MPS administration proposes combining Dover and Tippe at former Fritsche Middle School

March 18, 2011

Milwaukee Public School Press Release (March 18, 2011)

MPS proposes consolidations, closings Superintendent says district is taking steps to preserve quality services for children

The MPS Administration is proposing a number of strategic actions to preserve quality services for children. A group of district schools are proposed for closure, while others are proposed to merge. In addition, the administration is preparing proposals that, if approved, could result in cost savings due to lease terminations, re-purposing of certain buildings, and the sharing of services. The following are some of the actions to be considered March 22 by the School Board’s Committee on Accountability, Finance and Personnel.

Proposed to share a site:

  • Dover Street School, 619 E. Dover Street and Tippecanoe School for the Arts and Humanities, 357 E. Howard Dover and Tippecanoe would vacate their current sites and move to the larger Fritsche building, which has been vacant. The move allows these two schools to share a principal and consolidate services.
  • 35th Street School, 3517 W. Courtland Avenue. The program would move to the Milwaukee Campus for Technology, Trades and Media.

Proposed for closure:

  • Siefert School, 1547 N. 14th Street
  • Phillis Wheatley Elementary, 2442 N. 20th Street
  • 68th Street Early Childhood School, 6720 W. Moltke Avenue. The closure of 68th Street would result in expansion of early childhood classes at the nearby 81st Street School, and would save the district more than $100,000 in transportation costs.

Proposed for merger:

  • Hopkins Street School, 1503 W. Hopkins Street and Lloyd Street School, 1228 W. Lloyd Street. These two schools would merge at the Lloyd Street site and become a community school exemplified by the Harlem Children’s Zone movement.
  • The schools proposed during the March Board cycle for closure or merger are operating at about half their capacity, and each has seen a drop in enrollment over the past ten years. Enrollment has an impact on school budgets because children are counted for state aid purposes. All of the schools listed above were facing challenges in providing quality programs and services for next school year.

Governor Scott Walker has proposed cuts in his state budget that are projected to result in a decrease of $74 million in aid to MPS next year. The cuts include elimination of P5 funding, which is state money that supports small classrooms in the early grade levels. The loss of the P5 money will have a potentially devastating effect on school budgets. Schools affected by this include Siefert, Wheatley and Hopkins. Hopkins faces a budget shortfall that would result in only 10 teachers to cover all eight grades next school year, and would also lose art, physical education and music programs.

There are other measures on the Committee’s agenda for the March 22 meeting, which is available online at http://mpsportal.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/portal/server.pt (Click on the logo for the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, then click on “Meeting Agendas”.) The Accountability, Finance and Personnel Committee meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Central Services Auditorium, or immediately following the prior scheduled meeting.

District policy regarding facilities calls for the Board to take action on closures no later than December 31 if the closure happens in the following school year. Superintendent Gregory Thornton stated that the recently proposed cut in state aids forced the administration to take action later in the school year to mitigate financial challenges in the coming fiscal year. “We may bring forward another set of consolidations and closures in April, too,” said Dr. Thornton. “The net result could be up to ten schools closed this spring. We are trying to carve out savings in facilities so we can protect programs for children. It will always be about how we can serve children better.”

The MPS strategic plan calls for reducing $10 million in three years from the costs it takes to operate excess space. As of 2010, these costs have been reduced by $7.07 million. Two school closures have already been approved by the Board this year; Lady Pitts and Vel Phillips programs are to end in June 2011. The district continues to actively seek new purposes for vacant buildings, in an effort to preserve the integrity of communities and the investment of city taxpayers.

The current process to identify buildings or programs for closure takes into account the vacancy rates of buildings; academic performance; transportation; proximity to other programs and facilities; building and site adequacy; and recreation facilities and recreational programming.

The district has commissioned a facilities and operations review. Based on results of that review, there may be additional consolidations and building closures within MPS in years to come.

For additional information, call MPS Communications Director Roseann St. Aubin, (414) 475-8237. Follow district information on Twitter, @MilwaukeeMPS.


County to develop facilities plan

March 18, 2011

Source: Milwaukee County Board press release

The County Board on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a resolution to develop a comprehensive facilities plan for Milwaukee County. The resolution was developed by the Long-Range Strategic Plan Steering Committee, Chaired by Supervisor Patricia Jursik, and targets ongoing County space needs, facilities planning and the sale of surplus properties.

