ECHO/Janesville Athletic Club Fund Raiser!


ECHO and the Janesville Athletic Club have teamed up to let you enjoy a three-month regular membership to the Atheltic Club for just $20. Fundraising proceeds go to ECHO (Everyone Cooperating to Help Others), which has been especially busy this year assisting area families with rent assistance, food, and other badly-needed services. Every weekday, ECHO supplies about a week's worth of food to 40 families. It could be many more, but 40 is the maximum ECHO can serve in a day. Rent, transportation and other assistance has increased with the area's growing unemployment rate.

So here's how you can help while also helping yourself!

The warm therapeutic pool, whirlpools in each locker room, weight room, cardio room, walking/running track, basketball and other sports, and now Monday evening yoga and everything at the club are all yours for three months for just $20.


Anyone age 14 or older, who has not been an Athletic Club member in the last 6 months, and who is a permanent area resident, may redeem a pass. And they are transferrable, so you can give one (or more!) as a gift if you like.

Because of how the fundraiser works, we send in all the orders at the end of the campaign (Dec. 30) and receive the actual passes around January 5. We can deliver this or arrange for pick-up.

Once you receive the pass, you must activate it within 35 days (so, around Feb. 10) by taking it to the club. Your three month membership begins on the day you activate it.

I just wanted to make sure you had all the details in advance.


You must purchase by Dec. 30. You can Contact Denise directly (see below) or you can visit Codos Coffee, 119 N. Main St., Janesville -- that's across from M&I Bank, between Main Street Saloon and Perfectly Plus. Russ, the owner at Codos, can sell you your pass. He'll give you a receipt and take the info so we can deliver your pass.

Contact Denise at or at 608-289-0682 for other arrangements.

One more alternative is to go to the ECHO office after 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. I discourage this, because the staff is already very busy, but if this is your best alternative, you're welcome to stop in. In this event, please be prepared to wait in line behind clients.

Any questions, or more options, contact Denise.

Thank you!
Denise Showers
ECHO volunteer

P.S. Remember, this special deal ends December 30th! Reserve your passes today.

Support Medical Marijuana

Help us pass the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act in 2009!

In the link above is a convenient, pre-written letter urging your representatives to vote on a bill for the statewide regulation of medical marijuana in Wisconsin.

It only takes about 30 seconds to complete and send off. It's that easy!

(download the flyer here)

Read the text of the JRMMA:

Assembly Bill 554 | Senate Bill 368

How to testify and submit written testimony here.

Upcoming Events

A combined Assembly/Senate committee public hearing will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009 @ 10:00 am in Room 412 East of the State Capitol.

Health Care Vigil In Milwaukee

An assortment of area community and faith organizations will unite to demand an end to unneeded suffering and deaths due to a flawed health system.

– A wide assortment of Milwaukee area individuals and organizations will gather this Friday (Nov. 13) at 5:30 p.m. in front of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3022 W. Wisconsin Avenue, to hold a Vigil for Health Care.

Participants will stand in unity with those who have suffered as a result of our flawed health system, before entering the church for a program beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The program will include:

• Perspectives from the faith community and health care providers to the poor, homeless and uninsured Reverend Joseph Ellwanger, organizer for WISDOM
William Mullooly, lead social worker at St. Ben’s Health Clinic Dionne Young, APNP, nurse practitioner at St. Ben’s Health Clinic.

• Update on reform legislation
Brian Rothgery, Deputy Program Director for Citizen Action Paulette Garin, Wisconsin State Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America.

• Perspectives of sponsoring organizations
Sponsors and co-sponsors for the vigil include the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County, MICAH, WISDOM, Citizen Action, Health Care for America Now, Organizing for America , Progressive Democrats of America , Peace Action Wisconsin, Casa Maria, Healthcare Now, and The Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare – The National Single Payer Alliance.

The vigil’s speakers, sponsors and participants have varying opinions of the specific policy decisions before our nation’s legislators. The focus of this vigil is not public option versus single payer, or even Republican versus Democrat. The vigil is a unifying opportunity for those who demand responsible federal health reform over the status quo.

The Democratic Party of Milwaukee County is an all-volunteer organization, and serves as the local chapter of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin . Democrats value broad prosperity, mutual responsibility, effective government, a better future, and a stronger America. The DPMC meets the fourth Monday of most months at 7:00 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Room at the Pettit National Ice Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

Contact: Dave Redemann, Communications Chair
(414) 520-4401


Wisconsin’s Inconvenient Truth


Environmental Café

What could be better than a vanilla latte, pumpkin scone and an educational chat about environmental issues affecting our lives? Ok, maybe not the info about the environment – life for many is depressing enough right now without adding horror stories of airborne toxins, chemicals in your shampoo, and urban sprawl.

