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Hunger Task Force Promotes Healthy Foods to Benefit the Milwaukee Community

Jan. 9 - Jan. 15, 2020


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What is Hunger Task Force’s main mission? Our mission is to make sure that people are fed today and that we end future hunger. You don’t end hunger by feeding people. But, as long as you’re feeding them, you should give them food that’s good for them. I always say to people, you should donate foods that you would give to your best friend when they were in trouble. If your best friend had a house fire, you wouldn’t show up with a box of ramen noodles and say good luck, you’d bring over a nice casserole that you made for them. [And we also look at] the federal nutrition programs. Our federal agency is the United States Department of Agriculture, and they have a whole host of programs that help eliminate hunger in the United States. What would you say is Hunger Task Force’s biggest accomplishment? I would say our biggest accomplishment is maintaining ourselves as a free and local food bank. Over the years, a lot of groups have been franchised by a group called Feeding America, but Hunger Task Force is a proud Wisconsin organization where we were established here in Milwaukee, by people in Milwaukee and we serve people in Milwaukee. And we never, ever charge for food.

Sherrie Tussler

Hunger Task Force Promotes Healthy Foods to Benefit the Milwaukee Community ::BY ERIN BERGE

unger Task Force has been providing breakfast, lunch and dinner to low-income children, families and seniors since 1974, without sacrificing the dignity of those in need. Knowing how difficult it is to ask for help, Hunger Task Force is committed to giving options for healthy eating through donations from the community, corporate sponsors and fruits and vegetables sourced from the Hunger Task Force Farm. Sherrie Tussler, executive director at Hunger Task Force, spoke with the Shepherd Express on why the pantry serves as a “public health mechanism,” why dignity is important and what the community can do to help end hunger.

4 | JANUARY 9, 2020

The website says that Hunger Task Force provides food for families with dignity. Could you expand a little more about the word dignity? Absolutely, it’s one of our core values. Justice, compassion, good stewardship and dignity [are our core values]. But dignity is the one that resonates with most people. We serve a lot of kids, and we serve a lot of seniors, and food that would otherwise be wasted is not the food that the Hunger Task Force is passing on. We don’t think that kids and seniors are dumpsters. We think that they are people, and so if it’s something that you don’t want to sell at a grocery store, then it should go into the dumpster. There are number of federal agencies who actually recommend food waste by donating your used or outdated food to the poor. The issue of dignity, giving people the same thing you would give to your best friend, is such a cultural norm here, and we hope to convey it throughout the food pantry network. For example, say you were so down that you need help with emergency food, you’ve been skipping meals, and now you’re facing the idea that maybe your kids are going to start skipping meals. You don’t want people to treat you poorly, and if you get there and they welcome you and they say, “here, walk through, here’s a bag, pick the things that work for you, the things that you can cook at home. The things that are familiar based on your culture or your religion.” That inspires that dignity piece for everybody, and I think that Milwaukee is very unique because that core value is consistent throughout our network. What has been your most rewarding experience with Hunger Task Force? Sometimes I go to a summer meal site, and I see 150 kids pour in over the course of a half an hour. From big to little, they eat their meal. These kids are being fed, and it’s the right thing to do to obviously feed a kid when they are in your care, but to know that so many of these children are not going hungry, it just feels really, really good.


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Who have been Hunger Task Force’s biggest supporters among the legislators? Hunger doesn’t really know a political party, and so we’ve gotten great support from lots of people here in Milwaukee County who wanted to make sure that Hunger Task Force is treated equally and reasonably. Anywhere from the lieutenant governor’s office; state representatives, like Danny Riemer (D) and Evan Goyke (D), have been great supporters; and Tim Carpenter (D) and Rob Hutton (R). Good people get to know you, and they try their best to make a system work because obviously Milwaukee County really can be treated unfairly in the broader scope of Wisconsin politics. We’re a place of deep poverty, we’re a place that’s racially different from the rest of the state, and we often get judged. A number of our legislators have just said, “no, […] we’re going to make it right for people.” What is Hunger Task Force supporting at the state level? We’re trying to increase access to food and make it more normal, so we are working on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) with our welfare office right now. It’s not [run very well] in Milwaukee. We would like to see it provide self-service to the customers there. You can apply online now for SNAP, you don’t have to go to the Welfare office, but if you do, you should be treated well. The welfare office could allow customers to serve themselves, rather than to wait in line to get the care that they need when their SNAP case isn’t working. We have a self-service welfare office on Mitchell Street. People walk in, they use our equipment, they get technical support or advice from us. It is a cheaper way to run a welfare office, and it’s more dignified again. I’m taking

care of myself, my business is my own, not everybody needs a social worker in their life just because they are poor. They just need a little bit of help. We work really hard to try to get the welfare office to run in a way that’s effective and doesn’t maltreat low-income people and people of color. How can those in the community help Hunger Task Force address this issue of hunger in Milwaukee? There are two ways. The first one is the easy one: You can donate food or money. People know how to do that, for the most part. The next step is the harder way, which is to get involved with our Voices Against Hunger program, and then they can be advocates; they can remind people as elections are coming up. It’s actually a good thing to do; it makes you feel more empowered, and it’s really important for everyone to realize that their voice matters. And when everyone’s voice is banded together, it usually gets taken care of. As an example, we were part of an organizing strategy with high school kids who wanted the quality of their food improved. So those kids used their phones to take pictures of their food, and the pictures said so much. They attended public hearings, school board hearings, and they were able to pass regulations within the public schools to improve the amount and types of fruits and vegetables they received on their plates and to get utensils. I don’t know how one eats meat without a knife and fork, but they were given sporks. And [they needed] to get plates and trays back because they were getting served out of paper cups. Which is super un-dignified. Those high school kids were able to organize, and their voice made a difference. Comment at n

Hunger Task Force BY ERIN BERGE

All shows start at 8 pm unless otherwise indicated Tickets available at Shank Hall Box Office, 866-468-3401, or at

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Pundamonium: The Milwaukee Pun Slam $10

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JANUARY 9, 2020 | 5




Beach in Port Washington

Twisted Willow


Port Washington enjoys a period of resurgence ::BY CATHERINE JOZWIK


ocated on Lake Michigan, Port Washington—a city 30 miles north of Milwaukee with a population of approximately 11,500 and spanning just under eight square miles—is quickly becoming one of Southeastern Wisconsin’s most attractive destinations. It was incorporated in 1882, and the Wisconsin Chair Company, established six years later, became one of Port Washington’s major economic institutions, employing 30% of county residents and causing the city’s population to increase dramatically. The Wisconsin Chair Company, which closed its doors in 1954, also launched Paramount Records, making Port Washington the unlikely location for one of the first record labels devoted to African American music. Fifth Ward Alderman Jonathan Pleitner, who has lived in Port Washington for seven years, says the city has experienced “a great resurgence” in the last decade. “Until the recent past, Port Washington was a hidden gem. What were once vacant storefronts are now shopping, dining and entertainment options for all of Southeastern Wisconsin,” he says. Port Washington boasts a variety of restaurants, several of which have recently opened. Farm-to-table establishment Twisted Willow and Hundred Mile House—the latter a restaurant with supper-club ambience that serves dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, such as seared sea scallops with sage pesto and Uphoff Family Farms pork belly— are both local favorites. Owner and chef Douglas Stringer opened Hundred Mile House in July, and business has been going strong ever since. “Port Washington is a small town with a big heart,” Stringer says. “The surrounding area provides a great wealth of agriculture, with farmers and CSA groups working hard to support each other. The town itself has spectacular views and a truly inspiring shoreline.” 6 | JANUARY 9, 2020

In August, Fork & Tap, a restaurant featuring shareable appetizers and sandwiches with 50 Wisconsin beers on tap, opened at 203 E. Main St. Also, Port Washington visitors and residents can shop several boutiques, including Zing Boutique and Moda Bella, a women’s clothing and accessories boutique. Owner Nikki Dudei, who has lived in Port Washington for five years, opened her business on New Year’s Day. “My love of this community is what drove me to open my downtown business,” she says.

‘New, Young Families Are Making Port Washington Their Home’

According to Port Washington Recreation Director Kiley Schulte, the city’s parks, particularly Upper Lake Park, have seen many improvements over the past several years. The park’s Possibility Playground, considered one of the top-10 playgrounds in the country for children with disabilities, underwent $500,000 in renovations and expansion efforts in September. The Upper Lake Park Beer Garden has expanded from a small area to a larger pavilion, complete with concrete pads. “New in 2019 [was] a stage for all the great entertainment that plays for the beer gardens,” Schulte says. Annual summer festivals, including Fish Day and the Paramount Blues Festival, draw many out-of-towners to Port Washington, and the community offers plenty of family friendly activities, such as the three summer Friday Night Flicks and Food Truck Festivals at Veteran’s Park (430 N. Lake St.) This August, the first Great Port Washington Camp Out—a two-day event organized in Upper Lake Park by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department—featured stargazing, s’mores, tie-dying and a glow-in-the-dark hike. Port Washington’s more than half-dozen parks and nature preserves, among them Upper Lake Park Valley, Harborview Park, Guenther Park and the nearby Sauk Creek Nature Preserve, provide the city with much natu-

Paramount Records Ad ca. 1919

ral beauty and plenty of opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities. Schulte noted that Birchwood Hills Nature Preserve recently received a minor facelift. New drainage tiles have been installed, and new pathways and signage are under development. Pleitner and Schulte believe that Port Washington’s highly rated school district, commitment to safety and new residential developments are steadily attracting residents, especially younger families, to the area. “The population has certainly increased, and many new, young families are making Port Washington their home. I hope to see a continuation in this trend, with more growth in the community,” says Schulte. Proximity to Milwaukee, about a 30-minute commute by freeway, is also attractive to Port Washington residents.

‘Port Washington Is a Special Place That Deserves to Be Treasured’

According to Scott Janeshek, a realtor with Beattie Janeshek Realty Group-BHHS Metro Realty, Port Washington’s housing market is “very active. Houses under $300,000 will often sell quickly. There is a variety of housing, where you can buy a single-family house in the $160ks all the way up to million-dollar lakefront condos.” To Pleitner, it’s the residents that make Port Washington a desirable place to live. “Everyone I’ve met has been extremely proud of our city, and there is a high level of involvement in improving the quality of life in Port Washington,” he says. Schulte agrees. “In just my short time here, there have been so many positive changes made to the community,” she said. Pleitner noted that future plans for the city include possible new subdivision development along the lakefront and the “Heart of the Harbor”—a gathering space for both residents and tourists located on the east end of Main Street, near the city’s marina and harbor. Seafood restaurant Newport Shores (407 E. Jackson St.) will be replaced by a mixed-use development, which includes at least 25 condominiums, a business incubator space and restaurants. This summer, an Airstream travel trailer will serve ice cream and other food items from a downtown city lot. “Port Washington is a special place that deserves to be treasured,” Pleitner concludes. “There is something for everyone. It is a great time to discover ‘Your Home Port.”’ Comment at n SHEPHERD EXPRESS



I am in the process of making New Year’s resolutions, and one of my goals is to floss daily. I’m not sure I will be able to keep it up, but I’m going to try! Is there anything else you would recommend changing in the new year to make my mouth and teeth healthier?


Dear Reader,

There is no question that the condition of our mouths contributes to overall health and well being, so dental goals should definitely be included when considering a healthier start to the new year. Flossing is certain to give you the best “return on investment.” With some practice, most of us can properly floss our teeth in under one minute. There aren’t many things in life that can be accomplished in one minute and so drastically improve the condition of our body. In SHEPHERD EXPRESS

addition to eliminating decay, disease and inflammation in the mouth, flossing has been shown to positively influence cardiovascular health, respiratory health and diabetes control. I do have a few other ideas for you: • Eliminate Harmful Habits—Often, we first think of habits such as smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco. However, there are other habits that can adversely affect our teeth: Nail biting, opening packages and chewing on ice can all damage your dentition. • Protect Your Teeth—If you participate in contact sports, wear a sports mouth guard to prevent breaking or chipping teeth. If you know that you clench or grind your teeth at night, try an over-the-counter guard for bruxism or ask your dentist about a professional night time guard. • Healthy Food and Beverages—Limiting sugar will decrease the risk of tooth decay (and provide many other health benefits!). • Brighten Your Smile—Now that you’ve made some healthy changes, reward yourself with whiter teeth! You can use whitening toothpastes and rinses or talk to your dentist about stronger whitening options they may offer in their office. • Straighten Your Teeth—Correcting your bite and straightening your teeth not only improve your smile but actually make your mouth healthier. Properly positioned teeth are easier to clean and help you maintain strong bones and healthy gums. And with new options like

Invisalign, you won’t have to deal with metal brackets and wires. Happy New Year!

-Dr. Stephanie Murphy

MEET DR. MURPHY Dr. Murphy was drawn to the handson field of dentistry for its artistic and aesthetic elements. She worked as a dental associate in the North Shore for five years, then established her own practice in 2010. A committed support staff aids her in providing quality, comprehensive oral health care to people of all ages, from toddlers to senior citizens.

