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What will Oakland Avenue look like in the future?

Shoppin center planning.



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Independence Day for Two Great Democracies

As we celebrate, with joy and pride, our independence day on July 4, another date is also of significance for us: August 15.  It is India’s independence day. Both US and India obtained their independence from the same country: Britain. India’s freedom in 1947 came much later than America’s.

Both are two large secular democracies, whose constitutions were developed by brilliant, devoted and patriotic leaders. (In the case of India, this group of leaders also included women.) Having the example of a great US constitution was helpful to the Indian leaders, but they still chose the route of a parliamentary democracy in which the prime minister (leader of the party that wins the national elections) is also the government leader, and the president is more a figure of national unity, often chosen without a bitter political campaign.

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Crosswalks: Vehicles vs. Pedestrians


In order to obtain a drivers license in Wisconsin, new drivers must first pass a written test, then a road test.  Over a period of time, many drivers become complacent or just "forget"  some of the traffic laws.  For instance, I have pulled drivers over for passing school busses while the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is activated.  The excuses given are "I thought only cars behind the bus had to stop" or "I saw that the kids had already gotten on the bus". 

With summer months here, we see more pedestrians and bicyclists on the road.  This means drivers need to be more aware of their surroundings.  Remember, it is the responsibility of the driver to stop at a crosswalk to safely allow pedestrians/bicyclists to cross.  This pertains to crosswalks at controlled (signals) or uncontrolled intersections.  In turn, pedestrians/bicyclists have a responsibility to refrain from entering an intersection when any approaching vehicles would not be able to stop safely.

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Ethnic Unrest in Urumqi


I've been back from China for nearly a week now. I'm readjusting to the time difference once again and slowly but surely getting back to my normal routine. Upon seeing my colleague for the first time since returning to Concordia, I was made aware of riots and unrest in China. When I checked out the story online I was shocked to find out the unrest was in the exact city that we were in while in China, only a few miles from Xinjiang University.

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Shorewood High School Alumni Association Picnic!

SHS Alumni Association, SHS Alumni Assn, Shorewood High School Alumni Association, U Rah Rah Rah, Alumni Reunion Picnic

What: First Ever All Class SHS Alumni Reunion Picnic!

When: Saturday, July 11, 2009, from 10-6

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The logic of culture.



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Local Media Interviews Concordia Staffers

The enthic tension and violence in Urumqi this week continues to get worldwide media coverage. Since our group was in the exact region just days before the unrest began there is interest by local media to tell our story. Specifically, WISN-TV Channel 12 was on the Concordia University Wisconsin campus this week to interview Christine Kao and Kathy Butler, who were both on our recent trip. Patrick Paolantonio is the reporter who will be presenting the piece on Sunday night (7-12) during the 10 p.m. news.

The News Graphic, a local paper in Cedarburg, will also be running a story on our recent trip. This publication ran a story last month just before we departed on Concordia's student exchange program and the effort by the university to reach out to China and other countries. I appreciate the press and their interest in talking about Concordia's program and what we did while we were in China.   

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Bicycle Safety for Motorists

Fox Point, Bayside, bicycle, safety

Recently we have received numerous complaints about bicycles being to far into the roadway. In the past few weeks, Fox Point and Bayside have had bicyclists struck by a motor vehicle. A Wheel and Sprocket employee has also been struck by a motorists.

Wisconsin state law states the following:

  • Bicycles are vehicles. They belong on the road.
  • Cyclists need room to get around potholes, sewer grates and other obstructions.
  • Leave at least three feet when passing bicycles, more room at higher speeds.
  • Change lanes to pass any bicycle traveling in a narrow lane.
  • Train yourself to scan for fast moving (it's hard to tell speed) bicycles and motorcycles in the opposing lane to you when turning left, and scan sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrians and bicyclists using the sidewalk and crosswalk as a pedestrian. Always scan to your right side sidewalk before you leave a stop light or stop sign. And to the left and right side sidewalks when on a one-way street.

