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Issue of the Week: Confidential Help for Underage Drug and Alcoh

Plus Heroes and Jerks of the Week

Nov. 19, 2008
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Much has been written lately about drug and alcohol abuse by minors,as though it was a recent phenomenon—something to be blamed on television advertising, the breakdown of the “traditional” family unit or other societal bogeymen. The sad reality is that underage substance abuse is not new, but for those caught in its grip, places to turn for help have historically been few. For obvious reasons, young people seeking advice may be reluctant to reach out to peers, parents or other authority figures. Locally, the Medical College of Wisconsin has launched a new, anonymous “mPower” hot line for minors who need confidential advice without being judged. Those under 21 looking for help in dealing with their own issues or those of a friend can call the new service, day or night, at (866) 661-6797.

Heroes of the Week: Students of Milwaukee Lutheran High School

Balancing social and academic demands with a sense of civic responsibility, the students of Milwaukee Lutheran High School (MLHS) volunteer weekly at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, helping to prepare and serve meals to our area’s homeless. One of several local schools sending a contingent of helpful students, MLHS has been assisting the Rescue Mission for more than 10 years in its efforts to alleviate the plight of our less fortunate neighbors. In addition to providing food for the hungry, the Rescue Mission also operates a Safe Harbor outreach for homeless men, and runs a shelter for homeless women and their children. As the bitter cold sets in, those who wish to help are directed to www.milmission.org, or to call (414) 935-0241.

Jerk of the Week: Scott Walker

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker likes to brag that he won’t raise taxes—and he also likes to forget that his shortsighted budgets blow up mid-year, only to be fixed by the county supervisors. Walker then attacks the supervisors for raising taxes and, hypocritically, uses their budget as the basis for his next budget, all the while claiming not to raise taxes.

This year, Walker’s self-promoting penny-pinching affects the most vulnerable county residents: the poor and the mentally ill. Walker is attempting to outsource the Economic Support Division’s call center workers, even though only 56% of those positions were filled last year and callers have to wait an average of 42 minutes before they can speak to someone. Walker has also proposed cutting positions from the Behavioral Health Division and funds for the summer youth employment program. The supervisors will consider these matters this week.

Blog of the Week: Brazen Maverick, by Samuel Sarver

Shed A Little Light

I feel like a national nightmare might just be coming to an end. This isn’t to say that everything will be just fine by Jan. 21, 2009, but simply that maybe we can start figuring out how we get our economy back on track. Maybe we can figure out how to win and end two wars that have wracked our military and ruined our budget. Maybe we can start creating jobs instead of shipping them overseas. Maybe we can convince the rest of the world that we are not the strutting, arrogant superpower we have acted like for eight years. Maybe we can start honoring fundamental, constitutional guarantees like habeas corpus, and stop detaining people indefinitely without charge. Maybe we can stop torturing people who may or may not know anything at all. Maybe we can stop setting black against white, straight against gay, evangelical against mainstream. Maybe.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” —former President Bill Clinton

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Milwaukee Art Museum, by Kristopher Volkman

"The intent of my outing was actually to get a shot of the USS Freedom parked in Veterans Park, but the rain and fog made that shot nearly impossible. Looking back on the city from Discovery World I saw an opportunity for a few other interesting shots. Fast moving, low hanging clouds also made for some interesting long-exposure effects."

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