Anisa Scott To Be Removed From Life Support: More Than A Family Should Need To Face

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There could not have been a dry eye anywhere in Madison during the late-night news Wednesday.  I have watched many a tragic story unfold over the airwaves in my lifetime, but learning that 11-year-old Anisa Scott will be taken off life support following a driveby shooting just rips my heart.  The anguish and heartache the family shared tonight with an entire city have brought us all together.   But now what happens from our shared experience of grief over a glaring example of having too many guns on our streets?

The shooting of Anisa happened in the area of East Washington and Lexington Avenues at around 11:45 A.M. Tuesday.  Police said shots were fired from one vehicle to another, and believe the girl was riding in the car of the intended target.

What happened with the shooting itself is despicable enough, and the hell the family needed to go through to even learn of such a tragedy is one thing.  To then need to make the decision of removing life support from a child is something that I can not even begin to fathom how anyone processes.  The absolute hell that these loved ones are going through along with their strength to speak to us in front of Children’s Hosptial has moved a city to tears.

But we also must be moved to action.

What this family is going through should make us mad as hell about what is happening on our streets—and now to a bright smiling young girl.  There is a killer somewhere loose on the streets tonight who thought it was within his right to aim a deadly weapon at a driver of another car and pull the trigger.  How anyone becomes so removed from morals and any sense of even the most basic connections of humanity is more than I can ponder.  How others can not report the killer to the police is unconscionable.

This sweet kid will be removed from life support at 11:11 A.M. Thursday because she was shot on the 11th, and is 11 years old, her grandmother told reporters.  I know most of us watching the news wanted to somehow reach into our television screen and hug her and somehow make it all not true.

But gun violence is deadly and all too real.  It does not happen ‘over there’ or ‘to other people’.  It happens all the time and all too close to our communities.   We must get serious about it, or there will be more grandmothers who will need to share with us what hell feels like.

To the loved ones of Anisa there are no words of comfort.  And thoughts and prayers are a piss-poor response.  If we really care for this family we will demand in voices loud enough so no can miss hearing them that we MUST have gun control measures enacted so bright smiling kids are not killed.  Some angry old man ranting about his interpretation of the Second Amendment IS NOT more important than the hope that was extinguished when Anisa was shot in the head from a gun.   

Enough is simply enough.  

V.P. Choice Kamala Harris Makes Frontpages Nationwide

History was made Tuesday and will be made again on Election Day this fall, and yet again, in January on Inauguration Day.  Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate.  I applaud the move, and today want to do what is often the case on this blog the day after news of this type is made—-by offering my readers a sampling of the front pages from newspapers across the nation.

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Photos: Dane County Airport Improvements From The Air

James passed along this news today and I simply love the view from above so to be able to see taxiways M and J at the Dane County Regional Airport.  Photos allow for zooming in detail!

The completion of their three-year-long taxiway construction project is worthy of a look. This project began in 2017 and consisted of adding Taxiway M, a parallel taxiway along the northeast side of Runway 14-32. This project is to help reduce runway crossing and taxiing operations, which results in safer airfield operations.

Up, up, and away!

Jay, Maine: What About Their Future?

My better-half comes from Maine and so stories like this one grabs for our attention.

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Smoke rises from an explosion at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay on April 15.REBECCA BURHOE

Jay, Maine an hour north of Portland, has a Dollar Tree, a Hannaford, a half-dozen churches, a gun shop, and a convenience store, Franchetti’s Home Town Variety, reputed to have the best pizza on the planet.

With a population of just under 5,000, the town sits at the heart of the nation’s most forested state. Since the late 19th century, it has focused its economic energies on making logs into paper. In the early 1960s, Jay loomed so large in the industry that the International Paper Co. chose it to build what was then the world’s most sophisticated mill for wood pulp, there on the banks of the Androscoggin River. “It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen,” remembers Dennis Couture, who, at age 6, went to the grand opening holding hands with his mother (his father was a millworker). “And soon the mill was making the paper for those 1,200-page Sears, Roebuck catalogs. I thought, They’re making enough paper to feed the world.”

Many of Jay’s residents, predominantly French-Canadian Catholics, were already working at International Paper’s Otis Mill, which had been operating downtown for decades. Now workers began pouring into the new Androscoggin Mill, to feed the pulp digester at its center and shape the output into paper. Maine loggers from up to 300 miles to the north descended upon the mill with truckloads of pulpwood — the gnarled, skinny tips of trees, the twisting branches that could not be hewn into lumber — and drove away richer. And woodlot owners managed their lands with the confidence that they could turn their runt trees into Jay pulp, thereby giving their straighter, thicker trees sufficient space and sunlight to grow into lucrative lumber.

There are eight paper mills in Maine, and right up until this spring, the one in Jay, built more than a half-century ago for about $54 million, processed more low-grade wood — pine, hemlock, spruce, fir, tamarack — than any other. Then on April 15, just after noon, the digester exploded, bursting like a volcano and sending a brown geyser of wood chips several hundred feet into the air. A second, newer digester was bent and ruined by the fall of the first one. A widely-circulated video captured the logging trucks halted nearby as their windshields got pelted with dark slurry.

In Jay, those explosions spell money. In 2009, the mill accounted for 70 percent of Jay’s tax revenue. Last year it covered 46 percent. And now there’s a fear that the number may soon plummet to zero. Pixelle has made no promises that it will spend hundreds of millions to buy a new digester for the Androscoggin Mill. It’s kept its mill in Jay open, but it has also laid off 59 of the plant’s 500 employees and telegraphed that more job cuts may come. To feed the two working paper machines at the Jay mill, it’s buying pulp from another nearby mill — an expensive and likely unsustainable scheme. Maine’s paper and wood industry, which accounts for 15 percent of the state’s economy, is now up against the ropes, after many years of being repeatedly punched. And in town, the question on everyone’s mind is: How will Jay survive this?