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Seniors and children together?

Schools and seniors

Public schools in the past were extensions of the two-parent, multi-child family. They evolved as the institutions that often defined the neighborhood center and functioned as that center.

This, somewhat modified, has remained the model of the public school systems for decades, long after families and communities no longer are part of that model, when most families are no longer two-parent households, now in two parent homes, when both parents are likely to be working and when the mother is not likely to be at home.

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Luckily on this planet.

I live in a community were I have access to and can readily fulfill most of my needs and demands. I'm at a stage in life where I'm sufficiently free and can still depend on myself and my own resources to fulfill who I am.

I can even change what is immediately around me and have influence on the boarder social and physical environment, where I can do this in the interest of those still here and others to come.

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Housing policies

Perhaps there are some knowledgeable young families that don't know about the excellent school system that we have here in Shorewood.

But for the present time, the entrance fee is housing affordability. The present system of financing our schools isn't working too well. And that's what needs to be changed. I don't know of any clever way of making housing in Shorewood affordable to young families who might assist in building up our school enrollment.

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Planned development

I'm grateful to the Shorewood Village Planner and to the Board members serving on the committee that is studying the possibilities for upgrading our duplex stock in Shorewood. I'm also grateful to David Tartarowicz for his various studies and commentary, all of this has stimulated my interest.   

They have helped me in trying to come up with some solution. For I was not at all close until I started researching “mixed neighborhoods” as both class mix and age mix type of communities. These were, sometime ago, referred to as socially balanced communities.

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Government meetings

I've always been thankful to Steve Koczela for his postings. How else could we keep abreast of the village news, especially as to what goes on in relation to what the Shorewood Village Board is doing and what it's up to.

The Board and its various committees seems to have an affinity for “closed-door meetings.”   Most often people who are not citizens of the community are permitted to attend these behind-the-scene meetings while citizens most continuously interested in our community and what the government is doing, like Steve Koczela are not allowed a peak in.

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Most recently, I've found that many of my postings will draw the attention of about 50 readers over the first 24 hours. Many of my graduate student classes, of course didn't have half that many students.

The hits will usually double over a 3 to 4-day period and double again over a week to 10 days. I've been surprised to learn that over several weeks that I've had as many as 400 hits for a posting. Other bloggers, I'm sure have more impressive numbers.

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Community and Government

Shorewood must focus on and talk about the essential  elements that really respond to the organic impulses of community.

One of today's main elements of community is the school system where the children come together from all aspects of the community. Children from the various families meet and interact. Interaction is one of the basic elements of community and the schools provide that focus in the U.S.

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Two Cents Worth

Seems like there is a buzz in Shorewood about making some large statement type changes. Downtown Shorewood is taking on a new look, SHS is getting thousands of dollars worth of makeover, a new park is being planned around Atwater beach and the beloved spork has been replaced by real flatware at one elementary school that I know of.

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Snowbanks and Iced Crosswalks Keep Shorewood Shoppers and Walkers at Home

Parking, Residential, Walkable

A new motto that you may have noticed on the new official Shorewood website is:

Shorewood --- Just Two Feet From Everything.

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Board Government

Village and School Boards were established to bring about minimal and easy type of local governing bodies. Today's requirements have led these boards to depend on administrative personnel to carry out day to day processes.

The problem that has developed is that as local governments become more complex, the part-time elected members of boards tend to lean more on their administrative staff for all sorts of programming, scheduling, planning and new sorts of ideas.

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Politics and power

Human beings are pretty much motivated by their desire to attain power.  Power comes perhaps in as many forms as those wanting to attain it.

Today the general source of power is money. And in a general sense, most people desire money and are inclined to acquire money in millions of ways. The power of wealth is a desire found in many, if not in most people.

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Executive power

The discussion in my previous two postings leads to some implications for communities like Shorewood operated under a system of “village trustees” referred to as the “Village Board.”

Generally members of  non-government  board of trustees are appointed. However, in the case of communities the members are elected by citizens of that community.

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Suggestions for Trustees Michael Maher's and Dawn Anderson’s Re-election Campaigns

Parking, Politicians & Politics, Village Administration, Walkable


Incumbent Village Board Trustees Michael Maher and Dawn Anderson are reportedly going to run for re-election.  At this point, it is uncertain if they will have any opposition to their re-election bid.  If they don’t, they will obviously not need to campaign.  But if they do have opposition, I have some suggestions for campaign literature.


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Local government, so close yet so far.

Government - - town meetings

Democratic government as devised by our forefathers aimed at the inclusion of all citizens and was based on equal representation and equal treatment.

