IN THIS ISSUE: HEALTH & WELLNESS SEXPRESS IS BACK!
GENER8TOR MOVING AT THE SPEED OF INNOVATION
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NEWS 08 Moving at the Speed of Innovation 13 This Modern World 14 Gableman's Supreme Court Career Was as Sleazy and Unethical as His Fraudulent Election Investigation — Taking Liberties 16 Milwaukee's 2020 Census Story Is Not Over — Issue of the Month 18 Xavier Smart is Indigenizing Healing — Hero of the Month
20 SHARP Literacy Serves Students in Urban Schools — Off the Cuff
FOOD & DRINK
24 Stein & Dine Returns to State Fair November 6th 28 Pasta alla Norma — Flash in the Pan 30 Change Your Life with a Glass of Sherry — Beverages
SPECIAL SECTION 32 Uncovering Milwaukee's Real Estate Boom — Home & Garden 36 Winterizing Made Easy — Home & Garden 40 The Key to Financial Success? Planning Not to Fail — Personal Finance 44 What's Behind 'The Men of Anger'? — Health & Wellness 48 The Value of Comprehensive Sexuality Education — SexPress
50 Best of Milwaukee Listings 54 You Can Become a Homeowner SPONSORED BY
CULTURE 56 Can the Milwaukee Bucks Defend Their Championship? 60 This Month in Milwaukee
LIFESTYLE 66 Wisconsin's Hemp Program Will Be Handed Over to Federal Authorities — Cannabis
HEAR ME OUT
70 Shady Season or Special Celebration? — Dear Ruthie 72 Where to Find Wisconsin LGBTQ History in Print, Archives and Online — My LGBTQ POV
ART FOR ART'S SAKE 74 From the City that Always Sweeps
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Cover: Shuttle smoke photo by Panacea_Doll/Getty Images. Rocket photo by brunohaver/Getty Images. Light bulb photo by artisteer/Getty Images. Metal cog photo by OwenJCSmith/Getty Images. Puzzle pieces photo by Galiana Shafran/Getty Images. Clouds photo by WangAnQi/Getty Images. Composition by Michael Burmesch.
PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Louis Fortis (ext. 3802) GENERAL MANAGER: Kevin Gardner (ext. 3825)
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OCTOBER 2021 | 5
Enough is Enough with the Subversive Efforts
Despite the fact that absolutely no evidence of election fraud was found after the 60 plus lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign were dismissed postelection, Wisconsin Republicans are still denying the facts and conducting a couple of very partisan investigations. The investigation commissioned by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will probably get the most attention because it is well funded with our tax dollars by and has subpoena power. Initially, to his credit, Vos did not contribute to Trump’s big lie of winning in Wisconsin and the nation. Then Trump yanked the leash on Vos and as a longtime Republican operative disgustedly said, Vos came cowering to Trump like a whimpering puppy.
VOS BOWS TO TRUMP AND STARTS AN INVESTIGATION
Vos initially allocated $680,000 for the investigation. He then hired a few former police detectives and former State Supreme Court Justice Gableman to lead the investigation at a salary of $11,000 per month plus a very generous expense account. Two former police detectives promptly quit within weeks of getting hired. Regarding Gableman, assuming Vos was trying to get some credibility for his dubious “investigation” by selecting a former justice, he made a questionable choice for several reasons. In 2008, Gableman won his court position getting 51% of the vote with a false and racist campaign against the only African American to serve on the high court. Gableman’s campaign was so dishonest
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that after the election, the Wisconsin Judicial Commission charged Gableman with violating their judicial ethics. Over his 10-year term, Gableman proved himself to be such an embarrassment on the court that he wisely decided not to even try to get reelected. Gableman’s first act in his new position was to use taxpayer dollars to fly to Arizona to visit the totally discredited Cyber Ninjas and go to South Dakota for a symposium by one of Trumps chief conspiracy characters, the MyPillow Guy, to get the “real facts.” This is just one example of how our tax dollars are being spent by Vos as he joins the ranks of the subversives trying to sow doubt about the integrity of our elections, which severely weaken our democracy. If Americans do not believe our elections are honest and accurate, then how can anyone govern and how can we have a peaceful transfer of power after an election?
WILL PATRIOTIC REPUBLICANS TRY TO SAVE THEIR PARTY?
If you are a patriotic Republican, it seems impossible that you wouldn’t be questioning the motives of the anti-American activity of some of our Republican elected officials. For example, the first act of our two new Wisconsin Congressmen, Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald, was to vote to not accept the electoral college results. Up until this year, voting to accept the results of the electoral college has been a perfunctory act. What kind of people are we sending to Congress? Our U.S. Senator Ron Johnson has been arguing that Trump won the election for the past 10 months, yet he is now on video camera clearly stating the Trump lost because he underperformed other Republican candidates down ballot. Johnson said, “He didn’t get 51,000 votes that other Republicans got, and that’s why he lost.” After stating Trump’s defeat and even explaining why he thinks Trump lost, he continues to spread the subversive lie with absolutely no evidence that there was election fraud. It appears that Johnson is trying to undermine the credibility of our elections, which is one of the first steps in destroying
the foundation of a democratic system. Another early step is to discredit the media with actions like calling it “the enemy of the people,” so when they present the facts, people won’t believe them. Another step is setting up competing media that tells a very different story, what Trump aid Kellyanne Conway called “alternative facts” to further create distrust. At the same time that they sow doubt about both facts and elections, so people aren’t sure what to believe, they also generate fear—whether fear of government or immigrants or minority groups based on racial, religious, sexual orientation or any other grouping. Then, only they can save you from their manufactured threat. If you want to see this currently happening elsewhere in the world, look at what is happening in Turkey, Brazil, Philippines, Russia or Hungary to name just a few “democratic countries” that are in various stages of becoming autocratic states. The current and real threat to our democracy is coming from the Trump supporters including the violent white supremacists and unfortunately from too many Republican politicians like our senator who is cheering on the Trump followers and adding to the misinformation. We just hope there are enough patriotic Republicans left to help steer their party back into being the conservative party in our two-party system. Louis Fortis Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Photo by Tyler Nelson
s we begin to see candidates line up to run for U.S. Senator, Wisconsin governor, attorney general and other lesser offices in the 2022 elections, unfortunately we continue to see the state’s Republicans trying to undo the 2020 presidential election, which Donald Trump lost decisively. Trump lost the national election by over 7 million votes and the electoral college by 74 electoral votes. Virtually all nonpartisan voting experts categorically state that the 2020 election was probably the most honest and well-run election in recent American history.
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Moving at the Speed of Innovation MILWAUKEE BUSINESS INCUBATOR GENER8TOR ADJUSTS TO WEATHER THE COVID-19 STORM BY MICHAEL MUCKIAN
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Shuttle smoke photo by Panacea_Doll/Getty Images. Rocket photo by brunohaver/Getty Images. Light bulb photo by artisteer/Getty Images. Metal cog photo by OwenJCSmith/Getty Images. Puzzle pieces photo by Galiana Shafran/Getty Images. Clouds photo by WangAnQi/Getty Images. Composition by Michael Burmesch.
oe Kirgues remembers March 10, 2020, as if it were yesterday, and that’s a yesterday the Milwaukee native does not want to relive.
“I was returning from a presentation in Beloit, and I opened up the news to see that the world had shut down,” says Kirgues, cofounder of Milwaukee business incubator and startup accelerator gener8tor. “I was overwhelmed. My first thoughts were about our future and the futures of the alumni companies we had helped start. How were we going to survive this?” Ironically, on that same day Fast Company magazine named gener8tor to its 2020 list of most innovative companies serving the music sector, helping musicians and groups navigate their industry, access resources, and create recognition among their various publics. Known as Backline, the 2018 Milwaukee program was created in partnership with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and eventually gave birth to Motown Accelerator, which operates similarly in Detroit. “Unfortunately, that was the world’s worst week to get press,” Kirgues says. His main concern then was how and in which direction to help his company and its alumni firms pivot to make the best of what for some he knew would become the worst possible situation. “In retrospect, it was a real culture builder because we banded together with our community,” he adds. “In some ways it feels like we are still navigating through the pandemic. I will tell you one thing, the game certainly goes faster than the rules.”
NAVIGATING THE DIGITAL WORLD Fortunately, gener8tor and its alumni were in relatively good position to operate in a world on lockdown. Founded in 2012 by Kirgues, Tom Eckhardt and Troy Vosseller, the company serves as a business startup and accelerator, matching entrepreneurs and investors in a dynamic environment designed to dramatically reduce the time from business inception to economic success. Patterned after similar firms in the Silicon Valley, Kirgues said the idea was relatively new to the Midwest. “We got together because we wanted to write a love letter to Milwaukee and enable community members to create start-up businesses,” said Kirgues, a lawyer by training and an entrepreneur by design. “Venture capital is one of the best levers to enable growth in a community, and our process is designed to cross race and gender lines to speed the influence.” In that area, gener8tor has had some notable success. In November 2020, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance announced that it would, in partnership with gener8tor, dedicate $20 million of its venture capital funding to Blackfounded businesses, which traditionally receive only 1 percent of available venture capital. The Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator began its first 12-week program earlier this year. OCTOBER 2021 | 9
Gener8tor’s accelerators—methodologies that allow entrepreneurs to experience business growth in five to 12 weeks that otherwise might have taken 10 to 12 months— operate outside a purely venture capital environment. The firm’s mentorship program curates applicants so they are able to compete among the top five companies in their business lines. Weekly meetings with and advice from experienced gener8tor staff help entrepreneurial newbies sidestep the chronic selfdoubt that can undermine new business owners and realize higher success levels. Photo courtesy of Xena Workwear.
Xena experienced a slight downturn at the start of the pandemic when it was forced to cancel its live try-on events and women in engineering wound up working from home, but that trend has reversed itself and sales once again have increased, Kraft notes. “We were happy about the fact that our team already worked remotely, and that our core focus was on the e-commerce side,” she adds. “Xena Workwear is doing great! We had an exceptionally strong summer, sold out of most of our inventory in July, which is a good problem to have, and this month will be launching a stylish lace-up safety boot with waterproof leather, ready to perform in any environment.” Other alumni companies have similar stories to share. Originally targeted at startups in Milwaukee and Madison, gener8tor now operates 50 programs within 28 cities nationwide and has started receiving queries from overseas as well. It’s alumni list has reached 160 companies in its accelerator programs and another 300 for its gBeta plan, a free seven-week accelerator for earlystage companies with local roots. Most of its alumni companies are North America-based, but this past March the firm launched a partnership with Luxembourg to strengthen trade lines between the State of Wisconsin and the European Union country.
KIRGUES: “WE GOT TOGETHER BECAUSE WE WANTED TO WRITE A LOVE LETTER TO MILWAUKEE AND ENABLE COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO CREATE START-UP BUSINESSES.”
WORKWEAR START-UP In May 2019, with gener8tor’s help entrepreneur Anastasia Kraft started Xena Workwear, which provides women working in STEM jobs and manual trades with stylish and comfortable safety shoes and work wear, something she found lacking during her career as a consultant for Caterpillar Inc., a major manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. “Many traditional safety footwear manufacturers applied the socalled ‘shrink it and pink it’ concept where they take men's boots, make them smaller and adjust the color,” says Kraft. “I believe that women deserve better products that are designed to fit our bodies.” 10 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
Earlier this year Fast Company named gener8tor a Best Workplace for Innovators. The fact that so much of its work is done online and through digital means from the start makes their training efforts and reach more effective and expansive. “We had a front-row seat in our shift to digital consumers, and some of our companies are seeing business growth through the roof,” Kirgues explains. “On the other hand, some of our founders are struggling with ways to staff their growth, while others are having some of the worst weeks out their lives. We’re helping them handle those challenges as well.”
WELCOME TO PANDEMIC 2.0 For gener8tor, the pandemic’s onset brought its own struggles. When the lockdown was first announced, the accelerator firm had to cancel five major stadium events as well as other live activities, which caused revenue percentage losses “in the high double digits,” Kirgues says. More and more of the firm’s work moved to digital platforms, which added efficiencies of time and cost, enabling the company and its alumni to better manage its resources.
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“Our job was to help small businesses understand what they could do in the face to the pandemic,” Kirgues continuess. “There were a lot of one-to-many communications going on and thousands of one-on-one phone calls. March 2020 was a very rewarding, but a very difficult month.”
“It was unusual running a company that was an emergency response effort,” Kigues says. “But we’ve changed and have learned to run our accelerators in both an in-person and virtual environments. I think we’re one of the larger workforce development efforts in the country based on sheer volume.”
