In other words, its another Blogger Clip Show.
"I walked to the other end of the store where I usually saw the bags stocked. Nothing there. HHMMM! There was a young man stocking so I asked him. He called "someone" in the office and was told that this Pick and Save would NO LONGER be carrying the West Allis recycling bags and would only be carrying the Roundy's brand. I was furious!"
And in a later paragraph "Shame on the new manager at the Pick and Save on 67th and National! Your decision to stop carrying the 'official' recycling bags was a bad one. If anyone in this area needs the bags, I'm told that Walgreen's carrys them and a small grocery store on 59th and Lincoln. These are the closest stores in the east end of West Allis that has them. I sure hope that this problem can be resolved as I surely don't want to be chasing from store to store to store for the bags. So, dear readers, we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll have to stop shopping at Pick and Save.
On her blog, I responded with...
Why is it up to Pick-n-Save to carry a product because the city has decided to only allow a particular product for its recycling program? Answer, Pick-n-Save is a business that has every right to (or not to) carry the items that they choose as a business decision.
Your issue is with the city making you buy one particular bag, not with a private business that is in business to make a profit. A profit which, by the way, allows it to pay TAXES to the city of West Allis, and thereby limiting the property tax increases.
Actually, I applaud Pick-n-Save for their decision. Besides the fact that I feel that recycling programs are a WASTE of resources and expend more energy than they save, I also feel that governments should stay out of business. Maybe if more stores stop carrying the blue bags, then West Allis may be dragged into reviewing their onerous recycling policy.
I have my own issues with Pick-N-Save, but this is not one of them. Way to go, Pick-N-Save. I am actually going to thank the manager for choosing to carry any product in which they can make a larger profit margin."
Then last night, I was reading Don Walker's blog on the main JSOnline page. Walker blogged about the pending move of the USBC from Greendale to Dallas. Although the USBC board voted to move pending the resolution of land and building issues in Dallas, Walker writes...
"The U.S. Bowling Congress' board of directors will meet Monday night to make a final decision on whether to move its headquarters from Greendale to Arlington, Texas.
The organization, the governing body for bowling with a membership of 2.6 million people, is looking to move to Arlington to partner with the Bowling Proprietors Association of America. The USBC is negotiating to buy land and a building near the BPAA in order to create a "bowling campus" for the two organizations.
Since that plan surfaced, the Milwaukee 7, a group formed to grow, expand and attract business to the region, has made a run at keeping the USBC in town. The Milwaukee 7 has since sent the USBC a detailed proposal, which USBC officials said they would review."
On his blog, I responded with...
It's too late to save them.
About five years ago, the USBC was already looking to get out of Milwaukee when central-Flordia was working on a bowling villiage which was to include a stadium for national tournaments and the headquarters for all of the national bowling groups. That plan never happened, but the Milwaukee-area did nothing to sweeten the pot to prevent the then-ABC/WIBC from continuing to look around.
Last summer, Channel 12 for sure (and possibly Channel 58) had stories about how the new USBC president, Jeff Boje, had planted a seed about the area taxes being too high and that something had to change to help keep the USBC in the area.
That wasn't a trial baloon, that was a warning. One that was not heeded by the city, county and state leadership.
Those people that are active in the local bowling community saw this happening months ago. There is no secret that Boje is a proprietor at heart, and he actively stated that the USBC needs to work more closely with the BPAA. The Dallas area has been rumored almost the entire time.
A couple of months ago, the USBC Board approved the move to Dallas based on getting the land and building issues lined up.
Lo and behold, here are Johnny-come-lately government groups waving their hands and saying "Hey, what about us?" Where were these guys five or six years ago when Orlando was wooing them? Where were they last summer when Boje took over? Nowhere. Where was their aggressive plan to have the BPAA move to Milwaukee instead?
All the Milwaukee 7 are doing right now are trying to save face. When their proposal gets the thumbs-down, and when that beautiful building across from Southridge sits empty, the government bodies and the Milwaukee 7 will say 'We gave them a better proposal and the left anyway. There was nothing else we could do.'
And I'll know the truth. I'll know they were a year too late. "
Finally, a couple of months ago, Julie from a few more blogs down from mine, had written a blog about the good job done by the city plows. A week or so later, she followed that up with this, which unfortunately, was prior to the early-February blizzard...
