Chris Abele announces “Parks with Purpose” community Workshops 

August 31, 2016

Source: Press Release, Office of Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced today a series of nine County-wide public workshops to take place between Sept. 13 and Oct. 5 as part of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture’s “Parks with Purpose” planning campaign.

Information gathered will support the two major park planning efforts underway simultaneously: the 10-Year Parks System Master Plan and the 2050 Park & Open Space Plan. The 10-Year Parks Master Plan will provide recommendations for facilities, programs and services, maintenance and operation, and administration and management of the County park system. The 2050 Park & Open Space Plan will address long-range considerations including the preservation of environmental corridors, conservation lands, the recreational use of water bodies, and make recommendations on the distribution of parks and recreational facilities throughout the County.

“I believe in the value of parks to promote a strong sense of community and encourage learning and stewardship about our natural spaces, which is why we’ve worked hard over the past five years to invest in things like capital improvements, technology, and accreditation,” County Executive Chris Abele said.  “Our parks are successful because our neighbors and community stakeholders participate in these planning processes. When the County renovated Moody Park we didn’t come in with a preconceived idea of what was needed – we asked the community what they wanted to see, and the end result is something even better than anyone could have originally hoped for.”

At the foundation of the “Parks with Purpose” campaign, which will inform the County’s efforts to ensure that that our world-class Parks system remains a vital and vibrant public asset for future generations, is a robust and inclusive input process that engages our community.

Residents are encouraged to attend any of these upcoming public workshops. All forums will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a brief general presentation followed by a facilitated workshop.

Public workshops are scheduled as follows: Sept. 13, Kosciuszko Park Community Center, 2201 S. 7th St.; Sept. Sept. 14, Lake Park Marcia Coles Community Room, 3133 E. Newberry Blvd. (lower level); Sept. 15, Wilson Park Pavilion, 1601 W. Howard Ave.; Sept. 20, Brown Deer Park Golf Clubhouse, 7625 N. Range Line Road; Sept. 21, Gordon Park Pavilion, 2828 N. Humboldt Blvd.; Sept. 22, Dineen Park Pavilion, 6601 W. Vienna St.; Sept. 27, Sheridan Park Pavilion, 4800 S. Lake Drive; Oct. 4, McCarty Park Pavilion,2567 S. 79 St.; and Oct. 5, Center Street Park Community Room, 6420 W. Clarke St.

“This is the community’s opportunity to have a direct impact in prioritizing future park land use, facility development, and the long-term sustainability of Milwaukee County Parks,” Parks Director John Dargle, Jr. said.

Earlier this month, a statistically valid survey was sent to a representative sampling of 4,000 households.  National recreation survey expert ETC Institute developed the survey, distributed it throughout the county based on population and density, and is administering the process. The household survey closes in mid-September.

After the close of the statistically valid survey, a second, online iteration of the survey will be available.

ADA accommodation requests for the meeting should be filed with the Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, at (414) 278-3932 (voice) or (414) 278-3937 (TTY).

For more information, visit and select “Parks with Purpose.”

UW-Milwaukee recipient of $2.4 million grant to improve the teaching of mathematics and science in Milwaukee public high schools

August 22, 2016

Source: UW-Milwaukee press release 

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools have received a $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation scribble-paper-note

The five-year project, the Milwaukee Master Teacher Partnership, will run from fall 2016 to summer 2021. The partnership will engage 25 teachers with master’s degrees across MPS high schools in personalized professional development and classroom-based research.

  “This effort will strengthen the professional capacity of high school mathematics and science teachers and create a new generation of teacher leaders in science and mathematics,” said Michael Steele, the project leader. He is an associate professor of mathematics education and chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at UWM.

 The collaboration between the university and the schools will help foster content knowledge, teaching skills and development of teacher leaders in mathematics and science, said Steven Akin, mathematics and science manager for MPS. 

 Teachers involved in the project will select areas of interest related to mathematics and science teaching to study with UWM content experts. After designing and implementing classroom activities related to that area of study, teachers will receive “badges,” also known as micro-credentials, for their achievements.

 Teachers will also work with university faculty and MPS district leaders to analyze their classroom practice and lead professional development workshops for other mathematics and science teachers in the district and state. Participating teachers receive funds for classroom equipment, salary stipends and travel subsidies to present their work at state and national education conferences.