We heard about a “Science Café” - A Science café is a live event in a casual setting like a pub or coffeehouse. An actual Scientist makes a brief presentation about a current scientific topic, and then a group discussion takes place, allowing all in attendance to get involved, to learn, and most importantly, to talk with your mouth full. (really, that is from ‘s website) These events are popular in large cities, allowing anyone to attend, grab a brew, learn about the latest issues, chat with knowledgeable professionals, meet new friends, and speak your mind on interesting topics. There is much to discuss, so why not do so with some like-minded people, over a great cup of coffee and a muffin? PS. Bring your own cup.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
7:00-8:30 PM

Hedberg Public Library - Program Room
(upstairs near the Children’s Library)

Guest Speaker: Ryan Schryver
of Clean Wisconsin, Madison

A 30-minute open discussion about our changing global and local climate follows a 60 minute presentation. Sponsored by Rock Environmental Network. Bring a mug and stop on your way in for a fill-up at The Ground Floor coffee shop on the library's lower level.

For more info, email:

Capitalism: A Love Story Playing At Wildwood

The Michael Moore documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story" is now playing in Janesville at the Wildwood Theatre, 1620 Newport Avenue, Janesville, WI.

Hometown Congressman Paul Ryan makes a cameo appearance in the documentary playing himself. Click here for showtimes.

Capital Times Review.

Milton Library Discussion Course on Global Warming

Small, local grassroots environmental group (NatuRescue) will be hosting a new discussion course this October titled "Global Warming: Changing Course".

The course will be held Monday evenings, 6:30pm-8:00pm at the Milton Public Library.

The course will run October 19th thru November 16th.

The purchase price for the book to be discussed is $21 with no additional charge for the course.

Support Single payer Health Care

Single Payer, and specifically HR 676 - The United States National Health Care Act, were the ONLY health care reform plans endorsed and put on the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's Platform and Resolutions at the 2009 Convention. HERE is a link to the complete Platform and Resolutions.

For the first time ever, Single Payer legislation will be debated and voted on by the House of Representatives in September. Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY-9) introduced an amendment to President Obama's healthcare reform bill (HR 3200) that would replace it with HR 676, the single-payer bill. Speaker Pelosi pledged to bring it to a debate and vote on the full House floor in September.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is expected to bring S 703 to the floor for a vote in the Senate.

And Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) wants to enable states to establish single-payer systems.

Let's demand that our congressional delegation vote YES on Rep. Weiner's amendment, S 703, and Rep. Kucinich's state single-payer amendment in September!

Call our Wisconsin congressional delegation and our President. Ask them to support Single Payer Health Care.

President Barack Obama 202-456-1111

Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) 202-224-5653
Senator Russell D. Feingold (D- WI) 202-224-5323

Representative Paul Ryan (R - 01) 202-225-3031
Representative Tammy Baldwin (D - 02) 202-225-2906
Representative Ron Kind (D - 03) 202-225-5506
Representative Gwen Moore (D - 04) 202-225-4572
Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R - 05) 202-225-5101
Representative Thomas E. Petri (R - 06) 202-225-2476
Representative David R. Obey (D - 07) 202-225-3365
Representative Steve Kagen (D - 08) 202-225-5665

March For Peace In Janesville


Please join Rock Valley Fellowship of Reconciliation and Rock County Citizens for Peace to "March for Peace," in Janesville this coming Saturday, October 17, at 1 p.m.

Our theme is:

"No War is a good war!"

We will start the march from the parking lot outside Basics Cooperative, 1711 Lodge Drive, Janesville. That's the new Basics, not the old location from which we've started previous marches. A notice was mistakenly sent out through the mail that indicated we'd be starting from the old Woodman Road site, but that was incorrect. We'll gather at the current Basics lot on Lodge Drive, across from the Janesville Mall.

Bill Christofferson, co-chair of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice and a Vietnam veteran, will give us a "pep talk" to begin the afternoon's activities. We will march to the corner of Milton Avenue and Black Bridge Road. Rides will be available for those not able to make the walk. You can bring a chair if that would help. Dress for the weather; we will march rain or shine. We will be at the site with signs to send our message to passersby for about 40 minutes and then return to Basics for coffee and cheese and crackers in the store's indoor Community Room.

If you have questions, you can contact Sue Nelson of the Rock Valley Fellowship of Reconciliation at

Say No To Puppy Mills


Please join us in showing Petland that we will not accept their ongoing animal cruelty and support of puppy mills!

Our next protest date is:
Saturday, August 1, from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Petland is located in the Target plaza on Highway 14 & 26. We will be standing in the median in front of Fazoli's. We have plenty of signs! You're welcome to bring your own or use ours.

Future Petland protest dates:

Saturday, August 30, from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 20, from 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Visit All Animals Rock blogspot.

Also No Wisconsin Puppy Mills

Mad As Hell Doctors In Madison


Mad As Hell Doctors - The Rubber Gloves Meet The Road
The Mad As Hell Doctors will be in Madison, Thursday, September 17, 2009.