To a great degree its structure imitated that from which it separated itself. If Washington had not been our first president, for example, perhaps precedent would have been set for electing the president as king for life.

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Government interaction

I don't know who reads my postings, except for the indication that I get from fellow bloggers. Therefore, in a sense, these are merely notes to myself that eventually may get read by others.

I used to let my views be known to the Village Board at almost every meeting. When I first started to do that, there was a ruling that the members could not respond. So I felt like a voice in the wilderness.

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Real Social Studies Starts Here

It’s that time of year again. Time for lawsuits about nativity scenes in the public square, arguments about religious music that got snuck into “holiday” concerts, memos about not decorating schools with Jesus or Santa, editorials about the holiday tree, or discourse about Wal Mart finally deciding to wish people a Merry Xmas instead of the ubiquitous “Happy Holidays” which has always struck me as hilarious anyway. Everyone knows Happy Holidays means Merry Christmas to someone who isn’t yet a Christian but given enough time and prayer, will be.

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Let's check for lead.

Private services


When people come into our community to serve as consultants, as developers and as service agencies, we must see to it that they work in our interest, in the community's interest not merely in their own interests.

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Environment Ecology, Housing, Residential

Dear Shorewood friends,
Some of you may have heard about a proposal to tear down the Riverbrook Restaurant and the Sherburn place apartments (where I live) to put in a senior living center.
As a resident of the apartments and a professional in the field of research and environmental education,  I find SO MANY problems with the development from just about every angle.
 1) The developers are not considering any green design.  They are tearing down perfectly good buildings and bringing in all new materials.
2) The developer  when asked about green building showed no interest and gave misinformation to the zoning committee. Specifically, she said LEED Certification, (the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability) meant nothing more than slapping a green roof on the building. 
3) Green design is not only environmentally friendly, but it is functional and considers the use of the building and the residents that live there. 
 4 ) The developer is advertising river views from the upper floors but assured me through some magic of landscaping that you won't see the building from the river
 5 ) It's a HUGE 4-story, cookie-cutter box  building from a national chain of senior living centers in which the owners are facing lawsuits for fraud and neglect  (Sunrise Senior Living) .   This is so against what I feel are the strengths of Shorewood - walkable neighborhoods with locally owned businesses.  If senior living is truly needed, it would be easier to swallow this change if this were the future of sustainable design in senior living, designed by Kubala-Washatko, something Shorewood could be proud of.  This is a valuable piece of real estate, and the change they create will be around for a long time.  (And I think the building is hideous)
6) We will lose one of the only pockets of diversity in Shorewood where there is relatively affordable living (Sherburn Apartments) and sit-down dining (Riverbrook).  I ate brunch at the Riverbrook on Saturday and was floored by how packed the place was and by the degree of diversity I observed.
7) There are currently 50 people at Sherburn apartments, including families, some elderly, and people that have lived there almost thirty years.  At any time these people could get 30 days notice to leave according to the owner who has had terrible communication (virtually none) with the residents or even the building manager. 
The truth is, for me this will be an inconvenience - I've moved around a lot.  For others this will be a life upheaval.
The project is still in its preliminary stages, but if nothing is done, it will undoubtedly move forward.  I urge anyone that is available to come to the two meetings this week at the Shorewood Village Hall, located on Murray Avenue, 1/2 block south of Capitol, between the Police/Fire Department building and the Shorewood Public Library.  The meetings will be in the courtroom on the second floor unless there is a large turnout, in which case the meeting will be moved to the basement of the library.  (A large turnout would be nice)
Meeting times are:
Monday, December 17th, at 7:30pm
Tuesday, December 18th, at 7:00pm
Monday's meeting (tonight) will be a presentation of the proposed development by the developer to the Shorewood Village Board.
Tuesday's meeting will be the Zoning and Planning Committee.  They will be discussing this and other projects under consideration by the Village.
Please forward this to friends or anyone else who you feel may have an interest in this project.  These are elected officials making this decision and it's up to us to make sure they represent their constituents over an outside developer.
Thank you for your support!
Tim Vargo


Housing, Residential, Taxes, Village Administration

 I would love a 320% ROI !!!

I am sure that any investor would love to get that kind of Return On Investment --- but I doubt that even Warren Buffet would count those kinds of chickens before they are hatched.

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Capitol Drive Merchants in Shorewood Get 2nd Class Treatment

BID, Parking, Politicians & Politics, Taxes, Village Administration, Walkable

Two nights ago, on the 18th, the Shorewood DPW committed a large crew during the night to do a snow removal operation in the Business District.

Hooray !!!!!

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