Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kiel science curriculum debate

text of the interview:

KIEL - Patty Kubetz is teaching her two children math. Kubetz homeschools her children and says she gives them a well-rounded education. Her husband Randy serves on the school board and Patty says she's concerned about the education of the children in the public school system as well.

"This isn't just about teaching my children this is about a bigger community," said Patty Kubetz.

Patty Kubetz wrote a letter to the Kiel School Board, asking them to consider adding creationism and other alternative theories on the origins of man to the high school freshman science curriculum that currently teaches just evolution.

Recently, the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the school board, threatening legal action if the board moves forward with what the Freedom From Religion Foundation calls "an unlawful attempt to inject creationism into public schools."

"This is unconstitutional to be teaching these creationism theories in the schools and the district and the school board need to know this," said Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney Patrick Elliot.

School board members and the school district administrator declined our requests for an interview, but in an email to FOX 11, the school board president said, "We receive myriad of concerns ranging from naming rights of facilities to lean manufacturing methods. In an effort to exercise responsiveness to our local taxpayers, we carefully consider concerns with due diligence."

Randy Kubetz says he's frustrated the Freedom From Religion Foundation is getting involved in what he calls a local issue.

"It has nothing to do with Madison, we don't tell them how to run their schools or their towns so they should leave other districts alone," Randy Kubetz said.

But Elliott says the issue goes far beyond one school.

"It's very unwise for schools to be teaching religion along side science classes," said Elliott.

But it's an issue Patty Kubetz is willing to fight for.

"It's indoctrination, we're teaching our kids that evolution is the only way out there and it's not that, even scientists are now arguing that," said Patty Kubetz.

Any changes made would affect only the high school freshman science curriculum and would not take effect until the 2013-14 school year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 City Rankings - Wisconsin Elementary Schools

The Kiel School District ranks for Standardize tests

City Rankings on State Standardized Tests

The city rankings were calculated by taking the standardized tests used by Wisconsin to determine the proficiency level across varying grades and subjects for schools in the state. These school percentile ranks were then averaged for all elementary schools in each city and ordered from highest to lowest.


Kiel Student population lowering


Grade Number of Students
5th Grade 88
6th Grade 104
7th Grade 108
8th Grade 92
9th Grade 94
10th Grade 118
11th Grade 128
12th Grade 125

Kiel Administration Salaries for 2011

Below are the administrative staff members and their 2011 pay:

Name Position Prorated Salary Prorated Benefits
Louise Blankenheim District Administrator $116,000.00 $43,655.00
Deborah Sixel Director of Instruction/Program Supervisor $88,100.00 $38,326.00
Chad Ramminger Principal $83,063.00 $37,261.00
David Slosser Principal $92,482.00 $39,252.00
Heidi Smith Principal $39,250.00 $18,148.00
Heidi Smith Principal $39,250.00 $18,148.00
Dario Talerico Principal $97,417.00 $40,245.00
John Wolfenberg Assistant Principal $23,239.25 $9,838.25
John Wolfenberg Assistant Principal $23,239.25 $9,838.25
Dawn Mueller Director of Special Education and/or Pupil Services $48,754.02 $23,900.22

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Some big numbers

$7.8 billion Which is what Fannie Mae has asked the US government for as a next bailout. No end in sight.

$112 billion Is what Fannie Mae has cost the taxpayer so far.

$169 billion The tally for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac combined to date.

$220 billion The number the US government claims baling out the pair may cost you by 2014.

Another big chart:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Frightening chart

This chart is scary. Notice the deflation of the dollar since 2000 and the price increases in commodities.

Doing more for the community

Ben and Elaine baked cookies for the Kiel Police Department to show appreciation for their service.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A national issue that would affect us here

On June 9, 2011, President Obama signed his 86th Executive Order, and almost nobody noticed.

(For the record, Obama is on par to match President Bush’s 291 orders executed during his two terms in office. The National Archives defines an Executive Order this way; Executive orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government.)

President Obama’s E.O. 13575 is designed to begin taking control over almost all aspects of the lives of 16% of the American people. Why didn’t we notice it? Weinergate. In the middle of the Anthony Weiner scandal, as the press and most of the American people were distracted, President Obama created something called “The White House Rural Council” (WHRC).

Section One of 13575 states the following:

Section 1. Policy. Sixteen percent of the American population lives in rural counties. Strong, sustainable rural communities are essential to winning the future and ensuring American competitiveness in the years ahead. These communities supply our food, fiber, and energy, safeguard our natural resources, and are essential in the development of science and innovation. Though rural communities face numerous challenges, they also present enormous economic potential. The Federal Government has an important role to play in order to expand access to the capital necessary for economic growth, promote innovation, improve access to health care and education, and expand outdoor recreational activities on public lands.

Warning bells should have been sounding all across rural America when the phrase “sustainable rural communities” came up. As we know from researching the UN plan for Sustainable Development known as Agenda 21, these are code words for the true fundamental transformation America.

The third sentence also makes it quite clear that the government intends to take greater control over “food, fiber, and energy.”

The last sentence in Section 1 further clarifies the intent of the order by tying together “access to the capital necessary for economic growth, health care and education.”

