October 27, 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. 


Compost Your Leaves with Kompost Kids

Happening Now
Fall is in the air and the leaves are starting to drop. Kompost Kids, comprised of all volunteers, would like to take your leaf piles off your hands and use them in their composting endeavors. Acquiring leaves allows Kompost Kids to continue accepting composting donations all year round as they cover fruit and vegetable donations without freezing. Donations in paper bags are preferred, but leaves will be accepted in any fashion. Kompost Kids is located behind Sweet Water Organics. Place donations in the "Brown Source Here" bin located down the gravel path on the corner of Ward and Lincoln Avenues. If you do not have a vehicle, Kompost Kids may be willing to pick up your bagged donation. For more information about Kompost Kids, please CLICK HERE. You can also CLICK HERE for composting guidelines.


Now through November 20

The legendary coach comes home to Wisconsin in this post-Broadway regional premiere production. Although football’s Super Bowl trophy is named for him, few know the real story of Lombardi or his inspirations, his passions and his ability to drive people to achieve more than they ever thought possible. Exploring his relationship with his wife, Marie, and three of his legendary players Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor and Dave Robinson, this family-friendly tribute takes you into the life and times of one of Wisconsin and America’s most inspirational personalities.
CLICK HERE for more information.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater (MAP)
108 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202



Open House at the Depot
October 29 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



Grant Park Fall Weed-Outs

October 29

Help preserve the natural areas and wildlife habitats in our parks by joining the Friends of Grant Park in removing various invasive species. Volunteers will work together to weed-out buckthorn and invasive honeysuckle. Feel free to bring eye protection or pruning shears if you have either. To participate, meet at the Area 1 parking lot (by the tennis courts) in Grant Park. Fall 2011 weed-out dates and times are listed below:

  • October 22 from 9 a.m. to Noon

  • October 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • October 29 from 9 a.m. to Noon

  • October 29 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please RSVP to Don Lawson at (414) 764-0612 so that he can secure sufficient supplies.


Grant Park (MAP)

100 E. Hawthorne Avenue
South Milwaukee, WI 53172



Oak Creek Salvation Army Fall Rummage and Bake Sale
November 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Browse and buy from a variety of individual vendors selling clothing, books, electronics, crafts, baked goods and more. Lunch items will also be available for purchase.


Oak Creek Salvation Army (MAP)

8853 S. Howell Avenue

Oak Creek, WI 53154





































































































































































































































































































































Dear Friend,

Legislation that prioritizes polluters over people and a bill that keeps Wisconsin's youth uninformed about reproductive health are moving forward in the Legislature. Continue reading for more information.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7




Republicans Prioritize Polluters Over People

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Environment, of which I am a member, held a public hearing this past Wednesday on legislation that will prioritize polluters over people by undoing important environmental protections that keep our air clean and our water safe for drinking and recreation.


Over 200 citizens came to testify that maintaining Wisconsin's strong commitment to stewardship is vital to our state's economic well-being and health. The success of many of our state's businesses, including those in agriculture and tourism, heavily rely on the vitality of our natural resources. Protecting our water supply and air quality are also important to safeguard the health of our families. Without adequate protections, our families will be left vulnerable to illnesses caused by harmful contaminants.


If passed, Special Session Senate Bill 24 would have a detrimental impact on communities across Wisconsin. Below is a list of some of the most egregious offenses found in this legislation that threaten our natural resources and families:

  • Ties the hands of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by not allowing follow-up requests for information from permit applicants

  • Encourages DNR permit applicants to submit incomplete or false information since DNR is restricted

  • Gives DNR the authority to issue permits without a public hearing and also eliminates most newspaper pubic notices

  • Undermines the recent Lake Beulah Supreme Court decision on groundwater protections by giving automatic approval of high capacity wells despite possible concerns, including over-pumping and competing users

  • Removes air quality protections, such as requiring industries to model their expected air quality impact to ensure the health of neighbors is not adversely impacted by pollutants they produce

Wisconsin has a long tradition of protecting our natural resources, as they are not just a part of our landscape, but a part of who we are as stewards of this great state. We should be working to pass legislation that protects the health of our families, communities and businesses rather than undoing that which safeguards Wisconsin's precious lands and valuable natural resources for today and tomorrow.


