February 2015

AFLCIO Right to Work BAnner

A message from Local 243 Secretary-Treasurer Mike Lussenden: Please join us at noon tomorrow — Saturday, February 28, 2015 — at the State Street Side of the Capitol to stand in solidaity with our friends in private sector unions against this so-called “Right to Work” legislation being fast-tracked through the Wiscosnin Legislature.

Private sector unions stood with us as we battled Act 10. Now, we can support the labor movement for all of Wisconsin!

“Thousands of working families have been coming to the Capitol this week to detail the impact of Right to Work legislation on their lives,” reports the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Workers have been speaking up and making it clear to their elected officials that Right to Work will lower wages for all, decrease workplace safety, destroy long-standing training programs that give workers valuable skills and make it harder Wisconsin to feed their families, pay their bills, and have a shot at a decent life.”

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Look at the budgetBudgets are not just about numbers. “Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2015-17 state budget bill brims with the sort of ‘big, bold ideas’ the likely presidential candidate says his Republican Party needs to embrace,” writes Bill Lueders in the February 25, 2015 online edition of The Capital Times. “But some of Walker’s proposals appear to be policy changes with little or no fiscal impact.”

The 2015-2017 Wisconsin Executive Budget contains more than 600 pages. Reading the entire document is a formidable task — and clearly one the governor hopes people — and watchdog organizations will not undertake

A great deal of attention has been paid to one non-fiscal budget item — the proposal to excise language about “public service” and “the search for truth” from the UW’s mission statement. The uproar that ensued when this was revealed forced the governor to down, and claim it was a big mistake (or maybe a drafting error) and he wasn’t responsible.

But there are many other non-fiscal policy changes hidden away in the budget document. Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and her staff have already identified many of them, including one which calls for eliminating the state board charged with overseeing for-profit colleges, which have come under attack for “hyped promises and poor graduation rates.”

Read Lueders’ complete report online to learn about additional policy changes that are contained in the 2015-2017 Wisconsin Executive Budget.

Even the right-wing National Review was shocked by remarks Governor Walker made at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. As conservative blogger Jim Geraghty noted, “[When] asked about ISIS, Walker responded, “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the globe.”

“… it is insulting to the protesters, a group I take no pleasure in defending,” wrote Geraghty. “The protesters in Wisconsin, so furiously angry over Walker’s reforms and disruptive to the procedures of passing laws, earned plenty of legitimate criticism. But they’re not ISIS. They’re not beheading innocent people. They’re Americans, and as much as we may find their ideas, worldview, and perspective spectacularly wrongheaded, they don’t deserve to be compared to murderous terrorists.”

Wisconsin State AnimalYou undoubtedly know that the Badger (Taxidea taxus) is Wisconsin’s state animal and that “On, Wisconsin!” (which John Philip Sousa called “the finest of college marching songs”) is the official state song.

But did you know that Wisconsin also has a state ballad and a state waltz?

Visit the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau’s website to listen to MP3 versions of the State Ballad: “Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams” by Shari Sarazin and the State Waltz: “The Wisconsin Waltz” by Eddie Hansen, as performed by Gary Kuchenbecker’s Old Lager Orchestra of Tigerton, as well as “On, Wisconsin!” performed by the University of Wisconsin Band under the direction of Professor Michael Leckrone.

And why this interlude? It’s a way of reminding you about the wealth of information — about Wisconsin elections, the state constitution, biographies of Wisconsin constitutional executive officers (Supreme Court justices, members of the U.S. Congress from Wisconsin, and legislators), and more! — available in the Wisconsin Blue Book. The price for the 2013-2014 edition (almost 1000 pages) is $7.25 without shipping and $10.15 with shipping. State legislators are provided with complimentary copies to give to their constituents. You may contact your state senator or representative to ask about receiving one. Or you can download it FREE online.

Bell - 1st telephoneOn March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call by saying “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” Consider celebrating this historic event by indulging in an “all you care to eat” opportunity to sample sweet miniature desserts at the Truax campus on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Although event organizers may not have been aware of the significance of the date they selected for the Baking and Decorative Arts Students Dessert Tasting, celebrating Bell’s success is a good excuse for indulging in this sweet-centric event student event which runs from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the Truax campus Cafeteria.

Sweet treatsTickets for the tasting are $20 and may be purchased at the Bakery, located across from TruSyle Salon at Truax, or from any of the Baking and Decorative Arts students.

If you can’t make it to this event, you may want to consider indulging in a four-course meal at Madison College Gourmet Dining Room. It’s just $20. In a recent issue of Isthmus, reviewer André Darlington wrote that, “Getting a table for the Gourmet Dining Room at Madison College’s Truax campus feels a bit like trying to score a spot at a hot restaurant. It’s not exactly easy.” However, he went on to note that, “…the overall impression of the Gourmet Dining Room was of a surprisingly perfectly paced — and relaxing — formal restaurant experience,” and “… it’s a true working lab where your visit will be worth every penny.”

Learn why “Right to Work” Is Wrong for Everyone

February 23, 2015

After restricting collective bargaining for most public-employee unions, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is poised to pass so-called “right to work legislation that is targeted at private sector unions. “Right to work” sounds like a good idea. But in reality, these laws have nothing to do with providing rights or work,” says Jobs with Justice, a […]

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