Presidential Posts

Monday, April 4, 2011

Neighborhood News 4-4-11

Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News  
                                                                                   April 4, 2011

The DMN e-News and an occasional hard copy DMN News are published by the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association (DMNA) on an “as-needed” schedule.  The Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association, Inc. has been working to unite neighbors to solve mutual problems and promote fellowship among neighbors since 1973.
                President, Jeff Glazer, 277-1778
                News contact, Mary Mullen, 298-0843
              On Facebook:
Editor’s Note:  This edition of the 4-4-11 e-News contains 2 articles not included in an edition sent to part of the neighborhood earlier in the day.  The additional articles are #1a about the prairie burn and #6a about campaign finance.  These articles will be provided separately to those who received the earlier edition.  No attachments this time.  (Yeah!  or Boo!?)

Mon., April 4, 6:30-8:30 pm – Garden registration.  
Boys & Girls Club, Jenewin Rd.

Tues., April 5, 7 am to 8 pm – Spring general election.  
Headstart Building on Red Arrow Trail near MacDonald’s for Madison residents, in Fitchburg at Fire Station #2, 5415 King James Way. (See articles 24-33 for ballot items.)
Wed., April 6, 5:30-7:30 pm – Verona Rd. Information Session with WisDOT about Whitney Way/Beltline improvements. Toki Middle School Gymnasium, 5606 Russet Road, Madison. (See article 25-33 for ballot items.)----

Tues., April 19, 7 pm – DMNA Council Meeting
Prairie UU Society Bldg., corner of Whenona & Crawford.  Any resident may attend, but only Council members may vote.  Notify President Jeff Glazer of your interest in attending.

Nature in the Neighborhood                                                                                                                           
1 - Madison Versus the Beavers  
(Attachment: “Beaver work.jpg”)
1a - Prairie Burn Scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, South of Dunn’s Marsh

Voting & Government
2 - VOTE!  VOTE!  VOTE!  Tuesday, April 5
3 - Madison's Cab Companies are Providing Free Rides for Voters April 5
4 - Want to Vote, but Aren’t Registered? How to Register at the Polls
5 - Don’t Know if You Are Registered?
6 - If you can’t make it to the polls on April 5…
6a - Even Locally, Campaign Finance Gives Pause for Thought
7 - About the Governor’s Budget Bills

It’s the Law
8 - Law Requires Installation and Maintenance of Carbon Monoxide Alarms/Detectors In One- and     
    Two-Family Dwellings, effective February 01, 2011
9 - Illegal to Open Car Door Without Looking
10 - Flashing Yellow Arrow Allows Left Turn with Caution

11 - Terra Firma Newspaper Covers “News about Fitchburg & Slightly Beyond”
12 - For Women Interested in Careers in Engineering and Design
13 - Free First-Time Home Buyer Education Classes -  Every 2nd & 3rd Tuesday (Starts April 12)
14 - HospiceCare Offers Free Q & A Seminar on Advance Care Planning, April 12
15 - Healthcare Moves Toward Relaxing Hospice Eligibility


Nature in the Neighborhood

1 - Madison Versus the Beavers  

A short video on You-Tube highlights Dunn’s Marsh and the removal of a dam that a family of beavers built there. Over the past several years, beavers built a dam that raised the level of the marsh 2 or 3 feet.  
In the video, Madison stormwater engineer Greg Fries explains that the dam was partially responsible for flooding over Seminole Highway several times last spring.  That’s why it and the beavers had to go.
The dam was located about 250-300 feet west of Seminole Highway within the channel that runs to the culvert under Seminole Highway.  The entire channel is about 500 feet long from the open water of the marsh east to the culvert.
Maintenance crews went in with chest waders in August 2010 to remove dam material, but the beavers immediately started rebuilding. Madison then waited until January 2011 when the ground was well frozen.  Putting down “bog mats” – something like railroad ties lashed together – to protect the marsh soils from compacting under heavy equipment, engineers took in machinery to completely destroy the dam and dredge the channel.
Fries noted that this was the very first time in his 20 years of work for the City of Madison that beavers have ever been an issue in the City.
The You-Tube video can be seen at, or simply google “Madison versus the Beavers” to find it.  
The 2-minute video was created by neighborhood resident Patty Stockdale.  It features some footage of beavers at work – not our actual beavers – as well as a few sentences by the author of this article and a longer interview with Fries.
by Mary Mullen                           
1a - Prairie Burn Scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, South of Dunn’s Marsh

Weather permitting, the City of Fitchburg will be conducting a prescribed burn at the Dawley Conservancy Park and Harlan Hills Park on Tuesday, April 5.  (So, no need to call the police or fire department if you see smoke just south of our neighborhood.)

