August 31, 2015

Risser bill would prohibit teen tanning

fredrisserA state lawmaker wants to keep teens out of tanning salons. Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) said his proposed legislation would address a serious public health issue, “Statistically, melanoma is a very serious and deadly disease, and it’s often caused by over use of tanning by young adults,” he said.

Risser believes that prohibiting teens from tanning salons shouldn’t be any different than banning them from smoking and drinking. “I think society has an obligation to try to treat and advise young minors in such a way that they arrive at adulthood in pretty good shape.”

Cases of melanoma skin cancer in the U.S. have jumped 200-percent since 1973, and the Surgeon General blames excessive tanning.

Stepped up security measures being phased in at Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field

Some fans at Saturday’s preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and Phlidelphia Eagles game will experience heightened security. While the NFL safety policy remains unchanged, fans entering Lambeau at the Shopko Gate will become the first to use newly installed walk-through metal detectors. A league-wide mandate for use at all gates for 2016, the units will be phased in at Lambeau Field with the Shopko Gate debut this season and at all remaining gates next season.

Unlike the screening machines at airports, guests are asked to not remove any jackets, belts, coins, keys, wallets, watches, or other objects of similar size. Guests will instead be asked only to remove cell phones, cameras, tablets and other large metal objects and place these items in an extended tray alongside each machine in close proximity and in clear sight. The gates are already use this season at Miller Park and all MLB stadiums.

As in previous years, no bags or purses will be allowed inside Lambeau Field unless they are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and are no larger than 12” by 6” by 12”. Small clutches that do not exceed 4.5” by 6.5” are permitted. Stadium cushions are also not allowed, however, stadium seats and stadium pads that contain no pockets or zippers and are 18” wide or smaller are allowed. For more information on the NFL’s safety policy, please visit

Pocan says veto of Iran deal opposition can be sustained


Newby, Pocan WRN image

Throwing support behind the Iran nuclear deal, groups rallied in downtown Madison on Wednesday to thank their congressman for his work on the issue. A House vote is expected next month on a resolution opposing the deal, and President Obama has said he’ll veto that action.

“We feel that we are in a position to uphold any veto in the House,” said 2nd District Representative Mark Pocan. “We think we have enough votes. We’re still reaching out to members who are undecided, making sure that people who are undecided have all the information that they need.”

Former state AFL-CIO director David Newby was among the group who rallied outside Pocan’s Madison office, and presented him with hundreds of statements in support of the Iran deal, from constituents. “We are here to be part of the effort to ensure that there are not enough votes in Congress to sink this deal,” Newby said.

Pocan said the deal, negotiated with the Iranian government by the U.S, U.K., Germany, France, Russia and China, represents the best opportunity to curtail Tehran’s quest for a nuclear arsenal. “After decades of sanctions, they’ve continued to be able to move forward” towards that goal, he said.

Proponents say the deal would roll back Iran’s capability to enrich enough uranium to be able to produce a nuclear weapon for a decade or more. Opponents are concerned about Iran’s ballistic missile program, its support of terrorists, and its threats against Israel.

Republican members of Wisconsin’s House delegation were generally critical, when the White House announced the final parameters of the settlement last month. Pocan’s fellow Democrat, Representative Ron Kind of La Crosse, recently returned from a trip to the region, where he met with Israeli officials. Kind has not yet decided if he will support or oppose the Iran nuclear agreement, but said the trip will help put several issues into perspective.

Walker loses ground in latest Quinnipiac poll

Governor Walker in Iowa

Governor Walker in Iowa

A new national poll has Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in sixth place, among GOP presidential candidates. Walker polled at 6% in the latest survey from Quinnipiac University. A month ago, Walker was second in the same poll, at 13%.

Donald Trump continues to be the runaway leader with 28%. Ben Carson is next at 12% followed by Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz — each with 7%. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has a slimmer lead over Bernie Sanders. The poll found Joe Biden – who’s still considering a run – is the only Democrat who would beat Trump now.

Nearly 1600 registered voters were surveyed from last Thursday through Tuesday. The Republican candidate polling has an error margin of 3.8%.

Bicycling becoming safer despite spike in fatalities

New bike lane in Madison

New bike lane in Madison

Despite recent numbers, bicycling is becoming safer. Nine bicyclists have been killed by motor vehicles in Wisconsin so far this year. That’s already five more than all of last year. Dave Cieslewicz is Executive Director of the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation.

“Anytime we have an increase in fatalities, it’s something we need to be concerned about, but it’s also important to note that cycling overall has gotten safer,” Cieslewicz said. “If we look at the number of crashes per 1,000 cyclists, they’re down considerably over the last four years, from about 57 per 1,000 cyclists to about 49 per 1,000 cyclists.

More than a third of recent bicycle fatalities were caused by a motor vehicle striking the bicycle from behind, according to an analysis by UW-Milwaukee traffic safety researcher Robert J. Schneider as reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“I think that just underscores the importance for drivers to look out for cyclists, and understand that they do have the rights of the road just as drivers do, and to try to give them at least three feet of clearance. That’s what the law requires,” Cieslewicz said.

The latest fatality was a hit-and run Sunday night in the Milwaukee suburb of Germantown. The driver in that incident has not been charged.