To help companies cope with pandemic restrictions and loss of sales, gener8tor added a workforce development initiative to its service portfolio. Being a startup company is difficult enough, Kirgues says, but doing so during a global health crisis adds a crashing wave that even many seasoned entrepreneurs were unable to ride.
Business triage will continue to be part of economic development as the delta, lambda, mu and who know how many other COVID-19 strains continue to emerge. Gener8tor’s ability to operate virtually puts them in a unique position to serve a global community that increasingly exists online and whose participants operate remotely. Thanks to the pandemic, the economy and business worlds have changed and those who succeed will be the ones most able to change with it, Kirgues says.
“We had to create new ways to support businesses that did not qualify for bank loans or venture capital,” Kirgues explains. “We needed to reconsider how we deployed our efforts to enable virtual programming and invite those who don’t necessarily qualify for federal aid into the process.” As part of those efforts, gener8tor in October 2020 partnered with Microsoft to offer an “upskilling” program that enabled participants to increase their technical skills and employability during a period when many businesses simply stopped hiring. The program, focused on the 10 most in-demand jobs in America, was piloted in northeastern Wisconsin, then expanded to locations in Indiana, Virginia and Wyoming with an eye toward further growth.
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“I have been shocked and awoken to what else is in the system needs to be changed,” he adds. “That, in turn, has changed me as a person in ways I would never have guessed.”
Michael Muckian was the banking and finance writer for the Milwaukee Business Journal and is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Financing and Accounting and The One-Day MBA in Finance and Accounting.
OCTOBER 2021 | 13
NEWS TAKING LIBERTIES
Gableman’s Supreme Court Career Was as Sleazy and Unethical as His Fraudulent Election Investigation BY JOEL MCNALLY
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Photo by Simpson33/Getty Images.
very time state media refers to Michael Gableman as “a former Supreme Court justice” appointed by Republicans to investigate President Trump’s election defeat in Wisconsin, it seems to imply there could be legitimate legal questions about November’s election. Nothing could be further from the truth. Electing a judge doesn’t confer legal integrity on anyone and Gableman’s 2008 election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court conferred even less. Gableman’s vicious, racist campaign to defeat Justice Louis Butler, the only African American to serve on the high court, was based on a brazen lie. Gableman’s entire 10-year term on the court was one of the sleaziest and most unethical in state history. Because no one remembers political history beyond last week, we should describe the racist TV ad Gableman employed to defeat Butler, an outstanding justice with 11 years’ experience as a state public defender, 12 more as Milwaukee Circuit Judge and four on the Supreme Court completing an unexpired term.
SHOCK ADS It was a TV attack ad intentionally designed to shock. Gableman ran two photographs of African Americans side by side. One was Justice Butler smiling widely. The other was the mug shot of a convicted black rapist. A voice-over alluded to Butler’s work as a public defender: “Louis Butler worked to put criminals on the street. Like Reuben Mitchell, who raped an 11-year-old girl with learning disabilities. Butler found a loophole. Mitchell went on to molest another child.” The other important thing to know about that ad is it’s totally false. As a public defender, Butler did raise questions about the original trial that won an appeal for Mitchell. But that appeal never released Mitchell from prison. He served his entire sentence of 11 years. Years later after being released on parole, Mitchell committed another crime. Seven months after Gableman’s lies had done their dirty work with Gableman narrowly defeating Butler 51% to 49%, the Wisconsin Judicial Commission charged Gableman with violating judicial ethics for falsely suggesting Butler’s legal work had
freed a rapist to commit another crime. “By publishing the advertisement in willful violation of (the state’s judicial ethics code) Judge Gableman engaged in judicial misconduct,” the commission wrote.
TURNING POINT Gableman’s victory was an historic turning point for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. For 12 years until Gableman’s election, Wisconsin had a progressive Supreme Court under its nationally respected Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson who died last January. Abrahamson was on the short list for President Bill Clinton’s 1993 Supreme Court nomination that went to her friend Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Gableman radically changed the court’s ideology and legal ethics. For two years Gableman fought the charges against him with free legal services provided by Michael Best & Friedrich, one of the state’s most expensive Republican law firms. Gableman ultimately escaped punishment without ever being exonerated. The Supreme Court itself makes the final decision on disciplining members for judicial misconduct. Gabelman’s rightwing Republican colleagues had no intention of disciplining his misconduct giving them majority control of the court. The vote on disciplining Gableman deadlocked 3-3. By that time, the new rightwing majority was already operating under a brandnew code of ethics introduced by, brace yourself, Gableman. More accurately described as an ethics-free code of ethics, it declared justices didn’t have to recuse themselves from cases involving parties who had contributed millions of dollars to elect them to the court.
The rule came in handy again in 2015 when the court shut down a bipartisan criminal John Doe investigation by three district attorneys into suspected money laundering by Republican Gov. Scott Walker disguising the source of funds raised to fight the 2011 recall elections of Walker and nine Republican legislators. That case involved Walker raising anonymous “dark money” through the Koch-funded Wisconsin Club for Growth and again the WMC. Gableman wrote the decision declaring it wasn’t illegal in Wisconsin for candidates to solicit unlimited anonymous contributions through “independent” political organizations to hide the identity of donors and violate fundraising limits. Gableman’s court essentially legalized anonymously bribing public officials. Now Republicans are spending $720,000 of your tax dollars for a notoriously unethical former judge’s “investigation” to discredit President Biden’s election victory in Wisconsin. So far, Gableman has consulted loony MyPillow conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell and the Arizona Cyber Ninjas whose destructive “audit” compromised millions of dollars’ worth of state voting machines. What could possibly go wrong?
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.
LOBBYISTS WRITE THE RULES It gets worse. That rule was written for Gableman by lobbyists for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and the Wisconsin Realtors Association. Those groups had spent more than $10 million to elect all four members of the new rightwing majority including $2.3 million to elect Gableman, 63% of all his contributions. Gabelman used the rule to repay Michael Best & Friedrich many times over for all their free legal services by refusing to recuse himself from cases involving their high-paying clients.
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NEWS ISSUE OF THE MONTH
Photo courtesy of the Office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Photo by liveslow/Getty Images.
Milwaukee’s 2020 Census Story Is Not Over BY TOM BARRETT
ou may have heard the news that the U. S. Census Bureau released detailed data in August resulting from the 2020 Census count including population totals for Milwaukee. Census counts have occurred every 10 years since 1790 and the U. S. Constitution mandates that every person living within our country’s borders must be counted. That means the tally must include every adult, child and infant and both citizens and non-citizens alike. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau’s numbers say Milwaukee’s population decreased from 594,833 in 2010 to 577,222 in 2020 which is about 3%. Despite this news, Milwaukee’s 2020 census story is not over. In fact, I have tasked the City of Milwaukee Department of Administration with disputing these numbers once the Census Bureau begins accepting challenges early next year. Many factors have led me to make this decision. Simply put, the Census Bureau’s numbers are not adding up. Here are the facts.
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"THE U. S. SUPREME COURT DECISION LAST OCTOBER TO ALLOW THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO END THE CENSUS COUNT TWO WEEKS EARLY DISENFRANCHISED HISTORICALLY MARGINALIZED POPULATIONS INCLUDING BLACKS AND OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS, THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED."
FACT: The Census Bureau’s data does not even closely correlate with its own population estimates for Milwaukee in July of 2019. To conclude that our population was 590,157 in 2019 and then say it dropped to 577,222 just one year later does not make sense.
FACT: The Census Bureau’s numbers are especially questionable because the city has experienced a large increase in new housing units over the past decade. The City added thousands of new addresses in preparation of the 2020 census through the Census Bureau Local Update of Addresses Program (LUCA). Our city data shows that Milwaukee actually gained 6,242 housing units total from 2010 to 2019 plus 1,145 more in 2020 after the LUCA deadline ended. Our sizeable boost in housing units since the last census took place does not logically correspond with a significant population decline.
FACT: The City has every reason to believe the recorded drop in Milwaukee’s group quarters population from 18,400 in 2010 to 15,680 in 2020 is artificially low due to Census Bureau operational delays attributable to COVID-19. According to various media reports, when the census count ended, the Census Bureau had “no data for almost a fifth” of the nation’s group quarters and made last minute calls to these places to try to fill the gaps. Group quarters include college dormitories, group homes and skilled-nursing facilities.
FACT: Former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies and attempts to impose a census citizenship question undoubtedly affected noncitizen participation. Even the Census Bureau describes this population as “hard to count” because they “lack trust in government and the way their data will be used.” The U. S. Supreme Court decision last October to allow the Trump Administration to end the census count two weeks early disenfranchised other historically marginalized populations including Blacks and other people of color, low-income individuals, the elderly and disabled, and LGBTQ+ residents.
Photo by hapabapa/Getty Images.
Clearly, the City of Milwaukee takes its census numbers seriously. There are two major reasons why. First, census data is used to determine the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds to cities, counties and states annually – funding for schools, hospitals, housing, job training and other vital programs. According to a study conducted by the George Washington Institute of Public Policy called “Counting for Dollars 2020,” Wisconsin receives $12.6 billion annually based on census data. For each resident that goes uncounted, our community will lose $1,584 in funding every year over the next 10 years. Second, census data is also used to decide the districts of the state legislature and number of seats Wisconsin gets in Congress, and therefore, affects our voice in government. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Milwaukee was undercounted by the Census Bureau. This pattern dates back to the late 1990s and 2000s. For instance, the 2000 census showed that Milwaukee’s population was 5% higher than the Census Bureau’s 1999 estimate of 572,000. The final count came in at 597,102. The City also successfully challenged the Census Bureau’s July 2007 population estimates and our numbers were subsequently adjusted upward by 29,424 people from 573,358 to 602,782. To sum it up, a fair census is a civil rights issue, and we can’t afford to get our census numbers wrong. As Mayor of Milwaukee, I will take every possible step to ensure an accurate and complete 2020 census count.
Tom Barrett served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 through 2003 and was elected Mayor of Milwaukee in 2004. OCTOBER 2021 | 17
NEWS HERO OF THE MONTH
Xavier Smart is Indigenizing Healing BY ERIN BLOODGOOD
Photo by Erin Bloodgood. Illustration by cienpies/Getty Images.
recent graduate from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Xavier Smart is a young counselor and community healer at the Healing Intergenerational Roots (HIR) Wellness Institute, a nonprofit that offers free mental health services to Indigenous groups and communities of color. He describes himself as Afro-Caribbean with roots in the Bahamas and Florida. During his time in school learning psychology, he felt something was off about the lessons he was learning. “Through my undergrad experience, I realized there was a lot of information out there, but a lot of it, I felt, didn’t apply to myself and my community,” says Smart. Most of what he learned was about how to heal the individual without involving the community they are a part of. “Our communities of color, we are very community based. We’re very for the people, together.”
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Smart knew that if he was receiving this type of individualized treatment, he wouldn’t respond well to it. His lived experiences as a Black Caribbean man were rooted in community and shared spaces. To heal without that, seemed impossible. While working on his graduate degree, he found HIR Wellness Institute and participated in their internship program. He discovered their new model for healing intergenerational trauma—a model called Community Activated Medicine (CAM) developed by its founder Lea Denny. This uses the idea the that communities of color are often in shared communal spaces, so they should have the opportunity to heal in those spaces as well. When Smart began working in this environment, it resonated with him, and he knew he found a place to stay.
CIRCLE OF CARE At the wellness institute, they have also created what they call a Circle of Care, in which a person receiving care, or “a relative” as they are referred to, has the option of working with multiple caregivers trained in different disciplines. In most spaces, people seeking care are forced to choose one type of care because of limitations by insurance, whether that be an occupational therapist, counselor, or trauma specialist. But at HIR Wellness Institute, services are free and insurance companies don’t dictate the care people receive. Xavier Smart is one piece of that puzzle. He specializes in one-on-one counseling and community healing, going to community spaces to educate groups on mental health and teach stress reduction strategies. But many “relatives” need more help than that. After meeting with one healer, the staff may offer the services of an occupational therapist or an advocate trained in sexual assault.
“The Circle of Care indigenizes the way we provide healing in a way that brings us back to who we are as people. We are a community,” says Smart. Our Western medicine has siloed caregivers, but in Native American culture for example, there are multiple healers available in a tribe to offer different expertise and perspectives. The wellness institute brings that tradition back and offers a communal space for healing. In next month’s hero article, we will work our way around HIR Wellness Institute’s Circle of Care by listening to the perspective of Val Lopez, a Mexican American occupational therapist who helps people realize the outside factors that impact their mental health.
