Select Page

Author: Wisconsin Watch

Lake Michigan’s shrinking beaches: DNR considers how much land to preserve as nature erodes state parks

The winds and waves of Lake Michigan have sculpted the landscape of Whitefish Dunes State Park, a must-see treasure along Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula. Water delivers fine sand to a shoreline that supports threatened plants like the dune thistle. Wind stacks that sand into the mighty dunes that inspired the park’s name. Summer visitors splash on its beach or hike to Old Baldy, the park’s tallest dune that rises nearly 100 feet above the lake. Come winter, gazers marvel at erupting ice volcanoes — cone-shaped mounds formed when waves shoot slush and water through cracks in ice. These shores have...

Read More

A climate tug of war: Wisconsin communities expect to spend millions to protect Lake Michigan shorelines

Wisconsin’s Great Lakes communities expect to spend more than $245 million in five years to protect shorelines as a climate ‘tug of war’ drives extreme shifts in water levels. Mike Kahr, an engineer and owner of Death’s Door Marine, has watched Lake Michigan’s water levels fluctuate during his 40-plus year career. But even the veteran engineer hasn’t seen the lake’s water levels swing from low to high quite this rapidly. Eight years ago, Kahr and his crew stayed busy dredging sand from the lake bottom so boats carrying passengers or heavy cargo could reach port. But as water levels...

Read More

Utility Rights: Proposed Wisconsin bill would remove barriers to third-party solar ownership

Wisconsin is the only state where third-party solar ownership has been blocked, advocates say. Legal uncertainty has prevented property owners from using the financing model. After years of regulatory uncertainty, a new proposal in Wisconsin would finally clarify that utility customers do not need to own their rooftop solar installations. The draft legislation would authorize an arrangement known as third-party solar, in which a company installs panels for a customer and then either leases the panels or sells the power or net-metering credits to the property owner. The model is allowed in most states and is a popular option...

Read More

A vicious cycle: Wisconsin’s quality of education for children with special needs continues to flounder

Over the past five decades, state support for special education has dwindled, with staff shortages and turnover making it more difficult to provide required services. From the time she wakes up in the morning until the time she goes to bed at night, Green Bay parent Denise Seibert’s life centers around her son, Tyler. At just two weeks old, Tyler was diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems, including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. “I carry a genetic disorder, an autism spectrum genetic disorder, so we had my son tested very...

Read More

Health care’s blind spot: Despite dire risks many nursing home staff in Wisconsin reject COVID vaccine

Hannah Miller, a nursing student and employee of a long-term care facility received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on August 23, and not voluntarily. “(The vaccine) hasn’t been out long enough to know what long term effects are,” Miller said. “We don’t know if it could cause bigger health issues in the future or cause issues, such as fertility.” Miller said she was required to receive the vaccine by the hospital where she is completing her clinicals for school. She said she would not be able to graduate without getting it. Miller asked that her school and...

Read More

Reggie Jackson: Governmental compensation for slavery and racism is part of America’s national debt

Reggie Jackson, a writer for the Milwaukee Independent and the former head griot, or oral historian, at America’s Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, has a long history of military service in his family stretching back to the Civil War. But when two of his uncles who served in World War II returned to their home state of Mississippi, they found their veteran status wasn’t enough to reap the benefits of the GI Bill passed in 1944. This is because Jackson’s uncles were Black. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act provided veterans with financial aid to reduce the possibility of a post-World...

Read More