(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 11 June 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— At the behest of Gov. Jim Doyle, DNR Secretary Matt Frank and DOT Secretary Frank Busalacchi visited Lake Delton Tuesday, talking to local officials about short and long term strategies for rebuilding the tourist area after the lake was effectively drained when an adjacent roadway washed away.

Doyle said it is a “very high priority” to restore the lake – which is a key part of the Dells $1 billion tourist industry – but he couldn’t say how long that would take.

“My understanding is that if you could in fact block the new course of the river, the new pathway that it cut, and got it going back in its normal direction that it’s a matter of a couple weeks for Lake Delton to fill back up again,” Doyle said.

“Now how long it’s going to take to get the water blocked and moving in the right direction, I don’t have an answer to that. … We’d like to get this done as quickly as possible,” he said.

— Graphene Solutions, a nanotechnology company led in part by a 17-year-old student who serves on its scientific team, is the grand prize winner in the 2008 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The company and its founders were awarded the prize at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference, which was held in Milwaukee and ended yesterday.

Graphene, led by UW-Platteville chemistry professor Jim Hamilton and CEO Philip Jackson, has patent-pending technology that could transform electronics, optics and materials science.

Philip Streich, a student who takes classes at Platteville and online through Stanford University, is co-inventor of the firm’s platform for dissolving carbon nanotubes, graphene nanosheets and other materials so they can be purified and spread in a layer one atom thick.

Four other companies won in separate categories of advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology and life sciences.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=128377

— Milwaukee would likely see an economic boost, and perhaps rail transportation upgrades, should Chicago be chosen to host the 2016 summer Olympic and Paralympic games, a key games booster says.

Chicago was chosen last week as a candidate city by the International Olympic Committee, placing third out of four chosen. Tokyo made first place, Madrid, second, and Rio de Janeiro, fourth. The IOC will choose the winner Oct. 2, 2009, in Copenhagen.

Patrick Ryan, CEO of Chicago 2016, told Milwaukee Rotarians at their weekly luncheon that the families of Olympians would likely occupy much of Chicago’s hotel capacity, leaving an opportunity for those in nearby cities like Milwaukee to offer hotel and transportation packages to the games for spectators.

Additionally, Ryan said more than 200 teams would be arriving weeks early to train, and some may use facilities in southeast Wisconsin.

See the story:

— U.S. employers are forecasting a small drop in hiring for the third quarter, according to seasonally adjusted results from the most recent Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

The Milwaukee-based company’s report showed that while overall softness continues in the third quarter, employers generally aren’t reacting with large-scale payroll reductions.

“The gradual slowdown suggests that employers have become sophisticated at anticipating their hiring needs,” said Jeffrey Joerres, who heads Manpower.

Of the 14,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 26 percent expect to increase their workforces during the July-September period, while 10 percent expect to scale back their payrolls for a net employment outlook of 16 percent (seasonally adjusted to 12 percent). Fifty-eight percent expect no change in the hiring pace, and 6 percent are undecided about their hiring plans.

“The employment picture in the U.S. is slightly weaker than three months ago, with the construction sector continuing to struggle. However, job seekers should find ample opportunities in the Services sector,” Joerres said.

“Despite the weaker hiring climate, there are still specific skills across the country that are in very high demand, such as engineers, machinists and skilled manual trades, where demand is outstripping supply.”

See the release:

— American small-business owners are not optimistic about the current state of the economy.

The National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism fell 2.2 points to 89.3 – a recession-level reading, and the lowest index reading since 1980, said NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg. But the current low readings have not been accompanied by the declines in real spending and hiring, as was the case in past recessions, he said.

There was a modest decline in employment in May (seasonally adjusted). Six percent of the owners increased employment by an average of 4.7 workers per firm, and 16 percent reduced employment an average of 2.9 workers per firm, virtually identical to the April numbers.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/6/10/#nfib-survey-shows-declining-optimism-among-small-businesses



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Press Releases
Aberdean Consulting LLC announces ‘FlexTec,’ flexible technology for growing businesses
American Red Cross Responds to Floods and Tornadoes in Central United States
Co-chairs of Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming put forward recommendations, request comments
Data Dimensions Appoints Constantine Moshos as Vice President of Business Development
EPA Reaches Agreement With Mercury Marine on Clean-Air Violations
Franks so Beefy and Juicy, You’ll Kiss the Cook
FREE Companion Airfare to Canada
Global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Weaker Job Prospects for the Majority of World Labor Markets Compared to One Year Ago
Governor Doyle Requests FEMA Assistance
Johnson Controls-Saft Named as Battery Supplier for Ford Test Fleet of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Les Paul to Light up Milwaukee
Malloy Appointed President of Midwest’s Skyway Subsidiary
National City Invests in Redevelopment of Blue Ribbon Lofts at The Brewery
Platteville nanotech firm wins guv’s business plan contest
PSC to Hold Public Hearings on WPSC Rate Adjustment Request
The Grossman Group Sets Recycling Milestone

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


Manpower: Employers to reduce hiring pace: Employers in the Milwaukee area plan to hire at a more slower pace in the third quarter of 2008 than in the second quarter, according to the latest employer survey from Manpower Inc. The Milwaukee staffing firm’s latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey found that 30 percent of the employers surveyed in Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Washington counties expected to add employees over the third quarter, down from 37 percent reported in the second-quarter survey. Likewise, more employers are expecting to reduce payrolls in the third quarter (13 percent compared with 10 percent in the second quarter). Manpower spokeswoman Nicole Langley also noted that hiring activity is expected to be lighter this year than in the third quarter a year ago.

