November 2003

On a recent Sunday volunteers planted trees at the new Snail’s Crossing community park (formerly Baby Park) in the 3000 block of N. Bremen Street. Fundraising to date is near $1500; almost $900 had been spent on trees by mid-October. If you want to support our neighborhood park, send your tax-deductible donation to Snail’s Crossing c/o COA Youth & Family Centers, 909 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212. A Riverwest Artists Association bench design competition for park benches is also underway. ………. The city of Milwaukee Department of Public Works has contracted with the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin to reevaluate the city’s existing marked bike routes and make recommendations for new designations and spot improvements. This might mean striping bike lanes, installing bike parking racks, traffic calming measures, etc. As part of this project, the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is holding neighborhood information meetings to get input from residents about what improvements for bicycling they would like to see. At the November Riverwest Neighborhood Association meeting Dave Schlabowske, Milwaukee program manager for Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, will present his findings so far, answer questions and have maps available for neighbors to give their recommendations. If you have ideas about how to improve our neighborhood for bicycling, please come to the next RNA meeting November 11 at 7 p.m., 604 E. Center Street. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Riverwest clocked in on a few categories in Shepherd Express’s recent “BEST Of Milwaukee 2003.” Best Neighborhood Festival – Locust St. Festival (for the 3rd year in a row!). Best Vietnamese Restaurant – West Bank Cafe. Best Vintage Clothing Store – Yellow Jacket. Best Ethnic Act/Band – One Drum. BEST Nostalgia Club – Mad Planet. BEST Microbrewery – Lakefront Brewery. And Best City Official, Alderman Mike D’Amato, who represents portions of Riverwest. Congratulations all! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hunger Task Force is organizing a new group, Voices Against Hunger. The group consists of members of the community from all walks of life — all working together to fight hunger in our community. The kickoff is Thursday, October 30, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3022 W. Wisconsin Ave. For more info call 414/777-0483 x 120 or e-mail . An update for off-leash dog park supporters from Stacy Conroy: “Due to the upheaval in Milwaukee County Government, our efforts to establish a dog park in Lincoln Park were put on hold. In the meantime, ROMP has created a proposal for a permit-based, self-funded Dog Park Program within the Milwaukee County Parks system (based on a model being used by Dane County as well as others around the nation). The proposal was mailed to County Executive Scott Walker, all County Supervisors, and to the interim Parks Director/Deputy Parks Director. We expect to begin talks with the Parks Department in November. Check out the proposal online at and let Scott Walker’s office know if you support it by calling 414/278-4191, faxing 414/223-1375 or e-mailing . Riverwest’s skateboarding club, The Hot Boards, has expanded. The club, featured in our May 2003 issue, helps low-income and at-risk youth become involved in skateboarding. Outings have increased from twice monthly to weekly, and the group hopes to begin skating twice weekly at Four Seasons Skate Park. The organization has applied for non-profit status and is seeking donations and volunteers. To donate time, funding, or equipment, please contact Melissa Fleming at . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Despite rumors and a community flyer to the contrary, the Milwaukee Public Schools Administration has no plans to close Palmer Elementary School. MPS officials have not heard that anyone else wants to close the school, either, according to an e-mail newsletter put out by MPS. Our Lady of Divine Providence is celebrating the uniting of St. Casimir and St. Mary Czestochowa Parishes on Sunday, November 23 (see ad, page 6, for details). Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be the principal celebrant at the liturgy to be held at the St. Casimir site. A luncheon will follow at St. Mary’s. Tom Tolan, author of Riverwest: A Community History, will be on hand to sign books. All are welcome to attend this historic occasion in the community life of Riverwest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Golda Meir Elementary School, 1555 N. Martin Luther King Dr., is seeking approval of a proposal to expand its program for gifted and talented students from grades 3-5 to grades 3-8. Final approval would be contingent on location of a suitable site for expansion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Resources for low income families: SHARE the Season offers a delicious dinner package that serves six people. To purchase a low-cost dinner for December holidays, call 1-800-548-2124 by November 24. SHARE is a not-for-profit organization that helps people save money on groceries and promotes volunteerism. SHARE also offers a Farm Fresh Wisconsin Holiday Gift Package, with specialty products from Wisconsin family farmers and producers. The gift box is available in November and December for $24.95. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kinship of Milwaukee, a volunteer youth mentoring organization, is looking for Riverwest mentors for youth. Kinship, which has been in Milwaukee for 30 years, pairs children ages 6-16 with a caring adult volunteer for guidance, outings, and friendship. A few of the children on the waiting list live in the Riverwest area. Mentors are from all walks of life, and range in age from 20-70. They are diverse, but united in their desire to create positive change in the community. For more info, please call 671-2008. Need energy assistance? If you have trouble paying your heating bill in the winter, you may qualify for assistance. Call the Social Development Commission at 906-2800 or stop by 4041 N. Richards St. for more information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The slate of aldermanic candidates is increasing in both the Third and Sixth Districts, both of which currently cover Riverwest (though Riverwest will be almost completely in the Third District after 2004 redistricting). Third District contenders who were registered with the Election Commission by October 21 are current Alderman Mike D’Amato, Ben Hitchcock Cross, Damien Jones, and Timothy Vertz. Sixth District registered candidates are Phil Anderson, current Alderwoman Marlene Johnson-Odom, George F. Sanders, and Aristea Sharp. The Riverwest Neighborhood Association will elect officers at its next meeting on Tuesday, November 11. On the ballot for Chairperson are Nancy Centz and George Singleton. Vice-Chairperson, Jeff Barke. Secretary, Lorraine Jacobs. Treasurer, Tim Vertz. At-large board members, Self Wise Allah, Sonya Jongsma Knauss, Tess Reiss, and Shawn Smart. All Riverwest residents are invited to attend. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A new ordinance, passed by the Common Council and co-sponsored by Alderman Mike D’Amato, will require all gas stations, restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons, shoe shops, tailors, massage parlors, and tattoo and body piercing shops that operate between midnight and 5 a.m. to be licensed and pay an annual fee. The process will be similar to liquor license applications. Owners must apply with the License Division and receive approval through the Utilities & Licenses Committee and then the full Common Council. This will give neighbors a chance to log complaints with the License Division when late night cruising, loitering, noise, etc. gets out of hand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Alma Center observed Domestic Violence Month by kicking off a fundraiser project to spotlight men who contribute positively to their families and communities. The project will produce a photo journal book, Men We Love, featuring 200 Milwaukee men who have had a positive influence on someone’s life. Pages in the book are sponsored by family or friends as a dedication to a man who inspires them. “Ending domestic violence requires the concern and involvement of all of us–men, as well as women,” says Dr. Terri Strodthoff, Director of the Alma Center, Inc. For more information or to suggest a candidate for the photo journal, please contact Strodthoff at 414/352-0100, or . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Clarke Street Construction. New sewers are being installed on Clarke Street between Bremen and Buffum. Work began on October 23 and is expected to be completed sometime in January. The street is still open to traffic, but there may be disruptions from time to time depending on the construction schedule. No parking is permitted on the affected blocks. Questions or concerns may be directed to the city’s Construction Section Office at 286-2497. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A major MMSD project has been underway at the intersection of Booth and Auer all summer. Traffic has been closed off due to the construction of a 400′ drop shaft sewer tunnel connection. Work is expected to be completed in early December. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The peace symbol created by Riverwest residents with assistance from local artist Marina Lee was installed during ArtWalk weekend in Garden Park. The tile project was assembled during the Community Diversity Picnic that was held at Gordon Park last August. Stop by the park at Bremen and Locust any time for a peace break. ……………. The Milwaukee Public Library Bookmobile stops in our neighborhood! Every three weeks the bookmobile parks at the corner of Booth and Burleigh for 1 1/2 hours. The next Bookmobile visits are November 13 and December 4. All stops are on Thursdays from 3:00-4:30 p.m. The bookmobile offers children, teen and adult books, magazines, videos, and DVDs as as well as Spanish language materials for all ages and in all formats. Three computers with internet access are available to the public as well. All you need is a Milwaukee County library card. If you don’t have a library card, you can register at the bookmobile with two forms of identification. ………. If you have an activity or item of interest to report, please e-mail or drop us a line at: Riverwest Currents 733 E. Clarke St. Milwaukee, WI 53212 414.265.7278