The statewide COVID-19 website is a one stop shop that consolidates information from state agencies, and provides up-to-date information and guidance regarding COVID-19. DHS has also offered information on their website on How and Where to Get Tested.

If you're not busy, please make a call, send a card, or write a letter to someone you know who lives alone or may need assistance.

Bless each of you during this difficult time of uncertainty and suffering. Take good care!

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Contents

COVID Testing Efforts Continue

Photo credit: Wisconsin National Guard Staff Sgt. Katie Theusch

Recently the Wisconsin National Guard announced that it had collected over 1 million tests for Coronavirus since April, 2020. Over the last year, over 1,700 National Guard troops have mobilized as a part of the state's COVID-19 response. About 600 citizen soldiers continue collecting tests and responding to the ongoing pandemic. Read more.

The Guard asks anyone seeking a test to register online in advance. See here for a list of collection sites operating this week.

As our state and nation move forward with vaccination, many are wondering exactly when we will achieve herd immunity and be able to make the first real steps toward everything getting back to normal. Herd immunity will be influenced by several factors including: how many have been vaccinated, how many have already been infected, and how easily the virus spreads depending on how it may mutate.

Currently, the earliest projections for achieving herd immunity estimate that it will be reached in July. Read more.

Rezoning Near American Family Field could Allow for a Stadium District

As part of the redevelopment of Komatsu Mining Corporation's West Milwaukee Headquarters, proposals have been encouraged that could lead to new restaurants, hotels and a park near the ballpark.

Komatsu Mining plans to move its operations to the Harbor District in 2022, which will provide West Milwaukee with an opportunity for redevelopment. A public hearing for these concepts is scheduled for March 15.

Read more.

How to Stay Warm if You Lose Heat in Your Home

With the recent, devastating news from Texas, it is good to plan ahead in case you find yourself in a situation where your heat unexpectedly goes out in the middle of winter.

Suggestions to save precious heat in such a dangerous situation include:

  • Avoid opening and closing doors, and close off rooms to avoid wasting heat.
  • Close blinds and curtains to reduce drafts from windows
  • Seal up doors to mitigate drafts
  • Bundle up in layers of winter clothing and blankets
  • Eat well and stay hydrated
  • Avoid using your oven as a heat source. This is a fire hazard, and gas stoves emit carbon monoxide which can be lethal if too much is emitted
  • Know the signs of hypothermia: shivering, memory loss, slurred speech, exhaustion.

Although it seems like we've reached spring this week, we are likely in for more cold weather in the months ahead. If you lose power unexpectedly, it's good to have a plan for how you're going to keep warm.

Read more.

10 Years after Act 10

This past week marked the 10 year anniversary of Act 10, a pivotal moment in our state's political history.

2011 Wisconsin Act 10 was a "budget repair bill" that was proposed by the then newly-inaugurated Governor Scott Walker to address a projected $3.6 billion budget deficit. The proposal included the elimination of collective bargaining for all public employees except law enforcement and fire fighters, as well as changes to the compensation, retirement packages, health insurance, and sick leave for public sector employees. These changes had not been part of the discussion during the preceding 2010 gubernatorial campaign, and the shocking effect of such a large change to our state's historic practices resulted in weeks of protests at the State Capitol.

The last 10 years with Act 10 as law in our state have had significant effects on the way that unions have engaged with our government in Wisconsin, and union membership has dropped by 5.5% in the last ten years. Last year, 8.7% of Wisconsin workers were members of a union which is below the national average of 10.8%.

Despite the effects of Act 10 in Wisconsin, labor leaders are optimistic about the future of organized labor in Wisconsin.

Read more.

Hoping to Hear from You on Bills Expanding the Retail Sale of Alcohol

Currently there are three bills that are circulating in the state legislature that would expand restaurants’ ability to sell alcohol with the intention of helping buoy struggling restaurant sales. The three bills would:

  • Allow takeout alcoholic drinks by the glass (SB22/AB32)
  • Allow alcohol to be delivered to homes (SB57)
  • Allow “curbside pickup” for alcohol sales placed over the phone or online (SB56)

I was hoping that you might let me know what you thought about these ideas. Do you think that they are a reasonable accommodation for our state’s struggling restaurants? Or would you prefer to keep current restrictions in place?

Read more.

How the Perfect Lawn Became a Symbol of the American Dream

A well groomed lawn has been a classic symbol of status for much of the past century in America. Although trends in homeownership have changed over the decades, the aesthetics of our homes, whether they are houses, condos, apartments, or tiny homes, will likely always be a focus in our culture.

Learn more about some of the historical factors that contributed to this American symbol.

2021 Wisconsin State Fair Art Contest Winner

Learn more about this poster and see previous years winners.