LARSON REPORT

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER


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May 10, 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. 
 

 

The Wisconsin Bike Challenge

Date: Now 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.

 


Bay View Beach Clean-up
Date: Thurs., May 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Bay View
Description: Get to know our neighbors and help beautify our community by participating in the Bay View Beach Clean-up. The stairway to the beach is located on Lake Drive just south of Oklahoma Avenue. Look for the brown Bay View Park sign and one of the Bay View Neighborhood Association volunteers will be posted nearby to set you up. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Bay View Park (MAP)

3120 S. Lake Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53207

 


Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Date: Sat., May 12

Location: Mailboxes across Wisconsin

Description: Stamp Out Hunger, the largest single day food drive in the nation, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. On the second Saturday in May, letter carriers all across Wisconsin perform double-duty by collecting bags of donated food along their mail routes. The food is then delivered to pantries and meal programs to help at a time when food pantries are critically low. CLICK HERE for more information at the Web site for Hunger Task Force.

 

BVNA Rummage Sale

Date: Sat., May 12 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Bay View
Description: The Bay View Neighborhood Association will be holding a rummage sale throughout all of Bay View. Feel free to bring the entire family while you hunt for reclaimed treasures. CLICK HERE for more event information.

 

 

Native Plant Sale

Date: Sat., May 12 from 9 a.m. to Noon
Location: South Milwaukee

Description: Support South Milwaukee Middle School’s Environmental Club by purchasing native, hardy perennials and garden vegetable plants. This is also a great opportunity to pick up a gift for Mother’s Day. Prices start as low as $1 for 2.5-inch pots. To place a pre-sale order or for details, contact Chris Bosetti at (414) 766-5890.

CLICK HERE for more information.

 

South Milwaukee Middle School (MAP)

1001 15th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

 

 

Grant Park Weed-Out

Dates: Sat., May 12 and May 18 at 9 a.m.

Location: South Milwaukee

Description: Help our neighbors protect our plant diversity in Grant Park by participating in the Grant Park Weed-Out. Meet in the tennis courts parking lot (Area 1) in Grant Park ready to pull out invasive garlic mustard. Call (414) 764-0612 for more information.

 

Grant Park (MAP)

100 E. Hawthorne Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

 

 

Greater Milwaukee Fair Trade Crawl

Date: Sat., May 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee Area

Description: Over 30 locally owned shops in the greater Milwaukee area will host World Fair Trade Day celebrations as part of the 5th Annual Greater Milwaukee Fair Trade Crawl. Crawlers will go from shop to shop learning about the featured products, enjoying special samples and sales, and winning prizes. This event will also celebrate how fair trade practices help fight modern-day slavery and human trafficking around the world. CLICK HERE for more information, including a list of participating shops.

 

 

Bird Walk at Grant Park

Date: Sun., May 13 at 8 a.m.
Location: South Milwaukee

Description: Witness the annual return of our feathered friends as they stop at Grant Park during their migration. Participants are welcome to bring binoculars and hats with brims. Meet at the parking lot in Area 7, in the north part of Grant Park, accessed via the Wil-O-Way entry off of Lake Drive. This event is weather contingent. CLICK HERE or call (414) 531-9249 for additional information.

 

Grant Park (MAP)

100 E. Hawthorne Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

 


Cudahy Bike Auction and Rummage Sale

Date: Sat., May 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Cudahy

Description: The Cudahy Historical Society and Cudahy Police Department will be hosting this major fundraising event for the Society. Stop by to participate in the auction of bicycles and also visit the accompanying rummage sale. Paddle sales and viewing begins at 9 a.m. with the auction scheduled to start at 11 a.m. A city rummage sale will occur in the Annex. CLICK HERE for more information at the Cudahy Historical Society's Web site.

 

Cudahy Depot (MAP)

4647 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue

Cudahy, WI 53110
 

 

Bay View Historical Society Yard Sale

Date: Sat. May 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Bay View

Description: Doing some spring cleaning and have items you wish to discard? Consider donating the items to the Bay View Historical Society for their annual yard sale.
The yard sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 19 at the Beulah Brinton House.  Proceeds from the sales pay for the upkeep of the Beulah Brinton House.
Donations may be dropped off at the Brinton House garage, the week of May 14 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., or on the morning of the sale between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. If you are donating items which need to be picked up, please call Annie Hahn at (414) 769-7173 or Donna Pogliano at (414) 324-5690.
 

Beulah Brinton House (MAP)

2590 S. Superior Street

Milwaukee, WI 53207

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Friend,

 

As families are approaching the end of the school year and preparing for summer, now is the perfect time to take a look at education in Wisconsin. From K-12 to technical colleges and universities, education is the backbone of our state's future.

