November 29, 2012
Find Me on Facebook and Twitter:
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.
Description: The northern lights are natureís 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.
CLICK HERE for more information about this event.
UW-Milwaukee Manfred Olson Planetarium (MAP)
1900 E. Kenwood Boulevard
Description: 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 Downtownís 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 on in the Milwaukee area.
The Sound of Music
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 familyís narrow escape on the eve of World War II is
one of the most thrilling and inspirational finales ever presented in
CLICK HERE or call (414) 291-7811 for more information or to
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
A Christmas Carol
Description: The ultimate holiday tradition returns again for its 37th year. Dickensí 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)
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Presents: Holiday Pops, Too!
Date: Thurs., December 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: South Milwaukee
Description: Make the holidays special with the sparkling sounds of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. Join Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as they perform all your holiday favorites. 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
Date: Sat., December 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: South Milwaukee
Description: Shop more than 40 vendors of arts, crafts, organics, baked goods, and other prepared foods along with live music from local artists. This is also a great opportunity for you to catch up on your holiday shopping. CLICK HERE for more information.
South Milwaukee High School (MAP)
801 15th Avenue
South Milwaukee, WI 53172
December 9 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Location: St. Francis
St. Francis Public
Description: On Saturday, December 15, the Depot in Cudahy will be offering pictures with Santa. There will also be bakery items, hot lunch, poinsettias, and candy available for purchase. This event is sponsored by the Cudahy Historical Society. CLICK HERE for more information.
The Depot (MAP)
4647 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
Cudahy, WI 53110
I hope you enjoyed a great Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. Continue reading for an update on state news, including Wisconsin's decision regarding health care implementation, the cancellation of LogistiCare's contract with the state, and how Wisconsin's hunters fared this season.
Prioritizing Wrong Dairy State
Wisconsin voters spoke loud and clear on November 6. They want Democratic and Republican lawmakers to work together to move the state forward. It is a shame that while my Democratic colleagues and I have been reaching out to set a bipartisan agenda, the governor has seemingly skipped ahead without us by presenting a partisan agenda to wealthy California politicos. I would have hoped that the governor could have at least shared his legislative priorities with Republican and Democratic legislators and the people of Wisconsin first in order to hear our feedback rather than have us find out about his personal goals for session from another state. More recently, the governor has staged a growing number of secretive, invite-only media events to highlight the ideas he brought back from California.
For the sake of Wisconsinís future, I encourage the governor to join us in casting off our partisan labels and setting aside politically divisive pursuits to work together on creating a brighter future for our family, friends, and neighbors. This starts by moving forward with programs and policies that reflect our shared values, including:
We cannot keep asking people to climb
the ladder to success while eliminating the bottom five rungs. Instead,
our state needs to be there for the down-on-their luck Wisconsinites and
help them become self-sufficient again. Senate Democrats will continue
voicing the concerns of people across Wisconsin, especially if we feel
they are not being heard by all elected officials. We hope Republicans,
including Governor Walker will choose to join us in this endeavor of
placing progress over politics.
|Governor Punts to Feds on Health Care Implementation|
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 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:
Originally, states had until Friday, November 16, 2012, to submit a letter of intent to the federal government declaring whether that state would be creating a state-based exchange, implementing the plan created by the federal government, or opting for a partnership exchange, which is a combination of the two. On the deadline date, Governor Walker announced he would be deferring implementation of health care reform to the federal government, despite bipartisan objections.
Other benefits the health care reform law brings to Wisconsin families are:
Half a million Wisconsinites are currently without health insurance. With the federal health care reform law being ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and elections concluding, it is time to work together on ensuring all Wisconsinites have access to quality, affordable health care coverage.
Many Wisconsinites, including myself,
are disappointed that the governor opted to punt this problem to someone
else to solve as this is not the Wisconsin way. Wisconsin is unique with
its own health care needs, which is why legislators on both sides of the
aisle and people across Wisconsin urged Governor Walker to create an
individualized plan for implementing the federal health care law in our
state. Wisconsin's neighboring states have already acknowledge the
importance of participating in the implementation process. Minnesota and
Iowa have opted to create their own state-based exchange, while Michigan
and Illinois intend on collaborating with the federal government to
create a partnership exchange.
