Do Students Know How to Properly Recycle on Campus?

Here at UW-Whitewater, recycling is a staple in our campus community. Unfortunately, the extent of recycling for most students goes as far as throwing food and other disposable items in the garbage, and aluminum cans in the aluminum specified bins. However, there is much more to recycling than students may be aware of.

It is estimated that approximately 254 million tons of waste is recycled per year and at UW-Whitewater, staff and faculty members are putting an emphasis on the importance of proper recycling.

“Proper recycling in Whitewater is separating out your paper, plastic, cans, so a lot of the things that are typically recognized as recycling is important,” Sustainability Coordinator, Wesley Enterline explained. “What most people have trouble with is the types of plastics that can or can’t be recycled.”

Enterline believes that close to 100 percent of students recognize that aluminum cans can be recycled, but only 10 to 20 percent truly understand what can and can’t be recycled.

“I recycle anything that I know can be recycled, but I’m sure there are things that I didn’t know can be recycled that I don’t recycle,” Student Sean Ladzinski said.

Student Jaylen Schrader said he does his best to recycle, but does not know everything that is recyclable.

“Whatever I can recycle, I just throw it in the bin,” he said.

On campus, the following items can be tossed into the blue recycling canisters: flattened cardboard, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, white paper, phone books, paperback books, junk mail, envelopes, cereal and shoeboxes, shredded paper put in clear bags, tin cans, empty spray cans, aluminum cans, clear, green and brown glass containers, plastic containers, bottles and jugs labeled #1-7 and small metal items such as pots and pans.

Recyclables provide savings for the community by reducing the amount of garbage disposed into the ever-growing landfill. It also saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions that harm the environment.

To promote the importance of recycling, UW-Whitewater hosts RecycleMania each spring. RecycleMania is an eight-week competition that encourages colleges across the United States and Canada to track the amount of recycling and trash collected each week. Once the amount has been recorded, it is then submitted into various categories based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis, as well as the overall best recycling percentage rate.

During RecycleMania 2016, Starin Hall took home first place, followed by Fricker Hall in second and Bigelow/Fischer Hall in third. The goals of RecycleMania are to first, encourage students and staff to increase recycling awareness, second, promote campus recycling programs, third, motivate colleges to measure and assess their recycling habits and of course, lastly, have a little friendly competition.

Additionally, Enterline maintains the UWWSustainability YouTube account. He uploads videos about recycling, food waste, sustainable living and much more. Be sure to subscribe to his channel and stay up to date on all environmental related content.

If you’re interested in getting involved and would like to learn more about recycling, sustainable living or upcoming events, visit the UW-Whitewater Sustainability page at or contact Wesley Enterline at

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Public Allowed Comment on 2018 Jefferson County Budget

JEFFERSON- The Jefferson County budget for 2018 was proposed in early October and during the County Board Meeting on Oct. 24, the floor was open for public comment regarding the changes.

The $72.3 million budget comes with a $27.4 million countywide tax levy, including $1.1 million in debt. The 2018 levy increased by about $289,000.

Jefferson County typically does not take on debt and has been debt free for several years. A highway shop was recently constructed for $16 million, putting Jefferson back in debt. The county is on track to repay that debt within the next 20 years.

“We like to think the county is in good shape financially,” chair of the Finance Committee, Dick Jones said. “We have three months of working reserve on hand, and we also have a contingency fund for unexpected deeds.”

The proposed countywide mill rate is 4.1606, a 3.17 percent decrease from 2017. This number translates into $4.16 per $1,000 in terms of the evaluation of one’s home. The owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would pay about $400 in property taxes for the county. Even though the mill rate decreased, residents may notice the slight increase in their 2018 property tax bill because of the increase in property value in Jefferson.

The $400 in property tax is divvied up between the school district and human services. Residences may not directly receive these services, but the roads are plowed, the parks are maintained and the library is open.

The county’s sales tax is another expenditure residences are expected to pay that helps drive the budget. The combined sales tax rate for Jefferson County is 5.5 percent, making the individual sales tax rate .5 percent. If a Jefferson County residence purchases a car in a different county, the sales tax will go to Jefferson County.

The county jail, human services and highway department are the largest expenditures in the 2018 proposed budget.

Inmates are being held at the Jefferson County since a few of the state prisons are at maximum capacity, helping drive a larger county budget.

Opioid addiction is sweeping the nation and has hit the inmates in state prisons the hardest. The prescription drug is used to treat pain, but can become less helpful with continued use. Continued use can cause withdrawal symptoms, making the users crave them more.

“The opioids is one the things driving this budget,” Jones said.

To help inmates to cope with opioid addiction, the county offers alcohol and drug treatment. It gives participants the chance to overcome the addiction and improve their sobriety, health and lifestyle, in hopes to live crime-free.

Levy limits is just another variable affecting the proposed budget. Essentially, levy limits keep your revenues close to flat.

“We always have to look for ways to be leaner and more efficient,” County Board chairman, Jim Schroeder, said. “Fortunately, in my time here, we have not had to cut services while some other counties have had to.”

Over a decade ago, the Jefferson County Economic Development Consortium (JCEDC) was founded to drive economic growth. In recent years, the JCEDC created a private-public nonprofit corporation, known as the Glacial Heritage Development Partnership (GHDP). The GHDP drives and manages the area’s economic development efforts. The GHDP’s mantra, “shaping the Jefferson County area’s 21st-century economy,” helps the community by providing resources to increase economic growth.

Budget amendments from county board supervisors are due by Nov. 6 and will be reviewed by the Finance Committee on Nov. 9. The amendments will be presented and voted on during the County Board Meeting on Nov. 14.

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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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