IN BALANCE — Transition to fall

September 30, 2015

By Sheri LM Lee, MSOM, C.Ac., LMT

HEADSHOT SHERI LEEWith the change of colors and the brisk winds beginning to blow leaves from the trees, I am reminded of how we internally adapt to each season.

From the perspective of Chinese medicine, moving into fall means “entering the time of the lungs.” Symbolically it is time of exhaling, of letting go. So go ahead and finish those summer projects you’ve been working on, and then release the old just as the trees release their leaves. Make room for reflection.

As the seasons change, our internal energies should correspond with nature. We spend our spring and summer growing and expanding our energy, staying busy and active. Fall is a transitional time and as any good gardener knows, it’s time to harvest what we’ve made and prepare for the winter. Literally speaking, it is a great time for preserving food, but energetically it’s our opportunity to finish up tasks, reorganize, reflect, and begin to slow down our pace and the active energy of summer.

Slow down and take a deep breath because our lungs help us gather energy. When we are connected to the emotion of grief and sadness, our lungs can feel heavy. Many of us breathe shallowly, especially when we are heavy with emotion. Open your chest a bit more by spending a few times each day focusing on your breath. Take a deep cleansing breath in through your nose, letting the air fill your lungs until your belly rises. Then focus on exhaling through your mouth, completely, from the bottom of your lungs. Your exhalation should be noticeably longer than your inhalation. Just a few breaths can reinvigorate you.

Take in nourishing and easily digestible foods to stay healthy. It’s a good time to prepare for the cold season and build your protective qi—your immune system.

As the weather gets cooler, it’s time to reduce the raw and cold foods, especially dairy products. You’ll notice an abundance of root vegetables appearing in the garden and the markets this season. These vegetables are a great nutrient source that can help our bodies gather energy and warmth.

Cook your meals a little longer by making more soups and stews. Begin roasting seasonal favorites. Enjoy carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, squash, pumpkin, celery, and mushrooms. Other beneficial fall foods include onions, scallions, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper that are used to warm your food and your body a bit.

Remember to keep warm on the outside too and be sure to cover up. Chinese medicine recognizes the wind as a contributing cause of illness. Just as heat causes exhaustion or too much cold causes frostbite, wind can contribute to the onset of headaches, common cold symptoms, stiffness, skin rashes, and more. Wearing a scarf is a great way to protect the body by keeping your neck warm and protected from the wind.

Spend time enjoying the fall with brisk walks, pumpkin carving, warm drinks, and all the fun this season brings. As the days become shorter and shorter, remember to take time to turn inward, rest a bit more, and prepare for the cold season ahead.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this column is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or care. 

Bay View resident, Sheri Lee, MSOM, L.Ac, LMT operates 8 Branches Chinese Medicine, where she and her colleagues provide holistic health care for the whole family. More information:

Hall Monitor — Making Wisconsin education a laughingstock again

September 30, 2015

Jay1headshotIn 2010, to very little fanfare, Wisconsin made a significant leap forward. It adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Instead of paying to develop its own new standards and a new test based on those standards, the Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) decided it would be cheaper, faster, and wiser to join up with other states that had made the same calculation.

What attention there was on this move was mostly positive. Many critics felt that the old standards and the old exam didn’t really give a sense of how well our kids were doing compared to those elsewhere. Some even said the existing standards were laughably weak.

In Wisconsin, curriculum is still set at the local level, though the federal government does require all Wisconsin students to take the same test. Many districts, including Milwaukee Public Schools, had already begun moving toward the CCSS by that point, recognizing a need for tougher standards. We didn’t really feel like being a national laughingstock.

Opposition at that time, as I’ve written in these pages, came mostly from education advocates who were generally opposed to testing in any form. It wasn’t what test students took that was the problem; it was that they took any test at all.

At the same time, some of the iffiest parts of the K-12 landscape were getting better scrutiny. A new regime of state report cards—one widely praised by other states trying to figure out an accountability system—promised to offer statewide transparency and cross-district comparisons.

