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Internecine warfare among unions? Not in La Crosse. Head of the Service Employees union in city hall, Rich Smith, denies there's friction between his union and the police and fire unions, just because protective services are exempt from a new law restricting collective bargaining for most public employees. In fact, Smith hopes cops and firefighters can avoid the eventual fate his members face. An organization of cities last week asked lawmakers to change the law to remove some exemptions from police and fire unions, citing friction brewing among unions statewide. Because of a court challenge in Dane county, the law has yet to take effect.
Chances are, the experiment's over.
After season number two, an alternate side parking exemption test area around UW La Crosse seems to have only resulted in more tickets and narrower streets. City public works director Dale Hexom says consensus seems to be building behind the idea that the trial simply isn't working. An official report on the test area is still coming. This season, alternate side parking tickets in the area doubled over last year.
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is predicting voter turnout of 20 percent for the Spring Election tomorrow. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lacrosse City Clerk Terri Lehrke says this election is a hard one to predict.....so extra ballots have been brought in.
Voters statewide will be electing a Supreme Court justice. Locally, they will be electing circuit court judges as well as town, village, city, county and school board officials. Voters will also have special partisan primary elections for the May 3rd Special Election, in which vacant seats will be filled in Assembly Districts 94.
Lehrke says a 30 percent turnout is her gut feeling but ordered enough ballots to cover a 43 percent turnout.
Wisconsin Democrats took 21,700 signatures to Madison on Friday.......if 15,600 are validated, they will have taken the next step to recall Senator Dan Kapanke. Kapanke is one of eight Republican state senators they're seeking to oust for backing the governor's divisive union rights law.
So if a recall election is called for, who would run against him? Possibly State Representative Jennifer Shilling? Since you know...she has been asked before.
Shilling says 20 thousand people signing the petitions shows that people want new leadership....but until the signatures are verified, she says no go..........for now.
Friday's filing is the first among efforts to recall eight Republican and eight Democratic senators over their support or opposition to Republican Governor Scott Walker's law that would strip most public workers of collective bargaining rights.
La Crosse County Health Laboratory is encouraging all private well owners to test their drinking water for coliform bacteria and nitrate during National Public Health Week, April 4 to April 8. The two tests can be obtained for $24 during this week. The regular fee is $47.
Coliform bacteria are an indicator of contamination and should not be present in drinking water. Their presence indicates disease causing bacteria, viruses and parasites may have contaminated the well. Nitrate is a chemical found in fertilizers, manure and discharges from septic tanks and is responsible for “blue baby syndrome,” a serious health condition-affecting infants. Nitrate has also been linked to birth defects, miscarriages and cancer.
Contact La Crosse County Health Laboratory at 608-785-9733 for more information about water testing. Water sample kits can be picked up at the Health Department weekdays between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM.