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Mind Their Manners

Dear Parents of School Children,

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Let's do something and do it now.

Central location

Schwartz's Bookstore is so important because of the centralizing function it performs at this particular LOCATION in our village.

It is a central point of attraction in our business area here in Shorewood. And it can hardly be duplicated by any other imaginable and feasible enterprise in the near future. In a sense it reflects who we are and  it reflects our village culture.

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AB Data, Bailout, Buy USA, DPW, Economy, Housing, Police Building, Taxes, TIF

 An old cliche, but one worth repeating --- THINK GLOBALLY + ACT LOCALLY ...

By now everybody recognizes that our economy is sinking Fast !! 

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Leadership. What's that?

Community development leadership.

Who at Village Hall can say, yes, we shall save Schwartz's bookstore or no, we've decided to do nothing about it?

What about the incumbents, where do you stand? Let's hear from you.

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Are our Village “leaders”at the bottom of this?

Community center.

I'm assuming that the whole block on Oakland where Walgreen's, Schwartz's bookstore and Pick-N-Save are located is being considered for redevelopment under the Shorewood Community Development plans.

Two other Schwartz's bookstores in other communities are being acquired by their present managers. But I guess it would be difficult to get the most optimistic of entrepreneurs to invest in the one on Oakland, especially if Shorewood is considering the placement of a new Pick-N-Save at that location on that same site.

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We've only a month to go.

A village bookstore

If the Village Board can assure us that the building housing Schwartz's bookstore will remain there indefinitely and not be included in their redevelopment plans,

then a group can be organized to form a cooperative to manage it as Dave Tartarowicz has appropriately suggested.

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Where are the leaders in this community? Let's wake up and start running.

Acquistion of community bookstore

Does anyone know how to acquire Schwartz's bookstore?

Do the members of the Shorewood BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT think that the closing of another store front in our BUSINESS DISTRICT is a good way to attract people to our shopping area?

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What's going on? Aren't we entitled to know?

At the heart of community.

In terms of a general decline in businesses operating in Shorewood, it may not be in the community interest to overlook or justify the lack of development of empty lots, delay in or cancellation of some of our development plans.

It may not be attractive to potential businesses nor uplifting to see a boarded up former restaurant building, businesses for sale, buildings with signs for rent and for lease.

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Who represents me? nn

Representation in government.

Shorewood has become a local government of VIRTUAL REPRESENTATION, that's is, a government where citizens do not directly vote for whom they want to represent them.

Apparently few, and in this coming election, no one wants to seek office except those who are already holding those positions.  At other times there are many who also seek position without being elected by the people.

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Village book store.

It seems that Shorewood could immediately purchase what I've begun to refer to as The Village Bookstore and Coffee Room, while we are still able to negotiate with present management and personnel so they might stay on in order to maintain continuity.

This we must do to make sure we don't lose it. Then we could hold it until we could make more permanent arrangements. The manager could report to a small committee for the present time.

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The friendly and cozy ambiance of the town square.

Town square design.

During the last week I've begun a specific study of what makes small bookstores successful.

First of all from a town design standpoint, successful small bookstores, as it seems to those locating and operating these enterprises, and merely from a locational standpoint is that they are fitted into a “small town ambiance.”

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What makes a village a village?

Different perspective, different view

Bookstore operations are no longer socially viable,” was a statement that took be aback, because it is contrary to things that I've been thinking and saying.

This is likely to be a true statement, but if it is, can any such statement be so unequivocal in its substance? Are their exceptions to this perceived reality? If not, then I'm completely wrong? And I've been known to be, as anyone might guess.

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Village bookstore

Representatives of Roundy's Corporation, as I've come to understand have become quite sensitive to Shorewood's needs as a community and have shown a willingness to work with the village.

It also seems that the managers of Schwartz's Bookstore would also like to be helpful as possible as they dissolve their interest in the bookstore enterprise.

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The Nude Emperor at Your Parent/Teacher Conference

In my untiring campaign to keep turning pages forward rather than back, I ask this question. What difference does it make if there are parent/teacher/student conferences? Are they really worthwhile or is it just another minuet we keep dancing through the decades?

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What is a centralizing place?

Village spirit

For about a decade I've been talking about all the elements of community and those that we have here in Shorewood. These are  beyond the function that our school system presents for our children and parents.

We've also been lucky to have had one of the Schwartz's bookstores located here in Shorewood to add other elements of community and a sense of centrality.

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“Driving not required.”

Traffic in the community.

Yet highway and highway traffic flow through Shorewood, through the middle and on the edge of this otherwise quiet place.

No one seems to see a solution nor take action toward the dream of a creating a walkable community, yielding only to the “progress” of a more efficient, faster car movement.

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Is it the End of the Story for Schwartz ? Or is there Time and Support for a New Chapter?

