Our Odd Relationship with Our Government
Tax Day was a few weeks ago and it shows a big part of American’s strange relationship with their government which is basically themselves as Lincoln described in the Gettysburg Address, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people ...” Americans spend hours upon hours struggling to figure out how to legally pay the absolute minimum dollars in taxes to all levels of government. Americans do not like to pay for government, yet when something goes wrong—a hurricane, a flood, a lack of jobs in a recession, a manmade catastrophe like an oil spill, or a pandemic, for example—we Americans go running to our government to save us like a five-year-old runs to her mommy to make it all right.
Americans will argue that we deserve all the benefits available to humankind, including great public educational systems from kindergarten through post graduate universities. We want to know that the food we eat and the water we drink is safe; we want help buying our homes with the government enabling financial institutions to issue 30-year fixed rate mortgages at reasonable rates; we want safe neighborhoods; and we want fair and honest court systems, to name just a few.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, we ran to government to save us by developing a safe and effective vaccine, delivering checks to cover our daily costs when we couldn’t go to work, and monies to business owners so they stay in business and ensure our jobs are still there for us when the pandemic loses its deadly force. Wanting and expecting all the above plus much more is totally reasonable when you live in the richest country the world has ever seen.
SO WHY DON’T WE WANT TO PAY OUR FAIR SHARE?
Do we Americans just seem to not connect the thousands of benefits that we get and expect from government with the taxes we pay, or do we just want our neighbors to pay more taxes so we can sneak by paying less. As a society, we unfortunately do a poor job of explaining all the good government does. When I was in the legislature a few decades ago, I would do a lot of door-to-door contact with my constitutions. I would always smile to myself when someone would go off attacking government spending, but then say something like, my mother is in a nursing home and because of some government action or program, she is safe and well cared for. That’s how government should be spending its money, not all that other stuff. Then days later, I knock on another door and this family has a child with special needs and a particular government program was really helping her so her parents would say, “that’s what government should be doing with its money not all that other junk.” When it affects a person directly, they seem to love government but otherwise they see it as a waste of money.
No one enjoys paying taxes. Americans, however, are extreme about it even though we are far from having the highest tax rates in world. Not all countries have this hatred for paying taxes like we Americans. Many French, for example, who live in one of the three highest taxed countries in the developed world are okay with paying these high taxes because they want their generous benefits like early retirement and excellent health care. Of the 38 OECD countries, the world’s most developed free market countries, the US ranks number 32 in tax-to-GDP. In comparing the total tax rates in all the countries in the world, we are not even in the top 50 highest taxed countries.
So, what explains this? As with most complex issues there are many reasons. One is that we view the tax system as unfair and that’s because it is. The army of high paid lobbyists, along with the legislators they seem to control, constantly chip away at our tax laws to help the super wealthy avoid taxes. In his 2016 debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump was accused of not paying taxes for years. His response was simple, “that makes me smart.”
Another rap on government is that it does not make the smartest spending decisions and pays more than it should for goods and services. Government can’t just hire it’s brother-in-law who can do your home repair on the weekends. To avoid political interference in government purchases and corruption, the government must go through a rigorous competitive process and abide by all the various health and safety standards. That costs money.
Also, the corporate lobbyists are often able to shape our laws to weaken the government’s intent. After decades, Medicare and Medicaid can finally negotiate lower drug prices thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law last year. This will now save the taxpayers billions of dollars.
Finally, the wealthy right wingers don’t like to spend money on programs that help struggling families and individuals but would rather blame the victims. Directly attacking programs like school breakfast and lunch programs sounds cruel. So, instead they argue taxes are too high. If they are successful cutting taxes for the wealthy, the result is either run up the deficit as the Republicans did in 2017 or cut programs for the vulnerable who don’t have high priced lobbyists.
SO, ARE WE BURDENING OURSELVES WITH TOO HIGH TAXES?
That depends on what kind of country you want to live in. Right now, we have a country where clever billionaires can avoid paying taxes for years while a recent study showed that 56% of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency expense with what they have in savings. We have shorter life expectancy than a majority of our peer high-income countries. Also, compared to our peer high-income countries, we lead in obesity and diabetes, second highest in heart disease, and Americans die years earlier than out peer countries due to alcohol and drugs. This list can go on and on.
So, when politicians like Speaker Kevin McCarthy complain that we are spending too much and running up the deficit, he should look at the facts. Yes, the deficit is high, however we can sustain that and can keep our interest rate relatively low, albeit not forever, because the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency.
About a quarter of the entire deficit $7.8 Trillion was incurred during the four years of the Trump. In Trump’s first year in office, Wisconsin’s former congressman Paul Ryan, who claimed to be a deficit hawk, pushed through a massive tax cut in 2017 that primarily benefitted the rich and guys like McCarthy were helping to lead the charge.
So, we need to decide what kind of society we want to live in and then fight for a fair tax system to pay for it. Many of the other wealthy advanced democracies seem to be able to provide a decent life for the vast majority of its citizens, why do 56% of Americans live in financial insecurity?
Louis Fortis is Editor/Publisher of the Shepherd Express, and formerly taught Economics/Political Economy at Smith College and served three terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly.
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6 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson Talks About his Ongoing ChallengesBY TOM JENZ
At the Shepherd Express “Best of 2022” event in early January, I cornered Mayor Cavalier Johnson for a brief chat. As my companion said, “The mayor has a milliondollar smile.” Beneath that sincere smile is a genuine desire to turn Milwaukee back into a city where residents want to live and work.
Cavalier Johnson grew up in the inner city of mostly Black residents, and he moved around a lot, his family suffering significant housing insecurity. In high school, he lived on 19th and Center and Sixth and Clark. He was bussed to Bay View High School, 50 minutes each way.
Through a mentorship program, he was able to attend UW Madison where he majored in political science and worked his way through college. At 22, he ran for Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and got trounced. On his second try, he again got trounced. Meanwhile, he worked in Workforce Development, helped young people and older adults, and spent time in New Orleans helping victims of hurricane Katrina. He was dedicated to his goal of a life in public service, and he served on various nonprofit boards. At 26, Johnson was hired to work for Tom Barrett in the mayor’s office. Two years later, he was elected Alderman of the central city’s 2nd district. Eventually, he rose to become common council president, then succeeded Barrett as mayor in December of 2021. At only 36 years old, he faces the challenge of leading a major city.
I met Mayor Johnson in his office. I expected to sit a long way across from him at his imposing desk. He preferred that we gather around the coffee table at the opposite end of the room. Leaning forward, he speaks in clear measured phrases as if he was researching the data in his mind. Somehow, his eye contact says, ‘I’m interested.’
You have been acting mayor and mayor for over a year. Describe the authority of your office. Do you always have to go through the common council for your priorities?
A lot of young people ask me this question. I equate my duties, on a small scale, to the U.S. president or the Wisconsin governor, except they are way up there, and I am down here. But the roles and responsibilities are somewhat similar. I am
responsible for leading the executive branch of city government, and I set directions, visions and goals for the city. To advance these goals, I work with the legislative branch, the city council. Those alderpersons will sometimes question and further refine my goals before we can move forward with my agenda.
Shortly after the George Floyd incident, you told me, and I quote, “Our present law enforcement system just isn’t working anymore. There needs to be a rebalancing of how police protect and serve residents in troubled neighborhoods.” Presently in Milwaukee, general crime is trending slowly downward—on a yearby-year comparison. How do you see the role of the police in the future?
Regarding law enforcement, what I said back then and what I’ve done in my time in public office—I think there is consistency. When I was a member of the council, we pushed for changes in the way that policing was done in Milwaukee. I think the police need the resources to carry out their duties, but there also needs to be a rebalancing on how policing is done. In the common council, we pushed for initiatives that made interaction between law enforcement and the public safer for both parties. We supported the national platform of 8 Can’t Wait, and we adopted it locally. The role of police is very important for safety. But the police and community have to work together for there to be improvement in safety.
The 8 Can’t Wait program for police departments includes a ban on chokeholds and strangleholds, requires de-escalation, requires a warning before shooting and requires that all alternatives be exhausted before shooting.
I’ve interviewed Police Chief Jeffrey Norman several times, and I think he is moving forward with community policing, the police officers engaging more with residents.
To your point, Tom, about my approach to policing, it needs to be fair and community oriented. Chief Norman feels the same way and is directing his department to do that. What you mentioned about crime trending downward—since I’ve been in office and working with the police, year over year, overall crime is down 15%, and violent crime is down 7%.Photo by Tom Jenz.
There are community organizers and street leaders who tell me they would like to have more inclusion at government meetings. Do you agree? And is that possible?
I think that Chief Norman and the police are listening more to those community organizers who want to advance safety. I believe the common council members are also including more voices in their public listening sessions. We want to hear all voices.
Not long ago, I did a story on the Office of Violence Prevention. Director Ashanti Hamilton described the responsibilities of the OVP. He said, “The goal and purpose of the OVP is to reduce the negative impact of violence on communities, neighborhoods and people—and also reduce the number of perpetrators and transmitters of violence.” The city has provided the OVP an additional $8.4 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Director Hamilton said that the ARPA money will help expand his staff. I believe that the OVP is now working more closely with you and the common council. How is that progressing? Director Hamilton is taking all the planning that has gone into the OVP and finally operationalizing those plans in order to increase the impact on violence reduction. The police cannot do this alone. It takes a multi-prong approach to have an impact on violence. Months ago, I went to Washington D.C. to lobby for the Federal “Cops Hiring Grant.” Milwaukee received $16 million to gain access to more police officers. But everybody in this city needs to step up to achieve public safety. It’s not just police. Teachers, preachers, mentors, friends and parents all have roles to play. And the people in the OVP need to step up as well to help mitigate violence in our neighborhoods.
It seems like the police can’t really prevent crime. They intercede after crimes have been committed. But the Office of Violence Prevention can try to help prevent crimes.
One person, one leader, one organization, or city office cannot by itself stop crime. The presence of police will have a deterrent, but we don’t have a budget big enough to police our way out of it. Those folks who have a deeper reach into the neighborhoods like community organizers can influence residents who might do something bad, persuade them to put their guns down. My idea since taking office is to address root causes of crime. If you have access to a family-supporting job, you probably won’t commit a crime because you have stability in your life and in your kids’ lives. And this creates a thriving neighborhood of families that don’t move around so much, help each other out. But I will say that any time someone causes death or destruction, there needs to be a price to pay. I mean that.
The Downtown area including the Third Ward and Fifth Ward and also Bay View are doing very well— successful businesses, apartments and condos, thriving stores and restaurants, the Deer District and more—proving that investment in the infrastructure works. Therefore, it would seem productive to see
improvements on the Black North Side and the Hispanic South Side. How can your policies help build up the infrastructure of these inner-city areas and help developers invest in the inner city?
I call it people-structured investment in Milwaukee. From my first day in office, I called for infrastructure investments not just in downtown but out in the neighborhoods. Those investments are starting to happen on the North Side and South Side. This means opportunities for businesses to thrive including minority-held businesses that employ folks from minority neighborhoods. I’ve also encouraged a bicycle lanes network to make streets safer and thus encouraging businesses to thrive. We are also implementing the federal ARPA money to convert and rehab cityowned, tax-foreclosed properties for residents to purchase at affordable rates.
I think you are seeing this improvement along ML King Drive, for instance, the old Gimbels Building completely renovated. The vacant Briggs & Stratton plant on 32nd and Center has been converted into affordable living spaces. There are beautiful new office and apartment buildings on North Avenue near 15th Street. There is the Sherman Phoenix complex on 36th and Fond du Lac.
That’s right, and if you build higher density living units in the neighborhoods, you will create construction and office jobs. Residents will also need access to public transportation like busses, bicycle and stroller lanes. That means residents are spending more of their money locally.
About a year and a half ago, I walked with you through a section of your 2nd aldermanic district where you listened to the problems facing your constituents. Now that you are Mayor, what are your priorities for neighborhoods moving forward? And might there be future listening sessions with city residents?
As mayor, I have the pleasure of listening to every Milwaukee citizen, and I visit all the neighborhoods. I speak to citizens on a daily basis. I bring their concerns back to City Hall. I see this as part of my job as mayor—listening to the residents.
What are the concerns of residents as you hear them?
Increasing public safety is a big one. Another is creating family-supporting jobs in order to build a strong and thriving middle class, especially in the hard-hit areas like the North and South sides. The older residents want their kids and grandkids to stay in Milwaukee. We are working to create an environment where young people can be educated and then lay down roots here.
A while ago, you told me, “I’ve lived in zip code 53206, lived the life of an inner-city Black man. I’ve seen domestic violence, the use of guns, not personally but people in my family, other people that I care about. Black people not having enough to eat, lights shut off because they were late on a bill, power shut off so they were cold in winter or had to use candles. As a kid, I’d been through near-evictions. One of the
houses I lived in was set on fire when my family was living upstairs.” How has your inner-city childhood experience influenced your role as Mayor?
That experience affects my work every day. It’s why I understand the importance of public safety. It’s why I care about people who have to move around too much, be transients.
I attended six different elementary schools. I don’t want to see that experience for inner city neighborhood kids. I care about kids having stability in their family life. I focus on root cause issues—safety, jobs, growth opportunities, and business establishment.
You once told me, paraphrasing, “There are inner city Black children who have never seen Lake Michigan.” I get it because I’ve spoken with some Black teens who said they’ve never visited Downtown. A lot of people do not realize the isolation some Black families endure in Milwaukee, even the loss of hope. Can you comment?
Recently, there were young men participating in the Camp Rise program that I and other partners launched to take young people from hard-hit neighborhoods and provide opportunities for them to have caring adult mentors to teach them about work and responsibility. Also, to give them exposure beyond their neighborhoods. That Sunday, for the first time, these young men went into the Fiserv Forum, watched the Bucks practice and then watched a game. Employ Milwaukee runs Camp Rise and also Earl Ingram from Voices of the Elders. Last summer, we recruited 200 young men of color into the program. These are positive influences. You need exposure to things outside your neighborhood. If all you see is death and drugs and violence, that can send you down a bad path.
Is being mayor a lonely job? In other words, is it lonely at the top?
Lonely at the top? This is the most challenging job I’ve ever had, but also the most rewarding. Ten years ago, I worked as a staffer for the mayor here in City Hall. At times, I was alone in the mayor’s office. I could have sat in his chair behind the desk, but I never did. I said to myself, the only way I will ever sit in that chair is if I earn it myself.
And now you are sitting in that chair. You don’t understand the magnitude of the mayor’s job until it’s your name above the door. Is it lonely at the top? Yes, to a respect—but rewarding, too.
Trump’s Porn Star Indictment Is a Bigger Story Than You Think
Trump’s Porn Star Indictment Is a Bigger Story Than You ThinkBY JOEL MCNALLY BY JOEL MCNALLY
Of all the crimes Donald Trump committed throughout his four years as president, most Americans probably agree paying $130,000 to cover up a sleazy sexual encounter with a porn star was a pretty minor one.
Attempting to overthrow democracy after losing an election, inciting violent insurrectionists to kill and injure Capitol police and threaten the lives of Congress and his own vice president, pressuring Georgia Republicans to manufacture fraudulent votes and creating fraudulent electoral votes in seven other states, stealing and hiding hundreds of secret government documents and lying about it—the list goes on and on.
MANY MORE INDICTMENTS ARE COMING AND ALL OF THEM— THE MONSTROUS ONES AS WELL AS THE PETTY ONES—ARE WHY TRUMP WILL NEVER ESCAPE THE INEVITABLE VERDICT OF BEING THE MOST CORRUPT PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY.
Many more indictments are coming and all of them—the monstrous ones as well as the petty ones—are why Trump will never escape the inevitable verdict of being the most corrupt president in American history.
HISTORY COMES ALIVE
In states where Republicans still allow American history to be taught in the future, what better way to get students interested in how democracy can go horribly wrong than finding out Trump’s first criminal indictment involved his relationship with Stormy Daniels whose interview on 60 Minutes described spanking Trump with a magazine with his picture on the cover.
When we were growing up students used to think history was boring because it was taught so badly, requiring memorizing a lot of dates. Talk about making history come alive.
But for those who paid close attention to the details of Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump—very few probably—Trump’s successful payments of hush money to cover up his sordid private life before the 2016 election was a much bigger story than many people realize.
How big? Alternative history big. Screaming headlines in National Enquirer big. Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen was paying to cover up the Stormy Daniels story and other scandals including rumors of an illegitimate child at the same time House Speaker Paul Ryan and other party leaders were distancing themselves from Trump over the disgusting “Access Hollywood” tape with their nominee bragging about sexually assaulting women by grabbing their genitals.
SLEAZY SEX LIFE
At that point, a flood of new stories about Trump’s sleazy sex life could have changed American history. Republicans fleeing from their corrupt candidate could have started a stampede before he had a chance to destroy the Republican party. Instead, the payoffs worked, and the party was destroyed. Is that a big enough story for you?
We could have had a qualified, competent president during a deadly worldwide pandemic probably saving hundreds of thousands more Americans. The U.S. Supreme Court could still be protecting our constitutional rights instead of destroying them. January 6, 2021 would never have happened. Racism, sexism and hateful bigotry toward LGBTQ Americans would still exist, but neither party would be trying to exacerbate those problems. Okay, that last one is probably wishful thinking.
Trump and the dysfunctional Republican House Crazytown Caucus can babble all the nonsense they want about defunding the FBI and the Justice Department, but there’s absolutely nothing they can do to prevent all the Trump indictments that are coming for increasingly serious crimes.
FOR THE PARTY THAT ENTHUSIASTICALLY JOINED TRUMP IN CHANTING “LOCK HER UP!” TO JAIL HILLARY CLINTON FOR USING THE WRONG EMAIL SERVER, IT’S AWKWARD FOR THE LAW-AND-ORDER PARTY TO DENOUNCE PROSECUTORS AS RADICAL LEFTISTS FOR ISSUING INDICTMENT FOR MAJOR CRIMES SUCH AS STEALING ELECTIONS AND ORGANIZING A DEADLY AND DESTRUCTIVE PUBLIC RIOT INSIDE THE U.S. CAPITOL
President Ford didn’t do his party any favors by pardoning Richard Nixon for running a burglary ring out of the Oval Office. Ford was wrong when he claimed it would be nationally divisive to prosecute a former president. It would be far more nationally divisive right now if all the federal and state investigations gathering mountains of evidence against Trump fail to indict him.
That didn’t stop Trump from threatening “death & destruction” from mobs of his violent supporters days before Bragg’s indictment. Very few showed up. Most party leaders have maintained a strict code of silence to avoid making any intelligible sounds that could possibly be mistaken for opinions either for or against Trump.
For the party that enthusiastically joined Trump in chanting “Lock her up!” to jail Hillary Clinton for using the wrong email server, it’s awkward for the law-and-order party to denounce prosecutors as radical leftists for issuing indictment for major crimes such as stealing elections and organizing a deadly and destructive public riot inside the U.S. Capitol attacking Congress.
The truth is many elected Republicans except for Trump’s deranged disciples in the House will be relieved when Trump’s ignorance and chaos are gone from the party. The problem is when politicians don’t have enough courage to help rid their party of criminal elements, the criminal justice system itself moves extremely slowly.
In the 1960s, Democrats drove violent Southern White racists out of their party by supporting the civil rights movement. Nixon’s Southern strategy betrayed the party of Lincoln by welcoming the racists.
Republicans need to take the same kind of drastic action Democrats did. It’s time for Republicans to embrace American democracy again. Let the violent racists and neo-Nazis supporting Trump form their own party. That will be a really big story.
Joel McNally was a critic and columnist for the Milwaukee Journal for 27 years. He has written the weekly Taking Liberties column for the Shepherd Express since 1996.
Clinton Budget Surplus Disproves Freedom Caucus Wishful ThinkingBY BILL HOLAHAN
The Republican Party, and in particular the anti-government radical fringe known as the Freedom Caucus, promotes a disproven hypothesis about economic growth that comes in two parts. First, tax cuts, particularly cuts to the income of the donor class, will stimulate economic growth. A more extreme version of this nostrum is that economic growth would be so robust as to increase total tax revenue despite lower tax rates. Part two of this belief is its mirror image: tax increases will dampen economic growth, and worse, force a stable economy into recession.
It is a testable hypothesis, and one of the most powerful tests came in 1993 with the first economic policy move of the Clinton administration: a tax increase imposed primarily on the highest income taxpayers. It disproved the Republican prediction; the tax increase did not result in a recession but rather initiated greater growth and turned a string of deficits into surpluses.
The explanation begins with the debt-financed tax cuts of the Reagan-Bush years that ushered in several years of large and increasing deficits. By 1992, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the 1993 deficit to be $310 billion, roughly
5% of GDP. Their one-word descriptor: “Grim.” In 1992, Bill Clinton campaigned in part on a pledge on to bring the deficit down.
Early in 1993, just after his inauguration, Clinton proposed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), which had as its central feature an increase in taxes, particularly on upper income taxpayers. In the face of a policy so severely at variance with their treasured hypothesis, republicans predicted that the tax increase would cause a recession. Newt Gingrich claimed that OBRA would bring on the worst recession since the great depression. Not a single Republican senator voted for the bill. In fact, the vote in the U.S. Senate was a tie, with the tie-breaking vote cast by Vice President Al Gore.
Instead of causing a recession, OBRA did what Clinton predicted: the policy set in motion rapid economic growth This was a big win for demand-side economics; a big loss for supply-side advocates. Rather than cause the deficit to rise, the deficit began to shrink during 1993. OBRA passed in August 1993 and, within a month, the CBO’s deficit projection (expressed as a negative number) was revised downward to -$200 billion. For comparison, the deficit for 1992 was $327 Billion. The deficits declined year after year through 1997, followed in 1998 by the first surplus is in 30 years. The actual deficit and then surplus numbers for the years up to 2000 were:
for the year 1998 of -$357 billion. Put another way, a shift from a projected deficit of -$357 billion to an actual surplus of +$54.4 billion is a turnaround of $411billion, or roughly 5.5% of GDP.
How can a tax increase on rich people increase economic activity? The explanation provided by the CBO tells the story in a series of steps. First, the 1993 Clinton economic policy was to create another testable hypothesis: a believable effort to get control of the budget deficit. Investors around the world demonstrated by their investment patterns that they believed the dramatic policy shift away from supply side economics would bring the deficit under greater control. Knowing that fewer federal bonds would be on the market, investors very quickly shifted their U.S. bond-demand to private sector bonds, e.g., public utility bonds, municipal bonds, insurance companies and so forth. The reduced supply of U.S. bonds offered for sale to finance deficits in turn reduced the “crowding out effect,” i.e., making more room for private sector investment. In other words, this projected decrease in borrowing drove down interest rates, making investment in the private sector cheaper.
There is no question that the Clinton economic policy that began in 1993 got the ball rolling toward a budget surplus by 1998. What was a supply-sider to do in the face of this debunking of the supply-side theory? Answer: take credit for the results! That’s right: Newt Gingrich claimed that it was Republican policies in 1998 that created the surplus, claiming further that Clinton fought their deficit reduction/balanced-budget policies. Not quite. Clinton objected to their proposed cuts in domestic spending and their proposed increases in military spending. Clinton did not object to balancing the budget and stimulating growth; those were among his major campaign promises. He simply had, unlike the Republicans, a coherent way to achieve those goals.
To see the scope of the turnaround from deficits to surpluses, note that in 1993 the CBO had forecast a deficit
Tia Torhorst is Helping Build a Resilient CityBY ERIN BLOODGOOD
With an education in science and a background in public service, Tia Torhorst eventually found her way to the Harbor District, Inc., which leads revitalization efforts in Milwaukee’s Harbor District through economic development, environmental work, and community engagement.
In her role as Chief Executive Officer, Torhorst used her expertise in relationship building, public policy, and grant writing to help build up the part of our city that is the connection point of our waterways and holds the city’s main commercial port.
The Harbor District has a unique history. Because it is the point where three rivers meet, and an entry point to Lake Michigan, it has always been the natural hub for economic growth.
Originally, the Ojibwe people used the waters to harvest wild rice, fish, and trade goods. Once European settlers came in and forced Indigenous people out, commercial industries and industrialization took over. That led to serious pollution of the water and a loss of natural spaces in the area.
Now, the Harbor District is working to clean up pollution, spur business development, and create a green community space—all while honoring the district’s legacy of being an economic center.
Torhorst says this type of progress is only successful with the input from the community. “We have a placemaking director who works with all sorts of organizations like schools, non-profits, and small businesses to really think about how to bring them to the Harbor District in a meaningful way,” she says. The collaboration with these groups, especially Southside community members from the 53204 zip code, is crucial as plans are made for the future.
The group was born out of Mayor Barrett’s Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO), and so they work handin-hand on a number of initiatives like the creation of the Harbor View Plaza, the developing river walk starting at Harbor View Plaza, and their Green Infrastructure business grants. “We really have our foot down on the gas pedal to ensure that we have more opportunities for access,” says Torhorst.
Of all the projects they’re working on, Torhorst says she’s most excited about the $450,000 federal grant they just received to build a sustainable breakwater to replace the one that currently runs from the Summerfest grounds to South Shore Beach.
Over the next 10 years or so, Harbor District will be working with the state and federal government to envision a new way to protect our shores from storms, while also resorting habitats above and below the water.
Milwaukee is one of the first cities in the country to develop a sustainable breakwater that would be a green island rather the traditional concrete wall. “This will be a great opportunity to help the country think through our infrastructure and what it could be. It could be more hospital to the animals that live in it, but also more sustainable to protect our cities,” says Torhorst.
