LARSON REPORT

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER


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April 26, 2012

     

CONTACT ME


Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might have.

Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487

Email:
Sen.Larson@legis.wi.gov

 

Mailing Address:

State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707

 

Web Site:

SenatorChrisLarson.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS
 

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. 

 

Mill Pond and Watercourse Clean-up

Date: Sat., April 28 from 8 a.m. to Noon

Location: South Milwaukee

Description: Participate in the local clean-up being held by the Friends of Mill Pond and Oak Creek Watercourse, Inc. You will be provided safety vests, bags, water, and vinyl gloves, but bring tall boots if you have them. Meet at Grant Park Beach parking lot (at the far east end of Hawthorne Avenue) in South Milwaukee. The cleanup will target the area from the beach to N. Chicago Avenue.

 

Grant Park (MAP)

100 E. Hawthorne Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

 

 

South Shore and Bay View Park Clean-Up
Date:
Sat., April 28 from 9 a.m. to Noon
Location:
Bay View

Description: Stop by to help get our community clean and ready for summer. Meet at the South Shore Pavilion. From there, crews will head out to the parks, beaches, and neighborhoods of Bay View. Garbage bags and gloves will be provided. Coffee and snacks will also be available. All you have to do is show up and be ready to pick up some trash. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Bay View Park (MAP)

3120 S. Lake Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53207

 

South Shore Park (MAP)

2900 S. Shore Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53207
 

 

Humboldt Park Clean-Up
Date:
Sat., April 28, 9 a.m. to Noon

Location: Bay View
Description:
Meet at the Humboldt Park Pavilion. Crews will head out and around Humboldt Park. Garbage bags and gloves will be provided. Coffee and snacks will also be available. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and enjoy the beauty of Lake Michigan and our local parks. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Humboldt Park (MAP)

3000 S. Howell Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53207

 

 

Cudahy Earth Day/Arbor Day

Date: Sat., April 28 from 9 a.m. to Noon
Location: Cudahy

Description: Join neighbors for a city-wide clean-up in the morning. An Arbor Day tree planting ceremony will follow at Noon at Cudahy City Hall to honor former Cudahy Mayor Raymond Glowacki for his service to the community. The Wisconsin DNR will also present the City of Cudahy with its 23rd consecutive "Tree City USA Award" from the National Arbor Day Foundation. Refreshments will be served and tree seedlings will be distributed to volunteers and attendees. CLICK HERE to view the flier for the event. To volunteer, please contact Joel Puczylowski by phone at (414) 627-8117 or via email at puczylowski@yahoo.com.


Cudahy City Hall (
MAP)

5050 S. Lake Drive

Cudahy, WI 53110
 

 

Targeting Sheridan Park

Date: Sat., April 28 from 9 a.m. to Noon

Location: Cudahy

Description: In conjunction with the City of Cudahy's Earth Day/Arbor Day Clean-Up, the Sheridan Park Friends will work with Cudahy High School to pick up trash throughout Sheridan Park, as well as pull weeds and clean around Sheridan Shelter. Everyone is welcome to join. Volunteers will be meeting at the Sheridan Pavilion Area 1. Trash bags will be provided, but you may also want to bring gloves.

 

Sheridan Park (MAP)

4800 S. Lake Drive

Cudahy, WI 53110

 

 

The Wisconsin Bike Challenge

Date: Tues., May 1 through Fri., August 31

Location: Anywhere

Description: The Wisconsin Bike Challenge is a free event that provides a fun and simple opportunity to promote wellness, team-building, and bicycling within your workplace. By participating in the Wisconsin Bike Challenge, you and your colleagues will easily and conveniently track your bicycle miles and trips for both transportation and recreation using the challenge Web site. Thanks to recent improvements, logging your miles will now take less than 30 seconds. There will also be incentives provided to encourage you and your co-workers to bike more. Every month, the National Bike Challenge partners will conduct a prize drawing. The more you bike, the greater your chances of winning. CLICK HERE for more information, to register, or to learn how to log miles.
 

 

Milwaukee Public Schools Biennial Music Festival

Date: Wed., May 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee

Description: Elementary, middle, and high school musical groups from Milwaukee Public Schools will come together in this celebration of music. CLICK HERE or call (414) 908-6000 for more information. Tickets are $5.

