LARSON REPORT

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

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November 15, 2012

     

CONTACT ME


Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might have.

Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487

Email:
Sen.Larson@legis.wi.gov

 

Mailing Address:

State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707

 

Web Site:

SenatorChrisLarson.com

 

Find Me on Facebook and Twitter:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS
 

Supporting our neighbors and being involved in our community is of the utmost importance. Some community events that might be of interest to you and your family are listed below. 

 


The Sound of Music
Date:
Fri., November 16 through Mon., December 31
Location: Milwaukee

Description: Come enjoy The Sound of Music this holiday season in Milwaukee. This timeless classic makes for a perfect evening for the entire family. When Maria, a nun-in-training, proves to be too high-spirited for religious life, she is sent to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval captain. Her amazing rapport with the children combined with her generosity and kindness gradually captures the heart of the austere Captain von Trapp. Shortly after marrying, the whole family is forced to flee invading Nazis by escaping over the mountains of Switzerland. The family’s narrow escape on the eve of World War II is one of the most thrilling and inspirational finales ever presented in musical theatre. CLICK HERE or call (414) 291-7811 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Skylight Music Theatre (MAP)
158 N. Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
 

 

Milwaukee's 86th Annual Holiday Parade
Date: Sat., November 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Milwaukee

Description: Milwaukee's 86th Annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade, brought to you by Johnson Controls, will feature approximately 100 units and take about one hour. Volunteers will also be walking the route to collect non-perishable food items on behalf of Hunger Taskforce.

Park for only $3 at the Shops of Grand Avenue, and get Downtown to help welcome Santa. CLICK HERE for more information, including a map of the route.

 

 

Annual Heritage Place Tree Lighting

Date: Sat., November 17 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: South Milwaukee

Description: The South Milwaukee Chamber is honored to present the annual holiday lighting of the beautiful and stately evergreen tree in South Milwaukee’s Heritage Park. Additional activities include photos with Santa, performances by neighborhood school choirs, and beverage offerings of hot cocoa and cider. CLICK HERE for more information about this family-friendly holiday event.

 


Vienna Boys Choir
Date: Fri., November 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: South Milwaukee

Description: No group of child musicians has won more acclaim than the incomparable Wiener Sängerknaben, founded by Emperor Maximilian I in 1498. Six centuries later, the famed Vienna Boys Choir continues to delight music-lovers across the globe with their purity of tone, distinctive charm, and a diverse, crowd-pleasing repertoire of timeless music. CLICK HERE or call (414) 766-5049 for more information or to purchase tickets.

 

South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (MAP)
901 15th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

 


Christmas in the Ward
Date: Fri., November 30 through Sat., December 1

Location: Milwaukee

Description: Be part of an old-fashioned Christmas tree lighting in the heart of the Historic Third Ward on Friday in Catalano Square. Santa and his reindeer will also stop by to welcome the holiday season with fireworks and more. Festivities will be going on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1. Events will be located in the Historic Third Ward on the corner of Broadway and Menomonee. CLICK HERE for more information, including a schedule of planned activities.
 

 

Family Free Day at Zoo
Date: Sat., December 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee

Description: All visitors receive free admission to the Milwaukee County Zoo on this day, although the parking fee remains in effect. CLICK HERE or call (414) 256-5466 for additional information on this event and the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Milwaukee County Zoo (
MAP)
10001 W. Blue Mound Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226

 

 

A Christmas Carol on Stage
Date: Mon., December 3 through Monday, December 26

Location: Milwaukee

Description: The ultimate holiday tradition returns again for its 37th year. Dickens’ classic masterpiece will delight and brighten your holiday season with beautiful carols and a timeless message of hope, peace, love, and the true meaning of the holiday season. Bring the whole family and join in a tradition that has been delighting audiences for generations. CLICK HERE for more information or to buy tickets.

 

The Pabst Theater (MAP)
144 E. Wells Street Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Friend,

 

As the newly elected Democratic Leader of the Senate, I look forward to working with my colleagues, Republican legislators, and the governor to get Wisconsin back to work and moving forward again. Continue reading for more information about the challenges facing our state and priorities for the upcoming session.


