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Category “Only in WI…”

Guy Zima Recaptures His Old Green Bay Council Seat

He’s BAAAAAAAaaaaaack!

Well, I will give Zima’s folks up in Green Bay credit for this.  You can’t keep a firebrand and curmudgeon down.

Among the winners in Tuesday’s local elections was former Alderman Guy Zima, who reclaimed his District 9 council seat by defeating Angela Warner in a closely watched contest.

Zima defeated Warner by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Healso beat her husband, Jim Warner, who gave up the District 9 council seat to try unseating Zima in a County Board race decided Tuesday.

Zima said voters sent a strong message that they were dissatisfied with the representation they received after he was displaced from city government two years ago.

“The people spoke very loudly and clearly,” he said. “They want somebody who will speak up and have some debate, rather than just a rubber stamp.”

Of the husband-and-wife team that he vanquished on two fronts Tuesday, Zima said: “They kind of ran as a team, and that team lost. I think these folks beat themselves.”

Angela Warner, who was making her first bid for elected office, said she was shocked and disheartened that voters had rejected she and her husband.

Warner, however, defended the strategy of challenging Zima in two races, saying that she thought voters were ready to “get rid of him completely.”

“What is wrong with our city?” she added. “They want it run by a bunch of crazy people.”

Zima isn’t crazy.  He’s just highly entertaining.

In reality Zima — who leans conservative and once upon a time was in the state Assembly I believe — has long been a lightning rod for his actions, stances (and outbursts) on the city council.  But, he also is known to be very responsive to his district even if that flies in the face of actions that Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmidt wants to accomplish for the city.

It was a strange, silent two-year reprieve.  That is over now.

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Cartoon of the Day

Where I come from, we call this the start of Spring.

It happens annually.


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Badgers Secure Game at Lambeau for 2016 Season Opener

Looks like the Wisconsin Badgers will play more than hockey at Lambeau Field.

It’s official: Wisconsin and LSU will open the 2016 season by playing each other at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.

The Wisconsin board of regents approved the contract for the game on Friday, clearing the way for the Badgers’ first-ever game at the home of the Green Bay Packers. The game will be played Sept. 3, 2016.

“I’m very excited about this game and I hope our fans are, too,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “It is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our program, a great experience for our players to play in one of the most revered stadiums in the country and a terrific chance for our fans to see us play a quality opponent in the state of Wisconsin.”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported the Packers will pay Wisconsin $3 million to play in their stadium.

“We’re honored to be able to host two storied college football programs at Lambeau Field,” Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. “It will be an exciting weekend for football fans at our historic stadium. The Green Bay community will serve as an excellent host and we all look forward to seeing fans from both teams that weekend.”

Next season the Badgers open up the season (and the next two) with real tests, all of which will be at NFL stadiums.  In 2014, the LSU Tigers host the Badgers in Houston’s Reliant Stadium; home of the Texans.  In 2015, the Alabama Crimson Tide host the Badgers in a game that will be played in Dallas Cowboy Stadium.

Not too shocked to hear the Packers paid the UW $3 million to get the game moved to Green Bay.  Like Packers games, Badgers games are mints for local business.  On average, a typical Sunday home game brings in about $7 to $10 million to the greater Green Bay economy.

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Don’t Ever Change Omro

From Politico’s “Playbook,” the daily email newsletter from the website’s chief political correspondent Mike Allen, who apparently is vacationing in Wisconsin this week.  This exchange he highlights places into example just how far apart the east coast is from we “normal folks” in the Midwest:

OVERHEARD last night at bar of Springbrook Tavern in Omro, Wis.

Dr. Dan: “A shot of Drambui, please.” Her: “We don’t have that.”

Dr. Dan: “Grand Marnier?” Her: “What kind of liquor is that?”

Dr. Dan: “A liqueur.” Her: “Yes, but what kind?”

Dr. Dan: “A liqueur.” Her, enunciating slowly: “Vodka? Whiskey?”

Dr. Dan, smiling, speaking softy and smoothly: “A li-QUEUR!” Her: “Is that a fancy way of saying ‘liquor’?”

Dr. Dan settled for Crown Royal.

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Does Green Bay Have Enough Streets to Honor Extraordinary Packers?

Interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal about the trials the cities of Green Bay, De Pere and village of Ashwaubenon are going through as they try to name various streets after Packers legends, both current and future.  In the end, the honor is going to be a hard one to get.

Lambeau Field, the famed home of the Green Bay Packers, is located at 1265 Lombardi Ave. As in Vince Lombardi, the Hall of Fame coach.

To get there, you can take Holmgren Way, named after Mike Holmgren, another Super Bowl-winning former Packers coach. And you’ll see Bart Starr Road and Reggie White Way, among other legendary names.

It is one of the great honors the city can bestow on a member of their beloved Packers. There’s just one problem: They’re running out of streets.

This summer, after the team and the city of Green Bay tried to honor current coach Mike McCarthy with a street, it became clear there aren’t enough streets left to name after Packer legends. Local businesses and residents of the three cities that the street would pass through couldn’t agree on a site.

The issue became so complex, said Michael Walsh, mayor of nearby De Pere, Wis., that Packers CEO Mark Murphy asked local leaders this month to table discussions to avoid distractions during training camp and the season. The Packers didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“What are we going to do? Change out the streets every 20 or 30 years because we have a new set of Packers that won? You can’t name a street after anyone who wins a ballgame,” said Mike Aubinger, the village president of Ashwaubenon, one of the towns the street would run through.

