Many have asked about the status of the Amory Park project. Last week, I contacted John Kearns, one of the leaders of the project and he sent me a status update:
We are writing to update you on the grassroots effort to honor the sacrifice made by local veterans of our armed services.
Two successful mail campaigns in 2006 & 2007 generated contributions and a tree planting ceremony was conducted in November 2007. Since that time we have sought additional personal and corporate funds and our balance continues to grow. As of June 2009 we are heading into the final stages of fund raising with the target date of construction by the end of 2009.
The Veterans’ monument and memorial gardens at Whitefish Bay Armory Park is designed as a place of education, a place of healing and hope, a place of peace, serenity and beauty. Features will include benches encircling a flag pole, memorial gardens and donor plaques on walls constructed from bricks reclaimed from the former armory. The project has been designed by local architect Jim French and is representative of the 32nd Red Arrow Division.
Nearly 240 current and former residents of Whitefish Bay have already made significant contributions to the Memorial at Armory Park. Now is the time for everyone in the community to join in and support this worthy project before it’s construction this fall. All gifts are tax deductible and can be made to The Friends of Armory Park, LLC. Contributions will be used to complete the Memorial Project as well as establish an endowment fund to maintain the Memorial.
Please take the time today to visit the website www.ArmoryPark.Org and click on the Contribute tab for your gift, in memory of a special friend or family member, or in honor of all of those who have served our Nation defending freedom at home and abroad.
Thank you for your generous support!
It's clear that raising money during this recession has been a challenge. Hopefully, this last push for donations will get the project to its final stage.
Just wanted to post a quick note about Glendale Days, guys.
This year it begins on Thursday and ends on Sunday. We're looking forward to tons of food and fun.
The United States of America was founded by men who were unknown in most of the world. To be sure, they were all white, male landowners. The new nation announced lofty ideals committed to democracy, as long as these goals were for white men who owned land. Nevertheless this new nation experienced a leap forward in establishing democracy drawn up by an amazingly talented and brilliant group of men.
What percentage of this effort was an altruistic desire to found a republic of the people, and what percentage was to get these landowners and businessmen free of the yoke of British taxes will always be a topic of debate. What eventually evolved through amendments and dramatic demands by women and people of color is a building-block in the march of democracy. We are proud to celebrate this march that began in the 18th century and followed a bumpy road of reluctant democratic inclusion, greed-capitalism, bigotry, militarism, selfish lobbying, insensitivity for the underserved, imperialistic-like foreign policies, ad infinitum.
America often does not know what direction it wants to go. It needs leadership. It needs strong leadership to take it to a stronger tomorrow. Every four years we elect a president to take us in the direction in which the country needs to go. In 2008, we clearly missed the mark.
Barack Obama was elected as a celebrity politician. All the president said we have had relabeled leaders, leader of the free world. Well, I believe leadership is more situational than titular. A definition of leadership that I have recently heard goes as follows: a good leader would like his followers to think more of him. An excellent leader would like his followers to think more of themselves. Obama has proven himself to be more of the former than the latter.
Just a few notes from WFB's 4th of July festivities:
- While I enjoyed walking in my first parade, I sure missed watching the parade with my family.
- Anecdotally, one Trustee, a veteran of many WFB parades, thought the attendance was much higher this year.
- I did not run out of candy. Apparently, 4,300 pieces of candy is exactly the right amount. Maybe even too much. I had a ton left when I was a couple blocks away from Klode, so I had to start tossing it out quicker. -- And, parents, please keep your kids off the street. There were some pockets where the kids were 10-15 feet off the curb and it gets pretty crazy.
- The folks at the WFB Civic Foundation are awesome. They give up so much time in preparation and execution of Whitefish Bay's biggest party, it's not even funny.
I had the honor of volunteering for a couple hours at the beer tent, but that paled in comparison to the dozens of hours that each of them put in to preparing for the parade, the food, drink, games, and fireworks, time spent away from their own families on the 4th of July.
So, to Greg Ramirez, Dana Serrano, Ann Pasterski, Jay Kuehn, Crystal Luehne, Bob Kuesel, Paul Dryden, Lynn Short, Carol Cochran, Tracy Rothman, Amy Lukas, Doug Weber, Mike Bortolotti .. THANK YOU. You put on a hell of a show yesterday.
(I hope I got everyone in that list.)
