LARSON REPORT

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

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October 18, 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

 

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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. 
 


Medusa and More Monsters

Date: Now through Fri., October 19 at 7 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee

Description: Learn more about Medusa and other monsters in Greek mythology by stopping the the UW-Milwaukee Planetarium. General admission is $2. CLICK HERE or call (414) 229-4961 for more information.

 

Manfred Olson Planetarium in the

Physics Building (MAP)

1900 E. Kenwood Blvd.

Milwaukee, WI 53211

 


Grete Marks: When Modern Was Degenerate
Date: Now through Tues., January 1

Location: Milwaukee
Description: This exhibit presents a narrative of the artist Margarete Heymann-Löbenstein-Marks (German, 1899–1990) through approximately 40 artworks. The event was developed by the Milwaukee Art Museum with the cooperation of her daughter, Dr. Frances Marks. This is the first American exhibition to explore Grete Marks’ story, an emotionally tragic tale of a forward-looking artist who was crushed by the brutal circumstances of her political time. The modern ceramics created within Grete’s Haël Werkstätten factory (Marwitz, 1923–33), with their machine precision, loose brushwork, and attention to vernacular German traditions, show the Bauhaus teaching’s thorough influence on the artist. In 1934, the German Nazi government forcibly purchased the Haël factory, and Grete’s artwork was publically derided as “degenerate.” Grete’s later ceramics made in England, arguably lacking the artistic vision of the earlier work, suggest that the magic and the promise of the bold young German artist was destroyed, like so much else, in World War II. Admission is $15 Adults for adults and $12 for students, seniors, and military members. Children 12 and under receive free admission. CLICK HERE for more information.
 

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)

700 N. Art Museum Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202


 

Harvest Tasting
Date: Fri., October 19 from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Location: Cudahy
Description: Help raise funds for the Cudahy Family Library and partake in a novel evening of distinguished wines, craft beers, specialty soft drinks, and delicious hors d’oeuvres. You will also be entertained with live entertainment played by Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets, and have the opportunity to participate in a raffle and silent auction. Tickets are on sale at the library. CLICK HERE or call (414) 769-2244 for more information.

Cudahy Family Library(MAP)
3500 Library Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110

 


Seven Keys to Building a Campus Community
Date: Tues., October 30 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will be holding this presentation for university students. Seven Keys to Building a Strong Campus Community is a hands-on presentation about the issues schools face to create a safe and respectful campus environment. Contact the  Sociocultural Programming Department by phone at (414) 229-3894 or via email by CLICKING HERE
 

UW-Milwaukee (MAP)

2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53201
 


Milwaukee Art Museum Free Day
Date: Thurs., November 1 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum is free the first Thursday of every month thanks to sponsorship by Target. You must be a Milwaukee County resident and bring a valid photo ID to take advantage of this free event. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)

700 N. Art Museum Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

 

Family Free Day at the Zoo

Date: Sat., November 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee

Description: Home to more than 2,275 animals with more than 330 species represented, the Milwaukee County Zoo is one of Milwaukee’s finest attractions. All visitors will receive free admission to the Milwaukee County Zoo on this day, although the parking fee remains in effect. CLICK HERE for more information.


Milwaukee County Zoo (MAP)
10001 W. Blue Mound Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Friend,

 

Several legislative committees met this week and state aid numbers for the current school year based off of the September head count were released. Information about fall and Halloween events in the community and across the state have also been included. Please continue reading for more information.


Sincerely,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7

 

 

 

Schools Disappointed by State Aid Numbers

Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released the state aid numbers for Wisconsin's public schools. Unfortunately, for most communities these recently announced figures do little to alleviate concerns for neighborhood schools in the upcoming school year.

 

According to the Department of Public Instruction, 64% of Wisconsin's public school districts, or 272 of 424, will receive less school aid for the 2012-2013 school year than they did the previous year. Included in this list of school districts are Milwaukee Public Schools and the St. Francis School District, which are facing cuts of over $3.21 million and $146,000 respectively.

 

These cuts will mean that schools will have to cope with 7% less in funding compared to what they received prior to the passage of the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget. According to the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA) survey done during the last school year, many school districts expected to scrape by after the first round of cuts from Governor Walker's budget were put into effect last year. However, school districts cautioned that the second round of cuts set to take effect during the 2012-2013 school year would be nearly impossible to handle.

 

Below is a chart detailing the state aid our public schools received prior to the passage of Governor Walker's budget and what schools in our community should expect this year.

