Learning to eat out as a threesome

March 31, 2009

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

I didn’t realize how easy it was to eat out as a dink-Dual Income No Kids. Before having a child, I thought mostly about a restaurant’s menu and atmosphere. I hardly even noticed whether they had highchairs or not. I rarely dined out with friends’ kids, and there are no other children in my family so it was never a concern.

Now that we have a child, I am happy to see so many Bay View eateries have highchairs. In fact, I have not found a restaurant that does not provide at least one.

The alternative to a highchair is holding my daughter in my lap and I have been in this predicament twice. Hopefully we won’t repeat it because her reach is ever-expanding and she can quickly tip over plates or cups.

I applaud the following local restaurants, favorites of mine which all have highchairs and kid-friendly staff:

Carleton Grange. Beyond Bay View’s borders but notable as one of the few local establishments with both a kid’s menu and easy parking. A walkable destination when timed to coincide with naptime in the stroller.

Cafe LuLu. This local standard handles kids fairly well. When I was a brand-new mom, a friendly server showed me how to upend a highchair to secure a baby carrier at table height.

Soup Otzie’s. Combines well with a lunchtime trip to the nearby library for some puppet play.

Transfer. Big windows provide good views of buses to point out to kids, plus the pizza menu is likely to please most children. About once a month, I take my daughter on Mondays for the weekday lunch special.

Wild Flour. Even a new walker can toddle the short distance from the nearby parking lot into a relaxed atmosphere with counter service instead of servers.

Changing Tables

Pre-kid, I never kept track of the plastic flip-down changing tables in restaurant restrooms, either. As a new mom, I started appreciating them but occasionally missed one because I didn’t realize they were sometimes located in the bathroom stall for disabled people. This left me kneeling on the floor over my baby or outside at the car, hunched over her in the back seat. The floor is uncomfortable and isn’t sanitary, and extra car trips aren’t fun, especially in cold, snow, or rain.

I like knowing that a changing table is available for my use, but also for other families. It limits the “ick” factor of thinking that other people are changing messy babies on floors or countertops. The sloppiest diaper change shouldn’t happen on the same countertop where I lay my purse or rest my box of leftovers.

I keep a mental tally of which local venues provide changing tables and often veto outings to those which do not. During my 16 months of motherhood, I have checked out 25 restaurants in Bay View and just beyond the borders. In preparation for this column, I transferred my mental tally to a notebook, skipping the area’s fast food joints but including a few coffee shops that serve food.

I tallied my list and the results surprised me. I knew there seemed to be limited choices, but seeing the actual figures was still a surprise: Only five of the 25 restaurants, or 20 percent, have a diaper changing table.

Kudos to these five:

Anodyne. Known for coffee but serves bagels, granola parfait, and soup. Signals extra kid-friendliness by regularly hosting the popular group Fox & Branch, providing a kid-size table and chairs, and having toys.

Applebee’s. Violates my family’s tendency to avoid chain restaurants, but staff welcome children with a balloon and bring food quickly. Children’s menu and special pricing on certain days. Changing table in the men’s bathroom, not just women’s.

Bella’s Fat Cat. A friendly neighborhood standard where I appreciate the 100-percent juice boxes.

Outpost Fork in the Road Café. Healthy food from breakfast to dinner. When the weather cooperates, it’s great to roll a stroller in because there are no steps. The site of my first “mommy and me” meal out with my daughter.

Sheridan‘s. The entrees are more expensive than the other four establishments, so we reserve it for a nicer meal.

Recently, another restaurant owner told me he plans to add changing tables as his profitability rises, and I hope more owners do the same. There are lots of little eaters in Bay View. As the neighborhood continues to welcome more of them, I hope more restaurants provide a changing table. In fact, I hope they install two: the standard for mothers plus one for fathers.

The author is a freelance writer and mother of one. Reach her with comments or suggestions at jill@bayviewcompass.com.

Locals win silver at pond hockey championship

March 31, 2009

hockey On Valentine’s Day weekend near Eagle River, Wis., the Pincherry Lake Loons went all the way to win silver in the Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships, losing by one point to the Dumpster Divers of Bloomington, Iowa.

The Pincherry Lake Loons are six local guys who played their first game together as a team at the championships.

They competed in the novice level, consisting of 24 teams. This is the first time they entered the competition, after having visited it last year to check it out. A total of 196 teams played on 20 rinks at the fourth annual championship.

