Category Archives: South Milwaukee

Preserving History, and Making it Accessible for Future Generations

Our history story is authentic, and uniquely South Milwaukee’s. We as a city need to do a better job telling it.

That’s why I was excited to hear about a new public-private partnership the South Milwaukee Historical Society, South Milwaukee Library and a local business leader (Jay Benkowski and Benkowski Builders) — one that you can also help with.

From the society …

One hundred and twelve rolls of 35 mm microfilm covering South Milwaukee newspapers from 1892 to 2006 are currently unusable because of a microfilm reader/printer failure.

The South Milwaukee Historical Society and the South Milwaukee Library have begun a project to copy the film digitally that will make research of the newspaper files much easier.

A local businessman, Jay Benkowski and his firm Benkowski Properties have generously agreed to match all new donations toward this project dollar for dollar. We hope to reach a total of $15,000 dollars, which would allow completion of the project.

Newspapers are considered a primary source of historical information about people and events. Their preservation and access is very important to researchers both today and in the future. Please help in achieving our goal of making these papers easily researchable.

We are a 501(c)3 Organization. Donations over $250 will be acknowledged by letter.

Send checks to: South Milwaukee Historical Society, 717 Milwaukee Ave., South Milwaukee, WI 53172

Thanks, Jay, for stepping up to support this effort!

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Shepherd Express Readers Show Some Love for South Milwaukee Businesses

The Shepherd Express “Best Of” awards were announced this week, and once again South Milwaukee is well represented.

Congratulations to all of these locally based runners up!

  • Caribbean Restaurant: Island Jam
  • Fine Jewelry: C3 Designs
  • Flower Shop: Parkway Floral
  • New Retail Shop: Hollyville
  • Bratwurst and Sausage: Milwaukee Sausage Company
  • Bar to Watch Soccer and Sports Bar: Moran’s Pub

Also, congratulations to Educators Credit Union! They won three awards, for “best financial institution for getting a business loan … home mortgage … and checking account.” And Associated Bank won for “Best Bank.”

As for politicians, State Sen. Chris Larson won for “Best State Legislator,” and Steven Shea was a runner-up for “Best County Supervisor.”

Here is the full list of winners.

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Music-Based Motivation, a Cappella, Tap Dance and More: What's Coming up at the South Milwaukee PAC

There is lots on tap at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center these days — literally.

Here is an upcoming schedule.

It starts Thursday, Jan. 30, with “Shaun Boothe: The Unauthorized Biography Series,” described as “a critically acclaimed musical motivational project that celebrates the world’s greatest cultural icons Creator Shaun Boothe is an award-winning hip hop artist, TEDx motivational speaker and founder of Live Your Legacy Academy.”

Then, on Friday, Feb. 1, it’s the Varsity Vocals International Championship of a Cappella. From the SMPAC website …

The Varsity Vocals International Championship of A Cappella is the only international tournament that showcases the art of student a cappella singing. Our programs include both The Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) and The Varsity Vocals International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA), and both are dedicated to providing top-notch a cappella groups with valuable feedback from our highly qualified judges. Our young vocalists also have the opportunity to showcase their talent to an international audience and develop relationships with each other, cultivating the art of a cappella singing and a lifelong love of music.

Also mark your calendars for Feb. 29 and “The Tap Pack” … “an elegant, high energy, tap comedy show inspired by the infamous “Rat Pack” which included the famous talents of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. With dazzling performances on stage, dressed in slick suits and equipped with sharp wit, The Tap Pack is a modern twist on the classic “Rat Pack.” 

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Wind at Their Back: Celebrating a Strong Community Partnership, 70 Years in the Making

My wife and I had the pleasure of celebrating the installation of the new South Milwaukee Yacht Club officers on Saturday, including Commodore Bryan Gahan, who has been elected to a second year in the position.

It’s going to be a big year for the club in 2020, as it turns 70 with a big party tentatively planned for July 11. (Many more details to come on that.)

The club is making more than $500,000 in capital investments to their facility this year, including upgrades to their public fishing pier and their outer ring wall — not including another nearly $100,000 in fixes for damage caused by the winter storm earlier this month. (The club’s damage was included in Milwaukee County’s federal disaster declaration this week.)

The club’s slips are full, with a waiting list, and it’s easy to see why demand is high: Its people, the dedicated members and volunteers who filled the club at the event last weekend, including two original members.

I love this public-private partnership. The club leases its land and building from the city, and in return we get a terrific community asset built in the 1950s and maintained today by the hands of volunteers. The club also allows our fire department boat to dock and launch there.

South Milwaukee’s story is a strong one, and this facility is part of that story, a point of pride. Let’s tell that story as the club turns 70.

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Finally, Some Transparency, But Only a Little: Hearing on Oak Creek Postal Facility Set for Tuesday, January 28

The lack of transparency from the United States Postal Service on their project on our city’s borders continues to frustrate me.

No other developer would be allowed to act this way, and keep the public in the dark as to what is happening at the corner of College and Pennsylvania Avenues. But, by law, the USPS can.

So we are forced to struggle to find out even the most basic details about their project … a lack of public input that led to the Oak Creek and South Milwaukee City Councils to oppose the project last year.

The public’s first chance to learn more about the project and share their feelings on the development comes Tuesday, Jan. 28, at a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wetlands permit public hearing at Oak Creek City Hall. The hearing begins at 6 p.m.

Check out the notice here, and here is NOW coverage.

I’ll see you there. Please ask tough questions. I will. We deserve answers.

Do better, United States Postal Service.


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Getting Introduced to a New Addiction Treatment Center

From the South Milwaukee/St. Francis Health Department …

Do you or someone you know need help? Do you have questions about medication assisted treatment for addiction? Join us January 20th 6:30pm at the South Milwaukee PAC to learn more.

More details on the event here, and Community Medical Services here.

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