Capstone: Marijuana Reform in Wisconsin

May 12th, 2014
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Bill German and The Rolling Stones

April 8th, 2014


            While most people go through life listening to a certain band that they love and hope to see them live in concert, Bill German actually got the opportunity to work for his favorite band for 17 years.

            After being introduced to The Rolling Stones music by his older sister during his adolescent years, German quickly grew a healthy obsession with the band. This obsession led to German starting his own “Fanzine” about the band.

            His “Fanzine” entitled “Beggar’s Banquet” would lead to him meeting The Rolling Stones, and eventually working for the band as well.

            After working for The Rolling Stones for almost the span of two decades, German decided to write down his stories and time with the band in his tell all book, “Under Their Thumb.”

            German spoke about his interesting life experiences and promoted his book to an audience of UW-Whitewater students and faculty last Tuesday night inside Heide Hall.

            By telling stories that ranged from his youth as a teenager who aspired to be a journalist to impressions of Mic Jagger and Keith Richards, German kept everyone intrigued on his story all night.

            German started off the evening by reading to the crowd the introduction of his book “Under Their Thumb,” which led into his life story.

             Starting his “fanzine” when he was only 16 years old, German said he used all of the resources possible to make “Beggar’s Banquet” successful. German joked to the audience about the struggle to get kids during the disco era to read about The Rolling Stones.

            While the music tastes of his classmates were not the same as German that did not stop him from writing about The Rolling Stones.

            German continued to work on his “fanzine” and eventually got a copy into the hands of The Rolling Stones. As the band became more familiar of German’s work, they allowed German more access to the lives of The Rolling Stones.

            After working closely with The Rolling Stones, the band eventually hired German to become the official “fanzine” writer of The Rolling Stones. When this happened though, anything German wrote had to be approved by the band.

            As time went on and German grew closer to the band, he got to see his heroes in a different light. German told the audience how his opinions of Jagger changed after multiple confrontations.

            One confrontation German told the UW-Whitewater audience about was when he was in the basement of Rolling Stones member Ron Wood when Jagger came over. When Wood left the room momentarily to talk to the police that were at his front door, Jagger confronted German on the way he wrote something in the “Fanzine,” claiming portrayed Jagger negatively.

            After the band geered up for a tour entitled “Steel Wheels” which they would be receiving $65 million to do, German said he became “soured” and decided to end his time with The Rolling Stones.

            But by the age of 33, German had worked for a major rock and roll band for 17 years, and accomplished his life dream.

            German concluded the evening when he said to the students in the audience to never give up on your dreams.

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Jefferson Board Meeting

March 17th, 2014

The Jefferson County Board passed a resolution last Tuesday night that would not allow anymore expendable funds to go towards design of bidding packages for geothermal heat at the new Highway Facility.

The Highway Facility

Resolution NO. 2013-60 was amended twice last Tuesday by members of the Jefferson County Board before finally being passed. This Resolution comes into context with the High Way shop being built on Highway N.

The Highway Shop is proposed to use a geothermal heating system in the building and in a best case scenario would cost $345,000 over a 69 year payback.

Geothermal heating is a renewable energy source that takes heat from the inner surface of the earth to help heat and cool buildings.

This type of energy is not what Supervisor Dick Schultz thinks is the best form of energy for generations of Jeffersonians to come.  

“We have a responsibility to look down the road and look to the future. … We do have to look at green energy,” Schultz said. “That being said, geothermal doesn’t make sense. We should not take our focus off the future.”

While other board members like departing Supervisor Greg Torres found the conversation to be a waste.

“I am glad that at my last County Board meeting we can be rescinding a bad piece of green policy.”

The second part of this item was also choosing a bid from multiple concrete companies for the Highway Shop. Three companies came forward with bids for the board; Miron Construction, Spancrete and Stonecast Products.

While all three bids were under the County Board’s budget, ultimately the vote approved the selection of Miron Construstion. Miron Construction’s bid was for $1,193,482 and is set to start in the summer of 2014.


New LAW 102 Contract

Tuesday night, the County Board also approved a new contract with the Jefferson County Law Enforcement. The new contract will be a three year term starting Jan. 1, 2014 and will expire Dec. 31, 2016.

The new contract will have members of LAW 102 receiving these wage increases:

·        2.5 percent increase on Dec. 29, 2014

·        2.5 percent increase on Dec. 28, 2015

·        3 percent increase on Dec. 27, 2016

LAW 102’s new contract also has changes to their current pension and retirement plans as well. Starting December 2015, all union employees will have to pay 93 percent of the premium for the health plan the county selects.

