June 10, 2011



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



Mailing Address:

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


Web Site:












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.



June10 from 3 p.m. to midnight; June 11 and June 12 from noon to midnight
Attend this annual festival that was founded in 1988 by the LGBT community. Every year, Pridefest attracts thousands of people and families, both gay and straight. With permanent stages, food buildings, vendor pavilions and support from Milwaukee World Festivals, PrideFest kicks-off Milwaukee’s festival season. CLICK HERE for more information.

Henry Maier Festival Park (MAP)
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 273-3378


Community Garden Fence Raiser
June 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Town of Lake Neighborhood Association, with the support of CNH of Racine, the Home Depot at Holt and Chase, and the UW-Extension, raised enough money to install a permanent fence at the community garden on the north side of the 6th & Howard Street intersection.
If you want to join the fun and make a corner of the neighborhood more beautiful please stop on by to help out. Volunteers will begin the fence installation at 9 a.m., break for a tailgate lunch and resume work at 1 p.m. Please bring work gloves and weed diggers if you plan on being part of the crew pulling garlic mustard.



Gathering Waters Festival June 11 from 11a.m. to 6 p.m.
Celebrate the beauty of Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee lakefront this weekend by stopping by the Gathering Waters Festival. More than 60 different groups will set up throughout the park and offer kids and adults the chance to boat, canoe, kayak, sail, fish, rock wall climb and ride bikes. CLICK HERE for additional information.

Lakeshore State Park (MAP)

500 N. Harbor Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Flag Day Celebration
June 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Join in honoring our veterans for their service to our country by attending the Second Annual Flag Day Celebration. This event will feature live musical entertainment, and is free  and open to the public. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. For more information, please CLICK HERE.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (MAP)
929 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 273-7206

MPD Bike Helmet Fitting
June 15 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Bring the family to the Harley-Davidson Museum to have your kids fitted for a bicycle helmet with the Milwaukee Police Department. While there, catch the MPD motorcycle patrol officers take roll call at 3 p.m.

Harley-Davidson Museum (MAP)
400 W. Canal Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(877) 436-8738

Polish Fest
June 17 and June 18 from noon to midnight; June 19 from noon to10 p.m.
Attend the 30th anniversary of Polish Fest, America's largest Polish festival. This three-day festival offers non-stop polka music and dance at multiple stages, and ethnic food such as Polish sausage, pierogis, potato pancakes and hunter's stew. Polish Fest also features a children's stage, a place to trace your genealogical roots, an outdoor marketplace and a "cultural village" that houses artists demonstrating traditional crafts, including egg decorating. For those looking to save money, visit Polish Fest on Friday from noon to 5 p.m. for only 50 cents, or from 5 p.m. to midnight for $5. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Henry Maier Festival Park(MAP)
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 529-2140

Walk With Me Milwaukee
June 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Participate in the fifth annual Walk With Me event that helps raise money to provide children and adults with autism and other disabilities opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. Registration begins at 5 p.m. at the main festival gate. The one-mile family fun walk will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Lakeshore State Park. Participating families, friends and co-workers can also enjoy free admission to Polish Fest.

Henry Maier Festival Park(MAP)
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 273-3378







































































































Dear Friend,


Several bills moved forward in the Legislature this week that would make major changes to our neighborhood schools, public safety and broadband services. I have included an update on these changes and what they will mean for 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.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7




Republicans Vote to Eliminate WiscNet Broadband Funding

On Friday, June 3 the Joint Committee on Finance passed Budget Motion 489. This motion contained a provision that would eliminate the UW System's WiscNet program and its $1.4 million in funding for 2012-2013, and require Wisconsin to return about $39 million in federal funds for the program.

WiscNet is a non-profit, cooperative Internet provider that supplies service to public higher education institutions, such as UW-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, K-12 schools and libraries across Wisconsin. Without WiscNet these institutions would be forced to seek Internet and broadband services from for-profit corporate telecommunications providers at a greater cost to the state and taxpayers.

If this provision remains in the budget, it will place an additional financial burden on our education system, which has already faced massive cuts under other provisions in Governor Walker's budget. Consequently, our libraries and schools may not be able to afford Internet access, diminishing the opportunities of our students, educational staff and job seekers.

