June 21, 2012
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.
Packer Fans from
Come see the world's first (and only) Science Fiction Football Musical
Comedy. This family-friendly musical comedy follows the exploits of Door
County Packer Fan and apple farmer Harvey Keister. Keister is called
upon by a group of Packer aliens to save their planet from the evil
Space Bears. Marge, his Chicago Bears-loving wife, fears for his sanity.
Packer Fans is even filled with songs that refer to the storied
CLICK HERE or call (414) 273-7206 for more information or to
Mazel Tov! A Celebration of Jewish Weddings
through Tuesday, July 31
Description: Standing under the chuppah. Breaking the glass. Circle Dancing. These familiar traditions enliven the Jewish wedding. Many of the vibrant and joyful customs date back centuries. While some of these traditions are still upheld today, younger generations have incorporated new customs reflective of their contemporary lives. Drawing on the museum's collection and objects borrowed from the community, this exhibit will explore the mores, symbolic artifacts, and celebration unique to the Jewish wedding. CLICK HERE or call (414) 390-5730 for more information.
Anniversary Summerfest Tribute Exhibit
E-Waste Collection Event
Date: Sat., June 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Description: The School District of Cudahy and DP Electronic Recycling are hosting this event that allows neighbors to recycle anything that plugs into the wall or runs on batteries, including appliances. Keeping these appliances out of our landfills is not only good for the environment, but it also good for the health of our friends, families, and neighbors. This event is open to the public and free of charge. CLICK HERE to view a brochure for the event.
Cudahy High School (MAP)
4950 S. Lake Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110
Date: Sat., June 23 from Noon to Midnight
Garden District Community Farmer's Market
Date: Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. beginning June 23 and ending October 20
The Garden District Neighborhood Association is pleased to announce it
will begin hosting a Farmer’s Market each Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
beginning June 23 and ending October 20. The market will be held at
their new site located at 6th Street and Norwich and adjacent to
the beautiful community gardens. Vendors will offer farm produce, prepared
foods, and homemade goods at a total of 66 spaces.
for more information about this event.
Schlitz Park Miler
Date: Tues., June 26 at 5:30 p.m.
Looking for a refreshing way to start the day? Join a Lakeshore State
Park Naturalist on the shores of Lake Michigan, for a nature story and
activity. Themes will vary weekly. This program is appropriate for
children ages three to six, accompanied by an adult over 16. The group
will meet at the north end of the park by the Lakeshore State Park sign.
Call (414) 274-4281 for more information.
The tides of change are upon us this summer. Therefore, this week's newsletter will focus on change in a number of areas including the State Senate, higher education, Wisconsin's natural landscape, and more.
As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have about our community or our state.
Change Comes Slowly in the Legislature
The official vote canvass in Racine showed that John Lehman beat incumbent Van Wanggaard by 834 votes, or 1.2%. Following the official vote canvass, Wanggaard requested a recount this past Friday.
As required by law, the Wisconsin
Government Accountability Board issued an order this past Monday
requiring the Racine County Board of Canvassers to start its recount at
9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20. All of the 21st Senate District is located
within Racine County. The canvassing board is required to complete the
canvass and submit results to the Board within 13 calendar days of the
Board’s order. Because that date lands on Sunday, July 1, the deadline
I look forward to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle and hope that Senate Republicans recognize the need to accept the election results so that Legislative activities can resume. We have been presented with a valuable opportunity to experience true compromise, or both sides reaching a middle ground. A number of legislators have started requesting that the governor call a special session to address the areas of greatest concern in our state. It is my hope that through committee work and this potential special session, that we will be able to work together to get Wisconsin moving forward again.
Wisconsin has been blessed with smooth transitions of power and I am confident that Republican Senate leaders will step aside to allow a renewed balance in Wisconsin government.
Tuition Increases the Trend in Wisconsin
Following a recent University of
Wisconsin Board of Regents meeting in Milwaukee, it was decided that
students at state colleges will once again see their tuition increased.
With a vote of 17-1, the Regents approved UW System President Kevin
Reilly’s recommended 5.5% tuition hike for the 2012-2013 school year.
This tuition hike will affect all of the systems 13 4-year universities
and 13 2-year colleges. Further, students should expect to see their
annual tuition increase by $250 for 2-year colleges, $328-422 for 4-year
universities, and nearly $700 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For the first time in Wisconsin's history, tuition and fees for in-state
students will exceed $10,000.
The recent biennial budget cut
approximately $315 million from higher education, shifting even more of
the financial burden to students and their parents. UW System President
Kevin Reilly suggested that such drastic cuts have created financial
havoc for the system and without this tuition hike there would be larger
and fewer classes making it take longer for students to obtain a degree
while paying more in the process. The steep tuition hike is only
projected to make up for about one-third of the budget cuts.