Further, students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice (voucher) Program were required to take the same exams as other taxpayer-funded students. And DPI’s power to police abuses in that program had been strengthened, as well. We were all hoping for no more tales of shuttered fly-by-night schools and their proprietors living it up in Florida.

In other words, five years back, things were mostly looking up; our status as a sometime-laughingstock was on its way out.

Since that time, though, almost everything about education in Wisconsin has been upended.

Opposition to Common Core is now widespread and fierce. In its newly partisan form, it is mostly not about testing at all. Republicans are simply opposed to being part of any kind of national curriculum. Indeed, after just one year of the Badger Exam—what Wisconsin called its version of the Smarter Balanced Assessments offered by almost 20 states nationwide—Republicans in the state legislature killed it. They even declared that the results could not be counted for anything.

Accountability for voucher schools has been rolled back. The voucher program has been expanded statewide against vocal opposition from local districts and without any demonstrable need for new or better options in most communities around the state.

Funding has been gutted for both K-12 and higher education. Along with drastic changes to tenure rules at the university level, many high-profile UW professors and researchers are moving to other states.

And K-12 teachers are leaving, too. I wrote last month that there are teacher shortages all over the state. As I write this, four weeks into the new school year, MPS still has 30 openings to fill. This despite having had to eliminate more than 700 teaching positions since those heady days of 2010—a cut much deeper than the district’s modest decrease in enrollment could explain.

But that’s not all. This past month brought two more indignities to education in the state. For one, the state finally picked a new vendor for a state exam. (Chucking the Badger Exam didn’t eliminate the federal requirement that we test all students.) A company belonging to a former state Republican lawmaker and current big-money donor will write the new exam.

The new test will apparently still cover CCSS, but because it exists only in Wisconsin, good comparisons to other states will simply be impossible. That is exactly the problem that a move to CCSS was supposed to fix.

Plus there’s a proposal out now that directly and spitefully targets the one person most responsible for making those positive changes back in 2010, and who has fought tooth and nail against the efforts to roll them back: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers.

Evers, like every state superintendent in Wisconsin history, was elected by the voters. But now Republican lawmakers want to make the position an appointed one, and part of the governor’s cabinet.

Because Evers has stood in opposition to these recent changes—and others like the controversial Act 10 that destroyed teachers’ collective bargaining rights—lawmakers want to replace him with a political appointee who will go along with their agenda even when it takes the public out of Public Instruction.

It’s hard not to look at all of this and wonder whether some people want us to go back to being a laughingstock.

Jay Bullock teaches English at Bay View High School. He likes comedy, but on Twitter, not in education. 

Twitter: @folkbum


PAREN(T)HESIS — Quality time

September 30, 2015

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

NEW Jill Maher Headshot Dec 2013There is a Chris Janson country music song makes me smile every time it comes on the radio. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics include, “Everybody says money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy me a boat and it can buy me a truck to pull it.”

The light-hearted song has caused me to think a little deeper about what I value and whether money can help achieve it. I’d love more time to keep our house and yard tidier and to spend with our child.

Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life. —Brian Andreas

I’d spend that time doing nothing in particular.

Parents—especially bloggers who write about parenting—sometimes use the phrase “quality time” to talk about special moments with kids. To me, quality time is when I’m not distracted by office work, housework, or other obligations and am enjoying being with my family.

In my mind, quality time typically isn’t worth a Facebook post and rarely involves expensive tickets or preplanning. It happens when all of us end up reading in the same room, silent but together. When we’re all blown away by the same stars in the night sky. When we crack ourselves up playfully throwing socks.

In these moments, we’re all relaxed and ready to handle work and school more easily. I forget about things like lists and clocks. I’m guessing that my heart rate goes down and my body starts producing more of the good, relaxing chemicals like serotonin.

There’s no way to get this quality time by scheduling it or planning for it. Achieving quality time, in my mind, simply involves waiting around for it to happen.

If I were writing a song, it might include a line, “Everybody knows money can’t buy time.”

