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March 2003

compiled by Currents staff

Work is well under way for the boat house at the Milwaukee River beneath Kilbourn Park. There will be a public park on top of the boat house and connections to the Riverwalk. The boat house will house the Milwaukee Rowing Club.


Antler will give the second of his two major performances as Milwaukee’s Poet Laureate at Centennial Hall. He performed solo last April to mark having been chosen for the two-year Poet Laureate position by Friends of Milwaukee Public Library. This year he is joined by three poets, including long-time friend Jeff Poniewicz, at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 23. The reading is at Centennial Hall, which can be entered from the east side of downtown’s Central Public Library on 8th and Wisconsin.


The Community Union welcomes all Milwaukee workers, job-seekers, and their friends who are interested in economic and social justice. CU is a city-wide, issue-action membership organization. CU deal with issues such as wage and hiring laws and include an emergency Public Service Jobs Program providing 500 jobs that pay $12 an hour with benefits for underemployed and unemployed city residents, and providing on-the job-training to help people secure permanent employment. CU strives to hold politicians accountable and identify candidates that support its issues and struggles. CU meets the first Saturday of every month at 9 a.m. For more info contact Mindy Williams at 671-0251.


It’s that time of year again!! Friends of Milwaukee’s Rivers 8th Annual River Clean Up is Saturday, April 26, and they’re looking for an area coordinator. The event helps clean up and preserve Milwaukee’s waterways and teaches the importance of watershed health and a good stewardship ethic. Over the past 7 years, FMR has removed garbage, trucks, tires, lawn mowers, and picnic benches from our local rivers. Last year more than 400 groups and 52,000 registered volunteers participate in the Southeast Wisconsin area cleanup, collecting nearly 100,000 pounds of bagged litter and 600,000 pounds of non-bagged litter and debris. If you would like to participate or if you would like to be a site captain and coordinate your own neighborhood river cleanup effort, call FMR directly and ask for Jen 414.476.6042, or email FMR at


The two Catholic parishes in Riverwest have a new name to reflect their merger. The archbishop of Milwaukee, the Most Reverend Timothy Michael Dolan, formally acknowledged the merger of St. Casimir Parish and St. Mary Czestochowa Parish and decreed that the name for the newly-formed combined parish that has emerged is Our Lady of Divine Providence. “In order to keep alive the cultural heritage of the major ethnic groups that make up our parish,” explains Pastor Jerry Hessel, “we will continue to refer to each site by its original name: the St. Casimir site or the St. Mary Czestochowa site.” The change goes into effect July 1.


While most of us are anticipating the arrival of spring, at COA Youth & Family Centers, plans are well under way for summer. Registrations are now being accepted (263-8383) for summer programming including Camp (June 22-July 2, July 5-15, or July 18-28), Goldin Summer Day Camp (three 3-week sessions at $20-40/session), and summer childcare. Riverwest area residents are hearing about this first right here, and registration and scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, plans for the much-anticipated opening of the newly renovated Kilbourn Park are also under way. Becky Rabatin from the Booth Street block watch and Beth Fetterley from the Urban Ecology Center are chairing the park activities planning committee. COA’s Riverwest Fights Back grant includes some funding for park activities including Family Super-Saturdays, COA’s Goldin Summer Day Camp, and 3 major Park events. Shawn Smart, Co-Chair of the Riverwest Neighborhood Association, has volunteered to help plan the first event.


Riverwest resident Element has a song featured in LL Cool J’s new movie. A member of Milwaukee’s alternative Hip Hop Trio, Black Elephant, this songstress and lyrical artist appears on the sound track of “Deliver Us from Eva” with her solo song, “Show and Prove.”


List of demands. Or should we say requests: Packer’s pizza guy, pick a color. Go with it! Onopa: c’mon, how bout food? Or, at least, pretzels n peanuts?


The Welfare Warriors will be participating in the fourth annual Global Womens Strike Against No Pay, Low Pay, And Overwork on March 8 with a Moms on Strike Bus Tour. The theme of the tour is Invest in Caring Not Killing. The tour will make stops at sites around Milwaukee where moms are forced into unwaged and low wage work, including one stop at a military weapons manufacturer and one stop at the federal building, followed by a march to Centennial Hall. There the tour bus will join the International Women’s Day celebration organized by the Peace Action Center. The bus tour will leave from the Mother Organizing Center, 2711 W. Michigan at 11 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. The tour is free. Call 342-6662 for information. Theme of the Global Women’s Strike 2003 is: Say “no” to funds for warfare and “yes” to funds for welfare, women’s low wage work, and women’s no wage work, especially caregiving work.


Riverwest parents concerned about news reports of convicted pedophile Gary Kazmarek will be relieved to know that he has been evicted and is no longer living in the area.


Come and celebrate the feast of St. Casimir on Bremen and Clarke Streets on March 2. For more info, see p. 21.


The Matyas Building in the 2500 block of Holton Street is being rehabbed by ABC Development and the YWCA. The upper floors will be affordable apartments while the first floor is available for non-profits to rent.


The Brady Street News reports that the old ward yard building near the northwest corner of Humboldt Avenue and Kane Street is destined to become a restaurant. Owner of the land, Boris Gokhman, who is developing the condominiums near by plans to expand the building to seat 100.


The Riverwest Currents would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to members of the Desperate Measures String Band, who performed in their first Milwaukee appearance at a Riverwest Currents benefit Feb. 9 at Onopa. The concert, which featured two full sets with a nice variety of “edge-grass” music, was wildly successful, drawing a large crowd that left standing room only in Riverwest’s largest pub. The band helped raise money to support the newspaper as it makes its transition from a HOME grant to self-sufficiency through advertising. Catch the band this summer at various festivals in the area. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 3 – March 2003
compiled by Currents staff