Presidential Posts

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Neighb.parties this week!

Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association e-Notice

Neighborhood Party Notices
      1 - Halloween Party for Kids, Oct. 31, 5-8 pm
       2 - Stews & Blues Party for All Ages, Sat., Nov. 2, 6-10 pm
      3 - Halloween Memories
      4 - Annual Meeting Pics (Attachment:  “pics annual mtg.jpg”)

1 - Halloween Party for Kids, Oct. 31, 5-8 pm

Prairie UU. Society, 2010 Whenona Drive, invites you to a hauntingly good Halloween party, October 31, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Come in for a  “bite” to eat, drink spooooky cider, and monster mash on the dance floor.

All neighborhood kids are welcome along with adults who are chaperoning them for trick or treat activities in the neighborhood. Stop in as you pass by.
                                                            from Prairie UU Society.

2 - Stews & Blues Party for All Ages, Sat., Nov. 2, 6-10 pm

3 - Halloween Memories

I never had the bad experience of my mother choosing and making a Halloween witch costume that freaked me out.  I never had to dress as a caveman to please my mother although that costume caused horrible humiliation to the boy who wore it and additional mortification to admit it was an a outstanding idea when he won first prize at the school contest.  I don’t even remember the childhood Halloween get-ups I wore for this candy-filled holiday.

Nonetheless, Halloween was a stellar event between 4th of July with all its beautiful and scary fireworks and Christmas, a child’s Garden of Eden.  That day, October 31, which was always celebrated on that date as opposed to some more convenient weekend day, was a day of wonder.

The day after Halloween was equally exciting.  It was the time to survey little Wauzeka, WI, for evidence of one of the items mentioned in the little rhyme we all prepared to say as we knocked on a door or rang a doorbell and waited with a combination of anxiety and hope.  Our 2-line verse was, “Trick or treat, Money or eats.”  

Nowadays, what kids know more than the first 3 words?  I’ve never found any.  They just look at me with vacant eyes when I ask, “Do you know the next line?”  I think I once saw that two more lines finished the verse, but a quick look on the Internet found no such thing.
Usually we got treats when the door opened:  candy bars, hard candy in many colors, or home made treats like fudge or popcorn balls.  No fear in the 1950s of razor blades in storebought or home- prepared sweets.

We never got money although then even 5 cents would have seemed like a fortune to a 10-year-old.  I didn’t get an allowance, I was too young to babysit for 25 cents or less an hour, and I was always encouraged to save the $3 check that my grandmother sent from Kentucky faithfully each Christmas, Easter, and birthday.

Being a minister’s kid, I never did tricks to a stingy door-opener or someone who wouldn’t even crack the door to young witches and ghosts.

The tricks were what I searched for the next day, November 1st.  Tricks were everywhere.  They were almost better than Halloween itself.

First we kids would check our own front screen door.  Had someone  scribbled or written dirty words in soap there?  Or had they used the impossible to remove paraffin?  Had they covered a nearby porch window with Ivory or wax?  I knew how hard it was to remove paraffin or candle wax.

Next, I would look out the kitchen window to the outdoor privy behind the church which was right next door.  Every year, the outhouse had been tipped over.  

I would rush out the back door, around the house, and to the churchyard to view the telephone-booth-sized house on its side close-up.  Was it door down or door gaping to the side? If it was door down, I might knock or yell to see if someone was trapped inside.  Of course I’d look in horror at the stinky contents in the now-exposed square hole.  I could see a lot more in the full daylight than any time when the only view was through the open seat in dim light when the house was upright.

The next place on my itinerary was downtown Wauzeka, a short 4-block walk.  That’s where unbelievable sights greeted the amazed eyes of every young child.  On the main street, I’d check the store windows for those self-same but much larger scrawls that appeared on our screen door and porch windows.  I was never disappointed.  Big white scribbly circles blasted out at me from picture windows of the businesses.  Always.

