Friday, March 28, 2008


The world premiere of "The Night is a Child", is currently being presented at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and we highly recommend it - great play and great performances grace the stage of the Quadracci Powerhouse Theatre, and it is not to be missed.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Budget Veto Highlights Walker's Fiscal Mismanagement

Budget Veto Highlights
Walker’s Fiscal Mismanagement

Milwaukee – John Zapfel, campaign manager for Lena Taylor, released the
following statement in response to the county’s budget surplus:

“I applaud the County Board for its well-crafted budget that created our 2007
surplus. Clearly, Scott Walker vetoing this budget was yet another example of
his short-sighted and misguided fiscal planning.

“There are several recent examples of Mr. Walker mishandling county dollars.
We just learned that because of his cuts to mental health treatment, the county is
paying our police officers $4.2 million in overtime. Mr. Walker has put us into
crisis mode for not valuing our county medical examiners, and we’ve lost talent
and a $158,000 contract as a result. And while Mr. Walker touts this surplus,
county residents have lost bus routes, our parks have not been maintained, and
bad management and neglect pose safety risks at the House of Corrections. He
has failed to show fiscal accountability or an understanding of how to properly
manage our county resources.”

Milwaukee-area unemployment at 5.5 percent

The Business Journal of Milwaukee

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in the Milwaukee area increased to 5.5 percent in February, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday.

The rate for the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metropolitan statistical area increased from 5.3 percent a month ago and was up from 5.4 percent in February 2007. The jobless rate in all 12 metro areas in the state increased compared with January's rate, the agency said.

Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman said the unemployment rates followed normal patterns of increasing during the mid-winter months. The statewide rate was 4.9 percent, the same as January's rate and down from 5.1 percent in February 2007.

The number of Milwaukee-area nonfarm wage and salary jobs increased by 1,500, to 841,100, compared with January's total. The agency said last week the state added 4,100 jobs since January because of a large increase in government jobs resulting from public schools and universities resuming classes after winter break.

Since February 2007, however, the Milwaukee area lost 1,900 jobs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Admirals to Pack the House for MACC

Are you sick of the snow? Then join us on the ice for the Annual Milwaukee Admirals Charity Game. Your Milwaukee Admirals will take on the Houston Aeros on Sunday, March 30th at 4pm at the Bradley Center.
The first 5,000 fans will receive a one-of-a-kind baseball cap featuring the Admirals and Brewers logos, courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers.

You and your family and friends will enjoy fast-paced hockey action while helping kids with cancer and related blood disorders. Upper bowl seats will be available at an unbelievable price – only $3.00 per ticket! $2.00 from each ticket sold will benefit the MACC Fund, Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc., and critical research efforts. Lower bowl tickets will be available at regular pricing with $2.00 from each ticket benefiting the MACC Fund.

Admirals Pack for MACC offers an exciting opportunity for businesses and corporations to treat their employees, clients, family and friends to an Admirals game at an affordable price point while helping the MACC Fund at the same time. It’s a win-win – help us fill the house.

Tickets are available for purchase by calling the Admirals at 414-227-0550 or by calling Ticketmaster at 414-276-4545 (Ticketmaster is reducing their fee to only $1.00). You can also visit the Admirals website.

The mission of the MACC Fund is “teaming up to cure childhood cancer and related blood disorders through research” – supporting research into the effective treatments and cures of pediatric cancers and related blood disorders like sickle cell anemia. Research holds the KEY to advancing the cure. Since the inception of the MACC Fund in 1976, nearly $30 million has been contributed in support of critical research efforts. Overall cure rates now reach 80% compared to just 20% 30 years ago. Many challenges remain. MACC Fund support is a source of hope for young people suffering from cancer and related blood disorders.

The primary beneficiary of MACC Fund support is the Midwest Children’s Cancer Center with research conducted in the MACC Fund Research Center of the Medical College of Wisconsin. Support is also provided to the Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Dear Milwaukee County Resident,

After five years of the current County Executive Administration, Milwaukee County tax payers are in an unwarranted position. Two thirds of Milwaukee County residents believe that County Government is on the wrong track.

You have spoken and I have listened.

With inexcusable cuts to our court system, detrimental eliminations to public transportation that make it difficult for our children to get to school and parents to get to work, along with closing parks that people from all walks of life depend on for recreation, we as Milwaukee county residents deserve better.

