July 2, 2013
Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might
Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
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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.
MIAD 2013 Juried
through Sat., July 27
you missed the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design's renowned annual
senior exhibition, stop by to see faculty-juried works from all majors
in the 2013 Juried Senior Exhibition. This event is being held in MIAD's
Frederick Layton Gallery.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 291-8070 for more information.
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MAP)
273 E. Erie Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Milwaukee Art
Museum Presents: 30 Americans
Now through Sun.,
Americans is a dynamic exploration of contemporary American art.
Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, video, and more made
by African American artists since 1970 raise questions of what it means
to be a contemporary artist and an African American today. Whether
addressing issues of race, gender, sexuality, politics, or history--or
seemingly remaining silent about them--these works offer powerful
interpretations of cultural identity and artistic legacy.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 224-3200 for more information.
Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)
700 N. Art Museum Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Date: Now through Fri., July 19 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lunar Light focuses on our Moon, which has captivated our imagination
enough to explore it with humans and machines. The live presentation
will highlight Earth-Moon-Sun interactions that result in dramatic
events such as lunar and solar eclipses, ocean tides, and different
phases of the Moon. The presentation will include Greek myths associated
with the Moon. As always, there is a portion of the program that focuses
on stars and constellations projected on the dome to simulate both a
city and country sky. Please note there is no show on July 5.
CLICK HERE for more information.
1900 East Kenwood
Date: Thurs., July 11 through Sun., July 14
Description: Bastille Days, Milwaukee's popular French festival
and one of the nation's largest French-themed celebrations, returns to
downtown Milwaukee's Cathedral Square Park, July 11-14. The free,
four-day bash attracts over 250,000 visitors annually who enjoy live
music, an international marketplace, chef and wine demos, French and
Cajun cuisine, roaming busker entertainment, and a signature 43-foot
Eiffel Tower replica offering hourly light shows.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Cathedral Square Park (MAP)
520 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
South Shore Frolic
Date: Fri., July 12 through Sun., July 15
Location: Bay View
Description: Stop by the 64th annual South Shore Frolics. This
three-day festival will feature a Friday fish fry, music all three days, a
car show, games, food, a parade, and fireworks.
CLICK HERE for more information.
South Shore Park (MAP)
2900 South Shore Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Remember to take time this holiday
week to honor our veterans, as well as troops that are actively serving.
In commemoration of Independence Day, this report will include
information about holiday events in the community, emphasize the
importance of buying local, and provide tips on flag etiquette. A recap
of the budget in bullet points is also included.
State Senator, District 7
Thursday, July 4 marks the 237th
anniversary of our nation's independence. It is day of celebration with
family, friends, and neighbors. We must also remember the sacrifices of
those who came before us, in securing our nation's freedoms, as well as
the service of our military men and women in uniform who cannot spend
this holiday enjoying barbeques or fireworks with their families. We owe
them for everything they do to keep us safe.
Around the state, local communities
will be hosting parades, ceremonies, and fireworks to celebrate the 4th
of July. Continue reading to see what events will be going on in the
Spend the day at the Lakefront on Wednesday, July 3. This early 4th of
July celebration starts off with the Gift of Wings Fireworks Kite
Festival beginning at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park. Kites will be flying
high all day, until the U.S. Bank Fireworks at the Lakefront begin at
Click here for more information about this holiday event.
Since 1911, the city of Milwaukee has
hosted safe and friendly celebrations for families and friends to enjoy.
In parks across the city, neighbors and visitors come together for
picnics, games, parades, and more. These celebrations will take place on
Thursday, July 4, and are capped off by fireworks bursting all over
Click here to visit the Fourth of July Commission Web site to find a
celebration in a park near you.
South Milwaukee will be offering a 4th of July picnic and fireworks at
Grant Park. The celebration starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 at the
Brown Pavilion (Areas 5 and 6), and includes races, games, free ice
cream and caramel corn for kids, and a children's bicycle and coaster
decoration parade. The day is capped off with a fireworks display at
Click here to visit the city of South Milwaukee's Web site for more
The city of Cudahy will host its "Stand Together" Independence Day
celebration on Thursday, July 4 with a parade stepping off at Noon at
the corner of Grange and Packard Avenue. The parade will proceed north
on Packard Avenue to Layton Avenue, head east, and end at Sheridan Park.
There will be complimentary ice cream and cracker jacks following the
parade. A celebration will be held at Sheridan Park with music, a magic
show, and fireworks.