I'm sure you read the response from Boxster. I, for one, had no idea that the same guys who collect our trash and recycling are also trying to keep up with the plowing. That just makes me want to give them an even bigger pat on the back. I watch my maintenance staff out there shoveling until their arms fall off, changing clothes 3 times a day because they are soaking wet with snow, only having to then carry a new dishwasher up a flight of stairs. I see the hard work and I see others not noticing the hard work. The city is pretty big. Just because they aren't on your street right now, doesn't mean they aren't out there working overtime. What would happen if they weren't out there all all?
It's impossible for plowing to be perfect with all the factors out of the guys' control (like parked cars to name just one). It's not about the job being done perfectly -- it's about respecting the folks out there who are breaking their backs and giving up valuable sleep or time with their families, doing what they can to keep us safe on the roads.
I struggled with the decision about responding (or not responding) at the time. The plowers are civil servants, and when they took the job they knew part of the deal was sleepness nights and time away from the families. That is what they are paid for. But I didn't respond right away... rather, I first read a comment from "Boxster", who identifies himself as one who moves snow around...
"Wish more people were as understanding as you are about what DPW does for the city. Though most people look at how much money public employees make it is what you mentioned at the end of your blog that is often overlooked. One is the loss of sleep. This winter I have lost about 5 nights of sleep working on snow removal. With the snow we had on Monday I worked 25 hours straight! Sorry, but the workers in the Sanitation Dept. didn't have enough energy to go out and pickup garbage today, that means we will be working Saturday to get caught up. Put even more than the lost sleep is the time away from your family. Can't say I have alot of fond memories playing with my kids in the snow. Was either working or to tired after working long hours.
I see that there is an article about how much money the city spends in overtime. That $865,000 could be spent on more policeman. Well if it wasn't for overtime being worked your street would not be nice and clean when you wake up in the morning to go to work. Or your water working because a crew spent all night repairing a water main break. Funny, those that complain about how much is being spent on overtime are the first ones complaining when their street isn't plowed perfectly or on their timetable."
But I still didn't respond (not that I didn't want to) until a few days after the blizzard. Our street was almost unpassable at the time, and that particular morning was the time to say something...
"This is a disgrace. It is now 9:15 AM on Sunday 2-10, and it is -5 outside. The city had almost 4 full days to take care of this. Lapham (between 73th & 84th) and Orchard (between 84th and 92nd) has 6" deep tire treads, and ice under that. Now that the temp has dipped, it is all frozen.
My taxes are too damn high to pay for this lack of service. News flash to politicians and Boxster... winter in Wisconsin can sometimes be ugly (like this winter). Get money in the budget for this (and take stupid spending out of the budget) for street cleanup FOR AN ENTIRE WINTER, and don't whine about being too tired to do your jobs. It wasn't my decision that you drive a plow or garbage truck, so don't tell me to be understanding."
Boxster did reply, so in fairness I will also post that reply...
"It was one of the worst storms I have worked through. Plowing was made difficult because of the moisture content of the snow. It packed down from the traffic early in the storm and then when it really started to snow we could not keep up with it. I spent 12 hours on National Ave. alone. DPW is not asking for sympathy, just understanding. We are working around the clock.
Don't confuse whining with frustration and outright exhaustion. We are people not machines. I worked 21 hours on that storm. If you have never done it you will never understand how difficult it is. The city has cut back so much through the years to keep your taxes down that this is the result. We don't have shifts of drivers coming in to relieve others. When we have a storm it is all hands on deck. We don't go home till we have attempted to plow every street. We can only do so much with the amount of people we have. If your street is not being plowed tell people to get their cars off it. Plus Mother nature has not been very helpful. We haven't had warm temps to aid in the melting of the ice pack on the roads. Believe me plowing is being done each and every day."
That was a fair enough reply from Boxster, however I need to reiterate that if the city hadn't cut down on the budget in the wrong areas, this mess would have been avoided. We need more money without raising taxes, how about reading this. Steve wrote that blog. Read some of the comments (especially the ones from Stubbornoldman) and tell me we couldn't have made sure there was enough city money available for an entire Wisconsin winter's worth of snow removal.