Tuesday, July 08, 2014


http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/95503110/Today, kudos to those who speak up and speak out.

First, way to go Maureen Freedland! Maureen was interviewed for the 5 p.m. segment by Mitch Reynolds on La Crosse Talk PM today (1410 WIZM) about new information released to and by the state that an average of 42 oil trains per week pass through La Crosse. Citizens Advocating for Rail Safety (CARS) has been trying to get specific information about this for months. Now, apparently by federal order and thanks to an open records request by the AP, the railroads (BNSF and CP) were required to release this information. (The reporting threshhold is one million gallons, so there may be more Bakken crude oil passing through, less than one million gallons on a mixed car train.) Warning: if you listen to the audio (it's the second hour), please note that lots of called in mis- and dis-information is thrown about.

Next, Maureen Taylor, state chair of Michigan's Welfare Rights Organization, strongly, firmly, and with great conviction gave a Michigan reporter what for on MSNBC Live this morning. As you may know, thousands of Detroit residents who are at least two months behind and owe at least $150 on city water bills, have had their water shut off or are threatened with shut off. It's so serious that activists have appealed to the United Nations. And who knew that major businesses, sports franchises, and golf courses who owe thousands of dollars in water bills have NOT been threatened with shut off? For more about the Detroit water shut off crisis, read the LA Times article recommended by DKos' Progressive Liberal.

In case you missed it, the fine documentary, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which was on Wisconsin Public Television last week, is now streaming FREE on the PBS/POV website. It's a very good and inspiring look at someone who's been fighting the good fight for more than 70 years! If you have high school activists in training, watch this with them.

And now, a couple of reminders:

Thursday at noon at Central High School - commemoration of Lac-Megantic rail explosion that killed 47 people. "This observance is to show support for their survivors and work toward rail safety in their memory. Towns and cities across the nation are observing similar ceremonies this week recognizing this tragedy and the hazards of moving explosive Bakken oil and other hazardous substances through communities. People attending in La Crosse will be given the chance to speak to the effects and concerns of trains in our community.
Listen to La Crosse Fire Chief Cleveland's national interview underscoring concerns for the La Crosse region."

And, your comments about the Badger-Coulee 345 kV high voltage transmission line project are due to the Public Service Commission (PSC) by July 15! Please check out the Citizens Energy Task Force (CETF) page and NoCAPX2020 for power line information. In a nutshell, these interstate high voltage power lines will carry dirty-coal generated electricity across our region - despoiling natural areas, reducing property values, possibly causing health hazards, and costing rate payers ever more money (in part due to the guaranteed 12+% rate of return promised to line builders!) to points east. Does Wisconsin need this? No! Could this money be better spent helping people, communities and businesses increase their energy efficiency? Yes! What if some of the $18 BILLION Wisconsin sends out of state to pay for power could be kept in state paying for solar panel manufacturing, solar gardens, wind generators and other renewable energy generation? Anyway, you can read others' comments and generate your own at the PSC (and understand that many PSC commissioners leave their posts for high paying jobs with the utilities they are now regulating and/or firms that advocate for those utilities). Click Case Documents to read others' and File a comment to submit your own.

UPDATE: Citizen Koch screening

The date has still not been confirmed by the theater! But we are shooting for an early August screening of the important documentary, Citizen Koch. Once the date is confirmed information about pre-purchasing tickets will be available here and through others. The good news: Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, has agreed to lead the post-film discussion! This is a great organization and Mike knows just about everything about campaign finance, dark money, illegal campaigning in the state. 

Check back often! As soon as the date/time is confirmed, we will post it here!! 

And, finally, Tom Tomorrow is a genius. 


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