Whether it’s improving access to green spaces, resorting biodiversity, cleaning up our waterways, or helping small businesses and large corporations thrive, the Harbor District is using sustainable solutions to ensure future generations in Milwaukee can prosper. “We’re thinking about how we can build infrastructure in ways that not only helps people be more engaged in their community, but also create a safer environment for all of us,” says Torhorst.
Milwaukee is becoming a pioneer to show communities across the country how build a resilient city.
Learn more about the Harbor District and get engaged at harbordistrict. org. Mark your calendars for Harbor Fest on Sunday, Sept. 24.
Erin Bloodgood is a Milwaukee photographer and storyteller. See more of her work on her website at www.bloodgoodfoto.com.Photo by Erin Bloodgood.
Obie Yadgar is Back on Milwaukee RadioBY DAVID LUHRSSEN
From the ‘70s through the ‘90s. Obie Yadgar was one of Milwaukee’s most familiar radio personalities, thoughtful and devoted to the recordings he played. What Bob Reitman was to rock, and Ron Cuzner to jazz, Yadgar was to classical music. His knowledgeable, dependable voice, silent for many years, recently returned to the air with a show called “Obie’s Opus,” 8-9 a.m. Sundays on WMSE, 91.7 FM.
Tell me about your early life. You were born in Iran into a minority community?
I was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and when I was a year old, the family moved to Tehran, Iran. I lived there until my midteens, when I immigrated to America with my older brother. For many generations my family lived in Urmia, a region in northwest Iran, which at one time had a large Assyrian population.
I am an Assyrian and we speak the Aramaic language, the language Jesus Christ spoke, and we’re all Christians. The Assyrian empire flourished in Mesopotamia, part of the present-day Iraq, until 612 B.C. when it was defeated by the joined forces of the Babylonians and the Medes, a Persian people, never to rise again. Assyrians have always held on to their identity and religion, even through years of genocide against them by Ottoman Turks and their proxies, the Kurds.
Describe how you came to America. America was my mother’s dream. It was her paradise, where all of us would live happily ever after. She put us on the 1946 immigration quota, and we finally received our visas in 1957. That was 11 years of waiting. Sadly, she did not make it. My mother passed away a couple years before my brother and I came. She was 35. My father came some years later. My brother and I landed in New York City at 11 a.m. July 23, 1957. New York was beyond my expectation. Tall buildings. Crowded streets. Young girls in shorts—Remember, I had just arrived from an Islamic country. And what, you had to pay to use the toilet? The damn door would not open. I had to go. Finally, I noticed men putting coins into the slot on the door. I don’t remember if a gentleman gave me a 10-cent coin, or I figured it out myself.
From New York we took the train to Chicago. We arrived with 10 cents left between us, and that we used to call my aunt, who had been here for some years. I did not know a word of English. In September I continued in high school. Although I learned English fast—by the end of high school I had decided to become a writer, I had done badly in school. Later, I became a college drop out. Sometimes in those years, I packed my bag and took off for San Francisco. There I tried college again, but I dropped out again. So what I know as a writer I learned on the streets of Chicago and San Francisco. And in Vietnam, where I served as a U.S. Army combat correspondent with the 4th Infantry Division
How has being Assyrian—and being an immigrant—informed the course of your life?
First of all, I am proud of my heritage. Tradition, national pride and connection to the past as I look to the future make me who I am. I am also an American, a Vietnam veteran, and that puts the topping on who I am. Once upon a time, Assyria was a powerhouse among nations, and unmatched in science, arts, architecture. I am very much tied to my roots.
How did you break into radio? Were you always hosting classical music programs?
I was back from Vietnam and floundering, not sure what I wanted to do. Of course, I wanted to continue to write, since I had written in Vietnam, but I also wanted to do more than just write. I had always loved music, all types of music, and I was told I had a good radio voice. Most of all, I enjoyed playing music for people, the music I liked.
So, I put an audition tape together and started applying to radio stations around the country. KDIG, in San Diego, was a small jazz station and it had an opening for Sundays from 6 to midnight. I applied. They called me and asked me to come down—was living in San Francisco. I took a bus there. They picked me up and took me to the station. They put me behind the microphone and said “do it.” Well, I picked out three jazz LPs and read a few commercials and I was done. They were impressed. They gave me the 8 to midnight slot five nights a week.
After a while I moved on because the pay was too low. Then I worked in a middle-of-the-road station in upstate New York. Back to San Francisco after that, and unemployment, until I was offered a job at the NPR station in St. Louis, working 6 to midnight on a classical music program. I also did a jazz show, and helped produce a big bands show. Three years later WFMR in Milwaukee came along.
When (and why) did you come to Milwaukee?
Three years after St. Louis I came to WFMR in Milwaukee. Morning drive at WFMR sounded awfully good. By then,
I was hooked on classical music. I had listened to classical music when living in Iran. I remember tuning in radio Baku in Azerbaijan on shortwave radio and listening to their evening of classical music. They were heavy on Russian composers. Years later in America, I had learned quite a bit in St. Louis. I am a college dropout, and everything in writing and music and radio I know has come from the streets, so to speak.
During my stay in Milwaukee for a series of interviews with the folks at WFMR, I roamed around Downtown and liked what I saw. I called my wife and assured her that we were not coming to a little dump; rather, Milwaukee looked to be a sweet town and I knew we would be happy here. And yes, we both loved Milwaukee. It has been home.
Share your best memories of WFMR.
My memories of WFMR are bittersweet. On the one hand, we had a lovely audience. They were wonderful. And I got to know many of them intimately. On the other hand, some of the people and companies that owned the station at one time or another were most unpleasant. Carpet baggers, really. But yes, I have a lot of good memories of the station. I remember—I think it was around 6:45 a.m.—I miscued a CD and what played was a deadly dirge of baroque recorder music. At that hour? Right then the phone flashed, and I answered. A calm voice on the other end said, “Of all the beautiful music in the world you have to play this shit.” Clink. He hung up. I could not stop laughing for days. In fact, I used the incident in
my first novel, Will’s Music. Interviewing actor Vincent Price was, well, priceless. Such a gentleman. And he spoke the English language with such clarity and poise that it just made my mouth water. I interviewed scores of other arts celebrities, and many were of them were a sheer delight. There were times when the music flowed, like a gentle stream, and it was a good feeling. I had a lot of fun with my mystery quiz. It was a popular part of the show, and I got to know many of the callers. I remember doing on-air fundraisers for UPAF. I really enjoyed them.
What did the fate of WFMR indicate about the direction of commercial radio?
For the time that I was at WFMR, the station was always at the mercy of owners who couldn’t tell their Beethoven from a bowl of spaghetti. Oh, what knuckle heads. They couldn’t care less about enriching the community with great classical music. It was all about profit. First, they tore the heart out of the station and then they killed it. How sad and tragic for a community to face such artistic barbarism. Of course, WFMR wasn’t the only station skidding on profit. It was obvious that all radio was going in that direction. Years later, I listen to WUWM and WMSE, but that’s about it. Classical music is gone from radio, like an era ending. Will the big bands ever come back? No, they will not. They are gone. Will classical music radio ever come back. Sadly, no, it will not.
How do you like WMSE?
I love the station. I have always listened to it. I especially like its free form.
What’s more, the management leaves you alone. It trusts you enough to let you do your show. These are good people. They care about the community. Some of the music I like and some flies past me. Then again, to each his own.
Mine is the world of classical music, jazz and big bands, and WMSE offers that. I really enjoy myself programming and hosting the show. The music comes from my own humble library. It is ironic how I connected with the station. My wife Judy passed away a year ago and that just devastated my world. It just shattered everything around me. One day, when life looked bleak, when I couldn’t breathe, I phoned the station to see if they had any openings. My wife was always my number one fan and I think she made me do that. I’m sure of it.
So I call the station and who answers the phone? It’s Tom Crawford, the general manager. An awfully good person. He had been a listener of mine. So I was invited to the station, we talked, and came up with “Obie’s Opus.” The show is named after my second book Obie’s Opus. I am grateful to Tom and the station to allow me to do the show. I’m having fun. I am myself spending time with the audience.
David Luhrssen has cowritten two books on Milwaukee music history, Milwaukee Rock and Roll 1950-2000 and Brick Through the Window: An Oral History of Punk Rock, New Wave and Noise in Milwaukee, 1964-1984 He is also managing editor of the Shepherd Express.
Everything to Know About Cultivated MeatBY JOHN REISS
You may have heard about cultivated meat—genuine meat developed from cells of living animals—and its potential to disrupt the traditional way meats are produced. It may be easy to dismiss cultivated meats as a fad; however, well over $2 billion in venture capital has poured into this emerging technology in just ten years.
Big players, from billionaires like Bill Gates (Microsoft) to Michelin-starred chefs (José Andrés) and celebrities (Leonardo DiCaprio), have thrown their weight and money into it. Some of the world’s largest meat companies, including Tyson, Cargill, and JBS, have also invested in its potential. Although currently only legal to sell in Singapore, there is growing acceptance that this technology is close to realizing fullscale production and may start selling in the United States soon.
So why should consumers care about a product currently unavailable for sale? One big reason is growth in the world population, which is projected to reach about 9.7 billion people by 2050.
Since most people are meat eaters, about 90% in the United States and 86% worldwide, population growth will place added pressure on the food supply chain.
Environmental factors also play a big part in the rationale for cultivated meats. Traditional animal farming methods rely on large amounts of fresh water and land resources, adding an estimated 14.5% of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The Good Food Institute (GFI), a leading advocate for both cultivated meat and vegan meat replacements, claims cultivated meat can reduce emissions by over 90% and use as much as 95% less land and close to 80% less water than conventional beef.
Equally important, cultivated meat eliminates foodborne pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella, common bacterial problems deriving from animal processing that infect humans and create epidemics and pandemics. In addition to ending these pathogens, lab-grown meat also eliminates the collateral use of antibiotics in livestock farming.
WHAT IS CULTIVATED MEAT?
Various words have been used to describe cultivated meat products, including “lab grown,” “clean meat” or “cultured meat.” “Cultivated meat,” however, is a term the industry seems to lean toward. The idea of using science for meat production took off after Dutch professor Mark Post at the Maastricht University presented the world's first cultivated hamburger in 2013. Its price tag: about $330,000. In the 10 years since then, rapid breakthroughs have lowered the cost considerably, making the product more commercially viable today.
In the process of cultivating meat, according to the GFI, stem cells are taken from biopsies of live animals. Then, they are grown in bioreactors while fed essential nutrients such as amino acids, glucose, and vitamins. The process is estimated to take two to eight weeks, depending on the type of meat—substantially less time than producing traditional farmed beef, which requires one to two years.Illustration by Sudowoodo/Getty Images.
Companies in the cultivated meat industry have pilot-tested cultivated meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, and egg products, and are getting ready for full-scale production. Products currently under development range from familiar beef and chicken to exotic offerings like sushi-grade tuna, lobster, and foie gras (fattened duck).
Ground meat products like nuggets or burgers are the simplest to cultivate. For whole meat cuts, a three-dimensional structure, called scaffolding, is layered with cultivated fats and connective tissues, resulting in the desired shape and texture of steaks and fillets. As with conventional 3D printing, the product is printed in a layering process and then matures and grows into something we would recognize as, say, a steak.
REGULATORY HURDLES AND MEAT INDUSTRY PUSHBACK
Because cultivated meat is a new technology, regulations must be developed before it can be approved for sale. In the United States, this falls under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The FDA recently approved the UPSIDE Foods cultivation process for their chicken fillets, a step closer to USDA approval to begin selling in the United States.
The potential of cultivated meat has the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) lobbying against allowing these new products to be labeled as meat. In addition, they have lobbied industry-friendly states, like Missouri, Texas, and Arkansas, to pass laws restricting the use of the term "meat" on cultivated or plant-based meat alternative products.
Interestingly, despite the pushback from cattle ranchers, the biggest meat companies in the world, like Tyson, JBL and Cargill, have all invested substantial financial resources in this technology.
COMPANIES IN THE CULTIVATED MEAT INDUSTRY
Nearly 100 cultivated meat companies exist worldwide. In the United States, many companies are located around
San Francisco. One of these, UPSIDE Foods, recently opened a large-scale facility near San Francisco and has created a chicken fillet with the taste and texture of a natural chicken breast. Another Bay-area company, Wildtype Foods, is perfecting a sushi-grade salmon fillet.
Cultivated meat companies may also be found in other parts of the country, including South Carolina, Illinois, and Colorado. Cultured Decadence, a Wisconsin start-up recently acquired by UPSIDE, is developing lobster.
In other parts of the globe, from Europe to South America, Asia, and Australia, many start-ups are working on cultivated meats. Israel is the home of three companies developing 3D-printed steaks. One of these, Steakholder Foods, has fully patented its 3D-bioprinting technique. China is a big player that could significantly impact the industry. Their current five-year agricultural plan includes cultivated meats and vegan meat replacements.
