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(Don't) Act your age!

Recently, the lower half of my hair changed from a dark auburn color to wild raspberry. No kidding. The top half is a honey blonde, giving it quite an artistic touch. I LOVE it! 

My youngest informs me that “I am too old” to change my hair color so drastically. Sure, the big 4-0 is approaching within a short amount of time, but how old is too old? 

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Police Protection Act Signed Into Law

Sullivan, Injury, Law Enforcement, misdemeanor

The governor signed the Police Protection Act (Assembly Bill 269) this morning as we kicked off National Police Week* in the Capitol. The Police Protection Act is a bill I authored with my Assembly colleague, Rep. Chris Danou, who also happens to be a former law enforcement officer. Under our bill, a person who resists or obstructs arrest and causes an officer substantial bodily harm in the process will be guilty of a felony.

Under current law, if a criminal strikes an officer, he or she is guilty of a Class H felony. But if an officer seriously injures himself in the pursuit of someone who has broken the law, the criminal causing the injuries is only charged with a misdemeanor. This law closes the question of intent, and makes the defendant equally liable in either situation. Law enforcement officials from throughout the state supported this important initiative.

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Facebook, MySpace, Match, e-Harmony and anything along that line has allowed us the ability to connect with old and new friends. Those who had once been only a memory come to life as if time had never passed.   

First come the winks or email with a friendly hello.  The “Do you remember when” pops up via written word.   Eventually the emails may contain the “How about we exchange phone numbers” type of communication. When individuals exchange phone numbers, how long does it take for actual conversation to begin?

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Living a Day in the Life of a Firefighter

Firefighters, First Responders, Infectious Diseases, Sullivan

I will be joining elected officials from throughout the state tomorrow to learn what it’s like to be a firefighter. We will be donning gear and breathing apparatus to participate in live firefighting and EMS exercises at the Madison Area Technical College’s Truax Campus in the morning, come rain or shine. 

The idea behind the training is that when it’s time for members of city council, mayors, and legislators like myself to tackle tough questions of what cities, counties and states need to do to protect firefighters and first responders, we’ll have firsthand knowledge of what these brave men and women are facing.

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Drowsy driving is dangerous

The school year is winding down and there’s an excited buzz among high school students. Summer vacation is coming, but with all the excitement comes added stress and too little sleep as students finish up school projects and study for final exams. Too many responsibilities and activities can put teens in a dangerous position: driving while sleepy.

More than 80 percent of all teens get less than the recommended nine hours of sleep each night. What’s even scarier is that less than half of these teens realize that being tired makes a difference in driving safely.

Check out these eye-opening statistics about sleepy driving:

  • One night of no sleep has the same impact as driving drunk.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found teen drivers are four times more likely to be in a fatal car accident.

Parents can help their teen drivers stay safe. Talk with your teens about these safe-driving tips:

  1. Limit the number of passengers in the car. More passengers mean more distractions.
  2. Teens should not talk on cell phones or text when driving.
  3. Teach teens to recognize signs of drowsy driving, like difficulty focusing or keeping his or her eyes open, drifting into other traffic lanes, missing road signs or forgetting the last few miles driven.
  4. Discuss a back-up plan if teens find themselves driving drowsy. One option is to find a safe place to stop and take a quick 30-minute nap.

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I am a student, graduating with my second degree (graduated in December with my Assoicates and now again with a diploma in Web Design and Programming) and this my last semester of my college years, I had the honor to work with a wonderful group of kids. I was part of a group called "OnRamp". Some of you may have seen the story Fox 6 did on this program back in January or February, if not the website is a must visit.

This was the second time around for OnRamp and once again was a success. The program takes students and professionals in the design fields and pair them up with high school students to design t-shirts. We took them through all the stages; marketing, branding, advertising, and of course design. The high school students come from Community High School on 64th and Vernon, a few blocks south of Bluemound. The school is a small, public, charter school that is teacher led.