Click here to visit the city of Cudahy's Web site for more information.
The Oak Creek 4th of July parade begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 at
the corner of Groveland Drive and Shepard Avenue. It will wind its way
through the city and end at American Legion Post 434 (9327 South
Shepard Avenue). Events and food, including children's games, face
painting, roasted corn, baked potatoes, and beverages will be available
following the parade. Fireworks begin at East Middle School (9330 South
Shepard Avenue) at dusk.
Click here to visit the city of Oak Creek's Web site for more
The city of St. Francis 4th of July
celebration includes a parade, picnic, talent show, live music,
children's games, and fireworks. The festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. on
Thursday, July 4 with a bike and wagon decoration competition at the
parade assembly point (Lipton and Howard Avenues). The parade begins at
10 a.m. following Howard Avenue east to Packard Avenue, then heading
south to Lunham before heading east to Milt Vretenar Municipal Park. The
picnic begins at 11:15 a.m., and includes a fireworks display at 9:15
Click here for more information about this event from the city of St.
Plan to attend this year's two-day Franklin Civic Celebration in Lions
Legend Park on Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4. Food, carnival
rides, activities for kids, and plenty of entertainment will be provided
for all ages. The festival begins on Wednesday, July 3 at 5 p.m. with
carnival rides, live music, and arm wrestling contests. The festival
continues on Thursday, July 4 at 9:45 a.m. with Gino's Kid Show. There
will be a children's parade beginning at 10:30 a.m., which will meet at
the Franklin Police Department building (9455 W. Loomis Road), followed by the
main parade, which follows Loomis Road north from Forest Hill to Drexel
Avenue. Live music and activities will be held throughout the day ending
with dazzling fireworks beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Click here to visit the city of Franklin Web site for more information.
Buy American, Buy
The importance of producing and buying
American or buying locally has become especially important during these
tough economic times as our local, state, and national economies have
been slowed. Buying local is good for all of us, as it not only helps
inject our economy with a much-needed financial boost, but it also helps
ensure we do not become overly dependent on foreign imports.
Additionally, buying local can increase job opportunities for our
neighbors. Adopting a buy local way of living can be as easy as favoring
buying clothes that are produced in the United States, purchasing some
of Wisconsin's world famous cheese rather than that of out-of-state
competitors, or even selecting a local craft beer rather than the widely
sold domestics (besides those made here in Milwaukee, of course). These
small steps towards supporting our community will make you feel better
about your purchases and have a profound impact on our economy, as well.
Click here for more information about buying local from the Department
of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
In recent years, organizations that promote the idea of buying local
have begun to spread throughout the country, benefiting local
communities tremendously. One such example can be found in our very own
Milwaukee. Local First Milwaukee is an independently-owned organization
comprised of Milwaukee-based businesses that works to make Milwaukee a
more sustainable community, enable it to compete with other cities, and
build a market share for local businesses.
Click here for more information about Local First
In the end, buying local has benefits
that greatly outweigh the costs. Studies done in neighboring states have
illustrated just how important buying locally can be for the health of
our economies and workers. A recent survey done in Kent County,
Michigan, showed that shifting just 10% of consumer spending towards
locally-owned businesses would create $140 million in new economic
activity, 1,600 new jobs, and $50 million in new wages. Further, when
West Michigan consumers choose a locally-owned business over a nonlocal
alternative, $73 of every $100 spent stayed in the community, while only
$43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business remained in the
Similar success was seen right here in Wisconsin after launching a Buy
Local, Buy Wisconsin competitive grant program to strengthen our
agricultural and food industries. The grants worked to reduce the
marketing, distribution, and processing hurdles that impede the
expansion of sales of Wisconsin's food products to local purchasers.
According to the program's annual impact report, just two years after
the program went into effect, the benefits were noticeable. An initial
state investment of only $447,700 ensured a $2.7 million increase in new
local food sales, produced over $600,000 in new investments, created 38
new jobs, and retained 35 jobs. Additionally, with the help of this
investment, over 1,200 producers and over 500 Wisconsin markets
benefited. Fortunately for Wisconsinites, the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin
program will continue to be funded through the next biennium after
Democrats fought to change the governor's initial proposal to end
funding for the program.
This commitment to buying local products and frequenting locally-owned
businesses is exactly what Wisconsin needs during this time of economic
uncertainty. So the next time you are about to buy something be sure to
buy locally so that we can work together to help our communities thrive.