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Inspiring the Community Through Harmony




John Walch


embers of the LGBTQ community have fought for decades for equal rights, and amidst that movement, LGBTQ choral groups developed to support the cause. Six years ago, the Milwaukee gay men’s chorus, Our Voice Milwaukee, has joined that movement to bring positive voices and support to the local community. The Gay Rights Movement started to gain traction in the 1980s because the LGBTQ community was in crisis. People were dying from AIDS while the public turned a blind eye. People were working to make the LGBTQ culture more widely accepted, and part of that effort was the beginning of the LGBTQ choral movement. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus was started in 1978 and is widely recognized for starting the choral movement that brought hope and a public awareness to a group of people who were struggling. It only took a few years before LGBTQ choral groups were popping up around the world; today, Milwaukee carries on that flame. The LGBTQ choral movement was started in the midst of death and loss, as a way to bring public awareness to the AIDS epidemic, to support those mourning their loved ones. “People’s worlds were falling apart, and it was a way to get out there and say, ‘listen, we’re not just a disease,’” says John Walch, who recently served as president of Our Voice Milwaukee for two years. That message of awareness is still important, but as Walch explains, the choral movement has developed into a celebration of identity and the freedom that LGBTQ people have to express themselves. “We’re proud of who we are, we’re representing who we are, and this is how we do it—through song.” The official mission statement of Our Voice Milwaukee is “offering harmony in music to help inspire harmony in community.” They are boldly and openly themselves, showing their audiences that it’s okay to be open about your identity. The members of the men’s chorus see it as vital to have a strong public presence, especially in a society where being gay has only recently become widely accepted. More so, the chorus is making a point of creating an environment where their members and audiences can feel safe and meet new people. Walch explains that energy and confidence radiate from participants during their concerts because of the harmonies they create. He has loved singing since he was a child and “it’s the feelings that, for so many years, I didn’t feel like I could express. I can be on stage and express my feelings. It’s who I am. It’s a powerful feeling.” The choral group exists so that others can experience that same feeling. The chorus has performed all around the city for the last six years, including concerts for PrideFest, Bucks’ Pride and Brewers’ Pride. They have also raised money for causes such as the Gay-Straight Alliance at Watertown High School and the It Gets Better Tour, a project dedicated to suicide prevention in the LGBTQ community. Their next performance will be singing the national anthem at Pride Night for the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Our Voice Milwaukee proudly sings for inclusion and acceptance of all cultures. They continue the tradition of LGBTQ choruses around the country who stand as symbols of hope for the community. Learn more at For more of Erin Bloodgood’s work, visit 8 | JANUARY 9, 2020

Republicans Win Elections by Purging Democracy INNING ELECTIONS IN A DEMOCRACY USED TO DEPEND UPON MAKING WIDESPREAD, popular appeals attracting as many voters as possible. Increasingly these days for Republicans, winning depends on using every trick imaginable to prevent those who won’t vote Republican from ever casting a ballot. That’s especially true when your president is Donald Trump, who refuses to appeal to anyone beyond those attending his all-white hate rallies roaring approval at his crude racism and vitriolic attacks on his perceived enemies. Then you really have to stop enormous numbers of Americans from exercising their right to vote. It wasn’t just a coincidence that the same week an Ozaukee County judge ordered as many as 234,000 voters to be removed from Wisconsin’s voting rolls in response to a rightwing Republican lawsuit a federal judge in Georgia ordered another 300,000 voters stricken from that state’s voting rolls. Wisconsin Republicans specifically targeted a list of voters heavily weighted toward residents of Milwaukee, Madison and college towns around the state. It’s obvious why. In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin’s electoral votes by only 22,748 votes. Republicans believe cancelling hundreds of thousands of voter registrations in Democratic areas could win a key swing state for Trump in November despite intense opposition in urban and suburban areas and Trump’s bankrupting of hundreds of Wisconsin farms with his destructive trade war. Wisconsin’s just one small cog in a corrupt national scheme. The success of Republican voter suppression nationally hasn’t just tossed a few hundred thousand Americans off the voting rolls. It’s ended voter registration for millions—many who may not know it until they try to vote in November—too late in their states to re-register.

Corrupt State Courts

Ominously, Republican voter suppression schemes are beginning to win approval in many Republican state courts. Even worse, a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018 upheld an Ohio “use-it-or-lose-it” law purging voters who fail to vote in a single federal election. That’s why Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has essentially abandoned passing legislation to work nearly full time stocking federal court vacancies with unqualified, rightwing Trump appointees hellbent on destroying the nation’s

non-partisan, independent judiciary, as well as democratic elections. It’s easy to see where the Wisconsin court case is headed. Republican former Gov. Scott Walker solidified a corrupt, rightwing majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court with partisan appointees who ultimately shutdown a criminal investigation into his administration. The rightwing Bradley Foundation-financed Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, which filed the Republican lawsuit, can hardly wait to get there. But the Wisconsin Elections Commission, split evenly between Republican and Democratic appointees, is trying to avoid purging voters before November’s election by pursuing every legal appeal. The good news is Walker and Republican legislators failed in their attempts to destroy same-day voter registration in Wisconsin. Even if the state Supreme Court upholds massive voter purges, voters who learn they’re no longer registered to vote when they show up on Election Day can re-register immediately. Wisconsinites will have to fend off continuing Republican attempts to destroy their voting rights, especially insidious “use-it-orlose-it” laws Republican-controlled states like Ohio and Georgia use to reduce voting by Democrats. Typically, voter purges start when citizens fail to vote in several elections. Ohio’s law is the most extreme, beginning after a voter misses only one federal election. The state mails postcards to missing voters requiring them to certify they reside at the same address to maintain their voter registrations. (Wisconsin used a similar process to try to confirm the residencies of the 234,000 voters facing a possible purge but with one glaring omission: Voters were never warned their voter registration would be revoked if they failed to return the postcard.) The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s extreme law in 2018 in a five-to-four vote, with all five Republican-appointed justices approving the law, and the four Democraticappointed justices dissenting; Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent pointed out the fatal flaw in the majority decision, citing Ohio’s actual practice. In 2012, Breyer wrote, Ohio sent out 1.5 million notices to 20% of the state’s registered voters asking whether they had moved, even though statistically only about 4% of Americans move outside their counties each year. The state received back about 60,000 return cards (about 4%) confirming they’d moved. Another 235,000 returned cards saying the state was wrong; they hadn’t moved. More than a million recipients returned no cards at all. As a result, Breyer said, all of those voters were removed from the rolls, thanks in large part to “the human tendency not to send back cards received in the mail.” Seriously, when was the last time you received anything important unsolicited in the mail, a service these days used primarily by junk mail advertisers? Constitutional voting rights are far too important to depend upon mail service in black and brown neighborhoods—precisely those communities Republicans are most eager to disenfranchise. Comment at n SHEPHERD EXPRESS

::SAVINGOURDEMOCRACY ( JAN. 9 - JAN. 15, 2020 ) Shepherd Express serves as a clearinghouse for all activities in the Greater Milwaukee area that peacefully push back against discriminatory or authoritarian actions and policies of the Donald Trump regime, as well as highlighting activities that promote social and environmental justice. To submit to this column, please send a brief description of your action, including date and time, to

Thursday, Jan. 9

Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Interviews @ Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Citizen Action Office, 221 S. Second St., 5:30 p.m.

Join Citizen Action of Wisconsin leaders and members who will interview Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky (6 p.m.) and Marquette Law Professor Ed Fallone (7p.m.) in their bid to unseat rightwing Justice Daniel Kelly.

Friday, Jan. 10

League of Progressive Seniors Candidate Forum @ Mitchell Street Library, 906 W. Mitchell St., 11:30 a.m.

The League of Progressive Seniors is hosting a lunch and forum featuring candidates for Milwaukee county executive, including David Crowley, Bryan Kennedy, Chris Larson, Theo Lipscomb, Purnima Nath and Jim Sullivan.

Saturday, Jan. 11

Peace Action of Wisconsin: Stand for Peace @ the corner of Cesar Chavez Drive and Greenfield Avenue, noon-1 p.m.



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Every Saturday from noon-1 p.m., concerned citizens join with Peace Action of Wisconsin to protest war and literally “Stand for Peace.” Signs will be provided for those who need them. Protesters are encouraged to stick around for conversation and coffee the protest.

Laughing Liberally @ ComedySportz Milwaukee (420 S. First St.), 8-10 p.m.

With Donald Trump and Republican attacks on health care, immigrants, the environment and more, we need to laugh, perhaps, now more than ever. Laughing Liberally—a monthly progressive political comedy show hosted by comedian, cartoonist and progressive talk radio host Matthew Filipowicz—brings together several comedians for this show. On the bill are Jason Hillman, Sabeen Sadiq, Whitney Wasson, Melody Kate and sketch comedy troupe The Accountants Of Homeland Security. In addition, this month’s guest is Milwaukee city comptroller candidate Alex Brower.

PC & MAC (414) 687-9650

Divided by Design MKE Timeline Build @ Milwaukee Public Library (East Branch), 2320 N. Cramer St., 10 a.m.

Fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, Milwaukee remains one of the most hyper-segregated metropolitan areas in the U.S. Discriminatory housing practices of the past translate into significant inequalities that persist today along racial lines in the form of redlining, sundown towns and racial covenants. Volunteers are needed to check document readability and source information for housing timeline.

XR MKE Meeting @ Zablocki Library, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave., 3:30 p.m.

Extinction Rebellion Milwaukee uses nonviolent civil disobedience in its fight for a livable planet and to bring greater public recognition to the need for immediate mass change to protect all living species from extinction. At this meeting, attendees can discuss recent activities and upcoming actions focused on the climate crisis.

Tuesday, Jan. 14

Protest Donald Trump’s Rally @ UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Ave., 5 p.m.

In the 2016 presidential election, Wisconsin was a key swing state. There is no reason to believe that the 2020 race will be any different. Trump’s recent, dangerous military actions in Iraq and Iran are just another reason to peacefully protest against the regime’s leader at this rally as he yells out another fact-free diatribe to his fawning followers. To submit to this column, please send a brief description of your action, including date and time, to Comment at n SHEPHERD EXPRESS

JANUARY 9, 2020 | 9


The How of Behavior Change ::BY PHILIP CHARD


or many, the dawn of a new year brings hope for a “new me.” The resolve to improve one’s self physically, mentally, socially and/or spiritually reaches a cultural crescendo each January. However, for most, this budding optimism soon fades. Research shows that up to 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Many of us find intentional behavior change a steep hill, but not for the reasons most imagine, such as a lack of willpower, character defects or laziness. Rather, most selfimprovement efforts fall because of one’s method, not insufficient motivation. The good news is that behavioral science has identified those approaches most likely to promote positive behavior change. So, let’s consider what works by looking at four ways to keep those resolutions.

Sense of Self

If the new behavior one attempts to adopt does not fit with one’s identity, it won’t stick. Clothing offers an analogy. Sometimes new threads just feel right, as if they belong on your body; other times, no matter how flashy or expensive, that goodness-of-fit just isn’t there. If the new outfit (or behavior) doesn’t have that “me feel,” you won’t wear it for long. Take exercise, for example, which is among the most popular of resolutions. If, in your mind, you think, “I’m not an active person,” that self-definition subconsciously

undermines your efforts to exercise more. How? Through self-talk that drones on in the background of conscious awareness, quietly sabotaging the motivation to “just do it!” However, if you alter this self-talk by defining yourself as an active person and then begin acting the part by gradually increasing your exercise level, your identity will evolve toward a new sense of self compatible with a more vigorous lifestyle. So, be mindful of your self-talk (you are listening to yourself ) and modify it to support your goal. First, you think it. Then, you become it.


We all engage in habitual behaviors. So, if we pair a desired behavior with an existing one that occurs automatically, we’ll practice it more often, increasing the odds it will eventually lock in. For example, let’s say you are distracted much of the time (and who isn’t?) and want to become more presentcentered rather than ruminating about the past or fretting about the future. By engaging in habitual behaviors (eating, bathing, dressing, walking, etc.) more mindfully, you train your brain to live in the moment, and, because you already do these habits routinely, you aren’t adding another time-sucking task to your to-do list. What’s more, this process creates a ripple effect that gradually spreads out to other, less by-the-numbers activities.

Locking in new behaviors depends more on repetition than duration. The more often we engage in a desired action—as opposed to how long we do it any one time—the greater the probability it will become habitual. Let’s say you want to stick with that aforementioned exercise routine but putting in the recommended 30-minutes a day just isn’t happening. No problem. The key thing is exercising daily, even if just for five minutes. After enough repetition, it will become a habit. Then, later, you can gradually increase the duration of your exercise routine.

Your Other Brain

Finally, it’s critical to partner with your subconscious mind in your change efforts. Why? Cognitive activities like major decision-making, creativity, intrinsic motivation, intuition and others are largely the province of subconscious processes. We can better align our change efforts by “seeding” the subconscious just before falling asleep via something called the “question-behavior effect.” It’s simple. You just ask yourself the applicable question, such as “Will I exercise tomorrow?”, and then let it go. This question activates subconscious processing to produce an “answer;” not in a literal sense but through your subsequent motivation and behavior. Unquestionably, the intrinsic desire to change (the “why do it?” factor) is necessary for success, but it’s not sufficient unto itself. We also need to understand and implement the “how does it work?” of the change process. Applied together, they transform “I want to” into “I will.” For more, visit


Poll Results: Last week, we asked who you thought would emerge on top in the laying down of ground rules over the looming Senate trial of Donald Trump, Democrat Nancy Pelosi or Republican Mitch McConnell. You said: 59% Nancy Pelosi 41% Mitch McConnell

What Do You Say? Our Green Bay Packers ended the season with an impressive 13-3 record and as champions of the NFCNorth. But, what’s the farthest you think they’ll go in the upcoming playoffs? The Divisional Round The Conference Championships All the way to Super Bowl LIV! Vote online at We’ll publish the results of this poll in next week’s issue.

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FEBRUARY 8, 2020

WISCONSIN CENTER MILWAUKEE exhibitors and speakers an estimated 2,000+ attendees

an opportunity to learn more about the innovative and exciting cannabis, cbd, and hemp industry

tickets are on sale now! SHEPHERD EXPRESS J A N UA RY 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 11


We will keep you informed each week about the growing availability of legal cannabis products in Milwaukee and what’s happening at the state level with respect to Wisconsin’s movement towards legalization, what’s happening in other states and in the rest of the world.

Cannabidiol Wellness Company Proud to Be Part of Wisconsin’s Cannabis Family ::BY SHEILA JULSON


ennifer Polak, founder of Canna Infuzions, had always harnessed an innate passion for helping people. She had worked as a respiratory therapist in critical care for more than a decade. Then, she faced her own wellness challenge, postpartum depression, and she found little relief from prescription anti-depressants. Eventually, she heard about cannabidiol (CBD), and she decided to give it a try. “It really helped me,” Polak relates. “I had to share my experience with others.” That sharing included a Facebook page that advocates and informs people about cannabinoids. During that time, she had also been dabbling with herbal apothecary remedies to help treat her son’s eczema. “He had been prescribed a topical that contains a derivative of chemotherapy. That was a turn-off, so that’s how I stated making my own products.” Those two experiences converged into Canna Infuzions, Polak’s e-commerce business that offers handcrafted CBD products including tinctures, salves, pain balms, teas and more. Polak crafts her CBD-infused items in a licensed commercial kitchen space in South Milwaukee. She has a processor’s license and a grower’s license, and she sources raw product from Wisconsin hemp farmers. In addition to online sales, Canna Infuzions products can be found at Hazy Days, Bayview Wellness, CBD Therapeutics of Wisconsin, Canni Hemp and Beyond Full Spectrum. “I think a lot of people who are interested in CBD are looking for natural alternatives to conventional medicine,” Polak observes. Since launching the business in March 2018, she has been able to quit her respiratory therapist job and run Canna Infuzions full-time and hire two part-time employees. Her jour12 | J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 0 2 0

ney toward entrepreneurship, particularly in a fledgling industry, has not been the competitive, cutthroat experience sometimes associated with the business world.

