August 13th, 2014
August 13th, 2014
August 13th, 2014
August 13th, 2014
August 13th, 2014
May 13th, 2014
April 8th, 2014
WHITEWATER—Shortly after Bill German’s 21st birthday, he questioned Keith Richards on his heroin addiction during a three hour interview at the Rolling Stones office, and no, Richards did not obliterate him.
You may question, how the heck German got access to the Stones’ office, or better yet, how he questioned the Stones’ drug fiend guitarist about his heroin use.
These questions and more were answered during German’s revealing presentation to UW-Whitewater students Tuesday night regarding his experiences with the rebellious rock band, the Rolling Stones.
German was brought to campus as part of the Visiting Artists and Scholars Program, thanks to Carol Terracina-Hartman, a lecturer at UW-Whitewater.
German began his speech with an introduction to his book titled “Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It.)” “Under Their Thumb” is an insightful book telling all about German’s 17 year career as a writer for the Stones.
Ever since German was a teenager, he knew that he wanted to combine his passion, the Stones, and his professional interest, journalism, into one.
He combined his passions by creating a fanzine called “Beggar’s Banquet” on his 16th birthday, which was composed of everything dealing with the Stones.
Once his fanzine became more professional—and a few days after his high school graduation—German handed Ronnie Wood, the Stones’ guitarist, a copy of his fanzine outside of a New York City club.
“This was the moment that started everything for me,” German said.
About a year later, in 1981, German dropped out of college at NYU to pursue his passion and follow the Stones on their “Tattoo You” album tour.
German explained how he was allowed backstage for Richard’s birthday celebration in Virginia during the last stop on the “Tattoo You” tour. Shortly after the tour, the Stones hired German to publish their antics through “Beggar’s Banquet” as the bands official newsletter.
German said that it took him a whole “two seconds” to accept the job offer from the Stones.
Through his 17 years of working with the Stones, German said he never lost his journalistic integrity.
“I never did drugs with the Rolling Stones,” German said. “I wanted to remember everything and being with the band was the high for me.”
Remembering everything was something German did very well. Throughout his speech, German told many comical stories ranging from the time he spilled orange juice on Jagger’s expensive rug, the 4:30 a.m. song writings on Richards hatred for “Brenda”—Richard and Wood’s nickname for Jagger—and how he would partake in late night jam sessions in Wood’s basement with the famous blues musician Stevie Ray Vaughn.
German explained that his job was all fun for him until the fall of 1989, when things started to change for the worse. The Stones focus became money, and that was it.
In January of 1996, German decided to quit writing for the Stones after writing 102 issues. He said that “people who leave the Stones usually did so by handcuffs or caskets,” and his balance between his profession and passion helped him outweigh those odds.
German concluded his presentation with advice to UW-Whitewater students to “follow your passion and don’t give up on your dream.”
March 18th, 2014
JEFFERSON—The Jefferson County Board awarded Miron Construction $1.2 million last Tuesday for the pre-cast concrete aspect of the new highway shop facility set for construction along County Highway N in Jefferson.
This bid came in under estimate, which many board members agreed was a good thing.
The board also passed a resolution—that was amended, and then the amendment was amended—during the meeting concerning a geothermal system and other ‘green’ alternatives for the highway shop.
The resolution presented was to undo a directive that a portion of the highway facility would utilize a geothermal system— which refers to internal heating created in the earth’s surface used to generate electrical power—for heating and cooling. The starting bid would cost the county $35,000 and the payback of construction would take 69 years, which the board members decided would not be good use of taxpayer money.
“We have a responsibility to look down the road and look to the future,” Supervisor Dick Schultz said. “That being said, geothermal doesn’t make sense.”
The geothermal system led to a debate among the members of the board concerning an energy feasible study and other alternatives, such as utilizing biomass technology—a reusable energy source.
“Biomass could be useful as a potential energy source,” Supervisor Greg David said. “It would keep those energy expenditures right here in Jefferson County and give us local sovereignty.” He also said that spending money on natural gas would be a waste.
After a confusing and heated discussion, the final version of the resolution passed with a 28-0 vote to withdraw the original resolution and cease funding for a geothermal system. The board also urged the Infrastructure Committee to look for better and less expensive alternative energy sources to use in the new highway facility and future projects.
Law enforcement’s compensation adjusted
In other action, the board ratified a new contract with the county’s law enforcement union.
In previous years, law enforcement officers have been exempt for the requirements of Act 10, which is the state law that restricted bargaining rights for public employees. Now, law enforcement will be asked to do the same as other public workers, such as paying more for health insurance and pensions.
The contract with Jefferson County LAW Local 102 runs from Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2016. Also, a 3 percent wage increase will take place in December 2015.
The contract also calls for union members to pay 2 percent of their gross pay towards the Wisconsin Retirement System starting this June. The county will also pay 93 percent of the premium towards health insurance through 2016.
There was little discussion among board members on this new contract.
However, there was a second resolution that dealt with similar compensation changes for law enforcement that was immediately sent back to the Human Resources Committee for further review.
In other matters Tuesday:
- · County Clerk Barb Frank’s expressed her excitement about the new D5200 voting machines, which will be used this April 1 election.
- · The board approved a contract, by a 23-5 vote, to purchase 211 E. Washington St. for parking purposes.
As of now, the 2014 budget is amended to utilize $135,000 from the General Fund to purchase the property as demolition and re-paving costs. This area will increase the parking lot to 12 stalls.
- · Gave condolences and thanks to board members that will not be returning for re-election: Gregory Torres, Pamela Rogers and Sarah Bregant.
