Saturday, May 18, 2013
The National Transportation Safety Board wants another lowering of the blood-alcohol standard for drunk driving. It stands at .08; the NTSB wants it at .05.
The National Transportation Safety Board wants the blood-alcohol threshold for drunk driving to be lowered to .05 from .08. Wisconsin followed the rest of the country from a .10 to .08 standard in 2003, under the threat of losing federal highway funds. The state had almost 29,000 DUI arrests in 2011, almost 10,000 fewer than in 2000 but still the sixth-highest per-capita amount in the country. And police regularly arrest people for driving with concentrations two and three times the current legal limit, and/or for multiple convictions. Will a lower limit make Wisconsin citizens safer in any way? Or is it simply an unnecessary government intrusion? Vote in our poll and comment below. Related polls:
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Some Wisconsin legislators are hoping to prevent any government restrictions on the size of your soda. What about your own restrictions? If any?
If the state Joint Finance Committee gets its way, the Big Gulp will have the freedom to remain, well, … Big. WISN 12 News reports the panel, which includes local representatives Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), placed a provision in the budget bill that would prevent any city or county from limiting the size of a food or drink being sold. The infamous New York City ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces is being challenged in court, but if successful it would dramatically slash the 7-11 Big Gulp (128 ounces) and the McDonald’s Supersize (40 ounces) among others, according to Mother Jones. Setting aside the notion for a moment of how much control government should exert over such a matter, how…
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Reports suggest the iconic social media site last lost 9 million monthly visitors in the U.S. over the last six months. But the site is still huge and mobile growth continues.
Facebook had 1.1 billion worldwide users at the end of March — up 23 percent from the same time last year — and reported other positive signs of growth. However, one social media analyst suggested that the iconic site has lost 9 million monthly visitors in the U.S. in the last six months, and experienced drops in other parts of the world. That may only reflect PC users and not mobile, however. Of course, anything as ubiquitous as Facebook is a target, and users log complaints about games, changing privacy settings, the timeline and so much more. Meanwhile, younger generations spend more time on Twitter, Instagram and other social sites. Are you spending less time on Facebook than before, and if so, why? Vote in our poll and then discuss in…
Saturday, April 27, 2013
An analysis shows the UW system sitting on nearly half a billion dollars in extra tuition. Officials say they need it for future projects.
The University of Wisconsin system is under fire from both parties in the state Legislature after a Legislative Fiscal Bureau report showed it had $650 million in reserve — including $414 million in tuition reserves — despite annual tuition increases of more than 5 percent. Gov. Scott Walker is now considering a change to the $181 million planned for the UW system in the biennial budget, and whispers of a tuition freeze imposed by the Legislature are percolating. But UW officials say the surplus — about 25 percent of the operating budget — is in line with recommended practices, according to Madison.com, and less than Minnesota and Illinois keep. And the College Board says Wisconsin’s public-school tuition is still lower than Midwestern …
Saturday, April 6, 2013
The credits would be $2,500 for every high school student, and $1,500 for elementary students.
Two state legislators want to offer tax credits for families who send their child to private school. State Sen. Glenn Grothman and Rep. Dean Kaufert, both Republicans, would offer $1,500 for elementary school children and $2,500 for high school children. Grothman said private school enrollment has declined over the last decade, according to his website, while “well-funded public schools continue to have their funding increased ....” Would this credit have an impact on whether to send your child to private school? Would it need to be more? Or would you rather keep your child in public schools if they’re already there? Vote in our poll and discuss in the comments.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
The argument on global warming starts ... now. Because you can't really get outside and do much anyway.
Almost a week into the official start of spring, stubborn snow mounds and frosty temps running about 15 degrees below normal are reminders that winter is hanging on here in southeastern Wisconsin. And don’t look now, but the forecast through the end of the month hardly budges, with high temperatures expected to be 41 or less every day. Aside from the usual argument about global warming this sort of cold snap brings about, how are you handling long winter season? Vote in our poll and discuss in the comments.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Sunday's St. Patrick's Day is among the biggest binge drinking events of the year in Wisconsin. Is it the biggest?
Almost any national ranking of alcohol consumption finds Wisconsin near the top. Forbes Magazine named Milwaukee “America’s Drunkest City” in 2006. A story from 24/7 Wall St. ranked the state No. 6 among beer-drinking states in 2011, citing statistics that say Wisconsin has more binge drinkers and heavy drinkers than any other. And at least one study suggests Wisconsin has the most drunk drivers in the nation. In a state that loves to find an excuse to lift a glass, which special event inspires the most drinking to excess? Vote in our poll and discuss the issue in our Comment stream.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Gov. Scott Walker has proposed $3 million for grants to execute GPS tracking of certain people considered dangerous who have not yet violated a restraining order against them.
Gov. Scott Walker announced a plan to budget $3 million for grants to “allow GPS monitoring of certain dangerous individuals receiving first-time restraining orders.” Last April, Walker signed “Cindy’s Law,” which allows courts to institute GPS monitoring for restraining order violators. The new plan would allow people deemed especially dangerous to be tracked by GPS before violating the order. Relatives of a victim from last year’s Azana Spa Shooting in Brookfield have been pushing for tougher laws. Is it right that people who haven’t violated an order should have their whereabouts tracked electronically? And should the state provide grants to make it happen? Vote in our poll and discuss in the comments.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
The youth organization delayed a vote expected last week, and said it would examine the matter again in May.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has delayed until May a vote on whether to lift a national ban on gays as members. Reuters reports that the group’s national executive board was supposed to vote last week, but pushed it off citing the complexity of the issue. The move would have allowed local chapters to decide. President Barack Obama is in favor of lifting the ban; Texas Gov. and onetime Eagle Scout Rick Perry supports keeping it, according to Reuters. Late in 2012, the Los Angeles Times undertook a review of 1,600 confidential BSA files and found hundreds of instances where allegations of child molestation went unreported. Included in those files was a longtime Shorewood pediatrician who admitted he fondled two boys at a camp in 1987. …
Saturday, February 2, 2013
The ability to hide your identity gives some people more courage to speak out, but that courage often sparks vitriol that others believe would be curbed by being required to use real names.
The internet has allowed instantaneous conversation and exchange of ideas unlike any tool man has seen. But the anonymity that comes with it turns some people off. Rees Roberts penned a Local Voices post for Patch this week that expressed his desire to require article commenters and posters to use their real names. Two Republican legislators in New York are introducing the Internet Protection Act, requiring state-based websites to have online commenters identify themselves. Not every anonymous commenter is also venomous. Some just want to speak freely on a topic and a user name makes them feel safer. But when Boston.com sought to interview many of its most active commenters for an article, it found the most angry users — the “trolls,” as …