Archive for February, 2013

Change The Harbor!

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My great Idea for the City of Racine using the Harbor, Freight Rail and Wind Power to create real UNION jobs, transistion from Peak oil and create tax base growth for the City of Racine

In a few words build a terminal at the County owned Harbor to handle freight. Use Rail to move off loaded freight to a trucking hub.

I expand the idea

Due to the price of Oil Sailing ships are making a come back http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/12/tech/sailing-green-merchant-ship

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As the price of oil keeps going up, this will only continue.  Companies wanting to keep shiping costs down will be looking for ways to do so.

The use of sail for non-time critical Cargo will begin to be used more and more. From transport of  Soybeans/Corn to Coal cold be transported by Sail.  Racine could moving to create a small Freight Harbor for the Sailing Cargo ships to use with Truck/Rail Terminal to off load the Cargo and repair center be that for the Engines still in use or rigging on the Ships.

My plan would also call for some type of Temp Housing for the Sailors as they may wait for their ship to be reload for the next trip out.  I see a great opportunity to build a Maritime Museum/Retail Center for locals/ tourists  wanting to see the Ships sail into and be off loaded.

Unlike the Downtown Racine trying to serve only the rich and white (The More rich and white the better) this area would be a great place for all t come and visit. We would soon find the Downtown changed to be a far more happier place  full of just plain folk seeing something be created like no other place in America, we find return visitors more and more. Unlike no visitors like we see now. Of course the DRC would not like this but no worries as with the Downtown dieing fast the DRC would come to mean little (Kinda like now)

We would not try and compete with the Milwaukee Harbor but create our own market. The better the Harbor serves the Small Cargo ships the more that would come. Bringing more money/jobs to the City .

Racine too would quickly see other businesses  come to Racine to serve this new industry.

Of course City Taxes would have to come down and a honest City Government  be in office.

Interesting idea to think about.

Grass on the Banks

 

Getting away fro the idea of The Root as a rich man’s toy for a bit. We should look at the use of Farming as a way to not only help with food issues but as a way to control issues with the river it’s self

Simply growing Grasses on the Banks of the River would help slow erosion, as well the Water   going into the Root could be cleaned by the grasses.

Introducing breeds of Fresh Water Fish that like off the Grasses and the Insects that live in the Grasslands could in fact create a whole Ecosystem in an area of the Root River that is suffering from the lack of one.

Would not that be an idea?

Perhaps the Fish are the type that Fishermen in Racine may like to try to Fish for? I understand that the Fees for Fishing licenses go to help pay for DNR projects that something like this might be able to use?

I know that I have seen many locals in Racine do enjoy fishing bring locals to the River is a Goal of RootWorks and myself.

A great idea to find ways to get locals in the Urban areas to care about the River that so many live close to. Locals are far more critical for the long term then the nonexistent Boaters.

 

Crises!

 

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Crises! and the low water levels  of the Great Lakes is a crises. From the story

New water lows for Great Lakes could drain local economies

By Mike Pearson, CNN
“… — The coal trade on the Great Lakes declined 8.2% in 2012 from the previous year, and down a quarter off the 5-year-averge — in large part due to falling water levels and a $200 million backlog in necessary dredging throughout the lakes, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association.
— Commercial fishing boats are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate some harbors, risking a downturn in a vital part of the Great Lakes economy, said Mark Breederland, an educator with Michigan SeaGrant..”
However this is not the first time this has happened From the Story “…It’s also a cycle that’s been seen before.Lake levels were nearly this low in December 1964, and it’s the March 1964 record that’s likely to fall in the next few months….”

of course Dredging is brought up

“… Groups with interests in the economy of the Great Lakes say Congress has failed to appropriate enough money to keep up with a growing backlog of dredging jobs needed to keep harbors clear for larger boats….”  Of couse low Water be an issue if if the Racine Marina’s get so low that oh say a Hull get ripped  open or Boaters thought that might happen.

Too bad its not The City of Racine’s issue to fix is it? I know the downtown White Business owners think “we” (read me and you not them hell many can’t pay the property taxes they owe) to come up with the millions it would cost to do the Dredging needed to begin to even start to open the  Harbor/Root River. I’ll ask what happened to The City’s $$ and Counties money from the Simuluis? That would have been a shovel ready job for the $$ given to both I think. Why was that $$ used for the work?

