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Unknown Environmental Damage from Hi-Crush incident today

Hi Crush Spill

An incident at the Hi-Crush Frac Sand Facility in Whitehall today was widely covered in state news. A bulldozer and its operator fell into a pond at the site, and needed to be rescued by rescue teams from multiple organizations and companies. The buldozer...

AFJ: Ruling in Epic Systems v. Lewis Strikes Major Blow to Workers’ Rights

Contact: Megan Simons, [email protected]
(202) 464-7361

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21 - Following today’s Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis, holding that employers can enforce arbitration agreements that forbid workers from banding together in class action...

Farmers Union reponds to failed farm bill vote

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — The House version of the 2018 Farm Bill failed on the House floor today by a vote of 198 to 213. Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) opposed the bill as it was presented and stressed the need for a more partisan approach in the next draft.

WFU President Darin Von Ruden issued the following statement in response to the vote:

“A lot is at stake in this farm bill – farmers across the country are facing depressed...

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF WISCONSIN RELEASES ELECTION OBSERVATION REPORT

ballot box
Date of Release or Mention: 
Thursday, May 17, 2018
 

For Immediate Release  May 17, 2018    

Press Contact  Erin Grunze, Executive Director

608-256-0827, [email protected]...

LCV - Same Day Voter registration needs to be protected

Over the weekend, it was reported that at the Wisconsin Republican State Convention passed a

resolution   to abolish same day (Election Day) voter registration among other restrictive proposals

targeting students and other   eligible voters.  The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin opposes any such proposals that would eliminate same day voter registration. 

“Eliminating same day registration is reckless and costly.  It does nothing to protect the integrity of our

...

Wisconsin GOP declares further war on voters

ballot

During their 2018 convention, Wisconsin Republicans signaled their continued attempt to suppress voting in the state. A resolution was passed at the convention calling for an end to same day voter registration (requiring registration at least 10 days before the election) and requiring that students vote in their home jurisdiction rather than their "temporary" college  address.

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J Street: Trump's abandonment of Iran deal is assault on international peace & security

This is not strictly-speaking Wisconsin news, but all of us in WIsconsin will have to live with the outcome.

For Immediate Release: May 8, 2018

Contact: Josh Glasstetter at [email protected] or 1-202-905-2921

BEYOND BLUNDER, ABANDONMENT OF IRAN DEAL IS AN ASSAULT ON INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY...

NAMI: Wisconsinites Helping Those Affected by Mental Illness

Kathleen Vinehout

‘Mental health issues have touched my family in many ways,” Barb Habben recently told me. “Because of this [work with NAMI] has become my second career.” Barb is the local coordinator of NAMI Chippewa Valley.

Recently folks from across Wisconsin came to the State Capitol to celebrate NAMI Action on the Square. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization helping to...

Wisconsin Civil Rights Leaders Speak Against Troubling Vote on Brennan

WASHINGTON – Wisconsin civil rights leaders today held a telephone press briefing in opposition to President Trump’s nomination of Michael Brennan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Senate is expected to vote this week on Brennan’s...

How Domestic Violence Intertwines With Landlord-Tenant Relationships

Wisconsin's latest dispute over landlord-tenant relations has crucial implications for people enduring abusive relationships. The state's regulations on rental housing have been transformed over the past decade, with a new law being enacted every legislative session since 2011. These changes reduce local...

Audit Reveals Serious Management Issues at State Fair Park

State Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“The State Fair is greatly loved by people all over the state,” Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said at a recent Audit Committee hearing. “But the back-office operations need to be improved.”

Most certainly, improvement must be made to resolve problems revealed by an audit conducted by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB).

The Joint...

When the Hills are Gone - A Review

Thomas Pearson

I recently read When the Hills Are Gone - a book about the sand mining activists in Wisconsin during the period of the frac sand boom. The author, Thomas W. Pearson, is an associate professor of anthropology at UW-Stout. A disclaimer - I've known Tom for years, particularly since the frac sand activist period documented in this book. 

The book brought back quite a few memories for me, as I was occasionally one of the people in the "...

Rural School Leaders: Schools in Wisconsin are Unequal

“Where kids live should not determine their education,” rural school administrators told members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding Reform.
 
Recently the Commission traveled to Southwestern Wisconsin. We heard from representatives of 20 rural school districts. Administrators, board members, teachers, parents and community members all testified about the struggles rural schools face and the need for change in the way Wisconsin pays for schools....

Not One Penny - Layoffs of Nearly 5,000 Wisconsin Workers Overshadow Vice President Pence's Visit to Milwaukee

4,883 WI Workers Have Been Notified of Mass Layoffs Since Passage of GOP Tax Bill, According to Official State WARN Data

Washington, D.C.Not One Penny spokesperson Tim Hogan released the following statement on Vice President Pence's visit to Wisconsin today:

"As Vice President Mike Pence visits Milwaukee today to tout the benefits of ‘tax reform,’ he'll have to reconcile...

Sen. Vinehout ~ What Can We Do to Protect Our Water?

What can we do to protect our water?” This is a question I am often asked. Many Wisconsin residents are concerned about protecting our precious natural resources, and much of the concern is focused on water quality.

This week we celebrate Earth Day. Forty-eight years ago, Wisconsin’s own Gaylord Nelson first gathered with 20 million Americans in support of environmental issues. Celebrating the earth means being mindful stewards of...