Learn more about HIR Wellness Institute at www.hirwellness.org. Erin Bloodgood is a Milwaukee photographer and storyteller. See more of her work on her website at www.bloodgoodfoto.com.
OCTOBER 2021 | 19
NEWS OFF THE CUFF
SHARP Literacy Serves Students in Urban Schools PRESIDENT & CEO LYNDA KOHLER ON THE VALUE OF INTERACTIVE EDUCATION BY TOM JENZ
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Photo by Tom Jenz. Illustration by dfli/Getty Images.
n the middle of an urban food desert, on 64th and Silver Spring, SHARP Literacy has collaborated with community partners to restore and modernize a once-idle greenhouse at Silver Spring Neighborhood Center and Browning Elementary School. The greenhouse has been transformed into an interactive, sciencefocused learning curriculum for students from K-3 to 5th grade. Lynda Kohler is President & CEO of SHARP Literacy. She also serves on VISIT Milwaukee’s board and UW-La Crosse Alumni board. In the past, she has served on the boards of Make-AWish, MACC Fund and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. She has an infectious personality—energetic, enthusiastic and infused with a love for teaching children.
You’ve had a long successful career, and now you are head of a thriving educational nonprofit organization. Tell me about your path to success. I grew up in Kenosha. My dad was a letter carrier. He believed in the work ethic, never complain, do your job regardless of setbacks. I learned from him at an early age. I graduated from Kenosha Bradford High School. I was an athlete, and I went to UW-LaCrosse and ran track for all four years. I majored in recreation therapy, and that took me to my first job as an intern at Kimberly Clark where I helped the staff stay fit at the employee health center. This was at the start of the corporate fitness trend.
How did you end up in Milwaukee? I graduated in 1983, and I moved to Milwaukee as a customer service representative at Midwest Express Airlines. Eventually, I became the Passenger Service Manager and oversaw all the customer service reps. I later lived in Boston and Kansas City in management positions. Then, I ended up back in Milwaukee as the executive overseeing all of the sales: corporate, charter, conventions, and other customer groups.
You had a successful corporate career for 25 years with the same company, but then you shifted into the nonprofit arena. How did that happen? I’d sat on a number of nonprofit boards like Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. After Midwest was bought out in 2008, I was hired as President of the Ronald McDonald House and worked there for four and a half years. We served the parents of the children cared for at Children’s Hospital. But I wanted to work directly with children, and in 2012 I was recruited to be President of SHARP Literacy after the founder, Marlene Doerr Kreilkamp, retired. I fell in love with Sharp’s mission.
What exactly is the mission of SHARP Literacy? Basically, it’s hands-on learning through participation. SHARP partners with educators to foster a love of learning. We advance children’s futures through innovative STEAM-based experiences
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NEWS OFF THE CUFF
“SHARP PARTNERS WITH EDUCATORS TO FOSTER A LOVE OF LEARNING. WE ADVANCE CHILDREN’S FUTURES THROUGH INNOVATIVE STEAM-BASED EXPERIENCES AND PROGRAMS.”
and programs. We are a year-round, in-school program, though we also have our summer and after-school programs. We deliver our curriculum to K3 through 5 students in public, charter and choice elementary schools. There is no charge for our programs. Our corporate and private donors understand this and the impact we make on these children.
How does the curriculum work and how does it differ from traditional methods? We have part-time educators that go into the schools and support teachers with our educational programs. We develop all of our curricula in-house and create and produce our own We Love to Learn books. For example, our second-grade curriculum is all about weather, water and the environment. That book focuses on the salmon life cycle and teaches students about the weather and water cycles. During the school year, for all our programs, we have four to 18 classroom workshops. We also include educational tours, and those have a big impact on learning. For instance, our second graders will spend interactive time at Discovery World with its educators. These tours take place on Mondays when Discovery World is closed. In that way, the students feel special and aren’t distracted. It’s the experiential learning component of SHARP’s program.
The way I understand it, your curriculum is not only learning about the environment but also art related. We incorporate the concept of STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and math. We put an emphasis on the A, on art. Everything we do has an art component. We’ve found that children connect to art, to the visual process in learning. We like to be creatively hands-on, sparking their curiosity. In other words, we make learning fun. SHARP also has a comprehensive Summer Learning Program. This summer, we’ve had over 800 students at 26 different sites, almost every community learning center in the city and also nine Milwaukee Public Schools summer learning programs. 22 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
Right now, we are sitting in a public school, Browning Elementary, but you also work with all different kinds of schools. That’s right. We’re in MPS, charter and choice schools, as well as Waukesha County schools. Eighty-one percent of our students are of color, half African American, half Latinx—and most come from economically disadvantaged homes. We have a very strong presence in both South and North side elementary schools. Our educational programs are provided free of charge. Internally, they cost approximately $163 per student which includes books, workshops, staff time and educational tours. In 2021/2022, we’ll serve close to 9,000 students in our school year, After-School and Summer Learning programs.
One of your most successful programs takes place here at Browning Elementary and the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center. You call it the Urban Greenhouse Revitalization Project. We’ve partnered with the MPS Browning Elementary School for about seven years. There was an old vacant greenhouse connected to this building. In 2014, we published an urban agriculture book, There Grows the Neighborhood: Agriculture in the City, for our third graders. I thought that providing our students the opportunity to grow plants in the greenhouse would be a great hands-on learning experience. We restored and revitalized the greenhouse, and now use it year-round.
How did the greenhouse renovation come about? We collaborated with numerous community partners to bring this project to life. Johnson Controls, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, MPS, PortFish, Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and Teens Grow Greens all played a role. We partnered with MSOE and their honor students on the development of a solar dehydrator, the largest in Wisconsin. We added greenhouse aquaponics and hydroponics systems, installed a video monitoring system, LED grow lights, a composting station, and three raised garden beds where students grow and harvest food.
Photo by Tom Jenz. Illustration by dfli/Getty Images.
With an aquaponics system combining fish and plants, the students to learn about the life cycle components. The fish waste provides the nutrients for the plants to grow, and then the kids tend to the plants and later harvest them. Over the winter months, we have starter plants for the students to learn about the growing process. During SHARP’s Summer Learning Program, they transplant these seedlings into three garden beds outside the greenhouse. It’s really hands-on for the students—they do the digging, pull the weeds, water the plants, and tend to them. They can actually grow 25 pounds of produce in about a month’s time—fruits and vegetables like strawberries, lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, collard greens and beets. We want the kids to take pride in growing things, a sense of ownership.
In other words, you’re giving grade school students the chance to not only grow their own vegetables but harvest, produce and eat them. That’s true. Through SHARP’s curriculum, students learn about life cycles of plants, nutrition, and urban gardening in a food desert—from planting to harvesting. It’s quite wonderful. For some students, this is the first time they’ve picked a tomato or pulled a carrot out of the ground. Most of these students live in urban environments and have never worked in a garden. We also teach the kids about eating healthy and show them that vegetables can taste good.
For instance, we’ve baked zucchini bread and muffins, and even prepared homemade salsa. Students are encouraged to take vegetables and herbs home to their families. We even send home recipes. Extra produce from the garden is also donated the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center Food Pantry serving the local community. SHARP’s Greenhouse program teaches students that in urban gardens, they can plant, grow and harvest their own nutritional food.
Maybe you could summarize the Urban Greenhouse Revitalization Center program in a few sentences. The revitalization program gives these elementary school kids experiences and opportunities to learn about urban agriculture in a unique and hands-on way. What we teach students in the greenhouse environment, they can’t learn by simply reading a book.
Your students come from urban and disadvantaged backgrounds. They live in food deserts, mostly concrete and blacktop. You are educating them to learn about the basic cycle of life in the overall environment. Our students are basically learning about good, nutritional foods, and hopefully that knowledge will make them healthier as they grow up.
Tom Jenz is a Milwaukee writer and photographer. For his column, Central City Stories, visit shepherdexpress.com.
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FOOD & DRINK
stein & dine returns to th state fair november 6 BY CATHERINE JOZWIK
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Photos taken by Shepherd Express staff.
ocal craft beer fans have something to celebrate this autumn. After a year of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shepherd Express Eighth Annual Stein & Dine will take place 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 6 at the Wisconsin State Fair Products Pavilion, 640 S. 84th St. in West Allis. A showcase of Wisconsin and Midwest-based breweries, wineries and distilleries, along with a handful of food vendors, the event featured more than 60 vendors in 2019. This year’s Stein & Dine includes live music by Midwest Americana band Burgundy Ties from 1 to 6 p.m. and indoor and outdoor lounges. Guests can try their hands at football bowling, or “fowling,” a game presented by Wauwatosa football bowling bar First and Bowl. General admission tickets are $45. VIP tickets, which include a special tasting hour with exclusive beers and food items from 1 to 2 p.m., are $75. General admission to the event begins at 2 p.m. All attendees receive a complimentary Stein & Dine sampling glass. Shepherd Express publisher Louis Fortis said the publication decided to host events such as Stein &
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FOOD & DRINK
Dine at a time when “alternative newspapers were under fire. If you wanted to survive as a media company, you had to get alternative revenue sources,” he said. The newspaper launched the homage to local beer culture “to basically capitalize on the strengths we had, [such as] our connections with all of the area breweries.” The first Stein & Dine was held on April 27, 2013, in the 85,000-square foot State Fair Expo Center. The event typically draws about 2,600 attendees annually.
LOTS OF BEER Current Stein & Dine beer, wine and spirit vendors include repeat vendors and newcomers, among them fantasy-themed St. Francis brewpub Faklandia Brewing, City Lights Brewing, Drink Wisconsinbly, East Troy Brewing, Press Hard Cider, Domaines Vinsmoselle Wine, Third Space Brewing, Milwaukee Girls Pint Out, Great Northern Distilling and Sahale Ale Works. Besides sampling diverse craft beers, Stein & Dine visitors can snack on sausages from Usinger’s and Vollwerth Sausage Company or try goodies from Carrie’s Crispies and Nothing Bundt Cakes. The event also features a number of additional vendors and nonprofit organization booths, among them Happy Endings No Kill Cat Shelter, Too Much Metal, Ella’s Public House, Fred Astaire Dance Studios and more.
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The annual event is a big hit with visitors and vendors. “We love going to Stein & Dine,” said Maggie Skinner, leader of the Milwaukee chapter of Girls Pint Out. “In the past, we’ve sold T-shirts and poured our collaboration brew.” Skinner noted that the organization was founded a decade ago to create “a safe space for any female-presenting and nonbinary people who love beer.” In 2015, she started the local chapter of Girls Pint Out. “I loved working with the local breweries and sales reps. I quit my desk job and joined the beer industry,” she recalled. According to Fortis, Stein & Dine helps vendors increase their customer base by promoting their products to a niche audience. “It gives them an audience they may never have been able to encounter in their everyday activities,” he added. “The people coming here like beer—they really enjoy the event. If you’re a beer aficionado, this is heaven.” Fortis added that he will “continue to grow and improve the event” with the help of feedback from patrons.
Catherine Jozwik is a lifelong Milwaukee resident and a freelance writer for a number of local and state publications, including the Shepherd Express, Mke Lifestyle Magazine and Point and Plover Magazine. Photos taken by Shepherd Express staff.
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FOOD & DRINK FLASH IN THE PAN
Pasta alla Norma BY ARI LEVAUX
Photo by Edgie/Getty Images.
here’s nothing normal about alla Norma, a Sicilian way of serving pasta smothered in an eggplant and tomato sauce. If you enjoy eggplant Parmesan, Ratatouille, Iman Bayildi or any number of eggplant and tomato dishes, you probably understand that eggplant and tomato are a special combination. They are close relatives, taxonomically, sharing not only the same family but the same genus, which means they are as close to being the same species as you can get without being able to make babies. The family resemblance between eggplant and tomatoes is not obvious. Tomatoes are red, sharp and juicy, while eggplant is meaty, blue in hue and spongy dry inside. The plants that produce them may not be
able to interbreed, but the fruits enjoy the mix and mingle that happens in the pan. Pasta alla Norma is named after an opera by the Sicilian composer Vincenzo Bellini, and christened by the poet Nino Martoglio, also of Sicily, who tried a bite of this dish and declared it to be the “Norma” of pasta, thereby declaring both Sicilian products to be all-time greats in a single triumphant sentence. Martoglio died 101 years ago, but the tradition of the pasta dish he named lives on. Chef Philip Guardione of the acclaimed Piccola Cucina in Red Lodge Montana, fondly recalls his grandmother’s version of the dish, and the entire day leading up to it. “Pasta alla Norma was our family’s binding agent on Sundays. I have many
related childhood memories, like when my grandma was in the kitchen and the smell of her tomato sauce and eggplants would welcome you the minute you opened the front door,” he told me. Today at Piccola Cucina, Guardione serves the alla Norma sauce with a house made maccheroni pasta that’s long and folded with a hand hewn look. He was generous enough to share it as brilliant a representation of the glory of tomatoes and eggplants as you’ll find. Up there in the same rarefied air as the eggplant Parmesan sub from Armando’s pizza that composed most of my calories growing up, but on homemade noodles instead of Italian roll. It didn’t hurt that the soprano Bellini chose was named Guiditta Pasta.