The purpose of the burn is to promote native prairie vegetation regeneration in our attempt to recreate a prairie at this site.  Prescribed burns are an essential tool for restoring and maintaining prairie, oak savanna and oak woodland habitats.  These habitat types have declined dramatically throughout Wisconsin since initial European settlement in the mid 1800s.
 Despite the rarity of these habitats, healthy prairies, oak savannas and woodlands support a disproportionate amount of biodiversity and harbor many regionally rare and declining species.  The burns will be conducted by BioLogic Environmental Consulting, the company the City has hired to care for some of its prairies and conservancy areas.

BioLogic will provide the City up to 24 hours advance notice of the burn, and they will notify all appropriate authorities prior to the burn. Their burn crew consists of trained firefighters with all the equipment necessary to keep the fire under control. In preparation for the burn, BioLogic will be mowing or cutting vegetation around the areas to be burned. These temporary paths will be used to contain the fire within the park.
On the day of the burn, we ask that you avoid visiting the park until the burn is complete, so the burn crew may do their work safely and efficiently. The burn will be conducted on a day when weather conditions allow for a safe burn with minimal smoke impact on your neighborhood and local roads. However, we recommend keeping windows and doors closed to keep smoke or the smell of smoke out of your home.

For more information, please contact City Forester Ed Bartell at 608-270-4289 or Mike Healy, Restoration Ecologist with BioLogic Environmental Consulting, at 608.277.9960 or  
For further details on the role of prescribed fire for maintaining oak woodland, oak savanna, and prairie, please visit:
from Ed Bartell, City of Fitchburg Urban Forester & Naturalist

Voting & Government
2 - VOTE! VOTE!  VOTE!  Tuesday, April 5

Coming to you this Tuesday, April 5 – the chance to vote for alders, Mayor, County Executive, a Supreme Court Justice, and on a referendum about whether a corporation should be legally be considered the same as a person.
In our neighborhood, Madison voters go to the Head Start building on Red Arrow Trail near MacDonald’s.
Fitchburg voters from the neighborhood vote at Fitchburg Fire Station #2, 5415 King James Way, near the intersection of Verona Road and Co. Hy. PD.
By now, if you watch television or read any local newspapers, you should be well-informed about the candidates.  Several races offer stark contrasts between the candidates.  In others, the differences are more nuanced.
Recent events in Madison suggest that the candidates we elect make a huge difference in what happens.
For a very brief thumbnail sketch of the races
                                                                                                by Mary Mullen
3 - Madison's Cab Companies are Providing Free Rides for Voters April 5

Union Cab and Badger Cab will be driving people to the polls between 7 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on April 5. Union Cab said this service allows everyone in the community to have a voice next Tuesday. Their marketing manager, John McNamara, said it's often the case that those who live furthest from their polling place are also the ones who don't have access to transportation.
"People who normally might not feel enfranchised, specifically because they have to cross a six lane highway, and walk a mile and a half, or take an hour long bus ride to get to their polling place, for those people, this definitely is going to allow them to really feel more able to vote," McNamara said.
This is the first time these companies are opening up their services to the public.
People are encouraged to set up times in advance if they know when they'd like to go to the polls. To set up a ride, call 242-2000 or 256-5566.
           This article originally appeared on the Channel 3000 website at                  
  and is used with permission.
4 - Want to Vote, but Aren’t Registered?  How to Register at the Polls

Q:  Can I vote if I’m not pre-registered?
A:  Yes, if you bring to the polls all the proper documentation required for registration.
Q:  What documentation is needed in order to register at the polls?
A:  Two items
  1. If you have a valid Wisconsin driver’s license or Wisconsin state ID card, you must be able to provide its number.  You do NOT have to show it election officials.  If you do not have a Wisconsin driver’s license, you must provide your Social Security number.
  2. Proof of residence that shows your current and complete name and your current and complete residential address. (P.O. boxes are NOT proof of residence.) Many items are allowed as proof of residence, but the one you use must show the address where you live now.  You must have lived there for 10 days.   Any of these are legal proof of residence.

