Support Strong for Move to Amend in Whitewater, Fort Atkinson

The Move to Amend movement was proved to be strongly supported by the voters in the City of Whitewater and Fort Atkinson.

According to the Move to Amend website, Move to Amend has a purpose of  rejecting “the U.S. Supreme Courts Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.”

The goal of the Move to Amend movement is to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision from 2010, which ruled that corporations have the same rights as individual citizens.

This gave corporations the right to give money to political campaigns with no legal spending limit.

James Hartwick, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and advocate for Move to Amend, said of corporate personhood and the ability of corporations to give freely to political campaigns, “Our system’s not broken, it’s fixed.”

Voters in the City of Whitewater supported the referendum with 1,013 votes and 1,312 supported it in Fort Atkinson.  A total of 1,340 ballots were cast.

Supporters of the movement were pleasantly surprised at the results of the election.

Harwick said the election result showed, “strong bipartisan support to get big money out of elections and he is, “surprised and pleased by the outpouring of the average person saying enough is enough.”

“It just shows the overwhelming support that citizens have for a constitutional amendment to return control of the democracy to the citizens,” said Dan Fary, Town of Oakland, supporter and one of the organizers of the Rock River affiliate of Move to Amend.

However, this referendum is non-binding.  The only purpose of the vote was to inform citizens and will have no legal effect in this election.

The exact wording of the referendum in both communities read: “Resolved, that ‘We the People’ of the City of Fort Atkinson (Whitewater), Wisconsin, seek to reclaim democracy from the expansion of corporate personhood rights and the corrupting influence of unregulated political contributions and spending. We stand with the Move to Amend campaign and communities across the country to support passage of an amendment to the United States Constitution stating: 1. Only human beings – not corporations, limited liability companies, unions, nonprofit organizations or similar associations and corporate entities – are endowed with constitutional rights, and, 2. Money is not speech, and therefore, regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech. Be it further resolved, that we hereby instruct our state and federal representatives to enact resolutions and legislation to advance this effort.”

The April 2 election also elected:

  • Pat Roggensack as State Supreme Court Justice
  • Tony Evans as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Mark Gundrum as Court of Appeals Judge of Walworth County
  • Paul Lundsten as Court of Appeals Judge of Jefferson County
  • William F. Hue as Circuit Court Judge of Jefferson County
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Jefferson to benefit from osteopathic college

The Wisconsin College of Osteopathic Medicine will end up bringing in around 65 million dollars per year to the local community of Jefferson.

With an expected enrollment of around 100 graduate students per year, local businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants will benefit from the college.

In a presentation to the Jefferson County Board on Tuesday, given by Dr. Gregg Silberg, the Executive Vice President and Dean of the Wisconsin College of Osteopathic Medicine, along with this added income, Jefferson will also gain from the graduates of the college, who are most likely to work near school.

According to Silberg, “the demand for physicians is going up.”

90 percent of all osteopathic physicians will stay in Jefferson after graduation, while almost half will take their knowledge and work near their hometowns or in rural areas.

The availability of broadband was the deciding factor in choosing Jefferson to house the campus.  The college will be almost completely electronic.

The Wisconsin College of Osteopathic Medicine is not-for-profit.  The college will employ over 100 faculty, staff, and professors.

The Wisconsin College of Osteopathic Medicine is expected to have its first classes in August of 2015.  The campus will be located on the former Saint Coletta of Wisconsin property, now known as Sanctuary Ridge.

Also on Tuesday, the Jefferson County Board appointed Kathi Cauley as interim administrator.  Cauley will serve as the interim administrator for 60 to 90 days.

The County Board has hired a consultant to search for a permanent administrator.  Country Board Chairperson John Molinaro expects 40 to 60 interviewees and is hoping to find someone to fill the position by the end of May.

Also on Tuesday, the purchase of the former Countryside home was expected but was delayed due to asbestos.

Once purchased, the former Countryside home will be turned into a highway shop.

In other action Tuesday:

  • The month of April was named Child Abuse Prevention Month in a unanimous approval.
  • The Jefferson County Board approved a $100,000 loan to Rushing Waters Fisheries, LLC of Palmyra.  The loan will help purchase new equipment and increase fish processing output capacity through and expansion to the processing plant, cooler and freezer space, added production space, a retail store and dining facility. It will also add 9 to 16 jobs over the next three years.
  • The jurisdictional transfer of .3 miles of County Highway Y from Jefferson County to the city of Watertown and 1.4 miles of County Highway Y from Jefferson County to the town of Watertown was approved.
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More Funds Needed For Field of Dreams

A report on the final site plan was announced that raised the total project cost for Treyton’s Field of Dreams was given at the Whitewater Common Council Meeting on Feb. 5.