Photo courtesy of Piccola Cucina.
PASTA ALLA NORMA (ALLA CHEF PHILIP GUARDIONE) I’ve lightly edited Chef Guardione’s recipe for clarity. Below it, I’ve added some notes of my own on pasta in general, and how to follow this recipe.
INGREDIENTS: • 500 g (1 lb) of cherry or grape tomatoes • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for the sauté • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped • 350 g (12 oz) pasta • Salt for the water, and for seasoning • ½ liter (2 cups) of extra virgin olive oil for frying • 500 g (1 lb) eggplants • 10 leaves of fresh basil • 200 g (7 oz) ricotta salata cheese, grated
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STEPS: Rinse and dry the tomatoes and cut them into pieces. In a large saucepan, pour two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sauté the garlic. Cook for two-tothree minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir, and cover with a lid. Cook over low heat until the tomatoes are soft and have released their juices — about 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a vegetable mill or blender and puree. Pour the tomato sauce back into the saucepan, salt and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until it has thickened. Rinse and dry the eggplants, then chop them in ½-inch cubes. Toss the cubes in ½ teaspoon of salt. Heat the extra virgin olive oil at about 340F — medium/high-ish, if you’re guessing — fry the eggplant pieces until golden brown, about five minutes. Drain the eggplant. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente. Add the eggplant to the sauce. Simmer for five minutes. Add the pasta and basil leaves to the sauce. Stir well. Plate the pasta and garnish with plenty of ricotta salata cheese.
ARI’S NOTES: The pasta: If not homemade, it should be 100% semolina. Furthermore, the package should specify that the pasta within had been dried in cold air. I like pieces with nooks and crannies to hold the eggplant chunks. Immediately after cooking the pasta, toss it in olive oil and freshly pressed or minced garlic (not from a jar). Add these dressed noodles to the sauce. (I do this step to every pasta dish I make.) When deep-frying the eggplant like this, I was surprised at how little oil it absorbed—less than half a cup! I added a cup of the pasta water to the sauce to dilute it to the point that my blender had enough to work with. I then cooked off the excess water.
Ari LeVaux has written about food for The Atlantic Online, Outside Online and Alternet.
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FOOD & DRINK BEVERAGES
Change Your Life with a Glass of Sherry BY GAETANO MARANGELLI
very day offers you chances to change your life with new ways to experience the world, to expand your consciousness, to alter your perceptions.
Just about all the wine made in the world comes from a single species of grapes called Vitis vinifera. We identify the grapes of the species as the best grapes for wine. Vitis vinifera offers us more than 10,000 varieties of grapes, giving us more than 10,000 ways to drink quality wine. And yet, most of the wine we drink consists of just a few Vitis vinifera grape varieties. For reds, it’s merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and zinfandel. For whites, it’s moscato, chardonnay, riesling, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc. Every day, we reduce our chances to drink quality wine from upwards of 10,000 grape varieties all the way down to nine. The grape variety called palomino made in the style called sherry offers you a chance to experience wine differently, to expand your wine palate, and to alter your ideas about wine. A glass of sherry asks you to savor its style, which may be light and dry, as well as rich and round. A glass of sherry asks you to sip it in three-ounce servings and with any kind of food. A glass of sherry may even ask you to change your life.
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Photo by igorr1/Getty Images.
AN ABRIDGED GUIDE TO SHERRY The name Sherry is Anglicized from the name of a city in the province of Cádiz in the region of Andalusia in the south of Spain. The principal grape variety of Jerez is palomino, which thrives on the region’s chalky, limestoney albariza soils. Jerez ferments and ages its wine in warehouses called bodegas. If a barrel of fermented palomino juice is light and delicate, bodegas classify the wine for the biologically aged style called Fino. If the barrel of wine is rich and heavy, bodegas classify it for the oxidatively-aged style called Oloroso.
FINO AND MANZANILLA: BIOLOGICALLY AGED SHERRY After bodegas designate a wine for the Fino style, they lightly fortify it with grape spirits to an alcohol strength of about 15%, which is ideal for the growth of a yeast called flor. Flor caps Finos in their barrels, which prevents air from oxidizing the wine. Bodegas blend new Finos with Finos of older vintages. The practice of blending fractions of Sherry from various vintages— a system the Spanish call solera—creates a reliability of quality and style. Bodegas age Finos in soleras for three to five years, then bottle the wine.
An Amontillado is dry and rich, with nutty aromas and flavors imparted to the wine from its oxidative aging. Serve the wine slightly cool, with appetizers, light entrées or ripe cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano. Palo Cortado is a rare style of sherry which begins its life as a Fino, but which—spontaneously and not by the design of its bodega—fails to sustain its flor. Because of its exposure to oxygen, the wine ages as if it were an Oloroso. The aromas and flavors of Palo Cortado are akin to those of Amontillado, but its palate has the full body of an Oloroso. It’s best to drink Palo Cortado slightly cool, with spicy curry or high percentage cacao chocolate.
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.
The qualities of a Fino’s flor dictate the wine’s character. Because the seaside town of Sanlucar de Barrameda has a cooler climate than Jerez de la Frontera, the flor of its soleras are active every month of the year. The way Sanlucar flor behaves yields its Finos a more delicate texture and saltier tang than the Finos of Jerez. It also designates Fino from Sanlucar with the distinctive name of Manzanilla. Finos and Manzanillas are light, dry, yeasty and nutty. They’re ideal as apéritifs. It’s best to drink them cool, not cold, and with tapas, olives, almonds or young mild cheeses.
OLOROSO: OXIDATIVELY-AGED SHERRY After bodegas designate a barrel of fermented palomino juice for the Oloroso style, they fortify the wine with grape spirits to an alcohol strength of 18%, which prevents the growth of flor. Bodegas blend and age Olorosos in soleras for a minimum of two years. Because bodegas oxidize an Oloroso from the beginning of its life, the wine has a russet color, a full body and robust aromas and flavors. Serve Olorosos slightly cool, with entrées or mature rich cheeses.
AMONTILLADO AND PALO CORTADO: BIOLOGICALLYAND OXIDATIVELY-AGED SHERRY An Amontillado is a sherry which begins its life as a Fino or Manzanilla, but which bodegas age in its barrel until its flor dies away. As soon as the flor breaks apart and sinks to the bottom of the barrel, the wine begins oxidizing, which begins its life as an Amontillado. Bodegas then blend and age the Amontillado in a solera for a minimum of three years.
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SPECIAL HOME & GARDEN
Real Esłałe Boom BY MARK HAGEN
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Photo by James Meyer Photography/Getty Images.
Photo by benkrut/Getty Images.
ou don’t have to be a real-estate guru to know that Milwaukee is in the midst of a seller’s market like we haven’t seen in decades. High demand, low supply, affordable mortgage rates and work-from-home opportunities combined to create an incredible housing market. What does this surge mean for Milwaukee, and how long will it last? I reached out to Peter Promersberger of The Promersberger Group, Keller Williams for his thoughts. A local real estate agent for 18 years, Promersberger explains that the housing market is bursting across the country and Milwaukee is no exception. “The market in this city is just as strong as others in the country,” he says. “Interest rates remain low, and there are many more buyers than previous years, making our market as competitive as that of neighboring cities.”
THE MILWAUKEE MARKET According to the Redfin group, the average home sale in Milwaukee is $181,000; an increase of 7.3% from 2020. Recent trends in the Milwaukee housing market indicate that homes are selling 3% to 9% over the asking price and are usually on the market anywhere between 31 and 43 days. What are buyers looking for? Reports indicate that a quarter of recently sold Milwaukee properties contained a home office, finished basement and/or large master bedroom. Buyers also found high value in homes that included a washer and dryer, fenced-in yard and/or deck. “It’s important to note that there has been a shift in the market lately,” Promersberger adds. “Some properties are still selling fast after having multiple offers. Depending on the area and the condition of the home, however, some are beginning to sit on the market a bit longer. “In spring, for example, offers were being accepted with the agreement of no home inspection and no appraisal contingencies. Buyers regularly offered to pay the seller’s moving costs,” says Promersberger. “While this is still happening, these situations are beginning to diminish in Milwaukee.” OCTOBER 2021 | 33
SPECIAL HOME & GARDEN
Photo by pacodog/Getty Images.
WHAT’S WITH ALL THE CONDOS? Longtime residents have not only noticed an increase in condominiums across the city, but they’re also wondering who is moving into these hot spots? The answer might be found with Milwaukee’s millennial population. Wanting to take advantage of walkable neighborhoods, public transit and a variety of entertainment opportunities, young buyers often find what they’re looking for in downtown complexes. “The local market is strong with condos,” says Promersberger. “Young buyers are attracted to condos because they want to live in an exciting atmosphere. Many aren’t interested in yardwork, and they like the idea of exploring their neighborhood on foot. “The same can be said of empty nesters,” he adds. “They’re big on downtown condos because they want to walk to restaurants and other venues. They’re no longer interested in maintaining a house and yard. They want a simpler life and downtown condos offer that.”
Some experts believe the current housing market will shift in 2022 or early 2023. “I personally believe the market will flatten in 2022,” says Promersberger. “No matter what happens, however, the Milwaukee housing market will continue to be a success. This market has always been and will continue to be exciting and growing, which is just one of the reasons Milwaukee is such a great city to invest in and such a great place to live.”
Photo by benkrut/Getty Images.
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Photo by Tyler Nelson.
THE SECRET TO GETTING THE HOUSE YOU WANT
Found the house of your dreams? You’ll have to act fast during this competitive market. Real estate agent Peter Promersberger says that working with the listing agent is key to helping your offer get noticed. “It’s important to maintain good communication with the listing agent,” says Promersberger. “As soon as you want to make an offer, have your agent contact the listing agent. Find out what the sellers are looking for in an offer and work with your agent to submit a fully executed offer. Be sure your agent clearly communicates what the terms are. By working closely with the listing agent, you’ll be better suited to craft an offer that’s sure to get the seller’s attention.” Whether you’re looking to sell or buy a home, contact Peter Promersberger of The Promersberger Group, Keller Williams. Call 262-844-0237 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Hagen is an award-winning gardener whose work has appeared in Fresh Home, Birds & Blooms and Your Family magazines.
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SPECIAL HOME & GARDEN
Photo by PaulMaguire/Getty Images.
Winterizing Made Easy SET YOURSELF UP FOR SPRINGTIME SUCCESS BY PROTECTING YOUR GARDEN, LAWN AND HOUSE FROM WISCONSIN’S BIG CHILL. BY MARK HAGEN
or some, winterizing is a melancholy chore signaling summer’s end; for others it’s a bittersweet respite from watering and weeding. Regardless of how you feel about packing it in for winter, the following tips might make winterizing your garden, lawn and house a bit easier.
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Photo by PaulMaguire/Getty Images.
WINTERIZE YOUR GARDEN Remove annuals. Pull the annual plants and flowers from your garden now and you’ll have a clean slate from which to get creative come spring. Some like to keep leaves in the garden for organic mulch, others like to clear them away to save time in the spring. If you go the mulch route, consider raking the leaves, running them through the lawn mower and then mulching with the broken bits. Compost the soil. Composting isn’t just for summer. Before Jack Frost arrives, layer a few inches of compost onto your garden’s surface and then work it into the soil. Compost helps the soil retain moisture and stimulates the sort of bacteria your garden will crave come summer. Plant and divide. Get all those bulbs in the ground during autumn for lovely spring surprises. If dividing perennials is on your to-do list, now’s your last chance to get the job done. Layer on the mulch. A couple inches of mulch will protect perennial plant roots from snow and frigid temperatures. Keep the mulch in place until spring’s final frost. Photo by Robin Gentry/Getty Images.
