Tippecanoe Library’s Renovation: Public Meeting July 30, 6-7:30pm

July 24, 2014

Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderman Terry Witkowski, Library Director Paula Kiely and the Board of

Trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library announce a public meeting will be held on

Wednesday, July 30th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. to discuss the renovation of the Tippecanoe

Library, 3912 South Howell Avenue.

 

Tippecanoe Library will undergo a full-scale renovation in 2015. MPL announced architectural

firm Engberg Anderson was selected to design the new space in a competitive process. See the

announcement here: http://www.mpl.org/content/content/pdfs/news_tippecanoe.pdf.

 

Attendees can learn more about the renovation project, see proposed library layouts and share

input on the new library space. Members of the architectural firm Engberg Anderson will

present proposed site layouts and answer questions related to design of the new library space.

Who: Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderman Terry Witkowski, Library Director Paula

Kiely, members of the Library Board of Trustees, Engberg Anderson

What: Public meeting to discuss renovation project at Tippecanoe Library and

collect community input.

 

When: Wednesday, July 30th from 6:00-7:30 pm

Where: Tippecanoe Library, 3912 South Howell Avenue

 

Visit www.mpl.org/Tippecanoe to take a community input survey

 

Upon reasonable notice, efforts will be made to accommodate the needs of individuals with

disabilities. For additional information or to request services contact the Library Director’s

Office at (414) 286-3021, 286-2794 (FAX), 286-3062 (TTY), or mail to Central Library, 814

W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233 Attn: Accommodation Request.

 


19th District Assembly Seat Candidate Forum Monday, August 4 in Bay View

July 16, 2014

The Bay View Compass, Bay View Neighborhood Association, and League of Women Voters are sponsoring a candidate forum on Monday, August 4th in the auditorium of Parkside School (formerly Fritsche Middle School), 2969 S. Howell Ave.

Members of League of Women Voters will moderate and time the event.

The forum begins at 7:00pm and is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Questions will be solicited from audience members via notecards that will be available at the event. Send your question to Jay Bullock. Write CANDIDATE QUESTION in the subject line in an email: folkbum@hotmail.com or tweet it: @folkbum.

The moderator will pose questions for each of the five candidates (four of the Democratic Party; one of the Pirate Party), who will be invited to respond to each. Additionally, candidates will each be given one minute for opening remarks and 30 seconds for closing remarks.

SCHEDULE

7pm    Introduction and Opening Remarks by Moderator

7:15 – 9:15pm Candidates’ opening remarks, Q & A, closing remarks.

THE CANDIDATES/FORUM PARTICIPANTS AND PARTY AFFILIATION:

Dan Adams, Democrat
Jonathan Brostoff, Democrat
Marina Dimitrijevic, Democrat
Sara Geenen, Democrat
Joseph Thomas Klein, Pirate

The auditorium is located on the first floor and is accessible. Access the building via the front entrance on the east facade on Howell Avenue. Parking is available on Howell and adjacent streets and in the parking lot on the south side of the building.

The Wisconsin Primary is Tuesday, August 12.

Learn more about the candidates:
Dan Adams
facebook.com/AdamsforAssembly?ref=hl and adamsforassembly.com

Jonathan Brostoff
facebook.com/jonathan.brostoff and votebrostoff.com/2014/07/barnesforbrostoff/

Marina Dimitrijevic
facebook.com/vote4marina and votemarina.com

Sara Geenen
facebook.com/SaraGeenenforWisconsin and sarageenen.com

Joseph Thomas Klein
facebook.com/pirate19th and joeklein.org

 

 


SEWISC presents free field training on Emerald Ash Borer and Invasive Plants

July 16, 2014

Wisconsin First Detector’s Network Presents

Free Field Training on Emerald Ash Borer and Invasive Plants

When: Friday August 1st, 2014, 9 AM? Noon

Where: Riveredge Nature Center Saukville, WI (near Cedarburg)

Meeting location: West parking lot 1 mile south west of Education and Visitor Center (see map)

Topics to be covered:

1. Field identification of Emerald Ash Borer and symptomology

2. Effectiveness of control methods for Emerald Ash Borer

3. Identification of high priority invasive plants in SE Wisconsin

4. Demonstration of how to map invasive plants using GLEDN App

To Register: Email/call Tony Summers: asummers2@wisc.edu , 608 262?9570

AGENDA

9:00?9:30       Registration and Coffee/Snacks

9:30?9:45       Introductions (Mark Renz UW Extension)

9:45?10:45     EAB ID and management (PJ Liesch and Chris Williamson, UW Extension)

10:45?11:15   Invasive plant identification (Jim Reinartz, SEWISC)

11:15?11:45    Mapping invasive plants (Tony Summers, UW Extension)

 


A penchant for heirlooms — Plant Land features ‘hand-me-down seeds’

July 7, 2014

By Katherine Keller

 

 

Each of the heirloom cultivars at Plant Land is accompanied by a photo, with text describing of its traits. —photo Katherine Keller

When Carolyn Male’s book about heirloom tomatoes was published 15 years ago, people rarely modified the noun “tomato” with the adjective “heirloom.”