Sincerely,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7

 

 

 

Ready to Tackle State Challenges as Democratic Leader

I am humbled by the confidence my fellow senators have in me by electing me their leader. With the elections complete, we have an opportunity to stop divide-and-conquer politics and start working responsibly across the aisle to serve all Wisconsinites. Wisconsin voters spoke loud and clear on November 6. They want Democratic and Republican lawmakers to move the state forward with programs and policies that reflect our shared Wisconsin values.

 

For the sake of Wisconsin’s future, I encourage members of the Legislature to work together as Wisconsinites by casting off our partisan labels and setting aside any politically divisive agendas. I have encouraged Governor Walker to adopt the following immediate priorities:

1). Creating the family-supporting jobs Wisconsinites have been calling for.
 

2) Re-investing in our public education so that our children are armed with comprehensive learning skills that will allow them to be productive and successful in the workforce, and creating stronger accountability measures for private voucher schools that currently receive $157.8 million in non-transparent taxpayer dollars.

3) Adding accountability and transparency to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Giving away taxpayers’ money and not following it is proving ineffective at creating the jobs our neighbors need. The least we can do is track where these dollars are going.

 

4) Implementing a comprehensive and functional health care exchange that genuinely benefits our citizens and local businesses and complies with the Supreme Court upheld Affordable Care Act.



 

 

Click here or on the media player above to view a recent interview with Wisconsin Eye discussing my legislative priorities more in-depth.

 

With the support and confidence of my Democratic colleagues, I look forward to tackling these difficult but important issues with the governor and Republican legislators. However, such efforts will only succeed if as fellow badgers we dig deep and work together to create a brighter future for our family, friends, and neighbors. I hope that we can work together to reverse the divisive rhetoric and policies that have prevented us from moving forward and instead embrace a spirit of compromise.


 

 

Ask Chris

I often have neighbors contact me looking for my perspective on various local and state issues. I very much appreciate our neighbors' questions and want to dedicate a portion of my newsletter to common questions that I hear to maintain an open dialogue. Please continue reading for this week's question.

 

Q: The deadline set by the federal government for Wisconsin to provide a state plan on implementing the Affordable Care Act is Friday, November 16. What has plan has our state submitted?

 

A: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal health care reform law on June 28, 2012, making meaningful health care reform implementation in Wisconsin imperative. This includes developing a health care exchange, or competitive health care marketplace, which will allow individuals to:

  • Select a health care plan that is easy to understand

  • Choose a health care plan that offers a robust benefits package

  • Check eligibility for other services, such as tax subsidies, to help pay for premiums

Unfortunately, instead of creating a plan of action for implementing the law in Wisconsin, the Walker Administration chose to remain idle in hopes that the November elections would change the law's fate. As a result, Wisconsin has now joined the "unhealthy eight"-- a group of eight states that have done nothing to implement the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Wisconsin now has to scramble to put together a statement of intent on how it plans to move forward with implementing the Affordable Care Act. Wisconsin has until Friday, November 16, 2012, to submit the initial letter of intent and until Friday, December 14, 2012 to send in the implementation proposal. I would hope that we hear something from Governor Walker soon regarding this important issue.

 

Wisconsin is unique with its own health care needs. We must find a way to set politics aside and work on creating an exchange tailored to meet the needs of Wisconsinites. Moving forward with implementing a state-based exchange, rather than one controlled by the federal government or a hybrid of the two, is an idea supported by members on both sides of the aisle.

 

Many Wisconsinites and businesses are looking forward to realizing some of the benefits the health care reform law brings to individuals and families across the state. Some of these benefits include:

  • Providing no-cost preventive care services, like mammograms and colonoscopies

  • Allowing young adult children to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26

  • Protecting our children from being denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, like asthma

Health care is a major economic issue as it affects all Wisconsinites and businesses statewide. A healthy workforce means less sick days, catching health issues before they become chronic conditions, and increased productivity. I believe a working Wisconsin needs to be a healthy Wisconsin. As we approach the upcoming legislative session, economic issues, including health care, will be a top priority of mine and my fellow Democrats.

