June 24, 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.


Greek Fest
June 24 and 25 from 11  a.m. to 11 p.m.; June 26 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Attend the 46th annual Greek Fest this weekend at the State Fairgrounds. This event will feature a variety of entertainment, including  live Greek music, games, authentic dance performances, and rides for the kids throughout the weekend.
The traditional performances are popular, but the biggest draw at this festival is the food. The Friday fish fry is a staple, along with authentic Greek chicken, souvlaki, gyros, saganaki, lamb dinners and loukoumathes (deep fried dough balls drizzled in honey). Admission is free. Parking is $4 for cars and Motorcycles park free. CLICK HERE for additional information.

Wisconsin State Fair Park (MAP)
640 S. 84th Street
West Allis, WI 53214
(800) 884-3247


Open House at the Depot

June 25 from 10 a.m. to noon
Visit Cudahy’s old railroad depot and learn about the immigrant families that built our neighborhoods. Also feel free to browse through the buildings and look at the displays. A Historical Society Member and Docent will always be on hand to answer any questions you may have. For more information, please CLICK HERE.

Cudahy Historical Society Depot (MAP)

4647 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue

Cudahy, WI 53110



Fireworks Kite Festival

July 3 starting at 11 a.m.

Kick-off the 4th of July holiday with some kite flying and fireworks on Milwaukee's lakefront. The Kite Society of Wisconsin and Illinois in conjunction with U.S. Bank and Milwaukee County Parks hosts the event which will aim to fly as many kites as possible and then watch fireworks shoot off right over the water. This is a great event to enjoy with family or friends. Kites will fly from 11 a.m. through 6:30 p.m. and then again from 7:30 p.m. until fireworks begin at 9:25 p.m.


Veterans Park (MAP)

1010 Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 257-7275
















































































































































































































































































































Dear Friend,


Governor Walker is expected to sign the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget into law this upcoming Sunday. I have included information about veto requests that my colleagues and I have submitted, and will continue to keep you updated on changes made to the budget.


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




Legislators Ask for Veto on Small Business Restrictions and Punitive Milwaukee Mandate

The 2011-2013 Biennial Budget was passed last week in both the Senate and the Assembly. Governor Walker stated in a press release earlier this week that he intends to sign the bill into law this Sunday.

Wisconsin currently has one of the most powerful executive branches in the country. As a result, Governor Walker has the ability to still make significant alterations to the Republican budget through line-item vetoes.

I joined other Milwaukee area legislators this week in writing a letter urging the governor to stand with Milwaukee's taxpayers and veto an unfunded mandate that was slipped into the budget by Joint Finance Co-Chairs Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Robin Vos.

For many years, Wisconsin State law mandated that City of Milwaukee taxpayers continue to pay the salary and benefits of Milwaukee police officers who were fired with cause until all of their legal appeals were exhausted. This unfair mandate applied only to Milwaukee and cost taxpayers over $4.5 million. In 2008, the Legislature voted 95-0 in the Assembly and 30-3 in the Senate to repeal the mandate by passing 2007 WI Act 114. This legislative change has saved Milwaukee taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars over just the past two years.

Late in the budget process, Sen. Darling and Rep. Vos introduced a motion in the middle of the night to once again stick the taxpayers of Milwaukee with the bill by requiring them to cover the salary and benefits of Milwaukee police officers who have been fired with cause, such as violating our laws. The recent action of the Joint Finance Co-Chairs defies logic given that Sen. Darling and Rep. Vos stood with the majority of their colleagues when they voted to remove this unfair mandate in 2008.

I also joined fellow legislators in submitting a bipartisan letter to Governor Walker requesting that he line-item veto a budget provision that limits the ability of Wisconsin's craft brewers to grow and create jobs in the state.

As with the Milwaukee Mandate, Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Robin Vos unexpectedly introduced Motion #414, an anti-small business motion, which prevents local craft breweries from being able to expand and create much-needed jobs in Wisconsin.

Motion #414 makes sweeping changes to Chapter 125 of Wisconsin Statutes including taking away the wholesale and retail licenses from brewers and eliminating the ability of brewers to sell existing retail or conduct wholesale operations separately from the brewing operation.