Back then it was nearly impossible to find heirloom tomato plants in Wisconsin. The first growers who offered the colorful and sometimes bizarrely-shaped fruit at farmers markets navigated a significant learning curve in order to bring some of their patrons around to embracing these “new tomatoes.” Hybrid tomatoes had been commonplace in the United States since the mid 19th century and modern consumers and gardeners were accustomed to tomatoes of uniform color and shape.

Outpost Natural Foods was one of the first local retailers to sell heirloom tomatoes, both the fruit and seedlings. During the first decade of the 21st century, more and more growers began to offer them. One of those was Mark Jorgensen, who began his affaire de coeur with heirloom tomatoes in 2005.

Plant Land

When siblings Mark Jorgensen and Karen Matt opened Plant Land, 6204 S. Howell Ave., for business this spring, they celebrated the 46th anniversary of the family’s business.

The Jorgensen family has been growing and selling plants on the two-acre parcel since 1968, when Mark and Karen’s parents, Tom (Edward) and Estelle Jorgensen, built the first greenhouses and opened their garden center that spring.

Neither Tom nor Estelle were farm kids. Tom spent his childhood in the Town of Lake and Estelle (Rege) Jorgensen in Milwaukee, near Fourth and Cherry streets. Tom developed an interest in growing plants on a ranch in Wyoming, where he had lived with his brother for a couple of years.

The mom and pop business was a true partnership. Jorgensen and his wife took turns running the operation during the week. Tom was employed full-time as a Milwaukee police officer, with a 9 to 5 shift Monday through Friday. Estelle ran the business when her husband was at work and Tom took over when he was off duty, their routine for about a decade until Tom retired in the late 70s. Their children Karen and Mark helped out, too, and when their parents were ready to retire from the business in 1991, they purchased it and have been operating it together since then.

Pithy advice on handpainted signs contributes to Plant Land’s many charms.  —photo Katherine Keller

Pithy advice on handpainted signs contributes to Plant Land’s many charms. —photo Katherine Keller

Open from March to mid- or late August, Plant Land’s greenhouses are animated with pithy gardening advice on colorful, hand-painted signs. One can find seed packets, hanging baskets, miniature garden frames, potting soil, mushroom compost, manure by the bushel, and bare-root berries and rhubarb. The benches overflow with plants — vegetables, annual flowers, roses, perennials, and native/prairie plants.

What distinguishes Plant Land from its competitors is its extensive selection of heirloom vegetables and greens, more than 140 this year. Of those, more than half are heirloom tomatoes, the largest selection in metro Milwaukee.

Karen Matt and Mark Jorgensen have owned Plant Land since 1991. Their parents Estelle and Tom Jorgensen started the business on Howell Avenue in 1991. —photo Katherine Keller

Karen Matt and Mark Jorgensen have owned Plant Land since 1991. Their parents Estelle and Tom Jorgensen started the business on Howell Avenue in 1991. —photo Katherine Keller

Evolution

Mark Jorgensen fell into the thrall of heirloom tomatoes when he began to read about them in gardening magazines. He furthered his research at the library. Up until that time, Plant Land only sold hybrid tomatoes.

“The articles talked about how with heirlooms, every variety, you can taste differences, where with hybrids — Better Boy and Beefsteak, you have to have a pretty good sense of taste to detect differences,” Jorgensen said. The more he read, the more heirlooms made sense, he said. He found it appealing that they weren’t hybridized or genetically modified with genes from other species.

“Back in 1968 Dad was sold on the idea that hybrids were the way to go. He sold all the standards like Celebrity and Beefsteak,” Jorgensen said.

In spring 2005, Jorgensen selected his first heirloom tomato seeds — Black Krim, Bloody Butcher, Green Zebra, Marglobe, Mortgage Lifter, Yellow Pear, and a yellow cherry. He was dazzled by the results, impressed by the outstanding flavor as well as the spectrum of flavors produced by the cultivars (varieties). It was love at first bite.

Jorgensen still grows and sells some hybrid tomato cultivars, but that is because there is still demand for them.

Jorgensen, who purchases his seed from Missouri-based seed supplier Baker Creek, spends part of his winter studying their catalog to determine what he’ll grow in spring. “This year I changed up almost all of the tomatoes,” he said. “It took me probably three weeks just to read through tomatoes. And it’s all I did for three weeks. I knew how many seed trays I had room for and I knew I had to stop at a point. I try to have at least 10 dozen of each variety. I have 72 varieties of tomato heirlooms this year. Anything new, I grow in my own garden so I know what they taste like, how they perform, whether or not I want to do them again.

In addition to tomatoes, Jorgensen sells a smaller selection of heirloom peppers (sweet and hot), eggplant, lettuces, greens, cabbage, and flowers.

The first few years that he grew heirloom tomato seedlings, his Plant Land customers were unfamiliar with them, Jorgensen said. Demand developed as the media and garden catalogs began introducing the public to heirlooms. His customers were learning that the nutrients in hybrids were inferior to those of heirlooms and that heirlooms provided superior flavor. By 2009  the market for heirloom tomatoes was strong, so much so that Jorgensen devoted an entire greenhouse to heirlooms. Since then he has expanded heirlooms to more of his greenhouses.