But best of all was what I saw on the top of buildings.  Atop the only flat-topped commercial buildings, full-sized cars - the only kind of cars back in the 1950s - and gigantic farm machinery sat big as life.  “Who did it?” I wondered.  More importantly, how had they done it?  How can anyone put a 2000-pound vehicle or piece of equipment on top of a roof?  Take note, the cranes we see everyday here constructing 12-story apartment buildings or lifting girders onto the Seminole Highway bridge did not exist in my small town.

Do kids do pranks like this anymore?  If they did, I’m sure they’d be found out and arrested.  Halloween is tame these days.
                                                                                                                    by Mary Mullen

4 - Annual Meeting Pics (Attachment:  “pics annual mtg.jpg”)

Click on the attachment to see people who attended the DMNA Annual meeting on October 10.  The newly-elected DMNA Neighborhood Council is featured.  We can have 5 more Council members.  Contact Mary Mullen> or call 298-0843 to volunteer.

----  End of the 10/27/13 Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News Notice ---

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Big mtg., many pics

   Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News  
                                                       October 9, 2013

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.  Our neighborhood is in Madison & Fitchburg.
               President, Bob Hague,   218-1760
               News contact, Mary Mullen,  298-0843
               Website: <> (under construction)
               On Facebook:  Just type Dunn’s Marsh into the Facebook search box or go to <file://localhost/pages/Dunns-Marsh-Neighborhood-Association/18765419350


Calendar and list of articles follow lead article about the October 10 DMNA Annual Meeting
en Español
           La Asociación de Vecinos del Dunn’s Marsh (DMNA) es para todos los que se preocupan por nuestro barrio. Vengan a hablar de las cosas que le gustan del barrio, compartan sus ideas y sus preocupaciones.
            Nos reuniremos en el Prairie UU Society en 2010 Whenona Drive; el Jueves, 10 de octubre a las 6:45 de la tarde. Miembros del DMNA eligen a sus representantes en esta reunión. Snacks para todos!
            Traducción al español sera disponible.
                     ANNUAL MEETING

            Thursday, Oct. 10, 6:45 p.m.
          Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Drive
                            It only happens once a year…

It’s for everyone in the neighborhood regardless of your race, color, age, language, nationality, or sexual preference..  ALL are welcome!  We  need high school and college students, young adults, parents, workers, retirees, everyone.  Any resident age 16 and older may join the association.  Spanish translation will be provided as needed.

Why should you come?   
·     Because you care  
·     Because you are curious
·     Because we are all in this together
·     Because everyone has something to offer, and all will have the chance to speak.
·     Because you want to live in a beautiful, peaceful, full-service neighborhood, safe for children, safe for teenagers, safe for adults, safe for old people.
·     Because you want to know your neighbors.

What to expect
·     Sign in on the clipboard (all) and fill out a membership form for this year (to be a voting member)
·     “Vote” on the style of mosaic for neighborhood art project (for everyone, official members or not)
·     In round robin introductions and sharing about concerns and ideas, get to know your neighbors
·     Snacks
·     Election of representatives from the 4 sub-parts of the neighborhood (See attached map.)

Remember:  This Thursday, October 10, 6:45, Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Drive.

