November 2002

If you have been driving around the big crane on Humboldt near Meinecke for the last month or so, you might wonder what is going on there. The City has a sewer project in the works (for more about sewers, see our feature on pages 8-9). Crews are relining an old brick sewer line that is about 70 feet down and 6 feet in diameter. All that metal pipe and the pumps are a temporary bypass while they line the old brick sewer. This will make it as good as new and improve the efficiency of the sewer line without having to completely replace it. Construction Supervisor Samir Amin says he expects work to be finished by the end of November. Take care as you drive by the construction site.

The announcement of the pending merger of the St. Casimir and St. Mary of Czestochowa parishes has fueled a series of rumors about sales of the church buildings or the school building attached to St. Casimir. When asked about these speculations, Father Jerry Hessel, the priest serving the soon-to-be-joined parishes, said that there was no truth in them. Hessel offered that the parishes will be stabilizing their Mass schedules beginning November 30. At that time the 4:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday will be at St. Mary’s every week, and the two Sunday Masses at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. will be at St. Casimir. The plan to do this emerged from a series of town hall meetings held earlier in the year where participants decided the constantly-changing Mass schedule could be a barrier to potential new worshipers.

Strive Media Institute, 1818 N. Martin Luther King Drive, is up for an Emmy Award for its GTV. The non-profit organization, which serves to “promote diversity through mass communications,” puts out GTV (Teen Forum), GUMBO (a magazine by and for teenagers), and TechKnow Solutions, a group of teenagers competent in Internet technology and website design who were recently featured on the front page of the Journal Sentinel’s Business Section. The GTV show will run against three other shows at the Regional Emmy Awards on November 23. For more info, check out

About a dozen people came to the BOZA hearing in late September as last month’s Currents was going to press. Mr. Mian, the owner of the gas station at Holton and Burleigh, agreed to delay the hearing and meet with neighbors one more time regarding his proposed plan (after some intense negotiations between residents and the owner in the hallway while waiting for this item to come up on the BOZA agenda). The date of this meeting was set for October 7th. However, the owner is postponing the meeting as he had to travel out of the country for the next two months due to a sick family member. After his return he will come back with a revised plan and meet with neighbors at that time, possibly in January.

A construction grant for the Beer Line Bike Trail has been approved. Governor McCallum announced the approval at the Statewide Multi-modal Improvement Program (SMIP) awards on October 9, 2002. The SMIP awards represent federal Surface Transportation Program funds distributed to local public sponsors. Two of the grants were for Beer Line Bicycle projects. The City of Milwaukee received a $572,800 grant as part of a $716,000 Beer Line Bicycle/Recreational Corridor project that includes the Railroad-Right-of -Way from Burleigh northwest to Richards Street. Milwaukee County received $320,000 for a $400,000 conversion of the Beerline Right-of -Way to a bikeway. Milwaukee County will work with the River Revitalization Foundation and local property owners to build this trail linking Gordon Park and Riverwest to Commerce Street. Earlier this year the River Revitalization Foundation purchased a section of the rail corridor from Chicago Milwaukee Corporation with the intention of donating the land to Milwaukee County to become part of a trail system providing access and links into and through the Milwaukee River valley. The County Parks Department is also working with the River Revitalization Foundation to secure a federal grant for a hiking trail from Caesars Park to Hubbard Park in Shorewood. The National Park Service has been helpful in championing both river-oriented efforts.

From the Rev. Brian Eisold of Booth Street: “A large group of us are going to be forming a group called PUC (Pagan Unity Council), a Milwaukee area organization for the advancement of the Pagan community.” Eisold says the council will have 13 members and will serve as a place where people can discuss ideas and work to serve others. Council meetings will be open to the general public and will be about “unity, respect, and putting the community before the self-interest.” Brian can be contacted at

A 45-year-old man was shot in the stomach Oct. 26 on the 3000 block of N. Pierce. Police said it was apparently an attempted robbery. The man, who was picking up his elderly parents to go grocery shopping, underwent surgery and is recovering.

A selection committee has recommended the Chicago-based architectural firm Holabird and Root be selected for their simple but elegant design for a pedestrian bridge (above) linking Caesar’s Park and the west bank of the river at the dam. The bridge is being built over the North Avenue dam as part of the Beer Line Tax Incremental District improvements. The budget for the bridge is $500,000, and the money must be spent before the end of 2003. Next year at this time expect to be able to stroll across this new link between neighborhoods.

Will the Real Riverwest Shady Bars Please Stand Up? The Squirrel Cage (2402 N. Dousman St.) and Gee Willicker’s (2578 N. Dousman St.) were included in’s East Side Shady Bar Guide even though they are west of the river, in Riverwest, NOT the East Side. This is a little like TV news people referring to Riverwest as the “East Side” when they’re talking about something good, and calling it “Riverwest” when they’re talking about something bad. I guess “shady bars” in this case are good, so let’s have a little credit where credit is due! A whole shady bar guide could be written for Riverwest alone. — from Dan Knauss’s Current Media column at Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 10 – November 2002