He found that along with heirlooms, more and more customers sought plants grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers. Jorgensen responded by completely discontinuing his use of those products and replacing them with natural methods.

Now he fertilizes his seedlings with “worm castings tea.” Think of a giant tea bag filled with earthworm manure that is steeped for 12-24 hours in a big vat of water warmed by the sun. Ladybugs control aphids in the greenhouses.

What distinguishes Plant Land from its competitors is its extensive selection of heirloom vegetables and greens, more than 140 this year.

What distinguishes Plant Land from its competitors is its extensive selection of heirloom vegetables and greens, more than 140 this year.

Jorgensen selected 10 heirloom peppers this season — five chile varieties and five sweet, in addition to the heirloom tomato cultivars.

For those who seek a near death experience, Jorgensen grows the diabolical ghost pepper. It is one of hottest chile pepper cultivars on the planet.

Chile heat is produced by the compound capsaicin. A chile’s heat value is measured using the Scoville scale, named after Wilbur Scoville, who developed the test in 1912. A sweet bell pepper is 0 Scoville units; a jalapeño 2,500-5,000; a Thai pepper 50,000 – 100,000. The ghost pepper spikes at a brain searing one-million Scoville units. “I run out of them each year,” he said.

The ghost pepper is so potent that Jorgensen dons rubber gloves and a vapor mask when he collects seeds from his plants. “It’s bad,” he said.

While he is fond of heirloom eggplant, mustard greens, arugula, lettuces, and peppers, none of those rival the fascination and gustatory delight Jorgensen derives from heirloom tomatoes.

Four of Jorgensen’s favorite heirloom tomatoes are Malakhitovaya Shkatulka (Malachite box) from Russia; Wapsipinicon (Peach) from Iowa; Black Krim (from Crimea); and Snowberry. Snowberry is a cherry tomato. ”It’s really sweet, like candy. It’s real pale, ivory.”

Black Krim is my daughter’s favorite,” he said.

HOW TO GROW GREAT TOMATOES
By Katherine Keller

Mark Jorgensen has grown a lot of tomatoes. Here is his advice for growing spectacular ones.

Dig a hole 18 inches deep and 12-18 inches wide. Bury the tomato seedling up to its top leaves. This method promotes root growth along the stem. The roots draw water and nutrients, so the more roots, the stronger and more productive the plant will be. Planting the majority of the stem underground also prevents the seedling from snapping in brisk wind. Give the seedling two gallons of water when you plant it. Follow that with a gallon per day for the next 7-10 days to foster a deep, profuse root system. After 10 days, the roots will be well established, and the plant will rarely need watering. When gardeners baby their plants giving them a little every day, the plant won’t develop a large root system, Jorgensen said.

It is normal for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash to temporarily wilt after several hours of direct sunlight and summer heat. Don’t water the plants when they’ve grown limp in the sun. They will recover after sundown when it begins to cool down.

Place two inches of mulch around the base of the plant a few days after planting the seedling. The mulch suppresses weed growth, controls water evaporation from the soil, and helps prevent soil-borne pathogens like early blight, from finding their way to the stem and leaves. Wait a few days after planting to allow the soil to warm up before applying the mulch.

If you have heavy clay soil, mix mushroom or other compost with garden soil at a 50:50 ratio and fill the hole with the amended soil.

Fertilize tomatoes with worm castings tea (see above), which can be applied by watering the plant at its base or by a foliar feed. (Foliar feeding is spraying the leaves with a liquid fertilizer.) “What’s nice about a compost tea fertilizer is that no matter how strong you make it, you can’t burn your plants. Some studies have shown if you make it strong enough and use it as a foliage feeder, it will actually help, even though there is no definitive proof yet, that it will help control early blight,” Jorgensen advised. “I always tell people, for foliar feeding, whatever the directions on the worm castings bag are for making the tea, double the amount for of castings used for each gallon.”

 

INTRO TO HEIRLOOM TOMATOES

Dr. Carolyn Male, who until she retired, was a microbiology professor in New York. She is world-renowned for her heirloom tomato knowledge and expertise. She grew more than 1,000 varieties in her home garden in Albany and selected her favorites for her 1999 book, 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden.

Male defines an heirloom tomato as one that is not a hybrid, is open-pollinated, and is grown from seed that has been collected and handed down through the generations. Any vegetable or flower cultivar (variety) that conforms to this definition is considered an heirloom. 

Heirloom tomatoes fell out of favor in the mid-20th century as industrialized, high yield agricultural methods were developed. Hybrid tomatoes were developed to produce predictable, uniform fruit for the backyard gardener. For commerce, hybrids were developed that produced fruit that shipped well and could withstand prolonged shelf life. The tradeoff was the loss of desirable traits that imparted magnificent flavor and color diversity, along with disease resistance. The preference for hybrids began to wane for the first time as consumers were introduced to heirlooms with their remarkable and diverse flavors, shapes, and colors, over the past 15 years.

There are 10,000 known heirloom tomato varieties, and of those, about 3,000 are in cultivation worldwide, according to Gary Ibsen’s website, Tomatofest.com. Ibsen grows 550 varieties of heirloom tomatoes in Southern California and founded the annual tomato fest held each year in Carmel, Calif. 

