Governor Scott Walker in the news

Just heard Wisconsin Public Radio news this morning about tourism in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker will promote tourism with money devoted to tourism. He plans to spend $11 million in 2011 and over $13 million in 2012. The Governor mentioned that putting money towards tourism will lead to 250,000 jobs. Governor Walker stated that people living in Illinois and Minnesota are more likely to come to Wisconsin instead of planning cross-country vacation trips. This is one area that the Governor is protecting; and I must say that being an executive director of a nonprofit environmental education organization this is good news because we implemented a Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, WI.  Shell Lake is ready to invite visitors to our fair city.

There is always two sides to a story. I am concerned that the Governor is keeping money for recreation on the upbeat at the same time that he slices through the Social Programs that are the core of human dignity services that protect the old, infirmed, single adults and disabled. Health care provider organizations and social workers have worked hard over the past few years to ensure that all Wisconsin residents are treated with respect in the area of health care. Many of these special angels of mercy believe in having medical insurance for the poor and the uninsured. As a senior, I know the Budget Repair Bill may take away SeniorCare prescription coverage. This is an affordable plan.  How will seniors be able to afford medicine without a wonderful program such as SeniorCare?

I did hear from Senator Jauch today via email with excerpts as follows: “This is an historic moment. We didn’t plan for it, but citizens have seized the opportunity to protect the values, traditions and rights that make Wisconsin special. I stand by my decision to leave Wisconsin to go to the Land of Lincoln to protect these values. When history records our time I wish to be on the right side of protecting workers and not on the wrong side of eliminating workers’ rights.

I hope that the Governor and the Republicans will soon realize that their obligation is to listen to the overwhelming majority of the citizens of our wonderful state and not adhere to the rigid ideologues who don’t care about good government in our state.

Wisconsin policies have always been a beacon to the rest of the nation. It is my hope that we can find a resolution that protects worker rights and taxpayer and preserves collective bargaining. Such an agreement can lead to unity instead of division and enable us to then work together to improve our economy and move Wisconsin forward.”

Bob Jauch
State Senator

Update on Monarch Butterfly Tourists in Mexico

According to Wisconsin Public Radio on February 9, tourism is down at and near the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacan, Mexico. The drug wars led by La Familia and beheading of opponent drug gang members is keeping tourists away. Even though the Sanctuary is some distance from the drug wars, tourists do not want to go to a country in the middle of a drug war. 

Millions of monarch butterflies are now at the Sanctuary hanging from the Oyamel fir trees. Towards March they will begin their journey back to the United States on their way to Canada.

Winter 2010 destroyed El Roserio a town near the Sanctuary.  Roads and bridges were wiped out and homes were lost to floods and mudslides. The people are dependent upon tourism who come to see the monarch butterfly at the Mexican Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. A resident interviewed said that the people could depend on working five months a year because of tourism. 13,000 people used to live there but many residents are leaving to try to find work in other parts. The population in 2011 is down to 10,000. The people were already poor and a setback from a weakened tourist trade is unraveling into further hardship on the people. 

Mexican President Calderon wants to make 2011 the Year of Tourism. Between the mudslides and floods at the Sanctuary, that killed at least 50 percent of the wintering monarchs, in 2010 and the continuing drug wars in 2011, tourists are backing off and the nearby towns, that support the tourist industry, are being impacted economically by lack of tourists.