Matt Amundson, the Parks and Recreation Director presented an overview of the plan, adding that the budget would increase by $225,000, making the final estimated cost of the project $1,586,290.00.

“Most of the costs are labor-related,” said Amundson.

The items presented included “shared-use paths, batting cage location, service drive, and storm water.” The plan also includes the location for a pavilion that would include restrooms, concessions, and utility extensions.

The site plan for Treyton’s Field of Dreams includes three diamonds and a signature “Field of Dreams.”

This is in addition to “parking lots, coordination with Field Turf, site grading of field, concourse and asphalt pavement and base, access apron, storm sewer, bio-retention, and erosion control.”

Amundson also included allowable costs, or items that are likely to be donated, including, “fencing, bullpens, entrance sign, landscaping, irrigation, sod, bleachers, dugouts, lights, scoreboard, backstop and netting.”

Several council members were concerned about parking, saying that extra parking is necessary for safety reasons.  Amundson stated that his initial thought on parking was “probably a way too optimistic approach” but “process is more important than timeline.”

Amundson and the council members agreed to eliminate extra “green” lots.  Green lots, or islands and peninsulas, are required every 20 parking stalls.  Since the lots are surrounded by green space, it was decided that minimum green lots would be used.

The project also includes a plan to replant two to three trees for every one removed.

With a four-field venue, including the signature Field of Dreams, Amundson expects several tournaments to take place.  16 teams would mean 96 athletes and about 480 fans.  Such fans would spend money on things like gas, restaurants, hotel and lodging, entertainment, and more, meaning that the whole economy of Whitewater would benefit.

A timeline was also announced, including the Common Council Meeting on Feb. 19 or 21 that would approve the site plan and award the contract and bid documents with Strand Associates.  An April 4 meeting would review and award the bid.

Mike and Mary Kilar could not be reached for comments.

In other action Tuesday:

  • The purchase of a new Ford police car from the local Ketterhagen Motor Sales, Inc. was unanimously approved.  Chief of Police Lisa Otterbacher represented the police force.  Otterbacher informed the council of previous hardships with Dodge vehicles, including that Dodge, unlike Ford, does not have front wheel drive.  The new police care included a 1.5 percent increase yet still remains under budget.
  • A Communications Staff Study for the Whitewater Police Department was also unanimously approved.  APCO International will perform the study.  The study will focus on dispatchers and will cost $8,400.
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E Online Website Review

Eonline.com is a website that caters to the needs of the entertainment seeker.

The Eonline home page, taken at 7:50 pm on 11/25/12

The website consists of celebrity gossip, news, TV, photos, videos and more.

The structure of the main page contains a lot of visual images and headlines to grab the reader’s attention. The news is ordered depending on the popularity of the events.

The website’s structure aims to draw the reader in and allow for a wide variety of interests to be fulfilled. The other departments are more structured and orderly than the main page. These pages tend to be in either chronological order.

There is an abundance of breaking news in the entertainment world. This is necessary to report because people go to this website to be informed of current and breaking entertainment news.  When it comes to breaking news and top stories, Eonline.com will include it at the top of its main page, allowing for the readers to see it right away.

The eonline mobile site, taken at 8:00 pm on 11/25/12

The mobile site is more user-friendly because the site is more condensed. All of the same content still remains, but it is much more organized.  You can either go straight to the website itself or you can download the application, which will send you updates for major news events.

The social media strategy that eonline is using is to allow users to share articles and pictures. Reporters do not have their own pages linked to the site, but they do get credit for their articles. Eonline does not promote reporters’ social media sites.

Eonline.com’s revenue does not come from pay walls, but from advertisers who pay to have their product on the page. There are no records of revenue figures available online. Eonline.com does allow the reader to look up these figures for other things such as movies.

An example of a banner ad and an ad on the sidebar, taken at 8:09 pm on 11/25/12

Eonline is owned and updated by Entertainment Television Network, commonly known as the E! Network. They list all their TV shows on a separate page which allows viewers to find out when they can watch the show to get their celebrity gossip.

Multimedia is integrated by pictures, videos, and overlaying text.  When scrolled over, a picture will show information about the article it is linked to. Eonline.com uses their own proprietary media player. All multimedia is regulated through the Entertainment corporation.

Review and Judge is a site that ranks different websites.  It gives Eonline.com a popularity  score of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and a “liked by Google” score of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

According to Stuart Elliot’s article on the Media Decoder of the New York Times, in summer of 2012 eonline.com introduced itself as a more advertisement friendly website.