Hey, here's a thought. Did you like the parade? The picnic and games and fireworks? All that stuff costs a ton of money. That's not your tax dollars at work, the Civic Foundation depends entirely on donations from fellow villagers and local sponsors.
How about stepping up to the plate, and writing out a tax deductible donation to the WFB Civic Foundation while you are in the mood to support the 4th festivities, Ice Cream Socials, Sounds of Summer, Great Pumpkin display, etc.
Seriously, I mean it. The CF is supported by just over a hundred donors, yet the events touch thousands on a day like today.
Consider it your WFB party tax.
OK, she just doesn't want to cheat the people of Alaska as a lame duck governor. So resigning her governorship is kinda natural, I guess. Sarah Palin is just trying to help the people of her state.
No matter how legitimate the questions and confusion are, Mrs. Palin will be certain to say that she is held to a different standard. Wow, is that not true. If she were held to a different standard, her naive comments on world affairs would have been lambasted. Instead the press kind of gave her a pass, with only some little mention when she made the gaffs. And those gaffs were astronomical. "I can see Russia from Alaska." Wow, is that insight, or what? That definitely means she is suited for the top office in the most powerful nation in the world.
In a recent letter to the Milwaukee Journal, Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold wrote an op-ed piece regarding his stance on the climate change bill currently going through their United States Congress. In it, he goes on to say that he is listening to the voices of his constituency in Wisconsin. And as human nature allows, his ears are perking up when he hears a reinforcing opinion that matches his, and his tuning out many of the voices of the opposition which he does not want to hear and chooses not to listen to.
The issue of climate change is a complex one. It used to be called global warming is now being lumped together with a bunch of other issues and gets bandied about like a religion. There are questions that need to be answered, and answered scientifically. Number one: is the temperature of the earth actually increasing? Number two: if so, and of course this is always assumed to be in the affirmative whether there is scientific proof or not, is the increase caused by a man? Number three: using the same assumption number two, can it be reversed? Number four: should it be reversed? Number five: can this reversal he accomplished through energy policy? Number six: can this reversal be achieved in a short period of time? Number seven: will the impact of the policy be effective only if the United States acts alone? The list goes on.
With the passing of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, we are again reminded of the horrible mistake the Vietnam War was. Democratic Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson had him serve as a front man in Vietnam. Because of his sterling leadership as head of Ford Motor Co., it was thought he would make a great leader in the Pentagon. He served longer than any Secty. of Defense. Decisions made in Vietnam were absolutely atrocious. Johnson may have played a key role in keeping that war going, but McNamara must certainly at least share in the historical debacle. We should have learned that corporate leadership does not necessarily translate into public service. And most of all, we should have learned that the U.S. should not engage in imperialistic-like wars.
Did we learn our lesson? Absolutely not! Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush are Exhibit A in showing how international militarism and colonialism to force our ideas on sovereign nations are not only destined for failure, but are morally and ethically wrong. America should be better, consider its international calling to be purer than that. We have often and long been misled by military adventures and corporate military pay-offs. The quagmire we are now bogged down with in Iraq and Afghanistan is corporate-military adventurism at its worst. And it has left our economy in ruins.
Sure, it began as a good idea. Universal health care coverage for all Americans. Universal health care coverage for all Americans at a reasonable price area universal health care coverage for all Americans that had no out-of-pocket expenses, and everyone gets superior health care. The best intentions are not going to create the best result.
When Barack Obama was candidate Obama, he proposed health care coverage to all Americans at an affordable price which would be the same type of health care are best he got and the members of Congress also received. If universal health care coverage for all Americans is passed, do you think this will be part of the deal? I don't.
Endlessly we go on about this and that related to health care in the U.S. Much of the argument has been clandestinely posed for us by insurance and pharmaceutical companies who know their greedy profits may be called into question. Health care should be a right guaranteed to all Americans ...all Americans.
It is repugnant to think that there are Americans opposing universal health care or some similar one payer system that gives every citizen a right to equal and good care. It is shameful that we have allowed these medically-related behemoths to manipulate us into acting selfishly. We should not be in competition with each other to receive care. When it comes to our health, it should never be a question of whether we have access to preserving and treating it with the best this nation has to offer. Nothing less should be acceptable. Only in the U.S. among ALL industrial nations is bankruptcy common and caused by medical costs. The inhumanity of it!