There are two opportunities in which to see them.

Town Hall at the First Unitarian Society in Madison

When: Thursday, September 17
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Dr.
Madison, WI 53705-2249

Single Payer Rally at the State Capitol

When: Thursday, September 17
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where: State Capitol Building
2 East Main Street
Madison, WI 53703

Click HERE for full information.

The Mad As Hell Docs have a great theme song, too. Click HERE.

PORTLAND, OR (8/9/09) - Furious with the health care 'options' coming out of Washington, D.C., seven "Mad as Hell" Oregon physicians are taking an unprecedented road trip across America to lobby Congress for a single-payer health care system. A big part of their plan is to take the entire country with them.

Called a "Care-A-Van," these road-tripping Oregon physicians will leave in a used motor home from Portland, Oregon on September 8th, inviting doctors and ordinary citizens from other states to join them on their twenty-city tour across the country. Their journey will culminate in a D.C.-based protest event on September 30th, scheduled to take place on the steps of Congress. Demonstrating with the doctors will be thousands of fellow 'Mad as Hell' single-payer advocates, all adorned with the movement's new symbol - the white ribbon. Their demand: Single-Payer Now!

Several national, single-payer advocacy organizations including Physicians for a National Health Program, Health Care Now, Single Payer Action, and even groups like Progressive Democrats of America and Jobs with Justice are supporting the Oregon physicians by setting up "Mad as Hell Town Halls" across the country in anticipation of their arrival.

New Congressional Candidate Tracker

Today we're excited to announce a new way to keep track of everyone running for Congress. And you can help!

The RaceTracker project on the OpenCongress Wiki tracks every election for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and state governor.

For every state and district (including yours!), you can find info about candidates and their status, campaign contributions they've received, district maps, past election results, and more.

Best of all, RaceTracker is free, open-source, non-partisan, and collaborative. Add what you know to the wiki, citing a news source, and help build public knowledge about Congress. Check it out ::


... to dive right in and see an example, here's the page for Sen.
Roland Burris (D-IL), whose seat is up for election in 2010 and for
which eight candidates are already in the mix ::


... for more information on how you can use RaceTracker and how to get involved, please see today's announcement on our blog ::


Finally, if you haven't taken a look at our Wiki in a while, it's worth checking out the new info that the public and our editors are continually adding to pages for Senators and Representatives: official contact information for their offices (both in D.C. and in their districts), Congressional scorecards from issue-based groups, video announcements & floor speeches, narrative summaries of hot votes, and more ::

Open Congress Wiki Home

... hope you enjoy RaceTracker, and let us know what you think!


-the OC Team


Utility Rate Increase Alert

Wisconsin Power and Light (WPL), just like the Janesville Water Utility, announced they will “likely’ file an emergency rate increase because of lost sales volume.

JG Excerpt: (Jan.22, 2009}
The chief executive of WPL's parent, Alliant Energy, projected WPL's sales will drop 6.4 percent this year, or $30 million. Because of that, Alliant CEO Bill Harvey says they "will likely file an emergency rate case" to the Public Service Commission.
Just before Christmas, the Janesville Water Utility also requested a rate increase for the same reason - low sales volume expected from the closing of the GM plant.
JG Water Rate Increase: (Dec.20,2008)
To account for the reduced revenue, the city has approved a wastewater rate increase and is anticipating a water rate increase for next year. Rate increases also are planned for 2010.
The Janesville water rate increase and WPL's increase are two sides of the same coin and both must acquire PSC approval before becoming law. Both requests defy the principle of supply and demand. When demand goes down - supply goes up - prices should drop. Instead, they want to increase prices to make up for lost revenue.

The PSC, the Janesville City Council and the Janesville City manager all want your input on this matter. Send all comments regarding rate increases by water, heating gas and electric utilities to the PSC.

Janesville residents, in addition to sending complaints to the PSC, can send their comments regarding the proposed water and sewer rate increases to the Janesville city manager and all council members here.

Note: WPL is a subsidary of Alliant Energy. For all practical matters - they are one and the same.

“Say Anything” night debuts downtown

Got something to say?

Say it at Codos!

Every Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m., until there’s nothing left to say.

Codos: Between the Main Street Saloon and Perfectly Plus.

“The word ‘poetry’ scares people,” said Russ. “Let’s just have a spoken-word night.”

Last week a small group gathered at Codos Coffee, 119 N. Main St., and entertained each other for the evening reading poetry, song lyrics and original material.
This group was diverse – and that’s why it worked.

Enthusiastic patrons begged Codos owner Russ Allen to keep it up, and he agreed to a spoken-word night every Wednesday until folks run out of things to say.

