Category Archives: Oak Creek

Take Your Kids Fishing Saturday at the Mill Pond

The Friends of the Mill Pond and Oak Creek are hosting a children’s fishing clinic this Saturday (tomorrow) at the Mill Pond.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with hands-on instruction around knot tying, safe use of fishing equipment and proper techniques.

Families are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment, although the Friends also have poles available.

Children age 15 and under are welcome, with adult supervision for young children. Pre-registration is not required, so come on by!

Check out the press release about the fishing clinics – being held at 11 Milwaukee County Parks ponds – for more information.

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Filed under Mill Pond, Milwaukee County, Oak Creek, Parks, South Milwaukee

Reminder: Watershed Plan Kickoff Meeting Set for April 12

Oak Creek Watershed Future Logo - 1

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March 28, 2016 · 5:00 pm

County Board: Two Vie For District 8 Seat

Two people are running to replace Supervisor Patricia Jursik on the Milwaukee County Board.

The two candidates for the District 8 seat are …

  • Tony Bloom, 1428 Michigan Ave. in South Milwaukee
  • David Sartori, 6000 S. Buckhorn Ave. #215 in Cudahy

Cudahy’s Kevin Fech, who had filed a declaration of candidacy for the seat, informed me today he will not be running.

The deadline for nomination signatures was 5 p.m. today.

You can see a list of all 2016 spring candidates on the Milwaukee County Election Commission website here. And here is Milwaukee Journal Sentinel coverage on contested races.

Election day is Tuesday, April 5.

Jursik announced in November she would not seek another term.

Look for more information as the race heats up this winter.

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Filed under 2016 Elections, Cudahy, Milwaukee County, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee

Milwaukee Avenue Fire One Of Three In The South Shore Since Thursday

Downtown fire 1 Downtown fire 2

Downtown fire 3

It was a busy Saturday for area fire departments, including a blaze in downtown South Milwaukee tonight.

More on the South Milwaukee fire from Fire Chief Joe Knitter …

At approximately 5:23 this evening, SMFD units responded to a report of flames coming from the roof of a building at 10th & Milwaukee near Parkway Floral.  As units exited the station, they could see a column of smoke rising into the sky from the area.  A Working Still response was requested by Capt. Sibley, bringing in our mutual aid neighbors.  Upon arrival of SMFD units, flames and heavy smoke could be seen coming from the roof area.  An interior size up showed fire involving the siding materials and wood framing of an light/air shaft located between the west wall of the building at 1003 Milwaukee Avenue and the east wall of the building that houses the Board Game Barrister. Hoselines were stretched into the apartment that the shaft served and the fire was extinguished.  A hoseline was also taken to the roof via our aerial ladder to extinguish some areas where the fire had extended.  Once again, our crews did an excellent job deploying the hoselines and controlling/extinguishing the fire in a very short time.  The light/air shaft was heavily damaged with moderate damage to the adjoining apartment and the attic area directly about the involved apartment.  Two families were displaced and the Red Cross was notified for their services.  The fire is currently under investigation. No injuries were reported.

And more on an Oak Creek fire early Saturday morning …

Oak Creek fire 1 Oak Creek fire 2

At 4:13 this morning, SMFD Truck 1671 and Chief 16 responded to the City of Oak Creek for a report of a fire in a residential building. OCFD units encountered significant fire involvement of the attic of the building upon their arrival and, after assuring that all occupants were accounted for, assumed a defensive fire attack. Truck 1671 was positioned on the C/D corner and provided their aerial stream and eventually went to the interior to conduct a thorough search and extinguish hot spots. The fire was escalated to a MABAS Box Alarm bringing in units from throughout Milwaukee County. No injuries were reported. The cause is under investigation.

There was also an apartment fire in Cudahy on Friday.

Thank you to our firefighters for their 24/7 commitment to keeping us safe … and please keep the families displaced by these fires in your thoughts and prayers.

For more photos — and for more regular and timely updates on news from around the area — be sure to like my mayoral Facebook page. I often update Facebook first. 