 “This collaborative effort in the areas of mathematics and science is absolutely critical to Milwaukee’s future,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “Our aim is to bolster the professional capacity of high school mathematics and science teachers, teacher effectiveness in the classroom, and student learning in our urban schools.”

 Said MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver: “Strong mathematics and science skills are fundamental to our students’ success. Building on the existing skills for our teachers is critical to ensuring our young people have the tools and skills they need.”

 In addition to Steele and Akin, other UWM faculty and MPS professionals involved in the project are:

  • Barbara Bales, associate professor of Curriculum & Instruction and director of the Center for New & Professional Educators
  • Craig Berg, professor of science education and director of MACSTEP (Milwaukee Collaborative Science and Mathematics Teacher Education Program)
  • Anja Blecking, assistant professor of chemistry/biochemistry
  • Laura Maly, MPS mathematics specialist
  • Mary Mooney, MPS mathematics specialist
  • Rochelle Sandrin, MPS science curriculum specialist


MPS to institute Culturally Responsive Practices and Social-Emotional Learning, in wake of recent strife

August 19, 2016

Greetings Milwaukee Public Schools Family,

Over the past week, our city has faced events that push us all to the limits of our comfort and each of us must determine how we will lead in times of great challenge and injustice.

As I have reflected on the week and on the actions and reactions of our community, it is clear that people are hurting. These events have brought to light decades of unmet needs and will require more than conversations to truly understand and solve them.

I am fortunate enough to spend time with our wonderful, talented young people in schools and in our community. I believe in our students. I believe in our young people. And more than ever, I know that they hold the solutions for moving forward as a city.

The words of one of our students reinforce for me the optimism, hope and expectations of our young men and women in Milwaukee. Kalan Haywood II is a senior at King International High School and the president of the Milwaukee Common Council Youth Council. In a message on social media, Kalan spoke to his peers and to us:
I also issue a special challenge to Milwaukee’s youth: I ask you to think before you act. I encourage you to think of what outcome you want to see and ask yourself if the action you are about to partake in will yield that result. Trust me, as your peer I understand that screaming voice that yells from deep inside your gut that tells you that no one is listening.

But I also know that if we lead by example, everyone will take notice. We have to be the change we want to see.
It is our responsibility as educators to create a space where our young people can be heard and can be part of real decision-making that impacts their lives. We must build relationships and seek to understand their needs and life experiences.

To that end, we recently met with school leaders to discuss our role and ways to address the concerns of our community. We are preparing staff to provide Culturally Responsive Practices and Social-Emotional Learning in every classroom. We are committed to equity, access and inclusion for every student and staff member.

We have also reached out to youth and community leaders to come together to listen to each other as we move forward to secure peace and justice. This work will be uncomfortable, but it is not impossible. We are strong, resilient and committed to our city and our young people.
Together we are part of the solution. I ask our local media to put as much effort into telling the stories of the rebuilding, healing and work to solve issues that will take place over the next few weeks, as it did to the unrest of last weekend.

The issues we face are not new globally, nationally or in the history of our city. This is a critical time for us that will shape the future of our community for decades. Most importantly, this work is necessary to ensure that equity and access are a reality in Milwaukee for the young people we are honored to serve today and for generations to come.

Let us join in this effort of recovery and healing together, working with our young people to be the change that must emerge from our community.


Dr. Driver Signature

Darienne B. Driver, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Doggie Dip at Cool Waters Sept. 5, 4:30-6pm

August 18, 2016

Doggie Dip Returns to Cool Waters with New Earlier Time on Labor Day

doggiedipOn Labor Day, Cool Waters will close for the “human swimming season,” but before it is drained for the year, it will reopen at 4:30 p.m. for the 12th Annual Doggie Dip. Cool Waters is located at 2028 S. 124 St. in West Allis. The event is presented by Milwaukee County Parks in partnership with Residents for Off-Leash Milwaukee Parks.

Whether fearless about diving for tennis balls or wearing a personal floatation device, dogs of all abilities, breeds, and sizes are welcome to come for a swim in the pool. All dogs must be licensed and current with their vaccinations.

The Doggie Dip at Cool Waters runs from 4:30–6pm, Monday, Sept. 5. Admission is $5 per dog.

At the event, patrons may purchase 2016 Dog Exercise Area permits at a special price. The permit is good through Dec. 31. Regardless of the patron’s residency, the price will be $10 for one dog.

