Monthly Archives: January 2012

Jursik Publishes February E-Newsletter And Other Local Headlines Of Interest

South Shore Supervisor Pat Jursik has published her latest E-news update, and it includes information on a public hearing for the Lake Parkway extension project, transit changes, Family Care and Grant Park improvements.

Check it out here.

And check out these other local headlines of interest:

Also, South Milwaukee NOW has published a new police blotter, including information on a snowblower theft on Lakeview Avenue, tire slashings on Sycamore Avenue and an underage drinking party on Marshall Avenue.

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Celebrating South Milwaukee’s Baseball And Football Coach … And His Wife

South Milwaukee NOW has a great story on South Milwaukee High School baseball and football coach John Galewski and his wife Sandy — who both will be honored by the  Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association in February.

John will be inducted into the WBCA Hall of Fame. Sandy is the organization’s Woman of the Year.

Check out the story here. From it:

“Throughout the 25 years, the most dependable person I had was her,” said John, who nominated his wife in October. “She picks up any job I need her to do. The only thing I always knew from year to year was I’d always get help in any area I needed from her.

“It was something where I didn’t know if she’d win or not, but at least she’d find out I was thinking of her.”

John and Sandi’s relationship has always included baseball, softball or coaching. For eight years of their marriage, John played softball five days a week and on the weekends from April to October, many of those years when the couple had young children.

At times, he was coaching as many as three high school sports, including girls basketball and football.

Even today, John is South Milwaukee High School’s head football and baseball coach. But never once did Sandi issue an ultimatum and make John choose between her and athletics or coaching. As she puts it, how could she? The family loved traveling around on the weekends, taking mini-vacations to watch John play softball, and coaching, well, that brought out a special side of her husband.

“Once he started coaching, you could tell it was his passion,” Sandi said. “The passion he had for it, and how many lives of kids he’s changed, kids that didn’t have that fatherly figure … I just saw how much he loved it, and I wouldn’t want anyone to tell me I can’t do something that I loved.”

Congratulations to John and Sandy. Well deserved!

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Filed under Schools, Sports

Drexel Avenue Construction Update

Work will begin this spring on the new Interstate 94 interchange at Drexel Avenue — with additional work to widen Drexel to four lanes between 27th Street and the freeway beginning next month.

That’s according to this story in Oak Creek Patch. From it:

Oak Creek officials have said the expanded Drexel Avenue and new interchange will greatly help efforts to create economic development and jobs, though it will certainly be a huge change for residents in the area.

The interchange is expected to bring new development near the freeway. City officials believe it will also aid efforts to redevelop the former Delphi site, at the corner of Drexel and Howell.

It will also help South Milwaukee, providing another link to our city from I-94.

Here is more information on the West Drexel project.

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South Milwaukee Sports And Activities Update

Here is the latest South Milwaukee sports and activities update from Ante Udovicic and the South Milwaukee School District …

Milwaukee Wave Senior Boys Soccer All-Star Game

Rocket standout senior Jake Eaton will be playing in the 4th Annual Wave HS Senior All-Star game this Sunday, January 29th, following the Wave game at the US Cellular Arena that begins at 3:00pm. The Rockets have been represented in all 4 all-star games, so the tradition continues with Jake.

Congratulations on the honor Jake, and have fun!!

BOYS BASKETBALL

Good luck tonight to the Rocket boys basketball team as they take their 10-4 record into a matchup with the 11-3 Cavaliers from St. Thomas More. If you aren’t going to cheer on the girls team at St. Thomas More, come on out and cheer on the boys at the SM Sullivan Gymnasium tonight at 7:30pm!

The Rockets are only a game and half out of first-place and have had some great results lately behind some stellar play from senior Austin Stueck (32 pts and 12 reb in the Rockets 60-52 win over NB Eisenhower on 1/13), senior Dominic Stanley (9-10 from the free throw line and 16 pts against Franklin on Tuesday) and the aforementioned Jake Eaton (14 pts in the Rockets 56-53 win over Franklin on Tuesday). Junior Evan Marlowe contributed a season-high of 18 pts in the 1/20 loss at Greendale.

ROCKET BASKETBALL ON TIME WARNER CABLE

Next Friday, February 3rd, the Rockets will take on the 9-3 Vikings of New Berlin West at 7:35pm. This game will be shown live on TWC Sports 32 (ch1332 in HD, ch32 in standard) at 7:30pm. We hope you will come to the game and cheer on the Rockets and set your DVR’s as well. If you do come on out, please try and wear some Red Rocket wear. Let’s have the gym look like a sea of RED!

