All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Benefit Concert on Plaza Sat. May 31 for Chinese Quake Victims

One thing that always impresses me about Americans is their generosity toward those in need.

Recently we saw this type of outpouring toward Hurricane Katrina victims in our country and Tsunami victims in Indonesia.

In spite of us feeling we are taxed to death, many Americans still are very willing to give to others in need, for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.

Americans give with an open heart and open wallet--all on their own--no government involvement necessary. They give with no hope of gain or compensation, no arm twisting needed. It is great to see.

Now there is another need, the Chinese earthquake victims half way around the globe.

The Zhong family of Brookfield is holding a fundraiser concert on Saturday, May 31st, from 10 AM to 1 PM, to raise money for those suffering Chinese people.

The concert will be held at the Brookfield City Plaza during Farmer's Market hours. So come for the market and the concert, and make a donation to this cause.

A Silent Auction follows the concert and a raffle for performers.

This concert is unique in that it affords local musicians of all ages an opportunity to perform. If you wish to participate in the performance, contact Shan Lu at or call 262-786-8188.

Donations may be made by cash or check. Please make check out to the Red Cross or World Vision and note China Earthquake Relief Fund on the check. World Vision is a Christian organization if you wish your aid to be faith based.

I really admire private citizens who do something on their own to make a difference in the world. Shan, the concert organizer immigrated to the United States from China and now is a U.S. Citizen.

Hopefully this concert will be a big success!

Sorry for the poor quality of the info sheet. I could not get it to post in its original form. Finally had to resort to taking a picture!


counter hit xanga

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, Vicki Mckenna

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rep. Rich Zipperer's Statement on Budget 'Repair' Bill

The following is State Representative Rich Zippere's report on the May 14th Budget Repair Bill:

Bill contains raid on Transportation Fund, steals REAL ID money, and Increases Taxes and Spending.

Madison—The state Assembly approved legislation today that is intended to fix a $652 budget shortfall. The state is facing a budget deficit because the budget signed into law last year is spending money faster than tax revenues are coming into the state. Rep. Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) made the following statement after voting against today’s so-called budget repair bill:

“The bill approved today is an attempt to hide the truth of our state budget from the taxpayers of Wisconsin, and only makes a bad situation worse. We are facing the current $652 million shortfall because of irresponsible budgeting in the past, and continuing that trend will only inflate the problem in the future.

The solution to the current mess is simple. Control spending. Instead, the bill passed today raids from the Transportation Fund even while consumers are facing $4 per gallon gasoline, uses accounting gimmick on top of accounting gimmick, contains a new tax on businesses, actually manages to increase spending by millions of dollars, and only pushes the problem off to the next fiscal year.

With the state facing a $1.7 billion structural deficit, we can ill afford to knowingly make the problem worse. Further, this bill contains no veto guarantees from Governor Doyle, meaning that, despite the clear will of the voters this past April that the Governor should not rewrite budget documents with his veto pen, he will likely use vetoes to increase the Transportation Fund raid and increase spending.

Also especially troubling to me is the irresponsible and dangerous raid of REAL ID money. By failing to use this user fee money for implementing REAL ID, we are turning our backs on safety measures called for by the 9/11 Commission, approved by Congress, and approved by the state Legislature in past sessions. For our safety and security, we need to move forward with REAL ID now, and not back away from our promise to Wisconsin drivers.”

If you would enjoy receiving updates on state issues, please contact to subscribe. Visit Rich Zipperer's website

Weed control links: Garlic Mustard and garlic mustard's pretty cousin, Dame's Rocket. (It can take over native areas too.) Garlic mustard should be thrown in the trash and labeled Garlic Mustard: Do not compost.

counter hit xangaBrookfield7, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, Vicki Mckenna

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Contact State Legislature to Vote NO on Budget Fix

I heard the state is close to "balancing" our state $527 million budget deficit. Problem is, there are no real budget cuts, just plenty of bookkeeping tricks. Only 1/5th of 1% of the total budget is considered a cut.

One of the areas of bookkeeping magic (or cooking) that really makes me see red is the hijacking of $22 million from Federal Real ID into state budget coffers. Congressman Sensenbrenner doesn't like it either. "The law authored by Sensenbrenner is designed to create a more secure identification card in all 50 states. A $10 fee was placed on Wisconsin driver's licenses starting this year to start paying for it." The state is raiding this fund.

Another budget trick is to delay the $125 million payment of state aid to schools into the next budget session. Much like someone running a little short on funds one month delaying their mortgage payment into their next payday cycle, the state is looking at postponing their yearly obligation into the next budget cycle. This solves nothing and creates a big problem for next time.

One good piece of the budget deal is that the hospital tax is not part of the fix.

Without cutting spending and programs, all this fix does is delay the pain. I am not the only one annoyed by our legislature's failure to cut spending. Take a look at an email one reader fired off to their representatives:


I continue to be really angry with the actions of our State legislators and their failure to cut spending in WI. The taxpayers wallet is almost empty. I urge you to vote NO on the budget fix, to work TO CUT SPENDING, to take the provision out of the bill that would allow municipalities to tax assisted living and nursing homes, DO NOT take federally mandated monies and use them for something else, PUSH FOR
VOTER ID, ignore pressure from special interest groups and listen to your constituency.

How you or anyone else in Madison can justify the huge budget shortfall without cutting spending is beyond me.

I am 58 years old and our family is seriously considering leaving WI when we retire. Honestly, with the actions of the legislature and Gov. Doyle we may be forced to leave sooner ... I can't afford to live here much longer.

