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Help 400 animals find homes!

Join the Wisconsin and Ozaukee Humane Societies in celebrating summer by saving a life. Our goal is to find homes for four hundred cats during the month of July, in addition to loving families for lots of dogs and small animals, too.  As part of the celebration inspired by Independence Day, every adopter has the opportunity to receive terrific prizes and free stuff!

·         Adopt any cat whose coloring is red, white or blue and receive a free gift and a certificate to attend a free Cat Behavior Seminar! Even if your new cat is wearing an item in one of those three colors, you will receive a gift. Be on the lookout! ·         Adopt any of our mice, named after some of our nation's heroes and receive a complete cage and setup for only $10, while supplies last! ·         Adopt a rabbit and you will receive a discount on our popular Wabbitat! ·         Adopt any one of our Petite Pals including rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, birds, gerbils, hamsters or mice during the month of July and the fee is waived on a small animal friend! ·         Anyone who adopts a dog during the month of July will be given the opportunity to draw for a prize ranging from dog treats to a complete dog kit with everything you need to bring home your new friend!  

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Load Up on Flavored Vegetable Dishes

Last month I went to a dinner banquet at a big hotel. One third of the people who attended the banquet had asked for a vegetarian meal. The cost of a vegetarian plate was $45.00!  So many were hungry and were eagerly waiting for their meal to be served. Guess what? The vegetarians were served boiled and overcooked vegetables, placed one on top of another along with a hunk of cheese. That’s it. I was thinking, my goodness with so many ways to cook vegetables deliciously, why serve the vegetables in such an unappetizing manner? Even a baked potato with some veggies and melted cheese on top would have been great.

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Pending Patent Legislation: What Will it Mean to an Inventor?

Next Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club Meetings:
 Mequon:  Sept 16  5:45
Metro Milwaukee Club – 135 W. Wells 5:30 pm September 23

 Pending Patent Legislation:  What Will it Mean to an Inventor?

If you are an individual inventor or are involved with  a business which relies on patent protection,  you probably struggle to make sense of the patent system as it is. The prospect of new legislation affecting rights that are difficult to understand in the first place can make any inventor feel like a speculator.

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Ozaukee County: America's Second-Best Place To Raise A Family Just Got Better

  Those of us who live here have always known that Ozaukee County is a great place to live and raise a family. We don’t need polls, market research, or website lists to confirm how fortunate we truly are. Still, when came out last month with its national rankings of the best places to raise a family in America, it was reassuring to see that Ozaukee County sat in the number two spot on the list.

 Using research provided by the Tax Foundation – a nonpartisan tax research group in Washington, D.C. – Forbes studied every county in America with a population over 65,000.  They isolated counties in which over half of the per-pupil spending comes from property taxes, and then scratched off any county in which the average SAT score fell below 1,050 (math and verbal combined) or in which the ACT scores dropped below 22.  Forbes ranked the remaining counties using a ten data point system which included factors such as cost of living, graduation rate, standardized scores, home price, property tax rate as a percentage of median home prices, percentage of homes occupied by the owner, per-capita income, air quality, crime rates, and commute times. When the dust settled, Ozaukee County sat in second place, behind Hamilton County, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis, as the best place to raise a family in the country.  

 If Forbes’ rankings had considered geographic factors such as being situated on the world’s largest supply of fresh water or being within an hour’s drive of Titletown, USA, in contrast to Hamilton County’s being smack dab in the middle of one of the flatter and more boring states in the country, Ozaukee County clearly would have topped the list.

 Forbes’ rankings also gave significant weight to things such as parks, recreation programs, and athletic opportunities. But what they didn’t know when they released the list on June 30 is that the quality and quantity of athletic facilities currently available to Ozaukee County residents is about to get even better. That alone should earn it top billing on the Forbes list.

 On July 2, the Town of Cedarburg unveiled its support for a new major sports and athletic complex to be located in the town at Five Corners, just north of the City of Cedarburg. The new sports complex will be located on 95 acres near the southwest corner of Highway 60 and Washington Avenue, behind the Grafton State Bank and Town Hall on what was formerly known as the Prochnow Landfill.

 The new facilities will feature a huge array of recreational opportunities for Cedarburg and Ozaukee County residents, including soccer, softball, baseball, football, and archery. It will also boast playgrounds, shelters, hiking trails and batting cages. Finally, Cedarburg will have the facilities needed to host games and tournaments for area youth and adult sports leagues. It will serve as the gateway to Ozaukee County for hundreds of thousands of parents and athletes traveling here from all corners of the Midwest, many of whom are future county taxpayers.

 Ozaukee County has been in desperate need of such a facility for decades, and the new complex will solve many of our athletic and recreational space needs for generations to come. A conceptual plan along with other details can be seen at The new park will provide additional traffic for Cedarburg businesses, including both City of Cedarburg merchants and those locating within the town’s new Five Corners Master Plan area. 

