GSAFE Presents Screening And Discussion On Bullies

GSAFE presents public screening of Bullied: A Student, a School, and a Case That Made History

Milton Public Library on Wednesday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free.

The library is located at 430 East High Street. For directions/more information, call 608-661-4141 or email

Volunteers are needed to bring treats/refreshments and the “talkback” portion of the event, email or call Brian J.


Free Documentary Screening to Spark Conversation about Bullying-Related Suicide and Hate Crimes.

MILTON, Wisconsin – (December 7, 2010) Bullied: A Student, a School, and a Case That Made History, a documentary film that chronicles one Wisconsin student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies, will be screened at the Milton Public Library at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15, 2010. This free public screening, which will be followed by discussion and a brief presentation, is part of a state-wide effort by the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE) to raise awareness about the broad impact of anti-gay bullying and hate-motivated violence.

“With the rash of gay teen suicides this fall and the recent reports of hate-motivated violence, it’s critically important to have an honest discussion about bullying in our schools,” said Brian Juchems, Program Director for GSAFE. “Bullied provides a perfect opportunity for the community to engage in a serious conversation about what’s happening in our schools and communities and how we can make it better for all students.”

Bullied, released this fall by Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, chronicles the story of Jamie Nabozny. Nabozny, a student from Ashland, WI, became the target of anti-gay bullying starting in middle school. The bullying grew worse as he reached high school, culminating in a physical attack by classmates which sent Nabozny to the hospital and caused him to drop out of school. He eventually sued his district for failure to protect him on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

"The main thing that I want people to know is that it does get better. However it doesn't get better unless people make it better. This is a chance for us to do that," said Robert Alexander, Milton 2009 graduate and chair of South Central Fair Wisconsin Action Network.

Former president of the Milton High School Gay-Straight Alliance, Alexander noted that he would regularly hear anti-gay slurs throughout the school day. While some staff and teachers would tell students to stop it, this didn't always happen. "My hope is that all district staff, as well as community leaders, walk away from this event motivated to take steps to stop the use of slurs."

Anti-gay bullying doesn't just impact gay and lesbian students. Research done by the National Education Association, which has endorsed Bullied, shows that four out of five students who are the targets of anti-gay bullying are actually straight. "Anti-gay bullying isn't just a gay issue. It impacts all students in our schools and communities." said Juchems.

A 2009 Wisconsin School Climate survey found that the majority of WI youth experience verbal harassment due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The same survey, conducted by GSAFE, found that nearly three-fourths of Wisconsin youth hear comments like "that's so gay" frequently or often. A quarter of Wisconsin gay youth have been physically harassed because of their sexual orientation.

"It's not a question of if anti-gay harassment is happening in our schools. It's a matter of where and when." said Juchems. "When we let verbal bullying go unchecked, we give tacit permission for the bullying to escalate to something physical. The less we talk about it, the worse it gets. I'm pleased that Milton and surrounding communities are interested in having this conversation."

This public screening of Bullied: A Student, a School, and a Case That Made History takes place at the Milton Public Library on Wednesday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free. The library is located at 430 East High Street. For directions/more information, call 608-661-4141 or email

Rock The Pantry

Scott Walker’s inauguration is fast approaching and he’s using the occasion to rake in campaign cash. On January 3rd he will be sworn into office, and unlike Democratic Governor Doyle, who donated his inaugural proceeds to charity, all the money raised at Walker's inaugural events will go to the Republican Party or Walker's campaign account.

So rather than filling Walker's campaign coffers, come to One Wisconsin Now's alternative inaugural event January 3rd and together you and I can help families in need and “Rock the Pantry!”

All of the proceeds from tickets sold for “Rock the Pantry” will go directly to charity. Come celebrate with live music, a live DJ and terrific speakers as we “Rock the Pantry” at our OWN inauguration.

Tickets are $10 a piece and can be purchased at:
One Wisconsin

Democratic Governor Jim Doyle used proceeds from his inaugural events to donate over $500,000 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wisconsin. Scott Walker is giving all his proceeds to the GOP. We need do our part to help needy Wisconsinites Walker is leaving out in the cold. All proceeds from tickets sold to “Rock the Pantry" will go directly to charities assisting those hit hardest by the economic collapse. Let’s show Scott Walker what it means to help those in need!

“Rock the Pantry” will be held at the Majestic Theater on King Street in Madison from 7-10p.m. The event will include progressive speakers, DJ Andrew Larson from Saturn’s 8 and live music. A full entertainment line-up will be announced later this month so mark your calendars and keep your ear to the wall.

Demand is high so order your tickets in advance to make at: One Wisconsin.

Tickets bought online are available for $10 each, or $5 dollars for students or for those with limited income.

It’s time to demonstrate that we haven’t all become scrooges like Scott Walker and still have the generous spirit of the season. I hope to see you there!

Happy Holidays,

P.S.: Scott Walker already cost us 13,000 jobs and high speed rail. Send him a message and help the needy all at the same time by buying a ticket for “Rock the Pantry.” Wanna make Walker even more crazy? Buy five tickets.

Rock County Progressives December Meeting

In light of the recent elections, it's even more clear that progressives need to do a better job of informing and educating the public about the critical issues facing us...

What's next for progressives in Rock County? Push for campaign finance reform? Other issues?

Should we have a film series? Speakers?