 

 

Did You Know...?

Many of us have a favorite cranberry recipe that we will be preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, but did you know that the cranberries you will be using most likely came from our very own Wisconsin?

 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cranberries from Wisconsin account for more than half of the total national cranberry production. The United States production forecast for the 2012 cranberry crop is 7.68 million barrels, with 4.50 million barrels coming from Wisconsin.

 

In July, cranberry vines experienced heat stress due to high temperature and low precipitation levels. Despite these challenges, Wisconsin still managed to increase overall cranberry production by 2%.

 

 

 

Thank You to Our Veterans

I was honored to be invited to celebrate Veterans Day with our neighbors in Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, and Cudahy this past weekend. The courage, dedication, hard work, and patriotism demonstrated by the brave men and women honored at these recent events have made our country the model of freedom. Our veterans have also made it possible for past, current, and future generations to realize the American Dream our founding fathers envisioned.

While Veterans Day is primarily about saying "thank you" and taking time out to remember the sacrifices made by veterans in our community, across the state, and throughout the country, it should also help encourage a dialogue for us to discuss how to support these brave men and women when they return home. There are veterans returning every day. These men and women will need our understanding when acclimating to civilian life, our support when trying to obtain a job, and our assistance when seeking out information and resources for veterans, including disability, health, and education services. So I  challenge all of us to find a way to stand up for the rights of those that previously fought for our rights daily.

Thank you for all of our neighbors who took the time to attend these tremendous events and for those who shared their personal stories. I appreciate receiving feedback on what the state of Wisconsin can do on behalf of veterans in our community.

 

 

 

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, which aims to bring awareness to the disease, provide information about prevention and management, and honor the work of caregivers, researchers, medical professionals, and advocates leading the fight against this pervasive illness. Though we have made substantial strides in combating diabetes, the number of Americans affected by this disease continues to grow at an exponential rate. 


Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Our pancreas makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies so we can properly function. Individuals with diabetes on the other hand, are incapable of producing enough insulin or cannot use their own insulin properly. This causes sugars to build up in their blood, which can result in serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and even lower-extremity amputations. There are three main types of diabetes, type 1, which was previously known as juvenile diabetes, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

 

Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This illness is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, the American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion annually.

 

Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes. Below are a list of diabetes symptoms:

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Frequent urination

  • Unusual thirst

  • Extreme hunger

  • Unusual weight loss

  • Extreme fatigue and irritability

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Any of the type 1 symptoms

  • Frequent infections

  • Blurred vision

  • Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal

  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

  • Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections

Additionally, those at a greater risk of developing diabetes should be more vigilant in monitoring their health. These individuals include: people over the age of 45, people with a family history of diabetes, people who are overweight, people who do not exercise regularly, people with low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, people with high blood pressure, women who had gestational diabetes, and certain ethnic groups.

 

Click here to take a survey and see if you are at risk of diabetes.

 

If you are at risk for diabetes, remember that prevention is key to safeguarding your health, having a healthy diet, exercising, and regularly visiting the doctor are all ways to prevent the onset of diabetes.

 

Click here for more information about how to prevent developing diabetes.

 

I will continue to fight for establishing a health care exchange in Wisconsin so that we can implement the Affordable Care Act in our state and ensure those suffering from diabetes will receive the medical coverage they need. During the 2013-2014 Legislative Session, I will also work to defeat any bills that may rollback our existing health insurance benefits or attempt to exclude them from future insurance plans. 
 

Although rates of diabetes-related complications have declined, the number of people in the United States diagnosed with diabetes is projected to double or triple by the year 2050, if current trends continue. Diabetes is treatable, but we are still far from a cure. Therefore, we need to continue getting the word out about this disease.

 

 

 

November is Aviation History Month

November marks the beginning of Aviation History Month, when the first successful hot air balloon flight was completed by Jacques and Joseph Montgolfier of France in 1793. For decades thereafter, man tried and failed to develop methods of flight including a steam-powered monoplane and an aircraft powered by gun powder.
 

