Winners & Losers: TCD’s week in review (12/29/11)
Buses in Milwaukee and Waukesha County will offer free rides beginning at 8 p.m. with extended service until 4 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. New Year’s in Wisconsin always reminds me of Lewis Black’s hilarious stand-up bit on Wisconsin drinking when he asks the Milwaukee crowd, “How do you know when it’s New Year’s? That’s the big mystery to me. What’s the difference? I’ve been in bars here and it’s like New Year’s every fuck night! Oh, New Year’s, that’s when we drink with hats on.” Cheers, Milwaukee. Just get home safe.
2. Aspiring artists
Pamela Anderson, Matt Duckett, Albin Erhart, Hal Koenig, Brandon Minga, and Timothy Westbrook are the six artists named as finalists for the next Artist-in-Residence at Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel. Starting in mid-January, you can vote at the Pfister’s Facebook page and website. All six artists will hold a group at InterContinental Milwaukee’s Gallerie M next Gallery Night, January 20, with live and tweet-voting that evening. Winners will be announced in February.
Richard Taylor and Debra Loewen were named 2011 Artists of the Year by the Milwaukee Arts Board. Loewen is the Artistic Director and founder of the Wild Space Dance Company, and Taylor, a sculptor, who has work that is set to be displayed at Hart Park in Wauwatosa.
4. The powers that be
As Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials ordered Gov. Scott Walker to lift an enrollment cap on Family Care, which was initially imposed when Walker’s budget went into effect on July 1. The program works to provide long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities. The Federal government pays about 60 percent of the program’s cost.
The road to the Super Bowl now goes through The Frozen Tundra after Aaron Rodgers’ team-record-tying five touchdown passes propelled the Pack to a 35-21 victory against the Chicago Bears. This Sunday’s game against Detroit means next to nothing for the NFC’s top seed, who will essentially have two full weeks to rest before a home game in the second round of the playoffs, and will likely have Pro Bowl wideout Greg Jennings back on the field by then.
New budget cuts by Gov. Scott Walker will fall hard on the UW System, which take the biggest cut of any government agency. Last Friday, the Journal Sentinel reported $46.1 million in additional cuts will be made to the UW System in efforts to balance the state budget.
2. Wisconsin teetotalers and the physically fit
Wisconsin ranked 13th overall in the United Health Foundation’s annual America’s Health Rankings (up five spots from the 2010 study), but ranked among the worst in the country on measures of obesity. Wisconsin also has the nation’s lowest level of public health funding per capita, at $40 per person, and has the highest prevalence of binge drinking in the nation. But most everyone I went to school with at UW-Oshkosh already told me that part via T-Shirt.
3. Wisconsin State IDs, Made in California
State-issued IDs and driver’s licenses will be manufactured in California and mailed, starting in early 2012, because we don’t have the technology to encode personal data at state DMV offices. It’s one step in complying with the federal Real ID Act passed in May of 2005. Real ID will create a national ID system, complete with comprehensive database of every card-carrying human living in the U.S. Real ID also makes it harder for people to immigrate and to seek political asylum in the U.S. Our own James Sensenbrenner authored the original bill, which died in committee but was later attached to an emergency military spending bill, and so passed. God bless America.
Congress has allocated $300 million to keep the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in place through 2012. The Initiative began in 2005 to deal with ongoing problems in the great lakes, including invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels and other forms of pollution. According to the Appleton Post-Crescent, “Obama promised during his 2008 campaign to seek $5 billion for the program over a decade. Congress appropriated $475 million in 2010 and just under $300 million this year.”
5. Our most vulnerable citizens
Former head of Social Rehabilitation and Residential Resources, Mildred Horvath, pled guilty to embezzling from the organization, which operated group homes and outpatient treatment centers for people with addiction or mental health problems.