Whitewater Common Council Members Face Tough Decisions

WHITEWATER-  Revised parking regulations along Prince and Prairie Street continue to upset Whitewater residents and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students. This item, as well as the city budget and the Landmarks Commission issue was addressed during Tuesday night’s Common Council meeting.

Prior to the start of the school year, the City of Whitewater made an agreement with the university regarding parking on Prince and Prairie Street for the enforcement of parking spaces. Chancellor Beverly Kopper, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, Grace Crickette, and Chief of Police, Matt Kiederlen, spoke on behalf of the university.

“Parking needs to be self-sustaining,” Vice Chancellor Crickette explained. “That is so we can direct resources to student success, to student housing, to other infrastructure.”

The university is currently leasing the parking spots on Prince and Prairie Street for $45,000 a year. The change from metered spots to parking permits was made in hopes to fix the shortage of parking on campus. Within the next few years, a new residence hall will take over Lot 9, resulting in the loss of another 200 spots.  Common Council members are worried about the revamped parking rules affecting the publics accessibility.

Whitewater resident and previous employee at the university, Pam Zarinnia, expressed her feelings about the situation saying, “I think it is absolutely outrageous what they have done with the streets on either side of the campus. I’m embarrassed to be part of the city that basically has let them do that and get away with it.”

The Common Council did not act on the issue during Tuesday’s meeting, but it was discussed afterwards during a closed session.

City budget-

City Manager, Cameron Clapper presented the 2018 city budget of $9.1 million, about a $30,000 decrease from 2017. The money will predominantly come from taxes and inter-governmental revenues, but it will fund administration and public safety. The 2018 tax rate has yet to be determined.

An additional change that is being made to the upcoming budget is long-term financial planning for expenses and revenues.

“We need to plan for how we address shortages in the future,” Clapper said.

Clapper plans on collaborating with Ehlers & Associates, a financial advisor service, to aid this process.

Revenue reductions is one of the major issues on the rise. Possible revenue sources include economic growth, such as the construction of a hotel, or wheel tax, an annual registration fee vehicle owners must pay.

“To the average person, it’s not very apparent that there’s financial troubles and that’s partly because the money that is being used to plug holes in current operations and annual operations is money that would’ve been set aside for long term maintenance and replacement of city facilities and infrastructure,” Clapper explained.

The official budget numbers will not be presented until the finance committee has reviewed them. Members of the community are encouraged to attend the next budget discussion on November 7.

Landmark’s Commission-

Protestors gathered at the Municipal Building before Tuesday’s Common Council meeting in hopes to raise awareness about Whitewater’s landmarks.

“I’m concerned that these city owned landmarks could be threated,” protestor, Carol Cartwright said.

During the meeting, the Common Council voted on two separate ordinances: 1) when a city owned property is attempting to be designated as a landmark, and 2) when a city owned property is a landmark, what it takes to do a rescission of that landmark.

The first ordinance passed unanimously without Aldermanic District 1 representative, Carol McCormick’s vote, while the second ordinance was passed without a second motion.

“The goal of the ordinance change was to treat a city owned landmark the same way a private landmark is owned,” Aldermanic District 3 representative, Christopher Grady said.

Council members are unsure what the next step is for these ordinances.

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153065302Hi, y’all.

I’m back. I was on a 7 month hiatus, but will be utilizing my blog this semester for my capstone class.

I recently took a trip down to Chicago (for the umpteenth time) and visited Millennium Park, had a burger at the Shake Shack and did some shopping on Michigan Ave. Although going to Chicago can get expensive, I found an article on Pinterest that listed a bunch of inexpensive, or even free, things to do in the windy city. Check it out and let me know if there is something you like to do in Chicago that the article did not mention.

Have a happy Sunday and as always, Go Packers.

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Semester Reflections

memory-1024x655Throughout this semester, I have put a lot of effort into making my blog’s appearance and posts as professional as possible. Since week 12, I have made very minimal changes to the layout because I like the way it looks. The color scheme compliments the design, everything is easy to navigate and there is a good use of contrast. I placed hierarchy on an image that relates to the class because an article would not suffice. I also added my Facebook profile and Instagram page so individuals can connect with me on other social network sites.

Aside from learning about the importance of blog design, I also learned a lot about web journalism and how much effort news sites put into their website. I believe I have become a better blogger and site design analyst. I plan on taking the skills I have learned in this class onto my journalism career after I graduate.

This was my first online class and I honestly enjoyed it. I learned how to work at my own pace and manage my time while learning about the issues and ideas journalist face today. I also loved keeping up with a blog because of how much I love to write.

Thanks for reading my blog this semester. Keep up with me on my Facebook or Instagram page or watch for me on UWW-TV.

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NBC to shut down Breaking News app before 2017

breaking-news-nbc-to-drop-breaking-news-app-on-december-31stOn December 8th, NBC announced they will be shutting down its Breaking News app.

“We are committed to a culture of experimentation and innovation at NBC News Digital and Breaking News was a product that embodied that spirit for more than five years,” Nick Ascheim, NBC’s News SVP of digital said. “However, experiments eventually need to sustain themselves and in this case, despite every effort, we just weren’t able to get there.”

A couple of other news apps have been terminated recently, including The New York Times’ NYT Now and The Times of London’s weekly international app. The amount of time mobile users spend reading the news on news outlet apps is decreasing, as users are spending more time on social media apps.

Push notifications are becoming  more important than ever for news apps. Studies show that 72% of users who get news alerts say they “value the notifications they receive and many see alerts as a critical part of the news app proposition.”

Isn’t it ironic that fake news is on the rise, while news apps are on the decline?

