By Bill Lueders, president, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council The nonprofit group I belong to is called the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. Our mission is to protect and expand access to public records. Usually this entails pushing state and local government officials to be as open as possible. But lately, a number of developments […]
By Tyler Esh, Eau Claire County Emergency Management Coordinator As emergency responders, our job is to prepare for the unknown – it’s about helping people stay safe and protected through times of fire, flood, severe weather and anything that puts lives and property in harm’s way. Every spring communities across Wisconsin are hit by major flooding. […]
By Katherine Schneider, for the Chippewa Valley Post If you remember last summer’s furor – and perhaps contributed to it yourself – over the attempts to repeal Obamacare and replace it with block grants, no coverage for pre-existing conditions and caps on services, we’re back to fighting the same bad ideas with a new name. The […]
By Dee J. Hall, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council In an age where major public policies are announced and debated through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the courts are increasingly barring public officials from limiting people’s access to social media. In late July, a Virginia judge ruled that public officials do not have the right […]
Editor’s Note: This Commentary (originally posted in April) is again timely because of the late August damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey. That damage is sure to complicate Congressional efforts to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which will lapse if not reauthorized by Sept. 30. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and provides coverage for more than 4.9 million policyholders, including 593,113 in Texas. The Texas total includes nearly 250,000 federal insurance policies in Houston and surrounding Harris County with a total coverage value of about $69.3 billion, according to FEMA data as reported by rollcall.com. FEMA is authorized to borrow only $5.8 billion to cover claims that exceed the funds it has on hand, unless Congress raises the borrowing limit. Much of the NFIP’s $24.6 billion debt came from damage claims submitted after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
By Joyce Anderson, for the Chippewa Valley Post This past Sunday night (Aug. 13), my family and I took part in the candlelight vigil at Phoenix Park in Eau Claire. As we lit our candles and watched the river roll by, beyond tall summer grass and clusters of Black-eyed Susans, we joined the others present […]