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Crack cocaine is one of the most addictive substances on earth. It chemically alters part of the brain called the "reward system." The drug traps dopamine in the synapses between nerve cells in the brain, reproducing the feelings of pleasure we get while eating or having sex – a euphoric high lasting anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. But then the drug wears off, leaving the person feeling let-down and depressed, and creating a desire to smoke more crack in order to feel good again. Research has shown that monkeys addicted to crack will press a bar more than 12,000 times to get a single dose, and the second they get it they start pressing the bar for more. On New Year's Day, America inhaled deeply on something far more dangerous, destructive, and addictive than crack cocaine – government spending. House Republicans finally gave in to peer pressure last week and voted to approve a Senate "fiscal cliff" bill to be signed by America's biggest drug dealer, Barack Obama. The deal increases taxes $41 for every $1 in spending cuts.  

On November 6, 2012, a plurality of uninformed voters stumbled into the voting booths and despite the worst economy since the Depression, pressed the bar 59.8 million times in order to get another dose. The 57.1 million Americans who tried to remove the drug dealer from the neighborhood and the 13 million people (including 3 million Republicans) who voted in 2008 but closed their curtains and stayed home in 2012 watched in stunned amazement as House Republicans with pupils dilated and a light blue cloud of smoke following them appeared nervously before the cameras and with straight faces denied smoking anything.   

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“It Is Never Just One Thing”

Rarely does any one factor determine the final out come from a single event in life or in nature. It is just too complicated; so many factors come into play over the course of time that determines the final outcome. This is certainly true with trees and tree health. Trees in developed landscapes and in the forest are continually subjected to various stress factors that depending upon circumstances can lead to decline and eventual death of a tree.

Tree stress may result from a natural causal agent or may be from human activity. A myriad of factors may be involved which may include, but is not limited to some of the following:

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Wisconsin Humane Society Racine Campus Opens Today

Wisconsin Humane Society Racine Campus Opens Today

The Wisconsin Humane Society Racine Campus will open for animal adoptions on Monday, January 7, just one week after acquiring the former Countryside Humane Society in Racine. 

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Tree Pruning Fact Sheet

An educated and experienced arborist knows that all tree pruning is not equal. The arborist assesses each tree individually and then decides what type of pruning the tree is in need of. Crown cleaning, crown thinning, crown raising, deadwood pruning and training pruning are nationally accepted standards of tree pruning developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The ANSI A300 pruning standards are extensive and involved. They are there to protect the consumer. If these pruning standards are not addressed in the tree pruning proposals or estimates you receive you are not getting a professional job. At Wachtel our educated and experienced Certified Arborists will help you benefit from these standards and assist you in determining what type of pruning your trees will need.

The different classifications of tree pruning are:

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Get vaccines at low cost at WHS!

 Vaccine Clinic at WHS
In an effort to keep Southeastern Wisconsin's animals happy and healthy, WHS offers a vaccine clinic at the Milwaukee Campus. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Learn more here.

Stopping Tree Losses

This past spring many trees were not able to produce much foliage at all. Many produced nothing but seeds at first, and when these ripened all you could see was brown. Such trees seemed more dead than alive. Later on, some foliage started to be produced, but these leaves were undersized, off-color, and left the tree much thinner than normal. On other trees, some sections never did leaf out and the remaining parts look weak.

 Trees that have treatment history for various problems, and have been stable for some time, have begun to struggle again. Dead and weak trees are everywhere.

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Now that we have fallen only part way down the fiscal cliff, it may be time to examine whether we are going to hit bottom or climb back up to the top. As pretty much known by most sensible Americans, when you get in a deficit position when outgo exceeds income, whether in a family, in a business or in government, there are only two options. They are to simultaneously increase income (or revenue) and to decrease spending (or expenses). That seems simple enough in concept and generally most families, businesses and local governments have this understanding. The only institution that has missed the concept completely is the federal government. Granted there are times when national emergencies such as wars, conflagrations, natural disasters, etc. make it impossible to follow the axioms for fiscal responsibility.

But our deficit spending over the past four years of over one trillion dollars per year is consensually agreed to be not only out of hand, but wildly out of control. With a total federal deficit over $16 trillion and no end in sight to continual increases, it is generally agreed that something must be done. But just what has created the roadblock for any action. Well, while there are those in Congress who strongly support substantial reductions in spending, there is a majority of both Democrats and Republicans who just love their personal "pork" projects, which they believe secures their continual re-election. Just take the legislation to offer relief to those who suffered losses from hurricane "Sandy." The Congress couldn’t resist stuffing it full of "pork" projects that have nothing to do with "Sandy" relief including a funding a program in Alaska and new autos for the Department of Justice. There should be some method to curb stuffing a bill offered, for one purpose, full of "pork" projects that have absolutely nothing to do with the original purpose of the legislation. Deficit spending will never be controlled while Congress continues their undisciplined approach to adding billions of dollars to legislation to fund their pet programs in order to achieve re-election status.

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Location, Location, Location…

By: Anthony Arnoldi, Board-Certified Master Arborist WI-0102B

In real estate considerations, location is the most important aspect of a property. The value and worth of a great location cannot be overstated. We strive to live in homes that maximize the location factor so that it is very pleasant to live in while we are there, and profitable when it comes time to sell.

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