Too bad Racine does not have a muti-use Harbor for both Freight and Fun. I sure could get behind that effort, not so much (Read No fucking way) $1 spend on a Rich man’s toy.

Mind you this is a big issue we could see the Harbor slit up in my life time.

What odds do you give the Downtown club in starting a fund drive to pay for Dredging or do you think that that the DRC will cry to the Mayor for the millions needed?

From Racine Exposted 2/18/13

Please read

Why Democracies Fail

On October 24, 2012, the residents of Racine were treated to Mayor John Dickert’s 2013 budget speech.

It is obvious that the challenge before us is a great one, but let me be clear – if the State’s actions continue -the City will be forced to evaluate if, and how we can afford the quality of life issues that make our city great, like the zoo, North Beach, Festival and Memorial Hall, our parks and even our BUS system.

In preparation, I have asked my department heads to look long term at what the city will look like in the next 5-7 years if these cuts continue. I will tell you that it is likely the items I just mentioned will all have to be on the table.

These cuts will impact all of us, but it is not enough to just cut budgets. I believe that you have to work smarter and harder to build a great city, and that is what this administration is doing. Therefore, we continue to work to make sure we are fiscally responsible and plan for a successful tomorrow.

Shortly after Mayor John Dickert’s budget speech, residents of Racine were shocked to learn that the Mayor intended to cut Fire Station 5.

Nov. 1, 2013 from The JT

RACINE — Faced with having to cut three paramedic/firefighters in the 2013 budget, Racine Fire Department Chief Steve Hansen said Wednesday that his department may have no other choice than to close Fire Station 5, 2430 Blaine Ave.

Followed by the announcement that the Mayor had made a plea for funds from local non-profits.

November 03, 2012  from The JT

RACINE — In September Mayor John Dickert’s office sent letters to 182 local nonprofits, including churches, asking the tax-exempt organizations if they would consider paying a portion of the property tax the city would normally charge them if their properties were taxed.

The idea was that if the organizations donated even a little bit to city coffers it would help Racine better weather a nasty financial season. According to the letter, any money the city received through Nov. 1 would be applied to its 2013 budget.

With the city already well into its budget planning process, City Administrator Tom Friedel said Friday that the city has yet to collect any money through the program, dubbed “Racine’s Fair Share.”

Then, suddenly, a miracle occurred, and City Hall found the funds to save the fire station – disaster had been averted at the last minute.

Nov. 21, 2012 from The JT

RACINE — A previously imperiled fire station will stay open and hours at two community centers will remain the same under a final 2013 spending plan approved by the City Council Tuesday night. 

After weeks of budget presentations and hours of discussions, aldermen were able to reach a number of agreements last week, transferring funds to struggling departments in an effort to ward off cuts. In addition to coming up with a plan to keep Fire Station 5, 2430 Blaine Ave., open, aldermen found dollars for Tyler-Domer and Humble Park community centers.

Even a small number of non-profits answered the call of the Mayor and donated   money to the City.

Jan 17,2013 from The JT

RACINE — A total of three local nonprofits have stepped forward to donate money to help the city cover some of its costs in 2013.

This week, Mayor John Dickert’s office sent out a press release thanking the Olympia Brown Unitarian Church, Beth Israel Sinai Congregation and the Racine Education Association who together donated $2,100 to the City.

While the Mayor is publicly saying that the party needs to end – and that party is largely  due to the Mayor’s reckless spending problem approved by a compliant and complicit Common Council –  City Hall is privately INCREASING spending and EXPANDING programs even as Mayor John Dickert cries that he is “BROKE!”

Instead of  “continuing to work to make sure we are fiscally responsible and plan for a successful tomorrow” the Mayor, the City Adminstrator and the Common Council are spending without restraint, expanding programs, and expecting the resident of Racine to bail them out and vote YES on the April 2 referendum.

The Referendum

The Common  Council of Racine states that it is in the best interest of it’s residents to grant a yearly increase of 5% every year from 2014 on out.

TAX 1

Let’s do the math – $49,960,322 at 5% yearly for twenty years.

TAX 2

Do you believe that this is in your best interest? Is the boss going to be able to give you a raise big enough to cover the increases?  What’s going to happen to the value of your home? Will your business be able to raise prices enough to cover the costs and still remain viable? Where does this end? Will large employers remain in Racine, or will they leave?

