Issue of the Week: Slashing Milwaukee Transit
Plus Hero and Jerk of the Week
this year those threats are getting worse.
the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) must meet Walker’s unrealistic budget targets, it will
have to cut to the bone to survive. According to MCTS’s budget request for
2011, it has proposed eliminating Freeway Flyer routes, Summerfest Flyer
services, and all of routes 68, 28 and 64; shortening other routes; reducing
weekend service; and increasing Paratransit fares from $3.25 to $4 per ride.
this deep may kill off the system for good, since it may no longer be able to
County residents with
reliable public transportation at an affordable price, whether you’re a
suburbanite who commutes to Downtown on the Freeway Flyer or a senior citizen
who no longer wants to drive.
has gotten into this mess because Walker
has refused to craft honest budgets each year and advocate for a dedicated
funding source for local buses. Instead of budgeting to meet the county’s
is budgeting to meet his political needs.
Heroes of the Week
Urban Ecology Center
Milwaukeeans helped their neighbors following the historic flood in July. But
we’d like to note the help given by interns and staff at the Urban Ecology
Center to their neighbors at Riverside High School. The two East Side
institutions already have a symbiotic relationship, a partnership of ecology
experts, eager-to-learn kids and natural resources that have helped to
transform their portion of the Milwaukee
River shore land. So when
the center’s staff found out that Riverside High had been badly damaged in the
storm, they quickly assembled a team of nine people (and lots of equipment) to
shovel out debris from the flood and clear access to the school. It’s just one
notable example of neighborliness during a time of crisis.
more information about the Urban
and its programs for all ages, go to www.urbanecologycenter.org.
Jerk of the Week
WTMJ-AM’s Charlie Sykes
upon a time, Charlie Sykes was seen as a mainstream news reporter and editor.
But those days are long gone, unfortunately, as Sykes realized there was much
more money to be made by ignoring the facts and instead becoming an
entertainer. With that in mind, Sykes got hysterical over a Russ Feingold ad
that tried to make a point about the stimulus program. Feingold, like other
candidates for office, used a stock, anonymous name in one of his ads. It’s
standard practice by ad agencies and nothing worth noting. But Sykes and his
small group of true believers went into overdrive. However, as numerous liberal
bloggers and pundits have pointed out, Sykes’ favored candidates—Republicans
Scott Walker and Ron Johnson—have used actors to portray supporters in their
own TV commercials. Sykes isn’t going on a rampage over their ads, though.
Sykes was so concerned about transparency, he’d also mention that his wife—who,
incidentally, used a pseudonym when appearing on Sykes’ radio show—and Walker’s campaign chair
are both employed by the ultraconservative Bradley Foundation. Think that
Sykes’ constant promotion of Walker
has anything to do with that connection? Just asking.
Event of the Week
‘Pieces: In My Own
tough to talk about mental illness, whether it’s post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts or
bipolar disorder. But Pieces: In My Own
Voice, a new play written and directed by National Alliance on Mental
Illness (NAMI) Greater Milwaukee’s Brenda Wesley, should make that discussion
easier. The play uses five vignettes and monologues, plus music and dance, to
illuminate the real lives of those with mental health struggles. It’s
specifically focused on African Americans with mental illnesses to encourage
them and their loved ones to seek out more information and to get help. Wesley
told the Shepherd that she hopes the
play will help to alleviate some of the stigma attached to mental illness. “We
are all made up of pieces of a wonderful puzzle,” Wesley said. “But when you
have a mental illness, people take that one piece and judge you. I hope people
will look at the entire person instead.”
Pieces will be performed on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 3 p.m. in the auditorium at North Division High School, 1011 W. Center St. It is free and open to the public. After the performance there will be a question-and-answer session, resources and a screening for depression.