Category Archives: South Milwaukee

Happy Thanksgiving, South Milwaukee

I am thankful for family and friends, and for the privilege to lead this great city every day. I have never been more excited for the future of South Milwaukee.

It starts with our people, especially our 150 or so city workers who deliver our services every day — including holidays. Thank you!

Today, we look back, with gratitude. Tomorrow, we continue our work toward our more promising future.

Stronger, together.


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32 Ways to Shop Local This Holiday Season

Like my Shop Local South Milwaukee Facebook page for regular updates on local businesses.

Saturday is Small Business Saturday, and what better time to join me in committing to shopping local this holiday season?

Here are some ideas …

  1. Shop at the South Milwaukee Christmas Market on Saturday, December 7. More than 100 vendors are expected at South Milwaukee High School for this really fun local Christmas institution.
  2. Buy a limited-edition Crusher Christmas ornament. You will only be able to buy them at the Christmas Market, I’m told. Stay tuned!
  3. Nothing says “happy holidays” like jewelry, Check out C3 Designs, including their World of Gemstones event Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
  4. Buy gift certificates from some of our great bars and restaurants, from Moran’s Pub to Azteca to Barbiere’s to Paisano’s to Taco Stop to Island Jam to Spirts Pub & Grill to Tap Room to China Chef – and many more.
  5. How about giving the gift of burgers and custard at the beach, in advance of Ferch’s returning next summer? Or some AM Ice Cream?
  6. Local coffee makes a great gift from Avenue Coffee.
  7. Nothing says Christmas like meat products! Milwaukee Sausage Company, specifically. Very cool new business.
  8. Give the gift of fitness and health at the South Milwaukee Fitness Center, Sorce Martial Arts, Neutral Ground … the list goes on.
  9. Games for Christmas? Absolutely! Shop downtown at Pink Bunny Games for trading card games, board games, table top games, and more; they also have Black Friday specials happening this week. Also, check out the Board Game Barrister clearance center.
  10. Get a beautiful stained glass piece from Studio One Art Glass. (We have one hanging in every first-floor window of our home.)
  11. We have boutiques! Check out Serendipitous Designs & Gifts and Hollyville for some truly unique holiday gifts.
  12. Think leather! Gecko Leatherworks has Black Friday and Small Business Saturday specials planned.
  13. Buy Rocket, South Milwaukee and other apparel from one of our downtown t-shirt shops, Styled Aesthetic or JB’s Tee Shirt Factory.
  14. Military collectibles? You really need to see the museum-like atmosphere at Military Connection Collectibles.
  15. Staying with collectibles, check out South Milwaukee-based MEARS Online Auctions, which has one-of-a-kind vintage sports gear, toys, and military items up for bid as we speak. Wise Owl Auctions also operates from downtown South Milwaukee.
  16. Give the gift of performing arts with tickets to an upcoming show at the South Milwaukee PAC.
  17. Pick up some holiday flowers or a centerpiece from one of our two awesome Milwaukee Avenue florists: Parkway Floral or Mari’s Flowers, Wine and Gifts.
  18. Buy a bandanna, jigsaw puzzle, notebook and other HANmade item — designed by South Milwaukeean Colleen McCarrier.
  19. Enjoy a children’s book from award-winning local author Janet Halfmann. (She and HANmade will be at the Christmas Market.)
  20. Keep your vehicle running right with the gift of an oil change or three from a local car care center in our fair city.
  21. Get your holiday meal from a local caterer like Charlie’s Catering.
  22. Pick up a pie, bread or cookies from Wild Flour Bakery.
  23. And don’t forget holiday beer, wine and spirits — I’ll put a plug in here for Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, or a nice Miller Lite or Coors Light — from local liquor stores Chicago Avenue Liquor, Marquette Liquor, G&K Liquor or BJ’s Liquor.
  24. Give the gift of golf this Christmas, with a free round or three at Grant Park or other county courses.
  25. Know a disc golf fan? Stop by Acetime Disc Golf.
  26. Hopefully Off the Beaten Path will be open in time for Christmas, for all your vinyl record needs. Stay tuned.
  27. How about a VISA gift card from one of our local financial institutions?
  28. Get a loved one (or you) a new hair style, with a gift certificate from a local salon, like Barberella, CM Salons, and Venne’s Creations.
  29. Get a family photo done at Studio 919 or Sandy Conway Photography.
  30. Be the talk of the neighborhood: Buy a Cheata Bike.
  31. Or get a tattoo!
  32. And, finally, let’s not forget local chains, many of them owned by local franchisees — small business owners themselves. If you’re going to shop at a chain store this holiday season, please do so at places like South Milwaukee Ace, Planet Fitness, Pick ‘n Save, Aldi, Cousins, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pizza Hut, Toppers, Walmart, Napa, Speedway, Walgreens, Aurora Pharmacy, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and others that all call our city home.