Male’s more detailed definition of an heirloom tomato: There are four types: 1) Commercial. Open pollinated tomato varieties more than 40 years old, introduced by seed companies before 1960. (Example: Wisconsin 55, developed at UW-Madison and first sold commercially in 1955.) 2) Family. Favorite tomato varieties whose seeds have been saved and passed down from generation to generation. 3) Created. A tomato that’s been crossed deliberately using two heirlooms, or an heirloom and a hybrid, to possess certain characteristics. The first generations of these plans begin as a hybrid, but it becomes dehybridized through saving and replanting the seeds for about five seasons, until it grows consistently true to what the grower had in mind. 4) Mystery. A tomato that arises accidentally from natural cross-pollination or mutation in the garden, the way most heirloom varieties originated.     Source: Tomatofest.com

 


Chasing Tales, new play and learn center in Oak Creek

July 7, 2014

By Monica Maniaci

Former Milwaukee Public School teacher, Cindy Zielinski, recently opened Chasing Tales, a family play center in Oak Creek.  —photo MONICA MONIACI

Former Milwaukee Public School teacher, Cindy Zielinski, recently opened Chasing Tales, a family play center in Oak Creek. —photo MONICA MONIACI

If you’re a parent with young children and are looking for something to do with your kids this summer, check out Chasing Tales. Former Milwaukee Public School teacher Cindy Zielinski recently opened a family play center in Oak Creek. After spending 13 years teaching English as a Second Language at the MPS Allen-Field Elementary School, she decided to make a change. “I loved teaching, but after my son was born, it really changed my focus. I needed to reevaluate my life,” Zielinski said. Zielinski quit teaching and started taking her son to playgroups, family play centers, and story time at local libraries. “I noticed how effectively he learned through play, how quickly he learned by exploring his own environment,” she said. Inspired by what she observed, she decided to open her own family play center. “I thought, I can do this, I can make this happen,” Zielinski said. She looked at spaces in Bay View, but because she couldn’t find the right sized-space and due to the lack of parking, she decided to open Chasing Tales in Oak Creek. “There was no other type of business like this on the south side, and I knew I wanted to be on this side of town,” she said. Chasing Tales offers a comfortable place for families to connect and learn through play in the nearly 8,000-square-foot interior. “I wanted a place where children and their families could come and explore physical development, intellectual development, and social interaction,” Zielinski said. “I wanted a big facility, too. If you don’t have enough room for kids to move around, it gets crowded and frustrating.” There is a large indoor play area with a soft playground for climbing and sliding, and there are tricycles, balls, and other playground equipment. There is a specially designed art area with crafts, easels, and paint. “I want to focus on parent/child interaction. Not only can parents play with their kids, but they can sit and draw or paint with their kids too,” Zielinski said. There is an additional room that Zielinski calls the “role-play room” that is geared toward younger children. The room has cars and dolls, manipulative materials for building, a small stage and costumes, and a play kitchen area and grocery store. Another area has tables for snack time. “People can bring their own lunch if they want, although we do sell a few pre-packaged items,” Zielinski said. Chasing Tales is available for open-play six days each week. Zielinski offers story time Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is planning to start music and movement classes soon. She also hosts children’s parties. “We have two party rooms available for rent,” she said. “Guests can have the room for two hours, and we provide a host who also leads the party in twenty to thirty minutes of organized play.” Chasing Tales is open everyday of the week except Tuesday. Hours are M-F 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, and Sunday 11am-6pm. The cost is $8 per day per child M-F, and $10 per day per child Saturday and Sunday. There is no charge for adults and children under the age of one. A one-year membership is available for $120, plus $20 for each additional child. “I didn’t want to start out too expensive,” Zielinski said. “I didn’t want people to be reluctant to come and have fun.” Families are welcome to come everyday and stay as long as they want, and according to Zielinski,- they do. “The kids love it!” She said. “I hear squeals of laughter all day long. They don’t want to leave.” Chasing Tales is located at 7265 S. 1st St. in Oak Creek, near the corner of Howell and Rawson avenues.


Suds and sausage, soon

July 7, 2014

By Sheila Julson

A friendly, corner tap ambiance combined with gourmet sausages made inhouse and a menu varying from the simple to unique is promised at Vanguard, a gastropub joining Bay View’s eclectic nightlife scene.

Vanguard proprietors are Bay View residents Chris Schulist and Jim McCann, who bought the former Home Bar building, 2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., in April and immediately got to work on a complete renovation of the tavern and second floor.

Schulist and McCann are both musicians, and both played with various bands in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas. They became friends and found they had many similarities, including backgrounds in the bar business. Schulist was a bar manager at Cactus Club, and McCann co-owned and managed Longman & Eagle gastropub in Chicago. He moved to Milwaukee two years ago, and he remains a non-active partner at Longman & Eagle.

Former Odd Duck chef Shay Linkus, who will lead Vanguard’s kitchen, has crafted approximately 20 homemade sausages that will be the menu’s focus, all with different meats and spices. There will also be up to six vegetarian sausage options. “We want the vegetarian offerings to be good, instead of [like] some places that just have one meatless choice and say, oh, this is for you,” McCann said.

Schulist agreed and said that they want Vanguard to be known as “the sausage place.”