Team members Dave Moynihan and Kelly Elwell play hockey on the Humboldt Park Lagoon and help keep the ice clear of snow during the winter months. Moynihan, of Bay View, has a cabin near Eagle River on Pincherry Lake, hence the team name.  »Read more

Bay View’s big red school house

March 31, 2009

By Jay Bullock

Jackie Laber says Dover is a target for proposed school mergers “Because we’re the biggest frickin’ building in the area.” —photos Ken Mobile Dover Bay is not a real city, but every day the mail gets delivered, the recycling gets collected, and the mayor and common council go about doing the people’s business.

One thing: The “people” are the students of Dover Street School, 619 E. Dover St., and “Dover Bay” is the city-within-a-school they inhabit. As a First Amendment School, one of 20 schools nationwide to receive help and private grant funding from the First Amendment Center and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, a key part of Dover’s curriculum is civic education.

Though Dover didn’t become a First Amendment School until 2004, Dover Bay dates back to 1996, when the staff wanted to use School-to-Work funding on a project that could be long-lasting and incorporated into every class every day.

The First Amendment School grant brought an additional focus on the “Five Freedoms”-freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition-contained in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. The additional focus on those freedoms is designed to teach students not just responsibility but to take initiative and speak out.

“It doesn’t affect everybody all the time,” principal Jackie Laber said in an interview, “but it teaches them, ‘I have a voice.'”  »Read more

Sven’s owner roasts MMSD on Alterra lease

March 31, 2009

By Michael Timm

Beneath his trademark New York Yankees cap, Steve Goretzko is fuming.

The burly owner of Sven’s Café said he is dissatisfied that instead of being opened to public bid, the lease between the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and Alterra Coffee Roasters for its prime location in the historic MMSD pump house at 1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr. was renegotiated.

Goretzko has been quietly-and not so quietly-complaining about the terms of the original lease with his competitor for years. He’s smelled a sweet deal for Alterra.

But now he’s convinced there’s been shady dealing all along and feels he’s been shut out of an opaque process that has underestimated the amount of rent MMSD, a state-chartered government agency with taxing authority, could be-and could have been-recouping from its lease.

The March 23 decision by the MMSD commission to tack on 10 years to Alterra’s lease-keeping it ensconced at the lakefront through 2022, with an opt-out option in 2017-has effectively prevented Goretzko from launching his own bid for this space, something he has long desired to do. Goretzko, who’s roasted Sven’s Coffee since 1989, opened his own Bay View café in 2004.  »Read more

Ken Keltner, Bay View’s husky third sacker

March 31, 2009

By Anna Passante

Keltner Indian A deafening roar of applause rocked the jam packed wooden stands of old Borchert Field as Kenny Keltner, the pride of Bay View, blasted a tremendous drive far over the left center field fence,” wrote George Reimann in his book Sandlot Baseball in Milwaukee’s South Side. “The ball sailed across the intersection of N. 8th and W. Burleigh Streets, and smashed a filling station gasoline pump on the northwest corner.”

It was Sept. 8, 1937, Keltner Night at Borchert Field. Kenneth F. Keltner was the third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers, a minor league team that played in the American Association from 1902 to 1952.

From Bay View to the Brewers

Keltner was born in Bay View in 1916 and spent much of his childhood in Bay View, living at 2519 S. Superior St., 2130 S. Bennett St., and 2930 S. Pine Ave. He attended Trowbridge Elementary School and Boys’ Tech, but did not graduate. His father was a railroad switchman at the steel mill. As a teenager, Kenneth played on the south side municipal Midget League baseball teams, playing for the Gerber Morticians in 1932, Hebein Drugs in 1933, and the Justrites in 1934. He also played for the Charley’s Colts, an American Legion junior team. Keltner acquired “a reputation as a terrific fast pitch softball player with the 12-inch inseam ball,” wrote Reimann. In 1935, Keltner played for Sanders Clothiers in the Major AA league.

The minor league Milwaukee Brewers signed Keltner in 1936, and he played with the Brewers’ Fieldale, Va. farm club at a salary of $40 a month. With a .360 batting average, he scored 33 home runs and 116 RBIs. In 1937, he moved up to the minor league Brewers at Borchert Field, playing third base. With a .310 batting average and 27 home runs, Keltner tied for second place in the association. At six feet tall and 190 pounds, he was known as the “husky third sacker.”

In 1937, the Brewers traded Keltner to the American League Cleveland Indians, a major league team, for $25,000 and six players. Keltner made his debut with the Cleveland Indians Oct. 2, 1937. During his 1938 rookie year, he had a .276 batting average, 26 home runs, and 113 RBIs.