The new White House Rural Council will probably be populated by experts in the various fields that might prove helpful to the folks who live and work outside of large urban areas, right? Well, Tom Vilsack, the current Secretary of Agriculture, will chair the group, but let us review the list of members appointed to serve on this new council – according to the order, the heads of the following groups have been appointed:

(1) the Department of the Treasury; Timothy Geithner
(2) the Department of Defense; Robert Gates
(3) the Department of Justice; Eric Holder
(4) the Department of the Interior; Ken Salazar
(5) the Department of Commerce; Gary Locke
(6) the Department of Labor; Hilda Solis
(7) the Department of Health and Human Services; Kathleen Sebelius
(8) the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Shaun Donovan
(9) the Department of Transportation; Ray LaHood
(10) the Department of Energy; Dr. Steven Chu
(11) the Department of Education; Arne Duncan
(12) the Department of Veterans Affairs; Eric Shinseki
(13) the Department of Homeland Security; Janet Napolitano
(14) the Environmental Protection Agency; Lisa Jackson
(15) the Federal Communications Commission; Michael Copps
(16) the Office of Management and Budget; Peter Orszag
(17) the Office of Science and Technology Policy; John Holdren
(18) the Office of National Drug Control Policy; R. Gil Kerlikowske
(19) the Council of Economic Advisers; Austan Goolsbee
(20) the Domestic Policy Council; Melody Barnes (former VP at Center for American Progress)
(21) the National Economic Council; Gene B. Sperling
(22) the Small Business Administration; Karen Mills
(23) the Council on Environmental Quality; Nancy Sutley
(24) the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs; Valerie Jarrett
(25) the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs; and such other executive branch departments, agencies, and offices as the President or Secretary of Agriculture may, from time to time, designate. Chris Lu (or virtually anyone to be designated by the 24 people named above)

It appears that not a single department in the federal government was excluded from the new White House Rural Council, and the wild card option in number 25 gives the president and the agriculture secretary the option to designate anyone to serve on this powerful council.

Within the twenty-five designated members of the council are some curious ties to Agenda 21 and the structure being built to implement it:

Valerie Jarrett from the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs served on the board of something called Local Initiatives Support Corportation (LISC). LISC uses the language of Agenda 21 and ICLEI as their web page details their work to build “Sustainable Communities.”

Melody Barnes head of the Domestic Policy Council – Former VP at George Soros-funded Center for American Progress.

Hilda Solis from the Labor Dept – in 2000 received an award for her work on “Environmental Justice.”

Nancy Sutley head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality – Served on the board of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District and was one of the biggest supporters of low-flow toilets that are now credited with costing more money than expected while causing some nasty problems.

Is it possible that concerns about 13575 are just typical anti-government paranoia? Let us review the mission and function of WHRC:

Sec. 4. Mission and Function of the Council. The Council shall work across executive departments, agencies, and offices to coordinate development of policy recommendations to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America, and shall coordinate my Administration’s engagement with rural communities.

“Economic prosperity” and a better “quality of life,” that all sounds fairly innocent and well-intentioned. But continuing deeper into the order we find the council is charged with four directives:

(a) make recommendations to the President, through the Director of the Domestic Policy Council and the Director of the National Economic Council, on streamlining and leveraging Federal investments in rural areas, where appropriate, to increase the impact of Federal dollars and create economic opportunities to improve the quality of life in rural America;

The vague language here sounds non-threatening. But, is there a hint here that a “rural stimulus plan” might be in the making? Will the Federal government start pumping money into farmlands under the guise of creating “economic opportunities to improve the quality of life in rural America?” It is difficult to discern as the language is so broad.

We continue with the functions of the WHRC:

(b) coordinate and increase the effectiveness of Federal engagement with rural stakeholders, including agricultural organizations, small businesses, education and training institutions, health-care providers, telecommunications services providers, research and land grant institutions, law enforcement, State, local, and tribal governments, and nongovernmental organizations regarding the needs of rural America;

Virtually every aspect of rural life seems to now be part of the government’s mission. And while all of the items in (b) sound like typical government speak, you should be alarmed when you read the words “nongovernmental organizations” (NGOs). NGOs are unelected, but typically government-funded groups that act like embedded community organizers. And NGOs are key to Agenda 21′s plans.


(c) coordinate Federal efforts directed toward the growth and development of geographic regions that encompass both urban and rural areas;

That one sounds very similar to the language found in the United Nations plan for sustainable cities known as Agenda 21. Managing the population in both rural and urban areas, with a focus on controlling “open spaces.”

(d) and identify and facilitate rural economic opportunities associated with energy development, outdoor recreation, and other conservation related activities.

This function of Executive Order 13575 ties energy development with outdoor recreation and “other conservation related activities.” When did outdoor recreation become a conservation related activity?

Aside from the content of this order and some its vague intentions, the timing of the signing should also be considered. Later this month, Washington DC is hosting a meeting of the Agenda 21 operatives who are members of ICLEI:

Washington, D.C. – ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA) and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today announced the launch of the National Press Club Leadership Speaker Series to be held on June 28. The event’s inaugural keynote speaker will be the Honorable Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), whose keynote address, The Road to Rio+20, will explain the role of key global and national stakeholders, and the impact and vision of this historic conference.

As Secretary-General of Rio+20, Ambassador Sha Zukang will convene high-ranking leaders from government, the private sector and civil society to chart a pathway to accelerate the implementation of sustainable development decisions and the green economy through the creation of an institutional framework and inclusive participation.

The United Nations has pushed their sustainable development program for almost twenty years. The UN’s “social justice” blueprint called Agenda 21 requires governments to control almost all aspects of an individual’s life, but has recently met with substantial resistance in America. Since The Blaze covered this topic and the story appeared on Glenn Beck’s Fox TV program, we have been inundated with reports from around the country about efforts to remove ICLEI and Agenda 21 from local governments.

Carroll County, Maryland: Starting in February, 2011, all five newly elected county commissioners, led by Richard Rothschild, voted to become the first county in the nation to end the ICLEI contract.

Amador County, California: The Mother Lode Tea Party lead the successful effort to remove ICLEI form Amador County.

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: Activists Ruth Miller and Maggie Roddin have raised awareness that lead to the removal of ICLEI.

Edmond, Oklahoma: Molly Jenkins motivated 200 people to attend the city council meeting and demand action against ICLEI.

Las Cruces, New Mexico: continues to debate the issue, but rational voices are gaining momentum in the community.

