Say cheese! Wisconsin began rolling out the red carpet for the Democratic National Convention this week hosting news media from around the country at the brand-spanking new Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee which will be center stage for the gathering July 13-16.
Democrat Gov. Tony Evers told a panel at the gathering, “I truly believe Wisconsin will be the state that elects the next president of the United States. It was key last time, it’s key this time.” And Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said the Badger State is “the center of the political universe right now.”
We like the attention, of course, and we’re buoyed by the estimated 50,000 visitors that are projected to visit here this summer and the projected $200 million the convention is expected to pump into the city and state economy. Cash registers will ring at restaurants, catering businesses, bars and hotels. But, we’re Wisconsinites after all and we’ll take those estimates with a grain of salt, given our prudent and frugal heritage. We’re aware of the fact that those economic impacts are often inflated and past conventions have often left lingering debts — and we’re not unaware of the reports that almost half of the Dem delegates will be hoteling it across the state line in Illinois.
Still, we have no doubt the economic benefits here next summer will be significant and that it gives Milwaukee and the rest of the state a chance to showcase our hospitality, our wares and the generous and welcoming spirit that Wisconsinites have always shown to guests. So, no matter your personal political persuasion, let’s get ready to smile, be good hosts and welcome our guests.
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The Village of Caledonia should consider hosting a NIMBY jamboree. You know the acronym; it stands for “Not In My Backyard.” We saw it again in the village this week when a group of neighbors of a proposed new Culver’s restaurant filed a rezoning protest petition to try to block construction, arguing it impinges on a woods and wildlife area that feeds down to the nearby Root River.
The petition, which was validated by the Caledonia Planning Commission, could require a supermajority vote by the full Village Board to override it. The proposed Culver’s would be at the northeast corner of the intersection of Highways 31 and 38 — two four-lane major highways northwest of the city. We’ll wait to see if the village spares the deer and raccoons and Culver’s joins two previous Caledonia proposals for Walmarts on the extinct list.
We have no quarrel with the idea that — in this day and age given the increase in gun violence — churches and places of worship have a need for increased security. Still, given the advent of pistol-packing in the pews to safeguard the flock, churches might have to update the Ten Commandments and, perhaps, replace “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” with something more contemporary like: “Thou Shalt Only Shoot to Maim.” Rather a sad commentary on our times.
Are you ready for some football? Yes, indeed we are, and we’re already biting our nails and laying out our lucky Green and Gold socks and prepping our game-winning superstitious, sure-fire-win traditions in preparation for Sunday’s NFC divisional round between Green Bay and the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field.
The Packers were an early four-point favorite, but they’ll have to contend with another Wisconsin favorite: Seahawks quarterback and former Wisconsin Badger quarterback Russell Wilson, who is always mercurial and always a threat. Of course, he lost in the Rose Bowl and got intercepted in his bid for a second Super Bowl ring, so we have hope. C’mon Aaron. Go, Pack, Go!