“It’s clear that the County has not done facilities and space planning in quite some time. This approach will ensure that we make the best use of our assets,” Supervisor Jursik said. “Consolidating facilities and, when appropriate, selling excess property can help the County operate more efficiently and effectively.”

The goals of the facility plan include the following:
Maximize the value leveraged through any land sales
Consolidate County holdings based on best and most efficient use
Reduce long-term costs associated with owning facilities
Reduce the County’s overall real estate holdings

The resolution also developed the following policies related to the sale of land assets:
Use proceeds for one-time projects rather than for ongoing operating costs
Budget proceeds based on actual sales, as opposed to planning for anticipated future sales proceeds that, historically, are not accurate.

The plan will be conducted by an outside firm to provide policymakers with a strategic roadmap for comprehensive facility planning.


County board resolution calls for creation of Long-Range Lakefront Planning Committee

March 18, 2011

Source: Press Release from Milwaukee Couny Board of Supervisors

A resolution authored by Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik won unanimous approval from the County Board Thursday afternoon. The resolution calls for the creation of a Long-Range Lakefront Planning Committee to develop a vision for the lakefront near downtown Milwaukee.

“A number of individuals in this community have expressed a desire to recreate the lakefront near downtown Milwaukee. I agree that a broad vision that includes input from all stakeholders is necessary to develop the best possible path for moving forward,” said Supervisor Jursik, who also Chairs the County Board’s Long-Range Strategic Plan Steering Committee. “The creation of this new Committee establishes the proper process to develop a long range plan and realize the agreed upon vision.”

The Committee will be chaired by the Parks Director, Sue Black, and include one Milwaukee County Supervisor, the Milwaukee County Economic Development Director, the City of Milwaukee Commissioner of City of Development, a representative from the Milwaukee Common Council, and representatives from other stakeholders at the lakefront, including the War Memorial Center, Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World, Lakefront Development Advisory Commission, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Summerfest.

“This establishes a truly long-range strategic planning process,” Supervisor Jursik added. “The Committee will provide an open forum for all stakeholders to create a common vision for the future of our lakefront.”

The final plan will be submitted to the County Board by December 2012 and include recommendations on the future of O’Donnell Park and the Downtown Transit Center.


Wind turbine compromise proposed

March 16, 2011

By Michael Timm

The city of Milwaukee’s Office of Environmental Sustainability has narrowed four options down to one final proposal: it wants to build one 100-kilowatt wind turbine on the Port of Milwaukee administration building property at 2323 S. Lincoln Memorial Dr. this summer.

This is the larger of two turbines considered earlier, but at the less intrusive of two sites.

The 154-foot “silent drive” turbine manufactured by Vermont-based Northern Power is conservatively estimated to generate 109,000 kilowatt-hours annually—more than enough to completely offset the 100,240-kilowatt-hour electricity usage of the adjacent city-owned port building. This means it should actually generate revenue for the city.

The turbine will require no financing or debt, said Matt Howard, the city’s director of environmental sustainability. It would be funded by a $400,000 federal grant and approximately $200,000 in incentives from We Energies and Focus on Energy.

At a second public meeting hosted March 14 by 14th District Alderman Tony Zielinski and attended by more than 20 residents, Howard also shared information in response to concerns expressed at the packed Jan. 13 meeting.

A map generated by a third-party engineer showed that no residents or buildings would fall in the turbine’s shadow. Another map estimated the turbine’s noise levels as minimal: just 30 meters from the turbine, it’s estimated at 54 decibels; the closest homes at E. Conway and S. Superior streets fall at the edge of the 42-decibel range. A human conversation is 50 decibels; a quiet room, 35 decibels. “This thing is going to be lost in the ambient noise of the neighborhood,” Howard said.

In the February issue, the front page of the Compass showed what this turbine would look like out on the confined disposal facility (CDF), then considered a prime site due to the availability of more energetic winds. Howard and Zielinski ruled out that site for multiple reasons: the disruption of the skyline view for residents of the Bay View Terrace condo tower, the possible impact on migratory birds that use the CDF as a stopover point, and possible legal challenge over the use of this filled lakebed land for anything other than navigation or recreation.

Moving the turbine inland to the port building site significantly reduces the visual impact on the lakefront. Howard showed a photo of the downtown skyline as seen from South Shore Park; the proposed turbine was not even in the shot.