Spartanburg, South Carolina: City Councilman Roger Nutt successfully directed the effort against the program and Spartanburg became the 6th community to kick out ICLEI in a vote of 6-0 by City Council (with one abstention).

There have also been anti-ICLEI rallies held in several cities this week, with more planned in the near future:

June 27, 11:30am-3:00pm
Exeter, NH, Exeter High School
June 27, 5:00pm-8:30pm
Galveston, TX, Galveston Convention Center
June 27, 8:30am-5:00pm
Ocean Shores, WA, Quinault Beach Resort and Casino
June 30, 1:00pm-5:00pm
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, TBD
June 30, 10:00am-5:00pm
West Long Branch, NJ, Monmouth University

There appears to be a developing, grass-roots movement to reject programs like Agenda 21. It remains to be seen if these groups might also reject a Washington-based control over rural lands, like the council created by Executive Order 13575.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Notes on Planning Commission Meeting 3/21/11

Notes on Planning Commission Meeting 3/21/11 Patty Kubetz

I attended the Planning Commission Meeting last night. There was a lively discussion on several topics.

First was the potential sale of Lots 12 and 13 to Kiel Vet Clinic for expansion and various other uses. The plan presented includes expansion for more large animal treatment areas, expanded parking lot (allowing large trucks with trailers in and out of the lot), a boarding and daycare area, a crematory, an outdoor dog run, and a possible pet cemetery. The plan was approved, and will go before the Council at the April 12, 2011 meeting.

Second was the potential rezoning of Lots 8 and 9 in the Rockville Industrial Park for an assisted living facility similar to the one on Tekla Place in Kiel. The developer, Mike Check, along with the potential buyers, presented their plan to the Commission. They want to purchase both lots, have them re-zoned for residential use, and build an assisted living facility on the lots, with the possibility of expansion in the future. The Commission approved the rezoning; now it goes before the Council. This will be addressed at the April 5, 2011 Council Meeting.

The next item was the potential leasing of land from the City of Kiel to AT&T for a cell phone tower. This tower would be placed in a small area behind Tri-County Building Supply. The numbers that Dennis Dedering presented were $500 a month for 30 years. I raised my hand to comment and had the following information I shared with the Commission.

1) Aesthetic value. With the wanted/needed improvements to the City buildings (Fire Station, City Hall, Shopko Development, etc.) why would anyone want to have this 200 foot tower as one of the first things people see as they drive into Kiel from Sheboygan or Plymouth?
2) Financial value. $500 a month may seem like a good deal now, but with inflation realistically skyrocketing in the future, that $500 will be worth less and less as time goes on.
3) Health issues. This is of high interest to me, as I have seen and heard so much anecdotal evidence pointing to the dangers of the radio frequency waves (RF) and electromagnetic frequency waves (EMF). I was able, before the meeting, to print a copy of two studies done on the effect of radio frequency waves on humans and animals to back up my own stories. I presented this to the Commission, and there were those who listened with an open mind. The information I presented is as follows:
1. We currently have 4 cell towers in the City of Kiel.
2. We currently have 19 antennas in the City of Kiel.
3. There have not been many studies done on the health risks of the towers to humans and animals. While cell phone industry spokespeople continue to assert that the towers pose no health risks, nearly all scientists in this field would disagree, at the very least claiming that no such assurance can be given.
4. A study done in Germany found that the risk of cancers increased by 3.38 percent in the people living near the tower. Looking at the first 5 years, there was no significant risk , but for the following 5 years, the risk increased to 3.38%.
5. A study in Israel found a 4.15 percent increased risk of a variety of cancers in people living near a cell phone tower. Seven out of eight cancer cases were women.
6. A study in Germany, published in 1998, showed the effects of the RF waves/EMF waves. The herd was pastured near a cell phone tower. The resulting stress on the herd caused a “measurable drop in milk yield.” Relocating the herd restored the milk production. Moving them back to the original pasture recreated the problem.
7. I included several cases that I am familiar with near my mom's home in Bonduel, WI. One farmer, living across the road from a tower, reported that his previously healthy dairy herd had breeding problems, increased somatic cell counts, and decreased milk production within 4 months of the tower being erected. He placed a large sign with words to the effect of “Cell Phone Towers Killed My Farm” along the highway for a number of years.
8. A family living across the road from a tower lost their 21 year-old daughter to brain cancer within 4 years of the tower being erected. Now, several years later, they are facing losing another daughter to brain cancer as well.
9. Four miles south of the previous family, another family is dealing with multiple cases of cancer in their family, again, across the road from a cell phone tower.
4) I asked that the Commission take into account all the information before making a decision such as this, especially as they approved an assisted living facility not even a mile from the proposed tower site. As a final note on this, the Rockville subdivision is home to a large number of families with children. EMF and RF waves seem to cause the most destruction in children, as their bodies aren't fully developed. There have been tenuous ties made between families that have children who are autistic and the tower placement/exposure. The EMF and RF waves work against the body in the areas of weakness in each individual. That is one of the reasons that the studies don't show how dangerous the EMF and RF waves really are—they don't affect everyone in the same way.

The Commission agreed that, since the tower was only a proposal and they had no firm details or request from AT&T, that the issue would be tabled. I will continue to watch this and do all I can to protect the health of the citizens of Kiel.

The Commission approved the renewal of all of the Conditional Use Permits. There were a few minor changes, such as the incorrect name for one development, that will be addressed at the City Council Meeting on 3/22/11.

The Commission looked at a Certified Survey Map of the acreage east of Cemetery Road. A brief discussion on what to name the proposed street was tabled until such time as a business is actually located there.

Dennis gave a brief updated on the Shopko Development. Things seem to be moving along as they should at this point. The Planning Commission Meeting Public Hearing for TID Creation will be held on April 5, 2011 at 6:00pm. The Council Meeting will follow at 7:00pm.