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Filed under Cudahy, Fire, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee

Caterpillar To Close Oak Creek Facility, Shift Jobs To South Milwaukee

Caterpillar announced to its employees on Monday that it will close sell its Oak Creek corporate building and move between 200 and 250 jobs back to South Milwaukee in the first half of 2016.

These are salaried professional workers in finance, human resources, legal, marketing, etc. — many folks who had been working in South Milwaukee prior to the opening of the Oak Creek mining headquarters in the former Midwest Airlines building about five years ago.

The move is not a surprise, given Cat’s announcement last month of up to 10,000 global job cuts and other consolidations coming in light of a continuing slumping mining industry. (Competitor Joy Global also announced job cuts last week.)

While it’s hard to call this great news — certainly when taking a broader perspective with economic development — it does strengthen Cat’s presence in downtown South Milwaukee and should help area businesses.

Cat also continues with its plans to invest in its manufacturing presence here.

A company spokesman tells me that the South Milwaukee plant — now in the company’s Surface Mining and Technology group — will be focusing on rope shovels and draglines going forward, and Caterpillar continues to plan investments in the facility in the next three years to meet eventual demand. Cat had previously announced the closure of 250,000 square feet of manufacturing space, while investing in the space that remains.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Filed under Caterpillar, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee

Honoring Three Terrific Local Businesses, Including Our Farmers’ Market

Market committee Market 1

The South Shore Chamber of Commerce has announced it is honoring three local businesses at its Oct. 29 banquet — including one particularly near and dear to my heart: the South Milwaukee Downtown Market.

It, PDQ Tooling of St. Francis and Jen’s Sweet Treats of Cudahy will be honored at the annual awards dinner and silent auction at the Pulaski Inn.

Congratulations to all three businesses, especially our farmers’ market and the people who make it happen.

I am proud to have played a part in starting the market seven seasons ago, and I could not have predicted how big it has become. It’s humbling, and exciting, to see how far we’ve come … and where we’re headed.

We have one of the best markets in the region. Let’s all celebrate that.

Tickets for the dinner are still available for $40 each, or tables of eight for $320, and can be purchased through the chamber. The proceeds of silent auction will be for the SSCC Scholarship Fund to benefit South Shore seniors pursuing higher education. Silent auction donations can be delivered to The K-Ranch, BMO Harris Bank – Cudahy Branch, or by contacting the chamber 483-8615 for pick-up.

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Filed under Cudahy, Local Business, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, St. Francis

South Shore Option 4.0: Economic Development Event Set For Oct. 14

There is lots of economic development happening in the South Shore, and much more to come.

Local leaders (me included) will have a chance to tell that story at the fourth-annual South Shore Option event set for Wednesday, October 14, at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.

The meeting — presented by the South Shore Chamber of Commerce — begins at 6 p.m.

It will feature presentations from representatives from South Milwaukee, Cudahy, Oak Creek and St. Francis, including summaries of recent developments, a look at what’s on the horizon and development opportunities.

Thanks to the chamber for driving this event, and to Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik for creating the concept and leading in executing the first several South Shore Option gatherings.

We need to be more vocal about economic development in the South Shore. We have a good story to tell, and it’s getting better as it’s being written, especially in South Milwaukee. I’m excited to be a part of it.

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Filed under Cudahy, Events, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, South Milwaukee PAC, St. Francis

Beach Walk Saturday; Beach, Oak Creek Cleanups Also Set

Beach Walk flyer

Quick reminder about a few upcoming events in our parks …

  • First, check out the Grant Park Beach Walk Saturday night. There is a flyer above.
  • Then, on Sept. 19, it’s the beach cleanup event. Learn more here
  • And on October 10, it’s an Oak Creek cleanup. More details from the Friends of the Mill Pond and Oak Creek Watercourse …

Set your calendar for Saturday October 10th, 2015 – we’ll be cleaning the Oak Creek from North Chicago Avenue west to Rawson Avenue.  (IF we have enough people we could continue to Nicholson Avenue)

We’ll be meeting at the North end of the SM High School parking lot. at 8:00 am and ending at 12:00 noon.  My car is a tan Hyundai Sonata with the license plate WUCK – this is where you’ll sign in, get a safety vest, bags, gloves and water.  Once everyone has signed in, we’ll take some pictures and give instructions.  We ask that adults be present with your groups, bring EXTRA CLOTHES, SHOES AND SOCKS in case you get wet or fall in.  We do have some boots that can be borrowed of if you have wader’s please bring them.  Milwaukee County Parts will pick up the bags along the route.

