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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

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Wisconsin state government increasingly outsources work to expensive private contractors

A belatedly issued report on the state's hiring of outside contractors is raising fresh questions about the integrity of the process. "It's no wonder that the Department of Administration tried to delay this report as long as possible," state Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) said in a news release. "It shows that the state's reliance on outsourcing to private contractors grew dramatically last year." >More
 Departing Madison schools Superintendent Dan Nerad looks back and forward

The last day for Madison schools Superintendent Dan Nerad will be July 27. Nerad, who led the Madison Metropolitan School District for four years, will be replaced by newly appointed interim superintendent Jane Belmore. In March, Nerad submitted his resignation to the school board and was subsequently offered the job of schools superintendent in Birmingham, Michigan. He will start there in August. Isthmus recently sat down with Nerad to discuss his tenure in Madison and his new post. >More
 Madison residents petition state regulators to halt city's implementation of water 'smart meters'

Thirty-three Madison residents filed a petition Friday with state regulators calling for an investigation of Madison's plans to install wireless water meter systems in city properties over the next two years. Next week, the Madison Water Utility is set to begin installing the first of 67,000 new "smart meters" in every home and business, part of the $13 million Project H2Othat will span two years. >More
 Wisconsin's congressional delegation is loaded with multimillionaires

The requirement that all members of Congress file annual financial disclosure reports serves a worthy purpose. Passed as part of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, a post-Watergate reform, it's meant to flag potential conflicts while "ensuring public confidence in government through disclosure as an end in itself." It also lets the public be nosy nellies, which is kind of fun. >More
 A likely reprieve for Garver Feed Mill

The Garver Feed Mill could yet be saved. The city of Madison and Olbrich Botanical Gardens have begun to explore a partnership that would preserve a significant part of the site for a variety of future uses, perhaps even as an arts incubator. >More
 Mayor Soglin says an inclusive process will guide signage, cab issues on State Street

Mayor Paul Soglin is sticking to his plan to crack down on State Street signage. "I'm not interested in compromise," Soglin said at a Downtown Madison, Inc. breakfast Thursday when an audience member noted she was worried the mayor had already made up his mind and was not open to outside input. >More
 Health care ruling gives Gov. Walker wiggle room to block Medicaid expansion

Health care advocates roundly cheered the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act Thursday morning, but the court did leave open the possibility that Gov. Scott Walker could go rogue and refuse to implement part of it, potentially denying half a million people health care in Wisconsin. >More
 Dire straits in Wisconsin's small towns fuel anti-government resentment

Perhaps there is yet one more lesson to be learned from the unsuccessful effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker: Everything is relative. At a forum last week hosted by the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, political science professor Katherine Cramer Walsh made a stark observation, culled from five years of conversations with residents around Wisconsin. "In most communities," she said, "the public workers are the ones who are rich." >More
 Emergency fund proposed for seizing neglected animals in Dane County

In May, the Wisconsin State Journal reported on a stable of emaciated horses owned or cared for by Mary Loeffelholz of Oregon. After much public outcry, 15 of the horses were subsequently surrendered. Some were given to two of Loeffelholz's family members; others were placed under the care of the Dane County Humane Society. >More
 Honey, can you take out the compost?

On a scale of one to ten, Amanda Gromoski and Bob Matty agree they are a "six" for environmental consciousness. The east-side couple recycle and are generally knowledgeable about the food they eat and energy they consume. And, like an estimated 10,000 families in Madison, they compost their food scraps. >More
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