News 4/13/10

Plans Underway For Record-Setting Halloween Horse Parade

4/13/10 – The Dodge County Boots and Saddle Club is planning another Halloween Horse Parade this year. The Club’s Rob Kocinski obtained preliminary approval of the parade route from the Beaver Dam Operations Committee last night to host the event on Halloween, in the hours before trick-or-treating would start. He says momentum has been building since the Club held the first Halloween Parade in 2008, which included 200 horses stretching over three miles in length. Three times that many horses are planned for this year, and Kocinski says if they reach the goals, they would be contacting the Guinness Book Of World Records. The money that is raised will benefit the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation of North Dakota, the poorest reservation in the country. Parade organizers will soon be meeting with the Department of Public Works, Police and Fire officials and members of the Operations Committee to iron out the parade route, which currently crosses 47 city intersections. The Halloween Horse Parade is scheduled for October 31 beginning at 12:30pm.

Written Sidewalk Policy In The Works

4/13/10 – The Beaver Dam Operations Committee last night asked the city engineer to draft a written policy for sidewalk installation, specifically as it relates to property owners seeking to complete the work themselves. The issue came up during a recent public hearing when members of a church requested that their parishioners, who are also professional concrete workers, perform the installation work. The church council later retracted the request, but the Operations Committee felt the policy needed to be clarified. Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz says unwritten policy has always allowed property owners to have the work done themselves as long as the sidewalk is completed to the appropriate specifications by the time the city advertises for bid. That whole process could take up to a year. Piltz says the issue seldom comes up anyway because it’s typically not cost-effective to hire a private contractor. The written policy is expected to state that all requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Current policy already requires that sidewalks be installed with all new construction or reconstruction.

BDAAA Phone-A-Thon Tonight

4/13/10 – You might be getting a phone call tonight from the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association. Executive Director Karla Jensen says volunteers with the non-profit will be conducting a patron

drive this evening. Admission to the Seippel Arts Center is free, and Jensen says hundreds of out of town guests and area residents utilize the Center without ever being asked to provide financial support. She hopes the phone-a-thon will motivate those who enjoy art in the Dodge County area to make a contribution so the Arts Association can regain their financial footing. Jensen says without community support, there are several opportunities for youth, families and seniors that could potentially disappear. Select residents in Dodge and Columbia Counties and the surrounding area will be getting phone calls from the Arts Association tonight between 6:30pm and 8:30pm. It’s the only phone-a-thon currently scheduled for the Arts Association, but Jensen says anyone could be a patron member year round by contacting the Seippel Homestead and Center for the Arts.

Vote Today On Text Messaging Ban

4/13/10 – The Wisconsin Senate could take a final vote Tuesday on banning text-messaging while driving. The Senate approved a ban last fall, but the Assembly voted in January to adopt higher fines for texting behind-the-wheel – and senators are now being asked to go along with them. The Assembly bill would create fines of 100-to-400-dollars for a first offense, and up to 800-dollars for second or subsequent offenses within a year. The Assembly bill also bans e-mailing behind-the-wheel – but unlike the earlier Senate ban, it does allow drivers to text if they’re parked or pulled over. Last month, the Senate Transportation Committee deadlocked on the Assembly measure. But the panel’s chairman let the bill advance to the Senate floor anyway. Lawmakers only have nine more days to pass dozens of bill that are still pending. Those which don’t pass are dead at least until next year.