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Tragedy and the Yin-Yang

HBO, My-Sugar-Na, Reno, Television

(I know, I know, I know... I had those stupid prom pictures up for weeks.  But life is just getting in the way again.  I've got this brilliant piece half-completed - the good thing is that it will never be "dated" - and it will be worth the wait.  But with my trip to bowl Nationals in Reno next week and Mitten's graduation the week after that... sheesh, the treadmill never stops.  Here are a couple of nuggets to hold you over.)

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Keeping Our Children Safe and Our Neighborhoods on a Strong Financial Footing

sullivan, Safe Placement of Children Act, social workers, Department of Children and Families, Tax Incremental District, TID, Tax Incremental Financing

The Safe Placement of Children Act that I authored with Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) and Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) was signed into law this week. The legislation gives social workers access to the tools they need to verify that a caregiver would be able to provide a safe environment for a child.

This bill is just commonsense legislation to help protect those in an already vulnerable situation. It only makes sense to give social workers access to these records. We need to make sure that children aren’t put at additional risk because of incomplete information.

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Frugal Gardening

 Many of us like to have beautiful garden areas around our homes.  Here's some ideas on how to make this happen when on a tight budget:

1.  Ask friends, family and neighbors if you can have perennials from their gardens when and if they divide them up after the perennials get too big.  Offer the same in return.

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Middle of the night BONUS blog

HBO, Milwaukee Wave, Restaurants, Las Vegas, Television

Just got home from playing poker with the guys, and flipped on TV for some celebration relaxation.

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If you work in an office setting like me, you may feel my pain. Throughout the day, various folks stop by for various reasons. 

“Smile and say hi”, is included in my job description. Yet, I am not sure if the fine print was smaller than normal when it stated, “You must also listen to people bitch and complain about everything and nothing on a minute by minute basis.” 

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West Allis Memorial Day Parade

A Memorial Day Program supported by the City of West Allis and coordinated by The Allied Veterans' Organizations of West Allis will be held on Monday, May 31, 2010, at Veterans’ Memorial Park at South 69 Street and West National Avenue.  The program begins with a parade at 10:00 a.m. and a service at 11:00 a.m.  The attached map in the Public Works Resource Library shows the parade route.

Memorial Day Results in Altered Refuse and Recycling Collection

Reminders for residents during holiday week of Memorial Day which is May 31:

·Our offices are closed and there will be no refuse or recycling collection on Monday, May 31.

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The Beautiful People

It has been brought to my attention more than once that I am one of the Beautiful People. Most would consider me arrogant to make that statement. Allow me to delve into the idea and definition of what most consider beautiful, bringing it into a new perspective.

Each and every day we are faced with images of what most would consider beautiful. Physically “perfect” individuals grace the pages of a magazine and also the screens of our televisions. HDTV has brought into focus what continues to lack for 95% of people around the world. Without tight abs, straight teeth and a fat free physique, we are left feeling less than. We search for answers, keys and insight as to how to obtain a better life. We believe that unless we reach a certain level of physical perfection we will always be lacking in some sort of happiness. 

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Kohl's wants to remodel West Allis store


Kohl's has proposed a $3 million renovation of its store on S. Highway 100 at W. Cleveland Ave. in West Allis. The request is pending before the West Allis Plan Commission and on the agenda for Wednesday. 

Kohl's wants to upgrade both the interior and exterior of the store. The work would be part of Kohl's ongoing store renovation program around the country. The most recent renovation in the Milwaukee area was at the Oak Creek store.  

Summer Fun For The Community

raffle, concert

Summer fun is just around the corner! Live music, food, and fun with family and friends.

We are teaming up with the Hock family every Wednesday night at the Bud Pavilion to raise funds for the community. We will be selling our Crazy Cash Raffle tickets until they are gone.

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Time Passes

As the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years pass by, how many times do you say you will do it tomorrow. Did tomorrow ever come?

I just returned from vacation. I had a lot of time to think about why, at times, I cannot remember what I did last week, much less two or three days ago. I had every excuse in the book for myself. What it really came down to was I had not been stopping to "smell the roses" surrounding me each day.

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Please Deer...

