Back to Blogging: Catching Up

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Back from a week at Mille Lac Lakes in north central Minnesota (and this awesome big walleye statue in Garrison, Minn.), and catching up on a few things …

  • Elections. Of course, it as election week in Wisconsin. Find local primary results here. Turnout (36 percent of registered voters) was terrific, as usual: Fifty-two percent voted in the Democratic primary; 38 percent in the Republican primary. Winners in South Milwaukee included Leah Vukmir (U.S. Senate) in the Republican primary, and Tony Evers (governor), Mandela Barnes (lieutenant governor), Douglas La Follette (secretary of state), Sarah Godlewski (state treasurer), Gwen Moore (U.S. House) and Richard Schmidt (Milwaukee County sheriff) in the Democratic primary.
  • Night Out. The South Milwaukee Police Department held another successful Community Night Out … check out some pictures on their Facebook page.
  • Police Report. The department also published its weekly crime summary on its Facebook page, and this week’s update includes this item: “At 7:39 pm on August 18th, a 14 year old South Milwaukee boy and a 14 year old Cudahy boy reported being confronted by a group of individuals who robbed them of a cellphone, phone chargers, and other personal property at gunpoint while walking along railroad tracks behind WalMart in the 200 Block of North Chicago Avenue.  Some of the suspects were acquaintances of the victims.  Through an investigation, officers identified and arrested four individuals, a 17 year old South Milwaukee boy, a 16 year old South Milwaukee boy, a 17 year old Franklin boy, and a 15 year old Milwaukee girl who all admitted involvement. The weapon used was reported to be a BB gun and all four individuals will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office for charges.”
  • Tragic loss. South Milwaukee laid to rest a local sports legend last week: Mike Stojsavljevic. As it so beautifully stated in his obituary: “Stoj always believed in being a part of something larger. He loved sports and believed sports developed a lifetime of memories. Triumphs and defeats stay with you long after a season is over. Kids will one day forget who was in their math class, but their team they will never forget. Mike was honored to be a part of your team. His season may have ended but his legacy will live on.” We could only hope to leave such an imprint on life, and our community. Rest in peace, Mike.
  • Ready for some football? The South Milwaukee football team opened its 2018 season with a 43-13 loss to a really good Burlington team. Next up for the Rockets: Friday at Brown Deer.
  • Legion Post’s future. NOW wrote about the financial realities of the building South Milwaukee American Legion Post 27 calls home.

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Sunday, August 26: Still Looking for Teams for Kickball for a Cure!

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Just a week until Kickball for a Cure, and we are still looking for a couple more teams.

To reserve a spot in the double-elimination tournament, click here.

Teams must consist of at least nine people — preferred with at least three being kids ages 9 and up, but not required. We will do our best to match teams up by ability. No need to share a roster — just make sure your team shows up on game day.

Games start at 11 a.m. on August 26, all at South Milwaukee Little League Park. Cost is just $50 per team, payable the day of the event. All proceeds benefit JDRF.

And even if you are not playing, be sure to stop by for some food, raffles, music, and family fun. It should be a great day, for a great cause!

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It’s Primary Election Day: Vote!

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Today is Election Day! Please do your constitutional duty and vote.

There are contested Democratic primaries for Wisconsin governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and treasurer; the U.S. House of Representatives; and Milwaukee County Sheriff. On the Republican side, there are contested primaries for governor, secretary of state and treasurer; U.S. Senate, and the House.

Also, please note: In a partisan primary, you may vote in only one party’s primary, as chosen on the ballot. If you choose a party, votes cast in that party will be counted. Votes cast in any other party will not be counted. If you do not choose a party, and you vote in more than one party, no votes will be counted.

  • Here is a sample ballot.
  • Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • First District voters vote at Divine Mercy School, 695 College Ave.
  • Second District voters vote at Lakeview School, 711 Marion Ave.
  • Third District voters vote at City Hall, 2424 15th Ave.
  • Fourth District voters vote at Rawson Elementary, 1410 Rawson Ave.
  • Not sure what district you live in? Here is a map.
  • Please remember to bring photo ID.
  • For information on voter registration, polling locations, and to request an absentee ballot for future elections, visit MyVote.

Check out more details on the city’s elections web page … and look for more information on local results on the city’s website tonight or Wednesday morning.