At 2011 electric rates, the turbine is expected to produce $14,000-20,000 annually. At 2011 rates, the port administration building’s annual electric bill is estimated at $13,067.

The turbine now awaits approval by the Board of Harbor Commissioners and the Milwaukee Common Council. A final decision is expected by April 25.

More info: milwaukee.gov/sustainability/WindProject.


MREA wind tour March 19

March 16, 2011

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association is hosting an introductory seminar on wind energy and offering Milwaukee residents the opportunity to see a wind turbine in Ft. Atkinson up close on Saturday, March 19.

The two-hour seminar will introduce the topic to home and business owners. A bus will depart Outpost Natural Foods, 2826 S. KK in Bay View, at 9:30am and will return at 2:30pm.

The tour will visit the 100-kilowatt Northern Power wind turbine on the Madison Area Technical College campus in Ft. Atkinson. This is the same turbine being considered for the Port of Milwaukee.

Pre-registration is required. $10 ticket includes seminar, transportation, and lunch. Contact nickk@midwestrenew.org or (414) 431-0758.


Community meeting on Walker’s budget proposal March 21

March 16, 2011

A community meeting on Governor Walker’s budget proposal is 7pm Monday, March 21 at the Bay View High School auditorium, 2751 S. Lenox St.

In attendance are expected: State Sen. Chris Larson, State Rep. Jon Richards, State Rep. Christine Sinicki, State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, School Board Dir. Terry Falk, and School Board Dir. Larry Miller.

Presentation will include a PowerPoint slide show on the possible impacts to Milwaukee Public Schools from the Governor’s proposed budget.

Elected officials will take questions and give analysis of the proposed budget including items beyond the impacts to schools (health, higher education, environment, transportation, etc.).

Source: Terry Falk.


Sixth Street Bridge public art finalists

March 15, 2011

Story & Photos by Michael Timm

Eight rectangular panels on the ends of the newly completed Sixth Street Bridge that spans the Kinnickinnic River between Cleveland and Harrison avenues will be decked out with public art this summer.

Four panels face inward toward the roadway and the other four face out over the river.

Four semi-finalists for the public art project displayed their proposals for public input March 15 at Tres Hermanos, 1332 W. Lincoln Ave.

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Nathaniel Heuer and Michael Arms proposed botanical designs inspired by Ojibwa art that would be screenprinted onto two layers of cedar panels.

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Jack Gajewski and Kathryn “Kitty” Dyble Thompson proposed acrylic painted designs featuring animals and inspirational text that view the river as a metaphor for the community.

Jim Zwadio proposed acrylic painted designs featuring an aerial view of pedestrians and cyclists along the Kinnickinnic River Trail.

Paul Kjelland and Nicolas Lampert proposed slogans like “We Live Around the River” that would accompany street-sign icons designed to make motorists realize they are passing over a river.

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The artists will now incorporate public feedback into their final project concepts, which are due March 25.

The finalist will be selected April 1. The selection committee consists of Gary Tuma, executive director of Walker’s Point Center for the Arts; Dawn Giersch, south side resident; Joe Smith, Borg Ward Collective; Steve Fendt, executive director of the Southside Organizing Committee; and Ghassan Korban, city of Milwaukee Department of Public Works.
Artwork is to be completed by June 1 and installed on the bridge June 22.

Public comments should be directed to Nadia Bogue, environmental projects coordinator at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center: (414) 385-3749 or nadia.bogue@sschc.org.

Cleanups of the Kinnickinnic River area are scheduled for 9am April 16 and 10am June 4.

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Frontier Radio turns 30

March 12, 2011

Normally, my March column is usually given over to local musical celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day.  Not to worry, there’s still plenty of those in store this year, and I mention a number of them in my online Now Hear These listing.  But this St Paddy’s Day there’s a special reason to celebrate.  On March 17, WMSE Radio will mark exactly thirty years on the air.  With a radio landscape filled with ever changing call letters and formats, the fact that Frontier Radio (affectionately known in the early days as “Messy Radio”) has maintained the same programming format for this long is nothing short of remarkable.  Consider the fact a number of the station’s volunteer DJ’s have been doing their thing for the station’s entire run.  And for many listeners (including yours truly), the station has provided an education in a wide array of musical genres.  And thanks to the internet, the station’s listeners now literally span the globe.  Combine that with the station’s never-flagging support of the local music and arts scene, and you truly have an asset that’s one of this community’s cultural treasures.  And that’s something worth celebrating.  Big time.

