COVID-19’s Impact on Milwaukee and the Shepherd Express ... page 2 WISCONSIN’S LARGEST LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED NEWSPAPER
March 19 - March 25, 2020 shepherdexpress.com
A Shepherd Express Publisher’s Note to our Readers The COVID-19’s Impact on the Shepherd Express Newspaper As the Shepherd Express team is working to put
are being forced to temporarily cut back their activities or completely close them down for the next month or two. As a result, for the next several weeks, the Shepherd Express will shift its focus to our website and temporarily suspend our print edition. This is the first time the Shepherd newspaper has temporarily suspended pub-
PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Louis Fortis (ext. 3802) GENERAL MANAGER: Kevin Gardner (ext. 3825) MANAGING EDITOR: David Luhrssen (ext. 3804) ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: John Schneider (ext. 3817) EDITORIAL ASSISTANT & ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER: John Jahn (ext. 3801) ASSOCIATE WEB EDITOR: Jean-Gabriel Fernandez (ext. 3818) STAFF WRITER: Erin Berge (ext. 3828) EDITORIAL INTERN: Agnes Connolly ASSISTANT TO THE GENERAL MANAGER: Blaine Schultz (ext. 3813) EVENT SALES COORDINATOR: Carrie Fisher (ext. 3823) EVENTS OPERATIONS COORDINATOR: Hannah Nestle (ext. 3816)
out this week’s issue of your newspaper, we are read-
lication in its 38 year history. We have had a website
ing about all the changes in our community because of
for the past 28 of those years, but the print edition,
COVID-19 pandemic. This health crisis is different from
distributed at over 1,300 locations, has overshadowed
anything we have experienced in several generations.
our news website. In some ways that was unfortunate
Schools are closing; sporting events have been can-
because our news website is one of the most popular
celled. Governor Tony Evers has banned gathering of 10
and fastest growing news websites in Wisconsin. It also
individuals or more. Museums, plays, concerts and vir-
includes content that goes beyond what is in the news-
tually every other kind of recreational events has been
paper. Currently, according to third-party research firms,
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: Chuck Hill (ext. 3822)
suspended until this crisis passes. Restaurants and bars
the Shepherd’s website now has almost as many readers
are experiencing serious drops in their business and are
In Memory of Dusti Ferguson (October 18, 1971 – November 20, 2007)
as our print edition. Together they have a combined
being forced to lay off employees. Some states and a
readership of well over a quarter of a million readers.
number of nations have mandated serious lockdowns. This major interruption of our public life has been
Starting next week, we will temporarily suspend
hard to watch. For the past 38 years, the Shepherd has
our printed newspaper and focus exclusively on our
worked hard to promote our wonderful and important
news website and our various e-newsletters. We will
small businesses and cultural venues. We have provided
continue to serve our readers and advertisers exclu-
reviews and previews for the plays, concerts, restaurants
sively through our website and the e-newsletters until
and all forms of local events and activities that make
the current health crisis gets under control, people can
Milwaukee a great place to live, work and play. We love
comfortably resume their public recreational activities
Milwaukee and the Shepherd has worked hard to help
and Milwaukee’s small businesses can resume serving
our city grow and prosper by highlighting its great insti-
their customers. We must continue to support our small
tutions, events and businesses.
businesses through this tough period because they
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis is having a real
have earned our loyalty and respect.
impact on our newspaper. We are not alone in this. Most of the weekly alternative newspapers across the country
like the Shepherd have temporarily shifted from both a
printed newspaper and a news website to just focusing
on the website. The Shepherd has tried to continue to do both, but that is proving too difficult as many places,
P.S. The Shepherd will also have its full list of the April
including venues where you pick up your Shepherd each
7 election endorsements on our website one week prior
week, have temporarily closed their doors. People are
to the elections.
CREATIVE SERVICES: ART DIRECTOR: Dave Zylstra (ext. 3821) GRAPHIC DESIGNER/PHOTOGRAPHER: Maggie Vaughn (ext. 3803) GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERN: Tess Brzycki ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Bridgette Ard (ext. 3811) Brian Travis (ext. 3829) Donna Wagner (ext. 3815) Executive Assistant to the Sales Director and Publisher: Jackie Butzler (ext. 3814) DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Anastasia Skliarova (ext. 3806)
WEB PUBLISHER: Cole Vandermause (ext. 3807) WEB EDITOR: Tyler Nelson (ext. 3810) BUSINESS MANAGER: Peggy Debnam (ext. 3832) ASSISTANT TO THE BUSINESS MANAGER: Sherri Hanson (ext. 3819) CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Blaine Schultz (ext. 3813) DISTRIBUTION: Shepherd Express is available free of charge. The Shepherd Express may be distributed only by authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of the Shepherd Express, take more than one copy of each weekly issue. Mail subscriptions are available. No refunds for early cancellations. One year (52 issues) via First Class mail: $125.00 Six months (26 issues) via First Class mail: $70.00 207 E. Buffalo St., Suite 410, Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone 414/276-2222 Fax 414/276-3312 Advertising Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail: email@example.com URL: shepherdexpress.com Shepherd Express makes no representations or warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, regarding any advertising. Due diligence is recommended before entering into any agreement with an advertiser. Shepherd Express will not be held liable for any damages of any kind relating to any ad. Please check your ad the first day of publication and notify us of any changes. We are not responsible for errors in advertising after the first day. We reserve the right to edit, reject or reclassify advertisements at our sole discretion, without notice. We do not knowingly accept advertisements that discriminate or intend to discriminate on any illegal basis, or are otherwise illegal. NO REFUNDS for cancellation after deadline, no copy changes except to price or telephone number.
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PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S ONGOING FIGHT FOR HEALTH CARE ::BY LOUIS FORTIS AND ERIN BERGE
or more than 100 years, Planned Parenthood has provided health care for patients nationwide, but in 2020, the nonprofit could face a new threat. On Wednesday, March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo. An adverse ruling would uphold medically unnecessary abortion restrictions and could make abortion a crime in Wisconsin. While abortion is at risk, it’s not the only service that Planned Parenthood provides. Shepherd Express spoke with Tanya Atkinson—president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin—about all of the health care services that the nonprofit offers in its 24 health centers across the state, as well as how Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin fights to keep those centers open.
Planned Parenthood has 24 health centers throughout the state. What is the scope of services that you provide in those centers? We provide a full range of reproductive health care services. We provide birth control, STD (sexually transmitted disease) testing and treatment, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing, abortion access, well-person exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings and testicular cancer screenings. We’ve also added quite a few services to those, including endometrial biopsies and polyp removals, both of which are related to cancer detection. We also provide early pregnancy complication management, which is an assessment of abnormal bleeding or pain during pregnancy to determine if someone is experiencing a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, so we can make sure they get the care they need. We do prenatal care coordination through warm referrals, which means if somebody finds out that they are pregnant, we set them up with a prenatal care coordination appointment. We just added post-partum services. We’ve added quite a few services in the last few years, and we will be adding some more in the next couple of years. What should people know about Planned Parenthood that isn’t already commonly known? A couple of things I’d like to emphasize that people don’t know about is our cancer screening and cancer work. We do HPV [human papillomavirus] vaccinations and breast and cervical screenings. We also provide colposcopies if someone has an abnormal pap result. Then, of course, there are the biopsies and polyp removals that I discussed. We want patients to know that we accept insurance. We serve folks with all different kinds of health care coverage, and if you don’t have coverage, we never turn anyone away due to an inability to pay. We want to make sure people know they are welcome. People can make online appointments, and for most appointments, they can be seen as soon as the next day or the next couple of days. Usually you can get an appointment quickly across the state. We also have a large education team that does trainings for the community. We provide direct education and professional training, including our annual Safe Health Strong conference in March, which draws people from across the country to learn about sexuality and reproductive health. We have a very large Spanish language health promoter program featuring Promotores de Salud, who are trained in sexual reproductive health. They host house parties around the state in their own neighborhoods about health and healthy sexuality and how to advocate for themselves. This curriculum has now been shared internationally in both Mexico and Chile. Our promotores are brilliant, dynamic leaders in the community. Also, people don’t often realize that Planned Parenthood also serves men. PP continued on page 4 >
MARCH 19, 2020 | 3
NEWS&VIEWS::FEATURES > PP continued from page 4
Over the last several years, there have been some major changes. We have a U.S. Supreme Court that is different, a president that is different and a governor that is different. So, what do all these changes mean for Planned Parenthood? I have to say 2020 is an important year, and I don’t think I can overstate how important this year will be for the future of reproductive and sexual health in Wisconsin and across the country. After losing state funding, Planned Parenthood had to close five health centers around the state; this has a direct impact on the people of Wisconsin. These are not political conversations, these are real people who are impacted by these policies, and we’ve seen what can happen firsthand when additional restrictions are passed and how much more difficult it is to access reproductive health care, including abortion. 2020 is an incredibly important year, and you know, deciding to start a family, delay becoming a parent or ending a pregnancy are some of the most personal decisions a woman can ever make. She should be able to make that decision without political interference. We know people want elected officials who protect access to sexual and reproductive health. Some 77% of the American electorate does not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. That’s the landscape that we are working in. Most people understand the need for the care that Planned Parenthood provides. One in five women has been a Planned Parenthood patient at some point in her life. There is so much at stake. This month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that could have an indelible impact in Wisconsin and across the country. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, what would that mean for Wisconsin? If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion could immediately become a crime in the state of Wisconsin. There are 20% of women who have used Planned Parenthood services—in addition to all the people who care about them who may be interested in keeping you alive and healthy. What can they do to be supportive? There are a lot of ways that folks can get engaged. First and foremost, if you need health care, come in and see us. We can provide you with health care services, and you can become a part of our community of patients. Voting is absolutely critical. I cannot overstate what’s at stake in 2020. Vote in the spring elections and in the fall elections. Take your friends to vote and make a plan to vote. Electing leaders who are supportive of sexual reproductive health and positive public health policies is really, really critical. People can also get more engaged with the Planned Parenthood right in their own backyard. We really encourage people to invest in the Planned Parenthood center in their community. If you see Wisconsin as your backyard, great. Invest in Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, whatever that looks like for you—whether that’s creating deeper relationships, helping people get out to vote or coming to our education conference. We encourage folks to invest in the Planned Parenthood that is near and dear to their hearts. How does Planned Parenthood battle the stigma that abortion faces? I mean, abortion is health care, and that’s really what it boils down to. We treat our patients with the respect and dignity they deserve, whatever services that they are receiving. Abortion is a deeply personal decision; we understand that. We do work to have conversations with people about what that means to them, and we respect and honor their opinion. Rather than dividing people on the issue, we work hard to understand each other. At the end of the day, we work to ensure that people can make their own decisions about their own health care. Financially, you have a very important institution here, and health care is not cheap to provide. How are you staying alive economically in a very tough environment? The cost of providing health care continues to increase, and we are seeing attacks on health care funding for reproductive and sexual health. Most recently, Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers have been pushed out of the Title X Family Planning Program, which is the only federal family planning program. Through this program, people could access lifesaving health care. Losing Title X funding has been challenging, but we are working very hard to make sure our doors are open across the state. We also want people to know that we are going to fight with everything we have to make sure that people have access to the health care that they need and the health care that they deserve. We are here to be a health care provider, we are here to be an educator, and we are here to fight for the health care that people need. Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n 4 | MARCH 19, 2020
Real Community Engagement Makes a Difference
How being inclusive yields positive outcomes ::BY VIRGINIA SMALL
ommunity engagement has become a popular approach to advancing civic projects involving public funds, public assets and other aspects of the greater good such as public health. These bottom-up efforts are in contrast to entrenched, top-down, fait accompli approaches that favor elites and spur inequity and resentment. Public projects that successfully achieve community engagement can relevantly address true needs and foster real ownership and consensus. Community engagement is inherently a complex process. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defined it in 1997 as “working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people. It is a powerful vehicle for bringing about environmental and behavioral changes that will improve the health of the community and its members.” Community engagement often involves partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners and catalyze shifts in policies, programs and practices. Engagement may be initiated by individuals, organizations or governmental agencies. Spheres of influence can range from single blocks and neighborhoods to groups of people sharing common interests or goals. Within greater Milwaukee, community engagement is now often an aspect of planning new or renovated green spaces and playgrounds, revitalizing neighborhoods and addressing environmental health and justice and other community issues. Several professionals who regularly facilitate community engagement in their respective organizations shared their perspectives for this article. Common themes emerged during separate conversations.