U.S. Cellular Arena (MAP)
500 W. Kilbourn Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203
 

 

Fernwood Montessori Fine Craft and Art Fair
Date: Sun., May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Bay View

Description: Stop by the 5th Annual Fernwood Montessori Fine Craft and Art Fair. The event will house 30 exhibitors and also feature a silent auction, music, greenhouse tours, a cafe and children's art activities. Admission is $2. Proceeds from the fair will benefit the school.

 

Fernwood Montessori Playground (MAP)

3239 S. Pennsylvania Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53207

 

 

Milwaukee Museum Mile Kick-Off

Date: Sun., May 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee

Description: An event will be held on Sunday, May 6 to kick-off the formation of the Milwaukee Museum Mile. This joint effort  creates a simple and more affordable discounted way for visitors to access and enjoy multiple museum experiences, while promoting the area as a destination to Milwaukee residents and visitors to our city. Participating museums include: the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, The Charles Allis Art Museum, Museum of Wisconsin Art at St. John’s On The Lake, The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, and the North Point Lighthouse at Lake Park.

Admission is free to all five locations during this event. Additionally, each museum will offer complimentary docent-led tours, light refreshments, and shuttle bus rides for travel between locations. Free activities for children will also be available including a Milwaukee Museum Mile scavenger hunt. Museums on the Milwaukee Museum Mile
The museums are located in close proximity to one another, along N. Prospect Avenue and on N. Wahl and N. Terrace Avenues, creating a comfortable stroll for visitors, who can choose the sites most interesting to them and divide their time as they prefer. CLICK HERE for more information about this unique event.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Friend,

 

In honor of May being National Bike Month, we will focus on discussing important issues and opportunities related to transit by land, water, and air in our community.

 

As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have about our community or our state.


Sincerely,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7

 

 

 

Growing Support for Public Transit

A number of factors are shaping the transportation patterns and preferences in our community, including: higher gas prices, increasing costs associated with driving, common-sense regulations banning texting while driving, improvements in technology making transportation alternatives more attractive, and changes in our travel priorities.

Emerging data suggests that these trends are not confined to just a small group of neighbors. A new WISPIRG report recently released finds that Wisconsinites, like most Americans, are driving less, and young people are leading the charge.

From World War II until just a few years ago, the number of miles driven annually on America’s roads steadily increased. In fact, 2004 was the year in which vehicle miles traveled, overall and per capita, peaked in Wisconsin. Shortly after the turn of the century, something changed--Americans began driving less. In 2010, the average Wisconsinite drove nearly 500 miles less than just six years earlier in 2004.

This trend away from driving is even more pronounced among young people. The average young person, age 16 to 34, drove 23 percent fewer miles in 2009 than the average young person in 2001. Meanwhile, travel by young people on public transportation increased exponentially. From 2001 to 2009, the number of passenger-miles on public transit by people ages 16 to 34 increased by 40 percent nationwide. Additionally, in 2009, young Americans also walked up to 16 percent more and biked up to 24 percent than they did in 2001, when driving was still at its peak.

Federal, state, and local governments have historically made massive investments in new highway capacity on the assumption that driving demand would continue to increase. The changing transportation preferences of Americans, throw those assumptions into doubt. Trends showing a shift away from driving support the idea that we should be investing our valuable tax dollars in other modes of transportation, rather than simply expanding our grandparents' highway transportation system.

 

Continue reading for more information about bus and bike transit alternatives our community has to offer. If you live outside of the Milwaukee area, please contact your local municipality for information about public transit programs in your neighborhood.

 

Exploring Milwaukee County by Bike

Whether you are interested in saving money, reducing your carbon footprint, getting more exercise, or simply want to better explore our community, biking is a great transit alternative. The Milwaukee area has a lot to offer cycling novices and enthusiasts alike, with its 65 miles of bike lanes and 75 miles of bike routes. Biking also plays a key role in driving our local economy. Therefore, it is important that we continue supporting and building our biking infrastructure. Doing so will not only ensure that Wisconsin's tourism industry remains competitive  with neighboring states, but also maintain a quality infrastructure for future generations.

