Bay View Brew Haus sold

March 27, 2012

Steve Fix confirmed this evening that he sold the Bay View Brew Haus, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic, to the owners of the The Up And Under Pub on Brady Street.

More information to follow. (Fix was busy tending bar tonight and could not talk at length about the sale.)

Bay View Brew Haus began in 2009. Read more here.

Milwaukee ballots to be reprinted—they failed optical reader tests

March 23, 2012

Source: Milwaukee County Election Commission

Testing done in advance of the April 3rd General Election has discovered a flaw in the election ballots sent to the City of Milwaukee and 18 other municipalities in Milwaukee County.

Ballots received from printer Burton & Mayer, Inc., were tested by the City of Milwaukee and other Milwaukee County municipalities and failed to work in the optical readers.

The City of Milwaukee has contracted The Marek Group and the Milwaukee County Election Commission is coordinating with Command Central Programming to print new ballots over the weekend.

 Early in-person voting and absentee ballot voting will continue. All votes will be counted on Election Day.

District 14 Aldermanic candidate Jan Pierce files complaint against Milwaukee Election Commission

March 23, 2012

Source: Jan Pierce Campaign

Jan Pierce, candidate for Milwaukee Alderman in District 14, filed a formal complaint with the Wisconsin State Government Accountability Board today.

In the complaint, Jan Pierce asserts that the City of Milwaukee Election Commission rearranged the names of the candidates on the spring general election ballot—a violation of Chapter 5 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

The complaint reads as follows:
“Susan M. Edman, Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission (“the Commission”), rearranged the names of the candidates on the spring general election ballot in violation of Chapter 5 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The result of the rearrangement gives a preference to at least one incumbent candidate and possibly others. Spring elections are plagued by low turnout and tight margins. Ms. Edman’s actions may well result in incumbents winning races where they otherwise would have lost.

Under Chapter 5 of the Wisconsin Statutes, the Commission (and Ms. Edman) is charged with randomly drawing the names of the candidates to determine the order of their placement on the ballot. For spring elections, the random drawing must have occurred no later than the second Tuesday in January. Following the random drawing, the Commission produces a sample ballot reflecting the order in which the candidates will be listed on the final ballot.

The order in which candidates are placed on the ballot is important because first-listed candidates enjoy a vote preference and therefore receive more votes than they otherwise would if not listed first on the ballot. Ensuring that this preference is not uniformly granted to incumbents, challengers, or candidates whose last names begin with letters near the beginning of the alphabet is the reason the Legislature enacted the random drawing procedure prescribed by Chapter 5.

When the Commission randomly drew names to determine the order of the candidate listings on the ballot to be distributed in Milwaukee’s 14th District, my name was drawn first for the aldermanic race. In accordance with this drawing and Chapter 5, the Commission produced and shared with me a sample ballot listing my name first on the ballot. I did not object to this sample ballot or the process by which it was created, and I am unaware of my opponent raising any such objection either.

Early voters, however, report that my name is no longer listed first on the ballot in the race for 14th District alderman. The order of candidate listing for my race has been altered since the random drawing. The ballot order of candidates in other races on the 14th District ballot remains unchanged. This suggests that the change in the ballot order of candidates in my race was deliberate and conscious, rather than the product of a mistaken second unauthorized drawing. Such an additional drawing would likely have resulted in the ballot order of candidates in other races also being changed.

Ms. Edman called me on March 22, 2012 (only 12 days before the election and 3 days after early voting began) to inform me of this violation. Ms. Edman admitted that this violation occurred in a number of races, but denied that it was intended to prefer the incumbents.

My understanding is that the Commission kept no minutes or records of how or when the alteration of the ballots took place. Conflicting stories are emerging as to the motives for the rearrangement. I understand from another candidate listed on a different ballot that Ms. Edman admitted that she changed the order of the ballot to list the incumbent first, despite the random drawing calling for a challenger to be listed first, because she believed the incumbent would be upset by not being listed first on the ballot. I do not know if this is true, but it is worthy of investigation because of the serious implications for the democratic process and transparency of government.

Regardless of what happened in other races, it is clear that Ms. Edman and the Commission violated the law with respect to the race for the 14th District alderman. This violation calls into question the legitimacy and integrity of the election results. Further, the Commission’s evident lack of oversight, accountability, and documentation that contributed to this violation leaves the public unable to investigate the motives for the rearrangement. Ms. Edman’s failure to acknowledge the violation until 12 days before the election and only after early voting has begun may have been a deliberate delay tactic to ensure that the error could not be corrected with replacement ballots. Barring a special election in the 14th District, only correcting the error on the ballot could remedy the Commission’s violation of Chapter 5 of the Wisconsin Statutes and its unauthorized alteration of the ballot. Even then, damage done during early voting will be irreversible.”