CALENDAR  (Events printed in red are sponsored by the DMNA, and #s show which article has more information.)
Wed., Oct. 9, 6 pm - Bus service public input meeting, MadisonMunicipal Bldg., #2
Thurs., October 10, 6:45 pm  - DMNA Annual Meeting - for all residents, Prairie UU Society, #1
Thurs., Oct. 10, 8 am-noon - Free winter car inspection, Firestone at West Towne, #8
Fri., Oct. 11, 6-9 pm -Harvest Moon Festival, Lussier Family Heritage Center, #10
Sat., Oct 19, 9-11 am - Fitchburg compost bin & polybag sale, 2373 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., #10
Thur., Oct. 24, 5:30-8 pm - 2013 Food Summit, Fitchburg Library, #10
Thur., Oct 24, 6:30 pm -Nine Springs Park Alternatives Open House, #10
Fri., Oct. 25, 7:30 am-5:15 pm - 2013 Wisconsin Bike Summit, Best Western Inn on the Park, #10
Sat., Oct. 26, 7:30-10:30 am - Fitchburg’s Fall 2013 Electronics Recycling and Shred Day Event, #10
Tuesdays, 10 am-1 pm - Freshmobile,  near Boys & Girls Club
Thursdays, 3-6 pm - Fitchburg Farmer’s Market,
Fridays, 3 pm-6 pm - Freshmobile, near Boys & Girls Club

 (Articles 2-10 follow the article listing)

           Mostly Neighborhood
1 - DMNA Annual Meeting, Thur., Oct. 10, 6:45 pm  (Lead article)
2 - Bus Service Public Input Meeting
, Wed., Oct. 9, 6 pm
3 - This Place, It is a-Changin’ (Attachments - four photo collages:  “1 pics summer scenes.jpg,”
   “2 pics Seminole bridge.jpg,” “3 pics along frontage roads.jpg,”  “4 pics library,jpg”)
4 - Nine Springs (Golf Course) Park Master Plan Alternatives Open House, Thur., Oct. 24
5 - Handsome Tabby Tom Cat Found
6 - What To Do With Pesky Stray Cats
7 - Axel Avenue Hit by Vandals

           Help, Ideas, Things to Do
8 - Free Winter Automobile Inspection for Ages 55 and Up, Oct 10
9 - Need Help With Fall Tasks?
10 - Many Activities Listed in Fitchburg’s Green E-News

11 - Great Ways to Save - from AARP
12 - Science Gleanings from the New York Times
13 - Affordable Care Act Questions Answered
14 - Wisconsin Will Have a Federally Operated Health Insurance Exchange
15 - Thirteen Wisconsin Insurance Companies Join the Exchange, How to Apply for Coverage
16 - A Partnership to Strengthen Your Dane County Parks
17 - Investigate Private, Charter, or Voucher Schools Before Enrolling


Mostly Neighborhood

2 - Bus Service Public Input Meeting, Wed., Oct. 9, 6 pm

What improvements to Metro service would you like to see? Metro Transit and the Madison Transit and Parking Commission will be hosting a public input session where riders can share their thoughts on Metro service. All input will be reviewed and considered during service planning in 2014 and beyond.
The session will be held on Wednesday, October 9 at 6 PM in Room 260 of the Madison Municipal Building at 215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

3 - This Place, It is a-Changin’ (Attachments:  4 photo collages:  1 pics summer scenes, 2 pics Seminole bridge, 3 pics along frontage roads,  4 pics library)
The machines are still grinding away (and will for another 2 or 3 years), people are continuing to live their lives and have fun, and we have a nice new downtown public library.
See this in the photo collages that are attachments to this e-News.  Some of the activities pictured in “Summer Scenes” are the August 24 backpack giveaway at Second Baptist Church and the September 14 CAC Garden Days in Marlborough Park. “Seminole Bridge” and “Pics Along the Frontage Roads” show progress on the Verona Road Project.  The “Library” collage features our new downtown library.  Be sure to stop by there if you get down near the Square.  It’s really worth seeing.
4 - Nine Springs (Golf Course) Park Master Plan Alternatives Open House, Thur., Oct. 24

The Fitchburg Planning and Parks Department staff have developed four recreation alternatives for the Nine Springs Golf Course property and they can be viewed at <> < <> >. The park, now a golf course, is on Fish Hatchery Road.
The alternatives reflect information received from the public at an August 22nd visioning session and a community survey.  These alternatives were reviewed and refined by the Park Commission on October 3rd.  
The 4 alternatives are:
  1. Golf Course Alternative - as is now, just 9 holes of golf
  2. Golf Alternative - adds some other types of recreation alternatives including kids’ play area, an intensive use/social gathering area, soccer field, community gardens, some prairie restoration, an environmental education area
  3. Disc Golf Alternative - has many of the facilities mentioned in number 2 plus a disk golf area
  4. Conservancy Alternative - includes many of the amenities mentioned in alternatives 2 & 3 plus restoration of prairie and stream resources