Harnessing Concerns and Creativity
Successful community engagement can lead to unexpected solutions, says Stephanie Mercado, neighborhood revitalization coordinator for the Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers (SSCHC). That was the case with the recent creation of the Kinnickinnic River Plaza. The transitional green space evolved since 2018 following extensive community involvement and multi-agency collaboration. Neighbors responded to the removal of 27 homes along Harrison Street between 13th and 16th streets, which occurred as part of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District’s long-term naturalization of the Kinnickinnic River, which long ago
was channeled with concrete. Mercado said that early feedback about the changed landscape emerged during door-to-door canvasing about neighborhood issues and community health. Those conversations revealed that residents wanted the remaining alleyways removed and to have a walking trail and place for children to play, as well as public art. Motivated by those conversations, SSCHC and other partners collaborated with residents to fulfill their goals. The interim community space evolved around the theme “Water Is Life—Aqua Es Vida.” It quickly became valued by the neighborhood, said Mercado. The project is a finalist for a coveted Milwaukee Award for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) in the public-space category. Successful community engagement is deliberate and often requires multiple techniques to elicit appropriate and relevant input. Jamie Ferschinger, director of environmental health at SSCHC, stresses the importance of eliminating barriers to participation. “Meet people in their neighborhoods. Hold meetings at different times, including during weekends and evenings. Provide childcare, if possible,” says Ferschinger. Removing language barriers and creating easy-to-understand materials is also crucial. Mercado adds that when the SSCHC holds workshops about resources available to the community or on topics such as the hazards of lead, “we hold them in a neighborhood park, make it a party and serve food that will be recognized by participants.” Working within a majority Latinx neighborhood, SSCHC staff involved in community outreach speak both Spanish and English.
An Open-ended Process
Joe Kaltenberg, the MKE Plays program coordinator for the City of Milwaukee, engages with people citywide to renovate playgrounds and neighborhood parks. “We do hyperlocal projects, so we focus on reaching residents within a half-mile radius of that park, at most. We analyze census-tract data and send communications to nearby residents, but those are just starting points,” says Kaltenberg. Community engagement “is never a linear process with a checklist where you start with item ‘A’ and then move on to ‘B’; you may need to go back to ‘A1’ and ‘A2,’” he says. “We try find the right voices, older and younger, and from all the cultural backgrounds within a neighborhood,” Kaltenberg continues. He seeks out groups that have boots on the ground and people who know what it may take to serve that specific community. “Go down the rabbit hole and follow wherever that leads,” he said. “We work to build consensus, which often takes time and may seem SHEPHERD EXPRESS
NEWS&VIEWS::FEATURE inefficient to people who want immediate results.” He avoids rushing to decisions, such as taking a show of hands among whoever shows up at a single meeting. Kaltenberg adds that if he didn’t do community engagement, he “could build some sweet parks, or at least ones I think are cool.” Instead, the “pocket parks” he helps to revitalize “need to be authentic reflections of a neighborhood’s needs and interests. I want them to be used and enjoyed. That’s my metric of success.”
Communication —Early and Often
Ideally, it’s best to involve community members from the start of a project and to let those being engaged know what’s possible, based on budget and other factors. For example, “if you can only affect the color of a jungle gym, don’t ask what people want in a park,” says Ferschinger. Dan Adams, planning director for the nonprofit Harbor District, Inc., says that “transparency is extremely important—explaining what you are doing and why and how input will be used. Set expectations up front, describe the wider context and what a project will entail.” Those engaged should also be kept apprised of status updates and changes in the scope of projects.” Mercado says, “There are always challenges in community work. Whenever something is part of larger project, the engineers and im-
plementation folks may have a different timeline. Delays or unforeseen changes can lead to tension.” To retain trust developed within a neighborhood, those conducting engagement must navigate between residents and other project partners. Communication must include follow-up through various means and during all project phases.”
Focusing on Resident-led Initiatives
The Dominican Center, a 25-year-old community organization based in Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood, focuses on facilitating resident-led efforts to drive sustainable social change. The center’s executive director, Sister Patricia Rogers, OP, says it’s essential to listen to members of the community and support what they want to happen. “When residents take ownership of a process, you know that whatever comes after that is really going to be something that residents want and are willing to work for.” One goal established by residents has been to identify and assist a full roster of leaders within the neighborhood, which encompasses 130 square blocks. Rogers says that six individuals have stepped up to help lead revitalization in Amani. The Dominican Center recently enlisted a professional organizer to conduct training sessions on how to engage other residents and is working to secure funding to stipend such work. “As a result, we are
seeing some movement in terms of safety, in education, family well-being and in economic redevelopment. For example, to address safety issues, a community priority is to get an ambassador on each block—someone who knows what’s happening, what people need,” she says. Denisha Tate-McAlister, the Dominican Center’s project director, assists resident leaders in setting goals to address specific issues and following through on developing solutions, including in collaboration with other community organizations. The Dominican Center received a three-year, federal Building Neighborhood Capacity Grant starting in 2014, which supported the early phases of these efforts. The center is a 2020 MANDI finalist in the “Cornerstone” category.
Informing, Engaging, Empowering
The Harbor District interweaves community engagement within all aspects of its planning, events and programming, Adams explains. Projects invariably involve collaboration with other community groups, the City of Milwaukee and other governmental agencies. Adams cites three types of community interactions. The most basic approach entails informing people, whether through social media, a website, public open houses or other means, so that “people can take appropriate action.” Engagement is the second type
and may rely on surveys, public meetings or workshops, such as a design-planning session. Empowerment is the third approach, in which community members directly assist in decision-making processes. For example, the Harbor District initiated a Neighborhood Advisory Committee three years ago, with subcommittees that address specific tasks or focus areas. One project involves selecting and planning events at the newly created Harbor View Plaza at the east end of Greenfield Avenue. Community engagement played an ongoing role in creating the already-popular park which opened last summer. This three-step approach—which Adams first learned in the urban-planning graduate program at UW-Milwaukee more than a decade ago—has since guided his thinking about community engagement. “It’s important to be diligent about seeking ways to move up the scale from informing, to engaging, to empowering members of the community, Adams says. “Whenever there are multiple stakeholders, some have louder voices. It’s essential to compensate so that marginalized voices can be heard. Historically, the planning profession made some terrible, long-lasting mistakes, including large-scale clearing of neighborhoods for urban renewal,” he says. “Now, people understand that community engagement is integral and necessary to any planning process.” Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n
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Judge Lynn Adelman Calls Out Supreme Court’s ‘Assault on Democracy’ ::BY JOEL MCNALLY
ost Americans recognize the life-threatening danger to our nation from Donald Trump’s incompetence as he falsely assures us his bungled delay of mass-testing was a “perfect” response to the world-wide novel coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic upending our daily lives. But Americans also need to be aware of all the dangers to democracy Trump’s mean-spirited policies intentionally inﬂict upon the country. Milwaukee Federal Judge Lynn Adelman is calling out the long-term damage to America from Trump and the rightwing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court for their continued destruction of basic constitutional protections for all Americans. Adelman’s scathing law review article carries the blunt title: “The Roberts Court’s Assault on Democracy.” In it, Adelman calls Justice John Roberts’ promise at his 2005 conﬁrmation hearing to be a neutral umpire calling balls and strikes “a masterpiece of disingenuousness.” “The Roberts Court has been anything but passive,” Adelman writes. “Rather, the Court’s hard-right majority is actively participating in undermining American democracy. Indeed, the Roberts Court has contributed to insuring that the political system of the United States pays little attention to ordinary Americans and responds only to the wishes of a relatively small number of powerful corporations and individuals.” Adelman wrote the article for the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the law review journal of the American Constitution Society, described as “a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, judges, law students and scholars.” Former Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, who currently teaches at Stanford Law School, was just appointed the organization’s new president.