SO: bring your novel, short-story, speech, drama and essay excerpts -- poetry too – and anything else we forgot to mention. Make it original, steal it from someone else (but remember to attribute it!), wing it, prepare it, keep it hate-free and (relatively … relatively) clean, come if you’re young, come if you’re not, read in English or some other language, students, elders, all genders welcome!

Open Community Radio Now!

Are you sick of hearing the same talk radio blowhards and cookie-cutter music on the radio in Janesville?

By passing one bill, we can open the radio dial to thousands of stations with fresh new voices and alternative music, ending decades of radio domination by Big Media and their mouthpieces.

The Local Community Radio Act of 2009 (H.R. 1147) was just introduced in the House. The Act nearly passed in the last Congress with the support of more than 100 members.

With just a little urging from you, Rep. Ryan could be the deciding vote in this Congress and help usher in a new era of better radio:

Tell Congress to Open Up the Radio Dial

This Act would open up the airwaves to more Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations, creating a megaphone for new bands, fostering more local and independent news and giving people across the country a chance to break into radio. This is how we inject new blood into a radio system that could be better serving all of us.

Please get Rep. Ryan on board by clicking here and signing the letter.

The Local Community Radio Act would open urban areas to local radio, too. A few companies have dominated the radio dial for too long, muting the voices of so many others. Make sure that Rep. Ryan makes better radio a reality now.

Candace Clement
Campaign Coordinator
Free Press
Reform Media, Transform Democracy

Support The Employee Free Choice Act

Today, we took an important step toward fixing our economy and leveling the playing field for working Americans – the Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

Now the hard work begins. Corporate special interests are twisting arms, spending millions on misleading ads, and spreading lies and propaganda to block the bill. We must ensure Congress passes the Employee Free Choice Act.

Ask your members of Congress to support the Employee Free Choice!

It's been two years since corporate lobbyists blocked this bill. They were backed by the same greedy CEOs who ran this economy into the ground – and they will stop at nothing to keep workers from getting a fair shake.

But with the most pro-worker Congress in years, and President Obama committed to the cause, this is our best chance yet to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. The stakes couldn't be higher – giving more workers a fair chance to negotiate for better pay, benefits, and job security will help restore the struggling middle class and make the economy work for everyone.

There's not a moment to lose—let your members of Congress know that we need their support!

UFCW members have joined with organizations across the country in rallying legions of activists around this crucial piece of legislation. Together, we collected over 1.5 million signatures supporting the Employee Free Choice Act—including signatures from 250,000 UFCW members!

Now that the bill has been introduced, it's time for your representative to hear directly from you.

We also need you to spread the word – every voice makes a difference. Tell friends and family to write their members of Congress too.

Together, we can make it happen!

UFCW Employee Free Choice

Join Healthcare For All Rally


Paulette Garin, 2008 Democratic Congressional Candidate in Wisconsin’s 1st District and State Coordinator for PDA – Progressive Democrats of America will be featured as the Single Payer Speaker at a rally and action event which will be held Saturday, July 25, on the steps of the Capitol in Madison. Garin will be speaking on behalf of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care – The National Single Payer Alliance which is one of the sponsors for the event. PDA is one of four lead organizations in the Alliance.

Congresswoman, Tammy Baldwin, who co-sponsored HR 676 – Single Payer legislation, will be the guest of honor.

Other sponsors and speakers for the rally include: ABC for Health, AIDS Network, AFSCME Wisconsin, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Community Action Coalition for South Central WI, Inc., The Coalition for Wisconsin Health, Disability Rights WI, The Dane County Grassroots Network, Healthcare for America Now!, The League of Women Voters Dane County, Madison-area Urban Ministry, NAMI Dane County, Organizing for America, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, SEIU Wisconsin, Wisconsin AFL-CIO, Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

Marchers will gather at the Library Mall at 2:30 p.m. for a walk up State Street, with the rally starting at 3:00 p.m.

Garin said, “I am humbled and honored to speak on behalf of all the Single Payer supporters. Single Payer really is the gold standard of what we should ask for in regards to healthcare reform. It is 100% guaranteed coverage for all Americans regardless of job transfer or pre-existing condition. Single Payer fulfills President Obama’s 3 principles of cost effectiveness, access, and choice unlike any other proposal.”

The event is being hosted by the Dane County Grassroots Network.

ALSO HAPPENING IN Racine - Community Conversation on Health Care Reform: Expo and Forum

Sunday, July 26
1-4 p.m.
Racine Masonic Center
1012 Main Street
Racine, WI
Sponsored by Community for Change

Rock County Rx Round-Up


Saturday August 29th

TIME: 9am-1pm.


Janesville Water Utility
123 Delavan Drive, Janesville, WI 53547

Beloit Department of Public Works
2351 Springbrook Court, Beloit, WI 53511

old pills, vet/pet drugs, medical patches, creams

sharps/needles, chemo/radioactive drugs, other non-Rx waste

Open to all households in Rock County (businesses excluded).

