Archive for April, 2012

Root River Revitalization TV!

Episode # 2 can be found on CAR 25 and You Tube    (the Link) will be posted to other sights as time allows!)

Control the Media control the Message!

The Past is Prologue (Speculation!)

Past is prologue or how you get a few million to fix up Water St and sell your soul

So The City of Racine knows that we do not have the funds to do everything needed to fix the Root River and the area around it. The Millions coming are a welcome start but IMHO just a small part of the Millions needed say 10 Million and then some. One of the  major issues is how to fix up Water St from its sad state that it is now and do something about the Four Buildings in the area of Water and Marquette St.

The current owner who owns them is running at least 2 active businesses an Aquaponic Farm an indoor track for Motor Cycles  and two large storage areas.  My guess after talking to the owner is A) He is not a willing Seller and B) Why has the Mayor not visited the Aquaponic Farm after repeated invites.  So for the City to obtain the buildings would be hard.

I think the Owner would love to work with the City in a TIF project but I have no idea what the City thinks of this so what is a City to do…..


I know! (Speculation) what Communist  Country has a foot in the Door in the County and looking for a Sister City deal with Racine that the City is all for?

But first more Background!

“SAN JOSE, Calif. – Even as China emerges as a super power, many of those who have benefited most from the country’s economic rise are heading for the exits.

“The rich people are trying to get green cards,” said Ta-lin Hsu, founder and chairman of Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm H&Q Asia Pacific, who spends a lot of time in Asia. He is frequently asked by business associates about how to immigrate to the United States.

“The main reason is, they still worry about the future stability of China,” Hsu said. “The U.S. is a democracy; there is freedom, and it’s a safer place.”

The exit door for many of these wealthy Chinese is opened by the fast-track visas America offers for well-heeled immigrants. Known as the EB-5, the visa requires applicants to invest $500,000 in projects in economically struggling regions or $1 million in a commercial venture in other locations. The investments must create or preserve 10 jobs for two years. If successful, the applicants and their families – spouses and children younger than 21 – are awarded permanent residency.

The foreign money is a welcome source of funding for many projects.

Oakland, Calif., city officials, for example, have eyed the program to help pay for a project that includes hotels, a convention center, shops and new facilities for the Raiders football team and Warriors basketball team and possibly a new A’s ballpark.”


and from the Racine Post 1/28/10

Mayor John Dickert’s meeting with representatives from Sheyang, China in December ended with a request from the Chinese delegation. “We’ll see you in the spring – in China,” Dickert recalled them saying.

The invitation, which was also part expectation, was a sign of the speed at which Sheyang business and government leaders are hoping to build ties with the Racine community. The China SINB group, led by Wanming Chi, bought 54 acres of land in Mount Pleasant to build a 600,000 square-foot Eco-Business Park. The land cost $850,000.

Dickert said in a recent interview that he’s attempting to put together a Racine delegation of business leaders and government officials to visit Sheyang, though nothing is definite at this point. Cost is a factor, he said, but business leaders have offered to help pay for the trip. Sheyang is located along the Yellow Sea about 150 miles north of Shanghai.

Dickert said traveling to China could result in business deals for local companies. He’s also hoping to present development opportunities in Racine to investors.

Chinese companies have made a push into southeastern Wisconsin in recent months. The BizTimes reported last week that Wanming was one of a handful of Chinese businessmen to purchase property in the Milwaukee-Racine area in 2009. The story also provided interesting background about Wanming and his connection to the Racine area:

The driving force behind SINB North America is Wanming Chi, the president and chairman of the board of SINB Group Co. Ltd. The company does business in manufacturing (particularly structural steel fabrication), real estate development, port construction, financial investment and international trade.

After the U.S. real estate market collapsed and the economy plunged into a deep recession, Chi became interested in investing in the United States because he saw an opportunity to do so at a discount.

Chi’s business relationship with William Osborne, the president and chief executive officer of Racine-based LGO Global Sourcing LLC, led him to Racine County. LGO assists American businesses with outsourcing manufacturing operations. The company has two China offices in Jiangsu and Beijing. Osborne makes 8 to 10 trips a year to China.

Racine’s Sister City Committee has begun to explore a relationship with Sheyang, which, despite a population of over 1 million people, is still considered a mid-sized Chinese city, Dickert said.