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Adelman acknowledges that the rightwing majority on the Roberts Court preceded Trump’s presidency, but he also notes that, although Trump “ran as a populist and promised to promote policies that beneﬁted ordinary people, upon taking ofﬁce, Trump almost entirely reversed course.” Trump’s temperament is actually “that of an autocrat,” Adelman wrote, which means more of the president’s appointments would guarantee an extreme, rightwing court majority for decades to come. Although federal judges frequently write law review articles on current legal issues, it’s unusual for a sitting federal judge to so directly challenge the U.S. Supreme Court, whose ﬁnal
decisions they must enforce. But what is happening to the rule of law and the federal judiciary under Trump is not just unusual, it’s extremely dangerous. Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused for nearly a year to consider a highly qualiﬁed Supreme Court appointee by then-President Barack Obama so Trump could ﬁll the opening with a rightwing nominee if he were elected (which he did with Neil Gorsuch). The Republican Senate majority then approved a second rightwing Trump nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, without fully investigating a credible accusation that he had drunkenly sexually assaulted a female high school student as a teenager. After Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, Senate Republicans stopped passing legislation in order to work full time approving more than 160 rightwing Trump judges to federal appeals and district courts with little vetting into whether they held racist or other crackpot legal philosophies. Anything conservatives can do to distort court decisions toward the extreme right is acceptable in Republican politics today, but the factual legal article written by Adelman—who was appointed to the bench by former President Bill Clinton in 1997—has been viciously attacked on rightwing websites. The attacks seem to suggest that federal judges shouldn’t publicly criticize the chief justice or decisions of the Supreme Court.
‘A Duty to Criticize Decisions That Are Flawed’
Why not? Adelman speciﬁcally challenged partisan majority opinions written by Roberts gutting key portions of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act permitting current Republican voter suppression tactics against racial minorities and another decision declaring federal courts could not act to prevent the kind of corrupt Republican gerrymandering that violated the will of Wisconsin voters in 2018. In those midterm elections, Democrats won 53% of Wisconsin Assembly votes, but won only 36 seats in the chamber, while Republicans won 63 Assembly seats due to their dishonestly drawn voting districts. As Adelman explained in an interview on CNN, “It’s reasonable to criticize decisions of the Supreme Court. I understand that I’m bound by them, and I’ve done that [complied with those decisions in rulings], but I think I have a duty to criticize decisions that are ﬂawed.” Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern, legal analysts writing for Slate, said it was about time progressive federal judges who know the law spoke out. “Indeed, most of the article is the descriptive stuff of triumphalist Federalist Society touchdown dances at national conferences,” celebrating the increasing rightwing tilt of the Supreme Court, they wrote. “The real tragedy here is that progressive judges will be pilloried for saying out loud what conservative judges have secretly, and not so secretly, crowed about for decades.” The only thing worse than everything Trump has failed to do out of ignorance to protect our country in a world-wide public health crisis are all the things he has done on purpose to the courts to make our country a very different, less American one. Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n SHEPHERD EXPRESS
Walnut Way, Antonio Butts Rebuild a Neglected Neighborhood::BY ERIN BLOODGOOD
n order for the City of Milwaukee to be a place where there’s true economic diversity among all people, the isolation and exclusion [of minorities] has to continue to be addressed,” says Antonio Butts, executive director of Walnut Way. The nonprofit organization, based in Lindsay Heights, is dedicated to supporting the neighborhood’s residents through community engagement, environmental stewardship and economic development. Butts holds a strong belief that the strengthening of a neighborhood happens by harboring the skills of its residents and building from within. As he explains, the funding and support need to come from people who are part of the community, not from external sources. Walnut Way was founded 20 years ago, when a group of neighbors came together to talk about the lack of camaraderie in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood compared to the time when they were children. These residents grew up in the 1940s and 1950s, when the area was still known as Bronzeville, a thriving African American neighborhood fueled by a wealth of industrial jobs and ambitious migrants from the South. But Bronzeville and its booming businesses got torn apart in the late ’50s and early ’60s, when the City of Milwaukee decided to build the I-94 and I-43 freeways right through the middle of the neighborhood; the communities have not been the same since. Businesses and residents were displaced and consequently divided and neglected. That small group of Lindsay Heights neighbors remembered the strong sense of community from their childhood and began gathering groups of residents, reclaiming vacant lots and taking on initiatives.
‘Neighborhoods Need Businesses, Organizations and Institutions’
Motivated to make a difference in the neighborhood he has called home his whole life, Butts became Walnut Way’s executive director three years ago. His professional experience involves both social work in the nonprofit sector and work with social enterprises that use for-profit models; he was specifically drawn to Walnut Way because of the unique opportunity it presented to blend the two. A program called the “Community Wealth-Building Campaign” is a perfect example. Walnut Way has built relationships with the residents of Lindsay Heights and taken note of all their skills and interests. That information is then used to group people together in an effort to start interest groups and evoke business ideas. “In order to turn neighborhoods around and create real opportunities for residents to have social and economic mobility, neighborhoods need businesses, organizations and institutions,” says Butts. The community gatherings have already brought ideas for new business ventures which Walnut Way will help bring to life. As part of the program, Walnut Way will offer funding, administrative and structural support to these groups. The success in this organization comes from building spaces of trust as well as seeing the potential in each of the residents. The destruction of the neighborhood in the early ’60s and “lack of investment in areas predominantly populated by African Americans, left [the residents] without an economic base to be able to move forward,” says Butts. Walnut Way has been breaking down those barriers and helping individuals succeed by building trust for 20 years. When individuals are confident in their potential, a neighborhood can start to be rebuilt. Learn more at walnutway.org. For more of Erin Bloodgood’s work, visit bloodgoodfoto.com. Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n Antonio Butts
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Hot Cars and Hot Heads ::BY PHILIP CHARD
esearch shows that folks—particularly males—who purchase high-end vehicles are more likely to exhibit rude or even dangerous behavior while driving. This includes failing to yield to pedestrians, not using turn signals, running red lights and speeding. What’s more, one study found that men who purchase flashy, expensive cars are more likely to show a cluster of not-so-nice personality traits, including being stubborn, argumentative, disagreeable and lacking in empathy. For sure, not all people behind the wheels of BMWs, Corvettes, Mercedes, monster pick-ups and the like are ill-tempered, nor do they have a monopoly on reckless driving. Nonetheless, they are at greater risk for bad road behavior than your average Joe or Jane tooling around in a simple sedan, smaller SUV or minivan. So, what gives? Are folks with speedy cars or trucks just full of themselves, insensitive and elitist by nature? Some are, but there’s more of a back story here than meets the eye. Other research suggests the underlying culprit is not simply one’s vehicle choice, but the impact of that choice on one’s sense of personal power.
At UC-Berkeley, neuroscientists found that when people feel powerful, they are at risk of developing something called “acquired sociopathy.” In fact, they exhibit attitudes and behaviors similar to those seen in individuals who, through head trauma, damage parts of the brain known as the “empathy network.” Whether caused by brain damage of simply a heightened sense of personal power, diminished empathy increases the likelihood one will feel more entitlement, less concern for others and a “me, myself and I” mindset. Often, when certain people (again, particularly males) operate a mode of trans-
port like a turbocharged car, jet ski, snowmobile, motorcycle and the like, they feel an emotional power surge. While at the controls, some start behaving more like a machine and less like a person. If you’re a “Star Trek” fan, it’s as if their mind and the vehicle meld into one, sort of like the Borg; entities that are part biological and part machine. In other words, when operating a pricey set of wheels, one may become more like a thing and less like one’s human self. This power trip is not lost on those advertising automobiles. Flashy, compelling visual images of turbocharged cars screeching from zero to 60, manly pickup trucks towing monster loads and rugged off-road SUVs tearing up pristine landscapes all scream one overriding message: If you want to feel powerful, buy this set of wheels. Once one gets this power surge, rude and insensitive behaviors become more likely.
Too Much Horsepower?
Now, there are many exceptions. I recall when a friend test-drove a ridiculously expensive and brawny sports car. Rather than walk away with a power hit, he exited the car trembling. “Too much horsepower,” he told me. So, in order for power-induced, acquired sociopathy to kick in, there must be a connection between the vehicle’s robust capabilities and something in the driver’s personality that relishes the sense of power it conveys. This is nothing new. In my youth, there were so-called hot rods and muscle cars. I owned one while in college; a ragtop with a manual four on the floor, a turbocharged engine and high-performance tires. With the top down, it was like driving a squall line, and the sense of power was palpable and seductive. A defensive driver by nature, I found myself increasingly tempted to burn rubber and speed. So, the more one identifies with this thing, pretty and potent as it may be, the more likely one will become like it—indifferent to others, powerful and potentially dangerous. Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “Mastering yourself is true power.” We don’t achieve true power by mastering the road at the expense of others. Instead, it comes from making sure we are less like the vehicle we inhabit and more like a kind and considerate human being. For more, visit philipchard.com.