Senate Democrats remain committed to
working in a bipartisan manner to protect the strengths of our health
care system, while also allowing more children, families, and seniors to
access quality, affordable health care across Wisconsin.
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.
LogistiCare Ends Contract with State
On November 21, 2012, the Department of Health Services (DHS) alerted the Legislature that LogistiCare would be ending its contract with the state. LogistiCare, a company based out of Atlanta, Georgia, contracted with the state to manage and provide non-emergency medical transportation services for neighbors that rely on our health safety net programs, such as Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus. According to the letter submitted by LogistiCare to DHS, the company will no longer be responsible for providing these vital transportation services as of February 18, 2013. DHS is currently in the process of issuing a new Request for Proposal, which enables them to hear bids and select a new business with which to contract.
While the termination of this contract
was not necessarily foreseen, it is not surprising given the problems
that have plagued LogistiCare, which replaced the county-based system
used in the past. One of the most common complaints neighbors raise
about LogistiCare is the wait-time to schedule a ride for upcoming
doctor and hospital visits. LogistiCare's contract states that the
average daily hold times cannot be longer than two minutes on both the
scheduling line and the "Where's My Ride" line combined. According
to recent Journal Sentinel analysis, LogistiCare has met that standard
only 32% of the time since September 1, and on only three weekdays.
Additionally, many patients have reported waiting over an hour to
schedule a future ride, return ride, or complain about a ride not
showing up. Some have also questioned whether the long hold times may
have contributed to LogistiCare now receiving 40% fewer calls than it
did in early September.
Things had gotten so bad that despite contracting with the state for less than two years, Wisconsin legislators, including myself, were already calling for the Legislative Audit Committee to approve a nonpartisan audit of LogistiCare to determine if it was ever fulfilling its contract goals and how services could be improved for Wisconsinites that rely on LogistiCare for medical transport.
While this contract change will likely be a welcome one for those familiar with LogistiCare, I hope DHS takes seriously the need to select a new provider that will not only be able to provide a service at a rate Wisconsin can afford, but also to improve the quality of services our family, friends, and neighbors need.
Joint Finance Appointments Announced
I am pleased to announce the
appointment of Senator Bob Wirch and Senator Jennifer Shilling to serve
on the Joint Committee on Finance for the 2013-2014 Legislative Session.
I look forward to working with Sen.
Wirch and Sen. Shilling to create family supporting jobs for people
across Wisconsin, increase economic development throughout the state,
invest in our next generation of workers by protecting our K-12 schools,
technical colleges, and universities, and improve accountability and
transparency measures in state agencies.
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: Last hunting season Wisconsin's deer seemed scarce. Do you know if hunters had better luck this year?
A: A significant portion of Wisconsin's success at conservation and our strong ethic of environmental protection comes directly from our hunters and anglers. This passion for the outdoors has been a driving social and political force in safeguarding a wild Wisconsin for future generations.
A number of local hunters and neighbors expressed concerns over the limited number of deer they saw during last year's hunting season. Fortunately, during the deer hunting season this year, Wisconsinites across the state saw a dramatic increase.
This hunting season marked the 161st annual nine-day deer hunt in the state's history. According to statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the perspective of Wisconsin hunters, it was nothing short of spectacular. This year 633,460 people registered to deer hunt with the DNR. Additionally, this year's preliminary tally indicates that 243,739 deer were registered by gun deer hunters between November 17 and November 26. This number is expected to increase when all registration tags are officially counted. This yearís preliminary harvest totals represent a 7.7 percent increase from 2011. The preliminary tally also shows that hunters harvested 114, 822 bucks and 128,917 antlerless deer. This compared to 2011 preliminary harvest figures of 102,837 bucks and 123,423 antlerless, for a 12 percent and 4 percent increase respectively.