This provision will be damaging to the future vitality of Wisconsin's economy in an increasingly online world. This attack on our educational infrastructure is part of a trend of cutting key services that Wisconsin citizens rely on. It is crucial that our community works together to protect these services in order to keep Wisconsin competitive and preserve our public education institutions. 

To view a copy of Motion 489, please CLICK HERE.



Harmful Education Bill Moves Forward in the Senate and Assembly

Education faces decimating cuts under Governor Walker's budget proposal, which strips away over $800 million from education statewide. Our neighborhood schools took another devastating blow this week when Republicans in the Senate and Assembly Committees on Education voted in favor of Senate Bill 22 and its companion bill, Assembly Bill 51. This legislation aims to dismantle our public school system and instead follow the path towards private, for-profit education.

If these bills pass, our local community schools will receive fewer federal and state funds. Funds would be redirected to schools that have lower professional standards for their teachers and staff, and limited accountability and transparency. According to the Department of Public Instruction, if this legislation were to pass, our community alone would lose nearly $10.8 million from our public schools.

I introduced several amendments attempting to improve this legislation. These amendments would have ensured that control of these non-traditional schools remained local, closed a loophole in the current charter school contract process, and implemented additional safeguards to increase accountability and transparency.

Unfortunately, only one of my amendments was adopted by the Senate and Assembly Committees on Education. The adopted amendment will increase accountability and transparency by requiring all charter schools to submit an annual report to the Legislature and the State Superintendent documenting academic performance, financial costs and the extent to which the school followed the National Association of Charter School Authorizers' principles and standards.

I will continue doing everything I can to protect the integrity and quality of our local community schools and to ensure that our children have the educational opportunities they need to succeed.


To stay up-to-date on this issue, I encourage you to utilize the Legislature's free email notification system that alerts subscribers of legislative activities relating to issues that they have identified as important. This is an excellent way to keep informed about the issues that are important to you. To use this helpful service, please CLICK HERE.


Photo: With young students from our community on their trip to the Capitol




Concealed Carry Advances in the Legislature

On Thursday this week, Senate Republicans in the Joint Finance Committee altered and advanced Senate Bill 93, a concealed carry proposal. Once enacted, this legislation would allow possession of a loaded firearm, electric weapon or knife in private businesses, churches and parks. This proposal also loosens the restrictions on gun carrying near schools and does not require individuals that are carrying to be sober while doing so.

I heard from a number of neighbors concerned about weapons being allowed into Summerfest. The revised proposal will allow Summerfest to prohibit weapons by posting notices that weapons are not allowed. Another concern that I heard was not requiring sobriety while carrying a concealed weapon. Unfortunately, Republicans have not yet included this common sense provision.

The Senate is expected to take up Senate Bill 93 on Tuesday. If this bill is signed into law and published this month, it will go into effect on October 1.

To stay up-to-date on this issue, I encourage you to utilize the Legislature's free email notification system that alerts subscribers of legislative activities relating to issues that they have identified as important. This is an excellent way to keep informed about the issues that are important to you. To use this helpful service, please CLICK HERE.




Update on the Budget Process

The Joint Finance Committee concluded their debate on Governor Walker's budget proposal on Saturday, June 4. Legislative service agencies have since compiled the full budget document and the accompanying fiscal estimate. The Assembly is expected to take up the budget on Tuesday, June 14, while the budget will likely reach the Senate Floor on Thursday, June 16, assuming the Assembly has voted on it by then.

I will be sure to keep you updated on any new developments as the budget makes it's final lap through the legislative process.


To view the most updated budget papers and summaries by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, please CLICK HERE.




Spring 2011 Budget Priority Survey

Last week I asked for your continued thoughts on budget priorities and about the direction Wisconsin is headed in. If you have not yet had the opportunity, please take a moment to visit my new Web site and complete the Spring 2011 Survey. This survey will be available for a limited time and only fully completed surveys will be counted.