License and rabies-tag numbers are required for each of the dogs to be permitted.

For area residents, Labor Day may mark the end of the summer swimming season, but for dogs, things are just getting started.

More info: doggie dip.



Compost Crusader Awarded City Contract

August 18, 2016

The contract for Milwaukee’s one-year curbside compost collection program was awarded to Compost Crusader, LLC.

District 14 Ald. Tony Zielinski said Compost Crusader owner Melissa Tashjian, was the winning contractor.

A Department of Public Works official said two contractors bid for the contract was less than $50,000.
DPW is still working out details of the pilot including the monthly fee that will be charged participating households.

“The program is entirely voluntary,” Zielinski said. Those who choose to participate will pay a monthly service fee for the program.

When a minimum of 100 residents sign up for the program, the program will roll out and a compost collection cart would be delivered to each participant’s home.

Zielinski was the lead sponsor of the legislation authorizing the pilot that he originally planned solely for his district that includes Bay View, but District 3 was added when Ald. Nik Kovac requested his district’s inclusion.

Sign-up will begin in September, Zielinski said. Information about pick-up dates, the cost of the program, the type of bins, and other  details will be announced at that time.

“I believe composting will one day be as common as recycling,” Zielinski said.



New health trail—connecting to Oak Leaf Trail—to open Aug. 23

August 17, 2016

Source: Milwaukee County Parks press release

County Executive Abele, Aurora Health Care to Open Health Trail with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, Aug. 23

County Executive Chris Abele and Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore president, Carolynn Glocka, will open a new health trail at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 11 a.m. in Warnimont Park. The trail connects the area near the intersection of East Ramsey Avenue and South Lake Drive eastward to the Oak Leaf Trail. The ceremony will take place at the trail’s east end.

Made possible through the partnership of Milwaukee County Parks and Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore, the trail is designed to inspire people of all ages to move toward better fitness.

“Through our partnership, we can make our community healthier and stronger” Abele said. “With fresh-air fitness, our residents discover the benefits of exercise as well as the added benefits of connecting with nature in our Parks—all to lead fuller, richer lives.”

“Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore has been committed to improving the health and wellness in this community for decades, and we are proud to be part of this wellness initiative that was funded completely through philanthropic donations,” Glocka said. “We feel so grateful to Milwaukee County Parks to have this beautiful green space directly across from our hospital, which will benefit our patients and caregivers.”

Along the trail are an elliptical station, upper-body stretch station, balance steps, and plyometric steps, dedicated by Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore. Signage along the trail provides information on proper exercise techniques, correct body position, and muscle groups targeted. Signage also provides links to instructional videos that can be viewed on a smart phone.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Physical therapists from Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore will give demonstrations on equipment use.

Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore offers state-of-the-art resources, including 24-hour emergency care, orthopedic surgery and care, inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy, and inpatient and outpatient behavioral health all supported by a team of specialists, focusing on the personal care and attention associated with a community hospital. It is located across the street from the health trail.

For more information on fitness equipment in the Parks, visit and search “exercise stations.” For more information about Aurora Health Care, visit


Milwaukee County Parks Seeks Community Input to Develop Vision for County Park System Household Survey to Begin this Week

August 15, 2016

Source: Milwaukee County Parks Press Release 

Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture will issue a household survey to gather community input for its two major planning efforts under the campaign “Parks With Purpose.”

These two planning efforts, underway simultaneously, will have a significant impact on parks in the years to come. The 10-Year Parks Master Plan will provide recommendations for facilities, programs and services, maintenance and operation, and administration and management of the County park system. The 2050 Park & Open Space Plan will address long-range considerations including the preservation of environmental corridors, conservation lands, and the recreational use of water bodies, and will make recommendations on the distribution of parks and recreational facilities throughout the County.

“This is the public’s opportunity to have a direct impact on the parks they want to see in their future,” Parks Director John Dargle, Jr. said. “The 10-15 minutes invested in completing the survey will help us prioritize our work in Milwaukee County for years to come.”

National recreation survey expert ETC Institute developed the survey and is administering the process. The statistically valid survey will reach a representative sampling of 4,000 households and is distributed throughout the county based on population and density. The household survey closes in mid-September.

Public input from the “Parks with Purpose” outreach initiatives will directly impact the 10-Year Parks Master Plan and the 2050 Park & Open Space Plan. Upcoming outreach will include a second, online iteration of the survey and several community workshops.