All except the first alternative include a paved and mowed trail system through the park.
The revised alternatives will be presented at a public open house set for Thursday October 24th to receive public comment (Public Notice < <> > ).   Location:  the Fitchburg Christian Fellowship Church, 2924 Fish Hatchery Road, 6:30 pm.
Comment Period — For those who cannot attend the open house, there will also be a 2-week public comment period on the alternatives from October 24-November 10.  We hope that you will participate in this community planning project!
                           Dana Dentice, Fitchburg Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department

5 - Handsome Tabby Tom Cat Found

Are you the owner or do you know the owner of a beautiful young gray tabby tom cat that showed up on Windflower Way in the past few days?  He is very friendly and loves human attention, so he must belong to someone.
The Humane Society doesn’t have a record of anyone looking for this lost cat.
Contact Donna Sarafin, 273-0437 or

6 - What To Do With Pesky Stray Cats

While I would probably never report or trap a pesky stray cat, there may be good reasons to get that naughty cat out of your yard. Live-trapping is an option. Killing a cat is illegal.
In response to previous articles, several people volunteered information about what you can legally do.
One person, a cat lover who works with Friends of Ferals, pointed out that Madison Animal Control will not trap a cat for you, but if you live-trap a cat, they will pick it up and take it to the Humane Society.
A neighbor volunteered his experience.

Regarding the cat and the live trapping.  I think it is fine to live trap a cat in your yard.  Just take it to the Dane County Humane Society.  Based on hearsay from a friend quite familiar with the shelter, I'm told that they are "unofficially" a no-kill shelter.  That is, I'm told that they are generally very successful in finding homes for healthy stray cats brought to the shelter.  You do have to sign a form indicating that the cat may be euthanized if the owner (or new home) is not found.  

We had to use a live trap last month to trap a cat that somehow got into our unoccupied home that is for sale (!!).  

Another person gave me the list of the Animal Control supervisor for the City of Madison.  It is 243-0327.
Better yet, if you know the owner, simply talk to him or her about the troubles caused by the cat.  Even if the owner does nothing, you may feel better.  At least that was my experience when I talked to a neighbor about his incessantly barking dog.  The dog kept barking, but somehow the noise didn’t bother me so much.
                                                                                                by Mary Mullen
7 - Axel Avenue Hit by Vandals

Our front stepping stone walk [on Axel] was tagged on Monday [a few weeks ago].  Let us know if you hear of any other neighbors who have issues.  
The day earlier our trash can (and its contents) was pushed over into the street, our neighbor said he saw some teenage boys do it and he yelled at them.  
                                                            from a neighbor on Axel Avenue
Help, Ideas, Things to Do

8 - Free Winter Automobile Inspection for Ages 55 and Up, Oct 10

Make sure your car is safe and reliable for winter driving.  This no cost, no obligation inspection is an importatnt step to get your car reading.
Date:  Thursday, October 10, 8 a.m. - noon
Where:  Firestone at West Towne
Call for an appointment:  441-7897
Refreshments while you wait.
This service is sponsored by RSVP, SW Madison TRIAD, Madison Police Department, and Firestone at West Towne.

9 - Need Help With Fall Tasks?