 

Below are just a few options for those looking at becoming more avid bikers:

  • Jump on Our Nearby Trails--Our community connects to both the Hank Aaron State Trail and the Oak Leaf Trail. The former offers 10 miles of continuous paths between the lakefront and Milwaukee's West End. It even runs by Discovery World, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Summerfest, and the Historic Third Ward. The latter boasts over 100 miles of trails from Milwaukee into Wauwatosa and connects to all of the major parks in the Milwaukee County Park System.

  • Participate in Bike to Work Week (May 14 to 18)--Take the Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail to work, and stop by the Breakfast Station, which will be offering free coffee and baked goods throughout the week.

  • Bring the Whole Family (June 2 to September 11)--The Park People, advocates of the Milwaukee County Parks system, is hosting the Oak Leaf Discovery Tour during the summer. Purchase an Oak Leaf Discovery Tour Passport, and collect stamps from various parks along the trail. After collecting eight stamps, register the passport for the opportunity to win valuable prizes at the end of summer. Passports are available for purchase at many park locations, bike shops, or online. They are $3 each, or 5 for $10. Proceeds go to towards the enhancement of the Oak Leaf Trail.

Click here for more information about Milwaukee County bike trails and to view maps.

 

Navigating Milwaukee County by Bus

Public transportation, that includes a well-run bus operation, is vital to our neighbors who have a disability, are elderly, or are commuting to and from work or school. According to the Milwaukee County Transit systems, on average 140,000 bus rides are provided daily. Of these, 39% are commuters traveling to and from work, another 5% are heading to job interviews, and 11% are students making their way to classes to learn valuable skills for their future careers.

 

Unfortunately, public transit, including our local buses, was not made a priority in the most recent legislative session. In his budget, Governor Walker chose to decrease funding for public transit by 10% and eliminated $77 million from shared revenue to local governments in order to fund $2.3 billion in tax breaks for large corporations. As a result, local governments have been forced to shift funding, raise fares, change or eliminate routes, and reduce vital services.

While many of these changes have been seen by riders in our own community, Milwaukee County has been doing what it can to try and decrease the impact of these cuts on our neighbors. A method they have used to try and improve bus services for riders is applying for federal funding and grants. One project that was a result of such efforts was the creation of three new MetroEXpress Routes in our community earlier this year. These routes were created after Milwaukee County was awarded a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant by the federal government. The new routes--the BlueLine, RedLine and GreenLine--operate every day of the week in high ridership corridors.


This session I fought to provide Wisconsin workers, students, the elderly, and neighbors with disabilities with reliable, accessible transportation by authoring and supporting a number of legislative initiatives. One such bill was the Workforce Mobility Act. This legislation sought to prevent further cuts by reinvesting in our state’s public transit infrastructure. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a recent re-estimate of the transportation fund indicated that an additional $32.9 million remains available for use. This bill would have used $9.6 million of this funding to restore the cuts to our mass transit systems ensuring that our workforce can get to their jobs each day.

 

Unfortunately, this and many other bills aimed at supporting our public transit infrastructure were discarded by Governor Walker and Republican legislators with little to no consideration given to the proposals. However, I will continue working hard on your behalf to have adequate funding put towards our public transit infrastructure.

 

Click here for more information about Milwaukee County's bus services.
 

 

 

Traversing Our Local Waterways

As home to the Port of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan, our community has countless opportunities for neighbors wanting to explore Milwaukee County from the water. Below are just a few examples of the water transportation options our community has to offer:

 

Milwaukee Urban Water Trail--provides citizens of Milwaukee safe and legal access to the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers. This is a great option for neighbors looking to experience our community by canoe, kayak, and other small, non-motorized boats. The Milwaukee Urban Water Trail is comprised of access points, portages, and resting sites for visitors. It also includes information on historical, cultural, ecological, and scenic points of interest along the way. The ultimate goal of such a project is to connect more neighbors to the rivers in their backyards, and inspire stewardship and protection of our waters by following the “Leave No Trace” code of outdoor ethics.
 

Click here for more information and a map for the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail.

