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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Come back, Lisa Mellone, District 7 needs you!

I have lived in District 7 of Brookfield since 1986. In that time, we have had several aldermen serving our area, perhaps our most notable has been Tom Schellinger. None of these aldermen, however, was of the caliber of Alderman Lisa Mellone, who won in 2006 against incumbent Tom Schellinger.

Lisa Mellone elevated the job of alderman from one of just referring you to the right phone number to call to resolve your problem (which is why one neighbor dubbed Schellinger as Mr. Rolodex), to actually looking into the problem herself. Mellone keeps the district informed via emails and neighborhood/district meetings. That said, it is not too surprising that I would like to have her back* at City Hall serving our district!

My other half and I were musing the other day if our perennial candidate, Mr. Schellinger, would be applying for his old job as alderman. Somehow, I had hoped his position on the Waukesha County Board would have been enough for him. I was wrong, and I should have known better since he once ran for 3 races at one time! As of Wednesday of this week, Schellinger was the only one who had applied for Lisa's vacancy. In checking again today, I found another man has also applied. (I didn't recognize his name.)

But whether 1 or 10 apply, I would still like to see Lisa Mellone back. Her strong work ethic, business degree and paralegal training enables her to serve our district well.

So, Lisa, please apply!

*For those of you who don't know...When City Clerk Kris Schmidt announced she was resigning, Lisa had an interest in applying for that full time position. (Lisa would have made an excellent City Clerk, by the way. Her natural bent toward dotting i's and crossing t's and analytical style, coupled with her knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the workings of Brookfield, would have suited her well to the position.) Waukesha County D.A. Brad Schimel told her she would have to resign as alderman, however, just to apply for the job. She wasn't chosen as a finalist for City Clerk. It seems a shame that someone has to resign just to apply for a job.

Past Post: How about merit pay for aldermen?
"...since Lisa Mellone replaced Tom Schellinger in 2006, we finally have an active voice at City Hall and someone down here who will look into and act on a problem. Lisa devotes a lot of time and effort toward being an alderman."

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Whole Lotta Diggin' Goin' On in SE Brookfield

If you haven't had occasion to travel on Bluemound Road on Brookfield's southeast side lately, you might not know that there's A Whole Lotta Diggin' Goin' On down here!

If traveling from east to west, the former Quebecor site is getting its clean up in preparation for Underwood Crossing, where the Target store slated for opening in fall of 2012. (The dirt heap has grown considerably since I snapped this pic in July.)

If you recall, there was a mixed use plan for the site proposed back in 2007. This included apartments and lots of small shops.

Next stop: the intersection of Bluemound and Elm Grove Roads. Here the DOT is carving out new right turn lanes on both northbound and southbound Elm Grove Road and improving the turn lane into Bishop's Woods from Bluemound. I pity the first home on the southeast corner. It is a relatively new home, where the reality of a busy Elm Grove Road just hit a little closer to home.

Saving the best, or maybe I should say biggest for last, the intersection of Sunnyslope Road and Bluemound gets yet another major redo. This time, new right turn lanes are carved out--literally--from the Bishop's Woods office park.

For weeks, we didn't quite know what they were up to, but now it is clear: they excavated the hill to widen Sunnyslope. This new arrangement requires a sizable retaining wall.

Longtime residents in the area will remember they drastically altered this intersection once before. That time they lowered the elevation of the hill, in an effort to level out Bluemound Road at the intersection.

Since the diggin' continues on into Wauwatosa, motorists just might want to avoid the area from Moorland Rd. to Hwy 100 completely until late November 2011, when they hope to be finished. And the price tag? $11.6 million out of our State and Federal pockets, and I am thinking a bit from local Elm Grove (?) pockets too for the new north side of Bluemound sidewalk.

Past Posts: Can it be? A Target in Brookfield? How about a Trader Joe's too?
Brookfield's proposed Target Store Public Hearing

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Elmbrook School closing options include Swanson: Tuesday, Aug. 23, 6pm

While the weather and calendar may still say it is summer, Elmbrook's Board of Education Meeting Agenda says it is also time for some serious discussion at Tuesday's, Aug. 23rd meeting regarding our district's excess school capacity. The meeting starts at 6pm at the Central Administration Office at 13780 Hope Street--just east of Hope St. and Lilly Rd.

