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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.

A Party to the Party

So what do new kids in South Milwaukee do on New Year's Eve? 

We're not party-hearty types. The club scene and the pub scene aren't our thing. We do like to socialize, though, and traditionally stay up to welcome in the New Year with a champagne toast, whether home alone or with friends.

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Garlic Mustard Pickers at the Fixx

It was a toe-tapping, hand-clapping, head-bobbing time with the Garlic Mustard Pickers last night at the Fixx Coffee House in St. Francis.

Twenty-plus Fixx patrons braved a rainy night and sacrificed (or DVO-ed) the BCS national college championship football game between Ohio State and Louisiana State on TV to hear the South Milwaukee-based
Celtic band play Irish jigs and reels, slow airs, military ditties and rousing, audience-participation bar songs.

Fiddler Bobbie Groth regaled the group with tales of the songs’ background/meaning. Her husband, Don Lawson, played a hammered dulcimer and a recorder and led the singing – until his voice gave out. Bassist Mark Wooldrage, who also plays a penny whistle, took over vocals while Don relieved him on the bass. Such versatility!

Other band members include guitarist LaVerne Dietzel, violinist Debbie Wilhelm, her husband, Joe, a one-man  percussion/rhythm section, and flutist Pam Uhrig.

The Fixx furnishings of tiled tables and natural-wood Windsor Arrowback chairs surrounding a conversation pit of dark leather sofas added to the ambience. Fixx coffee, other beverages and yummie baked goodies completed the experience.

Those who missed this enjoyable evening will have another opportunity when the band plays the Fixx again on Feb. 4, which is the first Monday of the month, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

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My Daughter is a Dog

I'm not talking looks, here. And this has nothing to do with bark or bite. Nope, it’s her nose for bargains.

She can sniff ‘em out like a blood hound. She dogs newspaper supplements and other advertisements for sales, and uses coupons to the max. She has actually been known to leave a store with a cart full of items and more money in her wallet than when she went in. That’s right, by combining coupons with double-coupon days and store specials and promotions there have been times when store ended up owing her money.

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Grant Park Community Forum

Have a question, complaint, comment or suggestion about Grant Park and/or its facilities, services, safety and/or security?

Thursday night is your chance.

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The County Parks? What Do I Care

Thursday was a ridiculously cold night to go out, but 27 folks did just that. We showed up at the Grant Park Wil-O-Way community building – 18 degrees above zero, down to 13 an hour later (maybe not all that cold for old timers, but brrrrr weather for this new kid and my husband – for a State-of-the-Park forum with a panel of nine municipal and county officials and community servants.

The good news so far as I was concerned is a park-ranger program scheduled to begin in May, which will assist law enforcement agencies with minor infractions, such as leash-law violations.

Cudahy Mayor Ryan McCue spoke about a proposal that’s been bandied about to raise revenue for the County that involves selling off public land to private developers. So for a one-time infusion of cash the County would ensure that the public would forever lose one or more baguettes of what has been termed the County’s crown jewel – its park system. And  what would happen to that former public land? Most likely it would be paved over, become the site of high-rise condos or strip malls with yet more unleased store fronts, and enjoyed by or used to the benefit of an elite few.
County Supervisor Pat Jursik said funding the County's "jewel" is not discretionary. Referring to the Great Lakes region – the five Great Lakes and surrounding land masses, which she said comprises the world’s fifth largest economy – as the Fresh Coast (as in East Coast, West Coast, Fresh Coast with its fresh-water coast line), Jursik said the value of the parks goes far beyond just serving as static green space. They provide natural habitats, recreational areas and contribute substantially to local and regional economies. They must, she said, be protected.

Parks Director Sue Black discussed the great foresight of the generation responsible for developing the county park system, which would be used and enjoyed for generations to come – including ours. Black talked about the vision that led to the creation of this “jewel” by people in the depths of the Great Depression, when so many people were a whole lot worse off than most of us are today, and the stick that’s being poked in the eye of that vision. In the past 30 years, since the mid-1970s, the workforce responsible for park maintenance, protection and repair has been reduced from 1,100 employees to just 260 today.

The loss of those 840-employee positions has meant more than just a 76.4 percent reduction in man- and womanpower, Jim Goulee, executive director of The Park People of Milwaukee County, said. It represents “a humongous chunk of knowledge.”


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