November 21, 2013
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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.
Festival of Trees
This premier event, presented by the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music,
will feature dozens of live performances by hundreds of popular
musicians, area choral singers, and Conservatory students, surrounded by
elaborately decorated holiday trees that will be raffled off when the
festival closes. The gala festivities will take place at the
Conservatory's historic McIntosh-Goodrich Mansion, near downtown
Milwaukee. The mansion will be decorated in elegant holiday style with
lights, sparkling trees, and other holiday items. Admission is a
suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Hours for the
festival will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weeknights, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
on Saturdays, and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 276-5760 for more information.
Performance Company: INTERSECT
Danceworks Performance Company kicks off a season of collaboration by
crossing paths with some of Milwaukee's most influential musicians and
guest choreographers for a concert of innovative premieres.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 277-8480 for more information.
Description: This six-week festival will spread holiday spirit with animated light displays in Cathedral Square Park, Pere Marquette Park, and Zeidler Union Square, as well as hundreds of events. Marvel at the spectacular sights aboard the convenient Jingle Bus, a Coach U.S.A. bus that takes visitors on a 40-minute tour. For $1 per person, visitors can relish in the holiday spirit while admiring a festive panorama. The tour is narrated by Milwaukee Downtown's Public Service Ambassadors who will acquaint riders with key attractions and landmarks. Tours operate Thursdays through Sundays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. from the Shops of Grand Avenue. CLICK HERE for more information.
Sheridan Park Centennial Raffle
Date: Now through Fri., February 14
Description: Enter the Sheridan Park Centennial Raffle for your chance to win a grand prize that includes a trip to New York, a tour of Central Park, and tickets to a Broadway play. This is a fundraising effort to help improve the park. Raffle tickets will be available beginning Friday, November 8 through Friday, February 14 at Joe's "K" Ranch, the Cudahy Library, City Hall, Cudahy Historical Society, Pulaski Inn, and through members of the Chamber of Commerce and Friends of Sheridan Park. The raffle drawing will take place during a Valentine's Day dinner on February 14 at Pulaski Inn. Tickets for the dinner will be available at Pulaski Inn. Raffle ticket holders do not need to be present in order to win. Support a great cause to improve Sheridan Park and buy your raffle tickets today.
Pulaski Inn (MAP)
3900 E. Pulaski Avenue Cudahy, WI 53110
Date: Fri., November 22 through Sun., December 29
Centerpiece to their season, Les Miserables is the show that inspired
Skylight to focus on freedom and revolution as a conversation through
the entire year. Set in 19th century France in the midst of revolution,
this timeless musical follows Jean Valjean on his quest for redemption
after being jailed for stealing a loaf of bread, inspector Javert who
relentlessly pursues parole violator Valjean, and an abundance of other
compelling and entertaining characters. Skylight looks forward to
producing this legendary, Tony Award-winning musical in the intimate
Cabot Theatre. This epic tale of passion and sacrifice will be a
phenomenal way to share live theatre with the family during this holiday
CLICK HERE or call (414) 291-7811 for more information.
Location: South Milwaukee
Description: Stop by this holiday event located at Heritage Park on the northwest corner of 10th and Milwaukee Avenue. Santa will stop by for a visit and hot cocoa and cider will be available to enjoy. A music performance by South Milwaukee Public Grade Schools will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the tree lighting immediately following performance. Also, the South Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce will offer coupon booklets at the Tree Lighting containing specials from area businesses. CLICK HERE for more information.
Direct from Broadway, the classic holiday movie "White Christmas" comes
to the stage at last. This brand new musical shines with classic Berlin
hits like "Blue Skies," "How Deep is the Ocean?" and, of course, the
unforgettable title song. Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" tells the
story of two buddies putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and
finding their perfect mates in the process. Full of dancing, laughter,
and some of the greatest songs ever written, Irving Berlin's "White
Christmas" promises a merry and bright theatrical experience for the
CLICK HERE or call (414) 273-7206 for more information.
A Christmas Carol
Nineteenth century London comes to life when you and your family join
Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and, of course, Ebenezer Scrooge on a
fantastical journey through Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Enjoy
the music, dancing, and timeless message of hope, peace, and love, as
the Dickens' classic masterpiece celebrates its 38th year at the
CLICK HERE or call (414) 224-9490 for more information.
South Milwaukee Christmas Market
Date: Sat., November 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
South Milwaukee High
South Milwaukee, WI 53172
Oak Creek's Annual
Community Christmas Tree Lighting
Date: Sun., December 1 at 12:30 p.m.