 

School District 2010-11 Aid 2012-13 Aid Dollar Change
Cudahy $17,266,839 $16,291,626 -$975,213
Milwaukee $593,813,288 $528,736,183 -$65,077,105
Oak Creek-Franklin $28,786,367 $26,303,954 -$2,482,413
South Milwaukee $21,167,890 $19,519,232 -$1,648,658
St. Francis $4,023,624 $3,370,387 -$653,237

 

Some of the consequences they warned us about can already been seen in our own community. The concerns brought to my attention during meetings with local teachers and administrators include staffing cuts, increased class sizes, offering fewer art, music, physical education, Advanced Placement, and foreign language classes, and cutting resources for special education, reading specialists, and school libraries.

 

In addition to receiving less money from the state, public schools in Milwaukee and Racine will also see money funneled out of Milwaukee Public Schools and the Racine Unified School District and shifted to private and religious schools. According to the Department of Public Instruction, taxpayers in Milwaukee and Racine should expect to shell out $157.9 million to support private and religious schools participating in the choice program. Unfortunately, while such schools will be receiving an increase in taxpayer funds they still do not have the same accountability and transparency measures in place as their public school counterparts.

 

During the next legislative session, I will continue my efforts to ensure that we properly invest in our public schools, as Wisconsin needs to be pro-education in order for it to also be pro-business. Additionally, I will fight for adequate accountability and transparency measures for all schools receiving taxpayer funds, including voucher schools.

 

I have been meeting with teachers, administrators, parents, and students to get a better idea of the reality our schools are facing due to repeated budget cuts. These meetings have provided a valuable insight, but I would also like to get your perspective and encourage sharing stories you might have based off of what you have seen or what your children have been experiencing in school. We only get one shot at educating our children properly, so let us work together to ensure the education they receive is the best possible.


 

Encouraging a Race to the Top in Milwaukee Schools

My Milwaukee colleagues and I submitted a letter this week in support of an application Milwaukee Public Schools submitted to the federal government seeking to obtain Race to the Top funding.

 

Click here to view a copy of this letter.

 

Some of the reforms our local schools in Milwaukee hope to implement with the additional funding include:

  • Creating learner profiles allowing teachers to pinpoint the strengths, weaknesses, learning styles, and interests of each student to create a more personalized teaching plan for every child.

  • Experimenting with creative uses of technology and online content for a more engaging environment for students.

  • Ensuring parents have access to frequent updates on their children's education and performance in school.

  • Providing teachers with data-based teacher evaluations.

  • Increasing social supports for students such as English language services, gifted and talented programs, and special education.

Click here to view a copy of the executive summary submitted by Milwaukee Public Schools to the federal government.

 

 

 

Committees Hold Public Hearings This Week

Two of the committees of which I am a member, the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Tourism and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, met this week to address a variety of issues related to natural resources, economic development, and our health safety net programs. Continue reading for a more detailed description of what the committees took up.

 

Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Tourism

This past Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Tourism took a more in-depth look at three items related to the environmental and economic health of our state. Below is a list of the main agenda items discussed in the meeting.

  • Changes to the Administrative Rules process. The governor's new administrative rules process shifts the scope away from focusing on public health and interest towards economic development. In addition, the process for creating permanent rules has also been lengthened, increasing bureaucratic red tape. These changes have angered outdoor enthusiasts because they devalue and delay conservation efforts.

  • The Department of Natural Resources is struggling to get by with limited staff. A great deal of public testimony at the hearing addressed the large number of vacancies within the Department of Natural Resources. Neglecting to fill these positions despite concerns expressed by neighbors is making it more difficult for the Department to implement the conservation projects for which it is responsible.

  • Growing concerns over our fish hatcheries. Wisconsin's anglers and sports fishermen and women have expressed growing concerns over the state of our fish hatcheries. Many of the concerns relayed to the committee relate to maintenance and up-keep, productivity, and the increasing need of these facility to help maintain our conservation priorities. Finding solutions to these problems is crucial for the ecological health of important bodies of water, such as Lake Michigan, which also play a key role in the overall economic success of our state.

Joint Legislative Audit Committee

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee met this past Wednesday to discuss Wisconsin's economic development programs and Medicaid programs, including FamilyCare.

 

The committee started the hearing by taking up the audit put together by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau on the state's economic development programs. The audit examined the time period from 2007 to 2011 and looked at 196 economic development programs, including loans, grants, bonds, and tax incentives, administered by eight different state agencies. Below are some of the findings from the audit that were discuss in-depth by the committee.

  • Grants and loans during this time totaled $245.3 million and were given to businesses, local governments, and other organizations. Commerce, which is now the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, distributed 75% of such awards.

  • Commerce also authorized local governments to issue $724.1 million in tax-exempt bonds.