And this is an email sent to Rep. Huebsch, Assembly Speaker

Mike Huebsch -- CUT SPENDING, VOTE NO on the Budget Fix, PUSH for Voter ID, PUSH to take out the right of municipalities to tax nursing homes and assisted living facilities, do not take federally mandated monies and use them for something else. I think you are the most ineffective leader the Republicans have ever put in power. I no longer will support the Republican Party in WI because of your liberal views and ineffectiveness in striking a compromise with the Democrats. AGAIN the way to fix the budget shortfall is not to rob money from other programs BUT TO CUT SPENDING. [Previous email included.]

Contact your representatives! They will be voting today and in near future.

Senate votes today:
State Senator Jim Sullivan, Democrat, 5th District 608-266-2512, 866-817-6061

State Senator Theodore Kanavas, Republican, 33rd District 608-266-9174, 800-863-8883

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (Senate Minority Leader), from Juneau. Counties: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, and Waukesha 608-266-5660

State Representative Leah Vukmir, Republican, 14th District 608-266-9180

Representative Rich Zipperer, Republican, 98th District 608-266-5120

Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (Assembly Majority Leader), from Horicon. Counties: Columbia and Dodge, 608-266-2401

Rep. Michael Huebsch (Assembly Speaker), from West Salem. Counties: LaCrosse and Monroe, 608- 266-3387

Governor Doyle
608-266-1212, 414-227-4344


Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield,
Vicki Mckenna

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Free Pass to Movie Preview of "The Enemy God" Sat. 3PM

This Saturday, May 10th, the feature length film, The Enemy God will be shown at 3-5 PM, at Elmbrook Church.

Yanomamo Yanomami woman eyes

The film is a true story of how a former Yanomamo Indian shaman (witchdoctor) from the Amazon basin is told by outsiders that there is a great creator spirit who loves him. Interestingly, the witchdoctor already knows about this great creator spirit because of the many spirits that indwell him. Problem is, his spirits tell him that this great creator spirit is his enemy. His dilemma is to decide who is telling him the truth: his indwelling spirits (demons) or the missionaries who assure him that the great creator spirit (God) is good. "Are the spirits which indwell him lying--could it be that the great creator spirit is NOT his enemy as he had always been taught by the older shamans of his tribe?"

This is a question each one of us must answer. Is God our friend or enemy?

My cousin Matt, a producer for 10X Productions, has been working on this movie for over 5 years. It is a full length film that was recently chosen as an official
selection of the Breckenridge Festival of Film in Colorado. It was also
awarded, "Best International Film" and "Best Supernatural Film" by
Brilliant Light International Film Festival of Los Angeles.

Many people believe that tribal people live happy lives apart from any knowledge of God. This movie challenges that concept. Watch a trailer from the movie here. (Matt and other people connected with the film are interviewed.) You will hear from the Yanomamo people, in their own words, how they were not happy apart from God. This movie was made at the request of the Yanomamo people to set the record straight.

Although the movie is not yet rated, it probably would be considered PG-13--not recommended for children 13 and under.

Admission is free on a first come, first served basis. Hope to see you there.

Elmbrook Church is located on 777 South Barker Road, Brookfield. Movie will be shown in the Amphitheater.

Weed control links: Garlic Mustard and garlic mustard's pretty cousin, Dame's Rocket. (It can take over native areas too.) Garlic mustard should be thrown in the trash and labeled Garlic Mustard: Do not compost.

counter hit xangaBrookfield7, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, Vicki Mckenna

Monday, May 05, 2008

Weed Out and National Day of Prayer report

Last Thursday was the National Day of Prayer. The day was brisk, but at least the sun was out!

I headed over to City Hall and found the same faithful woman I met last year sitting on the ledge by the flag poles. We were soon joined by 2 other women--both of which I knew this time :). One of them told me she was at Pilgrim Park Middle School earlier that day with a group called Praying Parents. They evidentially meet a few times during the school year to pray over the schools.

We chatted a bit about various concerns and then prayed for our country, presidential election, leaders, schools, teachers, children, soldiers, world hunger, etc. The time went quickly and I think we each left with a little lift in our step.

Saturday morning the weather was dreary, but a crew of the faithful still turned out for the 4th Annual Weed Out.

Photo shows Patty Gerner, The Garlic Mustard Lady, standing on the picnic table instructing the crew.

Brookfield's Forestry Superintendent Gary Majeskie also addressed the crowd and answered residents' questions about weeds and invasive plants.

I would guess there were about 30-40 people in all: neighbors, Key Club students, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and both District 7 Alderwomen, Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr.

The good news is that there were not the large patches of Garlic Mustard, but that meant we really had to hunt for the weeds.

The rain made weeding a messy business, but the attendees pulled a fair amount of weeds anyway. Because we had such a late spring, many of the weeds were still small. Patty Gerner and her weeding friend Sandy will follow up in the park until the weeds go to seed.

As usual, I found some interesting plants and fungi in the woods.

This plant was in with the Solomon Seal, but I am not sure what it is. If you recognize it, please comment. (I since noticed a female Meadow Rue in my own garden that was a little further along than this. Do you think this could be female Meadow Rue?)

Past Garlic Mustard Postings:

3rd Annual Weed Out (with photos)

It is worth saving (pictures from Weed Out and wildflowers)

Oh, the shame! (photos and tips for evicting Garlic Mustard)

Weed control links: Garlic Mustard and garlic mustard's pretty cousin, Dame's Rocket. (It can take over native areas too.) Garlic mustard should be thrown in the trash and labeled Garlic Mustard: Do not compost.


counter hit xangaBrookfield7, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, Vicki Mckenna