jail as a “penalty box” for wayward staff. Right now deputies are reassigned to the jail when they get disciplined or rub someone the wrong way.

“That needs to stop,” Molnar said. “It needs to be a professional occupation. It needs to be a career path.”  
There’s no love loss between Molnar and Carlson. The two ran head-to-head in 2006 with Carlson winning by about 6,200 votes. Four years later, Molnar feels the Sheriff’s Department needs a “new direction.”

If elected, Molnar said he would work to improve the Sheriff’s Department’s relationships with Mount Pleasant, Caledonia, and Sturtevant. Right now the Sheriff’s Department handles many incoming calls from the villages and assigns their deputies to take the cases. In one instance, Molnar said, a deputy was called from Waterford to an armed robbery in Mount Pleasant at the same time that there were six Mount Pleasant police officers on the street.

Cases like these lead to tension between the villages and the Sheriff’s Department, Molnar said. He’d address those tensions by re-writing the Sheriff’s Department patrol plan to give the villages more control over their calls for service and using Sheriff’s deputies for backup.

“We need to eliminate the duplication of services, primarily on the east end,” Molnar said. “We’re not in competition with Sturtevant, Mount Pleasant and Caledonia. Our job is to supplement.”  

The new patrol plan should free up resources for the Sheriff’s Department to track down the more than 560 people wanted on felony warrants, report illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and to cross-train deputies on various jobs, such as water patrol.

Joint dispatch plays an important role in this plan, Molnar said. Right now the Sheriff’s Department handles all incoming 911 calls from cell phones, which is one reason deputies and not village police are dispatched to calls. Moving to a combined dispatch would route all calls to the officer or deputy closest to the scene.

“Consolidated dispatch will help reduce the feelings of frustrations from the communities,” Molnar said.
Molnar is running his second campaign of the year and his third since 2006. He was elected to the Racine County Board in April. His district, No. 14, contains parts of Mount Pleasant and Racine.

He’s now making a run at a full-time elected position that matches up with his career experience. Molnar graduated with a degree in criminal justice from MATC in Madison. He’s also a trained emergency medical technician and a volunteer fire fighter in Kansasville.

Molnar grew up in DeForest the second oldest of five siblings, including four brothers. His Dad worked for the Dane County Sheriff’s Department and his grandpa was a police officer on the East Coast.

Molnar got hired in 1985 by the Department of Corrections and bounced around the state taking promotions and learning different skills. He wound up in the Racine area after the Racine Correctional Institution opened in Sturtevant.

Molnar, who lives in Mount Pleasant, was elected to the Racine County Board this spring. He now works at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility. Per state law, he’s on a leave of absence from his job until after the campaign.

Molnar’s job performance became news last month after the JT reported he was demoted by the Department of Corrections for rules violations. Molnar said the demotion was political retribution for running against Carlson in 2006. Carlson was appointed sheriff by Gov. Jim Doyle in 2004.

Molnar said his 25 years of experience in working in state prisons qualifies him to manage large budgets, schedule employees, handle evaluations, negotiate contracts, address grievances,  oversee training and develop staff.

“I’m not a patrol deputy and I make no apologies for that whatsoever,” Molnar said. “I have enforce state law and statutes and worked with people out in the community.”

Molnar has been campaigning for the Republican nomination since June. He spoke highly of his opponents, Chris Schmaling and Gonzalo Gonzalez.

“I like both of my opponents,” Molnar said. “They’re both good people. If you’re a victim of a serious crime, I would hope Chris was working on your case. I’ve known Gonzo for 15 years. He’s a very good person.  

“Each of us thinks we’re the best, each of us thinks we can win.”

Molnar said he’s a true conservative, noting he ran for sheriff as a Republican in 2006. He’s earned several endorsements from local government leaders, including a key endorsement from former sheriff and now County Executive Bill McReynolds.

Molnar said his law enforcement experience outside of the Sheriff’s Department makes him the most qualified for the job.