The meeting then adjourned.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Please vote April 5th

Please vote on April 5th and choose my wife and I

America is a Constitutional Republic...NOT a Democracy

How often have you heard people refer to America as a Democracy? When was the last time that you heard America referred to as a Republic? There is a very good reason that our Pledge of Allegiance refers to our country as a Republic and there is a very good reason that our Declaration of Independence and our constitution do not even mentioned the word "democracy". Many people are under the false impression that our form of government is a democracy, or representative democracy. This of course is not true.

Our Founders were extremely knowledgeable about the issue of democracy and feared a democracy as much as a monarchy. They understood that the only entity that can take away the people's freedom is their own government, either by being too weak to protect them from external threats or by becoming too powerful and taking over every aspect of life. The Founders were deliberately doing everything in their power to prevent having a democracy here. This quote is from John Adams in 1814 "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

A Constitutional Republic does have some similarities to a democracy in that it uses a democratic processes to elect representatives and pass new laws, etc. The critical difference lies in the fact that a Constitutional Republic has a Constitution that limits the powers of the government. It also spells out how the government is structured, creating checks on its power and balancing power between the different branches. The goal of a Constitutional Republic was to avoid the extremes of a tyranny or dictator. However in the past few decades these checks and balances have been thrown off kilter by giving the Presidents given more power through signing statements. We also have "czars" that are not elected or even answer to congress.

In a Republic, the sovereignty resides with the people themselves. In a Republic, one may act on his own or through his representatives when he chooses to solve a problem. The people have no obligation to the government; instead, the government is a servant of the people, and is obliged to listen to its owner, We the People. Many people and politicians have seemed to have lost sight of that fact.

America today seems to be far from the Constitutional Republic our forefathers brought forth to us. The power seems to have switched from the people to the Government. The Founders believed that our rights were given to us from Natures God, not through regulations of the Government. They also believed that people might get things wrong, but "We the People" are smart enough to fix them and get it right.
I am asking again to have people to get involved in their government. To do this you need to take time to hold elected officials responsible by going to your school boards and city council meetings. Voice your opinion as the taxpayer; as the boss of those we have elected and of the people who work in the public sector.

Randy Kubetz
Wisconsin Citizens Involvement

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

City Council Meeting Notes 3/8/11

City Council Meeting Notes 3/8/11

I attended the March 8, 2011 Planning Commission and City Council meetings. Sorry about being late in getting the notes out.

The Planning Commission Meeting centered around the proposed Shopko Development at the corners of Hwy 67 and Rockville Road in Kiel (across from McDonalds). The Planning Commission approved their portion of the proposed Shopko plan after discussion with a representative from Shopko, a lawyer for Shopko, a representative from the construction company, (Smet Construction), the lawyer representing the sellers of the land in question, and Phil Cosson, the executive VP of Ehlers, (Kiel's financial lawyer).

The representative from Shopko, Mr. Pete VandenHouten, (sp?) CEO of Shopko, explained that the store they're looking to build would be about 35,000 square feet, with about 75% of the merchandise found in the larger Shopko stores in the bigger cities. There would also be a pharmacy and they would tailor the merchandise selection to cater to the area. Pricing is the same as the larger stores—same ads would go out to the public as the larger stores use.

The acreage needed by the Shopko store would be approximately 4.4 acres but Shopko would purchase 7 acres. Smet Construction assured the Planning Commission that they have interested parties interested in building/leasing the additional land from Shopko with a 5 year lease, with options to continue leasing in 3-5 time increments of 2-5 years. They are looking at a long-term investment in the City of Kiel.

Tom Ungrodt, lawyer for the sellers of the acreage, said his clients are willing to annex the remaining land to a TIF and to the city. That way, the entire parcel will be in the City of Kiel and the City has First Option to Buy the property in the future. The City of Kiel and Shopko would jointly purchase approximately 17 acres along Hwy 67/Rockville Road. The house that is currently on the property would then belong to the City. (Noises were made about the possibility of building the Police Station there and remodeling City Hall—that's for another discussion.)

Phil Cosson, from Ehlers, spoke to the creation of a mixed use TID to finance this venture with Shopko. A Public Hearing was set for April 5, 2011 at 6pm for the TID creation. In order for the TID to be mixed use, the 3 industrial lots currently held by the City would be part of the TID, as well as the annexed land held by the sellers.

The TID would be created to offset the costs of the land purchase by the City ($250,000); the water, sewer, street and storm sewer development ($500,000); and the Development Agreement between Shopko and the City of Kiel ($20,000). With the additional finance related expenses, the TIF would have to cover approximately $840,000. Shopko is estimating that their development would bring an approximate worth of $2,500,000 to the community.

The City Council Meeting was immediately following the Planning Commission Meeting. The Boy Scouts attended the Council Meeting.

The Council set the Public Hearing for the creation of the mixed use TID to finance the Shopko development and purchase of the land adjacent to the Shopko property. The Public Hearing will be on April 5, 2011 at 6pm.

The Council approved the Right of First Refusal to Windwalker, Inc. in regards to lot #3 in the Rockville Industrial Park.

The Council approved an additional $6,000 worth of soil borings at the Stoelting property to determine exactly how much soil needs to be removed to clean up this site. Annette Weissbach is requesting the additional borings be done, with the City incurring the costs. Mike Check, the developer, wanted to know if the TID covers the cost of the additional borings, as he doesn't want to have to pay the difference. (A personal observation here, the City has already incurred over $40,000 for legal fees, and is taking on another $6,000 in debt, without knowing positively that Ms. Weissbach will purchase the land.) There are grants available from the WDNR and Department of Commerce, but until those grants come through, the City is liable for the cost.