And while you’re out, please thank a pollworker. These dedicated citizens bring democracy to life through their too-often thankless work.

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Taking a Week Off from Blogging …

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Other than a scheduled post or two, or to handle some significant breaking news, I’ll be taking a break from the blog.

Thanks for reading, and helping drive the more than 1.2 million page views this site has attracted since it launched in 2009.

I’ll be back soon! Until then, enjoy a picture of the amazing South Milwaukee sky on Thursday, Aug. 9. It cast our city in a beautiful light.

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A Word on Bird Scooters

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You may have seen today’s NOW story on the potential of Bird Scooters coming to South Milwaukee.

Check it out here. From it …

“We want to be at the front end of multimodal transportation,” Mayor Erik Brooks said. “I don’t mind being first or among the first to do this.”

The Bird scooters were recently dropped off in various locations around Milwaukee and received mixed reactions with some residents flocking to them and others opposed.

The bigger issue: The scooters are illegal to use in Wisconsin.

Bird agreed to remove the scooters from Milwaukee in early August following weeks of discussions by city officials as well as some residents showing support for the new mode of transportation. However, they could be back if laws in Wisconsin are changed.

When asked if the issues happening in Milwaukee hatched the plan in South Milwaukee, Brooks said he and city officials were following the issue closely and it did lead to the idea to look into bringing them, and electric scooters in general, to the city.

Brooks said city officials have been talking with representatives from Bird to work on a possible managed rollout of the scooters. “It has to be a managed rollout,” Brooks said. “They can’t just be dumping scooters in South Milwaukee like they did in Milwaukee.”

However, that rollout might have to wait a while; the city will likely hold off until action is taken at the state level to legalize them.

I want to stress that last point. We discussed this at Tuesday’s common council meeting, and that is where we left the issue — needing more clarity from the state before we look deeper at the potential of bringing these to South Milwaukee. We would also need to repeal a local ordinance that disallows motorized scooters.

I don’t mind being an early adopter, once the state provides its guidance and likely after Milwaukee decides on its potential rollout. But this has to be done the right way, as a partnership with Bird to ensure the proper written agreements, rules, regulations and expectations are in place before the first scooter hits the streets.  The South Milwaukee Common Council was clear with that feedback this week, and I agree.

So, we wait, and continue to do our homework.

I also plan to use this time to discuss the issue with leaders of surrounding cities and Milwaukee County to gauge their interest. I’d be hesitant to put South Milwaukee on an “island” in allowing Bird Scooters; they will likely get more use if riders could connect across communities, including Milwaukee … not have to stop riding at city lines.

As we dive into these and other details — from law enforcement to parking to liability issues — this much is becoming increasingly clear: These types of rideshare alternatives are the future, and the future is now. The question is, will we be prepared to innovate?

I want South Milwaukee to be ready to roll when the time is right.

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Headlines: Local Woman’s Death Attributed to Infection from Puppy Nip

Today’s headline roundup includes a tragic story of a South Milwaukee woman dying after a puppy nip, positive press for a couple local businesses, and more …

Also, the South Milwaukee Police Department has published its weekly crime summary on its Facebook page.

Please keep the family of Sharon Larson in your thoughts and prayers.

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School District of South Milwaukee: Notice of School Board Opening

From the South Milwaukee School District …

The School Board for the School District of South Milwaukee has an available opening. Letters of interest, including why you are interested in being a School Board member, are due to the District Office on Thursday, September 13, 2018, by 4:00 pm. Letters may be mailed or dropped off to 901 15th Avenue, South Milwaukee, WI 53172, attention Jessica Hess.

School Board interviews with candidates will be held on or about Wednesday, September 19, 2018, during an open meeting. It is anticipated that the selected candidate will be sworn into the School Board on October 3, 2018. The term will run through spring 2019, at which time there will be a formal election process for a standard three-year term.

The candidate will replace Pat Bordak, who is stepping down from the board after serving 13 years. You can see more details in the proclamation in this post, which declared July 11, 2018, as Patricia Bordak Day in the South Milwaukee School District.

I want to personally wish Pat well. She is a strong advocate for our first-class local schools, and a respected leader in this community. Her passion for education and South Milwaukee can’t be overstated. Good luck, Pat. You will be missed.

I hope there are number of strong candidates to replace her. Please consider stepping up!

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