Service is free of charge, no pre-registration needed, keep pills in original containers, drive-thru drop off, strictly confidential.

For more info. contact the Rock County Health Dept. at 757-5441

Bulletin submitted by L.R.

Attend a Health Care Reform Event in Your Area!!!


Sign up to host or attend a Health Care Organizing event through by clicking HERE.

Paulette Garin will be guest speaker at two events this weekend.

Saturday, June 6, Racine Community for Change at 10 a.m.
Downtown Racine at the Kurt Sports Complex (Former YWCA)

Saturday, June 6, Walworth County Democratic Party Office at 4 p.m.
15 S. Walworth Street, Elkhorn, WI

Also, Wednesday, June 10, The Home of Florence Hammelev at 6:30 p.m.
3018 86th Street, Unit 203, Kenosha, WI

In Support of Single Payer Health Care by Paulette Garin

Single Payer Health Care is a plan that would provide every American quality, comprehensive health care regardless of pre-existing condition. It is called single payer because all expenses would be paid through one publicly administered pool. Single Payer combines the best ideas of the left and the right - publicly funded, but privately driven by the consumer (patient) and their doctor.

As Congress addresses the health care crisis in this country, please take the time to contact them and tell them you support House Resolution (HR) 676 - legislation that will create a universal, single payer system to guarantee health care for all Americans.

HR 676 will provide:

Automatic coverage for life for everyone, even if you lose your job or move. Your health care is no longer tied to your employment.
Comprehensive medical services including prescription drugs, dental, vision, mental health, and long term care. No co-pays, no deductibles.
Assures your choice of doctor and hospital.
Eliminates the administrative waste of private insurance companies who spend 30 cents of every health care dollar for CEO salaries, profits, and paper work, mostly to deny you needed care.
Puts you and your doctor - not insurance companies - in control of your health care.

HR 676 and health care reform is the only real economic stimulus we have. The number one factor affecting an American company's ability to meet their bottom line and remain competitive in the global economy is the outrageous health insurance premiums they pay for their employees.

HR 676 would be funded through a 6.6% payroll tax. Currently, it costs an individual $8,000 annually to buy private health insurance with a $2,000 deductible - no dental, vision, or prescription coverage. Under HR 676, only individuals making well over $100,000 a year would even get close to paying $8,000 and it would be for far better coverage.

As more and more companies drop their employer provided plans and more retiree's benefit packages fail, the 6.6% payroll tax becomes an attractive bargain.
President Barack Obama said if he were building the health care system from scratch, a single payer system would be the best approach. Senator Russ Feingold said he'd support a single payer system over our current system, which he called a "mess."

HOWEVER, both President Obama and Senator Feingold recognize that our nation has a long tradition of health care through private insurance companies and that trying to eliminate their influence is an almost insurmountable task.

This is why it is imperative for each of us to contact our President, Senators, Congresspersons and all other elected officials stating our support for a single payer system. They need our help to overcome the powerful well funded lobbyists working against Single Payer.

Health Care Reform is the Civil Rights Movement of our time; it will require all of us who believe in a National Single Payer system to stand up and ask those who are opposed to kindly step aside.

Show Your Support for Single Payer Health Care
Call our Wisconsin congressional delegation and our President. Ask them to support Single Payer Health Care.

President Barack Obama 202-456-1111
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) 202-224-565
Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D- WI) 202-224-5323
Rep. Paul Ryan (R - 01) 202-225-3031
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D - 02) 202-225-2906
Rep. Ron Kind (D - 03) 202-225-5506
Rep. Gwen Moore (D - 04) 202-225-4572
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R - 05) 202-225-5101
Rep. Thomas E. Petri (R - 06) 202-225-2476
Rep. David R. Obey (D - 07) 202-225-3365
Rep. Steve Kagen (D - 08) 202-225-5665

Time is of the essence. The President and Congress have claimed they want health care reform legislation written and voted on BEFORE the summer recess at the end of July. We must move now!

Paulette Garin

Paulette Garin, 2008 Democratic Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District. Garin campaigned on a platform strongly in favor of HR 676 - The United States National Health Care Act. Two members of Wisconsin's congressional delegation, Tammy Baldwin and Gwen Moore, are co-sponsors of HR 676. Paulette currently serves as the Wisconsin Coordinator for the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care which supports HR 676 nationwide.

Paulette also serves as State Coordinator for Progresssive Democrats of America (PDA).

Visit Paulette's Blog for more information about the growing momentum in this country supporting Universal Single Payer Health Care.

Become one of Paulette's Facebook friends HERE.

Discussion Course at Milton Public Library

Starting April 20th we will meet every Monday from 6:30-8:00pm
(5 week discussion course with bonus celebration on the sixth week)


NatuRescue is hosting a new discussion course this spring that will help you discover ways to simplify your life. This course addresses the distractions of modern society that keep us from caring for ourselves, our relationships, and our environment. The course book of readings is compiled by the Northwest Earth Institute.

