2010 revisions to Milwaukee’s ordinances governing licensing task force

January 11, 2012

The Milwaukee Common Council revised some of the ordinances governing the licensing task from in 2010 in the wake of the federal bribery case prosecuting former Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee for bribing or extorting business owners who wished to obtain or renew  alcohol licenses. The following information—the press release that serves as a good introduction, as well as the text of the new ordinances, succinctly explains the way the laws govern the

The following text is excerpted from a City of Milwaukee press release explaining ordinance changes governing licensing task force.

April 20, 2010
Licenses Committee Unanimously Approves Task Force Reforms

This morning, the City of Milwaukee Licenses Committee unanimously approved an omnibus package of reforms, which were recommended by the Alcohol Beverage Licensing Task Force (ABLTF). The ABLTF was created by Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr., who testified before the committee this morning, to improve public trust in the licensing system and better inform citizens.

Some of the foremost ABLTF recommendations approved at this morning’s committee hearing were:

  • Ending the aldermanic power to hold license applications indefinitely.
  • A requirement that residents within 250 feet of a location be notified when a new license application for that location is heard before the Licenses Committee. (Currently, aldermen can choose to notify neighbors or not at their discretion).
  • A requirement that public notice of the license hearing be posted on the actual premises of the building for outside viewing purposes. (This is to better inform residents and members of the public who reside nearby a potential licensed location).

Read ordinance  091205.
Read ordinance: 091206.



4th District County Supervisor Dimitrijevic will face challenger

January 5, 2012

Bay View resident Bill Buresh collected enough signatures to be on the ballot of  the February primary and April election for Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. He is challenging  County Board 4th District incumbent Marina Dimitrijevic.

Dimitrijevic was elected 4th District Supervisor in 2004 and was re-elected to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors in 2008. She possesses the distinction of being the youngest woman to be elected to the County Board at age of 22.

To see all the candidates vying for office in the upcoming primary and election see:


Milwaukee Arts Board grant to restore Esperanza Unida mural

January 5, 2012

Public Art Conservation Advances in Milwaukee with a Grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board;

Copyright © 2006 Sulfur, Creative Commons

“Mural of Peace” Receives Restoration Money

The Milwaukee Arts Board is pleased to announce the first recipient of a grant from its fund devoted to the conservation of public art in the City of Milwaukee. The goal of the fund is to preserve that part of the city’s cultural and civic heritage embodied in its public art. At the recommendation of the Public Art Subcommittee, the Board has allocated $5,000 to Esperanza Unida, Inc., for the restoration of sections of the “Mural of Peace” located at 611 West National Avenue.

The 80’ x 160’ mural was created by artist Reynaldo Hernandez in 1994 on the former Kroeger Building, once the hub of the Walker’s Pont commercial center. Poet Carl Sandburg worked there briefly as an advertising copywriter. The International Building, as it is now called, serves the diverse communities that make up Milwaukee’s south side. The mural, located close to Interstate 94, is subject to damage from pollution and dirt, and was first restored in 2000. Mr. Hernandez will return with assistants next spring and summer to repaint several of the mural’s 285 panels.  The mural will be cleaned, resealed and a protective UV coat will be applied. Esperanza Unida will provide the matching funds required by the program; these funds have been raised primarily from individual donors. It is expected that the project will be completed in fall 2012.

“The mural is of historical, cultural and aesthetic importance to our city,” observed Alderman Michael Murphy. “It is exactly the kind of project the Milwaukee Arts Board is interested in funding. We are particularly pleased that Esperanza Unida is using this opportunity to educate the public about the conservation of public art by documenting the process on video and establishing a Facebook page for the project.”

As the fund reopens this month, $10,000 is available to conserve public art in the city. This next round of grants will be made in increments of $1,000, with no single award greater than $5,000. Qualifying works must be fully accessible to the public. The guidelines and application will become available at http://city.milwaukee.gov/MAB later this week. Applications will be due January 31, 2012.

If you have questions about the application or the process, or would like to alert the Public Art Subcommittee to a piece of public art that requires conservation, contact the Arts Board at artsboard@milwaukee.gov.  Please put “Public Art Conservation Fund” in the subject line.


Bay View Library hours extended

January 5, 2012

Note: The new extended library hours are effective now.

Source: Milwaukee Public Library

Milwaukee Public Library Increases Service Hours

 2012 Budget Includes Increased Evening Hours for Branch Libraries.

 The Milwaukee Public Library’s 2012 Budget includes funds to support a system-wide increase of 44.5 service hours per week. The new schedule provides an additional hour of evening service one day a week at Atkinson, Bay View, Capitol, Center Street, East, Forest Home, Villard Square, Washington Park, and Zablocki Libraries, and an additional hour of evening service two days a week at Martin Luther King, Mill Road, and Tippecanoe.

Central Library will increase evening hours from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday thru Friday, and will open an hour earlier at 9 a.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The added evening hours will allow neighborhood library patrons greater access to materials, as well as to computer services which are increasingly vital to students and job seekers.

In 2011, the addition of 40 laptops for customer use within six branch libraries increased public access to technology. Atkinson, Center Street, Forest Home, Martin Luther King, Villard Square and Washington Park libraries benefited from a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant which was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The grant also provided for a technology specialist at each of the six locations to provide training opportunities on laptop and desktop computers at the libraries. Four of the six locations offer bi-lingual (Spanish) assistance – Forest Home, Martin Luther King, Villard Avenue, and Washington Park branches.

Find a complete list of library locations and hours here, or pick up a printed copy at your Milwaukee Public Library.