The City approved a bid for the completion of the construction on the Vollrath property at 503 9th Street in Kiel. The bid was from Homestead Enhancements, LLC in the amount of 13,800. This was to complete the roof on the addition, the siding and soffit on the addition and the installation of all windows necessary on the addition. The request for bids was published and only one bid came in. The cost will be added to the taxes for the property owner.

The last issue that came before the Council was a complaint about a resident allegedly repairing cars in his garage. The complaint came from the person who first instigated the fence issue last summer. The complainant stated that they have pictures of vehicles being dropped off, and vehicles in the yard, and “large trucks” dropping vehicles off. Dennis Dedering stated that he has spoken with the property owner and that the Police Chief has also observed the property. At this time, no action will be taken, but Council members are encouraged to drive by to observe whether this activity is a nuisance.

Respectfully submitted by Patty Kubetz

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Price of local electricity goes up

If you have noticed that the price for electricity was $.087 per KWH in January and is now at $.092 per KWH for February and March. This is not the price increase that will be going in affect in the near future.

I asked City Administrator Dennis Dedering and he said "The electric rate increase has not taken place, our costs for purchasing the power has gone up slightly. We are hoping to not have changes for purchased power over the next couple of years, if the federal government does not impose regulations which could impact costs for power."

So be aware of the 5% increase in electrical costs and price of gasoline. The cost of energy continues to climb but we are told that there is no inflation.

By: Randy Kubetz

Wisc Gov’t E-mails Reveal Plot to Stall Budget Repair Bill While New Union Contracts Signed

So you say it is a fair game between the government, the unions and the taxpayers?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

UWM profs considering strike action tomorrow?

UWM profs considering strike action tomorrow?
by Vicki McKenna on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 5:47am

I am an instructor at UW-Milwaukee . Should any of the following information be used, I respectfully ask to remain anonymous.

According to a series of exchanges with colleagues across campus from various departments, there is a strong possibility of a campus-wide (and possibly a UW system-wide) strike beginning on Wednesday, March 2nd. I am attaching a copy of email communications that I received via a campus listserv from 2/22 to 2/28 in which the possibility of a “failed semester” was discussed and the potential impact on our students was debated. While it remains to be seen whether the strike is ultimately “called,” there are disturbing comments in these emails that reveal a crass disregard for our students, their families and their economic situations; likewise, there is (as one would expect with academics) an attitude of self-serving intellectual superiority that seeks to pit students against their own families. While this attitude has long been assumed, some of my colleagues revealed this as an actual sympathetic strategy to gain potential student allies and pit them against their families (many of whom are – unbeknownst to them - financing this attempted wedge) all for the sake of scoring political points.

Sadly, it appears as though many of my colleagues at UW-Milwaukee will attempt to accomplish their goals by “any means necessary” with little thought to the collateral damage to our students. This is why I am bringing this information (and potential appeal to inform the public) directly to you. Given that many Wisconsin taxpayers choose to spend precious resources financing the tuition of their children, I believe some external pressure can be exerted on the university by the families themselves. In addition, attention should be brought to the public at large about the potential for this egocentric move at great expense to the students that many of these “professionals” claim to serve. Much like the K-12 teachers who walked out on their students during the early days of this public debate, the UW system educators would illegally abandon their contracts and their students. Unlike the K-12 teachers, this strike could have more dire consequences for individual students and their families in terms of financial aid ramifications, delayed graduations and careers, etc. Below I have included a sampling of the troubling comments of my colleagues that reveal the dismissive nature of their aims as well as the potential impact on our students:

● From 2/25: “In yesterday's meeting, Rodney brought up the possibility of a "failed semester" if there was a strike. I have searched Chapter 36 and Chapter 227 (and google, of course), and asked my UWM mentors, but can't find a mention of this term. Rodney, can you (or anyone else -- Connie Jo? Winson?) direct us to the documents explaining "failed semesters," who declares them, under what circumstances, etc.?”

● From 2/25: “Let us remember what an outrage such an event would be. Our students come here seeking a better life through the education we provide. A failed semester would only occur if we denied them our classes…A strike under such circumstances would not only be an outrage against the students but also counter-productive to the goals of continuing the growth of UWM.”

● From 2/25: “It is my understanding that our MGAA (GTA, RA, PA, etc) current contracts have a specific "no strike" stipulation, rendering it against the law. However, these contracts expire on March 13. If, under the current radical restructuring to promote the upward redistribution of wealth, new contracts are not created and/or unions are broken, there could conceivably be no more stipulation against strike. This is all worth fact checking, as I am certainly no expert in this matter….If TAs (etc) strike, will we cross the picket lines? And also, how will we, as their teachers, handle their absences from our seminars, labs, etc? In my understanding, our "not crossing picket lines" would mean that we, too, are on strike. Collective actions only work as a collective, and are sometimes thrust upon us by outside forces, and yet, we certainly have serious duties and responsibilities to *all* current students, both present and future.”

● From 2/25: “If it is any comfort as we cry in our porridge... from my vantage point, I believe most of our students know. Many are also getting conflicting messages from home, and they are grappling with the issues. I am so very very impressed with their sincerity and sense of fairness.”

● From 2/26: “I think it is important to frame the so-called "failed semester" argument as a possible red herring. As an instructor, I certainly care about my students and place their learning environment as one of my top priorities. In this framing, I do not see an absolute separation between my working conditions (including my collective bargaining rights and contract) and my work. I therefore see my efforts to defeat Walker's budget and budget "repair" bill as in line with preserving and improving the educational environment for my current AND future students. Another point that should be made in regards to the claim of "outrage" that a labor action may have: what this discussion is not accounting for is the vast numbers of students here and elsewhere who support their teachers and oppose Walker's budget bills. The "failed semester" concern presupposes that our students would not be our allies were they to be educated on the real effects of it, that they would not take a stand with their university's workers who provide the educational environment they deserve. To treat students only as consumers of education or to treat them patronizingly as "students" rather than potential allies is a disservice to them. I'm not one to resort to historical judgement, but if we were to lose this struggle for collective bargaining rights and the quality of education they ensure, a possible historical reexamination of our efforts would not judge us dignified for "respecting" our students' "investments" in education, but judge us harshly for refusing to build alliances with the very people whose support we need and indeed already have.”