Grassroots Approach “This is truly a grassroots family mentality,” Polak says of Wisconsin’s cannabis industry. “There’s not one day that goes by that I don’t get a message from a grower, a processor or a brick-and-mortar store. Polak says she’s part of a “family” that also works with the Wisconsin chapter of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Canna Infuzions’ full-spectrum tinctures are made with CBD sourced from Dane County, Wis., and is also processed in Wisconsin. Her processor uses ethanol extraction, which grabs properties of the entire cannabis plant including phytonutrients and terpenes. Other products include organically produced salve available in four varieties, all infused with herbs and essential oils. The “pain” formula contains capsaicin and arnica, which produces a warming effect. The “menthol” pain salve is cooling, with nutrient-rich hemp seed oil and arnica. The “healing” salve has tea tree oil and is formulated for skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis. Polak developed the “soothing” pain salve during her time as a respiratory therapist while working with patients with neuropathy. She also has a CBD artisan tea line, made with locally manufactured Urbal Tea. She also offers some products like CBD gummies, pet treats and soft gels made by other companies because she doesn’t have the manufacturing capacity to make those items. Polak has seen strides in societal acceptance of cannabis, particularly in the CBD arena. “More people understanding that there’s no high (with CBD) and there are medicinal benefits. I hear from parents considering CBD for their children and from people interested in purchasing it for their elderly parents.” As for further cannabis legalization, Polak points to the 2018 advisory referendums as proof that Wisconsin is ready for all forms of cannabis. “I think Wisconsinites are disappointed that it [full legalization] hasn’t happened here yet. We’re surrounded by Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan—states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana—and our people here want it. I hope our state legislature is listening.” For more information, visit Information is this article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional regarding the use of any treatment. Comment at n

Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco (and Marijuana) Products Raised to 21 ::BY JEAN-GABRIEL FERNANDEZ


t is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product—including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes—to anyone under the age of 21 years,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Saturday, Dec. 21. This comes one day after President Donald Trump signed a pair of  spending bills that covered a vast array of topics, including additional funding for his Mexico border wall, increased military spending and more. Nestled in the “Miscellaneous Provisions” section is a small bombshell: By amending the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the government effectively raised the minimum age of smoking from 18 to 21; while smoking itself is not banned, it is illegal to provide youth younger than 21 with tobacco products.  In the past few months, a “vaping disease” (EVALI, which stands for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) has been headline news and has caused lung injury in more than 2,500 people, as well as at least 55 deaths across the U.S. Many EVALI patients suffered after vaping illicit marijuana cartridges. In reaction, several states banned vaping products, making the regulation of smoking a major issue for the Trump administration.  The spending bill gives the secretary of health and human services 180 days to draft a final rule and then 90 additional days to fully enforce it, but the provision has already been signed into law, meaning stores will stop selling products to young adults during the transition period we have just entered. This means tobacco, itself, of course, but it also includes hookahs, vape pens, rolling paper and filters, as well as any product that helps to deliver nicotine into the body—which happen to be largely the same products used to consume marijuana.

Marijuana and Youth

The stated objective of this new legislation is to protect young people from the well-documented harmful effects of tobacco. It is the result of a long-standing movement to change the smoking age, which was pushed nationally by organizations such as Tobacco 21.  In an FDA-sponsored study, the National Academy of Medicine did find that “the initiation age of tobacco use is critical. Among adults who become daily smokers, approximately 90% report first use of cigarettes before reaching 19 years of age.” The study concludes that raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 would prevent more than 220,000 premature deaths, as adults 21 and older are less likely to be in the same social networks as high schoolers, thus greatly lowering the chances teenagers have to obtain smoking products. However, it seems that tobacco will not be the only—or even the main—target of this law. In August 2019, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that “in 2018, an estimated 672,000 adolescents (2.7%) aged 12 to 17, and 6.5 million young adults (18.1%) aged 18 to 25, smoked cigarettes in the past month.” While this shows how widespread consuming tobacco still is, it also shows that tobacco is overwhelmingly used by older people: Out of 47 million current tobacco smokers, 39.8 million are age 26 and older. By comparison, marijuana is far more likely to be consumed by youth: “In 2018, 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 (12.5%), and 11.8 million young adults aged 18 to 25 (34.8%), were past-year users of marijuana.” As such, it seems inevitable that the new legislation will affect marijuana use more than tobacco use among young people.  Reducing marijuana use among youth has been a key point of marijuana reform, as pot is suspected to have a negative impact on the proper development of the brain if consumed before the early-to-mid 20s. In the past, studies have concluded that using marijuana as a teenager could lead to the loss of a few IQ points and might influence neural connections. However, a more recent study focusing on the effects of marijuana use by one member of a pair of twins does not support that finding. That is to say that the effects of marijuana use on the developing brain are not wellunderstood, and the question remains open.  The new age of smoking falls in line with the trend to limit use of drugs in the U.S. to adults 21 and older in an attempt to limit negative consequences on teenagers, following the precedent set by alcohol regulations. All states that have legalized recreational cannabis forbid its sale to people younger than 21, although medical marijuana patients can legally obtain it starting at age 18. However, as is clearly shown by the fact millions of teenagers consume marijuana without being of age or while living in states where it remains illegal, obtaining cannabis under the table won’t be a roadblock for them. We might be headed towards a head-scratching situation where marijuana will be easily obtainable by people younger than 21, but where the hookah or rolling paper needed to smoke it will become difficult to obtain. Comment at n SHEPHERD EXPRESS






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Baja Tacos & Margarita from Mexic 103

Mexic 103 Is a Welcome Addition to Cudahy

mestic brews. Appetizers include ceviche ($8), a seafood dish originating from Peru; empanadas ($2 each); and fried plantains with Mexican cream ($4.50). The tortilla chips are on the thicker side and hold up well for dipping into the cool, creamy guacamole dip ($6) blended with fresh cilantro, lime juice and tomato chunks. The broad menu has all the Mexican classics you’d expect; these include a ground beef taco platter ($8) with three ground beef tacos on corn or flour tortillas; quesadilla supreme ($8); sizzling fajitas ($13); house enchiladas ($10); and house burritos ($10), with a choice of fillings. Plates come with a side of ::BY SHEILA JULSON beans and buttery, seasoned Spanish rice, attractively served in a pyramid shape. There are slight upcharges for some additional sides or toppings. as it a little risky to open another There are several seafood specialties to choose from, and on a recent visit, Mexican restaurant within a one-block one of my fellow diners chose the Baja tacos ($12.50). The plate featured one radius of two well-established eatershrimp taco, which was generously filled with plump, snappy shrimp, topped ies serving Mexican fare (Samano’s and with scallions, tomatoes, cilantro and onions, served with cilantro jalapeño Lala’s)? Maybe, but the venture seems to sauce; and a tilapia taco, which generated a “wow!” from my fellow diner upon have paid off for Mexic 103, housed in a beau- the first bite. He remarked how the tilapia fillet was grilled and seasoned to tiful Lannon Stone building on East Layton perfection, topped with avocado slices, tomato and Baja cream sauce. Avenue that was occupied by a series of bar As a vegetarian, I was excited to see the rare choice of a veggie chimiand grills and, most recently, a microbrewery. changa ($10) filled with squash, zucchini, tomato and onions, but I wanted Since opening last summer, Mexic 103, owned something a little on the lighter side that day, so I went with the vegan tacos by restaurant industry veteran Gilberto Isidoro ($8). It’s always interesting to see each Mexican restaurant’s unique spin on and his wife, Ericka Martell, has carved its own iden- vegetarian and vegan substitutes. Mexic 103’s house-made soy crumbles are tity and has become a neighbormoist and lightly seasoned, making a satisfying plant-based hood favorite. filling for tacos. Each one was topped with shredded lettuce, Mexic 103 My visits over the past year with fresh cilantro, onions and tomatoes. friends and family have found the food Favorite house dishes available include shrimp with garlic 3506 E. Layton Ave. to be consistently good, with friendly service. A spacious butter ($14), seasoned with Creole spices; mole ($12); and 414-231-9101 patio alongside the building offers pleasant seating during nopalito (baby cactus) with cheese ($15), which comes with M-Th: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; summer. The interior is warm and inviting. There’s about a grilled chicken, shrimp and cactus, topped with red house F-Sa: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; half-dozen fruity margaritas to choose from, but as a margarsauce, cheddar and Monterey Jack. Mexic 103 also offers Su: Closed ita traditionalist, I like the classic tarty lime on the rocks ($6). some breakfast options, such as breakfast tacos ($7) or hueBeer drinkers will find a nice assortment of Mexican and do$-$$ • GF vos con chorizo ($7), as well as a kid’s menu.

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Scratch Scoop Shop

Ice Cream (and More) at Crossroads Collective’ Scratch Scoop Shop ::BY JAMIE LEE RAKE

Treating yourself to ice cream at Scratch Scoop Shop (in Crossroads Collective, 2238 N. Farwell Ave.) may be pricier than some other places for similarly smooth, chilled treats. But here, you’re investing in an indulgence made in small batches with artisanal care. And Scratch offers dairy-free options that excel at matching the creaminess of their primary offerings. This was my revelation upon setting Scratch’s Dirt Cake cream-free ice cream. The chocolatey, crumbly goodness is no less tasty for the lack of lactose. I also tried Door County cherry ice cream on a recent visit, tasting like a frozen cordial candy. Flavors change daily, though, so the opportunities for creative combinations do, too. The waffle cones at Scratch are flattened, rounded and repurposed for ice cream sandwiches that look like especially thick, vanillafilled Stroopwafel cookies dotted with chocolate chips around the side. Connoisseurs of ice cream and other desserts would do well to dig into Scratch.

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6207 W. National Ave. West Allis, WI 53214 414-321-5775


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Hippie Wayne Fosters Future Foodie Entrepreneurs


ayne Wojciechowski, better known as “Hippie Wayne,” began cooking professionally in 1969 for the Howard Johnson’s hotel and restaurant chain’s Oshkosh, Wis., location. “The Galloping Gourmet,” a TV show that aired from 1969 to 1971, further influenced his passion for food and cooking. He retired after a long career in the food industry, but he still wanted to stay active and connected to food. That led to Hippie Wayne’s line of dill pickles, pickled eggs, jams and salsas, and Green Tomato Artisan Market & Kitchen, an affordable commercial kitchen space in Appleton, Wis., that has launched several foodie businesses over the past eight years. “Everybody in my family canned. I helped my mother pickle fish. We pickled anything,” he recalls. Although his original post-retirement plan was to launch a food truck with hot beef sandwiches, a mentor from SCORE, a network of volunteer business mentors, encouraged him to pursue something more unique. Wojciechowski reached back to his family’s pickling recipes, as well as other recipes he’s researched and modified, to create the Hippie Wayne’s product line. Wojciechowski started selling pickles and jams at farmers markets in the northeast Wisconsin region in 2010. Soon, he was on the shelves at small local businesses such as Planeview Travel Plaza and Market Boutique on Main, in Oshkosh, and Eaton’s Fresh Pizza, in Fond du Lac, Wis. Through Trust Local Food Distribution, his products found their way to the shelves at Outpost Natural Foods. But don’t look anywhere else. “When you get really big, it becomes a job. I’m retired!” he says. “I want to enjoy what I’m doing and not have to get up at 2 a.m. to get 20 tasks done.” Customer favorites include the pickled eggs, pickled mushrooms, black bean and corn salsa and strawberry rhubarb jam. Looking for classic, old-school dill pickles like grandma use to


make? Hippie Wayne’s nails the nostalgia not just with taste, but also with the packaging. Products come in traditional Ball jars. When the lid is popped off, you see garlic cloves and dill neatly packed in with the pickle spears. Other jams include varieties like Mom’s Apple Pie in a Jar, with chunky seasoned apples. Wojciechowski sources most of his produce locally from farms that are either certified organic or grow with organic methods. Due to the volume of eggs he uses, he sources those from V. Marchese. “I can tell people where everything in the jar came from. It’s a great way of doing business,” Wojciechowski notes. Eight years ago, Wojciechowski took over the lease of a processing kitchen he would transform into Green Tomato Artisan Market & Kitchen. He makes Hippie Wayne’s products there and has also helped foster other food entrepreneurs such as Ann’s Gluten Free Bakery, who opened a small café in the space. She offers breakfast, lunch, soups and salads from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Other businesses in the space include Irresistibly Healthy, makers of all-natural hummus, spreads, sauces and snack mixes, the latter of which are made with their own vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce. There’s also JSA Coffee Roasting and Caribbean Taste catering, specializing in jerk chicken. Their foods are gluten-free and available in the café. Green Tomato also has a retail component that sells products made in kitchen. Wojciechowski concludes that splitting the cost of commercial space gives everyone an advantage to launch foodie businesses, but he encourages everyone he mentors to have a solid business plan. “You can have a food business as a hobby, but the minute you get a license, it’s no longer a hobby, it’s a job. You’ve got to put your big-boy pants on and make it happen.” For more information, visit TheGreenTomatoKitchen. SHEPHERD EXPRESS

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Telling an Old Story in a New Way


laywright Lee Breuer’s script for The Gospel at Colonus begins with this description of the setting: “A Pentecostal church. Behind its elegant interior is a line of ancient Greek temple columns. One holy place rises out of the ruins of another.” The church choir and seven musicians, five deacons, an evangelist, a guest gospel quintet, a pastor and his congregation take places. Everyone on stage is African American. A visiting black preacher opens a leather-bound book and begins: “I take as my text this evening the Book of Oedipus.” “It doesn’t feel like a musical,” says Christie Chiles Twillie, music director for the Skylight Music Theatre’s production opening Friday, Jan. 17. “I think we can define it more as experimental theater. It’s something very different.” Breuer co-founded one of New York City’s defining experimental theater ensembles, Mabou Mines, in 1970. By 1980, he was writing for the group in collaboration with composer Bob Telson. Telson was a former member of the Philip Glass Ensemble (Glass was another Mabou co-founder, though he didn’t stay long), a pianist for salsa bandleaders Tito Puente and Machito and the organist, composer and arranger for the gospelsinging Five Blind Boys of Alabama. The Blind Boys played that gospel quintet in the original 1983 production of Colonus at the Brooklyn Academy’s Next Wave Festival. The show was an international hit and even ran for several months on Broadway in 1988. Skylight’s production is directed by Milwaukee’s Sheri Williams Pannell. “When I saw it in the ’80s on PBS’‘Great Performances,’” she says, “I thought, ‘What did I just experience here?’ It was like church, but that’s not a Bible story! I said, ‘Somehow, I’ve got to be part of this!’” A member of the Skylight family as performer, director and advisory committee member, she’d hinted for years that the show should be staged. “The question was always, ‘Can we find the actors?’” she says. She honors former artistic director Ray Jivoff for introducing it in his farewell season. Yes, it’s Sophocles’ play, Oedipus at Colonus, refashioned by Breuer and Telson as a modern African American Pentecostal church service. More than half of it is sung. Oedipus’ spirit speaks through church members, chiefly the preacher and the gospel quintet. His daughter, Antigone, inspires the evangelist’s words; Theseus, king of Athens, takes hold of the pastor; the choir is the responsive congregation. (left to right) Tasha McCoy (Antigone),Marvin Hannah (Messenger), Raven Dockery (Ismene) and Byron Jones (Oedipus)in rehearsal for The Gospel at Colonus PHOTO BY ROSS ZENTNER