  • There is confusion between the agencies as to what constitutes an economic development program, and thus which programs should be reported on.

  • Not all agencies have adequately tracked whether businesses receiving grants and loans are meeting the required criteria in their contracts with the state.

  • Some businesses receiving funds have seemingly taken the money and run, providing the agencies with little to no information about whether they have met their goals, such as creating a specified number of jobs in Wisconsin. 113 grant and loan awards contained a contract between a state agency and the recipient. Recipients of the 113 awards submitted only 66.9% of the contractually required progress reports.

  • Commerce, which is now the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, has not been following through with requiring companies that do not meet the conditions set forth in the grant or loan contract to return taxpayer funds. As of June 30, 2011, $47.1 million of Commerce-made loans had not been repaid.

  • A greater effort needs to be made to ensure economically distressed areas receive a fair share of the money doled out through loans and grants. Milwaukee County was awarded the lowest per capita amount of grants and loans from 2007-2011 at $29.47 per capita even though Milwaukee meets all three criteria for being economically distressed.

  • With the passage of 2011 Wisconsin Act 7, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and other agencies no longer have to publicly track quantifiable performance measures, the amount of tax benefits allocated, and the names of benefit recipients. We need to ensure that even though it is no longer statutorily required, that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and other agencies continue to track this information and maintain a public online database so taxpayers can follow the money they invested.

There were clearly a number of accountability and transparency concerns regarding Wisconsin's economic development programs. I look forward to hearing further updates from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation on the measures they are taking to remedy these concerns. I also look forward to crafting joint legislation with the other members of the Audit Committee to address oversights made by the Legislature when replacing Commerce with this public-private entity.

 

Click here to view a copy of the audit on economic development programs.

 

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee also heard from neighbors discussing the importance of the FamilyCare program and ensuring that we continue to move in the right direction on cutting costs without decreasing the quality of coverage. While the committee held a public hearing on FamilyCare during the legislative session, the public hearing on Wednesday provided a much-needed update from the Department of Health Services, the agency that administers FamilyCare. According to the follow-up:

  • The Department of Health Services believes the key to reducing costs in the program is to ensure people are able to stay in their own houses as long as possible.

  • Of the three programs examined in the audit, FamilyCare was the most cost-effective.

  • As of March 1, 2012, (after the cap was put in place) the wait-list for FamilyCare was 6,263. It declined to 1,452 at the end of August (after the cap was lifted). Additionally, it cost about $15 million less to lift the cap than was estimated.

  • The solvency of Managed Care Organizations was a significant problem presented in the initial audit, which has since greatly improved.

Our committee greatly appreciated this update from the Department of Health Services. We also look forward to addressing other pertinent issues related to our health safety net programs in the future, including better tracking the costs of each subprogram rather than just Medicaid as a whole and examining how the contract with Logisticare has affected neighbors that rely on this transportation system to ensure their health care needs are met.

 

Click here to view a copy of the audit on FamilyCare.

 

Click here to view the most recent follow-up submitted by the Department of Health Services.

 

 

 

Voting Procedures Detailed Here

Many Wisconsinites are still getting used to the plethora of changes made to our voting laws during the most recent legislative session. In fact, voting procedures is one of the things I get asked about most frequently. Therefore, I am providing you with detailed information so that you can ensure your vote is counted on Election Day.

 

Residency & Registration

All voters must register prior to casting their vote. Fortunately, in-person voters can do this as late as Election Day since Wisconsin allows for same-day registration. To register at your polling place on the day of the election, you must provide proof that you meet residency requirements. Voters in Wisconsin must live at their voting address at least 28 consecutive days before an election. An individual who moves within this state later than 28 days before an election must vote at his or her previous ward or election district.

 

Click here for more information about voter registration.

 

Proof of Residence

Acceptable forms of proof of residence must include:

  • A current and complete name, including both the given and family name.

  • A current and complete residential address, including a numbered street address, if any, and the name of a municipality.

The following constitute acceptable proof of residence if the document contains the information specified above:

  • A current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card

  • Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit

  • Any identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder (not including a business card)

  • A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election

  • A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes election day

  • A university, college, or technical college fee card or identification card with a photo

  • A gas, electric, or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before Election Day

  • Bank statement

  • Paycheck

  • A check or other document issued by a unit of government

Click here for more information about proof of residency for the purpose of registering to vote.

