August 29, 2013
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Supporting our neighbors and being involved in our community is of the utmost importance. Some community events that might be of interest to you and your family are listed below.
110th Anniversary Celebration
Fish Fry & A Flick
August 30 at 5 p.m.
Description: Enjoy a free outdoor movie on the Lakefront. This week's movie selection is The Avengers. Bartolotta will offer a Fish Fry, and Milwaukee's favorite food trucks will also offer food and beverage options nearby. CLICK HERE for more information
Discovery World (MAP)
500 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Third Ward Art
Description: The Third Ward Art Festival is located just three blocks south of downtown Milwaukee in the Historic Third Ward. The 2013 festival takes place as Harley Davidson brings hundreds of thousands of hog enthusiasts to Milwaukee for a national convention. Motorcycle themed artwork will certainly be available and coveted at this year's festival in addition to all other marvelous mediums. CLICK HERE for more information.
Milwaukee Comic Con
Mighty Con presents the Milwaukee Comic Con, a new comic convention and
collectibles show. Bring the whole family out to browse through
thousands of collectors' comic books, toys, statues, video games, and
more. See original artists and creators, talk about your favorite
collector hobbies, and enjoy the day at a price that everyone can
afford. Admission is just $3 for adults, kids 12 and under are free, and
every admission gets a free comic book.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Indian Summer Festival
September 6 through Sun., September 8
Celebrate the 27th year of the largest Native festival of its kind in
the country. The festival features a Native fashion show, special
exhibit on Native languages from the Smithsonian's National Museum of
the American Indian, canoe rides, tribal farmers market, and a tradition
marketplace. Experience traditional food such as frye bread, buffalo
meat, venison, freshwater fish, and roasted corn. Return of Brule will
provide music while the festival also features cultural crafts such as
finger weaving, moccasin making, quill works, and pottery. Admission is
$12 for adults, $10 for elders 60 and over, and free for children 12
years or younger. Advanced tickets for $10 are available online.
CLICK HERE for more information.
September 6 through September 27 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Description: "Shooting Stars" will reveal the mystery behind the dazzling light streaks that shoot across the night sky. This show will explain what shooting stars or meteors really are and talk about the fireball that crashed into Russian soil last February. Guests will be able to learn how and when to see shooting stars. CLICK HERE for more information.
UWM Planetarium (MAP)
1900 East Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Department of Transportation Public Hearing
Date: Thurs., September 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Oak Creek
Description: This hearing is on the environmental aspects of the conversion of US 41 to an Interstate Highway. This will be a chance for neighbors to view displays, listen to a presentation, and ask questions or provide testimony. CLICK HERE for more information.
6665 S. Howell Avenue
Lecture Hall Room A241
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Summer is coming to a close, which
means many of our family, friends, and neighbors are getting ready to go
back to school. This week's newsletter offers articles regarding state aid at
our K-12 schools, a higher education survey and tour, and Labor Day.
Continue reading for more information about these and other important
|Voucher Program Expands While Public Schools Receive Less State Aid...Again|
During this time last year, legislative Democrats warned that schools would face drastic funding cuts, fewer educational opportunities, and reductions in teachers and staff. This was the result of legislative Republicans passing Scott Walker's first budget as governor, which decreased state aid support for Wisconsin's neighborhood schools by over $800 million. Unfortunately, many schools are expected to fare even worse this school year under Governor Walker's recently passed second budget.
Cuts to General School Aid in Our Community
While general school aid statewide increased overall by 1.1%, including in the local Oak Creek-Franklin and South Milwaukee school districts, much of the increase is being diverted to private voucher schools as a result of Republicans expanding the program statewide. According to recent estimates by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), more than half of Wisconsin public school districts will receive less general aid in the 2013-2014 school year than they did for the 2012-2013 school year. In fact, 229 of Wisconsin's 424 school districts, or 54%, will receive less general aid in the current school year. This includes our very own Cudahy, St. Francis, and Milwaukee school districts, which will see a decrease in state aid of $104,435; $199,455; and $1,407,778 respectively. In contrast, schools in the voucher program will see an astronomical increase of up to $1,414 per pupil.
