Thumbs up to $25,000 in primes. The Tour of America's Dairyland stop in Janesville last week featured a record amount of prize money, according to race co-chair John Westphal. Racers could win cash called primes by winning individual laps, giving everybody in the race--not just those at the head of the pack--a chance to win money. Race sponsors are to thank for making Janesville a can't-miss stop on the 11-day tour. The cooperation between sponsors and race organizers helped make the race an undisputed success, and there should be little doubt about it returning next year. Perhaps Janesville is on its way to becoming the bike racing capital of the Midwest, or at least Wisconsin.
Thumbs down to complaining about downtown congestion. Of course, not everybody was happy with last week's races. Several residents and some businesses complained about the race causing them inconvenience. We suspect they're not used to living in a thriving downtown that regularly hosts events requiring road closures. They're accustomed to a quieter atmosphere with fewer people meandering through the city's center. Well, those days are over. This downtown is on the upswing and is starting to function like a healthy commercial hub, which involves traffic congestion and temporary road closures. A bustling downtown is a good thing, and complainers should adjust their expectations accordingly.
Thumbs up to selling Teslas in Wisconsin. Tesla has been upending the automobile industry in more than one way. It's also shaking up outdated laws that require vehicle manufacturers to sell their cars and trucks through dealerships. These laws have prevented Tesla from implementing its direct sales model in Wisconsin, but maybe not for much longer. A provision within the budget adopted last week by the Republican-controlled State Senate would open the door to Tesla sales. In considering whether to sign the budget, Gov. Tony Evers should remember the American way is to let products and business models compete for customers.
Thumbs down to school enrollment imbalances. Enrollment figures show there are two types of school districts in the area: the haves and have-nots. The have-nots include Delavan-Darien School District, losing 541 students to open enrollment in the 2018-19 school year, and Beloit School District, losing 585 students. The haves include Elkhorn, gaining 325 students, and Beloit Turner, gaining 352 students. The enrollment discrepancies are creating funding shortfalls for Beloit and Delavan-Darien, and there's no end in sight for this trend. Losing students to other districts seems to only beget more losses. We fear these two districts are headed for a crisis, and taxpayers are likely to be on the hook to bail them out unless drastic action is taken to address the enrollment imbalances.