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SPECIAL HOME & GARDEN
WINTERIZE YOUR LAWN Rake and mow. It’s important to rake and mow during autumn. Removing leaves allows sunlight and water to nourish the lawn and mowing the grass until it stops growing will keep your lawn at its healthiest. Aerate the soil. Aeration pulls plugs of soil from the ground to help nutrients reach grassroots during the cold winter months. This fall, consider renting an aerator or hiring a lawncare group to aerate for a great lawn come summer. Fertilize. It’s important to fertilize the lawn after aerating so the fertilizer hits the grassroots. Whether you aerate or not, fall is a key season to fertilize because the season’s cool dew helps the soil absorb the fertilizer. Similarly, this is also a good time to reseed your lawn’s bald spots. Photo by Zbynek Pospisil/Getty Images.
Photo by ziggy1/Getty Images.
WINTERIZE YOUR HOUSE Clean it up. Autumn is the time clean rain gutters and remove debris from downspouts. You might also want to power wash driveways and sidewalks. This is a smart time to call a chimneycleaning company as well. Wash the windows. Give windows a final scrub before the temperature makes it too difficult to do so. Swap out screens for storm windows and install storm doors. Inspect your roof. Check the rooftop for missing, curled or broken shingles. Watch for damaged flashing before snow covers the roof. Shut down water features. Turn off and insulate water spigots. Disconnect and store garden hoses. Drain fountains and other water features. Pack up the planters. Compost plants from planters and containers (don’t forget the hanging baskets). Remove half the soil from containers to prevent damage from frozen moisture. Store planters and containers for next year. Photo by C5Media/Getty Images.
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WINTERIZE YOUR TREES & SHRUBS Trees. Autumn is a good time to remove dead branches from trees. Now is also the time to wrap younger trees or thin-barked trees with paper tree wrap. (Start at the bottom and wrap up to the first branch.) Remove the paper in spring to encourage new growth. If you planted a tree this summer, you might want to add a few inches of mulch to protect the root ball. Continue watering trees until the first frost. Shrubs. It’s important to know when to cut back or prune shrubs and woody plants. If you prune lilac and forsythia in fall, for instance, you’ll likely have few blooms in spring. Shrubs that bloom in summer, however, do best with a cutting back in fall. (Think hydrangea, butterfly bush and lavender.) Once pruned, use burlap, foam domes or other coverings to protect delicate plants such as roses.
Mark Hagen is an award-winning gardener whose work has appeared in Fresh Home, Birds & Blooms and Your Family magazines. Photo by BrianAJackson/Getty Images.
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SPECIAL PERSONAL FINANCE
The Key to Financial Success?
Planning Not to Fail BY MICHAEL MUCKIAN
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Illustration by PavelVinnik/Getty Images.
If you don’ł know where you are going, You'll end up someplace else. – Yogi Berra
ook around. You’ve settled down, possibly you’re married, and probably you’ve found yourself a job that both suits who you are and supplies the income you need to live the life you think you want. You’re all set, right? Wrong. You’ve only just begun, and today’s reality likely won’t be applicable tomorrow, much less years down the road. We know the only constant is change, and if you don’t plan for the future, you could wind up considerably less successful than you’d like, the “someplace else” of which Yogi Berra speaks.
Here are some critical financial areas to consider as you plan not to fail.
COLLEGE IS AN EXPENSIVE REALITY There are job situations in which an advanced degree is unimportant, but that’s not true for many of us. Personal income increases based on your previous experience, but also—in many lines of work—with each educational ladder rung you’ve climbed. When your kids are ready for college, that advantage might be even more critical. There are scholarships, sure, but probably not for most of us. OCTOBER 2021 | 41
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No matter where you are in the family lifecycle, start devoting at least part of your overall savings and investment efforts to your kid’s college costs. In 2020, The College Board estimated that the price of higher education will increase at a rate of 5 to 8 percent per year, meaning that after housing, a college education will become most people’s largest investment. According to U.S. News & World Report, the average college tuition for the 2019-2020 school year ran from $11,260 for state schools to $41,426 for private institutions. Add housing and living expenses and you will significantly increase the amount. There’s a wide array of savings and investment options to choose from, but look for tax-friendly savings plans, like the state-sponsored 529 plans. These plans allow you to deduct contributions from your state income tax, and when it’s time to withdraw the money, the funds won’t be taxed. pay for a year’s worth of living expenses? Given that half of Americans admit they lack good savings practices and a quarter have saved nothing at all, the answer is probably no. Other advisors take a definitive monetary approach based on age. By age 30, they say, you should have the equivalent of one year’s annual salary in savings. By 40, the amount should be three time your salary, by 50 six times your salary, by 60, eight times your salary, and by 67 the amount should be 10 or even 12 times your salary. Now look at your bank account and do the math. You’re not quite there yet, or maybe not even close, right?
Wisconsin’s 529 plan is called Edvest, but you don’t have to be a state resident if you like, say, Minnesota’s plan better. But check out your options at www.edvest.com first before making any decisions.
At the end of the day most of us need help. Multiple investment tools, including IRAs, 401ks and other accounts are designed to help your savings grow, but it helps to have a financial professional managing your investments. They know at what age you can take higher investment risk in hopes of gaining greater rewards, and when those risks should be minimized and liquidity of funds maximized. There are many excellent money managers, but choose one that is a fiduciary, which means that your welfare comes first. Yes, it seems like that should always be the case—it’s your money—but often it isn’t.
RETIRE IN STYLE, OR NOT AT ALL
THE HIGH COST OF LIVING … AND DYING
After questioning the meaning of life, the most pressing concern for many is “How much do I need to retire?” In both cases, it seems, there are no easy answers. Most people assume that increasing professional success automatically includes a growth in savings. If your employer has a good retirement plan that strategy, coupled with Social Security benefits, might be enough. But life’s volatility moves us in many directions, meaning we need other concerted savings efforts, too, to maintain our lifestyle into retirement. So how much is enough? That depends on who you are and how you live. Financial advisors once relied on the 4 Percent Rule: Can you live on annual withdrawals of 4 percent from your savings to
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Anyone who’s buried an aging relative or friend knows that America is an expensive place to die. In fact, perhaps the only thing more expensive than dying is the cost of health care required at end of life before the first shovelfuls of earth hit the casket. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, headquartered in Brookfield, the average cost of dying in the U.S. is $19,566. It’s cheaper in a state like Mississippi ($15,516) but much more expensive in Hawaii ($36,124). Apparently, it costs extra to die with the sound of the surf breaking in your ears. But the last days on Earth can be even more expensive. Currently, 10 percent of all U.S. health care expenditures are dedicated to end-of-life care. In 2018, total expenditures were $3.65 trillion, meaning $365 billion went for those last days. According to Arca-
Illustrations by PavelVinnik/Getty Images.
dia Healthcare Solutions, a health management technology company, costs during the last month of life can total up to $32,379 for hospital care and $17,845 for hospice care. Medicare covers many of those costs, but not all. Private insurance, including life and health insurance, plays a big role in picking up the balance. Life is a costly business, and death doesn’t come cheaply either. If you’ve planned ahead and become a disciplined financial steward, your money may make it to the end. The average burial plot in Wisconsin costs $2,568, which is 28 percent more affordable than the rest of the country. Add to that an average $15,000 cost of a funeral with all the trimmings, and in most cases you can still get by for under $20,000. If that is still too much, cremation costs in the state average $1,045. My wife and I have instructed our kids to have us cremated and then sprinkled around the Hawaiian island of Maui. True, we won’t hear the surf, but they at least will have a nice vacation.
Mike Mukian was the banking and finance writer for the Milwaukee Business Journal and is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Financing and Accounting and The One-Day MBA in Finance and Accounting.
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SPECIAL HEALTH & WELLNESS
WHAT’S BEHIND ‘THE MEN OF ANGER’? BY PHILIP CHARD
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Illustration by Ali Bachmann.
“THE MEN OF ANGER.” That’s the phrase novelist Virginia Woolf used to describe them. Depictions of angry males in our society are found not just in cinema, TV, video games and other media, but also on the streets, in workplaces and behind closed doors. Of course, by no means is anger confined to the male gender, but there is a growing body of behavioral science research showing guys constitute the majority in this regard. So why do so many men become so bellicose so often? Depression. While there are clearly exceptions, in general, when females are down in the dumps, they often become somber, melancholy and downcast. In contrast, depressed males are more likely to exhibit their sadness through agitation, hostility and even physical aggression. Granted, brief bursts of anger may be entirely situational and, therefore, unrelated to the blues. In men, however, chronic hostility simmering just below the mental surface is usually a sign of underlying melancholia.
suggest a combination of nature (body chemistry) and nurture (social conditioning). On the nature side, we are just beginning to recognize that sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen in particular) have as great an influence on depression as neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, which are the targets of many antidepressant drugs. The complex interplay between sex hormones and neurochemistry, which changes over one’s lifespan, influences how each gender reacts to mood disturbances and even affects gender-based responses to antidepressants. So, what some women call “testosterone poisoning” in males also appears to play a major role in how men act when down in the dumps. On the nurture side, in our culture, it is more acceptable for men to exhibit anger than it is for women. In fact, it is often encouraged. Males are afforded greater societal permission to rant and rage, while their female counterparts who follow suit will experience more negative blowback
This scenario is often overlooked, not only by concerned friends and family, but also helping professionals. One gentleman I counseled was referred to an anger management course by a prior therapist, the idea being his primary issue was hostility and impulsivity, not depression. In fact, he was despondent over a series of setbacks in his career and a chronic medical condition that hobbled his active lifestyle. The result? He alternated between periods of sullen withdrawal and irritability, and episodes of explosive anger, often in reaction to seemingly minor irritants. For persons of this ilk, anger management is like using a squirt gun on a wildfire.
DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL? So, if you have an angry man in your life (or are one), you may be witnessing a person occupying the proverbial dark night of his soul. Certainly, depression is no excuse for being belligerent or hurtful to others, but it may help explain where all that fire and ice is coming from. So why do men and women generally exhibit depression differently? Studies
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SPECIAL HEALTH & WELLNESS
Illustration by Ali Bachmann.
and rejection. This deluded thinking implies that an angry male is “a real man,” while an angry female is a “bitch.”
TOLD TO BE STRONG Alternatively, men who demonstrate the softer side of depression—sadness, despondency and tearfulness — are more likely to be labeled “wimps.” Most men have been indoctrinated to be strong (i.e., emotionally repressed) in the face of sadness or adversity. Trouble is, suppressing one type of negative emotion (sadness) often fuels the emergence of another (anger). This may explain, in part, why males are far less likely to seek help for depression than females. Men, and their doctors, are more inclined to label their blues as stress or burnout. Consequently, male depression is often misdiagnosed or improperly treated, and this leads to other problems, such as substance abuse, job loss, domestic violence and even suicide. Males are four times more likely than females to succeed, if one can call it that, at taking their own lives, in part because their angry and agitated depression often goes unrecognized and untreated. Meaning that leaving anger/depression to take care of itself is a risky business. So, if you’re a chronically angry guy, you may look just plain mad on the surface, but, underneath, you’re probably just plain sad.
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. 46 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
OCTOBER 2021 | 47
SPECIAL HEALTH & WELLNESS
The Value of Comprehensive Sexualiły Educałion BY HUDSON NUMMERDOR
elcome to the re-launch of SexPress, a quarterly feature that will address a variety of topics related to sexuality and sexual health.
Faithful readers may recall the first iteration of SexPress, which ran weekly in the Shepherd Express between 2008 and 2014. Back then, the column was written by Laura Anne Haave, longtime sexuality educator and owner of The Tool Shed, Milwaukee’s education-focused sexuality boutique.
and gender in the U.S., I’ve been honored to talk with thousands of people about sex and relationships. Reflecting on those conversations, a few patterns have emerged. One big standout? It is evident our society still has a long way to go with providing science-based, non-shaming, comprehensive sexuality education.
The world has seen some big changes since 2014, but one thing has stayed the same: people still hunger for accurate, non-judgmental information about their bodies, sexuality, and relationships. In that spirit, we’re ready for a SexPress reboot. This time around, Laura has handed the reins to me, your new host and guide into the fascinating world of sexuality. I’ve worked as a sexuality educator at The Tool Shed for over a decade, and I got my start doing community-based HIV education back in the early 1990s.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ATTITUDE
Over many years, and through some significant cultural shifts around sexuality
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As defined by UNESCO, comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) “is a curriculumbased process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality. It aims to equip … people with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will empower them to realize their health, well-being and dignity; develop respectful social and sexual relationships; consider how their choices affect their own well-being and that of others; and understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives.”