The mayor and the Chinese delegation signed an agreement to consider talking about a Sister City arrangement.
Al Guetzlaff, chairman of Racine’s Sister City Committee, described the two cities as being in the “dating/courting process.”
Any relationship with Sheyang likely will differ from Racine’s other Sister Cities because of the economic incentives underlying the partnership, Guetzlaff said. While the U.S. has a history of treating Sister Cities as “citizen diplomacy,” the Chinese Sister City organizations are based in business and more like our Chamber of Commerce, Guetzlaff said.
Based on his experience working with Racine’s six Sister Cities – four which are active – Guetzlaff said Racine needs to find a local resident who can “carry the torch” of a Sister City relationship with Sheyang, he said. Wanming’s emerging business connections in the Racine area may be the connection needed to seal the Sister City bond, he said.
Guetzlaff also said customs and traditions will come into play on the cross-cultural exchange. For example, the Chinese can be insulted if you do not thoroughly examine a business card they give you.
“There are protocol things that are very important,” Guetzlaff said. “Just like when you’re courting, there are traditions you need to be aware of.”
The part to pay close attention to is:
…”Any relationship with Sheyang likely will differ from Racine’s other Sister Cities because of the economic incentives underlying the partnership, Guetzlaff said. While the U.S. has a history of treating Sister Cities as “citizen diplomacy,” the Chinese Sister City organizations are based in business and more like our Chamber of Commerce, Guetzlaff said.”
A Company from the PRC owns raw land in the County now and how hard might it be for another to open a Money bag and buy or go into joint venture (My Guess would be Joint Venture) with many of the businesses on Water St and jointly to to a TIF to have the City help fix up the Streets/ Sewers that would need to be repaired? Perhaps even we could see China dredging the River/Lake.
There  is a lot of money in China looking for investment and land here is cheep. This will be interesting to follow up on with the City.


Another City/County project idea

Well if the RCEDC had a clue and as you know I think they do not have much of one. An easy idea for the City/County/State could work on with a local company (A small Farm based Compost Site)  is a Vermicomposting operation that would use worms to not only clean the soil from say dredging the River/Lake but Leif/Green matter collected by the City as part of street cleaning.

Mind you the City should not compete with Business, however there is nothing wrong as I see it in a joint venture to see if this idea would/will work or not.

The effort would be very inexpensive to start and would make money for the joint venture by selling:


Worm Castings

Worms for both Gardeners and Bait.

The county could provide the ground to run the effort on at a location owned by Racine County near the City or even Pearl St Location could be used not a lot of land would be needed.

The Local Compost operation would provide the Tech help.

Funds needed to start this up could come from Grants as well as investors. There is a huge demand for Compost as well as new ideas to handle Soil from Brown fields  and to do so in a way that turns  a profit.  We even see real Green jobs from this.

Be interesting to see if any place is trying something like this maybe if not here other places in the world.

Citizen Science the Plan

As you may  know  I am a big fan of Citizen Science, think its huge for so many things.

What I will be doing to bring this about with the Root River is two acts:

1) Start to monitor he Root River as it comes by my Home at Gleson Park.

2) Monitor Lake Michigan at the County Marnia

What I and of course the Root River Pirates (Arrr) will be looking at is water quality and how that changes if it does change when Milwaukee dumps a few million Gallons of Raw Sewage into the Lake and how long does it take to come up the Root River or if it does.  Findings I would share freely with interested parties.

I hope to do the sampling when the older youth are playing Soccer so I may engage them in what I am doing and how having a clean Lake and River helps everyone.

The cost to do this is very little and will help the effort of a clean Lake and River if only in a small way.

Root River TV Episode 2!

Episode 2 of Root River Revitalization TV was shot today. I should have it up on the Local CATV CAR 25 Thursday PM, and the rest of the Video  sites by Close of Business Friday.

Talked a bit about the Toys that some think will help fill the Marina (Do they want to buy a bridge?) IE Trollies and how a enterprising young man could st up a delivery serves for the Boaters that use the slips in the area.

Point being that I CONTROL the Message as IMHO  the PC crowd are working on building a “Plan” that will control what happens and perhaps who makes the money.

Very interesting how this is playing out.  The good times are coming to Racine I will strongly suggest everyone needs to think how they can be ready to take advantage of what is coming to the City of Racine

Point Blue

I keep hearing that one of the Goals if not the only of the Root River Project is to help restart Point Blue.

My Contacts talk of the City wanting to use part of the EPA Grants to do more clean up of that area (The old Walker site), with the old Point Blue calling for a Marina. I could see some of this EPA Grants being used for Dredging with some help from the County as part of a joint effort to help both Marina’s.

It comes as no shock that the City would want to see Point Blue done. Should we get this going the project would bring a lot of Tax base (The magic words) to the City and with Rep Paul Ryan perhaps becoming Vice President give something for the Mayor of Racine to hang his hat on as he thinks about a run to obtain Ryan’s seat.

I understand that a member of the Common Council believes he can get Disney to do a Water Park  at Point Blue, however the Walker Site and the Market that we offer is far  to small for Disney. No harm in trying.