● From 2/26: “You will do what you want but please understand there are real consequences for your potential allies. There are several thousand students who expect to graduate this May - some with jobs lined up that require them to have a degree - others with plans for grad school, med school, or other professional schools where again a degree is necessary. A "failed semester" will likely not result in a degree being completed for these people. I don't even want to begin to ponder if there are financial aid paybacks that students will need to make in a "failed semester". I also worry about the visa status of our foreign students in such a case. So please do not idealize the consequences of a labor action because some students are going to be severely impacted.”

● From 2/26: “What I understand are the "real consequences" of allowing a tyrant and extortionist like Walker to determine the choices faculty and students must make about their fundamental values as members of the human community. Education is more than amassing enough credits to land a job--I don't even want to ponder the cost to our culture of accommodating a bankrupt moral policy just so faculty and students won't be disrupted. This is not about idealization--this is about hard choices, social responsibility, and a vision of education that goes beyond self-serving credentials. I believe we are now at war for the very soul of Wisconsin, its working people, and the integrity of its university system--business as usual isn't acceptable, and sacrifices will have to be made by EVERYONE if we hope to preserve our common dignity and academic freedom.”

● From 2/26: “I think the concept of "failed semester" may not have an exact definition but I think its meaning is reasonably clear. A colleague described it as follows:

Under any definition it involves denial of classes to enrolled students. If applied to a situation of, say, epidemic, war, or asteroid collision, it would be understandable that those classes would be cancelled in such numbers as to render the semester educationally meaningless.

Everyone has an oar in the water on this and everyone has an agenda both here and in Madison. There may be eventual winners but I believe it is our students who will end up the losers in a prolonged labor action regardless of who wins.”

● From 2/27: “… I don't think a teaching staff walkout is likely to have much of an impact on the people who *temporarily* have charge of our government. They haven't listened to 150,000 plus. They don't appear to care at all about education or having an educated public in Wisconsin, so why would a walkout by instructors phase them? A walkout will only hurt our students and their families. Yes, so will this appalling budget "repair" bill, but we can undo some of that damage by working to recall these "officials" and then changing this retched bill. Laws can be changed. In fact, this will be easier to do than undoing the damage done to public opinion if there is a lengthy teaching staff walkout. And, Lee, I do think you have a point that many of our students support us, but they likely won't continue to do so if supporting us ends up hurting their education, their pocketbooks, and their futures. I think our energy would be better served working to recall these officials. This is where I plan to spend my energy.”

● From 2/27: “In my mind, a “failed semester” is not an option. Such a situation would be a public relations disaster that would undo the progress that we have recently made in the eyes of the general public. I believe a ”failed semester” would further galvanize the public’s anti-educational and anti-intellectual views. A “failed semester” would irreversibly harm this institution. It would greatly harm our public image, it would hinder the future of our students by keeping them from making timely and meaningful progress towards their degrees, it would hinder our ability to recruit quality students and new faculty to our programs, it would obstruct our probationary faculty from timely developing their scholarly records, it would damage our future research potential by preventing timely completion of currently funded projects, and it would be a financial disaster to our students, their families, our staff, this university, and to us personally. Our current state government has no intentions of listening to our concerns and demands. Walker and the media are very good at framing us as irrelevant, insignificant, and out of touch with the needs of the populace. A “failed semester” would be used to emphasize their current views.”

● From 2/27: “If this means the semester doesn't count or doesn't finish, would the students get "Incompletes?" What would that do to financial aid students? Would they then be required to stay for an extra semester and finance their own education? Would they have to immediately pay back this semester's loans (as if they had failed?) This is something that I feel I need to know before possibly assessing the situation. If it means that the semester doesn't count but that students still have to foot the bill for it (as well as a make-up semester), I can't imagine that they would readily stay "allies" for very long.”

● From 2/28: “So let's make our positions clear. What do advocates of caution propose to do on the hypothetical Thursday above? Do we cross picket lines in order to teach our classes? Do we pick up the grading responsibilities of TAs? Their teaching responsibilities? Do we muddle through, making our own copies, filing our own documents, etc. in the absence of office support staff? Do we empty our own garbage cans, clean up messes in dirty classrooms, etc. in the absence of custodial staff? I submit: an answer of "yes" to any of the last four questions would make us scabs, and reserve for us a special place in one of Hell's innermost circles. The first question ("Do we cross picket lines to teach?") is trickier; a range of possibilities, some of which already mentioned, can be contemplated. Holding classes off-campus or on-line are options; these avoid a literal crossing of picket lines, but arguably amount to the same thing. (Anything we do to mitigate negative consequences of a job action--the very point of which is to bring about negative consequences--tends to undermine its aims.) Delaying instruction--pushing it into the summer, issuing incompletes, etc.--is another option; I have no idea the feasibility of this. I'm sure other possible courses of action are available; I second someone else's call for creative thinking on this question. My position is this: I won't cross picket lines unless it's clear I'll be fired otherwise; I won't be a scab under any circumstances.”

● From 2/28: “I'm not too sure just what's at risk of changing here except losing part of our summer if things are handled badly. You really can't be a "scab" laborer in a situation where there is no legal right to strike--and even union employees don't have that right. And, I don't know about you, but I already pick-up coverage for TA's I supervise when needed, do my own copies--when digital alternatives escape me, and empty the trash cans in my office--and have often found myself lugging overflowing trash cans to dumpsters behind our building. It would be nice if occasionally we had some changes that actually improved on the SOP of our workplace. So, the very last thing I want to see is anything that forces me to cut into what little time I have in summer because a probably well intended but ultimately ineffectual protest sandbags time already allotted to the spring term and forces it into summer.”