Our next meeting is on Wednesday, December 8, 6:30 PM-8 PM, Milton Public Library

430 East High Street; #100
Milton, Wisconsin

After entering the building, turn left then right, the room is at the end of the hall.

Hope to see everyone there,


GrannyD Goes To Washington

Rock County Progressives present:

Short Inspirational Film: GrannyD Goes to Washington

“We have a duty to look after each other. If we lose control of our government, then we lose our ability to disperse justice and human kindness. Our first priority today, then, is to defeat utterly those forces of greed and corruption that have come between us and our self-governance.”
-- Doris “Granny D.” Haddock

Passionate about democracy, she walked 3,200 miles from California to Washington, D.C. to dramatize the need to restore representative government in America and reduce the role of special interest money in politics.

Followed by Discussion

Wednesday, November 10
6:15 PM-7:45 PM (Film at 6:30 PM-7 PM)

Basics food cooperative
1711 Lodge Dr Janesville, Wisconsin

Meeting - Rock County Progressives

Who bought the elections? Nobody knows!

Campaign Finance Reform after “Citizens United.”

Short inspirational film: Granny D. Goes to Washington.

Followed by Discussion & short meeting of the Rock County Progressives

Wednesday, November 9
6:15 PM-7:45 PM (Film at 6:30 PM-7 PM)

Basics food cooperative
Janesville, Wisconsin

Help Call Out The Vote!

Our friend, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, just posted on Daily Kos about his interview with Rep. Alan Grayson on Friday -- where they discussed our call program for progressive candidates.

You can call from home and the call system weeds out answering machines so you're not wasting your time. It's AWESOME.

This is the time to stand up for people who stood up for us. There aren't a lot of strong progressives in Congress, but we have to make sure we protect the ones we have. They're getting bombarded by corporate attack ads -- we have to fight back with our strength in numbers. It's time to ride! SIGN UP HERE!

Volunteer for Russ Feingold in Janesville!

Russ Feingold is trailing in the polls to a Tea Party Republican who actually thinks climate change is caused by sunspots. There's no better, more principled Democrat in Washington than Sen. Feingold. He has fought against corporate influence in politics but he is now under attack by those very corporate interests. Because keeping Sen. Feingold's voice in the Senate is so important, this race has become our top national priority.

Click here or sign up at:

321 E. Milwaukee St.
Janesville, WI 53545

Wisconsin' s Enviro Hangs In The Balance

Four Lakes Sierrans,


(If you don't need background or convincing, just go to WHAT YOU CAN DO

If you care about Wisconsin's environment, your health and that of other citizens of Wisconsin, and whether your children and grand children will have a healthy planet and sustainable future, then your assistance is needed NOW. The next three weeks until the election cannot be business as usual.

Big money interests (often out-of-state) have co-opt the airwaves to convince you that solid candidates who support environmental protections and the health of our citizens are the enemy, and bad for the economy. These same corporate interests stopped a bill that would have provided Wisconsin with a strong clean energy future, kept more money in Wisconsin's economy, and created more good jobs here.

It was the same interests that stopped Wisconsin from creating statewide regional transit authorities and allowing local communities to work together to create good transit options and reduce pollution and the overall costs of transportation. These same interests are now distorting the truth about high-speed rail in Wisconsin and regional transit in Dane County.

These same interests also support corporate animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that threaten our clean drinking water and the future of agriculture in Wisconsin. Don't we already have enough mercury in our waters that our fish aren't safe to eat, and we've had to enact phosphorus bans to protect our lakes for people to swim in and aquatic life to survive? Isn't our groundwater, as well as lakes and streams, polluted enough from other sources?

The effects of climate change are already being felt with melting polar ice caps, record temperatures, and dramatic floods, and climate scientists are telling us we have perhaps a decade to start implementing real change. That means we must elect legislators who get it, who will look out for citizens and the health of our planet and environment NOW.


The next three weeks cannot be business as usual. We need your support to elect candidates who will make a difference and uphold the same values you joined the Sierra Club to support. An indication of how critical this is, is that the Sierra Club has sent a national staff person here to support this work, and that so many of our leaders are volunteering considerable time to assist this effort. You also will shortly be receiving a scorecard of the candidates we are endorsing in national and state races. Information is also available on line at and on Facebook
at .

Now we need you. You can:

1. Contact Rachel Ackoff at or our John Muir office in Madison at 608-256-0565 to volunteer your services or ask how you can help with national and statewide races. We're doing phone banking and will be doing canvassing and literature drops. (There just might be some free pizza in it as well!)
2. Contact Dave Blouin at, or Don Ferber at to ask about local and regional candidates who need support.
3. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to talking to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and anyone else you know.
4. Contact you candidates' election offices to find out what support they need.
5. Write letters to the editor in support of our candidates.
NOVEMBER 2! Remember, our power is our grass roots - YOU!

Thank you for your support of the Sierra Club and of candidates who will help ensure a safe and healthy future for Wisconsin's environment and citizens.

To adjust your Sierra Club email preferences, please reply to this email with a description of your wishes. Thank you.
Sierra Club 85 Second St., 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105

Reminder: Rock County Progressives

The next meeting of the Rock County Progressives will be on Wednesday, October 6, 6:30 at the home of Ron and Marti, 10651 N Charley Bluff Rd in Milton Twp. Turn North off County Road N at Snuffy Still, not far from where it intersects with 59. It's on the left not long after you turn on Charley Bluff.

