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15 Wisconsin LGBT Chamber members score perfect 100 on HRC’s ‘2017 Corporate Equality Index’

Continue reading 15 Wisconsin LGBT Chamber members score perfect 100 on HRC’s ‘2017 Corporate Equality Index’

Regional briefs: Protection grows for lake’s ‘stepping stones’ | And more

The Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge will expand to include most of St. Martin Island and all of Rocky Island in Lake Michigan, adding another 1,290 acres to the 330-acre refuge.

The islands are part of the Grand Traverse chain, which extends from Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula to Michigan’s Garden Peninsula.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy announced the expansion in late September.

“It’s gratifying to see our shared conservation missions coming together to protect these unique Great Lakes islands,” said Tom Melius, Midwest regional director of the FWS. “We couldn’t do this without a common vision among all the partners.”

Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1912 as habitat for migratory birds and consists of the 325-acre Plum Island and the smaller Pilot and Hog islands. With the addition of St. Martin and Rocky Islands, the refuge will increase by five times its original size.

Along with the other islands in the Grand Traverse chain, St. Martin Island is part of the Niagara Escarpment and has significant bluffs, which have rare native snails and plants associated with them. In addition to the bluffs, the island also supports forests, wetlands and an extensive cobblestone beach.

Both St. Martin and Rocky islands, along with others in the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge, provide important stopover habitat for birds that migrate through the Great Lakes each spring and fall.

In other regional news …

• GE GOING: General Electric Co. announced in late September plans to move 350 Wisconsin jobs to Canada due to Congress’ inaction to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. In response, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, said, “We have seen significant job losses across the country directly related to the failure of House Republicans to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Now, the state of Wisconsin is feeling the brunt of their extreme economic agenda.”

• RYAN’S DISINTEREST: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville said he’s not interested in replacing Rep. John Boehner as speaker of the House of Representatives. Boehner announced in late September that he will be resigning at the end of October.

• LAKEFRONT LAND DEAL: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ board has put off deciding whether to sell a parcel of state-owned lakefront property to one of Scott Walker’s major donors. The agency wants to sell 1.75 acres along the Rest Lake shoreline to Elizabeth Uihlein for $275,000. Uihlein and husband Richard donated nearly $3 million to Walker’s presidential super PAC. She owns a condominium complex adjacent to the property but it lacks lake access.

• DON’T MESS WITH HIS VIEW: Richard Uihlein is also in the news for seeking state approval to keep a 12-acre floating bog away from property in northern Wisconsin. He’s proposing moving the bog north and fastening it to the lake bed, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. “This is the most preposterous idea that I have ever heard,” said Brett McConnell, an environmental specialist in the conservation department of the Lac Courte Oreilles band of Lake Superior Chippewa. “I would hope that every single person affiliated with the flowage would be opposed to this.”

• DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DATA: Forty-three people in Wisconsin lost their lives to domestic violence in 2014, according to the Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report released in conjunction with anti-violence walks hosted by the Zonta Clubs of Madison and Milwaukee and by End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. The report says 36 people were victims of domestic violence homicides. Six people were perpetrators of homicides who then committed suicide and one individual was a perpetrator of domestic violence who was killed by responding law enforcement. 

• LIFTING THE CAP: University of Wisconsin-Madison officials plan to ask UW System regents for permission to lift the school’s cap on out-of-state students, a move they say would attract more young people to Wisconsin. It also would bolster the school’s coffers considerably as it struggles with deep budget cuts. Currently out-of-state undergraduate enrollment at any UW campus can’t exceed 27.5 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment based on a three-year average.

• BAN THE BOX: In response to a bipartisan bill recently introduced in Congress that removes the box on federal employment applications that ask whether job seekers have a past felony conviction, state Sen. Lena C. Taylor, D-Milwaukee, announced she planned to re-introduce her state “Ban the Box” bill “to give residents who have made a mistake in life a fighting chance.”

• COSBY LOSES DEGREE: Marquette University rescinded an honorary degree it awarded Bill Cosby in 2013, when he gave the annual commencement address. Other universities, including the Jesuit school Fordham University, have taken back degrees bestowed on Cosby. Cosby has been accused by at least 20 women of drugging and raping them. “By his own admission, Mr. Cosby engaged in behaviors that go entirely against our university’s mission and the guiding values we have worked so hard to instill on our campus,” Marquette president Michael Lovell and provost Daniel Myers wrote in a letter to the Marquette community.

WRIGHT RESULTS: Frank Lloyd Wright experts announced on Oct. 6 that the Madison house Linda McQuillen bought for $100,000 has been verified as an American System-Built House, part of Wright’s effort to develop and market well-designed homes at a more affordable level — his first effort to reach a broader audience. It is the second such house identified in the past four months, one out of only 16 ever built and 14 still standing.

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