Poll Results: Last week, we asked if you are confident in Donald Trump’s ability to manage America’s response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. You said: 16% Yes 84% No
What Do You Say? Not counting any changes to your day-to-day life that may have been imposed upon you recently due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, have you changed anything about your own personal habits whatsoever due to this virus? Yes No Vote online at shepherdexpress.com. We’ll publish the results of this poll in next week’s issue. 8 | MARCH 19, 2020
OUR DEMOCRACY ( MARCH 19 - 25, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The weekly Peace Action event, we are told, will take place. Please double-check with UW-Milwaukee and/or the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County before attending the Tuesday, March 24, event listed below.
Steps Taken to Confront Coronavirus On Thursday, March 12, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. “The risk to the majority of Wisconsinites remains low,” he said, adding, “We can all do our part to help prevent the spread of the illness to others.” Evers’ executive order directs the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to “take all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent and respond to incidences of COVID-19,” allowing the DHS to buy and distribute medications, mobilizing the Wisconsin National Guard and freeing state money for local health departments. With confirmed cases on the rise in Wisconsin, on Monday, March 16, Evers ordered a ban on all gatherings of 10 or more people—a move in line with recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a press con-
ference on the same day, President Donald Trump discouraged discretionary travel and recommended limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people, as well as the closing of bars, restaurants and food courts. Milwaukee County has ordered bars and restaurants to close, allowing only carry-out or delivery service.
Flattening the Curve
The biggest threat to public health due to the pandemic is an overwhelming influx of cases that forces medical providers to ration life-saving resources, which could create shortages that lead to many deaths. The elderly and people with underlying medical conditions are most vulnerable, but the virus threatens and kills healthy younger people as well. By slowing the rate of infections, public efforts can “flatten the curve” of hospitalizations. In Japan, it took four weeks, and in South Korea two weeks, to flatten the infection curve through aggressive measures, including widespread testing. The good news is that pandemics always end, and their conclusion can be hastened by responsible behavior by government and private institutions, as well as individuals. Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n
In the right hands this will rise to greatness.
Saturday, March 21 Peace Action of Wisconsin: Stand for Peace @ the corner of Sherman Boulevard and North Avenue, noon-1 p.m.
Every Saturday from noon-1 p.m., concerned citizens join with Peace Action of Wisconsin to protest war and, quite literally, “Stand for Peace.” Signs will be provided for those who need them. Protesters are encouraged to stick around for conversation and coffee after the protest.
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Tuesday, March 24 2020: The Year of the Latino Vote—Are We Ready? @ the UW-Milwaukee Roberto Hernández Center (RHC), 3210 N. Maryland Ave., 12:30-1:45 p.m. RHC and the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County’s Comité por el Voto Latino will host a discussion on the importance of voting in the Latinx community and promoting voter education and registration. To submit to this column, please send a brief description of your action, including date and time, to email@example.com. Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n SHEPHERD EXPRESS
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Small Gardens Made Easy ::BY MARK HAGEN
ood things come in small packages, or so the saying goes. But does that adage hold true for a Cream City nature boy with big dreams and a green thumb? My West Allis home sits on a quarter-acre lot. When my partner, Todd, and I signed the mortgage, we planned to transform that lot into a garden that rivaled Holland’s tulip farms and Monet’s most celebrated paintings. Our dreams of animal-shaped topiaries, soothing water features and a quaint gazebo disappeared the weekend we moved in and took a serious look at our yard... our quarter-acre yard... largely in shade... in West Allis. Fast forward a few years, several dozen dead plants and, ultimately, a beautification award from the city, and I’ve learned a few things about transforming small spaces into quaint gardens, happy-hour hideaways and shady spots to catch a nap. Simply follow these steps to carve out your garden, no matter how little space you have.
Find a Spot
Choose a spot and decide what the purpose of the garden will be. Is it decorative? Is it an herb garden? Maybe it’s simply a place where you’d like to share a bottle of wine with a friend?
Knowing how you’ll use the space will drive your plans.
Do Your Research
You might think your front porch is covered in shade, but really pay attention to it. You may discover it’s a hot spot for early-morning sun. Similarly, check the soil if planting in your yard. Many small lots are loaded with clay or sand.
Make a Plan
It’s easy to overcrowd small areas with planters, flowers, bushes, garden gnomes, water fountains and plants that don’t jive with your garden’s sun exposure or soil (see previous point). Heading into the garden center with a plan limits impulse buys and stops you from feeling overwhelmed.
Most people creating tiny gardens aren’t planning on spending much time weeding and pinching back petunias. Be honest with yourself regarding the amount of upkeep you’re willing to put into the area. If you’re looking for a no-fuss garden, consider plants such as succulents. Grouped in tabletop containers, these tiny gems are perfect for small spaces and need little care. Similarly, perennials such SHEPHERD EXPRESS
::HOME&GARDEN as hostas and coral bells, as well as annuals like impatiens, thrive in the shade and require little more than watering.
Create a focal point. Container gardens or planters, for instance, are a small-space gardeners staple. Not only can you fill a planter with whatever flowers or plants work best with the garden’s sun exposure, but they instantly add color and drama to small spaces. That said, the focal point can also be something like a small table and chair, a pink flamingo or a rusty park bench. Heck, maybe it’s an old disco ball or a headless mannequin. Get creative! Put your mark on your space.
When you can’t expand your garden horizontally, go vertical. Plant tall items such as dahlias or decorative grasses. Consider vines that climb fences or walls. (I love English ivy for its simplicity and morning glories for a bit of color.) Don’t forget to hang fence-mounted containers as well as window boxes that carry the eye upward. For instant success, pick up a hanging basket from a farmers market. You’re done! Water and fertilize as needed, and don’t be afraid to change things up if they’re not working for you. Most of all, relish the outdoor paradise you’ve created, no matter how small it is.
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::CANNABISCONNECTION THE GO-TO SITE FOR EVERYTHING CANNABIS IN WISCONSIN
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.
Northwoods Hemp Farm Cannabidiol Cigarettes
::BY SHEILA JULSON
conto County is known as the gateway to the Northwoods of Wisconsin and an agriculturally oriented area. When Milwaukeean Drew Porter learned that a farmer friend of his was trying to come up with interesting ways to make use of tillable land he owns in Oconto County, he considered hemp, which caught Porter’s attention. The venture led to Northwoods Hemp Farm (not to be confused with Northwoods Hemp), makers of cannabidiol (CBD) cigarettes and tinctures. Porter also had a personal interest in CBD. His father had been diagnosed with stagefour melanoma and had been “beat up” by his cancer treatments, and Porter knew a natural alternative like CBD could help his father recover. Porter, whose dad is doing well these days, says that was a motivator for him to get into the hemp business. Porter, along with business partners Russell Franks and a third partner who asked to remain anonymous, researched the effects of CBD. In early 2019, they began putting a plan together to grow hemp and turn it into a product. “When you take part in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) pilot program, you have to put together a proposal and contribute your research and experimentation to the program’s database of knowledge,” Porter explains. They farmed their first hemp crop on five acres of land divided among two parcels. One was dedicated to seed hemp strains Cat Lady and Otto II. The other plot was dedicated to clones—Cherry, Cherry Wine and Wife strains. Porter says they used non-synthetic means to maintain soil, such as compost teas and worm castings, as well as chemical-free pest control measures. Weeding, pruning and watering was done by hand. Challenges included frequent downpours, which required digging trenches to ensure proper drainage. Toward the end of the season, they had to pay significant attention to the sex of the plants; if male plants grow in the vicinity of female plants, which produce the flowers, they could pollinate the female plants. The energy that would go into flowers ends up going into seeds, which lowers the potency of CBD and other cannabinoids. Much time was spent pulling male plants from the fields. Porter notes it was hard to find affordable crop insurance for hemp. “A lot of people, including us, were not insured for bad weather.”
From Seed to Cig
Because the Wife strain was their top performer and the most potent, the Northwoods Hemp Farm team chose it to use in their CBD cigarettes, which they introduced this past January. “It’s aromatically intense. It’s also an indica-dominant strain, which has a more calming, relaxing effect.” Sativa, the other common strain in the cannabis family, can be more invigorating or uplifting. Porter notes ingesting CBD via inhalation increases bioavailability, versus taking it orally or topically. The cigarettes, sold in packs of 10, are free of tobacco and nicotine. “We’re vertically integrated from seed to cig,” Porter emphasizes. “The cigarettes are rolled by us, with hemp grown on our fields that we tended to all summer. Larger competitors typically source from several farms, each of varying qualities, so you might not get the same results each time. Ours are also third-party tested for mold, fungicide, pesticides and heavy metals.” Northwoods Hemp Farm also has full-spectrum CBD tinctures available in 1,000 milligrams. The cigarettes are available locally at Closet Classics and Laughing Grass’ West Allis location, and both the cigarettes and tinctures are available online. Porter believes that Wisconsin can produce quality hemp, especially as people continue to look for natural alternatives for wellness. Although Wisconsin producers are competing against more mature markets on the West Coast, he remains optimistic. “A hundred years ago, Wisconsin was one of the largest producers of hemp,” he concludes. “Now that the door is starting to open again, it would be fun to take that trophy back.” For more information, visit northwoodshempfarm.com. Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n 12 | M A R C H 1 9 , 2 0 2 0
Virginia Drastically Liberalizes Marijuana Laws ::BY JEAN-GABRIEL FERNANDEZ
irginia lawmakers voted to decriminalize marijuana in a bipartisan initiative setting a $25 fine for simple possession. Under the current legislation, possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana is punishable by a month in jail for a ﬁrst offense and one year for subsequent offenses. Initially, both Virginia’s House of Delegates and Senate had voted on two different versions of the bill. It took several weeks to reconcile the versions, but the bill was ultimately agreed upon in the nick of time; it was approved by both chambers while the Virginia General Assembly was working overtime on Sunday, March 8—one day after the expected end of the legislative session. Additionally, the decriminalization bill establishes that charges for marijuana possession won’t be included in a person’s criminal history, as well as barring employers and other institutions from requiring disclosure of past marijuana possession offenses. It also includes hashish oil under the new deﬁnition of marijuana; possession of hashish oil is currently a felony punishable by one to 10 years of incarceration. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam promised to sign decriminalization into law and seems willing to push for full legalization, as he used his State of the Commonwealth address to call for drug reform. “The punishment must ﬁt the crime. Not every offense deserves a life sentence. It’s time to temper justice with mercy,” Northam said. “Remember, this is a bipartisan issue. Lots of Republican-led states have reformed their criminal justice systems. It’s time for Virginia to do it, too. This means decriminalizing marijuana possession—and clearing the records of people who’ve gotten into trouble for it.”