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The original play was among the last of more than 100 composed by the ancient Greek playwright. The first performance, in 401 B. C. in the holy Theatre of Dionysus, in Athens, was staged after Sophocles’ death. As was always the case with the great Greek poets who created the playwriting art, that first audience knew the story. What mattered to them and to the elected judges of the annual, three-day tragedy contest, the climax of the spring festival honoring the dying-resurrecting nature god Dionysus, was the manner of the telling, the new understandings it provided. Most people know Sophocles’ earlier tragedy, Oedipus the King. The hero who solved the riddle of the Sphynx, rescued Thebes from famine and became its honored king would, through no fault of his own, kill his father, marry his mother and have sons and daughters by her. When the truth was revealed, the mother-wife hung herself and the son-husbandfather-brother tore his eyes out with her brooches. What happens next is less familiar. Blind Oedipus suffers for many years, a virtual prisoner in Thebes of his brother-in-law, Creon, the city’s new king. Oedipus’ two sons come of age and cold-bloodedly vie for the throne they both see as their inheritance. Oedipus becomes a threat when the younger generation of Thebans, learning the tragic tale of their unlucky former king, now seeks his guidance regarding succession. Creon responds by banishing Oedipus. His sons are relieved to see him gone. Only his daughters, Antigone and Ismene, stand by him. Antigone guides her blind father by the hand as they make their way to a sacred forest on the outskirts of Athens. It’s called Colonus. Oedipus believes he’s meant to die there. Will the Athenian community permit a man with such a past to enter a sanctified site? Moreover, in death, will Oedipus be saved or damned? Sophocles made those quesSkylight tions his subject, and Breuer Music stands by him. Theatre Breuer was inspired by the The Gospel African American writer Zora Neale Hurston, who conat Colonus nected Greek tragedy with Cabot Theatre the Pentecostal service in proJanuary 17-26 viding “a communal catharsis which forges religious, cultural and political bonds.” Williams Pannell is a devout member of Calvary Baptist Church, which, she says, “has very much that Pentecostal influence. When the powerful truth of what you’re hearing moves you, you respond.” About the Mississippi Delta Blues-style music, Twillie says, “When you have the singers we have, audience members will be out of their seats! You’ll feel that Hammond B-3 giving you a hug!” Performances are January 17-26 in the Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway. For tickets and more information, call 414-291-7800 or visit


::PERFORMINGARTSWEEK For More to Do, visit


The Snowy Day and Other Stories

The magic and wonder of a wintry day come to life in First Stage’s production of The Snowy Day and Other Stories, based on the 1963 Caldecott Medal-winning book by acclaimed author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats. The play is an imaginative ode to childhood in which the audience will surely identify with young Peter, who is eager to explore the winter wonderland outside—throwing snowballs, making snow angels and experiencing the crunchy, fresh snow below his boots. The play follows him as he grows up and explores the wide, wonderful world around him. This is a First Stage First Steps production, offered to help introduce children ages 3-7 to theater in an engaging, interactive, lively environment. Artistic director Jeff Frank explains: “We’ve been looking at this beautifully crafted script for several years, and I’m so glad that our audiences will get to experience the magic it brings this season. A wonderful blend of live action, music and shadow puppetry, this work of Keats springs forth and promises to enchant our youngest audience members and their families.” (John Jahn) Jan. 11-Feb. 9 at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut St. For tickets, call 414267-2961 or visit

The Legend of Georgia McBride

Casey is a down-and-out Elvis Presley impersonator with a baby on the way. When the owner of the run-down bar where he works hires a drag show to attract more customers, Casey is out of a job… or is he? Filled with music, humor and lots of sequins, this joyful, acclaimed new play by Matthew Lopez is a reminder that the path to prosperity and fulfillment may sometimes take an unexpected turn. This Milwaukee Repertory Theater production will be directed by Meredith McDonough and feature Kevin Kantor, James Pickering, Armand Fields, Shavanna Calder and Courter Simmons. The New York Times described The Legend of Georgia McBride as “stitchin-your-side funny” and “full of sass and good spirits.” (John Jahn) Jan. 14-Feb. 9 in the Quadracci Powerhouse, Patty and Jay Baker Theater Complex, 108 E. Wells St. For tickets, call 414-224-9490 or visit

Arnie, the Doughnut

Laurie Keller’s charming story about Arnie, an enthusiastic doughnut, was adapted from its children’s book origins to a musical for the live stage in 2005. Keller’s book was a 2004 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year. When Arnie’s infectious optimism inspires the cautious Mr. Bing, this new pair of pals learn a lesson about the rigid rules at the Cozy Confines Condo Community. Together, they dream up a way out of a particularly sticky jam. Arnie the talking doughnut eventually manages to convince Mr. Bing that not all doughnuts are meant to be eaten. A deliciously imaginative story about friendship, Arnie, the Doughnut is a family friendly treat. (John Jahn) Jan. 11-19 at Marquette University’s Helfaer Theatre, 525 N. 13th St. For tickets, call 414-2887504 or visit


‘Get It Out There’

Milwaukee performing artists, established and emerging, with new short works or fragments of a longer work-in-progress to present, submit descriptions to Danceworks staff. Most, if not all, of the works are then welcomed to the bluntly titled public showcase series, “Get It Out There,” offered several times each year at Danceworks Studio Theatre, 1661 N. Water St. The rewards? Artists and audiences learn the impact of the work. The risks? Reputations are involved. The series is so popular that 2020’s first offerings require three separate programs. Program A is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11. Programs B and C are at 6 and 8 p.m., respectively, Saturday, Jan. 18. To learn whose work shows when, visit danceworksmke. org. (John Schneider) SHEPHERD EXPRESS

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A Splendidly Fun Gilbert and Sullivan!




icture the scene: A room, rather fancy, looking over New York City. Two people, a man and a woman: He seems shocked; she tries to make him talk. On TV, news of the attack on the World Trade Center plays. It is Sept. 12, 2001, and America is still reeling in shock from the terrorist attack that would change the course of history. But this is not the topic here; this play is about a lovers’ quarrel, using the tragic event as mere backdrop. Outskirts Theatre Company, which is staging The Mercy Seat, much like the play itself, acts coyly with the exact circumstances surrounding the conundrum the characters are struggling with. “September 12, 2001. A man and a woman explore the choices now available to them in an existence different from the one they had lived just the day before,” Outskirts reveals. For much of the intermissionless 75-minute show, the audience is also left to guess. So all we shall reveal here is that the man sees in the tragedy a meal ticket for himself and his lover. Morals and relationship dynamics are exposed as the two of them argue over the course of action about their feelings, the people they knew in the towers and how they should cope with all of it. The show could be summed up as a one massive domestic dispute, but it would be a disservice to the subtle writing by playwright Neil LaBute, who goes in wildly unexpected directions, as well as Seth K. Hale and Carrie Gray’s acting prowess. As Ben and Abby, Hale and Gray display a wide range of raw, intense emotions masterfully. With very little in the way of décor, lighting or music, the two actors carry the whole show on nothing but their own ability to blend with their exceptionally twisted and complex characters. What they offer us is nothing short of a free dive into some of the recesses of the human psyche and the mental blocks that we impose on ourselves. Through Sunday, Jan. 12, at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. ‘The Mercy Seat’ BY ALLISON CALTEUX


o brighten up the dreary days of January, I recommend the whipped-up fun of Ruddigore, a joint production of Skylight Music Theatre and Milwaukee Opera Theatre. It is one of the least produced of the operettas by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, splendidly adapted in this inventive production. This deliberately silly parody of 19th-century melodrama has a plot built around a witch’s curse on several generations of the House of Murgatroyd. The cursed one must commit one crime per day or face an agonizing death. The current baronet is a reluctant criminal and wants instead to marry. This being comic operetta, the plot twists in several knots until the happy ending. Music director and conductor Tim Rebers has created a bold and highly successful abridgement and arrangement of the score, eliminating the orchestra entirely(!) and replacing it with a cappella singing for the most part. Lean accompaniment of celeste, guitar, viola or accordion―each played by one of the actors―adds spice to the texture of the sound at times. This approach makes big demands on the capable cast of 11 singers, who pull it off with aplomb. Co-directors Jill Anna Ponasik and Catie O’Donnell set the show in the 1920s, inspired by silent movies, which allows for an exaggerated acting style; a wonderful idea that works very well. It’s an intricately designed production, with constantly moving parts and delicious touches. Costumes by Molly Mason—illustrating the look of silent movies—are all in blacks, whites and grays, helped by lighting and projection design by Nathan W. Scheuer. Susie Robinson sings the ingénue lead role with a lovely voice and colorful acting. Skylight veteran Diane Lane performs the juicy role of Mad Margaret with absurd and delightful abandon. Doug Clemons is an entertaining pleasure as the cursed Murgatroyd. Adam Qutaishat made much of his dumbbloke sailor role. Baritone Shayne Steliga played his part with gleeful relish. The rest of the cast adds plenty, having a ball with this invitation to play broadly with no limits. Through Jan. 19 at Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway.

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Raw Emotional Drama in ‘The Mercy Seat’

Water Street Dance Milwaukee Is ‘Centered’ ::BY JOHN SCHNEIDER


’d love to say go see Water Street Dance Milwaukee’s new concert, Centered, but it only had one performance. That was Sunday afternoon at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, where the company is a resident. So all I can say is go see this remarkable troupe as soon as there’s another chance. They should be seen across the country. Founder and artistic director Morgan Williams keeps each work in repertory, so you might yet see the dances in a future show. I hope you’ll see them with the same extraordinary cast. This new contemporary dance company debuted last July, born of Williams’ earlier company, SueMo. The second act of Centered consisted of works premiered one year ago, right after SueMo’s break-up. In Action, Re Action & Words, the poet Brooklyn Lloyd described that dissolution beautifully, while Jasper Sanchez, dancing to the spoken word rhythms, embodied

that episode’s real-life pain and confusion in powerful hip-hop style under Williams’ direction. That piece was followed by a second revival from that period, Imagery Portrayed, fiercely performed by the current company. Against haunting video imagery by Heather Mrotek of a haunted Williams, the dancers worked hard for a new life in art. Centered is exactly that. The first act opened with the stately, mystical Siren by Chicago choreographer Luis Valquez, followed by revivals of We(ight) by Kam Saunders and Williams’ Rebirth of Serenity, both made with SueMo in 2018. Watching it all and trying to note the movements so I could describe them, I found myself marveling at the capacity of a brain to execute complex, extended sequences employing many body parts in contrasting ways at incredible speeds, precisely timed, in partnerships with others who are often doing something radically different. Everything is done with intense internal focus and intense awareness of space, sound, light and the other dancers. Any ballet company would be lucky to have dancer Nanya El Madyun Wilson. Sanchez, Marcus Hardy and Joe Musiel also showed superb technique and warm presence. Guest Gina Laurenzi of Danceworks looked right at home. Alex Seager, Allison Slamann, Ashley Tomaszewski, Sara Silvis, Anna Stachnik, Anna Straszewski and Tyler Straszewski did heroic work. The company today is composed of men of color, white women and a non-binary dancer—each an individual. Equality is both foregrounded and assumed. Onstage relationships are free of power issues. The struggle, and there’s a lot of it, is with a world out there. SHEPHERD EXPRESS



OPENINGS: Kindertransport Exhibit and Series Jan. 9-Feb. 10 Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd. The Jewish Community Center opens a new exhibit, “A Thousand Kisses: Stories of the Kindertransport,” and, along with the Holocaust Education Resource Center of Milwaukee, presents it with several related events later this month. Between December 1938 and May 1940, almost 10,000 unaccompanied, mostly Jewish, children were brought to Great Britain from Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe in what was termed the “Kindertransport.” Using the archives of Vienna’s Holocaust Library—the world’s oldest collection of material on the Nazi era and the Holocaust—the exhibition tells this story through the experiences of some of the children and the loved ones they left behind. Other events, including lectures and a musical performance, take place at St. John’s on the Lake. For more information, call 414963-2710 or visit

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“D.N.A.” and “Recalling Ah-Po Po”


Jan. 10-Feb. 23 5 Points Art Gallery and Studios 3514 N. Port Washington Ave. 5 Points opens 2020 with two solo exhibitions showcasing sculptural manifestations of the self through ancestral identity. “D.N.A.”—used here as an acronym for “Discovering New Ancestry”—is a solo show featuring newly cast ceramic works concerning Milwaukee-based artist and Cardinal Stritch University ceramics professor Darrel Payne’s personal genealogical discoveries. “Recalling Ah-Po Po” is the first solo show for Chinese-born, Chicagobased, multi-disciplinary artist Kiki Jia Qi Zhen. Her multi-faceted exhibition will display handcrafted, interactive, mixed media installations like Chinese toys and fake rice. It also features a performance surrounding her ability to recall and retain her memories and Chinese identity with her clashing American identity after her jarring, unannounced immigration to the U.S., which uprooted Zhen from her ah-po po—grandma—who raised her in China. For more information, call 414-988-4021 or visit

like the paper, but on radio! like the paper, but on radio

Tune in to Riverwest Radio (104.1 FM) at 9:30 a.m. on the last Friday of each month to get the inside scoop on what’s coming to the paper. SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Tom Uttech: Into the Woods On view through Sunday, January 12, 2020 205 Veterans Avenue, West Bend | Tom Uttech, Neiab Nin Nasikodadimin, Oil on canvas, 1996, Lent by Nika and Hank Muchnich J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 21


‘Zombie Frat House’ PHOTO BY PHIL KOCH

Milwaukee Filmmaker Debuts ‘Zombie Frat House’ ::BY DAVID LUHRSSEN


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The film blog of the Shepherd Express by Managing Editor Dave Luhrssen /hollywood