And why can’t the root of the problem, uncontrolled spending, lavish salaries and benefits for salaried employees be addressed?  The City cannot realistically support a bureaucracy made up of $100,000+ positions. Additionally, the City went overboard on funding entertainment venues and needs to eliminate many from the budget. The city needs to learn how to  live simply, so others may simply live.

Remember that this is the increase ONLY for the  property taxes of The City of Racine , Gateway has a referendum to add $49M in new borrowing, and RUSD borrowed another $42M and other taxing authorities will demand increases. The Common Council has also raised fees, and will do so again in the future.

The problem with Racine government was identified by former   County Executive Bill McReynolds: “But what the taxpaying public has to understand is that if we’re going to get control on property taxes, we’re going to have to cut programs that are not mandated by the state and that are not core functions of county government.”

It is time to return to a limited government, cut the functions that are not core services, and clawback  some of the outrageous salary and compensation gains that were given to the public employees, both salaried and  union, during the real estate bubble.

Former Alderman Eric Marcus’s  proposal to re-align the lavish salaries and compensation of public officials with Racine’s economic reality got him branded Persona Non Grata at City Hall.

Dec. 21, 2011 from The JT:

RACINE — An alderman’s proposal to review vacant high-paying city positions in hopes of finding cost-saving opportunities is dead.

The City Council unanimously approved the committee’s recommendation to receive and file the proposal without discussion on Tuesday night. Committee members previously said the proposal bordered on micromanagement, was time-consuming and would interfere with human resources duties.

City Administrator Tom Friedel has said the city already vets any position when it becomes vacant, including studying how cutting the position would affect services and waiting for months to fill such vacancy to see if a department can still function. He said there are about 150 city positions that are paid more than $100,000 a year in salaries and benefits.

The Math should make it clear who you cannot afford. A Common Council that makes  poor decisions based on flimsy premises, a City Administrator who is out of touch with reality, and a Mayor whose brand of Chicago Style politics and crony capitalism is leading Racine to financial ruin!

Here is an interesting video that will teach you about the exponential function, growth, and the public’s failure to understand the ramifications of these demands.

 

The story with video is here:

http://racineexposed.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/why-democracies-fail/

 

 

Dredge the Harbor/River or they die!

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Dredge the Harbor/River or they die!

From the Journal Sentinel  http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/mayors-urge-action-on-water-levels-in-lake-michigan-lake-huron-3p8q19j-191480561.html

From the Story “Lakes Michigan and Huron, which are actually two lobes of one grand lake, hit a record low in January. A combination of warm, dry weather has driven the lakes down more than a foot from where they were this time last year, 2 feet from their long-term average and more than 6 feet lower than the record high levels of the mid-1980s. But historic dredging on the St. Clair River, the lakes’ main outflow, is also a factor in today’s low water.”

We can see the Lake dropping  in depth with our own eyes. Talking to Fisherman its to the point almost where boats will start having issues coming into The Racine Harbors, some I have talked to think that perhaps even this year The Root River will be unusable to small craft. That be hell  on the businesses that rely on Small Craft owners to keep them open, how will the boaters get to them if the boats get beached before hand?

That sure piss off the Down Town Racine in crowd.

We can guess whats coming from the City of Racine, Mayor John Dickert will see if he can somehow find the money (With your taxes) to pay to dredge the River.

Kinda hard to get the magic Boaters to come to Racine WI if they can not make it up river.

Be one thing if Racine had a real harbor for both pleasure craft and freight, I be all over this and a better rail line to get the freight into out of Racine. This of course would mean real jobs and economic development, for an area that sure could use it.

No, our Mayor has his mind set on condos and water parks.   Like that is going to happen.

Be interesting if The Root River does silt up or might there be a deal not to fight Waukesha on dumping 6 million gal of “treated” sewage in the Root River in a vain hope to keep it open?

Fixing Blog issues

 

 

Working on Updating this blog. So when Word Press lets me change the page around I will do so.

In the mean time check http://www.rootriverrevitalization.com   Time Warner is working on the server issue

Yes that is the first domain I am working on!

The quest for Tourism or the backdoor to a higher sales tax in Racine speculation

 

I am back!

From my Racine in Ruins blog

 

The quest for Tourism or the backdoor to a higher sales tax in Racine speculation

 

The City of Racine has no money we all know this our Mayor John “Only State ran Media allowed” Dickert has said time and again. Case in point why the city ripped up the City Union Contacts we have no money.