Date: Tues., December 10 and Wed., December 11
Location: South Milwaukee
After fragments from a magic mirror strike the eye and heart a young boy
named Kai, causing him to see only the negative side of life, he is
taken away to the icy world of the Snow Queen. Trapped under her power,
he cannot leave until his best friend Jamie finds a clever way to break
the spell and rescue him. Jamie embarks on a perilous journey, meeting
delightful characters on the way that help her to learn the value of
kindness, and the true meaning of courage and determination. Using
storytelling, music, and dance, this exuberant, heart-warming production
will take you on a theatrical adventure of gratitude and friendship, and
warns us against cleverness for its own sake, exploring ideas of how our
perception of the world is a reflection of our own ideas and beliefs.
CLICK HERE for more information.
901 15th Avenue
South Milwaukee, WI 53172
Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,
While the Legislature was expected to break from session until 2014, it has since been called into a special session to convene in December. This is to allow the Legislature to vote on a bill that would delay Governor Walker's plan to kick 80,000 Wisconsinites off of BadgerCare. Continue reading for more about this and other important issues, such as the rejection of redistricting changes, beginning of deer hunting, and Native American History Month.
Wisconsin Pays More for Less Under Walker
This week, Governor Walker called for
a special session to extend the timeline he
originally set to kick Wisconsinites off of BadgerCare. While it is
laudable that the governor sees the need to expand access to affordable
health care, the fact is that people will still be getting kicked off
BadgerCare. Governor Walker had the option to make sure nobody would
lose their BadgerCare coverage--at no additional cost to taxpayers--for
at least the next three years, but he chose to play politics with their
Republicans Reject Redistricting Changes
This past Thursday, Assembly Democrats
used procedural rules to bring legislation, Assembly Bill 185, which
our broken redistricting process, to a vote. The Wisconsin State
Legislature is required by Article IV, Section 3 of the Wisconsin
Constitution to redraw Senate and Assembly districts every 10 years
based upon the results of the federal census to ensure districts provide
representational equality for all potential voters.
Last session, I gave neighbors the opportunity to participate in a survey about Wisconsin's redistricting process. Overall, more than 400 people responded with their perspective. The survey found that:
No matter which party is in control,
we need more accountability and transparency, not less. I will continue
doing what I can to promote good government policies, by forwarding
legislation aimed at keeping government actions open and accessible to
November is Native American History Month
November is Native American Heritage
Month, a time when we celebrate the rich past and present of North
America's Indigenous People. Native Americans have a proud history in
Wisconsin and in the United States as a whole. From the American
Revolution to World War II to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Native
Americans have fought valiantly to make our country great. Ho-chunk
tribe member, Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipient Mitchell Red
Cloud, Jr. who selflessly gave his life in order to allow the rest of
his company to retreat from oncoming forces in the Korean War is
evidence of that.
Our Native American neighbors deserve better than to have their community ignored or circumvented by legislative Republicans. That is why all Senate Democrats sent a letter to Governor Walker requesting that he reverse this course by vetoing the recently passed discriminatory race-based mascot bill. I will be sure to keep you updated on the status of our request.
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.
While claims of health issues and
falling home prices are cited by the bill's authors as a need for
change, they have zero factual or scientific data to back up these
anecdotes. In fact, a wide range of symptoms, often referred to as "wind
turbine syndrome," is not medically recognized. Additionally, research
suggests that these symptoms could actually be attributed to a "nocebo
effect," or the spread of anecdotal claims that cause others to believe
turbines are making them ill, too.
Essentially, this bill is seeking to
halt any current or future wind energy projects for fear of being held
liable for something that has not even been scientifically proven to
exist. Should this bill pass, it could not only cause energy rates to
increase, but it could also cost Wisconsin more high-paying jobs. I will
be sure to keep you updated on the status of this bill as it moves
through the Legislature.
Did You Know...?
You are probably well aware that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But did you know that this month, on November 19, we also marked the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?
Regarded as one of the most important
speeches in American history, this two minute speech set the course for
a Union victory in the Civil War. Lincoln honored those who gave their
lives for the Union in the battle of Gettysburg, reinforced the
principles of the Declaration of Independence, and declared "a new birth
of freedom." In words that still reign true today, Lincoln stated that
"government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not
perish from the earth."
Wisconsin has a rich Civil War history, with historical sites all around the state. Some include Camp Randall in Madison, where 91,000 soldiers trained for the Union army in 1861, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison, and the Civil War Museum in Kenosha. Wisconsin's participation in the Battle of Gettysburg is also well-documented, with acts of heroism that echo Lincoln's vision for a united nation. This includes the 6th Wisconsin Infantry, composed mostly of men from Fond du Lac or Milwaukee, who played a key role in the Battle of Gettysburg which took place from July 1, 1861 through July 3, 1861.
In fact, had it not been for the
Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's efforts to maintain the Union, we may
very well not be celebrating Thanksgiving this year as one nation.
Deer Hunting Season Begins This Week
Wisconsin's 162nd annual deer hunt is set to begin this weekend. A significant portion of Wisconsin's success at conservation and our strong ethic of environmental protection comes directly from our hunters and anglers. This passion for the outdoors has been a driving social and political force in safeguarding a wild Wisconsin for future generations.
