CAR 25 a Love Story



25 A story

As you all may know, I got my start with and still do work in/with  CATV station CAR 25 in Racine WI

Looks to me that the Mayor of Racine wants to shut down our CATV station to all but his cronies

case  in point


From the Journal Times


RACINE – Less than a week after a dispute between the mayor and an alderman about the city’s hiring process, aldermen will again consider the mayor’s choice for a consultant whose position was not publicly advertised.

Mayor John Dickert, with staff, has selected Sandy Petrykowski to provide part-time consulting services for the city’s cable access channel CAR 25. She is a Racine resident and former CNN correspondent.

This Monday the city’s Finance and Personnel Committee is set to discuss a $40,000 contract to hire Petrykowski for consulting services through the end of February 2011. The money comes from franchise fees paid by cable subscribers.

As a consultant for CAR 25 she would create a programming grid, shoot and edit programs, submit recommendations for new equipment, make progress reports to city committees, and develop a new Internet format for the channel, the contract says.

The meeting to discuss hiring Petrykowski is scheduled less than a week after Alderman Mike Shields, the president of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, wrote a letter on behalf of the NAACP opposing the city’s policy of not advertising new professional service contracts. He specifically opposed the mayor’s hiring process for the city’s new PR consultant former Alderman Mark Eickhorst.

Similarly to how Eickhorst was selected, Dickert recommended Petrykowski for the consulting position and did not open up the application process for others – a process which is not required by law, according to City Administrator Tom Friedel.

Dickert said it is “normal procedure” not to bid out professional service contracts.

Petrykowski and her husband Hossam Aboul-Magd filmed mayoral candidates during the 2009 election for an independent film. The film, which has not yet been produced, featured Dickert. But Petrykowski said Dickert did not pay for the filming and Dickert said Petrykowksi was not involved in his campaign.

Petrykowski, a Racine native, has extensive experience in broadcast news. She has worked at ABC World News and CNN and was nominated for two Emmys. She most recently worked as the bureau chief at National Geographic in Cairo, Egypt, but she moved back to Racine in 2008 to raise her family.

Now that she is living back in Racine, she said she believes there is a lot of opportunity to make CAR 25 a better channel.

“Have you watched it?” Petrykowski said. “It’s fine, but there is great potential to make it better.”

Chase Hendrix, chairman of the city’s Cable Television Commission, which oversees CAR 25, said he is not concerned about the hiring process. “I trust that the mayor has found a person who is very capable,” Hendrix said. But he expressed concern about using $40,000 for a single consultant. But he said the channel has very limited resources and explained that his primary concern is getting more equipment for CAR 25 and having part-time staff help with day-to-day functions. In an e-mail to aldermen in January he recommended that the city spend $15,000 to $20,000 on a consultant, rather than $40,000 and use the remaining money to hire a part-time assistant to help with day-to-day duties and buy “much-needed” equipment.

He also said that a few years ago the city hired a consultant for about $25,000 to produce videos, but that the videos quickly became outdated and were barely used. He recommended that each project should have its own budget and timeline. Petrykowski’s contract says that she would be paid $3,333.33 per month for 12 months and that she would work a maximum of 1,040 hours in total.

The meeting on Petrykowski’s contract is scheduled for 5 p.m. at City Hall, 730 Washington Ave., Room 301.

What you need to  know as the story said Petrykowski  knows the Mayor well I and others have been told that she made a documentary about Mayor John Dickert’s first race for Mayor.  No one I know has seen this
This women would withdraw her name from the job. IMHO the Mayor fight back by firing the members of the Cable over site group and appointing cronies to fill the seats.
Time passes and I think the next step is ending CAR 25 by not spending the $$ needed to maintain equipment needed for the Public to be able to tape programing.  To the best of my understanding as of this date 5/9/12 the only way CAR 25 staff can tape programing is by using their own equipment.  There maybe nothing for the public to use.
Why is this going on?
Easy IMHO Mayor Dickert wants NOTHING created that may shine a bad light on the City or himself.  Something one might see in North Korea not the USA.
I would hope that the more programing we have the more we all could talk about what is going on and how to help the good stuff and fix the bad.
However to me looks like all good comes from The Mayor or its what he wants you to think.
This is a  on going story I want to bring this to a head so I sent this email to the City Administer this morning with a copy to my Alderman  lets see what happens.
I hope you can help.  As you may not know CAR 25 has no working cameras and staff must use personnel equipment to tape productions.
The DVD duplicator is no longer working so members of the public can not buy copies of productions they may need.
Was not that long ago that City Council gave CAR 25 monies to buy/maintained equipment. I am shocked that this equipment was not bought and equipment not working is not fixed or replicated.
Why can’t MIS who oversees CAR 25 do that simple task?
Please sir look into this and perhaps light a fire under MIS
Thank You
Wayne Clingman
236 Jones St
Racine WI
And more

Got this email back, from the City Administrator City in Bold


hope you can help.  As you may not know CAR 25 has no working cameras and staff must use personnel equipment to tape productions.