Why did the City want to close a Fire House we have no money.

At the same time our Mayor wants to spend more money to do so he raised taxes about 5% proposing to outsource CAR 25 to pals in Kenosha (as he saids to save $$ yet the act will cost more money) but as you will see what I think Dickert is doing he will need a “State” controlled Media, Dickert must be King of all media.

Add to this that fact that the “Tourist” area of Racine is not doing so well  A major employer has relocated outside the City. Shops are closing more and more empty store fronts. Even a Hot Dog Stand has closed.

Many property owners are behind on taxes in the Downtown area, even more sadly some business  owners from State of Wisconsin Records maybe as much as 60K behind. 60,000 assuming the State records are right that mean to me that the Downtown is in very sad shape, or we have some in Racine who think that Taxes are only for others to pay.

More tourism to Racine spending money would only help an area that is well as I see it a sink hole of failing businesses, properties far behind on taxes and other then bars empty after dark.

Who better then The Mayor to help send businesses  your way?

How to do this?

Well what I think we will see The official Mayor Dickert Network do a series of CATV productions high lighting the City of Racine focusing on Downtown and North beach this programing will not be part of CAR 25 (Hail John Dickert) but be contacted by the City of Racine, RCEDC, RAMAC, and say the Zoo (all under the control or are pals of the Mayor) . The new operators of CAR 25 (Pals of the Mayor)NOT  Car 25,will be contacted for a fee to create and produce the shows. Should this happen keep your eye on who else gets sub contacted to help.  Perhaps part of this effort is to reward long time pals that so far have yet to feed at the City Pork Feeders?

Of course other political  hacks like Rep Cory Mason will be used to promote their own projects like RootWorks. Thinking RootWorks will have $$ to help pay for this effort, after all one of the talking points of RootWorks is to create tourism to come to Racine’s Downtown. Just look at the map of where RootWorks will be directed to the Downtown area. Its all about the Downtown.

The Shows will be put on CAR 25 and I would hope You Tube and Blip TV.  I would think that an effort would be made to get them on both Milwaukee and Chicago air to try to bring tourism here. NOTE THE WORD TRY

Well the right kind of tourism WHITE folks to spend cash in the downtown area.

Should “Please No Blacks Allowed” signs should be put up?

Of course the Mayor will say if true or not how great this idea to bring tourism to Racine has worked and numbers will be produced to say how wildly successful the program has been, there by justifying the $$ spent and the need to continue to do so (Spend money)

Now  State Law allows for this:  “In 1997, the legislature authorized municipalities capable of qualifying as “premier resort areas” to impose a 0.5 percent sales tax. Wis. Stat. sec. 77.994. A municipality, by a two-thirds vote of the members of the governing body who are present when the vote is taken, may declare itself a premier resort area by enacting an ordinance or resolution if at least 40 percent of the equalized assessed value of taxable property within the municipality is used by tourism-related retailers. Wis. Stat. sec. 66.1113(2)(a). The definition of “Tourism-related retailers” lists twenty-one classifications of retail businesses including: variety stores; miscellaneous general merchandise stores; retail bakeries; gasoline service stations; eating places; drinking places; drug stores and proprietary stores; liquor stores; hotels and motels; and public golf courses.”

 

And part of the Marketing effort of Racine as a tourist destination words that I recall the Mayor has used to describe Racine  is to do exactly this

The law also said : “However, the tax proceeds may only be used to pay for public infrastructure expenses within the premier resort area’s jurisdiction. Wis. Stat sec. 66.1113(2)(d).”

Gee this sure would go along ways to help pay for Bike Trails and Foot Bridges for Root Works. Might even go to help pay for other parts needed for RootWorks like buying Marina’s in tax issues then creating a Mall on the river.

This speculation on my part goes to explain the need for the Mayor John Dickert Network and the push on RootWorks.

At least I own some Domains I can make Bank on, buy now! Price will only go up!

 

You might want to call your Alderman now and express your views.

Note this:

1) No Black Owned Bars in Downtown that may scare rich whites

2)  More Bars in the Downtown for Max drinking

3) As I see it soon no more programing critical of Mayor John Dicker allowed on CAR 25!

4)  Easier ways to pay for parking

 

Now does anyone think more tourism will be coming to Racine? To do what?