And celebrate they will, beginning on March 6, when the station presents the ninth annual Rockabilly Chili contest at the Kern Center on the MSOE campus.  This is the station’s single biggest fund-raising event, and around fifty establishments will be offering their chilis for your perusal.  And the public is strongly encouraged to vote for their favorites in three categories:  meat, veggie, and spicy.   Add to this  the great records spun by DJ’s Jonny Z and Dietrich, and you’ve got yourself one of the city’s biggest parties.  And with the winter we’ve been having, it couldn’t come soon enough.

The official celebration takes place the week of March 13-20, when the station will showcase some of our best local acts at venues all over town.  On the actual anniversary on March 17 the Thursday DJ’s, including Dori, Tom Wanderer, and especially Jules, who’s been with the station since Day One, will be featuring special music to commemorate the occasion.  Capping the day’s festivities will be a show at Turner Hall Ballroom featuring Celtic punk band the Tossers, back again in Milwaukee for St Paddy’s Day.  And if that’s not enough, head over the next night to Mad Planet on Center St, where their weekly 80’s Retro Night will be taken over by veteran MSE DJ’s Dori and Melissa, who will be spinning their favorite 80’s tracks.

Full details on anniversary events and lineups are available at the station’s website, wmse.org.

Happy Anniversary, Frontier Radio!

(Disclaimer: Randy Otto is a volunteer and sometime co-show host on WMSE.)

NOW HEAR THESE!

Before getting to this month’s picks, just a few quick notes.

First of all, kudos to Bay View resident Bill Theisen because his term as Artistic Director of the Skylight Opera has been extended  two years.  A lifelong Milwaukee resident, Mr. Theisen’s talents aren’t restricted to the Skylight stage.  Last fall, he co-starred in the Rep’s hit Laurel and Hardy, and on March 18-20, he’ll be directing the Florentine Opera’s production of Rossini’s comic masterpiece The Italian Girl in Algiers (more info at florentineopera.org).  And of course, we’ll be looking forward to more great shows at the Skylight-the 2011-12 season lineup is now available at skylightopera.com.  Congratulations, Bill!

There’s good news for local jazz fans.  There’s a brand-new website that caters to the Milwaukee jazz community.  Go to milwaukeejazzvision.org for up-to-the-minute information on jazz performances and activities around town. Check it out!

As I expected, a few of you chimed in response to last month’s column on music DVD’s.  Patricia of Milwaukee agreed on my top choice, Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense, but for a different reason.  “It’s a fantastic workout video!” she tells me.  Well Patricia, there’s no doubt this DVD is packed with energy to spare.  Jeff from Cudahy picks the Eagles’ DVDs, especially the 1994 classic Hell Freezes Over. “The sound and camera work are sublime.  It really boosted my appreciation for Joe Walsh’s talents as a guitarist, and best of all, the DVD sure is a lot cheaper than a ticket for one of their shows!” Jeff also put in a vote for Peter Gabriel’s concert DVD’s, Growing Up Live and Still Growing Up Live and Unwrapped. While they’re both extremely well-made concert films, I would opt for Still Growing Up as its setlist contains a better overview of Gabriel’s entire solo career. And Scott from Shorewood and Kyle from Milwaukee put in votes for last year’s Rush documentary Behind the Lighted Stage, saying it was much better than one might expect.  There are a lot of other people that agree with you, since the film received the Audience Award at last year’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

On February 18, I attended show #9 of Cheap Trick’s unprecedented 12 concert series at the Northern Lights theatre.  The “Dream Police” show lived up every bit to the deafening buzz I heard after the initial shows.  And given the logistics of the show’s multi-level stage, the orchestra and singers that joined the band for each show, and the Broadway-caliber stage effects (right down to the confetti that showered the crowd during the closing number “Surrender”-or were those more of Rick Nielsen’s guitar picks?), Milwaukee is the only city that will see this production.  Brian Burke of the Northern Lights staff told me that the band tweaked the setlist in the second part of the show nightly since a number of fans have attended every performance of the series.  Luckily for me, two of my favorite Trick tracks (“California Man” and “Mandocello”) made the setlist the night I attended.  And while there were rumblings that the series would be extended “by popular demand,” Brian said the most likely scenario would have the band returning in the fall for another residency at Northern Lights.  Either way, this show is not to be missed.  To this veteran concertgoer, it’s one of the best rock shows I’ve ever seen.