There is significant evidence that CSE contributes to a range of positive outcomes for youth, including: • Delayed initiation of sexual intercourse • Reduced risk taking • Increased use of condoms • Increased use of contraception • Improved attitudes related to sexual and reproductive health That’s welcome news for the folks who have been fortunate enough to have experienced CSE. But is everyone getting good sex education? As of September 2021, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change notes that 33 states and the District of Columbia mandate some type sexuality education as part of their K-12 school curricula (though the quality of the programs, and exactly what they are allowed to teach, varies). Wisconsin is not one of those states; in 2012, the existing state statute was revised to make offering sex education optional. Modifications to the law also weakened existing evidencebased requirements for curricular materials, should a school choose to offer sex ed instruction.
that lay a foundation for difficulties with body-image and sexual health. Even silence about sexual topics is saying something—it might send the message that sex is bad or wrong to talk about. Unfortunately, many of the folks that I’ve spoken with did not get the knowledge they needed from either school or their parents, or if they did get information, it was incomplete, inaccurate, or they received it in a shame-based or otherwise negative light. The end result is that many people are equipped with very few skills and scant information to support them during critical developments in their lives, including: learning clear language and boundaries about their own bodies to help prevent or report abuse, developing healthy relationship communication strategies, learning how to give and get consent, experiencing the changes of puberty, exploring sensuality and pleasure, communicating about STIs and birth control, sexual identity exploration,
engaging in sexual activity, experiencing pregnancy, giving birth, and navigating sexuality through illness, disability, or aging. Given the significant impact of these milestones, one can truly see the value of access to comprehensive sexuality education. As for those of us who got not-so-great sex ed while growing up? Thankfully, it is never too late to learn, and sexuality education is not just for young people. In recent years, opportunities have blossomed for learning about our bodies, our pleasure, and how we want to be in relationship with our partner(s)—if you know where to look. In SexPress, I will strive to highlight some of the best educational resources and interview thoughtful voices on a whole host of sexuality topics. I hope you come along for the ride.
Hudson Nummerdor is a sexuality educator at The Tool Shed, Milwaukee’s mission-driven, education-based sexuality boutique.
ACCESS TO EDUCATION? So, whether you have access to sexuality education as a young person will depend on where you happen to live. For LGBTQ youth, the chance for getting relevant and inclusive sexuality education is unlikely. SIECUS notes that only 10 states have policies that include affirming sexual orientation instruction on LGBQT identities or discussion of sexual health for LGBTQ youth. A handful of states explicitly require instruction that discriminates against LGBTQ people. Granted, school isn’t the only place that we learn about sex. Parents often provide instruction and guidance about sex and relationships to their kids. Exactly how and what folks learn at home varies widely, ranging from affirming and accurate messages that build positive relationship skills and effective sexual decisionmaking, to negative, inaccurate messages Illustrations/icons by Michael Burmesch.
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SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE
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SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE RAMEN RESTAURANT OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY RESTAURANT SERVICE RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW RIBS ROMANTIC RESTAURANT SANDWICH SEAFOOD RESTAURANT SOUL FOOD SOUPS STEAKHOUSE STREET FOOD VENDOR SUB SANDWICH SUPPER CLUB SUSHI TACO TAKEOUT/CURBSIDE PICKUP TAPAS (SMALL PLATES) THAI RESTAURANT VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT WINE LIST
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ORTHODONTIST PERIODONTIST PHYSICAL THERAPIST PSYCHIATRIST / PSYCHOLOGIST TELEMEDICINE PROVIDER WOMEN'S MEDICAL SERVICES
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SPECIAL "YOU CAN" SERIES | SPONSORED BY NORTH SHORE BANK
You Can Become a Homeowner NORTH SHORE BANK’S “YOU CAN” SERIES IS ABOUT YOU. Your hopes. Your plans. Your slice of the American Dream. And we understand that the goals you set don’t have to match anyone else’s. This is your life to live. Let us help you live it. Remember: No matter where you’re starting out, you CAN move forward and achieve your financial goals. Our team is here to help you at every step along the way!
At North Shore Bank, we take a close look at the customer’s income, assets and credit to determine the best course of action based on their financial situation. Customers can be assured with a preapproval that they will not have to worry about affordability and the realtor can be assured the customer was preapproved properly.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREQUALIFICATION AND PREAPPROVAL? A prequalification is a glancing overview of a customer’s financial situation. It does not go deep in terms of verifying income, assets and credit. A preapproval is a more thorough look into a customer’s income, assets and credit. There are times where we may take a particular preapproval to the next step by having our underwriting team review to make sure we are offering the very best preapproval we can offer to a customer.
WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT IS YOUR ROLE? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH NORTH SHORE BANK? My name is Greg Kroll (NMLS # 472689), and I am a Senior Mortgage Lender at North Shore Bank. I’ve been with the bank for over ten years.
IN WHAT SITUATIONS MIGHT SOMEONE ACTUALLY WANT TO WAIT TO BUY A HOME? There can be many reasons why someone may want to wait to buy a new home. Usually the reason is financial, such as saving up more for a down payment which may allow them to purchase at a higher price or repairing credit issues if they exist.
IF SOMEONE IS READY TO BUY A HOME, BEFORE STARTING THEIR SEARCH, WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS THEY SHOULD TAKE TO GET STARTED? The first step in the process is to get a solid preapproval from a lender.
HOW MUCH DOES SOMEONE NEED TO SAVE FOR A DOWN PAYMENT? There is a misconception out there that 20% down is required to purchase a home and that is not true. While 20% gets someone away from having to pay private mortgage insurance monthly, it is not required. In fact, there are other loan options a customer may consider, if they qualify, that would allow them to put down as little as 3 to 3.5%.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN SAVING FOR A DOWN PAYMENT? The customer should save as much as they can because that will allow them to purchase at a higher price point and perhaps allow the customer to avoid private mortgage insurance. The customer must keep in mind there are costs involved in every transaction that must be accounted for as well. Create a savings plan and treat the amount you plan to put away monthly towards savings as a bill that must be paid.
WHAT TYPES OF RESOURCES WARE AVAILABLE FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEOWNERS? WHEDA is a state-run program that will allow a customer, if they qualify, to put down as little as 3 to 3.5%. In addition to that, there are various grant programs that exist that a customer may qualify for. At North Shore Bank, we also have several other first time homebuyer products that can help.
WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BUY A NEW HOME BEFORE SELLING THEIR CURRENT HOME? North Shore Bank offers a product that can allow someone to buy or build a new home before selling their current home. This lets them make an offer on a new home without a home sale contingency or sign a contract with a builder. One nice feature of this is that they do not have to move twice as sometimes is the case with both of these scenarios. If you have more specific questions related to the homebuying process, I’d like to invite you to our You Can Happy Hour Meetup. Join us for a special tasting experience from a local brewery, during which our North Shore Bank team will be available to answer all of your financial questions! Come chat with us in a casual setting and we’ll help you start your search off right. No pressure, no sales presentation. North Shore Bank is The Bank of You – and we want to help however we can.
You Can... become a homeowner and create wealth for yourself, and our team at North Shore Bank is here to help!
EQUAL HOUSING LENDER | MEMBER FDIC
54 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
OCTOBER 2021 | 55
CAN THE MILWAUKEE BUCKS DEFEND THEIR CHAMPIONSHIP? BY ALLEN HALAS
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Photo by Michael Burmesch.
ew days in Milwaukee history have felt as satisfying as July 20, 2021. That night, the Milwaukee Bucks claimed their first NBA Championship in 50 years, and the city celebrated accordingly. More than 60,000 fans clamored in and around Fiserv Forum, with scenes unlike any previous Milwaukee sports championship, of which there have been few. Now, the Bucks find themselves in largely unfamiliar territory, with the larger-thanlife task of defending their championship crown in the land of superstars that is the NBA’s upper echelon. It’s an exciting time to be a Bucks fan, especially if you’ve followed the franchise’s ride to the title. It’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago, the Bucks finished with their worst record in franchise history, ending the 2013-14 season with just 15 wins and a staggering 67 losses. In the eight years since, the team has undergone a seismic reorganization. Just two members of that losing roster remain, both of which have since become superstars. The passion for basketball is back in Milwaukee, and the Bucks look stronger than ever. Here are some of the key things to look for as the Bucks begin their 2021-22 campaign.
ALL EYES ON THE BIG THREE The Bucks are champions, but the roster will have to possibly do something even more special this season if they want a chance to repeat their title run. Prior to the start of the 2020-21 season, Milwaukee resigned NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, as well as forward Khris Middleton, each to multi-year deals.
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They also added point guard Jrue Holiday, who agreed to a fouryear contract extension this past April, just before the playoffs. As is the model for success in the current iteration of the NBA, this is Milwaukee’s big three to lead them in games, and any one of them can take over for the Bucks on the right night. As an added bonus, coach Mike Budenholzer signed a three-year contract extension with Milwaukee in late August. If the Bucks are going to continue to build, Coach Bud will be integral to the team’s success. Much of the supporting cast surrounding the big three, each of whom have proven themselves as important role-players, are staying in Milwaukee as well. Fan favorite Bobby Portis, who may not be able to go anywhere in Southeastern Wisconsin without fans chanting his name in appreciation for his hustle, re-signed with the Bucks in the offseason. Starting center Brook Lopez also remains in Milwaukee, as will a returning shooter in Donte DiVincenzo, coming off a season-ending injury sustained last May. Fortunately, Milwaukee will get some additional reinforcements this year, too.
MEET THE NEWEST BUCKS Offseason moves are inevitable in the arms race that is the NBA. Faces have moved to-and-from Milwaukee, led by the additions of shooting guards Grayson Allen and Rodney Hood, and the re-signing of guard George Hill, who played for the Bucks in 2018 Photo by Michael Burmesch.
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and 2019. While the new trio likely will not start many games, given that the Bucks have held on to their core starters from last season, they do bolster the bench, and add shooting depth that Milwaukee was sorely lacking on several occasions last year. In many ways, the addition of Allen, Hood and Hill are considered an upgrade for the Bucks, making the team even more difficult to guard when they spread the ball around.
seasons, but have only hosted one in that time, defeating the Golden State Warriors with ease last season. This time around, the Bucks will get an Eastern Conference foe in the Boston Celtics, hopefully resulting in an extra Christmas gift for Bucks fans. Milwaukee will also play holiday games on New Year’s Day vs. the New Orleans Pelicans, and Martin Luther King Day in Atlanta against the Hawks.
There are small stretches of luxury for the Bucks this season, as well, with scheduling working out to accommodate a five-game homestand from November 17-24, as well as six consecutive home games around the All-Star Break in February. As the season takes its toll on the players’ bodies, look for those stretches without travel to be important to the Bucks.
If anything will come close to the satisfaction of winning a championship, it will be Tuesday, October 19, when Milwaukee hoists its first championship banner from the Fiserv Forum rafters. The event will be made just a bit sweeter by the notion that the opening night opponent will be the Brooklyn Nets, who the Bucks defeated in thrilling fashion in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. While it may not yet be of the lore of Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird in a previous era of the NBA, the budding rivalry between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brooklyn’s James Harden should make for some opening night fireworks. The Nets will also return for another nationally televised game on Saturday, February 26. A time-honored tradition of the NBA season has been the slate of Christmas Day games, usually reserved for teams with the most appealing national television draw. Milwaukee has been fortunate to be a part of the Christmas schedule the past three
SEASON OUTLOOK On paper, the Milwaukee Bucks are in a good position overall to make a lengthy playoff run. While it is far too early to speculate about another championship, Milwaukee has all its core pieces in place to solidify themselves as a title contender once again. One thing is for certain, Bucks basketball will be exciting for years to come, with a championship title now in tow.
Allen Halas is Web Writer for shepherdexpress.com and writes the Milwaukee Bucks column for the website.
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This Month in Milwaukee
13 THINGS TO DO IN OCTOBER BY HARRY CHERKINIAN, ALLEN HALAS, DAVID LUHRSSEN, TYLER NELSON, JAMIE LEE RAKE AND JOHN SCHNEIDER
Illustration by Aleksandr Durnov/Getty Images. Photo by RobertHoetink/Getty Images.
