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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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