·     A current and valid Wisconsin driver license.
·     A current and valid Wisconsin identification card.
·     Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
·     Any identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not including a business card.
·     A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election.
·     A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes election day (NOT for first-time voters registering by mail).
·     A university or Edgewood College ID, if you are on the certified housing list (must include photo).
·     A gas, electric or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before election day.
·     Bank statement.
·     Paycheck.
·     A check or other document issued by a unit of government.

Q:  Do I need to show ID at the polls?
A:  No. No one needs to show ID unless you are registering for the first time and choose one of the ID items above as proof of residence.  There is a legislative proposal that would require voters to show ID at the polls, but that bill has not passed.  Nothing has changed since the last election.  (At election training, the Madison trainer mentioned that the legislature may also pass a law requiring every voter to sign the election list.)
Q:  What are the requirements for voter eligibility?
1.     United States Citizen
2.  Age 18 or older by Election Day
3.  Resident of your municipality (Madison or Fitchburg)  for at least 10 days before the election
4.     If convicted of a felony, have completed the terms of you sentence including probation, parole, or extended supervision (Be “off paper.”


5 - Don’t Know if You Are Registered?

If you are not sure if you are registered, you can look up your voter registration.  Start at and click on the first link:  Look up your voter registration and polling place location.
Here you can also view your voting history, your absentee ballot status (if you voted absentee), see who is currently in office, and view a sample ballot.
This is an interesting site.  I found out that I first registered on 6-12-64.  My voting history on this site starts in 1986, and shows that I voted in 79 elections since then.  Data may be incomplete prior to 2006.  Mine was incomplete since I know I voted ever since 1964.

6 - If you can’t make it to the polls on April 5…

If you know a day or more ahead of time that you won’t be able to go to the polls on April 5, you may vote absentee at your city clerk’s office.
In both Madison and Fitchburg, you can vote the week before the election up until Saturday noon, April 3. You can also vote absentee in the clerk’s office on Monday April 4.
In Madison, the clerk’s office is in the City-County Building.  In Fitchburg, it is in the City Hall on Lacy Road.

6a -  Even Locally, Campaign Finance Gives Pause for Thought

Is a corporation a person?  Is money (free) speech?  Who should be able to contribute to a campaign?  How much should they be able to contribute?  How much should they or the campaign have to divulge about their contributors?
These are issues that float up to the surface during every political campaign, or it might be more accurate to say that sometimes they explode like fireworks or bombs.  Funding a campaign is a nightmare or at least the substance for anxiety or bad dreams for the candidates.  It’s like a horserace, perhaps, to an impartial onlooker.  The rules are laid out in campaign finance law and the handbooks that go to a campaign treasurer.
A big dust storm has been raised by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared that corporations are to be treated like persons for campaign finance.  Madison voters will have 2 chances to say how they feel about that decision.  Both Dane County and the City of Madison have a referendum on the ballot.  Those referenda ask if the U.S. Constitution should be amended to state that only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights and to establish that regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting freedom of political speech.
A YES vote means the voter agrees that an amendment is needed to establish that a corporation isn’t a person.  A NO vote suggests that the voter may agree with the Supreme Court decision or just doesn’t think we should mess with the constitution for an issue like this.    Part of the argument for a YES vote has been that during this election – and all future elections unless the law is changes -  that it’s difficult to know who is funding campaigns.  Knowing who is supporting a candidate can be important in deciding which messages to believe or deciding which candidate to support.
Does this affect our most local elections of all – the aldermanic elections?  Well, knowing who contributes to a campaign and how much they give, might help with making a decision in the voting booth.
Let’s take a case in point, the District 1, Seat 1 alder election in Fitchburg.  The two candidates are Kevin Peterson and Dorothy Krause.
A look at their campaign reports reveals that both have raised about $1,100.  So in this regard, they are running neck to neck.  This figure is from the most recent reporting period which ended March 21, 2011.  
But what else can one learn from their reports?
First of all, they have different numbers of contributors.  Mr. Peterson had 10 contributors, and the highest 2 contributors each gave $250 each, while the lowest contributors gave $25.  Ms. Krause had 19 contributors, with the highest 2 individuals contributing $100 each, and the lowest giving $10.
Secondly, one might look at who the contributors are since all local campaign contributors who give more than $20 must be named and their addresses given.  Those giving over $100 must also list their employer and the employer’s address.
Here’s where more differences emerge.  Since Dorothy Krause had no individual contributors, their employers aren’t known.  However, Progressive Dane, a political committee, did contribute $200 to her campaign.
Kevin Peterson’s two biggest contributors were retired and thus did not have to give an employer. Another big contributor is the president of Brown Sales, a contract sewing company in Fitchburg, while the fourth is in the banking business at the Oak Bank in Fitchburg.  
Other Peterson contributors, although their employers aren’t given, are well-known names to residents of Madison or Fitchburg, since they are in real estate, development, or banking in the area.
For information about the content of their candidacy, one can always consult the League of Women Voters Candidates Answers at
                                                                        by Mary Mullen                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

