The Milwaukee streetcar project is still happening, whether you like it or not
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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 throughout the week.
• There was a time, not too long ago, when Milwaukee’s proposed $64.6 million streetcar project was the most contentious issue in town. Progressive-minded cool kids clashed with budget-conscious old farts, Journal Sentinel commenters did what they do best, and city aldermen got into TV-friendly shouting matches. Then, slowly, things cooled down. In our recap of last October’s public streetcar meeting at the Pabst Pub, we marveled at how the controversy had apparently disappeared, and how everyone seemed to accept that the thing was going to happen one way or another.
But tempers are beginning to flare up again with news that, yes, the streetcar thing is still happening, and it’s happening even faster than anyone probably thought. The Business Journal reports that the project is expected to begin construction in spring 2014, even though the question of who’s going to fork over the $55 million needed to move underground pipes and other utilities is still up in the air. A Journal Sentinel editorial coyly suggests that “holding off” on the project might be a good idea, while the few non-kitty-obsessed folks over at the Milwaukee Reddit seem to think the whole project should be scrapped. Meanwhile, Ald. Bob Donovan’s “A Streetcar Named Disaster” site still exists.
• We chatted about the Milwaukee Bucks on The Disclaimer earlier this week, so it’s worth noting that the team has extended the contract of general manager John Hammond through the 2015-16 season. The Business Journal has more details on this encouraging news.
• What’s that? Forbes ranked the Bucks last in the NBA? And the team lost $500,000 last year? Oh.
• Piet Levy of the Journal Sentinel has details on this weekend’s “The Legend Of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses” concert at the Riverside, as well as two other video-game-music concerts headed to Milwaukee this winter.
• Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery had a record year in 2012, reports The Business Journal. The brewery produced 41 percent more beer in 2012 than in the previous year, hired 16 new employees, and purchased $900,000 in new equipment. Lakefront will be celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout 2013.
• The gents of Red Letter Media’s excellent Half In The Bag watched The Last Stand and A Haunted House so we don’t have to.
• Restaurant group SURG is planning an Italian deli and “back-alley speakeasy” at 218 N. Water St., reports The Business Journal.
• This Week In Bon Iver: Bon Iver’s two full-length albums, For Emma, Forever Ago and Bon Iver, were both RIAA-certified as gold records. Even better, they both hit the elusive 500,000-copy mark during the same week.
• Our friends at OnMilwaukee.com had a busy week. The site announced the hiring of former Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane, paid a visit to Bryant’s, chatted with The Sugar Stems, and reported on another out-of-towner who likes Milwaukee. Oh, and publisher Andy Tarnoff wore some sweatpants to work and maybe saw a gun tucked into another guy’s sweatpants at the Shops at Grand Avenue.