Another unusual offering but one that just screams Milwaukee is poutine, a dish of fries, gravy, and cheese curds that is popular throughout Canada. Schulist said that Linkus has several varieties of that dish planned, such as one topped with curry and lamb sausage. Perogies will be available, as will fried chicken, in whole-bird form only, as indicated by their “no halfsies” rule. Schulist and McCann had fun with the text on the menu, like incorporating “fancy pants” as a description for some of the more exotic sausage varieties.

Microbrews and domestic beers like Pabst will be sold at the bar, as well as eight craft cocktails on draft. Schulist explained that on busy nights it can be difficult for a bartender to take the time to create a quality mixed drink. “So we’ll have the Vanguard Manhattan, or the Vanguard Old Fashioned right on tap,” he said.

Guest bartenders will be invited on certain nights to create their own craft drinks and guest chefs are also likely, McCann said. Other plans, such as pig roasts on the patio and oyster nights are in the works. There will not be live music, as Schulist and McCann do not wish to compete with other music venues in the area.

Both owners emphasize that they want Vanguard to be a welcoming establishment with a corner tap ambiance offering both affordable food and drink staples, but also unusual and exotic items that will appeal to those with experimental tastes. Schulist hopes Vanguard will become a late-night destination because they plan to operate 11am-2am. “People can hang out for a few drinks, or they can just run in for a take-out brat and go home,” he said.

Patrons will order food at a front counter or at the bar; no sit-down service is planned.

Schulist and McCann hope to open Vanguard late this summer, possibly in August. They said they financed much of the business with their personal savings, and both credited Tony Zielinski for his assistance, who guided them through the start-up process at the municipal level.

Schulist said that the building needed work, and there was no kitchen previously in Home Bar. Future options for the upstairs former apartment may be a party room, but the focus will stay on the first level upon opening. The stucco front of the building has been opened for large glass windows.

“The atmosphere will be like a corner bar, but elevated,” Schulist said. He and McCann each plan to bartend three nights a week so they can interact with patrons and get feedback and suggestions.

The Vanguard
2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
vanguardbar.com + Facebook

Sheila Julson, sjulson@wi.rr.com, is a freelance writer and blogs at cappersfarmer.com/blogs/return-to-our-roots.

 


Jacob’s Well Café — coffee and a purpose

July 2, 2014

By Sheila Julson

Coffee, sandwiches, and salads are just part of Jacob’s Well Café, 3558 E. Sivyer Ave., in St. Francis. When owner Joseph Moriarty bought the former FIXX coffee shop in March, he wanted to run a coffee shop, but he also desired a community space where he could continue his mission of helping people and making a positive difference in the lives of others.

In April 2005, Moriarty founded Jacob’s Well Solutions, a group of individuals rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ, dedicated to serving Milwaukee’s citizens affected by substance abuse, gang violence, and poverty. The group consists of singers and dancers, who perform in public to reach out to the community. They had previously performed at FIXX, as well as at Washington Park and the Irish Cultural Center. Moriarty also acted as a community liaison to social service groups assisting in resettling Burmese refugees of the Karen, Kori, and Chin groups fleeing religious persecution and human rights abuses in Myanmar.

Moriarty has multi-faceted goals for Jacob’s Well Café. He is renting the space but he purchased the business from FIXX owner Shari Franz, who closed the coffee house in December 2013. He said the purchase went smoothly, with equipment, tables and chairs, and the sound system included in the sale. He has a three-year lease.

He did some painting and decorated the walls by displaying sea-themed artwork by Matt Evansen. Moriarty said he would support local artists who wish to display their works.

“I want to build off of what Shari started here with FIXX,” he said. Performers involved with Jacob’s Well Solutions will entertain at the café, and other musicians and authors will be welcome. He wants to promote a family-friendly atmosphere where writers and musicians don’t have “unhealthy temptations” such as drugs or alcohol, and he wants to provide a meeting space for nonprofits.

Jacob’s Well Café serves Stone Creek Coffee. Moriarty said he became aware of Stone Creek through Dryhootch, a nonprofit that helps veterans acclimate back into civilian life after combat. Moriarty said locally sourced ingredients will be used whenever possible in the café’s salads and sandwiches. There will be vegetarian options, such as a portobello mushroom panini, and Moriarty said he’s meeting with a gluten-free bakery. He hopes to expand the menu to offer Asian and European influenced foods.

Also in the works is a plan to train and employ at-risk youth and Burmese refugees for kitchen and front house duties. Moriarty hopes to build partnerships with other groups who serve the needy, such as Larry Under the Bridge, a ministry program of Milwaukee’s Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church that gives bagged food and supplies to the homeless. “We want to make sandwiches for the program,” Moriarty said.

Jacob’s Well Café is a for-profit business. “After nine years of helping others, I wanted to get back into an entrepreneurial balance. Everything fell into place at the right time. I can do both now; run a business and still help people,” Moriarity said.

Second Chance

Moriarty’s life experiences are vast. Originally from Seattle, Wash., he made his way to Pompano Beach, Fla., in 1991. He worked at several restaurants throughout his years in Florida. “I did a little bit of everything, both front house and kitchen work,” he said.