Do you or someone you know need help raking fall leaves, prepping the garden for winter, trimming a hedge, cleaning out gutters, painting, moving furniture,etc.?
Once again, The Madison Blaze Women's Tackle Football Team is here to help. We have hard working, fun and polite women available to help with these tasks in exchange for a donation to the team.  Contact Kim at and we'll do what we can to help.
About our team:
The Madison Blaze is owned by an all-women ownership group consisting of current and former IWFL players. The team is entering it's 2nd Season with a core of veteran players, staff and coaches that hope to build upon the success of it's Inaugural 2013 Season.
The Madison Blaze's mission is to promote and advance women's football in a professional manner while sustaining a positive identity in the community through leadership, guidance, and sound management.
10 - Many Activities Listed in Fitchburg’s Green E-News
1. Yahara Lakes 101 Presentation  - Leaves and Lakes: Urban Phosphorus Runoff – Thurs., Oct. 10, 2013, 7:30-9am, The Verex Bldg (Bluephies Café), 150 E. Gilman, Madison Please Note that due to the partial federal government shut-down, the presentation from Bill Selbig, USGS Research Hydrologist, has been postponed. Instead, the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) staff, Don Heilman, James Tye, and Elizabeth Katt-Reinders, will give a presentation on 2012 and 2013 CLA progress and highlights, and preview upcoming programs and initiatives.  ... Read More…   < <> >   To sign up for the event or get more information, please visit: <>  

2. Harvest Moon Festival – Fri., Oct. 11, 2013, 6-9 pm, Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Road, Madison – Explore a torch-lit trail in the moonlight, while discovering the natural world through interpretive presentations and hands-on activities.  Stargaze through telescopes with UW Universe in the Park and Space Place astronomers.  Enjoy s’mores around the huge Howlin’ Bonfire and bluegrass music by Off the Porch and Friends.  Bid on Silent Auction Items - $4/person or Free with $5/person Annual Membership to the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area.  Contact 224-3604 or for more info.
3. Fitchburg Home Compost Bin and Yardwaste Polybag Sale – Sat., Oct. 19, 2013, 9-11am, Fitchburg Public Works Maintenance Facility, 2373 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., FitchburgEarth Machine home compost bins will be sold for $45 each (normally $100). Compost turners ($15 each, Kitchen scrap pails ($7 each), and 50 gallon yardwaste polybags ($2 each) will also be available for purchase. This is a one day only sale and will be held rain or shine.  Cash and checks will be accepted, but not credit cards.  Supplies will be sold on a first come, first served basis.  Advanced registration is recommended by contacting or 270-4264 if you want to be sure that items are available to pick up during the sale.  Please refer to the Fitchburg Update newsletter ( <> ) for the full article or check < <> >  for further details as the event approaches.

4. 2013 Food Summit, Thurs., October 24th, 5:30-8pm at the Fitchburg Library, 5530 Lacy Road, Fitchburg - Dane County Food Council, in conjunction w/ Fitchburg and other partners, is hosting a Food Summit entitled Connecting with The Land to celebrate National Food Day. ... Read More…   < <> >  Visit: <> to print a registration form or register online at: <> .

5. 2013 Wisconsin Bike Summit, Fri., October 25th, 7:30am-5:15pm, Best Western Inn on the Park, Madison - Join the Wisconsin Bike Fed for an inspiring and informative day that brings our bicycling community together. ... Read More…   < <> >  Special features of the Bike Summit include lunch with special guest, legendary Tour de France commentator, Phil Liggett, and a welcome to Wisconsin Bike Fed’s new Executive Director, Dave Cieslewicz.  Visit: <> for more information.

6. Fitchburg’s Fall 2013 Electronics Recycling & Shred Day Events – Sat., Oct. 26, 2013, 7:30-10:30am The Electronics Recycling Event will be held at Surplus-IT’s warehouse (901 Watson Avenue, Madison). Look for directional signage from the intersection of Fish Hatchery Road and Greenway Cross heading to the east. ... Read More…   < <> >  The Shred Day Event will be held in Oak Bank’s parking lot (5951 McKee Road, Fitchburg). ... Read More…   < <> > Please contact Felipe Avila, Engineering/GIS Specialist at 270-4277 or, with any questions about electronic recycling and/or shred events.