The rising cost of tuition is creating
a significant hurdle for Wisconsin's youth seeking to continue their
studies at an institution for higher learning. The changing trend of
lowering state funding and rising tuition plays a significant role in
increasing student debt for technical college or university graduates,
or can even deter prospective students from attending such an
institution all together. According to a recent Wall Street Journal
article, U.S. student loan debt reached $1 trillion this year, with
UW-Milwaukee students averaging around $29,000 in debt upon graduating.
Obtaining some form of higher education is becoming more expected of Wisconsin's workers. Therefore, it is important that Wisconsin is able to provide its future workers with affordable education. Regrettably, at 26%, Wisconsin is below the national average of 28% for the number of college degree holders. If Wisconsin is unable to build and preserve an educated, skilled workforce, it could have devastating long-term consequences on the overall economic health of our state.
As a member of the UW Taskforce for
Restructuring, I will be working hard to help make sure that our
colleges remain renowned, world-class institutions. It is essential that
our state continues to support its first-rate universities in order to
attract the brightest students to Wisconsin, as this will help encourage
businesses to relocate to our state to create jobs. We need to stop
looking at funding education as a frivolous expense, and instead view it
for what it really is--an important investment that will undeniably
create a stronger, more prosperous future for all of Wisconsin.
Next Community Meeting
I encourage you to stop by my next
town hall listening session. I will be hosting this community meeting
with Rep. Jon Richards and Alderman Nik Kovac on Milwaukee's East Side
at the Urban Ecology Center on Thursday, June 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This is a great opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have about
our community with us and your fellow
A special thank you to everyone that
attended the Milwaukee Bike Tour, Mobile Listening Session, and Oak
Creek Town Hall meeting. It was encouraging to see so many of our
neighbors stop by to share their thoughts on a wide variety of community
and state issues. The thoughtful comments and questions are greatly
appreciated. Hearing your perspective on issues that will have a
significant impact on our community is crucial as we work together to
get Wisconsin moving forward.
June is Invasive Species Awareness Month
This June marks Wisconsin’s 7th Annual
Invasive Species Awareness Month. When non-native plants, animals, or
pathogens rapidly take over a new location and alter the ecosystem, we
consider them to be an invasive species. These species are a major
threat to Wisconsin’s lakes, rivers, and natural landscape.
It is everyone’s job to help prevent the spread of invasive species across Wisconsin. Below are some tips to ensure that your actions are part of the solution, not the problem.
Tips for Boaters, Paddlers, and Anglers
The main way aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil spread to new waters is often by hitching a ride on the boats and trailers of the people who enjoy the water the most. Aquatic invasive plants and animals can also be introduced into lakes and streams through accidental and sometimes intentional releases. Remember these tips next time you are out on the water:
Tips for Campers, Gardeners, and Landowners
Our woods, prairies and wetlands are part of our legacy. Whether you take to the woods or just enjoy your own backyard, there are simple steps you can take to prevent the spread of terrestrial invasive species. Continue reading for helpful tips for campers, gardeners, and landowners:
Helping Our Local Communities
Given the increasing budget cuts to shared revenue, many of our local neighborhood associations have stepped up to the plate to combat invasive species in our community. Many host annual events, such as cattail pulls or garlic mustard weed outs, aimed at bringing neighbors together to target invasive species growing in our parks. If you are interested in helping with future events, please contact your area neighborhood association or park "friends" group for additional information.
June is LBGT Pride Month
In an effort to take a stand against
discrimination towards those in the LGBT community, to celebrate diversity in
Wisconsin and nationally, and to remember the 1969 Stonewall Riots in
Manhattan, LGBT Pride Month is celebrated each year in June.
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 have heard that there will no longer be extensions available for individuals struggling to find work that are currently receiving unemployment assistance. Is this true?
A: Last week, the U.S. Department of
Labor notified Wisconsin that our state is no longer eligible for the
federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation Tier 3 program because
Wisconsin's unemployment rate has dropped below 7%. As of June 23, 2012,
Tier 3 will be closed to new participants, and the state will drop to
the Tier 2 program. Wisconsin's displaced workers that exhaust their
Tier 2 aid after June 23, 2012, will no longer be able to move into Tier
3 as a result of this change to federal eligibility requirements. Only
Wisconsinites already receiving Tier 3 compensation on or before June
23, 2012, will continue to be eligible for the program until December
29, 2012, when the program expires under federal law.
Created in June 2008, Emergency
Unemployment Compensation is a federally funded program that provides
assistance to individuals who have already exhausted their regular state
benefits. This program is one of two unemployment compensation extension
programs in Wisconsin. The other, the Extended Benefits program, is
available to individuals who have exhausted regular state unemployment
aid during periods of high unemployment.
