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Milwaukee City Hall earns recognition for energy efficiency

Century-old historical landmarks and ‘green’ buildings might seem worlds apart, but hidden within the ornate, steeplelike Milwaukee City Hall, constructed in 1895 and recently renovated to the tune of $70 million, is a 21st-century success story: The City Hall complex, which includes two attached office buildings, has earned silver LEED certification for energy efficiency.

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Manufacturers wary of new e-waste recycling bill

As sweeping new legislation regarding disposal of electronic waste moves through the Legislature, some technology groups and recycling businesses are lauding the measure even as electronics manufacturers say it places an impossible task on them to control what happens to their products once in the hands of consumers.

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Real estate pros lukewarm to Walker’s HSA relief proposal; some disappointed by high-speed rail loss

Wisconsin’s real estate trade association had vigorously backed Scott Walker’s bid for governor, but individual real estate professionals appear underwhelmed by Walker’s proposed tax break on health savings accounts and divided over his decision to kill high speed rail. Although real estate professionals, who are largely self-employed, say any break on health insurancecosts is a step in the right direction, they say job growth and mortgage loan incentives would be more likely to rescue their struggling industry.

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Entrepreneurs cautioned on prepping for angel investors

Milwaukee-area entrepreneurs hoping to apply for funds to get their start-up companies off the ground got a dose of hard reality on Thursday from representatives of Wisconsin’s 2-year-old Super Angel Fund. “It’s not enough to have a great idea,” said Tom Schuster, the fund’s general managing partner,
who addressed about 75 businessmen and women at a Wisconsin Innovation Network luncheon in Wauwatosa.

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Moody: Patients like hybrid health systems

In 1993, Mark Moody was thrilled to be offered a chance to live and work for two years in New Zealand, where the country was undergoing a radical change to its longtime health care system. He was there, working for Aetna, when New Zealand decided to experiment with expanding privatization within its longtime government-run national health care system.

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Sebelius: ‘Disingenuous’ for Supreme Court to overturn insurance subsidies

Former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told WisBusiness.com on Tuesday it would be “disingenuous” for the U.S. Supreme Court to conclude that health care subsidies under Obamacare are illegal in three dozen states, including Wisconsin. “I hope the court will read the law in its whole and rule that what was intended is clearly what was set up,” she said in an interview in Milwaukee.

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Johnson Controls considers branching out in energy storage business

As Americans increasingly clamor for renewable energy sources to supplement utility power grids, Glendale-based Johnson Controls is exploring a possible new product line: energy storage hubs. “We have a building efficiency business, we have a battery business and we have automotive,” said Brian Dillard, executive director of systems electronics and integration for Johnson Controls. “Energy storage kind of fits somewhere in between buildings and batteries for us. It’s a new area that we’re focused on.”

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Industry execs: Boosting renewable use not a simple process

Despite a clear call from voters for power utilities to increase wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, industry executives agreed in Milwaukee that’s going to be expensive and complicated. Many residents and businesses are intrigued by the idea of installing solar panels and wind turbines that would feed carbon- and pollution-free energy into major utility grids — with the goal of helping the environment, lowering their energy bills and perhaps even “selling” excess energy to the utility. But building the physical facilities and a fair pricing structure won’t be easy or cheap, panelists warned Tuesday at the 2015 Mid-America Regulatory Conference annual meeting in Milwaukee.

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