Gaelic Storm, Pabst Theater, March 17 (pabsttheater.org)

The world’s #1 Irish party band returns to Milwaukee, and for the fourth straight year, is celebrating St Paddy’s Day at the historic Pabst Theater.  To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, “Of all the pubs in all the towns in all the world, they celebrate St Paddy’s here.”  That says a lot for the love affair this band and our fair city have enjoyed since they made their momentous Milwaukee debut at the 1998 Irish Fest, after their appearance in the classic movie Titanic. Band member Patrick Murphy still loves talking about that gig, the first time the band performed outside of their home pub in Santa Monica, CA, describing the experience as going from pubs to Woodstock!  Now although the Pabst may be a cozier venue than being among the thousands that jam their Irish Fest shows, the evening promises to be every bit as raucous.  Leo was right, Gaelic Storm is a REAL party!

Frogwater, March 17 (frogwater.us)

St. Paddy’s Day rates alongside Irish Fest as the busiest time of year for many of Milwaukee’s Celtic-inspired acts.  Exhibit A is the ever-popular duo Frogwater, and this year John and Susan Nicholson will be playing no less than five gigs on March 17, all of them in the Milwaukee city limits!  They start the day at 10 am with their first-ever gig at the Black Rose at 2856 N. Oakland Ave, followed by a return to one of their favorite haunts, Slim’s at 338 S 1st St. at 2 pm.  Then it’s back downtown for a 4:30 gig at Trinity 3 Irish Pubs at 125 E Juneau Ave (try to guess which pub they’ll be playing in!), and then it’s a return to Slim’s for a 7:30 gig.  And in Frogwater tradition, St Paddy’s ends with a gig at the iconic County Clare at 1234 N Astor St from 10 pm until 2 am or when the band collapses, whichever comes first.  I’m putting my pot of gold on 2 am!  And if that wasn’t enough, they’ll be right back at it the next night when they’ll be playing the Horse and Plow pub at the American Club in Kohler.  When asked about playing so many gigs in such a short time, Susan echoed the sentiment of many other musicians by responding, “When the gigs are out there, you play!”

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Milwaukee Rep, March 1-27 (milwaukeerep.com)

Continuing a very strong season, the Rep also continues to broaden its musical horizons with this show from Tony and Pulitzer prize winner August Wilson, who was one of America’s greatest playwrights.  The show takes place in a Chicago recording studio in the late 20’s, where Ma Rainey and her band are cutting some blues sides.  Between the blues classics is a story that illustrates the black American experience of that era.  This is the second music-based show staged in the Rep’s Quadracci Powerhouse Theatre this season-the first was the highly successful Cabaret that opened the season last fall.  Hopefully this signals a trend of more musicals in the Rep’s future, as well as more music-inspired shows in the Rep’s Stackner Cabaret.

Wanda Jackson, The Party Ain’t Over

This onetime girlfriend of Elvis Presley is a bona fide member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and this brand-new album produced by Jack (White Stripes) White offers ample testimony that she deserves to be there!  Mr. White won a Grammy for producing Loretta Lynn’s 2004 comeback album, and don’t be surprised if he gets another one for producing this gem.  Backed by a crackerjack band (with horn section), the septuagenarian Ms. Jackson leads off with a 1-2 punch of “Shakin’ All Over” and “Rip It Up” and finishes with a dandy acoustic take on Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel #6.”  In between are knockout renditions of Bob Dylan’s “Thunder on the Mountain” and even pop standards “Rum and Coca Cola” and “Teach Me Tonight.”  With this album, the party’s just getting started!

Various Artists, LateNightTales Goes to the Movies

In the UK, the LateNightTales series has been very popular.  It allows acts to compile “mixtapes” of their favorite tracks by other artists.  So far, the series has included albums compiled by Air, Snow Patrol, Belle & Sebastian, Arctic Monkeys, Nouvelle Vogue, Flaming Lips, Moby, Fat Boy Slim, and Sly & Robbie, with a set compiled by Midlake on the way.