 

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

 

 

 

Schools Lose Valuable Community Members

One of the greatest concerns my colleagues and I expressed regarding the devastating cuts to education in Governor Walker's budget, was how this might negatively affect student-to-teacher ratios across Wisconsin. We believed the choice to funnel $1.6 billion from our neighborhood schools to fund tax breaks for big corporations and special interest initiatives would undoubtedly result not only in pay cuts for our highly valued teachers, but also in massive teacher layoffs statewide.

 

Tragically, it appears that our fears were not unfounded. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recently released data showing Wisconsin lost 2,312 teachers and staff from the 2010-2011 to the 2011-2012 school year, the first year since Governor Walker’s budget went into effect. This leaves Wisconsin schools with their highest student-to-teacher ratio since 1995, with 73% of districts having lost teachers this year.

Things are not expected to get any easier during the 2012-2013 school year. According to a recent survey done by the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA), most school district in Milwaukee County expect to make the same or deeper cuts to balance their budgets for the next school year, with only one of the 18 school districts in Milwaukee County reporting that they expect to make fewer cuts next year compared to this year. The harsh reality our children and schools are facing is a direct result of Governor Walker’s budget cuts, a loss of one-time federal dollars, and the siphoning of funds away from our neighborhood schools and directed towards the expansion of the Milwaukee Voucher Program.

 

How This Affects Our Children

In addition to narrowing our children's educational opportunities by reducing staff, increasing class sizes, eliminating vital support services, and decreasing course offerings, Governor Walker cuts to education have also had a strong emotional impact on Wisconsin's students. Aside from a child's parents, their teachers are often the biggest part of molding their lives and preparing them for the real world. Losing their teachers due to budget cuts can often feel like they are losing a family member.

 

One school that has experienced this first-hand is nearby Oconomowoc High School. Late last month after 15 teachers received layoff notices, students could be seen in the halls wearing special shirts with the message "We love our teachers" and felt compelled to organize a Facebook group called OHS Solidarity.

 

The group page, which already has 2,221 members,  reads: "This is the official Facebook group for the OHS Solidarity movement, in support of the 15 amazing teachers who have been cut from their positions for the coming school year. This group exists solely for the purpose of coming together as a student body to give back to the teachers who have given us all so much of themselves over the years."

 

This is just one example of the experience many schools across the state are facing as they are forced to lose members of their community. After looking at these results, how is it possible for Governor Walker and Republican legislators to continue to try and justify their decision to place education at the bottom of our priority list during the last legislative session?
 

Misinformation Regarding Act 10 "Savings"
Since April, Governor Walker has been bragging that his cuts to public employees, claiming they have saved Wisconsin about $1 billion. It is important to remember that in reality, cuts to public employees do not outweigh the reductions in education funding and that these "savings" have reduced the ability of middle-income public workers to invest in our local economies by approximately $3,000 per year on average. However, this figure being thrown around by Governor Walker and his administration has thus far been impossible to verify. In fact, many municipalities and school districts are starting to come forward to set the record straight about the cuts Governor Walker has been boasting.

 

For example, Governor Walker is claiming that the City of Milwaukee saved a lavish $25 million because of Act 10. However, the real number is closer to a $14.9 million cut to public workers according to the city's budget and management director. Milwaukee Public Schools shows a similar discrepancy. While Walker is claiming that MPS has an additional $21 million in their budget as a result of the cuts, MPS has said that Act 10 cuts and lay-offs to teachers and staff in the 2011-2012 school year will only generate $2.4 million and an estimated $7.7 million in the 2012-2013 school year.

 

Sheboygan County and its municipalities also point out that Governor Walker grossly overestimated the savings his regressive legislation would create. Sheboygan County reported not spending about $1.6 million in its 2012 budget as a result of Governor Walker's Act 10, compared to the $2.1 million the governor's administration claimed it would receive. The same was true for the City of Sheboygan where city officials said they "saved" only $420,000, less than half of Governor Walker's $1.3 million claim. Likewise, the Sheboygan Area School District reported not spending about $4 million as a result of the bill, compared to the $6.6 million for which the Walker administration is taking credit.

 

Many municipalities and school districts expressed that they do not believe many of the cost-saving measures they had implemented before the passage of Act 10 were being taken into account. In the case of the City of Sheboygan, the governor's estimate incorrectly assumed that Sheboygan employees were not previously paying any money toward their health insurance, when in fact most were already pay 8% to 10%.