7 - About the Governor’s Budget Bills

Who in Madison, or for that matter anywhere in the U.S., could avoid being aware of the Wisconsin budget protests that rocked the Capitol for weeks and still aren’t over?  Or who could have missed the fact that the Wisconsin legislature (Republicans in favor only) voted to strip most public unions of their collective bargaining rights?
But did you know that both the budget repair bill and his biennium (next 2 years) bill propose far, far more than that? Many proposals are controversial.
No doubt everyone knows that the budget repair bill would cut public workers’ take-home pay by requiring workers to pay more of their health insurance and pension costs.  (But this would not affect police or firefighters.) This bill also
  1. Allows the governor to sell state-owned power plants without a bidding process
  2. Takes away union organizing rights from some of the least well-paid workers who may be making only $10 an hour:  home health care workers and family child-care workers
  3. Completely strips employees of the UW Hospital and Clinics of their unions and repeals collective bargaining for UW faculty and staff
  4. Gets rid of 35 top civil service jobs in state agencies and instead makes them appointed positions that the governor fills with persons of his choice.  And more.

One proposal that probably isn’t controversial in any way is the one to restructure debt to take advantage of better interest rates.  (At least I think that’s the content and purpose of the proposal.)
The governor’s 1,345-page budget for the biennium (next 2 years) would affect many other areas including education, programs for senior citizens, the environment, and a lot more.
A very few of the many controversial proposals in this bill are highlighted below.  There are many more in the bill that has 1,345 pages.
1. $843 million in funding would be cut from school districts (about $550-560 cut per pupil) and funding for many school aid programs would be eliminated completely including aid for children-at-risk programs; alternative education grants; English for Southeast Asian children; grants for advanced placement courses; grants for alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and intervention programs; grants for improving pupil academic achievement; grants for nursing services; grants for preschool to grade 5 programs; grants for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs; and supplemental aid.  (But money freed up from these programs would be used to fun initiatives to improve elementary student reading and create a new student information system that would track how students do in school.)

2. Public schools would get even less funding since more can be diverted to independent charter schools, and caps would be lifted on the number of participants and income eligibility in the charter schools. In addition, teachers in independent charter schools would not have to meet the same stringent licensing requirements that public school teachers do.

3. There’s a  $71.6 million cut to technical college districts.

4. Those participating in the SeniorCare prescription drug program would also have also buy Part D Medicare drug coverage

5. It would eliminate the Wisconsin Arts Board as a state agency and transfer it to the Department of Tourism, cut the board’s staff from 10 positions to 4, and cut state funding for the arts by 73%.  (Currently Wisconsin is 38th among the states in arts funding according to the Arts Board.)

6. It would repeal the state’s recycling law and stop all state aid for recycling programs.

7. It would roll back rules to protect Wisconsin waters from toxic algal blooms.

8. It would reduce phosphorus and sedimentation limitations to that of surrounding states.

9. Several juvenile correctional facilities would be closed and the inmates moved to other facilities. Ethan Allen School in Waukesha would closed, and the inmates moved to Lincoln Hills School in Lincoln County.  The Southern Oaks Girls School in Racine County would be closed and the girls would be moved to Copper Lake School in Lincoln Hills.