Vouchers for Kids Already Attending Private Schools
Those of us residing in Milwaukee and Racine counties are already familiar with the damage our children, property taxes, and communities suffer as a result of expanding unaccountable voucher schools. Over the past 20 years, we have spent $1.5 billion on a voucher experiment that has failed the students of Milwaukee and Racine. In fact, study after study has confirmed that voucher school students fare no better and often worse than their public school counterparts. Unfortunately, rather than learning from the mistakes of Milwaukee and Racine's voucher programs, Republicans have instead decided to take the rest of the state down with this sinking ship.
Earlier this month, DPI announced the names of schools that would now be eligible to participate in the voucher program, which was recently expanded statewide. The schools took applications for 2,069 prospective voucher students for the upcoming school year and are located in the following districts:
However, it has become clear that while these students may be new to the voucher program, the majority of them are not new to private schools. In fact, 1,393 students, or 67.3% of applicants, attended a Wisconsin private school in the previous school year. This means that the parents of two-thirds of eligible applicants were able to afford private school tuition or obtain funds without public assistance. The voucher program was created to provide parents of public school students with a "choice" they may not be able to afford on their own, but it looks like Republicans have quietly changed the program to instead offer taxpayer-funded handouts to the parents who can already afford to send their kids to private school.
Additionally, as our public school students and their parents continue to be penalized by having to support two separate and unequal school districts, the parents of private school students will be further rewarded in this current budget with a tax break totaling $30 million in the 2014-2015 school year for an annual per student deduction of up to $10,000.
Click here to access the voucher study mentioned.
Voucher Schools Raise Property
Visiting a College Near You
With university and colleges resuming classes after Labor Day, my colleagues and I thought it would be the perfect time to visit various higher education institutions this September to discuss important issues facing Wisconsin's next generation of workers. This will include addressing the cost of higher education, access to affordable health care, and Wisconsin's prospects for economic recovery.
Students striving to better themselves through higher education are facing a number of obstacles in today's troubled economy. We simply want to ensure that current students, their parents, and educators have an opportunity to voice their comments and concerns to local legislators so we can work together on moving Wisconsin forward for all.
Details for upcoming events that are a part of the Making College Affordable Tour are provided below. I will also send out a follow-up email with the room numbers and times, once they are finalized. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding these events.
*Room and time TBD
September 12 at 1:30 p.m.
UW-Milwaukee Student Union, Room 191
2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
*Room and time TBD
September 18 at Noon
UW-La Crosse Cartwright Center, Ward Room
1725 State Street
*Room and time TBD
*Room and time TBD
*Room and time TBD
Higher Education Survey Now Available!
Share your thoughts on higher education affordability today by taking my short, online survey!
Over the years, exponential increases
in tuition and fees coupled with challenging economic times has made it
nearly impossible for students to work their way through school, as was
commonplace in the past. While 45% of 1992-93 bachelor's degree
graduates borrowed money from the government, private loan providers, or
family, according to a recent U.S. Department of Education survey,
approximately two-thirds of 2007-08 bachelor's degree graduates borrowed
money from the government or private lenders (family loans were not
considered in this figure). In fact, the U.S. recently surpassed $1
trillion in outstanding student loans, with the average debt in 2011
Celebrating Labor Day
As we celebrate Labor Day on Monday,
September 2, we should take time to remember Wisconsin's deep labor
history and the generations of workers and reformers who have made
significant contributions to building a strong middle class across our state.
Celebrate Labor Day in Our
This family-orientated festival is the
largest Labor Day event in southeastern Wisconsin. Enjoy this free
event, which starts with a parade at 11 a.m. and then continues on to
the Summerfest grounds where a children's area, classic car show,
basketball contest, entertainment on two stages, adult bingo, and union
industry displays will be featured. There will also be and plenty of
food available for festival goers to purchase.
St. Francis Days
Thursday, August 29 through Sunday, September 1
This annual four-day music festival is free and open to the public. Visitors should expect to see live musical entertainment, a petting zoo, helicopter rides, movies, chicken and rib dinners, and a parade.