 

Milwaukee County Parks System--If you own a boat, canoe, or kayak, Milwaukee County boasts a number of locations that can accommodate your water vehicles. Not only do they offer sites to launch your water vehicles, but they also provide storage options for those that are unable to house their water crafts at home.

 

Click here for more information about where to  launch your non-motorized water vehicle.


Click here for more information about where to launch your motorized water vehicle or store various water crafts.

 

Urban Ecology Center--The Urban Ecology Center aims to get neighbors, especially children, more involved in their natural surroundings. They offer a variety of hands-on learning opportunities about science, nature, and more sustainable living. The Urban Ecology Center also provides community members with greater access to Wisconsin's waterways by renting out recreational equipment hosting canoeing adventures in the Washington Park Lagoon, and teaching about our vital water eco-system.
 

Click here for more information about the Urban Ecology Center.
 

 

 

Taking Transportation to the Skies

In addition to offering transit by land and by water, Wisconsin is also home to a plethora of air travel options. Wisconsin currently has 131 public use airports in operation. Our community is fortunate enough to be home to General Mitchell International Airport, the largest airport in the state. General Mitchell International Airport has long been an important fixture in our community as it is both a facilitator of air travel for neighbors and helps increase local economic development. 

 

Mitchell Airport's 10 airlines offer over 200 daily departures and serve over 50 airports direct. According to Airports Council International, Mitchell Airport not only ranked among the top 30 fastest-growing airports in the world, but also became the 34th largest U.S. airport in 2010.

 

The success and passenger growth at Mitchell Airport in recent years have helped to make it competitive with other neighboring airports, including Chicago's O'Hare. Not only does Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport boast better on-time performance, but it is also an easier airport to navigate and is often the cheaper alternative. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation data for the 4th Quarter of 2010 shows that Mitchell Airport's average fare was $98 less than O’Hare’s, $78 less than the nation’s average, and $16 less than Midway’s.

In addition to offering great travel options for neighbors, the Mitchell Airport is also a key resource for improving the vitality of businesses in the surrounding neighborhoods. Local communities are looking to harness this economic energy through the creation of the Milwaukee Gateway Aerotropolis Corporation. This non-profit organization is tasked with marketing the unique economic development opportunities available near the airport to further grow our local economy. Aerotropolis communities, like the one we have have right here in Milwaukee County, have been gaining increasing attention and praise. Time magazine even named aerotropolis one of the 10 ideas that will change the world.

 

If you would like to learn more about the history and importance of the William Mitchell International Airport in our community, I encourage you to visit the Mitchell Gallery of Flight located in Bay View. The museum features a wide range of exhibits including: the story of General Billy Mitchell, replicas of past and present aircrafts, the first commercial airliner, the sistership to the tragically legendary Hindenburg, and the present day giant of the sky--the 747. Other exhibits include commercial air memorabilia, early aviation engines and airport beacons. Exhibits change throughout the year and tours are available.

 

Click here for more information about the Mitchell Gallery of Flight.


 

Hoan Bridge Construction Update

The good news? Elected officials, advocacy groups, and south side neighbors were successful in their efforts to preserve the much-needed Hoan Bridge, which will finally be fixed to last another 40 years. The bad news? It will be at half capacity for the 25 months that it is under construction, starting in early 2014.
 

Yesterday the Department of Transportation (DOT) held a community meeting to discuss the plans for improving the Hoan Bridge and I-794 Freeway. The meeting was attended by about 40 neighbors who were able to ask questions about how their day-to-day lives might be affected by the construction.


As a founding member of the Coalition to Save the Hoan Bridge, I know that the Hoan Bridge is vital to our neighbors as it is the transit artery connecting south side residents to the rest of their community, including downtown Milwaukee and the entire interstate freeway system. Approximately 48,000 vehicles pass over the bridge daily according to DOT statistics. The Hoan Bridge is also an important structure to the success of the Port of Milwaukee facilitating the importing and exporting of goods. According to DOT, 240 ships and 120,000 trucks come in and out of the port every year.

 

Click here if you were unable to attend the meeting and would like more information about the Hoan Bridge and I-794 rehabilitation project.
 

