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Jun 30, 201511:16 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Small towns and big ideas on a beautiful June weekend

(page 1 of 2)

I had a Squire David weekend.

Thursday Odana Hills Golf Course, my Revenue Golf League team scored a best-ball birdie on hole #1 and promptly gave it back on #3. So we just had fun. A beer and a burger before scooting over to the monthly H.O.G. meeting at Harley-Davidson of Madison.

Friday Along with an audience of about 100, I witnessed the investiture of Jim Troupis as Dane County Circuit Judge for Branch 3. His brother Chris, who ran for A.G. in Idaho, spoke. As did former Gov. Scott McCallum. Four of the state Supreme Court justices attended and former justice Jon Wilcox administered the oath. More in a bit.

Saturday Another sunshiny day as beautiful as Wisconsin in June has to offer. Five motorcycles buzzed over the twisty back roads, across rivers, and through the hills, farms, and forests of Sauk County, including Devil’s Lake State Park. Unfortunately, one of our number dropped her bike in Leland and took 11 stitches in her hand at Sauk-Prairie Hospital. (This is why I wear gloves.) But I got to break open the first aid kit acquired at least five vehicles and 20 years ago for the first time. The tape still stuck!

John Blaska, Brian and Chantel Blaschka, and daughter Eloise in Marshall

Sunday Nothing like an old-timey, small town parade. That was the Marshall Firemen’s Parade. Zor Shriners in their tiny motorcycles doing crazy eights. Model T automobiles, horse-drawn carriages, fire trucks, and American flags. Cousin Johan permitted your humble squire to pilot his restored 60-year-old John Deere model 50 tractor. It pulled a float bearing a scale model of St. Wenceslaus Church, built by our German-Bohemian ancestors in 1863 on the high ground of “the Island” above the marshland southeast of Waterloo. (The annual picnic is Sunday, July 12 at the corner of Blue Joint and Island Church Roads.)

Despite a light rain, folks lined the parade route down Hubbell Street and Main Street thence to the park on the Maunesha River for brats, beans, beer, and a tractor pull.

Can’t complain about the rain, not with drought in California. Crops in the fields look good. Speaking of which, the Joe Statz family walked behind us to promote Farm Technology Days, which they are hosting this August 25–27 on their progressive dairy farm on County Highway VV east of Sun Prairie. Go. You’ll be blown away by dairy farming in the 21st century.

Ah, summer in Wisconsin.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Jun 30, 2015 11:37 am
 Posted by  coolkevs

Headline from the Journal: Madison Schools budget 504 million - better headline "Over a half billion". Is that more than the GDP of Greece? And everybody on the board gets raises! If I had got there a bit earlier for public comments, I might have asked Mary Burke in an act of class envy to donate her increased salary to my daughter's school playground fund.
I sat in on part of the school board meeting last night. Oh, about 50 people other than the board were there, and a few of those were special guest stars for a painful half-hour segment with Jen Cheatham where they were patting each other on the back about some program or another.
Has anyone heard of "implicit bias" - one lady was pretty upset that she had come before the school board 8 times to talk about it and that nobody was returning her e-mails/calls.
I was heartened to see a young African American man from West High get up in front in support of a GPA 4.0 program. He can see his friends taking "wrong paths". The difference for him - hey, his parents were in the audience with him - what a concept!
Kaleem Caire also spoke in the public session, offering a "way out" for the funding woes. He suggested speaking to the Republicans about a Venture Capital fund, tapping businesses to get more money into the school system. He said that the school board wasn't going to get anywhere as long as people are saying "Walker sucks! and Republicans suck!" Hear that AnonyBob?
50 people at a school board meeting in the summer where they pass a half billion dollar budget. Not sure when the push back for perpetually more money is going to end.
Is it the building? Dark and depressing, labyrinthine, permits required for parking - almost like they don't want people to show up to know what they are doing.

Jun 30, 2015 01:42 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

Thanks, CoolKevs, for your report. The next election someone's got to step up even if it is me.

Jun 30, 2015 02:19 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

So, just because one man says something, walker the liar should get a free pass.

how about teaching walker and republicans about integrity.

oh, I almost forgot, it is never thier fault.


Jun 30, 2015 02:43 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Sorry, FoolKevs, but absentee-Gov. Walker and his GOP legislature DO suck, and more and more people are realizing it and pushing back on the further cuts to public education in a state budget the GOP can't get done, even with single party control and large majorities. Pretty unimpressive. And the state's economy continues to suck. Their answer: income tax cuts for the wealthy. No wonder Bernie is getting huge crowds. Pitchforks and torches are a-comin.'

Jul 1, 2015 07:03 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Gee, Farm Tech Days will be so close and I will be so far away on vacation. The only other person that could mess up my life worse than that is Barack Obama and the rest of the left.

Dave, not B

Jul 1, 2015 08:53 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Justice Scalia is right to say, “This is a naked judicial claim to legislative — indeed, super-legislative — power.”

Sorta like Bush v. Gore?

Jul 1, 2015 09:13 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I get it now. To be a conservative, one must defer to those living not just one century ago, but in 1868. Original intent! Progress on views toward families, society and fairness do not evolve over time. If it was good enough for U.S. Grant, it's good enough for me. Except for the rot gut.

Jul 1, 2015 10:12 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

No, you don't get it yet. What happened in the five years following the Civil War? The people and their Congress enacted Constitutional Amendments 13, 14, and 15. Those ensured, respectively: the end to slavery, equal protection under the law, and voting rights regardless of race, color, or involuntary servitude. Note that #15 did not promise voting for women; that would not follow the 19th amendment in 1920. If you're still missing the point: these rights were recognized by constitutional amendment, not by judicial fiat.

Jul 1, 2015 11:28 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Wow - This is summer in Wisconsin? No wonder so many young people are leaving the state. This was interesting 50 years ago!

Move on Dave?!

Jul 1, 2015 12:06 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


I said I would get back to you with deatils as to how the way ag land is taxed (and how the little guys are getting screwed), so here goes:

In the past year the same large dairy operation has purchased two parcels of open land:

* $235,000 for 37 acres ($6351/ac) and $700,000 for 80 acres ($8750/ac). Both of these parcels pay taxes as if they were worth $165/ac (2014). An adjacent wooded parcel owned by someone else pays taxes on the assessed value of $2550/ac. Most of this parcel is unproductive wetland.

Explain how this is fair. Be specific.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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