This blog represents my opinions and my opinions alone, and certainly doesn't represent the collective thoughts of any of the Boards or organizations that I serve on. Unfortunately I make all sorts of miistakes, I'm a picky eater, I can't sing and I just recently found out I have been spelling certain words in my vocabulary wrong my entire life. That being said, I still continue to muddle ever onward. Welcome.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Another Reason Why I Love Living Here:

Monona's Planning and Community Development Director Paul Kachelmeier screening It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! in his driveway for our trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. You're awesome, Paul!

Monday Night City Council Meeting: Full-Time Recreation/Aquatic Supervisor Position on the Chopping Block

The Monona City Council will meet Monday evening at 7:30 in the Monona Public Library Conference Room. One of the items up for discussion and possible approval is the elimination of a full-time Recreation/Aquatic Supervisor. This position was budgeted into both the committee and mayoral budget and it's elimination will likely result in the reduction of recreation programs.

From an email from Park and Recreation Director, Jake Anderson:

Hello Parks & Recreation Board Members,
I wanted to let you know about a budget development that could have a significant negative impact on our department. Alderman Veserat has included a budget amendment to take out the Full-Time Recreation/Aquatic Supervisor position that I proposed and was included in the committee and mayoral budgets. This action would more than likely mean that my current part-time Rec Coordinator Jordan Burress would leave as she has a full-time job offer on the table, but would prefer to work here. I would then have to eliminate numerous recreation programs to be able to handle all of my duties with capital projects and day to day operations. If you would like to support our department, the city council will meet on Monday night at 7:30 pm at the Library. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks.

From an email from Pat Howell, long-time Park and Recreation Board member:

Dear Fellow Park Board Members,

I am writing out of concern for Ald. Veserat's budget amendment to eliminate the recreation/aquatic position that was included in the budget. I strongly believe that proposal is wrong.The strength and growth of the Monona Recreation Program has been a benefit to everyone who lives in this community. The money generated from the various programs pays significantly for the valued people who develop and oversee the success of our parks and recreation programs. In addition to the dollars, the value of their work contributes to the quality of life we enjoy in this community. The positive direction Monona is currently taking to bring new life to our changing community and enhance the opportunities for people at all stages of life who live here is worth far more than we can measure in dollars. Providing recreational opportunities along with the space and facilities for those things to happen is critical to this community culture we value. By reducing staff, we reduce the quality of community life. As a department, I hope we can show support and voice our thoughts on this in as many ways as possible. My plan is to attend the city council meeting on Monday. I will also e-mail Robb and Pat.
Pat Howell

From an email from another long-time Park and Recreation Board member, Pam Kitslaar:

I am writing to ask your support to include the full time Recreation/Aquatic position in the 2011 budget.
Please recognize the exemplary job that Jake Anderson has done to bring our Parks and Recreation Dept to a level other communities envy. As you are aware, and note in the City newsletter, we now have a wide variety of quality programs, activities, and special events for all age groups. These have been met with enthusiasm and successful attendance. These serve to strengthen and bring our community together, promote health and wellness, and attract other people into Monona. There has been an increase in revenues.
The department has grown. Jake has had an excellent 19 hr per week Rec Coordinator, but that is no longer enough support to maintain our lively recreation department. It is also difficult to retain a good worker at these hours.
As Park and Recreation Director, Jake has many administrative responsibilities. He has been a true asset for Monona with his up to date knowledge of programming, marketing and community relations, safety, equipment, grants available for application, and etc. He has been very dedicated, spends long hours and needs additional help. The full time Rec/Aquatic Supervisor position to manage the outdoor pool and thus eliminating the need for Head guards, to charge up pool operations and assist with other activities is a position with growth whose time has come.
Let’s show our gratitude, let’s show the community, the Pride we have in our Parks and Recreation to support this full time position. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration to put it in the budget.

Pamela Kitslaar

City Council meets at 7:30. Please be there to voice your opinion on this issue. Unfortunately, I will be watching the Monona PeeWee Football championship game at Ahuska Park at 7pm.


Friday, October 15, 2010

A Sneak Peek at the New and Improved Blue Park

Here are two views of the proposed replacement play structure for the Blue Park. The Park and Recreation Board will look at different color options next month. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on whether the Blue Park should stay blue?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Second Week of the Month Time Again!

The Monona Park and Recreation Board will meet tonight, October 12th, at 6pm in the Community Center lounge.

We will be discussing the replacement playground structure for Monona's beloved Blue Park, which has been deemed ready for a face-lift. We have many new structures to consider and I hope that any interested parents and park-goers join us to peruse the options. And for those of us who would still like to have at least one sand park in Monona, tonight would be the perfect opportunity to voice that sentiment.

Under new business: Capital Transfer Request for 2010 Pool Shower/Locker Room Floor Project, Capital Transfer Request for 2011 Maywood Park Trail, MG Business Men’s Association Community Message Board Relocation, the 2011 Tennis Court Resurfacing Information and the 2011 Community Center Remodel/Feasibility Study. Join us. It's always a party.

The Monona Grove Board of Education is meeting this Wednesday evening at 7pm in the District Office.