Unlike past meetings, we will be gathering in the classroom in the basement. Please enter the office door on the north side of the building.
The Rock County Progressives meet on the first Wednesday of each month.


For more information --

Huge Jobs Rally In Janesville

JANESVILLE — Both working citizens and the unemployed are being encouraged to attend a “Jobs Now!” rally on Sunday, September 5th at 5 p.m.

Held at the Laborfest Grounds in Janesville, the event will feature guest speakers including U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democrats’ leading gubernatorial candidate.

The event is sponsored by the Machinists Union, the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers Local 95 and the Rock County Labor Council.

In addition to the event in Janesville on Sunday, rallies will be held nationwide leading up to the Oct. 2 national rally in Washington, D.C.

Rock County Progressives - Meeting

The Rock County Progressives meet next on Wednesday, September 1, 6:30.

The meeting will be at the home of Ron and Marti, at in Milton Township at 10651 N Charley Bluff Rd, Milton. Turn North off County Road N at Snuffy Still, not far from where it intersects with 59. It's on the left not long after you turn on Charley Bluff. If you have any difficulty, call me at 608-322-2889

Hope to see you there,


Netroots Wisconsin 2010 Conference

Netroots Wisconsin 2010 is the first Wisconsin regional conference of Netroots Nation. Netroots Wisconsin will be held September 25, 2010 at the Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., Madison, WI.

Netroots Wisconsin is the second of the regional conferences to be held in the US, and the 2010 conference is the first conference in Wisconsin. The conference will provide Wisconsin activists and netroots an opportunity to share ideas, interact with Wisconsin progressive politicians, and to participate in training sessions to learn how to be more effective at their work. Sessions will be Wisconsin-focused to promote the Wisconsin tradition of progressivism.

As The New York Times reported, Netroots Nation is "becoming as much a part of the Democratic political circuit as the Iowa State Fair." Netroots Wisconsin intends to do the same in Wisconsin by promoting the Wisconsin tradition of progressive politics in a new forum.

The conference is open to the public and to media coverage. Information, registration, and press opportunities are available at Netroots Wisconsin.

Contact: Steve Hanson 715-598-9206

EcoFair 360 In Elkhorn

Yes, it is mid-summer already! It's also a great time for getting outdoors and thinking green - or perhaps blue. We were definitely being green this last weekend at La Fete de Marquette where our volunteers did a great job of reducing waste by selling reusable mugs and pitchers to cut down on plastic waste. Thanks to all who helped, and we look forward to expanding upon this in the future.

The new Ecofair360 will be held this weekend in Elkhorn, WI and the Sierra Club will have a booth there to educate people and get signatures to move off oil and coal and towards clean energy solutions. This event features a multitude of exhibits and talks to learn more about various ways to be sustainable.

If you tend to think more about water in summer, the Yahara Lakes Partnership is asking for your input on our lakes and waterways system and it's a great opportunity to let them know your thoughts or to get involved. As we're learned in the Gulf, if we don't protect our precious waters, they can suffer great harm.

But the way to really celebrate summer will be at our annual Summer Soiree at (but not limited to) Lake Farm/Centennial Park on Lake Waubesa on August 1. We'll have a number of fun events to participate in, topped off by a grilled lunch in the Park. Please mark this on your calendar and join us that day.

Friday - Sunday, July 16 - 18
Walworth County Fairgrounds, Elkhorn, WI

Please join us at our booth at this new Ecofair in southeast Wisconsin. It's a great place to learn about really being green with energy, transportation, food, or other issues. The Sierra Club will have a booth there, so please stop by. If you'd care to volunteer (and get in free!), please contact Don Ferber at or 608-222-9376 or 608-217-2959 to sign up for a shift.

Shifts are:
9 - 12:30
12:30 - 4
4 - 7 (Friday and Saturday only)

More info on the fair is available here.

Campaign Finance Reform Presentation

The Rock County Progressives present:
BP, Goldman Sachs, Massey:… Corporations Putting Profit Before People
Making democracy work for people after “Citizens United.”

Presentation on Campaign Finance Reform by Mike McCabe, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign,

Wed, July 28, 6pm-7:30, Basics Co-Op, 1711 Lodge Dr, Janesville

Contact --

Rock River Clean-up Effort

“Janesville Pride” has been a long standing motto here in River City. Those sentiments are still here and we all feel it-we all believe it. We would like to introduce an effort where our Janesville Pride can proudly be displayed again! Join us on July 31, 2010 as we show our pride by participating in the Rock River Sweep program where we all pitch in and clean-up areas along the Rock River. This participation will only ask for 3 hours of effort between 8:30 and 11:30 AM on Saturday, July 31.

Our local effort is called “Rock’n’Janesville” and we propose to clean-up both sides of the Rock River, from the south end of Janesville to the north end, and then also extending to Indianford. Local sponsors include Stateline Recycling, Harborfest Aquatics, The Tool House, Inc., and the City of Janesville. Additionally, our local effort is also supported by American Rivers and the Rock River Sweep organizations.

As co-directors, Dave Peterson and Dave Wirth will be heading this important annual project. The primary goal for 2010 is to raise the awareness of why cleaning up the Rock River is of paramount importance. We believe that since the Rock River was the natural focal point of a young Janesville it should come back full-circle and become the focal point again for the years to come. An attractive and beautiful river and riverfront can only enhance prospects of bringing people and business to our city.