State ranks poorly for venture capital: Entrepreneurs trade advice at conference… Obama shirts, socks, Halloween masks and keg taps. They’ve all got one thing in common. Each is sold by an Internet store that turned to a young Madison company called FlyingCart LLC to help create their stores. Rishi Shah, one of the company’s founders, was at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference on Tuesday to discuss how his company helps customers launch their stores — Shah says they can do it in just two minutes — and attract buyers by promoting them on search engines like Google and in classifieds like Craigslist. Shah was one of nearly 400 entrepreneurs, financiers, service providers and others at the two-day conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Milwaukee.

First Wisconsin bioenergy crop pilot project announced: The State of Wisconsin is teaming up with the private sector to demonstrate how to produce and process biomass as a substitute for coal. On Tuesday, the Office of Energy Independence announced it will partner with the Mt. Horeb-based Premier Farm Supply Cooperative in the project by providing a $25,000 grant to accomplish the objective. “Wisconsin has an estimated 14.76 million tons of biomass, which is is the heat value of 8.12 million metric tons of coal,” says OEI Director Judy Ziewacz. “With coal at $30 per ton, we would generate $244 million in value-added income to rural landowners if we aggregate biomass and substitute it for coal.” Wisconsin utilities import about 26,000,000 tons of coal per year.

Lake Delton to be dry this year: Resort hub’s restoration will be monumental task… As engineers and experts discussed the monumental challenges of fixing a lake that drained through its breached shoreline, one aspect of Lake Delton’s immediate future was clear Tuesday: The village’s namesake will be dry this summer. “The lake won’t be filled this year,” said village trustee and well-known businessman Tom Diehl, who made official the words many people didn’t want to hear. “But it will definitely be back next season.” The sandy bay on Lake Delton that used to hold a county highway, five houses and four vacant lots yielded Monday to rising water that had nowhere to go after a weekend of torrential rainfall, said Andy Morton, the Lower Wisconsin Basin supervisor with the state Department of Natural Resources.

Union, Kewaunee Fabrication officials to meet: Union officials for striking Kewaunee Fabrication employees will meet with company officials Friday in an effort to end the five-week strike, according to Boilermakers Local 487 President Russ Castro. “This Friday, we are supposed to meet with the company at the Holiday Inn in Manitowoc,” said Castro. According to the last press release issued by the company, the parties last met May 22, but they did not reach an agreement. Workers and union representatives say the strike is over fair wages and affordable insurance. Castro said the insurance increase basically ate up the wage increase offered by the company.

Energy initiatives proposed: Task force leaders call for renewable power push, relaxed rules for plants… Wisconsin’s ban on nuclear power plants would be relaxed, in conjunction with plans to dramatically boost the state’s reliance on wind turbines and other forms of renewable power between now and 2025, under a proposal unveiled Tuesday to members of the state’s global warming task force. A proposal by the two task force leaders – Tia Nelson, executive secretary of the state Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, and Roy Thilly, president and chief executive of Wisconsin Public Power Inc. – calls for the state to generate 25% of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind turbines by 2025.


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)
– Platteville nanotech firm wins Business Plan contest

– Uncommon practice: Research says virtual colonoscopies are just as good

– TDS Telecom acquires Mosinee Telephone

BIOTECH (back to top)
– State, ag co-op partner on bioenergy crops

– Biodiesel plant won’t be built near Evansville

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Americans deal with higher prices by staying home

– Trade deficit jumps to highest level in 13 months

– Olympics in Chicago could help Wisconsin

– Miller’s international staff won’t be in joint venture

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Johnson Controls-Saft supplying batteries for Ford plug-in hybrid test

LABOR (back to top)
– Local employers still in hiring mood

– Employment declines a bit in Milwaukee as jobless rate improves

– Job losses likely to push NewPage workers into other industries

– Milton teachers end year without contract

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Hortonville cabinet maker keeps ‘customs’ in family

INVESTING (back to top)
– Fed chief’s warning: High threat of inflation

– Dow opens lower as oil prices surge

– Local financial advisor offers tips for investors to follow during volatile economic times

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– County’s percentage hike in foreclosures biggest in area

– Local home building remains in doldrums

– Lower prices fail to spark housing sales

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– State studies show rising ozone levels threaten trees, crops

– Tomatoes pulled off shelves amid salmonella scare

– State milk price seen edging up

– State Maple Syrup Production Much Higher in ’08

– Workshops Offered on Livestock Operation Permit Process

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Cheaper fares, non-stop flights lure passengers away from Madison

– Flooding, road closures slow down business

RETAIL (back to top)
– Sauk County: Dells are open for business, roads clear

– SABMiller to buy Russian brewer, launches Grolsch in South Africa

– New Whole Foods market on course, say developers

– Cudahy panel backs Wal-Mart plans

– Hardware stores scramble to replenish sump pump, wet vac inventories

REGULATION (back to top)
– High court rules in favor of young cancer survivor, exposing exclusions in health care policies

– Green Bay wanted to make possible projects part of TIF area

– Ohio moves to join Great Lakes agreement

– Evansville adds room tax

TOURISM (back to top)
– Lake Delton: Refill unlikely this summer

– Wilderness cuts some prices after Lake Delton drains

– ‘Public Enemies’ starts filming in Milwaukee

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Water plant filters insufficient

– Big wind power order sends American Superconductor stock soaring

– Windmill policy heads to town boards

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– St. Mary’s receives Governor’s Award

– Cambridge “in shock” after two doctors were released by local clinic

– Grant supports Aspirus Memory Clinic

– Grants combat Valley poverty

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Miller executive to join SABMiller’s Latin American office

– Cambridge Major hires European business director

– Deloitte office names new leader

– Insurance executive in new role

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Tannette Johnson-Elie: A support group for entrepreneurs

Media Partners
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