As a member of the powerful state senate joint finance committee, I have experience in creating budgets that maintain public services. I will put that experience to work for Milwaukee County.

Just as I have as a state legislator, I will work hard to:

Reform our pension system
Restore fiscal accountability
Fight for our fair share of property tax relief from Madison
Maintain services that we expect from County Government

I will work with the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors to create balanced budgets that will improve our quality of life, meet the needs of families, and our seniors.

The incumbent has made the office of County Executive a partisan one. I intend to make the office of the County Executive one that is accountable to the community – not just partisan politics.

With new direction, new leadership, and new vision, I will put Milwaukee County Government back on the right track.

Candidate Forum Tuesday, March 25
Sponsor: Marquette University Les Aspin Center
Marquette University Law School, 1103 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee
Public welcome.

Candidate Forum Wednesday, March 26
Sponsor: 4th Street Forum
Marquette Milwaukee Turner Hall, 2nd Floor, 1034 N 4th St, Milwaukee
Public welcome.


Downtown businesses to toss cheese, brats and fresh fish in charitable event
along Milwaukee River Walk in Old World Third Street area
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The East Town and Westown Associations today announced they will meet along
Milwaukee’s River Walk next to the new Kincaid’s Restaurant at noon on Friday, March 28, to compete for charitable
contributions in a “fish tossing” style contest that will challenge dexterity, aim and appetites in the name of community
spirit and fun in support of welcoming a new business to the area.
“Downtown businesses on both sides of the river respect Milwaukee tradition and also enjoy trying exciting
new things,” said Stacie Callies, Westown Association executive director. “Both of our business associations are
looking forward to this competition because it takes good, old-fashioned Wisconsin cheese and brats and combines
them with the fresh-fish throwing tradition made famous in fish markets in Seattle, the home-base for the newly
opened Kincaid’s Restaurant downtown. It’s a nice way to welcome Kincaid’s Restaurant to Milwaukee and get our
business members together to help raise money for our neighborhood improvement activities.”
“Our members are really gearing up for this and we expect a good crowd. It will likely get a little messy when
the fish and other items start flying, but it’s all part of the fun,” said Kate Borders, East Town Association executive
director. “Westown may have a little home court advantage in our Milwaukee version of ‘March Madness’ since
Kincaid’s is located on its side of the river, but we’ll come to play and are already tossing smelt and walleye in
preparation. In all seriousness, our business association members on both sides of the river are good natured at heart
and enjoy a great camaraderie when it comes to promoting the downtown and making it a better place for everyone to
work, live and play.”

The event will start at 12:15 p.m. at Kincaid’s Restaurant at 1110 North Old World Third Street (the spot
formerly occupied by Third Street Pier). Two 10-member teams representing each association will line up gauntlet-
style near the River Walk. Participants will wear colorful, water-repellent ponchos and toss the cheese, brats and fresh
fish to each other down the line. The teams will be competing for $5,000 in donations to their non-profit
“We are excited about this event and are happy to be a part of Milwaukee’s downtown business community,”
said Karli Larsen, guest services director for Kincaid’s Restaurant.
Kincaid’s, a new fish, chop and steakhouse is sponsoring the contest and will also be providing the fresh fish.
Usinger’s Famous Sausage will supply the stringed bratwurst and Wisconsin Cheese Mart will supply mini-wheels of
Wisconsin cheese for the tossing. Both are Old World Third Street neighbors to Kincaid’s.
Kincaid’s is a restaurant with a diverse menu featuring a number of unique, versatile dishes from rock salt-
roasted prime rib and lobster macaroni and cheese, to a fresh seafood list that changes regularly. Kincaid’s is located
one block east of the Bradley Center and is owned and operated by Restaurants Unlimited of Seattle, Wash. For more
information on Kincaid’s Restaurant please visit

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Walker Again Refuses To Improve Transit System

We found this post on the blog, Folkbum's Rambles and Rants, and we couldn't say it better!

by capper

We have seen time and time again that Walker does not want to help keep the Milwaukee County Transit System keep its wheels on the road. He raises fares and slashes routes (more cuts are coming this weekend), and then wonders why ridership is down, while ever-increasing gas prices is producing a boom in every other major metropolitan area. He has also fiddled around and did his usual grandstanding on working with others, putting $91.5 million at risk of being lost forever.

