(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 21 Aug. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Outgoing UW-Madison Chancellor John D. Wiley calls Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) the “biggest driver of our toxic political environment” in the new issue of Madison Magazine.

Wiley complains the state’s largest business organization has allowed itself to be “hijacked by highly partisan, ideologically driven staff” and is the biggest obstacle to the recovery of Wisconsin’s economy.

The story is posted on the magazine’s Web site at http://www.madisonmagazine.com. Check the news column of http://www.wispolitics.com for a the response from WMC that says the piece contains “factual misstatements that need immediate correction.”

— Gov. Jim Doyle has announced a $24 million project to remove thousands of tons of contaminated sediment from the Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee.

The project takes advantage of the federal government’s Great Lakes Legacy Fund, which is providing $14.3 million towards the cleanup effort. The project is also being funded by $7.7 million from the state. The city is also kicking in for the effort.

Doyle described the Kinnickinnic as a “typical urban river” that has provided recreation and commerce uses for the city for many years, but has thousands of cubic yards of contaminated sediment.

This is the second Great Lakes Legacy Fund project in Wisconsin and the sixth approved in the nation.

Work will begin this fall to expand the Milwaukee Area Combined Disposal Facility at Jones Island in order to store the 170,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment to be removed from the Kinnickinnic. The cleanup effort will begin this spring and is scheduled to be completed in late fall 2009. According to the EPA, the project will remove about 32,000 pounds of pollutants from the section of the river between Beecher Street and Kinnickinnic Avenue on the city’s south side.

— Doyle also announced $480,000 in state money to the Port of Milwaukee for harbor improvements. The city of Milwaukee also contributed $120,000 to the harbor project.

Talking with reporters following the announcement, Doyle said the reason private businesses are not picking up the tab, as they are for much of the cleanup of the Fox River, is that it’s hard to determine who is responsible for contaminating the river over the last several decade.

Today’s announcement follows a decision yesterday by the EPA to declare six Wisconsin counties, including Milwaukee, to be in violation of clean air standards for fine particulates.

Doyle said the state will respond within the required 120 days and that he believes a state clean air proposal being considered will bring the state into compliance.

“We have proposed a very far-reaching air quality rule that deals with particulate matter and deals with mercury as well,” Doyle said. “We believe that we will be able to demonstrate when that rule does go into effect we will be able to reach attainment.”

— The Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin (CARW) has joined the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) to host their annual Market Update breakfast, which will be held at the Italian Conference Center on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 a.m.

“The partnership between NAIOP and CARW gives us the ability to provide the most current and up-to-date information to give practitioners a true perspective on the future of the market,” said Christine Korjenek, executive director of NAIOP Wisconsin.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/8/20/#organizations-collaborate-for-real-estate-market-update-event



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WISBUSINESS LUNCHEON: Georges Rioux, Canadian Consul General to Chicago

Monday, September 8, 11:45 am, The Madison Club

WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Monday, September 8, with featured guest Georges Rioux Canadian Consul General to Chicago.

Learn more about the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago: http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-am/chicago/menu-en.asp

This event is open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861. The luncheon starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.



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Press Releases
AMSOIL Guarantees Fuel Economy Improvement with P.i. Performance Improver Gasoline Additive
Broadwind Energy to Supply Integrated Tower Solution to Nordex USA
EPA Issues List of Midwest Counties It Plans to Name as Not Meeting New, Health-Based Soot Standard
Gundersen Lutheran Health System is Recognized for Safe Lifting Leadership
NASCAR Tradition of Milwaukee Mile Back-to-Back Nighttime Races Return June 19 & 20 in 2009
Professor Tracks Mosquitos for the Sake of Public Health
RF Technologies(R) Installs Safe Place(R) Solution for Pediatric and Infant Security at ProHealth Care’s Waukesha Memorial Hospital
SBA Relocates Disaster Business Recovery Center for Wisconsin Business Owners
Tesco Selects RedPrairie’s Enterprise Workforce Management Solution for Managing Its Global Store Staff of 350,000 Employees

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


Oshkosh Corp. cuts 1,440 jobs globally: Layoffs companywide, but firm won’t specify where … Oshkosh Corp. on Wednesday said it laid off an estimated 1,440 employees, or 10 percent of its global work force, in an effort to reduce costs and realign its operations with slow commercial and residential markets. Ann Stawski, Oshkosh Corp. vice president of marketing and communications, said that the job cuts were completed by noon Wednesday. The cuts also included retirements, leaving positions open, and dropping consultants and some contract workers. She said the company did not break out specific numbers for its global locations. The company employs about 14,400 across 11 states and nine other countries, including about 1,750 people at Pierce Manufacturing Co., a fire apparatus maker, with facilities in Grand Chute and Town of Menasha.

Wis. lawmakers try but can’t block mercury rules: Republican lawmakers took a symbolic stand Wednesday against a plan to reduce utilities’ mercury emissions, voting to demand revisions amid businesses’ concerns the rules will drive up electric bills. The Republican-controlled Assembly Natural Resources Committee voted 7-6 after an all-day hearing to object to the rules unless the state Department of Natural Resources erases reduction goals for other pollutants and prepares a full-scale study of the rules’ economic impact. The vote likely won’t stop the rules from becoming reality as they’re currently written, though.