With this bill, Virginia’s marijuana laws, which were notoriously strict, will become far more compassionate. Democratic House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, who led the decriminalization effort, said, “This bill... will prevent low-level offenders from receiving jail time for simple possession while we move toward legalization in the coming years with a framework that addresses both public safety and equity in an emerging market.” “With this historic vote, we are making Virginia a more fair, just, equal and progressive place,” said Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring. “Decriminalization is an important ﬁrst step on Virginia’s path towards legal, regulated adult use, and one many thought was still years away, but we cannot stop now. We’ve shown that smart, progressive reform is possible, and we must keep going.”
Reforms Keep Coming Decriminalization is the biggest, but not the only, drug reform bill to pass in the past several days in Virginia. The 2020 legislative session saw a ﬂurry of marijuana bills approved by the state’s Legislature, challenging the entire legal framework surrounding marijuana in the state. While medical marijuana is illegal in Virginia, a 2015 law makes it possible in practice to possess oil containing cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A), two nonpsychoactive components of cannabis. A new bill approved by the Legislature aims to formally legalize these two oils to ensure that nobody will be prosecuted or denied any right to them if they have a valid prescription. This is coupled with another bill authorizing the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to issue permits for cannabis-dispensing facilities. Both these initiatives reinforce a burgeoning medical cannabis market in the state. And yet another approved bill clariﬁes that smokable cannabis products containing less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, are legal to sell, possess and use. All of this comes as one last resolution, which could give hope to proponents of full legalization, passed the Legislature with a large majority. It requires “the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study and make recommendations for how Virginia should go about legalizing and regulating the growth, sale and possession of marijuana by July 1, 2022, and address the impacts of marijuana prohibition.” Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n SHEPHERD EXPRESS
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Milwaukee County Restaurants and Bars Ordered Closed, Takeout and Delivery Orders to Continue ::BY COLE VANDERMAUSE
n a news release late Monday, Milwaukee County and municipal health officials ordered bars and restaurants to close to dine-in service and limit offerings to carry-out or delivery only starting Tuesday, March 17, to slow the spread of coronavirus. The announcement came hours after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers ordered an indefinite ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. Dozens of restaurants in the Milwaukee area had already made announcements in the last several days to limit the number of patrons they’ll allow into their physical space or expand their carry-out and pickup options. The order states that food and beverage sales are restricted to carry-out and delivery only. No on-site consumption is permitted. Exemptions are to be made for health care facilities and catering for weddings or funerals. The order applies to 11 municipalities within Milwaukee County including Milwaukee, Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Cudahy, South Milwaukee and St. Francis. South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks made the following statement about the Health Department order: “While we recognize this order is a hardship for small businesses and others, we are doing this out of an abundance of caution and continue to make public health our top priority. Guidance from federal, state and local health professionals and the experience from other communities, stats and countries is clear: We need to take these kinds of measures to slow the spread of the illness and protect our community. That has to be our focus.” Following the announcement by Gov. Evers, Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said that the step down to a 50-person limit is a “middle ground,” “a good first step,” and that her department would continue to evaluate necessary measures. To read the full order from Milwaukee County, visit shepherdexpress.com. SHEPHERD EXPRESS
TROPICAL TASTES AT RICANMEX FRAPPES & GRILL ::BY JAMIE LEE RAKE
The name RicanMex Frappes & Grill (2940 S. 13th St.) implies two lands of origin, but it’s easy to see which one dominates the quaintly appointed restaurant’s menu. The create-your-own-plate meal combination featuring meats such as roasted or fried pork, fried chicken and garlic shrimp with sides (such as two types of plantains and pigeon peas with rice) give evidence of Puerto Rico. So does the flag for the U.S. commonwealth displayed in the front window. That tropical flair extends to a sandwich selection including a jibarito (with plantains substituted for bread) and my choice during a recent visit, the tripleta—so named for its three meats (chicken, pork and beef) snugly packed in a grilled hoagie bun moistened with mayonnaise, ketchup and shredded lettuce. With a pile of golden, skin-on French fries on the side, that may be enough of a meal for many. But with “frappe” preceding “grill” in RicanMex’s name, it’s a clue to save room for dessert. The peguinito frappe presents chocolate flavoring in a vanilla base, its appearance recalls the flightless arctic bird. Smoothies may be a lighter option for a sweet treat.
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A Chat with Luke Zahm and Arthur Ircink of ‘Wisconsin Foodie’ ::BY SHEILA JULSON
ince 2007, “Wisconsin Foodie” has been a staple of Milwaukee Public Television on Thursday nights, entertaining and educating audiences with the stories behind Wisconsin’s celebrated food, beverage and agricultural businesses. For Season 12 (airing locally Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. on MPTV Channel 10), Arthur Ircink, the producer and brainchild of “Wisconsin Foodie,” crafted a new introduction and debuted new host Luke Zahm—a James Beard Best Chef Midwest semifinalist who co-owns Driftless Café in Viroqua, Wis., with his wife, Ruthie. Zahm takes over for Kyle Cherek, the show’s longtime familiar face. Zahm had been featured in and guest-hosted a few episodes prior to taking over as the regular host. We caught up with Zahm and Ircink at a “Wisconsin Foodie” viewing party at Three Brothers Serbian restaurant in Bay View. Three Brothers, along with the Serbian
Arthur Ircink and Luke Zahm of ‘Wisconsin Foodie’
Days Festival, was featured in an episode of the show that aired on Thursday, Feb. 6. “I enjoyed the experience and played off a skillset that I didn’t realize I had,” Zahm says. “I grew up in LaFarge, Wis., in blue-collar America, and I love sharing these stories, because it’s part of our identity and to be able to celebrate that and mix it up in that fashion is great. These guys [Ircink and the crew] put me in all sorts of crazy situations, like making food with machinery that I don’t understand!” Ircink feels that having a chef as a host gives
“Wisconsin Foodie” a new dynamic. “Luke is a chef from rural America and bringing that skillset was really important,” Ircink says. “Luke’s personality is just infectious.”
Keeping Wisconsin’s Food Traditions Alive
The episode featuring Three Brothers and the Serbian Days Festival was a special show for Ircink; his wife’s family is Serbian, so for years, he’s been immersed in Serbian culture.
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The episode featured his nephew, 15-yearold Neven Stojadinovic, who was helping his grandmother prepare krofne, airy Serbian donuts, for the picnic at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, in Racine, Wis. “My grandmother helped me a lot, and we made them together at home,” Stojadinovic says. He hopes to open a Serbian American bakery when he gets older. Those stories behind traditions and intergenerational food preparation is what drives Zahm and Ircink to showcase all that our state has to offer, and they’ve got no shortage of ideas. “It’s a collaborative process, from working with the team around me and with the community. I have such a great network of people around me—chefs, food activists and product-makers,” Ircink explains. “People also send us information.” In addition to the state’s vibrant metropolitan regions, areas such as Sheboygan, Door County and the Driftless Area have become popular food and beverage destinations. “We have to be geographically sensitive to our episodes, then break that down,” Ircink explains. Zahm adds that they often go into a story with one idea, and it comes out with a completely different angle. “One thing we hold dearly is that we let stories unfold organically. To script a show like this, you can only do so much, and the story starts presenting itself in layers.” “Wisconsin Foodie’s” crew has a good rapport, and nobody takes themselves too seriously, which allows them to still have fun, even after a 10-hour day of filming. After 12 seasons, two Emmy Awards and seeing some of his camerapersons move on to other networks and shows, Ircink remains committed to the overall idea for “Wisconsin Foodie,” an idea he originally sketched out on a paper napkin while vacationing in Montréal, Québec. “There are so many traditions, and it’s so important to keep those traditions alive. If we can do that through “Wisconsin Foodie,” that is our biggest goal,” Ircink concludes. For more information, visit wisconsinfoodie.com.
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This restaurant is a neighborhood favorite and offers simple Mexican fare in a colorful setting and a casual, friendly dining atmosphere.
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M A R C H 1 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 17
[ FILM CLIPS ] Blow the Man Down (STREAMING ON AMAZON ON FRIDAY, MARCH 20) R You wouldn’t imagine a cabal of elderly matriarchs running a Maine fishing town, but Blow the Man Down defies usual expectations. The drama unfolds from the perspective of sisters Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) and Priscilla Connolly (Sophie Lowe), who have just begun to cope with their mother’s death when they unexpectedly become killers and thieves. Next, the girls are entangled with the town’s young officer Brennan (Will Brittain), and most importantly, they must answer to their mother’s lifelong friends (played by June Squibb, Annette O’Toole, Marceline Hugot and Margo Martindale). The film uses eccentric, comedic characters to take us down rabbit holes leading to a warren of revelations. (Lisa Miller)
Bloodshot PG-13 Vin Diesel portrays American elite soldier Ray Garrison in this film adapted from a Valiant comic book, featuring popular character Bloodshot. Killed, along with his wife, by the sadistic Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell), Garrison is resurrected using an experimental nanotechnology. He’s endowed with an internet-connected brain, is super-strong and possesses the power of instantaneous self-healing. Garrison’s new life is granted so he can do the bidding of his benefactor, the mysterious RST group. Instead, Garrison escapes and seeks revenge for his wife’s death. Presumably looking for a new superhero franchise, both Vin Diesel and Sony are let down by a simplistic, predictable story that fails to thrill with its few cool special effects. (LM.)