WHAT THE SKEPTICS SAY
To be commercially feasible, companies in the cultivated meat space must produce large quantities at affordable prices. Some bioscience experts say cultivated meat will never become mainstream because scale-up technologies and other practical factors, such as production operations, will be too costly. Another argument is that because the meat is grown in labs, it requires a sterile environment. Consequently, a few unfavorable bacteria can spoil whole batches if workers are lax on safety protocols.
Early results of some studies hypothesized that cultivated meat would result in a much smaller carbon footprint. In contrast, other, more recent studies have reported that giant fuel bioreactors for producing cultivated meat will require more energy. Ultimately, much will depend on the type of energy used, and the reality is that we will only know energy usage when production is happening.
THE FUTURE OF CULTIVATED MEAT
Eventually, consumer acceptance will determine if these products are successful. Surveys suggest that consum -
ers are open to purchasing and eating cultivated meats. Still, many need to be educated about this new product. It is up to the cultivated meat industry to develop marketing strategies to help meat eaters overcome suspicion of anything that sounds artificial.
To ensure customer acceptance, cultivated meat providers must create products that compare to conventional meats in taste and texture. They must also increase production to provide a steady and reliable meat supply. Finally, costs must be reduced to be competitive with traditionally produced meats.
Given the rapid progress and capital pouring into this technology, the odds are that cultivated meat will soon become a reality. From ground meat to whole meat to high-end delicacies like caviar and foie gras, there are many ways for cultivated meat to make its way into the food supply chain. The cultivated meat market share could easily reach billions of dollars with even a small percentage of the $1.4 trillion in annual global meat sales.
John Reiss is a chef, food writer, and consultant who runs TheCulinaryPro. com, a website for chefs and cooking enthusiasts. He is a former chef-instructor with the MATC Culinary Arts program.
Sprouted Quinoa Potato SaladBY ARI LEVAUX
TO SPROUT QUINOA
One of my favorite snacks is sprouted almonds. I’ll soak a cup of raw almonds in a Mason jar of water. After about two hours I’ll change the water, then let them soak overnight. By morning, the sprouting has begun.
When most people think of sprouts, they think of pale green leggy alfalfa sprouts you get on a sandwich, or the bean sprouts in a bowl of pho. But you don’t have to wait for visible growth to appear in order to enjoy the many benefits of sprouting.
My soaked, germinated almonds are buttery soft, and the skins easily slip off, which makes a cleaner, less fibrous mouthful. They taste fuller than ungerminated almonds, with a distinct coconut flavor. Over the next day or so I keep changing the water and eating the almonds. After a few days, if they last long enough, I can see the beginnings of change between the two halves of the almond, as it prepares to grow into an almond tree.
Almonds are just one of many household foods that you can sprout, which unlocks many flavor and nutritional benefits. In addition to nuts, which must be raw, unroasted and non-irradiated – alive, as it were—one can sprout lentils and other legumes, wheat and other grains, and grain-like seeds such as quinoa.
Quinoa has more protein than any cereal or grain, and contains every amino acid, which makes it a rare plantbased source of complete protein. And sprouting increases this protein con -
tent by about ten percent. Sprouting quinoa also shortens its cooking time and reduces its bitterness by washing away molecules called saponins found in quinoa’s seed coat. Sprouting also makes the nutrients in quinoa more available by activating enzymes in the seeds that break down phytic acid, which binds to minerals and other nutrients, making them unavailable to your body.
Quinoa begins to sprout in about 24 hours. The difference between sprouted and un-sprouted quinoa is like between raw and soaked almonds. The germinated version tastes cleaner, with sharper flavors. Sprouted quinoa cooks more quickly and is silky soft. Prepared simply, with minimal or no seasonings, sprouted quinoa is already delicious.
Quinoa goes particularly well with potatoes. I started cooking them together on a whim, based on the culinary cliche, what grows together goes together. Both plants come from the Andes, so it seemed like a natural match. It turns out they make a great combination. One simple way to cook them together is to toss hot potatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and cooked, sprouted quinoa. Below, I’ll give a more involved recipe, for sprouted quinoa salad, rounded out with onions, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and sprouted almonds. Earthy and satisfying, it works as either a main or a side.
With or without potatoes, sprouted quinoa is versatile, delicious, really good for you, and easy to make. You have no excuse.
One cup dry quinoa makes two cups sprouted.
Place quinoa in a large bowl. Cover with water by at least an inch, and soak for an hour.
Rinse, drain, and transfer to a Mason jar. Cap the jar with a sprouting lid or cheesecloth and rubber band.
Rinse quinoa every few hours, making sure to drain off all water. Keep the jar on the counter, upside down in a bowl so excess water can drain out.
Sprouting will occur in 24 hours, but you can continue to sprout for 2 days if desired, for softer, more sprouted quinoa. The sprout itself will emerge after about 36 hours, and curl and wave around the little seed, which resembles a sperm doing yoga.
You can store sprouted quinoa in the fridge for about a week.
To cook Sprouted Quinoa
Put equal quantities of sprouted quinoa and water in a pot with a lid, and cook on high for five minutes, then turn the heat to low until the water is all gone, about 10 minutes.
SPROUTED QUINOA POTATO SALAD
Start this recipe the day before by sprouting a cup of quinoa and a cup-of raw almonds — or more, if you snack like I do.
I prefer to put it all together and serve it warm, but you can also serve the salad at room temperature, or cold.
• 2 cups sprouted Quinoa
• 2 large potatoes (about a pound), cut into ½-inch chunks
• 1 large carrot, cut into ½-inch rounds
• ¼ onion (about 4 oz), minced
• 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
• 1 bunch parsley, leafy side chopped and stem side minced
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• Chile flakes
• Optional: 1 cup soaked sprouted almonds, skins slipped off.
Turn the oven to 400.
Toss the potatoes and carrots in 1 tablespoon or two of olive oil, and a half-teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Put them on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Stir once, about halfway through. Peel the almonds. They should come off easily.
Add the quinoa to a pot with two cups of water. Cover, and cook for five minutes on high, then turn to low for another five minutes. Let it sit with the lid on for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, quinoa, onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, almonds and the remaining olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Mix. Season again and serve.Photos by Ari LeVaux.
This Summer’s CocktailsBY GAETANO MARANGELLI
This summer’s batch of cocktail recipes features three of Milwaukee’s great public houses.
Bacchus is the ruby in the crown of the Bartolotta Restaurants, which is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in Milwaukee. Bacchus is the city’s great restaurant for classic cuisine.
Birch is a New American restaurant owned and operated by Chef Kyle Knall, Milwaukee’s exponent of great Wisconsin produce. If they aren’t in their kitchens, you’re likely to find Chef Knall and his staff at the West Allis Farmers Market.
The Café at the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) is more than a coffee shop at the city’s revolutionary
art gallery and performance space. The Café is a space for art lovers as well as artists. A space with delicious drinks and great energy.
Each of these public houses is offering you an opportunity to recreate one of their summer cocktails by yourself. But before you do, why not visit each of them and enjoy these cocktails by the culinary artists who created them?
Three Summer Cocktail Recipes
SUMMER IN OAXACABY CHRIS WOLF, GENERAL MANAGER AND CERTIFIED SOMMELIER FOR BACCHUS–A BARTOLOTTA RESTAURANT
“Summer in Oaxaca is a cocktail that radiates the flavors and energy of Mexico. It has great depth, complexity and balance, and is perfect for celebrating warmer weather on a special night out in Milwaukee. Although I have yet to visit Mexico, I am very inspired by the culture and regional flavors that I’ve encountered and tasted through my own culinary journey. The tropical citrus and warm spice of cinnamon complement the tequila and highlight the region while the orgeat rounds out the flavors. This drink pairs well with fresh seafood dishes including our citrus cured kampachi with mango puree, jicama, Italian sweet pepper and Thai basil or our pan-seared sablefish with jasmine rice, sweet chili glazed cabbage, pickled carrots and a lemongrass-peanut sauce.”
• 1.5 oz. Don Julio Blanco
• 0.5 oz. Giffard Orgeat
• 0.25 oz. Luxardo Bitter Rosso
• 0.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
• 0.25 oz. Pineapple Juice
• 1 pinch Smoked Cinnamon
Combine all above ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice and garnish with a flamed orange swath.SUMMER IN OAXACA
JIMMY NARDELLO MARGARITABY ANNABELLA SHORE, BARTENDER FOR BIRCH
“Jimmy Nardello peppers are one of the Birch kitchen's favorite varieties of pepper. We get them from Bower’s Produce at the West Allis Farmers Market. They’re super flavorful, and I wanted to show how they could also be used in a savory cocktail.”
• 1.5 oz. El Jimador Blanco Tequila
• 0.5 oz. La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc
• 0.75 oz. Jimmy Nardello Pepper Syrup
• 0.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is cold and covered in condensation. Strain over cubed ice and garnish with a sliver of pepper.
THE TOWNSENDBY NICHOLAS ABEL, BEVERAGE MANAGER AT CAFÉ AT THE MILWAUKEE ARTIST RESOURCE NETWORK (MARN)
“This cocktail is meaningful to me because it’s one I often make in large batches to share with my friends. It reminds me of the warmth of a wonderful night shared with those who are important to me.”
• 1 oz. Reposado Tequila
• 1 oz. London Dry Gin
• 0.75 oz. Vanilla Simple Syrup*
• 0.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
• 2 dashes Bittercube Jamaican No. 2 Bitters
• 1 Egg White or 1 oz. Aquafaba
*For Vanilla Simple Syrup, add one cup of sugar to one cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add one vanilla bean split lengthwise and let steep for two to three hours. Strain into a jar or bottle.
Add fresh lime juice and vanilla simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Then add Reposado Tequila, London Dry Gin and Bittercube Jamaican No. 2 Bitters to the shaker. Add egg white or aquafaba and shake for about 30 seconds. Then add ice and shake until chilled. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
For added decoration, dash a few drops of Angostura Bitters into the foam and drag a toothpick through the center of each dot for a simple and elegant heart design.
Gaetano Marangelli is a sommelier and playwright. He was the managing director of a wine import and distribution company in New York and beverage director for restaurants and retailers in New York and Chicago before moving to Wauwatosa.Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN). THE TOWNSEND JIMMY NARDELLO MARGARITA
Furnishings to Feel Good About
A GUIDE TO FINDING SUSTAINABLE HOME DÉCORBY SHEILA JULSON
Replacing worn or outdated furniture and household items can be fun and uplifting. But many new mass-produced items, sometimes referred to as “fast furniture” sold at big-box chain stores, are usually made with cheaper composite materials or chemical stain repellants that will offgas once they are in the home. Off-gassing is the airborne release of chemicals and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs (architecturaldigest.com/story/ what-is-off-gassing).
Much like trendy “fast fashion” clothing, fast furniture isn’t made for durability. Once worn or broken, these items are typically destined for the landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that in 2018, the most recent data available, 9,680 tons of furniture was landfilled, up from 2.2 tons in 1960 (tinyurl.com/5xhk999p). Because new furniture is often manufactured overseas, it generates carbon emissions from being shipped across the globe.
For those that want to circumvent mass-produced furniture, home décor and kitchen items, buying used items from local thrift and resale stores is a good place to start. Habitat for Humanity ReStore, with locations in Franklin, Wauwatosa and Greenfield (milwaukeerestore.org), offers used furniture, lighting, building materials, home accessories and more. Proceeds from ReStore sales go toward Habitat for Humanity’s affordable home ownership programs.
Thrift stores such as Value Village, Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul, each with multiple locations through Milwaukee, carry furniture and home décor. Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood is a haven for shops selling used furniture and home décor: Spectre
Vintage (437 E. Stewart St.), Tip Top Atomic Shop (2343 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), R Vintage N More (2653 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), Ormson Supply (2866 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), BC Modern (3116 S. Chase Ave.) and Good Land Antiques (3391 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.).
Also on the South Side, Dupree’s Vintage (915 Milwaukee Ave., South Milwaukee) has furniture and home decor. Walker’s Point is home to several antique sellers such as Dime A Dance (1134 S. First St.) and Farm Girl Art & Antiques (803 S. Fifth St.). On the north and west sides of town, Dandy (5020 W. Vliet St.), D&R Affordable Used Furniture (5718 W. Center St.) and A-1 Furniture & Appliance (5601 W. National Ave.) offer used furniture. Out in the suburbs, there’s Antique 2 Modern Used Furniture (13819 W. National Ave., New Berlin).
Some resale stores are only open during select hours, so call ahead.
NEW WARES MADE SUSTAINABLY
Sometimes resale and thrift stores don’t always have what we’re looking for. When seeking sustainably made new items, The Sustainable Furnishing Council recommends looking for seals of third-party certifiers, such as Forest Stewardship Council, to be sure wood used to produce the items is sourced in an environmentally sound manner. Look for furniture with little to no VOC finishes, and textiles made from natural fibers (sustainablefurnishings.org/ content/questions-to-ask-answersto-look-for).