 

As a member of the Senate Committee on Education, I will continue to monitor the state of education to ensure that we have a realistic, fact-based, and truthful understanding of how these cuts are affecting our children and their opportunity to succeed.

 

 

 

Transparency in Education Shows on Our Tax Bill

I fought hard this session to create a more open government by bringing about greater accountability and transparency in a number of policy areas, including education. One way that I did this was by working with my Milwaukee colleagues to ensure greater transparency and accountability on Milwaukee’s property tax bills. I worked with the Milwaukee Treasurer, Comptroller, Mayor, and members of the Common Council and Milwaukee Public School Board of Directors to develop an information sheet to be distributed with property tax bills providing separate cost information for Milwaukee Public Schools and the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, which was formerly listed as one lump sum. In their property tax bill, Milwaukee taxpayers now receive a detailed break down of how much we pay for Milwaukee Public Schools and how much is siphoned into the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.

Click here to view a copy of the handout on property tax transparency that is being circulated to City of Milwaukee taxpayers.

In 2010, state law compelled Milwaukee Public Schools to levy over $50 million in taxes to subsidize the private and religious schools making up the voucher program, which amounts to 17% of the total Milwaukee Public Schools tax levy. New legislation at the state level recently expanded the voucher program in Milwaukee to allow private schools outside Milwaukee to participate, while also removing all enrollment caps on the program and raising the income limits on participants. Due to these policy changes in the Republican Budget, the cost of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program rose significantly, exceeding the state’s official 2012 estimate and increasing the financial responsibility of taxpayers to 22.6%.

These changes come at a time when public schools are forced to make do with $1.6 billion less in state aide over the next two years, while spending on programs like the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program continue to balloon. In truth, Milwaukee taxpayers are now being billed for both the largest school district in the state, Milwaukee Public Schools, AND the fourth largest, which is what the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has grown to be with 22,400 students. The tax levy for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program already exceeds the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District by nearly $10 million and is expected to exceed Milwaukee Area Technical College’s in the next few years.

MPS and Taxpayers Picking Up the Tab
Including this simple notice helps clarify for Milwaukee taxpayers to what extent public schools have been subsidizing their private and religious counterparts. Currently, Milwaukee taxpayers are being forced to pay for the public, private and parochial school programs in Milwaukee, despite the fact that only our public schools are legally accountable for education quality and required to educate all children, including those with special needs. So although Milwaukee taxpayers are footing the bill for public and private schools across the city, if they have a child with special needs and would like their child to get a parochial education, they will likely see their child rejected for admittance to such a school. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 19% of students in Milwaukee Public Schools are special education students, while only 1.6% of students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program are in special education.

Fixing the Funding Formula
Currently, Wisconsin does not accurately count all students and only provides funding to Milwaukee for students attending public schools. This in-turn places the financial burden of voucher students solely on the backs of Milwaukee taxpayers. The property tax handout takes a step in the right direction by showing taxpayers how they are directly affected by this funding formula flaw. I will continue working hard to ensure that the state of Wisconsin is held accountable for the education of all of our children by adopting a funding formula that is fair.

I realize the complexity of this issue and appreciate those who have been trying to draw attention to it. Please contact me with any clarifying questions you might have about this or any other education-related issue.

 

 

 

Touring Our Neighborhood K-12 Schools

Our children are the future of our state. Therefore, I believe it is of the utmost importance that we invest in their education. To help with this endeavor, I often visit our neighborhood schools to answer  questions about Wisconsin's government, urge students to be more active in our local community, and encourage them to pick up good habits to improve their educational experience, such as reading more. Recently, I was given the opportunity to visit  Fernwood Elementary, Tenor High School, and Kindercare. I was impressed with the students' thoughtful questions and participation.

 

If you are a teacher and would be interested in having me stop by your class during the current school year or the next school year, please do not hesitate to contact me to schedule a tour of your school and a visit to your classroom.

 


 

Collaboration to Educate and Create a Skilled Workforce

There is an exciting new partnership in our community that will help move Wisconsin to the forefront of next generation green energy research. The University of Wisconsin system has teamed up with Johnson Controls, the world’s leading supplier of automotive batteries. According to projections, the automotive battery market is expected to grow from a $23 billion industry to a $72 billion industry by 2020.

 

Johnson Controls has invested more than $2.5 million dollars to bring two new cutting edge energy research laboratories to UW-Milwaukee. Additionally, the company will provide funding for several new fellowships and an internationally recognized expert to oversee the research. I was fortunate to recently tour these labs, which will house technology typically found only in major corporations and national research labs.

