I’m told the Grant Park Beer Garden is doing quite well this year, and if you haven’t been there — or want to make a return trip — today is your last day.
The garden is open until 10 p.m. at the Brown Pavilion at Picnic Area 5. Details and the full Milwaukee County Parks Traveling Beer Gardens schedule here.
And while you’re there, why not try a ParkLife Honey Lager? It’s a new beer from Sprecher Brewing Co. and Beer Capitol with a charity component, with a portion of proceeds going to support the Milwaukee Parks Foundation. It’s part of the parks’ new Love Your Parks initiative.
New cases continue to be reported, with 199 total cases reported in the city since the pandemic began — 36 since July 1. Seven people have died.
You can see updated city, county and state data and resources here, and they are posted three times a week on the city Facebook page. The Milwaukee County dashboard is especially informative.
Reopening continues …
Live music returns to the South Milwaukee Downtown Market starting on Thursday, July 23, with a performance from Rohn Larson. Details on upcoming shows here.
The South Milwaukee Public Library has extended its hours, and allows walk-in pickups of holds. No browsing allowed. Details here. From the library: Walk in the front door. Tell us what you need. We will take care of your needs! Exit through the side door. (If we are at capacity, you can wait outside or come back later.) Practice social distancing. Masks are strongly recommended. Masks are required for computer help (minimum of 3 minutes).
The South Milwaukee School District Fitness Center has reopened for up to 12 users each for the fitness center and track (no access to the gym). Restrooms are available, but changing rooms, lockers and showers are not. Masks are required upon entering and exiting the facility, and should be worn “at your comfort” in workout areas. Users are asked to call ahead to confirm availability and make an appointment, if necessary. For more information, visit here.
The South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center is working on a plan to reopen as well. Meanwhile, the South Milwaukee Youth Theatre Virtual Theater Academy is now underway. Details on this innovative approach here.
It’s time to get back to more regular blogging, and Facebook.
In coming days, you’ll see me make more regular posts on South Milwaukee Blog, a return to a couple of old features and some new content.
I’ll be starting with a coronavirus update on Sunday, and more regular updates on COVID-19 in the days, weeks, and months ahead, as we reopen while learning to live with a virus that remains a significant threat to public health.
You’ll also see a return of Business Spotlight features, with a special emphasis on our growing number of women- and minority-owned businesses in the City of South Milwaukee.
I’ll be doing more to put the spotlight on interesting people in our community doing interesting things. More to come on that.
And I’ll be bringing back the “What’s for Sale?” feature from years past (taking a look at some of the gems on the local real estate market), as well as doing more regular “Headlines” posts, sharing links to coverage of our city from other news outlets.
This is in addition to the regular city government, police, fire, school and local sports news you have come to expect since the blog was launched in 2009. (We recently topped 1.5 million page views on the platform.)
And I’ll be posting on my mayoral Facebook page again. Like it here.
Thanks for reading, and for your continued support as I do my best to keep people informed on what’s happening South Milwaukee and the South Shore. This has been and will always be a priority for me.
If you haven’t subscribed yet, do so on the left-hand side of this page, so you can receive an email every time I post.
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At 4:12pm SMPD responded to shoplifter at Dollar General. The shoplifter fled the store in a vehicle. The shoplifter’s vehicle subsequently collided with a car and a house at the intersection of 15th Ave and Milwaukee Ave. The 53 year old suspect is in custody. Injured parties were conveyed for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. This case will be reviewed by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office for charges.
The South Milwaukee Fire Department responded. Here is their report …
At approximately 4:15 PM, the South Milwaukee Fire and Police Departments responded to the intersection of 15th and Milwaukee Avenues for a reported three car crash. One vehicle struck a traffic signal and then traveled on to strike the building on the north west corner causing a large hole in the foundation. One person had to be extricated from this vehicle with the Jaws of Life. In total, four patients were transported to Froedtert Hospital for their injuries and one other driver was uninjured and refused transport. The South Milwaukee Police Department is currently investigating the crash. The SMFD was assisted by the Oak Creek Fire Department and Cudahy Fire Department.
Two downtown South Milwaukee buildings will get facelifts with the help of the Bucyrus Downtown Revitalization Grant.
The grant review committee met last week and recommended $30,000 grants for 912 Milwaukee Ave. (James Moran/Moran’s Pub) and 1003 Milwaukee Ave., recently purchased by Kimberly Mackenzie and Troy Kinunen. The South Milwaukee Common Council approved the grant awards at its meeting on Tuesday, June 30.
The Moran’s project is a continuation of their significant interior remodel started a couple months ago. The goal of the exterior remodel is a look similar to Slainte Pub & Grub in Oakland, Calif.
Plans presented include a replacement of the first-floor facade, including windows, an entrance door and wall materials. New paint colors and signage are also included in the proposal.
Mackenzie and Kinunen plan to restore the facade to its historic appearance, including tuckpointing, tile roof repair, new storefront windows and door, composite wall covering and trim. Interior improvements include replacement of the building’s electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems and finishes to the first-floor commercial space, for a future tenant.
I’m excited to see these continued improvements in our downtown.
For Moran, it’s the latest investment in the future for his now 25-year-old second-generation family business.
For Mackenzie and Kinunen, it’s not their first project in the city, and hopefully not their last. In addition to the amazing remodel of the former St. Mary’s Hall, they also purchased and remodeled the property at 723 Milwaukee Ave. to make way for the Military Connection collectibles store, which owner Craig Luther is now expanding even more — and are nearing completion on the renovation of a home two doors to the west, at Eighth and Milwaukee Ave.