If you are a bear for punishment, browse through the 116-page budget summary at    The details don’t start until well into  the document.
There are surprises.  Right now the Department of Natural Resources is responsible for soil erosion control regulation.  This budget would transfer soil erosion control regulation for commercial sites to the Department of Regulation and Licensing which is being reorganized as the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Check out the effects on schools on the website of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards:

Hearings are being held on different parts of budget proposals now.
                                                                                                by Mary Mullen
It’s the Law

8 - Law Requires Installation and Maintenance of Carbon Monoxide Alarms/Detectors In One- and    
         Two-Family Dwellings, effective February 01, 2011

Carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the United States. The Wisconsin Legislature acted in 2010 to create statutory language requiring carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in all new and existing one and two family dwellings effective February 1, 2011.  This law requires carbon monoxide detector installation in all one and two family dwellings which have attached garages or contain any fuel burning appliances

What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
Carbon monoxide is often called, “The Silent Killer.” Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created as a byproduct of any fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) because of incomplete combustion of the fuel.

Can Carbon Monoxide Cause Poisoning?
Yes, carbon monoxide can cause poisoning.  High levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal, causing death within minutes.

What Are The Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include any or all of the following: short- ness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness, flu-like symptoms, or headaches.

What Does This New Law Mean For Me?
• One-and two-family dwellings for which a building permit is issued on or after February 1, 2011 require carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected and directly wired to the dwelling’s electrical service, with a backup battery supply.
• Existing dwellings (all structures in place before February 01, 2011) may use battery- powered, single station (stand-alone) alarms - they are not required to be interconnected.
• Alarms must be installed in the basement and on each floor level except the attic or garage.
 • The law applies only to dwellings that contain CO producing appliances/sources. CO
sources may include, but are not limited to: attached garages (vehicles), space heaters, fireplaces (wood or gas), supplementary heat sources, wood, pellet, etc ., stoves, gas supplied (LP or natural) water heaters, gas (LP or natural) supplied clothes dryers, gas appliances (LP or natural) used for cooking, or any sources that use coal, wood, petroleum products, or other fuels that will, or could, emit CO as a by-product of combustion.
Who Is Responsible For The Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
• The owner of the property is responsible for installations.
• Owners must repair or replace defective alarms within five (5) days of written notice from an occupant or an inspector.
• Authorized inspectors may enter dwellings to inspect alarms when requested by owners or occupants. • Tampering with any alarm device is illegal, dangerous, and can cause serious liability concerns.

Where Should Carbon Monoxide Alarms Be Installed?
• Carbon monoxide disperses in air much the way smoke does. You need to install Co alarms on every floor that contains one or more sleeping areas and in the basement.  Devices shall be installed within 21 feet of the centerline of the door of the sleeping areas in the exit (egress pathway.) If you have, or purchase, a combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm, you do not need to install a stand alone carbon monoxide alarm . For existing homes you can install battery operated devices or you can also purchase units that plug into an outlet . These devices still need to be spaced accurately, but allow owners to use the building’s electrical system to power the devices.  Never install any detection device without always reading and following the manufacturer’s instructions .
• On floor levels that do not contain a sleeping area, a carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed in a common area on each floor level.

Where Can I Obtain A Carbon Monoxide Alarm & How Much Do They Cost?
• Carbon Monoxide Alarms can be purchased at a large variety of big box retail and hardware stores, as well as via the internet .
• The average cost of a carbon monoxide alarm can range from between $25 to $50 per device depending on the type.
• The alarms will be stand alone or combination units, powered by batteries, tied into the home’s electrical system or interconnected with battery backup.  Remember if your unit does not have battery backup, if you lose electrical power, you lose protection.
• Installation must follow manufacturers’ instructions. Those instructions are provided with all new devices either in the box or printed on the box.
Alarms used in Wisconsin must be listed and labeled by Underwriters Laboratories (UL2034). This is indicated on the package, as well as on the unit itself.
What Is The Life Span of a Carbon Monoxide Alarm?
The average life span of a carbon monoxide alarm is five (5) years. However, this life span may vary according to manufacturer. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for confirmation of the life span of each unit.