A new camera was ordered some time ago.  We are waiting for delivery.


The DVD duplicator is no longer working so members of the public can not buy copies of productions they may need.


That request was put in yesterday, so a new one has been ordered.


Was not that long ago that City Council gave CAR 25 monies to buy/maintained equipment. I am shocked that this equipment was not bought and equipment not working is not fixed or replicated.


Equipment was purchased during the 2010 budget, I am disappointed to hear that we need to replace it already.  I will look into that.


Why can’t MIS who oversees CAR 25 do that simple task?


I find that MIS responds quite well when they have good information.


Please sir look into this and perhaps light a fire under MIS


No fire was needed.



An update


The New Newspaper The Racine Communicator ran a Story on CAR 25 and from I understand the Downtown crowd does not like it.

From what I was told this morning 9/15/12 a person giving out copies and an advertiser has been harassed in the Downtown.

Is it now a “crime” to show light on what is happening  with CAR 25?

What I do not understand (Still) is that CAR 25 is the smallest department of the City of Racine at about 75K a year.  What is the issue? What is going on that we do not know?

If this is as I think nothing more then Mayor John Dickert’s plan to create the John “the God of Racine” Dickert’s idea on creating a propaganda outlet for him to use (and reward a few cronies) a You Tube/Twitter account could be done and if his cronies have the background they claim that effort bring about a far better ROI

Might be interesting to put out info on the make up of the Car 25 Commission’s membership and what if any background they have other then perhaps being lap dogs for the Mayor

This Winter we woke up….


This Winter We woke up here and found that we had  no water. This was due to a car hitting a fire hydrant at Memorial and 6th St.

This wreck not only took out the fire plug but caused  much damage to the pipes under the streets. The water was back by Noon and it was only a little upseting not a big thing.

What is the big thing and the more I read books like the Long Emergency I am seeing the Book played out.

When I talked to the City Workers doing the repairs I was informed that our Water Pipes in this neighborhood have not been updated well since they where put in.

He went on to tell me this was the state of most of the Water Mains in the City.

I am hoping he is lying, that some Mayor had the wisdom  to maintain the basic infrastructure  that keeps the City running.

Maybe not. After all A Civic Center looks nice and a Mayor can say I built that. A new Water line does not look sexy nor can you give sweetheart contracts to your pals.

So take a look around see the empty buildings that need to come down the Potholes   that need repairing and see instead the Glory of Maribel  Bathrooms at City Hall, the great looking roof at the Civic Center.

When as I see it the basic infrastructure is falling apart.

Note was not the point of the Stumuis from The Obama what did Racine do what what we got? Anyone know?

Crack at the Jounal Times

So tonight I read this from the Journal Times:

Racine ought to have a public swimming pool

Yes you read that right. The J-T thinks we need a pool why?

…”While the obvious response is that there’s a rather large body of water to swim in on the east side of town — you can’t miss it, it’s big and blue — that’s not the same thing. The July heat wave notwithstanding, there are only a few days out of the year when anyone would actually want to swim in Lake Michigan.” and more …

“in terms of a place where city residents can go take a swim — especially the city’s kids — there just isn’t one. The shiny new Sealed Air Family YMCA — on Campus Drive in Mount Pleasant, four miles from Interstate 94 — is a long bus ride away for those kids….”

They even invoke Mayor Gary Becker. …” Find me another community our size without municipal swimming pools,” Becker said. “It’s a great place for kids to go in summer. They become great community meeting places.”…

Of course they even answer how to pay for it “The city tax levy for 2012 was $47,186,932. There ought to be room in a budget that big for the building and maintenance of a public pool.”

Like I said in my post on the J-T

1) The City is so broke we had to end Contracts with City Union Workers

2) The City paid for Mayor Dickert’s Law Suit and we do not know how much that costs nor the Settlement How much might that be?

3) The NSP cases I understand are still in the Courts How much will they run us?

4) In order to get a Grant for the City the City Grant Writer had to take a pay cut.  What? Is that how the City plans to fund projects is by having City Workers kick in?

5)  We have a declining population due to High taxes and no jobs. Is the City trying to drive more out by building something we can not maintain?

6) We have a critical issues with Housing that needs to be torn down and we have no money to do that but we can build a pool?

7) There is no more $$ coming from the State or Feds. Is the J-T thinking we can print money?

8) Why did the City close the first one?

IMHO the J-T Needs to put down the Crack pipe

Are you ready?




With this day come not a story on issues with Racine, but more on being ready for a range of events that could occur in this area and what can do to mitigate the effects on you and yours.

I, truly believe that if the shit hits the fan in all so many ways, it will be up to us to take care of  ourself for a time be it a few days or weeks.  Should real bad shit happen far longer.

So the point of this post is to I hope get you thinking about that effort.

A lot to think about, My wife and I do more then some and less then others but we do have the basics:

Food/Water for three days  (for us and our Pets) the ability to provide light and not freeze to death.