Governor Walker signs legislation to protect natural resources, laws passed with some bi-partisan support

March 23, 2012

Source: Office of Governor Scott Walker

Today Governor Walker will be attending a State Patrol graduation ceremony and signing seven bills in the La Crosse area.  He will sign Assembly Bill (AB) 518, AB 383, and AB 104 and Senate Bill (SB) 441, SB 156, SB 557, SB 262.

“Today, I signed bills aimed at preserving Wisconsin’s pristine natural resources by making a number of common sense changes to state law,” said Governor Walker.  “Making Wisconsin’s regulations more realistic will not only reduce costs, but it will actually increase their effectiveness and decrease the amount of pollution released in Wisconsin.”

Governor Walker signed AB 518 into law, legislation that clarifies the process to designate a local highway as a scenic byway. This bill was authored by State Senator Jennifer Shilling and State Representative Jill Billings and received bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature.

Governor Walker signed SB 441 into law, legislation that allows voluntary contributions to be made for habit management programs and protection and stewardship of state managed natural resources.  This new law allows the DNR to accept voluntary contributions when fees are charged for fishing permits and licenses, snowmobile licenses, all-terrain vehicle and boat registrations, and state park vehicle admission receipts.  This bill was introduced by State Senator Dale Schultz and State Representative Warren Petryk and received bipartisan support in both the State Senate and Assembly.

AB 105 was also signed into law, legislation that guarantees a diversity of background on the Natural Resources Board.  It specifically ensures that agricultural and sportsmen’s interests are represented.  This bill received bipartisan support and was introduced by State Senator Neal Kedzie and State Representative Dan LeMahieu.

SB 156 was signed into law by the Governor, legislation that establishes licensing requirements for drillers of heat exchange drillholes to minimize groundwater contamination risks while giving the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) the authority to regulate drill holes used for geothermal heat exchange.  This bill will help minimize groundwater contamination risks.   It was introduced by State Senator Neal Kedzie and State Representative Al Ott, and received bipartisan support.

The Governor signed SB 557 into law, legislation that gives local units of government flexibility in maintaining pollution standards, enhances water quality standards, and saves taxpayers money by reducing the need for overly expensive facility upgrades for point source pollution.  This bill was introduced by State Senator Terry Moulton and State Representative Joe Knilans and received support from both parties in the State Senate and Assembly.

Governor Walker signed AB 383 into law, legislation that provides flexibilities in the disposal of oil absorbent materials in an environmentally safe manner.  This bill was introduced by State Senator Glenn Grothman and State Representative Jim Steineke and received support from legislators on both sides of the aisle in both the Senate and Assembly.

SB 262 was signed into law by Governor Walker, which addresses a current problem on the St. Croix National Riverway by providing an exemption for a floating toilet.  This bill was introduced by State Senator Sheila Harsdorf and State Representative Dick Spanbauer and received bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature.



National LGBT fund endorses Tammy Baldwin, Bill Buresh

March 23, 2012

Milwaukee  The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund officially announced its endorsement of Bill Buresh who is running for Milwaukee County District 4 Supervisor. The fund also endorsed  Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (Democrat, 2nd Congressional District) who is running for U.S. Senate seat held by Herb Kohl.

Since 1991, the Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBT candidates win election to local, state and federal offices.

”I am honored to have gone through a thorough vetting process by The Victory Fund, to be Victory-Approved,” Buresh said in a press release announcing the endorsement.

The mission of the fund as stated on its website: “The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund works to elect LGBT leaders to public office for one simple reason.  They change America’s politics. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender office holders are our clearest and most convincing champions for true equality.  As leaders in government, they become the face and voice of a community.  They challenge the lies of extremists and speak authentically about themselves, their families, and their community.”


Van Hollen announces voting fraud conviction

March 22, 2012


Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Michael Henderson, of Milwaukee, was convicted of election fraud arising out of the 2008 general Presidential election.  Henderson was convicted of Election Fraud – Providing False Information to Election Official, a Class I felony.  An additional count of Voting By Disqualified Person was dismissed against Henderson but read-in for the purposes of sentencing.

At sentencing, Henderson was ordered to serve 30 days in jail. He faced a maximum potential penalty of three and a half years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.  Judge Richard Sankovitz presided over the case.

These charges were brought by the Election Fraud Task Force.  Prior to the November 2008 election, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced the creation of the Election Fraud Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional action team that evaluated, investigated and prosecuted complaints of electoral fraud.  The Department of Justice and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office worked cooperatively with local law enforcement and the Milwaukee Police Department as needed when investigation was required.

