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Issue of the Week: Relief

Plus Winners and Jerks of the Week

Jun. 25, 2008
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The rush to apply for food benefits this week shone a spotlight on the growing food crisis in Milwaukee. Troubled by flooding, high fuel costs and rising food prices that are stretching family budgets, an estimated 3,000 Milwaukeeans thought they had found relief at Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center on Monday morning.

Instead, they found chaos and frustration. And that could be a warning to all of us if relief doesn’t turn up when it’s needed, whether it’s the shores of Lake Delton or in the central city of Milwaukee. Times of crisis can appeal to our higher selves or quickly allow us to devolve into an us-vs.-them struggle.

So, if you can, please help by contributing to food pantry, neighborhood community center, place of worship or even your neighbor. Grow a garden or support your local farmer. Give to the Red Cross and other aid organizations. This summer could be a hot one, but being supportive can help reduce tension and foster community cooperation.

Event of the Week:
“Walker Rebate Wednesdays” at Transfer Pizzeria Cafe, 101 W. Mitchell St.

This welcome addition to the Fifth Ward will give discounts to bus riders and bicyclists as part of its “Walker Rebate Wednesdays,” intended to call attention to Scott Walker’s lack of support for public transit. Every Wednesday, all customers who show a same-day bus transfer ticket or bus pass or who arrive on bike will get a 20% discount on their food purchases. Catch the 8, 11, 15, 17 or 54 bus to get to Transfer, located at the intersection of First, Mitchell and KK.

Heroes of the Week:
The Paid Sick Days Milwaukee Coalition

Led by the working-women’s organization 9to5, this grassroots coalition delivered 40,000 signatures to City Hall to request that city employers provide paid sick days to their employees. “People should never have to choose between being a good worker and a good family member,” 9to5’s Amy Stear said on Monday.

Jerk of the Week:
F. Jim Sensenbrenner

Twelve dunderheaded members of the House of Representatives voted against relief for the struggling victims of the massive Midwestern floods. Those included Sensenbrenner, the multimillion-dollar heir to the Kotex fortune. The vote shouldn’t come as surprise, since Sensenbrenner also rejected relief funds for victims Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Blog of the Week
Renee Crawford at Crawford’s Take (crawfordstake.blogspot.com)
Indiana Voter ID = Estimated 43,000 Disenfranchised U.S. Citizens

Wisconsin doesn't need Voter ID. The claims of so-called "voter fraud" are existent in the proposed solution presented by the people who are making the loudest noise about this phantom problem. In April, an estimated 43,000 Indiana dents were disenfranchised. That means they were not allowed to vote in their country because their papers were "not in line." What does that sound like? That is disgraceful, and 43,000 [people in each of the 50 states] could mean at 2,150,000 people could be disenfranchised nationwide if these laws begin to catch around the country—because of irrational and manufactured fears that some somewhere may decide to try to vote twice... It's just plain nonsensical.

(Check out more local blogs at blognetwork.expressmilwaukee.com.)

“We have built over 800 schools, nearly 5,000 water and sewer projects and over 1,000 roads and bridges—in Iraq—while gas and food prices go through the roof here, home foreclosures wreak havoc on American families, and our infrastructure is in a shambles.”—Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.

Twilight Foliage by Peter Gnas

"On the night of June 6 I happened to be driving home from work through the village of Elm Grove. I quickly noticed the sky and bright moon and decided it would be a beautiful night to take some photos."


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