Our local craft breweries have become a wonderful addition to Wisconsin’s economy by creating jobs and bringing tourism to the state. We should be supporting these businesses that are a valued part of Wisconsin tradition and culture, not impeding their prospects for growth.

While some of the other catastrophic changes in this budget have already been cemented, we can still work to eliminate some of these non-fiscal budget items that send Wisconsin in the wrong direction.


To view a copy of the letter requesting a veto of the mandate on Milwaukee, please CLICK HERE.


To view a copy of the letter requesting a veto of the budget provisions related to craft breweries, please CLICK HERE.



Floor Vote to Extend Unemployment Benefits Requested

Earlier today, fellow legislators and I sent a request to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald asking that he schedule a floor vote next week on legislation to extend unemployment benefits for Wisconsinites.

With a simple legislative change, Wisconsin would be able to capture nearly $90 million from the federal government to extend unemployment benefits in the state. These funds would not need to be repaid.

There is no question that extending unemployment benefits is paramount for our communities. We must continue providing our neighbors who have been unable to find work during these tough economic times with the support that they desperately need. Accepting these funds will allow our neighbors to continue paying their bills and supporting their families, and will also ensure that another $90 million is injected into our state, providing our local economies with a much-needed shot of adrenaline.



Concealed Carry Passes the Assembly

Senate Bill 93, a proposal allowing for carrying hidden weapons, passed in the Assembly this past Tuesday, one week after its passage in the Senate.


Once enacted, this legislation will 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.


The Assembly rejected all amendments proposed by their democratic members. These amendments would have prevented an individual from carrying a concealed weapon in school zones, child care facilities, zoos and polling places. Additionally, no amendment was adopted to require sobriety while carrying a concealed weapon.

Senate Bill 93 is now on its way to the governor. It is expected to go into effect on October or November 1, depending on the date of publication.


CLICK HERE to view the final version of Senate Bill 93.




Invitation to National Listening Session

June 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join members of Congress, including Reps. Gwen Moore, Tammy Baldwin, Barbara Lee and Jan Schakowsky, as they discuss the need for good jobs in our community. This is your chance to voice your concerns about the direction of our state and our country. To view the flyer for the event, please CLICK HERE.

Vincent High School (MAP)
7501 N. Granville Road
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53224
(262) 236-1200




Celebrating the 4th of July

The anniversary of our nation's Independence Day is fast-approaching. Join family, friends and neighbors in celebrating the past events that cemented our nation's fundamental rights and freedoms. It is also an important time to remember those in uniform who have served or are currently serving to protect our freedom and keep us safe.


Almost every city in our community will be hosting 4th of July events this year that will include parades, games, ceremonies and fireworks. Continue reading to see what events will be going on in the Milwaukee area on Monday, July 4.



Neighbors will be meeting in Cudahy's Sheridan park this year to celebrate our nation's independence. On Monday, July 4, join in celebrating with the community by attending the morning parade, listening to music performances by local artists, playing games, enjoying various ceremonies and watching fireworks after dusk. CLICK HERE for more information.



Join in celebrating the 4th of July holiday with Milwaukee in parks throughout the city. Families and friends can gather throughout the day for picnics, games, performances and parades. At night the sky is filled with fireworks bursting across the city. CLICK HERE for a list of participating parks and the events that will be available at each location.

Oak Creek

Attend Oak Creek's annual celebration on Monday, July 4, which will include a parade with the theme "America the Beautiful," baseball games, and fireworks.  The parade starts at 9 a.m. on the corner of Groveland Drive and Shepard Avenue and winds its way through the city ending at the Legion. CLICK HERE for more information about the day's events.


South Milwaukee
July 4th festivities for the City of South Milwaukee will be located at the Brown Pavilion (Areas 5 and 6) in Grant Park. Community members and visitors will be able to participate in races, games, parades and enjoy a spectacular fireworks display. Food and refreshments will be available in the Brown Pavilion. Please note that the parking lot on the east end of area 5 will be closed for the day for the fireworks display. CLICK HERE for more information and a listing of events for the day.

St. Francis
Celebrate with your neighbors at this year's 4th of July event at Vretenar Park in St. Francis. Celebration-goers will experience a parade, flag raising, games, pie baking contest, talent show, karaoke, fireworks and more. Concessions will be available throughout the day. Please leave your grills and coolers at home as this event is sponsored by local businesses. Proceeds will be used to fund future 4th of July celebration events. Please CLICK HERE for a more detailed event list.