I h a te

very generation has its own ideas about zombies. “I’m interested in how they’ve changed in the last few years,” says Milwaukee’s Ross Bigley, who just wrapped his own entry into the genre, a 90-minute feature called Zombie Frat House. “What you saw in the films of Val Lewton”— who produced the melancholy allegory of enslavement, I Walked With a Zombie (1943)— “is nothing like what you see now.” We’re sitting at Café Bella on a frigid winter day, warming to the subject of the shambling, unintelligent undead (as opposed to the more cultivated vampires). “George Romero [Night of the Living Dead] was the bridge between Lewton and now,” I venture. Bigley agrees. “Romero got into satirizing consumerism. Lots of the movies nowadays are more of a fun thrill ride. Or it’s more like a video game; you go around slicing and dicing. Like reality TV, it’s more about survival; this does go into people’s fears about the culture today and the way the world is.” In Zombie Frat House, college students, blood dripping from their mouths, stumble around the easily recognizable environs of UW-Milwaukee. Screams are heard, axes are wielded, bones are cleaved. Bigley says he hasn’t seen Jim Jarmusch’s recent zombie satire, The Dead Don’t Die. In any

event, shooting for Bigley’s movie commenced six years ago. Bigley explains his inspiration. “I wanted to combine genres—comedy and zombies, Animal House meets ‘The Walking Dead.’ Ours starts as a frat house comedy for the first 30 minutes; then it becomes a horror comedy. We try to balance laughter with tension.” Bigley is no stranger to DIY filmmaking, but Zombie Frat House is his most ambitious production to date. “I had a second unit, a makeup department with 100 zombies to be made up. I was going spot to spot wrapping pick-up shots and heading to the main set. It was about management as much as vision.” Beneath the splatter runs a vein of social commentary. The movie’s party-hearty fraternity, with the worst reputation on campus, has been suspended, and the guys are having “the blowout party to end all blowout parties,” Bigley says. “They invite their sorority sisters, and then chemicals are unleashed on campus. Let’s just say someone was careless.” Bigley had no trouble recruiting a cast recognizable to Milwaukee theatergoers. Among them are Tom Reed (Shakespeare in the Park), Robert W.C. Kennedy (The Constructivists), Bo Johnson (Windfall Theatre) and Brian Miracle (Optimist Theatre). Some actors played multiple roles. Zombie Frat House has Zombie an original score by the Frat electronic duo Cyberchump, featuring Milwaukee musiHouse cian-filmmaker Mark G.E. The Times “It was the first time I’ve Cinema worked with Mark,” BigSaturday, ley says. “He was helpful Jan. 18 in sound mixing. I couldn’t have finished the movie without his knowledge.” Following its world premiere in Milwaukee, Bigley says, “we’ll try to enter it in film festivals and see about getting it sold.” Zombie Frat House will screen on Saturday, Jan. 18, at The Times Cinema, 5906 W. Vliet St. The event will include a talk-back and a making-of documentary. SHEPHERD EXPRESS

[ FILM CLIPS ] 1917 R

Filmed as though unfolding in real time, during World War I a pair of British soldiers (Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay) are dispatched across enemy lines to warn two battalions of a German trap. Adding urgency to their mission, one of the ill-fated officers is the brother of a messenger. Their task, undertaken through miles of trenches, bogs and active skirmishes, is a dirty trek through stark and bloody surroundings. No, it isn’t “Game of Thrones”—this story is adapted from the actual war experiences of director Sam Mendes’ grandfather. (Lisa Miller)

The Informer Not Rated

Adapted from the Scandi-crime potboiler, this screenplay (co-written and directed by Andrea Di Stefano) moves the setting from Europe to New York City. The story follows the efforts of former special ops soldier Pete Koslow (Joel Kinnaman) to earn back his freedom. In the wake of a bar fight gone wrong, Koslow must go to prison, where he will work undercover for FBI agents (Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen) to catch a drug kingpin who is serving time. Released in the UK in August 2019, it’s jolly good of them to share. (L.M.)

Just Mercy PG-13

Adapted from his book, Just Mercy follows efforts by Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) to free a wrongly convicted man. A Harvard graduate and newly minted attorney, Stevenson turned down lucrative job offers to help an Alabama inmate sentenced to death in 1987. Portrayed by Jamie Foxx, Walter McMillian was convicted of murder despite evidence proving his innocence. Despite opposition from Alabama’s justice system, Stevenson refused to give up. By 2016, Stevenson had saved 125 men from execution. (L.M.)

Like a Boss R

This female-centric comedy sparks conflict by bringing money and pride into friendship. Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne play lifelong besties, Mia and Mel, founders of their own cosmetics company. They’d be living the dream if they weren’t $500,000 in debt. So, when cosmetics titan Claire Luna (Selma Hayek) makes a generous buyout offer, they accept. Luna creates obstacles to meeting her terms while she enacts her true agenda: stealing Mel and Mia’s products and formulas. Regaining control of their company requires the friends to undertake the fight of their lives along with swinging from chandeliers and apologizing for being selfish jerks. (L.M.)

Underwater PG-13

A crew of oceanographers travel seven miles into the depths for a drilling expedition. Soon, their massive underwater dwelling and workstation is attacked by creatures unknown. Unable to escape in their wrecked pods, the crew suits up for a nearly impossible walk across the ocean floor, hoping to reach the nearest station. You may not recognize Kristen Stewart, who opted for a bleached blonde, crew-cut hairdo, calling it a practical hair style for the ship’s mechanical engineer she plays. (L.M.)


The film picks up the PBS Masterpiece series’ story threads and weaves them in familiar patterns. The cast is reunited in time for a royal visit to everyone’s favorite English country manor. Disputes over inheritance simmer in the background. Aspects of Downton Abbey are silly, yet on the whole, the movie accommodates the stories of a wide expanse of characters of different classes, temperaments and even sexual persuasion. The downstairs servants’ quarters receive as much attention as the drawing rooms above. Downton Abbey offers escape into a world where our own society is comfortably reflected amidst the baronial luxury of past times. Jealousy, class envy and condescension, family secrets, the possibility of reconciliation—the human stories are nicely drawn. Downton Abbey is a gilded palace of dreams where continuity is valued but change is acknowledged—where affairs of state are conducted with a dignity inconceivable in the America of now.

n “City on a Hill: Season One” (SHOWTIME/CBS)

Showtime’s “City a Hill” is a post-“Wire” cop-corruption-social drama loaded with grit and gratuitous sex. The action turns around a pair of compelling characters, reform-minded black Boston Assistant District Attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) and corrupt FBI agent Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon). They don’t get on—but will they find common cause while investigating an armored car heist-turned-murder scene? “City on a Hill” is set amidst the mythology of South Boston and the city’s Irish crime lords.

n That Pärt Feeling: The Universe of Arvo Pärt (FILM MOVEMENT)

Arvo Pärt’s music is deceptively simple yet hard for musicians to get their hands around. So says electronic composer Kara-Lis Coverdale in director Paul Hegeman’s documentary, That Pärt Feeling. She is among the conductors, musicians, choreographers and dancers interviewed for their response to his music—a minimalism with an affinity for Eastern Orthodox liturgical music. The reclusive Pärt is seen in the documentary, working the Cello Octet Amsterdam in a performance of his work. —David Luhrssen


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Peter Ash Returns in Milwaukee Novelist’s Latest Thriller ::BY JENNI HERRICK


f you are looking to start off the year with international highstakes adventures but unwilling to leave the warmth of your house this January, an exciting new thriller by local writer Nick Petrie packs a perfect combination. The Wild One is Petrie’s latest installment in the acclaimed Peter Ash series, and as it opens, we find the troubled veteran fighting off a flashback-laced nightmare on an international flight. In book five of the series that has garnered the Whitefish Bay writer numerous literary awards, including a Barry Award for Best First Novel, the intrepid but PTSD-plagued Ash is traveling to Iceland with hopes of solving a murder and rescuing an eightyear-old boy. Of course, those who know Peter quickly realize that the ensuing adventure will include dramatic plot twists and swerving storylines that climax into a stunning crescendo, marking The Wild One as the most explosive and well-written adventure in a must-read series that debuted in 2016 with The Drifter. Petrie’s work has been praised for its genuine and complex portrayal of a soldier’s struggles to reintegrate into American society after active duty, and the character he’s created in Peter Ash has grown into one of fiction’s most endearing heroes. Petrie will discuss The Wild One at Boswell Book Co. at 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 13. Petrie will appear in conversation with WUWM’s Lake Effect co-host and producer Bonnie North.

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Nurturing Art Students (and Filling Empty Bowls)



arlene Millevolte, artist and owner of Lake Country Fine Arts School and Gallery, teaches an array of classes for all ages and abilities at her Hartland, Wis., studio. Off the Cuff sat down with Marlene recently to chat about the various classes and projects she is involved with. What kinds of classes do you teach? Pottery, watercolor, glass fusing and hand building sculpting. Twice a year, a drawing teacher comes in to teach short classes. Also, a painting teacher comes in for workshops, birthday parties and summer camps. Tell me about the Empty Bowls project. Empty Bowls was developed in Milwaukee 20 years ago. They work with Hunger Task Force and about a dozen other entities. I created Teens for Empty Bowls, because I was asked to donate by Jean Wells of Milwaukee Empty Bowls. Teens don’t necessarily want to go to summer school and need something to keep them busy. They may have part-time jobs but need to fill the gaps. They feel good about helping others and make friendships along the way. The kids come here every Wednesday afternoon during the summer to create and glaze bowls. They are donated to an annual event in conjunction with Hunger Task Force. Usually, about 100 bowls are donated. Last year, it was 130 bowls, and we raised $60,000. Restaurants donate soup, bakeries donate bread. You buy a bowl, they clean it for you, you enjoy a meal and then you get to take the bowl home with you. It was held in October this year at the Kern Center at MSOE. You hold classes for the special needs population. How did that get started? Mary-Ann Beckman, former Special Education Director at Arrowhead High School, told me that I should work with special needs students. Mary-Ann told me that by my nature, I would just treat this population as I do everyone else, with respect, care and love, and that I would get results. I have been holding adaptive arts classes for 23 years now. It’s important that volunteers and helpers not do the work for them. Sometimes, students are like glass SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Order tickets at marquettetheatre.

artist Dale Chihuly. They want to direct volunteers and helpers to do their projects. But the parents can tell if their child brings home something that’s too structured. It’s important to let the students do most of the work, then they are proud of their creations.

Jan. 11 - 19 at 2:30pm

Tell me about a memorable or unique student. I had a student come to me at six years old and stay with me in the kids’ clay classes all through her school years. Her name is Gabby. She loves to talk, she has a creative spirit about her. She attends MIAD now on a partial scholarship, creating sculptures and drawings. MIAD brings in corporations for internships, and Gabby earned one with General Motors (GM). Then, Gabby developed a passion for motorcycles, and on a whim, emailed Kiska, a motorcycle company in Austria. She is currently there on another internship until next May. Then, GM upped the offer to come back and do yet another internship with them. I’m very proud of her. She comes back here on breaks from school and creates more sculptures and keeps me up to date on what she’s doing. What about your own art? I do pottery and sculpture, but it’s few and far between. I’m devoted to my classes and the students. Seeing students create is very rewarding for me. What else is rewarding for you? I’m thrilled with the adaptive arts classes. Some students have been with me for 20 years now. Communication goes on between even the quietest students. Camaraderie between students and their families is so great to see. Classes have nurtured students. Also, classes help get the right health care figured out and getting the right guidance for medical help for each student. Paperwork is overwhelming, but families and students will offer to help new students with it. They’ve developed friendships. To see the love and care between them—that’s what this studio is all about. And yes, we’re making cool projects.

Marlene Millevolte J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 25




Resolutions Restored Dear Ruthie,

We’re barely into the new year, and I’ve already screwed up all my resolutions; broke every one of them. I’m back to smoking, back to drinking, only hit the gym once, and I actually gained weight! Any ideas for helping me stay on track with my New Year’s resolutions? I can’t be the only one out there who f*cked them all up already!

Thanks, Pissed-Off Peter

Dear Pete,

Don’t drink? Don’t smoke? What do you do? (If you’re old enough to remember those lyrics, know that I love you and that we must party together soon.) But, back to your problems, Pete. Peter, Peter, Peter (remember that quote?!), you’re being too hard on yourself—unless you’re trying to quit smoking crack or there’s a serious problem with alcohol. If that’s the case, go and see a professional immediately and get the sort of help you need and deserve. If you’ve set common resolutions (lose weight, cool it with booze, nix the smokes), then stop being so hard on yourself. Reset your thought process and go at ’em again! Maybe you’ve bitten off too much this year?

Know Your Status. Get Tested.

Focus on one or two resolutions instead of three or four. Next, break the resolutions into smaller, achievable steps. Write the steps down and give each a deadline, ultimately reaching your goal. Which reminds me of another tip: Stop thinking of these objectives as “resolutions” but instead think of them as goals. Many of us are motivated by goals and targets so start thinking in those terms. Lastly, don’t beat yourself up, Pete, if you stray from the target, miss deadlines or feel the need to adjust the long-term goal a bit. As long as you’re taking steps toward a healthier, happier you, you’ve got something to be proud of.


SOCIALCALENDAR Jan. 9—“Star Wars: The Phantom Fetish” at This Is It (418 E. Wells St.): A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… a popular bar held a sci-fi night that zapped all others into another galaxy. Grab your lightsaber (or someone else’s) and hit This Is It for a starry, starry night. This out-of-thisworld bash begins at 8 p.m. and runs ’til bar close with drink specials and a drag show that promises to titillate Uranus. Jan. 10—“The New Year’s a Drag” at Walker’s Point Music Hall (538 N. National Ave.): The Brew City Bruisers host a 9 p.m. night of drag, burlesque and tongue-in-cheek naughtiness. Your $10 door charge gets you access to the show, raffles, silent auction and more. Open to everyone age 21 and older, the theme is gold and black, so be sure to wear your jazziest outfit, toss back a few beverages and have yourself a blast! Jan. 11—Lesbian Pop-Up Bar at LaCage Niteclub (801 S. Second St.): This monthly pop-up party grows in popularity each month. This time, the gang is meeting at LaCage at 8 p.m. Tell the bartender you’re with the Lesbian Pop-Up Bar, and you’ll receive two-for-one on your first drink. Meet new folks, visit with old friends and check out the 11 p.m. drag show. Best of all, there’s no cover charge. Jan. 11—Red Light Night at Harbor Room (117 E. Greenfield Ave.): When the lights go down, the leather comes out during this Levi-leather-fetish night at Harbor Room. Great music, hot guys and cold drinks... what more could you ask for? The masculine mayhem starts at 8 p.m. and runs ’til bar close; there’s also no door fee to worry about. Jan. 12—Pajama-Long John Party at Kruz (354 E. National Ave.): Baby, it’s cold outside! Come warm up with the Castaways Levi-leather social group during this Sunday Funday (3-7 p.m.). Wear your pajamas, long johns, union suit, night shirt or whatever keeps you warm and cozy when it comes to winter snuggling, and you’ll receive five free raffle tickets. Don’t miss out on the beer-soda bust, prizes and more.



