Quick hits, short bursts and other blather about recent events:
-- Milwaukee County Exec Scott Walker is making a mistake by NOT getting an independent investigator to look into the O'Donnell Park situation. The ultimate goal is to find out what made a decorative panel tumble in late June, killing a Greenfield teenager.
Can the current county-led probe do that? Sure. But why not let someone who doesn't have skin in the game do the job? That would remove any speculation about the county covering it's own butt, and also defuse Walker's critics on the County Board. Are the second-guessers well-motivated, or are they trying to link Walker to the tragedy? An independent investigation serves the quest for truth, and removes any political tinge.
-- Governor Doyle and Transportation Secretary LaHood had an exquisite chance to tell skeptics WHY a high-speed Milwaukee/Madison train is a good idea during their joint appearance in Watertown this week. Instead, they came off like a pair of angry scolds, in essence saying that the deal is done and that we should all just shut up about it. Doyle's I'm-the-governor-here attitude didn't play well, and LaHood didn't come off much better, sounding like a stressed-out parent trying to get a spoonful of Castor oil down a reluctant kid's throat. I like trains and see their usefulness, but advocates of this high-speed link consistently fail to use learning moments to their advantage, while allowing the many critics to frame the argument. Exhibit A: what happened this week in Watertown.
-- NFL Commissioner Roger Godell quashed the Super Bowl dreams of Packerland crack-smokers who thought Green Bay had even a scintilla of a chance of hosting a Super Bowl, telling this week's shareholders gathering that the Fox Valley is woefully short in terms of the infrastructure needed to pull off the big event.
To some, Lambeau came into play when the league decided to give New York City hosting privileges, meaning that warm-weather/dome facilities were no longer the only NFL option. If weather ISN'T an issue, why not Titletown? Because the Super Bowl so much more than just 60 minutes of football: it's sponsor parties, league meetings, concerts, network bashes, etc. When it comes to pulling off games and competing, the Packers organization is world-class. When it comes to hosting the NFL's premier event, Green Bay is...Green Bay. That's not being harsh. Them's the facts.