Our community will be hosting its cornerstone summer celebration, Summerfest, from June 29 through July 10. Over the course of 11 days, Marcus Amphitheater plus an additional 10 stages will present over 700 bands for music lovers to enjoy at Henry Maier Festival Park against the backdrop of Milwaukee’s downtown and beautiful Lake Michigan. Along with over a week of music, festival-goers can enjoy a diverse selection of foods and beverages, marketplaces, interactive exhibits, family-focused entertainment and activities, and fireworks on opening day.

Summerfest attracts 800,000 to 1 million festival-goers each year, rightfully earning the title of the “World’s Largest Music Festival.” It gives people in our community an opportunity to partake in a unique music and entertainment experience by enjoying popular performers such as Jason Mraz, Elusive Parallelograms, Girl Talk, and REO Speedwagon, and also provides emerging artists a venue for displaying their talents.

Summerfest is a great way to support our local economy, while at the same time enjoying music from both local and nationally known talent. Last year Summerfest generated approximately $180 million in direct and indirect economic impact for our community. Summerfest helps to boost sales for neighborhood restaurants and businesses while simultaneously supporting local musicians and artists.

For more information on the activities and line-up for this year's Summerfest, please CLICK HERE.




Hands Across the Sand
June 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Hands Across The Sand participants this Saturday as they say "no" to offshore oil drilling and "yes" to clean energy. This global movement takes place on beaches and in cities around the world at noon in corresponding time zones. Bring signs or sign-making supplies to the beach at 11 a.m. to help make a statement for clean energy.

Bradford Beach (MAP)
2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 962-8809


Photo: At last year's Hands Across the Sand event




Power Down Week

Friday, June 24 through Sunday, July 3

Join in this city-wide grassroots event aimed at inspiring the people of Milwaukee and beyond to use less electricity and fewer resources. This week-long event was started last year in Riverwest and has since expanded into other neighborhoods. Power Down Week is a challenge with only two rules: make your carbon footprint as small as possible for one week, and challenge others to do it with you. The week will also feature dozens of events and community activities.


CLICK HERE for more information and a listing of Power Down events in your community.




Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Annual Impact Report

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has released the 2009-2010 Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Annual Impact Report.


Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) is a comprehensive economic development program designed to increase the local sales of agricultural food products grown within the state. One component of this program is a competitive grant program that promotes the expansion of local food sales.


In the first two years, the BLBW grants resulted in $2.7 million in new local food sales and $600,000 in new investment. Additionally, over 1,200 Wisconsin producers have benefited from the grants, and dozens of other jobs have been created and retained in the state.


CLICK HERE to view a copy of DATCP's Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Annual Impact Report.



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.


Summer Reading Club
Join the reading fun from June 1 through August 15th at the St. Francis Library. There are clubs for all ages levels, including adults. 
CLICK HERE for more information. You can also see a listing of available summer reading clubs below:

Read to Me Club: for ages 5 & under
Mid-Kid Club: for ages 5-12 or going into grades K-6
Young Adult Club: for ages 12-18 or going into grades 7-12
Adult Club: for ages 18+

St. Francis Public Library (MAP)

4230 S. Nicholson Avenue

St. Francis, WI 53235
(414) 481-7323


'Round Midday
Bring your lunch and relax with an hour of music. 'Round Midday features a different jazz pianist every first Friday of the month through December. Complimentary Anodyne coffee and cookies will be served. Admission is $5. The featured artist for Friday, July 1 at noon is David Wake. CLICK HERE for more information.

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music (MAP)
1584 N. Prospect Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 276-5760


Lake Park Musical Mondays

Take advantage of this eight-week music series. Concerts are free and open to the public. Lake Park Musical Mondays kicks off on Monday, July 4 at 6:30 pm in picnic area #3. For additional information, please CLICK HERE to visit the Lake Park Friends Web site.

July 4: Chris Spheeris
July 11: The Milwaukee Guitar Duo
July 18: Howard Levy
July 25: Gaudete Brass Quintet
August 1: Claudia Hommel
August 8: Betti Xiang
August 15: Randy Sabien & Bill Camplin
August 22: The New Rampart Street Paraders


Lake Park (MAP)
3233 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 962-8809



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