Henderson admitted that he registered to vote at the polls on November 4, 2008, thereby certifying that he was a qualified elector.  He also admitted to casting a ballot.  At that time, Henderson was on an active period of probation for felony convictions.  A felon on an active period of supervision for a felony offense is prohibited by state law from voting in any election.

Assistant Attorney General David W. Maas represented the State in the prosecution of Michael Henderson.


Mitchell Interchange to Layton Avenue closed tonight from 10pm to 4:30am.

March 22, 2012

I-94 EAST (SB) from Mitchell Interchange to Layton Ave is scheduled to be closed overnight on Thursday, March 22 from 10pm to 4:3am. The full freeway closure is needed for performing grading and signage work.
The Mitchell Interchange System Ramps scheduled to close overnight with the full freeway closure are:
– I-43/94 SB System Ramp to I-94 EAST (SB)
Alternate Route to I-94 EAST (SB) from I-43/94 SB:
To access I-94 EAST (SB) traffic should exit I-43/94 SB at Howard Ave. Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Howard Ave and head east towards Howell Avenue (WIS 38). Turn right on Howell Avenue (WIS 38) and head south towards College Ave. Turn right on College Ave and head west towards the I-94 EAST (SB) entrance ramp on the left.
All closures are weather-dependent and subject to change. Thank you for your patience during the I-94 N-S Freeway Project’s roadway closures. For a listing of all Project roadway, ramp and lane closures, please refer to the detailed closure schedule here:
Visit for additional information about the I-94 N-S Freeway Project.
The I-94 North-South Freeway Project is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are NOT the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this e-mail in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying this e-mail is strictly prohibited.

Legislative Republican election maps unconstitutional, federal court rules

March 22, 2012

Source: Office of Rep. Jon Richards

Courts have to intervene yet again to stop GOP attempts to suppress voting rights

Legislative redistricting maps drawn last year by Republican state lawmakers were ruled unconstitutional today by a panel of three federal judges who heard the case brought by immigrant rights advocates and Wisconsin citizens. Specifically, the judges ruled unanimously that the composition of two Assembly districts on Milwaukee’s south side violated the voting rights of Latinos and had to be redrawn soon by the legislature. The judges’ decision also blasts the process as “needlessly secretive” and states that the results “needlessly moved more than a million Wisconsinites and disrupted their long-standing political relationships…”

Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement in response to the court’s ruling:

“Once again the courts have had to intervene to stop legislative Republicans’ illegal attempts to suppress the voting rights of Wisconsin citizens for their own political advantage.

“Earlier this month, in a span of less than a week, two separate courts ruled that the new state law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls was unconstitutional.

“Now today a panel of federal justices put a hold on the election maps Republicans and lobbyists drew under secret oath at private law firms because they violate the voting rights of Latinos. They also note that the maps needlessly move more than one million Wisconsinites.

“This is what happens when politicians work in secret, ignore the constitution and shut the public out of the process. The federal court has ordered the legislature to act quickly to redraw its redistricting maps to make them constitutional.

“I encourage my Republican colleagues to follow the judges’ order and to get to work immediately on redrawing the maps in a bipartisan, transparent and legal way.”



FIRST Robotics competition begins tomorrow at U.S. Cellular Arena! MPS students from seven schools will compete

March 22, 2012

Editorial note: Go! This is a really interesting and entertaining event, plus  you will support the students who work so hard on their robots.

FIRST Robotics Wisconsin Regional competition begins Friday at U.S. Cellular Arena

Students from seven Milwaukee Public Schools high schools are downtown readying their robots as they get set to compete on Friday in what might best be described as games of robotic basketball. 

Three more MPS schools will be competing in this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition Wisconsin Regional than did last year. The number of students has grown as well.

“We’re excited that more of our students are getting involved,” MPS career and technical education coordinator Lauren Baker said. “Our kids will work hard, have fun, compete fairly and, in the process, learn a ton about science, technology, engineering and math.”

For the competition, teams of young people and their mentors are given a six-week time frame to solve a common challenge using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. This year’s challenge? “Rebound Rumble.” As the name suggests, teams will have to use their robots to shoot foam basketballs into hoops from spots on the 27-foot by 54-foot court. You can watch an animated demonstration of the game here:

Opening ceremonies for the competition self-described as a ‘varsity sport for the mind’ are set for 9 a.m. Friday at the U.S. Cellular Arena. The first matches are set for 9:30 a.m. and finals are set for Saturday.