            Also, the retirement plan for LAW 102 members is reconstructed to the following:

·        June 29, 2014, employees pay 2 percent towards employee share

·        June 28, 2015, employees pay 4 percent towards employee share

·        June 26, 2016, employees pays all share of Wisconsin Retirement

Annual Notes

The Jefferson County Board also went through the annual reports from the last fiscal year.  County Clerk Barbara Frank announced during her report that their new D200 voting machine will be intact and ready for use for the upcoming April elections.

Treasurer John Jensen while going through his annual report noted that everything in his budget balanced for the year. Jensen also said that the interests on taxes are down $270,000 from the last year.

Jensen said to the rest of the board that this decrease was a good thing for the citizens of Jefferson County.

“This is a good thing, because people are able to pay their taxes.”

Miscellaneous Notes

The Jefferson County Board also approved the purchase of property on East Washington Street. This purchase will eventually turn into more parking for the Jefferson County Courthouse.


Also approved was a Resolution that will now proclaim April 2014 to be Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County’s next board meeting will be at 5 p.m. on April 15. This meeting will be for incumbent and new Board Members to choose their new chairs after the April 1 elections.

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Whitewater City Council Meeting

February 11th, 2014

In front of a crowded audience last Tuesday night, the Whitewater City Council’s meeting quickly turned into a hostile environment inside the Municipal Building.

While the tension in the commerce building grew as the hours past, the evening did not start that way. After the removal of a couple agenda items from the itinerary, the council announced the success of the Whitewater Police Department’s new K9 police dog program.

K9 Program

Strictly from donations, Whitewater’s Police Department had been fund raising money to reach a $45,000 goal. This goal was achieved after the police department received a $12,000 donation from Stan Kass.

At the meeting, Chief Lisa Otterbacher told those in attendance that not only has the department put a deposit on a lab, but also has officially started the search for a handler for the K9 officer.

Whitewater’s Police Department’s hopes for the K9 program are to:

  • Detect controlled substances in the area
  • Search for missing individuals
  • Teaching the public about the negative effects of drugs in the community

There will be an official ceremony swearing the newest K9 officer at a later date, and the police department is continuing to ask for donations for the program.

For more information about donating to the police department call Captain Brian Uhl at the Whitewater Police Department at 262-473-0555.

Water Raising an Issue

Numerous frustrated Whitewater residents spoke up about the issue of flooding in their neighbourhood, and want some answers.

Richard James, a concerned citizen has been experiencing flooding in his backyard for several years. James questioned the council on the timeliness of their responsiveness, as he has been asking for this city sewage related issue to be fixed for years.

Whitewater’s City Council told James that the issue was being worked on, but did not give him a descriptive enough answer to the problem.

The cities flooding problem is not just an issue in James’ backyard, it is a problem that has lead to several studies being done throughout the city in hopes of a solution.

Flooding is an issue that ranges from Franklin Street all the way to blocks down the road on Highland Street. Drainage on these roads is no longer equipped and is the reason for the flooding.

Two solutions have been proposed to the council that will fix the drainage issue in Whitewater. A 25 year storm plan and a 100 year storm plan. Cost for the 25 year plan is $469,000 and then for the 100 year plan a more sensible $600,000.

R2 Zoning

Possibly the main agenda point of the evening was the current R2 issue in Whitewater. With the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s student body continuing to grow at a rapid pace, the city of Whitewater is having a problem offering an adequate amount of housing for the students.

R2 is in reference to the type of housing, in this case duplexes, that is causing the issue. There is currently a zone in Whitewater near the college campus, where there is a higher concentration of R2 housing.

As noted, with an increase in student body at UWW, the R2 zone is slowly expanding and is causing an issue for single family home residents as well as landlords of many R2 properties.

For single family residents, the main issue is either living next to college students or seeing their property value in question due to the possible change in commercial zoning.

This first riled the feathers of Councilwoman Stephanie Abbott, who works for DLK Enterprises, the biggest rental property agent in Whitewater. Abbott’s quick response to the bill was out shadowed by her boss, Larry Kachel of DLK Enterprises as well as owner of HSI Property Rentals.

Kachel expressed to the council that changing the zoning to benefit the students of UWW would be in the best interest for the city. Whitewater’s City Council will make their decision on this zoning matter on March 10th.

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First Blog of the Semester

February 3rd, 2014

2014 is off to a start, and in the world of Tim Tallinger, there is so much to be excited about! As a fan of comedy and late night humor, nothing makes me more happy than to say Jay Leno and his weasely voice will be gone from the Tonight Show for good this time…we hope. This move means that Jimmy Fallon will now be taking over the tonight show, and head writer and Weekend Update funny man Seth Meyers will be taking over the reigns of the Late Night. Meyers has been a solid anchor for Update since taking over for Tina Fey when she left the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2006. But now with Meyers leaving, will we be seeing some of his famous Update guests such as Stefon and Drunk Uncle join him as characters on Late Night? Only Time will tell.