BESTD Clinic, 1240 E. Brady Street Go to for more information. 26 | J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 0 2 0

Jan. 14—‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’ Opening Night at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater (108 E. Wells St.): What happens when a down-on-his luck Elvis Presley impersonator hits it big as a drag queen? Find out during this hilarious comedy by Matthew Lopez. Directed by Meredith McDonough, this laugh-out-loud production features numerous songs as well as fantastic costumes by Tempest DuJour (a.k.a. Patrick Holt) from “RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season Seven.” The show runs through Feb. 9, so nab your ($15 to $52) tickets today at Ask Ruthie a question or share your events with her at Follow her on Instagram @ruthiekeester and Facebook at Dear Ruthie. Enjoy her campy reality show, Camp Wannakiki, Season Two, on YouTube now. Comment at n


Point of View

2020’s LGBTQ Resolution: VOTE!



y now, just a week or so into the new decade, the resolve of those famous-last-words resolutions are already on the wane. An alcohol-free January in Wisconsin is as likely as a snow-free one, and exercise or reaching out to estranged friends and relatives, which seemed like good ideas on New Year’s Eve, have probably been postponed for at least another year. But one resolution must remain etched in stone for the duration of 2020, namely to vote. This year, there are two primary and two general elections. Of course, everyone is aware (hopefully) of the Tuesday, Nov. 3, presidential election, but the others are equally important, especially for LGBTQ folks. The first, a primary, takes place Tuesday, Feb. 18. Among the candidates, three are vying for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat. Currently, conservative justices on the court hold a five-to-two majority. The incumbent, Daniel Kelly, a Scott Walker appointee, is an outspoken marriage equality opponent. Running against him are Edward A. Fallone and Jill Karofsky. Either would better serve progressive causes. Also on the ballot is LGBTQ community activist and current president and CEO of the Cream City Foundation, Brett Blomme. He is running for Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge against a Walker appointee and, pending approval of nomination papers, another progressive candidate. Three LGBTQ community members are running for Milwaukee alderperson as well. They include JoCasta Zamarripa in District 8, Peter Burgelis in District 11 and, in District 14, Jason Auerbach. Successful candidates will be on the Tuesday, April 7, general election ballot. A statewide primary election takes place Tuesday, Aug. 11, followed by the most critical of all, the presidential election on Nov. 3. It would seem a logical matter of course that our community would already be fully activated and engaged. After all, with three LGBTQ-identified aldermanic candidates and one running for a local judicial seat, there should be a discernable buzz about town, especially with the Democratic National Convention coming in July. The ongoing attempt by the Republican Party to disenfranchise Wisconsin citizens, especially those in Milwaukee and Madison, by purging more than 200,000 people from the voter rolls should also serve as a call to action. Besides, for LGBTQ people paying attention, ever-increasing hate crimes against us and other minorities, the rise of the homophobic religious right and the blatant efforts by the government itself to deprive us of our rights should be cause to mobilize. Ironically, however, while we indignantly confront misgendering or perceived dating app racism, when it comes to the existential threat against our rights, we’re less inclined to react. I hope our leaders take heed. I still believe voter registration kiosks at PrideFest ought to be a priority. Meanwhile, our crème de la Kremlin agent orange appears in our fair city on Tuesday, Jan. 14. An opposition demonstration is planned as a reception. I hope to see rainbow banners and familiar LGBTQ faces among the protestors. Comment at n SHEPHERD EXPRESS











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Black Pumas

Black Pumas Won’t Be Tamed


hen Austin, Texas-based band Black Pumas The Magic of Theater made their Milwaukee debut last year at SumThe band is looking forward to attending the Grammys, merfest, they were only days removed from which falls in the middle of yet another lengthy U.S. tour. Burreleasing their self-titled debut album on ATO ton, who has long been inspired by big theaters, is eager to Records. While the band—led by singer Eric Burperform at the Pabst Theater. “I grew up wanting to perform on the stage as an actor and ton and guitarist-producer Adrian Quesada—had eventually as a singer as well, so any time we get to play a thereceived a considerable amount of lead-up buzz ater, it’s always very, very inspiring, like even before the show and attention for their music, playing the festival starts,” he says. “I’m looking forward to standing on the stage grounds next to Lake Michigan felt monumental. before there’s anyone in the venue to just allow myself to take in “We haven’t done a lot of festivals. So anytime we get to the beauty, the magic that is being in a theater… It’s where the play a festival where we see a lot more people than just at a best entertainment happens; it’s where families come together; regular venue, it felt really cool,” says Burton. “It felt like a valiit’s where stories are told. I’ve always dreamt that I’d be the one dator for the progress that’s happening for the Black Pumas.” telling the story, and I’m thankful to be able to do it at the Pabst With a riveting and eclectic mix of funk, soul and R&B, the Theater. It’s a beautiful space.” band quickly seized the moment with an electrifying 8 p.m. Burton and Quesada are excited to keep pushing the boundshow. At one point, Burton leapt over the stage barricade and aries of Black Pumas’ diverse sound. They’ve started writing new started rocking out among the throng that was growing. material that may make their next album. They’ve never looked back. In November, their momentum hit new heights when they earned “It’s never dull,” Burton says. “I’ll show Adrian something, and a nomination for Best New Artist at the 62nd-annual Grammy Awards. Burton admits he’s still his wheels are always turning as far as what to do as far as the dynamic of the arrangements go and the sound… It seems like adjusting to all the attention the band’s received of late. we’re just becoming friends. We’re becoming better friends ev“It’s been amazing, the response that we have attracted. I am, first of all, very grateful for the atery day by way of the creative process. I feel very lucky to have tention that is being given to the Pumas, because this is what I truly love to do,” he says. “It’s been him as a partner.” in my family for a very long, long time, music and entertaining, entertainment, theater. “It’s a never-ending journey, as you know. Today’s a new day, “As it pertains to the Grammys, I used to watch the Grammys with an uncle whose dream speand tomorrow will be a new day as we get to see it,” he contincifically was to be the greatest singer-songwriter in the world,” he continues. “He taught me a lot ues. “So, I think that’s how we’ve been treating about songwriting and performing at a younger age that I feel very thankful to the process of collaborating with each other.” be on the stage at the Grammys, because it validates his hard work from trying Black Pumas perform at the Pabst Theater on Black Pumas to make it himself and helping his sister raise three boys to seeing the places that Friday, Jan.17, at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 8 p.m. we’ve seen and do what we’re doing right now. It’s nothing short of a blessing, For more a longer interview with Eric Burton, and it feels really cool to kind of make my family proud in that way.” Pabst Theater visit

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turning to Zebra Ranch, the home studio built by their father, legendary Memphis producer and musician Jim Dickinson (Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Big Star). “A home studio is like a church, or a kitchen, or a workshop,” Dickinson explains. “It’s a place designed to do one thing. After our father passed [in 2009], it wasn’t as comfortable working there for a little while but once we overcame that, it was really inspirational.” The comfort of the family studio resulted in mostly live takes as well as some unexpected improvisational moments. “Once you take flight and start flying, man, it’s such a good feeling,” Dickinson says. “Dad used to say, ‘Create a moment, recognize the moment, and then extend the moment.’ Sometimes when you go out on a limb, you eventually end up breaking it. [Laughs] But that’s what edits are for!” Though it might appear that the popularity of rock music North has waned in recent Mississippi years, the guitarist is characteristically Allstars optimistic about the Wednesday, future. Citing his exJan. 15, 8 p.m. periences leading and Turner Hall observing classes at Ballroom a Woodstock-based rock ’n’ roll camp, Dickinson says that teenage musicians respond just as he once did when exposed to the evergreen sounds of what he calls rock ’n’ roll’s “elementary formula.” “Our dad used to say, ‘If you learn something, it’s your responsibility to teach that thing to 10 people,’” say Dickinson. “So, we’re passing it on and spreading the word.” The North Mississippi Allstars play Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m.


Tae’s Fresh Take on Classic R&B Singers ::BY MICHAEL CARRIERE


n the big picture of fine art,” says North Mississippi Allstars guitarist-vocalist Luther Dickinson, “American roots music is a really young art form and it needs to be protected.” Dickinson is referring to the primal country blues heard on Up and Rolling, the latest album by the band he co-founded with younger brother Cody in 1996, but he might as well be describing the group’s lifelong mission statement. Formed with the simple premise to “orchestrate Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside music in a rock and roll style,” the band’s unique take on their hometown’s raw Hill Country sound has made the North Mississippi Allstars a household name in Americana and blues circles, and the elder Dickinson a much-in demand guitarist with acts ranging from the Black Crowes to Phil Lesh & Friends. While 2017’s Prayer For Peace was recorded at various studios between tour dates, Up and Rolling finds the brothers Dickinson re-



North Mississippi Allstars


fter listening to What Love Is, the debut album from Milwaukee-based singer/songwriter Tae, it’s hard to believe that the talented performer is all of 21 years old. The album, which draws from the worlds of folk, pop, soul and R&B, sounds like the product of a musician who has spent years on the road honing their craft. It is a confident statement by a performer who has found their voice and is an album that hints at even bigger things to come. While What Love Is features a myriad of musicians, it is the vocals of Tae that remain front and center throughout the album’s 10 tracks. Citing such influences as Sam Cooke, Amy Winehouse, Rachael Price (of the band Lake Street Dive) and Brandi Carlile, Tae sings in a way that draws from such legends while simultaneously sounding fresh. Much of the appeal of Tae’s vocals is that they never sound rushed; songs unfold at a pace that allows the listener to comfortably settle in and really listen. Such a feeling may be a result of Tae’s songwriting process, as it took close to two years for the performer to finish composing the songs that made their way on to the album. It is also clear that Tae spent a great deal of time considering the lyrical themes present on the album. “All of these songs,” she notes, “highlight perspectives of self-love, love received and love given.” While this may sound rather romantic, What Love Is leads Tae to explore some pretty dark places. Album standout “Used Me Up,” for example, finds the performer coming to terms with an abusive relationship. “You wished for me to die,” Tae sings, “But then you begged for me to stay / I caught you digging my grave.” For Tae, such lyrical openness is intentional, as she hopes that such vulnerability “will create conversation [and] hopefully allow them to be vulnerable as well, so we can all learn from each other and elevate each other’s lives.” Despite such heady subject matter, What Love Is also finds strength in our ability to love and to expand upon the meaning of that very concept. On the album’s title track, Tae asks “Have I been Tae misled by the word?,” only to then admit, “Though, I’m losing my concern / As this feeling’s being felt / Who are you to tell / What Between Two love is?” Noting that the song is meant to suggest that love is bigGalleries ger than politics and other day-to-day matters, Tae explains that Thursday, “I have really been focusing lyrically on writing with the feeling of Jan. 9, empowerment, conversation and acknowledgement.” With such 7:30 p.m. words in mind, What Love Is emerges as a triumphant record, one that finds hope in listening to those, like domestic abuse survivors, often pushed to the margins of American culture. Tae’s ability to document such experiences—and to sing about them in such a beautiful way—suggests that What Love Is may be only the beginning of what promises to be a long and fruitful career. “When I find something that I strongly feel needs to be brought to attention,” Tae concludes, “I try to bring that and inspire some kind of social change, consciousness and awareness.” As 2020 begins, such an approach to the arts is needed more than ever. Tae’s album release party will be held at Between Two Galleries, 423 W. Pierce St., on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 29



¡paLABra! @ Twisted Path Distillery, 8 p.m.

¡paLABra! perform adaptations of vintage Cuban standards with a rock edge, Allen Coté and company continue work on a debut album.

Vinz Clortho w/ Devil’s Teeth and Kendra Amalie @ Company Brewing, 9:30 p.m.

Jefferson Starship @ Northern Lights Theater, 8 p.m.

Jefferson Starship rose from the ashes of legendary San Francisco band Jefferson Airplane. Founder Paul Kantner (who died in January 2016 at age 74) knew that combining powerful creative forces, personalities and talents could create something far greater than the sum of its parts. Today’s Jefferson Starship remains dedicated to breathing new life into the catalog of the Jeffersonian legacy, featuring original and historic members David Freiberg (also a founder of San Francisco luminaries Quicksilver Messenger Service) and drummer Donny Baldwin, along with Cathy Richardson anchoring the female lead vocal spot made famous by the inimitable Grace Slick.



Vinz Clortho is not afraid of reverb. The band’s moody surf-noir sound conjures Chris Isaak and Suicide while Vince Clortho BY ANDREW NORDSTRUM begging for movies to be played inside your head. On the day of the show, Vinz Clortho will be digitally releasing a single from their upcoming EP due out later this winter. Devil’s Teeth’s careening garage-surf-punk sounds and Kendra Amalie’s experimental psych sounds round out the evening.

Penny, Dave and Josh Fox CD w/ Lil’ Rev @ The Coffee House, 8 p.m.


Individually and together, the Fox family (Dave, Penny and Josh) bring powerful guitar, bass, washboard and vocal renditions of a wide array of great blues and traditional folk. This evening’s performance is a celebration of the release of their new CD.

Steve Forbert @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

Abby Jeanne w/ Retoro @ Turner Hall, 8 p.m.


Cloud Nothings w/ Flat Teeth @ The Back Room at Colectivo, 8 p.m. ABBY JEANE

Singer-songwriter Steve Forbert has recently released a memoir, Big City Cat, My Life in Folk-Rock, and a new studio album, The Magic Tree. Late in 2019, his label, Blue Rose Music, announced the reissue of a 40th-anniversary vinyl edition of Jackrabbit Slim. Forbert is also in the studio working on a collection of his favorite covers that he will release at a later date.

Ohio-based indie rock band Cloud Nothings pulled itself out of a period of musical depression with its 2018 release, Last Building Burning. This album has a darker tone than the previous Life Without Sound but pushes burning energy throughout the whole record without sacrificing the band’s emotional touch. The melancholy lyrics speak about heavy topics, while the final song, “Another Way of Life,” explores change and moving on. All of this is delivered through noisy guitars, crashing drums and vocalist-guitarist Dylan Baldi’s raw-throated vocals. Like in that last song, the band is pushing itself in another direction.


Back in October, when Abby Jeanne returned to Milwaukee from her New York City work hideout, it was for the release of her cassette, “Get You High.” While she continues woodshedding for her next project, she makes a stop here to play new material for a hometown audience. Retoro’s spikey, angular sounds should provide for a kinetic pairing.

Keys for a Cause: A Rick Wakeman Tribute w/ Joey Leal @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

This benefit to support Hunger Task Force’s Homeless Assistance Fund features keyboardists Twila Jean, Mike Frayer, Carter Hunnicutt and Terry Michaels in a tribute to the music of progressive rock keyboardist Rick Wakeman. “When I was a music major undergrad dreaming of becoming a classical pianist but loving rock ’n’ roll most of all, I used to sit around my dorm room listening to Rick Wakeman all night long when I should have been studying,” Jean says. According to Hunnicutt, the influence of Wakeman snuck into his own music with Those XCleavers and Xposed 4heads. “The style is obviously quite different,” he says, “but I often try to make melody float or roil the way he does, and I love to play the controls of a synth like Wakeman. And he wears Abby Jeane a cape, so you know he has superpowers!”