Keltner, kneeling third from the right, as a Gerber Mortician. From Sandlot Baseball in Milwaukee’s South Side by George Reimann courtesy of Betty Zimmermann Snapping the Streak

It was during a game in Cleveland on July 17, 1941 that Joe DiMaggio’s 56-straight-game hitting streak came to an end, due in part to Keltner. In both the first and seventh innings, DiMaggio hit balls sharply down the third baseline, and both times Keltner fielded them backhanded and threw DiMaggio out at first. After the game, he and his family received a police escort as a precaution against anyone who might target Keltner for ending baseball’s most amazing streak.

Keltner played for the Indians from 1937 to 1944. From March 1945 to March 1946, he served with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific operations. Keltner returned to play for the Indians from 1946 to 1949.

The Indians released Keltner in spring 1950, and he then signed with the Boston Red Sox, playing 13 games before being released. In 1951, he played his last professional baseball season with Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in California. His batting average for his 13-year major league career was .276, with 852 RBIs and 163 home runs.

While he played for the Indians, the Keltner family lived at 3249 S. Springfield Ave. in Bay View during the off-season. Every year, Keltner, his wife Evelyn, and his two sons Jeff and Randy packed up and drove to spring training in California. They then drove to Cleveland where the family resided during the baseball season.

In 1946, the whole Keltner family was featured on the Wheaties cereal box. For payment the family received free Wheaties for a whole year. Perhaps, too much of a good thing? “I no longer eat Wheaties,” said Randy. Though when he and his wife attend modern Brewers games with their friends, they all wear T-shirts with the Wheaties poster on them.

After the Majors

According to Jim Nitz’s extensively researched online biography of Keltner (bioproj.sabr.org), after retiring from professional baseball, Keltner played a few seasons of semi-pro baseball for Rohr Jewelers in 1952, worked in various sales jobs, and scouted for the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox. In the late 1960s, Keltner operated a restaurant called Keltner’s Hob Nob at 3158 S. Howell Ave. (now The Bubbler).

Wheaties Champion advertisement when Keltner played for the Cleveland Indians. ~courtesy Jeff Keltner In 1989, when the movie Major League was filmed in Milwaukee, Keltner served as a consultant during the hiring of the extras who auditioned for roles as baseball players. Randy Keltner’s son Paul played a batboy in the movie.

Love of baseball ran in the family. Both sons played baseball while attending Bay View High School. After graduation, Jeff spent two months with the minor league Kansas City Athletics’ farm team. Randy’s son Ken served as a batboy for the major league Milwaukee Brewers in the 1980s. Jeff lives in Caledonia and Randy lives on Milwaukee’s southwest side.

In tribute to Keltner, a youth baseball diamond at 13th and Grange was renamed Ken Keltner Field in 1989. In 1999 the name was transferred to the baseball diamond in Humboldt Park where Keltner had played as a youth, according to Nitz.

Keltner died in 1991 at the age of 75. According to Reimann, Keltner summed up his 13-year major league baseball career this way: “As a sixteen year old kid playing on the sandlots, I had two ambitions. One was to be a World’s Champion and the other to be an All-Star player. I was fortunate enough to realize both of these. Our 1948 Cleveland team won the pennant in a playoff with Boston and then defeated the Braves in the World Series. I participated in seven All-Star games.”

Randy’s greatest memory of his dad was his father’s dedication to his fans.

When walking through the Cleveland stadium parking lot after a game, fans would besiege Keltner for an autograph. According to Randy, Keltner did not leave the parking lot until every fan was satisfied.

CNN declares Milwaukee the fourth best basketball town in America

March 31, 2009

Here’s what CNN said about Milwaukee:

There is no football team at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That means students and alumni are even more dedicated to the men’s basketball team, they say.

Marquette may be a Jesuit university with just over 11,000 students, but it boasts one of the highest attendance rates at basketball games in the country. Students at Marquette don’t pitch tents like at Duke, but the games are so popular, some will bring their sleeping bags 10 hours before the game to get the best seat in the house  »Read more

Photos of Humboldt Park School’s multicultural program Feb. 26

March 31, 2009

Photos courtesy of Humboldt Park School

Mrs. Moua gets her Hmong dancers ready. Mrs. Schmeling and her K4 class get ready to take the stage.

First graders show how to play a game from Australia. Sheng Yang models her Chinese Hmong clothing.

The granddaddy of all-star benefit concerts

March 31, 2009

By Randy Otto

Here’s a trivia question. When it comes to the “father” of all-star benefit shows like Live Aid, Farm Aid, Live 8, the Bridge concerts, etc., what name comes to mind? You’d be likely to answer Bob (Sir Bob) Geldof, right? Well, you’d be wrong.

Would you believe…John Cleese?

No, this is no April Fool’s joke. The Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star (and Milwaukee Public Television radio spokesman) was the catalyst for the shows that evolved into the events mentioned above. That’s one of the revelations found in the recent DVD box set The Secret Policeman’s Balls, which collects highlights of the legendary UK benefit shows held during the ’70s and ’80s.

