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Lake Michigan is beautiful year 'round, but there's only a short window of time when it's warm enough for enjoyable swimming. This summer, with its record-high temperatures, that window cranked open a bit early. This hit home for me on Saturday when my husband and I went kayaking. Wading into the water with my boat, the warm water lured me in. We'd had a fair amount of rain in the preceding days and Bender Park, where we put in, was closed for swimming due to the high bacterial count, but I made a mental note that the season had arrived.Read More
Last week I had the opportunity to join a number of my Johnson Foundation colleagues for the annual dinner of the Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce (RAMAC). Racine is home to a number of manufacturers - RUUD Lighting, Emerson (parent company of Insinkerator), and Case Manufacturing, to name a few, as well as SC Johnson and Diversey, the two companies that generously provide the bulk of our foundation's budget.Read More
How many times have you seen a list of water-conservation tips that includes "Turn off the water when brushing your teeth"? I'm not sure about you, but when I read that I think "Really? Can't we do a little better?" Turning off the water while brushing or scrubbing is the least we can do. I say, let's take it up a notch. Here are a few rambling thoughts to get started:Read More
My husband and I just had the extremely good fortune to have spent a week on St. John, US Virgin Islands. If you’ve been there you know what a treasure it is. With no airport, it’s a bit off the beaten path. The US Virgin Islands National Park, with its campgrounds, snorkeling trails, hiking trails, and historic sugar mill ruins, makes up about 60% of the island and drives the local economy.Read More
Earlier this fall, I blogged about the taconite (iron) mine proposed for a beautiful section of northern Wisconsin that borders Lake Superior, and is bisected by the poetically stunning Bad River. ("Is it Really Worth the Trouble?" Sept 26th, 2011) In that post, I closed with "As I see it, it doesn't have to be jobs vs.Read More
The “Smart Guide to Island Housekeeping” also has guidance about water conservation, probably with stateside tourists in mind. On St. John, fresh water is supplied by the skies. There is no groundwater, no glacier, no roaring river. Homes and businesses collect rainwater in large cisterns. From there, an electric pump circulates the water through the building’s plumbing as needed. Many homes, like the one we stayed in, have state-of-the-art filtration systems to ensure that the water is safe for drinking.Read More