Sustainably minded stores in the Milwaukee area that sell new furniture and home décor include La Lune Collection (930 E. Burleigh St.), founded by interior designer Mario Costantini.
His collection of rustic wood seating, cabinetry, beds and more are crafted by hand in Wisconsin by skilled artisans. La Lune harvests only fast-growing and invasive wood species, and products are made as ordered.
Il Bosco (225 S. Second St.) offers environmentally conscious furniture and home goods, and repurposed or upcycled handmade stools, tables and shelves. Olsen House (4326 N. Oakland Ave.) features a curated collection of blankets and pillows, kitchenware, holiday items, vases and planters by artisans, and furniture designers with a focus on Scandinavian aesthetics.
For kitchenware and household décor, Ursa Milwaukee (2534 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) and Sparrow Collective (2224 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) has glassware, art, mugs and tea towels made by eco-conscious artists and small producers. Murray Hill Pottery Works (2458 N. Murray Ave.), a pottery studio with classes and workshops, has a small retail space with artists’ products like plates, mugs and home décor.
Green Life Trading Co. (1039 S. Fifth St., in the former Glass Pantry space), and natural foods grocers Beans & Barley (1901 E. North Ave.) and Outpost Natural Foods (multiple locations) carry kitchen items and gadgets made from recycled or responsibly sourced materials, and fairly traded items.
Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace & Education for Peace (219 W. Main St., Waukesha offers fair trade dish cloths and gifts.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee writer and regular contributor to shepherdexpress.com.
Get Your Tomato Plants Off to a Good StartBY SHEILA JULSON
Tomatoes are the one of the most versatile, multi-use fruits, and the plant is a popular choice for home gardeners. Growing a luscious bounty of these colorful nightshades takes some planning, patience and lots of sun, but the late summer payoff makes it worthwhile.
Mark Jorgensen co-owns Plant Land (6204 S. Howell Ave.) with his sister, Karen Matt. The garden center is known for their selection of tomatoes, which includes nearly 70 varieties of
heirlooms. When choosing which tomatoes to plant, Jorgensen recommends that gardeners choose the right varieties for their yard conditions.
“Consider how much space you have. Whether planted in-ground or in raised beds, most tomatoes need to be at least two feet apart. Cherry tomatoes tend to get wild, so they need about three feet of space between each plant. All plants should be caged to keep growing plants off the ground,” he says.
Tomato cages are available at most hardware stores and garden centers. Tomato plants spaced too close together tend to grow taller and not yield as much fruit because bees cannot easily access the flowers to pollinate them. Taller plants also break easily. “People try to squeeze them a little closer together to get more in, but they’re going to regret it by the end of July,” Jorgensen notes.
Some tomatoes are good for fresh eating, while others are better for sauces and canning. Jorgensen recommends Roma varieties such as Martino’s Roma and San Marzano for canning. “Most people want those because they’re heavy producers with larger fruit and smaller, fewer seeds.”
Fresh eating tomato varieties that do well in Wisconsin’s cooler climate include Cour Di Bue, a beefy tomato, and St. Pierre, a French heirloom variety with meaty flesh that’s good for salads and sandwiches. One of Jorgensen’s personal favorites is Black Krim, a medium sized tomato with an earthy taste. Black Krim also produces higher yields.
For small yards, Jorgensen recommends St. Pierre. “It’s easily tamed and grows well in a cage.” He also suggests Genovese, a flavorful smaller tomato; Cour Di Bue; Bonny Best, a good tomato or canning or fresh eating; and Atkinson, another space saver that does well in humid conditions. The German Lunchbox is a pink, plum-shaped, two-bite cherry tomato that typically doesn’t grow out of control. The plant also has higher yields and can produce late into the season.
SUN, SUN, SUN
Because tomato plants require full sun, Jorgensen emphasizes that gardeners should evaluate how much sun their yards receive. “Tomatoes need a minimum of five hours of direct sun. That could be just the morning and afternoon, but the more, the better—at least five to get the expected crop.”
For yards with partial shade, containers are a good choice. Plants can be placed in large pots with good drainage and be moved around the yard for maximum sun exposure.
Many gardeners welcome summer by planting during Memorial Day weekend, but that might not always be the best time to plant tomatoes. “Tomato plants will grow when it’s 70 degrees and sunny, but the root system does not grow until ground is consistently 55 degrees,” Jorgensen explains. “By the end of May, ground soil usually isn’t that warm.” He notes that with raised beds, the soil may be warmer.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests warming ground soil with black landscaping plastic for a couple of weeks before planting.
Jorgensen advises to dig very deep holes, strip off the foliage from the plant nearly to the top and bury the entire stem. “The hairs on the stem turn into roots underground,” he says. “That also prevents suckers.” Suckers are small shoots and leaves that sprout
from where a branch meets the stem. Suckers can draw energy from the plant, affecting its production.
Jorgensen also cautions against overwatering tomato plants. For the first two weeks after planting, he waters plants every day—approximately two gallons of water per plant, depending on the weather—which allows the roots to pull calcium from the soil. He then reduces watering to two to three times per week.Illustration by Michael Burmesch.
Healthier Diet = Healthier PetBY CARRIE MARBLE, OWNER, BARK N’ SCRATCH OUTPOST, CALEY AND STELLA
Ever since the innovation of dry, extruded kibble in the late nineteenth century, people have become accustomed to feeding pets in a way that is convenient for our busy lives. What we feed our pets has recently become a hot topic with pet owners.
All the information about the negatives of corn, wheat, and soy along with the drawbacks to grains has people wondering if these ingredients are truly necessary in their pets’ diets. Is the same dry kibble diet with a side of water day in and day out really what will help our pets thrive?
Dogs and cats are prey driven carnivores. When left on their own to feed, they will hunt a variety of prey such as squirrels, mice, and rabbits. This natural diet consists of about seventy percent water. The kibble fed today is approximately ten percent moisture or less.
In the digestion process, food is broken down into smaller particles throughout the GI tract. Water is a vital part in this process - it ensures that the nutrients can be absorbed properly and efficiently. When our companions are fed a meal without that moisture, their stomachs send signals to the brain to pull water from other sources including other organs and tissues in the body, causing dehydration. Dehydration is a slow process, but can be the culprit of many types of illness, so it is important to stay on top of hydration.
Water consumed after a meal does not stop the dehydration effects over time. Your pet may appear to be getting enough water (it feels like you take them outside every hour!), but in reality, filling up with water after a meal can actually lead to bloating and increased urination.
Luckily, there are many simple ways to add moisture to any type of diet! You can add half a cup up to a whole cup of water to every cup of kibble fed, and let the kibble soak up the moisture for about five to ten minutes before serving. Adding bone broth, goat's milk, or fermented stock to any meal is another great way to get missing nutrients along with much needed moisture. Even simply adding fresh food, like pesticide free fruits (cantaloupe, blueberries, seedless apple slices and seedless watermelon), is a great way to get hydration and living enzymes into your pet’s diet. Rotating the food you offer your pet with less processed diets like canned or raw will add even more bioavailable nutrients to help your pet thrive.
Content sponsored by Bark n’ Scratch Outpost. Locally owned since 2006, Carrie, Michael and staff are dedicated to educating pet owners about the importance of their pet’s diet. Bark n’ Scratch Outpost is located at 5835 W. Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53213Photo by humonia/Getty Images.
Celebrate Pets During National Pet MonthBY SHEILA JULSON
May is National Pet Month in the United States. Support our companion animals through adoption events, low-cost health care services, animal welfare organization fundraisers and overall fun stuff for pets and pet parents throughout the Milwaukee area.
May 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Historic Downtown Greendale
The 6th annual Pet Palooza returns to downtown Greendale. The event features pet related activities such as a fashion show, the doggie dash and an agility course, along with a pet psychic, animal education, kids’ activities and pet portraits. Adoption partners will be present to attendees looking for a furry friend.
WISCONSIN HUMANE SOCIETY
One of Wisconsin’s oldest animal welfare organizations operates ongoing low-cost vaccine clinics at all five campuses (wihumane.org/veterinary/vaccine-clinics). The organization also has a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, 9400 W. Lincoln Ave., West Allis (wihumane.org/clinic).
POP-UP PET PHOTO SHOOT EXPERIENCE
May 6, noon-7 p.m.
722 E. Burleigh St.
Pet parents can have professional photos taken of their pooches by Kentucky-based professional studio pet photographer Maggie Flynn Hillyer, of Marshie's Roar Pet Photography. The cost is $50-$100 per slot, which includes a 15-minute photo shoot and professionally edited photographs of your dog. There is a $30 fee for each additional pet from the same household. For more information or to reserve a slot, call 614-940-6763 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALMOST HOME CAT RESCUE BOWLING FUNDRAISER
May 20, 10:15 a.m.–3 p.m.
Classic Lanes Oak Creek
7501 S. Howell Ave.
Join Almost Home Cat Rescue MKE, a non-profit, all volunteer-run cat rescue, for their bowling fundraiser. The $40 per-person entry fee includes three games of bowling, shoes and use of a bowling ball. Space is limited to the first 20 teams of four players; teams must have a minimum of four players but no more than five. Teams may check in beginning at 11:15 a.m. The event includes a 50/50 raffle to win a variety of gift baskets.
WOOF GANG RESCUE ADOPTION EVENT
May 6, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Bentley’s Pet Stuff
7940 S. Sixth St., Ste. 103
Woof Gang Rescue will partner with Bentley’s Pet Stuff - Oak Creek for an event to showcase dogs and puppies available for adoption. Visit woofgangrescue.com to see a listing of current available dogs. Those interested in adopting a dog they see online can also apply before the event to accelerate the process. All dogs listed are not guaranteed to be at the event.
DOG MOM’S DAY
May 13, noon-4 p.m.
6818 W. North Ave.
Rescue Gang, a foster home animal rescue organization, will host the Dog Mom’s Day event Drunken Cobra, in Wauwatosa. Dog moms can enjoy drink specials, a grab bag fundraiser and Tito’s vodka samples. The patio is dog-friendly; indoors is reserved for dogs available to foster.
MILWAUKEE AREA DOMESTIC ANIMAL CONTROL COMMISSION
3839 W. Burnham St.
Milwaukee area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADDAC) offers lowcost spay and neuter services, vaccines, licenses, dog park permits and other low-cost pet services on an ongoing basis. Visit madacc.org/services for more information and availability.
THE VAULT JR’S DOG ADOPTION EVENT
May 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The Vault Pet Supplies N116W16316 Main St.
JR’s Pups-N-Stuff Inc. animal rescue organization is partnering with The Vault Pet Supplies to showcase dogs looking for their furever homes.
HAWS ROMP N RALLY
May 6, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Sussex Village Park
W244N6100 Weaver Drive
The Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County (HAWS) presents the 40th annual Romp N Rally. The family-oriented fundraising event features pet-related contests, a large raffle and refreshments. Leashed, socialized pets are welcome. The park has plenty of walking trails to take Fido for a stroll.
Several animal welfare organizations and locally owned pet supply stores will run specials and host adoption events during May but didn’t have details finalized at press time. Call your favorite organization or store for more information.
SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDE SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDE
SUMMER FESTIVALS ARE BACK IN MILWAUKEE. PLEASE SEND ANY UPDATES AND INFORMATION ON OTHER OUTDOOR EVENTS THIS SUMMER TO EDITOR@SHEPEX.COM. WE WILL CONTINUALLY UPDATE OUR SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDE AS MORE EVENTS ARE ANNOUNCED.
THURSDAY BIKE NIGHT CONCERT SERIES
Thursdays through September, 5-9 p.m. harley-davidson.com
MILWAUKEE MAKERS MARKET
Milwaukee Makers Market has over 50+ Local Small Businesses rotate the Markets throughout the season from April thru Dec at venues such as Discovery World, The Ivy House, & The Starling with Pop-Ups this Summer inside the Deer District. Next Market is May 14 (Celebrate Mother's Day) at The Ivy House. More season dates can be found at milwaukeemakersmarket.com and on their social media!
OLD FALLS VILLAGE BEER GARDEN
CASA GUADALUPE 11TH ANNUAL FIESTA LATINA
Saturday, May 20 12:00pm-8:30pm
Regner Park, West Bend casaguadalupeonline.org/ events/fiesta-latina
‘MERICA ON BRADY STREET
Brady Street bradystreet.org
SUMMER SOUNDS ON FRIDAYS
Cedar Creek Park, Cedarburg summersounds.net
Henry Maier Festival Park pridefest.com
JAZZ IN THE PARK
Thursdays, June 1–July 6 and July 27–Aug. 31, 2023 Cathedral Square Park easttown.com
PAINT CEDARBURG: A PLEIN AIR PAINTING EVENT
Downtown Cedarburg cedarburgartistsguild.com /paint-cedarburg
CHILL ON THE HILL
Tuesdays, June 6-Aug. 22
Humboldt Park Chalet
CEDARBURG ART MUSEUM SUMMER BEER GARDEN
June 8-September 14
Thursday Evenings, 5:30-9pm
Saturday Afternoons, 12-4pm
Cedarburg Art Museum
MUSIC & MORE CONCERT SERIES
June 8–Aug. 10
First Presbyterian Church, Racine (716 College Ave. Racine)
BAYSHORE ART AND MUSIC FESTIVALS
Fridays, June 9 through Aug. 25, 6-9 p.m. The Yard at Bayshore thebayshorelife.com/events
The Village of Wauwatosa Art64tosa.com
Henry Maier Festival Park polishfest.org
SISTER WATER BEER GARDEN
St. Joseph Center Garden, 1507 S. Layton Blvd.