Trolleys for the Marina WTF? My thoughts

From the Journal Times 4/24/12  :

Last year, as part of budget cuts, city officials decided they couldn’t continue to run the aging trolleys, said City Administrator Tom Friedel. The trolleys were cut, along with other bus system cuts. “We were running them at a loss. We were losing money,” Friedel said.

But after a Marina Commission meeting last week where concerns were brought up about losing the trolleys, the auction is going to be temporarily postponed, Friedel said. The city will hold off at least until the Marina Commission’s next meeting on Monday, Friedel said, but can wait longer if needed. ….     and more

…County Supervisor Monte Osterman, who attended last week’s Marina Commission meeting, said he would love to see the trolley service continue in Downtown. But at the same time, he said he doesn’t know if a private company could make money operating the trolleys because at the peak weekend time a trolley should run is also when people would want to rent them for things such as weddings….

What you need to know: County Supervisor Monte Osterman owns two stores in Downtown Racine WI and is a major backer of the Downtown Racine Corporation who wanted the Trolleys for more retail shopping in the Downtown area.

Other then a few riders during the day the only time I say any number ride them was during what I call party events going from Bar to bar with drunks Party On!

The idea is of course if we keep the toys as I will call them this will attract boaters to use Racine Slips for there boats.  Of Course someone needs to pay for operation of the toys so why not the Tax Payers? Damn them if they do not see the value of  the Toys running empty Damn that Governor  Scott Walker for not letting the City just jack up the taxes! Right?

So where to find the Money? Should not be the County. After all how does the toys help say Union Grove or Waterford?  They do not I believe full boat slips do but I thinks its going to be cost of the slips and if boaters can get what they need at the County Marina then cute toys.

Of course the lefty members of the Marina Commission IMHO see more reasons to find and spend tax money. I know lets raise slip fees!  Higher fees just bring in folks wanting to spend money!

These toys for the Marina  need to be a nonstarter.

Dredging #2

Dredging costs a lot of money. I had two sources tell me that in the past businesses along the River bank that would benefit  from a dredging operation have resisted/refused to pay there share of an operation. IMHO this is so wrong if a for profit business would directly benefit from Dredging they should pay a fair share.

Now my off the cuff idea would be to find a landscaping company who be interested in using the muck from the River/Lake bed to use for Compost.  This Muck after being composted could be sold not only to other landscaping companies and the public but sold back to local units of Government for Brownfield clean up.  A few 10K’s of cubic yards go a long way to pay back an investment one could even use this to create a few true green jobs.

Of course the muck would have to be tested for Hvy Metals Ect  and the proper composted would need to be done.

I need to look at this some more.

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (My view)

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (My View)

Where do I begin?   Well what there Web page said about themselves:

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) is the official metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and regional planning commission (RPC) for the seven county southeastern Wisconsin area.  SEWRPC was created in 1960 to provide the basic information and planning services necessary to solve problems which transcend the corporate boundaries and fiscal capabilities of the local units of government comprising the Southeastern Wisconsin Region….

Well sounds good right? All working together for the good of all right one big happy dance.

I think not, being the cynic as Ambrose Bierce said  The conduct of “public affairs for private advantage.” and I see this group very much like that. Now the Members may not themselves loot the public treasury but the plans they come up with allow their masters to do so. Be it The City of Milwaukee, The City of Racine, Milwaukee County and/or Nonprofits that live off the public taxes.

My belief is that a large part of the “work” this group does is to find ways to insure Units of Government have issues to deal with and consultants   ready for a fee of course to help fix the issues.

I also very much think that groups like this and say the Root River Council exist to insure that there masters plans only have the right Companies get bids and only the right plans by the right (Color/Income) folks  get approved all in a way that protect there masters.

If I had the time I look at the connections with Party Politics starting with who in this group signed the Recall. Who are members of the Democratic Party.

I could also look at what Companies they work/ed for and that connection to party and politics.

However the Root River Revitalization takes up most of my time.


Racine Shiping History

IMHO History is a great thing to know if only allowing an understanding of the long road we have all walked to get here.

The City of Racine once had a huge connection to Lake  Michigan as a port goods and Immigrants.

In Fact my Home was I understand the first home built in the subdivision in 1905 for a Capt Jones a Ship Capt who worked on the Great Lakes by his son who was one of the first V.P.’s of the Case Company (Who also had long history on the Lake).

To honor his father the son build a theme room popular at the time of a Ship Bunk Quarters on the 2nd floor, yes the room is set up with the type of bed/ dresser found on a Great Lake Caro ship of the late 1890’s.

I will have to post photos.  I enjoy looking South  over the Root River and thinking how nice the view  had to be  before the decline on the City began.

So before the RR became huge Water shipping was used because it was cheep when the Rail Roads showed up and offered faster transport that killed sailing.  Now with oil going up we just might see a return to the Age of Sail