Now, today, Walker has vetoed the plan to put bike racks on the buses. This is after he has stated that he was for it as long as local tax dollars weren't used. He even tried to use the bike racks as a bargaining chip to get Milwaukee County out of a lawsuit that he created with his no bid contract to tear down the Courthouse Annex.

An email from Shea Schachameyer, of the Bicycle Federation of WI, sent out this email:

As I described on the phone, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors have the opportunity to override the veto that Scott Walker made today on behalf of the Bike Racks on Buses program. The program, which has been approved multiple times by the Milwaukee County Supervisors has had overwhelming support from Milwaukee residents: we gathered over 17000 signatures and have letters of support from Congresswoman Moore, Mayor Barrett, the SE Regional Director of Health and Family Services, Robert Harris, and many others. In short, the program will:

* Increase ridership
* Expand service area
* Increase the frequency of use

This program will not be another burden for MCTS to pay for. MCTS is in the process of applying for Federal funding to cover 80% of the capitol costs and we are working with them to raise local sponsorship dollars to cover the remaining 20% or $130,000.

I apologize for the short notice, but hope that you will support this program and in doing so will call Chairman Holloway, advising him to support the override of Walker's veto before the County Board Meeting, tomorrow morning at 9am.

Thank you!

Sincerely, Shea--

Shea Schachameyer
Bicycle Federation of WI

(Please note: The email was slightly modified to remove Ms. Schachameyer's personal phone number.)

Ms. Schachameyer also sent along an attachment of a pdf, which I unfortunately cannot find on the web, and currently have no way of posting or linking to. (If someone can help, that would be appreciated.)

The attachment was of a newsletter that outlines some of the benefits that other cities across Wisconsin and across the country have enjoyed from putting bike racks on their buses. These benefits include increased ridership, expanded service areas, more frequent riders, better health of the community (both physically and economically), and a cleaner environment. It also provides federal and local studies that support these assertions.

For further background, there is this site that provides some of the history of the work of the BFWI, in regards to this issue.

So, as Ms. Schachameyer asks, please call County Board Supervisor Lee Holloway, and your own county board supervisor, and urge them to again override another one of Walker's mean-spirited, short-sighted, harmful vetoes, and to follow the will of the people of Milwaukee County.

This would not raise our taxes, and it would help the transit system stay at least at its current level, if not even improve. One just has to wonder: Why would Walker, who claims to support transit, and had at one time supported it, now be against it?

ADDENDUM: Here is the beginning of the pdf report from BFWI:

Efficient and affordable public transportation systems are essential to successful cities. Communities that invest in public transportation realize enhanced development and prosperity. According to the American Public Transportation Association, every $10 million invested in capital projects yields $30 million in business sales. Milwaukee is in need of economic development and more jobs--investment in public transportation can bring these changes. As outlined by Southeastern Wisconsin's Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is potentially facing severe service cuts which would result in "a significantly smaller transit system...operating with shorter service hours and with less frequent service…, and [which would] offer less of an alternative mode of travel to the automobile" by the year 2010. Yet, despite this dreary forecast, it is possible for MCTS to gain economic stability as other transit agencies have done across the country. Bike racks on buses are an affordable and effective capital improvement to invest in. In fact, Florida transit agency, LYNX, found that for one-third the cost of a new bus they could reach more customers with bike racks and expand access to transit from ¼ mile walk buffer to a 1 mile bike buffer, allowing them to reach more customers.

Currently in the United States, there are over 300 transit agencies which, when combined, operate over 75,000 buses. 40,000 of these buses--more than 50%--are equipped with bike racks. Furthermore, out of Wisconsin's twenty municipal transit agencies, 40% have bike racks installed on their buses while and additional 15% plan to within the next six months. Unfortunately, it appears Milwaukee is not only falling behind on a national standard, it is falling behind on what has become a statewide standard as well.

Again, it makes one wonder how Walker can even keep a straight face when he claims that he supports the transit system.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Taylor Endorsed by Latino Coalition for Political Action

Milwaukee – Today, the Latino Coalition for Political Action announced its
endorsement of Lena C. Taylor in the race for Milwaukee County Executive.

“Senator Taylor has demonstrated consistent respect for the Latino community,”
stated Ernesto Chacon, Chairman of the coalition. “She is committed to fighting
hard on the issues most important to us including education, health care, and
economic development. We are confident that as County Executive she will
continue this work for the Latino residents of Milwaukee County.”