POMS

Congratulations to the Pom squads on their performance last Saturday at Hartford HS.

The JV team place 2nd for their Pom routine. The Varsity girls placed 1st for their Pom routine and 3rd for the their Jazz routine. In addition, juniors Madi Calteaux and Nicole Kowalski placed 3rd for their duet, while junior Mary Berger took 6th in her solo performance.

Best of luck to the varsity Rockettes as they travel to Watertown HS on Saturday to compete in Regionals!

GIRLS BASKETBALL

The Rockets are 8-3 on the season, with their only 3 losses coming against teams with a combined record of 35-4, including a tough 40-39 defeat at 11-2 Oconomowoc on Tuesday. Junior Emily Pusheck led the Rockets with 13 pts, 8 reb and 4 steals, while junior Riley Budde had 12 pts and 8 rebs.

The Rockets travel to St. Thomas More tonight. Their next home game will be Tuesday, 1/31 at 7:30pm against Woodland Blue Conference leader Pewaukee. Come on out and support them if you can.

BOYS SWIMMING & DIVING

Congratulations to the boys swim team for taking 1st out of 8 with a score of 190 at the Cudahy Packer relays on Wednesday, and for taking  1st out of 8 with a score of 398 at the James Garcia Relays at Milwaukee Hamilton on 1/19.

At Cudahy, the 200 medley relay of Jake Polakowski, Andrew O’Neill, Michael O’Neill, and Mark Czarnezki took first (1:56).  The 900 free relay with James Janka, Bart Brzezicki, Brian Rewolinski, and Noah Gear took first (10:15).  The 300 Backstroke Relay with Dan Wimmer, Joey Fischer, Louis Christensen, and Jake Polakowski took first (3:23).  The 300 Breaststroke relay with Brian Hofer, Andrew O’Neill, Noah Gear, and Dan Wimmer took first (3:40).  Our diving relay took first with Michael O’Neill and Brian Hofer.  The 300 butterfly relay took first with Brian Rewolinski, Michael O’Neill, Brian Hofer, and Joey Fischer (3:33).  The 200 free relay with Kody Kaszuba, Louis Christensen, James Janka, and Bart Brzezicki took third (1:50).  The 400 IM Relay took first with Mark Czarnezki, Noah Gear, Andrew O’Neill, and Dan Wimmer (4:38).  The 100 Medley relay took first with Louis Christensen, James Janka, Kody Kaszuba, and Bart Brzezicki(1:01).  The last relay, our 100 free relay with Joey Fischer, Brian Rewolinski, Mark Czarnezki, andJake Polakowski received second place (48.04).

Great job Rockets and good luck at the Woodland Conference Meet at Greenfield HS on Saturday, February 4th!

WRESTLING

The Rockets are fresh off of a 57-13 dual meet win against Cudahy/St.Francis on Wednesday. The JV wrestlers are competing at Cudahy HS on Saturday while the varsity is off. The next competition for the Rockets will be Saturday, February 4th at Greenfield HS for the Woodland Conference Tournament.

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Tommy Thompson Invests In South Milwaukee

Tommy Thompson has put his money behind South Milwaukee.

Among the municipal bonds he has invested in are some from our fair city, according to this story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And here is a more detailed story on the results of the former governor and current Senate candidate’s financial disclosure this week.

From it:

In the interview, Thompson said his actual net worth is roughly $13 million. He provided a letter from his accountant saying he paid an effective federal tax rate of 31.1% in 2010 (36.1% when state taxes are factored in), noting the controversy over GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who paid less than 15% on multimillion-dollar earnings. Thompson said he would release his tax returns if he becomes a U.S. senator but did not promise to do so during the campaign.

A review of Thompson’s stock holdings, contained in the 63-page report, shows Thompson holds health care-related stocks, energy stocks, stocks in Wisconsin companies, municipal bonds, including several in Wisconsin, and even some holdings that any investor would consider blue-chip stocks.

If you need a refresher on municipal bonds, this information from the Securities and Exchange Commission is sound.

 

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Filed under 2012 Elections, Community

Even More Local Headlines

Check out these headlines of note from around the South Shore:

Also, state Sen. Chris Larson has published a new Larson Report. The headline: The State of Wisconsin is Divided.

