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Volume 4 • Issue 9
Bus riders protest proposed cuts E Story & Photos By Lindsey Huster
Throughout August, protesters wore green and rode the bus in hopes to retain routes proposed to be cut by MCTS.
The Proposed Changes to Routes 15, 11, & 55 Route 15’s Clement-Pennsylvania leg would be cut completely, and south of Layton Avenue the Packard-Chicago leg would become part of Route 55 (Layton Avenue). The estimated annual cost-savings of restructuring routes 15 and 55 is $88,000, Janz said. Currently, approximately 300 passengers board the Clement-Pennsylvania leg per average workday, Janz said. In theory, Route 55 would “pick up” the riders on the Packard-Chicago leg. (However, Route 55 would be cut east of Packard, ending bus service along S. Lake Drive to the Kelly Senior Center; 80 passengers board this seg-
ment per average weekday, Janz said.) In all, approximately 7,500 passengers board Route 15 per average workday, Janz said. Route 11’s east/west component would be cut along Vliet Street from 60th all the way to Water Street downtown, but its north/south component along Howell Avenue and First Street would remain intact. Currently, approximately 1,000 passengers board the Vliet Street component per average workday, Janz said. In all, approximately 3,500 passengers board Route 11 per average workday, she said. As proposed, Route 11 would be part of a complicated restructuring of Routes 14, 19, and 20. Route 11 would replace Route 14 north of downtown
ven a downpour of rain failed to dampen protesters’ spirits on the Route 15 bus line Aug. 20. Adorned in green, nine Milwaukee residents handed out ﬂiers and talked to passengers about the proposed bus cuts and fare increases for the upcoming county budget. Fifteen protested Aug. 27. Although County Executive Scott Walker’s budget is still in the infant stages, it may include proposed cuts from the Milwaukee County Transit System. MCTS has proposed eliminating 11 bus routes and shortening or restructuring 16 routes, a move that would save approximately $7 million, said Jacqueline Janz, MCTS marketing director. Proposed cuts would aﬀect two routes popular to south side users, Routes 15
on Holton north to Capitol Drive; Routes 19 and 20 would both be cut south of Layton Avenue; Route 11 would replace Route 19’s east/west component along Greenfield Avenue and also extend along Lincoln Avenue to Miller Park; Route 14 would replace Route 20 along 16th Street across the viaduct and along Wisconsin Avenue into downtown; Route 19 would replace Route 20 along 20th Street north of Layton Avenue. This restructuring would result in a cost-savings of approximately $1.95 million, Janz said. All changes are MCTS’s proposals to the county executive, not final policy. The county executive must submit his budget proposal to the County Board for approval. This process is anticipated to occupy much of October. -Michael Timm
(Oakland-Kinnickinnic) and 11 (VlietHowell). Fare increases from $1.75 to $2 are also proposed. These proposed changes could mean riders have to ﬁnd a new means of transportation to and from work, school, and the downtown area. “With this budget, we tried our best to be creative and to have the lowest impact on customers,” said Janz. “If people want to give their opinion as to how these cuts will aﬀect them, this is the time to give it.” “The transit is not being run like a business. This is kindergarten stuff. If lemonade is not selling, don’t raise the price!” —Bill Sell, supporter of public transit The feedback thus far has been resoundingly critical, with Bay View natives organizing several bus ride protests. Spearheaded by Bay View resident Bill Sell, the rides were held Aug. 6, 13, 20, and 27. “The transit is not being run like a business,” said Sell, who works and commutes to the Third Ward for his secretarial business. “This is kindergarten stuﬀ. If lemonade is not selling, don’t raise the price!” Protestors included 4th District Alderman Tony Zielinski and Gerry Broderick, supervisor of the county’s 3rd District. “I’m here because the transit system is essentially in a death spiral,” said Broderick. SEE PAGE 4
Meet Principal Matthews
By Anna Rose Sweet
homas Matthews is the new principal of Trowbridge School in Bay View, and he says he’s up for the task of turning around Trowbridge’s low enrollment. “I asked the superintendent for a change and a challenge, and that request was granted,” Matthews said.
Earlier this year, because of its dwindling enrollment, Trowbridge was slated to be merged with Dover, but the school was given at least a one-year reprieve to bolster its ranks. “Three hundred is sort of the magic number. You want a school to be above 300, and that’s our goal for the next coming years,” Matthews said. Matthews, most recently principal of Roosevelt School for the Arts, where he worked for the past 14 years, has worked for Milwaukee Public Schools since 1986. He was ﬁrst employed by the recreation department on summer playgrounds, and later became a paraprofessional. At age 23, working at Brown Street Academy with 4-year-olds, Matthews realized that teaching was his calling. “It was Oct. 26, 1986,” he said, smiling, “one of the happiest days of my life.” He decided then to end his time as a laborer for the Milwaukee Department of Public Works and ﬁnish his education. After student teaching, Matthews worked in various elementary and middle schools teaching many subjects for MPS. He spent three years following in his mother’s foot-
steps, teaching English. She sat in on his class one year on Mother’s Day to watch him teach. “She said it was the best gift she ever received,” Matthews said. In his youth, Matthews attended Alverno Elementary School, then a laboratory school for Alverno College, and later graduated from Bay View High School. He decided to teach in public schools. “I feel my calling is in urban education,” said Matthews. “I had such a positive experience in Bay View High School.” Matthews lights up when talking about Trowbridge. “We want to get the kids in the community and the community in the school.” There is an arts component in place now at the school, but Matthews plans on rallying the local arts community and to expose Trowbridge students to various art forms. He was involved in musicals there and is today very much an advocate of an artcentered curriculum. “Children can beneﬁt from a strong arts program. I think all children deserve that.” Matthews said he was comfortable at Roosevelt but is ready for the change. “I’ll admit I’m nervous,” he said. “But if you don’t have butterﬂies, something is wrong.” Matthews believes in education’s inﬂuence on society. “[Education] prepares students to successfully function and adapt to a continuously changing world,” he said. “Our role as educators is to prepare children to be success-
Tom Matthews, 44, said he realized at age 23 his calling in life was to educate young children.
ful as adults. In order to do so, we have to develop their literacy skills, critical thinking skills, and life-long learning skills.” He lives with his wife, Tracy, and their 4-year-old son, James. Matthews carries a photograph of his son in his wallet, along with a note that James wrote to him saying, “I love you Daddy.” Matthews looks forward to working at a school that has plenty of 4-year-olds. Trowbridge serves K4 through grade eight. Matthews lives just west of downtown Milwaukee in an iconic house, depicted on the neighborhood poster for Concordia in the Department of City Development’s series. Trowbridge, a historical landmark which opened in 1894, actually shares SEE PAGE 8
~photo Samantha Lukens
INSIDE Pg 2 MIFF Music-Flick Picks Pg 2 Bay View Straw Poll Pg 5 St. Augustine Clock Tower Pg 6 Barrett & Walker on Transit Pg 7 College Cost Reduction Act Pg 8 Homegrown Tomatoes Pgs 9-12 Schools Special Section Pg 13 Stinky Cladophora Pg 14 Dinner by Design Pg 15 Cocaine Bust at Chasers Pg 17 TZ Talks to Guardian Angels Pg 18 Street Grid Maze Pg 19 Bay View Bash Schedule