Monthly Archives: March 2013

Janesville League of Women Voters School Board candidate forum

This evening, at the Educational Services building, candidates for April 2, 2013 School Board election, met as part of the Janesville League of Women Voters School Board candidate forum.  Discover Janesville is proud to be first in bringing you the audio of this event.  Be an educated voter.  Discover Janesville.


Spotlight on History: Maurice “Monte” Montgomery

Former Assistant Director of Rock County Historical Society, Maurice “Monte” Montgomery is a historian who doesn’t mince words.  Always on the look out for a good conversation about history, I jumped at the opportunity to sit down with Maurice during a recent snowstorm, to talk about Janesville, its significance, or perhaps lack thereof.  One thing one can be sure with Maurice, is that he will tell you what’s on his mind.

From Henry Janes to Henry Traxler and from Parker Pen and General Motors, to what Janesville will be known for in a hundred years, we covered a lot of ground.  If you care about the little town that could, you will not want to miss this podcast.  Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.


Candidate Spotlight: Kristin Hesselbacher

Commissioner Kristin Hesselbacher was first elected to Janesville School Board three years ago, and this year she is running for re-election.  Strong proponent of world languages, Commissioner has recently returned from her second trip to China where she went with Dr. Schulte, Janesville School District Superintendent.

In our interview, Mrs. Hesselbacher shared her views on the new teacher handbook, cost of quality education, role of unions and her position on taxes as well as what she considers to be her major accomplishments, and some of the things she would like to work on in her second term.  Join us for conversation with Commissioner Hesselbacher.  Be  in the know.  Discover Janesville.


Legislator Spotlight: Janis Ringhand

Representative Janis Ringhand (D) is in her second term in the State Legislature.  Representing a district that underwent a major change in its boundaries, Janis now represents 45th district, known in the past as the 80th.

But there is more to this former Mayor of Evansville than most people know – back in the day, Janis put herself through school by making wedding and graduation cakes.  Now, an experienced legislator, she is lining up supporters left and right, looking to help new pastry businesses get started in Wisconsin with her Cookie Bill.  Join us for conversation with Representative Janis Ringhand.  Be in the know.  Discover Janesville. 


Community Spotlight: Burdette Erickson

I support Yuri Rashkin for Wisconsin State Assembly! Burdette Erickson - YouTubeAmong many other things, Burdette Erickson is a neighborhood activist.  Since moving to Janesville’s Fourth Ward, 28 years ago, Burdette led the effort to improve safety in what is historically considered to be an area of Janesville with low property values, high number of residents transitioning in and out of the neighborhood, and activity that attracts police attention.

This week, Burdette was recognized by the Janesville Police Department as one of three Citizens of the Year.  I sat down with Burdette, and then with Janesville Chief of Police David Moore, to talk about the awards, Burdette’s work, and also about the lessons there are to learn from the positive developments taking place in the Fourth Ward.

Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.


Breaking News: Janesville School Board President Bill Sodemann responds to teachers’ union threat to sue

Janesville School Board President Bill Sodemann responds to the teachers’ union threat to sue unless there are contract negotiations, and shares his views on how the union and school board can work together.  Commissioner Sodemann speaks of his concerns for the bad publicity this development generates, as well as previews his plans to keep experienced teachers working in the Janesville School District.   Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.


Breaking News: Dr. Dave Parr speaks on Janesville teachers’ union threat to sue Janesville School District

In an exclusive conversation with Discover Janesville, Janesville teachers’ union President Dr. Dave Parr gives his side of the story to the reasons behind the union’s threat to sue the school district, what the lawsuit would seek to accomplish, what the school board can do to put an end to this acrimony and the possibility of a teachers’ strike.  Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.


Spotlight on Government: League of Women Voters Janesville City Council candidates forum


Every year, League of Women Voters of Janesville, together with JATV and Forward Janesville, hold candidate forums for the candidates for City Council.  Appearing tonight at Hedberg Public Library, the six candidates for April 2 election, spoke, giving their positions on a variety of issues ranging from the three things they would cut, to how they would deal with homelessness in Janesville, to who contributed to their campaigns.  The candidates are Brian Fitzgerald, Sam Liebert (I), DuWayne Severson (I), Jerry Smythe, Julie Broda and Doug Marklein.

Forums such as this, give us the voters, a unique opportunity to learn about the candidates not from their advertisements, or from how many times we may have heard their name in the past, but from the candidates themselves, put under the spotlights, and answering questions from a moderator.  Sometimes the candidates agreed, other times, as when the discussion turned to referendum on allowing beer in city parks, and raising property taxes opinions differed widely.

Be an educated voter. Discover Janesville.


Legislator Spotlight: Tim Cullen

Tune in to hear 5 questions with State Senator Tim Cullen.  One of the most experienced state legislators shares his perspective on the final mining bill that passed the State Senate and Assembly and is now awaiting Governor Scott Walker’s signature, the state of education in Wisconsin and why there could be a Rashkin-Cullen elementary school.  Also, the dynamics of how legislation gets passed, the future of i-39/90 corridor, and even some reason for hope in Wisconsin.  Listen and share!