“I’m from the outside, I’m going to go in there and get things on track,” he said. 

Past stories on Republican Sheriff candidates: 

Gonzalez talks leadership in run for Sheriff

Schmaling touts law enforcement, business experience in run for Sheriff

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Michelle Malkin to speak at Saturday's Tea Party rally in Racine

UPDATE, Thursday 4:30 p.m: It's getting hard to keep up with who is NOT coming. Now we have word that Michelle Malkin will NOT appear at this Saturday's Tea Party rally.

Original post:

John Stossel is out. Michelle Malkin is in.

That's the word from organizers of this weekend's Tea Party gathering in Pershing Park. Fred Dooley over at Real Debate Wisconsin had the scoop.

Malkin, a New York Times best-selling author, is a conservative newspaper columnist who has gained international acclaim, and derision, for her occasionally controversial work.

In 2004 she wrote a book, "In Defense of Internment" arguing that the U.S. rightfully detained Japanese Americans during WWII and should have racially profiled Arab-Americans in the post-9/11 war on terror.

Her latest book, "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies," was No. 1 on the NY Times best-seller list for six week.

She'll be in Racine Saturday during the Tea Party event from 2-3:30 p.m. in Pershing Park.

Read more about Saturday's rally here.

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Brad Pitt tied to Racine (and more reasons our fair city is trending)

Here's a trade secret of RacinePost. Every morning we start our reporting off by going to Google News and searching for "Racine." It's a quick way to read the JT's top headlines and news from around the world about our fair little city. For example, this morning there's this story about a Racine-native and beloved professor at Duquesnse University who died from pancreatic cancer.

(Sidenote: RacinePost actually started as a site meant only to do this. But that was way back in the halcyon news days of 2007 when the Journal-Sentinel had its Sturtevant bureau and newspapers and TV stations' around the country hadn't laid off hundreds, even thousands, of scribes. There was a lot more news being reported back then and Racine popped up a lot more often. As the cutbacks took hold, we started writing more stories to try and fill the void.)

Anyway, we've been doing our morning Google searches this week and it's suddenly gotten a lot harder to sift out local news. Two "Racine" stories are trumping the real Racine (little plug for Dave Blank's crew).

The first is a recount in the Democratic primary for governor of Vermont where Doug Racine is trailing Peter Shumlin by about 200 votes after the Aug. 24 election. Racine's name has been popping up for several months as he ran for Vermont's top seat.

Doug Racine
The second, and much bigger story, is Brad Pitt allegedly cheated on Angelina Jolie with a 22-year-old French model named, you guessed it (or probably have already heard), Racine. Nevermind that the story was reported by Star tabloid and had little to no sourcing. Like everything Brangelina, it's taken over the Twitter and brought some tawdry attention to the good name Racine.

Another common result for a "Racine" search is French dramatist Jean Racine, who apparently achieved "neo-classical perfection." And there are six other communities in the U.S. with the name Racine, which is French for "root." States with their own Racine's include: Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

If we mix all of this together, what do we have? A "Racine" Hall of Fame, of course!

The hall would include history of the seven Racine's in the U.S., the model Racine's body of work,, a tribute to the great Vermont Recall of 2010, and an annual production of "Phedre." If that's not a party, who needs parties?

I bet we could even get Brad Pitt to fly in.

Here's Racine, MN, representin' ...

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September 8, 2010

National chain joining Pick N Save at Highway 11 and 31

Web cam view of Mount Pleasant's future Village Hall 

I recently ran into Mount Pleasant Village President Carolyn Milkie at the Farmer's Market where she works selling produce for a relative. She gave a quick update on future plans for the northwest corner of Highways 11 and 31.

It's not secret that Pick N Save bought the property that now houses the Mount Pleasant Village Hall. It's prime real estate and made sense for the village to move its aging buildings, including the police and fire departments, to a new location.