The Way Back R A high school basketball phenom, Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) inexplicably walked away from the game after securing a basketball college scholarship. Having thrown his future away, the now 40-something, divorced alcoholic begins the day drinking beer in the shower, the can precariously balanced on the soap dish. Jack spends off hours in a lowlife bar and spiraling downward. When asked to coach his high school basketball team, Jack is surprised to find himself accepting the difficult task of fixing a broken group of players. Addressing these malfunctions sends Jack into a drinking funk but also inspires him to get help. In some ways, it’s an autobiographical film for Affleck, who has experience with rehab. (L.M.) ‘Wendy’
‘Wendy’ Is a World of Wonder
a missing child, but Wendy knows he wasn’t kidnapped. He just got away. Wendy is narrator as well as protagonist, and her voiceovers echo her evolving sensibility. “I will tell you the story of children who ﬂy away… all the way to the edge of the world,” she says early on. In a clever update of Peter Pan, Wendy and her two brothers jump a train where they encounter an African American girl who guides them to the edge of the world—a magic volcanic island with pop::BY DAVID LUHRSSEN up geysers and a benign sea monster in the ith Beasts of the South- lagoon. Thomas is there, playing pirate. It’s a ern Wild (2012), Benh place where children never grow old—or so it Zeitlin emerged as one of seems at ﬁrst. Let’s say without too many spoilers that America’s most unique ﬁlmmakers. The magi- Wendy begins her journey on the assumption cal realism continues with Wendy, a ﬁlm that that adulthood is a fate to be avoided. As one shares many features with its predecessor. of her brothers puts it, “The more you grow up, the less time you have to do Like Beasts, Wendy is set in workwhat you want to do.” Which is ing-class Louisiana and stars a often true, and yet, growing up girl-child protagonist whose point Wendy and assuming responsibility for of view is prominent throughout. Devin France one’s life (and others) can be at We’re not watching her but seeDirected by least as much an adventure as esing through her eyes. Water is a Benh Zeitlin caping to Never Never Land. prominent element in both ﬁlms. Zeitlin’s particular genius is Wendy’s title character is a Rated PG-13 his ability to poetically visualize white girl (Devin France) growthe fantasy life and perspectives ing up above her mom’s diner located alongside rattling, rumbling railroad of children. The smoky roar of the locomotracks. Her neighbor, Thomas, insists he will tive idling alongside the diner is like dragon’s become a pirate. “I ain’t gonna be no broom breath. Odd angles are favored as Wendy and mop man,” he declares. Wendy glimpses explores her physical surroundings. Yellow him dashing away by jumping on a passing school buses and adults tower overhead. The freight train. Several years pass: Thomas’ cameras, like Wendy, spend a lot of time lookface is on a Lost Boys poster; he’s deemed ing up with wonder at the world.
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[ HOME MOVIES / NOW STREAMING ] While You Live, Shine (INDIEPIX FILMS)
The blues changed (saved?) Christopher King’s life when, at age 15, he found a case of 78-rpm records in an abandoned sharecropper shack. He found something deeply meaningful in those platters composed of tree resin—organic materials containing the sweat and soul of long-dead musicians. More recently, King discovered an ancient analog to the blues in a remote Greek mountain province—a melancholy yet joyous moan that sounds like the moment time began. King’s 2018 book, Lament From Epirus (with its Robert Crumb cover), recounted his odyssey. Paul Duane’s artful documentary, While You Live, Shine, follows the grumbling musicologist from his Virginia home (he finds contemporary American society plastic, lifeless and contemptible) to a Greek village where he appears at peace—fulfilled as part of an organic community that continues to live close to its ancient roots. While You Live, Shine is a meditation on music, culture, memory, regret, life and death.
Mystify Michael Hutchence (SHOUT! FACTORY)
This visually and sonically fascinating documentary identifies INXS’ Michael Hutchence (1960-’97) as a romantic rebel, well-versed in ’60s and ’70s rock and soul and well-read (Herman Hesse, Kahlil Gibran, Allen Ginsberg). The pressure of riding the top of the charts and the incessant touring got to him, but his downfall occurred from the subtle brain injury he received after being attacked by a maniac. Recollections and archival footage form a mosaic of his life.
Little Joe (MAGNOLIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT)
A new breed of plant is genetically engineered to emit a mood-lifting scent (a happiness flower?). But created without proper testing, its virallike, behavior-altering pollen causes unexpected consequences. Alice (Emily Beecham) plays the smug geneticist slow to recognize facts when they don’t conform to her theories. British director Jessica Hausner slowly builds intimations of disaster in a low-key elevation of dread. Little Joe dramatizes the pod-mentality, pain-avoidance and lotus-land mindset of contemporary society. —David Luhrssen SHEPHERD EXPRESS
::HEARMEOUT ASK RUTHIE | UPCOMING EVENTS | PAUL MASTERSON
Join us for our Women’s Luncheon
WINNER OF THE JEWELERS OF AMERICA’S 2019 CASE AWARD
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
March 18—Prayer and Praise Wednesdays at Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church (1239 W. Mineral St.): Celebrate the Lenten season and gear up spiritually for Easter with this weekly service. The 7 p.m. mass relies on a contemporary setting and overall modern approach to best honor the season. The one-hour masses run every Wednesday through April 1. See milmcc.org for more information on this popular community church.
Good City Brewing 333 W Juneau Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53203 Tickets on sale at WisLGBTChamber.com/women
Join the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber Connect with consumers and other business owners who want to support LGBTQ+ and allied owned businesses
March 21—Courage MKE 2020 Pageant at LaCage (801 S. Second St.): It’s pageant time for one of the city’s most cherished organizations. Don’t miss the excitement as performers from across the state compete to become this year’s brand ambassadors for Courage MKE. Who will be crowned Mr. and Miss Courage 2020?
Gotta Hang Up! Dear Ruthie,
I’ll make this quick. Boyfriend is on his phone way too much, and it’s becoming a problem. He won’t stop; it’s pissing me off. Go!
Thanks, Fed up Dear Feddy,
Sounds like he has a telecommunication problem. Start by calmly explaining your concerns and how his lack of attention makes you feel. Next, suggest meeting in the middle with a bit of a comprise. Create some “phone rules” together. Maybe he’s off the phone between 5 and 7 p.m. every day, and you don’t say squat about his phone usage for the rest of the evening. Maybe he leaves the phone in another room during dinners. Maybe you agree that he can only check certain pages after 7 p.m. (pages such as @ruthiekeester on Instagram or Dear Ruthie on Facebook... just saying). Perhaps the phones are put away when the both of you watch a movie or TV. You two decide, but setting some agreed-upon ground rules might keep you both happy. SHEPHERD EXPRESS
Go to shepherdtickets.com, and get your $10 tickets today. Want to reserve a table or even compete? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for the details on the 6 p.m. night of glitz, glamor and giving.
March 21—ABBA vs. Queen vs. Blondie at Mad Planet (533 E. Center St.): Mama mia! Can anybody find me a heart of glass? When one of the city’s most infamous hot spots plays some of the most iconic music of our time, loads up the dance floor and tosses in a few cocktails, you’ve got one helluva night to remember. The unbeatable dance party starts at 9 p.m. and runs until bar close.
Ask Ruthie a question or share your events with her at email@example.com. Follow her on Instagram @ruthiekeester and Facebook at Dear Ruthie. Her reality show, Camp Wannakiki, is available on YouTube; auditions for Season Three are now underway. See the YouTube channel to learn more. Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n
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Really GRAND Fridays
Really Grand Fridays offer you the opportunity to tour some of Milwaukee’s most fabulous homes while supporting the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.
Friday, March 20th
Patrick Mutsune and Brett Timmerman invite you into their stunning riverside home in Kane Commons for an unforgettable evening with sponsored cocktails and appetizers.
For more details and to purchase tickets, visit RGFMar20.givesmart.com
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm Tickets: $75
Questions? (414) 271-2656 Facebook.com/LGBTCenter
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::MYLGBTQPoint of View
Did You Just Hear a Cock Crow? ::BY PAUL MASTERSON
And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto you, that this day, even in this night, before the cock crows twice, you shall deny me three times.” Mark 14:30
Serving Milwaukee since 2000, this casual cantina features Mexican fare, margaritas & more than 100 tequilas. Plus patio seating!