More info about: Parks with Purpose.

Take the survey here.

IN BALANCE — Beat the heat, stay healthy

August 1, 2016

By Lisa Gibson

Small Lisa Gibson Head ShotHard to believe, but it’s August! Sumer is flying by in its usual fashion and we start trying to cram as much activity as possible into the remaining days of the season.

This month we are going to talk about heat-related issues, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The following information is drawn from guidelines provided by the Mayo Clinic.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are the mildest form of heat related issues. Symptoms include heavy sweating, fatigue, thirst, and muscle cramps. Fluids, including sports drinks, rest, and cooling off, either by moving to a cooler place, taking a cool, not cold shower, or applying a cool damp cloth on your forehead, neck, groin, and armpits will help you recover.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is more serious. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, feeling faint, dizzy, or weak, headache, rapid breathing, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, racing heart beat, cool moist skin with goose bumps in the heat, and low blood pressure when you stand up — you feel like you will faint when you stand up. To cool your body down, follow the same procedures for heat exhaustion as those for heat cramps. But you should also elevate your legs above your heart and drink cold fluids. If possible, loosen or remove excess clothing. In addition, if you do not feel better in an hour, go to the emergency room because there is a good possibility that you have progressed to the most serious of the heat related problems, heat stroke.

Heat Stroke

Symptoms of heat stroke include all of the above plus an altered mental state, such as confusion, agitation or aggression, slurred speech, delirium, seizures, and a body temperature of 104 degrees or more.

There are two types of heat stroke, exertional and nonexertional.

If the heat stroke is nonexertional, that is, if it has been caused by hot weather, your skin will be dry. If is is caused by over-exercising, it is an exertional heat stroke. Your skin will be moist.

Heat stroke can lead to coma and death. It is critical that you employ the steps listed above and get yourself or the affected person to an emergency room for treatment immediately.

What causes heat related illnesses? High heat and humidity.

Non exertional heat exhaustion can be brought on simply by prolonged exposure to high temperature and humidity. You should start taking precautions when the heat index is 91 degrees or above, particularly if these conditions last for more that two days. Humidity inhibits the body’s ability to perspire and cool off, therefore increasing the possibility of heat related problems.

Anyone can be affected by high heat and humidity but because the body’s core temperature is regulated by the central nervous system there are two groups where special care must be taken. Those are the very young whose central nervous system is not fully developed. The other group is those who are are age 65 and older because the central nervous system begins to wind down as we age. Both of these groups are at higher risk and need to pay special attention when it’s hot and humid.

People on vasoconstrictors, beta-blockers, diuretics, and antidepressants also need to be particularly alert, as do people who are overweight and or sedentary.

But it’s summertime! We want to be outside, so what can we do to decrease our risk of heat related problems? It’s pretty simple and easy.

Wear lightweight loose fitting light-colored clothing. Light colored clothing reflects more sunlight than dark that tends to absorb it. Loosely fitting garments allow air to circulate around the body, promoting the evaporation of perspiration to cool and dry the body.

Wear a wide brimmed hat to keep the sun off your head and neck. Reduce alcohol intake. Alcohol is a diuretic and the last thing you want in high heat and humidity is increased fluid loss. Conversely, increase nonalcoholic fluid intake such as water and sports drinks. If you are on medication to decrease fluid retention, talk to your doctor for advice and options during high heat days.

Wear sunblock. Sunburn decreases our ability to sweat and diminishes the effectiveness of the body’s cooling system.

If possible, stay indoors during the high heat hours of the day, typically between 10am and 2pm. Let your car cool off before you get in and drive it. Car temperatures can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes or less becoming dangerously hot very quickly.

With these few sensible precautions, the rest of the summer is yours to enjoy. Have fun and keep yourself and your family healthy.  Be smart and safe in the heat!

Lisa Gibson,, is an ACE AFFA AEA SCW certified movement and lifestyle specialist a national presenter for SCW Fitness and an international presenter for Poolates. Disclaimer: The diet and exercise information above is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before beginning a new health care regimen, any weight loss program, exercise, training regime, or any diet. 