What did I miss? Post your comments below … and shop local!


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Oak Creek Watershed Update: Key Stakeholder Meeting Set for December 12

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission’s work on the Oak Creek Watershed plan is ramping up.

Their focus now is on the critical Chapter 4 of the plan: a deep dive into water quality, quantity, and other “inventory findings,” including a review of the status of the Mill Pond and dam.

That “state of the watershed” information will be reviewed at a meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, at Oak Creek’s Drexel Town Square, 8040 South 6th St., in the Multipurpose Room.


The intent of this meeting is to briefly review and receive comments on Plan draft Chapter 4, “Inventory Findings”, which includes discussion on stream flows, the history and current conditions for the Mill Pond and dam, and water quality conditions in the watershed. 

Beverages and a light supper will be available.

You can review the plan, and the partially complete Chapter 4, here.

It is sobering information, culled from volumes and volumes of available data from a variety of sources, and the results of years of physically walking the creek by SEWRPC staff.

From the report …

The entire mainstem of Oak Creek is currently listed as impaired with three impairments. The Creek is listed as impaired due to chronic aquatic toxicity related to an unknown pollutant. It is also listed as impaired due to the presence of a degraded biological community related to high concentrations of total phosphorus. Finally, the Creek is listed as impaired due to chronic and acute aquatic toxicity related to high concentrations of chloride. Each of these impairments apply to the entire length of the mainstem of Oak Creek. One tributary stream is proposed for listing as impaired on the 2018 list. The WDNR has proposed adding a 5.7-mile section of the North Branch of Oak Creek to the impaired waters list due to the presence of chronic and acute aquatic toxicity related to high concentrations of chloride.

There is a lot of information — A LOT. The incomplete draft version of Chapter 4 being reviewed in December is already nearly 200 pages long, and counting. However, I’m glad to see SEWRPC taking this deep of a dive. The watershed will be better off for it.

We need science to drive our decision making, as we look to breathe new life into the Oak Creek Watershed. This report — and all the data behind — will be the roadmap we need to do it.


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Help Decorate Downtown, Reserve a Tree for the Festival of Lights, Nominate Top Lights Displays, and Lights on Edgewood Kicks off

It’s Christmas in South Milwaukee! Here is an updated schedule.

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Sights and Sounds of the Season: Another Successful Old Fashioned Christmas and Lighted Parade

Thanks to all of the volunteers who made Saturday’s Old Fashioned Christmas and Lighted Christmas Parade happen! It was a terrific afternoon and evening, and it got the holiday season started off right.

I love our special events in South Milwaukee — I will always get behind them. They bring our community together.

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Vote Local! Support South Milwaukee Businesses Who Are Finalists for Shepherd Express “Best of” Awards

Awards information here.

Support these local businesses by voting for them in the annual Shepherd Express “Best of Milwaukee” Awards. Voting ends Dec. 5.

Click on the topic to vote …

Also, a couple local financial institutions are finalists in the “Services Rendered” category: Associated Bank for “best bank” and “best financial institution for opening a checking account” and Educators Credit Union for “best”credit union” and “best financial institution for getting a business loan … home mortgage … and checking account.”

And two of our local politicians made the list of “City Confidential” finalists: Steven Shea for “best Milwaukee County Supervisor” and Chris Larson for “best state legislator.”

I apologize if I missed anyone!

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Wanted: Toys for Homeless Kids This Christmas

The Brooks family is proud to present a holiday tradition that continues to grow.

We’re again gathering toys, games, etc.  and then delivering those Christmas gifts to several Milwaukee-area homeless/domestic violence shelters on Christmas Eve.

Our family will go shopping for toys around Dec. 21.

So here is the ask: If anyone wants to donate gifts for us to take, or donate money for us to spend on gifts when we go shopping, drop them off with Sarah or me any time before Christmas Eve.

New, unwrapped items, please.

And if you’d like to come with us on Dec. 24 — and show your kids the true meaning of the season — please join us. We’d love to have you. We leave from our house around 9 a.m. and will stop for lunch afterward.

Post a comment here, or feel free to email me at for more information.

Thanks for helping make a child’s life more merry this Christmas.

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