Meet great people, enjoy adult discussions and potentially simplify your life by joining us for this self-reflecting discussion topic. You will be glad you did!

There will be a small material fee for the course. If you would like to join but cannot afford the cost of materials, there will be a limited number of gifted books provided by NatuRescue. Seating is limited.

Please contact Lynn 758-5748 or Jim (608) 575-5653
for more info. and/or to reserve your spot!

NatuRescue of Milton
(NWEI volunteers)

(see more info on NWEI here.

Two Health Care Reform Events In Janesville


Health Care Reform Community Discussion

You are invited to join Paulette Garin, 2008 Democratic Congressional Candidate and current State Coordinator for the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care, in a Community Discussion regarding Health Care Reform.

Paulette will present the various plans that are currently being discussed in Congress. In addition, you are invited to share your health care concerns.

Time: Tuesday, June 30 from 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

29 South (Janesville, WI)
29 S. Main Street
Janesville, WI 53545

Time: Tuesday, June 30 from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Basics Cooperative Natural Foods (Janesville, WI)
1711 Lodge Drive
Janesville, WI 53545

For more details and events in your area, go to

Poetry Read/Fund Raiser


Come for one! Come for both!

Hosts: Russ Allen and Annie Showers-Curtis
When: Wednesday, May 27, 2009,
7 p.m. - ?

Where: Codos, 119 North Main St., Janesville
(Between Main St. Saloon and Perfectly Plus)

Poetry Read

Read your poetry or someone else’s. Hear what the minds in your community are thinking, writing and talking about!
This event is for ALL ages.

Fund Raiser
Help Annie raise about $800 more to attend a graphics program in June at Minneapolis
College of Art and Design.

About Codos:
Sweet local coffee house in a delicious post-Beat tradition. Russ created a Euro-style hotbed of creativity. Flavors of kitsch, Bohemia, elegance. Hard to imagine? Come see for yourself!
Russ serves plain and flavored coffees, teas, sodas and other beverages for $1 - $2.

About Annie:
Teachers, peers and assorted adults have been WOW’d by Annie’s self-taught graphics and videos from her wild imagination!

She has earned a $1,000 scholarship to this program, has raised another $500, and is slated to make another payment on June 5.

If you want to assist Annie with any size contribution, but can’t make the poetry read, call Denise (Annie’s mom) at (608) 289-0682. Or send a check payable to Annie Showers-Curtis, 117 N. Atwood Ave., Janesville, WI, 53545. If you would like Annie to address your group and show her art and design work, please call!

If you want to come to hear or read poetry, but not contribute – please come! Annie and Russ want to meet you!

Beloit Area Spring Clean-Up


The TOWN OF BELOIT & CITY OF BELOIT & TOWN OF TURTLE are hosting a Residential City Wide Clean Up Day.


9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

at the City of Beloit Recycling Drop off Site

2351 Springbrook Ct., 364-2929

Sponsored by The City of Beloit, Town of Beloit and Town of Turtle

The City of Beloit DPW will be accepting:

Bring in your CLOTHING and TEXTILES items left over from your rummage sale.

Used EYE GLASSES and HEARING AIDS, will be donated to the Lions Club.

FREE - Residential ELECTRONICS/COMPUTER recycling - FREE

Additional Sponsors include: CRT Processing & Samsung

Laptop Computer
Stereo System
Zip Drive
Keyboard, Mouse & Speakers
All Televisions

Environmental Cafe

When: Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 6-7:30 PM
Where: Java Joys, 1009 North Washington Street, Janesville, WI (across from Mercy Mall, at the top of the Memorial Bridge)

Topic of Discussion: Janesville City Sanitary Landfill Operations Overview
Guest Speaker: John Whitcomb, City of Janesville Operations Director

Please attend our second Environmental Cafe - an informal discussion about environmental topics - with a cup of coffee or beverage. Held once monthly on different environmental topics - these discussions are open to the public, and encourage ideas and networking.

Arrive early to get yourself a beverage - at last month's meeting, the Library was kind enough to provide refreshments, however, we are also trying to promote local business during these meetings. So bring some cash, support a locally owned coffee house, and meet some new friends, and join in the discussion on this very interesting topic!

Rock Environmental Network

PS - Bring your own cup!

"When People Lead, the Leaders Will Follow"

REN Action Alert

What: Janesville City Council meeting
Where: Municipal Building, 18 N Jackson, Janesville
When: 7 PM Monday, April 27th

View the Council's agenda materials here.
Make recommendations to the Council by emailing:

Items of concern/questions with tomorrow evenings agenda items:
Pages 58-65 of the full agenda packet

From an email sent to the City Council:

Concerning the "unacceptable water pressure fluctuations" on the NE side of town, requiring a 7.1 Million dollar new water tower... "Independent engineering firms evaluating this problem conclude that additional water storage is presently needed on the City's east side to support existing demands placed on the water distribution system. This will reduce the magnitude of pressure drops during high water demand situations..."