The Budget in Bullet
I have had some neighbors ask for a
more concise version of last week's Larson Report, which addressed the
concerning budget provisions Republicans adopted when passing
the 2013-2015 Biennial Budget. Therefore, I am providing this article,
which summarizes the budget and its troubling provisions in bullet
points. If you did not have a chance to check out last week's report, or
are wondering what the main points were to take away from passage of the
budget, then this article is for you.
Click here or on the video player above to view my concluding speech
prior to passage of the extreme, backwards Republican budget.
Jobs & Economy
Does little to improve our overall
economic health, which will continue to leave Wisconsin lagging
behind the nation and falling in the rankings.
Fails to restore $67 million in
cuts to our technical schools, which provide future generations of
Wisconsin workers the skills needed to compete in a 21st century
Makes only minor improvements
to accountability, transparency, and oversight of Wisconsin's
floundering job creation agency, WEDC, while still increasing their
funding over the biennium.
Rejects amendments to provide
greater financial aid to support prospective students.
Expands vouchers statewide,
despite the fact that this 20-year, $1.5 billion experiment has
failed as study after study confirms that education provided by the
voucher program is often inferior to that offered by public schools.
Adopts a more extreme voucher
measure than the expansion plan offered by the governor, which would
have only expanded vouchers to nine school districts rather than all
424 school districts.
Creates an arbitrary cap for the
program--500 students in 2013-14 and 1,000 students in
2014-2015--that is clearly temporary.
Increases funding for voucher
school students by as much as $1,414 per pupil annually, while only
giving public school students a measly $100 per pupil increase that
will not even come close to making up for the $1.6 billion in cuts
during the 2011-2013 Republican budget.
Links funding for voucher school
students and public school students. For example, if public school
students receive a $100 increase per year, so will private voucher students.
Gives more money to expand the
unsuccessful voucher program statewide without increasing
accountability and transparency measures, such as requiring
background checks and licensure of teachers, following the DPI
Report Card System, complying with open records laws, and
preventing corporal punishment.
Penalizes public school students
and their parents by having them support two school systems, while
providing the parents of private school students with a tax break
totaling $30 million in the 2014-2015 school year for an annual per
student deduction of up to $10,000.
Raises property taxes as each
school district will now be responsible for supporting two separate
and unequal school systems. In Milwaukee, for example, taxpayers
support the largest school district--Milwaukee Public Schools--and
the 4th largest school district--Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.
Rejects amendments to eliminate
voucher expansion, remove the unfair private school tax deduction,
require a referendum in each local community, increase
accountability and transparency, support special needs programs, and
increase funding by $275 per pupil in public schools.
Rejects federal health care
funding and with it the opportunity to expand health care coverage
to nearly 100,000 more Wisconsinites, save the state $119 million
over the biennium, and create approximately 10,500 jobs.
Throws tax dollars away to expand
coverage in other states while getting nothing for Wisconsin.
Wastes an additional $73 million,
by giving money to hospitals to cover the individuals Republicans
admitted would be kicked off of BadgerCare as a part of Governor
Walker's health care plan.
Rejects amendments to accept
federal health care dollars available to Wisconsin.
Taxes & Spending
Provides a tax break for the
wealthiest among us and creates a $500 million deficit all at the
expense of education, health care, and job creation in Wisconsin.
Increases property taxes by $29
annually for the average home.
Rejects amendments to decrease
property taxes by an average of $77 per home, reduce the income tax rate for
the lowest tax bracket, and restore the cuts to the Earned Income
Tax Credit that occurred in the 2011-2013 state budget.
Harms residents and businesses
that rely on clean, plentiful well water by preventing citizens from
challenging the DNR's approval of high-capacity wells based on the
cumulative negative environmental impact the high water withdrawal
would have on neighboring drinking water wells and area lakes.
Makes drastic cuts of $18 million
over the next two fiscal years to the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson
Stewardship Fund, which preserves and maintains Wisconsin's natural
resources; expands recreational opportunities; and benefits the $22
billion forestry industry, $11 billion tourism industry, and $4
billion hunting and fishing recreation.
Requires the DNR to sell off
10,000 acres by 2017.
Rejects amendments to reverse the
harmful provisions listed.
