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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Issue of the Week: The Great Storm

Plus Winners and Jerks of the Week

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Well, at least it wasn’t snow. Last weekend’s furious rainfall and dangerous aftermath serve as a reminder that we’re all in this together. The record levels of water didn’t discriminate, flooding wealthy and not-so- wealthy areas, rural and urban, vacation paradises and freeway intersections.

Rivers are cresting at record levels and experts are surveying damage, and hopefully aid will arrive in time to keep Wisconsin residents safe. The rain has stopped for now, but danger remains. The rush of water in rivers and ditches should always be avoided, and parents and teachers must remind curious kids that they should stay away. Floodwater often harbors dangers bacteria, and mold can form in damp areas, so anything that can’t be dried and disinfected must be thrown away.

For more information, go to dhfs.wisconsin.gov/eh/DisasterHealthSafety.

 



Event of the Week:
Mark Weisbrot on Latin America

Latin America is undergoing a dramatic shift in leadership and economic policy, but the U.S. press is only telling one side of the story. Mark Weisbrot, national columnist and president of the organization Just Foreign Policy, explains the transformation Thursday, June 12, at the Fireside Lounge in the UW-Milwaukee Union. The event free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.progressivestudents.org.

(To find more cool stuff to do this week, go to the Events Calendar at www.expressmilwaukee.com.)

 


Winner of the Week:
Michael D’Amato

When Michael D’Amato decided not to run for re-election to the Milwaukee Common Council last fall, many of his East Side and Riverwest constituents assumed that something had gone terribly wrong— or that he’d take a lucrative job with one of the developers he’d befriended while in office. Instead, D’Amato has become the Wisconsin director for the SEED Foundation, a nonprofit that backs boarding schools in under-served urban areas. That’s the side of D’Amato we applaud.


Jerks of the Week:
Citibank and Chase

These two giant banks decided to stop providing student loans to students Wisconsin’s technical colleges and two-year colleges because they aren’t making enough profits from them. So MATC students, for example—many of whom are lower-income, minority and learning in-demand trades—may have drop out of school. So when Milwaukee-area employers can’t find skilled tradespeople, they can thank their friends the big New York City banks.


Blog of the Week
Milwaukee Rising/Gretchen Schuldt
(milwaukeerising.blogspot.com)

If you think this is bad... Everything and everyone is wet. But it could be worse. It could be that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation would like to increase the size of the freeway next to your house, bringing it even closer to your back door and increasing by 50% the amount of impervious surface that will send polluted runoff into your yard.

It could be that WisDOT would like to increase the pitch of the freeway to drain more efficiently into your yard. It could be that when pushed for its plans to prevent flooding in yards, WisDOT says, “Yeah, well, whatever. We’ll get around to it later.”

It could be that WisDOT is planning exactly that for the Milwaukee portion of North-South I-94 expansion project. It is. (To read more local blogs, go to blognetwork.expressmilwaukee.com)


Photo of the Week:
Night Street by Nikki Goodrich

"Taken in St. Francis, on Van Norman Avenue, sometime after midnight, sometime after a martini, sometime after the party."

Join Express Milwaukee Flickr. Get published.


QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you it’s got about 18 million cracks in it. And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.” —Sen. Hillary Clinton

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