In the agenda is also a request to raise our water rates (by 14.75%), due to a substantial drop in water use due to the closing of GM. If we have lost so much water usage, by losing GM, then why do we need to build a new water tower?

Were the studies sited in the memorandum conducted before, or after GM closed?

Upgrading our pumping system is a route to investigate, before asking the residents of the City to pay 7.1 Million dollars for a water tower, that will also help facilitate the growth of our City into the fertile farmlands on the NE side of town. The increased revenue from higher water bills of $881,361 as outlined in the agenda, could pay for the additional pumping equipment needed to correct this situation, without the land and expense of a water tower.

With an expense of this magnitude, perhaps further investigation could be required by our Council - mainly, gathering specific information from residents that live in the "affected" area of town. In other words, how "unacceptable" is the current situation? Also, with an expense like this - Council should require more citizen input - and delay a decision on this agenda item, until further information and options, if any can be gathered.

The City manager is requesting to apply for a low interest loan for this project, providing interim financing for the "proposed" Water Utility improvements. (see agenda) If we have not yet made a decision on this project, then why would we apply for, and pay interest on a loan? The City should outline information on stimulus funding options prior to a decision.

The Analysis section of the memorandum to Council, needs clarification also. This states that the north pressure zone serves 30,000 people - and includes 17,900 people between the Rock River and the interstate. Council needs further and more detailed information on our water pumping stations - including detailed maps indicating pumping stations, etc. so an educated decision can be made in the best interests of the residents.

The water pressure in the NE area is stated to have been affected 1-3 times in the past 5 years. The examples provided - that residents experienced low water pressure up to 3 times in 5 years, does not call for a 7M expense to taxpayers - especially in the economic state of our City. Residents residing in the red dot areas on the provided map, could be serviced adequately with upgrades to our pumping system - and not an entirely new water tower.

A public study session or open forum should be held by Council before making a decision on this resolution, and delayed until such time, that federal funding options are revealed to residents. The memo also states that this is a "critical situation" - however, this is the first time this issue has surfaced as critical - in searching the Gazette's archives - there are no stories or incidents relating to a critical loss of water pressure.

Concerning the purchase of a new scale for the landfill:

The cost on the accepted bid is $76,602, but the note issue is stated as $90,000. What will the 13,398.00 be used for?

ALSO - in the financial statements from Comptroller Patty Lynch, there is a 300K negative balance in our phase 2 landfill construction account - which will be paid with a general obligation note issue. I would request that Council obtain a complete profit/loss statement from our garbage and recycling operations - so that outside haulers and industrial dumpers, pay fair and equitable costs for landfilling. $21.80 per ton of trash will never cover the costs to clean up the garbage that is being dumped in our landfill.

With an estimated 40 years left at the current site (according to John Whitcomb, operations director) - the Council must act aggressively to preserve this area by reducing garbage to our landfill (which can be achieved by raising tipping fees) aggressively requiring businessses to reduce, reuse and enforce recycling laws, and limit garbage to that which is generated in Rock County.

Other options include banning e-waste, creating re-use areas at the landfill drop zone for building materials, and other items that could be reused, and REQUIRING IDENTIFICATION at the dump hut - and requiring those outside of the City to pay for dumping in our landfill. The residents of the City of Janesville are being asked to fund and eventually clean up our landfill, yet many are allowed to dump, without being required to show proof of residency, or pay a fee.

Environmental Cafe


What: ENVIRONMENTAL CAFE' (an informal chat with friends on environmental issues, that feature a keynote speaker, & lots of interesting discussion)

When: April 22nd, 2009 EARTH DAY!

6-7:30 PM - please arrive early to get a cup-a-joe and support a local business!

Where: Mocha Moments, Center Ave, Janesville - just south of the VFW

Topic of Discussion: This month's EC will feature Beloit CSA Farmers Denny & Susan Wright of Wrightway Farms!

They will be presenting information on CSA Farming (how you can join one)
Organic Gardening, and tips to prepare your spring garden for planting!

Action Alert - Rock Environmental Network


When: Thursday, February 26, 2009. 6:00 PM

What: Rock County Board of Supervisors Meeting to decide on how to split 1.8M that the County will receive in 2009 from American Transmission Company (ATC) for allowing high power lines to cross our county.

Where: Rock County Courthouse, Janesville, Room 4R (4th floor, through security)

Background: In November of 2008, The County board chose to set aside for parks and conservation projects, a $1.8 million, one-time payment from the American Transmission Co. Struggling over the money are the land conservation committee and the parks committee. They met jointly on Jan. 19 but were unable to write a resolution to split the money.