The author is a freelance writer and mother of one. Reach her with comments or suggestions at

Bay View Library to host Wisconsin water photo display

September 30, 2015

Milwaukee Public Library’s Bay View branch will host a traveling photo display on Wisconsin water, created by the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program and University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute. The exhibit will be on display throughout October at 2566 Kinnickinnic Ave.

The photo display explores water in Wisconsin and its deep connection to the economy, the environment and residents’ health.

Wisconsin boasts 15,000 lakes, more than 5 million acres of wetlands, and 1.2 quadrillion gallons of groundwater. In addition, Wisconsin adjoins the Great Lakes, which contains 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water.

Visitors can learn about research, education and outreach projects aimed at studying and promoting the sustainable use of Wisconsin’s water. Among other things, these innovative projects are partnering with Growing Power of Milwaukee and promoting safe recreation for Apostle Islands kayakers.

James Hurley, director of Wisconsin Sea Grant and the Water Resources Institute said he is excited for Milwaukee residents to explore Wisconsin’s water. “As a water researcher, I have studied the impact of mercury on Wisconsin’s northern lakes and the Great Lakes, and I am proud of the diverse projects around Wisconsin improving the health and sustainability of our water. This display is a great opportunity for residents to learn about the role of water in their lives and to think about how they can be good stewards of an important shared resource,” said Hurley.

In addition to the exhibit, STEM curriculum kits and educational aquatic invasive species “Attack Packs” will be available for parents and educators to borrow from the library.

Leaf piles on street begins Oct. 1

September 30, 2015

City of Milwaukee residents may start raking leaves into the curb lanes starting Thursday, Oct. 1. DPW sanitation crews begin collecting the leaves Monday, Oct. 12. Leaf collection ends Wednesday, Nov.25.

Leaves, brush, and other yard waste are banned from landfills and must not be placed in garbage or recycling carts.

Residents are also encouraged to mulch leaves and to allow grass clippings to remain on the lawn. These practices save time and money and add nutrients to the soil.

Residents are advised to keep leaves away from street storm drains, to keep leaf piles away from sewer grates, and to place garden debris on top of leaf piles. Do not put leaves in plastic bags or in garbage carts. Also, do not put brush on the street—call 286- 2489 through November for a pick-up.

Sanitation crews collect an average of 15,000 tons of leaves each year between mid-October and the first week of December. Last year 15,360 tons of leaves were collected.

UWM Artists Now! free lectures

September 30, 2015

UWM Peck School of the Arts has announced its ninth season of Artists Now!, a free Wednesday evening lecture series featuring contemporary artists of all disciplines.

This fall the series’ spotlight lectures include “Hanji: The Traditional Art of Korean Handmade Paper,” Oct. 14, 7:30pm, UWM Arts Lecture Hall 120.

In 2012, a group of Milwaukee-based artists traveled throughout South Korea to study Hanji (Korean paper) with master artisans/craftspeople. These artists will join Korean artisans Hye Mi Ja Kim and Geumgang Seunim of Mihwang Temple at UWM for a panel discussion on traditional Korean paper crafts and the unique connections between Korean and American artists.

On Nov. 18, Therese Quinn will present “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: The Arts, Education and Social Justice,” also at 7:30pm at UWM Arts Lecture Hall 120. Quinn, Associate Professor of Art History and Director of Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago will discuss radical art.

The UWM Art Lecture Hall 120 is located in the Peck School of the Arts, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd.

More info:

Rummage-A-Rama! October 24-25

September 30, 2015

Rummage-A-Rama! and the Wisconsin Antique and Vintage Show will open Oct. 24-25 at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex, a new location. The Sports Complex is located at 6000 W. Ryan Road.

Attendees will have access to both shows for the price of one and enjoy free parking. Through a partnership with the Hunger Task Force, Rummage-A-Rama! will offer discounted admission. Regular admission is $5 per person. Admission with a two-can food donation is $3 per person. Children age 12 and under are admitted free.

With the larger exhibit space of the 55,000-square-foot Sports Complex, Rummage-A-Rama! event producer Open Productions will also launch the Wisconsin Antique and Vintage Show. The new show will feature items at least 25 years old.