7. Fitchburg Green Thursday Event – “Nine Springs Creek Watershed Master Plan Public Involvement Meeting” – held Thurs., September 26, 2013 – Presentation slides now available – A video of the presentation is now available on FACTv’s web page at: <;ShowID=2662> <;ShowID=2662 <;ShowID=2662> > . Powerpoint slides are available at: <> along with concept maps of 18 different areas throughout the watershed for suggested best management practice areas, including: Crescent Road Storm Discharge, Pine Ridge Pond, Seminole Village Pond, Lacy Heights Pond, McKee Farms Park, Triverton Greenway, Nine Springs Golf Course, Fish Hatchery Road, Chapel Valley West and East Ponds, Marketplace x Schumann Pond, Arrowhead East Pond, Seminole Hills Pond, Design Mart Pond, Ninebark x S. Syene Pond, Thermofisher Pond, Hatchery Hill – Casa Del Sol Ponds, and Sub Zero Pond(s).  Please visit the web page link above for more details on the Master Plan or contact

8. City of Fitchburg Water Conservation Campaign - The City of Fitchburg is committed to protecting the future of our national and local water supply through water-efficient practices, products, and services. ... Read More < <> > … Follow these simple steps to reduce your outdoor water use this summer and save $$$:
1.      Raise the height of your lawn mower;
2.      Water your grass, not your sidewalk;
3.      Water your grass early in the morning, or in the late evening;
4.      Reduce the amount of grass you have with more landscaping and mulch;
5.      Use rain barrels to collect rainwater for your garden or install smart sprinkler devices with moisture sensors.
For more information visit: <>

                                    Rick Eilertson, P.E., Fitchburg Environmental Engineer
                                    608.270.4264 direct l 608.235.0412 cell

11 - Great Ways to Save - from AARP

OK, so we all aren’t into saving the last penny, but who doesn’t agree with Ben Franklin that “A penny saved is a penny earned?”
An article in July/August AARP Bulletin, a publication for older Americans, listed “99 Great Ways to Save.”  Here are just a few that caught my attention.
1.  To scare away bugs and insects, just hang a fabric softener sheet next to, but not touching, your outdoor light fixtures.  They don’t like the scent.  The sheets are cheaper than bug zappers and pesticides.
2. Weeds can be killed with an eco-friendly spray made from 1 gallon of white distilled vinegar mixed with 1 ounce of liquid dish soap.
3.  Try out a teaspoon of dish soap in your top-loading washer to clean your clothes.  Cheaper than laundry detergent.
4. Insulate out-of-the way windows with bubble wrap by spraying the window with water and pressing a cut-to-size sheet of bubble wrap to the window.  Clings for months.
5. Kill fleas in pillows, blankets, and throw-rugs by sealing them in a plastic bag and putting the bag in your car in the sun - with rolled up windows.  Leave them for 2 or 3 hours.  The extreme heat will kill the fleas.  Do NOT try this on your pet as the heat will kill your pet.  
6. Want to know if your toilet is leaking? Test your toilet by adding a package of grape Kool-Aid to your toilet tank.  If the water in the toilet bowl turns purple, your toilet is leaking away water and money.
7.  Puffy eyes can be treated with a cucumber slice or a cold moist teabag.
8. Grow romaine lettuce, celery, spring onions, napa cabbage, bok choy and similar vegetables by placing the bottom inch or two in a glass of water near a sunny window.  Cut a thin layer off the stub first.
9. Get better gas mileage by keeping your car windows shut when going 55 mph or higher.  When sitting in stop and go traffic, open the windows and turn off the air conditioner.
10. Buy “index funds” instead of actively manaaged investment funds can cut your investing expenses by up to 80% annually, AND they consistently out-perform actively managed accounts.
See the entire list at
                                                                        selected by Mary Mullen
12 - Science Gleanings from the New York Times