Here's what they are asking for, according to committee documents:

Land conservation

The land conservation committee Feb. 4 approved a resolution to split the money in half. The committee wants to spend the money in three places:
-- $740,000 for a purchase of development rights program (PDR); to protect working lands. County planning officials are interested in developing a program that protects farmland while letting farmers get money for their property, and keep them from feeling forced to sell to developers. The money will be separated into two sub-categories, staff/support, ($290,000) and reserve for grant match, ($450,000) (There are state and federal grants available for these programs, however, you have to have money to get the grants, allowing this money to actually apply for additional funds.) This money could be a "one time shot" to get the program started, committee member Robert Fizzell of Beloit said at the Jan. 19 meeting.
-- $150,000 for a continuous hazardous waste clean sweep program. That's how much it would cost to turn the county's temporary hazardous waste collection program into an annual one, according to the committee's executive summary. The money would last seven to 10 years, depending on state grants. No additional staffing would be necessary.
-- $10,000 to restore county-owned property on the county campus along Highway 51. The idle property has been taken over by invasive specie. The money would be used to remove trees and stumps and buy prairie grass seeds and new trees, and restore an area to the original old oak savanna.


The parks committee Feb. 10 approved a resolution to allocate $250,000 to land conservation and the rest—$1.56 million—to parks.
The county is poised to approve a five-year parks, outdoor recreation and open space plan, said Kurt Yankee, chairman of the parks committee.
That plan includes $15 million in possible projects. They might not all happen, but the county can't ask for matching grants if it doesn't list projects, according to the committee's executive summary.
The projects include:
-- $825,000 for Carver-Roehl Park. Most of that—$775,000—would be added to the $75,000 already budgeted to fix the culvert at the park entrance to reduce flooding.
-- $350,000 for Gibbs Lake Park. The money would improve trails, buy land and improve shelters and restrooms.
-- $260,000 for Happy Hollow Park. The money would improve trails, shelters and erosion control.
-- $450,000 to Magnolia Bluff Park. The money would go to improve trails, buy land, build shelters and control erosion.
The summary plans for invasive species control at all four parks.

OUR VIEWS: ATC Money has been allocated to Parks AND Conservation. While park projects are definitely in need of funding, the Conservation committee is no less deserving. Parklands are already included on our maps, and are in no danger of being lost to development. A farmland/working lands protection protection program is desperately needed to protect the richest farmland on earth from development, and splitting the money, 50/50 between parks and conservation, is the only fair option.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?: Be at the meeting and either register to speak and voice your opinion to the County Board, or if you agree with splitting the money and do not want to speak, stand in favor of a 50/50 split when asked to do so. Either way, this money belongs to the residents of Rock County.

If you can't attend the meeting, email your concerns to the County Board of Supervisors at

Information supplied by Rock Environmental Network

ECHO: An Idea For MLK Day

by Denise Showers

Hello, Friends. It occurred to me that anyone can participate in service work in Janesville today, with just a few extra minutes and a couple bucks in their pockets. Times are getting no easier for charities and service agencies around the country.

Now is a fine time to pick up a few items at the grocery store and deliver them to ECHO. I hear they're in need of tuna, soup, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, canned fruit, hot stews, pork and beans. Household needs are toothbrushes, laundry soap, toilet paper, dish soap, bar soap and deodorant. We may not be able to emulate the Obama family and work on a building project today (though some of us may), but here's a meaningful way to pitch in, and it's always appreciated. There's always the option to give a monetary contribution too. Everything helps. And it's funny how a sense of hope moves through a simple act like this.

Many of us feel great hope and anticipation for the future. That future starts with small acts we share with one another. YOU are the one who will feel hopeful making your way through the grocery store, knowing you're making a difference. Thank you all, and enjoy tomorrow.

Workshop: Protect Working Lands


What: Workshop to Protect Working Lands
When: February 4, 2009, 9-3
Registration due by January 26th, 2009 ($10.00 fee, includes lunch)
Where: Pontiac Convention Center

Attached is an invitation for the upcoming Workshop to Protect Working Lands in Rock County!

Please pass this on to other interested parties, and consider attending, even if you aren't a rural land owner. Learning opportunity for everyone - how Agriculture benefits Rock County.

by Rock Environmental Network, Inc.
"When people lead, the leaders will follow."

The Environmental Cafe


What: Environmental Cafe
When: February 3, 2009, 6 PM
Where: Hedberg Public Library Program Room (upstairs near the Children's Library)

Topic of Discussion: Recycling and related discussion
Guest Speaker: Percy Mather, DNR South Central Region (11 southwestern counties west of Dodge, Jefferson & Rock)
Recycling and Waste Management Specialist

Please attend our first Environmental Cafe - an informal discussion about environmental topics - with a cup of coffee or beverage. Held once monthly on different environmental topics - these discussions are open to the public, and encourage ideas and networking.

by Rock Environmental Network, Inc.
"When people lead, the leaders will follow."