Restaurant hours allowed him to partake in his favorite pastime, fishing. Not having to punch in until the late afternoon, he fished during the day and took his catch to restaurants for the chefs in exchange for cooking lessons. “Before I started working with them, I could barely boil an egg,” he joked. They introduced him to the cuisine and flavor profiles of the Caribbean.

Moriarty later lived in Alaska, where he worked for Cargo Services Company overseeing the transfer of bulk seafood products. During that time, he also ran his own fishing guide business, Hooked & Landed Tackle & Services. His Alaskan experiences put him in touch with Korean and Japanese fishermen who shared spices and sauces used in their recipes.

Moriarty said that while he worked hard, he also played hard. He developed liver and kidney ailments, and in 2002 he said a health care professional told him he had less than one year to live. He sold his fishing business and “went to do some soul-searching.”

His journey led him to Mount Currie, British Columbia. While there, he stayed at a bed and breakfast run by members of First Nations People of Canada. Members of the group, born-again Christians, shared their personal experiences with Moriarty. He became intrigued and began praying regularly.

When he went for another medical exam, Moriarity said his physicians told him that there was no evidence of the previously diagnosed illnesses, “I realized that I got a second chance. From that moment forward, I wanted to try to help people,” he said.

Moriarty arrived in Wisconsin in 2004. Upset by actions of the presidential administration at the time, he found himself drawn to the Green Party of the United States, which held its national convention in Milwaukee that year. He decided to stay and bring a Christian message to help positively influence the city’s troubled and the destitute.

“Some people have a negative connotation with the word ‘Christian,’” he said, “but it’s not about religion. It’s about dedication to helping people.” He noted he has encountered many people who’ve experienced various problems with addiction, who said they felt judged or hurt by religious influences. He wants Jacob’s Well Café to be a place for individuals and organizations to be comfortable and have a positive experience. “We want to be a lighthouse for the community,” Moriarty said.

Sheila Julson, sjulson@wi.rr.com, is a freelance writer and blogs at cappersfarmer.com/blogs/return-to-our-roots.


Ricky — Bay View’s bedbug detecting beagle

July 2, 2014

By Sheila Julson 

Glenn McCullough and Ricky. Ricky was an abused dog, a rescue, who with a lot of love and security in his new home, has been restored to a happy, very sweet-natured pooch.  PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Glenn McCullough and Ricky. Ricky was an abused dog, a rescue, who with a lot of love and security in his new home, has been restored to a happy, very sweet-natured pooch. —photo Katherine Keller

For generations, parents have tucked their children into bed with the peculiar little rhyme, “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Unfortunately that lighthearted bedtime saying has new relevance in light of the current bedbug epidemic in the United States, including Milwaukee.

In the past, the traditional route for home and other property owners, who suspected an infestation by those vampire-like pests, was contacting an exterminator, who would painstakingly search for the parasitic insects and if found, exterminate them.

Recently, an alternative method has begun to be employed to detect bedbugs in the United States. Dogs, especially beagles with their keen sense of smell, are being used across the country as an accurate and reasonably priced alternative for detecting the often difficult-to-find bloodsucking parasites.

Glenn McCullough is proprietor of A.S.A.P. Bed Bug Detection, which he began operating in February. His one and only employee is Ricky, a 4-year-old mixed-breed beagle, a rescue from Tennessee. He is trained to detect bedbugs and earned his certification from the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA).

Ricky learned his trade from Pepe Peruyero, a Florida-based canine trainer, who teaches dogs to detect bedbugs and termites.

After his military service in the Marines, McCullough worked in the investment business and traveled extensively throughout his career. Always a dog lover, he obedience-trained Weimaraners, Redbone Coonhounds, Black and Tan Coonhounds, and English Pointers that he has owned over the years. While helping his son train his Vizsla, McCullough decided that he wanted a working dog. He had heard about bedbug detection dogs and began researching canine bedbug detection businesses in October 2013. He talked to breeders and owners of businesses that use insect-detecting dogs, including one owner in the Detroit area who referred him to Peruyero.

McCullough connected with Peruyero’s Pepedogs. and through a package deal, he received Ricky, the prerequisite training required to run a successful insect-detecting dog business, and follow up support through Scentworx, a division of Pepedogs. Ricky received 800 hours of bedbug detection training “Pepe has training down to a science,” McCullough said. Even so, Ricky’s training is ongoing. He trains twice daily, detecting bedbugs that McCullough keeps stored in vials.

Beagles and terriers are primarily used for bedbug detection —“dogs with a high food drive and a high work drive,” McCullough said. “When it’s time to work and I say that magic word to Ricky, it’s like a light switch goes on, and he’s ready to work.”

And all it takes is one live bedbug for Ricky to detect it, McCullough said.

Ricky’s Work Day

McCullough said most of the calls he receives are from people who already have a strong suspicion they have bedbugs, evidenced by blood drops on bedding or by bites — a series of itchy red marks on the skin. Bedbugs are generally small and can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but they can swell to the size of an apple seed after they feed.

Some apartment managers contact McCullough because they want to be able to advertise bedbug-free apartments to prospective tenants.