To this end, we are initiating this clean-up effort this year by asking that service groups take ownership of a section of the river to clean-up. The requested area of the river can be large or small but it can become yours to clean. That’s the Janesville Pride we referred to earlier. Also, for individual civic leaders who want to help we will assemble a pool of people who can be assigned to assist volunteer service groups. As a service to you we would also be happy to present to your group a 10 minute show with images and information concerning this Rock’n’Janesville Project.

If you are interested and would like more information please join us, Dave Peterson and Dave Wirth, representing the Rock’n’Janesville Group for the July 31, 2010 Rock River Sweep Program, at 7 PM on July 6, 2010 at M&I Bank at 100 North Main Street. (Use the Parker Drive entrance to the bank.) In the meantime, please contact us at 608-290-8809 or 608-774-0141 for more information.

You can also find us on Facebook

Thank you for considering being involved in this important activity for the Janesville and Rock River area! Rock’n’Janesville has Janesville Pride!

Memorial Service For The Gulf

The Rock County Progressives present:

Memorial Service for the Gulf

11 workers dead. Wildlife devastated. Ecosystem destroyed? A way of life lost…

Join us as we mourn and celebrate the rich cultural and natural heritage.

Neil Dupree, retired pastor, First Christian Church, Janesville

Come prepared to share your recollections, reflections and feelings about this disaster.

Wednesday, July 7, Riverside Park, North Pavilion

2200 Parkside Dr, Janesville

6pm potluck PICNIC * 7pm Memorial Service

N Washington St (Rte 14), right at Golf Course Rd (park entrance), right at Edge Hill Drive, left at Riverside Park Rd, follow river north to end of park.

* * *

BP, Goldman Sachs, Massey… Corporations Putting Profit Before People

Making democracy work for people after “Citizens United.”

Presentation on Campaign Finance Reform by

Mike McCabe, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign,

Wed, July 28, 6pm-7:30, Basics Co-Op, 1711 Lodge Dr, Janesville

3rd Annual YWCA 5K Pancake Run and Fitness Walk.

Plaese join us on June 19th for a great run or walk through a beautiful Janesville neighborhood. Bring the family and let the kids do the 1/2 mile Fun Run and receive a medal!

Event information is available here.

View course map here.

Buy Local Event


Event: May 15, 10AM-3PM, Daniels Sentry East and West, Janesville


It’s never been easier – here’s how.

The demand for local food is greater than it’s ever been, and it’s not just a “feel good” issue: there are solid economic impacts from supporting our local food producers. According to the federal government, Rock County spends $225 million each year on groceries. Imagine the impact if we met the state's goal of spending 10% of that on Wisconsin food products.

Seventy cents of every dollar spent locally stays local; compare that with only .40 cents of every $1.00 spent on non-local products staying in a community. Just by buying local foods, Rock County grocery shoppers would keep almost $7 million in the state's economy that would otherwise disappear. If every county followed Rock's lead, nearly $240 million would remain to circulate in Wisconsin’s economy.

To tap into this strong market potential and increase the local sales of local products to boost our overall regional economy, Thrive has partnered with the Wisconsin Grocers’ Association, the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the UW Agriculture Innovation Center (AIC) on the WGA’s Grocers Buy Local project. This innovative project connects producers, distributors and grocers under the state’s Something Special from WisconsinTM brand, making it easy for consumers to find and support local products.

Working with four stores around the region to promote these local products in day-long sampling events, Thrive and partners are introducing customers to the great taste and wide range of local foods, with the goal of increasing everyone’s bottom line, from producer to grocer. This Saturday May 15 from 10am-3pm we’re working with both Daniels Sentry stores in Janesville—two of our four pilot stores—for two simultaneous day-long sampling events.

“Our farm has been in the family since 1844, when Whilden Hughes first came to Janesville from Michigan,” said Willie (Whilden) Hughes VI. “Committing to support local business the way Daniels Sentry has gives the local economy the strength and diversity it needs to thrive.” Today, the Hughes’ farm has over 1,000 acres, which include production of the successful Blue Farm chips, which will be sampled at the event.

Featured vendors sampling their products include:

Berres Brothers Coffee

Blue Farm Chips

Emils Pizza

Koops Mustard

Klement’s (Westside store only)

Bucky Badger (L&L Foods)

Louie's Specialty Foods

Mac Farlane Pheasant (demo at Janesville East only)

Racine Danish Kringles

Schoep's ice cream

Shullsburg Creamery cheeses

Stump's Olives

Just these companies alone employ an estimated 950 full and part-time employees.
Also on hand to promote the event is this year’s Alice in Dairyland, Cheryl O’Brien. Cheryl will be at the east side store (2822 East Milwaukee Street) at 9am and the Westside store (2501 West Court Street) at 10:30am. Cheryl will be available for interviews at or prior to the event, as will Greg Lawless, Director of Agriculture Initiatives for Thrive and staffer for the Agriculture Innovation Center.

Contact: Jennifer Smith, Communications, Thrive [608-443-1961 or]

Progressive's TownHall - Rock County


Rock County Progressives & MoveOn present…

Town Hall on what can be done to stop corporate takeovers in Washington DC

Wednesday, May 5 6:30 PM-8:00 PM at Hedberg Public Library, 316 S. Main St. Janesville

Register for the event at the MoveOn website (seating will be limited).