THROUGH OCTOBER 15 Hispanic Heritage Month Milwaukee Film’s “Cine Sin Frontera” is the festival’s programming track exploring Latinx culture. This fall, Cine Sin Frontera expands into a month-long celebration including virtual as well as film screenings at the Oriental Theater and events focused on food and music. For more information, visit mkefilm.org.
THROUGH OCTOBER 17 Three Viewings p Next Act Theatre Jeffrey Hatcher’s Three Viewings interweaves three stories taking place in a Pittsburgh funeral parlor: there’s Emil, the mild-mannered undertaker who will go to great lengths to win the love of a woman who attends all his funerals; Mac, a drifter who steals jewelry off corpses and returns home to reclaim a family heirloom; and Virginia, a recent widow, left to pick up the pieces of her late husband’s shady business dealings. OCTOBER 2
t Michael Carbonaro
Photo by sapfirr/Getty Images.
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Riverside Theater It might behoove Michael Carbonaro not to get too famous...at least in his current job. The self-described trickster—or what the rest of us might call a magician—leverages his relative anonymity on “The Carbonaro Effect.” The Tru TV/HBO Max reality series posits Carbonaro in social situations proffering prestidigitation to astonishing, hilarious effect. Imagine “Candid Camera's” conceit of catching everyday people unaware, but with stupefying illusions. He’s taking his talent on the “Carbonaro Lies On Stage tour.”
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Illustration by SiberianArt/Getty Images.
Brady Street Pet Parade After going virtual last year, the Brady Street Pet Parade is back and in person this year on Sunday, October 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The family-friendly event is famous for creatively dressed pets competing for prizes from a celebrity panel, a group pet blessing in front of St. Rita’s and plenty of local vendors to visit. This year’s celebrity judges include Gothic Milwaukee’s Anna Lardinois and Fox 6’s Ted Perry. The contest starts at 12:15 p.m. with the parade at 1 p.m. and music from Trapper Schoepp will follow. Brady Street will be lined with vendors from Arlington Place to Humboldt Avenue. Photo by Firn/Getty Images.
Beet Street 2021 Cactus Club While the venue has made great use of their outdoor space in the past year, Cactus Club will be bringing the music outdoors as well on Saturday, October 9 with the annual Beet Street festival on Wentworth Ave. in Bay View. This year’s lineup is headlined by Los Angeles band Frankie & the Witch Fingers and Brooklyn-based Acid Dad with a flurry of local support. In addition, local vendors will line the street, encompassing the community atmosphere that Cactus Club has been known to curate. OCTOBER 10 The Record Company Turner Hall Ballroom October is a homecoming month not only for local high schools, but local music acts as well. The first will be frontman Chris Vos of The Record Company, who grew up in New Muenster, about 50 minutes outside of Milwaukee. While Vos is the lone Wisconsin ex-pat in the group, The Record Company have developed a big following locally in the span of their decade-long career, thanks to Vos’ former reputation as a regular at Linneman’s open mic nights before moving. They’ll electrify Turner Hall Ballroom with special guest JJ Wilde on October 10.
Photo by liorpt/Getty Images. Illustration by otter+otter/Getty Images.
OCTOBER 8-JANUARY 30 “Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling” p Milwaukee Jewish Museum Long before the word “recycling” was in circulation, many immigrants and first-generation Americans gleaned a livelihood by “scrapping,” gathering discarded rags, metal, paper and other waste. Most were Jewish. The new exhibit looks back at the lives of scrappers in the 19th and early 20th centuries and connects their work with today’s concerns with sustaining the human and natural environment.
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OCTOBER 15-16 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, “Frank Almond Plays Bruch” p Bradley Symphony Center Frank Almond was the MSO’s concert master for many seasons. He returns to the stage to perform a melodic feast for virtuosos on the instrument, the Violin Concerto by Brahms’ younger contemporary, Max Bruch. Rachmaninoff’s final composition, Symphonic Dances, was written in exile and forms a link to Romanticism of pre-Soviet Russia. Rounding out the program is a work by contemporary composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Aeriality.
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Photo by Gearstd/Getty Images.
Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival p Marcus North Shore Cinema/Jewish Community Center This year’s festival will include four Jewish-themed films from around the world. Italian director Giulio Base’s Starry Sky Above the Roman Ghetto, Israeli director Nir Bergman’s Here We Are and American director Gabriel Bologna’s Tango Shalom will screen at the North Shore, while the Swiss mini-series “Labyrinth in Peace” will be shown at JCC’s DanielM. Soref Community Hall. All films can also be streamed at home on Eventive. For more information, visit jccmilwaukee.org.
Sanctuary Festival Quarters & X-Ray Arcade A two-night extravaganza of electronic alternative music will take over Riverwest and Cudahy on Friday, October 29 and Saturday October 30. Centered around coldwave headliners Horico from Mexico City, the festival will feature a number of synthwave and noise acts, each providing something uniquely different for fans of the electronic subgenres. Friday night’s bill will be hosted at Quarters in Riverwest, with Saturday taking place at X-Ray Arcade. Tickets and two-night festival passes are available now.
Illustration by ChrisGorgio/Getty Images.
OCTOBER 22 Violent Femmes and Flogging Molly with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Thick Miller High Life Theater Milwaukee’s avant-garde pioneers will return home later in the month, on a peculiar bill that includes Irish punk hybrid Flogging Molly, punk cover act Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and contemporary riot grrrls Thick. The four acts look like puzzle pieces that sort of fit together but not quite on paper, but nonetheless will provide a thrilling night of punk variety at the Miller High Life Theater. OCTOBER 28-31 Milwaukee Ballet, Connect Marcus Center for the Performing Arts “It’s called Connect because we’re reconnecting with everybody, we’re doing what we do best, and we’re reconnecting with our space at the Marcus PAC which has just been renovated. That’s a big thing,” says artistic director Michael Pink. Another big thing is the program: contrasting world premieres by two exciting choreographers, the American Darrell Grand Moultrie and the Australian Danielle Rowe, and the revival of Purple Fools, a wildly creative and hilarious work made for Milwaukee Ballet by the Italian Mauro de Candia in 2012, that Pink has wanted to bring back ever since.
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Photo by 33ft/Getty Images.
Photo by 33ft/Getty Images.
OCTOBER 29-JANUARY 2 Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Dad’s Season Tickets p Stackner Cabaret Fall in Wisconsin can only mean one thing: the Green Bay Packers! And there’s nothing more coveted than season tickets to Lambeau Field. Dad’s Season Tickets is a musical comedy that tells the story of the three Kosinski sisters as they each scheme to get ahold of their father’s treasured tix—up for inheritance. With book, music and lyrics by Matt Zembrowski, audiences who loved Guys On Ice and Lumberjacks in Love can revisit that wacky regional humor with songs like “When You Live in Green Bay” and “What Do You Do With Bye Week.”
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Wisconsin’s Hemp Program Will Be Handed Over to Federal Authorities BY JEAN-GABRIEL FERNANDEZ
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isconsin is set to become the first state to relinquish authority over its state hemp program to the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The announced transition will occur on January 1st, 2022. Starting on that date, Wisconsin farmers and hemp processors will have to comply with the final rule on hemp released by USDA earlier this year. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has overseen a very rocky few years for hemp in the state. When the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law, industrial hemp became a legal crop in Wisconsin under a research pilot program. Wisconsin hemp growers and processors have been required to submit a research plan to become licensed as providers of hemp for research purposes. When the 2018 Farm Bill fully legalized hemp, confusion was sown by numerous delays in USDA’s efforts to publish a final rule and roll out a legal hemp structure across the nation. In October 2020, Wisconsin farmers and processors were scrambling to keep up with federal regulations. USDA had failed to approve Wisconsin’s hemp plan, and lawmakers extended the deadline for Wisconsin farmers in the nick of time. DATCP still transitioned to a different hemp program while awaiting USDA’s final rule on hemp, which was more than two years in the making.
HARD CROP TO GROW What followed was an unexpected and significant decline in interest for hemp farming in Wisconsin. Applications to be a licensed hemp grower or processor, which had been higher than 2,200 per year until then, fell to 1,339 in 2021, a 42% drop. Of these 1,339 people, more than a thousand were returning applicants. Not only did Wisconsin’s hemp industry fail to attract new faces, it also drove away nearly half of the crowd willing to give it a shot in just three years. Hemp—and by extension cannabis itself, as hemp is merely a strain of cannabis with low psychoactive effects—is a difficult crop to grow, as it requires a lot of care, infrastructure and water. Unlike other crops, hemp requires regular testing to ensure it does not contain more than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis); if it does, then the cannabis plants are considered to be illegal marijuana and must be destroyed. Additionally, a large majority of cultivated acres of hemp are dedicated to the extraction of cannabidiol (CBD) products, which were extremely popular a couple years ago, but the production proved far greater than the demand, leading the price of CBD to fall, along with the profitability of hemp. As a result, acreage dedicated to hemp was divided by three in Wisconsin, down from 14,200 acres to 5,300 acres in the 2021 growing season. Now, at the height of instability, DATCP is handing control of this industry over to the federal authorities. “Through continued outreach with industry stakeholders and USDA, DATCP’s plan is to transition the program from a state-
Photo by chriss_ns/Getty Images.
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Photo by Yarygin/Getty Images.
run program to a federal-run program. We believe this transition will provide hemp growers with the greatest opportunity to produce hemp in Wisconsin,” said Randy Romanski, DATCP Secretary-designee.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THIS CHANGE Wisconsin is, along with North Carolina, the first state to abandon control over its own hemp program. Hawaii, New Hampshire and Mississippi are also operating directly under the authority of USDA, but unlike Wisconsin, they never had a state plan in the first place. The reason behind Wisconsin’s decision to abandon the state’s control over hemp seems to be purely financial. A June report from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau found that the hemp program was set to end the year with a negative balance of $450,000. This is in large part due to constantly increasing costs because of the ever-shifting legal framework imposed by federal authorities coupled with plummeting income due to shrinking applications and associated fees, which were supposed to keep the hemp program funded. The state legislature refused to provide additional funding. DATCP suggested doubling application fees to increase income, but they eventually decided against it, choosing instead to relinquish the program to federal authorities. The question of state versus federal control had cropped up last year, when nobody knew whether federal lawmakers would allow our state to retain its hemp program. At the time, DATCP claimed to want to hold onto the state program because it was more advantageous to our farmers.
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CHANGING THE RULES The main argument brought forth is that, under DATCP rules, Wisconsin farmers could grow hemp that tested up to 0.399% THC, as DATCP rounded down. Under federal rule, Wisconsin farmers would not benefit from that leniency. One reason why DATCP might have changed their position on the adequacy of federal rules on hemp is that USDA applied several changes to their rules in 2021, granting farmers some more wiggle room. USDA increased the THC levels considered a negligent violation requiring eradication of the crop from 0.5% THC to 1% THC, allowing remediation for crops that test above the legal threshold but below 1%. USDA also doubled the time granted to farmers to get their crops tested. The transition to USDA control would mean an end to licensing fees mandated by DATCP, as USDA does not charge an annual registration fee to hemp growers. However, because DATCP is currently in charge of testing crops for THC, the transition could also incur much greater delays in getting the mandatory tests done though USDA. Wisconsin growers have also expressed worries that being managed by a federal agency rather than a state-run one could lead to difficult customer service relations and impede Wisconsin’s already weakened hemp industry.
Jean-Gabriel Fernandez is a journalist and Sorbonne graduate living in Milwaukee.
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HEAR ME OUT DEAR RUTHIE | SPONSORED BY UW CREDIT UNION
SHADY SEASON OR SPECIAL CELEBRATION? If I know Milwaukee folks, like I think I know Milwaukee folks, I’m willing to bet you’re either thrilled autumn is here or you’re furious that summer is packing it in for another year. Whether you’re celebrating the change of season or crying about it, there’s plenty to get excited about in Brew City this month. From theater events and glitzy galas to Halloween bashes and the return of Pridefest, there’s something for everyone in Milwaukee this October. Check out my social calendar, grab a Pumpkin Latte and head out for some Cream City fun; but first, let’s read a letter from a reader, shall we?
DEAR RUTHIE, Thinking about asking my girlfriend to move in with me, but I know my parents will freak. They know I’m a lesbian, but I’ve only dated this girl for a month. How can I break the news to my parents about her moving in with me without the drama that’s likely to ensue?
Waiłing Wanda DEAR WANDA, Keep waiting. I’m sure your gal pal is a real honey but you’re moving too fast. Get to know one another for at least 11 more months before making her a part of your abode. When you’ve spent more time together, breaking the news to mom and pops won’t be much of an issue because your relationship has stood the test of time and you’re ready to take the next step. So, put the brakes on, sweetie, and enjoy the moment!