I have to agree that push notifications are extremely important. I don’t remember the last time I opened a news app, as I always end up reading the story on Facebook or Twitter. It would be a different story if I was receiving push notifications from the news app, because it would constantly grab my attention whenever an important story is released.

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Journalistic views from Scott Pelley

CBS EVENING NEWS with SCOTT PELLEY  inaugural newscast 6/6/2011.  CBS photo by John Filo ©2011 CBS BROADCASTING INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDScott Pelley’s speech was great. It was extremely informative and well thought out. During his speech, he brought up his beliefs regarding the importance of journalism ethics in the age of digital journalism.

“Our house is on fire. We didn’t didn’t build this house. It was built by Fred Friendly and A.O. Sulzberger and Harrison Sulzberry and Ida Tarbell who came before us, who build this magnificent mansion we call American journalism. But today, right now, we occupy this house that was built for us, our house is on fire.”

Pelley continues to explain that these have been a rough few months for journalism because we’re getting the big stories wrong, time and time again. Journalists tend to latch onto the first idea they hear, even if it’s untrue. He was right to point out that the U.S. has the best journalism, but our strategies weigh us down.

It’s ok not to be the first news outlet to report a story because Pelley explained that “if you’re first, no one will ever remember. If you’re wrong, no one will ever forget.” Reporting accurate information is a thousand times more important than being first and reporting inaccurate information.

Pelley’s insight on this matter was needed and just because it’s been a rough couple of months, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

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Online Shoppers Spent $1.9 Billion on Thanksgiving

Application Apps App online shopping order e-commerce internet shop mobile or smart phoneOnline shoppers spent $1.9 billion well before Black Friday. According to Adobe Digital Insights and restated by Mashable, by 5 pm on Thanksgiving, online shoppers had spent $1.15 billion. By the end of the night on Thursday, that statistic increased to $1.93 billion.

This holiday season’s online sales were up by 11.5% since last season, with 40% of those transactions occurring on a mobile device.

This most popular items purchased on Thursday are as follows: Samsung 4k TV’s, iPad’s and Xbox consoles. As far as kids toys go, Lego’s drones and electronic scooters/vehicles were popular choices.

The online world has really taken off within the past couple of years. News, television shows, movies and even online shopping has gained an immense amount of popularity. Amazon and eBay are a couple of my favorite go to online shopping websites because they have anything and everything for a steal of a deal. Nine times out of 10, shipping is usually free and c’mon, who doesn’t love free shipping? Shoutout to Michael Aldrich for inventing online shopping and making my life and millions of other peoples lives a thousand times easier.

While shoppers were spending billions online, how much did news sites suffer?

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What’s Going on Around the World?

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You have been Pronounced Dead by Facebook

facebook_2015_logo_detailLast Friday, Facebook accidentally killed off millions of users. The social media platform “memorialized” personal accounts round the world with a banner noting the user had passed away and that their page had been turned into a memorial wall. It read: “Remembering Mark. We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life.” Co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was even killed off.

Facebook addressed the situation in a statement to Mashable: “For a brief period today, a message meant for the demoralized profiles was mistak
enly posted to other accounts. This was a terrible error that we have now fixed. We are very sorry that this happened and we worked as quickly as possible to fix it.”

Well said Facebook, well said.

In another article I read regarding the situation, users said that they didn’t even realize they had been killed off. On the other hand, users who noticed the mistake took to other social media platforms to spread the news. I personally do not know whether or not I was killed off and it will forever remain a mystery. As far as Facebook goes, I feel like their statement regarding the situation was well put and it was an honest mistake.

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Apple’s New MacBook Pro is Flying off the Shelves

Apple launched its new MacBook Pro in October and it more powerful than ever before. It is equipped with a brand new Touch Bar, making it remarkably more expensive than previous models. The laptop also does not come in 32GB option and all connectors have been replaced with USB-C ports. Aside from the criticism the laptop received, the new MacBook Pro has already outsold all of its Windows-based competitors by a significant margin.

macbook-pro-oled-renderAccording to a report by Slice Intelligence and reposted by Mashable, “the sales of the new MacBook Pro in the first five days surpassed the sales of key competitors such as Microsoft’s Surface Book, Dell XPS 13 and 15, Lenovo Yoga and Asus Chromebook Flip even though all these devices have been on the market for over a year.”

After watching the MacBook Pro launch and reading this article, I’m honestly not surprised. Apple has always dominated the market, whether it was launching the iWatch or iPhone. It’s simple: people love their products.

Although I have heard some good things and some not so good things about the new laptop, I’m debating whether or not to update my current model. Right now, I have the 2015 Macbook Pro and I constantly wonder how I went this long without it. Apple has never disappointed me with their products (besides their crappy phone batteries) and even though Mac’s tend to be more expensive than PC’s, they are definitely worth the money.

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Facebook’s Mobile Business is Booming

fb_icon_325x325According to Facebook’s third quarter earnings, the majority of Facebook users access the social network strictly on a mobile device. One of Mashable’s articles this week explained how of Facebook’s monthly 1.79 billion users, more than 1 billon of those are ‘mobile only,’ and that number is only going to get larger. Once again, Facebook “beat expectations” and is making the company more money than ever. Also, the majority of the company’s ad revenue also comes from mobile ads.

Personally, accessing Facebook on a mobile device is ten times easier than doing it on the computer. Tagging people in a post, uploading photos or updating your status can all easily be done from your phone. For example, uploading photos to Facebook from a mobile device is easy and convenient. Instead of downloading all the photos to a desktop and THEN uploading them to Facebook, users can simply select which ones they want to upload to the site from their device. The number of users that access social media strictly on a mobile device will continue to grow and it will be interesting to see how much that number will increase in the following years.

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