 

Voting Absentee

Absentee applications must be made no earlier than the opening of business on the third Monday preceding the election and no later than 5 p.m. or the close of business, whichever is later, on the Friday preceding the election. You should contact your local municipal clerk to request an absentee ballot. In addition, they should explain where to return your ballot once it is filled out. You can also vote absentee in-person. In-person absentee voting now falls between the opening of business on the third Monday before Election Day and 5 p.m. or the close of business, whichever is later, on the Friday before Election Day, a two week time frame.

 

Click here to find the contact information for your municipal clerk.

 

Students

Students can use a university, college, or technical college identification card with a photograph of the cardholder as proof of residence if the university, college, or technical college provides a certified and current list of students who reside in housing sponsored by the university, college, or technical college, who are U.S. citizens, showing the current address of the students. If the university does not provide such a list to polling locations, then the student must present a fee payment receipt along with their identification card.

 

Click here if you would like more information about voting procedures for students.
 

I have also created a PDF guide to provide information about election and voting procedures in Wisconsin. This is a great resource to email or print to pass on to family, friends, and neighbors who may want more information about changes to Wisconsin's voting laws.

 

Click here to view my PDF voting guide.

 

 

 

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 recently got a political mailing that included an absentee ballot application form. Is submitting this form the best way to go about requesting an absentee ballot for the upcoming November election?

 

A: Especially leading up to November elections, neighbors will often receive political mailers that contain a registration form already pre-addressed for them to submit. While this may seem like an easy way to register prior to Election Day, these mailers are not always accurate, which has led the Government Accountability Board to warn against their use.

 

According to a recent Wisconsin State Journal article, the Town of Albion experienced such a mistake  first-hand. Upon closer inspection of the more than 30 registration forms it received by October 8, the clerk realized that these applications were not from town residents, but rather Wisconsinites in Dane County. Many of these individuals had submitted a registration form given to them via a political mailer without noticing that it was incorrectly addressed by the group that mailed it. Therefore, their registration form intended for a municipality in Dane County instead went to the clerk in Albion. While the town of Albion has been forwarding the registration requests to municipal clerks in Dane County, there is concern that registration requests submitted closer to the election may not reach the correct destination in time, and thus go uncounted.

 

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, the  nonpartisan agency tasked with managing Wisconsin's elections, says such mistakes in political mailers sent out by political parties and other groups trying to get out the vote are not uncommon. Despite having talked to some of these groups in the past, they seem to repeatedly make similar mistakes year after year.

 

Because of this persistent problem, the Government Accountability Board advises against using the forms provided by such political mailers and instead recommends that voters visit the agency's Web site at myvote.wi.gov to see if they are registered. If not registered, the Web site will also provide the contact information for their municipal clerk who can register them and provide an absentee ballot if necessary.

 

Looking for more information about registering and voting in Wisconsin? Follow the link below:

 

Click here to Visit the Government Accountability Board's Web site for more information.

 

Received a mailing with incorrect information listed and want to file a complaint? Follow the link below:

 

Click to file a complaint with the Government Accountability Board.
 

 

 

Did You Know...?

While we are aware that the Jack-O-Lantern has become a key symbol of Halloween, did you know that the tradition was brought here by Irish immigrants? In Ireland, oversized rutabagas, turnips, and potatoes were hollowed-out, carved into faces, and illuminated with candles to be used as lanterns during Halloween celebrations. Ireland is just one of the countries that we borrowed traditions from to create our own version of Halloween.

 

Wisconsin even has its own claim to fame regarding the very thing we make Jack-O-Lanterns out of now-- pumpkins. In 2010, New Richmond, Wisconsin native Chris Stevens was recognized by Guinness World Records for growing the heaviest pumpkin weighing in at 1,810.5 pounds.
 

 

 

Halloween Events in the Community

Get your costumes ready because Halloween is creeping up on us. Trick-or-treating has been a popular Halloween tradition in the United States and other countries for nearly 100 years. This community-based ritual is one of the most highly anticipated holidays as it is an evening of fun, costumes, and candy that all ages can enjoy. This year, Halloween falls on a Wednesday, so most trick-or-treating will take place the weekend prior on October 27 and 28.

 

Below are some tips to ensure a fun and safe trick-or- treating experience for you and your family:

  • Since Halloween is the one night where children are supposed to take candy from strangers, never allow children to eat candy before it is inspected for signs of tampering. If the wrapper is torn or looks suspicious caution on the side of safety and dispose of it.

  • Children of any age should be accompanied by a parent if possible. If not, be sure to set firm rules and require a child to carry a cell phone that can be used in the event of an emergency.

  • Plan out a route ahead of time to avoid obstacles and stay within familiar areas.