When the man/dog partners begin their inspection. McCullough begins in a “scent zone,” within several feet of the location where bedbugs are suspected to exist. If Ricky picks up the scent of a bedbug, he puts his nose where he found the scent and paws it. Ricky has an 85 to 90 percent accuracy record, McCullough said.

Using canine bedbug detection can be cost effective, according to McCullough. It usually takes Ricky about 20 minutes to locate bedbugs, while it may take human beings (professional exterminators) several hours to search a home, often using disruptive practices such as tipping mattresses and box springs and emptying drawers.

According to NESDCA’s website, there are approximately 214 certified bedbug dogs in the United States and several in Canada. McCullough said there are only two other companies with certified dogs in the Milwaukee area, and those businesses also offer extermination services. McCullough’s services do not include extermination.

McCullough inspects both residential and commercial properties and will inspect a car, luggage, dorm room, etc., anywhere a client suspects there may be bedbugs. The base price for home inspections is $75, but may be higher depending on the location and the size of the job.

McCullough said he might expand his client base to include senior care facilities. He would also like to provide his services to travelers at Mitchell General International Airport, providing luggage inspection. He said he would have to work out the specifics with airport operations personnel regarding the workspace. “We can’t have clients taking their luggage apart in the parking lot,” he joked.

Prevention

Bedbugs are notorious hitchhikers. To protect oneself while traveling, McCullough said it is best to store luggage in the bathtub, since bedbugs cannot crawl up enamel or acrylic surfaces. One should always inspect hotel rooms for signs of bedbugs. Look for blood spots on mattresses and linens. Do not leave clothing lying on the bed or on the floor, and never put clothing in hotel dressers.

When arriving home after travel, McCullough recommends putting suitcases into a large trash bag and emptying everything directly from the suitcase into the washing machine. Wash the clothing at the highest temperature setting, and keep the suitcase itself in a trash bag until it can be steamed or thoroughly cleaned with rubbing alcohol.

In the event of a bedbug infestation, eradication requires a series of chemical treatments of up to nine different insecticides. “Or the nuclear, surefire way is to heat the room to 120 degrees for three hours,” McCullough said.

Because A.S.A.P. Bedbug Detection’s services are limited finding bedbugs, McCullough refers customers to exterminators.

Ricky, who is the family’s pet dog, has been adjusting well to his new career: “He’s coming along fine. I’m pleased,” McCullough said.

A.S.A.P. Bedbug Detection
414-458-0605
asapbedbugdetection.com

Sheila Julson, sjulson@wi.rr.com, is a freelance writer and blogs at cappersfarmer.com/blogs/return-to-our-roots.


Colectivo rolls out Troubadour Bakery 

July 2, 2014

By Sheila Julson 

— Photo Jennifer Kresse

— Photo Jennifer Kresse

Milwaukee-based Colectivo Coffee has enticed patrons for years with its range of coffee blends, but also with the sight and scent of sandwiches, muffins, cookies, and scones behind the counters of its cafés. Since 1999, Colectivo, formerly Alterra Coffee Roasters, has had its own scratch bakery operation that was moved to Bay View, 2301 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., when the café opened in 2012.

This spring the company launched a retail and wholesale line of artisan bread under its new Troubadour Bakery brand.

“We have always planned to give our behind-the-scenes bakery its own identity and chance to pursue its own opportunities,” said Scott Schwebel, Director of Marketing for Colectivo Coffee. “For us, it was just a matter of timing. We built the facility in Bay View to bring the bakery out front and give it visibility, showcasing our daily craft — the last piece was launching bread. Now that we are ready with bread, this completes our product line and our bakery’s story.”

Troubadour’s Director of Operations Richard Specter said Colectivo has been developing its own line of artisan breads since January 2013. The Troubadour Bakery name and brand were announced in May, coinciding with the introduction of its artisan bread line and the wholesale and retail marketing of the bread.

Among the 19 bread varieties offered are ciabatta, sesame semolina, honey wheat, and whole grain, and also baguettes and rolls. There are three organic varieties: a honey whole-wheat loaf, a whole wheat batard (oval shaped loaf), and a whole wheat baguette. Troubadour sources the flour for its organic breads from Great River Organic Milling in Fountain City, Wis.

Troubadour’s baking operations occupy the west side of the Bay View Colectivo building, in a large open space where customers can observe employees preparing the Troubadour dough and baking the bread, along with sweet rolls, cookies, and other pastries. (There are two baking operations in the Bay View building. The “savory kitchen and bakery,” where quiche and sandwiches, etc. are made, is on the east side of the building parallel to Kinnickinnic Avenue. The “sweet bakery” is on the west side, parallel to Howell Avenue.) A small retail counter was added to the front of the sweet bakery, where the Troubadour bread line is sold to the public. The bread is also sold at Colectivo’s newest venue, 223 E. St. Paul Ave. in the Third Ward. Retail prices, when purchased at the Troubadour counter, range from $3.50 for ciabatta, to $5.25 for the organic, whole wheat batard. All the breads served in its cafés, for sandwiches, with soup, toast, bagels, pastries, and other products, are baked by Troubadour.

