It’s important to retain some perspective

Even if you’re not a sports fan, by now you’re likely to have heard about Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who took his own life after shooting the mother of his child nine times, resulting in her death.

While the entire situation is a tragedy on many levels, Diana Reese of the Washington Post notes that coverage of the situation has focused on Jovan Belcher’s suicide, leaving Kasandra Perkins as the seemingly forgotten victim of a homicide at Belcher’s hands.

friend of Perkins told the Kansas City Star that the couple had argued because she had attended a Trey Songz concert Friday night and then gone out for drinks with friends. She didn’t get home until 1 a.m. Other rumors have surfaced that Perkins wanted to leave Belcher and take their child. A Kansas City police spokesperson has said that the couple had a history of arguing, although no reports of physical violence have surfaced.

Wading through the tweets, Facebook comments and news reports, I’m finding that Perkins has been overshadowed by Belcher. People are forgetting that he’s not just the victim of violence at his own hand (I think it’s the tweets that hint he was suffering from depression and that’s why he killed himself that irk me the most). He killed his girlfriend and the mother of his child.

“This was a murder and a suicide,” Sharon Katz, executive director of SafeHome, a domestic abuse shelter in the Kansas City area, told me. “We’re losing sight of the victim….We’re hearing a lot more about Jovan than Kasandra.”

For a little additional perspective, an average of three women die every day in our nation as victims of domestic violence.

[UPDATED] Chris Abele supports extending .1% Miller Park sales tax to pay for new Bucks arena

UPDATE: I’ve updated the original entry to include the actual audio of County Executive Abele’s interview with John Mercure. Having had a chance to listen to the audio in its entirety, I think it’s fair to say County Executive Abele was pretty clear that he’d support a 1% sales tax increase to fund a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks only if there was a hard sunset to that sales tax and the funds collected could be accounted for.

What’s more, Abele articulated that he’d support an arena sales tax akin to the one implemented to build an arena in Oklahoma City, an arena that led to increased economic activity and development in that city.

At any rate, here’s the source audio.

Back in June I wrote about comments made by Bradley Center board chairman Marc Marotta, who stated public dollars would need to be allocated to help build a shiny new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, who currently play in the Bradley Center. Marotta suggested simply extending the .1% sales tax already in place to help pay for Miller Park, a sales tax that is set to expire once the Miller Park debt is retired.

Here’s what I wrote at the time:

While I support keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee, I don’t know that I could support the allocation of what’s likely to be hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to prop up the team’s efforts to build a new arena so the team can maximize its profits. What’s more, there are some who believe the economic impact new stadiums/arenas can have on their communities is overstated.

While a new arena may very well help the Milwaukee Bucks maximize their revenue streams, it seems pretty clear to me that a shiny new arena with the same old losing team won’t draw many fans. Fans pay to go see a winning team play, and if the Bucks can’t improve their on-court product, a half-empty new arena won’t do much good.

As first reported by Chris Liebenthal, County Executive Chris Abele has said he supports the idea of extending the .1% sales tax to finance a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

On Monday, Abele was interviewed by John Mercure, afternoon propagandist at WTMJ-AM. Mercure asked Abele about the proposed 1% sales tax for a new arena.

Abele, an admitted owner of season tickets for the Bucks, gushed over the idea. Throwing all his anti-tax statements out the window, he couldn’t emphasize enough how much he liked this idea. He did not say whether he supported it because it would make his friends even richer or if it was that he wanted to have a new arena to sit in for his season tickets.

While I’m certainly a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks, I’m an even bigger fan of well-maintained parks and a robust public transit system, and it goes without saying that I’d support a sales tax dedicated to parks and transit over a sales tax dedicated to building a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Don Pridemore to run for Superintendent of Department of Public Instruction

Has there been a less qualified candidate to oversee our state’s public school system than Don Pridemore?

Republican state Rep. Don Pridemore launched his campaign to become Wisconsin’s top education leader on Monday, saying he would bring a conservative approach to the job while refusing to talk specifically about what policies he would push.

It’s notable that despite the fact that the office of Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction is a nonpartisan position, Pridemore made a point to mention Republican Gov. Scott Walker would have a friend in the office if he (Pridemore) were elected.

This years “Gas on Fire” award goes to Gogebic Taconite’s Bob Seitz

Former  Wisconsin DNR secretary George Meyer says he’s concerned that a rift is developing between the state and the tribes in part due to differences over last years attempt to fast track a new mining bill supported by Gogebic Taconite .

Gogebic Taconite’s lobbyist, Bob Seitz, says the key to going forward now is to pass a mining bill quickly and then address tribal concerns later.

Which is the approach that antagonized tribal leaders to begin with.

Live and learn. Or not.