The main focus now is on a major road through town called Ashland Avenue, which Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt proposed should be named after McCarthy, who led the team to a Super Bowl win in February 2011. Schmitt said his requirements for Packer streets are that they are major and connected to one another. Which presents a problem.

“Any street that’s going to be renamed is around the stadium, that area is pretty built out, so it’s met resistance,” said Daniel Lindstrom, Green Bay’s city planner. “Everyone loves the concept; no one wants it on their street.”

Overall costs for the street name change could end up costing Green Bay around $400,000 due to a plan to rename Ashland Avenue — a  road that cuts through the heart of Green Bay, Ashwaubenon and De Pere and will require numerous new street and highway signs to be replaced.  There are currently seven streets in the greater Green Bay area named after Packers players.  The most recent, was “Donald Driver Way” which is a small road just north of Dousman Street on the east side of Green Bay by the Titletown Brewery.

The street named after head coach Mike McCarthy — and it will include his full name to avoid confusion with former U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy — will be the eighth street named after a Packers player or coach.  So far, there is Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Tony Canadeo, Donald Driver, Reggie White, Brett Favre, and Mike Holgren.  It can safely be assumed that Aaron Rodgers will get his own street someday too.

Here’s my suggestions going forward for how we should determine who gets their name on Green Bay area streets in the future.

1) All head coaches who lead the team to a Super Bowl victory.  The precedent has been set with Lombardi, Holmgren and now McCarthy, why end it?

2) The honor should only be reserved for career-long Packers, or guys who make a contributing factor to a Packers Super Bowl victory.  (This explains Favre, White and any future street named after Charles Woodson.)

3) Linebackers are reserved for city bridges.  The one over Dousman Street that connects you to downtown Main Street is already called the Ray Nitschke Bridge — cross it on your way to Donald Driver Way! — I have no qualms with naming any other Green Bay bridge after Clay Matthews if he is a life-long Packer.

All we have to decide is which one, the Walnut Street Bridge or the Mason Street Bridge?

4) The idea that current Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt has for connecting all the Packers streets is a little bit over-kill. Lord know there are enough near the stadium which could get the job done, not all of them are as long as Ashland.  That being said, it could be an interesting fight if they propose changing the name of S. Oneida St. to a Packer someday.


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Cartoon of the Day

Yeah, I feel the same every time I go to Cabella’s too.


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Only Madison Would Want to Make That Designation Official, Wouldn’t They?

Christmas came early for many Wisconsin conservatives today…along with most sane Wisconsinites who get the joke..

Only in Madison could a quintessential, unforgettable dig at the city’s undeniable quirkiness have a chance at becoming its first official motto.

But, being Madison, there will be debate.

Thirty-five years after former Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus declared “Madison is 30 square miles surrounded by reality,” Mayor Paul Soglin is proposing a more geographically correct version of the jibe to be — as Webster’s dictionary defines it — the formal expression of the city’s goals or ideals.

Soglin, who was mayor when then-candidate Dreyfus offered the poke in 1978, at the time quickly advised a governor’s aide that Dreyfus had it wrong, not because the premise was inaccurate but because the city had grown to 65 square miles.

On Tuesday, Soglin will offer a resolution to the City Council establishing Madison’s motto as “77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality,” with a provision to change the size as the city continues to grow.

The proposed motto fits a city that adopted the plastic pink flamingo as its official bird in 2009 and uses a 77 Square Miles Ordinance to exile laws no longer enforceable, the resolution says.

There will of course still be a debate over the motto.  Soglin might think he’s a god in Madison, but his word is not law.  Many city councilmen are upset with Soglin over the proposal, and are shockingly worried that a city which promotes itself outside of reality might hurt its business climate.

(Not that Madison ever cared about its business climate…)

ADDENDUM:  Seriously, the plastic pink flamingo is the official city bird?  What, did Berkeley claim the drinking bird first?

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The “Turducken of Sausages”

Found this via Facebook.  Apparently this actually being served at one of the vendors, the Plaza Grill, at Miller Park in the 100 level.

All yours for $9.

This is truly a unique item that one would find only in Milwaukee.  The Beast is a grilled bratwurst sliced in half and stuffed with a grilled hot dog.  Those two items are then wrapped in bacon and grilled to perfection.  Served with sauerkraut and grilled onions on–of course–a pretzel roll.  House made chips and a pickle are also served on the side.

Would be interesting to know what the calorie count is.

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Cartoon of the Day

Wednesday. Aaron Rodgers Day is 12-12-12. (No really.)

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Hey, I Know This Guy!

Seriously, I do.

From this morning’s “Politico Playbook” email:

BEST GET: Steps away from Willie Geist’s “Way Too Early” set, Carl Toepel, a cheesehead attending his 10th convention, handed Playbook’s chief assistant a ‘Mittwurst Lover for Romney’ button. Turns out Mittwurst is German for “summer sausage,” a popular meat to pair with cheese and crackers.

Dr. Toepel — he’s a retired elementary school principal and administrator from Sheboygan — has one of the most impressive collections of campaign swag I have ever seen.  Think of a campaign, Republican or Democrat (mostly Republican) and chances are Carl has something — a button, a bumper sticker, a pin — from it.  Carl also makes his own campaign buttons, which he hands out to any willing to take one.

He’s a true student of history, a great guy to share a laugh with, and in 2006 was one of my county volunteers when I was with the Green Campaign.

Glad to see him get a moment in the national press while down in Tampa.

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