GREEN LAKE FESTIVAL OF MUSIC
June 8-Aug. 4 greenlakefestival.org
BROOKFIELD ARTS, CRAFTS, AND DRAFTS
Corners of Brookfield, 20111 W. Bluemound Road amdurproductions.com/event/2023brookfield-arts-crafts-and-drafts/
LOCUST STREET FESTIVAL OF MUSIC & ART
June 11 locuststreetfestival.org
Washington Park, S. 12th and Washington streets, Manitowoc metrojam.org
LAKEFRONT FESTIVAL OF ART
Milwaukee Art Museum
BRADY STREET ART WALK
June 22-24, June 29-July 1, July 6-8
Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Drive summerfest.com
IOLA CAR SHOW
Iola, WI iolaoldcarshow.com
BRISTOL RENAISSANCE FAIRE
July 8 through Sept. 4, Saturdays, Sundays & Labor Day renfair.com/Bristol
WHITEFISH BAY ART FEST
Downtown Whitefish Bay along Silver Spring Drive amdurproductions.com
RIVERWEST SECRET GARDEN TOUR
Stroll through Riverwest visiting gardens that offer the joy of seeing, touching, and smelling the beauty of nature.
LAKE PARK SUMMER STAGE
July 10 through Aug. 28 lakeparkfriends.org
SKYLINE MUSIC SERIES
July 11–Aug. 22
Selig-Joseph-Folz Amphitheater in Kadish Park coa-yfc.org/skyline
July 13-July 16
Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St. easttown.com
WELCOMES HARLEY 120TH
Brady Street bradystreet.org
GATHERING ON THE GREEN
Rotary Park, Mequon, gatheringonthegreen.org
MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
John Michael Kohler Arts Center jmkac.org
St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church, 7825 W. Layton Ave. 414-282-1670 armenianfest.com
WAUKESHA COUNTY FAIR
County Fairgrounds, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha waukeshacountyfair.com
SCENIC SHORE RIDE FOR A CURE
Lake Michigan Shoreline from Mequon to Sturgeon Bay pages.lls.org/events/vtnt/ ss150#register-section
MILWAUKEE AIR AND WATER SHOW
Milwaukee Lakefront from Bradford Beach to Veteran’s Park mkeairwatershow.com
MIDWEST FIRE FEST
July 22-23 Westside Park, 300 W. Water St., Cambridge midwestfirefest.com
GRANVILLE BLUES FEST
July 22-23 & July 29-30
8633 W. Brown Deer Road granvillebusiness.org
SOUTH MILWAUKEE HERITAGE DAYS
July 24-30 smheritagedays.org
Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh airventure.org
WASHINGTON COUNTY FAIR
Washington County Fair Park, 3000 Pleasant Valley Road, West Bend wcfairpark.com
TASTE OF WISCONSIN: CELEBRATION PLACE AT KENOSHA’S HARBOR
54th St, & 1st Avenue (East of the museums) tasteofwi.com
PRAIRIE DOG BLUES FEST
St. Feriole Island, Prairie du Chien prairiedogblues.com
Henry Maier Festival Park germanfest.com
BRADY STREET FESTIVAL
Brady Street bradystreet.org
McKinley Park milwaukeebrewfest.com
PENINSULA MUSIC FESTIVAL
Door Community Auditorium, Fish Creek musicfestival.com
OZAUKEE COUNTY FAIR
W67 N866 Washington Ave., Cedarburg ozaukeecountyfair.com
WISCONSIN STATE FAIR
Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis wistatefair.com
RACINE STARVING ARTIST FAIR
DeKoven Center, Racine Wisconsin Avenue and 21st St. (Caron Butler Drive). racineartguild.com/safracine
WAUKESHA ROTARY BLUESFEST
Naga-Waukee Park, 651 Highway 83, Delafield waukeshabluesfest.com
Aug. 11-13 548 Park St., Belgium, WI facebook.com/LuxembourgFest
MORNING GLORY ART FAIR
Fiserv Forum Plaza, 1111 Vel R. Phillips Ave. morninggloryartfair.com
CENTER STREET DAZE FESTIVAL
Aug. 12 East Center Street between Holton Street and Humboldt Boulevard centerstreetdazefestival.com
HANK AARON STATE TRAIL 5K RUN/WALK
MILWAUKEE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
Lakeshore State Park, 500 N. Harbor Drive milwaukeedragonboatfest.org
Henry Maier Festival Park irishfest.com
MINERAL POINT HISTORICAL SOCIETY BLUES AND ROOTS FEST
Aug. 18-19 mineralpointbluesfest.org
MILWAUKEE FRINGE FESTIVAL
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts mkefringe.com
MOWA ART AND CHALK FEST
205 Veterans Ave., West Bend artchalkfest.com
COUNTRY IN THE BURG
Cedar Creek Park countryintheburg.com
Henry Maier Festival Park mexicanfiesta.orgIRISH FEST Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Irish Fest.
WARD ART FESTIVAL
N. Broadway in the Third Ward
Hart Park, Wauwatosa tosafest.org
WALK FOR WISHES
Henry Maier Festival Park wish.org/wisconsin/ walk-wishes-milwaukee
OAK CREEK LIONSFEST
SILVER CITY INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
West National Avenue between 33rd and 35th streets viadc.org
CEDARBURG WINE AND HARVEST FESTIVAL
Downtown Cedarburg cedarburgfestival.org
BROOKFIELD FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 6-Oct. 28, 7:30 a.m.-noon
Brookfield Central High School, 16900 W. Gebhardt Road brookfieldfarmersmarket.com
BROWN DEER FARMERS MARKET
Wednesdays, June 14-Oct. 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Village Park and Pond, 4920 W. Green Brook Drive browndeerwi.org/482/Brown-Deer-FarmersMarket
BURLINGTON FARMERS MARKET
Thursdays, May 4-Oct. 26, 3-7 p.m. Wehmhoff Square, Corner of Washington and Pine Streets, Burlington burlingtonwifarmersmarket.com
CALEDONIA OUTDOOR MARKET
Thursdays, May-September, 1:30-5:30 p.m. St. Monica’s, 3920 N. Green Bay Road, Caledonia facebook.com/SouthshoreEssentialMarkets
DELAFIELD FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 6-Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Fish Hatchery Sports Complex lot, 417 Main St., Delafield delafieldfarmersmarket.comPhoto by FooTToo/Getty Images.
FONDY FARMERS MARKET
(Early Season) Saturdays, May 13-July 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
(Regular Season) July 8-Oct. 29
Saturdays 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursdays Noon-7 p.m.
(Late Season) Saturdays, Nov. 4-Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
2200 W. Fond du Lac Ave. fondymke.org/fondy-farmers-market
GERMANTOWN FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 6-Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-noon
Germantown Village Hall, N112 W17001 Mequon Road, Germantown germantownwi.gov/373/Farmers-Market
GREENDALE DOWNTOWN MARKET
Saturdays, June 3-Sept. 30, 8 a.m.-noon Broad St. (Between Northway & Schoolway) greendale.org/our_community/downtown_market.php
GREENFIELD FARMERS MARKET
Sundays, May-October, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Konkel Park, 5151 W. Layton Ave. greenfieldwifarmersmarket.com
HARTUNG PARK FARMERS MARKET
Wednesdays, June 21-Sept. 27, 3:30-7 p.m.
Menomonee River Parkway at Keefe Ave., Wauwatosa https://www.hartungpark.com
HIGHWAY 11 OUTDOOR MARKET
Mondays, June-October, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Fountain Banquet Hall, 8505 Durand Ave., Sturtevant facebook.com/SouthshoreEssentialMarkets
KENOSHA FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 13-Oct. 28, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Municipal Parking Lot, 625 52nd St., Kenosha kenoshapublicmarket.com
JACKSON PARK FARMERS MARKET
Thursdays, June 15-Sept. 28, 3-6:30 p.m. 3500 W. Forest Home Ave. jacksonpark.us/farmers-market
MENOMONEE FALLS FARMERS MARKET
Wednesdays, June 7-Oct. 11, 2-6 p.m.
Sundays, July 9-Sept. 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Village Park, N87 W16749 Garfield Drive, Menomonee Falls fallsfarmersmarket.org
MILAEGER’S GREAT LAKES FARMERS MARKET
Sundays, April 2-June 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 4838 Douglas Ave., Racine milaegers.com/info/farmers-market
MUKWONAGO FARMERS MARKET
Wednesdays, May 17-Oct. 11, 2-6 p.m. Field Park, 933 N Rochester St., Corner of Hwy 83 & NN, Mukwonago mukwonagochamber.org/farmers-market
NEW BERLIN FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 6-Oct 28, 8 a.m.-noon
15055 W. National Ave. newberlinchamber.org/farmers-market
OAK CREEK FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 6-Oct. 21 (closed July 22), 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Drexel Town Square, 361 W. Town Square Way, Oak Creek oakcreekwi.gov/visitor/events/farmers-market
OCONOMOWOC FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 6-Oct. 26, 8 a.m.-noon Bank Five Nine Campus Lot, 155 W. Wisconsin Ave. oconomowoc.org/events/oacc-signature-events/ summer-farmers-market
PEWAUKEE/LAKE COUNTRY FARMERS MARKET
Wednesdays, June 7-Sept. 27, 3-7 p.m. W240 N3103 Pewaukee Road, Pewaukee christpewaukee.org/farmersmarket
PORT WASHINGTON FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, June 17-Oct. 28, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Port Washington downtown marina downtownport.com/farmers_market
RACINE HARBOR MARKET
June 8 & 22, July 6 & 20, and Aug. 3, 17 & 31, 4-7 p.m. Monument Square, Downtown Racine racineharbormarket.com
RIVERWEST GARDENERS MARKET
Sundays, June 4-Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 2700 N. Pierce St. riverwestmarket.com
SAUKVILLE FARMERS MARKET
Sundays, June 11-Oct. 29, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
SHOREWOOD FARMERS MARKET
Sundays, June 18-Oct. 29, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Estabrook Park, 4100 Estabrook Parkway shorewoodfarmersmarket.com
SOUTH MILWAUKEE DOWNTOWN MARKET
Thursdays, June 1-Oct. 5, 3-7 p.m. 1101 Milwaukee Ave., South Milwaukee smmarket.org
SOUTH SHORE FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, June 17-Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-noon
South Shore Park, 2900 S. Superior St. southshorefarmersmarket.com
THIENSVILLE VILLAGE MARKET
Tuesdays, June 20-Oct. 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Village Park, 251 Elm St., Thiensville thiensvillebusiness.com/village-market
TOSA FARMERS MARKET
Sneak Peek: May 27, 8 a.m.-noon
Saturdays, June 3-Oct. 14, 8 a.m.-noon 7720 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa tosafarmersmarket.com
WAUKESHA FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 6-Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-noon
Waukesha State Bank lot, 125 W. St. Paul Ave., Waukesha waukeshadba.com/farmers-market
WEST ALLIS FARMERS MARKET
May 6-Nov. 25, Tuesdays & Thursdays, noon-6 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving), Saturdays, 1-6 p.m. 6501 W. National Ave. thatswhywestallis.com/farmers-market
WEST BEND FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, May 20-Oct. 21, 7:30-11 a.m. 6th Ave., Poplar St. and 5th Ave., West Bend westbendfarmersmarket.com
WHITEFISH BAY FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays, July 15-Oct. 28, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Aurora Health Center lot, 325 E. Silver Spring Drive whitefishbayfarmersmarket.com
Learning Language and Tolerance at the French Immersion SchoolBY DAVID LUHRSSEN
Dawn Balistreri was fresh out of UW-Madison in 1991 when Milwaukee Public Schools made her an offer she couldn’t turn down. “What attracted them to my resume was my French language skills. When they told me about the French Immersion School, I had no idea there was a school like that in Milwaukee!” she recalled.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of one of MPS’ signal success stories. The French Immersion School (2360 N. 52nd St.) is an ambitious K-5 program for instructing children in French. It was preceded by the German Immersion School; a Spanish Immersion School was added a few years later. Graduates of those schools who wish to continue in bi-lingual education can move on to MPS’ School of Languages for middle and high school instruction.
Milwaukee’s French Immersion School remains one of the only public schools of its kind in the U.S. It was established in response to the lawsuit by Lloyd Barbee challenging MPS for deliberately segregating schools by race. In 1976 U.S. District Judge John Reynolds ruled in Barbee’s favor and or-
dered MPS to respond with a plan to desegregate. “Magnet schools,” as they were called at the time, were devised as one solution. The French Immersion School was one of them.