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Big Profit Jump For Caterpillar … And A Strong 2012 Could Be In Store

Caterpillar had a strong 2011, and there’s optimism for the new year. Is that great news for South Milwaukee?

Check out the Wall Street Journal story on Cat’s annual earnings here. From it:

Caterpillar said it is racing to expand capacity for mining equipment and has such a big backlog that it won’t be able to deliver on some orders for large mining trucks until 2014. Whether those delays lead to a loss of business depends on how fast Caterpillar and its competitors can expand production, Edward Rapp, Caterpillar’s chief financial officer, said in an interview. “We are absolutely committed to hitting goals” for higher capacity, he added.

“The orders are there,” said Lawrence De Maria, an analyst for brokerage firm Robert W. Baird. “Now they just have to get capacity up to meet that demand.” The company expects to spend about $4 billion on capital investments in 2012, about half of which will be in the U.S.

Let’s hope some of that investment comes in South Milwaukee.

(Check out similar stories in Bloomberg, the New York Times, and Reuters.)

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Why Honadel Supports The Mining Bill

Update: Not surprisingly, the Assembly passed the bill on a party line vote. We’ll see what the Senate does. 

South Milwaukee Rep. Mark Honadel has an edidtorial in Oak Creek Patch explaining his support for the mining reform bill making its way through the legislature.

Check it out here. From it:

The bill to be considered by the State Assembly this week reforms the process by establishing clear and achievable standards to issue a permit for an iron ore mine. We can pass legislation that forms a reasonable process for active mining while still protecting our environment.

The result of encouraging the mining industry to come back to Wisconsin will mean thousands of jobs and new investment in our state. Jobs will be created around the state from Iron and Ashland Counties where the mine would be located to southeastern Wisconsin where mining equipment is manufactured. 

The bill is expected to go to an Assembly vote today (and will surely pass). I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, I’d like to know what you think. Post your comments below!

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New Look To South Milwaukee Bus Service: Route 15 Changes Take Effect Sunday

The changes to Route 15 — South Milwaukee’s only bus line — take effect Sunday morning.

As you recall, a new Route 52 will replace some of the 15’s service in the South Shore, including South Milwaukee.

  • Route 52 will now operate on Pennsylvania and 15th Avenues, looping on to Rawson, 10th, Chicago, Drexel Boulevard and 17th.
  • Route 15 will continue to operate down Chicago Avenue and make a loop starting at Madison Avenue, continuing down 5th, west on Columbia and back north on Chicago.

This Milwaukee County Transit System publication describes the new routes in more detail and includes a color map. This document lists all of the new Route 15/52 bus stop locations.

You can also learn more about the system-wide changes in this Journal Sentinel story and on this MCTS web page

Of course, I’d like your thoughts on these changes. Post your comments below!

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Filed under Milwaukee County, Transportation

January 25, 2011

“Call me when you land. Christian has diabetes.”

And so, with a text message, began a pretty incredible year helping our young son deal with an illness that will forever change how he lives his life – but not necessarily shorten it.

Thankfully, we caught Christian’s type 1 diabetes pretty early, even though his symptoms (looking back at it now) were classic signs of undiagnosed diabetes. Extreme thirst, frequent urination, a general malaise – we noticed all of these things for four or four five days before the doctor diagnosed him.

Of course, we tried to rationalize them away as anything but serious.

“All kids wet the bed.”

“He was just playing outside in the snow. Of course he’s thirsty.”

“Maybe he has a cold. You drink a lot when you have a cold.”

“He’s just tired from running around so much.”

We should have known better … but, like many, we simply didn’t know enough about type 1 diabetes to raise any red flags. Diabetes is only for the overweight and sedentary, right? That was our misguided mindset.

Thankfully, Christian already had a doctor appointment on the calendar for an ear infection follow-up, so we kept it and told the nurse about his symptoms then.

The doctor ordered a urine test. The results changed our lives on January 25, 2011. One year ago today.

The year since has been a mix of emotions for us as parents.

Fear of the newly diagnosed disease and its implications.

Anger at why Christian had been stricken with this seemingly at random (there isn’t too much known as to why someone contracts type 1 diabetes).

Depression over the gravity of it all.

Relief when learning more about just how manageable diabetes is – and how it need not prevent Christian from living life as he otherwise would have on January 24, 2011 B.D. (Before Diabetes).

Sadness when remembering the days before diabetes.

Admiration for all the people who have helped us deal with diabetes in the past year, from the health care professionals at Children’s Hospital to his teachers and staff at Rawson Elementary to our family and friends.