FOMP will host the luncheon at the Warming House after the cleanup.

 

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Filed under Grant Park, Oak Creek, Oak Creek watershed, Park, South Milwaukee

Beech Street Bridge Reopening By November 15

With the start of school fast approaching, the Beech Street foot bridge over Oak Creek has been on many minds of late.

Here is the latest update from Milwaukee County: The bridge, removed in May because it was deemed unsafe, is expected to be rebuilt and reopened for foot traffic by Nov. 15.

I appreciate the Parks Department tackling this project before the snow flies, and while I initially hoped for completion in time for the start of school, I quickly realized this was unrealistic. Four months for planning, designing and building a significant project like this – one that will stand the test of time as a key connection between the northwest side of town and school campuses — is very reasonable.

Of course, it’s unlikely this would be done at all in 2015 without Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik, who successfully pushed for emergency funding in a resolution approved by the county board in June. So we should all thank Pat for driving that – and thank her and the administration for all of the investments happening in South Milwaukee’s parks this year and beyond.

The best part: Things are just getting started.

With more than 20% of our land mass comprised of parks, enhancing these public spaces is critical for our city. Those enhancements are clearly happening, and will continue to happen if we all work together toward a more promising future for our public spaces. 

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Filed under Oak Creek, Parks, South Milwaukee

Responding To The Saloon Fire In Oak Creek

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From South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joe Knitter …

At approximate 6:38PM this evening (July 4), the SMFD ladder truck and I responded to a report of flames and smoke coming from The Saloon at 120 East Rawson Avenue in Oak Creek.  Upon their arrival, OCFD units encountered a well-involved fire in the main bar area and attic of the structure.  SMFD truck 1671 was assigned to set up for possible defensive operations from the Howell Avenue side and I was assigned the Operations Chief role, coordinating fireground operations alongside the OCFD Battalion Chief who was in Command. The building suffered extensive damage and the cause is still under investigation by OCFD and OCPD.

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Filed under Fire, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee

More Headlines

Check out these South Shore headlines …

NOW has published a new police blotter.

Also, County Supervisor Pat Jursik has published a new news update, with information on the Cudahy Sportsman’s Club, an honor for a Cudahy senior and a warning about feeding birds in area parks.

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Filed under Cudahy, Headlines, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee

Planning For The Future Of The Oak Creek Watershed

Few issues inspire as much passion in South Milwaukee as the Mill Pond. And rightfully so.

This is an iconic piece of our city’s history, an environmental and recreational — and, at one time, economic — resource that has touched thousands of lives over decades.

Ice skating, hot chocolate at the Warming House, first kisses behind the island. Graduation photos near the waterfall. Boating. Fishing. Many of you reading this I am sure have lifelong memories of the Mill Pond and what it used to be.

But this once-proud institution has fallen on hard times. It needs some love, attention and, ultimately, significant investment.

It also needs an effort, I’d argue, that goes well beyond the Mill Pond.

That is why I’m proud to say we’re making progress toward an Oak Creek Watershed study – a plan that takes a holistic look at the 28 square miles of land that ultimately drains into Oak Creek.

Yes, this is about much more than the Mill Pond.

As you can see in this map, the watershed encompasses parts of South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Franklin, Greenfield, Cudahy and Milwaukee, including the southern part of Mitchell International Airport. Of course, Milwaukee County is a key player here, as so much of the watershed in South Milwaukee is parkland, as is the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. And so are the passionate and dedicated local groups who have made the Oak Creek watercourse and the Mill Pond their mission: the Friends of the Mill Pond and Restore the Lagoon. Both should get credit for the work they’ve done to invest in watercourse and Mill Pond health.

