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Thoughts written down.

Thinking and the written word.

An uncharacteristic January has now unfolded itself into a lion-like February entrance.

March, as a time of the year, sounds more cheery on this dawning blustery day, the official month of Spring's coming. My mind would have rather created Spring as the year's rebirth. A more gentle beginning especially for those of us determined to live rather deeply into the northern hemisphere.

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Does Village Government really need to be Secret?

Secrecy in government.

It is quite obvious that certain properties are either being considered for purchase or are coming up for sale in Shorewood that Village Hall must be aware of.

Village Hall not only seems to know what is going on in terms of the local property market but is also aware of what is generally and specifically taking place on an on-going basis. Village Hall is usually informed as to future transactions, not always publicly known.

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ACCOUNTABILITY.

Government - - town meetings

I very much regret that Village Hall does not receive the kind of investigative reporting that citizens of communities deserve.

Without these type of serious observations citizens cannot keep up with what is taking place on the surface, let alone below the surface.

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Who's in charge here?

Government overseer

I'm still waiting for Village Hall, especially those who collectively rule in this castle, to announce that they have dropped further consideration of the Sunset proposal.

I'm hoping that instead, that they announce that they are willing to consider a new design for this river setting prepared with citizen participation right from the start.

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LEADERSHIP and COMMAND.

Governmental leadership.

Leadership cannot be tested in advance, as it is often described after the result of action, action already taken, action within an event requiring direction and accomplishment.

The military especially talk about leadership skills, focusing much of their analyses on determining what these generalized characteristics are and who has them, then on shaping and sharpening those distinguishing features.

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THIS SILENT "BASTILLE".

Citizen participation

Citizens seldom hear much from our ruling sovereigns in Village Hall, from within the quiet Castle walls.

Perhaps, the crowned heads prefer silence and inattention to the clattering of the focused media. I've often been the only citizen remaining in the audience to the last of the agenda items at Village Board meetings.

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HANDS

Hands and humanity

One coming from outer space on examining the lives of human beings would have to say that our hands have contributed most to the development of humanity, more significantly than speech itself.

It is through our hands that our brains have translated thought into the artifacts that have laid the ground work to our continued collective progress. Yet those who work with their hands are the least rewarded among us.

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CAUSE AND EFFECT MENTALITY.

Cause and effect mentality

As man developed a “cause-and-effect mentality,” he was able to project himself into the future, beyond day-to-day existence.

Human hands” and curiosity kept him busy with more than immediate survival. Hands taught him cause-and-effect, the mentality that led him to the development of the most primitive of tools.

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STONES OF WAR.

Weapons of war.

Now with many hands and many brains, we build space ships to take us into what once was only God's domain.

We can look down on earth, a place of many nations, of poverty and of richness.

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VULNERABILITY.

Community spirit.

What we think of ourselves as individuals and in relation to those around us seems to be the basis of community.

I find that at the grocery store and in other social situations that I relate quite well with children of about two and younger and they with me, primarily, I'm told, because I must be of that age in spirit.

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POETIC ATTRIBUTES.

The concept of village

Many of the aspects of community spirit are of social, physical and environmental character.

Community spirit is a poetic side of our community's nature. The notion of the “walkable community” is expressive of an element of Shorewood's social poetic qualities. It calls to mind, safety, security and peacefulness--indications that we are the street and the street is ours. The idea takes us away from the reality of noisy and fast moving traffic.

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EMPTY PACKAGE.

House Loans and stock market

Avid financiers from all over the world invented a package that they sold to those who could not afford what they thought was inside.

Inside the new financial package was an empty dream with all the attributes of financial bankruptcy and foreclosure, a “subprime loan” that on the whole has caused a total crisis, not as bad as the one still awaiting, when credit cards reach their end and if and when economic conditions really go bad.

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CITY AS ARCHITECTURE and AS ART.

Architecture and community.

Thomas Jefferson believed that “architecture is among the most important arts.”

I wish we could bring that notion in its importance to our efforts in the redevelopment of Shorewood.  Jefferson saw the architecture of London at that time, as inferior to that of Paris and he had the frankness to say so. 

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PING POINTS.