Comprehensive STI & HIV Testing, Consultation and Treatment. 1/9 Wire & Nail 1/16 RB Vic

30 | J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 0 2 0

By Appointment, often same-day available. For more information, call us at 414-264-8800 3251 N. Holton Street Milwaukee, WI 53212 SHEPHERD EXPRESS

MUSIC::LISTINGS To list your event, go to and click submit an event


Bremen Cafe, Peter Behlmer Experience // Social Cig // Sleepy Gaucho Caroline’s Jazz Club, Wicked Long Day County Clare Irish Inn & Pub, Acoustic Irish Folk w/Barry Dodd Crush Wine Bar (Muskego), The WhiskeyBelles Jazz Estate, Donna Woodall Trio Mason Street Grill, Mark Thierfelder Jazz Trio (5:30pm) McAuliffe’s On The Square (Racine), Open Mic Night Mezcalero Restaurant, Open Jam w/host Abracadabra Jam Band Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom, Amanda Huff w/Yum Yum Cult Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, In Bar 360: Eric Barbieri Acoustic Duo Rock Country MKE, Mister T Rounding Third Bar and Grill, World’s Funniest Free Comedy Show Sazzy B (Kenosha), Gypsy Jazz The Packing House, Barbara Stephan & Peter Mac (6pm) The Suburban Bourbon (Muskego), The AllStar SuperBand (6pm) Transfer Pizzeria Café, Martini Jazz Lounge: Scott Hlavenka & Hot Club Thursday Up & Under, No Vacancy Comedy Open Mic Nite


American Legion Post #399 (Okauchee), Hit Men Boat House (Kenosha), Cucumber Band Caroline’s Jazz Club, Paul Spencer Band w/James Sodke, Tom McGirr, Neil Davis & Dumah Safir Circle-A Cafe, Alive at Eight: Obscure Birds w/Ouch Not Lick (8pm), DJ: The Nile (10pm) Club Garibaldi’s, 4th Annual Elvis-David Bowie Birthday Bash w/David “Elvis” Kirby & his Memphis Cadillacs, and Spiders From Milwaukee ComedySportz, ComedySportz Milwaukee! Company Brewing, Mr. Nice Guy: Birthday Edition w/Liza Jane, Julius Dolls & Hoppers Luck County Clare Irish Inn & Pub, Traditional Irish Ceilidh Session Iron Mike’s (Franklin), Friday Jam Session w/ Steve Nitros & the Liquor Salesmen Lakefront Brewery, Brewhaus Polka Kings (5:30pm) Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, Dinosaur Rocket and friends! Mamie’s, The Incorruptibles Mason Street Grill, Phil Seed Trio (6pm) Mo’s Irish Pub (Wauwatosa), Derek Byrne & Paddygrass Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom, Wire and Nail EP release show Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, In Bar 360: Christopher’s Project Racine Brewing Company, Elvis & Cash Rave / Eagles Club, Jordan Davis w/Kassi Ashton (all-ages, 8pm) Red Rock Saloon, Jerry Jacobs Reefpoint Brew House (Racine), Marcell Guyton Rock Country MKE, Jude and The Dudes w/ Mostly Water Shank Hall, Pundamonium: The Milwaukee Pun Slam The Back Room @ Colectivo, Henhouse Prowlers w/Ben Majeska of Armchair Boogie SHEPHERD EXPRESS

The Laughing Tap, Sam Tallent w/AJ Grill & Dana Ehrmann The Packing House, The Barbara Stephan Group (6:30pm) Twisted Path Distillery, ¡paLABra! Union Park Tavern (Kenosha), Brittany Lumley & Friends Up & Under, Audio is Rehab


Alpine Valley Resort (Elkhorn), Matt MF Tyner (6:30pm) Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. (Walker’s Point), Good Morning Bedlam w/Nickel&Rose Bremen Cafe, Bella Brutto Brewtown Eatery, The B Side Band Caroline’s Jazz Club, Paul Spencer Band w/ James Sodke, Tom McGirr, Eric Jacobson & Dave “Smitty” Smith Charmbiance Wine Art Bar, CP & Stoll w/ Chris Peppas & Jeff Stoll Circle-A Cafe, Alive at Eight: Scrunchies w/ The Hussy (8pm), DJ: (10pm) ComedySportz, ComedySportz Milwaukee! Company Brewing, Vinz Clortho w/Devil’s Teeth & Kendra Amalie Fat Charlie’s (Richfield), Vinyl Road Fire On Water, E is for Epic Jazz Estate, Cigarette Break (8pm), Late Night Session: Yanni Chudnow Trio (11:30pm) Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, J.R & the Strangers album release w/Chris Haise, and Whiskey & The Devil Los Mariachis Mexican Restaurant, Larry Lynne Revue MOTOR Bar & Restaurant, Bulleit Bourbon Presents BBQ & Blues (5pm) Mason Street Grill, Jonathan Wade Trio (6pm) McAuliffe’s Pub (Racine), Sunshine Menace w/Almas & A Letter II Jacob Milwaukee Ale House, Random Maxx Mug-Z’s Pub and Grill (Muskego), Looming Larger New Horizons, Live Music: South State Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom, Easy Like Saturday Afternoons w/Evan Christian (2pm), The Hi-Jivers w/The Grovelers (8pm) Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, In Bar 360: The Beautiful Collide Racine Brewing Company, Acoustic Music Session w/ Jim McVeigh Rock Country MKE, STFD (Shut The Front Door) Shank Hall, Steve Forbert The Back Room @ Colectivo, Page 7 & Wizard and The Bruiser Podcasts The Cheel / The Baaree (Thiensville), The Stash The Coffee House, Penny, Dave & Josh Fox CD release concert w/Lil’ Rev The Hideaway Pub & Eatery (Franklin), 5 Card Studs The Laughing Tap, Sam Tallent w/AJ Grill & Dana Ehrmann The Packing House, Joe Jordan & The Soul Trio (6:30pm) Turner Hall Ballroom, Abby Jeanne w/ Retoro Union Park Tavern (Kenosha), Earthmother Up & Under, Billy Russo


Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. (Walker’s Point), Paramount Music Association’s Road to Memphis Fundraiser w/Tommy Bentz Band, Luke Cerny, Sue DaBaco, Shonn Hinton, The Katz Sass & Alex Wilson (2pm) Bremen Cafe, Likely Packer Playoff

::ALBUMS Circle-A Cafe, Alive at Eight: Annual Letter Reading Night (8pm), DJ: Sheppy (10pm) Iron Mike’s (Franklin), Sunday Jam w/Rockbound (4pm) J&B’s Blue Ribbon Bar and Grill, The Players Jam Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, Benefit Concert for WAVE w/Eccentric Acoustic & Paul and Andy Rounding Third Bar and Grill, The Dangerously Strong Comedy Open Mic Scotty’s Bar & Pizza, Larry Lynne Solo (4pm) The Back Room @ Colectivo, Cloud Nothings w/Flat Teeth The Miramar Theatre, Afton Presents: Miramar 1/12 The Miramar Theatre, FTFF KFELLAH w/ Sinsei Climax, YoungCuhz, Kevin B, 2nd QTR & PBB PAYRO Union Park Tavern (Kenosha), Cy’s Piano Jam (4pm)


Jazz Estate, Mark Davis Trio Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, Poet’s Monday w/ host Timothy Kloss & featured reader James Houck (sign-up 7:30pm, 8-11pm) Mason Street Grill, Joel Burt Duo (5:30pm) Paulie’s Pub and Eatery, Open Jam w/ hosts Josh Becker, Annie Buege, Ally Hart or Marr’lo Parada Up & Under, Open Mic


Brewtown Eatery, Blues & Jazz Jam w/Jeff Stoll, Joe Zarcone & David “Harmonica” Miller (6pm) JC’S Pub, Open Mic w/host Audio is Rehab Jazz Estate, Neil Davis and Steve Peplin Duo Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts / Riverwest Artists Association, Tuesday Night Jazz Jam Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall, Throwing Spaghetti w/Gabriel Sanchez Mary’s Caddyshack (New Berlin), Robert Allen Jr. Band Mason Street Grill, Jamie Breiwick Group (5:30pm) McAuliffe’s (Racine), Jim Yorgan Sextet Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, In Bar 360: Al White (4pm) Shank Hall, Keys for a Cause: A Rick Wakeman Tribute


Cactus Club, Paisley Fields w/Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers & Nickel&Rose Iron Mike’s (Franklin), B Lee Nelson & KZ Acoustic Jam Jazz Estate, Dillon Mansour Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall, Polka Open Jam Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, Acoustic Open Stage w/feature (sign-up 7:30pm, start 8pm) Mason Street Grill, Jamie Breiwick Group (5:30pm) Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom, Swing Jazz Wednesdays w/The Door Stoppers Paulie’s Field Trip, Wednesday Night Afterparty w/Dave Wacker & guests Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, In Bar 360: Al White The Cheel / The Baaree (Thiensville), Paul Stilin Jazz Group w/Chris Kringel & Craig Panosh (6:30pm) The Packing House, Carmen Nickerson & Kostia Efimov (6pm) Turner Hall Ballroom, North Mississippi Allstars w/Southern Avenue Union Park Tavern (Kenosha), Open Mic with host Mark Paffrath

Mark Hummel

Wayback Machine

(ELECTRO-FI RECORDS) Blues fans be alerted: Harmonica-ace Mark Hummel has released a new album deeply rooted in American music but striking the ear as contemporary for its timeless lyrical themes. For Wayback Machine, Hummel recruited Chicago guitarist Billy Flynn, Mississippi vocalist Joe Beard and a West Coast band called The Deep Basement Shakers. True to the album’s title, the music has the rough edges and determined confidence of a recording session circa 1955 at Chess Records. Hummel stands in for Little Walter and the band could be the ghosts of Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and friends. —Morton Shlabotnik

Gordon Grdina’s Nomad Trio

Gordon Grdina’s Nomad Trio (SKIRL RECORDS)

The self-titled Nomad Trio album opens with 10-minutes of coherent cacophony capturing the percussive dynamism of pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Jim Black. The anti-melody is led by nimblefingered guitarist Gordon Grdina, a Vancouver musician who finds ways to keep the sparks flying in the often-worn-out sounding medium of contemporary jazz. The trio also knows how to ease up but even in their quietest moments, the music is a tightly wound coil of dissonance and consonance. —Morton Shlabotnik

Ted Quinlan

Absolutely Dreaming Canadian Ted Quinlan brings an impressive resume to his latest album, including sessions with Michael Brecker, Freddie Hubbard and Chet Baker. Perhaps the guitarist tips his hat to the latter on Absolutely Dreaming’s opening track, “Cheticamp,” whose reflective moments echo the cool trumpeter. Quinlan’s playing soars to melodic heights with dynamic playfulness. The shifting tempos on the album’s nine original compositions are maintained by pianist Brian Dickinson, bassist Kieran Overs and drummer Ted Warren, an ensemble as in sync as the proverbial fingers in a glove. —Tavit Minassian J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 31



By James Barrick

Complete the grid so that every row, column and 3x3 box contains every digit from 1 to 9 inclusively.

© 2020 United Feature Syndicate, Dist. by Andrews McMeel Syndication

32 | J A N UA RY 9 , 2 0 2 0

DOWN 1. Bedridden 2. Buck’s mate 3. Admit 4. Snood 5. Triple spiral design 6. Precisely vertical 7. Bony fish 8. Third king of Judah 9. Part of HRH 10. A state capital 11. Truck 12. Kind of goose 13. Remorseless 14. Foolish 15. Shows indifference 16. Charlatan

17. — — a customer 18. Plasterlike material 24. Lignite 28. Bracelets 29. Dye source 30. Three-tone chord 31. Orion, e.g. 32. Utter monotonously 33. Dir. letters 34. Town in New York 35. — — avail 36. Showy flower 41. Reduce 42. Bones of the feet 43. Devoured 45. — vera 46. Kitchen discard 49. Ukase 51. Nonprofessional 52. Problem on the interstate 54. Circus performers 56. Opus — 58. Bankroll 60. A cardinal sin 62. Shelley Long role 64. Fizzles 66. Recipe meas. 67. Mends 68. — fide 69. The devil, mostly

70. Having differentiated teeth 72. MDIX - MCCCLVIII 73. Collagenlike protein 75. Skulls 76. Money in Moscow 78. Femur 79. Rend 80. Rise 82. Flat-topped hills 84. Stylish 85. Observed 87. Selflessness 90. Disparaging remark 92. Place for an urban garden 94. Native of: Suffix 96. Overacts 97. Bunny slope learners 98. Remotely 99. “— Bulba” 100. Penobscot River town 101. Perfume ingredient 102. Audio component 103. Worries 108. — and tucker 109. Skill 110. Estuary 111. Unclose, poetically 112. — -tzu 113. Old coin 114. Harden

Solution to last week’s puzzle

12/26 Solution

WORD FIND This is a theme puzzle with the subject stated below. Find the listed words in the grid. (They may run in any direction but always in a straight line. Some letters are used more than once.) Ring each word as you find it and when you have completed the puzzle, there will be 25 letters left over. They spell out the alternative theme of the puzzle.

The big state Solution: 25 Letters

© 2020 Australian Word Games Dist. by Creators Syndicate Inc.

81. School event, for short 83. Insect eggs 84. Believer in a coming utopia 86. Grassland 88. Simian 89. Pub pint 90. Freighters or tankers 91. Burns 93. Actor’s words 95. Faith: Abbr. 97. Office worker of old 98. Part of ancient Greece 99. Part 5 of quip: 6 wds. 104. Fire 105. NHL player 106. German courtesy title 107. Foundation 108. Noted pioneer 109. Blood vessels 115. — of Cleves 116. Kind of circle 117. Uprising 118. Leeway 119. Drunken ones 120. Lagers 121. Bugle call 122. End of the quip: 2 wds.