● From 2/28: “I share the concerns some of you have voiced about the negative effects a work stoppage might have on our public image and on our students. But I ask you to also consider what a positive message we might send our state (and one another) by peacefully and respectfully standing together to protect education and civil rights. When academics stand with and fight for the rights of nurses, prison guards, janitors, and road crews; when we risk our jobs and our public image to demonstrate our commitment to our students and our state, we show the public a side of us that they may not always see. We lead. We dare. We teach….The walk-outs at Michigan stand out as my most memorable, lively, and meaningful days on that campus. This is because we didn't stop doing our jobs when we opted not to enter the buildings… Some students supported us and some didn't, and that was A-OK. Because most of all, what they learned was that the political process isn't the job of some stale strongmen in Washington but the responsibility of each citizen, to pursue according to the better angels of his or her nature, through direct action, and with courage.”

In addition, there is evidence in these emails of UW-Milwaukee employees who are in violation of the UW System’s prohibition against “engaging in political activities” during work time and/or using university resources. In this case, the resources that are being used are (possibly) university computers, (clearly) the listserv, and (clearly) the email communications mechanism. Two employees in particular who appear to be in violation are Peter Blewett (a lecturer in the English Department who also serves MPS board VP) and Cathy Kaye (Director of the ESL program who also serves as the UWM TAUWP chapter President). Blewett has used UWM resources to forward his work at MPS. In the emails I’ve included, Blewett’s most recent MPS resolution. Earlier in the public debate, Kaye was openly organizing protests and performing union activities. Then, someone publically “reminded” the listserv that it was a violation to do this. However, after this warning and the formal “reminder” dated 2/22 from Rodney Swain (Interim Dean at the UWM College of Letters and Science), Kaye changed her tactics but still attempted to use UWM resources to organize. Below you will see her email; Kaye’s reference to a “lunch gathering” is in regard to a planned “tuition protest” at Spaights Plaza that is being promoted by SDS (Students for A Democratic Society) on 3/2.

See this link:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Outgoing NEA farewell speech

Transcript of speech:
“Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.

“And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year, because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.”

“This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary. These are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay.”
Video of speech:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two-Thirds of Wisconsin Public-School 8th Graders Can’t Read Proficiently—Despite Highest Per Pupil Spending in Midwest

Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.

In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”

The test also showed that the reading abilities of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders had not improved at all between 1998 and 2009 despite a significant inflation-adjusted increase in the amount of money Wisconsin public schools spent per pupil each year.

In 1998, according to the U.S. Department of Education, Wisconsin public school eighth graders scored an average of 266 out of 500 on the NAEP reading test. In 2009, Wisconsin public school eighth graders once again scored an average of 266 out of 500 on the NAEP reading test. Meanwhile, Wisconsin public schools increased their per pupil expenditures from $4,956 per pupil in 1998 to 10,791 per pupil in 2008. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator the $4,956 Wisconsin spent per pupil in 1998 dollars equaled $6,546 in 2008 dollars. That means that from 1998 to 2008, Wisconsin public schools increased their per pupil spending by $4,245 in real terms yet did not add a single point to the reading scores of their eighth graders and still could lift only one-third of their eighth graders to at least a “proficient” level in reading.

The $10,791 that Wisconsin spent per pupil in its public elementary and secondary schools in fiscal year 2008 was more than any other state in the Midwest.

Neighboring Illinois spent $10,353 per student in 2008, Minnesota spent $10,048 per student; Iowa spent $9,520 per student. Among Midwest states, Nebraska was second to Wisconsin in per pupil spending in its public schools, spending $10,565 per student.

Of these nearby states, only Minnesota did slightly better teaching reading to its public school students. In 2009, 39 percent of eighth graders in Minnesota public schools earned a rating of “proficient” or better in reading, and the average eighth grade reading score in the state was 270 out of 500.

In Illinois, only 32 percent of eighth graders earned a rating of “proficient” or better in reading, and the average eighth grade reading score was 265 out of 500. In Iowa, only 32 percent of eighth graders earned a rating of “proficient” or better in reading, and the average reading score was 265 out of 500. In Nebraska, only 35 percent of eighth graders earned a rating of “proficient” or better in their public schools, and the average reading score was 267 out of 500.

Nationwide, only 30 percent of public school eighth graders earned a rating of “proficient” or better in reading, and the average reading score on the NAEP test was 262 out of 500.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress explains its student rating system as follows: “Basic denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade. Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter. Advanced represents superior performance.”

In other words, despite the $10,791 that taxpayers were paying to educate students in Wisconsin public schools, two-thirds of eighth graders in those schools showed at best only a “partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work” at that grade level.

In fiscal 2008, the federal government provided $669.6 million in subsidies to the public schools in Wisconsin.


Senior at Madison Memorial High School

Dear Mr. Dahmen, Dr. Nerad:

I would like to inform you on behalf of many students whom I have communicated with to say, We are concerned with the many days which the teachers have not been in school and the students have been restricted from attending school.

I am fully aware how the teachers feel but, what about the STUDENTS?

It is not fair to us the we might have to make up lost instructional days. Us students did not have a CHOICE on whether or not we could attend school this past week?

How is it our FAULT that we were not in school for four days?

Students should not have to make up school because the majority of teachers REFUSED to show up and do their JOB. I feel like the teachers have been SELFISH and have not taken into consideration how the students FEEL.

I know that I do not want or see why I have to make up any missed school time on behalf of the teachers and I do not plan to. I was ready to attend school but the teachers chose not to be present and you decided to not open up our school.

