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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.

Meet children's authors, illustrators at SM Library

Janet Halfmann, children's authors, illustrators, library

Kids, parents and grandparents, mark May 12 on your calendars for an evening of great stories and fantastical pictures. That's when South Milwaukee children's author Janet Halfmann along with fellow author Gibbs Davis and children's book illustrators Carol Schwartz and Jeff Miracola will entertain young and others with tales and art at the South Milwaukee Library from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.  If that isn't incentive enough, the evening will include games, prizes and cookies.

The authors and illustrators will also have their books available for sale and signing. Among those treasures are:

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Author! Author! Again!

Great news for South Milwaukee's own children's author Janet Halfmann. She learned recently that her nonfiction book, Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story, made the Bank Street College list of Best Children's Books of the Year. She's thrilled, to say the least, and needless say all of her friends and family -- and perhaps even those who don't know her -- are thrilled for her.


GMP gigging again

Garlic Mustard Pickers, The Park People, Lakefront Brewery, Carlton Grange Pub, St. Francis, Milwaukee, Sunday FunDay, Don Lawson

The following from South Milwaukee's own Garlic Mustard Pickers' Don Lawson:

The Garlic Mustard Pickers have two gigs in May.

Sunday, May 17th
1:00-3:00 PM
Lakefront Brewery (2nd floor)
1872 Commerce Street, Milwaukee

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In Good Company

Council for Wisconsin Writers, Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Marilyn Taylor, "Anatomy of a Trial", Wisconsin Club, award winners

OK, so it wasn't first place, but the honorable mention "Anatomy of a Trial" received on Saturday from the Council for Wisconsin Writers was certainly gratifying. Turns out, I was in pretty rarified company for the awards luncheon held at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee.

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Kids Meet Authors, Artists at Library

     Bunnies and turtles and deer, on my! Lots of animals -- or at least their tails -- paraded around South Milwaukee Library's second floor children's section last night as Janet Halfmann invited kids to help enact her award-winning book, "Little Skink's Tail."  

    Janet very cleverly tied homemade tails of, not just rabbits,  turtles and whitetail deer, but owls, skunks, porcupines and squirrels, onto youngsters and grownups, then had them hoot, scamper, hop, crawl and wag their way through her story as she read aloud to a crowd of about 50 children, parents and grandparents.

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South Shore Community Group to meet Sunday

South Shore Community Group, Transition Towns, Bryce Ruddock

The South Shore Community Group will hold its May potluck on Sunday, May 17th, from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Community Room of the Oak Creek Public Library, 8620 S Howell Avenue.

The main program will be presented by Bryce Ruddock who will sharing information about  the Transition Towns program. This is part of a state and regional initiative that examinies the relocalization of an area's economy and infrastructure in light of escalating transportation and other costs and attendant economic collapse.

According to information forwarded by South Shore Community Group coordinator Kathleen Slamka, Transition Wisconsin is the overall umbrella group. Transition Southeast Wisconsin meets once a month at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee. With other areas such as Riverwest, East Side and Shorewood having established groups, the thinking is that perhaps South Shore should do the same with a focus on its specific needs. A Transition South Shore would include St. Francis , Cudahy, South Milwaukee, and Oak Creek and could engage in Transition Towns initiatives along the common link between those cities and the Hwy 32 corridor.

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Prep your garden

Rototill, garden, On the Spot Rototilling, Janet Halfmann, planting

Ok, I believe in recommending someone who's done a good job, so I'm going to do just that.

"On the Spot Rototilling"

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Jay & me

Jay Leno, Anatomy of a Trial

Jay Leno gets a signed copy of my book, Anatomy of a Trial.

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Dog Gone It!

Dogs, bite, leash, park

So there was my neighbor the other day out working in her front yard, pretty close to the street when a woman with two dogs walks by. Suddenly, one of the dogs veers over toward my neighbor and bites her on the leg.  At first my neighbor thought a stone or stick had hit her. Then she saw the woman pull her dog back and continue on down the street. My neighbor was so startled, she didn't realize immediately what had happened, but her leg was hurting and she looked down to find it bleeding. She started to run after the woman, but with her leg hurting and the woman's head start, she gave up. Although, the woman should have done a better job of controlling her dog, at least she had both of them on leashes.

Not so the man with his two dogs last weekend when my sister, who was visiting from Eau Claire, and I were walking in the park when we saw this man and his two dogs were coming toward us. The smaller dog started bounding at us, full tilt. My sister, knowing my fear of dogs, moved to get between it and me. I moved off the path well onto the grass. The man started deriding me for being afraid of his little dog, yelling that he wouldn't hurt me. By that time the other -- larger dog -- started running and both were barking. Neither was on a leash. In fact, the man didn't even have a leash with him. He kept yelling. The dogs, thankfully, stayed on the path running on ahead of the man. As he passed us, he was yelling at his dogs, telling them to "stop!" and to "come over here!" and saying, "what's wrong with you!"  I was so irritated that I yelled at him that what was wrong with his dogs was him!

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Book review gets it right

Anatomy of a Trial, Judicature, review, Loyola University

S. L. Alexander's review of Anatomy of a Trial in Judicature magazine really got it! Alexander, a Loyola University communications law professor, understands and spells out the reason I wrote the book and its instructive value for media coverage of future trials and to law and journalism school students. Thanks, Prof. Alexander and Judicature! Here's the URL (your have to type it into your browser window as the link doesn't work), should you want to read it.

Hoping for veggies

Garden, Memorial Day, parade

Garden's in! It's the biggest one since we moved to South Milwaukee more than seven years ago. The peas are already peeking up. Tomato plants are sporting little yellow blossoms. The obligatory zucchini is sharing the stage w/acorn squash. A row of carrots, Couple rows of green beans. Some herbs. So now for a little rain. What a good Memorial Day. I'll post photos of the parade shortly.

A few views of Memorial Day parade

Memorial Day, parade, South Milwaukee marching band, Lions Club

Loud sirens lead things off. 

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Municipal Funding Forum Tonight (Tues.)

local service, budget cuts, property taxes


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Upcoming Garlic Mustard Pickers performances

Garlic Mustard Pickers, Monarch butterflies

Here's information about two upcoming performances for our local home-grown Celtic band, the Garlic Mustard Pickers:

Saturday, May 30th
Carlton Grange Pub, in St. Francis
On Packard Ave, just north of Howard Ave
(From I-94 or Lakefront Parkway, go east almost all the way to the lake, then north on Packard.)
Music is from 8:30 to 11:30 pm.

The GMP say that the Carlton Grange has fine food, a great selection of beers and ales, and the ambience of a UK pub.  The band performed at Carlton Grange for St. Pat's day, and are happy to be back.  If you want to support our band's track record of donating gig earnings to local school music programs, and you've got the evening free, come over to the pub, have a meal or a beer, and enjoy the music.

Sunday June 7th
Ceili Dance for Monarch Butterflies (a benefit for habitat preservation)
Hart Park, 7300 West Chestnut St.
(one block south of N. 72nd and W. State St in Wauwatosa)

This promises to be a fun event!  Two fine Celtic bands!
The Garlic Mustard Pickers performs 2-3 pm (a concert)
Ceol Cairde ("Music of Friends") performs for the dance, 3:30-5:30 pm,
during which Magie Matousek Brady teaches Irish Ceili dancing
(All Ages. Beginners welcome!)

Bid on great silent auction items   Enjoy snacks & refreshments
Pick up some milkweed seedlings & seeds to plant in your garden
Admission is $8 (Seniors and kids are $5)

More information about the band and its schedule is at

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