NWF Statement on AG Schuette Suing Tug Company Responsible for Mackinac Straits Spill

Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, National Wildlife Federation, 734.887.7119, [email protected]

 

 

NWF Statement on AG Schuette Suing Tug Company Responsible for Mackinac Straits Spill

 

(Ann Arbor, MI) -- Attorney General Bill...

Wisconsin Becomes 15th State to Require Criminal Convictions to Forfeit Property, Under Flawed New Law

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed SB 61 today, a bill designed to reform the state’s civil forfeiture laws, which let the government permanently confiscate property without ever filing criminal charges. With the governor’s signature, Wisconsin becomes the...

Blue Ribbon Commission Explores School Funding Inequity

Kathleen Vinehout

Linda Brown recently passed away in Topeka, Kansas. Ms. Brown was the student at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education that struck down school segregation. Ms. Brown’s father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll his nine-year old daughter in the all-white Sumner School. 

 

The day after Ms. Brown’s passing, I joined other members of the...

Remember to Vote on Tuesday

Vote

Wisconsin has two critical state-wide items on the ballot on Tuesday April 3.

We are having a very contentious Supreme Court race pitting two different candidates with very different styles against each other. Most voters are likely to make their decision based on the different beliefs the candidates have about whether the Constitution must be interpreted from the eyes of the founding fathers (Screnock) or that it is a living document (Dallet). The candidates of course...

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Today, May 21

  • Steve Hanson
    9:12pm

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  • Steve Hanson
    9:08pm

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  • Steve Hanson
    8:48pm

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  • Steve Hanson
    8:43pm

    An incident at the Hi-Crush Frac Sand Facility in Whitehall today was widely covered in state news. A bulldozer and its operator fell into a pond at the site, and needed to be rescued by rescue teams from multiple organizations and companies. The buldozer driver was successfully rescued, but several firefighters were injured during the attempt. They were treated for their injuries and released.

    What has not been widely covered are the after-effects of the rescue. Reports are coming in from citizens that the retention pond was breached as part of the rescue attempt, and the contaminated water from the pond has flowed through neighboring fields, into a stream, and from there to the Trempeleau River.  The discharge from the pond is alarmingly bright yellow and the contents are currently unknown. Some local citizens have taken samples from the flow and from the river for further analysis.

    We will attempt to keep you informed on this ongoing story. Thanks to Pat Popple and the Frac Sand Sentinel for the initial story and photos, and to Tim Jacobson (Mysteries of the Driftless) for the video of the stream flow.

  • Steve Hanson
    3:55pm

    Contact: Megan Simons, [email protected]
    (202) 464-7361

    WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21 - Following today’s Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis, holding that employers can enforce arbitration agreements that forbid workers from banding together in class action lawsuits, AFJ President Nan Aron released the following statement:  

    "When nominated, it was clear that Neil Gorsuch would undermine the rights of workers to advance the interests of big business, whether ruling that a truck driver, Alfonse Madden, should have had to choose between his job or his life when his truck broke down in freezing conditions, or siding with a university that denied leave under disability rights laws to Grace Hwang, a cancer patient whose doctor told her she risked dying if she returned to work during a flu epidemic.  And, today he gave a freer hand to businesses to underpay their workers. Gorsuch’s opinion for the majority today in Epic Systems v. Lewis effectively strips workers, in this case employees who were victims of wage theft, underpaid by their employers, of their ability to most effectively enforce their rights. Instead, it requires them to seek redress in arbitration, where the game is rigged behind closed doors in favor of the employers."

    Alliance for Justice believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of over 120 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through Bolder Advocacy, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential. 

  • Steve Hanson
    9:34am

    CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — The House version of the 2018 Farm Bill failed on the House floor today by a vote of 198 to 213. Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) opposed the bill as it was presented and stressed the need for a more partisan approach in the next draft.

    WFU President Darin Von Ruden issued the following statement in response to the vote:

    “A lot is at stake in this farm bill – farmers across the country are facing depressed commodity markets and, here in Wisconsin, we’re losing dairy farms at the rate of 1.5 per day. While it is important that we get safeguards in place to help these farmers, it’s also important that this next farm bill makes the substantive improvements that American farmers so desperately need to ensure a future for their farms.”

    “This version of the bill was heavily partisan, rushed and likely to have given us more of the same,” Von Ruden added. “It would have weakened payment limitations, watered down definitions to allow subsidy loopholes, backtracked on farm program limitations, made excessive cuts to nutrition assistance and slashed $1 billion from conservation programs. Farmers are looking to our political leaders to craft a bill that better supports family farms and rural Americans.”

    Farmers Union is urging legislators to make a number of improvements to the farm bill, including:

    · Reinstate a more reasonable definition of “actively engaged in farming,” so that farm program support goes only to farmers.

    · Tighten up farm program payment caps and payment limitations, so the Farm Bill is a safety net for average farmers.

    · Reinstate the Market Stabilization feature that was originally intended to be part of the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, which would reduce the cost of the dairy program to taxpayers.

    · Restore conservation funding to protect soil and water resources.

    · Focus nutrition dollars on actually feeding people, especially children, rather than more red tape.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan made a Motion to Reconsider that was postponed, so there may be a re-vote this afternoon or more likely next week. The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee is still in process of working on its version of the Farm Bill.

    Wisconsin Farmers Union, a member-driven organization, is committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities, and all people through educational opportunities, cooperative endeavors, and civic engagement. For more information visit www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com.

    — Wisconsin Farmers Union

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