“We are honored to have the endorsement of the Latino Coalition for Political
Action,” said John Zapfel, campaign manager for Lena Taylor. “In the Senate,
Lena Taylor has helped to improve access to quality education and health care
for all, and has worked to promote economic growth initiatives. As County
Executive, she will continue this work on behalf of the Latino community and all
residents of Milwaukee County.”

The Latino Coalition for Political Action is comprised of influential leaders in the
Latino community.


By John Scalzi

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap
they see on TV.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you
can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's
not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends' houses but never has
friends over to yours.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch
line so your friends will be ahead of you and won't hear you say "I get
free lunch" when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Being poor is wondering whether your well-off sibling is lying when he
says he doesn't mind when you ask for help.

Being poor is off-brand toys.

Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.

Being poor is hoping your kids don't have a growth spurt.

Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your
mom gets home and then telling her she doesn't have to make dinner
tonight because you're not hungry anyway.

Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.

Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes
when you run around the playground.

Being poor is your kid's school being the one with the 15-year-old
textbooks and no air conditioning.

Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

Being poor is relying on people who don't give a damn about you.

Being poor is finding the letter your mom wrote to your dad begging him
for the child support.

Being poor is a bathtub you have to empty into the toilet.

Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger's trash.

Being poor is making lunch for your kid when a cockroach skitters over
the bread, and you looking over to see whether your kid saw.

Being poor is believing a GED actually makes a difference.

Being poor is people angry at you just for walking around in the mall.

Being poor is not taking the job because you can't find someone you
trust to watch your kids.

Being poor is the police busting into the apartment right next to

Being poor is not talking to that girl because she'll probably just
laugh at your clothes.

Being poor is hoping you'll be invited for dinner.

Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.

Being poor is people thinking they know something about you by the way
you talk.

Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.

Being poor is your kid's teacher assuming you don't have any books in
your home.

Being poor is $6 short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.

Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.

Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy.

Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn't bought first.

Being poor is picking the 10-cent ramen noodles instead of the 12-cent
ramen noodles because that's two extra packages for every dollar.

Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.

Being poor is knowing you're being judged.

Being poor is a box of crayons and a $1 coloring book from a community
center Santa.

Being poor is checking the coin return slot of every soda machine you
go by.

Being poor is deciding that it's all right to base a relationship on

Being poor is hoping the register lady will spot you the dime.

Being poor is feeling helpless when your children make the same
mistakes you did and won't listen to you beg them against doing so.

Being poor is a cough that doesn't go away.

Being poor is making sure you don't spill on the couch, just in case
you have to give it back before the lease is up.

Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250
when the paycheck comes in.

Being poor is four years of night classes for an associate of arts

Being poor is a lumpy futon bed.

Being poor is knowing where the shelter is.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose
to be so.

Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.

Being poor is seeing how few options you have.

Being poor is running in place.

Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave.


Forbes: Milwaukee an 'up-and coming' tech center

The Business Journal of Milwaukee

Citing the advanced technology and workplaces of Rockwell Automation Inc. and Johnson Controls Inc., a survey from a public policy professor at George Mason University ranked the city of Milwaukee fifth on a list of the 'top 10 up-and-coming tech cities' as reported in Forbes magazine.

In its report, Forbes said that Philip Auerswald surveyed innovation trends and technologies, including advanced materials, polymers and plastics and cell microbiology, to determine a list of future technology centers. Milwaukee ranked among both big and small cities on the list.

Columbus, Ohio, topped the sometimes curious list, citing the city's $4 billion research institute that oversees seven major laboratories for different federal agencies. Santa Fe, N.M., ranked second, while Palm Beach County, Fla., and Houston were third and fourth, respectively.

Milwaukee made the list because of the advanced products produced by Milwaukee-based industrial automation systems manufacturer Rockwell (NYSE: ROK). Such products are being used to increase manufacturing efficiency. Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) of Glendale was also noted as an adopter and producer of energy-efficient facility management systems. The systems are helping to lead worldwide growth of the company, which Forbes said would grow 35 percent to 190,000 within three to four years.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Although the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is already in the process of negotiating the purchase of land in Wauwatosa for a new engineering campus, a group is looking to have it built in downtown Milwaukee instead.