The agenda for this month's meeting can be found here. Among old business, the Board will revisit the ongoing discussion of the possible closure of Maywood Elementary and consolidation of Monona's elementary grades at Winnequah School and related issues. Not sure what the related issues will be, but rest assured, they will be aplenty. New business includes the possible approval of the proposed 10th grade chemistry program and an update on continuous school improvement by Christa Macomber and Deb Lyons. The Board will also approve these generous donations in the consent agenda:

$330.57 donated from the Knights of Columbus to Monona Grove School District, Student Services for students with special education needs
$500.00 donated from the GDS PTO to Glacial Drumlin School for student scholarships
$118.53 donated from Target to Winnequah School
$250.00 donated by Monona State Bank to Winnequah School
$2,600.00 donated by the Cottage Grove PTO to Cottage Grove School for SMARTBoards
$125.00 and two bins of school supplies donated by the Monona State Bank – Cottage Grove to the Cottage Grove School for student assistance.
15.5” viola, bow and case donated by Lisa & Scott Stearns to the GDS Orchestra Department.
13” viola, bow and case donated by Lisa & Jeff Baudhuin to the GDS Orchestra Department.
$100.00 to the Taylor Prairie School donated by Paul Jana & Dana King
$50.00 to the Taylor Prairie School donated by Daniel & Kristia Loeder
$25.00 to the Taylor Prairie School donated by Michael Sturm
$10.00 to the Taylor Prairie School donated by Paul & Lisa Sutter
$10.00 to the Taylor Prairie School donated by Matthew & Jessie Nelson
$25.00 to the Taylor Prairie School donated by Thomas & Holly Schmidt
$20.00 to the Taylor Prairie School donated by Frank & Kristin Russell
$2,600.00 donated by the Cottage Grove PTO to Taylor Prairie School for SMARTBoards
School supplies donated by School Supplies for Kids to Cottage Grove School
School supplies donated by New Concepts Salon to Cottage Grove School

This note from the Monona Recreation Department:

Parents! The Youth Basketball deadline is THIS Friday, October 15th! Please sign your child up today! We have to stick to this deadline, due to a scheduling meeting with other communities, so please don't wait!

And finally, a couple of shots from the Winnequah Fifth Grade Upham Woods trip:

and then for no particular reason, click here.

MaGicEnergy: Juggling, Humor and Storytelling with Bob Kann October 26!

Monona Public Library is hosting the program MaGicEnergy Juggling Program with Bob Kann, 6:15p.m.10/26. Tuesday, Oct. 26, 6:15p.m. or call 222-6127

MaGicEnergy™ is a live 30-minute energy/environmental education program for students. The fast-paced program combines a strong environmental and energy message with juggling, humor, magic, special effects, storytelling, and audience interaction. MaGicEnergy was created in 2002 by Madison Gas and Electric Company in collaboration with performing artist, Bob Kann, a Madison-based educator and entertainer. We Need Energy is the major theme of the program with environmental sub-themes woven throughout the program to demonstrate the relationship of responsible energy use and environmental quality.

Watch a four minute video and see why he's been touring this program for eight years.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tellabration: The Worldwide Event of Storytelling at the Monona Public Library!

Enjoy an afternoon of Storytelling,
Music, Puppets, Refreshments, & Fun!
Saturday, November 20, 2010, 3:30 to 5p.m.
Family Fun event. Free. All ages welcome.

Razzle-Dazzle Tales and Fun!
Marge Loch-Wouters tickles the ears of her listeners with razzle-dazzle tales and fun. Her fall-down funny stories and expressive faces have produced laughs aplenty from kids in schools and libraries throughout thestate. Her comically funny stories, many based on children's books and
folklore, invite kids in as participants and tellers.

¡Ay chihuahua!
Storyteller Kay Elmsley-Weeden engages and mesmerizes audiences with stories and activities
that could make tortillas dance! Blending English and Spanish, Kay draws kids and adults into her comical and interactive tales from the Spanish speaking world. ¡Ay chihuahua!

Ten Pounds of Wiggles!
Karen Wendt mixes words with a sprinkling of puppets, a dash of sign language, a pinch of music, and a pound of wiggles to bake up a story of delight for children and grownups. Karen says, "I love seeing the kids telling stories so I often invite them up to help. They become characters in the stories." Enjoy a story-dessert of Apple Pie at the end of the evening with one of Karen's favorite personal tales.

International… Interactive… & Entertaining!
Sadarri and Rick Saskill will amaze you with a unique blend of music, movement and language. This is story-play at its very best! Pack your bags for an exciting global adventure. Want to learn rock, paper, scissors the Indonesian way? What about a story in sign language?...A mini international parade?...Or maybe an action song from Mexico? Whether it’s in Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, Swedish or English, this talented couple provides hand-clappin', finger-snappin', foot-stompin' FUN for the entire family.
Monona Public Library
1000 Nichols Road, Monona, WI 53716
Karen Wendt:
Register: 608-222-6127,
Walk-ins welcome.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Monona Public Library
If you need special accommodations to attend, please call 222-6127 one week in advance.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monona Grove School District Annual Meeting and Budget Hearing

The district's annual meeting will take place Wednesday October 6th at 7pm in the Monona Grove High School auditorium. There will be no Packer game.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Milwaukee Public Schools And Teachers Union Reach Deal On Contract, Health Benefits

MPS, teachers union reach deal on contract
Health care switch to save district $50 million over 2 years
By Becky Vevea and Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel

In a contract breakthrough that eluded the previous Milwaukee Public Schools administration, the teachers union leadership on Friday agreed to concessions on health benefits that will save up to $50 million over the next two years.
If the deal is ratified, members of the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association will shift to a lower cost health plan and contribute to premiums under the terms of a tentative agreement running through June 30, 2013.

Read the rest of this story at JSOnline.