I wasn't able to attend the Trustee meeting on 7/6, so here's a vague summary of the highlights:
* We are working on an arrangement with MMSD to re-engineer the Fairmount road/sewer project. The long and short of it is, they believe some changes to the sewer will help backup problems, and will pay about $1m of the cost. In return, the Village will take ownership of the sewer. The unfortunate part of this, is that the project which was scheduled to kick off this summer, probably won't be completed in 2009.
* 6 Villagers were appointed to the Environmental Commission. Apparently, I was also appointed as the Trustee representative on for the commission, which I found out via the NOW of all places.
* A "Chronic Nuisance Ordinance" was passed. This is aimed squarely at the "drug house" issues whereby residents have repeatedly called police to report probably drug activity, yet the police had been unable to catch the dealers in action.
Speaking of Chronic Nusiance .. many Villagers may be totally unaware of the "original" bad guy in WFB.
Tim Manikowski, who lived at 4965 Berkeley, lived a block away from the more famous Matthew Laughrin, but had similar stories.
In both cases, neighbors called police repeatedly for suspicious drug activity.
In both cases, the police were unable to stop the drug sales.
In Laughrin's case, he supplied drugs to a 15 year old WFB girl who overdosed. He's in jail now with a pending case.
Manikowski supplied drugs to an adult Wauwatosa woman who overdosed. This week he was sentenced to 7 years in prison for 1st Reckless Homicide.
It really is amazing the similarities between the two cases, although I think if you asked 100 Villagers who Manikowski is, they'd have no idea. It does remind you how a cute 15 year old girl overdosing makes the news, while a 24 year old 'Tosa woman does not.
So .. here's hoping that the "Chronic Nuisance Ordinance" will help get these guys out of our communities before they deliver their final dose.
Anyone notice that WFB will be losing $1.27 million in State Aid funding for our school district? Ouch. That's gonna do wonders for our property taxes.
Last year, the school district's budget was about $30.3m, which is going up to $30.5m. The State picked up $11.1m of that. Next year, the State will pick up only $9.7m, meaning the local property tax levy will go from $19.1m to $20.9m. (Working from this report.)
If my math is correct, my guess is that the average WFB property tax bill will go up about $350, directly due to the recent budget the State of Wisconsin just passed.
A number of Villagers commented about the "rusty" new grates surrounding the trees on Silver Spring. I asked the Village Engineer, and his response was that the grates will eventually "oxidize" and look like a manhole casting, which I assume is a brownish/black color.
I was pleased to hear that a handful of Villagers opened up their checkbooks for the WFB Civic Foundation, as I received a few email pledges.
As a reminder, if you had a great time during the parade or Klode park festivities, please consider writing out a check for the CF. Click here for details.
Newsflash: the stimulus did not work. What's the solution? How about more of the same? If it didn't work once, the second time will surely produce the desired result.
The Democrats are going to continue underestimating the stupidity of the American people. It's what's what and office. It's what got much of their liberal agenda passed. The Democrats just cannot get enough of how elitists they are and how stupid the rest of America is. It shows in their work.
As the right-wing continues to move the goal posts everytime Obama does something correctly, let's be honest in how we got here...
George W. Bush lied and deceived and illegally invaded a sovereign nation, Iraq. There is no excuse for this, and certainly not just because we don't like the leader or we want their oil. Look around the globe and realize it is not difficult to find a horrible national leader. And there is oil in many nations whose leaders are reprehensible.
I am getting sick and tired of Sonya Sotomayor and the over-coverage the media is providing with it. I'm tired of the spineless Senate saying no one is going to go against the confirmation. I'm tired of the historical aspect of it. And I'm tired of seeing her homely face. Here's another accolade for her: homeliest Supreme Court Justice. She even beats out Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the ugly department.
Join the Milwaukee Dog Training Club as they show you how to train and take care of your dog.
This Thursday, July 23rd, at 6:00 pm we will be watching Bolt.
The Village of Brown Deer now has a brand-new website, which contains any and all information you may need about the Village, upcoming events, and Village services. You can check it out here: http://www.browndeerwi.org/
With summertime, long days and nice weather upon us the Brown Deer Police Department would like to take time to explain certain ordinances applying to bicycles, skateboards, and other play vehicles to all of our residents. The Brown Deer Police Department hopes with a better understanding of these ordinances we can all enjoy a safe summer together. Before explaining the ordinances we would like to explain what is specifically meant by a “Play Vehicle”
Join us for our last summer reading program performer!
Join us for our next Theatrical Thursday, next week August 6th at 6:00 PM. We will be watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Rated PG for some mild thematic elements