 

 

Wisconsin RIDESHARE Program Helps Commuters

If you do not have a car or access to public transportation, or are simply looking to reduce the costs of commuting, the Wisconsin RIDESHARE program may be a good option for you. The Wisconsin RIDESHARE program is a service provided by the State of Wisconsin that brings commuters together throughout Wisconsin and the bordering counties of Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota.

The program software uses your origin and destination locations and your work hours to match you with individuals who have a similar commute. This matching service is provided free of charge. The RIDESHARE program can help commuters save on fuel, car maintenance, oil changes, parking, and tires. Commuters who participate in the RIDESHARE program can also help the environment and reduce automobile congestion.

 

You can register for the RIDESHARE program individually or you can encourage your employer to join the RIDESHARE program. Companies can also offer commuter benefits to their employees for participating in the Wisconsin RIDESHARE program.

Click here for more information and to learn how to register for the Wisconsin RIDESHARE program.
 

 

 

Conservation Congress Results Available

Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress convened to address various issues related to Wisconsin's environment and natural resources. The Wisconsin Conservation Congress is the only advisory body in the state where citizens of Wisconsin elect delegates to represent their interests in natural resources, both local and statewide. These delegates then work with the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources to effectively manage Wisconsin's greatest asset, our abundant natural resources, for present and future generations to enjoy.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend this annual event along with 4,611 other Wisconsinites. The 2012 Spring Fisheries and Wildlife Informational Hearings and Wisconsin Conservation Congress county meetings were held in every county statewide on Monday, April 9. Some of the issues discussed and voted on at this year's meetings include Wisconsin's recycling program. I joined many of our state hunters, anglers, and environmentalists in publicly voting to reject Governor Walker's damaging cuts to our successful recycling program.

 

Click here to view a press release my colleagues and I distributed on this issue.

Meeting results, along with written comments on the evening’s questions and DNR recommendations are used to advise the state Natural Resources Board. This year’s results will be reviewed at the Board’s meeting in Madison on May 23, 2012. Votes are non-binding and are presented to the Natural Resources Board as advisories.

 

Click here to view a copy of state and county hearing results and questions.

 

 

 

Ask Chris

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.

 

Q: What happened to the referendum on public transit that passed in Milwaukee County in 2008?

 

A: In 2008, the majority of Milwaukee County residents expressed the importance of public transportation to our community by supporting a referendum to increase funds for parks, transit, and emergency medical services through a 1% sales tax and $67 million in property tax relief.

 

This referendum was non-binding, and thus advisory, meaning that it required action by the State Legislature in order to move forward. Legislation to make this referendum law was introduced in the Joint Committee on Finance during the 2009-2010 Legislative Session, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Doyle. Since then, there has not been the support needed in the State Legislature to grant Milwaukee County the authority for which they have asked. In the meantime, Milwaukee County remains the last major transit system in the country that lacks a dedicated funding source.



 

Did You Know...

Today, we take for granted the various systems of numbered highways in our community and across the state. But did you know that the modern highway numbering system that is now used in every U.S. state and throughout almost every foreign nation worldwide was developed and first implemented right here in Wisconsin? Chapter 175, signed into law in 1917, authorized the creation of a numbered highway system, with the State Highway Commission as the overseeing agency.

 

 

Annual Bay View Tragedy Event

Sunday, May 6 at 3 p.m.

Join me at the 126th Anniversary of the Bay View Tragedy on Sunday, May 6, at the Bay View Rolling Mills state historical marker site. The event commemorates the tragedy of May 5, 1886, when the State Militia shot into a crowd of some 1,500 workers marching in an 8-hour-day rally, killing seven in front of the old Bay View Rolling Mills, then Milwaukee’s largest manufacturing plant. The Bay View Tragedy played a significant role in Wisconsin's labor movement and the struggle of Wisconsin's workers to fight for their rights and improve their employment conditions.

The program will include a speech, a folksinger performance, and a re-enactment of the May 5, 1886 event. 

 

Click here for more information.

Bay View Rolling Mills State Historical Marker Site (MAP)
Northeast Corner of South Superior and East Russell
Milwaukee, WI 53207

 

 

 

Connecting With Our Community Through Food

Our recent economic struggles have reminded us about the American virtue of self-reliance. Fresh, locally-grown produce is not only good for our health, but it also helps drive our local economy and is better for our environment. Below are just a few opportunities available in our community for obtaining fresh produce from local growers.