PAREN(T)HESIS — Cooking with kids

August 1, 2016

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

NEW Jill Maher Headshot Dec 2013I vividly remember as a child being sent with a bag of corn to the cement steps of our home. I would peel each cob, dropping the husks and silk into a brown paper Piggly Wiggly bag. If we had family or friends joining us for dinner, it seemed like a really big job and I resented it a little. Once in a while, one of the ears we bought from the roadside stands would be rotten and the surprise of finding brown ick instead of golden ears would gross me out a little.

Helping out with meal preparation was the norm in my family of origin, even though my sister and I didn’t always enjoy it. My husband and I have made it the norm for our daughter. Part of the reason we have her help out is that we heard it could help combat her minor case of “picky eater.” It really seemed to work since she enjoys a variety of foods now, as long as onions aren’t on the plate! We also wanted her to help make dinner so that she didn’t come home from daycare and plop in front of the TV, leaving the adults to work on the evening meal.

Kids’ contributions can begin with rinsing and drying raw vegetables or slicing anything soft enough to be pierced with a butter spreader. As they mature, they can progress to a butter knife and other knives. They can grate cheese and cut basil or other herbs.

In Montessori school, some children grate cinnamon sticks. Even young children can put a napkin at every plate.

Cooking and baking together can even involve a little math, like teaching how to double a recipe or to make three-fourths cup with one-fourth and one-half  measuring cups.

I think the very best helping hands are those that come forward after dinner to help clean up!

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

BUILD A BETTER BAY VIEW — A chat with Bill Sell

August 1, 2016

By Christopher Miller

REPLACEMENT-HEADSHOT-Christopher-MillerRecently, I had the good fortune to sit down with Bill Sell, a longtime social justice activist and one of the founders of the Bay View Neighborhood Association.

I talked with him because of his long-standing commitment to civil rights equality, which includes his advocacy for transportation alternatives including robust public transportation and a bike lane on the Hoan Bridge.

The result is a distinct perspective on where we are, and how we might both respond to change and create spaces where neighbors can be heard.

Our conversation covered a great deal of territory, but three main concepts emerged.

Value of Complete Community

I define a community in general as the connections between individuals and groups. In the case of a neighborhood, it is the connections between people who share a space, whether as residents, businesses, patrons, visitors, or supporters.

Bill, who moved to Bay View in 1984, is convinced that community is undervalued by the mainstream of America’s political and economic system.

We frequently hear that folks who are unable to afford increasing housing costs or who cannot find work should just move somewhere else. Bill was quick to point out that a focus on money ignores the value of community if moving elsewhere eliminates friends and family support networks.

Rising rent and/or property taxes can do more than create budget pressures; they can rip a hole in a family and tear at the connections that make a community a living, breathing organism. What kind of system, he asks, tells people that their friends and family are something to be left behind in the face of rising prices?

A related but different challenge for a number of long-time Bay View residents is the affordability of remaining in place after retirement or as one ages. Bill noted that there is almost no provision made so that seniors are able to remain in the neighborhood throughout their entire lives and that attempts to produce senior or affordable housing are often met with resistance in Bay View.

While there is some public housing in Bay View, it is limited and waitlisted. Since so few of Bay View’s homes are accessible to the elderly, and the vast majority of housing is market rate, eventually many folks will “age out” of Bay View and must leave behind the friends, family and neighbors they’ve known for a lifetime if they seek or need heightened care or below-market rate housing.

A healthy community would at the very least offer ways for people of all ages to stay in place.

Accomplishing this goal would require major changes. First, the community would need to embrace housing (whether built or refurbished) that is specifically designed for and affordable to seniors. Secondly, the city and state might consider new property taxation policies to deal with the fact that, even in our present political environment, tax bills increase faster than social security benefits.

We Live in a Bubble

The Bay View community lives in a bubble of relative safety, stability, and desirability. Its long-term success and vibrancy depends on working to assist other neighborhoods and help them grow as well. Bill’s message on this front was very clear.

The very qualities that make Bay View desirable — safety, walkability, good housing stock, proximity to the lake, parks, transportation — are what generate the demand that leads to increased taxes, housing prices, and rent.

As long as other neighborhoods remain undervalued or underserved, the cost of living pressure on Bay View will continue to grow because the things it offers are, or are perceived to be, in short supply in Milwaukee. It could be said that what’s bad for other neighborhoods is also bad for Bay View. In other words, one way to help relieve price pressure on Bay View is to ensure that safety, stability, and city services are spread equitably across the city.

