Down on the farm in Bay View

July 31, 2009

By Casey Twanow

Fish, sprouts, and veggies

Milwaukee residents learn about seeding sprouts on a Sweet Water tour with James Godsil.  ~photo Casey Twanow In the open, light-filled space of a repurposed factory, Will Allen, a towering urban farmer and CEO in a sleeveless hoodie, declared, “Urban farming has gone from a movement to a revolution.” Allen made this observation July 8, when he was present to watch the newest members of the revolution-1,200 small yellow perch-arrive at Sweet Water Organics.

Sweet Water is a nascent commercial fish farm opening at 2121 S. Robinson Ave. in a complex of industrial buildings tucked away in northwestern Bay View. The owners, Josh Fraundorf, Steve Lindner, and James Godsil, intend to sell yellow perch and tilapia to local restaurants and grocers. On July 22 another 1,200 perch and 33,000 tilapia swam into Sweet Water’s tanks. In all, 5,000 perch will be fattened up for the farm’s first winter harvest. The tilapia should reach market-size in nine months.  »Read more

Fat tires, classic cruisers in Cudahy

July 31, 2009

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

Roy Laird, Kevin Karbowski, Steve Whitford, Stefan Bacon, and Scott Wilke of South Shore Cyclery. ~photo Ken Mobile Scott Wilke stopped counting the bikes in his collection at 400.

Acquired over the last 20 years, Wilke’s collection has evolved into an informal bike museum occupying 2,000 square feet of first-floor space at South Shore Cyclery, 4758 S. Packard Ave. in Cudahy.

Rows of his specimens rest on racks from two liquidated Kmarts inside the bike store, whose basement abounds with multiple rooms of neatly organized bikes and parts. A few bikes are tagged with information but most are simply displayed with no labels. Bicycle enthusiasts will notice historical and stylistic changes in gear shifter placement and other differences from bike to bike.

Wilke, a congenial 54-year-old who speaks casually but with precision, describes his passion simply, “I collect and I don’t sell.”

Wilke’s favorite models are big, comfortable cruisers manufactured by American companies from the 1920s onward. In particular, he collects balloon-tire bikes from 1933 to the late 1950s. The bikes are easy to mount, have cushioned saddles, and evoke relaxed fun. They stir memories of childhood freedom like a Normal Rockwell image.  »Read more

Reclaiming the Kinnickinnic River

July 31, 2009

By Jennifer Yauck

Flood conditions on the KK River at Ninth Place and Cleveland Avenue in June 2008. ~photo courtesy Dave Fowler, MMSD

Flood conditions on the KK River at Ninth Place and Cleveland Avenue in June 2008. ~photo courtesy Dave Fowler, MMSD

When workers hoisted a large clamshell bucket filled with sediment from the bottom of the Kinnickinnic River earlier this summer, it was a sign that the river’s fortunes had begun to change.

The bucketful was the first of many in an ongoing project aimed at removing pollutants and deepening the river over a 2,000-foot-long stretch near Bay View’s northern edge, between Becher Street and Kinnickinnic Avenue. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are overseeing the $22 million dredging project, which is funded by federal and state dollars.

“It’s the first major investment in the river to take place in some time,” said Ben Gramling, director of environmental health programs at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center (SSCHC). SSCHC is involved in efforts to improve the Kinnickinnic River, which runs through neighborhoods the center serves. »Read more

Kinnickinnic River Trail trailheads

July 31, 2009

Earlier this summer, the proposed logo for signage and three trailhead designs for the Kinnickinnic River Trail were released.

The multiuse trail, which may not be constructed until next year, is intended to connect the Third Ward to the Bay View and Lincoln Village neighborhoods.

The proposal for the trailhead at Kinnickinnic Avenue and Maple Street is inspired by the railroad the trail that will run alongside as well as the industrial heritage and shipping of the area. Materials will include recycled railroad cross ties for a platform set in crushed shale aggregate, with concrete seats formed in 55-gallon steel drums. A small prairie restoration with swamp oaks would provide a natural respite within a highly industrialized area. The seating will face east toward the nearby harbor and offer excellent views of downtown Milwaukee.  »Read more

Doyle on Milwaukee County sales tax vetoes

July 31, 2009

The following is excerpted and abridged from Governor Doyle’s 74-page veto message (

As relates to Milwaukee Transit Authority

[Per various budget sections] The authority would be able to contract for transit service with the county and would be governed by a seven-member board. The Milwaukee County Board could vote to join the transit authority and would then be allowed to impose a 0.65-percent sales-and-use tax, with 0.5-percent for transit services, and 0.15-percent for police, fire, and emergency services. If the County Board imposes the sales-and-use tax for transit, it would not be allowed to use property taxes to fund transit and would be required to show the amount by which the 0.5-percent sales tax lowered the property tax bill. The revenue dedicated to police, fire, and emergency services would be distributed to municipalities within Milwaukee County.  »Read more

Milwaukee locavore movement

July 31, 2009

By Catherine Jozwik

Oxford University Press editors chose locavore as their word of the year in 2007. In their exploration of the meaning and origin of the word, they claim the word was coined by four women in San Francisco in 2005, who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius of their homes. Since then, the challenge has been adopted by other cities including Milwaukee.

