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Bay View Historical Society’s digital archives, page 9

BVHS wins at chess, page 14

Volume 4 • Issue 3

Glad rags to handbags

Independent couture in Bay View

March 2007

vintage clothing, accessories and jewelry, and eyewear available at Luv Unlimited. Profit margins have been on the rise for the last three years, according to Heck. She attributes this to good business sense and a creative eye. “Girls in Milwaukee like to dress uniquely,” Heck said. “My stuff is a little higher end, ahead of the trends. It’s not for the timid of heart. My customers know that they will get noticed in my clothes.” Heck said that people who buy her clothing are able to recognize a good bargain. “Customers come back in and tell me how well my stuff holds up compared to others,” Heck said. The Bay View businesswoman is determined to keep prices reasonable. “I wanted to have a store where girls could buy a couple things,” Heck said, “you know, instead of breaking the bank for one thing.”

Areka Ikeler (with Alaska), Kristy Schomburg, and Rochelle Nason photographed at Fashion Ninja. ~photo Samantha Lukens

By Linda Fausel


ecky Heck sometimes picks up her seam ripper and carefully removes the tiny appliqué alligator often found on the front of preppy sweaters and shirts. Then, she stitches it somewhere else. “I may sew it onto a purse,” she said. “All of my stuff is about salvaging and recycling.” Heck, 29, is one of a few independent clothing and accessory designers peddling their apparel in Bay View. Heck designs under the label “HEX,” a play on her last name. Interested shoppers will find a rack of HEX designs inside Luv Unlimited, 2649 S. Kininickinnic Ave. Heck is coowner of the store. “My style is kind of bohemian,” Heck said, “I recycle things, it’s sort of a deconstructive, reconstructive thing.” Heck may sew vintage lace, for example, onto a newer shirt, or, make a purse out of a necktie, or add a larger flare into a pair of pants to reflect the older, 1970s styles. Heck applies her training as an artist and painter to come up with ideas. The HEX line of clothing fits in with the new and

Designer by Day, Designer by Night Kristy Schomburg designs websites by day, and feminine “boutique-looking” dresses, shirts, and skirts by night. The 29year-old has been involved in her “hobby” for about three years. Schomburg’s designs are under the Bill label, and can be found at Fashion Ninja, 2671 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. “My stuff is unique, but not outlandish,” Schomburg said. “I do a lot of ruffles and softer materials. I really like prints.” Schomburg, from Elkhorn, Wis., got interested in clothing creation after being involved with fashion illustration in her job at Stark Media in Milwaukee. “I wanted to bring my ideas to life,” Schomburg said. She came across the Fashion Ninja sewing class information on a local art website and enrolled. She loved it right off. “I recycle things, it’s sort of a deconstructive, reconstructive thing.” —Becky Heck, Luv Unlimited “We learned to make basic T-shirts,” Schomburg said. “We learned a lot about the basics of sewing, and interesting new stuff, such as sewing seams, seam allowances, even how to sew French seams.” (French seams, according to Schomburg, “kind of turn in on themselves…in a regular seam, the seam allowance shows…so you can see the edges.”) Schomburg said SEE PAGE 15

Political traffic jam over mass transit’s future By Jennifer Krueger


he accelerator pedal is down and the discussion—and rhetoric—on the future of mass transit in southeastern Wisconsin is heating up.

The debate involves the future solvency and development of both local and regional transit as well as the best strategies for funding and developing a viable regional mass transit system. In Milwaukee, Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Scott Walker are at an impasse. Walker says he wants to bolster only the existing bus service, while Barrett has recently put forward a plan that would add two high-speed cross-town bus routes and a scaled-down version of light rail circling downtown. The fight over who should get what funding comes at a critical moment for the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), which faces dramatic cuts in service by 2010 if the status quo of state underfunding continues and no new dedicated funding source is identified. SEE PAGE 11

Robberies rattle Bay View T By Michael Timm

here have been at least 34 robberies east of Third Street, south of the Kinnickinnic River, and north of Howard Avenue since November 2006, according to Milwaukee Police Department data on the city’s COMPASS site (

That compares with 56 robberies in the same area for all of 2006. Twenty-one robberies have occurred so far in 2007, and the recent surge is unnerving for those accustomed to feeling they live and work in a safe part of town. “The only description we have is three black or Hispanic males, 20-30 years old, 5’ 6” to 6’ tall. Medium build. Hooded jackets. Black masks. Black and chrome handguns. Again, I want to emphasize, we do not know if any of the robberies is connected to others.” —Anne E. Schwartz, MPD Spokesperson Armed robberies have occurred at multiple south side businesses—from video stores and small retailers to bars, a grocery store, and even crowded restaurants. Some appear to be the work of several masked men. Others appear to be repeat offenses by at least one unmasked man. Anne E. Schwartz, police spokesperson, said investigations are ongoing and police are following leads. “There were similarities in some of the robberies you mentioned [in Bay View since November], but it is not clear if any of them are related. Suspects are sometimes two or three, of mixed racial descriptions. Some robberies have been ‘takeover’ robberies, meaning the gunmen enter and ‘take over’ the establishment. One resulted in a homicide,” wrote Schwartz in response to a Compass inquiry. Schwartz presumably referred to the homicide Jan. 7 at Marty’s Party, 3735 W. National Ave., when a man challenged three masked robbers and was shot and killed. “We do not have composite sketches in these incidents as we do not have any descriptions that are unique enough or specific to warrant a sketch. The only description we have is three black or Hispanic males, 20-30 years old, 5’ 6” to 6’ tall. Medium build. Hooded jackets. Black masks. Black and chrome handguns. Again, I want to emphasize, we do not know if any of the robberies is connected to others,”

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RSE Video hired an armed security guard after they were robbed Nov. 27. Johnny Feliciano stands guard in the store on East Dakota Avenue. ~photo Michael Timm

Schwartz wrote in late February. After Groppi’s was robbed March 8, Schwartz indicated the police believe the suspect in the Groppi’s robbery “is responsible for at least eight others on the south side.” She did not indicate which ones. Feb. 27, police arrested one man presumed responsible for robbing the Citgo gas station, 1213 E. Howard Ave., and possibly connected to other area robberies. Business Reaction Although some business owners are reluctant to discuss the robberies, others are publicly frustrated. RSE Video, 118 E. Dakota Ave., hired an armed guard after that store was stormed by two gunmen Nov. 27. Gunmen locked all the doors, held a gun up to an employee, and asked for all the money, said Michele EglashRoitburd, vice-president of RSE Video. The two masked, gloved, hooded men were in and SEE PAGE 5 Bay View Compass PO Box 070645 Milwaukee WI 53207-0645

March 2007  

March 2007 Issue

March 2007  

March 2007 Issue