David Reid, the person behind a mass e-mail sent out by the group UWM Downtown, argues that a downtown location would be more convenient for students, have less environmental impact and create a “true engineering center” in the region by taking advantage of partnerships with schools like MSOE and Marquette, as well as business like Rockwell Automation and Johnson Controls.

“We just feel it’s better for the city and the region to consider expanding downtown instead of in Wauwatosa,” Reid said.

UW-Milwaukee spokesman Tom Luljak said that the decision to build the new engineering school and innovation park on the 83-acre parcel is not set in stone and open for discussion, but the site offers opportunities for key research partnerships.

“Our position is this is really not a real estate issue,” he said. “It’s much more a discussion about who we can partner with to advance our research initiatives.”

Luljak noted that the site offers a chance for collaboration with others like GE, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital and Froedtert.

“Those are all institutions that are engaged in scientific research,” Luljak said. “By siting our innovation park and college nearby we believe that it could lead to tremendous collaboration that would much more rapidly fuel economic developments in the region.”

Luljak said the university is considering a downtown site for a new Academic Health Center and a proposed School of Public Health and is presently engaged in master planning for the physical aspects of the campus and is also working on a long-range academic plan. The goal is to synchronize the geographic concerns with academic needs.

But Reid said the public hasn’t been brought into the discussion enough.

He likened the issue to the debate over the placement of Miller Park, which some wanted built downtown.

“Maybe we should stop and think about this for a minute,” Reid said. “Maybe this would be a better option.”

The group has a Web site at and Reid blogs about development issues at






New fish, chop and steakhouse on Milwaukee’s Old World Third Street to salute “Kincaids” with

VIP Treatment on Saturday, March 29th

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Kincaid’s Restaurant, a new fish, chop and steakhouse preparing to open in Milwaukee in late March, today announced it has launched a search for Southeast Wisconsin individuals named ‘Kincaid’ to join them for a Kincaid’s “family” reunion on Saturday, March 29th.

“Kincaid’s Restaurant is all about celebration, great food and making memories. Our restaurant wants to do something fun to celebrate this great community as we become a part of it,” said Karli Larsen, guest services director for Kincaid’s Restaurant. “We are giving everyone named ‘Kincaid’ a VIP experience including a complimentary dinner and red carpet treatment as we celebrate our grand opening. We are excited that our Milwaukee Riverwalk location along Old World Third Street is the first Kincaid’s Restaurant in Wisconsin, and we look forward to celebrating with our new ‘family’ friends.”

Larsen said the Kincaid’s namesakes will arrive via complimentary limousines, be greeted, walk down the red carpet and receive other star treatment.

“We may not have gift bags quite like the Academy Awards, but we will have a lot of great surprises for the people who come out and celebrate with us, especially the Kincaids,” Larsen said.

Those sharing the Kincaid name and wishing to participate will need to register online at the restaurant’s website at no later than Friday, March 21st. Different spelling variations of the name will be considered, and a photo ID will be required the night of the event. Individuals registering must be at least 21 years old and space will be limited.

Larsen said people who don’t share the same name are also invited; they’ll become ‘honorary’ Kincaids that night. While they won’t receive a complimentary dinner, those non-Kincaids who attend at 7 p.m. can line the red carpet and cheer on the local Kincaids contingent as they arrive at the restaurant. Greeters will enjoy a free appetizer with other special offers throughout the evening.

Kincaid’s is a restaurant with a diverse menu featuring a number of unique, versatile dishes from rock salt-roasted prime rib, to lobster macaroni and cheese to three different preparations of oysters and a fresh seafood list that changes regularly. Kincaid’s will occupy the former Third Street Pier space in the Old World Third District, one block east of the Bradley Center and near other Milwaukee entertainment attractions.

“Kincaid’s food is a modern take on traditional American fare, and Southeast Wisconsin residents are going to love its Milwaukee River view and large riverfront patio,” said Jason Cole, Kincaid’s executive chef and LaCrosse, Wis. native. “We are excited to accommodate business lunch crowds as well as families and couples headed out to see a concert or a sporting event down the street. We are well known around the country for our fresh seafood, excellent steaks, a large wine selection and signature martinis.”

Kincaid’s Restaurant is owned and operated by Restaurants Unlimited out of Seattle, Wash. For more information on Kincaid’s Restaurant and specifically the Milwaukee location, please visit