BID, Buy Local, CDA, Co-op, Guy Johnson, Harry W Schwartz Bookshops, Local Merchants, Roundy's, TIF, Village Board

As of this moment, March 31, 2009 will be the last day of business for Schwartz Books in Shorewood.  

Fellow blogger, Joe Mangiamele :  From the Village Square  has written several blogs concerning the closing of Schwartz's and the loss it will mean to the Shorewood Community.  He has implored the Village Administration, Village Board, Shorewood BID District and the Shorewood CDA to help in seeing what can be done to save Schwartz.   His pleas have fallen on deaf (or indifferent)  ears.
There have also not been any White Knights with Deep Pockets who have shown any interest in keeping Schwartz's alive.
There may --- as a long shot --- be an opportunity to save Schwartz's ---- IF THERE ARE ENOUGH MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY WHO CARE TO SAVE SCHAWARTZ AND ARE WILLING TO GET INVOLVED.
The long shot I am referring to, would be to form a CO-OP to take over the bookstore. 
Forming a CO-OP is a formidable undertaking, under the best of circumstances.  And to do so within the next five weeks, would indeed take a Herculean effort.   
But Maybe --- Just Maybe --- with the abundance of Academics, Lawyers, and Business People that reside in Shorewood --- along with enough Residents who really care --- it might be possible.
I have talked to Carol Grossmeyer, the President of Schwartz.  In our conversation I learned that the inventory and fixtures could be bought, and that it might  be possible to get a new lease with Roundy's.  Ms Grossmeyer did say that the name Schwartz is not for sale, and that she thought it would be a daunting task to organize a CO-OP, get financing, negotiate a lease, set up lines of credit with publishers, etc................
And of course, Ms Grossmeyer is correct that it would be a huge task --- but if the people of Shorewood really care, there is a chance.
For myself, I would volunteer to help in the initial organizing for a CO-OP to buy out Schwartz.  But to be realistic, I would only venture on such a course if the following happens:
1) If at least 300 people e mail me that they are more than interested, and would like to be part of a Shorewood Bookstore CO-OP, and would attend an organizing meeting within the next seven days.
2) If there are pledges of at least $400,000 to purchase shares in the CO-OP, as I think that would be the minimum investment needed to seed the buyout (current inventory has been estimated to be worth approx $250,000).
3) If the Village Board - BID - CDA --- indicate what kind of grant, and of what amount, would be contributed to the CO-OP.  (This is not a new idea --- Shorewood already has grants for new businesses, facades and more).
4) If there is a sufficient number of people with expertise in CO-OP law, finance, operations, etc., who will volunteer to sit on a CO-OP advisory board.
Some ideas/concerns/issues that come to mind in such a venture, that I have thought of:
a) $400,000 could equal 4000 folks at $100 each or 400 folks at $1000 each, or variations in between.
b) Can this be done soon enough to retain some of the current talented employees of Schwartz's.
c) Are there area banks that will want to support such a community venture.
d) Do the demographics of Schwartz customers extend to Riverwest, the East Side, WFB ????
e) Who at the Village level will take on the task of coordinating the Administration, Board, BID and CDA ----  Guy Johnson, Village President ??? Chris Swartz, Village Administrator ??? One of the unopposed Village Board Members on the election ballot like Jeff Hanewall or Margaret Hickey ???
f) What support, if any, will Roundy's be willing to give to the effort ?

Mallet+Monitor = Time

Employee computers are supposed to make our work lives easier. How are things going in your work inbox? In a profession that offers little time to sit down at grown up desk, checking email the manadated two times a day, makes it imperative that the sender's note is worth clicking on, waiting for and then reading. You see, these elementary school computers can be very, very slow.

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Village Board Ready to Throw Away $35,000 to Save Businesses in Shorewood --- but Ignore the Snow Blockades Discouraging Shoppers !!

Buy Local, Parking, Shorewood Businesses, Snow Hazards, Village Administration, Village Board, Walkable, Walkable: Snow & Ice Covered Walks

 According to two recent articles by David Fidlin, reporter for the CommunityWatch  section of

" February 19, 2009 10:04 a.m. | The Shorewood Village Board on Tuesday authorized an agreement with Karen de Hartog to provide public relations copy for the village.

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Standing Firm on a Floor of Jello

I’m not sure how a school district doesn’t assign the right number of student attendance days a year or snow days in Wisconsin, but yes, it has happened… The intermediate and high school owe the DPI some time, and Mother Nature kicked our asses so student contact days have had to be added. The elementary schools will have to go longer, because the other schools have to (huh?). We’ll all get over it, but when a lot of people are already a little grumpy about government math through jobless rate, budget and gnp revelations, a goof like this weakens again one’s confidence in people we thought knew more than we do.

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