Amazement at how well Christian has dealt with the illness, including his nonchalance at getting poked upwards of 10 times a day and his acceptance of changes to his eating habits.

Joy at watching him live his life like any 7-year-old.

Indeed, Christian is the hero in this story. His courage is inspiring.

In so many ways, Christian still leads the life of a typical young boy.

He competes hard in sports — including soccer, Little League and basketball – both on the field and in our living room. He does great at school, at the top of his class in reading and math. He loves the Brewers, Bucks, Badgers, Packers, Panthers, Golden Eagles, and seemingly dozens of other random sports teams, not to mention monster trucks and NASCAR, He has lots of friends. He loves to laugh, yet he cries when his favorite teams lose. He hits his sister, and hugs her too.

In other words, he is that wonderful mix of innocence and precociousness that you find in any 7-year-old, even if that maturity is multiplied because of the illness he deals with.

Yes, diabetes forces you to grow up quickly. Too quickly.

*****

I won’t get too much into the complexities of type 1 diabetes here, and I’ve pasted some links below for those who are interested.

Simply, type 1 diabetes causes a person’s pancreas to produce little or no insulin. So we have become Christian’s “pancreas on the outside” in the past year – and will until he’s old enough to take more ownership of the illness. He’ll have this for life.

Day to day, this means blood sugar checks at wakeup and bedtime, before every meal and snack and at other times throughout the day. Each check is a finger prick – drawing a small blood sample that we run through a small device that tells us his current blood sugar.

His normal range is now 80 to 150. Most of the time, he’s in that range. Sometimes, he’s high, and we inject him with insulin to bring it down. (At diagnosis, for a frame of reference, he was 479.) Sometimes, he’s low, and we give him food to bring up. In all, Christian gets at least four shots of insulin each day – before every meal and bedtime. He gets more if he snacks and if he’s high.

In other words, our lives have become a numbers game. We religiously track Christian’s carbohydrate intake and dose him with insulin accordingly, no exceptions, using a scale that seemingly always changes and cross-multiplication skills that we thought we’d left in our dust in high school.

“So, how were Christian’s blood sugars today?” That’s typically how Sarah and I start every phone conversation these days.

“How many carbs are in that?” “How much should we dose him?” Those are other questions we ask throughout the day, as we determine how much insulin to give Christian at meal time.

While we deal with this daily, we also never forget how high the stakes are. The long-term complications of high blood sugars are real – from amputations to vision loss to organ failure. The short-term implications of lows are just as real. A severely low blood sugar can kill.

That is why we are always watching him closely for signs of lows and asking him, “Christian, do you feel wobbly?” Wobbly – that’s how he describes his low feeling.

Thankfully, he has gotten much better at identifying his symptoms – part of that unfortunate maturity. At the same time, he occasionally rebels over his diet, and who can blame him?

Gone are the days of Skittles and juice boxes, unless he’s low, of course. And no more of the “reward candy” we had grown so accustomed to giving him. We’ve also had to rethink Halloween, Thanksgiving and other carb-heavy holidays.

For the most part, Christian has embraced all of this, and thank God for that.  Still, diabetes has robbed him of the one thing that should define every child’s life: spontaneity.

Kids should be able to sprint to the ice cream truck for a cold treat, or have that second piece of pizza for diner, without thinking twice. Shouldn’t they? (Well, ice cream and pizza are full of carbs.)

A 7-year-old shouldn’t have to think twice before playing hard in the backyard on a hot summer day. (Well, exercise can lower your blood sugar, so we have to watch him closer.)

Shouldn’t all kids be able to have a piece of candy after being particularly nice to their younger sister? (Well, he can, but only after a shot.)

Yes, diabetes forces you to think twice. And that is my biggest source of anger over this illness. It’s the reason I still sometimes ask, “Why Christian? Why us?”

*****

So this has been our life the past year, 365 days that began with one text message. I was a thousand miles away when I received it, on a business trip to Texas, and never felt so far away.

Sarah and I occasionally wistfully look back to the days before diabetes, but we have grudgingly accepted our new reality, as has Christian. We’ve had to.

We’ve also decided to educate others as much as possible about type 1 diabetes, clearing up any misconceptions about the illness. The job continues … as does our own education.

One blessing of the past year has been getting the chance to meet some of the people affected by this illness, from the families faced with the same challenges we face to the advocates working toward to improve the quality of life of diabetes sufferers – and ultimately toward a cure.

