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New Kid's View

Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.

Worth Following

Erik Brooks

This blog by South Milwaukee Alderman Erik Brooks at is well worth following. While I don't necessarily agree with Alderman Brooks on every issue, I highly respect his responsiveness to his constituients and his concern about and involvement in not only city government but South Milwaukeeans and our well being.

99-year-old theft victim

Police Department, Human Concerns

A 99-year-old South Milwaukee man who was robbed of almost $1500 a couple of weeks ago came up in conversation with a South Milwaukee neighbor the other day.

She was so upset and outraged by this home-invasion robbery she called the police department to see if she could make a donation to help offset the man’s loss.

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Local Kill the Bill Rally

This via  Kathleen Slamka 

Tuesday, March 8 -- 4:00pm to 6:00pm -- Rally and Visibility, Cold Spring and Forest Home, Greenfield. Greenfield Civic Center (old Greenfield Library) 

Searching for slobs

Madison, capitol, rally, slobs, civil, Glenn Grothman, Gov. Walker, negotiations

I spent the day at the Capitol in Madison three times in the past couple of weeks, one was last Saturday, Feb. 26, when the biggest crowds to date gathered. I toured the hallways on most of the floors, used the restrooms, watched events in the Rotunda, and visited my senator's office. This is pretty much what I encountered.

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Where Has All The Money Gone?

Where Has All The Money Gone?


As the economic straits of a growing number of Americans and of local, regional, state and federal governmets become increasingly dire, I keep wondering, if nobody has any money, where has it all gone?  I think this is the answer.

Cities are broke.

Counties are broke.

States are broke.

People are broke.

Corporations are ... oh.

Corporations are flush with money.

Corporations are enjoying record profits.

This, as the rest of the country tries to claw back from the worst recession we have suffered through since the Great Depression.

Maybe that's where all the money has gone.

Maybe that's is why everyone else is broke.

New York Times columnist David Brooks said the other day to, "Make Everybody Hurt."

I agree, should that become necessary. But it might not be.

First, let's exempt those who are already hurting.

Let's start inflicting pain at the top.

Let's start with the CEOs whose corporations are rolling in dough and whose bonuses suffered no recession. Here are bonuses gifted to the top three CEOs in 2010, a decidedly bad economic year for the rest of the U.S.

     1.  H.J. Heinz top exec William R. Johnson, $8.6 million. That's just his bonus, and it's 17.6% higher than the year before. His total income for last year? More than $882 million.

     2.  Oracle CEO Lawrence J. Ellison, $6.5 million, up nearly 80%.

     3.  Cisco CEO John T. Chambers, $4.6 million, up 126%.

Let's start with Messers Johnson, Ellison, Chambers and their fellow elites in the country's top 1% income bracket who got their Bush tax cuts extended.

Let's start with the hedge-fund billionaires -- the top 13 of whom earned an average of $1 BILLION each last year -- but get to claim their income as capital gains. I say "get to" because the capital-gains tax rate is 15% rate, instead of as regular income at the appropriate tax bracket, which is 35%.

Taxing their intake as regular income within the same income tax rate structure as the rest of us, would create enough revenue to pay for 300,000 teachers. Three-hundred thousand! Maybe forcing those in the top income tax to actually pay income taxes instead of a 20% lower capital gains tax would mean classroom-sizes in Detroit could be reduced from the 62 students necessary because the education budget there has been decimated. Maybe then Detroit teachers could get back to actually teaching and helping kids learn instead of just being adult supervisors in holding pens for adolescents.

American capitalism advocates say, hey, the rich have earned it. Maybe so. But that shouldn't give them special privileges and special ways that enable their money to be taxed at a lower rate than the income of the rest of us get.

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Garlic Mustard Pickers Perform in March

Garlic Mustard Pickers, Pullin' O' the Green

This from our own South Milwaukee Celtic folk music band, the Garlic Mustard Pickers:

The Garlic Mustard Pickers has two gigs in March.

Sunday, March 13th
Grant Park Golf Course Clubhouse
100 Hawthorne Ave
South Milwaukee
The Pullin' O' the Green

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Refunding Schools

School board meeting, budget cuts, Erik Brooks, property tax exemptions, reform

Tonight the South Milwaukee School Board is holding a public hearing about the decimating gashes and amputations to South Milwaukee schools and education programs that will be made if the Walker budget bill becomes law. South Milwaukee Alderman Erik Brooks, on his blog at, provides a preview of some of the slashing and fee increases.

  • Closing the school pool, saving $150,000;
  • Eliminating 1.5 music positions at the middle and high school and one instrumental position, saving a combined $249,000;
  • Eliminating high business and technology education positions, saving a combined $218,000;
  • Eliminating an elementary school teacher ($72,500), custodian ($73,000) and high school attendance secretary ($34,000);
  • Reducing police liaison services, including elimination of the DARE program, saving $25,000;
  • Increasing by $5 annual student fees for all middle and high school students and increasing by $25 fees per sport for athletes;
  • Eliminating the high school debate club, photography club, among other extracurriculars; and
  • Closing most school buildings on Fridays during the summer.

