Archive for July, 2010

Concert on the Square, Madison-style

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg

Madison’s Concert on the Square is a BIG event, with upwards of 30,000 people coming to the capitol lawn on selected Wednesday nights in the summer to hear the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.  Sometimes, there may be featured guest artists, but it’s a plenty good show whether the orchestra has guest performers or not.  The crowd is so large that many of the people are in locations where they can’t even see the orchestra, but the music fills the air and some streets are closed to accommodate vendors, overflow seating and pedestrians.

One good idea that we could incorporate into our Wausau summer concerts is the idea of having more vendors and overflow space.  This would be easy to do and not very disruptive by closing off Fourth Street in front of the Grand Theater or Third Street in the 400 block — even both of them, if things reach that level of need, based on crowd size.  (This same staging style is used for events such as Jazz on the Square at Cathedral Square in Milwaukee.) 

It might take some time for people to understand that they can get a full menu on-site instead of bringing their own stuff, but establishing this addition would be a good thing and it would provide a new opportunity for commercial and non-profit interests alike.  Working one-night, weather-sensitive events can be a little tricky, but it’s like going fishing: the really good days tend to make up for the times when they’re just not biting.


A curious demonstration of love…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg

Outside the State Street entrance to the capitol building in Madison yesterday, a few dozen people representing the National Organization for Marriage staged one of their demonstrations, which is something they’re doing in a bit less than half of the states in the U.S. this summer.  They’ve got a nicely painted bus.  Fair Wisconsin was on hand to provide a much larger counter-demonstration.  I didn’t see any ugly altercations and I have no idea what was going on for the duration of the event. 

About the only thing I was thinking about as I watched for a minute were some words from an old Hank Williams Jr. song:

But I’m for love and I’m for happiness
And I’m for “if you don’t like it can’t you just let it pass.”

And apparently, that’s something that not everyone can do yet. 

I don’t offer any particular comment on any of this, except to say I believe that a few decades from now, we aren’t going to be nearly as likely to see people standing out in the open demanding what is essentially discriminatory treatment by law of people who are different from them in this way.  So we’ll see how that goes.


So much for the drought…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg

Northern Wisconsin is still on the short end of a multi-year dry spell, but central and southern Wisconsin have been dealing with too much of a good thing over the past few weeks.   A series of storms has dumped a lot of water, with flooding in Milwaukee closing the airport and wreaking havoc on homes and infrastructure.  The county has been declared a disaster area and for many people, that is exactly what it is. 

While things are a little more moderate in Wausau thus far, we’re also seeing our share of storm damage.  Here’s a tree on the southeast side that tipped over as its roots were unable to hold in saturated soil.    Here’s hoping things return to normal soon, (whatever that really is.)


Speaking of people in the airport…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 17, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg

Passing through hub airports, it’s not unusual to see various VIPs, who happen to be flying commercial, hiding out in airline clubs.  It may be reason enough to cough up a few hundred for the annual membership fee, if you fly often enough and happen to have the extra coins on hand.  So just to prove that we’re political maggots here, we had a choice of who to bug for picture while coming through Detroit over the Independence Day weekend earlier this month:  Vince Neil of Motley Crue or U.S. Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Armed Services Committee.  We took the Senator, of course.  🙂


The people you meet at the airport…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 16, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg


Former House Speaker (1995-99) Newt Gingrich flew into Wausau for a Sean Duffy fundraiser this morning.   The firebrand Republican told the Associated Press this week during a trip to Iowa that he has “never been this serious” about running for president, so maybe it was a campaign stop for more than just Duffy, but time will tell.  As a fan of the game as well as the teams and the players, I have my own loyalties — but thought it was worth stopping by the Wausau Downtown Airport to see him in person. 

It follows a visit to Wausau last Friday by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on behalf of Julie Lassa’s campaign for the House from the Democratic side.   There is no question that with big national players showing up to stump in July, Wisconsin’s 7th U.S. Congressional District seat is regarded as one of the more important races across the U.S. this fall.  It’s already a very big political year in this neck of the woods and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. 


What’s in a name II?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg

So, I’m trying to figure out some digs in Madison over the next few months and I ran across a sublet possibility.  I haven’t seen the place, but I may have to take it and I’ll tell you why it might just be a case of destiny.

When I was in the Air Force, my first base commander was Colonel Buzard (like Buzzard, which matches up pretty well with flying. Of course, it was always pronounced “buz-ZARD” in public.)  I joined a gas utility when I returned to Wausau and the CEO was Mr. Wrench, (which is a very handy item for putting interior gas pipes together.)  I moved to an electric company after a merger and the CEO was Mr. Weyers (like wires.  Do you see a pattern beginning to emerge here?)  

So the guy with the sublet?  His name is Mr. Lease.  See what I mean?


Let’s get formal for a second here…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2010 by Jim Rosenberg

Dear colleagues and friends:

I am extremely pleased to have been appointed as Policy and Community Relations Director for the Office of Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton. While my new position is officially set to begin August 2, I will need to be down in Madison beginning July 19 for a period of orientation. This is an exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to assisting the Lieutenant Governor as she pursues her agenda through the end of her term.

One of the impacts of accepting this appointment will be the necessity to leave my elected offices with the Wausau City Council and the Marathon County Board of Supervisors, together with many other local boards and committees on which I currently serve. Accordingly, I am resigning from these offices and positions with an effective date of July 24, 2010. I would be less than honest if I said this was a matter of no consequence to me. At the same time, I know that there are a lot of good people in my district and throughout the community who will be more than capable of stepping into these roles and having a positive impact.

It has been a tremendous honor and a source of great satisfaction to be involved in advancing the interests of our community since 1998 as a member of the city council and since 2002 as a member of the county board. I want to thank all that I have had the pleasure to be associated with during this time and especially the citizens of District 1, who gave me the opportunity to serve with their confidence and support.