Milton Vretenar Municipal Park (MAP)
4230 S. Kirkwood Avenue
St. Francis, WI 53235
Sunday, September 1 through Monday, September 2
Vendors at this fair sell an assortment of merchandise including clothing, shoes, hardware and household items, paper products, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, sporting equipment, gift items, dried flowers and arrangements, furniture, antiques, shrubs, flowers, fruits and vegetables, prepared food, and other miscellaneous merchandise. Special music groups also entertain the crowd throughout the Labor Day weekend event. This event takes place on St. Martins Road from the intersection of W. Forest Home Avenue to W. Church Street.
August is National Eye Exam Month
Founded in 1989 by Sears Optical,
National Eye Exam Month marks August as the time to spread awareness of
the importance of eye health and safety. According to a survey taken by
Wellpoint Inc., one in five Americans delays scheduling an eye exam
because their to-do list is too long. Even if you have 20/20 vision, eye
exams are important because they do not only check your visual acuity,
but they are vital for spotting premature eye conditions and diseases.
In a complete eye exam, doctors check for eye diseases or conditions including cataracts, strabismus, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and focusing and eye teaming problems. In some cases, your ophthalmologist can even detect early diabetes or high blood pressure through clues present in your eyes. Checking for these unexpected eye conditions is essential to your health and can help prevent them from worsening. In detail, your ophthalmologist will be checking for:
Having frequent eye exams is
important. According to the National Institutes of Health, all children
should have vision screenings around the time when they learn the
alphabet, and then every one to two years afterward. However, screenings
should begin sooner if any eye problems are suspected. Adults are also
expected to get regular exams. Exams should occur every five to 10 years
for adults ages 20 to 39, every two to four years for adults ages 40 to
54, every one to three years for adults ages 55-64, and every one to two
years for adults ages 65 and older. Adults who wear contact lenses often
need yearly eye exams, while adults with certain eye symptoms or
disorders may require more frequent exams.
Want to know how to protect your eyes from damage? Here are some tips for taking better care of your eyes courtesy of the National Eye Institute:
There are a number of organizations that offer free or reduced fee exams for Wisconsinites. The information for these programs can be found at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Web site.
I often have neighbors contact me
looking for my perspective on various local and state issues. I very
much appreciate our neighbors' questions and want to dedicate a portion
of my newsletter to common questions that I hear to maintain an open
dialogue. Please continue reading for this week's question.
The language in this provision is intended to assist the state in recovering Medicaid money spent on long-term care programs, such as Family Care, which help keep individuals with disabilities and elderly people out of costly nursing homes. However, the provision goes far beyond typical boundaries with such a tax, as it would allow the Department of Health Services to claim property even if it is not subject to a probate--a legal process creditors can use to settle debt after a death--or held in a trust--a financial agreement in which a third party, such as a bank, holds assets until they are passed on to beneficiaries.
This new version of the death tax
punishes families who wish to transfer the family farm or business if
the head of the family is sick or disabled and needs certain Medicaid
services. No family should be faced with the worry of whether their
hard-earned property will safely be passed on to their children after
they have passed away. Such a concern flies in the face of the American
dream our forefather sought to create and uphold.
|Did You Know...?|
With school about to start, immunizations are front and center on the minds of parents, teachers, and children. Wisconsin requires 15 doses of five vaccines to enter kindergarten. Statewide, only 91% of students meet the vaccine requirements.
But did you know that immunization
prevents between 2-3 million deaths every year from diseases such as
diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and measles, making it one of the most
successful and cost-effective public health interventions?
Take the 2013-2014 Neighborhood Survey
I created a survey for the 2013-2014
Legislative Session asking about various issues that are important to
our community and our state. The input of neighbors is greatly
appreciated. My staff and I will be working hard to deliver as many
surveys door to door as possible before winter arrives. In addition, I
have also made this survey available online.
Summer Activities in Our Community
Our community offers a wide variety of summer activities for families, children, and adults alike. Below is just one of the many activities that you can take part in as summer wraps up.
With summer coming to a close, Milwaukee County's outdoor pools are concluding their season as well. However, to dog owners with water-loving pooches this means taking part in the annual Doggie Dip. Bring your dog over to Cool Waters in Greenfield Park between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, September 2 for a leisurely swim before the pools are drained for the season. Admission is $5 per dog with tickets available for pre-sale on Sunday, September 1 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
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