Follow the road your tax dollars take to politicos' pockets

Written by Louis Weisberg Thursday, 16 May 2013 14:59

The Legislature is pushing a $128-million project to widen Highway 23, a little-used road that winds through farmland between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac. The project has been held up in court by challenges from 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, which objects to the waste of taxpayer dollars and the environmental damage the project would cause. To build the project, the state would have to pay $60,000 for each acre of land purchased, because some of the land includes buildings. Land in the area normally sells for $10,000 per acre. While lawmakers favor this project, they claim the state is so broke that it must reduce public transit funding by $10 million. -Photo: Courtesy

In the Republicans’ 2011–13 biennial budget, funding was slashed in every major category, including education and health care, with one notable exception: transportation.

When books were burned

Written by Jamakaya Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:38

Magnus Hirschfeld.

LGBT studies courses at our public universities are among the greatest resources for promoting understanding of queer culture. Dozens of Wisconsin students will earn certificates in the field this month.

Rachel Carson's enduring values

Written by Jamakaya Friday, 19 April 2013 08:49

Fifty years ago this month, Rachel Carson’s ecological classic “Silent Spring” was in the midst of its 86-week run at the top of the bestseller lists. Just one year later, in April of 1964, Carson died of cancer at age 56.

Honoring women's history

Written by Jamakaya Tuesday, 26 March 2013 13:17

How many of these accomplished lesbians do you know about?

Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) is most famous as the lyric writer of “America the Beautiful,” which she penned after being awestruck by the glorious view from the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado. Her words were set to the hymn “Materna” by Samuel A. Ward, and the song has become a beloved anthem notable for its love of our country’s natural beauty and democratic values rather than its militarism.

Honoring local heroes: Jolie McKenna

Written by Jason Burns Thursday, 16 May 2013 13:11

Tucked away on a quiet side street in Racine sits the LGBT Center of Southeast Wisconsin, and without a doubt you will find inside its doors the subject of my “honoring local heroes” column: Jolie McKenna.

Jolie has been the executive director since August 2010 and, since taking the helm, has done amazing work. The once tiny center has grown by leaps and bounds under her leadership.

Are you out of the closet enough to be a parent?

Written by Fuschia Woods,
Special to WiG
Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:17

Recently, we took our son to West Allis Memorial Hospital for a simple out-patient surgical procedure. Prior to arriving, I had to come out over the phone three times – once to each department in the hospital as they asked for the parents’ names. Questions included, “Do you have the right to authorize care?” and “Are you the legal guardian?” There were also a lot of questions about family health history.

Enjoying the limelight

Written by Jamakaya Friday, 05 April 2013 09:57

What an exhilarating time to be gay. Our lives were the central focus of national attention for days on end!

Column: Reaching for political middle, pulled to the edges

Written by LIZ SIDOTI,
AP writer
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 14:45

It was a bipartisan spectacle, one served up for Americans craving cooperation in an era of divided government and persistent gridlock.

From one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other, President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress made what seemed like an attempt to work together. Republicans dined at and a few blocks from the White House and the president visited Capitol Hill, each essentially on the others’ home turf. Talk – in public at least – focused on areas of possible collaboration. The phrase “grand bargain” was tossed around as if big, across-the-aisle deals were in the works.

Honoring local heroes: Denise Cawley

Written by Jason Burns Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:51

One of the first people I met when I moved to Wisconsin was the smiley, bubbly Denise Cawley. As I have come to know Denise better as a mother, friend and businesswomen, I have come to believe she is more than a community leader. She is more of a community superhero.

Honoring local heroes: Ray Vahey

Written by Jason Burns Friday, 19 April 2013 09:30

Jason Burns and Ray Vahey.

With this weather, it’s hard to imagine that summer is so very close. But it is, and that means it’s almost time for Milwaukee PrideFest. To help us get in the spirit for Pride, over the next four issues I will honor four grassroots heroes of Wisconsin’s LGBT community. They symbolize the many commitment and selfless actions that have helped move our community forward.

Embracing Sen. Portman's evolution

Written by Jason Burns Tuesday, 26 March 2013 13:55

My morning routine usually includes about 10 minutes of lying in bed and scrolling through my Facebook and Twitter feeds to see what, if anything, happened overnight. Most mornings it’s quite dull, except for the occasional I-can’t-believe-they-posted-that moment. March 15 was very different.

On that morning, my feeds where filled with friends and news organizations touting Sen. Rob Portman’s flip on marriage equality. I was thrilled that another conservative Republican was speaking out in favor marriage equality. It is worth remembering that Portman, R-Ohio, was on Mitt Romney’s short list as a potential vice-presidential candidate. During his interview with CNN, the senator stated that during the vetting process he informed Romney that he had a gay son and it was a “non-issue.” Most likely, it wasn’t. 

Fox News pans military equality

Written by Jason Burns Friday, 08 March 2013 16:40

I recently read an article by Shannon Bream that was posted on the Fox News website. I know that reading such a site is bound to give a progressive heartburn, but about once a week I do it anyhow. The article was about the recent decision of outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to extend certain benefits to same-sex military couples. While I applaud the secretary for his commitment to equality for those who choose to serve in our volunteer military, Bream should be embarrassed by her article.

The article uses pejorative language, which in no way serves to educate the broader community. Instead, it furthers dangerous stereotypes about the LGBT community and repeatedly cites as the “topic expert” Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. For those of you who are not familiar with Sprigg, he believes in deporting LGBT people and wants reinstatement of laws punishing homosexual behavior.