Ruthie Have a question for Ruthie? Want to share an event with her? Contact Ruthie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on social media, too! Facebook: Dear Ruthie | Instagram: RuthieKeester | Twitter: @DearRuthie
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DEAR RUTHIE BROUGHT TO YOU BY
Ruthie's Social Calendar OCTOBER 3 JACKIE COX AT HAMBURGER MARY’S (730 S. FIFTH ST.): RuPaul darling Jackie Cox brings her one-woman show, “JackieVision,” to Brew City via Hamburger Mary’s. Enjoy one of two performances (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.), with meet and greets after each show. Tickets run $25 to $35 at www.jackievisionmke.eventbrite.com. OCTOBER 8 BIG NIGHT OUT GALA AT DISCOVER WORLD (500 N. HARBOR DRIVE): Celebrate National Coming Out Day like a star when the team at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center hosts this memorable gala. I’m thrilled to be returning as emcee during the dazzling night of cocktails, dinner, elbow rubbing, awards and more. OCTOBER 8 & 9 PRIDETOBER FEST AT HENRY MAIER FESTIVAL PARK (200 N. HARBOR DRIVE): You just can’t keep a good fest down, and we’re ready to party! This year, the rainbow-filled glory known as Pridefest made the switch from June to October, filling the Summerfest grounds with two days of fun. See www.pridefest.com for schedules, hours and more. I can’t wait! OCTOBER 13 OPENING NIGHT OF HAMILTON AT MARCUS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (929 N. WATER ST.): Considered one of the greatest musicals of this generation, Hamilton returns to Cream City. Through a blend of hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway styles, the impressive production runs through October 24. Purchase tickets ($49 to $456) by stopping at www.marcuscenter.org. OCTOBER 15 "ALTON BROWN LIVE: BEYOND THE EATS” AT THE RIVERSIDE THEATER (116 W. WISCONSIN AVE.): If you love food, music, comedy and kooky experiments, Alton Brown has the perfect stage show for you! The Food Network star rolls into Milwaukee with his 7:30 p.m. variety show of the culinary sort. Swing by www.pabsttheater.org for tickets running $45.50 to $65.50. OCTOBER 21 OPENING NIGHT OF HEATHERS—THE MUSICAL AT GOODRICH LITTLE THEATER (72 W. NINTH ST., FOND DU LAC): The movie Heathers is a camp classic the LGBTQ+ community adores ... so why not make it a musical? Check out this kooky hit as presented by Impact Theatre Company through October 24. See www.hometowntickets.com/impact for $15 tickets. OCTOBER 29, 30 & 31 RUTHIE’S HALLOWEEN SPOOK-TACULAR AT HAMBURGER MARY’S (730 S. FIFTH ST.): Join me for three days of creepy, campy craziness at the city’s burger palace. Friday, October 29, I host two devilish Dining with the Divas drag shows (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.), before emceeing a sinister Saturday brunch at 1 p.m. Swing by Sunday, October 31, for two more of my brunch shows (noon and 2 p.m.) sure to kick off your spooky Sunday Funday with a splash of sass. See you there but reserve a table first at www.hamburgermarys.com/mke.
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HEAR ME OUT | SPONSORED BY UW CREDIT UNION
ctober is both LGBTQ History Month and Coming Out Month. The coincidental dual celebrations are intricately interconnected. “Coming Out” is the culmination of the process of LGBTQs accepting their identity. It’s something like a personal debutant moment or Quinceañera. For the neophyte accepting and embracing their identity it is moment of great relief and, hopefully for most, continued growth as an individual. Part of that growth may be in learning their history. Exploring local LGBTQ history is easier today than it was during the days of the nascent liberation movement of the 1960s. In fact, it would take nearly three decades after the Stonewall Uprising for any concerted effort to preserve our local history to take place. It was in the mid-1990s when both the Milwaukee LGBT History Project and the LGBTQ+ Archive at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s Golda Meier Library were established as resources for the documentation of local LGBTQ history.
Where to Find Wisconsin LGBTQ History in Print, Archives and Online? BY PAUL MASTERSON
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Community activist Don Schwamb created the History Project. It began with a display of biographical posters featuring elder LGBTQ leaders. The posters, along with an interactive printed timeline and other material would be displayed each year at PrideFest and at other venues in the city.
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Around the same time, the UWM Golda Meier Library LGBTQ+ Archive and Special Collections became a publicly accessible repository for primary source material related to the Milwaukee queer community. It assembled papers, manuscripts files and other documents related to the local liberation and civil rights movements, lesbian feminism, queer culture, community and organizations. These include collections from leading Milwaukee activist Eldon Murray and the Gay People’s Union. The archive continues to collect personal and organizational papers and documents, relying on donations to expand its catalog. The Special Collections section of the archive contains LGBTQ newspapers, newsletters and other print media. In 2003, Schwamb created a History Project website, wisconsingayhistory.org. The ambitious undertaking divides the historical record into major categories: People, Organizations, Businesses, Media and Events. Each category contains further
Photo by Nuthawut Somsuk/Getty Images.
subsections. Recently, thanks in part to subsidies by Milwaukee Pride, Inc., the History Project updated the website and made Milwaukee’s decades of LGBTQ print media available online. Established in 2014, an interactive social media page, The History of Gay Wisconsin, encourages its 1400 members to post personal memories, lore and photos. It provides means for participants to share details of the past as well as be reminded of some local history that may otherwise be lost. Unfortunately, save for these resources, few individual organizations have maintained historical information. The Saturday Softball Beer League’s website does have a history section but it ends in 2002.
SPATE OF NEW BOOKS While the UWM LGBTQ+ Archive holds a large collection of academic papers and articles on a broad range of relevant subjects, there has been a dearth of actual history books. However, in recent years, a spate of them has been published. In 2016, Michail Takach published Images of America: LGBT Milwaukee, an exhaustive look at the city’s bar scene presented in over 150 captioned photos. Madison LGBTQ activist R. Richard Wagner authored a two volume Wisconsin LGBTQ history. The first, We’ve Been Here All Along, chronicles the years 1895-1969; the second, Coming Out, Moving Forward, covers the postStonewall era to the present.
The most recent addition to the library, We Will Always Be Here by Jennifer Kalvaitis and Kristen Whitson, appeared this June. It is a unique contribution to our history in print. Designed and written with teen input for a teen demographic, the authors left it to teen review panelists to select the stories included. Many had never heard of even the HIV/AIDS pandemic and barely were aware of Stonewall. Takach’s book on Milwaukee’s drag scene is anticipated to be published in the near future. A darker side of Milwaukee’s LGBTQ history is the Jeffrey Dahmer story. While a slew of Dahmer books and documentaries exist, they largely focus on the sensationalism of his crimes. An academic study entitled The Sniper: A Cultural Reading of Jeffrey Dahmer by UW-Parkside Professor Josef Benson, appears next year. Personal collections still exist but their future is precarious. LGBTQ elders wonder what will become of their memorabilia, papers and photos. Often packed away in basements and attics, they are susceptible to the elements and degrading. Large amounts of material have already been lost. In the worst days of the AIDS pandemic, relatives of those who died of the disease often deliberately destroyed any hints of their sexual orientation. Sometimes the loss is circumstantial. Back in the early 2000s, a disgruntled board member of a major LGBTQ organization took out her frustrations by throwing boxes of the organization’s files and historical memorabilia into a dumpster. Mercifully, it was discovered and rescued by a community member. The logical recommendation is to donate material to the UWM Archive. However, it only accepts documents. Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no repository for objects, so-called material history. It is a need to be address. Although no history book or archive can be comprehensive, Milwaukee is fortunate to have the foundation for continuing study and documentation of its LGBTQ historical record. While continuing the work to fill in the gaps, we must avoid certain risks: there’s the historian’s bane of “knowing more and more about less and less” that occurs when study is so narrowly focused that while we learn every detail about one subject, we neglect important aspects of the bigger picture. Another consideration is objectivity. Admittedly, even professional historians can let their emotions or political opinions taint the narrative, but hobby historians are especially susceptible to it. Ultimately, facts, not histrionics, must prevail. History is a tool intended to teach future generations. Its importance for LGBTQ people whose past, as recent as it is, forms their present identity, cannot be underestimated.
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.
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ART FOR ART'S SAKE
From The City That Always Sweeps
’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, the other day, Oct. 1, I was wont to flip the page of my National Geographic kitchen-wall calendar (Strumpets of the South Seas) ’cause that’s the kind of guy I am—organized, punctual, a seeker of useful information like which is the correct goddamn month of the year currently underfoot. My calendar informed me that we had entered the bittersweet month of Foctober. I took a quick perusal of the noted dates to remind myself whether there were any big-time holidays where everyone gets the day off so’s they could visit relatives and drink their beer all day long. The answer was “no sir.” But I did discover that this year Columbus Day fell on Monday, Oct. 11, and my head began to spin. We’ve still got a Columbus Day? I thought a tribute to that jagwagon had gone the way like the statue on the village green of Gen. Robert E. Jefferson Stonewall Beauregard Johnny Reb Davis Lee. Isn’t it supposed to be known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, or at least Discovery Day by now? Yeah yeah, Cristoforo Colombo “discovered” the New World whilst sailing the ocean blue, but personally, I wish he’d discovered a cure for the common cold. The New World. Sounds like one of those fancy theme parks, ain’a? And what a roller coaster—but it only goes down, down and down, so I hear. And speaking of down, by midOctober I expect to be laid low with the Columbus Day post-traumatic stress disorder. Happens every year—you wait for weeks in anticipation of the big day, it finally comes, you don’t get your mail on that week’s Monday and then it’s over. It’s enough to blow any guy off course, what the fock. Cripes, I remember the year when the fellas came by and took me out to buoy my sinking spirits with round after
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BY ART KUMBALEK round of tall-and-frosty cheer over by the Uptowner tavern/charm school, during which we felt obligated to toast the diversity of mighty members of the pink-skin pantheon—Paul Revere, Vince Lombardi, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Mickey Mantle, Russ Meyer, Marco focking Polo, John Philip Sousa, Soupy Sales, Casimir Pulaski, Chet Baker and James Joyce, to name a few, and of course, Christopher Columbus. The only thing these guys have in common besides being white is that as far as I focking know, they have never ever before had their names hauled out and stuffed into the same too-long sentence in the entire history of the printed word, I kid you not. So after lengthy hours of respectpaying, the fellas hauled my sorry ass back to my dinky apartment where sometime later whilst lodged in a dream state—half awake, half asleep, but still wholly in the bag without the foresight to take the monstrous leak my bloated bladder screamed for—the image of a 900-foot golf putter came to me. Yes, the putter, proud symbol of the white man. I dreamt that it was the Great Navigator himself who had invented it, then carried this marvelous tool ’cross the ocean blue, to discover a place where he could use the goddamn thing; but to no avail, he had arrived to this New World on a weekend, and had forgotten to make reservations. In fact, it would be a few hundreds of years before reservations were invented, so as to keep the brown (some say red, but I’m colorblind) native people that Columbus had stumbled upon off the course—these so-called native people who had yet to assimilate the difference between a 5-iron and sand wedge.
to wonder. Oftentimes, the white man who found himself in the rough not only would lose his ball, he’d lose his scalp to boot—talk about your 1-stroke penalty, ouch! Dream on, I did. I dreamt that we are all what-you-call universal Indians, that we’re all “natives” on this planet and who knows where the fock else, and that had the so-called New World native people been as adept at sailing big boats as they were riding ponies, in 1492 they may have landed on the coast of Normandy in search of a trade route to the East and then how history would be different, ain’a? You tell me. And it was then I took that leak I was too tired to take earlier. And so I woke up, wishing the order of those two events had been reversed, what the fock. But before I awoke, I dreamt the following, I think: A white woman, wife of a Republican congressman, was driving near Las Vegas when she saw a Navajo woman hitchhiking. She stopped the car and offered the woman a ride. During their small talk, the Navajo woman noticed a brown bag on the front seat between them. The politician’s wife said, “If you’re wondering what’s in the bag, it’s a 12pack of beer. I got it for my husband.” The Navajo woman was silent for a while. She then nodded her head and said, “Good trade.” Ba-ding! ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.
These tawny people were nothing but a nuisance to the white man, ’cause how you going to shoot par with a fairway full of buffalo and guys with bows and arrows on mounted horseback? It is
Photo by bbourdages/Getty Images. Background by VeraPetruk/Getty Images.