Demand will create market pressure and prices will rise, but the result will push out those with lower incomes as well as those who need housing options other than the available.

The solutions come through connections. That involves joining with people across the entire city to demand higher-quality public services such as police, schools, and parks rather than focusing exclusively on what happens in Bay View. Bill philosophically summarized this challenge, “Some people need help, so if we want to be good neighbors, we should help them.”

Three Sides To Every Story, Not Two
Bill and I talked about how the current structure of our public discourse was extraordinarily problematic. Focused on the polarizing “two sides” narrative and trapped in a journalistic model that presents “both sides” as if they are equivalent, our public debates simply do not reflect most people’s lived experiences. Instead this binary approach reflects and fosters increased divisions along ideological lines but also makes cooperation seem less possible than it actually is. He highlighted the importance of building bridges to your “opponents” that sometimes includes agreeing to decisions that may not maximize your group’s self-interest.

While he is convinced that the local, state, and national political culture has become more divisive and negative over the past 20 years, and may well get even worse, I sense Bill possesses a belief in the power of facts, rational argument, and personal connections to break out of the “two sides straightjacket” that characterizes so many of our conversations, particularly those hyper-polarized online slugfests on social media.

At the same time, he was very aware that people often make decisions based on their emotions. He noted that we must take the time to understand each other’s stories in order to work together. Understanding one another’s stories provides opportunities to find common ground.

The overarching message that I took from our conversation was that communities are ultimately composed of people and the connections between them. A community needs shared values to thrive, and a community made up of people who value each other will have distinctly different conversations than a community made up of individuals lined up on opposing sides of this or that issue. Whether you agree with Bill’s politics or his policy suggestions, I’d hope that we all agree that valuing each other is a baseline expectation of a healthy, vibrant community.

Some years have passed since 2003 when Bill Sell helped found BVNA but he remains an active member.

Disclaimer: Christopher Miller is the current president of Bay View Neighborhood Association. 

Christopher Miller has lived in Bay View since 2010 and has been on the board of the Bay View Neighborhood Association, working to connect neighbors for a better Bay View, since 2013. Contact him at

A harvest of food and fun at South Shore Farmers Market

August 1, 2016

Organically grown beets, carrots, broccoli, onions, cabbage, cucumbers, and other squash were offered in late July at the Lotfotl stand at the South Shore Farmers Market. Loftfotl is an acronym derived from “Live off the fat of the land.” PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Organically grown beets, carrots, broccoli, onions, cabbage, cucumbers, and other squash were offered in late July at the Lotfotl stand at the South Shore Farmers Market. Loftfotl is an acronym derived from “Live off the fat of the land.”
PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Set against the majestic backdrop of Lake Michigan, South Shore Farmers Market has been a favorite Saturday morning social spot and stop for fresh local produce and prepared food. This year, the market’s 17th season, there are new vendors, along with some long-time favorites.

Angie Tornes, a SSFM committee member and one of the market’s original founders, said there are 43 vendors this year selling produce, flowers, coffee, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, and prepared artisan foods.

New this year is Happy Dough Lucky, a doughnut vendor, Pete’s Pops, maker of frozen fruit confections, and Ernie’s Popcorn.

Chad VanDierendonck and Ann Hippensteel are the managers of the South Shore Farmers Market. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Chad VanDierendonck and Ann Hippensteel are the managers of the South Shore Farmers Market. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Ernie’s takes the place of Cowboy Kettle Corn, best known for its proprietor and barker Doug Gutenkunst, who prepared batches of kettle corn in a large cast iron pan. His enthusiastic, “Yee-haw, kettle corn!” was bellowed to the clanging accompaniment of a chuck wagon triangle. Tornes said Gutenkunst ended his contract this year and added that she recommends Ernie’s.

Since the market began, organizers have stuck to their decision to focus on vendors that provide food products and to exclude craft vendors like those who sell soap or art, for example. The committee also limits the number of vendors selling the same product to prevent market saturation.

Mike DeBauche is part of the Happy Dough Lucky crew who makes mini-doughnuts. This is their first season at South Shore Farmers Market. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Mike DeBauche is part of the Happy Dough Lucky crew who makes mini-doughnuts. This is their first season at South Shore Farmers Market. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Tornes said that in the second half of the season the market offers a multitude of vegetables and fruit, baked goods, beef, bison, chicken, and eggs. Rushing Waters Fisheries, a trout farm in Palmyra, Wis., sells trout and fish-based spreads.

