Archive for December 2016

Advocacy Alerts

Posted by Elder Law & Advocacy Center, 1414 MacArthur Rd., Suite 306, Madison, WI  53714  715-677-6723

“In the coming weeks and months, there will be much discussion about programs and issues that will affect older Americans and their families.

Straight Talk for Seniors® provides information for older adults, their families, caregivers, and the professionals who serve them on key policy concerns involving the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, Medicare, and the Older Americans Act (OAA).” (Excerpt from the National Council on Aging website).

Go here: to learn more and sign-up to receive NCOA Advocacy Alerts.



MGE Announces New Resource for Energy 2030 – News and Information



From:  Madison Gas and Electric

In November 2015, Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) shared with customers Energy 2030, our long-term framework for our community’s energy future. Energy 2030 continues MGE’s long-standing commitment to further reductions in carbon emissions, greater use of renewables in our energy supply mix, innovative products and services, and ongoing community engagement.

Customer input helped shape Energy 2030’s goals and objectives. Our extensive community engagement process also helped launch something new to better communicate and engage with our customers—

Our new online resource,, features the latest news related to Energy 2030, stories from our community, and energy-saving tips and information. Among other priorities, customers asked for more communication, and represents a new tool to help us better serve their needs.

Customers also told us they want cleaner energy and more control over their energy use. In response to customer input, we’ve already taken steps to build a more sustainable future for our community, and there are ways in which our customers can help us make Energy 2030 a reality.

For example, we are signing up customers for our 500-kilowatt (kW) Shared Solar project in Middleton, a partnership with the City of Middleton to offer customers locally generated solar energy. Our Shared Solar program is an option for customers who may be unable to install solar themselves, such as apartment dwellers or those with a shady roof. We have a feature about Shared Solar at

We also have a number of stories related to how we can be more efficient and manage our collective energy use. Through new technologies such a smart thermostats, or through energy-saving kits and low-cost household tips, we can save energy and money and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

As we build a community energy company for the future, we will partner with our customers and our communities in many different ways. Working together, we can reach our goals. Stay engaged and be informed by keeping up-to-date at

Be Salt Wise this Winter!

Be Salt Wise this winter!

Susan Sandford

I work for the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department and we are part of the WI Salt Wise Partnership, urging homeowners, municipalities, and private contractors to make a commitment to reduce salt use this winter. Using excess salt doesn’t make your sidewalks safer — it harms plants and animals, pollutes our water, damages buildings and corrodes vehicles, roads and bridges. Once you put salt down, it doesn’t go away. Instead, it travels into our lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands, putting our aquatic life at risk and endangering our freshwater resources. Salt also alters the composition of soil, slows plant growth and weakens the concrete, brick and stone that make up our homes, garages, bridges, and roads.

According to a recent report from Public Health Madison Dane County, nearly 30,000 tons of salt were spread on Madison and Dane Co. roads during the winter of 2014-15, and that doesn’t include what was spread on parking lots, sidewalks and driveways. That is enough to pollute over 23 billion gallons of water. There is a way to cut down on salt use and keep our roads, parking lots and driveways safe: Use only what you need — and that’s less than you might think!

The attached image shows how you can help reduce salt by following three easy steps: Shovel, Scatter, and Switch.

1. Shovel: Clear walkways and other areas before the snow turns to ice. The more snow you remove manually, the less salt you will have to use and the more effective it will be.
2. Scatter: If you use salt, make sure to leave space between the grains. Believe it or not, just a coffee mug of salt is enough to treat an entire 20-foot driveway or 60-70 feet of sidewalk (about 10 sidewalk squares).
3. Switch: When pavement temps drop below 15, salt won’t work. Switch to sand for traction or a different ice melter that works in lower temperatures.

Do your part this winter to help out our community and local water resources. Be Wisconsin Salt Wise! Find out more at