How Often Do I Test My Carbon Monoxide Alarm(s)?
Test your carbon monoxide alarm once a month according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

How Do I Maintain My Carbon Monoxide Alarm(s)?
• At least monthly, use your vacuum cleaners hose attachment and upholstery brush to gently remove dust from the interior and exterior of your carbon monoxide alarms.  This is the same practice you should already be using with your smoke alarms.
• Install carbon monoxide alarms in locations free of heavy dust and away from household chemical fumes to help the alarm work best.
• Never paint a carbon monoxide alarm or any detection/alarm device.
What Should I Do If My Carbon Monoxide Alarm Sounds?
• Get all occupants in the building outdoors immediately.
• Call 9-1-1 from outside your home.
• Report all symptoms to emergency medical personnel that arrive on scene.
• Do not go back inside until the fire department advises that it is safe to do so.

from Fitchburg Update, City of Fitchburg website


9 - Illegal to Open Car Door Without Looking

It's now Wisconsin law that people inside a motor vehicle need to look before opening their doors. If they hit a car/bike/person with their door, they can be cited. Not all law enforcement personnel are familiar with the change in law specifically protecting bicyclists, which was made in 2009.
The conflict in the law before was that it was illegal to obstruct traffic with your car door, but it was also illegal to bike within 3 feet of a car. Police assumed that if a bicyclist was hit by an opening car door, the bicyclist was too close, and the bicyclist could therefore be cited. The 3-foot rule was removed for bicyclists and the law was made more explicit to state that car doors cannot be opened into bicycles/bicyclists.
The impetus for the change was one of the pharmacists at Community Pharmacy, who was cited after being sent to the hospital for injuries she sustained when a motorist whacked her with their car door. She fought it and it got Fred Risser's and others' attention. So thank her next time you go to Community Pharmacy.
                                                Kathryn Kingsbury (Bikies listserve)

10 - Flashing Yellow Arrow Allows Left Turn with Caution

The City of Madison is implementing a new traffic signal display to provide a safer, more efficient left turn for motorists.  The flashing yellow arrow left-turn indication is a new type of display that can replace the circular green indication for left turns at selected signalized intersections.
How does it work? A flashing yellow arrow means left turns are allowed, but you must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and then proceed with caution.
What should motorists do when approaching the flashing yellow left-turn signal?  Drivers should stop at the intersection, and yield to oncoming traffic.  When it is safe, make your left turn and proceed through the intersection. After it flashes, the flashing yellow left-turn arrow then becomes the steady (non-flashing) yellow left-turn arrow.  
Drivers should treat the steady yellow arrow just like a standard yellow light.  Prepare to stop before the red light appears.
One advantage of the flashing yellow arrow is that traffic engineers can control the signal so that during certain times of the day the flashing arrow is used and at other times of day the steady green arrow is used instead.  The steady green arrow means you can simply turn left.

To review signals and their meaning:

11 - Terra Firma Newspaper Covers “News about Fitchburg & Slightly Beyond”

Sometime back the Fitchburg Star stopped publishing.  A new newspaper, TerraFirma, has taken its place.  It’s a good place to read about Fitchburg news “& slightly beyond” as the masthead declares.
The March issue of TerraFirma is full of news and opinion about the two Fitchburg mayoral candidates. All of the Fitchburg alder candidates who have opposition are also featured in that issue.  
The hardcopy can be picked up free at local businesses and at the Fitchburg City Hall.  Subscriptions are $25 annually for residents and $35 for non-residents and can be ordered online at or sent to 2784 Ledgemont Street, Fitchburg, WI 53711
The online TerraFirma carries recent comments about the mayoral race and some of the major articles from back issues of the paper.  One article that might interest many people in our neighborhood is called “The Crumbling Arboretum.”  
Publisher/editor/sales/janitor duties at TerraFirma are all handled by Kurt Gutknecht.
                                                                                                        by Mary Mullen

12 - For Women Interested in Careers in Engineering and Design, April 13-23
Do you know a woman interested in entering a career in Engineering & Design?
Then tell her about the FREE Exploring Careers in Engineering & Design Workshop, a short-term, non-credit course sponsored by the Tools for Tomorrow:  Women in Trades & Technology Program.  The workshop runs from April 13 – 23, 2011 with classes scheduled for 3 evenings and 2 Saturdays taught by faculty with assistance from students and industry professionals.
Career areas include Architecture, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Design, Electronics and Electrical Engineering.  Information on financial aid and next steps for enrollment will also be provided.  And, if a woman has already narrowed her career search to one of these programs, she has the option of attending that class alone.
For more information contact, Mary Knight, Tools for Tomorrow:  Women in Trades & Technology Program, Madison Area Technical College, 2125 Commercial Ave., Madison, WI  53704
               (608) 246-5286

