What is Wis.community?

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Submitted by Steve Hanson on October 26, 2016 - 1:33pm

Wis.community is a central space for discussions and information about things going on in Wisconsin. Think of it as a collection of mini web sites for different topics and regions of the state. It is a place where you can create an account and talk about topics that matter to you, see news about issues and topics, and keep track of what is going on. We are particularly working on a calendar that imports events from other calendars around the state, and keeps you informed of events. 

Why Sign Up?

Wis.community is intended to be an interactive experience.  If you sign up for an account and log in to the site you'll see more information, will be able to post your events and information, and participate in community discussions - so - if you want to do more than read this site, please click on the Sign Up link at the top of the page, create an account, and sign in - if you're confused, watch the video below.

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Wiscommunity Video

AUDIT: WEDC Cannot Be Certain of Any Jobs Created or Retained

Steve Hanson's picture
Submitted by Steve Hanson on May 23, 2017 - 10:24am
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
Our state spends a great deal of money on economic development. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is responsible for overseeing much of the taxpayer money that goes to job creation.
A recently released audit by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) found that “WEDC cannot be certain about the number of jobs actually created or retained as a result of any awards that ended.”
By law, WEDC is required to report jobs created or retained. The agency meets the requirement through reports posted on its website. However, auditors found these data inaccurate.
“We found that the on-line data in January of 2017 included 183 jobs created and 1,082 jobs retained by recipients that had sold their operations in Wisconsin, ceased their operations in Wisconsin, or had withdrawn from their contracts before the contractually specified completion dates.

Small Site Updates - experimenting with importing events from Meetup

Steve Hanson's picture
Submitted by Steve Hanson on May 17, 2017 - 2:45pm

For those of you who use the Meetup app to schedule events, we're working on importing events from Meetup. This is working fairly well, and we just imported the first batch. Basically this is based on Meetup's rules for what is an "active" Meetup event, which means that the meetup needs to have members and at least 3 people signed up to go to the event. We're currently searching for events within 70 miles of downtown Eau Claire, and putting them into the Chippewa Valley calendar only - this may get more sophisticated over time.

Religion in the Schools Forum - Menomonie

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Submitted by Steve Hanson on May 16, 2017 - 3:01pm

Religion in Schools forum - Menomonie, WI 5/15/2017

The Menomonie School District held a forum on the proper place of teching religion in the public school system. The school board recently adopted an action plan for the teaching of religious subjects in the school district, and a clearer policy on the ability of parents to opt out of particular classes for their children.

This forum was a discussion about the policies, which were prompted by a (small) number of parent complaints about a team teaching middle school students about the book I Am Malala. As part of that class an external resource was brought in to inform the students about Islam, which was apparently the main point of contention. The board met with the concerned parents in a closed session, after which the board drafted the new rules.

Creative Economy Week Kicks Off

Steve Hanson's picture
Submitted by Steve Hanson on May 14, 2017 - 11:13am
Creative Economy Week Kickoff

Eau Claire's Creative Economy Week kicked off on Saturday with a panel discussion about the state of the creative economy in Eau Claire. The panel included Al Ross from Wisconsin Public Radio as moderator, Mike Schatz, the Economic Development Director of Eau Claire, Kristin Dexter, future owner of Forage in Eau Claire, B. J. Hollars, founder of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and author, Greg Johnson, owner of Artisan Forge Studios, Dale Peters, City Manager of Eau Claire, and Nick Poss, owner and instructor at the Eau Claire Music School. It was an entertaining and far-reaching discusison - but I'll let you listen for yourselves. More Creative Economy Week events are scheduled for the rest of the week.

Rep. Dana Wachs and Sen. Kathleen Vinehout town hall on state budget

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Submitted by Steve Hanson on May 9, 2017 - 3:31pm

For Immediate Release

May 9, 2017

Citizens Invited to State Budget Town Hall Meeting

Senator Kathleen Vinehout and Representative Dana Wachs will host a Town Hall Meeting regarding the proposed 2017-19 State Budget in Eau Claire on May 20, 2017.

This state budget will have significant impact on our schools, our roads and our natural resources,” Vinehout said. “The state budget is all about priorities and people need to let their voices be heard on where the state should invest its precious resources.”

"REINS Act" - New Power for Leaders to Stop Public Protections

Steve Hanson's picture
Submitted by Steve Hanson on May 9, 2017 - 2:13pm
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“This is the broadest, most dangerous bill you’ve never heard of.” I told my colleagues during a recent Senate debate. “It’s an obscure way to shut down government from doing something that the Legislature intended to do.”
Senate Bill 15, known by the initials REINS, would allow leaders of the Legislature to shut down the implementation of new laws if the leader found the new law too costly to implement. A version of the bill is moving toward passage at both the state and federal levels of government. I expect the state Assembly will soon take up the bill.
A little background; after a bill becomes law, agencies work on writing the details of how to implement the law. These details, known as Administrative Rules, are vetted by the Legislature through a committee and vetted by the public through hearings.
“Administrative Rules are the fine details of laws written by policy experts at state agencies.” said long-time Capitol reporter Shawn Johnson in an NPR story on the Senate passage of the REINS Act.

Facebook is abusive - it's time to get a divorce

Steve Hanson's picture
Submitted by Steve Hanson on May 8, 2017 - 7:56pm

The Register is one of my favorite IT blogs. In an editorial today they have, I think, nailed PART of the reason I believe we should just start saying no to Facebook - there are others, but the question is, how much of your soul are you willing to let Facebook own?

It seemed innocuous, almost trivial: What are you doing? Who are you seeing? What are your favourite things? Sharing the trivia of life and was fun.

But only because we were yet to understand that everything we entered was recorded by Facebook, all of it analysed, all of it compared against everyone else sharing all of their personal trivialities. Too late we realised that everything we shared was more useful to Facebook than it was to our friends. So while we revelled in the joy of finding new friends, Facebook got the deeper satisfaction of building a complete portrait of an individual, inside and out.

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