With the Academy Awards just behind us, I wanted to highlight this recent release, the first in-house production from the LateNightTales team, in which the themes from no less than 39 films are seamlessly woven together.  Some of the segueways are nothing less than pure genius.  For example, the opening track is Ry Cooder’s theme for Paris, Texas, which seamlessly melds into the late John Barry’s memorable theme for Midnight Cowboy. Later, the sounds of choppers herald the opening strains of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings as heard in Platoon, which transitions without skipping a beat into the opening acoustic guitar notes of “Cavatina” from The Deer Hunter. Then there’s Tomoyasu Hotei’s music for the Kill Bill trailer flowing into Dame Shirley Bassey’s classic “Diamonds are Forever” moving into Lalo Schifrin’s “Bullitt Main Title.”  And Vangelis’ “Tears in Rain” from Blade Runner going into Prince’s “Purple Rain” truly gave me chills.  With few exceptions, it’s strictly music, but the dialogue snippets are utilized to great effect, including Martin Sheen’s soliloquy accompanying Carmine Coppola’s “Saigon” from Apocalypse Now and Robert DeNiro’s chilling monologue accompanying the great Bernard Hermann’s “If the Animals Come Out at Night” from Taxi Driver, Hermann’s final score.

If you love movies and/or movie music (I know, that’s a bit redundant), this is a must for your collection.  The mini-posters of all 39 movies included in the CD booklet are a nice bonus.

More information on the LateNightTales series is available at latenighttales.co.uk.

Peter Baime, March 10, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music (wcmusic.org)

Guitarist Peter Baime is one of the longest-serving members of the WCM faculty.  And his specialty is flamenco guitar, which has similarities to jazz in which musicians carry on a musical dialogue with each other.  In this case, the guitarist responds to the steps of the flamenco dancer, and vice versa.  Dancers based in Madison and Chicago will be joining Baime on the program.  Just a word to the wise…Baime’s previous flamenco programs have played to packed houses, so in the words of Marty O’Neal, get your tickets now!

Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water (Legacy Edition)

Traffic, John Barleycorn Must Die (Deluxe Edition)

Derek & the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (Super Deluxe Edition)

All of the above listed classics came out over 40 years ago and have stood the test of time very well, so they certainly are worthy of the “deluxe” treatment.

Bridge Over Troubled Water turned out to be Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s swansong, and received a then-unheard of five Grammy awards (until Carole King’s Tapestry duplicated the feat the following year).  It spawned an amazing number of hit singles, including the title track, “El Condor Pasa (If I Could),” “Cecelia,” “Keep the Customer Satisfied” and the epic “The Boxer.”  This Legacy Edition will be especially attractive to fans since it includes a DVD containing the TV special Songs of America, which features concert footage from the duo’s 1969 tour and has not been seen since its original 1969 broadcast.  There’s also a feature on the making of the album, featuring recent interviews with Simon, Garfunkel, co-producer Roy Halee, and others involved with the making of the album (including members of Phil Spector’s legendary “Wrecking Crew”).

Traffic’s John Barleycorn Must Die is the band’s comeback after Steve Winwood’s fling with supergroup Blind Faith the year before.  Even so, many fans consider it Winwood’s first solo album, since he handles the majority of instruments and, of course, those unmistakable lead vocals.  But Winwood would insist that Jim Capaldi’s percussion and harmony vocals along with Chris Wood’s reed work were key elements in the album’s success.  Whatever, with its opening salvo of the great instrumental jam “Glad,” “Freedom Rider,” and the majestic “Empty Pages,” along with their take on the title track, one of the oldest songs in the English folk canon dating back to before Christianity, Barleycorn is one of the truly great rock albums.  The deluxe edition includes a 1970 Traffic show from New York’s legendary Fillmore East, recorded for a live album but previously unreleased.

The Great Rock Album accolade can also be accorded to Layla, and it has, many times.  This one time meeting of Winwood’s Blind Faith bandmate Eric Clapton and the late Duane Allman created an album of guitar masterpieces that have inspired axe masters for the past forty years.  And the title track’s concluding section provided unforgettable accompaniment to Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece Goodfellas. The Super Deluxe Edition is similar to the package given the Who’s Live at Leeds last year.  It contains 4 CD’s, 2 LP’s and a DVD along with book, all packaged in a flip top case.  The CD’s include the original album, both sides of a Phil Spector-produced Dominos single, all the songs the band performed for the Johnny Cash Show in November, 1970 (including Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox,” in which the band is joined by Perkins himself), songs recorded for the never-released second Dominos album, as well as an expanded edition of the band’s performance at the Fillmore East.  The DVD features a brand-new surround sound mix of the original album, for those of you who own home theatre systems.

The Traffic and Simon & Garfunkel releases arrive March 8; the Dominos set is scheduled for March 29.