Northern Wisconsin firm ranks second on Inc. 5000 list: With a four-year revenue growth rate of more than 24,000 percent, Eliason Inc., a broker-dealer and diversified real estate company in St. Germain, ranked second on the 2008 Inc. 5000 list that ranks the fastest growing companies in the United States. Eliason was one of 85 Wisconsin firms to make this year’s list, released Wednesday, and one of only four state companies to be ranked among the top 500. Inc. magazine began its Inc. 500 list in 1982 and in recent years expanded it to include the nation’s top 5,000 private companies. Service Financial LLC, a Milwaukee financial services company that specializes in commercial and residential lending, made the top 100, ranking 44th on the list with five-year annual revenue growth of more than 3,200 percent.

Milwaukee-area unemployment declines: The Milwaukee metropolitan area’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate declined in July compared with both June and July 2007. The decline in unemployment rate was accompanied by a decline in job totals as well, with the area losing 3,700 jobs compared with last July and 7,700 jobs since last month, according to the latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The jobless rate for the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metro was 5.2 percent in July, compared with 5.3 percent in June. In July of last year, the jobless rate was 5.4 percent. The region was one of nine Wisconsin metro areas, out of 12, to experience a decline from a month ago.

Modine Tennessee plant to close: The Modine Manufacturing Co. plant in Clinton, Tenn., will close at the end of this month. The closing and the 53 layoffs that came with it was due to sluggish sales in the automobile industry. The Racine-based company originally announced the plan to close the plant back in July 2006 as part of a larger restructuring. The plant makes parts for Chrysler vehicles. Company officials based the decision on the anticipated phaseout of certain Chrysler programs over a two-year period from 2007-09. “This wasn’t new information to anybody in the plant. It is not affecting local employment in Racine,” said Susan Fisher, a company spokeswoman.

Five school districts consider lawsuit in investment downturn: Value of investments has declined by $120 million over 2 years … Five Wisconsin school districts could face combined losses of tens of millions of dollars in a complex investment scheme to help fund employee retirement benefits, according to investigators hired by the districts. The value of district investments has declined by $120 million – or 60% – since the transactions were undertaken within the last two years, according to a news release from a public relations firm for the attorneys who examined the deals. School district officials released statements accompanying the news release Wednesday, saying they were misled by a financial adviser, and that the investments were much riskier than they had been told.


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Proposed 911 budget includes 7 more jobs and new software

– Intel, Yahoo partnering on Internet TV concept

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Plant discovery could spur biofuel production

– University of Minnesota researchers produce blood from stem cells

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Workshop to focus on global trade issues

– Oil rises on falling US gasoline supplies

– Little Chute firm secures expansion funds

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Elm Grove sign maker moving to Brown Deer

– Expansion of Royle Printing in Sun Prairie will include new web press

LABOR (back to top)
– GM workers to vote on contract Friday

– Appleton’s jobless rate declines

– County unemployment rate soared in July

– Merit raises stable in slowdown

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Coffeehouse changes name to avoid lawsuit

INVESTING (back to top)
– Kimberly school district may join suit over $5M investment

– Critics say Bernanke has put taxpayers at risk

– Stocks fall on worries over financials, rising oil

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Village committee weighs future of NewPage site

– Oshkosh man to stand trial in real estate scheme

– Mortgage application level lowest in nearly eight years

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wisconsin expected to produce smaller apple crop

– Area crops feeling heat despite July’s wet weather

– State Cranberry Production Could Be Near-Record in 2008

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Audit reveals Barron County ate highway project overages

– Airport project flying high

– Commission to consider employee commuter plan

– Streetcar, bus fares may rise

RETAIL (back to top)
– UW-Madison sees record revenue from apparel, goods

– Superstar trades turn into marketing magic

– Station reports theft of 4,900 gallons of gas

REGULATION (back to top)
– Falk blast trial may last 6 weeks

– Tougher air pollution rule likely

– EPA: Waukesha County fails to meet air standards

– Work on KK River cleanup, Port of Milwaukee approved

– DNR holds public hearing on Uline’s environmental impact

TOURISM (back to top)
– Chase to sponsor Titanic exhibit

– Project to bring fish back to Lake Delton

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Brookfield, Elm Grove to discuss water

– Library Mall podium closed for utility work

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Mental health nonprofit hopes to top $100K with annual walk

– Health costs to rise again in 2009

– Group asking county for advisory referendum on health care benefits

– Hospital official fires back after criticism of local prenatal care

– Home builder seeks bankruptcy protection

– Baird grows in Baltimore, Philly

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Kohl’s CEO turns over job to successor

– PETA: Wis. company deceives customers about traps

– Jagdfeld to serve as Generac CEO

– OK of baseball team for Frame Park pleases team owner

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Jeff Landin: Paper mills’ struggles affect everyone

Media Partners
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National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
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