What's somewhat news is Milkie said there are plans for three "out buildings" on the site that will house national chains of some sort or another. She couldn't say what specifically is going in there, but at least one of the out buildings has been filled with a national tenant.

As for timetables, the village plans to move into its new building in April. You can check in on progress on the village's web cam at:

Here's a good JT story on a "green" element to the new Village Hall. 

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A dog named Dog

Hello, my name is Dog. I arrived at the shelter as a stray after being outside for one week.Countryside Humane Society's Animal Control finally got me and I've been happy ever since. I have really blossomed into the dog I should be.

I am an Australian Cattledog Mix, about five years old. I will need an owner who has Cattledog experience. I am good with children ages 14 and up.

I was neutered while at the shelter and I'm up to date with all my shots. Will you provide the loving home I need?

Come see me at at the Countryside Humane Society, 2706 Chicory Rd., or call me at 262-554-6699.

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September 7, 2010

John Stossel Michelle Malkin to appear at Racine TEA party's Sept. 11 rally

Michelle Malkin
New Update, Thursday, 4:30 p.m.: Michelle Malkin is NOT coming either...

Update: John Stossel is out. Michelle Malkin is in.

That's the word from organizers of this weekend's Tea Party gathering in Pershing Park. Fred Dooley over at Real Debate Wisconsin had the scoop.

Malkin, a New York Times best-selling author, is a conservative newspaper columnist who has gained international acclaim, and derision, for her occasionally controversial work.

In 2004 she wrote a book, "In Defense of Internment" arguing that the U.S. rightfully detained Japanese Americans during WWII and should have racially profiled Arab-Americans in the post-9/11 war on terror.

Her latest book, "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies," was No. 1 on the NY Times best-seller list for six week.

Original post: One if by land, and two if by Racine.

It'll be two bright lanterns for Tea Party supporters this weekend as Racine hosts a Sept. 11 "Tribute and Town Hall" at Pershing Park. The event will feature Fox News anchor and former 20/20 co-host John Stossel, Rep. Paul Ryan, and American Idol contestant Krista Branch, among others.

Thousands of people are expected for the Racine TEA Party event, which is billed as nonpartisan but appeals largely to conservatives rallying against President Barack Obama and Democrats.

Stossel is famous for controversial, provocative, and occasionally exaggerated, investigative stories on national TV. He'll be joined by Ryan, who has embraced the Tea Party movement and is fast becoming a national Republican political leader. Branch, radio host Vicki McKenna, Milwaukee God Squad Pastor David King, and Climate Legislation Expert from Congress of Racial Equality Niger Innis are also scheduled at the rally, which is scheduled for 2-3:30 p.m. in Pershing Park.

Nancy Milholland, Racine Tea Party coordinator, said the gathering is meant to bring attention to economic issues being discussed on the national level.

"November is coming and we want voters to understand that policies such as Cap & Trade would devastate the economy in Wisconsin," Milholland said. “The politicians who have refused to listen to the people while they were losing jobs are also suddenly looking for ways to improve the economy – because they finally realize their jobs are now on the line. It’s much too little too late."

The last major Tea Party gathering drew 4,000 people for a bonfire. This event is expected to draw many more, thanks to the national figures.