While the number of hunting-related injuries and fatalities decreased last year, Wisconsin still saw seven shooting-related incidents reported, including one fatality. Therefore, I encourage all of our hunters, especially those that are new to the sport, to brush up on hunter's safety to prevent such accidents from happening in the future. The DNR recommends taking to heart four basic firearm safety tips, which include:
For those interested in pursuing additional deer hunting opportunities, I encourage you to find out more about Wisconsin's late deer hunting seasons. This includes the muzzleloader season, the late archery season, the statewide antlerless hunt, and a holiday hunt in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) zones of south central Wisconsin.
Remember to follow the rules and stay safe as you partake in this exciting Wisconsin tradition. Happy hunting!
Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
Since 1983, the Alzheimer's
Association has marked November as Alzheimer's Awareness Month to reach
out to caregivers, and increase public awareness of the disease and
other deteriorating forms of dementia.
Alzheimer's disease is a form of
dementia that affects the brain's ability to recall and do basic
cognitive tasks. Within the brain, the development of plaque between
nerve cells hinders the brain's ability to correctly function and
process information. While some plaque builds up with normal aging,
Alzheimer's plaque develops more rapidly as well as in systematic
According to the Alzheimer's Association, one in three seniors will die from Alzheimer's or related dementia complications. In the United States, more than 5 million Americans have the disease and this number could triple by 2050. Currently, Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Furthermore, the disease's mortality rate continues to rise while the rate for the other top 10 causes of death, including heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke, are declining. Alzheimer's disease is affecting our communities in Wisconsin, as well. Since 2000, the number of people in Wisconsin over the age of 65 with the disease has increased by 30%.
The biggest risk factor in dealing
with Alzheimer's is age. Most individuals living with the disease are
age 65 or older. The chance of developing the disease doubles every five
years after age 65. After age 85, the increased risk rises dramatically,
to nearly 50%. Also, those with a family history of the disease are more
likely to get it. Further, minorities are at a greater risk since
Alzheimer's appears to be linked with various types of vascular disease.
The symptoms and warning signs for
Alzheimer's mostly involve regression of intellectual abilities.
Indicators of the disease include difficulty remembering new
information, increased disorientation, behavior changes, and serious
memory loss as well as trouble speaking and walking.
Although there is no current cure for
Alzheimer's disease, there have been some breakthroughs to combat the
symptoms. Currently, five-FDA approved drugs help mitigate memory and
thinking complications in roughly half of the people taking them. There
are also many new drugs in development aimed to curtail the disease's
progression. Medical researchers believe in the future there will be a
variety of treatments to battle this disease. However, these medications
may not necessarily stop the
underlying causes of Alzheimer's.
While medical research continues to look for a cure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle appears to be the best bet against the disease. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, and adequate sleep are lifestyle choices that may help brain health and prevent Alzheimer's. Also, it may be useful to do mentally challenging actives such word puzzles or reading books. Many healthy lifestyle practices have shown to lower the risk of other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, which are often tied to Alzheimer's.
Attention High School Juniors and Seniors: Apply to Senate Scholars Today
The Senate Scholars Program is an
intensive week-long education program offered by the Wisconsin State
Senate. This is a wonderful opportunity for Wisconsin youth to view the
role of the Legislature in democracy first hand and gain experience in
the areas of policy development, constituent relations and processing
legislation. Senate Scholars will also have the chance to work closely
with senators, legislative staff, and University of Wisconsin faculty.
Admission to the program is highly competitive and limited to 33
academically exceptional high school juniors and seniors from across the
state. Applications are due on Friday, January 3, 2014. Applicants will
then be notified of their acceptance on or shortly after January 17,
Sign the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Petition
Exponential increases in tuition and
fees coupled with challenging economic times over the years have made it
nearly impossible for students to work their way through school, as was
commonplace in the past. In fact, nearly 40 million Americans now hold
over $1.2 trillion in student loan debt nationally.
Wisconsin's Student Debt Crisis
Some issues related to student loans
can only be dealt with at the federal level. Unfortunately, Congress'
current partisan gridlock leaves little hope for real relief for student
loan borrowers in the near future. We cannot wait for Congress to act.
It is time for innovative, common sense solutions that will provide real
relief for Wisconsin's student loan borrowers.
As you can see, this legislation offers common sense solutions for real savings on behalf of Wisconsinites managing student loan debt. I hope legislative Republicans will see the economic value of moving forward with such a proposal. Therefore, I encourage them to join me in supporting the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill. Wisconsinites cannot afford to wait any longer for more affordable college education and decreasing their debt burden.
Sign the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Petition
If you would like to see the Higher
Ed, Lower Debt bill become law, I encourage you to sign onto the Higher
Ed, Lower Debt petition. The petition states the following:
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.
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