Most of Troubadour’s artisan breads are naturally leavened with a sourdough levain (a natural leavening made of water, flour, and wild yeast), and some are leavened with traditional baker’s yeast. A stone hearth oven from Italy, brought in specifically for the bread operations, can be seen on the east wall of the bakery. It is the latest addition to Troubadour’s kitchen gear. Built on site, the oven is used to bake the rustic European-style bread with their distinctive crusts.

Specter said four employees are dedicated to the artisan bread-baking. Two of them trained at the San Francisco Baking Institute. Currently, Troubadour bakes 700 to 900 units daily, which includes loaves, rolls, and baguettes. Some are produced for retail and others are for internal use in Colectivo’s sandwiches.

Specter said it’s too early to tell how the new line of bread is being received, but samples are offered at the retail counter. “Once people taste the bread, they’re quite pleased,” Specter said.

Baking Operation on the Rise

Specter gave a tour of the baking operations to the Compass. Troubadour has 40 employees. During the tour, some diligently assembled sandwiches in the savory bakery and kitchen, while others in the sweet bakery scurried around the benches and stainless steel mixing vats heaped with cookie dough.

He said he enjoys his job. “I get to help 40 people reach their maximum potential and do great things,” Specter said.

Specter has been with the company since 2004. Before that, he owned a business in Green Bay called Lox, Stock N Bagel, where he offered bagels, sandwiches, and other bakery products.

Specter said he has noticed the public’s increased desire to return to good quality, scratch bakery, especially the handcrafted breads that were sold at corner bakeries that were abundant decades ago. “The longer fermentation process for handmade bread really adds to the flavor,” he said.

In artisan bread making, there is a step called fermentation where the dough is cooled for a period of time, up to 24 hours, so that the microorganisms, which both cause the bread to rise and impart complex flavors, can develop. After the fermentation stage, the bread is brought up to room temperature to proof/rise, the last step before the dough is placed in the oven.

Press Time Update: The retail counter has temporarily been moved. “For the near term, we have moved the fresh baked bread to a shelf in the café while we get ready to reorganize/ remodel the bakery floor, our bread production area, and a new, permanent bread counter,” said Colectivo’s Ramie Camerana. 

Troubadour Bakery (inside Colectivo Coffee)
2301 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
colectivocoffee.com/troubadour-bakery

Sheila Julson, sjulson@wi.rr.com, is a freelance writer and blogs at cappersfarmer.com/blogs/return-to-our-roots.

 

 


Humboldt Park Beer Garden open

July 1, 2014

Milwaukee County Parks in partnership with Saint Francis Brewing Co., announced the opening of the Humboldt Park Beer Garden. It opened Monday, June 30 at 4pm. The beer garden is adjacent to the pavilion, off of  Pine Street and Oklahoma Avenue.

At a later date there will be a grand opening celebration with a ceremonial keg tapping at 6pm with free beer while supplies last.

Nick Dillon, Saint Francis Brewery and Restaurant’s general manager said, “We are so excited to provide this opportunity for the community of Bay View to gather together and take in the beauty of Humboldt Park while enjoying a craft beer or soda.”

Attendees will be able to purchase seasonal handcrafted tap beer, handcrafted soda, and snacks including beer cheese soup, Bavarian pretzels, and Klement’s brats and frankfurters. A $6 refundable glass deposit will be required.

Members of public are invited to bring their own picnic baskets and make new friends at the shared-table seating.

Hours of operation are weekdays from 4pm to 9pm; weekends from 11am to 9pm, with last call at 8:30pm. A concessions trailer will offer beer, soda, and other items from 5pm to 10 pm at the park.

“The beer garden will complement Humboldt Park and we are excited to partner with a great local business, Saint Francis Brewery,” said Milwaukee County Parks Director John Dargle, Jr. “We see the beer garden as a positive addition and hope it will enhance everyone’s enjoyment of the park.”

The beer garden will not be open on the 4th of July.


More delays for Artstop project

July 1, 2014

Fabricating the steel frames and panels for the Artstop bus stop in the triangle of Howell, Kinnickinnic, and Lincoln avenues is taking longer than contractors Kotze Construction expected, according to one of its representatives who said Metro Welding, the contractor hired to create the steel frames and panels, experienced delays in acquiring the steel.

The slow-up caused by the steel’s late delivery in turn delayed the delivery of a specialty glass, which won’t be ordered until the frames are constructed. Omni, the glass contractor, according to the Kotze representative, did not want to order the glass until precise measurements could be taken from finished steel panels in order to ensure a good fit. The new completion date is August.

Ald. Tony Zielinski contacted the Compass to clarify information he provided last month. He said that the Bay View BID (Business Improvement District #44) was the entity that is considering both an alternative name for Artstop, as well as staging a street party on Howell Avenue to celebrate the completion of the project. Zielinski said that he should have credited the BID for the potential renaming and street party.

 


Boulevard building sold

July 1, 2014

After 29 years, Mark Bucher sold his Boulevard Theatre building, 2250 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. to his neighbors, Sarah Jonas and Camryne Roberts, who own Café Lulu across the street. The two-story brick building is assessed at $134,000. The sale was transacted in November of 2013. Jonas and Roberts said in a June press release about the purchase that there goal is to find another business or organization to complement the “unique, independent spirit and make-up our street.”

Bucher will continue to stage plays at different venues throughout the season.

 


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