“The E! Entertainment channel, which is introducing an extensive rebranding on Monday, will use the occasion to overhaul its Web site, presenting both content and display advertising in new ways that are meant to re-engage readers.”

There is no user-generated content or hyper-local content, as celebrities move about too often and gossip can happen anywhere.

An example of how to share articles, taken at 8:30 pm on 11/25/12

The content on eonline is shared freely. At the top of an article, there are options to like and share on Facebook, Tweet, share with Google Plus, and E-mail.

Since celebrity news is often incorrect, making corrections is quite common in the entertainment news world.  Therefore, when Eonline gets it wrong, they’ll update a story.

The site does not have aggregation because all the articles are written by Entertainment News Journalists. In their terms and conditions, eonline indicates what they are allowed to regulate when it comes to comments from the public.

Sources are not always reliable. Most of the information comes from journalists who know what they’re doing, how to do it, and how to do it right.

Overall, Eonline is a great website for people who need instant celebrity news.  However, it is a bit difficult to search through the jumble of gossip that is Eonline’s home page, but if it’s easier for E! to make money, then they’re doing the right thing.

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chicago tribune facebook page review

Is a Facebook page valuable to a business?

According to Mashable.com, “About 50% percent of consumers think a brand’s Facebook page is more useful than a brand’s website, a new study suggests.”

The Chicago Tribune’s Facebook page, taken at 11:21 am on 11/24/12

The Chicago Tribune’s Facebook page is no different. With over 56,000 fans, the Chicago Tribune is one of the biggest newspapers on Facebook.

So how do they do it?

The Tribune posts more than just news.  For example, just two days ago the page posted “Happy Thanksgiving!” (turkey and all).  However, it did include a link to a “Food and Dining” recipe article, which encourages interaction from fans.

The site posts once or twice a day.

Every few weeks, a video will be posted.  It’s not often, but it does happen.

The words on the Facebook page are short and sweet, but all link to an article on the Tribune’s actual website.

The page has been known to ask fans for input as well.  The Tribune has asked for pictures from readers.  Last year around Christmas, they requested that fans send in “scared of Santa” pictures.

The page does not support individual reporter’s Facebook pages. All the posts come straight from The Chicago Tribune Facebook page.

What makes the Chicago Tribune Facebook page unique?

The New York Times Facebook page, taken at 11:56 am on 11/24/12

The New York Times, which has 1.2 million fans, posts very often.  The Times posts around five to seven times a day, compared to the Tribune’s once or twice a day.

The Times also has a cover photo of their news in action.  The Tribune doesn’t show any pictures of their reporters.

This could be the Tribune’s one fault or it could be a very strategic plan.

A viewer likes to see the people behind the page.  A viewer also likes to see a professional Facebook page.

What do you think? Post a comment and let me know.

 

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paywalls: not businesses’ best idea

Every newspaper franchise dreams of making money off of their business.  Who can blame them, really? A newspaper business is just like a regular business: they need to pay their employees.

However, in this digital age, many news stories are becoming available for free on the internet through news sites and blogs and newspapers are losing money.  One of their solutions was a paywall.

A paywall is, according to The Independent, “a fancy way of saying you will have to pay money to read our paper online.  Like any good drug dealer or sleazebag loanshark, we’ll keep you hooked with a little bit of free content – say 10 free articles a month – but after that you gotta pay up or get beat up.”

Now, Clay Shirky, an internet technologies author, wrote early this year that “2012 may be the year when newspapers finally drop the idea of treating all news as a product, and all readers as customers.”

Oh, dear Clay.  Newspapers feel that news is a product because news is a product.  Journalists and reporters are not volunteers, as much as people like Shirky would like to think.

Shirky is right about one thing, though: paywalls are not working.  According to Mashable.com, “20% of newspapers now have online paywalls.” Of that 20 percent, the New York Times is one of the few success stories of the paywall system.

Mathew Ingram of Giga Om said in an article that, “if anything, such plans are merely a line of sandbags designed to try and stem the flow of water that is rising faster and faster outside the walls of most newsrooms.  Even the New York Times… is not pulling in enough revenue to make up for the ongoing decline in print advertising revenue.”

According to Mike Masnick at TechDirt.com, there are two basic reasons why paywalls don’t work. “The short version is that for most newspapers, they just can’t sign up enough users to make it worthwhile.  But, more importantly, paywalls actually make the paper less valuable.”

When people can find news online that is updated instantly, why would they want a newspaper?