The TEA Party gathering is drawing criticism. Local critics, pulling from the TEA party members' own websites, paint a picture of angry, fearful people who seem open to violence in response to government policies. Here's a selection of writings by the 912 Patriots of SE WI, a group closely aligned to the TEA Party:
·         “I certainly hope that is the case but I feel they will go house by house and take away your guns quietly, just like they did in Katrina… How will your neighbors know if they come to take your guns and what will you do? “ 
·         “Like the TEA Party, armed citizenry won't have a head to cut off and stop them.  Anarchy will be our friend if we are prepared. I'm not too worried.”
·         “Let me just say at the onset that I no longer recognize this communist regime as a legitimate US government. With all the attributes that come with illegitimacy. Therefore whatever they have to say has no effect on my life. I will do what ever I feel is constitutional and is within the pages of the Bible. At this point I will send the first government employee who gets in my face and tries to impose rule over me on to judgement. The war is inevitable if the senate doesn't squash this monstrosity the communist's call health care. I don't mind, as a matter of fact I would be honored to fire the first shot. You see even if they kill me, I still win for I died FREE.
Just a thought.”
·         “We must pray for Holy Vengence on the evil people in DC so that the Final bill is defeated...”
·         “The Italians had the right idea when they had a party for Mussolini after WW2. They dragged him out in the public square, hung him upside down and castrated him.”
·         “I've done the math but I ask all open their eyes and prepare accordingly. I would rather and I pray I'm wrong but if I'm right I would rather be prepared. If your not prepared be willing to accept what you prepared for.  Unfortunately, nothing will preserve [liberty] but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. Patrick Henry “
·         “Revolution sounds good to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
·         “This is the LAST straw. This muslim in the White House has tipped his hand… I have had it with trying to fight them using the law… THIS OVERTHROW OF OUR COUNTRY IS DIBERATE. IT IS TIME THAT WE STOP PUSSY FOOTING AROUND WITH THESE TRADERS… This is not going to stop without revolution. The elections are fixed, the laws are changing to imprison us…”
·         Coupons for Firearms
·         “Attached are files of the excellent Martial Law preparedness…”
·         Removed from website: “I agree we are beyond compromise. ..We can always weed out the treasonous ones as we go election to election. Now you know how I feel about doing this the slow way and if I had my way all these sob's would be placed in one massive burial.
I get through my frustration by realizing that anything these politicians do that is not within their power to do simply does NOT apply to me. Gun laws, vaccinations, freedom of speech etc. I will do what ever I want as though they don't exist. If the time comes that they get in my face before the true changes can be made then that will be time to exercise my rights with extreme prejudice.”
·         “I wanted to forward this and let the group know that I posted our Sat event on Oath Keepers with an open invite to any and all that would like to attend from that group.”
·         “Our country is a sinking ship. I believe we could use a life boat at this point. With no other real option we need to get behind conservative candidates (maybe with a gun to their head) holding them accountable and I pray, plug the hole in the hull.”

·         “The Muslims gather like roaches in small communities…”
·         “No Muslim should be allowed to hold office anywhere in the United States or in any non-Muslim country period… Allowing them in is no different than allowing a communist into office, or a Nazi…”
·         “The Islamic mosques and Islamic schools should be closed as they are dens of evil full of followers…”

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September 6, 2010

Fireworks wake up city's north side Saturday night

Update: Angela at the Racine Fire Department confirmed today that the family had a permit to launch fireworks off Saturday night. The permit cost $50 and was issued to a professional pyrotechnics company, which handled the display. Permits are typically issued to professional companies, and are given out after a fire department inspector reviews the site for safety issues. Angela said she's never seen a private resident get a fireworks permit. As for the timeliness of the display, the permits are usually for shows around dusk. But Angela said the fire department didn't enforce any rules on time. Those are handled by the Health Department, she said.

Original Post: A number of people wrote this morning to ask about a fireworks display late Saturday night on the city's north side. The display occurred around 11 p.m. and woke a number of people up.

We put the question out to our Twitter followers, and here's what we found:

The fireworks were set off from the end of Michigan Boulevard to celebrate a wedding. The celebrants apparently had a permit from the city for the display.
"Whoever it was spent a lot of money," one reader writes. "They were launching 4 to 6 inch shells every few seconds for 12 minutes. I guess each shell is $50-$100. It was quite a show and the bums woke me up!" 

Here's another reader:

"It seemed to be near the north side of Racine and a professional display versus some backyard hooligans. It woke up most of us in the area but nobody seems to know who was responsible for it. That hour of the night was unreasonable and someone should be taken to task for it."

We'll have to wait until tomorrow (offices are closed today) to find out how someone acquires a permit to launch fireworks. More as we know it ...

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