Bays Blue Boya Burns Cafes Calm Charm Chinatown Derby Dry Dukin Dwellingup Eats Fun Gem Gorge

Guide Holiday Indian Ocean Jetty Karratha Ketch Minilya Moora Muja Nacre Nannup Newman Numbat Onslow

Ord Pardoo Peron Peninsula Pod Relic Remote Shotts Surf Tour Trips Wild Yanchep Zoo

12/26 Solution: Technology is everywhere around us

Solution: Room to move in the golden west

ACROSS 1. Start of a quip by Pamela Anderson: 2 wds. 6. Egyptian creator god 10. Scrapbook 15. A pollutant 19. Secondary 20. — majesty 21. “Jungle Girl” of old comics 22. Sharpen 23. Convex on both sides 25. Moolah 26. Regrets 27. Just a few 28. Farm structures 29. Relatives 30. Part 2 of quip: 4 wds. 37. Stream 38. Hardened 39. Come into play 40. Material sometimes leaked 41. Smart 42. Dravidian language 44. — sinister 47. From — — Z 48. Spitchcock 50. Put in proper order 52. Java neighbor 53. Collision result 55. Art movement 57. Kind of seal 58. Pope’s striped scarf 59. Understand: Brit. 61. Part of DOS: Abbr. 62. Dodged 63. Part 3 of quip: 2 wds. 65. Part 4 of quip: 2 wds. 68. Directive 71. Pro 74. The scoter, e.g.: 2 wds. 77. Undisguised 78. Quavering sound 80. Bridge

Creators Syndicate 737 3rd Street • Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 310-337-7003 •



::FREEWILLASTROLOGY ::BY ROB BREZSNY CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Let’s get 2020 started with a proper send-off. According to my reading of the astrological omens, the coming months will bring you opportunities to achieve a host of liberations. Among the things from which you could be at least partially emancipated: stale old suffering; shrunken expectations; people who don’t appreciate you for who you really are; and beliefs and theories that don’t serve you anymore. (There may be others!) Here’s an inspirational maxim, courtesy of poet Mary Oliver: “Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.” AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In a poem titled “The Mess-iah,” spiritual teacher Jeff Foster counsels us, “Fall in love with the mess of your life… the wild, uncontrollable, unplanned, unexpected moments of existence. Dignify the mess with your loving attention, your gratitude. Because if you love the mess enough, you will become a Mess-iah.” I bring this to your attention, Aquarius, because I suspect you’ll have a better chance to ascend to the role of Mess-iah in the coming weeks and months than you have had in many years. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Comedian John Cleese believes that “sometimes we hang onto people or relationships long after they’ve ceased to be of any use to either of you.” That’s why he has chosen to live in such a way that his web of alliances is constantly evolving. “I’m always meeting new people,” he says, “and my list of friends seems to change quite a bit.” According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Pisces, 2020 will be a propitious year for you to experiment with Cleese’s approach. You’ll have the chance to meet a greater number of interesting new people in the coming months than you have in a long time. (And don’t be afraid to phase out connections that have become a drain.) ARIES (March 21-April 19): When comedian John Cleese was 61, his mother died. She was 101. Cleese testifies, “Just towards the end, as she began to run out of energy, she did actually stop trying to tell me what to do most of the time.” I bet you’ll experience a similar phenomenon in 2020—only bigger and better. Fewer people will try to tell you what to do than at any previous time of your life. As a result, you’ll be freer to be yourself exactly as you want to be. You’ll have unprecedented power to express your uniqueness. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Renowned Taurus philosopher Bertrand Russell was sent to jail in 1918 because of his pacifism and anti-war activism. He liked being there. “I found prison in many ways quite agreeable,” he said. “I had no engagements, no difficult decisions to make, no fear of callers, no interruptions to my work. I read enormously; I wrote a book.”The book he produced, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, is today regarded as a classic. In 2020, I would love to see you Tauruses carve out an equally luxurious sabbatical without having to go through the inconvenience of being incarcerated. I’m confident you can do this. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It’s common to feel attracted to people because of the way they look and dress and carry themselves. But here’s the problem: If you pursue an actual connection with someone whose appearance you like, there’s no guarantee it will turn out to be interesting and meaningful. That’s because the most important factor in becoming close to someone is not their cute face or body or style, but rather their ability to converse with you in ways you find interesting. And that’s a relatively rare phenomenon. As philosopher Mortimer Adler observed, “Love without conversation is impossible.” I bring these thoughts to your attention, Gemini, because I believe that in 2020 you could have some of the best conversations you’ve ever had—and as a result experience the richest intimacy. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Mystic poet Rumi told us the kind of person he was attracted to. “I want a trouble-maker for a lover,” he wrote. “Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame, who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate, who burns like fire on the rushing sea.” In response to that testimony, I say, “Boo! Ugh! Yuck!” I say, “To hell with being in an intimate relationship with a troublemaker who fights with fate and quarrels with the sky.” I can’t imagine any bond that would be more unpleasant and serve me worse. What about you, Cancerian? SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Do you find Rumi’s definition glamorous and romantic? I hope not. If you do, I advise you to consider changing your mind. 2020 will be an excellent time to be precise in articulating the kinds of alliances that are healthy for you. They shouldn’t resemble Rumi’s description. (Rumi translation by Zara Houshmand.) LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The 18th-century comic novel Tristram Shandy is still being translated, adapted and published today. Its popularity persists. Likewise, the 18th-century novel Moll Flanders, which features a rowdy, eccentric heroine who was unusual for her era, has had modern incarnations in TV, film and radio. Then there’s the 19th-century satirical novel Vanity Fair. It’s considered a classic even now and appears on lists of best-loved books. The authors of these three books had one thing in common: They had to pay to have their books published. No authority in the book business had any faith in them. You may have similar challenges in 2020, Leo—and rise to the occasion with equally good results. Believe in yourself! VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I’ll present two possible scenarios that could unfold for you in 2020. Which scenario actually occurs will depend on how willing you are to transform yourself. Scenario #1. Love is awake, and you’re asleep. Love is ready for you but you’re not ready for love. Love is hard to recognize because you think it still looks like it did in the past. Love changed its name, and you didn’t notice. Scenario #2. Love is awake and you’re waking up. Love is ready for you and you’re making yourself ready for love. Love is older and wiser now, and you recognize its new guise. Love changed its name, and you found out. (Thanks to Sarah and Phil Kaye for the inspiration for this horoscope.) LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Renowned Greek sculptor Praxiteles created some famous and beloved statues in the fourth century BCE. One of his pieces, showing the gods Hermes and Dionysus, was displayed inside the Temple of Hera in Olympia. But a few centuries later, an earthquake demolished the Temple and buried the statue. There it remained until 1877, when archaeologists dug it out of the rubble. I foresee a metaphorically equivalent recovery in your life, Libra—especially if you’re willing to excavate an old mess or investigate a debris field or explore a faded ruin. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Over a period of 74 years, the Scorpio philosopher and author Voltaire (1694–1778) wrote so many letters to so many people that they were eventually published in a series of 98 books, plus nine additional volumes of appendixes and indexes. I would love to see you communicate that abundantly and meticulously in 2020, Scorpio. The cosmic rhythms will tend to bring you good fortune if you do. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Picasso was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He was also the richest. At the end of his life, experts estimate his worth was as much as $250 million, equivalent to $1.3 billion today. But in his earlier adulthood, while Picasso was turning himself into a genius and creating his early masterpieces, he lived and worked in a small, seedy, unheated room with no running water and a toilet he shared with twenty people. If there will ever in your life be a semblance of Picasso’s financial transformation, Sagittarius, I’m guessing it would begin this year. Homework: Figure out how you might transform yourself in order for the world to give you what you yearn for.

Go to to check out Rob

Brezsny’s Expanded Weekly Audio Horoscopes

and Daily Text Message Horoscopes. The audio

horoscopes are also available by phone at 877-

873-4888 or 900-950-7700.


You’re Never Too Old


oan, 89, and her friend Pauline, 84, had their wishes fulfilled in early December after asking administrators at the Glastonbury Court care home in Bury St. Edmunds, England, for an attractive man with a “large chest and big biceps” to visit them. Sure enough, a male stripper dressed as a fireman arrived at the home to entertain the ladies, waving his belt around his head as he danced for them. “I wish he could visit us every day!” gushed Joan to the Daily Mail. “He made me feel like I was young again.” Joan made her request through the home’s “Wishing Tree” initiative, which others have used to ask for things like a shopping trip or a day at the beach. “This isn’t the typical kind of visitor we have,” said home manager Sharlene Van Tonder, “but based on the response, he was one of the most popular.”

That Bra Is So Ewe! A romney ewe living on a farm near Auckland, New Zealand, is getting some relief from an unusual problem, thanks to a clever veterinarian and a brassiere meant for humans. Rose the sheep had suffered damage to her udders when she produced a high volume of milk during her pregnancy with triplets. “When this happens,” Dr. Sarah Clews told Stuff, “the udder can hang so low that it can be traumatized on the ground.” The condition can sometimes be a cause for euthanasia, but Dr. Clews thought a bra might help lift the udders and allow them to heal. Rose’s owners eventually located a 24J maternity bra big enough to do the job, and it worked; after three weeks of wearing the bra, Rose’s udders recovered enough that surgery was no longer needed.

One Hot Christmas Gift Justin and Nissa-Lynn Parson of McKinney, Texas, were all in when their son Cayden, 12, asked for a magnifying glass for Christmas. “We thought, ‘Oh, he wants to magnify something’” to read or examine up close, Nissa-Lynn told KDFW. Instead, Cayden and his brother, Ashton, used the glass—and the sun’s concentrated rays through it—to light a newspaper on fire on the family’s front porch, which soon spread to the yard, eventually destroying the lawn and the family’s Christmas decorations. “We ran inside and started screaming,” Cayden said. The family doused the fire with “pitchers of water, blan-

kets smothering it, sprinklers turned on, hose turned on,” Nissa-Lynn recounted, adding that now Cayden “will definitely have yard work to do once spring comes.”

If At First You Don’t Succeed… In Jefferson County, Colo., would-be car thief Todd Sheldon, 36, has finally admitted it’s just not the vocation for him, according to police. Fox News reported Sheldon had tried over recent weeks to steal multiple vehicles, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, but each time, he was caught in the act: First by a homeowner, then by sheriff’s deputies minutes later, “just down the street,” responding to deputies’ queries about what he was doing by telling them, “I’m trying to steal this truck!” He was taken into custody and bonded out, but a week later, deputies responding to a report of someone trying to break into a car again found Sheldon. “This really sucks!” Sheldon told an officer. He remains in jail as of this writing.

Belligerent Bird Police in Elizabethtown, Ky., were called Friday, Dec. 27, to the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy over a “public menace,” according to WKYT. The culprit was a “hostile chicken” that “pecked viciously” at the officers and “made some adept use of vehicles for cover” before they were able to corral it in a plastic milk crate, according to the police department’s Facebook page. Officers transferred the foul fowl to “someone who can give him more suitable accommodations,” then attended to their wounds with “some doughnut therapy.”

What’s Schadenfreude in Japanese? Japanese YouTuber Marina Fujiwara has harnessed the pain she feels when she sees couples basking in love during the holidays by developing an (as far as we’re aware) unique device: a light connected to her computer that turns on whenever anyone breaks up on social media. Oddity Central reported on Friday, Dec. 27, that Fujiwara’s device is connected to the internet through a “bridge,” and it’s set to light up whenever a breakup status is posted on Twitter. “I want to celebrate Christmas,” she said, “but when you see a couple going out on a Christmas date and doing something like that, I am attacked by a huge sense of loneliness and feel disgusted.” While her machine is not available commercially, Fujiwara says it’s easy enough to set one up for yourself. © 2020 ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION J A N U A R Y 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 33




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’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? Yeah yeah, another happy focking New Year. And the first thing I’ve got to do in 2020’s first essay is send a big ol’ slobbering “thank you” out to my wouldbe guardian angel El Jefe out of Bethesda, Maryland, the “Old Line State” whose State Crustacean is the blue crab. That’s one creature I won’t be reincarnated as, since I already am one, what the fock. But thanks, Jef’ (fierce defender of the 13th amendment), for the inspirational words and the couple bottles of rye gut-rot—quite likely the best thing that comes my way all year with the exception that come November, TrumptyDumbty Trumpel-thinskin gets his fat ass voted out of office and then immediately shipped to Leavenworth. Hallelujah, jubilation! So, here we be that time of year for my annual much-ballyhooed Look Back/Watch Out Ahead gala essay, the one where I whip out my crystal balls (I always use two to beef up the accuracy) and soothsay the hell out of the approaching shitstorm that will go down in the history books as the year A.D. 2020, what the fock. But about the olden last year? Abso-fockinglutely Job-like for yours truly, I kid you not. You remember Job, ain’a? Yeah, the poor schnook out of the Bible who really took the shaft up the dupa sideways on account of this bet the Lord and Satan cooked-up to test Job’s faithfulness, and by “shaft” I mean he loses all his dough, his kids die and he comes down with a bad case of boils all over his biblical body—ouch! you betcha. Job got a tad PO’ed, which caused the Lord to speak to Job and really chew him a new one. Which reminds me of a little story about hearing voices: So there’s this guy who lives in Ala-fockingbama. One morning, he hears a voice in his head. The voice says, “Quit your job, sell your house, take all your money, and go to Las Vegas.” He ignores the voice. Later in the day, he hears the voice again. “Quit your job, sell your house, take all your money, and go to Las Vegas.” Again, he ignores the voice. Soon he hears the voice every minute of the day: “Quit your job, sell your house, take all your money, and go to Las Vegas.” The guy can’t take it anymore. He believes

the voice. He quits his job, sells his house, takes all his money, and flies to Vegas. As soon as he steps off the plane, the voice says, “Go to Caesar’s Palace.” He goes to Caesar’s Palace. The voice says, “Make your way to the roulette table.” He goes to the roulette table. The voice says, “Put all your money on RED 23.” He puts all his money on RED 23. The dealer spins the wheel. It comes up BLACK 17. The voice says, “Damn.” Ba-ding!) And now, without further ado, my Look Back/Watch Out Ahead essay, and remember that pithiness is the soul of brevity; so here it is for you to pith on: The Year 2019: Sucked, but good. Watch Out Ahead, 2020: Will suck, even more. Hard to believe, ain’a? And speaking of guardian angels, I remember a conversation me and my buddy Little Jimmy Iodine had just a couple, three weeks ago after watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, one of our favorites ’cause we are huge Lionel Barrymore fans, always have been. I’m sure you know the movie, the one where George Bailey plays the character who wants to see the world but every time he tries to leave town, someone or something chews him a new asshole and he’s forced to stay. Anyways, after a couple, three hot focking toddies, we decided the big focking deal isn’t what the world would be like if you’d never been born—it’s what the world is like if you haven’t been born yet. You’re always luckier if you can get born as far into the future as you can. Focking-A, those poor slobs who got born a thousand years ago as opposed to today sure got the shaft up the butt sideways, ain’a? There’s just more to do today in your spare time, for starters. A thousand years ago, you wouldn’t even have spare time on any kind of regular basis ’cause you were too busy working, fixing something, starving, getting slaughtered or sleeping. And when maybe you did have a little spare time, once every couple years, all there was to do was paint reindeer on a wall inside some cave. Focking swell. Eking out a life in the past was not much a wonderful life compared to the future. The future’s just always got to be better, ’cause if it isn’t, what’s the point? What the fock is the focking point? You tell me. And the I’ll tell you, as always, I hope you’s all do have a happy new year—hey, even at my age I still like to think anything’s possible, what the fock, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so. SHEPHERD EXPRESS

s av e t h e d at e ! 8th annual

Saturday, April 18, 2020 WI State Fair Park Expo Center YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 21+ OF AGE TO ENTER THIS EVENT. SHEPHERD EXPRESS

J A N UA RY 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 35

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36 | J A N UA RY 9 , 2 0 2 0


Profile for Shepherd Express

Print Edition: Jan. 9, 2020  

Print Edition: Jan. 9, 2020