Outraged by the recent Supreme Court decision unleashing a torrent of corporate funds in elections, corporate bailouts, rising foreclosures and other issues… we will be gathering to talk about what can be done to stop corporate takeovers in Washington DC.

A few relevant facts…

* The six biggest banks now control over 63% of Gross domestic product

* The financial sector spends more than $1 million per day lobbying Congress and fighting financial reform.

* ExxonMobil reported a record $45.2 billion profit & paid NO federal income tax in 2009.

We hope you’ll join us!

Legislative Alert! - Working Lands Initiative

Protect Wisconsin’s popular Working Lands Initiative

Please contact your legislators now: Ask them to resist last-minute efforts to weaken farmland protection.

Local interest is high in new tools like purchase of agricultural conservation easements and agricultural enterprise areas. But the Wisconsin Realtors Association is behind bills (SB-576 and AB 863) that would weaken these tools by repealing or delaying the conversion fee on lands removed from farmland preservation zoning districts. A last-minute vote on this bill may be sought in the remaining days of this legislative session.

It’s important that we act now. Please tell your legislators to “Stand Tall for Farmland Preservation” and resist this effort to weaken Wisconsin’s Working Lands Initiative. Contact information for legislators is below. Here are some talking points:

The conversion fee is an important part of the Working Lands Initiative. It supports many aspects of the program, including:
· Agricultural Enterprise Areas
· Grants to counties to update farmland plans
· Agricultural conservation easements

Facts about the conversion fee:
· The conversion fee increases the value of land for agriculture by reducing potential land use conflicts and providing security for farmers looking to locate or expand their farm operations. The cost of the conversion fee will most likely be passed on to the person developing the land or buying a house in prime farmland. Isn’t this appropriate?
· The fee applies only to land rezoned out of farmland preservation zoning districts.
· Farmers with existing farmland preservation agreements are not subject to the conversion fee for removing land from the agreement.
· The conversion fee is not new. It has always been a part of Wisconsin’s farmland preservation programs.
Here’s what authentic rural voices are saying about this issue:
Farmer and Working Lands Steering Committee Chair Dan Poulson explains importance of conversion fee.
Farmer Bob Uphoff comments on conversion fee.
Contact your legislators and tell them to “Stand Tall for Farmland Preservation.”
Call your State Senator and Assembly representative on the legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472. If you need help finding your legislator, go to:

Remember: Personal contacts are best.
For more information, contact:
Bill Berry
American Farmland Trust’s Campaign for Wisconsin’s Farm and Forest Lands
1973 Strongs Ave.
Stevens Point WI 54481
715 341 9119
715 321 0589 (cell)

Bob Wagner
Senior Director Farmland Protection Programs
American Farmland Trust
413-586-9330 Ext. 12

Medical Marijuana Rallies In Wisconsin

Medical Marijuana rallies in a dozen Wisconsin locations Saturday March 27 -- More on tap next week.

MADISON: This Saturday, March 27, will mark a historic high in Wisconsin medical cannabis activism as state activists roll out rallies across the state in support of AB554/SB368, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. The Act, down to its last 27 days as of this writing, still needs to pas two committees and both houses to reach Gov. Jim Doyle’s desk. Gov. Doyle has been on record his entire 8 year term as being willing to sign a bill if it reaches his desk. His term ends January 2010.

In a show of solidarity with medical marijuana patients across the Midwest and to continue raising awareness of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act in Wisconsin, members of the Facebook group Wisconsin Residents for Assembly Bill 554 and medical marijuana supporters will be conducting peaceful demonstrations across the state in unison this Saturday the 27th of March.

Confirmed cities included (as of this writing) - Eau Claire, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Appleton, Wisconsin Rapids, Platteville, Berlin, Dodgeville, La Crosse, Fond du Lac (Johnson St. @ Forest Mall), Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Madison/West Towne.

Other cities in planning stages and probably participating (as of this release) - Muskego, Waterton, Jefferson, Burlington, Racine, Fox Valley and Wisconsin Dells. A full list may be found at: Wisconsin Residents for Assembly Bill 554

Events will start at 12 noon Saturday March, 27th at the local Wal-Mart stores and each city is reportedly developing a strategy that best fits their individual locations.

The reason for gathering at Wal-Mart? A Michigan Wal-Mart employee injured on the job was fired after testing positive for marijuana use, even though he was legally allowed to use the drug medically in Michigan. According to reports, Joseph Casais, 29, used marijuana to ease the pain caused by sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor. The drug was prescribed by his doctor.

State activists are also seeking donations to air a television ad featuring state medical cannabis patients urging supporters to contact their state legislators. To donate, visit;,;, Wisconsin NORML, or;

JRMMA tv ad

The month of March goes out like a lion with a Medical Cannabis Forum at UW-Whitewater including the Traveling Hemp and Cannabis Tour exhibits. The event features myself speaking ion favor of the JRMMA and Dr. David Nordstrom - Professor of Counselor Education at UW-Whitewater against, followed by Questions from the audience. It runs from 5:30-6:30pm in the Old Main Ballroom (UC-275) on campus.

The next day in Lodi, Thursday April 1, north of Madison in Columbia County, activists will stage a Traveling Hemp and Cannabis Show at the Lodi Woman's Club Public Library. The Library is at 130 Lodi Street in downtown Lodi. Speakers will include WI NORML Field Director Jay Selthofner, Lodi area resident and Iraq War vet and former Marine Sgt. Erin Silbaugh, myself and other patients and advocates.