To view a copy of Special Session Senate Bill 24, please CLICK HERE.



Divisive Youth Disinformation Bill Moves Forward

Republicans in the Senate Education Committee rushed to overturn the Healthy Youth Act, ignoring public input and refusing to compromise. This new legislative proposal seeks to deny Wisconsin's young adults vital education information regarding contraceptives and sexually transmitted disease prevention.

My democratic colleagues and I introduced amendments to improve Senate Bill 237. These amendments would have maintained the definition of “medically accurate” found in current law, allowed medical professionals to speak to our children about the facts of reproductive health and their bodies, and require school districts to keep parents informed on the program chosen whether it is abstinence-only, comprehensive sex education or no program at all. Unfortunately all of these amendments were rejected.


Statistics show that comprehensive sex education is valued by the vast majority of Wisconsinites. According to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, approximately 87% of Wisconsin voters support requiring comprehensive sex education instruction that includes information about both abstinence and contraception.


Statistics also show that comprehensive sex education programs, like the Healthy Youth Act, has made a positive impact on our community. According to the Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee's teen birth rate dropped from 52 per 1,000 teens in 2006 to 35.68 per 1,000 in 2010.


The Legislature should be focusing on ensuring that all Wisconsinites, including our young adults, have equal and adequate access to vital information on health care issues, including sexual health, rather than keeping them in the dark.


To view a copy of this legislation, please CLICK HERE.



Increasing Legislative Transparency

I am supporting legislation  that will increase transparency in the Legislature by making open record retention laws applicable to legislators. Currently staff at state agencies are not allowed to dispose of any form of records, including emails, without the consent of the Public Records Board. State agencies are also obligated to keep their records on file for a specified amount of time. This process does not currently apply to legislators, who are instead required to present records if a reasonable request for information is submitted, but are exempt by the board from the requirement to retain records for any disclosed amount of time.

This bill would remove the exclusion of legislators from the record management and preservation program set forth by the Public Records Board. By making legislators’ records and correspondence subject to the retention program, this bill will help to increase the access that the public has to legislators’ communications. This legislation will also make it possible for legislators’ records to be transferred to an optical disk or electronic format. Once these records are transferred to an authorized format they have the same force for evidentiary functions as the original records.


This legislation is a move in the right direction towards ensuring that the doors to government remain open to our neighbors. I will continue to support this and other legislation aimed at creating a more transparent and accountable government.


To view a copy of this bill, please CLICK HERE.



Recognizing October as Farm to School Month

This week I co-sponsored a resolution recognizing October as Farm to School Month. Farm to School programs connect our neighborhood schools to local farms by using locally-grown foods to feed our school’s youth with nutritious food. Research has shown that children in Farm to School programs eat 20% more fruits and vegetables than children in non-participating schools. Teaching children about healthy eating habits, agriculture, and nutrition encourages them to make smarter food choices, which in-turn decreases the their likelihood of experiencing childhood obesity.

Additionally, Farm to School programs save taxpayers money by making our schools more economically efficient. Increased participation in the program results in fewer fluctuation in local farm prices and reduces funds being spent on costly processed foods. Wisconsin farmers also benefit as they are provided access to new markets, increasing economic development in our communities.


To view a copy of this resolution, please CLICK HERE.




