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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 22.0° F  A Few Clouds


The ghosts of Richard Brown

As Richard Brown Sr. sees it, Madison is suffering from a crisis of leadership. A former Dane County supervisor, Brown says the crisis will end only when voters stop living in the past. "We're stuck in the Paul Soglin time warp," Brown says. "People have lost confidence in the mayor's office. There is no leadership there." >More
 Despite lean times, Dane County moves forward on road, building projects in 2015 budget

The Dane County Board on Nov. 17 approved a spending package for 2015 whose main selling point was that current funding levels for most services would be maintained. >More
 Faith-based groups resent Dane County supervisors' attempt to shuffle human service funding

By the time Paul VanderVelde, a senior director at Madison's East YMCA, heard of the proposal to defund a 24-year-old YMCA program that provides recreational activities for developmentally-disabled residents, it was days away from a final committee vote. >More
 With cutting-edge technology, Dane County eyes zero emissions at landfill

If Dane County's latest push to combat climate change is successful, local watering holes might soon be serving suds carbonated with carbon dioxide made from decomposing trash. "We'd be willing to use waste CO2 if it were properly tested and we were able to test it with our products," says the Great Dane's Robert LoBreglio, a co-founder of the local brewpub. "After that it's all logistics." >More
 Dane County Executive Joe Parisi says new equipment will help remove harmful phosphorus from lakes

An unprecedented lakes cleanup effort is under way, but don't expect the unmistakable summer stink to go away anytime soon. Not for a decade, at least. "As we start adding up these new policies and practices, the results will accumulate," says Don Heilman, director of the Clean Lakes Alliance. "A lot of good work is being done, but we have a ways to go." >More
 Dane County Towns Association opposes mining regulations

When it comes to mines, Jerry Derr wishes Dane County would leave it to the towns. "We don't need them to regulate mineral extraction sites," says Derr, Bristol town chair and board president of the Dane County Towns Association. >More
 Delayed jail space-needs study for Dane County should be out in June

June just might be the month the long-awaited, much-delayed jail space-needs study will be released, says Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "I think they're looking at the overall picture," he says of Mead & Hunt, the architectural firm hired to prepare the $440,000 study. >More
 Joe Parisi's race problem -- and ours

When state Sen. Glenn Grothman introduced a bill earlier this year to preempt parts of Dane County's 15-year-old living-wage ordinance, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi did what he does best. He stood up for the little people -- the laborers who benefit from the law. "How are they going to pay their bills?" he asked the five state senators present at a March 3 hearing at the Committee on Judiciary and Labor. >More
 Write-in election rules changed under new Wisconsin law

For poll worker Larry Nelson, Election Day's most irritating hour -- or hours -- arrives after the polls close, when the write-in votes are counted. "Here you are, on your feet after working 14 hours, and now you have to sort through the ballots looking for Mickey Mouse," he explains. >More
 Andrew Schauer crushes 10-term incumbent David Wiganowsky as liberals increase Dane County Board majority

Liberals snatched up six of the seven contested seats on Dane County's Board of Supervisors in the spring 2014 election, bringing them within striking distance of a 100% supermajority. In the closely watched, and highly symbolic, District 21 race, labor attorney Andrew Schauer crushed 10-term incumbent David Wiganowsky, ending the supervisor's 20-year run representing a once reliably conservative swath of the county. >More
 Sponsors pull controversial Madison pit bull ordinance, but promise revised version

In a surprise move, the Madison Common Council tabled a controversial ordinance March 18 that would have slapped owners of pit bull-style dogs with hefty fines for failing to spay or neuter the animals. The ordinance, introduced in January by Ald. John Strasser, who represents Madison's south side, would also have required pit-bull breeders to register with the city. >More
 Liberals could pick up six seats in 2014 Dane County Board races

Wars of words have begun in the seven competitive races for the Dane County Board of Supervisors, as candidates set themselves apart from their opponents in the lead-up to Election Day on April 1. >More
 Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne tackles one of the worst racial gaps in the nation

In January, Ismael Ozanne gave the keynote address during an awards banquet where three Madison high school seniors, all of them minorities, were awarded college scholarships. Charming and charismatic, Ozanne, 42, speaks frequently of the need to close the racial achievement gap in Madison schools, a problem that, from his perspective, feeds the racial disparities in Dane County's criminal justice system. >More
 Tax hike among options to address $12.4 million Madison school budget gap

Marj Passman carries around a $2 bill from Singapore, one side of which depicts a teacher instructing a classroom of children. For her, the note is a salient reminder of America's diminishing commitment to public education. "If Singapore can put a classroom of students on its money, and we can't even put our money into children, what kind of country are we?" asks Passman, Madison school board vice president. "It's going to be a horrible budget this year." >More
 Collaterally Damaged: An Iraqi native searches for peace in Madison

At night, when the lights go out, Ahmed Etaymish, 29, is transported from Madison back to Baghdad, where he relives the horror that followed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Sometimes he reimagines his brushes with death or the murders he's witnessed. Other times he's choking on the mist of human tissue that lingers in the air following a car bombing. More often he's back in the morgues searching for his father, a university professor abducted by insurgents in 2005. >More
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