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Mobile use and a the Paradigm

December 17th, 2013“>PJ_12_09_17_tabletNews-report_01_1×300.png” width=”377″ height=”246″ />

Courtesy of


This commentary on the use of mobile technology and the its use with journalism is interesting to say at the least. With television already on a 24 hour news cycle, and with the internet having up to the minute blogs, it is interesting to see what the future holds for mobile news. An article from“> shows how the trend of mobile news is only growing as 66 percent of adults get their news from a tablet or smartphone. But what interests me more is the time these people are checking the news, as the peak times seem to be right when someone is waking up or going to sleep.

These mobile reading habits make me believe that people are generally checking to see if anything earth shattering is happening or happened before or after they sleep. So if I were to use these statistics along with the concept of a social media website like Twitter, I would create an app for a website that has a live loading interface of news that is continuously refreshing itself with news briefs. The news briefs would link the reader to the story or maybe a video explaining the brief in more detail.

While this is simply an idea, I believe it could work out very well for news being promoted on mobile devices. From here you could even make money, after a certain amount of briefs clicked on you must join a pay wall.


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Social Media is the Death of Journalism

December 10th, 2013

While the title of my post this week sounds a bit brash, is it though? Personally I hate social media and do not think it has done anything good for journalism. Sure, it has helped people bring down oppressive governments, case and point Egypt, but what has it really done for journalism?

Social media has taken the mistake of such things like the 24 hour news network, and put it literally into the fingers of the viewers. Social media forces media outlets, such as a network like“>CNN to continuously have up to date information and post it to places like Facebook or Twitter ASAP. The problem that can arise from this can be seen in the Boston bombing earlier this year when  major news networks were reporting information on social media and television that was not accurate, but rather reporting for the sake of getting attention. The problem that comes out of rapid pace news is that it takes away credibility from journalism in the long run.

Really for journalism to be successful, I think people in the media need to start remembering we are the gatekeepers. Instead of putting out information for the sake of being relevant, make people wait for the story…They will still read it. Don’t let social media control polls on your news shows, or make you feel obligated to Tweet up a storm.  Information will spread organically, do not feel forced to spoon feed it two people on newsfeeds, all that does is enable people and make them even more lazy when it comes to looking up/reading the news.

Here is a link to the“>Storify project I did.

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Is This Too Punny for the Web?

December 3rd, 2013

For starters, I hope you all enjoyed the humor in the title of this blog. But this is unfortunately the world we live in when it comes to online news articles being posted on the web. Small papers such as the“>Daily Union do not have the man power in their office to edit the stories from print to fit web SEO.

The problem is not only for people in the local area of these small papers searching for local news, but also for the newspapers themselves. For these local papers to thrive in this new online media driven world we live in, they must be able to convert their stories headlines to fit SEO for them to continue to be successful. IF this does not happen, less and less traffic will be coming to their websites, thus losing them web advertising.

In closing if you are listening local newspapers, take one of your coffee fetching interns, and once a day have them take all of the articles you are printing and edit them for SEO and the web. I know right now this might seem like a waste of time, but when traffic increases on the website you will thank me.


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Comments Gone Wild

November 26th, 2013

This week in my blog, I am blogging on news story’s comments from“>Politico. In this news post, Politico sets the scene by reporting a story on Florida’s GOP chair Trey Radel’s recent resignation after being in possession of cocaine. While this story is compelling in it’s own right, the real story is in the comments section of the website.

In the comment section of this news story, it is a free-for-all when it comes to people posting their beliefs on the subject. The problem with this is that the subject is touchy due to people’s belief system and the arguing that results from the clash of beliefs. This may bring traffic to the webpage and story, but in the long run it may turn off other users from the site who just wanting to express their opinion without being attacked for thinking that way.

In this case, if I were Politico, I would not allow blatant attacks on people’s political views in the comment section. Having an intriguing conversation with someone of a different belief system is one thing, but arguing for the sake of argument and disrespecting peoples opinions hurts the image of the website.


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Online Law

November 19th, 2013

After reading the case studies of Poynter, I decided to focus my blog on the case study of Perez Hilton and using photos from X17 Incorporated. In this case Hilton, a celebrity blogger used photos from X17 without contacting the photo agency without their permission. While Hilton argued that he was not using the photos in a misused way under copyright law, courts did not agree.

This case was intriguing to me as I did side with Hilton and his point of view. Hilton edited the photos from the agency, which in my view was enough to get him away from the law suit. Courts and X17 may not have agreed with Hilton’s point of view, but I see it differently. If someone edits photos enough that the likeness of a photo is not the same as the original, their is no grounds for suing.

Hilton may have been found liable in this case, but the fact that their was an out of court settlement, makes me wonder if X17 may have seen it Hilton’s way after the initial lawsuit.

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