Mock Election Shows Long Lines to Vote

The Madison City Clerk’s Office held a simulation earlier this month to determine exactly how much extra time voters will need to spend in line at the polls when once the new voter restrictions are fully implemented in 2012. Such restrictions include:

  • Mandatory presentation of a specified photo ID

  • Signing a poll book

  • Meeting the extended residency requirement

  • Prohibiting the use of corroboration as proof of residence

  • Shortening the time frame for absentee voting at the City Clerk's office

The mock election found that with two election officials at the poll book table to check IDs (the traditional polling place set-up), the wait to vote was significantly longer than traditional voting. Things that were found to shorten lines for voters included:

  • Adding a third election official to check IDs at the poll book table

  • Splitting the poll books into A-L and M-Z.

  • Prompting voters to pull out their ID cards while in line for the poll book

I encourage those involved in conducting elections to hold mock elections similar to the one in Madison to work out any kinks and decrease wait times prior to these new restrictions taking effect. This will help clerks feel more comfortable with their expanded responsibilities and limit confusion for voters on Election Day.



Protecting Our Water Quality

The Great Lakes Caucus met earlier this week to discuss issues of importance to communities like ours that border the great lakes. Some of the issues that were discussed included restoring the Kinnickinnic River, invasive species, and reducing mercury contamination. For more information about the Great Lakes, please CLICK HERE to visit the Wisconsin DNR's Web site.


I also had the opportunity to tour the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), which provides water reclamation and flood management services for about 1.1 million customers in 28 communities in the Greater Milwaukee Area. I appreciate being able to learn more about our local MMSD and their efforts to preserve our environment and protect our drinking water. CLICK HERE for additional information about MMSD.



DOT Releases Hoan Bridge Study

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) released their feasibility study on including a bike and pedestrian lane as part of the Hoan Bridge reconstruction project just a few hours ago. The study includes different construction plans and cost estimates, which can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.


The DOT will be holding a public hearing on these proposals on Monday, November 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the DOT downtown office building located at 1001 West St. Paul Avenue in Milwaukee.


I look forward to learning more about these various bike lane options and hearing what neighbors have to say. In choosing a final project proposal, it is important to keep in mind what the best fit is for the scope and cost of the project, and also what option will ensure safe travel for everybody.




Reminder: Sign Petition to Bike the Hoan

Join thousands of our neighbors in supporting the creation of a bike lane on the Hoan Bridge by signing the Petition to Bike the Hoan. Help us reach our goal of obtaining 1,000 additional signatures by November 1.

You can also feel free to encourage your family, friends and neighbors to show their support by circulating the link for the online petition throughout your community.


The proposed project would be the last major piece to complete a trail network, which runs from Downtown Chicago through Milwaukee and up to Sheboygan. Growing support from the business community illustrates that this final link is an economic tool that could assist our local and state economy.


CLICK HERE to sign the Petition to Bike the Hoan.


Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or thoughts you have on the Hoan Bridge project, including the proposed bicycle and pedestrian lane.


Celebrate Halloween in Our Community

Halloween is fast approaching. This holiday guarantees a fun time for children and adults alike as they dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat around the neighborhood. This year, Halloween falls on a Monday, so most trick-or-treating will take place over the 29th or 30th of October. I am including some trick- or-treat safety tips to ensure that you and your family remain safe as you take part in the Halloween festivities:

  • Only trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods

  • Carry a flashlight after dark

  • Travel in groups

  • Watch for cars when crossing the street, particularly after dark

  • Do not eat any candy without inspecting it for loose wrappings

  • Respect others and their property

I am also including a list of Halloween events taking place in our community that I hope you will be able to attend and enjoy on this festive day:

Neighborhood Trick-or-Treat

  • Bay View Nighttime Trick-or-Treat
    Night on Saturday, October 29 from
    5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Uncas Park Neighborhood Halloween Trick-or- Treat on Saturday, October 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Cudahy Trick-or-Treat on Sunday, October 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • South Milwaukee Trick-or-Treat on Sunday, October 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • St. Francis Trick-or-Treat on Sunday, October 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Oak Creek Trick-or-Treat on Sunday, October 30 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Operation Pumpkin MKE 2011
Saturday, October 22 through Tuesday, November 1

Drive or walk by St. Paul Avenue to view hundreds of lit up Jack O'Lanterns featuring interesting carving creations made by your fellow neighbors. CLICK HERE for additional event information.