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And so it was that, upon the decree that “Catholics for Trump” would assemble in our fair city, the Archbishop of Milwaukee said, “However, I would like to take this opportunity to remind the Faithful that the Catholic Church is not a political organization, nor is it politically afﬁliated. The mission of the Church is religious, not political.” Cue cock. It seems it was just a few short years ago that, backed by conservative Catholic armchair theologians during the 2016 campaign, one saw a cascade of articles in Catholic magazines and websites arguing why the Faithful should vote for the Republican candidate. Obviously, the GOP platform mirrored Catholic doctrine in the areas of reproductive rights, traditional marriage and the embrace of conservative Western values (read misogyny, homophobia and white supremacy). After the election, a colleague—a good Catholic—voiced her chuff over the GOP victory and explained that while she didn’t like the candidate, she saw the opportunity for Republicans to control the judiciary with conservative appointments, adding a smug “don’t worry, we still love you.” But lo, as that giddy post-coital glow
dimmed, it may have dawned on good Catholics that their sin of making a pact with the devil has come back to haunt them. Some may be gnashing their teeth and running to the confessional with guilt and mea culpas. Today, the congregation’s demographic is shifting dramatically towards a Latino American majority (among congregants younger than 30, the majority is already Hispanic). Immigrants of color make up the majority of priestly vocations, too. While white Catholics might be cheering for their man, Attorney General William Barr, it’s hard to pitch immigrant Kinderconcentration camps and ICE raids when the targets happen to be Hispanic and Democratic voters. Aligning with the anti-immigrant white regime might have repercussions, and the Church would have some explaining to do. And it certainly can’t afford to lose Hispanic congregants and seminarians to the social justice-minded competition. There are also other inherent conﬂicts between regime practices (especially those conducted out of a very un-Catholic spite) and Catholic doctrine regarding education, the death penalty and care for the poor and the homeless. And, as it turns out, despite Rome’s homophobic dogma, 10% of U.S. Catholics identify as LGBTQ. By some estimates, among clergy, over 50% do. Besides, just watch our local Channel 30 and discover how Evangelicals really feel about Catholics. For the moment, the unholy alliance’s “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy may have achieved some success, but like the Martin Niemöller poem suggests, eventually, after “they” come for the unionists, the Jews, the socialists (and I’ll add the immigrants and gays), they’ll come for the Catholics. Nobody likes to share power or the Rapture. Due to a Deus ex Machina plague having cancelled the Catholics for the new Messiah rally, the Archbishop may be off the hook for the moment. Besides, in the manner of Matthew 27:24, he’s already washed his hands of it and saying, “It’s your responsibility!” Comment at shepherdexpress.com. n
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LOCATIONS X 3
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
72. One time around 73. Lowbred 74. “It is -- -- told ...” 75. Kind of goose 76. Vendition 77. Application 78. Table service: 2 wds. 80. Painted image 81. Retailer 83. Letters 84. Potpourri’s appeal 85. Skin 86. Some time 88. Harsh criticism 90. Benefit 93. Vast hyperarid expanse 95. Like the lunar surface 99. Agora 101. Toponym: 2 wds. 102. Tahari or Wiesel 103. Gives up 104. Lacking excitement 105. Vile anagram 106. Depend 107. Affirm to be true 108. Frightened 109. Dreadful DOWN 1. Coarse file 2. Hurt 3. Celestrium component 4. Defunct kind of documentary 5. Imprisoned one 6. Antelope 7. The rudiments 8. “Norma --” 9. Lively musical composition 10. “Common Sense” writer 11. British pools 12. Ersatz: Abbr.
13. Thicket 14. School subj. 15. Amount 16. Cheese variety 17. Puerto -18. Taphouse order 24. Like a jester’s costume 26. Chatter 28. Punch-drunk 31. Kind of wave or bore 33. Set of points 34. Understand 35. Simple tool 36. Dummy text, e.g. 37. Solutions 38. Works at 39. Ordinary 40. Pre-adolescent 41. Become conscious of 43. Done in stages 44. Carouse 45. Not mainstream 46. Benefits 51. Even now 53. Split 54. Burn 55. Aquarium fish 57. Film 58. Exercises for the quads 59. Andretti’s sport 61. Soup kitchen item 62. Two- or four-door
model 63. Disorderly crowd 64. Contain 65. Respond 66. Lunchtime destinations 67. Claw 68. Worn-out 70. Is unyielding: 2 wds. 71. Tourist court 74. Chester -- Arthur 75. Upright stone 76. Grew ill 78. Ending for cine or xeno 79. Climber’s great challenge 82. Mild oath 84. Fill 86. Epilate 87. Measures of length 88. Support structure 89. Spiked 90. Part of NAFTA: Abbr. 91. -- of tears 92. Seed appendage 94. Settled after flight 95. Hammer part 96. Sitarist -- Shankar 97. Arab ruler 98. Cut 100. Defunct carrier 101. Educ. group
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 20 letters left over. They spell out the alternative theme of the puzzle.
A new arrival Solution: 20 Letters
© 2020 Australian Word Games Dist. by Creators Syndicate Inc.
ACROSS 1. Game spoiler 5. Horror 9. Join, in a way 15. Do or die, e.g. 19. God’s -20. Place of exile 21. A crocodilian 22. “Garfield” dog 23. Luxurious residence 25. Safe house: 2 wds. 27. Income for retirees 28. Signify 29. Hearsay 30. Split 31. Weeds of grain fields 32. Ka-BOOM! 34. Stared 37. Effervesce 38. Safeguards 42. Hold sway 43. Special position: 3 wds. 47. Be beholden 48. Goat hair cord 49. Group of six 50. Alternative therapy from Japan 51. Agents: Hyph. 52. Dry, said of wine 53. French composer 54. Yes --! 55. Bound volumes 56. Place of business 58. Golf course 59. Made like new 60. Shanty 61. Organs 62. The Great Deceiver 63. Pushed 65. Ambit 66. Solves a cipher 69. Firth or Farrell 70. Cotton grass 71. Via --
Solution to last week’s puzzle
Anxious Bathe Birth Bottle Breastfeed Card Colic Cradle Crib Cute Daddy Elated Emotional Excitement
Forceps Fussy Gifts Girl Hectic Help Home Jacket Leave Loud Love Milk Mobile
Mummy Names Nappies Nurse Powder Quiet Rash Rest Sleepless Sponge Tantrum Towel Toys Weight
3/12 Solution: Not a job for the faint hearted M A R C H 1 9 , 2 0 2 0 | 21
Solution: It will be life changing
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::FREEWILLASTROLOGY ::BY ROB BREZSNY PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Artist Pierre Bonnard had his live-in girlfriend and future wife, Marthe de Méligny, pose for him when he painted Blue Nude in 1899. Thirty-two years later, she served as his model for his painting Nude at Her Bath. In fact, she was his inspiration for 384 paintings, many of them while wearing no clothes. I admire their continuity, persistence and loyalty in collaborating on this work together. I also appreciate the fact that they were able to steadily reinvent a familiar task so as to keep it interesting. These will be great virtues for you to cultivate in the coming weeks. ARIES (March 21-April 19): Lyric poet and Catholic friar Luis de León taught theology at Spain’s University of Salamanca from 1561 to 1571. Sadly, he offended the Inquisition when he translated the bible’s erotic poem, Song of Songs, into the Spanish language. As a result, he was whisked away to jail. Four years later, in a dramatic turnaround, he was freed from confinement and allowed to return to his teaching post, with a warning to be more careful in the future. To begin his first lecture, he told his students, “As we were saying yesterday….” I invite you to show similar grace, poise and amusement as you return to the groove after your break in the action. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Popular poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-’61) was a big fan of popular author George Sand (1804’76). During their first meeting, Browning got down on her knees and reverentially kissed Sand’s hand. A similar exchange had occurred decades earlier, when composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) knelt and kissed the hand of his hero, composer Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). In the coming weeks, Taurus, you can enhance your spiritual health by summoning feelings akin to those of Browning and Beethoven. You’ll provide yourself with mysteriously practical blessings if you overflow with admiration, appreciation, even adoration. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You Geminis can be scintillating friends and helpful allies. People who are lucky enough to be linked to you are often inspired to outgrow their narrow attitudes and think more imaginatively. If there is a downside to your tribe’s social value, however, it may come through inconsistency or lack of loyalty. In accordance with astrological omens, I ask you to inquire whether you might sometimes be guilty of those shortcomings. If you are, please work on remedying them. Now is a favorable time to bolster the consistency and loyalty you bring to your friendships and collegial relationships. CANCER (June 21-July 22): I believe that Cancerians like you and me require more slack, silence and spaciousness than most people. It may be inconvenient to regularly give ourselves an abundance of relaxing downtime, but that’s the way we function best. Maybe other tribes can thrive on five hours of sleep per night, but most of us Crabs can’t. And then there’s our fundamental need to be gradual and unhurried: We need to assert our right to be that way. Having said all this cautionary advice, I now want to tell you that you may be able to do without your full quota of those necessary luxuries in the coming weeks. It’s action time! (But don’t overdo it.) LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In March 2019, a small town in Belgium hosted the first annual European Gull Screeching Championship. Humans competed to utter cries that resemble the caws of seagulls. Some of them dressed up to resembled gulls and flapped their wings to provide even greater realism. The next such contest is coming up on Sunday, March 22, in De Panne, Belgium. Do you have any interest in trying out? You Leos now have an extra strong connection with your own animal intelligence. You’re especially capable of calling on your instinctual powers and fostering a resonance with the natural world. I bet one of your tribe will be this year’s winner. (You can find more information about the contest at tinyurl.com/gullscreech.) VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Do Virgo people have demons? Of course! Everyone has demons. Dealing with hard-to-manage pests running around inside our heads is a natural part of being human. I suspect they may even be essential to our well-being—and why do I make that outlandish statement? Because the demons keep us off-balance in ways that motivate us to keep trying to improve 22 | M A R C H 1 9 , 2 0 2 0
ourselves. They challenge us to continually become smarter, more resilient and more resourceful. I bring these thoughts to your attention, my dear Virgo, because I expect that, in the coming weeks, you’ll be able to have some especially interesting and fruitful conversations with your demons. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Try this experiment: Invite everyone in your world to offer you blessings similar to the best blessings you’re capable of dispensing. Have fun as you playfully teach your allies and cohorts how to imitate a sensitive, attentive Libra who listens well, expresses sincere curiosity and provides helpful mirroring. Demonstrate to them the secrets of how to create harmonious outcomes and dare them to honor you with the same kind of magic. Show them your techniques for seeking out and fostering beauty and ask them to collaborate with you as you pursue that holy quest together. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio poet Marianne Moore aspired to do “potent and accomplished work.” She sought the joy that comes from being a skilled craftsperson who offered unique understandings of the world’s bounty. In her words, “There is no pleasure subtler than the sensation” of being a good worker. You Scorpios now have a ripe opportunity to experience that joy and pleasure. Cosmic rhythms are nudging you to do your work with a heightened commitment to excellence, integrity and love. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarius genius William Blake (1757-1827) was unsung in his own era, but modern critics treat him as a superstar—adept at both visionary poetry and the visual arts. London’s Tate Museum just finished a major exhibition of his paintings, prints and watercolors. I’m happy to inform you that this darling of the intellectual class behaved in ways that the modern intellectual class would regard as bizarre. For example, Blake believed that the spirits of dead heroes visited him while he was awake, and he insisted that he once saw God gazing at him through a window. I offer these thoughts in the hope that you’ll be inspired to express both your rational brilliance and your crazy brilliance in the coming weeks; both modes should be working quite well for you. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Movable type” is a term that refers to the technology used to print symbols or letters on paper. In 1450, German inventor Johannes Gutenberg created a movable-type machine called the printing press that led to the mass production of books. He is rightfully regarded as an influential innovator. To be thorough in our historical understanding, though, we must note that Chinese inventor Bi Sheng printed paper books with comparable machinery beginning in 1040. I bring this to your attention as an example of how to correct old stories that are only partially true. This can be a rewarding activity as you reconfigure your own past in the coming weeks. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I’m guessing that the imminent future will have a paradoxical quality. On the one hand, it will be a favorable phase to separate and even cut asunder influences that are joined but should no longer be joined; on the other hand, the coming weeks will be a good time to blend influences that aren’t blended but should be blended. What belongs together for the good of everyone concerned? What doesn’t belong together for the good of everyone concerned? Put those questions at the forefront of your awareness. Your discriminatory powers should be working at peak efficiency—preferably with a high degree of kindness and creative imagination. Homework: Do you know the difference between fear and intuition? Listen to tinyurl.com/fearorintuition. © 2020 Rob Brezsny Go to realastrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s Expanded Weekly Audio Horoscopes and Daily Text Message Horoscopes. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 877873-4888 or 900-950-7700.
