August 30, 2015

Favre humbled by fan response

QB Brett Favre - Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

QB Brett Favre – Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

GREEN BAY – Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre told reporters Saturday that s much as his enshrinement to the team’s Hall of Fame means to him, the news of his ceremony selling out in 90 minutes touched him even more.

“I was absolutely in awe when I got word that it sold out in an hour and a half,” Favre said during a news conference prior to his induction banquet. “It says a lot about the whole situation. If there were ever any doubts prior to tickets going on sale, there are not anymore.

“I am more honored by that than by the Hall of Fame induction itself,” Favre said.

Favre, who was called the greatest player to ever play for the team by former Packers President Bob Harlan and Hall of Fame General Manager Ron Wolf, diffused most of the credit to his former teammates, coaches, and front office support.

“I don’t really have a message in the speech,” Favre continued, noting that while he has prepared remarks he will likely not use them. “There are so many people within this building that people don’t know…that are very important to me and are essential to me being before you right now.”

Carpenter wants Milwaukee hearing on Bucks plan

An artist's concept of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

An artist’s concept of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

State lawmakers are holding a hearing at the Capitol today on a proposal to have taxpayers help fund part of a new downtown Milwaukee arena for the Bucks NBA team. The fact that the meeting is taking place in Madison, not Milwaukee, is not sitting well with at least one Milwaukee lawmaker though.

The hearing was called late last week and will only feature testimony from invited speakers. State Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) says, for a plan that could greatly impact taxpayers in Milwaukee, residents of the city should be getting more of a chance to weigh in on the proposal. “I don’t see anything wrong in coming to the voters,” argues the Milwaukee Democrat.

The plan, which the state Senate could vote on this week, would have taxpayers covering about half the cost of the proposed $500 million facility. Most of the public dollars would come from residents of southeastern Wisconsin.

GOP leaders have indicated they may need some votes from Democrats to pass the plan in the Senate. Currently, Carpenter says he has no intention of voting for the funding proposal. “Right now the plan stinks,” he says. “If they think they’re gonna gain votes by trying to force it down our throats…they have another thing coming.”

A message seeking comment from the co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee, which is holding the hearing, was not immediately returned.

Brewers host Mets

The Milwaukee Brewers will observe a moment of silence tonight for former outfielder Darryl Hamilton, who was shot and killed in a Houston suburb over the weekend.

Milwaukee enters Tuesday’s game with the second-worst record in baseball (25-46), only in front of Philadelphia (25-47) by one-half game.

Tuesday night, Milwaukee will send Mike Fiers (3-7, 4.50 ERA) to the mound to face New York’s Jonathan Niese (3-7, 4.21 ERA). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10.

Lawmakers holding hearing on Wisconsin 20 week abortion ban

File photo: WRN

File photo: WRN

A fast-moving bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy is up for a hearing today at the Wisconsin Capitol.

The Assembly and Senate health committees are holding a joint hearing on the measure, which backers say they hope to pass before lawmakers take up the state budget later this month.

Senate President Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), a sponsor of the measure, has argued the law is needed to protect fetuses from being exposed to the pain of abortion, which she claims they feel at 20 weeks into a pregnancy. Opponents of the bill and several members of the medical community have said science does not support that claim.

The bill does not include an exception for rape or incest, but does provide one for cases where the life of the mother is at risk. Governor Scott Walker on Monday said he would sign the bill with or without those provisions.

Budget panel approves new Wisconsin state park fees

Capitol_clearYou’ll pay more to use Wisconsin state parks, beginning next year. The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee signed off Thursday, on a package of fee increases from state Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).

Governor Scott Walker’s budget eliminated more than $4.5 million in funding from state general purpose revenues. The increased fees approved Thursday – actually larger than those recommended by the governor – will need to make up for much of that.

Democrats questioned how realistic that is. “There are no park systems that are self sustaning, based on fees” anywhere in the U.S., argued Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) “It’s not sustainable.”

The package of fee increases passed on a 12-4 party line vote.

Fee increases include annual resident state park vehicle passes going from $25 to $28, and annual resident trail passes from $20 to $25. Resident state park camping fees will increase to $20 nightly for campsites with electricity.

An amendment from Democrats, to prohibit the sale of state park naming rights to corporate entities, was rejected on a 12-4 vote.

“Given that no new increase in revenue, there might be some people that think, why not have a Shopko State Park,” said Representative Gorden Hintz (D-Oshkosh).