At present, there are 8 scenarios on the table that include closing Hillside, Tonawanda, Burleigh, Swanson outright and/or include incorporating the administrative offices into a smaller sectioned Burleigh or Swanson.

Because Swanson School is mentioned for 2 of the options, the Concerned Calhoun Community is asking for concerned citizens to attend the meeting. Residents may comment prior to an agenda item.

The following is from an email sent by Barbara Roncke, leader of the C.C.C.


The Elmbrook School Board has come up with eight (8) school closing options. At this meeting they hope to pare down the options to two (2) or three (3). One option calls for the closing of Swanson School. Another is the reduction of Swanson coupled with the closing of Tonawanda.
The Swanson community needs to have a presence at this meeting. The Brookfield Now, August 18th issue has the article with complete information on pages 7 & 8. The article also lays out a timetable: August-pare down options; September-hold listening sessions: October/early November- make decision.
Some information to keep in mind:
1. Swanson was closed in 1982 and re-opened bigger and better in 1995.
2. This District has closed and sold six (6) schools-repurposed Fairview South.
3. Swanson is a five (5) section school with an enrollment of about 620 students making it
the second largest Elementary school in Elmbrook. Burleigh has 680 students.
4. Swanson has enough open classrooms to have 4 year old kindergarten or to absorb
some students from another closing school.
5. Closing Swanson or Burleigh would result in a district-wide re-districting plan.
6. Hillside is oldest and smallest of our schools.
7. Brookfield Elementary and Dixon are both under-utilized.
8. The Administration property is For Sale and plans for Administration relocation
should be dovetailed with any closing plan. This property has been on the market
for a year and its underlined zoning is residential.
9. No more school property should be sold. Outside of Maryknoll, Elmbrook has no property
to meet any future needs. Swanson maybe the most saleable but the economy probably
puts off any large scale development in that area 10-15 years.
10. Swanson is the only school south of Bluemound road and services a student population
from 124th St. to Barker Road. This is roughly equivalent to the population of Elm
Grove which has two schools, Tonawanda and Pilgrim Park.

Thank you for your past support. Barbara Roncke

More Reading: BrookfieldNOW - School closure opinions sought
BrookfieldNOW - School Closure may decide administration's home
Elmbrook Aug. 23, 2011 Board Meeting Agenda
Elmbrook School Board Agenda item 3.B. Elementary School Closing or Repurposing Options...

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tommy Thompson for US Senate? Thanks, but NO thanks

Well, it seems our former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson is making moves on running for Herb Kohl's vacant U.S. Senate seat in 2012*. All I can say is, Thanks, Tommy, but no thank you.

My mind has not changed on Thompson since January and April of 2010, when I wrote, "Former Gov. Tommy Thompson has been rumored to be our winning candidate for months, however, I don't consider him my ideal or even acceptable candidate. Could we have counted on Tommy, the creator of Wisconsin's BadgerCare health insurance plan, to vote against its BIG Federal brother, ObamaCare? Could we count on him to vote to REPEAL and REPLACE ObamaCare?

"Thompson could win we are told, he polls at 45% to Feingold's 33% but he is NOT the conservative candidate I would embrace. "

Then I noticed in the JSOnline article that he chose Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen as his campaign co-chair. Now that choice will really impress Wisconsin conservatives. (Read that with a sarcastic tone.)

So who would I like to see run?

Former State Senator Ted Kanavas is looking good to me. He has been subbing on WISN radio for Mark Belling and Jay Weber, which can only help him broaden his name recognition in Wisconsin. It also shores up his conservative stance on the issues, not to mention gives him great opportunities for improving his extemporaneous speaking skills.

State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald also looks good to me.

Some say Mark Neumann, but pro-green side aside, after his campaign against Scott Walker, I would rather he not run.

Just being a Republican is not enough. Wisconsin Republicans, as well as many in the nation, have moved more to the right since the Gov. Tommy Thompson days.

It would be great to send a real Conservative to Washington, one who would truly complement U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.