Hours are Saturday, 9am to 4pm and Sunday 9am to 3pm.

More info:

MREA Solar Celebration October 3

September 30, 2015

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is hosting a Solar Celebration benefit, Saturday, Oct. 3. The celebration will be held at MREA Milwaukee’s new location at Escuela Verde, 3628 W. Pierce St.

The party will include savory dishes from Beans & Barley, Café Corazón, and Smoke Shack, along with beer pairings from Central Waters Brewing Company and the Milwaukee Brewing Company. Attendees will also enjoy music spun by DJ Heart Burnz and a raffle featuring prizes such as Wisconsin craft beer and liquor, a SunJack portable solar charger, tickets to area attractions, and more. Cocktail hour begins at 5pm and dinner at 6pm. A limited number of tickets are available at

Tickets are $40 for members, $60 for nonmembers, and $65 at the door. Funds raised at the benefit will support clean energy education and further program development in Southeast Wisconsin.

The Solar Celebration is sponsored by Arch Electric, Inc., Beans & Barley, Central Waters Brewing Co., Colectivo Coffee, Café Corazón, Escuela Verde, Le Rêve Patisserie & Café, Milwaukee Brewing Co., Outpost Natural Foods, Riverwest Co-Op, SimpleRay, Smoke Shack, SunJack, Urban Milwaukee, Werner Electric, and the Wisconsin Gazette.

More info: 715-592-6595 or

Bay View High School open house

September 30, 2015

Bay View High School’s open house event is Thurs., October 22 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. School officials invite parents to visit the school and meet its staff and see firsthand what the school has to offer, including its STEAM curriculum. Onsite registration will be available.

The school is located at 2751 S. Lenox St. More info: 414-294-2400,

New era for Gallery Bookstore

September 30, 2015

By Katherine Keller

When Frank Mente died, he did so knowing that his beloved Gallery Bookstore would survive him.

Before his death, Mente asked Anne Wilde, who described him as a family friend, if she would be willing to accept the bequest. She told him she would.

Wilde, who lives in Riverwest, said that over a period of 20 years, she was a bookseller for Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, Schwartz Books in Milwaukee, and Next Chapter in Mequon. When Next Chapter closed in 2012, she thought that was the end of her retail book career.

But that career will resume when she reopens Gallery Bookstore at the end of September or early October.

Wilde, who has a full-time job caring for “interior landscapes,” said that her tentative plans are to operate the store each Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Mente’s hours were 1pm to 4pm on Saturday, but Wilde said she hopes to attract some of the pedestrian traffic that she’s observed on Saturday mornings near the bookstore.

After she received the store keys, one of her first jobs was to tackle “30 years worth of dust on the floor.” Wilde plans to organize the store, but without losing the fairly random schema that characterized Mente’s modus operandi.
Putting labels on shelves to correctly identify the subject matter and perhaps beginning to alphabetize the books are high on her task list. “I would like to know what each book is and where it is,” Wilde said.

Wilde recently became licensed to train dogs. In addition to selling books, she taught art at Milwaukee Public Schools.

Wilde inherited Mente’s vast inventory of used books and, as such, said she would not be purchasing new inventory. “I think I’ll put a burglar alarm on the store to keep people out who want to sell me used books,” she said with rueful laughter.

Gallery Bookstore is located at 2124 E. Rusk Ave. Info:

2015 Pumpkin Pavilion

September 30, 2015

The Bay View Neighborhood Association is hosting its annual Pumpkin Pavilion event from Oct. 21-24 in Humboldt Park in Bay View, 3000 S. Howell Avenue.

Pumpkin carving will take place Wednesday and Thursday, October 21 and 22 at the Humboldt Park Pavilion.

The illuminated jack-o-lanterns will be displayed Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24. Additionally there will be food vendors, music, and other activities for children and adults.