All are partners in this effort. All are welcome at the table.

Earlier this month, Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik and I organized a meeting of these and other key watershed stakeholders to begin dialog around doing an Oak Creek watershed study. The meeting provided the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission — which would conduct the study in partnership with a third-party group focused on education and outreach – with feedback on just what the planning effort should entail. Now, SEWRPC will be coming back to us in coming weeks with a scope of work and cost estimates for what will likely be a two-year study.

Indeed, these restoration plans are no small undertaking.

They are comprehensive efforts that take a scientific approach to watershed health, ultimately delivering clear recommendations around the environmental, aesthetic, engineering and recreational enhancements we need to make to Oak Creek.

Such a comprehensive watershed plan hasn’t been done in almost 30 years, and I’d argue we can not — nor should not — spend significant dollars in improving the health and vibrance of this waterway without having the scientific data and community input that this process will yield. A plan will also give clear recommendations and cost estimates for projects up and down the creek, and then we can move ahead with the heavy lifting necessary to make improvements.

Of course, this approach will include a detailed look at options for the Mill Pond and the dam. It has to.

Should the dam stay? Should it go? Is there some middle ground? And, if it does stay, what might that area look like? My vision: Ice skating in the winter, paddle boats and kayaks in the summer, buying ice cream and hot chocolate at the Warming House, more accessible and higher quality fishing, nature trails, a clear connection with downtown. But that’s just my vision.

We need a collaborative approach here – one informed by what the study. Doing it this way will ensure we know how improvements to one part of the creek impact the entire watershed, the pond and dam included. It will force answers to some hard questions. It will get us thinking about the broader picture, about how upstream changes might impact the creek downstream, and vice versa.

Then, once we’ve begun to answer those questions, the real work starts.

Plans can’t sit on shelves and collect dust. We’ve all seen too many of those. This plan, any plan, needs the right people to act on its recommendations. It takes political will. That is why I promise to partner with other stakeholders to take the results of the study and push to bring its recommendations to life through investment in the watershed. We can’t go it alone. Nor should we.

It won’t be easy. It won’t be cheap. It won’t happen overnight.

But this approach will ultimately deliver what’s best for the entire watershed.

Supervisor Jursik started this work several years ago, and I give her significant credit for doing so. She is a passionate advocate for the South Shore and continues to provide strong leadership here.

Going forward, I’m proud to join her in playing a role to move us ahead … ultimately helping lead us to a more promising future for the entire Oak Creek Watershed, South Milwaukee included.

Stay tuned.

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Filed under Mill Pond, Milwaukee County, Oak Creek, Parks, South Milwaukee

Drexel Town Square Update

Big progress being made in this transformative Oak Creek development …

Check out photos from the Business Journal here.

I’m excited about this development. Projects like this will lift the entire South Shore, including our fair city.

I can’t wait to see it open.

(Here is the Drexel Town Square website.)

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Fitness Challenge Kickoff Event Set For Saturday

There is still plenty of time to sign up for the South Suburban Mayors’ Fitness Challenge.

Please do so here … and consider stopping by the Challenge kickoff event at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Oak Creek East Middle School, 9330 S. Shepard Ave.

Even if you can’t take part, there are PLENTY of other opportunities to get fit this fall. The Challenge Facebook page has more information on upcoming events, including joining specials for South Shore YMCA, a weight loss workshop in Oak Creek and a Fall Zumbathon for Human Concerns at 1 p.m. on Oct. 11 at Blakewood School.

I’ll keep you posted on the blog with regular updates, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments or concerns. I’m looking forward to getting fit!

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Filed under Community, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee

Remembering Terry Peterson

I didn’t know Terry, but I am told she was a longtime South Milwaukee resident and a South Milwaukee High School graduate.

She certainly left a lasting impression, and her obituary guest book tells an amazing story. And here is the story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Please keep her friends and family in your prayers.

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Filed under Community, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee