Monthly Archives: January 2013

Discover Janesville 2013 podcast #3

Conversation with Rock County Humane Society Executive Director Angela Rhodes about the latest developments involving the society, including greater involvement in our local animal control from Dane County and Rock County municipalities.ANNOUNCEMENTS: 28 minute mark

Ever thought about joining a service club?  Check out this extremely informative presentation by representatives of various service clubs in Janesville, explaining what their clubs do and why you should get involved.   36 minute markGet to know the new theater professor at UW Rock County – Zac Curtis.  Originally from Colorado, Zac’s been Janesville resident for just a few months.  72 minute mark

Entertainment correspondent Eric Kuznacic previews upcoming comedy concerts featuring Nick Offerman of “Parks & Rec”, Amy Schumer of the upcoming “Inside Amy”, and Tracy Morgan of “SNL” & “30 Rock” and more.  88 minute mark


Also, check out music featuring nominees for the 3rd annual Janesville Area Creativity (JAC) awards Outstanding Band category:

Jazzguise 68 minute markLou Dog 111 minute markKind of a Big Deal 116 minute mark
Winners will be announced on February 16 at Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC) ceremony.

More Announcements:

Thank you for listening and sharing the program – now heard over 18,000 times!

Don’t forget to check out Discover Janesville column now in the Janesville Messenger!

The next membership meeting of Discover Janesville with Yuri Rashkin will take place on January 29, Sunday, from ;6 til 8 pm at 515 St.Lawrence Ave in Janesville.  Hope to see you there!

Interested in becoming a sponsor of a fast growing, popular podcast for and about Janesville, Wisconsin?  Email


DJ in JM: Roundabouts save time and lives

Here is the latest Discover Janesville in the Janesville Messenger column.
I admit: I like roundabouts.  Not when you see one for the first time and not at every intersection, and certainly not three in a row, but they do save time and lives.  Roundabouts are also admittedly safer than the alternatives such as stop lights and stop signs.  

Roundabouts are no longer just a nuisance; they are the way of the future.  Wisconsin Department of Transportation states that “Wisconsin has over 200 roundabouts installed and operating at this time.  Roundabouts move traffic safely through an intersection because of: slower speeds, fewer conflict points, easier decision-making.  The safety studies by the UW TOPS lab shows that roundabouts provide 52 percent reduction in fatal and injury crashes and 9 percent reduction for all crashes.  Roundabouts are also bringing about a significant decrease in severe crashes.”  Besides being a safer option, roundabouts are also a less expensive alternative:  according to WisDot, a roundabout can cost between $750,000 and $1.5 million, which is about the same as an intersection with lights or four-way stop signs but the federal government usually pays 80% of the cost of a roundabout, with state funds paying the other 20%, so yes, it’s also about the money. 

Now, I do not think that every roundabout at every intersection is what we need.  When on City Council, I voted against roundabout at the intersection of East Milwaukee and Wuthering Hills drive.  As a resident of that area, I think that the city public works department solved the existing traffic problem by narrowing East Milwaukee to one lane each way with a wider median, and a bike lane on each side.  I am, however, a strong proponent of examining possibility of a roundabout at the other “5 point” intersection in Janesville: where North Wright road and East Milwaukee meet, and is joined by Mt. Zion.  Just the other day, I witnessed another accident in that area involving two pickup trucks.

There are other places where an odd or a quirky intersection might be improved by a roundabout, such as off of Centerway street by Milton Avenue, and I’m sure there are others.  You may also want to prepare yourself for two new roundabouts on Racine street once the 90/39 ramp is redone and changes its shape from a clover leaf to a diamond.    

In fact, getting people used to the idea of roundabouts is probably the biggest challenge facing traffic engineers in getting the roundabouts accepted by the public and I found it interesting when I learned that the roundabout in front of the new Menard’s was put there by the city for that very reason.   Still, it’s the opponents of this form of traffic control whose voices are usually heard the loudest.  To them, I suggest that the city, if it so strongly believes in advantages of roundabouts, should erect one in front of the City Hall.  The intersection of Wall and Jackson seems like a great intersection to benefit from this kind of traffic management device.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Going forward, rather than fighting about whether roundabouts are a good thing or not, why not just agree that they are safer, and find some good locations where they will help us navigate our city better and easier.  Besides, requiring drivers to navigate around a large unmovable object requires a certain amount of attention and concentration, which most would agree is in short supply on today’s roads.  You may have heard the joke about a person who failed their driving test – when the question was asked “what do you do when you stop at an intersection?” the student replied “I check my email, update my Facebook status, and text”.  If this is going to be our new reality, roundabouts make all the more sense.

Discover Janesville 2013 podcast #2

Featuring:Conversation about the proposed referendum to raise property taxes, new roundabouts and businesses coming to town and more, with our city correspondent Dan Hartung.

Music correspondent Eric Kuznacic checks in with upcoming concerts featuring Reel Big Fish, Stone Sour and Murder by Death. 26 minute mark

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 44 minute mark

Dennis Vindedahl talks about his new business Water Wellness Store providing customers with Kangen water machines by Enagic.  49 minute mark

We talk school board and Madison politics with our political correspondent Cathy Myers.  64 minute mark

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 88 minute mark

State Senator Kathleen Vinehout speaks about the mining and healthcare reform in Wisconsin.  93 minute mark

This and music by the nominees for Janesville Area Creativity (JAC) Outstanding Original Song award:

  • Mitch Kopnick 49 minute mark,
  • Evan Riley 83 minute mark and
  • Greg Winkler 138 minute mark ,
on the next Discover Janesville with Yuri Rashkin!
More Announcements:Thanks to all of you for listening and sharing the program: Discover Janesville has now been heard over 17,000 times!

Don’t forget to check out Discover Janesville column now in the Janesville Messenger!

Next membership meeting of Discover Janesville with Yuri Rashkin will take place on January 29 from 6 til 8 pm at 515 St.Lawrence Ave in Janesville.  Hope to see you there!

Interested in becoming a sponsor of a fast growing, popular podcast for and about Janesville, Wisconsin?  Email

Listen to internet radio with Discover Janesville on Blog Talk Radio

Discover Janesville on YouTube!

Starting this year, each episode of Discover Janesville is also available on YouTube.  Featuring photography by David Abb, the entire show, clearly labeled, is there for you to enjoy!  Here are the first two episodes:

Discover Janesville 2013 / podcast 1

Discover Janesville 2013 / podcast 2

5 Lessons of Weight Loss

In late September of last year, I decided that it was time to do something about my weight.  It’s been bothering me for some time and the earlier plan I had of losing weight by knocking on doors as part of my election campaign, did not have the results I hoped for.

While sitting at a restaurant for breakfast one day, I’ve come to discover that several people around me managed to loose a substantial amount of weight – 20 to 35 lbs – by going to Medithin Weight Loss Clinic.  I figured that if these people were able to do it, it was time for me to try.  Medithin is located right here in Janesville and without a question put me on track to getting the results I wanted to achieve.  Though I’m not at my goal of losing 50 lbs (not at all unreasonable by Medithin standards), I was able to loose over 35 lbs and continue to maintain it while making slow progress to get my weight even lower.

I am not going to go through the many benefits of weight loss, suffice to say that I feel better, look better and plan to do a lot more running, which is a sport I really enjoy.  What I would like to do here, is to share some of the things I learned about my body and weight loss, that perhaps could be useful to you, the reader.

1. Counting calories can seem like a burden at first, but what I realized was how much good food we have around us, how inexpensive it is, and how little of it we can afford to eat without changing our weight.  Counting calories, even though I no longer do it as strictly as in the beginning, provided me with fundamental knowledge of what I am putting into my body.  Combined with knowing how many total calories I need to consume within a day, forced my brain to become part of the equation.  It also made it clear that eating at fast food restaurants is to be avoided.

