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Further Down Stream July 2008

NEWS IN OUR AREA GUILTY – Former alderman Mike McGee was found guilty on all nine federal counts of extortion and bribery on June 24 following six hours of deliberation by the jury. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct 24 where he faces up to 30 years, but likely much less. “Based upon the evidence, Ald. McGee’s guilt was his own and was not shared by the rest of the Common Council, the License Division, the city attorney’s office, or the Milwaukee Police Department, all of whom sit on every license hearing as active participants,” said Ald. Willie Hines. Still pending is the state’s case which is expected to resume in July unless a plea deal is reached.   Send news & tidbits to   GUILTY – Former alderman Mike McGee was found guilty on all nine federal counts of extortion and bribery on June 24 following six hours of deliberation by the jury. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct 24 where he faces up to 30 years, but likely much less. “Based upon the evidence, Ald. McGee’s guilt was his own and was not shared by the rest of the Common Council, the License Division, the city attorney’s office, or the Milwaukee Police Department, all of whom sit on every license hearing as active participants,” said Ald. Willie Hines. Still pending is the state’s case which is expected to resume in July unless a plea deal is reached.  RAIN & FLOODING – Will Allen of Growing Power, whose farm was flooded out in Oak Creek, says don’t let the floods get you down – plant again. Record rains and flooding hit southeastern Wisconsin in June, washing out farms, whole cities, and roads, including a section of I-94 in Jefferson County that blocked traffic between Milwaukee and Madison. Thirty counties were declared disaster areas by  FEMA. Here in Milwaukee, the Locust Street Beer Run had a record 1,081 runners who were drenched with pouring rain on June 8 just as the race started. Manhole covers popped off and trees came down, including one in the 2500 block of Pierce that miraculously hit no houses or cars when it keeled over. The Humboldt Bridge was filled with water, construction barges were in danger of slamming into the Holton Bridge, and Bucketworks was flooded out. Power outages, collapsed walls on buildings, and flooded basements also affected many in the city. With gas at over $4/gallon and organic farms in the Kickapoo Valley area washed out, the cost of food and other goods is jumping – spurring many to plant veggies and stay close to home this summer.  HAPPY RETIREMENT – East Side resident Marty Collins will be hanging up his hat as Commissioner of Milwaukee’s Department of Neighborhood Services effective Oct 18. After 27 years on the job, Collins has a national reputation for his sharply honed knowledge of building codes, nuisance properties, and taking down notorious landlords like Tim Brophy. Commissioner since 2000, he will be sorely missed by neighborhood and landlord groups across the city. Everyone’s invited to a farewell party on July 30 from 11 am – 2 pm at the Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway, 10th floor. A national search closes on July 14 for the new commissioner. While Collins will be away on vacation starting Aug 1, he’ll be back to break in the new commish. His post-retirement plans include doing some “pleasure” reading for a change (instead of the “professional” kind) and as a private citizen he will put his vast store of knowledge to good use on housing-related public policy issues.  BUSINESS BUZZ – It’s a fresh air experience at Nessun Dorma with a new policy of smoke free dining and drinking until 10 pm every day. Fuel Café went smoke free last fall and has applied for a Class “B” tavern license. A new Class “B” tavern license has been applied for at 901 E. Wright St. There are sparkling new picture windows at Sunrise Foods making it bright and sunny all day! The Foster Youth Independence Center has moved off Center St. to new quarters at 2431 N. Holton. The Mayor’s annual Urban Design Awards on this side of town went to Alterra’s new Riverwest headquarters, Brocach Irish Pub on Water St., the newly renovated North Point Lighthouse, and the sleek new Walgreens on Oakland Avenue. Congrats to all!  GET IN THE TALENT SHOW – Kids are invited to show off their talents at the annual 4th of July Talent Contest in Gordon Park. There is a first prize award of $100 for each of these age groups: 5-10, 11-14, 15- 19. Participants must register by July 2; call Melissa Tempel at 414.704.4123.  JUNK TO FUNK – Get your green on at the Junk to Funk Recycled Fashion Show at Art*Bar on Fri, July 25. Pieces must be wearable art made of recycled, reused, or found materials and durable enough for the fashion show. The contest is open to all artists, designers, and the creative public with cash prizes of $250 for first place, $100 second, and $50 third. For rules and guidelines, call 414.372.7880 or artbarriverwest@ wi.rr.com  FESTS & CONCERTS – SKYLINE MUSIC returns to Kadish Park, on Tuesdays in July and Aug. See ad on back page for complete schedule. Soak up the hot grooves at the GARFIELD AVE FEST of Jazz, Gospel & Arts on Sat, July 19. It all happens from noon to sunset on Garfield Avenue from MLK Drive to 7th St. BRADY STREET FEST rocks the block with music, art, cheese, a drag show & fashion show on Sat, July 26, 11 am – 11 pm. See ad on back page or bradyst.com/festival FREEDOM ESSAY CONTEST – On  Juneteenth Day Ald. Milele Coggs announced the 1st Annual Freedom Scholarship Essay Contest. Applicants must live in the Sixth District and be 2008 high school graduates. Essays are due by July 31 and should explore the concept of “freedom” and what students can do to address prejudice, discrimination, and violence in our world today. Two scholarships will be awarded. Application and guidelines are at city.milwaukee.gov/ district6.  