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Music --- The Inter-Generational Link

Beatles, Generations, Communication, Music, Boomers

Paul McCartney was on the David Letterman show last night.

For all the trivia lovers, it was 45 years ago (1964) when he and the other Beatles made their US debut on the Ed Sullivan show, which was in the same facility where the David Letterman show is taped (now called the Ed Sullivan Theater).

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Exchange Student from China Granted Visa to Study in U.S.


Our recent trip to China is getting a lot of local media attention because of the recent violence in Urumqi. I mentioned in my previous post that Channel 12 came out to Concordia University Wisconsin's campus and interviewed two people who were part of our delegation on the trip. The Channel 12 story ran this past week and focused on our global education efforts over there and how we narrowly missed the ethnic violence that took place in Urumqi. In case you missed the Channel 12 story, click onto the following link:

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art, events, exhibits, Schwartz

Summer seems fleeting and finite, and the list of things to do while our heavy coats hang in the closet seems infinite: parks, parades, fairs, gardening, house repairs, weather-proofing, painting, pruning, exhibits, concerts, chores and culture all in one giant grab-bag.

On Gallery Night, Friday, July 24, there’s a reception at Rosenblatt Gallery for our guest artist, Deidre Prosen (please see Sarah’s lively description of the exhibit at the end of this blog). Adolph’s and my works are also in the gallery, and Eli’s work is on the first floor (Artasia) and on the third floor (Cuvee).

Adolph and I will once again have a tent at Artist Marketplace on Saturday, July 25, 10-5, in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Every year we say we’re too old, this is the last time, and then we do it anyway, because we do enjoy talking to friends, passers-by, and Adolph’s ex-students and seeing the local art scene. Here’s our tent from last year.
There are also two projects in the works this summer that I’ll write more about in my next blog. One is the All-City People’s Parade and Pageant on August 8 here in Milwaukee, modeled after the Minneapolis “Heart of the Beast” annual May Day Parade. There are lots of opportunities for your creative participation!

The second project is Keith Schmitz’s plan to start a coop bookstore café, Open Book, in Shorewood now that we no longer have Schwartz Bookshop. It will only succeed with everyone’s support.


Our daughter, Sarah, captured the excitement of Deidre Prosen's work in her excellent description of the show:
Deidre Prosen, a Shorewood resident who has shown nationally, will  display her current work at the
Rosenblatt Gallery through September 10. Her figurative paintings are  huge, colorful, and  wildly playful. The unruly and  chaotic unconscious springs to life in every canvas. The underbellies of our  minds surface with fears, grotesque visualizations, fairy tales, and dramas where animals merge and morph.
Some of her paintings are parodies of our  economic times, filled with bankers who aided and abetted
the crisis. Deidre's works have psychological overtones, so it comes as no surprise to this viewer
that Deidre's father is a psychiatrist.

Rosenblatt Gallery, in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward, has been in  existence since 2007. The gallery houses much of the work  of Adolph  Rosenblatt, professor for 33 years at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and of his wife, Suzanne,  visual artist and poet. Deidre was a student of Adolph's in the 1990s, and there is a kinship between her work and Adolph’s. The artwork of both is expressionistic, loosely rendered, playful, exploding with color and  humor. The opening reception is on Gallery Night, July 24th,  6:00-9:00 PM, 181 North Broadway, above  Artasia.     


Adults Need Tetanus Boosters Every 10 Years

According to the CDC, only 57.2% of adults are protected against tetanus.  It drops to only 44.1% for those over age 65.  This is surprising given the high fatality rate for the disease and the prevalence of the C. tetani bacteria in the environment.