While the number of hunting-related injuries and fatalities decreased from last year, Wisconsin still saw seven shooting-related incidents reported, including one fatality. Therefore, I encourage all of our hunters, especially those that are new to the sport, to brush up on hunter's safety to prevent such accidents from happening in the future. The DNR recommends taking to heart four basic firearm safety tips, which include:
For those interested in pursuing additional deer hunting opportunities, I encourage you to find out more about Wisconsin's late deer hunting seasons, which are now open. This includes the muzzleloader season, which is currently open through December 5. The late archery season is also underway and continues until January 6. Additionally, there is a statewide antlerless hunt from December 6 through December 9, and a holiday hunt in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) zones of south central Wisconsin beginning December 24 and running until January.
Did You Know...?
You may be aware that deer hunting
recently concluded in Wisconsin this past weekend. But did you know that
the white-tailed deer is Wisconsin's state wildlife animal?
Remembering Pearl Harbor
On December 7 of each year, Americans commemorate Pearl Harbor Day to honor and remember the thousands who were killed or injured when the Japanese attacked our naval base in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. December 7, 2012, will mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The attack on Pearl Harbor left 2,388
Americans dead and another 1,178 Americans wounded. Additionally, 21
American ships and 323 American aircrafts were sunk or damaged on that
The day following the attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941, as a "a date that will live in infamy.
As a result of the unprovoked attack on our nation's soil, the United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, entering World War II.
Remember to take time on Friday, December 7 to reflect on the ultimate sacrifices made my those that came before us who played a crucial role in standing up for our nation, its people, and our shared freedoms and beliefs.
World AIDS Day Approaching
Saturday, December 1 marks World AIDS
Day. The World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988 to
raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, which had only been recognized by the
Center for Disease Control seven years earlier. The World Health
Organization hoped this day of recognition would encourage proactive
efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, as well as support treatment
development endeavors. The theme for this year's World AIDS Day is "This
is Getting to Zero," meaning the World Health Organization would like to
see zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related
deaths for 2012.
According to the World Health Organization, there have been more than 25 million HIV-related deaths worldwide in the last 30 years. Additionally, in 2011 it was estimated that 34.2 million people around the globe were living with HIV/AIDS. While it may seem that HIV/AIDS is a problem for people in other countries, it has also made its presence known in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, half of Wisconsin's 72 counties reported at least one new case of HIV in 2011, and approximately 53% of these cases were reported in our very own Milwaukee County. Further, as of the end of 2011, 6,550 individuals reported with HIV or AIDS were presumed to be alive and living in Wisconsin.
The key to reducing transmission of HIV and AIDS is educating yourself and others. HIV cannot be transmitted through day-to-day contact such as kissing, shaking hands, or sharing food or drinks. It can only be transmitted through contact with blood, seminal fluid, vaginal secretions, spinal fluid, or breast milk. The most common ways to put yourself at risk of contracting or spreading HIV/AIDS is:
Different stages of infection are accompanied by different symptoms. Many people have no symptoms in the first few months of infection, while others may experience flu-like symptoms or a rash. As the infection progresses, other symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, and upset stomach, may develop. HIV tests are often unreliable within the first 3-12 weeks after transmission because the antibodies, which first signal contraction of the disease, are still being produced. Therefore, it is important to be retested after three months after exposure. HIV testing and results are always confidential. Also remember that those infected with HIV can still spread it to others even if the initial test comes back negative and they have not yet had any symptoms. There is still no cure for HIV/AIDS.
No-Call List Deadline Tomorrow
The deadline for the Wisconsin No Call List is fast approaching, so be sure to register or re-register your phone number before the November 30. The list is updated four times per calendar year (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1). The registration process is continuous, but those who sign up after the upcoming November 30 deadline will not be added to the list until April 1.
The Web site and toll-free number are available all day, every day.
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. This is the last week this survey will be
featured in the Larson Report. It will also be taken off my legislative
Web site on Thursday, December 6. Please be sure to submit your survey
online or by mail by that date.
I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues. I will also be sure to share the results of the survey with you in the near future.
|To Unsubscribe from the weekly Larson Report Newsletter, please reply to this email with the word "Unsubscribe."|