Monthly Archives: June 2013

Spotlight on Internet Activism: Persecuted by Facebook

On this podcast, we take a look behind the curtain of Wisconsin’s most popular protest Facebook pages.  On the program, conversation with two women  running pages with over 100,000 followers.

Because these pages are political in nature, my guests have encountered an organized opposition of internet “trolls” who successfully exploited Facebook’s “Community Standards” in order to effectively shut down both the political and personal pages of these women, and as a result, put at risk access to information for multitudes who rely on these extremely popular pages for information on daily and hourly basis.

Tune in to find out what it takes to run a popular Facebook page, and what needs to be done in order to get the situation resolved.  Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.


Spotlight on State Assembly: Janis Ringhand

45th District State Representative and former mayor of Evansville Janis Ringhand, checks in to talk about the budget that has just passed the State Legislature and is now on Governor Walker’s desk awaiting his signature.  Representative Ringhand talks about the strategy behind the Democratic caucus decision to not offer any of the more than 200 amendments that were drafted, how she feels as a woman about the new laws restricting women’s rights, and what good there may be in the new budget.  Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.


Spotlight on Education: Karl Dommershausen

Janesville School Board member – Commissioner – Karl Dommershausen is one of those rare people who changes his mind because of new information.  Known at one time as a conservative, Karl has just authored a passionately worded editorial in the Janesville Gazette, calling school vouchers a bad idea.  We sat down to talk about the vouchers, the impact of privatization and retirements on Janesville School District, and what made Karl so much more progressive in his outlook on education.  Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.


Spotlight on Lorianna’s Sweetlife Bakery

"Baking is easy!  Running Business is hard", says Lorianna about her one year old bakery.

Lori Anna Hollingsworth always wanted to run her own bakery. A year ago she took a chance on her dream, and its growing by leaps and bounds.  Lori Anna and her shop are known all over town for their cakes, cupcakes, and the name: Sweetlife Bakery.  To give you an idea of how long she’s had this dream, Lorianna came up with the name when she was 18.  Learn how she chose the location, how far her customers travel to get to Sweetlife and what ambitious plans she has for her business.  Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.




Simon Returns to Janesville

Simon Davison was in Janesville last, before last year’s Presidential election, when he came from England in order to knock on doors and get President Obama re-elected.  Basking in the successful outcome of that election, Simon came back to visit and spoke with Discover Janesville about whether he continues to support President Obama.  Simon brings a world perspective to an issue that is personal for every American: who should be the President of the United States and why.  We also talked about how Simon’s concept of the Relational Gold Standard and how it may improve the world that we live in.  Be in the know.  Discover Janesville.

This interview was recorded before the latest information regarding NSA surveillance became public.


Discover Janesville in Janesville Messenger: Congressman Mark Pocan

Here is the next Discover Janesville in Janesville Messenger column.  

2nd Congressional District Representative in the United States Congress, Mark Pocan, represents the Southern part of Rock County, as well as Dane County. In Congress he replaced Congresswoman and now United States Senator Tammy Baldwin. Like his predecessor, Congressman Pocan stands strong for Progressive values, in stark contrast with his neighbor in the 1st Congressional District, Congressman Paul Ryan. I took the opportunity to compare the two very different Congressmen representing Rock County in Congress, during a recent conversation with Representative Pocan.

To my question about the two different stories he and Paul Ryan tell about Rock County, Mark Pocan replied that “Sometimes it feels like we go through different paths through Rock County because when we have been debating the budget or the different issues that come before Congress, I see the unemployment down here and the need that people have for accessing health care. Some of the austerity policies that have really come through the Republican version of the budget, which I know that Congressman Ryan’s been very active with, are in my opinion pretty detrimental to people in the county.” While the two Congressmen represent nearly the same group of people, they appear to have two very different prescriptions for how best to help the residents.

Congressman Pocan reflected on growing up in Kenosha where an auto plant also closed some years back. Looking at the Janesville GM plant and all the companies that fed into it he is convinced that solving unemployment and creating jobs should be our number one focus. In his opinion, getting people working and getting that tax revenue will take care of both debt and deficit.
Comparing the two Congressmen on the issue of marriage equality, I asked Mark Pocan about his reaction to the recent report that Paul Ryan shifted his position and has come out in support of adoptions by gay couples. Mark, who himself is gay and has been at the forefront of the marriage equality movement, smiled and said that he always respects when “leaders catch up to the public.” He cited a national poll where 58% of respondents supported marriage equality and 81% of 18-29 year olds expressed support for marriage equality as well. These findings, according to Congressman Pocan, strongly point to the fact that our country is shifting on the issue of marriage equality, and its time for our leaders to catch up, adding that “when you have a country with total equality, it benefits absolutely every person.”

0In spite of the many areas of disagreement, Congressman Pocan gave a check list of issues where he looks forward to working with his conservative Rock County counterpart: GM plant, bringing more jobs and transportations dollars to the area, having dairy policies that benefit our state. Congressman said he anticipates having disagreements around the issues connected to Paul Ryan’s Austerity policies, and working together when it comes to Prosperity policies, which he calls policies likely to improve the economic climate in the country and his district through government investment.

Asked about Sequester, Congressman Pocan said that while he wasn’t there when it was created, instead of cutting bad programs, Sequester cut good and bad programs by 5%. Ultimately, Congressman wants to see the Sequester be replaced but that is not possible until there is national budget, which won’t occur until Congress appoints Conferees.

Rock County is fortunate to have two Representatives in the United States Congress who can do a lot to help our area, especially these days when Janesville and the entire Rock County needs our public servants more than ever. Let’s hope they will concentrate their time on working together more then on working apart.

Listen to the interview right here: Spotlight on Congress: Mark Pocan

Spotlight on City Hall: Eric Levitt in his last Janesville interview

On his last day in Janesville, Eric Levitt sat down for a candid conversation about his time as Janesville City Manager. We spoke about the past 5 years, what happened with economic development, Eric’s achievements and regrets, what qualities the council should look for in the next city manger, and much more.


Project in Spotlight: Tasty Guide to a Healthy Planet

Long time friend of Discover Janesville, David Haldiman just launched a project on Kickstarter, looking to fund a web video show about food, that’s done in a new way.  What David and his partners are looking to do is to “help create a food system that’s good for your health, fair to farmers, respectful of the natural environment and locally controlled. ”  How will they do it?  “We’re going to entertain people with compelling stories, cultivate their curiosity with interesting ideas, and lure them with tasty dishes they can make at home.”  Sounds delicious.

As you decide about how much you would like to contribute to this or any project on Kickstarter, remember that you can give as little as $1 and no money will be collected unless the goal of pledge drive is reached.