KATHLEEN VINEHOUT
PEOPLE FIRST

Changes for Work and Workers In the "Gig Economy"

​“If my company followed the rules, they couldn’t survive,” my niece Becky told me as we traveled home from our “Small Business Saturday” shopping trip.

Small retail businesses are owned by local folks and regularly use local workers. The money we spend in our local communities usually stays local.
 
But in this changing economy, sometimes your small business is not local. Sometimes the company is not even American.
Read more

Enjoying Thanksgiving on the Farm

Tundra Swans arrived Friday.
 
These magnificent birds spend a brief time in Buffalo County on their way from the tundra of Canada and Alaska to their wintering grounds on the East Coast.
 
The brilliant, white birds with a 6 1/2’ wingspan are migrants through our valley. They love the swamps and back waters. And when they gather they are very social.
Read more

Wisconsin Report Card Provides Info on Progress, Problems

“My son’s grades improved at report card time,” Mari told me. Her son struggled in school for many years. “We had a great teacher conference. He got mostly Bs and Cs – which was an improvement.”

Wisconsin recently got its own report card. Our state also got mostly Bs and Cs. Although in several cases, these scores represent benchmarks that are not improving.

The report published by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) tracks statistics reflecting the economy, education and quality of life in Wisconsin.
Read more

Friday Night in Madison

Most people were leaving work and looking forward to the weekend. Maybe they headed to see friends and family at the fish fry or watch the prep football playoffs.

At that same hour, Senators received details on two very important bills. Legislation that rewrote laws related to elections, campaign finance, lobbying and the ethics of elected officials.

Leaders kept details about changes to the bills secret until the last minute. Details we had not seen; the press had not read; no member of the public had an opportunity to provide comment.

Read more