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Elections and representative government

Now that this year's election is over, we shall have 5 of the seven of the Village of Shorewood trustees who as incumbents have run with no opposition or only partial opposition (2 against only one challenger in one case). Am I wrong on this?

This means that these trustees do not have the affirmation of a constituency.  But as candidates elected at large,  they of course have responsibility to all of the citizens of Shorewood even those who would oppose them. Otherwise why are these people in office? But does this odd situation give us real and appropriate representation?

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Toward building community.

basis of community., Older adults

 At a recent meeting of influential people concerned with bringing gentleness, comfort and continued meaningfulness to the older adults of our community, everyone seemed to be agreed on the fact the elders “shall always be with us.”

Thank God for that. These are parents, grandparents and great grand parents. No one else would be on this earth had it not been for them.

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The swooping hawk.

The garden and longevity.

As spring grows near, the birds seem to become more sparse at the bird feeder. Of course, I've always been shocked when such a beautiful bird as the hawk swoops down and takes one of the birds that was busily crowding the feeder.

Neither am I pleased with the woodpecker who insists on drilling holes into the cedar trim. But although I'm just as pleased with Shorewood as I am with the nature that surrounds me, I also have similar annoyances with specific species of programs of our village as well I do with certain aspects of nature.

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Glorifying the mundane.

The art of architecture.

Architecture is a special art that only few manage to master.

Quite a few years ago after I came to Milwaukee, I became the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's first university planner.  I wanted the president of the university to name our institution the “University of Milwaukee.” Obviously that did not happen. Many universities in Europe are named after the city in which they're located. In some cases the city was named after the university.

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A PLUNK-IT-DOWN-BUILDING, not good enough for Shorewood. Let's take a new look.

Development & ecology

I don't know at what point in the redevelopment process where the impact of the architecture, its size form and style is considered, and how recommendations as to these and other features are made within the whole village's development process.

I would think that fairly early when the type of use and the manner in which it is to be situated on the site, which is at its early proposal stage, would be the time to consider architecture as well as its relationship to the site and surrounding features.

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Environmental architecture.

The “design review board” is the last rampart, perhaps the only defense.

THIS BOARD is of course under political pressure to yield; yet it was designed and established to take this process out of politics.

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McCain, the straight shooting cuss.

The presidency.

I don't believe that anyone running for president is any better than any one else. That's democracy.

I've got used to the idea that “General” McCain, or is it Commander-n-chief McCain will be our next president. The conservatives are going to be mad as hell after he gets into the White House. The liberals will join the conservatives in their grief.

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Hillary not an Iron Lady nor Gentle Lady, but a Tough Cookie.

Candidates in review

I was sure that Hillary had the Democratic candidacy coming and going when the primaries started. And I was sure that she'd beat any of the Republicans. But it's been a tough battle and she's pretty unlikely now to beat her primary opponent. I think, if she were the Democratic candidate that she could beat McCain, the Republican.

Senator Hillary Clinton stands, in public appearance somewhere between former Prime Ministers Margret Thatcher of Britain and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, one being the Iron Lady and the other a Gentle Lady. Hillary, I think would come across as a Tough Cookie.

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Obama and the sins of our fathers.

Candidates and election

Nothing is certain in politics, but it does appear rather clear at this time that Senator Barack Obama is going to be running against McCain for president in the general election.

It also appears that the democratic party has been strongly favored as was Senator Hillary Clinton. So the wind is at the backs of the democrats but this does not mean that Barack Obama is guaranteed to win.

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Voting our emotions.

Presidential elections.

What makes an ideal person for president?

Race and gender make no difference. I'd want someone as intelligent as Thomas Jefferson, as inspired as Tom Payne and as thoughtful and principled as Abe Lincoln. In more recent times that person should be someone as strong as Margret Thatcher, as sympathetic as Benazir Bhutto and as wise as Indria Gandhi.

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“The validity of their own sentiments.”

Dreams and rationality

Dreams and rationalities.  Like most artist, I'm a dreamer.

And my artistry is not the superior type, primarily because it cannot be judged, as the final project is never final and it produces public things over a relative long period of time, over periods longer than building single structures.

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Business districtss at night.

Last night, Friday at 8:30 pm, I found myself on Oakland Avenue, making a rather emergency trip to Pick-n-Save.  Of course one soon becomes aware of the construction obstacles.

It seemed rather dark as I think of it. I suppose there weren't any lights on the east side of the street nor did I see any people on the sidewalks. The neon lights made it rather spooky.

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Why do they do it?

Making Local elections real.

Village Board members give a great deal of time in the work of managing our community's affairs and I often wonder way they do it. Few citizens appreciate the time that it takes away from their families and businesses. I'm sure that many other citizens would also want to show their appreciation for their efforts.

I've been a citizen who has watched the Village in process for some time and marvel at all the work that gets done. Now that we have a vacancy after an annouced resignation, I hope that it is left open until the next election so we can get some people to run for the office in opposition to each other and voted for by the people.. There have been too many who have been unopposed for local political positions.  An appointment at this time would re-enforce the trend of the unelected.

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Humanizing the city street.

What makes a city and what is its purpose?

The  atom of the city is the individual human being in the same way that he/she was the atom of the village and of the small town.

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It takes a village.

Intergeneration programs.

Only recently have most Americans begun to fall in line with the growing evidence that global warming is a reality.

Here in Shorewood, we have yet to come to grips with the fact that we are also experiencing an age revolution and that families are having fewer children.

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Election or “self-pollination politics?”

Government by appointment or by election?

Democratic governments often engage in appointments to administrative positions but an appointment to an elected position has a sort of political incestuous character to it or at least attains some of that essence.

Governors will fill in representative or senatorial seats by temporary appointments until the next election. However, these appointments are not viewed with the same authority or legitimacy as those that have earned their seats in opposed elections. The election of our senators rather than their appointment became an important step in the evolution of our democracy.

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Power and Dominance, Technology and democracy

The last decade has shown us that we've been living in a world of rapidly growing technological gadgets that are also rapidly changing our ways of  living.

I've gotten used to someone talking behind me in the grocery store. I used to turn around thinking someone was asking me questions. Now I know it's someone with a cell phone getting instructions as to which product to buy off the shelf.

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On the edge of time.

Intergenerational community

Shorewood has a past and a future. This is connected by a small moving strip that we call the present.

The community's reality is within this narrow strip and in its movement. We may speak of plans and visions of the future, but reality and life remain within this limited strip, on the edge of time.

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Is Shorewood the only reality?

War can be justified in many ways. Yet its main purpose is destruction. The destruction of villages and cities and of those who live in them, an attempt to destroy the culture of the opponent and the superimposition of the victor's culture.

War is meant to kill human beings, to produce dead and the near-dead.

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Headline: Lives taken suddenly when all seemed best.*

War and world events.

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How do they do that?

Representative government.

How can one elected to office as an at-large candidate really determine his/her constituency and if that is not possible then how does that official represent those who elected him/her to office? How does one appointed to an elective office determine his/her constituency?

In Shorewood at the present time both School Board and Village Board members have been candidates elected at-large, that is without representing a particular area or group other than supposedly all members of the community.

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What will it take to get things going??

School property tax exemptions.

New York has established a system of school tax exemptions and rebates for retired seniors.

It seems that most states have senior tax-reducing programs of one type or another.

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