 There are still many hurdles to be overcome and the park will not be built overnight. Various planning, fundraising, and regulatory issues must first be addressed before construction can begin. Seven acres of the property was used as a landfill between 1945 and 1972. But such was also the case with Lime Kiln Park in Grafton and Mee-Kwon golf course in Mequon. The power to control title of the property – currently ready to be assigned by a special administrator for the Estate of Marvin Prochnow – rests with the Town of Cedarburg, the City of Cedarburg, Emerson Electric Corporation, and Brunswick Corporation (now Mercury Marine). These four entities make up the responsible parties who must remediate or clean up the property, and they are all working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop a plan to do so. While the cost to clean up the property is not precisely known, the acquisition of title to the property and its cleanup is the subject of discussions between the City of Cedarburg and the Town of Cedarburg. Much progress has been made in these negotiations, and it is the town’s fervent desire to present town, city and county residents with one of the biggest and most impressive sports facilities anywhere in Wisconsin. You can help make this dream a reality by attending an Open House at the Cedarburg Town Hall at Five Corners on Tuesday, July 15th between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to learn more and voice your support. This truly will be a monster gift from the community of Cedarburg to its children and grandchildren.

 The proposed sports complex is only the beginning. Less than two miles away, thousands of hockey players of all ages are excited at the prospect of a second ice rink being built in the county. The Ozaukee Youth Hockey Association and the Ozaukee Ice Association are in negotiation with Ozaukee County to acquire the Ozaukee Ice Center located at 5505 Pioneer Road on the Mequon/Cedarburg border. The current facility is home to Concordia University’s men’s and women’s Division III college hockey teams, along with high school teams from Cedarburg, Homestead, and Grafton. In addition, hundreds of Ozaukee County families also have young athletes involved in the Ozaukee Youth Hockey Association programs, resulting in sparse ice time availability and practice times as early as 5:00 a.m. and as late as midnight for some young athletes. The need for a second rink reached critical mass some years ago, and a solution in the form of a second rink built right next to the current rink appears to be a step closer to reality.

 Once OYHA acquires the facility from the county, which it gifted to the county years ago, its plan is to partner with Concordia University to build the second facility and give the Concordia Falcons a dominant athletic presence in the heart of Ozaukee County. The resulting second rink will provide Ozaukee County with another premier destination for tournaments and sporting events, and give ample practice and ice time to users of all ages, including plenty of public skating time.

 It is a given that Forbes did not consider these huge two sports and athletic developments along with many other salient attributes of Ozaukee County when it nudged Hamilton County, Indiana to the number one ranking on its list. As fresh water becomes the currency of the new millennium, Ozaukee County joins a short and distinguished list of communities living next to the world’s largest fresh water bank. When you consider these things, it is no doubt safe to assume that whether or not you have children in area schools or athletic programs, Ozaukee County is now unofficially the best place in America to live and raise a family. With a little community support for the new Sports Complex and hockey facility, it will only be a matter of time before we make that first place ranking official.     

Enter a Photo in our Calendar Contest!

Does your dog strike a pose when you bring out the camera? Does your cat smile when you say "cheese"?  The Wisconsin & Ozaukee Humane Societies’ calendar contest is back and entries are now being accepted!

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Dogs arriving from Puppy Haven need your help

The Wisconsin Humane Society reached an agreement to obtain and close the largest dog breeding facility in Wisconsin, ‘Puppy Haven.’  Nearly 1,200 dogs will be brought to WHS to start on the right path to a happy future. Although many of the dogs were healthy enough to go into adoption right after spay/neuter surgery, and more than 100 have been adopted in the past few days, others need extra help. 

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Are you smarter than an Al Gore? He made the news recently with his speech where he noted that "The Future of Human Civilization is at Stake," unless we convert to 100% renewable power sources, namely wind and solar within 10 years. Now, if you’ve ever seen the program "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader," you know that some of the contestants are smarter and some are not. I’ve examined Al Gore’s proposal and I offer what a 5th Grader may think about it. Then you can decide if you are at least as smart as a 5th Grader, which automatically makes you smarter than an Al Gore.

In 10 years, without increasing our energy sources from nuclear power and without extracting the oil and gas resources within our nation’s boundaries and the continental shelf, Al Gore proposes that wind and sun alone will solve our energy problems. Can anyone subscribe to his theory? Natural gas and oil will no longer heat our homes or power our vehicles. Coal, oil and nuclear will no longer supply the electrical power to our homes, industries and communities. Our carbon footprint will be zero. Wind, sun, a smattering of tide and hydro power will be our sole renewable energy sources. While not clear on this issue, I suppose Al Gore sees us all zipping around town or out on the highway with little electric cars with enormous batteries. All of us have seen the disastrous results of such past theories, such as the headlong plunge into ethanol from corn to replace a portion of our gasoline supply. Ethanol production required massive taxpayer subsidies, reduced car mileage, polluted the air and increased the cost of gasoline per gallon to the consumer -- all with the unintended consequences of raising food prices throughout the world. Al Gore’s proposals would have to work hard to produce worse consequences but certainly have that potential.

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Sales tax a Good Option for Parks

The Milwaukee County Park Department was once regarded as the best urban park system in America and was the envy of other large metropolitan areas. It served as the national model for public investment in open space, recreational facilities and programs. This is no longer true. While the rest of the nation has discovered the wisdom of upgrading park facilities and investing in new parks our park system has experienced a significant decline in funding due its reliance on the property tax as a means of support.

From 1983 to 2007, the county’s overall tax levy grew by 112%, out-pacing inflation, yet during that same time, the park system’s share of the levy shrunk by 18%.  Factored for inflation over this twenty-four year period, the reduction in park funding is a sobering 65%.  This reduction has led to an unconscionable build-up of deferred maintenance and a loss of nearly two-thirds of the full time workforce.  As staff levels have dropped there has been a related increase in the perception that our parks are not as safe as they once were.

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