We pray every day for that, and there is real progress being made. Please join us in those prayers.

In the meantime, I ask you to learn more about diabetes and consider supporting the incredible efforts out there to help kids like Christian.

Nearly 26 million people in the United States have diabetes. Only 5% of those people have type 1 diabetes. Ours is just one story, and this is just one pulpit – my small opportunity to shine the light on an illness we all could stand to learn more about.

For Christian.

To learn more about type 1 diabetes, check out the Juvenile Diabetes Research FoundationAmerican Diabetes Association and the Diabetes Research Institute. And please consider joining us on Christian’s Crew during the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Zoo in September. Send me an email if you’re interested in walking with or sponsoring our team.

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More South Milwaukee-Area Headlines

Check out these headlines from South Milwaukee and around the South Shore:

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Woman Found Dead In Lake Michigan Off Oak Creek

Update: The woman has been identified as 22-year-old Brittany Finley of South Milwaukee, according to the Journal Sentinel.

A woman’s body was found Tuesday in Lake Michigan near 5th Avenue and Bender Park in Oak Creek.

Check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story here. From it:

About 10:29 a.m., firefighters and police officers responded to a report of a body washed up on shore near Bender Park.

Officers asked plant operators to open the gate to a closed fishing pier on the north end of the property shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday so that they could get access to the lakeshore, said Scott Royer, general manager for Veolia Water Milwaukee. Veolia Water operates the South Shore and Jones Island treatment plants for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Here is Fox 6 coverage.

I’ve been told the woman is from South Milwaukee, and that there is no evidence of foul play. Per the Journal Sentinel story, the woman appeared to have died from exposure.

I’ll keep you posted when I learn more.

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Filed under Fire, Oak Creek

Welcome To South Milwaukee, Educators Credit Union

Educators Credit Union recently opened a new branch in South Milwaukee at the former home of Kyle Credit Union.

As you’ll recall, Educators merged with Kyle, 1201 Marquette Ave., in a deal effective Jan. 1.

Learn more about Educators here and here, and here is a list of Educators locations. South Milwaukee is the 17th.

Welcome to South Milwaukee!

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New South Milwaukee Police Blotter And Other Local Headlines

South Milwaukee NOW has published a new South Shore police blotter.

Among the items reported to police in the past few weeks were a break-in on Blakewood Avenue, the theft of a laptop computer from a Willowcrest resident, a Craigslist paycheck scam and a bar fight and chase that started at Pat’s Oak Manor.

Check it out here.

And check out these other local headlines:

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Exploring Wisconsin’s New Voter Photo ID Law … In South Milwaukee

I was able to attend Thursday’s voter photo identification law information session at South Milwaukee’s City Hall, and I was glad I did.

I learned quite a bit from the presentation from the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Of course, the most-publicized major impact of the law is probably its most controversial: Voters must show a photo ID in order to vote beginning this year. And all voters must sign a poll list before being issued a ballot.

Other mandates, however, were more of a surprise to me. Among them:

  • The residency requirement — the time someone must live at their current address before voting — has changed from 10 days to 28 consecutive days.
  • Voter registration is no longer a year-round option. Registration now “closes” for a short window — from 5 p.m. on the Friday before election day to the day of the day of the election — for each election. This allows for clerks’ offices to prepare their voter lists. Registration then reopens at the polls.
  • Voters will no longer be able to select a straight-party ticket. Instead, each candidate must be selected individually.
  • Absentee voting is also being changed. The window for in-person absentee voting is shrinking, as it now begins the third Monday before the election and ends at 5 p.m. on the Friday before election day. Photo ID must be provided. Ballots received by mail will be made available sooner.

In the end, I support the new law, which will clearly bring some major changes to how we vote in Wisconsin. The new requirements are reasonable and provide good safeguards to further protect the integrity of the vote.

But I also have this message: Be patient at the polls.

The ID and signature requirements will slow down the voting process, no question about it. Tests done by the GAB showed it took at least 20 seconds per voter to accomplish these tasks — and when you multiply that by hundreds, if not thousands, of voters that you’ll see during high-turnout elections like the upcoming presidential primary and gubernatorial recall and it’s significant.

South Milwaukee poll workers — who comprised most of the approximately 30 people in attendance on Thursday, as the meeting was presented by the city clerk’s office — do their best, but there is a learning curve for them, too, with the new voting rules. Please keep that in mind.

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Filed under 2012 Elections