In the News

Refusing to acquiesce in Gaza

Gaza City-The past few days have been harrowing, yet still deeply inspiring in Gaza as people in the strip must carry on with their lives after the Israeli army’s deadly 8 day offensive operation “Pillar of Cloud” which killed at least 160 Palestinians and left over 1000 wounded, many of them severely. To “carry on” in Gaza does not mean returning to predictable routines or a reasonable set of expectations of calmness in what amounts to everyday life in most parts of the world. This is exceptionally true for Palestinian fishermen who return to the daily struggle with the Israeli Navy to fish in waters that are rightfully theirs.  This story was submitted 11/30 by Joshua Brollier, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (vcnv.org). The photo is of Ahmed Suleman Ateya standing next to his destroyed home in Gaza [Photo-Johnny Barber]. Read more below......

Give thanks for cranberries - stop frac sand mining!

As Wisconsin families plan for Thanksgiving dinners, they don't know the boom in silica sand mining here for hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") elsewhere threatens our cranberry bogs, writes dairy farmer and vice-president of Family Farm Defenders Joel Greeno in the Capital Times.

"In addition to the loss of productive farmland, fracking uses huge amounts of water. Cranberry bogs are meticulously designed to take advantage of the water stored in the marshes, which is necessary for harvesting, and growers generally set aside seven acres of land for every acre planted to store this water. Marshes surrounded by sand pits will eventually lose water as it seeps into the pits, leaving berry growers high and dry."

Kewaunee reactor's toxic legacy

By mid-2013, the Kewaunee nuclear reactor near Green Bay will be shuttered by its owner, Virginia-based Dominion Resources.  But its toxic legacy will be far from over.

"Initial shutdown expenses for the creaking, leaking 39-year-old monster — waste management and reactor dismantling, containerizing and transporting to dump sites — are roughly predictable," John LaForge of Nukewatch, a WNPJ member group, writes in the Capital Times.

"Dominion, which bought Kewaunee in 2005 for $220 million, will 'record a $281 million charge in (2013’s) third quarter related to the closing and decommissioning.' But that’s just the earnest money. Literally endless expenditures will be required to keep Kewaunee’s radioactive wastes contained, monitored and out of drinking water for the length of time the federal appeals courts have declared is the required minimum — 300,000 years."

Controversial for-profit, Everest College, to close

Less than two years after opening its doors over the objections of a local alderwoman and the college union, the for-profit Everest College of Milwaukee announced it was closing. "In its short term of operation, it managed to bring to fruition all the worst elements of the the worst-case scenario that community activists and union leaders - like Michael Rosen, president of AFT Local 212 at the nearby Milwaukee Area Technical College - had raised alarms about," reported the American Federation of Teachers union.  AFT Local 212 is a member group of WNPJ.  Read the entire article here.

SOUL of the Kickapoo questions high-voltage transmission line

At the final open house on the 345-kilovolt Badger Coulee line held at the Waunakee Village Center, representatives of American Transmission Co. and Xcel Energy answered questions from Wisconsin residents on their plans for the Badger Coulee line. But SOUL of the Kickapoo member and WNPJ Board co-chair Dena Eakles leafletted outside the meeting. Dena was passing out leaflets from two citizens groups — Juneau County Decline the Lines and SOUL of the Kickapoo.  She says a "she wants a full-scale study by the state Public Service Commission on the need for the line 'rather than just accepting something people are telling us we need.'"  Read the entire article here.

WNPJ members and friends write in local media

A sample of WNPJ members letters to the editor and opinion pieces:

Peggy Wireman: Low wages keep many hard workers in 47%

Patricia Hammel (Madison National Lawyers Guild) and Charles Uphoff (Madison Institute) express opinions on the presidential election.

Genie Ogden: Fighting the singalong costs taxpayers money.

Dr. Jack C. Westman: Air pollution is major public health problem.

To read letters, click on the authors's names.

Shift U.S. spending priorities; save state jobs

Mike Helbick"On Oct. 25, Oshkosh Corp. announced that 450 employees will find themselves without jobs in January," writes Mike Helbick of Peace Action Wisconsin in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel column.

"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the need for all-terrain, mine-resistant vehicles prompted Oshkosh Corp. to aggressively ramp up its production between 2008 and 2011. ...  As the wars wind down ... now is the time for diversification and a long-term plan for good, union jobs," adds Helbick, who notes that military spending is "a very low job creator," even during wartime.  (Photo: Mike Helbick at WNPJ's member assembly)

Which candidates support bringing our war dollars home?

Of the candidates appearing on ballots across Wisconsin, who is willing to call out runaway war and weapons spending?

To find out, the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ), a coalition of 166 member organizations from across the state, conducted a one-question survey of state candidates.  WNPJ is a non-partisan, non-profit organization and does not endorse candidates.

Please see below for the responses we received from candidates running for U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, State Senate and State Assembly, to our "war dollars home" survey question. 

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