Tom Mueller picketed MPS central office in support of desegregation in the ‘70s. He later became cochair of the French School’s PTA and sent his children there. His grandson currently attends the French Immersion School. “They did it the right way,” Mueller said, citing MPS’ Tony Cradzinik and Helena Anderson Curtain for their formative roles in the language immersion programs. “The schools work academically in terms of learning and elan. They are very integrated in a way that’s seamless,” he continued. The atmosphere at French Immersion is not elitist but engaged and has promoted multigenerational ties. Mueller’s grandson is being taught by an instructor who graduated from the school a generation earlier. “People who come through the program are really bonded,” he added.
The “magnet school” definition has been dropped but the educational mission remains. French Immersion’s Principal
Jenna Harer said that the school is one of several “citywide public schools with a specialty program.” According to her, enrollment at French Immersion for the 2022-23 school year totaled around 450 with a student body comprised of 60% African American, 30% white and 10% Asian, Latino and other children.
Harer is in her second year as principal. She began her teaching career with MPS, became an assistant principal in the Waukesha school system and returned to Milwaukee to helm French Immersion. “I wanted to be at a school that valued diversity and equity,” she explained.
WHY LEARN IN FRENCH?
Why do parents opt to send their children to her school?
“There are lots of different drivers,” she answered. “For some, it’s location. We have many students from the 53210 and 53212 zip codes. Many want their children to have that language experience. And French can be important for careers in business or internationally—it’s the second-most learned second language [after English] in the world.”
The flags displayed in the school’s central hallway illustrate her point. The French red, white and blue tricolor hangs alongside the Belgian black, yellow and red and the flags of African and Asian nations such as Senegal and Cambodia. The school’s faculty includes Algerian, Tunisian, Congolese and Senegalese instructors. “They add tremendous value,” Balistreri said. “The native speakers bring that cultural piece—not only for students but for staff, adding a layer of authenticity.”
The educational benefits of the French Immersion program are validated by high test scores and high marks on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Report Card for Public Schools. “The opportunity to learn a second language at an early age is giving your child a gift,” Balistreri continued, “by exposing them at an early age when they can readily absorb new information.”
Harer has enrolled her daughter in the school and echoed Balistreri’s thought about the program’s value. “It’s magical—a gift we can give our kids.” The school is open to any child in the MPS district. Suburban parents can apply through a lottery. Parental involvement in the program remains strong. “The PTA does events, including a Mardi Gras party for the kids,” Harer said. “Several parents run small reading groups and a book club. Parents volunteered with lunch supervision for a week when we had a COVID outbreak among the staff.”
The French Immersion School teaches more than a second language. “What I’ve seen from kids in bi-lingual programs is increased vocabulary and ability to interpret, and more empathy and understanding—better acceptance through understanding different cultures, greater tolerance,” Harer continued.
And yet, despite 45 years of success, many Milwaukeeans are still surprised to learn of the French Immersion School’s existence. “We’re under publicized,” Balistreri said. “We are a hidden gem, not hidden on purpose but not publicized as much as we could be.”
The French Immersion School will celebrate its 45th anniversary with on the school’s grounds, 5-7:30 p.m. on June 2. The festival is open to the public (children must be accompanied by adults) and will include food trucks, entertainment and a bouncy house and games for children.
David Luhrssen is the author of several books on cultural history, including Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen and Elvis Presley: Reluctant Rebel. He is also managing editor of the Shepherd Express.
This Month in Milwaukee 13 THINGS TO DO IN MAYBY ALLEN HALAS, ELIZABETH LINTONEN,
THROUGH MAY 14
The God of Carnage q Milwaukee Rep
Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play, which she adapted with Roman Polanski into his 2011 film Carnage, is being staged by the Milwaukee Rep. The carefully nuanced study of upper-class manners (and screaming parents) is the most memorable two-couple stage and screenplay since Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The Rep’s rendition is directed by Racine-born Ryan Quinn, familiar to Rep-goers from Dad’s Seasons Tickets and Yellowman
THROUGH JUNE 11
The Sarah Ball Allis Art Museum p Allis Chalmers, West Allis, the Charles Allis Art Museum—the Allis name is inseparable from Milwaukee’s history. The current exhibition hopes—among other goals—to turn the spotlight on a member of that family whose role in the community has been overlooked. Through June 11, the Charles Allis Art Museum will become the Sarah Ball Allis Art Museum in an exhibit featuring 20 contemporary artists juxtaposed with the institution’s permanent collection.
THROUGH AUGUST 20
“David Plowden: The Architecture of Agriculture” q Grohman Museum
Photographer David Plowden, age 90, lives in Winnetka, IL. “I befriended him in 2011 when we hosted an exhibition of his railroad photographs in Madison,” says the Grohmann’s director James Kieselburg. “It is in knowing and befriending Plowden that one also knows that his full impact is likely yet to be felt, as we continue to lose the features of the American landscape that he so expertly and thoughtfully captured. From the rural landscape to railroads to bridges to heavy industry, he has distilled in many ways the essence of America by portraying our too often overlooked treasures—the commonplace fabric of our familiar environment—dilapidated or dismantled today.”DAVID LUHRSSEN AND BLAINE SCHULTZ Fem-utility Closet, 2023 by Melissa Dorn. Courtesy of Charles Allis Art Museum. Grain Elevators, Carter, Montana, 1971, David Plowden. Courtesy of Grohmann Museum. Daffodil photo by GreenStock/Getty Images.
Onyx, R.A. The Rugged Man q X-Ray Arcade
If you’re of a certain era of hip hop fandom, you’ll recall that Onyx’s debut album, Bacdafucup, is a release that helped shift the sound of the genre as carefree, fun raps gave way to street culture. Yielding their biggest hit, “Slam,” Onyx return to Milwaukee to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the record at X-Ray Arcade. They’ll be joined by R.A. The Rugged Man, an artist that forged his own success on an independent path when mainstream hip hop had moved past him. Expect plenty of rowdy raps in Cudahy on May 5.
Sophie B. Hawkins p Shank Hall
Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
Sophie B. Hawkins returns with Free Myself, her first album in over a decade. Tapping into the same passion-filled storytelling and colorful eclecticism that inspired her 1992 platinum-selling debut, the song “Better Off Without You” has been described as an “anti-Valentine.”Photo courtesy of Shank Hall.
Man Or Astro-Man?
The Back Room at Colectivo
With just over three decades of creating music and touring, Man Or Astro-Man? continue to make music that is uniquely theirs. A cosmic blend of surf rock, punk, and outer space, the band that claim to be extraterrestrials sent to Earth to melt faces do just that, albeit with blistering guitar solos and a manic energy about themselves. They’ll crash land on Milwaukee’s East Side when they’ll bring a high-energy show to The Back Room at Colectivo.
Bug Moment, Garden Home, Past as Prologue, Pretending p Bremen Café
Fresh off of the release of their debut, The Flying Toad Circus, and a sold-out release show to boot, indie rockers Bug Moment will headline a more intimate show at Bremen Café. The bill also features Milwaukee acts Garden Home and Past as Prologue, each of which draw influence from post-hardcore and screamo. Rounding out the bill is Portland screamo act Pretending, on tour supporting their Hoarse EP, which came out last September.
MAY 19-JUNE 4
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Racine Theatre Guild
Sweeney Todd began as a gory 19th century British melodrama about a serial killer on the loose. Director Tim Burton turned it into a 2007 film starring Johnny Depp in the title role. However, the tale will probably live on longest as Stephen Sondheim’s musical. In searching for a non-verbal language appropriate for the material, Sondheim remembered a scary movie of fog-bound London from his youth, Hangover Square, with music by Bernard Herrmann. Sondheim composed Sweeney Todd with unresolved dissonances, leaving the audience in suspense.
Renée Graef p Boswell Book Company
A special way to spend a morning in May is at Boswell Books with Renée Graef, illustrator of Gertie, the Daring Duck of WWII. Graef’s chat about her latest picture book is on Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. Visit the Starbucks next door for a morning coffee and enjoy a chat about the uplifting story of Milwaukee legend, Gertie the duck, who, with her family of ducklings, touched lives throughout the city.
“Peace Thru Music”:
A John Lennon Tribute Linnemans Riverwest Inn
Since it opened in 1993 Linneman’s Riverwest Inn has hosted many benefit performances. For over 20 years, “Peace Thru Music—A John Lennon Tribute,” helps raise awareness for sensible gun laws. Proceeds go to Wisconsin’s Anti Violence Effort (WAVE) and the national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, sadly gun violence is still part of the news cycle. Co-owner Marty Hacker organizes the event which corrals over 20 local acts that cross generations. Musicians reimagine (sorry) the songs John Lennon made famous with the Beatles and his solo career.
SuperYou Skylight Music Theatre
One of the best ways to kick-off this summer in Milwaukee is a high-energy night of rock music, empowered women, poignant lyricism and superheroines. The Skylight Theatre’s upcoming show, SuperYou is an uplifting story presented by a team of talented women that will leave audiences inspired and ready to rock out.
“The Zodiac and the Planets” q Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
The self-effacing Gustav Holst might have been stunned had he lived to hear that his orchestral work, The Planets (1918), became the source for many Hollywood sci-fi scores in the decades to come. Everyone has heard of Holst, but Mary Lou Williams deserves greater recognition. In the 1940s the superb Black jazz pianist joined the growing movement of jazz composing with European classical structures. Much like Holst with his celestial bodies, Williams devoted each facet of her Zodiac Suite (1945) to an astrological sign, endowing each with its own personality. MSO Music Director Ken-David Masur will conduct.
U.K. punk legends Subhumans have toured the globe, but it is a rare occasion that they’ll stop in Milwaukee. They’ll undoubtedly pack Bay View’s Cactus Club, with a bill alongside New York punks Cop/Out, as well as the debut of new Milwaukee punk act World in Action. Generations of angst will come together on May 27, and it will be a night that won’t soon be forgotten.Photo by Scott Paulus. Courtesy of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. KEN-DAVID MASUR BUG MOMENT
Ageism Hurts More than SeniorsBY PHILIP CHARD
Chronological age is a lousy benchmark for making assumptions about the capacities and qualities of human beings, but that doesn’t stop us from doing it. Ageism, while generally regarded as a bias toward older folks, can affect just about any age group. Robert Butler, a psychiatrist, coined the term in 1969, comparing it to racism and sexism. His focus was on discrimination against and negative stereotypes about older people, both of which are endemic in our society. However, today, we recognize its broader impact.
Chronological age and emotional age are often two very different metrics. I know young people who are largely squared away in the feelings department, and seniors who have yet to leave their emotional adolescence. We recognize this intuitively. People may refer to those whose chronological and emotional ages are out of sync as “60 going on 16” or “15 going on 30,” and so on. Which calls into question the whole notion of what it means to be an adult, given the wildly varying degrees of maturity and judgment grown-ups display, from deliberative intelligence to abject stupidity.
Then there’s decision-making. Supposedly, we get better at it as we age and accumulate more life experience, the idea being that, on a fictitious wisdom scale, one’s trend line should rise in step with one’s chronological progression. In fact, decision-making doesn’t necessarily improve with increasing tenure on the planet, particularly among those set in their ways. As business guru Stephen Covey noted, “Some people say they have 20 years’ experience when, in reality, they have 1 years’ experience repeated 20 times.” For instance, many of us know adolescents or young adults who exhibit greater emotional maturity, life wisdom and direction than their parents. So, the real variables at play have more to do with smarts, both emotional and intellectual, as well as self-control and motivation, rather than years on Earth.
Then there are the proverbial and powerful assumptions about the impacts of age on physical functioning. So, exactly what is a 65-year-old supposed to look like and how physically vital or compromised should we assume them to be . . . again, based on a number? In addressing this, many of us lean on stereotypic answers, only to find our guesses shattered when meeting someone who dramatically departs
from what we anticipated. Not wanting to undermine our cherished assumptions, we employ a mental sleight of mind called “confirmation bias” to label such individuals as outliers (e.g., “remarkable for her age”).
Look, there are 10-year-olds who can’t run a hundred yards without risking cardiac arrest and 80-somethings who finish marathons. Do the odds of dying increase in tandem with your advancing years? Yes, but not proportionally. Regardless of age, mortality doesn’t rise dramatically until one reaches a certain physical threshold or tipping point, such as a serious illness or accident, the cumulative impact of poor health habits, or substance addictions, all of which can occur in the young as well as old.
And, of course, there’s libido. Cultural mythology claims sexual desire peaks at certain ages, late teens to mid-20s for males and mid-to-late-30s for females. In fact, erotic longings involve far more than hormones, so assuming all teens are nymphomaniacs and all seniors couldn’t care less is poppycock. In popular culture, the erotic is almost always depicted as a province of youth, while research shows it’s at least as much a state of mind as of body.