Public spaces

Everything public and even semi-public should be viewed as Public Space;  therefore as art and architecture.

The street is quite different from the road or the highway. This urban space is is not primarily for vehicle movement, but should be viewed as a public space, especially in urbanized areas where people are present on a regular basis.

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STONEWALLING.

Small community government

Local governments may be as unresponsive to citizen's sentiments as higher level governments.

Government in small towns usually grows out of the community that forms itself organically. However, government in an artificial settlement is artificially superimposed. Its main, if not its only purpose is to provided services, such as sewers and streets. Most suburbs are of this form.

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THE USEFULNESS PRINCIPLE.

Economic base improvement

An important goal in dealing with the elderly in Japan has become one of finding ways to expand and strengthen their physical capabilities in order to remain useful to themselves and to society.

Of course, why didn't I think of that? 

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WE CAN DO BETTER.

Policy formation.

Should we forgo the opportunity of improving the character of our community and turn our backs on the better qualities of our riverfront and its the long-term natural attributes because of previous decisions?

Our community is made up of a number of residents who are mainly interested in the education of their children and are unable to participate in community much more than in achieving those family goals. Therefore, because of this disinterest in government, as I've indicated before, some elections result in incumbents re-seating themselves because of minimum or no opposition.

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SCHOOLS AND ELDERLY.

Schools and declining enrollments.

Populations in many of the developed countries are growing older. There are two important factors, life expectancy is increasing and birth rate is on the decline.

Young families in the U.S are averaging 2 and fewer children per family. When I was growing up, 4 to 6 children in a family was not uncommon.

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SENIORS UNITE.

Schools and elderly

Senior citizens want to be independent therefore are unlikely to admit that they might have needs, even as simple as having someone to talk to.

I'm going to start with that simplest of needs. Our society tends to treat seniors as separate types both individually and collectively. Their mobility is therefore restricted, not only physically but socially as well.

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“ON THIS ROCK”—A COMMUNITY

Community building.

During the years, in talking to people in Shorewood and through my actual experience here, I've found that families with children find this a desirable place because of the school system.

Residents don't mind paying a somewhat higher tax for these school benefits. But I've also found that beyond the schools, there is very little to keep these families here after the children complete their high school education.

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A NOT-SO-SILENT VILLAGE HALL

Information

Kevin Buckley is to be congratulated on his recent posting chosen as the Best of the Blogs for the week. He is a blogger on Whitefish BayNOW and wrote about a proposal for development on Silver Spring, former Talbots/Famous Foot location.  

He is to be commended for this clear and thoughtful explanation of this situation as well as for his opinions, especially as I agree with him.

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VILLAGE HALL, MAKING SAUSAGE AGAIN.

Govenment and transparency

I'd think the public should be given a complete report on the “Sunset”project from its initiation to the present.

The public should know in who's interest “Sunset” was initiated and why so much of our tax money in terms of time spent was expended to carry this project so far forward before it was brought to the public as general information.

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GOVERNMENT IS NOT “NECESSARILY” EVIL.

Is government evil?

Some of us have heard it said that “government is a necessary evil”. And this does not mean much to most people, except that it is a cleaver expression..

I know that most dictatorships are evil. They tend to be forceful in whatever direction that their exalted leaders want to take the people.

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I guess.

Insights

I saw my doctor recently, 'been feeling much under the weather,

In addition to prescribing the usual tests, he told me “I guess you've got a virus.”

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“IT'S ALL GOING TO LOOK THE SAME ANYWAY.”

Government programs

We live in a world of whimsy, our feet planted on the glossy iced sidewalks of Shorewood and our heads turned toward a fantasy.

That fantasy is a sort of new candy that rolls around in our mouths that we call, “street scape”. Snowed-over and iced-over sidewalks are part of that “street scape.” There goes the fantasy. Oh! We were only talking about sunny days, like in Florida. That  kind of fantasy.

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A VOTE FOR THE ROBOT IS A VOTE FOR YOU.

Electronic government

The Japanese are working out all sorts of robotic aids, even for assisting with care for the elderly.

As we learn about all the on-line stuff Village Hall is considering, we now can come up with ideas for the Japanese to consider for us in this context.

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