Past Posts: Ted Kanavas not seeking reelection for STATE Senate Jan. 25, 2010
Run, Johnson, Neumann, Grothman, Kanavas, Leibham, RUN! Spare us from Leinenkugel April 9, 2010

*H/T Jay Weber show this morning

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Good week for Conservatives: Perry is 'in', ObamaCare struck down & more

Just a quick post here--I am up to my elbows in paint brushes and sandpaper--but there were a few positive news items that should be noted from last week. I will start with the most recent first:

2012 Presidential Election
Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he is running for President on Saturday at a RedState event. How refreshing to hear, "You see, as Americans we’re not defined by class, and we will never be told our place. What makes our nation exceptional is that anyone, from any background, can climb the highest of heights. As Americans, we don’t see the role of government as guaranteeing outcomes, but allowing free men and women to flourish based on their own vision, their hard work and their personal responsibility. And as Americans, we realize there is no taxpayer money that wasn’t first earned by the sweat and toil of one of our citizens." (My emphasis)

Perry is being attacked by the Left, so I would say they are seeing him as a serious contender! One cannot help but make the comparisons to Ronald Reagan. In fact, Richard Cohen titled his piece on Monday, The Texas Gipper. "Here again was a governor declaring for the presidency and some very wise people cautioning us on the air and in print that what worked in Texas might not work in the nation. Perry is too conservative, too much a cowboy, too religious and, while we’re at it, too handsome. This, more or less, was what was said about Ronald Reagan. "

In other 2012 Election news, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll with 29% of the vote on Saturday. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race. Some are still holding out hope for Rep. Paul Ryan and Gov. Chris Christie to throw their hats in the ring. I am not a Christie fan as he is not as Conservative as I would like across the board.

On Friday, Appeals Court Rules ObamaCare Unconstitutional: "...the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the so-called individual mandate, siding with 26 states that had sued to block the law." They stopped short of declaring "the entire overhaul as unconstitutional".

Wisconsin Republican Recall Election
It would appear last Tuesday's recall results will be enough to repel Obama's Magical Misery Tour through the Midwest from crossing our border. "Obama’s bus trip this week will bring him to an Iowa town within twenty miles of the Wisconsin border on Tuesday. That’s the same day that two Wisconsin Democratic state senators who sided with labor last winter face recalls mounted by the Republican Party and national conservative groups."

"But Obama’s team has made no announcement of plans to cross the line into the battleground state."

I am hoping today's 2 recall elections against the Democrat Senators who fled the state will give Mr. Obama even more reason to avoid our state in the future. According to reports from voters calling into talk radio, turnout is high. Don't know if that is good or bad for Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz. We will just have to wait and see.

Well, it's back to the paint brushes for me. Enjoy this beautiful Wisconsin day.

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Phew! Republicans hold majority, Darling still Republicans' darling

Conservatives in Wisconsin are breathing much easier this morning, because 4 of the 6* recalled Republicans won their elections! Just enough victory to keep their majority in the Senate--important because the majority controls which bills come up for vote in the Senate.

Despite this being the best election paid political operatives could muster, the Democrats still couldn't pull off a win here. To me, that is huge. For despite all the out of state Union money flowing into anti-Republican advertising, phone banks, door-to-door canvassers, and BBQ for Votes parties, the Republicans still prevailed.

Since this is the 3rd election effort against the conservative agenda, and the conservatives won, I think it is clear Wisconsinites like this new less tax and less spend direction.

The whole country was watching these recalls--Conservatives hoping Wisconsin voters would uphold Walker's return to fiscal sanity so their state could do the same; Liberals hoping a Democrat victory would make legislators think twice about cutting spending and challenging the unions. Drudge posted this as his top set of links (before 9am): "Republicans take 4 of 6 in recall elections, hold Senate... (todaystmj4 GOP maintains control of Senate)
GOP's stand could reverberate elsewhere...(Washington Times)"
Drudge also characterized the Democrat loss as "Unions Lose in Wisconsin".

Well, the focus on Wisconsin's Republican victory didn't last long on Drudge. Now the headline link is More Slide. The Dow is at -377.62 at 9:20am--make that 389.58 at 9:29am. Can it be any more clear? Our nation needs to cut our out of control deficit spending lest we join Europe in their debt-fest. Maybe President Obama would like to have a chat with Gov. Scott Walker for some cost cutting pointers? ;-)

Next Tuesday, Aug. 16th, Republicans have a chance of capturing 2 more seats in the Simac and Steitz races against 2 Democrat Senators who fled the state rather than vote. I would think yesterday's results would energize their campaigns.