Masnick also explains that “the paywall shrinks the visits and page views drastically, cutting off the (growing) online advertising opportunites.”

Why are paywalls used when they don’t work?

Let’s explore the types of paywalls.

First, there’s what we call a “hard” paywall.  No content can be accessed until the viewer pays.  This is considered the riskiest model.  “It is estimated that a website will lose 90% of its online audience and ad revenue… News sites with ‘hard’ paywalls therefore succeed if they: provide added value to their content, target a niche audience, and already dominate their own market.”  The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times both use this model.

There is also a “soft” paywall.  This means that a viewer can access a specific number of articles before they are asked to subscribe.

A “combination” paywall allows “free access to select content, while keeping premium content behind a paywall.”

It sounds great in theory.  But what really works is free access to a website with plenty of advertising.  People are not willing to pay for things when they can get them for free.

Consider downloading music: Many people don’t pay $1.29 for a song when they can download it for free (illegally, but that’s besides the point).

Plenty of news sites have free content. Though the sites with paywalls may have better writers, free sites usually have average writers with the same content.

Clay Shirky obviously does not realize that newspapers need to make money.  Yes, we have realized that paywalls are not newspapers’ best idea.  Reporters can’t work for free; they need to get paid just like everyone else.

News is not a public service.  Even people who get their news from the television have to pay a monthly fee for cable.  Radio listeners must buy a radio and HD radio listeners must also pay a monthly fee.

I think The Independent says it best:

We just want money. Is that so bad? And besides, there will always be online papers offering good quality content for free. In fact, they are the ones who will be doing the real journalism. Because they care about it. They care about our world. And they care about you. They’re the ones who care about getting the truth out there, and helping us to understand this society we live in. They understand that good journalism is a civic duty, not a Monopoly game. There are many such online papers. All you’ll need to do is change your bookmarks. If it makes you feel better, you don’t even need to think of subscriber-only-paywall-papers as real newspapers, really. Think of us as commissioned artists. You know, painting pretty pictures of the world in response to the whims of our wealthy patrons, and reflecting the world they want to see and believe in. What, you want Da Vinci? Van Gogh? Well you won’t find them hiding behind digital subscriber paywalls, buddy.

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Honey Boo Boo in a green and yellow dress

Ya’ll better redneck-ognize!”

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google explains romney image search not malicious

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presidential debate proves romney a contender

Presidential Debate Proves Romney a Contender

At the October 3 debate, Romney and Obama went head to head in a heated debate. Many thought Romney had spirit; Obama acted as if he was tired and comfortable.

Storified by Erin Powers · Thu, Oct 04 2012 17:05:16

Romney Vs Obama. Who says we need leaders running the country and governing what we do how we do it. We shouldn’t be faulted or taxed for dirty politics. Tax the thieves.Let Us Be Let Us Live.#presidents #debate #2012 #obama #vs #romney #stop #war ✌&❤artistmind87
While Romney seemed on point and ready to answer every question asked by moderator Jim Lehrer (and then some), many felt that our current President wasn’t at his best.  In an article by The Wall Street Journal, writer Peter Nicholas said that “Mr. Obama’s performances in political debates have been uneven. He doesn’t give the impression he enjoys debating. Earlier this week, the president complained that debate preparation was ‘a drag.'”

Obama clearly wasn’t giving the debate all of his attention. Perhaps his attention was on his wife, as Obama was celebrating his 20 year anniversary with the First Lady.

‘Where was Obama tonight?’ MSNBC panelists say Romney won first debate http://on.msnbc.com/T1TbqL #msnbc2012msnbc
#debate #president #governor #romneyryan2012 #nobama #clinteastwood #hahaha #sotrue #politicsClarissa Mcneal
Romney’s likeability is increasing because of this debate.  According to Reuters, “Romney is now viewed positively by 51 percent of voters.” 
CBS News instapoll: 46% said Romney won. 22% said Obama won. 32% said tie. Decisive win for Romney.Nancy Cordes
Although Romney did well in the debate, the polls are still unknown.  Examiner shared that, “the CNN poll also found that 35% of debate viewers were more likely to vote for Romney after the debate, compared to just 18% who were more likely to vote for Obama.” However, “The bad news for Romney is that the CNN poll found his favorability and unfavorability numbers relatively unchanged after the debate. In addition, polls showed over 80 percent of the voting public had made up their mind before the debate.”
Romney Dominates In Denver, But The Proof Will Be In The Polling http://abcn.ws/SFcwh3 #DebatesABC News
Overall, it is clear that Romney has won the first of three debates. The remaining two are still up for grabs, but no matter who wins, Obama is still ahead in the polls.

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