From the Lodi T.H.C. Tour release:

There is no April Fools Joke and medical marijuana is sure no laughing matter. Thursday April 1st (5:00 – 7:00PM) NORML and IMMLY bring the T.H.C. Tour or "Talking Hemp and Cannabis Tour" to Lodi, as various supporters of hemp, marijuana and medical cannabis activists travel to the central location within the districts of Senator Scott Fitzgerald (Rep); Senator Dale Schultz (Rep) and Representatives Keith Ripp (Rep), Representative Ed Brooks (Rep), Representative Joel Kleefisch (Rep) and Representative Jeff Fitzgerald (Rep) for a weekend of events (check your local listings). The focus of this event, taking place in the Lodi Public Library's meeting room, is to teach the community about the past, present and future of hemp and cannabis in Wisconsin.

Saturday April 3, the scene shifts to Milwaukee's East Side, to the Miramar Theatre for a benefitt for Wisconsin NORML and IMMLY. The Miramar Theatre is at 2844 N. Oakland Ave. Milwaukee. The event will feature live music from three of Wisconsin's premier bands Weapons of Mass DeFunktion, SLM and Recalcitrant. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show runs until 1am the following morning. There will also be speakers including Jacki Rickert, myself, Teresa Shepherd, Jay Selthofner, Dan K. Schroeder and others, as well as door prizes, info on IMMLY, WI NORML and the JRMMA, and NORML merchandise.

Read original article with photos and links: (; )

Movie Party In Milton - Capitalism: A Love Story


Here is a great way for local progressives to meet up and chat over today's current events.

Capitalism: A Love Story' Movie Party
10651 N Charley Bluff Rd
Milton, WI 53563
Sunday, 28 Mar 2010, 1:00 PM

Through MoveOn :
RSVP Contact Information

View Larger Map

Assault On Working Lands Initiative

Forwarded from Rock Environmental Network

Legislative Alert!

We need your help: Please act now. The Working Lands Initiative we worked to pass is under assault.

Contact your legislators and tell them to "Stand Tall for Farmland Preservation" and say no to SB-576.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association is leading efforts to repeal or delay the conversion fee on lands removed from farmland preservation zoning districts.

A bill (SB-576) to do this has been introduced in the Senate and Assembly. Realtors are flooding capitol offices with calls supporting the bill.

Your legislators need to hear the truth from you. Contact information is below. Here are some talking points:

The conversion fee is an important part of the popular Working Lands Initiative. It supports many aspects of the program, including:

. Agricultural Enterprise Areas

. Grants to counties to update farmland plans

. Agricultural conservation easements

Facts about the conversion fee:

. The conversion fee increases the value of land for agriculture by reducing potential land use conflicts and providing security for farmers looking to locate or expand their farm operations. The cost of the conversion fee will most likely be passed on to the person developing the land or buying a house in prime farmland. Isn't this appropriate?

. The fee applies only to land rezoned out of farmland preservation
zoning districts.

. Farmers with existing farmland preservation agreements are not
subject to the conversion fee for removing land from the agreement.

Contact your legislators and tell them to "Stand Tall for Farmland
Preservation" and say no to SB-576.

Call your State Senator and Assembly representative on the legislative
hotline at 1-800-362-9472. If you need help finding your legislator, go to:

Find your legislator. You can also email your legislator. See the list at the bottom of this message. Remember: Personal contacts are best.

Thank you!

For more information, contact:

Bill Berry
Bob Wagner

American Farmland Trust's
Senior Policy and Program Advisor

Campaign for Wisconsin's Farm and Forest Lands

1973 Strongs Ave.
American Farmland Trust

Stevens Point WI 54481
413-586-9330 Ext. 12

715 341 9119

715 321 0589 (cell)

Health Care Conference In Milwaukee


What is the status of health care reform legislation? What is the potential impact? Does it go far enough?

Discuss those issues and more, at a
Community Brainstorming Conference

Saturday, February 27, 8:00-11:00am

Saint Matthews C.M.E. Church, Milwaukee
2944 North 9th Street (Parking on 8th Street, off Chambers)

Scheduled panelists:
Senator Russ Feingold, US Senator-Wisconsin
Where are we now? Where are we going?

Dr. Robert Kraig, Executive Director - Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Critical aspects of health care reform

Mr. Reginald Birt, Regional Cycle Director - Milwaukee Health Services, Inc
And what about the poor among us?

Mr. Terrell Martin, Community Organizer - Organizing for America
What makes good sense in health care law?

Milton Book Discussion Starting


The public is invited to take part in a six-week reading and discussion course starting at 6:30 pm on Monday, March 8th at the Milton Public Library. (NatuRescue of Milton hosts the course.) Participants at each 90-minute session will discuss articles compiled by the Northwest Earth Institute into 6 chapters of the workbook “Reconnecting with Earth.” For more information on the readings, please visit

To sign up for the discussion course, contact Jim (608)575-5653 or Lynn (608)758-5748

BERLIN -- Medical Marijuana Expo

BERLIN: On Saturday, February 6, 2010, as the community rallies together in momentum for National Medical Marijuana Awareness Week, the Berlin Wisconsin Public Library will house supporters of hemp and medical marijuana as various organizations come together to put on an expo style event showcasing the cannabis plant, The T.H.C. Expo (Talking Hemp & Cannabis) will run from 12:00pm-3:00pm in the Berlin Public Library, located at 121 W. Park Ave., Berlin.