With these two projects, the Bucyrus grant program ends after supporting five projects with more than $100,000 in matching grants, including remodels to the 907 Milwaukee (now home to Gecko Leatherworks and Serendipitous Designs and Gifts), China Chef and Mari’s Flowers.
It was money well spent. You can see for yourself, recognizing this is just the latest example of the continued momentum in our city center.
The downtown streetscaping project is well underway, with South Milwaukee-based EK Construction continuing with phase 2 sidewalk improvements after July 4th.
Work on the Bucyrus Club is full speed ahead, with the building now vacant, cleaned out and ready for a complete remodel. The project team — including future tenants Skyline Catering and the South Milwaukee Industrial Museum, and Bucyrus Foundation President Tim Sullivan — and Zimmerman Architectural Studios are planning what’s next, with construction starting in coming months and an opening next summer.
And further east on Milwaukee, an ad hoc committee is in place to begin the new-look public space on 11th and Madison with landscape architects Saiki Design and the community at large. Construction is expected to begin in 2021, backed by $500,000 from the Bucyrus Foundation.
Progress is real, and building. And we’re just getting started.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the South Milwaukee Beautification Committee Community Cleanup on Saturday!
While it was great to see people step up to remove trash, I hope this becomes a community commitment throughout the year.
My ask: Next time you’re on a walk, or visit Grant Park, especially the beach or Seven Bridges, please take a garbage bag with you, and fill it up. In that way, we can lead dozens of neighborhood cleanups, one bag at a time.
“Wonder & Wander along the Water” – Explore the Oak Creek
Join in on all the fun of Suburban Soles, next Sunday, June 28th as we explore the Oak Creek with EPA watershed specialists Jan Marsh. Wander along the Oak Creek water course west of the lagoon as we discuss new concepts and details about the inventory findings in the draft restoration plan for the oak creek watershed being done by the Southeastern Wisconsin Planning Commission. Hot off the press info from credible sources. Discover the future of South Milwaukee’s hidden gem and the ecology of the beautiful Oak Creek ecosystem,
Please be reminded that although this event is outdoors, we ask that all participants wear a mask and keep a minimum of 6 feet distancing for the safety and piece of mind of all those attending. Masks will be available upon request at the event, for a $1 suggested donation. Participation will be limited.
We want to be sure to offer free meals to our students who depend on the schools for meals. Our School Nutrition Services Department will be providing “grab and go” lunches along with an additional breakfast offering that is shelf stable for the following morning for all of our students.
The meals will be free of charge and be provided at the following sites at the following times on Meals can be picked up at any location regardless of the school you attend. Our preferred method of delivery is drive up. All visitors should leave the school property once the lunch is received.
Locations & Hours
High School: 12 – 12:45pm (Door #29)
Lakeview: 11:30am – 12pm (Door #1) *changed from door 11
Just before the pandemic, we lost Harold Swanson, a South Milwaukee resident who captained the 1952 Rocket state championship basketball team before leaving a lasting mark on local tennis and in the classroom.
Here is the proclamation I shared at a small graveside service today.
WHEREAS, Harold Otto Swanson was born in South Milwaukee on April 20, 1935, to Carl and Marion Swanson. Harold went to school in South Milwaukee, graduating from South Milwaukee High School in 1953. During his time at the high school, Harold captained the basketball team which won the Wisconsin state championship in 1952; and
WHEREAS, after graduating, Harold attended the University of Minnesota, earning letters in basketball and tennis for four years. After graduation from college, Harold began his teaching career in Minnesota for two years before returning to Milwaukee. He and Kathryn Lindall married on June 9, 1962, and would raise three children, Kristen, Thor and Erik; and
WHEREAS, after his return to Milwaukee, Harold served as the first tennis pro at the Western Tennis Club in Elm Grove for 10 years. He then taught at South Milwaukee Middle School before joining the faculty at The Prairie School in Racine, where he coached boys’ and girls’ tennis for decades, leaving a strong legacy on and off the court; and
WHEREAS, Harold led Prairie tennis teams to six state championships and individual athletes to over 50 state recognitions. In 2013, Harold was recognized as the Division II Coach of the Year by the Wisconsin Tennis Coaches’ Association, a distinction conferred by his peers. In 2014, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Tennis Coaches’ Hall of Fame. Harold’s career as a coach was based on his drive to work with students and young adults, mentoring them to be the best they could be of themselves and seeking to achieve personal growth and advancement through hard work and commitment. To Harold, trophies and “wins” were secondary to the experience of doing your best; and
WHEREAS, Swanny’s love of tennis is equal to his passion for working with students. For 46 years, Harold was a social studies teacher at Prairie, demonstrating tremendous patience and commitment, individualizing his approach to learning by organizing after-school study sessions and developing games to help students prepare for exams; and
WHEREAS, Harold passed away on March 2, 2020, leaving a legacy worthy of praise.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Mayor Erik Brooks and the Common Council of the City of South Milwaukee, do hereby declare June 22, 2020, as “Harold Otto Swanson Day” in the City of South Milwaukee in recognition of a life well lived and in his honor.
It was a beautiful Thursday at the South Milwaukee Downtown Market, which has reopened safely and with a really nice mix of vendors.
Thank you to the organizers for working with the Health Department on a reopening strategy, and thank you to the vendors who have given the market, and South Milwaukee, a chance in these difficult times.
Check it out for yourself every Thursday, 3 to 7 p.m.