I want to thank talk show host Jay Weber for making a point to allow a caller yesterday make a plea for people to pray about the recall elections. Though I couldn't vote in yesterday's election, I and many others did pray for justice and fairness.

Today's TMJ4 GOP maintains control of Senate
Washington Times: Wis. GOP's stand could reverberate elsewhere
AP Vote Totals
Wisconsin GOP holds on to Senate

*These results were not unexpected: Dan Kapanke is in a Democrat district. Randy Hopper's personal problems were seen as a big negative.

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Monday, August 08, 2011

Aug. 9th Voter Turnout Key to WI Senate Republicans Keeping Seats

UPDATE: Milwaukee to see ["at least $11 million"] net gain from state budget [The Walker budget the 6 recalled Republicans voted for] Part of Republican Alberta Darling's Senate district is in Milwaukee.

What are the 3 rules of elections? Turnout, turnout, turnout! And turnout will be key for Wisconsin's unprecedented special Republican recall elections on Tuesday, August 9th. This is a real election day with real consequences.

If voter turnout is high, I think the Republican Senators will hold their majority, and more specifically, in the Milwaukee/North Shore area, Republican Alberta Darling will keep her seat.

But if turnout is light, then the get-out-the-vote-have-a-chicken-dinner-block-party-for-votes strategy just might prevail: "Five such parties were sponsored by Wisconsin Jobs Now, a coalition of community and labor groups led by the Service Employees International Union. The coalition describes itself as a nonpartisan organization, although its blog posts have been highly critical of state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), who is defending her seat against Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) in the Aug. 9 recall vote.

Wisconsin Jobs Now held three parties last week and two Monday, all on Milwaukee’s northwest side. Each party offered free food, prizes such as t-shirts and stuffed toys, face-painting for children, drawings for school backpacks — and free shuttles to Milwaukee City Hall, where voters could cast absentee ballots in [Alberta Darling's] 8th Senate District contest." (My emphasis)

And what would these voters be voting against? Paying back Wisconsin's debt? Balancing the budget? Passing Voter ID? Lowering Auto Insurance premiums? Creating a positive business and jobs climate? If voters are unsure, they can read Sen. Kedzie's summary, Don't Go Wobbly, Don't Go Back. And by the way, Wisconsin State Senators don't vote on Medicare, because it is a Federal program!

I realize anything is possible in politics--especially because we have never had 8 late summer recall elections before. We have also not had this level of campaign spending before: About $5 million from the candidates themselves, $13 million from registered interest groups, and another $13 million from unregistered interest groups! On top of that, there are 2 separate election days: Aug. 9th for the 6 Republican held State Senate seats and Aug. 16th for 2 Democrat held seats. (See listing below)

Since all 8 of these individuals were elected in November 2008, during the height of Democrat Obama fervor, it is difficult for me to believe that same high tide of liberalism will carry the day tomorrow. Since then, we have had the birth of the conservative Tea Party in spring of 2009, a strong Conservative shift in November 2010 (even in very Blue Wisconsin), and a Conservative Justice, David Prosser, win in April of this year, amid the height of liberal protesting in Madison.

We can see what is going on in Washington and World Markets with our out of control spending, does Wisconsin want to go back to the Doyle debt days? If not, if you have a recall election Aug. 9th or Aug. 16th in your State Senate district, GET OUT AND VOTE!

Who is on the ballot?
Aug. 9th is recall election day for Republican
State Senators: Robert Cowles for District 2 -- Shawano , for Republican Alberta Darling in District 8 -- Mequon (north shore, Menomonee Falls too), for Republican Sheila Harsdorf in District 10 -- River Falls, for Republican Luther Olsen in District 14 -- Ripon, for Republican Randy Hopper in District 18 -- Oshkosh/Fond du Lac, and for Republican Dan Kapanke District 32 -- LaCrosse.

Aug. 16th is recall election day for Democrat Senators (The ones who fled the state rather than vote.) Democrat incumbents will be defending their seats against Republican Kim Simac (Rhinelander, Eagle River area) and Republican Jonathan Steitz (Kenosha).

Past Posts: Kim Simac & Jonathan Steitz advance to Aug. 16th recall election

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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