Category Archives: South Milwaukee

Playoff Bound, Again! South Milwaukee Rolls to Victory Over Brown Deer

Your Rocket seniors. (Thanks, Kim Slusar, for the photo.)

On Senior Night, seniors led the way to an impressive South Milwaukee victory, 30-8 over Brown Deer on Friday night at Spaltholz Field.

Elijah Anderson ran for three touchdowns, and Danny Klemstein added a fourth — and senior Luis Ortiz added a field goal — as South Milwaukee moved to 5-2 and stayed tied with Whitnall atop the Woodland East.

Senior quarterback Tarek Slusar threw for 74 yards and ran for 49. Senior Calvin Kluz led the team with four catches for 54 yards.

See the full box score here.

More importantly, the win assured South Milwaukee of another WIAA playoff berth — the Rockets’ ninth in 11 years.

Next up: at Greenfield, then a Wooland “crossover game” against an opponent TBD, at South Milwaukee.

The WIAA playoffs begin on October 25-26.

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Football, Magic, Light Shows and More: Rocketober Ramps up with a Fun Weekend

This weekend’s Rocketober schedule includes a key Woodland Conference football game tonight, as well as opening night for the Halloween Lights on Edgewood. Tomorrow is a terrific magic show at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.

Check out the full schedule and updates at the Rocketober Facebook page. It’s going to be a great month of October!

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More on the Proposed Milwaukee County Budget, Including the Potential Closure of Grobschmidt Pool

See the full proposed operating budget here.

I say this a lot: South Milwaukee is as reliant on a strong Milwaukee County as any community. With almost 30 percent of our land owned by the county and county assets like Grant Park, the Oak Creek Parkway and Grobschmidt Pool, a strong county is a strong city in many ways.

With that in mind, County Executive Chris Abele released his executive budget on Tuesday, and it had mixed news for us.

First, the good news, which includes more than $1.4 million of capital investment in South Milwaukee in 2020-21.

  • The proposed operating budget “saves” bus routes 48 and 52 from the chopping block. That is great news for those who use this vital service to get to school, work and around the area.
  • The proposed capital budget includes $113,000 in funds to plan for reconstruction of the road leading into Wil-o-Way Grant — with another $888,000 for construction in 2021. For anyone who has driven to Picnic Areas 7-9 and the Wil-o-Way facility recently, you know it’s long overdue. This is also an example of a city-county partnership — South Milwaukee has co-written an application for a Community Development Block Grant to cover some of the costs.
  • And the proposed capital budget includes more than $606,000 for Oak Creek bluff stabilization along Oak Creek Parkway at Emerson’s Appleton Electric foundry, east of the Mill Pond/Lagoon. The steep slope has begun to fail, raising the threat of it collapsing completely, according to the county. The project — in addition to the large Oak Creek streambank restoration project that wrapped up last year further west — would reduce that risk, and limit the amount of sediment runoff into the creek during heavy rainstorms.

See full proposed capital budget here. Pages 55 and 72 have details on the Wil-o-Way Grant and Oak Creek projects.

Now, the bad news …

The budget headed to the Milwaukee County Board for consideration calls for the closure of Grobschmidt Pool. More details on page 370 here.

This is disappointing, but not surprising, especially given the water damage done to pool mechanicals in August, declining usage, its small capacity, and the proximity of other pools like Sheridan (not to mention indoor public pools blocks away at South Milwaukee Middle School and the YIM.)

The capital needs sealed the pool’s fate more than anything.

As the county executive’s chief of staff told me this week: “Between $75-80k of expenditures are required to get the facility back into shape from the water damage earlier this year. These are inclusive of clean up and mold prevention, furnace replacements, pool pump repairs, water main repairs, water heater replacements and asbestos remediation/removal.”

I have asked County Executive Abele and County Supervisor Steven Shea to find some money to do a long-range plan for the future of the pool — or whatever else should replace it, and they have committed to exploring it.

It would be a chance to ask the community what they’d like to see replace Grobschmidt vs. simply reinvesting in a decades-old structure that was becoming less and less popular.

That way, some good might come out of this.

And one more note, a heads up: The county budget could be a lot worse in 2021. County Executive Abele has made it clear that without passage of legislation enabling a Milwaukee County sales tax referendum — and ultimate passage of that referendum by voters next spring — cuts will likely be more significant in for 2021. As he wrote in his budget memo …

We began the 2020 budget process with yet another gap, this time projected at $28 million.

Over the past decade, Milwaukee County has steadily increased the amount of revenue we send to the state, while the state aids we receive in return have remained flat or declined. Unfortunately, we are heavily reliant on an antiquated funding system that also limits our ability to raise revenue locally.

By working together and by making the best of the situation at hand, we have set ourselves on a better path. On the heels of unprecedented collaboration through last year’s budget process, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and the administration began to work together to find a solution to our budget challenges. Chairman Theodore Lipscomb and I launched the Fair Deal Workgroup to create a new partnership with the State of Wisconsin to protect public services and invest in our future. This effort has built an even larger partnership among legislators, the business community, local governments and community-based organizations called Move Forward MKE.

This group has introduced legislation to put the fiscal question to Milwaukee County voters and ask for a 1 percent sales tax increase, with property tax relief. Were legislature and voters to choose this option, we believe that next year we will have the power to adequately fund public services, maintain facilities, provide tax relief and invest in our community. This option will allow us to generate the revenue we need to stop making cuts to critical programs and services and start to invest in the future with confidence.