Are any of you familiar with this article about deer populations on the west side of the city?  I live on the west side and I haven't had problems with or noticed that many deer.

I was mostly surprised that we needed to make it illegal to feed deer.  Perhaps it's because I spent so much time in Northern Wisconsin as a kid, but I know feeding deer isn't the best use of my time.  Sure, they are beautiful creatures and I love to see them, but bringing them too close to people causes more than problems with damaged landscape and property.  I would expect (though I have no statistics) car accidents involving deer might go up when deer are encouraged into residential areas and across major roadways.  I would expect feed would bring in other creatures as well, like mice and rats.  Deer ticks also come to mind...

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Mistakes and accidents

This week was a spectacular week.  It was my first vacation since beginning a new venture regarding employment.  Who would have predicted that not only would I be able to get some much needed R&R, but a nice tan as well.
As I lay in the sun this afternoon, something struck me.  So often we hear about mistakes and accidents.  "I was in a car accident recently", a friend stated.  "My guy made a huge mistake", another quoted.  At times, we are thrown curve balls.  Some are within our own will, some are not.  Yet, if we take a step back, outside of our trials, we allow ourselves to put things into perspective.
A thought struck me, almost like lightening.  It was something exciting, life altering and put many things into focus.  Move over Lasik Eye Surgery, this is going to help you see things so much more than 20/20.  
"Life, death and everything in between happens for a reason. There are no mistakes, no accidents. They happen because we are human, imperfect and in the process of becoming so much more."
In all honesty, think for just a moment about your life.  Most of us, who have feelings, experience very high highs, very low lows and many in-betweens.  We are blindsided by those who we believe love and care for us.  Although most of us are able to live through our pain, we move on with the hope that we will be allowed respite if only for a moment.  
We choose a number of individuals throughout our lives who we believe can enhance us in some way.  It may take longer at times to realize that some are only meant for a season.  Others are meant to stay in order for us to run the race and get to the finish line.  
Yet, every single experience, whether it be good or bad, is not a mistake nor an accident.  Whatever has happened in your life is something which was meant to occur.  This may come as a surprise, especially if you have been dealt a bad hand.  The "why me" may pop into your mind.  No way, you state, there is no way I deserved that type of treatment.  
That type of treatment not only has happened but will happen again.  No-one comes as an open book.   Not one time in your life is a new guy or gal going to say, "Hey, read this manual, it's the truth about the real me."  We must open up to others in order to establish relationships.  More than one person in my life has caused me to shed more than one or two tears.  Yet, in all honesty, I chose for them to be there.  They did not force themselves on me.  I have kept some around for much longer than necessary.  I have been involved with individuals who not only caused me harm, but I have given them an all access pass to continue to harm me.  Was it because I believe I deserved it, or because I did not believe I deserved any better?  
Our skeletal system, nerves, veins, organs and everything else which encompasses our human form is covered by 7 thin layers of skin.  We tend to forget that we are not created as the Bionic Man or Woman.  There is no way we can go through life without experiencing some sort of physical pain.  Over time we become more fragile until we once again join our maker.
Emotional, mental and spritual pain allow us to become.  It is up to each and every one of us to utilize that pain in a positive or negative way.  Whether you learn and grow is up to you.  If you aren't the one learning from your choices, I can guarantee you someone very close to you is. 
We are not guaranteed a life free of anything.  Fair is only found in "Fair"ytales.  Without pain and suffering, one would truly never understand or feel joy, love and happiness.  Celebrate your experiences, good and bad.   

Greater Happiness OR Greater Wealth?

 I am happy because I have no debt.  I have no debt because I am frugal and I only purchase things that I need.  I am not Cheap.  I am Frugal.  I am still able to have a nice home (according to MY standards), nice clothes, go on vacations, drive a nice and well-maintained vehicle and most importantly have good, solid and honest friendships.  We should all try to pursue greater happiness; not necessarily greater wealth.  Sometimes, we have no choice as to where we stand financially, due to outside influences.  Thus, go for the happiness....whatever that means to you.

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