It is my hope that we can work together on these important issues to improve our communities and make Wisconsin a better place to live and work for our family, friends and neighbors. I value your opinion and look forward to hearing back from you on these important issues.


CLICK HERE to complete the Spring 2011 Survey.




Join Me at Alderman Kovac's Annual Bike Ride

Saturday, June 11 at 1 p.m.

Join Alderman Kovac and me for a bicycle ride to explore great neighborhoods throughout our community on Saturday, June 11 at 1 p.m. The ride will begin at the Urban Ecology Center located at 1500 E Park Place, will continue across the Locust Street Bridge, and follow the newly paved Beerline Bike Path downhill from Gordon Park to the Humboldt Bridge. The rest of the ride will take us through local parks we all treasure. Let us know ahead of time if there’s something you wish to highlight in your neighborhood and we will try to include it on the route. The ride is free and open to the public. No reservation necessary.

Urban Ecology Center (MAP)
1500 E. Park Place
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 964-8505


Hoan Bridge Petition

As you well know, our community's Hoan Bridge has been slated for  repairs and will not be torn down. Our 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.


Our existing Hoan Bridge structure only allows cars to cross the bridge. However, given that our bridge is so crucial to commuters and residents, the new project should include a bicycle and walking path that will complete Milwaukee County's Oak Leaf Trail between Downtown and Bay View.


As biking and walking are healthier, more cost effective and more environmentally friendly than driving, many of our residents have opted to leave their cars at home more frequently in favor of such options. This makes the addition of a walking and biking path vital to ensure that our neighbors can move freely throughout or community and to their jobs.


To sign a petition requesting that a bike and walking path be added to the construction project for the Hoan Bridge, please CLICK HERE.


This construction project on our Hoan Bridge is scheduled to begin in 2013 and includes replacing the existing bridge deck and bridges on I-794 going east and west between the Lake and Marquette Interchanges. Surface repairs on the Lake Interchange are also included in the construction plan.




Bay View Crime & Safety Meetings

Get involved with keeping our community safe by attending the Bay View Neighborhood Association's crime and safety meetings. These meetings are a time to analyze current crime rates in our neighborhoods, organize neighborhood watch programs and maintain a positive relationship with local law enforcement . Crime and safety meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month in the St. Luke's Hospital Auditorium located at 2900 W. Oklahoma Avenue in Milwaukee. Free valet parking is available.



Summer Activities in Our Community

Our community offers a wide variety of summer activities for families, children and adults alike. Below are just a few activities that you can take part in this summer.


Family Flicks
Enjoy a family-friendly movie screening in the great outdoors! Treat your whole family to a fun, free evening in Cudahy Park. Movies begin at dusk. For more information and to see a listing of this summer's movies, please CLICK HERE.

Cudahy Park (MAP)

3000 E. Ramsey Ave.

Cudahy, WI 53110

Historic Milwaukee Walking Tours
June 11 through October 15
Take advantage of Historic Milwaukee, Inc.'s fun and unique walking tours this summer. Explore Milwaukee's architectural and cultural heritage with Historic Milwaukee Inc.'s incredibly skilled and knowledgeable guides.


Tours are available for a number of neighborhoods including the Historic Third Ward or Yankee Hill, Downtown, Brady Street and East Town. Historic Milwaukee Inc. even offers boat tours this summer. Don't see a tour you like? Feel free to book your own custom tour. You can also book a private walking tour for your group of six or more at any time this season. For more information or to book a tour, please call Historic Milwaukee Inc. at (414) 277-7795 or visit their Web site by CLICKING HERE.


Milwaukee County Free Days

Many of the museums right here in our neighborhood offer days when Milwaukee residents can visit free of charge. Below is a list of participating museums:


Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)

800 W. Wells Street

Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 278-2702

*Free every Monday (additional charges apply for the Humphrey IMAX Dome, Daniel M. Soref Planetarium & special exhibitions)

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)

700 N. Art Museum Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 224-3200
*Free every Thursday (includes all special exhibits)

Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (MAP)

524 S. Layton Blvd.

Milwaukee, WI 53215
(414) 257-5611
*Free every Monday from 9AM until Noon (excludes major holidays)




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