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BVHS alum, Lewie, page 7

Flocking our way? page 15

Volume 4 • Issue 5

May 2007

Local Latino baseball league games family events

Trowbridge open, for now By Jay Bullock

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s preparations were underway at Trowbridge Street School and Dover Street School for a merger this fall, Superintendent William Andrekopoulos halted the process suddenly on May 1. However, there is no guarantee that Trowbridge will stay open beyond next year. Dover principal Jackie Laber was told earlier that morning that the item was being prepared to go before the board. Later, she was shocked to hear that the merger was off. Trowbridge principal Ella Hayes, though, was not surprised to hear Andrekopoulos’ decision. “All along it was a proposal,” she said, noting that the Milwaukee Board of School Directors had not formally approved the merger. Opening day ceremonies for Liga Latina de Beisbol feature Latin American flags and flower girls leading each baseball team around the base paths. ~courtesy Guerrero Duran Jr.

By Kenneth Blacks, BVHS Senior

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hen Liga Latina de Beisbol was formed in 1983, nobody knew that it would grow to be a wellknown baseball league around the Milwaukee area. Francisco Espinoza, who died last year, founded the league, which started off with five teams and now has 11. Liga Latina games are every Sunday from April 15 to Aug. 26. Games were held only at Baran Park until 1997 when the league expanded. Since then games are also held at Humboldt Park (Keltner Field) and, once double-headers start later in the season, at Sheridan Park. League organizer Guerrero Duran Jr. talked about the history and positive influence the league has had on the community. “In 1984 as a bat boy in the league, I got an understanding of the league. Later I got more involved with operations and it wasn’t until this year I took over the league,” said Duran Jr. “The league is a venue for people to spend their Sundays. The games are packed with families and friends, and during championship games the park is usually packed with 200 to 300 people. The games are free, good quality, and bring young kids

Area schools to strengthen community ties through newspaper By Katherine Keller

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he Bay View Compass has undertaken the first steps to collaborate with area schools who will create content for a new section in this newspaper.

The project is ambitious and is in the very early stages. A portion of the paper will be reserved for the project to include news, profiles, and features about elementary, middle, and high school students, teachers and staff. A goal of the project is to work with students who will learn journalism fundamentals as they contribute as writers, editors, and photographers. Field trips to the Compass office are planned to show project participants

out and give them something positive to do with their Sundays.” He added that level of play ranges but those at a high level are very competitive. “We have ex-minor leaguers, college, and stand-out high school players in our league,” Duran Jr. added. “The league itself is considered a hitters league. High scores for the most part. Example: 10-8, 7-6. It’s rare but does happen to see a 2-1 final in any of our games.” Each year the season opens with honor. During special opening day ceremonies, all teams line up behind third base in order, while in front of them a young girl accompanies each team with flowers. They follow in a procession from third base all around the horn, while flags are drawn up and a national anthem for each country representing the league is sung. Most of the players still have strong cultural ties to their homelands, Duran Jr. said, and are first- or second-generation Latinos from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, or Costa Rica. “It’s a real nice tradition, a good way to SEE PAGE 5

how a newspaper is put together including the digital layout process. A goal of the project is to work with students who will learn journalism fundamentals as they contribute as writers, editors, and photographers. An introductory meeting was held April 18 at Humboldt Park School attended by representatives from Burdick Elementary, Clement Avenue School, Dover Street Elementary, Fernwood Montessori, Humboldt Park School, Thomas More High School, and by Michael Timm and myself representing the Compass, MPS District 8 School Board Director Terry Falk, and Sonia Simko, who coordinated the start-up meeting. Also participating but without representatives at the meeting are Deer Creek, Downtown Montessori, Fritsche Middle School, St. Francis High School, and St. Lucas Lutheran. SEE PAGE 5

Both principals were hoping a voluntary merger now would stave off action by the district later. In the 2006 “right-sizing” process, which MPS uses to identify excess capacity and close schools to save money, Trowbridge and Dover were the two south side schools most considered. Neither school made the final list of MPS slated to close next fall, but Trowbridge, in particular, came very close because of its low enrollment and low participation from neighborhood families. Trowbridge’s reprieve may have been due to Bay View residents’ speaking out against its closure. Mary Morris is a part of the Bay View Community Partnership, a group devoted to bringing community and schools together, and spoke to Andrekopoulos on the day he stopped the merger. A merger would have allowed the schools to combine enrollment and invest the expected savings back into the combined school’s program, which could have provided additional teachers or services. Laber was even willing to change Dover’s program to accommodate the middle school students currently at Trowbridge. She said there were Dover students excited about being able to stay or come back for those grades. A merger between the two schools was discussed at an April 2 meeting with all the “big players,” as Laber calls them, including the principals, the superintendent, and the district’s finance director. Andrekopoulos asked for the school communities’ approval of a merger by April 20; the princi-

pals agreed to the plan and parents at both schools voted to go forward. After the vote, parents and staff began preparing for what seemed certain, and news of the merger began to spread into the community. And then word came that the merger would not happen. “I told him it would be a PR nightmare.” —Dist. 20 State Rep. Chris Sinicki to Superintendent William Andrekopoulos, May 1 Trowbridge’s reprieve may have been due to Bay View residents’ speaking out against its closure. Mary Morris is a part of the Bay View Community Partnership, a group devoted to bringing community and schools together, and spoke to Andrekopoulos on the day he stopped the merger. Morris said Andrekopoulos was concerned whether there would be strong opposition to the merger and closing Trowbridge. Morris acknowledged, “If Trowbridge can’t maintain enrollment, something has to happen.” But she also explained that there are many in the community attached to the school and willing to fight for it. That includes Morris’ daughter, state Representative and Trowbridge alumna Chris Sinicki. She also spoke with Andrekopoulos on the morning of May 1. “When I talked to him,” she said, “he was under the impression that the neighborhood was [officially] notified,” which, according to Sinicki, was not true. She also stressed that the community opposed a merger. “I told him it would be a PR nightmare,” Sinicki said. Community sentiment was indeed important to Andrekopoulos’ decision. “I got no sense that Trowbridge wanted to do it,” he said. Acknowledging the Trowbridge parent group’s vote for the merger, he said, “‘Agreed to’ is different from ‘wanted to.’” Andrekopoulos was already uncertain about the merger’s timing. “Families and children need to know about changes like this by Dec. 1,” he said, referring to the usual timeline for choosing a school to attend the following year. “At the end of the day, we just can’t rush into this.” Andrekopoulos had other concerns. The two schools use different methods to teach reading, which are not easily compatible. A merger would mean the loss of a sizable SEE PAGE 6

INSIDE Pg 3 Pg 4 Pg 5 Pg 6 Pg 7 Pg 8 Pg 8 Pg 9 Pg 10 Pg 11 Pg 12 Pg 13 Pg 14 Pg 15

Can GOP Save Health Care? Martinetto Award to Mary Morris Misty’s Story 88.9 FM Is RadioMilwaukee Double Decade Pet Duck High-Tech Buoy Network Historic Bay View Theaters Lewis Field Ready for Play Strehlow’s to Close New Pet Spa Celebrate Parks’ Centennial Richards: Ban Smoking NEW! Slow-Pitch Softball Photo Essay: April in Bay View

Bay View Compass PO Box 070645 Milwaukee WI 53207-0645

May 2007  

May 2007 Issue

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