Hub Super Market hopes to open liquor store in Bay View

January 4, 2012

By Katherine Keller

2277 S. Howell, red awning; 2273 S. Howell, green awning. — photo John Ebersol (click photo to enlarge)

STORY UPDATE—January 10, 11:55 pm

Alderman Zielinski denies that he told a Bay View business owner to delay his meeting with the License Committee until after the spring election. Jan Pierce is challenging Zielinski’s for theDistrict 14 seat.

In a phone interview this evening, Zielinski denied he advised Hub Super Market Paresh Patel to hold off his application for a full liquor license for a proposed liquor store at 2273 S. Howell Ave. until after the election. “I told the [License] committee not to schedule Paresh. I told Paresh to withdraw [the application] because of the feedback I’m getting from the community. I don’t support it now. I don’t support it in the future unless business-owners like Sarah Jonas of Lulu’s support it.

“I told [Patel] he’s got to convince those people in the area that would be negatively impacted by him. It’s up to those businesses,” Zielinski said, indicating that the disposition of his constituents forms the basis of his support or non-support of a license application.

However, Zielinski added that he is “leaning toward supporting A. K. Food Mart’s application for a beer license” because of the building improvements made by owner Jesse Singh, whom he described as a good business operator.

Hub and A.K. Food Mart (2305 S. Howell Ave.) compete for neighborhood patronage of their respective grocery stores located across from each other at the Lincoln and Howell avenues intersection.

Zielinski added that Cafe Lulu co-owner Sarah Jonas “doesn’t have a problem with A. K. getting the license, so I’m leaning toward A.K., but not Hub.” Jonas’ cafe and bar, 2261-2265 S. Howell Ave., are located in the buildings directly north of Patel’s proposed liquor store.

Moments after the conclusion of the interview, Alderman Zielinski placed a second call to the Compass. Paresh Patel was already conferenced in, creating a three-way call between Zielinski, Patel, and the Compass.

The alderman said that he included Patel in the call indicating he wanted to clarify or correct the information provided to the Compass today by Patel.

Zielinski insisted that what he actually said when he approached Patel was that he was not going to support his application for a liquor license unless Patel gained the approval of nearby business owners.

Patel rejected this version of their conversation and maintained his position asserting three times during the conference call that Zielinski had indeed told him that he should wait until after the spring election to meet with the License Committee.

Zielinski responded expressing his incredulity that Patel thought Zielinski tried to persuade him to delay.

STORY UPDATE—January 10, 2012, 5:56pm

We contacted Paresh Patel today to request an update concerning his plans for the building he recently purchased at 2273 S. Howell Ave. The request was motivated by conflicting information circulating in Bay View about the future use of the first floor retail space, where we reported Patel plans to open a liquor store.

Contrary information recently posted on bayviewcompass.com and related to us by a Bay View resident indicated that Patel had withdrawn his application for a liquor license and suggested that District 14 Alderman Zielinski either provided that information or confirmed it.

Patel’s new building and his Hub Super Market are located in Zielinski’s district. Zielinski is a member of the Licenses Committee.

Patel said today that he has not withdrawn his application but is delaying his hearing before the Common Council’s Licenses Committee until after the spring elections. He said that he was approached by District 14 Alderman Tony Zielinki, who requested that he hold off on his application until “after the election.”  Jan Pierce is challenging Zielinski, who has held the aldermanic seat since 2004. The spring primary election is Feb. 21 followed by the spring election April 3.

Patel added that he will be more prepared to begin construction in spring, should be granted the Class “A” Malt & Class “A” Liquor License at that time. The city published Patel’s application Dec. 6, 2011.

The ordinance provides that new applications be scheduled for hearing before the licensing committee within three full common council cycles, or about 60 days, following certification by the city clerk that an application and related investigations have been completed, according to District Five Alderman James Bohl, Jr., who chairs the Licenses Committee.

Alderman Zielinski was not available for comment when we contacted him today.

Paresh Patel, owner of Hub Super Market, 2277 S. Howell Ave., acquired the building north of his store at 2273 S. Howell Ave., formerly occupied by Custom Design Lighting, Sound, and Video. City of Milwaukee property records indicate the building, assessed at $229,000, was purchased for $226,000 in September.

Built in 1906, the 5,550-square-foot building’s first floor is retail space. There are five light housekeeping/sleeping rooms and a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor.

Patel (Bayview Liquor, MPR Corporation) applied for a Class “A” Malt & Class “A” Liquor License Dec. 6. If granted the license, Patel said he will open a liquor store in the 2273 S. Howell Ave. building and relinquish his beer license at Hub Super Market. He will concentrate on groceries at Hub, which he has been operating for over 15 years.

Patel said he’s impressed that Bay View is growing, which was the motivation for his investment.

Patel plans to renovate the façade of both buildings and remodel the interior of his new building. “I will try my level best to make the liquor store nicer and cleaner and like an upscale downtown building,” Patel said. He projects the renovations will cost about $400,000. He hopes to open the liquor store by February 2012. Additionally, he said he has dropped the name Hub and changed the name to Bayview Super Market.

Patel said 14th District Alderman Tony Zielinski encouraged him to apply for a façade grant, but Patel declined, preferring to pay for the renovations himself.

Patel leases the Hub building from owners Fatima and Nail Mseitif. Patel said he has made purchase offers but the owners don’t wish to sell.

Patel recently contributed $5,000 to the Bay View Art Stop public art project, led by Alderman Zielinski, which will site artwork in the triangle intersection of KK/Lincoln/Howell avenues directly opposite Patel’s buildings.

The city’s Licenses Committee is scheduled to meet Jan. 4 and Jan. 23. At press time neither item was on the Jan. 4 agenda and the Jan. 23 agenda was not yet set.

Read more about past applications for liquor licenses in this area: “Hub denied liquor license, A.K. denied ‘change in circumstances,’” April 2010, Bay View Compass here.