Monthly Archives: June 2006

Friday Dudley Twofer

These pictures were actually taken Wednesday, June 28, but close enough. 🙂

Friday Dudley 6/30

The facade of the building being put together

Early Dog Days

You may have noticed a slight slackening of the pace here on the blog. It is tough to keep up with all the activities of Camp Wausau both as a participant and documentor, so I hope you will bear with me. Things are bubbling below the surface though.

Andy LaubAnd the community is growing. No, not Wausau itself, but people talking about and sharing the goodness of our home. A gentleman by the name of Andy Laub (or at least I assume he is a gentleman and that is his name) has informed there there is “Wausau” group on Flickr.

Andy has posted some really nice photos there. His are a bit more “arty” than mine and Toms. Ours tend to be more “snapshotty” or maybe on a good day, “journalistic.” Andy’s pix are very nice and will give you a new view of our hometown.

And hey! You could join in too! Get yourself a free Flickr account, join the Wausau group and show us all your photos! I know lots of you have digicams, so share your best or even your worst shots with us. The more the merrier!

Econ 101 At the Tanstaafl Institute

No, that is not a typo in the headline. Many, many years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in high school, I took my first economics class. On the first day of class, the instructor welcomed us to the “Tahnsstoffle Institute.” Or at least that is sort of what it sounded like. He then wrote the “name” of the “Institute” on the board thusly: TANSTAAFL. He then grandly announced that this was an acronym that stands for: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

He then told us if that was all we learned in the class that we would know more about real world economics than most economists. Frankly, I don’t remember much else from the class, but TANSTAAFL has stuck with ever since. I was reminded of it again when I was visiting Door County last weekend.

It seems that the citizens of Door County, or at least some of them, are fighting a proposed big box store which may be built near Sturgeon Bay. It is your classic battle. Local store owners and citizens who want to keep local character on one side, developers, chamber of commerce types and people who want to “save money” on the other. Throw in some out of town money and lobbying for the local politicos and you have an All American brouhaha already in progress. You can read the side of the story of the locals fighting the big box here.Door County Cycles

First I have to say, that I think the forces for Big Box development have a point. It is kind of nice to shop in a store that has a huge selection and rock bottom prices. Wal-Mart has often argued that they help average Americans by saving them significantly at the check out. And certainly compared to the Mom and Pop store of old, Big Box prices are much lower.

Unfortunately, those low prices have a price, as it were. The TAANSTAAFL law applies to Big Boxes just like everything else. Yes, the prices are lower — and so are the manufacturing wages for those products. Often so low that the jobs pay so much less than our minimum wages they have to go overseas. Mom and Pop can’t compete, downtown fades to a romantic memory and the Big Box acts as a conduit for the money — from all those hometowns to the Head Office. Suddenly all those nickles and dimes that were “saved” pile up into huge fortunes. If Sam Walton were still alive (and his now somewhat scattered fortune still intact) he would be the worlds richest man, by far. Target’s CEO raked in over $12 million in pay in 2004 and has some $174 million in stock options waiting for him. That is a lot of “savings!”

There is a place for a nice big cheap store, by now you can’t help but shop at them. But I always try and remember the TANSTAAFL Institute everytime I pull in the parking lot and especially when I see ground broken on yet another corporate money vacuum, come to suck our hard earned dollars away. Development is good, trade is good. But local development that focuses on people and community is best.

A Call to Action

Wausau has a LPFM. I know, I work there. So I am passing this along. Please read, cut and paste often…and most importantly call your senator.

Prometheus Radio Project Calls for Quick Action on Senate Bill 2686

IMC-US , Jun 25, 2006 @ 23:32 GMT

Prometheus Radio Project is calling for supporters of independent community-based media to take quick action on Senate Bill 2686, a big telecommunications bill that covers everything from who controls your local cable company to how fast and open your access to the internet is. Some of the bill, the proposed Communications, Consumer’s Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006, is problematic, but some of the amendments are positive – including one introduced by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona that would expand low power FM (LPFM) radio — one hundred watt community radio stations used by churches, schools, and community groups around the United States. The bill could be voted on next week.For more information and to get your Senator’s phone number, visit: http://www.freepress.net/washington or http://www.prometheusradio.org/lpfm

Read the amendment

Hello Intrepid Rabble Rousers for Community Radio, and Greetings from the Prometheus Radio Project!NEWSFLASH! FORWARD WIDELY!

The expansion of low power FM (LPFM) radio — one hundred watt community radio stations used by churches, schools, and community groups around the United States — has taken a dramatic, important turn. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, is sponsoring an amendment onto Senate Bill 2686, a big telecommunications bill that covers everything from who controls your local cable company to how fast and open your access to the internet is.