The word is a combination between local and –vore, as in carnivore, and its etymology also dates back to 2005. Coined by author and chef Jessica Prentice as a group moniker for the people who were proposing the Bay Area challenge to eat locally, the word has since made its way into several dictionaries and the lexicon of the green movement.  »Read more

Hide House Lofts get green light

July 31, 2009

By Katherine Keller

The extraterrestrial that peers over the Hide House buildings between Chase Avenue and Greeley Street is probably programming its craft’s intergalactic GPS.

Bay View’s ET needs a new home.

The alien and its domed craft are painted on the south façade of one of the Hide House buildings that will be demolished this fall. A short but passionate battle was staged by Alderman Tony Zielinski and area residents to prevent owners from razing the north section of the Hide House and replacing it with a 60-unit, low-income apartment complex on the north end of the property at 2625 S. Greeley St.

The Common Council, by a 10-4 margin, voted on July 28 not to support Zielinski, who proposed extending historic designation to the Hide House structure in its entirety. If council members had voted in favor of Zielinski’s proposal, they would have overridden the recommendation of Zoning, Neighborhoods, and Development committee members to preserve the 1890s-era buildings only. The council’s vote thwarted Zielinkski and Hide House neighbors who hoped to halt the developers.  »Read more

Cudahy could soon be home of $1.73 million movie theater

July 30, 2009

By Matthew Sliker

Final approval of a development agreement for Rosebud Cinema Cudahy is scheduled before the Cudahy Common Council on Aug. 4. The theater would be located at 4630 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., a property that has been vacant for nearly 15 years and is the former home of Kohl's Food Store. ~photo Matthew Sliker

Final approval of a development agreement for Rosebud Cinema Cudahy is scheduled before the Cudahy Common Council on Aug. 4, said Sara Eberhardy, chair of the Community Development Authority, which first approved the agreement July 21.

The theater would be located at 4630 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., a property which has been vacant for nearly 15 years and is the former home of Kohl’s food store.

“Assuming that this goes through,” said Eberhardy, “We’re going to start seeing shovels in the ground very fast.”

Investors Larry Widen and David Glazer want to open the four-screen theater complex by December of this year.  »Read more

New officers for 100th season of Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association

July 30, 2009

Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association will celebrate its 100th year in 2010, slightly older than the city of Milwaukee Fourth of July Commission.

At its July 4 meeting, the nonprofit elected new presidential officers for 2010: Larry Reeve, president and Diane Reeve, vice-president. Contact info:,, (414) 643-5427.

The secretary and treasurer officeholders were reelected: Maryanne Loppnow, secretary, loppnowd@aol or 414.744.2606 (h), (414) 531.5744 (c); Jeanmarie Jones, treasurer, or 414.384.0217.

Bay View artists prepare public art for Park East Corridor

July 30, 2009

By Catherine Jozwik

Two Bay View artists, Kasia Drake and Ted Brusubardis, will be contributing their time and talent to the Park East Corridor Project, an art installation headed by IN:SITE, a volunteer organization dedicated to temporary public art in Milwaukee.

The installation, which will span 16 blocks and showcase 11 different art projects, is set in the Park East Corridor just north of downtown Milwaukee where the Park East freeway used to be. All the projects will be in place by Aug. 23. Some were up July 24, in time for the Summer Gallery Night.

In the installation, the artists both offer their interpretation to the question posed, “What is the value of the land?”  »Read more

Licenses applied for

July 30, 2009

  • BYO Studio, 2246 S. Kinnickinnic, applied for a new Class “B” Tavern and Record Spin license July 7.
  • Bay View Sports Bar, 2327 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., applied for a new Class “B” Tavern license July 9.
  • Target Store T-0223, 2950 S. Chase Ave., applied for a new Class “A” Liquor & Malt license July 17.

To Africa with love

July 30, 2009

By Mary Vuk Sussman

A grandmother of Bafut, Cameroon stands with her chicken at the entrance to one of the rooms of her home earlier this year. The hand-woven structure behind her is her chicken coop. ~photo courtesy St. Ann Center Sr. Edna Lonergan, OSF, president of St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, 2801 E. Morgan Ave., estimates that 150 families in Cameroon, Africa, have benefited from the Goat & Chicken Fund created by the St. Ann Center in 2006. The program was established to buy goats and chickens for older adults in Cameroon.

“Talk about the mite of the widow,” she said, referring to the biblical parable of the widow whose charitable contribution, minor in absolute value, Jesus deemed greater than the surplus gifts of those with greater wealth. “It’s amazing. People give a little bit, it just adds up. Even if they give $2, it would take care of the feed [for one chicken for two weeks]. A lot of people will give $100,” Lonergan said.

So far the fund has taken in $96,366 in donations. She said one donor from the northwest side of Milwaukee gave $25,000 and another donor from St. Francis gave $8,000. She noted, however, that most of the donations were small. She said many of the donors are from Bay View and St. Francis.  »Read more

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