Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bear hugs and moose droppings

BEAR HUGS TO:
  • All veterans living and dead. We owe them for the freedoms we enjoy and take for granted. The greatest honor, though, is when we exercise our freedoms in their memory.
  • Pleasant Prairie village trustees Monica Yuhas and Clyde Allen for sticking to their guns when a condominium developer wanted the village board to modify a deal that only 20% of the units could be rented. I'm all in favor of allowing some leeway if future circumstances require but a blank check is a bad idea.
  • Kenosha alderman G. John Ruffolo for speaking out against the lame plan to close and relocate some fire stations. The city shouldn't be playing politics with public safety.
  • The Kenosha News for recognizing, albeit belatedly, the excellent work of Officers Peter Jung and Lt. Mark Hunter of the Pleasant Prairie Police Department and for some recent articles about village issues which suggest an olive branch in the "cold war" between village officials and newspaper management.
  • Bloggers across the state who immediately responded to attempts by embattled Sheboygan Mayor Juan Perez to intimidate a citizen for speaking out against him. The only honorable thing Perez can do is resign.

MOOSE DROPPINGS TO:

  • Kenosha Fire Chief John Thomsen for his lame plan to close and relocate fire stations. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the "response time" problems the rookie fire chief speaks of may be due to closing the downtown fire station. Thomsen's a great firefighter and supervisor but this hair brain scheme needs to go up in smoke.
  • Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian for compromising public safety by closing the downtown fire station. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the city didn't adequately plan or budget for the impact of westward expansion, especially fire and police protection. Playing politics with public safety is a huge no-no. Of course, as a "lame duck" why should he care what anyone thinks?
  • The six mayoral wannabes who so far have been silent about the fire chief's crazy idea. What are they waiting for? The brain fairy to drop down and give them an original thought?
  • The Kenosha city council and administration for failing to improve intergovernmental relations. One part of the fire chief's plan that has some arguable merit is building a fire station west of Interstate 94. Both the city and Pleasant Prairie are growing across "the I" and it would make sense for the two governments to sit down and explore such things as building a joint fire protection facility. But we all know that the city usually has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table. Sometimes regionalism is local power.
  • The Wisconsin Legislature for a screwy law that requires sequestration of jurors in a criminal trial if jurors are imported from another county as an alternative to a change of venue. Judge Bruce E. Schroeder will be moving the entire upcoming Mark Jensen murder trial to Elkhorn because he can't simply bus jurors to and from Walworth County. This makes sense for both the jurors and taxpayers but Schroeder's hands are tied. Sheesh.
  • The honchos at Wal-Mart and Officemax who sicked their legal beagles on web sites that posted advance word of their "Black Friday" (day after Thanksgiving) sales. You'd think these folks would want people to know what's in store so that shoppers can decide which stores to visit. That's just common sense. But if common sense was common, then Wal-Mart would sell it, eh?
  • The southbound end of a northbound equestrian mammal who tried to post an anonymous cheap shot here slamming Pleasant Prairie resident Bob Babcock, jr. Bob and his dad probably attend more village meetings in one year than most of us in a lifetime. I may not always agree with them but we can -- and have -- disagreed agreeably. More people in Pleasant Prairie should try it.


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