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Milwaukappella 2019.2: A Day of Great Music, for a Great Cause on Oct. 12

From the Rotary Club of Mitchell Field …

Milwaukappella has two parts.

First, it has a day-part. It’s a workshop for high school and college age students who love a cappella. Instructors lead classes at beginning, intermediate and advanced skill levels in all aspects of modern a cappella: Vocal Percussion, Beatboxing, Arranging, Technique, Choreography and Presentation.

Then, there’s part two; the evening concert, open to the public, everyone welcome! The show begins performances by student workshop participants. It’s a chance to hear some of the best young voices in the midwest! Then, after intermission, a dazzling concert by the sensational, award-winning, international a cappella supergroup Six Appeal!

If you love a cappella music you’ve got to see and hear Six Appeal! Tickets for students and seniors – $19 in advance. Discount packages available. Children 4 and under are free.

If you are a student of a cappella, you can’t do better than learning from Six Appeal and our other professional instructors! Tickets for the day-side workshop are $45 and include classes, lunch, dinner and a great seat for the big show!

Ticket sales raise money for scholarships and benefit the many community service efforts of The Rotary Club of Mitchell Field.

Questions? Text of call Peter May @ 414 899-8098.

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This Saturday: Witness Some Family-Friendly Magic at the South Milwaukee PAC

From the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center …

South Milwaukee PAC has the rare opportunity to host the pre-tour preview of an all-new Illusionary Spectacular – ABRACADABRA Live on Tour from the Co-Creator of Broadway’s The Illusionists franchise Saturday, October 5. This show will feature five World-Class Magicians/Illusionists/Escape Artists/Sleight-Of-Hand Specialists along with a supporting cast of talented dancers and visual artists – not to mention Five Magnificent Macaws and Cockatoos who will appear from nowhere and fly high and low directly above the audience, ABRACADABRA promises “Thrills and Skills” in an all-ages family-friendly format.

World Champion Grand Illusionist Brett Daniels, in partnership with Legendary Rock and Broadway Promoter, Arny Granat’s Grand Slam Productions will stage magic and illusionary acts that have drawn industry raves “Magnificent!…Flawless!….A Dazzler!” – Variety. Genii Magazine said “Masterful! -Breathtaking! – A Killer Finish!” The International Conjuror’s Magazine said “The Audience Gasped!” and “Just When You Think You’ve Seen It All…” The Philadelphia Daily News lauded “The Entire Family Will Be Charmed!” Audiences will witness Five “The Best of the Best” Magicians together onstage presenting the Latest and Greatest Magic and Illusion as well as several New World-Premiere Illusion Acts Never Before Seen On Any Stage Anywhere On Earth!

Read more about Brett Daniels, who is a native of New Berlin in Hannah Kirby’s recent Journal Sentinel article, Before Brett Daniels was a famous magician, he was a kid practicing tricks in his parents’ New Berlin driveway

Get tickets to see this show before it goes on tour and before it disappears at  

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Back to Blogging: Catching up on the Past Week or So

From the South Milwaukee Fire Department Facebook page … “SMFD Chief Joe Knitter and Lt. Kurt Egner were on hand this morning to receive a generous donation in the amount of $860 from our good friends at the Milwaukee Sausage Company, 1200 Milwaukee Avenue. These funds were raised from the sale of 430 pounds of their specially formulated Firehouse Sausage . . . that’s 1290 sausages sold!!! Along with another $45 in cash donations they received, these funds have been earmarked to support our Stop the Bleed initiative that will provide training and special bleeding control kits initially in all public-access municipal buildings. SHOP LOCAL – SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESSES”

Quite a bit going on recently, and I’ll start with some budget news from Milwaukee County.

County Executive Chris Abele released his executive budget on Tuesday, and, in addition to “saving” bus routes 48 and 52, it calls for the closure of Grobschmidt Pool. More details here.

I’ll blog about the county budget more in coming days, but this is disappointing, but not surprising news, especially given the water damage done to pool mechanicals in August, declining usage, the facility’s small capacity, and a lifeguard shortage.

Some other news of note …

  • We received about 2.75 inches of rain in the past day or so in South Milwaukee, as measured by the Wastewater Department.
  • The South Milwaukee football team moved to 4-2 with a 24-0 victory over Milwaukee Lutheran, their third shutout win this fall. The game began Friday night, was stopped due to lightning at halftime, and resumed Monday. Next up: Brown Deer at 7 p.m. on Friday at Spaltholz Field. Go Rockets!
  • “South Milwaukee Spooktacular: A Citywide Halloween Party” got some great publicity this week. Mark your calendars to attend … and if you’re a business or organization wanting to be a part of this, please email me ASAP at
  • Here is a heartwarming story about the generosity of strangers.

And here are some other recent Shore headlines, including some follow-ups on Da Crusher vandalism I had not posted yet …

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It’s Leaf Collection Season!

October 1 means the start of fall leaf collection, and we’re proud to continue to offer this service, even as many do not (at least not free of charge).

Check out some rules and guidelines below. And please keep my 2014 open letter on this in mind as you rake. 🙂 We started the fee waiver for leaves a few years ago. Please take advantage of it.

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