We try to keep gas in the cars to drive to our bug out location should we need to run we plan to run like hell.

We can with a bit of time turn the house into more of a fort, it will not keep a armed mob out if it gets that bad my guess we go to bug out mode.

There are some great web sites for more info like that has a lot of information I would also if you have not take  a  CERT Class this will help you  by teaching useful skills you may need and I for sure have everyone in the house get basic first aid training.  First Aid training can come in useful in lots of ways.
If you have questions can help as can    Mr. Maack  knows his stuff very well as time and again has shown us. One of the few Government leaders I trust, you should too.

The sites I listed above is the first place you should check out and do so today you may need that info far sooner then you think


What if we lose the Court fight?


What happens if we lose the court fight with the unions? Good question so I will speculate:


Well one we will have to come up with two million to pay the Unions for wages. AS well we will have paid how much in legal fees? 100K 200K More?  Way more?

How will we pay this? My guess is the City will lay off more staff. if the ave worker gets say  50K in wages and bennies the City would have to get rid of 40 more workers. If not more what Departments do they come out of? DPW the Police and Fire? Do we close civic centers? What? More to the point why is the City not planing for this? I would hope that the City would be planing for the worse case and informing the public what that plan might be.

Why are we planing to extend a Bike trail 2 blks for a City Co Pay of  $200,000?

Why? anyone? Hello? Should any money be sent on anything other then critical needs until we know what is going on with this union issue?

Major Issues of Racine WI



As I have been saying for some time Racine is in Ruins and getting worse if such a thing can happen

No one not even our fearless leader Mayor John Dickert can truly deal with all the issues facing this city so what do I think the main one is?


Not lack  of we got plenty, the crises is the number abandoned you  know walked away from because the owners  see no value in trying to keep up with payments be it to the bank or Taxes.
When a homeowner has chose to eat, maybe feed the kids or pay the mortgage/taxes what do you think the homeowner is going to do?

Can a owner who  can’t afford his mortgage be able to maintain his home? Will after being un/underemployed for the last three year even care?  I know the Unit’s job is to enforce code but if an owner cant pay his mortgage how does he pay a fine?

How bad is this in Racine? I have no clue I do know that last year we had about 450 properties in foreclosure .  I like to know how many properties are behind on taxes.  I and others using the City web pages and the county web pages are dazed and confused, in many ways they do not agree. I would hope that they would how else can we find out about proprieties we may be interested in? Is this not public information? That might be the point if the City  makes it hard to find info out or the info is not trustworthy investigations become hard and may not take place  or become so ineffective City leadership can belittle the investigation.

See Some think that the mess the City is in with lack of $$ and how poorly The City spends in be far worse a well create an outcry if we knew that facts.  How could RUSD ask for more $$ if say 40% of proprieties where behind on taxes?  Would our fearless leader be able to play real estate games if properties the City had fun with where behind or walked away from?

It gets worse The City of Racine has buildings that should be torn down. I can see two from my home. I am told by City workers that the City has no money to do this best if I understand right both have yet to be foreclosed on the The Bank. This is if the banks do they get in trouble from the Feds for making bad loans.  Wow! I am also told that by the same City worker that we should assume that on every block there is at least one home in forecloser!

I wonder now how many properties need to come down but the City has to money to do so. Wow Wow!




This IS the scandal of Racine

Interesting day on The Racine Journal Times 9/8/2012

A story on City  of Racine retirements spawned Blog postings on the non payment of Property taxes. Looks like that the City of Racine may have issues with folks paying their property taxes .

You can read the posts here—factors-include-age/article_af55e3bc-f950-11e1-8d3f-0019bb2963f4.html?comment_form=true#comments

One of the issues brought up is if the City of Racine property tax web site is up to date or not, if not why not?  Would this misinformation hurt someone looking say for a loan or a credit report?  if this is the case would having this information be wrong cause the City to be sued? We are good at being sued. On further review is that the web pages show that they are not the best to find information biggest issue is to find out about Back taxes owned.

How can we know if and how much is owed in back taxes

More critically IMHO what is being done to collect?  I like to know the total amount owed in back taxes I am sure that in any large city there are some when this goes from a few $$ to say 10’s of Millions I can not help but believe this becomes an issue.

An issue I want answers to.  I also like to know if there are rules in place to say stop someone massively behind in taxes to say sit on City/County boards, receive City/County Contracts  until payment is made or arrangements made.

When T.I.F.’s are created are back taxes repaid from this?

Myself I think a list should posted on line of folks who owe say over $5,000 in Taxes. As well these folks should not sit on boards nor receive  Government contracts, until payment is made or arrangements made.

However this is Racine, I think it will be hard to find out how bad the issue is. My guess is that should the news get out it would effect the City/County credit rating.

This opens the door to the issue of how much debit the City owes and how much this costs us to service.  To think our Mayor still wants to spend spend spend by selling Bonds. Wow

I do agree with one of the posters  from the JT, this is the scandal of Racine