 

Community Garden Plots

The Milwaukee County Cooperative Extension has started turning unused, urban land into community garden plots for everyone to enjoy. Not only can you improve your green-thumb and feel reassured in knowing where your food is coming from, but gardening is also a great way to meet your fellow neighbors and get some exercise.


Milwaukee County Cooperative Extension rents garden plots in many parts of the county, including Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The Cooperative Extension also provides technical assistance to neighborhood groups that run their own community gardens. Most plots are annual rentals available for the summer season from about May 25 to the 3rd Sunday in October. These plots are tilled and staked by the staff of the Cooperative Extension's Urban Agriculture Program. For the more avid gardener, some year-round garden plots are also available in some locations These plots are rented from January through December. However with these plots, gardeners are responsible for their own tilling and maintenance.

Plot sizes range from 400 to 900 square feet. To help defray the costs of tilling, staking, providing water, and administration, gardeners pay nominal rental fees. Rental fees range from $24 for 400 square feet plots to $46 for 900 square feet plots.

Plots for new gardeners are now available for rent. Contact the Cooperative Extension to reserve your plot for the season. The Garden Rental phone is (414) 256-4606. Their offices are open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to Noon and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can also feel free to email at garden.rentals@ces.uwex.edu.

 

Click here for more information about Milwaukee County's community garden plots.
 

If you live outside of Milwaukee County, feel free to contact your local municipality for additional information about garden plots in your community.

 

Community Support Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is like having your own personal farmer. In a CSA, you become a member of a local farm by purchasing a “share” in that farm. In return, you receive weekly deliveries of fresh produce throughout the growing season, typically late May to November.

 

The benefits for farmers and consumers participating in CSAs are numerous and substantial, including:

  • Allows farmers to focus on producing high quality foods, usually through organic or biodynamic farming methods, by decreasing their market risks through whole-season funding by CSA participants.

  • Creates a stronger consumer-producer relationship by operating with a greater degree of involvement from consumers and stakeholders than usual.

  • Sets a common-pricing system where farmers and CSA participants discuss and democratically agree to pricing rather than directly paying based on pounds of produce receive weekly.

  • Helps neighbors support their local growers and in-turn their local economy rather than companies that may operate outside of the state or even the country.

Click here for more information from the Urban Ecology Center, including a listing of local CSAs.

 

Click here for a list of participating CSA farmers from across Wisconsin.

 

 

 

Free Legal Services for Law Day

Saturday, May 5 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In recognition of Law Day, the Milwaukee Bar Association will be offering free informational and referral services. Feel free to stop by one of four locations to receive information on how to navigate the legal process, ask experienced attorneys about your legal matters, and be referred to a legal representative with expertise in the area of law with which you need assistance.

 

Click here to view the flier for this event.

 

Service will be provided from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at the following library locations:


Bay View Library
2566 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53207

Central Library
814 W. Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53233

Center Street Library
2727 W. Fond du Lac Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53210

Atkinson Library
1960 W. Atkinson Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53209



 

IDs for Voting Temporarily on Hold

The Dane County Circuit Court issued an injunction against 2011 Wisconsin Act 23, a newly implemented law requiring voters to show a valid ID for voting purposes. As a result, this law will temporarily be suspended and voters will not be required to show and ID when voting for the time being, including in the upcoming April elections. This ruling, however, is subject to change based on pending challenges to Judge Flanagan’s ruling in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

It was stated in the ruling that 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 carried a severe risk of disenfranchising voters and was suspended based on the vital public interest at stake in allowing full participation in elections. A determination on the constitutionality of the bill has yet to be made. As this ruling is not final, I will be careful to keep you updated on any changes regarding implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 23.

 

 

 

Neighborhood Survey Available

I created a survey asking about various issues that are important to our community and our state. The input of neighbors is greatly appreciated.

Click here to download and print a copy of this survey, which you can return to my office via mail, email, or fax upon completion.

 

Click here to save a stamp and take the survey online.

 

I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues!

 

 

 

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