Adopts 94 nonfiscal items, the
highest number of nonfiscal items to be adopted in a state budget in
Prevents lead paint victims from
receiving justice in court should they sue lead paint manufacturers
for health problems resulting from lead poisoning. Further, it
potentially voids all pending lawsuits filed on behalf of poisoned
Heeding the calls of moderate
legislators, Governor Walker vetoed the following extreme budget
provisions on June 30, 2013.
Allows bounty hunters to operate
in Wisconsin, which may place the safety of Wisconsinites in
Attacks the Center for
Investigative Journalism housed at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, preventing them from shining the light on matters
that are of interest to the public and training the next generation
of Wisconsin reporters.
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: I enjoy displaying a flag during the 4th of July holiday season to
show my respect. What are some tips on flag etiquette?
A: No other object more greatly symbolizes our nation's freedoms and
those who fought to protect them then the U.S. flag. It is important
that when we choose to display this important symbol that we do so
properly and with respect. Many of these rules and standards can be
found in the Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional
ways in which we give respect to the flag, and also contains specific
instructions on how the flag is to be used. Some of these can be found
When the flag is displayed from a
staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union
should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.
When it is displayed from the same
flagpole with another flag--of a state, community, society, or Scout
unit--the flag of the United States must always be at the top.
When the flag is displayed over a
street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or
east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union
should be farthest from the building.
When flown with flags of states,
communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the
same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is
always placed in the position of honor--to its own right.
Additionally, the other flags may be smaller but none may be larger,
no other flag ever should be placed above it, and the flag of the
United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be
When flown with the national
banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a
separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size.
They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one
nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.
The flag should be raised briskly
and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be
displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated
if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of
America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held
until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last
note of music, whichever is the longest.
When the flag is lowered, no part
of it should touch the ground or any other object, but rather it
should be received by waiting hands and arms.
To store the flag, it should be
folded neatly and ceremoniously.
The flag should be cleaned and
mended when necessary.
When a flag is so worn it is no
longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be
destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. Most American Legion
Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony. Many Cub
Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags
regularly as well.
Click here for more information about how to properly
care for your U.S. flag and the history associated with this patriotic
If you do not currently have a U.S. or
Wisconsin flag and would like to purchase one, please contact my office
to order one today. Both flags are made of durable nylon and are 3 feet
by 5 feet in size. The U.S. flag costs $13 while the Wisconsin flag
If you would like the flag flown over
the Capitol in honor of someone, please specify the name of the person,
the occasion, and the date you would like the flag flown. A certificate
of commemoration will be mailed back to you with the flag.
Flags must be purchased with checks made out to the State of Wisconsin.
Mail your flag request form and check to:
Sen. Chris Larson
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707-7882
Click here to download a flag request form.
Did You Know...?
For those of us that drive, the
become a necessary tool in our everyday lives. But did
you know that this standard piece of equipment was invented right here
in Wisconsin? In the early 1900s, Arthur P. Warner of Beloit invented
the automobile speedometer, which is now in virtually every car made in
Summer Activities in
Our community offers a wide variety of
summer activities for families, children, and adults alike. Below are
just a few activities that you can take part in this summer.
Visit Our Neighborhood Pools
Get some relief from the heat this summer by visiting our local
neighborhood pools. Many of the pools in our community offer swimming
lessons or open swims.
Click here for a list of neighborhood pools, hours of operation, and
Shop 2nd Saturday
From jewelry and specialty gifts to gourmet foods and men's and women's
fashions, look for great deals on unique merchandise in downtown
Milwaukee every second Saturday of the month this summer. Along the way, shoppers will be treated to snacks, live
music, local entertainment, and free two-hour on-street parking.
Click here for more information, including a complete list of locations
The Legislature has wrapped up the
budget process and is not scheduled to meet in session again until the
middle of September. In anticipation of fewer legislative obligations in
the Capitol, representatives and senators will be spending more time in
their local community and less time in their Madison offices.
Because of these changes, I will be altering the distribution of the
Larson Report. Beginning this week, the Larson Report will be sent out
every other week, rather than every Thursday. These biweekly reports
will continue to keep you apprised of local events, provide timely news
updates, answer some of the most frequent questions asked by neighbors,
and include interesting information about our community and state.
In addition to providing you with a newsletter every other week, I will
periodically send out email updates when important issues arise. The
normal weekly distribution will resume when legislative activities pick
up again in September.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about these
Unsubscribe from the weekly Larson Report Newsletter, please reply to this
email with the word "Unsubscribe."