FREE MEAL PROGRAM – Milwaukee Public Schools is serving free meals again this summer, funded in part by Harley- Davidson. To find the nearest safe and supervised meal location, families should call 211 or 866.211.3380 from cell phones. The program is open to the public, not just MPS students.  FREE ART FOR KIDS – Artists Working in Education (AWE) returns for another season of roving art for kids. This is a dropin program where everyone’s free to come and go as they please. Parents, caregivers, and older siblings are welcome too. More info at 414.933.3877 or awe-inc.org. June 30 – July 3: Gordon Park, 1-4 pm July 7 – 11: Rose Park, 3045 N. MLK Dr., 1-4 pm July 7 – 11: Lake Park (near warming house) 9:30-11:30 am July 14 – 18: Rose Park, 1-4 pm  KNITTING CAMP – Loop Yarn Shop is offering a Kids Knitting Camp. Boys and girls, ages 7-12, are welcome to learn the basics of knitting at either of these sessions: Tue & Thu, July 15 & 17 or July 29 & 31, from 10:00-11:30 am. Tuition is $30. Classes will be held in the shop or out on the patio. Call to register at 414.265.2312  DRUM DOCTOR – Learn the art of drumming from master drummer Yaya Kambaye of Senegal, West Africa. Lessons are held on Thursday evenings from 7:15 – 9:00 pm at Club Timbuktu, 520 E. Center St. and cost only $5 – the best deal in town! Bring a drum if you have one.  BUS GIGS – Music on the bus just got cool. WMSE’s in-studio performances by hot Miltown groups The Barrettes, Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound, The Desert Sound Ensemble, El Gordo, Lisa Gatewood, Mike Mangione, Rusty Ps, and The Trusty Knife are showing on Transit TV. Not only that, but Florida-based TTV will also be showing them on all of their buses in places like Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Orlando.  WE RIDE – Holton Street is sporting racy new bike lanes from Center St. to North Avenue. The free BIKE IN MOVIE SERIES, sponsored by the Bicycle Federation of WI, returns to the Media Garden under the Holton Street Bridge on Fri, July 18 and Aug 15 at 7:00 pm. Gear up for the next  CRITICAL MASS bicycle ride on Fri, July 25 at Riverside Park at 5:30 pm. Be sure your bike is registered. Pick up a free sticker at any Police Station or Public Library, and then do the rest online.  PEACE WALK – The Peace Walk from Chicago to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul makes a stop in Milwaukee on Sun, July 20. All are welcome to the potluck, music and speakers, including Kathy Kelly, at 5:00 pm at Milw Friends Meeting House, 3224 N. Gordon Place. Hosted by Peace Action. Sign up to join the walk as it passes through our part of the state at http://vcnv.org/witness-againstwar.  DEMOCRACY SUMMER – Help turn out the vote on Milwaukee’s South Side. Gather at the Voces de la Frontera office at 9 am on Sat, July 12at 1027 S. 5th St. Teams will do doors until 11:30, followed by lunch in the park at noon. To sign up, call 414.643.1620.  TURN IT DOWN – The Common Council is cracking down on boom box cars. A sixmonth pilot program now allows residents to report the date, time, and license plate number of offending vehicles to police. A warning letter is sent to the owner of the vehicle, with fines up to $100 for each subsequent violation. This is similar to the city’s nuisance property ordinance, where property owners are ticketed for repeated calls for police service to the same address.  MILW ANTHROPOLOGIST – The first issue of Milwaukee Anthropologist: The Magazine of the Liberal Arts for General Audiences is now online at mkeanthro. blogspot.com. Created by Michael Timm who is also assistant editor of the Bay View Compass, each issue will have one themed question. Read the five fascinating responses to “What is Life?” by Louis Berger, Greg Bird, Jill Florence Lackey, Christopher Poff, and Timm. John Mellencamp’s new album “Life, Death, Love & Freedom” is the inspiration for the first four themes. Submissions for the next one “What is Death?” may be sent to by Sep 1.  EAST SIDE DIRECTORY – Get inside the East Side! The next edition of the East Side Directory is due out in October. Printed on recycled paper, this handy directory includes businesses and services from Shorewood to Bay View and from the Lakefront to I-43. For a free Info Kit, email sales@ riverwestcurrents.org or call 414.265.7278.  RNA MEETING – All Riverwesters are invited to the monthly meeting of the Riverwest Neighborhood Association (RNA) at 7:00 pm on Tue, July 8. Meetings are held at the Gordon Park Pavilion; park in the lot on Hadley & Humboldt. More info at www.my-RNA.org  SIGNING OFF – It has been my pleasure to pen this page for the last couple of years, but now it’s time to paddle downstream. Look for a new writer to hop on board the paperboat next month. I will continue to handle ad sales for the Currents, so when you’ve finished reading this issue, go out and patronize our advertisers and then advertise your stuff here cuz that’s how this paper gets to you every month! To advertise, call 414.265.7278 or email sales@ riverwestcurrents.org. Anchors away! -Tess