13 - Free First-Time Home Buyer Education Classes -  Every 2nd & 3rd Tuesday (Starts April 12)

If you dream of owning a home, here’s a way to get prepared. Attend first-time home buyer education classes.  
Classes are held the second and third Tuesday of every month April through November, 6:00 to 9:30 pm. at 1922 S. Stoughton Road, Madison.  Call Project Home at 246-3737 to register. The April classes are on April 12 and 19.  
Potential home buyers must attend both sessions in order to qualify for a national home buyer education certificate.
In addition to the classes, home buyers will be able to receive one-on-one budget and credit counseling at GreenPath, Inc. local office. This one hour appointment, in addition to the 7 hours of classroom time, fulfills the minimum standard for national home buyer education certification programs.   These classes, based on the NeighborWorks America’s Realizing the American Dream curriculum and manual, will meet the certificate requirements for all down payment assistance and lending programs.
The first night is designed for anyone even remotely interested in purchasing a house and will include: budgeting/money management; credit including credit reports/scores and how to improve credit scores; mortgage basics including steps, ratios and prequalifying; overview of special lending programs and down payment assistance; fair lending practices; shopping for a home – what to consider; home buying team;  working with a realtor

The second night is designed for purchase ready home buyers and will include more detailed information about money matters, home inspection, homeowner’s insurance, home warranties, and the closing process and forms.
Information from Ellen Bernards
by way of the WI Dept. of Financial Institutions

14 - HospiceCare Offers Free Q & A Seminar on Advance Care Planning, April 12

Give a gift to your family:  advance care planning. A free Q & seminar is offered by HospiceCare on Tuesday, April 12, 6:30-8:00 pm at HospiceCare Inc., 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.
This free session emphasizes the importance of making decisions about future medical care and sharing your wishes with your loved ones. This presentation provides the materials, documents and instruction that enable you to start the process of preparing an advance directive — either a Power of Attorney for Healthcare or a Living Will. Pre-registration is requested for this free community seminar.  Contact Carrie at (608) 327-7202 or

15 - Healthcare Moves Toward Relaxing Hospice Eligibility

In the future, patients may be able to get curative treatment and hospice services simultaneously, thanks to a provision of the new healthcare reform law. The law calls on the Health and Human Services secretary to run several pilot projects testing the “concurrent care” model to determine whether it helps patients and saves Medicare money.
Currently, many patients and families struggle with a dilemma: They must give up curative treatment to receive end-of-life counseling and care. It’s a major reason many people resist entering hospice, sometimes until just days before they die.
This difficult trade-off would seem to make financial sense, but a program funded by Aetna Inc. proves otherwise. Aetna is one of the few private insurers that already allows patients to seek both aggressive treatments for life-limiting conditions and hospice services at the same time. The results?
After Aetna began its so-called “concurrent-care” program in 2004, the number of patients who decided to use hospice services nearly tripled, while their use of acute-care services, such as trips to the ER, dropped significantly. The company’s costs went down, and patients felt better.
While we await the results of Medicare’s concurrent-care pilots, parents of pediatric patients who are covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program no longer have to choose between treatment and hospice. The “Concurrent Care for Children” section of the healthcare reform act allows children receiving curative treatment to have hospice services at the same time.
 “Typically with pediatric (chid) patients, the biggest struggle is that parents feel like they have to give up on their child,” says Carrie Cowan, Rock In-home Team Leader, describing the difficult choice between curative treatment and comfort care. “Parents cannot do that.”
Carrie’s team recently served a 9-year-old patient who’d been receiving care through UW Children’s Hospital for about 7 years. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the patient was able to continue receiving curative treatmentwhile also having hospice services. The patient’s father accepted hospice services because he didn’t have to give anything up—his daughter’s UW doctors, her place on the transplant list, her treatments and full-code status. It gave him something to hold on to as he made the transition from curative treatment to hospice.
The team’s goal was to educate the father so he would make good decisions. When faced with his daughter’s final crisis, her father chose comfort over treatment. “He knew the treatment would have been painful for her and that she would not have gotten better,” says Carrie. “My hope is that, at the end of the day, he will know that he was a good advocate for his daughter.”
                                                                                    from HospiceCare

----------END of the April 4, 2011 Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News ------------
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