2. Carbs are to blame.  So much of the food most of us eat – breads, pasta, rice, potatoes – are rich in carbohydrates.  Carbs are plentiful, cheap, frequently taste great, and if not used for energy, get stored as fat.  By cutting out carbs, and replacing the space they took on my plate with proteins and vegetables, not only am I able to control my weight but I just plain feel better after I eat.  I also realized how few vegetables I have gotten used to eating over the years.  Instead of being the cake, veggies became the cherry on top.

3. You can have a little bit of anything you want.  Life of denying pleasure that comes with eating tasty food may work for monks but not for me.  Knowing that I can never have …. whatever it is – does not fill my life with joy.  Knowing, however, that I can have a little bit of a delicious dish that will result in unwanted pounds if eaten in its entirety, creates a space where free will and motivation can exist.

4. Find snack foods that help between meals.  In my case, I discovered that having the following foods always available, made what seemed like starvation at first, into a manageable approach to eating:

* Nuts.  Any nuts are good in my uneducated opinion, but I found that cocoa-covered almonds are delicious.  At first I was nervously counting how many were in a serving, but then I discovered that since they are not only full of protein and are low in carbs, but are also full of fiber, they just leave the body in due time.

* EAS Carb control shakes.  While there are other options on the market, again I found these shakes (especially the Chocolate Fudge flavor) to be quite good.

* Fruit-flavored Jello.  Some people love it some people hate it, but if you are one of those who consider Jello to be an option, pig out all you want – sugar free version can be eaten in practically unlimited amounts – though I dare you to eat much more then 2 cups of it at a time.

*Eggs.  Simple, tasty and full of protein.  I make sure to boil these 6 at a time, and have some sitting peeled in the fridge just in case.

*Water.  It is my understanding that we are supposed to consume half of our weight in water per day: meaning if you are 200 lbs, you should drink 100 oz. of water per day.  It may seem intense but it does feel good and it does help in a number of ways: water gets rid of dehydration, which is particularly likely in northern climates in winter when people exist primarily in-doors and the outside air is dry as well.  Additionally, water in your system creates a feeling of fullness.  To be clear: drinking half of my weight in water on daily basis is still more of a goal than reality but I know that it is practically impossible for me to drink too much water.

5. Exercise.  My goal is to be on my elliptical machine 30 minutes each day.  If I feel more ambitious, I may stay longer but with time being limited, longer work outs are not always an option.  However, having done my exercise for the day, makes me feel good on many levels. Also, the knowledge of exactly how many calories I lost while exercising on the machine, fits much better in my new mindset where number of calories consumed and burned off have a pretty precise meaning.  For instance, if I know can have 1,200 calories per day, losing 400 calories while exercising feels much more rewarding then just doing 30 minutes of exercise.

This is what works for me, and I hope that this information helps you get to where you’re going.  

To learn more about Medithin Weight Loss Clinics, check out my interview with Jeff Dedrick, co-owner of the clinic, right HERE.  

Discover Janesville 2013 podcast #1



* In-Depth conversation with Janesville Superintendent Karen Schulte. Dr. Schulte answers the questions you asked on Facebook, as we discuss everything from dress code for teachers and students, to tragedy in Newtown, to whether guns have place in schools and everything in between.

* Newest Assembly Representative to represent Janesville, Deb Kolste checks in. 36 minute mark

ANNOUNCEMENTS 46 minute mark

* State Representative Janis Ringhand who was just re-elected to her second term shares her thoughts on what she would like to see get done in the Assembly this year, and both women share their thoughts on what Wisconsin can do about moving up from being ranked 42nd in a recent rating by Forbes magazine. 52 minute mark

* Conversation with Rock County Economic Development Director James Otterstein about the state of the local and regional economy. Mr. Otterstein grades economic performance of 2012 and gives his forecast for 2013. What is the role financial incentives play in getting businesses to move to an area, and when is it a good idea to walk away from an economic development project? Listen in as these and other questions are covered in this long-ranging discussion. 69 minute mark

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 107 minute mark

*Part 2 of conversation with James Otterstein 113 minute mark


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Listen to internet radio with Discover Janesville on Blog Talk Radio