“We also have some vendors selling unusual veggies, garlic scapes, and things you can’t find everywhere,” Tornes said. The market features several farmers that grow using organic methods. There are also cheese and coffee vendors.

“Rocket Baby was new to the market last year and they were incredibly popular,” Tornes said. They’re back again this year offering baked goods.

Other long-time favorites include River Valley Ranch & Kitchens, selling specialty mushrooms and LOTFOTL who sells  produce (Live Off the Fat of the Land).  Wild Flour Bakery is another favorite and has been a vendor since the market’s first season. St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care sells homemade jelly and butters and also offers homemade bug repellent and some wellness items. It is the only vendor permitted to sell products that are neither food nor flowers. Tornes said the toiletries are just a small part of what St. Ann offers at SSFM and that they were grandfathered in so they could sell what is normally not allowed.

Since South Shore Market’s inception, Wild Flour Bakery has been providing bread and other baked goods for the Saturday morning crowd. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Since South Shore Market’s inception, Wild Flour Bakery has been providing bread and other baked goods for the Saturday morning crowd. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

To help improve pedestrian flow, market a new layout was designed. “We relocated several of the vendors away from an area that was really getting pounded down by foot traffic,” she said. “We rearranged vendors to ease exceptionally long lines that impacted others, giving the park a chance to breathe.”

Community Impact

In July market organizers performed a count during a market day and logged 1,200 attendees by 10am. Many young families attend. Parents tell Tornes that their children can hardly wait to get out the door on Saturday mornings to get to the market and see their friends. “The parents enjoy being with each other, too,” she said.

SSFM is within walking and cycling distance for many in Bay View, who are often seen walking or riding from the park with bags overflowing with leafy greens and flowers. Tornes said she also talks to many people who live outside of Bay View who regularly attend.

Tornes’ husband Mark Budnik lines up the musicians and entertainers. The popular Fox & Branch duo is booked for August. They perform children’s folk and family songs.

Members of the Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance troupe performed July 23 at the South Shore Farmers Market. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Members of the Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance troupe performed July 23 at the South Shore Farmers Market. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Other highlights include the Philomusica String Quartet and the Bay View Middle & High School Marching Band. The August through October schedule offers an eclectic mix of jazz, Native American sounds, blues, and Americana.

Tornes and other market volunteers have known some of those who attend the market since they were infants and children when the market began 17 years ago. Some are now old enough for internships at the market and others have graduated from high school or college. The interns help setting up and taking down tables and tents.

This year Brigid Globenski is chair of the volunteer 10-member SSFM committee. Ann Hippensteel and Chad VanDierendonck are the market managers.

The South Shore Farmers Market is held each Saturday from 8am to Noon. It runs through October 15 in South Shore Park.

2016 South Shore Farmers Market Vendors

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

Barnard Farms

Bee Vegetables

Brightenwood Orchard

Café Lulu

Clock Shadow Creamery

Cream City Swirl

Drewry Farms

East Side Ovens

Flower Petal Farm

Hack Farms

Happy Dough Lucky

Heritage Flower Farm

Herrin Farms

Khoua Vegetables

Le Creperie

Lopez Bakery


Madame J’s Sticky Fingers Jams & Jellies

Mai Lee’s Market

Marvin Xiong

Mia Famiglia

National Café

Norm’s Poultry

Nye’s Big Sky

Oly’s Oats

Pao Gardens

Pete’s Pops

River Valley Ranch

Rocket Baby Bakery

Rushing Waters Fisheries

Soup Market

St. Ann’s Center for Intergenerational 


Sunflower Ridge Farms

Sven’s Café

Thao Farm


West Allis Cheese & Sausage

Wild Flour Bakery

Willoway Farm

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to the Bay View Compass.

Bestseller “Humane Economy” author in Milwaukee Aug.17

August 1, 2016

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, will be in Milwaukee promoting his new book at the Boswell Book Company on Downer Ave. Aug. 17 at pm.

Pacelle’s book, The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals, is a New York Times and Washington Post bestseller, which talks about how companies are opting to treat animals more humanely. Businesses have found that by doing so, they make more profits. Some recent examples are SeaWorld ending its breeding of orcas and Walmart buying eggs from producers whose chickens are cage-free.

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