1.  Some fruits are better for you -  A “Science Times” article pointed out that new research has found that eating grapes, appples, and grapefruit reduces the risk for Type II diabetes.  Blueberries are even better.  Eating 1-3 servings a month of blueberries decreased the risk by 11%, but eating 5 servings a week reduced it by a whopping 26%. (NYT, 9/10/13, )
2. Getting rid of mosquitoes can be as low-tech as a fan.   Just turning on a fan in your yard can keep mosquitoes off of you. The breeze does as good a job as citronella candles, bug zappers, DEET, or other repellents.  Why?  The fan may blow at 15 mph, but mosquitoes fly at a maximum of 1 ½ mph. The fan blows away the heat, carbon dioxide, and body odors that attract mosquitoes. (NYT, 7/16/13, )
3. The way you raise your hand can make a big difference in whether your teacher or professor calls on you, and can make a difference in your grade.  This came out in a fascinating article:  “Harvard Business School Case Study:  Gender Equity.” An accompanying video in the online version shows how to raise your hand.  (NYT, 9/8/13, <;_r=0> )
4.  Earthquakes at well-injection sites can be triggered by far-off earthquakes. (NYT, 7/16/13, )

13 - Affordable Care Act Questions Answered

In 2010 the U.S. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to refore health insurance coverage for Americans.
Some provisions have taken effect in the past 3 years, and you may already have benefitted from them.  For example, you may not be denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition.  Secondly, insurance companies cannot impose annual limits or lifetime limits on coverage.  Another benefit is that children may stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.  Still another provision of ObamaCare is that you can’t be dropped if you get sick or injured.
Another aspect of the ACA is the requirement that uninsured and underinsured people will be eligible to purchase health insurance on Health Insurance Marketplaces beginning October 1.  Every state will have them.  A nice feature is that low income people will be able to get financial help to purchase health insurance.  However, because Wisconsin “opted out” of federal help to insure more people under Medicaid, those less well-off people who could have been covered, won’t get help.  
A good place to get information about the ACA is from Working America at <;tag=signon>   There you can sign up to get  health care updates.  While you are on the site, also look at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
                                                            by Mary Mullen, based on website Working America
14 - Wisconsin Will Have a Federally Operated Health Insurance Exchange

Although about half the states have chosen to run their own health insurance exchanges, our governor Scot Walker, has decided to let the federal government develop and run the health insurance exchange here.
The Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance has put out a document called “Federal Health Care Law Frequently Asked Questions for Consumers,” updated to July 29, 2013.  Access it at  
However, in reading over this document, I still had questions.  For example the Wisconsin FAQ document suggests that health insurance premiums will go up for people using the Health Insurance Exchange.  But in another answer, it pointed out that insurers must charge the same amount for similar plans whether they are sold through the Exchange or in the private marketplace outside of the exchange.
It should be noted that individuals and families with incomes between 100% and 400% of the poverty level ($11,945 to $43,320 for individuals and $23,681 to $88,200 for a family of four) can get a premium tax credit and that credit will be paid directly to your insurance company to lower the premiums.  Only consumers who purchase their insurance through the Exchange are eligible for the premium tax credit.
A calculator is available to find out how much of a subsidy would be available:  
For example, if you are a single person who doesn’t smoke with income of  $30,000 a year in 2014, your income is at 261% of the poverty level.  The unsubsidized annual premium would be $3,018 but you could receive a government tax credit of $507.  This would leave you to pay $2,512 per year. This does not include out-of-pocket costs of health care which could be no more than $6,350.  This is under the “silver” plan that will pay for 70% of expenses for covered benefits.
To run the calculator, go to

To find out more about the governor’s decision to have a federally-operated Health Insurance Exchange, check out     On that site, is a link to a profile of Wisconsin related to health insurance exchanges.
                                                                        by Mary Mullen, based on Internet sources

