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So what's in the Voter ID Bill and when does it take effect? Questions city and county clerks statewide are asking themselves today after the senate passed the bill yesterday on a 19-5 vote.
Lacrosse City Clerk Teri Lehrke said she doesn’t disagree with a voter identification bill, but she doesn’t agree with it completely either. She says the prevention of potential voter fraud is a good thing, but the changes will be difficult for clerks, election officials and voters. She expects portions of the bill will go into effect for the July 12th recall elections.
Lehrke says the whole problem with this is educating the voter. She's waiting for some guidance from the Government Accountability Board.
Governor Scott Walker is set to sign the bill next Wednesday.
Although this Bike to Work Week was a feel-good opportunity to bring a few more bike commuters to the streets, huge numbers of bikers won't take to the pedals until they feel safe doing it, says Tim Keneipp from the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition. He says that safer feeling comes with bike lanes or dedicated cycle tracks or bike paths. Keneipp says, although special bike facilities can cost a little more extra to add, more people on bikes saves considerably on overall street wear. And saves much more, he says, on parking shortages in a city.
Some old couches and mattresses destined for a dumpster will instead find their way from UW La Crosse to Alabama to help tornado victims. It's about a semi trailer full of stuff that had mostly come out of the old Baird and Trowbridge halls. The school had used it in spaces leased to deal with a dorm shortage on campus this year. University Residence Life head, Nick Nicklaus says now that Eagle Hall is opening up, there's no use for the furniture leftovers on campus. The Lion's club will pay to send about 80 mattresses, 15 couches and 40 desk chairs from the university to Alabama.
13 city council members in La Crosse? Forget about it. The council re-districting committee has rebuffed a plan by the county board to shrink the number of board reps in La Crosse by four, pressuring the council to do the same. Council member Jim Bloedorn, on the committee, says although they prefer to keep the current 17 council seats, the message sent to the county board is that a minimum of 15 seats is acceptable.
Maybe a much higher parking fine would get drivers to use ramps in downtown La Crosse...
The city's parking utility board has been looking at ways to increase ramp use by people who work downtown, but prefer curbside parking to the ramps. Board member Dick Swantz says if you get two parking tickets in a short period of time, the second ticket should be much higher than the first. A regular ticket costs 12 dollars, but Swantz would like to see the second fine go as high as 45 or 50 dollars. One problem with enforcing such a plan...city police do not have a quick way to keep track of one person's parking tickets.