Ageism, like sexism and racism, dehumanizes people and erases their individuality. Studies show, after race and gender, age is the next thing we most notice and subconsciously respond to when meeting someone. So, rather than being puppets on the strings of cultural stereotypes and biases related to the length of someone’s life, we better serve each other by suspending snap judgments in favor of open-minded observations. How mature is a person based on their years and physical exterior? Don’t assume.
Through the lenses of our biased perceptions, age truly becomes more than just a number. Too often, it represents a whole set of assumptions and prejudices that are just plain wrong.
Philip Chard is a psychotherapist and author with a focus on lasting behavior change, emotional healing and adaptation to health challenges. For more, visit philipchard.com.
I feel like I’m forever bored. I really don’t care about anyone or anything anymore. I’m 62 and could care less about my job. It’s so boring! I have a few friends (all of which are tired of me and I’m getting tired of them, too), and I have no love interest. Not sure that I want one.
I’m not sure if this is an old-age thing or what. I want to believe things will change when I retire, but I don’t see that happening at this rate.
ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO LIVEN THINGS UP, Bored in Bayside
Thanks for being honest, honey pie, and now it’s time for me to be honest with you. I don’t think you’re bored, doll face. I think you’re depressed.
I’m no doctor, but your email seems to indicate that there’s more going on with you than simply being bored. Boredom comes and goes, or it plays a part in one area of our lives. For you, however, boredom (as you call it) seems to be creeping into all aspect of your life, and that’s not good.
See a therapist asap for diagnoses and treatment options. You’ll quickly feel better and find a new outlook. In the meantime, put some effort into maintaining your relationships (friends, co-workers, etc.). You may need these folks for support, and you likely won’t find them particularly “boring” as your mental health improves.
Please check in with a professional and I bet your entire world opens and the future appears bright, exciting and full of possibilities.
Ruthie's Social Calendar
MAY 2 THROUGH MAY 14
"THE GOLDEN GIRLS MOTHER’S DAY SHOW" AT HAMBURGER MARY’S (730 S. FIFTH ST.): If you enjoyed the holiday Golden Girls show, you’ll adore this original springtime comedy where I reprise the role of Dorothy. Written by Anthony Torti, the dinner-theater event is guaranteed to liven up your month. Order tickets at www.eventbrite.com.
MISS GAY CITY OF FESTIVALS PAGEANT AT LACAGE (801 S. SECOND ST.): The teams at USofA Pageantry LLC and 3 Bears Productions host this competition that’s become legendary throughout the state. Watch some of Wisconsin’s top performers battle it out at the 10 p.m. pageant. Simply email 3bearsproductionsWI@gmail.com to reserve a table.
"DAVID CROSS: WORST DADDY IN THE WORLD" TOUR AT TURNER HALL BALLROOM (1040 N. VEL R PHILLIPS AVE.): Emmy-award winner and star of “Arrested Development,” “Men in Black” and “Futurama,” David Cross steps into Cream City with this hilarious (sometimes thought-provoking) new show. Take in the memorable night of laughs when you nab tickets at www.pabsttheatergroup.com.
"SHANIA TWAIN: QUEEN OF ME TOUR" AT KOHL CENTER (601 W. DAYTON ST., MADISON): A queen of country is rolling into Mad City, and you’re invited to the party. Join Shania for this 7:30 p.m. concert when you order tickets at www.uwmbadgers.evenue.net.
"BILLY PORTER: BLACK MONA LISA TOUR, VOLUME 1" AT BRADLEY SYMPHONY CENTER (212 W. WISCONSIN AVE.): The Broadway and television award-winner performs with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for a moving, energetic and mesmerizing evening of music, fashion and more. Featuring a variety of music stylings, it’s one evening that promises to leave a lasting impact on all who attend. See www.ticketmaster.com for tickets to the enchanting concert.
MILWAUKEE ODDITIES & CURIOSITIES EXPO AT WISCONSIN CENTER (400 W. WISCONSIN AVE.): Cryptic, creepy, creative and crafty…this is a one-of-a-kind, change-of-pace makers mart you’ll never forget. From bizarre and beautiful to scary and sublime, the 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. marketplace offers a taxidermy class, an oddities museum and more. See www.showpass.com for ticket packages.
'MERICA ON BRADY STREET (AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS ON BRADY ST.): Hit up more than a dozen bars and restaurants during this noon to 6 p.m. pub crawl that ultimately raises donations for local veterans, the Brady Historical Documentary and Cass Street School. Your $25 ticket includes all the drink specials, a T-shirt and access to the shuttle bus. Swing by www.eventbrite.com for more.
PrideFest 2023: Celebrating 35 Years of PrideBY PAUL MASTERSON
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, PrideFest, Milwaukee’s LGBTQ extravaganza, takes place June 1-3.at Henry Meier Festival Park. Launching Cream City’s summer festival season, PrideFest 2023 is gearing up to be the most innovative and community-centric of any Pride event in recent memory.
This year’s PrideFest focus on community engagement and partnerships features a special collaboration with Vivent Health (formerly the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin). Not only will Vivent be the beneficiary of PrideFest’s traditional food drive (this year with the support of a local food company) and philanthropic donations from ticket sales but it will also participate in a special program to honor those affected by HIV/AIDS.
Wes Shaver, president and CEO of Milwaukee Pride explained the details, saying, “We are proud to partner with long-standing PrideFest supporter Vivent Health on an allnew program to honor AIDS victims and HIV-AIDS patients as well as the friends, family and loved ones all impacted by the epidemic. We're certain this new ceremony for 2023 will be a great honor to all.”
SATURDAY NIGHT VIGIL
The ceremony came about through discussions with PrideFest founder and community activist Bill Meunier who asked if PrideFest could resurrect the traditional Saturday night vigil for AIDS victims. “I liked the idea and told Meunier we could take it further and dedicate the fireworks display to them. Before the fireworks a video and other programming will recognize not only those who have died but also the caregivers, the people who, over the decades, who were so dedicated to, and invested in the fight against AIDS,” Shaver said.
Another well-established PrideFest attraction, the Health & Wellness Area, will again showcase community LGBTQ+ relevant health care entities and services as well as other health-conscious life-style organizations. This year’s roster of participants promises to be especially robust.
Continuing the programming concept of PrideFest 2022, entertainment across the numerous stages, from the Skyline Stage and Dance Pavilion to The Intersection and Stonewall Children’s Stage, will feature local talent. “In 2022, we made a concentrated effort to create a Milwaukee Festival BY Milwaukeeans ... and we’ve stuck to that,” Shaver said.
For 2023, the PrideFest website included an “entertainment submission form” and encouraged acts to submit audition materials. The entertainment team then started the selection process.
This year’s headliners include Peaches, Cazwell, Big Dipper, DJ Shawna, DJ DripSweat, Murray “the Magician” Sawchuck (direct from Las Vegas), Bright Light, and Dance Pavilion host, local drag sensation, Melee the Queen, among many, many more!
Speaking of the Dance Pavilion (open all three nights and now under the management of Jorna Taylor) presents revamped programming with a whole new lineup of acts and entertainers. The schedule now allows for 30-minute slots to engage more local artists and entertainers while opening up almost 40% more opportunities for them to participate.
Directed by Jessica Langill, the Intersection Stage expands to Thursday night as well. It focuses on local individuals representing the full LGBTQ+ spectrum. Shaver noted the stage’s growing popularity and diverse lineup as a great place to see eclectic, intentional and authentic performances.
The PrideFest family experience is also a high priority. “With the expanded Northwestern Mutual Community Park offerings, our Saturday family day is growing and features a full day's worth of activities for LGBTQ+ and ally families to experience fun shows, the playground and share space that encourages and empowers the family dynamic”, Shaver said.
Introduced in 2022, the “Throwback Thursday & Flashback Friday Happy Hour” enjoys a reprise. This promotion harkens to PrideFest’s first year at Henry Maier Festival Park Festival Park. Festivalgoers can enjoy 1996 pricing on MolsonCoors products on both Thursday and Friday from opening to 6 p.m.
While not part of Pride weekend, another Milwaukee Pride community partnership follows later in June when PBS Wisconsin launches the Milwaukee premier of its two-hour documentary, “Wisconsin Pride.” Based on R. Richard Wagner’s two volume Wisconsin LGBTQ history books originally published in 2019-20, the documentary follows the evolution of the state’s LGBTQ life from its earliest expression among indigenous people, through the era of European colonization to today’s struggle for equality.
Beyond the entertainment and classic festival atmosphere of celebration, Shaver reflected on the importance PrideFest in this critical moment of our LGBTQ+ history. “With the anti-LGBTQ noise about things that don’t matter that has been elevated to a level of hysteria, with its humiliation and demonization of trans people in particular, the 35th edition of PrideFest seems to be at the most crucial time for it to exist. You might think our history was challenging in the past and the groundwork laid by activists has overcome those challenges, but it seems there are more attacks against us today than ever before. A lot of those people wouldn’t be rallying around the extremists but their leadership can gaslight them and create headlines that instills fear and a narrative of a threat to their way of life,” Shaver said, adding, “We need to be reminded what’s at stake and what we have to fight for. PrideFest comes at a pretty perfect time.”
PrideFest volunteer opportunity details, entertainment schedule, ticket information may be found https://www. pridefest.com/ and on social media.
Paul Masterson is an LGBTQ activist and writer and has served on the boards of the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, Milwaukee Pride, GAMMA and other organizations.
From the City That Always Sweep From the City That Always SweepBY ART KUMBALEK
I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, we’ve made it to the so-called “merry” month of May, one of four months that can be enunciated with one syllable (but if you live in Florida or Texas or Tennessee these days, I got a feeling that the goofball white-guy legislators now in charge of the education systems for the young people just might have a problem with a word like “syllable”—“Fellow patriots, a ‘syllable’ sounds to me like some kind of outfit one of those so-called men who’d rather be women would squeeze into to put on some kind of dancing show dolled up like a regular Carol Channing or Bea-focking-Arthur. We will not tolerate these woke ‘syllables’ into our schools, libraries and general conversation. God bless America”
Good lord, a drag “syllable” show that might feature a cross-dressed Carol Channing and Bea-focking-Arthur?
Cripes, tell me where I can get a ticket. I’ll be there, what the fock.
So yeah, it’s May, fifth month of the year, cripes, chock-focking-ful of memorable calendar dates: International Workers’ Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, Miles Davis’ birthday and Mother’s Day, which reminds me of Oscar Wilde who said: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his. O-Wilde, you be the man still to this day, you betcha.
This May also marks 37years of me whipping out brain-jarring essays from off the top of my head for this news and entertainment empire called the Shepherd. Thank you for my service. But I could abso-focking-lutely pony up to a new challenge: Chief editor and
correspondent of the “science section” this publication so sorely needs for the enlightenment of its readers, I kid you not.
For christ sakes, the discipline of science has been getting crucified by Christian and Republican nutbags for some time, and I say it’s high time that “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena” (i.e. “the criticism of myths”) gets some ink spewed from an objective source, like me, ain’a?
Cripes, I’d never run out of material, and I’d make sure to craft my coverage nice and lively if not dang near practical, to boot. It wouldn’t at all be like the butt-boring science they tried to cram down your throat in school ’til you could barf lunch’s pigs-in-a-blanket, no sir. I’d give you “who’s hot/who’s not” on the latest Periodic Table, photos with captions on anatomy, cutting-edge info on the science of statistics you could use on your next Vegas junket.
Or take a branch like entomology, the study of insects. I’d like to explore reasons why on the TV pest-control commercials, the bug guy driving the snappy van wears a white shirt and tie on the job. Is this some kind of weirdass psychological ploy? Do bugs dish up extra respect to a guy in a shirt and tie and simply vacate a premises on their own accord so that Herr Death won’t feel the need to unleash his secret chemical vapor storm right there in the kitchenette—a storm that could otherwise reduce a southeast Asian rain-focking-forest to pure pud for the next two, three millennia?
And I’d give you top-dollar botany coverage, you betcha. Jeez louise, I read a comment on some website that shoveled on about the reason ancient peoples were so groovy was because “they practiced animism—the belief that everything has a soul: people, animals, plants, trees...”
Plants have souls? What next? I’ll tell you “what next.” I remembered hearing of an English doctor who said he had recorded the “screams” of plants when they get chopped, diced or minced. Now, the conclusion I reach here is that those people who do not eat the meat for soulful reasons should now also not eat the vegetable and rather acquire a taste for paste as some of us youthful gourmands did back in first grade. Bon appétit!
And naturally, there’s “political science.” The old-fart Greek Aristotle wrote, “Therefore, the good of man must be the end (i.e. objective) of the science of politics.” Hey, nice try, Ari. But simple observation has surely proved you were full of crap on that one. I never bought the term “political science.” Combining something so foul with something so pure always sounded like bullshit to me, but of course if “politics” is involved, what the hell else could it sound like? You tell me.
And I’ll tell you’s to keep your eyes to the sky ’cause that’s where heaven’s supposed to be, what the fock, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.