It was not until 1903 that the Wright Brothers famously built and flew the first airplane on the rolling plains of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, dramatically changing the way we travel, transport, and defend our country. Milwaukee first came onto the aviation scene by opening the Hamilton Airport in 1927, creating the first air service to go between Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. Following the Great Depression in 1938, the Works Progress Administration constructed a new terminal building and later changed the name of the airport to General Mitchell Field in 1941 in honor of Milwaukee native and military figure, William Mitchell.
 

Since its creation, the International General Mitchell Airport has transformed Milwaukee into a hub for tourism, commerce, and travel, creating an untold amount of revenue for Milwaukee’s economy. In 2011, a total of 9,522,456 people traveled through the Mitchell Airport showing just how important the city of Milwaukee is to the aviation industry.

 

Our community will also greatly benefit from constant improvement and growth of our airport, which has spurred the creation of the Milwaukee Gateway Aerotropolis Corporation. Aerotropolis is a non-profit organization that helps harness the economic benefits associated with our local airport. Aerotropolis provides sustainable infrastructure to ensure efficient economic growth in our community, promote a secure business climate, and increase jobs for our neighbors.
 

If you are interested in learning more about Wisconsin and its role in the field of aviation, feel free to check out the Mitchell Gallery of Flight Museum inside the General Mitchell International Airport.

 

Click here for more information about the museum.

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

This upcoming Thursday marks the beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving. Take time to enjoy the day and reflect on everything you have to be thankful for with family, friends, and neighbors.

Our community hosts an array of activities to help us celebrate the holiday season. Continue reading to see a list of family-friendly holiday events taking place throughout our neighborhoods around Thanksgiving weekend.
 

Northern Lights
Friday Nights Now through December 14 at 7 p.m.
The northern lights are nature’s own light show. As we approach the solar maximum, when the sun is most active, more dramatic northern lights are expected. Visitors will learn what causes the northern lights to appear and whether they are visible at a given location.

 

UW-Milwaukee Manfred Olson Planetarium (MAP)

1900 E. Kenwood Boulevard
Milwaukee, WI 53211

 

Click here for more information about this event.
 

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival
Now through Monday, December 31

This six-week festival will spread holiday spirit with animated light displays in Cathedral Square Park, Pere Marquette Park, and Zeidler Union Square, as well as decorated streetscapes and hundreds of events. Marvel at the spectacular sights aboard the convenient Jingle Bus, a Coach USA bus that takes visitors on a 40-minute tour. For $1 per person, visitors can relish in the holiday spirit while admiring a festive panorama. The tour is narrated by Milwaukee Downtown’s Public Service Ambassadors who will acquaint riders with key attractions and landmarks.

 

Click here for more information about the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, and other holiday events going in the Milwaukee area.

 

Old Fashioned Christmas and Parade

Sunday, November 25 from 12:30 to 5 p.m.

This event kicks off with a parade sponsored by the local Lions Club. The parade begins at 12th and Milwaukee and will end at the South Milwaukee City Hall. Santa Claus will stop by the Council Chamber to pose for pictures from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free candy-filled stockings donated by the South Shore Noon Lake Lions Club will also be handed out to children visiting Santa. This event will feature other family-friendly activities including children's craft time, hot food and beverages for purchase, and sing-along Christmas carols.

 

Click here for more information about this fun event.


The holiday season also provides many opportunities to give back to our community. This Thanksgiving, try volunteering in one of our local food pantries. Hunger Task Force Inc. and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, both based out of the Milwaukee area, provide excellent volunteering opportunities. More information can be found on their Web sites.

 

Click here to visit the Web site for Hunger Task Force Inc.

 

Click here to visit the Web site for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
 


 

Neighborhood Survey Available

I created a survey asking about various issues that are important to our community and our state. The input of neighbors is greatly appreciated.

Click here to download and print a copy of this survey, which you can return to my office via mail, email, or fax upon completion.

 

Click here to save a stamp and take the survey online.

 

I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues!

 

 

 

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