This region was once a leader in Wisconsin hemp cultivation. Today, the federal hemp plants growing along roadways or on old farmsteads are the only remnants of an era when farmers benefited greatly from hemp cultivation. Berlin's THC Expo will not only examine the history and potential future role of hemp in the local and state economy, but also delve deeply into the medical use of cannabis and current legislation before the Wisconsin Legislature regarding both medical cannabis and hemp.

Organizer Jay Selthofner promises the T.H.C. EXPO, will "openly and honestly discuss this misunderstood plant". In a recent interview, Selthofner told Madison NORML Examiner, "The driving force behind the expo is the community who supports hemp and medical marijuana, and the cost to bring this event together was donated by the people of the district."

Berlin is in the state legislative districts represented by State Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and State Assembly Rep. Joan Ballweg (R- Markesan). As of this writing, neither lawmaker has yet taken a formal position on the bill, despite what local activists call "a ton of constituent letters, phone calls, emails, Capitol office visits, and in the case of Sen. Olsen, not one but two public listening sessions".

The Expo will also include representatives of organizations including Is My Medicine Legal Yet? (IMMLY), Wisconsin NORML, Madison NORML, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), MJ2 Media, American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin (WI-ACLU), Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and Wisconsin Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access (WIVMMA).

IMMLY Founder Jacki Rickert, namesake of the Wisconsin medical cannabis bill is expected to be in attendance along with state and regional activists including Gary Storck, Ben Masel, Teresa Shepherd, LEAP's James Gierach and others.

For more info: List of qualifying medical conditions included in the JRMMA. Jacki Rickert MMJ Act Hearing Recap & Action Alert. Report on Jan. 20 Mary Powers Memorial and JRMMA Lobby Day. For additional details on the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, info on the Dec. 15, 2010 combined Health committee hearing, bill text and status, how to donate, all the latest news and how you can help, visit;,; or; Visit my Madison NORML Examiner articles archive. Photos courtesy IMMLY/WI NORML and friends except where otherwise noted. Photo of Berlin Library courtesy Berlin Library; Photo of Rep. Ballweg courtesy WI State Legislature.

Stitch'n' Bitch Events

The Janesville Jets & Janesville Area Stitch 'n Bitch join forces for
Pucks 'n Purls @ Janesville Ice Arena on February 7

Join fellow knitters and crocheters for a fun filled afternoon of NAHL hockey brought to you by the Janesville Area Stitch 'n Bitch and the Janesville Jets. Enjoy working on your stitching projects and watching hockey at Pucks 'n Purls on Sunday, February 7 in the Janesville Ice Arena, 821 Beloit Ave., Janesville. The puck drops at 2:00pm. Call 608-752-5387 to reserve your advance stitchers ticket for $5 per person which includes seating with other stitchers, a "goody bag" (while supplies last), and the opportunity to win door prizes. For additional information call 608-752-5387, 608-752-9248 or visit

Midwinter Fiber & Yarn Tasting February 27 @ Basics

Get fleeced at Stitch n' Bitch's Midwinter Fiber & Yarn Tasting at Basics Natural Food Co-op, 1711 Lodge Drive, Janesville from 9am-4pm on Saturday, February 27. Come join us where yarns adorn us, addictive behavior to yarn is accepted and even encouraged, and where shiny needles are better than gold necklaces. Explore the fibers and products of south central Wisconsin farms including Firefly Field Finns, Pacesetter Alpacas, Rainbow Fleece Farm, Stone Crest Llamas, Nina's Goats, and more. Enjoy demonstrations of spinning and needlework, visit the "Yarn Bar" where you can try stitching with various yarns, receive a goody bag (while supplies last), learn how to knit or crochet, and enter for your chance to win prizes. Admission is free. All Midwinter Fiber & Yarn Tasting activities are FREE and open to all ages but donations on behalf of the Janesville/Rock Valley Project Linus of fabric, yarn, and new, child-friendly handmade blankets to comfort, warm and provide security for area children will be gratefully accepted. For additional information call 608-752-9248,, or visit

3 Opportunities for Stitchers Every Week!

Join other stitchers of mass discussion each week where the focus of the group is knitting but needle-crafty of any portable skill, of all ages and of both genders are always welcome. No membership fees nor requirements. FREE spinning, knitting and crochet lessons, advise and trouble-shooting are always available. Gatherings:
Every Monday, 1:30-3:30, SpeakEasy, 19 N. High St., Janesville
Every Thursday, 6-9pm, Basics Natural Foods Coop, 1711 Lodge Drive., Janesville
Every Saturday, 10am-Noon, Codos Coffee Shop, 119 N. Main St., Janesville
For more information visit, e-mail, or call 608-752-9248.

Medical Marijuana Vigil Jan. 20th


Supporters of the medical marijuana bill introduced by Rep Mark Pocan (D-Mason) and Sen Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) will gather Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12pm in the Capitol Rotunda in Madison for a memorial remembering Mary Powers and other patients who simply ran out of time. Mary would have been 51 on Jan. 14. The price they paid, the pain they endured is enough. It is time to put aside hand-wringing that gets us nowhere and stand up with the now 14 states who have recognized the legitimacy of medical pot.