15 - Thirteen Wisconsin Insurance Companies Join the Exchange, How to Apply for Coverage

An article published on 8/9/13 named the 13 insurance companies in Wisconsin that want to offer coverage to individuals in the new marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act.  Check out the article at
The place to go to apply for coverage, to compare plans, and to enroll in the Health Insurance Exchange in Wisconsin is <>  The site was ready for action on October 1, but as we’ve been hearing on the news, the large number of people who applied in the first days caused the sign-up system to tank. When it’s all fixed, the site should be VERY EASY to use.  
A nice thing about it is that you’ll be able to see all the options you qualify for including private insurance plans and free and low-cost coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
If you are on Medicare, you are considered already covered and need do nothing.
Regardless of whether you can successfully use the site now, you can sign up for updates and you can gather information you will need.  Hints on how to get ready are at <file://localhost/how-can-i-get-ready-to-enroll-in-the-marketplace>   A live chat is available on this page.

People called “navigators” will be trained and certified to help you understand your options and enroll in a plan.
                                                                        by Mary Mullen
16 - A Partnership to Strengthen Your Dane County Parks

by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi

Imagine walking the trail at one of your favorite Dane County parks on a Fall day – golden leaves blazing against a clear blue sky, tall grass or trees on either side of you, a crispness in the air.  

Now imagine that same walk with a county parks naturalist by your side, pointing out decades of history from the area, or plants and animals the untrained eye might otherwise miss.

A new public/private partnership between the Madison Community Foundation and Dane County Parks can make it happen.  

Together we’ve created a private endowment that will enable anyone with a passion for the parks to make a tax deductible donation of any asset, including cash, stocks, and real estate.  

“The Friends of Dane County Parks Endowment” will be used to create even more opportunities for families to enjoy our natural resources.

Our county parks and most of their amenities – from trails to green gathering space – are absolutely free.  This endowment will help us do even more – campfire talks;  educational displays at park historical sites; day camps and other programming to connect school groups or underserved populations with the parks, and much more.

The Madison Community Foundation is offering a 2 to 1 matching grant of $50,000 through December of 2014, and the Phil and Elizabeth “Libby” Lewis family, longtime conservation leaders and supporters of our county parks, are giving a generous donation of $10,000 to ensure a strong start for our new fund.

At more than two million visitors annually, our county parks are an important part of what makes Dane County a great place to live, work, and raise a family.  This exciting new partnership ensures our parks remain that way forever.

Individuals interested in making a gift to The Friends of Dane County Parks Endowment are encouraged to contact Darren Marsh, Dane County Parks Director, at 608.224.3766, or Harmony Kronick, Operations Director at the Madison Community Foundation, at 608.232.1763.

                                                                       by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi

17 - Investigate Private, Charter, or Voucher Schools Before Enrolling

The website from Milwaukee starts with the headline “College applicant told charter school diploma is worthless.”  The story is a warning that not all schools are equal, and attending one that is not accredited can be a bad decision.
David Sheriff, the father of the girl whose diploma was considered bogus because of lack of accreditation, gives this warning:  “If you are looking to put your children in a specific school, especially if it says “charter” or “choice,” investigate that school.
What is accreditation?  It’s a rating that a school gets only if it passes certain “tests.”
Don’t be fooled into getting a diploma you pay for online.  I found one such website that would give a high school diploma for $219.  You had to read the small print to find out that this was not really a school and that the organization only did “self-accrediting.” FAQs indicated that a person could get a diploma within 2-3 days after their payment was received.  FAQs also indicated that you should not try to use the diploma to get into college.
                                                                                    by Mary Mullen
------  End of the 10/9/13 DUNN’S MARSH NEIGHBORHOOD e-NEWS --------
                                           THANKS FOR READING
Come to the DMNA Annual meeting, Thursday, 10/10/13, at Prairie UU Society.