COMMUNITY CASH? Efforts are underway to create a local currency, potentially for use in Riverwest and beyond. The goals of the currency include supporting local businesses, cultivating community self-reliance, strengthening our local economy, and fostering environmental, social and economic sustainability. To get involved or find out more, call 263.1513 or email . The next meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 7pm. FLY AWAY – Where do Monarch butterflies spend the winter? Sensible things that they are, they go to a lovely warm spot in the mountains of Mexico. You can visit them there on a lovely, very affordable tour with friendly Riverwesters. Deadline for registration and final payment is January 15, 2009. For more information, contact Jackie Reid Dettloff (414.264.1362) or Mary Lou Lamonda at SAVE THE BLACK HOLOCAUST MUSEUM – The Milwaukee Common Council has voted to acquire the building that has been the home of America’s Black Holocaust Museum is a “step in the right direction.” Sixth Dist. Ald. Milele Coggs sponsored the resolution to pay $250,000 to North Shore Bank, holder of the mortgage on the building and museum artifacts. The measure won unanimous approval from Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee. The 15,000 square foot building is located at 2233 N. 4th St., just south of North Ave. The museum shut its doors earlier this year, and directors and supporters are attempting to reorganize and to help it reopen. KUDOS, KAREN! Karen Kotiw, part of the Riverwest diaspora to Asheville, NC, announced that she has completed all requirements and now holds an MA from the Department of Sociology at UWM. Her thesis is titled, “Hispanic Incorporation in Downtown Revitalization Planning: Waukegan, IL.” She is currently employed as the Upward Bound Director at Mars Hill College. LITERATURE OF ECOLOGICAL VISION – Jeff Poniewaz will again teach his popular UWM off-campus course at the Urban Ecology Center (1500 E. Park Pl.) from 6:00 to 8:30 pm, Tuesdays from Jan. 27 to May 12. This course explores some of the key examples of Nature writing which also qualify as great literature. It will appeal to those who love Nature and are interested in ecology as well as to those who love great writing in general. A spectrum of writers will be read and discussed. This Peace Studies-recommended introductory survey course (English 247, Lec 102) can be taken for degree credit or simply audited for enjoyment. For enrollment information, call 229-6209 between 9 am and 4 pm weekdays. RECOGNIZING A JOB WELL DONE – On Dec. 12 Milwaukee County Supervisor Willie Johnson, Jr., received a Civil Rights Award from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in recognition of his efforts to promote and achieve the goals and objectives of the FHWA civil rights programs through the synergy of working relationships. In particular, Supervisor Johnson is being honored for his involvement in the Marquette Interchange Project’s Business Development Committee and Labor Development Committee. “I’m honored to accept this award from the Federal Highway Administration,” Supervisor Johnson said. “It was a priority for me to make sure that the Marquette Interchange Project served as a catalyst for economic opportunities for all residents of Milwaukee County. As a result, disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) were paid more than $107 million. Minority workers accumulated nearly 450,000 hours of work on this project.” The Federal government acknowledged Supervisor Johnson’s exceptional efforts to make sure the project focused on disadvantaged business enterprises and family supporting jobs to support the local community. The $810 million reconstruction project was the first Federal Major Project and the largest construction project in Wisconsin to date. The project was completed ahead of schedule, under budget, and with no major worker injuries or fatalities. ART NOT APATHY – Jake Hey, an “alum” of the Mayor’s Kids program here in Riverwest, is starting a new initiative that sounds perfect for folks from our neighborhood. Twick and Jacob’s Organization for Inspiration is dedicated to fighting apathy and organizing peaceful gatherings for artists and creative people in the Milwaukee area. They will support peace actions, artistic communities, and creativity to help build a more peaceful and equal society. They plan to organize local galleries, musical gatherings, and poetry readings/speeches, to promote peace and stop apathy. Their first projects include a concert at The Coffee House early in 2009, and a local gallery showing at Bucketworks. Check out thrie website at TandJsOrg.weebly.com or email them at . AMUSE YOUR NEIGHBORS! Do you do something amusing, quirky, or kooky? Are you an amateur singer, musician, or performance artist? Well then, strut your stuff on the big stage and amaze your neighbors at the 4th annual Riverwest Follies. Celebrate the Riverwest Currents 7th Anniversary! Sponsored by Art Bar & Two, Lakefront Brewery, Our Lady of Divine Providence, Riverwest Co-op and Riverwest Currents. Saturday, March 7, Colonial Hall, 3063 N. Fratney (& Burleigh). Contact Show Director Kait Moon, 414.265.7278 or by February 21.