The tetani bacteria produce spores that are very difficult to kill and are found in the soil and intestines and *** of horses, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, and chickens.  The likelihood of tetanus is greatest following deep, dirty puncture wounds where there is little bleeding and an absence of oxygen.  But tetanus has also occurred following other injuries such as burns, scratches, slivers, animal bites, body piercing, and tattooing.  In recent years, minor wounds have caused more cases of tetanus than major wounds.  This is probably because more severe wounds are better managed. 

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Shorewood Stages Free Outdoor Community Concert

Tuesday, August 18 Concert To Feature Streetlife with Warren Wiegratz

Shorewood residents and guests are invited to a free outdoor community concert on Tuesday, August 18 at Hubbard Park along the Milwaukee River featuring Streetlife with Warren Wiegratz, the house band for the Milwaukee Bucks. Streetlife is a unique blend of R & B, smooth jazz and contemporary styles combing superb musicianship with an exciting stage presence. Streetlife has been honored with numerous industry awards, and their popular sounds are heard throughout the year at regional and national music festivals.

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Calendar Contest Accepting Pet Photos

Smile for the Camera, Scout!
Is your pooch the cutest on the block? Was your kitty destined to model? The Wisconsin and Ozaukee Humane Societies invite you to send your best shot of Scout or Sassy for our 2010 calendar. Local celebrity judges will determine the top thirteen photos, and one lucky companion animal to be chosen for the highly coveted cover photo. Twelve others will be selected for “Pets of the Month.” The first 500 photographs submitted are guaranteed to be included in the calendar!

Entries are now being accepted. There is a $15 non-refundable entry fee for one photo, or $10 each for multiple entries. All proceeds from the calendar benefit the animals at the Wisconsin Humane Society. There are also advertising opportunities available to area businesses! Check out the contest information and submit your photos!


events, creativity

The circus parade flowed past. How did it feel to be one of those animals, a natural part of the jungle, yet instead pulled in a cage or clomping on cement down Wisconsin Avenue with hordes of two-legged creatures staring and pointing?

Part of being human is our ability to imagine ourselves in others’ shoes, or others’ hoofs! And another major parade taking place in Milwaukee this summer, on August 8th, will do just that. It’s a parade that will, in a sense, be the opposite of the circus parade: the animals that clomp or dance or trumpet past will be created by, not captured by, humans. You could say it’s the humans who will be caged in their self-made costumes. Aren’t we all?

Artists and non-artists of all ages, races, religions, and ethnicities are working together to create THE ALL-CITY PARADE AND PAGEANT, produced by Milwaukee Public Theatre and Milwaukee Mask and Puppet Theatre . The structure is based loosely on Minneapolis’s annual HEART OF THE BEAST parade; the content was developed through brainstorming sessions that began last April in the Milwaukee area.

I went to one. We sat in a circle and threw around our problems and pleasures, our nightmares and dreams, and the visual images these evoked. The sessions eventually provided the material for the parade’s themes: a close look at greed and all its implications, a look at where we’re heading and why, at problems and solutions. Participants will express all this through the senses, through the arts, visually, musically, in dance, in words.

I went to one of the workshops last month and saw the beginnings of the masks and puppets volunteers are creating.


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Hughes and Other Familiar Faces will Make for a Fun State Summer Baseball Tournament

To Homestead baseball coach Ernie Millard, Franklin's Jim Hughes is the "silver-haired fox", a talented, genial and driven individual who has had the Sabers' among the state's elite for many years now.

His 700-plus wins are testament to his success, his longeviety and maybe to a sturdy set of combs as Hughes appears still to have every hair on his head that he was born with.

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Continued Struggles to Communicate with Xinjiang University

It's now been one month since our return from China; more than three weeks since the violent outbreak in Urumqi where Concordia University Wisconsin's sister school Xinjiang University is located. Virtually all communication was shut down when the riots broke out and even now there is very limited information getting through. 

Those involved with running the international studies program at Concordia tell me that e-mails and phone calls, especially international calls, are not going through to Xinjiang University. The Chinese government is now forcing international phone numbers to be registered before they will   route them through.

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