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December 2003

The Milwaukee Venue Project, dedicated to developing a space for all ages to view and perform music in the city, co-hosted a Hawaiian Luau at Gordon Park Pavilion on November 23 along with the Riverwest Co-op. The event packed the house with entertainment by Hale O’Malo – Polynesian music and dance revue. A great buffet was complimented by Tiki drinks from Foundation.


Winter parking rules go into effect for most of Riverwest starting December 1. Since blocks aren’t always clearly marked, avoid a ticket by finding out what the rules are on your block online at www.mpw.net/Pages/noparking.html


UnsungHeroes.jpgRiverwest Currents publisher and neighborhood activist Vince Bushell was honored as an “Unsung Hero” by the Milwaukee Common Council in November. Bushell was one of four people nominated by Third District Ald. Mike D’Amato for their service to the community. Among the list of accomplishments cited by D’Amato were Bushell’s dedication to Garden Park and the farmer’s market, his role in starting the Riverwest Co-op, his work on the Currents, and his dedication to the neighborhood Fourth of July celebration. ETMA president McMullen was honored for his work with the Cambridge Woods and University Neighborhood Associations. McBride was recognized for her work with the ETMA for long-term parking solutions around UWM, and Ferguson was recognized for working with the East Village Association to secure status on the National Register of Historic Places for the EVA neighborhood north of Brady Street.


A new chapter of Emotions Anonymous will start on December 7 and meet each week thereafter. Meetings will be held on Sundays at 6 p.m. at St. Mary of Czestochowa Church in the 700 block of East Burleigh Street. (Enter the front door of the church on Burleigh.) Everyone is welcome. There are no dues or fees. Emotions Anonymous offers a 12-step program to help people cope with stress in daily living and to live a healthier emotional life. EA is not affiliated with any other organization. The program is open to anyone who wants to become emotionally well. Members attend for various reasons, among them depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and other emotional difficulties. For more info, please contact Jeff at 414/372-8085.


Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE) is offering training sessions for professionals working with older adults. The focus of the training is on the “hidden ten percent” of adults over 50 that are assumed to be gay. By inviting service providers to consider the orientation of the people they serve, SAGE/Milwaukee hopes to challenge workshop attendees to increase their sensitivity and enhance their support to clients, residents, patients. The training will be held Friday, December 12, at the Milwaukee County Department on Aging, and is partially funded by the Department as well as Cream City Foundation. Participants in this half day workshop will learn more about the socio-historical impact on sexual orientation for their clients and look at ways to best serve their residents, patients, clients. Call SAGE/Milwaukee 414/224-0517 x1 or 3 to reserve a place at the training.


Sixth District Ald. Marlene Johnson-Odom was featured last month in the Journal Sentinel’s transportation section extolling the glories of her SUV. Johnson-Odom described how she liked the view “sitting on a perch” above other motorists. The alderwoman drives a midnight blue 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada with decorative gold and silver stripes. Five candidates have filed to challenge Johnson-Odom in next year’s aldermanic elections: Reginald Alston, Phil Anderson, Michael McGee, George Sanders, and Aristea Sharp. Check out the February 2004 Riverwest Currents for a complete voters’ guide with candidates’ views on local issues. The Third District had one new filer last month, east sider Benjamin Goodhue, to bring the total to five contenders in that race. Candidates must file papers by December 1 to run, but they must also collect 200-400 signatures between December 1 and early January to get on the ballot.


Congrats to Story Hill neighbors, Citizens Allied for Sane Highways (CASH). The group won a Mayor’s Design Award for 2003, an award given to recognize design excellence throughout Milwaukee. Says CASH co-chair Gretchen Schuldt, “Obviously, CASH doesn’t go around designing things, but I think the phrase ‘First, do no harm’ is the first rule of design as well as medicine.” In other CASH news, the group criticized Gov. Jim Doyle for signing a bill allowing the state to dip into the general fund for road construction monies. CASH also reported that the Department of Transportation is establishing a new bureau to deal with social and environmental issues. The DOT says the bureau was created, in part, as a reaction to problems that developed in SEWRPC’s regional freeway study. The new bureau is supposed to ensure that historically under-involved populations are involved in all phases of highway improvement projects; increase responsiveness and sensitivity to the needs of residents directly affected by transportation projects; among other goals. CASH can be reached at 414/331-0724.


Rethinking Schools, a Riverwest-based non-profit founded in 1986 by activist teachers, is offering free shipping on orders over $35 placed on their website, www.rethinkingschools.org. Items include educational materials and subscriptions to their quarterly magazine.


About 100 people met at the Gordon Park Pavilion for the second quarterly all-city gathering in late October to exchange ideas about community action and neighborhood issues. The event featured a potluck supper, plenty of conversation, and numerous presentations. Mayoral candidates Vince Bobot, Frank Cumberbatch, Sandy Folaron, and Leon Todd were also there promoting their campaigns to attendees.


Congratulations are in order for the Riverwest Co-op at Fratney and Clarke Streets on celebrating its second anniversary last month! In just two years, the member-owned co-operative has moved from a fledgling operation open just a few hours a week to a well-stocked healthy and natural foods store open 70 hours a week with two full-time employees.


Neighbors should have a chance to meet with new police chief Nan Hegerty in early December. A meeting date was not set at press time, but you can stay up to date by checking in our online notices section or by subscribing to the neighborhood e-mail network, RNA mail, if you are a resident of the neighborhood. Simply e-mail to if you want to subscribe. Milwaukee Water Works hopes to get Department of City Development (DCD) approval for possible plans for restructuring Reservoir Hill at the junction of North Avenue and Bremen Street. Water Works Commissioner Carrie Lewis says as soon as she gets DCD’s blessing on preliminary plan options, she’ll take them to the neighborhood for feedback. Water Works is “about as sure as we can be” that the reservoir’s tank is no longer needed, and so plans to restructure the hill without the tank are under consideration. The shape and size of the hill, which many say offers the best view of downtown in the city, are protected an extent by the historic designation accorded to it by Common Council in 1999. However, the plans do involve some grading of the hill for better police access to the top. Lewis says the general outline of the hill will be preserved, though one side will be substantially lower than it is now. She may meet with neighbors as early as the December 9 RNA meeting. Watch RNA mail or the notices section at riverwestcurrents.org for updates.


A couple of Riverwest Currents staff helped launch a new neighborhood newspaper, the Washington Park Beat, in November. The Park Beat covers neighborhoods around Washington Park, and is funded by a grant from LISC. With an initial circulation of 5,000 and publication scheduled for every other month, the paper aims to “express opinion, report local news and events, and advocate for residents, small businesses, and others in the neighborhoods of Washington Park and Walnut Hill.”