Various Artists, Troubadours:  The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter

Starbucks’ Hear Music has done it again with this nifty DVD/CD package.  The DVD chronicles the singer/songwriter movement of the early 70’s zeroing in on the Troubadour, the venerable LA club that became the hub of the movement, along with two of its brightest stars, Carole King and James Taylor.  The DVD also includes interviews with other Troubadour stars such as Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Jackson Browne and Kris Kristofferson.  The bonus CD features key tracks from the artists.


Walker victorious — Wisconsin Senate passes edited version of budget repair bill that strips collective bargaining rights for most of Wisconsin’s public employees

March 10, 2011

WisconsinEye television recorded the Wisconsin state Legislature’s Committee on Conference Special Session March 9.

http://wiseye.org/Programming/VideoArchive/EventDetail.aspx?evhdid=3885

At the whirlwind five-minute meeting, committee Republicans rapidly approved their revised bill without reading or discussing the 138-page proposal, and ignored Democratic Representative Peter Barca’s protests that the meeting convened in violation of Wisconsin open meetings law because of insufficient public notice.

By removing text from the bill that authorized spending money, Republican lawmakers said the vote could proceed with a simple majority instead of the required quorum — presence of 20 senators required for bills that authorize spending.

Committee Republicans refused to entertain any discussion or amendments, and then rapidly advanced the bill out of committee to the state Senate, where Senate Republicans, with no debate on the floor, rapidly approved  the measure to restrict public-sector collective bargaining 18-1

Here is a link to WisconsinEye’s footage:

http://wiseye.org/Programming/VideoArchive/EventDetail.aspx?evhdid=3885

Here is the Milwaukee Journal’s story:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/117656563.html


Lost cat found yesterday afternoon

March 9, 2011

By Katherine Keller

Darwin Yvonne's Lost Cat

Eleven-month-old cat Darwin was reunited with his owner, Yvonne Walton,  March 8.

Walton received a tip yesterday that a cat meeting Darwin’s description was seen in the vicinity of the Bay View McDonald’s on Potter Avenue, east of Kinnickinnic.

Walton printed flyers to distribute in the McDonald’s neighborhood and was about to begin dropping them, when one of the Potter Avenue residents approached her, read the flyer, and said he thought that a cat who resembled Darwin was living under his neighbor’s porch in the home next to his. Walton walked next door, where she found a cat sitting on the proch, but not Darwin.

However, she heard another cat meowing, and within moments, Darwin emerged from under the porch.

Darwin was located six blocks from his home where he escaped through a screen window on Valentine’s Day.

Walton said her vet pronounced Darwin in good health, though undernourished.

Walton wishes to thank all those who called and wrote with advice and support during Darwin’s absence.


Hoan Bridge repair work begins

March 9, 2011

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that work is beginning on the $7.4 million project to do deck and pier surface repairs on the Hoan Bridge.

“This project involves the patching and repairing pavement on the deck and surface areas in need of maintenance on the Hoan Bridge from just south of the Carferry ramps to just north of the Michigan Street ramps,” said DOT project supervisor Tony Barth in a news release.

The DOT said two lanes of I-794 will remain open in each direction during peak periods throughout the project. During the first stage of construction, the Carferry on-ramp will be closed for about 60 days. The Carferry off-ramp will be closed near the end of the project for about 30 days.

The contractor is scheduled to complete the project by the end of November, weather permitting.


UPDATE 11:19am Bay View shooting not random, victim identified

March 9, 2011

By Katherine Keller

Shooting Gibson Bathrick photo

Bay View resident Gibson Bathrick said he heard gunshots and cries for help about 10:39pm last night where a fatal shooting occurred in the 500 block of E. Potter Avenue. — photo Gibson Bathrick

UPDATE  11:18 am  —  There was a double shooting in a Bay View home last night in the 500 block of E. Potter Avenue about 10:30pm, where Bruce A. Jerzey, 38, died of injuries from a gunshot wound. Another male,  age 15, was shot, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, according to Milwaukee Police Dept. spokesperson Anne E. Schwartz.

The juvenile  ran to a home on E. Dover St. after being wounded, “which is where the inaccurate information of someone being shot at that location may have come from,” Schwartz said.

The police said the incident was not a random act, and that the home on Potter has been the subject of several past drug investigations. Police are talking with a number of people but do not have anyone in custody at this time .


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