Neighbors currently receiving regular unemployment insurance, can continue receiving this support until their eligibility ends. Regular state assistance lasts a maximum of 26 weeks. Under the new federal change, once Wisconsinites exhaust regular state aid after December 29, 2012, they will no longer be eligible for further unemployment insurance compensation, such as Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
The Department of Workforce Development will notify the affected individuals when their aid is exhausted or when there is a major change to an unemployment insurance extension program. If Wisconsin becomes eligible for additional resources in the future, the Department will likewise notify individuals automatically.
With these changes, comes an obvious question, despite Wisconsin lagging behind the rest of the nation in job creation, how has its unemployment rate fallen below 7%? According to the Department of Labor Statistics, the department that calculates the unemployment rate every month, only individuals without a job who have tried to find work in the past four weeks are considered unemployed. For example, people who ceased searching for a job because they have given up after struggling for too long with no success in this downtrodden economy are not factored into our unemployment rate. This means that while Wisconsin is struggling to create jobs, in contrast the unemployment rate can continue to improve as more and more individuals deplete their unemployment insurance compensation or cease searching for jobs.
Did You Know...
Many of us are familiar with the Wisconsin's progressive tradition that fosters constant improvement and change in government. But did you know that one of the father's of this movement was Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette, a Republican who served as a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and Wisconsin Governor?
La Follette supported measures that instituted direct primary elections, broke up monopolies, preserved the state's forests, protected workers' rights, defended small farmers, and regulated lobbying to end patronage politics. La Follette even supported the growth of unions as a check on the power of large corporations dominating the nation's economy.
Happy 4th of July!
The anniversary of our nation's Independence Day is Wednesday, July 4. 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.
If you are looking for a way to show your patriotism for our country or state, flags are available for purchase through the Wisconsin State Capitol. A 3'x5' nylon United States flag costs $13.00, while a 3'x5' nylon Wisconsin State flag is $16.00. Only checks are accepted and should be made payable to the State of Wisconsin. Orders will be fulfilled by my office once a check and request form are received.
Click here for more information, including a flag order form available
on my Web site.
Summerfest to Begin Next Week
Starting next week, our community will
be hosting the beloved Summerfest music festival, which runs from June
27 through July 8. This annual event will be held at Henry Maier
Festival Park, a location boasting 75 acres along Lake Michigan in
beautiful downtown Milwaukee. The famous Marcus Amphitheater will be one
of 11 stages that will be used to present live music day and night to
music lovers of all genres with over 700 bands performing. In addition
to live music, festival-goers can enjoy over 40 diverse food and
beverage vendors, four unique marketplaces, interactive exhibits,
family-focused entertainment and activities, and the infamous “Big Bang”
fireworks on opening day.
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.
Whether you are an avid music lover, or just want to spend time outdoors with friends and family, our community boasts a number of free summer concert series that everyone can enjoy.
Chill on the Hill
Tuesdays This Summer
Stop by this local music concert series on Tuesday nights this summer at Humboldt Park. Opening acts start at 6 p.m. with main acts running from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Bay View Neighborhood Association operates the concert series in partnership with the Milwaukee County Parks, with the support of numerous local sponsors, including area restaurants, vendors, and organizations.
Humboldt Park (MAP)
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Jazz in the Park
Thursdays This Summer
This free, outdoor summer music series features an eclectic lineup of jazz, big band, funk, R&B, reggae, blues, and more. Performers come from across town or across the country. Concerts take place Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. now through September 6 in Cathedral Square Park. Music starts at 6 p.m., but stop by early for Jazz in the Park Happy Hour and get great drink specials. Food will also be available for purchase. All proceeds from sales at Jazz in the Park help offset the high costs of production and ensure the continued success of the festival. Please do your part to support this event.
Cathedral Square Park (MAP)
Oak Creek Summer Concert Series
Various Wednesdays This Summer
Do not forget to bring your blanket and chairs to this annual outdoor concert event. Local vendors will provide produce, baked goods, flowers, and arts and crafts from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Neighborhood musicians will perform from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Oak Creek Community Center Grounds (MAP)
Oak Creek, WI 53154
St. Francis Arts Council Summer Concert Series
Every Other Wednesday This Summer
Attend this free concert series this summer in St. Francis. Concessions will be available for purchase.
Milt Vretenar Municipal Park (MAP)
4230 S. Kirkwood Avenue
St. Francis, WI 53235
Update on IDs for Voters
March 2012, 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 was ruled unconstitutional and two
separate Circuit Court judges ordered government officials to halt
requiring voters to present a valid photo ID when casting their vote. 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.
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
I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues!
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