Thumbs up/down for Monday, Aug. 5, 2013

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thumbs up to a UW-Whitewater doctor of business administration program. The idea has gotten the Board of Regents' stamp of approval. If it passes the Higher Learning Commission, it would become only the sixth such program nationwide accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Business Schools.  UW-Whitewater also would stand as the only university in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan with such an accredited program. It would be a coup for UW-W and a great benefit to local business teachers and professionals, who could study for and attain doctorate degrees while working. In fact, the program, which UW-W has spent a year planning, would be designed to help workers earn the doctoral degree without becoming full-time students, like so many Ph.D programs require. This hybrid program would allow students to attend classes one weekend per month for two years, then do a year of dissertation work. They would attend meetings online and on campus.

Thumbs down to ignorance of our open meetings and records laws. Time and again, journalists lock horns with local government employees and officials who lack understanding of our state's transparency laws. Fortunately, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has scheduled free Department of Justice seminars on the public records and open meetings laws. Morning seminars covering both laws will be Oct. 11 in Madison and Oct. 29 in Pewaukee. Webinar presentations on the laws will be offered in two parts Oct. 31. Local officials who haven't attended one should save the dates and sign up. Online registration at http://www.doj.state.wi.us/ begins the first week of September. Pre-registration is required. Those interested should register quickly because space is limited. For more information, contact Connie Anderson at 608-266-3952 or andersoncl@doj.state.wi.us.

Thumbs up to PremierBank's Janesville hotel plans. The Fort Atkinson-based bank is doing Janesville and Rock County a big favor. It wound up with America's Best Value Inn on this city's north side after a foreclosure. Instead of mothballing the hotel and letting it crumble, it renamed it the Ramada and will invest much in renovations and management to make it more marketable. “It's unusual for a bank to go to these lengths, but there is a need for a full-service hotel, and we weren't about to walk away form that,” reasoned PremierBank President Roy Budlong. The hotel is particularly valuable to potential visitors because it's the only one here with a restaurant and bar. It has a storied history, what with the restaurant first opening as The Left Guard, so named for former Packer great Fuzzy Thurston. A later rendition brought known musical acts. It's good to see a new chapter about to be written.

Thumbs up to school supply drives. Many communities and organizations in our region sponsor such drives this time of year. Janesville's biggest is organized by ECHO, the church-based charity known as Everyone Cooperating to Help Others. The drive helps ensure that children from needy families have all the supplies they need to head back to class—from Crayons and pencils to notebooks, rulers and backpacks. For a complete list of supplies and area businesses taking donations, scroll down ECHO's newsletter at http://echojanesville.org/2013%20Summer.pdf. You also can drop off donations at ECHO, 65 S. High St., weekday mornings or from 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Volunteers are needed for setup in the days before the distribution, which will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23. Volunteers should call 608-754-5333.

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