 

With ever increasing advancements in technology, it is crucial that we remain committed to fostering growth in developing fields to ensure we are competitive with other states and able to improve our economy. This new technology will help make certain that Wisconsin is a major hub of development in the battery industry. I am confidant that this new partnership will provide fascinating opportunities for our neighbors for many years to come.
 

 

 

Summer Reading Program for Kids

Valuable skills can be lost during the summer months if students do not continue to perfect their reading. Students who do not participate in summer reading can experience an achievement gap between themselves and those students who continue to practice their reading skills during the summer months.

 

To help close this gap and ensure that all students are living up to their potential, the Milwaukee Public Library offers a summer reading program called Super Reader. The Super Reader program is free and easy to sign up for at any Milwaukee Public Library. The dedicated and highly trained staff at the Milwaukee Public Libraries will also be able to help your student find appropriate summer reading materials. According to the Scholastic Book Corporation, when children are provided with 10 to 20 self-selected children’s books at the end of the regular school year, as many as 50% not only maintain their skills, but actually make reading gains. The Super Reader summer reading program begins on May 14, 2012.

 

Click here for more information on the Super Reader summer program.

 

The Milwaukee Public Library's Web site also offers fun and helpful tips for summer reading as well as information about starting a Super Reader Book Club with other neighbors.

 

If you live outside of the Milwaukee area, please do not hesitate to contact your local library to see if they have a similar program.


 

 

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: I keep hearing about the massive cuts that our state has made to education, but how do the cuts in Wisconsin compare to other states?

 

A: According to a study released by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities in October of 2011, of the states examined in the study Wisconsin's students faced the greatest cuts to education per pupil.

 

This year, Wisconsin cut school aid by $635 per pupil, topping many other states including New York, California and Ohio, according to the analysis. Over the past four years, our state's annual aid to schools is down $776 per pupil after adjusting for inflation, putting Wisconsin at fourth in the country so far in total education cuts.

 

Unfortunately, the choice by Governor Walker and Republican legislators to cut education by $1.6 billion in order to fund tax breaks to corporations and special interests could have a devastating, long-term effect on our communities. Not only does having a strong education system help our students increase their test scores and decrease high school dropout rates, but it also helps to grow our economy. As stated in the report, cuts to education can have a short-term effect on the economy by decreasing consumer spending by schools and their employees and a long-term effect by making our workforce less competitive.

 

While the study was only able to examine half of nation's states (the states left out did not have adequate budget data available at the time of the study), the students covered in the report still make up about two-thirds of the nation's students.

 

Click here to view a copy of the report.

 

 

Did You Know...

Today, kindergarten is the foundation of the public education curriculum throughout the country. But did you know that the nation's first kindergarten was established in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1856? The kindergarten was founded by Margarethe Meyer Schurz, a native of Hamburg, Germany who learned the principles of the kindergarten from its creator, Friedrich Froebel. The school's first students were five local German-speaking youngsters.
 

 

 

Political Pardons for Polluters

Earlier this week, my colleagues and I sent a letter to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to express our concerns about a recent Wisconsin State Journal report that gave one example of Governor Walker’s political appointees putting as many as 40 families at risk of drinking water contaminated with human waste to help a political donor.  

 

Herr Environmental has a history of significant violations of laws designed to protect public health and the environment. Department of Natural Resources administrators protected them from potential prosecution by the Department of Justice. Administrators blocked the recommendations of professional staff to refer the case and test the drinking water wells where human waste was spread at 300% the legal limit. This follows on another Wisconsin State Journal story showing a significant 50% decline in enforcement actions.

 

We called on Attorney General Van Hollen to conduct a complete investigation into political interference with science-based law enforcement as reported by the Wisconsin State Journal. We also requested that he report back immediately on the threat to the families that may have been harmed and if any state or federal laws were broken to reward a large political contributor. I hope that we will receive a prompt response and will be sure to keep you updated on this developing situation as more information becomes available.

 

More Secret Polluter Pardons?

The 50% enforcement reduction appears to indicate that Governor Walker's administration has dramatically reduced efforts to safeguard the public from polluters. I have joined other members of the Legislature's natural resource committees to call on the committee chairs to establish oversight committees immediately to determine how widespread this problem runs.

 

Click here to view a copy of the Wisconsin State Journal article referenced.

 

 

 

Summer Camp Information

Our community offers a wide variety of camps to keep Wisconsin's youth busy while school is out for summer. Below are just a few activities that your children can take part in this summer in Milwaukee and the surrounding area.

 

Urban Ecology Center
The Urban Ecology Center offers summer camps that allow kids to explore their own interests in nature and science through outdoor recreation and adventure activities. Campers may canoe, rock climb, kayak, hike, bike, and fish while learning about the natural world during an action-packed week of camp. Activities will be tailored to the interests of each group.