You can read this amendment here: http://www.prometheusradio.org/media/mccain_amendment_stevens_bill.pdf

What would this amendement do? This amendment would remove the artificial restriction that the FCC was forced to put on our airwaves in 2000, keeping low power FM radio from America’s cities and thousands of our towns. Hundreds, if not thousands, of new radio frequencies would be opened up to communities across the country.

What’s our goal? Senate Bill 2686 will have over 100 amendments offered onto it, and the expansion of low power FM radio is just one. Even though we all might have to come together later this year to defeat this bill (we’re not trading low power FM for public access TV — no way!), this is an important chance to show support for LPFM on the floor of the senate, on this bill, and in all future legislation. If this amendment is voted down on the floor, we’ll have to start over at square one to expand LPFM to our communities.

ACT NOW!

What can you do? You can call your Senator -today- and ask them to support low power FM radio on Senate Bill 2686 — the Communications, Consumer’s Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006. We aren’t crying wolf — we need you to call -immediately- as this bill will start getting debated this week.

Get your Senator’s phone number here:
http://www.freepress.net/washington or http://www.prometheusradio.org/lpfm And when the staffer picks up, say something like:

“Hi, my name is _____, and I’m your consituent, Senator. I support, and my community supports, the language in Senate Bill 2686 that would expand low power FM across our state and across this country. In an era of natural disasters, and few opportunities for churches, schools, and community groups to make their voices heard, we need more local radio stations in our cities and towns. Please support low power FM in Senate Bill 2686.”

Then drop us a line at info@prometheusradio.org, or call us at 215-727-9620, to let us know you called!

We have been fighting against many of the provisions of the larger bill. And if they do not fix the provisions that give away the control of the internet to Comcast and Verizon or limit public access television, we will oppose its ultimate passage.

But it is very important that you help make the amendment is a success, to show the broad support for the positive things legislators can do for communications, like Low Power FM. It’s time to expand low power FM from Opelousas, Louisiana to New Orleans, from Spokane, Washington to Seattle, and across this country. Stand together for the community radio we need to take back our airwaves and our democracy!

In Solidarity,
The Organizers at
the Prometheus Radio Project

PS — Want to learn more about low power FM radio stations serving their communities? Scroll down to the bottom of this page — http://prometheusradio.org/lpfm — and read about a station near you here — http://www.prometheusradio.org/library/news_archive

PPS — Low power FM stations saved lives and provided essential communications infrastructure after last year’s hurricanes and continue to do so today. This spring, one Mississippi station was honored for its service by none other than President George Bush. Learn about one of those stations here — http://www.prometheusradio.org/WQRZ_honored_by_president_bush

PPPS — Get involved with the fight to protect our access to the media by visiting our allies at SaveAccess.org and SaveTheInternet.com!

Teach Your Children Well

This weekend we visited one of Wisconsin’s great State Historical Sites, The Wade House. These sites are a wonderful reminder of how we came to be who we are… as well as some lessons that could be implemented in everyday life today. The pioneers did not have words for conservation, recycling and reuse- it was a way of life. Very little was wasted.

The State Historical Society has done a wonderful job creating living history museumsWade House Stage Coach Inn in several locations across the state. There are, of course, locally run historical sites as well. There are far too many children who have never experienced Wisconsin’s past, an art museum or the performing arts. Take time to teach your children! Check out these websites for more info:

http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/

http://www.portalwisconsin.org/

Consider becoming a member of the State Historical Society. Benefits of membership include their magazine (a great read!), discounted admission and discounts in the shops.

Christine

BTW- Are you humming that song now?

WNRB’s Summer Party

Given that we passed our first year of broadcasting recently, the volunteers once again decided to have a party. Sort of our summer ritual. The staff does not talk about work, and volunteers get a chance to meet each other and talk about their shows.

Each year this party gets hosted by Dr. Rent himself, and each year it is a tribute to mother nature. At the innagural last year, we spent the time trying in vain to stay cool;  it being one of the 140 degree days. This year we spent it dodging hail bullets.

Either way, it was a great time, and the staff at WNRB are so very proud of the efforts of the Vols.

WACKO Weekend

No, they are not crazy, or at least not too crazy. WACKO is Wausau Area Canoe and Kayak Organization. This weekend is a citizen's race and recreational event down at the Whitwater park. People who love whitewater doing their thing just for fun and enjoyment. Still lots of fun to watch. Plus you can pick up a Gelato and some really excellent spring rolls at the booth between the county buildings.

Here is a teaser pic, there are more on the Flickr page.

WACKO Weekend Kayaker