Following the noon vigil supporters will canvas the Capitol to urge their elected representatives to support AB554/SB368. There will be a table in the rotunda with information on meeting your reps and people who can help you with any questions.

If you cannot make it, please call your legislators and have their phones ring all day in support of Medical Marijuana. The Legislative Hotline is 800-362-9472. Or look up your representative at;;. Please make sure everyone you know who supports medical marijuana make the calls.

We cannot lose this opportunity to act, to do something, whether in person or phone, to get this bill passed now. We cannot be that state that does not look forward. We are much better than that. This law can be crafted to meet everyone's needs, and then some. Read more at; (Is My Medicine Legal Yet?) or;

Wisconsin NORML

Local GOP, Newspaper Targeting County Office

This is not a good day for Democrats in Rock County. If you've seen the Sunday edition of the Janesville Daily Gazette ( you will become painfully aware of how the Gazette is used by the Republicans in Rock County with the article they ran on Jenifer Keach, the Rock County Coroner. As many of you may know, Jenifer is my daughter. She is the most qualified coroner in the history of Rock County. Not only is she extremely intelligent, she has the highest credentials, being qualified and certified in every aspect of her work. Since being appointed to her job by Governor Doyle 5 years ago, she has totally rebuilt the Rock County Coroner's office from scratch following a drug scandal by the former Republican coroner. Since her appointment, she has successfully run for the office and earned the votes of 57% of the voters in Rock County. Since her election she has raised the standards for coroners state-wide and is currently the president of the Wisconsin Coroner and Medical Examiner Association. I might also add that Jenifer is the descendent of a 3-generation labor family and totally understands the values that we all hold dear. I can also attest to her character as being impeccable.

How sad it is that the Republicans in Rock County are so desperate to regain a foothold in public offices from near-extinction (thanks to the efforts of local labor) that they will use their lackey Republican rag to tear down such a successful Democrat. But this is just the first of many salvos to come. As we head towards the fall elections, the Republicans and the Gazette are going to be attacking all of our Democratic friends. I have become aware they are currently gathering evidence for sickening attacks on all of our political friends. I hope that as labor and political leaders you will join with me in making sure the voters in Rock County understand what the Republicans are up to and begin working to set the record straight. I'm sure that Republicans in Rock County are looking at the diminished presence of the UAW in our community as their best opportunity in decades to return to public office. Let's not let this happen.

Let me begin by saying the accusations and allegations made in the Gazette story are not founded on any facts and are not substantiated in any way. They are worded to appear as truths but are actually based on the claims of a disgruntled ex-employee of the coroner's office who quit without notice. Then, weeks later the employee filed hateful claims with the highly unusual assistance of two republican members of the Rock County Board. The information she gave the county administration and the county Human Resource office was brought to bear by the county board members Dick Ott (Dist. 23) and J. Russell Podzilni (Chairman, Dist. 22). Since this is a matter related to an employee who resigned her post and left without notice or explanation, one has to ask why two known republican board members would become involved in this matter. Board members have no authority in employee human resource matters. They are private and confidential. On the same note, one has to wonder why the Gazette was so interested in the accusations of a disgruntled ex-employee who left her job on her own volition without notice. In fact, they were so interested, they filed a dubious public information request for private employee records. In addition, why did the county administration and corporate council yield to this inappropriate request? Could it be to protect their jobs from two board members?

As a result of these shenanigans perpetrated by the Republicans and the "Republican Rag", Jenifer Keach was required to hire an attorney to protect her office and good name. This is a role the county corporate council is required to play. Why did they not represent Jenifer in this matter? Who is pulling the strings? Will other county Democrats be faced with these attacks and left to defend their reputation without support from the county?

It has been established that the disgruntled ex-employee is a friend of Melissa Haverly (Independent candidate for coroner - 2006), a highly vocal former deputy coroner who was fired by the deposed republican coroner. As the deputy coroner, the disgruntled ex-employee acted as an agent for Melissa during the four years she worked in the coroner's office for Jenifer. During that time she passed information to Melissa that might be used for Melissa's next political challenge for the coroner's office of Rock County. As comrades, Melissa and the ex-employee appear to have conspired with Republicans to position themselves for election as the coroner of Rock County or the insider promise of being selected as the next medical examiner for the county. The hopes of being promised the medical examiner's position was dashed when the county board reversed their position on the issue last year. That left the potential candidate and the Republicans with their only option - to destroy Jenifer's reputation with malicious hear-say to gain leverage for their challenge to win the coroner's office in 2010.

It is unthinkable that anyone would want to tear down the reputation of an exemplary public servant like Jenifer Keach that works diligently to provide the highest level of services to the voters of Rock County simply so they can have the office. Obviously, they are not interested in assuring the voters of good public servants - just get the office at any cost. I hope that you will join with me in support of Jenifer on the blog at or by calling Stan Milam (WCLO 1230 AM) at 608-752-4000 for his Monday, January 11 show at 9:30 am. Please voice your views on what a disservice the Gazette is doing to the voters of Rock County. I would appreciate hearing from you as well and I know Jenifer will also. By the way, on Monday Jenifer will be conducting the State of Wisconsin Coroner's and Medical Examiner's Association convention in Wausau, Wisconsin - doing great things for the voters of Rock County and Wisconsin.

Written by Richard L. Costerisan