The board also passed a resolution to change the meeting time originally proposed at 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. This time was changed because there were some members who also serve on either city councils or town boards, and their meeting time would be in conflict with 4 p.m. once a month on Tuesday.
Therefore, the next meeting will be April 15 at 5p.m. This meeting is the organizational meeting, at which board members will select a chair. All 30 board member seats are up for election on April 1, and six members—including Chairperson John Molinaro—will face challengers.
February 11th, 2014
WHITEWATER—During the Whitewater Common Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 4, a few residents expressed their agitation over the property rezoning hearings, including Councilwomen Stephanie Abbott.
In September of 2013, the council, city staff, the Plan and Architectural Review Commission and the Zoning Rewrite Steering Committee made changes to the zoning ordinance. One major focus on the updated codification was R-2A, which allows higher student occupancy per residency in designated areas near Whitewater’s campus. The mapped area for R-2A includes West Center Street, South Summit Street, South Janesville Avenue, West Whitewater Avenue and Fourth Street.
The council planned public hearings for input on these changes and for any alterations that should be made before formally adopting the new zoning code. The zoning rewrite hearings were split into two sessions—the industrial-commercial and residential zoning aspects.
During the meeting, a considerable amount of time was spent discussing the debate of whether or not to have one long meeting for both aspects of the zoning code or two separate meetings.
“I think that the fact that we haven’t had this public hearing yet, is embarrassing,” said Abbott. “If it’s going to take that long to have a second public hearing, then I think we should just combine the two.”
People at the meeting were getting impatient awaiting the decision for the hearing dates because a number of residents—including real-estate agents, landlords, single-family homeowners, college students etc.—wanted to know exactly what areas in Whitewater will be approved for rezoning, especially with the new R-2A codification.
Larry Kachel, chairman of DLK enterprises, expressed concern for the community on the rezoning issue. “We have to be careful with the community’s number one costumer…the students,” said Kachel.
After further debate, the council decided on having two separate hearings for the rezoning matter. The hearing for commercial zoning updates will be held on Feb. 25 and the residential hearing will be held on March 10.
Storm Water Management
Rezoning is not the only problem concerning residents. According to Streets Superintendent Chuck Nass, there are storm water drainage problems throughout the city.
Nass stated several alternatives to alleviate drainage issues on Woodland Drive, the Basin 15 area and the citywide issues. The council made no decisions on this issue, but did keep an open mind on the matter.
Whitewater City Manager, Cameron Clapper, stressed the importance of this issue. “Our intent is to remediate the most serious issues right away,” said Clapper.
The biggest problem area is along South Woodland Drive approximately 150 feet north of the intersection of West Satinwood Lane, because of insufficient storm sewer pipe and intake capacity, Nass said. There were four alternatives presented to the council to improve the Woodland drainage problem. The estimated costs for these alternatives vary from $48,000 to $86,000.
Another problem area is the Basin 15, which floods Highland Street low point and an area located immediately northwest of the intersection of Franklin Street and the railroad. In order to mitigate flooding in these areas, drainage improvements need to be made in four distinct segments of the Basin 15 storm sewer system, Nass presented. The total cost for drainage improvement would be approximately $349,450.
Whitewater community funds K-9 unit
In news aside from rezoning and drainage issues, Police Chief Lisa Otterbracher announced to the council Tuesday that the police department reached their goal to implement a K-9 unit.
In 2012, there were insufficient funds in the city budget to pay for the program, so the council gave permission to the police department to accept donations and raise funds for a K-9 unit.
The department then set a goal to raise $45,000 by hosting annual fundraisers, such as T-shirt sales and the annual K9 5K/10K run, and receiving and accepting donations.
Otterbacher said, the department was short about $12,000 until they received a generous check from Stan Kass, owner of Skylark Automatic Vending Inc. of the Milwaukee, Brown Deer area. “He is a very generous person,” said Otterbacher. “That was our final piece, and he was able to match that for us.”
Now with adequate funds, the chief said they are looking for a Labrador Retriever for the unit. Once their handler and dog are selected, they will participate in a rigorous two-week training course at Steining Tal Kennels in Campbellsport, Wis.
The chief also noted that the dog must be sworn into the department so he/she will be treated as an officer in the eyes of the law. There will also be a ceremony for the dog in order for the community to “meet and greet the canine they so generously supported,” said Otterbacher.
In other action Tuesday, the council:
- Took action in eliminating the alley near Cordio Auto Parts as part of the East Gateway reconstruction project.
- Approved adding the Bike and Pedestrian Plan into the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
The amendment clarified that the bridge near Washington Elementary School needs to be replaced but no final location has been recommended. Abbott voted against the plan.
- Appointed Timothy O’ Toole to the Whitewater University Technology Park Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
- Discussed the feasibility report for Wastewater Treatment Digesters and approved a contract with Trane.
- Looked into regulations relating to distribution of advertising material.
January 29th, 2014
Helping people has always been one of my strong suits. Throughout my high school and now college career, I’ve been inspired to pursue my dreams by doing missionary work in the near future. My first trip will hopefully be this summer, either in or out of the country.
To follow, I hope to do at least two mission trips per year once I get married. After marriage, Justin and I will start off by having a mission trip honeymoon.
This idea to celebrate marriage by helping others is something we are both passionate about. Having a luxurious honeymoon and/or wedding has never been the plan.
Not only is lending a hand my dream, many others have the same as well. These people inspired me to follow my dreams and look into what truly matters in the world.