November 2002

Closet Classics vs. City Hall, Chapter 3. In our last exciting installment, Linda, the owner of Closet Classics Caffeine And Clothing, 1000 E. North Ave., visited City Hall to attend a meeting of the Utilities and Licenses Committee. There she was supposed to appear to defend her request for a Show and Exhibition Permit. However, the restrictions of the city ordinance about such licenses do not allow for public hearings, so the permit was granted. However, according to a letter from the City Clerk, new legislation is being prepared that “will enable the Common Council to exercise greater control over the permitting process for this type of establishment, including a hearing before the Utilities and License Committee whenever there are objections to a new permit being granted, or an existing permit being renewed.” Riverwest breaks new ground in city legislation. Watch for upcoming events at Closet Classics!

Congrats to the Riverwest Co-op on its first anniversary! Created by a group of people committed to providing healthy, affordable, more natural food in a small-scale, neighborhood-friendly way, the co-op has maintained slow but steady growth. The consumer co-op is owned and governed by its members. In a year, monthly sales have grown to $12,000, and the co-op now has more than 250 members. More than 75 volunteers have contributed to the co-op’s success by working as cashiers, stockers, janitors, inventory specialists, and much more. Another key reason for the co-op’s success are the member loans. They have allowed the store to purchase needed equipment and to expand its inventory without going deeply into debt with traditional lenders. To mark its anniversary, the co-op is urging members and other friends to consider making a member loan. For more information on this program, contact Carl Hedman, 967-9895.

Columbia St. Mary’s is moving ahead with its renovation of the office space above Jewel Osco on Humboldt and North Avenue. After receiving the proper permits from the city, Columbia St. Mary’s is moving ahead with a buildout and furnishing of the space that will run more than $2 million. Vice President of Strategic Planning Paul Westrick says the hospital hopes to have the offices open for clients starting in March. The clinic will accept all patients — Medicaid, Medicare, uninsured, underinsured, HMO-covered, etc. The clinic will be staffed by about 20 physicians, and will be used as a teaching clinic for family practice residents in conjunction with the Medical College of Wisconsin. Westrick says the space will be a “one-stop shop for primary care,” and it is readily accessible by buslines.

There will be a demonstration on November 21 at 4:30 p.m. at the Walmart on Capitol Drive under the leadership of the UFCW 1444 (United Food and Commercial Workers) and Jobs with Justice. Hundreds of union workers, community and union organizers, and concerned citizens will confront Walmart in Milwaukee, joining thousands nationwide at stores across the country. The purpose of this nationwide demonstration is to challenge the way Walmart treats its workers and their rights. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 10 – November 2002