New teams from James Madison Academic Campus and the School of Career and Technical Education are joining the competition this year. Milwaukee School of Languages is now contributing to the team that includes Bradley Tech, Rufus King International School and Washington High School of Information Technology students. Riverside University High School continues to support its own team.

The Bradley Tech-School of Languages-Rufus King-Washington IT team – dubbed “Team 1675” – will be competing on home turf after returning from another regional competition in Pittsburgh. Team 1675 ( ) won the chairman’s award at a regional competition in Chicago last year and went on to the national competition in St. Louis.

FIRST, or ‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,’ encourages fierce competition but also “gracious professionalism” — treating one another with respect and kindness. That means students are rewarded for using their expertise to help competitors solve problems. Teams are honored for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity and ability to overcome obstacles.

A group of younger MPS students are set to compete later this year in the state tournament for the grade-four-through-eight sister competition of FIRST Robotics: the FIRST LEGO League.


Trayvon Martin vigil tonight at 8pm at Dr. Martin Luther King Center, 1531 W. Vliet Street

March 22, 2012

The National Black United Front (NBUF), in conjunction with Supervisor Eyon Biddle, Sr., will hold a prayer vigil in support of Trayvon Martin’s family at the Dr. Martin Luther King Center tonight at 8pm.  The organization is asking people of all backgrounds to attend the inter-faith memorial/prayer observance.  Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer last month in Florida.

“Trayvon Martin’s murder is a tragic example of the harsh reality young black men face every day.  We called this vigil in solidarity with our chapters across the country.  We recognize the importance of prayer, peace and solace on behalf of the family.  We humbly join them in the spirit of love and unity.  Forward ever, backward never,” said NBUF member Monique Liston.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Center, located at 1531 W. Vliet Street, is in the heart of Milwaukee County’s 10th Supervisory district.  The district has been represented by Supervisor Biddle since he was elected in April of 2011.

Milwaukee County Youth Task Force applications due March 30

March 22, 2012

Milwaukee County is looking for energetic, motivated high school students to apply for the Milwaukee County Youth Task Force, which was created to give young people a voice on how Milwaukee County government can better serve them.

“I am excited to hear from our young people.  They are creative and have great ideas,” Supervisor Harris said.  “Serving on the Youth Task Force can give these students an opportunity to play a role in their community while gaining valuable experience in government.  Any young person interested in pursuing a career in politics or law would be well served by applying for this program.”

The Youth Task Force will focus on a variety of topics, including:
• Youth violence prevention
• Parks and recreation activities
• Youth Sports Authority
• Public transit
• Children’s court programming and youth services
• The creation of a youth county government program
• County sponsored youth employment opportunities

Applicants must be a Milwaukee County resident and be a student in good standing at any high school located in Milwaukee County.  The application form can be found on page two of this news release.  All applications are due by 5pmon Friday, March, 30, 2012.  For more more information, contact David Crowley at 414-278-5071 or

Catch Route 90 downtown to get to Brewers games

March 22, 2012

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will serve the 2011 National League Central Champion Milwaukee Brewers home games for the new season. Riders can catch a Route 90 (Miller Park) bus on Wisconsin Avenue from the Downtown Transit Center (909 E. Michigan Ave.) to Miller Park starting with the home opener.

Provided for all Brewers home games, Route 90 begins service two hours before game time. Electronic destination signs display “90 Let’s Go Brewers!” Buses will operate approximately every 30 minutes during all home games. View route map here.

For the home opener, Friday, April 6, against the St. Louis Cardinals, and Marquee games with projected heavy attendance, buses will operate more frequently.

Route 90 begins at the Downtown Transit Center, 909 E. Michigan Ave., and makes stops along Wisconsin Avenue from Van Buren Street to 38th Street, except where the bus detours during construction on the Milwaukee River Bridge. Route 90 drops off passengers at the MCTS Transit Area on Yount Drive on the north side of Miller Park. Return trips operate from Yount Drive along Wisconsin Avenue to the Downtown Transit Center. Buses leave from the MCTS Transit Area at Miller Park until a half hour after the game is over. On the return trip, buses serve all eastbound bus stops.

Brewers fans can also ride Route 10 (Humboldt-Wisconsin), Rt. 23 (Fond du Lac-National) or the MetroEXpress BlueLine (Fond du Lac-National) that stop within walking distance of Miller Park.

Fares for Routes 10, 23, 90 and BlueLine are $2.25 for adults and $1.10 for children (6 -11) seniors (65 and over) and individuals with disabilities. Children under 6 ride free with an adult.

For more information passengers can call the 24-hour automated BusLine at 414-344-6711 or visit


Next Page »