Bob Donovan comes out (against the downtown streetcar project, again)
More News Net
- City of Milwaukee planning new and exciting ways to ticket your car
- The Milwaukee streetcar project is still happening, whether you like it or not
- Prove you love Milwaukee by donating to a worthwhile local Kickstarter campaign for a change
- Cruel and vengeful God chuckles softly to self, announces first Summerfest headliner
- Milwaukee is a finalist in “The Mayors Challenge”—but could it actually win?
Since sifting through dull newspapers, hyperbolic blogs, and overflowing RSS feeds for meaningful news can be an arduous process, News Net catches and compiles both the amusing and the significant reports that were overlooked over the weekend. Here are some things to think about as the workweek begins.
• In case his award-winning two-man show with Ald. Bob Bauman back in May wasn’t enough, Ald. Bob Donovan made a rare public statement last week to remind the people of Earth (or at least the people of South Milwaukee) that he still opposes the city’s impending downtown streetcar project. Really, really opposes it. He opposes it so much, in fact, that he’s set up an online petition for opponents of the nefarious public transportation “boondoggle”—70 percent of Milwaukee, according to Donovan’s guestimation.
Of course, the website isn’t the result of hours of tedious hand coding and GoDaddy customer service calls on Donovan’s part. No, the delightfully named “A Street Car Named Disaster” is the work of AFP Wisconsin and the MacIver Institute, two right-wing groups dedicated to limiting government, lowering taxes, expanding freedoms, and blah blah blah you get the idea. The site scoffs at the “old-fashioned” public transportation technology, noting that Milwaukee scrapped its previous streetcar system back in 1958. So how does AFP-Wisconsin make its case against reviving the project in the 21st century? By digging up various complaints and grievances aired by streetcar-adverse Milwaukeeans—in 1945. Here’s just one of those nearly 70-year-old annoyances:
“I unfortunately reside on a streetcar line. I shall endeavor to speak for the thousands who also reside thereon. They skid to stops with a screech, they start with a spinning of the wheels, they do get flat wheels and also when leaves, stones, or ice lie on the rails they rumble and jolt.”
As of press time, Donovan’s campaign against high-speed Internet using complaints about the Pony Express has yet to be launched.
• In other insane press release news, rootin’, tootin’, cowboy-hat-wearing Sherriff David Clarke didn’t take kindly to a fancy-pants liberal calling him out for devoting more resources to an Aug. 12 Republican rally in Waukesha than to President Obama’s visit back in February. Last week, after Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan pointed out the discrepancy, Clarke—a grown adult—issued this statement:
“Apparently this partisan hack has pulled his head out of his ass once again to say something stupid. The next time little boy Weishan says something intelligent or accurate will be the first. This is the same idiot who recently diminished the danger of law enforcement work several weeks before one of my officers lost his life in the line of duty. He would do Milwaukee County good by crawling back into his hole.”
As of press time, Clarke’s call for a duel at sundown (he does his killin’ after breakfast) has yet to be issued.
• Chris Abele continued his reign as America’s Most Baffling County Executive last week by unceremoniously firing highly regarded Milwaukee County Parks Director Sue Black. The reasons for the sudden move are shrouded in mystery; according to the Journal Sentinel, Abele responded with a curt “I don’t owe you gossip” when pressed for an explanation.
Abele last confused constituents when he killed a nearly $800,000 public art project for the Milwaukee County Courthouse—a move that flew in the face of his arts-friendly image. As of press time, Abele’s proclamation against bike lanes and farmers’ markets has yet to be issued.
• Because it just can’t let a juicy and deeply flawed expose shrivel up and die, the Journal Sentinel poked holes in an FBI audit of the Milwaukee Police Department over the weekend. The audit was conducted after the JS revealed a supposed cover-up in the department’s crime-reporting practices, claiming that Police Chief Ed Flynn had cooked the city’s crime statistics by purposefully downgrading more than 500 serious crimes to lesser offenses. Unfortunately, the JS failed to take into account past errors under previous police chiefs, something that would have put its “cover-up” angle into question. Now, the paper has taken to task the FBI audit, which examined only 60 cases, and found only five crimes that were underreported.
• Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel reports that the Frontier Airlines Center is officially in the running for Most Renamed Building In Downtown Milwaukee. The complex—originally known as the Midwest Express Center, and later renamed the Midwest Airlines Center—will now be known as the Delta Airlines Center. Ghosts of GenCon past could not be reached for comment.
• First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Milwaukee this Thursday to meet with family members who were affected by the mass shooting at an Oak Creek Sikh temple, says the Journal Sentinel.
• The Milwaukee Public Museum announced last week that it received a $1.6 million grant to spruce up its Humphrey Imax Dome Theater. OnMilwaukee.com has more details.
• This Week(end) In Bon Iver: Justin Vernon wrote a song for 25-member choral group Silver Lake Chorus; and The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne revealed a few seconds of the video for the Lips/Bon Iver collaboration “Ashes In The Air.”
• This week’s recommended shows: Starring at the Cactus Club Aug. 20; Wolfgang Schaefer at Linneman’s Aug. 23; Sat. Nite Duets at the Riverwest Public House Aug. 23; The Milwaukee Noise Fest at the Borg Ward Aug. 23-25; Murder By Death at Turner Hall Aug. 24; Oh My God at Linneman’s Aug. 24; and Sugar Stems at Up And Under Pub Aug. 25.