::NEWS OF THE WEIRD ::BY THE EDITORS OF ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION
Coronavirus Gone Viral Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely is on trial in Athens, Ala., facing 11 counts of theft and ethics charges related to his job. On Friday, March 6, Blakely went to the hospital, where his lawyers told the court he was being tested for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). But in a special hearing on Saturday, March 7, Dr. Maria Onoya told Judge Pride Tompkins that while Blakely was, indeed, admitted to the hospital and received multiple tests, none of them was for COVID-19. In fact, she said, there was no evidence to suggest he should be tested for it whatsoever, The News Courier reported. Tompkins ended the hearing with harsh words for Blakely’s defense team: “I don’t know what your tactic is, but it’s condemned by this court,” he said. He went on to note that he was “very disturbed” by the defense’s mention of COVID-19 in the motion to continue, calling it irresponsible, reckless and unfair to the community. Meanwhile in Queensland, Australia, people are panicking about running out of toilet paper (and where not?) during the coronavirus pandemic, all of which makes Haidee Janetzki of Toowoomba extra popular after she made an error in a recent, routine, online bathroom tissue order she placed. “When it asked for quantity, I put 48,” she told 7News, “thinking that would be a total of 48 rolls; but it turned out it was 48 boxes containing 36 rolls each!” (That’s 1,728 rolls.) At first she thought it was the online retailer’s fault when she later checked her credit card balance, which showed an expense of $3,660. She decided to keep the rolls, incidentally, and, you guessed it, is selling the hot commodity at a markup. Two state attorneys general and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are cracking down on long-disgraced Christian televangelist Jim Bakker, currently host of “The Jim Bakker Show” on cable TV. The New York attorney general’s office on Tuesday, March 3, sent a cease-and-desist order to Bakker, and on Tuesday, March 10, the Missouri attorney general filed suit against him as well. At issue is Bakker’s hawking of “Silver Solution,” a “Godly medication” made from silver that supposedly cures all sorts of ailments—including for use in treating COVID-19. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, The Washington Post
reported, Bakker asked a guest on his show whether the gel could cure the coronavirus. “It’s been tested and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours,” said so-called “naturopathic doctor” Sherrill Sellman. In the letter, the “extremely concerned” Lisa Landau—chief of New York’s Attorney General Health Care Bureau—called the segment false advertising and said it violates state law. Bakker has 10 days to comply. A man in Vilnius, Lithuania, with help from his sons, reportedly locked his wife in their bathroom after she expressed worry to him that she had contracted COVID-19 from traveling to Italy, where she came into casual, brief contact with some Chinese people. The husband called a doctor, who suggested she remain indoors and try to maintain at least six feet between herself and other family members for a period of time. Meanwhile, she contacted police because her husband locked her in a bathroom in the home and wouldn’t let her out. Rest assured, all ended (reasonably) well after the panic; she was released from the bathroom, tested for the virus and doesn’t have it. The U.S. State Department has advised people, particularly older adults, to avoid cruise ships and air travel during the coronavirus onslaught. But some travelers just can’t be dissuaded. Take, for example, Ben Stults, a sophomore at Florida State University, who will head out on a cruise to Mexico this week for spring break. He’s hoping to “hit the sweet spot,” as he explained; that is, to get there and get home before the virus takes hold in Mexico. To be safe, however, he’s bringing along a respirator face mask and a deck of cards in case of, you know, quarantine. The Daily Beast asked Stults if he thought his plan was a sound one, to which he replied, “Honestly, no.”
Ped-Antic Pigs Firefighters were called to a farm near Bramham, Leeds, in England on Saturday, March 7, to put out a fire in a large pigpen. At this particular farm, the pigs wear pedometers to prove they’re “free-range,” Fox News reported, but one of those gadgets was the probable cause of the blaze, firefighters said. They theorize that one of the pigs ate one of the pedometers, then passed it in its excrement, sparking a fire in the pen’s hay. The culprit was the copper in the battery reacting with the pig droppings. No pigs were hurt in the fire. © 2020 Andrews McMeel Syndication SHEPHERD EXPRESS
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Turn and Face the Strange ::BY ART KUMBALEK
’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, it occurred to me the other day that if I want to serve our fruited waves of purple mountained shining seas as this country’s next president, I better get my ass in gear but good, I kid you not. When it comes to the notion of civically representing our downtrodden hordes of people, not to mention a big-wig or two, I’m a big-picture kind of guy and sometimes I lose sight of a nit-picking detail here and there that can be important to a successful campaign for high office—such as when the hell the goddamn 2020 primary election is supposed to be, and what kind of shenanigans I can still pull to get on the official ballot. Yeah, I’m no stranger to the write-in campaign but between you and me, I’ve found that approach to be strictly for losers. Go figure. Right now I’m thinking I ought to go consult with my campaign brain trust so’s to smell if the wind is still right for an anti-establishment common man like me with a heavy hankering for heavyduty social Robin Hood socialism to be placed in a national position of power to the people. So I’m headed over by the Uptowner tavern/charm school at the Hysteric Corner of Center Street & Humboldt. Come along if you’d like but you buy the first round. Let’s get going. Little Jimmy Iodine: Any you’s guys got that virus yet? Herbie: Fock if I know. I always got some kind of “thing” anyways, so the best thing for me is to wash my insides with 80-90 proof alcohol on a regular basis Ernie: I got that U.S. Census test in the mail the other day. Julius: What the fock. I keep reading these stories about all the people bitching about the Census. They worry about the privacy and how come the government needs to know this and that, blah-blah-blah. And I thought: “What a bunch of candy-ass crybabies.” Forget about it. The government already knows everything on you, so big focking deal. Herbie: For christ sakes, the people TrumptyDumbty puts into our government these days are too stupid to know anything, much less everything. Ernie: Oh yeah? You ought to see some of the SHEPHERD EXPRESS
questions that were on the form they sent me: On a scale of one-to-ten, just how big of a jackass did you feel that time in 8th grade when you skipped out of school with a bullshit excuse that said you had to go to your aunt’s funeral, and then to learn that the next day she got run over by a bus on her way to deliver fresh-baked chocolate cookies to the orphanage, you lying sack of crap? Julius: Hey, I got questions like that on my Census, too. Do you think the well-built gal who lives across the alley from you knows you spy on her with binoculars when she’s in her backyard sunbathing with her top off; not to mention whether or not your wife knows that you secretly subscribe to the website www.SoapyCarWashingBimbos.com? Screw it. From now on in, I’m taking my computer into the bathroom and locking the door when I use it. Little Jimmy: So what happens if you don’t mail back your census? Emil: Then you’re out of focking luck. Last time, I had the wife fill it out and she sent it in right away. She Xeroxed the entry about 10 times and sent those in too ’cause she figures that’ll only increase our chances of winning. Ray: What the fock are you talking about—win. Win what? Emil: I don’t know. They forgot to put a prize sheet in our envelope. Ernie: That’s because there aren’t any prizes, you focking knobshine. Emil: You got to be jerking my beefaroni. You fill out that form and there’s no chance to win something like a boat, or furniture or something? What the fock. You know, I thought there was something fishy—no prize sheet. I almost called the bureau for that better business. How come the goddamn government doesn’t do something about this kind of royal screw job? Herbie: Because that form was from the goddamn government, you sausage head. You don’t win anything from the government just by filling out a form. You got to give money to a politician in his election if you want to get a prize from the goddamn government. What the hell is wrong with you? Little Jimmy Iodine: Hey, Artie! Over here. Put a load on your keister. Art: Hey, gents. What do you know, what do you hear. Ray: Here’s to Artie, for letting us charge these drinks to his campaign finance committee. Speech! Speech! Art: Screw taxes. Don’t give that money to the government. Give it to me, instead. I’m a politician. (Hey, it’s getting late and I know you got to go, but thanks for letting us bend your ear ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)
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