Thank you for taking the time to read my words, You should take into consideration about how we are affected and how we feel about making up school.

Thank You,

***** ****

P.S. I decided to write this because the students were shut out of school again on Monday February 21, 2011. I am in school to be taught not talked to regarding what teachers have done. I know what they and you have done, you have kept me and other students from attending school.

Any excuse will be valid just like theirs, RIGHT?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2010 Salary info for Kiel School District

from website

To get salary, you need to add Prorated Salary to Prorated Fringe

Deborah Sixel Sixel Director of Instruction/Program Supervisor $86,322.00 $36,536.00
Dawn Mueller Mueller Director of Special Education and/or Pupil Services $47,565.15 $22,756.89
John Lewis Lewis District Administrator $106,700.00 $9,700.00
Heidi Smith Smith Principal $37,523.00 $17,115.50
Dario Talerico Talerico Principal $95,507.00 $26,424.00
John Wolfenberg Wolfenberg Assistant Principal $22,693.75 $9,361.75
David Slosser Slosser Principal $90,668.00 $37,426.00
John Wolfenberg Wolfenberg Assistant Principal $22,693.75 $9,361.75
Heidi Smith Smith Principal $37,523.00 $17,115.50
Chad Ramminger Ramminger Principal $81,434.00 $35,536.00

Letter to Rep Kestell and Sen Leibham

From the Wisconsin Constitution:

“Organization of legislature; quorum; compulsory attendance. SECTION 7.

Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members; and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide”

Order the missing representatives to return and have the courage to vote NO if they are so inclined. I would strongly consider demanding they return to the job or face an immediate RECALL. Wisconsin provides the ability to recall members. Another possible option is to demand they come back or be declared that they have “vacated their office”.

It is time for adults to make the hard decisions. Collective Bargaining is NOT a right guaranteed under the Wisconsin Constitution or the US Constitution.

Randy Kubetz
Wisconsin Citizens Involvement

Monday, February 14, 2011

School Board meeting tonight, Feb 14th


The mission of the Kiel Area School District is to provide an opportunity for each student to receive a comprehensive, personal, future-focused education in a safe, supportive environment for the purpose of achieving excellence in their life-long pursuits, through a partnership of family, school, and community.


TO: Board of Education

FROM: Dr. Louise Blankenheim

RE: February Regular Board of Education Meeting

February 11, 2011


Middle School Large Group Room

Monday, February 14, 2011

7:00 p.m.










  • The Board will vote to convene into executive session to discuss the contract of the AD/AP and evaluate the District Administrator. This meeting is authorized pursuant to section 19.85(1)(c) of the Wisconsin Statutes.

  • The Board may reconvene into open session to possibly take action on an item discussed in executive session.






COMMUNITY CONCERNS, PUBLIC COMMENT, AND PUBLIC CORRESPONDENCE (Participants may be limited in time to address the Board of Education and injurious comments about Individuals will not be allowed)(15 minutes for each topic)



  • None at this time



  • None at this time



  • The Board approved the replacement of the technology infrastructure at an estimated cost of $285,000 along with the use of fund equity if needed. The actual cost of the project was $291,219.65 which was $6,219 above the estimate. Instead of using the fund equity, this amount was covered by dollars available from unexpended funds.

  • On Tuesday, February 22nd at 3:30 p.m., in the Middle School Large Group Room I will be presenting the ideas generated by each budget reduction committee. This meeting will be open to all staff and community members.

  • Attached is the 2008/09 School Performance Report data. Dr. Blankenheim will review this information in more detail at the meeting.








A. Minutes

B. Finance

C. Professional Growth Requests

D. Retirement of Staff

  • Mike Seefeldt (4th grade teacher)


E. Resignations of Staff

  • Kari Migacz (MS student council advisor)

  • Gary Mueller (assistant track coach)

F. Employment of Staff (All hiring procedures have been followed)

  • Jamie Arenz (head girls track coach)

  • Ryan Rabe (HS Music Long-term sub)

G. Gifts to the District

  • The following items were donated to the Middle School Phy. Ed. Department for Fuel Up to Play 60 Food Tasting Week:

    • 15 lbs of string cheese from Foremost Farms

    • Breads and bagels from Natural Ovens

    • 8 lbs of cheese from Land-O-Lakes

  • The services of the facilitator for the Community Engagement Meeting held on Monday, February 7, 2011, were donated to the District by LTC.

H. Committee Reports and Meeting Dates

  • Cynthia Schmahl enclosed a report on the January 24, 2011, Personnel Committee Meeting.

  • Steve Walber enclosed a report on the January 6, 2011, Finance/Transportation Committee Meeting.

  • Dan Karls enclosed a report on the January 10, 2011, B&G Committee Meeting.

I. Substitutes

  • Darci Bergelin (teacher)

  • Andrea Cmejla (teacher)

  • Deborah Holt (teacher)

  • Rebecca Kempfert (teacher)

  • Robert Krucky (teacher)

  • Tavia Manz (teacher)

  • Matthew Pfister (teacher)



  • Steve Walber will update the Board on the January 17, 2011, Legislative Breakfast Meeting he attended.

  • Board members who attended the state school board convention on January 19, 2011, will share what they learned.



  • Facilities Vision for the District


COMMUNITY FEEDBACK ON AGENDA ITEMS POSTED FOR THIS MEETING (Participants may address the Board of Education about items posted on this agenda)





  • Doug Davidson

  • Russel Fritsch

  • Patty Kubetz

  • Victor Schueller



  • School Board Clerk, Scott Lieburn, will administer the Oath of Office to the newly appointed school board member.


The Board will vote to convene into executive session to discuss the contract of the AD/AP and evaluate the District Administrator. This meeting is authorized pursuant to section 19.85(1)(c) of the Wisconsin Statutes.


The Board may reconvene into open session to possibly act upon an item discussed in executive session