This sounds like an old saw. Deep cuts in school budgets. I've not only heard them since my kids, who are now grown, attended elementary school, and I've attended any number of public hearings at which almost everybody weeps and wails over the dire fate of the schools, the kids and public education.

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A Sideshow of One

school board, budget cuts, TV report, starve the beast

I watched a TV report last night of a school board meeting held earlier in the evening and wondered how one person could represent so much of what just wasn't there.

A portion of the meeting was for the public to comment on draconian cuts the board will make when Walker's budget-busting bill becomes law.

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We Have Met the Beast...

Regressives, Ronald Reagan, Scott Walker, Social Security, Medicare, welfare, bootstraps, government workers, unions, benefits

... and it is us.

I used the term "starve the beast" in a recent blog post and, in an epiphany a day or so ago, understood regressives' shift in it's starve-the-beast strategy to demonizing public employees.

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Sharing the Pain

Erik Brooks, Tami Mayzik, pension,

This post on South Milwaukee Alderman Erik Brooks' blog bears repeating:

Sharing the Pain: A Small Act Big on Symbolism

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An Executive Position

Chris Abele, Jeff Stone, Patricia Jursik, Marina Dimitrijevic, Tony Day, Al Richards, Tom Zepecki, Hoan bridge, Great Lakes Water Compact, Aerotropolis, Mitchell International Airport, South Shore

Milwaukee County's two county executive candidates took part in tonight's South Shore Forum for Economic Development at South Milwaukee High School. My take away? It's time that an experienced executive serves as the county executive instead of a career politician.

Each candidate, state Assemblyman Jeff Stone and Argosy Foundation President & CEO Chris Abele, was given an opportunity to state their positions on a number of topics such as the Hoan Bridge, the 794 corridor extension, the parks, public transportation, the Great Lakes Water Compact and the Aerotropolis/Mitchell International Airport and the role of each in the economic development of the South Shore communities.

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A Teachers Education

School Board, pay, education, electrician

I can't get that electrician out of my mind. He was so incensed at last week's School Board meeting.

Shameful, he said, that South Milwaukee teachers, on average, make more than the average income of South Milwaukeeans. Shameful that the School Board had signed a new contract with teachers.

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The RIGHT to Collectively Bargain is in the Law

AB11, 'budget repair' bill, Gov. Walker, collective bargaining, right, privilege

I keep hearing and reading assertions--including in another blog on this website--that Wisconsin public employees do not have the right to collectively bargain.

That is controverted by language in current law, in AB11, Gov. Walker's so-called 'budget repair' bill itself and in Wisconsin's nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau's analysis of the bill. The words "the right to collectively bargain" and "the rights" are used throughout in both.

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His Brother Didn't Cry

E.W. Luther, ice cream social, auction

The highlight for me of last night's E.W.Luther Elementary School auction and ice cream social wasn't winning a prize--although I won two. It was learning about the 4th-grader who didn't want his little brother to be disappointed if he didn't win a prize.

The 4th grader planned ahead and made a box like the others at the auction that people put tickets in that they had bought and put their names on. No one but the 4th grader and perhaps his parents knew about the 4th grader's box, so no one could put any of their tickets in it.

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Capitol lawn repair bill

Madison, Capitol, lawn, Ron Blair,

Having attended a number of rallies in Madison in the past couple of months and contributed to damage to the lawn around the Capitol (not deliberately, mind you, but just because the crowd was so huge, it was impossible to stay on the sidewalks and be able to move, and because the largest rally occurred when the ground was exceptionally wet), I wanted to continue in the spirit the rally organizers established and do what I could to clean up after myself.

So, given the muddy state of my boots when I got home after the March 12 rally, I started checking to see if and how I could make a contribution dedicated to repairing the Capitol lawn.

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Garlic Mustard Pickers Gig

Garlic Mustard Pickers, Economics of Happiness, Interfaith Conference, Greater Milwaukee, The Times Cinema

From our friends, the Garlic Mustard Pickers:

On Tuesday April 12th the band will be at The Times Cinema (59th and W. Vliet St. in Milwaukee), providing "prelude" music before the showing of a film titled The Economics of Happiness.

The music starts at 6:00 PM, and the film starts at 7:00 PM.

Our music and the film are part of a fundraiser for The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.

More info about the film can be found at

Admission to this event is by advanced ticket sales.  The basic admission is $10, but it is suggested that you "pad" your payment to help support the Interfaith Conference group.  (After all, this is a fundraiser.)  Perhaps $20, perhaps $50, according to your budget.

Tickets can be ordered via:

We hope to see you there!
- The Garlic Mustard Pickers, Inc.

Governor Profile Does Disservice

Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Wisconsin, Indiana, collective bargaining, economy, Great Recession

What a disservice the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did to its readers, other Wisconsinites and residents of other states with the Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels fluff piece “Blueprint for cuts” the newspaper ran on its Sunday, March 27, front page.

We got a personality profile of a folksy, fun-loving, good ol’ boy Daniels, eviscerator of public employee unions and champion of privatizing government functions. Good ol' Mitch Daniels whom Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker yearns to emulate.

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