At press time, no more details were available concerning start and end times for the carving or display. Information about the event will be published at

BVNA is seeking event volunteers and sponsors. To learn more about volunteering, write to

Sponsorship info:

Bay View Trick or Treat Oct. 31

Halloween Trick or Treat in Bay View is Saturday, Oct. 31 from 5pm to 8pm

Curbside food-waste-collection pilot approved

September 30, 2015

By Katherine Keller

The Common Council approved a measure Sept. 22 that directs the Dept. of Public Works to implement a 12-month curbside food-waste-collection pilot program. The measure passed by a 15:0 vote.

DPW estimates that if 20 percent of the city of Milwaukee’s 1-to-4-unit households would participate in the program, it would save $430,000 of avoided landfill costs but at a net service cost of up to $4.5 million.

Prior to passage by the full Common Council on Sept. 9, the Public Works Committee approved the resolution authorizing the pilot program. The substitute resolution that passed was the sixth version of the original proposal. A request for proposal (RFP) process was added to the final version. It instructs DPW to create an RFP and bidding process to select the vendor that will collect the food waste.

The collected food waste would be transported to a site where it would be allowed to transform to compost.

The legislation authorizing the pilot program, that will be rolled out in the Bay View, Riverwest, and East Side neighborhoods, was sponsored by District 14 Ald. Zielinski and District 3 Nik Kovac. Kovac’s district includes Riverwest and the East Side.

The curbside food waste collection program is intended to contribute to Mayor Barrett’s “40 by 2020” initiative to increase the amount of solid waste diverted from landfills, from the current rate of 24 percent, to 40 percent.

Participation in the pilot program will be voluntary. Participants will be charged a monthly fee of an estimated $10 or $11 for the service, but the food waste bins will be provided at no cost. The terms of the RFP will stipulate that the winning bidder will provide the bins.

If the monthly fee for those who elect to participate in the pilot would be $11, the cost for 12 months would be $132. To cover the cost of the estimated $4.5 million pilot, it would require the participation of 34,090 households.

More than 90 U.S. cities mandate composting, according to Bruce Walker, solid waste and recycling program manager for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in Portland, Ore., according to a report published at The same report states, “Portland estimates that its composting program cost about $1 million to set up—most of which has been spent on education efforts explaining how and why to compost. Advocates say those efforts shouldn’t be overlooked: If residents don’t know why they should be saving organic waste, they’re far less likely to do so.”

Two Dane County cities, Fitchburg and Madison, instituted pilot curbside food waste collections programs but neither city adopted the practice after the pilot because it wasn’t profitable for the winning bidders who provided the pick up service. The pilots failed due to too-low participation, making the program financially unfeasible, according to Adam Wickersham, a financial analyst in the city of Milwaukee’s Legislative Reference Bureau.

Wickersham, who said he consulted with Madison and Fitchburg officials about their pilot programs, said that the high rate of backyard composting already practiced by residents contributed to the failed pilot projects.

“The intent of the pilot program in Milwaukee is to have as many households as possible in Bay View and Riverwest participating. The larger the pilot, the better to give a true estimate of what the program would cost,” Wickersham said. He said another intent of the pilot is that the winning vendor would be able to sell the compost it creates from the collected food waste.

A January 2015 DPW report stated that a curbside collection program could divert seven to nine pounds of wood waste, per week, which is currently collected as garbage. National estimates indicate that 13 percent to 21 percent of solid waste disposal consists of food waste, according to the text of the legislation authorizing the pilot program.

Wickersham said that participation in the food waste collection program by restaurants and other businesses that produce it will enhance the potential for a profitable compost collection program.

Outpost Natural Foods Co-op instituted an in-store collection program for compostable food and other waste in 2013 and 2014 in its four retail stores and central office. Jessy Servi, ONF’s sustainability manager, said it collected 162.3 tons in total as of Sept. 28, 2014, and 164.3 tons as of Aug. 2015. The compilation of these data coincides with its fiscal year; therefore, ONF will have its final 2015 tally after September data is collected.

The Public Works Committee estimates that it will take six to nine months to produce the RFP pilot program and that the pilot will not begin until sometime in 2016.

Residents in each of the neighborhoods where the pilot will be conducted will be informed about the program and provided with materials to help educate them about the benefits of diverting food waste from landfills.

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