As stated in the set’s accompanying booklet, back in 1974 a fledgling organization called Amnesty International was desperately looking for ways to keep from going under. One person who responded to the pleas for funds was one “J. Cleese.” An alert Amnesty worker surmised that this was none other than John Cleese, and based on his hunch, approached the comedian to ask for ideas as to how Amnesty could raise funds quickly. Not only did Cleese respond, but he also offered his services and connections to organizing a benefit show. The resulting 1975 event, known as Pleasure at Her Majesty’s, featured the cream of British comedy talent and was an enormous success. The show was made into a movie, shown in the United States as Monty Python Meets Beyond the Fringe, since the show featured most of the Pythons along with the legendary comedy troupe Beyond the Fringe. That show spawned additional events, which came to be known, in typically British fashion, as The Secret Policeman’s Ball»Read more

Less energy and more sunshine

March 31, 2009

By Marina Dimitrijevic, District 4 County Supervisor

On March 23, I held a press conference with County Executive Scott Walker to discuss the county’s progress in implementing my Green Print legislation. At this event we also accepted a $73,482 check made out to Milwaukee County from Focus on Energy for energy-efficient upgrades currently underway in many of Milwaukee County’s buildings. This grant recognizes the reduced energy consumption we have achieved through our partnership with Honeywell in the Milwaukee County Courthouse. There have been major upgrades to the building, including retrofitted light fixtures, the installation of light and motion sensors, and more efficient heating and cooling.

In addition, the Green Print’s sustainability position has been filled. Stevan Keith, sustainable and environmental engineer, is working with the newly created Green Print Workgroup. This workgroup will present a detailed report on the Green Print’s implementation to the County Board’s Parks, Energy, and Environment Committee in April. Soon, a new website dedicated to the Green Print will be launched to help educate and promote efforts to our employees and the public at large in hopes of increased participation.  »Read more

True business leaders value students

March 31, 2009

By Terry Falk, 8th District School Board Director

Our son, Carl, was lucky. Toward the end of his junior year at Juneau High School, he received an internship at Miller Engineering. Art Miller and his staff trained students in computer-generated drafting and made sure that interns learned something about engineering. If a student needed time off to finish a major school paper or prepare for an exam, that was what they were supposed to do. Their education came first.

When Juneau High School closed, Miller Engineering lost its link to student internships and went without high school interns for a few years. When I got elected to the school board, I gave Art Miller a call wondering if he wanted to reestablish internships with another high school.

Art told me that he actually had thought of giving me a call himself. He wanted to do more. Art told me that he could easily hire a kid like our son or a suburban student, no problem. What Art wanted to do was to hire a city kid who just “needed a break.”  »Read more

More tax tips

March 31, 2009

By Jeff Plale, 7th District State Senator

As April 15 approaches, I would like to take this opportunity to share some useful information for those of you who still need to file your 2008 income taxes.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) suggests filing your state and federal tax returns early to ensure they are processed in a timely manner. By e-filing you can further expedite the process and get any expected refund more quickly. DOR provides helpful information on e-filing at their website, dor.state.wi.us. You can also check the status of your return and avoid long wait times by visiting their website.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and Taxpayer Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) provide free tax advice and assistance in filing basic income tax returns. Additionally, taxpayer assistance is available in certain public libraries. To find a location in your area, you may visit the DOR website or contact them by phone at (608) 266-2772. See the sidebar for details of a state sponsored VITA/TCE site in Milwaukee that is open now through April 15. »Read more

Tax resources that might help you

March 31, 2009

By Jon Richards, 19th District State Representative

I want to take this opportunity to provide you with some information about what the state of Wisconsin is doing to provide assistance to people filling out their state and federal income tax forms.

First and foremost, please be advised that the tax deadline is April 15. If you cannot complete your taxes by this deadline, extensions are available for you. You can find information about filing for extensions or about your other tax questions by contacting the Wisconsin Department of Revenue at (608) 266-8641 or on their website at dor.state.wi.us, or the U.S. Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 or on their website at irs.gov.

I want to encourage you to take advantage of tax credits for middle class families. Every year a surprisingly large number of people do not take advantage of tax credits and end up with a higher tax bill. The first program available is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you qualify for EITC you could receive a combined state and federal refund of up to $6,898 for three or more children, up to $5,499 for two children, and up to $3,034 for one child. To qualify for Wisconsin’s EITC for 2008 you must qualify for the federal earned income credit, have at least one qualifying child, be a full-year Wisconsin resident, and file a joint return if you are married.  »Read more

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