Milwaukee Ballet’s Dracula
Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30

Attend this Halloween’s most thrilling adventure as Dracula returns to Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Ballet Company’s talent is highlighted in this monstrous production combining this well-known story with dark and towering scenery, period costumes, dramatic lighting effects and a chilling score performed live by the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. CLICK HERE for showtime and ticket information.

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


Dia de los Muertos Parade
Friday, October 28 at 4 p.m.
Join the Walker's Point Center of the Arts (WPCA) for their second annual Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, parade held in conjunction with their annual Dia de los Muertos art exhibit. The parade will travel from the United Community Center (UCC) to the WPCA, and continue back to the UCC for a performance by Ballet Folklorico Hermanos De Avila. CLICK HERE for more information about this event.

United Community Center (MAP)
1028 S. 9th Street
Milwaukee, WI WI 53204
(414) 384-3100


Riverside Theater Haunted History Tours
Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m.  
Experience spine-tingling reports of spectral activity at the Riverside Theater this Halloween. Those choosing to participate in this paranormal party will enjoy a haunted history tour led by Caper Company’s Haunt Spots investigators, one free tap beer or soda, free pizza, tarot readings by the Tarot Sisters, giveaways and more. Tickets are $25. Costumes are welcome but not required. To buy tickets or get more information, please CLICK HERE.

Riverside Theater (MAP)
116 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 286-3663

Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe
Friday, October 28 through Saturday, November 5 
Watch this World's Stage Theatre Company production of an intimate tale of Poe's downward spiral into madness. In this original production, Edgar Allan Poe stands alone in the flickering darkness of his mind, trying desperately to convince himself - and the audience - that he is not mad. The spell he weaves brings together four highly theatrical adaptations of "The Raven," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Pit and the Pendulum," and "The Tell-Tale Heart." Tickets are $16, or $12 for students, and available online or at the door before the night's performance (cash or check only). For more information or to purchase tickets for the show, please CLICK HERE.

Marian Center for Non-Profits (MAP)

3211 S. Lake Drive

St. Francis, WI 53235


Ghouls & Spirits Adult Trick-or-Treat
Saturday, October 29 at 5:30 p.m.
Explore a city's worth of ghost stories through the Third Ward, along Brady Street and down Wisconsin Avenue on this three-hour seasonal bus tour. Enjoy appetizers and wine while exploring a historic B&B in the haunted Concordia neighborhood, dine on chicken mole and jambalaya in a haunted bordello while sipping your choice of pumpkin punch or seasonal craft beer, and delve into dessert and more at a local brewery. Plus, hear from a local paranormal society's lead investigator as they share their investigation experiences with you. Food, drinks, guided fun and round-trip transportation are included with each $70 ticket. Everyone must be at least 21 to participate. CLICK HERE to book a tour or call (800)979-3370.


See You in the Neighborhood

I created a new survey that I will be distributing to neighbors asking them about various issues that are important to them, our community and our state. I have started distributing the survey door-to-door throughout our community and will continue doing so for about the next month. To return the survey, simply fold it, tape it, and put a stamp on it.


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. I will also be putting an electronic copy of this survey on my Web site within the next week.


I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues. Hope to see you in the neighborhood soon!




Know Your Voting Rights

Scott Walker and Republican legislators recently enacted some of the most restrictive ID requirements for voters in the country. While they have been working to silence Wisconsin's voters, I have been working hard to keep Wisconsin's voters informed of their rights. I have created a simple handout answering some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding Wisconsin's new voter restrictions.


To view this handout please CLICK HERE or visit my Web site, You can also CLICK HERE to view the same PDF in Spanish.




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