Before & After Care activities are offered for some of our camps. With this option you can drop-off your children early or pick them up late. At Riverside Park drop-off is as early as 7:30 a.m. and pick-up is as late as 5:30 p.m. At Washington Park you can drop-off as early as 8 a.m. and pick-up as late as 5 p.m. Staff members will supervise games, reading time, play and activities.

Additionally, the Urban Ecology Center offers need-based scholarships for children to attend camp. To qualify for a scholarship, families must be eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program.

 

Click here for more information about summer camp at the Urban Ecology Center.


YMCA Summer Programs
Our local YMCA offers a plethora of summer opportunities for kids. YMCA has plenty of options to fit your needs, whether your child is looking for a day-time or sleep-away adventure that lasts a week, a month, or all summer long. At YMCA, campers can experience horseback riding, canoeing, sailing, hiking, rock climbing, athletics, and much more. The YMCA has two camps located in the Milwaukee area and does have a scholarship program for children who would like to attend, but may be unable to afford the costs.

 

Click here for more information about YMCA summer camps.

Discovery World
We know that your kids are smart, talented, creative, curious, and eager to build the future. Discovery World is the launch pad for kids to display their intelligence, talent, and creativity. The teen workshops and summer camps camps offered at Discovery World have been created to offer up to 10 weeks of unique, exciting, non-stop fun for young scientists, engineers, artists, innovators, and designers.

 

Click here for more information. Remember camps are filling up fast.
 

Zoological Society of Milwaukee Summer Camps
The Zoological Society offers fun and educational programs at the Milwaukee County Zoo. They offer a variety of options for children ages 2-14. There are camps to suit just about any interest including art camp, theater camp, various animal camps, and camps for those looking to pursue a career working with animals. 

 

Click here for more information and to learn how to register.
 

 

 

Birth Announcement -- Welcome Atticus!

I am proud to report that at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, my wife, Jessica, and I welcomed our first child, a son named Atticus James Larson, into the world. He is healthy and has a good set of lungs, which he showed off for us instantly. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long.

 

A big thank you to those who have sent congratulations and well-wishes. We look forward to introducing Baby Atticus to our family, friends, and neighbors and showing him all the amazing opportunities our community has to offer.


 

 

Happy Mother's Day

This Sunday is Mother's Day. I encourage you to take advantage of some of the Mother's Day events in our community this weekend to celebrate and thank the mothers in your life. Many of our neighborhood restaurants will also be offering brunch, lunch, and dinner specials this Sunday in honor of Mother's Day. Please feel free to contact area restaurants for details.
 

East Town Market Mother's Day Crafts
Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Discovery World's East Town Market, in partnership with ARTMilwaukee, will be offering Mother's Day card and stamp creation for kids the day before Mother's Day at the monthly East Town Market. Parents can enjoy perusing the market and its locally-grown food and artisan wares while the kids have fun doing crafts for mom. This event is free and open to the public.

 

Discovery World (MAP)
500 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

Click here or call (414) 765-9966 for more information.

 

Mother's Day at Milwaukee Public Museum

Sunday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bring your mom to the Milwaukee Public Museum to celebrate this special holiday. All Moms will receive free admission and a free lunch in the Museum Café on Mother's Day. Mother's will also get a free gift of a seedling or seed pack from Shady Lane Greenhouse. Additional offerings at this event will include tips on growing a butterfly garden, a butterfly craft table for kids, special kid-friendly short films in the Nickelodeon Theater, cookie decorating, scarf-tying demonstrations, plus a 25 percent off jewelry sale in the Museum Marketplace.

 

Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

Click here or call (414) 278-2702 for more information.
 

Celebrate Mother’s Day At The Zoo
Sunday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
All moms receive free admission at the Milwaukee County Zoo this Sunday in honor of Mother's Day. Remember to stop by Lake Evinrude to see trumpeter swan cygnet Zak swimming with mom Victoria. Also, check out the Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country exhibit to see how much our lion cubs have grown since their birth last July to mom Sanura.

 

Milwaukee County Zoo (MAP)
10001 West Blue Mound Road
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226

 

Click here or call (414) 256-5412 for more information.

A "Darling" Mothers' Day Brunch
Sunday, May 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Enjoy a special Neverland-themed family adventure before the return of Milwaukee Ballet's popular Peter Pan. Plated breakfast is included along with Tinkerbell treats, Darling Children crafts, shadow dances, and much more. Reservations are required.

 

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

Click here or call (414) 902-2114 for more information or to make a reservation.

 

 

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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