  • Be sure children stay on the sidewalks and cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

Trick-or-Treating in Our Community
Many communities host their very own trick-or-treat event open to children and families. Continue reading for more information about such events in our community:

  • Bay View--Saturday, October 27 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Milwaukee--Sunday, October 28 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • St. Francis--Sunday, October 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Cudahy--Sunday October 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Oak Creek--Sunday, October 28 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Halloween Events Around the Neighborhood
Not interested in going trick-or-treating, but still want to celebrate Halloween in the neighborhood? Feel free to stop by one of these festive events located close to home.


Creatures and Creators Halloween Party

Saturday, October 27 at 7 p.m.
Stop by the Turner Hall Ballroom to celebrate this ghoulish holiday with a Michael Jackson vs. Prince Dance Party, a Made In Milwaukee Fashion Show, and live art, musicians, and DJs. This event is hosted by Made in Milwaukee and Radio Milwaukee. Doors open at 7 p.m.

 

Click here or call (414) 286-3663 for more information.

Turner Hall Ballroom (MAP)
1040 N. 4th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203

The Alchemist Eye

Now through Saturday, November 3
Watch this theater production done in the style of classic Edgar Allen Poe tales. This twisted story reveals the truth behind Hopkins Manor, as well as the dark powers of the Alchemist Eye.

 

Click here or call (414) 426-4169 for more information.
 

The Alchemist Theatre & Lounge (MAP)

2569 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53207

Little Monster Bash

Saturday, October 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Little ones will want to dance the night away at the museum’s Little Monster Bash Halloween dance and costume party. The event features dinner provided by Noodles & Company, a build-your-own ice cream sundae bar, trick-or-treating at Treat Stops, and goodies galore.

 

Click here or call (414) 390-5437 for more information.
 

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum (MAP)

929 E. Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Not-So-Scary Halloween
Thursday, October 25 through Saturday, October 27
Celebrate the holiday indoors with plenty of fun Halloween activities created especially for young children at the museum’s popular Not-So-Scary Halloween. This event will take place on October 25 and 26 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on October 27 from Noon to 4 p.m.
 

Click here or call (414) 390-5437 for more information.
 

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum (MAP)

929 E. Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Kohl's Art Generation Family Sundays: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Sunday, October 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Learn all about this cultural festivity while taking part in traditional art activities, enjoying Mexican music and dance, and meeting local artists.

 

Click here or call (414) 224-3200 for more information.
 

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)

700 N. Art Museum Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202
 

 

 

Autumn Family Outings

Wisconsinites often take advantage of the natural beauty our state has to offer. In the summer, we can be seen fishing, boating, or swimming in our state's many lakes and rivers, biking on trails, or enjoying a cookout at our local parks. Wisconsin also boasts a wide variety of winter activities, including skating, sledding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. While the options for summer and winter seem endless, what family-friendly activities are available to us during the other in-between seasons?

 

Below is list of great family-friendly activities our state offers during the fall season. While some are located right in our own backyard, others are hosted by communities around the state. Continue reading for more information about these activities, including hayrides, pumpkin-picking, and scenic, colorful drives.

 

Apple-Picking at a Wisconsin Orchard

If you are looking for an outing to a Wisconsin apple orchard this fall, there are a bushel of great options throughout the state. Whether you want to go apple picking, enjoy a scenic autumn hayride, sip warm apple cider, or even decorate caramel apples, Wisconsin's apple orchards have something for everyone. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism recommends five orchards in particular, located in Burlington, Fitchburg, Bayfield, Mukwonago, and Gays Mills.

 

Click here for more information about these apple orchards.
 

Fall Colors in Wisconsin
Autumn in Wisconsin is all about the warm colors on the leaves of our mature trees. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has compiled a list of 11 fall color driving tours guaranteed to put you in a front row seat for Mother Nature’s annual show. These scenic drives are filled with colorful spots to stop at during the autumn season.

 

Click here for more information about these scenic drives.

 

Like the idea of a fall drive, but do not have the time to stray too far from home? Take advantage of the Department of Tourism's listing of the best fall color road trips in Southern Wisconsin.

 

Click here for more information about potential routes.

 

You can also create your own fall drive by utilizing the Department of Tourism's Fall Color Report Web page. This tool shows the colors featured in each area of Wisconsin via an interactive state map.

 

Click here to utilize the Fall Color Report Map.

 

Pumpkins, Hayrides, Corn Mazes, and More

With Halloween just around the corner, it's a great time to take the family pumpkin-picking. While there are not any pumpkin farms in the City of Milwaukee, with just a short drive you can find plenty of these farms. Many even offer other entertainment options, including hayrides and corn mazes.

 

Click here for more information about great Milwaukee-area farms to enjoy.

 

 

 

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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